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Editorial

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Overview

Due to the expertise and independence of London’s courts and the quality of its law firms and barristers chambers, London remains a forum of choice within which to conduct disputes, particularly for parties entering into contracts in jurisdictions such as Russia, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Significant recent developments saw London’s disputing parties endure a considerable rise in court fees – fees for issuing claims increased to 5% of the claim’s value in March 2015, with a capped fee of £10,000. The market also experienced the development of certain proposals from Lord Justice Jackson’s landmark Review of Civil Litigation Costs, including a voluntary bill of costs pilot designed to support J-Codes, a system of job-based time recording codes. Potentially, such recording could lead to notable time and cost reductions when producing budgets, schedules and bills of costs.

Tied to the question of costs, clients are increasingly recognising the merits of inviting third-party investors to fund their cases. Applying to such funders also affords claimants the opportunity to examine the actual strength of their cases’ merits in front of neutral third parties. Consequently, new funders continue to enter this market, with the upside for potential claimants being increased choice.

The Lord Chief Justice (Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd) launched the new Financial List in October 2015. Directed at cases worth £50m or more, this is a specialist court procedure for the most significant and complex financial markets claims of the day, and relies upon a panel of judges with expertise in the financial markets. The new financial court covers products such as derivatives and foreign exchange (FX) issues, as well as the commodities markets, and its first ever judgment was handed down in early 2016.

The ongoing fallout from the recent global financial turmoil continues to give rise to high levels of contractual disputes, while banking litigation remains one of the most significant areas of litigation. Several scandals have plagued a number of leading banks (and will continue to do so for some time to come) as the sector’s ethical values and corporate governance standards are routinely subjected to questioning. In particular, the headline LIBOR and FX rigging cases continue to provoke large-scale investigations and regulatory intervention, as well as the prosecution of former traders.

Furthermore, following the collapse in energy and commodity prices, other specific sectors producing high-stakes cases include energy and natural resources. High-value contractual disputes have arisen as certain parties look either to bring down their costs or exit burdensome agreements.

In international arbitration, across most industry sectors English law remains a go-to choice of governing law and London remains highly popular as a choice of venue. Many firms have also experienced a significant rise in the number of bilateral investment treaty (BIT) arbitrations and public international law specialists have been increasingly advising clients on their interactions with their governments, with a view to extending BIT protections to investors.

Notable legal market unions included Canada’s second-largest independent law firm, Gowlings, merging in 2016 with Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co to become Gowling WLG, and Irwin Mitchell and Thomas Eggar also joining forces, while in early 2016, Dentons took on the banking and finance litigation group of now defunct law firm Matthew Arnold & Baldwin.

Headline spinoffs involved the departure of specialist PIL firm Volterra Fietta’s former founding partner Stephen Fietta to establish Fietta, while recent London entrant US firm Jenner & Block LLP, which opened in London 2015, hired Charlie Lightfoot as partner from White & Case LLP to focus on litigation and international arbitration.

Other key moves include Winston & Strawn London LLP’s former co-head of international arbitration, Joe Tirado, joining Iberian firm Garrigues’ London office; Herbert Smith Freehills LLP losing PIL specialist Matthew Weiniger QC to Linklaters LLP; Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s former disputes veteran Ian Terry exiting after 38 years for One Essex Court; DLA Piper’s former global international arbitration head Matthew Saunders joining Ashurst; and Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s London litigation head Tim Parkes departing to become chairman of the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s regulatory decisions committee.


Banking litigation: investment and retail

Index of tables

  1. Banking litigation: investment and retail
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

In an illustration of Allen & Overy LLP’s strong track record for leading finance cases, in 2015 the firm acted for four banks in a £800m interest rate swap claim. Calum Burnett, John O’Conor, Mona Vaswani and Marc Florent are recommended, as are James Partridge and Andrew Denny. Arnondo Chakrabarti is ‘one of the best lawyers in the city’.

Clifford Chance LLP is recommended for complex, high-profile banking disputes and investigations. The team advised Barclays on alleged Libor manipulation claims. Key advisers include Ian Moulding, Helen Carty and Jeremy Kosky. Jeremy Sandelson, Simon Davis and Roger Best are also highly rated, as are Kelwin Nicholls, who is ‘responsive, hardworking and collegiate’; Matthew Scully; Julian Acratopulo, who is ‘a terrific partner’; and Roger Leese, who ‘thinks outside the box’. ‘Rising star’ Christopher Yates was promoted to partner.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP acted for Deutsche Bank on the enforcement of a $300m-plus judgment and costs award. David Scott and Simon Orton are recommended alongside Andrew Hart, Ian Taylor, Gillian Eastwood, Sarah Parkes and Christopher Robinson. Piers Reynolds is ‘top of the tree’.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP remains a real force for banking litigation. The team advised Lloyds Banking Group (and five of its former directors) in a shareholder action. Key individuals include Damien Byrne Hill, who is ‘an extremely savvy litigator’; the ‘cool-headed’ Rupert Lewis; Chris Bushell, who is ‘top-class’; and Natasha Johnson, who is ‘charming but tough’. Simon Clarke, Adam Johnson and John Whiteoak are also highly respected advisers. The ‘very bright’ Harry Edwards was promoted to partner. Tim Parkes joined the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Payment Systems Regulator.

Hogan Lovells International LLP is noted for its ‘superb service’. The practice assisted JSC BTA Bank with policing a freezing order against a defendant fraudster, which marked the first time the Supreme Court had considered the standard form freezing injunction. Standout individuals include the ‘extremely experiencedJon Holland, Neil Mirchandani, who is ‘first rate’, the ‘very dedicated Andrea Monks, and Alex Sciannaca, who is ‘excellent at motivating a team’. Philip Parish and Whiston Bristow are also highly rated. Ailbhe Edgar left the partnership and Hugh Lyons joined Baker McKenzie LLP.

In an illustration of its heavyweight litigation portfolio, Linklaters LLP’s ‘very strong team’ acted for the joint administrators of Lehman Brothers International Europe (LBIE) on the Waterfall applications for directions on creditors’ entitlement to LBIE’s estate’s surplus. Key names include the ‘clever and commercialChrista Band, James Gardner, who has ‘a quick mind’, Patrick Robinson, who is ‘one of the best city lawyers around’, and Harriet Ellis, who has ‘excellent knowledge’. Andrew Hughes, Euan Clarke, Nick Porter, Kathryn Ludlow and Alison Wilson are also recommended.

Slaughter and Mayalways maintains excellent standards’. The team advised Banco Santander Totta in litigation involving interest rate swaps. Deborah Finkler is dispute resolution head and Jonathan Clarkhas a keen eye for important points’. Elizabeth Barrett, Ewan Brown, Richard Swallow, and James Stacey are also recommended.

Ashurst stands out for its ‘strong bench, industry expertise and commercial approach’. The team advised Cattles and Welcome Financial Services in a claim against PwC for audit negligence. Edward Sparrow is ‘a formidable opponent’ and Lynn Dunne is ‘a pleasure to work with’. Also recommended are the ‘tenacious and intelligent’ James Levy, Tom Connor (who is ‘a reassuring presence’), David Capps and the ‘approachable and personable’ Jon Gale.

Mayer Brown International LLP’s ‘responsive and commercial’ practice recruited Guy Wilkes, the FCA’s former retail and regulatory enforcement head in 2015. He joins a team that includes the ‘intelligent and well-organisedIan McDonald, Susan Rosser, who is noted for her ‘efficient assimilation of factual and technical material’, David Allen and Alistair Graham. The practice acted for Val Telecomunicaciones against a claim by an investment bank for unpaid transaction fees.

Norton Rose Fulbright advised Citibank (CBNA) and Citigroup Global Markets (CGML) in a $285m financing transactions dispute. Clients single out Michael Godden for his ‘impressive breadth of understanding’, Paul Morris, for his ‘thorough approach’, and Matthew Waudby, for his ability to ‘see the wood for the trees’. Chris Warren-Smith, Lista Cannon, Matthew Waudby and Melanie Ryan are also recommended. Katie Stephen and David Harris were promoted to the partnership

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP recently advised a lead claimant group in the headline £4bn RBS rights issue litigation. Alex Gerbi is ‘a very good litigator’ and is recommended alongside Richard East, Martin Davies and Matthew Bunting. Other key names include Ted Greeno, Sue Prevezer QC, Robert Hickmott and Nick Marsh.

Clients praise RPC for its ‘first-class service’ and single out the ‘tactically superbTom Hibbert and Simon Hart, who ‘zealously pursues clients’ objectives’. The team advised Bank St Petersburg in proceedings to enforce a series of personal guarantees. Also recommended are Parham Kouchikali (who is ‘a rising partner’) and Andy McGregor. Davina Given was promoted to partner.

Simmons & Simmons’ ‘first-class’ practice acted for Tetragon Financial Group in derivatives actions. Key figures include Richard Bunce, who leads on wholesale banking matters and ‘puts complex legal issues into plain English’; retail banking expert Marc Thorley, who is ‘a highly experienced litigator’; contentious regulatory expert Richard Sims; and Ed Crosse, who ‘has wide-ranging banking expertise’. Also recommended are Robert Turner, Caroline Hunter-Yeats (who leads on wealth management issues), Emma Sutcliffe, Robert Allen and Tim Boyce. Wholesale banking and wealth management expert Alexander Thavenot was promoted to partner.

Stewarts Law LLP continued to act for more than 300 financial institutions against RBS in respect of its 2008, £12bn rights issue. Clive Zietmanobtains first-class results’ and Keith Thomasshows a remarkable understanding of investment banking’. Sean Upson is also recommended. Jane Colston exited for Brown Rudnick LLP.

Clients of Travers Smith LLP single out the ‘experience, commitment and value’ demonstrated by its team, which includes ‘top-flight litigator’ Caroline Edwards; Stephen Paget-Brown, who ‘inspires confidence in any scenario’; Andrew King, who stands out for his ‘great judgement’; the ‘quiet, efficient and dedicated’ Rob Fell; Toby Robinson, who has ‘an in-depth understanding of issues’; and Huw Jenkin, who ‘pays great attention to detail’. The team continued to act for Sebastian Holdings (SHI) in $8bn claims against Deutsche Bank arising from derivatives transactions. Jan-Jaap Baer is also recommended.

Addleshaw Goddard LLP’s team is noted for its ‘good and strategic oversight’. The team successfully assisted Barclays with the recovery of capital loans made to Dewey & LeBoeuf’s former partners. Michael Barnett is ‘an investment banking heavyweight’ and Mark Gillhas bags of experience and nous’. Chris Brennan and Richard Clayton are also recommended. James Herring was promoted to partner.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is a go-to firm for complex hedge funds disputes, and stands out for its cross-border creditor litigation practice. Mark Dawkins and the ‘creative and knowledgeable’ Richard Hornshaw are recommended.

Baker McKenzie LLP strengthened its banking litigation capability with the recruitment of Hugh Lyons (who ‘has a wealth of experience’) from Hogan Lovells International LLP, and Jonathan Peddie, Barclays Bank’s former legal head of global financial crime. The team advised Landesbank Baden-Württemberg in proceedings involving credit derivative transactions. John Leadley heads the practice, which includes Edward Poulton, Charles Thomson and Steve Abraham.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP recently advised Central Bank of Nigeria in a high-value case involving financial fraud and jurisdiction and limitation issues. Oliver Glynn-Jones is ‘a heavy-hitting litigator’. Graham Shear, Segun Osuntokun, Oran Gelb and Daren Allen* are also highly rated. *Daren Allen joined Dentons in August 2016, following completion of our research.

CMS’ banking litigation track record includes loss limitation matters, litigation rights’ trading, insolvency-related claims, and breach of FSA regulations. Duncan Aldred heads the department, which includes Gemma Lampert, Alison McHaffie, Guy Pendell and Omar Qureshi.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP handles complex, cross-border banking and financial services disputes and regulatory investigations. The team represented the Russian Federation in pursuing repayment of a $3bn Eurobond. Jonathan Kelly, Sunil Gadhia and Christopher Moore are recommended.

Cooke, Young & Keidan LLP recently acted for Property Alliance Group against RBS in an advanced Libor manipulation claim. Clients single out Philip Young, for his ‘superb knowledge of the law’; Marc Keidan, for his ‘total commitment’; the ‘very impressiveSinead O’Callaghan; and Philip Rubens. Stephen Elam made partner.

In a showcase of its international reach, DLA Piper’s team advised Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) and Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad in a dispute arising from the attempted alleged misappropriation of secured assets. Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henryhas excellent instincts’ and Jamie Curle is ‘very astute’. Jeremy Andrews, Tony Katz, Sam Millar and Linos Choo are also highly rated.

In early 2016, Dentons welcomed Matthew Arnold & Baldwin’s well-respected banking and finance litigation group. The practice advised DEPFA Bank in a swap dispute with UBS and Kommunale Wasserwerke Leipzig. Richard Cairdunderstands business’ and Felicity Ewing is ‘always approachable’. Sam Coulthard and Thomas Leyland are also well regarded.

Enyo Law LLP is ‘very thorough and determined and has excellent client-handling skills’. The team advised the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) in a claim relating to financial derivative transactions which it entered into with Goldman Sachs. Simon Twigden is ‘a master litigator and tactician’, Pietro Marino is ‘a very talented lawyer with an extraordinary work ethic’, and George Maling is ‘a litigator of steely determination’. Edward Allen and Alexander Walsh are also recommended. Annabel Thomas joined Mishcon de Reya LLP.

Latham & Watkins’ ‘outstanding’ team defended EFAD Real Estate Company (EFAD) against a claim by Standard Bank for alleged breach of facility agreement. Simon Bushell is department head, Oliver Browne is ‘brilliant with clients’, and Philip Clifford is ‘a superb lawyer’. John Hull became the FCA regulatory decisions’ committee deputy chair.

Reed Smith LLP is ‘very responsive and fully engaged’. The team acted for the issuers of commercial mortgage backed securities in claims brought for declaratory relief as to the calculation of interest. Charles Hewetson and Nick Brocklesby are recommended. Richard Spafford and Ben Summerfield are also key names.

Signature Litigation LLP recruited Julian Connerty and Adam Rooney from Clyde & Co LLP and Greenberg Traurig Maher LLP, respectively. The team acted for a lead group of RBS Shareholders against RBS in relation to its 2008 rights issue. Well-regarded individuals include Graham Huntley, who ‘brings huge experience’, Abdulali Jiwaji, who is ‘a thoughtful practitioner’, and Daniel Spendlove, who ‘brings real energy to cases’. Natalia Chumak is also well regarded.

Stephenson Harwoodprovides excellent advice that is technical yet practical’. The team defended Unitech (and its indirect subsidiary) against a credit agreement and swap dispute. Clients recommend Sue Millar and Edward Davis, whose ‘advice is always thorough’. Commercial litigation head John Fordham, Richard Gwynne and Richard Garcia are also highly rated.

White & Case LLP welcomed contentious regulatory expert Jonathan Pickworth from Dechert LLP. The team is ‘well placed to manage big-ticket banking litigation’ and acted for Goldman Sachs International (and its Singaporean affiliate) in claims involving private wealth management clients. John Reynolds, Jason Yardley (‘an extremely clever and creative lawyer’) and Charles Balmain (who is noted for his ‘clear, helpful advice’) are recommended. John Higham QC retired from the partnership and retains a consultancy role with the firm, while Charlie Lightfoot departed for Jenner & Block LLP.

Bird & Bird LLP successfully defended The Goldman Sachs Group on a jurisdictional challenge issue. Michael Brown, Steven Baker and Jeremy Sharman are key contacts.

Clyde & Co LLPdelivers outstanding work products’ and is particularly experienced in derivatives disputes and cross-border cases involving emerging economies. Conrad Walker is ‘top-shelf’ and is recommended alongside Neil Jamieson, Stephen Tricks and Andrew Foster. Paul Friedman joined Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP.

Eversheds LLP defended Lloyds Banking Group against claims involving the alleged mis-selling of fixed-rate loans. Recommended individuals include the ‘forward-thinkingMatthew Allen, ‘highly experiencedAndrew Legg, ‘highly commercialDavid Flack, and Veronique Marquis, who ‘shows good sense’. Jennifer Miles was promoted to partner.

Fieldfisher has been involved in a number of derivatives disputes concerning the interpretation of the standard form ISDA master agreement. The ‘results-driven’ Duncan Black is recommended alongside Andrew Lafferty and Kit Jarvis.

Jones Day recently acted for Standard Bank (and its subsidiaries) in a high-profile case that led to the UK’s first-ever deferred prosecution agreement. Sion Richards heads the department, which includes Lucas Moore (who is ‘exceptional’), Stephen Pearson, Harriet Territt and Adam Brown.

King & Wood Mallesons successfully represented Morgan Stanley in a case against Tael One Partners, which turned on the interpretation of Loan Market Association terms. Craig Pollack* is global dispute resolution head, Rachel Couter is contentious regulatory head and Ian Hargreaves is global investigations, fraud and compliance head. Greg Lascelles and Louise Freeman* are also recommended. Hilton Mervis joined Arnold & Porter (UK) LLP. *Following publication of The Legal 500 UK 2016, Craig Pollack and Louise Freeman have joined Covington & Burling LLP.

Macfarlanes LLPhas a huge amount of experience’, as demonstrated by its work for Firth Rixson group companies in a $100m-plus claim relating to interest rate swaps. Barry Donnelly is ‘a very intelligent, careful litigator’ and Lois Horne’s ‘advice and understanding is second to none’. Dan Lavender - Iain Mackie and Matt McCahearty are also key names.

Mishcon de Reya LLP’s ‘dedicated team’ welcomed the ‘very hands-onRichard Leedham from Addleshaw Goddard LLP and former joint head of Thomas Bingham Chambers, Mohammed Khamisa QC, as consultant. The team advised members of the RBS Action Group in the rights issue group litigation claim against RBS. Clients praise ‘master tacticianMasoud Zabeti, Derval Walsh (who is ‘a skilled litigator’) and Adam Epstein, for his ‘attention to detail’. James Oldnall and Michael Armstrong are also recommended.

Shearman & Sterling LLP advised an ad-hoc group of note holders on contentious aspects of Brunswick Rail’s strategic capital structure review. Jo Rickardleaves clients feeling very safe’ and heads the London litigation team, which includes newly promoted partner Susanna Charlwood.

Taylor Wessing LLP represented MetLife in its appeal of a first-instance decision concerning Argentinean Peso-denominated notes that were linked to a consumer price based inflation index. Shane Gleghorn is ‘a highly experienced litigator’, Laurence Lieberman is ‘measured yet honest in his advice’, and Stephen Flaherty is ‘an absolutely first-rate lawyer’. Tim Strong and Paul Glass are also highly rated.

Boies, Schiller & Flexner (UK) LLP’s London office has ‘very quickly established itself as a leading litigation practice’. The team acted for Barclays Bank in a case concerning high-value collateralised debt obligations. Natasha Harrison is ‘an absolutely outstanding partner’.

Brown Rudnick LLP hired Jane Colston (‘a highly experienced litigator’) from Stewarts Law LLP, while Steven Friel joined Woodsford Litigation Funding as CIO. The team acted for various senior individuals in Libor/Forex investigations. Neil Micklethwaite, Nicholas Tse (who splits his time between London and Paris), Neill Shrimpton and Christian Toms are recommended.

Collyer Bristow LLP provides ‘excellent advice in a timely and concise manner’. The team acted for a Luxembourg investment vehicle in proceedings involving a novel point of English law. Stephen Rosen is noted for his ‘good negotiation skills’ and is recommended alongside Janine Alexander and Robin Henry.

DaySparkes’ ‘responsive and dedicated’ team represented two Hayfin Capital Management funds in claims against the issuer, note trustee and cash manager of a commercial mortgage backed securitisation. Michael Sparkes and the ‘hands-on and energetic’ John Day are recommended.

Dechert LLP successfully acted for a Georgian bank in an application to the High Court to have receivers appointed in support of proceedings in the Republic of Georgia. David Hughes and Adam Silver are recommended.

Humphries Kerstetter LLP is ‘a brilliant boutique firm’. The team acted for CaixaBank in proceedings against a Spanish telecoms company. Mark Humphries is ‘a standout individual’ and Kristopher Kerstetter is also highly rated.

Kingsley Napley LLP is highlighted for its experience in cases involving failed investments, mis-selling, fraud, insolvency and directors’ duties. Practice leader Richard Foss is ‘a very good person to have on your side’, and is ably supported by the ‘very savvyRyan Mowat and Fiona Simpson. William Christopher joined Pinsent Masons LLP.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP recently acted for Visa and Visa International Service Association in proceedings involving alleged competition law infringements in relation to multilateral interchange fees. Tom Canning ‘does a tremendous job’ and is recommended alongside Charles Evans.

PCB Litigation LLP acts both for and against banks and also has a heavy fraud focus. Clients praise ‘strategic thinkerSteven Philippsohn; Anthony Riem, who ‘has a wide range of knowledge’; and Trevor Mascarenhas, who is ‘an excellent litigator’.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s team acted for LBIE in its claim against DZ Bank regarding repo/reverse repos. Michael Isaacs ‘negotiates with great skill’ and is recommended alongside Stuart McNeill, Richard Twomey, Michael Fenn and Alan Sheeley.

Sidley Austin LLP acted for Fondazione Enasarco in a landmark High Court judgment on the calculation of loss under the 1992 ISDA Master Agreement. Dorothy Cory-Wright heads the team, which includes Matthew Shankland, who is noted for his ‘superior intellect’; Simon Fawell, who ‘excels under pressure’; and Steven Pitt.

Squire Patton Boggs is experienced in obtaining freezing injunctions, search and seizure orders, banker’s trust orders, delivery up orders and tracing claims. Chris Webber, who joined from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP, is recommended alongside Laurence Winston, Gareth Timms and Robert Weekes.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP’s clients are ‘spoilt for choice when it comes to bright, first-class lawyers’. The team acted for Rabobank International in disputes involving rights pursuant to warehouse metal receipts. ‘Sophisticated, tenacious litigatorAndrew Hutcheon is recommended alongside Andrew Savage and James Penn.

Burges Salmon LLP is well known for its advice to retail and investment banks and lending institutions, and often acts in highly contentious issues that have wider commercial implications.

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s team acted for Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena in its dispute with Nomura International involving a restructuring deal that led to exposure to toxic assets. John Bramhallgives sensible advice’ and Jonathan Brogden is also recommended.

Fladgate LLP acts in property sector related banking disputes, financial services claims, and international banking cases. Paul Howcroft, Simon Brew and Alexander Wildschütz are key advisers.

Canada’s Gowlings merged in 2016 with Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co to become Gowling WLG. The merged firm’s practice acts on high-profile regulatory matters, including Libor and foreign exchange issues. Andrew Smith and James Sidwell are recommended.

Hausfeld’s clients praise its ‘understanding of banking products’. Recent work includes loan disputes, derivatives claims and wider banking misconduct claims. Anthony Maton is ‘who clients want in the room for settlement discussions’. John McElroy joined from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP.

K&L Gates LLP is well known for real estate finance disputes, banking-related professional negligence claims, and structured finance litigation. John Magnin ‘knows when to get his hands dirty on clients’ behalf’. Anne McCarthy and Robert Hadley are also well regarded.

Locke Lord LLP’s Kevin Heath is known for asset finance and consumer credit disputes, and has related expertise in insolvency and e-money cases.

Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP represented African Minerals and its administrators in a $135m dispute concerning banking and advisory services. Clients recommend Jonathan Wheeler and Kevin Roberts, who is singled out for his ‘excellent legal mind’.

Paul Hastings LLP represented Hatfield Philips in loan enforcement matters. Michelle Duncan is ‘extremely knowledgeable’ and Stephen Parker ‘delivers clear advice’.

Royds Withy King handles financial disputes, insolvency, enforcement and asset recovery. The firm also advises individuals in mis-selling claims against banks. Stewart Wilkinson and Ashok Patel are recommended.

TLT defended Lloyds Banking Group in a claim brought by the director (and one of his associated companies) of a former customer concerning a fixed rate loan and consequential losses.

Wallace LLP is noted for its ‘pragmatic advice’. The team advised a property company in proceedings brought against a bank for alleged mis-selling of interest rate hedging products. The ‘impressiveAlexander Weinberg is recommended.

At Withers LLP, Andrew Wasshas clients’ interests at heart’ and ‘superb litigatorChristopher Coffin advises on derivatives disputes, loan recoveries and asset tracing and fraud.


Commercial litigation

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Allen & Overy LLP is ‘a go-to firm for commercial litigation’. It advised JKX Oil & Gas in proceedings concerning voting restrictions. Lawson Caisley is ‘excellent at handling large cases’ and is recommended alongside James Partridge, who ‘grasps the big picture’; Jonathan Hitchin, who stands out for his ‘commercial sense’; and Mona Vaswani, who is recommended for her ‘penetrating analysis’. Tim House and Alice Englehart are also highly rated.

Clifford Chance LLP’s ‘legally sophisticated and well-resourced’ team assisted Autonomy’s founder with financial impropriety and misrepresentation allegations made by Hewlett Packard (HP). Clients praise Julian Acratopulo for his ‘first-class mind’; Roger Best, who is ‘an excellent commercial litigator’; and Roger Leese (‘a sophisticated legal thinker’). Also recommended are Iain Roxborough (‘he knows how to win’), Helen Carty (who is ‘calm and pragmatic’), Jeremy Kosky, Ian Moulding, Jeremy Sandelson, Simon Davis, Philip Hill and Matthew Scully.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s ‘responsive, insightful and commercial’ team defended Igor Kolomoisky in a claim involving an alleged agreement to purchase a Ukrainian ore processing company. Simon Orton and Patrick Swain are recommended alongside Matthew Bruce, Geoff Nicholas and James Kennedy, who has ‘deep commercial insight’. Ian Terry joined One Essex Court.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s ‘team is effective and personable, and the advice is spot-on’. It successfully defended Bernie Ecclestone against a $145m claim brought by a German media company. Key names include Alan Watts, who is ‘a shrewd operator’; John Ogilvie, who ‘offers valuable strategic insight’; Damien Byrne Hill (‘an extremely safe pair of hands’); James Baily (‘a standout player’); Chris Bushell (‘never lets clients down’); and Rupert Lewis. Mark Shillito, Philip Carrington, Simon Clarke and Adam Johnson are also highly rated. Former team head Tim Parkes joined the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Payment Systems Regulator.

Hogan Lovells International LLP attracts praise for its ‘superb client-handling skills’. The practice acted for a Ukrainian businessman in proceedings involving ownership of a Ukrainian iron ore mining company. Clients rate the ‘effective’ Neil Mirchandani; ‘standout litigatorChris Hardman; Alex Sciannaca (‘great with clients’); and John Tillman, who has ‘an extraordinary intellect’. Also recommended are Angela Dimsdale Gill, Richard Lewis and Michael Davison, as well as John Meltzer and Ivan Shiu.

Linklaters LLP strengthened its already impressive practice (which attracts praise for its ‘enormous strength in depth’) with the recruitment of Baker McKenzie LLP’s former global disputes head, Tom Cassels. The team advised Aabar and Edgeworth Capital in litigation arising out of loan acquisitions. Michael Bennett, Christa Band and Michael Sanders are recommended alongside ‘exceptional litigatorAndrew Hughes; Satindar Dogra, who is ‘an excellent lawyer’; the ‘unflappableNick Porter; and Ben Carroll, who ‘manages client expectations fantastically’. Other key names include Patrick Robinson, Euan Clarke, James Gardner and Tom Lidstrom.

Slaughter and May’s ‘superbly effective’ team defended Gain Capital against claims by 450 individuals, who suffered investment losses. Deborah Finkler heads the team, which includes Elizabeth Barrett, Richard Clark, Nick Gray (who ‘leaves no stone unturned’) and the ‘hugely practicalSarah Lee. Richard Swallow, Efstathios Michael, Ewan Brown and Jonathan Cotton are also recommended, as is newly promoted partner Damian Taylor, who has ‘fantastic client-facing skills’.

Ashurst is noted for providing ‘pragmatic solutions to commercial disputes’ and for its specialist focus on the financial services and energy, resources and infrastructure sectors. Mark Clarke* heads the practice, which includes Simon Bromwich, Ben Tidswell, James Levy and Edward Sparrow, who is ‘a pleasure to work with’. *Mark Clarke joined White & Case LLP in September 2016. James Levy has taken on the role of head of disputes.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLPhandles big cases for big clients’. The practice acted for BTI 2014 in a case against Sequana and Windward’s former directors concerning unlawful dividend payments. Key figures include Kevin Lloyd, who has ‘superb litigation instincts’; the ‘bright and diligentRichard Lawton; and Lord (Peter) Goldsmith QC, who is ‘an excellent advocate’. Tony Dymond is also a key adviser.

Latham & Watkins recently defended Samba Financial Group in claims arising out of the high-value Saad/Al Gosaibi dispute. Simon Bushell heads the practice, which includes Philip Clifford, who is ‘one of the best litigators around’. Oliver Browne, Charles Claypoole and John Kallaugher are also recommended.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP’s team acted for a claimant group in the £4bn RBS rights issue litigation. The team has a range of notable practitioners, including the ‘sharp’ Richard East; the ‘fantastic’ Alex Gerbi; Sue Prevezer QC (‘a star attraction’); Robert Hickmott, who is ‘analytical and cool under pressure’; Nick Marsh, who is ‘a good listener’; and Ted Greeno. Paul Friedman joined from Clyde & Co LLP.

Simmons & Simmons provides ‘a consistently high standard of service’. The team defended Autonomy’s former chief financial officer against proceedings related to HP’s acquisition of Autonomy. Clients praise the ‘outstandingIan Hammond; Robert Turner, who is noted for his ‘superb client care’; Patrick Boylan (‘he has a huge intellect’); Tim Boyce, who ‘swiftly identifies key points’; and Ed Crosse, who was elected as the London Solicitors Litigation Association’s President. Colin Passmore is also highly rated.

Addleshaw Goddard LLP recently acted for Barclays in claims for recovery of capital loans made to Dewey & LeBoeuf’s former partners. Michael Barnett is ‘bright and experienced’, and Mark Hastings is a go-to partner for large-scale litigation. Other recommended advisers include Kambiz Larizadeh, Louisa Caswell, Clarissa Coleman, Jon Tweedale and Richard Clayton.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP’s team is especially strong in the financial services, real estate, construction, sport, and energy sectors, and ‘provides a pragmatic approach’. Oliver Glynn-Jones heads the practice, which includes Graham Shear, Joby Davies, who has ‘strong client-handling skills’, and Oran Gelb. Richard Power joined Clyde & Co LLP.

CMS is noted for its ‘exceptional service’. The team represented Clarksons Platou Futures in a complex case arising from forward freight agreement market trading. Key figures include the ‘user-friendlyGuy Pendell, ‘superbPhillip Ashley, Alexander Denslow (who ‘cuts through complex matters’), Rob Wilson and Duncan Aldred, who has ‘in-depth technical knowledge’. Tim Hardy, Simon Garrett, Omar Qureshi, Susan Barty and Adrian Bell are also recommended.

Clyde & Co LLP’s ‘premier practice’ recruited Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP’s former energy disputes head, Richard Power, while Paul Friedman departed for Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP and Julian Connerty joined Signature Litigation LLP respectively. The practice is well known for insurance, trade and commodities, construction, energy and transportation disputes. Neil Jamieson is rcommended, Chris Burdett is ‘perfect for difficult cases’, and Tony Baumgartner is ‘calm and balanced’. Marko Kraljevic and Conrad Walker are also highly rated.

DLA Piper’s ‘accomplished team’ focuses on high-value, bet-the-company disputes. Key names include Jeremy Andrews (‘a polished and skilful lawyer’), Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry (‘good on key strategic issues’) and Jamie Curle (‘drives cases forward’). Stephen Sly, Linos Choo, Janet Legrand, Richard McGrane and recently promoted partner James Carter are also recommended.

Enyo Law LLP is ‘a solid boutique with strong individuals’. The team acted for the Libyan Investment Authority in its claim against Goldman Sachs concerning financial derivatives transactions. The ‘smart and tenacious’ Simon Twigden, Anna Maxwell (‘a determined litigator’), George Maling, Pietro Marino (‘brings a strategic view to cases’), the ‘very able and experienced’ Marcus Rutherford, Edward Allen and Alexander Walsh are all highly rated.

Eversheds LLP has ‘real strength in depth’. The practice acted for AXIO Data Group Holdings in its claim against UBMG involving complex accounting issues arising from fraud. Mark Davenport is ‘a superb tactician’, Richard Littlereally listens to clients’ and Andrew Legg is ‘an incredibly clear thinker’. Neville Byford is also recommended.

Jones Dayprovides strong commercial advice’. The team advised a special situations investment management group in damages proceedings for breach of contract and conspiracy. Sion Richards is ‘an excellent all-rounder’, Craig Shuttleworth is ‘an effective player’ and Barnaby Stueck is ‘incredibly bright’. Stephen Pearson, Lee Coffey and Adam Brown are also highly rated.

King & Wood Mallesons represented Morgan Stanley in a case that turned on the interpretation of Loan Market Association terms. Craig Pollack* is recommended alongside Ian Hargreaves (who is ‘a tough negotiator’), Louise Freeman* (who is ‘one of London’s most effective partners’) and Rachel Couter. *Following publication of The Legal 500 UK 2016, Craig Pollack and Louise Freeman have joined Covington & Burling LLP.

Macfarlanes LLP’ clients rate its ability to ‘produce astonishing results’. It successfully acted for Thai Airways International Public Company in a breach of contract dispute. Standout individuals include Iain Mackie, Geoff Steward (‘a brilliant team-builder’), Guy Morpuss QC, James Popperwell, Simon Nurney and the ‘intelligent and diligentLois Horne.

Mayer Brown International LLP’s team represented the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund (MNRPF) in a case that determined the MNRPF’s funding to pay members’ future benefits. Ian McDonaldgets to grips with disputes’ details’ and Miles Robinson ‘provides clear-thinking advice’. Also recommended are Alistair Graham (who ‘sees the bigger picture’), Stuart Pickford, David Allen and Mark Stefanini.

Norton Rose Fulbright recently acted for a US oil company’s subsidiary in a contractual claim. Deirdre Walker and Ruth Cowley are recommended alongside the ‘practicalChris Warren-Smith, ‘sensibleFfion Flockhart, and Susan Dingwall.

Pinsent Masons LLPholds its own with Magic Circle firms’. The team advised Talisman Sinopec Energy UK in actions involving questions of contractual construction, unjust enrichment and fiduciary duty. Clients praise Laura Cameron, Michael Fenn, Katharine Davies (‘an excellent litigator’), Richard Twomey (‘gets to the heart of matters’), Stuart McNeill (‘always on top of issues’) and Michael Isaacs, who ‘gives high-quality advice’. Alan Sheeley is also recommended.

RPC recently advised an investment fund in a claim involving alleged breaches of duty by former directors. Geraldine Elliott and Tom Hibbert are recommended alongside Andy McGregor, Simon Hart, Tim Brown and Rupert Boswall.

Reed Smith LLP’s ‘service is of a very high standard’. The team advised BT Cornwall in a claim against customers over the threatened termination of a £200m outsourcing contract. Richard Spafford and Belinda Paisley are highly rated, as are Nick Brocklesby (who ‘always considers clients’ objectives’), Ben Summerfield and Charles Hewetson.

Stephenson Harwood fields a team of ‘star performers’ including John Fordham, who is ‘invaluable when a dispute needs a heavyweight’; Edward Davis, who is ‘strong on strategy’, and Richard Garcia, who stands out for his ‘technical ability’. The team defended Unitech (and its indirect subsidiary) against claims pursuant to a credit agreement and swap with Deutsche Bank. Sean Jeffrey, Richard Gwynne, Sue Millar and Andrew Myers are also recommended.

Stewarts Law LLP is ‘wholly comfortable taking on Magic Circle firms’. The team continues to act for 300-plus financial institutions against the RBS group in respect of its 2008 rights issue. Key names include Clive Zietman, who is ‘an excellent strategist’; Sean Upson, who ‘inspires confidence at every stage’; Marc Jones, who is ‘smart and commercially astute’; and Fiona Gillett, who is ‘a most capable practitioner’. Keith Thomas and Paul Brehony are also recommended. Jane Colston joined Brown Rudnick LLP.

Travers Smith LLP attracts praise for its ‘high service levels’. The team represented HP in $5bn-plus claims arising out of its acquisition of Autonomy. The heavyweight team includes Stephen Paget-Brown, who ‘achieves results’; Andrew King, who is ‘excellent with clients’; Caroline Edwards, who is ‘a strategic thinker’; the ‘unbelievably thorough’ Huw Jenkin; the ‘dedicated’ Jan-Jaap Baer; Rob Fell, who ‘displays the skills clients hope to find in solicitors’; and the ‘diligent’ Toby Robinson.

White & Case LLP recruited contentious regulatory expert Jonathan Pickworth from Dechert LLP, offsetting Charlie Lightfoot’s departure to Jenner & Block LLP. The team (which provides ‘clear, targeted advice’) continued to represent Çukurova Holding in its long-running dispute with Alfa Group. John Reynolds, Jason Yardley, John Higham QC and Charles Balmain are also recommended.

Changes to Baker McKenzie LLP’s team included Jonathan Peddie’s arrival from Barclays Bank, and Tom Cassels and Jeremy Winter’s departures to Linklaters LLP and to become an independent arbitrator, respectively. The team defended Canaccord Genuity against a claim by American Leisure Group (ALG), which related to ALG’s AIM share placing. John Leadley heads the practice, which includes Charles Thomson, Steve Abraham, Joanna Ludlam and Edward Poulton.

Bird & Bird LLP recently represented The Goldman Sachs Group in a claim involving cross-jurisdictional proceedings. Steven Baker, Jeremy Sharman and Ludovic de Walden are recommended.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP acted for the Russian Federation in pursuing repayment of a $3bn Eurobond. Jonathan Kelly (one of the best’) and Sunil Gadhia are highly regarded.

DAC Beachcroft LLPprovides a first-class service’. The team acted for Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena in its dispute with Nomura International, which arose from a restructuring. John Bramhall and Richard Highley are recommended alongside Campbell Dye, Ken Forsyth and the ‘proactiveJonathan Brogden.

Dechert LLP’s ‘lawyers are excellent’. The practice continued to act for NML Capital in claims against Argentina, following the latter’s bond payment default. Key advisers include Andrew Hearn (‘an excellent litigator’), Bernard Caulfield, Adam Silver and David Hughes.

Farrer & Co has ‘strength in depth’. The team continued to act for AMT Futures in its inducement to breach of contract claim. Adrian Parkhouse is ‘an excellent litigation manager’ and is recommended alongside Jeremy Gordon, who is ‘a safe pair of hands’; the ‘commercially astute’ James Price; and Kate Allass, who ‘has an excellent client manner’. Siobhan Jones and Toby Graham are also highly regarded. Gavin Bacon retired from the firm.

Holman Fenwick Willanprovides high professional standards’. The practice advised BP Oil International in settling an energy finance dispute. Damian Honey heads the practice, which includes Noel Campbell, Paul Wordley and Alistair Feeney. Simon Blows, Steven Paull and James Clibbon are also recommended.

Mishcon de Reya LLPcan handle any size of case’. The team acted for RBS Action Group members in litigation against RBS, which involved a rights issue claim. Clients recommend Kasra Nouroozi, Gary Miller, James Libson, Masoud Zabeti and Annabel Thomas.

Nabarro LLP recently defended UBMG against a breach of warranties claim. Jonathan Warne is recommended as are the ‘brutally efficient’ Tom Dane; Lee Gluyas, who ‘manages cases well’; and the ‘client-focused’ Adam Greaves. Other key advisers include Andrew Taplin and Ben Trust.

Olswang LLP recently defended Up Energy Group (UEGL) and Qin Jun against a claim involving a purchase agreement under which UEGL sold convertible notes. Bernard O’Sullivan heads the practice, which includes Jeremy Mash, Richard Bamforth, Steven Corney and Ian Felstead.

Osborne Clarke acted for Harbert Management in a contractual dispute, which involved the interpretation of an asset management agreement’s payment provision. Adrian Lifely, Andrew Bartlett and Tom Ellis are recommended.

Shearman & Sterling LLP acted for Viorel Micula in arbitration enforcement proceedings in the High Court. Jo Rickard heads the practice, which includes newly promoted partner Susanna Charlwood.

Sidley Austin LLP acted for Fondazione Enasarco in obtaining judgment on loss calculation under the 1992 ISDA Master Agreement. Dorothy Cory-Wright heads the department, which includes the ‘responsive and directMatthew Shankland and Simon Fawell, who is ‘excellent for procedural matters’. Steven Pitt is also well regarded.

Signature Litigation LLP recruited Julian Connerty and Adam Rooney from Clyde & Co LLP and Greenberg Traurig Maher LLP, respectively. The team represented a lead group of RBS shareholders in claims against RBS over its rights issue. Graham Huntley is ‘one of the most experienced litigators in London’, and is recommended alongside the ‘responsive and measuredAbdulali Jiwaji; and Daniel Spendlove, who is ‘a strategic thinker’. Hermes Marangos and Natalia Chumak are also key advisers.

Taylor Wessing LLP’s ‘responsive practice’ defended PwC in a £1.6bn claim, which arose out of the collapse of Cattles and its trading subsidiary. Shane Gleghorn ‘has a good legal brain’ and Laurence Lieberman is ‘swift and helpful’. Andrew Howell, David de Ferrars, Julian Randall and Tim Strong are also recommended.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feldnever lets clients down’. The team acted for a Russian oligarch and certain Renova group companies in litigation concerning the ownership of Russia’s largest power generation company. Justin Williams is ‘calm and experienced’ and Tom Evans is ‘extremely smart’. Mark Dawkins and Richard Hornshaw are also highly rated.

Boodle Hatfield LLP recently acted for Isis Investments in actions arising from Kaupthing’s collapse. Simon Fitzpatrickdemonstrates enormous patience with clients’.

Bristows LLP’s ‘consistently responsive’ team acted for the Park Trust trustee in a dispute between joint ventures and their principals. Kevin Appleton is ‘a brilliant negotiator’ and Mark Brown is ‘indispensable’. Theo Savvides and Jeremy Blum are also key contacts.

Brown Rudnick LLP recruited ‘outstanding litigatorJane Colston from Stewarts Law LLP, while Steven Friel joined Woodsford Litigation Funding. The team advised MDNX Group in breach of warranty litigation. Neil Micklethwaite and Neill Shrimpton are ‘a formidable team’. Nicholas Tse (who splits his time between London and Paris) and Christian Toms are also key contacts.

Key figures at Cooke, Young & Keidan LLP include Philip Young, the ‘client-focusedMarc Keidan, and Philip Rubens, who is ‘an experienced litigator’. The team acted for Proxima in its battle with Bank of America Merrill Lynch to strike out interest rate and inflation swaps. Gerald Cooke and Sinead O’Callaghan are also recommended.

Cooley (UK) LLP recently acted for Bambino Holdings in defending proceedings relating to the sale of Formula 1 racing shares. Laurence Harris, Kevin Perry and James Maton are ‘particularly impressive’. Mark Deem is also highly rated.

Dentons fields a team of ‘experienced litigators with commercial mindsets’. Highlights included acting for DEPFA in its $116m dispute with UBS and KWL over swap transactions. Liz Tout and Felicity Ewing are recommended alongside Richard Caird, who ‘has significant expertise’, and Thomas Leyland.

Edwin Coe LLP advised a large group in a breach of contract claim against a timeshare exchange group. The ‘results-drivenDavid Greene and Nick Neocleous are recommended. Vivien Davies joined Fieldfisher.

Fieldfisher welcomed Vivien Davies from Edwin Coe LLP. The team acted for Lehman Brothers Finance’s liquidator in pursuing a breach of contract claim. Key figures include Colin Gibson, Kit Jarvis (whose ‘client service is second to none’), Rhys Griffiths, Andrew Lafferty and Simon Moore. Tony Lewis, Jonathan Ray-Smith and Alexandra Underwood are also recommended.

Fladgate LLP acted for a group of retail and institutional investors in litigation against RBS arising from its rights issue. Simon Ekins and Simon Brew are recommended alongside Mark Buckley, who is ‘a great tactician’, Bree Taylor, who is ‘a tough, smart litigator’, and the ‘exceptionalSteven Mash. Paul Howcroft, Alexander Wildschütz, David Weare and Digby Hebbard are also well regarded.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson (London) LLP’s ‘well-established’ team handled a successful application to the UK courts to commence UK enforcement proceedings of a £105m-plus judgment obtained in Liechtenstein. James Kitching ‘exudes confidence and reliability’ and Justin Michaelson is highly rated.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP represented UBS in investigations into allegations that traders manipulated foreign exchange benchmark rates. Philip Rocherobtains the best results’ and Charles Falconer QC is ‘a superb advocate’. Allan Neil, Osma Hudda and Patrick Doris are also key names.

Gowling WLG’s practice defended liquidators’ claims for breach of fiduciary duties, professional negligence and vicarious liability. Andrew Smith is ‘tactically astute’, James Sidwell ‘grasps enormous bodies of complex material’ and Alex Jay is ‘down to earth’.

Ince & Co is recommended for shipping, insurance and reinsurance, international trade, finance, energy, and aviation-related disputes. Stuart Shepherd is noted for his ‘excellent commercial judgement’, and is recommended alongside Ben Ogden and Jeremy Biggs.

Irwin Mitchellalways does its best for clients’. The team welcomed new department head Donna Goldsworthy (who ‘provides exceptional client service’) from Cozen O’Connor, while Nigel Kissack joined Exigent Group. The team defended a £135m claim by the Pensions Regulator. Jonathan Sachsachieves favourable settlements’. Georgie Collins and Sarah Wallace are also highly rated.

King & Spalding International LLP is singled out for its ‘phenomenal engagement levels’. The team is focused on energy, financial services, IT and telecoms, and shipping, aerospace and defence disputes. Recommended individuals include Sarah Walker (who is a ‘clear thinker’), Jane Player, Thomas Sprange QC, Nicholas Cherryman, Stuart Isaacs QC, Egishe Dzhazoyan and Ruth Byrne.

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP has a successful track record acting in high-profile matters before the English Courts, including the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. Chris Colbridge, Chiraag Shah and Rajinder Bassi are recommended.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP defended AllianceBernstein against investment-related claims. Julian Stait is ‘intelligent and strategic’, and Tom Canning is ‘very experienced’.

Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP successfully represented African Minerals (and its administrators) on appeal to a dispute concerning banking and advisory services. The ‘dedicated’ Kevin Roberts and ‘superb’ Jonathan Wheeler are recommended.

Key figures at PCB Litigation LLP include Steven Philippsohn, who is ‘a master strategist’; Anthony Riem, who is ‘wonderful with clients’; and Trevor Mascarenhas. The team successfully acted for the primary defendant in a claim involving alleged breaches of contract, confidence and copyright, as well as defamation and conspiracy.

Payne Hicks Beach’s responsive and thoughtful’ team defended a breach of contract claim involving online referral commissions. Stephen King is ‘a diligent litigator’ and Dominic Crossley’s ‘service is excellent’. The ‘extremely hardworking’ Richard Manyon was promoted to partner.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP recently represented co-defendant Gennady Bogolyubov in high-profile litigation involving breach of contract and trust claims. Karyl Nairn QC, David Kavanagh and Bruce Macaulay are recommended.

Squire Patton Boggs advised Blue Oil Trading in its damages application. Laurence Winston is ‘a first-class lawyer and Robert Weekes is ‘a great strategist’. Gareth Timms and Chris Webber are also recommended.

Key figures at Watson Farley & Williams LLP include Andrew Savage, who is ‘an excellent lawyer’; Andrew Hutcheon, who ‘leads by example’; and Robert Platt, who stands out for his ‘serious intellect’. The team acted for an oil supplier in its breach of contract claim.

At Winston & Strawn London LLPMichael Madden (who is ‘a creative thinker’) is experienced in corporate acquisition, divestiture and joint venture disputes; and Justin McClelland focuses on cross-jurisdictional disputes and contentious regulatory matters.

Bryan Cave’s ‘timely and efficient’ team acted in a petition to wind up a UK holding company. Mathew Rea and Ioannis Alexopoulos (who is ‘a sophisticated, commercial litigator’) are recommended.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP defended the joint official liquidators of Awal Bank’s subsidiaries in proceedings concerning fraud, knowing receipt and dishonest assistance, conspiracy and unjust enrichment. Stewart Hey and John Sykes are key contacts.

Collyer Bristow LLP is recommended for financial, IT and IP disputes, as well as cases concerning insolvency, competition and reputation management. Jeff Roberts, Janine Alexander and Robin Henry are recommended.

Covington & Burling LLP’s ‘stellar London litigation practice’ acted for FilmFlex Movies in a software contract dispute. The ‘very commercial’ Alex Leitch is recommended.

At Cubism Law, managing director Andrew Pena is a franchise disputes specialist and is ably supported by consultants Peter Mellett, who specialises in professional negligence actions, consumer law and trading standards; contract disputes expert Anya Bloom; and Duncan McNair, who is known for company, partnership and banking cases.

Dorsey & Whitney defended a claim concerning alleged negligence in structuring index and loan-linked notes. Nicholas Burkill heads the practice, which includes Tim Maloney, who ‘cuts to the essence of cases’.

Forsters LLP welcomed Benedict Walton from Jones Day, while Caroline Bassett retired from the partnership to become a consultant. The ‘talented team’ recently acted in shareholder disputes, bankruptcy proceedings and mis-selling class action claims. Emily Exton and the ‘tactically astuteAndrew Head are recommended.

Fox Williams LLPprovides an excellent service’. The team defended a director in proceedings brought for fraudulent conspiracy, dishonest assistance and knowing receipt. Gavin Foggo heads the practice, which includes the ‘highly intelligentPeter Ashford, Tom Custance, Peter Wright and James Carlton.

Harbottle & Lewis LLP is recommended for its advice to media, entertainment and technology clients, and also represents retail, finance and private capital clients. Key figures include the ‘commercially astuteSandi Simons, Louis Castellani, who is ‘a clever strategist’, and Andy Millmore.

Howard Kennedy LLP stands out for sports and media litigation, and its team also has financial services disputes expertise. Craig Emden is highly rated, and Tim Bignell is ‘an excellent strategist’. Practice head Steven Morris, Simon Taylor, Louise Bennett and Mark Stephens CBE are also experienced advisers. Since publication, Sue Thackeray has joined Kingsley Napley LLP.

K&L Gates LLP’s ‘excellent practice’ acted for the note trustee in proceedings concerning interest payable to note holders in securitised finance transactions. John Magnin is ‘a strong leader’ and is recommended alongside Anne McCarthy and Robert Hadley.

In addition to its commercial litigation practice, Kingsley Napley LLP specialises in civil fraud work, contentious trust litigation and financial services disputes; the practice also acts in media cases. Clients praise Richard Foss for his ‘good tactical skills’; the ‘impressiveGerard Cukier; Ryan Mowat, who ‘gets results’; and the ‘tenaciousFiona Simpson.

Lewis Silkin LLPprovides a City-service at non-City rates’. The team represented International Game Technology and IGT-UK Group in a claim arising out of a share sale. Tom Coates is ‘brilliant’, Philip Foster is ‘a leading figure’, and Mark Limgets great results’. Clive Greenwood is also recommended.

McGuireWoods London LLPprovides excellent service’. The team acted for Vincent Tchenguiz in a claim arising out of Kaupthing’s collapse. Michael Tackley heads the practice, which includes the ‘experienced and accessibleHardeep Nahal.

Memery Crystal LLP is predominantly known for energy disputes. Jane Marsden is recommended alongside the ‘decisive’ Nicholas Scott; Harvey Rands, who handles financial services cases; and Mark Whelan, who acts in financial products-related claims.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP is recommended for its disputes advice to energy, insurance and financial services clients. Key figures include the ‘talented’ Nicholas Greenwood; Peter Sharp, who is ‘one of the cleverest litigators around’; David Waldron, who ‘always delivers’; and Kevin Robinson.

Paul Hastings LLP distinguishes itself through its track record on structured finance disputes. Michelle Duncan and Stephen Parker are highly regarded.

Penningtons Manches LLP has expertise in cross-border disputes and professional negligence claims. Rustam Dubash, John Doherty, Mark Lewis and Alex Fox are highly rated; and David Niven is ‘top notch’.

Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP recently acted for the Secretary of State and the English Department of Health in a £250m claim. Keith Oliver and Sarah Gabriel are recommended.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP is well known for Middle East related disputes, social housing sector cases, contentious public law matters, and aviation disputes. Ned Beale is recommended alongside Lucy James and Alex Burton.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges stands out for its integrated international practice, and tax litigation and contentious regulatory expertise. Juliet Blanch is recommended.


Competition litigation

Index of tables

  1. Competition litigation
  2. Leading individuals

Elizabeth Morony leads the practice at Clifford Chance and acted for Barclays Bank in the European Commission (EC)’s cartel investigation into EURIBOR/LIBOR rate fixing and related litigation. In another highlight, Luke Tolaini led the team that is acting in the investigation by the EC and US authorities into precious metals spot trading. Other clients include JP Morgan Chase, Siemens and Samsung UK.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is ‘an outstanding firm’ for competition matters, with clients singling out Jon Lawrence and Mark Sansom as ‘standout partners’. Lawrence led the team acting for Ericsson in patent infringement litigation brought by Unwired Planet against Samsung and Huawei, which has involved a counterclaim that the transfer of patents between Ericsson and Unwired Planet breached Chapter one of the Competition Act 1998. In another notable highlight, Rod Carlton and Alastair Chapman are leading the team representing HSBC in the Competition Market Authority (CMA)’s investigation into personal current account and SME banking services.

According to one client, Hausfeld is ‘without doubt the best in the market in the area of claimant work’. The practice continues to be involved in the biggest competition cases before the English courts: practice head Anthony Maton led on claims arising from the EC’s decision to fine 11 air cargo carriers for operating cartel affecting cargo services, which was the largest cartel damages action by value and number of claimants before any European court. Maton also led alongside Nicola Boyle in claims for compensation from MasterCard for inflated interchange fees paid to licensee banks. Anna Morfey joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, while Ed Coulson re-joined Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s team of ‘smooth and aggressive operators’ is noted for providing ‘a Rolls-Royce service’ to clients. Practice co-head Stephen Wisking led the team acting for Sky in numerous Ofcom investigations and before the Competition Appeals Tribunal, including the client’s appeal to Ofcom’s 2010 decision forcing it to provide its sports channels to rivals on contractual terms set by Ofcom. In another key matter, Wisking and the ‘very smart and capable’ Kim Dietzel led the team defending Pilkington in follow-on damages claims in the UK and Germany arising from the EC’s car glass and flat glass cartel investigations. Matthew Weiniger QC joined Linklaters LLP.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s ‘very strong’ practice successfully defended Ofgem against two appeals before CMA in regards to Ofgem’s price control decisions for the UK’s electricity networks. In another important case, the department represented Air Canada in its landmark appeal against the EC’s decision in its cartel investigation into surcharges for fuel and security costs, as well as related damages claims arising from the investigation. Practice head Nicholas Heaton (‘a truly formidable litigator’) and the ‘excellentSuyong Kim acted on the damages cases and the investigation and subsequent appeals, respectively.

Linklaters LLP has been defending Visa Europe in ongoing litigation concerning alleged breaches of EU and domestic competition laws related to multilateral interchange fees. The practice is also acting for LG Electronics in follow-on damages proceedings relating to investigations into alleged collusion in the sale of cathode ray tubes, and is representing Goldman Sachs Group in its appeal to the EC’s decision in the power cables sector cartel investigation. Practice head Michael Sanders is ‘the man you want on your side in any big-ticket competition litigation’. Tom Cassels (‘a class act’) joined from Baker McKenzie LLP and Matthew Weiniger QC joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

In an illustration of its strength in the financial services sector, Allen & Overy LLP’s competition practice assisted 11 UK members of Visa Europe with the drafting of a loss sharing agreement, which was a precondition of the sale of Visa Europe to Visa Inc., and which involved the issue of allocation of liability for contingent competition law damages arising from interchange fees. In another key matter, the practice acted for Hitachi in the EC’s investigation into suspected cartel conduct in the automotive parts sector, in which the department obtained a favourable outcome for the client. Mark Friend and Antonio Bavasso head the practice.

King & Wood Mallesons is noted for its ‘exceptional advice and support’. As well as representing Qantas Airways in follow-on damages litigation stemming from the air cargo cartel investigation and for a leading financial institution in the LIBOR investigation, the practice has represented clients in pharmaceuticals and telecommunications competition investigations. Tom Usher heads the practice, which includes Stephen Kon, who is ‘a real doyen’.

According to one client, Slaughter and May’s ‘lawyers have brilliant judgement and a relentless will to win’. Recent highlights include acting for British Airways in the air cargo litigation, and defending Philips in a €1bn damages claim stemming from the EC’s investigation into the sale of cathode ray tubes. Practice head Richard Swallow and Bertrand Louveaux (‘an immensely skilled litigator’) led in both cases, and are recommended alongside Isabel Taylor and Philippe Chappatte.

At Ashurst, practice co-head Euan Burrows led for new client Pirelli in follow-on damages cases arising from the EC’s power cables cartel investigation, and Duncan Liddell led the team acting for RBS in the Mastercard and Visa interchange fees litigation. Fellow co-head Mark Clarke is also recommended.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP acts for both claimants and defendants; on the defendant side, Chris Bryant led the team representing a multinational client in numerous follow-on damages actions arising from the global automotive parts cartel investigation. On the claimant side, practice head Andrew Hockley led the team representing Scottish Power and National Grid in a multimillion-pound damages claim stemming from the power cables cartel investigation. Hockley ‘draws on huge experience to offer the client a range of strategic options – his judgement is spot on’.

Tech and IP specialist firm Bristows LLP successfully defended Google against Streetmap in a High Court claim for abuse of dominant position, and represented Samsung in regards to a major patent dispute with Unwired Planet, which involved the consideration of the competition law issue of patent “privateering”. Practice head Pat Treacy (‘a brilliant litigator who combines technical strength with impeccable tactical nous’) and Myles Jelf led on both matters. Sophie Lawrance was promoted to partner and ‘has the perfect balance of technical competition and litigation skills’. Stephen Smith joined from RPC.

DLA Piper’s broad practice acts for clients in the sport, pharmaceuticals and telecoms sectors. Sam Szlezinger joined from Dentons and heads the practice following the departure of former head Kate Vernon to Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. Sarah Smith and Alexandra Kamerling are also recommended.

Led by the ‘very thorough and experiencedPeter Scott, Norton Rose Fulbright’s practice advises both defendants and claimants in large-scale competition disputes. On the claimant side, the practice acted for Vodafone in a damages claim against the suppliers of smart card chips stemming from the EC’s decision that suppliers had co-ordinated market behaviour in breach of the EU’s rules against cartel activity. In a key defendant matter, the practice represented Schneider Electric in connection with the gas insulated switchgear cartel investigation. Mark Simpson is another key figure.

RPC’s competition clients include Pizza Express, Sports Direct and the RSA Group. In an illustration of its strength in the public healthcare sector, the practice has been acting for NHS bodies in Scotland and Northern Ireland in a damages claim against the manufacturer of a cardiovascular drug arising from potential infringements of EU competition law. Practice head Lambros Kilaniotis is recommended. Stephen Smith moved to Bristows LLP.

In a key mandate for Squire Patton Boggs, the practice has been acting for Cathay Pacific in its judicial review of the EC’s air cargo cartel decision. The practice has also been advising The Brewers of Europe on the implications of minimum pricing for alcohol in Scotland. Martin Rees and Diarmuid Ryan are practice co-heads.

Claimant litigation firm Stewarts Law LLP is representing 13 claimants in interchange fees litigation against MasterCard, and a major household appliance manufacturer in the refrigeration compressors cartel litigation. Jonathan Sinclair heads the practice, which includes ‘first-class litigatorsKate Pollock, Scott Campbell and Inge Forster.

Baker McKenzie LLP’s practice is headed by Keith Jones and Francesca Richmond, who took over after the departure of Tom Cassels to Linklaters LLP. The practice has a strong focus on cross-jurisdictional matters and follow-on claims, acting for multinational clients such as Shell UK, Accenture and Camelot.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP represented Sony Corporation in a claim brought by Microsoft Mobile arising from alleged cartel infringement in relation to the supply of lithium ion batteries. In another key matter, the practice defended LG Display in follow-on claims arising from the EC’s LCD infringement decision. Romano Subiotto QC, Sunil Gadhia and Maurits Dolmans are key figures.

At Jones Day, Nick Cotter has been leading the team defending MasterCard in the interchange fees litigation. The practice is jointly led by Alan Davis, who joined from Pinsent Masons LLP, and Matt Evans.

Andrij Jurkiw heads Mishcon de Reya LLP’s practice, which has been representing Sainsbury’s in interchange fees litigation. Other clients include Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard. Rob Murray and Sarah Houghton provide ‘consistent, considered advice’ and have ‘a good breadth of knowledge’.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP’s client list includes London Metal Exchange, AstraZeneca and Google. Omar Shah was recruited from Latham & Watkins, and of counsel Joanna Christoforou joined from Ashurst.

Pinsent Masons LLP is ‘dedicated to finding a solution for clients’, with department head Guy Lougher standing out for his ‘great judgement, endless patience and an overwhelming desire to win for clients’. Ben Lasserson is also highly recommended. Clients include Groupe Eurotunnel, whose dispute with the CMA will go to the Supreme Court.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP acts for both defendants and claimants in the automotive, technology and retail sectors. Boris Bronfentrinker heads the practice, which includes Kate Vernon, who joined from DLA Piper, and Nicola Chesaites, who was recruited from the General Court of the European Union.

White & Case LLP acted for Toshiba Corporation in regard to the TV and computer monitor tubes cartel litigation and in the gas insulated switchgear cartel investigation. The practice also acts for clients in the pharmaceutical and banking sectors. Charles Balmain, Mark Powell and John Reynolds are recommended.

Winston & Strawn London LLP’s clients include Panasonic Corporation, Hitachi Metals and Actavis. Department head and managing partner, Peter Crowther, ‘understands businesses and markets and comes up with solutions that suit competition issues’. Jade-Alexandra Fearns is another key contact.

Criminal cartel defence firm BCL Solicitors LLP is considered ‘a go-to firm for criminal competition matters’. Recent highlights include advising individuals in the LIBOR investigation. Richard Sallybanks heads the team, which includes Ian Burton and Harry Travers.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has been advising clients in the leisure and hospitality, and energy sectors on merger-related competition matters. Ali Nikpay heads the practice.

Kingsley Napley LLP has been acting for individuals in the LIBOR investigation. Eve Giles is ‘a strong, tenacious and strategic defence lawyer who stands up for her clients’. Stephen Parkinson heads the practice.

Latham & Watkins is representing Singapore Airlines in the air cargo cartel litigation and is acting for London Metal Exchange in defending a judicial review application made by United Company Rusal concerning the client’s decision to introduce new warehousing rules. John Colahan and John Kallaugher are the key contacts. Omar Shah moved to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP has been acting for Asiana Airlines in the air cargo cartel litigation, and is representing ICAP plc in its appeal to the EC’s finding of alleged complicity in the manipulation of interest rate benchmarks governing derivatives. David Foster heads the team.

Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP combines both commercial competition litigation with criminal cartel defence work. Jonathan Tickner is a key contact on the commercial competition side, while Jasvinder Nakhwal and Michael O’Kane specialise in the criminal cartel side.

Simmons & Simmons’ practice acts for clients in the retail, aviation and energy sectors and specialises in multi-jurisdictional cartel investigations. Tony Woodgate is a key contact.

Recent work for Taylor Wessing LLP’s practice include acting for clients in the pharmaceutical, retail and e-commerce sectors. Robert Vidal leads the practice, which includes Louisa Penny.

The ‘hugely impressive’ team at Travers Smith LLP acted for German-based technology group Schott in the cathode ray tube litigation, and is defending Renesas in the follow-on damages claim brought by Vodafone relating to the supply of smart card chips. Clients praise practice head Nigel Seay for his ‘real depth of expertise in competition law’ and Caroline Edwards, who is ‘an excellent all-round litigator’. Toby Robinson is also recommended.


Debt recovery

drydensfairfax solicitors’ clients include lenders, financial institutions and debt purchasers, which it advises on volume unsecured collections and litigation, as well as secured recoveries. Key names include Philip Holden, Nahed Ali and Richard Senior.

Waine Mannix leads the sizeable team at Shoosmiths LLP, which is experienced in handling asset finance recoveries, unsecured consumer lending recoveries and receivables recoveries, among other areas. The firm’s national footprint was further strengthened by the arrival of Karen Savage, Paula Swain and three members of their team from Lester Aldridge LLP in May 2016 to establish a practice in the firm’s Southampton office.

Clarke Willmott LLP’s team provides ‘a high-quality service’. In an illustration of its strength in the insolvency sector, the practice recently acted for Menzies Business Recovery as the trustee in bankruptcy on recovering monies owed by the bankrupt following a default on an income payment agreement. Jane Dunlop (who is ‘always available and approachable’) and Kat Quinton are the key partners.

Devonshires Solicitors LLP advised fine food importer and distributor Vincenzo on recovering debt owed by a high-profile chef. Matthew Hennessy-Gibbs’s team also receives regular instructions from Kone and was re-appointed to Sodexo’s debt recovery panel.

At Irwin Mitchell, practice head Barry Hogg advised PayPoint Retail Solutions on recovering monies owed following the early termination of an ATM contract. Jane Begley is another name to note.

Frances Paulton’s team at Moon Beever has notable expertise in the utilities sector, where it counts British Gas, DONG Energy and iSupplyEnergy as clients. Recent highlights include advising on the recovery of a fraudulently incurred debt.

DWF’s ‘excellent’ team is led by David Scottow, who is valued for his knowledge in this area. James Perry has ‘an excellent understanding of civil litigation in the arena of debt recovery’ and Kevin Feehangoes the extra mile’. Neil Jinks is also recommended. The group acts for retailers, insurers, local authorities and water utilities companies.

Lovetts Ltd provides ‘excellent’ response times and is ‘very competitive on costs’. The firm has established itself as an authority on the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998. Managing director Michael Higgins has ‘a great knowledge of debt recovery’.

Optima Legal secured a two-year contract to recover late filing penalties from UK-listed companies on behalf of Companies House. Craig Underwood, Jonathan Preston and Scott Nodder are the key contacts.


International arbitration

Index of tables

  1. International arbitration
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s ‘outstanding’ team acted for Anglo American in a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) arbitration. Nigel Rawding QC heads the department, which includes respected practitioners Sylvia Noury (who ‘manages arbitration superbly’), Reza Mohtashami, Christopher Pugh and Jane Jenkins.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP’s practice represented Devas Multimedia in a breach of contract arbitration. David Kavanagh is recommended alongside Karyl Nairn QC (who is singled out for her ‘tactical awareness’), Bruce Macaulay and the ‘tenacious’ Daniel Gal. David Herlihy and newly promoted partner David Edwards are also highly rated.

WilmerHale is ‘a top international arbitration firm’ that is widely respected for its track record in complex, high-value matters, including telecoms disputes and gas sales contract claims. Gary Born, Franz Schwarz and Steven Finizio are recommended, as is the ‘diligent’ Duncan Speller.

Allen & Overy LLP stands out for energy disputes, including arbitrations relating to gas pricing, finance and insurance coverage. Richard Smith is noted for his ‘excellent judgement’ and Jeffrey Sullivan is ‘a safe pair of hands’. Other ‘brilliant advisers’ include Mark Levy and recently promoted partner Kate Davies.

Clifford Chance LLP recruited Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s former international counsel Jessica Gladstone as partner. The practice acted for a Latvian investor in an arbitration concerning the expropriation of a bank in the Kyrgyz Republic. Audley Sheppard QC is recommended alongside the ‘refreshingly direct’ Rob Lambert, ‘user-friendly’ Marie Berard, and Alex Panayides.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s team of ‘diligent lawyers’ defended the Republic of Korea in an arbitration involving share disposals in an oil company. Key figures include Lord Peter Goldsmith QC, *Sophie Lamb (who is noted for her ‘ability to grasp complex disputes’), Tony Dymond and newly promoted partner Patrick Taylor. Former international counsel Jessica Gladstone joined Clifford Chance LLP. *Sophie Lamb joined Latham & Watkins in June 2016.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s Chris Parker and Dominic Roughton returned to London from New York and Tokyo, respectively, while Christian Leathley relocated to New York and Matthew Weiniger QC joined Linklaters LLP. The ‘detail-oriented and strategic’ practice advised Vedanta Resources in its BIT claim against the Government of India. Clients praise Paula Hodges QC, who is ‘a comforting presence’, the ‘client-friendly’ Craig Tevendale, and Nicholas Peacock, for his ‘mastery of the facts’.

Hogan Lovells International LLP handles the full spectrum of commercial arbitration, public international law (PIL) and project, engineering and construction disputes. The names to note are Michael Davison, Kieron O’Callaghan, Julianne Hughes-Jennett and Markus Burgstaller.

Three Crowns LLP’s team represented ConocoPhillips in a claim involving the expropriation of its oil project interests. Constantine Partasides QC, Gaëtan Verhoosel and Carmen Martinez Lopez are recommended alongside newly promoted partner Scott Vesel, who attracts praise for his ability to ‘master complex issues’.

White & Case LLP is praised for the ‘sophistication of its legal services’. The team acted for Grupo Unidos por el Canal (Panama) and its shareholders in a dispute surrounding the Panama Canal expansion project. Key figures include Phillip Capper, David Goldberg (who ‘has excellent instincts’), Dipen Sabharwal (who attracts praise for his ‘great experience’) and Robert Wheal. Charlie Lightfoot joined Jenner & Block LLP.

Changes to Ashurst’s team in London in 2015 included the recruitment of DLA Piper’s former team head Matthew Saunders; Ben Giaretta’s return to London from Singapore; and Ronnie King’s relocation to Singapore. The practice focuses primarily on the financial services industry and resources and infrastructure clients. Standout team members include the ‘practical’ Mark Clarke, Tim Reid, who ‘has vast experience’, and Tom Cummins, who is ‘on top of the law’.

Clyde & Co LLP recruited Richard Power from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP; he brings his track record as former oil and gas disputes head to a practice known for its transportation and insurance expertise. The practice represented the Republic of Yemen in proceedings involving an airport terminal building’s construction. The ‘experiencedBen Knowles is recommended alongside Peter Hirst, David Leckie, Devika Khanna and Maurice Kenton.

King & Spalding International LLP is singled out for its ‘in-depth experience’ in Russia and CIS related matters. The team represented Reliance in disputes concerning a production sharing contract. The ‘solutions-oriented’ Thomas Sprange QC, ‘efficient’ Stuart Isaacs QC, and Sarah Walker (who is ‘a pleasure to work with’) are recommended alongside Nicholas Cherryman, Ruth Byrne and Egishe Dzhazoyan.

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP is experienced in M&A disputes, breach of contract claims, insurance coverage matters, and securities and shareholder litigation. Key individuals include the ‘superb’ Chris Colbridge, ‘dedicatedChiraag Shah, and ‘effectiveRajinder Bassi.

Latham & Watkins represented Travis Coal Restructured Holdings in an arbitration to enforce a loan repayment. Philip Clifford and Oliver Browne are recommended alongside Charles Claypoole, who ‘has deep knowledge’; Sebastian Seelmann-Eggebert, who splits his time between London and Hamburg and ‘grasps legal concepts easily’; and Simon Bushell.

Linklaters LLP hired Matthew Weiniger QC from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP. The team focuses on oil and gas, natural resources and telecoms disputes. Greg Reid, Tom Lidstrom and Ben Carroll are also recommended.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s ‘proactive team’ focuses predominantly on energy, trade and transport disputes, as well as construction, mining and finance claims. Dispute resolution head Deirdre Walker is recommended alongside Deborah Ruff, Neil Miller, Donald Warnock, Philip Roche and the ‘outstandingSherina Petit.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP is known for oil and gas, mining, energy, telecoms, and construction disputes. Stephen Jagusch and Anthony Sinclair are recommended alongside Ted Greeno, Sue Prevezer QC, Alex Gerbi and Nick Marsh. The ‘highly creative’ Epaminontas Triantafilou was promoted to partner.

Vinson & Elkins RLLP’s ‘excellent team’ represented investors in proceedings brought against Costa Rica concerning a resort development. James Loftis heads the team, which includes the ‘tenacious’ Nick Henchie, Mark Beeley, George Burn and Amir Ghaffari.

Baker McKenzie LLP hired Andy Moody from Eversheds LLP. The practice stands out for financial and M&A arbitrations; it is also recommended for energy, mining, infrastructure and investment treaty arbitrations. Steve Abraham, Edward Poulton and John Leadley are key contacts. Jeremy Winter became an independent arbitrator.

Baker Botts (UK) LLPprovides outstanding service’. The team is known for projects and energy and natural resources related disputes. Key figures include Jay Alexander, Johannes Koepp and the ‘highly professional’ Alejandro Escobar.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP recruited Ania Farren from K&L Gates LLP, while Richard Power joined Clyde & Co LLP. The practice distinguishes itself in construction, insurance and reinsurance, and hotels and leisure disputes. Roman Khodykin is noted for his ‘effective advocacy’ and is recommended alongside Michael Polonsky (who is ‘deeply experienced’), Carol Mulcahy and Terry de Souza.

CMS’ ‘effective team’ is known for energy, construction, projects and infrastructure claims; the team also acts in TMT, insurance, hotels and leisure, and life sciences disputes. Guy Pendell, Phillip Ashley, Adrian Bell and Tim Hardy are recommended. Other key advisers include Colin Hutton, Rob Wilson, Alex Denslow, London and Edinburgh-based Lindy Patterson QC, who ‘articulates complex issues in plain terms’, and Omar Qureshi, who ‘understands all aspects of disputes’.

Notwithstanding the departure of DLA Piper’s former team head Matthew Saunders to Ashurst, the firm’s arbitration practice remains a key player for energy disputes, investment treaty claims and Africa-related work. Philip Chong is noted for his ‘excellent strategic insight’, and Kate Cervantes-Knox ‘manages disputes brilliantly’. Richard McGrane, Jeremy Andrews and Mark Hilton are also recommended, as is newly promoted partner James Carter.

Eversheds LLP’s ‘knowledgeable team’ is particularly active in disputes involving energy and infrastructure, aviation, financial services and PIL issues. The ‘professionalStuart Dutson is recommended alongside Neville Byford and Jonathan Leach, who joined from Hogan Lovells International LLP. Andy Moody departed for Baker McKenzie LLP.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s ‘practical and business-focused’ team includes Cyrus Benson, who is experienced in oil and gas, mining, and financial services disputes; and Penny Madden, who specialises in telecoms, media and IT disputes and stands out for her ‘outstanding advocacy’. Osma Hudda is also recommended.

A growing force in international arbitration’, Mayer Brown International LLP’s London team acted alongside the Paris office for Panama Canal Authority in multiple disputes with a construction consortium. Raid Abu-Manneh has ‘a good nose for the merits of a dispute’. Mark Stefanini is also well regarded.

Pinsent Masons LLP is best known for construction and infrastructure disputes; it also advises on energy, technology, finance and insurance matters. Mark Roe heads the international arbitration practice, which includes Michael Fenn, who stands out for his ‘excellent experience’; Jason Hambury, who is ‘a genuine international arbitration specialist’; the ‘impressive’ Adrian Elliot; Rob McCallough, who is ‘extremely good’; and Virginie Colaiuta. John Gilbert joined K&L Gates LLP and Meriam Al-Rashid exited for Dentons’ New York office.

Reed Smith LLP is noted for its ‘excellent advice’ and knowledge of the commodity, shipping, defence, and projects and infrastructure sectors. It is also continuing to develop its investor-state arbitration practice. Gautam Bhattacharyya is recommended alongside Belinda Paisley and Chloe Carswell. Gordon Bell left the firm.

Shearman & Sterling LLP recruited Jeremy Sharpe from the US Department of State; he joins a team with extensive investment treaty arbitration expertise, as illustrated by its representation of Cairn Energy in a treaty claim against the Republic of India. Mark McNeill is ‘knowledgeable’ and Alexander Uff is highly rated.

Simmons & Simmons recruited Rob Horne from Trowers & Hamlins LLP. The practice is geared towards handling disputes in emerging markets and developing economies, particularly in the telecoms, financial institutions, and energy and infrastructure sectors. Simon Morgan and Jayne Bentham are noted for their ability to ‘gain tribunals’ trust’, and are recommended alongside the ‘totally reliableDavid Sandy .

Slaughter and May’s team acted for RWE Supply & Trading in arbitrations concerning oil and gas interests. Nick Gray is ‘an experienced litigator’ and is recommended alongside James Stacey and newly promoted partner Damian Taylor.

Stephenson Harwood’s Louis Flannery is noted for his ‘encyclopaedic arbitration knowledge’, and is recommended alongside the ‘effectiveKamal Shah and ‘commercially mindedShai Wade. The team defended Konkola Copper Mines in high-value proceedings. Haris Zografakis is also well regarded.

Weil, Gotshal & MangesJuliet Blanch is an energy disputes expert and Jamie Maples has particular interest in India-related claims. Blanch and Maples are ‘excellent’.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld strengthened its contentious construction expertise with the recruitment of Hamish Lal from Jones Day. The team acted for Lukoil Overseas West Project in an arbitration arising from the sale of a stake in oil and gas assets. Justin Williams ‘provides sound advice’ and is recommended alongside Richard Hornshaw.

Arnold & Porter (UK) LLP stands out for investor-state arbitrations, and is also active in commercial disputes. The team defended the Czech Republic against Energy Charter Treaty and BIT claims. Dmitri Evseev and David Reed are recommended.

Boies, Schiller & Flexner (UK) LLP is noted for his specialist finance and banking arbitration expertise. Wendy Miles QC ‘goes the extra mile’ and is recommended alongside Kenneth Beale, who joined from WilmerHale’s Washington DC office.

Covington & Burling LLP welcomed special counsel Stephanie Sarzana from WilmerHale. The team advised Ukraine’s national oil and gas company in potential investment treaty claims. Jeremy Wilson is recommended alongside senior of counsel Stephen Bond.

Dechert LLP’s ‘great lawyers’ regularly act in emerging markets matters (particularly Russia and Eastern Europe, Latin America and UAE) arising from oil and gas and financial disputes. Timothy Lindsay joined New Zealand firm Lowndes Jordan.

Dentonsunderstands clients’ needs’. The practice acted for Sezaria in debt recovery arbitration claims. Liz Tout is ‘determined’, Dominic Pellewunderstands proceedings’ practicalities’, and Michelle Bradfield is highly rated.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson (London) LLP is recommended for arbitrations involving M&A, IP, energy projects, construction and investment treaty issues. James Kitching and Justin Michaelson are key contacts.

Key figures at Holman Fenwick Willan include Damian Honey, whose sector expertise covers financial services and energy; Paul Wordley, who has particular energy disputes strength; and Costas Frangeskides, who is an experienced arbitration practitioner. Steven Paull is also recommended.

K&L Gates LLP recruited John Gilbert from Pinsent Masons LLP. The practice represented the Kingdom of Spain and Republic of France in a dispute arising out of the loss of an oil tanker. Ian Meredith is recommended.

King & Wood Mallesons’ team stands out for Russia/CIS work and advises on China-related disputes. Craig Pollack* is ‘a keen strategist’ and Paul Stothard is ‘trustworthy’. Andrei Yakovlev and Dorothy Murray are also experienced practitioners. *Following publication of The Legal 500 UK 2016, Craig Pollack has joined Covington & Burling LLP.

Olswang LLP is known for media and technology-related disputes, often involving Russia and CIS. The ‘user-friendlyRichard Bamforth is recommended alongside Jeremy Mash.

Osborne Clarke has expertise in energy and renewables sector arbitrations. Greg Fullelove is recommended.

Signature Litigation LLP’s ‘excellent team’ is frequently called on by Russia and CIS clients to act in multi-party, multi-jurisdictional disputes. Natalia Chumakhas an excellent grasp of how points might play before tribunals’.

Squire Patton Boggs’ team grew its energy, investor-state and commercial arbitration workload in 2015. Carol Welu is ‘wonderful’ and Ben Holland ‘gets good results’. Other noteworthy names are James Barratt, Alexis Martinez and George von Mehren, who splits his time between London and Cleveland.

Volterra Fietta’s former partner Stephen Fietta exited to found Fietta. The practice is recommended for investor-state and state-to-state arbitrations; it also has a growing international commercial arbitration practice. Robert Volterra, Patricio Grané Labat* and Graham Coop are recommended. *Since publication, Patricio Grané Labat joined Arnold Porter (UK) LLP.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP is known for shipping, energy, offshore construction and commodities-related disputes. The ‘excellentAndrew Savage and ‘knowledgeableAndrew Hutcheon are recommended.

Addleshaw Goddard LLP’s ‘strong team’ is recommended for energy and life sciences, as well as construction and insurance disputes. Simon Kamstra and Jon Tweedale are key advisers.

Andrews Kurth (UK) LLP has expertise in energy and construction arbitrations. Melanie Willems and Markus Esly are recommended.

Bird & Bird LLP is rated for its focus on the technology, telecoms and pharmaceuticals sectors; the practice also grew its oil and gas and natural resources sector expertise. Steven Baker and Garreth Wong are key contacts.

Cooley (UK) LLP is known for insurance/reinsurance arbitrations. David Kendall and Kevin Perry are team heads.

DAC Beachcroft LLP recently advised the claimant in a European construction arbitration. Matthew Wescott and consultant Danny Gowan are key figures.

Enyo Law LLP fields a team of ‘hardworking lawyers’ that is rated for its commercial arbitration expertise. George Maling ‘provides exceptional management’ and Anna Maxwell is ‘highly intelligent’. Alexander Walsh is also well regarded.

Fenwick Elliott LLP’s ‘outstanding practice’ is known for international construction, infrastructure and energy project disputes. Richard Smellie is ‘an outstanding strategist’ and Jeremy Glover is highly rated.

Fieldfisher recruited Simon Sloane from Reed Smith LLP’s Singapore office. Most of the firm’s work is natural resources-based; it also advises on finance, transport, media, energy and leisure sector disputes. Simon Moore, Alexandra Underwood and Colin Gibson are also recommended.

Gowling WLG is recommended for energy and natural resources, insurance and reinsurance, construction, and IP-related international arbitrations.

Jones Day’s ‘responsive, accurate practice’ is experienced in arbitrations involving Russian and CIS parties. Lee Coffey is recommended. Hamish Lal joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

Fantastic to work with’, Mishcon de Reya LLP acts in commercial and investor-state arbitrations, and stands out for Africa-related disputes. Karel Daele is ‘superb’.

RPC is experienced in construction and engineering, international trade and finance claims, as well as transport, IP, energy, insurance and reinsurance disputes. Jonathan Wood ‘understands arbitration procedures’.

Stewarts Law LLP’s ‘dynamic team’ regularly advises clients in the oil and gas, commodity trading and shipping and automotive industries in arbitrations. Philippa Charles is ‘a great strategist’.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP’s ‘fearless’ practice is known for Middle East related construction, energy, manufacturing and aviation arbitrations. Ned Beale ‘fights extremely hard’. Rob Horne joined Simmons & Simmons.


Mediators

Jane Andrewartha at Clyde & Co LLP is ‘highly efficient, skilled and very adept at handling difficult issues’. She has extensive knowledge of the insurance and reinsurance sectors, as well as the industries serviced by them, including financial services, marine, energy, construction, and aviation. Clients also praise her ‘tireless efforts to produce the truly best outcomes through delicate handling of seemingly intractable issues’.

Eileen Carroll QC (Hon) at CEDR Solve is widely recognised as a pioneer of mediation techniques in the UK; with over 20 years’ experience as a practising mediator, she is one of the most senior and highly regarded mediators in the country, and ‘her involvement during mediations is truly invaluable’. Carroll has mediated highly complex disputes involving banks, insurance companies, media entities, multinationals, sovereign states and private individuals, both in the UK and internationally.

Charles Dodson at Independent Mediators is ‘a sound and pragmatic mediator; he handles tense mediations with professionalism and sensitivity, and is also approachable’. Dodson ‘is not afraid to try different things and also understands the commercial and legal issues at play; this combination of talent and approach makes him very effective’. Dodson recently acted on professional indemnity, corporate takeovers, insurance and reinsurance cases, as well as tort and contract, and international asset tracing disputes.

Phillip Howell-Richardson at Independent Mediators has over 26 years of experience mediating the most complex cases in the UK and internationally. ‘His reputation as a top mediator is well deserved and he is a valuable asset to any team; Phillip also has a brilliant legal mind and quickly grasps the core issues of disputes and key interests of parties’. He is also praised for ‘his genuine interest in the parties and the case’.

For many, Mark Jackson-Stops at In Place of Strife is ‘the doyen of mediators’; ‘an exceptionally experienced mediator, with a deft and light touch that enables him to get to the essence of disputes quickly and efficiently’. He is also ‘an innovative and elegant problem solver, who carries the parties with him in invariably achieving a settlement they are all comfortable with’.

Kate Jackson at Independent Mediators has developed a strong reputation in the banking and finance sector; she also acts in general commercial, professional negligence, property and employment cases, and is ‘the ideal mediator for complex disputes, bridging unbridgeable gaps without clients feeling pressured’.

The ‘very effective’ Michel Kallipetis QC at Independent Mediatorshas sound knowledge of the legal issues at play in disputes, and his willingness to listen and take on board issues and discuss them with parties is one of his real strengths’. He is also ‘particularly suited to complex matters and very good at managing difficult people — a great skill for a mediator to possess’.

Among the best of the best’, Jon Lang at In Place of Strife is one of the UK’s busiest mediators, and continues to mediate heavily in IP/IT, construction/engineering, probate and shareholder disputes, as well as in general commercial matters. He ‘brings to the commercial mediation table a very particular and highly effective combination of commercial astuteness, deftly placed humour, and unerring ability to read a room’.

For large and complex mediations, Mark Lomas QC at Independent Mediators is highly recommended by clients; Lomas mediates regularly in all commercial, common law and related fields, but has a standout reputation for professional negligence cases. He is ‘very good at exploring innovative approaches to secure a settlement’.

Jonathan Lloyd-Jones at Independent Mediators is ‘an excellent mediator’ who handles claims for restitution based on fraud, breaches of restrictive covenants by departing employees, and professional negligence claims; he is often involved in insolvency disputes and continues to develop expertise in construction and property matters. ‘His style combines a rigorous intellectual approach to testing both sides’ cases with a facilitative, encouraging, charming manner that prevents parties from becoming disillusioned or giving up on negotiations’.

One of the best-known commercial mediators in the UK, Karl Mackie CBE at CEDR Solve mediates cases ranging from leading complex class actions and multi-party disputes to commercial and regulatory disputes with national and international implications.

Rightly regarded as being at the top of the tree’, Bill Marsh at Independent Mediators has been involved full-time in mediation since 1991. He is ‘patient and willing to work really hard to discover the strengths and weaknesses in each argument presented by parties’. He is also ‘appreciated for being able to persuade disputants to come up with constructive solutions’. In 2016, Marsh received the Archbishop of Canterbury’s inaugural Hubert Walter Award for outstanding services to reconciliation, which recognises his commitment to conflict resolution at both national and international levels.

Andrew Paton recently joined Independent Mediators from Pinsent Masons LLP. He is ‘a first-class mediator, and undoubtedly one of the best around’. Clients praise Paton for ‘his ability to stay on top of the documents at all times; his great eye for detail; and his understanding of issues from both a legal and commercial perspective’.

Nicholas Pryor at Independent Mediators has to date successfully mediated approximately 1,150 commercial disputes. He is ‘very amiable and empathetic to parties, going above and beyond to build trust with opponents, which enables settlement on the day’. Clients also appreciate Pryor’s ‘laconic but forceful style, which is very effective’.

For Beverly-Ann Rogers at Serle Court, Chancery disputes remain at the core of her practice; she also regularly mediates commercial, professional negligence, property and employment disputes. She ‘has a wonderful bedside manner and is sympathetic to clients and their problems’. Rogers is also ‘very perceptive in her assessment of the legal and factual merits, and is not afraid to explain to clients and solicitors the weaknesses in their claims’.

Stephen Ruttle QC at Brick Court Chambers is ‘hugely likeable and enthusiastic’. Ruttle has successfully mediated nearly 1000 high-value commercial disputes.

Quentin Smith (Independent) is recommended for ‘his very commendable approach and for producing very reasonable outcomes’. Smith is best known for commercial cases, professional negligence and personal injury disputes.

Patrick Walker (Independent)’s client base includes considerable property-related work, but also covers commercial, trust, probate and professional negligence disputes. His ‘knowledge of the law, as well as his ability to provide practical solutions for achieving settlements, leave clients feeling confident’.

With a background of advising on some of the largest international litigation, Tony Willis of Brick Court Chambers is recommended for a wide range of financial, business and complex mediations in both the UK and overseas.

William Wood QC at Brick Court Chambers has ‘an excellent reputation for mediations and secures deals, even after the day of mediation has passed’.

Heather Allen (Independent) is ‘a creative, experienced mediator, who has great commitment and energy, and who can mediate complex matters with a sensitive yet direct approach’. Clients also praise her for being ‘more committed to genuinely resolving matters than other mediators, and for using creative techniques to help parties overcome personal differences’.

Stuart Chapman (Independent) ‘can put less sophisticated clients quickly at ease and gain their confidence in a seemingly hostile environment. He quickly latches on to both sides’ strengths and weaknesses and ably bridges gaps as they appear’.

Chris Fitton of In Place of Strife facilitated over 40 commercial mediations in 2015; he was mostly active in professional indemnity, financial services, pensions, insolvency and high-value commercial disputes. ‘A good and experienced lawyer, he is such a nice person that he can shame parties into behaving sensibly’. Fitton is also ‘persistent and does not give up on reaching a deal, even when things look hopeless’.

Go-to mediator’ Andrew Fraley (Independent) is considered one of the pioneers of commercial mediation in the UK. He has mediated in over 2000 cases, including professional indemnity, personal injury, maritime, construction, agriculture, employment and energy disputes.

Edwin Glasgow CBE QC of 39 Essex Chambers is ‘a highly experienced mediator’. His recent caseload includes construction and reinsurance matters. In 2015, Glasgow was appointed judge of the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Tribunal; he is also co-chairman of the board of directors of the Singapore International Mediation Centre.

Exceptional in fulfilling the role of mediator’, Rosemary Jackson of Keating Chambers is ‘very insightful, automatically commands respect, and is very committed to making effective use of the time parties devote to mediation in order to get a settlement’.

Paul Johnson of Kings Chambers is ‘an experienced mediator, who immediately understands and appreciates the complex legal issues and risks facing both parties’. He is ‘very thorough in his preparation and quickly gains the co-operation of both parties in the mediation process; Paul’s approach is actively to find and explore solutions and to break deadlocks’.

Previously a leading practitioner in property litigation, Jacqui Joyce (Independent) is ‘a very effective mediator; she has a facilitative approach and is not afraid of getting her hands

dirty!’ Joyce also ‘always encourages parties to try and be objective about the risks involved in not settling cases and proceeding to court’.

The ‘hugely impressive’ Lawrence Kershen QC at In Place of Strifehas a friendly, easy but determined manner; he is an interventionist and works hard to keep the parties talking in order to achieve a resolution’.

Amongst the very best mediators’, Charles Middleton-Smith of In Place of Strife is ‘an impressive operator; he has a calm approach and obtains the trust of clients’. Middleton-Smith is also ‘very experienced and has a strong commercial background’.

Christopher Newmark of CEDR Solve leads mediations that involve a broad range of commercial disputes. In addition to mediating in the UK, Newmark has conducted numerous mediations in the US and Canada. He is also a founding partner of law firm Spenser Underhill Newmark LLP.

Nick Pearson at CEDR Solve has acted as mediator (both in the UK and abroad) in over 250 commercial mediations. In 2015, he acted on disputes involving professional negligence, trusts and probate, and shareholder and partnership claims, as well as breach of contract, insolvency, and banking and finance cases.

Charles Powell of Freeths has an active mediation practice that specialises in commercial disputes, including professional negligence, subrogation, banking and finance, and partnership and shareholder issues.

The ‘approachable and sympathetic’ Alistair Pye at In Place of Strife is ‘well read on cases’, and is ‘particularly good at cutting through early posturing and getting parties to focus on the purely commercial aspects of a claim’.

David Richbell of In Place of Strife is one of the UK’s most established mediators, having mediated commercial cases since 1992, a high proportion of those involving international elements. Richbell’s ‘relaxed, tactful and reasoned style is ideally suited to complex, technical and fraught commercial disputes’. He also ‘takes the time to understand the parties’ positions fully and the reasons for the entrenchment, while listening to all parties’ suggestions as to how to make a workable deal’.

A standout mediator in the market whose fees are very reasonable’, Colin Russ (Independent) ‘has a relaxed approach that puts parties at ease. He is trusted and works hard to reach a resolution; rare is the day that ends without Colin facilitating an agreement’.

Engaging and extremely pleasant to work with’, John Sturrock QC at Core Solutions Group Limitedprepares thoroughly for mediations; he grasps the issues and is sympathetic to each party’s position, but is not afraid to take a tough line when required’.


Professional discipline

Index of tables

  1. Professional discipline
  2. Leading individuals

BLM’s national team is led by Manchester-based Clare Chapman and attracts praise for its ‘pragmatic advice and good understanding of technical issues’. The practice regularly represents medical and dental practitioners; recent work includes representing a consultant psychiatrist and the Medical Protection Society in a high-profile inquest involving a teenager who had died in care. Juliette Mellman-Joneshas great judgement and gives clear and robust advice’. Vicki Swanton and Judith Duffin are also highly recommended.

Bevan Brittan LLP’s longstanding clients include the Bar Standards Board, Intellectual Property Regulation Board and the General Optical Council. Peter Steel led the team acting for the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) in the prosecution of a number of solicitors firms involved in conveyancing fraud. Iain Miller heads the practice, which includes consultant Rosemary Rollason. Margaret Bromley retired.

Blake Morgan LLP provides ‘first-class expertise and service’ to clients including the General Dental Council (GDC), General Pharmaceutical Council and SRA. Bradley Albuery heads the practice, which includes Clare Strickland, who joined from the National Medical Council, and Cardiff-based partners Robin Havard and Graham Miles.

Capsticks LLP is noted for its ‘truly outstanding experience in the field’. The ‘sageJohn Witt leads the practice, which acted for the SRA in a case concerning claims made by a solicitor regarding academic qualifications and professional accreditations. James Penry-Davey (who is ‘one of the hardest-working lawyers’) and Mark Whiting (who ‘has an unparalleled knowledge of clients’ cases’) are also recommended. Anna Sorbie stepped down as partner to become a consultant.

The ‘hugely knowledgeable team’ at Fieldfisher is led by Sarah Ellson, whose ‘knowledge of regulation is encyclopaedic’. Clients include the British Medical Council, GDC and the Professional Standards Authority. The practice recently acted for the Security Industry Authority in its prosecution of a security company director. Alix Rejman is also recommended.

Hempsons is noted for its ‘incredible depth of quality and experience in the field’. Clients include the Dental Defence Union, NHS England and the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Key figures include Tania Francis (who is ‘very able, highly intelligent and very supportive’), Anne Ball and Katherine Sheldrick. James Lawford Davies joined the team from Denoon Legal, and Sharon Cooney was promoted to partner. Chris Morris heads the practice.

Kingsley Napley LLP’s recent work includes acting for the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) in investigations into allegations that two teachers had sexual relationships with a student; and acting for the Health and Care Professions Council in an investigation into social workers in Rochdale after allegations of widespread sexual abuse. Nicola Hill leads the team, which includes Julie Norris, who is ‘a remarkable lawyer with unrivalled knowledge and expertise’, and Julie Matheson, who is recommended for her work within finance regulation.

Penningtons Manches LLP acts for regulatory bodies governing the healthcare, veterinary, pharmaceutical and legal sectors, and recently acted in the prosecution of a coroner who had misappropriated over £1m of client funds. ‘Calm, wise and experienced’ practice head Geoffrey Hudson led on that matter, while Nicole Curtis led for the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in a case against a respected veterinarian who was permanently removed from the register after being found to have breached critical health and safety guidelines.

The go-to firm for registrants’, RadcliffesLeBrasseur has defended legal, medical and dental professionals in disciplinary cases against the SRA, the General Medical Council and GDC. Alex Leslie heads the practice, which includes Nigel West (who is recommended for his ‘excellent strategic and tactical analysis’), and newly promoted partners Stewart Duffy and Susanna Heley.

Melanie Carter heads the team at Bates Wells Braithwaite, which acts for the General Dental Council, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, and the British Association of Social Workers. Recent work includes advising the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) in connection with a complaint made against a high-profile political figure, which involved potential criminal and civil proceedings.

Stephen Hocking heads DAC Beachcroft LLP’s national team, which includes Christopher Morris, who led the team in a high-profile whistleblowing case within the healthcare sector. Clients include the Medical Defence Union, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, and the Chartered Institute of Building.

At Eastwoods, Simon Eastwood is ‘friendly, unpretentious and prepared to work hard to achieve results’. Recent work includes acting for a dental practitioner whose name had been removed by NHS England from the Performers List in an appeal to the First Tier Tribunal; and acting for a doctor before a Fitness to Practice Panel of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service concerning allegations of a clinical nature and relating to the client’s probity. Stephen Hooper ‘works incredibly hard on his cases, knows them inside out and gets on with everybody’. Surjit Dubb is ‘always calm and in control of the case’. Adam Smith is also recommended.

Nabarro LLP is continuing to act for the NCTL in 15 cases concerning allegation that teachers agreed to allow an undue amount of religious influence in the education of pupils in several schools in Birmingham. Sheffield-based Chris Horsefield heads the practice, which also acts for the Medical Defence Union and the General Optical Council. Rachel Cooper is ‘efficient, proactive and knowledgeable’.

Russell-Cooke LLP’s practice is headed by Peter Cadman and includes the ‘toweringJohn Gould, ‘exceptional’ Tom Bradford and Paolo Sidoli. Gould acted alongside Sidoli for the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) against two individuals in relation to the collapse of a litigation finance fund and the misapplication of nearly £5m. Other clients include The Architects Registration Board, Bar Standards Board and Farriers Registration Council.

Weightmans LLP’s practice has a strong focus on medical representations, which involves acting for a number of medical defence bodies and medical insurers. The ‘thorough and efficientJohn Mitchell represented a medical professional accused of giving misleading evidence at a coroner’s inquest. Patrick Gaul leads the national team from the Liverpool office.

Baker McKenzie LLP acts for both regulators and individuals within the financial and legal services sectors. Arun Srivastava leads the team, which acted for 13 individuals at European and US banks under investigation in connection with the LIBOR scandal. In another key matter, practice head Joanna Ludlam acted for four individual claimants in a judicial review of the introduction of a quality assurance scheme for advocates, which reached the Supreme Court. Team changes included the departure of Tom Cassels to Linklaters LLP, the retirement of Andrew Keltie, and Jonathan Peddie’s recruitment from Barclays Bank.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s practice focuses on the healthcare sector, and is representing pharmacists against the General Pharmacy Council. The practice, which is headed by Noel Wardle and Jonathan Ellis, also handles sports regulatory work. Other key figures include Rachel Warren, who is noted for her ‘sound analytical advice’, and Susan Hunneyball.

Sarah Clover and Claire Petts jointly head the practice at Clyde & Co LLP, which specialises in representative matters involving surveyors, solicitors and healthcare professionals. Clients include the Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors, Medical Defence Union and Hiscox Insurance.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP acts for The Financial Reporting Council and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and also for individuals and companies. Practice head Andrew Lidbetter provides advice that is ‘client focused and easy to understand’. The ‘excellent’ Nusrat Zar is also recommended.

Hill Dickinson LLP’s practice is headed by ‘the passionate and truly fearless’ Richard Creamer and regularly defends medical practitioners, with a particular strength in dental disciplinary proceedings. Newly promoted legal director Jenny Cummin is singled out for her ‘exemplary attention to detail, determination and persistence’.

RPC primarily represents corporate and individual clients in accountancy, law, education and healthcare disciplinary proceedings. The ‘meticulousRichard Burger heads the practice and has a focus on the financial services sector, while Graham Reid and Dorothy Flower focus on legal and health regulation, respectively.

Boutique firm Bankside Law defends professionals in the healthcare, financial services, education and legal services sectors. Bill Wilson and John Williams are key contacts.

Bindmans LLP’s client list includes The Law Society and the Association of Child Psychotherapists. Shah Qureshi and Sharney Randhawa acted for Terry Farr, the city broker accused of manipulating LIBOR rates, in disciplinary proceedings. John Halford jointly heads the department with Qureshi.

Bircham Dyson Bell’s practice is led by James Freemantle and acts for solicitors, insurers and healthcare professionals.

Ros Foster heads Browne Jacobson LLP’s practice, which has a diverse range of clients including NHS England, the Chartered Institute of Building and the Security Industry Authority. The practice recently acted for the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors in disciplinary issues stemming from a Channel 4 Dispatches programme.

Corker Binning’s practice has a strong focus on financial regulatory litigation and criminal investigations that stem from financial wrongdoing, and its track record includes handling a number of investigations by the Financial Reporting Council and the Financial Conduct Authority. Andrew Smith heads the team, which expanded in 2015 with the arrival of partner Edward Grange from Hodge Jones & Allen LLP and associates Nick Barnard and Maia Cohen-Lask, who joined from Russell-Cooke LLP and 2 Bedford Row, respectively.

Eversheds LLP’s practice is headed by Cardiff-based Peter Jones and has been active on Fitness to Practise proceedings on behalf of the National Nursing and Midwifery Council and GMC.

Howard Kennedy LLP's ‘detail-focused’ practice is headed by the ‘highly impressiveIan Ryan, who acted for an accountant being investigated for a conflict of interest. Joel Leigh is also recommended.

Legal Risk LLP advises law firms on potential SRA breaches of conduct. In a recent matter, the practice acted for a private client firm in the aftermath of a multimillion-pound fraud by a partner. Frank Maher heads the practice and is ‘a mine of information’. Sue Mawdsley ‘combines immense knowledge with commercially pragmatic advice’.

William Glassey leads the practice at Mayer Brown International LLP, which represents solicitors, accountants and finance professionals, and recently defended a solicitor in a substantial civil claim brought by the SRA. The practice also defended an accountancy firm against a liability claim.

The practice at McCormicks is best known for its work within football; Peter McCormick is chairman of the legal advisory group to the Premier League and a Director of the Football Association. McCormick also acts for legal and accountancy professionals under investigation by the SRA and The institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. The practice recently recruited senior associate Sara Morgan, who acts for the National Pharmacy Association and is a member of the panel.

Murdochs Solicitorsis a small firm that punches above its weight’ in representing solicitors under investigation by the SRA. Department head Andrew Blatt ‘relates well to clients and has a very human touch’. Robert Forman and Nicholas Trevette are also recommended.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP’s practice represents corporate clients in the accountancy and financial services fields, and advises on investigations before the Financial Reporting Council, Financial Conduct Authority and the Serious Fraud Office. Simon Willis is the practice head, Matthew Lawson specialises in cross-jurisdictional work.

Stephensons Solicitors LLP’s practice defends professionals in a range of sectors, from accountancy and financial service to legal, education and healthcare. Carl Johnson is the practice head and is ‘a tough but sensible lawyer who puts his clients first. Rachel Adamson is also recommended.


Public international law

Index of tables

  1. Public international law
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Allen & Overy LLP promoted Kate Davies (‘gives concise, rational and commercial advice’) to partner, while former counsel Angeline Welsh joined Matrix Chambers. The team advised a group of German investors seeking to challenge the Spanish government’s amendments to its renewable energy programme. Jeffrey Sullivan ‘gives practical advice’ and Mark Levy is ‘very impressive’.

Clifford Chance LLP hired Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s former international counsel Jessica Gladstone as partner. The practice is highly rated for investment treaty disputes, as well as international sanctions and sovereign debt matters. Rae Lindsay and Audley Sheppard QC are recommended.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s practice head Sylvia Nourymanages work superbly’. The team advised Anglo American on a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) arbitration relating to the expropriation of mining assets.

Specialist public international law (PIL) firm Volterra Fietta saw the departure of Stephen Fietta to establish Fietta. Nonetheless, the team has maintained its high activity levels, and was recently engaged in state-to-state sovereign disputes on behalf of Malaysia. Robert Volterra, Patricio Grané Labat*, Graham Coop and Christophe Bondy are recommended. Giorgio Mandelli made partner. *Since publicationPatricio Grané Labat joined Arnold Porter (UK) LLP.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is ‘highly recommended’ for significant investment treaty arbitration, the protection of international investments, representing states on key diplomatic issues, and advising on human rights issues of international importance. Department head Lord (Peter) Goldsmith QC is ‘a strong leader’ and *Sophie Lamb is ‘a pleasure to work with’. Also recommended are international counsels Patrick Taylor, who ‘is noted for his reasoned analysis’, and the ‘highly organised’ Aimee-Jane Lee. Former international counsel Jessica Gladstone joined Clifford Chance LLP. *Sophie Lamb joined Latham & Watkins in June 2016.

Changes to Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s team included the departure of Matthew Weiniger QC to Linklaters LLP and Dominic Roughton’s relocation to London from the Tokyo office. Key work included representing the Republic of Costa Rica in an arbitration against investors claiming that the state expropriated their investment. Andrew Cannon and Christian Leathley relocated to the Paris and New York offices, respectively.

Hogan Lovells International LLP handles disputes for sovereign states, as well as for large and small commercial entities. The team defended the Government of Vietnam against an investment treaty claim brought under the France-Vietnam BIT. Markus Burgstaller is department head and Michael Davison and Julianne Hughes-Jennett are also key names.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP has strong experience in investment treaty and Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) arbitrations. The practice represented PJSC Oschadbank in a dispute under the Ukraine/Russia BIT, which related to investment losses in Crimea. Stephen Jagusch, Anthony Sinclair and Epaminontas Triantafilou are highly rated.

In addition to Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP’s good name for investment treaty cases, the firm also has extensive experience representing states on inter-state matters and has also expanded its PIL capability into European law matters. The team represented Vodafone in an investment treaty dispute against the government of India. Karyl Nairn, Bruce Macaulay and David Herlihy are recommended alongside David Kavanagh, Daniel Gal and newly promoted partner David Edwards.

Arnold & Porter (UK) LLP stands out for its investor-state arbitration expertise, particularly CEE matters and intra-EU investment claims. The team is also known for its representation of sovereigns in international financial transactions. Dmitri Evseev and David Reed are recommended.

Baker McKenzie LLP welcomed Andy Moody from Eversheds LLP. The team combines expertise in investment treaty arbitration with international sanctions, climate change and environment work. Edward Poulton, Ross Denton and Sunwinder (Sunny) Mann are recommended.

Noted for ‘providing fast solutions to problems’, Baker Botts (UK) LLP’s PIL group works closely with the firm’s projects and energy and natural resources groups, and has a strong EU sanctions capability. Jay Alexander heads the group, which includes Alejandro Escobar (who is ‘a strategic thinker’), Johannes Koepp and Chris Caulfield.

Clyde & Co LLP leverages its traditional strengths in shipping, insurance and transportation to handle a range of PIL-related work, including boundary disputes, pollution and rights of passage issues, trade sanctions work, and investment cases. John Whittaker heads the team.

At Cooley (UK) LLP, senior counsel Tim Daniel is ‘a well-respected member of London’s PIL community’. The team advised the Federal Government of Nigeria on sovereign immunity issues arising from the attempted enforcement in England of a Nigerian judgment against the client. Laurence Harris and James Maton are also well regarded.

DLA Piper combines significant investment treaty arbitration expertise with a broader PIL practice that encompasses advisory work to states, trade and investment negotiations, and sanctions work. Kate Cervantes-Knox, Janet Legrand and Richard McGrane are recommended. Matthew Saunders joined Ashurst.

Key figures at Dentons include Michelle Bradfield, whose ‘PIL pedigree is among the best in London’; the ‘impressiveDominic Pellew; and Liz Tout. The team acted for a solar power company in a ECT arbitration against a European state.

Eversheds LLP’s PIL practice handles ICSID cases and investor-state disputes, and stands out for Africa and Middle East work. Stuart Dutson is recommended. Andy Moody joined Baker McKenzie LLP, while Jonathan Leach arrived from Hogan Lovells International LLP’s Singapore office

The ‘calm, measured and unflappableStephen Fietta established dedicated PIL and international arbitration firm Fietta in December 2015 following his departure from Volterra Fietta. Its lawyers act in investment treaty arbitrations; state-to-state environmental, boundary and sovereignty disputes; and human rights and sovereign immunity cases.

Latham & Watkins’ areas of focus include international boundary law and Law of the Sea disputes; investment treaty law; and international trade sanctions. Charles Claypoole, Sebastian Seelmann-Eggebert (who splits his time between London and Hamburg) and Oliver Browne are key names.

Linklaters LLP welcomed Matthew Weiniger QC from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP. The team is recommended for international sanctions work, investment arbitrations, state immunity issues and international human rights law.

Reed Smith LLP is well known for investor-state arbitrations (particularly defence/state side), and has expanded its practice to encompass state-to-state disputes and cases involving sovereign and diplomatic immunity and extradition. Belinda Paisley and Chloe Carswell are recommended.

Three Crowns LLP acted for ConocoPhillips in a dispute against Venezuela that arose from the expropriation of the client’s assets. Constantine Partasides QC, Gaëtan Verhoosel and Carmen Martinez Lopez are highly rated, as is newly promoted partner Scott Vesel.

WilmerHale is well known for state-to-state matters, intra-state disputes and high-value investor-state arbitration; PIL issues arising in national courts; sovereign-related matters; and legal proceedings involving rights of freedom of speech and belief. Gary Born and Steven Finizio are recommended.

Boies, Schiller & Flexner (UK) LLP is recommended for high-stakes PIL disputes, and particularly stands out for investor-state banking and finance cases. Wendy Miles QC is highly experienced. Kenneth Beale joined in London from WilmerHale’s Washington DC office.

Carter-Ruck has specific expertise in asset freezing measures. The team advised Al Jazeera Media Network in its investment arbitration against Egypt. Clients recommend Guy Martin, who ‘pursues the best outcome for clients’, and Cameron Doley.

Dechert LLP handles investment treaty cases for both states and investors (often in emerging markets). Timothy Lindsay is recommended.

E&A Law Limited advises governments and energy companies on PIL issues. Ana Stanic is ‘a very able and experienced lawyer; she is a real star’.

At Nabarro LLPKaren Denny advises on sovereign immunity, freezing injunctions, enforcing foreign judgments, and obtaining evidence for use in overseas proceedings.

Stephenson Harwood’s practice handles financial sanctions, asset tracing and the enforcement of high-value arbitration awards; it also has specialist Africa market experience. Kamal Shahhas sound legal and commercial instincts’, and Sue Millar and senior associate Stephen Ashley are ‘extremely knowledgeable’.

Steptoe & Johnson’s ‘highly responsive team’ acts in investment treaty arbitrations and enforcement matters involving sovereign immunity. Matthew Coleman is praised for his ‘excellent knowledge’.


Reputation management

Index of tables

  1. Reputation management
  2. Leading individuals

Top-tier’ firm Atkins Thomson is ‘pre-eminent in the field’ and rated for its ‘client-focused approach’. The team is headed by Mark Thomson, who has ‘a formidable intellect’, and the ‘commercially astute’ Graham Atkins, who has ‘a supreme ability to look after clients’. Senior associate James Heath is acting as lead solicitor for the claimants in the phone-hacking litigation against Mirror Group Newspapers.

Carter-Ruck is ‘a go-to firm’ for a wide-ranging client base that includes celebrities and high-net-worth individuals as well as global entities. Cameron Doley was part of a team that represented Martin Hemming in libel proceedings against Penguin Books. Other individuals singled out in ‘brilliant litigatorNigel Tait’s sizeable team include Claire Gill, Alasdair Pepper (who is ‘one of the most experienced media lawyers in the business’), Ruth Collard (who is ‘sure-footed and outstandingly forensic’), Adam Tudor and Guy Martin.

For some, Harbottle & Lewis LLP is ‘top of the tree’ for reputation management. The practice, which is valued for its ‘superb knowledge’ of this area, is regularly called on to advise senior members of the royal family; in 2015 Gerrard Tyrell (‘knows all the answers’) successfully represented HRH the Duke of York in a complaint to the Independent Press Standards Organisation pertaining to a breach of privacy by the Daily Mail. Also recommended are the ‘outstandingJo Sanders, who is ‘able to work out novel solutions to seemingly impossible situations’; and the ‘first-classJohn Kelly.

Olswang LLP’s ‘fiercely intellectual’ team is noted for its ability to draw on ‘huge resources that can match any firm in the field, while retaining a personal touch’. Equally adept at handling defendant and claimant mandates, the firm represents clients including ITV, The Guardian and Tom Cruise. Geraldine Proudler (who has ‘immense experience and impeccable judgement’) successfully defended The Spamhaus Project in libel proceedings initiated by two US-based claimants. Other key figures include Dan Tench, who has ‘one of the best legal brains in this field’; and Ian Felstead, who is ‘a first-rate practitioner’. Ashley Hurst joined Osborne Clarke in 2016.

The ‘hugely experienced and universally respectedKeith Mathieson leads RPC’s practice, which is representing Mirror Group Newspapers in high-profile litigation pertaining to voicemail interception. In another key matter, the group successfully defended Times Newspapers in litigation initiated by Tim Yeo MP pertaining to an article published in The Sunday Times. Senior associates Kim Waite, Louise Turner and Harry Kinmonth are also recommended. David Hooper retired in 2016.

Schillings is ‘unquestionably in the top rank of firms specialising in defamation and privacy law’, and it supplements its legal expertise with risk consulting, intelligence-gathering and cyber security services. ‘Standout lawyer’ Keith Schilling represented JK Rowling in a successful libel claim against the Daily Mail. The team’s ‘unrivalled list of names’ was enhanced by the return of Magnus Boyd from Hill Dickinson LLP. Boyd and Jenny Afia ‘are as good as it gets when it comes to client handling’. Rod Christie-Miller, Rachel Atkins and Chris Scott all have ‘first-rate reputations in this field’.

Simons Muirhead & Burton has refocused its previously claimant-centric practice to a predominantly defendant one, an approach which has increased its workload for media defendants. The team has been representing News Group Newspapers in several matters and Louis Charalambous, who has ‘great judgement’, is representing the client in libel proceedings initiated by the chairman of Blackpool FC, as well as defending the same client against libel claims brought by Tulisa Contostavlos and Danny Simpson. Other key names include managing partner Razi Mireskandari, Martin Soames, who frequently represents publishers, and Stephen Shotnes.

Addleshaw Goddard LLP’s team attracts praise from its claimant clients, which ‘trust the firm implicitly’. David Engel (‘among the elite practitioners in media and privacy law’) was part of a wider team representing claimants Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Company and Bank Alkhair in libel, malicious falsehood and breach of confidence claims. Recently promoted partner Abigail Healey is ‘exceptionally intelligent and extremely skilled’.

Collyer Bristow LLP is a longstanding and well-established force in the defamation and privacy field with substantial experience in all types of litigation and advice. It has noted a considerable rise in its privacy workload; ‘impressive tacticianRhory Robertson and ‘excellent’ senior associate Alex Cochrane represented the claimant in a case pertaining to an anonymised privacy injunction heard in the Supreme Court. ‘Heavyweight’ practitioner Steven Heffer remains heavily involved in voicemail interception cases. Kate Macmillan is ‘outstanding’.

David Price Solicitors & Advocates regularly acts for national newspapers and individuals. The group’s track record includes successfully acting for the defendant publishers in the first case to be heard under Section one of the Defamation Act 2013. Principal David Price is supported by associates Helen Morris and Julia Varley.

Howard Kennedy LLP’s team has ‘years of experience’ and considerable international expertise, which it puts to use in assisting clients with litigation in overseas jurisdictions. The team has a mixed claimant and defendant practice and acts for clients including Thomson Reuters and CNN. Mark Stephens and associate Elizabeth Morley ‘are a pleasure to deal with’. Sue Thackeray has ‘an excellent attention to detail’.

Slater and Gordon’s team ‘excels in the field of reputation management’. Jeremy Clarke-Williams, who is ‘unparalleled in client care and attention to detail’, represented former Top Gear producer, Oisin Tymon, in libel proceedings against the Daily Mail and Express Newspapers. The team is frequently sought out by unions and routinely represents police officers, with Adele Ashton acting for two officers in claims for misuse of private information.

Taylor Wessing LLP’s Niri Shanmuganathan is noted for his ‘ability to handle any client brilliantly, be it a high-net-worth individual or a media organisation’. Recent highlights include representing a female ex-banker in two High Court defamation cases pursued against former colleagues, as well as defending Associated Newspapers and Express Newspapers against allegations of harassment initiated by David Walliams and Lara Stone. Senior counsel Timothy Pinto leads the firm’s publishing group.

Rated for its ‘quick response times’ and ‘superb advice’, Wiggin LLP’s team is adept at handling pre-publication matters and litigation. Caroline Kean is part of a team defending Condé Nast in contempt of court litigation following the publication of an article in GQ magazine concerning the Rebekah Brooks trial. Amali de Silva (‘very thorough but also pragmatic’) is defending Associated Newspapers against libel, copyright and harassment claims.

Susan Aslan and Sue Charles jointly head ACK Media Law LLP’s team, which represents online and print publishers, as well as production companies. The group is representing regular client Reed Business Information in libel proceedings brought against its magazine New Scientist.

Niche media practice Archerfield Partners LLP has an ‘excellent’ team, which has been at the forefront of developing harassment claims; recent work in this area includes bringing a claim under the Protection from Harassment Act 2013 on behalf of Russell Brand and Jemima Khan against a masseur. Mark Bateman is ‘tenacious and a good technician’, Matthew Dowd is ‘a well-connected and logical litigator’ and Paul Chamberlain is ‘imaginative in finding practical solutions for clients’. The ‘highly experienced’ Kevin Bays joined from Gordon Dadds.

At Bates Wells Braithwaite, Rupert Earle (who is rated for his ‘ability to make a strong, convincing case’) defended The Sunday Times and two journalists in libel and malicious falsehood claims brought by Peter Cruddas. The ‘excellent’ practice has extensive experience representing charities and other clients including ActionAid and the Royal Society of Arts.

At Bindmans LLP, Tamsin Allencombines top-level legal skills with strong strategic sense and insight’. Allen is advising on libel and privacy issues pertaining to a TV drama series on undercover policing.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has a strong track record advising broadcasting clients. Nick Armstrong, who is the firm’s relationship partner for ITV and BskyB, is defending the latter in a breach of confidence claim. Duncan Lamont is representing several TV actors in voicemail interception litigation.

Farrer & Co’s Julian Pike is ‘a class act’ and frequently works with recently promoted partner Michael Patrick. The duo were part of a team that defended Axel Springer in libel proceedings pertaining to an article published in a German business magazine.

Foot Anstey is best known for representing the regional press, with clients including Johnston Press and Midland News Association. Tony Jaffa, who provides ‘sound and measured’ advice, is defending the Plymouth Herald in libel and malicious falsehood proceedings.

Voicemail interception litigation forms a significant part of Hamlins LLP’s caseload; Christopher Hutchings has considerable expertise in this area, which was underscored by his leading role in litigation against News Group Newspapers. Andrew Stephenson has ‘immense experience’ in this space.

Lee & Thompson LLP regularly acts for media and entertainment industry clients. Recent work for ‘shrewd operatorMike Brookes includes representing Liam Payne in various claims against News Group Newspapers. Mark Stafford and ‘brilliant’ associate Leo Dawkins are other names to note.

Lewis Silkin LLP acts for an impressive client list that includes Insanity Talent Management and AOL. Jonathan Coad, who ‘can be relied on to robustly and powerfully represent his clients’, is acting for the latter as the publisher of the Huffington Post, in Court of Appeal case that is considering the test for “serious harm”. Adam Glass is also recommended.

Payne Hicks Beach’s team leverages the firm’s private client strength to represent ultra-high-net-worth individuals in defamation and privacy proceedings. Dominic Crossley is acting for Max Mosley in a claim against Google. Sarah Webb has ‘good insight into her clients’ needs and objectives’.

Pinsent Masons LLP has ‘rapidly established itself at the very top of the media law field, with a burgeoning portfolio of major clients and a central involvement in some of the most important media and information law cases currently proceeding before the English courts’. The ‘fiercely intelligent’ David Barker leads a team that includes associate Alex Keenlyside, who ‘brings a calm intelligence to every case’.

Withers LLP’s team ‘has a clear understanding of the reputation management issues that affect many high-profile and high-net-worth individuals’. Amber Melville-Brown (‘approachable and personable, but with a razor-sharp knowledge and understanding of all aspects of media law’) and ‘exceedingly client-focused’ associate Rupert Cowper-Coles acted for the claimant in the first case to consider Section nine of the Defamation Act 2013.

BLM acts for insurer clients, as well as NWN Media and H Bauer Publishing. Tim Smith defended the latter, and its insurer, in litigation initiated against Take a Break magazine pertaining to the publication of the photograph of a child.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLPbrings the resources and knowledge of a substantial City firm’ to bear for corporates and individuals alike. Graham Shear is a ‘first-rate practitioner’ and Joby Davies is ‘very experienced, efficient and sensitive’. Ian de Freitas is another name to note.

Bird & Bird LLP’s team has noted an increase in cross-border litigation; it is representing the Dahabshiil Group, alongside its team in The Hague, in defamation proceedings in the Netherlands. Phil Sherrell is ‘outstanding’.

Clintons remains heavily involved in the voicemail interception litigation and is representing celebrity clients in separate proceedings against News Group Newspapers and Mirror Group Newspapers. Roddy Chisholm Batten’s ‘confident, tenacious and robust approach to litigation results in fantastic commercial results time and time again’.

Fieldfisher has established itself as a key name for online defamation cases. Rhys Griffiths is ‘superb’ and Colin Gibson is also recommended.

At Gordon Dadds, consultant Robin Shaw regularly acts for Private Eye magazine and was part of a cross-border team defending the client in libel proceedings brought by Peter Robinson, former First Minister of Northern Ireland. Kevin Bays joined Archerfield Partners LLP.

The ‘excellent’ team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP successfully defended Primark against libel claims brought by a former supplier. The ‘very experienced’ Alan Watts, who heads the firm’s commercial litigation practice, is recommended.

Hanna Basha and Geraldine Ryan are the key names at Hill Dickinson LLP, which acts for clients including Wayne Rooney and Don King.

Kingsley Napley LLP’s ‘extremely good and highly professional’ reputation management team frequently supports its criminal and regulatory practice in cases involving high-profile individuals. Gerard Cukier and Charlotte Harris (who has a ‘very good rapport with clients’) are recommended.

Manleys Solicitors is ‘always willing to go the extra mile’ for clients. Mark Manley (‘always eager to explore the best option for clients regardless of personal interests’) is defending David De Freitas in libel proceedings.

Mishcon de Reya LLP’s ‘excellent’ team is singled out for its ‘strength in providing reputation management alongside broader litigation expertise’. Clients include the Tata Group and Pimlico Plumbers. The ‘outstandingRamona Mehta leads a team that includes the firm’s deputy chairman Anthony Julius and James Libson.

Seddons strengthened its capability with the arrival of Mark Lewis (‘a fearless stalwart of individual liberty and reputation in the face of press intrusion’) from Taylor Hampton Solicitors in February 2015.

Sheridans’ Keith Ashby has ‘a highly strategic approach and gives clear advice in an accessible and reassuring way’. The ‘excellent’ team serves as sole legal adviser to the Independent Press Standards Organisation.

Gideon Benaim (who is ‘superb with clients, commercially minded and a very effective negotiator’) leads the team at Simkins LLP, which includes recently promoted partner Jon Oakley. Naomi Campbell and JK Rowling are clients.

The ‘dedicated’ team at Swan Turton LLPleaves no stone unturned’ and acts for clients including Ennio Morricone and Will Chalker. Catherine Fehler is noted for her ‘discrete, fast and strategic approach’.


Tax litigation and investigations

Index of tables

  1. Tax litigation and investigations
  2. Leading individuals

Clifford Chance is ‘very well placed to offer useful insights on complex cross-border issues’. Practice head Liesl Fichardt – who is noted for her ‘invaluable ability to identify what will persuade a court in her client’s interests’ – has been particularly active in the financial services and media sectors; Credit Suisse, Sky and Global Radio are new clients.

Top-tier firmFreshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP stands out for the breadth of its litigation and pre-litigation expertise. Recent highlights for practice head Helen Buchanan include advising various international banks on tax and regulatory investigations into dividend as well as arbitrage transactions, and acting for a UK corporation in employment tax disputes. Murray Clayson is a key contact for contentious transfer pricing matters.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has wide-ranging expertise, making it a go-to choice for tax investigations and litigation of all stripes. Practice head Heather Gething and senior associate Nick Clayton (who are ‘knowledgeable, responsive and easy to work with’) are representing Bernard Ecclestone in High Court claims challenging HMRC’s rescission of a 2008 settlement agreement. Bank of Ireland and G4S Cash Solutions are also clients.

Service-minded’ boutique firm Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP is ‘a market leader in EU-related tax litigation’; it is currently handling a number of high-profile corporation tax group litigation orders (GLO), including the Franked Investment Income GLO and the Prudential Assurance Company Supreme Court case. Simon Whitehead, Paul Farmer and Phillippe Freund ‘work well together as a team in managing a case’. The firm’s recruitment of Daniel Margolin QC from Maitland Chambers further strengthens its silk-level capability, which includes the ‘extremely professional and responsiveGraham Aaronson QC.

Pinsent Masons LLP attracts praise for its ‘excellent technical knowledge, experience and negotiating abilities’. The ‘proactive’ Jason Collins heads the sizeable team, which includes Stuart Walsh (who ‘exudes competence and ability’) and the ‘highly intelligent’ Ian Hyde, who relocated to London from Birmingham. The practice is at the forefront of challenging HMRC’s new powers to issue advanced payment notices. Key clients include BT Pensions Group and Avon Cosmetics.

Slaughter and May’s ‘excellent’ multi-disciplinary tax disputes team includes leading litigator Sarah Lee; tax practice head Sara Luder, who advised Santander on two appeals against HMRC regarding structured finance transactions; Tony Beare, who was recently appointed part-time judge in the First Tier Tribunal; and the highly regarded Steve Edge, who has recently handled various contentious transfer pricing matters.

Fieldfisher provides a ‘particularly high standard’ of service to a broad range of clients including RCI Europe, for which it represented in an ECJ dispute on the tax classifications of timeshare services, and Invamed Group, for which it acted on a customs duty challenge. Hartley Foster, George Gillham and Derek Hill, who is now focused on advising individuals involved in film partnerships, are all recommended.

Hogan Lovells International LLP is singled out for its ‘constant engagement to ensure client needs are addressed’. The tax team acts alongside the firm’s public law group in high-profile cases including the recent challenge to the limit imposed by the Finance Act 2014 on tax reliefs for North Sea UK drilling services companies. Practice head Rupert Shiers is ‘a highly accomplished operator’ with deep expertise. Lee Squires is a key contact for indirect tax disputes.

Key highlights for PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP included practice head Mark Whitehouse’s work in a group litigation concerning a stamp duty reserve tax and challenge against HMRC; and David Anderson’s work for Drax Power and Infinis Energy Holdings in a judicial review of the decision to remove a renewable energy tax exemption.

RPC’s ‘highly practical team’ is ‘responsive without compromising on the ability to deliver high-quality analysis and solutions’. ‘Dynamic’ team head Adam Craggs is noted for his ‘clear and practical’ advice; he is representing over 2,000 IT contractors in judicial review proceedings against HMRC relating to its accelerated payment notices, and continues to act for Greene King in its dispute with the Revenue over the tax treatment of its intra-group finance arrangements.

Simmons & Simmons’ practice, led by ‘excellent tactician and strategist’ Nick Skerrett, continued its impressive growth in 2015. In a highlight matter, the practice advised the Investment Association (UK), among others, on behalf of 20 investment managers and banks in their high-profile dispute with the Indian Income Tax Commissioners. Caritas Anchor House and BPP Holdings are also clients.

Ashurst is ‘highly professional in its approach to tax litigation and investigations’. Key contacts include Nicholas Gardner, who attracts praise for his ‘forensic mind and eye for detail’; Alexander Cox, who is acting for Gala Coral in VAT litigation; and Paul Miller, who is a longstanding adviser to Ocean Finance founder Paul Newey.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP’s contentious tax team includes the ‘determinedNeal Todd and highly regarded VAT expert Alan Sinyor, as well as very active senior associates such as Kate Ison, who acts for a broad range of corporate and financial clients, and Kunal Vyas, who regularly advises on structured asset finance disputes.

At DLA Piper, Richard Woolich regularly handles VAT-related disputes, while Simon Airey, who attracts praise for his ‘wealth of experience’, specialises in tax and fraud investigations for private individuals and financial institutions.

Eversheds LLP’s ‘excellent, client-focused team’ is headed by indirect tax specialist Giles Salmond, whose recent clients include Mueller Europe and MG Rover Group.

Clients always feel secure’ with KPMG LLP’s ‘outstanding tax litigation team’, which is led by ‘excellent strategist’ Amanda Brown. Recent cases span landfill tax, VAT and residency issues. The Open University and Volkswagen Financial Services are clients.

Linklaters LLP’s multi-disciplinary team includes transactional tax specialist Mark Kingstone, litigator Michael Sanders and corporate tax expert Dominic Winter. BP, Vodafone and Citigroup are clients.

At Macfarlanes LLP, recently promoted partner Gideon Sanitt, who ‘impresses with his common-sense, pragmatic approach to dealing with HMRC’, coordinates disputes work across the firm’s sizeable tax practice.

Mishcon de Reya LLP’s contentious tax team was strengthened by the recruitment of ‘creative and determined tax litigatorLeslie Allen from DLA Piper. He joins a team that includes consultant Dario Garcia, who is a key contact for indirect tax disputes relating to financial services.

Angela Savin and Dominic Stuttaford are the key contacts at Norton Rose Fulbright. Recent highlights include acting for Lloyds Bank in a case related to capital allowances in an overseas leasing transaction, and BMW in a VAT repayment dispute.

Stewarts Law LLP stands out for its ‘wealth of experience and strong team of very impressive lawyers’. Led by the ‘very client-friendly, responsive and knowledgeableDavid Pickstone, the practice has been representing individual contributors to tax mitigation schemes in defending them against the HMRC and in claims against the promoters of such schemes.

The ‘very strategic and client-oriented’ team at Weil, Gotshal & Manges includes litigator Hannah Field-Lowes, who is acting for Ingenious Games in its high-profile £1bn dispute with HMRC; the ‘thoughtful and responsive’ Oliver Walker, who secured a Court of Appeal victory for The Littlewoods Group in its long-running payment of compound interest on overpaid VAT against the Revenue; and the ‘exceptionally professional and efficientJamie Maples.


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