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United Kingdom > London > Dispute resolution > Banking litigation: investment and retail > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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  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.

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