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United Kingdom > London > Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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.

FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Zaiwalla & Co

Zaiwalla & Co acts for both domestic and overseas clients, including corporations and state entities, as well as individuals. Its practice areas cover both contentious and non-contentious law, including domestic and international litigation, international commercial arbitration, shipping, banking, project finance, energy, company commercial and immigration.

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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.

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    In the recent case of Newbury v Sun Microsystems [2013], the defendant argued that an offer to settle proceedings was ‘in principle' only and that a binding contract could not be formed until further terms had been agreed and a formal contract had been signed. It supported this argument by referring to a statement, in the offer letter, that the settlement was to be ‘recorded in a suitably worded agreement'. 

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