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Who Represents Who

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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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'Unquestionably one of the leading litigation practices', Allen & Overy LLP's 'highly efficient, thorough and extremely professional practice' acts for a raft of blue-chip clients across a wide range of business sectors. It has a long track record of acting in challenging and business-critical litigation, often with multiple cross-border elements, and takes a large number of cases to the highest courts. Illustrative of the type of matters on which major corporates instruct the practice, it successfully acted for Airbus in cross-border, complex litigation that included injunctions and strike-out applications in England and India; the claims arose out of the financial difficulties experienced by India's Kingfisher Airlines, which caused it to cancel orders for 82 Airbus jets and led to a consortium of Indian banks attempting to recover amounts paid to Airbus. In other highlights, the team acted for the European Union and the European Investment Bank in major multi-jurisdictional litigation concerning the recovery of significant sums owed to them by the Syrian Arab Republic. Commercial and corporate litigation group head Lawson Caisley's experience includes fraud and white collar crime, cyber security breaches and fund management disputes. James Partridge is 'an excellent litigator, who sees all the angles and gives excellent strategic advice, and is great to work with'. Joanna Page is 'always focused on securing the best possible outcome'. Jonathan Hitchin's practice includes matters arising from the acquisition and disposal of businesses and companies, joint venture failures, insolvency issues and fraud claims. Other highly rated practitioners include Alice Englehart and Richard Farnhill.

According to some, Clifford Chance LLP has 'perhaps the finest commercial litigation department in the City; there is no dispute, however large and complex, that the firm does not handle superbly'. In a high-profile, high-value dispute involving litigation and investigations on both sides of the Atlantic, the team defended Autonomy founder, Dr Mike Lynch (ML), against allegations of financial impropriety and misrepresentation made by Hewlett Packard, which acquired ML's software company in 2011 for $11bn; and in a recent landmark Supreme Court decision on contractual penalty clauses, it represented Talal El Makdessi in his battle against a WPP subsidiary, which was particularly significant as it was the first time the UK Supreme Court (and its predecessor) has considered the penalties' doctrine in over 100 years. Jeremy Sandelson is 'a superb client handler, a highly sophisticated tactician, a delightful team leader, and outstanding when the possibility of losing cannot be entertained'. Philip Hill is 'the smartest litigation solicitor in the UK; he knows the best route to victory'. Maxine Mossman is 'an up-and-coming superstar of the UK’s top-end commercial litigation world'; and Julian Acratopulo 'regularly handles the biggest cases around'. Other widely respected advisers include Simon Davis, Helen Carty and Christopher Yates, along with Roger Leese, Jeremy Kosky, Kelwin Nicholls, Matthew Scully and Roger Best, while James Cranston is 'an outstanding senior associate' and Guy Burkitt is 'as good an associate as clients could want'.  Iain Roxborough left for Keystone Law.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP has a longstanding reputation for acting in the market's most complex, cross-border commercial disputes that frequently involve multi-jurisdictional issues. The 'meticulous litigator' Simon Orton, who heads up the financial institutions disputes group, acts for retail and investment banks and other financial institutions in high-value litigation; his representative experience includes advising significant global financial institutions on multi-jurisdictional investigations concerning activities in various trading businesses. Other widely respected advisers include Patrick Swain, whose practice includes advising clients on M&A-related and other shareholder disputes, commercial fraud claims, professional negligence litigation and contentious insolvency; Matthew Bruce, who has led a number of major corporate investigations for blue-chip clients arising from allegations such as bribery and corruption, fraud and mis-accounting, and whose recent matters have involved Asia, the Middle East, former CIS territories and Africa; Geoff Nicholas, whose work covers anti-bribery and corruption, fraud, anti-money laundering and sanctions; and James Kennedy, whose recent commercial litigation experience includes several cases involving multi-jurisdiction civil and arbitral proceedings concerning assets worth several billion dollars.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has one of the largest and most specialised practices in the UK for all types of commercial and corporate litigation and across all sectors; the team was recently particularly active in significant  commercial and corporate litigation for major banks and financial institutions as well as matters involving the energy, mining, consumer products and TMT sectors, among others. It achieved a settlement on behalf of the RBS Group (RBSG) in its defence of actions brought by shareholder and investor groups in connection with RBSG's 2008 rights issue; and represented the SocGen defendants in a claim brought by the Libyan Investment Authority, which entered into a series of trades with SocGen, in respect of which it sought rescission and repayment of the premiums paid. Damien Bryne Hill is UK and US disputes head; Alan Watts is UK commercial litigation head; Rupert Lewis leads the banking litigation practice in London; Natasha Johnson 'has a great deal of experience with the international elements of litigation'; Gregg Rowan is 'a first class-litigator, who has a measured and in-control manner'; and Alexander Oddy is deputy head of the firm's commercial litigation practice. Other recommended names are Philip Carrington, James Baily, Simon Clarke,  Adam Johnson QC, Kirsten Massey, and John Whiteoak, along with John Ogilvie, James Doe, Chris Bushell, and Jeremy Garson. Julian Copeman relocated to the London office from Hong Kong and Donny Surtani and Rachel Lidgate were made partners.

Hogan Lovells International LLP's 'service is superb, and the guidance clients get is invaluable; the team also understands the court process very well'. The practice was recently active in reported cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, and has specialist expertise in cases involving Russia and the CIS, as well as commercial litigation in the life sciences sector. The team defended National Express (NE) in a Commercial Court action brought against it by Dunn Motor Traction, a coach service operator that previously ran several coach routes on NE's coach network; the damages claim arose from NE's termination of the operating agreement between the parties and involves issues around the construction of the termination provisions. The team also represented Privatbank, the largest bank in Ukraine, in a $2.6bn claim in the High Court's Chancery Division against two high-profile Ukrainian oligarchs in respect of a major fraud that involved three English companies and three BVI companies. Ivan Shiu is 'particularly good and always available, even with transatlantic time differences'; Chris Hardman regularly works on very large matters before the English courts; Richard Lewis has extensive experience in cross-border litigation and fraud, including worldwide freezing injunctions and other powerful and unusual asset preservation relief; and Alex Sciannaca is well known for disputes arising out of Russia and the CIS, particularly Ukraine. The other key practitioners are Michael Davison, Angela Dimsdale Gill, Neil Mirchandani, together with Michael Roberts and Rebecca Wales. Jon Holland and Andrea Monks  left for Latham & Watkins  in 2018.

The 'absolutely top-rate' practice at Linklaters LLP stands out for its multi-jurisdictional, cross-practice capability when handling large, complex cases involving top-tier UK and international companies; and the practice regularly advises clients in the financial services sector, but has seen an increase in work from the mining, telecoms, charities and technology sectors. Recent highlights include Tom Cassels leading advice to Hutchison 3G UK in its breach of contract claim in the Commercial Court against EE that involved the parties' agreement for a rollout of network infrastructure on their shared mobile telecoms network; the matter involves complex contract law issues, extensive technical evidence and has unique implications for the ongoing operation of one of the UK's major mobile telecoms networks. In other matters, Ben Carroll acted for Glencore International, a large mining concern and commodities trader, in defending it against a breach of contract claim brought by Minera las Bambas and MMG Swiss Finance that related to the sale of a large mine in South America; the dispute related to the application of indemnities given in the sale and purchase agreement and turns on the proper contractual interpretation of a number of indemnities. Michael Bennett is global dispute resolution head; and Satindar Dogra is London dispute resolution head. Also recommended are Tom Lidstrom, who is 'a class act who stands out from the crowd', Patrick Robinson, Nick Porter, and Harriet Ellis, along with Rory Conway and Susana Cao Miranda. Marc Harvey relocated from the Hong Kong office to London, while Kathryn Ludlow retired from the firm.

Acting for FTSE 100 clients across all industry sectors, Slaughter and May's 'excellent team' is widely respected for high-stakes commercial and corporate litigation, including the full range of post-acquisition, joint venture, shareholder and partnership disputes that frequently have cross-border elements.  Sarah Lee, who was elected head of the firm's dispute resolution group, acted for Mercuria Energy Europe Trading in claims brought against it, and its co-defendant, RBS, in the Financial List, which arose out of trading in the carbon emissions market in 2009; the claims relate to alleged missing trader intra-Community VAT fraud. In other significant matters, Jonathan Cotton acted for Diageo in proceedings against Vijay Mallya (the owner of both Force India Formula 1 team and Kingfisher Airlines), his son and various associated entities; the claim relates to various alleged breaches by the defendants of numerous commercial agreements. Other highly rated advisers include Richard Swallow, whose practice covers banking and financial services disputes, fraud and asset tracing, energy sector matters and contentious antitrust issues, including follow-on damages actions; and Damian Taylor, who 'provides clear and pragmatic advice on difficult questions'. Also recommended are Deborah Finkler, Efstathios Michael, Ewan Brown, Jonathan Clark, Richard Jeens and James Stacey, while Camilla Sanger is a key associate. Richard Clark retired from the partnership and Nick Gray joined international arbitration think tank, Newton Arbitration. 

'Providing good knowledge and understanding together with strategic advice and excellent service', Ashurst is well known for complex, high-value commercial disputes across a range of industries, such as transport, infrastructure, automotive and power, along with gaming, telecoms, food and drink, and pharmaceuticals, among others. In one of the largest contentious waste project sector disputes in the country, the practice successfully represented Interserve Construction in a High Court claim concerning the termination of a contract by Hitachi Zosen Inova for the construction of an energy-from-waste plant; it also defended longstanding client McLaren Automotive (McLaren) against a dispute relating to the development of McLaren's GT3 and GT4 racing cars, supply of parts and provision of after-sales, including substantially reducing the scope of an ex-parte injunction against McLaren. James Levy is London dispute resolution department head; Simon Bromwich 'understands strategy and the wider picture'. Jon Gale  has particular experience in banking disputes as well as public law litigation, including commercial judicial review. Edward Sparrow is also regularly involved in high-profile matters.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is 'outstanding in commercial litigation'. Under the leadership of Lord (Peter) Goldsmith QC, who is London co-managing partner and chair of European and Asian litigation, the team regularly secures significant mandates from the largest companies in the world. The 'simply great' Kevin Lloyd and Richard Lawton acted for BAT Industries (BAT) and BTI 2014 in their litigation to recover dividends plus interest, totalling around $880, from Sequana, Europe’s largest paper and packaging manufacturing and distribution company; the claim arose as a result of indemnities given by BAT in an asset purchase agreement following the sale of various US assets in the 1970s and raised contractual interpretation issues and important company and accounting issues, as well as allegations of breaches of fiduciary duty by the company directors. Tony Dymond, Jane Shvets and the 'extremely hardworking' international counsel Christopher Boyne are also highly rated.

Latham & Watkins fields 'lawyers with strong intellect and technical ability, combined with savvy commercial and tactical advice'. The firm grew the 'swiftly expanding practice' when it hired Jon Holland and Andrea Monks , who advise financial institutions on significant disputes and contentious regulatory matters, from Hogan Lovells International LLP; and Ian Felstead, who is known for commercial, media, and regulatory litigation, from CMS. Felstead is 'an excellent litigation lawyer who is capable of handling complex disputes'. In a claim for contractual rectification, the team acted for Barclays Bank, which acted as the security agent in a £525m bond financing of the Four Seasons Healthcare Group (FS); the High Court dispute arose from an alleged common mistake that FS alleges gives rise to a right to rectify the terms of security given by it. Oliver Browne is chair of the litigation and trial department in London; other highly rated advisers include Philip Clifford QC, Stuart Alford QC, Sophie Lamb QC, Charles Claypoole and Martin Davies. Jumana Rahman, and Dan Smith are notable counsels; and John Kallaugher retired from the partnership in 2017.

Regarded as one of the City’s leading business litigation firms, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP recently launched contentious tax and tax investigations and construction dispute practices. The London office's co-managing partners are Richard East and Sue Prevezer QC. Recent work included acting for a group of 11 international bondholders, comprising hedge funds and pension funds, against a Turkish conglomerate and its directors in a claim before the English Commercial Court for fraudulent misrepresentation regarding the restructuring of its $200m debt. Other recommended litigators are Nick Marsh, 'who is brilliant at managing complex, high-value commercial litigation'; Ted Greeno, who has acted in disputes ranging from general contract and tort claims, to company law, public law, IP, tax, and antitrust matters; and Alex Gerbi, who has particular expertise in disputes relating to Russia and the CIS territories. Robert Hickmott, Matthew Bunting, Khaled Khatoun and James Bremen, along with of counsel Aidan O’Rourke, are also highly rated. Paul Friedman joined gunnercooke LLP.

Simmons & Simmons' 'good-value team is responsive and thoughtful in its advice and the practice's strength in depth, including the more junior lawyers, is impressive'. The firm has particular sector strength in TMT, energy and infrastructure and life sciences disputes; in recent multi-jurisdictional matters, the group acted for Toronto Stock Exchange-listed NYX Gaming Group, a supplier of digital gaming products that was the target of a potential acquisition by Scientific Games; the litigation involved bookmaker William Hill, which brought proceedings in multiple jurisdictions in an attempt to disrupt the acquisition, including by seeking injunctions in Guernsey and London. It also advised The Capital Markets Company (UK), a global finance and technology consultancy, on a dispute arising out of an alleged conspiracy in the FinTech sector. UK dispute resolution practice head Ian Hammond and Paul Baker 'have a tremendous capacity for absorbing information and attention to detail'; Patrick Boylan is a specialist in international disputes; Ed Crosse specialises in handling complex financial and regulatory disputes for financial institutions; and Colin Passmore is an expert on privilege. Robert Turner is also a widely respected adviser and Paolo Caldato and Kirsten Kitt are the managing associates to note.

'A good choice for major commercial disputes', Addleshaw Goddard has go-to lawyers for corporate and M&A disputes, commercial contract and termination disputes, complex IT, telecoms and technology litigation, and civil fraud as well as finance disputes, competition litigation and product liability. The team successfully represented BP Oil International in its defence of a $70m claim brought by National Bank of Abu Dhabi, which arose out of a complex invoice discounting agreement; this was the first-ever case to be tried under the Rolls Building's pilot Shorter Trials Scheme. Michael Barnett is litigation head and particularly known for disputes in the financial markets, commercial litigation and civil fraud areas; Mark Molyneux is national head of commercial litigation; London commercial litigation lead Louisa Caswell is 'a strongly rising star among the partners'; and Jon Tweedale is 'a stellar lawyer who inspires loyalty amongst clients'. Other highly rated advisers include insurance disputes practice leader Richard Wise, together with legal director Mark Chesher, while the key managing associates are Natasha Winter , who is 'experienced, personable and efficient, gets significant results and has good connections with chambers', and Richard Levett, who is 'a thoughtful, intellectual lawyer with great litigation instincts'. The firm expanded its London corporate crime and investigations offering through the hire of specialist Michelle de Kluyver from Allen & Overy LLP.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP was formed in 2018 from the merger of Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP and Bryan Cave, the latter firm bringing in Mathew Rea, Robert Dougans, counsel Maria Gritsenko and associates Joseph McCormick  and Serena Cooke. The practice 'has an excellent handling of cases', with many of the team's recent highlights including corporate elements such as derivative claims, shareholder disputes and unfair prejudice claims. It acted for BCA Trading in an unfair prejudice claim by the managing director of an acquired company, who remains a minority shareholder; the case involved the practice reportedly securing, for the first time on a contested application, an order for the use of predictive coding technology. The 'strategic' Oliver Glynn-Jones  heads the commercial dispute resolution team; Graham Shear, who 'has a sharp focus on getting the best outcome', heads the international litigation and corporate risk group; Oran Gelb is 'excellent'; and Joby Davies is also a key adviser. Andrew Tuson, who heads the corporate crime practice, is another key name. Sarah McAtominey and Helen Armstrong are notable senior associates.

Clyde & Co LLP's¬†'litigators have good commercial judgment and provide good-value service'.¬†The practice manages litigation across the full gamut of commercial disputes, including contractual disputes, defence of class actions, shareholder disputes, M&A and joint venture conflicts, fraud, jurisdictional issues, warranty disputes, and enforcement proceedings. It acted for¬†Stichting Vestia,¬†a Dutch social housing association that is pursuing a claim against Deutsche Bank in amounts up to approximately ‚ā¨800m; the matter involves allegations of bribery, lack of authority and inappropriate financial transactions.¬†Chris Burdett, who divides time between London and Guildford,¬†has particular expertise in the technology, airline and security sectors; Richard Power¬†is noted for oil and gas and energy disputes; and Neil Jamieson, who¬†is 'an extremely clever solicitor', acts in professional negligence claims. Other experienced advisers include¬†Helen Rowlands, Tom White¬†and¬†consultant Conrad Walker.¬†The legal directors to note are Anna Myrvang, who¬†'has a phenomenal memory for detail',¬†and Nicola VinovrŇ°ki.¬†Tim Crockford, who¬†has particular expertise in professional negligence liability disputes, joined from Gowling WLG.

CMS 'demonstrates an openness to discuss different perspectives and deliver advice in a business-friendly way'. The practice is regularly instructed in complex disputes of significant strategic or financial importance; and the practice is widely respected for energy litigation. It is also highly rated for technology and outsourcing disputes. 'A first-class litigator with all-round skills', Jeremy Mash  led advice to Slater and Gordon (S&G) in its Commercial Court claim against Watchstone Group, formerly known as Quindell, for fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of warranty; this arose from the highly-publicised 2015 acquisition by S&G of Quindell’s legal services division. Litigation team head Jonathan Warne is 'right at the top of the list of commercial litigation partners', Bernard O’Sullivan is noted for civil fraud and regulatory issues, Guy Pendell has a particular cross-border focus, and Steven Corney advises on contractual and tortious disputes and civil fraud matters. Other highly regarded advisers include Richard Bamforth, Omar Qureshi and Ben Trust, along with Andrew Taplin, Lee Gluyas, Sukhi Kaler and Phillip Ashley.  Luke Pardey, who is 'a confident adviser on complex matters', and David Bridge were made partners. the key senior associates are Tim Sales, who is 'on top of cases' detail', and Louise Boswell.

'Able to put together a team of lawyers for any case of any size', DLA Piper 'has really excellent lawyers'. The practice is frequently instructed on high value, complex cross-border commercial litigation matters, which often give rise to jurisdictional issues and conflicts of laws. It advised the Special Administrator of Cyprus Popular Bank Public Co in its actions to recover high-value losses, arising from allegedly fraudulent transactions entered into by Andreas Vgenopoulos and other former management of the bank and related entities. Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry, who is 'fearless and uttely determined to achieve the best result', is global co-litigation  and regulatory chair; Jeremy Andrews, who is 'calm, unruffled and highly intelligent' is co-head of litigation and arbitration; James Carter 'has a good sense of what will work'; and  Jamie Curle is 'responsive, knowledgeable and honest'. Other recommended practitioners include Stephen Sly, Janet Legrand, Richard McGrane, Paul Smith, Sarah Smith and recently promoted partner Edward Shaw.

Conflict-free specialist litigation and arbitration firm Enyo Law LLP's clients include states, central banks, sovereign wealth funds, hedge funds, private equity funds and high-net-worth individuals; and the practice 'has a very good reputation for commercial litigation'. Highlights included acting for a Russian individual, Mikhail Shlosberg, in relation to complex litigation arising out of investments in a multinational aluminium business; the matter has involved multiple parties in multiple proceedings and in numerous jurisdictions, including England, BVI and the Netherlands. Much of Simon Twigden's work is of an international nature, with an increasing focus on matters from the CIS, Middle East and North African regions; George Maling has over 20 years’ experience in commercial litigation; and Louise Bell, who recently joined from Olswang LLP, 'always shows great flare for litigation strategy'. The other recommended litigators are Pietro Marino, Edward Allen and Jonathan Brook. Tim Elliss and Nick Jones were made partners in 2017, while Michael Green exited for litigation activist group, RGL Management.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP 'provides a highly commercial approach, penetrating analysis and good teamwork'. The firm was formed in 2017 following the merger between British multinational law firm, Eversheds LLP, and Atlanta-based law firm Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP; and it frequently acts for some of the world’s largest companies in their disputes. Key matters included Mark Davenport leading advice to C Bidco (CB) in relation to its claim for approximately £59m against Celtic Aerospace Ventures (CAV) and its Japanese parent company guarantor; the claim arose from breaches of warranties and indemnities given by CAV in a share purchase agreement under which CB acquired the issued share capital of CAV Aerospace, a business which manufactured aircraft parts. Neville Byford is 'highly focused on clients' objectives';  the 'particularly good' Andrew Legg is 'experienced, knowledgeable and sensible'; and Richard Little regularly acts in high-value actions in the Commercial Court. The recommended principal associates are Lucy Webster and Tim Browning.

Jones Day is 'one of the largest commercial litigation firms in the world and its London office is increasingly a star in its global crown'. It handles market-leading, high-profile cases involving antitrust litigation, commercial fraud, contentious insolvencies and financial services, among other issues. In one of the largest private actions for damages recently pursued in the courts, the team was lead counsel to Mastercard in groundbreaking litigation, brought by retailers from across the UK and EU, in connection with the legality of certain Mastercard fees paid by retailers for payment card transactions. Sion Richards is 'a dynamic head of department with great rainmaking skills' and Craig Shuttleworth is 'a very experienced street fighter'. Other key contacts include Adam Brown and associates Sarah Batley and Daniel Travers.

Macfarlanes LLP is experienced in complex commercial disputes and investigations, and the practice undertakes litigation in sectors including aviation, retail, hotels and beverages, as well as energy, mining and commodities, among others. It has also increasingly acted in corporate and commercial disputes for family offices and entrepreneurs. Highlights included representing Liontrust Asset Management, Liontrust Investment Partners and Liontrust Investment Services, as respondents, in landmark High Court litigation, which made new law in relation to repudiatory breach of contract in the context of LLP agreements. Litigation and dispute resolution head Iain MacKie is 'a class act; he is a great litigator and knows the clients inside out'. Also recommended are Guy Morpuss QC (who heads the advocacy and arbitration groups), Lois Horne, Matt McCahearty,  Geoff Steward, James Popperwell and Simon Nurney.

Mayer Brown International LLP's 'clients cannot speak highly enough of its efficiency, commitment and professionalism'. Stuart Pickford, who is 'an extremely bright, personable litigator whose calm demeanour and insightful analysis are an invaluable contribution', led advice to hotelier, Chen Mei Huan, in a long-running dispute concerning the ownership of shares in a BVI holding company, which (via a Macanese subsidiary) owns the Beijing Imperial Palace Hotel in Macau; the team's role included successfully advising on an appeal to the Privy Council, which set aside a decision of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and ordered a retrial in the BVI. Ian McDonald heads the litigation and dispute resolution practice in London; Alistair Graham is 'one of the best commercial litigators around'; and Miles Robinson acts across a range of sectors, including energy, manufacturing, music, automotive, chemicals and outsourcing. Mark Stefanini and David Allen are also highly rated.

Norton Rose Fulbright's 'professional, organised and capable practice' acts for public and private companies operating across the firm's key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and life sciences and healthcare. The team acted for Good Energy Group in relation to its rights and obligations to resist actions taken by an activist shareholder. Peter Scott is EMEA dispute resolution and competition head; Ruth Cowley 'delivers the goods'; Antony Corsi is 'very astute, commercial and succinct'; and Ffion Flockhart 'always sees the bigger picture'. Neil Miller is another name to note, as are of counsel Jane Park-Weir and senior associate Charlie Weston-Simons, who is 'super-smart'. Former Middle East head Patrick Bourke returned to the London office from Dubai, while recently appointed Middle East head Deirdre Walker relocated to the Dubai office. Chris Warren-Smith and Melanie Ryan joined Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP.

'A great choice for the trickiest issues', Pinsent Masons LLP's 'response times are excellent and the overall service is superb'. The practice regularly litigates complex commercial disputes, often with cross-border and multi-jurisdictional elements, for clients in the energy, financial institutions and technology sectors, and for airlines, management corporations, and trust and corporate entities. The team acted for Aeroflot-Russian Airlines, as clamant, in proceedings against the estate of the late Boris Berezovsky and others, including high-value fraud and enforcement proceedings. Michael Fenn is London litigation and regulatory head and Katharine Davies is 'a formidable fighter for her client’s case'. Other key contacts include Alan Sheeley, Stuart McNeill, Ben Fairhead, Glasgow-based risk advisory services group head Laura Cameron and legal directors Richard Dickman and Michael Fletcher. Jean-Francois Le-Gal was hired from Brown Rudnick LLP, Alaistair Culvert was made partner and Mike Hawthorne, who is 'a brilliant technical lawyer', was promoted to legal director. Richard Twomey joined DWF.

'An impressive firm for commercial litigation', Reed Smith LLP is known for its expertise in complex, often multi-jurisdictional, disputes, particularly in corporate and financial services litigation, international arbitration, insurance recovery and media claims. It obtained a high-value judgment for a major bank, as claimant and agent bank for a syndicate of banks, for sums outstanding under a facility agreement, plus fees, costs and interest. Richard Spafford and Ben Summerfield jointly head the commercial and corporate litigation team; Robert Falkner is a contentious financial regulatory expert; Belinda Paisley is an international arbitration specialist; Nick Brocklesby heads the banking litigation practice; Charles Hewetson co-chairs the global regulatory enforcement group; and Peter Hardy is EME commercial disputes group head. George Hoare is a recently promoted counsel and professional liability specialist Jane Howard joined from Gowling WLG.

In addition to handling mainstream commercial disputes work, RPC fields a number of specialist contentious teams covering banking and finance, commodities, tax, employment, real Estate, IP, IT and insurance along with international arbitration, construction, competition and media. The team acted for Ingenious Media Holdings, a media production and finance company (and related companies and directors), in High Court claims brought by a large number of investors; the claims relate to alleged losses said to arise from investments into various film production partnerships and investors' ability to claim sideways loss tax relief. Commercial disputes head Geraldine Elliott has particular expertise in handling warranty claims, shareholder and joint venture disputes, and asset and financial recovery; and Tom Hibbert is global commercial disputes head. Simon Hart, Andy McGregor, Tim Brown, Rupert Boswall, Davina Given, and Parham Kouchikali and Stuart Shepherd are also key practitioners, while Jonathan Cary returned to the London office from Hong Kong. The key senior associates are Daniel Wyatt, Charlotte Henschen (née Ducker) and Matthew Evans.

'A first-class firm with a positive, collaborative culture of integrity', Signature Litigation LLP is a highly specialised dispute resolution firm, with a strong focus on large, complex and often cross-border cases. The practice advised the ECU Group in a pre-action disclosure application against HSBC UK, HSBC Private Bank and HSBC USA for trading data involving a series of foreign exchange trades in excess of £400m. Graham Huntley is the recommended founding partner; Abdulali Jiwaji 'has excellent interpersonal skills, is very good with clients and a pleasure to work with'; and Daniel Spendlove is 'very smart, client focused and details-oriented'. Other key contacts include Simon Bushell, Ioannis Alexopoulos, Natalia Chumak, Hermes Marangos, Adam Rooney, Julian Connerty and Josh Wong .

Stephenson Harwood's 'excellent practice is genuinely focused on litigation'. It¬†has¬†particular expertise in cases involving financial services, shareholder disputes, public international law and fraud, which are frequently¬†multi- jurisdictional. The team represented¬†Blue Power in Business List proceedings against Eni, the Italian oil and gas multinational, which are valued at over ‚ā¨1 bn; the¬†matter arose out of an oil and gas field project, including¬†a claim for breach of contractual obligations of exclusivity that arose from Eni's engagement of third parties.¬†John Fordham¬†is department head;¬†Sue Millar¬†and¬†Edward Davis¬†are co-financial litigation heads; ¬†Richard Gwynne's practice covers¬†banking and finance litigation, shareholder and joint venture disputes, and complex cross-border disputes;¬†and¬†Richard Garcia¬†has¬†particular experience of shareholder, partnership, joint venture, post-acquisition and corporate investment disputes.¬†Sean Jeffrey¬†and Andrew Myers¬†are also highly rated,¬†Kate Cordery¬†was made partner, and Guy Harper¬†and Alina Neal¬†are key senior associates.

Stewarts Law LLP is the largest litigation-only law firm in the UK and one of the few firms able to accept instructions against banks and financial institutions as well as other major corporates. It 'provides an excellent service with able lawyers, who are ready to drop everything and get up to speed at short notice when necessary'. The practice acted for 112 institutional investors, as claimants, in seeking damages further to Tesco's admission that its earlier financial statements were overstated by at least £326m as a result of manipulation of its commercial income; the case is one of the first cases to be brought under new legislation that is designed to address serious corporate mis-statements in published statements.Clive Zietman heads the commercial litigation department and the 'ultra-responsive' Ian Gatt QC 'has a good understanding of clients' priorities'. Other highly rated advisers include Marc Jones, Fiona Gillett, Keith Thomas, Sean Upson, Paul Brehony and Andrew Hill. David Hughes was recruited from Dechert LLP, while Fiona Stewart left the firm.

Travers Smith LLP's 'top-notch team provides clients with an excellent, all-round service'.  In one of the most significant pieces of litigation currently before the English courts, it continued to represent various Hewlett-Packard group companies (HP) in $5bn fraud proceedings in the Chancery Division, which arose out of the $11bn acquisition of Autonomy Corporation by HP in 2011. The 'excellent tactician' Rob Fell was appointed dispute resolution department head, taking over from Stephen Paget-Brown. Andrew King is 'hardworking and clever'; Caroline Edwards 'cares about clients' interests'; and Jan-Jaap Baer is 'very responsive and thorough'. Other recommended practitioners include Huw Jenkin and Toby Robinson, while Heather Gagen and Stephanie Lee were promoted to the partnership.

White & Case LLP 'understands what issues to dispute, with an eye on strategic outcomes that benefit clients' cases'. The practice, which recently hired Hannah Field-Lowes, previously co-head of disputes at Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP, has a long history of representing clients on their highest-value, cross-border disputes. It defended the Oi Group, one of Brazil’s leading telecoms operators, against multiple bondholder claims, co-ordinated by a New York-based vulture fund; this has involved litigation in the Netherlands, Brazil, the US, UK, and the Cayman Islands. John Reynolds is London commercial litigation head; Charles Balmain is EMEA commercial litigation and white-collar section head; Mark Clarke is 'a class act'; and Rory Hishon 'goes above and beyond in both his work ethic and commitment'. Amanda Cowell was made partner and Paddy Patrick was promoted to counsel.

'An excellent firm for all international commercial work', Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld's London team 'provides a top-drawer service'. It specialises in conducting high-value complex cross-border disputes, particularly regarding finance and energy-related litigation, and has significant Russia and CIS expertise. Examples of hotly fought Russia-related litigation include the team's representation of Tatneft in $380m English litigation proceedings against four Ukrainian oligarchs, which concern a huge, complex alleged oil theft and cross-border fraud. Mark Dawkins heads the team, which includes Justin Williams, who is 'a highly experienced and knowledgeable litigator who is adept at managing difficult cases'; and Kambiz Larizadeh, who is 'very hands-on, and good with the detail'. Richard Hornshaw is also highly rated as are counsels Jenny Arlington and the 'very impressive'Fred Thorling.

Standing out for its global footprint, Baker McKenzie regularly acts in complex, multi-jurisdictional disputes and has particular expertise in fraud, administrative and public law, and competition litigation. The team's 'service is excellent, with fast turnarounds and succinct and practical advice'. Recent matters include representing Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC in proceedings to recover approximately $500m stolen from it in a complex receivables financing fraud. John Leadley heads up the global dispute resolution practice group; and Hugh Lyons, whose 'work is always reliable' regularly advises clients on litigation and investigations arising from financing transactions, restructuring and insolvency, fraud, and financial misconduct. Other principal advisers include Charles Thomson, Steve Abraham and of counsel Nadia Banno.

Bird & Bird LLP acts in large, highly complex disputes across a full range of sectors, including financial services, energy and technology, and communications. Jeremy Sharman and Sophie Eyre co-head the UK dispute resolution group. The team represented Property Alliance Group (PAG) in its claims against RBS, which included mis-selling of interest rate swaps; RBS' unlawful mistreatment of PAG while it was within RBS' discredited global restructuring group; and RBS' unlawful manipulation of LIBOR. The case assessed the duties owed by banks and financial institutions when marketing and entering into derivatives with their customers. Bryony Hurst was made partner, while Ludovic de Walden  left for Charles Russell Speechlys LLP.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP recruited  James Norris-Jones from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP; he advises on banking, contractual, shareholder and joint venture disputes, claims for breach of directors’ duties, and cases involving fraud and insolvency. The practice, which 'provides high levels of service, professionalism and preparation', regularly assists governments, corporations, financial institutions and individuals in cases that frequently involve complex legal issues and cross-border co-ordination of litigation involving securities, derivatives, M&A and antitrust issues along with bankruptcy, white-collar crime and general commercial matters. In a highly politically-charged and sensitive matter, the team was counsel to the Russian Federation with respect to pursuing repayment of a $3bn Eurobond issued by Ukraine. Jonathan Kelly is 'very strategic but also realistic and practical'. Sunil Gadhia and Christopher Moore are also highly rated.

The 'amazingly good' specialist disputes practice Cooke, Young & Keidan LLP was recently active in substantial commercial litigation, involving commercial contracts, shareholder conflicts, disputes over arbitration awards, civil fraud cases, and matters involving banks. The team acted for OFSB in High Court Chancery Division proceedings regarding its shareholding in Zavarco. Philip Young is 'always thinking of new angles'; and Sinead O’Callaghan 'motivates the troops with a combination of hard work and good humour'. Other recommended advisers are Marc Keidan and Stephen Elam, while Daniel Burbeary and Lydia Danon were made partners. Gerald Cooke retired as senior partner but remains a consultant with the firm.

DAC Beachcroft LLP's 'team is outstanding in all respects'. The firm's disputes work frequently involve international dimensions; and the group is particularly known for disputes and regulatory work in the banking and financial services sector; accountants' regulatory investigations and professional liability; IT and IP-related disputes; defamation; and health sector-related litigation. It represented Delta Capital International as second defendant, and one of its directors as fourth defendant, in defending a claim that arose from a disputed sale of shares in one of the key players in Bulgaria's telecoms industry. Department head DAC Beachcroft LLP is 'especially good at negotiation with other parties'; Richard Highley, Ken Forsyth, Jonathan Brogden, Campbell Dye and Rachel Cropper-Mawer are also key advisers; and Laura Berry is 'extremely empathetic at helping clients through major pieces of litigation'. Matthew Wescott joined Carter-Ruck.

Dechert LLP's 'extremely good team provides sharp response times, has very strong business acumen, gives appropriate advice and has strong bench strength'. The London office specialises in high-profile, high-value international litigation, with particular experience in sectors such as financial services, manufacturing and retail, and minerals and mining, as well as media and publishing, real estate and telecoms. It acted for the joint liquidators of Webinvest in two related multi-party actions in the Chancery Division, which sought to unwind a series of complex fraudulent transactions. Andrew Hearn is 'sharp and steady and delivers extremely reliable advice'; and Stephen Surgeoner 'offers pragmatic, focused advice'. Bernard Caulfield and Adam Silver are also highly regarded, and Julie Witham is a key senior associate.

With almost all of its work involving international dimensions, Farrer & Co's 'great corporate and commercial litigation practice' has a particular emphasis on cases involving complex company structures and asset holdings, shareholder disputes and cross-border commercial contracts. The practice acted for RP Explorer Master Fund in the Commercial Court in its $80m claim against multiple defendants, which arose out of its investments on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. Adrian Parkhouse heads the team, which includes Kate Allass, Jeremy Gordon, Toby Graham, Ben Longworth and Charlotte Fraser . The key senior associates are Ben Longworth and Jolyon Connell. John Wilkinson joined from Stephenson Harwood.

King & Spalding LLP 'offers qualified legal services and its lawyers are very easy to work with'. The practice handles a large volume of complex work for household-name, commercial litigation clients. It successfully represented the defendant (Alexander Chistyakov) in high-profile fraud claims in the Commercial Court, which alleged misuse of funds paid to the defendant.  Nicholas Cherryman 'can deal with any sort of legal issue'; and the team boasts four silks in Thomas Sprange QC, John Savage QC,  Stuart Isaacs QC and Gareth Rees QC, the latter joining from the Financial Reporting Council, where he was the executive director of enforcement. Other key contacts include Sarah Walker, Egishe Dzhazoyan, Ruth Byrne and counsel Glyn Rees. Aaron Stephens  joined the special matters and government investigations practice in 2018 from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP.

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP's 'practice is dedicated, responsive, effective and knowledgeable'. The litigation team regularly represents multinational corporations and private equity funds in English High Court litigation in high-value, complex claims and bet-the-company litigation. In a case of wide interest to investors in financial institutions across Europe, it acted for a substantial group of shareholders, who lost hundreds of millions of Euros as a result of a 2017 decision made by  the Single Resolution Board, which effectively wrote down the investments of shareholders and certain classes of bondholders to zero. Team head Chris Colbridge is 'an impressive tactician and strategist'; Rajinder Bassi 'gets the job done effectively with a no-nonsense approach'; Chiraag Shah is 'sharp, organised and committed'; and the 'exceptionally bright' Richard Boynton is 'an absolutely outstanding partner and tactician'. Philipp Kurek and Jonathan Newman were made partners.

Osborne Clarke LLP's 'excellent team' is well known for disputes in the firm's core sectors of technology and digital business, energy and natural resources, and financial services; and the team specialises in disputes work for CIS clients. The team acted for BB Energy (Gulf) in in English Commercial Court claims against the former directors of Societe Anonyme Marocaine de L'Industrie Du Raffinage (In Liquidation), which relate to oil trading contract debts worth over £100m. Adrian Lifely leads the disputes practice in London; Tom Ellis is head of the UK corporate and commercial disputes team; and Andrew Bartlett is 'able to form and implement effective strategies in complex cases'. Other highly rated individuals include Rachel Couter and Ashley Hurst, while construction disputes partner Rob Horne joined from Simmons & Simmons and Nick Price is a notable associate director. Matthew Heywood joined Clyde & Co LLP.

Shearman & Sterling LLP  'provides an excellent service and offers an innovative approach to complex problems'. The team frequently advise clients on the strategic management of non-UK litigation or contentious situations; it acted for Viorel Micula in relation to ICSID arbitration enforcement proceedings in the English High Court, New York and other jurisdictions worldwide. The complex matter involved numerous novel points of law, including the question of whether Parliament, by passing the European Communities Act 1972, intended to confer primacy on EU law over the UK’s prior existing, pre-accession, international treaty obligations. Head of the London litigation team Jo Rickard 'takes a holistic approach to problems and is an excellent lawyer'. Susanna Charlwood is also highly rated.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP's 'incredibly impressive, first-class commercial litigation team' is particularly noted for shareholder disputes, Russia, CEE, and offshore-related litigation, and disputes in regulated industries, such as energy and telecoms. In other areas, it represented a world-renowned industrial design company in a multi-jurisdictional dispute regarding commission arrangements and recovery of art works. The 'incredibly focused' David Kavanagh QC, 'who consistently delivers', and Karyl Nairn QC, who is 'one of the most distinguished figures on the London legal landscape', co-head the global international litigation and arbitration practice; David Edwards 'operates at the very top of the market'; and Bruce Macaulay 'keeps his head when all about him are losing theirs'. David Herlihy and Daniel Gal are also highly rated and Jonathon Egerton-Peters is a key counsel.

Taylor Wessing LLP 'provides an excellent service, including high levels of attention to detail and good response times'. The practice assists with a broad range of commercial and corporate disputes for professional services firms, financial institutions, technology-rich companies and those in the energy and mining sectors; it is also noted for insolvency litigation, fraud-related matters, and hotel and hospitality disputes. It acted for Shell Technology Ventures Fund 1 in relation to a significant dispute arising from its historical investment in GO Science (now in liquidation); the case raised interesting legal issues about the breadth and scope of economic torts. Shane Gleghorn specialises in dispute resolution and investigations in the banking and finance sector; and Andrew Howell heads the disputes and investigations team in London. Other key contacts include Julian Randall, David De Ferrars, Tim Strong and Laurence Lieberman, while Katie Chandler is a notable senior counsel.

Boodle Hatfield LLP's 'excellent, smart, hardworking team provides quick response times and thorough research of legal problems'. Others report that the firm 'does a surprising amount of international work and draws on good ties with lawyers around the globe'. The practice advises on substantial and complex commercial disputes; and stands out for its arts law disputes expertise, including disputes relating to art finance. The 'calm and unflappable' litigation head Simon Fitzpatrick is 'cool headed, tactical and a good listener'; Tim Maxwell is focused on commercial and luxury asset litigation; and the 'very sharp and on the ball' senior associate Rebecca Foden is 'strong tactically and a strong advocate for clients'. Thomas Williams left the firm.

Bristows LLP 'stands out as a client-focused firm that goes the extra mile to understand its clients' commercial needs'. The practice is known for complex IT disputes and commercial claims involving confidentiality and contracts for the licensing and exploitation of IP.  It is also increasingly active in disputes work for financial services businesses.   Mark Brown is team head while Anna Cook 'tailors advice and strategic suggestions to clients' requirements'. Kevin Appleton, Jeremy Blum, Angela Fouracre and Simon Clark are also names to note.

Brown Rudnick LLP's 'solid, unflappable practice has wonderful international reach and deep inter-disciplinary resources to back the front-line litigation team'. It is experienced in commercial litigation and arbitration as well as criminal and regulatory investigations. It successfully acted for VR Global Partners, a Cayman-based investment fund and claimant in a tripartite dispute with Exotix Partners and CVI EMCVF Lux Securities Trading; the dispute arose out of a back-to-back trade of Ukrainian debt. Neil Micklethwaite is head of international disputes Europe; Jane Colston is 'everybody’s favourite litigator owing to her genuine care and loyalty, whilst in action she is fierce, super-efficient, indefatigable and a winner'; and Neill Shrimpton has extensive experience of litigating in offshore jurisdictions such as the BVI, Cyprus and Dubai. Other key names include Christian Toms, Chloe Pawson-Pounds, Ravinder Thukral and recently promoted Olga Bischof.

Cooley (UK) LLP's 'very approachable, timely team offers practical advice and costs are reasonable'. Its diverse practice covers asset recovery and claims arising from corruption, general commercial disputes, insolvency, insurance and investment treaty disputes as well as IP and life sciences litigation, product liability and technology disputes. Kevin Perry acted for Bambino Holdings in the defence of proceedings brought by US company, Bluewaters Communications Holdings, which relates to the sale of shares in Formula 1 racing in 2005. James Maton heads the firm's UK disputes practice; Laurence Harris is vice chair of the firm's global litigation department; and Mark Deem 'brings his considerable experience into play with quick and insightful analysis'. Product litigation lawyer Rod Freeman   joined from Hogan Lovells International LLP  and investment treaty special counsel Christophe Bondy was hired from Volterra Fietta.

Dentons recently merged with Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens, the London disputes team gaining Craig Neilson and Simon Colledge as a result. The 'outstanding practice' advises on the full suite of contentious matters, ranging from competition issues to banking, real estate and employment disputes; and it was particularly active in commercial arrangement disputes emanating from UK-listed companies; cross-border shareholder disputes; and internal management issues concerning directors' rights and duties. It defended RBS against Property Alliance Group's landmark LIBOR case, which was the first LIBOR-related civil claim against any bank to go to trial in England and Wales. Liz Tout is dispute resolution head; Daren Allen leads on financial and commercial disputes and investigations; and Adrian Giles is 'a trusted litigation solicitor'. Other recommended names are Felicity Ewing, Thomas Leyland and Akin Akinbode.

'A firm to be trusted for commercial litigation', Edwin Coe LLP 'has a hands-on litigation department that goes beyond what would normally be expected of litigators to achieve the best results for clients'. It acts in a wide range of high-profile work, including defamation, disciplinary work, fraud, contentious IP, competition, and property disputes. It represented a group of claimants in relation to the construction of a finance scheme. The 'practical and realistic' David Greene, who has a well-known class action practice, 'gives the best strategic and tactical advice and goes above and beyond the call of duty to support clients to great effect'; Nick Neocleous is 'an experienced, commercial litigator, who is always available and gives sound advice'; and Ali Zaidi is restructuring and insolvency head. Dominic de Bono and Zahira Hussain are key senior associates.

Fieldfisher's 'various litigation teams work particularly well together as do the different offices'. The practice is well known for high-value finance disputes; was recently active in post-M&A and corporate disputes; and has experienced continuing growth of its CIS-related work. The team acted for one of the four main defendants in relation to a claim for over $368m-worth of oil payments, brought by oil giant PJSC Tatneft. Colin Gibson is dispute resolution head; Simon Moore is a CIS and corporate dispute expert; and Tony Lewis heads the fraud team. Other key contacts include Kit Jarvis, Alexandra Underwood, Vivien Davies, Rhys Griffiths, Andrew Lafferty and Jonathan Ray-Smith; while Aymen Khoury and road transport law expert Andrew Sanderson were made partners, and Stewart Perry joined to strengthen the insolvency and restructuring team from Clyde & Co LLP.

Fladgate LLP's 'excellent firm is¬†frequently involved in major litigation'. The practice specialises in acting in complex, high-value disputes, which are internationally focused or sourced; and being¬†largely conflict free, the department is able to sue most banks and act in financial services litigation. It acted for¬†Castex Technologies in proceedings in the Commercial Court, brought by various hedge funds, which alleged rigging of stock prices in connection with the conversion of foreign currency convertible bonds.¬†Simon Ekins¬†is department head; the 'switched-on and easy-to-work-with' Steven Mash¬†is 'at home across the range of commercial disputes'; and¬†Bree Taylor¬†is 'professional and shows broad-based thinking'.¬†Mark Buckley,¬†Alexander Wildsch√ľtz¬†and¬†Eugene Matveichuk¬†are also highly rated.

The 'professional, reliable and responsive' Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson (London) LLP is 'a great practice to work with, due to its legal expertise, dedication and availability, and it spends time understanding the details of a case'. The firm's London-based international disputes practice includes litigation, fraud and white-collar crime, international arbitration and regulatory matters; and it is well known for freezing injunction cases within the UK market. It represented Sberbank in a successful challenge against an application made to the High Court by the International Bank of Azerbaijan (the IBA), pursuant to which the IBA sought an order for a permanent moratorium against creditor action in England and Wales. James Kitching is 'a first-rate litigator and very good at strategically driving a case forward', and Justin Michaelson is also highly rated. The senior associates to note are Leigh Mallon, who 'efficiently manages large, complex cross-border cases', the 'excellent future star' Shivani Sanghi, and Duncan Saunders.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP grew the team through the recruitment of Sacha Harber-Kelly MBE from the Serious Fraud Office and international arbitration specialist Jeffrey Sullivan, who was recruited from Allen & Overy LLP. The practice is noted for high-value complex commercial litigation, including multi-jurisdictional disputes and regulatory investigations as well as disputes involving EU law and privacy law issues. It continued to act as global counsel to UBS and its subsidiaries in relation to potential and current litigation arising from the Madoff fraud. Philip Rocher is department head; and Charles Falconer QC is a former UK Lord Chancellor. Allan Neil, Osma Hudda, Patrick Doris and Doug Watson are also highly regarded advisers.

In addition to a varied commercial disputes practice, Gowling WLG has particular strengths in fraud and asset tracing, contentious insolvency, banking litigation and trusts litigation. It is 'absolutely outstanding; its lawyers have great judgment and know cases inside out'. High-profile work included the team's advice to Jaiprakash Associates on an action brought by Formula One World Championship; the matter relates to contracts entered into by the parties and their affiliates regarding the Formula One Indian Grand Prix. James Sidwell is commercial litigation head; chairman Andrew Witts is 'an accomplished, international litigator'; Alex Jay is 'highly reliable'; and Andrew Smith, who is 'razor-sharp and excellent for making difficult calls', splits his time between London and Birmingham. Catherine Naylor  is a key director.

HFW has a longstanding reputation for its disputes experience the energy, mining and transport sectors. The team is also noted for litigation involving the utilities, commodities, manufacturing, engineering and financial services industries as well as international trade disputes. The recommended advisers include Damian Honey  Simon Blows, Noel Campbell, Steven Paull, Costas Frangeskides and Alistair Feeney. Paul Wordley joined EC3 Legal LLP.

The 'forward-thinking, efficient' Howard Kennedy LLP 'provides an excellent levels of service'. It advises on contractual disputes, professional negligence actions, complex international litigation and arbitration, and contentious insolvency; the practice is also experienced in director and shareholder disputes and civil fraud. It obtained a series of injunctions for a payment and foreign exchange services firm, whose banking services were suspended following alleged money laundering and fraudulent activity by a number of its customers. Commercial litigation head Louise Bennett 'gets to grips with complex financial issues to see the bigger picture'; dispute resolution head Simon Taylor is 'an excellent strategist and superb negotiator'; Tim Bignell 'cuts through detail to commercial issues and practical solutions'; and Fiona Hinds is 'an excellent, pragmatic commercial lawyer'. Other key litigators include managing partner Craig Emden, Steven Morris, Joel Leigh and Mark Stephens CBE; while senior associate Ayesha Salim is 'always in command of the details'.

The 'excellent' K&L Gates LLP is 'top class'. The London disputes team is experienced in contested takeovers; corporate transactional and minority shareholder disputes; joint venture breakdowns, particularly arising from cross-border investments; matters involving private equity firms, hedge funds and high-net-worth individuals; and fintech, financial services, media and sport-related disputes. It acted for the claimants in High Court actions and related applications against bookmakers and betting industry stakeholders, which involved claims for database right and copyright infringement, breach of confidence and unlawful means conspiracy. John Magnin is practice area leader, and Anne McCarthy and Clarissa Coleman are also key practitioners. In 2018, an energy disputes team, comprising Jeremy Farr, Charles Lockwood and Clare Kempkens joined from Ince & Co, while John Gilbert left for Bracewell (UK) LLP.

Kingsley Napley LLP's 'user-friendly, capable practice' is best known for acting for entrepreneurs and successful individuals in business, but increasingly the team acts for corporate clients in major litigation. The team defended Glasgow's Rangers Football Club in long-running litigation with Sports Direct and its owner Mike Ashley (and other Sports Direct companies); the dispute involved allegations of breaches of confidential information. Richard Foss  is department head; Ryan Mowat is 'one of the best all-round litigators currently in practice'; William Christopher is 'sensible, clever and responsive'; and Gerard Cukier 'instils great confidence'. Fiona Simpson and Sue Thackeray are also highly rated. Mary Young is a key senior associate and associate Kate Salter  is 'a star of the future'.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP 'maximises clients' chances of winning'. The practice has particular strength in commercial litigation across key industry sectors such as financial services, energy, and space and transportation. In one of the largest series of commercial cases in the High Court in recent years, the team defended Visa and Visa International Service Association against proceedings where they - and Visa Europe and associated companies - were sued for alleged infringements of English, Irish and European competition law regarding the setting and implementation of multilateral interchange fees. Julian Stait 'has excellent commercial and legal judgment'; Tom Canning is also highly rated; and senior associate William Charles is 'meticulous in understanding the detail'.

Mishcon de Reya LLP is widely respected for its expertise in fraud-related disputes but it also has robust practices in commercial and finance-related litigation, including shareholder disputes, and insurance, IP and property disputes. The firm recently launched an eDiscovery offering. Kasra Nouroozi heads the dispute resolution department; Masoud Zabeti leads the finance and banking disputes group; and Kathryn Garbett heads the fraud defence group. Other recommended advisers include Richard Leedham, Gary Miller, Shaistah Akhtar and Sonia Campbell.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP is 'a good alternative to other big US firms; it is able to handle delicate and sensitive matters in a professional way'. The London team has particular expertise in sectors such as energy, insurance, and financial services; it acted for Manning & Napier in a headline claim under Section 90A Financial Services & Markets Act,  regarding admitted misleading accounting information published by Tesco. Nicholas Greenwood is 'responsive, knowledgeable and honest'; Peter Sharp has 'a stellar intellect and great strategic acumen'; David Waldron is 'an excellent all-round performer'; and associate Paul Mesquitta is 'a first-rate lawyer'. Chris Warren-Smith, who assumed a global leadership role in the firm’s international white-collar, corporate investigations and sanctions practice, and Melanie Ryan  were hired from Norton Rose Fulbright , while former partner Kevin Robinson joined Howard Kennedy LLP.

'Particularly good at commercial litigation', Morrison & Foerster LLP 'has a very strong and skilful team that obtains effective results'. It sets itself apart for its ability to handle complex, international disputes and investigations out of London, often with technology, finance, insolvency or antitrust components. The practice continued to act for the insolvency practitioners in connection with the highly complex $9.2bn liquidation of Saad Investments Company; the case raised several jurisdictional issues and is potentially of great significance to the global trusts industry. Jonathan Wheeler is 'a standout practitioner'; and Kevin Roberts  is 'always on top of things and ensures best assistance for clients and great co-ordination of the team for complex and sensitive cases'. Gemma Anderson is also highly rated.

Payne Hicks Beach is 'a fine niche firm carrying out high-profile litigation'. Its disputes work includes the finance, automobile media and hotels sectors. Other areas of strength include professional negligence, breach of warranty claims, property loan instrument disputes, defamation, judicial review and civil fraud. The practice acted for Valhalla in a claim against Coutts & Co, which related to the mis-sale of an interest rate hedging product. The recommended names are dispute resolution head Stephen King, Richard Manyon and Dominic Crossley; and senior associate Ane Vernon is 'a meticulous lawyer who will really fight her client’s corner'. Defamation, privacy and breach of confidence specialist Hanna Basha recently joined from Hill Dickinson LLP.

PCB Litigation LLP is 'a solid niche player for commercial litigation as well as its best-known area of civil fraud'. It acted for TPG Capital in a case about whether the taking of funds out of a company (Hellas II) can subsequently be challenged; the matter also recently involved the team leading on a successful application for security for costs against litigation funders. Anthony Riem 'inspires confidence through his down-to-earth interaction with clients, extensive commercial law knowledge, experience of court procedures and clarity of advice'; Trevor Mascarenhas is 'a first-class lawyer and tactician'; and Steven Philippsohn is 'a vastly experienced litigator'.

Squire Patton Boggs' 'responsive and efficient practice' fields lawyers with strengths in complex, high-value litigation involving commercial, contractual and financial disputes and regulatory investigations; contentious sports and entertainment matters; shipping and construction sector disputes; and international arbitration, particularly energy disputes. Laurence Winston is UK litigation head; Gareth Timms, Robert Weekes  and Chris Webber are also highly regarded; and Nicola Phillips and Tim Lowles were made directors.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP has significant disputes experience in the areas of finance, shipping, energy, natural resources, transport, construction and  real estate. International, financial disputes work included the practice acting for Lehman Brothers in High Court litigation concerning complex, high-value claims under the ISDA Master Agreement. Andrew Savage heads the team; Andrew Hutcheon specialises in litigation in the offshore oil and gas, energy, natural resources and shipping sectors; Andrew Ward's practice covers finance, joint ventures, fraud, contracts and insolvency; Dev Desai specialises in real estate litigation; and Charles Buss is known for maritime litigation. Other key contacts include Robert Platt, Rob Fidoe and recently promoted Rebecca Williams. Thomas Ross  joined from Ropes & Gray LLP.

Winston & Strawn London LLP is highly regarded for multi-jurisdictional disputes and the team has specific expertise in banking, finance and securities litigation, particularly actions surrounding both the LIBOR and insurance mis-selling scandals. Examples of multifaceted, cross-border contentious matters include the team representing Shebah Exploration and Production Company in a Commercial Court dispute with a syndicate of Egyptian and Nigerian banks, which arose from a £150m facility agreement. Michael Madden leads the firm’s commercial litigation team in London; Justin McClelland's practice includes general commercial and financial disputes, cross-jurisdictional litigation, multi-party actions, appellate proceedings, and follow-on actions arising from regulatory investigations. Daniel Meagher is a key associate.

Arnold & Porter hired Jane Wessel, who is focused on antitrust litigation and international commercial and investor state arbitration from Shepherd and Wedderburn. The practice acts in issues arising out of joint ventures, private equity and partnership structures as well as pharmaceutical and life sciences sector-related corporate and commercial disputes. Hilton Mervis heads the commercial dispute resolution group for Europe.

Boies Schiller Flexner (UK) LLP is 'very strategic in its outlook and totally committed to achieving the best outcome'. The team regularly works alongside litigators across the firm's US offices and its recent work included representing creditors in multiple shareholder disputes and advising investors on oil and gas litigation. Examples included acting for M&G Investment Management in a case that raised important issues as to the construction of English law pre-emption rights and permissible shareholder conduct. Natasha Harrison is 'in the top drawer of litigators in the City'; Fiona Huntriss and counsel Nathalie Allen Prince are also highly regarded.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP merged with sports law boutique Couchmans in 2018. Recent cases for the practice include disputes in the technology, telecoms, financial services and mining sectors, as well as energy, aviation, retail and sporting regulatory matters. It acted for Cyclone Promotions in its claim against a professional boxer for breach of a promotional contract. Stewart Hey heads the firm's commercial dispute resolution department; John Sykes  is well known for shareholder litigation; and Edward Craig heads the firm's retail and leisure sector group, but his broader commercial contentious practice includes advising sports regulatory bodies.

In addition to a standalone practice for banking disputes, Collyer Bristow LLP's 'technically excellent and good value-for-money commercial disputes team' has experience of business and high-net-worth disputes; high-value contractual matters and tort claims; professional negligence; and civil fraud. Other areas of strength include trusts claims, contentious insolvency and cross-border claims. Stephen Rosen led advice to Equatorial Congo Airlines (ECA) in a dispute with PrivatAir, a Swiss company that formerly operated ECA's fleet of aircraft; the dispute included seizure of a number of ECA's aircraft in Brussels for alleged breaches of contract and disputes over maintenance contracts, costs of repairs and other operating expenses. Jeff Roberts is 'responsive, effective and a pleasure to work with'; and Richard Viegas was recently appointed head of commercial disputes. Janine Alexander and media and privacy department head Steven Heffer are also highly regarded.

Dorsey & Whitney's 'strong team performs well, provides solid advice and has great strength in depth'. The practice is well known for complex international cases and the London team regularly works alongside firm colleagues in the firm's US and international offices; it has also developed a recognised expertise in eDiscovery. In a widely reported case, the team acted for Watchstone Group, as defendant, in a high-profile warranty and fraudulent misrepresentation claim, which arose from a share purchase agreement for the sale of Quindell's professional services division to an Australian law firm. Tim Maloney heads the firm's London office and London trial team. Matthew Blower was promoted to partner.

Forsters LLP 'has an excellent reputation for all aspects of commercial litigation'. The dispute resolution team advises both businesses and high-net-worth individuals on commercial, corporate and private client matters and frequently acts in property and construction-related disputes. Emily Exton is dispute resolution head; Benedict Walton  'combines good instincts with an easy client manner'; Andrew Head's disputes work includes  professional indemnity, land issues, civil fraud, tax investigations and group actions arising out of financial mis-selling; and Christopher Bacon is 'a thoughtful, meticulous solicitor'.

Fox Williams LLP is 'excellent in all respects, namely its knowledge of the law, acumen and creativity'. The practice's areas of disputes expertise include civil fraud, financial services regulatory matters, employment law, investment banking, partnership issues, and policy holder-related insurance matters. It defended Hertz Europe against a Commercial Court repudiatory breach of contract claim brought by Ryanair. Gavin Foggo heads the litigation and dispute resolution department; and Peter Ashford is 'bright, involved and always available'. Tom Custance, David Butler and Chris Finney are also key advisers.

Harbottle & Lewis LLP 'provides an excellent commercial litigation service; its partners and associates have real litigation experience and the full confidence of their clients'. The commercial litigation group represents clients across the firm's core technology, media and entertainment sectors; it also acts for clients operating in the retail and financial sectors, and high-net-worth clients from the firm’s private capital practice. The team acted for Universal Pictures Visual Programming in defending a claim brought against it by entities, which alleged breach of contract. Dispute resolution head Andy Millmore  'has an eye for strategy, pays close attention to detail and is very good at working out the strengths and weaknesses of cases'; Louis Castellani's 'approach combines tough-mindedness with excellent judgment'; and Sandi Simons is commercial litigation head. The key senior associates are 'rising star' Matt Leverton and Melanie Hart.

Ince & Co is widely known for its shipping law expertise but its dispute resolution experience also covers litigation involving the insurance, construction, aviation and energy sectors, as well as employment, fraud and insolvency issues. Ben Ogden is recommended for commercial disputes, predominantly connected to the acquisition of businesses, and contentious insurance work. Jeremy Biggs specialises in dispute resolution, with a particular focus on all aspects of shipping litigation, as well as international trade and general commercial disputes.

At Irwin Mitchell, Jonathan Sachs specialises in commercial litigation, professional negligence and fraud, and has conducted litigation in various jurisdictions around the world including the US, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Hong Kong. Recent highlights include acting for an international businessman in a fraud claim for £175m. Sarah Wallace is also highly rated; Wallace defends financial crime, fraud and regulatory investigations, with particular experience of defending large and complex criminal or regulatory investigations or prosecutions.

Jenner & Block LLP's 'service is first rate, with top-quality advice and output from knowledgeable lawyers'.  The practice predominantly advises on disputes with cross-border or international elements; has particular experience acting for clients in challenging jurisdictions, such as Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Africa and Romania; and has significant financial services and energy sector experience. It advised the liquidators of Singularis Holdings in a claim against Daiwa Capital Markets Europe (DCME), alleging negligence and dishonest assistance in connection with payments made by DCME to third parties. Jason Yardley 'provides excellent strategic thinking and excellent knowledge of the detail'. Christian Tuddenham is also highly regarded and James Woolrich was made partner. Elizabeth Shimmin is a special counsel to note.

Keystone Law's 'first-rate team is excellent in all respects'. In a fraud and negligence claim, it acted for Nest Investments (Holding), a shareholder in a Lebanese bank that was shut down by the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, in pursuing litigation against prominent Lebanese public figures, as well as a fraud and negligence claim against auditor Deloitte & Touche. Alex Ferrari's 'style combines extensive investigation of the issues with a determined, hard approach'; and Robert Lawrie 'has good tactical awareness and efficient management of clients and cases'. Matthew Reach, Patrick Pennal and Nilam Sharma are also key names.

Lewis Silkin LLP 'represents superb value for money, communicates complex legal issues in a way that non-legal people can understand, and is prepared to offer genuine advice and not just tell clients the law'. The disputes team comprises specialists who handle IP, corporate, employment, and partnership and LLP disputes. It acted for three limited companies and three individuals in relation to allegations of breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty, which arose from a management buy-out. Simon Chapman is team head; Clive Greenwood and Philip Foster are 'both superb litigators who offer forthright commercially-aware advice and are conscious of costs'; and Mark Lim is 'calm, confident and unflappable and a number of major corporate clients turn to him without hesitation when litigation is on the horizon'. Andrew Wanambwa and consultant Tom Coates are also highly rated; and senior associate Fraser McKeating  is 'one to watch'.

Known for handling complex, big-ticket, commercial litigation, McGuireWoods London LLP 'provides a good service and clear advice'. In one of the Commercial Court's largest cases, the team acted for Vincent Tchenguiz and his interests in the extremely high-profile £2.2bn claim against Grant Thornton and Icelandic bank Kaupthing, which arose out of the collapse of Kaupthing and subsequent SFO investigation. Hardeep Nahal  is a widely respected City litigator, Michael Tackley has a special interest in cross-border issues, and William Boddy was made partner.

Memery Crystal LLP is 'an excellent mid-sized firm that provides extremely practical and commercial advice and is excellent in a fight'. It is particularly noted for disputes involving the financial services and natural resource sectors as well as fraud, shareholder issues and breach of directors' duties. The team acted for an independent commodities broker and trader, as first defendant, in a nickel sale contract claim for over $32m damages for breach of delivery and title obligations. Dispute resolution head Mark Whelan is 'an extremely active and able lawyer'; Harvey Rands is 'a very well-known, respected litigator'; and the recently promoted Iain MacWhannell is 'well thought of'. Jane Marsden is also highly regarded.

Michelmores LLP 'has the ability and quality of a firm of much greater scale'. The practice has a particularly strong reputation for Chancery and Companies Court matters, and it is increasingly receiving more international instructions. The team acted for RGL Management in group action proceedings against Clydesdale Bank and National Australia Bank, regarding mis-sold tailored business loans. Peter Sigler 'has a great track record'; Garbhan Shanks 'always gives practical advice and is excellent with clients'; and recently promoted senior associate Harriet Chopra 'quickly distills the key points no matter how complex the case'.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP 'has first-class litigators, blending detailed legal analysis and strategic advice with commercial acumen and a very approachable style of working'. The team's caseload includes disputes involving contracts, corporate partnerships, financial services, executive liability and negligence, and trade mark infringements; it also has specific expertise in representing accounting firms. The practice represented the chairman and majority shareholder of the Edwardian Hotels Group in opposing an unfair prejudice petition brought by the minority shareholding. Matthew Lawson is 'a great lawyer and litigation strategist'; and Simon Willis 'really gets stuck into a case'. Maria Frangeskides is also a key contact.

Penningtons Manches LLP's 'level of service is outstanding and the team understands clients' commercial concerns'. Its commercial litigation work covers international litigation; group actions; banking and finance disputes; and defamation and reputation management. Other areas of strength are cyber crime, IP and IT disputes, product liability, regulatory matters and high-net-worth disputes.Commercial dispute resolution group Rustam Dubash is India group head, John Doherty's 'advice is a luxury for clients' and Richard Marshall is international litigation and arbitration head. Also recommended are Alex Fox, Jeremy Clarke-Williams, Noel McMichael, David Niven and Philip D’Costa. Dan Hyde joined from Howard Kennedy LLP.

In addition to the 'punchy and practical' Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP's fraud focus 'an increasingly important part of the practice is commercial litigation and it provides lots of partner attention'. The practice features claims involving shareholders, contracts, insolvency proceedings, contentious financial services and regulatory matters, IP, and professional negligence. It acted for 122 Claimants in large-scale, high profile, group litigation concerning collective investment schemes, which focused on film and media investments. Keith Oliver is 'a paradigm commercial litigation dealmaker', Jonathan Tickner 'really cares for his clients', Sarah Gabriel is 'one of the smartest lawyers in London', and Jason Woodland is also highly regarded.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP fields 'top-level lawyers who are experienced at dealing with complex, high-value litigation'. The practice's key strengths are Middle Eastern-related work; heavyweight commercial disputes involving corporate, banking and insurance matters, together with a specific aviation and aerospace focus; and commercial disputes involving public sector bodies. Alex Burton represented an Italian pension fund in an appeal to the Court of Appeal, regarding a claim brought against it by Barclays Bank for breach of an exclusive jurisdiction clause; Lucy James heads the  national commercial litigation team; and Ned Beale is 'instrumental in steering litigation through procedural complexities'.

Although 'smaller than others doing large litigation', Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP's London team 'handles big-ticket litigation and does it very well'. The team assists with financial institution and tax litigation, structured finance disputes, IP issues, energy-related claims, and contentious regulatory matters. Jamie Maples  is 'a strategic, excellent lawyer who is terrific at handling clients'; Mark Lawford is a restructuring and insolvency specialist; and associate Christopher Marks is 'an excellent lawyer and independent thinker'. The former co-head of disputes, Hannah Field-Lowes, joined White & Case LLP.

 'Going above and beyond', Withers LLP's 'has a superb team'. It is well known for advising on matters involving the BVI, Russia and the CIS, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus; stands out for art, sport and fashion sector cases; and has a strong insolvency practice. The team represented a Russian businessman in his claim for the return of a debt, allegedly owed under a partnership agreement and supplementary agreements. Peter Wood is 'excellent at understanding instructions', and Roberto Moruzzi is Europe litigation and arbitration team head. The other names to note are Tatiana Menshenina, Christopher Coffin,  Stephen Ross and Andrew Wass; and special counsel Georgina Bailey is 'patient, highly organised and diligent'.

Blake Morgan LLP's particular dispute specialisms include finance, technology, IP, leisure and hospitality, gaming disputes, and civil fraud. It represented Marz against Bank of Scotland for mis-selling unsuitable interest rate hedging swap derivative products. Sarah Rees is team head and Justin Weare is also highly regarded.

Burges Salmon LLP is 'a very well regarded national firm attracting high- quality instructions'. The Bristol-based practice covers sector disputes involving transport, energy and natural resources, banking and financial services, agricultural and rural affairs, insurance and pensions, and IP. David Hall heads the dispute resolution unit and Kari McCormick is 'a very bright and highly energetic lawyer'.

'Strong both in strategy and tactics', Candey is 'a very competent firm'. The practice specialises primarily in high-value shareholder, securities and joint venture disputes. Ashkhan Candey and Andrew Dunn are the group heads; Yuri Botiuk, who joined from Grosvenor Law, is 'very sharp and capable of finding smart and practical solutions to complex issues'; and James Collins was hired from Dechert .

Cubism Law is best known for consumer-related matters, finance litigation including fraud or mis-handling, insurance-related disputes and tax litigation. Andrew Pena is department head; Duncan McNair has niche expertise in financial matters with a Cypriot element; Peter Mellett is known for consumer law disputes and property litigation; Anya Bloom is a tax disputes specialist; Cathy Hawkins  focuses on high-level insurance law disputes; and Anjan Patel’s practice spans both commercial litigation and professional negligence.

DaySparkes' 'offers highly effective partner-led non-conflicted litigation to individuals and corporates'. The team recently represented the defendant in major fraud and related freezing injunction proceedings that were brought by a prominent Bahraini businessman for the recovery of monies invested in a failed luxury London property development. John Day is 'highly experienced and utterly unflappable', and Michael Sparkes is 'very bright and capable'.

Druces LLP's 'litigators understand clients' needs and their advice is always spot-on'. The team's key areas are cross-border disputes; disputes involving shareholders, directors, partnerships, LLPs and joint ventures; professional negligence claims against professional service providers; and insolvency and banking disputes. Department head Julian Johnstone is 'intuitive, gets straight to the point and has first-class judgment'; and Charles Spragge  is 'smart, quick and has great analytical skills'. The firm merged with London-based  Ronaldsons, adding commercial litigator Neil Hayter to the group.

DWFM Beckman 'goes the extra mile for a successful conclusion'. The team’s expertise includes commercial contract and corporate disputes; insolvency and debt recovery; IP issues; property and trusts; and professional negligence. Other areas of strength include civil fraud, injunctions and asset tracing. Peter Bridson heads the team, Demetris Dionissiou is 'very tactically aware', Sharokh Koussari 'achieves the required results'; and Claire Lyon is 'approachable and helpful'. Other key contacts include Elizabeth Johnson, Naylah Hamour and Colin Jaque.

Freeths LLP's practice covers corporate and M&A litigation; commercial disputes; fraud, breach of confidence and data theft; and insolvency. Recent work included acting for Eddie Stobart, one of the UK’s largest logistics companies, in a claim arising from an alleged breach of contract for the supply of agency drivers. Philippa Dempster is highly rated.

At Goodman Derrick LLP,  Clive Ince's practice spans commercial, company, media and professional disputes; Nigel Adams is known for media, including defamation, disputes and matters involving high-value classic cars; and Tim Langton led advice to the claimant, who was the victim of a sophisticated fraud, in claiming damages.

Hamlins LLP is 'very well organised and attentive to client needs; and the team provides good advice on the strength of legal positions'. The practice's disputes involve large, complex contractual and tortious claims; breach of fiduciary duties and civil fraud; IP and IT issues; defamation; and partnership and shareholder disputes. Other areas include property, construction and engineering litigation, insurance and finance, and professional negligence. 'Flexible in her approach and easy to work with', Amanda Burge 'makes sure that all details are nailed down'; Antony Perlmutter  is also a key contact.

Hausfeld’s 'commercial litigation team is growing in size and reputation'. In addition to its specialist competition litigation work, the practice acts in high-profile commercial and financial services disputes on behalf of claimants. The team advised Go Science's liquidators in claims against Shell Technology Ventures Fund 1 and three Royal Dutch Shell subsidiaries; the allegations included breach of equitable duty of confidence, among others. Anthony Maton is London office managing partner; John McElroy is 'fantastic with clients'; and Lianne Craig  is 'experienced in assembling claimaint groups'.

The 'responsive, decisive and authoritative' Humphries Kerstetter LLP was established in 2009 as a niche City litigation, arbitration and investigations practice. It acted for several groups of UK high street retailers, online merchants and local government in high-profile claims against Visa and MasterCard for the alleged overcharging of multilateral interchange fees. The recommended names are Mark Humphries, Kristopher Kerstetter, Christopher Braithwaite and James Russell.

iLaw is 'a first-class outfit that is a pleasure to work with'. Founded as a niche IT and IP City practice, it has evolved into a boutique law firm specialising in high-value, high-profile and complex commercial litigation disputes. It represented a group of claimants in a group action against MasterCard for alleged unlawful interchange fees. Mark Culbert is 'an extremely experienced commercial litigator who achieves the best results'; Tom Clark is another notable director.

Joelson's 'response times are extremely good and business acumen and industry knowledge are very impressive'. The practice's contentious expertise includes corporate and commercial disputes, professional negligence, shareholder issues, IP matters, insolvency, property claims, and contentious construction. Jo Gregory is 'a stellar partner with incredible client-handling skills'. Other experienced litigators include Niall McCann and Myles Levy.

Kennedys 'provides a superb level of service, and combines quality advice and an aggressive approach balanced against sensible commercial awareness'. Dino Paganuzzi led advice to the joint liquidators of companies that operated a currency exchange business, regarding an application to determine whether monies paid to the companies immediately before their insolvency were held on trust for the payors. Ben Aram  and consultant John Harvey are also key contacts.

Paul Hastings LLP is 'a go-to firm for hard-fought pieces of litigation, particularly involving multiple jurisdictions'. It is best known for disputes involving securitisation, particularly commercial mortgage-backed securities' transactions and other structured investment vehicles. Simon Airey was hired from DLA Piper; Ian McKim is a key senior associate; and associate Tom Nevin is 'excellent with clients and knows how to get the best out of counsel'.  Michelle Duncan left to join  Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP.

PwC Legal LLP's 'team is very competent'. The multi-disciplinary practice acted for Beech Holdings in a proof of debt claim and a disputed company guarantee. Agnes Quashie heads the UK regulatory and commercial disputes practice; and Dipti Hunter is 'quick to identify and summarise issues in a way clients can understand'.

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP is recommended for 'its ability to handle complex litigation and for being effective'. The practice acts in a large number of high -level international contractual and corporate disputes, often with multi-jurisdictional elements. Jonathan Roberts 'gives sensible, pragmatic advice'; and Rudi Ramdarshan 'brings extraordinary judgment to complex commercial issues'. Rebecca Roberts and David Burns were made equity partners.

Russell-Cooke LLP is 'very strong for a medium-sized firm'. The practice assists with contractual disputes; commercial fraud and asset tracing; and financial and financial services claims. It is also active in IP disputes, professional negligence, insurance, construction disputes and trust litigation. Commercial litigation team head Francesca Kaye  is 'utterly dependable and just a great lawyer'; John Gould is 'hugely wise and experienced'; Paolo Sidoli has substantial experience in contractual and corporate disputes; and insolvency team head Lee Ranford is insolvency team head. 

SCA ONTIER LLP's 'commitment to securing the best outcome is second to none'. Oliver Cain advised Brunswick Rail (BR), a Russian railcar lessor, on intended proceedings against an international investment bank. The dispute arose from bank's alleged misappropriation of confidential information. Seamus Andrew is managing partner, Paul Ferguson is also highly rated and senior associate Danielle Carr is 'very reassuring'.

Teacher Stern LLP's 'team is impressive, clear sighted and practical'. Its focus is on high-value contractual and shareholder actions; professional negligence and fraud and asset tracing claims; and mis-selling disputes against institutional defendants. Team head Jack Rabinowicz is 'a highly intuitive and determined lawyer who sees routes that don’t occur to others'; Navinder Grover is 'an outstanding commercial litigator'; Rajesh Pabla is 'a lone voice of reason in a crowded room'; and Clare Toomer is 'a very effective and efficient litigator'. Other key contacts include Rod Cowper and Philip Rubens.

Wallace LLP's 'team is hard-working, commercially minded and successful'. It represented a Panamanian company in its claims against twelve defendants for breach of fiduciary duty and knowing receipt of funds and other contractual benefits that were procured pursuant to the wrongful divestment of a real estate asset.  Simon Serota is litigation head; Alexander Weinberg  is 'outstanding on the law and client relationships but retains an excellent strategic overview'; and Oli Goldman 'balances great litigation skills with an empathy towards clients'. Craig Thompson  is also highly regarded.

Wedlake Bell LLP is 'very good, quick to respond and gives overall reasonable value for money'. The practice is focused on disputes involving professional negligence, commercial contracts, judicial review, procurement, IP, insolvency and trusts. It is also well known for property litigation and construction disputes. David Golten is 'very commercial and responsive'.

Bevan Brittan LLP 'has an excellent practice in the local authority and public sector field, including where that touches upon commercial litigation'. Its disputes work includes financial services, information and communication technology issues, public law challenges and breach of duty actions, along with defamation, breach of contract and fraud issues. Virginia Cooper 'has excellent client skills and good judgment'.

Bowling & Co 'provides excellent advice and represents excellent value for money'. In addition to its contentious property, IP, insurance, trusts and debt recovery work, the practice assists with company, partnership and shareholder disputes; financial product mis-selling; and insolvency cases, fraud and asset recovery. Peter Laskey is the key contact

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP is 'a rising presence due to its recruitment of the heavy-hitting Steven Baker', who  is 'a good choice for any large-scale litigation'. The practice is focused on high-value, complex commercial and financial disputes.

Carter Lemon Camerons is 'reactive and pragmatic and clearly experienced'. The team is best known for its disputes work in the financial services, property, IP and professional negligence sectors. Seamus Smyth 'has extensive litigation experience'; and Graham  Balchin 'has decades of experience'. Chris Corney is also a key name.

Carter-Ruck hired the 'analytically top-notch' Matthew Wescott , who is 'pragmatic and has very good client skills', from DAC Beachcroft LLP. The team handles claims involving breach of contract, shareholder and partnership disputes, professional negligence, breach of confidence, and IP disputes. Adam Tudor  spearheads the commercial litigation practice; and Alasdair Pepper acts in financial mis-selling claims.

Charles Fussell & Co LLP is 'capable of managing litigation of a much larger size than might be expected given the size of the firm'. The practice acts predominantly for claimants in commercial disputes, fraud and professional negligence. Name partner Charles Fussell is 'a very shrewd lawyer, with a great tactical overview of litigation'. Simon Winter is 'a very good and experienced tactician'.

Devonshires Solicitors LLP's large following of housing providers are the firm's broad base of clients; the practice's typical disputes work includes fraud, cross-border investigations, regulatory work and private finance initiative disputes. The names to note are Philip Barden, Matthew Hennessy-Gibbs and James Dunn.

DWF 'provides the quality of personal service more typical of a small firm but with the resources of a large firm'. The London office's key disputes sectors are retail and international trade, commerce, banking and finance, technology, and energy. Jonathan Isaacs is 'a capable, personable and tenacious litigator'; and Richard Twomey 'has a formidable reputation in large and complex litigation matters'.

Fletcher Day is 'an experienced, forward-thinking law firm'. Its litigation experience covers commercial and contractual issues; company, partnership and shareholders disputes; injunctions; fraud; professional negligence; oil and gas matters; and property and construction. Jovita Vassallo is 'a very proactive analyst'.

Gordon Dadds LLP has particular expertise in advising on shareholder and commercial disputes involving fraudulent misrepresentation. Dispute resolution head Nick Goldstone focuses on commercial litigation; he is also noted for matters involving civil fraud, media-related disputes and reputation management. Nicholas Yapp, Gareth Jones, Philip Cohen and Dean Nicholls are also highly regarded.

Greenwoods Solicitors and GRM have merged to form Greenwoods GRM LLP, which 'provides high-quality advice with a focus on results'. Litigation head Nicholas Scott, who 'gives clear and detailed advice' and previously co-headed Memery Crystal LLP's dispute resolution practice, specialises in complex international commercial disputes.

GSC Solicitors LLP 'has a strong cohort of partners providing a huge range of litigation nous and subject matter expertise'. Department head Michael Shapiro focuses on general commercial, contractual and shareholder disputes, as well as property litigation, company and personal insolvency-related disputes; and senior consultant Barry Samuels 'wins the unwinnable'.

Kobre & Kim LLP's Andrew Stafford QC has particular experience in international judgment enforcement, including enforcements against sovereign judgment debtors; and James Corbett QC is noted for disputes in the financial services and technology industries as well as insolvency matters. Simon Cullingworth is a key senior counsel.

Laytons recently merged with Silverman Sherliker; the combined firm  Laytons LLP 'achieves the best commercial outcomes'. It has particular strength in litigation involving the financial services, and real estate and construction sectors as well as shareholder and partnership disputes, IP matters and product liability litigation. Practice head Geraint Thomas is 'hugely knowledgeable and experienced'; and John Abbott 'offers practical solutions'. Russell Beard is also a key contact.

Lipman Karas is 'always professional, dedicated and great with clients'. The practice's experience includes fraud, asset tracing, cross-border insolvency and large-scale commercial and banking disputes. Andrew Ford is 'an excellent commercial litigator'; and Jeremy Scott 'gives his cases unwavering attention'.

Locke Lord LLP's London litigation lawyers have extensive experience acting for UK and international clients across sectors such as aviation, banking, energy, construction, insurance and real estate, along with  corporate matters and insolvency issues. Joseph Kosky, Kevin Heath and David Grant are the recommended names.

Marriott Harrison LLP is 'a relatively small practice but has a strong commercial litigation practice with some excellent practitioners'. Tamar Halevy is 'an excellent lawyer and very hard working'. Halevy's experience includes director and shareholder disputes, breach of contract, breach of trust, fraud, and professional negligence.

Olephant Solicitors  has particular expertise in company law (including breaches of directors’ duties), minority shareholder and fraud claims. Jan Mugerwa is the key contact.

Pitmans LLP hired Donna Goldsworthy, formerly at Irwin Mitchell. The practice is best known for disputes involving real estate, IT, finance, pensions, media and entertainment, and fraud. David Archer heads the London litigation team; and Denise Fawcett is also a key litigator.

Rosenblatt's Anthony Field has extensive experience of disputes involving commercial, company and shareholder matters, banking matters (including mis-selling of interest rate swap products) and negligence claims.

Royds Withy King's 'level of service is of the highest standard'. The team is known for advising the retail sector as well as designers and inventors; and acting in financial services disputes and estate agent and business agent claims. The firm also has an expanding Indian practice. Stewart Wilkinson is team head; Chris Rodda is 'a realistic pursuer of claims'; and Stephen Welfare  is 'always professional'. Jon Sharp joined Excello Law.

Seddons 'gets excellent results'. The practice's key disputes work covers commercial matters, banking, shareholder and corporate governance issues, insolvency, professional negligence, and IP. Marvin Simons' 'technical skill and legal knowledge is incredible'; Christian Smith 'has the clients' interests at heart'; and recently promoted John Melville-Smith is 'an effective negotiator'.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP 'has developed a real presence in commercial litigation in the City'. The practice is noted for commercial and finance disputes, as well as corporate and contractual matters, insolvency litigation, professional negligence claims, real estate and construction disputes. Kamran Rehman is 'as much a strategic adviser as a lawyer'; and David Vaughan is 'a careful litigator'. Michael Mulligan is also an experienced practitioner.

Shepherd and Wedderburn  is 'excellent on every level'. The team acted for a financial services client on two significant claims, including contractual damages allegations against a Ghanaian company. Claire Stockford is a commercial disputes barrister; and senior associate Ben Pilbrow is 'very calm and analytical'. Philip Sewell joined from Maclay Murray & Spens, while former commercial disputes head Guy Harvey retired from the firm but remains a disputes funding consultant, and Jane Wessel joined Arnold & Porter.

Sheridans' commercial litigation work involves specialist media and IP expertise, including copyright and other IP issues, and the litigation frequently has an international element. Michael Thomas is the key contact.

Simons Muirhead & Burton 'works diligently and is pro-active at all times'. Razi Mireskandari is 'very good and very fair'; Stephen Shotnes advises media groups and the corporate film finance and investment sector on commercial litigation; and consultant Peter Gould 'brings to bear years of commercial litigation experience'.

Solomon Taylor & Shaw's 'excellent team provides a client-focused service'. Recent disputes work involved commercial disputes, fraud, and an oil and gas arbitration. Mark Summerfield is 'a tough, effective litigator', and his litigation experience includes classic and supercar disputes.

Steptoe and Johnson LLP's Jonathan Raynes is experienced in disputes involving the construction, energy and  real estate development sectors; and Neil Dooley represents clients in complex cross-border fraud claims, particularly with a Russian element. Angus Rodger is also a key name.

Stevens & Bolton LLP is a Guildford-based firm with sector experience in energy, food and beverage, IT, retail, franchising, insurance, pharmaceutical and aviation. Richard Mumford is team head; Richard King is managing partner; Michael Frisby is the firm’s litigation services partner; and Andrew Quick  specialises in professional negligence, corporate litigation and franchising disputes.

Sullivan & Worcester UK LLP 'provides excellent service levels in terms of turnaround times and input'. The disputes practice advises on banking, finance and insurance disputes; and Marian Boyle is 'very knowledgeable, approachable, commercially aware and responsive'.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP 'achieves commercially sensible solutions'.  The practice is particularly noted for major disputes relating to insolvency and has sector strength in energy and natural resources, life sciences, manufacturing and media. Marie-Louise King is 'highly skilled'; and Robert Paydon  is 'sensitive to clients' needs'.

Zaiwalla & Co 'offers a sound, competent service'. The team defended a breach of trust and negligence matter involving the sale of a large Russian real estate business group.  Sarosh Zaiwalla is 'endlessly creative in his thinking'; Pavani Reddy is 'efficient and client friendly'; and senior associate Leigh Crestohl is 'a skilled  litigator'.

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Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

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The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in London for Commercial litigation

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to