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Who Represents Who

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Allen & Overy LLP is β€˜the Rolls-Royce Phantom of commercial litigation – so smooth and precision-engineered that the production of unstoppable forward force seems effortless’. Historically associated with banking and financial services disputes, the 140-lawyer, London-based litigation team is increasingly known for its work for blue-chip corporations, particularly regarding high-end disputes. Many of its cases reach the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court and, because most of them have international dimensions, the London team regularly works alongside one or more of the firm’s overseas offices. Examples include the London disputes team, together with colleagues in Hong Kong, Beijing and New York, successfully representing, an international hedge fund in relation to civil and criminal proceedings in several jurisdictions, which arose out of the theft of highly valuable confidential information and trading strategies by a former UK employee. The practice also successfully represented ING, as security agent, in worldwide litigation, arising from the collapse of the OWBunker Group, including a precedent-setting UK Supreme Court decision, which provided legal certainty for financiers that their security rights were being upheld. Commercial litigation head Lawson Caisley is β€˜a very assured partner’; global dispute resolution head Tim House’s β€˜integrity impresses’; Jonathan Hitchin’s β€˜work is excellent’; and James Partridge β€˜combines all the skills clients expect of a partner in his position’. Mona Vaswani and Alice Englehart are highly rated.

β€˜One of the best commercial litigation departments in the City’, Clifford Chance LLP is highly rated for acting in cases involving cross-border issues, multiple claims and parties, complex transactions and corporate structures, and high-value claims. Recent experience included advising clients from multiple sectors, such as aerospace and defence, oil and gas, pharmaceutical, insurance, technology, energy and utilities, private equity and consumer goods, as well as financial services. Highlights saw the team advise Citi in its successful defence of fraud claims, brought against it by Terra Firma following the 2007 public-to-private sale of EMI to Terra Firma; and in a high-profile, high-value dispute involving litigation and investigations on both sides of the Atlantic, the practice defended Autonomy founder, Dr Mike Lynch, against allegations of financial impropriety and misrepresentation that were made by Hewlett-Packard (HP), which acquired Lynch’s software company in 2011 for Β£6.8bn. Simon Davis is commercial litigation head; Jeremy Sandelson is β€˜quite spectacular 104; Julian Acratopulo β€˜has a very commercial approach to litigation’; Iain Roxborough has β€˜a calm approach and gives incisive advice’; Philip Hill is β€˜delightful and always thinking how best to win a case’; Maxine Mossman is β€˜very clever and on top of every detail in a case’; Helen Carty is β€˜an excellent lawyer’; and Christopher Yates is β€˜unflappable, charming and able’. Roger Leese, Jeremy Kosky, Ian Moulding, Matthew Scully and Roger Best are also widely respected practitioners.

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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FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Hughmans

Hughmans is a boutique legal practice in the heart of London. We provide clear, effective, expert advice at competitive hourly rates. Our clients are discerning individuals and businesses of all sizes facing disputes. We regularly represent clients in some of the largest commercial dispute cases nationwide but we understand that to our clients every case is important, no matter how big or small. At Hughmans we listen to our clients and strive to aggressively pursue their interests.

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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is highly rated for complex, cross-border commercial litigation and multi-jurisdictional issues. Representative highlights include successfully advising Deutsche Bank (DB) on its high-profile case against Sebastian Holdings, which involved defeating an $8bn counterclaim; obtaining a high-value judgment debt and costs award; and assisting DB in enforcing the judgment debt in the UK and abroad. The team also led the representation of the senior creditor group in the Lehman Brothers International (Europe) (in administration) Waterfall proceedings, which involved complex and novel banking and insolvency law issues, to determine the allocation of a Β£7bn surplus. The β€˜meticulous litigator’ Simon Orton leads the financial institutions disputes group; and Patrick Swain’s experience includes advising on M&A-related and shareholder disputes, commercial fraud claims, professional negligence litigation, and contentious insolvency. Matthew Bruce, Geoff Nicholas and James Kennedy are also highly regarded litigators.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP β€˜retains its enviable reputation for litigation’. The firm has one of the largest and most specialised commercial litigation practices in the UK, and it forms an integral part of a highly regarded global dispute resolution group. Kirsten Massey led the team defending RBS Group in actions brought by shareholder and investor groups in connection with the Group’s 2008 rights issue, which involved substantial disclosure and complex factual and legal issues. It also continued to act for Bernie Ecclestone in relation to a series of connected matters arising from the sale of Formula 1 shares by German bank, Bayerische Landesbank (BL), to US private equity firm, CVC Capital Partners, and subsequent payments made to an ex-employee of BL. Mark Shillito is UK and US disputes head and Alan Watts is UK commercial litigation head. Rupert Lewis is β€˜commercially astute, excellent with clients and inspires loyalty in his team’; James Baily has β€˜deserved gravitas’; and Gregg Rowan is β€˜a first class-litigator’. Other key names are John Ogilvie, Damien Byrne Hill, Chris Bushell, Philip Carrington, Simon Clarke, Adam Johnson QC (who recently took silk), Alexander Oddy, John Whiteoak, Jeremy Garson, James Farrell, Gary Milner-Moore, and Neil Blake. The firm’s trusts and estates disputes head Richard Norridge, and James Doe, who focuses on infrastructure, construction and engineering project disputes, returned to the London office from Hong Kong and Seoul respectively, while former advocacy unit head Ian Gatt QC joined Stewarts Law LLP.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s β€˜team is exceptionally knowledgeable and proactive, and has a clear focus on achieving results for clients’. The practice advises on cases that are high-profile, high-value and precedent-setting, and the firm is well known for its global footprint and ability to co-ordinate advice from multiple jurisdictions. The team specialises in cases involving Russia and the CIS and has a distinct specialisation in corporate and commercial litigation in the life sciences sector. It acted for Victor Pinchuk in his long-running English High Court proceedings over the ownership of - and profits from - a Ukrainian iron ore mining company. Other matters saw the team act for BTA Bank in the English courts against its former chairman, who was proven effectively to have stolen over $6bn from the bank; this litigation has to date generated more than 100 hearings in England, as well as hearings in jurisdictions such as the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Cyprus, Russia and Kazakhstan. Michael Davison’s work has a particular emphasis on Russian and CIS disputes, together with North Africa and the Middle East; Alex Sciannaca β€˜has excellent understanding of commercial matters’; and Chris Hardman, Richard Lewis, Neil Mirchandani, Ivan Shiu and Angela Dimsdale Gill are also highly rated.

Linklaters LLP β€˜provides a high-quality service’. The practice is recommended for high-profile, high-stakes disputes for leading corporations, businesses and banks that are legally novel, examples including complex contractual interpretation cases, joint venture disputes and claims arising from bribery allegations; the practice was recently involved in over 70 substantive hearings in a 12-month period across the breadth of its disputes practice specialisms. It advised Grant Thornton, as liquidators of various companies within the Saad group, in relation to a multi-jurisdictional alleged financial fraud, including a case in the Cayman Islands that involved a claim for the recovery of assets and damages worth approximately $9.2bn. Michael Bennett is the β€˜reliably impressive’ global dispute resolution head; Satindar Dogra is London dispute resolution head; and Ben Carroll β€˜provides first-class case management strategy and legal advice’. Kathryn Ludlow, Christa Band, Andrew Hughes, Nick Porter and Patrick Robinson are also highly rated. Other key names include Euan Clarke, Tom Lidstrom, Tom Cassels, Susan Roscoe and Harriet Ellis, along with Rory Conway and Ros Gallagher. Banking disputes expert Susana Cao Miranda joined from Goldman Sachs.

Slaughter and May’s β€˜lawyers are all outcome oriented and deliver extraordinary service and results’. The practice is best known for high-stakes litigation and it has recently been involved in high-profile, multi-jurisdictional matters. The team acted for Banco Santander Totta in litigation in England, which arose out of interest rate swaps with publicly owned Portuguese companies; this was the first case to be tried in the Financial List. Other highlights saw the team act for National Bank of Abu Dhabi, one of the largest banks in the Middle East, in its claim against British Petroleum Oil International for the return of approximately $70m under a receivables financing agreement; this case was particularly significant as it was the first to proceed from start to finish under the shorter and flexible trials pilot scheme. Deborah Finkler heads the dispute resolution group. Recently promoted partner Richard Jeens β€˜provides constant assurance to clients, explore all relevant different angles and add value to matters’; Sarah Lee is β€˜capable and assured’; Richard Swallow is β€˜very impressive’; Efstathios Michael β€˜has total mastery of the detail’; and Jonathan Cotton is β€˜very strong on cases with a financial crime or regulatory angle’. Other recommended litigators are Ewan Brown, James Stacey, Jonathan Clark, and Damian Taylor, who was also made partner. Elizabeth Barrett retired from the practice.

Ashurst’s β€˜top-notch team provides response times that are excellent and it excels in its willingness to listen to clients’. Much of its disputes work falls within the scope of financial services, energy and resources, and infrastructure (including construction). The team acted for Cerberus Capital, as third defendant, in proceedings involving a conspiracy by unlawful means claim. It also defended Gala Coral Group, which recently merged to become Ladbrokes Coral, against a damages claim for negligence, which case has significant implications for the gambling industry as it raises questions about the scope of the duty of care owed by the gambling industry to gamblers and their family. London dispute resolution department head James Levy is β€˜dynamic, insightful and commercial’; Matthew Saunders is β€˜a fine advocate and quick on his feet’. Simon Bromwich is global dispute resolution head; and Edward Sparrow, who was recently appointed chair of the City of London Law Society, is highly experienced.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP β€˜has become a leading player, with a group of absolutely star litigators from Magic Circle litigation practices’. The practice promoted Jane Shvets, whose practice focuses on white-collar defence and internal investigations, to the partnership. The practice’s capabilities include domestic and international commercial litigation, white-collar crime and investigations, international commercial arbitration, and PIL. The team acted for BAT Industries in proceedings it brought against Sequana to recover approximately $800m, which related to the payment of two unlawful dividends; it also acted for NLMK, one of the largest steel companies in Russia, in defence of proceedings brought by Nikolay Maximov in the High Court to enforce a Β£125m arbitral award. Kevin Lloyd is β€˜one of London’s outstanding litigators - he can manage the largest, most complex cases and produces fantastic results for his clients’; Richard Lawton is β€˜a first-rate lawyer and fighter, who leaves no stone unturned in defending his client’s interests’; and Tony Dymond β€˜always gives appropriate advice’. Lord (Peter) Goldsmith QC is also highly regarded; and international counsel Christopher Boyne is β€˜a smart, commercial and pragmatic litigator’.

Latham & Watkins recently recruited co-chair of the firm’s London litigation and trial practice Stuart Alford QC from the Serious Fraud Office, global co-chair of the international arbitration practice Sophie Lamb from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, and Martin Davies, known for corporate and shareholder disputes, banking and financial litigation and fraud disputes, from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. Simon Bushell departed for Signature Litigation LLP. The UK team is recommended for large, complex, high-value disputes, often with a significant cross-border dynamic; the practice defended Samba Financial Group , the largest Saudi Arabian financial group, against claims, arising out of the high-value Saad/Al Gosaibi dispute, which involved highly complex, sensitive issues of fact and law, including jurisdiction and forum disputes. Oliver Browne is the other co-chair of the London litigation and trial practice, Sebastian Seelmann-Eggebert, who divides time between London and Hamburg, β€˜gives clear answers’; and Philip Clifford, Charles Claypoole and John Kallaugher are also highly rated.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP’s β€˜service levels are excellent and the firm has an incredible calibre of lawyers, who are very good strategists and always on the ball’. It recently launched a corporate crime practice in London through the hire of Covington & Burling LLP partner and former Serious Fraud Office prosecutor Robert Amaee; other key hires included James Bremen, who joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP to set up a UK construction disputes practice. The group is focused on business disputes, specialising in complex, high-stakes commercial and financial disputes; and a significant amount of its work involves acting against global banks. The practice acted for one of the designated lead claimant groups in the Β£4bn RBS rights issue dispute, one of the largest cases ever to go before the UK courts. Alex Gerbi is β€˜a fine lawyer and immensely hard working’; Sue Prevezer QC is β€˜quite brilliant - she is charming, strategic and helpful’; Robert Hickmott is β€˜excellent’; and Nick Marsh is β€˜very experienced in managing heavy commercial litigation’. Other recommended litigators are Richard East, Ted Greeno, Oliver Middleton. Khaled Khatoun made partner. Martin Davies joined Latham & Watkins. David Berman joined Latham & Watkins in 2017.

Simmons & Simmons β€˜impresses with its responsiveness and has a fantastically good team that is very easy to work with and always strives to further clients’ interests’. The firm’s litigators are highly active in the financial services, TMT, professional services, and energy sectors; it is also recommended for disputes involving asset-management litigation, international retail finance, joint ventures and shareholders, life sciences, product liability, and aviation. The team acted for Sushovan Hussain, the former CFO of Autonomy Corporation (Autonomy), in civil proceedings brought against Hussain and Autonomy’s former CEO for alleged fraudulent misrepresentation; the proceedings arose out of Hewlett-Packard’s 2011 acquisition of Autonomy. Ian Hammond β€˜brings a calm head to bear on the biggest cases’; Robert Turner is β€˜a very shrewd lawyer’; and Patrick Boylan’s β€˜unflappable approach under fire and his first-rate instincts on difficult tactical decisions are impressive’. Tim Boyce, Ed Crosse, Paul Baker and Colin Passmore are also key litigators. Energy and gas sector arbitration partner Stuart Dutson, who β€˜has a brilliant mind and very engaging personality that rightly attracts high caliber clients’, joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP to bolster the firm’s Africa practice.

Addleshaw Goddard β€˜has a stellar reputation; the practice has excellent quality clients that receive the best advice’. The group is regularly instructed in large, high-profile cases in the English courts, with particular expertise in fraud matters, finance litigation and insurance-related disputes. It defended BP Oil International against a $70m claim brought by National Bank of Abu Dhabi, arising out of a complex invoice discounting agreement; this was the first case to be determined under the Rolls Building’s shorter and flexible trials pilot scheme. Michael Barnett is β€˜experienced and has good judgement’; Louisa Caswell is β€˜trusted with clients’ most difficult cases’; and Mark Molyneux, Richard Clayton, Mark Gill and Jon Tweedale are also highly rated. Insurance and reinsurance disputes head Richard Wise, who is β€˜brilliant at both complex legal disputes but also at managing clients’, was made partner. Kambiz Larizadeh, Clarissa Coleman and Mark Hastings moved to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, K&L Gates LLP and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, respectively.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP β€˜leaves clients feeling very happy with the overall level of service; its well-resourced team quickly grasps the key issues and its commercial approach adds value to litigation’. Most of the firm’s work is cross-border and it has specific sector expertise in energy, retail, hotels and leisure, and utilities. The practice advises on disputes involving contracts, joint venture agreements, professional negligence claims, fraud issues, and privacy and defamation actions. It acted for an international oil company in a claim for breach of a drilling concession sale agreement; and successfully represented an international bank in a breach of trust and fraud-related case. Oliver Glynn-Jones is β€˜very much trusted by clients and he has an excellent sense of judgment’; Graham Shear is β€˜an excellent litigator with great client management skills and a keen tactical brain’; and Oran Gelb is β€˜a bright, focused and meticulous partner’. Joby Davies is also well regarded and Andrew Tuson was made partner.

CMS recently entered into a three-way merger with Nabarro and Olswang. Incoming expertise from Nabarro included that of Jonathan Warne, who is β€˜a particularly impressive litigator’, Tom Dane, Lee Gluyas and Adam Greaves, as well as Andrew Taplin, Ben Trust and Sukhi Kaler. Key Olswang LLP figures include Richard Bamforth, whose β€˜strength is his ability to combine and marry his top-quality court craft with client needs’; Steven Corney and Ian Felstead, who are β€˜a real pleasure to deal with and have great ability’; and Jeremy Mash. Frequently involved in high-profile, bet-the-company litigation, the β€˜responsive, engaged and pro-active’ disputes group is well known for energy litigation, coverage disputes and construction litigation. It also draws upon the firm’s practices in TMC, life sciences, corporate recovery, IP, insurance, hotels, pensions, employment and real estate. Recent highlights include the team acting for Rosneft Marine (UK) in an oil products dispute. Guy Pendell, energy disputes specialist Phillip Ashley, who is β€˜an excellent strategist’, Alexander Denslow, Simon Garrett and Omar Qureshi are all highly experienced, as are Rob Wilson, Duncan Aldred, Susan Barty, Adrian Bell and Sarah Grenfell.

Clyde & Co LLP β€˜comfortably competes with the Magic Circle firms, but without overstaffing teams’. The practice is recommended for commercial disputes involving contracts, defence of class actions, shareholder claims, M&A and joint-venture issues, as well as fraud, jurisdictional matters, warranties, and enforcement proceedings. The group’s lawyers are particularly well known in the firm’s core sectors of insurance, trade and commodities, construction, energy and transportation; and they have particular specialisms in professional liability cases, banking and finance litigation, investigations, IP disputes, and cyber security issues. It acted for the first defendant valuer, CBRE, the world's largest property services firm, in a claim concerning the alleged over-valuation of a large portfolio of commercial properties. Chris Burdett is β€˜one of the best litigators around - he is strategic, calm, practical and highly intelligent’; Conrad Walker β€˜shows an amazing ability to understand clients’ needs and cases’ complexity, and provides valuable strategic advice’; and Richard Power is β€˜a pleasure to work with and the advice he gives is of the highest quality’. Neil Jamieson, Tony Baumgartner, Helen Bourne and Tom White are also highly rated. Helen Rowlands was made partner.

DLA Piper β€˜has huge experience’. The practice recently experienced a marked increase in multi-jurisdictional mandates; it advised the Special Administrator of Cyprus Popular Bank Public Co in its actions to recover up to €3.5bn losses arising from allegedly fraudulent transactions. The team also continued to advise RBS in over 160 swaps mis-selling cases, both at the pre-action stage and in claims commenced in the High Court and various district registries. Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry is β€˜very bright and gives incisive strategic advice’; Jamie Curle β€˜has an excellent grip of strategy and is very commercial’; and James Carter is β€˜bright and fun to work with and a great team-building person’. Jeremy Andrews, Linos Choo, Janet Legrand, Stephen Sly and Richard McGrane are also highly rated. Paul Smith and Sarah Smith were promoted to the partnership.

Enyo Law LLP’s β€˜service levels are excellent and the practice is always pragmatic’. The firm has a boutique, no-conflicts model and specialises in very large, complex, international disputes. It was instructed by the receiver and manager, on behalf of The Libyan Investment Authority in a claim against French bank SociΓ©tΓ© GΓ©nΓ©rale, and others, in seeking a declaration that transactions entered into as a result of improper influence were unenforceable. It also acted for a Russian individual in litigation, arising out of investments in a multinational aluminium business and involving multiple parties in multiple proceedings and in numerous jurisdictions, including England, BVI and the Netherlands. Managing partner Simon Twigden is β€˜a very good strategic thought leader for dispute resolution’; Pietro Marino is β€˜a superb lawyer’; Edward Allen is β€˜particularly strong’; George Maling is β€˜a strong commercial litigator who is completely unafraid of taking on difficult opponents’; and Steven McDonald is β€˜very good at resolving complex dispute matters’. Other recommended advisers include Anna Maxwell, Jonathan Brook, Tim Elliss and Nick Jones.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP β€˜matches up with the very best the London market has to offer’. The practice recently acted for AXIO Data Group Holdings (AXIO) in its claim for approximately Β£20m against UBMG, for breach of warranties in a share purchase agreement under which AXIO paid Β£148m to acquire certain companies. It also acted for Law Debenture Trust Corporation in all litigation issues arising from its involvement as a bond trustee in five sets of bonds that were issued in the 1980s. Mark Davenport specialises in heavyweight commercial litigation, and leads the commercial dispute resolution group in London; Richard Little is β€˜very focused on achieving what clients want’; Neville Byford’s recent experience includes acting in a trust dispute in Guernsey; and Andrew Legg’s disputes practice focuses on banking and financial services, insolvency, investigations, and regulatory enforcement work.

β€˜A class act’, Jones Day fields β€˜first-class litigators, who are intelligent and diligent’. The London practice is well known for its work in complex cross-border litigation, asset tracing and fraud cases, and offshore disputes; and is able to draw on the firm’s global disputes expertise in other jurisdictions. Significant matters included the team’s advice to BHS’ joint liquidators on investigations carried out into the circumstances of BHS’ collapse and specifically the actions of the company and its current and former directors, as well as Retail Acquisitions and Arcadia Group. It also acted in complex High Court fraud proceedings arising from high-value misappropriation claims. Department head Sion Richards is β€˜a highly qualified and experienced lawyer’; Craig Shuttleworth β€˜has a razor-sharp legal mind’; and Barnaby Stueck, who is β€˜highly effective’, focuses on complex fraud, contentious insolvency, and investment fund disputes involving offshore jurisdictions. Stephen Pearson and Adam Brown are also highly rated.

Macfarlanes LLP β€˜excellent practice is a class act when conducting litigation and it is a pleasure to work with’. The group is highly rated for particularly complex or sensitive issues and is well known for applying its skills in corporate private wealth and tax to contentious matters. The practice acts for a range of financial services institutions and investment and asset-management firms in high-profile disputes; it also assists clients from the oil and gas, mining, aviation, construction, travel IT, and media sectors, as well as high-net-worth individuals. In a case that was critically important to the City, the team acted for the respondents in landmark High Court litigation, which made new law in relation to repudiatory breach of contract in the context of LLP agreements. Iain Mackie is β€˜a very experienced litigator, who looks after clients, and is cool and tough but very sensible’; Lois Horne β€˜thinks through problems very thoroughly and analytically’; and Guy Morpuss QC heads the firm’s advocacy and arbitration groups. Other recommended advisers are Geoff Steward, James Popperwell, Simon Nurney. and Matt McCahearty.

Mayer Brown International LLP’s β€˜very good practice is focused and provides practical advice, taking into account commercial considerations to devise sound tactics’. The practice has a strong track record in acting for financial institutions on disputes involving complex financial products; it also has significant expertise in pensions litigation; disputes involving jurisdictional issues; post-M&A disputes, such as warranty claims; and matters involving shareholder claims, joint ventures, technology and cartel damages claims. The practice continued to represent UBS AG, UBS Limited and UBS Global Asset Management in litigation in London against Kommunale Wasserwerke Leipzig, which involved high-value claims that arose from the enforcement of various structured finance transactions and involved corruption, fraud and embezzlement issues. Ian McDonald is β€˜charming, engaging and a pleasure to work with’; Alistair Graham β€˜understands clients’ business’; Miles Robinson β€˜provides practical and sensible advice’; and Stuart Pickford is β€˜calm, focused and analytical, and cuts through to the issues that matter’. Mark Stefanini and David Allen are also key names.

β€˜A great firm for commercial litigation work’, Norton Rose Fulbright’s β€˜quality throughout its ranks is very consistent’. The firm acts for public and private companies operating across the firm’s key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology; and life sciences and healthcare. In a case involving several cross-border issues, the practice represented a multinational telecoms corporation in defence of a breach of contract claim. Deirdre Walker is β€˜very experienced’, and Ruth Cowley regularly acts in financial institutions, energy, infrastructure, mining and commodities disputes. Ffion Flockhart handles a range of Commercial Court claims, including general contractual disputes and those arising from M&A transactions; and Antony Corsi often acts in high-value claims involving fraud. Chris Warren-Smith joined Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s β€˜team is excellent and has huge experience of complex commercial litigation’. The practice is best known for disputes involving energy, financial services, pensions and cross-border matters. It acted for Aeroflot-Russian Airlines in high-value fraud proceedings against the estate of the late Boris Berezovsky and others, which involved complex questions of international jurisdiction, limitation and insolvency law, and ground-breaking reported decisions on the treatment of foreign exchange debts of deceased bankrupts. Michael Fenn is β€˜a very experienced litigator and great team leader’; Katharine Davies β€˜has excellent instincts’; and Alan Sheeley β€˜stands out as brilliant - he knows how to achieve his clients’ objectives and fights hard for them’. Stuart McNeill, and Ben Fairhead are key names. The β€˜first-rate’ Alistair Calvert made partner, while Richard Twomey exited for DWF.

RPC β€˜gives clients a great level of service and takes the time to get to know and understand clients’ business’. The firm’s specialist contentious teams cover tax, employment, real estate, finance and banking, along with TMT, insurance and re-insurance, construction and competition law. The practice acted for Ingenious Media Holding in a claim brought by approximately 300 investors for losses alleged to have arisen from investments into film production partnerships. Geraldine Elliott is commercial disputes head and Tom Hibbert is global commercial disputes head. Simon Hart β€˜slots in seamlessly to in-house teams when presenting advice to senior executives’; and Andy McGregor, Tim Brown, Rupert Boswall, Davina Given and Parham Kouchikali are also highly rated. International trade and fraud specialist Stuart Shepherd joined from Ince & Co.

β€˜One of the best firms operating in the UK’, Reed Smith LLP is β€˜clearly high quality, with strength in depth’. It is well known for complex, multi-jurisdictional disputes work, especially in corporate and financial services litigation, international arbitration, insurance recovery, and media claims, in addition to its contentious regulatory team. The team acted for certain special-purpose vehicles, as issuers of a series of commercial mortgage-backed securities transactions, in litigation surrounding the calculation of interest due on Class X notes. Richard Spafford and Ben Summerfield co-head the commercial and corporate litigation team; and the β€˜technically excellent and commercially pragmatic’ Robert Falkner is β€˜someone clients want in their corner for major fights’. Other recommended individuals include Belinda Paisley, Nick Brocklesby, Charles Hewetson and Peter Hardy. Mark Pring joined from Addleshaw Goddard, where he was head of insurance; and Douglas Cherry, who is experienced in leading financial services and markets investigations, was hired from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP .

Signature Litigation LLP is β€˜a notably excellent boutique firm, which has a very lean structure that means excellent value for clients; and it has grown to be one of the most visible and permanent fixtures in big-ticket commercial cases’. The firm saw significant growth through the recruitment of Latham & Watkins’ former London litigation team head, Simon Bushell, as well as β€˜very strong lawyer’ Ioannis Alexopoulos and international commercial litigator and arbitrator Josh Wong from Bryan Cave and DLA Piper, respectively. Highlights included acting for one of the three lead groups of RBS shareholders in Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 claims against RBS, regarding its failed 2008 rights issue. The β€˜indefatigable’ Graham Huntley is β€˜an excellent and careful strategist with unparalleled knowledge of judges, barristers and arbitrators’; Abdulali Jiwaji β€˜gives carefully considered opinions’; Daniel Spendlove is β€˜highly professional’; and Natalia Chumak β€˜has extraordinary, high-quality analytical skills’. Hermes Marangos, Julian Connerty and Adam Rooney are also key contacts.

β€˜A premier pick for commercial litigation’, Stephenson Harwood is recommended for handling large, complex, bet-the-company cases. The team continued to act for Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in a long-running case, defending several attempts in England by a contractor, IPCO, to enforce a Nigerian arbitration Award; this matter is likely to be one of the leading cases on the public policy exception to enforcement in the context of fraud. John Fordham is the β€˜brilliant’ commercial litigation head; Richard Gwynne β€˜gives thoughtful, unhurried advice that is usually right’; Richard Garcia is β€˜well organised and prompt in his responses’; Edward Davis β€˜clarifies the most complex facts and provides pragmatic advice and a clear litigation strategy’; Sue Millar is β€˜fearless in representing clients’ interests’; and Sean Jeffrey is β€˜a very smooth operator’. Andrew Myers is also highly regarded.

Best known for banking litigation and civil fraud, Stewarts Law LLP’s commercial litigation team is also involved in some of the most significant cases before the courts. β€˜In the big-ticket, conflict-free commercial litigation space, the firm is superb; it has an excellent range of strong litigators with top-level experience that allows them to go toe-to-toe with the Magic Circle’. Recent growth saw the firm hire Ian Gatt QC, the former head of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s advocacy unit, into its disputes group; James Price was recruited from Farrer & Co to grow the offshore commercial disputes practice further; and Matthew Knowles joined from Harbour Litigation Funding. The practice acted for a large group of institutional shareholders in seeking damages further to the high-profile Tesco accounting scandal. Clive Zietman β€˜has a great feel for strategy and settlement negotiations’; Marc Jones is β€˜a driving force’; Fiona Gillett is β€˜very determined’; and Keith Thomas is β€˜very commercially and financially astute’. Other recommended litigators are Sean Upson, Paul Brehony, Fiona Stewart and Andrew Hill.

Travers Smith LLP’s β€˜high-quality, experienced team is very thorough and professional, and it gives real commitment and dedication’. The practice handles all types of commercial and corporate litigation for UK entities and international clients, and the group is recommended for large, high-profile, complex cases. The practice continued to represent various Hewlett-Packard group companies (HP) in relation to $5bn fraud claims in the Chancery Division, which arose out of the 2011 $11.1bn acquisition of Autonomy Corporation by HP. Stephen Paget-Brown is β€˜experienced and capable, and his instincts are very good’; Caroline Edwards is β€˜top of the class, very smart, and highly professional’; Andrew King is β€˜highly experienced - a really sober hand on the tiller’; Huw Jenkin is β€˜a pleasure to work with and a careful, thoughtful lawyer’; Rob Fell is β€˜an ideal litigation lawyer - committed but experienced with excellent judgement’; and Toby Robinson is β€˜energetic and entirely prepared to get his hands dirty in ensuring the presentation of the best possible case’. Jan-Jaap Baer has particular experience of financial services disputes, shareholders’ and joint venture cases, warranty claims, and general commercial disputes.

White & Case LLP recruited Ashurst’s former London head of disputes Mark Clarke, who is β€˜a class act’, to lead the firm’s London oil and gas disputes practice; the firm also promoted Amanda Cowell, who primarily works with corporate, telecoms and banking clients, and white-collar crime specialist Joanna Dimmock to the partnership. Almost all the disputes the team advises on are international in nature and almost all of the practice’s clients are non-UK based; it represented the Russian Federation in its resistance of the enforcement of high-value arbitral awards in the UK, USA and Germany, which were issued in the Netherlands and are being pursued by Yukos’ ex-majority shareholders. John Reynolds is β€˜a class act, outstanding with clients and a good strategic thinker’; Charles Balmain β€˜has great analysis, client skills and runs a team impeccably’; Jonathan Pickworth is β€˜a highly experienced investigations lawyer’. Jason Yardley exited for Jenner & Block LLP.

Well known for its global footprint, Baker McKenzie is recommended for complex, high-stakes, multi-jurisdictional disputes, with the commercial litigation practice supported by niche expertise in fraud, administrative and public law, and competition law, as well as product liability and contentious trusts. The team acted for Dubai Islamic Bank (the Bank) in its defence of a substantial $2bn-plus claim, brought against it in the English Commercial Court by a Dubai-based property developer; the claim is based on allegations of breach of contract and breach of the Bank’s duties as mortgagee in possession of a very large plot of land. John Leadley leads the global dispute resolution practice group; Hugh Lyons regularly advises on litigation and investigations arising from financing transactions, restructuring and insolvency, fraud and financial misconduct; and department manager Steve Abraham is also highly regarded. Other recommended advisers include Charles Thomson and Nadia Banno. Andrew Keltie retired from the practice.

Bird & Bird LLP was particularly active in disputes involving the financial services, technology and communications and energy sectors; it also acted on very large procurement disputes. The team represented Property Alliance Group, as claimant property investor and developer, which alleged that the defendant bank had mis-sold four interest rate swaps; acted improperly in relation to fixing LIBOR; and breached a customer agreement, regarding the transfer and management of its banking relationship to another legal entity within the bank. Jeremy Sharman’s contentious matters often have an international element and are in a number of the firm’s key sectors, including banking and financial services, and technology and communications; and Sophie Eyre’s practice has particular emphasis on civil fraud and international asset tracing and preservation. Former international disputes practice head Steven Baker departed for Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.

Financial and banking regulatory investigations and enforcement continue to feature heavily in Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s London practice, which β€˜has excellent lawyers who work extremely hard and are devoted to their clients’. The practice advises major international corporations on their most sensitive and business-critical matters; and it has a significant global sovereigns practice. The team acted for Goldman Sachs International in connection with the Waterfall II Court hearings, which were commenced by Lehman Brothers International (Europe) (in administration), and relate to the interpretation of the term β€˜cost of funding’ and its implications for the recoverability of funds owed to creditors. Jonathan Kelly is β€˜outstanding’; and Sunil Gadhia has extensive experience of English court litigation, arbitration, investigations and enforcement proceedings, international sanctions, and competition matters. Christopher Moore, David Sabel and Romano Subiotto QC are highly rated.

DAC Beachcroft LLP is β€˜well equipped to handle even the most complex, cross-border litigation’. The firm grew the group through the hire of commercial litigator Rachel Cropper-Mawer from Clyde & Co LLP; and it recently acted for interested parties in the ongoing LIBOR investigations. It has also represented clients during interviews with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the US Department of Justice, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, the FBI, and European-based regulators. It defended Henyep Capital Markets (UK), a global capital market trading business, against a claim by Kuwaiti company Amwal International Investment Company, which was issued in the Commercial Court upon the termination of the parties’ trading relationship. John Bramhall β€˜has a sensible approach to matters’; Richard Highley is β€˜calm, thoughtful and pragmatic’; Ken Forsyth is β€˜a strong lateral thinker’; and Matthew Wescott is β€˜recommended for his command over both the entire file and the subtleties of a case’. Jonathan Brogden’s recent work focused primarily on banking-related litigation, FCA investigations and enforcement and corporate crime; and Campbell Dye’s practice is increasingly focused on TMT work, as well as defending claims for infringement of copyright, trade marks and design rights.

Dechert LLP grew its practice through the recruitment of Stephen Surgeoner, who acts in investigations and has particular insurance and reinsurance expertise, from Clifford Chance LLP, while David Hughes joined Stewarts Law LLP. The team is β€˜diligent, detail-oriented and professional, and responds to complex legal issues’. It handles complex, high-profile, high-value disputes, particularly those involving multi-party, multi-jurisdictional litigation, and associated arbitration and investigatory work, across a range of sectors including financial services, manufacturing, mining, media, real estate and telecoms. The team acted for NML Capital (NML) in long-running, substantial claims against Argentina, which defaulted in bond payments; the English litigation involved acting against Argentina’s sovereign immunity waiver challenge and NML’s successful Supreme Court appeal and subsequent securing of an English money judgment. Andrew Hearn has β€˜excellent client management and handling skills, as well as the ability to comprehend big-picture issues’; Bernard Caulfield is noted for large energy disputes, varied commercial actions, insurance disputes, and matters arising from the financial downturn on behalf of hedge funds; and Adam Silver is recommended for commercial and financial litigation, fraud and contentious insolvency.

The core of β€˜responsive and commercial firm’ Farrer & Co’s corporate and commercial litigation practice involves major disputes, with a particular emphasis on cases involving complex company structures and asset holdings, shareholder disputes, and cross-border commercial contracts; and almost all of the practice’s work has an international dimension, particularly involving the Caribbean and Channel Islands, as well as the Middle East, Asia and Eastern Europe. It acted for RP Explorer Master Fund (RP) in the Commercial Court in its $80m claim against multiple defendants - located in different jurisdictions, including the UK, India, Singapore, Portugal and Dubai - which arose from RP’s investments on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. Adrian Parkhouse is β€˜sensible and client friendly’; and other recommended litigators include Jeremy Gordon, Kate Allass and Toby Graham. Charlotte Fraser was promoted to the partnership, while James Price departed for Stewarts Law LLP. Senior associate Ben Longworth is another name to note.

A large portion of HFW’s work is in the $50m-to-$100m-plus range, and much of the firm’s caseload is conducted in the higher courts. The β€˜very strong’ practice is best known for contractual and shareholder disputes in the energy, mining, utilities, transport, commodities, manufacturing and engineering sectors, as well financial services-related disputes. It is also highly rated for its focus on international trade disputes, as well as niche procedural areas such as jurisdictional challenges, worldwide freezing orders, and the enforcement through the courts of arbitration awards. Evidencing the team’s experience in complex contractual disputes in the natural resources sector, it defended Timis Mining Corporation (SL) against a breach of contract claim. Damian Honey is β€˜a very good litigator’ and Simon Blows β€˜has good tactical sense’. Noel Campbell, Steven Paull, Costas Frangeskides and Alistair Feeney are notable advisers, as are Katie Pritchard, Brian Perrott and Rick Brown.

Mishcon de Reya LLP’s β€˜service is faultless and using the firm gives clients their best possible chance for success’. The firm made a number of hires, including Shaistah Akhtar and Nicola Bridge from King & Wood Mallesons; Jo Rickards from Kingsley Napley LLP; Sonia Campbell from Addleshaw Goddard; and Genevieve Quierin from Humphries Kerstetter LLP. In addition to the firm’s core fraud specialism, it is also recommended for its handling of disputes involving commercial matters, business crime, tax and competition law, as well as insurance, international arbitration, banking, property, employment and IP. In one of the largest cases (in monetary terms) ever before the Commercial Court, the team acted for a defendant who was accused of civil bribery and corruption in a case brought by the LIA. Kasra Nouroozi is dispute resolution head, Masoud Zabeti is finance and banking disputes head, Kathryn Garbett is fraud defence group head, and Richard Leedham is recommended for insurance disputes. James Libson and Gary Miller are key practitioners.

Osborne Clarke LLP is β€˜a strong firm with excellent practitioners and offers very good value for money’. The firm hired Rachel Couter, who specialises in financial services regulatory investigations and banking and financial markets litigation, from King & Wood Mallesons, and Ashley Hurst, who is experienced in digital business-related commercial litigation, from Olswang. The practice has specialisms in disputes work for CIS clients and Middle East-related matters; and its sector strengths are technology and digital business, energy and natural resources, and financial services. It acted for Vision Games, a Guernsey-based fund, in its pursuit of claims against Relentless, which is now in administration. Adrian Lifely β€˜has deep experience and expertise’; Andrew Bartlett β€˜has a sharp understanding of foreign, substantive and procedural law’; and Tom Ellis is β€˜very good’. Eugene Matveichuk joined Fladgate LLP while Matthew Heywood joined Clyde & Co LLP’s Dubai construction team in July 2017.

Despite Shearman & Sterling LLP’s London group being a small litigation practice in headcount terms, it regularly acts in cases against Magic Circle firms; and most of the practice’s work has a cross-border element. It acted for Oppenheimer Europe in successfully defending an application for pre-action disclosure; this was important because it successfully prevented confidential information underpinning the client’s business from being disclosed. Head of the London litigation group Jo Rickard is β€˜strategic and greatly admired’, and Susanna Charlwood has particular experience in contentious matters in the banking and finance field, including restructuring and regulatory investigations.

β€˜Giving extremely astute, strategic advice’, Sidley Austin LLP β€˜provides an excellent level of service and its lawyers are extremely responsive and always available’. The department acts in commercial disputes of a scale, complexity and profile usually associated with larger London practices; and the group’s litigators regularly work alongside the firm’s transactional and restructuring lawyers. The practice represented GATX Corporation in a dispute involving a complex vehicle financing transaction. Dorothy Cory-Wright heads the London-based dispute resolution practice; the β€˜strategic’ Matthew Shankland is frequently involved in finance-related cases concerning structured finance and derivatives transactions; and Simon Fawell β€˜advises clearly on matters of English law, while remaining sensitive to practices in other jurisdictions’. Steven Pitt is highly regarded, and Andrew Fox, who is β€˜extremely easy to deal with and very commercial’, was made partner.

Taylor Wessing LLP has a particularly strong reputation in disputes involving professional services; financial services; and fraud, corporate crime and investigations. The practice is also well known for insolvency litigation and contentious work in the hotels sector. The team acted for the joint official liquidators of Saad Investment Company (In Liquidation), regarding a dispute with JPMorgan Chase Bank and a number of other JPMorgan (and former Bear Stearns) entities; this arose out of one of the largest alleged frauds seen in the Middle East. Shane Gleghorn is team head; Andrew Howell advises on general commercial and corporate disputes, particularly in the financial services sector; and David de Ferrars acts in complex commercial litigation, predominantly international, and corporate investigations, fraud and asset tracing, corruption, and white-collar matters. Julian Randall, Tim Strong and India desk head Laurence Lieberman are other names to note.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is β€˜an excellent firm that provides a top-level service’. The practice is highly experienced in acting for hedge funds and other investment firms on international creditor disputes, with a particular focus on disputes in the restructuring and distressed debt space, and shareholder activism matters; the team is also well known for energy and Russia and CIS disputes. It acted for a Russian oligarch and certain Renova group companies against a Russian government minister, and certain of his BVI and Cyprus-incorporated corporate entities, in a $1bn litigation case concerning the ownership of Russia’s largest power generation company. Justin Williams is β€˜clearly very experienced in dealing with heavy commercial disputes’; and Richard Hornshaw is β€˜extremely good’. Mark Dawkins is an experienced practitioner; and international disputes partner Kambiz Larizadeh, who β€˜gets to grip with the finest detail of a case’, joined from Addleshaw Goddard.

Boodle Hatfield LLP β€˜leaves clients feeling more than satisfied with the service provided; the firm’s lawyers are always prompt to respond and deal with things effectively’. The group expanded its litigation practice with the appointment of barrister Thomas Williams, whose practice is predominantly international, as partner. It is known for substantial commercial and property disputes; has a niche arts litigation expertise; and acts for several Russian clients. The team was recently involved in significant costs-related cases. Simon Fitzpatrick is β€˜unflappable; he reassures clients and cuts to the chase of the matter instantly’.

Bristows LLP’s β€˜lawyers are excellent; they are consistently responsive and the quality of their legal advice is top drawer’. The commercial and technology disputes team promoted Angela Fouracre, who β€˜impresses with the high quality of her work’, and Anna Cook, who is β€˜extremely able and commercial’, to the partnership. It has particular industry sector expertise in IT, consumer products and life sciences, and has recently grown its practice in both disputes relating to the misuse of confidential information and the work it handles for financial services businesses. The team also regularly acts in cross-border Russian and CIS-related litigation and arbitration. Mark Brown is’ very thorough and sharp in his analysis’; Kevin Appleton is β€˜an experienced commercial litigation lawyer with deep understanding of cases and clients’ concerns’; and Jeremy Blum β€˜shows impressive dedication to his work’.

Brown Rudnick LLP is highly experienced in providing integrated cross-border civil, criminal and regulatory expertise during complex litigation. The team acted for Threadneedle Asset Management in its defence of a $125m claim, brought in the English High Court by a foreign bank; the proceedings include allegations of fraud, deceit and vicarious liability. Neil Micklethwaite has significant experience in civil and criminal fraud cases and in undertaking asset tracing exercises across numerous jurisdictions. Neill Shrimpton, Jane Colston, Christian Toms and London and Paris-based Nicholas Tse are also key advisers.

The β€˜top-notch boutique firm’, Cooke, Young & Keidan LLP is β€˜a cut above others for personal service and leadership, and it provides outstanding value for money’. Free of conflicts of interest, the firm can act against major financial institutions, the Big Four accountancy firms and sovereign entities, but although well known for acting in major claims against banks, it has grown its share of high-value commercial and corporate disputes. It defended Open Fibre Sdn Bhd against High Court proceedings issued against it and Zavarco, regarding the issuance of approximately 7bn Zavarco shares. Philip Young is β€˜a highly talented lawyer who is clever and pugnacious, and someone clients want on their side in a fight’; Marc Keidan β€˜has wide experience across many commercial law specialisms’; and Gerald Cooke, Sinead O’Callaghan and Stephen Elam are also highly regarded. Philip Rubens joined Teacher Stern LLP.

Mirroring the firm’s strengths, Cooley (UK) LLP’s litigation practice is focused on life sciences and technology disputes. The practice acted for the family trusts of Bernie Ecclestone, through Bambino Holdings, in the defence of proceedings that related to the sale of shares in Formula 1 racing. James Maton heads up litigation in the London office, and Kevin Perry’s experience includes contentious banking issues, fraud asset tracing, general contract, construction and civil engineering disputes. Laurence Harris and Mark Deem are highly rated advisers.

Covington & Burling LLP is also ranked.

Dentons is β€˜a really good firm that is very frank with clients regarding legal advice and the commercial aspects of cases’. It routinely advises on litigation arising from shareholder agreements and joint venture disputes; unfair prejudice petitions; derivative claims; and warranty, indemnity and misrepresentation claims arising out of M&A deals. Other areas of strength include disputes concerning pre-emption and subscription rights; issues regarding directors’ duties and board disputes; and urgent remedies such as injunctions. Adrian Giles β€˜identifies the key issues with razor-sharp acuity’; Liz Tout β€˜has an intuitive sense of the bigger commercial picture’; and Richard Caird is β€˜an excellent solicitor’. Felicity Ewing and Thomas Leyland are also key contacts.

Edwin Coe LLP is β€˜a very solid firm that has excellent client management skills and delivers consistently good results’. The practice has a strong bias towards claimant work and fraud-related disputes; it represented a group of around 500 claimants in legal proceedings, arising from the fraudulent selling of timeshare products. Class action specialist David Greene is β€˜an experienced litigator, has very good judgement and is excellent with clients’; Nick Neocleous is β€˜very good for challenging cases’; and senior associate Dominic de Bono is β€˜efficient, hardworking and very user-friendly’.

Fieldfisher is β€˜very strong in commercial litigation and has a number of top-end practitioners’. A large proportion of the firm’s litigation has a financial services aspect, including banking, fraud, tax, insolvency and professional negligence issues; and it enjoys a steady flow of work arising out of commercial, construction and trade disputes. The practice is also well known for high-value, complex CIS-related disputes. Recent highlights include advising the liquidators of a failed tour operator in a case involving a substantial fraud. Colin Gibson is dispute resolution head; Kit Jarvis is β€˜a very strong practitioner’; Alexandra Underwood is β€˜extremely smart with great judgment’; Simon Moore specialises in CIS and corporate disputes; Tony Lewis is fraud team head; and Helen Mulcahy is particularly focused on financial services and art law issues. Vivien Davies, Rhys Griffiths, Andrew Lafferty and Jonathan Ray-Smith are highly regarded.

Fladgate LLP has β€˜good-quality litigators for all commercial areas’. The practice is largely conflict free and able to act against most banks in financial services-related litigation. It is also well known for its significant HNW private client base. The team acted for London private equity firm PCP Capital Partners in a claim against Barclays Bank for fraudulent misrepresentation that related to a Β£7bn capital raising. Simon Ekins is department head; Bree Taylor is β€˜recommended without reservation’; Steven Mash β€˜comes up with strategies that lead to excellent court outcomes’; and Mark Buckley is β€˜the standout litigator in London’s contentious bond market’. Other key advisers include Simon Brew, Alexander WildschΓΌtz, construction law expert David Weare, and Digby Hebbard, who pursues claims against construction project professionals. Russia specialist and dispute resolution partner Eugene Matveichuk joined from Osborne Clarke LLP.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson (London) LLP β€˜has a strong practice that is very joined up internationally, enabling it to handle large multi-jurisdictional matters’. The London office is primarily focused on banking and financial services disputes; cases involving corruption in Russia and former CIS countries, arising out of accelerated loans, freezing injunctions, and internal investigations and white-collar crime. Other areas of strength include joint-venture disputes, misrepresentation and breach of warranty claims; and sales at an undervalue in bank realisation programmes. James Kitching is β€˜very commercial and very focused on the key issues’; and Justin Michaelson is also highly rated.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s β€˜very good practice is hard working, efficient and inventive with large-scale litigation’. The team’s litigation expertise extends to complex internal and regulatory investigations, with particular experience in cross-border investigations in the financial services sector, as well as antitrust, administrative law, and labour and employment litigation.Philip Rocher is β€˜an incredibly experienced litigator, who has excellent judgement and tactical skills’; former UK Lord Chancellor Charles Falconer QC is β€˜tactically excellent and a superb advocate’; Allan Neil’s recent work involved large-scale, multi-jurisdictional disputes, and regulatory and internal investigations in the financial institutions sector; and Patrick Doris specialises in global white-collar investigations and commercial litigation.

Highly rated for its shipping expertise, Ince & Co’s dispute resolution work extends to acting in disputes in aviation, construction, employment, energy, and fraud. The practice is also noted for matters involving insolvency, insurance and reinsurance. Ben Ogden specialises in contentious insurance work and commercial disputes, and Jeremy Biggs has a particular focus on all aspects of shipping litigation, as well as international trade and general commercial disputes.

King & Spalding LLP’s John Savage QC, who took silk in 2017, recently relocated from Singapore to the London group, which also fields silks Thomas Sprange QC, who is β€˜commercially astute and a great lawyer’, and Stuart Isaacs QC. The team has extensive experience in cross-border disputes and provides a particular focus on oil and gas, financial services, IT and telecoms, shipping, aerospace and defence. Sarah Walker and Nicholas Cherryman are highly rated; Egishe Dzhazoyan is β€˜very creative when reacting to opponents’ moves during proceedings’; and Ruth Byrne is β€˜an amazing project manager and a persistent, credible case builder’. Jane Player retired from the practice to become a full time independent mediator.

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP hired Richard Boynton, who is β€˜exceptionally clever and his capacity for intense hard work is quite extraordinary’, from Clifford Chance LLP. The practice’s commercial disputes expertise includes M&A disputes; breach of contract claims; insurance coverage; and securities and shareholder litigation. Chris Colbridge has particular experience in conducting white-collar crime investigations on a global basis; Rajinder Bassi is β€˜a superb tactician and tough negotiator’; and Chiraag Shah is β€˜technically excellent’.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP β€˜provides an excellent service that is characterised by very strong strategic judgement’. The firm has particular strength in commercial litigation across industry sectors such as financial services, energy, TMT and transportation. The team acted for Visa and Visa International Service Association in multiple sets of proceedings in the High Court, regarding the alleged setting and implementation of multilateral interchange fees for debit and credit cards. Julian Stait is β€˜a brilliant strategist’; Tom Canning is β€˜an outstanding lawyer’; and Charles Evans is recommended for contentious regulatory proceedings.

Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP is β€˜a top-notch firm that is highly committed to achieving excellence and comes up with innovative and practical solutions to achieve clients’ business objectives’. The practice is recommended for complex, cross-border disputes, regulatory and competition investigations, and contentious insolvencies; and it has specific sector expertise in technology and finance, as well as media, retail and mining. Jonathan Wheeler is London disputes head; Kevin Roberts specialises in corporate investigations and fraud; and Paul Friedman is an antitrust, white-collar and securities litigator. Gemma Anderson was made partner.

PCB Litigation LLP is β€˜very responsive, diligent and client oriented’. The practice has expanded its disputes scope beyond the civil fraud arena to include complex commercial litigation work. It is regularly instructed on large matters emanating from the CIS, but has also seen growth from the Middle East, Africa and India, as well as the US and the Far East. Anthony Riem is team head; Trevor Mascarenhas is β€˜wise and sharp’; Nick Ractliff is well regarded for shareholder and joint venture disputes, unfair prejudice matters, and breach of fiduciary duty claims; and Steven Philippsohn is a name to note.

Payne Hicks Beach’s is β€˜a strong, dedicated, mid-sized team offering excellent levels of service’. The firm’s disputes work includes banking, derivatives, shareholder disputes and insolvency; professional negligence; commercial disputes in the motor industry; and breach of warranty claims. The practice is also experienced in marine litigation; loan instrument disputes; and reputation management. Stephen King β€˜brings his calm reassuring experience to bear’; Richard Manyon is β€˜an excellent, confident performer’; and Dominic Crossley is a key contact. Senior associate Ane Vernon is β€˜meticulous and fights hard for clients’.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP has strong credentials in shareholder disputes; claims involving parties in Russia and CEE; offshore litigation; and disputes in regulated industries, such as energy and telecoms. In a highly unusual reverse summary judgment, David Kavanagh QC, who recently took silk, and David Edwards, who is β€˜establishing a great name’, led in a significant victory on behalf of a co-defendant Ukrainian businessman in the English High Court, which struck out an entire claim for oil payments. Karyl Nairn QC is β€˜utterly brilliant’, Bruce Macaulay β€˜always has the most sensible, effective approach’, and David Herlihy and Daniel Gal are also highly regarded.

Squire Patton Boggs’ β€˜responsive, commercial practice has impressive strengths’; these include complex and high-value finance litigation work and regulatory investigations; commercial and contractual disputes; energy matters; shipping litigation; and construction disputes. It also has a highly regarded international sports practice. Laurence Winston is UK litigation head; Robert Weekes is a specialist fraud lawyer, acting primarily for banks, asset-based lenders and other financial institutions; Gareth Timms has specific expertise in asset-based lending and trade finance litigation; and Chris Webber is noted for structured finance disputes.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP’s β€˜highly experienced team knows that what clients want is to solve problems as quickly and as cheaply as possible’. The practice has significant experience in disputes involving the finance, shipping, energy, natural resources, transport and real estate sectors. The β€˜talismanic’ Andrew Savage is β€˜fearsomely bright and hard-working’; Andrew Hutcheon is β€˜calm and considered’; and Robert Platt and Andrew Ward are also key names. The firm hired real estate disputes specialist Dev Desai from Pinsent Masons LLP; and Robert Fidoe and Charles Buss, who β€˜looks at every case from every angle’, recently returned to London from the Bangkok and Athens’ offices, respectively.

Winston & Strawn London LLP’s disputes work covers banking, finance, and securities matters, as well as fraud and corporate crime, competition law, offshore trusts and real estate. Other key areas include insurance, professional negligence, and arbitration-related litigation. Michael Madden is β€˜clear, clever and easy to work with’. Justin McClelland focuses on complex, cross-jurisdictional disputes and contentious regulatory matters.

Bryan Cave is β€˜very reactive and able smoothly to co-ordinate UK and US laws’. The practice is well known for cross-border, high-value commercial disputes; it has expertise in white-collar crime, asset tracing, multi-jurisdictional fraud claims, and private international law; and the team has significant experience of obtaining and challenging freezing injunctions. Mathew Rea and Robert Dougans are highly rated, and Serena Cooke is β€˜intelligent, calm and sensible’. Ioannis Alexopoulos departed for Signature Litigation LLP.

With its significant private client practice, Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s β€˜engaged and committed group’ is highly rated for its disputes advice to privately owned companies and their shareholders. Recent work involved disputes in the technology, telecoms, financial services, mining, aviation, and food and beverage sectors; and the firm has strong links to clients in the Middle East. Stewart Hey, John Sykes and Edward Craig are the key advisers.

Collyer Bristow LLP is recommended for general commercial contract disputes; economic torts; professional negligence; commercial agents’ disputes; civil fraud; and contentious insolvency. Other areas of note include boardroom and partnership disputes; directors’ liabilities; disputes between shareholders or joint venture partners; and unfair prejudice petitions. Jeff Roberts and Janine Alexander are highly rated; and banking disputes expert Richard Viegas joined from Bristows LLP as partner.

Dorsey & Whitney’s β€˜response times are good and the advice is high quality’. The practice is best known for complex international cases, and it has developed significant expertise in e-discovery. It recently acted for Watchstone Group in a high-value warranty claim. Tim Maloney is β€˜very experienced’; and Matthew Blower is also highly regarded.

Forsters LLP’s β€˜lawyers are easily as good and capable as Magic Circle advisers’. The practice has broad expertise across the commercial, corporate and private client sectors, with associated contentious teams based in the firm’s property and construction departments. Emily Exton heads the dispute resolution and contentious trusts group; Benedict Walton β€˜has a sharp mind ’; Andrew Head is also highly rated; and consultant and former dispute resolution head Caroline Bassett is β€˜an excellent litigator’.

Fox Williams LLP’s β€˜partners are fully engaged in the conduct of cases’. The firm hired civil fraud, asset tracing and insolvency partner David Butler from Harneys’ Cayman office. The practice is well known for contentious partnership disputes, and is increasingly instructed on international litigation and cross-border disputes, including internal investigations and business crime matters. Gavin Foggo β€˜has immensely good judgement’; the β€˜great tactician’ Tom Custance is β€˜bright, thoughtful and extremely articulate’; and Peter Ashford is β€˜trusted by clients’.

Gowling WLG’s β€˜very commercial team provides practical advice to deal with complex situations’. James Sidwell specialises in domestic and cross-border disputes in the banking and financial services sectors, together with fraud and asset tracing, contentious trusts and regulatory enforcement work; Sidwell’s experience includes acting for the Federal Republic of Brazil in relation to the successful recovery of assets. Alex Jay is β€˜a very accomplished lawyer’.

Harbottle & Lewis LLP β€˜houses clever, client-friendly, professional lawyers’ and the practice is well known for its advice to the firm’s clients from the technology, media and entertainment sectors. Andy Millmore is β€˜always on top of all aspects of a case’; Louis Castellani is β€˜tactically very astute and able to manage lengthy, challenging, cross-border cases’; and Sandi Simons is focused on contract and commercial matters, and commercial agents’ regulations disputes.

Howard Kennedy LLP fields β€˜excellent people who give good, sensible advice’. The practice’s scope of commercial litigation work covers international contractual and commodities disputes; financial services matters and civil fraud; professional negligence; IP; and insolvency disputes. It is also well known for sports and media sector litigation. Louise Bennett is commercial litigation head; Tim Bignell is β€˜able to handle testing situations’; and Craig Emden is β€˜a brilliant litigator’. Steven Morris, Fiona Hinds, Joel Leigh, Mark Stephens CBE and Simon Taylor are key contacts. Former commercial litigation head, Sue Thackeray, joined Kingsley Napley LLP.

Irwin Mitchell’s areas of strength include civil fraud claims, freezing orders and asset recovery; financial services disputes; commercial contract claims; breach of directors’ duties; and shareholder and partnership disputes. Other specialist areas include disputes involving construction; insurance; M&A and warranty disputes; product liability claims; professional negligence; IP; and trust and pension issues. The team recently defended proceedings for a worldwide freezing injunction. Jonathan Sachs and Sarah Wallace are the key litigators.

K&L Gates LLP welcomed litigation partner Clarissa Coleman from Addleshaw Goddard. The disputes team operates across sectors that represent the firm’s core strengths, including oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, financial services and structured finance, and sports and media; and it frequently advises on corporate transactional and joint venture disputes. John Magnin is recommended for high-value, international disputes, particularly in the natural resources, finance, corporate and sport sectors. Other notable practitioners include Anne McCarthy, Robert Hadley and John Gilbert.

Kingsley Napley LLP recently hired Howard Kennedy LLP’s former commercial litigation head, Sue Thackeray. The practice is best known for acting for entrepreneurs and business individuals, but is increasingly instructed by corporate clients to handle complex litigation. Richard Foss is practice area leader; Ryan Mowat β€˜stays one step ahead of the other side’; Fiona Simpson β€˜thinks things through very carefully’; and William Christopher is β€˜extremely quick, decisive and sensible’. Gerard Cukier is also highly rated.

Lewis Silkin LLP’s β€˜very strong litigation practice’ recruited Andrew Wanambwa as a partner from Ogier’s BVI office. It has significant experience of international litigation; jurisdiction disputes; joint venture and shareholder matters; share purchase and warranty claims; and banking disputes. Other areas of strength include trust litigation, partnership disputes, utilities litigation, construction matters, and civil fraud. Simon Chapman is team head; Clive Greenwood β€˜sees the big picture’; and Mark Lim’s β€˜client management skills are first rate’. Other recommended advisers include Tom Coates, Philip Foster and Adam Glass.

McGuireWoods London LLP is β€˜always on top of litigation procedures and timelines’. The practice acted for Vincent Tchenguiz (and his interests) in a high-profile Β£2.2bn claim against Grant Thornton and Icelandic bank Kaupthing, arising out of Kaupthing’s collapse and subsequent SFO investigation. Michael Tackley is β€˜a very experienced lawyer’, and Hardeep Nahal is β€˜a first-rate lawyer with good strategic vision’.

Memery Crystal LLP is predominantly known for its work for clients in the oil and gas and mining sectors; and the practice has a longstanding reputation for dealing with financial services and regulatory disputes. Jane Marsden is dispute resolution head, Harvey Rands β€˜has enormous knowledge and experience’, and Mark Whelan is β€˜particularly good’. Nicholas Scott joined GRM Law.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP β€˜has a strong commercial litigation practice that handles high-value, complex disputes’. The team leverages the firm’s significant client base in the energy, insurance and financial services sectors, and frequently acts in disputes involving Russia, Central Asia, the Middle East, the US, Eastern Europe, and Africa. Nicholas Greenwood is β€˜knowledgeable and responsive’; and Peter Sharp and David Waldron are β€˜both highly experienced, top-quality litigators’.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP is highly rated for cross-border disputes involving the finance, energy and technology sectors. Alongside the Hong Kong office, the team defended an investment manager against Commercial Court proceedings, which alleged negligent investment activity. Matthew Lawson is β€˜superb - he has brilliant and strategic insight’; and Simon Willis and Maria Frangeskides are also highly rated.

Paul Hastings LLP’s β€˜small but perfectly formed practice’ acted for the ultimate beneficial owner and an investment fund in a high-value, cross-border, insolvency matter, relating to the ownership and control of Santander’s global headquarters.

Penningtons Manches LLP has particular expertise in cross-border and international disputes, as evidenced by the firm’s well-established India group and recently founded San Francisco office; and the practice’s work ranges from shareholder disputes to complex contractual claims. Rustam Dubash is head of commercial dispute resolution and Alex Fox β€˜has a very commercial approach’. John Doherty and Richard Marshall are key advisers; Jeremy Clarke-Williams joined from Slater and Gordon, while Mark Lewis departed for Kemp Little LLP.

Although traditionally known for fraud matters, Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP regularly acts on major commercial and corporate disputes without fraud elements, and its β€˜high-quality team can easily turn its hand to commercial litigation’. The caseload features disputes involving shareholders, contracts, insolvency proceedings, contentious financial services and regulatory matters, IP, and professional negligence. Keith Oliver β€˜revels in his role as overseer on large cases, with decisive and important contributions when required’; Sarah Gabriel is β€˜the best civil fraud practitioner working in London’; Jonathan Tickner is β€˜very effective’; and Jason Woodland is well regarded.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP is β€˜excellent; the practice has a powerful work ethic and achieves the best results’. It remains well known for disputes involving public sector parties; heavyweight Commercial Court disputes, often acting for entrepreneurs and HNW individuals; banking and aviation litigation; and acting for and against Middle Eastern clients. Anthony Yates and Lucy James are highly rated; Alex Burton β€˜always impresses’; and Ned Beale β€˜has a keen eye for the commercial, common sense of a claim’.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP recently promoted Jamie Maples, who is β€˜a careful and thoughtful lawyer’, and Hannah Field-Lowes to the partnership, while Juliet Blanch left to become an independent arbitrator. The practice acted for Jinpeng Group (Jinpeng) in multiple cross-border disputes relating to its investment in the Aman Resorts group of companies; it also has a growing tax litigation practice.

Withers LLP β€˜has great experience of large, challenging disputes’. The practice is experienced in financial services litigation and is able to act against banks; and the firm has a focus on litigation connected to the BVI, Italy, Greece and Cyprus, with Russia being a particular strength. Its high-profile international client base also includes major sporting and luxury brands. The β€˜unflappable’ Peter Wood β€˜has a really good manner with clients’; Roberto Moruzzi β€˜has a good eye for what is really important’; and Tatiana Menshenina and Christopher Coffin β€˜both have excellent judgement and intuition’.

At Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, the commercial litigation work of Hilton Mervis (formerly of King & Wood Mallesons) frequently involves complex, multi-jurisdictional matters, including freezing injunctions, asset tracing, joint ventures, private equity, and partnership disputes. Michael Bywell is a key contact.

β€˜Providing a tailored approach’, Blake Morgan LLP is β€˜very professional, efficient and effective’. The practice’s work includes complex, high-value insolvency litigation, civil fraud, and Proceeds of Crime Act work. Sarah Rees and Justin Weare have considerable experience of offshore jurisdictions, in particular BVI and the Cayman Islands.

Boies Schiller Flexner (UK) LLP’s β€˜great team provides first-rate litigation services’. The practice is recommended for handling complex, cross-border commercial litigation; it acted for global asset manager M&G Investment Management in a case which turned on complex contractual law interpretation issues. Natasha Harrison is β€˜committed to achieving the best results for clients’; recently promoted partner Fiona Huntriss β€˜puts her heart and soul into a case’; and counsel Nathalie Allen Prince is β€˜hard-working and efficient’.

At Bristol-based Burges Salmon LLP, the disputes practice covers financial services, insurance, and fraud and white-collar crime; and the practice assists both claimants and defendants with company, shareholder and partnership disputes. Other litigation services include issues relating to distribution and retail, commercial agency and distributorship disputes, and product liability.

Cubism Law regularly advises on a wide range of commercial disputes, including contractual issues, debt management, shareholder and partnership disputes, and non-payment issues; the firm also has expertise in professional negligence, employment and property disputes. Duncan McNair, Peter Mellett, Anya Bloom and Andrew Pena are the recommended practitioners.

DWFM Beckman is β€˜a very good firm of lawyers in a competitive market’. The firm’s disputes expertise includes commercial contracts; corporate matters; insolvency and debt recovery; and IP-related claims. The practice is also noted for real estate and trust disputes, professional negligence, civil fraud, injunctions and asset tracing. Peter Bridson β€˜has great judgement, experience and negotiating skills’; Elizabeth Johnson β€˜provides extremely pragmatic advice’; Demetris Dionissiou is β€˜a very effective lawyer’; Sharokh Koussari is β€˜highly experienced’; Naylah Hamour β€˜has a superb mind’; and Claire Lyon is β€˜great with clients’.

DaySparkes derives a large proportion of its work from its network of cross-referral individuals and firms. The practice acted for the former managing director and majority shareholder of Remnant Media (now dissolved) in fraud proceedings, which were brought against HBOS and others. John Day β€˜has an instinctive grasp for a case’s strategy’.

Druces LLP β€˜provides a level of service in keeping with larger City practices’. The practice’s main areas of specialism are disputes involving shareholders, directors, partnerships, and joint ventures; professional negligence claims against professional service providers; and cross-border disputes. Julian Johnstone β€˜has a great instinct for pre-empting clients’ needs’; and Charles Spragge is β€˜technically very good, but also very commercial’.

Freeths LLP’ disputes practice covers banking and finance, commercial fraud, contracts, warranty claims, and debt recovery. Other areas of note include injunctions, insolvency, IP-related claims, partnership disputes and professional negligence. Philippa Dempster is highly rated.

Goodman Derrick LLP β€˜offers an excellent service and the firm has very good, responsive lawyers that represent excellent value for money’. The team defended Intelligent Land Investments (Renewable Energy) against a warranties-related claim. Tim Langton is β€˜a tower of strength’; and Clive Ince, who β€˜has excellent strategic ideas and commercial acumen’, is noted for commercial, company, media and professional disputes. Nigel Adams is a key contact.

Gordon Dadds LLP’ β€˜lawyers are able, proactive and have broad experience’. Nick Goldstone, who β€˜fights for his clients’, led the advice to Swiss Life on the enforcement of US Federal Court judgments. Nicholas Yapp β€˜can handle difficult cases and clients’; Gareth Jones is β€˜thoughtful and knowledgeable’; Philip Cohen β€˜goes the extra mile’; and Dean Nicholls is β€˜an excellent lawyer’.

Hamlins LLP’s β€˜overall level of service delights clients’. The practice handles large, complex contractual claims; breach of fiduciary duties; civil fraud matters; partnership and shareholder issues; professional negligence, and regulatory and financial matters; and it has sector expertise in sports, property, IT, IP, construction, engineering and insurance. Amanda Burge is β€˜a top-class litigator who is unfailingly calm and has a can-do attitude’.

Humphries Kerstetter LLP is β€˜a first-class, niche practice with enviable, high-quality City work’. It has a particular focus on complex disputes, predominantly with an international dimension. The team advised RGL Management, on behalf of a group of claimants, which sought compensation for the unlawful destruction of its businesses by a bank’s global restructuring group. Mark Humphries β€˜provides excellent, strategic advice’; and Kristopher Kerstetter and Christopher Braithwaite are also highly rated.

IT and IP remain core practice areas for iLaw, but the firm has increasingly developed a specialist commercial litigation practice. It acted for an Indian company in a joint venture agreement dispute. Mark Culbert β€˜inspires real confidence’, and Tom Clark β€˜has good instincts’.

Jenner & Block LLP’s β€˜excellent London office’ opened in 2015 and includes former White & Case LLP partners Charlie Lightfoot, who is β€˜commercial and pragmatic’, and Jason Yardley. The team acted for Cruz City 1 Mauritius Holdings in proceedings in India, the Isle of Man, Cyprus and the UK, to enforce a $400m-plus arbitration award.

Joelson β€˜understands clients’ business well, making for quick, informed advice’. The practice’s areas of expertise include debt recovery, IP, insolvency, professional negligence, shareholder disputes and property litigation, as well as alternative dispute resolution. Jo Gregory is highly regarded; and Niall McCann β€˜grasps the key issues’.

Kennedys’ β€˜impressive team’ has particular expertise in banking litigation, insolvency and fraud. Dino Paganuzzi, John Harvey and Ben Aram are highly rated.

Keystone Law’s is highly rated for its representation in high-value commercial disputes. The firm’s key litigators include Alex Ferrari, Patrick Pennal and Nilam Sharma. Ferrari recently acted in a claim regarding the calculation of royalties and breach of contract issues.

Providing β€˜quick responses and a practical approach’, Kobre & Kim LLP focuses almost exclusively on disputes and investigations that often involve fraud and misconduct, and which are usually cross-border. Andrew Stafford QC is β€˜well versed in the law and a high-quality advocate in court’; and Simon Cullingworth and James Corbett QC are key contacts.

Maclay Murray & Spens LLP’s β€˜responsive lawyers are very detailed’. The team’s core areas of strength are contentious property litigation, financial services matters, oil and gas disputes, contentious insolvency and recovery work, and competition litigation. Simon Colledge is β€˜a good commercial lawyer’; and Euan Palmer is β€˜technically excellent’. Chris Woodruff and Philip Sewell are names to note.

Michelmores LLP’s β€˜highly efficient team delivers effective outcomes’. The practice, alongside the firm’s insolvency team, represented the fifth respondent in the Waterfall II case, regarding an application made by LBIE’s joint administrators, which concerned entitlements to LBIE estate’s surplus. Peter Sigler β€˜has an exceptional track record’; and Garbhan Shanks is well known for insurance and reinsurance coverage disputes.

Multi-disciplinary practice PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP has β€˜an accomplished team that is getting stronger and stands out for its ability to provide all-round advice’. Dipti Hunter, who is β€˜a very forceful litigator’, was recruited from DAC Beachcroft LLP. The team acted for Beech Holdings in a contentious proof of debt claim. Agnes Quashie is department head.

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP is β€˜a highly competent practice’. It is noted for high-level, international contractual and corporate disputes. Jonathan Roberts β€˜can solve the most intractable of cases’; Rudi Ramdarshan is β€˜an excellent lawyer who is extremely effective’; and commercial and employment disputes specialist Rebecca Roberts was made partner.

Rosenblatt recently hired Donna Goldsworthy from Irwin Mitchell, where she led the commercial litigation team. The disputes practice covers fraud; professional negligence; corporate insolvency and shareholder disputes; real estate; and claims related to mis-selling and interest rate swaps. Anthony Field is dispute resolution head.

Russell-Cooke LLP is β€˜a strong, all-round, mid-sized firm’. Its disputes work covers complex contracts; commercial fraud and asset tracing; financial services; IP; professional negligence; insurance; construction; and statutory trusts. Francesca Kaye is β€˜a very accomplished practitioner’; Paolo Sidoli is β€˜a practical, dedicated lawyer’; and insolvency team head Lee Ranford is β€˜a safe and sensible pair of hands’. John Gould is the recommended senior partner.

SCA Ontier LLP specialises in high-value, multi-jurisdictional, commercial litigation, arbitration and insolvency matters, with a number of high-value instructions recently deriving from Africa, the Middle East and Russia. Seamus Andrew is highly regarded, Paul Ferguson’s β€˜strengths are timely responses and prudent advice’, and Oliver Cain is a key contact.

Steptoe and Johnson LLP hired Neil Dooley as partner from Hogan Lovells International LLP, where he was of counsel. The practice is noted for asset-recovery matters, commercial fraud cases, and its ability to take on financial institutions. Jonathan Raynes is a construction disputes expert and Angus Rodger is a key name.

Teacher Stern LLP is β€˜an extremely competent practice’. Its primary focus is on high-value contractual and shareholder actions; professional negligence; and fraud and asset-tracing claims. The team is also noted for mis-selling disputes against institutional defendants. Jack Rabinowicz is commercial litigation team head; Rod Cowper is highly rated; and Navinder Grover β€˜does not leave any stone unturned in pursuit of his client’s case’.

Wallace LLP β€˜matches the service that is given by much larger firms’. The practice acted for a Panamanian company in its high-value High Court claims against twelve defendants, for breach of fiduciary duty and knowing receipt of funds and other contractual benefits. Simon Serota’s practice includes shareholder claims, professional negligence, and asset recovery and protection.Craig Thompson β€˜digs deep into cases to unravel the knots and wrinkles’; Alexander Weinberg is β€˜head and shoulders above some lawyers’; and Oli Goldman is β€˜really good with clients’.

Wedlake Bell LLP fields highly specialised litigators in professional negligence, commercial contracts, judicial review and procurement issues, as well as IP, insolvency, and restructuring and trusts. The practice, which β€˜provides solid, client-service skills’, is also well known for property litigation and construction disputes. David Golten β€˜a very able all-round litigator’.

Bevan Brittan LLP’s practice covers financial services; complex, high-value ICT matters; public law challenges; contract breaches; negligence; and fraud-related issues. Birmingham’s Adam Kendall is the national head of the firm’s litigation, advisory and regulatory practice. Former department head Iain Miller moved to Kingsley Napley LLP; and Peter Steel joined Augury Consulting.

Bircham Dyson Bell is β€˜a very strong, capable and commercial firm’. It is experienced in shareholder disputes, financial litigation (with a recent focus on swaps’ mis-selling) and complex IT disputes. SinΓ©ad Lester is β€˜a good, hardworking lawyer’; and Richard Langley β€˜cares deeply about clients’.

Bowling & Co.’s β€˜advice is always appropriate’. The team’s disputes expertise includes company, partnership and shareholder matters; debt recovery; insolvency; IP; and fraud and asset recovery. Other areas of note are swaps mis-selling, professional negligence, and insurance claims. Peter Laskey is β€˜determined when pursuing clients’ interests’.

Candey’s β€˜excellent practice is responsive, knowledgeable and commercial’,and it has grown through the hire of James Collins from Dechert LLP. The practice’s expertise includes acting in large, high-value reported cases in the High Court in the hotels, oil and gas, financial services and technology sectors. Ashkhan Candey is β€˜always keen to advise on the business implications of disputes’; and Andrew Dunn is β€˜very strategically adept’.

Carter Lemon Camerons β€˜quickly identifies clients’ litigation goals and gears its strategy and advice around them’. The practice is particularly recognised for its work in financial services (including acting against banks), property, IP, and professional negligence disputes. Seamus Smyth is litigation and arbitration head; and Chris Corney β€˜provides clear and concise analysis and advice’.

DWF β€˜has a growing practice and its lawyers think hard about their cases and deliver excellent results’. It recruited Jonathan Isaacs, who has β€˜a first-rate legal mind’, and the β€˜well-regarded’ Richard Twomey, known for energy, technology and manufacturing disputes, from PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP and Pinsent Masons LLP respectively. The practice is particularly focused on High Court, post-transaction, corporate litigation; and shareholder, joint venture and contract disputes. Stefan Paciorek is also highly regarded.

Beyond its housing provider following, Devonshires Solicitors LLP, which β€˜has sound commercial acumen’, acts in commercial litigation for regulators, and assists with complex fraud and private finance initiative disputes. Philip Barden is β€˜a very savvy lawyer’; Matthew Hennessy-Gibbs is β€˜great in a crisis and focused on outcomes’; and James Dunn is highly rated.

Fletcher Day β€˜provides sensible, pragmatic advice, based on the commercial interests of the client and the realities of the case’. The group was recently especially active in matters that involved working alongside its corporate, insolvency, property and IP colleagues. It acted for multiple clients in a judgment enforcement debt matter. Jovita Vassallo β€˜picks out the key facts and strengths and weaknesses in any claim’.

As well as GSC Solicitors LLP’s real estate litigation credentials, the firm handles a high volume of commercial, corporate and contractual disputes, as well as private client litigation on behalf of wealthy individuals. The group β€˜undertakes commercial litigation of the highest quality for very high-quality clients, and gets results’; and Michael Shapiro is β€˜an experienced litigator who has a very calm and collected approach’. Senior consultant Barry Samuels is β€˜exceptionally dedicated and hard-working, and pays great attention to detail’.

Greenberg Traurig, LLP is recommended for cross-border disputes in highly specialised areas of expertise, such as product liability, regulated utilities, employment, competition law, and FCA and SFO investigations. Consultant Stephen Brown is department head.

A leading claimant firm for competition litigation, Hausfeld also recently acted in banking disputes involving complex loan financings, derivatives transactions and banking misconduct; and in commercial disputes, the team assisted with a group action. Anthony Maton is London managing partner; John McElroy is β€˜an experienced litigator who combines an acute legal mind with sound commercial awareness’; and Lianne Craig is also well regarded.

Locke Lord LLP is β€˜a relatively new entrant in the London market that is giving the more established opposition a run for its money’. The practice is noted for corporate and insolvency disputes; and it acts in aviation, banking, energy, construction, insurance and real estate litigation. β€˜A good man for clients to have on their side’, Joseph Kosky is β€˜a highly experienced litigator’. Kevin Heath is also highly regarded.

β€˜A great choice for commercial litigation work’, Marriott Harrison LLP specialises in director, shareholder and company disputes; it successfully defended Minco, in its role as junior explorer partner in a mining joint venture, and two of its directors, against a claim brought by an investor. Tamar Halevy β€˜probes every aspect of a case with great care’.

Olephant Solicitors β€˜provides an exceptional level of service’; the practice is best known for its representation of HNW individuals and their businesses in complex commercial litigation, with particular expertise in company law disputes, minority shareholder matters, and fraud claims. Jan Mugerwa is β€˜successful at getting results’.

Pitmans LLP’s practice covers real estate, IT, finance, pensions, media and entertainment, and fraud. Tim Clark in Reading specialises in IT disputes, commercial law claims, breach of contract issues, insurance-related litigation, and injunction applications. David Archer and Denise Fawcett are also experienced advisers.

Ropes & Gray LLP launched its London commercial litigation practice with the hiring of Thomas Ross, who is well known for financial services litigation, from K&L Gates LLP. It acted for Baillie Gifford in numerous disclosure orders made in relation to proceedings brought by investment entities in New York against Petrobras.

Royds LLP recently merged with Bath-headquartered Withy King to become Royds Withy King. The practice regularly handles agency and distribution disputes, IP infringement, professional negligence, and regulatory enforcement matters; and it is well known for advising the retail sector. It also regularly advises designers and inventors; and has an expanding Indian practice. Stewart Wilkinson is well regarded; and Chris Rodda is β€˜particularly good at moving forward disputes which have stalled’. James Millar Craig and Stephen Welfare are key names.

Seddons β€˜provides good, down-to-earth knowledge’. The practice acts in banking litigation, shareholder disputes, insolvency issues, professional negligence claims, and IP protection. Marvin Simons is β€˜a great litigator’.

Specialising in international disputes, Shepherd and Wedderburn has sectoral focus on energy, oil and gas, and utilities; financial services; and real estate. Guy Harvey and Jane Wessel are highly regarded.

Sheridans is well known for commercial litigation involving specialist media and IP issues that frequently have international aspects; and the practice recently enjoyed growth in its arbitration work. Michael Thomas is the key contact.

Simons Muirhead & Burton’s β€˜team holds its own in the commercial dispute resolution arena’. It is best known for its media and entertainment clients, but the practice also has a growing commercial litigation practice. Razi Mireskandari is β€˜always on the front foot no matter what’; Stephen Shotnes is highly rated; and consultant Peter Gould β€˜combines years of street-fighting litigation nous with enviable elegance of expression to devastating effect’.

Solomon Taylor & Shaw is β€˜a very good practice indeed and clients get a huge amount of personal attention from partners’. It has particular expertise in banking litigation, partnership and shareholder disputes, and insolvency-related litigation. Mark Summerfield, increasingly known for classic car and supercar litigation, is β€˜loved by clients’.

Guildford-based Stevens & Bolton LLP is β€˜very responsive and its advice is consistently pragmatic’. The practice’s disputes expertise includes joint venture matters; warranty and indemnity claims; and shareholder and partnership actions. Other areas of note include trading disputes; fraud and bribery; and professional negligence claims. Richard King, Michael Frisby and Andrew Quick are the key names.

Sullivan & Worcester UK LLP β€˜provides very good response times and excellent product knowledge’. UK insurance and disputes practice head Marian Boyle, who is β€˜very knowledgeable and communicates clearly’, joined from Dentons; she recently advised finance and insurance-based industry clients on banking, finance and insurance policy-related disputes.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP is β€˜very professional and clear in its responses’. The practice is well known for insolvency-related disputes; and it has sector strengths in energy and natural resources, life sciences, manufacturing, and media. Marie-Louise King is β€˜outstanding’; and Robert Paydon is also highly rated.

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Legal Developments in London for Commercial litigation

  • Finding the 
right words

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

    - Macfarlanes

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