Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

United Kingdom > London > Dispute resolution > International arbitration > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Other

Index of tables

  1. International arbitration
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which International arbitration clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLPhas an excellent arbitration team that has profound experience and its knowledge expands from the most senior partner to associates and paralegals’. The practice continued to secure significant, high-profile wins for the firm’s arbitration clients; and it has particular expertise in handling politically and commercially sensitive mandates in challenging circumstances and markets. Nigel Rawding QC’s recent experience includes representing an international telecoms operator in a United Nations Commission on International Trade Law arbitration and related proceedings in Nigeria, regarding a high-value shareholder dispute. Sylvia Noury is particularly noted for emerging markets cases involving Latin America and Africa, and she secured a $100m International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes award for Vestey in an arbitration against the Government of Venezuela, relating to the expropriation of its cattle farming business. Reza Mohtashami handles disputes in emerging markets, with a focus on the energy, infrastructure and telecoms sectors. Christopher Pugh and Jane Jenkins are key practitioners.

One of the best’, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP’s team is ‘outstanding; the team is immediately responsive despite time differences, and its subject matter knowledge is superior’. The practice is particularly renowned for handling complex M&A and shareholder dispute arbitrations, especially in the telecoms and energy sectors; and it has extensive experience in handling disputes arising under bilateral and multilateral investment treaties, including the Energy Charter Treaty. The team won a significant victory on behalf of NTT DOCOMO, Japan’s largest telecoms company, in an arbitration against Tata Group’s holding company. David Kavanagh QC, who took silk, ‘has a formidable reputation’; Karyl Nairn QC is ‘extremely well connected and respected by peers and arbitrators’; Bruce Macaulay ‘is an absolutely first-class lawyer and strategist’; and Daniel Gal is highly rated. Other key names include investment treaty disputes expert David Herlihy, David Edwards, and recently appointed counsel Nicholas Lawn.

WilmerHaleprovides an absolutely great service, including an unparalleled level of business acumen’. Recommended practitioners are Gary Born, who is ‘at the absolute top of the international arbitration universe’ (he recently successfully represented a major US energy company in an arbitration over oil rights); Franz Schwarz, who secured a significant victory for a major consumer goods company in a dispute involving a failed strategic alliance; and Steven Finizio, who is noted for energy, shareholder, telecoms, financial services, joint venture and M&A issues. Finizio’s recent matters included the representation of US and UK financial services companies in an arbitration, which related to a services agreement. Duncan Speller is also highly rated, and Charlie Caher, who is ‘incredibly intelligent’, was promoted to the partnership.

Allen & Overy LLP’s ‘practitioners are very knowledgeable, provide well-researched opinions and respond in a timely manner’. The practice’s scope of work includes energy, finance, insurance coverage, and shipping disputes, as well as arbitration-related litigation; it acted for South Stream Transport, a Netherlands-listed subsidiary of Russian energy giant, Gazprom, in its dispute with Italian oil and gas industry contractor, Saipem, which related to a cancelled pipeline project. The ‘focused’ Richard Smith is ‘very calm and patient in his handling of cases’; Mark Levy is known for energy disputes, including his extensive gas price arbitration practice; and Kate Davies is ‘phenomenally bright, extremely hard working, and thoroughly personable’. James Freeman is a highly regarded counsel. Jeffrey Sullivan moved to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Clifford Chance LLP’s ‘service is excellent; the team is very reactive to requests, and anticipates events during the course of arbitration proceedings’. It regularly handles bet-the-company mandates, as well as cases which are highly charged politically or commercially. The practice represented Hyundai Heavy Industries, the world’s largest shipbuilder, in arbitration proceedings concerning the cancellation of a semi-submersible drilling platform. Global co-head of international arbitration Audley Sheppard QC is recommended for his ‘deep knowledge of arbitration proceedings, particularly LCIA arbitration’; Rob Lambert is ‘a no-nonsense litigator who doesn’t take hostages’; and Alex Panayides is ‘fantastic commercially and looks at issues from a wide variety of angles to suit business needs’. Marie Berard and Jessica Gladstone are names to note.

Willing and able to take on difficult cases’, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP hired Wendy Miles QC, who ‘has a sharp mind and is extremely bright’, from Boies Schiller Flexner (UK) LLP and Patrick Taylor was promoted to the partnership, while Sophie Lamb moved to Latham & Watkins. The practice acts for both sovereign and commercial clients in commercial and investment treaty arbitration; recent highlights include the team’s representation of The Nova Group Investments (NGI) in a claim against the Romanian Government under the Netherlands-Romania bilateral investment treaty, regarding the purported expropriation of NGI’s Romanian assets. Lord Peter Goldsmith QC is ‘a great tactician’; and Tony Dymond is ‘an excellent communicator and advocate who is an excellent problem-solver’. International counsel Aimee-Jane Lee’s ‘immerses herself in tricky issues and gets to the bottom of them’.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s ‘level of service is excellent; responses are well organised, relevant and provided in a timely manner, and the practice is able to mobilise resources without limitations of geography’. It acts in complex arbitrations under a broad spectrum of laws and under the rules of all major institutions, as well as advising on ad hoc arbitrations. The team represented Standard Chartered Bank, and its Hong Kong subsidiary, in relation to international arbitration remedies regarding an investment, by way of a loan, in a power station in Tanzania; the dispute has resulted in four different International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes arbitration claims, pursuant to a bilateral investment treaty and several contracts. Craig Tevendale, who is ‘very practical in his advice, an excellent advocate and a great strategist’, was promoted to UK head of international arbitration; the ‘excellent’ global head of international arbitration Paula Hodges QChas outstanding judgement and is a good, strategic thinker’; Nicholas Peacock heads the India international arbitration practice; many of Chris Parker’s matters relate to Africa; and Iain Maxwell is a key of counsel. Dominic Roughton departed for Boies Schiller Flexner (UK) LLP.

Hogan Lovells International LLP promoted Nathan Searle to partner. The practice has extensive experience in cases involving Africa, and Russia and the CIS; advises on high-value disputes; has expertise in bilateral investment treaty cases; and has a particular focus on the energy and telecoms sectors. It acted for the Slovak Republic against financial services company Achmea, in a challenge of a final award, the case raising important jurisdictional issues for the future of investment treaties within the EU. Michael Davison is global litigation and arbitration head; London head of international arbitration Kieron O’Callaghan is ‘a terrific and experienced practitioner who is determined to achieve clients’ objectives’; and Julianne Hughes-Jennett and Markus Burgstaller are highly rated. John Gerszt joined longstanding client Bechtel.

Three Crowns LLPalways provides a thorough evaluation of issues, along with well-supported recommendations, and the firm’s response times are impressive’. It has particular strength in the energy and oil and gas sectors, but the firm’s experience extends to the telecoms, gaming and construction industries; the practice also has significant PIL expertise. It represented Gas Natural in a high-value International Court of Arbitration case, involving a liquefaction plant in Egypt. Constantine Partasides QC is ‘truly impressive in his legal acumen and advocacy abilities - it is always a pleasure watching him argue a position’; Gaëtan Verhoosel has appeared as advocate in a large number of arbitrations in the construction, mining and energy sectors; and Carmen Martinez Lopez, Scott Vesel and counsel Lucy Martinez are highly rated.

White & Case LLP’s ‘lawyers are as professional as they come, and they are very responsive to client demands’. The practice welcomed Aloke Ray back to London from Singapore, where he was head of international arbitration in Asia; and head of oil and gas disputes in London Mark Clarke, who is ‘simply terrific’, joined from Ashurst. The practice covers commercial arbitrations, involving construction projects, insurance contracts, banking and finance, telecoms and oil and gas; investment treaty arbitration; and arbitration-related court proceedings. It represented Grupo Unidos por el Canal and its shareholders Sacyr, Salini-Impregilo and Jan De Nul in a dispute with the Panama Canal Authority, which related to the $5.5bn Panama Canal expansion project. Phillip Capper is ‘a convincing advocate’; David Goldbergimpresses with his shrewdness and common sense, and he is very well regarded for Russian and East European international commercial law’; and Dipen Sabharwal and Robert Wheal are both highly regarded.

Ashurst’s ‘top-notch team is pragmatic, to the point, and responsive; it also represents value for money’. The practice’s expertise encompasses all the major international arbitration institutions and rules; and representative experience includes advising a construction company in an arbitration that related to the construction of a power plant. It also assisted a large chemicals company with a high-value projects-related arbitration. Matthew Saunders is ‘an authoritative, sharp lawyer, with a pragmatic, commercial mindset’; Tim Reid’s ‘ability to present both the legal and the business case assists clients in taking strategic decisions that may impact upon the arbitration proceedings’; Tom Cummins is ‘an intelligent, articulate, client-focused litigator’; and Ben Giaretta is highly regarded. Mark Clarke left for White & Case LLP.

CMS entered into a three-way merger with Nabarro and Olswang. The group is recommended for its ‘out-of-the box approach, timeliness and cost effectiveness’; it has sector expertise in energy, construction and infrastructure, as well as the TMC, insurance, hotels and leisure, and life sciences industries. Key Olswang LLP arrivals were arbitration head Richard Bamforth, who is ‘one of the best in the business’, and Jeremy Mash, while Jonathan Warne, who is ‘a skilled strategist and has brilliant client skills’, Adam Greaves, Tom Dane and Christopher Gooding joined from Nabarro. Guy Pendell, Phillip Ashley, Adrian Bell, Colin Hutton and energy head Rob Wilson are all highly rated, as are Alex Denslow, who is known for construction and insurance arbitrations, Omar Qureshi, and Sarah Grenfell.

Clyde & Co LLP’s client base features significant names from the construction, energy, natural resources, shipping, international trade and insurance sectors; and the practice has particular expertise in disputes arising in African and Latin American jurisdictions. The ‘team provides great responsiveness and it has a proactive, clear, hands-on approach’. In one of the few cases to date to involve a Chinese bilateral investment treaty, it acted for the Republic of Yemen in proceedings against Beijing Urban Construction Group concerning the construction of a new international terminal building in the Republic of Yemen. Ben Knowles and Peter Hirst co-chair the global international arbitration practice; Maurice Kenton is ‘a first-rate lawyer with a strong work ethic and a profound command of international practice’; and David Leckie is well known for energy sector work. Devika Khanna, Lee Bacon, David Reynolds and Richard Power are key contacts; and Ricardo Lewandowski was made partner.

King & Spalding LLP is ‘an excellent firm with great partners’. It provides coverage of investment, commercial, energy and construction disputes, with a special focus on oil and gas matters, and additional experience in financial services, mining and shipping. The team represented VTB Bank (Austria) (VTB) in an LCIA arbitration against Montenegro-based aluminium smelter company Kombinat Aluminijuma Podgorica (KAP), which arose out of a series of related arrangements entered into between VTB, as lender, and KAP, as borrower. Thomas Sprange QC, Ruth Byrne and Egishe Dzhazoyan are highly rated, as are Stuart Isaacs QC and Nicholas Cherryman.

Kirkland & Ellis International LLPhas a stellar practice, and its extremely strong team of individuals provide advice that is always incisive and exactly on point’. The practice experienced new instructions from the Asian market and in new disciplines, such as telecoms, infrastructure projects, shipping, and pharmaceuticals; and the team frequently advises on complex PIL matters. It represented Agility Logistics, one of the largest Kuwaiti companies, in a major arbitration against Pakistan, which related to the expropriation of an investment and claims of unfair treatment and damages. Chris Colbridge is ‘an absolutely superb tactician, who has unrivalled knowledge of the detail of each case’; Chiraag Shah is ‘dedicated to his cases, totally unflappable, and exudes confidence’; and Richard Boynton is ‘truly outstanding and stays on top of every aspect of a dispute’. Rajinder Bassi is highly rated.

Latham & Watkins recruited Sophie Lamb from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP as co-chair of the global international arbitration practice group while Simon Bushell departed for Signature Litigation LLP. The practice acts for range of significant oil, gas and nuclear companies, and the group regularly works alongside the firm’s project finance team on disputes. Other areas of strength are construction disputes and investment treaty arbitration. The team advised Austrian construction company Strabag in the first International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes arbitration ever brought against Libya; the case related to Libya’s obligations under the Austria-Libya bilateral investment treaty and related to Strabag’s investment in construction contracts in Libya. Philip Clifford, Oliver Browne, Charles Claypoole, London and Hamburg-based Sebastian Seelmann-Eggebert and counsel Charles Courtenay are all highly regarded.

Linklaters LLPhas an excellent practice and sound judgement; it is also very responsive and the firm’s associates provide good support’. It is particularly noted for oil and gas, natural resources, and telecoms disputes. The team acted for the trustee of Lakeshore TolTest Corporation (LTC) (in bankruptcy), in a complex arbitration over sums allegedly due to LTC, regarding the construction of an oil processing facility. Matthew Weiniger QC is highly rated; and Greg Reid is ‘a superb lawyer, who is very good at identifying the relevant issues and providing quick and crisp advice’. Other recommended advisers are Tom Lidstrom, Ben Carroll, Michael Bennett and Satindar Dogra.

One of the best in the field’, Norton Rose Fulbrighthas an exceptionally well-integrated arbitration team’. It acts for global financial institutions, major corporations, and governments and state-owned entities from the firm’s key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology; and life sciences and healthcare. The practice represented an INVISTA subsidiary in an arbitration, which related to a technology license with a Chinese manufacturer. Deirdre Walker is EMEA dispute resolution and litigation head; and despite Sherina Petit’s ‘external niceness, she is a pugnacious strategist and a great mind to have on clients’ teams’. Neil Miller, Donald Warnock and Philip Roche are other highly experienced advisers. James Rogers joined from the firm’s Hong Kong office. Deborah Ruff joined Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

Pinsent Masons LLP is ‘a first-rate firm that is extremely thorough and strategically sound’. The practice is well known for large, complex international engineering and construction arbitrations, but it also has robust experience in energy, technology, financial services, and insurance disputes. Mark Roe is international arbitration head; David McIlwaine is international arbitration committee chair; Michael Fenn is ‘an experienced commercial disputes partner with considerable finesse and experience’; Jason Hambury is ‘a very good construction arbitration specialist’; and Katharine Davies is ‘a bright, committed and excellent litigator’. Other key advisers include Adrian Elliot, Rob McCallough, Nick Bradley, Martin Harman and Manoj Vaghela.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP regularly acts in high-value matters, involving the oil and gas, mining, energy, telecoms, construction, and infrastructure sectors. The practice represented an Abu Dhabi wealth fund, as claimant, in an arbitration against a Maltese company, the dispute arising from a debt assignment agreement. Stephen Jagusch QC ‘has an enviable reputation in the international arbitration field - it is a pleasure to see him in action during cross examination, and his skills in this area make a real difference to cases’; Anthony Sinclair is ‘extremely responsive and accessible’; and Sue Prevezer QC ‘understands how things are likely to play out’. Ted Greeno; Alex Gerbi; Nick Marsh; Epaminontas Triantafilou; and construction arbitration specialist James Bremen, who joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, are highly rated.

Simmons & Simmons fields specialist arbitration partners across the firm’s commercial litigation, insurance and construction practices. The firm hired ‘the commanding figure’ Stuart Dutson from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, where he was London international arbitration head. The team acted for the Indonesian Government in a bilateral investment treaty arbitration, brought by Indian Metals & Ferro Alloys, which concerned an investment in a coal mining project. Simon Morgan is ‘a very safe and experienced hand at arbitration’; and Jayne Bentham, who is ‘a superb arbitration practitioner with great judgement’, specialises in large and complex multi-jurisdictional arbitrations, particularly in the telecoms and energy sectors. Other recommended names include David Sandy and Rob Horne.

Vinson & Elkins RLLPconsistently renders high-quality legal services’. The practice stands out for its energy sector roots, but it has grown to include disputes involving financial institutions, private equity houses, construction companies, and telecoms matters; and it frequently acts in investor-state cases. Highlights included handling a series of arbitrations for the Panama Canal Authority, which arose out of high-value disputes with a consortium of European and Panamanian companies that was hired to design and build the third set of locks for the Panama Canal expansion project. Nick Henchie’s ‘skills are outstanding, and he gives invaluable, strategic advice’; Mark Beeley’s ‘advice is always sound and constructive’; and Amir Ghaffari is ‘an excellent lawyer and outstanding arbitration practitioner, who anticipates issues before they arise’. George Burn joined Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s team is ‘well organised and it clearly includes some very experienced and competent individuals’. The practice, which has particular experience in Russia-related disputes, and disputes involving oil and gas, power generation and telecoms, recently hired Kambiz Larizadeh, who is ‘absolutely brilliant to work with’, from Addleshaw Goddard. Justin Williams is ‘a first-rate partner with an excellent, strategic mind - he also has very good knowledge of the detailed issues and is always on top of the latest developments in cases’; and Hamish Lal ‘offers an unparalleled degree of business acumen’. Richard Hornshaw is a key contact.

Baker McKenzie is recommended for finance and M&A arbitrations; the practice was recently involved in corporate disputes, involving companies in Russia, China, India and a number of African jurisdictions. It has a strong team in the energy, mining and infrastructure sectors, and a robust investment treaty arbitration practice. Steve Abraham was promoted to lead the firm’s London dispute resolution practice; John Leadley chairs the global dispute resolution team; and Edward Poulton and Andy Moody are highly regarded. Kate Corby, who has handled international arbitration work in the construction sector, was promoted to partner.

Baker Botts (UK) LLP is ‘very responsive and the firm’s lawyers give sensible, pragmatic advice’. The practice is particularly experienced in energy and technology disputes. Jay Alexander is global practice co-head; Alejandro Escobar is ‘a very experienced operator, who is also a good communicator and excellent at rationalising decisions’, and he provides a key link between Europe and Latin America for several of the firm’s high-profile clients. Other key names include Johannes Koepp, Chris Caulfield and senior associate Dorine Farah.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLPprovides a truly international approach, but with a deep understanding of national specifics and mentality’. The firm’s sector specialisms include construction and engineering; insurance and reinsurance; hotels and leisure; and energy and natural resources. ‘A first-class arbitration partner and a great advocate’, Roman Khodykin is ‘tremendously hard working and goal-oriented, and he delivers the best possible service at all times’; Carol Mulcahy is ‘a superb technician, with great attention to detail and sound judgment’; Michael Polonsky has extensive experience in handling shareholder disputes, and claims for breach of contract, fiduciary duty and warranty; and David Robertson, who has particular experience in advising Korean contractors on power, water and oil and gas projects, re-joined the London team from Singapore. Terry de Souza and Ania Farren are highly rated.

DLA Piper has a particular strength in energy sector and infrastructure disputes; the practice also has a strong record in investment treaty disputes and is noted for its representation of states, particularly in Europe and in Africa. It has significant geographical reach on the African continent. The team acted for Gazprom in a series of SCC arbitration claims, relating to the supply, pricing and transit of gas. Philip Chong is Europe international arbitration head; other recommended practitioners are Kate Cervantes-Knox, Mark Hilton, Richard McGrane, James Carter and Jeremy Andrews.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is particularly strong in the energy, telecoms, insurance, construction, pharmaceutical and banking sectors. Cyrus Benson’s recent representations include advising a major oil company in a high-value ICC arbitration, which arose from the sale of a refinery, pipeline and export company; and Penny Madden QC acted for a telecoms corporation in its mega-value UNCITRAL investment treaty arbitration against a North African state. Osma Hudda is ‘a very skilled, focused, organised lawyer, with a strong eye for both the big picture and detail’, and Doug Watson is a key name. Jeffrey Sullivan, who recently joined from Allen & Overy LLP, is described as ‘an excellent lawyer with outstanding ECT and investment treaty disputes experience’.

HFW handles a huge volume of international arbitration work. The firm is known for its track record in international trade; it regularly handles international arbitration in the energy, trade and commodities, shipping, aviation, insurance and reinsurance, banking and financial services, and construction sectors. The practice has also increased its number of bilateral investment treaty-related instructions. Damian Honey, Costas Frangeskides and Steven Paull are well regarded, as is international construction head Max Wieliczko. Insurance and reinsurance disputes expert Adam Strong joined from Gowling WLG. Paul Wordley is now with EC3 Legal.

Mayer Brown International LLPhas a strong international arbitration offering’. The practice has significant construction sector experience, but it is also active in insurance, energy and banking-related disputes. Other areas of note include shareholder, manufacturing, telecoms and pharmaceuticals claims. The ‘charmingRaid Abu-Mannehhas good client skills, and sees the issues the client is interested in and focuses on them’. Mark Stefanini and Kwadwo Sarkodie are also highly rated, while senior associate Rachael O’Grady ‘provides rock-solid case management’.

Reed Smith LLPhas excellent depth of experience and knowledge’. On the commercial arbitration side, the practice was recently instructed in major transactional, financial, energy, projects and infrastructure disputes, and it has a growing international arbitration practice in the life sciences sector. The team is also well known for its disputes expertise in the Singapore, India, Korea, Kazakhstan and CIS markets; and has a significant investment treaty practice. Gautam Bhattacharyya ‘has gravitas, knows his subject matter, and orchestrates teams with great panache and success’; and Vincent Rowan is ‘an extremely capable, seasoned litigator who provides measured and constructive guidance’. Other recommended names are Belinda Paisley, Chloe Carswell and construction law expert Shareena Edmonds.

Shearman & Sterling LLP is ‘at the top of its game; the firm’s highly-responsive arbitration team has a deep bench and great leaders in London’. The practice is recommended for advising on high-profile, sensitive and high-value matters, and fields lawyers with investment treaty expertise. It represented Cairn Energy in a bilateral investment treaty claim against the Republic of India, regarding India’s adoption of a retroactive tax measure. Mark McNeill is ‘absolutely top class, both in his strategic and subject matter advice, but also in his written work and advocacy’; and Jeremy Sharpe is ‘highly rated for his insight, energy and hands-on management of high-stakes matters’. Alexander Uff is also highly regarded.

Slaughter and May is ‘first rate for international arbitration’. The practice frequently acts in high-value energy, infrastructure, corporate and financing disputes, and it has cross-border capabilities both inside and outside Europe. James Stacey leads the firm’s arbitration group and is ‘excellent and hugely able - he is a details-man, who gives very thoughtful and considered advice that is practical and commercial, as well as legally spot-on’. Damian Taylor was made partner and dispute resolution head Deborah Finkler and Efstathios Michael are key contacts.

One of the world’s leading shipping, maritime and international trade practices, Stephenson Harwood’s ‘overall level of service is excellent’, and it has particular arbitration expertise in oil and gas, infrastructure, and construction disputes. The practice is also highly rated for Africa, India, Russia and CIS, and Latin America-related arbitrations, and is well known for significant international arbitration enforcement matters in London. Louis Flannery is department head; Kamal Shah, who heads the Africa and India groups, is ‘very skilled at assessing situations and offering sound advice’; upstream oil and gas disputes group head Shai Wade is ‘a star player and massively experienced’; and Haris Zografakis, who ‘scores spectacular successes’, has represented clients in hundreds of commodities-related arbitrations. Counsel Duncan Bagshaw is an Africa specialist, and Vivek Kapoor was hired from Dentons’ Singapore office.

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP recruited Patricio Grané Labat, ‘an excellent lawyer who remains intimately involved in each matter and is rigorous in his efforts to provide clients with the best possible service’, from Volterra Fietta. The practice is well known for its investor-state arbitration expertise but its commercial arbitration work has also grown, particularly in construction and engineering. The team defended the Republic of Bulgaria against a claim, brought by Oman’s largest sovereign wealth fund, to recover alleged losses in relation to Corporate Commercial Bank’s collapse. Dmitri Evseev is highly rated and David Reed is ‘very good with numbers - a rare quality among lawyers’.

Boies Schiller Flexner (UK) LLP hired Dominic Roughton from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, where he was global PIL head, while Wendy Miles QC departed for Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Roughton advises on international boundary disputes, treaty cases, and state-to-state and investor-state dispute resolution procedures; he has also acted as counsel in commercial arbitrations under various rules. Kenneth Beale’s experience includes representing one of Europe’s largest companies, in multiple parallel international arbitration proceedings against a European sovereign.

Dechert LLP is often instructed in emerging markets contexts, particularly Russia and Eastern Europe, Latin America and the United Arab Emirates. The practice is well known for oil and gas practice work, but it increasingly advises on financial and technology sector disputes. Michelle Bradfield arrived from Dentons. Senior associates Maria Claudia Procopiak and Dániel Dózsa are key contacts.

Dentons’ ‘excellent team has very detailed knowledge of the issues from the outset’. It has a robust investor-state practice, and fields lawyers with significant energy and and infrastructure (including construction and transport) sector expertise. The practice also increased its volume of banking-related arbitrations; was recently instructed in aviation, telecoms, education and real estate matters; and its emerging markets expertise is increasingly focused on Africa, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe, and the CIS region. Liz Toutvisibly enjoys finding solutions for clients’, and Dan Bodle is ‘impressive’. Dominic Pellew divides time between London and Moscow. Michelle Bradfield moved to Dechert LLP.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLPoffers good value for money for top-quality advice and client service’. The practice is noted for energy, trade, retail, financial services and aviation-related disputes, often arising out of joint venture, corporate and M&A, and shareholder issues; and it has a focus on disputes relating to Africa. Jonathan Leach, who has particular expertise in energy, trade and finance-related disputes, is ‘indefatigable in the pursuit of clients’ interests and his technical excellence is complemented by the diligence with which he applies himself to cases’. Neville Byford frequently acts for US-based clients in international arbitrations. Former Eversheds LLP partner Stuart Dutson joined Simmons & Simmons.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson (London) LLP’s clients include multinational corporations, international organisations, high-net-worth individuals and sovereign entities, for whom the team acts before organisations such as ICC, LCIA and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. It also represents clients in ad hoc UNCITRAL cases. Barristers James Kitching, who is ‘very easy to work with and has a great manner with clients’, and Justin Michaelson are highly rated.

K&L Gates LLP’s ‘very responsive, flexible practice is strong, professional and service-oriented, and it has extensive knowledge and experience in this field’. The London arbitration team has expertise including insurance coverage, construction, pharmaceuticals, sports, energy and investor-state. Ian Meredith co-ordinates the firm’s global arbitration practice; John Magnin is global co-practice area leader for disputes; and John Gilbert has extensive energy sector experience. Peter Morton is also highly regarded.

KWM Europe LLP was launched shortly after King & Wood Mallesons’ (KWM) UK, Europe and Middle East operations entered into administration. Both formerly of KWM, Andrei Yakovlev has a particular emphasis on Russia and CIS and Central Europe; and Dorothy Murray is ‘an exceptional litigator who works incredibly hard, has a sensible and commercial approach, and is as tough as nails in negotiations’. The practice recently acted for the Kyrgyz Republic, as respondent, in proceedings brought against it by AsiaUniversalBank’s former chairman and majority shareholder, who claimed compensation for the nationalisation of his shares. Former KWM litigation head Craig Pollack joined Covington & Burling LLP, while Paul Stothard moved to Norton Rose Fulbright’s Dubai office.

Osborne Clarke LLPcompares well with other firms; it can take on disputes where much bigger firms are instructed and not be outgunned in the least’. The practice regularly acts in international arbitrations involving the energy sector, digital businesses (including video-gaming) and construction; and the team has particular experience in Middle East, Russia and CIS-related arbitrations. Greg Fullelove and Adrian Lifely co-head the international arbitration group. Fullelove is ‘an excellent lawyer, who is very sharp and with a keen sense of what is a good argument - he combines an academic approach with an ability to get to grips with practical points’; and Lifely is ‘a very strong arbitration practitioner’.

Signature Litigation LLP is ‘a superb firm that is highly specialised in disputes and has a strong international touch, given the multi-lingual skills and cross-jurisdictional training of its staff’. Natalia Chumak acts in institutional arbitration proceedings, ad hoc arbitrations and investment treaty disputes, and she is particularly focused on acting for clients from ex-Soviet Union countries, predominantly Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. Chumak’s ‘performance impresses clients; she is totally committed and literally dedicates all of her time to the matter she is working on’. Senior associate Nick Storrs is ‘a competent, hardworking rising star’.

Squire Patton Boggsleaves clients feeling very satisfied with its service, and its lawyers always provide the best solutions’. The practice is recommended for energy arbitrations, particularly gas price review disputes; investor-state arbitrations; and commercial arbitration in the technology, telecoms, transportation, infrastructure, sports, insurance and reinsurance, and shipping sectors. Ben Holland, James Barratt and Alexis Martinez are recommended; global international dispute resolution head George von Mehren divides time between London and Cleveland and is ‘a first-class lawyer who is always reliable’; and Peter Crossley was made London international dispute resolution head following Carol Welu’s retirement.

Stewarts Law LLP grew its ‘excellent practice, which is improving all the time’ through the ‘very deserved’ promotion of Al Trent, who is ‘smart, hard-working and personable’, to the partnership; it also recruited Ian Gatt QC, the former head of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s advocacy unit; and Matthew Knowles joined from Harbour Litigation Funding. The practice acts in commercial disputes involving the defence and energy sectors, and commercial trade matters, with a client base spread across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Philippa Charles is ‘a wonderful blend of legal intelligence and commercial savvy’.

Best known for its specialist PIL practice, Volterra Fietta also has a significant international commercial arbitration practice. Recent highlights saw the team defend the Government of Nigeria, alongside local Nigerian counsel, in an arbitration that was commenced by two US oil companies in relation to high-value expropriation claims. Robert Volterra, Graham Coop, Giorgio Mandelli and Suzanne Spears are highly rated. Patricio Grané Labat departed for Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP. Christophe Bondy joined Cooley (UK) LLP.

Perfect in all respects’, Watson Farley & Williams LLP’s ‘team is absolutely impressive, and it has a practical and solution-oriented approach towards its clients’. It is well known for its arbitration work in shipping, energy, offshore construction, and commodities; the practice also acts for and against states, and advises on political risks, issues surrounding CIS-based frauds, and corporate and commercial disputes. The team acted for commodities trader MRI Trading, in relation to a London Metal Exchange arbitration, arbitration appeals, and enforcement proceedings. Andrew Savage is ‘a stand-out litigator, who knows his stuff and runs a very good team’; Andrew Hutcheon is ‘a highly skilled and experienced dispute resolution lawyer’; and Andrew Ward and Charles Buss are maritime specialists. Buss and Robert Fidoe recently returned to London from the Athens and Bangkok offices, respectively.

A first-rate firm with a first-rate international arbitration team’, Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP recently promoted Jamie Maples, who ‘brings a deep knowledge and understanding of the rules and practices of the various tribunals’, and Hannah Field-Lowes, to the partnership. The team represents both private parties and sovereign clients in their high-stakes, international arbitration cases. Highlights included acting for 1Malaysia Development Berhad in a high-profile and large LCIA arbitration, which concerned the alleged misappropriation of $3.5bn.

Winston & Strawn London LLPrenders a high-quality legal service’. The firm recruited Michael Stepek, who is ‘a tremendous advocate for clients’, and Matthew Bate from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, broadening the firm’s capabilities across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. Stepek and Bate focus on international commercial arbitration and investment treaty arbitration; their recent highlights include representing Dominion Minerals Corp in an ongoing ICSID arbitration arising from the client’s investment in a copper and gold concession in western Panama. Ricardo Ugarte divides his time between Chicago and London.

A delight to work with’, Addleshaw Goddard has a strong track record of acting in major international arbitrations in energy, life sciences, construction and insurance. The team advised PA Resources (PAR) in a potential investment dispute against the Republic of Tunisia, which concerned PAR’s investment in Tunisia and a sale and purchase agreement dispute. Simon Kamstra is international arbitration head and Jon Tweedale is also highly regarded. Sarah Vasani joined the practice as head of investor state disputes from King & Spalding LLP.

Andrews Kurth Kenyon LLP is recommended for its experience in the energy and construction sectors. It also represents clients in industries such as finance, aviation, hospitality, pharmaceuticals, general commercial contracts, and insurance. The team works closely with colleagues in the US (principally Houston), Dubai and Beijing. Melanie Willems heads the international arbitration group, and Markus Esly focuses primarily on the energy, engineering and construction sectors.

Bird & Bird LLP’s ‘service is excellent, and the team has very good in-depth knowledge of clients’ businesses, the legal questions, and the arbitration rules’. The practice regularly acts in disputes in the firm’s core strengths of technology, telecoms, life sciences and energy. Garreth Wong ‘has excellent knowledge and is an excellent strategist’; and Sophie Eyre is highly rated. Former international disputes practice head Steven Baker departed for Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Cooley (UK) LLP’s practice is noted for international commercial arbitration work; arbitrations relating to the insurance and reinsurance sector; and oil and gas exploration matters. Other areas of strength include disputes over licensing rights in the Middle East; technology licensing rights; bio-sciences and product testing; and international supply agreements. James Maton is London litigation head and Mark Everiss focuses on reinsurance disputes. Mark Deem, David Kendall, Kevin Perry and James Crabtree are other key contacts. Christophe Bondy joined the firm.

Covington & Burling LLP is also ranked.

DAC Beachcroft LLP is an ‘excellent, commercial practice that provides punctual service and keeps costs within budget’. It scope of work covers complex construction and engineering infrastructure disputes, as well as insurance and reinsurance cases. Matthew Wescott’s ‘no- nonsense approach and ability to understand business drivers are appreciated’; and Michael Blackburnehas terrific experience of handling challenging international engineering disputes’. Other recommended practitioners are Rowan Planterose and Ken Forsyth.

Enyo Law LLP is ‘a very professional firm that is easy to work with, and its lawyers are a safe pair of hands’. The commercial arbitration practice is conflict-free and it specialises in large and complex international disputes. Anna Maxwell, who ‘gives impeccable client service, is straight to the point and always charming’, heads the practice. George Maling is ‘an excellent tactician, who specialises in large-scale dispute resolution’; and Marcus Rutherford is ‘a superb strategist’. Other key names are Alexander Walsh and Tim Elliss.

Fenwick Elliott LLP is ‘one of the best, if not the best, specialist construction firms; it has a wealth of talent and is busy, forward-thinking, and user-friendly’. The practice is best known for large-scale, high-value, high-profile international construction, infrastructure, and energy projects. Richard Smellie and Nicholas Gould are key advisers; Jeremy Gloverhas a calm, but commercial, approach to litigation’; and Karen Gidwani is ‘an exceptional and dedicated lawyer, who is always available to take clients’ calls’. Senior associate Patrick Stone, who joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, ‘has significant Gulf experience’.

Fieldfisher is ‘a strong operator that is very much liked by clients’. It specialises in the energy and natural resources, construction and commercial sectors; the practice is well-known for high-value commercial and public law disputes for ultra-HNW individuals and corporations from the CIS region. Simon Sloane is highly rated; Simon Moore is ‘really good’; Alexandra Underwood is ‘a very strong talent who is trusted by clients to do a good job’; Colin Gibson is ‘incisive, has good commercial judgement and is single minded in pursuit of clients’ interests’; and Kit Jarvis ‘has enormous energy and dedication’. Arik Aslanyan is CIS desk head.

Gowling WLG hired Reed Smith LLP’s former co-head of international arbitration, Gordon Bell. The practice has sector expertise in energy and natural resources; defence; international insurance and reinsurance; large international construction disputes, particularly in relation to the Middle East and Africa; and complex international IP disputes, especially in the mobile phone technology and aerospace sectors. David Breslin and Birmingham’s Tom Price, who is ‘very commercial in approach and always on top of the detail’, are the international arbitration co-heads.

One of the most effective firms in London’, Jones Day’s ‘lawyers are imaginative, proactive and tough fighters’. The practice has a strong track record representing Russian and CIS parties in high-profile arbitrations, while in India-related disputes, it represented the NACC group in an ICC arbitration, which arose out of an association agreement for a coal-based power project. Sion Richards heads the global disputes practice in London; Lee Coffey is ‘an excellent litigator, who gets to the bottom of the most difficult case’; Baiju Vasani is ‘highly regarded for his tactical and strategic qualities, and his advocacy’; and Sylvia Tonova is ‘a hardworking and able partner’.

Impressive for its willingness to take on novel cases’, Mishcon de Reya LLP has a significant investor-state practice. Karel Daele is focused on Africa-related matters; and Sonia Campbell specialises in insurance disputes, and general commercial arbitration and litigation. Managing associate Zachary Segal has a particular focus on disputes arising out of the CIS and CEE regions.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLPprovides a very personal service’. Recent highlights include a series of arbitrations for a partner in a UK-based hedge fund, regarding disputes over firm management and cash management issues. Maria Frangeskides is ‘a master tactician, who relentlessly pursues her client’s interests’, and has particular expertise in energy-related disputes. Senior associate Amanda Voss is ‘dedicated to clients’.

RPC acts in disputes involving construction and engineering, international trade, finance, transport, and IP, as well as energy, insurance and reinsurance. The team’s scope of experience includes claims against sovereign states and PIL disputes, and complex international joint venture and shareholder disputes. Jonathan Wood is ‘a real statesman, who can run massive arbitrations with his eyes shut, and is always one step ahead of the other side’. Stuart Shepherd joined from Ince & Co to develop the firm’s commodities practice in London.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP’s ‘clients can be completely confident that the practice will achieve the very best result in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible’. The commercial arbitration practice is best known for Middle East work, with specific expertise in energy, manufacturing and aviation disputes. Ned Beale is ‘focused on solutions’.

Withers LLP’s ‘client-care is amongst the best around’. The practice regularly acts in sectors such as infrastructure, oil and gas, and mining; it also has a robust investment treaty practice. The co-international arbitration heads are Hussein Haeri, who is ‘a standout operator’, and special counsel Eleni Polycarpou, who ‘never leaves any stone unturned’. Tatiana Menshenina ‘has a near-unrivalled understanding of Russian and CIS-related commercial disputes’; global head of litigation Peter Wood is ‘very impressive’; and special counsel Georgina Bayley ‘gives clear-headed advice’.

Bryan Cave’s team is ‘very professional and competent’. Recent experience includes successfully challenging an arbitration award on behalf of Sino Channel Asia. Mathew Rea, who is ‘a deep-thinking, hard-working lawyer’, is particularly focused on the commodities, media and financial services sectors. Robert Dougans is highly regarded.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP acts for sovereigns and global corporations in international arbitrations in key arbitral arenas, such as London, Paris, New York, and The Hague. It was counsel to Telecom Italia International and Telecom Italia in an ICC arbitration, brought by various parties in the Opportunity group of companies, regarding joint investments in Brasil Telecom. Christopher Moore, Jonathan Kelly and Jonathan Blackman, who divides time between London and New York, are experienced practitioners.

Crowell & Moring is noted for investor-state and commercial arbitration; the practice is particularly focused on the oil and gas, mining, construction, and financial services sectors. Adrian Jones is the key adviser.

Specialist PIL firm Fietta is highly rated for its advice both to investors and states in investment treaty arbitrations, under all major institutional rules; acting in domestic set-aside proceedings and international annulment proceedings relating to international arbitral awards; and assisting with state-to-state environmental, boundary and sovereignty disputes before arbitral tribunals. Stephen Fietta and counsel Jiries Saadeh are highly rated.

Fox Williams LLP’s key sectors for international arbitration are commodities, renewable energy, medical and pharmaceuticals, and transport and distribution. Gavin Foggo is experienced in infrastructure, professional services, and finance-related arbitrations; Peter Ashford handles general international commercial arbitration; and Tom Custance is noted for energy sector arbitration.

Gide Loyrette Nouel LLPleaves clients feeling completely satisfied’. The practice is recognised for its arbitration expertise in Africa, particularly regarding infrastructure projects, energy and natural resources, telecoms, and industrial joint ventures. Rupert Reecedoes an excellent job’.

Curtis Davis Garrard and Haynes and Boone, LLP recently merged to become Haynes and Boone CDG, LLP, which has ‘impressive knowledge and expertise’. William Cecil is ‘very experienced’ and has extensive expertise in offshore oil and gas and energy-related arbitrations; and James Brownprovides tremendous attention to detail’. Andreas Dracoulis and Glenn Kangisser are other key names.

Jenner & Block LLP’s ‘level of service is very high’. The practice recruited Jason Yardley, who represents clients in a range of sectors, including banking and finance, mining, energy, technology, media, and telecoms, from White & Case LLP. The team recently advised on arbitrations involving the Middle East, Africa, South America, Asia, Russia and Europe. Charlie Lightfoot, who was made co-chair of the global international arbitration practice, ‘listens to clients’ needs and creates a constructive working environment’.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP promoted Cormac Alexander to special counsel and recruited associate Mark Padley from Clifford Chance LLP. The practice has particular strength in the finance, TMT, energy, and transportation sectors; it recently acted in high-value, high-profile disputes, pursuant to the ICC, LCIA and Singapore International Arbitration Centre rules of arbitration. Tom Canning ‘has great instincts and judgement’.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP’s David Waldron, who is ‘a heavyweight litigator that you can absolutely count on to make the right call’, and Nicholas Greenwood, are the firm’s key international arbitration contacts. Waldron advises clients involved in international commercial, oil and gas, and energy disputes; and Greenwood’s clients include private equity, banking, and financial services entities, as well as organisations pursuing insurance recovery actions and joint venture claims.

O'Melvenymanages very large, high-value cases for a top-quality client base’. David Foster, who is ‘very knowledgeable about arbitration law and procedure’, regularly acts as counsel and arbitrator in high-value commercial arbitrations, and has experience representing sovereign states in both commercial and investment treaty disputes. Counsel Hayley Ichilcik is ‘very bright and efficient’.

Although traditionally known for offshore litigation, SCA Ontier LLP recently advised on high-value arbitrations involving Africa, the Middle East and Russia. The practice’s ‘level of knowledge, creativity and response is excellent’. It has acted for and against sovereign entities; and it has experience of arbitrations in several commercial sectors. Seamus Andrew is ‘a brilliant strategist’; and Oliver Cain is also highly regarded.

Sidley Austin LLP’s ‘advice is concise and straight to the point’. Sectors in which the group’s international arbitration practitioners are particularly active include financial services; insurance and reinsurance; extraction of minerals and precious metals, particularly in the CIS; and energy and drilling. The key contacts are Dorothy Cory-Wright, Matthew Shankland and senior counsel Steven Pitt.

Steptoe and Johnson LLP advises states and investors in high-value investor-state arbitrations, and the team frequently acts on energy and natural resources-related disputes; it is also noted for enforcement work, involving sovereign immunity issues. Matthew Coleman is recommended for Africa-related cases, and Angus Rodger’s ‘performance is highly appreciated’.

Taylor Wessing LLP is experienced in managing cross-border arbitration, and the practice has particular expertise in disputes involving the hotels and hospitality sector. Shane Gleghorn regularly acts in arbitrations in the finance, energy, technology and telecoms sectors, and has notable Russia and CIS region experience. Laurence Lieberman is India desk head.

International comparative guides

Giving the in-house community greater insight to the law and regulations in different jurisdictions.

Select Practice Area

GC Diversity and Inclusion Report

In partnership with...

Press releases

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

Legal Developments in London for International arbitration

  • Finding the 
right words

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

    - Macfarlanes

Legal Developments in the UK

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

Press Releases in the UK

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