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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s β€˜outstanding’ team acted for Anglo American in a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) arbitration. Nigel Rawding QC heads the department, which includes respected practitioners Sylvia Noury (who β€˜manages arbitration superbly’), Reza Mohtashami, Christopher Pugh and Jane Jenkins.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP’s practice represented Devas Multimedia in a breach of contract arbitration. David Kavanagh is recommended alongside Karyl Nairn QC (who is singled out for her β€˜tactical awareness’), Bruce Macaulay and the β€˜tenacious’ Daniel Gal. David Herlihy and newly promoted partner David Edwards are also highly rated.

WilmerHale is β€˜a top international arbitration firm’ that is widely respected for its track record in complex, high-value matters, including telecoms disputes and gas sales contract claims. Gary Born, Franz Schwarz and Steven Finizio are recommended, as is the β€˜diligent’ Duncan Speller.

Allen & Overy LLP stands out for energy disputes, including arbitrations relating to gas pricing, finance and insurance coverage. Richard Smith is noted for his β€˜excellent judgement’ and Jeffrey Sullivan is β€˜a safe pair of hands’. Other β€˜brilliant advisers’ include Mark Levy and recently promoted partner Kate Davies.

Clifford Chance LLP recruited Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s former international counsel Jessica Gladstone as partner. The practice acted for a Latvian investor in an arbitration concerning the expropriation of a bank in the Kyrgyz Republic. Audley Sheppard QC is recommended alongside the β€˜refreshingly direct’ Rob Lambert, β€˜user-friendly’ Marie Berard, and Alex Panayides.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s team of β€˜diligent lawyers’ defended the Republic of Korea in an arbitration involving share disposals in an oil company. Key figures include Lord Peter Goldsmith QC, *Sophie Lamb (who is noted for her β€˜ability to grasp complex disputes’), Tony Dymond and newly promoted partner Patrick Taylor. Former international counsel Jessica Gladstone joined Clifford Chance LLP. *Sophie Lamb joined Latham & Watkins in June 2016.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s Chris Parker and Dominic Roughton returned to London from New York and Tokyo, respectively, while Christian Leathley relocated to New York and Matthew Weiniger QC joined Linklaters LLP. The β€˜detail-oriented and strategic’ practice advised Vedanta Resources in its BIT claim against the Government of India. Clients praise Paula Hodges QC, who is β€˜a comforting presence’, the β€˜client-friendly’ Craig Tevendale, and Nicholas Peacock, for his β€˜mastery of the facts’.

Hogan Lovells International LLP handles the full spectrum of commercial arbitration, public international law (PIL) and project, engineering and construction disputes. The names to note are Michael Davison, Kieron O’Callaghan, Julianne Hughes-Jennett and Markus Burgstaller.

Three Crowns LLP’s team represented ConocoPhillips in a claim involving the expropriation of its oil project interests. Constantine Partasides QC, GaΓ«tan Verhoosel and Carmen Martinez Lopez are recommended alongside newly promoted partner Scott Vesel, who attracts praise for his ability to β€˜master complex issues’.

White & Case LLP is praised for the β€˜sophistication of its legal services’. The team acted for Grupo Unidos por el Canal (Panama) and its shareholders in a dispute surrounding the Panama Canal expansion project. Key figures include Phillip Capper, David Goldberg (who β€˜has excellent instincts’), Dipen Sabharwal (who attracts praise for his β€˜great experience’) and Robert Wheal. Charlie Lightfoot joined Jenner & Block LLP.

Changes to Ashurst’s team in London in 2015 included the recruitment of DLA Piper’s former team head Matthew Saunders; Ben Giaretta’s return to London from Singapore; and Ronnie King’s relocation to Singapore. The practice focuses primarily on the financial services industry and resources and infrastructure clients. Standout team members include the β€˜practical’ Mark Clarke, Tim Reid, who β€˜has vast experience’, and Tom Cummins, who is β€˜on top of the law’.

Clyde & Co LLP recruited Richard Power from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP; he brings his track record as former oil and gas disputes head to a practice known for its transportation and insurance expertise. The practice represented the Republic of Yemen in proceedings involving an airport terminal building’s construction. The β€˜experienced’ Ben Knowles is recommended alongside Peter Hirst, David Leckie, Devika Khanna and Maurice Kenton.

King & Spalding International LLP is singled out for its β€˜in-depth experience’ in Russia and CIS related matters. The team represented Reliance in disputes concerning a production sharing contract. The β€˜solutions-oriented’ Thomas Sprange QC, β€˜efficient’ Stuart Isaacs QC, and Sarah Walker (who is β€˜a pleasure to work with’) are recommended alongside Nicholas Cherryman, Ruth Byrne and Egishe Dzhazoyan.

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP is experienced in M&A disputes, breach of contract claims, insurance coverage matters, and securities and shareholder litigation. Key individuals include the β€˜superb’ Chris Colbridge, β€˜dedicated’ Chiraag Shah, and β€˜effective’ Rajinder Bassi.

Latham & Watkins represented Travis Coal Restructured Holdings in an arbitration to enforce a loan repayment. Philip Clifford and Oliver Browne are recommended alongside Charles Claypoole, who β€˜has deep knowledge’; Sebastian Seelmann-Eggebert, who splits his time between London and Hamburg and β€˜grasps legal concepts easily’; and Simon Bushell.

Linklaters LLP hired Matthew Weiniger QC from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP. The team focuses on oil and gas, natural resources and telecoms disputes. Greg Reid, Tom Lidstrom and Ben Carroll are also recommended.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s β€˜proactive team’ focuses predominantly on energy, trade and transport disputes, as well as construction, mining and finance claims. Dispute resolution head Deirdre Walker is recommended alongside Deborah Ruff, Neil Miller, Donald Warnock, Philip Roche and the β€˜outstanding’ Sherina Petit. Since publication, Deborah Ruff has joined Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP is known for oil and gas, mining, energy, telecoms, and construction disputes. Stephen Jagusch and Anthony Sinclair are recommended alongside Ted Greeno, Sue Prevezer QC, Alex Gerbi and Nick Marsh. The β€˜highly creative’ Epaminontas Triantafilou was promoted to partner.

Vinson & Elkins RLLP’s β€˜excellent team’ represented investors in proceedings brought against Costa Rica concerning a resort development. James Loftis heads the team, which includes the β€˜tenacious’ Nick Henchie, Mark Beeley, George Burn and Amir Ghaffari.

Baker McKenzie LLP hired Andy Moody from Eversheds LLP. The practice stands out for financial and M&A arbitrations; it is also recommended for energy, mining, infrastructure and investment treaty arbitrations. Steve Abraham, Edward Poulton and John Leadley are key contacts. Jeremy Winter became an independent arbitrator.

Baker Botts (UK) LLP β€˜provides outstanding service’. The team is known for projects and energy and natural resources related disputes. Key figures include Jay Alexander, Johannes Koepp and the β€˜highly professional’ Alejandro Escobar.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP recruited Ania Farren from K&L Gates LLP, while Richard Power joined Clyde & Co LLP. The practice distinguishes itself in construction, insurance and reinsurance, and hotels and leisure disputes. Roman Khodykin is noted for his β€˜effective advocacy’ and is recommended alongside Michael Polonsky (who is β€˜deeply experienced’), Carol Mulcahy and Terry de Souza.

CMS’ β€˜effective team’ is known for energy, construction, projects and infrastructure claims; the team also acts in TMT, insurance, hotels and leisure, and life sciences disputes. Guy Pendell, Phillip Ashley, Adrian Bell and Tim Hardy are recommended. Other key advisers include Colin Hutton, Rob Wilson, Alex Denslow, London and Edinburgh-based Lindy Patterson QC, who β€˜articulates complex issues in plain terms’, and Omar Qureshi, who β€˜understands all aspects of disputes’.

Notwithstanding the departure of DLA Piper’s former team head Matthew Saunders to Ashurst, the firm’s arbitration practice remains a key player for energy disputes, investment treaty claims and Africa-related work. Philip Chong is noted for his β€˜excellent strategic insight’, and Kate Cervantes-Knox β€˜manages disputes brilliantly’. Richard McGrane, Jeremy Andrews and Mark Hilton are also recommended, as is newly promoted partner James Carter.

Eversheds LLP’s β€˜knowledgeable team’ is particularly active in disputes involving energy and infrastructure, aviation, financial services and PIL issues. The β€˜professional’ Stuart Dutson is recommended alongside Neville Byford and Jonathan Leach, who joined from Hogan Lovells International LLP. Andy Moody departed for Baker McKenzie LLP.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s β€˜practical and business-focused’ team includes Cyrus Benson, who is experienced in oil and gas, mining, and financial services disputes; and Penny Madden, who specialises in telecoms, media and IT disputes and stands out for her β€˜outstanding advocacy’. Osma Hudda is also recommended.

β€˜A growing force in international arbitration’, Mayer Brown International LLP’s London team acted alongside the Paris office for Panama Canal Authority in multiple disputes with a construction consortium. Raid Abu-Manneh has β€˜a good nose for the merits of a dispute’. Mark Stefanini is also well regarded.

Pinsent Masons LLP is best known for construction and infrastructure disputes; it also advises on energy, technology, finance and insurance matters. Mark Roe heads the international arbitration practice, which includes Michael Fenn, who stands out for his β€˜excellent experience’; Jason Hambury, who is β€˜a genuine international arbitration specialist’; the β€˜impressive’ Adrian Elliot; Rob McCallough, who is β€˜extremely good’; and Virginie Colaiuta. John Gilbert joined K&L Gates LLP and Meriam Al-Rashid exited for Dentons’ New York office.

Reed Smith LLP is noted for its β€˜excellent advice’ and knowledge of the commodity, shipping, defence, and projects and infrastructure sectors. It is also continuing to develop its investor-state arbitration practice. Gautam Bhattacharyya is recommended alongside Belinda Paisley and Chloe Carswell. Gordon Bell left the firm.

Shearman & Sterling LLP recruited Jeremy Sharpe from the US Department of State; he joins a team with extensive investment treaty arbitration expertise, as illustrated by its representation of Cairn Energy in a treaty claim against the Republic of India. Mark McNeill is β€˜knowledgeable’ and Alexander Uff is highly rated.

Simmons & Simmons recruited Rob Horne from Trowers & Hamlins LLP. The practice is geared towards handling disputes in emerging markets and developing economies, particularly in the telecoms, financial institutions, and energy and infrastructure sectors. Simon Morgan and Jayne Bentham are noted for their ability to β€˜gain tribunals’ trust’, and are recommended alongside the β€˜totally reliable’ David Sandy .

Slaughter and May’s team acted for RWE Supply & Trading in arbitrations concerning oil and gas interests. Nick Gray is β€˜an experienced litigator’ and is recommended alongside James Stacey and newly promoted partner Damian Taylor.

Stephenson Harwood’s Louis Flannery is noted for his β€˜encyclopaedic arbitration knowledge’, and is recommended alongside the β€˜effective’ Kamal Shah and β€˜commercially minded’ Shai Wade. The team defended Konkola Copper Mines in high-value proceedings. Haris Zografakis is also well regarded.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges’ Juliet Blanch is an energy disputes expert and Jamie Maples has particular interest in India-related claims. Blanch and Maples are β€˜excellent’.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld strengthened its contentious construction expertise with the recruitment of Hamish Lal from Jones Day. The team acted for Lukoil Overseas West Project in an arbitration arising from the sale of a stake in oil and gas assets. Justin Williams β€˜provides sound advice’ and is recommended alongside Richard Hornshaw.

Arnold & Porter (UK) LLP stands out for investor-state arbitrations, and is also active in commercial disputes. The team defended the Czech Republic against Energy Charter Treaty and BIT claims. Dmitri Evseev and David Reed are recommended.

Boies, Schiller & Flexner (UK) LLP is noted for his specialist finance and banking arbitration expertise. Wendy Miles QC β€˜goes the extra mile’ and is recommended alongside Kenneth Beale, who joined from WilmerHale’s Washington DC office.

Covington & Burling LLP welcomed special counsel Stephanie Sarzana from WilmerHale. The team advised Ukraine’s national oil and gas company in potential investment treaty claims. Jeremy Wilson is recommended alongside senior of counsel Stephen Bond.

Dechert LLP’s β€˜great lawyers’ regularly act in emerging markets matters (particularly Russia and Eastern Europe, Latin America and UAE) arising from oil and gas and financial disputes. Timothy Lindsay joined New Zealand firm Lowndes Jordan.

Dentons β€˜understands clients’ needs’. The practice acted for Sezaria in debt recovery arbitration claims. Liz Tout is β€˜determined’, Dominic Pellew β€˜understands proceedings’ practicalities’, and Michelle Bradfield is highly rated.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson (London) LLP is recommended for arbitrations involving M&A, IP, energy projects, construction and investment treaty issues. James Kitching and Justin Michaelson are key contacts.

Key figures at Holman Fenwick Willan include Damian Honey, whose sector expertise covers financial services and energy; Paul Wordley, who has particular energy disputes strength; and Costas Frangeskides, who is an experienced arbitration practitioner. Steven Paull is also recommended.

K&L Gates LLP recruited John Gilbert from Pinsent Masons LLP. The practice represented the Kingdom of Spain and Republic of France in a dispute arising out of the loss of an oil tanker. Ian Meredith is recommended.

King & Wood Mallesons’ team stands out for Russia/CIS work and advises on China-related disputes. Craig Pollack* is β€˜a keen strategist’ and Paul Stothard is β€˜trustworthy’. Andrei Yakovlev and Dorothy Murray are also experienced practitioners. *Following publication of The Legal 500 UK 2016, Craig Pollack has joined Covington & Burling LLP.

Olswang LLP is known for media and technology-related disputes, often involving Russia and CIS. The β€˜user-friendly’ Richard Bamforth is recommended alongside Jeremy Mash.

Osborne Clarke has expertise in energy and renewables sector arbitrations. Greg Fullelove is recommended.

Signature Litigation LLP’s β€˜excellent team’ is frequently called on by Russia and CIS clients to act in multi-party, multi-jurisdictional disputes. Natalia Chumak β€˜has an excellent grasp of how points might play before tribunals’.

Squire Patton Boggs’ team grew its energy, investor-state and commercial arbitration workload in 2015. Carol Welu is β€˜wonderful’ and Ben Holland β€˜gets good results’. Other noteworthy names are James Barratt, Alexis Martinez and George von Mehren, who splits his time between London and Cleveland.

Volterra Fietta’s former partner Stephen Fietta exited to found Fietta. The practice is recommended for investor-state and state-to-state arbitrations; it also has a growing international commercial arbitration practice. Robert Volterra, Patricio GranΓ© Labat* and Graham Coop are recommended. *Since publication, Patricio GranΓ© Labat joined Arnold Porter (UK) LLP.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP is known for shipping, energy, offshore construction and commodities-related disputes. The β€˜excellent’ Andrew Savage and β€˜knowledgeable’ Andrew Hutcheon are recommended.

Addleshaw Goddard LLP’s β€˜strong team’ is recommended for energy and life sciences, as well as construction and insurance disputes. Simon Kamstra and Jon Tweedale are key advisers.

Andrews Kurth (UK) LLP has expertise in energy and construction arbitrations. Melanie Willems and Markus Esly are recommended.

Bird & Bird LLP is rated for its focus on the technology, telecoms and pharmaceuticals sectors; the practice also grew its oil and gas and natural resources sector expertise. Steven Baker and Garreth Wong are key contacts.

Cooley (UK) LLP is known for insurance/reinsurance arbitrations. David Kendall and Kevin Perry are team heads.

DAC Beachcroft LLP recently advised the claimant in a European construction arbitration. Matthew Wescott and consultant Danny Gowan are key figures.

Enyo Law LLP fields a team of β€˜hardworking lawyers’ that is rated for its commercial arbitration expertise. George Maling β€˜provides exceptional management’ and Anna Maxwell is β€˜highly intelligent’. Alexander Walsh is also well regarded.

Fenwick Elliott LLP’s β€˜outstanding practice’ is known for international construction, infrastructure and energy project disputes. Richard Smellie is β€˜an outstanding strategist’ and Jeremy Glover is highly rated.

Fieldfisher recruited Simon Sloane from Reed Smith LLP’s Singapore office. Most of the firm’s work is natural resources-based; it also advises on finance, transport, media, energy and leisure sector disputes. Simon Moore, Alexandra Underwood and Colin Gibson are also recommended.

Gowling WLG is recommended for energy and natural resources, insurance and reinsurance, construction, and IP-related international arbitrations.

Jones Day’s β€˜responsive, accurate practice’ is experienced in arbitrations involving Russian and CIS parties. Lee Coffey is recommended. Hamish Lal joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld.

β€˜Fantastic to work with’, Mishcon de Reya LLP acts in commercial and investor-state arbitrations, and stands out for Africa-related disputes. Karel Daele is β€˜superb’.

RPC is experienced in construction and engineering, international trade and finance claims, as well as transport, IP, energy, insurance and reinsurance disputes. Jonathan Wood β€˜understands arbitration procedures’.

Stewarts Law LLP’s β€˜dynamic team’ regularly advises clients in the oil and gas, commodity trading and shipping and automotive industries in arbitrations. Philippa Charles is β€˜a great strategist’.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP’s β€˜fearless’ practice is known for Middle East related construction, energy, manufacturing and aviation arbitrations. Ned Beale β€˜fights extremely hard’. Rob Horne joined Simmons & Simmons.

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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 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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