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Allen & Overy LLP promoted Kate Davies (‘gives concise, rational and commercial advice’) to partner, while former counsel Angeline Welsh joined Matrix Chambers. The team advised a group of German investors seeking to challenge the Spanish government’s amendments to its renewable energy programme. Jeffrey Sullivan ‘gives practical advice’ and Mark Levy is ‘very impressive’.

Clifford Chance LLP hired Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s former international counsel Jessica Gladstone as partner. The practice is highly rated for investment treaty disputes, as well as international sanctions and sovereign debt matters. Rae Lindsay and Audley Sheppard QC are recommended.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s practice head Sylvia Nourymanages work superbly’. The team advised Anglo American on a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) arbitration relating to the expropriation of mining assets.

Specialist public international law (PIL) firm Volterra Fietta saw the departure of Stephen Fietta to establish Fietta. Nonetheless, the team has maintained its high activity levels, and was recently engaged in state-to-state sovereign disputes on behalf of Malaysia. Robert Volterra, Patricio Grané Labat*, Graham Coop and Christophe Bondy are recommended. Giorgio Mandelli made partner. *Since publicationPatricio Grané Labat joined Arnold Porter (UK) LLP.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is ‘highly recommended’ for significant investment treaty arbitration, the protection of international investments, representing states on key diplomatic issues, and advising on human rights issues of international importance. Department head Lord (Peter) Goldsmith QC is ‘a strong leader’ and *Sophie Lamb is ‘a pleasure to work with’. Also recommended are international counsels Patrick Taylor, who ‘is noted for his reasoned analysis’, and the ‘highly organised’ Aimee-Jane Lee. Former international counsel Jessica Gladstone joined Clifford Chance LLP. *Sophie Lamb joined Latham & Watkins in June 2016.

Changes to Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s team included the departure of Matthew Weiniger QC to Linklaters LLP and Dominic Roughton’s relocation to London from the Tokyo office. Key work included representing the Republic of Costa Rica in an arbitration against investors claiming that the state expropriated their investment. Andrew Cannon and Christian Leathley relocated to the Paris and New York offices, respectively.

Hogan Lovells International LLP handles disputes for sovereign states, as well as for large and small commercial entities. The team defended the Government of Vietnam against an investment treaty claim brought under the France-Vietnam BIT. Markus Burgstaller is department head and Michael Davison and Julianne Hughes-Jennett are also key names.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP has strong experience in investment treaty and Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) arbitrations. The practice represented PJSC Oschadbank in a dispute under the Ukraine/Russia BIT, which related to investment losses in Crimea. Stephen Jagusch, Anthony Sinclair and Epaminontas Triantafilou are highly rated.

In addition to Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP’s good name for investment treaty cases, the firm also has extensive experience representing states on inter-state matters and has also expanded its PIL capability into European law matters. The team represented Vodafone in an investment treaty dispute against the government of India. Karyl Nairn, Bruce Macaulay and David Herlihy are recommended alongside David Kavanagh, Daniel Gal and newly promoted partner David Edwards.

Arnold & Porter (UK) LLP stands out for its investor-state arbitration expertise, particularly CEE matters and intra-EU investment claims. The team is also known for its representation of sovereigns in international financial transactions. Dmitri Evseev and David Reed are recommended.

Baker McKenzie LLP welcomed Andy Moody from Eversheds LLP. The team combines expertise in investment treaty arbitration with international sanctions, climate change and environment work. Edward Poulton, Ross Denton and Sunwinder (Sunny) Mann are recommended.

Noted for ‘providing fast solutions to problems’, Baker Botts (UK) LLP’s PIL group works closely with the firm’s projects and energy and natural resources groups, and has a strong EU sanctions capability. Jay Alexander heads the group, which includes Alejandro Escobar (who is ‘a strategic thinker’), Johannes Koepp and Chris Caulfield.

Clyde & Co LLP leverages its traditional strengths in shipping, insurance and transportation to handle a range of PIL-related work, including boundary disputes, pollution and rights of passage issues, trade sanctions work, and investment cases. John Whittaker heads the team.

At Cooley (UK) LLP, senior counsel Tim Daniel is ‘a well-respected member of London’s PIL community’. The team advised the Federal Government of Nigeria on sovereign immunity issues arising from the attempted enforcement in England of a Nigerian judgment against the client. Laurence Harris and James Maton are also well regarded.

DLA Piper combines significant investment treaty arbitration expertise with a broader PIL practice that encompasses advisory work to states, trade and investment negotiations, and sanctions work. Kate Cervantes-Knox, Janet Legrand and Richard McGrane are recommended. Matthew Saunders joined Ashurst.

Key figures at Dentons include Michelle Bradfield, whose ‘PIL pedigree is among the best in London’; the ‘impressiveDominic Pellew; and Liz Tout. The team acted for a solar power company in a ECT arbitration against a European state.

Eversheds LLP’s PIL practice handles ICSID cases and investor-state disputes, and stands out for Africa and Middle East work. Stuart Dutson is recommended. Andy Moody joined Baker McKenzie LLP, while Jonathan Leach arrived from Hogan Lovells International LLP’s Singapore office

The ‘calm, measured and unflappableStephen Fietta established dedicated PIL and international arbitration firm Fietta in December 2015 following his departure from Volterra Fietta. Its lawyers act in investment treaty arbitrations; state-to-state environmental, boundary and sovereignty disputes; and human rights and sovereign immunity cases.

Latham & Watkins’ areas of focus include international boundary law and Law of the Sea disputes; investment treaty law; and international trade sanctions. Charles Claypoole, Sebastian Seelmann-Eggebert (who splits his time between London and Hamburg) and Oliver Browne are key names.

Linklaters LLP welcomed Matthew Weiniger QC from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP. The team is recommended for international sanctions work, investment arbitrations, state immunity issues and international human rights law.

Reed Smith LLP is well known for investor-state arbitrations (particularly defence/state side), and has expanded its practice to encompass state-to-state disputes and cases involving sovereign and diplomatic immunity and extradition. Belinda Paisley and Chloe Carswell are recommended.

Three Crowns LLP acted for ConocoPhillips in a dispute against Venezuela that arose from the expropriation of the client’s assets. Constantine Partasides QC, Gaëtan Verhoosel and Carmen Martinez Lopez are highly rated, as is newly promoted partner Scott Vesel.

WilmerHale is well known for state-to-state matters, intra-state disputes and high-value investor-state arbitration; PIL issues arising in national courts; sovereign-related matters; and legal proceedings involving rights of freedom of speech and belief. Gary Born and Steven Finizio are recommended.

Boies, Schiller & Flexner (UK) LLP is recommended for high-stakes PIL disputes, and particularly stands out for investor-state banking and finance cases. Wendy Miles QC is highly experienced. Kenneth Beale joined in London from WilmerHale’s Washington DC office.

Carter-Ruck has specific expertise in asset freezing measures. The team advised Al Jazeera Media Network in its investment arbitration against Egypt. Clients recommend Guy Martin, who ‘pursues the best outcome for clients’, and Cameron Doley.

Dechert LLP handles investment treaty cases for both states and investors (often in emerging markets). Timothy Lindsay is recommended.

E&A Law Limited advises governments and energy companies on PIL issues. Ana Stanic is ‘a very able and experienced lawyer; she is a real star’.

At Nabarro LLPKaren Denny advises on sovereign immunity, freezing injunctions, enforcing foreign judgments, and obtaining evidence for use in overseas proceedings.

Stephenson Harwood’s practice handles financial sanctions, asset tracing and the enforcement of high-value arbitration awards; it also has specialist Africa market experience. Kamal Shahhas sound legal and commercial instincts’, and Sue Millar and senior associate Stephen Ashley are ‘extremely knowledgeable’.

Steptoe & Johnson’s ‘highly responsive team’ acts in investment treaty arbitrations and enforcement matters involving sovereign immunity. Matthew Coleman is praised for his ‘excellent knowledge’.

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  • 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

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