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United Kingdom > London > Finance > Commodities: physicals > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Commodities: physicals
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Clyde & Co LLPscores highly on all criteria, especially industry knowledge and judgement’. The practice, which acts for leading trading houses such as Glencore and Vitol, has outstanding contentious practitioners in Hatty Sumption, Michael Swangard, sanctions expert John Whittaker and Eurof Lloyd-Lewis. Clare Hatcher excels in trading matters and regulation, and Marko Kraljevic stands out for energy transactions. Paul Dillon, who joined from Reed Smith LLP, adds expertise in energy and natural resources disputes. Litigation associate Tara Smith is one to watch.

Hill Dickinson LLP is noted for its ‘exceptionally professional advice on commodity disputes’. Soft commodities expert Jeff Isaacs is a leading practitioner in the sugar market. 40-year market veteran David Lucasknows his way around every problem’. The ‘technically competent’ Fred Konynenburg and Paul Taylorrespond quickly with to-the-point advice and pragmatic, clear proposals’. Litigator Darren Wallshows exceptional skill and knowledge’, and advised Nidera on a $3m GAFTA arbitration. Other clients include BP, Noble and Cargill.

Holman Fenwick Willan is ‘one of the top players in this area’. The ‘attentive and thoroughBrian Perrott (who ‘builds excellent relationships with clients’) advised Cargill in a multimillion-dollar Supreme Court case. Head of litigation Damian Honey, who represented BP Oil in a crude oil sales contract matter, and disputes partners Chris Swart and Richard Merrylees are also highly recommended. Other key figures include Alistair Feeney, who has ‘an easy grasp of the issues’; Judith Prior, who is a key adviser to the sugar industry; Robert Finney, who is recommended for regulatory matters; and Sarah Taylor, for her expertise in coal, iron ore and metals disputes.

Reed Smith LLP is ‘a market leader and first port of call for any major player in the commodity markets’. Key figures include Kyri Evagora, who is ‘a superb team leader and a hardy fighter’; Andrew Meads, who is ‘bright, experienced, loyal and hardworking’; ‘very effective operator’ Diane Galloway, who ‘cuts to the point and gets outstanding results’; and Richard Swinburn, who is ‘a sure pair of hands in a crisis’. Vassia Payiataki (‘a doyenne of GAFTA and FOSFA matters’) successfully acted for Bunge in a Supreme Court case against Nidera. Glencore, Chevron and Vale are also clients.

Stephenson Harwood’s ‘responsive, practical and adaptable’ practice is considered ‘top for disputes in the oil and tanker business’. Haris Zografakis is recommended for disputes and advisory work in hard, soft and energy commodities, and Paolo Ghirardani is a popular choice for disputes work among leading oil companies and trading houses. Peter Bennett represented Mercuria Energy Trading in a $270m dispute with Citibank concerning metal stocks in Qingdao.

Ashurst is noted for its ‘strong bench, industry expertise and commercial approach’. Antony Skinner advises Bank of America Merrill Lynch on commodity matters and is recommended alongside Michael Burns, for his ‘great depth of energy industry knowledge’; Philip Thomson, who advised BP Gas Marketing on the purchase of gas from Ithaca Energy; and newly promoted partner Julia Derrick, who provides ‘sound, practical advice based on extensive experience’.

At DLA Piper, Richard Usher’s time as general counsel at international commodity trading firms enables him to provide clients with ‘a unique perspective on commodities transactions’. Shipping and commodities litigator Linos Choo is also recommended. The firm counts ANZ Bank, Standard Chartered and Falcon Group among its clients.

Ince & Co lost former global head of trade Stuart Shepherd to RPC but retains an active commodity disputes practice. Key figures include Will Marshall, who acted in a multimillion-dollar case regarding contaminated crude oil shipments; and Jonathan Goldfarb, who acts for leading trading houses. Gunvor and Vitol are also clients.

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP is a leading light in commodities and energy trading. David Birchall advised Intergen on its UK power trading and acted for JPMorgan Chase in the sale of its physical commodities business to Mercuria. ADDAX Petroleum and Olam International are also clients.

The ‘incredibly hardworking and intelligent’ team at Norton Rose Fulbrightprovides first-class industry expertise and commercial advice even when imaginative solutions are required’. Nicholas Grandage and senior associate Andrew Wood are ‘trusted advisers’. Grandage advised Standard Chartered Trade Services Corporation on a supply agreement for metals, while Michael Godden represented Citibank in a dispute over metals stored in Qingdao.

Sutherland (Europe) LLP advises some of the world’s largest oil companies and trading houses on energy and metals matters. Key figures include Mark Aspinall and Paul Sinnott, who are ‘well known in the London market and have in-depth knowledge’; John McCaskill, who excels in soft commodity trading; and experienced litigator Jenni Lajzerowicz.

Thomas Cooper LLP is sought after by both banks and commodity trading houses. Highlights for Charles Williams’s team included contract disputes arising from grain shipments to Iran; a multimillion-pound dispute before the Sugar Association of London; and a contamination case concerning grain from Ukraine. Lisa Hillary stands out for contentious matters.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP is ‘right at the top for commodity trading matters’. ‘Sophisticated and tenacious litigatorAndrew Hutcheon is ‘incredibly knowledgeable about international trade and navigates multi-jurisdictional complexities with ease’. Head of Litigation and Arbitration Andrew Savage represented a cotton producer in a High Court appeal of an International Cotton Association arbitration award.

At DWF, head of shipping and commodities Jonathan Moss won a case for Trafigura concerning a $150m purchase of oil supplies from Malaysia. Other recommended disputes figures include Michael Kingston and former barrister Elliott Bromley. Nimex Petroleum and Van Dalen Metals Recycling & Trading are among the firm’s clients.

Gateley Plc’s Nicholas Walser has over 30 years’ experience in commodity disputes, particularly GAFTA and FOSFA arbitrations. His highlights included a $15m GAFTA case concerning feed barley and a $5m FOSFA matter arising from corn oil shipments.

At Linklaters LLP, Chris Staples (who is ‘a really smart dealmaker’) advised BTG Pactual on a $100m prepayment facility for crude oil products. Jeremy Gewirtz acted for Noble Europe in crude oil supply arrangements to the Klesch Group’s Heide refinery. Glencore and BP are among the team’s clients.

At specialist maritime and international trade firm Mills & Co, Neville Hopper is ‘the complete package’; he represented Vitol in jet fuel disputes against Morgan Stanley Capital. Jonathan Green’s broad commodity disputes practice includes a strong pipeline of trade arbitrations. Simon Williams is recommended for metals trading matters.

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