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  1. Commercial litigation: Bristol
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Burges Salmon LLP’s team acted for Victoria’s Secret in its appeal of the High Court’s decision in Thomas Pink Limited v Victoria’s Secret UK Limited. The firm’s impressive client list also includes Eurostar International, The National Crime Agency, The Crown Estate and The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. David Hall and Paul Haggett lead the 15-partner practice in which IP litigator Jeremy Dickerson, pension and commercial trusts specialist Justin Briggs and commercial property expert James Sutherland are all highly recommended.

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s litigation strength lies in its insurance and financial services sector specialisms. Highlights for the group included acting for Ageas in its dispute with Phoenix Group and Cigna, which involved the question of whether part VII insurance business transfers transferred liability for historic mis-selling of PPI. Ben Daniels was part of the team that advised SunEdison Holdings in a joint venture dispute with Gamma Energy. Dan Preddy and Rebecca Smith are ‘highly professional and client focused’.

Osborne Clarke’s particular strength in the energy and financial services sectors ensures its disputes practice handles a large number of international disputes for clients including Micro Focus International, Dell and Energy Standard Group. Peter Clough (‘a real superstar’) is praised for his strategic approach to litigation and arbitration. The ‘pragmatic’ Clare Robinson and Catherine Wolfenden represented EE on commercial disputes and procurement litigation. Charlie Wedin is ‘a very good choice’ for disputes relating to the technology and digital fields.

TLT’s team is praised for its ‘sound judgement, good knowledge and attention to detail’. In a showcase of its ability to handle high-profile cases, the team is acting on behalf of the Indian government in a dispute with Pakistan concerning £35m held in a British bank account since 1948. It also has a national reputation for financial services litigation, acting for clients including Barclays Bank, Lloyds Banking Group and RBS. Chris Owen is a ‘level-headed litigator’ who is able to ‘take charge in difficult situations’. Edmund Fiddick and Siân Ashton ‘take care to understand the aims of their clients’.

Clarke Willmott LLP’s advice is ‘prompt, commercially savvy, of a very high quality and always appropriate to the circumstances’. The team is led by Alex Jakubowski, who is ‘thoughtful in his approach’ and ‘always has an eye on the overall strategy’. Highlights for Jakubowski included handling a number of heavyweight disputes arising from product contamination and subsequent recalls for clients in the retail sector. Financial services experts Philippa Hann and Stephen Searle, and commercial and IP disputes specialist Richard Moore are also highly recommended.

Public sector specialist Bevan Brittan LLP is ‘excellent; advice is well-thought-out, commercial and realistic’. The highly regarded Emily Heard heads the team and regularly acts for NHS trusts and local authorities on a wide range of disputes including breach of contract, breach of confidence and copyright infringement.

Foot Anstey continued to expand its Bristol practice with the recruitment of media litigation specialist Neil Parkes from Wiggin LLP and Mark Rhys-Jones from Eversheds LLP. Anna Bateman has an extensive track record acting in disputes and advising on regulatory issues for clients in the media and entertainment industry.

Humphreys & Co. stands out for its ‘intelligent assessment of the merits of the dispute regardless of the area of law in which it arises’. Robert Humphreys is ‘exceptionally dedicated’ and is recommended for brand-related disputes and passing-off actions.

Thrings LLP’s ‘outstanding’ practice is led by Mark Cullingford and Alastair Govier, who is ‘cool under fire’ and ‘thinks commercially’. Areas of particular strength include financial services, IP and pension litigation. Recent work for Govier includes a competition law dispute, a breach of copyright matter and a number of professional negligence claims brought against financial advisers.

Tabitha Cave’s team at Veale Wasbrough Vizards handles a wide range of disputes for education and charity sector clients. Ed Husband has particular expertise in the energy and utilities sector and counts EDF Energy as a client. The ‘knowledgeable’ Ben Holt joined from Osborne Clarke in April 2015.

Rory Mac Neice’s team at Ashfords LLP specialises in litigation in the financial and technology sectors, and advises retail and manufacturing clients on product liability and recall issues. Lloyds Bank, The Environment Agency and Viridor Waste Management are clients.

Bond Dickinson LLP’s team is led by Stephen Dilley, who specialises in financial services, insolvency, banking and commercial disputes. Clients include Post Office, Kingfisher and British Gas Services.

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Legal Developments in South West for Commercial litigation: Bristol

  • US rules regarding offshore accounts

    The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act 2010, enacted on 18 March 2010, imposes a new US withholding tax and reporting regime, known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The FATCA regime applies generally to payments made after 31 December 2012, except on obligations (to be defined in future guidance) outstanding on 18 March 2012. Substantial effort is required by foreign entities to bring their worldwide operations and policies into compliance with the FATCA rules as of the effective date.

    - Jones Day

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