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DWF

20 FENCHURCH STREET, LONDON, EC3M 3AG, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 03333 202220
Fax:
Fax 03333 204440
DX:
584 LONDON CITY EC3 4AD
Email:
Web:
www.dwf.law
Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol BS1, Bristol BS1, Brussels, Cologne and 13 more

London: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - ranked: tier 8

DWF

DWFhas a growing practice and its lawyers think hard about their cases and deliver excellent results’. It recruited Jonathan Isaacs, who has ‘a first-rate legal mind’, and the ‘well-regarded’ Richard Twomey, known for energy, technology and manufacturing disputes, from PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP and Pinsent Masons LLP respectively. The practice is particularly focused on High Court, post-transaction, corporate litigation; and shareholder, joint venture and contract disputes. Stefan Paciorek is also highly regarded.

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Debt recovery
Debt recovery - ranked: tier 3

DWF

Responsive and informative form beginning to end’, DWF handles volume debt recovery and bespoke cases, including strategic enforcement, contested debt litigation and insolvency-related proceedings. In addition to its focus on technological innovation, the team has concentrated on expanding its international recovery offering, having recently been appointed to the European Collections and Enforcement Network. Leeds-based David Scottow heads the firm’s debt recovery practice and has extensive experience in debt litigation and insolvency. James Perry is providing ongoing assistance to a plc in relation to those debt recovery proceedings in which judgments are brought against the company, and has also been involved in debt cases involving criminal claims. Another key contact is Neil Jinks, the firm’s commercial and client development director, who has extensive experience in credit management, collections and civil recoveries. In 2016, the firm has picked up several significant new clients including Scottish Water Business Stream.

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London: Finance

Commodities: physicals
Commodities: physicals - ranked: tier 3

DWF

DWF’s commodities work stems from its strong shipping and insurance practice. Head of shipping and commodities Jonathan Moss handles major disputes for charterers, cargo owners and underwriters, while Michael Kingston is well known for commodities and marine insurance matters. Senior associate and former barrister Elliott Bromley is also recommended, as is Peter Olymbios. In a highlight matter the team advised commodities trader Trafigura on the loss of cargo after a fire at an oil terminal in Johor, Malaysia. At arbitration an award of $150m was made and the team is pursuing enforcement proceedings.

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London: Human resources

Employment: employers and senior executives
Employment: employers - ranked: tier 6

DWF

Employment: senior executives - ranked: tier 4

DWF

DWF’s ‘excellent’ team provides ‘high engagement, prompt response times and strong leadership at partner level’. The team is led by the ‘very client-focusedHelga Breen, who has particular strength in regulatory matters, boardroom disputes, executive terminations and High Court litigation. Breen is ably assisted by Angela Simpson, who handles the employment aspects of M&A transactions, reorganisations and private equity investments. Clients include the British Medial Association, PepsiCo and ADG Market Making.

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Health and safety
Health and safety - ranked: tier 1

DWF

DWF’s practice acts for insurers and large corporates, often handling prosecutions. Paul Matthews acted for Mercado in a corporate manslaughter investigation arising from the fatality of an employee. Hilary Ross and Dominic Watkins represented Queenswood School in a prosecution brought before the Crown Court following a serious accident. The practice is headed by Manchester-based Steffan Groch, who often acts for directors and managers in HSE prosecutions, with particular expertise in corporate manslaughter. Paul Matthews, who has experience advising clients on compliance and risk management, is another name to note.

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Pensions
Pensions: dispute resolution - ranked: tier 3

DWF

Valued for its ‘prompt, succinct, commercial and sensible advice’, DWF’s pensions team has experience in a diverse range of disputes, including equalisation and insolvency cases. National department co-head Tim Green has been advising Morrisons as the sponsor on the first equalisation case brought before the Court of Appeal, Safeway Ltd v Newton. Amanda Banister – ‘one of the best pensions lawyers in the market’ – has been representing the board of the Pension Protection Fund in the high-profile case Hampshire v PPF before the Court of Appeal and Court of Justice of the European Union regarding PPF compensation limits compliant with the EU Insolvency Directive. Green jointly heads the department with national commercial litigation head Joel Heap. Other clients include the trustees of the Caparo 1988 Pension Scheme, Nottingham City Transport Pension Fund and Swatch Group UK Pension Plan.

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London: Insurance

Insurance and reinsurance litigation
Insurance and reinsurance litigation - ranked: tier 3

DWF

DWF shines in marine disputes that cover multiple jurisdictions such as Sierra Leone, Malaysia and Indonesia. In addition to leading the transport group, Jonathan Moss (‘extremely thorough and has the ability to put people at ease’) heads the marine, trade and energy practice, and is enforcing a $150m arbitration award on behalf of Trafigura, which concerns a claim against Tanjung Langsat Port for the loss of insured and uninsured cargo in a fire. Moss is also defending RaetsMarine against an insured claimant in relation to a vessel that collided with a jetty. The firm ‘makes clients feel valued and respected’, with Zurich and Travelers featuring on the extensive client roster. Global casualty practice head John Groome has a wealth of experience in coverage, property and product liability matters, and senior associate Elliott Bromley is recommended for a range of claims, including business interruption and construction disputes. As well we merging with Fox Hartley, the practice absorbed Triton Global, adding Michael Robin, chairman David Simon, John Coleman and Leeds-based Jason Ford to the team. Other personnel changes included hiring Antony Woodhouse from Gowling WLG.

Leading individuals

John Groome - DWF

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Insurance: corporate and regulatory
Insurance: corporate and regulatory - ranked: tier 5

DWF

At DWF, key areas of expertise include insurance market corporate transactions, commercial operations, regulatory investigations and funding and investment ventures. The team also has a strong track record in new product development, most notably in the warranty and indemnity space, and regularly advises on the drafting, operation and enforcement of underwriting and distribution agreements. Key practitioners include Jeremy Irving, who specializes in compliance and regulatory matters including investigations, disputes and corporate matters, and Douglas Howie, who advises on M&A transactions, commercial alliances, group reorganisations and business transfer schemes. Markerstudy and HW Kaufman Financial Group are active longstanding clients, and new client wins include Gallagher Bassett, Inflexion and Rockbourne.

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Personal injury: defendant
Personal injury: defendant - ranked: tier 1

DWF

DWF’s ‘well-prepared’ group is led by Graham Dickinson who has notable experience acting on international claims, particularly involving large-loss injury cases for French and Spanish insurers. Claire Bowler heads the international claims group and acts for a number of UK and European insurers across the entire spectrum of catastrophic injury and large-loss claims, specialising in high-value international cases, motor claims, employers’ liability and product liability cases.

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Product liability: defendant
Product liability: defendant - ranked: tier 3

DWF

The ‘very strong’ practice at DWF merged with specialist insurance firm Fox Hartley, which saw London and Bristol-based Trevor Fox and Peter Barnes join the team. Dedicated groups provide targeted advice to clients and include John Groome’s global casualty and property team, executive partner Hilary Ross’ retail, food and hospitality practice, and Dominic Watkins’ food group. Sara-Jane Eaton heads the European team and ‘has an excellent track record’ in representing foreign insurers and their insured in product recalls and claims brought under EU legislation and the Consumer Protection Act. Food, drink and automotive sector matters are core strengths of the firm, with David Kidman handling a claim arising out of a fatal car accident and Ross advising a fast-food company on cross-border compliance with marketing claims for poultry and beef products. Other clients include PepsiCo, Aviva and Marks & Spencer.

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - ranked: tier 3

DWF

DWF’s group is ‘experienced’ in handling construction, engineering, legal, financial and insurance disputes, and its clients include XL Catlin, Novae, MS Amlin and Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund. Antony Marsh heads the team and is focused on the construction and engineering sector. John Bennett is noted for his expertise in solicitors’ negligence and recently represented a law firm in a Court of Appeal case. Andrew Davis handles disputes involving financial services sector companies, actuaries, insurance brokers, surveyors and construction professionals, Harriet Quiney is ‘experienced, down-to-earth and inspires great confidence’ and is active in disputes in the financial services and pensions sectors, and Joseph Arazi is ‘calm, authoritative’, has ‘a great strategic brain’ and is ‘fantastic in complex, high-value cases’. Other key individuals include the ‘brilliant’ Alexandra Goddard, Peter Campion, Peter Sewell, John Groome, Mark Klimt, Matthew Olorenshaw, Jacquetta Castle and Simon Durkin. Senior associate Tom Mungovan is also noted. The team has recently been bolstered by the arrival of ‘good strategist’ Michael Robin, Tim Barr and Joanne Staphnill following its acquisition of Triton Global, as well as the arrival of Simon Gildener from Bond Dickinson LLP.

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London: Public sector

Local government
Local government - ranked: tier 3

DWF

DWF’s Manchester-based Michael Mousdale specialises in public procurement projects. Other noteworthy names in the ‘excellent’ practice include competition specialist Jonathan Branton, Colin Murray, who is recommended for public procurement issues and charity-related mandates, James Lupton, who focuses on infrastructure projects, litigator Jon Hainey and funding specialist Paul Brown. The practice’s wide-ranging experience includes commercial contracts, competition law, debt recovery, PFI projects, litigation, regeneration projects and social housing mandates.

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London: Real estate

Commercial property
Commercial property: general - ranked: tier 7

DWF

DWF is ‘super value for money’, with Melanie Williams in particular singled out for her ‘practical, spot-on advice’; she divides her time between the firm’s Birmingham and London offices and leads on hospitality work. As well as acting for Premier Inn and Whitbread Group on the sale of freehold and leasehold land, forward funding and the development of a hub hotel at London’s King’s Cross, Williams also represented Maven Capital (Shire Hall Durham) on its acquisition and development of a Grade II listed building into a four-star 81-bedroom boutique hotel. In the London office, national head of practice Toby Askin and Lorraine Reader specialise in the retail sector and focus on advising investment and fund clients on portfolio acquisitions.

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Property finance
Property finance - ranked: tier 4

DWF

As well as being on the panel of all the major UK clearing banks, DWF counts alternative lenders such as Aeriance Investments, Canada Life Investments and Fortwell Capital among its client roster; on the borrower side, it acts for clients such as ARES. John Fox advised RBS on the £33m development financing of Balfron Tower in east London, and along with Nicola Giddens acted for a syndicate of clearing banks on a £150m credit facility to Hill Homes for various construction projects in southeast England. Iain Thomas heads the ‘fast, knowledgeable and well-resourced’ practice, which welcomed Amrish Sharma as director from Gowling WLG in February 2016. Christian Francis and Simon Elphick are also recommended.

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London: Risk advisory

Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity
Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity - ranked: tier 4

DWF

John Benjamin leads the department at DWF, which attracts praise for its data breach experience; in a recent work example, Benjamin and Andrew Harris defended WM Morrison Supermarkets in a civil claim brought by employees whose confidential data was published online by a former colleague. The team also includes senior associate Joshua Fineman, who is recommended for contentious matters, and director Elaine Fletcher in Leeds, who recently advised American Eagle Outfitters on its UK and Europe data protection compliance. Evergreen Life, Yodel, Arcadia and Amlin are also clients.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)

Brand management
Brand management - ranked: tier 5

DWF

DWF is known for advising on comparative advertising in the retail and consumer goods space. Dominic Watkins and Hilary Ross are the key contacts; their clients include Lidl, Marks and Spencer, Adidas and Haribo.

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London: Transport

Shipping
Shipping - ranked: tier 6

DWF

DWF regularly handles large disputes for marine insurers with a piracy, theft or detention of cargo angle, and is increasingly instructed on non-contentious shipping matters. It is advising Cronimet in two cargo disputes, and is advising a leading independent insurer on a novel claim regarding a vessel that was struck by a whale and sank off the coast of Mexico. Shipping and commodities head Jonathan Moss is ‘able to identify the real issues in a case’ and is ‘not afraid to recommend commercial solutions where appropriate’. The ‘well-respected’ Michael Kingston handles shipping and marine insurance disputes, and has particular expertise in Arctic Circle issues and wreck removal.

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Travel
Travel: personal injury - ranked: tier 3

DWF

DWF’s ‘responsive, efficient and knowledgeable team’ handles cross-border travel work, with a particular emphasis on European matters. It has a strong insurer following, where it acts for clients including Generali, Van Ameyde (UK), MS Amlin, Hastings Direct, QBE and RSA. Head of international claims Claire Bowler acts for global insurers on catastrophic injuries and high-profile claims. The ‘approachable and reliableSara-Jane Eaton heads the European group; she is ‘an expert in the field of private international law’ and handles catastrophic injury claims and jurisdictional disputes arising from motor and travel cases abroad.Steven King regularly handles international product liability cases, and Graham Dickinson advises on a range of product liability cases, as well as acting for insurers on plane and helicopter crashes.

Leading individuals

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