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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > London > Dispute resolution > Banking litigation: investment and retail > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Banking litigation: investment and retail
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Always very strong for banking litigation’, Allen & Overy LLP’s well-respected banking and finance litigation team advises on major regulatory investigations and high-profile disputes; and the group regularly works in integrated teams with the firm’s specialist transaction colleagues, including its banking, restructuring, derivatives, and corporate trustee practices. Highlights included acting for four banks, the second-to-fifth defendants, in an alleged false implied misrepresentation dispute, involving an €800m interest rate swap. The team also continued to act for Deutsche Bank and a syndicate of lenders in a headline case involving the fallout from the LIBOR rigging scandal. Other matters included the practice representing Commerzbank (London Branch) in proceedings regarding a structured finance transaction, the proceeds of which are alleged to have been embezzled by third parties. Andrew Denny is ‘a first-class practitioner who has excellent knowledge of the law’; and James Partridge is ‘set apart by his straightforward nature and down-to-earth approach, which means he can communicate with – and listen to – clients, as well as other lawyers and judges. He is also one of the busiest people in London’s legal market but never seems short of time for clients’ cases’. Calum Burnett and Mona Vaswani are co-banking, finance and regulatory litigation heads; John O’Conor is a leading finance litigation specialist, who is known in the market for his specialist expertise in derivatives and structured finance; and Marc Florent specialises in the contentious aspects of structured finance, particularly derivatives disputes, and insolvency. Arnondo Chakrabarti and Mahmood Lone are also highly rated.

Clifford Chance LLP’s ‘excellent, top-bracket practice fields highly motivated, tough and smart litigators with substantial experience’. It regularly acts in the most complex, high-profile banking disputes and investigations both within the UK and globally, with the work including class actions, international arbitration, regulatory investigations, criminal investigations, fraud and misrepresentation, sanctions and anti-money laundering issues. Recent highlights include defending BNP Paribas against two parallel proceedings filed in the Commercial Court, involving a $650m Islamic finance bond; and advising Citi in its successful defence of fraud claims brought by Terra Firma against it following the 2007 public-to-private sale of EMI to Terra Firma. Jeremy Sandelson is global litigation and dispute resolution practice head; Simon Davis is ‘very bright and impressive’; Roger Best is ‘excellent for identifying the strengths and weaknesses of cases’; Kelwin Nicholls ‘provides excellent strategic input and commercially astute advice’; and Julian Acratopulo is ‘very persistent and tough and he is very good indeed with clients’. Other recommended names are Ian Moulding, Helen Carty and Jeremy Kosky, as well as Matthew Scully, Roger Leese, Maxine Mossman, Matthew Newick and Christopher Yates.

Justifiably a leader for investigations and litigation’, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP has a leading global practice for regulatory and dispute resolution work in the financial services sector; and the team, which includes former regulators and prosecutors, acts in the highest-profile investigations. Recent highlights include leading the representation of the senior creditor group in the Lehman Brothers International (Europe) (in administration) (LBIE) Waterfall proceedings, which involved a series of complex and novel banking and insolvency law issues, to determine the allocation of a £7bn surplus; and it advised major financial institutions on their response to co-ordinated regulatory investigations in the US, Europe and Asia into the setting of foreign exchange rates and benchmark interest rates. Simon Orton leads the financial institutions disputes group; many of his cases involve complex financial products or large-scale retail scenarios, and often deal with sensitive, high-profile matters. David Scott heads the firm’s global dispute resolution practice; he has handled numerous high-profile enforcement cases and advised on all aspects of the Financial Services Authority (FSA)’s enforcement process, including proceedings before the Regulatory Decisions Committee and the Upper Tribunal. Former joint head of the global financial institutions sector group Andrew Hart is ‘fantastic’; Christopher Robinsonhas an exceptional legal brain’; and Ian Taylor, Sarah Parkes and Piers Reynolds are other highly rated litigators.

At the very top for banking litigation in London’, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP specialises in the defence of multiple claims, such as film finance litigation or interest rate swap claims; and the banking litigation practice regularly draws upon the firm’s specialists in financial services regulation, corporate crime and investigations, and public law, as well as contentious insurance, arbitration, defamation and tax. The team recently advised on major issues facing banks, including shareholder actions, LIBOR, FX, mis-selling of collateralised products, investment decisions, and senior management decisions. Specific examples include the practice’s advice to Watchstone Group (formerly known as Quindell) on threatened group litigation by Quindell shareholders; this arose from public announcements made by the company, including the resignation of its executive chairman and finance director, and the re-statement of its annual report and 2011-13 accounts. The team also defended UBS in four claims brought by failed Icelandic banks (the Banks), in which rescission is sought of transactions where the Banks repurchased interests in global notes from UBS; and defended the RBS Group (RBS) against actions brought by shareholder and investor groups, regarding RBS’ 2008 rights issue. Group head Damien Byrne Hill is ‘a very steady hand for major investment banking litigation’; Simon Clarke handles highly complex banking and financial services litigation, often involving structured products and derivatives; Rupert Lewis is ‘in a class of his own - robust under pressure and great in high-value banking claims’; Harry Edwards is ‘extremely hard-working and clever’; Kirsten Massey is ‘brilliant at managing large scale and complex litigation’; James Norris-Jones is ‘a quite superb lawyer’; Chris Bushell has a particular focus on fund management disputes; and Adam Johnson’s caseload often has a cross-border element, including asset-tracing and injunctions. Other recommended advisers are Gary Milner-Moore and John Whiteoak, and growth in the team saw John Corrie make partner.

An easy firm to work with’, Hogan Lovells International LLP is ‘a top firm in this practice area and is marked out for its attention to detail across the board and the consistent, high quality of its associates’. The practice recently hired Claire Lipworth from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), where she was chief criminal counsel. It is well known for acting for large global and UK banks and financial institutions in groundbreaking cases that set important precedents for the banking industry; it is also very active in the Financial List, the specialist list set up by the Commercial Court to address the particular needs of parties litigating significant financial matters. It fields dispute specialists in LIBOR, mis-selling, consumer finance, anti-money laundering and sanctions, aviation finance and trade finance, investment banking, and complex financial products. Recent work saw the team advise an international financial institution on an English Commercial Court claim against a customer, for failure to repay sums due under a promissory note; it also acted for FBME Bank in having default judgments against it set aside. Jon Holland is department head; Neil Mirchandani’s work has a particular emphasis on Russian disputes and he ‘has supreme negotiating skills’; Andrea Monks and Louise Lambhave a winning combination of being very good lawyers, but also pragmatic and approachable’; Alex Sciannaca is ‘singled out for his great organisational skills in rapidly assembling and managing multi-jurisdictional teams for complex litigation’; and Philip Parishrolls up his sleeves when required and is very good at drafting, while also offering good strategic advice’. Whiston Bristow is also highly rated.

Linklaters LLPhas great knowledge and resources, with excellent strength in depth’.The firm recruited Susana Cao Miranda, who has a particular focus on banking disputes and contentious regulatory investigations and enforcement, from Goldman Sachs. The practice continues to act in the most high-profile, large and complex banking disputes before the courts and regulators; and fields an integrated team across both the firm’s litigation and financial regulatory, derivatives and structured products and structured finance practices. The team acted for PricewaterhouseCoopers, as the joint administrators of LBIE, in the Waterfall applications for directions; this concerned creditors’ entitlements in relation to the LBIE estate surplus, which involved various complex and legally novel issues. It also acted for Bayerische Landesbank (BLB) in Commercial Court proceedings; the dispute arose from the 2006 sale of BLB’s stake in Formula 1 to CVC Capital Partners and involved allegations of bribery. Banking litigation practice head Christa Band is ‘an incisive and brilliant lawyer’; Patrick Robinson is recommended for derivatives and structured products disputes; Andrew Hughes is ‘an accomplished regulatory expert in the contentious area’; Nick Porter iRoss ‘a very clever, hard-working and unflappable litigator’; and global dispute resolution head Michael Bennett is ‘highly respected’. Euan Clarke specialises in banking and finance litigation, asset recovery and investigations, contentious and advisory insolvency, and litigation arising from fraud and corporate crime; and London dispute resolution head Satindar Dogra is a specialist in fraud investigations and corporate crime work, including sanctions advice and disclosure obligations under the Proceeds of Crime Act and FSA rules.Harriet Ellis, Kathryn Ludlow and Alison Wilson are highly rated, along with Susan Roscoe, Rory Conway and Ros Gallagher.

Slaughter and May is ‘absolutely outstanding, from the beginning until the end of any complex case, performing at the highest possible level on all matters’. The practice is highly rated for its expertise in complex, high-value, multi-jurisdictional disputes; these frequently involve complex structured products and financial derivative instruments, major insolvency-related litigation, disputes that raise corporate crime issues, and global regulatory investigations. The team successfully acted for Banco Santander Totta at The Court of Appeal in claims against publicly owned Portuguese companies, which arose from interest rate swaps; it also assisted National Bank of Abu Dhabi with its claim against BP Oil International for the return of approximately $70m under a receivables financing agreement; this was an important test case as it was the first to proceed from start to finish under the shorter and flexible trials pilot scheme. Deborah Finkler heads the firm’s dispute resolution group; Jonathan Clark and recently promoted partner Richard Jeensdisplay formidable co-ordination skills, especially in multi-disciplinary teams, and have profound knowledge of the applicable rules and perfect sense of strategy and client care’; James Staceyprovides great direction and motivation, while also being willing to get stuck in to the hard work himself’; and Damian Taylor, who ‘has a brilliant legal mind and is very good with clients’, was also made partner. Richard Swallow and Ewan Brown are other highly respected advisers. Elizabeth Barrett retired from the practice.

Ashursthas a very strong reputation’. It regularly acts in large finance cases and the range of disputes on which it was recently instructed by banks included contractual interpretation issues; matters arising from restructurings and insolvencies; defence of senior individuals; and fraud-related matters. The team also regularly works alongside colleagues in other practice areas, including regulatory, derivatives, restructuring and competition. Highlights included defending Daiwa Capital Markets Europe against claims of breach of duty and dishonest assistance by Singularis Holdings. It acted for the former chairman of RBS in his defence of High Court proceedings against shareholders, who claimed damages against RBS and former directors of RBS; the claim involved the issue of an allegedly inaccurate prospectus for RBS’ rights issue. Other matters saw the team represent Credit Agricole CIB London Branch, a third party in English High Court proceedings, in relation to Taurus Petroleum’s attempt to enforce a final arbitration award that was made against State Oil Marketing Company of the Ministry of Oil (Republic of Iraq). David Capps is recommended for banking and finance-related disputes, financial regulatory enforcement matters and related investigations; Lynn Dunne ‘gets on very well with clients and takes a strategic view of litigation’; ‘One of the best commercial lawyers in London’, James Levy was appointed dispute resolution head in London in 2016; and Tom Connor is ‘a very intelligent partner, with a wealth of experience in investment banking disputes’. Edward Sparrow and Jon Gale are key names.

Mayer Brown International LLP’s ‘service is outstanding, and the advice provided is to the point and always takes commercial values into consideration’. The practice has a strong track record in acting for financial institutions on disputes involving complex financial products; it is experienced in acting on disputes relating to residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), as well as other securitisations and structured products, such as complex derivative transactions. The team is also recommended for large asset-management disputes. It represented UBS AG, UBS Limited and UBS Global Asset Management from 2010 onwards, in litigation in London against Kommunale Wasserwerke Leipzig, the company which provides fresh and waste water services to German city Leipzig; this involved claims for approximately $320m, which arose from the enforcement of various structured finance transactions and involved corruption, fraud and embezzlement issues. Other highlights saw the practice defend MDO Management Company, which provided management services to a Luxembourg-based investment fund, against a claim issued in the Commercial Court by Commerzbank (and others) for declarations of non-liability; the claim regarded a financial transaction involving the issue of €30m loan notes. Department heads Ian McDonald, who is ‘extremely proficient at managing complex litigation’, and David Allen are recommended; Alistair Graham is ‘an outstanding lawyer who provides sound commercial legal advice and helps clients to strategise options and legal remedies promptly and efficiently’; and Susan Rosser ‘quickly and efficiently assimilates the factual and technical material in a dispute’.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s ‘outstanding team’ is highly rated for significant banking and finance disputes. The practice advises banks on claims involving derivatives, bonds and structured finance, commodities and trade finance, and Islamic finance. The team acted for The Law Debenture Trust Corporation, as claimant, in a high-profile $3bn-plus Commercial Court dispute with Ukraine, regarding the enforcement of payment of notes, issued by Ukraine. It also represented Gemini in a large, complex series of valuers’ negligence claims arising out of CMBS transactions, and acted for Lloyds Banking Group in a case concerning its right to redeem certain enhanced capital notes, issued by two special purpose vehicles. Department head Michael Godden is ‘brilliant and insightful’; Paul Morrisknows how to make the big calls in high-stakes litigation’; and Matthew Waudby has ‘superb technical skills and a nuanced understanding of finance, which serve his practice well’. Lista Cannon has considerable experience in cross-border banking litigation. Chris Warren-Smith and Melanie Ryan joined Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP is ‘very strong indeed in banking litigation and has one of the most experienced and seasoned banking litigation teams in the City’. The firm recently launched a corporate crime practice in London through the hire of Covington & Burling LLP partner and former Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecutor Robert Amaee; other key hires included Macfarlanes LLP’s former financial services head David Berman. The firm is highly experienced in banking disputes, including lender-liability actions; disputes between loan participants; actions arising out of letters of credit and other forms of commercial paper, commercial and residential foreclosure actions; and loan fraud matters. It is also expert in disputes relating to complex financial products, such as collateralised debt obligations (CDOs), credit default swaps and all types of derivatives. The practice acted for one of the designated lead claimant groups in the £4bn RBS rights issue litigation; this was the first material case before the courts in relation to section 90 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA). Alex Gerbi is ‘a quite brilliant litigator, who is absolutely committed to clients’; Ted Greeno is ‘immensely experienced’; Sue Prevezer QC is ‘incredibly charming and has an unerring sense of the strengths and weaknesses of a case’; Robert Hickmott is ‘supremely impressive’; and Nick Marsh is ‘a real street fighter’. Other recommended names are Richard East, and Matthew Bunting. Khaled Khatoun was made partner, while Martin Davies departed for Latham & Watkins.

RPC’s ‘lawyers are excellent and they are always at hand to explain complex legal points’. The firm’s scope of work includes disputes involving corporate bonds, hybrid products, complex structured investment products, loan facilities, and fraud. It has also been involved with increasing amounts of insolvency and restructuring work. The practice represented Bank St Petersburg (BSP) in proceedings against an oligarch and his wife, to enforce personal guarantees in support of loans to companies that were owned or controlled by the oligarch. It also acted for Kaupthing in claims regarding transactions entered into before its collapse in 2008, including its buy-back of a large number of bonds. Department head and ‘true starTom Hibbert is ‘a giant in this field’; and the ‘very effective operatorParham Kouchikalihas client skills as smooth as velvet’. Simon Hart specialises in banking disputes, financial markets litigation and restructuring disputes, as well as regulatory and internal corporate investigations; Andy McGregor has extensive experience of disputes arising from structured finance and derivatives, including CDOs and credit default swaps. Davina Given is also a key contact.

Simmons & Simmons’ international financial markets litigation group focuses exclusively on contentious work for financial institutions and asset managers; the team was recently involved in significant issues such as LIBOR, FX benchmarking, interest rate swap mis-selling for major high street banks, and PPI, as well as ongoing market events such as Lehman-related issues. The practice fields specialised dispute teams in asset management, investment and retail banking, private wealth, and contentious regulatory matters and investigations. It acted for RBS in an alleged EURIBOR manipulation dispute, arising out of a €2bn real estate finance transaction; it also acted for a Swiss private bank in its claim against a fraudster company and individual, which involved complex jurisdictional issues. Team head Robert Turner, along with Richard Bunce are highly rated; Caroline Hunter-Yeats is ‘great - always calm and charming, even under pressure’; Colin Passmorehas supreme command of commercial litigation issues’; Ed Crosse is recommended for enforcement, default and counterparty disputes, arising out of securitisations, structured products, asset financing and derivatives. Richard Sims heads the contentious regulatory practice; Tim Boyce advises financial institutions on regulatory investigations, major banking disputes and fraud claims. Other notable advisers are Robert Allen, Marc Thorley, Emma Sutcliffe and Alexander Thavenot.

Stewarts Law LLP has ‘a well-deserved reputation as one of the pre-eminent disputes practices’. The largest litigation-only law firm in the UK and one of the few London firms able to accept instructions against major banks and financial institutions, it is regularly involved in some of the most significant, complex, large-scale cases before the English courts. Key growth in the practice included the recruitment of Ian Gatt QC, the former head of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s advocacy unit; and David Hughes, who joined from Dechert LLP to expand the fraud practice. The team acted for 313 claimants in the headline group litigation against RBS in respect of its 2008 £12bn rights issue; it also acted for the liquidators of Kaupthing in a €500m claim against Deutsche Bank, arising from the sale of complex banking derivatives. Other matters saw the team defend a multinational automotive components manufacturing group against a claim for breach of a loan facility by a syndicate of five banks. Department head Clive Zietman is ‘a superb lawyer and a real rain maker’; Sean Upson is ‘a stellar disputes partner with a tireless and prolific work ethic’; Marc Jones is ‘very popular with clients’; Fiona Gillett is ‘determined’; and Keith Thomas and Paul Brehony are also highly rated.

Travers Smith LLP is ‘a great firm that handles very large-scale banking litigation’. The practice is highly regarded for its handling of complex, technical banking disputes, relating to share and money transfers, breaches of mandate and the operation of the CHAPS system, and cheques and other instruments. It is also noted for disputes involving allegations of fraudulent activity and instructions arising out of the global financial crisis, involving trades in derivatives and collateralised debt obligations. The team acted for LBIE in a headline dispute with ExxonMobil, which arose from LBIE’s entry into administration; the case involved complex issues surrounding the construction of securities repurchase agreements, the extent of a non-defaulting counterparty’s discretion when valuing securities and bonds, and the proper valuation of a portfolio of equities and bonds. Department head Stephen Paget-Brown ‘has enormous experience and his strategic vision is very good’; Jan-Jaap Baer is ‘very bright and hard working’; Caroline Edwards is ‘brilliant, tough and charming in equal measure’; Rob Fell is ‘very good for multi-faceted, complex cases, particularly ones with regulatory angles’; Huw Jenkin is ‘a very hands-on partner, who is all over the details of a case’; Andrew King has ‘very good judgement and handles difficult clients and difficult matters beautifully’; and Toby Robinson is ‘first rate’.

Addleshaw Goddard is ‘a leading firm with a strong presence in banking litigation’ that is recommended for derivatives and structured products litigation, and the firm’s contentious financial services lawyers complement its strengths in banking litigation, fraud, and corporate crime. The team acted for RBS in a redemption action under a fixed-rate loan, which was made available to a property development syndicate; and having successfully defended Kommunale Wasserwerke Leipzig (KWL), the water authority for German city Leipzig, against high-value credit derivative claims brought by UBS in the Commercial Court, the team defended KWL against UBS’ appeal. The ‘highly respected’ department head Michael Barnett stands out for investment banking, derivatives and structured finance cases; Mark Gill is ‘one of the true heavyweights in the field’; Chris Brennan specialises in financial services regulatory matters, enforcements and disputes; and James Herringhas a clear strategic overview of claims’. Richard Clayton is also a key practitioner.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s ‘impressive team’ is well known for acting for hedge funds and other investment firms, with a particular focus on disputes in the distressed debt space and shareholder activism; the group also works alongside the firm’s restructuring practice in restructuring-related litigation. The practice acted for Obligo Investment Management (Obligo), a third party to High Court proceedings, which involved serious allegations of misuse of confidential information and concerned the conduct of Obligo’s former CEO. It also represented Cornwall Luxembourg in High Court litigation against International Game Technology (IGT), over IGT’s disputed liability to pay dividends. The ‘highly respected’ team head Mark Dawkins is recommended for complex, high-value disputes and investigations, often of a multi-jurisdictional nature; and Richard Hornshaw is ‘very good and clearly knows his subject’.

Baker McKenzie is recommended for its ability to act on large, complex cases and its client base includes the world’s largest and most prestigious financial institutions; the practice also benefits from a strong global platform. It has significant investigations capabilities and increasingly utilises international arbitration as a dispute resolution mechanism in the financial sector. The team defended Dubai Islamic Bank (the Bank) against a $2bn-plus claim brought in the English Commercial Court by a Dubai-based property developer, which claim is based on allegations of breach of contract and breach of the Bank’s duties as mortgagee in possession of a large plot of land. Hugh Lyons is ‘very bright, tactically astute, and has an excellent bedside manner with clients, who justifiably respect and trust his advice’; and the ‘deeply experienced’ Jonathan Peddie advises clients, primarily in the banking and financial services sector, in relation to corporate investigations, regulatory enforcement, financial crime, and civil and criminal litigation. Edward Poulton is a key adviser.

Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP is ‘an excellent and well-regarded outfit’. The practice acts for top-tier financial institutions and much of its work is cross-border, including Nigeria, the US, Iceland, and much of continental Europe; it also offers an in-house forensic accounting unit, with a chartered accountant-led forensic services team. The group acted for Access Bank, one of the largest banks in Nigeria, in its successful claim against its former CEO and managing director, Erastus Oladipo Akingbola; this $1bn claim included allegations of misappropriation of the bank’s funds and the operation of an illegal share purchase scheme, as well as international enforcement action. Oliver Glynn-Jones is ‘an astute lawyer with excellent communication skills’; Oran Gelbpays close attention to detail and is not afraid of the technical aspects of a case’; and Segun Osuntokun is also a key contact. Daren Allen left for Dentons.

CMS is ‘superb; it gives proactive, strategic advice that is delivered with continuity by a team with strength in depth’. The firm recently merged with Nabarro and Olswang; and its experience spans the full reach of banking litigation, including limitation of loss, trading of litigation rights, claims arising from insolvencies, constructive-trust style claims, and claims arising from breach of FSA regulations, in addition to representing clients in major Commercial Court disputes and High Court proceedings. Duncan Aldred leads the firm’s banking litigation team, dealing mainly with banking and insolvency professionals on contentious matters; and Guy Pendell is ‘recommended for his ‘excellent judgement, strategic thinking and client-focused advice’. Alison McHaffie specialises exclusively in contentious regulatory matters, with a particular focus on the banking sector. Maxine Cupitt, Omar Qureshi and Phil Woodfield are also highly rated. Gemma Lampert in Edinburgh is recommended for financial services contentious advice.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is ‘a top-class firm, which marries a well-staffed London office with top quality lawyers in New York, Washington DC and Belgium’. It acts for major financial institutions in high-value, sensitive and complex cross-border banking litigation matters; and work involving financial and banking regulatory investigations and enforcements feature heavily in the firm’s London practice. It also has knowledge of banking litigation specialisms, such as swap transactions disputes, benchmark investigations, freezing injunctions and insolvency disputes, and it has significant strength in complex cross-border disputes. The team acted for Goldman Sachs International in connection with the Waterfall II Court hearings, commenced by LBIE (in administration); the proceedings related to the interpretation of the term ‘cost of funding’ and its implications for the recoverability of funds owed to creditors. It also successfully continued to act for Dexia Crediop in proceedings brought against multiple Italian municipalities, regarding derivatives transactions. Jonathan Kelly is ‘a seasoned operator’; Sunil Gadhia’s practice focuses on English and international disputes, investigatory and enforcement work; and David Sabel ‘has a very sharp legal mind and is able to digest large complex issues’. Christopher Moore is also highly regarded.

Cooke, Young & Keidan LLPprovides alternative cost-effective options combined with strong and niche expertise’. The practice acts on high-value complex banking dispute work, handling domestic and multi-jurisdictional matters for both corporate and private clients. The team is particularly well known for acting against the banks and its client base includes international hedge funds and substantial property developers, as well as HNW individuals. It acted for Les O’Hare and Jan O’Hare in their claim for substantial damages for the alleged mis-selling of investment products by their former financial advisers, Coutts & Co. Philip Young is ‘very able, highly intelligent and extremely imaginative; he combines pure legal ability with outstanding commercial and strategic judgment’; and Marc Keidan is ‘an irrepressible character whose litigation instincts are always spot on’. Sinead O’Callaghan and Stephen Elam are also key advisers; and civil fraud specialist Daniel Burbeary, who was recently made up to partner, joined from King & Wood Mallesons, while Philip Rubens joined Teacher Stern LLP.

DLA Piper is well known for cross-border mandates; the practice regularly acts for top-tier clients in their most important and high-profile disputes in the financial services sector. It acted for Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) (SCBHK) and Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad in a dispute which arose from the attempted alleged wrongful misappropriation of $140m of secured assets from SCBHK in Tanzania, which security was provided for SCBHK’s investment in a local power plant; it also continued to advise RBS in over 160 swaps mis-selling cases. Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry, who ‘picks up issues very fast and is brilliant with clients’, is the UK litigation and regulatory group head; Jeremy Andrews has a particular focus on banking and funds litigation, contentious trusts, and fraud and asset tracing matters; Jamie Curle is ‘very bright and runs cases very effectively’; Tony Katz focuses on cross-border disputes involving the highest risk regulatory issues; and Sam Millar’s focus is on regulatory work for financial institutions and global investigations. Paul Smith was promoted to partner.

Dentonsruns cases efficiently’. The practice recently hired Daren Allen as business crime and investigations head from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP and Celyn Armstrong joined from Linklaters LLP, where he was counsel in its financial regulation group. The financial markets disputes group represents financial institutions in complex, high-profile disputes and investigations, and it has been especially active in swaps and mis-selling cases. Other areas of expertise include wholesale banking disputes relating to letters of credit; fraud, money laundering, corruption and compliance; and professional negligence. On the investment banking side, the firm fields specialists in structured products, including credit-linked notes; and equity and commodity derivatives. Highlights included successfully acting for RBS in a high-profile derivatives mis-selling case. Richard Caird is ‘very experienced and gives good counsel’; Felicity Ewing specialises in financial services disputes and contentious regulatory matters; and Thomas Leyland has particular expertise in advising major financial institutions on high-profile, complex, High Court disputes and related appeals, as well as all forms of alternative dispute resolution. Sam Coulthard joined the FCA as a technical specialist.

Enyo Law LLP is ‘an outstanding firm with a strong, deep bench’. It has a no-conflicts model and specialises in very large, complex international banking disputes; its client base includes hedge funds, private equity firms, corporations, CIS oligarchs, states, state-owned entities and HNW individuals from around the world. The team acted for the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) in a high-value claim, relating to nine large long-dated complex financial derivative transactions, which the LIA entered into with Goldman Sachs. It also assisted Bank of Portugal (BOP) with the successful intervention in a case, which had been lost at first instance by Novo Banco; the dispute related to a BOP decision not to transfer an $835m facility, made available to the now-collapsed Banco Espirito Santo, to Novo Banco. Simon Twigden is ‘a superb senior partner to have on any case’; George Maling is ‘a very good litigator’; Anna Maxwell is ‘a first-class litigator’; Pietro Marino is ‘very commercial and gets good results’; and Edward Allen is ‘a seriously hard working, bright lawyer with very strong ethics and real determination’. Jonathan Brook is also highly rated.

Latham & Watkins grew its practice through the recruitment of Stuart Alford QC from the UK Serious Fraud Office, where he was responsible for many of the UK’s landmark white-collar cases; and Martin Davies, who acts in banking and financial litigation and fraud cases, and who joined the firm from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. The group acts in complex, high-value disputes, frequently with a cross-border element and its clients are leading institutional clients. It defended Samba Financial Group (Samba), one of the largest Saudi Arabian financial groups, against claims regarding trust assets that were allegedly transferred to Samba. Oliver Browne and Philip Clifford are highly respected names; and Jumana Rahman, who has specific expertise in resolving finance and fund-related disputes in offshore jurisdictions, and Dan Smith, who represents clients in high-value disputes, particularly in the financial services sector, are key counsels. Simon Bushell departed for Signature Litigation LLP.

Reed Smith LLPhas excellent strength in depth and proactively and responsibly deals with conflicts’. Nick Brocklesby is recommended for significant litigation relating to complex financial products, at both first instance and Court of Appeal level, while Charles Hewetson advises financial institutions on disputes with other financial institutions and customers, and complaints and proceedings brought by financial regulators. The team recently acted for various special-purpose vehicles, as issuers of a series of CMBS transactions, in litigation surrounding the calculation of interest due on Class X notes. Other key names include Ben Summerfield, who ‘manages his team well, so as to bring out the best in everyone and ensure that the task at hand is completed efficiently’, Richard Spafford and Tom Webley.

Signature Litigation LLP’s ‘very responsive, strong team’ grew when the firm recruited Simon Bushell, Ioannis Alexopoulos, who ‘has great experience, clear thinking and iron logic’, and Josh Wong from Latham & Watkins, Bryan Cave and DLA Piper, respectively. The firm ‘provides a high level of service’ and has a strong focus on large, complex and often cross-border cases, with its client base including banks and other financial institutions, multinational corporations, and individuals. The team acted for one of the three lead groups of RBS shareholders in claims against RBS, pursuant to FSMA’s section 90 and in relation to RBS’ failed 2008 rights issue. It also represented property company Desiman in its claim against Bank of Scotland, HBOS Treasury Services and Lloyds Bank for mis-selling of LIBOR-referenced interest rate swaps, breach of implied representations and wrongful appointment of administrative receivers. Graham Huntley is ‘one of the doyens of the London litigation market’; Abdulali Jiwajihas a very good appreciation of the commercial nature of litigation’; Daniel Spendloveimmerses himself in clients’ cases and takes a hands-on approach which reaps dividends’; and Natalia Chumakmanages to secure favourable outcomes for clients in cases that seem hopeless’. Other notable advisers are Julian Connerty, Adam Rooney and Hermes Marangos.

Stephenson Harwood is ‘very strong across all service areas and all its team members are very diligent and attentive’. Much of the practice’s work involves multiple jurisdictions; its clients include global and state banks, hedge funds, investment companies and sovereign wealth funds. It works closely with the firm’s financial services and regulation team, and regularly advises on issues such as alleged interest rate benchmarking, FX fixing and mis-selling. It also advises on bank insolvencies and professional negligence matters regarding financial institutions. Recent matters saw the group act for the administrator of an insolvent Latvian bank (LKB) in two sets of high-value High Court proceedings against LKB’s former owner, which involved allegations of fraud and a worldwide freezing order and search order. It also acted for Raiffeisen Bank International in a dispute concerning the valuation (following default) of certain bond repurchase and stock lending transactions; the claim raised complex issues, such as interpretation of the close-out valuation mechanics, the meaning of fair market value, and service of default notices by fax. Sue Millar has a particular strength in investment and commercial banking disputes; Edward Davis is ‘a brilliant litigator and a sharp legal mind’; John Fordham is ‘an impressive litigator’; Richard Garcia is ‘always informed and informative’; and Donna Newman, who ‘provides thoughtful advice’, made partner. Richard Gwynne is also highly rated.

White & Case LLP promoted Amanda Cowell, who acts for banking clients in commercial litigation and domestic and international arbitration, and Joanna Dimmock, who has broad experience across a wide range of white-collar areas, to the partnership. The practice acts predominantly for investment banks in disputes concerning financial products, complex transactions, restructuring and high-profile regulatory investigations. Charles Balmainhas a superior grasp of complex issues’; Jonathan Pickworth has particular expertise in assisting with regulatory and enforcement matters and handling internal investigations; and a multi-office team, led by John Reynolds, advised Deutsche Bank in investigations by multiple regulators into potential failings in anti-money laundering, and related systems and controls. The team also acted for VTB Capital, a UK-regulated bank, in a complex fraud-based dispute; this arose from the enforcement of a share pledge, which was given as security for a €150m loan. Jason Yardley exited for Jenner & Block LLP.

Bird & Bird LLP’s ‘strong, pragmatic and commercial practice’ increasingly acts in large, highly complex disputes across a range of sectors. The team represented Property Alliance Group, as claimant property investor and developer, which alleged that the defendant bank had mis-sold four interest rate swaps, acted improperly in relation to fixing LIBOR, and breached a customer agreement regarding the transfer and management of its banking relationship to another legal entity within the bank. Michael Brown advises on collateralised debt obligation and derivative disputes; syndicated facilities and the enforcement of security; electronic payment and clearing disputes; mis-selling and misrepresentation claims; and trade finance disputes. Jeremy Sharman is a key contact and Sophie Eyre has Russia and CIS and Middle East-related fraud experience. Steven Baker departed for Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.

A great firm for large, document-heavy cases’, Clyde & Co LLPdoes an outstanding job’ in representing major banks and financial institutions, corporations and individuals in complex banking litigation, including significant cross-border cases; the practice has particular experience in derivatives cases, including those involving International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) documentation, and it is increasingly involved in cases concerning LIBOR and other interest rate swap issues. The team acted for CBRE, the first defendant valuer and the world’s largest property services firm, in a claim concerning the alleged over-valuation of a large portfolio of commercial properties; the case involved novel legal arguments regarding valuation and limitation issues, but also involved the recoverability of losses attributable to an interest rate swap agreement and the impact of the securitisation on the ability of the issuer of the notes to recover alleged losses. Neil Jamieson, James Cooper and Andrew Foster are highly rated, and Helen Rowlands was promoted to partner.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s ‘highly energetic, innovative and client-focused practice’ welcomed Mariafrancesca De Leo, who has a particular focus on financial services litigation and regulatory investigations, to the London team from the firm’s Milan office, while Veronique Marquis transferred to the Hong Kong office. The practice covers all aspects of contentious civil, criminal and regulatory work for the firm’s major financial institution client base. Highlights included advising Law Debenture Trust Corporation on litigation, arising from its involvement as a bond trustee in five sets of bonds; the case involved complex issues of statutory and contractual interpretation. Matthew Allen is ‘thoughtful, driven and client focused’; Andrew Legg is ‘highly experienced and has a good eye for litigation and the pitfalls of a complex legal area’; David Flackleverages his experience as an in-house lawyer and his consequent understanding of the client mentality very well’; and Jennifer Miles is also well regarded.

Fieldfisherhas a very strong litigation practice, with a number of top-end practitioners’. The firm has a substantial client base in the German-speaking and Nordic regions, and increasingly acts in matters that combine litigation with insolvency or contentious regulatory issues. The team acted for the liquidator of Lehman Brothers Finance in a claim against Belgian bank, KBC Bank, in relation to derivative transactions entered into under the 1992 edition of the ISDA master agreement. Andrew Lafferty recently advised several major European banks on significant structured finance products claims; Duncan Black’s practice covers litigation and contentious regulatory matters for banks, asset managers and broker dealers, and his work frequently involves jurisdictions such as Cayman and Jersey; and the ‘engaged and committed’ Kit Jarvis is ‘impressively tough and determined’.

Jones Day is ‘a smart, responsive and skilful practice’, which acts for financial institutions, corporations, banks and funds across jurisdictions and regulatory regimes. The team represented Alpha Bank London in stakeholder proceedings, concerning the entitlement to funds within a joint account and the alleged removal of funds by forgery; it also defended Evans Randall against group litigation claims for misrepresentation and mis-selling. Department head and ‘very experienced litigatorSion Richards is ‘a class act’; Lucas Moore is ‘calm and collected, and commands the confidence of clients and the respect of opponents’; and Stephen Pearson is ‘an adept and agile litigator’. Other highly regarded names include Harriet Territt, who focuses on complex financial disputes, often involving structured products, securitised assets or new financial technology; and Adam Brown, whose focus is on multi-jurisdictional investigations and complex financial litigation.

Macfarlanes LLP’s ‘excellent group’ has significant client relationships with many UK and leading overseas retail and investment banks, and has a strong reputation for high-profile investment banking and financial services disputes. It also has expertise in sensitive City-based and cross-border investigations and regulatory matters, and acts in financial crime matters, such as bribery, money laundering and sanctions. The practice continued to act for The British Bankers’ Association (BBA) and BBA LIBOR in investigations by the FCA into the alleged manipulation by multiple banks of the LIBOR interest rate benchmark. Other significant work saw the team represent Hypothekenbank in the recovery of a €150m loan, which involved claims in London under both a master loan facility and Islamic finance facilities, as well as enforcement over assets in the Czech Republic. Barry Donnelly is ‘extremely intelligent, diligent and perceptive of how to advance his clients’ cases’; Dan Lavender is ‘an excellent practitioner’; Lois Hornesees all the angles for the client and thinks several moves ahead’; and Matt McCahearty is an experienced practitioner. James Popperwell was made partner.

Mishcon de Reya LLP’s ‘level of service greatly impresses; response times are second to none; and the advice received is always relevant and well thought out’. The firm grew the practice through the recruitment of Genevieve Quierin, who is focused on banking and finance disputes and regulatory investigations; and Nicola Bridge, who specialises in cases involving allegations of fraud, deceit and misappropriation, from Humphries Kerstetter LLP and King & Wood Mallesons, respectively. The group is regularly instructed in large finance disputes, particularly in the private equity and hedge funds space. It acted for a number of members of the RBS Action Group in the group litigation claim against RBS, regarding its 2008 rights issue.Masoud Zabeti, who is ‘bright, focused and experienced, and a committed street-fighter’, focuses on complex investment and retail banking litigation and arbitration, and regulatory matters; Derval Walsh, whose ‘extensive knowledge of law is vital in making cases’, has considerable expertise in property acquisition finance disputes; Adam Epstein defends clients against the financial services regulatory bodies; and Michael Armstrong specialises in contentious finance and banking, particularly in the area of fraud, recoveries and insolvency. Other notable names include James Oldnall, Richard Leedham and Mohammed Khamisa QC.

Shearman & Sterling LLP acts for financial institution clients in the full spectrum of contentious matters, including domestic and international litigation, and regulatory inquiries and investigations. London litigation group head Jo Rickard’s experience includes acting for Robert Tchenguiz in relation to a claim for damages against the SFO, and Susanna Charlwood has significant experience in contentious matters arising from insolvency and restructuring contexts; Charlwood has assisted with numerous internal investigations into corruption concerns, including advising on exposure under the UK Bribery Act and representing parties in dealings with the SFO.

Taylor Wessing LLP has worked on a number of significant instructions against investment banks, and the practice is recommended for its experience in disputes involving derivatives, CDOs, funds and structured products. It also frequently acts for retail and private banks in defending mis-selling actions; advises HNW individuals in potential mis-selling actions against banks; and advises banks on regulatory issues, arising out of potential failures of the systems and controls regarding the sale of financial products. The practice is also noted for complex, cross-border financial frauds; and it assists foreign-headquartered commercial banks, particularly in relation to India, the Middle East and Germany, with their UK disputes. Recent highlights include advising boutique investment bank Arundel Group in a case involving allegations of negligent investment advice, negligent mis-statement and breach of trust. Shane Gleghorn ‘always goes the extra mile for his clients’, and Laurence Lieberman specialises in the investigation and resolution of financial disputes and regulatory investigations. Tim Strong, Stephen Flaherty and Emma Allen are key advisers. David McCluskey joined from Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP, bringing financial crime expertise.

Boies Schiller Flexner (UK) LLP fields ‘skilled dispute strategists who are tenacious at achieving the best results for their clients’. The team stands out for handling complex, cross-border banking litigation matters, with particular transatlantic strength. It advised Barclays Bank, as holder of the most senior notes in two similar securitisation structures, in proceedings before the English Courts, seeking declarations that events of default had occurred. Managing partner and banking litigation leader Natasha Harrison, who is ‘a first-rate litigation strategist and much loved by her top-tier clients’, acts for financial institutions, including hedge funds, investment banks and money managers in high-stakes disputes. Recently promoted partner and ‘superstar’ Fiona Huntriss, who is ‘a great strategic thinker who combines hard work with sound judgment and first-rate client management skills’, acts for financial institutions in litigation, involving distressed debt investments, securitisations, bank wind-downs, international insolvencies, complex financial arrangements, and sovereign debt.

Brown Rudnick LLP’s ‘work is always of the highest quality’. The firm fields lawyers who are recommended for cross-border civil, criminal and regulatory expertise. Highlights included acting for Threadneedle Asset Management in its defence of a $125m claim in the English High Court by a foreign bank, which includes allegations of fraud, deceit and vicarious liability. Neill Shrimpton is ‘a first-rate lawyer’; Neil Micklethwaite has over 25 years of experience in handling complex litigation and regulatory investigations; Jane Colston represents clients in complex, high-value fraud and commercial banking disputes; and Christian Toms has particular experience in complex financial disputes, arising from investment banking and funds work. London and Paris-based Nicholas Tse is a key adviser.

Collyer Bristow LLP is best known for conflict-free litigation against banks. The practice handles disputes involving complex products and financial structures, including claims relating to derivatives; benchmark manipulation; assignment of bank debts; distressed debt trading; syndicated lending; structured finance; securitisation; and unregulated collective investment schemes. The team acted for Secure Capital, a Luxembourg investment vehicle, in Commercial Court proceedings against Credit Suisse, which alleged breach of warranty, misrepresentation and breach of the FSA principles of business. Stephen Rosen ‘has superb client-handling skills’; Janine Alexanderpossesses a ferocious intellect and is tactically very astute’; Robin Henry focuses on financial markets work and distressed debt; and Richard Viegas, who is experienced in banking disputes, joined from Bristows LLP as partner.

DaySparkes is ‘an excellent boutique firm’ that litigates an increasing number of high-value, complex disputes. It recently acquired significant experience in securitisation-based disputes; a high-profile example included the team’s advice to two Hayfin Capital Management funds, which are the beneficial owners of a Class X note, in their claims against the issuer, note trustee and cash manager of a CMBS for the recovery of significant underpayments of interest. Michael Sparkes ‘quickly cuts through difficult legal problems and presents them in a commercial way’; and John Day ‘has excellent instincts when it comes to litigation and a very good way with clients’.

Humphries Kerstetter LLP is ‘a boutique litigation firm which offers pragmatic, commercially focused advice’. It has a strong banking and financial services client base, acting for investment banks, private equity houses and fund management companies; and it is particularly focused on banking disputes. It is also highly experienced in managing international disputes and has growing expertise in investigations. It acted for WH Smith High Street and other WH Smith group companies in private enforcement follow-on and stand-alone actions, which related to multilateral interchange fees paid by WH Smith on Visa and MasterCard card transactions. Mark Humphries ‘understands clients’ commercial objectives and is always focused on getting a good practical outcome’; Christopher Braithwaite is ‘recommended for his calm and efficient handling of difficult issues’; and Kristopher Kerstetter is a key contact. Genevieve Quierin departed for Mishcon de Reya LLP.

Always taken seriously by the very big players’, Kingsley Napley LLP’s ‘litigators are very well prepared and research cases in order to put their clients in the best position.’ The conflict-free practice regularly acts on behalf of both individuals and corporate entities in claims against banks, financial advisers and other investment bodies for negligence and breach of contract; the team has particular experience in investor and mis-selling claims, fraud-related disputes and misrepresentations. Representative experience includes advising on disputes involving banking instruments and facilities, and a range of complex financial products, including guarantees, letters of credit, loan agreements and facilities, derivatives, interest rate swaps and other CDOs; the group also advises on corporate investigations. Richard Fossgives excellent client care and is very proactive, creative and easy to work with’; Fiona Simpson is ‘very measured in her approach and an extremely safe pair of hands’; and Gerard Cukier is also highly rated. Sue Thackeray, Howard Kennedy LLP’s former commercial litigation head, joined the firm; Thackeray is ‘a commercially astute, star litigator, who is very focused on clients’ needs’.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP is ‘absolutely brilliant; it is a very tight team, which is exceptionally well led and well motivated’. The practice acts for significant financial institutions and has particular cross-border experience. It defended Visa and Visa International Service Association against multiple sets of High Court proceedings for alleged infringements of English, Irish and European competition law, regarding multilateral interchange fees for the use of Visa-branded debit and credit cards. Practice head and co-managing partner of the London office Julian Stait is ‘simply superb; he is one of the best litigators around and stays exceptionally close to the detail without ever losing sight of the bigger picture’; Charles Evans is ‘calm and an expert in contentious regulatory matters’; and Tom Canning is ‘excellent to work with and establishes great relationships with clients’.

Morrison & Foerster (UK) LLP is ‘always available and gives sensible, level-headed advice’. The practice handles complex, cross-border financial crime, corruption and bribery investigations, as well as high-profile white-collar crime investigations into LIBOR, Forex and gold market manipulation, including a significant number of high-stakes FCA and SFO matters. The team played a lead role in advising the Icelandic administrators of Landsbanki on two matters, including a successful £30m asset recovery and High Court action against high-profile retailer Kevin Stanford. Jonathan Wheeler is ‘a very determined litigator’; Kevin Roberts is ‘a superb lawyer, who is technically excellent and extremely pragmatic’; and Paul Friedman is a key practitioner.

PCB Litigation LLP is ‘an excellent boutique that is commercially minded and sensitive to clients’ objectives’. The practice is generally conflict-free and can act against the major UK banks; it is best known for fraud and asset-recovery cases. A significant proportion of the firm’s recent work related to banks, which frequently involved the enforceability of loans and the security granted in respect of those loans, including high-profile work for Russian and CIS banks. Highlights included representing TPG Capital, and related individuals and companies, in a liquidators’ claim that a refinancing ultimately caused huge losses to bond holders. Anthony Riemgives sensible and measured advice’; Trevor Mascarenhas has ‘strong business acumen and gives appropriate advice’; and Steven Philippsohn is also highly rated. Other key contacts include Nick Ractliff and Jon Felce.

Pinsent Masons LLPprovides good communication channels and working relationships, and the team reacts quickly to new cases’. The firm’s clients include multinational insurance companies and UK and foreign banks, and the practice’s scope of work includes derivatives mis-selling claims; professional negligence; consumer credit and payment protection insurance claims; fraud; and contentious insolvency. The team acted for Novo Banco (NB), a Portuguese bridge bank, in an $850m claim, further to a facility agreement entered into by NB’s predecessor, Banco Espirito Santo. Stuart McNeill is investment banking litigation head; Edinburgh-based Jim Cormack is banking and finance litigation head; and Michael Fenn is a key adviser. Other notable practitioners include Alan Sheeley, who is ‘a star when it comes to litigation and the right partner for a tough case’; Joanne Gillies, who ‘has a good understanding of clients’ business’; and recently promoted legal director Michael Hawthorne, who ‘grasps the complexities of a case extremely quickly’. Richard Twomey joined DWF.

Sidley Austin LLP is recommended for ‘great response times, quality of advice and the ability to analyse legal questions in the context of a client’s business’. The practice is highly rated for disputes in the structured finance and derivatives fields; it is also experienced in anti-bribery, corruption and sanctions-related issues. The team acted for Credit Suisse Asset Management, as claimant and appellant, in claims concerning the calculation of interest on notes, issued by the first respondent as part of a CMBS. Matthew Shankland has ‘lots of experience and a sharp mind’ and is ‘a top litigator’. Shankland was recently involved in significant finance-related cases in the UK, concerning structured finance and derivatives transactions. Simon Fawellcomprehends matters quickly and is a strong strategic thinker’. The ‘star performer’ Andrew Fox, who has particular experience of issues arising out of major insolvent estates, was made partner. Dorothy Cory-Wright joined Dechert LLP in 2018.

Squire Patton Boggs specialises in commercial and financial fraud investigations, including employee fraud, and the team has extensive experience in obtaining freezing injunctions, search and seizure orders, bankers’ trust orders, delivery-up orders, and tracing claims. UK head of litigation Laurence Winston heads the firm’s CIS fraud initiative, which predominantly involves acting for banks and other financial institutions on fraud and tracing issues arising from Russia, Ukraine and other CIS countries. Gareth Timms has extensive experience in obtaining injunctive and ancillary relief, and specialises in asset-tracing disputes and fraud-related work; Robert Weekes is London office managing partner; and Chris Webber is a banking and fraud litigation specialist.

Watson Farley & Williams LLPoffers extraordinary quality and the team is clever and hardworking’. The banking litigation practice acts in complex, high-value, international disputes, and is a natural offshoot of the firm’s significant finance work, particularly regarding asset and trade finance. It acted for Lehman Brothers Finance (in bankruptcy) in a claim arising out of the calculation of loss under the 1992 ISDA master agreement. Andrew Savage is ‘a standout litigator who knows his stuff’; Andrew Ward, who is ‘very thorough and committed and has a hands-on approach to clients’, has particular maritime expertise; and Andrew Hutcheon and James Penn are also highly rated. Maritime litigator Charles Buss, who recently returned to the London office from Athens, regularly acts for lenders in relation to foreclosures and disputes with borrowers, syndicates and third parties.

Burges Salmon LLP’s scope of work includes representing banks in disputes involving facilities, derivatives, securitisations, acquisition finance, investment funds and professional negligence; insolvency advice and loan recovery; and the mis-selling of financial products. The team also advises financial services providers on FSA enquiries, investigations and enforcement proceedings; and investigations and proceedings relating to fraud, money laundering, sanctions, and bribery and corruption. The group acted for the Financial Services Compensation Scheme in payment protection insurance claims. Bristol-based dispute resolution head David Hall, Kari McCormick and Andrew Burnette are the names to note.

DAC Beachcroft LLP handles complex, high-value disputes in the financial sector that frequently involve international dimensions. The team defended a former Deutsche Bank employee against the SFO’s case for alleged manipulation of the EURIBOR benchmark rate; it also acted for Irish Banking Resolution Corporation (In special Liquidation) (IBRC) in mis-selling claims, made against IBRC in the Commercial Court by five investors in a £70m UK property investment. National practice area head John Bramhall, London practice head Jonathan Brogden and Matthew Wescott are the key names.

Dechert LLP recruited Stephen Surgeoner to its London litigation practice from Clifford Chance LLP. Surgeoner acts in investigations and has particular insurance and reinsurance expertise. David Hughes joined Stewarts Law LLP. The practice is particularly noted for its handling of sensitive cross-border investigations; and Adam Silver is ‘a very astute and intelligent litigator, who has good judgement and a range of experience’.

Fladgate LLP’s ‘level of service is exemplary’. The practice advises both banks and banking clients, and is frequently instructed on international banking disputes. It also acts for HNW individuals and businesses against banks for mis-selling; and assists with property industry-related banking disputes. The team represented the issuer of $200m foreign currency convertible bonds in three separate Commercial Court actions, which were brought by bondholders; these matters involved issues such as declaratory relief and share price manipulation. Steven Mash is ‘highly charming and one of the industry leaders in terms of dynamic fee arrangements’; and Bree Taylor is ‘insightful, cost-efficient and great at counselling on cases’ risks and rewards’. Simon Ekins, Simon Brew and Alexander Wildschütz are also highly regarded. Paul Howcroft retired from the practice.

Gowling WLG’s ‘outstanding team’ frequently acts in high-profile regulatory matters, including LIBOR and FX cases; the practice is also recommended for disputes involving structured finance, restructuring and fraud, as well as complex cross-border banking litigation. The team acted for First Peninsula Trustees and Port of Hercules Trustees, as defendants to claims relating to two of the largest Madoff feeder funds. James Sidwell has extensive experience in banking and finance litigation, as well as contentious regulatory matters; and Catherine Naylor was promoted to director; she has a particular focus on complex multi-jurisdictional cases.

Harcus Sinclair LLP’s ‘team is outstanding at providing the required levels of service’. The practice specialises in bringing actions against banks on behalf of large groups of claimants; and the firm’s clients include retail shareholders and investors, stockbrokers, investment management businesses, hedge funds, and the trustees of pension funds. It acted for a large group of shareholders in pursuing claims against Sir Victor Blank, other former directors of Lloyds TSB (the Bank), and the Bank for recovery of losses further to the Bank’s acquisition of HBOS. Damon Parker’s ‘friendly but steely demeanour make him an excellent lawyer, and his skills and knowledge are exceptional’.

Hausfeld recently advised on disputes involving complex loan financings, derivatives transactions and wider banking misconduct; the team also pursued various insolvency applications. Other areas for the team include litigating high-profile actions relating to securities and other investment products, including claims involving LIBOR, Forex and other benchmark manipulations. Anthony Maton is ‘technically strong and has the sharpest eye for a commercial deal’; Lianne Craig is ‘very calm under fire and always has workable solutions to thorny problems’; and John McElroyhas a great feel for the ebb and flow of litigation and the timing of playing one’s strongest cards’.

K&L Gates LLP is recommended for banking-related professional negligence disputes; real estate finance claims; structured finance litigation; white-collar and regulatory-related investigations, including LIBOR and FX investigations; and insurance coverage advisory work and associated banking sector disputes. The practice acted for US Bank Trustees in proceedings issued by a Class X note holder that involved the alleged miscalculation of the interest rate. John Magnin is ‘a very responsible partner’, and Anne McCarthy, Robert Hadley, Sarah Turpin and Clare Tanner are also highly rated.

Locke Lord LLP’s ‘team is fast acting, with a no-nonsense approach’. Kevin Heath is recommended for asset finance and consumer credit disputes, with related expertise in insolvency-related litigation and e-money disputes; while Joanne Davis is experienced in asset finance, motor finance and consumer credit regulatory advice. The practice acted for Liberty Leasing in a dispute over monies payable in respect of art financing.

Royds LLP recently merged with Bath-headquartered Withy King to become Royds Withy King. The firm, which ‘takes a commercial perspective and tries to find solutions’, acts for international banks on default events, contractual disputes, and disputes with multi-jurisdictional dimensions. The practice has significant experience in realising assets through insolvency procedures, such as administrations, liquidations and receiverships; it also has particular expertise in acting for Indian Banks in the UK. Stewart Wilkinson is the key contact.

TLT’s City-based financial services disputes and investigations team is led by partners Andrew Lyon, whose experience includes professional negligence and fraud claims, product mis-selling claims and bank security issues, and Jake McQuitty, who is a former Barclays Bank head of investigations and enforcement. The team’s main focus is on retail, commercial and wholesale banking litigation and investigations; it successfully acted for Lloyds Banking Group in a high-profile case, which related to allegations of failing to provide advice to the borrower. Emily Benson heads the financial services regulation team and is a former senior member of FSA Enforcement; other key London partners include Russell Kelsall and Peter Richards-Gaskin.

Teacher Stern LLP is ‘a really gritty litigation outfit that is determined to chase down difficult points to maximise the prospects of victory’; it recently hired Philip Rubens from Cooke, Young & Keidan LLP as head of financial services dispute resolution. The team acted for several small- and medium-sized enterprises in cases against banks for mis-selling financial products; examples include its representation of Q.N. Hotels (Aylesbury) in claims that the Bank of Ireland sold it an unsuitable and inappropriate interest rate hedging product.

Wallace LLP has ‘careful and diligent lawyers, who have the confidence of their clients and counsel’. The practice is conflict free and able to litigate against banks and financial institutions. It has particular expertise in relation to issues involving breach of duty; contractual interpretation; breach of transactional documentation; contentious restructuring; and allegations of mis-selling, misconduct, misrepresentation, deceit and fraud. Alexander Weinbergbrings to the table an acute tactical and strategic sense’; Craig Thompson’s ‘ability to read the minds of the other side is uncanny’; and Oli Goldmanknows cases inside out’.

Excellent for large-scale claims against banks and financial institutions’, Withers LLP is ideally placed to act for international wealthy individuals and family businesses seeking redress for poor advice. The team also acts in prosecutions brought against individuals, and represents traders in FCA/SFO investigations in relation to LIBOR and FOREX. It advised Italy’s Provincia di Brescia on a claim by Dexia Crediop for declaratory relief in relation to interest rate swap transactions, pursuant to a 1992 ISDA master agreement. Andrew Wass is ‘calm, unflappable and distinguishes the wood from the trees in massive litigation’; and Christopher Coffinleaves no stone unturned - he constantly probes arguments from different angles to identify their strengths and weaknesses’.

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