HFW > London, England > Firm Profile

HFW
8 Bishopsgate
LONDON
EC2N 4BQ
England

Dispute resolution > Commodities disputes Tier 1

HFW is known for ‘excellence in delivering practical and actionable advice across the team, particularly in respect of physical seaborne commodities‘. The firm has a stellar roster of clients, among the  BP Oil, Louis Dreyfus, Goldman Sachs and Vitol. Alistair Feeney, who is ‘clever, calm, and presents his advice clearly and succinctly‘, leads the practice, which features a deep bench of talent. Damian Honey, whose broad portfolio of work for commodity traders, producers, financiers and insurers includes sales and disputes, ‘provides pragmatic, commercial advice‘. He represented Vitol as claimant in a case concerning the breach of an SPA for the sale and purchase of propane. Standout litigator Brian Perrott acted for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in a high-value matter arising from the the collapse of high-profile bunker trading house Hin Leong and associated companies. Judith Prior has ‘vast knowledge of commodities arbitration, particularly in the sugar business‘. International commodity trade and shipping specialist Sarah Taylor, up-and-coming partner Michael Buffham and ‘reliable, thorough and organised‘ senior associate Stephanie Morton also play pivotal roles in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Alistair Feeney

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team’s great strength is its significant sector experience built on an impressive client base.’

‘Damian Honey is particularly knowledgeable. He is always available and provides pragmatic, commercial advice.’

‘HFW are one of the only firms that has the expertise to advise us on numerous aspects of commodity trading and shipping. They know our business and understand its culture, which gives them the edge when it comes to advising on ways forward. What makes the team unique is a winning combination of sector-focused expertise on the one hand and disputes handling on the other. This means that they are extremely well-equipped to advise on both the legal position and the strategy to handle any legal action we may face or want to bring.’

‘They can easily call on related support within the wider HFW network where needed, including on sanctions, trade finance and market regulation, as well as from other jurisdictions where specific trading advice may be needed. The team’s key strengths lie in deep sector knowledge, expertise and skill in handling complex disputes, responsiveness and value for money.’

‘Alistair Feeney is a true pleasure to work with. He is always on hand when you need him. Alistair is extremely well-versed in all oil, LNG or shipping-related legal matters, whether transactional, advisory or disputes-related. He is clever, calm, and presents his advice clearly and succinctly.’

‘Judith Prior – vast knowledge of commodities arbitration, particularly in the sugar business.’

‘Alistair Feeney, Rosie Harrison and Stephanie Morton work very well together. Both Rosie and Stephanie are reliable, thorough and organised, which is absolutely what is required when it comes to handling litigation and arbitration. Rosie in particular is very responsive and knowledgeable when it comes to sale contract advice or any procedural rules/guidance.’

Damian Honey is an expert in his field. His advice, particularly on transactional matters, is always relevant, clear and well-thought through.’

Key clients

BP Oil International Limited

Hartree Partners

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

Vitol

Qatargas

ADNOC Trading

ADNOC Global Trading

Eni

Goldman Sachs

Louis Dreyfus

OMV

Work highlights

  • Acting for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in connection with the collapse of the high-profile bunker trading house Hin Leong and associated companies.
  • Advising the Claimant, Vitol S.A., on its claim against Genser Energy Ghana Limited for breach of an SPA for the sale and purchase of propane and failure to make payment of a Settlement Amount of US$17,650,514.02 under the SPA’s Event of Default provisions. Vitol also sought contractual interest pursuant to an addendum.
  • Advising BP Oil International Limited on a claim in the Commercial Court in London against Glencore Energy UK Limited arising from the supply to BP of Russian Export Crude Oil that was contaminated with high levels of organic chlorides.

Transport > Aviation Tier 1

HFW‘s ‘outstanding aviation practice’ advises airlines on a range of commercial matters, from joint ventures and start-up issues to airline alliance matters and risk management. The firm also offers a strong aviation insurance practice, handling a number of disputes on behalf of insurers facing billions of dollars in claims from lessors and financial institutions. Following Giles Kavanagh‘s election to senior partner in April 2022, Mert Hifzi moved from the firm’s Singapore office in January 2023 to assume leadership of the team, specialising in major insurance claims. Also relocating from Singapore was deputy practice head, David Brotherton, arriving in June 2022 and focusing on advising lessors on financing matters. Edward Spencer and Paul Woodley are noted for their insurance coverage practices, while Zohar Zik and Barbara Pansadoro specialise in aircraft finance and leasing. Legal director Mark Waters‘ broad practice includes regulatory and disputes work. The September and October 2022 arrivals of Rebecca Quayle and senior associate Alana Checksfield from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner further strengthened the group. Peter Coles is also a new arrival, and joined the team from Clyde & Co in May 2023.

Practice head(s):

Mert Hifzi; David Brotherton

Testimonials

‘This is an outstanding aviation practice that has real strength in depth across all fields in the sector.’

‘Edward Spencer is a great strategic thinker who achieves positive outcomes for his clients.’

‘Edward Spencer has a deep understanding of the aviation insurance market and is at the forefront of litigation concerning Russian aircraft impacted by sanctions.’

‘Mert Hifzi is a great strategist and able to navigate any legal storm.’

‘A highly knowledgeable team with strength in depth which has settled very quickly following Giles Kavanagh’s elevation to senior partner.’

‘Paul Woodley has risen to the challenge of handling claims related to the Russian incursion into Ukraine brilliantly. Mark Waters is incredibly bright and is critical to HFW’s client retention.’

‘They are a very good team and communicate within their practice a lot more than some of the other firms, even between London and overseas offices.’

‘Mert Hifzi has been an excellent ambassador for HFW which filters down through the aviation lawyers. Pragmatism, communication and professionalism.’

Key clients

Goshawk

Challenge Aviation Services Limited

AIG

Allianz

Confidentia Limited

Fly Jamaica

GippsAero

Booker Flying Club

Caribbean Airlines

Gulf Air

Avolon

Falko

ICBC Leasing

Corendon Airlines

Air Europa Air Europa Líneas Aéreas S.A.U (Air Europa)

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of AIG Europe on the contingent all risks insurers in relation to an inward claim by AerCap, an Irish-domiciled lessor, in respect of aircraft and engines stranded in Russia.
  • Acted on behalf of Global Aerospace and other contingent “all risk” insurers defending inwards claim brought in the English Commercial Court by Merx Aviation and KDAC in respect of aircraft and engines stranded in Russia.

Transport > Shipping Tier 1

An enviable roster of clients turn to HFW to assist with high-profile and complex maritime matters that span wet and dry shipping alike. The team’s pronounced ability to handle war risk, piracy and sanctions matters further distinguishes the practice, which is headed up by Paul Dean, who is noted for his in-depth knowledge relating to autonomous vessels. Dry shipping is a particular area of expertise for Jean Koh, while Elinor Dautlich‘s practice spans commercial shipping as well as yachts, cruises, and LNG issues. Richard Neylon and Alex Kemp specialise in crisis response alongside master mariner Claire Womersley. Hailed as a ‘go-to lawyer for marine insurance’, Michael Ritter is well versed in marine casualty work. Paolo GhirardaniJim Cashman and Rory Butler are also key individuals in the group in addition to legal director Jenny Salmon. Salvages, collisions and other wet shipping matters are at the core of Andrew Chamberlain‘s practice. Craig Naeme left for an in-house position in March 2023.

Practice head(s):

Paul Dean; Jean Koh; Dominic Johnson; Daniel Martin; Adam Shire; Elinor Dautlich

Testimonials

‘Dedication to marine shipping sector, technical knowledge and commercial capability.’

‘Strong legal capabilities, updated on newest legal developments, good commercial understanding and ability to suggest various solutions to a concern or raised problem.’

‘Alex Kemp is my go-to lawyer for marine insurance.’

‘Alessio Sbraga is my go-to lawyer for complex charterparty disputes and advisory.’

‘Michael Ritter’s level of knowledge is astounding, nothing is too much trouble and when I call to ask a question, his answer is always to the point and most importantly, understandable!’

‘Industry-leading depth and expertise in all maritime matters.’

‘They have a designated team for Japan and are well aware of the mentality and way of thinking of Japanese ship owners and charterers.’

‘Dominic Johnson – Top-rate admiralty lawyer, easy to work with and takes the most complex cases in his stride.’

Key clients

Marine War Risk Insurers: Hellenic War Risks; Norwegian War Club; Travelers, Beazley, Sompo Japan, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire

Luster Maritime SA, Higaki Sangyo Kaisha Ltd and the UK P&I Club

Herculito Maritime Ltd, Griffin Underwriting Ltd, UK Club

MSC FLAMINIA

RTE Reseau de Transport D’Electricite SA (RTE)

Work highlights

  • Instructed by War Risk Insurers since the start of the Ukraine war and have handled 25 stranded vessels – with a combined asset value of  $500m.
  • Representing the owners of the EVER GIVEN in the matter arising from the grounding of the vessel in the Suez Canal in March 2021.
  • Advising RTE on a collision that occurred between SAGA SKY and STEMA Barge II, resulting in damage to sub-sea electricity cables which run between France and the UK.

Insurance > Insurance and reinsurance litigation Tier 2

HFW is best known for its work on cases concerning property and business interruption, industrial risk disputes, public liability and professional indemnity claims. The team has a long track record of success in a range of sectors, including aviation, shipping, energy, construction, international trade and logistics. Rupert Warren and Christopher Cardona have expertise in international financial institutions and professional indemnity matters, with a strong reputation for handling litigation arising from Latin America, while consultant Andrew Bandurka is a go-to for liability claims. Practice head Christopher Foster handles a broad range of complex coverage and reinsurance disputes. Recent team changes to note include Simon Banner‘s promotion to senior associate, and Bob Haken‘s arrival from Norton Rose Fulbright in December 2022.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Foster

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Cardona; Andrew Bandurka; Jonathan Bruce; Rupert Warren; Nigel Wick; Adam Strong; Simon Banner

Testimonials

‘A highly experienced team with enormous breadth and depth of expertise – one of the market leaders in London and internationally.’

‘Rupert Warren is dedicated and hard-working and has considerable experience in this field. He is a very calm, thoughtful, and combines strong technical insurance knowledge with good judgement.’

‘Andrew Bandurka is one of the best-known insurance and reinsurance practitioners – a creative and excellent team leader.’

‘We work with HFW on our largest disputes. They are very experienced and efficient.’

‘Christopher Foster is a rockstar. He is brilliant and passionate about his cases.’

‘True industry practitioners. If you want a specialist insurance firm, this is the one to go to.’

‘Christopher Cardona and Simon Banner are extremely competent – their understanding of the peculiarities of cross-border insurance problems are very impressive.’

‘We have a hotline with HFW which enables us to have quick answers on legal issues.’

Insurance > Insurance: corporate and regulatory Tier 2

HFW possesses ‘excellent insurance regulatory knowledge‘ as part of its specialist insurance practice, with a particularly strong reputation for its work in Lloyd’s market and a growing presence in the insurtech space. The firm’s offering in the insurance sector has been substantially bolstered by the addition of the ‘commercially-focusedBob Haken from Norton Rose Fulbright in December 2022, bringing his significant expertise in the legacies and Lloyd’s markets, and broader experience that encapsulates regulatory and transactional mandates. He joins practice head Ashwani Kochhar, who himself has a noted Lloyd’s market specialism, and William Reddie, who brings experience from his secondment with a financial regulator and Lloyd’s managing agent to his wide ranging practice in the insurance sector.

Practice head(s):

Ashwani Kochhar

Other key lawyers:

Bob Haken; Will Reddie

Testimonials

‘Excellent insurance regulatory knowledge.’

‘Will Reddie is always strives to make sure he is available and consistently goes the extra mile.’

‘I deal with Will Reddie and have done for a long period. It helps that he understands our requirements and the background to our business.’

‘Will Reddie has an understanding of what we need.’

‘Great knowledge and understanding of how to work with clients and in-house team to deliver an effective and efficient service of high quality expert advice and guidance.’

‘Bob Haken is a walking encyclopaedia of knowledge. A commercially-focused lawyer who is always on hand to deliver top quality advice that the business understand.’

Key clients

Markerstudy Group

Several members of the Munich Re group

Asta Managing Agency Limited

Tindall Riley

HIPCC Limited

Occam Underwriting Ltd

Helodrium Limited

Standard Club

AXA XL

Travelers

RiverStone

Catalina

National House-Building Council

JP Morgan

Work highlights

  • Advising Standard Club on its merger with North of England P&I Club.
  • Advised Markerstudy on its sale to OneFamily of Beagle Street, the life and critical illness business of BGL Insurance, following Markerstudy’s acquisition of BGL Insurance in 2022.

Insurance > Insurance litigation: for policyholders Tier 2

HFW‘s insurance and reinsurance group combines breadth of sector knowledge, from aviation and shipping to commodities and energy, with international reach – offices across the globe, including notable presence in Latin America, supported by Spanish-speaking London partners Jonathan Bruce and Christopher Cardona. It is experienced in complex international disputes including those involving onshore and offshore property, energy, mining and marine issues. Additionally, it has notable experience regarding renewable energy insurance. The team is co-headed by Christopher Foster, head of insurance for the firm; Jonathan Bruce, a specialist ion energy, property and marine insurance; and Nigel Wick, who has particular experience regarding market losses arising from Covid-19.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Foster; Jonathan Bruce; Nigel Wick

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Well known and very respected admiralty law firm, covering the whole range of legal services for the marine and aviation commercial and insurance sectors.’

‘Jonathan Bruce, partner, is someone I have dealt with on various occasions, handling often complex marine claims matters. He is extremely knowledgeable and astute, very quickly grasps the issues regarding a case, and is efficient at finding sensible solutions to difficult problems.’

Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 2

HFW‘s team is composed of insurance, reinsurance, and litigation specialists, and is regularly instructed by the world’s largest insurance and reinsurance brokers. The firm offers expertise in both coverage and defence work. Christopher Foster, who leads the team, and is head of insurance, has a well-established profile in broker E&O claims and professional indemnity matters. Christopher Cardona, who is bilingual in English and Spanish, has a reputation for handling high-value litigation and arbitration in Latin America. Rupert Warren has a particular expertise in professional indemnity insurance, and combines ‘very good legal and technical insurance skills’ with ‘the empathy that is often required to understand what has gone wrong and why.Jonathan Bruce is a leading name for energy and marine insurance matters.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Foster

 

Testimonials

‘HFW’s insurance professional negligence team is one part of their highly respected insurance and reinsurance practice. It is an excellent team, and includes individuals such as Chris Foster and Rupert Warren, who are, in my view, among the best in this field in London.’

‘I have worked with Rupert Warren for many years on numerous insurance-related professional negligence matters. He is superb in this area – has a really strong understanding of how such problems arise, and how to resolve them. Highly recommended in this field.’

‘Excellent, highly capable team.’

‘Rupert Warren – a very clever lawyer.’

Work highlights

Real estate > Construction: contentious Tier 2

HFW’s construction group specialises in infrastructure projects, including distinctive expertise in renewable energy projects, notably offshore wind. The firm’s portfolio extends to international projects in the transport and energy sectors, with a focus on the Middle East and international arbitration. Spearheading the global construction team, Michael Sergeant’s practice primarily revolves around international arbitration, particularly within Middle Eastern countries. Max Wieliczko, leading the London construction department, concentrates on project support and dispute resolution, bringing vast experience in complex international engineering and infrastructure projects, including ports, railways, roads, tunnelling, decommissioning, and diverse energy projects. Richard Booth, noted for his knowledge in drafting construction contracts and dispute resolution, is an expert in infrastructure and offshore wind ventures.

Practice head(s):

Michael Sergeant; Max Wieliczko

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The HFW team are well versed in large, complex construction disputes. They understand the nuances around delay, quantum and technical matters and provide clients with clear legal and commercial advice.’

‘As a team, they are very responsive to requests for information and help direct the expert witness team to what’s important.’

‘The team is very equilibrated, works together well and is always available when needed, including for emergencies under short notice. What distinguishes this law firm is its unique understanding of the business needs of the client. More importantly, the team concentrates on providing the solutions instead of evidencing only the risks without giving the way out.’

‘Michael Sergeant and team are a pleasure to work with. They are continuously available and manage to create a comfortable and positive work environment even when dealing with complicated matters.’

‘Michael Sergeant has an extraordinary capacity to understand various internal decisions, needs, and changes, and adapts his work immediately to the changed circumstances. He always manages to get to the point in a very short time, and provide the support that is actually required and needed.’

‘A fabulously closely-knit team. Led dynamically by Max Wieliczko, there is a strong team at all levels. Their knowledge of the industry, law, and the ability to see the big picture is really impressive.’

‘Richard Booth, without any doubt whatsoever, was a differential key factor for our case.’

‘Max Wieliczko has unparalleled knowledge of the construction industry. His knowledge of fine detail is incredible, particularly as the partner of a large department. So good at seeing the big picture.’

Key clients

VolkerWessels Group

MW High Tech Projects UK Limited

Northumbrian Water Limited

Dragados

JRL Group (Reddington)

Visser & Smit Hanab B.V.

Barhale Limited

Hochtief Solutions AG

Belectric Gulf Limited

Robert Bird Group

Kuwait Oil Company

Work highlights

  • Acting for an international joint venture contractor on a £700m ICC arbitration in relation to delays and variations on a high-profile Middle East transport project.
  • Acting for a contractor in respect of a £150m+ dispute in relation to the T&I package for a large offshore wind farm development off the shores of France.
  • Acting for an EPC contractor in relation to the disputes totalling £400m arising under three separate energy from waste projects in different parts of the UK.

Transport > Travel Tier 2

HFW‘s commercial and regulatory practice is well-equipped to handle multi-jurisdictional work for its impressive client list. The key specialism of the team is on aviation and shipping work, namely involving the yachting, ferry and cruise industries; its is regarded for its pre-eminence in shipping’. Maritime expert Claire Womersley is particularly adept at handling matters in this regard, frequently advising in defence of companies facing litigation in this sector, in complex disputes of substantial value. William MacLachlan is also an expert in the shipping space, particularly for his sale and purchase, shipbuilding, ship repair and ship recycling work therein. The team is headed up by Elinor Dautlich and Zohar Zik.

Practice head(s):

Elinor Dautlick; Zohar Zik

Other key lawyers:

Claire Womersley; William MacLachlan; Paul Dean; Kirsten Wright

Testimonials

‘A very experienced team with a range of expertise which spans multiple disciplines.’

‘The team stands out for its knowledge, experience and provision of timely responses.’

‘HFW has a dedicated and expert travel practice, with a particular focus on cases relating to ships, cruises and package tours. That focus ties in extremely well with HFW’s pre-eminence in shipping litigation and arbitration more generally.’

‘HFW’s team is extremely knowledgeable, commercial and a delight to work with.’

‘Paul Dean, Claire Womersley and Kirsten Wright bring a calm, measured and very commercial approach to all their cases, ensuring that the client’s commercial objectives in litigation, are kept firmly in mind.’

Key clients

Kiwi Rail

Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB

Finnlines

KiwiRail Ltd

Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB

Work highlights

  • Acted on the charter and purchase of a €13m ferry by KiwiRail Ltd for freight transport between New Zealand’s North and South Islands.
  • Acted for Skandinavska Enskilda Banken AB as documentation agent in the refinancing of Stena AB Group’s main credit facility, consisting of €515m revolving multicurrency credit facility.
  • Advised an Asian budget airline in connection with Russian sanctions which affected our client’s ability to make payments to the lessor of a commercial aircraft tainted by sanctions against Russia.

Finance > Transport finance and leasing Tier 3

The ‘very engaged and well organised’ team at HFW remains best-known for its expertise within the shipping sector, where clients, which include lenders, lessors, operators and funds, benefit from a ‘pragmatic and collaborative’ approach, not only on core finance matters but also broader concerns including litigation, regulation and decarbonisation within the industry. Dual UK and Sweden-qualified partner Gudmund Bernitz has a ‘fantastic knowledge of the shipping industry’, including on matters which have a connection to Scandinavia and northern Europe. As well as handling conventional finance work, including ECA-supported deals, Bernitz has also been involved in “green” financing deals, as well as leading the the firm’s efforts more generally on sustainable shipping projects. Other key ship finance practitioners include team head Adam Shire; recently promoted partner Ian Hughes , whose work includes advice to lenders to the super yacht industry; and Katherine Noble, whose ‘excellent legal knowledge and commercial understanding’ is deployed to good effect for a lender-focused client base that includes banks and ECAs. Shire also handles corporate jet transactions and is part of a growing aviation offering that is spearheaded by David Brotherton following his recent return from the firm’s Singapore office. Other key aviation finance practitioners include Barbara Pansadoro, who is well versed across a range of aircraft and engine finance transactions, and Rebecca Quayle, whose broad transactional expertise in the space includes advice on sale and leasebacks, engine operating leasing, and export credit financings.

Practice head(s):

Adam Shire; David Brotherton

Other key lawyers:

Gudmund Bernitz; Zohar Zik; Rebecca Quayle; Barbara Pansadoro; Ian Hughes; Katherine Noble; Alana Checksfield; Zoe Triantafyllou

Testimonials

‘The reliable team is very engaged and well organised.’

The team are pragmatic and collaborative. They help to find practical solutions to commercial issues identified in the course of various projects.’

Gudmund Bernitz is a top-class operator, who knows which points to push and which to leave.’

Gudmund Bernitz has a fantastic knowledge of the shipping industry, both legal aspects as well as commercial rationale.’

Katherine Noble has excellent legal knowledge and commercial understanding which makes every deal a pleasure to work on.’

Key clients

Air Europa Líneas Aéreas S.A.U (Air Europa)

Avenir LNG

Avolon

Challenge Aviation Services Limited

Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Falko

Günes Ekspress Havacilik A. Ş. (SunExpress)

HSBC Bank

ICBC Leasing

KfW IPEX Bank GmbH

Macquarie Bank

Northern Offshore Services

Proman

Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (publ)

Swedbank

Tsakos Energy Navigation

Turistik Hava Tasimacilic A.S. (Corendon Airlines)

Turkish Airlines, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advising Proman AG in connection with the establishment of a Luxembourg alternative investment fund to invest in 4 (plus) low emission vessels which will be on 15 year bareboat charters.
  • Acting for Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken in connection with a €515m revolving multicurrency credit facility made available by a syndicate of 12 banks to AB Stena Finans for general corporate purposes of the Stena AB Group.
  • Acting for Avenir LNG Limited (a JV between Hoegh, Stolt Nielsen and Golar) in connection with the financings of LNG supply and bunkering vessels with ABN and Danske Bank as lenders.

Projects, energy and natural resources > Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables) Tier 3

HFW‘s construction specialist team is led by Max Wieliczko, alongside the firm’s global team lead Michael Sergeant. It regularly advises its key client list on the construction and development of significant infrastructure projects, particularly in offshore wind contexts. The team has strong capabilities handling disputes involving high-value and often cross-jurisdictional projects, as well as advisory work. Energy disputes are an area of focus for Richard Booth. The team has grown at associate level and with the January 2023 arrival from Duane Morris of legal director with energy disputes experience, Tanya Chadha.

Practice head(s):

Michael Sergeant; Max Wieliczko

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

VolkerWessels Group

MW High Tech Projects UK Limited

Northumbrian Water Limited

Dragados

JRL Group (Reddington)

Visser & Smit Hanab B.V.

Barhale Limited

Hochtief Solutions AG

Belectric Gulf Limited

Robert Bird Group

Kuwait Oil Company

Work highlights

  • Advised a tier one offshore contractor on the c£800m EPCI Contract for the 3.1GW East Anglia Offshore Wind Farm.
  • Acting for a contractor in respect of a £150m+ dispute in relation to the T&I package for a large offshore wind farm development off the shores of France.
  • Advising a tier one offshore wind contractor on the tender for the £1bn Greenlink Interconnector cable designed to provide National Grid with greater ability to utilise renewable energy.

Real estate > Construction: non-contentious Tier 3

HFW’s construction group specialises in infrastructure projects, including distinctive expertise in renewable energy projects, notably offshore wind. The firm’s portfolio extends to international projects in the transport and energy sectors. Spearheading the global construction team, Michael Sergeant’s practice primarily revolves around international arbitration, particularly within Middle Eastern countries. Max Wieliczko, leading the London construction department, concentrates on project support and dispute resolution, bringing vast experience in complex international engineering and infrastructure projects, including ports, railways, roads, tunnelling, decommissioning, and diverse energy projects. Richard Booth, noted for his knowledge in drafting construction contracts and dispute resolution, is an expert in infrastructure and offshore wind ventures.

Practice head(s):

Michael Sergeant; Max Wieliczko

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

VolkerWessels Group

MW High Tech Projects UK Limited

Northumbrian Water Limited

Dragados

JRL Group

Visser & Smit Hanab B.V.

Barhale Limited

Hochtief Solutions AG

Belectric Gulf Limited

Robert Bird Group

Kuwait Oil Company

Work highlights

  • Advised a tier one UK rail contractor on the £9bn framework with Network Rail for track renewals and building and civil engineering work. This will run over a 10 year period from 2024.
  • Advised a tier one offshore contractor on the circa £800m EPCI Contract for the 3.1GW East Anglia offshore wind farm.
  • Advising on the tender for the £1bn Greenlink Interconnector cable, designed to provide National Grid with greater ability to utilise renewable energy being generated by the offshore wind farms in Scottish and English waters.

Risk advisory > Regulatory investigations and corporate crime (advice to corporates) Tier 3

With specific sector specialities including commodities, shipping, aerospace, and energy, the global investigations and white-collar defence department at HFW is chosen by clients largely due to its ‘deep experience of SFO investigations’. The practice routinely represents corporates seeking to mitigate criminal and regulatory risk on corporate transactions, with practice head Barry Vitou bringing vast expertise in global money laundering investigations and grand corruption issues to the team. The ‘standout’ Anne-Marie Ottaway has over 20 years’ experience in economic crime-related matters, and Daniel Martin is a sanctions specialist. Cindy Laing joined the group as an associate from BCL Solicitors LLP in April 2022, focusing on bribery and corruption affairs.

Practice head(s):

Barry Vitou

Testimonials

‘Organised, with the human touch – thoughtful, objective, clear and collaborative.’

‘Barry Vitou and Anne-Marie Ottaway are truly experts in corporate crime, particularly SFO prosecutions.’

‘Barry Vitou has great intuition regarding what a prosecutor will do in any given circumstances and advises boards with real clarity regarding their options.’

‘The team’s strength lies in its deep experience of SFO investigations. When it comes to commodities and internal, external regulatory and criminal investigations, this is the team to go to. The team does their homework and knows how to interact with the SFO.’

‘Anne-Marie Ottaway is a standout individual. Her experience while a prosecutor at the SFO means she knows the right questions to ask, does not get fazed and rolls up her sleeves when things are tricky. Her judgement and tactical advice, as well as her ability to understand the SFO’s next move are all key to getting investigations discontinued.’

‘The team is led by Anne-Marie Ottaway and Barry Vitou, who have worked together for many years. Barry has worked in commercial law firms for 30 years and Anne-Marie is a criminal law expert.’

‘Anne-Marie Ottaway brings a decade of defence experience on top of her previous SFO career and is one of the most successful former SFO prosecutors in practice. An excellent lawyer and strategist, she has a proven track record of getting law enforcement investigations discontinued. Anne-Marie is particularly active in the commodities space.’

Key clients

KBR, Inc. and KBR, Inc.’s UK subsidiaries

Work highlights

  • Representing a commodities client in connection with suspected sanctions breaches – undertaking internal investigation to ascertain the facts, advising the board and engaging with the regulator.
  • Advising a client in relation to damaging allegations concerning its ESG claims following an investigation conducted by well-known news agencies and not for profit organisations principally in the UK and Germany.
  • Representing a FCA regulated firm in connection with suspected breaches of sanctions – supervising the conduct of a forensic review of the internal systems and controls and engaging with the regulators.

Corporate and commercial > Commercial contracts Tier 4

Supply-chain and logistics issues form the cornerstone of the practice at HFW, which is highly active on behalf of retailers and commodity traders, with particular expertise in shipping. Outside this work, the team also demonstrates proficiency in constructing sponsorship arrangements between companies and celebrities, partnership agreements in the aerospace sphere, and in providing bespoke, global training programmes for in-house contract managers. Matthew Gore and Catherine Emsellem-Rope co-head the group, with the former singled out for his focus on international port and terminal contracts, and the latter on complex, long term supply agreements. Judith Prior is a seasoned practitioner who is well-versed in oil and sugar trading terms. Matthew Wilmshurst also comes recommended, acting on mandates in the transport, retail, defence and education sectors.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Gore; Catherine Emsellem-Rope

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Unique logistics and shipping industry knowledge’

‘Catherine Emsellem-Rope is the most experienced logistics commercial contracts lawyer in private practice. Matthew Gore knows more about long term container shipping and terminal agreements than anyone else in private practice. Matthew Wilmshurst is the pre-eminent lawyer for advice on liability provisions in commercial contracts.’

‘The team at HFW brings a lot of experience to the table, particularly to a niche industry i.e. sugar. Judith has strong expertise plus her professionalism, definitely made a huge difference to negotiations.’

‘Ms. Judith Prior was easy to work with and quick to respond to our requests. Very organised and great attention to detail.’

‘The team at HFW are very proficient and knowledgeable in the field of transport and logistics. It is a clear strength. Any request for help has always been met with a selection of lawyers with obvious skill and experience relevant to the issue at hand. Whether that be Matt Gore, Catherine Emsellem-Rope or Matthew Wilmshurst.’

‘The individuals I have worked with – Matt Gore, Catherine Emsellem-Rope and Matthew Wilmshurst – have always been professional in their approach, but their delivery is in a tone which is both knowledgeable but also personable. Their views, opinions and insight are always delivered with clear justification.’

Key clients

Solent Stevedores

Constellation Energy

Work highlights

  • Advised a multinational logistics company in relation to the provision of vaccine consumables as part of the World Bank COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout, including reviewing and amending the agreement between the client and the purchasing countries, which was prepared by the World Bank.
  • Advising one of the UK’s largest operators of passenger and freight ferry services between the UK and Europe on multiple key issues relating to its core commercial relationships.
  • Providing strategic board level advice to a leading supplier of technology and resources to the education sector in relation to its international supply chain operations and contractual relationships with ocean carriers and freight forwarders.

Corporate and commercial > M&A: Lower Mid-Market Deals, £100m-£750m Tier 4

The corporate team at HFW is jointly headed up by infrastructure specialist Alistair Mackie, who acts for private investors, operators and contractors, and Alex Kyriakoulis, an ‘excellent technical M&A lawyer’ who frequently assists listed and unlisted companies, PE houses, family offices and government bodies. The practice is reputed for its expertise in international trade and commodities-driven work, especially in the energy, shipping and mining sectors. The team is also well-versed in insurance M&A, a particular area of expertise for William Reddie and Ashwani Kochhar. The team has been bolstered by the arrival of Bob Haken in December 2022 from Norton Rose Fulbright, who is noted for his experience of advising on equity investments, M&A, joint ventures, reinsurance arrangements and restructurings. Audrey Hsieh - a member of the energy and resources group - is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Alistair Mackie; Alex Kyriakoulis

Testimonials

‘Alex Kyriakoulis is an excellent technical M&A lawyer, responsive, pragmatic and inventive and calm in the heat of a difficult turn of events.’

‘Catherine Emsellem-Rope is hugely responsive, knows our sector back to front and a superb project manager, always going the extra mile in deals.’

Work highlights

  • Advised Al Seer Marine on a joint venture with DTec Industries Investments Pte. Ltd and Damen B.V. to develop and build vessels for export outside of Europe and to set up a local expertise centre for building and maintaining commercial and leisure vessels.
  • Advised the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo on a joint venture with Primera Group Limited, to create two companies, Primera Gold DRC and Primera Metals DRC.
  • Advised Navigator Holdings Ltd, the owner and operator of the world’s largest fleet of handysize liquefied gas carriers on its joint venture with Greater Bay Gas Co, intending to acquire a total of five ethylene vessels which are currently commercially managed by the Luna Pool.

Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: civil Tier 4

With a rapidly expanding international reach and its newly opened office in the British Virgin Islands, HFW has bolstered its fraud practice through its close association with experts in Europe, Asia, and Australasia. The firm advises on high-value fraud transactions, cross-border matters and international asset tracing, with standout work focusing on insurance-related fraud within the aviation and shipping industries. Noel Campbell is well-equipped to coordinate financial litigation and trusts matters in offshore territories, and leads the team alongside Rick Brown, who is experienced in Caribbean fraud and breach of contract claims. Simon Jerrum and David Chalcraft are also key practitioners within the firm.

Practice head(s):

Noel Campbell; Rick Brown

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Broad international experience that helps them run multi-jurisdictional disputes.’

‘The HFW team is experienced, highly competent, and very responsive across all levels of seniority. Communication and delegation between the team is good so service levels are high.’

‘Simon Jerrum is a hard-working, approachable, and strategically astute partner. He gives clear, prompt and decisive advice.’

‘A very experienced and responsive team that will go the extra mile for the client.’

‘Simon Jerrum is sharp, commercial and a pleasure to deal with. Always good instincts on strategy’

‘HFW is completely unique in its proposition, spanning numerous jurisdictions around the world. Very few can match its varied reach and at such scale.’

‘An extremely capable team in civil fraud matters.’

‘Wonderfully diverse and collaborative group of lawyers that always give 110% to every case.’

Key clients

Quantuma Advisory Limited

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC

Work highlights

  • Acting for Quantuma Advisory Ltd in its capacity as the joint liquidators of various BVI and Isle of Man companies in Commercial Court proceedings in connection with the high-profile liquidation of Unicorn Worldwide Holdings Ltd and other companies amid allegations of serious fraud.
  • Acting for two partners of Grant Thornton UK LLP, who are the court appointed receivers for Essentro Limited, Emaco Trading Limited, Neodis Limited and Viaven Asia Limited, in enforcement proceedings involving the litigation funder Burford Capital. The claim was originally brought by Barclay Pharmaceuticals Limited against Antoine Mekni and others and involves claims of fraud and misrepresentation.
  • Acting for partners at Grant Thornton in their capacity as the trustees of the insolvent estate of Boris Berezovsky.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: premium Tier 4

HFW has the ‘knowledge and competence to operate at the very highest level on multi-jurisdictional cases’, acting for high-value clients across a wide range of sectors. ‘Hard worker with excellent commercial nousAndrew Williams leads the team, with a practice spanning director and shareholder disputes, banking, fraud, and general contract disputes. Damian Honey is key to the team, with expertise across commodities, trade finance, banking, energy, and fraud. At associate level, Gordon Rieck and Roxanne Johnson are noted.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Williams

Testimonials

‘Knowledge and competence to operate at the very highest level on multi-jurisdictional cases.’

‘Andrew Williams is a hard worker with excellent commercial nous. He and Damian Honey lead a small but very experienced and effective team including their accomplished senior associates, Gordon Rieck and Roxanne Johnson.’

‘A smooth operation acting in highly complex, high-value commercial litigation.’

‘Rick Brown is excellent – brilliant with clients and not afraid to tactfully steer them in the right direction as appropriate.’

 

Key clients

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC

ICTSI Middle East DMCC

Uniserve Limited

Vitol S.A.

Salt Ship Design A/S

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

StoneX Financial Limited

Quantuma Advisory Limited

Chinese Leasing Co.

Work highlights

  • Advised Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC on a claim for $20bn issued by the State of Qatar for damages, restitution and an account of profits arising out of an alleged conspiracy to harm Qatar via manipulating the market for the Qatari Riyal.
  • Advised ICTSI Middle East DMCC on a claim against the Government of the Republic of Sudan for the repayment of a debt and payment of an ongoing indemnity in respect of the costs of funding under a refund bond governed by English law.
  • Advising Uniserve Limited on a claim issued by Advanced Multi-Technology for Medical Industry for the alleged breach by Uniserve of a contract for the supply of PPE face masks, which Uniserve had agreed to purchase from Hitex to supply to the NHS.

Projects, energy and natural resources > Oil and gas Tier 4

HFW advises oil & gas majors on the full spectrum of work encompassing the entire value chain, with notable experience on offshore projects and LNG-related matters. Alistair Mackie heads the team and specialises in projects and commercial work in infrastructure, energy and terminals.

Practice head(s):

Alistair Mackie

Key clients

Sembcorp Marine Rigs & Floaters PTE LTD

Constellation Energy (formerly Exelon Generation)

Klaipedos Nafta (KN)

Navigator Gas

Excelerate Energy

Boskalis

Global Marine

OMV Group

Qatargas

Avenir

Sinopec

Work highlights

  • Advising Qatargas, the world’s largest supplier of LNG, which is a Qatar Energy (the former Qatar Petroleum) subsidiary, on its vessel acquisition project, which forms a key element of the expansion of its North gas field.
  • Advising client on amendments to a bareboat charter and services agreement in relation to a floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) operating on a field in which the client is an equity partner; subsequently, advising on proposals for the acquisition of the FPSO by a new owner, and a new operation and maintenance agreement for the FPSO.
  • Advised Navigator Gas, the owner and operator of the world’s largest fleet of handysize liquefied gas carriers, on its joint venture with Greater Bay Gas Co, intending to acquire a total of five ethylene vessels which are currently commercially managed by the Luna Pool.

Corporate and commercial > EU and competition Tier 6

Representing a diverse roster of clients across the shipping, trade and logistics, commodities, insurance and energy sectors, the team at HFW is well-placed to advise on both contentious and non-contentious competition law matters. The practice boasts an extensive international network with offices in Hong Kong, Dubai, Brussels and Australia. Practice head Anthony Woolich is noted for focus on merger control and antitrust matters. Woolich is supported by Daniel Martin, who is noted for his focus on international sanctions regimes and trade law, with considerable expertise in varied areas of EU law.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Woolich

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Martin; Adam Strong; Neil Adams

Testimonials

‘Tony Woolich is particularly effective, combining a deep knowledge of the subject matter with a pragmatic and commercial approach and a pleasant approachable manner. It is always a rewarding experience to work with him.’

‘Good competition law practice as part of a firm which specialises in international trade.’

‘Anthony Woolich is a partner for whom I’ve worked for years – the ultimate safe pair of hands, and exceptionally experienced.’

‘In my experience, the team provides a comprehensive EU, competition and public procurement service; with good strength in depth.’

Key clients

Republic of Cyprus

Maersk Group

BP plc

Victoria Group

Acrisure LLC

European Parliament

Ecom Agroindustrial Corporation Limited

BW Group

Constellation Energy (formerly Exelon Generation)

Work highlights

  • Advising leading commodities traders on multi-jurisdictional merger control reviews for potential acquisitions.
  • Advising leading shipping companies on ship pooling arrangements.
  • Advising a leading Middle East airline on extending its cooperation agreement with another leading Middle Eastern airline and on forming alliances with two African airlines.

Dispute resolution > International arbitration Tier 6

'Pragmatic and commercial when approaching cases', HFW‘s international arbitration practice is particularly active in disputes involving the construction, energy, shipping, aviation, insurance, banking, financial services, and trade and commodities sectors. Damian Honey's track record includes several matters that concern changes in the commodity markets, while Adam Strong 'has particularly strong connections with litigation funders'. Alistair Feeney, Sarah TaylorMax Wieliczko and Andrew Williams all maintain active arbitration practices.

Practice head(s):

Damian Honey

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

Deep knowledge of the commodities, aviation, and oil and gas markets.

The team has real breadth of experience – from investment treaty arbitration to shipping.

They are pragmatic and commercial when approaching cases and disputes. They will do the work that is required but not rack up unnecessary costs.

The team has excellent sector-focused knowledge and a wealth of international arbitration experience in numerous jurisdictions worldwide.

The team can easily adapt to work on small disputes and large cross-border claims, and everything in between.

Damian Honey is great to work with – very dedicated and has deep knowledge.

Damian Honey is a commercially astute and experienced litigator – he is able to calmly navigate tricky issues and listens to his clients’ particular needs.

Adam Strong has developed the firm’s investment treaty practice and is highly regarded. Pragmatic and well liked by clients, he has particularly strong connections with litigation funders.

Key clients

The Hellenic Republic

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Hellenic Republic in an ICSID arbitration brought by two Lebanese investors, following their purchase of the Skaramangas shipyard.

Finance > Corporate restructuring & insolvency Tier 8

United Arab Emirates > Insurance

HFW offers broad claims and contentious support and is increasingly sought after by sovereign wealth funds, banks and government entities. Sam Wakerley is the regional head of insurance and reinsurance, his practice spans general advisory work, arbitration and litigation, including DIFC court work. Dubai-based John Barlow has expertise acting for insurers of financial institutions on liabilities arising from fidelity and computer crime. Justin Whelan is an authority on cyber-related work, while Richard Gimblett and Charles Cockrell are highly experienced in aviation insurance.

Practice head(s):

Sam Wakerley

Testimonials

‘The HFW Insurance team based in Dubai has a strong track record of providing timely and reliable service to our firm.’

‘Their technical capabilities are well regarded in the local insurance market and so when HFW advise on a matter it carries weight. They usually provide clear commentary on an issue and are able to offer solutions that enable decisions to be be made on even the most complex or protracted matter.’

‘Sam Wakerley is a first class insurance claim/disputes lawyer and very much the go-to person in the UAE on complex insurance matters. His subject matter knowledge, responsiveness and problem solving mindset is a great help when solutions are sought.’

‘John Barlow’s knowledge of the financial & professional lines sector is without equal in the local market. He is very much a subject matter expert of the highest order and first choice when matters in his field of insurance arise.’

‘HFW represent clients in major COVID related business interruption claims, they are top notch. The first thing that stands out is the approach they take in formulating a claim, which is often highly novel and innovative.’

‘Sam Warkerley is the partner in charge. His clients have nothing but the highest respect for his capabilities, at no time finding his services wanting.’

Key clients

Oman Insurance Company

GIG Gulf

Chubb

Qatar Insurance Company

Qatar Reinsurance Company Limited

Westford Limited

Westford Trade Services DMCC

Aegis Resources DMCC

Work highlights

  • Acted on a claim against Dubai Insurance Company (DIC) brought in the DIFC Court arising out of non-payment under a trade credit insurance policy.
  • Acting for QIC, a UAE-based insurer, who issued a comprehensive crime and professional indemnity insurance policy to a UAE based bank. 100% of the risk was reinsured via a layered reinsurance programme.

United Arab Emirates > Dispute resolution: arbitration and international litigation

HFW has broad sector expertise, though it is particularly well regarded for its shipping, insurance, and aviation disputes practice. Yaman Al Hawamdeh heads the firm’s Arabic litigation offering, specialising in regional disputes and local court litigation. Nick Braganza heads the commercial litigation group, with substantial experience handling matters in the DIFC, ADGM and UAE onshore courts. Richard Gimblett has significant experience of aviation, insurance, and commercial litigation. Charles Cockrell is noted for his aviation and regulatory practice, whilst legal director Rami Al Tal focuses on local civil, commercial and criminal disputes.

Practice head(s):

Nick Braganza; Yaman Al Hawamdeh; Richard Gimblett

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘What standouts in this firm is their professional attitude and commitment.’

‘Nick Braganza is very professional, dedicated, well-informed of the DIFC law and produces high quality work.’

Key clients

National Bank of Fujairah

Merrill Lynch International

Expresso Telecom Group Limited

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC

Tasneem Cars – Import & Export Enterprises LLC

Al Arabia Bunkering Company

National Bank of Kuwait

Aegis Resources DMCC

Etihad Airways

Aquarius Global Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing Bank of America Merrill Lynch and successfully defended a claim in the DIFC Court’s Technology and Construction division for USD 118m.
  • Acting for Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC in respect of a fraud that contributed to the collapse of the FTSE 100 listed NMC Health plc which was the UAE’s largest provider of private healthcare services.
  • Acting for a logistics provider in litigation that resulted in a five-day trial in the DIFC Courts against a DIFC bank that effected a fraudulent transfer of funds after the client had been the victim of a cyber phishing hack.
ABOUT HFW

HFW is a leading global law firm in the aerospace, commodities, construction, energy, insurance, and shipping sectors. The firm has 700 lawyers, including 180 partners, based in offices across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific. HFW prides itself on its deep industry expertise and its entrepreneurial, creative, and collaborative culture.

Managing Partner: Jeremy Shebson
Senior Partner: Giles Kavanagh
Number of partners: 180
Number of other fee-earners: 700 (including partners)
International Offices: 21 (including upcoming office in Shenzhen, China)

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SECTORS
Aviation
HFW’s market-leading global aerospace practice has been at the forefront of legal developments in the sector for decades. Its specialist lawyers have unrivalled experience of resolving the most complex claims and advising on aviation safety, economic regulation, finance and leasing, competition and antitrust. The firm helps clients negotiate documents which make sense operationally, maximising the revenue-generating potential of the asset, and also offers a bespoke aviation mediation service.

HFW’s clients are drawn from all spheres of the aerospace industry – including more than 100 airlines around the world – and its practice is one of the largest of any international law firm, with leading teams across Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. Its cooperation arrangement with Brazilian law firm CAL enables it to provide clients with specialist local advice throughout Latin America.

Commodities
HFW has a market-leading team of more than 110 specialist commodities and dispute resolution lawyers across its global network, including the major hubs of London, Geneva, Singapore, and Perth. The firm acts across the full spectrum of the international sale of goods, including soft commodities, oil and gas, coal and steel, and non-ferrous and precious metals, and also advises and represents clients in their related freight business.

Many of HFW’s lawyers have worked in the industry, giving it unrivalled experience and expertise, including secondments to the legal departments of traders and banks who are active in commodities.

Construction
HFW’s construction team advises on procurement, risk management and disputes for a wide range of clients, including contractors, owners, consultants and insurers. The firm has worked on some of the largest and most technically complex projects across a wide range of international markets and industries, including the energy, infrastructure and property sectors.

The firm advises major EPC contractors, owners, global infrastructure consultants, insurers, property developers, financiers and investors (both private and institutional) on every aspect of the construction process, from project establishment and procurement to claim resolution. HFW also offers a project monitoring service to support clients on legal and contractual issues – areas that the firm also helps clients by providing training to their people.

HFW’s team spans the globe, with particular hubs in London, Dubai, Kuwait, Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. The firm has advised on more than half of all offshore UK windfarm projects, including the world’s largest offshore wind project.

Energy
HFW’s specialist team of transactional and dispute resolution lawyers advise clients at every stage of the energy chain, including exploration and production; storage and transportation; LNG; refining, trading and sale of oil and gas; electricity generation; and energy management. The firm also has expertise in renewables, carbon trading and mining, and has an emergency response team who are experienced in advising on all aspects of offshore casualties and disasters.

As true sector specialists, many of whom having experience of working in industry, HFW’s team are able to provide clients with clear, practical and commercially-focused advice.

Insurance and Reinsurance
HFW’s global insurance and reinsurance practice is recognised as an industry leader, offering a comprehensive range of advisory, dispute resolution, transactional and regulatory legal services to clients across the sector. The firm has a specialist team of almost 100 lawyers across its network of international offices, and several of its partners have worked directly in the insurance industry.

HFW’s insurance and reinsurance work is generally high value, complex and multi-party, and international in nature. And as a non-aligned practice, the firm acts for both the market and policyholders.

Shipping
HFW is widely recognised as the world’s leading shipping and maritime law firm, and has been serving clients in the industry for almost 140 years. It has more than 200 shipping lawyers and 13 Master Mariners across its global network, specialising in dry shipping, admiralty and crisis management, and transactional work for clients across the industry.

The firm’s position as the market leader was reflected by its instruction to advise the owners and P&I insurers on the high-profile grounding of the MV Ever Given in the Suez Canal – one of the most significant marine casualties for decades.

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SERVICES
Corporate
HFW’s international corporate team has extensive experience acting on complex and high-value domestic and cross-border transactions. It advises many of the world’s largest companies, private and institutional investors, insurers, governments, private equity funds and investment banks across the full spectrum of corporate transactions, as well as corporate governance and day-to-day issues relating to regulatory, stock market and company law compliance.

The firm has worked on corporate transactions in markets around the world, including the UK, continental Europe, Russia, Africa, the Middle East, India, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia and South America.

Dispute Resolution
HFW is a leading global disputes firm – around two-thirds of its total revenue is generated by contentious matters, including litigation, international arbitration, mediation and alternative forms of dispute resolution. The firm has more than 350 disputes lawyers across the Americas, Europe the Middle East and Asia Pacific, specialising in high-value, complex, multi-party and multi-jurisdictional disputes, with a particular focus on commercial litigation, fraud and asset recovery, insolvency, investigations, and enforcement actions.

The firm’s expertise spans a wide range of sectors and industries, including aviation, commodities, construction, energy, insurance and shipping. HFW has a specialist funding committee that advises clients and its lawyers on the best approach to financing litigation and arbitration – it was one of the first law firms to secure a portfolio litigation funding deal.

HFW frequently litigates on behalf of clients in major courts around the world, as well as arbitrating in all of the key international arbitration institutions. Independent data shows that it handled more commercial litigation in the English Commercial Court than any other law firm over the past eight years.

The firm’s recent launch in the British Virgin Islands with the acquisition of a leading disputes team means that it is now uniquely positioned among global law firms to assist clients with litigation in all of the key international disputes hubs, including London, Hong Kong, Shanghai and the BVI.

HFW is a founding member and signatory of both the Greener Litigation Pledge and Greener Arbitration Campaign – legal industry initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of dispute resolution.

Finance
HFW’s specialist finance team advise on transactions across a wide range of sectors, jurisdictions and markets, including trade and asset finance, project and infrastructure finance, Islamic finance, and financial services regulation.

The firm is well known for its work in the shipping, offshore, yacht and corporate jet sectors, and frequently handles assets relating to the transportation industry.

Regulatory
HFW’s specialist team advise our clients’ key decision-makers on a wide range of regulatory issues including corporate governance, environmental regulation, commodity derivatives and sanctions. The firm also helps clients manage the risk associated with investigations and enforcement actions around the world, advising corporations and individuals on all aspects of business crime and misconduct, including bribery, corruption, fraud, money laundering, market abuse and compliance.

The firm has excellent contacts within the key authorities and regulators, and understands the pressures clients face in dealing with regulatory issues and their need for prompt, decisive and commercially-focused advice.

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OFFICES

UK London
EUROPE Brussels, Geneva, Monaco, Paris, Piraeus
MIDDLE EAST Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Kuwait City, Riyadh
ASIA Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shenzhen*, Singapore
AUSTRALIA Melbourne, Perth, Sydney
AMERICAS British Virgin Islands, Houston, Rio de Janeiro**, São Paulo**

*opening soon

**cooperation agreement with leading Brazilian aviation and insurance firm Costa, Albino & Rocha Sociedade de Advogados (CAR).

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing Partner Jeremy Shebson
Global Senior Partner Giles Kavanagh
Chief Operating Officer Sid Welham
Photo Name Position Profile
Michael Sergeant photo Mr Michael Sergeant Partner
UK Partners : 71
UK Total Lawyers : 260

The Legal 500 Future Lawyers Verdict

A ‘specialism in maritime law’, ‘focus on litigation’ and ‘international opportunities (both in terms of work and secondments)’ drew trainees to HFW. The renowned shipping law firm is a Future Lawyers Winner for its (guaranteed) overseas seats, with trainees singling out ‘my Singapore secondment’ and ‘getting a seat abroad in Geneva’ as favourite experiences of their training contracts so far. Recruits liked the idea of ‘high-quality work and training’ whilst ‘still being able to maintain a good work/life balance’. The lawyers at HFW are ‘not pretentious’, supervisors are ‘approachable’ and ‘our teams tend to be smaller and rely on trainees more so we get given good work’. HFW boasts an ‘extensive training programme and a wealth of knowledge resources’, and this is ‘topped up by the experience of the other fee earners and their willingness to share their knowledge’. Trainees were slightly concerned that ‘there is not much diversity, at any level’ and that there does not seem to be ‘much being done to fix this’. The salary beyond trainee level was also criticised; it ‘doesn’t seek to reward staff’ said one respondent. One or two recruits felt frustrated at 'being told we have to do a seat abroad (it was advertised as guaranteed, not mandatory, in our training contract applications)’. Nevertheless, trainees loved ‘being involved in matters which have made the news’ and ‘managing my own case, defending a small claim on behalf of insurers; I saw it through from filing the defence to settlement just after exchange of questionnaires’. Less exciting moments were ‘working on a due diligence project at 2am when I had Covid’ and helping to close a deal over the Christmas period - I barely slept for a week’. For a ‘great firm if you are interested in disputes and/or shipping’ where ‘everyone is so friendly’, research HFW.