HFW > London, England > Firm Profile


Dispute resolution > Commodities disputes Tier 1

HFW has 'a long tradition of first-class service in this sector with enormous experience and knowledge'. The firm represents many of the world's largest energy and commodity trading companies and banks, among them Vitol and Mercuria. The firm continues to be at the forefront of commodities litigation, with it blending the long experience of its key partners with innovations, such as its partnership with Solomonic to optimise case research. Practice head Alistair Feeney recently acted for BP Oil in a $1.2m dispute concerning restitution of pre-payments it made for barrels of Gulf of Suez Mix crude oil, which the defendants failed to deliver. Other names to note are Damian Honey (a key adviser to commodity traders and producers) and commercial litigator Brian Perrott, who frequently handles commodities, derivatives and shipping cases. Judith Prior has a particular focus on sugar, oil and biofuels. Sarah Taylor and senior associate Clare Chyb are also key individuals.

Practice head(s):

Alistair Feeney


‘A market-leading practice with wide expertise in commodities disputes.’

‘Brian Perrott is fizzing with ideas, great with clients, and fun to work with. Damian Honey is a calm presence with good instincts.’

‘It has very good relationships with clients, a very commercial approach and an understanding of clients’ needs.’

‘Clients love Brian Perrott, who is very sensible and commercial.’

‘Very practical and actionable advice prior to and during disputes. I want HFW on my side in any commodities dispute.’

‘Alistair Feeney is the go-to guy for physical commodities disputes, especially where seaborne commodities are concerned. Inspires confidence throughout the dispute process. Sarah Taylor is also very capable. Associates within the team are also very well-trained and seasoned, so the talent is deep.’

‘A market-leading firm in the commodities, energy trading and shipping sectors. Draws upon a huge amount of expertise to be able to advise on legal and regulatory issues right across the energy and commodity trading.’

‘Brian Perrot is a very experienced solicitor. Really understands and gets delivering on client service. Trusted and is willing to go the extra mile to get the best outcome for his clients. Judith Prior is very impressive – a real expert in the niche area of biofuels trading and regulation. Inspires confidence with her advice and is very reliable and efficient. A pleasure to work with too.’

Key clients


GarantiBank International

ADNOC Global Trading




Concord Resources


Prax Petroleum

Transport > Aviation Tier 1

HFW has broadened its aviation offering in recent years, branching out from its traditional focus on claims work for aviation insurers to handle increasing volumes of finance and leasing transactional work. Global aerospace head Giles Kavanagh is an expert aviation litigator and accredited arbitrator; he also handles non-contentious regulatory and commercial matters. Edward Spencer covers liability claims for airlines, and Zohar Zik focuses on aircraft financing and leasing. Senior associate Mark Waters is a key resource for aviation-related accident and injury claims, Barbara Pansadoro specialises in structured finance, and Victoria Cooper is an aviation liability claims expert. Paul Woodley, who formerly worked in the firm's Singapore office, was promoted to partner during 2020.

Practice head(s):

Giles Kavanagh


‘HFW are the most reliant, knowledgeable law firm I work with. If I have a new loss that needs defending, then HFW are my go-to. They are flexible with rates, they do what is best for the insurer and insured, they are contactable any time of day, and produce timely updates for the market. ‘

‘Paul Woodley maintains very good client relationships and has always been willing to provide timely advice.’

‘Great all-round experience, knowledge and capability. Sector knowledge in aerospace and insurance. Excellent response to placement requests.’

Key clients


Iceland Air

Fly Jamaica Airways

Caribbean Airlines

Yuntian 10 Leasing Co. Designated Activity Co.

Edward Dewhurst


Booker Flying Club

Confidentia Limited

Aurigny Air Services Ltd

Chapman Freeborn Airchartering Ltd

Stobart Air

Work highlights

  • Represented Goshawk on a claim for $25m brought in the English Commercial Court by lessors.
  • Represented Iceland Air in a claim brought by a cabin crew attendant in Iceland against Iceland Air.
  • Represented Fly Jamaica as liability counsel following a runway excursion of a Boeing 757.

Transport > Shipping Tier 1

HFW‘s shipping practice handles some of the largest and most complex cases in the market, with experience and expertise across both dry and wet shipping. In addition to being noted for the breadth of its practice, the team stands out for its geographic reach, leveraging its global network of offices to advise on matters around the world. Paul Dean serves as the global head of shipping. Another key individual is Richard Neylon, who is frequently instructed in matters involving high-profile marine casualties. Elinor Dautlich leads on ship finance transactions and commercial contracts matters, with a particular specialism in the LNG sector. Jean Koh focuses on shipping litigation, handling both dry shipping and casualty disputes. Wet shipping specialist Andrew Chamberlain is another name to note, as are Craig Neame, Jim Cashman and Rory Butler. Alex Kemp and recently-promoted partner Michael Ritter are also recommended. The highly-experienced Paolo Ghirardani joined the team in November 2020 from Stephenson Harwood, bringing expertise in wet and dry shipping litigation.

Practice head(s):

Paul Dean; Andrew Chamberlain; Elinor Dautlich; Jean Koh; Daniel Martin; Adam Shire


‘In my opinion, HFW has one of the – if not the – best set of shipping lawyers for the whole gamut of shipping disputes that arise.’

‘HFW is still the go to firm for major casualties given the experience of the partners and mariners, as well as the size of the team globally. They always work hard and provide timely responses, as well as working in a collaborative way, which I like.’

‘The firm has a liveliness and responsiveness which is often missing in the larger firms. Their efficiency and capability is backed up by the quality of their work.’

‘HFW are my go to law firm regardless of the dispute/ advice required. They have the capability to deal with any kind of claim and always provide pragmatic solutions.’

‘Jean has over 20 years of experience as a dispute resolution and commercial lawyer in the shipping industry. She is very commercially-minded and understands our complex business well. There are few lawyers who so thoroughly understand the varied businesses of a company such as ours.’

‘We valued Jean Koh for her preparation, wide practice and ability to react calmly and logically in emergency situations. She was very well prepared, giving us options and examples from the practice in the shipping business.’

Key clients

The Owners and Underwriters of the vessel “SAKIZAYA KALON”

Hoegh Autoliners AS (ship operators), Gard (liability insurer) and Norwegian Hull Club (property insurer).

Klaipedos Nafta

KiwiRail Limited

Team Tankers International



RTE Reseau de Transport D’Electricitie SA

Work highlights

  • Acted for the vessel’s owners/operators, property and liability insurers in relation to a serious fire on board car carrier “HOEGH XIAMEN”, which resulted in its total loss and serious damage to its cargo of vehicles. One of the most serious marine casualties of 2020 resulting in losses of c.$70 million.
  • Acting on BIMCO’s drafting sub-committees for multiple clauses and contracts. The firm has assisted BIMCO with creating many standard contracts and related training and teachings over the years.

Insurance > Insurance and reinsurance litigation Tier 2

With a strong base in London’ and offices in overseas jurisdictions, the team at HFW is well-placed to act for both insurers and reinsurers in insurance litigation and is particularly strong in disputes in Latin America. Led by Christopher Cardona, who is praised for his ‘exceptional knowledge’, the practice has sector knowledge in matters relating to energy, mining, shipping and construction. Other key contacts in the London-based team include experienced insurance and reinsurance partner Andrew Bandurka, Christopher Foster, Jonathan Bruce and Costas Frangeskides, who ‘brings a vast amount of insurance industry experience to his work’.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Cardona


‘Christopher Cardona – exceptional knowledge, skills, abilities, acumen and discusses issues with the client based on the client.’

‘Costas Frangeskides is a great person and an even better attorney. He brings a vast amount of insurance industry experience to his work, and he is great at cross-border work. His historic knowledge often comes into play when providing advice, and he is always willing to drop everything for a time sensitive project. It is a pleasure working with him.’

‘Jonathan Bruce – excellent.’

‘HFW has a tremendous team supporting (re)insurance, with a strong base in London and offices in other important jurisdictions (including UAE and Brazil). They have the most well regarded solicitors in the London market and are extremely knowledgeable. I love working with them.’

Insurance > Insurance litigation: for policyholders Tier 2

HFW is noted for its expertise across the energy, mining, shipping and commodities sectors when acting for policyholders in insurance disputes. On account of the firm’s ‘wide geographical reach with overseas offices’, the practice is well-placed to handle international litigation matters. Head of the insurance team Christopher Cardona oversees the practice, while Jonathan Bruce, who is praised for his ‘knowledge of and links to Latin America’, and Nigel Wick jointly lead the policyholder group. Simon Banner is also a key contact in the team.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Cardona; Jonathan Bruce; Nigel Wick

Other key lawyers:


‘There are only a few firms/practices that are willing to represent policyholders. HFW has a strong team that can act in this capacity. They are very professional with excellent knowledge of the insurance market (insurers, adjusters etc.) which enables them to build this into their strategy.’

‘Stand out partner in my experience is Jonathan Bruce, very experienced in marine hull, and oil and gas disputes in particular, and useful knowledge of and links to Latin America. Very quick to assess and analyse complex claim situations and provide clear and authoritative advice.’

‘HFW covers all the main areas of maritime law, both wet and dry, and provides a very comprehensive professional service to both insurers and shipping interests. The team includes notable individuals with niche skills and rich experience, more so than comparable firms. They are particularly strong in ports & terminals,charter party disputes, casualty investigation. A very wide geographical reach with overseas offices in key locations and good links with local overseas law firms and experts where required.’

‘My main contact is Jonathan Bruce. He’s great to work with, very communicative and collaborative. It feels like we are working as a team, rather than the lawyer running the case.’

Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 2

HFW is active in handling domestic and international professional liability disputes for major insurance and reinsurance brokers, especially regarding coverage disputes. It also acts for clients including auditors and accountants, as well as those within the aerospace, construction, energy, trade and shipping sectors. Whilst mostly acting for defendants, the team does also act for selected claimants. Christopher Cardona and Andrew Bandurka co-lead the team; Cardona heads the insurance side of the practice, while Bandurka leads the professional indemnity side, acting for a wide range of clients including insurance brokers, lawyers, construction professionals, architects and surveyors. Jonathan Bruce has expertise in the energy and marine sectors.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Cardona; Andrew Bandurka


‘HFW has great PI experience which steps up a gear further when combined with their unparalleled marine expertise.’

‘They have a genuinely impressive depth of experience and understanding of the insurance market and of the roles of professionals within it. One of only a handful of firms who can accurately claim to have this level of expertise.’

‘Andrew Bandurka is rightly regarded as a star in the field – blends decades of experience with good judgement and excellent client skills.’

‘Andrew Bandurka is excellent, clear and focused in advice and very bright. ‘

‘Costas Frangeskides stands out because of his ability to understand the client’s needs, to bring together an appropriate team, and to focus that team efficiently to deliver appropriate advice. It has been particularly appreciated on international matters where we’re dealing with legal systems (and languages) other than English.’

‘Chris Foster is absolutely first class. He provides clear, commercial advice on very complex cases.’

Real estate > Construction: contentious Tier 2

HFW is highly regarded for its contentious construction work, and is particularly strong in international arbitrations. It handles EPC contract disputes for a number of clients in the Middle East, South America and Korea. Due to its roots as a shipping firm, it also acts on a number of offshore project disputes, increasingly in relation to UK offshore windfarms. Max Wieliczko leads the team of 'true experts', and is well regarded for his advice on high-value energy and infrastructure matters. Michael Sergeant and Richard Booth are also notable contacts, with expertise in non-European infrastructure disputes and offshore work respectively.

Practice head(s):

Max Wieliczko

Other key lawyers:


‘I was very impressed by Richard Booth’s ability to quickly pick up the key aspects of a very technically challenging dispute, to draw out the key issues and to direct the compilation of the necessary technical evidence to support our case.’

‘Intelligent and considered advice. Strategically very astute. They get involved in the detail but can see the bigger picture.’

‘Michael Sergeant provides realistic expectations and keep you on track.’

‘We really enjoy working with HFW. The team are always quick to respond and provide concise, well-thought-out advice. HFW have taken the time to understand our business and we have built a strong relationship over many years.’

‘Michael Sergeant and Richard Booth have both supported us over recent years. We would highly recommend both as they offer sound practical advice, having invested time and energy in understanding our business.’

‘HFW know and understand construction. They specialise in resolving construction disputes and adopt a proactive attitude.’

‘The HFW team are true experts in this area and their depth of knowledge is readily apparent.’

‘Michael Sergeant gives clear and practical advice in a timely manner.’

Key clients

VolkerWessels Group (including VolkerFitzpatrick; VolkerInfra; Volker CI; VolkerHighways; VolkerStevin; VolkerRail)

J Reddington Group

Visser & Smit Hanab B.V.

Barhale Limited

Hochtief Solutions AG

Belectric Gulf Limited

Posco Plantec

Robert Bird Group

Kuwait Oil Company

Al Gihaz Contracting Co

Work highlights

  • Acting for an international joint venture contractor in a £600m ICC arbitration in relation to a high-profile transport project in the Middle East.
  • Acting for a contractor in a £120m adjudication claim against a wind farm developer.
  • Acting for the contractor dealing with a series of disputes with a subcontractor relating to the £185m Grade I–listed Regents Crescent redevelopment.

Transport > Travel Tier 2

HFW is particularly noted for its 'comprehensive knowledge' of maritime and aviation travel issues, with specialists Elinor Dautlich and Zohar Zik working at the helm. Dautlich has a very strong reputation for matters in the cruise industry, especially in relation to  the construction and design of cruise ships. The shipping side of the practice also benefits from the expertise of the 'commercially mindedWilliam MacLachlan and master mariner Claire Womersley, who draws on her past experience in the cruise industry. Zik handles the aviation side of the practice and has a unique insight in this sector having formerly worked as general counsel of aviation at TUI Travel.

Practice head(s):

Elinor Dautlich; Zohar Zik


‘The HFW team’s strengths in my view are their experience and excellent coverage of all aspects of the maritime regulatory and commercial fields. Such capabilities are extremely valuable when clients are engaged in complex transactions such as shipbuilding contracts with ship financing involving interested parties in different jurisdictions globally.’

‘Elinor Dautlich’s knowledge and pragmatic approach to negotiations was key in achieving a very satisfactory conclusion for us.’

‘HFW’s travel team consists of a tightly knit group of excellent lawyers focused on achieving success for their defendant clients as quickly and efficiently as possible. Everyone works together to implement a strategy developed and agreed with the client.’

‘Claire Womersley brings insight from her previous career working on cruise liners and is an excellent lawyer.’

‘Industry-leading knowledge in the shipping sector.’

‘Gave clear and good-quality advice, liaised well with counsel and US lawyers, and had good control of the case at both the strategic and tactical level. In particular, they left me feeling absolutely confident that they were perfectly capable of dealing with any manoeuvring by or surprises from the other party.’

‘Claire Womersley in particular was very hardworking, well-organised and gave full and well-explained advice, but was always willing to consider and discuss other ideas.’

‘Comprehensive knowledge within the maritime industry, including sale and purchase, and therefore quickly ready to get off running. William MacLachlan is commercially minded, time efficient and very accessible around the clock. He is well able to highlight risks and opportunities.’

Key clients

KiwiRail Limited

British Marine Federation

Various international airlines

Natwest plc

Work highlights

  • Advised KiwiRail on the construction of passenger ferries.
  • Advised the British Marine Federation on its commercial contracts.
  • Advised NatWest on financing the construction of a cruise vessel.

Finance > Trade finance Tier 3

HFW brings together extensive experience in commodities and banking to handle pre-export financings, receivables finance, syndicated revolving credit facilities, pre-payment deals, repos and inventory monetisation. Practice head Philip Prowse is a veteran practitioner, working with the firm's offices in Geneva, Singapore and the Middle East to assist lenders, borrowers, suppliers, producers, processors, distributors, insurers, logistics operators and end-users of commodities. His deputy Adam Topping is a lead partner supporting financial institutions, hedge funds, energy companies, utility groups and corporates on transactional matters. Structured trade and commodity finance partner Matthew Cox joined from Simmons & Simmons, bringing a long track record in assisting banks, funds, commodity producers and commodity traders. Senior associate Jameel Tarmohamed specialises in structured commodities trade finance and digital trade.

Practice head(s):

Philip Prowse; Adam Topping

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Trafigura Pte Ltd

Finance > Transport finance and leasing Tier 3

Co-headed from London by Adam Shire and the 'incredibly talented' Elinor DautlichHFW's 'reputable' nine-partner team displays 'deep knowledge' in the maritime sector in particular, which it is able to impart on behalf of a varied mix of borrowers and lenders, including banks, ECAs, funds, lessors and operators. The 'commercial and pragmatic' Tony Rice has vast lender-side experience in the sector, from both both a new money and restructuring perspective, including in the context of ECA-backed financings. 'Excellent to work with and easy to get along with', dual UK and Sweden-qualified partner Gudmund Bernitz excels at handling mandates involving a Scandinavian/northern European nexus, many of which have a sustainability angle to them. On the aviation front, as well as Shire's aptitude at handling corporate jet financings, the team also benefits from the expertise of 'fantastic' senior associate Barbara Pansadoro, who 'goes the-extra-mile' for airlines, lessors and banks across a range of complex finance and leasing transactions in the commercial sector.

Practice head(s):

Elinor Dautlich; Adam Shire

Other key lawyers:


A team of diverse knowledge and skills, able and willing to support their client on every step of the way, promptly and diligently. They make you feel safe that you are in capable hands.’

The team really know their industry, with a focus that puts them apart from other shipping practices.’

A reputable team with deep knowledge within this area.’

Tony Rice is commercial, pragmatic and responsive.’

Gudmund Bernitz is excellent to work with. He knows how to get things done and is easy to get along with.’

‘Elinor Dautlich is one of the big names in the industry. Incredibly talented and a nice person.’

Barbara Pansadoro is fantastic and goes the extra mile.’

Katherine Noble deserves a specific mention as she is very meticulous and thorough, swift in providing advice and always eager to assist. Her experience renders her particularly good on strategy and her responsiveness and work ethic make her stand out as a very valuable counsel.’

Key clients

HSBC Bank plc

Tsakos Energy Navigation



Team Tankers International

BW Epic Kosan Ltd

Northern Offshore Services


Turkish Airlines, Inc.

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

Turistik Hava Tasimacilic A.S. (Corendon Airlines)

Genting Hong Kong

Nordea Bank


Maersk Line

Svenska Handelsbanken

ING Bank


Work highlights

  • Acted for the financiers on the amendment of loan facilities pursuant to the Hermes cruise debt holiday programme in respect of the Saga cruise ships ‘SPIRIT OF DISCOVERY’ and the ‘SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE’ whereby repayments of principal were deferred as a result of the Covid-19 related effects on the cruise market.
  • Acting for BW Epic Kosan Ltd. (previously Epic Gas) in connection with the refinancing of 17 LPG ships owned and operated by Lauritzen Kosan.
  • Acted for Northern Offshore Services in respect of (1) their purchase of two transfer vessels from SureWind and (2) the lease financing of those vessels provided by Flexam Invest.

Insurance > Insurance: corporate and regulatory Tier 3

HFW is highly skilled in corporate and regulatory matters, with notable expertise in the Lloyd's market, as well as the insurtech space. Team head Ashwani Kochhar has an excellent reputation in highly complex M&A and is noted for the strength of his Lloyd's practice. Also adept at M&A is Nick Hutton, whose other work covers joint ventures, restructurings and shareholder agreements. Former practice head Carol Anne Burton is now working in-house at Argenta.

Practice head(s):

Ashwani Kochhar

Other key lawyers:

Nick Hutton; Will Reddie


Very strong team with subject matter expertise and responsive to our needs as a client. Have demonstrated flexibility in working with us on transactions.’

The team has strong knowledge of transactions and works well together with our team. Straightforward and flexible.’

The HFW corporate & regulatory insurance team has deep knowledge of the Lloyd’s and London insurance markets.’

Will Reddie made partner this year and is a rising star in this space.’

HFW has been dealing with our legal requirements for many years, so has considerable knowledge of our needs and quality experience in this area.’

Will Reddie and others add considerable value to us.’

Strong insurance team with deep knowledge of the insurance market, both UK and cross-border.’

Extremely knowledgeable (as well as personable) individuals who are proactive and positive in their approach. Stand out partners – Ashwani Kochhar and Will Reddie.’

Key clients

Markerstudy Group

Digital Partners, a Munich Re company

Bain Capital

Tindall Riley

Coverys group

HIPCC Limited

Occam Underwriting Ltd

K2 Insurance Services

Helodrium Limited and its network of international brokers

Work highlights

  • Advised Markerstudy on its acquisition of the Co-operative Group Limited’s carrier, CIS General Insurance Limited.
  • Advised Bain Capital Credit on its investment in Beat Capital Partners, which owned a group of insurance intermediaries at Lloyd’s.
  • Advised Digital Partners, a Munich Re company, on its new home insurance partnership with John Lewis & Partners.

Real estate > Construction: non-contentious Tier 3

HFW has significant expertise in construction matters involving infrastructure and energy projects. The team is particularly strong in offshore matters, including renewables and oil rig decommissioning projects. Furthermore, it has good connections with European contractors, in addition to a solid base of UK clients. Max Wieliczko leads the team, acting on the largest infrastructure matters with an emphasis on offshore wind. Richard Booth is well regarded for his rail and renewables work, and Ben Mellors is known as an expert in FIDIC contract forms.

Practice head(s):

Max Wieliczko

Other key lawyers:


‘A very knowledgeable and very productive team. Good cooperation within the team. Open to using new communication techniques.’

‘Good understanding of our business.’

‘The team know a lot about construction and are realistic about expectations.’

Key clients

VolkerWessels Group

J Reddington Group

Visser & Smit Hanab B.V.

Barhale Limited

Hochtief Solutions AG

Belectric Gulf Limited

Posco Plantec

Robert Bird Group

Kuwait Oil Company

Al Gihaz Contracting Co

Work highlights

  • Retained by various VolkerWessels UK group companies in relation to the HS2 projects the group is tendering for and constructing.
  • Advising on the substantial EPC and O&M contracts for part of the £1.6bn 1.4GW NeuConnect electrical interconnector between Germany and the UK.
  • Advising a client on its procurement strategy for the design and construction of new hydropower projects in South America.

Corporate and commercial > M&A: lower mid-market deals, £50m-£500m Tier 4

HFW is perhaps best noted for its expertise in the international trade and commodities markets - advising clients on cross-border transactions in shipping, natural resources, mining, and logistics. Beyond these core specialisms, the team is also active on deals in insurance, financial services, and the leisure sector. Practice head Alistair Mackie focuses on infrastructure and oil and gas projects, while Alex Kyriakoulis' agile M&A capabilities and 'strong commercial understanding' sees him continually leading on a broad cross-section of cross-border deals. Ashwani Kochhar is noted for his wide-ranging insurance sector expertise.

Practice head(s):

Alistair Mackie

Other key lawyers:

Alex Kyriakoulis; Ashwani Kochhar; Nick Hutton; Matthew Gore


‘They are incredibly efficient with the right level of senior and junior involvement at all times. Whenever I want to get hold of a partner, they are available 24/7.’

‘I value integrity and a calm approach to problems. Nicholas Hutton has been an outstanding person to work with over the last twenty years.’

‘Alex Kyriakoulis epitomizes the concept of a trusted adviser. Commercial, shrewd, and always willing to find a solution rather than argue over pointless issues, he get things done, and knows M&A market practice and our sectors/business backwards.’ 

‘HFW has an excellent range of expertise across the commercial spectrum. Combined with their strong shipping background and industry insight, this makes them ideally placed to advise on private equity placements in the shipping sector.’

‘Alex Kyriakoulis has strong commercial understanding and is able to assist in structuring commercial solutions, under challenging circumstances. He is very diligent and responsive to our requests, always meeting transactional deadlines efficiently.’

‘HFW know our business very well and they proactively enquire about latest developments. That’s a key aspect of their excellent service.’

‘Matthew Gore knows our business and its many facets very well. He makes outsourcing easy.’

Key clients

Markerstudy Holdings Limited

Cranfield Airport

Singapore Marine Pte Ltd/Swiss Marine

Victoria Group AD and existing shareholders


Thomas Miller Investment Holdings Limited

The Underwriter Group Limited


Manitou BF SA

CIMC Vehicle

Work highlights

  • Advised Trafigura Nala Matter on the formation of Nala Renewables – a new joint venture company with IFM Investors.
  • Advised Victoria Group on the disposal of its edible oil business, Victoriaoil, to Sun Valley and its co-owner Vaja Jhashi.
  • Advised Markerstudy on its acquisition of the Co-operative Group Ltd’s carrier, CIS General Insurance Ltd.

Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: civil Tier 4

The HFW civil fraud practice has a ‘wealth of litigation experience and draws upon a diverse and experienced range of partners and associates’. The firm provides a ‘top-drawer service for high value and complex matters, especially involving an international element', notably in Caribbean matters. Another key area of work is insolvency related fraud cases. Rick Brown leads the team and specialises in cross-border fraud and insolvency matters. He can call on the expertise of Noel Campbell, who is ‘one of the most experience litigators' in the fraud space.

Practice head(s):

Rick Brown

Other key lawyers:


‘The HFW civil fraud team has a wealth of litigation experience and draws upon a diverse and experienced range of partners and associates. They provide, in my experience, a top-drawer service for high value and complex matters, especially involving an international element’.

‘Noel Campbell is one of the most experience litigators I have come across. He simply knows the right answer by instinct and has a wealth of tactical experience’.

‘Rick Brown is hugely effective with clients, meaning that he draws clients in and makes them want to stay. He also operates an efficient team, knowing the skills and strengths of its members, and allocating work accordingly’.

‘David Chalcraft has immeasurable work ethic and ability to balance competing demands on his time: he is the engine of the legal team.’

‘Victoria Tait is enthusiastic and personable, with a particular ability to pick up a case cold and be able to immediately contribute’.

‘I have been working alongside the HFW team for the past 8 years on a significant cross border asset recovery assignment. They excel at working closely with clients to co-ordinate a global asset recovery strategy and invest time building relationships with their clients making them a pleasure to work with on large and complex assignments which naturally have a duration of multiple years’.

‘Noel Campbell, who is now focussed on Hong Kong, Singapore and the South-East Asian market, is an industry expert having been involved in a extremely varied, significant and complex fraud disputes. His strategic analysis and straightforward advice are highlights’.

‘Rick Brown, is a standout leader of the UK team. Rick balances litigation strategy wit commercial considerations and focussing on the clients needs and desires. He is extremely personable which makes him a pleasure to work with’.

Key clients

Quantuma LLP

Grant Thornton UK LLP

IKON Finance Limited

A Swiss bank

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC

Work highlights

  • Advising Quantuma Advisory Limited, the Joint Liquidators of various BVI and Isle of Man companies in relation to numerous proceedings in the Commercial Court, the BVI and the Isle of Man.
  • Acting Grant Thornton UK LLP, for the Trustees of the insolvent Estate of Boris Berezovsky.
  • Representing Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank in a very substantial claim against a number of key personnel in the NMC Group of companies.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: premium Tier 4

HFW's 'extremely knowledgeable and commercial' litigation team excels in cross-border disputes. Noel Campbell handles litigation in London, Hong Kong and offshore jurisdictions, Damian Honey is known for litigation related to the Middle East while Costas Frangeskides excels in disputes across the US, Europe and the MENA region. 'Tough fighter' Andrew Williams (who is strong for shareholder and contract disptues) and Campbell jointly lead the team, which includes commodities, derivatives and shipping disputes expert Brian Perrott. Fraud and insolvency litigator Simon Jerrum joined from Norton Rose Fulbright.

Practice head(s):

Noel Campbell; Andrew Williams

Other key lawyers:


‘The team deliver comprehensive services to client which spans all aspects of fraud / litigation insolvency. They excel at working closely with clients to co-ordinate a global asset recovery strategy and invest time building relationships with their clients, making them a pleasure to work with on large and complex assignments which naturally have a duration of multiple years. ‘

‘They know their stuff, are client focused and straightforward to deal with. Compared to other commercial litigators I found them very able to give a well rounded view of the strengths and weaknesses of our position.’

‘Broad experience in UK and international disputes. Lean teams and excellent responsiveness and high-quality advice.’

‘The team is available and responsive, and extremely knowledgeable and commercial. Their focus is wide-ranging and international, which suits what we do. I also appreciate their proactive approach in sending email briefing notes and packs on topics that might be of interest.’

Simon Jerrum looks at problems from all angles to come up with good practical solutions.

Noel Campbell, who is now focused on Hong Kong, Singapore and the South-East Asian market, is an industry expert having been involved in a extremely varied, significant and complex fraud disputes. His strategic analysis and straightforward advice are highlights. Rick Brown, is a standout leader of the UK team. Rick balances litigation strategy with commercial considerations and focusing on the clients’ needs and desires. He is extremely personable which makes him a pleasure to work with. David Chalcraft and Simon Jerrum are stars and future leaders of the HFW business. David has an eye for detail and excels at co-ordinating multijurisdictional high value claims. You want him on your team for large fraud disputes.’

Damian Honey has seen it all and brings superb experience to any team. Andrew Williams is a tough fighter who takes no nonsense and brings practical, commercial views to running high-value disputes.’

I would rate Brian Perrott very highly for his approachability and legal acumen. He is excellent at communicating complex legal concepts to commercial clients who do not have time or may not want to know, until the importance of what is being said hits home.’

Key clients

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC

ICTSI Middle East DMCC

Uniserve Limited

Ferabosco Investment Limited, Mr Liviu Dragan and Mr Florin Manea

Concord Resources Ltd

Gascoigne Halman Ltd and Connells Ltd

Vitol S.A.

Work highlights

  • Defending Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC in a claim brought by State of Qatar for damages, restitution and an account of profits arising out of an alleged conspiracy with other UAE banks.
  • Acting for ICTSI Middle East DMCC in a claim against the Government of Sudan for repayment of €410m due under a Refund Bond.
  • Defending Uniserve in various claims regarding sale and purchase of PPE ordered during the height of the COVID pandemic. Claims and counterclaims in excess of £40m.

Projects, energy and natural resources > Mining and minerals Tier 4

HFW is particularly experienced in the development of green field mining projects in Australia, Indonesia, South America, Central America and Africa, and handles both contentious and transactional work. Consultant Nick Hutton is the key contact.

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

HFW works with a number of oil majors and leading commodities trading companies, advising on joint ventures, acquisitions and complex contractual  agreements, with a notable focus on liquefied natural gas, where the firm has particular expertise. Key partners include the 'knowledgeable and flexible' Alistair Mackie and M&A specialist Alex Kyriakoulis. The team also benefits from the firm's sectoral expertise in shipping.

Practice head(s):


‘They have an excellent ability to jump into complex project matters, including help with structuring and financing aspects. Practical advice pitched at the right level and complexity, and strong ability to interact with commercial stakeholders.’

‘The main strength is the team’s depth of experience across all aspects of this sector. There is virtually no project that they will not have encountered before, and will be aware of the legal and commercial issues that need to considered.

‘Excellent industry knowledge specific to oil and gas and offshore shipping.’

‘Industry knowledge, availability, can-do attitude.’

‘Alistair Mackie is the key partner. He is very knowledgeable and flexible, giving very actionable guidance on all aspects of complex projects involving maritime assets.’

‘Across the team they are knowledgeable and responsive. Advice is always sensible and measured, and delivered in a way which is easy to understand. Alastair Mackie and Laura MacLean have particularly impressed.’

‘Paul Dean is very nice to work with and is sensible.’

Key clients

Alpha Petroleum Resources Limited

Tullow Oil plc

Regal Petroleum plc

Kuwait Oil Company

Cotemar S.A. de C.V

Excelerate Energy


Klaipedos Nafta

Trafigura Group Pte Ltd

Qatar Navigation (Nakilat)

Work highlights

  • Advised the Lithuanian LNG Terminals Operator, Klaipėdos Nafta, on its acquisition of a floating, storage and regasification Unit (FSRU), following a public tender involving nine other leading international law firms.
  • Advised Trafigura on the formation of Nala Renewables – a new joint venture company with IFMInvestors. Advised on the negotiation of the shareholders’ agreement with IFM Investors and ancillary documents.
  • Advising Qatargas, the world’s largest supplier of LNG, which is partly owned by Qatar Petroleum, on its vessel acquisition project, which forms a key element of the expansion of its North gas field.

Projects, energy and natural resources > Power (including electricity, nuclear and renewables) Tier 4

HFW’s power group sits within the firm's construction practice, and has a focus on large offshore and onshore wind projects. The team is regularly instructed for major wind power projects and advises on high-value disputes, both domestically and internationally. Practice head Max Wieliczko has decades of experience of both contentious matters and international infrastructure projects, and is supported by Michael Sergeant, who is also noted for his construction expertise. They work with Richard Booth, who handles national and cross-border renewable energy and engineering matters, with specialism in EPC projects. The team also advises on international infrastructure projects via its offices in Paris and Sydney.

Practice head(s):

Max Wieliczko

Other key lawyers:


‘Max Wieliczko is intellectually ahead of his peers – he thinks around the problem, makes sure all the angles are covered without overcomplicating his advice. This is a key skill.’

‘The lawyers at HFW provide a great all-round service. Crucially, the partners get to know the detail of the matters in question and are therefore well placed to provide relevant and high-quality input on matters.’

‘I worked with HFW last year on a complex renewable energy scheme.  The case was far from straightforward, but the HFW’s team’s attention to detail was second to none.  From the initial guidance and advice through to the hearing, they provided a clear and cogent case strategy, communicating very clearly with the entire team (clients, experts, lay witnesses etc). This seemed to me to be a much more hands-on approach than their competitors.’

‘The HFW team is strong in the area of maritime and offshore projects. It has a well versed and experienced team which provides insightful, well-reasoned and instructive legal services in these areas. This specialist leaning means HFW is a go-to law firm for clients, contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers, insurers and other stakeholders in the marine and offshore energy sectors. The have an enviable track record relating to offshore renewable projects and have been shown to have provided good advice on particularly complex matters.’

‘Their cooperation is very good. They are very knowledgeable and, most importantly, they know how to run a case.’

Key clients

VolkerWessels Group

Visser & Smit Hanab B.V.

Barhale Limited

Belectric Gulf Limited

Al Gihaz Contracting Co

Work highlights

  • Advising Visser & Smit Hanab on the substantial EPC and O&M contracts for part of the £1.6bn 1.4GW NeuConnect electrical interconnector between Germany and the UK.
  • Advised a major UK EPC contractor on joint venture arrangements and the EPC contract for the onshore Export Cable for a 450MW Scottish Offshore Wind Farm.
  • Acted for a major European EPC contractor in the successful adjudication of £120m of disputes arising out of the construction of a state-of-the-art offshore wind farm project which currently has the largest installed capacity turbines in the World.

Corporate and commercial > EU and competition Tier 6

HFW's London competition practice is able to call upon colleagues from other departments, as well as its Brussels office, to advise on a broad range of issues. Throughout 2020, the group has been particularly busy using its expertise in EU state aid rules to advise on measures introduced in light of the Covid-19 crisis. Anthony Woolich is the key contact in London; his expertise ranges from merger control and restructuring to anti-bribery issues and intellectual property.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Woolich


HFW’s competition practice serves the firm’s international trade practice, so is more international in its coverage than most firms.

Anthony Woolich heads their competition practice. He is enormously experienced and the ultimate safe pair of hands.’

Key clients

Crown Commercial Service

Republic of Cyprus

Maersk Group

BP plc

Ballyclare Limited

Morgan Stanley

European Parliament

Ecom Agroindustrial Corporation Limited

BW Group


Work highlights

  • Advising a leading commodities trader on a bid to purchase mining interests in Greece, including on international merger control aspects.
  • Advised a leading brand owner on its licensing and distribution arrangements in Europe, with particular reference to competition law.
  • Advised an advertising agency on its participation in a market study by the CMA of the market for online platforms and digital advertising.

Dispute resolution > International arbitration Tier 6

HFW has 'excellent experience in international arbitration'. The team's workload covers a range of sectors, including particular strengths in the construction, energy, shipping, and trade and commodities, aviation, insurance/reinsurance, banking and financial services industries. With longstanding experience in international arbitration, Damian Honey represents clients in ad hoc, institutional and bilateral treaty investment arbitrations. Insurance and reinsurance specialist Costas Frangeskides also acts in international arbitrations, Adam Strong is experienced in investor/state international arbitrations, and Michael Sergeant has notable Middle East expertise.

Practice head(s):

Damian Honey

Other key lawyers:

Costas Frangeskides; Adam Strong; Michael Sergeant; Andrew Williams; Michael Buffham


Excellent experience in international arbitration.

Excellent knowledge of our industry.

Always available and reachable.

Finance > Corporate restructuring & insolvency Tier 8

HFW has a solid reputation for IPs, creditors and investors across cross-border restructuring/insolvency matters, particularly in core areas of firmwide sector focus, including transport. Team head Rick Brown is one of several within the team - including Simon Jerrum, who joined from Norton Rose Fulbright in May 2020 -  who has a contentious angle to their practice and within this context the firm has gained a particularly strong reputation in relation to fraud and international asset tracing.

Practice head(s):

Rick Brown

Other key lawyers:

Alex Kyriakoulis; Tony Rice; Simon Jerrum; David Chalcraft; Annabel Strutt


‘Alex Kyriakoulis epitomizes the concept of a trusted adviser. Commercial, shrewd, and always willing to find a solution rather than argue over pointless issues, he get things done.’

‘Rick Brown is hugely effective with clients, meaning that he draws them in and makes them want to stay. He also operates an efficient team, knowing the skills and strengths of its members, and allocating work accordingly.’

‘David Chalcraft has an immeasurable work ethic and ability to balance competing demands on his time: he is the engine of the legal team.’

‘Rick Brown is a standout leader of the UK team. Rick balances litigation strategy with commercial considerations and focusing on the clients’ needs and desires .He is extremely personable which makes him a pleasure to work with. Rick is supported by David Chalcraft and Simon Jerrum who are stars and future leaders of the HFW business. David has an eye for detail and excels at co-ordinating multi-jurisdictional high value claims. You want him on your team for large fraud disputes.’

‘Simon Jerrum – a truly standout individual in this field. Has a lovely manner, sees straight to the heart of the problem, and delivers extremely clear advice. He is very good on technical points of law, whilst always taking a highly commercial approach to solving problems – a rare combination. Definitely also a lawyer you would want on your side in an insolvency-related dispute.’

‘Rick Brown – calm and collected under pressure. Excellent strategist. Puts clients at ease.’

‘Annabel Strutt – still relatively junior, but with an outstanding ability to deal with day-to-day matters and keep overall strategy in mind.’

‘Simon Jerrum has an impressive, in-depth knowledge of insolvency law and practices and has an exceptional ability to think strategically and provide pragmatic, effective and cost-efficient solutions.’

Key clients

Quantuma Advisory Limited

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Finarge Armamento Genovese SRL

Victoria Group

Work highlights

  • Advising the Joint Liquidators of various BVI and Isle of Man companies in relation to numerous proceedings in the Commercial Court, the BVI and the Isle of Man.
  • Acting for the Trustees of the insolvent Estate of Boris Berezovsky.

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

Corporate and commercial > Commercial contracts

HFW is a key name in the market for global commercial agreements in the shipping, logistics and energy sectors.

Denmark > Shipping and transport

United Arab Emirates > Insurance

HFW advises on all aspects of insurance and reinsurance operations across the region. Sam Wakerley is the regional head of insurance and reinsurance and advises clients in the energy, marine and construction sectors, among others. Riyadh practice head John Barlow heads up the firm's regulatory offering in Dubai. Justin Whelan is the go-to contact for cyber security and data protection-related insurance work. Managing partner Richard Gimblett and Charles Cockrell specialise in aviation insurance.

Practice head(s):

Sam Wakerley


‘HFW listen and work collaboratively as though they are an internal business partner.’

‘Justin Whelan as our local partner in Abu Dhabi and provides exceptional client engagement with professional prowess but equally balanced. This is supported by speed of response at all times.’

Key clients


Oman Insurance

Emirates Insurance

Westford Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for Westford Limited, a trade finance intermediary, in a trade credit insurance dispute against insurers (Archipelago Insurance Limited), following the insolvency of one of its insured buyers.
  • Acting on behalf of flydubai and its insurers in response to the loss of a Boeing 737-800 aircraft that crashed on approach to Rostov-on-Don Airport on 19 March 2016.
  • Instructed by various insurers, reinsurers and policy holders to advise on business interruption claims across 100+ major hotels, restaurants and entertainment venue brands across the UAE, KSA, Bahrain, Qatar and the Maldives arising out of the on-going COVID-19 global pandemic.

United Arab Emirates > Dispute resolution: arbitration and international litigation

HFW's UAE litigation practice was bolstered by the arrival of Nick Braganza from Clyde & Co LLP in January 2021. Braganza handles a wide variety of commercial disputes and has a particular focus on fraud and insolvency. Managing partner Richard Gimblett specialises in the resolution of aviation, insurance and commercial disputes. Charles Cockrell also has a strong aviation practice and advises on regulatory aspects as well. Yaman Al Hawamdeh heads the Arabic litigation and shipping practices. Sam Wakerley heads the firm's insurance and reinsurance offering.

Practice head(s):

Nick Braganza; Yaman Al Hawamdeh; Richard Gimblett

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Cisco Systems International

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank PJSC

Joseph Ghossoub

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC


Alstom Transport SA

Denholm Yam

National Bank of Fujairah

Fal Oil

Work highlights

  • Represented Fal Oil Company Limited before the Sharjah Courts in a dispute with Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (“SEWA”) regarding the alleged missing payment of AED1,682,552,833, in addition to interest at a rate of 1% per annum.
  • Advising Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC in respect of a fraud that contributed to the collapse of the FTSE 100 listed NMC Health plc and the wider NMC Group of companies.

Hong Kong > Dispute resolution: litigation

At HFW, the litigation department’s caseload typically involves high-value fraud, investment and probate disputes, along with maritime litigation. In a recent case of note, George Lamplough led for Bright Shipping Limited – the owners of oil tanker Sanchi which collided with CF Crystal in January 2018 – to determine exact liability and jurisdiction. Practice head Noel Campbell is ‘commercially savvy‘ and a ‘formidable global litigator‘, while Guy Hardaker offers ‘tailored and practical‘ advice on international trade mandates. Trevor Fox departed in May 2021, and commercial litigator Karen Cheung joined from Hong Kong law firm Li & Partners in September 2021.

Practice head(s):


‘Guy Hardaker knows our business and how we like to operate, his advice is tailored and practical and aimed at helping us achieve our commercial objectives.’

Noel Campbell is a formidable global litigator. Immensely experienced, very commercially savvy, and a real fighter. A major plus for any client.

‘Noel Campbell is very experienced and combines excellent client relationships and team management with outstanding strategic overview and also attention-to-detail.’

Simon Jerrum is an excellent litigation partner in London, who is able to manage a case very effectively and keep the larger perspective in view whilst dealing with the myriad of day-to-day issues. For a big case that needs all these boxes ticked, they are go-to people.’

Key clients

ANZ Commodity Trading Pty Ltd

CLP Power Hong Kong Limited

Bright Shipping Limited (Owners of SANCHI)

Grant Thornton – The Liquidators of Centaur Litigation SPC

Al Baraka Banking Group B.S.C

Grey Reach Investment Limited

Blink Limited (in liquidation)

Work highlights

  • Representing ANZ in coordinating the tracing and recovery efforts following a $300m metals fraud involving non-authentic warehouse receipts.
  • Instructed by the Owners and P&I insurers of oil tanker SANCHI, following its 2018 collision with bulk carrier CF Crystal while carrying 136,000 tonnes of condensate to South Korea.
  • Advised and acted for Grant Thornton as liquidators in proceedings brought by a Cayman company in liquidation against a Hong Kong company, through whom the proceeds of a Ponzi scheme investment fraud were disbursed, with a claim for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence.

United Arab Emirates > Construction

HFW represents contractors in disputes that have arisen from construction projects involving pipelines, airports, metro systems and ports. The practice has particular expertise advising Korean contractors in the region and this work is led by Kijong Nam. James Plant was promoted to partner in 2021 and has experience advising international EPC contractors in Kuwait. Legal director Maria Deus is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Kijong Nam; James Plant

Other key lawyers:


Mr. Plant is very helpful in the sense that he offers his advices while truly being in the position of the contractor, our company. He tries his best to deliver what is requested, but he does not stop there; he offers advice that we did not specifically ask for, but that we truly need. He is also very quick and diligent. There were several times that we had to request for his input on a very tight schedule, but he managed to deliver the best results within the time frame that was given to him.’

‘James Plant delivers good work and provides clear opinions and advice based on the contract.’

Key clients

Hedley International Contracting LLC

Kuwait Oil Company

GS Engineering and Construction

Work highlights

  • Acting for an international Joint Venture contractor on a $850m ICC arbitration in relation to delays and variations on a high-profile Middle East transport project.
  • Acting for a Korean EPC contractor in two parallel sets of local court proceedings against two national oil companies concerning a $190m claim relating to a suspended oil project.
  • Acting for a consortium of two Korean EPC contractors and a natural gas company on a $200m claim relation to an LNG project.

The firm

HFW is a global, sector-focused law firm with a network of 20 offices spanning 16 countries, consistently delivering market-leading results across its six core industry groups.

The firm’s specialist lawyers have a real passion for the sectors they work in and are renowned experts in their fields, whether it be solving complex issues across construction, aviation or shipping or providing advice across insurance, commodities and energy.

HFW has an extensive global reach with offices in Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

Types of work undertaken

Aviation: HFW advises airlines, banks, manufacturers, support providers, owners, operators, freight forwarders and insurers on issues including regulatory and competition, operations, claims and liability disputes, and the financing and structuring of transactions.

Construction: HFW’s practice covers contentious and non-contentious work for both suppliers and purchasers. Clients range from main contractors, governmental bodies and developers, to subcontractors and suppliers.

Commodities: HFW acts on soft commodities, oil and gas, coal and steel, and non-ferrous and precious metals. Clients include energy and chemical companies, coal and metal traders, commodity trading houses, trade finance banks, brokers, insurers and trade associations.

Energy and Resources: HFW has expertise across the entire energy lifecycle ranging from exploration and production, storage and transportation, LNG, refining, trading and sale of oil and gas, to electricity generation, energy management, renewables and carbon trading.

Insurance and Reinsurance: HFW provides a wide range of dispute resolution, transactional and regulatory services to clients that include insurers, captives, intermediaries, managing and members€™ agencies at Lloyd€™s, and run-off service providers.

Shipping: HFW advises across all areas of shipping, including wet, dry, regulatory, piracy, offshore, marine insurance, finance as well as on all forms of shipping contracts, transport-related disputes and corporate matters.

In addition to the above core sectors, HFW has expertise in financial institutions, logistics, mining, oil and gas, ports and terminals, travel, cruise and leisure and yachts. HFW also has expertise in legal services such as commercial, corporate, dispute resolution, employment, EU, competition and regulatory, finance, fraud and insolvency, government services and projects.

Other offices: Abu Dhabi, Brussels, Dubai, Geneva, Hong Kong, Houston, Jakarta, Kuwait, Melbourne, Monaco, Paris, Perth, Piraeus, Rio de Janeiro, Riyadh, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney.


Key Contacts

Managing Partner – Jeremy Shebson

Global Senior Partner – Richard Crump

Chief Operating Officer – Sid Welham


Industry Group Leaders

HFW’s Industry Group Leaders have unrivalled specialist experience within their respective industries, guiding on best practice and harnessing development opportunities to ensure the firm retains its position at the forefront of legal practice within that sector.

Aerospace – Giles Kavanagh

Commodities – Alistair Feeney

Construction – Carolyn Chudleigh

Insurance and Reinsurance – Christopher Cardona

Energy and Resources – Alistair Mackie

Shipping – Paul Dean


Legal Service Heads

Legal Service Heads are responsible for ensuring best practice and the strategic development of their specialism across the firm, promoting innovation, collaboration and market-leading practice.

Litigation – Noel Campbell

Corporate – Brian Gordon

Finance – Elinor Dautlich 


Office Heads

HFW’s Office Heads work to build and develop the business, taking overall responsibility for the firm within their location whilst maintaining an active personal practice.

Abu Dhabi – Richard Lucas

Brussels – Pierre Frühling

Dubai – Richard Gimblett

Geneva – Michael Buisset

Hong Kong – Patrick Yeung

Houston – Gerard Kimmitt

Jakarta – Sri Rahayu

Kuwait City – Rula Dajani Abuljebain

London – Jeremy Shebson

Melbourne – Gavin Vallely

Monaco – Ian Cranston

Paris – Guillaume Brajeux

Perth – Simon Adams

Piraeus – Dimitri Vassos

Rio de Janeiro – Julio Costa Julio leads the Brazilian offices of CAL. HFW and CAL entered into a formal cooperation in 2018.

Riyadh – Mohammed Abdulrahman Alkhliwi

São Paulo – Julio Costa Julio leads the Brazilian offices of CAL. HFW and CAL entered into a formal cooperation in 2018.

Shanghai – Nicholas Poynder

Singapore – Mert Hifzi

Sydney – Carolyn Chudleigh

Managing Partner Jeremy Shebson
Global Senior Partner Richard Crump
Chief Operating Officer Sid Welham
Mr Michael Sergeant photo Mr Michael SergeantPartner
Number of UK partners : 76
Number of other UK fee-earners : 160

HFW is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive working environment in which people of all backgrounds, beliefs and experiences can reach their full potential. In the last financial year, its staff completed more than 4,000 hours of pro bono legal advice, volunteering, and diversity and inclusion initiatives.

The firm sets ambitious targets in line with its Global Diversity Statement and has identified gender equality and mental health as global focus areas. In October 2019, HFW became an official signatory of the Mindful Business Charter, and was named in the Top 75 Social Mobility Employers Index 2020 (UK). The firm’s efforts to promote better mental health are further demonstrated by its international network of 48 mental health first aiders.

In 2015, HFW pledged to increase the percentage of female fixed share partners to 30% by 2020 and this target is considered as part of the promotion process. As of August 2019, the percentage sits at 28% (up from 19% in 2015). More than half of the firm’s Senior Associates and Business Service Heads are women.

HFW also works alongside a number of charities and not-for-profit organisations, for example partnering with Mission to Seafarers and Renewable World to share its sector expertise, in addition to supporting its firm-wide charity partner Fight for Peace.

The Lex 100 Verdict

HFW’s ‘focus on areas of law relating to international trade’ make it ‘very interesting compared to general full-service firms’. The international outfit is also ‘one of the few firms where an overseas secondment is highly likely, if not guaranteed’, resulting in a Lex 100 Winner award in this category. The people at HFW are ‘very impressive lawyers, but also great to work with; they value work/life balance but still work hard and to a market-leading standard in our key industry sectors’. Better still, ‘partners really want to pass on their knowledge for you to learn’. One of the firm’s more impressive qualities is that ‘it operates on a global level’, which means that trainees (and other employees) have the ‘opportunity to collaborate with clients and colleagues around the world’. Nevertheless, there are some downsides, for example: ‘the pay, in particular the NQ salary, is lower than average for a firm of this size’. There has also been a ‘lack of investment in IT’, especially ‘the laptops, which are old and cannot cope if you’re creating a big electronic bundle (which is a classic trainee task)’! Low points for trainees were ‘disclosure exercises, which are very time consuming and quite monotonous’, ‘sending a letter to the opponents before getting the partner’s approval’ and ‘the unpredictability of the workload, which is challenging at times, but makes us thrive’. On the other hand, recruits rode high on experiences such as ‘handling a piracy hostage situation and attending a vessel’, ‘negotiating an agreement while the partner supervised from the sidelines’ and ‘being asked to run a small matter’. To train at a firm with a unique focus on shipping law where there is an abundance of contentious work on offer, consider HFW.