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This leading specialist, conflict-free practice focuses on high-value, multi-jurisdictional commercial dispute resolution with a particular emphasis on international asset recovery, often involving allegations of fraud. The firm is known for its ground-breaking cases and it regularly obtains freezing orders and other similar relief. Cases are handled in numerous jurisdictions on behalf of financial institutions, government agencies, state enterprises, international businesses and high-net-worth individuals. It also acts for defendants faced with such claims and orders, obtaining discharges of injunctions, striking out proceedings and recovering costs and damages on counterclaims.

The firm: Founded in 1979 by Steven Philippsohn, one of the world's leading fraud lawyers, the firm has for more than 25 years focused on international commercial fraud litigation and more recently international arbitration. Its reputation for excellence has been reflected in the growth of the size and quality of its instructions, as well as its appointment as the English member of the International Chamber of Commerce's network of fraud specialists, 'Fraudnet'. Steven Philippsohn is a committee member of the Commercial Fraud Lawyers Association and has been selected by The Times as one of the 100 most influential legal professionals in the UK. Anthony Riem is the chairman of the Commercial Fraud Lawyers Association. Their comment on fraud issues is frequently sought by the media.

PCB Litigation provides an authoritative, highly knowledgeable, partner-led team of specialists. It believes that the quality of the skills dedicated to a case is far more important than the number of people. Its expertise lies in developing successful strategies, often involving freezing, search and disclosure orders and co-ordinating lawyers in numerous jurisdictions, for example, simultaneously to freeze assets secreted by fraudsters all over the world.

Types of work undertaken: The firm undertakes high-value, multi-jurisdictional commercial dispute resolution, conducting litigation in England and managing overseas litigation, as well as acting in international arbitrations. The firm also conducts investigative work in relation to its commercial fraud cases. Some high-value domestic litigation, including family ancillary relief claims where there has not been proper disclosure of assets and property litigation, is also undertaken.

Examples of the type of relief and ground-breaking orders that the firm has recently obtained for clients include: appointing equitable receivers over assets held through a Liechtenstein Foundation on the basis that the defendant had a right to call for the assets of the foundation or had de facto control of those assets; pleading fraud where the primary facts were not only consistent with dishonesty; obtaining a free-standing worldwide disclosure order in Jersey in support of enforcement of a foreign judgment and the appointment of a receiver over assets in Russia; and obtaining a search order against a non-cause of action defendant.

In other cases, PCB Litigation has on behalf of clients obtained injunctive relief/interim attachments in various other jurisdictions, including Cyprus, Switzerland, Israel, Belgium, Belize, Guernsey, Jersey, BVI and Cayman and disclosure orders in the United States. PCB Litigation also acts for those on the receiving end of such relief. For example, the firm has obtained the discharge of a £100m freezing order on the basis that the claimants were dishonest in their evidence to the court and has successfully challenged the jurisdiction of the English court to grant freezing orders against its clients in support of proceedings in Italy and BVI.

Cases range in value from the millions of dollars to the billions of dollars and involve a number of different countries, including in the last 12 months the United States, Russia, Ukraine, Lebanon, Nigeria, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Sweden and France. The disputes themselves cover a variety of industry sectors; from oil and gas, to banking and finance, and from metals to media, and are often at the cutting edge of the law, with cases being heard in the appellate courts of England, Cayman, BVI and elsewhere on issues such as service out of the jurisdiction, piercing the corporate veil, forum conveniens and the jurisdiction to grant freezing orders.

  • Number of UK partners: 4
  • Number of other UK fee-earners: 5
  • Breakdown of work %
  • Commercial dispute: resolution100

Above material supplied by PCB Litigation LLP.

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