Signature Litigation LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

Signature Litigation LLP
138 FETTER LANE
LONDON
EC4A 1BT
England

Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: civil Tier 2

Signature Litigation LLP is often engaged on matters spanning multiple jurisdictions, with the recent caseload showcasing matters across Australia, Greece, France and China, in addition to a plethora within Eastern Europe. The practice is spearheaded by Graham Huntley, a lawyer with a particularly formidable reputation within the banking sector, and is also home to acclaimed names such as Ioannis Alexopoulos and Kate Gee.

Practice head(s):

Graham Huntley

Other key lawyers:

Ioannis Alexopoulos; Julian Connerty

Testimonials

‘The ability of Signature to come on board mid-case, take over, synthesize, absorb and put together a comprehensive defence, witness statements and deal with an aggressive claimant firm was top-notch.’

‘As individuals with no prior involvement in litigation, their ability to manage us and take us through the process was extremely valuable. They were also brilliant in their billing – working with us on innovative billing techniques so that we would be able to fund our case through the entire trial (which I now understand is incredibly expensive).’

In terms of partners, Julian Connerty was the senior most partner working on our case – very good grasp of the law, seeing the entire picture between the claimant, judge, and various defendants. An experienced senior partner who has been there, seen it, and effectively took us through the case.’

‘The Signature team are small but perfectly formed with only the highest quality lawyers involved. This means that they are efficient and effective. Not surprisingly, the largest and most prestigious clients are content to trust them.’

‘Ioannis Alexopoulos – Strategic thinker.’

‘Signature offers an outstanding bespoke litigation service for clients. It has a compact and dynamic approach to creating a team for a case that is able to deliver the highest quality product efficiently and competitively. They are also ahead of the curve on technology.’

‘Julian Connerty is a seasoned litigator with an excellent antenna. He is calm, collected and not easily ruffled. He has a great sense of what matters and how things will play out. Clients are in the most capable of hands.’

Key clients

Cellcom Telecommunications Ltd

Georgian Co Investment Fund

Privinvest companies and Mr Iskandar Safa

Vitaly Orlov

Former executive management of Wind Energy Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing Georgian Co Investment Fund in relation to allegations of wholesale and serious fraud and dishonesty by individuals within the elite fund management business within Credit Suisse, in part relying on criminal convictions that have already been sustained by the lead Credit Suisse employee in Switzerland.
  • Representing Privinvest and Mr Safa in a high-value (Over USD 2 billion) and hard-fought Commercial Court Claim brought by the Republic of Mozambique against Credit Suisse, Privinvest and others. The claim has complex geopolitical ramifications in Mozambique and around the world and involves complex and novel issues regarding state immunity.
  • Representing Mr Michael O’Neill seeking significant damages for fraud and unlawful conspiracy against Avic International Holding Corporation. The claim relates to GBP 5 billion worth of Chinese investment into Europe by Avic and will have implications on the way inward investment opportunities are marketed in the UK and in Europe to large sovereign wealth funds from China and other acquisitive states.

Dispute resolution > Banking litigation: investment and retail Tier 3

Signature Litigation LLP boasts a high-quality banking litigation practice, with one client describing members of the team as ‘litigation heavyweights in small firm clothing’. Mandates exceeding  $1bn are frequently undertaken, with complex and business critical cases a mainstay of the department’s work. Graham Huntley leads a team that has a ‘great balance of assertiveness and tact’ and includes the ‘highly regardedAbdulali Jiwaji, the ‘extremely experienced litigatorJosh Wong, and Becca Hogan, who is a ‘calm, composed and confidence-inspiring presence in a team.’

Practice head(s):

Graham Huntley

Other key lawyers:

Abdulali Jiwaji; Josh Wong; Becca Hogan; Rory Spillman; Alasdair Glass

Testimonials

‘Becca Hogan is a standout junior partner. Detail-oriented and very switched on. A calm, composed and confidence-inspiring presence in a team.’

‘High quality litigation team. Were able to get up to speed quickly on the case and then guide us rationally. We were mainly impressed with Signature’s commercial skills – they understand people and looking at it from the other side to pre-empt or avoid aggravating issues unnecessarily.’

‘Abdul Jiwaji is a senior lawyer who is highly regarded in the City and we understood why immediately.’

‘They are litigation heavyweights in small firm clothing.’

‘Abdulali Jiwaji is an extremely experienced litigator who is utterly unflappable. Definitely someone you want in your corner in tough spot.’

‘Josh Wong is an extremely experienced litigator with sound litigation instincts.’

‘Alasdair Glass is a standout associate with a bright future.’

‘Josh Wong is an impressive operator who can attack a difficult situation with great energy, judgment and effectiveness.’

Key clients

Georgian Co Investment Fund

Privinvest companies

Bugsby Property LLC

Finfloor S.p.A

RBS Rights Issue litigation

QIB (UK) plc

Work highlights

  • Representing Georgian Co Investment Fund in relation to an allegation of wholesale and serious fraud and dishonesty by individuals within the elite fund management business within Credit Suisse.
  • Representing Bugsby Property in claims against Legal & General for breaches of a confidentiality and exclusivity agreement.
  • Representing Finfloor S.p.A. in its challenge to the jurisdiction of the English court in relation to a claim brought by its Swiss financial adviser XY S.A.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: premium Tier 4

The ‘cohesive, experienced, and effective team’ at Signature Litigation LLP acts for multi-party, multi-jurisdictional disputes, benefitting from support provided by a Paris office of the firm. The ‘hard-working, diligent and able’ team is led by ‘leading player’ Graham Huntley, who regularly acts for banks, fund managers, and life assurers. ‘Intelligent and skilled lawyer’ Daniel Spendlove is key to the team, alongside ‘stand-out individual’ Abdulali Jiwaji  and ‘bright and careful litigator’ Simon Fawell.

Practice head(s):

Graham Huntley

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Spendlove; Abdulali Jiwaji; Simon Fawell; Rory Spillman; Ritwick Ghosh

Testimonials

‘Signature LLP are a cohesive, experienced and effective team. They get to the heart of the issues and communicate well (within the team and to clients). They fight hard when fighting is needed and are wise to the alternative solutions where available.’

‘Graham Huntley is a leading player in the London litigation scene. He’s clever, responsive, always fights his corner, and the opposition don’t underestimate him.’

‘Daniel Spendlove is first class. Cool under pressure, a brilliant communicator and always with a practical solution to hand, he is also an intelligent and skilled lawyer. Simon Fawell is a bright and careful litigator with a keen eye to detail. He is also very commercial in his approach. Abdulali Jiwaji is a clever lawyer who quiet and calm manner inspires confidence.’

‘‘Abdulali Jiwaji is super impressive. He is understated, authoritative, and effective. No matter how complicated or difficult a situation, he is calm and the still centre. Cool under pressure. Very effective in communications with clients and wonderful as a team leader.’

‘‘Rory Spillman has excelled since deservedly stepping up to partner – unflappable, even under immense pressure, and produces consistently high quality work. A real eye for making sure that the detail is right.’

‘‘I have extensive experience working with Daniel Spendlove and Ritwick Ghosh, as well as the wider team. Both are cool, calm, and collected and are able to deal with litigation in a diplomatic but forceful way. Both have handled high intensity situations with aplomb and know how to resolve both legal issues but also how handle funders and insurers in pressurized situations.’

‘Graham Huntley – a big presence in this sector, good strategy overview but will roll his sleeves up whenever necessary. Great with clients.’

‘‘They are all very hard-working, diligent and able, and are not afraid of putting in the hard yards. They are also very flexible and adaptable due to being streamlined and agile.’

Key clients

Commission Recovery Limited

Privinvest companies and Mr Iskandar Safa

Claimants against Wind Energy Holdings Limited

Renault

Georgian Co Investment Fund

Bugsby Property LLC

Profile Security Services Ltd

Investors in Old Mutual & Friends Provident products

Global Growth (Atlanta Bidco Limited)

SG Group Claimants

Cellcom Telecommunications Ltd

Members of the Barclay family (UBOs of the Daily Telegraph, Yodel, and previously the Ritz Hotel)

Work highlights

  • Representing Commission Recovery Limited in a ground-breaking claim for recovery of alleged secret commissions earned from commercial referral arrangements.
  • Representing Privinvest in a high-value and hard-fought Commercial Court Claim brought by the Republic of Mozambique against Credit Suisse, Privinvest and others.
  • Representing the former management of the Thai company Wind Energy Holdings Limited (“WEH”) in an extremely high value and complex matter involving multiple parties with allegations spanning over three years.

Dispute resolution > International arbitration Tier 4

Excellent specialist litigation firmSignature Litigation LLP handles a broad range of international commercial arbitration matters. The team also covers high-profile investment arbitrations. Ioannis Alexopoulos is an expert in matters involving Greece, the Balkans, the Middle East, Brazil, and sub-Saharan Africa; Josh Wong is a ‘superb strategist‘; and counsel Bernhard Maier focuses on the natural resources and energy sector. In late 2022, international arbitration partner Tsegaye Laurendeau joined from Gaillard Banifatemi Shelbaya Disputes, while Neil Newing was elevated to partner.

Practice head(s):

Ioannis Alexopoulos

Other key lawyers:

Josh Wong; Bernhard Maier; Tsegaye Laurendeau; Neil Newing; Pietro Grassi; Philipp Kurek

Testimonials

‘Excellent specialist litigation firm, with very knowledgeable and approachable partners.’

‘Ioannis Alexopoulos is an excellent and poised strategist and leader.’

‘Josh Wong – very quick grasp of complex legal matters. excellent communication skills with clients, insurers and litigation funders. Very easy to work with and superb strategist.’

‘Tsegaye Laurendeau is a go-to lawyer at the firm. Tsegaye is a first-class litigation and arbitration lawyer and has great support from the firm. This means that Tsegaye and his firm are a litigation powerhouse.’

‘Tsegaye Laurendeau is an excellent litigator and advocate, but beyond that he is commercial in his approach to problem solving. Most importantly, he is open and honest regarding the prospects of success in any case and will advise settlement if he considers this to be the best option available.’

‘Neil Newing and Pietro Grassi are excellent. Extremely user friendly, fantastic drafting skills, and always have an eye to the bigger strategic picture.’

‘Bernhard Maier is very experienced in the field of international arbitration and has an interesting and varied international practice.  He is efficient and runs a lean team.’

‘Philipp Kurek is one of the very few people in the field who has the level of experience, knowledge and intellect required to win cases in this field. He is of superstar quality and a fantastic lawyer overall in the fields of commercial and investor-state arbitration.’

Key clients

Discovery Global

Privinvest companies

GRF Paragon (Malaysia)

Work highlights

  • Representing Discovery Global, a US investor, in an ICSID claim against the Slovak Republic under the US-Slovak BIT, in which the investor alleges that it was prevented from conducting oil and gas exploration drilling operations.
  • Representing Privinvest and Iskandar Safa in a high-value Commercial Court claim brought by the Republic of Mozambique against Credit Suisse, Privinvest and others.
  • Representing GRF Paragon (Malaysia), Maximilian Johnson and Simon Murray in denial of justice claims against Mongolia under the Malaysia-Mongolia and UK-Mongolia BITs, arising out of a large investment in the Mongolian mining sector.

Insurance > Insurance and reinsurance litigation Tier 4

Signature Litigation LLP acts for leading corporates, insurers and reinsurers in high-value disputes, with a focus on Latin America, the Mediterranean basin, Asia and West Africa. Practice head Hermes Marangos – a bilingual solicitor advocate – has particular expertise in political and trade and war and terrorism risk matters, in addition to the development of wordings for investors and the reinsurance market. Another names of note include Simon Fawell for his specialism in cyber-breach recovery; Daniel Spendlove for his experience in disputes emanating from Central and Eastern Europe, and associate Adriano Stagni for his strong reputation in coverage issues.

Practice head(s):

Hermès Marangos

Testimonials

‘Hermes Marangos is positive, enthusiastic and hard-working, with very good legal knowledge and understanding.’

‘Hermes Marangos has a standout profile in the international insurance market.’

‘Significant international experience – particularly Latin America.’

‘Excellent at representing clients in cross border insurance disputes.’

‘Hermes Marangos is an exceptional partner with strong links in South America.’

Key clients

Investors in Old Mutual & Friends Provident

Green Network SpA

Work highlights

  • Representing Investors in Old Mutual (now Utmost Group) & Friends Provident in claims against two of the world’s largest life insurance companies in respect of commercial insurance and investment products sold.
  • Representing Green Network SpA in proceedings brought by the Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited under a guarantee by Green Network SpA of Green Network UK plc, which entered liquidation in the UK in 2022.

Gibraltar > Dispute resolution Tier 2

Signature Litigation LLP excels in large-scale commercial litigation and arbitration. Distinguished as a leading independent disputes boutique in Gibraltar, the practice has strong cross-border capabilities given its links to the London and Paris markets. Trusts, estates disputes and contentious probate proceedings are other key areas of work. ‘Brilliant tactician and outstanding advocateElliott Phillips is the lead figure for civil fraud, asset tracing, insolvency and shareholder disputes.

Practice head(s):

Elliott Phillips

Testimonials

‘Elliott Phillips is very responsive, personable and efficient.’

‘This is a superb team led by Elliott Phillips, an outstanding practitioner and one of the best lawyers in Gibraltar. The team is incredibly user friendly and responsive, extremely strategic and commercial in its approach and a joy to work with.’

‘Elliott Phillips is simply superb. A brilliant tactician and outstanding advocate, he leads his team with incredible skill and care.’

Key clients

Discovery Global LLC

Trafalgar Multi Asset Holding Company Limited (In Liquidation)

Family of the Late Robert Bates

GibFibre Limited

Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago

BWIN GVC Holdings (Gibraltar) Limited

EIG Services Limited (In Liquidation) (EIG)

Fidux Trust Company

Capital Growth Limited

GVC Holdings

Work highlights

  • Representing Discovery Global in an investor-state arbitration against the Republic of Slovakia which has been filed with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.
  • Successfully represented GibFibre Limited (a privately owned broadband operator) in a dispute against Gibtelecom.
  • Representing a client in an unfair prejudice petition.

Signature Litigation is best known as a new model commercial and financial market litigation practice with a unique “all member” economic structure. The firm has no transactional practice, and therefore very few conflicts of interest, and none of the distractions which come with a multi-practice law firm with offices across many jurisdictions.

The firm: Signature Litigation was founded in 2012 by senior lawyers with many years’ experience in leading international practices, specialising in high-value commercial litigation and arbitration. Headquartered in London and with offices in Paris and Gibraltar, the firm was founded to meet the increased demand for advice and support in complex cases from independent and highly experienced litigators, where the dedication of a niche specialist firm yields results.

The firm has continued its strong growth this year with several high-value cases and an expanding team of high-calibre individuals. By way of example, Signature Litigation is acting for international shipbuilding group, Privinvest, in connection with US$2bn claims brought against it and Credit Suisse by the Republic of Mozambique arising from supply agreements and supporting financial instruments and guarantees alleged to have been entered into by Mozambique due to corruption involving state officials responsible for its international investment into its oil and gas reserves, in what is sometimes known as the “tuna bonds” or “hidden debts” litigation. Signature Litigation is also acting for several Defendants in a $2 billion Claim in the High Court in relation to Thai-based company, Wind Energy Holding. The case forms part of a series of commercial disputes in multiple jurisdictions, including Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and the British Virgin Islands.

Additionally, Signature Litigation is representing Commission Recovery Limited in a ground-breaking claim for recovery of alleged secret commissions earned from commercial referral arrangements. In February, Signature’s client was granted permission to pursue its claim on a representative basis under CPR 19.6, the first such major decision on CPR 19.6 since the Supreme Court’s judgment in Lloyd v Google.

Signature Litigation’s continued development is evident in recent and significant partner appointments. Most recently, the firm appointed Philipp Kurek to its partnership in London. Philipp specialises in international arbitration with particular expertise in investment arbitration, representing clients and providing strategic legal advice in ICSID and ad hoc arbitration proceedings. In April, Signature Litigation announced the appointment of Jérémie Fierville as a partner in its Paris office to strengthen its corporate and financial dispute resolution expertise. With experience in both Paris and London, Jérémie has developed strong expertise in corporate, shareholder, and financial disputes. In October 2022, Signature Litigation announced the promotion of international commercial arbitration specialist Neil Newing to Partner. He has particular experience in managing high value cross-border disputes, many of which involve multiple parties and multiple jurisdictions. Neil represents clients across numerus sectors, but has particular expertise in the energy sector and oil and gas and infrastructure disputes. Neil’s promotion reflects Signature Litigation’s organic growth and commitment to fostering internal talent. Signature Litigation also appointed Tsegaye Laurendeau as a Partner, who has over 10 years’ experience of international arbitrations under the LCIA, ICC, ICSID, CRCICA, HKIAC and UNCITRAL arbitration rules. Tsegaye regularly represents international corporates, States and State-owned entities in commercial and investment treaty arbitrations arising in various parts of the globe, including North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.

Signature Litigation is distinct from anything else in the market. The firm has effectively transferred economic ownership in the firm away from the traditional model of equity partners towards every member of the practice. Signature Litigation has developed and implemented the first truly transparent, non-discretionary and universally applicable profit-sharing structure in the legal market.

Put simply, Signature Litigation is governed effectively by the combined voices of all of its people – with guaranteed rights for everyone to enjoy its success, financial and otherwise, and to ensure that its unique culture remains entirely protected.

Signature Litigation ensures its clients are at the heart of everything done by all its members and as such is able to offer clients in the region high quality advice which truly understands their needs, while avoiding the constraints of potential conflict issues. Above all, it has taken advantage of the developments in technology and outsourcing to ensure that its team is dynamic and efficient enough to deliver the very best service and legal outcomes for its clients.

Types of work undertaken: commercial litigation and arbitration; complex, multi-party disputes that challenge the commercial and reputational viability of its clients, and regulatory disputes in the banking and financial services sector.

Signature Litigation’s lawyers have resolved some of the most significant and complex disputes involving financial institutions in recent legal history. The firm offers services to investment and commercial banks, funds and asset managers, large corporations, private equity and venture capital houses, hedge funds, professional advisers and private clients.

Signature Litigation’s arbitration practice comprises specialist practitioners across its London, Paris and Gibraltar offices. The team has substantial experience acting for clients on high value and complex international arbitrations pursuant to various institutional rules including LCIA, ICC, ICSID, UNCITRAL, the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institute, the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce and the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC).

Signature Litigation’s insurance and reinsurance practice focuses on complex international insurance disputes. Combining the expertise in its London and Paris offices, Signature Litigation has acted for some of the leading insurers and reinsurers on high value disputes, particularly in Europe, Latin America, the Mediterranean basin, Asia and West Africa.

Complex international trust arrangements and fund management disputes are at the heart of much of the firm’s work, particularly in London and Gibraltar. Some of those arrangements involve formal trust structures in offshore jurisdictions, whilst others involve disputes arising out of informal trust relationships. The firm also advises regularly on the applicability of constructive trusts to the proceeds of fraud. Its practitioners have been involved in almost all the high value contentious trusts and estates matters before the Gibraltar Courts at all levels and regularly seeks directions from the Court on behalf of trustees.

Signature Litigation’s product liability practice is led from its Paris office and focuses on assisting major entities with every compliance issue that may arise with regulators, suppliers or consumers. The firm advises clients on all aspects of liability following their products from the day they are designed until they are placed on the market, handling disputes in France and in London.

Signature Litigation’s insolvency litigation practice is based on significant experience of representing a wide spectrum of clients – creditors, investors, debtors and officeholders – across a range of complex disputes. The practice also regularly undertakes matters in relation to contentious restructuring, bringing and defending claims before the Courts.

Signature Litigation has deep experience in dealing with regulatory disputes in the financial sector and conducting corporate investigations. The firm also advises clients in connection with investigations initiated by the FCA and SFO in the United Kingdom, the Financial Services Commission in Gibraltar and, in France, the anti-corruption agency, the AFA. In Gibraltar the firm has acted for the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission in appeals brought against it by regulated entities in relation to the enforcement powers of the regulator.

Department Name Email Telephone
Partners Ioannis Alexopoulos
Partners Paul Brehony
Partners Natalia Chumak
Partners Julian Connerty
Partners Simon Fawell
Partners Jérémie Fierville
Partners Sylvie Gallage-Alwis
Partners Kate Gee
Partners Becca Hogan
Partners Graham Huntley
Partners Abdulali Jiwaji
Partners Philipp Kurek
Partners Tsegaye Laurendeau
Partners Emmanuèle Lutfalla
Partners Hermès Marangos
Partners Neil Newing
Partners Elliott Phillips
Partners Flore Poloni
Partners Thomas Rouhette
Partners Tom Snelling
Partners Daniel Spendlove
Partners Rory Spillman
Partners Josh Wong
Photo Name Position Profile
Ioannis Alexopoulos photo Ioannis Alexopoulos Ioannis specialises in commercial litigation and international arbitration, including banking disputes, particularly…
Paul Brehony photo Paul Brehony Paul is a partner and has nearly 30 years’ experience in complex…
Natalia Chumak photo Natalia Chumak Natalia has 20 years of litigation and arbitration experience in complex and…
Julian Connerty photo Julian Connerty Julian has over 25 years of experience in handling the litigation, arbitration…
Simon Fawell photo Simon Fawell Simon has more than 20 years’ experience across a wide range of…
Kate Gee photo Kate Gee Kate has more than 12 years’ experience acting in complex, high value,…
Ritwick Ghosh photo Ritwick Ghosh Ritwick has represented corporates and individuals in various sectors including banking, asset…
Alasdair Glass photo Alasdair Glass Alasdair is a commercial litigator with experience in complex, high value international…
Pietro Grassi photo Pietro Grassi Pietro is a Senior Associate at Signature Litigation with experience in public…
Becca Hogan photo Becca Hogan Becca has a wide range of experience in commercial disputes with a…
Graham Huntley photo Graham Huntley Graham is a Founding Partner of Signature Litigation and a senior specialist…
Abdulali Jiwaji photo Abdulali Jiwaji Abdul has over 20 years of experience in litigation, arbitration and contentious…
Philipp Kurek photo Philipp Kurek Philipp specialises in international arbitration, representing clients and providing strategic legal advice…
Tsegaye Laurendeau photo Tsegaye Laurendeau With over 10 years’ experience of international arbitrations under the LCIA, ICC,…
Kathleen Leslie photo Kathleen Leslie Kathleen is a Counsel at Signature Litigation who specialises in complex multi-jurisdictional commercial…
Bernhard Maier photo Bernhard Maier Bernhard is Counsel at Signature Litigation specialising in commercial and investment treaty…
Hermes Marangos photo Hermes Marangos Hermès is a leading international disputes lawyer having litigated, arbitrated or mediated…
Neil Newing photo Neil Newing Neil is an international arbitration lawyer and commercial litigator with particular experience…
Elliott Phillips photo Elliott Phillips Elliott is an internationally recognised barrister (qualifying in England and Gibraltar in…
Tom Snelling photo Tom Snelling Tom has over 20 years’ experience in complex and high value commercial…
Daniel Spendlove photo Daniel Spendlove Daniel focuses on complex and high value commercial litigation and arbitration, both…
Rory Spillman photo Rory Spillman Rory specialises in financial markets and complex multi-party international disputes, including allegations…
Josh Wong photo Josh Wong Josh is a highly experienced commercial and corporate litigation and international arbitration…
Number of UK partners : 23
Number of other UK fee-earners : 32
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