Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP

Dispute resolution > International arbitration Tier 1

With an enviable track record of success in complex, high-stakes disputes, WilmerHale‘s large London group, which is devoted exclusively to international arbitration and handles all its own advocacy, has ‘exceptional experience and knowledge in international investment disputes'. The international arbitration practice department is chaired by ‘brilliant advocateGary Born, an international commercial arbitration and litigation specialist, whose track record includes acting as counsel in four of the largest ICC arbitrations, as well as several of the most significant ad hoc arbitrations in recent history. The practice also showcases Steven Finizio, who is highly focused on investment treaty and public international law issues; global vice-chair of the  international arbitration practice Franz Schwarz; and energy, construction, telecoms, insurance, joint venture and M&A disputes expert Charlie Caher, who is ‘recommended for anyone looking for an arbitration specialist‘.

Practice head(s):

Gary Born

Other key lawyers:

Steven Finizio; Franz Schwarz; Charlie Caher


‘The best expertise and on-hand experience in the area of international (investment) arbitration on the market, having strongly focused on this area of practice for many years.’

‘Honest, detail oriented, strategic, fair, and well informed and connected.

Exceptional experience and knowledge in international investment disputes, where there are not so many law firms. Team spirit is kept high, and during the hearing there are always strategic team meetings to achieve the best output for the client.

‘Given the size of matters the lawyers handle, there is definitely value for the money they charge. Furthermore they have always been extremely flexible with their billing policies.

‘Steven Finizio and Gary Born are stars of the firm, who are widely known all over the world and there is no need to introduce them – great experts, excellent communicators and extremely client friendly.

‘Gary Born – the tools and trappings of law practice may evolve but the basic ingredient of excellent lawyering does not. Gary is a brilliant advocate.’

Gary Born and Charlie Caher are simply fantastic, from their ability to understand a complex case quickly and provide guidance on likely outcomes, to going through the arbitration process.

‘Charlie Caher is fantastic – recommended for anyone looking for an arbitration specialist.’

Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: white-collar crime (advice to individuals) Tier 2

WilmerHale represents an international client base in high-stakes white-collar and financial crime cases, including proceedings brought by the SFO, NCA, and police, as well as global enforcement agencies such as the US DOJ and SEC, benefitting from its strong US platform for multijurisdictional work. Stephen Pollard leads the team, and has great experience in fraud and corruption cases on a global basis, acting for directors, high-level directors, and high-net-worth individuals. Other key names in the team include counsel David Rundle, who is dual US-qualified and handles insider dealing, market abuse and money laundering cases, and Lloyd Firth, who has seen success in SFO proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Pollard

Other key lawyers:


‘The key to Wilmer Hale’s offering in this area is Stephen Pollard. He is the sun around which the talents of the white collar team orbit. He has picked them by hand, taught them one by one, and equipped them to provide what is an exceptional boutique service in the heart of London.’

‘A group of highly intelligent, tactically astute, academically exceptional lawyers who think nothing of long days and nights across multiple jurisdictions.’

‘David Rundle and Lloyd Firth are both extremely talented and experienced counsel, the equal of their peers in much larger firms in the City, only more nimble and alive to the strategic defence of individuals as well as the organisations in which those individuals sit.’

Stephen Pollard is an exceptional lawyer: innovative; open minded; a strategic genius; a fearsome adversary; and yet an advocate and advisor who is universally revered amongst his peers.’

‘When Stephen Pollard speaks, the room listens, because all the other senior lawyers there know that he is, basically, always right. He sees dangers and opportunities well before they have occurred to others. By the time that others have noticed a problem, Stephen will have solved it. He is the gold standard in the London white collar defence world.

Dispute resolution > Public international law Tier 3

WilmerHale‘s London PIL practice is particularly well known for its representation in matters involving territorial boundaries and sovereignty over territory, including significant state-to-state matters, intra-state disputes, and high-value investor-state claims. The group also fields experts in the PIL issues that arise within the national courts, which involve transnational litigation and enforcement issues. The firm’s international arbitration practice is chaired by Gary Born, who has heavyweight experience as lead counsel in PIL disputes, including several investor-state arbitrations; and co-chair of the London office Steven Finizio is also highly active in PIL and investment treaty work.

Practice head(s):

Gary Born; Steven Finizio

Key clients

Asian Development Bank

Media Defence

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property: patents (contentious and non-contentious) Tier 3

WilmerHale‘s patent practice team fields ‘an amazing and dedicated pool of talent who are able to provide the very best service in all aspects of complex technical patent litigation’. Collaborating closely with the firm's US counterparts, the London team comprises Trevor Cook, Matthew Shade, Anthony Trenton and Justin Watts, who are all adept at advising on high-profile, high-value FRAND and SEP litigation. Key sectors of expertise for the team include the pharmaceuticals, mobile phone technology, biotechnology product, semiconductor, and aviation engineering industries.

Other key lawyers:

Trevor Cook; Matthew Shade; Anthony Trenton; Justin Watts; Christina Guazzi; Annsley Ward


‘Justin Watts is a stalwart of the IP circle with a stellar reputation.’

‘Matthew Shade is a relatively junior partner but with an excellent and growing reputation. Matthew is particularly well regarded for technically heavy IP life sciences work and coordinating multi-jurisdictional litigation.’

‘Christina Guazzi – an exceptional talent. A partner in waiting.’

‘WilmerHale’s UK Patent team is first-rate – an amazing and dedicated pool of talent who are able to provide the very best service in all aspects of complex technical patent litigation – especially in the telecoms/FRAND arena.’

‘Anthony Trenton is a fantastic team leader, keeping on top of the most complex multi-faceted international patent litigation, whilst enabling the members of his team to deploy their individual skills to deliver a first-rate yet cost-effective work product.’

‘Anthony Trenton, Justin Watts and Annsley Ward stand out for their role in complex patent litigation. Trevor Cook is also a valuable contribution to the team, given his lifetime experience in the field.’

Key clients

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Corporate and commercial > Financial services: contentious Tier 4

WilmerHale hones its focus on the full suite of FCA-related enforcement actions, directing particular attention towards senior executives faced with regulatory exposure. Stephen Pollard leads the practice and has gathered notable insider trading, market abuse and internal investigation expertise throughout his illustrious 30-year career; he is supported by counsel David Rundle who is also well-versed before the SFO and PRA.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Pollard

Other key lawyers:


‘Fantastic experience of representing senior and high-profile individuals who are caught in the crosshairs of both domestic and international regulatory enforcement investigations.’

‘Stephen Pollard: One of the most well-known names when it comes to representing high-profile individuals involved in regulatory investigations. Clear, constructive and not afraid to pick battles for his clients when needed.’

‘David Rundle: Provides excellent support to Stephen Pollard on larger matters, and is also someone we approach to represent individuals who are involved in smaller cases. Calm, assured and constructive in his approach.’

‘Superb high-calibre team with masses of experience in the field.’

‘Calm, market savvy and meticulous attention to detail. Great client handling skills and well-connected in the market.’

Risk advisory > Regulatory investigations and corporate crime (advice to corporates) Tier 4

WilmerHale advises and represents corporates throughout high-stakes regulatory investigations and criminal proceedings brought by enforcement agencies, most notably the SFO. The firm acts for a combination of major domestic and international businesses, and handles the full range of financial crime cases, with practice head Stephen Pollard enjoying a strong reputation for financial services fraud, competition and cartel allegations, and market abuse proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Pollard

Other key lawyers:

Lloyd Firth


‘Headed by Stephen Pollard, this is a market leading team in corporate crime matters.’

‘Lloyd Firth is the smartest person in the room. He is a superb lawyer, a strategic thinker and has a rigorous attention to detail.’

Work highlights

    WilmerHale’s London office was established more than 40 years ago. With lawyers qualified in the United Kingdom, United States and many of the major European and other jurisdictions, our London team is 65 strong and focuses specifically on international arbitration, investigations and criminal litigation, financial services enforcement, intellectual property litigation, and UK/EU competition law.

    Our London-based International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Practice is world-renowned and has been involved in some of the largest, most complex and challenging international arbitrations to arise in recent years. Our UK white collar defense and investigations lawyers advise on all aspects of criminal and regulatory investigations, working across jurisdictions on matters such as fraud, insider dealing, market abuse, bribery and corruption, cartel defense and corporate investigations. Our London IP Litigation Practice advises clients across the full range of intellectual property disputes, including those relating to patents, breach of confidence and trade secrets, trademarks, passing off, domain names, copyright, registered designs and design right. Our UK Competition Practice advises on all aspects of UK and EU competition law, including merger notifications, cartel investigations and damages actions. We represent clients before the Competition and Markets Authority and the European Commission and in litigation before the High Court, Competition Appeals Tribunal, the Court of Appeal and the EU Courts.

    Litigation/Controversy and Securities & Financial Services Steven Finiziosteven.finizio@wilmerhale.com+44 (0)20 7872 1073
    Litigation/Controversy Franz Schwarzfranz.schwarz@wilmerhale.com+44 (0)20 7872 1025