Steptoe and Johnson UK LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

Steptoe and Johnson UK LLP
5 ALDERMANBURY SQUARE
LONDON
EC2V 7HR
England

Dispute resolution > Public international law Tier 3

Steptoe and Johnson UK LLP is frequently instructed by states and investors in PIL-governed arbitrations, while the firm's international trade team is experienced in representing governments in cases before the WTO Appellate Body. Other key areas are sovereign immunity and enforcement, and anti-corruption and sanctions. The group has sector strengths in agriculture, energy and natural resources. As a go-to counsel for claims against African states, Matthew Coleman chairs the investment treaty arbitration practice. Christophe Bondy, who joined in 2020 from Cooley (UK) LLP, is another active practitioner, as is experienced associate Thomas Innes.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Coleman

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

They showed great knowledge and expertise in public international law.

Matthew Coleman stands out for his deep knowledge of public international law, and his ability to apply this to complex cases.

The individual who particularly stands out for his knowledge, commitment and expertise in international public law is associate Thomas Innes.

Matthew Coleman and Thomas Innes are both excellent.

Key clients

European Commission Legal Services on behalf of the European Union

Sunlodges

The Paglieri Family

The von Pezold family & Border Timbers

The Republic of Armenia

Koch Supply and Trading

Koch Industries

Saint Patrick Properties Corporation

Neustar

The UK government

Government of Canada

Exxon Mobil Corporation

Work highlights

  • Acting as external counsel to the European Union, in its defence of a €10bn investment claim brought against it by Nord Stream 2 (under the Energy Charter Treaty).
  • Represented European investors in an investment treaty arbitration against an African state, which related to an expropriation and resulted in an award of over $20m.
  • Represented the von Pezold family and Border Timbers in parallel cases against Zimbabwe, which arose from one of the largest post-war expropriation programmes and resulted in awards for $196m and $125m plus interest and costs.

Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: civil Tier 4

The small but experienced team of Steptoe and Johnson UK LLP focuses on international clients and has particular expertise in cases with a Russian and CIS element. The UK civil fraud and asset tracing practice also works closely with colleagues in the US in particular, on cases which require court resolution in the UK and US. Neil Dooley leads the team and represents clients on complex cross-border fraud claims, most notably with a Russian element.

Practice head(s):

Neil Dooley

Other key lawyers:

Ivan Gordienko; Alex Green

Testimonials

‘Unlike many firms, they work in small, efficient teams who are totally committed to the case’.

‘They all have great experience in both prosecuting and defending fraud claims, especially in the often murky context of Russian business dealings’.  

‘Ivan Gordienko is a very assured and sophisticated litigator, who really commands the confidence of clients unfamiliar with English litigation’.

‘Alex Green is an outstandingly capable associate. He speaks fluent Russian and is brilliant at detective work, chasing down the critical factual details that make all the difference in court’.

Key clients

National Trust Bank

AOS Holding AG

PJSC VTB Bank

Work highlights

  • Representing National Bank Trust, in a protracted litigation focused on a $900 million fraudulent scheme run by its former executives, who hid the firm’s toxic debt by recycling money through sham loans to other investment vehicles they controlled
  • Representing a Georgian businessman, Roman Pipia, in a civil fraud case, in which our client claims that through a series of transactions BG UK, the Defendant, orchestrated a wrongful sale of Rustavi Azot LLP , one of Georgia’s most successful companies which Mr Pippa beneficially owned, worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • Represented AOS Holding AG in the case related to a $159 million investment in Grams, acryptocurrency, in one of the first cases in the UK courts related to cryptocurrency fraud.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: mid-market Tier 4

Steptoe and Johnson UK LLP‘s London office handles competition disputes, fraud and white-collar crime cases, and construction and property claims. Other key features of the practice are its Russian language capabilities and experience of cryptocurrency disputes. Much of Jonathan Raynes‘ work is for clients in the construction and energy industries. He works with Ivan Gordienko, who has particular expertise in litigation arising from Russia and CIS-related corporate transactions. In June 2021, commercial litigation expert Leigh Mallon joined from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, while environment and chemicals specialist Simon Tilling joined from Burges Salmon LLP later in the year.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

A first-rate commercial dispute resolution practice that is mid-sized in terms of the London practice, and has the advantage of being attractive to foreign lawyers not wanting to lose their clients to another firm.

This practice truly understands the merit of offering the expertise of their solicitors who have specific project knowledge and experience, so as to supplement exemplary legal knowledge of the highest quality.

Charges sensible fee levels, and is great for referrals from the Bar to assist with foreign instructions for Commercial Court proceedings.

Jonathan Raynes is hugely experienced in foreign-related work – very capable, conscientious and a pleasure to work with.

Jonathan Raynes is a reliable member of an international team for commercial court litigation or arbitration.

Jonathan Raynes’ dedication, expertise and effectiveness have consistently contributed highly to the success of each assignment we have involved him with.

Ivan Gordienko was excellent and careful in the work I carried out with him in the Commercial Court – very nice to work with.

Ivan Gordienko is an excellent partner, who is very hard-working, careful, and has good judgement.

Key clients

Digital Realty

Oliver Connell & Son

Vergnet

O’Keefe Construction Group

Do-Fluoride Chemicals

Joseph Homes

Ballast Nedam International Projects

Refrion

Cigna

Work highlights

  • Represented Hytera (Chinese manufacturer of radio systems) in the UK proceedings in its global dispute with Motorola, in which a UK Court of Appeals judgment upheld privilege allowing parties to speak freely in settlement negotiations.
  • Represented a Russian bank in a $150m transactional dispute, the case becoming a leading authority on the interaction of arbitration and insolvency law.
  • Representing Vergnet, a wind turbine supplier, in multi-party proceedings following the catastrophic failure of a turbine that led to the closure of a wind farm in New York State on safety grounds.

Real estate > Commercial property: development Tier 4

Steptoe and Johnson UK LLP 's team is experienced in development projects associated with data centres and retirement village schemes, as well as mixed-use, hotel, leisure, residential, industrial and logistics projects. The practice is led by Matthew Farmer, who is particularly noted for his expertise in structuring joint ventures. Under his leadership, the team is also instructed in investment transactions (principally in respect of office and technology assets) and it also provides a wealth of property management services.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Farmer

Other key lawyers:

Simon Collis; Sam Kelly

Testimonials

Steptoe have been incisively commercial and pragmatic in their approach, helping our growing business make good decisions.’

Simon Collis is focused, attentive and feels like part of our team. He is a real asset.’

Personal service & partner led.’

Key clients

Faccenda Investments Limited

Equinix, Inc.

Raven Russia plc

Audley Group Limited

Ampersand Group Holdings Limited

Yoo Capital Limited

Royalton Group Holdings Limited

Lifestory Group Limited

Digital Realty Trust, L.P.

Santon Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for Equinix on the renewal of leases at its Slough Trading Estate, Matrix Park, and Manchester Science Park mature data centre sites.
  • Acting for Yoo Capital’s SPV, Coln Park LLP, in relation to the £300m residential development and sale of luxury houses at a scheme called Lakes by Yoo in the Cotswolds
  • Advised Wendlebury Developments on planning elements of the development of High Tech office business park and David Lloyd Leisure Centre in Bicester.

Crime, fraud and licensing > Fraud: white-collar crime (advice to individuals) Tier 5

Steptoe and Johnson UK LLP ‘packs a punch far above its weight’, especially in the areas of money laundering and bribery, often in investigations conducted by the SFO and authorities overseas. Clients benefit from the firm’s wider geographical presence, which allows a closer collaboration between the white-collar defence teams in the UK and the US. In particular, Zoe Osborne is noted for her leadership on complex multi-jurisdictional mandates, with clients appreciating this cross-border teamwork for ‘unpicking the most challenging knots’. Department head John Rupp is noted for his recent work involving Interpol.

Practice head(s):

John Rupp

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘In our experience, Zoe Osborne’s leadership of the practice in the UK is defined by her collaborative efforts with partners globally. This collaborative effort makes resolution of cross-border questions and challenges far more effective and efficient than working at other firms with less global reach or less collaborative partnerships. They are the go-to team for us when we need help unpicking the most challenging knots!  Whilst the practice remains small by comparison to other UK-centric firms, it packs a punch far above its weight through Zoe’s mastery of her network internally coupled with deep sector expertise.’

‘Zoe Osborne brings with her excellent UK experience and has plugged that into a US law firm.’

‘In our experience, Zoe Osborne’s focus on the individuals involved in a case and what is holistically important to them, whilst delivering pin-point accuracy and wise judgement on matters of law, is unique. The sector is full of practitioners unwilling to take the time to empathise with the wider issues – Zoe does just that. She also has a disarming charm about her which explains why she is so respected by her peers and counterparts.’ 

‘Worked with Zoe Osborne for many years on large-scale investigations and prosecutions. Very hardworking and committed to her client.’

Dispute resolution > International arbitration Tier 5

Steptoe and Johnson UK LLP's London team has notable sector expertise in the construction, energy, telecoms and high-tech industries. Chairing the investment treaty arbitration practice, Matthew Coleman is highly rated for claims against African States, Christophe Bondy has over 20 years' experience in investment treaty arbitrations, and Neil Dooley provides further partner-level support for commercial arbitration. Leigh Mallon, who also has international arbitration experience, joined as partner from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP in June 2021.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Coleman; Neil Dooley

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

A great team that is client focused and detail driven, yet never losing sight of the bigger picture.

The team is exceptional, the client was very satisfied, and had full confidence and trust in them.

I very much enjoyed their cross-examination technique, which was masterful.

A very well-prepared and competent team.

I was impressed with all the lawyers here!

Matthew’s knowledge of the applicable law, his deep experience, and his commitment to cases stand out.

Great for the deep relationship of trust with lead partner Matthew Coleman, supported by associate Thomas Innes.

Thomas Innes impressed me with his preparation for the hearing, as well as his performance at the hearing.

Key clients

European Commission Legal Services (on behalf of the European Union)

Sunlodges

Paglieri Family

The von Pezold family

Border Timbers

The Republic of Armenia

Koch Supply and Trading

Koch Industries

Saint Patrick Properties Corporation

Neustar

Otkritie Bank

PJSC National Bank Trust

International Bank of St Petersburg (Joint Stock Company)

Work highlights

  • Acted for the European Union in its defence of a €10bn investment claim under the Energy Charter Treaty (brought against it by Nord Stream 2 further to the imposition of EU regulatory controls).
  • Represented European investors in an expropriation-related investment treaty arbitration against an African State.
  • Represented the von Pezold family and Border Timbers in parallel cases against Zimbabwe, which arose from one of the largest post-War expropriation programmes, and resulted in large-value awards plus interest and costs.

Risk advisory > Regulatory investigations and corporate crime (advice to corporates) Tier 5

The London-based corporate investigations team at Steptoe and Johnson UK LLP was significantly strengthened toward the end of 2019 by the arrival of Zoe Osborne from Clifford Chance LLP. ‘An extremely talented and very sensible lawyer’, Osborne has experience acting for multinational corporates in relation to allegations of fraud, bribery and FCPA violations. The firm is noted for its strong transatlantic capabilities, with practice head John Rupp also having expertise in FCPA matters, in addition to bribery, money laundering and other regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):

John Rupp

Other key lawyers:

Zoe Osborne; Alexandra Melia

Testimonials

In our experience, Zoe Osborne’s leadership of the practice in the UK is defined by her collaborative efforts with partners globally.  This collaborative effort makes resolution of cross-border questions and challenges far more effective and efficient than working with other firms with less global reach or less collaborative partnerships.

They are the go-to team for us when we need help unpicking the most challenging knots! Whilst the practice remains small by comparison to more bloated UK-centric firms, it packs a punch far above its weight through Zoe’s mastery of her network internally coupled with deep sector expertise.

Zoe Osborne is an extremely talented and very sensible lawyer. A client is lucky to have Zoe on their team. She deserves a higher profile and is extremely capable. A client would be in good, clever, and sensible hands.

Outstanding US law firm with significant London presence.

The sector is full of practitioners unwilling to take the time to empathise with the wider issues – Zoe does just that. She also has a disarming charm about her which explains why she is so respected by her peers and counterparts more generally in finance and media, not just the law – again helping provide her clients with unrivalled access to other professional minds when needed.

Work highlights

  • Advising energy and mining companies on anti-bribery and corruption matters.
  • Conducting investigations into the financial crime risks associated with asset managers and hedge funds’ investment and acquisition targets.
  • Advised a number of healthcare and pharmaceutical companies in internal investigations concerning allegations of bribery and kickbacks, which potentially violated the UK Bribery Act, the FCPA and local corruption laws.

Real estate > Environment

South West > Real estate > Environment

United States > Dispute resolution > International trade

'One of the most resourceful teams of trade experts', Steptoe & Johnson LLP secures rave reviews for its 'deep bench' and 'deep expertise on key international trade subjects'. The firm's representation of both domestic and foreign industry is also recurring theme among sources, with its ability to 'see both perspectives objectively' considered a significant advantage when advising on sensitive trade disputes. Eric Emerson chairs the international trade and investment group and has a focus on trade remedies and trade policy matters; he recently represented Brazilian lumber processing and manufacturing companies Braspine and Braslumber, as well as lumber industry association ABIMCI, in the antidumping investigation of wood mouldings and millwork products from Brazil. Thomas Trendl and Susan Esserman are also noted for trade policy issues. Meredith Rathbone maintains a broad trade practice and co-chairs the international trade and regulatory group as well as the export controls and economic sanctions department. Matthew Yeo, highlighted as a 'great strategist', specializes in representing both sovereign and non-sovereign clients in World Trade Organization (WTO) matters. The group also benefits from an impressive band of up-and-coming trade specialists including Amy Lentz, who leverages 'deep experience in planning and executing successful plans with clients', sanctions expert Dave Stetson, who joined in New York from Goldman Sachs in 2021, and of counsel Peter Jeydel. Mark Moran recently retired, while Brian Egan left to join Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Named attorneys are based in Washington DC unless stated otherwise.

Testimonials

‘Steptoe’s trade practice is the best, or one of two best, in the key parts of international trade law. It has been involved in deeply practical ways in international dispute settlement and litigation in key areas of challenges to domestic regulation, trade remedies, export controls, financial sanctions, and trade agreement negotiations.’

‘They have one of the most resourceful teams of trade experts among all the law firms that I’ve worked with. It means that you can expect to have quality work within reasonably tight schedule. They have elite lawyers and experts as well. I think they also have good work ethic.’

‘There is deep expertise across the team on key international trade subjects – e.g., expert controls, sanctions, investigations, etc. There also is a deep bench. They are very responsive and friendly.’

‘Steptoe more than any other trade practice has represented clients from both domestic producers and foreign exporters, and companies that do both. That is a major advantage, being being able to see both perspectives objectively.’

‘Meredith Rathbone is very user friendly and always ready to pick up the phone to walk through complex or sensitive issues.’

‘I work primarily with Mr Matthew Yeo, who is highly experienced trade lawyer. He is also very client-oriented. Great strategist as well.’

Thomas Trendl won two of the most ‘against the odds’ victories at the US International Trade Commission in the last four years, while building cases for appeals if they were needed, and has more than 30 years case experience. Amy Lentz has built a similar deep experience in planning and executing successful plans with clients.’

‘Dave Stetson’s background at the US Treasury Department and within the financial sector makes him very well placed to provide advice in his area. There are few lawyers practicing who can offer his combination of exceptional understanding of the relevant regulatory framework with practical experience and knowledge of the workings international finance.’ 

Key clients

Braspine, Braslumber, and ABIMCI

Tata Steel

British Columbia Lumber Trade Council

Subsecretaria de Relaciones Economicas Internacionales

Otani Thailand, Federal Tires of Taiwan, Kenda Taiwan, Kenda Vietnam, American Kenda Rubber Industrial Co, and various US Importers

American Beverage Association

Coalition of Companies (Zulily; Wish; XB Fulfillment)

Centrus Energy Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented Brazilian lumber processing and manufacturing companies Braspine and Braslumber, as well as lumber industry association ABIMCI, in the antidumping investigation of wood mouldings and millwork products from Brazil.
  • Represented the British Columbia Lumber Trade Council in a long-running dispute concerning imports of lumber from Canada, constituting one of the largest countervailing duty cases ever litigated.
  • Advised Centrus Energy Corp on antidumping and countervailing duty proceedings before the US Department of Commerce and the US International Trade Commission, in matters involving imports of uranium products from the Russian Federation and Western Europe.

The firm: Steptoe’s lawyers in the London office provide clients around the world with a range of legal services to achieve their most important business objectives in an increasingly complex and challenging world. We have  built a strong reputation for providing top-quality regulatory, contentious, and transactional advice.

Areas of practice: Lawyers in Steptoe’s London office provide advice in several practice areas, including:

  • Anti-corruption
  • Construction
  • Commercial real estate
  • Corporate/M&A/private equity
  • Export control
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • Litigation
  • International arbitration
  • Sanctions
  • Trade
  • White-collar crime

Firm offices
USA: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Washington, DC
Europe: Brussels, London
Asia: Beijing, Hong Kong

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Managing Partner Matthew Farmermfarmer@steptoe.com
Commercial property Matthew Farmermfarmer@steptoe.com
Construction/International dispute resolution Jonathan Raynesjraynes@steptoe.com
Corporate/commercial Michael Thompsonmthompson@steptoe.com
International regulation and compliance John Ruppjrupp@steptoe.com
Insurance and reinsurance/International dispute resolution Angus Rodgerarodger@steptoe.com
International Arbitration Matthew Colemanmcoleman@steptoe.com
White Collar Crime Zoe Osobrnezosborne@steptoe.com
Internationa Arbitration/International Trade Christophe Bondycbondy@steptoe.com
International dispute resolution Leigh Mallonlmallon@steptoe.com
International dispute resolution Ivan Gordienkoigordienko@steptoe.com
International dispute resolution Neil Dooleyndooley@steptoe.com
Commercial property Sam Kellyskelly@steptoe.com
International regulation and compliance Alexandra Meliaamelia@steptoe.com
International Arbitration Juliya Arbismanjarbisman@steptoe.com
Commercial property Simon Collisscollis@steptoe.com
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Juliya Arbisman photo Juliya ArbismanPartner Juliya Arbisman has a broad international law practice with a focus…
Christophe Bondy photo Christophe BondyPartner Christophe Bondy has more than 20 years of experience as an…
Matthew Coleman photo Matthew ColemanPartner, Chair of Steptoe’s Investment Treaty Arbitration Practice. Matthew Coleman specializes in international…
Simon Collis photo Simon CollisPartner Simon Collis advises on all aspects of commercial real estate for…
Neil Dooley photo Neil DooleyPartner Neil Dooley represents clients on complex cross-border fraud claims, most notably…
Matthew Farmer photo Matthew FarmerPartner, London Office Managing PartnerMatthew has extensive experience in a broad range…
Ivan Gordienko photo Ivan GordienkoPartner Ivan Gordienko has particular knowledge of commercial litigation and arbitration, specifically…
Thomas Innes photo Thomas InnesPartner  Thomas advises and conducts advocacy on a wide range of international…
Sam Kelly photo Sam KellyPartner Sam Kelly advises on all aspects of commercial property with particular…
Leigh Mallon photo Leigh MallonPartner Leigh Mallon represents leading corporate clients and institutions in high-value, complex…
Alexandra Melia photo Alexandra MeliaPartner Alex Melia’s practice focuses on international financial crime compliance, investigations and…
Zoe Osborne photo Zoe OsbornePartner Zoe Osborne’s practice focuses on cross-border financial crime and contentious regulatory…
Farzana Rao photo Farzana RaoPartner Rao focuses her practice on all aspects of cross border and…
Jonathan Raynes photo Jonathan RaynesPartner Jonathan Raynes has practiced for more than 20 years in resolving…
Angus Rodger photo Angus RodgerPartner International Commercial Dispute Resolution A solicitor advocate, Angus exercises advocacy rights…
John Rupp photo John RuppPartner John Rupp’s practice focuses on providing FCPA & UK Bribery Act…
Michael Thompson photo Michael ThompsonPartner Michael Thompson focuses on transactions involving M&A, joint ventures, private equity,…
Simon Tilling photo Simon TillingPartner  Simon Tilling advises clients on UK and EU environmental law, chemicals…
Number of UK partners : 18
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