The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon


Living Wage
Work 020 7242 1212
Fax 020 7246 7777
Aberdeen, Abu Dhabi, Albany, Almaty, Amman, Amsterdam and 104 more

Craig Neilson

Work 0330 222 1912

Work Department

Commercial Dispute Resolution


Partner in dispute resolution department acting in disputes across a range of sectors, but with a particular focus on financial services. In addition to High Court litigation and arbitration, he advises on regulatory issues involving the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority, and on Financial Ombudsman Service disputes with systemic implications.


Trained Maclay Murray & Spens LLP; qualified in Scotland 2005, England and Wales 2008; partner 2014.


Financial Services Lawyers Association; London Solicitors Litigation Association.


University of Edinburgh (2001 LLB (Hons); 2002 (Dip LP); University of Toronto (2003 LLM).


Reading; film; golf; running.

London: Dispute resolution

Banking litigation: investment and retail

Within: Banking litigation: investment and retail

In late 2017, Dentons merged with Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens, which brought in Craig Neilson. The financial disputes and investigations group represents major financial institutions in complex, high-profile disputes; and is 'widely respected as a top litigation practice in the retail banking sphere and is highly visible in leading cases'. The practice’s scope covers wholesale banking disputes such as swaps mis-selling cases, letters of credit, fraud, and professional negligence; investment banking disputes including structured products and credit default swaps; and corporate agency and trustee disputes. It defended RBS against a headline £670m claim, arising out of the aborted issuance of commercial mortgage backed securities and brought by the sole shareholder of the Opal Group Companies, which was one of the UK's leading student accommodation providers before entering liquidation. The 'highly regarded' team head Daren Allen is focused on white-collar crime and investigations and is 'very experienced in retail banking litigation and tough when he needs to be'; Richard Caird is particularly noted for high-profile derivatives cases; Felicity Ewing, who is 'a very capable and careful lawyer who handles complex matters', specialises in financial services disputes and contentious regulatory matters; and Thomas Leyland is 'a highly accomplished practitioner who is commercially focused, thoughtful, calm and a delight to deal with'. Celyn Armstrong is also highly rated and Natalia Fludra is a notable senior associate.

[back to top]

Commercial litigation

Within: Commercial litigation

Dentons recently merged with Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens, the London disputes team gaining Craig Neilson and Simon Colledge as a result. The 'outstanding practice' advises on the full suite of contentious matters, ranging from competition issues to banking, real estate and employment disputes; and it was particularly active in commercial arrangement disputes emanating from UK-listed companies; cross-border shareholder disputes; and internal management issues concerning directors' rights and duties. It defended RBS against Property Alliance Group's landmark LIBOR case, which was the first LIBOR-related civil claim against any bank to go to trial in England and Wales. Liz Tout is dispute resolution head; Daren Allen leads on financial and commercial disputes and investigations; and Adrian Giles is 'a trusted litigation solicitor'. Other recommended names are Felicity Ewing, Thomas Leyland and Akin Akinbode.

[back to top]

London: Risk advisory

Regulatory investigations and corporate crime

Within: Regulatory investigations and corporate crime

In 2017 Dentons merged with Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens. The firm advises on criminal and civil proceedings and regulatory investigations by the FCA, SFO, local law enforcement and overseas regulators. It also conducts internal investigations, provides compliance and prevention of crime advice, and deals with confiscation and civil recoveries. Recent highlights included acting for a global investment bank in relation to an anti-money laundering review across 24 jurisdictions. Daren Allen heads the team, he is supported by Celyn Armstrong who joined as partner from Linklaters LLP. Craig Neilson joined the team as partner as part of the merger with Maclay Murray & Spens.

[back to top]

Back to index

Legal Developments by:

  • Legal aspects of documenting shipping finance transactions in the United Arab Emirates

    The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is strategically placed between Europe and the Far East. The UAE has been ranked among the top 15 maritime nations by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the UAE Government is working on plans to transform the shipping industry into one of the country’s major economic sectors.
    - SNR Denton

Legal Developments in London

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to