Editor's Letter

Ben Wheway, Research manager

Welcome to the latest edition of the Disputes Yearbook from the Legal 500 and Legal Business; a special edition marking ten years of our annual guide to all things contentious, and a must-read for every self-respecting litigator.

This supplement brings together analysis of the key issues facing disputes lawyers, interviews with senior figures in the market, and an in-depth round-up of some of the biggest cases around.

Those cases are covered in one of two showcase features – ‘Holding court’, which looks at the most complex, high-stakes and multifaceted disputes making their way through the courts this year, from group actions to competition claims and ESG-related litigation, with full details of the glittering array of counsel lining up to make their case.

Our second set-piece feature, ‘Scaling up’, looks back over the last decade of disputes in London, checking in with leading London litigators to find out how much has changed in terms of both the work and the firms involved.

This edition also features four Perspectives interviews, featuring practitioners from all corners of the market – from the Bar, Fountain Court’s Bankim Thanki KC, who talks epic trials, great movies and clients doing a runner; from the world of funding, Bench Walk co-founder Adrian Chopin; and from private practice; heavyweights representing both the UK and the US – Stewarts arbitration head Sherina Petit and Skadden Europe international litigation and arbitration head Kate Davies KC.

Elsewhere, we showcase the firms with the most Legal 500 UK disputes rankings and also the firms with the most individuals ranked across our core sections.

You can also find out what’s happening in the wider world of disputes in the articles from our partner firms in locations from the UK to South Korea.

We hope you enjoy this Yearbook, and we’d love to hear from readers about the issues you think we should be covering in future. Please do get in touch if you’re keen to share ideas.

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Groundhog Day?

Disputes Yearbook 2024

A quick scan of the inevitable January opinion pieces predicting trends in the litigation market for the year ahead gives a fairly consistent view of topics we are likely to see. Against a backdrop of continued economic and geopolitical instability, ongoing inflation, high interest rates and supply chain disruption, commentators foresee an increase in insolvency-related …

Holding court – cases of the year

Disputes Yearbook 2024

From group actions to competition claims and ESG-related litigation, 2024 is set for an array of complex and multifaceted disputes, with the stars of the Bar out in force. LB analyses the cases of the year

If any trend is set to define the London disputes market in 2024, it is the continued rise of group litigation. A vast array of mass claims are winding their way through the courts, spurred on by an increased willingness to adapt to the challenges of case management, heightened awareness of environmental, social, and governance …

Gormsen v Meta

Disputes Yearbook 2024

Following the refusal of the CAT to allow Dr Gormsen to commence collective proceedings in February 2023, a hearing at the start of January considered the reformulated claim. The revised claim alleged that Meta had abused its dominant position through its collection of ‘off-Facebook data’, and had combined this with data gathered on the platform …

Justin LePatourel v BT

Disputes Yearbook 2024

2018 saw Ofcom decide that BT held significant market power in relation to stand-alone landline customers, finding that the company had been overcharging customers by at least £7 a month. Due to the significant market power exerted by BT, Ofcom and BT agreed to reduce its prices going forward. However, compensation was not provided for …

Train tickets cases

Disputes Yearbook 2024

Gutmann v Govia Thameslink Railway, Govia Ltd, The Go-Ahead Group, Keolis Ltd, MTR South Western, Stagecoach South Western, London & South Eastern Railway, and Secretary of State for Transport The train tickets cases continue to move through the courts, with trial one set to take place in June and July. Issues linked to the alleged …

Shepherd Construction v Kingspan & Ors

Disputes Yearbook 2024

Building contractor Shepherd Construction is bringing a claim valued at almost £70m against 12 defendants, including building materials company Kingspan in the first dispute to consider the new cause of action against cladding manufacturers introduced in the Building Safety Act 2022. The dispute concerns four cladding systems used on a mixed-use development in Colindale, London. …


Disputes Yearbook 2024

Serco hits the High Court at the start of June in the first s90A securities group action to go to trial. Claimants allege that they were shareholders of Serco and acquired, held, or disposed of shares in Serco between 2006 and 2013, asserting that they suffered loss due to untrue or misleading statements published by …

Mastercard proceedings

Disputes Yearbook 2024

Complex claims are being brought against Mastercard and Visa in an ongoing decade-long saga involving over 1,800 corporate claimants across the hospitality, arts, financial services, and leisure sectors. With three different strands of cases – Merricks v Mastercard, collective cards, and umbrella proceedings – lawyers involved are finding themselves in court almost weekly. The first …

Russian aircraft claims

Dispute Yearbook 2024

In line with the trend towards mega-trials, the Commercial Court in October is due to hear the highly publicised Russian aircraft insurance claims, with aircraft lessors bringing multiple proceedings across a range of jurisdictions. The losses arise from the detention of hundreds of commercial aircraft in Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine and the …