Lone Black-Article-201606291351 Making partner in a litigation practice is not an easy task; building a book of business is hard when clients only approach you when they are in trouble. Here, we profile some of the up-and-coming litigation stars at UK top 20 and top international firms in the City. Everyone on the list, which is by no means definitive, made partner in 2012 or later.

ALLEN & OVERY

lone-mahmood_230x230Mahmood Lone Qualified: 2004 Made partner: 2014 Key cases: Advising a leading global financial institution on high profile FX investigations pursued by multiple regulators, prosecutors and antitrust authorities across four continents; successfully represented a major financial institution on an FCA investigation into alleged market abuse in relation to trading on a securities market. What do you think is the most challenging thing about making partner in litigation now? Competition to win work is a bigger issue than ever before, clients are more sophisticated, and a larger proportion of cases in my area are global, complex and more difficult to manage. The cost of litigation has also come more into focus in recent years – more than ever, lawyers are being challenged to find new and innovative ways to deliver and add value. What advice do you have for those hoping to do so? Listen to clients, invest time in getting to know their businesses and people, and focus relentlessly on delivering what they want. And be brave – take on new challenges and work in new markets.

 

Mark RidgwayMark Ridgway Qualified: 2004 Made partner: 2015 Key cases: Representing Pfizer group company Warner-Lambert in its pan-European enforcement efforts in relation to its second medical use patent for its blockbuster drug Lyrica; acted for Novartis Pharmaceuticals on a multijurisdictional biotechnological patent dispute relating to the blockbuster drug Lucentis; advising Blackberry on several high profile, global patent disputes. Why did you choose to specialise in patent litigation? Patent litigation excites my scientific interests and supports innovation in the world. I’ve dealt with cases involving drugs that millions of people depend on.

 

Sarah HenchozSarah Henchoz Qualified: 2001 Made partner: 2012 Key cases: Working for a global bank on employment litigation arising out of the Forex scandal; advised a large insurance company in relation to what was claimed to be the largest whistleblowing case brought by two of its employees. What are the key skills needed to do your job? Empathy and lateral thinking. Because people are unpredictable, employment litigation is similarly unpredictable and often emotional for everyone involved. Positions can quickly become entrenched so finding a pragmatic solution is essential.

Associates to watch: Brandon O’Neil, Michelle de Kluyver

 

ASHURST

Tom ConnorTom Connor Qualified: 2004 Made partner: 2012 Key cases: Advising Goldman Sachs on a warranty case concerning the sale of a major renewable energy asset; advising UBS on a number of matters including private client disputes and internal investigations. What has been your career defining moment? The Boxclever litigation – a big, high stakes fight between financial institutions early on in my career. My practice has been focused on the bank sector ever since. Why litigation? A combination of factors. Curiosity about people and events – what happened and why; the intellectual challenge – constructing and deconstructing arguments from the facts you have; and, overlaying it all, the tactics and strategy of resolving a dispute in the best way for the client.

 

Lynn DunneLynn Dunne Called to the Bar: 1997 Admitted as solicitor: 2007 Made partner: 2012 Key cases: Advising a leading US private equity firm in injunction proceedings; advising Credit Suisse on multijurisdictional litigation, including obtaining a worldwide freezing injunction arising out of a trade finance facility. What do you think is the most challenging thing about making partner in litigation now? Making partner in any discipline is becoming more difficult each year. Clients expect their litigators to have a deep understanding of their business and their sector and to be proactive in helping them to manage risk. What advice do you have for those hoping to do so? You need to be effective at building relationships, understanding your clients and networking and, significantly, creating your own network.

 

Tom CumminsTom Cummins Qualified: 2007 Made partner: 2015 Key cases: Advising Rusal on a multibillion-dollar shareholder arbitration concerning Rusal’s investment in Norilsk Nickel; advising Rusal on an LCIA arbitration relating to a $50bn commodity supply contract. What do you think is the most challenging thing about making partner in litigation now? The number of providers of litigation services has never been higher. The challenge for partners is to ensure excellent and cost-effective service for their clients. What advice do you have for those hoping to do so? Try to cultivate an interest in the industry sectors in which your clients operate. Clients expect more from their lawyers now than just legal advice.

 

BAKER & MCKENZIE

Charles ThomsonCharles Thomson Qualified: 2004 Made partner: 2014 Key cases: Acted in the Grupo Torras case for the past decade, assisting the Kuwaiti government to obtain and enforce judgments around the world and to successfully restrain and recover assets that were stolen through a sophisticated series of frauds and concealed in offshore trust structures and other asset protection vehicles. Acted for the South African Reserve Bank and assisted the South African National Prosecuting Authority in connection with a criminal prosecution of a prominent ultra-high net worth individual in South Africa. Why litigation? For the variety of work. Every case I do involves different principles of law and the need for a different strategy, so it keeps me on my toes. Advice for dealing with clients? Being able to adapt to your client’s needs is essential. Some clients like a lot of detail, while others like brevity and to get straight to the result. Being commercial, realistic and honest is also essential, even if that means telling your clients something they do not want to hear.

 

BIRD & BIRD

Garreth WongGarreth Wong Qualified: 2002 Made partner: 2014 Key cases: Acting for a European telecoms multinational in an ICC arbitration regarding a worldwide licensing dispute, involving a multibillion-dollar claim; advising European energy companies in a $80m warranty dispute regarding tax charges imposed by a Central American regulatory authority, subject to ICC arbitration in London. Why litigation? I qualified and practised for a number of years as a barrister at Matrix Chambers, so I knew from the start that dispute resolution was for me. Clear and practical client communication, combined with early assessment of the case, help to resolve many disputes before formal proceedings are commenced. But if a trial is inevitable, few things can match the thrill of crafting a well argued pleading, and the moment during your oral advocacy when you see the metaphorical lightbulb turn on in a tribunal member’s eye.

Associates to watch: Rachel Glass, Russell Williamson

 

BERWIN LEIGHTON PAISNER

Akhil MarkandayAkhil Markanday Qualified: 2004 Made partner: 2013 Key cases: Representing Almacantar, the owner of the iconic Centre Point building in London’s West End, in defending an interim injunction application brought by its tenant, Paramount; successfully led on a series of high profile injunctions to prevent Occupy London protestors from occupying land belonging to a number of Berwin Leighton Paisner’s key clients. Tell us about a memorable case you’ve worked on? At the end of 2011, the Occupy Movement swept the world. Concerned for the welfare of staff and buildings, a number of clients instructed me to seek urgent pre-emptive injunctions to prevent protestors from occupying land in the City and Canary Wharf. The Occupy Movement was quite unlike anything we had seen before in the UK and raised the important debate between how to balance landowners’ private property rights and protesters’ human rights. It was quite an intense time but after several trips to court we succeeded in all our applications.

 

James MarshallJames Marshall Qualified: 2004 Made partner: 2015 Key cases: Advising a leading investment bank on the antitrust aspects of various international foreign exchange investigations; advising confectionary giant Ferrero on the worldwide merger control aspects of its public takeover of Thorntons; advising Thames Water on all regulatory, competition and broader strategic matters across the business. Tips for dealing with clients? Be open, be approachable and communicate. Clients hate being kept in the dark.

Associates to watch: Rachel Ziegler, Andrew Tuson, Polly James

 

CLIFFORD CHANCE

Jessica GladstoneJessica Gladstone Qualified: 2004 Made partner: 2015 Practice: public international law and disputes. Key cases: British Caribbean Bank v Attorney General of Belize: lifting an anti-arbitration injunction against an investment treaty arbitration in proceedings before the Caribbean Court of Justice; Singapore v Malaysia (Railway Lands): a major interstate PCA arbitration. Key clients include Shell, GE, and Total. What’s the most challenging thing about making partner? This is a very competitive market – the range of skills required of litigators is broadening: we are anticipating risks and helping clients navigate increasingly complex international environments.

 

Matthew ScullyMatthew Scully Qualified: 2002 Made partner: 2014 Key cases: Representing an investment bank in the European Commission’s investigation into credit default swaps; representing a pharmaceutical corporation in a dispute relating to the genericisation of a pharmaceutical product. What’s the best part of your job? The trust that clients put in you to fight their corner. It’s obviously a huge pressure but also a great privilege. It feels wonderful when you secure a great result for them and you see that they know they were right to trust you in the first place.

 

Judith SeddonJudith Seddon Qualified: 1997 Made partner: 2014 Key cases: Representing Barclays in relation to the SFO’s investigation into alleged LIBOR manipulation; Representing individuals in relation to the SFO’s investigation into accounting issues at Tesco. What’s been your career-defining moment? Making the decision to relinquish partnership in a small national firm to a lateral move to a global firm.

Associates to watch: Christopher Yates, Michael Lyons

 

CLYDE & CO

Michelle CrorieMichelle Crorie Qualified: 2001 Made partner: 2012 Key cases: Acting for insurers in relation to coverage litigation arising out of a kidnap and ransom policy in a dispute valued in excess of $3m; represented Sea Shepherd UK over claims that it helped facilitate an attack on a fishing boat belonging to Fish & Fish, in a campaign against illegal fishing. What do you think is the most challenging thing about making partner in litigation now? There is a huge amount of competition and with older professionals remaining longer in the business, the prospect of receiving a portfolio of business by way of succession is less likely. Younger partners need to be able to be innovative to attract new clients to a firm.

 

Rob CollinsRob Collins Qualified: 2004 Made partner: 2014 Key cases: Advising on the total loss of a bulk carrier and its cargo following a fire in the engine room; advising charterers in relation to a container vessel grounding, defending the cargo claims across multiple jurisdictions as carriers and dealing with the indemnity claim from owners and their insurers. What’s your best advice for dealing with clients? Be clear, concise and commercial. No client wants to fund litigation to decide an interesting legal point.

 

Tom WhiteTom White Qualified: 2005 Made partner: 2015 Key cases: Advising on a £250m+ negligence claim against a firm of surveyors in relation to the valuation of a large portfolio of commercial properties spread across the country; acting for the Pension Protection Fund on the first two cases to reach the court in relation to challenges to the PPF levy. Why litigation? I am fascinated by the psychological side of negotiations, the strategic issues in case planning, legal and factual analysis, and becoming an expert in the subject matter underlying a dispute.

Associates to watch: Helen Rowlands, Nicola Vinovrski

 

CMS

Adrian BellAdrian Bell Qualified: 2004 Made partner: 2013 Key cases: Advising a Turkish energy company in relation to a $350m international arbitration in the Middle East under the local laws; advising in relation to disputes on the Birmingham Highways PFI. Why litigation? Throughout my training contract I always thought I’d be a transactional lawyer. I left the obligatory disputes seat until last but then ended up getting sucked into a large construction arbitration. I found out quickly that I preferred the challenges of disputes work.

 

Phillip AshleyPhillip Ashley Qualified: 2004 Made partner: 2014 Key cases: Acting in significant High Court disputes for a variety of major oil companies, including GdF Suez, Shell and Premier Oil (concerning assets in UK); acting on one of the UK’s highest profile High Court oil and gas disputes, between subsidiaries of ConocoPhillips and Centrica relating to the purported termination of transportation and processing services for a $700m development by ConocoPhillips.

 

Danielle Drummond-BrassingtonDanielle Drummond-Brassington Qualified: 2004 Made partner: 2012 Key cases: Advising Royal Mail in relation to its redevelopment at Nine Elms; advising Aberdeen Property Trust on obtaining injunctive relief in relation to a purchase of a shopping centre and advising GLH Hotels in relation to its liability as a guarantor under various hotel leases. What are the key skills needed to do your job? In the run-up to becoming a partner, you have to demonstrate your legal skills and your ability to get along with clients. Once a partner you become a manager of people overnight and so have to develop a different skillset.

Associates to watch: Chris Bradshaw, Louise Boswell

 

DAC BEACHCROFT

Georgina RowleyGeorgina Rowley Qualified: 2004 Made partner: 2015 Key cases: Acting for the US defendant on the high profile jurisdiction litigation brought in England by James Petter against EMC Corporation, which is currently heading for the Supreme Court. What’s been your career-defining moment? Trying to wake up US clients in the early hours of their morning to take instructions and then running into court with seconds to spare to give an undertaking to avoid an injunction being imposed. It had certain TV drama qualities, but seriously lacked any glamour.

 

Barbara GoddardBarbara Goddard Qualified: 2001 Made partner: 2014 Key cases: Extensive experience of asbestos litigation within the Royal Court of Justice and cases with a complex company or insurance history, including reported cases that dealt with the issue of contributory negligence for smoking in an asbestosis case. What are the key skills for a litigator? Calmness under pressure is very important, as is approachability from both a client and team perspective.

 

Hans AllnuttHans Allnutt Qualified: 2004 Made partner: 2014 Key cases: Advising three separate US companies that suffered cyber attacks, on their European data protection obligations; advising on the recovery of funds stolen from a professional firm as a result of a phishing attack; advising the MD of a finance broking house following a cyber extortion demand and data breach. What advice do you have for those hoping to make partner? Find something you’re interested in, do your research and network. Have a plan that you believe you can deliver. If you don’t believe in your plan, don’t be surprised if others don’t.

Associates to watch: Graham Ludlam, Colin Moore, Alastair Homan

 

DEBEVOISE & PLIMPTON

Richard LawtonRichard Lawton Qualified: 2003 Made partner: 2015 Key cases: Advising BAT Industries in proceedings arising from the $1bn cleanup of the Fox River in the US, including proceedings brought by BAT in the High Court against Appvion and Windward Prospects, and proceedings seeking to ensure the recovery of around $800m in dividends paid by Windward to a company called Sequana. Advised Ernst & Young as joint administrators of Nortel Networks (UK) and various other Nortel EMEA companies in all litigious aspects of the worldwide Nortel insolvency. Best advice for dealing with clients? Listen to your client, understand their commercial needs, be proactive and responsive. Managing expectations is also essential – clients do not like surprises.

 

DECHERT

Caroline BlackCaroline Black Qualified: 2004 Made partner: 2015 Advises boards and audit committees on interactions with the Serious Fraud Office, HM Revenue & Customs and the police. Career-defining moment: As a young regulatory healthcare lawyer, I found myself dealing with a large-scale dawn raid of my client’s premises conducted by 40 police officers. It set me on the path of becoming a white collar crime lawyer and was an experience that was intensely challenging yet satisfying. The most challenging thing about making partner in litigation now? The white collar crime landscape has become truly global, with more cooperation between prosecutors around the world. Cross-border issues – from data protection to enforcement – play a key role in what we do. Dealing with multiple lawyers, languages and timezones can be a challenge.

 

Adam SilverAdam Silver Qualified: 2002 Made partner: 2013 Key cases: Representing Avonwick Holdings as part of a dispute between Ukrainian clients and a Russian individual and his associates. Advising several hedge funds in successfully applying to set aside an arbitration award rendered against them. What advice do you have for those hoping to make partner in litigation? Have a view. Clients do not want their lawyers just to lay out the options. What’s the best part of your job? When an existing client comes back for advice when they have a new problem. Too often, litigation ends up with all the parties feeling bruised and frustrated – no matter what the outcome – so becoming a ‘trusted adviser’ as a litigator can be tougher than in other practice areas, and is all the more rewarding when it does happen.

 

DENTONS

Michelle BradfieldMichelle Bradfield Qualified: 2002 Made partner: 2013 Key cases: Advising Sudanese oil company Sudapet on its claim against the Republic of South Sudan – one of the largest pieces of arbitration in London last year. Advising Silver Ridge Power on an investment treaty arbitration against the Italian Republic, which is based on several violations of the Energy Charter Treaty concerning a number of solar energy projects in Italy. What do you think is the most challenging thing about making partner? Running a business and making sure you encourage your team to give their very best. What advice do you have for those hoping to do so? Overcome the fear of asking questions that you think are too basic.

 

Helen SimpsonHelen Simpson Qualified: 2004 Made partner: 2013 Key cases: Successfully defending an African hedge fund against an $8.7m claim. Advising on a high profile case arising from the Jackson reforms and defeating applications to strike out the client’s claim. Career-defining moment: Three secondments to major clients in quick succession during the first few years of my career. The lessons I learnt there, viewing the world through the eyes of in-house lawyers, shaped what have become my golden rules for client service. What do you think is the most challenging thing about making partner in litigation now? It is vital to have management skills, drive, flexibility and the ability to build business in an innovative and entrepreneurial way.

 

DLA PIPER

James CarterJames Carter Qualified: 2002 Made partner: 2015 Career highlights: Acting on behalf of a number of major international energy businesses including Shell, Trafigura, Hess Corporation and Turkish Petroleum; a €135m cross-border dispute between a British bank and a European state. What’s been your career-defining moment? At 4am, in a Parisian hotel room, while preparing cross-examination for the following day in an ICC gas pricing arbitration, I realised how much I was enjoying myself. The case was complex, legally and factually challenging, and demanding in every sense. The subject matter was fascinating and I had been given a lot of responsibility (at what was an early stage in my career).

 

Tony PayneTony Payne Qualified: 2008 Made partner: 2015 Key cases: Advising Etihad Airways on its acquisition of a 49% stake in Alitalia (value €1.75bn); advising Etihad Airways on its acquisitions of Air Serbia, Darwin (Switzerland), JET (India) and Air Berlin (Germany). Best advice for dealing with clients? An ability to deliver not merely advice, but an innovative solution that is of exceptional quality and which is valued by the client, is a must. To do this, we need to know our clients’ industry as well as they do. Having said that, a lot can also be achieved through karaoke.

 

Jeremy AndrewsJeremy Andrews Qualified: 2002 Made partner: 2012 Key cases: Seconded to Barclays’ corporate and investment banking litigation team to address a variety of post-Lehman disputes; acting for a joint venture company in LCIA London arbitration proceedings with a total dispute value in excess of $50bn. The standout case you’ve worked on? In terms of subject matter interest, acting for professional trustees who owned the investment adviser to one of the largest Madoff feeder funds, involving claims totalling some $1.3bn and litigation in several jurisdictions. In terms of value, acting in an LCIA arbitration concerning shareholder rights in a major aluminium producer – the dispute concerned contracts worth some $48bn and is reportedly the largest ever claim brought before the LCIA. In terms of documentary complexity, a dispute in the Chancery Division between noteholders of a CMBS structure is hard to beat.

Junior partners to watch: Sarah Smith, Paul Smith

 

EVERSHEDS

James PickavanceJames Pickavance Qualified: 2006 Made partner: 2013 Key cases: Representing a contractor in relation to a dispute arising out of the construction of the ‘Chernobyl Arch’, with a contract price of €800m and the current estimated cost of €2.2bn; acting for the world’s second biggest company in relation to a dispute on a $11bn and gas project in Abu Dhabi. What advice do you have for those hoping to make partner? Make ‘maybe next year’ an impossible answer for those assessing you. Find out at an early stage what the requirements are and what the process is, then think about what it is you need to do to get there and work out a timeline for when you do those things. Be honest with yourself. You need to make regular cold towel assessments of whether you really are on track and if not, think about other options. Don’t bury your head in the sand and think ‘it’ll happen at some point if I keep going’, because it may not.

 

David FlackDavid Flack Qualified: 1999 Made partner: 2014 Key cases: Spent eight years handling UBS Investment Bank’s European litigation portfolio while in-house in London; dealing with the fallout from a major rogue trading incident; dealing with UBS’s Libor investigations. What’s been your career-defining moment? While in-house litigation counsel at UBS, being the first person in the in-house legal function to be called after the discovery of Kweku Adoboli’s unauthorised trading in 2011. The next 48 hours were very challenging and intense but gave me a unique perspective on the challenges of giving legal advice in the midst of an unfolding corporate crisis.

 

Emma GordonEmma Gordon Qualified: 2000 (Australia); 2003 (England and Wales) Made partner: 2013 Key cases: Acting on a number of Libor-related cases for major financial institutions; representing a FX trader in relation to investigations by various enforcement agencies including the US Department of Justice; acting for a bank in relation to an investigation by the FCA relating to alleged historic financial crime compliance failures and inadequate disclosure to the FCA. What do you think is the most challenging thing about making partner in litigation now? Clients don’t just want technically able lawyers representing them in court or before a regulator/enforcement agency, they expect their litigation partners to be proactive about bringing the next big issue to their attention.

Associates to watch: Neil Newing, Emma Shields

 

FRESHFIELDS BRUCKHAUS DERINGER

Matthew BruceMatthew Bruce Made partner: 2012 Key cases: Berezovsky v Abramovich, and Gudavadze & Ors v Anisimov; spent a number of years representing a Russian businessman in a $2bn claim in both the English Commercial Court and Chancery Division. What’s the best part of your job? I work with some hugely talented people, who are clever, witty, work brilliantly with clients and are just generally great fun to be around. Best advice for dealing with clients? It is hackneyed advice, but you must put yourself in their shoes. Every client is different. So you have to be a bit of a chameleon and work out very quickly what they want and what they do not want.

 

Christopher RobinsonChristopher Robinson Qualified: 2005 Made partner: 2013 Key cases: Sebastian v Deutsche Bank, in which Deutsche Bank won one of the largest commercial court disputes in English legal history; the Lehman Waterfall litigation. Career-defining moment? Calling Deutsche Bank in the autumn of 2013 to tell them that the bank had won the Sebastian litigation. I worked on the litigation – the largest and most complex case ever heard in the Commercial Court – for two years up to the four-month trial in 2013. I became a partner halfway through the trial. It was a tough and very demanding case. Case management conferences often ran for three or four days and involved the production of 100-page witness statements in a matter of a few days. Sebastian threw everything they could think of against the bank in support of a claim for more than $7bn. It was an enormous relief to be able to tell the bank that Sebastian’s claim had failed and that the bank’s claim for $250m had been upheld.

 

Piers ReynoldsPiers Reynolds Qualified: 2003 Made partner: 2014 Key cases: Advising a global wealth manager in an FCA enforcement investigation into systems and controls surrounding the suitability of advised sales of structured products; advising a major financial institution in mis-selling claims arising in multiple jurisdictions. Career-defining moment? Abandoning a career as a schoolteacher after five years to switch to the law. That experience of managing people – both the motivated and the reluctant types – was valuable preparation for life as a lawyer.

Associates to watch: Craig Montgomery, Sam Trevan

 

GIBSON DUNN & CRUTCHER

Osma HuddaOsma Hudda Qualified: 2004 Made partner: 2013 Key cases: An ongoing equal pay case; advising an investment bank on matters including cases relating to Libor. What do you think is the most challenging thing about making partner in litigation now? Because many of the disputes we now work on are complex and multi-faceted, you need to be skilled in multiple disciplines. Associates should seek exposure to as many types of disputes as possible and work with a variety of people because everyone has a different style.

 

Allan NeilAllan Neil Called to the Bar: 2001 Made partner: 2012 What are the key skills needed to do your job? Listen. While on secondment to a client, I had terrific exposure to a wide variety of lawyers with different approaches. Listening is an undervalued skill but the lawyers who really listened best understood our needs. Also – have the confidence to trust your instincts. Best advice for dealing with clients? Work to understand the problem and, which is extremely important, the specific demands on the people dealing with the problem. I also think some of it is simple: take an interest, be enthusiastic, and be committed and responsive.

 

HOGAN LOVELLS

Rebecca WalesRebecca Wales Qualified: 2005 Made partner: 2016 Key cases: Acting for State Corporation Deposit Insurance Agency, the liquidators of JSC Mezhdunarodniy Promyshlenniy Bank, to bring claims and obtain a worldwide freezing order against Sergei Pugachev, the bank’s former ultimate beneficial owner, freezing £1.17bn of his assets. Acting for JSC BTA Bank in relation to a fraud claim against its former chairman, who is alleged to have misappropriated sums running to billions of dollars during his time in office. What’s been your career-defining moment? My first real taste of litigation (as a first-seat trainee) was a major dispute concerning a controlling stake in a Russian mobile telecoms company, Megafon. It certainly influenced my decision to become a litigator. At the time, I thought it unlikely that there could be another case quite like it, but in fact it was the first of several cases on which I have worked (including the litigation against Mukhtar Ablyazov and, more recently, Sergei Pugachev) which have been just as hard fought and interesting.

 

Matthew BullenMatthew Bullen Qualified: 2005 Made partner: 2016 Key cases: Representing ITV in ongoing litigation in connection with pensions regulatory proceedings. Why litigation? At a very basic level, there’s huge satisfaction to be had when you successfully persuade someone (ie a judge) that you are right and your opponent is wrong.

 

Whiston BristowWhiston Bristow Qualified: 2005 Made partner: 2015 Key cases: Acting for a leading bank in relation to a portfolio of complaints and multiple sets of High Court proceedings arising out of the sale of interest rate hedging products; advising a leading bank on a review into foreign exchange trading and on engaging with regulators and authorities in multiple jurisdictions. Advice for dealing with clients? A handful of Cs spring to mind – being clear, concise, confident and commercial – alongside being willing to offer a view wherever possible.

Associates to watch: Liam Naidoo, Ben Hornan

 

HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS

Natasha JohnsonNatasha Johnson Qualified: 2005 Made partner: 2014 Key cases: Acting for the Financial Services Compensation Scheme in relation to industry-wide financial mis-selling claims including claims against more than 800 independent financial advisers; acting for Arab Banking Corporation and ABC Islamic Bank on their successful multi-party High Court litigation against the Algosaibi partnership arising out of an alleged $9bn fraud. What’s the best part of your job? I love the tactical cut and thrust of litigation and the fact that it is so dynamic and mutable that it keeps you constantly on your toes.

 

Chris BushellChris Bushell Qualified: 2004 Made partner: 2014 Key cases: Advising G4S in relation to claims arising out of its contract to provide security services for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games; advising Lehman Brothers Finance SA (In Liquidation) in relation to a range of proprietary and unsecured claims arising out of the collapse of the Lehman group. What’s been your career-defining moment? As a junior associate I prepared a draft letter for comment by Tim Parkes, a senior partner. He told me that it was rubbish and that just because your opponent is adopting an aggressive or unpleasant approach that does not mean that you should do the same in response. He was absolutely right and I have always tried my best to remember that. It rarely helps your client.

 

James Norris-JonesJames Norris-Jones Qualified: 2003 Made partner: 2012 Key cases: Advising UBS in relation to several matters including a series of bond rescission claims brought by the failed Icelandic banks Kaupthing, Glitnir and Landsbanki; advising UBS in relation to a confidential mis-selling claim; HSF’s client relationship partner for RBS. Advice for dealing with clients? When working with an in-house legal team, think about who their internal client is and give advice that can be easily adapted by the in-house lawyers for that internal client.

Associates to watch: John Corrie, Rachel Lidgate

 

JONES DAY

Adam BrownAdam Brown Qualified: 2005 Made partner: 2014 Key cases: In 2015, acted on the first use of s.7 Bribery Act and the first (and thus far only) UK resolution by way of deferred prosecution agreement following investigations by US, UK and African enforcement agencies. Continues to act for multiple global investment bank traders in respect of SFO, FCA New York Department of Financial Services and US Department of Justice investigations into the foreign exchange markets. What do you think is the most challenging thing about making partner in litigation now? Apart from the number of very bright associates, the cost of litigating matters means that those clients who can avoid litigation, increasingly do.

 

Glyn PowellGlyn Powell Qualified: 1993 Made partner: 2016 Key cases: Acted for a number of journalists and News International employees arrested and charged in respect of phone hacking investigation. Secured acquittal of the Sun‘s Whitehall editor in the only matter that proceeded to trial. Prior to joining Jones Day, was head of the fraud business Unit of the Serious Fraud Office. Why did you chose litigation? I chose litigation because I relish dealing with clear cut and generally well defined issues. Best advice for dealing with clients? Don’t sugarcoat it too much. Sometimes you have to give clients advice they may not wish to hear. That is the job and ultimately, clients will come to appreciate the straightforward approach.

 

IRWIN MITCHELL

Anita JewittAnita Jewitt Qualified: 2008 Made partner: 2015 Key cases: Recovered £8.5m for a child with quadriplegic cerebral palsy following the hospital’s delay in expediting his delivery; recovered £7.4m for a child who sustained bilateral upper and lower limb amputations as a result of the delayed diagnosis of meningococcal septicaemia; recovered £6m for a child who suffered from cerebral palsy as a result of the hospital’s failure to carry out an earlier caesarean section. What’s your career-defining moment? The one that will always stand out in my memory is attending the partner assessment day in Sheffield. My son was only a couple of months old, and I had to juggle feeding him in between attending presentations and interviews. The day was tough but I enjoyed every minute of it. What’s the best part of your job? Winning a case on behalf of a client who has a life-changing injury. Most of my clients have suffered a brain injury or a spinal cord injury. All of the team’s hard work and perseverance crystallises at that moment, and you know that the decisions you have made in the case have directly impacted the rest of your client’s life. What is particularly rewarding is if the hospital changes their practice as a result of a claim in order to improve patient safety.

 

Alex Rook Qualified: 2006 Made partner: 2013 Key cases: Advising on the first Supreme Court case in relation to the law on consultation (Moseley), which ruled that all public authorities need to improve how they consult with local people; advising on behalf of national charities in two Supreme Court community care cases. What’s your career-defining moment? Succeeding in the Supreme Court in Moseley, having lost in the High Court and Court of Appeal. We always felt the consultation was unfair and the Supreme Court decision justified our tenacity, as well as helpfully clarifying the law.

Associates to watch: Chani Dhaliwal, Jennifer Lund

 

K&L GATES

Christine Braamskamp Qualified: Netherlands 1996 Called to the Bar: 2000 Made partner: 2014 Key cases: Advising a large multinational company that provides services to governments in relation to alleged improper distribution of profits; advising on SFO and City of London Police investigations into the company and advising its subsidiary on the UK Bribery Act in relation to a contract for the construction of military training facilities. Advising on accountability and transparency procedures for a leading national charity. What are the key skills needed to do your job? You need a sense of humour, the ability to stay calm in the most stressful of circumstances (whether that is a client facing prison or a company facing regulatory intervention), the ability to see the wood for the trees and not be distracted by irrelevant information and never to be scared to stand up for your client and to fight their corner. Most importantly, you need to be able truly to listen to your client. The key to a case can often lie in what they are not telling you and this is where you need to rely on your experience and be able to read between the lines.

 

KING & WOOD MALLESONS

Louise FreemanLouise Freeman Qualified: 2005 Made partner: 2012 Key cases: Led the firm’s litigation team in the synthetic rubber follow-on damages litigation, hailed as one of the market’s top cases of 2014. Representing a leading rating agency in a major litigation, which started with a successful jurisdiction battle to ensure that England (rather than the Netherlands) was seized of the case. What do you think is the most challenging thing about making partner in litigation now? Having an opportunity to get enough diverse experience under your belt. Cases can run for a number years with many of them settling, so it can be hard for associates to show they have dealt with different issues, types of clients and all stages of disputes. What advice do you have for those hoping to do so? Don’t be too focused on the area you think you want to practise in – be prepared to be flexible and adapt to a changing market.

 

Dorothy MurrayDorothy Murray Qualified: 2005 Made partner: 2013 Key cases: Defending a major Russian telecoms group against the enforcement of an LCIA $220m arbitration award. Acting for Ukraine in UNCITRAL arbitration proceedings in relation to claims of $180m by a London Stock Exchange-listed oil and gas company brought under the UK-Ukraine bilateral investment treaty, alleging unlawful imposition of tax measures. Best advice for dealing with clients? Listen and then listen some more – listen to what they say they want, and do your best to deliver it. As a disputes lawyer, I feel I can end up being legal counsel, project manager, budget planner, procedural guide, PR adviser and counsellor all at the same time.

 

LATHAM & WATKINS

Oliver Browne Qualified: 2002 Made partner: 2012 Key cases: Leading a team on a complex pro bono litigation matter on behalf of the Rich Mix Cultural Foundation, a performance and arts venue located in one of London’s most culturally diverse and poverty-stricken areas. Represented multiple financial institution parties in relation to their multibillion-pound losses, and claims against them in multiple jurisdictions, arising from the Madoff Ponzi scheme. What do you think is the most challenging thing about making partner in litigation now? Partly gaining sufficient experience leading matters in order to show what you can do, and partly having sufficient stamina to stay the course (the litigation partnership track usually being longer than in other areas).

 

LINKLATERS

Alison WilsonAlison Wilson Qualified: 2005 Made partner: 2014 Key cases: Advising a major bank on an FCA investigation into its handling of PPI complaints; advising Standard Chartered Bank in its successful claim against the Ceylon Petroleum Company in connection with oil derivatives; advising a major bank on a multijurisdictional fraud perpetrated against it by a hedge fund manager, including civil claims and associated criminal investigations. What do you think is the most challenging thing about making partner in litigation now? The role of a financial services disputes partner is now about so much more than just traditional litigation. The breadth of legal and regulatory issues our clients are facing means their lawyers have to be on top of a huge amount of information themselves to advise in the round, and balancing the time this takes with active matters is not always easy. What advice do you have for those hoping to do so? Use your networks! Get to know as many people as you can within your own firm, your clients and the market more broadly; you rapidly realise the City is a very small place and the more people you know, the easier it is to negotiate.

 

Ben CarrollBen Carroll Qualified: 2005 Made partner: 2013 Career highlights: Advising a Russian private equity firm in an LCIA arbitration concerning the interpretation of pre-emption rights in the context of the acquisition of rights in a leading social media site; advising BP in respect of an ad hoc arbitration concerning cost recovery under a PSC with the government of India. What’s your career-defining moment? Acting for BP in relation to the TNK-BP shareholder dispute from 2011 to 2012. It was a huge dispute for a great client and the successful resolution of the dispute after several years of hard work was immensely satisfying.

 

MAYER BROWN

Mark StefaniniMark Stefanini Qualified: 2006 Made partner: 2015 Key cases: Advised a Spanish real estate investment fund in relation to litigation concerning breaches of loan documentation, material adverse change and issues of delay and failure to provide information in relation to the construction of a London hotel. Advised BASF on the first competition law case heard before the Supreme Court, securing a landmark decision on limitation periods. What do you think is the most challenging thing about making partner in litigation now? I think that identifying an area where you can develop a practice that complements that of the existing partners in your team and the firm more generally, is the key challenge. That is not to say that executing the strategy is easy and it is important to maintain a sense of humour when things don’t work out as planned.

 

Susan RosserSusan Rosser Qualified: 2005 Made partner: 2014 Key cases: Member of the team representing UBS (London Branch) and UBS Global Asset Management (UK) in a long-running dispute with German water company Kommunale Wasserwerke Leipzig, relating to a series of bespoke structured finance transactions. Part of the Mayer Brown team that acted as the successful advocate for the majority members of ISDA’s EMEA Credit Derivatives Determinations Committee, who supported the position that no Governmental Intervention Credit Event had occurred in respect of credit derivatives on Portuguese bank Novo Banco. Best advice for dealing with clients? When clients end up in litigation or under investigation, they need to feel your support. They have to know you are really on their side and pulling out all the stops for them. At the same time, clients look to their external counsel for an objective assessment of their position and the available options, so you have to build a relationship of trust, openness and honesty.

 

NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT

Matt WaudbyMatt Waudby Qualified: 2003 Made partner: 2014 Key cases: Representing Citigroup in defending a $55m Commercial Court claim asserted by Millennium (a fund in liquidation), in respect of Citigroup’s valuation of a portfolio of emerging market derivative transactions; acting for ExxonMobil on a cross-border Commercial Court claim made by the administrators of Lehman Brothers International in relation to the valuation of a portfolio repurchase transaction around the time of Lehman Brothers’ insolvency in September 2008. What’s your career-defining moment? Returning from holiday many years ago when I used to practice in capital markets on both a contentious and non-contentious basis – to find that I really enjoyed getting stuck back into my cases (catching up on how witness interviews had gone, preparing for trial, etc), but that I was rather less keen to return to drafting a large suite of securitisation documents. From that point, there was no turning back – I swiftly became a full-time litigator.

 

Sherina PetitSherina Petit Qualified: 2002 Made partner: 2012 Key cases: Representing the energy subsidiary of one of India’s leading technology companies in an ICC arbitration worth $450m; acting for one of India’s leading wind energy companies in an ICC arbitration; acting for an Indian pharma company in an LCIA arbitration. What’s the best part of your job? Focusing on arbitration means I have the opportunity to work on disputes in a wide range of sectors and have to navigate through numerous legal systems. Working on a complicated energy dispute in Africa one day and a construction dispute relating to India the next really gets my adrenalin going.

Associates to watch: Harriet Jones-Fenleigh, Holly Stebbing

 

PINSENT MASONS

Charlotte WeekesCharlotte Weekes Qualified: 2006 Made partner: 2015 Key cases: Advising Teva UK in relation to the patent infringement case brought against it by Warner-Lambert in relation to the sale of ‘skinny-label’ pharmaceutical products. Why litigation? It is exciting! I love being involved in the cases that shape the law in relation to life sciences patent litigation in the UK and each patent represents a new and different set of facts and challenges. What are the key skills needed to do your job? Ability to work under pressure, to be a strategic thinker, to be innovative to keep potential opponents guessing, and to understand the commercial goals the litigation is designed to achieve and not just the legal outcome.

 

Alexander GrantAlexander Grant Qualified: 2004 Made partner: 2015 Key cases: Currently advising on the London Array, the world’s largest operating offshore wind farm – advising on project implementation, delivery and dispute resolution on all package contracts since 2011, including claims advice during the construction phase and following transfer of transmission assets to an OFTO, re-negotiation of two contract packages and providing defect-related advice in relation to potential claims against contractors. What’s your career-defining moment? Taking up the reins as the junior fee earner on the Wembley project in 2004 – a project on which I am still happily working 11 years later for the same client.

 

Melissa ThompsonMelissa Thompson Qualified: 2003 Made partner: 2015 Key cases: Dealing with the management of large-scale protests on sites across the UK; acting for universities targeted following student funding cuts on three cases; providing crisis management advice and acted for landowners in connection with protests over controversial shale gas developments in the north of England. What do you think is the most challenging thing about making partner in litigation now? The costs pressures on litigation generally. There is a need to diversify a practice to ensure a full and varied caseload. Advisory work is now an integral part of dispute resolution work, in addition to court work. So too is adopting a commercial and practical approach. The benefits of exploring settlement at an early stage and quicker, less expensive alternatives to litigation cannot be ignored.

 

QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART & SULLIVAN

Boris BronfentrinkerBoris Bronfentrinker Qualified: Australia 1999; England 2008 Made partner: 2013 Key cases: Advised Daimler on global competition litigation issues. Advised Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on global competition litigation issues. Best advice for dealing with clients? Put yourself in their shoes and try to see things through their eyes – if you can make the person instructing you look good and make their job a little easier, that is good client handling. It is also important to understand that while our job as litigators is to litigate, that is not the primary focus of our clients, who have businesses to run.

 

Epaminontas TriantafilouEpaminontas Triantifilou Qualified: New York and Washington DC 2006 Made partner: 2016 Key cases: Counsel to a major banking institution in a landmark bilateral investment treaty claim. Counsel to a major Russian group on an investor-state claim against a CIS state relating to a debt arising out of energy investments. Counsel to a money transfer services company in an agency dispute. What’s the best part of your job? The variety. My practice focuses on international arbitration, which has a global scope. Each case can be quite different in terms of not only the type of dispute, but also the applicable law, the nationalities of the parties and the place where relevant events occurred. Combined with the various locations where the hearings actually take place and the multitude of legal cultures that can be represented among advocates and arbitrators, it’s fair to say that no two cases are similar – let alone the same.

REED SMITH

 

Shareena EdmondsShareena Edmonds Qualified: 2003 Made partner: 2015 Key cases: Leading an initiative to represent the largest Korean contractors; acting for a major trader in a €200M complex joint venture dispute; acting in a US$500M+ dispute concerning the delayed delivery of an offshore vessel; acting for a major European contractor to recover significant sums in connection with a power plant project in North Africa.

What do you think is the most challenging thing about making partner in litigation now? Demonstrating the ability to build and maintain long-term relationships with clients and to continually generate work from those relationships. Disputes work is not generated from a client’s everyday business, which means that it is far more difficult for a disputes lawyer to tick these boxes.

 

Ben SummerfieldBen Summerfield Qualified: 2003 Made partner: 2013 Key cases: Acting for BT, representing it in an expedited trial in December 2015 relating to the disputed termination of an outsourcing contract with Cornwall Council and two other customers, with an estimated value of £160m. Acted for issuers in the Titan series of commercial mortgage-backed securities in litigation over a number of matters. Best advice for dealing with clients? Listen to the client and make sure you understand their business and what they want to achieve from a particular dispute, with full appreciation that this would usually not involve talking to litigators every day. Be upfront as early as possible about the strength of an argument and the associated costs and risks.

 

SIDLEY AUSTIN

Simon FawellSimon Fawell Qualified: 2002 Made partner: 2012 Key cases: Led the team that successfully obtained an important judgment of approximately $61m for a major Italian pension provider in a landmark claim against Lehman Brothers, concerning the calculation of Loss under the ISDA 1992 Master Agreement. Represented GATX in its claim for a multimillion-pound profit share from an asset financing transaction. What advice do you have for those hoping to make partner? Keep nurturing your contacts even when they don’t seem to provide the prospect of immediate work. You never know when a client will hit a ‘bet the company’ issue.

 

SIMMONS & SIMMONS

Stephen MosesStephen Moses Qualified: 2005 Made partner: 2015 Key cases: Advising a major UK financial institution under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office and the Financial Conduct Authority; defending a number of damages claims arising from alleged cartels. What do you think is the most challenging thing about making partner in litigation now? The need to innovate. A lot of litigation, at the highest level, has still followed a fairly traditional model. Now and in the coming years, we need to be open-minded and creative to deliver radically different ways of doing our work. What advice do you have for those hoping to do so? Get all the input you can, from as many current partners as possible. Don’t hold back in asking for it, or in questioning it and asking for more. Roleplay the interview panel as early as you sensibly can and then keep repeating that exercise.

 

Emma SutcliffeEmma Sutcliffe Qualified: 2005 Made partner: 2015 Key cases: Advising a leading investment bank on internal regulatory investigations and response to the FCA; acting for a global bank in litigation concerning commissions and payment protection insurance. What’s your career-defining moment? I gave birth to my second daughter and got made an offer for partnership within a day or so of each other. For someone who spent a lot of her career trying to figure out how to make it to partnership and have a family, it was quite a symbolic moment.

 

Robert AllenRobert Allen Qualified: 2004 Made partner: 2015 Key cases: Advising a retail bank in relation to litigation and regulatory issues concerning payment protection insurance and related consumer credit claims; acting for an academic institution defending claims brought by a former employee under the Data Protection Act 1998. Why litigation? It sounds a bit glib, but it was my first seat as a trainee and nothing after it was as engaging. But also the variety of issues and law that I find myself dealing with on a daily basis tend to confirm my first impressions. What are the key skills needed to do your job? Patience and a sense of humour are pretty important. Whether I have either may be up for debate.

 

SKADDEN ARPS SLATE MEAGHER & FLOM

David EdwardsDavid Edwards Qualified: 2003 Made partner: 2015 Key cases: Key member of the team on the $16bn AAR dispute, having acted previously for Alfa’s Altimo arm in its $23.5bn telecoms dispute. More recently, advising a string of high profile Russian and Ukrainian businessmen in connection with major disputes in London, involving mining, internet and social media, and oil and energy assets – including in proceedings against a European government. Best advice for dealing with clients? Put yourself in their position, understand the pressures and processes they are subject to within their world, anticipate those, and always be on hand.

 

David HerlihyDavid Herlihy Qualified: US 2003, UK 2005 Made partner: 2013 Key cases: Acted in the defence of billion-dollar ICSID claims for South Sudan and Republic of Cyprus; claims brought by NextEra in its newly-filed ECT dispute against Spain; and the claims brought by Vodafone against India. Career-defining moment? Being surrounded by the Georgian secret police as they arrested our client, Rony Fuchs, after he had won a $100m arbitration award against the government. He spent the next year in a Tbilisi prison until multiple pieces of litigation and arbitration led to a settlement and his release. The second is arguing my first case as lead advocate, representing Slovakia at the Peace Palace in The Hague.

 

SLAUGHTER AND MAY

James StaceyJames Stacey Qualified: 2004 Made partner: 2013 Key cases: Defending Deutsche Bank in £50m ‘missing trader’ VAT fraud litigation proceedings before the High Court; acting as one of JPMorgan’s lead advisers in the high profile £1.1bn global settlement with the FCA relating to foreign exchange (FX) trading practices. Why litigation? I went into litigation for the tactical element of it. The decisions you make within the first three months of a case bear fruit two years later when judgment is passed, and I enjoy seeing that.

 

Jonathan ClarkJonathan Clark Qualified: 2007 Made partner: 2014 Key cases: Advising Deutsche Bank in relation to the Libor investigation; advising British Airways in its defence of multiple claims for damages in excess of £1bn in relation to the alleged air cargo cartel. What attracted you to litigation? The variety within dispute resolution keeps me interested. You get to meet a range of clients and people on the other side.

Associates to watch: Richard Jeens, Damian Taylor

 

TAYLOR WESSING

Paul GlassPaul Glass Qualified: 2002 Made partner: 2015 Key cases: Advising a global multibillion-dollar company in relation to data breaches and theft of customer data by third parties; advising a global multibillion-dollar technology and IT company on disputes arising out of IT projects. What’s been the top case you’ve worked on? A client’s data was unlawfully accessed by third parties with the help of our client’s employees. We were able to get search orders and delivery up orders, which we then had to execute at the same time in several locations, to ensure that the defendants couldn’t warn each other. We then had to manage litigation against a number of defendants while also working with the regulators.

 

Matt RoyleMatt Royle Qualified: 2006 Made partner: 2015 Key cases: Advising on a variety of patent litigation cases including Mylan v Novartis and Mylan v GSK and the first biosimilar litigation to be decided in the UK. What’s your career-defining moment? Advising Mylan in relation to its launch of a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Commercially, it was important to get a quick trial so that Mylan’s product launch was not delayed. At the case management conference in June, which also doubled up as a preliminary injunction application, we were able to convince the judge to order a speedy trial to be heard in September. This meant preparing expert evidence and reply evidence for two experts in less than three months, which is incredibly quick.

Associates to watch: Stuart Broom, Katie Chandler

 

WEIL GOTSHAL & MANGES

Hannah Field-LowesHannah Field-Lowes Qualified: 2002 Made partner: 2014 Key cases: Led on the £1bn proceedings brought by eight film production partnerships operated by Ingenious Investments. Secured a victory for The Sofa Workshop in an intellectual property dispute with Sofaworks. What do you think is the most challenging thing about making partner in litigation right now? Building a business case. Large litigations for clients can be a very rare occurrence, so working out where to focus your marketing efforts is not easy, and building your business case can be tricky.

 

Jamie MaplesJamie Maples Called to the Bar: 2003 Qualified as solicitor: 2008 Made partner: 2012 Key cases: Obtaining a £1.25bn judgment in favour of the Littlewoods group against HM Revenue & Customs; possibly the largest money judgment ever handed down by the English courts. What are the key skills needed to do your job? Making judgement calls. Giving firm advice and not hedging your view is key.

 

WHITE & CASE

Charles BalmainCharles Balmain Qualified: 2003 Made partner: 2013 Key cases: Represented Cukurova – a Turkish conglomerate – for more than seven years in its dispute with Russia’s Alfa Group over a controlling stake in Turkcell, the largest mobile telecoms company in Turkey. Acted for clients including Toshiba, Unipetrol, MOL and Halcor in their defence of competition damages actions before the High Court. What do you think is the most challenging thing about making partner in litigation now? The need to possess and demonstrate a broad range of skills. On top of technical expertise, you will need to have the personal skills to manage clients and colleagues alike, often under considerable pressure. Developing some of the skills possessed by politicians, peacekeepers and travelling salesmen alike will all help too.

 

Rory HishonRory Hishon Qualified: 2005 Made partner: 2016 Key cases: Represented a British Virgin Islands company in a $500m dispute before the Isle of Man High Court, Court of Appeal and the Privy Council concerning the ownership of a Kyrgyz mobile telecoms company. Advised a major European investment bank in English High Court proceedings arising from alleged breaches of a facility agreement in connection with the sale of the junior tranche of a loan to a German borrower. What are the key skills needed to do your job? Patience, judgement, composure under pressure, agility of thinking, awareness of the bigger picture but with a relentless focus on the detail