Experts in Arbitration

The Birmingham Post (England), September 29, 2011 | Go to article overview

Experts in Arbitration


The 'excellent' team at DLA Piper UK LLP includes Neil Bowker, who is a 'sensible litigator and a team player', and Nick Bamford, who has a 'good eye for detail'. Key specialisms include domestic and international arbitration, procurement process challenges, pensions litigation and defamation/media work. Major clients include household names such as Kraft, Kodak and Cadbury.

The team successfully defended Compass Group against a claim relating to an alleged agreement for introductory fees in the Middle East.

Eversheds LLP's offering was enhanced by the addition of Mark Surguy (a 'dogged litigator with a quality brain') from Pinsent Masons LLP. Other recommended partners include the 'very organised and efficient' Diane Bennett and Chris Busby, who is noted for his risk management advice to financial institutions.

Highlights included advising Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Public Trust on the public inquiry regarding Mid Staffordshire Hospital. Other clients include the Department for Transport and Hampson Industries. The team is complimented for its ability to 'quickly understand industry-specific issues'.

Hill Hofstetter LLP is regularly involved in complex international litigation and arbitration, and has a number of standout individuals, notably the 'absolutely top-drawer' Stephen Barker, who is especially recommended for arbitration; the 'very bright' Jonathan Hofstetter; and the 'very experienced' Jim Sharkey (who is highly rated for offshore litigation). It successfully represented the German arm of a global medical equipment supplier in a EUR7m dispute arising from the termination of a commercial agreement with a Turkish distribution company. New partner Richard Waugh is 'extremely thorough'.

Pinsent Masons LLP acts for clients such as Britannia Building Society, Telent and Mitie. Greg Lowson , an accredited mediator, is highly regarded, as is the 'calm and practical' Jonathan Fortnam , who is also a qualified solicitor advocate. Jim Richards led the team in acting for Mller, the yogurt manufacturer, in a major contractual dispute with robotics company RTS over the automation of its production lines at Market Drayton. The group includes an in-house forensic accounting team.

Wragge & Co LLP has a 'first-class team at all levels', and reports a growing volume of instructions in international litigation and arbitration. It advised Russian property developer Synergy in relation to its $90m investment in AIMlisted company RGI International, while other clients include BA and National Grid. Andrew Manning Cox is 'very measured and statesman like'; Eddie Breen is singled out for his abilities on 'difficult matters'. Sian Llewellyn retired, and Richard Ellison joined Shoosmiths. Peter Flint joined the firm in London as head of international arbitration.

Cobbetts LLP's team includes 'sharp and detailed thinker' Andrew Leach and the 'very bright' Richard Whittingham . In one standout matter, the team acted for a Russian oligarch in the defence of a personal guarantee claim (worth $50m) in proceedings before the London Court of International Arbitration, involving the co-ordination of litigation in Cyprus and Russia.

At Gateley, the 'very sensible' Stephen Goodrham and his team 'fight very hard, but fairly' for clients. The practice has recently been instructed by several large corporates in cases involving breaches of restrictive covenants and confidentiality. A highlight was acting for Exception Group, in relation to an alleged senior-level conspiracy to take a large part of the business and set up with a competitor.

Martineau has a diverse practice and provides a 'very professional and timely service'. It is advising YouTravel.com in a claim brought by an Irish company in the Bankruptcy Court of Florida. Other clients include npower, the British Hallmarking Council, and over 30 higher and further education institutions nationwide. …

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