Legal Business Blogs

RPC bolsters insurance and marine teams with double hire from Clydes and Holman Fenwick

RPC has strengthened its insurance and marine capability in the UK and Asia with the hire of senior insurance litigation partner Leigh Williams from Clyde & Co and shipping and international trade partner Steven Wise from Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) in Hong Kong.

Williams will be based in London and specialises in complex high value international insurance and reinsurance litigation work, with a particular focus on the marine and energy sectors. Originally qualified as a barrister, Williams was previously a partner at Barlow Lyde & Gilbert between 2005 and its merger with Clydes in 2011.

Notable cases he has advised on include acting for Polish conglomerate Elektrim on its €2.5bn dispute with French and German telecoms companies Vivendi and T-Mobile, and for German truck manufacturer MAN in its successful US$1bn claim against Daimler Chrysler subsidiary Freightliner, the highest damages award ever made by the English Commercial Court at the time.

RPC managing partner Jonathan Watmough (pictured) said: ‘Leigh is well known to many of us here at RPC, and we’re very much looking forward to him joining. We are actively investing in our high value complex insurance litigation practice, and he fits squarely into that space. He also has a broad-based background handling more general commercial litigation and international arbitration, which dovetails neatly with our existing arbitration practice.’

Wise, meanwhile, will be based in Hong Kong and focus on dry shipping and trade disputes, alongside complex charterparty and multi-jurisdictional litigation and arbitration. Wise has worked in Asia for over ten years and primarily acts for members of P&I clubs in Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and mainland China, as well as representing ship owners, operators and trading companies.

The hire in Hong Kong follows RPC’s earlier recruitment of Ince & Co’s Singapore head of insurance and reinsurance Iain Anderson in October 2013, to boost its insurance capability in the jurisdiction.

Watmough added: ‘Steven’s expertise complements our existing marine practice, headed by Andrew Horton. Coming shortly after the appointment of marine insurance partner Iain Anderson in Singapore towards the end of last year, Steven’s arrival means that, since we opened in August 2012, we’ve already established one of the strongest Asia Pacific marine practices.’