The future of disputes debate: The justice brand

The future of disputes debate: The justice brand

Alex Novarese, Legal Business: Will the UK legal system be more or less trusted post Brexit?

Abhijit Mukhopadhyay, Hinduja Group: As a business, we trust English law and the English courts. Whenever we do business in any part of the world, unless it is in the US, we always go for English law. So long as the courts remain a brand – and they will, irrespective of whether Brexit happens – London will be attractive. Continue reading “The future of disputes debate: The justice brand”

Disputes Eye: Witness statements – going loco with Acratopulo

Disputes Eye: Witness statements – going loco with Acratopulo

With the war to overhaul disclosure raging on, a new battleground already seems to be emerging. Leading the charge is the newly-appointed president of the London Solicitors Litigation Association (LSLA), Julian Acratopulo.

Clifford Chance (CC) partner Acratopulo, elected LSLA president in April, was quoted as saying witness statements needed reform. Continue reading “Disputes Eye: Witness statements – going loco with Acratopulo”

Disputes round-up: Rosenblatt listing eyes third-party funding expansion as trio of firms collaborate on new litigation tech

Disputes round-up: Rosenblatt listing eyes third-party funding expansion as trio of firms collaborate on new litigation tech

London disputes specialist Rosenblatt is trying something new with its planned launch of a litigation funder, while three law firms have also highlighted their innovation wares by collaborating with a litigation start-up.

Rosenblatt this week (8 May) raised £43m in its listing on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), giving the 21-partner firm a market capitalisation of £76m in what it described as a ‘significantly oversubscribed’ float. It was the fourth and biggest law firm initial public offering (IPO) to date. Continue reading “Disputes round-up: Rosenblatt listing eyes third-party funding expansion as trio of firms collaborate on new litigation tech”

Disputes round-up: witness statements in spotlight and UK finally moves on Unified Patent Court

Disputes round-up: witness statements in spotlight and UK finally moves on Unified Patent Court

Disputes reform is picking up pace as a working party to tackle ‘much-needed’ reforms around witness statements is endorsed by the Commercial Court Users’ Group (CCUG) and the UK finally ratifies an international agreement to set up a pan-European Unified Patent Court (UPC).

In March, the CCUG endorsed the creation of a working party after concluding it was ‘unfair on good witnesses that all they can do is put in their statement, and then face cross examination; there is no opportunity for them to tell their story live.’ Continue reading “Disputes round-up: witness statements in spotlight and UK finally moves on Unified Patent Court”

‘No reservations’: Linklaters hires divisive director of public prosecutions Alison Saunders

‘No reservations’: Linklaters hires divisive director of public prosecutions Alison Saunders

As City firms continue to ramp up their efforts to snare former prosecutors, the UK’s director of public prosecutions (DPP), Alison Saunders, will join Linklaters shortly after she steps down in October.

Saunders, who became the first internal candidate to lead the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) when she replaced Keir Starmer in 2013, will join Linklaters as a partner in its business crime team. Continue reading “‘No reservations’: Linklaters hires divisive director of public prosecutions Alison Saunders”

Appeal hope remains for property investor despite losing £20m Libor claim against RBS

Appeal hope remains for property investor despite losing £20m Libor claim against RBS

Bird & Bird client Property Alliance Group (PAG) has lost in the Court of Appeal over a circa £20m Libor manipulation claim against The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and is currently weighing up whether to appeal the decision.

PAG alleged in the claim, which was brought in 2013, that it had been mis-sold four interest-rate swaps for three months Libor. The company argued that the swaps were mis-sold on the basis of implied representation, given previous findings of Libor manipulation against RBS. Continue reading “Appeal hope remains for property investor despite losing £20m Libor claim against RBS”

Disputes Eye: Crime pays as white-collar hires dominate recruitment

Disputes Eye: Crime pays as white-collar hires dominate recruitment

If you are a senior litigator looking for a lucrative move, it does not hurt to be a white-collar specialist. As Edwards Gibson founder Scott Gibson observes: ‘It’s like private equity, where individuals can always move. In the white-collar world, people’s reputations can be enough to attract interest.’

Such moves include last September, when King & Spalding hired Gareth Rees QC from the Financial Reporting Council (FRC). Rees has pedigree, having acted as the FRC’s executive director of enforcement and executive counsel, leading prosecutions since 2012. But such moves are becoming common. Serious Fraud Office (SFO) bribery and corruption co-head Ben Morgan joined Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer last year after a five-year stint at the agency (an ultra-rare London partner hire for the firm). Stewarts last summer hired Dechert fraud veteran David Hughes and in the autumn Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher recruited SFO veteran Sacha Harber-Kelly, a key figure in crafting the agency’s deferred prosecution agreement with Rolls-Royce. Since January, King & Spalding hired Berwin Leighton Paisner head of corporate crime and investigations, Aaron Stephens, while Ropes & Gray in February secured Clifford Chance partner Judith Seddon to lead its seven-strong team in London, alongside US-trained Amanda Raad. Continue reading “Disputes Eye: Crime pays as white-collar hires dominate recruitment”

Disputes round-up: Burford records staggering 109% income boost as SFO branded ‘embarrassing’ by judge

Disputes round-up: Burford records staggering 109% income boost as SFO branded ‘embarrassing’ by judge

A resounding indication of the impact funders are having on the disputes market, Burford Capital has unveiled impressive financial results underlined by a 109% rise in income.

Elsewhere, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has been chastised by a judge over the quality of one of its witnesses, while Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has won a High Court case after the first use of predictive coding technology. Continue reading “Disputes round-up: Burford records staggering 109% income boost as SFO branded ‘embarrassing’ by judge”

Disputes round-up: Burford launches insurance business while Fieldfisher spin-off begins £100m unequal pay claim

Disputes round-up: Burford launches insurance business while Fieldfisher spin-off begins £100m unequal pay claim

Disputes funder Burford Capital is launching a separate insurance company to cover clients’ adverse costs risk, while Fieldfisher’s consumer-led litigation spinoff Roscoe Reid is beginning a potential £100m equal pay claim against retail giant Morrisons.

In other market news, the Law Society has voiced concerns over reforms proposed by the Disclosure Working Group (DWG) to combat voluminous disclosure. Continue reading “Disputes round-up: Burford launches insurance business while Fieldfisher spin-off begins £100m unequal pay claim”

The Commercial Litigation Summit 2016: The modern Commercial Court

The Commercial Litigation Summit 2016: The modern Commercial Court

In the opening speech for our 2016 litigation summit, Essex Court heavyweight Sir Bernard Eder reflects on the challenges facing the Commercial Court

The Commercial Court was established in 1895. At that stage, it was called the Commercial List, but I am not sure that matters. The reason why it was set up may be found in a brilliant article, which appears at the beginning of volume one of a set of law reports now no longer referred to, generally called Commercial Cases. That article is a must-read for anyone interested in modern commercial litigation. It is as if nothing has changed in 120 years.

Continue reading “The Commercial Litigation Summit 2016: The modern Commercial Court”