Thomas Alan assesses the fresh controversy around SFO tactics
It claims it is a public service hamstrung by archaic laws and deserves more sympathy; its critics make unfavourable comparisons to the civil service and question the competency of its lawyers. Continue reading “Barclays acquittal draws flak for flawed SFO prosecutions despite record Airbus win”
Int-Arb Arbitrators & Mediators (Int-Arb), the specialist set of advocates launched earlier this year, is opening a new branch in Washington DC with the recruitment of its latest member.
The veteran mediator and arbitrator Wolf von Kumberg becomes the sixth tenant at Int-Arb, the set and membership service for independent practitioners launched in January. Von Kumberg, who joins from ArbDB Chambers, will split his time between Int-Arb’s central London offices and the new branch in Washington. Continue reading “Pioneering City arbitration set secures DC launch with latest member”
Cash-rich funders; conflict-free boutiques; class actions aplenty. While some predict another economic downturn on the horizon, providing an uptick in conventional litigation work, these themes have defined the more eye-catching disputes of the past year. Add to the mix an increase in cyber-related litigation and accusations of fraud and regulatory missteps against some of the leading firms’ key institutional clients, and a kinetic disputes scene emerges.
Many of these developments are US imports, particularly class actions and a more aggressive approach to accusations of fraud. These US-style claims are often being pursued by disputes boutiques increasingly allying themselves with external funders. As a result, the stranglehold City bluebloods have over big-ticket litigation has loosened, while some feel only two or three of the smaller players are of sufficient quality to cause real disruption (see our boutiques report). Continue reading “Perfect storms – Cases of the year”
As the forum of choice for international litigants, London continues to enjoy an unparalleled reputation for high-value dispute resolution. The quality of justice delivered by its commercial courts is underpinned by the calibre of specialist independent judges and the lawyers that work in them. But beyond the courtroom door, a diverse range of specialist litigation support providers routinely help to bolster the case being put forward by the legal teams on both sides.
From asset tracing, e-discovery and forensic accounting to third-party funding, PR and witness training, many of these services are now increasingly central to formulating a successful dispute strategy. Critically, the level of sophistication required frequently goes beyond the capacity of in-house expertise available to general counsel (GCs), or even to the largest law firms. Continue reading “Litigation support – The right-hand men (and women)”
Post Brexit, HMRC is renewing its litigation focus on corporate tax evasion, enhanced by new powers to investigate corporate criminal offences. Dominic Carman reports
Like stargazing through a telescope, tax disputes look back in time. The typical gestation period between issues first catching HMRC’s attention and a dispute reaching court can take up to five years, sometimes longer. Nick Skerrett (pictured), head of contentious tax at Simmons & Simmons, says there has been a maturation of the governance processes within HMRC. ‘It is starting to bed down and HMRC has become more adept in its approach to working out those cases that it ultimately wants to come before the courts from those that it does not,’ he says. Continue reading “Market Report: Tax Litigation – Introducing the hard line”
For the first time in its history, the Supreme Court conducted a case entirely through video conferencing this morning (24 March), after taking the decision to close its building to the public due to the spread of Covid-19.
The move saw the matter of Fowler (Respondent) v Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (Appellant) conducted virtually, with all cases and judgment hand-downs set to continue via video conferencing until further notice. The measures will see legal teams and counsel, as well as each of the justices, located separately. Continue reading “Coronavirus latest: Supreme Court goes virtual as junior lawyers plea against postponing exams”
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is facing criticism after suffering another high-profile defeat in its only financial crisis prosecution after three former Barclays bankers were today (28 February) acquitted of fraud.
Barclays’ ex-investment banking chief, Roger Jenkins, its ex-European financial institutions head, Richard Boath and the former head of its wealth division, Thomas Kalaris, were all accused of creating fraudulent advisory services agreements as a means to disguise payments worth £322m to Qatar. Continue reading “‘This raises serious questions’: More SFO failure as former Barclays execs escape fraud convictions”
The team behind the City’s new cutting-edge arbitration centre has launched a membership service for independent practitioners, with full clerking and admin support as well as a home in the heart of London’s legal community.
The new business, Int-Arb Arbitrators, is backed by the International Arbitration Centre (IAC), the world-class disputes hub launched last year at a four-floor site at 190 Fleet Street in central London. Continue reading “City’s new disputes hub launches home for independent arbitrators”
Mischon de Reya and Blackstone Chambers are among the legal reputations seeing a significant boost this morning after securing a historic victory in the Supreme Court challenge to the suspension of Parliament by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Unveiling its verdict this morning (24 September), president of the Supreme Court Lady Hale said that the advice given to the Queen to suspend Parliament was ‘unlawful, void and of no effect’, leaving it to Commons’ speaker John Bercow to decide whether to recall MPs immediately. The much-awaited decision was handed down unanimously by 11 Supreme Court judges. Continue reading “Victory for Mishcon and Blackstone heavyweight as Supreme Court rules Parliamentary suspension unlawful”
Mark McAteer, Legal Business: Is there much appetite within family offices to forum shop? And whose responsibility is it to make them aware of the options available?
Jonathan Conder, Macfarlanes: If it is brand new, for sure. It is one of the first bits that we end up covering. Continue reading “The private client debate: A family affair”