European Court of Justice makes landmark Brexit ruling as Fieldfisher prevails in $1.9bn Ukrainian banking dispute

European Court of Justice makes landmark Brexit ruling as Fieldfisher prevails in $1.9bn Ukrainian banking dispute

As a crunch parliamentary vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal looks to be postponed, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled the UK is free to unilaterally revoke its decision to a divorce from the EU.

The landmark ruling means that UK parliament can instruct the government to bring an end to the Brexit process, if it so wishes. Continue reading “European Court of Justice makes landmark Brexit ruling as Fieldfisher prevails in $1.9bn Ukrainian banking dispute”

Disputes round-up: Simmons wins Petrofac mandate as White & Case makes key regulatory hire

Disputes round-up: Simmons wins Petrofac mandate as White & Case makes key regulatory hire

Simmons & Simmons has landed a major Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation mandate at the expense of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Simmons’ crime, fraud and investigations head Stephen Gentle and partner Nick Benwell have been enlisted to defend oil and gas company Petrofac in the SFO probe, taking on the mandate from Freshfields. Continue reading “Disputes round-up: Simmons wins Petrofac mandate as White & Case makes key regulatory hire”

Disputes round-up: Supreme Court loss for Pfizer as Mishcon’s Levitt QC returns to the Bar

Disputes round-up: Supreme Court loss for Pfizer as Mishcon’s Levitt QC returns to the Bar

Allen & Overy (A&O) client Pfizer has lost a landmark Supreme Court battle against a host of manufacturers, leaving it vulnerable to substantial financial claims.

In a judgment handed down yesterday (14 November), the Supreme Court upheld lower court decisions that Pfizer’s patent for its pregabalin pain relief product was invalid. Branded as ‘Lyrica’, the pregabalin-based drug is used to treat neuropathic pain as well as generalised anxiety disorder and epilepsy. Continue reading “Disputes round-up: Supreme Court loss for Pfizer as Mishcon’s Levitt QC returns to the Bar”

Offshore disputes: Centre of the cyclone

Offshore disputes: Centre of the cyclone

The inferno of disputes arising from the financial crisis is finally being reduced to embers. Although this may have caused the volume of commercial litigation in London to plateau, disputes in the main Caribbean offshore centres continue to be very buoyant: several firms report significant double-digit revenue growth in their dispute resolution teams over the past 12 months.

Driven by different dynamics, the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Bermuda have each developed in their own right as sophisticated jurisdictions in which to litigate – supplemented by the expansion of specialist commercial courts, a raft of high-quality judges and a regular flow of top-drawer London silks to argue significant cases. Continue reading “Offshore disputes: Centre of the cyclone”

Offshore disputes: Big fish, small pond

Offshore disputes: Big fish, small pond

Carlyle, Tchenguiz and Crociani are cases repeatedly cited by the leading players in Jersey and Guernsey as shorthand for big disputes and big fees. These cases just keep on giving: all three are now subject to further appeals or related proceedings, prolonging their life in litigation terms. Elsewhere, the mood among local dispute resolution and insolvency lawyers is generally upbeat. Although less high-profile litigation might not deliver the big headlines, there is enough going on below the radar for revenues to remain healthy.

‘Insolvency-related disputes are still a significant source of work globally,’ says Jeremy Wessels, Mourant’s head of litigation and dispute resolution. ‘Other areas where we have seen increased activity include trust-related litigation, regulatory, debt restructuring, cross-border enforcement and go-private transactions.’ Mourant remains the biggest Channel Islands firm for disputes with 25 lawyers in Jersey (five partners and 20 other fee-earners) and 23 (six and 17 respectively) in Guernsey. Continue reading “Offshore disputes: Big fish, small pond”

‘Don’t start a war you can’t win’: High Court throws out SRA’s Leigh Day misconduct appeal

‘Don’t start a war you can’t win’: High Court throws out SRA’s Leigh Day misconduct appeal

The High Court has dismissed an appeal by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) which challenged the decision to exonerate Leigh Day of misconduct related to the Iraq War.

Last June, the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) cleared the firm and three of its lawyers accused of pursuing false damages claims of torture and murder made by Iraqi civilians against British troops in the region. The SRA appealed that decision. Continue reading “‘Don’t start a war you can’t win’: High Court throws out SRA’s Leigh Day misconduct appeal”

Rosenblatt battles Brexit uncertainty in post-IPO financials as it launches litigation funder

Rosenblatt battles Brexit uncertainty in post-IPO financials as it launches litigation funder

In its first financial results since the £43m IPO in May, Rosenblatt has recorded a slight uptick in revenue and profit as it simultaneously launched its own litigation funding arm.

For the first eight weeks of its listed life, Rosenblatt generated £3m in revenue, compared to £2.6m for a two month average in the last financial year. EBITDA edged up from £0.9m to £1m on the same metric while profit before tax was also marginally up: from £0.8m to £0.95m. Continue reading “Rosenblatt battles Brexit uncertainty in post-IPO financials as it launches litigation funder”

The no-plan plan – MoJ sets out disputes contingency guidance for a no-deal Brexit

The no-plan plan – MoJ sets out disputes contingency guidance for a no-deal Brexit

As the UK careens towards the March 2019 deadline, the Government has released a contingency plan outlining rules for cross-border European disputes in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Guidance was published yesterday (13 September) by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), with the main conclusion that if no arrangement is reached with the EU, the UK will have to rely on domestic common law rules currently applied to cases involving non-EU countries for cross-border European disputes. Continue reading “The no-plan plan – MoJ sets out disputes contingency guidance for a no-deal Brexit”

Ireland: A case to make

Ireland: A case to make

Centuries of imperiousness towards the Irish could be one of England’s greatest historical mistakes, and when Legal Business set about asking Irish independents whether Dublin is a viable alternative to London for disputes work following Brexit, it felt as though this underestimation was very much alive today. However, the Irish legal elite remains defiant in the face of any English condescension.

‘Absolutely it’s viable,’ says Dillon Eustace’s managing partner Mark Thorne when asked if the Irish Bar’s initiative to promote Dublin as a global disputes centre was realistic. ‘You’re asking if the big independent firms have the talent to achieve that, and the answer is yes, absolutely.’ Continue reading “Ireland: A case to make”