The one true law – in conversation with Lord Neuberger

The one true law – in conversation with Lord Neuberger

Richard Lissack QC: David, why a career in the law?

Lord Neuberger: It was after cancelling out other possibilities. I was a scientist at university – a chemist. I was influenced by my father, a successful scientist. I quickly proved to be an unsuccessful scientist. I went to career advisers. They said do law or go into the City. In those days the City involved no exams and law did, so I went into the City. Continue reading “The one true law – in conversation with Lord Neuberger”

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”

Boutiques: Highly evolved

Boutiques: Highly evolved

With the disputes market evolving and clients becoming more discerning, it has been a phenomenal ten years for boutique law firms focused on litigation. The pressure on generalist, mid-market dispute teams has played towards this dynamic, leaving true contentious specialists increasingly going head-to-head with the traditional London elite.

A glance at the financial results of some of the main litigation specialists – Stewarts, Signature Litigation and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan – shows dramatic increases in revenue amid a string of major cases. Continue reading “Boutiques: Highly evolved”

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”