Switzerland – Fighting fit

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Switzerland’s dispute resolution market is in rude health. LB talks to the key players about recent headline cases and what the implementation of new arbitration rules in 2012 will mean

The volume of Swiss M&A and capital markets may have flattened out in Switzerland but the global downturn has produced a raft of investor claims against banks and investor management disputes. ‘In tough economic times, people are much more prepared to take their case to court and less willing to settle,’ says Patrick Sommer, partner at CMS von Erlach Henrici (CMS). Consequently, Switzerland has become a major battlefield for asset recovery and enforcement of foreign judgments. Continue reading “Switzerland – Fighting fit”

Offshore Part 2 – The Bounty Hunt

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Madoff-related claims in the BVI and the Saad litigation in the Cayman Islands are keeping the Caribbean’s litigators busier than ever. LB analyses the key cases and speaks to the main players to find out what is likely to happen next

Following Bernie Madoff’s arrest on 11 December 2008, Fairfield Sentry, the fund said to have had the largest exposure to Madoff’s multibillion-dollar fraud, was placed into liquidation in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in July 2009. Consequently Fairfield’s liquidators, KRyS Global, issued over 175 claims in the BVI against investors that had redeemed their investments out of Fairfield. Forbes Hare acted for KRyS Global, led by founding partner William Hare.

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Suspicious minds

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Third-party litigation funding has yet to really take off, despite being around for five years. While a mature market is still some way away, litigation specialists are finally seeing that self-funding is not the only way forward.

Big-ticket disputes in the public sphere and funded by a third party are rare. The biggest case in the UK to date came in 2008 and featured an £89m negligence claim brought by Stone & Rolls against audit firm Moore Stephens. The dispute was driven by Norton Rose’s Sam Eastwood for client Stone & Rolls and was funded by IM Litigation Funding. The case was thrown out by the House of Lords as part of its grand finale in 2009, gifting a massive victory to Barlow Lyde & Gilbert client Moore Stephens.

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Eine kleine Nachtmusik

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With litigation from the banking crisis now starting to filter through in Austria, most commentators believe that disputes work will be a firm feature of the legal market for the next few years. LB explores some of the biggest trends to emerge from the banking crisis

There have been a few late nights at many of Austria’s top law firms in the past year. At the end of 2009, the government was dealing with the emergency nationalisation of the country’s sixth largest lender, Hypo Group Alpe Adria (HGAA), and Austria’s top lawyers had been called in to help clear up the mess.

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Litigators of Russia – unite!

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The Russian commercial justice system has suffered from image problems in the past, but recent court reforms and a boom in litigation look set to challenge this. LB investigates the impact on the domestic litigation market

In 2005, when Anton Ivanov was appointed chairman of Russia’s Supreme Court of Arbitration, the country’s highest commercial court, the domestic judicial system was blighted by accusations of political interference and corruption. It is fair to say that, for those seeking greater judicial independence within Russia and a broom to sweep away the court system’s perceived problems, Ivanov’s appointment wasn’t immediately seen as a great herald for change. For anyone hoping for an outsider, his arrival was an immense disappointment. Continue reading “Litigators of Russia – unite!”

Stepping up

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With the departure of high-profile practice head Jonathan Kelly, the Simmons financial services litigation team has lost a leader in investment banking disputes work. New chief Robert Turner will have a fight on his hands if the firm is to remain a Magic Circle rival

To say that Robert Turner has big boots to fill is to underestimate the size of the task ahead of him. Turner took over as head of financial services litigation at Simmons & Simmons on 1 April, with a background of acting in disputes on behalf of hedge fund managers. But for all his strengths, he enjoys nothing like the profile and reputation of his predecessor Jonathan Kelly – nor indeed his predecessor’s predecessor, now firmwide managing partner Mark Dawkins.

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