Most Highly Regarded Firms: Asset Recovery 2013

In our second edition of The International Who's Who of Asset Recovery Lawyers we pick out the seven top firms and 10 most highly regarded practitioners in the world.

Appleby demonstrates its “market-leading capabilities” with seven lawyers selected for inclusion, followed closely by Walkers, which has six individuals recognised. Six leading lawyers also represent Herbert Smith Freehills, Hogan Lovells and London-based firm Peters & Peters. The UK bar is also strongly represented, with 26 "first class" barristers listed in this edition. 3 Verulam Buildings, Matrix Chambers and the Chambers of Andrew Mitchell QC all field a notable number of eminent practitioners.

THE INTERNATIONAL WHO’S WHO OF ASSET RECOVERY LAWYERS 2013
Most Highly Regarded Individuals
LawyerFirm
Edward H Davis Jr Astigarraga Davis, Miami
Martin S Kenney Martin Kenney & Co Solicitors, British Virgin Islands
Steven Philippsohn PCB Litigation, London
Keith Oliver Peters & Peters Solicitors, London/td>
Colette Wilkins Walkers, Cayman Islands
Robert Hunter Herbert Smith Freehills, London
Christopher J Redmond Husch Blackwell, Kansas City
Bernd Klose kkforensic Rechtsanwälte, Hamburg
Yves Klein Monfrini Crettol & Associés, Geneva
Michael Kim Kobre & Kim, New York

Appleby demonstrates its “market-leading capabilities” in this field with seven of its lawyers selected for inclusion. The Cayman Islands office emerges as a hub of talent with three listings, including Jeremy Walton, group head of the litigation and insolvency practice in Cayman. With a "wealth of expertise" in asset tracing and recovery, he is the first choice for many clients. The Bermuda office is represented by John Wasty and Kelvin Hastings-Smith. Wasty is “internationally renowned” for his ability in this field while Hastings-Smith is known for his “sophisticated handling” of fraud cases. Andrew Willins, located in the BVI, is the practice group head of the litigation and insolvency department for that office. He draws upon extensive litigation experience to advise clients on cross-border fraud and asset tracing claims. Fraser Robertson in Jersey specialises in trusts, fraud and asset tracing and has appeared before the Jersey courts on numerous occasions.

Walkers fields an impressive total of six lawyers, four of whom are based in the firm’s Cayman Islands office. Colette Wilkins stands out as one of the most highly regarded individuals in the research. Recommended for her “pragmatic and solutions-oriented” approach, she earns “high praise” from her peers and clients. She is joined by Diarmad Murray, a “notable figure” in the fraud legal market. Robert Foote is the “go-to” lawyer for urgent injunctive relief in Singapore while Jack Husbands in the BVI is a “trusted adviser” with more than 10 years’ experience litigating disputes in the region.

Six leading lawyers represent Herbert Smith Freehills in this edition, including Robert Hunter, one of the most highly regarded individuals in the research, based in the London office. Head of the firm’s trust litigation practice and co-head of the civil fraud, asset tracing, corporate crime and investigations practice, Hunter is described as a “true star” in the field and peers commented that “no list on asset recovery would be complete without him”. Three further names are selected from the firm’s London office, including Sonya Leydecker, global head of dispute resolution. With more than 20 years’ experience in litigation, she is “well versed” in complex, international matters and is known for her “commitment to her clients”. Gareth Thomas represents the firm’s Hong Kong office and is recommended for his “expert advice” on fraud matters. In Sydney, Andrew Eastwood is a “standout” practitioner with “strong technical abilities”.

At Hogan Lovells, six practitioners are listed. London-based Jeremy Cole has more than 25 years’ experience in international commercial litigation and excels in cases involving corruption, bribery and fraud. His recent work includes acting for the liquidators of a metal commodity trading company based in London and New York involving corruption resulting in the fraudulent loss of $700 million. Alongside him, Cary Kochberg is a “prominent name”, particularly well known for his involvement in litigation and arbitration connected with Russia and the former CIS. In Hong Kong, Chris Dobby and Allan Leung are listed. Dobby frequently acts for liquidators, financial institutions and multinationals in respect of cross-border investigations and asset tracing and is held in “high regard” by peers. Leung heads the dispute resolution practice in Asia and is “the first port of call” for PRC-related disputes.

London-based firm Peters & Peters Solicitors fields six individuals to this edition, demonstrating its “strong position in the market”. Keith Oliver is a “top name” in asset recovery and heads the firm’s commercial litigation/commercial fraud practice. With more than 30 years’ experience, he is recommended for his “finely tuned” international asset freezing, tracing and recovery skills. He is joined by Jonathan Tickner, a “highly notable practitioner” with “excellent litigation skills”. Alan Bacarese is “exceptionally well versed” in the field, having previously acted as head of legal and case consultancy at the International Centre for Asset Recovery in Basel, Switzerland. Bacarese recently advised on a large-scale international bank fraud involving asset recovery and the drafting of letters of request in a South East Asian country and numerous international financial markets. Sarah Gabriel is a “well-known name” in the sector with “enviable experience” in multi-jurisdictional fraud matters and asset tracing emergency procedures.

Five “outstanding” lawyers are selected from Kobre & Kim, including New York-based Michael Kim, one of the most highly regarded individuals in the research. Co-founder of the firm, Kim has a “great eye for detail” and regularly represents clients in international judgment enforcement and cross-border disputes. The firm’s DC office fields three lawyers; among them is Eric Snyder, a “prominent trial lawyer” recognised for his “ability to get results”. Tim Prudhoe is based in the BVI and continues to impress clients with his “sophisticated handling of asset recovery matters”.

Miami-based Astigarraga Davis is represented by four “outstanding” names in the field of asset recovery. Founding shareholder Edward H Davis Jr is the most highly nominated lawyer in our research and a “true specialist” in asset recovery. He is “highly acclaimed” for his work in this field and has pursued assets in jurisdictions throughout the world. Clients praise his ability to “foster a strong degree of confidence and trust”. Arnoldo B Lacayo is also highly recommended and specialises in financial fraud and asset recovery. He has represented multinational corporations, sovereign governments, receivers, trustees and foreign officeholders in matters in US courts.

Further standout individuals include Martin S Kenney at his own firm, Martin Kenney & Co Solicitors, in the BVI. Kenney is “somebody you definitely want on your side”.

At PCB Litigation in London, Steven Philippsohn commands a “great deal of respect” for his experience as an asset recovery lawyer. Currently acting for two of the most prominent Russian financial institutions and other organisations in eastern Europe, Philippsohn is in “very high demand”. He is joined by Anthony Riem, a “leading authority” on international asset recovery.

In Hamburg, Bernd Klose of kkforensic Rechtsanwälte is a certified fraud examiner and “very competent”.

Geneva-based Yves Klein at Monfrini Crettol & Associés has a “strong pedigree” in asset recovery and is praised by peers for his “calm and capable” approach to overcoming challenging legal hurdles.

In Kansas City in the US, Christopher J Redmond of Husch Blackwell is “well versed” in multi-jurisdictional litigation and specialises in assisting on matters of fraud or complex insolvency.

Barristers

The UK bar is home some of the world’s most respected asset recovery lawyers and this edition features 26 barristers recognised by their peers and clients as “first-rate” in the field.

3 Verulam Buildings is the best-represented set of chambers with four silks selected for inclusion. Ali Malek QC is a “pre-eminent” advocate who “never leaves a stone unturned”. Paul Lowenstein QC is “particularly adept” at obtaining remedies such as injunctions, freezing and search orders and “always goes the extra mile” according to his clients. Sonia Tolaney QC is a “great operator” and “skilful tactician”. She continues to impress in the courtroom with her “composed manner”. Stephen Phillips QC earns high praise for his “flawless attention to detail”.

At Matrix Chambers, three names stand out including Clare Montgomery QC. Considered a “true star” in the field, Montgomery is “definitely a silk you want on your side”. She is joined by Tim Owen QC and Andrew Bodnar. Owen is “highly proficient” while Bodnar is praised for his “encyclopaedic knowledge of the subject”.

The Chambers of Andrew Mitchell QC are also represented by three individuals. Andrew Mitchell QC specialises in civil and criminal asset forfeiture and is a “prominent figure” in the legal marketplace. Described as both “smart” and “tenacious”, he is “great to work with”. Mark Rainsford QC is a “versatile” barrister able to turn his hand to both civil and criminal aspects of fraud cases while Kennedy Talbot is praised for his “enviable experience” in civil recovery and criminal confiscation.

At Fountain Court Chambers, Michael Brindle QC is an “exceptional litigator” and “incredibly smart”. He is able to “find solutions to the most complex problems”. Timothy Howe QC is also noted for his “astute legal mind”.

Hugh Norbury QC at Serle Court is highly recommended for his work in the area of freezing injunctions, search orders and asset tracing. A “great strategist”, he also “flourishes in the courtroom”. Philip Marshall QC also earns high praise.

Paul McGrath QC at Essex Court Chambers is a “true specialist” in this field. An “innovative thinker”, he is known for his “commitment to his clients”.

South Square Chambers’ Felicity Toube QC is an “intellectual powerhouse”. She is a “favourite” for unravelling complex frauds.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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