Most Highly Regarded Firms: Commercial Litigation 2013

This year, we identify 681 practitioners from 398 firms who are considered leading lawyers in the field. Six firms stand out in our research for fielding the highest number of lawyers to this edition. Hogan Lovells emerges as the leading firm with 11 lawyers recognised from its international network of offices. It is followed closely by Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith Freehills and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, with 10 inclusions apiece. Completing the list are Davis Polk & Wardwell and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, fielding seven practitioners each.

We also single out the 10 most highly regarded commercial litigators in the world.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Lawyer Firm
David Beck Beck Redden LLP, Houston
David Boies Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP, New York
Markus Koehnen McMillan LLP, Totonto
Florian Kremslehner Dorda Brugger Jordis, Vienna
Nathalie Voser Schellenberg Wittmer, Zurich
Lord Goldsmith QC Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, London
Stephen Susman Susman Godfrey LLP, New York
Rolf Trittmann Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Frankfurt
Sonya Leydecker Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, London
Kathleen Sullivan Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, New York

Hogan Lovells receives “global recognition” for its litigation practice, and emerges as the leading firm in our research, with 11 nominees across its international network of offices. The London office fields two lawyers including Philip Parish, an “undisputed expert” in financial markets litigation with “vast experience” of advising investment banks and fund managers in contentious matters. Joining him is the “highly impressive” Chris Hardman, described as an “immaculate litigator” by peers. He regularly advises commercial and manufacturing clients in relation to complex international disputes, frequently concerning high-value, cross-border shareholder disagreements. In Hong Kong, Allan Leung is head of the Asia dispute resolution practice and receives praise for his “nuanced and intelligent approach” to complex commercial cases across a broad range of areas including banking, employment and cross-border contentious insolvency. Patrick Sherrington recently relocated to the Hong Kong office, having previously led the firm’s litigation, arbitration and employment practice for a decade. He is a “renowned litigator” with a “stellar reputation at international level”. Detlef Hass in Munich co-heads the firm’s litigation area and represents clients in all methods of international dispute resolution. He is commended for his “reliable advice” to clients. Richard Lorenzo is managing partner at the Miami office and is a “go-to litigator”; he regularly advises corporate clients in various industries throughout South America, Central America and the Caribbean.

Clifford Chance performs very strongly in this year’s research and sees 10 of its lawyers selected for inclusion. The Frankfurt office is represented by two practitioners including Uwe Hornung, a “very accomplished” litigator with “invaluable experience” in relation to construction, white-collar, banking and product liability contentious matters. Joining him is the “exceptional” Fabian von Schlabrendorff, who regularly litigates in relation to banking, corporate and construction disputes and displays an “acute understanding” of the key issues at stake in such cases. In London, Roger Best is a “renowned” practitioner while Simon Davis is a “highly effective” disputes lawyer. In France, Jean-Pierre Grandjean conducts litigation for domestic and international clients in a range of areas including corporate law, product liability and white-collar crime. Peers describe him as a “dedicated and thorough” lawyer, with “all the qualities” essential to securing satisfactory results for clients. Further nominees from Hong Kong, Spain and United Arab Emirates are joined by Timur Aitkulov in Moscow, an “outstanding” lawyer with specific expertise in complex multi-jurisdictional white-collar cases.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer also fields 10 lawyers in this year’s edition, with five of that number residing in the London office. Ian Terry, a former head of the dispute resolution practice, is an “immensely talented” lawyer with a “clinical mind” when it comes to commercial contentious matters across various business sectors. The “well-respected” Raj Parker specialises in financial services dispute resolution as well as international regulatory investigations, while Paul Lomas is head of the general industries group and handles a wide range of dispute resolution work; he is recognised as a “top-notch” litigator. In Frankfurt, Rolf Trittmann is one of the most highly nominated individuals in our research and is a “superb strategist”, with a specific focus on disputes arising out of M&A transactions and post-compliance issues. Representing the Vienna office, Thomas Kustor has a “high-profile practice” encompassing corporate and financial disputes, often related to acquisitions and restructurings. In Madrid, Vicente Sierra heads the Spanish dispute resolution practice and is “well known” for offering “creative solutions” to clients, with a “solid” reputation in relation to product liability matters.

Herbert Smith Freehills is very well-represented in this year’s edition, and impressively boosts its number of lawyers listed to nine. The firm fields four lawyers from the London office, including Sonya Leydecker, global head of the firm’s dispute resolution practice. An “internationally renowned” lawyer, she is acclaimed as a “litigator of the very highest standards” with years of experience in handling complex domestic and international disputes in a number of jurisdictions. She regularly acts for leading financial and professional institutions subject to investigations by bodies including the Financial Conduct Authority, the Serious Fraud Office and the US Department of Justice. The firm’s “global reach” is evidenced by listings in a further four jurisdictions; in Tokyo Dominic Roughton is head of the firm’s public international law practice and maintains a “stellar reputation” among leading litigators. Based in Hong Kong, Mark Johnson heads the Asia practice, and receives “widespread acclaim” for his advice regarding shareholders’ and directors’ disputes, which frequently have an international element. Laurence Shore practises at the New York office and stands out for his provision of “clear and concise advice” to clients. In Australia, Peter Butler is “of the highest repute” and is described as a “leading authority” on commercial litigation.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan fields eight nominees in this year’s edition; Kathleen Sullivan is head of the firm’s appellate practice and is recognised as a “very accomplished” litigator. Based at the New York office, she acts for a number of multinational clients including Coca-Cola, Samsung, AIG and Shell Oil. Sullivan is “well known” for her “unparalleled attention to detail” and “tremendous advocacy skills”. She is joined by Peter Calamari, a “highly knowledgeable” lawyer with a focus on the financial services industry. Recently he has focused on representing institutional investors in claims involving complex financial products, and peers describe him as a “top-notch” litigator. At the London office, Ted Greeno is “in a class of his own”, and has conducted commercial litigation in all the English higher courts. Stephen Jagusch has a “notable practice” and is a “prominent figure” in relation to energy law.

Davis Polk & Wardwell strengthens its presence in this year’s edition with seven lawyers selected for inclusion, and four of the contingent hail from the New York office. Robert Fiske is a “dean” of the litigation bar and is recommended by peers as an “exemplary practitioner”. He has “extensive” experience in a number of areas, with special emphasis in professional liability, securities and product liability matters. Also based in New York, Robert Wise demonstrates “enviable business acumen”, and advises a number of professional firms, commercial banks, directors and industrial companies in a variety of matters including securities, contract and antitrust law. At the Menlo Park office, Christopher Hockett acts in a broad range of complex commercial litigation matters, including intellectual property litigation, securities litigation and unfair competition disputes. Clients praise him for his “persistence and diligence” in representing their interests. In Paris, Georges Terrier is a “formidable” litigator and his clients include some of the largest French companies in the luxury goods, transport and banking fields.

At Beck Redden, David Beck emerges as the most highly nominated individual in our research, and is regularly described as “one of the best trial lawyers in the US”. A litigator with an “impeccable” track record, he has a “wealth of experience” in a number of areas including class action, intellectual property and product liability litigation. Alongside him, Murray Fogler is also highly recommended.

David Boies of Boies Schiller & Flexner is an “outstanding practitioner”, as demonstrated by the widespread acclaim he receives in this year’s research. Boies is “highly esteemed” for his work across a range of sectors, with a particular focus on securities, class actions and sports law. Managing partner Jonathan Schiller has represented numerous multinational corporations in complex commercial disputes, and is described by peers as “simply first-class”.

McMillan’s Markus Koehnen is based in Toronto and is “greatly respected” by peers, with a “notable” litigation practice focusing on shareholder rights, corporate governance and international law. He has managed multi-jurisdictional litigation between various countries, and receives recognition for his “masterful command” of the complex cross-border issues involved in such cases.

Florian Kremslehner of Dorda Brugger Jordis is one of Austria’s “leading litigators”, with a “stellar” reputation on an international scale. He regularly advises in relation to insurance and business crime matters, and clients praise him for his “resourcefulness and devotion”.

In Zurich, Nathalie Voser heads a contingent of three nominees from Schellenberg Wittmer. A “formidable presence” in the European litigation field, she has “enviable expertise” in contract law, tort law and restitution and private international law.

At Debevoise & Plimpton, Lord Goldsmith QC is a “phenomenal lawyer” and “internationally renowned” in the dispute resolution community. Formerly one of London’s “most prominent” barristers, he chairs the firm’s European and Asian litigation practice. The firm fields three further nominees from the New York office including David Rivkin, a “superb” practitioner with “broad experience” of advising major companies in transnational litigation.

At Susman Godfrey, Stephen Susman is widely acknowledged “as one of the United States’ finest plaintiff’s attorneys”, and advises high-profile commercial clients with wide-ranging corporate interests. Peers describe him as a “natural winner”, and a lawyer who “inspires confidence” in those he represents. At the Texas office, Lee Godfrey is a “go-to litigator” in the state, and he receives acclaim for his “sharp intellect” and “consistently high standards”.

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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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