Litigation 2015: Analysis

Listing 740 practitioners from 437 law firms across 69 countries, our latest edition of Who's Who Legal: Litigation is unique in its scale and reach.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Lord Goldsmith QC Debevoise & Plimpton, London
Liam Kennedy A&L Goodbody, Dublin
Nathalie Voser Schellenberg Wittmer, Zurich
Bettina Knoetzl Wolf Theiss, Vienna
Balz Gross Homburger, Zurich
UK Bar
Hilary Heilbron QC Brick Court Chambers
Joe Smouha QC Essex Court Chambers
Mark Howard QC Brick Court Chambers
Mark Hapgood QC Brick Court Chambers
Anthony Grabiner QC One Essex Court
North America
David Boies Boies Schiller & Flexner, New York
Philip Beck Bartlit, Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott, Chicago
David Beck Beck Redden, Houston
Markus Koehnen McMillan, Toronto
Stephen Susman Susman Godfrey, New York
Latin America
Marcelo Roberto Ferro Ferro Castro Neves Daltro & Gomide Advogados, Rio De Janeiro
Luis Enrique Graham Hogan Lovells BSTL, Mexico City
Dyalá Jiménez Figueres DJ Arbitraje, Santiago
Luis-Alfredo Barragán Arango Brigard & Urrutia Abogados, Bogotá
René Irra Ibarra Irra Ibarra Abogados, Mexico City
Middle East and Africa
Richard Briggs Hadef & Partners, Dubai
Tim Taylor QC King & Wood Mallesons, Dubai
Dror  Zamir Levitan Sharon & Co, Tel Aviv
Des Williams Werksmans, Johannesburg
Rita Jaballah Al Tamimi & Company, Dubai
Michael Mills Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, Sydney
Michael Hwang SC Michael Hwang Chambers, Singapore
Kap-You (Kevin) Kim Bae Kim & Lee, Seoul
Michael Hales Minter Ellison, Perth
Pallavi Shroff Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas, New Delhi

Hogan Lovells once again emerges as the leading firm, with 13 lawyers selected for inclusion this year. Luis Enrique Graham in Mexico City is one of our most highly regarded individuals in the Latin American region. He provides counsel to companies exposed to class actions and is described as “one of Latin America’s finest litigators”. Luis Omar Guerrero Rodríguez has a “robust” practice and is praised for his “impressive courtroom presence”.

In London, Chris Hardman regularly advises commercial and manufacturing clients on international and domestic disputes and is described as an “outstanding advocate” by peers and clients alike. The “incredibly talented” Philip Parish focuses on financial markets litigation and is also highly recommended this year.

Robert Bennett is a “hugely respected” lawyer in the US and has represented high-profile clients such as Enron and other foreign corporations. Ty Cobb is lauded for his contentious work in the white-collar and investigations arena and is known for his “excellent standard of client service”. In Miami, managing partner Richard Lorenzo is a “first-rate litigator”. He advises clients in various industries throughout the US, Latin America and Europe.

The firm’s Munich office also achieves two listings, including the “exceptional” Karl Pörnbacher. He has particular expertise in cross-border disputes involving central and eastern European countries. Detlef Hass co-heads the firm’s litigation practice and has “extensive experience” in insolvency and M&A-related disputes.

Hong Kong-based Allan Leung is a “major player in the Asia-Pacific region” and deals with a broad range of dispute work, including advising parties on PRC-related disputes. Patrick Sherrington is a “superb” lawyer with a wealth of expertise in jurisdictional issues and conflicts of law.

Thomas Rouhette heads the French dispute resolution practice and is “highly sought after” for his expertise in product liability defence.

Herbert Smith Freehills also performs strongly in this edition, achieving 10 nominations across four jurisdictions. The London office is represented hub of talent with four nominees, including “key figure” Adam Johnson. He has a “renowned” practice encompassing cross-border banking and securities litigation. Sonya Leydecker has significant experience in disputes involving financial and professional services institutions and is described as “one of the very best” by peers. Head of the banking litigation practice Damien Byrne Hill represents domestic and international banks, investment funds and private equity houses; clients praise his “practical and commercially aware approach to strategy”. Tim Parkes has represented clients such as Lehman Brothers Finance and focuses on contentious work in the UK and Asia.

Peter Butler represents Australian companies on contractual disputes, class actions and regulatory issues and clients are full of praise for his “assured handling of complex cases”. Caroline Cox has a “wonderful” practice and is noted for her “pioneering” work in Australian bribery prosecutions. Deputy global head of dispute resolution Geoff McClellan is a “fantastic” litigator and works across a range of areas including securities, insolvency, trade and professional negligence.

Head of Asia disputes and managing partner of the Tokyo office Peter Godwin is a “major player” in the region. His practice covers industries including construction, energy, employment and telecommunications. Dominic Roughton has a “highly distinguished practice” focusing on international boundary disputes and state-to-state dispute resolution procedures.

In New York, Laurence Shore has “sector-leading experience” across a diverse range of industries including energy, mining and cross-border investment.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer maintains its prominent position in our research with 10 listings, five of whom reside in the London office. Head of the firm’s global dispute resolution practice Christopher Pugh has an “enviable list of clients” including the likes of ConocoPhillips and Ernst & Young and is recommended for his “impressive advocacy skills”. The “incredibly talented” Paul Bowden specialises in environmental and product litigation. Raj Parker comes highly recommended for his “concise and reliable” advice in general commercial and financial services disputes resolution. Paul Lomas is “hugely respected” for his work in the antitrust and finance areas and advises big names such as Tesco and the Bank of England. Ian Terry is another “high-profile name” in the dispute resolution community.

Rolf Trittmann is based in the Frankfurt office and is described as “invaluable” by clients. In Düsseldorf Thomas Kreifels heads the local dispute resolution practice and specialises in industrial projects and liability law.

Managing partner of the Paris office, Elie Kleiman has “comprehensive knowledge” of the oil and gas, mining, chemicals, and pharmaceutical areas. He is praised for his “diligence and commercial awareness”.

Vicente Sierra heads the Spanish dispute resolution practice and is a “bona fide expert” on product liability and environmental matters.

In Vienna Thomas Kustor comes highly recommended for his “unparalleled” investigations work.

Clifford Chance achieves eight listings across six jurisdictions, demonstrating the firm’s “truly international” reach. In Germany, Fabian von Schlabrendorff is a “top-notch” litigator with particular expertise in banking, construction and engineering matters. He is joined by Uwe Hornung who has “industry-leading expertise” in the energy, white-collar and product liability industries.

At the London office, Roger Best receives praise for his “reasoned, intelligent and effective” approach to complex litigation. Simon Davis is a “trusted resource” with a wealth of experience in the banking sector. In Madrid, José Antonio Caínzos is “one of Spain’s very finest litigators” and acts before courts of all jurisdictions and instances. The firm enjoys further inclusions in Hong Kong, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

Respected boutique Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan also garners eight listings this year, including our most highly regarded individual in the Asia-Pacific region Michael Mills. Based in Sydney, Mills is a “truly outstanding litigator” who receives praise for his “highly strategic approach” to complex commercial cases. He is joined by Michelle Fox, a founding partner of the Australia office who is commended for her “superb adaptability” across a range of practice areas including product liability, regulatory investigations and financial services.

In the London office Ted Greeno is “highly sought after” for his “first-rate” expertise in the energy litigation field. Martin Davies is recommended for his “forensic attention to detail” and “technical ability” across a range of complex commercial disputes.

Kathleen Sullivan in New York has an “immaculate reputation” at the US bar and recently achieved victory in Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum. Managing partner of the New York office Peter Calamari represents institutional investors in claims involving complex financial products. He is recognised as a “legend” in the US market.

Benelux firm NautaDutilh sees seven of its practitioners listed this year, six of whom hail from the firm’s Dutch offices. Daan Lunsingh Scheurleer is an “incredibly effective” lawyer who heads the firm’s financial litigation practice, where he specialises in defending class actions. The “first-class” Gerard Meijer successfully represented the largest insurance company in the Netherlands and is recognised for his “truly international” practice. Paul Olden is a “formidable opponent” who regularly represents clients in complex commercial litigation. In Brussels, Stan Brijs acts for Belgian and international financial institutions and listed companies.

Following on from its successful merger, King & Wood Mallesons features prominently in our research, with six individuals selected for inclusion. In Dubai Tim Taylor QC is an “important figure” who represents many high-profile clients including sovereign states and heads of state. He features as one of our most highly regarded individuals this year. Craig Pollack is “one of the best for strength in litigation strategy”. Heading the dispute resolution team from the London office, he acts for investment banks, hedge funds, public companies and high net worth individuals. Hilton Mervis comes highly recommended by clients and peers for his “sharp intellect” and “assured handling” of complex disputes. Beijing-based Ariel Ye is a “respected” practitioner working on China-related compliance work and cross-border dispute resolution.

At Davis Polk & Wardwell, Robert Wise Jr advises an “impressive range of clients” in the banking industry. He has an active securities and SEC enforcement practice. In Hong Kong, the “outstanding” Martin Rogers advises on complex litigation, regulatory and white-collar crime matters.

Lord Goldsmith QC at Debevoise & Plimpton is “one of the UK’s foremost litigators”. Formerly a leading barrister, he maintains a “strong” litigation practice from the firm’s London office. David Rivkin in the New York office also comes highly recommended.

At A&L Goodbody, Liam Kennedy is “hugely admired” for his expertise in the product liability and public procurement arenas, with clients describing him as an “advocate of the very highest standard”. Eoin MacNeill is also recommended at the firm.

Nathalie Voser at Schellenberg Wittmer in Zurich is noted for her “all-encompassing knowledge” of disputes pertaining to the automotive, pharmaceutical and power production industries. She heads a trio of practitioners, which also includes the “gifted” Martin Bernet and the “superb” Alexander Jolles.

In Vienna Bettina Knoetzl heads the dispute resolution practice group at Wolf Theiss. Peers describe her as a lawyer who “regularly delivers excellence”.

At Homburger, Balz Gross has a “stellar reputation” in the Swiss market and has appeared before the Swiss courts and authorities for complex litigation matters; clients praise his “impressive knowledge” of Swiss employment law. Five further individuals are also selected this year, including the “wonderful” Georg Naegeli who focuses on insolvency disputes.

At the UK bar, Brick Court Chambers stands out as a leading litigation set and provides three of our most highly regarded barristers this year. Hilary Heilbron QC is “undoubtedly one of the best” according to her peers. She acts for both domestic and international clients in substantial disputes. Mark Howard QC has experience in commercial and City litigation and is praised for his “outstanding advocacy skills”. Mark Hapgood QC is recognised for his defence work in cases such as the £2.6 billion claim by Equitable Life against Ernst & Young, with clients describing him as an “inspirational” barrister. At Essex Court Chambers, Joe Smouha QC acts for clients in the financial, energy, insurance and reinsurance, and media sectors and is routinely described as a “first-rate operator”. Lord Grabiner QC of One Essex Court is described as an “incredibly knowledgeable” practitioner who represents clients in banking, oil and gas, fraud, and competition cases.

In North America, David Boies at Boies Schiller & Flexner continues to advise high-profile clients. He is considered by many as “one of the best litigators to have stepped into a courtroom”. In New York, Jonathan Schiller is described as “incredibly talented” by peers and clients alike. In London, office managing partner Natasha Harrison advises an “impressive range” of banking, corporate and governmental clients, with clients describing her as “one of the area’s true innovators”.

In Chicago, Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott’s Philip Beck has “case-winning” expertise in litigation relating to product liability, intellectual property, commercial and financial cases. Fred Bartlit Jr is another “high-profile” practitioner at the firm who has tried over 70 major cases.

Houston-based David Beck at Beck Redden comes highly recommended for his “exceptional advocacy” in cases across a diverse range of sectors.

Markus Koehnen is “one of Canada’s very best litigators”, practising at the Toronto office of McMillan. He is experienced in coordinating and conducting multi-jurisdictional litigation involving countries such as Germany, Nigeria and Iran. Stephen Susman is a “well-reputed” practitioner with a “superb” success rate in New York.

Marcelo Roberto Ferro leads a trio of lawyers at Ferro Castro Neves Daltro & Gomide Advogados in Rio de Janeiro. He is a lawyer “of the highest quality” who specialises in civil, corporate and construction litigation. In Santiago, DJ Arbitraje’s Dyalá Jiménez Figueres is “highly sought after” for his “strong courtroom presence”. Luis-Alfredo Barragán Arango at Brigard & Urrutia Abogados in Bogotá specialises in insurance and reinsurance, insolvency, and real estate litigation and is a “real favourite” among clients. Mexico City-based René Irra Ibarra at Irra Ibarra Abogados is praised for his “superb grasp” of complex cases.

At Hadef & Partners in Dubai, Richard Briggs enjoys a “fantastic reputation” and specialises in maritime, trade and insurance disputes across the Middle East. Rita Jaballah leads the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts practice group at Al Tamimi & Company. She is lauded as a “bona fide expert” in the finance sector. She is joined by fellow lawyer and regional head of litigation Hassan Arab.

In Tel Aviv, Dror  Zamir of Levitan Sharon & Co focuses on insurance disputes and is praised for his “meticulous approach” to complex cases.

At Werksmans Attorneys, Johannesburg-based Des Williams practises commercial litigation on a global level and is recognised for his “undoubted strength in cross-border disputes”. Fellow lawyers David Hertz and Roger Wakefield also come highly recommended.

In Singapore, Michael Hwang SC has a wide-ranging dispute resolution practice, and clients are full of praise for his “commercially-oriented” and “results-driven” approach. Seoul-based Kap-You (Kevin) Kim heads the litigation practice at Bae Kim & Lee and is lauded for his “considerable” contentious experience.

At Minter Ellison, Michael Hales is a “key player” in the Perth market. He advises and represents clients on disputes ranging from banking to e-commerce to sports. At Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas in New Delhi, Pallavi Shroff has a “sector-leading” practice; she receives praise for her “superb business sense” and “dedication”.

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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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