Strategic Research Sponsor of the American Bar Association's Section of International Law
Steven Philippsohn
Office:
4th Floor
90 Chancery Lane
WC2A 1EU
City:
London
Country:
England
Tel:
+44 207 831 2691

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders: Asset Recovery

Steven specialises in international and fraud litigation and is retained by government global and national organisations in relation to global disputes. He is described as “an internationally renowned practitioner with a wealth of experience in high-stakes litigation”, with sources adding: “He is an undoubted leader and superb legal strategist.” He has been further identified as “always seeking to push the boundaries of what you can achieve to maximise a client’s position”. Steven is the UK member of the ICC Fraud Network.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE A LEGAL CAREER?

The challenge of providing a practical, creative and effective solution to a complex issue.

WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF ESTABLISHING YOUR OWN FIRM?

There weren’t many. Perhaps recruiting first-rate applicants who had the vision and appetite for sharing in the development of a small practice.

AS FOUNDER AND SENIOR PARTNER OF THE FIRM, HOW DO YOU ENSURE THAT YOU MAINTAIN A MARKET-LEADING STATUS?

Continuing to provide a first-class service. At PCB, we have a highly talented, dynamic team that are passionate about achieving positive results.

SINCE YOU OPENED THE FIRM IN 1979, HOW HAS THE PRACTICE OF ASSET RECOVERY CHANGED?

A great deal. It was originally perceived by certain clients (as well as lawyers) as too speculative and, in some circles, equivalent to throwing good money after bad. Nowadays, it is increasingly regarded as a viable option to creditors where debtors have sought to conceal their assets.

WHAT ARE THE GREATEST CHALLENGES CURRENTLY FACING ASSET RECOVERY SPECIALISTS?

Although considerable benefit is derived from our UK membership of ICC FraudNet, there remains the need to identify top local lawyers in the multiple jurisdictions where assets are held. Another challenge is ensuring that expectations are managed and knowing that occasionally, battles will be lost on the way to a successful outcome!

TO WHAT EXTENT IS THE INCREASE IN LITIGATION FUNDING AFFECTING THE TYPE OF CASES BEING BROUGHT TO TRIAL?

In asset recovery work, funding is becoming increasingly recognised as an invaluable tool. As a result, PCB has over the last few months been retained on asset recovery projects which, but for funding, would in all probability not have been actioned.

HOW DO YOU SEE THE LANDSCAPE OF INTERNATIONAL ASSET RECOVERY DEVELOPING IN THE FUTURE?

Very positively. In the last year, our team has increased to deal with a flood of new work from all parts of the world, ranging from enforcement of arbitration awards against sovereign states to multi-jurisdictional asset seizures on behalf of global organisations.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST SUCCESS IN YOUR CAREER TO DATE?

To be part of PCB’s development from a minute practice sharing two rooms to a team of superb lawyers handling global disputes and achieving considerable success.

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Asset Recovery: Lawyers

Steven is a leading authority on the management of international asset recovery litigation. Over the last 20 years his firm has been retained by governmental, national and international organisations. His firm, PCB Litigation, has an extensive international network of experienced lawyers. Steven currently acts for state enterprises, most prominent financial institutions and other organisations on disputes including those relating to the energy, finance and telecommunication sectors in various jurisdictions including, amongst others, Ukraine, Singapore, Kuwait, British Virgin Islands, Cyprus, Jersey and countries within Africa in Eastern Europe as well as the UK and the US.

In Who's Who Legal: Asset Recovery (2017) he is described as being "an internationally renowned practitioner with a wealth of experience in high-stakes litigation" and "He is an undoubted leader and superb legal strategist". The Legal 500 has singled out Steven as being "focused and creative". He has been described as "always seeking to push the boundaries of what you can achieve to maximise a client’s position - he thinks outside the box", "very aggressive for clients’ aims" and as "a wise and excellent strategist" who "has a breadth and depth of experience, extensive knowledge of the market, and a willingness to take things on" and "an eminent player in the fraud world". In Chambers & Partners he is listed in the top tier of fraud litigators, being described as a "brilliant thinker" according to market sources, who also commend him as having "very good instincts" and for being "result orientated". The Legal 500 and Chambers have identified PCB as a leading litigation practice, "the team constantly appearing in high quality work". Chambers reported the firm has "real quality". The Times describe PCB as "solicitors to the banking community" and "operating across a global landscape, recovering and protecting clients’ assets over borders and through multiple jurisdictions". 

His recent cases include VTB v Nutritek and others; Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Company and another v Al Refai and others; Jenington International Inc & ors v Assaubayev & ors; Berezovsky v Joseph Kay; Ritz Hotel v Zayat; Westminster Council v Dame Shirley Porter.

He is the UK representative of Fraudnet, a global network of fraud litigation practitioners (www.iccfraudnet.com). He is a founding member of the UK’s Commercial Fraud Lawyers Association. He is also a member of the recently formed panel advising the Home Office on public/private strategies to counter fraud as well as being a member of the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts. For a number of years Steven was deputy chairman and a board member of the Fraud Advisory Panel (www.fraudadvisorypanel.org). Steven is listed by the London Times as one of the 100 key influential legal professionals in the United Kingdom.

WWL says: Steven Philippsohn is an internationally renowned practitioner with a wealth of experience in high-stakes litigation. According to one source, “He is an undoubted leader and superb legal strategist.”

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Asset Recovery which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Litigation: Lawyers

Steven is a leading authority on international litigation. Over the past 25 years his firm has been retained by governmental, national and international organisations.  Steven currently acts for state enterprises, prominent financial institutions and other organisations in numerous jurisdictions.

In the last two years Legal 500 has singled out Steven as being a leading individual in civil fraud and as being “aggressive for clients' claims”, “unparalleled”, “doyen” and a “great strategist and fighter”. He has been described as “always seeking to push the boundaries of what you can achieve to maximise a client's position - he thinks outside the box” and as “a wise and excellent strategist” who “has a breadth and depth of experience, extensive knowledge of the market, and a willingness to take things on” and is described as a “brilliant thinker” according to market sources, who also commend him as having “very good instincts” and being “result orientated” and as “visionary in terms of his command of tactics” (Chambers).  

The Legal 500 and Chambers have identified PCB as a leading litigation practice, “the team constantly appearing in high quality work”, “simply outstanding”, “extremely skilled” and a “highly regarded litigation boutique”. 

Steven is the UK representative of Fraudnet, a global network of fraud litigation practitioners who are in the top tier of the civil fraud section of a recent edition of the Chambers Global Law Directory.

Steven is listed by the The Times as one of the 100 key influential legal professionals in the United Kingdom.

WWL says: Steven Philippsohn combines dynamic thinking with two decades of experience at the forefront of international litigation.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Litigation which can be purchased from our Shop.

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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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