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Dispute resolution and litigation
Commercial and corporate litigation 4
Construction litigation 5
Real estate litigation 6
Public and administrative law 7
Contentious procurement 8
International arbitration 9
Fraud and risk services 10
Banking litigation 11
Restructuring and insolvency litigation 12
Intellectual property litigation 13
Aviation litigation 14
Travel and insurance litigation 15
Disputes involving the Middle East and Malaysia 16
Helping our clients to win, resolve and avoid disputes is a vital facet of our services. Our team of over 100 litigators across 9 offices in the UK and the Middle and Far East and act for government authorities, corporates and individuals to resolve business critical disputes, high stakes litigation and matters of public importance.
As a result, we have recently handled some of the highest profile litigation conducted in the UK and internationally, from compelling a reversal of a government policy acting for the lead claimants in one of The Lawyer’s ‘Top 20’ cases of 2016, to acting for a central bank in a billion dollar fraud.
We recognise that some cases are of strategic importance to our clients and need to be litigated and won. We are highly experienced in taking cases to trial in the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, and to international arbitration involving the ICC, LCIA and other international arbitration tribunals, and in adjudication, expert determination and a wide range of other fora.
We frequently deal with matters requiring urgent injunctive relief from the Courts and expedited hearings.
We equally recognise that in many circumstances going to trial is not the optimum outcome. We have extensive experience of advising clients on mitigating litigation risk and resolving potential disputes swiftly and cost effectively, whether by negotiation, mediation or by the implementation of a well-judged pre-litigation strategy.
Put simply, we are committed to achieving the very best outcomes in our clients’ most difficult disputes.
Our dispute resolution is full service across industry sectors. We are particularly well known for disputes in the public sector and for construction, landlord and tenant and other real estate related litigation, as well as acting in disputes involving the Middle East and Malaysia.
We have recently been joined by His Honour Judge David Grant, on his retirement from the bench and can now provide our clients with an invaluable judicial insight into their cases. HHJ David Grant was a High Court Judge 2008 to 2017, and among other things sat as the Judge of the Technology and Construction Court in Birmingham.
Anthony Yates —— Partner, Head of Litigation
e [email protected] +44 (0)20 7423 8478
What sets us apart
Complexity and diversity: our full service litigation practice includes specialisms reflecting the firm’s market leading sector focuses, including construction, real estate, corporate commercial and public law and procurement law disputes in the UK. Internationally we have a particular focus on disputes emanating from the Middle East, both played out in the local courts and arbitral tribunals in that region and in London and other international disputes hubs.
National and global reach: our litigation team consists of over 25 partners and 100 fee earners servicing clients from our UK offices in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Exeter and our overseas offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Bahrain and Kuala Lumpur. Our geographic spread means we can add insight and flexibility to the services we offer clients, whether by handing an investment banking dispute involving institutions in London and Abu Dhabi, or saving time and cost by resourcing investigations with staff from across our offices.
Public profile: we are very used to helping clients in their highest profile disputes, with litigation played out in the public eye. For example, we recently acted for a UK government authority in a dispute in the Court of Appeal in relation to a £3 billion regeneration scheme and for the central bank of a Gulf state in relation to one of the region’s largest ever banking frauds.
The big picture: we look at the big picture when advising clients on their disputes. That ranges from resolving a corporate dispute by restructuring the underlying transaction, subsequently identifying wider regulatory issues and advising on policies and procedures to avoid a problem reoccurring, to coordinating a client’s interactions with its regulators, insurers and bankers when a serious fraud was uncovered.
Effective dispute resolution: alternative dispute resolution is more important than ever in minimising exposure to the costs and risks of litigation. For example, we recently avoided a client becoming embroiled in many years of litigation in the UK and Latin America by successfully mediating its claim over 5 days, resulting in a very significant cash payment.
Recognition and insight: as a firm with a long and rich history, we have connections on many levels to judges, arbitrators, mediators, regulators and other professionals who make up the dispute resolution community in our chosen markets. Our client recommendations are reflected by Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500. Our partners provide thought leadership and insight through industry bodies, at conferences, in academic journals and in the national press.
Excellent; the practice has a powerful work ethic and achieves the best results”
- The Legal 500, 2017
We have a wealth of experience of proceedings in the English High Court, across the Commercial, Chancery and Queen’s Bench Divisions and at appellate level.
We handle commercial disputes of all types, including claims in relation to the sale of goods, the provision of services and under large scale outsourcing and IT contracts. On the corporate side we handle warranty, earn out and other corporate disputes, frequently involving questions of accountancy as well as law. We also handle disputes arising out of the breakdown of joint ventures, LLPs and partnerships, and over the management of trust structures, both in the UK and offshore.
Achieving the optimum resolution of a heavyweight dispute demands technical expertise, a cogent strategy and measured commercial judgement. We have decades of experience in assisting clients from different sectors, including government authorities and publicly funded bodies, corporates, SMEs and high net wealth individuals.
We tailor our approach to fit our client, and appreciate the difficult sensitivities involved in acting for a diverse range of entities including a mayor-led local authority, to a UK PLC, or private equity house, or a business founder. However, in each case we seek to provide straightforward advice and commercially focussed solutions to the most difficult of problems.
Recent work includes:
Publicly funded body, dispute over IT outsourcing contract – we acted for a leading provider of social housing in a dispute with a global technology company over the design and implementation of a customer relationship management system. We addressed multiple factual and technical issues successfully to resolve the matter without court proceedings being issued.
Private equity house, breach of warranty and professional negligence – we acted for a private equity house in relation to serious issues uncovered after its acquisition of a technology company. We pursued breach of warranty claims against the selling shareholders and professional negligence claims against the due diligence accountants to achieve a successful outcome on a difficult and high profile investment.
Investment fund, freezing injunction – we acted for a large UAE based investment fund, whose majority shareholding in a London hedge fund was made subject to a freezing order in the course of a commercial dispute. We contested the freezing order and simultaneously negotiated a successful resolution of the underlying dispute.
Business founder, breach of warranty – we acted for the founder of a property business defending a very significant breach of warranty claim brought against him by a private equity fund which had purchased the company. We addressed a large number of allegations, raising complex legal, factual and accountancy issues regarding the company’s warranted accounts. After litigating the matter over several years, we represented the client in a two day pre-trial mediation, after which the claims were withdrawn for a small fraction of their value.
IT reseller, disputed team moves, enforcement of restrictive covenants and confidentiality obligations – we acted for a national IT reseller in commencing proceedings and seeking injunctive relief against former employees who have breached their restrictive covenants and/or confidentiality obligations, with a view to protecting our client’s business interests. We achieved successful outcomes at the interim injunction stages and through settlement.
Commercial and corporate litigation
Our award winning team of dedicated construction and engineering law specialists provide the highest standard of advice in all aspects of development and at all stages of the construction process.
Partner Theresa Mohammed was named the ‘Best Woman in Construction Law’ at the 2017 Women in Construction and Engineering (WICE) Awards.
We provide guidance on the development of risk management and dispute avoidance strategies, so that our clients retain control of their projects. Should further action become necessary, we regularly advise on identifying the most appropriate means of guiding our clients to a satisfactory outcome - whether that be through adjudication, mediation, conciliation, early neutral evaluation, expert determination or a more bespoke and tailored process for a specific problem. We never underestimate the value of early discussions to avoid resolve or reduce the dispute.
We are an integral part of the Projects and Construction department, providing a full service for any construction or construction-related projects. We have specialist partners and assistants in the London, Manchester, Birmingham, Exeter and Middle East offices of the firm including a qualified Quantity Surveyor, Arbitrator and Adjudicator.
Recent work includes:
Crane structural failure – acting for an SPV development company in relation to a structural failure in a crane installed at a major new residential development in the UK, allegedly due to a defective weld and higher than expected wind loads. The issue resulted in a six month delay to completion and a dispute with the Contractor as to liability for the approximately £12 million of losses arising. We successfully adjudicated on the liability issue and the dispute was settled on very favourable terms for our client shortly thereafter.
Failed tower crane – acting for a development company in respect of the failure of a reinforced concrete tower crane during construction of a hotel near a major ring road in Birmingham. We negotiated a settlement, achieving an outcome which best served the commercial interests of our client.
Defective foundation in UK offshore windfarm – acting for a construction company in relation to claims against its designers arising from cracks found in the foundations of wind turbines at a UK offshore wind farm. The dispute was ultimately favourably settled by way of mediation following our advice.
Tunnel collapse – acting for a supervisor/project manager in relation to a claim for professional negligence arising out of a tunnel collapse. Claims totalling more than £150 million were prepared against the supervisor/project manager, involving extensive detailed technical investigations regarding the design of the tunnel. The matter was ultimately settled heavily in favour of our client after a four-day mediation.
Energy-from-waste facility – acting for an international contractor in respect of its claims for the design and construction of a new energy-from-waste facility in the UK. The contractor’s claims totalled approximately £12 million. We succeeded in arguing in an adjudication that all of the compensation events were deemed accepted and implemented because the project manager had not properly replied to notifications, and the matter was settled shortly thereafter.
Defective oil pipeline welding – advising an international construction company concerning allegedly defective welding encountered in a new oil pipeline in Asia. Arbitration proceedings were prepared against our client, but the claim was settled at mediation on terms very favourable to our client after we were able to undermine significant aspects of the opposition’s technical argument.
Real estate is core to Trowers & Hamlins’ business and we have a class leading real estate disputes practice.
We act for all principal stakeholders across a range of real estate sectors, including residential and commercial property developers and property companies, title indemnity insurers, institutional pension funds, receivers and insolvency practitioners, housing providers, private investors, entrepreneurs and occupiers of commercial and residential property.
Our specialisms include: rights to light; easement and restrictive covenant disputes and other real property matters; the full range of commercial landlord and tenant including lease renewal, alienation, rent review, dilapidations and other general breach of covenant matters; leasehold enfranchisement (acting for both landlords and tenants); all areas of residential landlord and tenant, with a particular emphasis on residential service charge disputes and tenancy enforcement; telecommunications; and all aspects of property related insolvency.
We take a pragmatic approach to disputes, seeking to resolve these in the most efficient manner possible, and always tailored to the client’s objectives. Litigation is usually a last resort and even then used carefully as a means to deliver the right negotiated outcome rather than constituting an end in itself.
Recent work includes:
Handling rights to light claims for title indemnity insurers – we have a leading rights to light practice, which sees us involved in many of the largest developments which are insured against rights to light, acting both for insurers and developers. We have a proven track record in managing the effective and proportionate resolution of rights to light disputes allowing developments to proceed unhindered by dispute.
Property receivership – represented a bank and receivers in a receivership of a BVI based borrower concerning a high end residential property. As part of this we managed a contentious application for landlord’s consent to assign the lease of the property which enabled the bank to be repaid in full.
Business critical forfeiture claim – acted for a school trust defending a forfeiture claim brought in the High Court by the landlord of the school’s premises. We pursued several successful urgent injunction applications in order to prevent unwarranted interference with the operation of the school.
Breach of trust in relation to trust of land – acted for the successful private client claimant in an eight day reported High Court trial, successfully obtaining an order for an account of income due to him under a 1983 declaration of trust.
Pioneering High Court litigation – acted for the claimant in a claim for specific performance that was the first case to take advantage of the High Court’s recently-introduced Shorter Trials Scheme.
Residential service charge appeal – represented the successful appellant landlord in a reported Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) appeal overturning a First-tier Tribunal’s determination as to the reasonableness of residential service charges.
Advising on complex issues in connection with the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 – this includes devising co-ordinated strategies for the recovery of possession across multi-let estates on development grounds and using the 1954 Act process tactically to best enhance our client’s position, whether we are acting for the landlord or the tenant.
Real estate litigation
Another core area of our dispute resolution practice is assisting our clients with applications for Judicial Review. In this field, we have advised charities, schools, central and local government bodies, registered providers, contractors and private individuals on the full spectrum of public law disputes. Many of the matters we are involved in often result in reported decisions before the High Court (including the Planning Court) and Court of Appeal. Our practise is regularly recognised in both the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners for Administrative and Public Law.
Many of our cases have involved significant infrastructure or planning matters, where the need to resolve the disputed issue expeditiously is paramount; we understand the real pressures our clients face. We will always provide our clients with the benefits of our in depth and practice knowledge of the Judicial Review process.
Our understanding of public law also enables us to advise clients in respect of their consultation and decision-making procedures, mitigating against the risks of a successful challenge and ensuring proper audit trails are created.
Reported cases include:
Wealden District Council v (1) Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (2) Lewes District Council and (3) South Downs National Park Authority  EWHC 351 (Admin) – successfully acting for the Claimant Council in its statutory challenge to the adoption by Lewes DC and South Downs National Park Authority of a joint core strategy on the grounds of breach of the Habitats Regulations.
R (Joyce Boden) v East Staffordshire Borough Council and Sun & Soil Renewable 20 Limited  EWHC 1151 (Admin) – successfully representing the Interested Party, Sun & Soil Renewable 20 Limited, in defending an expedited judicial review claim challenging the grant of planning permission in respect of a solar farm development, with permission to appeal also successfully resisted.
London Borough of Enfield v Secretary of State for Transport  EWCA Civ 480 – acting before the High Court and Court of Appeal for a local authority to challenge the failure of the Secretary of State to take into account a major regeneration project when determining the East Anglia rail franchise.
R (Barbara Stryjak) v London Borough of Hounslow and The Nishkam School Trust and others  EWHC 1897 (Admin) – successfully representing the Interested Party, The Nishkam School Trust, in defending an expedited judicial review claim challenging the grant of planning permission in respect of a Sikh based all faith school in west London.
R (Nash) v Barnet London Borough Council  EWCA Civ 1004 – successfully representing the defendant council in the High Court and Court of Appeal in a landmark case for commissioning councils.
Margate Town Centre Regeneration Co Ltd and 7 others v (1) Secretary for State for Communities and Local Government (2) Thanet District Council  EWCA Civ 1178 – successfully representing Thanet District Council in the High Court and Court of Appeal, defending its Compulsory Purchase Order for the purchase of the lands comprising the site of the former Dreamland Amusement Park in Margate.
Public and administrative law
We have experience of advising and representing both bidders and contracting authorities which gives us an insight not all firms can offer. We can advise bidders on what they can expect from a fair, transparent and lawful procurement process and the steps they can take to protect their position when those expectations are not met. Our service ranges from the provision of strategic advice on challenges and dispute resolution, to representation in High Court proceedings and without prejudice meetings and mediation.
Recent work includes:
Kaim Todner and others v Legal Aid Agency – we acted for a number of firms in a multi-party and high profile challenge to the LAA’s Duty Solicitor Crime Contracts procurement. The cases, identified in The Lawyer publication as one of the “Top 20 Cases of 2016”, ultimately settled after the Lord Chancellor cancelled the procurement in light of the litigation.
Care provider v London Borough – representing the authority in a challenge to the procurement of home care service contracts (the contracts were worth approximately £50 million).
IT Reseller v Central Government department – representing a bidder in a challenge relating to the procurement of IT for Government departments (overall contract value in the region of several billion pounds sterling).
Engineering company v rail infrastructure manager – representing a bidder in a challenge relating to the procurement of fire suppression systems and alarms.
Contractors v registered provider – representing a client in two sets of High Court proceedings challenging contract award decisions in relation to planned repairs and maintenance work (worth in the region of £637-830 million).
Contractor v London Borough – representing the authority in resisting a challenge relating to the procurement of a £100 million highways maintenance contract. The proceedings were resolved at an early stage.
Mears Group Limited v Leeds City Council – successfully representing Mears in High Court proceedings challenging the Council’s procurement of a £40 million repairs and maintenance contract on the grounds of failure to disclose evaluation criteria and weightings. There were three reported decisions throughout the course of these proceedings, concerning disclosure, liability and costs.
We have seen an increase in arbitration across the sectors in which we operate. International arbitration is the dispute resolution mechanism of choice in many industries for high value, cross-border contracts. Its unique features include This gives clients the ability to select the arbitrators and to enforce arbitration awards worldwide under the New York Convention 1958.
The team have extensive experience arbitrating at the ICC, LCIA, DIFC and other leading international arbitral institutions, under the UNCITRAL Rules and on an ad hoc basis. We manage cases from start to finish, adopting a holistic approach which involves formulating settlement and enforcement strategies at the very outset.
We act as advocates and also sit as arbitrators. Our core practice is international commercial and construction arbitration, with public international law issues also increasingly in play. We are particularly well known for our Middle Eastern work, for experience in the energy, manufacturing and aviation sectors and for disputes with complex technical elements.
Recent work includes:
LCIA arbitration, commodities contract – acting for a long-standing client, a US energy company, in a dispute with one of its central European customers, a state owned energy concern. We commenced LCIA arbitration and acted as advocate to obtain a seven figure award. We further managed the subsequent enforcement of the award, including via parallel court proceedings, instructed investigation agents and coordinated enforcement proceedings.
BIT arbitration, construction dispute – we are advising a litigation funder in respect of its potential funding of claims by a construction company against a North African state. The claims arise out of losses the company has suffered as a result of civil disturbances within the state and is expected to be the first of a number of disputes arising out of these matters.
LCIA arbitration, aircraft leasing contract – acting for a Middle Eastern aerospace business in a substantial dispute with its largest customer. We commenced multiple LCIA arbitrations under a number of different contracts, had those arbitrations consolidated and acted as advocate successfully to obtain a seven figure award.
ICC arbitration, pharmaceutical contract – acting for a Swiss pharmaceutical business in a dispute with its UK distributor. We commenced ICC arbitration and used the threat of these proceedings to successfully obtain an early settlement on favourable terms.
GCC arbitration, licence agreement – advising a European manufacturing company in a GCC commercial arbitration in Bahrain, arising from a dispute over the termination of a licence agreement in Saudi Arabia.
Clients can be completely confident that the practice will achieve the very best result in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible”
- The Legal 500, International Arbitration 2017
The cost of fraud to the UK economy has been estimated to be as high as £193 billion annually and whilst only the major scandals hit the headlines, organisations of all sizes can be effected by fraud. In addition, the true cost of fraud is more than just a number. Penalties from regulators and damage to reputation can lead to business disruption, lost trade, lost management time and cost involved in internal investigations and disciplinary procedures. Increased regulation also puts the spotlight on senior management, exposing them personally to fines and imprisonment.
Surveys are routinely carried out to shed light on the impact of fraud and whilst each survey differs, the trends demonstrate that:
• organisations may be losing up to 7% of their annual turnover as a result of fraud
• a small percentage of losses from fraud are recovered
• any organisation in any sector and in any country can suffer the impact of financial crime.
Despite these trends, many organisations do not have in place any plans or policies to assist them in responding quickly if fraud is uncovered, thereby maximising their chances of recovery. Our team of specialists guide public and private sector organisations on all aspects of preventing and responding to fraud and corruption. When it comes to recovering losses and minimising damage, the key is to be proactive and not reactive. Our approach to our service includes:
Prevent – providing bespoke advice and plans to minimise the risk of fraud and corruption; risk reports and helping develop robust counter fraud strategies.
Investigate – quickly gathering evidence and conducting in depth investigations when issues come to light.
React – when misappropriated assets are suspected, reacting efficiently and decisively, which can mean the difference between recovery and loss.
Recent work includes:
Local authority, development of counter fraud strategy – advising on a local authority’s counter fraud strategy, which involved reviewing their existing fraud policies, interviewing employees, conducting a fraud analysis and preparing fraud prevention/response plans.
Private sector, investigation into allegations that a public body had been defrauded – acting for a company in the aerospace sector in a multi-site/cross jurisdictional investigation into allegations of financial mismanagement. This involves managing the investigation in terms of (1) preservation of data/documents (2) undertaking interviewing (3) liaising with regulators (4) reporting internally and (5) managing the investigation process across multiple sites.
Charitable organisation, civil action to recover monies misappropriated by CEO – acting for the charity in connection with a claim against a former CEO for misappropriation of the assets. This wide scale fraud goes back over 20 years involving false expenses, unauthorised remuneration and a failed attempt to restructure the charity in order to gain a majority beneficial interest in it and to exploit the IP and other assets for commercial gain.
Housing association, senior executive fraud – acting on a fraud perpetrated by a senior executive, and widely reported in the national press. Our team handled the civil recoveries and successfully secured the return of all stolen funds and a payment for our client’s wasted costs. We assisted our client in liaising with the police and its regulators, insurers and bankers to minimise the disruption caused to the organisation’s work.
Anti-money laundering – we frequently advise private and public sector clients on anti-money laundering issues, including drafting policies and procedure, training staff and advising on the need to report to the National Crime Agency.
Fraud and risk services
We have a banking litigation team with strong sector knowledge and expertise in banking and capital markets litigation.
Our clients include financial institutions, institutional and individual investors, corporates and public sector bodies, based both in the UK and overseas. We handle claims arising out of all types of financial products, from derivatives and structured finance disputes through to retail banking matters.
Financial services disputes require an understanding of the commercial and regulatory environment in which the deal was struck. We have a particular focus on structured finance products, under both ISDA and bespoke documentation, including disputes between financial institutions and also the sale of swaps and other products to businesses and other customers.
Disputes often require sophisticated advice in relation to valuation and market practice issues, for example around interest and FX rates, substitution and close out rights and portfolio values. We work closely with independent experts to provide this.
Recent work includes:
Middle Eastern central bank – acting for a government owned central bank in a very high profile banking fraud relating to the collapse of a bank, including obtaining a +£1 billion judgment.
Publicly funded body – acting for a publicly funded body addressing issues which had arisen with its syndicate of lenders in connection with the operation of a 30 year, £200 million loan facility. These were successfully resolved when the threat of litigation led to the renegotiation and restatement of the facility.
Pension fund – acting for an Italian pension fund in a €100 million dispute with Barclays including a recent Court of Appeal decision (reported at Barclays Bank Plc v Ente Nazionale di Previdenza ed Assistenza dei Medici e Degli Odontoiatri  EWCA Civ 1261).
UK corporate – acting for a well-known UK high street chain in pursuing claims in relation to the mis-selling of interest rates swaps which were successfully settled shortly before trial.
Structured finance dispute – acting for a Cayman Islands SPV to obtain payments under an ISDA in a dispute arising out of the wind up of a Lehman Brothers structure. This was successfully resolved when we obtained a Commercial Court judgment in our client’s favour (reported at Europa Plus SCA SIF v Anthracite Investments (Ireland) Plc  EWHC 437).
Far Eastern Bank – acting for a Far Eastern Bank enforcing a loan and related security given in respect of a well-known sports team, in a matter which resulted in considerable publicity worldwide.
We have wide experience in all types of insolvency situations, both in the context of anticipated insolvency events (liquidation, administration, bankruptcy) and the consequences of corporate and personal insolvencies.
We advise also clients on all contentious issues in an insolvency context, including litigation, from the issue or defence of petitions through to investigations, contested proofs of debt and enforcement and claw-back actions.
We have the expertise and network to assist in obtaining significant results and commercial solutions whether acting on behalf of directors, creditors or the office holder. We have long standing relationships with insolvency practitioners at the leading restructuring firms. We also act for a number of banks in relation to distressed debt, especially those based in the Middle and Far East.
Our experience is varied and also includes advising directors of distressed companies. We understand that these individuals face challenging circumstances and have to make decisions whilst pressure is being placed on them by creditors. Recognising when to take appropriate action can result in a business being rescued, or restructuring taking place ahead of the commencement of formal insolvency processes.
Our clients benefit from our national expertise and resources, delivered through our offices in the London, Manchester, Birmingham and Exeter.
Recent work includes:
Trustee in bankruptcy – acting on behalf of a trustee in bankruptcy in search and seizure proceedings arising out of a multi-million pound fraud.
Creditors – advising creditors in a high value liquidation involving breach of directors’ duty, sale at undervalue, disclosure and antecedent transaction claims.
Partnership winding up – rescinding the winding up of a Partnership which had assets of over £15 million.
Non-performing bank loan – acting for an international bank enforcing a non-performing loan, including appointing LPA Receivers to a property asset and appointing administrators to a well-known business, ultimately resulting in a corporate restructuring, which was publicised in the national press.
Borrower default – acting for an international bank enforcing a loan secured against a high value London leasehold residential property, including appointing and representing LPA receivers and managing a disputed assignment application.
Insolvency litigation – obtaining injunctive relief prohibiting the advertisement and presentation of winding up petitions, dealing with antecedent transaction claims, annulment applications and applications for possession and sale of assets for Trustees in Bankruptcy.
Restructuring and insolvency litigation
Our intellectual property litigation team is a dedicated specialist resource advising on the full range of IP rights, including trade marks and passing off, copyright, design rights, database right, patents, and rights in confidential information and know-how, together with related expertise concerning advertising and ‘competitor’ disputes such as comparative advertising, false/misleading advertising and malicious falsehood.
We represent clients in all IP dispute resolution tribunals, including the English High Court (Chancery Division, including Patents Court), the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, the UK and EU Intellectual Property Offices, and arbitration tribunals applicable specifically to domain name disputes and under individual Internet Service Providers’ own dispute resolution mechanisms. Our experience includes mediation of complex IP disputes and negotiating and drafting settlement agreements which include within them provisions granting IP licences and coexistence provisions governing rights to apply for and use IP rights.
We act for a diverse mix of clients, ranging from household names in the manufacturing and retail of consumer goods in sectors including cosmetics, perfumes, healthcare, fashion, jewellery, foodstuffs, house and garden items, to other manufacturing and services-based clients in sectors such as leisure, financial services, architecture and construction, to charities, local authorities and other governmental organisations.
IP disputes frequently relate to more than one jurisdiction, and we have good contacts and established working relationships with a range of overseas IP specialists/associates.
Recent work includes:
Foods brand, patent dispute with a competitor – defending a brand of premium potato crisps against a competitor’s claim of patent infringement relating to product packaging. The defence included a counterclaim that the patent was invalid, and parallel revocation proceedings in the European Patent Office. The claim settled on favourable terms following mediation.
Shopping channel, injunction – obtaining an injunction and orders including the transfer of a domain name against the operators of a website which purported to sell consumer goods using the channel’s trade-marks. The commercial problem for the client was not only lost sales but also reputational damage caused by non-delivery of goods ordered from the defendant’s website.
Government related body, software copyright dispute – defending a government related organisation against a claim by a digital design and technology agency that an iPhone app commissioned and distributed by our client infringed the agency’s copyright.
Pet care business, misleading publicity – acting for a well-known pet care business in preventing the publication of purported market research which did, in reality, constitute misleading negative publicity by a lobbying body to promote a commercial agenda.
Intellectual property litigation
We have a strong aviation/insurance litigation practice with experienced solicitors based in our London, Exeter and Dubai offices. We act for a diverse range of clients including airlines, airports, insurers and lessors.
We have particular expertise in handling international disputes with French, Spanish, German, Italian and Arabic speakers forming part of our team. Our active membership of the West of England Aviation Forum (WEAF) reflects our commitment to this sector.
Recent work includes:
Airlines/Insurers – in relation to airlines, we have significant experience of handling general commercial disputes, personal injury, cargo and baggage claims under the international Convention regimes and delay, cancellation, denied boarding and disability claims under the EC Regulations. We have advised on the purchase of large scale fleets and private jets and the application of new consumer protection laws and also have experience in handling maintenance and design claims together with coverage and policy wording disputes.
Airports – in relation to our airport clients, we have provided advice on complex regulatory issues, emerging policy regarding the potential impact of “Brexit,” the application of new consumer protection laws, the preparation and implementation of disaster management plans and the formulation of reputation management procedures
Aircraft Leasing – in relation to our aircraft leasing clients, we have significant experience of handling leasing disputes and injunctions/recovery of aircraft across the globe.
Our client base includes Manchester Airport Group, TAG Farnborough, Dubai Airport, Bahrain Airport, Montserrat Airport, Gan Airport, Nassau International Airport, major insurers such as AIG, major leasing companies including AWAS, various governments/regulators, maintenance providers and various banks and investors.
We are used to handling not only large scale, complex and high value claims but also high volume and low value claims and are adept at adjusting our case management and billing structures/processes accordingly.
Our award-winning Travel and Insurance team advise on claims arising out of accidents abroad, acting for both Claimants and Defendants. Whilst many of the cases we deal with involve personal injury, we also provide advice on all matters relating to travel insurance including coverage issues, policy wording, disputes, subrogation matters, uninsured loss recovery and review of ‘off-panel’ solicitor requests to insurers.
We act for an impressive number of major insurers and pride ourselves on being able to provide bespoke legal services accommodating the needs of individual clients with efficiency. The size of our team and depth of knowledge means we are more agile and can tailor our approach more quickly to deal with each individual case on its own merits and circumstances. We know that one size does not fit all.
Our clients value our experience, expertise and pragmatic way of handling disputes. They appreciate our ability to listen to their situation and understand the issues they face.
Recent work includes:
Legal expenses – we act for a considerable number of insurers providing legal expenses, having built longstanding relationships. We ensure excellence in client service working in compliance with service level agreements, providing bespoke management information, regular reporting and agreed fee budgeting throughout the progression of cases.
Defence work – we work with a number of insurers both household, travel and pet, providing advice on public liability claims in the UK and abroad. We are panel solicitors specialising in large and complex loss for major household insurers arising out of public liability claims, in the travel and pet sectors. Common claims involve skiing and sporting accidents and pet injury cases.
Catastrophic loss – our senior solicitors have considerable experience in cases involving brain injury, paralysis and amputation, often resulting in settlements in excess of £1million.
Maritime and aviation – we regularly act for individuals injured in accidents at sea, or who fall ill on cruise holidays, litigating cases in the Admiralty Court, under the Athens Convention as well as accidents during the period of carriage by air both in the UK and abroad.
Foreign jurisdiction – we have considerable experience in litigating cases abroad, utilising established and enduring relationships with specialist lawyers abroad. Our country-specific knowledge allows us to deliver added value to clients by directing and overseeing agents, ensuring efficient utilisation of any litigation budget.
Travel and insurance litigation
As one of the first UK firms to establish offices in the Middle East, over 40 years ago, and the first international firm to obtain an operating licence in Malaysia, we have a wealth of experience acting for parties from these regions.
Members of our litigation team are based in each of our four Middle Eastern offices, in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Oman, as well as in our Kuala Lumpur office. Our UK litigators frequently work as part of cross-border teams handling international disputes involving these regions. They are also well known for handling UK-centred disputes for our clients from these areas.
We have fluent Arabic speakers in our UK litigation team as well as in the Middle East, and familiarity with Sharia law principles and the region’s economy, business and culture.
The most recent edition of The Legal 500 specifically recognises our disputes expertise “acting for and against Middle Eastern clients”. Our regular clients include a number of Gulf and Malaysian based banks.
Recent work includes:
Banking fraud – acting for a central player in one of the Gulf’s largest banking frauds, including pursuing claims in excess of $1 billion in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the Cayman Islands.
HNW family dispute – acting in a dispute involving a HNW Gulf based family, involving consideration of Sharia law inheritance principles, enforcing judgments in excess of £15 million and successfully freezing an offshore company’s shares in order to prevent the sale of a substantial UK country estate.
Saudi Arabia and UK business – acting for the defendant, a very substantial business operating in Saudi Arabia and the UK, in Samara v MBI & Partners UK & Anor  EWHC 563 (QB): relief from sanctions, successfully obtaining relief on the basis of alleged fraud by the claimant.
UK property fund – acting for a UK property fund in a dispute with one of their key investors, based in Saudi Arabia, in relation to success fees due on a substantial City office development. We successfully negotiated an early and favourable settlement with the investor.
Malaysian bank – acting for a Malaysian bank enforcing security to recover loans granted in respect of a substantial UK property development.
Disputes involving the Middle East and Malaysia
Trowers & Hamlins LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC337852 whose registered office is at 3 Bunhill Row, London EC1Y 8YZ. Trowers & Hamlins LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. The word “partner” is used to refer to a member of Trowers & Hamlins LLP or an employee or consultant with equivalent standing and qualifications or an individual with equivalent status in one of Trowers & Hamlins LLP’s affiliated undertakings. A list of the members of Trowers & Hamlins LLP together with those non-members who are designated as partners is open to inspection at the registered office.
Trowers & Hamlins LLP has taken all reasonable precautions to ensure that information contained in this document is accurate, but stresses that the content is not intended to be legally comprehensive. Trowers & Hamlins LLP recommends that no action be taken on matters covered in this document without taking full legal advice.
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Practice in brief
• Over 150 partners with more than 900 people located across the UK, Middle East and Far East providing a full-service integrated offering to clients with local knowledge and expertise at its core.
• Nine offices located in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Birmingham, Dubai, Exeter, London, Malaysia, Manchester, Oman.
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