Commercial litigation

We combine local and international litigation experience with strategic and commercial advice to achieve the best outcome for you or your business.

Our aim is to defend the interests of individuals, businesses and brands, and we do not shy away from taking on major organizations to achieve that, pursuing them aggressively where necessary.

Experience to solve all of your disputes

Our global litigation team serves a broad range of domestic and international commercial and individual clients, from family offices and high-net-worth individuals to large corporate entities. We are experienced in almost all areas of litigation, including asset recovery and enforcement, contract and company disputes, financial services disputes, fraud, white collar defense and investigations, professional negligence, insurance and restructuring and insolvency. Where necessary, we are also experienced in challenging decisions by bringing claims for judicial review.

With litigation lawyers spread across the world’s key dispute resolution centers from New York to Hong Kong, we work together as a single team to help you to protect your interests domestically and globally. We deal with matters swiftly and efficiently, which is key in complex and large-scale international disputes.

We also offer a number of specific teams, including handling tax controversy, media, privacy and reputation management, commercial arbitration and litigation within the worlds of art, luxury assets and sport, where we are ideally placed to respond to cross-border issues.

Global advice, wherever you are

With offices worldwide, we can guide you through your dispute process and help you make informed and appropriate decisions.
Our European litigation team is known for taking on major fraud, asset recovery, enforcement and financial services disputes.

In the US, we have a wide range of experience across commercial matters, pursing settlements, litigation, trials and appeals aggressively, with an excellent success rate. We have one of the largest dispute resolution teams in Singapore, called on for complex and cross-border commercial disputes and acclaimed for work in high-value insurance and professional liability matters. We also have a strong, commercial litigation presence in Hong Kong who are experienced in complex corporate disputes, joint venture and shareholders’ disputes and insolvency. We have represented clients involved in litigation before Hong Kong courts and in Mainland China (with local counsels).

In addition, our experienced offshore team in the BVI is frequently called upon to assist foreign investors in asset recovery and seeking and resisting applications for injunctive relief before the BVI courts.

Funding your dispute

Should you need help covering the costs of your dispute, we will advise on various options for litigation funding. These include obtaining external funding for significant cases, insurance, conditional fee agreements, fixed or capped fees in appropriate cases.

For further help or information

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15 July 2021 - Article

Drafting an arbitration clause into a contract? Read this first

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2022 Legal 500 UK, top ranked in commercial litigation: mid-market (band 1)

2022 Legal 500 UK, leading firm for public international law

2022 Chambers UK: leading firm for public international law

2022 Legal 500 UK, leading firm for professional negligence

2022 Chambers UK: leading firm for civil fraud

2022 Chambers UK, leading firm in defamation and reputation management

2022 Chambers UK: leading firm for professional negligence

Leading firm for international arbitration

Leading firm for public international law

Leading firm for corporate crime

Leading firm for civil fraud

Leading firm for reputation management

Leading firm for banking litigation: investment and retail

Leading firm for professional negligence

Leading firm for commercial litigation

Leading firm - Band 1 for private wealth disputes in the UK

Leading firm for defamation/reputation management

Leading firm for professional negligence

Leading firm for civil fraud

Leading firm in Asia Pacific 2015

Alternative dispute resolution

Mediation is a popular, private and cost-effective out of court solution to resolve disputes, which has been a particularly useful during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Fraud Vlogs

Practical advice on freezing orders, search orders and bank mandate fraud, from our leading specialist, Stephen Ross.

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Withers has given us expert guidance on a wide range of issues, and always looks to the bigger picture of our work when formulating their advice. The firm’s lawyers are consistently helpful and responsive when dealing with us.

Julie Maxton, Executive Director - Royal Society

The firm’s expertise was fundamentally important to us in resolving negotiations with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore. The dedication, meticulousness and practical advice provided saved us expense and further delays, and we’ve been glad to work closely with the team on a number of other projects since then, in which the service provided has been of a similarly high quality.

Asia Development Pte Ltd

I would be glad to give the best recommendations on the high level of services, professional and individual approach in our rather complicated one-of-a-kind case.

Gleb Petrov - OMV Petrom SA

I have worked closely with Withers for years. They are a very effective law firm for international tax matters and I am confident that in each case we work on together we will be guided by their experience and insight.

David Russell QC, Outer Temple Chambers, London and Dubai

By instructing Withers to represent me in a difficult dispute I knew I was working with a different calibre of law firm. They were a calming and reassuring team who helped me maintain my morale through difficult times.

George Ponsonby, Farmer

The team is an indispensable advisor to us, providing us with a full legal assessment of new project opportunities, and spotting issues before they arise.  They are attentive, give swift and effective advice, and prioritise our needs.

Cynthia Loh - DB&B Pte Ltd

We use Spring and her team to guide us on projects of all sizes, and particularly to identify in advance where problems could arise. Their advice is always commercial and considers the eventualities so that we understand the risk profile of each project.

Rick Canale - Unifor

The insurance team at Withers KhattarWong is very professional and delivers top tier services with great energy and positive attitudes. They are very knowledgeable about the insurance sector and are proactive and thorough in their approach.

Low Yong Yeow, Senior Claims Specialist – DirectAsia Insurance

Withers KhattarWong is our first port of call for insurance claims matters. They are experts in this area and have consistently delivered excellent, practical advice for our matters.

Lim Wen Hwei, Head, Claims – Etiqa Insurance Pte Ltd

We are very pleased with the team at Withers KhattarWong. They are technically strong, have a keen understanding of the insurance sector and they have helped us achieve numerous favourable results for our claims matters.

Mary Nelson, Senior Manager, MS First Capital Insurance Limited

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How the litigation team can help

Track record

Defeating £15m claim, our client pays £1 damages

In a high stakes dispute, with a £15m claim by Marathon Asset Management against our client and another defendant, our strategy in the case secured a nominal order of £1, with the High Court also ordering Marathon to pay towards our client's costs.

£35 million misselling and LIBOR claim

In a major misselling claim, we are assisting the liquidators of a property company on a dispute relating to over £35 million of losses incurred by interest-rate hedging products sold by a UK bank. The claim also involves allegations relating to the bank's involvement in LIBOR manipulation.

Multi-billion dollar energy arbitration

Acting on a multi-billion dollar energy arbitration arising out of an M&A transaction.

US$150 million Russian dispute

Advised a Russian corporation in a dispute to a value of over US$150 million in relation to cancelled Credit Linked Notes

Advising a Government on investment treaty drafting

Conducted an extensive project for a Government client advising them on international investment law issues and drafting an innovative model bilateral investment treaty.

Russian real estate project in LCIA arbitration

In an LCIA arbitration concerning a high profile real estate project in Moscow, worth $160m, and involving complex issues of fraud, illegality and a combination of Russian, Kazakh and BVI law, we have taken an innovative approach to calculating the damages at stake.

Construction dispute and ad hoc arbitration in North Africa

A major construction project in Libya has resulted in an ad hoc commercial arbitration for our client, an Italian company.

International bank mandate fraud

When our client suffered a bank mandate fraud, it severely affected his art dealership business. We put a team in London and Hong Kong into action to freeze the stolen funds, held in a Hong Kong bank, and were able to retrieve them for our client.

Professional negligence claim for interest rate swap deal

A world renowned hotel entered into an interest rate swap with several banks, but ended up suffering significant losses. The hotel's owners approached us to pursue the law firm who represented them in a professional negligence claim. The case was listed for a five week High Court trial, but we arranged a settlement before the trial commenced.

Protecting the home in a family fraud dispute

Our client faced claims to his million pound London property, as a result of a massive fraud claim relating to a member of his family. Working to protect his property rights, we secured a landmark ruling from the Court of Appeal to enable him to challenge the claim.

Energy company UNCITRAL arbitration against Pakistan

Represented a Mauritian energy company as counsel and advocates in an investment treaty arbitration against Pakistan under the UNCITRAL arbitration rules.

ICSID dispute over energy investment

A dispute over an investment in the energy sector has resulted in an ICSID investment treaty claim against a European state. Our client is seeking damages for breach of fair and equitable treatment, expropriation and other breaches of treaty standards.

Caribbean Government international investment law advice

A Caribbean Government has instructed us to advise on a range of international investment law issues.

Public liability cover claim against broker

In a case before the High Court, we successfully settled a claim against an insurance broker, who left our client in a difficult position by failing to provide proper advice on his level and adequacy of public liability cover.

Negligence claim for hedge fund exit advice

Our client suffered losses when they engaged a law firm to advise on their exit from the partnership of a hedge fund. We represented him on a claim of more than £5 million against the law firm for negligent advice.

USD$3.25 billion fraud lawsuit

Our team successfully defended our client in a USD$3.25 billion lawsuit alleging the fraudulent transfer of assets

Negligence claim for misadvised property deal

When a property developer discovered that it did not have full rights of access to a development site it was acquiring, it turned to us for assistance, and we have represented it in a negligence claim against its former solicitor.

Representing Bar Mutual and its clients

We have been a longstanding adviser to Bar Mutual, advising the organisation on claims by the barristers it represents, or on third party proceedings brought by solicitors facing professional negligence claims. We also directly advise barristers protected by Bar Mutual

Defending the holders of USD$200 million in bonds

We successfully represented the holders of US bonds to the value of USD$200 million in lawsuits against a rating agency and an indenture trustee of a private placement

London courts secure fraudster's assets

An ex-director of our client, a Cypriot company, defrauded the business of $6m. Following a case in Cyprus, we stepped in to obtain a freezing injunction from the London courts, and then secured a final charging order over a London property to recoup the losses.

Swiss fraud

We are pursuing a Turkish company and an entrepreneur in respect of fraud perpetrated on a Swiss trading group.

Art theft case for underwriters

Following the alleged theft of nine old master paintings from a European art gallery, we represented insurance underwriters in a fraud claim relating to the art work, and resulting in a successful settlement.

Swiss Trustees and a Swiss Bank

Advising Swiss trustees and a Swiss bank on the recovery of assets relating to unravelling an appointment upon the discovery of a fraud on a family trust and on the assets in the estate of the deceased settler in the sum of approximately £400m.

Bringing misselling and breach of contract claims against bank

In a case involving claims of misrepresentation, breach of contract, breach of duty in tort, and misselling of an interest rate swap, we are representing a family-owned property investment company seeking substantial damages from a major UK bank.

Italy-CIS dispute over contract and arbitration venue

A complex international case has seen us acting in a dispute between parties in Italy and a former CIS region state. The case involves a possible arbitration in Paris over a contract under English law, as well as questions of the English court's ability to grant relief in the case.

Reputation protection during a high profile divorce

During our client's highly sensitive and hard-fought divorce, our Media and Reputation team played a key role to ensure that our client's public reputation was protected in the face of significant media interest. The team also provided counsel on communications from our client, which were required to uphold his rights in balance with the other party's.

A luxury yacht builder

An Italian luxury yacht builder consulted Withers when it found itself in dispute with a Maltese client over a shipbuilding agreement. This was essentially a contractual dispute involving delay, construction in accordance with strict shipbuilding specifications and a claim for liquidated damages.

LG Electronics Inc

Our Singapore team successfully acted for LG Electronics Inc. in a trade mark opposition filed by headphones manufacturer Beats Electronics, LLC against the registration of the mark 'QuadBeat' before the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, securing a favourable decision.

Multi-million dollar digital entertainment arbitration

Our cross border dispute resolution team acted for a Korean digital entertainment business in a multi-million dollar ICC arbitration on a construction and commercial disagreement involving two Korean businesses and a Chinese company

Italian energy company ICSID arbitration

A dispute over an investment in the energy sector and ICSID investment treaty arbitration claim against a European state. Our client is seeking damages for breach of fair and equitable treatment, expropriation and other treaty standards.

VAT case dispute with former solicitor settled in mediation

We achieved our client's aims in a £1m+ claim against their former solicitors, after a VAT dispute with HMRC was mishandled, resulting in substantial losses. The matter was settled through mediation.

Landmark stamp duty decision on in the High Court of Singapore

We successfully represented our client in Zhao Hui Fang and another in a case that challenged the application of stamp duty to a residential purchase by a charity. The High Court of Singapore ruled that the additional buyer’s stamp duties regime does not apply to residential property purchased by a charity. The landmark decision had wide-ranging impact on charities and the non-profit sector in Singapore.

ICC motorway arbitrations

Representing one of the largest companies in Macedonia in two ICC arbitrations relating to the collapse of a public procurement project to build a motorway in Poland, including claims for unpaid joint venture costs and breach of contract. <br />

Singapore arbitration on behalf of a Malaysian bank

We are representing a Malaysian bank on an arbitration in Singapore under the ICC Rules regarding claims arising out of a software contract with a Swiss multinational corporation. The contract involved the replacement of the bank’s central banking system, with far reaching cross border implications, given the bank's status as a public institution. The claim relates to the Islamic status of the core banking system with a contract value in the region of USD $17 million.

LCIA arbitration in art sector

Advised a company specialising in buying and selling art in an LCIA arbitration dispute over the ownership of a Monet painting under Swiss law.

TMT Asia Ltd v BHP Billiton Marketing AG & Anor

We acted in the High Court of Singapore in disputes relating to market manipulation and freight forwarding agreements, and involving violations under the Securities and Futures Act (Cap. 289) and successfully resisted a striking- off application

Cypriot company in a USD$72 million arbitration

Acting for a Cypriot company with Russian connections in an arbitration claim challenging a USD$72 million London Court of International Arbitration Award

Singapore Economic Development Board

We successfully defended a claim in the High Court and the Court of Appeal arising from a refusal to grant a renewal of a lease of a site on prime land, involving allegations of misrepresentation

Madof related litigation

Represented a Liechtenstein bank in Madoff-related litigation (In re: Fairfield Sentry Ltd) seeking to claw-back funds invested by bank clients in the largest Madoff feeder fund.

Defending SMRT Trains Ltd and the Land Transport Authority

We represented SMRT Trains in a High Court case involving the duty of care owed by a mass rapid transport operator and regulator to a commuter claiming SGD $3.4 million in damages. The Plaintiff’s claim was dismissed by the High Court Judge, whose decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal.

Azerbaijani oil company

We are advising an Azerbaijani oil company in a dispute relating to an off-shore drilling platform.

Shareholder’s dispute in Cyprus

We are coordinating litigation arising from a shareholder’s dispute in Cyprus, Anguilla and Belize on behalf of Russian shareholders in a global financial business.

Salim Shalabayev

We successfully represented Salim Shalabayev, a Kazakhstani citizen, on an Appeal of a Final Charging Order over his property in London.

Chief financial officer of software firm

We represented the chief financial officer of a software company in connection with an SEC investigation. The commission was alleging that there had been accounting improprieties on our client’s watch, but we were able to obtain a favorable resolution of all charges.

Greek national basketball team

Represented Greek national basketball team in defending federal claims. Case successfully resolved with full dismissal of claims against the team.

Caspian Sea $20 million arbitration

Acting for a British Virgin Islands company in relation to a claim for the return of US$20 million due to it from a Turkish company following the non supply of shares in a Swiss company which owned an oil terminal on the Caspian Sea.

Recovering the proceeds of fraud in the UK and Cyprus

We are representing a publicly owned company in recovering the proceeds of a fraud perpetrated on it by its in house accountant. This involved obtaining urgent injunctions first in England and then in Cyprus to freeze the stolen money and then secure its return

UK assets of Greek foundation

Our litigation team advised a Greek foundation on the restructuring of its UK assets.

Major US accountancy firm in insurance claims

Our US team represented one of the major accounting firms against primary and secondary insurers to recover for claims based on accounting firm's financial audits

Greek TV merger leads to arbitration

A proposed merger in the Pay TV market in Greece led to a dispute in which we represented Greek clients in a substantial LCIA arbitration.

Defending Greek company in Jordan

The termination of a 10-year worldwide agency and distribution agreement led to us representing a Greek company in a dispute with a Jordanian state owned enterprise.

Multi-national investment dispute in Ethiopia

Our US team represented an investment fund and its principals in a multi-national dispute concerning investments in Ethiopia, we successfully dismissed all of the claims against our clients.

Multi-billion dollar hedge fund

Represented high-profile Managing Member of multi-billion dollar hedge fund in litigation involving the termination of an analyst.

The Romanian State

Our team represented the Romanian State in connection with the enforcement of a foreign judgment in the US, with the State receiving 100% of the judgment amount.

Litigation advice for the Ukranian government

We act for the Ukrainian government in relation to a variety of commercial disputes.

Defending architecture copyright infringement

Our lawyers successfully represented and defended an architectural firm against a copyright infringement claim by the building's original architect.

Heir to a publishing fortune

Withers represented one of the heirs to a publishing fortune in a case arising out of a dispute with his children over the administration of various family trusts. Withers successfully resolved the dispute through alternative dispute resolution in California avoiding a costly court battle and prolonged family discord.

Mistaken identity in personal injury case

Withers worked to successfully dismiss an action filed in California against a Japanese citizen in the United States. The action mistakenly named the citizen in a U.S. personal injury matter, although the intended party was a person of the same name.

An elderly client in California

Withers helped an elderly client defeat aggressive efforts by her daughter to force her to endure a medical examination or submit to a guardian ad litem. Withers is often asked to zealously represent parties in California elder abuse actions in a variety of scenarios, including both those situations where the older person is still alive or is deceased.

Complex dispute with a financial consulting firm

Withers represented an individual in a dispute involving a successful limited liability company that provided global financial consulting and advisory services. Withers successfully avoided a public lawsuit and negotiated a successful resolution. This complex matter involved parties in the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Belize.

Individual lender based in Russian Federation

Withers successfully obtained judgment against a debtor based in California on behalf of an individual lender based in the Russian Federation. The debtor, a prominent dance event organizer, failed to repay funds lent to him to further his dance business.

Heirs to pharmaceutical company fortune

Represented heirs to the fortune from a pharmaceutical company in a dispute concerning control of the family office and competing claims of breach of fiduciary duty. After completing all pre-trial discovery and motion practice, Withers successfully negotiated a settlement for the heirs without the need for a costly and public trial in California state court.

Litigation against former business partner in Vietnam

Represented the court-appointed administrator of an estate in litigation against the decedent’s former business partner in Vietnam. We brought a derivative action on behalf of an entity the decedent co-owned with his business partner, obtained a preliminary ruling transferring half a million dollars from the entity to the estate, and ultimately settled the case.

Trust beneficiary

Represented a trust beneficiary who obtained a million dollar judgment and an award of attorney’s fees against a trustee who breached her fiduciary duties in the administration of a family trust.

Designated beneficiary of a retirement account

Represented the designated beneficiary of a retirement account and obtained summary judgment defeating the claim of an adverse party seeking a portion of the retirement account.

Private professional fiduciaries

In several different matters, successfully defended private professional fiduciaries against claims of alleged breach of fiduciary duty.

Elder abuse claims

Obtained dismissal of elder abuse claim by dispositive motion without the need for discovery or trial.

Conservatorship petition

Obtained dismissal of a conservatorship petition without the need for discovery or trial.

Litigation with five Italian banks

We are representing five Italian banks in a jurisdictional challenge to the English courts based on the place where payment had to be made under a confirmed letter of credit.

Litigation advisor to Ukranian government

We act for the Ukrainian government in relation to a variety of commercial disputes.

£30m dispute for Ukranian businessman

A prominent Ukrainian businessman instructed us to represent him in a complex £30 million dispute involving breach of contract, misrepresentations and fraud allegations.

Ecuador v Colombia ICJ case

Our litigation team acted in Ecuador v Colombia (Aerial Herbicide Spraying) Counsel of Colombia, in an ICJ case involving issues of international environmental law.

Italian Brazilian speedboat case

Our client was an Italian company which supplied customised speedboats for use by the Brazilian Police Force. We represented our client in the recovery of a debt owed by a Brazilian company involved in the transaction.

National basketball team

Represented a national basketball team in defending federal claims. The case successfully resolved with full dismissal of claims against the team.

Foreign-based seller of NY property

Represented a foreign-based seller of NY property, whose lawyer stole the proceeds of the sale. In addition to partial recovery from the Lawyers' Fund, we were able to recover a substantial amount of the uncovered losses.

Potential claim by the Italian State on the ownership of a Roman marble relief

We acted for the trustees of an estate in advising on a potential claim by the Italian State to the ownership of a Roman era fragment marble relief. The relief was purchased in the 1960s in Switzerland and passed to the state following the death of the purchaser. Having been put up for sale by the trustees, it was spotted at an art fair as being linked to a number of other reliefs that had been seized by the Italian authorities having been illegally excavated in the early 2000s. Withers assisted the trustees in bringing about the restitution of the relief to Italy.

Saudi Arabian contemporary artist in a claim against an auction house and a Dubai based gallery

We represented one of Saudi Arabia's leading contemporary artists in a multi-jurisdictional claim against an auction house and a Dubai based gallery. The claim derived from the unauthorized selling of one of the artist's own artworks by the Dubai gallery at an auction. The matter was successfully settled.

Television content distribution rights and contracts

Our attorneys represented companies in the cable and satellite television industry in disputes concerning television content distribution rights and contracts.

Outside general counsel for luxury brand

Represented luxury brand as outside general counsel in all areas of employment including counseling, compliance with employment laws, leave-related issues, terminations, and defending discrimination actions.

US consumer goods company

Represented a US consumer goods company in advertising compliance issues.

The return of artworks to the estate of a renowned European artist

We represented the estate of a renowned European contemporary artist in seeking to bring about the return of numerous artworks that had not been returned by a German gallery following the artist's death in the mid-2000s.

Global enforcement of a £450million English court judgment

Leading the global enforcement strategy on behalf of Mrs Akhmedova for the enforcement of a financial order of the English family court worth £450 million over various luxury assets and bank accounts located around the world, including Marshall Island, Dubai, Isle of Man, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Russia and England.

Acting in recognition and enforcement proceedings in the DIFC and Dubai local courts

When the defendant took his £350 million mega yacht to Dubai, Withers used the DIFC Court as a conduit through which to get an order for enforcement from the Dubai local courts. The case was heard by both the DIFC Court of Appeal and the Joint Judicial Committee.

Piercing the corporate veil of a Liechtenstein corporate cipher

Withers achieved a rare success by successfully piercing the corporate veil of a Liechtenstein company set up as a sham by the judgment debtor for the purposes of hiding assets.

Hacking claim

We acted for a party whose confidential and commercially sensitive information was unlawfully obtained by an unknown party. We advised on steps taken to expose the wrongdoers and in relation to a potential conspiracy claim.

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