Litigation and arbitration

Our central aim is to defend the interests of businesses, successful individuals and brands, and we do not shy away from taking on major institutions to achieve that, pursuing it swiftly and aggressively where necessary. Some of our cases make headlines, but we know that for many of our clients, private resolution is the best option.

Commercial disputes are often complex and require coordination between different jurisdictions, laws and regulatory regimes. With more than 150 litigation and arbitration lawyers spread across the world’s key dispute resolution centers from New York to Singapore, we work together as a single team to help you to protect your interests globally. This includes pragmatic advice on where and how to bring your case. ‘It’s essential to get your choice of law and jurisdiction right, and to weigh the pros and cons of litigation and arbitration very carefully,’ says Peter Wood, CEO of the firm’s dispute resolution division.

Experience to solve all your disputes

Whilst we are experienced in almost all areas of commercial litigation, we also offer a number of specific teams, including handling tax controversy, reputation management, professional negligence and litigation within the worlds of art and sport. We recently worked with our employment team to represent a principal co-defendant in a £15 million dispute with Marathon Asset Management. When our client left the hedge fund to join a new business, he took files with him from the business. Marathon claimed for damages due to the loss of this information, but the High Court decided to reject Marathon’s argument and awarded nominal damages of £1 per defendant, as well as ordering Marathon to pay towards our client’s costs. This fantastic result for our client was widely reported, and the case was listed as one of The Lawyer’s Top 20 disputes of 2016.

Our US litigation team has an outstanding record. With wide experience across a range of commercial and personal matters, we pursue settlements, litigation, trials and appeals aggressively, with an excellent success rate. We recognize that a quick settlement is often the most desirable outcome in business and ‘that is almost always our first course of action, but, when it becomes appropriate, we pursue litigation aggressively and have the trial and appellate experience to achieve successful results,’ comments Dean Nicyper, head of our US litigation and arbitration team.

Arbitration

Arbitration is also central to what we do and we have a current portfolio of arbitration matters worth in the region of $1 billion. We have pioneered the use of arbitration and mediation for different types of commercial disputes and many of our team speak, publish and lecture in this field. Where court is the best option, our track record shows we litigate hard but fairly and have a strong reputation among our peers and with judges. With arbitration lawyers based in the US, Europe and Asia we are well placed to handle complex and cross border issues.

Should you need help covering the costs of your dispute, we will advise on various options for litigation funding. These include commercial investment, insurance and conditional fee agreements.

For further help or information

Get in touch

Russian businessman living and working in Russia held to be domiciled in England for court jurisdictional purposes


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Recognition

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 international arbitration

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

Clients

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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
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We have always valued the excellent level of service that the firm has provided. The efficient way they handle a number of our more complex insurance claims is indeed commendable.

Alex Salikin - First Insurance
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The team’s expertise was fundamentally important to us in resolving negotiations with the Inland 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
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We have dealt with Anpa and his team in Singapore for a number of years and their advice and service delivery has always been first class.

Charlie Neo, Manager - EQ Insurance
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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
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Very good grasp of the rather obscure facts surrounding our case and dissecting [our opponent’s] smokescreen defence (in relation to a financial mis-selling claim).

Professional services individual
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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
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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
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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

Meet the team

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How the litigation and arbitration 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.

UK-Czech Republic UNCITRAL arbitration

Our client is a leading assistive technology company in an expropriation dispute with the Czech Republic under the UK-Czech Republic bilateral investment treaty. We are representing the Claimant as counsel and advocates in an UNCITRAL arbitration, which is administered by the ICSID Secretariat.

Taking Google case to the European Court of Human Rights

In a case which will drive the online publication of defamatory content, we have brought a claim for our client in the European Court of Human Rights. Google did not remove anonymous defamatory remarks about our client, despite being notified, and we have progressed the claim to the ECHR having pursued a remedy against Google in the English courts.

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.

Belarus $1.6m business dispute

In a complex international dispute involving one of the oldest multi-sectorial brands in Belarus (our client), we defended a $1.6m claim brought by a Ukranian-owned company, relating to company officers' authority to conclude contracts.

£5 million LIBOR claim against major bank

The LIBOR scandal resulted in losses for many businesses, and we have brought a £5 million plus claim against a major UK bank on behalf of the former directors and owners of a group of companies. The companies suffered losses from interest rate hedging products which were missold to them.

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.

Prominent Russian Family

We advised a prominent Russian family on establishing international private wealth holding structures in Switzerland, US, UK, Italy and Cyprus.

A prominent Russian businessman

Successful representation of a prominent Russian businessman and officials in highly complex and interrelated committal, bankruptcy and Commercial Court proceedings.

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.

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