Commercial Litigation, Arbitration, Regulatory Investigations & White Collar Defence Law
We are a unique firm. Our unrivalled blend of expertise, agility and culture means we have the flexibility to meet our clients’ most challenging demands and adapt to the changing world around us. Clients come to us for high stakes, cross-border disputes and investigations, where strategic advice and sound judgement is essential. Sitting alongside Macfarlanes’ top-ranked corporate and M&A and private client teams, we are experts in dispute resolution, with deep experience in commercial litigation or international arbitration in the UK and overseas under all major institutional rules.
We regularly represent clients before UK regulatory agencies, particularly financial and competition regulators. We undertake white collar criminal defence work and often advise corporates and individuals on their responses to multi-jurisdictional investigations. We have real credibility with the English judiciary and major regulatory and enforcement agencies, with partners who know and understand how regulators and prosecutors think and operate.
We are also market leaders for cases involving privately held businesses and wealthy families. Macfarlanes is the only City law firm with top-ranked private client and corporate practices. We are ranked in Chambers in the top tiers for financial crime and private wealth disputes for high-net-worth individuals. We offer a ‘complete’ service for advice in relation to civil and criminal law and arbitration practice. This makes our litigation team a natural choice for individual entrepreneurs, family offices, private clients and privately or closely held businesses when they face litigation. As lawyers, if your clients are true owners and stakeholders, you approach and manage litigation in a different way.
We have significant experience in taking on critical mandates for sovereign states and SOEs. We have acted on claims raising a diverse range of issues including state immunity, diplomatic immunity and the recognition of foreign government authorities.
We pair our local expertise with an international outlook. We regularly act in cross-border disputes and investigations, frequently partnering seamlessly with leading law firms around the world. Many of our partners have spent significant time seconded to prominent litigation teams at overseas law firms, giving us an international perspective on dispute resolution.
Recent work highlights
Highlights in our recent work which may be of particular interest to inward investors to the UK and the diplomatic community include the following:
- Acting for a sovereign state in a high-profile claim against a private bank seeking redress for a conspiracy to manipulate the value of a national currency. We acted as sole English Counsel in relation to coordinated proceedings in the UK, US and Middle East.
- Advising a private equity fund in relation to a £150 million claim for conspiracy, alleging that the fund had forced the sale at substantial undervalue of two leading UK fashion brands.
- Acting for an UHNW hospitality industry entrepreneur in relation to a £1 billion dispute regarding the future of one of the largest privately-owned hotel groups in the UK.
- Advising a high-profile individual in relation to the defence of a substantial group claim on the basis of State immunity.
- Advising a company in relation to its response to raids by the National Crime Agency, including a challenge to the legality of the underlying warrant issued by the English court pursuant to a request for Mutual Legal Assistance from the United States’ Department of Justice.
- Conducting a private prosecution on behalf of a UHNW individual for alleged contempt of court during allied civil proceedings.
For further advice and assistance please contact:
Matt McCahearty – Partner
Matt is head of the litigation and dispute resolution group. He advises global corporations and financial institutions in relation to their most significant and sensitive international disputes, investigations and enforcement matters, working with leading firms around the world to provide a comprehensive international strategy.
Chris Charlton – Partner
Chris specialises in complex commercial litigation and arbitration, particularly disputes regarding financial services and products, corporate and shareholder disputes, and insolvency issues. He is ranked as a ‘Next Generation Partner’ in the Legal 500. He acts for both individuals and corporate entities and has significant experience in issues relating to state and diplomatic immunities.
Lorna Emson – Partner
Lorna is a specialist white collar defence and criminal investigations lawyer, advising both individuals and corporates; she is experienced in a broad range of complex commercial litigation, with particular expertise in the overlap of civil and criminal proceedings.
20 Cursitor Street
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7831 9222
020 7993 4255