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Litigation & Corporate Risk

We work with clients across a variety of industries, ranging from the world's leading investment banks and FTSE 100 companies, to governments and high profile individuals.

Given the volatile and unfamiliar situations in which disputes can often occur, we give fast and commercial legal advice, presented to you in a clear and understandable way.

With a practice of over 175 lawyers, we have the resources to handle the most complex matters in both the domestic and international market. The flexibility of our international network ensures that we create the appropriate team for each assignment, tailoring our approach to suit your requirements.

We advise, at an early stage, on how to avoid getting into disputes. In situations that do become contentious, we have the experience and depth of knowledge to manage and resolve your cases efficiently and effectively with as little disruption and cost to your business as possible.

We are advocates of, and regularly use, alternative dispute resolution methods including mediation, expert determination, adjudication and bespoke processes. In situations when litigation or arbitration are the right course of action, we will defend your case vigorously.

NATIONAL GRID CASE STUDY

We have been awarded Competition Team of Year at The Lawyer Awards 2015 for our work on a complex, multi-party cartel damages claim for National Grid.

Teamwork, tenacity and a refusal to accept ‘how things are done’ helped us to pursue one of England’s largest cartel damages claims.

Read the full case study >

In January 2007 the European Commission ruled that the companies that supplied it with a major component of its power substations had been operating a cartel. National Grid Electricity Transmission plc asked us to claim follow-on damages in the English courts to recover losses plus interest from those involved in the cartel.

The case began in November 2008 with a claim for £275m, making it the biggest action of its kind in England.

THE CHALLENGE:

The European Commission ruled that a cartel existed, but decided nothing about its impact on National Grid. We needed to show that the illegal behaviour caused losses for our client, and also that it hadn’t simply passed these on to its customers through higher prices.

THE APPROACH:

It was clear from the beginning that we would have to test many issues in court, and show initiative to get the right outcome for our client.

Along the way, our team established several ground-breaking rulings in the courts; three were particularly important, and set precedents for similar cases:

  • The defendants applied to have our claim struck out or stayed. Outcome: BLP challenged the assumption that the claim could not proceed and the High Court ruled in National Grid’s favour deciding that its action should continue.
  • BLP challenged the assumption of the confidentially of leniency documents and applied for disclosure of the documents. Outcome: We won a ruling that granted National Grid disclosure of the cartels leniency documents.
    NB: this case had an important influence on the forthcoming EU Damages Directive which now sets down express rules on the disclosure of leniency documents
  • French defendants argued that they should not give disclosure in English courts due to the French Blocking Statute. Outcome: BLP challenged the assumption and won an important Court of Appeal ruling in National Grid's favour; the defendants were forced to disclose information to National Grid.

THE RESULT:

Our client's claim was settled in 2014, just before the trial was due to start.

Beyond the court rulings and the outcome we obtained for our client, this case has sparked a very open debate on significant points of legal process. In particular, the ruling on the disclosure of leniency material has had an important influence on the forthcoming EU Damages Directive.

Read the full case study >

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Latest examples of work

    • icon of power

      Antitrust & Competition

      We successfully represented National Grid in one of the leading follow-on damages actions in the High Court. The claim sought £275 million damages against 22 defendants across 6 countries. National Grid claimed damages due to overcharges made by the cartelists who supplied National Grid with Gas Insulated Switchgear, a major component for power substations. This case has obtained a string of ground-breaking rulings on important procedural and legal issues in the UK & EU courts including the use of the French Blocking Statute and disclosure of leniency material.

    • icon of bank

      Banking Litigation

      We successfully represented Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in The Supreme Court. The Court upheld CBN’s appeal that defendants alleged to be dishonest assisters in a breach of trust, or knowing recipients of trust assets, are entitled to plead a statutory limitation defence. BLP’s success has brought clarity to an issue which has been the subject of conflicting case law for almost a century, and has far reaching implications for future corruption and fraud cases.

    • icon of investigations

      Corporate Crime & Investigations

      Acting for HSBC Private Bank (UK) Limited in a US$300m case brought by two former customers concerning a delay in processing payment instructions. This landmark case focussed on the position of banks and their staff when reporting suspicions of money laundering and the extent to which banks can refuse to disclose the names of individuals that had suspicions on the grounds of relevance and/or Public Interest Immunity.

    • image of business blue building - BLP has recently been advising the Bakrie family and other Indonesian shareholders in Bumi plc in relation to an internal investigation in Indonesia conducted by Bumi plc

      Corporate & Commercial Disputes

      Advising shareholders of an Indonesian conglomerate in relation to an internal investigation, a Takeover Panel (TOP) investigation and hearings concerning concert party issues as well as ancillary litigation in the English Courts.

    • icon of data protection

      Data protection

      Acting for one of the construction companies involved in the “construction industry blacklisting” case. The case involves issues of data protection law in an employment context, and the matter has also been subject to separate Parliamentary hearings.

    • image of finance tax building - Engaged by a series of financial institutions to advise and represent the institution or senior approved persons in relation to the multi-jurisdictional investigations

      Financial Regulation

      Engaged by a series of financial institutions to advise and represent the institution or senior approved persons in relation to the multi-jurisdictional investigations into suspected manipulation of LIBOR and other benchmark lending rates. The investigation involves a number of the world’s leading banks and stretches across the US, UK, Japan and other jurisdictions.

    • icon of factory

      International Arbitration

      Advised the Bulgarian subsidiary of a large energy corporation in connection with a dispute with a contractor tasked to design and build a lignite-fired power plant in Bulgaria. The matter ran for over four years and involves seven expert disciplines as well as numerous fact witnesses.

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