In the 2023 edition of The Legal 500 UK, WilmerHale is named a top-tier firm for international arbitration and is recommended in five other practice areas. The guide names five partners to its "Leading Lawyers" and “Hall of Fame” lists, one to its “Next Generation Partners” list, one counsel to its “Rising Stars” list and recognizes 10 of the firm's London-based lawyers overall.
In addition to the top-tier ranking, WilmerHale was recognized for:
- Fraud: White Collar Crime;
- Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime;
- Corporate and Commercial: Financial Services, Contentious;
- Public International Law; and
- TMT (technology, media and telecoms)—Intellectual Property: Patents
Partners Gary Born, Steven Finizio, Stephen Pollard, Franz Schwarz and Justin Watts were named as elite lawyers in their practices spanning six Legal 500 categories. Mr. Pollard was listed in Fraud: White Collar Crime; Corporate and Commercial: Financial Services, Contentious; and Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime. Mr. Born was listed in International Arbitration and Public International Law; Mr. Finizio and Mr. Schwarz in International Arbitration; and Mr. Watts in TMT—Intellectual Property. Charlie Caher was named a “Next Generation Partner” in International Arbitration, Justin Watts was named a “Leading Individual” in Intellectual Property: Patent and David Rundle was named a “Rising Star” in Financial Services: Contentious.
The below commentary from The Legal 500 UK highlights the WilmerHale lawyers recognized in the 2023 edition.
With an enviable track record of success in complex, high-stakes disputes, WilmerHale’s large London group, which is devoted exclusively to international arbitration and handles all its own advocacy, has ‘exceptional experience and knowledge in international investment disputes'. The international arbitration practice department is chaired by ‘brilliant advocate’ Gary Born, an international commercial arbitration and litigation specialist, whose track record includes acting as counsel in four of the largest ICC arbitrations, as well as several of the most significant ad hoc arbitrations in recent history. The practice also showcases Steven Finizio, who is highly focused on investment treaty and public international law issues; global vice-chair of the international arbitration practice Franz Schwarz; and energy, construction, telecoms, insurance, joint venture and M&A disputes expert Charlie Caher, who is 'recommended for anyone looking for an arbitration specialist.'
Public International Law
WilmerHale’s London PIL practice is particularly well known for its representation in matters involving territorial boundaries and sovereignty over territory, including significant state-to-state matters, intra-state disputes, and high-value investor-state claims. The group also fields experts in the PIL issues that arise within the national courts, which involve transnational litigation and enforcement issues. The firm’s international arbitration practice is chaired by Gary Born, who has heavyweight experience as lead counsel in PIL disputes, including several investor-state arbitrations; and co-chair of the London office Steven Finizio is also highly active in PIL and investment treaty work.
Fraud: White Collar Crime
WilmerHale represents an international client base in high-stakes white-collar and financial crime cases, including proceedings brought by the SFO, NCA, and police, as well as global enforcement agencies such as the US DOJ and SEC, benefitting from its strong US platform for multijurisdictional work. Stephen Pollard leads the team and has great experience in fraud and corruption cases on a global basis, acting for directors, high-level directors, and high-net-worth individuals. Other key names in the team include counsel David Rundle, who is dual US-qualified and handles insider dealing, market abuse and money laundering cases, and Lloyd Firth, who has seen success in SFO proceedings.
Corporate and Commercial: Financial Services, Contentious
WilmerHale hones its focus on the full suite of FCA-related enforcement actions, directing particular attention towards senior executives faced with regulatory exposure. Stephen Pollard leads the practice and has gathered notable insider trading, market abuse and internal investigation expertise throughout his illustrious 30-year career; he is supported by counsel David Rundle who is also well-versed before the SFO and PRA.
Regulatory Investigations and Corporate Crime
WilmerHale advises and represents corporates throughout high-stakes regulatory investigations and criminal proceedings brought by enforcement agencies, most notably the SFO. The firm acts for a combination of major domestic and international businesses, and handles the full range of financial crime cases, with practice head Stephen Pollard enjoying a strong reputation for financial services fraud, competition and cartel allegations, and market abuse proceedings.
TMT (technology, media and telecoms)—Intellectual Property: Patents
WilmerHale’s patent practice team fields 'an amazing and dedicated pool of talent who are able to provide the very best service in all aspects of complex technical patent litigation.' Collaborating closely with the firm's US counterparts, the London team comprises Trevor Cook, Matthew Shade, Anthony Trenton and Justin Watts, who are all adept at advising on high-profile, high-value FRAND and SEP litigation. Key sectors of expertise for the team include the pharmaceuticals, mobile phone technology, biotechnology product, semiconductor, and aviation engineering industries.
The Legal 500 recommends law firms and individuals based purely on merit. Researchers surveyed and interviewed more than 250,000 corporate counsel and clients over the course of 12 months. The list of WilmerHale's rankings, including commentary, can be viewed on The Legal 500 website.