Commercial litigation

Our market-leading commercial litigation department acts on a wide range of disputes for corporates, individuals and other commercial clients. We have a long-established track record of handling the most significant and complex cases. 

Our clients value our ability to handle any commercial dispute and to deliver unparalleled service in terms of quality and efficiency.
  • Profile
  • Experience
  • Key contacts
We advise clients in every major industry and sector, ranging from multinational corporations, financial institutions, large and medium sized companies, professionals and trustees to governments, charities, high net worth individuals and their corporate interests. 

We offer commercially focused and practical solutions for complex disputes, often assisting clients with interests that cross industries, geographic locations and jurisdictions.

We regularly advise on disputes relating to commercial contracts, trade finance, corporate transactions and governance, joint-ventures, partnerships and shareholder disputes.

We also handle potentially contentious aspects of major corporate and financial transactions, political, cyber threat and sanctions issues as well as disputes involving fraud and injunctions, asset tracing and enforcement strategies. 

We have litigation experts in every office who work with each other regularly, so our local lawyers can put together an international team quickly and efficiently.  

Our experience means we can anticipate and prevent issues before they arise. We are also trusted to act quickly and effectively whenever urgent action is required. 

"A premier pick for commercial litigation, Stephenson Harwood is recommended for handling large, complex, bet-the-company cases."

The Legal 500 UK 2017


In one of the largest disputes of the past decade, the ongoing multi-faceted Tchenguiz litigation, we have achieved a series of victories including securing jurisdiction against Kaupthing Bank Hf and a successful judicial review challenge against the SFO.

Rangers FC restructuring

Acting for the liquidators in relation to all aspects of the liquidation of the most successful domestic football club in the world, including high-profile and high-value litigation in England and Scotland.

Accolade Wines

Acted for Accolade Wines Limited in major dispute in relation to the defective/negligent design and construction of the largest wine production, storage and distribution facility in the UK. 

Big four accountancy firm

Acting for one of the big four accountancy firms in relation to claims of alleged negligent advice made by a commercial client against our client and a major city law firm.

Collapse of Arch-Cru funds

Acted for SPL Guernsey ICC Ltd regarding the collapse of the Arch Cru funds and the related litigation both in the UK and Guernsey including claims against the managers, directors, administrators and auditors.

Mobil v PDVSA

Successfully discharged $12bn freezing order and brought related damages claims arising out of ICSID and ICC arbitrations between a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil and the Venezuelan state oil company.

Samuel Tak Lee

Acting for a Hong Kong tycoon defending a claim to his Tokyo commercial property portfolio, and winning on appeal in the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal.  

ETI v Bolivia and Entel

Successfully discharging freezing order before the English Commercial Court and Court of Appeal in telecoms investment treaty dispute under ICSID arbitration rules involving issues of state immunity.

First Media 

Acting for an Indonesian media listco in proceedings to set aside enforcement orders made by the Hong Kong High Court in respect of Singapore arbitration awards obtained by the Malaysian conglomerate Astro.  

Probate litigation 

Acting in a probate action concerning the multi-billion dollar estate of a well-known Hong Kong entrepreneur, including testamentary capacity in the context of dementia and an application to appoint an administrator pendente lite.

Rovine Chandrasekera Managing partner of the Dubai office

T:  +971 4 407 3901
M:  +971 55 899 3951 Email Rovine | Vcard Office:  Dubai


John Fordham Partner

T:  +44 20 7809 2300
M:  +44 7909 925 436 Email John | Vcard Office:  London


Malcolm Kemp Partner

T:  +852 2533 2701
M:  +852 9485 9376 Email Malcolm | Vcard Office:  Hong Kong


Durai Shunmugam Consultant

T:  +65 6226 1600
M:  Email Durai | Vcard Office:  Singapore

Latest news & insights

05 Oct 2018

From Insights

Stepping in or over-stepping?

The Court has recently been called upon to consider the validity of the purported appointment of administrators over the issuer of notes by a noteholder purporting to ..


26 Sep 2018

From Insights

FRC v Sports Direct

In what "is believed to be the first application of its type to have reached the courts", Arnold J in Financial Reporting Council Limited v Sports Direct International..


29 Jan 2018

From News

Ros Prince named in The Lawyer's Hot 100

Stephenson Harwood partner Ros Prince, co-head of the firm's fraud and asset tracing team, has been named in The Lawyer's Hot 100 - litigation list.


21 Dec 2017

From News

Stephenson Harwood partner Louis Flannery to be appointed Queen's Counsel

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has announced that Louis Flannery, partner and head of the firm's international arbitration group, will be appointed Queen's Counsel at..


16 May 2017

From Insights

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A less prescriptive approach, but a greater compliance burden?


02 May 2017

From News

Stephenson Harwood strengthens practice in China

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has strengthened its ship finance and commercial litigation practices in Shanghai with the addition of partner ‎Vincent Xu and the relo..


01 Nov 2016

From News

Stephenson Harwood recruits heavyweight shipping litigator Ed Newitt to its Dubai office

Law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP has strengthened its Middle East shipping and insurance litigation practice with the addition of Ed Newitt as a partner in its Dubai of..


12 Jul 2016

From Insights

A guide to commercial litigation: a step by step approach

Our guide provides an outline of the different stages in court proceedings in England and Wales and sets out some of the options available to those involved in litigat..


03 May 2016

From News

Stephenson Harwood boosts commercial litigation practice with two new partner hires

International law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP today announces the appointment of two new partners in its commercial litigation practice. Jenny McKeown and Helena Berma..


27 Apr 2016

From News

Stephenson Harwood confirms nine promotions to partnership

International law firm Stephenson Harwood LLP today announces its largest ever number of internal promotions to the partnership.


28 Mar 2016

From Insights

European shareholder actions - 5 key points to consider

Large corporations are facing increased scrutiny as a result of the growth in group litigation, particularly claims by shareholders and bondholders, seeking damages fo..


02 Feb 2016

From News

Stephenson Harwood boosts its contentious and non-contentious trade finance practice in Hong Kong

Stephenson Harwood has appointed partners King Tak Fung and Ivan Ng from Eversheds in Hong Kong. They have been joined by a further five associates.


15 Jan 2016

From News

Stephenson Harwood advises client on dispute with Lidl

Stephenson Harwood Partner Andrew Myers and associate Lucy Swayne are advising Generator, a specialist in mixed-use development, on a high court claim against German s..


25 Nov 2015

From Insights

Bankruptcy provision held unconstitutional by the CFA

On 5 November 2015, the Court of Final Appeal held unanimously that s30A(10(a) of the Bankruptcy Ordinance (Cap. 6) was unconstitutional.


23 Nov 2015

From Insights

Yung Kee – the end of a saga

On 11 November 2015, the Court of Final Appeal unanimously decided that it is just and equitable to make a winding up order against Yung Kee Holdings Limited (incorpor..


09 Nov 2015

From Insights

Modern Slavery Act 2015 – s.54 in force and long-awaited guidance provided

Tony Woodcock and Richard McGarry comment on the Modern Slavery Act 2015


© Stephenson Harwood LLP 2016. Any reference to Stephenson Harwood in this document means Stephenson Harwood LLP and/or its affiliated undertakings. Any reference to a partner is used to refer to a member of Stephenson Harwood LLP.