Key Experience

Commercial disputes

  • We act for a substantial number of European institutional investors in the Tesco securities litigation in the English Courts.
  • We act for 16 European institutional investors who purchased nearly EUR 275 million of constant proportion debt obligation notes arranged by the London Branch of ABN Amro, and rated AAA by Standard & Poor’s.
  • We represented European bulk shipping entities in London seated LMAA proceedings regarding payment obligations arising from the supply and delivery of bunkers.
  • We provided strategic advice to an AIM-listed company in relation to an arbitration between joint venture partners in respect of the operation of a shale gas project in Eastern Europe.

 

Read more about our Commercial Litigation team here.

 

Media Disputes

  • We provide strategic advice in relation to copyright, design, passing off, and trade mark infringement, including in relation to media and e-commerce.
  • We act in TV format rights disputes.
  • We represent clients in copyright infringement disputes relating to, in particular, photographs, audio-visual content, designs, graphics, music, literary works, and software.
  • We advise clients upon branding and reputational issues, including relating to breaches of confidence, privacy, trade secrets, defamation, malicious falsehoods, and negligent misstatements.
  • We deal with issues relating to data breaches and court claims relating to these.
  • We conduct cases for clients regarding regulatory matters.
  • We act on relevant breach of contract disputes.

 

Read more about our Media Disputes team here.

 

Fraud and Financial Crime

  • We are advising an overseas public authority on investigations and recovery action worth hundreds of millions against a number of financial institutions and advisors in a number of European jurisdictions including Switzerland, Luxembourg and Russia. 
  • We are advising a Turkish training provider in relation to £15m allegations of fraud and dishonesty by an overseas public body. Acting for Turkish Govt in High Court proceedings in London in multi-million $ claim.
  • We are acting for Palladyne (headquartered in Amsterdam) in $1bn claim against the Libyan Investment Authority (action in Cayman Islands) involving potential breaches of EU Sanctions against Libya.

 

Read more about our Fraud team here and our Financial Crime team here.

 

Competition Litigation

  • We currently act for Vattenfall, a Swedish state-owned entity which is a major energy producer and retailer in Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, the UK and Sweden. Vattenfall instructed Stewarts to bring proceedings in England in order to recover all of its European losses caused by an unlawful, multi-year power cables cartel.
  • We represent a group of claimants in actions against MasterCard concerning the unlawful/ excessive charging of interchange fees. The case affects MasterCard’s global model for credit and debit cards and, as such, has attracted immense scrutiny around the world by competition regulators.

 

Read more about our Competition Litigation team here.

 

Aviation

  • We are representing Dutch, British, Malaysian and South African families of victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which was shot down over Ukraine in Eastern Europe. In addition to calculation and resolution of claims under a variety of European damage laws as against Malaysia Airlines, we continue to fight for justice for families against those responsible for the shooting down through political avenues as well as international and domestic court processes.
  • We represented a large number of families of victims of Air France Flight 447 which disappeared over the Atlantic in June 2009. The passengers onboard Flight AF447 came from over 30 different countries, many European, and compensation was calculated and negotiated in accordance with those countries as well as French and in some cases, Brazilian law.

 

Read more about our Aviation team here.

 

International Injury

  • We acted for a UK national who suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of a road traffic accident in France. The Court of Appeal gave a landmark judgment in what is thought to be the first decision, Europe-wide, that enables claimants in the English Courts to adduce a full range of expert evidence to demonstrate the life-long consequences of their injury even though their claim is subject to an overseas applicable law that would be more restrictive of the evidence. This approach significantly increases the chances of them recovering fuller compensation than if pursuing the same claim in the courts of the country where the accident occurred.
  • We act for Terry Madden, a world renowned first Assistant Director, who suffered career ending leg injuries whilst filming a scene for the Bond film Spectre in Austria.
  • We act for a UK national who suffered a very severe traumatic brain injury and multiple orthopaedic injuries as a result of an accident at work on a building site in Germany. The claim is being pursued in England against English and German based defendants. Jurisdiction and applicable law are likely to be contested.
  • We have acted for numerous clients who have sustained life-changing injuries in adventure sports and expeditions, including to remote parts of Europe.
  • We successfully pursued a claim to trial for Emma Moore, who sustained a spinal cord injury in a snowmobile accident during a skiing trip in Italy. The trial involved Italian law evidence from Professor Marco Bona concerning liability for hazardous activities, but was ultimately determined under English law against the package holiday provider of the ski trip.
  • We act for a UK national who sustained who suffered serious injuries in a motorcycling accident in Spain, resulting in lower limb amputation. The claim is being brought in the English High Court, but with Spanish law determining the assessment of damages. We secured significant interim payments within months of being instructed and can draw on our previous experience and expertise in assessing damages under a foreign law to maximise the damages our client will receive.

 

Read more about our International Injury team here.

 

Divorce and Family

  • We have particular expertise in cases with an international element since many of our clients have connections to multiple jurisdictions. In international cases, family situations often develop that require immediate and urgent action; knowledge, experience and the ability to act swiftly can often be critical to the outcome of a case. Our large and vastly experienced team, of whom six partners are fellows of the International Academy of Family Lawyers, is ideally placed to deal with the most complex of cases, whether these involve the resolution of financial claims on divorce, the international relocation of children, applications to the English Court for financial settlement following divorce proceedings overseas, or jurisdiction disputes. We offer a fast turnaround and a supportive approach to our clients, irrespective of where they are based. We have an extensive global network, and work closely with our affiliates across the globe with speed and efficiency, with the aim of achieving the best possible outcome for our clients.
  • We have been acting for HRH Louis, Prince of Luxembourg, in English divorce and financial remedy proceedings.  The press interest in the case resulted in our client making a successful application for a reporting restrictions order.  The judgment is now a leading authority on privacy issues in Family Law cases, read full judgment here. The financial remedy proceedings have now also been concluded and the judgment published.  The case included issues of nuptial settlements and the beneficial ownership of the matrimonial home.
  • We act for the wife in a high value (£500m+) financial remedy case involving a plethora of important legal issues (foreign matrimonial property regimes, trust interests, company valuations, “special contribution” and Italian law). Our client was awarded at first instance one of the highest recorded English divorce settlements. The case will now be heard in the Court of Appeal in June 2019 and is likely to become the leading case on special contribution. This is also an important case on the right to anonymity in family cases at first instance and in the Court of Appeal, our client having made successful applications at both levels for reporting restrictions orders, read in full here and here.
  • We acted for the successful party in a leading case as to the appropriate forum for divorce proceedings, involving a Swiss husband (our client), who is the heir to his father’s fortune, and an English wife.  The case was decided by Mr Justice Moor in May 2017 but the decision was only published in July 2018. The case had an interesting factual matrix whereby the parties to a 20 year marriage had lived in Switzerland for the last decade but the wife issued divorce proceedings in London relying on England being her domicile of origin. Our client was able to issue proceedings in Switzerland reliant on his nationality.  Moor J’s judgment set out 11 principal reasons why Switzerland was the more appropriate forum, notwithstanding the fact that the wife would almost certainly receive permission from the Swiss court to relocate to England with her Swiss son. The case is a useful reminder of the options available (depending on the competing jurisdiction) under English domestic law to defend against forum shopping: Husband’s successful application shows that forum shopping can be resisted.
  • We are increasingly involved in cases with a Russian element. By way of example, we recently acted for the husband in the case of Zimina v Zimin in which the Court of Appeal allowed our client’s appeal against an order made by a Family Division judge that he should pay his wife a lump sum even though a Russian court had previously made a consent order following Russian divorce proceedings. The case was widely reported in the mainstream and legal press: Lump sum orders under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 (Zimina v Zimin).
  • On the non-contentious side, we regularly act for parties entering into marital agreements to protect their assets in the event of relationship breakdown. For global families either based in or with connections to the UK, it will often be sensible to put in place pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements in different countries. We have the requisite expertise to advise on how to implement these agreements, taking into consideration the impact of any country-specific laws and where necessary co-ordinating with lawyers in other jurisdictions with whom we have long-standing and strategic partnerships. Our aim is to protect our clients’ property and interests wherever they are located and ensure that future litigation can be avoided. This is a particularly developing area as a result of European legislation and the impact of Brexit. The lawyers in our team are at the forefront of developments in this field, and are therefore ideally placed to advise.

 

Read more about our Divorce and Family team here.

 

If you require assistance, please contact us or request a call from one of our lawyers.

Meet the Europe team

Our team has great experience dealing with disputes in Europe. 

We are highly ranked in the UK by Chambers and The Legal 500.

Julian Chamberlayne, Partner, Head of International Injury, Stewarts