The inaugural In-House Counsel Litigation Conference, sponsored by Stewarts, took place at the Law Society on 22 May 2018, with over 80 in-house lawyers with responsibilities for contentious matters in attendance.

Former Supreme Court judge The Rt Hon Lord Anthony Clarke chaired the conference and delivered the key note address titled “The View from the Court” where he discussed current and future trends and challenges affecting litigation in England.

Speakers included leading in-house practitioners, judges, partners from Magic Circle and US firms, eminent barristers, and other industry participants giving a rounded perspective on the key issues and best practice.

A summary of each panel session can be found below (please use the headings to link through to the full summary articles).

  • Where to start when managing complex disputes
    • The first panel session was chaired by Anthony Peto QC of Blackstone Chambers – The panel focused on addressing the key challenges facing corporates when managing complex disputes. In doing so, it offered warnings, cautionary tales and pragmatic solutions when faced with a potential dispute.
  • Group litigation
    • The discussion on Group Litigation was chaired by Adam Johnson QC of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP – The panel covered three key items: The current position – where we are and how we got here?; Challenges in group litigation cases; and Issues for the future – how do we see the area developing?
  • Managing data in litigation
    • Jonathan Holmes (Partner, Forensic Sciences, PwC) chaired this panel – The theme of this panel was the issues in-house legal teams need to consider in preparation for and during the litigation process, including the challenges arising from the sheer volume of electronically stored information, capturing data retained on obsolete devices, and the preservation of metadata.
  • Preserving value through litigation
    • The panel consisted of practitioners from a wide range of backgrounds, and was chaired by Ben Rigby, Editor in Chief of Commercial Dispute Resolution – The four main points of discussion were: creating value, demonstrating value, understanding value and recognising value.
  • Brexit update: Impact on cross border disputes
    • The Brexit panel was chaired Sir Christopher Bellamy QC (Chairman of Linklaters’ Global Competition Practice) – The key topic for discussion was how future cross-border disputes will be resolved once the UK’s exit from the EU becomes a reality, on the assumption that a new trade agreement will be negotiated.
  • De-risking litigation spend
    • The panel on de-risking litigation spend was chaired by Julian Chamberlayne, Partner and Head of KM and Compliance, Stewarts – The panel covered the key considerations when assessing prospective claims, followed by views in relation to funding options for three case studies.
  • Investigations
    • This panel was chaired by Mo Bhaskaran, Partner in Commercial Litigation at Stewarts – The panel took a look at the challenges businesses have when faced with an investigation and explored the range of investigations in-house counsel might encounter: internal-only, external, reactive (for example, in response to a whistleblower), and proactive (for example, as part of issues identified during due diligence prior to a corporate transaction).
  • Reputational risk and opportunity 
    • Chaired by Robert Ivens, a consultant for Peerpoint, the panel was drawn together from a variety of backgrounds making for a particularly interesting and practical discussion – The panel covered the importance of reputation, how to mitigate the risk of reputational damage, the importance of picking the right battles and more.



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For more information on any of the topics discussed at the conference, please contact Antonia Jeliazkova.


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