Debevoise replaces Reed Smith in Supreme Court bout

Debevoise & Plimpton has replaced Reed Smith as the litigation management team for power plant Ust-Kamenogorsk Hydropower Plant, with Peter Goldsmith QC instructed in the company’s Supreme Court battle.

At the Court of Appeal (CoA) the litigant turned to Reed Smith partner Gautam Bhattachrayya, who instructed Matrix Chambers’ Antony White QC.

When the appeal was lost, however, Herbert Smith Freehills was brought in to lead the campaign to get the case before the Supreme Court. Partner Matthew Weiniger instructed in-house advocate Murray Rosen QC to lead the permission to appeal hearing and the case was accepted.

Goldsmith will now lead the advocacy, having been instructed to work with Debevoise partner Sophie Lamb in the case, which concernts the workings of arbitration clauses.

A five-strong judicial panel, chaired by Supreme Court justice Lord Neuberger, will oversee the one-day hearing on 1 May.

The respondent, AES Ust-Kamenogorsk Hydropower Plant, has also altered it’s legal line-up after the CoA counsel instructed by Allen & Overy partner Richard Smith, Bernard Eder QC, was promoted to the High Court bench.

The firm has now turned to Eder’s former setmate, Essex Court Chambers’ Toby Landau QC, to lead its case.

The case will be closely followed by the international arbitration and litigation community as it will decide the scope of the courts’ jurisdiction to grant declaratory and injunctive relief in support of an arbitration agreement in circumstances where there is no arbitration in existence or contemplation.

For more on legal line-up changes at the Supreme Court this month see The Litigation Blog.