Herbert Smith

Position: First

Important cases at the Court of Appeal from October 1999-July 2000: Gillatt v Sky TV – Herbert Smith acted for Sky TV. The case determined that the value of shares in a private company are determined by an independent chartered accountant and there was no question of breaking down the process in this case to establish the value.

Somatra v Sinclair Roche & Temperley – Herbert Smith acted for Somatra. The case refers to the admissibility of evidence.

Percentage contribution of litigation to overall turnover: 25-30 per cent.

Number of litigation partners: 46 in London, 58 worldwide.

Main competitors as percieved by the firm: Clifford Chance and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Then Allen & Overy, Linklaters & Alliance and Lovells.

Group head: Harry Anderson.

Recommended partners: Christa Band, David Gold, Ted Greeno, Paula Hodges, Campbell McLachlan, David Natali and Charles Plant.

Preferred counsel/chambers: Mark Barnes QC, Richard Field QC and Jeffery Onions QC (all of One Essex Court), Lord Goldsmith QC (Fountain Court), Philip Heslop QC (4 Stone Buildings), David Richards QC (Erskine Chambers) and David Unwin QC (7 Stone Buildings).

Clients: Vodafone, BSkyB and the Royal & SunAlliance.

Notes: Herbert Smith has consistently been ranked as the leading UK firm for commercial litigation, and is particularly recommended when cost is not an issue and the case requires an entire team.

The firm does a large amount of interlocutory work itself, including the drafting of defences.

The litigation department is constantly expanding and taking on more international work. There are nine litigation partners in Hong Kong, one in Bangkok and two in Paris. There is a dispute resolution capability in Singapore and Tokyo and the firm has an alliance with German firm Gleiss Lutz, which also has a strong litigation practice.