Hogan Lovells takes $2bn oligarch battle mandate

Multi-billion dollar commercial court cases are the preserve of only a handful elite City firms.

When a firm is disbarred from a battle, as White & Case was just a few weeks ago, the lawyer options for the litigating party may well be limited.

The US firm lost its place in the $2bn case for Ukrainian industrialist Victor Pinchuk because the High Court ruled there was potential for conflicts. The US firm had acted for the defendants in the case on separate matters in the US.

With White & Case out of the picture, the hunt was on for a replacement heavyweight litigator with the capability to drive the mammoth case forward. Step forward Hogan Lovells partners Chris Hardman and Michael Davison.

The last time Hardman was in the news he was breaking new ground in the pursuit of Kazakh billionaire Mukhtar Ablyazov for client BTA Bank. The case failed to reach its substantive six-month court outing but not before the firm obtained judgments worth $2.1bn against the former BTA Bank chairman.

The Pinchuk trial is shaping up to be a showdown of similar proportions. Hogan Lovells will take on Freshfields when the case finally gets to court.

Grab the popcorn, this will be one to watch.

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