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Very few firms can say they posted a 40 per cent rise in fee income last year, but one can.
PCB Litigation’s financial year ended in December, and while the total revenue of £1.7m might not have the magic circle quaking, the 40 per cent rise should make any litigators in the market sit up and take notice.
PCB was founded in 1979 by Steven Philippsohn, one of the best-known lawyers in the City in his area and an adviser to the UK Government on fraud.
The firm is very much a disputes boutique, one with a particular focus on asset recovery. And in the current climate its services have found a lot of takers.
“The recession’s meant that frauds that were submerged beforehand have now been revealed,” says PCB partner Anthony Reim. “There is ever-more pressure on companies to recover money and the absence of easy credit means they can’t just move on to the next deal. If something’s gone wrong they have to do something about it.”
Topping the list of PCB’s clients are Russian and Eastern European oligarchs.
“You have to understand the Eastern European market to get these instructions,” says Reim. “Our track record stretches back the late 1980s, when we worked on several major metals cases.”
The word-of-mouth PR that those cases generated led to PCB winning more work for oligarchs, including a current $1.5bn (£970m) dispute, as well as for state-controlled entities.
Another of the firm’s major clients stands out a little from the rest: Fashion TV (FTV).
“FTV is one of the five most distributed TV channels in the world,” says Reim. “It’s extremely successful.”
PCB has handled a number of matters for FTV, primarily asset recovery issues relating to franchising.
Elsewhere the firm is also acting for a group of Lloyds TSB shareholders on a dispute arising out of the merger with HBOS.
The majority of PCB’s work is outside the UK, something helped by its membership of Fraudnet, a global network of law firms.
Senior partner: Steven Philippsohn
Number of partners:Three
Number of equity partners:Two
Number of lawyers:Six
Number of fee-earners:Six
Number of offices:One
Main practice areas:Fraud, commercial litigation, international arbitration
Clients: Oligarchs, state-controlled entities, Fashion TV