Peters & Peters

The battle for the ownership of Liverpool FC was one of the most watched cases of 2010, thrusting Peters & Peters into the limelight once again.

Keith Oliver
Keith Oliver

Managing ­partner Keith Oliver and partner Jonathan Tickner were instructed by the club’s former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett to fight off a High Court bid by RBS to have the club’s board reconstituted.

The pair were unsuccessful, but for a nine-partner firm to be involved on such a high-profile case shows its quality as a litigation boutique.

It is not a standalone highlight for Peters & Peters. Earlier this year partner Michael O’Kane acted for Iain Burns, one of four British Airways executives accused of price-fixing by the OFT. The case ­collapsed in May after it emerged that the OFT had not ­properly reviewed documents relating to the case.

When it was launched in 1938 the firm focused on commercial law and white-collar crime. In the 1960s it expanded into property work, but at the end of the 1980s refocused on its core white-collar crime ­practice. It is a practice area that has expanded in the past 15 years, taking the firm into areas such as specialist litigation, fraud and extradition work.

“There’s been a massive change in the past 15 years,” confirms Oliver. “About 70 per cent of new instructions are on the claimant side.”

Alongside the nine partners sit three ­barristers.

“It’s not an advocacy unit as such,” explains Oliver. “Our barristers spend a lot of time preparing papers and skeleton arguments. We can provide bright, young barristers with international experience.”

The firm picks up instructions from its peers in the City that are conflicted, which is how Oliver and Tickner came to advise Hicks and Gillett. Meanwhile, the current crackdown on fraud means it is well-placed to benefit in the economic downturn.

Managing partner:Keith Oliver

Turnover: £8m

Number of partners:Nine

Number of equity partners:Five

Number of lawyers:23

Number of fee-earners:34

Number of offices:One

Location: London

Main practice areas:Antitrust and corruption, cartels, commercial fraud ­litigation, extradition, fraud and regulatory litigation, mutual legal assistance

Key clients:Department of Health/NHS, governments, high-net-worth individuals, multinational companies