Litigators follow court battles with fight for The Lawyer Awards

With only three weeks left until The Lawyer Awards, those shortlisted will surely be dusting off their tuxes and digging out best frocks in preparation. In the Litigation Team of the Year category, the battle for the top prize is fierce – but then the nominated firms are used to fighting their corner.

The shortlist this year is dominated by heavyweight oligarch battles and high-profile energy disputes.

Billionaire businessmen continue to use the High Court to air their grievances, as several entries show.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer won an $8bn battle for Deutsche Bank against Sebastian Holdings, owned by Norwegian multi-billionaire Andrew Vik, over trades that plummeted in value post-recession. Norton Rose Fulbright was instructed for Victor Dahdaleh in his defence of a corruption case brought by the Serious Fraud Office, which collapsed last December.

Meanwhile Hogan Lovells succeeded in winning a $23m freezing order against the assets of a former employee of Russian financial services provider Otkritie Group, and Stephenson Harwood triumphed in bringing to an end an eight-year dispute between Dmitry Skarga and Russian shipping monolith Sovcomflot.

Away from oligarchs, the $1.6bn battle over oilfields in Iraqi Kurdistan dominated headlines. The fight ended in a slam-dunk ruling in favour of Jones Day and Memery Crystal clients Texas and Gulf Keystone against Clifford Chance client Excalibur, which argued it was owed rights to exploit the oilfields.

Of course some cases are kept below the radar, as was the case with highly confidential arbitrations settled by Pinsent Masons and legacy Wragge & Co.

You’ll have to wait until 26 June to find out which firm has secured not only a win for its client, but also the Litigation Team of the Year title.

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