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HFW

Complex Environments

Specialist legal advice and support in complex and hostile environments

Our team handle major incidents and disputes for underwriters and their assureds in hostile and complex environments globally. This includes matters arising from casualties, war, terrorism, political risks, kidnappings, hijackings, extortions, drug seizures, unlawful detention of people and property, and other challenging events.

What we do in Complex Environments

The team provides legal advice on immediate frontline crisis management, assembling the required expertise and project managing the response. Through our agile, original approach, our incident resolution strategy blueprints have become industry standard (contact Richard Neylon for more information).

The Complex Environments team provides legal advice in relation to:

  • Major Incident Crisis Response
  • Kidnapping and Unlawful Detention
  • Hijacking and Piracy
  • Ransom Payments (all forms)
  • Extortion and Product Tampering
  • War, Terrorism and Political Risk
  • Unlawful killing and Active Shooter
  • Drug Seizures and Smuggling
  • Sabotage, Blockade and Civil Commotion
  • Evacuation
  • Confiscation and Expropriation
  • Reputation Management

We provide effective solutions to help manage and resolve major incidents in challenging regions. We mitigate potential liabilities and work with clients through the life cycle of a major event. A key work stream is preserving and taking evidence, backed by legal privilege, so that we are best placed to deal with the litigation that often ensues after a major incident. The team consists of experienced commercial litigators with a particular focus on dealing with complex, multi-jurisdictional disputes.

Our experience

  • The team has supported clients with creative problem solving recently in major incidents in Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Bangladesh, Brazil, Benin, Bulgaria, Egypt, Ecuador, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Mexico, Libya, Nigeria, Philippines, Somalia, Syria, Togo, Ukraine and Yemen, making use of contacts in governments, the military, private military and security, financial institutions, regulatory and intelligence agencies.
  • Over the last 15 years, the team has helped to secure the release of over 1,800 hostages and billions of dollars’ worth of property, bringing the team unparalleled experience in all forms of resolution strategy and ransom payment. Richard Neylon, who heads the Complex Environment team, is recognised as a leading lawyer globally in this field.
  • The team is trusted by many of the world's leading insurance companies and their assureds to handle and respond to major incidents which, in some cases, pose an existential threat to the assured's business and reputation.
  • The team is regularly used for urgent Court applications such as preventative injunctions, freezing injunctions, production orders and anti-suit injunctions.
  • The team has won international accolades, including recognition by the United Nations Security Council, for its pro bono work securing the release of forgotten hostages (see Richard Neylon's profile for more details).

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