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Data: HFW Top Firm For Highest-Value English Court Litigation

22 February 2024

Independent data reveals that HFW acted on more of the highest-value cases in the English Courts in 2023 than any other law firm.

HFW advised on four of the 10 highest-value cases to be heard in the English Courts last year – no other law acted on more than three.

The data, from litigation analytics platform Solomonic, also shows that HFW was one of only two law firms to be involved in more than 30 “higher value” claims in the English Courts in 2023, and that it had the third-highest average claim value of any law firm during that period, at £80 million – more than 100-times the market average, of £750,000.

Solomonic described HFW in its report as a “respected heavyweight”.

Separate independent data also shows that HFW handled more commercial litigation in the English Commercial Court than any other law firm over the past nine years.

HFW acted on 74 commercial litigation cases in the Commercial Court between 2015 and 2023 – equivalent to more than one in every 12 cases heard in the Court during that period.

In total, almost 500 law firms acted on commercial litigation in the Commercial Court between those dates. Other than HFW, just 17 had more than 20 cases and only two had more than 50, according to The Lawyer’s Litigation Tracker, which records cases and judgments in English courts.

RankLaw FirmCases% Share
2Clyde & Co717.5%
3Stephenson Harwood555.8%
4Reed Smith46
5Hill Dickinson363.8%
6 =Hogan Lovells323.4%
6 =Herbert Smith Freehills32
8 =Allen & Overy30
8 = Norton Rose Fulbright303.2%
10 =Mishcon de Reya283%
10 =Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer283%
12 =Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan272.9%
12 =Clifford Chance272.9%
15Addleshaw Goddard212.2%
Source: The Lawyer Litigation Tracker

Damian Honey and Brian Perrott, Co-Heads of Commercial Disputes, EMEA, HFW:

“We are pleased to see our position as one of the market’s top litigation practices reinforced by independent data. While HFW is best known for its sector focus in aerospace, commodities, construction, energy, insurance, and shipping, we are at our core a disputes firm, with contentious work accounting for around 70% of our entire business globally. We pride ourselves on our experience and expertise as commercial litigators, and frequently appear on behalf of clients in court – in England and around the world.”

HFW has more than 450 disputes lawyers across the Americas, Europe the Middle East, and Asia Pacific, specialising in high-value, complex, multi-party and multi-jurisdictional disputes, with a particular focus on commercial litigation, fraud and asset recovery, insolvency, investigations, and enforcement actions.

The firm has continued to strengthen its global disputes practice with senior hires across its international network, including in Australia and Hong Kong, and launched in the British Virgin Islands in 2022 with the acquisition of a leading disputes team. It is now uniquely positioned among global law firms to assist clients with litigation in every major international disputes hub, including London, Hong Kong, Shanghai and the BVI.

HFW is ranked as one of the UK’s top commercial disputes practices by the Times, which noted that the firm “is regularly instructed on complex and high-value matters”.

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