DEPARTMENT PROFILE

Allen & Overy LLP

Dispute Resolution

5 ranked lawyersBand 3AustraliaAsia-Pacific 2021 View ranking table

Chambers Review

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What the team is known for

Australian arm of a renowned international disputes practice, focused on superior court litigation, international arbitration and contentious regulatory issues, regularly instructed by blue-chip players in the energy and resources and financial services industries, and acknowledged as a go-to practice for bet-the-company matters. Further singled out for global reach, consistent excellence at all levels of the well-integrated team and particular strength in the handling of energy and resources-related disputes in Western Australia, notably including those subject to arbitration. Additionally active on white-collar issues and the representation of individual executives.

Strengths

The fact that this team is backed by "key individuals located in offices throughout the world," enabling it "to properly resource and manage larger disputes," is noted by more than one interviewee. One source particularly emphasises that "seamless coordination between the Australian and the international offices" represents "a truly united legal front."

Clients are also quick to praise the practice's maintenance of a consistent focus on essential issues. One notes that the fact that its "approach to matters is more targeted and concentrated on areas of key importance," combined with its "use of smaller, skilled teams," helps "deliver better value outcomes for a business." Another succinctly observes: "We were impressed that they could distinguish the real issues from the fee-generating rabbit-holes."

Work highlights

Acted successfully for Watkins Holdings entities in investment arbitration award enforcement proceedings against the Kingdom of Spain in the Federal Court. The judgment, relating to the Spanish government's expropriation of the clients' investments in Spain's renewable energy sector, represents only the third time that an investment arbitration award has been enforced in Australia.

Notable practitioners

David Jenaway focuses principally on disputes in the energy and resources and construction spheres, being both an accomplished litigator and increasingly involved in arbitration mandates. One client calls him "a first-class litigator who can quickly ascertain the legal strengths and weaknesses of issues from a complex web of facts," while another says: "He is committed to representing you; you feel that he has worked tirelessly to understand the matter and that he will respond with an intelligent and reasoned approach."

Consultant John Samaha offers over 25 years' litigation experience, the benefits of which he continues to apply to mandates in the regulatory space and financial services sector.

Practice head Mark van Brakel enjoys a prominent reputation as a litigator who brings "very good judgement and a clear idea of overall strategy and what the client is trying to achieve" to disputes which often arise from Western Australia's energy and resources sector. He is also attracting increasing market attention as "a very gifted arbitration specialist." A client who has seen him perform in both roles says: "He provides a very steady hand, is always very careful and deliberate when considering difficult problems, and has the ability to break down complex issues and make them easier to understand."

Michael Shepherd is described by sources not only as "a go-to civil litigator with tons of experience," but also as one with "a high reputation for handling complex litigation" and valuable "multi-jurisdictional litigation experience." His wide-ranging expertise embraces, among others, the financial services, infrastructure and resources sectors and is often applied in regulatory or class action mandates.

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Ranked Lawyers

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Australia

Dispute Resolution


David Jenaway
Up and Coming
John Samaha
Band 5
Mark van Brakel
Band 4
Michael Shepherd
Band 5

Dispute Resolution: Arbitration


Mark van Brakel
Band 1