World’s Super Rich Choose English Courts To Settle Their Disputes – Chances For Contract Attorneys?!

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With the English justice system having the reputation of being the most incorruptible and equitable in the world, whether you agree with that statement or not, there have been more and more international disputes recently coming to London’s courts.

Cases such as Berezovsky v Abramovich, Cherney v Deripaska and JSC BTA bank v Ablyazov have shown an increasing trend of large-scale cases making use of dispute resolution provisions in foreign contracts that allow parties to litigate in London courts as opposed to their own. What this means for those contract attorneys and paralegals in London, who have been lucky enough to get onto those matters, is many months of lucrative work with the option of putting in as many hours as they desire. So let’s see if and how this affects the contract attorney and document review market.

International aspect – a multi-lingual’s paradise

With government statistics saying that 9 out of 10 commercial cases handled by London’s law firms have an international aspect to them, those contract attorneys who have the benefit of a second language will always be in higher demand. If you find yourself on one of these international document reviews, you may well discover that you are to be sent to the foreign jurisdiction at some point during the file. As and when this happens, check out Contract Attorney Central’s post as preparation before you leave: Help – My Employer Wants To Send Me Abroad Part 1 and Part 2

Cross-jurisdiction research

The benefit of working on a matter which is both massive and cross-jurisdictional is that the legal elements that come into play can often be more interesting and varied than a standard home-based case. Of course, the majority of the time as a contract attorney you will be required simply to be document reviewing and coding, however there should be many days also where you will be asked by your associates or partners to provide some research on, for example, disclosure and privilege rules in the foreign jurisdiction. Becoming your associate’s ‘go-to guy’ for research and other non-coding tasks will pay dividends at later stages of the matter.

The recent huge influx into London’s courts of these substantial matters has certainly helped the London contract attorney and document review market, to the extent that it has been providing long hours and steady security for longer projects. We at Contract Attorney Central say long may it continue!

What say you? Are those based in London unhappy that our courts are being turned over to foreign cases or are you just pleased for the extra input this puts into the market? Share your thoughts and tips with the contract attorney community. 

9 thoughts on “World’s Super Rich Choose English Courts To Settle Their Disputes – Chances For Contract Attorneys?!

  1. Hi my name is Lasha. I just read your article and I am actually working on a case of the super riches in London right now. I agree with what you are saying for language skills helping to get this contract attorney jobs. I am a Russian speaker and struggled to get work in London. Now I have a few projects to chose from because Russian is in demand. I am not unhapppy at all about this cases all coming to London and hope that my experience will look good when I return home in a few years time.
    I like your blog and you speak a lot of truth!

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  2. Thank you very much for your kind comment Lasha – really appreciated. It’s good to hear that you are in high demand because of your skill set. We here at Contract Attorney Central hope you will reach your aims in the contract attorney world it will help your resume upon your return back home.

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  3. Interesting take on the super rich jurisdiction topic which seems all over the press at the moment.

    Volatile times for document reviewing contract attorneys – increase of cases possible based on super riches matter but at same time Judge Peck and Co going all predictive coding…. Not sure what is happening in future – need to make my own get out of the contract attorney world I guess. Oh man.

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  4. Have lived and worked all over the world, including London.

    Arbitration London has been a popular choice for a long time and wives suing for a settlement has frequently opted for UK courts as well.

    Interesting to note that the super rich are now even more keen on going through UK courts.

    What Lasha says makes sense. Berezovsky v Abramovich for instance both live in London.

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    • Thank you very much for your comment Catarina – it is very much appreciated. London has certainly become a preferred choice for ‘super rich divorce proceedings’ and increasingly attracts international arbitrations. Interesting times to see if London eventually become urns into a kind of global legal hub for high value cases.

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    • Hi Jeannette, yes indeed we are predominantly based in London and have been able to benefit from the various contracts that have arisen thanks to this explosion in London-based lit work. Things remain pretty sticky right now, but if one can manage to get onto a big (Russian?) case, then you can be pretty stable for a good few months, with a great income coming in at the same time. The trade-off, unfortunately, is the time that you have to sacrifice in order to earn that income, but I guess that’s life, right? The harder I work the luckier I get…

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  5. Surely, this has always been the case (historically), and it makes sense considering that most international trade and / or cross-jurisdictional contracts tend to opt for English Law & Courts as a matter of course; and I’ve personally worked enough years in the relevant practice areas (both contentious and non-contentious), and a number of jurisdictions to be able to say that the venue of choice in Europe, and indeed the world, tends to be E&W.

    Having said that, from a strategy point of view, and depending on the nature of the case, there’s been some degree of forum shopping, I agree, this past decade or so but this is something which increasingly is frowned upon (in Europe in particular) AND still, for complex international / commercial matters, there are few jurisdictions out there able to rival London. Slightly different perhaps when talking about arbitration to which someone alludes in the comments above.

    As a concluding remark, great job on this and good, and always, interesting to read your, and the views of the various contributors – keep up the good work.

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