Reed Smith brochure 2021/22

Global Commercial Disputes

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As one of the largest global disputes firms in London, and ranked in the elite GAR 30**, commercial disputes are at the heart of what we do, working with clients such as Bauer Media, PwC, and ITV. Whatever issue our clients encounter – whether involving complex provision of services, interpretation of contract terms, fraud or fiduciary duty issues, or claims concerning the structure, governance, or operation of companies and other entities – we are on hand to provide experienced, strategic, and commercial

What do you do? I am an associate in our Global Commercial Disputes group. Like most of our associates, I have a fairly broad commercial practice, but have developed a particular expertise in insurance recovery disputes and international arbitration. One of the parts of my work that I enjoy the most (and what keeps it interesting) are the range of clients and industry sectors. The insurance recovery work (broadly, complex insurance claims) involves a range of sectors and types of insurance policies. I have active cases in the marine, retail and leisure sectors, but historically have also advised clients in the financial and energy sectors. My commercial arbitration cases are equally diverse and I am currently involved in advising clients in the pharmaceutical and defence/security sectors. I am also involved in a range of commercial cases including high value negligence claims against both individuals and manufacturing companies. Why did you choose global commercial disputes? My family would say it is because I am argumentative, but I have always been attracted to contentious work. In one sense, the role is complex-problem solving – ensuring that your put your client’s claim (or defence) forward in the strongest way possible to achieve the best overall outcome for the client (whether through settlement or success at trial). The other element of the work necessarily involves a love of the law and its impact on the strength of the client’s position. I chose GCD because the team encourages all associates, particularly at the junior and mid- level, to develop a broad practice area. Having exposure to a broad range of disputes and clients keeps the day-to-day work varied and interesting, and also enables one to draw on a wide-range of experience when advising clients on their position.

What does your group offer a trainee? GCD is a large group and covers a broad range of contentious work. There are a number of opportunities for trainees which will enable you to get a flavour of some of the types of work the department does – including regulatory (and other) investigations, international arbitration, commercial litigation and insurance recovery. As a trainee, you will be encouraged to take on work from partners and associates other than your direct supervisor.

Some of the main trainee tasks, including preparing accurate hearing/application bundles, drafting correspondence and legal research, form the foundations of the strong legal skills that are expected of litigators. As a trainee you will also get the opportunity to attend client meetings and (depending on the stage of cases you are working on) hearings (which have been virtual since early 2020 but we are seeing a return to in-person hearings).


advice, in the context of their business. Our sector-focused approach combines

Next generation law Reed Smith 7 ” hard work Everyone’s is really recognised.

industry-specific knowledge with our strong disputes and tactical experience to deliver creative solutions and powerful results. Should the situation be time-sensitive, we have significant understanding of acting in emergency situations, including obtaining preemptive remedies such as injunctions and asset-tracing orders, as well as extensive assistance with coordination of multi-jurisdictional litigation.

Catherine Lewis Associate

6 Reed Smith Next generation law

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