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Top 100 International Private Client Litigation Lawyers 2023

The Top 100 International Private Client Litigation Lawyers 2023 is a research-led list highlighting the ‘need to know’ litigation lawyers in the wealth management and private client industries.

So who do trustees turn to when litigation arrives on their doorstep or on the other side of the coin when families or entrepreneurs are no longer happy with their advice or service? Citywealth conducted a research programme over several months to create a Top 100 private client litigator list fit for purpose. One of the key questions asked was: who has impressed you most during current or past litigations? Their answers have revealed a list of peer recommended litigators who have negotiated with the toughest opponents, through the hardest circumstances and with very little on their side but brains, lateral thinking and a will to win.

American style litigation comes to Europe

Citywealth believes that 2023 is the year that American litigation culture hits Europe, however what must be pointed out to the casual observer here though is that litigations, despite sometimes, requiring a formidable approach, can take years to resolve and as one wise New York lawyer once said “running out of money is sometimes the best way to bring a long running dispute to an end”. The research on this list and their cases will reveal just such a situation with one case taking 40 years and counting (20 years to reach the first conclusion and 20 more years to re-fight it), however as even the best arbitrators and mediators in the world have also said “sometimes everyone needs litigation.” This may mean that a case is 90% agreed, but one point cannot be agreed upon. Litigation is a tried and trusted method that has its place in the world even with the most agreeable and mild-mannered lawyer or client.

We hope you find this curation, as exciting as we do. It is a well-considered one, the list is dealing with top of the world cases including Royal families, government bodies and persons of interest accused of fraud. Everyone appearing here is a Citywealth ‘Magic Circle’ selection.

As well as surveying this list, we ask you, if you use or know these lawyers or barristers to let us learn more by leaving a review on their page to tell us about your experiences and rate them on fees; technical expertise; interpersonal and communication skills. But, if choosing a lawyer from this selection, keep in mind, as one of our respondents said “I don’t think there is any lawyer or barrister who is the right choice for every type of case” which underlines the need to be realistic in your expectations:, realise it is risk taking, needs financing, but also that sometimes in life and business there is little choice but to protect your position, even if the cookie, in the end, doesn’t crumble your way.

Our Top 100 International Private Client Litigation Lawyers 2023 is based on independent research conducted by Citywealth.

Please be aware that you need to buy a marketing licence and consequently receive Citywealth’s written consent in order to be able to share, mention or quote from this List, as per our Editorial Products – Terms & Conditions.

Congratulations to our Top 100 International Private Client Litigation Lawyers 2023!

Paul Levy


Why should a client select you as their litigator?

My goal as an advisor has always been to combine technical expertise on the one hand with emotional intelligence and the very best client-skills on the other. Clients in private wealth centred disputes need both things. I also believe that the best private client litigators have to be – in the best sense – generalists. The cases that cross my desk touch on the widest range of issues: not just the obvious (trust law, succession rules, tax and so on) but also corporate and commercial matters, procedural and tactical questions etc. Guiding clients through this complexity with absolute clarity is my goal.

Simon Franckel

Franckel Law

Why should a client select you as their litigator?

We do a significant amount of work with disputes and litigation involving complex high value trusts. You hope to contribute expertise and experience in aspects of law and strategy, but it is also crucial to the proper representation of your client to have at the forefront of your mind that you are dealing with important and delicate family relationships. 

Michael Nueber

Gasser Partner Attorneys at Law

Why should a client select you as their litigator?

It is my greatest asset to combine professional expertise with an academic background. This combination helps me develop tailor-made solutions for my clients and regularly gives me a certain edge over the opposing counsel. Furthermore, I’m the type of lawyer, who - instead of firing all of the “ammunition” at once - carefully considers all circumstances in order to determine whether litigious proceedings will lead to the result desired by the client or whether out-of-court-negotiations (e.g., by the way of mediation) are more likely to lead to success.

Sebastian Auer

Gasser Partner Attorneys at Law

Why should a client select you as their litigator?

Most of my work consists in international cross-border disputes. This enables me to deal with parties in various jurisdictions, various cultural backgrounds, and very diverse expectations in how a case is handled and how results are achieved. It requires a lot of coordination work and this – alongside working together with professionals from all over the world, is what I enjoy most in my work. For me it’s about providing bespoke solutions for my demanding clients. I put quite some effort in providing the client with options, elaborating on the pros and cons of each option. The key is to think outside the box and go the extra mile, if it benefits the client.

Claire-Marie Cornford

Irwin Mitchell

Why should a client select you as their litigator?

I am ranked as a leading lawyer for high net worth private wealth disputes. I am described as "a fantastic inspirer of confidence in clients and a very canny litigator" and “highly experienced in [contentious trust and probate] disputes. She knows this area of law backwards and fights very hard for her client” and again “a strong litigator and someone you would like to have on your side”. I believe that can be my pitch: you want me on your side!

Paula Myers

Irwin Mitchell

Why should a client select you as their litigator?

I have a straight talking, commercial approach to cases and can identify quickly what the nub of the case is. I can be considered as a respected solicitor and feared opponent. People say that " I have the clout to take on the biggest and toughest, and win her client a great result, generating extraordinarily high levels of client loyalty and satisfaction."

Samantha Ewing

Irwin Mitchell

Why should a client select you as their litigator?

I advise and assist clients in resolving will and estate disputes. This includes claims concerning the validity of a will, due to a lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, lack of knowledge and approval as well as due execution or original drafting issues.

I advise on claims for reasonable financial provision from estates as well as disputes between executors and beneficiaries or executors themselves concerning the administration of an estate. I also have a great deal of experience in conducting successful mediations for clients.

Bonnie Lynn Chmil

Katten Muchin Rosenman

Why should a client select you as their litigator?

In fiduciary and private client litigation, we do our best to present quick and practical favourable resolutions to disputes. Doing so not only serves our clients well, but also enhances Katten’s reputation as having a successful international private wealth practice. Case in point: we are advising a client in a global estate contest involving hundreds of millions of dollars being played out in several US states and several Latin American and European countries. Despite the complicated tax and conflicts of laws issues between warring heirs, we have been able to bring the US issues to a resolution faster than the Latin American and European issues have advanced. That put us in the best position to broker a global settlement among all involved parties and spotlight our exceptional capabilities to not only our own client and her global advisors but also to the adverse party and his global advisors as well.

Joshua Rubenstein

Katten Muchin Rosenman

Why should a client select you as their litigator?

Katten’s Private Wealth practice is known for going the extra mile to deliver exceptional service to our clients and one example is our representation of two heirs of a multibillion-dollar estate involved in lawsuits not only in multiple states in the US, but also in another country. What significantly complicates this international matter further is that this case involves malpractice by prior counsel and potentially presents radically different results depending upon which law controls which issues. As we routinely do with our matters, we think outside the box and have an innate ability to create sophisticated solutions and that is especially important and valuable when handling cases that cannot be easily resolved. In this particular instance, we have come up with novel arguments to attempt to mitigate billions of dollars of damages when trust money clearly intended for our clients were inadvertently diverted from them through prior counsel’s malpractice.

Marco Cerrato

Maisto e Associati

Why should a client select you as their litigator?

With 30 years’ experience, I have developed extensive experience in tax litigation and tax disputes’ resolutions through settlements, arbitration and mutual assistance procedures as well as regularisation procedures. I am recognised as a leader in the industry by international and domestic directories and I am frequently a chair or speaker in the most prominent conferences in the field. I go above and beyond for my clients, combining an in-depth technical understanding with proven relationship skills.

Elliott Phillips

Signature Litigation

Why should a client select you as their litigator?

Contentious trusts disputes are, by their very nature, personal human disputes, which require not only a strong intellect but a diverse skill set including a high level of emotional intelligence in order to deliver positive outcomes for a range of clients with different needs at often some of the most difficult times in their lives. I have acted in very high value trust disputes in the Channel Islands, the British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean and Gibraltar. Each dispute has presented very different challenges but all have required very well considered litigation strategies often with cross border elements. My dual background in politics and law provides me with a significant platform and experience to drive consensus across complex disputes whilst balancing the finer detail of the case against the wider picture.

Prateek Swaika

Boies Schiller Flexner

Mark Lindley

Boodle Hatfield 

Duncan Elson

Charles Russell Speechlys

Graeme Kleiner

Charles Russell Speechlys

Pierre-Jean Douvier

CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats

Sam Williams

Collas Crill LLP

Gregory J. Weinig

Connolly Gallagher LLP

James Gleeson

Dickinson Gleeson

Martin Jones

Ferbrache Farrell

Brian Gilchrist

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Elaine Chen

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Gideon Koren

Gideon Koren & Co.

Gary Ashford

Harbottle & Lewis

Richard Norridge

Herbert Smith Freehills

Kevin So

Karas - Mishcon de Reya

Ryan Mowat

Kingsley Napley 

Rupert Ticehurst

Maurice Turnor Gardner

Simon Goldring

Maurice Turnor Gardner

Nicholas Holland

McDermott Will & Emery

Shira Shine

Michael Shine & Partners

Peter Steen

Mishcon de Reya

Yves Klein

Monfrini Bitton Klein

Matthew R. Clark

Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell

Mladen Stojiljković

Nater Dallafior

Jessica Henson

Payne Hicks Beach

Michael Cash

Pennington Manches

Tim Amos

Queen Elizabeth Building

Christian Girod

Schellenberg Wittmer

Andrew Wilkinson

Shakespeare Martineau

Adam F. Streisand

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton

Jenny McKeown

Stephenson Harwood

James Lister

Stevens & Bolton

Neil McLarnon

Travers Thorp Alberga

Robert Ham

Wilberforce Chambers

Tom Roscoe

Wilberforce Chambers

Neil Long

Womble Bond Dickinson