UK law firm, Shepherd and Wedderburn has announced its hire of top flight international arbitration lawyers.

Jane Wessel and Claire Stockford, from US firm Crowell & Moring both join as partners in the firm’s Commercial Dispute Resolution team in London, adding to the firm’s broad expertise in antitrust litigation both on the defence and claimant side.

The appointments are the latest in a series of high profile hires: five months ago, construction expert Gareth Parry’s appointment was quickly followed by that of telecoms guru, Gordon Moir who joined the Regulations and Markets practice, working out of the London and Edinburgh offices. The firm also made two internal partner promotions in 2014 and saw an injection of 18 new partners in October when it acquired Tods Murray.

Wessel and Stockford bring with them a number of clients which includes Scandinavian Airlines/SAS Cargo, whom they are defending in contribution proceedings in the air cargo cartel damages litigation in the English High Court.

Over a 23 year period, Jane Wessel has amassed in-depth knowledge and wide experience of international commercial arbitration, appearing as counsel in arbitrations under the rules of most of the major international arbitration institutions in countries throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. Her experience spans a wide variety of legal issues, including contract interpretation, joint venture arrangements, anti-trust issues, licence agreements, intellectual property, and complex damages claims including competition damages claims.

Claire Stockford has represented investors in investment treaty arbitrations involving Turkey, Lithuania and Kazakhstan. She has also acted for clients in many commercial arbitrations conducted under both institutional (International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), London Court of Arbitration (LCIA), International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR)) and ad hoc rules in cases seated in London, Dublin, Geneva and Zurich. Claire's experience encompasses many different jurisdictions and industries, ranging from oil exploration to the luxury hotel market.

Wessel and Stockford also advise and represent clients in litigation in the courts and tribunals of England and Wales, with a particular focus on damages claims relating to cartel activity.  Jane is a US attorney and an English solicitor, Claire is a barrister and a Member of Gray’s Inn.

Shepherd and Wedderburn Chief Executive, Stephen Gibb stated:

“ Clients realise that the courts are not the only avenue for resolving commercial disputes and are increasingly turning to other more private and often specialised forms of arbitration.  Commercial arbitration is more widely used than ever, particularly in the context of international agreements.  Arbitration under investment treaties also provides clients with international investments the opportunity to recover damages. These (and other mechanisms for dispute resolution) require a thorough working knowledge of the substantive laws and procedures in multiple jurisdictions - in the UK, Hong Kong, India, the Middle East – indeed anywhere. So the appointment of Jane and Claire underlines our long-term strategy of ensuring that we have the capability to serve our clients wherever they do business. 

“The appointments enhance our position as a leading UK firm and further strengthen our highly successful commercial disputes resolution practice. The breadth and depth of experience and technical expertise that Jane and Claire possess will help us to quickly expand our international reach and depth of offering.”

Jane Wessel stated:

“Claire and I are absolutely delighted to be joining Shepherd and Wedderburn where we will have the opportunity to build a strong arbitration practice spanning the firm’s key sectors of energy and infrastructure. We are also excited to have the chance to use our commercial litigation experience, particularly in the area of competition damages where we have acted for both claimants and defendants — partners, John Schmidt and Guy Harvey have been doing some great work in this area, winning high profile complex cases and deservedly picking up many plaudits along the way ­­— we are really excited to be joining them.”