Memery Crystal Named ‘Dispute Resolution Team of the Year’ at the 2014 Legal Business Awards


At a glance

Memery Crystal was named “Dispute Resolution Team of the Year” at the Legal Business Awards 2014 for its resounding litigation success on behalf of Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited (“Gulf”). Presented on 13 February 2014 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, the award was also given to Jones Day for its work on behalf of co-defendant Texas Keystone.

The team successfully defended Gulf against a $1.65 billion claim brought by Excalibur Ventures LLC for an interest in Gulf’s four oil fields in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.  The strategy set by Memery Crystal and tactics developed and executed achieved an overwhelming victory dismissing all of Excalibur’s claims and recovery of very substantial costs.  The 57-day trial from October 2012 to March 2013 was the longest in the Commercial Court’s judicial year.

In detail

In addition to achieving complete success at trial, the team won a series of strategic victories which put Excalibur on the back foot from the start.

On 13 December 2013, the Court awarded indemnity costs of £17.5 million, a payment on account of the Defendants’ costs, and gave permission for Gulf to pursue Excalibur’s funders.

The Memery Crystal team was led by partner Harvey Rands and included partner Nicholas Scott and assistant solicitors Charlotte Whitaker, Peter Reynolds and Anne McMahon.

Harvey Rands commented: “I am very proud of the team’s hard word, ingenuity and determination in delivering this resounding victory for the client.  I am grateful for the client’s unswerving trust and confidence over more than 3 years of unrelenting litigation.

Now in its 17th year, the Legal Business Awards recognise outstanding legal firms, departments and individuals in 22 categories.  The Dispute Resolution Team of the Year Award is described as follows: “This category will feature the very best contentious lawyers in the country. From courtroom litigators to the finest arbitrators, the individuals and teams shortlisted will have shown, in one exceptional piece of work, the tenacity, initiative and skill that ensures clients remain one step ahead of their opponents.”

Memery Crystal is recognised as a leading firm for dispute resolution by Chambers UK and The Legal 500.  It has a wealth of experience in handling complex High Court litigation, and also appears regularly before English and foreign arbitral bodies including LCIA, ICC, ICSID, AAA, LMAA and WIPO.  Memery Crystal has specialist groups handling financial services and regulatory issues in the public and private markets (including FCA) for institutions and individuals, as well as disputes in the natural resources sector.

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Harvey Rands

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