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Practice Summary

Henry Forbes Smith practices international commercial litigation and arbitration. He is recommended by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500. Henry is also admitted in New Zealand (1997) and New York (2001), and practised New York law as a capital markets lawyer with Davis Polk before coming to the bar in 2005. He acted in Lomas, the leading case on the ISDA Master Agreement. Henry has a doctorate in the conflict of laws and is often instructed specifically to advise on jurisdiction or on the presentation of foreign law, including civil law. He has been responsible for the presentation of Russian law in many of the major Russian cases in recent years, including Berezovsky v. Abramovich. Henry also has a substantial arbitration practice including under LCIA, ICC, SIAC, ICDR, UNCITRAL rules. He also sits Arbitrator.

He is a great cross-examiner and a very clever guy.” (Chambers and Partners, 2017)

inventive, prepared to run difficult arguments” (Chambers & Partners, 2016).

He's excellent on questions of jurisdiction” (Chambers and Partners, 2016)

A first-class draftsman and analyst when it comes to complex jurisdiction points” (Legal 500, 2015)

He’s solid, responsive and cerebral.” (Chambers and Partners, 2015, Banking & Finance)

He’s a very impressive individual in terms of his knowledge of the law and his thoroughness. He works well with QCs providing them with the ammunition to fight cases.” (Chambers and Partners, 2015, Banking & Finance)

“He is particularly well regarded for his experience in disputes concerning Russian law.” (Chambers and Partners, 2015)

A must-have on your side in disputes involving Russia.” (Legal 500, 2014)

He’s extremely intelligent, very thoughtful, hard-working, and, in a word, meticulous.” (Chambers and Partners, 2014)

Extremely bright and thorough” (Legal 500, 2014, Fraud: Civil)

highly intelligent and dedicated” (Chambers and Partners, 2013, Banking & Finance)

"exceptional legal knowledge and lateral thinking." (Chambers and Partners, 2012)

assiduous and exceptionally hardworking." (Legal 500, 2011, Fraud: Civil)

"one of the finest legal minds of his generation." (Legal 500, 2010)

"a fantastic lawyer, very focused, incredibly clever, ferociously hard working and very analytical" (featured on the cover of Legal Week, 2009, as a ‘future star of the bar’).