Henry Forbes Smith practices commercial litigation and arbitration. He is recommended by Chambers & Partners (Banking & Finance: Band 4) and Legal 500 (Banking & Finance: Band 4 and Civil Fraud: Band 3). He is a member of the New York and New Zealand bars and before coming to the Bar practised New York law for four years with Davis Polk, advising on international capital markets and M&A transactions.
He acts both with and without a leader, and recently appeared as sole counsel in a five-day trial in the Commercial Court concerning close-out under the ISDA Master Agreement (2014). He appeared as junior counsel in Lomas v. Firth Rixson (2012), a leading authority on the ISDA Master Agreement, and in Berezovsky v. Abramovich (2011) and Patarkatsishvili (2012), where he was responsible for Russian law. He has particular experience with jurisdiction, choice of law and foreign law, has litigated numerous cases under Russian law as well as under French, German, Swiss, Swedish and US law, and has advised on disputes before tribunals in Singapore, Switzerland, Jersey, the BVI and the US as well as England. He also serves as arbitrator.
“A former capital markets lawyer at a New York firm, who is well-versed in a variety of securities and derivative transactions.” (Chambers and Partners, 2015, banking & finance)
“He is particularly well regarded for his experience in disputes concerning Russian law.” (Chambers and Partners, 2015, banking & finance)
“A must-have on your side in disputes involving Russia.” (Legal 500, 2014, 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’s solid, responsive and cerebral.” (Chambers and Partners, 2015, banking & finance)
“He’s extremely intelligent, very thoughtful, hard-working, and, in a word, meticulous.” (Chambers and Partners, 2014, banking & finance)
“Extremely bright and thorough.” (Legal 500, 2014, civil fraud)
“The ‘highly intelligent and dedicated’ Henry Forbes Smith is praised for his concise drafting style and his work on the recent glut of derivatives mis-selling cases.” (Chambers and Partners, 2013, banking & finance)
"An efficient drafter," Henry Forbes Smith demonstrates "exceptional legal knowledge and lateral thinking." (Chambers and Partners, 2012, banking & finance)
"assiduous and exceptionally hardworking." (Legal 500, 2011, civil fraud)
“good analytical mind.” (Legal 500, 2012, civil fraud)
"one of the finest legal minds of his generation." (Legal 500, 2010, civil fraud)
"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 at the bar')