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Practice Summary

Henry Forbes Smith practices commercial litigation and international commercial arbitration. He acts both with and without a leader, and is recommended by Chambers & Partners (Banking & Finance) and Legal 500 (Banking & Finance and Civil Fraud).

Henry has extensive experience with large multijurisdictional disputes, in which he has been commended as “excellent on questions of jurisdiction” (2016, Chambers and Partners). He has broad knowledge of comparative law, and is frequently involved with the presentation of foreign law. He has a PhD on the Conflict of Public Laws.

Henry has been involved with most of the major Russian cases in recent years, including Berezovsky v. Abramovich, and is said to be “A must-have on your side in disputes involving Russia” (2014, Legal 500) and to be “particularly well regarded for his experience in disputes concerning Russian law.” (Chambers and Partners, 2015)

Henry practised New York law as a capital markets attorney with Davis Polk & Wardwell for four years before coming to the Bar, and he often advises on ISDA Master Agreement disputes, where he was involved in the leading case of Lomas v. Firth Rixson, and other financial disputes. “He's well-versed in a variety of securities and derivative transactions … inventive, prepared to run difficult arguments, and his knowledge of that area of the law is encyclopaedic.” (2015 and 2016, Chambers & Partners). He is also “Highly experienced in banking and fraud related cases” (2015, Legal 500).

Henry also has a substantial arbitration practice, including under LCIA, ICC, SIAC, ICDR, UNCITRAL rules. He also sits arbitrator. He began his career with Chapman Tripp in New Zealand.

He has been described as:

“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)

"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’).