Services built with tomorrow in mind.
Velitor Law is built and designed around the new model of legal service delivery. It starts with designing every aspect of the client experience from the ground up, combined with a contemporary approach to harnessing tools, talent and technology. Above all, we want to liberate claimants from the conflicts and complexities that boutique law firms naturally avoid. In our experience, most litigation practices instinctively react to every step in a dispute, which can lead to a longer, more drawn-out conflict. We think differently. Sometimes success is as much about what you don’t do. If the storm blows itself out, that can be a great outcome for a client. Flexible resourcing creates an agility that our larger rivals simply don't have. As a client you get the very best practitioners, precisely engaged when and where you need them. It’s the difference between bringing in special operations on a critical skirmish and funding a full-time army for a protracted war-of-words. Put simply, service quality comes in different shapes and sizes; if you’re looking for the very best representation in disputes, by those who do nothing else, look no further.MEET OUR PEOPLE
Velitor Law is a leading firm in commercial litigation and dispute resolution. Our partners are renowned for their expertise in this broad area, working in this field daily. Members of the team advise and appear in complex, high-value disputes at all levels of the English courts, including the Commercial Court and Chancery Division, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. As our case studies show, we aim to provide our clients with excellent advice and representation in significant disputes, whether for businesses, business owners, or high-net-worth individuals. This includes specialist disputes, like intellectual property and media law. Much of our work involves mainstream commercial disputes involving breach of contract claims, misrepresentation, issues of reputation management and contentious trusts. We also specialise in cases with intricate and varied factual backgrounds, often involving allegations of fraud.
CASE STUDIESStar Warsthe late 1970s, our client was commissioned to manufacture wearable props in the form of helmets and armour for the first Star Wars movie, now known as “Episode IV – A New Hope”. These included the iconic “Imperial Stormtrooper” white helmets and body armour. Many years later, after the revival of the Star Wars series at the turn of this century, our client recommenced the manufacture and sale of these film props, using the original mould and tools. In the 2010s, Lucasfilm brought a multi-jurisdictional copyright infringement claim against our client, which started in California and eventually came before the English courts. Our Managing Partner, Seamus Andrew, successfully defended the claim along with IP specialists Alastair Wilson KC and George Hamer. The case turned upon whether the items should be regarded as sculptures or industrial designs. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that our client’s helmets were not sculptures (‘artistic works’ under section 4 of the CDPA): they were utilitarian because they were wearable film props which were an element in the process of production of the film. Amongst other points decided by the Supreme Court in its 2011 judgment (https://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKSC/2011/39.html) was that cases about breaches of foreign copyright law (in this case, Californian copyright law) could be heard and determined by the English Courts.
BorbonVelitor has been instructed by a prominent member of a European royal house in a harassment claim brought against him. The claim, which is for damages and an injunction, also raises issues of sovereign immunity under the State Immunity Act 1978. In considering that issue, the Court of Appeal decided in December 2022 that the client’s alleged conduct pre-abdication (which was in any event denied) was immune from the jurisdiction of the English courts. This was on the basis that state immunity attaches to acts which are by their nature sovereign acts. More recently we have moved to strike out the claim in its entirety.
Arbitration is a core practice area at Velitor Law. Our lawyers have a wide range of experience acting in arbitrations or litigation concerning arbitrations. We have represented clients in cases involving all the major arbitral rules, such as the International Chamber of Commerce, the London Court of International Arbitration, the UNCITRAL Rules and regional arbitral centres in Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong, and elsewhere.
We are also experienced in investor state disputes.
In each instance, we have experience with all the major international arbitration regimes, capable of handling claims with depth and diversity, as our case study, which has involved extensive appellate litigation in London and Paris, shows.
Our expertise extends to multi-party, multi-jurisdictional litigation involving complex issues arising from the interaction of foreign laws with problems of English law, which lies at the heart of many dispute resolution clauses using arbitration to resolve claims.
CASE STUDYKabab-jiVelitor represented the Appellant in a UK Supreme Court appeal relating to the recognition and enforcement of an award following a Paris-seated arbitration. In that arbitration, it was found that the Respondent had breached an agreement for the development of franchises in the Middle East for the Appellant’s brand of Lebanese restaurants. An issue that arose on enforcement was whether the parent company of the original franchisor had become party to the arbitration agreement. This question hinged on what system of law – that of France, or England – governed the arbitration clause because of different approaches to no oral modification clauses in those jurisdictions. Ultimately, the appellant’s Supreme Court appeal was dismissed. However, more recently in the court of the seat, the French Cour de Cassation rejected the final challenge to Velitor’s client’s award. Consequently, there is a judicial conflict between the French Court’s decision with that of the UK Supreme Court.
Our lawyers are experts in bringing competition claims, including opt-in or opt-out proceedings in group litigation and dealing with class certifications as an experienced claimant firm with expertise in collective actions. We are familiar with assessing the size of any class or group of claimants, budgeting for any potential claim, and instructing experts who can evaluate possible damages. We work closely with all the major litigation funders while keeping our client’s interests at heart.Our dedicated team offers a fully rounded approach, ensuring victims of anti-competitive conduct are compensated for their losses when they cannot bring a claim individually. We can also advise on the current regulatory priorities of international antitrust regulators and issues arising from enforcement, including parallel defences to regulatory, civil law and competition proceedings. We can manage subsequent court challenges to enforcement decisions and offer practical guidance to clients to minimise compliance risk.
CASE STUDYBSVVelitor is representing the representative of a class of around 240,000 UK investors in a crypto asset against 5 major crypto asset exchanges. The claim is brought on an “opt-out” (or “class action”) basis under the UK’s Competition Act 1998. The claim seeks collective damages of up to £9.9 billion for losses caused by an alleged cartel. The claim alleges the damage was caused in April 2019 by the coordinated delisting of the asset by the 5 exchanges. Some of the exchanges are also pursued for expropriating assets held by their customers at the time of the delisting. This opt-out claim is the first time the UK’s competition legislation has been deployed against crypto asset exchanges.
FINANCIAL SERVICES DISPUTES
Velitor Law is an expert at banking and financial services claims, representing institutional and retail investors against significant retail and investment banks, including hedge fund and private equity disputes. We also have experience bringing and resisting complex injunctions, freezing orders, and stop notices in banking fraud cases.We are familiar with the full range of financial products and banking instruments, including derivatives, CDOs, bonds, guarantees, and letters of credit. We have also represented businesses in claims against banks for professional negligence, breach of statutory duty, breach of contract, restitution and appropriate forms of equitable relief. We also handle cases spanning banking compliance, financial services, and related regulatory matters.
FINTECH & BLOCKCHAIN DISPUTES
Our lawyers understand blockchain technology, crypto-currency markets and related ecosystems, including the legal status of cryptocurrency and smart contracts under English law and their related disputes.We work closely with businesses and individuals at the forefront of innovative financial products including the regulatory aspects of their business. We continue to advise clients on other regulatory developments, as they expand into new areas. Our lawyers have advised clients concerning crypto-fraud, crypto-asset recoveries and blockchain-based tokens disputes.
Our lawyers have broad experience with issues concerning the financial services industry regulation. We are familiar with regulatory disputes, including professional disciplinary claims, before all the major regulators, including the Financial Conduct Authority, as well as those of the primary professions. We have represented clients in disciplinary proceedings before a wide range of tribunals in litigation concerning the powers and liabilities of regulators. In an advisory capacity, we have also advised clients on the scope and application of relevant rules outside of any dispute.