Mishcon de Reya gains another commercial disputes partner as Genevieve Quierin joins from Humphries Kerstetter.
The move comes as Mishcon de Reya capitalises on a six-month span that has seen the firm grow its litigation department considerably. The firm welcomed in the New Year with the lateral hires of commercial litigators Nicola Bridge and Shaistah Akhtar, both joining from legacy law firm King & Wood Mallesons, alongside the February hire of and experienced white-collar crime lawyer, Jo Rickards from Kingsley Napley, and that of another, Richard Cannon, from boutique criminal law firm Janes Solicitors in October 2016.
Having trained at Macfarlanes and then worked at Linklaters, as well as a stint working for leading common law set 1 Chancery Lane, before moving to highly regarded commercial litigation boutique, Humphries Kerstetter, Quierin has a rich disputes hinterland to draw on, one which has seen her act to her clients’ considerable advantage.
Notably, she acted for Tesco and WHSmith in the retailers' high-profile interchange fee litigation against MasterCard and Visa, assisting Tesco in settling its claims against both card schemes and WHSmith in reaching a settlement with MasterCard. The firm also recently successfully represented Sainsbury's in its competition damages claim against MasterCard, with the award of GBP 67 million is understood to be the largest-ever competition damages award in Europe.
Mishcon is also acting for a variety of retailers Ocado, John Lewis, Esso, Whitbread Group, Belron, Ryman, Robert Dyas, Lakeland and others in their competition damages claims in the English High Court against the MasterCard and Visa payment card schemes, in a claim led by partner Rob Murray, who spoke at CDR’s Competition Litigation Symposium recently, in which case an appeal is currently pending.
A rich mix of experience
Her experience, however, goes beyond a deep insight into the litigation aspects of competition law class action claims; having learnt her trade as an associate in Linklaters’ highly rated litigation team, she developed her overall case management skills under that firm’s former head of advocacy Mark Humphries, at his litigation boutique; Humphries is widely respected in the City, and is the current Law Society council member for civil litigation.
During her career, she has been regularly instructed to provide pre-action strategic and tactical advice to clients leading to the early resolution of disputes and has acted for companies in the finance and retail sectors, as well as individuals at confidential interviews in connection with regulatory investigations and at depositions in connection with United States litigation.
Like many litigators of her generation, Quierin’s broad skillset also lends itself to mediations, while being a solicitor-advocate with rights to appear in the higher civil courts; a badge of expertise that law firms are keen to encourage, with Mishcon being no exception, having hired criminal silk Alison Levitt QC, to head the firm’s business crime division.
In a statement, Quierin said she was pleased to join the firm “at an exciting time”, saying that the firm’s reputation was “particularly impressive”, such that the move felt like “a natural fit for my practice, which I look forward to developing here”.
Quierin, who has spoken at a number of CDR’s litigation and competition litigation events, has a broad practice with significant experience advising both claimants and defendants. Speaking exclusively to CDR, she explains how that side of her work would benefit her new firm: “I’ve handled a variety of banking and finance litigation cases, acting for [a range of] investment banks, private equity funds and asset management companies in court in tortious and contractual disputes.
“So you could say that my experience in this area covers the whole of the banking and finance sphere, while the MasterCard and Visa litigation on interchange fees gave me a deep insight into card payments side of the industry.”
An appetite for self improvement
Commenting in a statement, Kasra Nouroozi, Mishcon’s head of dispute resolution, said: "Genevieve's experience clearly complements our disputes practice – in particular her work on the ongoing interchange litigation on behalf of retailers, as well as her focus on finance and banking disputes more broadly. We know that she will be a huge asset to the team and welcome her arrival.”
CDR also spoke to Nouroozi about the recent hires, given their mix of skills in high-net-worth civil and criminal fraud, corporate investigations, banking and finance litigation, and cross-over litigation, like interchange fee claims, asset tracing and forfeiture defence work.
Mishcon, he says, is “very excited to be welcoming partners of this calibre to the firm”, which he said would build on the firm’s existing offering, by “enhancing the depth and breadth of services we currently offer our clients”.
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