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Hugo Plowman, Partner, Dispute Resolution

Hugo Plowman

Partner, Chair of Dispute Resolution

Personal Profile

Hugo is a Partner and Chair of the Dispute Resolution department. He sits on the Firm's Management Board and maintains an active caseload in our market-leading Civil Fraud group.

Hugo is in his 20th year at the Firm and is a leading commercial litigator specialising in the field of complex fraud, asset-tracing and investigations, theft of confidential information and all forms of corporate dishonesty. His client base includes some of the world's most successful public companies, private equity investors, business owners and HNW individuals.

Hugo has played a pioneering role in building the Firm's cyber security and investigations offering, ensuring that the Firm is enabled to advise in a globalised and accelerating online world. This has resulted in the creation of MDR Group business MDR Cyber. Hugo continues to develop strategies for combatting cyber-crime in a range of sectors, for example assisting insurers with innovative incident response and asset recovery techniques. Hugo also participated in the Firm's joint public-private sector initiatives to help combat fraud and corruption and deliver justice.

Hugo is recognised as a leading practitioner in the legal directories for top-ranked lawyers. He was shortlisted for the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers: Innovative Practitioner award in recent years.

Key Experience

  • Acted for a European government's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in relation to a fraud investigation involving grants given to a pan African organisation working for social justice and development.
  • Acted for one of the world's largest online dating companies in relation to industrial espionage investigations and protection of trade secrets.
  • Advised a leading NASDAQ data analytics company on cartel investigation strategies and database protection.
  • Acted for investment firm in investigations and arbitral proceedings in connection with fraud and corruption in African power projects.
  • Client won in the Supreme Court to dismiss a substantial part of the claim on jurisdictional grounds (Akçil v Koza Ltd [2019] UKSC 40)
  • Client won in the Court of Appeal to block multi-million pound funding for an ICSID arbitration against Turkey in the Court of Appeal (Koza Ltd & Mr Ipek v Koza Altin Isletmeleri AS [2020] EWCA Civ 1018).
  • Client won in the High Court to discharge an injunction wrongly obtained by Australian miner Fortescue Metals Group Ltd and successfully defended S&P Global Platts's right to publish iron ore pricing information (Fortescue Metals Group Ltd v Argus Media Limited and S&P Global Inc [2020] EWHC 1333 (Ch)).
  • Client won in the Court of Appeal to discharge provisions of a worldwide freezing order that would prevent company from developing its fledgling business - Organic Grape Spirit Limited v Nueva IQT, SL [2020] EWCA Civ 999.
  • Acted for the world's leading independent kids' content company in a claim against former employees who allegedly misused confidential information to divert M&A targets to launch a competitor, including orders for delivery up, evidence preservation and computer imaging (Wild Brain Family International Limited v (1) Robson & (2) Chubb [2018] EWHC 3163 (Ch)).
  • Acted for Defendants in defence of a claim relating to bareboat charter agreements operating in Nigerian waters, and an application to release funds from a worldwide freezing injunctions to pay for legal advice and the early discharge of an order for contempt of court (Tidewater Marine International Inc v Phoenixtide Offshore Nigeria Ltd and others [2018] EWHC 3923 (Comm) (21 December 2018)).
  • Acted for a well-known shoe brand in a fraud investigation against the former CEO, and parallel private criminal prosecution and claims against the company's former solicitors.
  • Client won in the Court of Appeal to establish an implied fiduciary duty in a joint venture arrangement, including a fiduciary duty owed by the director of one of the joint venture partners to the other joint venture partner (Ross River Limited and anor v Waveley Commercial Ltd  and others [2013] EWCA Civ 910).
  • Acted for a high-profile banker who faced criminal investigations in other EU member states, extradition from the UK, as well as criminal restraint proceedings and large-scale commercial litigation in the civil courts.
  • Acted for an investor in a property development joint venture, against well-known UK property developers for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty on the basis of diversion of funds and opportunities belonging to the joint venture.
  • Investigation into a major gang of counterfeiters on behalf of a global US software manufacturer leading to multi-million dollar recoveries, following wide-ranging civil search, freezing and disclosure orders.
  • Successfully represented a number of top recruitment businesses in injunctive proceedings to recover the client and candidate database and applications for pre-action disclosure, including for the first time in reported legal history an application on behalf of Hays for pre-action disclosure of documents held in a LinkedIn account as reported in the Telegraph.
  • Acted for a hedge fund in an investigation into two former senior employees who allegedly downloaded financial secrets and complex trading software to set up in competition.
  • Acted pro bono for a well-known charity in recovering the proceeds of a "fresh air" invoicing fraud perpetrated by a project manager in the property services division.
  • Defended two businessmen associated in a multi-million dollar claim and worldwide asset freezing injunction brought against them by a British Virgin Island company owned and controlled by a Russian oligarch. The claim arose in connection with a loan agreement, personal guarantees and indemnities.
  • Acted for the leading independent supplier of petrol and diesel products in the UK in a claim against a former employee who stole confidential information and sought to use it to his advantage in a competitive tender bid to win business from national supermarkets.
  • Acted for a supplier of mobile phone and other telecom accessories based in the Middle East and Africa in a global investigation and subsequent multi-jurisdictional fraud claim against two former board directors and various corporate nominees.
  • Acted for Pimlico Plumbers in the case reported in the Evening Standard and Daily Mail
  • Successfully represented leading London estate agents Foxtons in a number of injunctions and applications for search orders, including the high profile case reported by the Evening Standard.
  • Defended a claim brought by a film financing agent against a former director for wrongfully procuring a company to be put into liquidation and diverting business opportunities in breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Acted for a leading fashion brand owner in a contractual claim and jurisdiction race against an Italian distributor who failed to pay royalties, and deliver a well-known underwear range on time.

Career History

Partner, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Associate, Mishcon de Reya
Qualified, Mishcon de Reya
Trainee Solicitor, Mishcon de Reya
The University of Birmingham, BA (Hons) French and Spanish

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