08:33, April 24 483 0

2017-04-24 08:33:10
Mishcon de Reya tops court appearances after Article 50 appeal

Mishcon de Reya has topped The Lawyer‘s court activity rankings for the first quarter of 2017, working on 21 cases in a total of 49 days that reached judgment.

The findings presented by The Lawyer’s Litigation Tracker, which measures court activity by the number of cases and the number of case days, represent a significant increase on previous years. In 2016, the number of cases that reached judgment was 15, while in 2015 it was two. The cases totalled 65 days and 11 days respectively.

In its standout case the firm successfully represented Gina Miller in the Supreme Court hearing against the Government over whether parliament should be consulted before the UK could begin triggering Article 50 to start the formal process of leaving the EU.

Mishcon de Reya head of litigation Kasra Nouroozi told The Lawyer that the firm had been expanding significantly in its intellectual property practice with the appointment of 8 litigation partners during the last financial year, which is says accounts for the spike in activity. “For some years now, our mid and long-term strategic plans have stated our intention of becoming the UK’s leading disputes firm,” Nouroozi said.

The Gina Miller case was certainly an unusual one, but the firm has established itself as one that looks to take on the atypical.

Nouroozi said: “One of our core values states our aim to be open to new ideas, to think creatively, to look for innovative solutions, neither bound by formality nor constrained by convention.

“We tend to take on cases that other law firms may shy away from and high profile success in these cases tends to lead organically to growth. Our Article 50 legal challenge, for example, generated over 2,500 media reports mentioning Mishcon de Reya in 25 countries, ranging from Puerto Rico to Pakistan. In addition, website content that we generated and posted on mishcon.com – such as Q&A about the action and press releases about developments in the case – generated 100,000 views. Naturally, the increase in profile will have had some impact.”

The firm also unsuccessfully represented Pimlico Plumbers and its owner Charlie Mullins in a Court of Appeal case against former employee Gary Smith. The three judges ruled that Smith was entitled to basic workers’ rights despite technically being self-employed.

“Other significant cases include the recent representation of Sainsbury’s in its competition damages claim against MasterCard – the award of  about £67m is understood to be the largest-ever competition damages award in Europe.”

Meanwhile, Leigh Day ranked second, working on 15 cases totalling 47 days that reached judgment in the first quarter, up from the quarterly average of 11 cases in 2016 and nine cases in 2015.

The firm’s most notable cases last quarter include Miller & Anor, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, in which it represented the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain as an intervener. It also represented two Nigerian communities in an environment damage case against Royal Dutch Shell and its Nigerian subsidiary.

Herbert Smith Freehills ranked third (14 cases totalling 40 days), Clyde & Co ranked fourth (13 cases totalling 21 days) and Irwin Mitchell ranked fifth (12 cases across 18 days).