Debevoise Wins Two Categories in the Global Legal Awards

24 July 2017

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has won two categories in the 2017 Global Legal Awards, an annual scheme from The American Lawyer which recognises the best cross-border legal work of the year.

Debevoise advised Ernst & Young as the administrators of Nortel UK and the various European entities in the complex series of litigation concerning the Nortel Networks bankruptcy. This won the Global Dispute of the Year: Transnational Litigation category. The firm also advised on the landmark Rolls-Royce investigation and resolutions, which won the Global Dispute of the Year: Investigations (Europe) category.

At one stage, Nortel Networks had been one of the largest global companies by market capitalisation. It’s collapse triggered a major and unprecedented global dispute over the allocation of the $7.5 billion of sale proceeds between three major competing estates (UK/Europe, Canada and U.S.). The litigation culminated in a settlement in October 2016 following two trials and multiple mediations. This brought an end to the extensive litigation in the U.S. and Canadian Courts, as well as to various other claims between the Nortel EMEA entities. It also ensured the settlement of certain UK pensions claims between the UK Pensions Regulator, the Nortel EMEA companies and Nortel’s English subsidiary’s pension scheme. Debevoise acted alongside Herbert Smith Freehills on the matter, with Debevoise partner Kevin Lloyd leading the UK/European team.

Debevoise was engaged by Rolls-Royce in early 2012 to assist with certain enquiries from the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) relating to bribery and corruption involving intermediaries in a number of overseas markets. The firm then led the subsequent internal investigations, and jointly advised Rolls-Royce alongside Slaughter and May on the investigations by the SFO and the U.S.’s Department of Justice. It was one of the longest running, high profile, and significant corporate investigations of recent years, and culminated at the start of 2017 in coordinated resolutions with UK, U.S. and Brazil investigating authorities. The Debevoise team was led by London partner Karolos Seeger and New York partner Bruce E. Yannett.

The Global Legal Awards are now in their fifth year, with grand prize winners in the overall categories of citizenship, finance, M&A, and disputes set to be announced at a ceremony in New York on September, 25.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a premier law firm with market-leading practices, a global perspective and strong New York roots. We deliver effective solutions to our clients’ most important legal challenges.