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Lawrence Cohen QC

Call: 1974    QC: 1993

+44 (0)20 7306 0102lcqc@wilberforce.co.uk

Practice Overview

Lawrence’s practice centres on complex, high-value business disputes and transactions, often with an offshore or international aspect. Mental agility and a dynamic approach focused on solutions has drawn an enviable international client base.

He has wide experience of financial market and security transactions and investment funds of most kinds. His background in structuring and insolvency as well as offshore trusts and vehicles has been invaluable in recent years of financial market difficulty.

Vitally important tools in Lawrence’s work are skills in accountancy and valuation as well as good knowledge of the inside workings of banks and funds. Commercial acumen is an essential in understanding the subject matter and, more importantly, resolving the issues.

Lawrence has appeared numerous times in the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, the Turks and Caicos Islands and other less usual jurisdictions.

Recent examples of Lawrence’s cases give a good feel for his practice:

Symrise AG v Baker & McKenzie Successfully defending B&M for negligence in €1.8 billion takeover for alleged defects in structuring and tax advice in Mexico of largest subsidiaries outside Germany – no damage suffered 2015 EWHC 912 (Comm)

Planck v Vitol Holdings II SA and Tinsel SA Acting for Claimant in Rotterdam proceedings challenging conversion of shares which had received dividend rights of about $200m into preferred shares with no rights to profits.  This involved a Dutch law shareholders agreement for a Luxembourg company holding shares of all US shareholders of world’s largest oil trader. Alleged to be an improper squeeze out in breach of shareholders’ agreement.  Judgement (transcript available) obtained for Claimant in  late 2015 now under challenge in proceedings in 2016/17 which have taken evidence from 17 witnesses.  Judgment awaited.

Re Eurasia Drilling Ltd A Petition in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands to fix fair value of dissenters shares under s238 of the Companies Law after a merger.

Older cases have included appearing for the BCCI liquidators (obtaining $2.1 billion judgment after full trial for conspiracy) and defending the estate of the late Gen Abacha (accused of stealing c$13 billion from Nigerian Treasury whilst Head of State).