ALASTAIR HOPWOOD focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation, arbitration, and contentious regulatory work, including cross-border investigations. Alastair acts primarily for clients in the banking, financial services, insurance, and reinsurance sectors in relation to matters which are often multi-jurisdictional.
Alastair’s litigation experience includes acting for clients in disputes before the English High Court, the Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court, as well as in off-shore jurisdictions such as Bermuda. Alastair has also acted in respect of arbitrations pursuant to a range of institutional and ad hoc rules, including LCIA, UNCITRAL, and ICSID. Alastair has advised on the registration of foreign arbitration awards in the English courts as a precursor to enforcement and has experience applying the provisions of the New York Convention in relation to the enforcement of foreign arbitration awards in England. Alastair also has experience resolving disputes by way of mediation and adjudication.
Alastair is ranked “Next Generation Partner” for Commercial Litigation: Premium and is also recommended for Banking Litigation and White-Collar Crime by The Legal 500 UK 2024. The 2023 edition recognized him for Banking Litigation and Commercial Litigation, sources from the 2022 edition highlight him as a “very calm and strategic thinker.”
Representative matters include acting for:
- A committee of note-holders in structured finance litigation arising from the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers before the English High Court, the Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court, which centered on the meaning of balance sheet insolvency (BNY Corporate Trustee Services Ltd & Ors v Eurosail-UK 2007-3BL PLC & Ors  EWHC 2005 (Ch);  EWCA Civ 227; and  UKSC 28).
- A Bermudian reinsurance investment vehicle with respect to a proprietary tracing claim before the Bermuda Supreme Court arising from the posting of collateral of approximately US$450 million to Lehman Re, Ltd prior to the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, and related interim applications, including whether an implied duty of confidentiality given by a party in receipt of documents disclosed may be waived by the court such that the documents can be used in foreign proceedings (In the Matter of Lehman Re, Ltd  SC (Bda) 44 Com (September 20, 2011)).
- Acting for Genworth in Commercial Court proceedings regarding liability for post-acquisition payment of payment protection insurance (PPI) losses (AXA S.A v Genworth Financial International Holdings Inc.  EWHC 2024 (Comm)).
- An insurance claims manager in respect of a claim for damages following the termination of a claims management contract and counterclaim for alleged professional negligence (C&S Associates UK Ltd v Enterprise Insurance Company Plc  EWHC 3757 (Comm)).
- Bank of Cyprus Public Company Limited in its successful defense and counter-claim against an application for specific performance brought by certain former customers (Phytos Stavrinides & Ors v Bank of Cyprus Public Company Limited  EWHC 1328 (Ch)), and a successful security for costs application in the same proceedings (Phytos Stavrinides & Ors v Cyprus Popular Bank Public Company Ltd & Ors  EWHC 313 (Ch)).
- A company subject to restructuring in Kazakhstan in multiple adjudications before an LCIA appointed adjudicator in respect of various creditor disputes.
- A Bermudian reinsurer in arbitration proceedings regarding the correct interpretation of an Offshore Energy Insurance Loss Warranty Policy, in particular whether a waiting period in an underlying energy insurance policy should be ascribed a monetary amount for the purposes of calculating whether certain offshore energy losses exceeded a trigger of US$1 billion, thereby resulting in payment under a reinsurance policy.