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Rod J. Cowper

Rod J. Cowper

Edwards Wildman Palmer UK LLP
Partner
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    • London Tel +44 (0) 20 7556 4562

    Edwards Wildman Client Advisory - Material Adverse Change ...

    Rod J. Cowper has more than 30 years’ experience in commercial litigation and international arbitration in London and other cities and offshore financial centres. Rod has conducted litigation in all commercial divisions of the High Court, the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the Privy Council.

    His arbitration experience includes arbitrations under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), Singapore Institute of Arbitration and Conciliation (SIAC), the International Arbitral Centre of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber ("VIAC") and the London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA) as well as ad hoc references and numerous court applications related to arbitrations. Many of Rod's cases involve arbitrations relating to cross-border investments, which are often made through offshore holding structures. The coordination of arbitration with corporate litigation in offshore jurisdictions is a key element of such disputes.

    Rod's practice includes contractual commercial disputes involving major asset and share purchases, telecommunications, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, hydro-carbon exploration, production and distribution infrastructure and other up and downstream issues in the energy and base and precious metals industries, manufacturing facilities, hospitality and leisure infrastructure, media, and transportation.

    A large proportion of his cases involve complex issues of private international law and jurisdiction.

    He represents debtors, secured lenders and other creditors, trustees and insolvency practitioners (including liquidators, provisional liquidators, administrators and court-appointed receivers) in a wide range of insolvency, security, derivatives and inter-creditor issues. This included acting for the London Branch of Landsbanki, an Icelandic bank, following the Icelandic banking crisis.  He advised on a wide variety of trading and derivative claims and represented the Branch in the first High Court case to apply the European regime for cross border financial institution insolvency.  Rod has a particular expertise gained in defence of claims on cross-border guarantees given by financial institutions.

    Throughout his career, he has handled a variety of fraud and asset recovery claims including receivership, asset freezing, disclosure and search and seizure orders in England and other countries. These cases have often arisen post-acquisition in a cross-border investment context and characteristically involve the analysis and challenge of questionable, sham or fictitious transactions and claims arising out of wrongdoing by former executives under numerous different laws.  This has frequently involved review of complex corporate structures and networks of apparently genuine complex commercial and banking transactions which had the effect of concealing, by transfer pricing and other techniques, the true financial effect of asset disposal.  This experience included representing an insolvency appointee in a worldwide asset tracing and recovery exercise which included the first information disclosure order against a Cayman Island Bank, and was obtained with the benefit of a gagging order. 

    His experience also includes trademark, copyright and passing off claims including domain and patent licensing litigation. 

    Rod is a CEDR accredited mediator.

    • Acting as principal advocate through trial in VIAC arbitration, successfully defending a guarantee claim made by a Fortune 100 company against a Central European financial institution.

    • Currently acting as principal advocate in ICC arbitration, including successfully opposing applications challenging the Tribunal's jurisdiction at a two day hearing.

    • Acting as principal advocate defending Chinese base metal producer against a claim in LCIA arbitration under a long term raw materials supply contract.

    • Acting as principal advocate pursuing an LCIA arbitration claim for a Fortune 100 company arising out of an equipment construction contract.

    • Acting as principal advocate for Fortune 1000 company resisting claims in linked ICC arbitrations arising out of agreements for developing a manufacturing facility in the Middle East.

    • Defending UK based investment fund manager against claims in SIAC arbitration by intermediaries relating to an investment in China.

    • Pursuing Court proceedings in Isle of Man and Gibraltar on behalf of a major US-based bank to enforce a US judgment against an individual borrower involving proceedings to identify and secure assets held by companies in various European jurisdictions.

    • Taking proceedings to trial in the London High Court for a UK-based subsidiary of a US-quoted company to recover losses caused by fraudulent adaptation of its computer system by a former employee.

    • Conducting the first case to create an authority on the European regime for cross border financial institution insolvency: Jefferies International v Landsbanki Islands ff [2009] EWHC 894 (Comm).

    • Acting for a ship owning group resisting enforcement of loans and ship mortgages creating a leading authority on the exercise of a power of sale in a ship mortgage including one of the last cases to be heard by the Privy Council on appeal from Hong Kong: Zeeland Navigation v Banque Worms 1995 1 LLR 251 and Banque Worms v Division Shipping (Privy Council) 1997 1 LLR 429.

    • Representing an Asian primary metals producer seeking to recover confiscated assets creating the leading authority on the availability of disclosure only proceedings against a commodities market maker, including a House of Lords hearing: KOO Golden East v Bank of Nova Scotia 2007 WLR D 340.

    • Acted for the successful insured in a claim on a Fine Arts Insurance Policy arising out of a fire and its effect on the value of a Pastel drawing by Edgar Degas: Quorum v Schramm [2002] 1 Lloyd's Rep 249 (Commercial Court).

    Before Edwards Wildman

    Rod was head of Litigation in the London office of Squire Sanders & Dempsey for 3 years and had previously led dispute resolution in the London office of Bryan Cave for 7 years. Rod has practised as a dispute resolution specialist in the City of London for over 30 years.

    Besides Edwards Wildman

    Rod is Chair of the St Albans Choral Society, which handles works from the mainstream Classical repertoire but also usually includes works by living composers in its concerts. The Society regularly commissions new works from British composers.

    He devotes some time to a broadly unequal struggle against the game of golf but his main priority outside the office is his family, including Dougal the Labradoodle.

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