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.