“Signature Litigation is the only pure litigation specialist in Gibraltar, setting the firm apart from others in Gibraltar. The firm is very professional, knowledgeable and efficient, an ideal choice for litigation in the jurisdiction.“

The Legal 500 EMEA 2021

“The practice unites an impressive bench of stellar litigators.“

The Legal 500 EMEA 2021

“The boutique specialises in complex litigation, both in France and internationally, with the majority of matters multi-jurisdictional in nature, with the firm’s London presence a key asset for cross-border work.“

The Legal 500 EMEA 2021

Signature Litigation Paris “quickly established itself as one of France’s finest dispute resolution practices and consistently attracts high-stakes, often headline-grabbing matters.”

The Legal 500 EMEA 2021

“The team is attentive, available, very friendly, and provides unfailing follow-up to cases.“

The Legal 500 EMEA 2021

“Great ability to establish a strategy and a very clear, structured and impactful line of defense or attack, based on a real mastery of legislation and procedures.“

The Legal 500 EMEA 2021

“Excellent expertise combined with the ability to explain idiosyncratic concepts of French jurisdiction to foreigners.“

The Legal 500 EMEA 2021

“The team is also highly regarded for its know-how in defending companies against toxic tort claims and deals with a high amount of claims brought by employees regarding asbestos and other chemical substances.“

The Legal 500 EMEA 2021

Signature Litigation Paris is “the market’s go-to-firm for domestic and cross-border product liability cases.“

The Legal 500 EMEA 2021

“The firm’s focus on dispute resolution and insurance matters makes it a popular choice for a range of clients in the aviation industry including airlines, constructors, and insurers who benefit from the department’s ability to advise on cross-border matters.“

The Legal 500 EMEA 2021

“The team is very responsive – we would normally receive a response on the same day or early the day after. They keep us updated regularly, and are knowledgeable in their fields of expertise.“

The Legal 500 EMEA 2021

“The team at Signature is highly talented, experienced and dedicated.“

The Legal 500 UK 2021

Signature Litigation is described as a “quality team at every level“.

The Legal 500 UK 2021

“Extremely bright and dedicated team. A willingness to go the extra mile and find a solution to whatever problem comes along however simple or complex.“

The Legal 500 UK 2021

Signature Litigation has “‘the agility to deal with matters of all kinds’ and has particular experience in multiparty and multijurisdictional disputes.”

The Legal 500 UK 2021

“The amount of deep thought that goes into each piece of work is quite extraordinary.“

The Legal 500 UK 2021

“I am confident that they would always deliver a peerless service to the client, whoever that may be.“

The Legal 500 UK 2021

“They are quite commercial in their approach and don’t escalate matters; rather they find the most efficient way to deal with things”

Chambers UK 2020

“A highly respected litigation boutique with expertise in a wide range of contentious corporate matters”

Chambers UK 2020

“They can really go toe to toe with magic circle firms”

Chambers UK 2020

“An excellent boutique litigation firm”

Chambers UK 2020

“They have really had our backs in a very innovative way”

Chambers UK 2020

“They are absolutely brilliant – very good at the big picture, very effective communicators and very easy to get on with.”

Chambers UK 2020

“Signature has provided us with steady-handed advice and I can honestly recommend their tightly-knit team to anyone in need of sound legal advice”

Chambers UK 2020

“Noted expertise in handling cases related to alleged benchmark manipulation and mis-selling, as well as significant shareholder disputes”

Chambers UK 2020

“Well known for its representation of oligarchs and other high net worth individuals”

Chambers UK 2020

“Prominent dispute resolution boutique with a strong record acting on behalf of claimants against major banks and financial institutions in complex litigation matters”

Chambers UK 2020

“The amount of deep thought that goes into each piece of work is extraordinary”

Chambers UK 2020

“Brilliant client care coupled with sound legal judgement”

Chambers UK 2020

Signature “has developed a deep bench of talent, which means even with the high demand for their services they consistently maintain a high quality”

Chambers UK 2020

“Highly responsive, intelligent and commercially astute lawyers”

Chambers UK 2020

“They demonstrate the ability to formulate, plan and implement a sophisticated global strategy”

Chambers UK 2020

“They are impressive in the way they deal with very complex cases”

Chambers UK 2020

The Firm’s “tactical and strategic vision is unparalleled, and the practice has a great range of partners and associates”

The Legal 500 UK 2020

“A strong focus on large, complex cases that are often cross-border”

The Legal 500 UK 2020

“A highly experienced team of partners who have in-depth knowledge of commercial dispute resolution”

The Legal 500 UK 2020

“Outstandingly successful”

The Legal 500 UK 2020

Dispute resolution boutique Signature Litigation LLP handles large, high-profile professional negligence claims, often with a cross-border element, for claimants and defendants.

The Legal 500 UK 2019

“Prominent dispute resolution boutique with a strong record acting on behalf of claimants against major banks and financial institutions in complex litigation matters.”

Chambers UK 2019

“Noted expertise in handling cases related to alleged benchmark manipulation and mis-selling, as well as significant shareholder disputes”.

Chambers UK 2019

“The firm is extremely focused on high-quality litigation”.

Chambers UK 2019

“Their advice is sound and their strategic approach is excellent. I would recommend them without hesitation.”

Chambers UK 2019

“Adept at handling multiparty and cross-border disputes, particularly those related to banking.”

Chambers UK 2019

“They have a lot of experience in multi-jurisdictional, high-value litigation. They are a boutique firm that is growing in size considerably but which can still provide a personal, flexible service.”

Chambers UK 2019

“The hallmarks of the team are that they are responsive, commercial, conflict-free, flexible … a client gets Magic Circle quality.”

Chambers UK 2019

“Dedicated litigation experts with experience in handling every element of large-scale and highly complex commercial disputes, frequently involving multiple parties and jurisdictions.”

Chambers UK 2019

“The practice advises on all aspects of large-scale banking litigation.”

The Legal 500 UK 2019

“A first-class firm with a positive, collaborative culture of integrity”.

The Legal 500 UK 2019

“A highly specialised dispute resolution firm, with a strong focus on large, complex and often cross-border cases.”

The Legal 500 UK 2019

Dedicated litigation experts with experience in handling every element of large scale and highly complex commercial disputes, frequently involving multiple parties and jurisdictions.

Chambers UK 2019

  • Chambers UK 2021
  • The-Legal-500-UK-2021-Leading-Firm

Biography

Bernhard specialises in commercial and investment treaty arbitration, with a particular focus on the energy and the mining industries. He also represents clients in contentious and non-contentious public international law matters and sits as an arbitrator.

Bernhard is a member of the UK Attorney General’s C Panel of Public International Law Counsel to the Crown and an adjunct professor in Cyberlaw and disputes in cyberspace at King’s College London.

Highlights of Bernhard’s practice include successfully acting for a party in a multibillion-dollar ICSID arbitration pertaining to the mining industry and representing a Caribbean state in a high-profile investment treaty claim involving international environmental law.

Bernhard has acted for claimant and respondent parties in a wide range of investment treaty and commercial arbitration matters (including under the Energy Charter Treaty and ICSID, UNCITRAL, ICC, LCIA, VIAC, DIS and AAA Rules), as well as related cross-border litigation and enforcement issues.

Bernhard has also advised a P5 state on asserting its sovereign immunity before EU member state courts and tribunals and delivered practical training in international economic law to government officials of a Middle Eastern state.

Speaking engagements

  • Speaker, “Kazakhstan Intergovernmental Council, Subgroup Mining”, London, September 2019.
  • Moderator, “The impact of climate change on dispute resolution”, Energy Community Dispute Resolution Forum, Vienna, Austria, September 2019.
  • Panellist and Convenor, Caspian Energy Forum, FTI, London, September 2019.
  • Keynote Speaker, “Foreign Investment in the Mining Sector – what lessons for the future can be gleaned from the past?”, Minex Europe, Sofia, Bulgaria, June 2019.
  • Panellist, “Cybersecurity and the Internet in International Investment Arbitration”, Hogan Lovells, London, April 2019.
  • Moderator, “Institutional Practices: Behind the Scenes”, Co-organised by the PCA, LCIA, DIS and Wilmer Hale, London, October 2018.
  • Panellist, “The ICSID Secretariat’s Proposals for Rule Amendments: Transparency and Special Procedures”, Young ITA London, October 2018.
  • Panellist, “Brexit and the Energy Charter Treaty”, The Future of Investment Arbitration in Europe, Association for International Arbitration (AIA) Symposium, Brussels, June 2018.
  • Convenor, “How to Secure First Arbitral Appointments and How to Retain Them”, co-organised with DIS-40, London, December 2017.
  • Speaker, “International Energy Law and the Role of an Energy Disputes Lawyer in the Sector”, Graduate School of Natural Resources Law, Policy & Management of the University of Dundee’s Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy Dundee, 2017.
  • Speaker, “Trade and Investment post Brexit”, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, London, September 2016.
  • Speaker, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Development and Arbitration, German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), Hamburg, April 2016.
  • Speaker, Advocacy in International Arbitration, DLA Piper Arbitration Seminar Series, 2016.
  • Speaker, “Career Opportunities in Public International Law”, Southampton University.
  • Speaker, Africa Investment Protection in West Africa: Practical Considerations, Mining Projects, Law and Regulation in West Africa Forum, London.

Experience

Commercial arbitration

  • Successfully defending a publicly listed European life sciences equipment manufacturer in a €400m LCIA arbitration arising out of a supply contract for high-tech ancillary equipment.
  • Representing a gas buyer in a high-profile Swiss-seated ICC arbitration pertaining to a long-term contract for the supply of natural gas, including dealing with issues of European Union competition law.
  • Representing a major oil and gas company in a commercial arbitration involving a high-value pipeline investment in a Middle East state (ICC Rules).
  • Representing the claimant in a commercial arbitration involving a hydrocarbon investment in an Asian state (ICC Rules).
  • Representing the respondents in a high-profile LCIA arbitration relating to an investment in the telecommunications industry and involving multiple ancillary proceedings before national courts.
  • Representing the respondent in an arbitration under the Swiss Arbitration Rules arising out of a construction project in a Central Asian country.

Investment arbitration

  • Successfully defending the Slovak Republic in an UNCITRAL investment treaty arbitration pertaining to an alleged investment in the mineral water sector, including issues of transboundary resource sharing.
  • Acting for the investor in ICSID annulment proceedings arising out of the expropriation of a glass bottling plant in Venezuela.
  • Acting for the Cypriot investor in ICSID annulment proceedings arising out of the expropriation of a series of infrastructure investments.
  • Successfully defending the government of a major African state in a multibillion-dollar ICSID investment treaty arbitration arising out of the revocation of series of valuable rare earths licences.
  • Winning a US$400m+ ICSID award for a US multinational arising out of the expropriation of a fertiliser plant in Venezuela.
  • Successfully defending the government of Barbados in an UNCITRAL investment treaty arbitration arising out of the alleged expropriation of an investment in an ecotourism project.
  • Representing the applicant in an ICSID annulment proceeding arising out of a construction project in Turkey.
  • Acting for the investor in ICSID proceedings against Turkmenistan arising out of a series of construction projects in the country.
  • Representing the claimants in an ICSID arbitration arising out of an investment in the oil and gas sector.
  • Advising the claimant in relation to a potential dispute arising out of an investment in the mining sector in Southeast Europe.

Public International Law

  • Advising a P5 member state in relation to a potential free trade and investment agreement with another P5 member state.
  • Delivering practical training in public international law to government lawyers in a Middle East state.
  • Representing the government of a P5 state in defending its right to sovereign immunity before EU member state courts and tribunals.
  • Advising a regional customs union on the establishment of as standing tribunal to deal with matters pertaining to the union.
  • Advising the European Energy Commissioner in resource-related negotiations between two Caspian littoral states.

Publications

Signature snaps up arbitration expertiseCDR News – 17 May 2021 

Signature hires from Squire Patton Boggs in London – Global Arbitration Review – 10 May 2021

Swiss court finds Israeli businessman Beny Steinmetz guilty of corruptionReuters – 22 January 2021

Seminar on cybersecurity and the internet in international investment arbitrationHogan Lovells – 11 April 2019

New leaders at DIS-40Global Arbitration Review – 24 May 2017

Familiar names on prestigious UK panelGlobal Arbitration Review – 3 March 2017

Hamburg: New energies and new rulesGlobal Arbitration Review – 4 May 2016

“The Many Identities of the European Union: Exploring the Rival Trade and Investment Ambitions of Organization and Members”Manchester Journal of International Economic Law, 13(3) MJIEL 357-388 – 2016

Barbados wetlands gives rise to treaty claim Global Arbitration Review – 16 February 2015

Co-author, “A Comparative Analysis of the ECT and BITs in Light of Evolving EU Policy”The Leading Practitioners’ Guide to International Oil & Gas Industry Arbitration – 2015

Co-author, “The External Dimension of EU Energy Regulation” – Legal Aspects of EU Energy Regulation, Second Edition, OUP – 2015

Know-How Barbados – Global Arbitration Review – 2015

Committee to consider Libananco award; new counsel on boardGlobal Arbitration Review – 21 February 2012

“How has international law dealt with the tension between sovereignty over natural resources and investor interests in the energy sector? Is there a balance?”International Energy Law Review – 2010

“How has the Law Attempted to Tackle the Borderless Nature of the Internet?”International Journal of Law and Information Technology – 2010

Areas of Expertise

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