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Helen Fairhead is a litigation lawyer based in London. She focuses on competition and commercial litigation and also has significant experience of complex and high-value banking and insolvency litigation and professional negligence disputes.
Helen is a Solicitor-Advocate with higher rights of audience in the courts of England and Wales (Higher Courts Civil Proceedings).
Helen was identified as a "Next Generation Lawyer" in the 2019 edition of The Legal 500 and as a "Rising Star" in the 2020 and 2021 editions of The Legal 500: "a real star in the making, intelligent, dedicated and a fighter and able to stand up to the most aggressive opponents" (The Legal 500, 2019). In addition, she has been described as "very bright and tenacious, with great attention-to-detail" (The Legal 500, 2020) and "she is hardworking and strategic, and has a strong ability to see issues from a range of perspectives to identify the best way forward" (The Legal 500 2021)
University of Manchester (B.A., 2002)
City University Law School, London (GDL, 2003)
Nottingham Law School, Nottingham (LPC, 2004)
City University, London, Higher Rights of Audience (Higher Courts Civil Proceedings) 2009
BPP, London (Insolvency Practitioner Examinations JIEB) 2014
- Solicitor, qualified in England & Wales
Recent experience includes advising:
- Orange SA on a claim brought by the Administrators of Phones4U that EE, O2, Vodafone, Orange and Deutsche Telekom unlawfully colluded to remove Phones 4U from the UK market (Phones4U Limited (In Administration) v EE Limited & others).
- HSBC in relation to a claim issued by a number of institutional investors that the Defendant banks engaged, by anti-competitive and collusive means, to manipulate the FX market between 2003 and 2013. The case was identified as one of The Lawyer magazine's top 20 cases for 2020 (Allianz Global Investors GmbH and others v. Barclays Bank plc and others).
- Vodafone Group in relation to its follow-on damages claim against a number of smart chip card manufacturers following the 2014 European Commission finding that certain smart chip card manufacturers co-ordinated their market behaviour (Vodafone Group Services Limited & Other v Infineon Technologies AG & Others).
- The Trustees-in-Bankruptcy of a high net worth individual in investigations into the bankrupt's affairs and the recovery of his assets.
- A Big 4 accounting firm on a number of multi-million pound professional negligence-related claims against its insolvency practitioners.
- The joint liquidators of a listed company in multi-million pound claims against former directors for misfeasance and wrongful trading.
- Gemini (Eclipse 2006-3) PLC, the SPV issuer of floating rate notes, in a professional negligence claim for £250m against CBRE and King Sturge in respect of their valuation of the underlying portfolio of 37 commercial properties. The case was described as the "Valuation trial of the century", was identified as one of The Lawyer magazine's top 20 cases for 2016 (Gemini Plc v CBRE & Warwick Street (KS) LLP).
- A European bank on a loan security valuation dispute in respect of a portfolio of UK commercial properties.
- A major UK bank on a number of claims made against it relating to the alleged mis-selling of Interest Rate Swap products.
- A major UK bank on insolvency-related issues in relation to its clients.
- A major European bank on issues arising from its dual role as agent and lender following the default and insolvency of a borrower.
Prior to joining Norton Rose Fulbright, her experience includes:
- Advising and acting for the winding-up committee of a major European bank on a portfolio of claims brought against over 15 UK financial institutions for transactions at an undervalue.
- Advising a number of senior employees of a worldwide bank in response to statutory requests for information by a liquidator.
- Acting for Agricultural Bank of Greece (ABG) in multi-million pound Commercial Court proceedings brought against it by Merrill Lynch in relation to a swap transaction.
- Assisting a private equity firm with multi-million pound High Court proceedings relating to the hiring of a number of senior executives.
- Acting for a multi-national sports manufacturer in obtaining an injunction to prevent the misuse of confidential information.
- Advising a worldwide bank on its investigation into a potential breach of Iranian sanctions and in its submissions to the Department of Justice in New York.
- Acting for a large UK insurance broker in two Commercial Court claims brought against it for negligence and fraud.
Solicitor, qualified in England & Wales