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GAR 100 - 4th Edition

Frank Advokatbyrå AB

18 February 2011

New in 2011. This boutique was established in 2006 when three up-and-coming members of the dispute resolution team at another Swedish firm,Vinge, decided to go it alone.

People in Who’s Who:
1
Pending cases as counsel:
7
Value of pending counsel work:
US$1.9 billion
Treaty cases:
0
Current arbitrator appointments:
4 (of which 1 is as sole or chair)
No. of lawyers sitting as arbitrator:
2

“There was an opportunity in the market for a specialised dispute resolution practice without any conflict problems, and in competition with the full service firms,” the firm says, adding that it intended to focus on transactional work. The original team was Marcus Axelryd, Helena Dandenell and Kristoffer Persson. Since then, the boutique has branched out into other “dispute-intensive” specialisms – specifically media, IT and telecoms – following the hire of another ex-Vinge lawyer, Johan Sahlstrand. Associates have also joined lately from Vinge, Hammarskiöld and Gernandt & Danielsson. But the firm’s inclusion in this listing is mainly down to the arrival of yet another Vinge partner at the start of 2010 – Hans Bagner.

A former Swedish member of the ICC court between 1996 and 2002, and a current member of the ICC arbitration commission, Bagner is probably one of the most experienced arbitration lawyers in Sweden. To pluck one example from many, he successfully acted as co-counsel with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for CT-Mobile in a long-running SCC dispute over Russian mobile phone company Megafon. He’s on the executive committee of the Swedish Arbitration Association and is a regular contributor to GAR. Bagner reports that joining Frank “has turned out to be a masterstroke… On the one hand, I have been unburdened of the frustrating conflict-of-interest problems that came when I was practising with a large full-service firm. On the other, I have access to experienced arbitration practitioners and together we form a strong team.”

Dandenell and Bagner are currently sitting as arbitrators in ICC, SCC and ad hoc arbitrations. Current cases for the arbitration team include acting for gas entities in unrelated disputes regarding the delivery of gas in Eastern Europe, and for a global nuclear power plant contractor; representing a South American supplier in the telecom industry against a US entity; and advising a foreign bank in a dispute against a Swedish defendant and counter-claimant.

Client comment

The general manager of a Brazilian telecoms group, who retained the firm for a recent high-stakes matter that eventually settled, said the team was “really professional and well-oriented”. Bagner in particular was “really brilliant, much more precise than the opposing advocate. He really made the difference.”

A Swedish client engaged the firm on a “difficult” matter that also settled, and praised the “professionalism and quality” of its lawyers. “I received advice that I didn’t hesitate to take to management. I would definitely recommend Frank to a contact and in fact have done so already.”

Who’s Who nominee:

  • Hans Bagner

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