Leo Kitchen is a Partner and solicitor advocate in Quinn Emanuel’s London office. His practice centres on complex commercial and financial litigation, with particular focus on competition-related collective proceedings and follow-on damages claims, as well as disputes arising under the ISDA Master Agreement. Leo also has notable experience in public law and regulatory disputes.
Leo’s experience encompasses acting for both claimants and defendants in a wide variety of different courts and tribunals, including numerous appearances before the English High Court (most frequently the Commercial Court) and appellate courts up to the Supreme Court, as well as the Competition Appeals Tribunal, the Administrative Court and the first-tier and upper tax tribunals. In recent years, Leo’s representations have included some of the largest competition-related disputes currently before the English Courts, such as the FX litigation where he represents a group of (mostly) asset managers and pension funds against a number of large investment banks, and the Merricks litigation, which is now the leading English authority in relation to the certification of collective proceedings. In the public law space, Leo currently advises Jane Street regarding its judicial review claim against the London Metal Exchange in relation to its cancellation of various nickel trades in March 2022.
In terms of industry sectors, Leo advises clients in a diverse range of such sectors, including most prominently those in the financial and payment services, transport and aerospace sector, luxury goods and energy sectors. He is also, owing to his experience in collective actions, well-used to litigation involving the assistance of litigation funding. Leo has also advised clients in relation to a variety of insurance-related matters, both from a regulatory and contentious perspective.
Alongside his experience before the English Courts, Leo also has experience of foreign courts, having been involved in litigation in a number of other jurisdictions, including most recently Spain, Italy, the United States and the Cayman Islands. He is often involved in litigation spanning multiple jurisdictions, and in coordinating clients’ litigation strategy in complex, cross-border scenarios.
Leo has been recognized by Legal 500 UK in both their competition and banking litigation rankings, including being named as a Rising Star for Banking Litigation: Investment & Retail for three consecutive years, and as a Next Generation Partner in their most recent, 2023 rankings.
Leo graduated with a first class degree in History from the University of Durham in 2009, before completing his legal studies at BPP Law School in London (to which he returned in 2016 to obtain his higher rights of audience). Prior to joining the firm in 2019, Leo spent six years as an associate at a magic circle law firm in London. As a trainee solicitor he spent 6 months in Hong Kong.
- Allianz Global Investors
- Anchorage Capital
- Brevan Howard
- Jane Street
- Palladium Hotel Group
- Acting for an ad hoc group of holders of Credit Suisse’s AT1 bonds in relation to litigation arising out of the write-down of those bonds as part of the merger between Credit Suisse and UBS.
- Acting for a group of asset managers and other buy-side entities (including PIMCO, Brevan Howard, BlueCrest and Allianz) in a multi-billion pound dispute against 14 banks, arising out of manipulation of the FX markets over a period of 10 years.
- Acting for the class representative, Mr Merricks, in achieving the award-winning Supreme Court decision in Merricks v Mastercard, now the leading authority on the certification of collective proceedings.
- Acting for Jane Street in its claim for judicial review (and associated remedies) against the London Metal Exchange, arising from the latter’s decision to cancel various nickel trades in March 2022.
- Acting for Palladium Hotel Group in their c.€500m dispute with Deutsche Bank, regarding numerous exotic foreign exchange derivatives.
- Acting for a group of bondholders in litigation in various jurisdictions, arising out of the collapse of the Spanish Bank, Banco Popular in June 2017,
- Acting for two partners of BDO LLP, as Receivers & Managers of the assets of the Libyan Investment Authority
- Acting for a major European truck manufacturer in relation to various follow-on damages claims arising out of its involvement in a Europe-wide cartel relating to the fixing of prices for trucks.
- Acting for a major aerospace manufacturer regarding a multi-million dollar insurance claim.
- Part of the team which defended Mercuria in relation to allegations of dishonest assistance and fraudulent trading linked to VAT carousel fraud in the carbon emissions market in 2009. The case reached trial in June 2018, for a period of six weeks.
- Seeking and obtaining emergency injunctive relief in favour of a payment services company in relation to a dispute with one of its business-critical service providers.
- Advising a FTSE 100 client in the food and beverage sector as claimant in relation to proceedings in the Commercial Court concerning various historic breaches of contract by a prominent Indian businessman.
- Antitrust & Competition
- Class Action Litigation
- Investment Fund Litigation
- Hedge Fund Litigation
- Investment Advisor & Asset Manager Litigation
- Representing Pension Funds, Other Managed Funds, and Government Agencies as Plaintiffs
- Lender Liability & Other Banking Financial Institution Litigation
- Litigation Representing Plaintiffs
- Securities Litigation
- Structured Finance & Derivatives Litigation
- Russia Disputes Practice
- Accounting & Financial Reporting Litigation
- Bankruptcy & Restructuring
- Government & Regulatory Litigation
- Insurance & Reinsurance Litigation
- Shareholder Activist Litigation
- Sovereign Litigation, Arbitration and Workouts
- BPP Law School, London
(Higher Rights of Audience (Civil Courts), 2016)
(Legal Practice Course, Distinction, 2011)
(Graduate Diploma in Law, Distinction, 2010)
- University of Durham
(B.A., Hons, History, 2009)
- First Class
- Solicitor of the High Court of England & Wales
- Slaughter and May:
- Associate, 2014-2019
- Associate, 2014-2019
- Simmons & Simmons LLP:
- Associate, 2013-2014
- Ranked in Litigation by The Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom: Ones to Watch, 2024
- Ranked in Banking and Finance Law by The Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom: Ones to Watch, 2023 and 2024
- Listed in Legal 500 UK as a “Next Generation Partner” for Banking Litigation: Investment & Retail, 2023
- Named by Legal 500 UK in their competition litigation rankings as “an exceptional legal talent [who] is very hard working [and] is also a pleasure to work with”
- Ranked by Legal 500 UK as a Rising Star for Banking Litigation: Investment & Retail, 2020-2022
- “Transitioning Away From LIBOR: A Constantly Shifting Landscape”, 2021
- “Class action certification: The implications of the Supreme Court's Merricks Judgment”, British Institute of International and Comparative Law panel event, May 2021
- “Portuguese swaps case: implications for banks”, International Financial Law Review, April 2016