Charles Balmain

Partner, London

Biography

‘Charles Balmain is an extremely impressive litigator, with great practical advice and an ability to spot - and emphasise - the winning arguments’.
Legal 500 UK 2020

Overview

Charles is a partner in the Firm's Global Commercial Litigation Practice. With a strong international perspective, Charles acts for clients in disputes before the English courts as well as in multiple offshore jurisdictions. He has also acted in numerous international arbitrations, principally conducted under ICC or LCIA rules.

Charles routinely assists large corporate clients, financial institutions and sovereigns across a broad range of contentious situations, in both a representative and advisory capacity, from internal or regulatory investigations, debt restructurings, through to formal court or arbitral proceedings.

Charles also has a background in EU law and has a particular focus on contentious competition matters, having acted for multiple clients in competition damages claims before both the Competition Appeal Tribunal and the High Court, as well as in market and merger inquiries performed by the UK competition authorities. He has previously practiced in White & Case's Brussels and Paris offices, and speaks English, French and German.

Charles has worked with clients from a variety of sectors including the financial services, telecommunications and oil and gas sectors. He was previously seconded to the in-house dispute resolution team of an oil super-major.

Charles sits on the Committee of the London Solicitors Litigation Association, which represents the interests of a wide range of litigators in London.

Charles is listed as a Leading Individual for Commercial Litigation by Legal 500 UK 2020, and is also recommended for Banking Litigation and Competition Litigation, and is praised for his "clear, helpful advice". 

Bars and Courts
Solicitor Advocate
England and Wales
Education
Legal Practice Course
The College of Law, London
LLM
European Law
College of Europe, Bruges

Belgium

LLB
Law with European Legal Studies
King's College London
Diploma
in European Legal Studies
Heidelberg University

Germany

Languages
English
French
German

Experience

Japanese consumer electronics producer
Advising a leading Japanese producer of consumer electronic products in their defence of stand-alone actions for damages in the High Court, for alleged breach of Article 101 TFEU. The defence strategy in these proceedings is being coordinated across the multiple jurisdictions in which our client is simultaneously being pursued, for damages allegedly caused by cartels on the markets for cathode ray tubes and LCD panels.

Shareholder in Turkish mobile phone operator
Representing the owner of a controlling stake in Turkey's leading mobile phone operator in successful proceedings before the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (High Court, Court of Appeal and Privy Council), and English Administrative Court, concerning the disputed ownership of a US$1.5 billion stake in the operator.

International oil and gas exploration and production company
Advising a FTSE 250 international oil and gas exploration and production company in connection with its response to the findings of an internal investigation, including with respect to potential English High Court and parallel international arbitration proceedings in multiple jurisdictions.

Wind Hellas
Providing risk advisory and litigation advice in connection with the restructuring of Wind Hellas, one of Greece's largest mobile phone operators, in the UK's largest ever pre-pack administration. We advised on potential challenges by creditors in the English, US, Greek and Luxembourg courts in respect of the COMI transfer of the relevant Luxembourg company to London and the pre-pack administration sale.

Cross-border investigations
Advising a major French Bank in connection with cross-border investigations conducted by several regulatory authorities (the US, UK, France, European Commission, Switzerland and Singapore).

A European oil and gas group
Representing a European oil and gas group in relation to the European Commission's investigation into paraffin wax and the related damages claims in the English High Court, in which our client is defending contribution claims brought against it by members of the paraffin wax cartel.

Synthetic rubber manufacturer
Representing a major producer of synthetic rubber in its defence of a follow-on antitrust damages action commenced against it by a group of leading tyre producers. The proceedings were brought on the basis of a finding by the European Commission that the producer's former agent had participated in a cartel in the market for ESBR rubber, which is used in the production of tyres.

Nuclear power station design and construction
Advising in an arbitration concerning the design and construction of nuclear power stations.

Publications

More Haste, Less Speed—The Evolving Practice in Competition Damages Actions in the United Kingdom, 2011 Global Competition Litigation Review, Volume 4, Issue 4, (co-author)

Regular contributor to the Institute of Competition Law's E-Competitions bulletin

Consultant on the Oxera Quantification of Damages Study prepared for the European Commission, 2009

Awards and Recognition

Competition Litigation, The Legal 500 UK, 2014