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Julian Copeman

Partner, London, Non-resident partner, Hong Kong

Julian is a disputes partner based in London.



Julian has over 25 years dispute resolution experience in England, Hong Kong and elsewhere in international dispute resolution. He has particular specialism in major commercial litigation involving corporate and shareholder disputes, banking and financial matters, cross-border fraud and technology disputes. Julian has experience of the entire range of dispute resolution processes including litigation, arbitration, mediation, expert determination and bespoke processes.

Julian was until recently based in Hong Kong where, in addition to his litigation practice, he was head of the disputes department and managing partner of the Greater China offices. He is qualified in England and Hong Kong. He is also qualified as a solicitor advocate in England, and is an accredited mediator with CEDR (the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution).

Julian was rated as a Leading Individual for Hong Kong Dispute Resolution in Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2017 and 2018, and was praised for being "able to address any complex strategic question" and "quick to respond but considered and reliable". 

He is ranked as a "Leading Individual" for Commercial Litigation: Premium by UK Legal 500 2022, in which he is also highlighted as a key lawyer for Banking Litigation. Julian's successful representation of BskyB in the English High Court's then largest fraud claim attracted awards in 2010 from each of The Lawyer, Legal Week and Legal Business for Litigation Team of the Year. Julian has lectured widely on topics including privilege and civil procedure. He was chair of the local organising committee for the Global Pound Conference in Hong Kong in 2017 and has spoken and written widely on ADR and mediation, including several recent articles on mediation for Hong Kong Lawyer and Asian Dispute Review. 

Julian has advised:

  • A Major broadcaster on potential force majeure related disputes concerning the postponement of sports events during the Covid pandemic and related broadcasting contracts
  • A London Airport on potential disputes arising from force majeure issues relating to the running of the airport during the Covid pandemic and associated travel restrictions as well as the economic effect of the pandemic.
  • The directors and majority shareholders of a broker and fund manager in relation to a potential unfair prejudice petition threatened by a minority shareholder.
  • Advising a Chinese owned company on potential fraudulent misrepresentation claims in relation to the acquisition of 65%  of a media rights company which almost immediately entered administration
  • A financial institution in relation to claims threatened by the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), which relate to allegations of potential bribes and corrupt payments made to LIA employees by an intermediary
  • A bank on its defence of a group claim threatened by investors in a series of highly-leveraged film partnerships who borrowed from the bank as part of the transactions.
  • BSkyB on its successful £318m claims against EDS for deceit, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract arising out of the installation of a new customer relationship management system
  • a satellite operator in a successful defence to an HKIAC arbitration in which another satellite operator sought to prevent it from broadcasting television channels from their shared "condosat" on the basis that the content would spill over into China which the PRC authorities wished to prevent
  • Gatwick Airport in a claim against Ryanair for unpaid check in and baggage charges; and Heathrow and Stansted Airports in various disputes including in relation to valet parking
  • Generali Deutschland Holdings (AMB Generali) in substantial litigation arising from a Stockholm arbitration with Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken concerning mis-selling of pensions, including international asset recovery
  • The Law society of England and Wales in its successful intervention in Prudential Plc v Special Commissioner of Income Tax [2010] EWCA 1094 and [2013] UKSC 1 in which the UK Supreme Court ruled that legal professional privilege should not be extended to cover legal advice given by accountants
  • a group of shareholders in a dispute between shareholders of a multi-national restaurant and bar business valued in excess of HK$520 million concerning the beneficial ownership of the business, allegations of misappropriation and claims for breach of contract
  • a PRC pharmaceutical company in a dispute with a US private equity firm relating to a joint venture and convertible bonds
  • IBM in defending a claim brought by the Transport Department of the Government of Hong Kong in relation to a project to develop an integrated transport information computer system
  • a party in resolving a dispute between the partners to a fund in relation to the structure of holdings and entitlement to a proportion of carried interest
  • Jyske Bank (Gibraltar) Ltd on its successful claims arising out of a multi-party, multi-jurisdictional fraud
  • UBS in various contentious matters, including in relation to the UK Financial Services Authority’s investigation concerning split capital investment trusts, and claims in Hong Kong relating to failed IPOs
  • JJB Sports on contentious matters relating to its restructuring and refinancing
  • Equitable Life Assurance Society in its claim against its former auditors and directors
  • Various companies in relation to environmental and tax issues arising from the waste industry, including UK landfill issues, environmental prosecutions, and disputes concerning environmental impact assessment reports



He is a member of the:

  • London Solicitors Litigation Association (of which he was a committee member for some years when he was based in London)
  • Solicitors Association of Higher Court Advocates
  • Association of Pension Lawyers



Julian is qualified as a solicitor in Hong Kong and England. He is also a solicitor-advocate in England and accredited as a mediator by CEDR.

He is a member of the London Solicitors Litigation Association (of which he was a committee member for some years when he was based in London), a member of the Solicitors Association of Higher Court Advocates, and a member of the Association of Pension Lawyers.