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Harry Edwards

Partner

Harry is a dispute resolution partner in our Melbourne office, specialising in class actions and banking litigation.

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Experience

As Head of the Melbourne Disputes Group, Harry helps clients with heavyweight class actions and complex, strategically critical disputes as well as regulatory enforcement matters, with a particular expertise in the financial services sector and in securities and investment-related class actions. Before his move to Melbourne, Harry led our UK class actions practice.  Harry also co-leads our Global LIBOR Cessation Team, which has been engaging with clients, regulators and industry bodies on the issues which arise since its emergence as a critical topic for financial services firms.

Harry is an expert in claims involving securitisations and other complex derivative products, having advised various banks on litigation relating to the close-out of their derivative and other open positions facing Lehman-related entities.

He has written extensively on finance-related litigation, is co-author of the English law chapter of the Securities Law Review (Law Business Research) and is one of the authors of Class Actions in England and Wales (Sweet & Maxwell). Harry is described as "extremely hard working and clever""a strong litigator with a deservedly rising profile" (Legal 500), "a star in the making" who "works hard and provides really inventive and thoughtful input on cases" and "responsive, tactical and engaged with a genuinely impressive ability to grasp complex detail" (Chambers & Partners).

Harry is a trustee of Steel Warriors, a charity that aims to reduce the number of young people carrying knives in the UK. It builds outdoor calisthenics gyms from the steel recycled from melted down knives confiscated from the street.

Harry's experience includes:

  • successfully defending Lloyds Banking Group and its former directors in the UK’s first shareholder class action to reach judgment which arose from the acquisition of HBOS at the height of the financial crisis, alleging breaches of duty in relation to the recommendations and disclosure given to shareholders in the circular
  • successfully defending Goldman Sachs in a US$1.2 billion claim brought by the Libyan Investment Authority ([2016] EWHC 2530 (Ch)) in relation to a series of equity derivatives transactions, featuring allegations of undue influence and unconscionable bargain
  • advising ANZ in relation to a class action brought in relation to the sale of consumer credit insurance
  • advising a rating agency in relation to potential misleading or deceptive conduct proceedings in the Federal Court
  • advising Quindell / Watchstone in relation to a threatened shareholder class action under s90A of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000
  • advising a major global bank on the litigation risks arising from IBOR discontinuation
  • advising G4S on a shareholder class action under s90A of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000
  • advising UBS on the regulatory enforcement action taken regarding trading losses of US$2.3 billion caused by the activities of Kweku Adoboli, and helping the bank support the prosecution in his criminal trial
  • successfully defending UBS in Decura and others v UBS AG, London Branch ([2015] EWHC 171 (Comm)) relating to an alleged termination event under a joint venture agreement
  • advising an underwriting bank in relation to a shareholder class action in Europe

 

Background

Harry has a First Class degree in Jurisprudence from University College, Oxford and qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales in 2007.

Harry trained with Herbert Smith Freehills in London and was promoted to partner in London in 2015. Prior to moving to Melbourne, he led the firm’s UK class action practice.