(FCIArb) Head of Commercial Dispute Resolution
Gwendoline is head of our Commercial Dispute Resolution Group and is known as a formidable litigator with immense experience. The majority of her work is complex, high value commercial disputes (involving litigation, arbitration, mediation and expert determination), for UK, global corporates and entrepreneurs.
Developing long-standing relationships with clients is a core element of Gwendoline’s business philosophy. She’s keen to point out that “any lawyer can give clients legal theory, but my emphasis is on providing commercially intelligent, pragmatic advice which gets to the root of the matter quickly”.
Gwendoline recognises her ability to grasp facts and issues quickly, using her experience to find solutions for her clients. Not surprisingly, these are strengths her clients value immensely: “We have, throughout this entire process, felt in the best and most capable hands with Gwendoline, who is constantly live to all considerations and engages with the complexities of difficult and unusual circumstances”.
Gwendoline describes client service as “paramount”, and her approach is very much a partnership one. She makes herself available on an ‘as and when’ basis to support her client’s requirements. Devising a strategy for a case which results in a favourable outcome for the client is the most rewarding part of her work.
In relation to her team Gwendoline explains: “teamwork is essential to my work. I involve one or more other lawyers on each matter if possible. I see one of my key roles as passing down knowledge and training my team members so that they become the best litigators”.
Gwendoline is totally committed to the firm ethos and makes sure that everyone else in the team is as well. She says: “I hate hierarchy and see myself as one of the team”.
From a working-class family in South West Wales, Gwendoline was the first person to go to university (from either side) and after securing a training contract at Herbert Smith Freehills, work in litigation resonated with her immediately.
“I loved the strategy, the breadth of legal issues and the variety of work involved. I knew that I would never be bored”.
Gwendoline is an accredited mediator with the Centre for Dispute Resolution, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a member of the International Bar Association and a member of the Firm’s International Committee. In 2018 she was appointed to the Legal 500’s Hall of Fame.
10th August 2023
“Gwendoline is a highly skilled, impressive and pragmatic lawyer who has been constantly available in fluid circumstances, despite the various jurisdictions involved in the matter. Gwendoline clearly has vast technical knowledge and an impressive legal skillset, but the main thing we’ve needed throughout this process is practical commercial advice and that is exactly what we receive every time we pick up the phone to Gwendoline. We have, throughout this entire process, felt in the best and most capable of hands with Gwendoline, who is constantly live to all considerations and engages with the complexities of difficult and unusual circumstances. Gwendoline has also worked closely with our third party advisors (in the US and China), providing crucial input on issues that form part of a wider piece of work, ensuring we receive the highest levels of service”