Adam Bernards Solicitors handles issues of an international nature and criminal cases for clients that are private individuals, states, governments and organisations from the start of a crisis as it develops on the international stage, to investigations and the court proceedings that may follow. We have expert international lawyers to advise and represent those faced with legal, factual and political situations that may have far-reaching consequences to their reputations and interests. Lawyers in foreign jurisdictions call upon us when faced with problems outside their experience and they require an extra level of expertise to supplement their national knowledge, or international leverage to make their case heard.
Adam Bernards Solicitors can assemble a complete team to cover the range of positions necessary to deal with the complex issues arising from international litigation. Our long experience in this field has enabled us to build relationships with leading academics as a further resource for our work and also to secure the services of leading political, military and police experts.
Our Counsel have won the respect of clients, the judiciary and observers for their courtroom advocacy, professionalism and skill. They are renowned for their dedication, judgment and ability to confront and solve problems in a complex international legal world. Individuals, states and organisations come to Adam Bernards Solicitors because of its well-earned international reputation as a centre of excellence.
At Adam Bernards Solicitors, we recognise the demand for lawyers to deliver a streamlined service at competitive rates. We may be engaged directly by clients upon our international work, thus by-passing the traditional requirement in the UK for the instruction of a solicitor to obtain the services of counsel.
The expansion and globalisation of cross-border investment and trade has led to increased and ever more complex relationships between businesses, investors, and States. As, inevitably, some of those relationships break down, parties need to consider (preferably at the outset of the relationship) the best means of resolving any disputes which may arise. In many cases, that will be arbitration. Arbitration has been used for centuries, with Plato writing about arbitration amongst the ancient Greeks. In more modern times, arbitration became the standard method for resolving disputes in certain industry sectors (such as construction, commodities, shipping, and insurance) where the arbitrators’ technical expertise was particularly valued. However, over the last 50 years or so, the international community has increasingly embraced arbitration, with many recognising its importance as the primary means of resolving complex, transnational, disputes (as well as the economic benefits for a State perceived as “arbitration friendly”).
The firm’s international arbitration lawyers represent private corporations, States and State-owned enterprises in major international disputes all over the world. The practice embraces disputes from a broad range of areas: oil and gas, construction, energy and infrastructure projects, concessions, offtake agreements, telecommunications, finance and corporate transactions, joint ventures, insolvency, insurance and reinsurance, fraud, accountants’ liability, intellectual property, environmental, distribution, import and export, and numerous others. Adam Bernards lawyers have conducted proceedings in many jurisdictions and under all of the major international arbitration rules, and are accustomed to addressing choice of law, choice of jurisdiction, comparative law, and cross-cultural issues. This facilitates communication and coordination, both internally and with clients, and enhances Adam Bernards effectiveness, giving the firm the edge in transnational, multijurisdictional, disputes requiring a coordinated strategy and the application of multiple laws.
Human rights Law
One of the most significant developments since the Second World War is the emergence of human rights law. This has not only challenged the traditional notion of State sovereignty, but has also seen the emergence of a wholly new element in formerly States-only international law – the individual.
Adam Bernards Solicitors is committed to taking human rights cases at the domestic, regional and international level, to fight for justice on behalf of those whose rights and freedoms have been violated. Adam Bernards Solicitors works to protect the fundamental right of the individual to have his/her case heard by an independent judiciary, and assists individuals, anywhere in the world, who have suffered at the hands of their rulers.
Adam Bernards Solicitors is well conversant in a number of important areas of public international law, including: taking cases to the European Court of Human Rights, UN Human Rights Committee and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights; judicial review proceedings; acting for victims of international crimes in seeking reparations; advising on the recognition of judgments in foreign jurisdictions; advising on fair trials abroad; and challenging transfer of prisoner agreements. Our internationally renowned team is experienced in defending human rights at all levels, from domestic to regional and international courts.
A developing area for Adam Bernards Solicitors is providing support to British citizens and also Citizens from other nations facing trial aboard. Consular assistance can be provided as of right. Further assistance can be provided by British lawyers dependent on the nature of the assistance requested and the country where the citizen is being held. British citizens serving a custodial sentence abroad can apply to be transferred back to the UK to serve the remainder of their sentence in the UK prison system. The transferring State, however, must have such an agreement with the UK (the receiving state) in order for this to be applicable. Members of the international team provide advice and assistance to the extent permitted by the holding country either from the UK or in person in that holding country and work closely with local legal teams providing representation where appropriate
International Criminal Law
International criminal law is a branch of public international law that confers criminal liability upon individuals rather than regulating the relationship between States. It is derived from, and draws upon, the principles, developments and legal constructs of domestic criminal law, international humanitarian law and human rights law. International criminal law has developed significantly since the early prosecutions at Nuremberg and Tokyo in the aftermath of the Second World War. It gained momentum with the inception of the international criminal tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda in the early 1990s. This was followed closely by the creation of other international and internationalised courts and tribunals, including, inter alia, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the International Criminal Court, the Special Panels for Serious Crimes in East Timor, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, the War Crimes Section in the Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
This field of law prohibits and seeks to punish what the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court calls “the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole”. The International Criminal Court came into being on 1 July 2002 to try those accused of genocide, crimes against humanity, and grave breaches of international humanitarian law. The Court’s jurisdiction has now extended to cover the use of certain weapons in non-international armed conflicts, and is expected to be extended at some point from 2017 to include crimes of aggression. The Court has jurisdiction over crimes committed since 1 July 2012 on the territory of a State that is party to the Rome Statute, has accepted the jurisdiction of the Court, or has been referred by the UN Security Council. It has further jurisdiction over nationals of States Party, regardless of the location of the crime.
International criminal law cases are often extremely complex, both legally and factually, and trials can take several years. The breadth of expertise at Adam Bernards Solicitors allows us to tailor teams to the specific needs of our clients or demands of the case. They are experienced in conducting sensitive investigations under often challenging and hostile local conditions.
Adam Bernards Soliciotrs has diverse expertise as displayed in the broad range of clientele it represents. We have found it necessary to develop multi-front strategies to assist our clients as experience has shown there is sometimes a need to ensure that they are able to promote their side of a disputed situation. The services provided include advisory work on legal obligations, public advocacy on foreign policy, international relations issues and strategic advice on public relations campaigns.
Adam Bernards Solicitors provides specialist political and public affairs consultancy services advising clients how best to identify, approach and influence the key decision makers.
Our international team provides specialist guidance on taking a project from its inception through all stages of the legal and political processes. Recognising that legal obligations often require consideration of many factors including law, public policy, public relations and long term planning, our team is on hand to plan a well thought out strategy and carry it through to successful conclusion.
Our extensive experience and involvement in international law and foreign policy on a global platform enables us to provide guidance on the development and implementation of clearly defined strategies to achieve the objectives of our clients.
Adam Bernards Solicitors have been engaged in this manner on projects in Europe, Asia, South East Asia, Central America, South America, the Middle East and Africa.