Russell Hopkins


Year of Call: 2018

Practice Overview

Russell has a broad commercial chancery practice specialising in business and human rights, commercial litigation, complex international fraud disputes and private international law.  He also has experience dealing with financial regulatory investigations, civil disputes relating to investment funds, and international bribery investigations.

Russell’s practice lies at the intersection between criminal and civil wrongdoing with a strong international slant. He has substantial experience of class actions, international crimes, ‘white collar’ crime, economic sanctions, bribery and corruption, and corporate liability claims.  

Russell qualified as a solicitor in 2008, practising at Herbert Smith Freehills.  He worked on large-scale commercial disputes and corruption cases, as well as claims and regulatory investigations in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. This included a major investigation into a collapsed bank for alleged bad lending decisions. Russell was judicial assistant to Lord Collins and Lord Wilson at the UK Supreme Court in 2010-2011.

Russell has a significant experience claims involving jurisdiction and foreign law issues. Together with other barristers from Serle Court, Russell is part of the core counsel team instructed for the 200,000+ group Claimants in respect of the Fundão Dam disaster litigation (Municipio de Mariana and oths v BHP Group), one of the largest group actions ever brought before the English courts, involving the collapse of the Fundão Dam in 2015, described as the worst environmental disaster in Brazilian history. The jurisdiction hearing will take place in July 2020 before Mr Justice Turner.  

News & Events

  • News

    #SerleShare - Judgment in Begum v Maran (UK) Ltd [2020] EWHC 1846 (QB)

    #SerleShare – Russell Hopkins discusses the recent first instance decision in Begum v Maran (UK) Ltd [2020] EWHC 1846 ... Read More

    News

    Russell Hopkins recognised by New Law Journal

    Serle Court is delighted that new tenant, Russell Hopkins, has been recognised by New Law Journal for his specialist work... Read More

Education & Qualifications

LLM (Advocacy) with high distinction, including for trial advocacy (assessed by Gary Born) and appellate advocacy (assessed by the Lord Advocate of Scotland)

Taught LLM at the University of Strathclyde (in
Advocacy)

Legal Practice Course at BPP Law School:
Distinction

Graduate Diploma in Law at City Law School:
Commendation

University of Oxford, BA (Hons) in PPE: 2.1

Appointments

Appointed to the Crown Prosecution Service’s

General Crime Advocate Panel at Level 1

Appointed to the List of Defence Counsel approved by the Registrar of the Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals
based in The Hague, The Netherlands, and Arusha, Tanzania (United Nations).

Appointed to the List of Defence Counsel approved by the Registrar of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, The
Netherlands.

Memberships

Member of the Legal Action Committee of the Global Legal Action Network, an NGO. This entails ad hoc legal advice on case strategies, and more detailed advice in relation to the legal response to the ongoing conflict in Yemen and corporate liability for international human rights violations.

Member of BIICL’s Roundtable on Business and Human Rights and the Business and Human Rights Practitioners’ Network.

Member of an expert project at the University of Amsterdam on Secondary Liability for International Crimes and Human Rights Violations, with a focus on due diligence obligations and civil liability.

BIICL

JUSTICE

Other Work

Throughout his career, Russell has been dedicated to pro bono work, having coordinated HSF’s Caribbean appeals work and regularly appearing as an advocate before the Asylum Support Tribunal.  In the UK, he has frequently advised the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) on strategic litigation.  Russell also has a deep-seated interest in cases related to the involvement corporate actors in overseas wrongdoing and the proper boundaries of liability.  He has contributed to various leading texts on related issues.

In March 2014, he left HSF and moved to Cambodia to act as an international Expert Legal Adviser in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) (a war crimes tribunal trying the most senior surviving members of the Khmer Rouge). Russell was recruited to this unique role by the Federal Republic of Germany having been recommended by practitioners in the field.

In the Press

Case 002/02 trial judgment

News & Events

  • News

    #SerleShare - Judgment in Begum v Maran (UK) Ltd [2020] EWHC 1846 (QB)

    #SerleShare – Russell Hopkins discusses the recent first instance decision in Begum v Maran (UK) Ltd [2020] EWHC 1846 ... Read More

    News

    Russell Hopkins recognised by New Law Journal

    Serle Court is delighted that new tenant, Russell Hopkins, has been recognised by New Law Journal for his specialist work... Read More