Insolvency in London Bar
South Square 'continues to dictate the standard to which others must pitch', praised one client, saying the set is 'unrivaled for insolvency-related matters'. Areas where members particularly stand out include schemes of arrangement, company voluntary arrangements, administrations and liquidations, as well as cross-border matters and insolvency litigation. Highlights for David Allison QC include acting for the company in House of Fraser's scheme of arrangement, and the special court-appointed managers conducting the liquidation of Carillion. Daniel Bayfield QC acted for the creditor in Re OJSC International Bank of Azerbaijan. Felicity Toube QC is noted for international proceedings, with particular experience before courts in the Cayman Islands. Henry Phillips was led by William Trower QC in Noble Group Limited; a complex scheme of arrangement involving a restructuring of $4bn of its liabilities. Trowers QC has recently been appointed to the Chancery Division of the High Court.
4 Stone Buildings' members have developed strong practices in insolvency and restructuring work, including representations of the UK government. Jonathan Crow QC recently appeared in PST v OW Bunker; a major case for the shipping industry that raised issues including the application of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 to any contracts which include a retention of title clause and a licence to consume. Tiran Nersessian is also recommended, and has a broad practice of private and government instructions, including acting as sole counsel to Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs before the Court of Appeal in Botleigh Grange v HMRC. Andrew de Mestre QC took silk in 2019 and recently acted for the liquidators of Hellas Telecommunications. Meanwhile, Sharif Shivji acted for the claimants, the liquidators of various BVI companies, in Stephen Akers v Deutsche Bank AG, winning a €200m settlement for the clients following accusations that Deutsche Bank sold toxic and complex credit derivative instruments.
Enterprise Chambers has developed a strong group of insolvency practitioners, with members acting in a range of high-profile cases, including Niall McCulloch in Michael J Lonsdale (Electrical) Ltd v Bresco Electrical Services Ltd (In Liquidation) and Linden Ife in various claims following the bankruptcy of Colin Poole. Ife has also developed a niche in acting for lenders, in addition to claims for recovering unlawful dividends paid pre-liquidations.
Erskine Chambers contains practitioners well versed in contentious insolvencies and corporate restructuring, drawing on substantial experience from large insolvencies acted in over the last decade. The set is particularly strong in cases where insolvency intersects with banking and finance or civil fraud. David Chivers QC was instructed in Liquidators of Weavering MacroFixed Income Fund v Skandanaviska Ensiklda Banken; Peter Arden QC continued to act in Re Lehman Brothers International(Europe): the surplus scheme. Raquel Agnello QC has developed a niche in the interface between insolvency and pensions law.
Serle Court's members are particularly active in cross-border insolvency cases; Philip Jones QC was instructed in Green Elite before the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal and advised the UK government with respect to the collapse of BHS and represented it in subsequent disqualification proceedings against Philip Green and Dominic Chappell. Meanwhile, James Mather is acting for an English fund management company in defence of a claim by an special purpose vehicle of Cerberus in Lady Moon v Petricca. Timothy Collingwood has a strong track-record in cases concerning directors' breaches of duty and asset recovery issues.
XXIV Old Buildings has members dealing with all aspects of international and domestic insolvency law. Multiple members, including Alan Steinfeld QC and Edward Cumming QC, are acting in Carlyle Capital Corporation Limited (in liquidation) and others v Conway & others. Stuart Adair is acting in Orexim Trading Limited v Mahavir Port and Terminal Limited, while, in Caymen Island proceedings, Robert Levy QC is acting for the liquidators in Re Caledonian Insurance.
3 Verulam Buildings has 'strength in depth at every level and offer an excellent choice of counsel'. The set has been involved in a number of high-profile cases, demonstrated by Ewan Mcquater QC's lead of Vodafone's defence in Phones 4u Limited v Vodafone Group. In another highlight, Matthew Hardwick QC acted for the claimant in Delco Participation BV v Green Elite Limited. Adrian Beltrami QC, who was appointed as a Deputy High Court Judge in 2018, acted for RBS in the pre-trial phase of Marme v RBS.
Maitland Chambers' barristers are 'very clever and always great to deal with', bringing their skills to bear on a range of insolvency law matters. Junior silk Catherine Joanne Addy QC has developed a strong practice and represented the joint administrators in Re Cambridge Analytica (UK) Limited and others (in administration); in a successful application for the conversion of administrations and appointment of the joint administrators as joint liquidators. Catherine Newman QC acted for Dregon Land, as the respondent in BTA Bank v Ablyazov and others.
Members of New Square Chambers have considerable off- and onshore insolvency experience including in administrations, receiverships, government inquiries, and voluntary arrangements. 'Outstanding' senior junior David Eaton Turner is acting for the trustees in Re Estate in Bankruptcy of Gregory King; a matter that encompasses cross-border issues in Gibraltar, Spain and Scotland. Robin Hollington QC stands out for his offshore and international insolvency experience. He is leading Adrian Pay for the petitioner and its litigation funders in TOC Investments v Beppler & Jacobson; and following success in the substantive proceedings, the pair are instructed by the funder in its recovery of the costs of the provisional liquidation.
Radcliffe Chambers is active in corporate insolvency, with members acting in a variety of litigation and advisory work for creditors, debtors and officeholders. Christopher Boardman is noted for his expertise in cross-border and financial cases, and is currently acting for the defendant liquidators in Cash Generator Ltd v Fortune. n Re HMV Retail Limited and HMV E-Commerce Limited, Tina Kyriakides acted for the administrators of HMV Retail and HMV E-Commerce in relation to their appointment.
Wilberforce Chambers houses specialists in corporate and personal insolvency litigation and advice, who are often instructed on matters in the UK and offshore. Lexa Hilliard QC, James Bailey QC and Bobby Friedman acted in Re Force India (Formula 1), while Bailey and Marcia Shekerdemian QC were instructed on Re Paul Baxendale Walker. Shekerdemian QC is particularly noted for her expertise in restructuring and insolvency litigation, successfully representing the security trustees in the contested application for the removal of the administrators in Re: Zinc Hotels (Investments) Ltd.