DaySparkes > London, England > Firm Profile

Second Floor (South)
3 Gray's Inn Square
Gray's Inn
London WC1R 5AH

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: mid-market Tier 5

Achieving 'excellent results at a low cost', DaySparkes' diverse commercial litigation practice covers professional negligence claims, director and shareholder disputes, market abuse claims and insolvency-related matters. It is also active in cryptocurrency disputes, property litigation, VAT fraud, and cases involving freezing injunctions. The 'highly effective' John Day acts in a wide variety of complex, commercial and banking litigation disputes; and the track record of 'impressive' Michael Sparkes includes disputes against major international banks. Director Gopi Binning is 'one to watch'.

Practice head(s):

John Day; Michael Sparkes

Other key lawyers:


‘A tiny but highly effective banking, commercial and fraud litigation boutique. With two top-flight partners and a brilliant quarterback, it is an outfit particularly suited to working for individuals and small/mid-size entities against banks and larger commercial or financial organisations. Relentless in its approach, it achieves excellent results at a low cost.’

A Magic Circle pedigree and attention to detail in a litigation boutique.

The team is led by Michael Sparkes and John Day, both very experienced commercial litigators, who give very hands-on leadership to their teams. Clients get an efficient and personal service.

‘John Day is a humorous and clever solicitor with pragmatic advice, and Michael Sparkes is impressive, especially at building to mediation.’

‘Michael Sparkes is calm, unruffled, highly experienced, and utterly focused on dispelling myths put forward by the opposition.’

John Day is no-nonsense, always jovial and highly effective.

‘John Day is a highly motivated, keen strategist and very experienced litigator. You will want to have him on your team.’

Director Gopi Binning is one to watch.

Key clients

RM Sotheby’s

Dynamo 44

Penta Consulting

Watchers SA

Work highlights

  • Acted for RM Sotheby’s in a Norwich Pharmacal application by JBR Capital for the production of documents required to prove title to a high-value Ferrari F12.
  • Acted for two HNW Slovakian business owners in a claim against two joint venture partners, arising out of the failure to account for the profits of a UK property portfolio.
  • Representing over 40 victims of the HBOS Reading Fraud in their claims against Lloyds Banking Group for significant damages for direct and consequential losses, arising out of the destruction of their businesses.

Dispute resolution > Banking litigation: investment and retail Tier 6

DaySparkes banking litigation team is led by the ‘outstandingMichael Sparkes and ‘cleverJohn Day, and is viewed by clients to 'punch above their weight’. It is best known for its director-led, forensic approach. It works across diverse banking dispute work, including claims involving banking fraud, alleged market abuse, securitisation disputes and crypto-currency disputes.

Practice head(s):

Michael Sparkes; John Day

Other key lawyers:

Liina Tulk; Gopi Binning


‘Day Sparkes deliver excellent results in interesting yet difficult cases. A particular strength is the expertise in this area coupled with fantastic communication. Excellent preparation helps to ensure constructive and favourable settlement discussions and agreements at mediation.’

‘Michael is very good indeed. He is very clever and I have full confidence in his abilities to negotiate and plan a pathway forward.’

‘Collaborative approach at the senior level – sense they share ideas and work well together’

‘John Day – humorous and clever solicitor who likes to share ideas and listen to others’ before concluding. Michael Sparkes – impressive approach that seems to get results in mediation. Gopi Binning – works very hard. Liin Tulk – Knowledgeable and approachable.’

‘Excellent personal service from the partners who have a forensic knowledge of how banks work.’

‘DaySparkes have always brought an incredible depth of knowledge, understanding and ability to all situations. They are extremely approachable, proactive and helpful throughout.’

‘Michael Sparkes has always provided an extremely incisive and meticulous approach throughout all stages to achieve the most beneficial outcome. Gopi Binning also provides excellent support in all aspects of proceedings and communication from DaySparkes is first class.’

‘Small but effective team who really get into the detail of the case and punch above their weight.’

Key clients

Watchers SA

Paul Pascoe

Work highlights

  • Advising and representing over 40 victims of the HBOS Reading Fraud in their claims against Lloyds Banking Group for very significant damages for direct and consequential losses arising out of the destruction of their businesses.
  • Acting for  Paul Pascoe, Noel Edmonds’ former business partner in Unique Group, in relation to his £20million+ fraud claim against Lloyds Banking Group arising out of the HBOS Reading/Quayside Corporate Services fraud.
  • Advised a Belgian client (Watchers SA) on a successful application against HSBC for Norwich Pharmacal disclosure arising out of a cryptocurrency fraud.

DaySparkes is a leading boutique litigation law firm, based in Gray’s Inn, in the heart of London’s legal quarter, specialising in complex commercial, banking, fraud, professional negligence and arbitral disputes.

The firm: DaySparkes was founded by John Day and Michael Sparkes, each former City lawyers, in 2010. It aims to deliver exceptional, director-led, legal advice and representation at competitive charge-out rates.

The firm acts for individual and corporate clients alike across a broad range of High Court and arbitral disputes, frequently involving an international/cross-border element and an increasing level of third-party litigation funding.

The subject-matter of our cases typically covers complex banking and commercial fraud actions, commercial property disputes, negligence claims against firms of accountants, lawyers and other professionals, partnership and joint venture disputes, company law disputes, such as “unfair prejudice” and deferred consideration disputes under S&P agreements; complex/higher value employment disputes involving sex and unfair discrimination, protected disclosure (“whistle-blowing”) and the enforcement of restrictive covenants and regulatory investigations.

In more recent years, the firm has played a key role in securing compensation and justice for victims of the HBOS Reading fraud scandal, which arose out of the criminal conviction of two former HBOS employees and individuals from Quayside Corporate Services. We have advised over 40 victims of this appalling fraud though various compensatory review schemes and funded High Court actions.

DaySparkes’ lawyers are drawn from leading international law firms and have a wealth of legal and tactical knowledge in complex  litigation, including multi-jurisdictional disputes, asset-tracing and obtaining/defending freezing injunctions, restraining orders, third party and “Norwich Pharmacal” disclosure orders and ‘dawn raid’ search and seizure orders. However, they are equally skilled and experienced in resolving disputes through mediation, neutral determinations and other forms of ADR. The quality of their work is recognised by the regular referrals which DaySparkes receives from London’s largest and best-known commercial law firms and glowing client testimonials.

Types of work undertaken: DaySparkes’ core practice areas consist of complex commercial litigation, banking and financial disputes, ‘white -collar’ fraud and professional negligence claims, but it is also frequently instructed in a range of other matters, including property and construction law disputes, shipping and trade disputes and employment-related matters

Commercial litigation: DaySparkes acts in a wide range of commercial disputes, including contractual disputes; commercial fraud, trust and asset tracing claims; shareholder and investor disputes; claims for breach of directors’ duties; partnership and joint venture disputes; disputes concerning sale and purchase agreements and deferred consideration claims; money laundering and regulatory investigations; international arbitration (LMAA, LCIA and ICC); and defamation cases.

Banking and finance disputes: DaySparkes’ banking and finance team has considerable experience in litigating a wide variety of claims against prominent international and domestic banks. Cases have involved the alleged negligent and fraudulent mis-selling of complex structured products and interest rate swaps; CMBS disputes; LIBOR manipulation; breaches of mandate; undue influence; breaches of lending facilities/criteria; “crypto currency”-related claims, “mortgage prisoner” disputes and the defence of multiple possession proceedings.

Examples of recent cases include:

  • representing leading victims of the HBOS Reading scandal in complex High Court fraud actions backed by litigation and ATE funding and advising and representing over 40 victims though the Griggs and Foskett compensatory reviews arising out of the HBOS fraud;
  • representing a Ukrainian oil importer in relation to a US$13.5m LCIA arbitration arising out of the alleged misappropriation of oil products;
  • advising the world’s leading car auction house on an application for third party disclosure; advising HNW investors in a failed film scheme in claims for alleged fraud and breach of contract;
  • acting for an AIM-listed property investment trust in relation to a €40m+ damages claim against a top four accountancy firm and a silver circle law firm arising out of a substantial corporate and financial restructuring;
  • acting for a Texas trust in contesting an anti-suit injunction obtained by RBS, restraining $100m fraud proceedings brought by its client against RBS in Texas;
  • advising a leading IT provider in a £1.5m claim for negligence against its former Finance Director arising out of miss-stated accounts;
  • acting for class X noteholders in their claims against the issuer, note trustee and cash manager of a CMBS for the recovery of significant underpayments of class X interest;
  • advising a HNW individual in claims against a major international trading broker for refusing to pay out under profitable trades involving GameStop shares;
  • acting for two high-net-worth Latvian individuals in the long-running and high-profile ‘Antonio Gramsci’ High Court fraud proceedings, involving an alleged $135m fraud on the Latvian Shipping Company;
  • acting for a 50% shareholder in an international joint venture company in defence of an $80m damages claim for breach of a licensing agreement for the manufacture, marketing and distribution of well-known pharmaceutical products;
  • advising a commercial property company in a £6m professional negligence claim against its former accountants arising out of a defective share buy-back transaction;
  • advising a leading equity partner in claims against her former fund for sex discrimination and unfair dismissal;
  • advising a media boutique agency in connection with claims against a luxury car manufacturer for breach of contracts in multiple jurisdictions;
  • advising a leading provider of sports, events, media and fashion in a dispute involving unpaid TV production costs;
  • acting for the former director of a prominent ‘fintech’ company in a claim against a ‘white knight’ investor;
  • acting for various SMEs in connection with sophisticated ‘vishing’ frauds carried out on their online banking systems;
  • advising one of the UK’s leading mobile phone and broadband providers on a complex dispute arising out of the roll out of its ‘4G’ network;
  • acting for a Russian media services company in disputes against well-known cable TV networks for non-payment of substantial agency and administration fees;
  • acting for a well-known international hotelier and businessman in his defence of an application by a Kuwaiti minority shareholder to wind up an SPV property-owning company registered in Panama;
  • advising an international fund manager on its potential legal claims against the underlying fund and third parties arising out of the imposition of UN and EU sanctions following the Libyan uprising in 2011.
Director John Day
Director Michael Sparkes
Director Gopi Binning
Commercial litigation John Day
Banking and financial disputes Michael Sparkes
Number of UK Directors : 3
Number of other UK fee-earners : 4

CLIENT: Gary Wells
COMPANY/FIRM: Kangaroo Poo Limited
TESTIMONIAL: “I chose to work with DaySparkes after discussions with various other law firms. The decision was based on their professionalism, their relevant experience and their track record of success. They operated with integrity and passion, they wanted to understand and listen to the complex nature of my potential case.  They wanted justice.

Working with them over a three-year period was a sound business decision, which resulted in a positive conclusion. Their actions and advice throughout the three years was practical, pragmatic and hard-nosed, which it had to be.

Whilst Day Sparkes may not be the largest law firm, they certainly ‘punch well above their weight’ and get results, which was my priority.”

CLIENT: Simon Robinson
COMPANY/FIRM: Remnant Media Limited
TESTIMONIAL: “I would highly recommend the firm for its knowledge and expertise. From a lawyer, particularly in relation to banking litigation, a client wants to have the confidence that the lawyer concerned has an in depth understanding of how the banking industry works. I believe that DaySparkes has a very superior knowledge of this sector.”

“DaySparkes is prepared to stand up to a bank when other law firms might crumble. Banking litigation can be ruthless and aggressive and DaySparkes have to fear in confronting banks whatever the bank tries to throw at them.”

“John Day and Michael Sparkes are a very formidable team if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to take legal action against a bank.”

“I’d happily recommend DaySparkes.”

CLIENT: David Keers-Trafford
TESTIMONIAL: “As the Director and Founder of my bespoke media agency business I found myself in uncharted waters when a key, multibillion dollar global client breached a number of very complex contracts under various differing countries/ legal jurisdictions. I can say with my hand on heart, I would never have been able to navigate the challenges and stresses that this dispute caused me in both my business and private life over long period of time without the team at DaySparkes.”

CLIENT: Joanne Dove
COMPANY/FIRM: Cotton Bottoms Limited
TESTIMONIAL: “Day Sparkes have quiet confidence and innate wisdom.  They think laterally harnessing all connections to professional and regulatory bodies to bring matters to a swift cost-effective conclusion.  Where the need arises they have been extremely resourceful and efficient in assisting with both litigation funding and insurance – procuring assistance from sources outside the norm to give a breadth of choice to suit the individual circumstances and client case needs.  A dedicated team that’s all over the detail providing innovative solutions and sage advice that comes from a wealth of experience.”