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Chambers of Michael Todd QC

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Martin Moore QC, Stephen Horan , Andrew Thornton and Michael Todd QC advising on and promoting the proposed takeover of SABMiller by Anheuser-Busch InBev for $104bn (£79bn) in a deal that will be the biggest takeover of a British company and create the world’s first global brewer. The takeover, one of the top five deals in corporate history, will create a brewing empire making about a third of the world’s beer.

In terms of corporate litigation members of Chambers have been active; British American Tobacco, whose Counsel included Andrew Thompson QC, Ben Griffiths and Edward Davies,  successfully brought claims in respect of substantial unlawful dividends paid by a company in 2008 and 2009 in circumstances in which that company  was, and remains, exposed to very substantial environmental liabilities in the US. Interactive Technology Corporation v. Ferster concerns a claim for £20 million against a director with allegations of fraud and misuse of company funds; Nigel Dougherty led by Alan Gourgey QC (Wilberforce Chambers) against Andrew Thompson QC, Ben Shaw and Chantelle Staynings. Judgment is pending. The matter of Hewlett Packard v Autonomy continues into the initial hearing stage with James Potts QC and Edward Davies, led by Laurence Rabinowitz QC (1 Essex Court ) are instructed in relation to the claim by HP arising from its takeover of Autonomy Corporation in 2011.

Mezhprombank v Pugachev involves complex proceedings against a former Russian oligarch in connection with a liquidation in Russia. The case has involved numerous hearings for interim relief over the last 12 months, including worldwide freezing orders, search orders and orders restraining individuals from leaving the jurisdiction. Stephen Smith QC is leading a team of juniors from Erskine Chambers, including Ben Griffiths, Patrick Harty and Tim Akkouh. The case has attracted significant press coverage. An appeal to the Supreme Court in BTA Bank v Ablyazov ,o0ne of the largest  fraud cases  in the English courts, is due to be heard  in March 2017.  Stephen Smith QC has led this case on behalf of BTA Bank since 2009. To date, judgments of US$4.5 billion have been entered in the Bank’s favour and most of the defendants not only have judgments entered against them, but have been sentenced to substantial terms of imprisonment.

Members of Chambers are also involved in various high profile offshore litigation, including, Carlyle Capital Corporation v Conway & 9 others: Ben Griffiths is junior English counsel for Carlyle Capital Corporation on its claims in Guernsey against its former directors and investment managers for in excess of $1 billion. The case arises out of the collapse,during the financial crisis in 2008,  of CCC, a fund established by the well-known Carlyle Group,. Issues  of indemnification under the company’s articles of association also arise. The case is being heard in Guernsey and is estimated to last 6 months.

AHAB v SICL & others: Emily Gillet, led by David Quest QC (3 Verulam Buildings) is principal junior counsel for the claimant in a US$9.2 billion Saudi Arabian/Bahraini fraud/tracing/asset recovery claim pursued against companies incorporated in the Cayman Islands (and now in liquidation). The Cayman proceedings commenced in 2009 and are being heard  by the Chief Justice of the Cayman Islands. The estimated length of the trial is 6 months.

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