Gregory Mitchell > Chambers of Ewan McQuater QC and Adrian Beltrami QC > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of Ewan McQuater QC and Adrian Beltrami QC
3 Verulam Buildings
GRAY'S INN
LONDON
WC1R 5NT
England
Gregory Mitchell photo

Position

Specialises in commercial litigation, arbitration and advisory work. He has been instructed in substantial domestic and international disputes by a wide range of clients including banks, insurance companies, property companies, insolvency practitioners, foreign lawyers and private individuals. His core areas are commercial litigation, corporate insolvency, banking and finance, solicitor’s negligence in commercial transactions, civil fraud, breach of confidence and disputes between shareholders. He also advises on the drafting and structure of transactions in particular financial instruments, asset and share sale agreements and has given expert evidence on English law. He enjoys dealing with cases which have a substantial technological aspect. Notable cases include: In the Matter of Portsmouth City Football Club Ltd. Acted for HMRC in relation to a winding up petition against POFC. Haugesund & Narvik v Depfa Bank & Wikborg Rein & Co [2009] EWHC 2227 (Comm). Acting for foreign law firm in relation to a claim that Swaps made under ISDA Master Agreements are void. The case raises difficult issues of the capacity of Norwegian Kommunes to make such agreements and whether they are bound to give restitution of the money lent by the bank, in particular whether their losses arising from investment in CDOs amount to a change of position. Ram Media Ltd (In Administration) v Ministry of Culture of the Hellenic Republic [2009] & [2008] EWHC 1835. Acted for the successful claimant (in administration) against the Greek government in a hard fought contractual claim arising out of the cancellation of the FIFPRO World XI Football Awards due to be held in Athens in November 2006 and the resulting insolvency of the claimant and devised a strategy of enforcement against Greek government bonds under CPR 72 overcoming immunity under the State Immunity Act 1978. OBG Ltd v Allan & Stevenson; Douglas v Hello, Mainstream Properties v Young [2007] UKHL 21 [2007] 2 WLR 920. Acted for the invalidly appointed administrative receivers in the first of three appeals on economic tort. The Lords have laid down important guidelines on the torts of inducing breach of contract, and causing loss by unlawful means. The Lords rejected by a majority an extension of the tort of conversion to intangible property in a watershed decision. Shierson v Vlieland-Boddy [2005] EWCA Civ 974. Acted for the trustee in bankruptcy in a case deciding the tests to be applied under EU Regulation 1346/2000 on Insolvency Proceedings in determining jurisdiction under Articles 3(1) and (2) – where the debtor claimed that he had moved his COMl from one EU jurisdiction to another. Abdul Latif Qayoumi v Oakhouse Property Holdings Plc [2003] BPlR 1 & [2003] 1 BCLC 352. Acted for the claimant shareholder who brought a derivative action and claimed a lien over recoveries in respect of the indemnity ordered in his favour in respect of the costs incurred. Phillips v Brewin Dolphin [2001] 1 WLR 143. Acted for Brewin Dolphin in the House of Lords on the question of the meaning of ‘transaction’ under s238 of the Insolvency Act 1986. Acted for an international bank from 2004 – 2008 in a multi-jurisdictional dispute arising out of the exercise by the Department of Justice in New York of its forfeiture powers of US $ deposits under USC 981(k) ‘the Patriot Act 2001’ in connection with a claim to trace the proceeds of money laundering and internet gaming. HSBC v 5th Avenue Partners Ltd, Michael Brown & others [2006]. Acted from December 2005 – June 2006 for four investor defendants and Part 20 claimants in a $60m claim brought by HSBC to protect the investors’ remaining money from further fraud by 5th Avenue Partners Ltd and Michael Brown and to recover the sums lost. The case raised a large number of banking issues as to duties of care owed, whether accounts were trust accounts, and liability in constructive trust. Dresdner Kleinworf Benson Wasserstein (South East Asia) Ltd & others v Shinhan Bank (2003). Acted for a Korean Bank in a claim in the Commercial Court based on a letter of comfort relating to a floating rate note issue of $50m concerning the status and effect under English law of a letter of comfort. Charles William lngram v Who Wants to be a Millionaire Ltd & ITV (2001-03). Acted for ITV and Who Wants to be a Millionaire in the civil claim brought by the notorious ‘coughing Major’ seeking to recover £1m on the cheque provided to him. The civil claim preceded the eventual criminal proceedings brought by the CPS – the civil claim was adjourned shortly before trial so that the criminal case could proceed first. OSI v AVCL & others [1997] RPC 289. Acted for the defendants 1994-97 in a substantial dispute in which the claimant alleged that the entire technology (machinery, lens design programs, operating procedures, computer software) used by the defendants to set up a plant manufacturing disposable contact lenses was proprietary. The decision deals with many important issues in the law of confidential information and the remedies available.

Career

Called 1979; QC 1997; publication: contributor to ‘Issues in Banking Litigation’.

Languages

German (fluent).

Education

University of London (BA Hons; PhD).