Zachary Kell > Chambers of Rachel Sleeman > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of Rachel Sleeman
Five Paper


Zachary’s practice encompasses Commercial Law, Civil Fraud, Insolvency & Restructuring, Company Law and Shareholders Disputes. He regularly appears in the High Court, often acting in disputes in the Insolvency & Companies List and Business List of the Chancery Division and the Queen’s Bench Division.

Zachary has particular experience in cross-border litigation and has been instructed both as sole counsel and as part of an international legal team in disputes with a connection to the law of the UAE, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Morocco, France, Italy, Spain and the CIS.

Civil Fraud: primarily in a commercial or corporate context. He often deals with cases involving serious allegations of dishonesty including in relation to: deceit/fraudulent misrepresentation; conspiracy; breach of fiduciary duty and breach of trust; dishonest assistance and accessory liability and interlocutory relief (freezing injunctions, search orders, etc).

Commercial: broad commercial practice representing both individuals and large corporate entities. He has expertise in disputes relating to the sale of goods; the supply of goods and services; breach of contract; all matters involving interpretation of contracts; and the assignment of debts and other choses in action.

Insolvency: working for IPs, individuals and companies in distress. His experience includes matters relating to: corporate insolvency, including misfeasance, fraudulent trading and wrongful trading; applications to extend administrations; applications restraining presentation or advertisement of a winding-up petition personal insolvency, including insolvency administration orders of a deceased’s estate; transactions at an undervalue; rescission, annulment, and setting aside statutory demands.

Company Law & Shareholder disputes: often acts in or advises on cases involving disputes over companies and the rights and obligations of directors and shareholders, including shareholder disputes and shareholder activism such as unfair prejudice petitions; derivative claims; directors’ duties and corporate governance; joint ventures; Companies Act advice; directors disqualification proceedings under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.

Banking & Finance: developed experience in disputes relating to the banking and finance sector including: enforcement of loans, debentures, guarantees, indemnities, securities and mortgages (including matters with undue influence or misrepresentation elements); factoring, invoice discounting and trade finance (with all related issues under the law of assignment); merchant services, such as card processing agreements and terms relating to charge backs; consumer credit.

Recent work includes:

  • Raja v McMillan [2021] EWCA Civ 1103: an appeal to the Court of Appeal (before Underhill, Poppelwell and Nugee LJJ) in relation to a claim for unlawful means conspiracy. This is the first time the Court of Appeal has looked at the question of whether a director can conspire with his own ‘one-man’ company (i.e. of which he is sole director and majority shareholder) in a case of civil conspiracy. Acting as Junior Counsel;
  • X v Y: Advising on proposed cross-border fraud and restitution claims estimated at c.$250million (as second junior counsel);
  • Arif v Sanger CA-2022-000024: Successfully resisted, in the Court of Appeal, the Defendant’s application for permission to bring a second appeal (and further application for permission to appeal a costs order) after producing a respondent’s statement under CPR 52CPD para 19(1);
  • Circumference v Martin [2021] EWHC 2691 (Ch): various applications following the grant of worldwide freezing injunctions and an unless order in England and a freezing order in Luxembourg (led by Simon Mills).
  • Circumference v Martin [2021] EWHC 2389 (Ch): successfully obtained an application for an unless order in respect of breaches of a worldwide freezing order covering £5.44m (led by Simon Mills). Zachary was also led by Simon Mills in the previous application for the WFO;
  • advising on a multi-million pound s.212 & s.213 dispute (sole counsel, ongoing);
  • Re Laptev: acting for the financial administrator of a bankrupt’s estate, which encompassed debts of the equivalent of c.£40 million, successfully obtaining interim relief pursuant to Art 19 of the CBIR 2006, recognition pursuant to Art 15, and declarations at a final hearing as to the extent of the bankrupt’s estate pursuant to article 213.25 of the Federal Law No. 127-FZ “On Insolvency (Bankruptcy)” in a CIS state (sole counsel);
  • obtained a bankruptcy order against Crypto entrepreneur Mr. Datta (sole counsel)
  • successfully defended a major international bank against a claim for removal of fraud markers from the National Hunter and Cifas databases in a case which considered the application of Durkin v DSG Retail Ltd [2014] UKSC 21;
  • instructed on a summary judgment application relating to chargeback provisions under a merchant card agreement for a major international payment processing company;



Called 2015


Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR); Chancery Bar Association (ChBA; Property Bar Association (PBA); R3 (Association of Business Recovery Professionals)


BPTC, City University London, 2015.
GDL, City University London, 2014.
BA English Literature, University College London, First Class, 2013.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Insolvency

(Rising stars)Ranked: Tier 1

Zachary KellFive Paper ‘Exactly the sort of modern barrister that you would like on your team.’