Ms Lara Hassell-Hart > Chambers of George Bompas KC > London, England > Lawyer Profile
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Ms Lara Hassell-Hart
Lara has a busy commercial chancery practice, specialising in the full range of Chambers’ work, including commercial litigation, company law, insolvency, banking and financial services, regulatory work and civil fraud. She has particular experience and knowledge of energy-related matters, having been heavily involved in various pieces of litigation arising out of the energy crisis beginning in 2021, and was one of 19 barristers named in The Lawyer’s ‘Hot 100’ in 2022 as a result of this work.
She has substantial experience of large trials and has been involved in some of the biggest cases in the High Court in recent years, including Hewlett Packard’s $5 billion fraud claim against Dr Mike Lynch, and the group litigation by Lloyds shareholders over Lloyds’ acquisition of HBOS during the 2008 financial crisis.
She has also been appointed to the Attorney General’s ‘C’ panel of counsel.
Lara’s focus is on providing practical advice tailored to suit the client’s individual needs and goals.
Lara is available for instructions at all stages of proceedings, in every level of the civil courts and for arbitration work. She has exceptionally substantial trial experience and of working in big teams of counsel and solicitors for someone of her Call. She regularly appears in the High Court as both sole and junior counsel. Particularly notable matters include:
- Commercial litigation: Travelport & Ors v WEX (2020) (led by Richard Hill QC, Sa’ad Hossain QC and Andrew de Mestre QC): An expedited 7-day hybrid trial in the Commercial Court concerning a $1.7 billion acquisition and the interpretation of a complex material adverse change clause in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. This remains the leading case in England and Wales on the interpretation of MAC clauses. Lara frequently advises in relation to the interpretation of contracts for both large and small matters.
- Banking/financial services and company law: Sharp and Ors v Blank and Ors (2017-2018) (led by Richard Hill QC): A 12-week trial in the Chancery Division, in which the shareholders of Lloyds Bank sued Lloyds’ former directors in claims of negligence and misrepresentation in the context of Lloyds’ takeover of HBOS in 2008. This featured in The Lawyer’s “Top 20 Cases” of 2017. Lara is often called upon to advise in respect of other financial services matters, including breaches of FSMA and the FCA Handbook. She was instructed by the FCA in relation to a rare application for special administration of an investment bank: Re AFX Markets (2019). She also frequently advises in respect of company law matters, particularly involving shareholder disputes (including s. 994 petitions) and breaches of directors’ duties, and is a contributor to Tolley’s Company Law Service.
- Insolvency: Gas and Electricity Markets Authority v GB Energy Supply Ltd (2016) (led by Nicholas Cox) and Gas and Electricity Markets Authority v Rutherford Energy Supply Limited (2019) (sole counsel): Urgent Part 8 claims brought by OFGEM in the High Court for declarations of corporate insolvency in respect of energy supply companies under s. 123 of the Insolvency Act 1986 and the Energy Acts 2004 and 2011. Lara has successfully appeared in the Interim Applications Court in over 20 cases for OFGEM in cases concerning insolvent energy companies, the vast majority of which she has appeared as sole counsel. She is also instructed (with Joseph Wigley) in respect of In the matter of Derek Quinlan, a c. €40 million bankruptcy petition currently listed for a 15-day trial in June 2022. She is a contributor to the key practitioner text Loose & Griffiths on Liquidators (9th ed.).
- Civil fraud: Autonomy and Ors v Lynch and Anor (2019-2020) (led by Robert Miles QC, Richard Hill QC and Sharif Shivji): Acting for Dr Mike Lynch, Autonomy’s former CEO, in a claim by Autonomy in excess of $8 billion for alleged accounting fraud. The 93-day trial took place before Hildyard J in the Chancery Division and featured in The Lawyer’s “Top 20 Cases” of 2019. It remains the UK’s biggest civil fraud trial to date.
She has experience of and welcomes instructions concerning disputes in other jurisdictions, and is a registered Part II practitioner in the DIFC.
Her priority is to give practical advice tailored to suit the client’s individual needs.
Contributor to Loose & Griffiths on Liquidators (9th ed.) (2019)
‘Commercial Law and Financial Regulation’, United Kingdom Supreme Court Yearbook vol. 7 (2016) (co-authored with Jonathan Crow QC and Emma Horner)
Chancery Bar Association
Insolvency Lawyers Association
MA (Cantab) – Girton College, Cambridge (2012)
PgDip Law – City University London (2013)
BPTC – City University London (2014)
Called in 2014 (Middle Temple)