Dispute Resolution: Commercial - UK
3 Verulam Buildings' market-leading reputation arises out of its involvement in headline-grabbing commercial cases. Recent highlights include the major cases of National Bank of Kazakhstan and the Republic of Kazakhstan v Bank of New York Mellon, Manning & Napier v Tesco, BNP Paribas v TRM, the COVID-19 Business Interruption Test Case, and others. With a deep bench of highly ranked individuals, the set boasts some of the strongest practitioners in the market. One source says: "This is a very well-established set that has done a good job in building its bench strength - it has some real stars."
"The clerks there are fabulous." "Stuart Pullum is fantastic. He is excellent, very easy to deal with and is more than happy to help find solutions." Fellow senior practice manager Stephen Penson "deserves a gold plaque - his assistance to instructing solicitors is invaluable." In response to the pandemic the set developed several series of client webinars covering the practicalities of litigation under COVID-19 restrictions and practice area-specific topics.
"Really straightforward and easy to deal with. He is incredibly quick, highly efficient and someone who really knows his stuff."
Acted for the claimant in a dispute over breach of warranty in a business sale agreement whereby the defendant sold its business of manufacturing particular pharmaceutical products in specified territory.
Ali Malek KC
"A smooth and clever performer who has the ear of the judge as well as a tremendous ability to get along extraordinarily well with the client."
Acted for Azitio Ltd, Gastly Ltd and Oleg Mkrtchan in Avonwick v Azitio and Others, a dispute which arose out of the sale of an interest in an eastern Ukrainian steel business.
Ewan McQuater KC
"A very experienced practitioner who delivers fair and balanced advice in difficult circumstances. He is very good at carrying his natural authority into the courtroom when making his submissions."
Defended Barclays Bank in PCP Capital Partners v Barclays Bank, a high-profile dispute with financier Amanda Staveley, the principal of PCP. The case related to Barclays' GBP5.8 billion capital raising at the height of the financial crisis.
Andrew Onslow KC
"He combines a far-sighted commercial awareness with a deep sense of how a judge will eventually view the few specific points on which a case will turn. Andrew is entirely unflappable in court and easily wins a judge’s confidence."
Acted for Samba in a USD350 million constructive trust claim arising from the Saudi Arabian Saad/AHAB affair.
Hodge Malek KC
"He has tremendous gravitas and authority and is clearly respected by judges. The force with which he makes his arguments is fantastic, and he is a tough and tenacious opponent."
Acted for major broker firm Canaccord Genuity in a dispute with another firm of brokers concerning trading in contracts for difference.
"Very affable and bright, he always takes a pragmatic view."
Appeared as sole counsel for one of the defendants in SKAT v Solo Capital Partners LLP & Others, a claim brought by the Danish customs and tax authority for abuse of the regime for refunds of withheld tax under double taxation treaties.
Jonathan Nash KC
"A man of sharp intelligence who has excellent client-handling skills and is very user-friendly."
Instructed by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in its claim to set aside a substantial arbitral award, worth over USD200 million, on the grounds of fraud.
David Quest KC
"His strengths are his advocacy and the manner in which he deals with the clients."
Successfully acted for Kazakhstan and the National Bank of Kazakhstan in Republic of Kazakhstan v Stati et al, proceedings involving attempts to enforce a USD500 million arbitral award against Kazakhstan.
"He is very thorough and user friendly."
Acted for the Welsh Government in commercial and professional negligence litigation against fund and asset managers appointed to manage an urban regeneration fund on behalf of the government.
Jonathan Davies-Jones KC
"He is just extremely bright, easy to work with and committed."
Defended Siam Commercial Bank in a claim for over USD2 billion for what the claimants allege was a fraudulent conspiracy to deprive them of shares in a Thai energy company, and to strip assets from it, preventing recovery.
Peter de Verneuil Smith KC
"Ultra smooth in his delivery, impossible to ruffle, and very clear and elegant in his submissions. He is nuanced in his presentation of the merits of the case, very user-friendly for clients, and hugely experienced - phenomenal and really one to watch as a star of the future."
Defended British Airways in a group litigation case brought by 8,000 individuals who are claiming for losses arising out of the airline's well-publicised hack and data breach.
David Head KC
"He is super user-friendly, very supportive and someone who has the ear of the judge."
Defended the National Asset Management Agency against a GBP10 million claim brought by Alfred Street Properties centring on the allegation that multiple interest rate swaps had not been validly extended within the relevant standard form ISDA documentation.
Farhaz Khan KC
"He is excellent in all he does, incredibly bright and very client-friendly."
Acted in Macdonald Hotels Limited v Lloyds Bank, a high-profile claim brought by an international hotel group against Lloyds Bank arising from the bank’s alleged conduct under a joint venture shareholder agreement.
Richard Salter KC
"An incredibly experienced KC. Heavyweight litigation is bread and butter to him." "Authoritative, tactically astute and well respected by judges."
Acted for Standard Chartered Bank in an action against UBS before the Bahamian courts to recover a USD32.4 million payment made in connection with the movement of the accounts of a private banking customer from UBS to SCB.
"His research skills are excellent, his responsiveness is very good, he is always available to talk about the case and his judgement is very sound."
Acted for litigation funder Vannin in a GBP14 million claim against the RBoS Shareholders Action Group relating to funding provided for the high-profile RBS Rights Issue Litigation.
Matthew Hardwick KC
"He is a good advocate, who is very capable and extremely easy to work with."
Defended ACE in a USD70 million claim by Raiffeisen Bank arising out of ACE’s takeover of Asia Resource Minerals, the indirect owner of one of Indonesia’s largest coal producers.
"Measured and knowledgeable, he is very impressive."
Acted for one of the defendants in PJSC Tatneft v Gennadiy Bogolyubov, Igor Kolomoisky, Alexander Yaroslavsky and Pavel Ovcharenko, a claim for USD350 million in oil payments which were alleged to have been diverted as part of a substantial fraud.
"Really outstanding, she is very bright and extremely hard-working. She gets on top of the detail of a case."
Acted for the claimant in HMG Investment Holdings Limited v National Westminster Bank, a multimillion-pound claim for mis-selling of interest rate hedging products.
Andrew Sutcliffe KC
"Always approachable and responsive, he is a persuasive advocate and a real team player."
Acted for the liquidators of TMO in a GBP25 million claim for fraudulent misrepresentation, deceit and breach of fiduciary duty brought against former directors of the biotech company.
"Responsive, personable and very bright. He has a very mature commercial outlook and a good sense of strategy."
Acted for Bacardi in a claim relating to a guarantee given in favour of a subsidiary, Brown-Forman Beverages.
Nicholas Craig KC
"Highly approachable and considered in his advice, he is very hands-on and part of the team."
Acted for Villa Air, the lessee of two commercial aircraft, following termination of the leases with Celestial Aviation.
Andrew Fletcher KC
"A very strong barrister, who is astute, careful and thorough, as well as a formidable advocate in court. He gives tremendous service to his clients."
Acted for the claimants in Eim & Another v Lewis seeking damages for conspiracy to defraud using unlawful means. The case arose out of the entry into a joint venture agreement in respect of EUR/CZK currency trading.
Christopher Harris KC
"A lawyer with a really fine legal mind, who knows the law backwards."
Acted for Vannin Capital in a claim for GBP16 million plus interest entitlement under two funding agreements drawn up in relation to the RBS Rights Issue litigation.
"Works well with the instructing solicitor and is always all over the detail. He knows what the difficulties are in a case and is always thinking one step ahead."
Appeared unled in Ivanhoe v Gardner, joint applications to enforce a Tomlin order and to enforce an underlying arbitral consent award.
John Jarvis KC
"Impresses tribunals and does a masterful job."
Instructed in AJIB v Speers, a case involving a multimillion judgment in Jordan which AJIB is seeking to enforce as assignee in England.
"An outstanding junior with an indefatigable work ethic, she is an absolute pleasure to deal with and exceptionally client-friendly." "She always knows everything about the cases she's handling."
Instructed in Jinxin Inc v Aser Media Pte, Media Partners and Silva & Others, a claim arising out of the acquisition by the claimant of the MP & Silva group, a sports rights agency.
"Very good at both advocacy and written work. Alexia is excellent at picking out the key issues in complex matters and is very tenacious. She is an excellent all-rounder."
Acted for the first defendant in JFC Plastics v Motan Colortronic & Another, a multimillion-pound claim for breach of contract, breach of warranties and misrepresentation.
Rajesh Pillai KC
"Very commercially minded, very nice to deal with, very client-friendly and very personable. He is very bright and very sensible."
Acted for Atlas Residential Management in proceedings against Greengate SARL over operation of Anaconda Cut, a residential complex in Salford.
Jamie Riley KC
"A first-class advocate, with extensive banking and insolvency experience."
Acted for the claimant in re Monterra Farm: Hare v Doherty, a dispute between two high net worth individuals over the funding for a joint venture operating a safari lodge and game reserve in South Africa.
"Just jumps into case with enthusiasm and has an excellent drafting style that is crisp and clear. In court she is authoritative and has a commanding presence."
Acted for the claimants in the RBS Rights Issue Litigation to resist a GBP14.75 million claim brought by litigation funder Vannin Capital.
Adam Kramer KC
"Extremely bright and fast-thinking." "He is very good and very effective as an advocate."
Acted for Vodafone defendants in Phones4U Ltd (in administration) v EE, Vodafone UK and Others, a claim alleging collusion by mobile network operators forcing Phones4U into insolvency.
Matthew Parker KC
"Really good with clients on difficult cases. He is up for the fight."
Successfully acted for the lead defendant in Tatneft v Bogolyubov & Others, a fraud claim arising out of the supply of oil by Tatneft, a Russian oil company, to a Ukrainian oil refinery in 2007.
Adrian Beltrami KC
"He is brilliant, really tough and highly resilient. You can give him a difficult case and he just gets on with it. He also has a huge amount of presence in court."
Represented BNP Paribas in a claim for negative declarations of non-liability in respect of the sale of an interest rate swap to the defendant, an Italian local authority.
Tom Montagu-Smith KC
"Trusted to always deliver a meaningful and positive impact on cases and clients."
Acting for syndicate of 11 banks against 19 defendants in Emirates NBD Bank and Others v KBBO and Others, a USD300 million claim arising out of restructuring agreements.
"Very user-friendly, very bright and very strong technically."
Instructed for the defendant Ukrainian oligarch, Pavel Fuchs, in an unlawful means conspiracy and procurement of breach of contract claim for GBP45 million in connection with a GBP320 million property development in Moscow.