Firm / Organisation

XXIV Old Buildings

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Head of Chambers: Alan Steinfeld QC
Chambers Director: Sue Medder
Tenants: 45

THE CHAMBERS XXIV Old Buildings is a specialist commercial and chancery chambers based in London with an office in Geneva. The members have an unrivalled reputation for their commercial and chancery work both internationally and domestically. Top ranked in Chancery; traditional and offshore in Chambers and Partners 2018, their strength and breadth of expertise can be demonstrated by the frequency of their appearance in courts of other jurisdictions, with members called to the Bars of Jersey, the BVI, Bermuda, St Vincents, the Cayman Islands, Dubai (DIFC), and other leading international financial centres such as the ADGM Abu Dhabi and the court in Astana (AIFC) in a judicial capacity. They are recognised as one of the most forward-thinking and innovative sets at the London Bar.

WORK UNDERTAKEN The calibre of XXIV Old Buildings’ practice is evidenced by the cases in which members are routinely instructed undertaking litigation, arbitration and the provision of advice across the full range of commercial and chancery work, from UK commercial litigation and insolvency work to truly international litigation and arbitration involving large-scale business disputes, fraud and asset tracing, and cross-border insolvency and restructuring; and to ‘traditional’ chancery matters such as private family trust and succession disputes. This broad base of expertise is supplemented by members’ specialist experience in fields such as hedge funds/SIVs; financial derivatives (spread betting/CFDs etc.); and aviation. Members are also highly experienced arbitrators and mediators.
Some examples of work are set out below:

Investec Trust v Glenalla Properties Ltd & others: This claim by the liquidators for more than £180m against the former trustees of a Jersey trust raised complex issues relating to the rights of trust creditors to enforce their claims against trustees and trust assets, conflicts of laws, and unjust enrichment.

JSC Aeroflot v Berezovsky & others: Counsel acted for a Luxembourg and BVI company set up in Switzerland by Boris Berezovsky to enable Russian companies to access European and US capital markets. The case went to CoA after leading counsel successfully argued that the English court did not have jurisdiction over two other companies which were members of the group. The claim against the defendant companies collapsed and the defendants were awarded indemnity costs.

Société Générale v Goldas: Counsel succeeded in striking out claims by the bank to recover gold bullion worth $480m and obtained for their clients an inquiry as to the damage caused by wrongly maintained freezing orders. The bank failed to persuade the court that its defective attempts at service should be treated as valid.

Property Alliance Group v The Royal Bank of Scotland: Counsel acted for the claimant in one of the most advanced LIBOR fixing cases before the English CoA in 2018. The case gave rise to interesting interlocutory decisions relating to disclosure and privilege in the context of financial services.

Carlyle Capital Corporation Limited (in liquidation) & others v Conway & others: Counsel acted for the defendants in a $2 billion claim arising from a collapsed investment fund incorporated in Guernsey. It was listed as one of the top 6 offshore disputes in 2012 by The Lawyer. Judgment handed down in September 2017 dismissed all claims against the defendants.

Al Sadik v Investcorp Bank BSC & others (Cayman Islands): The Al Sadik case has been determined by the JCPC. It is an important decision for those involved in the investment industry and their clients. Lord Briggs held that the investment mandate was quintessentially, a commercial agreement of a business kind, dealing with the substance of the transaction, and by reference to purpose, rather than by spelling out in minute detail every power exercisable by the Bank.

Members

Martin Mann QC (1968) (QC-1983)

Alan Steinfeld QC (1968) (QC-1987)

Michael Black QC (1978) (QC-1995)

Stephen Moverley Smith QC (1985) (QC-2002)

Philip Shepherd QC (1975) (QC-2003)

Francis Tregear QC (1980) (QC-2003)

David Brownbill QC (1989) (QC-2008)

Elspeth Talbot Rice QC (1990) (QC-2008)

Robert Levy QC (1988) (QC-2010)

Stephen Cogley QC (1984) (QC–2011)

Steven Thompson QC (1996) (QC-2015)

Tom Montagu-Smith QC (2001) (QC-2017)

Lyndsey de Mestre QC (1999) (QC-2018)

Edward Cumming QC (2006) (QC-2018)

Michael King (1971)

Richard Ritchie (1978)

Michael Gadd (1981)

Elizabeth Weaver (1982)

Helen Galley (1987)

Amanda Harington (1989)

Ian Meakin (1991) (Geneva)

Arshad Ghaffar (1991)

Marcus Staff (1994)

Stuart Adair (1995)

Alexander Pelling (1995)

Bajul Shah (1996)

Jessica Hughes (1997)

Nicole Langlois (2008)

Edward Knight (1999)

Sarah Bayliss (2002)

Oliver Assersohn (2003)

Adam Cloherty (2005)

Erin Hitchens (2006)

Andrew Holden (2007)

Owen Curry (2009)

Daniel Warents (2009)

Hugh Miall (2009)

Heather Murphy (2009)

Kira King (2011)

Matthew Watson (2012)

Robert Avis (2013)

Timothy Sherwin (2014)

Tom Stewart Coats (2014)

Alina Gerasimenko (2015)

Ben Waistell (2015)

Graham Virgo QC (1989) *

Dr Matthew Conaglen (1995) *

* Door Tenant