XXIV Old Buildings
Head of Chambers: Elspeth Talbot Rice KC
Head of Clerking: Paul Horsfield
Based in London with an annexe in Geneva, the members of XXIV Old Buildings provide advocacy and specialist legal advice in a wide range of commercial litigation and chancery matters concerning domestic and international disputes for individuals, companies, corporations, charities, regulators and institutions.
Members frequently act as counsel in litigations and arbitrations for commercial matters and are particularly strong in disputes concerning banking and finance, company, insolvency, civil fraud and asset tracing/recovery. There is a strong aviation disputes practice within the set relating to complex product liability, leasing, negligence and insurance claims. Our expertise in commercial contracts extends to complementary practice areas such as cultural heritage/art law and property disputes. Within the traditional chancery sphere our specialist members provide expertise in trusts, probate and court of protection as well as commercial chancery business disputes, drawing on our established strengths in these areas.
The depth and breadth of the whole set at XXIV Old Buildings means we are uniquely placed in our ability to provide teams of counsel for advisory and advocacy services within both the chancery and commercial courts for complex, cross-border, and multifaceted disputes.
Members not only act as advocates before arbitral and judicial tribunals throughout the world, but are also regularly appointed as arbitrators, adjudicators and mediators.
Cross-border contentious and advisory work represents a defining aspect of XXIV Old Buildings’ practice and the set has an unrivalled reputation for offshore matters. Barristers are full members of, or have been called, ad hoc, to, various offshore and foreign jurisdictions such as; the Bars of Jersey, the BVI, Bermuda, St Vincent, the Cayman Islands, Dubai (DIFC), and other leading international financial centres such as the ADGM Abu Dhabi, and the courts in DIFC and AIFC in a judicial capacity. XXIV Old Buildings’ international presence is enhanced and supported by its highly effective office in Geneva.
We pride ourselves on our capacity for working hard with solicitors and lawyers to find effective and efficient strategic solutions to create the best possible outcomes for our clients. Clients value the practice management team’s adaptability, commercial awareness and user-friendly approach.
Many members of XXIV Old Buildings have appeared in some of the most important cases in the UK and abroad in recent years, including in the Court of Appeal, Privy Council and Supreme Court.
Wallis Trading Inc v Air Tanzania: A US$40 million award against the Defendants, Air Tanzania and the Tanzanian Government, following a 2-week trial in a dispute arising out of an aircraft leasing transac¬tion. The judgment illustrated why English law is routinely chosen as the governing law in aircraft leasing transactions between international parties.
Public Institution for Social Security of Kuwait v Man Group PLC plus 37 other defendants: A large-scale fraud claim concerning a lawsuit launched by the Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS) in Kuwait which alleges it is owed £639.5bn as a result of fraud by its former director general.
Routier and another v HMRC: A Supreme Court case concerning a testamentary gift of property on trust for purposes which were agreed to be exclusively charitable under English law.
Ciban Management Corp v Citco: This Privy Council case explored the scope of duties of nominee directors of BVI companies when the ultimate beneficial owner of such companies effectively pull the strings to control the company but seek to keep entirely out of sight.
Lehtimaki and others v Cooper: A landmark Supreme Court judgment on issues of equity and charity law which potentially has significant ramifications for trust law and company law.
Byers & ors v Samba Financial Group: One of the most important pieces of commercial-chancery litigation before the English courts. It centres on a US$300 million transfer made by the director of a company in liquidation to the defendant bank.
Wong v Grandview: Claim that very large Bermudian non-charitable purpose trusts, or the transfers of very substantial assets into them, are void or should be set aside.
Dawson-Damer v Grampian Trust Company Ltd: A £400 million breach of trust/set aside claim in the Bahamas that has clarified the law on DPA/GDPR disclosure by trustees in England, and which involves ancillary injunction proceedings in Bermuda.
Times Travel Limited v Pakistan International Airlines Corporation: A Supreme Court case on economic duress where an airline is held to have used illegitimate pressure to force IATA agent into agreement to abandon claims for commission.
Re Blackstar: A complex and substantial trustees’ remuneration dispute.
- Alan Steinfeld KC (1968) (KC-1987)
- Michael Black KC (1978) (KC-1995)
- Stephen Moverley Smith KC (1985) (KC-2002)
- Francis Tregear KC (1980) (KC-2003)
- David Brownbill KC (1989) (KC-2008)
- Elspeth Talbot Rice KC (1990) (KC-2008)
- Steven Thompson KC (1996) (KC-2015)
- Lyndsey de Mestre KC (1999) (KC-2018)
- Edward Cumming KC (2006) (KC-2018)
- Adam Cloherty KC (2005) (KC-2023)
- Michael King (1971)
- Elizabeth Weaver (1982)
- Helen Galley (1987)
- 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)
- Steven Reed (2005)
- Erin Hitchens (2006)
- Andrew Holden (2007)
- Owen Curry (2009)
- Daniel Warents (2009)
- Hugh Miall (2009)
- Heather Murphy (2009)
- Kira King (2011)
- Timothy Sherwin (2014)
- Tom Stewart Coats (2014)
- Alina Gerasimenko (2015)
- Ben Waistell (2015)
- James Fennemore (2017)
- Catherine Hartston (2018)
- Alex Peplow (2019)
- Jessica Lavelle (2019)
- Charles Strachan (2019)
- Harry Samuels (2020)
- Bethanie Chambers (2019)
- Rachel Carver (2021)
- James Kane (2021)
- Niamh Davis (2022
- Graham Virgo KC (1989)*
- Dr Matthew Conaglen (1995)*
- * Academic Member
Provided by XXIV Old Buildings