Peter de Verneuil Smith QC
Barrister profile for UK Bar 2022
This individual is also ranked in:Global 2022
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Group Litigation - All Circuits
Peter de Verneuil Smith QC has an extensive group litigation practice and has come to be regarded by some as a go-to resource in the area. He is known for his work in important financial services group claims, some of which have tested the ability of shareholders to bring securities 'class actions' in the UK.
Strengths: "He has a practical understanding of the process and is very experienced in understanding the mechanics of how group litigations operate." "He is absolutely phenomenal and has depth of experience."
Banking & Finance - London (Bar)
Peter de Verneuil Smith QC is a well-regarded silk whose strong commercial chancery practice and expertise in fraud have gained him a burgeoning reputation in finance cases. He is adept at handling large-scale shareholder disputes, cases around securitisations (such as disputes concerning the correct construction of swap terms), and matters regarding loans and guarantees.
Strengths: "He is a very good advocate." "He is well liked by clients for his commerciality and manner. He is razor-sharp and very convincing on his feet."
Recent work: Acted in ESS & AIK v Oliver & Others, a multi-party debt claim arising out of £250 million of loans made in respect of a tax mitigation and environmental investment scheme which failed.
Chancery: Commercial - London (Bar)
Strengths: "He is extremely hard-working, very bright and an excellent advocate."
Recent work: Instructed in Allianz v RSA Insurance Group Plc, a Section 90a FSMA claim against RSA in respect of false statements it made regarding risks taken by its Irish subsidiary which were published in its accounts.
Fraud: Civil - London (Bar)
Peter de Verneuil Smith QC is a skilled barrister whose mandate of commercial cases extends beyond the UK to such jurisdictions as Switzerland and the UAE. He acts for both claimants and defendants, and is noted for his expertise in obtaining and opposing injunction applications such as freezing orders.
Strengths: "He is great with clients, very commercial in his approach, lovely to work with as part of a team and very effective in court. He comes across as completely unflappable." "He's very insightful, hard-working and able to think and advise strategically." "He's a very careful, measured and sensible advocate who takes good points and presents to the court in a very careful and thoughtful manner."
Recent work: Represented the claimants in Manning & Napier v Tesco, a claim for USD400 million in respect of losses to Tesco shares held by American investment funds following the revelation in September 2015 that Tesco had engaged in improper accounting practices.
Commercial Dispute Resolution - London (Bar)
Strengths: "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."
Recent work: 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.
This content is provided by Peter de Verneuil Smith QC
Peter practises in Banking & Finance, Chancery Commercial, Commercial Litigation, Civil Fraud, Group Litigation, Financial Services, Arbitration, Professional Negligence and Offshore Litigation.
Peter is well known for his excellent advocacy and client skills. He is frequently the lead advocate in large and complex litigation (including claimant and defendant GLOs) and arbitration and was the lead counsel in the $350 million claim under s.90A(FSMA) against Tesco which settled in 2020. Between 2016 - 2017 he acted in the RBS Rights Issue litigation. His practice spans pure banking disputes (including derivative, mis-selling, duties of care owed by a bank, and unjust enrichment) and banking related litigation such as shipbuilding finance, performance bonds and guarantees. He has appeared in major fraud cases (including Group Seven Ltd v Nasir, Tatneft v Bogolyubov and NML v Chapman Freeborn) and often seeks urgent injunctive relief to support domestic and foreign proceedings. His commercial work includes company disputes (unfair prejudice, derivative actions, breach of director duty) and breach of trust claims. He is regularly involved in financial services disputes including tax scheme litigation (the GlobalCure scheme), collective investment schemes and FSMA related claims. His cases frequently involve offshore centres and he has worked in Guernsey, the Cayman Islands, BVI, and Bermuda. His arbitration practice is a mix of energy, finance and project disputes with London, Paris, SIAC and DIFC seats.
Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
Selwyn College Cambridge.
This individual is also ranked in:Global 2022