Home > Expertise > Civil Fraud

Civil Fraud Overview

Chambers is one of the leading sets for civil fraud work and both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 consistently place Serle Court in the top rank for civil fraud.

Members of chambers have been involved in many of the most significant fraud cases of the past decade, with many members of chambers appearing in either or both the massive BTA Bank v Ablyazov and Sovcomflot v Privalov trials in recent years.Indeed, there is often representation from Serle Court for both claimants and defendants in the biggest cases.  Chambers is very adept at coping with the additional demands of confidentiality arising when members of chambers appear on different sides.

Expertise in other areas, such as company, insolvency, property, trusts, banking, insurance and financial services, often enables members of Serle Court to bring valuable additional experience and insights to this category of work.

Cases conducted by members of Serle Court often have an international aspect and those specialising in this area are familiar with the jurisdictional issues and foreign recognition and enforcement issues which commonly arise.


Chambers & Partners 2018

Serle Court is a formidable commercial set with a legion of silks and juniors focused on fraud matters. An instructing solicitor comments that “they've got great people across the board, in every subject and at every level of seniority.” Members are noted for their ability to deal with high-profile instructions, often originating in offshore jurisdictions, including the Caribbean, and in Russia and CIS countries of the former Soviet Union. Recent examples include Glenn v Watson, High Court trials involving a New Zealand businessman and a joint venture company in the BVI, and the litigation against Bernie Ecclestone regarding the sale of Formula One. 

Client service: "Extremely professional chambers." "The clerks are very efficient and easy to deal with." Steve Whitaker is the head clerk. 


Jonathan Adkin QC
An impressive advocate who has acted in a large number of prominent, multi-jurisdictional fraud disputes. 
Strengths: "Extremely able. A very fine draughtsman and a powerful advocate." "An extremely talented barrister who is equally strong on his feet as on paper."

Alan Boyle QC 
A distinguished commercial silk who has handled a range of important fraud cases. He has dealt with numerous allegations including breach of contract and breach of trust. His practice covers several areas of law including company, insolvency and trusts.  
Strengths: "A brilliant technician. A real pleasure to work with." "Fantastically focused and committed. He always offers an excellent service, striking a perfect balance between being sympathetic with clients and utterly combative on their behalf in court." 

Dominic Dowley QC
Works on pivotal fraud cases within the context of an international commercial practice that also covers banking and financial services, professional negligence and trusts work. Many of his instructions emanate from the Caribbean. 
Strengths: "A really top-of-the-range advocate and litigator. He is incredibly fast-working, efficient and incisive." "Effective on his feet. He goes to the heart of something quickly rather than dancing around it." 

Philip Jones QC
Provides carefully crafted advice in difficult fraud disputes and is adept at addressing jurisdiction issues. His cases originate all over the world including the Caribbean, the CIS and Asia. 
Strengths: "Technically excellent and an absolute pleasure to work with. The breadth and quality of his practice is impressive." "Calm, expert and accessible." 

Elizabeth Jones QC
An experienced commercial practitioner frequently instructed in major fraud matters. Her cases concern the full raft of allegations including forgery, bribery, conspiracy and deceit. She is also a skilled mediator. 
Strengths: "Steely and effective in court, client-friendly and a great team worker." "Outstanding tactical judgement." 

Philip Marshall QC
A specialist fraud advocate instructed in significant pieces of litigation involving the full range of allegations. He also sits as a Deputy High Court Judge.
Strengths: "A superb advocate who balances aggression with excellent judgement." "An amazing guy to work with. One of the most productive and successful silks in this area." 

Hugh Norbury QC
An excellent young silk with an expansive commercial practice. He is instructed in high-profile and high-value civil fraud cases involving allegations such as breach of fiduciary duty, bribery and conspiracy.
Strengths: "He has court presence. The inexorable power of what he will say weighs heavily. He is a brilliant support." 


David Drake
Advises in complex cases of civil fraud, and is an expert on freezing and document preservation orders. In addition he appears in criminal proceedings.
Strengths: "Excellent technical skill and the ability to quickly and succinctly drill down to the details." "Superb. He has a good strategic mind." 

Nicholas Harrison
Handles high-value fraud claims emanating from all around the globe. Jurisdictions in which he has appeared include Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Isle of Man and the BVI. He has dealt with a range of allegations including misappropriation of funds and undue influence.
Strengths: "Bright and very punchy. He gives strong advice." "A brilliant senior junior. One of our top picks." 

Simon Hattan
Manages a general commercial and chancery practice and is regularly instructed on fraud matters involving such allegations as breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentation and dishonesty.
Strengths: "Pragmatic, experienced and brilliant." "His written advocacy is absolutely superb." 

Justin Higgo
An admired junior with a broad commercial chancery practice. He receives a steady supply of significant fraud instructions relating to diverse allegations including deceit and misappropriation of funds. 
Strengths: "Extremely intelligent and clear-thinking individual who follows his instincts." "Impressive powers to assimilate masses of material and distil it down to the core issues. Great communicator." 

Matthew Morrrison
Prosecutes and defends high-profile fraud proceedings concerning such issues as unfair prejudice, conspiracy and misappropriated assets. He has acted in cases relating to numerous overseas countries including in North America and the Middle East. 
Strengths: "Extremely responsive, user-friendly and able to plead very detailed statements of case." "His drafting is absolutely excellent." 

Legal 500 2017

Alan Boyle QC - ‘A consumate Chancery Silk; one of the very best’

Dominic Dowley QC - 'A very good lawyer, who is also good with clients'

Hugh Norbury QC - ‘Extremely clever, commanding and tenacious in court; he knows how to win fraud cases’ 

Jonathan Adkin QC - 'He demonstrates a great ability to master complex fraud disputes'

Philip Jones QC - ‘Sublime - however complicated, however pressurised the situation’ 

Elizabeth Jones QC - ‘She is always on top of the detail and takes charge of a case from day one’ 

Philip Marshall QC - ‘A brilliant and wonderful lawyer: in a battle, he is the Exocet missile barrister of choice'

Andrew Moran QC - 'A very good advocate, who will always fight his corner'

Daniel Lightman QC - 'Thorough in his preparation and skilful in presenting his statement of case'

Dakis Hagen QC - 'One definitely to keep an eye on in this field'

David Drake - ‘A truly stellar lawyer: a wonderful advocate and a mega brain.'

Richard Walford - ‘His written advocacy is always of an exceptionally high standard’ 

Ruth den Besten - ‘Fantastic at getting stuck into the papers, producing pleadings in no time at all

Justin Higgo - ‘Demonstrates exactly the calm confidence you want from an experienced senior junior’

Nicholas Harrison - ‘He has a wonderfully tangential brain and is immensely hardworking'

Simon Hattan - ‘He has a particularly good sense of what the right answer is, both legally and commercially’ 



We are delighted that Serle Court's Elizabeth Jones QC and... more


Yesterday (19th April 2018) Haddon-Cave J handed down his reasoned... more


We are delighted to be sponsoring the prestigious Trust &... more


The 4th supplement to the 15th edition of Dicey, Morris... more


Serle Court hosted another very successful International Trusts and Commercial... more


As we announced earlier this year, Serle Court’s International Trusts and... more


Leading Chancery and Commercial set Serle Court is pleased to... more


We are delighted to be sponsoring the Fraud, Asset Tracing... more


The latest edition of Who’s Who Legal: UK Bar was... more


Leading Chancery and Commercial set Serle Court announces the return... more


Elizabeth Jones QC and Jonathan Harris QC (Hon.) will be... more


We are delighted to be sponsoring the prestigious Trust &... more


Jonathan Harris QC (Hon) gave evidence to the House of... more


Serle Court hosted a very successful International Trusts and Commercial... more


The latest edition of SerleSpeak is now available to download... more


We announced earlier this year that Serle Court's Litigation Conference... more


We announced earlier this year that Serle Court’s International Trusts... more


The 3rd supplement to the 15th edition of the leading... more


Kathryn Purkis is returning to Serle Court to practise at... more


We are delighted to be sponsoring the Fraud, Asset Tracing... more


The latest edition of SerleSpeak is now available to download... more


The latest Chambers & Partners directory was published on 30... more


The latest edition of SerleSpeak is now available to download... more


The 2014 Legal 500 directory was published on 1 October... more


Serle Court hosted a very successful litigation conference in London... more


The Lawyer has published its Top 20 Cases for 2014... more


  The Lawyer has published its Top 20 Cases of... more


  Serle Court hosted a very successful conference in Cayman... more


Professor Jonathan Harris is one of the editors of the... more


The 2013 Chambers & Partners directory was published on 1... more


We have had another excellent set of results in the... more


Serle Court and Appleby hosted a very successful Offshore Litigation... more


Lance Ashworth QC – whose practice covers commercial, insolvency, company,... more


The 2012 Chambers & Partners directory was published on 25... more


In the new edition of the Legal 500 directory, Serle... more


In the new edition of the Legal 500 directory, Serle... more


The 16th Fraud, Asset Tracing and Recovery conference is taking place... more

Notable Cases

Aeroflot v Berezovsky, Glushkov, Forus Holdings SA & Ors

Aeroflot is suing its former Deputy Director General, Nikolai Glushkov,... more

Guernsey litigation Investec Trust (Guernsey) Limited v Glenalla Properties Ltd [2018] UKPC 7

On 23 April 2018, the Privy Council handed down its advice... more

Tatiana Akhmedova v Farkhad Teimur Ogly Akhmedov and 6 others [2018] EWFC 23 (Fam)

On 19th April 2018 Haddon-Cave J handed down his reasoned judgment... more

Instant Access Properties Limited (in liquidation) v Mr Bradley John Rosser and 6 others [2018] EWHC 756 (Ch)

On the facts of this case, Morgan J held that... more

Liongate SPC v Dilard and Ors

A case concerning the authority of directors of the fund... more

Glenn v Watson

Representing the interests of New Zealand businessman and philanthropist  Sir... more

Newmarket Holdings (Guernsey) Ltd v Confiance Ltd and Ors.

Acted for defendant Guernsey trustees in a c.£20m claim in the... more

Perry and others v National Crime Agency

Acted for the applicants in a very substantial compensation claim... more

FM Capital Partners Ltd v Marino

Acting for the principal defendant in this substantial commercial and... more

Superior Composite Structures LLC v Parrish [2015] EWHC 3688 (QB)

The trial of a claim for enforcement of a judgment... more

BTA Bank v Ablyazov [2015] 1 wLR 1547

Costs of Norwich Pharmacal disclsoure exercise. more

Novship (UK) Ltd v Mikhaylyuk [2014] EWCA Civ 908

Dealt with questions of the availablity of the remedy of an... more

Bank of St Petersburg v Vitaly Arkhangelsky & Anor [2014] EWCA Civ 593, [2014] EWHC 695 (Ch.), [2014] EWHC 574 (Ch.)

A claim to enforce a series of guarantees afforded to... more

CR v MZ [2014] WTLR 233

A sham trust/forgery case relating to the ownership of a... more

BTA Bank v Ablyazov

Acted for a non-party respondent ordered to provide detailed information... more

L v K (Freezing Orders: Principles and Safeguards) [2014] 2 WLR 914

Clarified freezing injunction principles in a case involving trusts and... more

Okritie Bank v Urumov et al [2014] EWHC 191 (Comm)

Jonathan McDonagh acted for the Urumov and Pinaev defendants, in... more

Fiona Trust & Holding Corp v Skarga [2013] EWCA Civ 275

Appeared for the appellants in which the Court of Appeal... more

Sukhoruchkin v van Bekestein [2013] EWHC 1993 (Ch), overturned by CA [2014] EWCA Civ 399

A multi-party, multi-jurisdictional dispute arising out of the management and... more

Constantin Medien AG v Ecclestone & Ors [2014] EWHC 387 (Ch)

Philip Marshall QC, David Blayney QC, James Mather  and Emma Hargreaves... more

Aeroflot v Berezovsky, Gluskhov, Forus Holdings SA & Ors

Philip Marshall QC and Justin  Higgo continued to represent Aeroflot... more

JSC BTA Bank v Mukhtar Ablyazov, Zharimbetov & Ors

Large fraud trial in which the Bank successfully obtained Judgment... more

Secretary of State for Health & Ors v Servier Laboratories Ltd [2014] Lloyd's Rep. F.C. 175

Rejected the defendants' attempt to rely on a French criminal... more

Aeroflot v Berezovsky [2012] EWHC 3017 (Ch)

The defendants applied for summary judgment on the claimant's claim... more

Mulu Mengiste v The Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray [2013] EWHC 598 (Ch) [2012] EWHC 2782 (Ch)

Appeared in an application for a stay on grounds of... more

Novoship (UK) Limited and Ors v Mikhaylyuk and Ors [2012] EWHC 3586 (Comm)

A mulit-million dollar fraud claim against agents.  The fraud related... more

Lexi Holdings v Pannone

Philip Marshall QC and Ruth Holtham continued to appear on... more

Lexi Holdings plc (in administration) v. (1) DTZ; (2) Mace & Jones [2010] EWHC 2290 (Ch)

In a professional negligence claim brought by a mortgagee, the... more

Antonio Gramsci Shipping (& ors) v Romanica (& ors) [2010] EWHC 1134 (Comm)

The Defendants are alleged to have defrauded the claimants of... more

Golfrate v Aziz [2009] EWCA Civ 250

Philip Marshall QC led Daniel Lightman for the Claimant, a... more

BITEL LLC v Kyrgyz Mobil Tel Ltd and Ors; Kyrgyz Mobil Tel Ltd and Ors v BITEL LLC & Ors

A claim to enforce a judgement from Kyrgyzstan in the... more

Millhouse Capital UK Ltd and Abramovich v Sibir Energy plc [2008] EWHC 2614 (Ch), [2009] 1 BCLC 298

Even had there been merit in a US$4bn fraud claim... more

Yugraneft v Roman Abramovich 2008 Commercial Court (Clarke J) ALLER (D) 299 (Oct)

Reverse summary judgment obtained against a Russian company which claimed... more

Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc v Winterthur (UK) Holdings Ltd

A £37m claim for breach of warranty and fraudulent misrepresentation... more

Re Lexi Holdings Plc [2008] EWCA Crim 1443

A debt owed to an unsecured third party can only... more

Yugraneft v Abramovich (2008, Christopher Clarke J)

Alan Boyle QC and Richard Walford appeared in the continuing... more

London Strategic Health Authority v Pandya [2008] EWHC 967 (Ch).

Judgment obtained for more than £1m on behalf of the... more

Stow v Stow [2008] Ch 461

The trustees brought a claim for declaratory relief to which... more

Re Lexi Holdings Plc [2007] EWCA 1501 (Mummery and Chadwick LJJ)

Held that the Court could disbelieve affidavit evidence as incredible... more

Re Lexi Holdings Plc [2007] EWHC 2652 (Briggs J) and [2009] EWCA Civ 117

Held that a company director who knows of some instances... more

Fiona Trust & Holding Corp & Ors v Privalov & Ors [2007] UKHL 40

The appellant shipowners appealed against a decision granting the respondent... more

Fiona & Ors v Privalov & Ors 22 May 2007, HC (QB Division) Steel J

The Claimants sought permission to add further claims and a... more

Marlwood Commercial Inc & ors v Kozeny & ors. [2007] EWHC 950 (Comm)

A world-wide freezing order was extended where there was good... more

Re City Group Ltd, Secretary of State for Trade & Industry v Gee & Ors [2007] EWHC 350 (Ch), [2007] All ER (D) 343 (Feb) [2008] B.C.C. 76

The first defendant was the majority shareholder, and executive chairman... more

Alhamrani v Alhamrani

The case revolved around a very substantial family trust and... more

Fiona Trust & Holding Corp & Ors v Privalov & Ors [2007] EWCA Civ 20

The appellant charterers appealed against the dismissal of their application... more

Fiona v Privalov 19 January 2007, HC (QB Division) Steel J

The respondents to a freezing order application sought disclosure of... more

Fiona & Ors v Privalov & Ors [2006] EWHC 2583

The applicant shipowners sought to restrain certain of the respondents... more

Mackinnon v The Regent Trust Company Limited & Ors [2005] W.T.L.R. 1367

A plaintiff beneficiary tried to set aside three family settlements... more

Crystal Decisions v Vedatech [2004] EWHC 1872; also 25.02.02; also 28.01.02: [2002] EWCA Civ 357

Crystal sought security for costs to cover their trial costs... more

Secretary of State for Health v Norton Healthcare Ltd (No. 3) [2005] Eu LR 135

Where a claimant's cause of action was founded on activities... more

Re Omar (a bankrupt) [2000] BCC 434



The estate's claim that the defendants had dishonestly misappropriated assets... more

About cookies on our website

This site uses cookies to enhance and improve your experience when browsing. To find out more about the way we use cookies please see our Privacy Policy.