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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 2017

A large commercial set hosting a plethora of talented QCs and juniors at all levels of call. Its members are more than capable of dealing with the most serious and complex fraud proceedings, and are applauded for their wealth of experience. One solicitor comments: "The set gives me such good service. The barristers are so experienced on the civil fraud stuff that they can just pick up cases and run with them. They don't have to waste time getting to grips with things because this work is bread and butter to them." 

Client service: "It is an extremely professional and well-run set. The service we have received has always been excellent." Steve Whitaker, the head clerk, is "always approachable" and "truly excellent." 


Alan Boyle QC 
A distinguished commercial silk who has handled a range of important fraud cases. His practice covers several areas of law including company, insolvency and trusts.
Strengths: "He is absolutely top-notch. He devotes himself to the client's cause and always impresses with his ability to convert volumes of paper and vastly complex issues into clear, pragmatic advice. He is a brilliant advocate."
Recent work: Acted for the trust defendants in Kingate Global Fund v Kingate Management, a fraud claim relating to assets that two feeder funds transferred to Bernard L Madoff Investment Securities. 

Hugh Norbury QC 
An excellent young silk instructed in high-profile and high-value civil fraud cases involving allegations such as breach of fiduciary duty and conspiracy.
Strengths: "He's incredibly dedicated to detail." "He has an understated way of presenting his case which really has you listening to him. He holds the attention of the judge."
Recent work: Successfully acted for Coca-Cola Enterprises in proceedings against various defendants to recover over £6 million in misappropriated assets.  

Philip Jones QC 
Provides carefully crafted advice in difficult fraud disputes and is adept at addressing jurisdiction issues.
Strengths: "He is really solid as an opponent. He's absolutely delightful and a very safe pair of hands."
Recent work: Acted for Kazakhstan's BTA Bank in bringing a USD6 billion fraud claim against Mukhtar Ablyazov and others. 

Philip Marshall QC 
A specialist fraud advocate instructed in significant pieces of litigation involving the full range of allegations.
Strengths: "He absorbs documentation impressively quickly and is formidable and aggressive when he needs to be." 
Recent work: Represented the respondents in an application by Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority for interim relief involving freezing and receivership orders. 

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.
Strengths: "He's a very cerebral barrister who pays strong attention to detail."
Recent work: Acted in Novoship v Mikhaylyuk, a multi-jurisdictional fraud claim arising out of bribes paid to a former manager of Novoship for the chartering of oil tankers.   

Elizabeth Jones QC
An experienced commercial practitioner frequently instructed in major fraud matters. She is also a skilled mediator.
Strengths: "She has outstanding tactical judgement and the ability to co-ordinate numerous parties to work together." "She's very careful and forensic."

Jonathan Adkin QC
An impressive advocate who has acted in a large number of prominent, multi-jurisdictional fraud disputes. 
Strengths: "He's very commercial. He cuts through nonsense and provides very crisp and clear analysis of a case. "Adkin is very effective. He sticks to the issues and puts his case plainly and simply." 
Recent work: Acted for the applicants in a USD1.3 billion claim brought by JSC Mezhdunarodniy Bank and the Deposit Insurance Agency of Russia against Sergei Pugachev. The case concerned the alleged misappropriation of assets.


Justin Higgo 
An admired junior with a broad commercial chancery practice. He receives a steady supply of significant fraud instructions.
Strengths: "He has an impressive reputation."
Recent work: Represented Aeroflot, Russia's state airline, in bringing a claim for damages against the estate of Boris Berezovsky relating to the alleged misappropriation of assets. 

David Drake 
Advises in complex cases of civil fraud, and is an expert on freezing and document preservation orders.
"He has a high degree of technical skills and can express the most complex matters in simple, direct terms." 
Recent work: Acted for the defendants in Coll v Floreat Merchant Banking.

Nicholas Harrison 
Has handle 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.
Strengths: "Efficiently prepares first-rate written submissions, and masters complex factual cases."
Recent work: Handled the Blickle litigation in Bermuda and the BVI. This was an ownership dispute between rival trusts in Jersey and Bermuda that centred on allegations of fraudulent misappropriation of trust assets. 

Ruth den Besten 
An accomplished barrister who focuses on sizeable commercial fraud litigation.
Strengths: "She's user-friendly and supportive of her instructing solicitors. In her approach she's very calm and measured and she inspires confidence. "She provides good, clear analysis and is excellent at cross-examination and in court generally."
Recent work: Acted for a majority of defendants in successfully resisting an application for interim relief made by Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority.

Simon Hattan 
Manages a general commercial and chancery practice and is regularly instructed on fraud matters involving such allegations as breach of fiduciary duty and dishonesty.
Strengths: "He is pragmatic, experienced and brilliant." "He is very bright, thorough, tenacious and commercial."
Recent work: Represented the defendants in group claims against RBS valued in excess of £3 billion relating to a 2008 rights issue.

Matthew Morrison 
Prosecutes and defends high-profile fraud proceedings concerning such issues as unfair prejudice, conspiracy and misappropriated assets.
Strengths: "Matthew Morrison is extremely responsive and user-friendly. He is able to assimilate complex facts and plead very detailed statements of a case. He is also very good on his feet."
Recent work: Defended Charles Ridley in a claim brought by Dubai Islamic Bank alleging that he put the proceeds of a fraud into a trust on the island of Jersey. 

Legal 500 2016

Serle Court is the ‘go-to set for offshore litigation involving trusts and civil fraud’. The set has ‘real strength in depth and can provide a range of counsel, whatever the requirements of the case’. Key cases included Orb v Ruhan and Aeroflot v Berezovsky.

Alan Boyle QC - ‘Excellent in fraud disputes.’

Hugh Norbury QC - ‘A class act and the first choice in a crisis; he is cool and measured with a core of steel.’ 

Kuldip Singh QC - ‘Consulted without hesitation on cases with a civil and criminal fraud angle.’ 

Philip Jones QC - ‘A cool, calm and considered silk, who is always thoughtful, imaginative and right.’ 

Jonathan Adkin QC - 'He masters the case and the court - at his best in a head-on fight.'

Elizabeth Jones QC - ‘A true superstar and superb tactician quietly spoken, but with a mind like a mantrap.’ 

Philip Marshall QC - ‘In terms of value, commitment and star quality he is Champions League.'

Andrew Moran QC - ‘A very welcome addition to the front bench – delightful to work with.’ 

Daniel Lightman QC - ‘Brilliant in fraud because his forensic skills and persistence are just what’s needed.’

Dakis Hagen - ‘He provides a consistently high standard of advice.’

David Drake - ‘He finds innovative solutions, and intellectually speaking, he ranks far above his contemporaries.'

Richard Walford - ‘He has a good court manner and is willing to fight even the hardest points.’ 

Ruth den Besten - ‘A wonderful talent energetic and hugely enjoyable to work with.

Justin Higgo - ‘A really feisty advocate.’

Nicholas Harrison - ‘An amazingly talented member of the Bar.'

Simon Hattan - ‘A good fighter, who is thoughtful, intelligent and thorough.’ 



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Notable Cases

Aeroflot v Berezovsky, Glushkov, Forus Holdings SA & Ors

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

Glenn v Watson

Representing the interests of New Zealand businesssman and philantropist 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

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