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Commercial Litigation Overview

Members of chambers are recommended by the directories not only for commercial litigation but also in the commercial fields of banking and financial services, insurance, and fraud.

We operate in commercial cases both in the Commercial Court and in the Chancery Division. We also regularly appear in the Technology and Construction Court.


Chambers & Partners 2018

A set with combined commercial and chancery capability which provides invaluable counsel on commercial disputes of notable size and complexity. Members of chambers have recently been instructed in major pieces of litigation, including the RBS shareholders case and Avonwick v Shlosberg, a USD100 million claim alleging conspiracy to set aside preferences and defraud creditors. Other matters of note include Ecclestone and Bambino Holdings v Bayerische Landesbank, which considered the conduct of Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone in the context of his sale of a major stake in F1 to private equity group CVC. One commentator says of the set: “Serle Court is a hugely impressive outfit that delivers magic circle-quality advocates without the price tag.” 

Client service: “They have the best clerks at the Bar: they are responsive, helpful, charming, sensible on fees and willing to go the extra mile at court.” "They know what we like and what we work." Steve Whitaker is the head clerk. 


Jonathan Adkin QC
Strengths: "Makes the complex simple and converts losing cases into winning cases." "He has great commercial acumen."

Lance Ashworth QC
Strengths: "Has remarkable clarity of thought, and picks up points others miss." "Lance is an authoritative advocate who commands respect from the bench."

David Blayney QC
Strengths: "Extraordinarily creative and a great lateral thinker, he's able to see lines of argument others don't and he's equally brilliant on the detail." 

Alan Boyle QC 
Strengths: "Gets straight to the heart of the matter, and has a razor-sharp intellect and a laser-like focus on his clients' interests." "He is a barrister of gravitas who produces persuasive advocacy."

Elizabeth Jones QC
Strengths: "Capable of assimilating a great deal of information in a very short space of time, and ideal for urgent matters." Steely and effective in court, she's someone with great judgement."

Philip Jones QC
Strengths: "An outstanding choice for trusts litigation." "He's got one of the calmest, most measured manners in court, and is a good team worker."

Daniel Lightman QC
Strengths: "Thorough in his preparation and skilful in presenting his statements of case." "He is loved by clients and solicitors alike, and he sees things others simply do not."

John Machell QC
Strengths: "A hard-working team player, as good on his feet as he is in writing, who has the rare ability to make highly complex concepts and arguments appear simple." "Creative and decisive."

Philip Marshall QC
Strengths: "One of the cleverest barristers, he is a very good advocate who is fantastically aggressive in court in a good way." "Assertive and an asset to any litigation team."

Hugh Norbury QC
Strengths: "An approachable and affable advocate, who provides comprehensive advice in a clear, well-packaged way." "Has a measured and incredibly persuasive style of oral advocacy."


Simon Hattan
Strengths: "His City background puts him in pole position when it comes to investment disputes; few are so adept at putting clients at ease." "Puts together pleadings and legal submissions at speed." 

Justin Higgo
Strengths: "Has the power to assimilate masses of material and distil things down to the core issues of a case." "He's very personable and very engaging with the clients."

Legal 500 2017

Alan Boyle QC - ‘Very good for fraud work’

David Balyney QC - Immensely clever and focused'

Dominic Dowley QC - ‘A stellar advocate - very tenacious’ 

Elizabeth Jones QC - ‘She is simply outstanding  and has the best grasp of even the most complex cases’ 

Hugh Norbury QC - ‘Rolls up his sleeves and gets stuck in, a delight to work with’ 

Jonathan Adkin QC - 'A very good silk'

Lance Ashworth QC - ‘Very hardworking, fantastic on detail and unquestionably a figher’

Philip Jones QC - ‘A highly regarded commercial silk'

Philip Marshall QC - ‘Excellent: gets to grips with the case quickly and offers sound trial strategy advice’

Andrew Moran QC - 'Delightful, charming, hardworking and a pleaure to know'

Daniel Lightman QC - 'Very approachable and affable in his dealing with solicitors and the client'

David Drake - ‘A sleeves-rolled, battling, user-friendly and clever junior’

Justin Higgo - ‘An excellent all-round practitioner and a pleasure to know’

Richard Walford - ‘A thorough and concise draftsman with an effective and concise style of advocacy

Simon Hattan - 'A tremendously robust, hardworking and irrepressibly commited senior junior'

Ruth den Besten - 'One of the go-to juniors at the Bar'

Adil Mohamedbhai - 'One of the smartest people one can meet, a total star'



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


Andrew Moran QC has been invited to speak at the... more


Commercial Litigation in Anglophone Africa by Juta Publishing, covers the law relating to... more


We are delighted that James Weale and Jonathan McDonagh are... more


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


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


The latest edition of Serle Speak is now available to... more


We are delighted to be supporting the KNect365 Law Funds... more


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


The Legal 500 UK Awards shortlist has been announced and... 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


Serle Court hosted a successful Trusts and Commercial Litigation Conference... more


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


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


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


The latest edition of Chambers Global is now available online... more


We are delighted to announce that we will again be... more


We are pleased to announce that we will be hosting... more


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


The Lawyer has published its Top 20 Cases of 2017... 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 Legal 500 UK Awards shortlist has been announced and... 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


We announced last month that Serle Court will be hosting... more


The latest edition of Chambers Global is now available online... more


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


We are delighted to announce that we will be hosting... more


Leading commercial and chancery set Serle Court today announces the... more


The latest edition of Chambers Global is now available online... more


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


Serle Court hosted a second successful conference in Cayman on... more


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


The Legal 500 UK Awards shortlist for 2014 has been... more


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


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


We are delighted to be sponsoring the prestigious Trusts &... 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


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


The supplement to the 8th edition of the leading practitioner... 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


The latest edition of Chambers and Partners Global is now... more


Julian Burling, previously Counsel to Lloyd’s, and Paul Chaisty QC... more


The new edition of the leading work on Sale of... more


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


In December 2009, the third supplement to the 14th edition... more


For the third year running, Serle Court is proud to... more


Professor Jonathan Harris has contributed a substantial chapter to a... more


Professor Jonathan Harris has been invited to speak at the... more


Serle Court is delighted to announce that Professor Jonathan Harris,... more

Notable Cases

Aeroflot v Berezovsky, Glushkov, Forus Holdings SA & Ors

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

Fiona Trust

Dominic Dowley QC and Justin Higgo are instructed in the... more

Thursfield v Thursfield [2012] EWHC 3742 (Ch) [2012] EWHC 3621 (Ch) [2011] EWHC 3539 (Ch)

Involves the enforcement of a US$5.7m judgment of the Michigan... more

Grupo Mexico SAB DE CV v Infund LLP CR-2015-002084 & CR-2015-006635

The Companies Act 2006 introduced new provisions giving the Court... 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

Bestfort Developments LLP and Ors v Ras Al Khaimah Investment [2016] EWCA Civ 1099

Successful in the Court of Appeal establishing the correct rest... more

Secretary of State for Health v Servier Laboratories Ltd [2016] EWHC 2381 (Ch); [2016] 5 CMLR 25

Henderson J considered whether it was a prerequisite of a... more

Grupa Ozarow v Clean Energy Trading CL [2016] EWHC 2322 (Comm)

Acted for the defendant company trading in Carbon Credits in... more

Orb v Ruhan [2015] EWHC 262

Acted for a group of proposed defendants in successfully resisting... more

ENI S.p.a v Malabu Oil and Gas Ltd

Acting for the Public Prosecutor of the Court of Milan... more

Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd [2015] EWHC 1175 (TCC)

The long-running dispute between Network Rail and road users’ insurers... more

MMM v Nusantara

Acted for a company defending claims brought by former directors... more

Dijbouti v Boreh [2015] EWHC 1338 (Comm)

Acted for the Republic of Djibouti in its claim against... more

Rawlinson & Hunter Trustees SA (Trustee of the Tchenguiz Settlement) v ITG Ltd and Bayeux Trustees Ltd (Trustees of the Techenguiz Discretionary Trust) [2015] EWHC 1664 (Ch); [2015] EWHC 1924 (Ch)

Successfully opposing the claimant's application for permission to serve proposed re-amended... 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

Greenhouse v Skrill Ltd

A substantial claim in the Commercial Court relating to an... more

Cornwall v Medichem

Concerning claims for unpaid commission.  They act for the claimant,... 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

Flanagan v Liontrust Investment Partners LLP [2015] EWCA 2171 (Ch)

Henderson J gave the first judgment on the question whether... more

Wyatt v Royal Bank of Scotland

Acted for the guarantor of debts of a company which... 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

Kea Investments Ltd v Novatrust Ltd BVIHC (Com) 2014/46; [2014] EWHC 4061 (Ch)

A cross-border joint venture dispute involving proceedings in England and... more

Her Majesty’s Solicitor General v Dodd [2014] FSR 27

An application for committal for contempt of court.  In a... more

BTA Bank v Ablyazov

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

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

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

Stiftung Salle Modulable v Butterfield Trust (Bermuda) Limited [2013] SC (Bda) 47 Civ

Instructed on behalf of the Plaintiffs in a high value... 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

Ruxley Electronics v Forsyth [1996] 1 AC 344

Andrew Bruce was instructed at first instance on a direct... more

Ullah v Ullah [2013] EWHC 296 (Ch)

Andrew Bruce successfully represented the Defendants in a substantial High... more

Secretary of State for Health & Ors v Servier Laboratories Ltd & Ors

Alleged breaches of articles 101 and 102 TFEU and interference... more

Portsmouth Holdings Ltd v JL Homes Ltd Anor Ch D, 4 October 2012

A mortgagee brought possession proceedings against a corporate mortgagor and... 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

Serious Organised Crime Agency v Perry

Acting for the subjects of a major civil recovery investigation... more

Air Transport Association of America v Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change [2011] WLR (D) 386

This held that the extension of EU emissions tradiing to... more

Hicks v Broughton

The case involving the high profile claim concerning the sale... more

Secretary of State for Health & Ors v Reckitt Benckiser Group plc

Acting for the claimants in a claim for abuse of... more

Company Developments (Finance) Ltd v Coffee Club Restaurants Ltd [2011] EWCA Civ 766

The case concerned the construction of guarantee obligations in a... more

Masri v Consolidated Contractors International Co SAL

Acted for the first and second respondents to a contempt... more


The dispute concerns the fraudulent misappropriation of shares in a... more

Legal Services Commission v Henthorn High Court HHJ Thornton QC

Successfully defended a retired barrister in a test case brought... more

Cheeside Homes Ltd v Charles Lawson Lettings

Andrew Bruce obtained Mareva relief in connection with retention of... more

Lexi Holdings v Pannone

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

Vercoe v Rutland [2010] EWHC 424

Acted for the victorious entrepreneurs in which the private equity... more

North Shore Venture v Anstead Holdings [2010] EWHC 1485 (Ch); [2011] EWCA Civ 230; [2010] EWHC 910 (Ch)

Acting for the defendants in a case which raises important... more

Dickson v Christie’s

The facts of the case are widely reported - e.g.... more

Estate of Edward St George v Sir Jack Hayward & Ors [2010]

A multi-million litigation in the Bahamas involved a dispute between... 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

William Evans v Focal Point Fires plc [2010] ETMR 29; [2010] RPC 15

This case established that an estoppel can arise from a... more

Abbey National & Ors v OFT [2009] UKSC 6

Acted as senior juinior for The Royal Bank of Scotland... 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

Tchigirinski v Orton Oil

Philip Marshall QC led Ruth Holtham for the Defendant, Orton... 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

Yugraneft v Abramovich (2008, Christopher Clarke J)

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

TAG Wealth Management v West [2008] All ER (D) 386 (Jun)

The claimant was a financial and investment advisor. The defendant... more

Lexi Holdings plc (in administration) v Pooni [2008] All ER (D) 292

The Claimant was the registered proprietor of No Man's Land... more

Rhone-Poulenc Rorer International Holdings Inc v Yeda Research and Development Co Ltd [2008] RPC1; [2008] 1 All ER 425

Acted for the Comptroller-General of Patents in this matter dealing... more

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

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

Parti v Al Sabah [2007] EWHC 1869

The Court gave guidance on when it was appropriate to... 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

Jones v TRW Ltd [2007] EWHC 1091 (QB)

Facts:The defendant was the UK subsidiary of a US corporation... more

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

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

Maersk Oil Limited v Dresser-Rand (UK) Limited [2007] All ER (D) 153

23 day breach of contract claim arising from a defective... 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 & Ors v Privalov & Ors [2006] EWHC 2583

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

Barrett v Universal Island Records Ltd [2006] E.M.L.R. 21

Substantial claim involving record royalties, claims to own copyright and... more

Enron (Thrace) v Clapp and others [2005] EWCA Civ 1511 Court of Appeal; [2005] EWHC 401 (Comm) Aikens J; [2004] EWHC 1612 (Comm)

Thrace Basin Natural Gas (Turkiye) Corporation (“TBNG”) owned gas concessions... more

Speed Investments Ltd v Formula One Holdings Ltd (No 2) [2005] 1 WLR 1936

The appeal from Speed Investments (No 1) more

Eid v Al Kazemi (No 2) [2004] EWCA Civ 1811

At first instance the applicant had obtained an order for... 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

Eid v Al Kazemi (No 1) [2004] EWHC 2129

The claimant sought an order for the transfer of shares... more

Hormel Foods v Antilles Landscape Investments [2005] ETMR 54; [2005] RPC 28

Abuse of process and issue estoppel in a trade mark... more

Reckitt Benkiser v Home Pairfum [2004] FSR 37; [2005] ETMR 94

Refusal to join a new Part 20 defendant as an... more

ConocoPhilips Petroleum Co UK Ltd v Snamprogetti [2003] EWHC 223

Dispute in relation to the design of an offshore gas... more

Experience Hendrix LLC v PPX Enterprises Inc and another [2003] EWCA Civ 323 [2003] FSR 46

The claimant appealed against the refusal of the High Court... more

Eurovideo Bildprogramm GmbH v Pulse Entertainment Ltd 27 June 2002, CA

Successful claim for misrepresentation and breach of warranty with respect... more

Bank of Ireland v AMCD Property Holdings and others (2001) 2 All ER (Comm) 894

The claimant sought summary judgment in relation to an advance... more

Raiffeisenlandesbank Niederosterreich-Wien AG v Maxfold Contracts LLP & Ors

A multi-jursidictional dispute concerning allegations of international money-laundering and shortcomings... more


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

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