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 2017
A broad chancery commercial set that has the breadth of talent to cover a wide range of business matters. It is most focused on disputes relating to trusts, civil fraud, real estate, and banking and finance.
Client service: "Steve Whitaker leads a very helpful and courteous team of clerks." "They are very accommodating and easy to deal with."
Alan Boyle QC
A highly venerated performer who has vast experience of handling the most complex and high-value cases both at home and abroad. His particular strengths include international fraud and offshore and trusts matters.
Strengths: "A brilliant technician who provides exceptional client service. He's magisterial." "Possesses vast experience and produces clear and authoritative advocacy."
Recent work: Instructed in a claim for damages of more than £30 million brought against the directors of a property company for breach of their duty of care in transferring an office block in London to a Jersey trust structure at an undervalue.
Philip Jones QC
A commercial advocate of unquestionable ability who handles major international litigation across a wide range of sectors. He has experience of acting in major fraud, joint venture failure, tax and professional negligence cases.
Strengths: "Very good at drawing out the most significant points of an argument. He puts the lay client at ease and commands the attention of the court." "He's an outstanding choice for trusts litigation."
Recent work: Acted for BTA Bank, a Kazakh bank, with regard to its USD6 billion claim in the Commercial Court against Mukhtar Ablyazov and his associates.
Lance Ashworth QC
A highly regarded commercial and chancery silk who is often seen acting in international disputes in the fraud and insolvency spheres. His manner with clients and his effectiveness on a case are highlighted by sources.
Strengths: "An authoritative advocate who commands respect from the Bench." "Very bright and client-friendly, he covers a wide range of practice areas."
Recent work: Acted in Emmott v Michael Wilson & Partners, Ltd, appearing in the Court of Appeal for the solicitor director of a company who had been found guilty of contempt of court in the Commercial Court and sentenced to eight months' imprisonment.
Elizabeth Jones QC
A veteran of more than 30 years at the Bar who handles an extremely broad diet of commercial litigation. She regularly handles cases concerning the music industry, financial services, fraud and contentious trusts.
Strengths: "She gets to grips with the intricate detail of a case in a very short space of time and is very impressive on her feet." "A slick operator who's great with clients."
Recent work: Instructed in a case where Conapro is suing The Gambia over a sale contract for the supply of petroleum products. The principal defence is that the contract was procured by bribery of a senior government official.
John Machell QC
A "superb team player" skilled at tackling contentious partnership, joint venture and company disputes. He also has experience of leading cases concerning fraud, trusts and fiduciary matters.
Strengths: "He cuts to the chase, gives robust and practical advice, and is impressive on his feet." "Very clever, creative and decisive."
Recent work: Acted in Salem v Salem, a major partnership/trusts case.
Philip Marshall QC
An "absolutely top-notch" silk with a versatile Commercial Court and Chancery practice. His fraud work, both international and domestic, wins him plaudits from the market. He is very active in offshore cases.
Strengths: "An outstanding advocate who is extremely diligent." "He is a very effective, hands-on litigator."
Recent work: Successfully defended mining company Erdenet Mining against a claim brought by Standard Bank in respect of project finance in Mongolia.
Jonathan Adkin QC
A very highly regarded young silk with a vibrant commercial practice, who has been particularly active in recent years hanbdling work for Russian and CIS clients. His hands on approach to complex litigation draws particular praise for the market.
Strengths: "Unflappable and commendably pragmatic when dealing with issues requiring great urgency." "A very fine draftsman and a powerful advocate."
Recent work: Instructed in a USD1.3 billion claim brought in the Chancery Division by Russian state agencies against a former oligarch accused of removing substantial funds from a major Russian bank.
David Blayney QC
Frequently seen in high-profile litigation in the banking and finance sector. He is also active in cases involving claims of bribery and those with challenging quantum issues.
Strengths: "Extremely bright and a pleasure to work with." "He throws himself into the detail of a case and works really hard."
Recent work: Instructed in group litigation brought by more than 20,000 individual and institutional claimants concerning the £12 billion RBS rights issue that took place in 2008.
Hugh Norbury QC
Focuses his practice on civil fraud and breach of fiduciary duty matters, and has handled a number of offshore matters. Commentators note the amount of support he offers clients faced with difficult legal and business situations.
Strengths: "Extremely good with clients, he always manages to make even the incredibly complex seem simple." "What was impressive was his ability to mix the hard analysis with the difficult practical issues facing the client."
Recent work: Defended Mr Zharimbetov in BTA Bank v Ablyazov & Others, a £4 billion banking fraud case.
Daniel Lightman QC
Offers clients deep knowledge and understanding of complex company law, fraud and fiduciary duty cases. Interviewees praise him for his ability to remain unfazed when confronted with seemingly huge technical and legal difficulties.
Strengths: "He has exceptional knowledge and skills, particularly in relation to company and shareholder disputes." "An excellent barrister with an eye for technical detail."
Recent work: Instructed to handle an application by the current trustees of the Tchenguiz family trusts, who had brought claims against the trusts’ former trustees for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.
A well-regarded junior with a fine chancery commercial practice. He is routinely led by established silks and has been involved with major fraud and banking matters at an international level.
Strengths: "He has an excellent client manner and provides clear and unambiguous advice." "Extremely bright, he instinctively knows when to aggressively take the fight to the other side."
Recent work: Acted in Standard Maritime v Fiona Trust, a case arising out of the operation of the Russian state tanker fleet.
Ruth den Besten
Frequently instructed in high-profile litigation, arbitration and mediation matters. She has experience of acting in cases concerning swap mis-selling, injunctive and interim relief, fraud and shareholder disputes.
Strengths: "A robust counsel with precise drafting skills. She is a pleasure to work with and a good team player." "An excellent barrister who gives high-quality commercial advice that is always well thought out."
Recent work: Acted for the defendant in Marrache v Jyske Bank, a case concerning frauds committed by a solicitors’ partnership in Gibraltar.
Legal 500 2016
Serle Court is ‘one of the top commercial Chancery sets with considerable depth of experience’ and ‘a good spread of people able to assist with a wide range of matters’. Members have had a strong involvement in major commercial and fraud disputes, including Orb v Ruhan.
Alan Boyle QC - ‘One of the leaders of the Chancery Bar, who is exceptionally clever.’
Dominic Dowley QC - ‘His analytical mind gets to the heart of an issue quickly.’
Elizabeth Jones QC - ‘Combines legal brilliance with practical commercial acumen, judges always listen to her.’
Hugh Norbury QC - ‘A calm but powerful presence; you wouldn’t want to be cross-examined by him.’
Lance Ashworth QC - ‘Impressive on strategy and is favoured for his robust advice; he doesn’t sit on the fence.’
Philip Jones QC - ‘Calm, cerebral and measured; he keeps his head when all around are losing theirs.'
Philip Marshall QC - ‘Charming with clients but he also has a hard edge he will never be bullied out of court.’
Andrew Moran QC - ‘Very good with clients and very good at guiding them through difficult concepts.’
Daniel Lightman QC - ‘Technically extremely competent and very strong on tactics and drafting.’
David Drake - ‘One of the brightest individuals at the Bar.’
Justin Higgo - ‘Excellent.’
Matthew Morrison - ‘Good for difficult cases, and has shown that he is measured, calm and unflappable.'
Richard Walford - ‘A consummate legal strategist and a most eloquent and engaging advocate.’
Ruth den Besten - 'A tremendous counsel in any complex investigation or litigation.'
Simon Hattan - 'His paperwork is excellent and he is a good advocate with a real presence.'
Adil Mohamedbhai - 'Very easy to work with and on top of all the detail – he will go far.’
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
Aeroflot is suing its former Deputy Director General, Nikolai Glushkov,... more
Dominic Dowley QC and Justin Higgo are instructed in the... more
Involves the enforcement of a US$5.7m judgment of the Michigan... more
Acted for a group of proposed defendants in successfully resisting... more
Acting for the Public Prosecutor of the Court of Milan... more
The long-running dispute between Network Rail and road users’ insurers... more
Acted for a company defending claims brought by former directors... more
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)  EWHC 1664 (Ch);  EWHC 1924 (Ch)
Successfully opposing the claimant's application for permission to serve proposed re-amended... more
Representing the interests of New Zealand businesssman and philantropist Sir... more
Acted for defendant Guernsey trustees in a c.£20m claim in the... more
A substantial claim in the Commercial Court relating to an... more
Concerning claims for unpaid commission. They act for the claimant,... more
Acted for the applicants in a very substantial compensation claim... more
Acting for the principal defendant in this substantial commercial and... more
Henderson J gave the first judgment on the question whether... more
Acted for the guarantor of debts of a company which... more
The trial of a claim for enforcement of a judgment... more
Costs of Norwich Pharmacal disclsoure exercise. more
Dealt with questions of the availablity of the remedy of an... more
A cross-border joint venture dispute involving proceedings in England and... more
An application for committal for contempt of court. In a... more
Acted for a non-party respondent ordered to provide detailed information... more
Appeared for the appellants in which the Court of Appeal... more
Instructed on behalf of the Plaintiffs in a high value... more
A multi-party, multi-jurisdictional dispute arising out of the management and... more
Philip Marshall QC, David Blayney QC, James Mather and Emma Hargreaves... more
Philip Marshall QC and Justin Higgo continued to represent Aeroflot... more
Large fraud trial in which the Bank successfully obtained Judgment... more
Andrew Bruce was instructed at first instance on a direct... more
Andrew Bruce successfully represented the Defendants in a substantial High... more
Alleged breaches of articles 101 and 102 TFEU and interference... more
A mortgagee brought possession proceedings against a corporate mortgagor and... more
The defendants applied for summary judgment on the claimant's claim... more
Mulu Mengiste v The Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray  EWHC 598 (Ch)  EWHC 2782 (Ch)
Appeared in an application for a stay on grounds of... more
A mulit-million dollar fraud claim against agents. The fraud related... more
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  WLR (D) 386
This held that the extension of EU emissions tradiing to... more
The case involving the high profile claim concerning the sale... more
Acting for the claimants in a claim for abuse of... more
The case concerned the construction of guarantee obligations in a... more
Acted for the first and second respondents to a contempt... more
The dispute concerns the fraudulent misappropriation of shares in a... more
Successful strike-out application of part of the Claimant's Particulars of... more
Successfully defended a retired barrister in a test case brought... more
Andrew Bruce obtained Mareva relief in connection with retention of... more
Philip Marshall QC and Ruth Holtham continued to appear on... more
Acted for the victorious entrepreneurs in which the private equity... more
North Shore Venture v Anstead Holdings  EWHC 1485 (Ch);  EWCA Civ 230;  EWHC 910 (Ch)
Acting for the defendants in a case which raises important... more
The facts of the case are widely reported - e.g.... more
A multi-million litigation in the Bahamas involved a dispute between... more
The Defendants are alleged to have defrauded the claimants of... more
Philip Marshall QC led Daniel Lightman for the Claimant, a... more
This case established that an estoppel can arise from a... more
Acted as senior juinior for The Royal Bank of Scotland... more
A claim to enforce a judgement from Kyrgyzstan in the... more
Philip Marshall QC led Ruth Holtham for the Defendant, Orton... more
Reverse summary judgment obtained against a Russian company which claimed... more
A £37m claim for breach of warranty and fraudulent misrepresentation... more
Alan Boyle QC and Richard Walford appeared in the continuing... more
The claimant was a financial and investment advisor. The defendant... more
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  RPC1;  1 All ER 425
Acted for the Comptroller-General of Patents in this matter dealing... more
The appellant shipowners appealed against a decision granting the respondent... more
The Court gave guidance on when it was appropriate to... more
The Claimants sought permission to add further claims and a... more
Facts:The defendant was the UK subsidiary of a US corporation... more
A world-wide freezing order was extended where there was good... more
23 day breach of contract claim arising from a defective... more
The appellant charterers appealed against the dismissal of their application... more
The applicant shipowners sought to restrain certain of the respondents... more
Substantial claim involving record royalties, claims to own copyright and... more
Enron (Thrace) v Clapp and others  EWCA Civ 1511 Court of Appeal;  EWHC 401 (Comm) Aikens J;  EWHC 1612 (Comm)
Thrace Basin Natural Gas (Turkiye) Corporation (“TBNG”) owned gas concessions... more
The appeal from Speed Investments (No 1) more
At first instance the applicant had obtained an order for... more
Crystal sought security for costs to cover their trial costs... more
The claimant sought an order for the transfer of shares... more
Abuse of process and issue estoppel in a trade mark... more
Refusal to join a new Part 20 defendant as an... more
Dispute in relation to the design of an offshore gas... more
The claimant appealed against the refusal of the High Court... more
A provisional judgment given by the French court was wrongly... more
Successful claim for misrepresentation and breach of warranty with respect... more
The claimant sought summary judgment in relation to an advance... more
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
Barristers with this expertise
- Alan Boyle QC
- Patrick Talbot QC
- Kuldip Singh QC
- Elizabeth Jones QC
- Paul Chaisty QC
- Dominic Dowley QC
- Philip Marshall QC
- Philip Jones QC
- Lance Ashworth QC
- Khawar Qureshi QC
- David Casement QC
- John Machell QC
- Hugh Norbury QC
- David Blayney QC
- Jonathan Adkin QC
- Rupert Reed QC
- Andrew Moran QC
- Daniel Lightman QC
- Prof Jonathan Harris QC
- Richard Walford
- Nicholas Harrison
- Kathryn Purkis
- Andrew Bruce
- David Drake
- Justin Higgo
- Timothy Collingwood
- Giles Richardson
- Thomas Braithwaite
- Simon Hattan
- Jennifer Haywood
- Ruth Jordan
- Ruth den Besten
- Matthew Morrison
- James Mather
- Dan McCourt Fritz
- Gareth Tilley
- James Weale
- Paul Adams
- Thomas Elias
- Sophie Holcombe
- Adil Mohamedbhai
- Jonathan McDonagh
- Emma Hargreaves
- Zahler Bryan
- Amy Proferes
- Adrian de Froment
- Oliver Jones
- Sophia Hurst
- Eleni Dinenis
- Charlotte Beynon
- Geraldine Clark
- Civil Fraud
- Commercial Litigation
- Competition and State Aid
- EU Law
- Financial Services
- Insurance and Reinsurance
- Intellectual Property
- Partnership and LLP
- Professional Negligence
- Sports, Entertainment and Media
- Trusts and Probate