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Company Overview

Serle Court is counted among the best sets for company law, and its reputation in this area goes far beyond reflecting its exceptional strength in corporate insolvency. We are often the first port of call for clients involved in contentious disputes as directors or shareholders. In particular, in the area of internal and minority shareholders disputes, derivative actions and just and equitable winding up, several members of chambers have considerable experience and are acknowledged as outstanding practitioners.

This excellence is reflected in the fact that members of Chambers have written leading works in the area of contentious company work: Minority Shareholders: Law, Practice and Procedure by David Drake, Tim Collingwood, Daniel Lightman QC, Giles Richardson (and former member Victor Joffe QC) and The Practice & Procedure of the Companies Court edited by Alan Boyle QC and Philip Marshall QC with contributions from Philip Jones QC. Matthew Morrison and James Mather are on the panel of contributors to the Butterworths Corporate Law Service; Matthew has written chapters on Directors' Liabilities in Insolvency and Directors' Disqualification and James contributes on Directors' Conflicts of Interest, Remedies Against Directors and Limitation Issues in Corporate Litigation.

The range of work covered by Serle Court includes all aspects of non-contentious company work, particularly financial assistance, schemes of arrangement, reductions of capital, share transactions and takeovers.

In both contentious and non-contentious work, our clients in this area range from large companies and corporations, both domestic and overseas, to medium and small-size companies and their directors and shareholders. Whilst receiving instructions from a wide range of firms of solicitors throughout the country, we also receive instruction from foreign lawyers and others direct.


Directories

Chambers & Partners 2018

Serle Court enjoys a strong reputation and an excellent track record in a range of company law litigation matters. The set houses a wealth of expertise in transactional and contentious work, and has particular strength in cases concerning shareholder disputes, derivative claims and breaches of fiduciary duty. Commentators offer praise for the set's "quality across the board," with one solicitor revealing: "All the barristers there are top of the tree; everyone I have worked with has been extremely intelligent and capable." 

Client service: "The clerks, led by Steve Whitaker, are helpful and accommodating, and have a great relationship with the courts." 

SILKS

David Blayney QC
Respected junior silk who handles company law as part of a broad commercial and chancery practice. He is often called upon to handle breach of directors' duty, unfair prejudice proceedings and disputes concerning the validity of agreements. 
Strengths: "Extremely bright and a pleasure to work with." 

Alan Boyle QC
A distinguished name at the Commercial Chancery Bar, who is the first port of call for many on company disputes. He regularly leads in high-profile cases involving insolvency and contentious shareholder work, and serves as Head of Chambers at Serle Court. 
Strengths: "An amazing company law barrister" and "an amazing advocate who always does a great job for the client."

Philip Jones QC 
A respected and highly sought-after silk with a fantastic reputation in company disputes. He maintains a thriving offshore practice and continues to undertake significant work on behalf of the government.
Strengths: "Excellent at seeing the wood for the trees and at giving sensible, uncomplicated advice that cuts to the nub of the issue. He commands huge amounts of respect." 

Daniel Lightman QC
Often acts in company law cases and is an expert in minority shareholder cases. His areas of expertise also cover derivatives claims and Section 994 petition proceedings, and he has wider experience in corporate insolvency work.
Strengths: "He has excellent drafting skills, possesses a good bedside manner with clients and is a very effective advocate." 

Philip Marshall QC 
 A heavyweight barrister who regularly undertakes disputes concerning directors and acquisitions. He handles cases in both domestic and international courts, and also has deep commercial arbitration expertise. 
Strengths: "His key quality is his toughness in court, whether handling an insolvency case or a nasty shareholder dispute." 

JUNIORS

Paul Adams
Enjoys a growing reputation for his skills in a range of company disputes including those relating to breach of fiduciary duty, shareholder agreements and reflective loss. He often appears in both the English and the BVI Courts of Appeal. 
Strengths: "A very solid and reliable barrister." 

Timothy Collingwood
A highly respected junior who takes instructions in domestic and international cases. He is particularly noted for his capabilities in shareholder disputes involving breach of duty and allegations of fraud. 
Strengths: "He's got a sharp mind that gets to grips with matters and takes you where you need to be going quite quickly. He's quite good at reading the court and is a brilliant cross-examiner."

David Drake
An experienced junior with a strong track record in disputes concerning breach of directors' duties and unfair prejudice. He also offers skills in related fields, including civil fraud and corporate insolvency. 
Strengths: "Possesses excellent technical skill and the ability to quickly and succinctly drill down to details."

Legal 500 2017

Jonathan Adkin QC - 'An extremely robust and persuasive advocate'

Lance Ashworth QC - 'Willing to go the extra mile'

Alan Boyle QC - ‘He provides the clearest advice and has excellent client skills’

Philip Jones QC - ‘He has a strong intellect and great advocacy skills’ 

Philip Marshall QC - ‘He works very well in a team’

Daniel Lightman QC - 'He has absolute focus on how the detail builds the complete picture'

Dan McCourt Fritz - 'A rising star, who gives robust but realistic advice and makes a strong impression'

David Drake - ‘Recommended for unfair prejudice challenges’

Giles Richardson - ‘A fantastic person to work with; his commerciality and tactical awareness are as strong as his exceptional intellect’

Matthew Morrison - ‘Recommended for shareholder claims and directors' misfeasance’

Ruth den Besten - ‘Recommended for advising on freezing injunctions’

Thomas Braithwaite - ‘He is very strong on the law and absorbs large amounts of information in a short period’ 

Timothy Collingwood - ‘His advice is delivered in a client-friendly manner with appropriate levels of explanation depending upon his audience'

News

13.12.2017

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

16.11.2017

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

27.07.2017

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

20.06.2017

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

17.05.2017

In O’Keefe & Anor v Caner & Ors [2017] EWHC... more

16.05.2017

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

02.03.2017

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

13.02.2017

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

24.01.2017

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

17.11.2016

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

26.07.2016

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

15.07.2016

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

13.11.2015

The fifth edition of Minority Shareholders: Law, Practice and Procedure... more

10.03.2015

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

30.10.2014

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

01.10.2014

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

22.09.2014

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

28.01.2013

We are delighted that Daniel Lightman has been included in... more

10.01.2013

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

29.10.2012

  The fourth edition of Minority Shareholders: Law, Practice and... more

20.09.2012

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

21.09.2011

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

30.03.2011

Victor Joffe QC, David Drake, Giles Richardson, Daniel Lightman and... more

07.09.2010

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

09.09.2009

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

Notable Cases

Re Fi Call Limited [2013] EWHC 223 (Ch)

Four respondents to an unfair prejudice petition, one of whom... more

Aeroflot v Berezovsky, Glushkov, Forus Holdings SA & Ors

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

ECO Quest plc v GFI Consultants Ltd

Adil acted for a German listed property asset manager defending... more

Mahdavi v Sterling Avram

Represented the claimant, who was the victim of an elaborate... more

Fiona v Pirvalov

Continuing to act for the Russian state owned shipping corporation,... more

Burberry Group plc [2017] EWCA Civ 1129

Representing the appellant on the leading case on public access... more

Lehman Brothers Limited [2017] UKSC 38; [2017] B.C.C.235

Ruth den Besten appeared in the Supreme Court in the... more

O’Keefe & Anor v Caner & Ors [2017] EWHC 1105 (Ch)

Kathryn Purkis led by Lord Goldsmith QC acted for the... more

Burberry Group plc v Fox-Davies [2015] 2 BCLC 66

Acted for the defendant on the leading case on access... more

Metaxides v Swart

Acted for the respondents in a case on appeal to... more

C v C

An important decision limiting the jurisdiction of the Family Court... more

Glenn v Watson

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

FM Capital Partners Ltd v Marino

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

Kaneria v Kaneria - Re Guidezone Ltd

Represented the defendant in a 21 day trial of preliminary... more

Apex Global Management Ltd v Fi Call Ltd

A substantial and high profile shareholder dispute involving two saudi... 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

Moxon v Litchfield

A case concerning an unfair prejudice petition following the dismissal... 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

Eckerle & Ors v Wickeder Westfalenstahi GmbH & anr [2013] EWHC 68 (Ch)

The Judge struck out the claim on the ground that... 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

Bamford v Harvey [2012] EWHC 2858 (Ch)

Appeared for the Claimant.  The Judge held that wrongdoer control... more

Moraes v Paulista Ltd & Ors

Instructed to advise the defendants in an ongoing multi-million dollar... more

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

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

Lady Henrietta St George et al v Sir Jack Hayward et al 2006 - 2010

Edward St George and Sir Jack Hayward owned and ran... more

Taylor v Cobham

Unfair prejudice petition, in which the court considered the merits... 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

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

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

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

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

Gil v Baygreen Properties Ltd (in liquidation) [2005] BPIR 95

Claim by creditor of company against director for breach of... more

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

The appeal from Speed Investments (No 1) more

Raiffeisenlandesbank Niederosterreich-Wien AG v Maxfold Contracts LLP & Ors

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

Re Omar (a bankrupt) [2000] BCC 434

 more


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