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Insolvency Overview

Chambers is regarded as one of the leading sets for insolvency work and has consistently been included in both Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 since the directories commenced publication. Members have also appeared in Chambers & Partners World’s Leading Lawyers for insolvency and restructuring.

Chambers undertakes work in all areas of insolvency from large corporate insolvencies to personal bankruptcy cases.

Members of chambers have been involved in most of the large insolvencies since the advent of the Insolvency Act 1986. This has involved advising on and acting in both non-contentious and contentious aspects of insolvency work from the inception of the insolvency to its end.

We have considerable experience in dealing with the cross-border insolvencies and we also deal extensively with insolvencies in the Caribbean, the British Overseas Territories, the Crown Dependencies and those Asian countries which have borrowed heavily from English law, even where there is no connection with England and Wales.

Many members of chambers have appeared in directors’ disqualification proceedings acting both for the Government and the individual directors.”

Philip Jones QC and Daniel Lightman QC are contributors to Lightman and Moss, The Law of Administrators and Receivers of Companies, 5th ed, 2011.


Chambers & Partners 2017

Serle Court houses a strong team of practitioners who offer quality counsel and representation to both corporate and personal insolvency clients. The set prides itself on its ability to combine insolvency expertise with strength and depth in allied areas of law, such as fraud, partnership and banking and finance. Its members demonstrate robust technical expertise and regularly appear in high-profile matters in the area. 

Client service: "Their clerking is excellent and highly effective." "The clerks are always responsive." Steve Whitaker leads the clerking team. 


Philip Jones QC 
A well-known advocate who is highly praised by market commentators for his breadth of expertise, encompassing insolvency, fraud and financial services. He remains a particularly popular choice in complex offshore insolvency cases and counts the Secretary of State among his diverse clientele.
Strengths: "He possesses analytical ability and can think outside the box. He's robust, user-friendly and very helpful."
Recent work: Acted for the Cabinet Office in its claim to recover a grant of £3 million following the insolvency of the charity Kids Company. 

Philip Marshall QC
Impressive silk who routinely receives instructions in offshore cases in addition to complex domestic disputes. He is highly recommended for his strength in restructuring and insolvency matters, which is buttressed by wider expertise in areas such as company, civil fraud and banking. 
Strengths: "He's an outstanding advocate, extremely diligent and very well regarded." 
Recent work: Represented the directors of Mazey Properties in a significant claim made in Guernsey. The case concerned the collapse of a company trading in asset-backed securities. 

Daniel Lightman QC
Widely admired for his vast experience and adept representation of all parties in bankruptcy and insolvency cases. Interviewees particularly highlight his standout technical ability and deft handling of complex cases. 
Strengths: "He is very helpful on complex matters and businesslike to deal with – a consummate professional." "Very clever and very technical – he is an advocate with a loyal following."
Recent work: Successfully acted on behalf of the claimants in Munday v Hilburn, a claim brought against financial advisers alleging misrepresentation and fraud. 


Ruth Jordan
Well known for her adroit handling of cases on behalf of the government. She offers broad expertise across the insolvency space, with notable strength in matters containing financial services and fraud elements.
Strengths: "Ruth is a clear-headed and intellectual advocate." 
Recent work: Acted for the respondents in an appeal heard before the Privy Council. This was a multimillion-pound banking fraud and dishonest assistance claim arising out of the insolvency of Banco Continental. 

 Legal 500 2016

Commercial Chancery set Serle Court continues to increase the volume of its insolvency work. Members handle a broad range of matters, including Lehman Brothers follow on cases, proceedings arising out of the collapse of Woolworths and personal bankruptcy issues.

Alan Boyle QC - ‘A principled and determined advocate who is willing to stick his neck out for a client facing a difficult situation’

Lance Ashworth QC - 'An incredibly effective advocate, who is wholly committed and very tenacious; he reassures clients they are in good hands'

Philip Jones QC - ‘Presents his cases clearly and with charm; he is a strategic thinker who adds real value’

Jonathan Adkin QC - 'A real heavyweight in insolvency law, who sees the angles quickly.'

Philip Marshall QC - ‘He is charming with clients and very clear, however he also has a hard edge and will never be bullied in court’

Daniel Lightman QC - ‘Recommended for his technical knowledge and attention to detail; he ably handles very complex matters.’

James Mather - 'Impresses with his dedication and enthusiasm'

Ruth den Besten - ‘A tenacious advocate and a tremendous person to have in any complex litigation’

Ruth Jordan - ‘An accomplished advocate, who is able to deal with complex law with ease’

Timothy Collingwood - ‘Very approachable, and recommended for corporate and personal insolvency matters’



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Notable Cases

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

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

Joint Stock Company Aeroflot - Russian Airlines v Berezovsakaya [2014] EWCA Civ 431

Administration of estates; Confidential information; Confidentiality agreements; Court-appointed receivers; Creditors'... 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

Lictor Anstalt v Mir Steel UK [2014] EWHC 3316 (Ch)

Successful claim on behalf of  the owners of a steel... more

Pace Europe Ltd v Dunham [2012] BPIR 836

Appeal to the High Court regarding the issue of 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

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

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

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

Sisu v Tucker [2006] BPIR 154

Whether a minority creditor was unfairly prejudiced by the terms... more

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

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

Buchler v Almidani [2005] All ER (D) 273

Application by trustee in bankruptcy against the bankrupt's brother for... more

Sisu v Tucker [2006] 1 All ER 167

In proceedings to which Administrators and Liquidators were parties, and... more

Re Plummer [2004] B.P.I.R. 767

P sought to have a bankruptcy petition set aside. An... more

Raja v Goodman [2000] Ch 274

Case concerning the validity of the variation of an individual... more

Re Carman Construction Ltd [2000] BPIR 371

Case involving a winding up petition presented by the supervisor... more

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