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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 2018

Serle Court maintains its reputation as a strong player in the restructuring and insolvency market, enjoying a growing reputation for its offshore work in the Channel Islands and Caribbean courts. Its members are noted for their expert handling of insolvency cases involving elements of civil fraud or partnership. Standout matters the team has been involved in include litigation arising from the collapse of both Carlyle Capital and Lehman Brothers. 

Client service: "The clerks are friendly, helpful and reliable." The "savvy and commercial" clerking team is led by head clerk Steve Whitaker. 


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 government departments among his diverse clientele. His additional expertise in company law encompasses cases concerning directors' disqualification proceedings and winding-up petitions.
Strengths: "His approach has been thoughtful and deliberate throughout, and while he clearly knows the law, he is also able to bring a pragmatic and practical lens to a matter." "He gives excellent commercial advice, is user-friendly and is available when needed." "He's very respected by the judiciary, he's very measured and he's got a good turn of phrase."

Philip Marshall QC
Impressive silk who routinely receives instructions in offshore cases in addition to complex domestic disputes. He frequently appears as an expert witness in foreign courts concerning English law issues and in arbitrations before the LCIA and ICC. 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 a strong advocate who has huge experience, he never fails to bring a new angle and energy to a case." "Technically he is very good in insolvency but his key quality is toughness in court."

Daniel Lightman QC
Widely admired for his vast experience and adept representation of all parties in bankruptcy and insolvency cases. He is adept at representing litigants in disputes with insolvency office holders and is noted for his expertise advising on cases involving a novel or unusual point of law. Interviewees particularly highlight his standout technical ability and deft handling of complex cases.
Strengths: "We use Daniel on particularly technical matters or where there is an unusual point of law upon which we require an opinion. He is extremely bright." 


Ruth Jordan
Well known for her adroit handling of cases on behalf of the government. She offers broad expertise across the insolvency space, and has notable strength in matters containing financial services and fraud elements. She has appeared in the Tax Tribunals, Court of Appeal and Privy Council, and frequently handles offshore judicial reviews.
Strengths: "She's technically excellent, very able, reliable and an excellent all-round advocate." 

Legal 500 2017

Alan Boyle QC - ‘An experienced tactician, who is at the top of his game’

Lance Ashworth QC - 'Engaging and helpful'

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

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

Philip Marshall QC - ‘He is very helpful, easy to work with and goes the extra mile’

Daniel Lightman QC - 'He has a brain the size of a really big planet'

James Mather - 'He brings real intellectual firepower, rigour and tenacity to a case'

Ruth Jordan - ‘Very creative and industrious, she works hard to achieve clients' objectives’

Timothy Collingwood - ‘He is enthusiastic and always has a fine grasp of the commercial details’



Acknowledged as “one of the very best commercial chancery sets,... more


“ ‘Top-drawer’ Serle Court is a strong Chancery set with... more


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


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


We are delighted that James Mather has been named Insolvency... 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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Prof. Jonathan Harris will be chairing an IBC conference on... 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 conference in Cayman... more


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


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


Lance Ashworth QC – whose practice covers commercial, insolvency, company,... more


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


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


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


The 2009 conference has an impressive list of speakers including... more

Notable Cases

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

Shlosberg v Avonwick [2016] EWHC 1001 (Ch)

Philip Marshall QC and James Mather, assisted by Oliver Jones,... more

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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