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James Mather

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James Mather

Areas of Expertise

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Year of Call: 2006 jmather@serlecourt.co.uk

Overview

"An exceptionally bright rising star of the Chancery Bar”, James has a broad commercial disputes practice, with a particular focus on civil fraud and asset recovery, partnership, shareholder and insolvency litigation and trusts disputes. 

He has acted in a number of high profile fraud cases in recent years and has extensive experience of Norwich Pharmacal orders, Freezing and Proprietary Injunctions, pre-action and third party disclosure orders, anti-suit injunctions and committal proceedings, as well as the interplay between parallel criminal and civil proceedings.  Much of his work in this area involves multi-party international proceedings and has cross-border elements raising disputes of jurisdiction and applicable law.

He is an experienced company and insolvency litigator, acting frequently in unfair prejudice petitions and other shareholder disputes, as well as in claims against directors – both those brought privately and for the Secretary of State in directors’ disqualification proceedings.  

James’ LLP and partnership work extends across the full range of professional and financial services including investment funds, law and accountancy firms and medical practices.  He brings to commercial joint venture disputes in the private equity, property and other commercial arenas a combination of corporate, commercial and partnership law expertise.  A significant proportion of this work also involves allegations of fraud.

James has extensive experience of large-scale trust litigation, in particular of acting for offshore trustees, encompassing a large number of international jurisdictions.  

James is recommended as a leading junior in both Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners.

Areas of Expertise and Cases


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Civil Fraud

Bernie Ecclestone v Bayerische Landesbank [2016] Acting for Part 20 Defendant in Commercial Court claim arising out of bribery in relation to the sale of the Formula One group to CVC in 2006.  

Avonwick v Castle [2016] Acting for Mikhail Shlosberg in conspiracy claim for damages of US$170m.  

Re M [2016] Multi-jurisdictional proceedings to recover assets in enforcement of US$76m award in Swiss arbitration relating to steel trading business.  

Billington v Davies and Soane Capital [2016] Acting for claimant in freezing order application and proceedings arising from substantial property fraud.  

Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority v Bestfort [2016] Assisted in appeal to Court of Appeal on security for costs/human rights point.  

Bataillon v Shone [2015] Acted for Chabra respondent to freezing injunction in Commercial Court proceedings alleging transfers of assets from husband to wife contrary to s 423 IA 1986.  

DTRE LLP v Clark [2014] Acted for claimant in committal proceedings in Commercial Court arising from breach of freezing and ancillary orders.  

Constantin Medien AG v Bernard Ecclestone & Ors [2014] EWHC 387 (Ch) (with Philip Marshall QC and David Blayney): acting for claimant in bribery claim relating to the sale of the Formula One business.

Ministry of Justice v LSM Partners & Ors [2012] EWHC 1280 (QB) (with Paul McGrath QC): acting for defendant in multimillion fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claim brought by the Ministry of Justice against its property consultants.

Adelaide Partners & Ors. v Danison & Ors [2011] All ER (D) 01 (Mar): acting for the claimants in a $16 million financial fraud and dishonest assistance claim.

Al Rushaid Parker Drilling v Shekhar Shetty & Ors. [2011] EWHC 1460 (Ch) (with Andrew Moran): acting for large Saudi Arabian oil services conglomerate in multi-jurisdictional proceedings raising allegations of secret profits and other wrongdoing against its former Chief Financial Officer.

J D Wetherspoon v Van de Berg [2009] 16 EG 138 (with Clare Hoffmann): involving allegations of property fraud, dishonest assistance and breach of fiduciary duty.

Golfrate Holdings Angola Limitata v Asif Aziz & Others (with Philip Marshall QC and Daniel Lightman): acting for claimant in relation to interlocutory applications in fraud claim.

Dawood & Ors. v Dubai Heaven on Earth & Ors., acting for claimants raising allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation and dishonest assistance in relation to the sale of properties on development in Dubai and Ajman.

Re the V R Trust: acted in relation to potential unfair prejudice and misappropriations claim in Jersey concerning the holding company for valuable South African mining interests.

Mortgage Express v SFM Legal Services & Ors: acting for the principal defendant in a £60 million property fraud claim.

Calltel v HMRC, appearing for claimant in procedural application in case concerning HMRC practices in relation to carousel fraud.


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Company

Royal Westminster Investments SA v Varma Acted for claimant in allegation of fraudulent misappropriation of shares in a BVI company; also involving dispute over scope of rectification proceedings which went to Privy Council ([2015] UKPC 2) and application for relief under s 25 CJJA ([2012] EWHC 3439 (Ch)). 

Kasmani v Karim (with James Corbett QC): acting for the defendant in a claim to enforce an alleged arbitration award in which award attacked for procedural injustice.

Waddington Ltd v Chan Chun Hoo Thomas [2008] HKEC 1498 (with Victor Joffe QC): assisting in preparation of appeal to Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal raising issues of reflective loss and multiple derivative actions.

Shing Lee Ho Chee v Unigreg Limited: acted for the Claimant in seven-day trial in Chancery Division raising issues relating to letters of credit and illegality under Chinese law.

Re a Company: acting in a petition under s 994 of Companies Act made on behalf of petitioner with c.US$8m stake in company which he founded providing telecommunications solution.

Re Merit Holdings: acted for defendant in a shareholder dispute in relation to a freezing injunction and the substantive claim, raising issues of standing to bring a derivative claim.

World Clothes Holdings v Moschillo (with David Blayney): acting for Claimant fashion company in claim raising issues of jurisdiction to bring derivative claim for wrongdoing against director domiciled abroad.

 


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Insolvency

Shlosberg v Avonwick [2016] EWHC 1001 (Ch) Injunction restraining Dechert from acting due to receipt of privileged materials via bankruptcy trustee.

Re IG Limited [2016] Acted for former director of company in liquidation concerning acquisition of claims against former directors and other disputes arising from company’s liquidation.  

Yossifoff v Aviva Commercial Finance [2016] Defended Aviva against £50m claim arising from insolvency of group of care homes.  

Secretary of State for Business v Townsend [2015-16] Acted for defendant director in disqualification proceedings and proceedings to act notwithstanding disqualification.

Re KJK Investments [2015] Acted for Secretary of State in contested public interest winding-up petition concerning circular pension release scheme with no prospect of returns to the investors.  

Re Lehman Brothers (with Philip Jones QC): acting for various US Lehman entities concerning the fate of a number of substantial pots of Lehman monies held within its European structures.
Assisting HM Treasury in relation to issues arising from the financial assistance provided to Northern Rock plc.

Stonham v Ramrattan [2011] 1 WLR 1617: acted in insolvency appeal to Chancery Division concerning scope of discretion to make no remedial order in respect of a transaction at an undervalue.

Shing Lee Ho Chee v Unigreg Limited: acted for the Claimant in seven-day trial of insolvency claim in Chancery Division raising issues relating to letters of credit and illegality under Chinese law.


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Partnership and LLP

Advised and acted in numerous partnership and LLP disputes involving private equity firms, accountancy firms, law firms, medical practices and various informal business partnerships. Also wide experience of advising on and drafting partnership deeds and LLP members’ agreements, retirement deeds and other partnership documents.

Re Principle Law [2016] Dispute in relation to alleged misappropriations from law firm, involving contested just and equitable winding up and parallel criminal proceedings.

Dadoun v Katri [2015] Partnership dispute in relation to hotel development venture. 

Dutia v Geldof [2015-16] Partnership dispute in relation to private equity firm focused on investments in Africa.  

A v B [2014] Acted for well-known professional services LLP defending an arbitration claim by a former member to a share in the proceeds of the sale of its business taking place after the date of his retirement on the basis of an alleged fraudulent misrepresentation.  

Re W LLP [2014] Acted in dispute concerning departure of group of members from private equity firm involving allegations of fraud and other serious misconduct.

Marshall v Holt [2014] An unfair prejudice petition arising out of a property joint venture, raising issues as to scope of relief available under s 994 of the Companies Act 2006.  

A partnership arbitration (with Philip Jones QC) relating to a dispute between members of a legal services LLP arising from a planned ‘team move’, raising issues of scope of fiduciary duties and repudiation of LLP agreement.

Rahimian v Tchenguiz & Ors (with Philip Marshall QC): acting for Claimant in claims asserting, inter alia, the informal creation of a partnership in relation to a large sub-prime mortgage lending enterprise.


Add section

Commercial Litigation

Bernie Ecclestone v Bayerische Landesbank [2016] Acting for Part 20 Defendant in Commercial Court claim arising out of bribery in relation to the sale of the Formula One group to CVC in 2006.  

Avonwick v Castle [2016] Acting for Mikhail Shlosberg in conspiracy claim for damages of US$170m. 

Royal Westminster Investments SA v Varma Acted for claimant in allegation of fraudulent misappropriation of shares in a BVI company; also involving dispute over scope of rectification proceedings which went to Privy Council ([2015] UKPC 2) and application for relief under s 25 CJJA ([2012] EWHC 3439 (Ch)).  

Millward Brown v Metrixlab [2016] Acting in breach of confidence claim arising from move of senior employees between advertising firms and alleged misuse of client lists.  

Ash Regeneration v Celtic Energy [2015-16] Acted for Celtic Energy in relation to dispute over transfer of ownership of mines in South Wales to offshore entitites.  

SC DG Petrol Srl v Vitol Broking Ltd [2013] EWHC 2176 (Comm): acting for defendant in dispute relating to alleged fraudulent conspiracy against energy concerns in Eastern Europe.

Amoutzas v Tattersalls [2010] EWHC 1696: acted for Claimant in dispute concerning ownership of monies deposited with a bloodstock auctioneer and alleged assassination of a horse in Greece.

Working as part of a team (with David Blayney and others) advising a major retail bank on the legality of product charges under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulation 1999.

Assisting HM Treasury in relation to issues arising from the financial assistance provided to Northern Rock plc.


Add section

Trusts and Probate

Lady Henrietta St George et al v Sir Jack Haywood et al (with Frank Hinks QC and Jonathan Adkin): multimillion pound litigation in Bahamas and Cayman Islands relating to the ownership and control of Freeport Grand Bahama.

Alhamrani v Alhamrani (with Victor Joffe QC): advising in relation to adjournment on grounds of ill health of key witness in large piece of contentious trusts litigation in Jersey.

Re V R Trusts (with Giles Richardson): acting for the trustees of a substantial offshore trust in relation to alleged fraudulent misappropriation of trust assets.

Cawdron v Merchant Taylors' School [2009] EWHC 1722 (Ch): acting for Second Defendant in case concerning validity of trusts of a war memorial.

B v B (with Alan Boyle QC and Jonathan Russen): acting for the defendant in a dispute raising issues of proprietary estoppel, mental capacity and fraud in relation to the estate of a well-known nightclub owner.

Charman v Charman (with Alan Boyle QC and Dakis Hagen): advising on jurisdictional issues arising from the foreign enforcement of the decision of the English family court.



All Quotes

"A rising star...appreciated for his remarkable experience" Chambers & Partners

"he gives good strategic advice, and is an excellent barrister for his year of call." Chambers & Partners

....a "responsive, incisive and user-friendly" junior who impresses solicitors with his prescience. Chambers & Partners

Recommendations

Partnership (Chambers and Partners)

Partnership (Legal 500)

Insolvency (Legal 500)

James Mather

James Mather

Year of Call: 2006
Email: jmather@serlecourt.co.uk

Overview

"An exceptionally bright rising star of the Chancery Bar”, James has a broad commercial disputes practice, with a particular focus on civil fraud and asset recovery, partnership, shareholder and insolvency litigation and trusts disputes. 

He has acted in a number of high profile fraud cases in recent years and has extensive experience of Norwich Pharmacal orders, Freezing and Proprietary Injunctions, pre-action and third party disclosure orders, anti-suit injunctions and committal proceedings, as well as the interplay between parallel criminal and civil proceedings.  Much of his work in this area involves multi-party international proceedings and has cross-border elements raising disputes of jurisdiction and applicable law.

He is an experienced company and insolvency litigator, acting frequently in unfair prejudice petitions and other shareholder disputes, as well as in claims against directors – both those brought privately and for the Secretary of State in directors’ disqualification proceedings.  

James’ LLP and partnership work extends across the full range of professional and financial services including investment funds, law and accountancy firms and medical practices.  He brings to commercial joint venture disputes in the private equity, property and other commercial arenas a combination of corporate, commercial and partnership law expertise.  A significant proportion of this work also involves allegations of fraud.

James has extensive experience of large-scale trust litigation, in particular of acting for offshore trustees, encompassing a large number of international jurisdictions.  

James is recommended as a leading junior in both Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners.

Areas of expertise

Recommendations

Partnership (Chambers and Partners)

Partnership (Legal 500)

Insolvency (Legal 500)

Quotes

"A rising star...appreciated for his remarkable experience" Chambers & Partners

"he gives good strategic advice, and is an excellent barrister for his year of call." Chambers & Partners

....a "responsive, incisive and user-friendly" junior who impresses solicitors with his prescience. Chambers & Partners

Civil Fraud

Bernie Ecclestone v Bayerische Landesbank [2016] Acting for Part 20 Defendant in Commercial Court claim arising out of bribery in relation to the sale of the Formula One group to CVC in 2006.  

Avonwick v Castle [2016] Acting for Mikhail Shlosberg in conspiracy claim for damages of US$170m.  

Re M [2016] Multi-jurisdictional proceedings to recover assets in enforcement of US$76m award in Swiss arbitration relating to steel trading business.  

Billington v Davies and Soane Capital [2016] Acting for claimant in freezing order application and proceedings arising from substantial property fraud.  

Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority v Bestfort [2016] Assisted in appeal to Court of Appeal on security for costs/human rights point.  

Bataillon v Shone [2015] Acted for Chabra respondent to freezing injunction in Commercial Court proceedings alleging transfers of assets from husband to wife contrary to s 423 IA 1986.  

DTRE LLP v Clark [2014] Acted for claimant in committal proceedings in Commercial Court arising from breach of freezing and ancillary orders.  

Constantin Medien AG v Bernard Ecclestone & Ors [2014] EWHC 387 (Ch) (with Philip Marshall QC and David Blayney): acting for claimant in bribery claim relating to the sale of the Formula One business.

Ministry of Justice v LSM Partners & Ors [2012] EWHC 1280 (QB) (with Paul McGrath QC): acting for defendant in multimillion fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claim brought by the Ministry of Justice against its property consultants.

Adelaide Partners & Ors. v Danison & Ors [2011] All ER (D) 01 (Mar): acting for the claimants in a $16 million financial fraud and dishonest assistance claim.

Al Rushaid Parker Drilling v Shekhar Shetty & Ors. [2011] EWHC 1460 (Ch) (with Andrew Moran): acting for large Saudi Arabian oil services conglomerate in multi-jurisdictional proceedings raising allegations of secret profits and other wrongdoing against its former Chief Financial Officer.

J D Wetherspoon v Van de Berg [2009] 16 EG 138 (with Clare Hoffmann): involving allegations of property fraud, dishonest assistance and breach of fiduciary duty.

Golfrate Holdings Angola Limitata v Asif Aziz & Others (with Philip Marshall QC and Daniel Lightman): acting for claimant in relation to interlocutory applications in fraud claim.

Dawood & Ors. v Dubai Heaven on Earth & Ors., acting for claimants raising allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation and dishonest assistance in relation to the sale of properties on development in Dubai and Ajman.

Re the V R Trust: acted in relation to potential unfair prejudice and misappropriations claim in Jersey concerning the holding company for valuable South African mining interests.

Mortgage Express v SFM Legal Services & Ors: acting for the principal defendant in a £60 million property fraud claim.

Calltel v HMRC, appearing for claimant in procedural application in case concerning HMRC practices in relation to carousel fraud.

Company

Royal Westminster Investments SA v Varma Acted for claimant in allegation of fraudulent misappropriation of shares in a BVI company; also involving dispute over scope of rectification proceedings which went to Privy Council ([2015] UKPC 2) and application for relief under s 25 CJJA ([2012] EWHC 3439 (Ch)). 

Kasmani v Karim (with James Corbett QC): acting for the defendant in a claim to enforce an alleged arbitration award in which award attacked for procedural injustice.

Waddington Ltd v Chan Chun Hoo Thomas [2008] HKEC 1498 (with Victor Joffe QC): assisting in preparation of appeal to Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal raising issues of reflective loss and multiple derivative actions.

Shing Lee Ho Chee v Unigreg Limited: acted for the Claimant in seven-day trial in Chancery Division raising issues relating to letters of credit and illegality under Chinese law.

Re a Company: acting in a petition under s 994 of Companies Act made on behalf of petitioner with c.US$8m stake in company which he founded providing telecommunications solution.

Re Merit Holdings: acted for defendant in a shareholder dispute in relation to a freezing injunction and the substantive claim, raising issues of standing to bring a derivative claim.

World Clothes Holdings v Moschillo (with David Blayney): acting for Claimant fashion company in claim raising issues of jurisdiction to bring derivative claim for wrongdoing against director domiciled abroad.

 

Insolvency

Shlosberg v Avonwick [2016] EWHC 1001 (Ch) Injunction restraining Dechert from acting due to receipt of privileged materials via bankruptcy trustee.

Re IG Limited [2016] Acted for former director of company in liquidation concerning acquisition of claims against former directors and other disputes arising from company’s liquidation.  

Yossifoff v Aviva Commercial Finance [2016] Defended Aviva against £50m claim arising from insolvency of group of care homes.  

Secretary of State for Business v Townsend [2015-16] Acted for defendant director in disqualification proceedings and proceedings to act notwithstanding disqualification.

Re KJK Investments [2015] Acted for Secretary of State in contested public interest winding-up petition concerning circular pension release scheme with no prospect of returns to the investors.  

Re Lehman Brothers (with Philip Jones QC): acting for various US Lehman entities concerning the fate of a number of substantial pots of Lehman monies held within its European structures.
Assisting HM Treasury in relation to issues arising from the financial assistance provided to Northern Rock plc.

Stonham v Ramrattan [2011] 1 WLR 1617: acted in insolvency appeal to Chancery Division concerning scope of discretion to make no remedial order in respect of a transaction at an undervalue.

Shing Lee Ho Chee v Unigreg Limited: acted for the Claimant in seven-day trial of insolvency claim in Chancery Division raising issues relating to letters of credit and illegality under Chinese law.

Partnership and LLP

Advised and acted in numerous partnership and LLP disputes involving private equity firms, accountancy firms, law firms, medical practices and various informal business partnerships. Also wide experience of advising on and drafting partnership deeds and LLP members’ agreements, retirement deeds and other partnership documents.

Re Principle Law [2016] Dispute in relation to alleged misappropriations from law firm, involving contested just and equitable winding up and parallel criminal proceedings.

Dadoun v Katri [2015] Partnership dispute in relation to hotel development venture. 

Dutia v Geldof [2015-16] Partnership dispute in relation to private equity firm focused on investments in Africa.  

A v B [2014] Acted for well-known professional services LLP defending an arbitration claim by a former member to a share in the proceeds of the sale of its business taking place after the date of his retirement on the basis of an alleged fraudulent misrepresentation.  

Re W LLP [2014] Acted in dispute concerning departure of group of members from private equity firm involving allegations of fraud and other serious misconduct.

Marshall v Holt [2014] An unfair prejudice petition arising out of a property joint venture, raising issues as to scope of relief available under s 994 of the Companies Act 2006.  

A partnership arbitration (with Philip Jones QC) relating to a dispute between members of a legal services LLP arising from a planned ‘team move’, raising issues of scope of fiduciary duties and repudiation of LLP agreement.

Rahimian v Tchenguiz & Ors (with Philip Marshall QC): acting for Claimant in claims asserting, inter alia, the informal creation of a partnership in relation to a large sub-prime mortgage lending enterprise.

Commercial Litigation

Bernie Ecclestone v Bayerische Landesbank [2016] Acting for Part 20 Defendant in Commercial Court claim arising out of bribery in relation to the sale of the Formula One group to CVC in 2006.  

Avonwick v Castle [2016] Acting for Mikhail Shlosberg in conspiracy claim for damages of US$170m. 

Royal Westminster Investments SA v Varma Acted for claimant in allegation of fraudulent misappropriation of shares in a BVI company; also involving dispute over scope of rectification proceedings which went to Privy Council ([2015] UKPC 2) and application for relief under s 25 CJJA ([2012] EWHC 3439 (Ch)).  

Millward Brown v Metrixlab [2016] Acting in breach of confidence claim arising from move of senior employees between advertising firms and alleged misuse of client lists.  

Ash Regeneration v Celtic Energy [2015-16] Acted for Celtic Energy in relation to dispute over transfer of ownership of mines in South Wales to offshore entitites.  

SC DG Petrol Srl v Vitol Broking Ltd [2013] EWHC 2176 (Comm): acting for defendant in dispute relating to alleged fraudulent conspiracy against energy concerns in Eastern Europe.

Amoutzas v Tattersalls [2010] EWHC 1696: acted for Claimant in dispute concerning ownership of monies deposited with a bloodstock auctioneer and alleged assassination of a horse in Greece.

Working as part of a team (with David Blayney and others) advising a major retail bank on the legality of product charges under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulation 1999.

Assisting HM Treasury in relation to issues arising from the financial assistance provided to Northern Rock plc.

Trusts and Probate

Lady Henrietta St George et al v Sir Jack Haywood et al (with Frank Hinks QC and Jonathan Adkin): multimillion pound litigation in Bahamas and Cayman Islands relating to the ownership and control of Freeport Grand Bahama.

Alhamrani v Alhamrani (with Victor Joffe QC): advising in relation to adjournment on grounds of ill health of key witness in large piece of contentious trusts litigation in Jersey.

Re V R Trusts (with Giles Richardson): acting for the trustees of a substantial offshore trust in relation to alleged fraudulent misappropriation of trust assets.

Cawdron v Merchant Taylors' School [2009] EWHC 1722 (Ch): acting for Second Defendant in case concerning validity of trusts of a war memorial.

B v B (with Alan Boyle QC and Jonathan Russen): acting for the defendant in a dispute raising issues of proprietary estoppel, mental capacity and fraud in relation to the estate of a well-known nightclub owner.

Charman v Charman (with Alan Boyle QC and Dakis Hagen): advising on jurisdictional issues arising from the foreign enforcement of the decision of the English family court.

Qualifications

Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge - MA in History (Double First)

Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (John F Kennedy Scholar)

City University, London - Postgraduate Diploma in Law (Distinction)

Inns of Court School of Law - Bar Vocational Course (Outstanding)

 

Appointments

Junior Counsel to the Crown  (C Panel) (2011)

Junior Counsel to the Department of Business for Directors' Disqualification hearings (2010)

Counsulting Editorial Board, LexisPSL Corporate

Contributing Editor, Butterworths Corporate Law Service

 

Publications

Co-editor with John Machell and Jennifer Haywood of The LLP Legislation Handbook (2010)

Co-author with Victor Joffee QC: The Mulitiple Derivative Action, [2009] Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law (Feb) 61

Fiducairies and the Law of Limitation [2008] Journal of Business Law 244


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