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James Weale

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James Weale

Areas of Expertise

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Year of Call: 2007 jweale@serlecourt.co.uk

Overview

James has a very busy practice and is regularly instructed in matters involving general commercial and contractual disputes, professional negligence, trusts and equity matters, wills and probate, inheritance act claims, insolvency, property and cross-border disputes.  He has substantial litigation experience in the High Court and County Courts. 

Areas of Expertise and Cases


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Commercial Litigation

LCIA Arbitration (2015-). Instructed by Clifford Chance (led by Jonathan Crow QC). 

Tseitline v Mikhelson (2015-). Instructed by Dechert (with David Lord QC) on behalf of the claimant in a multi-million dollar claim against one of the wealthiest businessmen in Russia arising out of a contract relating to a substantial commercial development in the centre of St Petersburg. The claimant succeeded before Phillips J in establishing that personal service was effected in London ([2015] EWHC 3065 (Comm)). That decision is the subject of an application for permission to appeal.

Keown v Nahoor [2015] All ER (D) 53 (Dec). Instructed (as sole counsel) by Vanderpump & Sykes on behalf of the claimant in a c.£750,000 claim for fraud, knowing receipt and unjust enrichment against the claimant’s former accountant and two third parties. The claim succeeded before David Halpern QC (sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court).

Cherney v Deripaska (2012). Instructed by Dechert (with Mark Howard QC and David Foxton QC) on behalf of the claimant in a claim for $4 billion in relation to a disputed interest in the world’s largest aluminium company, United Company Rusal. The case settled shortly after the commencement of the trial.


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Arbitration

LCIA Arbitration (2015-). Instructed by Clifford Chance (led by Jonathan Crow QC). 




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Insolvency

Re Denham Park Ltd (in liquidation) (2014-). Instructed by Devonshires (with Andrew Twigger QC) on behalf of a creditor seeking the replacement of liquidators in order to investigate the company’s current liquidators and former directors in relation to the misappropriate of assets worth c.£30 million. A replacement liquidator was agreed following the hearing of the application. 

Re Footprint Wireless (2015-). Instructed (as sole counsel) by Morgan Rostron on behalf of the liquidator in relation to a claim for c.£500,000 against an alleged shadow director pursuant to the adjustment provisions of the Insolvency Act 1986. 



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Company

Re BW Ltd; Re BW Funding Ltd (2015). Instructed by Gibson Dunn and Walkers (Cayman) (with Andrew Twigger QC) on behalf of the respondents to a petition in the Cayman Islands for just and equitable winding up on the basis of alleged loss of substratum. The respondents formed part of a complex investment structure set up by Investcorp Bank BSC. The petitions were withdrawn as part of a settlement shortly before the hearing of the petition.

Re FSC Andrews Ltd [2015] EWHC 4042 (Ch). Instructed on behalf of the applicant by Leathes Prior (with Andrew Twigger QC) in relation to an application to strike out a s.994 petition on the grounds of abuse of process. The application succeeded in the High Court (the report of the ex tempore judgment is awaited).

Thukral v The Official Receiver (2014). Instructed (as sole counsel) on behalf of the appellant director who appealed the order of Registrar Derrett imposing a disqualification period of 11 years following a 5-day trial. The appeal succeeded before HHJ Jarman QC (sitting as Judge of the High Court) who set aside the order below and ordered a retrial.

Hurd v TPL Holdings [2014] All ER (D) 266. Instructed by Stewart Moore (with Richard Wilson QC) for the successful respondent to an application to strike out a s.994 petition before George Bompas QC (sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge). The case settled shortly after the hearing.


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Partnership and LLP

Re BW Ltd; Re BW Funding Ltd (2015). Instructed by Gibson Dunn and Walkers (Cayman) (with Andrew Twigger QC) on behalf of the respondents to a petition in the Cayman Islands for just and equitable winding up on the basis of alleged loss of substratum. The respondents formed part of a complex investment structure set up by Investcorp Bank BSC. The petitions were withdrawn as part of a settlement shortly before the hearing of the petition.

Re FSC Andrews Ltd [2015] EWHC 4042 (Ch). Instructed on behalf of the applicant by Leathes Prior (with Andrew Twigger QC) in relation to an application to strike out a s.994 petition on the grounds of abuse of process. The application succeeded in the High Court (the report of the ex tempore judgment is awaited).

Thukral v The Official Receiver (2014). Instructed (as sole counsel) on behalf of the appellant director who appealed the order of Registrar Derrett imposing a disqualification period of 11 years following a 5-day trial. The appeal succeeded before HHJ Jarman QC (sitting as Judge of the High Court) who set aside the order below and ordered a retrial.

Hurd v TPL Holdings [2014] All ER (D) 266. Instructed by Stewart Moore (with Richard Wilson QC) for the successful respondent to an application to strike out a s.994 petition before George Bompas QC (sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge). The case settled shortly after the hearing.



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Art

David Wood v Timothy Sammons (2015-). Instructed (as sole counsel) by Berwin Leighton Paisner on behalf of the claimants, the trustees of the WH Smith family trust, in relation to a claim to recover £1.6m arising out of a contract to sell a painting by Bernado Bellotto.

Robinson and Ors v Timothy Sammons (2015-). Instructed (as sole counsel) by Forsters on behalf of the claimants, the executors of the estate of the late Viscount Bedisloe QC, in relation to a claim for the recovery of a painting by Thomas Gainsborough.

Marquis of Northampton v Northampton BC (2014). Instructed (as sole counsel) by William Sturges on behalf of the claimant in a claim to recover a rare Egyptian artefact, the Sekhemkha statue, from the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery. The case settled before the statue was sold by the museum for £16million.



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Trusts and Probate

Van De Merwe v Goodman [2016] 4 WLR 71; [2016] WTLR 913.  Instructed by Berwin Leighton Paisner on behalf of the successful beneficiaries in an application to set aside a settlement on the grounds of mistake.   The High Court (Morgan J) gave guidance as to where the boundary lies between mistake in contract and mistake in equity in circumstances in which a transaction is entered into by agreement.  In a subsequent judgment [2016] EWHC 926 (Ch), Morgan J refused permission to appeal. 

Elliot v Simmonds [2016] EWHC 732 (Ch).  Instructed for the Defendant to a probate claim in which the Defendant did not mount a positive defence but invoked the procedure under CPR 57.7(5). This is the first modern authority to give guidance as to the nature and scope of that procedure. 

Williams v Martin [2016] W.T.L.R. 1075. James acted for the Defendant in a high-profile 3-day trial for relief under the 1975 Act claim. 

Wooldridge v Wooldridge [2016] Fam. Law 451. Instructed by Withers (initially as sole counsel and, later, with Richard Wilson QC) on behalf of the claimant in one of the highest value 1975 Act claims to come to trial.

Earl of Cardigan v Cotton and others [2015] W.T.L.R. 373. Instructed by Berwin Leighton Paisner (with Gilead Cooper QC) on behalf of the claimant in a claim to remove trustees and for compensation. Previously acted as sole counsel in relation to a successful amendment application before Barling J ([2014] W.T.L.R. 559). Following a 3-week trial, Newey J ordered the removal of one trustee and the payment of compensation for breach of trust.

Cotton v Earl of Cardigan [2015] W.T.L.R. 373, CA. Instructed by Berwin Leighton Paisner (with Gilead Cooper QC) on behalf of the appellant in relation to an application by trustees to “bless” the sale of the trust’s principal asset, Grade I listed Tottenham House, for the sum of £11.25m. This was the first decision of the Court of Appeal to consider the procedural and substantive principles applicable to Public Trustee v Cooper applications. The Court of Appeal hearing followed two first instance decisions heard in private ([2013] EWHC 4460 (Ch) and [2014] EWHC 1123 (Ch)).

Soomro v Khuhawar [2015] All ER (D) 55 (Feb). Instructed for the successful claimant in the trial before Martin Mann QC (sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge). The Court ordered a declaration of beneficial ownership of the family property in favour of the Deceased’s following an application of the principles set out in Vandervell v IRC [1967] 2 AC 291. 




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Sports, Entertainment and Media

Acted on behalf of David Greenwood and others in claims brought against them by the British Horseracing Authority for alleged betting conspiracies. Appeared before the BHA Tribunal and acted in High Court proceedings resisting an application for Norwich Pharmacal relief.



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Regulatory and Disciplinary

Law Society / Solicitors Regulation Authority. Member of the Law Society’s panel and have acted in several cases against solicitors whose practices have been intervened in by the Law Society. Instructed by Lester Aldridge, Blake Morgan, Devonshires and Shacklocks. Recent cases in the High Court include: Law Society v Ahmad (2015), Law Society v Cassam (2015), Law Society v Franks (2014), Law Society v Enaw (2014), Law Society v Alabi (2014), Law Society v Hussein (2014), and Law Society v Ali (2014).

All Quotes

"He's an excellent strategist and brings a huge amount of energy to his work which is always first rate.  He's both very methodical and highly commercial in his approach":  Chambers & Partners 2016

"He is excellent at identifying the issues and pushing things forward", and "In court he is incredibly competent and knowledgeable without coming across as arrogant": Chamber & Partners 2015

"He is a very good junior who punches well above his weight": Chambers & Partners 2014 

"exceptionally talented and experienced beyond his years", and "someone who will go far": Chambers & Partners 2013

Star of the Bar: Chambers & Partners 2013

Recommendations

Chancery: Commercial (Chambers & Partners)

#
James Weale

James Weale

Year of Call: 2007
Email: jweale@serlecourt.co.uk

Overview

James has a very busy practice and is regularly instructed in matters involving general commercial and contractual disputes, professional negligence, trusts and equity matters, wills and probate, inheritance act claims, insolvency, property and cross-border disputes.  He has substantial litigation experience in the High Court and County Courts. 

Areas of expertise

Recommendations

Chancery: Commercial (Chambers & Partners)

Quotes

"He's an excellent strategist and brings a huge amount of energy to his work which is always first rate.  He's both very methodical and highly commercial in his approach":  Chambers & Partners 2016

"He is excellent at identifying the issues and pushing things forward", and "In court he is incredibly competent and knowledgeable without coming across as arrogant": Chamber & Partners 2015

"He is a very good junior who punches well above his weight": Chambers & Partners 2014 

"exceptionally talented and experienced beyond his years", and "someone who will go far": Chambers & Partners 2013

Star of the Bar: Chambers & Partners 2013

Commercial Litigation

LCIA Arbitration (2015-). Instructed by Clifford Chance (led by Jonathan Crow QC). 

Tseitline v Mikhelson (2015-). Instructed by Dechert (with David Lord QC) on behalf of the claimant in a multi-million dollar claim against one of the wealthiest businessmen in Russia arising out of a contract relating to a substantial commercial development in the centre of St Petersburg. The claimant succeeded before Phillips J in establishing that personal service was effected in London ([2015] EWHC 3065 (Comm)). That decision is the subject of an application for permission to appeal.

Keown v Nahoor [2015] All ER (D) 53 (Dec). Instructed (as sole counsel) by Vanderpump & Sykes on behalf of the claimant in a c.£750,000 claim for fraud, knowing receipt and unjust enrichment against the claimant’s former accountant and two third parties. The claim succeeded before David Halpern QC (sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court).

Cherney v Deripaska (2012). Instructed by Dechert (with Mark Howard QC and David Foxton QC) on behalf of the claimant in a claim for $4 billion in relation to a disputed interest in the world’s largest aluminium company, United Company Rusal. The case settled shortly after the commencement of the trial.

Arbitration

LCIA Arbitration (2015-). Instructed by Clifford Chance (led by Jonathan Crow QC). 

Insolvency

Re Denham Park Ltd (in liquidation) (2014-). Instructed by Devonshires (with Andrew Twigger QC) on behalf of a creditor seeking the replacement of liquidators in order to investigate the company’s current liquidators and former directors in relation to the misappropriate of assets worth c.£30 million. A replacement liquidator was agreed following the hearing of the application. 

Re Footprint Wireless (2015-). Instructed (as sole counsel) by Morgan Rostron on behalf of the liquidator in relation to a claim for c.£500,000 against an alleged shadow director pursuant to the adjustment provisions of the Insolvency Act 1986. 

Company

Re BW Ltd; Re BW Funding Ltd (2015). Instructed by Gibson Dunn and Walkers (Cayman) (with Andrew Twigger QC) on behalf of the respondents to a petition in the Cayman Islands for just and equitable winding up on the basis of alleged loss of substratum. The respondents formed part of a complex investment structure set up by Investcorp Bank BSC. The petitions were withdrawn as part of a settlement shortly before the hearing of the petition.

Re FSC Andrews Ltd [2015] EWHC 4042 (Ch). Instructed on behalf of the applicant by Leathes Prior (with Andrew Twigger QC) in relation to an application to strike out a s.994 petition on the grounds of abuse of process. The application succeeded in the High Court (the report of the ex tempore judgment is awaited).

Thukral v The Official Receiver (2014). Instructed (as sole counsel) on behalf of the appellant director who appealed the order of Registrar Derrett imposing a disqualification period of 11 years following a 5-day trial. The appeal succeeded before HHJ Jarman QC (sitting as Judge of the High Court) who set aside the order below and ordered a retrial.

Hurd v TPL Holdings [2014] All ER (D) 266. Instructed by Stewart Moore (with Richard Wilson QC) for the successful respondent to an application to strike out a s.994 petition before George Bompas QC (sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge). The case settled shortly after the hearing.

Partnership and LLP

Re BW Ltd; Re BW Funding Ltd (2015). Instructed by Gibson Dunn and Walkers (Cayman) (with Andrew Twigger QC) on behalf of the respondents to a petition in the Cayman Islands for just and equitable winding up on the basis of alleged loss of substratum. The respondents formed part of a complex investment structure set up by Investcorp Bank BSC. The petitions were withdrawn as part of a settlement shortly before the hearing of the petition.

Re FSC Andrews Ltd [2015] EWHC 4042 (Ch). Instructed on behalf of the applicant by Leathes Prior (with Andrew Twigger QC) in relation to an application to strike out a s.994 petition on the grounds of abuse of process. The application succeeded in the High Court (the report of the ex tempore judgment is awaited).

Thukral v The Official Receiver (2014). Instructed (as sole counsel) on behalf of the appellant director who appealed the order of Registrar Derrett imposing a disqualification period of 11 years following a 5-day trial. The appeal succeeded before HHJ Jarman QC (sitting as Judge of the High Court) who set aside the order below and ordered a retrial.

Hurd v TPL Holdings [2014] All ER (D) 266. Instructed by Stewart Moore (with Richard Wilson QC) for the successful respondent to an application to strike out a s.994 petition before George Bompas QC (sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge). The case settled shortly after the hearing.

Art

David Wood v Timothy Sammons (2015-). Instructed (as sole counsel) by Berwin Leighton Paisner on behalf of the claimants, the trustees of the WH Smith family trust, in relation to a claim to recover £1.6m arising out of a contract to sell a painting by Bernado Bellotto.

Robinson and Ors v Timothy Sammons (2015-). Instructed (as sole counsel) by Forsters on behalf of the claimants, the executors of the estate of the late Viscount Bedisloe QC, in relation to a claim for the recovery of a painting by Thomas Gainsborough.

Marquis of Northampton v Northampton BC (2014). Instructed (as sole counsel) by William Sturges on behalf of the claimant in a claim to recover a rare Egyptian artefact, the Sekhemkha statue, from the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery. The case settled before the statue was sold by the museum for £16million.

Trusts and Probate

Van De Merwe v Goodman [2016] 4 WLR 71; [2016] WTLR 913.  Instructed by Berwin Leighton Paisner on behalf of the successful beneficiaries in an application to set aside a settlement on the grounds of mistake.   The High Court (Morgan J) gave guidance as to where the boundary lies between mistake in contract and mistake in equity in circumstances in which a transaction is entered into by agreement.  In a subsequent judgment [2016] EWHC 926 (Ch), Morgan J refused permission to appeal. 

Elliot v Simmonds [2016] EWHC 732 (Ch).  Instructed for the Defendant to a probate claim in which the Defendant did not mount a positive defence but invoked the procedure under CPR 57.7(5). This is the first modern authority to give guidance as to the nature and scope of that procedure. 

Williams v Martin [2016] W.T.L.R. 1075. James acted for the Defendant in a high-profile 3-day trial for relief under the 1975 Act claim. 

Wooldridge v Wooldridge [2016] Fam. Law 451. Instructed by Withers (initially as sole counsel and, later, with Richard Wilson QC) on behalf of the claimant in one of the highest value 1975 Act claims to come to trial.

Earl of Cardigan v Cotton and others [2015] W.T.L.R. 373. Instructed by Berwin Leighton Paisner (with Gilead Cooper QC) on behalf of the claimant in a claim to remove trustees and for compensation. Previously acted as sole counsel in relation to a successful amendment application before Barling J ([2014] W.T.L.R. 559). Following a 3-week trial, Newey J ordered the removal of one trustee and the payment of compensation for breach of trust.

Cotton v Earl of Cardigan [2015] W.T.L.R. 373, CA. Instructed by Berwin Leighton Paisner (with Gilead Cooper QC) on behalf of the appellant in relation to an application by trustees to “bless” the sale of the trust’s principal asset, Grade I listed Tottenham House, for the sum of £11.25m. This was the first decision of the Court of Appeal to consider the procedural and substantive principles applicable to Public Trustee v Cooper applications. The Court of Appeal hearing followed two first instance decisions heard in private ([2013] EWHC 4460 (Ch) and [2014] EWHC 1123 (Ch)).

Soomro v Khuhawar [2015] All ER (D) 55 (Feb). Instructed for the successful claimant in the trial before Martin Mann QC (sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge). The Court ordered a declaration of beneficial ownership of the family property in favour of the Deceased’s following an application of the principles set out in Vandervell v IRC [1967] 2 AC 291. 

Sports, Entertainment and Media

Acted on behalf of David Greenwood and others in claims brought against them by the British Horseracing Authority for alleged betting conspiracies. Appeared before the BHA Tribunal and acted in High Court proceedings resisting an application for Norwich Pharmacal relief.

Regulatory and Disciplinary

Law Society / Solicitors Regulation Authority. Member of the Law Society’s panel and have acted in several cases against solicitors whose practices have been intervened in by the Law Society. Instructed by Lester Aldridge, Blake Morgan, Devonshires and Shacklocks. Recent cases in the High Court include: Law Society v Ahmad (2015), Law Society v Cassam (2015), Law Society v Franks (2014), Law Society v Enaw (2014), Law Society v Alabi (2014), Law Society v Hussein (2014), and Law Society v Ali (2014).

Qualifications

LL.B (Hons) (1st Class) - University of Bristol (highest overall marks in second and final years)

BCL - University of Oxford
(Lincoln College)

BVC - BPP Law School (Outstanding)

Memberships

Chancery Bar Association

COMBAR

Publications

Contributor to Palmer on Bailment (3rd ed.).
‘Probate litigation: the incidence of costs’, Trusts & Trustees 2015, 21(4), 449-456.
‘A good arguable case for restricting the Canada Trust Gloss’, Journal of Business Law, 2010, 1, 36.
‘Still going strong: the irrepressible Hastings-Bass principle’, Trusts and Trustees, 2010, 16(5), 340.
‘Strike Out!’, New Law Journal, 2009, 159 (7367), 630.


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