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Lance Ashworth QC

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Lance Ashworth QC

Areas of Expertise

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Year of Silk: 2006
Year of Call: 1987
lashworth@serlecourt.co.uk
Direct Dial: +44 (0)20 7400 7180

Overview

Lance has a commercial and chancery practice, with a particular focus on international litigation, civil multi-jurisdictional fraud and insolvency cases.  He has a firm grasp of the commercial realities of any litigation and understands clients’ needs and wishes.

Lance has recently been involved in cases involving allegations of fraud and/or bribery said to have happened in Ethiopia, United States of America, Canada, France, Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Malaysia, many involving freezing injunctions and other injunctive relief.  He also has significant expertise in company and commercial matters including unfair prejudice petitions, share warranty claims, hedge fund claims and professional negligence cases.

In insolvency matters, Lance acts both for and against insolvency practitioners in claims against former directors, accountants and others, as well as having done a substantial number of cases involving more technical issues that arise under the Insolvency Act 1986.

Lance was appointed a Recorder in 2005 and a Deputy High Court Judge in 2016 and sits in both the criminal and civil jurisdictions.  He has also been an accredited mediator since 2009 and undertakes Advocacy Training for junior barristers.

Areas of Expertise and Cases


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Commercial Litigation

Lance is, and has been, involved in many commercial disputes, both international and domestic.  Key cases of interest over the last few years have involved many multi-million pound actions including:

  • termination of management agreements for a US$50 million fund (QOGT Inc v. International Oil and Gas Technology Fund)
     
  • share warranty claims relating to the sale of Opelia (Fluidmaster v. Fowler)
     
  • enforcement of US judgment, obtaining of freezing order, resisting setting aside of freezing order, information orders, committal for contempt for maximum possible period upheld by Court of Appeal (Thursfield v. Thursfield [2011] EWHC 3539; [2012] EWHC 3621; [2012] EWHC 3742; [2013] EWCA Civ 840)
     
  • alleged breaches of Canadian/UK software joint venture and the withdrawing of undertakings given in lieu of freezing orders (Emailgen System Corp v. Exclaimer Ltd. [2013] EWHC 167 (Com))
     
  • claims that judgments in Tigray, Ethiopia had been obtained by perjury and fraudulent misrepresentation (Mengiste v. Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray [2013] EWHC 599 (Ch))
     
  • fire damage claim resulting from faulty installation of electrical equipment in top end hairdressers (Obsession Hair and Day Spa Ltd. v. Hi Lite Electrical Ltd)
     
  • share warranty and fraudulent misrepresentation claims arising from the sale of the scrap metal empire of Easco to SITA (SITA v. Serruys)
     
  • bribery of a senior employee of a household name, who had taken millions of pounds from suppliers over a number of years (Dyson v. Curtis [2010] EWHC 3289 (Ch))
     
  • share warranty claims arising from the sale of aerospace engine parts manufacturer (Avingtrans v. Burton)
     
  • acting for Japanese suppliers in claims arising out of the construction of a new paint shop facility for LDV vans (Taikisha v. LDV)
     
  • the business swap transaction between George Wimpey and Tarmac (Wimpey v. Tarmac)
     
  • the exercise of options for the acquisition of development land by Laing Homes Ltd (Laing Homes v. Samuel Beadie (Investments) Ltd.)
     
  • the exercise of options for the acquisition of development land by Wimpey (Wimpey v. Hallmark Cards Ltd.)
     
  • the exercise of swamping rights by venture capitalists in relation to a chain of over 100 convenience stores (Hutchby v. Murray VCT plc)

In addition to these matters, Lance has been involved in many franchise disputes, both for and against the franchisors, including those relating to Kalamazoo plc (printing), Rosemary Conley Diet & Fitness Clubs Limited (diet and fitness clubs), Fastfix (emergency plumbing services), Chipsaway (car body repairs), Durham Pine (pine furniture), Prontac plc (accountancy packages), Autosmart Ltd (vehicle valeting), Kall Kwik (printing), Texas Homecare (DIY), Action Unlimited (business advisory services), Baby College (baby nurturing) and Zeald (website establishment).


Add section

Civil Fraud

Lance has advised and appeared in fraud and bribery cases over a number of years, some of which have had international elements and the majority of which have involved the obtaining of freezing and other injunctive relief.  These include:

  • confidence tricks to divert funds from France to England around the IT implementation of the Single European Payment Area (Diagnostica Stago v. Webnetsales Ltd.)
     
  • claims that judgments in Tigray, Ethiopia had been obtained by fraudulent misrepresentation (Mengiste v. Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray [2013] EWHC 599 (Ch))
     
  • fraudulent breaches of joint venture agreement between Canadian and UK companies, unlawfully and fraudulently diverting profits by one party (Emailgen System Corp v. Exclaimer Ltd.)
     
  • creation of false customers by head of international sales to divert products which were never to be paid for (Bertram Trading Ltd. v. Goble)
     
  • bribery of a senior employee of a household name, who had taken millions of pounds from Portuguese and Malaysian suppliers over a number of years (Dyson v. Curtis [2010] EWHC 3289 (Ch))
     
  • Advising electricity supplier in relation the rights and remedies which might be available to it in civil and criminal proceedings as a result of it unwittingly having supplied substantial amounts of electricity to properties that have been used by various parties for the purposes of cultivating cannabis plants
     
  • transactions with intent to defraud customers to the advantage of US based parent company of UK subsidiary (Re Krug International (UK) Ltd [2008] BPIR 1512)
     
  • fresh air invoicing in haulage business to deceive invoice discounters out of many millions of pounds (Re City Truck Group Ltd. [2008] BCC 76)
     
  • fraudulent diversion of business by executive director setting up a shadow company to run alongside but at the expense of the victim company (Simply Loans v. Wood)

Add section

Insolvency

Having been recommended in the directories for many years for Insolvency, Lance continues to act and advise both insolvency practitioners (in contested and non-contested work) and allegedly delinquent directors.  He is the author of the precedents section (volume 3) of Mithani’s Directors Disqualification.  His recent cases in this area include:

  • acting for the Secretary of State in an application by a disqualified director imprisoned for conspiracy to defraud seeking permission to instruct a company how to conduct particular litigation (In the matter of Portland Place (Historic House) Ltd [2012] EWHC 4199 (Ch))
     
  • Acted for administrators of company in devising a scheme to allow them to sell company's business without there being a TUPE liability transfer (Re Auto Windscreens Ltd)
     
  • establishing the ability of administrators to serve Notice of Appointment electronically (Gould & Hamblin v ITMO Advent Computer Training Ltd [2010] EWHC 459 (Ch))
     
  • obtaining directions to allow Administrators to preserve value in list of creditors despite authorised steps being directly contrary to Insolvency Rules (Gould & Hamblin v ITMO Advent Computer Training Ltd [2010] EWHC 1042 (Ch))
     
  • acting for US company seeking to set aside service out of jurisdiction of a claim under section 423 Insolvency Act 1986 (Re Krug International (UK) Ltd [2008] BPIR 1512) and thereafter in the claim generally
     
  • personal liability of Administrators for costs without substantive hearing of application to remove them from office (Coyne v DRC Distribution Ltd [2008] BCC 612)
     
  • claim on behalf of liquidators against former directors for breach of fiduciary duty and of financial assistance provisions (Cook v Green, Re M&S Tarpaulins 2nd May, 2008 HHJ Pelling)
     
  • acting for newly appointed office holders seeking to recover excessive fees fraudulently taken by former office holders, including issues of disclosure of metadata to a non-party bondsman insuring the fraud of former office holders (Hellard v Money [2008] BPIR 1487)
     
  • distribution to creditors by Administrator (Re HPJ UK Ltd (In Administration) [2007] BCC 284)
     
  • acting for the Secretary of State obtaining disqualification of directors for multimillion pound invoice discounting fraud (Re City Truck Group Ltd [2008] BCC 76)
     
  • acting for a liquidator seeking to set aside settlement in earlier proceedings as transactions at an undervalue (Lord (Liquidator of Rosshill Properties Ltd) v Sinai Securities Ltd [2004] BCC 986)

Add section

Company

Lance has acted and advised in very many company related matters, including disputes between shareholders and between companies and former directors, and cases involving alleged breaches of statutory provisions.  His cases include:

  • a minority shareholders petition in relation to an airfield (Re Andrewsfield Airfield Ltd)
     
  • a minority shareholders petition in relation to a steel stockholding business claimed to be worth £36 million (Re European Sheet Steel Ltd)
     
  • a claim to enforce pre-emption rights of a shareholder to give him total control of a chain of patisseries (Re Druckers Ltd), subsequently purchased by Patisserie Valerie
     
  • a claim brought by directors of a family owned company against the former Finance director for repayment of monies paid for his shares alleged to have breached unlawful financial assistance provisions, which Lance successfully defended in a 19 day trial (Murray Vernon Holdings v. Hassall [2010] EWHC 7)
     
  • a claim against directors of a company for unlawful financial assistance given to themselves to allow their shares to be purchased (Cook v. Green, Re MS Tarpaulins)
     
  • a minority shareholders petition in relation to a cider brewing company, where the managing director was alleged to have poisoned the production line of a competitor company (Re Aston Manor Breweries Ltd)
     
  • a minority shareholders petition in relation to a retail chain of clothing stores and subsequent hearings seeking to recover the £6.4 million which was awarded (Thakrar v. Thakrar; re Ciro Citterio Menswear [2002] 1 WLR 2217; [2002] BPIR 903; [2002] EWHC 1975)

Add section

Financial Services

Lance advises and has lectured on issues arising out of alleged breaches of the Conduct of Business Rules (“COB”) and Conduct of Business Sourcebook Rules (“COBS”) and the inter-relationship of these rules and the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.  He has also had involvement in potential group litigation arising out of the purchase by Lloyds TSB of HBOS and issues arising out of the prospectus requirements in FSMA.


Add section

Professional Negligence

Lance has considerable experience of professional negligence claims, particularly involving solicitors, accountants and insurance brokers.  Examples include:

  • acting for a client whose former solicitors failed to secure shares in a development company into the client’s name, allowing client’s manager to retain the development opportunity and profits running to many millions
     
  • Acting for Administrators (PWC) in claim for negligent drafting of a Sale and Purchase Agreement following intervention of FSA into IFA network business, leading to administration of IFA business (Berry Birch and Noble v. Putsmans)
     
  • acting against insurance brokers for failing to obtain adequate cover in respect of former industrial premises (Simon Commercial Investments v. AXA Insurance)
     
  • acting for George Wimpey in action seeking £650k from expert in geotechnical and geoenvironmental matters  for negligence site survey which failed to disclose extensive asbestos throughout the site (George Wimpey v. RSA Geotechnics)
     
  • acting for a liquidator suing auditors who negligently provided a report purporting to comply with the financial assistance whitewash procedures, leading to all of the value being stripped from the company (Cook v Green, Re M&S Tarpaulins 2nd May, 2008 HHJ Pelling)
     
  • group litigation for 129 farmers against the National Farmers Union, arising out of the NFU’s advice not to pursue lost SLOM milk quota.  There was a trial of 10 test cases over 6 weeks (Dent v. National Farmers Union), following which the remaining cases were settled over the following year
     
  • group litigation on behalf of 34 of the above farmers, who had been advised not to pursue the NFU as a result of which part of their claims had become statute barred (Moffat v. Burges Salmon [2004] PNLR 13)






All Quotes

"Impressive on strategy and excellent on detail, but also someone who gets the bigger picture." "Very hands on and fantastic with clients." 
Chambers Global 2016 Dispute Resolution: Commercial

"Client friendly, focused and highly responsive"
Legal 500 2014 Commercial Litigation

"Excellent at multi-jurisdictional insolvency cases"
Legal 500 2014 Insolvency

"Very quick on his feet"
Legal 500 2014 Professional Negligence

"He gets to grips with the issues very quickly and gives robust, practical and commercial advice"
Chambers & Partners 2015 - Chancery Commercial

"He's a joy to work with and thinks outside the box. He has very good attention to detail and is very solicitor-friendly"
Chambers & Partners 2015 - Commercial Dispute Resolution

"a superb advocate, and penetrating cross-examiner" 
Legal 500 2013 Commercial Litigation

"very bright"
Legal 500 2013 Insolvency

"He has an excellent bedside manner, and the tougher the challenge the better he performs"
Chambers & Partners 2013 - Chancery Commercial

"He gets excellent feedback from both the team and clients. He's particularly good on complex shareholder disputes and is favoured for his robust advice. Excellent at detail, he gets over the big picture"
Chambers & Partners 2013 - Commercial Dispute Resolution

Described as having "a fantastic reputation for his expertise in commercial and insolvency law".
"extremely responsive, charming with clients and very sharp"
"tough advocate with a lot of flair"
"moulds into a team easily and is able to take the weight off his clients"
"highly regarded by peers and clients alike as an excellent advocate who is sensible, articulate and straight to the point"
"calm and easy manner and understanding the nature of the pressure solicitors are under"
"exceptionally able, user-friendly and commercial advocate, who displays great attention to detail and extremely high-quality legal analysis"
"Interviewees favourite"
having "considerable experience in the insolvency arena and is the barrister of choice if you need a punchy, robust advocate for heavily contested issues"
"thorough, yet pragmatic and commercially minded"
"he doesn't sit on the fence when offering advice"
commend his "intelligence and positive outlook"
has "almost unparalleled understanding of complex technical matters and piercing cross-examination skills"
"excellent bedside manner"
 Chambers and Partners

Recommendations

Chancery: Commercial, Commercial Dispute Resolution (Chambers and Partners)
Commercial litigation, Company, Insolvency, Professional negligence (Legal 500)
Dispute Resolution: Commercial (Chambers Global)
Dispute Resolution: Commercial Chancery (Chambers Global)

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Lance Ashworth QC

Lance Ashworth QC

Year of Silk: 2006
Year of Call: 1987
Email: lashworth@serlecourt.co.uk

Overview

Lance has a commercial and chancery practice, with a particular focus on international litigation, civil multi-jurisdictional fraud and insolvency cases.  He has a firm grasp of the commercial realities of any litigation and understands clients’ needs and wishes.

Lance has recently been involved in cases involving allegations of fraud and/or bribery said to have happened in Ethiopia, United States of America, Canada, France, Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Malaysia, many involving freezing injunctions and other injunctive relief.  He also has significant expertise in company and commercial matters including unfair prejudice petitions, share warranty claims, hedge fund claims and professional negligence cases.

In insolvency matters, Lance acts both for and against insolvency practitioners in claims against former directors, accountants and others, as well as having done a substantial number of cases involving more technical issues that arise under the Insolvency Act 1986.

Lance was appointed a Recorder in 2005 and a Deputy High Court Judge in 2016 and sits in both the criminal and civil jurisdictions.  He has also been an accredited mediator since 2009 and undertakes Advocacy Training for junior barristers.

Areas of expertise

Recommendations

Chancery: Commercial, Commercial Dispute Resolution (Chambers and Partners)
Commercial litigation, Company, Insolvency, Professional negligence (Legal 500)
Dispute Resolution: Commercial (Chambers Global)
Dispute Resolution: Commercial Chancery (Chambers Global)

Quotes

"Impressive on strategy and excellent on detail, but also someone who gets the bigger picture." "Very hands on and fantastic with clients." 
Chambers Global 2016 Dispute Resolution: Commercial

"Client friendly, focused and highly responsive"
Legal 500 2014 Commercial Litigation

"Excellent at multi-jurisdictional insolvency cases"
Legal 500 2014 Insolvency

"Very quick on his feet"
Legal 500 2014 Professional Negligence

"He gets to grips with the issues very quickly and gives robust, practical and commercial advice"
Chambers & Partners 2015 - Chancery Commercial

"He's a joy to work with and thinks outside the box. He has very good attention to detail and is very solicitor-friendly"
Chambers & Partners 2015 - Commercial Dispute Resolution

"a superb advocate, and penetrating cross-examiner" 
Legal 500 2013 Commercial Litigation

"very bright"
Legal 500 2013 Insolvency

"He has an excellent bedside manner, and the tougher the challenge the better he performs"
Chambers & Partners 2013 - Chancery Commercial

"He gets excellent feedback from both the team and clients. He's particularly good on complex shareholder disputes and is favoured for his robust advice. Excellent at detail, he gets over the big picture"
Chambers & Partners 2013 - Commercial Dispute Resolution

Described as having "a fantastic reputation for his expertise in commercial and insolvency law".
"extremely responsive, charming with clients and very sharp"
"tough advocate with a lot of flair"
"moulds into a team easily and is able to take the weight off his clients"
"highly regarded by peers and clients alike as an excellent advocate who is sensible, articulate and straight to the point"
"calm and easy manner and understanding the nature of the pressure solicitors are under"
"exceptionally able, user-friendly and commercial advocate, who displays great attention to detail and extremely high-quality legal analysis"
"Interviewees favourite"
having "considerable experience in the insolvency arena and is the barrister of choice if you need a punchy, robust advocate for heavily contested issues"
"thorough, yet pragmatic and commercially minded"
"he doesn't sit on the fence when offering advice"
commend his "intelligence and positive outlook"
has "almost unparalleled understanding of complex technical matters and piercing cross-examination skills"
"excellent bedside manner"
 Chambers and Partners

Commercial Litigation

Lance is, and has been, involved in many commercial disputes, both international and domestic.  Key cases of interest over the last few years have involved many multi-million pound actions including:

  • termination of management agreements for a US$50 million fund (QOGT Inc v. International Oil and Gas Technology Fund)
     
  • share warranty claims relating to the sale of Opelia (Fluidmaster v. Fowler)
     
  • enforcement of US judgment, obtaining of freezing order, resisting setting aside of freezing order, information orders, committal for contempt for maximum possible period upheld by Court of Appeal (Thursfield v. Thursfield [2011] EWHC 3539; [2012] EWHC 3621; [2012] EWHC 3742; [2013] EWCA Civ 840)
     
  • alleged breaches of Canadian/UK software joint venture and the withdrawing of undertakings given in lieu of freezing orders (Emailgen System Corp v. Exclaimer Ltd. [2013] EWHC 167 (Com))
     
  • claims that judgments in Tigray, Ethiopia had been obtained by perjury and fraudulent misrepresentation (Mengiste v. Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray [2013] EWHC 599 (Ch))
     
  • fire damage claim resulting from faulty installation of electrical equipment in top end hairdressers (Obsession Hair and Day Spa Ltd. v. Hi Lite Electrical Ltd)
     
  • share warranty and fraudulent misrepresentation claims arising from the sale of the scrap metal empire of Easco to SITA (SITA v. Serruys)
     
  • bribery of a senior employee of a household name, who had taken millions of pounds from suppliers over a number of years (Dyson v. Curtis [2010] EWHC 3289 (Ch))
     
  • share warranty claims arising from the sale of aerospace engine parts manufacturer (Avingtrans v. Burton)
     
  • acting for Japanese suppliers in claims arising out of the construction of a new paint shop facility for LDV vans (Taikisha v. LDV)
     
  • the business swap transaction between George Wimpey and Tarmac (Wimpey v. Tarmac)
     
  • the exercise of options for the acquisition of development land by Laing Homes Ltd (Laing Homes v. Samuel Beadie (Investments) Ltd.)
     
  • the exercise of options for the acquisition of development land by Wimpey (Wimpey v. Hallmark Cards Ltd.)
     
  • the exercise of swamping rights by venture capitalists in relation to a chain of over 100 convenience stores (Hutchby v. Murray VCT plc)

In addition to these matters, Lance has been involved in many franchise disputes, both for and against the franchisors, including those relating to Kalamazoo plc (printing), Rosemary Conley Diet & Fitness Clubs Limited (diet and fitness clubs), Fastfix (emergency plumbing services), Chipsaway (car body repairs), Durham Pine (pine furniture), Prontac plc (accountancy packages), Autosmart Ltd (vehicle valeting), Kall Kwik (printing), Texas Homecare (DIY), Action Unlimited (business advisory services), Baby College (baby nurturing) and Zeald (website establishment).

Civil Fraud

Lance has advised and appeared in fraud and bribery cases over a number of years, some of which have had international elements and the majority of which have involved the obtaining of freezing and other injunctive relief.  These include:

  • confidence tricks to divert funds from France to England around the IT implementation of the Single European Payment Area (Diagnostica Stago v. Webnetsales Ltd.)
     
  • claims that judgments in Tigray, Ethiopia had been obtained by fraudulent misrepresentation (Mengiste v. Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray [2013] EWHC 599 (Ch))
     
  • fraudulent breaches of joint venture agreement between Canadian and UK companies, unlawfully and fraudulently diverting profits by one party (Emailgen System Corp v. Exclaimer Ltd.)
     
  • creation of false customers by head of international sales to divert products which were never to be paid for (Bertram Trading Ltd. v. Goble)
     
  • bribery of a senior employee of a household name, who had taken millions of pounds from Portuguese and Malaysian suppliers over a number of years (Dyson v. Curtis [2010] EWHC 3289 (Ch))
     
  • Advising electricity supplier in relation the rights and remedies which might be available to it in civil and criminal proceedings as a result of it unwittingly having supplied substantial amounts of electricity to properties that have been used by various parties for the purposes of cultivating cannabis plants
     
  • transactions with intent to defraud customers to the advantage of US based parent company of UK subsidiary (Re Krug International (UK) Ltd [2008] BPIR 1512)
     
  • fresh air invoicing in haulage business to deceive invoice discounters out of many millions of pounds (Re City Truck Group Ltd. [2008] BCC 76)
     
  • fraudulent diversion of business by executive director setting up a shadow company to run alongside but at the expense of the victim company (Simply Loans v. Wood)

Insolvency

Having been recommended in the directories for many years for Insolvency, Lance continues to act and advise both insolvency practitioners (in contested and non-contested work) and allegedly delinquent directors.  He is the author of the precedents section (volume 3) of Mithani’s Directors Disqualification.  His recent cases in this area include:

  • acting for the Secretary of State in an application by a disqualified director imprisoned for conspiracy to defraud seeking permission to instruct a company how to conduct particular litigation (In the matter of Portland Place (Historic House) Ltd [2012] EWHC 4199 (Ch))
     
  • Acted for administrators of company in devising a scheme to allow them to sell company's business without there being a TUPE liability transfer (Re Auto Windscreens Ltd)
     
  • establishing the ability of administrators to serve Notice of Appointment electronically (Gould & Hamblin v ITMO Advent Computer Training Ltd [2010] EWHC 459 (Ch))
     
  • obtaining directions to allow Administrators to preserve value in list of creditors despite authorised steps being directly contrary to Insolvency Rules (Gould & Hamblin v ITMO Advent Computer Training Ltd [2010] EWHC 1042 (Ch))
     
  • acting for US company seeking to set aside service out of jurisdiction of a claim under section 423 Insolvency Act 1986 (Re Krug International (UK) Ltd [2008] BPIR 1512) and thereafter in the claim generally
     
  • personal liability of Administrators for costs without substantive hearing of application to remove them from office (Coyne v DRC Distribution Ltd [2008] BCC 612)
     
  • claim on behalf of liquidators against former directors for breach of fiduciary duty and of financial assistance provisions (Cook v Green, Re M&S Tarpaulins 2nd May, 2008 HHJ Pelling)
     
  • acting for newly appointed office holders seeking to recover excessive fees fraudulently taken by former office holders, including issues of disclosure of metadata to a non-party bondsman insuring the fraud of former office holders (Hellard v Money [2008] BPIR 1487)
     
  • distribution to creditors by Administrator (Re HPJ UK Ltd (In Administration) [2007] BCC 284)
     
  • acting for the Secretary of State obtaining disqualification of directors for multimillion pound invoice discounting fraud (Re City Truck Group Ltd [2008] BCC 76)
     
  • acting for a liquidator seeking to set aside settlement in earlier proceedings as transactions at an undervalue (Lord (Liquidator of Rosshill Properties Ltd) v Sinai Securities Ltd [2004] BCC 986)

Company

Lance has acted and advised in very many company related matters, including disputes between shareholders and between companies and former directors, and cases involving alleged breaches of statutory provisions.  His cases include:

  • a minority shareholders petition in relation to an airfield (Re Andrewsfield Airfield Ltd)
     
  • a minority shareholders petition in relation to a steel stockholding business claimed to be worth £36 million (Re European Sheet Steel Ltd)
     
  • a claim to enforce pre-emption rights of a shareholder to give him total control of a chain of patisseries (Re Druckers Ltd), subsequently purchased by Patisserie Valerie
     
  • a claim brought by directors of a family owned company against the former Finance director for repayment of monies paid for his shares alleged to have breached unlawful financial assistance provisions, which Lance successfully defended in a 19 day trial (Murray Vernon Holdings v. Hassall [2010] EWHC 7)
     
  • a claim against directors of a company for unlawful financial assistance given to themselves to allow their shares to be purchased (Cook v. Green, Re MS Tarpaulins)
     
  • a minority shareholders petition in relation to a cider brewing company, where the managing director was alleged to have poisoned the production line of a competitor company (Re Aston Manor Breweries Ltd)
     
  • a minority shareholders petition in relation to a retail chain of clothing stores and subsequent hearings seeking to recover the £6.4 million which was awarded (Thakrar v. Thakrar; re Ciro Citterio Menswear [2002] 1 WLR 2217; [2002] BPIR 903; [2002] EWHC 1975)

Financial Services

Lance advises and has lectured on issues arising out of alleged breaches of the Conduct of Business Rules (“COB”) and Conduct of Business Sourcebook Rules (“COBS”) and the inter-relationship of these rules and the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.  He has also had involvement in potential group litigation arising out of the purchase by Lloyds TSB of HBOS and issues arising out of the prospectus requirements in FSMA.

Professional Negligence

Lance has considerable experience of professional negligence claims, particularly involving solicitors, accountants and insurance brokers.  Examples include:

  • acting for a client whose former solicitors failed to secure shares in a development company into the client’s name, allowing client’s manager to retain the development opportunity and profits running to many millions
     
  • Acting for Administrators (PWC) in claim for negligent drafting of a Sale and Purchase Agreement following intervention of FSA into IFA network business, leading to administration of IFA business (Berry Birch and Noble v. Putsmans)
     
  • acting against insurance brokers for failing to obtain adequate cover in respect of former industrial premises (Simon Commercial Investments v. AXA Insurance)
     
  • acting for George Wimpey in action seeking £650k from expert in geotechnical and geoenvironmental matters  for negligence site survey which failed to disclose extensive asbestos throughout the site (George Wimpey v. RSA Geotechnics)
     
  • acting for a liquidator suing auditors who negligently provided a report purporting to comply with the financial assistance whitewash procedures, leading to all of the value being stripped from the company (Cook v Green, Re M&S Tarpaulins 2nd May, 2008 HHJ Pelling)
     
  • group litigation for 129 farmers against the National Farmers Union, arising out of the NFU’s advice not to pursue lost SLOM milk quota.  There was a trial of 10 test cases over 6 weeks (Dent v. National Farmers Union), following which the remaining cases were settled over the following year
     
  • group litigation on behalf of 34 of the above farmers, who had been advised not to pursue the NFU as a result of which part of their claims had become statute barred (Moffat v. Burges Salmon [2004] PNLR 13)

Qualifications

Pembroke College, Cambridge - MA

Oundle School

Appointments

Recorder, Crown Court and County Court

Memberships

Chancery Bar Association

COMBAR

Midlands Chancery and Commercial Bar Association

Publications

Precedents section for Mithani: Directors: Disqualificaiton Contributor

Languages

German


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