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Matthew Morrison

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Matthew Morrison

Areas of Expertise

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Year of Call: 2004 mmorrison@serlecourt.co.uk

Overview

Matthew has a broad commercial chancery practice with a particular emphasis on civil fraud, company, insolvency, and trust litigation.

Within his fraud practice, Matthew has extensive experience of interlocutory applications for asset preservation and disclosure orders. In the course of acting as junior counsel for JSC BTA Bank of Kazakhstan in the successful prosecution of its multi-billion dollar fraud claims against Mukhtar Ablyazov and others, Matthew was also involved in obtaining a number of novel measures aimed at reinforcing such orders, including the first tagging order against a respondent to contempt proceedings. A number of these remedies are discussed in a recent article co-authored with Hugh Norbury QC entitled  "Preventing Undue Thawing: Freezing Orders and s.37 of the Senior Courts Act 1981"
(http://whoswholegal.com/news/features/article/30682/)

In the company and insolvency sphere, Matthew has acquired a strong reputation for defending misfeasance and disqualification proceedings against company directors. He is currently instructed as junior counsel on behalf of the former Independent Directors of Carlyle Capital Corporation in Guernsey proceedings commenced by the company’s liquidators seeking in excess of US$1bn for alleged misfeasance. Matthew also acts as junior counsel for the Isle of Man directors of Isis Investments Limited, a subsidiary of Kaupthing bank, in respect of claims alleging breaches of their duties of care and skill and fiduciary duties brought by the liquidators of Isis in the Chancery Division.

On the disqualification front, Matthew has recently secured the discontinuance of high profile proceedings brought against an alleged shadow director in respect of allegations of fraudulent tax evasion and the misleading of HMRC. He is currently involved in defending disqualification proceedings featuring allegations of shadow directorship, acting as a director whilst disqualified, trading to the detriment of HMRC and misuse of a company’s bank account.

Matthew is the author of Butterworths Corporate Law Service chapters on Disqualification and Directors’ Potential Liabilities in Insolvency.

Matthew also has a significant degree of experience in bringing and defending minority shareholder proceedings and is the author of a series of Practical Law Company practice notes on unfair prejudice, derivative claims and winding up on just and equitable grounds.

In terms of trust litigation, Matthew was a member of Sheikh Abdullah’s counsel team in the long-running Alhamrani litigation in Jersey and has been involved in a wide range of trust disputes including proceedings involving allegations of breaches of duty in the context of investment decisions and the unravelling of tax planning structures with unintended tax consequences.

Of late Matthew has also advised upon, and appeared in the Family Division in connection with, a number of company, trust and insolvency issues that have arisen in the context of family law proceedings.
 

Areas of Expertise and Cases





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Company

Matthew has acquired a strong reputation for defending misfeasance and disqualification proceedings against company directors. He is currently instructed as junior counsel on behalf of the former Independent Directors of Carlyle Capital Corporation in Guernsey proceedings commenced by the company’s liquidators seeking in excess of US$1bn for alleged misfeasance. Matthew also acts as junior counsel for the Isle of Man directors of Isis Investments Limited, a subsidiary of Kaupthing bank, in respect of claims alleging breaches of their duties of care and skill and fiduciary duties brought by the liquidators of Isis in the Chancery Division.

On the disqualification front, Matthew has recently secured the discontinuance of high profile proceedings brought against an alleged shadow director in respect of allegations of fraudulent tax evasion and the misleading of HMRC. He is currently involved in defending disqualification proceedings featuring allegations of shadow directorship, acting as a director whilst disqualified, trading to the detriment of HMRC and misuse of a company’s bank account.

Matthew is the author of Butterworths Corporate Law Service chapters on Disqualification and Directors’ Potential Liabilities in Insolvency.

Matthew also has a significant degree of experience in bringing and defending minority shareholder proceedings and is the author of a series of Practical Law Company practice notes on unfair prejudice, derivative claims and winding up on just and equitable grounds.

Thermodynetics Inc v Turbotec Products Plc [2010] EWHC 932 (Ch) Acting as junior to Victor Joffe QC for the parent of an AIM listed plc in a dispute concerning payments claimed under an agreement entered into in connection with the AIM IPO involving allegations of unlawful returns of capital, financial assistance and the making of misleading statements in AIM particulars.
 


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Civil Fraud

Matthew has extensive experience of interlocutory applications for asset preservation and disclosure orders. In the course of acting as junior counsel for JSC BTA Bank of Kazakhstan in the successful prosecution of its multi-billion dollar fraud claims against Mukhtar Ablyazov and others, Matthew was also involved in obtaining a number of novel measures aimed at reinforcing such orders, including the first tagging order against a respondent to contempt proceedings. A number of these remedies are discussed in a recent article co-authored with Hugh Norbury QC entitled “Preventing Undue Thawing: Freezing Orders and s.37 of the Senior Courts Act 1981” (http://whoswholegal.com/news/features/article/30682/)

JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov, Granton Trade Limited & Ors [2011] EWHC 2988 (Comm) (Christopher Clarke J) [2012] EWCA Civ 564

Obtaining judgment for the Claimant Bank against a number of corporate defendants upon proving that they had provided misleading information concerning their ultimate ownership and control and thereby satisfying the Court that relief from sanction afforded to them for their breaches of an unless order compelling compliance with various disclosure orders should be set aside. At the Court of Appeal stage the Bank succeeded in demonstrating that the appropriate standard for proving that the Court had been misled at an interim stage was the balance of probabilities and not some higher standard, and that where an unless order had been breached judgment would follow without more unless relief from sanction could be obtained.

JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov, Khazhaev & Ors [2011] EWHC 2988 (Comm) (Teare J)

Resisting an application by Mr Khazhaev to set aside the Claimant Bank’s order extending time for the service of the claim form upon him and permitting alternative service upon Mr Khazhaev through his solicitors. Teare J’s judgment clarified what would constitute “good reason” for an extension of the period for service where it was arguable that a limitation period had expired since the issue of the claim form, and for permitting alternative service, in the context of service of an individual out of the jurisdiction in Russia.
 



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Insolvency

Matthew has acquired a strong reputation for defending misfeasance and disqualification proceedings against company directors. He is currently instructed as junior counsel on behalf of the former Independent Directors of Carlyle Capital Corporation in Guernsey proceedings commenced by the company’s liquidators seeking in excess of US$1bn for alleged misfeasance. Matthew also acts as junior counsel for the Isle of Man directors of Isis Investments Limited, a subsidiary of Kaupthing bank, in respect of claims alleging breaches of their duties of care and skill and fiduciary duties brought by the liquidators of Isis in the Chancery Division.

On the disqualification front, Matthew has recently secured the discontinuance of high profile proceedings brought against an alleged shadow director in respect of allegations of fraudulent tax evasion and the misleading of HMRC. He is currently involved in defending disqualification proceedings featuring allegations of shadow directorship, acting as a director whilst disqualified, trading to the detriment of HMRC and misuse of a company’s bank account.

Matthew is the author of Butterworths Corporate Law Service chapters on Disqualification and Directors’ Potential Liabilities in Insolvency.

Matthew also has a significant degree of experience in bringing and defending minority shareholder proceedings and is the author of a series of Practical Law Company practice notes on unfair prejudice, derivative claims and winding up on just and equitable grounds.
 



Add section

Trusts and Probate

Matthew was a member of Sheikh Abdullah’s counsel team in the long-running Alhamrani litigation in Jersey and has been involved in a wide range of trust disputes including proceedings involving allegations of breaches of duty in the context of investment decisions and the unravelling of tax planning structures with unintended tax consequences.

Of late Matthew has also advised upon, and appeared in the Family Division in connection with, a number of company, trust and insolvency issues that have arisen in the context of family law proceedings.
 




All Quotes

"Tenacious on his feet and extremely hardworking." Legal 500 2015

"A good team player" Legal 500 2015

"He delivers his advice in a relaxed and accessible manner, often with an injection of humour." Chambers & Partners 2015

"Matthew combines a deep knowledge of the documentation and factual matrix, with a perceptive and commercial analysis of the prevailing legal issues." Chambers & Partners 2015

"Brings a flexible and agile approach to complex cases" Legal 500 2014

"A confident and persuasive advocate, who is very bright, very dedicated and highly commercial" Chambers & Partners 2014

"A junior with a bright future" Chambers & Partners 2013

"A lawyer with a first-rate mind" Chambers & Partners 2013

"Very proactive in suggesting strategy" Chambers & Partners 2013

Recommendations

Fraud: Civil (Chambers and Partners)

Commercial Litigation (Legal 500)

Company (Legal 500)

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Matthew Morrison

Matthew Morrison

Year of Call: 2004
Email: mmorrison@serlecourt.co.uk

Overview

Matthew has a broad commercial chancery practice with a particular emphasis on civil fraud, company, insolvency, and trust litigation.

Within his fraud practice, Matthew has extensive experience of interlocutory applications for asset preservation and disclosure orders. In the course of acting as junior counsel for JSC BTA Bank of Kazakhstan in the successful prosecution of its multi-billion dollar fraud claims against Mukhtar Ablyazov and others, Matthew was also involved in obtaining a number of novel measures aimed at reinforcing such orders, including the first tagging order against a respondent to contempt proceedings. A number of these remedies are discussed in a recent article co-authored with Hugh Norbury QC entitled  "Preventing Undue Thawing: Freezing Orders and s.37 of the Senior Courts Act 1981"
(http://whoswholegal.com/news/features/article/30682/)

In the company and insolvency sphere, Matthew has acquired a strong reputation for defending misfeasance and disqualification proceedings against company directors. He is currently instructed as junior counsel on behalf of the former Independent Directors of Carlyle Capital Corporation in Guernsey proceedings commenced by the company’s liquidators seeking in excess of US$1bn for alleged misfeasance. Matthew also acts as junior counsel for the Isle of Man directors of Isis Investments Limited, a subsidiary of Kaupthing bank, in respect of claims alleging breaches of their duties of care and skill and fiduciary duties brought by the liquidators of Isis in the Chancery Division.

On the disqualification front, Matthew has recently secured the discontinuance of high profile proceedings brought against an alleged shadow director in respect of allegations of fraudulent tax evasion and the misleading of HMRC. He is currently involved in defending disqualification proceedings featuring allegations of shadow directorship, acting as a director whilst disqualified, trading to the detriment of HMRC and misuse of a company’s bank account.

Matthew is the author of Butterworths Corporate Law Service chapters on Disqualification and Directors’ Potential Liabilities in Insolvency.

Matthew also has a significant degree of experience in bringing and defending minority shareholder proceedings and is the author of a series of Practical Law Company practice notes on unfair prejudice, derivative claims and winding up on just and equitable grounds.

In terms of trust litigation, Matthew was a member of Sheikh Abdullah’s counsel team in the long-running Alhamrani litigation in Jersey and has been involved in a wide range of trust disputes including proceedings involving allegations of breaches of duty in the context of investment decisions and the unravelling of tax planning structures with unintended tax consequences.

Of late Matthew has also advised upon, and appeared in the Family Division in connection with, a number of company, trust and insolvency issues that have arisen in the context of family law proceedings.
 

Areas of expertise

Recommendations

Fraud: Civil (Chambers and Partners)

Commercial Litigation (Legal 500)

Company (Legal 500)

Quotes

"Tenacious on his feet and extremely hardworking." Legal 500 2015

"A good team player" Legal 500 2015

"He delivers his advice in a relaxed and accessible manner, often with an injection of humour." Chambers & Partners 2015

"Matthew combines a deep knowledge of the documentation and factual matrix, with a perceptive and commercial analysis of the prevailing legal issues." Chambers & Partners 2015

"Brings a flexible and agile approach to complex cases" Legal 500 2014

"A confident and persuasive advocate, who is very bright, very dedicated and highly commercial" Chambers & Partners 2014

"A junior with a bright future" Chambers & Partners 2013

"A lawyer with a first-rate mind" Chambers & Partners 2013

"Very proactive in suggesting strategy" Chambers & Partners 2013

Company

Matthew has acquired a strong reputation for defending misfeasance and disqualification proceedings against company directors. He is currently instructed as junior counsel on behalf of the former Independent Directors of Carlyle Capital Corporation in Guernsey proceedings commenced by the company’s liquidators seeking in excess of US$1bn for alleged misfeasance. Matthew also acts as junior counsel for the Isle of Man directors of Isis Investments Limited, a subsidiary of Kaupthing bank, in respect of claims alleging breaches of their duties of care and skill and fiduciary duties brought by the liquidators of Isis in the Chancery Division.

On the disqualification front, Matthew has recently secured the discontinuance of high profile proceedings brought against an alleged shadow director in respect of allegations of fraudulent tax evasion and the misleading of HMRC. He is currently involved in defending disqualification proceedings featuring allegations of shadow directorship, acting as a director whilst disqualified, trading to the detriment of HMRC and misuse of a company’s bank account.

Matthew is the author of Butterworths Corporate Law Service chapters on Disqualification and Directors’ Potential Liabilities in Insolvency.

Matthew also has a significant degree of experience in bringing and defending minority shareholder proceedings and is the author of a series of Practical Law Company practice notes on unfair prejudice, derivative claims and winding up on just and equitable grounds.

Thermodynetics Inc v Turbotec Products Plc [2010] EWHC 932 (Ch) Acting as junior to Victor Joffe QC for the parent of an AIM listed plc in a dispute concerning payments claimed under an agreement entered into in connection with the AIM IPO involving allegations of unlawful returns of capital, financial assistance and the making of misleading statements in AIM particulars.
 

Civil Fraud

Matthew has extensive experience of interlocutory applications for asset preservation and disclosure orders. In the course of acting as junior counsel for JSC BTA Bank of Kazakhstan in the successful prosecution of its multi-billion dollar fraud claims against Mukhtar Ablyazov and others, Matthew was also involved in obtaining a number of novel measures aimed at reinforcing such orders, including the first tagging order against a respondent to contempt proceedings. A number of these remedies are discussed in a recent article co-authored with Hugh Norbury QC entitled “Preventing Undue Thawing: Freezing Orders and s.37 of the Senior Courts Act 1981” (http://whoswholegal.com/news/features/article/30682/)

JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov, Granton Trade Limited & Ors [2011] EWHC 2988 (Comm) (Christopher Clarke J) [2012] EWCA Civ 564

Obtaining judgment for the Claimant Bank against a number of corporate defendants upon proving that they had provided misleading information concerning their ultimate ownership and control and thereby satisfying the Court that relief from sanction afforded to them for their breaches of an unless order compelling compliance with various disclosure orders should be set aside. At the Court of Appeal stage the Bank succeeded in demonstrating that the appropriate standard for proving that the Court had been misled at an interim stage was the balance of probabilities and not some higher standard, and that where an unless order had been breached judgment would follow without more unless relief from sanction could be obtained.

JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov, Khazhaev & Ors [2011] EWHC 2988 (Comm) (Teare J)

Resisting an application by Mr Khazhaev to set aside the Claimant Bank’s order extending time for the service of the claim form upon him and permitting alternative service upon Mr Khazhaev through his solicitors. Teare J’s judgment clarified what would constitute “good reason” for an extension of the period for service where it was arguable that a limitation period had expired since the issue of the claim form, and for permitting alternative service, in the context of service of an individual out of the jurisdiction in Russia.
 

Insolvency

Matthew has acquired a strong reputation for defending misfeasance and disqualification proceedings against company directors. He is currently instructed as junior counsel on behalf of the former Independent Directors of Carlyle Capital Corporation in Guernsey proceedings commenced by the company’s liquidators seeking in excess of US$1bn for alleged misfeasance. Matthew also acts as junior counsel for the Isle of Man directors of Isis Investments Limited, a subsidiary of Kaupthing bank, in respect of claims alleging breaches of their duties of care and skill and fiduciary duties brought by the liquidators of Isis in the Chancery Division.

On the disqualification front, Matthew has recently secured the discontinuance of high profile proceedings brought against an alleged shadow director in respect of allegations of fraudulent tax evasion and the misleading of HMRC. He is currently involved in defending disqualification proceedings featuring allegations of shadow directorship, acting as a director whilst disqualified, trading to the detriment of HMRC and misuse of a company’s bank account.

Matthew is the author of Butterworths Corporate Law Service chapters on Disqualification and Directors’ Potential Liabilities in Insolvency.

Matthew also has a significant degree of experience in bringing and defending minority shareholder proceedings and is the author of a series of Practical Law Company practice notes on unfair prejudice, derivative claims and winding up on just and equitable grounds.
 

Trusts and Probate

Matthew was a member of Sheikh Abdullah’s counsel team in the long-running Alhamrani litigation in Jersey and has been involved in a wide range of trust disputes including proceedings involving allegations of breaches of duty in the context of investment decisions and the unravelling of tax planning structures with unintended tax consequences.

Of late Matthew has also advised upon, and appeared in the Family Division in connection with, a number of company, trust and insolvency issues that have arisen in the context of family law proceedings.
 

Qualifications

St John's College, Oxford

Jurisprudence (MA, Oxon) - Proxime Accessit to the Wronker Prize awarded for the second highest First Class mark in the year

Bachelor of Civil Law - Awarded the Sir Roy Goode prize for the highest Distinction obtained in the year at St John's College, Oxford

Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales

Qualified as a solicitor after working for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in corporate finance, M&A and commercial litigation in London, Cologne and Frankfurt

Cayman Islands Attorney

Admitted to the Bar of the Cayman Islands whilst working for Quin and Hampson (now Mourant du Feu & Jeune Cayman) from October 2005 to April 2006.  Subsequently called ad hoc in various matters.

Appointments

Formerly Junior Counsel to the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform for Directors Disqualification Proceedings

Nominated as Counsel for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs on a number of matters before the High Court and the Tax Commissioners.

Memberships

Chancery Bar Association

Commercial Bar Association


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