Practice

Andrew’s practice as an advocate and advisor spans the full range of commercial law, with a focus on  civil fraud, company law, insolvency, banking and financial services. Comments in the Legal 500 refer to him as “incisive in his analytical skills” and as having “great drafting skills” and the ability to “see the big picture”.

Practice areas

Commercial dispute resolution

Complex and high-value commercial litigation, often with an international element, forms a large part of Andrew’s practice. Current and recent work includes:

  • Various Claimants v Serco Group plc. Acting for the defendant in Financial List claims brought by institutional investors under section 90A of and Schedule 10A to the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. Led by Richard Hill QC, instructed by Clifford Chance.
  • Banca Generali SpA v CFE (Suisse) SA and anor [2022] EWHC 1450 (Ch). Injunction proceedings in the context of complex securitisations. Led by Andrew de Mestre QC, instructed by Mayer Brown.
  • Playboy Club London Ltd v Banca Nazionale Del Lavoro SpA. Acting for the bank defending a deceit claim brought by a casino in the London Circuit Commercial Court, in one of the first trials held remotely due to Covid-19. Led by Andrew de Mestre QC, instructed by Bird & Bird.
  • Marme Inversiones 2007 SL v Natwest Markets Plc[2019] EWHC 366 (Comm). A multi-week Commercial Court trial concerning alleged misrepresentations about the EURIBOR benchmark, acting for the insolvent SPV which purchased Santander’s global HQ against the syndicate of banks which financed its acquisition. Led by Pushpinder Saini QC and Alastair Tomson, instructed by Kobre & Kim.

He has experience of arbitration under various institutional rules. Current and recent work includes:

  • An ICC arbitration concerning the enforcement of a counter-guarantee. Led by Andrew de Mestre QC, instructed by Norton Rose Fulbright.
  • An ICC arbitration concerning the acquisition of a mining company, with breach of warranty claims for USD c.70m. Led by Daniel Margolin QC, instructed by Joseph Hage Aaronson.
  • An LCIA arbitration concerning the manufacture of pharmaceutical products. Led by Alastair Tomson, instructed by Penningtons.
Company law

Andrew acts in shareholder disputes and other similar disputes (such as disputes between partners and between members of LLPs). Current and recent work includes:

  • Sole counsel for respondents to a s.994 petition brought in relation to a construction business. Instructed by Charles Russell Speechlys.
  • Sole counsel for the management team of a financial services firm, resisting an attempt by the majority partner to expel the management team. Instructed by Charles Russell Speechlys.
  • Sole counsel for a partner in an ad hoc arbitration of an LLP dispute concerning a property investment JV. Instructed by gunnercooke.
  • Companies Act applications including applications for the restoration of companies to the register and for access to the register of members.
Banking & finance

Current and recent work in this area includes:

  • Disputes between the NMC Group of healthcare companies and its lenders. Led by Ewan McQuater QC and David Quest QC. Instructed by Eversheds Sutherland.
  • Sole counsel for a bank resisting applications for disclosure in the context of freezing injunction proceedings. Instructed by Eversheds Sutherland.
  • Sole counsel for the claimant bank in Commercial Court claims concerning the unwinding of swap transactions. Instructed by Eversheds Sutherland.
  • Commercial Court claims against a bank concerning alleged breaches of Quincecare-type duties by the bank in relation to fraudulent payment instructions. Led by Andrew de Mestre QC, instructed by Norton Rose Fulbright.
  • An ICC arbitration concerning the enforcement of a counter-guarantee. Led by Andrew de Mestre QC, instructed by Norton Rose Fulbright.
  • Banca Generali SpA v CFE (Suisse) SA and anor [2022] EWHC 1450 (Ch). Injunction proceedings in the context of complex securitisations. Led by Andrew de Mestre QC, instructed by Mayer Brown.
  • Playboy Club London Ltd v Banca Nazionale Del Lavoro SpA: acting for the bank defending a deceit claim brought by a casino in the London Circuit Commercial Court, in one of the first trials held remotely due to Covid-19. Led by Andrew de Mestre QC, instructed by Bird & Bird.
  • Marme Inversiones 2007 SL v Natwest Markets Plc[2019] EWHC 366 (Comm): a multi-week Commercial Court trial concerning alleged misrepresentations about the EURIBOR benchmark, acting for the insolvent SPV which purchased Santander’s global HQ against the syndicate of banks which financed its acquisition. Led by Pushpinder Saini QC and Alastair Tomson, instructed by Kobre & Kim.
  • Al Khorafi v Bank Sarasin Alpen (ME) Ltd & Bank J Safra Sarasin [2018] DIFC CA 010. Long-running litigation between the Al Khorafi family and Bank J Safra Sarasin stemming from the mis-selling of complex investments. Led by Orlando Fraser QC and Alastair Tomson, instructed by Hamdan Al Shamsi.
  • Riyad Bank v IDBI Bank: for the defendant bank resisting enforcement of a judgment from Saudi Arabia concerning liability under counter-guarantees given in relation to an oil pipeline project. Led by Sharif Shivji, instructed by Al Tamimi.
Financial services

Andrew has acted for and against financial services regulators in the UK and internationally. With Jonathan Crow QC he has acted for the FCA and PRA in relation to a whistle-blowing investigation, and for respondents to a major Dubai Financial Services Authority investigation into the operations of private equity firms (Al Masah).

He has spent three stints on secondment to the FCA, mainly focusing on: the regulation of insurance generally (including pension products); insurance business transfers under Part VII of FSMA; and the regulation of the Peer to Peer lending market under article 36H of the Regulated Activities Order.

Insolvency & restructuring

Insolvency forms a significant part of Andrew’s caseload. He deals with challenges to antecedent transactions (transactions at undervalue and preferences); applications to restrain the presentation or advertisement of winding up petitions; disputed debts in winding up petitions; applications for validation orders; applications to annul bankruptcy orders; and disqualification proceedings. He has experience in cross-border insolvency issues.

Current and recent work includes:

  • Disputes between the NMC Group of healthcare companies and its lenders. Led by Ewan McQuater QC and David Quest QC. Instructed by Eversheds Sutherland.
  • Representing the Commercial Bank of Dubai in connection with the administration (in the Abu Dhabi Global Market) and refinancing of the NMC group of healthcare companies: [2020] ADGMCFI 0008 (Justice Sir Andrew Smith). Led by David Wolfson QC, instructed by Eversheds Sutherland.
  • PT Ventures v Vidatel Ltd BVIHCM202/0039. Winding-up proceedings in the BVI. The background to the dispute involves an arbitration award against Vidatel for over USD 600m and proceedings for the recognition of the award in the BVI. Acting with Hermann Boeddinghaus QC, instructed by Joseph Hage Aaronson.
  • Sole counsel for a bank responding to an application by liquidators for Berkeley Applegate relief, in the context of attempts by the bank to enforce substantial Commercial Court judgments against a Russian businessman. Instructed by PCB Litigation.
  • The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Limited (in administration) and ors v PhoenixWales Ltd and anor. Urgent injunction proceedings to secure domain names used by retail companies in administration, with the businesses intended to be sold by the administrators on Christmas Eve. Led by Martin Howe QC, instructed by RPC.
  • Acting for a defendant to high-value claims brought by administrators, including Insolvency Act claims, alleging the mis-selling of bonds. Led by Alec Haydon QC, instructed by Stokoe Partnership LLP.
  • Sole counsel for an opposing creditor in the complex Maud bankruptcy proceedings, part of a larger commercial battle concerning the ownership of Banco Santander’s global headquarters. The proceedings have resulted in important reported decisions on issues including the impact of a disagreement between petitioning creditors ([2019] Ch 15) and the priority of claims in a bankruptcy ([2021] Bus LR 1533). Instructed by Paul Hastings and then by Joseph Hage Aaronson.
  • Quinlan v Edgeworth Capital (Luxembourg) SARL [2019] EWHC 1124 (Ch). A claim in contract seeking a final injunction to prevent the pursuit of a bankruptcy petition. Led by Michael Fealy QC and Daniel Margolin QC, instructed by Joseph Hage Aaronson.
  • Sole counsel for a German bank in long-running proceedings for the annulment of bankruptcy orders obtained through misrepresentations as to COMI. Instructed by Fladgate.
Offshore litigation

Andrew accepts instructions in relation to offshore litigation in all areas of his practice, and has particular experience of the DIFC, the ADGM and the BVI.

He has extensive experience of enforcement proceedings in the DIFC, having acted in three separate disputes of this kind concerning, respectively, enforcement of: an “executive deed” under the GCC Convention; a judgment of the KSA Committee for Banking Disputes under the GCC Convention (Riyad Bank v IDBI Bank); and an ancillary relief order in English matrimonial proceedings (Akhmedova v Akhmedov & anor [2018] DIFC CFI 011, [2018] DIFC CA 003).

Other notable DIFC cases in which Andrew has acted include:

  • Al Khorafi v Bank Sarasin Alpen (ME) Ltd & Bank J Safra Sarasin [2018] DIFC CA 010. Long-running litigation between the Al Khorafi family and Bank J Safra Sarasin stemming from the mis-selling of complex investments. Led by Orlando Fraser QC and Alastair Tomson, instructed by Hamdan Al Shamsi.
  • Tourani v Tourani [2018] DIFC CFI-007-2018. Trial of a family dispute over a restaurant business. Led by Sharif Shivji, instructed by Al Tamimi.
  • A dispute between a Swiss bank and an oil trader concerning whether the bank had security over certain oil in the Fujairah Oil Terminal, with connected proceedings in Fujairah and in the UAE Supreme Court. Led by Alastair Tomson, instructed by Hamdan Al Shamsi.

Additional info

Career & Appointments

Andrew is a member of the Commercial Bar Association, the Chancery Bar Association, and the Insolvency Lawyers Association. He has advised and represented clients pro bono through the Personal Insolvency Litigation Advice and Representation Scheme (PILARS) and volunteers for the Chancery Bar Litigant in Person Support Scheme (CLIPS). He is registered to practise in the courts of the Dubai International Financial Centre.

Publications

(with Alastair Tomson) No-assignment clauses and bank insolvency – (2014) 6 CRI 228

Education & awards

Andrew has a double first in Classics and was a scholar of New College, Oxford. After teaching in Russia and working as a researcher for a human rights foundation he took the Graduate Diploma in Law at City University, winning the prize for contract law. Lincoln’s Inn awarded him the Bowen, Hardwicke, Denning, and Eastham scholarships.

Languages

Good knowledge of Russian; basic German and French.