Practice

Andrew is an advocate and advisor with wide experience in commercial/chancery disputes. His practice mainly involves disputes about banking, insolvency, fraud, company law, and financial services regulation.

Practice areas

Commercial dispute resolution

Complex and high-value commercial litigation forms a large part of Andrew’s practice. His work often has an international dimension and he regularly deals with jurisdictional and conflict of laws issues. In recent years he has worked with Hong Kong, Swiss, Indian and Kuwaiti counsel.

Examples of recent work include:

  • 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 Spanish 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Akhmedova v Akhmedov & anor [2018] DIFC CFI 011, [2018] DIFC CA 003: acting for the owner of a super-yacht docked in Dubai resisting an attempt to enforce an English judgment against it. Led by Vernon Flynn QC and Sharif Shivji, instructed by Al Tamimi.
  • LCIA arbitrations of contractual disputes in the fashion and pharmaceuticals sectors.
Company law

Andrew acts in shareholder disputes and other similar disputes (such as disputes between partners and between members of LLPs). Andrew’s recent work in this area has included acting in:

  • An ad hoc arbitration of an LLP dispute concerning a property investment JV. As sole counsel, instructed by gunnercooke.
  • A shareholder dispute concerning management control of a block of flats, including a contested application to access the register of shareholders. As sole counsel.
  • An LLP dispute relating to a financial services firm, concerning an attempt by the majority partner to expel the management team. As sole counsel, instructed by Charles Russell Speechlys.
  • A dispute in the Chancery Division concerning the ownership and control of a chain of pubs. Led by Hermann Boeddinghaus, instructed by Charles Russell Speechlys.
  • A dispute in the Chancery Division concerning the acrimonious break-up of a tech start-up. Led by Alastair Tomson, instructed by Charles Russell Speechlys.

Andrew’s company law experience strengthens his work in other areas when company law issues arise – whether corporate liability for agents’ wrongs (an issue in the Marme and Playboy cases noted above), “piercing the corporate veil” (an issue in Akhemodova, noted above), or the characterisation of fees charged by a private equity fund (an issue in Al Masah, noted below).

He also deals with Companies House matters, such as the restoration of companies to the register and rectification of the register of members.

Banking & finance

In recent years he has acted in:

  • 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 Spanish 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

From pupillage, during which he assisted Sharif Shivji representing the FCA in Allen v FCA [2014] UKUT 0348 (TCC), Andrew has acted for and against financial services regulators in the UK and internationally. With Jonathan Crow QC he recently 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 – both corporate and personal – 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.

Recent work includes:

  • Advising a US supplier of a company in liquidation in relation to a validation application. As sole counsel, instructed by Paul Hastings.
  • Re Maud [2018] EWHC 1414 (Ch); [2020] EWHC 974 (Ch). From 2016 Andrew has been sole counsel for a major creditor opposing a bankruptcy order, in bankruptcy proceedings described by the judge as “complex and highly unusual”. Instructed first by Paul Hastings and then by Joseph Hage Aaronson.
  • Representing a German bank in long-running proceedings for the annulment of bankruptcy orders obtained through misrepresentations as to COMI. As sole counsel, instructed by Fladgate.
Fraud – civil

Some of Andrew’s recent work in this area is noted under Commercial Dispute Resolution and Banking & Finance. He also has experience of advising the victims of scams on their redress options. He has experience of acting for both claimants and defendants in applications for interim injunctions in cases where there are allegations of dishonesty.

Offshore litigation

Andrew accepts instructions in relation to offshore litigation in all areas of his practice. He has extensive experience of litigation in the Dubai International Financial Centre and in particular of enforcement proceedings there, 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).

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 read Classics at New College, Oxford, taking a double first. After teaching in Russia and then working for a human rights organisation 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.