Practice

Anna Markham is a specialist in the fields of company, commercial, financial services and insolvency law, with a busy caseload of litigation and advisory work. She has conducted a wide range of cases including commercial, banking and investor litigation, shareholder disputes and claims by and against officeholders. She also has particular expertise – as a former member of the Attorney General’s civil panel of Counsel (2002-2009) – in conducting insolvency-related litigation for and against Government departments (including public interest winding-up petitions and disqualification proceedings).

A sophisticated and hard-hitting advocate, Anna is known for her outstanding grasp of the technical detail, underpinned by her previous training as a chartered accountant at Arthur Andersen.

Chambers & Partners recommendations (2014 – 2016)

[Anna Markham] doesn’t flounder even when instructed at short notice, and always stays very much on top of the case.”
“She is a very popular, well-liked and highly rated barrister.”
“She is very experienced, and her work is very good.”
“Very intelligent and sharp, she provides excellent written advice.”
“She is able to process voluminous evidence and to cut through to the nub of the issue.” 

Practice areas

Banking & finance

Anna has frequently appeared in complex commercial disputes, and with a chartered accountancy background is particularly well-placed to handle those with a financial services element. Anna has acted for regulators, financial institutions and their customers in relation to misselling claims, trading disputes and on civil claims or regulatory actions under FSMA 2000 and the FSA rules. Her litigation experience also includes disputes relating to interest-rate swap transactions (under the ISDA Master Agreement) and other hedging products, as well as claims against financial intermediaries. She acted on behalf of the Khan family in Deutsche Bank Suisse (SA) v Khan (Commercial Court, 2012).

Company law

Anna has acted in and advised on numerous company and partnership law disputes raising questions of directors’ duties, shareholders’ rights and company dissolution and revival. She has extensive experience in shareholder disputes of all kinds, including unfair prejudice petitions and derivative actions. She also advises on company constitutional issues. In April 2013 Anna travelled to Singapore on the invitation of the organisers to speak at the inaugural Joint Conference of the Singapore Academy of Law and the Chancery Bar of England and Wales. The subject of her lecture was “Derivative Actions and Minority Oppression”, with particular emphasis on shareholder disputes in English law. In addition to her busy English practice she has considerable experience of substantial company law proceedings offshore, including in Guernsey (Re L, Re M) and in the Isle of Man: Origo Partners PLC v Brooks Macdonald Asset Management (International) Limited & anor.

Insolvency & restructuring

Anna has considerable experience in insolvency litigation, including acting in contested administration applications, winding-up petitions, voluntary arrangements, transaction avoidance cases, and applications by office-holders. Recently she has acted for a former director in liquidators’ proceedings: Portsmouth City Football Club Limited v Miland Development 2004 Limited.

Administrative & public law

Anna has extensive experience of conducting litigation for and against Government Departments (including public interest winding up petitions and disqualification proceedings), as well as advising regulators on technical matters of company and insolvency law.   She has been instructed in some of the most significant directors’ disqualification trials of recent years, including Secretary of State for Trade & Industry v Collins, arising out of the insolvency of Team Lotus, and Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills v Fowler & ors which arose out of the high profile collapse of the Farepak group of companies. She is one of the authors of the forthcoming 4th edition of Walters & Davis-White on Directors’ Disqualification & Insolvency Restrictions.

Fraud – civil

Anna has recently acted for four out of five defendants in a substantial unlawful means conspiracy claim arising out of the insolvency of a large property group: Robert Breare v Howard Goldsobel, Merchant Inns Group and others.

Financial services

Anna has frequently appeared in complex commercial disputes, and with a chartered accountancy background is particularly well-placed to handle those with a financial services element. Anna has acted for regulators, financial institutions and their customers in relation to misselling claims, trading disputes and on civil claims or regulatory actions under FSMA 2000 and the FSA rules. Her litigation experience also includes disputes relating to interest-rate swap transactions (under the ISDA Master Agreement) and other hedging products, as well as claims against financial intermediaries. She acted on behalf of the Khan family in Deutsche Bank Suisse (SA) v Khan (Commercial Court, 2012).

Offshore litigation

Anna accepts instructions in relation to offshore litigation in all areas of her practice, and has recent and ongoing experience of substantial litigation in Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

POCA work & asset forfeiture

Anna has experience of acting in claims for forfeiture brought under POCA s298.

Commercial dispute resolution

Anna is an ADR Group Accredited Civil & Commercial Mediator, specialising in the mediation of company, commercial and financial services disputes.

Additional info

Cases of interest

Origo Partners PLC v Brooks Macdonald Asset Management (International) Limited & anor (2014-ongoing):

Significant Isle of Man proceedings concerning the constitution of a company listed on the London AIM market.

Re Megaclose (2014):

A complex network of disputes concerning a network of property investment and development companies, conducted in the English and Texan courts.

Secretary of State v Fowler & ors (2012):

Significant directors’ disqualification proceedings, arising out of the high profile collapse of the Farepak group of companies.

Deutsche Bank Suisse (SA) v Khan & ors (2012):

Claim against the bank for misselling and breach of COBS.

Knightsbridge Property Management v Gladstar (2011):

Wide-ranging commercial litigation.

Re L: A Guernsey Company (2011):

Directors’ claim for access to company books and records under Guernsey law.

Secretary of State v Knowles (2007-2010):

Directors’ disqualification and s17 CDDA 1986 permission to act notwithstanding disqualification.

Canadian Coin v Bloomsbury Auctions (2010):

Claim for breach of warranty as to title against an auctioneer.

Romete v Ettlinger (2010):

Partnership dispute.

Hughes v Fox (2010):

Minority shareholders’ petition.

HM Customs and Excise v Jack Baars Wholesale & ors [2004] EWHC 18(Ch):

Alleged excise duty evasion; enforceability of Customs Regulations made under European Directive.

Re Holiday Direct & ors (2003):

Appointment of provisional liquidators and public interest winding up of companies involved in unlawful scheme.

National Justice Compania Naviera SA v Prudential Assurance Co Ltd (“The Ikarian Reefer” (No 2)) v Prudential Assurance Co Ltd [2000] 1 WLR 603 (CA):

Application of Brussels Convention to underwriters’ claim for a non-party costs order.

The Secretary of State for Trade & Industry v Collins [2000] 2 BCLC 223 (CA):

Directors’ disqualification arising out of the collapse of Team Lotus.

What the directories say

Chambers & Partners (2016) Previously served on the Attorney General’s Panel, and as such, is well equipped to handle insolvency litigation both on behalf of and against the government. Solicitors appreciate that she “doesn’t flounder even when instructed at short notice, and always stays very much on top of the case.”
Strengths: “She is a very popular, well-liked and highly rated barrister.” “She is very experienced, and her work is very good.”
Recent work: Successful in persuading the court to set aside a winding-up petition made against Leeds United FC.

 

Career & appointments

ACA (1995)
ADR Group Accredited Civil & Commercial Mediator (2013)
Member of the Commercial Bar Association.
Member (and committee member) of the Chancery Bar Association.

Publications

Anna has contributed to Annotated Companies Legislation (3rd edition, Oxford University Press, 2013) and Butterworths Practical Insolvency.  She is one of the authors of the forthcoming 4th edition of Walters & Davis-White on Directors’ Disqualification & Insolvency Restrictions (Sweet & Maxwell), and is a regular contributor to Practical Law Corporate.

Education & awards

MA (Oxon): Philosophy, Politics & Economics
ACA (1995)
Dip.Law, City University
Scholar of Lincoln’s Inn and of Worcester College, Oxford.

Languages

Good working knowledge of French and German.