Josh O’Neill

Josh O’Neill

Call 2020

Overview

Josh is building a broad commercial chancery practice across the full spectrum of work done by Chambers. He is equally comfortable being instructed as sole counsel or as a junior member of a counsel team. As sole counsel, he regularly appears in the High Court, the County Court and Magistrates’ Courts. He has cross-examination experience.

Areas of expertise

  • Commercial Dispute Resolution

    Commercial disputes form a large portion of Josh’s practice. He has been led in several large commercial disputes in the High Court and Commercial Court. Equally, he is also experienced in acting as sole counsel in contractual and tortious claims in the County Court.

    • Asher & Others v Jaywing plc [2022] EWHC 893 (Ch) Acting (led by Joseph Wigley) for the defendant PLC in its successful defence of a £1.25 million claim for the payment of an earnout under a share sale and purchase agreement
    • Re Preferred Management Ltd [2021] EWHC 2953 (Ch) Acting (led by Edward Crossley) for the petitioner in a preliminary issue trial as part of underlying unfair prejudice proceedings to determine an English company’s shareholding in a major Russian insurer
    • An ongoing multi-million pound fraud case in the Commercial Court in which Josh, led by Alastair Tomson, is acting for an investor in a music concert, bringing claims for, inter alia, breach of trust, knowing receipt, dishonest assistance, deceit and misrepresentation
    • Republic of Mozambique v Credit Suisse and ors A claim alleging bribery and unlawful means conspiracy arising out of a sovereign financing transaction. As a pupil, Josh assisted Tom Gentleman (led by Andrew Hunter KC and Sharif Shivji KC)
    • Drafting Particulars of Claim for a property development company alleging breach of contract against a lender
    • Advising the purchaser of a yacht on their remedial rights against the seller
    • Successfully applying to set aside default judgment, nearly three years after the judgment date, entered against an individual in respect of unpaid solicitors’ invoices
    • Defending a tax advisory firm against a negligence claim
    • Drafting a Defence for a cannabidiol producer against a claim made in respect of allegedly unpaid invoices
    • Defending a major international banking conglomerate in over 25 County Court trials, each under s. 140A of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, raising issues of limitation, compromise, and unfairness in credit relationships
  • Company Law

    Josh frequently acts in company disputes. He has experience of large company actions, especially unfair prejudice petitions, as well as making applications under the Companies Act 2006.

    • Re Preferred Management Ltd [2021] EWHC 2953 (Ch) Acting (led by Edward Crossley) for the petitioner in a preliminary issue trial as part of underlying unfair prejudice proceedings to determine an English company’s shareholding in a major Russian insurer
    • Financial Technology Ventures II (Q) LP & Others v ETFS Capital Limited [2021] JCA 176 The appeal of a first instance finding of unfair prejudice, and the consequential awarding of a share buyout, in the Royal Court of Jersey. As a pupil, Josh assisted Gregory Denton-Cox, led by Michael Todd KC, in preparing for the hearing of the cross-appeal in the Jersey Court of Appeal
    • Advising a company on the possibility of bringing a claim against a former director for breach of directors’ duties
    • Representing a director of a company at a board meeting at which the Board proposed their removal under s. 168 of the Companies Act 2006
    • Re Brooklands Trustees Limited [2020] EWHC 3519 (Ch) A trial of disqualification proceedings brought against two directors of a company providing self-invested personal pension schemes. As a pupil, Josh assisted Tiran Nersessian in drafting the skeleton argument and preparing for the trial
    • Re Bell Pottinger Private Ltd [2021] EWHC 672 (Ch) Advising as to whether members of a limited liability partnership could be subject to disqualification proceedings under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 (as a pupil, assisting Tiran Nersessian)
    • Advising a company on whether the claims of a debtor were barred by the terms of its company voluntary arrangement (as a pupil, assisting Tom Gentleman)
    • Advising a company shareholder on defending an unfair prejudice petition arising from alleged misappropriation of business (as a pupil, assisting Tom Gentleman)
    • Advising a company on whether it had validly removed a director under s. 168 of the Companies Act 2006 (as a pupil, assisting Tom Gentleman)
  • Fraud: Civil

    Josh is experienced in civil fraud litigation. It has arisen in his practice both from broader commercial disputes as well as from specialist government actions under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. He is able to act led or unled.

    • An ongoing multi-million pound fraud case in the Commercial Court in which Josh, led by Alastair Tomson, is acting for an investor in a music concert, bringing claims for, inter alia, breach of trust, knowing receipt, dishonest assistance, deceit and misrepresentation
    • Republic of Mozambique v Credit Suisse and ors A claim alleging bribery and unlawful means conspiracy arising out of a sovereign financing transaction. As a pupil, Josh assisted Tom Gentleman (led by Andrew Hunter KC and Sharif Shivji KC)
    • Drafting a Points of Claim for an action in the Dubai International Financial Centre, alleging, inter alia, unlawful conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty (as a pupil, assisting Sharif Shivji KC)
    • Drafting a Points of Claim in an asset tracing claim relating to an extensive payroll fraud (as a pupil, assisting Tiran Nersessian)
  • Insolvency & Restructuring

    Insolvency disputes form a major part of Josh’s practice. He is very experienced in making insolvency applications to the Insolvency and Companies Court, as well as in providing advice and drafting in cases with insolvency elements.

    • Winding up petitions and associated applications
    • Bankruptcy petitions and associated applications
    • A High Court application on behalf of a landlord creditor to cancel the “Breathing Space Moratorium” of their tenants under the Debt Respite Scheme (Breathing Space Moratorium and Mental Health Crisis Moratorium) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020/1311
    • A successful response to an application to set aside five related statutory demands
    • Advising trustees in bankruptcy as to the effect of successive inconsistent declarations of trust over the trust property
    • Advising the receivers of a defunct club as to the permissibility of various actions pertaining to a surplus from a property sale
    • Advising a creditor on the correct procedure for serving a statutory demand on a charitable unincorporated association
    • Defending a major British bank in several County Court consumer credit trials arising from claims brought by IVA supervisors, raising issues of standing, limitation and set-off
    • Successfully applying to the Magistrates’ Court, on behalf of a company’s liquidator, for the release of cash from HMRC to the company under s. 301(4) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
    • Darty Holdings SAS v Carton-Kelly [2021] EWHC 1018 (Ch) An application to strike out a preference claim on the basis that the payment which constituted the preference post-dated the transaction which severed the connection between the parties. As a pupil, Josh assisted Tiran Nersessian (led by Andreas Gledhill KC) in drafting the skeleton argument and preparing for the hearing
    • Drafting a response to the reply to cost submissions made to an arbitral tribunal, arguing that they fell as provable debts under the Insolvency Rules 2016 (as a pupil, assisting Donald Lilly)
    • Advising a company on whether the claims of a debtor were barred by the terms of its company voluntary arrangement (as a pupil, assisting Tom Gentleman)
  • Offshore Litigation

    Josh has experience of providing advice and drafting submissions within offshore disputes.

    • Advising a Dubai-based entity on its termination options within a series of contracts
    • Advising on the ability of a Bermudian entity to escape a series of contracts (as a pupil, assisting Donald Lilly)
    • Advising on the prospective status of a surviving debt to a partial credit bid under the Bermudian insolvency regime (as a pupil, assisting Donald Lilly)
    • Advising on the possibilities available to a trustee to advance funds within a Nevis-domiciled international purpose trust (as a pupil, assisting Donald Lilly)
    • Assisting Donald Lilly, as a pupil, with proceedings in Gibraltar and the UK relating to the insolvent estate of the late Boris Berezovsky
  • POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture

    Josh has substantial experience of matters arising under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. He has successfully made applications on behalf of the National Crime Agency and Thames Valley Police under Part V of that Act. He has appeared as sole counsel in the Crown Court and the Magistrates’ Court. Past cases include cash forfeiture applications under s. 298, applications for the release of cash under s. 301, account forfeiture applications under s. 303Z14, and applications to extend the moratorium period under s. 336.

Other information

  • Cases of Interest

    Josh’s recent reported cases include Asher & Others v Jaywing plc [2022] EWHC 893 (Ch) (earnout payment under share sale and purchase agreement) and Re Preferred Management Ltd [2021] EWHC 2953 (Ch) (preliminary issue trial of an unfair prejudice petition).

  • Education & Awards
    • 2017: BA, Philosophy, Politics and Economics, Magdalen College, Oxford (First Class)
    • 2019: GDL, City Law School (Distinction)
    • 2020: BPTC, BPP Law School (Very Competent)
    • 2016: Exhibition, Magdalen College, Oxford
    • 2018: Haldane Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
    • 2019: Advocacy Scholarship, BPP Law School
    • 2019: Cassel Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
    • 2019: One Chancery Lane Prize for Tort Law, City Law School
    • 2020: Winner, National BPP Moot
    • 2020: Runner-up, Lincoln’s Inn Inter-Provider Moot

     

  • Languages
    • Spanish (non-native fluent; DELE C1 certified)

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