Practice

Karl has a broad commercial chancery practice with a particular focus on banking and finance disputes, civil fraud, commercial litigation (including offshore disputes) and insolvency. He is frequently instructed as part of a wider counsel team in complex, heavy commercial litigation, but is equally happy acting as sole counsel in both the High Court and County Court.

Examples of recent instructions include:

  • General Electric Company v AI Alpine US Bidco Inc [2021] EWHC 45 (Ch) – a c.$190 million Part 8 claim concerning the proper interpretation of a Share Purchase Agreement;
  • An ongoing multi-million pound fraud claim brought in the High Court in which Karl is part of a counsel team representing a high net-worth individual;
  • Autonomy Corporation Ltd v Lynch, a c.£5 billion claim involving a 10 month trial which featured as one of The Lawyer’s “Top 20 Cases of 2019”; and
  • Mayr v CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP, a professional negligence case which also featured in The Lawyer’s “Top 20 Cases of 2019”.

Prior to joining Chambers, Karl read law at Queens’ College, Cambridge and studied for the BCL at Christ Church, Oxford, before completing the BPTC at BPP. During this time he was awarded numerous scholarships and prizes, including the prize for best performance on the Principles of Civil Procedure module on the BCL. Karl is also a contributing editor to Zuckerman on Civil Procedure 4th Ed. (2021) (Sweet & Maxwell) and a contributor to Loose and Griffiths on Liquidators 9th Ed. (LexisNexis 2019).

Practice areas

Banking & finance

Karl has been instructed on a number of banking disputes and cases concerning complex financial products. Some of those cases include:

  • An ongoing multi-million pound fraud claim brought in the High Court concerning the sale of ‘mini bonds’ to retail investors. Karl is part of a counsel team representing a high net-worth individual in these proceedings.
  • Advising (with Sharif Shivji) a financial service provider in relation to a claim for declaratory relief.
  • Advising a digital bank in relation to its money laundering obligations under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
  • Carlyle Capital Corporation Limited (in Liquidation) v Conway [2017] Civil Action No. 1510 – a c.$2bn claim arising out of the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market in 2008, brought in Guernsey by the liquidators of Carlyle Capital Corporation against a number of the company’s former directors. During pupillage, Karl assisted Gregory Denton-Cox in preparing submissions on costs following the successful defence of the claim.
  • A claim against a bank for breach of its Quincecare duty to refuse to execute the orders of its customer after being put on inquiry as to a potential fraud. During pupillage, Karl assisted Andrew de Mestre, who acted for the bank’s customer.
  • Several cases in which noteholders sought advice on the proper interpretation of securitisation documents. As a pupil, Karl assisted Andrew de Mestre and Robert Miles QC in preparing such advice.
Chancery: commercial

Karl has been instructed on a wide array of commercial chancery cases. He has appeared, as part of a larger counsel team, in some of the most complex and high profile cases to be issued in the Chancery Division in recent years. At the same time, Karl is equally comfortable when instructed as sole counsel, and has successfully represented clients in commercial chancery matters in both the High County and the County Court when acting on his own. Some notable examples of recent instructions include

  • An ongoing multi-million pound fraud claim brought in the High Court concerning the sale of ‘mini bonds’ to retail investors. Karl is part of a counsel team representing a high net-worth individual in these proceedings.
  • Acting as sole counsel in an ongoing claim in the High Court for an account and inquiry in respect of rental profits due to a co-owner of land.
  • General Electric Company v AI Alpine US Bidco Inc [2021] EWHC 45 (Ch) – a Part 8 claim concerning the proper interpretation of a share purchase agreement by which the Claimant agreed to sell its distributed power business to the Defendants for around $3.2bn. Karl, led by Sharif Shivji QC, appeared on behalf of the Claimant in an interim application concerning whether the claim ought to be stayed pending the outcome of an ongoing expert determination process.
  • Autonomy Corporation Ltd v Lynch – a $5bn claim brought by Hewlett Packard / Autonomy against Dr Mike Lynch, Autonomy’s former CEO, in relation to an alleged accounting fraud.
  • An urgent application brought by representatives of the company trading as “UniLad” for an injunction to prevent the sale of the business by the company’s administrators to rival business “LADbible”. Karl (led by John Brisby QC and Alexander Cook) represented the applicants.
Commercial dispute resolution

Commercial dispute resolution forms a core part of Karl’s practice. He has been involved in a wide variety of complex, high-value commercial disputes, many of which included international elements and questions of jurisdiction. Some notable examples include:

  • General Electric Company v AI Alpine US Bidco Inc [2021] EWHC 45 (Ch) – a Part 8 claim concerning the proper interpretation of a share purchase agreement by which the Claimant agreed to sell its distributed power business to the Defendants for around $3.2bn. Karl, led by Sharif Shivji QC, appeared on behalf of the Claimant in an interim application concerning whether the claim ought to be stayed pending the outcome of an ongoing expert determination process.
  • An ongoing multi-million pound fraud claim brought in the High Court concerning the sale of ‘mini bonds’ to retail investors. Karl is part of a counsel team representing a high net-worth individual in these proceedings, which have involved applications for worldwide freezing orders and proprietary injunctions.
  • London Capital and Finance Plc (In Administration) v Thomson [2020] EWHC 2463 (Ch) and [2020] EWHC 2490 (Ch) – an ongoing £180m civil fraud claim concerning the collapse of the bond issuer London Capital and Finance Plc. Karl, led by Charles Béar QC and Laura John, represented the Fourth Defendant in relation to the imposition of a worldwide freezing order.
  • Successfully resisting (as sole counsel) an application for a worldwide freezing order brought in the High Court against a company domiciled in the Isle of Man
  • Autonomy Corporation Ltd v Lynch – a $5bn claim brought by Hewlett Packard / Autonomy against Dr Mike Lynch, Autonomy’s former CEO, in relation to an alleged accounting fraud.
  • Mayr v CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP, one of The Lawyer’s “Top 20 Cases of 2019.” The case concerned claims by an investment manager against his former solicitors for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of confidence. Karl (led by Jonathan Crow QC and James Knott) represented the claimant at trial.
Company law

Karl has been involved with a wide range of company law disputes, such as: claims against delinquent directors; shareholder disputes (including unfair prejudice petitions); and claims concerning the rules applicable to listed companies. Some examples include:

  • Advising a private limited company in relation to a claim against one of its directors for breach of duty and breach of confidence.
  • Advising (with Andrew de Mestre QC) a Jersey domiciled company in relation to a shareholder dispute.
  • Representing (as sole counsel) a defendant director in a claim against him for breach of his director’s duties. The matter included a successful application by Karl for security for costs.
  • Advising a company director on the prospects of appealing a decision in which he had been held to have acted in breach of duty and could not rely on section 1157 of the Companies Act 2006 as a defence.
Fraud – civil

Karl has a burgeoning civil fraud practice, and has been involved in some of the most high-profile fraud disputes of the past few years. Examples include:

  • An ongoing multi-million pound fraud claim brought in the High Court. Karl is part of a counsel team representing a high net-worth individual in these proceedings, which have involved applications for worldwide freezing orders and proprietary injunctions.
  • Autonomy Corporation Ltd v Lynch – a $5bn claim brought by Hewlett Packard / Autonomy against Dr Mike Lynch, Autonomy’s former CEO, in relation to an alleged accounting fraud.
  • Tchenguiz v Grant Thornton LLP – a conspiracy claim arising out of the financial collapse of Iceland’s largest bank, Kaupthing. As a pupil, Karl assisted Tom Gentleman in preparing for trial.
Insolvency & restructuring

Karl is a contributor to Loose and Griffiths on Liquidators 9th Ed. (2019).

He is also the author of a number of Lexis PSL Practice Notes concerning compulsory winding-up and creditors’ voluntary liquidation, and frequently authors analyses of insolvency cases as part of LexisNexis’ team of legal experts in Restructuring and Insolvency

Karl frequently appears in the High Court and the County Court on insolvency disputes, both as sole counsel and being led. His practice covers a broad variety of insolvency matters. Some notable examples include:

  • Acting (as sole counsel) for an individual in an application to strike out a claim brought against him in the High Court by a liquidator under section 127 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
  • An urgent application brought by representatives of the company trading as “UniLad” for an injunction to prevent the sale of the business by the company’s administrators to rival business “LADbible”. Karl (led by John Brisby QC and Alexander Cook) represented the applicants.
  • Various disputed debt hearings in both the county court and the High Court.
  • An application under section 366 of the Insolvency Act 1986 for an inquiry into a bankrupt’s dealings. Karl represented the successful trustee in bankruptcy.
  • Urgent applications for an injunction to restrain the presentation of a winding-up petition. Karl frequently represents both petitioners and debtors in such applications.
  • An application for a block transfer order in relation to the cases of a retiring insolvency practitioner, pursuant to rule 12.36 of the Insolvency Rules 2016.

 

 

Offshore litigation

Many of Karl’s cases involve international elements and raise questions of foreign law. He is particularly well-versed in questions of jurisdiction and choice of law. Karl has experience in a variety of offshore jurisdictions, including Guernsey, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, the BVI and the Isle of Man. Notable cases include:

  • Advising a Dubai registered company in relation to a claim for breach of contract brought against a company incorporated at the Abu Dhabi Global Market.
  • Successfully resisting (as sole counsel) an application for a worldwide freezing order brought in the High Court against a company domiciled in the Isle of Man. Karl was also subsequently instructed to assist with the substantive claim, which was issued in the Isle of Man.
  • Advising (with Andrew de Mestre QC) a Jersey domiciled company in relation to a shareholders dispute
  • A claim to terminate a joint venture agreement executed by two Dubai companies and which concerned a joint venture project in West Africa. Karl acted with Richard Hill QC in advising the claimant.
  • Advising (as sole counsel) a BVI domiciled company in relation to whether it could seek repayment of a number of loans it had made or whether those loans had been orally varied or written off (including advice as to the applicable law)
  • Akhmedova v Akhmedov [2018] DIFC CFI 011 – an appeal in the DIFC concerning the ability of the DIFC Court to pierce the corporate veil in order to found jurisdiction against a Lichtenstein Anstalt. As a pupil, Karl undertook research for Sharif Shivji, who acted for the successful appellant.

Additional info

Education and Awards

Education

  • 2017: BPTC, BPP (Outstanding)
  • 2016: Bachelor of Civil Law, Christ Church, University of Oxford (Distinction)
  • 2015: BA (Hons) law, Queens’ College, University of Cambridge

Scholarships and prizes

  • 2017: Certificate of Honour, Middle Temple
  • 2016: Queen Mother Scholarship, Middle Temple
  • 2016: Lord Justice Sachs Exhibition, Middle Temple
  • 2016: Advocacy Scholarship, BPP
  • 2016: Clifford Chance Prize for best overall performance in Principles of Civil Procedure on the BCL, University of Oxford
  • 2015: HEFCE Graduate Scholarship, University of Oxford
  • 2014: Foundation Scholarship, Queens’ College, University of Cambridge
Publications

Books

  • ‘International Law and Jurisdiction’ in Daniel Clarry (ed), The UK Supreme Court Yearbook, Volume 10: 2018–2019 Legal Year (Appellate Press 2021) 707 (co-authored with Jonathan Crow QC).
  • Zuckerman on Civil Procedure 4th Ed. (2021) (Sweet & Maxwell) (editor)
  • Loose and Griffiths on Liquidators 9th Ed. (LexisNexis 2019) (contributor)
  • ‘Equity’ in Daniel Clarry (ed), The UK Supreme Court Yearbook, Volume 9: 2017–2018 Legal Year (Appellate Press 2019) 510 (co-authored with Jonathan Crow QC)

Articles and Case Notes

  • Regular contributor to LexisPSL Case Analysis
  • Lost luggage and judicial baggage: Harb v HRH Prince Abdul Aziz [2016] EWCA Civ 556, (2016) CJQ 35(4) (cited in De Smith’s Judicial Review (8th Ed))

Other

  • Contributor to Practical Law Corporate: Questions for Counsel
  • Lexis PSL Practice Notes concerning compulsory winding-up (co-authored with Eleanor Holland)
  • Lexis PSL Practice Notes concerning creditors’ voluntary liquidation
Career and appointments

COMBAR
Chancery Bar Association

Languages

Spanish