Practice

Karl joined Chambers in October 2018 after successfully completing his pupillage. He is building a broad commercial chancery practice in each of Chambers’ core practice areas.

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.

Examples of recent instructions include Autonomy Corporation Ltd v Lynch and Mayr v CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP, both of which featured in The Lawyer’s “Top 20 Cases of 2019”. Karl is also a contributing editor to Zuckerman on Civil Procedure 4th Ed. (forthcoming) and a contributor to Loose and Griffiths on Liquidators 9th Ed. (forthcoming).

 

Practice areas

Banking & finance

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

  • 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 involved with a wide array of commercial chancery cases, both in an advisory capacity and in litigation. Some notable examples include:

  • 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. The trial is set to continue for 9 months.
  • 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.
  • Schulman v Kolomoisky [2018] EWHC 160 (Ch) – a claim for an account of profits and damages following the breakdown of a joint venture which invested in and managed assets associated with the metallurgical and mining industries in the Ukraine, Russia and the United States. As a pupil, Karl assisted Jonathan Crow QC and Gregory Denton-Cox, acting for the respondent in an application to challenge the English court’s jurisdiction.
  • PEL (UK) Ltd v Shaftesbury Plcan application for pre-action disclosure in a case concerning a non pre-emptive issue of shares by way of placement. During pupillage Karl assisted Andrew de Mestre and Robert Miles QC for the successful respondent.
  • Crumpler v Candey [2018] EWCA Civ 2256 – a claim concerning the effectiveness of a floating charge over monies paid into court before a subsequent insolvency. As a pupil, Karl assisted Andrew de Mestre and Robert Miles QC for the respondent.

 

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:

  • 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. The trial is set to continue for 9 months.
  • 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.
  • Schulman v Kolomoisky [2018] EWHC 160 (Ch) – an application disputing the English court’s jurisdiction to hear a claim concerning the breakdown of a joint venture, on the basis that the defendant was no longer domiciled in England on the day that the claim form was issued. As a pupil, Karl assisted Jonathan Crow QC and Gregory Denton-Cox, acting for the respondent.
  • Great Station Properties v UMS Holdingsan application to clarify and/or vary a standard form freezing order which had been granted to help enforce a c.$300m arbitration award. During pupillage, Karl assisted Tom Gentleman and John Brisby QC, who acted for the successful respondents.
  • 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.

 

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:

  • PEL (UK) Ltd v Shaftesbury Plcan application for pre-action disclosure in a case concerning a non pre-emptive issue of shares by way of placement. As a pupil, Karl assisted Andrew de Mestre and Robert Miles QC for the successful respondent.
  • An unfair prejudice petition in which the petitioner claimed that he had been wrongfully excluded from management, and that the majority shareholders had wrongfully diverted business away from the company. During pupillage, Karl assisted Tom Gentleman, who represented the petitioning minority shareholder.
  • 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

During pupillage, Karl was involved in several large cases involving allegations of fraud. Some notable examples include:

  • 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. The trial is set to continue for 9 months.
  • Tchenguiz v Grant Thornton LLP – a conspiracy claim arising out of the financial collapse of Iceland’s largest bank, Kaupthing. Karl assisted Tom Gentleman in preparing for trial.
  • A claim in Hong Kong brought by a group of companies against their former auditor, in which it was alleged that the auditor had negligently failed to detect a fraud perpetrated against the companies by their former directors.  Karl assisted Tom Gentleman in drafting advice and a skeleton argument for the claimant.
Insolvency & restructuring

Karl is a contributor to Loose and Griffiths on Liquidators 9th Ed. (2019) (forthcoming). He contributed to chapters on the duties and powers of liquidators.

He is also the author (with Eleanor Holland of a number of Lexis PSL Practice Notes concerning compulsory winding-up.

Karl frequently appears in the High Court and the County Court on insolvency disputes, both as sole counsel and being led. He regularly appears in the Insolvency and Companies list to both present and resist winding up petitions. His practice covers a broad variety of insolvency matters. Recent cases include:

  • 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.
  • Crumpler v Candey [2018] EWCA Civ 2256 – a claim concerning the effectiveness of a floating charge over monies paid into court before a subsequent insolvency. During pupillage, Karl assisted Andrew de Mestre and Robert Miles QC for the respondent.
  • A disputed debt hearing in the county court in which Karl successfully represented a company in having a winding-up petition set aside, on the basis that the company had a substantial cross claim.
  • 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.
  • An urgent application for an injunction to restrain presentation of a winding-up petition.
  • 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, Hong Kong, Cyprus and Dubai. Notable cases include:

  • A claim to terminate a joint venture agreement executed by two Dubai companies and which concerned a joint venture project in West Africa. Karl assisted Richard Hill QC in advising the claimant.
  • 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.
  • 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 in Hong Kong brought by a group of companies against their former auditor, in which it was alleged that the auditor had negligently failed to detect a fraud perpetrated against the companies by their former directors. As a pupil, Karl assisted Tom Gentleman in drafting advice and a skeleton argument for the claimant.

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

  • Zuckerman on Civil Procedure 4th Ed. (2020) (forthcoming) (contributing editor)
  • Loose and Griffiths on Liquidators 9th Ed. (2019) (forthcoming) (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

  • Lost luggage and judicial baggage: Harb v HRH Prince Abdul Aziz [2016] EWCA Civ 556, (2016) CJQ 35(4)

Other

  • Lexis PSL Practice Notes concerning compulsory winding-up (co-authored with Eleanor Holland)
Career and appointments

COMBAR
Chancery Bar Association

Languages

Spanish