Practice

Nicholas Cox is an exceptionally versatile senior junior with a silk-level commercial chancery practice. He has been a member of the Attorney General’s Panel of Civil Counsel since 1999 and ‘A’ Panel Counsel since 2005. He is regularly instructed by the government frequently on large commercial disputes of national significance or sensitivity, often with media interest. He has acted on behalf of every major department of state including HM Treasury, MOD, Home Office, Ministry of Justice, Department for Transport, the Department of Health, DBIS, DWP, DECC, DEFRA, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and DfE, and by a wide range of other public bodies, including for example HMRC, OFGEM, HM Land Registry, NHS England, The Charity Commission, the Insolvency Service, Civil Aviation Authority, Office of the Rail Regulator, the Disclosure and Barring Service, Companies House, National Employment Savings Trust Corp, HM Prisons & Probation Service.

Particularly recognised for his expertise in public sector commercial and contractual disputes, including PFI/PPP contracts, MOD Contracting and rail franchises, Nicholas has extensive experience of civil litigation in all divisions of the higher courts involving commercial and contractual disputes, insolvency and company law, constructive trusts and civil fraud and civil recovery actions under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (“POCA”). He holds the highest level of security clearance and is experienced in matters involving the handling of classified information.

Nicholas has been appointed as a sole arbitrator to determine numerous high value disputes under statutory railway schemes. He is also a fully qualified mediator with wide commercial mediation experience and in this role he is able to draw on his previous business experience and an MBA.

A Charming advocate who is well-liked by the courts, also works well as part of a team”.

A shrewd operator”.

Chambers & Partners: Treasury Counsel (Chancery) listings. Band 1 of leading juniors.

Practice areas

Commercial dispute resolution

Nicholas has expertise in all forms of commercial dispute resolution, including litigation in all divisions of the high court, arbitration (including sitting as a sole arbitrator) and mediation. Nicholas is a qualified mediator able to draw on previous international business experience and an MBA.

He has particular expertise in disputes involving public sector contracts, including high value PPP/PFI Contract and outsourcing disputes over a wide range of business sectors and specialisations. These have included disputes involving the MOD, Dept of Health/NHS, DWP, FCO, DECC, the Home Office and a number of cases involving railways and rail franchising. His expertise includes breach, delay and termination disputes, and contractual interpretation within statutory and regulatory contexts. He is frequently instructed by government on large commercial disputes of national significance or sensitivity, often with media interest.

He is security cleared to the highest level and is experienced in cases involving the handling of classified information.

Cases of interest

  • Rail Franchise: (2019 – Present): instructed by the Department for Transport in connection with disputes arising from a major franchise agreement, including in respect of consequences of strike action. Contractual and statutory interpretation; contractual discretion; good faith; financial models; force majeure; insolvency; public interest; termination
  • Bank Mellat v HM Treasury (2015-2018: instructed by HM Treasury as the senior junior in the quantum stage of this $US 4 billion claim by an Iranian Bank – the largest civil claim ever brought against HM Treasury. Banking and finance; Financial sanctions; Damages; Disclosure (sampling, redaction, foreign law and foreign disclosure orders; conflicts; comity, confidentiality) Experts, Civil evidence & procedure); causation; quantification of loss: Classified material handling: HM Treasury v Bank Mellat [2018] EWHC 2568 (Comm) [2018] 9 WLUK 220 appr [2019] EWCA Civ 449.
  • Warrior AFV Upgrade programme disputes: (2018 – present): Instructed on behalf of MOD in connection with the contractual disputes arising out of the delayed delivery of this strategically significant ‘Category A’ (>£400m) military vehicle upgrade programme. Engineering contracts; DEFCONS; MOD procurement; delay, termination; material breach; contractual interpretation; ADR.
  • Disclosure & Barring Service vs Tata Consultancy Services (2018 – present): Instructed on behalf of the DBS in connection with deliverables, cost overruns and delay disputes relating to the DBS IT upgrade programme which is running over 4 years late. Contractual interpretation, IT Contracts; accounting; breach, delay.
  • Defence 6th Form College: Welbeck (2019 – present) : instructed on behalf of the MOD in connection with the termination of the PFI contract for the operation of this well-known facility which has been the subject of parliamentary debate.
  • Confidential MOD counter-terrorism communication capability (2018) : Acted on behalf of the MOD in the resolution of a dispute relating to the termination of a >£120m contract.
  • Oakhill Secure Training Centre (2017-2018): Acting for Ministry of Justice in dispute concerning the operation of the Oakhill STC PFI Contract by G4S following ‘inadequate’ OFSTED Reports and welfare, safety, staffing and management concerns. Contractual interpretation; PFI Contracts; termination; contractual notices;
  • Monarch Airlines Limited (in administration (2018)): Instructed on behalf of the Department for Transport to advise in connection with recoveries of costs incurred by the Civil Aviation Authority in repatriating customers of Monarch Airlines stranded overseas when the airline entered administration. Interpretation of contracts, implied terms, administration; administration expenses; equity; restitution.
  • MOD Ammunition Supply Contract (2017): Advised MOD in connection with disputes relating to the operation, expiry and termination of the MOD’s long-term ammunition supply partnering agreement.
  • National Facilities Management Contracts: Advised HMRC and MOD in connection with the interpretation and operation of high-value national facilities management contracts operated by Interserve plc and Amey/Carillion. Facilities Management; interpretation, penalty clauses.
  • Confidential MOD Arbitration. Acting for the MOD in a technically and legally complex £88m dispute concerning the termination of two related ‘Category B’ contracts for the design, build, test and maintenance of critical military capability. The subject matter of the dispute was classified. Contract termination; breach of contract; delay; contractual interpretation; interpretation of MOD DEFCONS, causation and quantification of loss, losses recoverable by Govt. Arbitration, multiple rounds of structured mediation; drafting arbitral pleadings and mediation position statements; multi-disciplinary technical experts; dealings at all levels from Warrant Officers to Head of MOD legal; Cabinet Office and operation of the Strategic Suppliers Risk management policy.
  • Home Office Asylum Accommodation Contract dispute (2014-2016): Acting for Home Office/Border Agency in sensitive contract termination and damages dispute involving the misconduct of a fraudster occupying a senior position within the BA. Contract interpretation, termination, damages, quantification, causation, insolvency, fraud.
  • M25 DBFO Contract – Refinancing: (2015): Advised Highways England in connection with Refinancing provisions of the £6.2 billion M25 DBFO Contract with Connect Plus (M25) Ltd. Engineering PFI Contract; interpretation; meaning of good faith; approval rights; variation.
  • Dept of Health/NHS PFI Contract Disputes (2013 – 2014): Advised the Secretary of State for Health/DofH in two sensitive hospital Design, Build and Operate/PFI Contract disputes, both with a significant media profile. The Clinicenta case involved termination of a large hospital PFI contract following breaches of clinical standards. In the Hinchingbrooke Hospital case Nicholas advised the Dept of Health in connection with the termination of the UK’s first ‘privatised’ hospital operating contract.
  • National Employment Savings Trust (NEST): NEST is the statutory body established to deliver the Government’s workplace auto-enrolment employee contributory pension reforms. Nicholas advised and represented NEST in arbitral proceedings relating to the interpretation of the national Personal Accounts Scheme Administration Services contract. Contractual and statutory interpretation, IT Contracts; public procurement issues and the impact of the Public Contracts Regulations 2006. Tactics were central to this politically sensitive and highly time critical dispute.
  • Berlin Embassy PFI: Advising the FCO in connection with the interpretation and operation of the PFI contract for the Design, build and operation of the Berlin Embassy.
  • Railway Franchising and Track Access Agreements disputes: Instructed on behalf of the Department for Transport jointly with Treasury Counsel James Eadie QC. Advice in connection with disputes with train operating companies, Network Rail and the DfT relating to payments under Track Access Agreements. Statutory and contractual interpretation, Affordability and financial models, incorporation of terms, breach of warranty, misrepresentation, mistake, implied terms; estoppels and collateral agreements; October 2010
  • British Coal Phurnacite Litigation: Instructed in the QBD as a specialist adviser and advocate on behalf of the Dept. for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to contest DECC’s liability in consolidated industrial disease/injury litigation involving liabilities dating back to 1942. Complex historical, legal and factual analysis of statutory provisions, corporate restructurings and insolvencies, commercial agreements and indemnities, as well as the impact of statutory insurance and compensation provisions in the context of broader policy level issues regarding state compensation obligations. March-May 2009
  • Secretary of State for the Home Department v Atos Origin: Expert Determination. Instructed on behalf of the Home Office in a complex and technical dispute arising from the major contract to provide the Home Office’s central IT function. A successful and speedy resolution was critical to the HO’s operations. November 2007
  • Home Office Immigration Service Provider disputes: Conduct of a series of seven high value disputes involving allegations of serious fraud, overcharging and/or defective performance of commercial service contracts between the Home Office and various companies providing accommodation and support to asylum seekers. Arbitration, mediation and litigation. Contractual interpretation; termination; step-in rights; penalty points regimes. Sensitive cases involving media interest. 2007-2009
  • Yarl’s Wood Immigration Centre fire: Harmondsworth Immigration Centre Riots 2002-2008: Advised the Home Office in connection with contractual, statutory and insurance related aspects of the fall-out from the riots at these two major PFI facilities. Significant media interest.
  • Colchester Garrison Redevelopment PFI dispute. Instructed on behalf of MOD in arbitral dispute concerning termination of the consultancy and related services contract pertaining to the high-value redevelopment of the Colchester Barracks site. Contractual interpretation; professional negligence; misrepresentation; wrongful termination; causation and quantification of loss; the ‘value for money’ test for public contracts; procurement : 2007.
  • Norwich Union Life Insurance Society v Qureshi [1998] CLC 1605
    Aldrich and Ors v Norwich Union Life Insurance Co. Ltd [1998] CLC 1621
    Leading Authority on scope and effect of s 47 of Financial Services Act 1986. Guarantees – Insurer’s duty of disclosure- Effects of illegality – Unconscionable Conduct – Fraud – Restitution – Remedies – Striking Out.
POCA work & asset forfeiture

Nicholas is frequently instructed on behalf of enforcement authorities (NCA, HMRC) in their more complex civil asset recovery cases. He has appeared in leading cases since the earliest days of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 legislation as well as conducting interim applications (PFOs and release of funds for legal expenses, account freezing and forfeiture orders etc) and full trials. He is instructed for his chancery expertise and his experience of statutory interpretation and is one of a very few chancery counsel with experience of Public Interest Immunity (PII) applications.

Cases of Interest:

  • HMRC – Account Forfeiture Order Veria Investments Ltd (2019): Advised and appeared for HMRC in its largest ever POCA Account Forfeiture Order application (>£2.2m).
  • HMRC – Unexplained Wealth Orders (2019): Advised HMRC on the exercise of its new powers to obtain UWOs.  
  • Tax credit fraud: Nicholas advised HMRC in connection with the scope and extent of its powers of direct recovery from bank accounts in cases of fraud. Civil fraud; POCA and the Money Laundering Regulations; asset tracing; Human Rights (A1P1); Constructive trusts; restitution; administrative law; statutory interpretation. His advice foreshadowed changes in the law to authorise account freezing and forfeiture orders under POCA.
  • Mirza & Ors v Dayman: [2015] EWHC 1902 (QBD) Nicholas represented the receiver appointed by the court under DTA and CJA restraint orders. Application of English law of trusts in context of traditional asian hawalla money trading. Constructive trusts; resulting trusts; ‘Quistclose’ trusts; Human Rights (A1P1); recovery of receiver’s remuneration and expenses from third party assets.
  • NCA v Robb [2014] EWHC 4384 (Ch); [2015] 3 W.L.R. 23; [2015] Lloyd’s Rep. F.C. Representing the NCA in the first reported case on s 281 of POCA which considered how victims of fraud/theft establish proprietary interest in bank accounts linked to the defendant and said to be the traceable proceeds of fraud. Nicholas was instrumental in developing a cost-effective and innovative case management approach in this multi-party case involving over 70 victims of crime which attracted favourable comment from the bench. Statutory interpretation; human rights (A1P1); constructive trusts; fraud; asset tracing.
  • Robb v National Crime Agency [2014] EWCA Civ 171 Court of Appeal (Civil Division); Civil procedure. Permission to appeal. Proceeding in the absence of a Respondent in Civil recovery proceedings; Right to fair trial. Nicholas’ written submissions provided at the request of the CA were described as “compelling”.
  • SOCA v Robb [2012] EWHC 803 (QB); [2012] Lloyd’s Rep. F.C. 485: Interim applications and trial of complex civil recovery claim involving large scale fraudulent property scheme in Turkish-controlled Northern Cyprus . PFO’s, legal expenses costs exclusions; extra-territorial application of POCA; overseas jurisdiction; foreign law/overseas criminality; Northern Cyprus; abuse of process; burden and standard of proof; fraud; constructive trusts; asset tracing; costs. 2010-2012
  • Hill v Director of National Savings: Instructed by the National Savings Bank to assist in Crown Court proceedings. Application of Money Laundering Regulations 2007 and POCA in the statutory, regulatory and contractual context of the National Savings Bank and upon NSB’s powers to refuse requests for payment. Statutory interpretation; Civil fraud; SARs; restitution of deposits; statutory adjudication.
  • SOCA v ‘X: Instructed on behalf of the Assets Recovery Agency and the Serious Organised Crime Agency to conduct their first Public Interest Immunity (PII) application in a civil case. Bennet J observed that he had been much assisted by the way in which the hearing had been prepared and conducted by ARA’s Counsel. November 2007
  • Director of the Assets Recovery Agency v Green [2005] EWHC 3168 (admin): Leading case on the interpretation of and state’s burden of proof under the new Proceeds of Crime legislation.

 

Chancery: commercial

Nicholas has expertise in the areas of asset tracing and constructive trusts, and related interim and proprietary remedies including through his work with public sector bodies including the Insolvency Service, HMRC and the National Crime Agency and civil fraud claims.

Cases of Interest

  • Durand Education Trust (2016): Instructed by the Charity Commission in connection with its inquiry under s 46 of the Charities Act 2011 into the conduct and operations of this south London educational trust known as the “Eton of the State Sector”. Directors’ duties, fiduciary duty, trustees, constructive trusts, duty to account, interpretation of trusts.
  • HMRC direct Recovery of Tax credit frauds: Advised HMRC in connection with the scope and extent of its powers of direct recovery from bank accounts in cases of fraud. Civil fraud; POCA and the Money Laundering Regulations; asset tracing; Human Rights (A1P1); Constructive trusts; restitution; administrative law; statutory interpretation. His advice foreshadowed changes in the law to authorise account freezing orders under POCA.
  • Mirza & Ors v Dayman [2015] EWHC 1902 (QBD) Representing the receiver appointed under DTA and CJA restraint orders. Application of English law of trusts in context of traditional asian hawalla money trading. Constructive trusts; resulting trusts; ‘Quistclose’ trusts; Human Rights (A1P1); recovery of receiver’s remuneration and expenses from third party assets.
  • NCA v Robb [2014] EWHC 4384 (Ch); [2015] 3 W.L.R. 23; [2015] Lloyd’s Rep. F.C. Constructive trusts and asset tracing through international banking accounts in the context of the POCA civil recovery provisions.
  • Rangers Football Club: Nicholas represented HMRC in proceedings relating to competing proprietary claims over the ownership of funds in the hands of solicitor trustees following the administration and liquidation of Rangers FC: banking; insolvency; asset tracing; Scots Law; Expert evidence; Revenue law. 2014.
  • Carbon Emissions Trading Scheme and Registry frauds: As Counsel to DECC and the Environment Agency Nicholas advised the UK Government in connection with proprietary rights, constructive trusts and tracing, fraudulent front companies, compliance and European Law aspects of the widely-reported €5 Bn fraud by serious organized criminal gangs on the European Carbon Emissions Trading Scheme spot market and Registries. Nicholas’ advise to the UK Government was considered at European level. He represented the EA in related ‘in camera’ proceedings in the UK for proprietary relief and freezing injunctions. Previously Nicholas had advised and participated in drafting the rules for the UK’s own first Carbon Emissions Trading Scheme. 2011.
Company law

In the field of company law, Nicholas advises in connection with shareholder disputes, section 994 unfair prejudice proceedings, derivative claims, director’s duties and fiduciary claims and claims relating to shareholder agreement and share sale agreements.

Fraud – civil

Nicholas has experience of civil fraud litigation including the tactical considerations surrounding freezing and interim injunction applications, inter-partes and third party disclosure issues and asset tracing and recovery strategies. Through his ‘A’ panel work he has gained insights into aspects of civil fraud which are unusual and distinctive, for example Nicholas has been involved in cases involving tax fraud, MTIC/VAT fraud, the major criminal attack on the European Carbon Emissions Trading Scheme, defrauding of NHS practices and serious organised criminal frauds through his work on POCA civil asset recovery.

Cases of Interest:

  • Europeans Ltd v HMRC [2011] EWHC 948 (Ch); [2011] B.C.C. 527: Nicholas acted for HMRC on this test case which successfully established the right for HMRC to recover from directors personally its costs of MTIC fraud cases against potentially insolvent companies.

 

Insolvency & restructuring

Nicholas has extensive experience of corporate insolvency advice and litigation. Nicholas is among a small number of senior juniors with the specific combination of public law and Chancery expertise to provide advice or representation in unusual and specialist areas of insolvency practice. He acts also accepts instructions both for directors and the Insolvency Service in directors’ disqualification cases and has previously acted on behalf of government in public interest winding up cases and in relation to the bankruptcy restrictions regime.

Cases of interest:

  • OFGEM: Insolvency of small energy suppliers: Advised OFGEM/GEMA and developed a responsive strategy to address lacunae in its powers to take effective action in cases of small/medium sized energy supplier failures. Representing OFGEM/GEMA in a number of related applications in the High Court: Energy Acts insolvencies and related procedures; administration; Energy Supply Licences; interpretation; Public Interest; urgent ‘out of hours’ applications; declarations. Gas & Electricity Markets Authority v GB Energy Supply Ltd [2016] EWHC 3341 (Ch); [2016] 12 WLUK 551: Gas and Electricity Markets Authority v Spark Energy Supply Ltd [2018] EWHC 2522 (Ch); [2018] 11 WLUK 435.
  • Monarch Airlines Limited (in administration (2018)):Nicholas was instructed on behalf of the Department for Transport to advise in connection with recoveries of costs incurred by the Civil Aviation Authority in repatriating customers of Monarch Airlines stranded overseas when the airline entered administration. Interpretation of contracts, implied terms, administration; administration expenses; equity; restitution.
  • Rangers Football Club: Nicholas represented HMRC in proceedings relating to competing proprietary claims over the ownership of funds in the hands of solicitor trustees following the administration and liquidation of Rangers FC: banking; asset tracing; Scots Law; Expert evidence; Revenue law. 2014.
  • Bona vacantia property of dissolved companies: Nicholas was instructed by the bona vacantia department of the Treasury Solicitor’s Department in connection with the enforcement of the bona vacantia provisions in the Companies Acts 1986 and 2006 relating to corporate bank accounts of dissolved companies, bank compliance and company restoration.
  • Strategic oil stocks: Nicholas has advised DECC in connection with oil and petrochemical refinery insolvencies and the UK’s European and international strategic oil stockholding obligations. Insolvency; European law and oil/petroleum products directives; liquidation; administration; international treaty obligations; floating charges; Cross-border insolvency; statutory interpretation ; Energy Acts 1976 and 2004.
  • British Seafood Limited: Instructed by the Insolvency Service in connection with Directors Disqualification proceedings arising from the collapse of British Seafood Limited and the related SFO inquiry.
  • Re Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander Ltd: Nicholas represented HM Treasury in the High Court on the application by the FSA for an order placing the UK subsidiary of an Icelandic banking group into administration under the Banking (Special Provisions) Act 2008.
  • Insolvency aspects of Potters Bar rail crash: Nicholas advised the Office of Rail Regulation in connection with special rail insolvency related aspects of the Potters Bar train crash and subsequent criminal prosecutions of insolvent companies.
  • Water Industry (Special Administration) Rules: Nicholas advised OFWAT on the form, content and effect of proposed Special Administration Rules for regulated Water Industry undertakings.
  • Official Receiver v Tilbrook [2008] EWHC 2732 (Ch) : Acting on behalf of the Official Receiver in an appeal to consider the factors relevant to the, then, new Bankruptcy restrictions regime. Legal advice; Time; Transactions at an undervalue.
  • Secretary of State for Trade & Industry v Rawbone: EAT/1255/00 : 2001 WL 34008529: Employment Appeal Tribunal: determination of the incidence of SofS liability for statutory redundancy and holiday pay in connection with insolvency.
Administrative & public law

Nicholas’ work as ‘A’ Panel Counsel since 2005 has involved him advising on or appearing in a variety of administrative and public law cases, primarily arising out of contractual, commercial or property relationships. He has advised in relation to the interpretation of European and domestic legislation, the application of the Human Rights Act 1998 (in particular rights to peaceful enjoyment of possessions under ECHR A1P1) and public procurement. His experience has included acting for almost every principal department of state and a wide variety of non-departmental public bodies and agencies. His advice has been influential in formulating and applying legislation in relation to the water industry, railways, Carbon Emissions trading and the Proceeds of Crime. Much of Nicholas’ commercial work involves regulatory, statutory and public interest considerations.

Cases of Interest:

  • Rail Franchise: (2019 – Present): instructed by the Department for Transport in connection with disputes arising from a major franchise agreement, including in respect of consequences of strike action. Contractual and statutory interpretation; contractual discretion; good faith; financial models; force majeure; insolvency; public interest; termination.
  • Bank Mellat v HM Treasury (2015-2018: instructed by HM Treasury as the senior junior in the quantum stage of this $US 4 billion claim by an Iranian Bank – the largest civil claim ever brought against HM Treasury.   Banking and finance; Financial sanctions; Damages; Disclosure (sampling, redaction, foreign law and foreign disclosure orders; conflicts; comity, confidentiality) Experts, Civil evidence & procedure); causation; quantification of loss: Classified material handling: HM Treasury v Bank Mellat [2018] EWHC 2568 (Comm) [2018] 9 WLUK 220 appr [2019] EWCA Civ 449.
  • HMRC direct Recovery of Tax credit frauds: Advised HMRC in connection with the scope and extent of its powers of direct recovery from bank accounts in cases of fraud. Civil fraud; POCA and the Money Laundering Regulations; asset tracing; Human Rights (A1P1); Constructive trusts; restitution; administrative law; statutory interpretation. His advice foreshadowed changes in the law to authorise account freezing orders under POCA
  • Bona vacantia property of dissolved companies: Nicholas was instructed by the bona vacantia department of the Treasury Solicitor’s Department in connection with the enforcement of the bona vacantia provisions in the Companies Acts 1986 and 2006 relating to corporate bank accounts of dissolved companies, bank compliance and company restoration. 2014.
  • Strategic oil stocks: Nicholas has advised DECC in connection with oil and petrochemical refinery insolvencies and the UK’s European and international strategic oil stockholding obligations. Insolvency; European law and oil/petroleum products directives; liquidation; administration; international treaty obligations; floating charges; Cross-border insolvency; statutory interpretation ; Energy Acts 1976 and 2004. 2012
  • Land Registry: Nicholas was instructed by the Land Registry in connection with the largest ever claim against it under the statutory indemnity provisions of the Land Registration Act 2002 arising from errors in the Register. Statutory interpretation, causation of loss, mitigation, quantum. 2011-2012.
  • Carbon Emissions Trading Schemes: Nicholas was Counsel to DECC and the Environment Agency and advised the UK Govt in connection with proprietary, compliance and European Law aspects of a major international fraud on the European Carbon Emissions Trading Scheme spot market. He represented the EA in related ‘in camera’ proceedings in the UK for proprietary relief and freezing injunctions. Nicholas’ advise to HMG was considered at European level. Previously Nicholas had advised and participated in drafting the rules for the UK’s own first Carbon Emissions Trading Scheme. 2011.
  • Water Industry (Special Administration) Rules: Nicholas advised OFWAT on the form, content and effect of proposed Special Administration Rules for regulated Water Industry undertakings. 2008.
  • SOCA v ‘X: Instructed on behalf of the Assets Recovery Agency and the Serious Organised Crime Agency to conduct their first Public Interest Immunity application in a civil case.
Alternative dispute resolution

Arbitration and mediation are common in government contracts or are pursued in the public interest. Through 15 years of experience as an ‘A’ Panel Counsel on the Attorney General’s panel Nicholas has extensive experience of arbitration and mediation in a wide range of disputes, including those involving classified information and matters of media and public interest.

Nicholas has previously acted as the nominee of the Minister of Transport to conduct as a sole arbitrator several statutory arbitrations under the Railways Acts.

He is a fully qualified mediator in civil commercial and workplace disputes.

Cases of interest:

  • Confidential MOD Arbitration. Nicholas acted for the MOD from 2012 to 2014 in a technically and legally complex £88m dispute concerning the termination of two related ‘Category B’ contracts for the design, build, test and maintenance of critical military capability. The subject matter of the dispute was classified SECRET- UK Eyes Only. Contract termination; breach of contract; delay; contractual interpretation; interpretation of MOD DEFCONS, causation and quantification of loss, losses recoverable by Govt. Arbitration, multiple rounds of structured mediation; drafting arbitral pleadings and mediation position statements; multi-disciplinary technical experts; dealings at all levels from Warrant Officers to Head of MOD legal; Cabinet Office and operation of the Strategic Suppliers Risk management policy.
  • Home Office Asylum Accommodation Contract dispute (2014-2016): Acting for Home Office/Border Agency in sensitive contract termination and damages dispute involving the misconduct of a fraudster occupying a senior position within the BA. Contract interpretation, termination, damages, quantification, causation, insolvency, fraud,
  • Railways Act Arbitrations: British Transport Police Authority v Arriva Trains plc and others: Nicholas was nominated by the Secretary of State for Transport (and in subsequent cases by the parties themselves) as sole arbitrator to conduct statutory arbitrations under the Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003 and earlier legislation. The disputes related to the allocation of the £100m pound annual cost of the British Transport Police Authority between Train Operating Companies. He conducted multiple arbitrations with witnesses before Leading Counsel and determined a range of jurisdictional, contractual, factual and statutory matters (including in connection with European State Aid Treaty and Regulation provisions) and produced reasoned awards. The awards have precedent status within the Railway industry. 2002-2008

 

 

Additional info

Career & appointments

Member of the Commercial Bar Association and Chancery Bar Association
July 2005 –  Junior Counsel to the Crown (‘A’ Panel )
July 2002 – Appointed as nominee of the Secretary of State for Transport to conduct arbitrations under the Railway and Transport Safety Act 2003
July 1999-July 2005 Junior Counsel to the Crown (‘B’ Panel)

 

Education & awards

1990- 1991  M.B.A. Warwick Business School

1982-1985    B.A (Hons.) Jurisprudence (2:1). St Edmund Hall, Oxford  Exhibitioner 1983-1985