Practice

Nicholas joined Chambers in October 2019 after completing his pupillage under the supervision of Andrew de Mestre QC, Gregory Denton-Cox, Sharif Shivji and Tom Gentleman. He is building a wide-ranging commercial chancery practice across the full spectrum of work done by Chambers.

Recent cases in which Nicholas has been involved during and before pupillage include Autonomy Corporation Ltd v Dr Michael Lynch, Singularis v Daiwa, Secretary of State for Health v Servier Laboratories Ltd, Deutsche Trustee Company Ltd v Duchess VI CLO BV, Islandsbanki HF v Kevin Gerald Stanford, several iterations of Candey Ltd v Crumpler and anor (Liquidators of Peak Hotels & Resorts Ltd) and Re Berezovsky.

Practice areas

Chancery: commercial

Nicholas has broad experience of commercial chancery cases including:

  • Assisting, as pupil to Gregory Denton-Cox, with drafting particulars of claim alleging conspiracy, knowing receipt, dishonest assistance and breach of contract against a debtor and third parties in relation to the sale of shares supplied as security to a bank.
  • Assisting, as a pupil to Andrew de Mestre QC and Donald Lilly, with advice on the merits and utility of seeking a worldwide freezing injunction against a counterparty alleged to have misappropriated and/or failed to pay over client funds.
  • Drafting a defence to a claim under a personal guarantee on the grounds of misrepresentation, estoppel, duress, intimidation and breach of contract by the Claimant, assisting Guy Olliff-Cooper as a pupil.
  • Whilst working at a law firm before commencing pupillage, Nicholas worked on Crumpler and anor (Joint liquidators of Peak Hotels & Resorts Ltd in liquidation) v Candey Ltd [2018] EWCA Civ 2256, which is now the leading authority on the status of monies in Court.
  • Whilst working at a law firm before commencing pupillage, Nicholas worked on Candey Ltd v Crumpler and anor (Liquidators of Peak Hotels & Resorts Ltd) [2019] EWHC 282 (Ch), a three day hearing on the question of whether a solicitor had the benefit of a lien over the proceeds of litigation, and in particular whether they had waived their lien.
Commercial dispute resolution

Nicholas has completed a substantial spread of commercial work during pupillage. He has gained particular experience of contractual interpretation disputes and economic tort claims. Notable cases include:

  • Assisting, as pupil to Andrew de Mestre QC, in the case of Deutsche Trustee Company Ltd v Duchess VI CLO BV [2019] EWHC 778 (Ch) in relation to the correct construction of bond documents in a CLO transaction.
  • Assisting, as a pupil to Andrew de Mestre QC, in a claim for pre-emptive declaratory relief in relation to a variety of contractual and regulatory claims which also involved financial services and choice of law issues.
  • Assisting, as a pupil to Andrew de Mestre QC, in a dispute over a joint venture for the development of property and hotels.
  • Assisting, as a pupil, Jonathan Crow QC with the recent appeal to the Court of Appeal in Secretary of State for Health v Servier Laboratories Ltd [2019] EWCA Civ 1160 concerning the proper ambit of the unlawful means tort.
  • Assisting, as pupil to Tom Gentleman led by John Brisby QC, in an application for security for costs which turned on whether shares in a listed company being placed into escrow by the Claimant constituted adequate security for costs. Nicholas assisted with research, advice and drafting submissions.
  • Whilst working at a law firm before commencing pupillage, Nicholas had everyday conduct of a high value sale of goods dispute involving the oil industry which included issues of contractual construction, incorporation of terms, sale by sample and the quality of goods supplied. In particular, Nicholas drafted pre-action correspondence and advised.
Company law

Company work is a core area of Nicholas’ practice. He has wide-ranging experience of shareholder disputes, particularly unfair prejudice petitions, misappropriation of business cases and claims against directors for breach of duty and fraud:

  • Assisting, as a pupil to Andrew de Mestre QC and Jonathan Crow QC, in the appeal to the Supreme Court in Singularis v Daiwa, on the question of the attribution of a director’s knowledge of their own fraud to a company.
  • Assisting, as a pupil to Andrew de Mestre QC, in the trial of a claim for repayment of a loan which turned on the correct construction of a company’s articles of association and, in particular, the pre-emption provisions.
  • Assisting, as a pupil, Gregory Denton-Cox to advise and draft particulars of claim in potential just and equitable winding up / unfair prejudice claims by minority shareholders in offshore companies.
  • As a pupil, Nicholas assisted Tom Gentleman to advise on interlocutory matters and pre-trial developments in an unfair prejudice petition brought by the director of a quasi-partnership company on the grounds of exclusion from management.  Nicholas also produced the first draft of the skeleton argument for trial.
  • Assisting, as a pupil, Tom Gentleman to advise on the potential applicability of s.1157 of the Companies Act 2006, laches and limitation as defences, as well as the question of equitable allowances, in a claim alleging misappropriation the business of a company by a former director.
  • Assisting, as a pupil, Guy Olliff-Cooper in an application for a validation order for past and future trading activity of a company subject to an outstanding winding up petition.
  • Whilst working at a law firm before commencing pupillage, Nicholas gained experience of company restoration applications.
Fraud – civil

Litigating and advising on fraud claims form a large part of Nicholas’ experience. Notable cases include:

  • As a pupil, Nicholas assisted Sharif Shivji and Tom Gentlemen with various aspects of the ongoing case of Autonomy Corporation Ltd v Dr Michael Lynch, a $5 billion claim brought by Hewlett Packard and Autonomy against Dr Michael Lynch, Autonomy’s founder and CEO, in relation to an alleged accounting fraud, said to have caused Hewlett Packard to overpay in its acquisition of Autonomy.
  • Assisting, as a pupil to Andrew de Mestre QC and Donald Lilly, with advice on the merits and utility of seeking a worldwide freezing injunction against a counterparty alleged to have misappropriated and/or failed to pay over client funds.
  • Assisting, as a pupil, Sharif Shivji to advise the liquidators of a company on limitation and privilege issues in relation to a potential fraud claim.
  • A claim relating to the alleged fraudulent misappropriation and diversion of a company’s business by a director. As a pupil, Nicholas assisted Tom Gentlemen led by John Brisby QC to advise on the merits of the claims and interlocutory matters.
  • Whilst working at a law firm before commencing pupillage, Nicholas had everyday conduct of a series of related fraud claims against lenders in the leisure sector which also involved questions of officeholder conduct. Nicholas advised on these claims and drafted correspondence.
International arbitration

Nicholas is building an international arbitration practice and has experience of LCIA arbitrations including:

  • Assisting, as a pupil to Andrew de Mestre QC and Nicola Timmins, in a two day hearing of a challenge to an arbitral tribunal’s jurisdiction.  The hearing raised issues as to the proper parties to a contract and the application of the law relating to disclosed principals.
Insolvency & restructuring

Nicholas regularly takes instructions on, and has broad experience of, personal and corporate insolvency. Work in this area includes:

  • Bankruptcy and winding up petitions and associated applications.
  • Assisting, as a pupil, Gregory Denton-Cox in relation to various aspects of the hard-fought Islandsbanki HF v Kevin Gerald Stanford bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Preparing, as a pupil, an advice on the application of the insolvency regime to entities in the higher education sector and the consequences of such an entity becoming insolvent.
  • Assisting, as a pupil, Tiran Nersessian in an application to set aside a statutory demand for c.$22 million against the guarantor of a company’s obligations under a SPA on the basis inter alia that the debt was bona fide disputed on substantial grounds because of a fraud on the company culminating in the expropriation of its property by a national government, the dependent obligations rule and an arbitration clause in the SPA. Nicholas assisted in drafting the skeleton argument for this application.
  • Assisting, as a pupil, Tiran Nersessian to advise on potential insolvency claims against former directors and a floating charge holder.
  • Assisting, as a pupil, Tom Gentleman led by John Brisby QC to advise on a potential challenge to a liquidator’s decision to assign a cause of action in proceedings relating the alleged diversion and misappropriation of a company’s business by a former director.
Offshore litigation

Nicholas has experience of claims involving offshore jurisdictions, in particular the DIFC, Guernsey, Jersey and Gibraltar including:

  • Assisting, as a pupil, Gregory Denton-Cox in advising and drafting particulars of claim in potential just and equitable winding up / unfair prejudice claims by minority shareholders in offshore companies.
  • Assisting, as a pupil, Donald Lilly in proceedings in Gibraltar and the UK relating to the insolvent estate of the late Boris Berezovsky.

Additional info

Education & awards

Before joining Chambers, Nicholas read History at Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating with a double first, and completed an MPhil in International Relations at Peterhouse, Cambridge. Whilst at Cambridge, he received numerous prizes and scholarships and also served as Vice President of the Cambridge Union Society for the year 2014-15 under four successive presidents.

Nicholas subsequently studied for the GDL and BPTC at City, University of London. During this time he worked at a leading boutique litigation firm where he gained considerable practical experience of a wide variety of commercial, company, insolvency, and civil fraud litigation.

2015: BA in History, Trinity College, University of Cambridge (Double First)
2016: MPhil in International Relations and Politics, Peterhouse, University of Cambridge
2017: GDL, City University of London (Distinction)
2018: BPTC, City University of London

Scholarships & Prizes

Nicholas won and was named best speaker in the final of the 7KBW/ Clyde & Co Insurance Law Moot 2017 held in the Supreme Court before Lady Justice Gloster (as she then was). He also reached the penultimate round of the Maitland Advocacy Prize.

Trinity College, Cambridge

2013: Junior Scholarship, Tripos Prize
2014: Senior Scholarship, Tripos Prize, Bowen Award, F.W. Maitland Prize for Constitutional Law, Legal History and Constitutional History
2015: Research Scholarship (unable to accept due to change of college), Tripos Prize, Hyam Scholarship for Contemporary Studies

University of Cambridge

2015: Newton College Masters Award

Lincoln’s Inn

2016: Lord Bowen Scholarship, Hardwicke Award
2017: Lord Denning Scholarship

 

Career and apppointments

Chancery Bar Association
Commercial Bar Association