Practice

Nicola has a predominantly commercial and insolvency based practice with experience across the full spectrum of work undertaken by 4 Stone Buildings. Her work encompasses advice, drafting and representation in contentious and non-contentious matters. She regularly appears in the High Court and county courts, and is frequently led by silks both in and out of chambers.

Prior to being called to the Bar Nicola was a dispute resolution solicitor at Baker & McKenzie LLP.

Practice areas

Commercial dispute resolution

Nicola advises and acts in commercial disputes that fall within the jurisdiction of both the Commercial Court and Chancery Division. She has been instructed in cases covering a wide variety of market sectors.

She has significant experience in large commercial disputes, particularly in cases falling within the banking & finance and energy & natural resources practice areas.

Banking & finance

Nicola regularly acts in banking & finance cases. Her experience acting for individuals, SMEs and international investment banks includes misrepresentation cases concerning highly complex derivative products; acting in cases concerning the enforcement of loans, guarantees and other banking agreements; and advising on the misselling of interest rate swaps.

Nicola’s banking experience includes:

  • McGraw-Hill International (UK) Limited v Deutsche Apotheker und ArzteBank and and RBS and others. This case concerned claims by certain investors in CPDO notes issued by ABN Amro that ABN and S&P (McGraw-Hill) had made misrepresentations in relation to the rating of those notes. Nicola was led by Daniel Toledano QC and James Goldsmith of One Essex Court and Sharif Shivji.
  • Portigon AG v RBS. This was a claim for breach of contract, negligence and misrepresentation in relation to the rating of CPDO notes issued by ABN Amro and rated by S&P and Moody’s. Nicola was led by Stephen Auld QC of One Essex Court and Sharif Shivji.
  • Barclays Bank Plc v King. This claim concerned attempts to enforce a personal guarantee given in relation to an interest rate swap that had been missold to a company that had subsequently been dissolved.
  • Desmond & Ors v Credit Suisse International & GLG Partners LP. This case concerned a claim for alleged misselling by Credit Suisse and GLG of two highly complex derivative products (CPPI). The case involved allegations of breach of the FSA Rules, breach of contract, breach of common law duties, and breach of fiduciary duties. Nicola was led by George Bompas QC and Christopher Harrison.
  • Ball v Lighthouse Vintry II and others. This case concerned allegations of breach of contract and breach of the FSA COBS rules in relation to investment advice. Nicola was led by Christopher Harrison.
  • Marshall v Barclays Bank Plc. This case concerned the interpretation of a settlement agreement following the misselling of an interest rate swap.
  • Deutsche Bank v Unitech Limited. This case concerned a claim for more than $150m under loan and interest rate swap agreements and included interesting arguments on the effect of the LIBOR scandal on the enforceability of the various contractual documents. Nicola was led by John Brisby QC and Alastair Tomson.
  • Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich AG v JP Morgan. This case concerned a claim for breach of a tri-partite repo agreement arising out of the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Nicola was led by David Mildon QC of Essex Court Chambers.
  • Raiffeisen Zentralbank Osterreich AG v Royal Bank of Scotland Plc [2011] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 123. This case concerned a misrepresentation claim in connection with a syndicated loan to Enron. The case was listed by The Lawyer as one of the top 10 cases of 2010. Nicola was led by Jeffrey Gruder QC of Essex Court Chambers and Christopher Harrison.
  • Advice on the interpretation of a convertible loan agreement.
  • Advice on the misselling of interest rate swaps.
Energy & natural resources

Nicola is developing a speciality in oil and gas disputes.

Cases of note include:

  • Excalibur Ventures LLC v Gulf Keystone Petroleum Limited & Ors [2013] EWHC 2767 (Comm); [2013] EWHC 4278 (Comm). The dispute concerned rights to oil concessions in Iraqi Kurdistan claimed to be worth $1.65 billion. The case was listed by The Lawyer as one of the top 20 cases for 2012 and the judgment of Christopher Clarke LJ described the litigation as “gargantuan in scope, involving a five month trial and 373 trial bundles. But it was based on no sound foundation in fact or law and it has met with a resounding, indeed catastrophic, defeat.” Nicola acted for Gulf Keystone and was led by Jonathan Gaisman QC and Richard Waller QC of 7 King’s Bench Walk, and Harry Matovu QC of Brick Court Chambers.
  • Tullow Uganda Limited v Heritage Oil & Gas Limited and Heritage Oil plc; Heritage Oil & Gas Limited v The Government of the Republic of Uganda. This matter involved concurrent Commercial Court and arbitration proceedings concerning an alleged tax liability for a $1.35bn oil transaction in Uganda. Nicola was led by Ian Glick of One Essex Court.
Chancery: commercial

Nicola is as likely to act in cases before the Chancery Division as the Commercial Court. Her experience encompasses cases including questions of company law, trust law, insolvency, contract and tort.

Cases of note in the Chancery Division include:

  • MF Global UK Limited v MF Global UK Services Limited [2016] Ch 325, [2016] EWCA Civ 569, [2016] Pens LR 225. This case concerned establishing which group company was liable for a deficit in a defined benefit pension scheme following the insolvency of the MF Global group. Nicola was led by George Bompas QC.
  • Centenary Holdings III v Constant, Bloch, Vivendi and PwC. This case concerned a claim arising out of a financial assistance transaction for breach of duty by directors and auditors. Nicola was led by Robert Miles QC and Richard Hill.
  • Izodia Plc v Vandyk & Ors. This case concerned a claim against a former director and associated companies for negligence, misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty arising out of a property transaction. Nicola was led by David Chivers QC of Erskine Chambers.
  • Fattal v Walbrook Trustees (Jersey) Ltd [2010] EWHC 2767 (Ch), [2010] EWHC 3049 (Ch). This case concerned proceedings in which two of five trusts claimed to be entitled to exercise rights of pre-emption under a joint venture agreement in relation to another trust’s interest in companies owning a substantial London commercial and residential property. Nicola was led by David Chivers QC of Erskine Chambers and Alastair Tomson.
  • Advice on the enforcement of a director’s loan agreement.
Insolvency & restructuring

Nicola regularly appears in the High Court and county courts in corporate insolvency and personal bankruptcy matters.

Recent experience includes:

  • MF Global UK Limited v MF Global UK Services Limited [2016] Ch 325, [2016] EWCA Civ 569, [2016] Pens LR 225. This case concerned establishing which group company was liable for a deficit in a defined benefit pension scheme following the insolvency of the MF Global group. Nicola was led by George Bompas QC.
  • Advising on long running insolvency proceedings in the courts of Bermuda.
  • Patel v Langtons. This case concerned an application by a liquidator for a private examination of the insolvent company’s accountant.
  • Gate Gourmet v Morby. This case concerned a detailed consideration of the rules on the jurisdiction of the English bankruptcy court and the rules on service of a bankruptcy petition.
  • Kreissparkasse Biberach v Dr Jozsa. This case concerned challenging a bankruptcy order made by the English court in respect of a German national, it being alleged that the bankrupt had partaken in so called “bankruptcy tourism”.
  • Levy v Emery. This case concerned an action by a liquidator to recover funds on the basis that they had been paid away in contravention of s. 238 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (transaction at an undervalue).
  • Ailyan and Tate v Golesworthy. This case concerned the private examination of a bankrupt’s wife.
Offshore litigation

Nicola accepts instructions in relation to offshore litigation in all areas of her practice.

Nicola’s recent offshore experience includes acting with John Brisby QC in long running insolvency proceedings before the courts of Bermuda.

Nicola also accepts instructions in relation to applications for permission to appeal to the Privy Council.

Additional info

Career & appointments
  • 1998-1999 Second Lieutenant, Royal Artillery (Short Service Limited Commission)
  • 2004-2005 Researcher, Hague Conference on Private International law
  • 2005-2008 Trainee and Associate in the dispute resolution department, Baker & McKenzie LLP
  • 2007 Judicial Assistant to the Court of Appeal (on secondment from Baker & McKenzie LLP)
Publications
  • “Freezing injunctions and instructive litigation”, Fraud Intelligence, January and February 2008 (co-authored with Andrew Keltie).
  • “The Effect of the UNCITRAL Draft Convention on Electronic Communications in International Contracts on the Hague Conventions”, produced for Member States by the Hague Conference on Private International Law (co-authored with Dr Andrea Schulz).
Education & awards
  • 2002 BA, Emmanuel College, Cambridge (Porter Scholarship, College Prize)
  • 2003 LLM, Emmanuel College, Cambridge (Rodwell Prize)
  • 2004 LPC, Nottingham Law School
  • 2007 Admitted as a solicitor
Languages

French