Practice

Paul Greenwood specialises in all aspects of dispute resolution in the fields of company, insolvency, chancery commercial and financial services law; many of his cases span more than one field, and many have an international or cross-border element. In addition, he has acted in various important cases concerning art and the art world. Paul has appeared in the Courts of various offshore jurisdictions, and regularly appears unled at hearings against senior silks.

Since 2005 Paul has been included in the Chambers & Partners Guide to the UK Legal Profession as a Leading Junior, and variously described as being “possessed of a remarkable mental acuity”, “capable of great creativity”, “polished and unflappable” but with a “combative style”.

Practice areas

Company law

Paul has considerable experience of substantial shareholder disputes, derivative actions and corporate claims both against and on behalf of directors. Examples are as follows.

  • In the Matter of TPD Investments Limited [2014-2017]: acting for the Petitioners in substantial unfair prejudice proceedings under section 994 of the Companies Act in connection with a joint venture company owning three Hilton Hotels in the UK with a combined value of c.£500m. The case was factually and procedurally complex and raised multiple issues of, for example, property and share valuation and the possibility of orders against directors personally.  
  • GHLM Trading Ltd v Maroos [2012] 2 BCLC 369: Paul acted unled for the Claimant in this factually complex case which concerned the fraudulent conduct of former directors, involving a successful claim for about £2m after a 3 week trial before Newey J.
  • In the Matter of L (a Company) (Guernsey, 2010-2011, 19 day trial conducted in private): in effect, this was a dispute between the 2 controlling shareholder families, and the issue concerned the right of directors to inspect company documents. The company’s turnover was about $1 billion per annum, and Paul’s clients’ application succeeded.
  • In the Matter of Palmier Limited [2009] EWHC 983: Paul acted for the Claimant, without a leader; this case raised a series of difficult factual, legal and procedural questions; twice it went to the Court of Appeal. After a 19 day trial before Proudman J, Paul established 2 claims of fraudulent breach of fiduciary duty; the Defendant was ordered to pay more than £5 million and indemnity costs.
  • Mission Capital plc v Sinclair [2008] BCC 866: Paul acted alone against 2 silks before Floyd J; this was an early leading authority on the provisions of the Companies Act 2006 concerning derivative claims.
  • Stimpson & Others v Southern Landlords Association [2009] EWHC 2072: again, this dispute concerned the operation of the new derivative action provisions introduced by the Companies Act 2006.
  • Giles v Rhind [2003] Ch 618: Paul appeared at 1st instance and in the Court of Appeal in this important case regarding the scope and limits of the reflective loss principle as explained by the House of Lords in Johnson v Gore-Wood.
Chancery: commercial

Much of Paul’s work, involving corporate and business disputes – often with elements of fraud and asset recovery – falls under this heading.

  • David Mellor PC QC and Others v John Partridge and Others (2010-2014, now settled): led by John Brisby QC, Paul acted for members of the Partridge family in connection with a claim for c.£20m arising out of the sale of shares in Partridge Fine Arts plc, previously one of the world’s leading dealers in antiques. Systematic fraud was alleged against his clients, and the case attracted significant publicity.
  • OBG Ltd v Allan [2008] 1 AC 1: this is one of the leading English cases on the economic torts; it also decided that the tort of conversion does not extent to intangible property. Paul acted for the Defendants (at 1st instance and in the Court of Appeal, as well as in the House of Lords) and was led by Gregory Mitchell QC. In respect of the same dispute, he acted for the UK Government in the European Court of Human Rights, led by Jonathan Crow QC.
  • Executors of Edward St George v Sir Jack Hayward (Bahamian Court of Appeal, February, 2010, and 2015-2016): Paul acted for Sir Jack, led by Robert Hildyard QC (as he then was) against the estate of his former commercial partner, and subsequently after Sir Jack’s death, acted in respect of his estate. Ultimately at stake was the ownership and control of the most important commercial operations in Freeport, Grand Bahama, worth many £ millions.
  • T Mobile (UK) v. Bluebottle Investments SA and Others [2003] EWHC 379: Paul appeared (led by Philip Heslop QC) at the trial of a substantial shareholder dispute concerning Virgin Mobile Telecomms Limited, and also in the Court of Appeal (where the dispute settled after the hearing but before Judgment).
  • Thomson v Christie, Manson & Woods Ltd & Others [2005] EWCA 555: Paul acted at 1st instance (led by Robert Miles QC) and subsequently in the Court of Appeal (led by Lord Grabiner and David Kitchin QC, as he then was) in this important case concerning the alleged liability of an auctioneer for advice given to a “special client”; it is a leading authority in connection with auctioneers’ duties.
Commercial dispute resolution

Examples of cases in this field, which range from pure contractual disputes to claims based on fraud, are as follows.

  • In the Matter of Orb a.r.l. and Andrew Ruhan: Paul has acted in connection with various aspects of this substantial litigation which was carried on in the Commercial Court, with related aspects in the Chancery Division and abroad.
  • Bank of Baroda v Sidhu [2014]: this trial, before HHL Mackie QC, was the enforcement of a foreign judgment, and raised points of natural justice.
  • BNP Paribas v Anchorage Capital Europe LLP [2013] EWHC 3073: a jurisdictional dispute before Stephen Males J, in connection with a substantive claim for US$95,000,000.
  • Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (Europe) Ltd v EPIC [2013-2014, settled]: this complex case concerned a claim for about £4million made in connection with the transfer of a stake in Thames Water.
  • DXPCC v Prudential (which settled shortly after the commencement of the trial before Peter Smith J. in 2012): this case concerned the application by the Prudential of “market value reductions” on the encashment of with-profits investments; Paul was led by George Bompas QC and the case was worth many £ millions.
  • Hallmark Bank & Trust Limited (Turks & Caicos Island, 2009 – settled): this dispute concerned a huge US$ multi-million Ponzi scheme in Jamaica and the TCI. Paul acted for the Bank, alleged to be liable to various investors.
  • Bear Stearns Bank plc v Forum Global Equity Ltd [2007] EWHC 1576: this important decision concerns the contractual force of an oral agreement to sell distressed debt; Paul represented the Defendant at trial before Mr Justice Andrew Smith.
Insolvency & restructuring

Paul has long experience in all aspects of corporate and personal insolvency litigation and advice (including directors disqualification proceedings, in which for a period he acted for the Secretary of State).

  • In the Matter of Comet Group Limited [2015] BPIR 1: Paul acted on a successful application under section 236 of the Insolvency Act 1986 seeking production of documents in connection with a very substantial putative cartel damages claim.
  • In the Matter of Orb a.r.l. and Andrew Ruhan: Paul has acted in connection with various aspects of this substantial litigation which was carried on in the Commercial Court, with related aspects in the Chancery Division and abroad. However, the case also raised a significant issue of potential personal insolvency, resolved at a 2 day hearing of various bankruptcy petitions before Mrs Registrar Barber in November 2014.
  • In the Matter of Korea Line Corporation (Companies Court, April 2010): this case concerned the wish of the client to continue an arbitration worth about US$5 notwithstanding that the Defendant was subject to “rehabilitation proceedings” in Korea, which had been recognised in England.
  • Tolani v TCI Bank Limited (in liquidation) (Turks & Caicos Supreme Court, March 2010): Paul acted against the Bank, successfully recovering the client’s charged assets. The issue was one of legal and commercial significance.
  • Weston v Dayman [2006] EWCA 1165: this was a decision of the Court of Appeal (where Paul appeared unled) concerning the discharge and release of a Receiver appointed under the Criminal Justice Act 1998.
  • In the Matter of INS Realisation Ltd [2006] 2 BCLC 239: led by Malcolm Davis- White QC (as he then was) Paul appeared for the Secretary of State before Hart J. in a case which remains the leading authority concerning the operation of section 8A of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.
  • IRC v. The Wimbledon Football Club and Others [2005] 1 BCLC 66: this was a decision of the Court of Appeal (where Paul was led by Guy Newey QC as he then was) concerning the preferential treatment of “football creditors” in a company voluntary arrangement.
  • Re RBG Resources plc [2002] EWCA Civ 1624: Paul appeared for certain of the Defendants both at 1st instance and in the Court of Appeal (led by Philip Heslop QC) in this important case regarding (amongst other things) the operation of section 236 of the Insolvency Act 1986. The case involved worldwide fraud on a massive scale, an investigation by the SFO, freezing and search injunctions and the confiscation of passports.
Fraud – civil

Many of Paul’s cases, as mentioned above under other practice area headings, involve elements of fraud, often very centrally, for example, the Partridge Fine Arts litigation, the Orb a.r.l. litigation, GHLM Trading v Maroo and the RBG Resources litigation.

Financial services

Paul has acted in a range of financial services disputes, including professional negligence and mis-selling claims relating to advice on and sales of financial products. In recent times, he has acted in 2 cases in Gibraltar.

  • PRL & Darby v Lister & Others (Supreme Court of Gibraltar, 2017) – this case settled shortly before trial, and concerned allegations of negligence, breach of statutory duty and mis-selling.
  • Van Geens and Beckett Ltd v Jyske Bank (Gibraltar) Ltd (Supreme Court of Gibraltar, November 2014): Paul acted unled for Bank at a 5 day trial before Jack J. in defence of a claim concerning financial services advice given by Bank.
  • DXPCC v Prudential (which settled shortly after the commencement of the trial before Peter Smith J. in 2012): this case concerned the application by the Prudential of “market value reductions” on the encashment of with-profits investments; Paul was led by George Bompas QC and the case was worth many £ millions.

Additional info

Cases of interest
  • In the Matter of TPD Investments Limited [2014-2017]: acting for the Petitioners in substantial unfair prejudice proceedings under section 994 of the Companies Act in connection with a joint venture company owning three Hilton Hotels in the UK with a combined value of c.£500m. The case was factually and procedurally complex and raised multiple issues of, for example, property and share valuation and the possibility of orders against directors personally.
  • In the Matter of Comet Group Limited [2015] BPIR 1: Paul acted on a successful application under section 236 of the Insolvency Act 1986 seeking production of documents in connection with a very substantial putative cartel damages claim.
  • In the Matter of Orb a.r.l. and Andrew Ruhan: Paul has acted in connection with various aspects of this substantial litigation which was carried on in the Commercial Court, with related aspects in the Chancery Division and abroad. However, the case also raised a significant issue of potential personal insolvency, resolved at a 2 day hearing of various bankruptcy petitions before Mrs Registrar Barber in November 2014.
  • David Mellor PC QC and Others v John Partridge and Others (2010-2014, now settled): led by John Brisby QC, Paul acted for members of the Partridge family in connection with a claim for c.£20m arising out of the sale of shares in Partridge Fine Arts plc, previously one of the world’s leading dealers in antiques. Systematic fraud was alleged against his clients, and the case attracted significant publicity.
  • Executors of Edward St George v Sir Jack Hayward (Bahamian Court of Appeal, February, 2010, and 2015-2016): Paul acted for Sir Jack, led by Robert Hildyard QC (as he then was) against the estate of his former commercial partner, and subsequently after Sir Jack’s death, acted in respect of his estate. Ultimately at stake was the ownership and control of the most important commercial operations in Freeport, Grand Bahama, worth many £ millions.
  • Van Geens and Beckett Ltd v Jyske Bank (Gibraltar) Ltd (Supreme Court of Gibraltar, November 2014): Paul acted unled for Bank at a 5 day trial before Jack J. in defence of a claim concerning financial services advice given by Bank.
  • Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (Europe) Ltd v EPIC [2013-2014, settled]: this complex case concerned a claim for about £4million made in connection with the transfer of a stake in Thames Water.
  • BNP Paribas v Anchorage Capital Europe LLP [2013] EWHC 3073: a jurisdictional dispute before Stephen Males J, in connection with a substantive claim for US$95,000,000.  
  • GHLM Trading Ltd v Maroos [2012] 2 BCLC 369: Paul acted unled for the Claimant in this factually complex case which concerned the fraudulent conduct of former directors, involving a successful claim for about £2m after a 3 week trial before Newey J.
  • DXPCC v Prudential (which settled shortly after the commencement of the trial before Peter Smith J. in 2012): this case concerned the application by the Prudential of “market value reductions” on the encashment of with-profits investments; Paul was led by George Bompas QC and the case was worth many £ millions.
  • In the Matter of L (a Company) (Guernsey, 2010-2011, 19 day trial conducted in private): in effect, this was a dispute between the 2 controlling shareholder families, and the issue concerned the right of directors to inspect company documents. The company’s turnover was about $1 billion per annum, and Paul’s clients’ application succeeded.
  • OBG Ltd v Allan [2008] 1 AC 1: this is one of the leading English cases on the economic torts; it also decided that the tort of conversion does not extent to intangible property. Paul acted for the Defendants (at 1st instance and in the Court of Appeal, as well as in the House of Lords) and was led by Gregory Mitchell QC. In respect of the same dispute, he acted for the UK Government in the European Court of Human Rights, led by Jonathan Crow QC.
  • Bear Stearns Bank plc v Forum Global Equity Ltd [2007] EWHC 1576: this important decision concerns the contractual force of an oral agreement to sell distressed debt; Paul represented the Defendant at trial before Mr Justice Andrew Smith.
  • In the Matter of INS Realisation Ltd [2006] 2 BCLC 239: led by Malcolm Davis- White QC (as he then was) Paul appeared for the Secretary of State before Hart J. in a case which remains the leading authority concerning the operation of section 8A of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.
  • Thomson v Christie, Manson & Woods Ltd & Others [2005] EWCA 555: Paul acted at 1st instance (led by Robert Miles QC) and subsequently in the Court of Appeal (led by Lord Grabiner and David Kitchin QC, as he then was) in this important case concerning the alleged liability of an auctioneer for advice given to a “special client”; it is a leading authority in connection with auctioneers’ duties.
  • IRC v. The Wimbledon Football Club and Others [2005] 1 BCLC 66: this was a decision of the Court of Appeal (where Paul was led by Guy Newey QC as he then was) concerning the preferential treatment of “football creditors” in a company voluntary arrangement.
  • Giles v Rhind [2003] Ch 618: Paul appeared at 1st instance and in the Court of Appeal in this important case regarding the scope and limits of the reflective loss principle as explained by the House of Lords in Johnson v Gore-Wood.
  • T Mobile (UK) v. Bluebottle Investments SA and Others [2003] EWHC 379: Paul appeared (led by Philip Heslop QC) at the trial of a substantial shareholder dispute concerning Virgin Mobile Telecomms Limited, and also in the Court of Appeal (where the dispute settled after the hearing but before Judgment).
  • Re RBG Resources plc [2002] EWCA Civ 1624: Paul appeared for certain of the Defendants both at 1st instance and in the Court of Appeal (led by Philip Heslop QC) in this important case regarding (amongst other things) the operation of section 236 of the Insolvency Act 1986. The case involved worldwide fraud on a massive scale, an investigation by the SFO, freezing and search injunctions and the confiscation of passports.
What the directories and judges say

Chambers & Partners 2016 says:

Chancery: Commercial  – Band 2

“Capable of handling a wide range of instructions as part of a broad commercial practice, and especially good at fraud, company and insolvency disputes.”

“He is astute and provides clear advice. He is a real pleasure to work with.”

Company Law – Band 2

“Frequently instructed in company disputes in the context of his commercial chancery, fraud and insolvency practice. He is often instructed in cross-border company disputes with an insolvency angle.”

“A very good all-rounder in terms of his communication, advice and intellect.” “He’s a good communicator with a very good brain and articulates things well.”

Since 2005 Paul has been included in the Chambers & Partners Guide to the UK Legal Profession as a Leading Junior in both Insolvency/Corporate Recovery and Chancery (Commercial), and variously described as being:

“possessed of a remarkable mental acuity”

“polished and unflappable”

“skilful and easy to work with”

“capable of great creativity” but with a “combative style”.

Career & appointments

July 1999-July 2005, Junior Counsel to the Crown (B panel)
Member of the Commercial Bar Association, the Chancery Bar Association and the Insolvency Lawyers Association.

Foreign jurisdictions

Paul has acted in litigation abroad, in Gibraltar, the Turks & Caicos Islands and the Bahamas, and regularly advises in respect of cases with an international or cross-border element.

Publications

Butterworths Practical Insolvency – Chapters in relation to meetings of creditors under the Insolvency Act 1986 and the operation of section 127 of the Insolvency Act 1986
Atkins Court Forms Volumes 9 and 10, Companies and Corporate Insolvency (Butterworths);
Butterworths’ Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents Volume 11: Companies.

Education & awards

BA Jurisprudence, Jesus College Oxford; Distinction in the BCL.