Tiran Nersessian

Tiran Nersessian

Call 2002


Tiran is highly regarded for his courtroom advocacy and has extensive experience acting as sole counsel in substantial trials, appeals and applications. He is a ‘go-to’ expert in the area of directors’ disqualification and is the general editor of the leading textbook in that field: Mithani. He has been recommended for many years as a leading practitioner by Chambers UK, the Legal 500 and Who’s Who in the field of Restructuring/Insolvency and Company/Partnership and has also been nominated as Insolvency Junior of the Year and Junior of the Year. He has acted in several high profile matters for the government and private clients in recent years including Carillion, Comet, Bell Pottinger, BHS, Boris Becker, the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, the proposed acquisition of Sky by 21 Century Fox and James Stunt to name but a few. The directories have variously quoted:

“He is phenomenally bright and is calm and collected…very easy to deal with and is very personable. He’s got a fantastic work ethic, is very good technically and is very calm and measured on his feet.”

“Very commercial and practical with great technical knowledge…has great strategic skill to navigate complex problems.”

“He is a very knowledgeable counsel who has the Insolvency Rules at his fingertips and is practical in the advice which he gives.”

“Very calm in a crisis, always dependable, very bright and one to watch.”

“Tiran deals with instructions swiftly and efficiently: he’s hard-working, very approachable and a tenacious advocate.”

“He is extremely thorough and deeply impressive.”

“Very sharp and analytical, and possesses a great advocacy style.”

“He is brilliant – his advice is very clear and his performances in court are very strong.”

“Highly rated by sources for his courtroom skills.”

“Effectively combines great intellectual vigour with case strategy, and adapts well to clients’ demands.”

“Extremely intelligent, practical and calm.”

Areas of expertise

  • Insolvency & Restructuring

    Tiran has a particular depth of experience in both corporate and personal insolvency litigation, including claims concerning transactions at undervalue and preferences, disputed winding up and bankruptcy petitions, administrations, applications to set aside statutory demands, public/private examinations, bankruptcy restriction orders, wrongful/fraudulent trading, crossborder insolvency matters and the appointment of provisional liquidators on the application of creditors and the Secretary of State. High profile corporate and personal insolvency proceedings in which he has acted include Carillion, Comet, Bell Pottinger, BHS, Boris Becker and James Stunt. In addition to acting for companies, private litigants and insolvency practitioners, he also regularly represents HMRC and the Official Receiver (see Cases of Interest).

  • Commercial Dispute Resolution

    Tiran has particularly extensive litigation experience as sole counsel in commercial disputes involving contract and tort claims, including freezing orders, other injunctive relief and claims with an element of civil fraud. He is able to draw from this extensive experience to provide advice to clients that takes into account the merits of a case from a court room perspective and deploy effective alternative dispute resolution where appropriate. (see Cases of Interest)

  • Fraud: Civil

    Tiran is regularly instructed in cases for the civil recovery of assets and the appointment of provisional liquidators in cases involving large scale international money laundering, tax frauds and errant company directors. He is well experienced in having to make complex, but urgent, applications to protect assets in the context of such claims. He is a preferred choice of HMRC and the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills, giving him a unique insight into the effective representation of defendants facing fraud claims on the other side of the fence. (see Cases of interest).

  • Company Law

    Tiran is a ‘go-to’ expert in the area of directors’ disqualification under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 and is the general editor of the leading textbook in that field: Mithani. He has been instructed for both government and private clients in many major director disqualification claims including, Carillion, Bell Pottinger, BHS, and MG Rover. He has been recommended for many years as a leading practitioner in the field of Company law by Who’s Who. Tiran also represents and advises parties on matters of directors’ duties, interim injunctions, company restorations, registration of charges and matters involving bona vacantia.

  • Administrative & Public Law

    Tiran is regularly instructed on both sides of the fence on a wide range of public law matters including directors’ disqualification; civil asset recovery (NCA); competition law (OFT); large government contracts for the provision of services (DHSC/MOD); public interest winding up petitions, bankruptcy restriction orders and company investigations (Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills/the Official Receiver); and judicial review applications. He has acted for the Government in major cases over the years, including the Harmondsworth detention centre, MG Rover, BHS the proposed acquisition of Sky by 21 Century Fox and the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. He is presently engaged by the Government concerning a large commercial contract for the supply of PPE during the pandemic. (see Cases of interest)

  • POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture

    Tiran has been appointed to the Attorney General’s panels of civil counsel (currently A Panel) for over 15 years during which time he has been instructed on numerous successful claims by the National Crime Agency for civil recovery under POCA, often as sole counsel. He was junior counsel in the successful recovery of assets against the well-publicised claim against Alexander Surin (see Cases of interest).

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution

    Tiran’s extensive litigation experience means he is always conscious of advising clients of the most cost-effective and speedy resolution to a dispute. He is well versed in successfully conducting alternative dispute resolution methods. (see Cases of interest)

Other information

  • Cases of Interest
    • Darty Holdings SAS v Carton-Kelly [2023] EWCA Civ 1135 – s.239 preferences; time of relevant decision to prefer
    • Carton-Kelly v Darty Holdings SAS [2022] EWHC 2873 (Ch) and [2022] EWHC 3234 (Ch) – s.239 preferences; share sales; interest; payment into court
    • Secretary of State v Keeble [2002] EWHC 2503 (Ch) – directors’ disqualification; consumer credit; financial regulation Obaigbena v Official Receiver [2022] EWHC 1399 (Ch) – appeal; directors’ disqualification; insolvency allegations; trading to the detriment of creditors
    • CGL realisations (formerly Comet) [2021] EWHC 1018 – appeal, s.435 meaning of associate
    • Arise Networks [2021] EWHC 852 – director disqualification trial; directors’ duties; insolvency allegations
    • Bell Pottinger [2021] EWHC 672 – Director Disqualification; strike out; application of CDDA regime to LLPs
    • Brooklands Trustees Ltd [2020] EWHC 3519 – Director Disqualification; financial services; FCA; directors’ duties
    • Re CGL Realisations Ltd (formerly Comet Group Ltd) (In Liquidation) [2020] EWHC 1707 – Associated companies (s.435); Preferences (s.239).
    • Balengani v Sharifpoor [2020] EWHC 1571 – Civil Procedure; setting aside of judgments; relief from sanction
    • Re Viceroy Jones New Tech Ltd [2020] EWHC 1155 – Conduct; Directors; Non-party costs orders;
    • Georgallides v Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy [2020] EWHC 768 – rescission of disqualification undertakings; fraud
    • Carton Kelly (Additional Liquidator of Comet Group) v Hailey Acquisitions Ltd [2019] EWHC 2697 – Corporate insolvency, rule 6.48, closed material procedures
    • Bajaj Healthcare v Fine Organics [2019] EWHC 2316 – Sale of goods, implied terms
    • Armstrong-Emery [2019] EWHC 578 – directors disqualification
    • Genz Holdings [2018] EWHC 2091 – Foreign convictions, disqualification
    • Re Leitzbach [2018] EWHC 1544 – bankruptcy tourism, insolvency
    • Botleigh Grange Hotel Ltd v HMRC [2018] EWCA Civ 1032 – Insolvency cross claims, interpretation of consent orders;
    • Re A&M Access Ltd [2017] EWHC 2756 (Ch) – Liquidators, company restoration, personal costs;
    • Brooks v Armstrong [2017] BCC 99 – Cross-appeal, Wrongful trading, directors’ duties, indemnity costs;
    • CFL Finance v Rubin [2017] BPIR 336 – Bankruptcy, IVAs, material irregularity;
    • Botleigh Grange Ltd v HMRC [2016] EWHC 3081 – Companies, cross-claims, insolvency;
    • Walker v National Westminster Bank Plc [2016] BCC 355 – Financial misselling, administrators’ duties;
    • Allfiled UK Ltd v Eltis [2016] FSR 11 – Injunction, breach of fiduciary duties by directors, conspiracy;
    • Re Kombinat Aluminijuma Podgorica A.D. (In bankruptcy) [2016] 1 BCLC 311 – Application pursuant to Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations 2006, arbitration;
    • Brooks v Armstrong [2015] BCC 661 – Wrongful trading, directors’ duties;
    • Re a Company [2014] EWHC 3925 (Ch) – objectionable trading practices, damage to company reputation and finances, advertisement of winding up petition;
    • Re RD Industries Ltd [2014] EWHC 2844 (Ch) – corporate factoring arrangements, directors’ disqualification;
    • Secretary of State v Feld [2014] 1 WLR 3396 – interpretation of court judgments and orders, directors disqualification;
    • HMRC v Sunico A/S [2014] EWCA Civ 1108 and [2013] S.T.I. 1713 – fraudulent conspiracy, unlawful means, MTIC VAT fraud;
    • NCA v Surin [2013] EWHC 3137; 3784 (QB) – civil recovery proceedings, property freezing orders, exclusions for legal expenses;
    • Elektromotive Group Ltd v Pan [2012] EWHC 2742 (QB) – Application to discharge freezing injunction, asset disclosure orders;
    • Sykes and Sons Ltd [2013] Bus LR 106 – advertisement of petition, costs;
    • Rubin v Coote [2011] BCC 596 – appeal of High Court decision granting liquidator sanction for a compromise;
    • Revenue and Customs Commissioners v Earley [2011] BPIR 1530 – application to revoke decision of creditors’ meeting where an injunction had been granted restricting a major creditor’s voting rights; jurisdiction of the High Court to hear application;
    • Abernethy v Hotbed Ltd [2011] BPIR 1547 – Appeal of decision on application to set aside statutory demand;
    • Re Hagemeister [2010] BPIR 1093 – application by a German bank to annul an English bankruptcy order in the context of a cross border insolvency. Principles under EC Regulation on Insolvency Proceedings 2000;
    • Re BA Peters [2010] 1 BCLC 110 – insolvent administration concerning distribution of monies from company client account subject to competing trust claims and retention of title clauses;
    • XYZ (acting as liquidator of ABC Ltd) v HMRC and another [2010] B.P.I.R 1297 – statutory prohibition of disclosure of documents to liquidator under s 236 Insolvency Act 1986 where there is objection by overseas prosecuting authority and intervention by the Secretary of State;
    • David Anthony Rubin v Michael John Coote [2010] BPIR 262 – application by liquidator for sanction of a compromise;
    • Shepherd v Official Receiver [2010] EWHC 681 (Ch) – appeal of challenge to Official Receiver’s conduct in bankruptcy estate, vexatious litigants;
    • Official Receiver v Baars [2009] BPIR 524 – jurisdiction to extend time for an application for a Bankruptcy Restriction Order;
    • Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs v Potter [2008] BPIR 1033 -extent to which bankruptcy courts can interfere in VAT/Income tax matters under exceptional circumstances;
    • Official Receiver v William Bathurst [2008] BPIR 1548 – appeal before the Chancellor, establishing the extent to which moral obligations can be considered by the court on applications for Bankruptcy Restriction Orders;
    • Owen v Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs [2008] BPIR 164 – appeal concerning the bankruptcy court’s ability to go behind income tax assessments;
  • Career & Appointments
    • Junior Counsel to the Crown (A Panel) 2016-
    • Junior Counsel to the Crown (B Panel) 2011-2016
    • Junior Counsel to the Crown (C Panel) 2006-2011
    • Member of the Commercial Bar Association and the Chancery Bar Association
  • Education & Awards
    • MA (Oxon), Jurisprudence
    • Jesus College: Viscount Sankey Scholarship and Benlian Trust Scholarship
    • Lincoln’s Inn Lord Denning Major Scholarship and Hardwicke Entrance Award.
  • Publications
    • General editor of Mithani: Directors’ Disqualification
    • Contributor to Annotated Companies Acts, OUP (ed. John Birds); Atkins Court Forms volume 8 (Companies); and Tolley’s Insolvency.
  • Languages
    • Fluent in Armenian
  • What the Directories Say
    • “Tiran’s analytical skills are excellent, and his vast experience means that he is able to grasp essentials and interpret the fine detail of a matter whilst not losing sight of the bigger picture.”
    • “Very commercial and practical with great technical knowledge…has great strategic skill to navigate complex problems.”
    • “He is a very knowledgeable counsel who has the Insolvency Rules at his fingertips and is practical in the advice which he gives.”
    • “He is a very bright junior barrister.”
    • “The case was presented at trial and within the submissions made by Mr Nersessian in an exemplary manner by cutting through the evidence, providing clear and precise analysis and seeking to cure the potential deficiencies which Mr Ascroft relied upon. The following summary of his submissions (for which even Mr Ascroft courteously expressed admiration) will not do justice to them”: judgment in Secretary of State v Keeble [2002] EWHC 2503 (Ch).
    • “Mr Nersessian’s, undoubted, silky skills”: judgment in Brooks v Armstrong [2015] EWHC 2289.
    • “Experienced in corporate and personal insolvencies.”
    • “Experienced advocate who regularly appears before the Chancery Division acting as sole counsel. He is frequently instructed by government bodies, particularly in disqualification cases and matters involving alleged fraudulent activity.”
    • “Experienced advocate who regularly appears before the Chancery Division acting as sole counsel. He is frequently instructed by government bodies, particularly in disqualification cases and matters involving alleged fraudulent activity.”
    • “Tiran Nersessian is regularly instructed by the HMRC and the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills, and acts for officeholders and insolvent entities. He “knows his stuff,” is “very calm in his approach,” and is “good on his feet.”
    • “the incredibly hard-working and very approachable” Tiran Nersessian, who routinely handles directors’ disqualification and insolvency matters, as well as general commercial litigation. Nersessian “comes up with very good ideas and is very sensible.”
    • “…recommended for the strength of his expertise in insolvency matters, as well as commercial litigation” and “adding value to the work of his more senior colleagues,and is praised for taking a swift and efficient approach to proceedings both for the government and through private instructions.”
    • “a rising star and a good fighter”.

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