Practice

Zara joined Chambers in October 2017 following the successful completion of her pupillage. She is now building a practice across the full spectrum of work undertaken by Chambers, including banking and finance, commercial litigation, company and insolvency.

Before coming to the Bar, Zara read Classics and Modern Languages at the University of Oxford, with a year studying abroad in France. After her degree, she spent time living and working in Kazakhstan and Hong Kong. She has maintained her interest in both jurisdictions: earlier this year she became the first lawyer to be granted rights of audience in the new Astana International Finance Centre Courts in Kazakhstan, and has been awarded this year’s Inner Temple Pegasus Scholarship to Hong Kong.

Zara has also worked pro bono for Liberty, and on an award-winning collaboration between City Law School and Reprieve, the human rights charity. She now volunteers with the Bar Pro Bono Unit and Vocalise UK.

Zara is currently undertaking a Pegasus Scholarship in Hong Kong, and will return to the UK in late November 2018.

Practice areas

Banking & finance
  • Assisted Sharif Shivji in drafting a Part 8 Claim and accompanying Witness Statement for matters arising out of the decision of the DIFC Court of Appeal in a claim concerning the mis-selling of investment products by an investment bank.
  • Assisted Sharif Shivji in drafting pre-action correspondence in a dispute over the selling of foreign exchange options by an international bank.
  • Assisted Sharif Shivji in drafting pre-action correspondence concerning a dispute over secured lending for a commercial property development.
  • Assisted Andrew de Mestre in advising an international bank on the validity of a payment instruction made by a separate bank to a corporate trustee, in order to release funds which were paid into an escrow account during the course of the debt restructuring of a foreign corporate group.
  • Assisted Andrew de Mestre in drafting a response to an appeal against a first instance decision, in a claim brought against an Italian bank concerning a reference alleged to have been given by the bank to a gaming club in London.
  • Assisted Tom Gentleman in advising on a potential claim against an investment promoter for deceit, misrepresentation, negligent misstatement and breaches of the Financial Conduct Authority COBS rules.
Chancery: commercial
  • Assisted Andrew de Mestre acting for the Claimant in a claim relating to breaches of fiduciary duty in respect of an opportunity to develop technology for the enhanced extraction of oil and gas. Judgment was given in favour of the Claimant in July 2015 and orders were made for further evidence on valuation issues.
  • Assisted Andrew de Mestre in defending a claim for sums allegedly owed by a property developer as guarantor and/or principal debtor, in respect of sums advanced for the purchase of a distressed residential property development.
Commercial dispute resolution
  • Assisted John Brisby QC and Tom Gentleman in relation to a claim for security for an arbitration award of over USD 300 million.
  • Assisted Tom Gentleman in drafting a skeleton argument in an application for permission for the collateral use of documents disclosed in proceedings connected to a £2.2 billion claim of conspiracy
Company law
  • Assisted John Brisby QC and Tom Gentleman in relation to Dennis v TAG Group Limited, Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company B.S.C., McLaren Technology Group Limited [2017] EWHC 919 (Ch). The interim injunction led to the dismissal of a company director.
  • Assisted Tom Gentleman in a contractual dispute between a sports-goods retailer and the subsidiary of a football club, concerning the validity of agreements for the sale of branded merchandise.
  • Assisted Tom Gentleman in an unfair prejudice petition in the context of a dispute between the shareholders/quasi-partners in an engineering company.
  • Assisted Gregory Denton-Cox in advising on potential minority shareholder claims in relation to the restructuring of a Guernsey-incorporated investment holding company with interests in technology companies in the MENA region.
  • Assisted Andrew de Mestre in defending a claim for sums allegedly owed by a property developer as guarantor and/or principal debtor, in respect of lending obtained for a residential property development.
Financial services
  • Assisted Christopher Harrison in bringing a successful application for a freezing injunction brought by a global specialist insurance company.
Insolvency & restructuring
  • Assisted Sharif Shivji in successfully applying for the discharge of the administration of the English Gemini companies, following the recovery of over £550 million for the English companies’ creditors. These companies were originally placed into administration under the English Court’s special jurisdiction, pursuant to letters of request from the Guernsey Royal Court.
  • Assisted Sharif Shivji in proceedings relating to the liquidation of BVI-incorporated special purpose vehicles.
  • Assisted Robert Miles QC and Andrew de Mestre in defending a very substantial claim under section 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986 brought by the liquidators of a Luxembourg holding company which owned a major Greek telecoms company.
  • Assisted Andrew de Mestre in a claim relating to the fees due to the former solicitors of a luxury hotel chain. The claim raised issues as to the proper interpretation of section 246 of the Insolvency Act and, in particular, the validity of a charge over monies held in court.
  • Assisted Andrew de Mestre in a claim concerning lending of EUR 295 million by an Icelandic bank (now in liquidation) to a UK retail entrepreneur.
  • Assisted Tom Gentleman in an application to set aside an £8 million statutory demand against a Hong Kong resident.
Offshore litigation
  • Assisted John Brisby QC and Tom Gentleman in an application to the BVI Commercial Court for a wasted costs order.
  • Assisted John Brisby QC and Tom Gentleman in relation to a claim for security for an arbitration award of over USD 300 million.
  • Assisted Sharif Shivji in drafting a Part 8 relating to matters arising out of a decision of the DIFC Court of Appeal in a claim concerning the mis-selling of investment products by an investment bank.
  • Assisted Gregory Denton-Cox in advising on potential minority shareholder claims in relation to the restructuring of a Guernsey-incorporated investment holding company with interests in technology companies in the MENA region.
  • Assisted Sharif Shivji in proceedings relating to the liquidation of BVI-incorporated special purpose vehicles.
Professional discipline and regulatory law
  • Assisted Robert Miles QC and Gregory Denton-Cox in defending a claim for £170 million brought against the employee trust of an international bank by a former employee of the bank, for breaches of contract and fiduciary duty in relation to the trust’s conduct of gilt option agreements.
  • Assisted Sharif Shivji in drafting pre-action correspondence in a dispute over the selling of foreign exchange options by an international bank.
  • Assisted Sharif Shivji in drafting pre-action correspondence concerning a dispute over secured lending for a commercial property development.

Additional info

Career & appointments

Member of the Chancery Bar Association (ChBA)
Member of the Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)
Member of the British-Russian Lawyers Association (BRLA)
Volunteer barrister for the Bar Pro Bono Unit

Education & awards

BPTC, City Law School
GDL, City Law School
MA (Hons), Classics and Modern Languages, University of Oxford (Trinity College)
Study abroad at Université de Paris IV – Paris Sorbonne

Queen Mother Scholarship, Middle Temple
Diplock Scholarship, Middle Temple
Lingen Fund Award, Trinity College

Finalist, HRLA Judicial Review Competition
Middle Temple Team and Team Leader, Willem C Vis international Commercial Arbitration Moot
National Moot Team, City Law School
Secretary, the Oxford Union

Languages

French, Russian