Practice

Zara has a busy practice across the full spectrum of work undertaken by Chambers, including banking and finance, commercial litigation and arbitration, company and insolvency.

She regularly appears both led and unled in the High Court and County Court, and also has experience of international arbitration and arbitration-related court applications. Recent led instructions include:

  • Autonomy Corporation Ltd & Ors v Lynch & Anor, one of The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2019, led by Robert Miles QC and Richard Hill QC;
  • A multi-million-dollar international arbitration under the ICC rules concerning the management of a hospital in the MENA region, led by Jeffrey Gruder QC.

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: she has rights of audience in the AIFC Court in Kazakhstan, and was awarded the 2018 Inner Temple Pegasus Scholarship to Hong Kong.

Zara is also a contributor to Loose and Griffiths on Liquidators (9th Ed.) (2019), and is happy to write and give talks on areas related to her practice. She was called to the Bar by Middle Temple, which awarded her a Diplock Scholarship for the GDL, and a Queen Mother Scholarship (the Inn’s most prestigious award) for the BPTC.

Practice areas

Banking & finance

Zara has been instructed both as sole counsel and as part of a team in various banking and finance disputes. These include:

  • Drafting pre-action correspondence and statements of case in claims regarding the mis-selling of investment products;
  • Assisting in relation to the insolvency of a bank in the MENA region;
  • Robert Tchenguiz & Ors v Grant Thornton UK LLP & Ors: assisting in relation to the Commercial Court proceedings in the multi-billion pound dispute arising out of the Claimants’ financing arrangements with a major Icelandic bank;
  • Providing assistance to an enquiry into the actions of the restructuring department of a major bank during and following the 2008 financial crisis.
Chancery: commercial

Zara’s work spans chancery areas with a business flavour, and she regularly appears both as sole and as junior counsel in the Business & Property Courts. Recent instructions include:

  • Autonomy Corporation Ltd & Ors v Lynch & Anor: led by Robert Miles QC and Richard Hill QC in the 10-month trial of a claim involving allegations of fraud, arising out of the acquisition of Autonomy by Hewlett Packard in 2011;
  • Drafting a statement of case and mediation position statement in a claim relating to alleged breaches of statutory and fiduciary duties in respect of the management of a business and its dealings with HMRC.
Commercial dispute resolution

Much of Zara’s practice concerns commercial disputes between businesses large and small in a range of different sectors. Recent work in this area includes:

  • Drafting a statement of case in a dispute between a branding and communications agency and a former client;
  • Acting for a lender in a successful claim regarding a corporate client;
  • Successfully obtaining judgment for a design business in a money dispute with a former client;
  • Drafting a statement of case in a dispute between a telecoms company and a web hosting company.
Company law

Zara regularly advises on and acts in a wide range of company law matters, particularly concerning shareholder disputes. Recent instructions include:

  • Drafting statements of case in an unfair prejudice petition/derivative action in respect of an international media company;
  • Advising on a potential s125 Companies Act 2006 application for the rectification of the register of companies;
  • Advising on a potential unfair prejudice petition in respect of a medical staffing company;
  • Obtaining extensions of time to register charges at Companies House;
  • Drafting a statement of case in an unfair prejudice petition in Singapore concerning a product testing company;
  • Drafting statements of case in a partnership dispute concerning a property development business.
Fraud – civil

Zara has been involved in a number of cases concerning fraud, and is thus familiar with the issues which often arise in such claims, including applications for interim relief. Recent experience includes:

  • Autonomy Corporation Ltd & Ors v Lynch & Anor: led by Robert Miles QC and Richard Hill QC in the 10-month trial of a claim involving allegations of fraud, arising out of the acquisition of Autonomy by Hewlett Packard in 2011;
  • Robert Tchenguiz & Ors v Grant Thornton UK LLP & Ors: assisting in relation to the Commercial Court proceedings in the multi-billion pound dispute arising out of the Claimants’ financing arrangements with a major Icelandic bank;
  • Successfully obtaining a continued freezing injunction in a fraud claim brought by an individual against his former business partner.

 

Insolvency & restructuring

Zara is regularly instructed on behalf of both creditors and debtors in both personal and corporate insolvency matters arising under the Insolvency Act 1986 and the Insolvency Rules 2016. She is also a contributor to Loose and Griffiths on Liquidators (9th Ed.) (2019). Her work in this area includes extensive experience of the winding-up list in the High Court and:

  • Assisting in relation to the insolvency of a bank in the MENA region;
  • Drafting statements of case in respect of a matter concerning phoenix companies under s216 Insolvency Act 1986;
  • Assistance in relation to requests by a trustee in bankruptcy to a major law firm for delivery up of documents;
  • As a pupil, assisting 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.
International arbitration

Zara has a strong interest in international arbitration. During her Pegasus Scholarship in Hong Kong in 2018, she spent a number of weeks at the HKIAC which coincided with the launch of the HKIAC Rules 2018. Recent instructions include:

  • Acting (led by Jeffrey Gruder QC of Essex Court Chambers) in a multi-million-dollar ICC dispute concerning the management of a hospital in the MENA region, including successfully opposing an application for interim relief;
  • Successfully applying under s9 Arbitration Act 1996 for a stay of proceedings in favour of arbitration.
Offshore litigation

Zara has a range of offshore experience, including in relation to matters in the DIFC. Recent work includes:

  • Assistance in relation to an application for joinder and associated requests for information by a non-party to a shareholder dispute in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court concerning an investment fund;
  • Assisting in relation to the insolvency of a bank in the MENA region;
  • Drafting a statement of case in an unfair prejudice petition concerning a Singaporean product testing company;
  • Assistance in relation to requests by a trustee in bankruptcy to a major law firm for delivery up of documents under s342(1) Gibraltar Insolvency Act 2011;
  • As a pupil, assisting 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.
  • As a pupil, assisting 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.

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)
Member of the British-Kazakh Lawyers Association (BKLA)
Volunteer barrister for Advocate

Education & awards

Introduction to Corporate Law & Governance, London School of Economics
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

Pegasus Scholarship, Inner Temple
Queen Mother Scholarship, Middle Temple
Diplock Scholarship, Middle Temple
Lingen Fund Award, Trinity College
Finalist, HRLA National 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, basic Cantonese