Commercial Dispute Resolution
Equally comfortable litigating in both the Chancery and Queen’s Bench Divisions, 4 Stone Buildings is home to barristers who have a particular flair for commercial contracts, oil and gas issues and matters resulting from market-changing events. They also regularly represent parties involved in major shareholder disputes. The high-profile case of Autonomy Corporation v Dr Michael Lynch, concerning fraud and breach of fiduciary claims of unprecedented value against the former CEO of Autonomy, is a highlight of the work they have handled in the past year or so. Other notable matters include Tchenguiz v Grant Thornton, the Hellas (II) litigation, Mayr and others v CMS Cameron McKenna, and a case involving Kathryn Ma Fai Wong, the executrix of the estate of a late billionaire timber and oil palm tycoon. In the words of instructing solicitors, 4 Stone Buildings “consistently produces good chancery barristers who are superb at handling the most complex pieces of commercial litigation.”
Client service: “The clerks forge personal relationships with solicitors and turn around responses almost immediately.” “They are responsive and hands-on.” David Goddard is the senior clerk.
George Bompas QC
Strengths: “George Bompas QC has impressive analytical skills and is a flawless advocate.” “George is very strong on the advisory side and creative as well, making him an obvious choice for cases involving complex issues.”
Recent work: Acted for TIPP Investments in a BVI-based shareholder dispute against Chagala Group. The case concerned a listed public company and involved questions concerning directors’ duties and applications for interim injunctive relief.
John Brisby QC
Strengths: “John is incredibly sharp and very experienced in contentious trusts, fraud and offshore work, proving a really good tactician who gives very solid advice.” “He’s a strategic thinker who’s not afraid to express his views.”
Recent work: Acted on behalf of the UK branch of Indian entity Syndicate Bank in long-running litigation against Dansingani and others which related to the bank’s foreclosure against the defendants.
Jonathan Crow QC
Strengths: “He really rolls his sleeves up and throws himself into the detail of a case.” “A real polymath, who’s obviously extraordinarily talented while also being very down to earth.”
Recent work: Instructed on behalf of claimant Global Energy Horizons in its long-running, multimillion-dollar dispute against Gray over highly innovative technology involved in oil and gas extraction.
Robert Miles QC
Strengths: “He’s unflappable and very calm, and he has great authority in court.” “One of the best at the Bar by a mile, he has the confidence of the court in a way that has to be seen to be believed, and his advocacy is like poetry.”
Recent work: Acted for Dr Michael Lynch in relation to fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claims by Hewlett-Packard (HP) against him in respect of his role as former CEO of Autonomy, which was acquired by HP for USD12 billion.
Richard Hill QC
Strengths: “An exceptional advocate who produces brilliant written work, he’s an excellent team player who is very robust on his feet.” “He’s very approachable and down to earth, and gets straight to the point.”
Recent work: Acted for Al Khorafi in claims against Bank Sarasin-Alpen and others, which involved the mis-selling of USD200 million in investment products under DIFC law, Swiss law and Kuwaiti law.
Andrew de Mestre QC
Strengths: “His written advocacy is strong, and he’s very hard-working and very accessible.” “Everyone who works with him is lost in admiration, and he generates huge respect.”
Recent work: Acted for Singularis Holdings, a Cayman company in liquidation, in its claim to recover USD204 million which it alleged was wrongly paid away by defendant Daiwa Capital Markets Europe, a Japanese broker.
Strengths: “He has excellent technical skills, provides incisive analysis and remains focused on efficiently achieving clients’ objectives.” “Chris is unflappable, responsive, good on his feet and totally committed.”
Recent work: Acted for Astra Asset Management in its multimillion-pound Commercial Court claim against The Co-operative Bank over the rights to financial instruments controlling the Leeds Arena development.
Strengths: “Greg has a superb legal brain cases concerning complex financial instruments. He shows good judgement in assessing case strategy and is good at dealing with his solicitors.”
Recent work: Acted for Barclays Bank (in its capacity as security trustee) in FSHC Group Holdings v Barclays Bank, defending a claim brought by a company in the Four Seasons Health Care group seeking rectification of deeds of adherence it entered into in 2016.
Strengths: “The complete package: he’s diligent, extremely well prepared, and someone who understands the facts and is very pragmatic in approach.” “Sharif is very precise, extremely good on detail and an excellent advocate.”
Recent work: Acted for Dr Mike Lynch, former CEO of Autonomy, in defence of a USD5 billion chancery claim brought by Hewlett-Packard relating to its acquisition of FTSE 100 company Autonomy for USD12 billion.
Strengths: “His drafting is precise and to the point, he gets the job done effectively and he’s phenomenally hard-working.” “A commercially oriented barrister who is thorough and has great understanding of the law.”
Recent work: Defended the new owner of the Brocket Hall Estate golf club against a claim by Aarons and others, a group of alleged life members who sought an injunction to force the club to let them continue to play golf and use club facilities.