4 Stone Buildings houses a strong bench of senior and junior barristers experienced in the handling of the full gamut of restructuring and insolvency matters. Drawing on the set’s noted expertise in company law, members are particularly well placed to act in and advise on directors’ disqualification cases and high-profile restructuring and recovery matters, while the team is also noted for its considerable strength in insolvency litigation. The barristers are also frequently called upon to act for the government in complex insolvency proceedings. The set is regularly instructed in both domestic and international insolvencies, and its tenants have experience of appearing before the UK Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, as well as courts in Hong Kong, the Caribbean and several offshore territories. Recent work includes acting for the respondent in Wembley and Sutton v Registrar of Companies, a case heard before the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean.
Client service: “The clerks are brilliantly efficient – they go out of their way to make things work.” “The clerks are all incredibly helpful, polite and responsive.” “The team is reliable and proactive.” David Goddard is the senior clerk.
George Bompas QC
Leading insolvency practitioner who is recognised for his expert handling of major, sophisticated insolvency disputes alongside his significant experience in ADR proceedings. He is regularly called upon to assist with international matters and multimillion-pound claims. He is frequently instructed in overseas cases in Hong Kong, Singapore, Trinidad, the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands. He is noted for his strength in advisory work concerning complex restructurings, in addition to garnering recognition for his in-court advocacy.
Strengths: “His written work is impeccable and he instantly gets to the heart of the case.” “He has impressive analytical skills and is a flawless advocate.”
Recent work: Acted for the respondent in Wembley and Sutton v Registrar of Companies, a case brought before the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean. The appeal concerned a failed attempt to appoint a receiver with a view to redeeming bearer shares.
John Brisby QC
Has substantial experience advising in big-ticket litigation. He has appeared before the courts of the Isle of Man, Gibraltar and Bermuda, among others. He also sits as a deputy High Court judge.
Strengths: “He is incredibly passionate about his clients’ cases and is constantly thinking about strategy and ways to get around problems.”
Recent work: Acted for the Official Equity Committee of Energy XXI, a Bermuda-incorporated but Texas-based oil company which was involved in extremely litigious Chapter 11 proceedings before the courts of Houston, Texas.
Jonathan Crow QC
Manages a busy caseload, splitting his time evenly between commercial and public law litigation. He frequently appears in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and ECtHR, and is singled out by market commentators as a persuasive advocate. His impressive roster of clients includes public authorities in addition to private clients.
Strengths: “He is a genius – he is so clever and can turn his hand to anything.” “He is absolutely superb.” “An incredible advocate.”
Robert Miles QC
Renowned silk offering expertise across a full range of financial, corporate and commercial disputes. He remains a popular choice for an array of high-profile, big-ticket insolvency cases. He frequently appears in large-scale international cases and is regularly instructed in insolvencies involving financial institutions.
Strengths: “He is top-tier and absolutely fantastic. He’s excellent and has real gravitas when he comes into the courtroom.” “One of the best people at the Insolvency Bar.” “A very clever practitioner.”
Recent work: Acted for the Icelandic bank Kaupthing, defending claims brought by Vincent and Robert Tchenguiz arising out of their arrest by the SFO. The claims were for conspiracy and malicious prosecution, and were alleged to be worth over £2 billion.
Richard Hill QC
Highly sought after by an array of clients for his extensive expertise in complex insolvency disputes and for his specialist insight into various forms of ADR. His established restructuring and insolvency practice is further complemented by deep knowledge across civil fraud, commercial and company law. He is frequently instructed by bondholders and bond trustees, and is noted as an authority in contentious restructurings.
Strengths: “He is very smart, responsive and commercial, so clients really like him.”
Andrew de Mestre QC
Has considerable experience across the full gamut of restructuring and insolvency law. He regularly acts on behalf of an array of clients, including bondholders, issuers and corporate trustees, and routinely appears as sole counsel in high-profile cases. He is particularly well regarded for his expertise in litigation arising from securitisation transactions and other bond issues.
Strengths: “Andrew is very bright and hard-working.” “He is very impressive indeed – his written advocacy is strong and he is a very accessible barrister.”
Recent work: Acted for the respondent law firm in Crumpler and Anor v Candey, a claim relating to the validity of a charge securing payment of fees in excess of £3.7 million.
Has developed a highly regarded insolvency practice which is complemented by his wider strength in chancery commercial matters. He features regularly in high-profile cross-border cases and complex shareholder disputes. He is known for his expertise in obtaining freezing injunctions and also practises as a barrister in the Cayman Islands and Turks & Caicos Islands.
Strengths: “He is very easy to work with and he’s very good with clients. He is incredibly thorough, has a real eye for detail and is very diligent in his preparation.” “He gets into the detail of his cases, is very bright and has a nice courtroom manner.”
Recent work: Advised a creditor on claims in the company voluntary arrangement and administration of BHS.
Habitually instructed in significant insolvency and company law matters, she has a strong reputation for her skill and style as an advocate. She is an experienced representative in court and has appeared both for and against government departments in a range of insolvency-related disputes. Her areas of expertise include public winding-up petitions and disqualification proceedings.
Strengths: “She has a good knowledge and understanding of insolvency law.”
Recent work: Acted in Competition and Markets Authority v Aston, a ground-breaking directors’ disqualification case. The defendant had been a director of a company which had gone into administration and which had subsequently been found in breach of UK competition law.
Habitually attracts instructions from both private clients and government officials owing to his strong track record in this area. His flourishing practice regularly sees him appearing as sole counsel in cases up to the Court of Appeal. His experience encompasses both corporate and personal insolvency litigation. He is particularly adept at handling cases concerning directors’ disqualification and high-value contractual claims.
Strengths: “He’s unflappable, extremely hard-working, and always produces high-quality work very quickly. He also has a calm and confident demeanour in court.” “He’s very knowledgeable and routinely handles directors’ disqualification and insolvency matters very swiftly and efficiently. He is approachable, good on his feet, and a commercial and tenacious advocate.”
Recent work: Instructed by HMRC to appear as sole counsel in the Court of Appeal in Botleigh Grange v HMRC, a case concerning the way HMRC deals with agreements surrounding tax claimed in winding-up petitions and the way courts determine disputes in the context of winding-up petitions.