4 Stone Buildings is a standout set whose company law abilities are the subject of widespread praise. At both the senior and junior levels its barristers provide high-quality advice on substantial matters. Within its broad company offering, the set enjoys an especially good reputation for its work concerning shareholder disputes and breaches of fiduciary duty. The set has recently been involved in such cases as the high-profile company law dispute Koza v Akcil. The set also continues to be involved in the ongoing Autonomy v Dr Michael Lynch, widely reported litigation concerning the acquisition of Autonomy. Sources comment: “It’s an expert set in all legal matters company-related.”
“The clerking service is excellent. They’re fantastic communicators and are tireless in assisting clients.” “They’re very professional and proactive, and always ensure they do what is required.” Senior clerk David Goddard is ably assisted by first junior clerk Ben Lashmar, who is “somebody you can always have a straight, honest conversation with.”
George Bompas QC
George Bompas QC is regularly instructed in high-profile company disputes, and is particularly active in international jurisdictions including Hong Kong, Singapore and the Caribbean. Solicitors call on him for his skills in both advisory and contentious work. He displays particular strength in cases concerning contractual interpretations, shareholder disputes and corporate reorganisations.
“A fountain of knowledge and experience who is very easy to work with. He is able to explain all of the legal concepts in a straightforward, succinct manner which is easy to follow.” “George is very astute, hugely experienced and excellent tactically.”
Recent work: Advised Nord Anglia Education in a fair value appraisal case before the Cayman Islands Grand Court.
John Brisby QC
John Brisby QC is a highly respected silk who handles a range of company work, including cases heard before offshore courts. He is experienced in issues such as shareholder disputes, reductions of capital and schemes of arrangement, and regularly acts in proceedings in the Chancery Division and Commercial Court. He is experienced in proceedings before courts in the BVI, the Cayman Islands and Gibraltar.
“He’s really commercial and just gives good advice. It’s good to have someone so robust on board.” “John has an amazing ability to steer a case. He’s a strong advocate and an amazing cross-examiner.”
Recent work: Acted in Davies v Monks, a dispute concerning issues of directors’ duties.
Jonathan Crow QC
Jonathan Crow QC enjoys a leading position at the forefront of the Chancery Bar, and earns widespread acclaim for his litigation skills. He is regularly instructed in a full range of company, commercial and public law cases, and is a regular in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. He is often involved in proceedings in a number of foreign jurisdictions, including the BVI, the Cayman Islands and Hong Kong. Recent activity includes a leading role in heavyweight shareholder disputes and directors’ disqualification matters.
“Outstanding in every respect. He’s ruthlessly well prepared and produces results.” “Jonathan is the best of the best.”
Recent work: Appeared in IAMC v Swiss Forfaiting, a case in the BVI Court of Appeal concerning a director’s duty to act for proper purposes.
Richard Hill QC
Richard Hill QC is an established practitioner with an excellent reputation for large and complex disputes, particularly with regard to City-based litigation. He regularly takes instructions in banking, commercial, company and insolvency disputes. Hill possesses additional expertise in the representation of bond trustees and bondholders in securities and other capital markets litigation.
“Richard displays an incredible mastery of extraordinarily technical issues and is able to wrap his head around the non-legal details. He is really impressive.”
Recent work: Acted in Autonomy v Dr Michael Lynch, high-profile litigation arising from the acquisition of Autonomy by Hewlett-Packard for USD12 billion.
Orlando Fraser QC
Orlando Fraser QC is a respected silk whose expertise leans towards advising on contentious company matters. His international practice includes experience in ancillary civil fraud and insolvency issues.
“A man with very good judgement who is a commanding figure in court.”
Recent work: Acted in Kathryn Ma Wai Fong v KY Wong, a significant dispute concerning issues of misfeasance and unjust enrichment.
Andrew de Mestre QC
Andrew de Mestre QC enjoys a strong reputation across a broad range of company-related litigation matters, and has particular skill in disputes concerning securitisation transactions and bond issues. He is also notably experienced in unfair prejudice petitions and shareholder disputes. De Mestre frequently represents investment banks, corporate trustees, issuers and bondholders.
“Very academically intelligent.” “He’s very thorough and his pleadings are superb.”
Recent work: Represented the defendant company in PEL v Shaftesbury, a high-value shareholder dispute.
Sharif Shivji QC
Sharif Shivji QC is often instructed in high-value shareholder disputes and financial services-related claims. His technical expertise is bolstered by prior experience as a derivatives trader, which he applies to a range of banking and insolvency law matters.
“His attention to detail is phenomenal, and nothing is ever too much trouble. He is very bright and has the ability to see what’s coming in a case.”
Recent work: Represented General Electric in litigation arising out of the USD3 billion sale to a private equity firm of part of the client’s power division.
Hermann Boeddinghaus QC
Hermann Boeddinghaus QC has a focus on corporate and commercial disputes, and has appeared in the Chancery Division, the Commercial Court and a range of international arbitration tribunals. He is experienced in the representation of leading banks, FTSE 100 companies and entrepreneurs, and is frequently instructed in shareholder claims.
“Consistently impressive and helpful, he has a huge capacity to get to grips with large amounts of information quickly. Clients like him because he’s quick to understand their goals and he communicates well.”
Recent work: Acted in a shareholders’ dispute arising out of issues of the quasi-partnership status of two related companies.
Christopher Harrison is an experienced senior junior who advises on company, civil fraud, finance and insolvency matters. He is well regarded for his handling of big-ticket claims, particularly shareholder disputes, and regularly tackles large cross-border matters, particularly those involving the Caribbean and CIS regions.
“He’s excellent – flexible, responsive, and able to turn things around quickly.” “Christopher is very helpful, calm and organised. He’s technically astute and displays strong attention to detail.”
Recent work: Acted in a high-value shareholder dispute concerning Laxmi BNS Holdings.
Paul Greenwood handles a range of complex company cases as part of his wider commercial chancery practice, and has niche skill in disputes concerning artworks. He is adept at handling disputes with cross-border and insolvency elements.
“Paul is a good team player who is really fun to work with, and someone who drafts beautifully.”
Recent work: Represented the Competition and Markets Authority in a novel application to disqualify an individual under Section 9A of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.
Gregory Denton-Cox is a highly respected barrister with a broad commercial chancery practice. He is particularly active in shareholder, director and investor disputes, and also has recognised skills in civil fraud, banking disputes and wider commercial litigation.
“His judgement is of someone far more senior, and he is excellent in every way.” “He is extremely bright, and very strategic and reliable. He’s the consummate team player.”
Recent work: Acted for minority shareholders in a Jersey exchange-traded funds business, who alleged unfair prejudice and/or that the company ought to be wound up on the just and equitable ground.
Tiran Nersessian is a well-regarded junior with a strong reputation in company law, as a part of his broader commercial and insolvency practice. Noted for his strong advocacy, he is regularly instructed by both private and government clients to assist in matters involving directors’ disqualification, directors’ duties and public interest petitions against companies.
“Very measured and calm, he finds a route through the most convoluted cases and is just the sort of person you really want in a crisis.”
Recent work: Acted for the Secretary of State in successfully resisting an application brought by a disqualified director attempting to rescind the disqualification.
Alastair Tomson maintains a busy commercial chancery practice, as part of which he regularly handles contentious and non-contentious company work. His areas of expertise include acting in unfair prejudice petitions, for both respondents and petitioners, and advising on transactional work. He regularly acts unled.
“Offers fantastic value through his very applicable and practical solutions. He’s phenomenally bright, thoroughly user-friendly, and calm and composed throughout.” “A very commercial and charismatic barrister who gives pragmatic advice.”
Recent work: Successfully defended a number of claims arising out of a shareholders’ dispute concerning Petropavlovsk.
Tom Gentleman specialises in shareholder disputes and directors’ disqualification matters, and regularly appears in High Court disputes as well as arbitrations, often acting unled. He is also experienced in cross-border and international disputes, particularly those with proceedings in the Cayman Islands, the BVI and Bermuda.
“Tom is fantastic in plotting a route through a case. Tactically he’s very astute.”
Recent work: Appeared in High Court proceedings in Simply Owners v Gallagher, a dispute involving issues of directors’ duties and diversion of corporate opportunity.
Donald Lilly is an experienced junior with a deep knowledge of litigious company cases, most notably shareholder disputes. Regularly appears unled in court proceedings, and demonstrates strong expertise in matters concerning derivative claims.
“Donald’s responsiveness and written work is excellent. He’s a pleasure to work with.”
Recent work: Acted in relation to a significant Section 994 petition pertaining to Compound Photonics Group.
James Knott handles a range of company, insolvency and commercial litigation cases. He takes instructions in non-contentious matters as well as disputes, and is experienced in Companies Court and High Court claims. Areas of notable strength include unfair prejudice cases, derivative actions and matters concerning breaches of fiduciary duty.
“Technically very gifted and has a way of explaining matters in an understandable way. He’s a fine lawyer and comes up with creative solutions.” “James is great to work with; he’s very responsive, hands-on and technically excellent.”