The wide range of practitioners involved in this sector at One Essex Court, marks it out from the other mainstream commercial sets. Both at KC and junior levels, members have a highly technical understanding of work affected by the Companies Act and the Insolvency Act, as well as EC Regulation on Insolvency Proceedings and the Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations.
Members have considerable experience in acting for administrators, auditors, accountants, bondholders and bond trustees, creditors, directors, liquidators and shareholders in relation to a wide range of company law claims, corporate insolvency work and corporate restructuring.
A significant amount of work undertaken by barristers at One Essex Court in recent time has its roots back in the global financial crisis of 2008, with a wide range of members engaged in relation to collapsed banking institutions and distressed fund management vehicles. This has involved a variety of instructions including for the administrators of Lehman Brothers and Kaupthing Bank, as well as for creditors and bondholders.
Barristers at One Essex Court acted for the joint administrators of Lehman Brothers Limited (in admin.) in relation to the 'Waterfall' application, which dealt with the priority of claims in the administration of Lehman Brothers Europe International. The Court of Appeal's decision can be viewed here.
More recent work in related areas includes: BTI 2014 LLC v Sequana SA for Sequana and the former directors of its subsidiary company in this landmark case in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. The Supreme Court’s judgment is likely to become one of the leading company law authorities of this generation and considers a number of important questions of company law concerning the duties of directors; TAQA Bratani v FOGUK for the Claimants in these high-profile Commercial Court proceedings concerning the forfeiture of interests previously held by the Defendant in three oil and gas fields in the Brae complex and in a related claim under section 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986; for Deutsche Bank A.G. (London Branch) in its successful appeals in the priority dispute in Lehman Brothers Holdings PLC’s administration, and in resisting related appeals in the LB Holdings Intermediate 2 Ltd administration. The result is a comprehensive victory for Deutsche Bank and other holders of preferred securities (the “ECAPS”) issued by the Lehman Group, whose recovery depended on the outcome of both priority disputes.
Specialist counsel here also regularly advise on complex shareholder disputes and frequently appear in unfair prejudice claims brought under section 994 of the Companies Act.
Barristers here also acted in teams on both sides of the substantial shareholder claims brought in respect of the accounting irregularities uncovered at Tesco plc., and counsel at One Essex Court also acted for both the defendant bank and for institutional investors and shareholders bringing claims under sec. 90 FSMA, against The Royal Bank of Scotland and its former directors in relation to a £12bn rights issue - The RBS Rights Issue Litigation.
Several teams of counsel from One Essex Court were engaged for a number of Respondents in relation to an unfair prejudice petition brought by Mr Patrick McKillen in a dispute over the ownership of shares in the Maybourne Hotel Group.
Counsel from One Essex Court also represented Liverpool Football Club in the hotly contested ownership battle which involved the Royal Bank of Scotland, Kop Football Holdings and the then owners, Messrs Hicks and Gillett.