CHAMBERS AND PARTNERS GLOBAL DIRECTORY
2016 DIRECTORY RECOMMENDATIONS
XXIV Old Buildings and its members are recommended by Chambers and Partners Global in the following areas:
Restructuring and Insolvency
Alan Steinfeld QC, David Brownbill QC and Elspeth Talbot Rice QC are also recommended for Private Wealth. Tom Montagu-Smith is recommended for Construction.
A respected presence at the London Chancery Bar for many years, noted for having silks and juniors blessed with excellent legal knowledge and skill. Members are active in a variety of chancery contexts and are especially well known for their ability to handle disputes proceeding in key offshore jurisdictions. They demonstrate their breadth of practice by appearing in all manner of matters including those relating to fraud, insolvency, professional negligence, partnership, aviation and especially trusts issues. Testament to their skills, a number of them are due to take centre stage in the Carlyle litigation, a high-profile USD2 billion dispute. Commentators say of them: “They are far more engaged than most and looking to facilitate the needs of the instructing solicitor.”
Client service: “The clerks have a real can-do attitude and are careful to make sure they find someone that you will like and want to work with. They are always very responsive and excellent.” Daniel Wilson and James Ladbrook are the senior practice managers at the set.
Alan Steinfeld QC
A true leader at the Chancery Bar. He enjoys an enviable reputation for his top-quality work and is regularly seen acting in some of the most sophisticated and valuable disputes both onshore and offshore.
Strengths: “He is just so intelligent it’s unbelievable.” “He has a fantastic horizon view of trust and chancery matters, and just knows where the court is going.”
Recent work: Acted for the defendants on a USD1 billion Guernsey claim after the failure of a US hedge fund.
Stephen Moverley Smith QC
Experienced in commercial chancery litigation, he acts onshore and offshore in a range of cases. He is heavily involved in company, fraud and insolvency disputes.
Strengths: “Legally his analysis is very good, and he has very good rapport with clients and witnesses in cross-examination. He’s not a blusterer, being much more subtle than that. It’s a very effective style.”
Recent work: Represented a Russian bank as defendant in a case concerning a loan it made to a Russian transport business.
David Brownbill QC
Well known amongst peers and solicitors alike for his superb ability to handle high-value cases regarding trusts. He is frequently instructed in cases proceeding in offshore jurisdictions, as well as those that go through the domestic courts.
Strengths: “He is a real technical trusts lawyer.”
Recent work: Acted on Investec Trust v Glenalla Properties, a USD180 million Guernsey claim considering the insolvency of trusts. The case related to the liquidation of Kaupthing Bank.
Malcolm Davis-White QC
Has an established and very strong commercial chancery practice. His work often concerns questions of insolvency and company law.
Strengths: “Charming, energetic and someone with a lovely, self-effacing style.”
Recent work: Acted on a case regarding an alleged VAT carousel fraud.
John Stephens (RIP)
A senior junior who brings a huge amount of experience to commercial matters proceeding before courts in the UK and in key offshore jurisdictions. He is adept at trust, company and pension matters.
Recent work: Acted on a multi-jurisdictional dispute concerning the recovery of monies from a French bank’s Gibraltar branch.
Notable for his experience in cross-border litigation, he regularly handles sizeable disputes concerning trusts and funds. Much of his work revolves around the consideration of duties of trustees, investment managers and other financial bodies.
Strengths: “He is highly intellegent, utterly dedicated to his clients and has a combative edge that is difficult to beat.”
Recent work: Represented the claimant in a case against former trustees concerning the administration of a significant trust.
Has a long-standing reputation as a set for offshore work and is a go-to destination for many of the leading solicitors in the field. Its barristers are involved in offshore matters of all kinds, from trusts to company law, and have an admirable track record in big-ticket litigation. In addition to acting in the traditional offshore jurisdictions, they also practise in locations as far afield as Anguilla, the Middle East, Cyprus and Morocco.
Client service: One instructing solicitor says: “The clerks, led by Daniel Wilson, are very familiar with the courts and judges we work with. They have a solid understanding of our needs.”
Alan Steinfeld QC
An established figure who maintains one of the broadest practices of any at the Offshore Bar, and acts for clients faced with insolvency, trusts and general commercial cases. He has an especially profound understanding of Channel Islands law, and is active in the Caribbean, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man.
Strengths: “He is a delight to work with, as he is a brilliant strategist and a truly insightful barrister.” “He is incisive and down-to-earth.”
Recent work: Acted for Carlyle Capital Corporation, the defendants, in a claim against Conway and others, arising from a failed Guernsey hedge fund.
Michael Black QC
A respected silk who impresses market sources with his broad offshore practice. A large portion of his work involves a cross-border or offshore element, and he is particularly active in the Middle East. He acts for clients in commercial and banking cases as well as in arbitrations.
Strengths: “He has an amazing eye for detail and a brilliant legal mind, which is a deadly combination in the courtroom.”
Recent work: Acted in Al Sadik v Investcorp BSC, a Dubai-based breach of fiduciary duty claim.
Stephen Moverley Smith QC
Enjoys an outstanding reputation for his handling of commercial litigation, and tackles trusts, company law and insolvency cases. He acts for clients embroiled in disputes across a raft of offshore jurisdictions.
Strengths: “He is extremely astute in finding good arguments, even in the weakest of cases. He is also very responsive when dealing with his instructing solicitor.”
Francis Tregear QC
Specialises in acting for clients in cases concerning fraud, insolvency, trusts and funds. His broad offshore practice sees him active in many jurisdictions including the Channel Islands and Gibraltar, and he is also called to the East Caribbean Bar. Sources praise him for his intellect and commerciality.
Strengths: “He is very bright, calm and measured. He is also a very good team player.”
Recent work: Acted on The First Newland Bank v the Winterbotham Trust Co. & Another, a breach of fiduciary duty claim against a Bahamian bank.
David Brownbill QC
Heavily involved in the offshore traditional and commercial chancery field, he is recognised as one of the big names in the offshore world.
Strengths: “He has the quiet authority of someone who has thought through all the angles. He puts his tremendous experience to good use.”
Recent work: Acted in Investec Trust v Glenalla Properties, a USD180 million claim arising from the Kaupthing Bank litigation.
Elspeth Talbot Rice QC
Advises on almost all aspects of offshore law, including insolvency and professional negligence issues. Her clients, who include some high net worth trustees, benefit from her deep knowledge of banking and finance.
Strengths: “She is a fantastic advocate and a fighter you would always want in your corner.” “She has a lovely combination of being both feisty and charming.”
Recent work: Acted on Walker v Egerton Vernon, a negligent breach of trust claim in Jersey.
Robert Levy QC
Called to the Bar in both the BVI and Anguilla, he has a substantial offshore practice and regularly acts for clients on matters in chancery commercial disputes.
Strengths: “He has an amazing capacity to pick things up and is a very good advocate. He’s tremendous to work with and clients love him.”
Recent work: Acted for a major accountancy firm in a breach of receiver’s duties claim regarding the Grenadines hotel, Friendship Bay.
Called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and an expert in professional negligence and traditional chancery work generally. Her work this year has included cases in the BVI and the Channel Islands.
Strengths: “She is very good indeed, works well in a team and can always be relied upon to get documents back to you.”
Recent work: Acted in the RM Broadhead Family Trusts case in Guernsey, which concerned trustee negligence in relation to investment policies.
Operates a practice that spans insolvency, company and trusts cases as well as wider commercial litigation. Much of his work is centred around the Channel Islands, the Cayman Islands and the BVI, but extends into other jurisdictions.
Recent work: Advised the liquidators of the Herald Fund, one of the largest Madoff feeder funds. The case was heard in the Cayman Islands.
An impressive, dual-qualified junior called to the Bar in both the UK and Jersey. Her primary focus is on the field of contentious trusts, an area which forms the basis of most of her offshore work.
Strengths: “She is our go-to advocate thanks to her competence and her discretion.”
A junior with an enviable offshore practice, particularly in the Caribbean, who is called to the Bar in the BVI and the Cayman Islands. He regularly acts for clients in banking, finance and trusts cases.
Strengths: “He is very bright and easy to work with. A hard-working junior.”
Recent work: Acted for a principal beneficiary of the Corona trust in Connah v Pizarro, a Nevis litigation case.
Has forged a reputation as a hard-working and mentally agile junior. He has a strong commercial litigation and chancery practice and has appeared in a number of prominent offshore cases, including the well-known Crociani v Crociani dispute.
Strengths: “He is an outstanding junior who’s one to watch.” “He’s bright and incisive, and he picks things up very quickly.”
Recent work: Acted in Carlyle Capital Corporation Limited and Others v Conway and Others, a claim of breach of trust and fiduciary duties heard in Guernsey.
An eminent junior well known in the market for his profound understanding of trusts and probate disputes. He is admitted to the Bar in the Cayman Islands and acts for clients in many varied offshore jurisdictions.
Strengths: “He is fantastic and a clear draftsman who produces well-reasoned opinions. He is a rising star and his work is excellent.”
Recent work: Acted for Sublime Land in the Isle of Man in a claim against a former director.
RESTRUCTURING AND INSOLVENCY
XXIV Old Buildings is noted for its expertise in offshore insolvency litigation. It is regularly instructed in high-profile, complex matters such as the BTU Power Cayman liquidation. It also receives a significant number of domestic instructions, and was involved in the CVA of retailer Miss Sixty.
Client service: “They provide an excellent service. They are keen to identify the issue and then find the best fit for your situation.”
Malcolm Davis-White QC
A silk with significant experience in both corporate and personal insolvency issues. He receives considerable praise for the strength of his advocacy.
Strengths: “An extremely bright and focused individual. He is great at advisory work and also an extremely able and intellectual advocate.”
Recent work: Successfully represented the ACCA in disciplinary proceedings brought against the former insolvency practitioner appointed to handle the CVA of Miss Sixty.
An expert in insolvency law on both a domestic and international level. He is frequently instructed on behalf of BIS and the Treasury Solicitor’s Department.
Strengths: “He has very good attention to detail and deals with every point. When you get advice from him you will have no need to ask supplemental questions – his opinions are comprehensive.”
Recent work: Advised the liquidators of the Puritan International Fund in connection with a breach of fiduciary duty claims against its directors.
Experienced international arbitrator with a strong reputation for his work in the Dubai International Financial Centre. He also has a practice in arbitration enforcement.
Strengths: “He has a nice, understated advocacy style which judges like.”
Recent work: Acted on Honeywell International v Meydan Group, enforcement proceedings flowing out of an arbitration over construction of the Dubai racecourse. He had previously successfully acted on the arbitration for which the enforcement was sought.
PRIVATE WEALTH: TRUSTS
Alan Steinfeld QC
Receives strong praise from market commentators, who regard him as “a known quantity” in trusts, probate and estates work. He is sought after to advise and act on substantial international trust disputes and he is a regular in a range of UK and offshore courts.
Strengths: “He is incisive, down-to-earth and creative.” “He is able to absorb and assimilate information in the time it takes someone to brew a kettle and he delivers advice in a very authoritative and understated manner.”
David Brownbill QC
Specialises in international trusts and has acted in numerous offshore trust disputes. He handles all aspects of trusts litigation and has experience in a range of English and Commonwealth courts.
Strengths: “He’s a great lateral thinker and brings a very careful perspective to difficult situations.” “He is fantastic, wildly intelligent and someone who has a pleasant manner.”
Recent work: Acted in Crociani & others v Crociani & others, a high-profile breach of trust dispute concerning the construction and effect of jurisdiction clauses in trusts.
Elspeth Talbot Rice QC
Specialises in domestic and international trusts disputes and is widely described as “a fearsome advocate.” She has been called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean and fought numerous cases in the BVI, Guernsey, Jersey and other jurisdictions.
Strengths: “She’s very calm and very clever at thinking of tactics and what steps to take.” “She’s very practical, very knowledgeable and incredibly savvy at driving the litigation.”
Recent work: Acted for the beneficiaries and new trustee in Walker v Egerton Vernon, a GBP100 million claim for grossly negligent breach of trust relating to losses following investment into speculative trading companies.