Jessica has a broad commercial chancery practice encompassing domestic and international litigation, arbitration and mediation of business and private client disputes. Jessica was called to the bar in 1997 and since then she has gained considerable experience of large scale, complex cases led by leading silks and on her own account.

Jessica is often involved in the leading trust and inheritance disputes of the day.  She is currently acting in a significant Inheritance Act dispute, and, together with Alan Steinfeld QC, is instructed in a second round of litigation in Oakhurst v Blackstar following their successful defence of trustees’ remuneration in Oakhurst v Blackstar [2013] EWHC 1363 (Ch).  She is representing the sons’ interests in the estate of Hassib Sabbagh [2014] EWHC 3233 (Comm) in an appeal in a heavyweight jurisdiction challenge led by Alex Layton QC.  She was involved in the preparation of the successful case before the Court of Appeal in Patel v Mirza concerning the defence of illegality which has recently been endorsed by the Supreme Court [2016] UKSC 42.

In recent years she represented the daughters’ interests in the estate of Lord Lambton [2013] EWHC 3566 (Ch) involving the complex area of conflict of laws governing succession to his estate, and has acted for other high net worth families in resolving inheritance disputes. She has been instructed in a number of Inheritance Act cases, mediated out of court.

Jessica has recently qualified as an accredited mediator and a link to her page may be found here.

Jessica has been consistently recommended in Chambers & Partners UK from 2007 to date for both commercial chancery and traditional chancery, as well as in recent editions of Chambers Global and Citywealth Leaders List.

Clients have praised her for a variety of skills:

Jessica is “ferociously clever” and “has an absolutely first-rate brain”.  She “shows incredible attention to detail”Chambers & Partners 2016

“She is a very good person to work with in difficult situations.” Chambers & Partners 2015

“Exceptionally astute. She provides clear advice, and has an excellent rapport with clients” and she excels in the field of complex trust work. Chambers & Partners 2014

The “personable” Jessica is considered to be “very solid” on traditional chancery matters. Chambers & Partners 2013

Company and trusts law expert, Jessica acts in complex and often bitter disputes between trustees and family members concerning alleged misfeasance in the handling of private and corporate affairs. Sources consider her “impressive, helpful and proactive”.  Talented, she handles a diverse caseload which ranges from trust disputes with a backdrop of company law to important private trusts, Inheritance Act and contentious estates claims. She impresses through combining a “highly analytical mind” with a “helpful, proactive and responsive” manner. Chambers & Partners 2012

“A mature head on her shoulders” and “an excellent level of experience and understanding beyond her call”.  With a flair for large and often complex cases, she is singled out as a rare gem for “making herself accessible at all times”. “Highly accomplished at building a great rapport with the client, she further impresses with her outstanding drafting skills.  Chambers & Partners 2011

She is widely lauded by instructing solicitors for her commercial practice. She is one of the set’s more exciting performers.  She maintains a broad chancery practice, covering both commercial and traditional spheres.  Chambers & Partners 2010

“Adored by solicitors”, “an intellectual team player who is hard working and likeable”.   “Well capable of handling herself under pressure”, Jessica invariably presents herself as “an unflustered opponent”Chambers & Partners 2009

Jessica’s cases often have an international or offshore element and she has had experience of litigation in USA, Switzerland, Greece, Cyprus, China and Samoa, and arbitration in Nigeria, South Africa, Denmark, Sweden, India and Kazakhstan.  In addition her trust cases have involved her in the following offshore jurisdictions: British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey, Gibraltar and the Bahamas. Although she has good experience of international and offshore jurisdictions, her mainstream practice remains based in London.

In addition to the core areas of her practice which have historically focused on commercial and trust litigation, a number of her cases have involved aspects of insolvency and company law and she has had recent exposure to financial services and hedge funds litigation as well as professional negligence.

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Areas of experience

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  • Arbitration

    Jessica has been involved in a number of arbitrations arising out of commercial disputes.

    Her arbitration experience includes:

    • the breakdown of a joint venture concerning the operation of a mobile telephone network in Africa. Arbitrations took place in Nigeria, England and Denmark, and included appeals to the court. Jessica was led by Stephen Moverley Smith QC and Philip Shepherd QC.

    • a partnership dispute in Kazakhstan where Jessica worked alongside juniors and silks from other chambers.

    • an arbitration between two Indian airlines which took place in Mumbai

    • satellite litigation relating to a number of arbitrations in Stockholm

  • Civil Fraud, Asset Tracing & Recovery

    Jessica has been involved for many years in some significant cases with leading silks. A few cases have dominated her early years in practice giving her excellent experience of all the interlocutory applications associated with fraud claims and asset tracing.

    Her cases include:

    • the widely reported Phillips v Symes litigation involving the recovery of a deceased’s estate from his former business partner consisting of valuable antiques secreted around the world
    • a confidential arbitration relating to the rollout of a mobile telephone network in Africa which involved serious allegations of breach of fiduciary duty
    • a confidential arbitration involving allegations of breach of fiduciary duty within a solicitors’ partnership in Kazahkstan
    • a confidential arbitration regarding a joint venture between a French company and the leading beverage company in China
  • Commercial Litigation

    Jessica has extensive experience of commercial disputes. She is frequently involved in both interlocutory applications and trials and has good knowledge of procedure for injunction applications, jurisdiction challenges, disclosure applications against parties and non-parties, contempt proceedings, all deployed in aid of asset-tracing measures, as well as cost applications and the mediation process.

    Jessica was in the Phillips v Symes litigation regarding the recovery of a deceased’s estate from his former business partner. This litigation has been widely reported on a variety of applications ranging from forum challenges to a cost application against an expert witness, an inquiry into the capacity of the defendant to conduct litigation and a committal application.

    In addition Jessica’s major arbitration cases stem from commercial disputes involving the breakdown of relations between joint venturers or partners. These cases, along with arbitration experience, have given her experience of large scale cases involving significant amounts of disclosure and forensic document work.

    More recent cases include:

    • advising on the construction of documents in relation to the segregation of client monies in relation to the insolvency of a well known bank
    • advising on the construction of an asset sale agreement
    • acting for trustees facing allegations of negligent misstatement and breach of contract in relation to the running of an employment benefit trust which involved insurance issues
    • advising trustees on the structuring and legal implications of a without prejudice proposal in relation to a claim in breach of contract
  • Partnership and Joint Ventures

    Jessica has gained experience of partnership law and joint venture disputes in some significant cases. She has been involved in the following cases:

    • a partnership/joint venture dispute concerning the recovery of a deceased’s estate consisting of valuable antiquities from his former business partner which he had hidden around the world
    • the breakdown of a joint venture relating to the rollout of a mobile telephone network in Africa
    • allegations of breach of fiduciary duty within a solicitors’ partnership in Kazahkstan
    • a joint venture between a French company and the leading beverage company in China
  • Trusts, Probate & Estates

    Jessica has excellent experience of both onshore and offshore contentious and non-contentious trust matters, reinforced by her consistent recommendations in Chambers & Partners for traditional and commercial chancery work.

    She has represented trustees, personal representatives, beneficiaries, minors and unborns, and has experience of the associated applications from Beddoe applications to an application for segregation of a trust fund and an application for the removal of a protector. She has experience of probate disputes, in particular regarding testamentary capacity, and Inheritance Act claims, and has advised on cases which raise issues of mutual wills, secret trusts, the Hastings-Bass principle, and rectification.

    She was second junior in the widely reported Phillips v Symes litigation regarding the recovery of the assets of the deceased’s estate consisting of high value antiquities located worldwide which necessitated a wide variety of applications to court primarily in London, but also in ten other jurisdictions.

    Recent cases include:

    • (on-going) representing the sons’ interests in The Estate of Hassib Sabbagh [2014] EWHC 3233 (Comm) led by Alex Layton QC
    • representing the daughters’ interests in The Estate of Lord Lambton [2013] EWHC 3566 (Ch) led by Alex Layton QC
    • defending trustees’ remuneration in Oakhurst v Blackstar [2013] EWHC 1363 (Ch) led by Alan Steinfeld QC
    • two high value Inheritance Act claims first acting for the children of the first marriage of the deceased, second acting for the second wife of the deceased
    • acting for trustees in relation to a high value divorce
    • acting for trustees facing allegations of negligent misstatement and breach of contract in relation to the running of an employment benefit trust
    • acting for a family against trustees who, it was alleged, in breach of their duties had allowed the trust fund to be dissipated by the actions of a fraudster: this case involved a consideration of the Bartlett duty, an anti-Bartlett clause and the principle of reflective loss
    • advising trustees on the variation of a trust
    • advising trustees on the structuring and legal implications of a proposal in relation to a claim in breach of contract acting for a widow in relation to the administration of her husband’s estate

    In addition Jessica has recently become a contributing editor of International Trusts Laws with responsibility for a number of offshore jurisdictions and specialist topics.