Sarah specialises in contentious trust and estates, civil fraud, financial services and company/insolvency disputes. In addition to her English work, Sarah acts both for private and corporate clients in a number of jurisdictions including the Cayman Islands, BVI, Bermuda, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar and the DIFC.

Sarah appears in a broad range of contentious trust matters including fraud and tracing claims, claims for relief in relation to breach of trust and/or fiduciary duty and disputes concerning beneficial ownership of property, mistake and undue influence. She has extensive experience of advising and acting in wills and estate disputes including claims brought under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

Sarah’s financial services and funds work ranges from relatively straightforward cases of alleged mis-selling to substantial international matters involving complex offshore investment structures.

Sarah also acts in a wide variety of company matters including shareholders’ disputes, unfair prejudice petitions and directors’ disqualification proceedings. She has particular experience of acting both for, and against, entrepreneurs and fiduciary office holders in matters involving structuring issues and joint ventures in England and offshore.

Sarah’s insolvency practice includes cases concerning administrations and special administrations, voluntary and compulsory winding up, questions arising in relation to liquidators’ powers and duties, recovery and distribution of assets and treatment of creditors. She has edited Atkins Court Forms companies-insolvency volumes. Sarah is also regularly instructed in cases involving offshore company and insolvency regimes, an aspect of her work recognised in Legal 500 this year.

Areas of experience

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  • Banking and Financial Services

    Sarah has acted in numerous investment, banking and regulatory claims including the following high profile and/or high value matters with an international element:

    Ivanishvilli v Credit Suisse (Life) Bermuda Ltd [2018] Bermuda Commercial Court: Acting for the defendant life insurance company in a claim linked to an alleged investment fraud.

    Al Sadik v Investcorp Bank BSC [2012-2018] The Grand Court of the Cayman Islands and the Cayman Court of Appeal: Acting in a substantial matter for a private investor against seeking to recover losses caused by breach of the bank’s fiduciary and other duties relating to promised investment returns and use of unauthorised leverage.

    Plymouth Rock Ltd v John Lister and Ors [2017] Gibraltar Supreme Court: Acting for financial services professionals and fiduciary services providers in a claim brought by a beneficial owner of investment interests to recover losses alleged to have been suffered as a result of investment strategies adopted on his behalf.

    Vannin Capital v Al Khorafi [2016] DIFC: Acting for Bank Sarasin in proceedings to preserve a fund in court pending appeal by the bank in an investment claim.

    Al Khorafi v Bank Sarasin-Alpen (ME) Ltd [2015] DIFC: Acting for Bank Sarasin resisting claims to recover investment losses alleged to have been sustained as a result of breaches of the regulatory law, the DFSA rules and the bank’s contractual duties to the claimant investors.

    Zaria Global Ltd v Isis Investments Limited [2013] High Court/Chancery Division and Re Isis Investments Limited (in liquidation) Isle of Man High Court [2015]: Acting for a BVI based corporate investor, Zaria, administered by fiduciaries, Stonehage, in a dispute with Kaupthing subsidiary, Isis, over an investment by Zaria in a high value structured opportunity relating to the sale of the Somerfield supermarket chain in 2009. Proceedings in the BVI, Isle of Man, Iceland, England, the Cayman Islands.

    Barfield Nominees v Westford Special Situations Fund Ltd [2011] BVI High Court and Court of Appeal: Acting in a dispute between a BVI based feeder fund for a Cayman master fund and investors in which the investors sought to have the feeder fund wound up.

    Sarah has also acted in around numerous, both in court and in the FCA review, including several cases arising in an insolvency context. Those include:

    Wadehurst Investments Ltd v Lloyds Bank plc [2016] High Court: Acting for property developers in a claim against the bank for losses sustained as a result of SWAPS mis-selling.

    Claverton Holdings Ltd v Barclays Bank plc [2016] High Court/Commercial Court: Acting for the claimant property development company in a claim against the bank for losses sustained as a result of SWAPS mis-selling.

    Britten v Investec Bank plc [2013] High Court/Chancery Division: Acting for executors and trustees of a deceased investor in a substantial financial services dispute with an investment bank concerning mis-selling certain investments resulting in exposure to the Madoff fraud.

    Acting in several different actions for directors/shareholders of companies in administration at the behest of the companies’ banks on the prospects of obliging the administrators to pursue SWAPs mis-selling claims against the banks.

    Acting for property developers in obtaining full redress and consequential losses for mis-selling claims against a high street bank in the FCA review.

    Sarah has acted for various parties in the administration or liquidation of  investment schemes (for example, Re Land Heritage (UK) Ltd in liquidation [2010] High Court/Chancery Division), financial services professionals and unauthorised entities including boiler house schemes (for example ongoing matters in the liquidation following the court’s decision in Re the Inertia Partnership LLP in liquidation [2007] High Court/Chancery Division.

    Other related work includes:

    • Honeycomb v Berg [2017] High Court/Business and Property Court: defending expert witness in swaps claim against allegations of negligence.
    • Natwest v Stroud [2017] High Court/Business and Property Court: Defending claim on guarantees on the basis of default by bank in respect of the underlying loans.
    • Assisting in advising the trust division of a major bank on the application of the FCA client money rules to certain trust arrangements.
    • Assisting in advising a major bank on the application of the FCA client money rules to a transfer of business between subsidiaries and changes to certain standard form contracts required to effect the transfer in accordance with the rules.
    • Advising and acting in a number of cases involving collective investment schemes that had been, or were alleged to have been, promoted in contravention of the financial promotion restriction in (erroneous) reliance on an exemption relating to high-net worth individuals.
    • Advising and acting in several matters concerning the Investment Bank Special Administration Regime including Re Avalon Investment Services Limited [2016] High Court/Companies Court.
  • Civil Fraud, Asset Tracing & Recovery

    Ivanishvilli v Credit Suisse (Life) Bermuda Ltd [2018] Bermuda Commercial Court: Acting for the defendant life insurance company in a claim linked to an alleged investment fraud.

    Scott v Peare and Ors [2018] High Court/QBD: Defending claims in conspiracy, dishonest assistance and knowing receipt in the context of an alleged international ‘boiler room’ fraud involving parties in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Dominica, the Seychelles, Canada and the UK.

    Lloyd v Kruger   [2018] High Court/Business and Property Court: Action by investor in failed film and music licensing business to recover losses on the basis of fraudulent misrepresentation.

  • Company

    Montgold Capital v Agnieska [2018] High Court/Business and Property Court: defending a restaurateur/entrepreneur in a derivative claim against shareholders, directors, administrators and purchasers of a restaurant business. Allegations of breaches of duty and unlawful means conspiracy are pursued in these and associated unfair prejudice and misfeasance proceedings.

    Plymouth Rock Ltd v John Lister and Ors [2017] Gibraltar Supreme Court: Acting for financial services professionals and fiduciary services providers in a claim brought by a beneficial owner of investment interests to recover losses alleged to have been suffered as a result of investment strategies adopted on his behalf. The allegation against the fiduciary services providers is that they acted in breach of their fiduciary duties in following the investment advice criticised by the Claimant.

    Re:Creation Group plc v Joslin/Joslin v Re:Creation Group plc [2014] High Court/Companies Court: Acting for the petitioning shareholder and former company director of a games distribution company founded by him in a claim for relief under s994 of the Companies Act 2006 for unfair prejudice and defending claims brought by the company.

  • Insolvency

    Re SS Agri Power Limited [2017] High Court/Business and Property Court: Application for injunctive relief to prevent receivers taking steps in the company prior to administration order.

    Re Avalon Investment Services Limited [2016] High Court/Companies Court: Application by directors for a special administration order under the Investment Bank Special Administration Regulations 2011.

    Re Forstater [2015] High Court/Companies Court: Application by creditors pursuant to s 262 Insolvency Act 1986/IR 5.22 to revoke a voluntary arrangement and replace trustees in bankruptcy. Novel questions arise as to the proper method for valuing solicitor creditors’ work in progress in insolvency.

    Re Bandenia Banca Privada plc [2014] High Court/Companies Court: Resisting a winding-up petition presented against the company notwithstanding the fact that the petitioning creditor had the benefit of an Italian order for the payment of certain sums by Bandenia and a European enforcement order.

    Zaria Global Ltd v Isis Investments Limited [2013] High Court/Chancery Division and Re Isis Investments Limited (in liquidation) Isle of Man High Court: Acting for a BVI based corporate investor, Zaria, administered by fiduciaries, Stonehage, in a dispute with Kaupthing subsidiary, Isis, over an investment by Zaria in a high value structured opportunity relating to the sale
    of the Somerfield supermarket chain in 2009. Proceedings in the BVI, Isle of Man, Iceland, England, the Cayman Islands.

    Re Leeward Islands Resorts (in liquidation) [2012] Nevis High Court: Acting for liquidators of a luxury resort in respect of recovery of their fees and expenses of the liquidation.

  • International & Offshore

    Perry v Lopag Trust Reg and Ors [2018] Grand Court of the Cayman Islands/Perry v Lopag Trust Reg and Ors [2018] High Court of the BVI: Acting for claimant beneficiaries in complex multi-jurisdictional trust litigation including claims in equitable mistake in the Cayman and the BVI to recover property from trustees.

    Ivanishvilli v Credit Suisse (Life) Bermuda Ltd [2018] Bermuda Commercial Court: Acting for the defendant life insurance company in a claim linked to an alleged investment fraud.

    Scott v Peare and Ors [2018] High Court/QBD: Defending claims in conspiracy, dishonest assistance and knowing receipt in the context of an alleged international ‘boiler room’ fraud involving parties in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Dominica, the Seychelles, Canada and the UK.

    Al Sadik v Investcorp Bank BSC [2012-2018] The Grand Court of the Cayman Islands and the Cayman Court of Appeal: Acting in a substantial matter for a private investor against seeking to recover losses caused by breach of the bank’s fiduciary and other duties relating to promised investment returns and use of unauthorised leverage.

    Plymouth Rock Ltd v John Lister and Ors [2017] Gibraltar Supreme Court: Acting for financial services professionals and fiduciary services providers in a claim brought by a beneficial owner of investment interests to recover losses alleged to have been suffered as a result of investment strategies adopted on his behalf.

    Vannin Capital v Al Khorafi [2016] DIFC: Acting for Bank Sarasin in proceedings to preserve a fund in court pending appeal by the bank in an investment claim.

    Al Khorafi v Bank Sarasin-Alpen (ME) Ltd [2015] DIFC: Acting for Bank Sarasin resisting claims to recover investment losses alleged to have been sustained as a result of breaches of the regulatory law, the DFSA rules and the bank’s contractual duties to the claimant investors.

    Zaria Global Ltd v Isis Investments Limited [2013] High Court/Chancery Division and Re Isis Investments Limited (in liquidation) Isle of Man High Court [2015]: Acting for a BVI based corporate investor, Zaria, administered by fiduciaries, Stonehage, in a dispute with Kaupthing subsidiary, Isis, over an investment by Zaria in a high value structured opportunity relating to the sale of the Somerfield supermarket chain in 2009. Proceedings in the BVI, Isle of Man, Iceland, England, the Cayman Islands.

    Barfield Nominees v Westford Special Situations Fund Ltd [2011] BVI High Court and Court of Appeal: Acting in a dispute between a BVI based feeder fund for a Cayman master fund and investors in which the investors sought to have the feeder fund wound up.

  • Media

    Prior to coming to the Bar, Sarah worked in film production and the music business. As a result she is often called upon to act in media related disputes and to advise media personalities about business and private client issues.

    Lloyd v Kruger  [2018] High Court/Business and Property Court: Action by investor in failed film and music licensing business to recover losses on the basis of fraudulent misrepresentation.

    MCD Productions Limited v Angel Music Group Limited  [2014] High Court: Dispute about financial obligations relating to the production of the Hi-Fi Ireland festival in 2006 by MCD, Angel Music and Live Nation Entertainment.

    Recent advisory work includes:

    • Advising a talent agency in relation to a shareholders’ dispute
    • Advising a talent agency in relation to commission owed by a former client
    • Advising investors in a major West End show about their funding obligations
  • Partnership and Joint Ventures

    Heathcliffe v Dodhia [2017] High Court/Chancery Division: Acting for former partners in the resolution of long-running disputes relating to the partnership.

    Gupta v Down [2016] CLCC: Defences to claim under purported deed/in contract following partner’s retirement involving interesting points on estoppel by deed, equitable assignment and discharge of sureties.

  • Trusts, Probate & Estates

    Sarah’s trust and probate work encompasses a very broad range of private client disputes in the UK and offshore from large scale multi-national trust litigation to domestic disputes involving construction of wills and trusts, 1975 Act claims and disputes about property ownership of domestic property.

    Re Charles Willis Harrison 1924 Settlement [2018] High Court/Business and Property Court: Acting for beneficiaries of a family trust on a successful application for construction of complex trust provisions by the trustees. Now the subject of an appeal to the Court of Appeal.

    Perry v Lopag Trust Reg and Ors [2018] Grand Court of the Cayman Islands/Perry v Lopag Trust Reg and Ors [2018] High Court of the BVI: Acting for claimant beneficiaries in complex multi-jurisdictional trust litigation including claims in equitable mistake in the Cayman and the BVI to recover property from trustees.

    Smith v Royton Warehousing (Welwyn) Ltd & Wanbon [2018] High Court/Business and Property Court: Claim against an estate in contract and on the basis of a common intention constructive trust/proprietary estoppel to recover business assets to which the Claimant is entitled.

    Re Kurzyniec Will Trust [2017] High Court/Business and Property Court: Acting for a representative beneficiary on an application by trustees for construction of a will trust.

    Re Davies Deceased [2017] High Court/Family Division: Acting for a widower seeking relief pursuant to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

    Vindis v Horwood-Smart [2016] High Court/Chancery Division: Acting for beneficiaries of an estate resisting an action brought by the deceased’s sisters claiming an interest in the deceased’s business assets.

    Farrell v Wakelam [2016] High Court/Chancery Division:  Acting for residuary beneficiary claiming recovery from personal representative on the basis of breach of trust and wilful default.

    Patel v Patel [2016] High Court/Chancery Division: Proceedings to remove a trustee and for an account arising in the context of an international business run by family members.

    Re Ivor Loftus Deceased, Re Margaret Gaul, Re Dexter Gaul [2014] High Court/Chancery Division and CLCC: Acting for replacement administratrix to obtain orders to account by previous personal representatives. Acting in subsequent bankruptcies to enforce those orders.

    Other related work includes:

    • Acting in international proceedings on behalf of trustees to recover funds fraudulently mis-applied by the original settlor’s ‘man of affairs’.
    • Advising and acting in numerous matters involving conflict of laws issues arising in the context of trust and probate claims. Most recently, advising international hotelier on devolution of assets following the death of a wealthy Yemeni guest.
    • Acting in disputes to secure and trace assets in trust disputes both in the UK and internationally.
    • Acting in numerous 1975 Act claims both at trial and mediation.
    • Advising and acting in numerous disputes involving common intention constructive trusts/proprietary estoppels relating to domestic property.
    • Acting in numerous applications for directions, guidance on construction and removal and replacement of trustees.
    • Advising and acting in matters involving questions of capacity and undue influence.