Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Banking & finance

Fountain Court’s banking and finance practitioners have a very substantial presence in this field, across all levels of junior call and at silk level.

Banking and finance is a core speciality of Chambers. We are instructed in high profile disputes between banks and counterparties, as well as “bank on bank” disputes, and have acted for leading investment funds and investment managers in various high-value disputes arising from the global financial crisis.

Members of Chambers have been involved in a large number of banking and finance disputes and inquiries and also in advising insurers in connection with related policy issues.

Regulatory matters have played a significant part in litigation, including LIBOR matters. The set is heavily involved in advising a number of financial institutions on issues relating to alleged LIBOR manipulation, and is representing a syndicate of banks in arguably the leading LIBOR test case, Deutsche Bank v Unitech.

We have developed a deserved reputation for large-scale, test-case litigation amongst the world’s most prestigious financial institutions. The 2009 Bank Charges litigation matter involved no fewer than 11 members of this set at silk and junior level, from High Court to the Supreme Court, in the celebrated case of Office of Fair Trading v. Abbey National & Others.

Members have built upon their experience of dealing with large volume, similar fact, mass-claimant challenges for retail banking clients in various claims that have arisen in respect of payment protection insurance.

We were instructed to appear on the Group Case Management hearing at which guidance was provided to other judges around the country as to the case management of PPI claims. Our members have also appeared in test cases offering guidance as to when PPI claims should be stayed in favour of a complaint under the Bank’s complaints procedure set up in accordance with guidance provided by the FSA.

Professional negligence, commercial litigation, and associated civil procedural work for banking clients have all been seen, by juniors as well as leaders.

The set is heavily engaged in the case of Financial Services Compensation Scheme v Various IFAs (the so-called Keydata claims), in which the FSCS is bringing multi-million pound claims against large numbers of Independent Financial Advisers relating to alleged misselling of investments in two Keydata branded products.

The case raises important issues as to what the standards were in the market before the collapse of Lehman as to due diligence into counterparty risk and whether IFAs can be liable for unrelated frauds.

Members have also been involved in related offshore or international work. For example, the set was engaged in the recent case of BNP Paribas v Anchorage Capital, [2013] EWHC 3073 (Comm.), a Commercial Court claim relating to the sale of subordinated private placement notes with the face value of $100 million.

The set succeeded in defeating a jurisdiction challenge and obtained an anti-suit injunction to prevent it from pursuing parallel proceedings in New York.

Members also continue to represent a number of banks and counterparties in swaps disputes with various European local authorities; following disagreements arising out of numerous related asset-swap and repurchase transactions.

The set has acted for a number of investment banks in numerous disputes with European local authorities and other public/quasi-public authorities arising out of swaps and credit derivatives transactions, following on from its work in Haugesund v. Depfa in the Court of Appeal in 2010, and in on-going disputes concerning swaps and derivatives.

We have also represented leading global investment banks engaged in complex derivatives disputes and other transactions, as well as in litigation regarding potential multi-million exposures including in relation to the Madoff fraud.

Members of Chambers have also acted for high-net worth individuals in high profile proceedings brought by them in relation to swap transactions, and other financial transactions.

Beyond more City-type banking matters, members of chambers have acted for  Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc; HSBC Plc; HBOS plc; Lloyds TSB Bank plc; Barclays Bank Plc and other members of the Barclays Group; and Bank of Ireland Group on a variety of retail banking matters.

Quotes from directories

  • "Fountain Court has very, very good clerks who are excellent at putting real thought into who else might be suitable for a case if someone is not available." Alex Taylor leads the clerking team.

    Chambers UK 2017
  • Members are involved in a steady stream of market-leading cases

    Legal 500 2016
  • ‘even if your preferred barrister is unavailable, you are always confident that any alternative will be excellent’.

    Legal 500 2016
  • ‘the premier chambers for banking litigation’; 

    Legal 500 2016
  • ‘a top-class set in every way’

    Legal 500 2016
  • I regard them as being amongst the very best commercial sets. You will always find the best performing individuals. They are game-changing barristers who will be at the forefront of wherever commercial activity takes the law.

    Chambers UK 2014
  • Absolutely brilliant quality throughout. I've never met a poor barrister from Fountain Court. They are backed up by very good clerking and have a very commercial understanding of our concerns.

    Chambers UK 2014
  • Fountain Court Chambers offers an impressive roster of highly experienced barristers with significant expertise in the banking and finance arena. The set earns recognition for its commercial approach and practice area expertise, and its members repeatedly attract praise for their performance in some of the most high-profile and complex cases in the market. The quality of practitioners is reflected by the high-calibre instructions the set receives. 

    Chambers UK 2014
  • Fountain Court Chambers is considered by many to be ‘the go-to set’ for banking and finance litigation. 

    Legal 500 2013
  • Fountain Court Chambers' experience in the sector is 'unparalleled' and it has 'a good range of counsel at all levels'.

    Legal 500 2014