Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Commercial dispute resolution

Fountain Court is one of the leading sets in commercial litigation and dispute resolution. Members of Fountain Court are renowned for their expertise in this broad area.  Commercial litigation is what members of Fountain Court excel at.  All members of Chambers are involved in commercial litigation work on a day-to-day basis.

The set has members appearing in over 40% of The Lawyer’s Top Cases of 2014, following similar coverage in previous years.

Members advise and appear in complex, high value disputes in the Commercial Court and Chancery Division as well as in commercial arbitrations here and abroad and in overseas Courts and arbitrations. In short, Fountain Court members act whenever clients require excellent advice and representation in major business disputes.

Members of Chambers have a proven expertise in the full range of credit-crunch disputes, whether for shareholders, banks, hedge funds, trustees or fund managers.  They have acted in disputes concerning credit default and other swaps, collateralised debt obligations, securitisations and other structured investment products.

By way of example of the work of Chambers, members were engaged on both sides in the recent 16 week trial of the Deutsche Bank v. Sebastian Holdings which resulted in in an 850 page judgment given by Cooke J. Members have also been involved for several parties in Deutsche Bank & Others v Unitech in which the defendants have sought to raise a number of defences, including defences based on alleged LIBOR manipulation.

Members’ experience in Russian-related commercial litigation saw them active in the long-running case of Berezovsky v Abramovitch in the highly publicised US $5bn claim against the owner of Chelsea Football Club, .

Various members were also engaged in the VTB litigation, which was one of the most heavily anticipated Supreme Court judgments this year, in which a Fountain Court team, in VTB Capital Plc v Nutritek, were involved in shaping a judgment on the extent to which the corporate veil could be pierced in commercial litigation.

Members were also engaged in the long-running and multi-jurisdictional litigation involving BTA Bank v Ablyazov, in what was a $5 billion fraud claim in Commercial Court, which had been to appeal on numerous interlocutory issues, including committal proceedings and a subsequent application for judicial recusal (and the resulting appeal). The case was described as “extraordinary” by the Commercial Court, which held a 47 day trial from November 2012 to June 2013 before Teare J.

2013 also saw a team from Fountain Court achieved a notable result in the massive Texas Keystone case, with a comprehensive judgment, resulting in a complete defence of claims for approximately $1.7 billion, in a dispute over the ownership of oil and gas concessions in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The trial commenced in October 2012 and finished in March 2013, with judicial conclusions handed down in open court in September 2013, and the full judgment and consequential costs applications by the clients heard in December 2013, resulting in various orders for indemnity costs being made against the claimants.

Various members of Fountain Court also acted for all sides in Alpstream & Ors. v. PK Airfinance and Anr [2013] EWHC 2370 (Comm.), which was a 6 week Commercial Court action brought against two aviation finance companies, by companies controlled by the Russian oligarch, Alexander Lebedev, alleging conspiracy to injure his aviation business, with an appeal following to the Court of Appeal.

Such a variety of cases shows why Fountain Court’s barristers are considered indispensable for the largest value, highest profile instructions.

Quotes from directories

  • "The clerks are all approachable, down-to-earth and very responsive. They provide a quick turnaround on work." Alex Taylor leads the team, ably assisted by Paul Martenstyn. Both are applauded for their accessibility, promptness of response and "willingness to really get to know all of the people concerned with the many cases they are dealing with."

    Chambers UK 2017
  • The barristers at Fountain Court Chambers are highlighted for their willingness to go ‘above and beyond to deliver a first-rate client service’. 

    Legal 500 2013
  • game-changing barristers

    Chambers UK 2014
  • goes from strength to strength.

    Chambers UK 2014
  • Fountain Court Chambers is held in high regard by many of the leading City law firms, with one solicitor remarking on its "game-changing barristers" and commenting that the set "goes from strength to strength." Commercial dispute resolution forms the core of the set's identity, and its members are routinely involved in the highest-profile disputes in a host of industry sectors. Of particular note has been the depth of the set's involvement in credit crunch litigation, with its members' expertise in financial services matters forming the basis of its coverage of this complex area.

    Chambers UK 2014