Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Banking & Finance

We are known for being at the forefront of banking and financial disputes, including retail and investment banking. It is one of our core specialities with most of our members having significant experience in some of the most significant and ground-breaking cases in this area, acting for banks, clients, investment funds and regulators.

The set has a reputation for large-scale, test-case litigation involving some of the world’s leading financial institutions. For example, several members of chambers figured prominently for the Bank of England in the celebrated Three Rivers litigation, which produced numerous appeals to the Court of Appeal and House of Lords; all the main retail banks were represented by members of Fountain Court in the Bank Charges litigation (the test case brought by the OFT on unauthorised overdraft charges which was finally resolved in favour of the banks in the House of Lords — Office of Fair Trading v. Abbey National & Others); and many members of Chambers were instructed by RBS in the RBS Rights Issue litigation.

Our members are unique amongst leading commercial sets in that our expertise spans both the civil and criminal sectors, including for example representing Barclays in connection with its 2008 capital raise from the state of Qatar which led to significant criminal and civil proceedings. We are regularly instructed in complex and often cross-border frauds, money laundering, sanctions and bribery investigations. Members have significant experience of banking regulation and have acted for and against the FCA and PRA and foreign regulators in numerous high-profile investigations and inquiries.

Members have also advised the central banks of a number of countries including the Bank of England, the Deutsche Bundesbank, the Central Bank of Argentina, the Bank of Namibia and the Central Bank of Trinidad & Tobago.

Our work includes cases relating to:

  • Banks, including retail and investment banks
  • Professional negligence, including in relation to:
    • Mis-selling of products such as of interest rate swaps
    • Rate manipulation such as LIBOR or FOREX
    • Misrepresentation or misfeasance
  • Fraud, including money laundering and disputes under the Proceeds of Crime Act (‘POCA’)
  • Commercial disputes in a banking context
  • Regulatory issues, including sanctions and bribery investigations
  • Tax

Notable cases

  • The Law Debenture Trust Corporation plc v Ukraine UKSC 2018/0192: Acting for the Ukraine in the $3 billion Eurobond claim brought by Law Debenture on behalf of the Russian Federation and heard in the Supreme Court in December 2019. This was the longest Supreme Court hearing of any non-public law case during 2019, which illustrated its importance and the breadth of issues involved.
  • Barclays’ eight-year long dispute, including with the Serious Fraud Office and related civil claims: Acting for Barclays in relation to charges arising out of its 2008 capital raisings from Qatar, which culminated in the court dismissing all charges against the bank and the SFO’s application for a voluntary bill of indictment as well as ongoing civil proceedings.
  • Robert Tchenguiz v Grant Thornton UK LLP & Ors: Members of Fountain Court acted both for and against the businessman, Robert Tchenguiz, in relation to his claim of in the region of £200 million for unlawful means conspiracy and malicious prosecution relating to his arrest by the Serious Fraud Office in 2011.
  • Deutsche Bank v Unitech: Representing a syndicate of banks in this long running and high-profile case which is arguably the leading LIBOR test case.
  • RBS Rights Issue Litigation: Acting in this group action, worth over £4 billion, brought by investors against RBS and its former directors arising out of the bank’s part nationalisation.

Legal directory rankings 

  • Band 1 for Banking & Finance in Chambers & Partners
  • Tier 1 for Banking & Finance in Legal 500

Quotes from directories

  • Clients note that 'the set has a knack for attracting the best of the best – who also happen to be nice people'

    Legal 500
  • 'a go-to set for the banking, financial services and financial crime fields', with 'enormous strength in depth from junior to senior leading counsel'

    Legal 500
  • 'a top-class set in every way'

    Legal 500
  • 'the premier chambers for banking litigation'

    Legal 500
  • 'highly esteemed set proficient in handling a broad range of banking matters, both on the civil and criminal side, including cases involving alleged LIBOR manipulation, fraud disputes and claims of bribery'

    Chambers & Partners
  • 'Fountain Court Chambers "continues to excel in the area of banking and finance" and has "great strength in depth" with "a number of eminent barristers", according to sources'

    Legal 500
  • '...broad spread of barristers covering every aspect of banking law, from the advisory to the crossover between the criminal and regulatory spheres'

    Legal 500