Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Fraud: civil

We offer unrivalled expertise in this field and have a long-standing position as the pre-eminent set for civil fraud. Members at all levels have been instructed in virtually all recent leading cases and in jurisdictions all around the world.

Over the last decade, members appeared in Beresovsky v Abramovitch, Tajik Aluminium and BTA Bank v Ablyazov.  More recent examples of our work include the Autonomy dispute, SFO v ENRC and Law Debenture v Ukraine, more information on which is set out below.

Fountain Court members are experts in dealing with cases concerning bank-related fraud claims including in relation to allegations of rate rigging, fraudulent misrepresentation, claims relating to conspiracy, disputes surrounding misappropriation of assets, claims arising out of investments in bogus schemes, breach of fiduciary duty claims and claims arising from emerging markets or involving complex jurisdiction challenges.

Members have considerable experience in dealing with Russian, CIS and Chinese parties, in cases raising every kind of fraud claim from dishonest assistance to conspiracy to defraud and including breaches of fiduciary duty and deceit.  Large energy and natural resources claims are a speciality, as are claims involving offshore and onshore elements.

Civil fraud proceedings typically involve extensive interlocutory applications for injunctive relief including where appropriate the obtaining of world-wide freezing orders and ancillary relief.  Fountain Court’s members are familiar with the suite of tools used by sophisticated litigation teams to safeguard their clients’ interests in making or defending such claims.

Our work includes cases relating to:

  • Bank related fraud cases including rate rigging
  • Fraudulent misrepresentation
  • Conspiracy
  • Claims involving complex jurisdiction challenges and privilege issues
  • Misappropriation of assets
  • Investment in bogus schemes
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Claims arising from emerging markets and/or natural resources


NOTABLE CASES

  • Autonomy / Hewlett Packard litigation: Acting in these high-profile proceedings concerning breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and misrepresentation in relation to the acquisition of Autonomy by the Hewlett-Packard group, valued at $5 billion and was one of the largest cases before the courts at that time (judgment is awaited).
  • Law Debenture Trust plc v Ukraine [2018] EWCA Civ 2026: A $3 billion Eurobond claim brought on behalf of the Russian Federation in the Financial List in London.  Key issues revolve around the capacity of Ukraine to enter into the transaction, duress and the effect of Russia’s invasion of Crimea and whether those issues are justiciable in the English courts.  Appeal heard by the Supreme Court in Dec 2019 with judgment reserved.
  • Federal Republic of Nigeria v JP Morgan Chase [2019] EWCA 1641: Leading the defence of this £1 billion claim brought against JP Morgan, which is now considered the leading authority concerning banks’ duties regarding fraudulent transactions.
  • Marme Inversiones 2007 v (1) Royal Bank Of Scotland plc (2) HSH Nordbank (3) Bayerische Landesbank (4) ING bank (5) Caixa D’estalvis I Pensions De Barcelona: Royal Bank Of Scotland plc v Marme Inversiones [2016] EWHC 1570 (Comm); [2019] EWHC 750 (Comm): Representing NatWest Markets which won a landmark benchmark manipulation case alleging fraudulent misrepresentation against the bank, and based on EURIBOR rigging allegations, arising out of the European Commission cartel decision in relation to Euribor and the conviction of Barclays and Deutsche Euribor traders.
  • Group Seven Ltd v Notable Services LLP [2019] EWCA Civ 614: A seven-year dispute including two 30+ day trials, a private prosecution and two judgments of the Court of Appeal ends with an overseas bank found vicariously liable for the dishonest assistance of its employee and establishing a new test for dishonest assistance post Ivey.
  • SFO v Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation [2018] EWCA Civ 2006: Court of Appeal reversing the controversial first instance judgment which had denied ENRC the right to claim legal professional privilege over substantial volumes of documentation concerning an SFO investigation into alleged corruption around the acquisition of mining rights.
  • Shmad Hamad Algosaibi Brothers v Saad Investments Company Limited: Appeals are under way against the decision in May 2018 of the Cayman Islands’ Chief Justice who dismissed all AHAB’s claims after a trial lasting over 12 months, 129 days in court and evidence about what the Court described as one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history.
  • Public Institution for Social Security of Kuwait v Man Group PLC plus 37 other defendants: Acting in the $156 million claim by Kuwait’s investors in a landmark dispute involving alleged bribery and corruption, regarding billion-dollar investments over 30 years.


LEGAL DIRECTORY RANKINGS

  • Band 1 for Fraud: Civil in Chambers & Partners
  • Tier 1 for Fraud: Civil in The Legal 500

Quotes from directories

  • ‘Top-class set for civil fraud'

    Legal 500
  • “The set boasts some excellent juniors and silks, several of whom also have strong expertise in criminal law.”

    Legal 500
  • “The experienced commercial and banking practitioners at Fountain Court Chambers are frequently instructed in high-value fraud disputes spanning numerous jurisdictions, including Russia, the BVI and the Cayman Islands.”

    Chambers & Partners
  • “The set's members offer considerable expertise in cases concerning allegations of rate rigging, fraudulent misrepresentation and conspiracy.”

    Chambers & Partners
  • “The team also demonstrates strength in disputes involving complex jurisdiction challenges and privilege issues.”

    Chambers & Partners
  • Members have an excellent track record, and can be found on the docket for some of the biggest trials coming down the pipeline.

    Legal 500
  • ‘one of the leaders in the field,’ with ‘a range of top silks and juniors’.

    Legal 500