Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Aaron TaylorCall Date: 2017

Aaron joined Chambers in October 2018 following successful completion of his pupillage. He is developing a broad commercial practice in line with Chambers’ profile, with a particular interest in cases involving financial wrongdoing.

Alongside his practice, Aaron is associate lecturer in law at Goldsmiths, University of London, and runs Financial Wrongs, a blog and online resource on the law relating to fraud, financial crime, and corruption.

From October 2018 to March 2019, Aaron was a Judicial Assistant at the Commercial Court. He was JA to Butcher J for the trial of TGTL v CATS North Sea [2019] EWHC 1220 (Comm), and to Teare J for the trial of Danilina v Chernukhin [2019] EWHC 173 (Comm) and several shorter hearings and applications.

Aaron is Chair of the Trustees of Food Behind Bars, a new charity that works to improve the quality of food in prisons in England and Wales. He is a keen classical musician, theatregoer, and runner.

His recent highlights include:

  • Acting (with Akhil Shah QC) for the Respondents/Counterclaimants in a USD200m+ LCIA arbitration (to be heard for four weeks in November 2020) relating to alleged fraudulent misrepresentation in the sale supply of aircraft.
  • Instructed (with Rosalind Phelps QC and David Murray) by JP Morgan Chase, defending a $900m claim brought by the Republic of Nigeria alleging a breach of the bank’s “Quincecare duty”. The case raises significant issues concerning the Quincecare duty, the law of attribution, and the defence of illegality.
  • Acting (with Charles Béar QC) for the defendant employer in a dispute brought by a former Director claiming £12m+ for breach of contract/ proprietary estoppel. Appeared as sole counsel at the CCMC, successfully applying for a split trial of liability and quantum. The liability hearing is listed for July 2020.
  • Appeared (as sole counsel) in the High Court, successfully resisting an application to commit the Defendant for contempt of Court, for failure to comply with a disclosure order given in support of underlying proceedings for deceit/ breach of trust.
  • Advising a South African company in relation to a potential c.$40 million claim in the BVI against offshore fiduciary services providers (in various jurisdictions) for dishonest assistance/ knowing receipt/ unlawful means conspiracy. The potential claim concerns the deliberate concealment of the assets of a judgment debtor, a former director of the company, who perpetrated a substantial fraud against the company.

Areas of Expertise

  • Aviation
  • Banking & finance
  • Commercial Crime
  • Commercial dispute resolution
  • Energy & natural resources
  • Financial services
  • Fraud: civil
  • Media, entertainment & sport
  • Professional negligence

Other notable cases

Art & Valuable Items

  • Acted for the Claimant in a claim for misrepresentation and breach of warranty relating to the sale of a £100,000+ sideboard attributed to a leading Art Deco designer.
  • Advised the Claimant in a dispute with an auction house relating to the sale of an alleged forgery attributed to a prominent early-twentieth century American artist.
  • Aaron was Judicial Assistant to Teare J for the case management hearing in Sotheby’s v Mark Weiss [2018] EWHC 3179, raising important issues of privilege and expert evidence in art attribution claims.


Aviation & Travel

  • Acting (with Akhil Shah QC) for the Respondents/Counterclaimants in a USD200m+ LCIA arbitration (to be heard for four weeks in November 2020) relating to alleged fraudulent misrepresentation in the sale supply of aircraft.
  • Instructed (as sole counsel) for the Commercial Court CMC in a c.$3 million claim for unpaid rent under an aircraft lease agreement, damages for failure to maintain, and delivery up.
  • Advised (with Akhil Shah QC) a major producer of aircraft parts in relation to various regulatory and environmental matters.
  • Acted in the County Court for several airlines, defending claims under Regulation 261/2004, the Montreal Convention, and the Consumer Rights Act.
  • Assisted (during pupillage) with a dispute concerning the recovery of an aircraft detained for disputed fleet charges, and a dispute over the termination of an aircraft lease.


Banking & Finance

  • Instructed (with Rosalind Phelps QC and David Murray) by JP Morgan Chase, defending a $900m claim brought by the Republic of Nigeria alleging a breach of the bank’s “Quincecare duty”. The case raises significant issues concerning the Quincecare duty, the law of attribution, and the defence of illegality.
  • Acted as sole counsel for the respondent bank in a Norwich Pharmacal Bankers Trust application in the Commercial Court.
  • Instructed by a European bank, defending a claim for alleged overcharging of trading/ clearing services.
  • Advised a major Service User on the operation of the Direct Debit Guarantee Scheme in relation to a £10 million+ indemnity dispute.
  • Aaron is regularly instructed to appear in the County Court in applications for strike-out / summary judgment, to set aside default judgment, for the delivery up of goods, and in consumer credit claims.
  • Assisted (during pupillage) in several cases concerning the alleged mis-selling of financial products, including alleged LIBOR misrepresentations and limitation issues, in advising insolvency trustees in relation to the interest provisions in the ISDA Master Agreement, in advising the borrower in a high-value dispute concerning a syndicated loan agreement.


Civil Fraud

  • Advising a South African company in relation to a potential c.$40 million claim in the BVI against offshore fiduciary services providers (in various jurisdictions) for dishonest assistance/ knowing receipt/ unlawful means conspiracy. The potential claim concerns the deliberate concealment of the assets of a judgment debtor, a former director of the company, who perpetrated a substantial fraud against the company.
  • Acting for the claimant in a substantial claim in the BVI Commercial Court for shares and company funds fraudulently misappropriated by a former director and nominee. Assisted (whilst on secondment) in preparing a successful application for an urgent injunction; continued involvement as junior counsel on return to London.
  • Acted (as sole counsel) in the High Court for the defendant-respondent to a freezing injunction, in a fraud claim concerning ownership of a restaurant business.
  • Instructed (at the pleading stage) by two Singaporean HNWIs, defending a $3 million+ claim for fraudulent misrepresentation/ unlawful means conspiracy/ unjust enrichment in relation to an investment in a significant development project.
  • Instructed (at the pleading stage) by a Singaporean investment fund, defending a $1 million claim for alleged fraudulent misrepresentation.


Commercial Crime

  • Appeared (as sole counsel) in the High Court, successfully resisting an application to commit the Defendant for contempt of Court, for failure to comply with a disclosure order given in support of underlying proceedings for deceit/ breach of trust.
  • Advised (with Richard Lissack QC) two separate entities as to the criminal, regulatory and civil law governing market abuse and insider dealing.
  • Assisted in the preparation of an expert report on the law governing allegations of corruption, for a commercial arbitration.
  • Assisted (during pupillage) the defendant bank subject to high-profile criminal proceedings for alleged unlawful financial assistance, raising significant issues of corporate criminal attribution.


Commercial Dispute Resolution

  • Acting (with Charles Béar QC) for the defendant employer in a dispute brought by a former Director claiming £12m+ for breach of contract/ proprietary estoppel. Appeared as sole counsel at the CCMC, successfully applying for a split trial of liability and quantum. The liability hearing is listed for July 2020.
  • Instructed by a FSMA-regulated hosting platform in a contractual dispute with a settlement/custody services provider.
  • Advised a European bank on the enforceability under English law of performance bonds/ standby letters of credit securing a $20 million credit facility.
  • Acted as sole counsel for the applicant in a successful procedural application in the Commercial Court, relating to a £10 million+ civil fraud claim.
  • Acted as sole counsel in the High Court, successfully obtaining an ex parte interim freezing injunction restraining the respondents from presenting a winding-up petition against the claimant company.
  • Assisted (whilst on secondment) in preparation for a BVI arbitration concerning the ownership of shares in a BVI company with substantial Russian assets, in circumstances where related proceedings were on foot in Russia and Cyprus.
  • Advised (whilst on secondment) in several cases concerning urgent relief in the BVI, including “Black Swan” injunctive relief, receiverships, and applications under s.184B-184I of the BVI Business Companies Act 2004.
  • Aaron was Judicial Assistant to Teare J for the trial of Danilina v Chernukhin [2019] EWHC 173 (Comm), a s.67/s.68 arbitral challenge. The case raised, amongst other things, an important question concerning the effect of a form of ‘entire agreement’ clause on the interference of an undisclosed principal. Teare J’s judgment was upheld by the Court of Appeal on this point.
  • Aaron was Judicial Assistant to Butcher J for the trial of TGTL v CATS North Sea [2019] EWHC 1220 (Comm), an interesting contractual interpretation dispute in the oil and gas sector. Butcher J’s judgment was upheld by the Court of Appeal.
  • Aaron was Judicial Assistant to Teare J for the hearing of Mamancochet Mining Ltd v Aegis Managing Agency Ltd [2018] EWHC 2643 (Comm), and important case on the effect of the US and EU Iran sanctions regimes under the Joint Cargo Committee ‘Sanction Limitation and Exclusion Clause’.


Construction & Energy

  • Instructed (with Tamara Oppenheimer QC) by a major utilities provider, in a dispute concerning the supply of gas to a large-scale housing development.
  • Advised (with James Cutress QC) a major petrochemicals company in a dispute concerning the delivery of non-conforming fuel products giving rise to substantial tax liability.
  • Instructed (as sole counsel) by a major petrochemicals company in a £400,000+ dispute for the restitution of overpaid fees for petroleum storage and vapour recovery.
  • Advised a major petrochemicals company on the contractual payment and cost-sharing mechanisms for onshore development works.


Media, Entertainment & Sport

  • Advised a gym franchise on potential liability in respect of franchisees’ alleged negligence/ breach of contract/ breach of statutory duty.
  • Aaron was Judicial Assistant to Teare J for the injunction applications in SDI Retail Services v Rangers Football Club [2018] EWHC 2772 (Comm); [2018] EWHC 4032, concerning the breach of a licence agreement for the manufacture, sale and distribution of branded football kits and other merchandise.


Professional Negligence

  • Advised the claimant in an auditor’s negligence claim on the application of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.
  • Advised an individual (pro bono) in a claim for breach of trust and breach of fiduciary duty against his former solicitors.
  • Assisted (during pupillage) in advising on a high-profile complaint of judicial bias in a common-law jurisdiction.

Appointments, memberships and prizes

  • Lincoln’s Inn: Sunley Scholar (Pupillage year); Lord Mansfield Scholar (BPTC year); Hardwicke Entrance Scholar
  • St Edmund’s College, Cambridge: College Tutorial Prizes for First Class results, 2014 and 2015
  • University of Bristol (BA, History): Top of year in each year; George Hare Leonard Prize for Distinction in final year (2013); Best Dissertation of the Year Prize 2013; Gardenhurst Prize for second-year exams (2012); David Douglas Memorial Prize for first-year coursework (2011)
  • Called to the Bar of the British Virgin Islands (2019)
  • ADR-ODR accredited Civil/Commercial Mediator (2017)
  • Memberships:
    • COMBAR
    • Young Fraud Lawyers’ Association
    • Financial Services Lawyers Association
    • Institute of Art & Law
    • Society for Legal Scholars
    • Advocate panel member

Publications

Aaron maintains an active interest in legal academia alongside his practice. He is currently associate lecturer in the law of financial wrongdoing at Goldsmiths, University of London, and was previously tutor in contract law at Trinity Hall and St Edmund’s College, Cambridge (2017-19) and Teaching Fellow in contract law at University College London (2016-17).

His publications include:

Academic journal articles

  • ‘Concurrent Duties’ (2019) 82:1 MLR 17 (cited in Brewer v Iqbal [2019] EWHC 182; [2019] PNLR 15)
  • ‘Interpretation of Industry-Standard Contracts’ (2017) LMCLQ 261 (cited in Lewison on the Interpretation of Contracts (6th ed))

Book Chapters

  • ‘Civil Bribery’ in Lissack and Horlick on Bribery (3rd ed., LexisNexis, 2020) (forthcoming) (with Nico Leslie)
  • ‘Company charging powers’; ‘Floating charge powers’; and ‘Assignments and other transfers’ in Firth (ed.) Gough on Company Charges (3rd ed., LexisNexis, 2020) (forthcoming) (with Nico Leslie)
  • ‘MiFID II / MiFIR’ in Herbst and Lovegrove (eds.) Brexit and Financial Regulation (OUP, 2020) (forthcoming) (with Nico Leslie)

Case Notes

  • In search of the ratio decidendi: R (Youngsam) v Parole Board’ (2019) 135 LQR 556
  • ‘Seeing the hedge for the trees: Manchester Building Society v Grant Thornton’ (2019) 35 JPN 166 (with Alyssa Stansbury)
  • ‘What is a Standard Term?: African Export-Import Bank v Shebah’ (2017) 33 JPN 268
  • ‘Misrepresentation and the Secondary Market: Taberna v Selskabet’ (2017) 33 JPN 211 ‘Mass Surveillance in the CJEU: Forging a European Consensus: Cases C-203/15 and C-698/15 Tele2; Watson’ (2017) 76:2 CLJ 250 (with Isabella Buono)
  • ‘Wither Remoteness? Wellesley Partners LLP v Withers LLP’ (2016) 79 MLR 678 (cited in Clerk & Lindsell on Torts (22nd ed) and Jackson & Powell on Professional Liability (8th ed))
  • ‘Inadvertent disclosure of privileged documents: Rawlinson and Hunter Trustees v SFO’ (2015) 34 CJQ 29
  • ‘In Defence of Pace and Rogers’ (2015) 8 Archbold Review 6 (with Damien Bruneau)
  • ‘Prescriptive acquisition of rights over public authority land: Barkas v North Yorks County Council (2014) 73 CLJ 487

Practitioner journal articles

  • ‘Avoiding blockchain contracts’ (2019) JIBFL 586 (with Nik Yeo)
  • ‘English law rights of investors in Initial Coin Offerings’ (2018) JIBFL 214 (with Paul Sinclair QC)

Book Reviews

  • Review of Grave, McIntosh and Rowan (eds.) Class actions in England and Wales (2019) 78 CLJ 247
  • Review of Wilson, Art Law and the Business of Art (2020) CLJ (forthcoming)

Education

  • BA History, Bristol University (1st class; top of year in each year)
  • MA Law (accelerated), St Edmund’s College, Cambridge (Double 1st)
  • BCL, Keble College, Oxford (Distinction)
  • BPTC, BPP University (Very Competent)

LinkedIn Profile

Aaron’s LinkedIn profile can be found here.


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