Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Craig UlyattCall Date: 2008

Craig has a broad commercial practice in line with Chambers’ profile with a particular focus on banking and finance.  In recent times, Craig has been heavily involved in various financial mis-selling cases, including, in particular, cases involving interest rate swaps and FX swaps, as well as injunction applications, particularly in cases involving frozen bank accounts or the withdrawal of banking services.

Significant cases include Best Friends Group v Barclays (2018), the RBS Rights Issue litigation (2016-17), Dexia v Provincia Di Brescia (2016), Credit Suisse v Up Energy (2015), Cambria Africa v Lonrho (2015), Caring v Sharp (2014), Logue v Shaw (2014), KfW v Euroclear (2012), Berezovsky v Edmiston (2011), and Log Book Loans v Office of Fair Trading (2011).

Areas of Expertise

  • Banking & finance
  • Commercial dispute resolution
  • Fraud: civil
  • Professional negligence
  • Professional discipline
  • Jurisdiction & conflicts of law

Recent Experience

Banking and Finance

Craig has experience of the full range of banking and finance matters, including “mis-selling” claims, financial regulation, recovery of mistaken payments, asset financing and enforcement of hire purchase agreements, enforcement of loans and guarantees, possession claims, consumer credit work, unfair terms, and “bank charges” cases.  In recent years, Craig has been involved in numerous cases relating to the alleged mis-selling of interest rate swaps and FX swaps. Craig is also regularly instructed, often at very short notice, in injunction applications, particularly involving frozen bank accounts or the withdrawal of banking services.  As a result, Craig has particular experience of issues relating to Suspicious Activity Reports and the Proceeds of Crime Act.  In terms of regulatory work, Craig has acted for the FCA (and before that, the OFT) in relation to the revocation of consumer credit authorisations / licences, and regularly advises on a wide range of regulatory issues.

Cases include:

Best Friends Group v Barclays (2015 -18) – acting for Barclays in an interest rate swap mis-selling claim.  Craig appeared (as sole advocate) in both the successful strike out application (on procedural grounds) and the bank’s successful defence of an appeal.  The Court of Appeal’s judgment can be found at [2018] EWCA Civ 601.

Acumendia v RBS Invoice Finance (2018) – acting for an online grocery wholesaler start up in a claim against the invoice finance division of RBS, including an application for an interim mandatory injunction to prevent RBS from decreasing the amount of funding provided to the business.

Solar panel claims (2018) – acting for Barclays in relation to a large portfolio of claims concerned with the alleged mis-selling of photovoltaic solar panels.

Match Serviced Apartments v HSBC (2018) – acting for HSBC in relation to an injunction application to unfreeze a bank account.

17 Stars v Santander (2018) – acting for Santander in relation to an injunction application to unfreeze a bank account.

Newton v Financial Conduct Authority (2018) – acting (as sole counsel) for the FCA in relation to an appeal by a former director of a debt management company against the making of a prohibition order under section 56 of FSMA.

AFEX v Newstar Garments (2017-18) – acting (with Andrew Mitchell QC) for a global payment firm in an FX Swap mis-selling claim.

Mandatory injunction case (2017) – acting (with Tim Howe QC) for a large retail bank in relation to an interim mandatory injunction requiring the bank to continue providing banking services following the termination of a contract.

RBS Rights Issue litigation (2016-17) – acting for RBS in relation to the substantial claim arising out of the April 2008 rights issue.

Dexia Crediop S.p.A. v Provincia Di Brescia (2016) – acting (with Charles Samek QC) for Brescia in relation to an interest rate swap mis-selling claim.

WPPL v Financial Conduct Authority (2016) – acting (as sole counsel) for the FCA in relation to a payday lender’s appeal against the revocation of its authorisation.  The appeal was withdrawn shortly before the final hearing.

Qadir v Barclays Bank Plc (2016) – acting for Barclays in an interest rate swap mis-selling claim.  Craig appeared (as sole advocate) in the successful strike out application dealing with important limitation and section 14A issues.  The judgment can be found at [2016] EWHC 1092 (Comm).

Credit Suisse v Up Energy (2015) – acting (with Jonathan Nash QC) for a Chinese mining company in a dispute relating to the exercise of a put option to repurchase convertible loan notes.  The case settled shortly before trial.

Spring Rental v Barclays Bank Plc (2015) – acting for Barclays in an interest rate swap mis-selling claim.  The claim settled shortly before the Claimant’s appeal against refusal of permission for expert evidence was due to be heard in the Court of Appeal.

NHS Business Services Authority v various banks (2015) – acting for the NHS pensions scheme to obtain Norwich Pharmacal orders identifying the holders of bank accounts into which pension payments had mistakenly been paid.

Delivered on Time v Santander (2014) – acting for Santander defending a claim brought by a non-customer for negligently failing to detect a fraud perpetrated upon the non-customer by one its employees. Craig appeared (as sole advocate) in the successful summary judgment application.

Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance v Opal Healthcare (2013) – acting for Lloyds TSB in a claim relating to fraudulent breaches of an invoice discounting agreement.

Bank of Cyprus v Claremont Court (2013) – acting for BOC in a claim relating to a multi-currency loan agreement and repossession of a commercial hotel: see [2013] EWHC 4521 (Ch).

KfW v Euroclear (2012) – acting (with Tim Howe QC) for KfW, the German Federal Bank for Reconstruction in a multi-million dollar Commercial Court claim against Euroclear, an International Central Securities Depository, for negligently refusing to accept a US Treasury Bill as collateral from Lehman Brothers immediately prior to Lehman Brother’s insolvency.  The case settled shortly before trial.

Barclays Stockbrokers v Rai (2012) – acting for BSL in a High Court claim arising out of a disputed conversion of nil paid rights into shares.  Craig appeared (as sole advocate) at the trial at which BSL’s claim succeeded.

Bank of Cyprus v Menelaou (2011) – acting for the BOC in a claim to recover in excess of £11 million under various guarantees.  Craig appeared (as sole advocate) in the successful summary judgment application.

Log Book Loans v Office of Fair Trading (2011) – acting (with Richard Coleman QC) for the OFT in respect of an appeal by Log Book Loans, a sub-prime lender, to the First Tier Tribunal (Consumer Credit) against the OFT’s determination to revoke the lender’s consumer credit licence.  The appeal was dismissed 2 weeks into the 4 week final hearing following a successful mid-hearing summary judgment application.

Barclays Bank Plc v Bretherton (2011) – acting for Barclays in a High Court claim to recover a mistaken duplicate payment made to a South African bank account.

MF Global v Ventouris (2010) – acting (with Tim Howe QC) for MF Global in relation to a dispute concerning various contracts for differences.

Barclays Mercantile Business Finance v JB Pearce (2010) – acting for Barclays’ asset financing division in a claim concerning the recovery of twelve vehicles from a third party storage site purporting to exercise a contractual lien over the vehicles.

Barclays Bank Plc v Neale (2010) – acting for Barclays in a claim that the bank had surrendered its security in respect of all sums above the current valuation of the security by participating in an Individual Voluntary Arrangement. Craig also acted in the bank’s successful defence of an appeal.

Stark v Barclays Bank Plc (2010) – acting for Barclays in a relation to a claim that debt collection activities amounted to harassment.  Craig appeared (as sole advocate) in the successful summary judgment application.

Commercial Litigation

Craig is regularly instructed in a wide range of commercial matters.  Cases include:

Office Depot v AM Packaging (2018) – acting for a packaging company (and its factoring company) in a claim relating to the supply of allegedly substandard plastic bags.

Venson Automotive v Morrison Facilities (2017-18) – acting for a vehicle rental and fleet management company in a claim relating to the leasing of an approximate 1,000 vehicle fleet.

Anglia Autoflow North America v Anglia Autoflow (2017-18) – acting for the (former) North American agent of a poultry equipment company in relation to a claim for unpaid commissions.

Mikail v Asiana Ltd (2017) – acting for an oriental foods company in a dispute relating to whether a sum of money paid to the company was a loan or an investment.  The case settled shortly before trial.

Ikon International v Ikon Finance (2015) – acting (with Raymond Cox QC) for a Hong Kong company in relation to an application to set aside a worldwide freezing injunction in a dispute relating to a joint venture agreement.

Secured Express v Waverley Media (2015) – acting for Secured Express in relation to a counterclaim for substantial damages arising out of the days late mailing of invitations to a workshop.

Cambria Africa v Lonrho (2015) – acting (with Veronique Buehrlen QC) for Cambria in a wide ranging claim concerned with breach of a management agreement and fraudulent misrepresentation in connection with the acquisition and leasing of commercial aircraft.

Safe Racing v Amlin (2015) – acting for Amlin in a dispute relating to a sponsorship agreement for a Formula E racing team.

Caring v Sharp (2014) – acting (with Ian Mill QC) for the well-known restauranteur and entrepreneur, Richard Caring, in a commercial dispute relating to a significant London property development.  The case settled shortly before trial.

Milton Pipes v MPC Precast (2014) – acting for the purchaser of the shares of a company in a claim concerned with breach of various environmental warranties.

Talk Smart v BT Global (2014) – acting (as sole counsel) for a United States calling card company against BT relating to BT’s termination of global IP exchange services.

Berezovsky v Edmiston (2010-11) – acting for Mr Berezovsky in relation to a broker’s claim for commission arising out of the sale of a luxury superyacht. Craig acted at both first instance (with Tim Howe QC) [2010] EWHC 1883 (Comm) and in the Court of Appeal (with Luke Parsons QC) [2011] EWCA Civ 431.

Acanfora v Tahghighi (2011) – acting for the Defendant in a dispute as to whether sums lost in the course of oil trading had been paid pursuant to a loan or a joint venture.

Civil Fraud

Delivered on Time v Santander (2014) – acting for Santander in relation to a claim to recover funds lost through a fraud perpetrated by an employee altering invoices to specify his own bank account.

Milton Pipes v MPC Precast (2014) – acting for the owners of a concrete manufacturing company in a claim relating to the non-disclosure of substantial contamination prior to the sale of land.

Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance v Opal Healthcare (2013) – acting for Lloyds TSB in a claim concerned with fraudulent “fresh air invoicing”.

Wirecard Bank v Scott (2010) – acting (with Craig Orr QC) for the Second Defendant in a five day High Court trial of a claim involving an allegation of a conspiracy to sell non-existent Olympics tickets.  The judgment can be found at [2010] EWHC 451 (QB).

Professional Negligence

Craig is regularly instructed in a variety of professional negligence claims.  Cases include:

Popham v Coutts (2016) – acting for Coutts in a claim relating to the alleged negligence of an investment manager.

Topham v Cordea Savills (2015) – acting (with Patrick Goodall QC) for Cordea Savills in a claim relating to the management of a property fund.

SLA Property v Birketts (2014) – acting for SLA in a professional negligence claim against solicitors.

Naylor v Sitescope (2014) – acting in a claim by a purchaser of property for negligence relating to the provision of a desktop environmental report.

O’Sullivan v Cameira Law (2011) – acting for a group of purchasers of properties in a foreign development in a claim against their former English solicitors.

Professional Discipline

Craig regularly advises and appears in professional discipline cases before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.  Significant cases include:

SRA v Howard Kennedy (2018) – acting (with Tim Dutton QC) for the lay client in respect of whose affairs proceedings had been brought by the SRA.  The client, against whom no allegations had been made, successfully applied for the substantive hearing to be held in private to protect the client’s confidentiality.

SRA v Clifford Chance (2017) – acting (with Richard Coleman QC) for Clifford Chance in proceedings bought by the SRA.

Logue v Shaw (2014) – acting (with Tim Dutton QC) for two solicitors an appeal against a decision of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal to strike them both off the roll following a private prosecution by an aggrieved litigant.  The judgment can be found at [2014] EWHC 5 (Admin).

Conflict of laws and jurisdiction

Craig regularly advises on jurisdiction and choice of law issues in numerous cases, notably including cases concerning interest rate swaps and mistaken payments made to foreign recipients.  For example, Craig acted (with Charles Samek QC) in Dexia Crediop S.p.A. v Provincia Di Brescia (2016) involving a jurisdiction challenge in the context of an interest rate swap mis-selling case.  The judgment from the jurisdiction challenge can be found at [2016] EWHC 3261 (Comm).

Education

BA Psychology, University of Auckland (NZ)

LLB(Hons), University of Auckland (NZ) (top 3 students in year)

BCL, St Hugh’s College, Oxford

MPhil Law, Brasenose College, Oxford

BVC, BPP Law School (4th in year)

Craig’s postgraduate research was concerned with the law of restitution / unjust enrichment and is supervised by Professor Andrew Burrows. Subjects included were mistaken payments, payments of another’s debt, the defence of ministerial receipt, contractual benefits conferred on third parties and knowing receipt.

Prizes & Scholarships

  • Megarry Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn, 2008)
  • Buchanan Prize (Lincoln’s Inn, 2008)
  • Lord Denning Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn, 2006)
  • Hardwicke Entrance Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn, 2006)
  • Spencer Mason Travelling Scholarship in Law (Auckland District Law Society, 2004)
  • Senior Scholarship in Law (University of Auckland, 2003)
  • Chapman Tripp Research Scholarship (University of Auckland, 2002)
  • Winner (representing NZ), Louis M Brown International Client Counselling Competition (Glasgow, 2004)
  • Winner (representing Auckland), Mallesons Stephen Jacques Client Interviewing Competition (Brisbane, 2003)

Publications

‘Should consideration be required for the variation of contracts?’ (2002) 9(3) Auckland University Law Review 883

‘The demise of consideration for contract variations – Antons Trawling Co Ltd v Smith [2003] 2 NZLR 23’ (2003) 9(4) Auckland University Law Review 1386

‘Justifying Private Law Remedies (book review)’ [2009] Restitution Law Review 248

Other Experience

Admitted as a Barrister & Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand (2003)

Junior Barrister (pupillage equivalent), Shortland Chambers (Auckland, 2004)

Interests

Craig is an avid runner and has now run the Paris (2012, 2013), Auckland (2013), London (2014), Stockholm (2015), Berlin (2016) and Copenhagen (2017) marathons.  When not running, Craig enjoys travel, wine, and literature, and is a keen supporter of the All Blacks (and all other NZ sports teams).


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