Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Damien BruneauCall Date: 2016

Damien joined Chambers in October 2019 following the successful completion of his pupillage.

Prior to joining the Bar, he worked at the Law Commission of England and Wales and the South African Constitutional Court. He will be spending two months as a full-time Judicial Assistant in the Commercial Court later this year. Before pursuing a career in law, Damien taught philosophy at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Damien aims to develop a broad commercial practice in line with Chambers’ profile and has a particular interest in work that involves a public or international element. He appears regularly in the County Court and is currently part of the counsel team on Dame Linda Dobbs’ Review of issues relating to HBOS Reading.

His recent highlights include:

  • Dobbs Review: part of the counsel team which has been commissioned to consider whether issues relating to HBOS Reading were investigated and appropriately reported to authorities at the time by Lloyds Banking Group, following its acquisition of HBOS.
  • Numerous county court matters: acting as sole counsel in numerous cases involving banking and aviation.
  • Nigeria v JP Morgan Chase Bank [2019] EWHC 347 (Comm): assisting in a significant case on the so-called Quincecare duty owed by a bank to its customer in circumstances in which the bank suspects fraud (as a pupil).
  • Travelers Insurance Co Ltd v XYZ [2018] EWCA Civ 1099: assisting in the appeal to the Supreme Court in a piece of group litigation in which a non-party costs order was made against a liability insurer (as a pupil).
  • Discovery Land Co LLC v Jirehouse [2019] EWHC 2249 (Ch): assisting in proceedings where a solicitor was committed to prison for contempt for having breached undertakings given to the court (as a pupil).

Areas of Expertise

  • Commercial dispute resolution
  • Banking & finance
  • Fraud: civil
  • Aviation
  • Media, entertainment & sport
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • Professional discipline
  • Professional negligence
  • Administrative & public law

Reported cases

Commercial Dispute Resolution

  • Travelers Insurance Co Ltd v XYZ [2019] UKSC 48: group litigation in which a non-party costs order was made against a liability insurer (as a pupil).
  • Michael Wilson and Partners Ltd v Emmott [2019] EWCA Civ 219: now the leading case on when the Angel Bell exception will be appropriate within a post-judgment freezing order (as a pupil).


Banking & Finance

  • Nigeria v JP Morgan Chase Bank [2019] EWHC 347 (Comm): a significant case on the so-called Quincecare duty owed by a bank to its customer in circumstances in which the bank suspects fraud (as a pupil).
  • AXA SA v Genworth Financial International Holdings Inc [2018] EWHC 2898 (Comm): acting in this and related matters (including subrogation, limitation, declarations, and contribution) which stem from payments for PPI mis-selling and agreements to distribute that liability (as a pupil).


Administrative & Public Law and Regulatory & Investigations

  • Discovery Land Co LLC v Jirehouse [2019] EWHC 2249 (Ch): involved in this case where a solicitor was committed to prison for contempt for having breached undertakings given to the court (as a pupil).


Civil Fraud

  • Nigeria v JP Morgan Chase Bank [2019] EWHC 347 (Comm): The Federal Government of Nigeria allege that the bank had reasonable grounds for believing that a payment order was an attempt to misappropriate the customer’s funds and therefore should not have executed that order (as a pupil).

Other notable cases

Commercial Dispute Resolution

  • Instructed in a matter concerning whether independent school fees are due where exams have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, effectively bringing an end to the schooling of pupils in their final year.
  • Instructed in matters related to a dispute between the freeholder of a multi-million pound development and leaseholders and the managing agent of the estate. The issues include potential breached of the manager’s obligations, contempt and unlawful means conspiracy.
  • Acting for the Royal Mail in a claim brought on the basis that it had breached its Universal Service Obligation.
  • Instructed in a matter pertaining to the questioning of a judgment debtor under Part 71 of the CPR.
  • Assisting counsel in:
    • defending a challenge to the jurisdiction of the English courts on the basis of the recast Brussels Regulation;
    • advising on jurisdiction issues in relation to a dispute about products made and sold by a Russian oil refinery;
    • a COBS claim alleging that an investor had been misled about the nature of a forex investment platform;
    • several matters involving the construction of share purchase agreements, covering issues of debt, limitation, indemnity, and conditional payments;
    • a contractual matter concerning the construction and purchase of a new build apartment in Marylebone;
    • a contractual dispute arising from an agreement to create a video game;
    • an application for Norwich Pharmacal order;
    • resisting an application for a non-party costs order;
    • matters related to the enforcement of a judgment made against a sovereign state.


Banking & Finance

  • Part of the counsel team on the Dobbs Review.
  • Acting for a bank to strike out a negligence claim.
  • Assisting counsel for the defendants in a claim that the terms of a variable interest loan were unfair.


Aviation & Travel and Insurance & Reinsurance

  • Various claims in the County Court pertaining to compensation for the delay or cancellation of flights.
  • Assisting counsel in:
    • an arbitration matter concerning the insurance of the hull of a passenger aeroplane which had been lost;
    • a matter concerning the duties of Lloyd’s brokers in the insurance of aircraft spares for a large airline;
    • defending a claim related to a “follow the settlements clause” in a reinsurance agreement in the energy industry.


Administrative & Public Law and Regulatory & Investigations

  • Assisting counsel in:
    • a judicial review claim brought on the basis of a government department’s EU law obligations.
    • a matter concerning the manner in which employed barristers were representing themselves to the public;
    • resisting an application by a solicitor to have a matter reheard by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal where a rehearing would have amounted to an abuse of process;
    • advising a firm of solicitors in relation to its duties to former clients.


Civil Fraud

  • Assisting counsel:
    • in a claim involving allegations of conspiracy and deceit arising from the construction of Affordable Housing Units as part of a development in London;
    • for the defendant of a potential claim by a FTSE 100 company against its auditor which raised a number of issues related to attribution and the illegality defence;
    • advising in relation to negotiations leading to a Deferred Prosecution Agreement

Company, Restructuring & Insolvency

Company Law

  • Acting in an application to restore a company to the register where jurisdictional matters were potentially at issue.
  • Advising a company in relation to an unfair prejudice petition.

Appointments, memberships and prizes

BPTC

  • University of Law Immigration Law prize 2016
  • University of Law RDOC/ADR prize 2016
  • Lincoln’s Inn Lord Denning Scholarship 2015
  • Lincoln’s Inn Hardwicke Scholarship 2014


Cambridge

  • Wilsey and Lerch Book Prize 2015
  • Graduate Scholar 2015
  • Seton Cavendish Book Prize 2014 and 2015
  • Lincoln’s Inn Lord Bowen Scholarship 2014
  • Downing College Harris Scholar 2014
  • Squire Scholar 2014
  • Oppenheimer Memorial Trust Scholarship (RSA) 2013
  • Cambridge Trust Scholarship 2013


University of the Witwatersrand

  • Wits University Postgraduate Merit Award 2009 and 2010
  • Academic Scholarship 2004


Memberships

  • COMBAR

Education

  • BPTC, University of Law: Outstanding
  • BA Law (Senior Status), University of Cambridge: Double First
  • MA Philosophy, University of the Witwatersrand
  • BA (Hons) Philosophy, University of the Witwatersrand
  • BA Philosophy and Economics, University of the Witwatersrand

LinkedIn

Damien’s LinkedIn profile can be found here.


BSB Barristers' Register