Banking & Finance:
Giles regularly acts both for and against banks in connection with a wide variety of banking matters and regularly advises on the issues arising out of the interpretation of complex finance agreements. Giles has been involved in a number of substantial recent actions arising from disputes over various forms of derivatives, including in particular interest rate swaps, currency swaps and credit default swaps. In particular, Giles has been instructed on many occasions in recent years to advise in connection with allegations of the mis-selling of interest rate swaps in a retail banking context. That work has also involved advising on the FCA Review into the mis-selling of interest rate hedging products.
Other banking work which Giles has experience in includes litigation arising out of guarantees, disputed term loans, mortgages and other securities. Giles’ experience in this area includes cases concerning letters of credit, the conversion of cheques, and allegations of breach of mandate.
Recent instructions include:
- A claim by a broker regarding an agreement to establish a crypto-currency exchange, raising issues concerning the basis on which a claim can be brought to recover contractually due payment denominated in bit-coin.
- Rockaria Investments Inc v Lloyds Bank plc – acted for Lloyds in obtaining the successful strike out of an interest rate swap mis-selling claim on limitation grounds, turning on the application of s.14A of the Limitation Act 1980 (with an appeal due to be heard by the Court of Appeal in October 2018).
- Goldman Sachs International v Videocon Global  EWCA Civ 130 – acted unled in the Court of Appeal, and at two earlier summary judgment applications, in a case recognised by the Court of Appeal to have wider significance regarding the interpretation of the close-out provisions in the ISDA Master Agreement.
- Universal Advanced Technology v Lloyds Bank plc  EWCA Civ  EWCA Civ 933 – acted for the bank in the Court of Appeal in a second appeal concerning a claim to recover sums mistakenly credited to (and then withdrawn from) the account of the beneficiary of a cancelled BACS transfer.
- HDFC Bank Ltd v Essar Steel India Ltd – acted for the Defendant to a claim for repayment of US$19m loan facilities, which raises issues as to the effect under Indian law of a compulsory restructuring mechanism established by the Reserve Bank of India.
- Alma Properties v West Bromwich Commercial Ltd – instructed for the Defendant in successfully resisting an application for an injunction to restrain the sale of property held as security for a £9.3m loan facility.
- Crowborough Properties Ltd v Lloyds Bank plc – acted for the Defendant in successfully obtaining the striking out of the interest-rate hedge mis-selling claim on the ground of abuse of process/issue estoppel.
- Ryfold v Nationwide Building Society – acted (with David Railton QC) in a substantial mis-selling dispute (which settled on the eve of trial) concerning a fixed rate loan, raising the issue as to whether a fixed rate loan was a regulated investment under FSMA.
- Blackwater Securities Ltd v West Bromwich Commercial Ltd – acted unled for the Defendant in obtaining the summary dismissal of a claim challenging the operation of a market disruption clause relied on to vary the interest charged on a £20 million loan facility.
- Marksans Pharma Ltd v Peter Beck & Partner VVW GmbH  EWHC 1608 – acted (led by Richard Coleman QC) for the defendant to a claim concerning an alleged settlement of payment obligations due under the terms of bonds issued by the claimant
- Barclays Bank plc v UniCredit Bank  2 Lloyd’s Rep. 59 (CA) and  2 Lloyd’s Rep 1 – Acted (led by David Railton QC) on behalf of the Claimant both at trial and in the Court of Appeal in a dispute (worth around €80m) over whether the Defendant was entitled to terminate a series of credit guarantees given by the Claimant in its favour. The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal against the findings of Popplewell J that Barclays acted in a “commercially reasonable manner” in refusing its consent to the termination of the guarantees.
- Essentially Different Limited v Bank of Scotland – Acted for the Defendant (led by Richard Handyside QC) at the trial on quantum (which settled mid-trial) of a claim for damages of £150 million for breach of a loan agreement (having acted unled at the 5-day trial of liability  EWHC 475), raising issues as to remoteness, the assessment of loss, and (at the liability trial) rectification and misrepresentation.
- Close Bros v Pearce  EWHC 298 (QB) – Acted for the Defendant at trial  EWHC 298 in successfully resisting a claim under a contract of guarantee, which raised issues as to the construction of the terms of the guarantee and whether the guarantee had been revoked.
- Goldman Sachs International v Natixis – Acted on behalf of the Defendant (led by Iain Milligan QC and Timothy Howe QC) in an expedited trial (which settled on the first day) which concerned the validity of the termination of three related credit default swaps and the extent to which terms could be implied into those swaps requiring the disclosure of information by the credit protection buyer to the credit protection seller.
- Destiny 1 Ltd v Lloyds TSB – Acted on behalf of the Bank as Respondent in the Court of Appeal in a matter concerning whether the Bank had contractually committed itself to provide a bank guarantee in favour of the Claimant  EWCA Civ 831. Giles had also acted for the Bank at the trial of the claim (in mid-2010).
Giles regularly acts and advises in relation to professional negligence claims for and against a number of professions, with particular experience in relation to both solicitors, directors and financial professionals, including investment managers, accountants and actuaries. Giles has been instructed in a number of substantial professional negligence claims (including the Independent Insurance litigation) and has also recently dealt with claims against investment managers, solicitors, insurance brokers and professional trustees. In addition, Giles has handled litigation against various other professionals, including architects and engineers.
- Montvale v Terra Raf Trans Traiding – instructed for the BVI liquidator of the Claimant in pursuing a substantial claim for breach of duty against its former director, based on the use of company funds to support other companies under common ownership.
- SPL v Addison – instructed on behalf of the Claimant investment funds (each cells of a Guernsey incorporated cell company) in proceedings brought in Guernsey (which went to trial in February 2017) against a former director, alleging breach of duty in the management of the funds (including in the supervision of the work of the funds’ investment manager).
- X v a firm of solicitors – instructed for the Claimant to advise on a potential claim for negligence governed by German law arising from legal advice given in connection with the restructuring of various securities.
- Wilson v HSBC – instructed for the Defendant to a claim alleging negligent advice in respect of the Claimant’s participation in a film-finance partnership designed to mitigate tax liability and which was later subject to HMRC challenge. Raises issues of limitation and scope of duty, as well as whether the original advice had under-stated the risk of the scheme.
- SPL v Arch Financial Products LLP and Farrell – Acted (led by Richard Coleman QC) on behalf of the Claimant investment funds (each cells of a Guernsey incorporated cell company) in pursuing a claim for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty against their former investment manager (and claims of dishonest assistance against its principal) which was entrusted with the management of assets in excess of US$150 million.
- Independent Insurance v Watson Wyatt – Instructed on behalf of the liquidators of Independent Insurance pursuing claims for around £350m alleging negligence in the conduct of actuarial reviews of the reserves of Independent. This was very substantial litigation raising numerous issues, including the scope of an actuary’s duty of care (and liability for unprofitable business) and the impact of fraudulent activity on the actuary’s work.
- Independent Insurance v KPMG – Also instructed on behalf of the liquidators of Independent Insurance in pursuing a claim arising out of the same facts against the auditors of Independent.
- Roll Formed Fabrications Ltd v Dow Chemical Company Ltd – Giles acted for the defendant to a TCC action (which settled the week before trial in early 2011) concerning allegations that a foam in-fill developed by the Defendant for a composite panel manufactured by the Claimant had been negligently designed
- Bradley v Wm Fortune & Son – Instructed on behalf of the Claimants in pursuing a claim arising out of the alleged over-valuation by the Defendant accountant of a shareholding in the company of which the Claimants were shareholders and directors and the Defendant was the auditor and accountant
- Mote v Loring – Instructed on behalf of the Claimant in pursuing a claim for the negligent preparation of accounts and tax returns by the Defendant accountant over a number of years
- Barings litigation – Instructed on behalf of Barings (Singapore) PTE Ltd for the 5-day quantum hearing to determine the recoverable losses flowing from the negligence of the auditors of Barings bank.
Civil fraud and general commercial litigation:
Giles is instructed in a wide range of general commercial litigation, including litigation arising out of civil fraud allegations. Many of the matters listed under other headings above also fall within the ambit of general commercial litigation and Giles has experience of most aspects of such work. Giles has dealt with litigation arising from a wide variety of commercial contracts, including disputes arising out of partnership agreements, joint ventures, franchises and supply and distribution agreements.
- Advising an international property agent in connection with a claim for breach of confidence against a former employee.
- Bluewaters Communications Holdings LLC v Bayerische Landesbank, Bernie Ecclestone and others – acting for the Claimant in proceedings in which it is alleged that the Claimant was prevented from acquiring a substantial stake in Formula One motor racing by Bernie Ecclestone’s bribery of a German banker. One of The Lawyer’s “Top 20 cases to watch in 2018”.
- Little Bridge World Ltd v Hitachi Solutions Europe Limited – Instructed for the Defendant to a claim for damages of over £14 million for breach of a software distribution agreement.
- Montvale Invest Ltd v Terra Raf Trans Traiding Ltd – Instructed for the Claimant in liquidation in pursuing a claim for US$21 million in respect of intra-group liabilities which forms part of a raft of litigation arising from the collapse of a group of companies involved in trading in oil and gas from Kazakhstan. Appeared on behalf of the Claimant in an unusual application for a freezing injunction, which was obtained following a 2-day inter-partes application.
- Grentex & Company Private Ltd v Brintons Carpets Ltd – Acted for the Defendant in obtaining a stay of proceedings under article 34 of the Brussels Regulation (Recast) in favour of parallel proceedings before the Indian Courts.
- Roadchef Employee Benefit Trustees Limited v Ingram Hill  EWHC 109 (Ch) – Acted (led by Michael Brindle QC) for the defendant at the trial of a substantial claim for breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duty, dishonest assistance and deceit, which concerned the transfer of shares held subject to trust as part of an employee share ownership scheme
- Linden Homes (South East) Limited v Kelly and Boyle – Acted for the Claimants in obtaining a post-judgment worldwide freezing injunction in order to preserve assets for the purposes of enforcement.
- Ueda Yagi Tanshi Co Ltd v Imadzu – Acted for the Claimants in obtaining a third party debt order and pursuing an application under s. 423 of the Insolvency Act in order to enforce a judgment for fraud obtained in Japan.
- FMC Foret S.A. v Unilever Supply Chain Company A.G. – Acted on behalf of the Defendant in a dispute concerning a chemical supply contract, raising questions of contractual construction and performance.
- Fisher Advanced Composite Components v St Bernard – Instructed for the Claimants in a claim of duress regarding the variation of a contract relating to the supply of components used for the manufacture of aircraft engines.
- Profile Pursuit v Your-Move.co.uk – Instructed on behalf of the Defendants in a 7 day High Court trial (acting alone) of a claim for loss of profit flowing from a breach of a contract to distribute a promotional magazine.
- Wandsworth Borough Council v Railtrack plc  1 W.L.R. 368;  QB 756 (CA) – Acted for Railtrack at trial and before the Court of Appeal (led by Timothy Dutton QC) in a claim concerned with whether Railtrack was liable in nuisance for the activities of pigeons roosting on a railway bridge over the highway.
- Watson & Watson v Appleyards plc and others – Acted on behalf of the claimants in a Commercial Court claim (which settled shortly before trial) against multiple defendants for conspiracy and interference with business by unlawful means.
- Hamilton v Fayed  EMLR 15 – Acted on behalf of the claimant in an application for permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal in an attempt to set aside the judgment against the claimant on the grounds that the defendant had conducted his defence in a manner amounting to an abuse of process and that the judgment had been obtained by fraud.
Conflict of laws & Private International Law:
Giles has substantial experience advising and acting in relation to all aspects of the private international law, including jurisdiction issues, the enforcement of foreign judgments in the English courts and the application of foreign law in the English courts (including knowledge of the provisions of the Rome I and Rome II Regulations). Giles regularly advises on the application of the EC Judgments Regulation 44/2001 and issues of applicable law. Giles also has experience of various foreign laws, including recently handling cases involving Kazakh, French, German, Austrian and Liechtenstein law.
- Grentex & Company Private Ltd v Brintons Carpets Ltd – Acted for the Defendant in obtaining a stay of proceedings under article 34 of the Brussels Regulation (Recast) in favour of parallel proceedings before the Indian Courts.
- HDFC Bank Ltd v Essar Steel India Ltd – acting for the Defendant to a claim for repayment of US$19m loan facilities, which raises issues as to the effect under Indian law of a compulsory restructuring mechanism established by the Reserve Bank of India.
- X v a firm of solicitors – instructed for the claimant to advise on a potential claim for negligence governed by German law arising from legal advice given in connection with the restructuring of various securities.
- X v Y – acting for the Defendant to arbitration proceedings which raise an issue of Saudi law.
- X v Y – Acted for a claimant bringing arbitration proceedings in a claim for US$27m governed entirely by Kazakh law.
- Catalyst Recycling v Nickelhutte Aue – (2008) Env LR 2 and  All ER (D) 293 (CA): Appeared on behalf of the successful Claimant both at trial and before the Court of Appeal (acting alone) in a claim turning on the legality under German law of the import of metal catalysts into Germany. The claim also raised issues as to the interpretation of the relevant EC regulation, repudiatory breach of contract and the extent of recoverable damages.
- Rosenberg v Nazarov – Acted for the Defendant to a claim, which raised various issues of Liechtenstein law, based on an alleged fraudulent misappropriation of the assets of an alleged partnership connected with the sale of aluminium produced by the TadAZ aluminium plant in Tajikistan.
- Lord v Doffman – Acted on behalf of the respondent to an application to set aside a statutory demand, which raised issues as to the governing law of a loan agreement and the effect of the relevant French law.
- CSOB v Nomura  All ER (D) 157 – Acted for Nomura (led by Anthony Boswood QC and David Waksman QC) in obtaining a stay of English Commercial Court litigation in favour of the courts of the Czech Republic on grounds of forum non conveniens.
- Casio v Kaiser  I.L.Pr 43 – Appeared on behalf of the Appellant in an appeal to the Court of Appeal (led by Brian Doctor QC) in which the issues were: whether knowing receipt and dishonest assistance are torts for the purposes of article 5(3) of the Brussels Convention; and when cases against different defendants are sufficiently connected to extend jurisdiction under article 6(1) of the Convention.
Insurance & Reinsurance:
Giles has acted and advised in connection with a variety of insurance litigation, including professional negligence proceedings against brokers. Cases include:
- Re X – Instructed to advise the liquidators of a company in creditors’ voluntary liquidation regarding their rights and obligations under a liability insurance policy, where the insurers were denying liability under the policy on grounds including an alleged breach of a co-operation clause by the liquidators
- Liberty Syndicate v Compania Internacional de Seguros – Instructed to act for the Defendant, the putative reinsured, in a dispute concerning the implications of a fraud by a broker in purportedly arranging reinsurance with a Lloyds syndicate, which raised issues as to the duties of the putative reinsurer when liaising with the putative reinsured’s regulator.
- Tektrol v International Insurance Company of Hanover  2 Lloyd’s Rep 701 (CA);  Lloyd’s Rep IR 358 (Langley J) – Acted on behalf of the Defendants both before Langley J and in the Court of Appeal for the hearing of preliminary issues (led by David Railton QC) concerning construction of exclusion clauses in the business interruption section of an all risks policy.
- Pedley v Avon Insurance – Acted on behalf of the Claimant (led by Stephen Rubin QC) in bringing successful proceedings in the High Court under the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act; raised issues of misrepresentation, non-disclosure and breach of warranty.
- AMS Consultants v Harrison Bros Underwriting Ltd – Appeared at trial on behalf of the defendant Lloyds’ members’ agent in a dispute concerning the interpretation of an agreement to pay commission to a consultant, which raised various disputes as to Lloyds’ market practice.
- Advised in a dispute between power station owners and underwriters regarding a business interruption insurance claim (as outlined below under “Energy & Natural Resources”).
Energy & Natural Resources:
Giles has been instructed in a number of substantial energy related matters.
- X v Y, an ICC arbitration governed by Kazakh law, concerning the sale of rights to explore for and produce hydrocarbons in an oil field in Kazakhstan.
- Texuna International v Cairn Energy, in which Giles was instructed to defend a US$120m claim for loss of profit alleged to have arisen from the failure of a joint venture project to explore for oil in Turkmenistan.
- Giles acted on behalf of the Claimant (led by David Waksman) claiming loss of profit from the withdrawal of rights to exploit gas reserves in the former Soviet Union in a 9 day ICC arbitration which involved considerable technical expert evidence on geological, geophysical and statistical issues.
- Giles has also been instructed on behalf of a major international energy company to advise on an insurance claim arising out of the failure of power station turbine rotors, which raised various technical issues regarding the operation of and repairs to the turbines. Giles was subsequently instructed to appear in LCIA arbitration proceedings against the turbine manufacturers in a claim for financial support which turned on the availability in the insurance market of insurance for the particular turbine in question.
Professional Discipline and Conduct:
Giles has experience of advising and acting in professional disciplinary matters involving solicitors (acting both for the Law Society and for solicitors), in connection with both interventions and other aspects of solicitors’ professional obligations. Giles has appeared in the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, and in appeals from that Tribunal, on a number of occasions.
Giles also has experience of professional disciplinary matters relating to accountants and other financial services professionals and has experience of judicial review proceedings in a regulatory context.
- SRA v Broadbridge & Grimes – acted for the SRA in a hearing before the Disciplinary Tribunal concerning allegations of breaches of the solicitors’ accounts rules, breaches of money laundering regulations, and allegations of mis-conduct in connection with the payment of a trainee solicitor.
- SRA v Spio-Aidoo – acted for the SRA in a hearing before the Disciplinary Tribunal which addressed the question as to whether it was proper for a solicitor to sign the statement of truth on a claim form in blank (such a practice having developed amongst certain solicitors handling immigration work).
- SRA v King – acted for the SRA in 6-day hearing before the Disciplinary Tribunal regarding allegations of perjury and operating as a solicitor without proper authorisation.
- SRA v Gbajabiamila – acted for the SRA in pursuing allegations of misconduct in the Disciplinary Tribunal which arose out of the findings of an Employment Tribunal that the solicitor had assaulted and otherwise mistreated a domestic employee and had given unreliable evidence to the Employment Tribunal
- Ighalo v Solicitors Regulation Authority  EWHC 661 (Admin) – acted for the SRA in responding to an appeal against a Disciplinary Tribunal ruling which was brought on the ground of an allegation of bias made against a Tribunal member on the ground of his previous role as an SRA adjudicator
- Solicitors Regulation Authority – acted for the SRA in responding to an appeal against findings of misconduct made by the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal  EWHC 2122 (Admin), and in both the subsequent partial rehearing before Disciplinary Tribunal and a further appeal against a striking-off sanction imposed on the solicitor at that rehearing based on the solicitor’s conviction for money laundering offences  EWHC 3502 (Admin)
- SRA v Wilson and Carroll – acted for the SRA before the Disciplinary Tribunal in connection with an alleged failure to supervise an unadmitted member of staff carrying out conveyancing-related work
- SRA v Hindle and Ackinclose – acted for the SRA before the Disciplinary Tribunal in advancing allegations of breaches of the 2007 Code of Conduct in connection with a referral arrangement
- Re the SRA – Instructed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority in making a without notice application to determine the nature of the SRA’s entitlement to provide materials, which it had seized during an intervention, to the police in connection with criminal investigations.
- Re a Firm of Solicitors – Instructed by a firm of solicitors (led by Robert Hildyard QC) in a Commercial Court trial of a claim brought by a former prospective client of the firm who sought to restrain the firm from acting against him in a related matter to that in which he had previously contemplated instructing the firm. Raised the issue as to the extent to which Bolkiah v KPMG (and solicitors’ obligations of confidentiality more generally) applies to a prospective client for which the firm has never acted.
- Richards v The Law Society (Disciplinary Body), The Law Society (Professional Body) intervening – Instructed for the Law Society (Professional Body) (led by Patricia Robertson QC) to apply to intervene in an appeal which raised an issue (ultimately not decided by the Court) as to the appropriate standard of proof to be applied by the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal.
- R on the application of Williams v Financial Ombudsman Service  All ER (D) 35 – Acted for an independent financial advisor challenging a decision of the Financial Ombudsman on the grounds that the ombudsman had relied too heavily on his own knowledge uncorroborated by any further evidence relevant to the matter.
- R v Law Society, ex parte Pamplin (The Independent), 9 July 2001 – Acted for the Law Society (led by Timothy Dutton QC) in defending judicial review proceedings brought by a solicitor’s clerk challenging the legality of the passing of information by the police to the Law Society and challenging the procedures adopted by the Law Society under s.43 of the Solicitors’ Act 1974, including the consideration of challenges under articles 6 and 8 of the E.C.H.R.
- Appeared before a JDS Appeal Tribunal (led by Timothy Dutton QC) on behalf of Coopers & Lybrand, appealing against findings of professional misconduct arising out of the audit of Barings Bank.