Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Ian BergsonCall Date: 2015

Ian is developing a broad commercial and civil practice in line with Chambers’ profile.

Ian accepts instructions in all areas of Chambers’ practice and has appeared in the County Court, the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. He is equally happy working as junior counsel as part of a team or as sole counsel. Before transferring to the Bar, Ian qualified as a solicitor in 2012 and worked in the Dispute Resolution department at Linklaters LLP.

Ian is developing a particular specialism in high-value commercial fraud claims, often with an international element. He acted in the Tchenguiz and Slater and Gordon claims (The Lawyer top cases of 2018 and 2019 respectively), SKAT v Solo Capital (ongoing, >£1.5 billion claim) and Auden McKenzie v Patel (>£250 million claim). He has also been involved in significant hearings in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, including the recent One Step case which recasts the law of contractual damages and reverses the trend of two decades of appellate authority.

Areas of Expertise

  • Banking & finance
  • Commercial dispute resolution
  • Financial services
  • Fraud: civil
  • International arbitration
  • Private International Law
  • Professional discipline
  • Professional negligence
  • Aviation
  • Restructuring/insolvency

Recent practice

Ian has a wide range of experience in commercial and civil matters across Chambers’ main areas of practice. A summary of Ian’s recent practice is set out below.


Commercial dispute resolution

  • Acting for the Appellants in the successful Supreme Court appeal in One Step v Morris Garner [2018] UKSC 20, [2018] 2 W.L.R. 1353 a leading authority on the law of damages addressing Wrotham Park / negotiating damages for breach of contract (led by Charles Béar QC).
  • Acting for the Claimants in unlawful means conspiracy and malicious prosecution claims arising from an SFO investigation: Tchenguiz and others v Grant Thornton and others (12-week Commercial Court trial and one of The Lawyer’s top cases of 2018, settlement reached with a related party once the case had been opened) (led by Stephen Rubin QC and Charles Béar QC).
  • Acting for Slater & Gordon in their £637 million claim for fraud and breach of warranty against Watchstone following the sale of Watchstone’s / Quindell’s professional services division (one of The Lawyer’s top cases of 2019, led by Simon Salzedo QC).
  • Acting for Bank of New York Mellon, as trustee of certain GDP-linked securities issued by the Republic of Argentina in relation to >€1 billion proceedings brought in the Financial List: Palladian Partners LP and ors. v The Republic of Argentina and anr (led by Adam Zellick QC).
  • Acting for the Claimant, Dr Coward, in a substantial multi-jurisdictional dispute with his former wife and business partner concerning the profits of a hedge fund that they started: Coward v Ambrosiadou [2019] EWHC 2105 (Comm) (led by Derrick Dale QC).
  • Acting for the Claimant in claims for breach of warranty following an M&A transaction, which were the subject of an Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) process (as junior counsel).
  • Acting for a services company on a range of claims on the small claims track and the fast track concerning allegations of breach of contract and misrepresentation (as sole counsel).
  • Acting on various claims on the small claims track and the fast track concerning breach of contract and negligence (as sole counsel).
  • Acting for a Claimant in a contractual dispute concerning allegations of bribery and misrepresentation (as sole counsel).
  • (During pupillage, assisting Edward Levey), defending misrepresentation claims advanced following the sale of an oil and gas business for US$575 million: Idemitsu Kosan Co Ltd v Sumitomo Corp [2016] EWHC 1909 (Comm).


Banking and finance

  • Acting for Barclays Bank plc in the Court of Appeal in three leading appeals concerning the FCA Review into interest rate hedging product mis-selling (led by Patrick Goodall QC / Andrew Mitchell QC):
    • Bartels v Barclays Bank plc [2017] EWCA Civ 1073, [2018] 1 W.L.R. 2137 (whether banks owe a duty of care to customers in relation to the Review).
    • Elite Property Holdings Ltd v Barclays Bank Plc [2018] EWCA Civ 1688, [2018] 2 BCLC 460 (whether banks owe contractual duties in the Review).
    • Elite Property Holdings Ltd v Barclays Bank plc [2019] EWCA Civ 204 (claim in unlawful means conspiracy allegedly arising in connection with the Review).
  • Acting for Barclays Bank plc unled in a permission application before the Court of Appeal in the Bartels litigation.
  • Acting for Barclays Bank plc in High Court proceedings concerning claims in the economic torts following interest rate hedging product mis-selling: Elite Property Holdings Ltd v Barclays Bank Plc [2017] EWHC 2030 (QB) (led by Patrick Goodall QC).
  • Advising a leading investment bank on a claim regarding prime brokerage services (as sole counsel).
  • Appearing in the Magistrates Court for a Bank in connection with a witness summons in criminal proceedings (as sole counsel).
  • Acting on various claims concerning the sale of payment protection insurance (as sole counsel).
  • (During pupillage, assisting a number of members of Chambers) advising on several claims concerning the alleged mis-selling of interest rate hedging products.


Fraud: civil

  • Acting for a number of defendants in claims for >£1.5 billion brought by the Kingdom of Denmark relating to dividend arbitrage and cum ex trading and allegations of fraudulent withholding tax reclaim applications: SKAT v Solo Capital Partners and others (led by Adam Zellick QC).
  • Acting for a Defendant in >£250 million claims following the sale of a substantial pharmaceutical business: Auden McKenzie and ors v Patel (led by Camilla Bingham QC).
  • Acting for a company in High Court proceedings following the discovery of a fraud by a senior employee, obtaining orders for delivery up and an interim payment (as sole counsel).
  • Acting in relation to a warranty escrow process following the purchase of a business, concerning allegations of fraud against the seller (as junior counsel).
  • (As an associate at Linklaters LLP), defending a number of claims arising from the global financial crisis concerning the alleged mis-sale of financial products, including J.P.Morgan v BVG (a US$200m fraud and mis-selling claim arising out of the sale of a collateralised debt obligation).
  • (As an associate at Linklaters LLP), acting for the liquidators of an insolvent Cayman Islands company advising on various aspects of claims arising from an alleged multi-billion dollar fraud.


International arbitration

  • Advising on a substantial international arbitration concerning a joint investment in a telecoms business (as sole English counsel).
  • Acting as an arbitral assistant to the Tribunal on a Bahamian seated arbitration.
  • (During pupillage, assisting Ben Valentin QC) applying for a share sale order in relation to a British Virgin Islands company to satisfy a substantial ICC arbitration award.
  • (During pupillage, assisting Alexander Milner) bringing LCIA arbitration proceedings to enforce a Put Option Agreement.
  • (As an associate at Linklaters LLP), advising the majority shareholder of a major CIS corporation in connection with a shareholders’ dispute.


Professional negligence

  • Acting for the Claimant in a substantial claim for negligence against a firm of solicitors acting on a property transaction (as junior counsel).
  • (As an associate at Linklaters LLP), advising a leading firm of auditors in connection with a professional negligence claim arising from the fraudulent diversion of assets from an offshore fund.



  • Regularly appearing in the County Court in claims for compensation under Regulation 261/2004 (as sole counsel).
  • Regularly appearing on a number of other claims against airlines alleging breach of contract, negligence and/or under the Montreal Convention (as sole counsel).


Restructuring and insolvency

  • Acting on various winding up petitions and an application to set aside statutory demands (as sole counsel).
  • (As an associate at Linklaters LLP) advising on various matters arising from the Lehman Brothers administration, including the Supreme Court appeal concerning the ranking of statutory liabilities that arose in connection with the Lehman Brothers Pension Scheme: In re Lehman Brothers International (Europe) [2014] AC 209.


Professional discipline and sports law

  • Acting for a firm of auditors in connection with an investigation by the ICAEW (as sole counsel).
  • Acting for an individual in connection with an Ethics investigation by a sports governing body (led by Timothy Howe QC).
  • (During pupillage, assisting Edward Levey), bringing proceedings before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in connection with fraudulent overbilling: SRA v Thomas.
  • (During pupillage, assisting Timothy Howe QC), acting for an individual in connection with a dispute regarding their proposed admission to the board of an international sports governing body.


  • Balliol College, Oxford University
    • BA Jurisprudence, First Class (2008)
    • BCL, Distinction (2013)
  • College of Law
    • Legal Practice Course, Distinction (2009)


  • Eldon Scholarship (for the most promising graduate of Oxford University commencing practice at the Bar) (2016)
  • Vinerian Scholarship (proxime accessit, for being ranked joint second in the year on the BCL) (2014)
  • Allen & Overy Prize for the Best Performance in Corporate Insolvency Law on the BCL (2014)
  • Martin Wronker Prize for the Final Honour School examinations in Jurisprudence 2008 (proxime accessit, for being ranked joint second in the year) (2008)
  • Gibbs Book Prize for the Best Combined Performance in Contract, Tort, Land and Trusts (2008)
  • All Souls Prize for the Best Performance in Public International Law (2008)
  • Brackenbury Scholarship (2005)

Other experience

Ian previously worked as a solicitor before transferring to the Bar and commencing pupillage at Fountain Court in October 2015:

  • 2012 – 2015: Associate, Dispute Resolution, Linklaters LLP.


Practising general commercial litigation and arbitration. Ian advised on various English court proceedings before the High Court and the Supreme Court and contentious proceedings in a number of other jurisdictions (including the Isle of Man and the Cayman Islands).

Ian’s practice focussed on disputes involving complex financial products arising from the global financial crisis, contentious insolvency matters and conflict of laws advice.

Leave of absence in 2013 to complete the BCL at Oxford University.

  • 2010 – 2012: Trainee Solicitor, Linklaters LLP.

Experience of a wide range of litigation, arbitration and contentious regulatory proceedings during two seats in the Litigation and Arbitration departments in London and (whilst on secondment) in Hong Kong.

Six month client secondment to Man Investments AG in Pfäffikon, Switzerland within the Product Legal team (Structured Products & Finance).


  • Case Comment: Service Out in the Supreme Court (2018) 134 L.Q.R. 344 (co-author)
  • A new frontier for Brussels I – private law remedies for breach of the Regulation? [2017] 13 Journal of Private International Law 356
  • Consequential damage and the tort gateway (2016) 132 L.Q.R. 42 (cited to the Supreme Court in oral argument in Brownlie v Four Seasons Holdings Inc [2017] UKSC 80, [2018] 1 W.L.R. 192)
  • The death of the torpedo action? The practical operation of the Recast’s reforms to enhance the protection for exclusive jurisdiction agreements within the European Union. [2015] 11 Journal of Private International Law 1 (cited in the Commercial Court in Etihad Airways PJSC v Flother [2019] EWHC 3107 (Comm))

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