Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Jeffrey Chapman QCCall Date: 1989 | Silk Date: 2010

Jeff is a leading silk specialising in civil fraud, commercial dispute resolution and banking. He has appeared in courts ranging from the Commercial Court to the Old Bailey via the Chancery Division, the Family Division, the BVI and the Patents Court. In recent years he has cross-examined Mike Ashley in the notorious Jeff Blue trial; and successfully led the claimants in the Group Seven litigation which involved two 30-day trials and two visits to the Court of Appeal, resulting in a new test for dishonest assistance. He was also instructed in the largest claim for damages on a cross-undertaking in the Patents Court and a recent decision applying the principles of res judicata to divisional patents.

Other highlights include acting successfully for the bank in the Supreme Court in a modern Hedley Byrne decision, Playboy v. BNL; establishing that Norwich Pharmacal orders could not be obtained in support of foreign proceedings in Ramilos; striking out a fraud claim against Wirecard AG; and acting on behalf of Chinese clients in significant international fraud proceedings.

Jeff’s practice also includes international arbitration, insurance and reinsurance, sports, art and valuable items cases and offshore claims including in Bermuda, the Isle of Man and the Caribbean.

His recent highlights include:

  • Group Seven Limited v Notable Services LLP [2020] Ch.129: Instructed (with Simon Atrill and Simon Paul) in these decade-long €100 million fraud proceedings which finally ended after two 30-day trials with the Court of Appeal applying a new post-Ivey test for dishonest assistance and upholding a finding of vicarious liability against a Swiss Bank.
  • Playboy Club London Limited v Banca Nazionale Del Lavoro SPA [2018] UKSC 43: Successfully representing a bank in the Court of Appeal (reversing the trial judge) and Supreme Court and establishing that the bank did not owe any duty of care to a casino that had advanced more than £1 million to a gambler in reliance on a reference from a bank employee.
  • Ramilos v Buyanovsky [2016] EWHC 3175 (Comm): Acting in a matter which resulted in a leading decision by Flaux J (as he then was) on Norwich Pharmacal orders (a field where Jeff appears and advises regularly) establishing that this relief is not available where it is sought only in support of proceedings overseas.
  • Prashant Manek & Ors v Wirecard AG [2020] EWHC 1904: Instructed (leading Sam Ritchie) on behalf of Wirecard AG and successfully striking out a claim of unlawful means conspiracy against it arising out of the acquisition of various Indian companies in 2015.
  • Mr Jeffrey Ross Blue v Mr Michael James Wallace Ashley [2017] EWHC 1928 (Comm):Acting in the notorious case for an investment banker suing Mike Ashley, owner of Sports Direct and Newcastle United Football Club, for £14 million promised to him if he helped get Sports Direct’s share price above £8 per share. The deal was allegedly done in a pub and was disputed by Mr Ashley. The trial took place to a fanfare of publicity and Jeff cross-examined Mr Ashley for two days.

Areas of Expertise

  • Banking & Finance
  • Commercial Crime
  • Commercial dispute resolution
  • Construction and Engineering
  • Energy & natural resources
  • Financial services
  • Fraud: civil
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • International arbitration
  • Media, entertainment & sport
  • Offshore
  • Professional discipline
  • Professional negligence

Recommendations

“He’s great on his feet, technically astute and amazingly user-friendly.” “Jeffrey is thorough and articulate, and has excellent presence in court.”
Chambers & Partners

“He gives really practical advice to clients and is a really good advocate – he’s exactly the sort of silk you want to lead you.” “Jeffrey is a pleasure to work with as he is an excellent communicator and accommodates clients’ needs.”
Chambers & Partners

“He can turn the view of a commercial judge in a day of submissions.”
Chambers & Partners  

“A great communicator – explains the complex clearly and cuts through to the nub of matters.”
Legal 500 

‘Responsive, smart thinking, efficient, ahead of the game with the latest precedents and case developments, and always pleasant to work with.’
Legal 500

‘An excellent communicator and very much hands-on type of silk which clients very much appreciate.’
Legal 500

 “A heavyweight silk with great personality whom clients love”
Chambers & Partners

Jeff is ranked by the legal directories for:

Chambers & Partners

  • Dispute Resolution: Commercial – UK (Global)
  • Banking & Finance
  • Fraud: Civil
  • Commercial Dispute Resolution

Legal 500

  • Banking & Finance (including Consumer Credit)
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Fraud: Civil

Reported cases

  • Prashant Manek & Ors v Wirecard AG [2020] EWHC 1904: (Strike out of unlawful means conspiracy claim against Wirecard AG).
  • Eli Lilly v Genentech [2020] EWHC 261 (Pat): (Issue estoppel and abuse of process res judicata in patent cases).
  • Goldman v Zurich Insurance plc [2020] EWHC 192 (TCC): (Insurance, deceit and abuse of process res judicata).
  • Green Deal Marketing Southern Ltd v Economy Energy Trading Ltd [2019] EWHC 507 (Ch): (Largest award of damages under the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993).
  • Group Seven Ltd v Notable Services LLP [2019] EWCA Civ 614: (Dishonest assistance post Ivey and vicarious liability of a bank for dishonest assistance).
  • Piraeus Bank v EFG Bank [2018] EWHC 2554 (Ch): (Bank successfully applied to discharge Norwich Pharmacal order).
  • Playboy Club London Limited v Banca Nazionale Del Lavoro SPA [2018] UKSC 43; [2016] 1 WLR 3169 (CA): (Negligent misrepresentation).
  • Playboy Club London Limited v Banca Nazionale Del Lavoro SPA [2018] EWCA Civ 2025 (CA): (Abuse of process).
  • Group Seven Limited and others v Ali Nasir and others [2017] EWHC 2466 (Ch): (Dishonest assistance and vicarious liability).
  • Ramilos Trading Limited v Valentin Buyanovsky [2016] EWHC 3175 (Comm): (Norwich Pharmacal).
  • Group Seven Ltd v Allied Investment Corp Ltd Court of Appeal (Civil Division) [2015] EWCA Civ 631; 2014 EWHC 2046 (Ch): (Civil fraud).
  • Jong v HSBC Private Bank (Monaco) SA Chancery Division [2014] EWHC 4165 (Ch): (Jurisdiction).
  • Coll v Floreat Merchant Banking Ltd Queen’s Bench Division [2014] EWHC 1741 (QB): (Contempt of court).
  • Group Seven Ltd v Allied Investment Corp Ltd Chancery Division [2014] 1 W.L.R. 735: (Freezing orders).
  • JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov (Granton Action) [2013] EWHC 867 (Comm); [2013] EWHC 510 (Comm): (Civil fraud).
  • Seven Licensing Co Sarl v FFG-Platinum SA [2011] EWHC 2967 (Comm); [2012] I.L.Pr.
  • Deutsche Bank AG v Tongkah Harbour Public Co Ltd Queen’s Bench Division (Commercial Court) [2011] EWHC 2251 (QB); [2012] 1 All E.R. (Comm) 194; [2011] Arb. L.R. 20; (2011) 108(34) L.S.G. 20.
  • Proteus Property Partners Ltd v South African Property Opportunities Plc [2011] EWHC 1236 (QB); [2011] EWHC 768 (QB).
  • Abdel Hadi Abdallah Al Qahtani & Sons Beverage Industry Co v Antliff [2010] EWHC 1735 (Comm).
  • Parabola Investments Ltd v Browallia Cal Ltd (formerly Union Cal Ltd) [2010] EWCA Civ 486; [2011] Q.B. 477; [2010] 3 W.L.R. 1266; [2011] 1 All E.R. (Comm) 210; [2010] Bus. L.R. 1446; [2011] 1 B.C.L.C. 26; [2010] 19 E.G. 108 (C.S.); (2010) 107(20) L.S.G. 20.
  • Parabola Investments Ltd v Browallia Cal Ltd (formerly Union Cal Ltd) Queen’s Bench Division (Commercial Court) [2009] EWHC 1492 (Comm); [2009] EWHC 901 (Comm); [2009] 2 All E.R. (Comm) 589.
  • DNA Productions (Europe) Ltd v Manoukian [2008] EWHC 2627 (Ch).
  • DNA Productions (Europe) Ltd v Manoukian [2008] EWHC 943 (Ch).
  • National Westminster Bank Plc v Rabobank Nederland Queen’s Bench Division (Commercial Court) [2007] EWHC 3163 (Comm); [2008] 1 All E.R. (Comm) 266; [2008] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 16; [2008] 6 Costs L.R. 839.
  • National Westminster Bank Plc v Rabobank Nederland Queen’s Bench Division (Commercial Court) [2007] EWHC 1056 (Comm).
  • Mahme Trust Reg v Lloyds TSB Bank Plc [2006] EWHC 1782 (Ch).

Other notable cases

Commercial Dispute Resolution

  • Group Seven Limited and others v Ali Nasir and others: Acting for the claimants in the Chancery Division proceedings to recover €100 million in the Group Seven litigation since 2013:  an asset recovery action which is still continuing.  These proceedings included an important decision on the scope of Freezing Orders [2014] 1 WLR 735; judgment against the main fraudsters after a 30-day trial in the Chancery Division [2014] EWHC 2046 (Ch) which was upheld in the Court of Appeal [2015] EWCA Civ 631; judgment against an accountant at a firm of solicitors for knowing receipt, a bank manager and his bank in dishonest assistance/vicarious liability after a 35-day trial in the Chancery Division [2017] EWHC 2466; and a successful appeal reversing the trial judge and establishing dishonest assistance against the accountant and upholding the findings against the bank manager and his bank in the Court of Appeal earlier this year [2019] EWCA Civ 614.  The most recent decision is the first post-Ivey decision on the law of dishonest assistance and permission to appeal has been sought by the accountant to the Supreme Court. The case has achieved recent notoriety after the Financial Times front page magazine piece on 28 June 2018 about the victim of the fraud headlined, “The ship tycoon, the con men and a €100m scam”.
  • Playboy Club London Limited v Banca Nazionale Del Lavoro SPA [2018] UKSC 43: Acting for an Italian bank in two separate sets of proceedings brought against it by a well-known London casino which advanced more than £1 million in credit to a professional gambler allegedly in reliance on a reference provided by an employee of the bank.  The Casino alleged the reference was given negligently in the first set of proceedings where the bank (represented by Jeff with Andrew de Mestre, 4 Stone Buildings) was successful in the Court of Appeal in reversing the decision below on a Hedley Byrne banking law point of considerable interest: [2016] 1 WLR 3169.  The first set of proceedings is now over:  Jeff’s clients won in the Supreme Court [2018] UKSC 43 in establishing no duty of care was owed to the claimant.  Meanwhile the Casino has brought another set of proceedings alleging the bank’s reference was given fraudulently.  The Bank struck out the later claim as an abuse of process on the basis that it could and should have been brought as part of the first proceedings.  The Court of Appeal reinstated the case [2018] EWCA Civ 2025 and permission was given to amend to include the costs of the first proceedings at [2019] EWHC 303 (Comm).  The case settled before judgment after the second trial.
  • Piraeus Bank v EFG Bank [2018] EWHC 2554 (Ch): Acting for a private bank based in the UK which was subject to a wide-ranging application by an overseas bank in the Chancery Division for Norwich Pharmacal relief against an allegedly fraudulent customer in connection with multi-million pound claims being made in another European jurisdiction.  The application was granted ex parte but, on the return date, Jeff’s clients were successful and the claim for disclosure of bank documents relating to a customer was dismissed (by the same Judge who had granted the original order).  The matter remained confidential until the Court of Appeal dismissed the permission application.
  • Ramilos Trading Limited v Valentin Buyanovsky [2016] EWHC 3175 (Comm): Advising in the ground-breaking claim in connection with disputes concerning multi-hundred million potential fraud claims in Russia, Cyprus and various offshore jurisdictions.  Flaux J’s judgment sets out a wide-ranging review of the law relating to Norwich Pharmacal applications in fraud cases where the material is sought for use in proceedings overseas.  The underlying corporate raider proceedings continued in Russia and Cyprus until settled on confidential terms in 2018.
  • Group Seven Limited and others v and Allied Investment Corporation and others: Acting in long-running Chancery Division fraud proceedings arising out of €100 million fraud.  Multiple interlocutory applications and a 30-day trial in front of Peter Smith J. reported at 2014 EWHC 2046 (Ch).  Decision upheld in the Court of Appeal at [2015] EWCA Civ 631.  Decision in relation to the scope of the standard form Freezing Orders is at [2013] EWHC 1509 (Ch).
  • Jeff Blue v Mike Ashley: Acting in the notorious case for an investment banker (Mr Blue) suing Mike Ashley (owner of Sports Direct and Newcastle United Football Club) in the Commercial Court for £14 million promised to Mr Blue if he helped get the Sports Direct share price above £8 per share.  Mr Blue says he did what was asked of him and Mr Ashley has refused to pay him what he is due. The deal was allegedly done in the Horse and Groom pub and was strongly disputed by Mr Ashley.  The trial took place over six days in July 2017 to a fanfare of publicity including multiple stories of Mr Ashley’s drinking.  Jeff cross-examined Mr Ashley for two days.  The important judgment of Mr Justice Leggatt (now Leggatt LJ) is at [2017] EWHC 1928 (Comm).  The Judge did not believe all of Mr Ashley’s evidence but ultimately dismissed Mr Blue’s claim.
  • JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov and others: Acting for Russian defendant in a 14-week Commercial Court trial before Teare J. Multi-jurisdictional banking fraud claim under Kazakh and Russian law extensively covered in the legal press.   Subject of multiple reported decisions.  The trial is reported at [2013] EWHC 510 (Comm) and [2013] EWHC 867 (Comm).
  • R (Leyton Orient FC) v Newham BC and others: Representing Orient in challenge to appoint West Ham as preferred bidder for the Olympic Stadium. Challenged as an unlawful State Aid. Preferred bid withdrawn a week before the substantive hearing was due to take place.


Banking & Finance

Jeff is frequently instructed to provide confidential advice on all kinds of banking and financial services matters including loan and security disputes, interest rate swaps, ISDA, structured finance transactions and complex financial instruments and related regulatory matters.  Recent cases include the Playboy litigation in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal (see above) and the Norwich Pharmacal proceedings (acting for EFG Bank).  Jeff is also advising international banks in ongoing litigation in the Isle of Man.  In addition to the cases referred to under Commercial Dispute Resolution above, Jeff’s practice includes:

  • Acting in relation to disputes in relation to interest rate swaps and LIBOR fraud.
  • Acting for large Indian Bank in UNCITRAL arbitration proceedings in Singapore heard in 2015.
  • Advising the Bermuda Monetary Authority on regulatory issues arising out of banking and financial services.
  • Odyssey Aviation Limited v Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Financial Leasing Company Limited:  Acting for Irish aviation consultancy company in Commercial Court proceedings against the largest Bank in China.  Proceedings settled on confidential terms in 2015 before trial.
  • FSA: Advising for the FSA in relation to tribunal and judicial review proceedings arising out of penalties imposed by the FSA on a former HBOS director.


International Arbitration

Jeff has extensive arbitration experience including in SIAC, ICC, UNCITRAL, LCIA. He also has ad hoc arbitral experience. Jeff has appeared in proceedings in London, Paris, Geneva, Singapore and New York. The cases in which he has recently appeared involve:

  • A large Indian Bank in UNCITRAL arbitration proceedings in Singapore.
  • A state-owned Bank in Eastern Europe. Seat of the arbitration London.
  • Oil and gas exploration in West Africa. Seat of the arbitration London.


Civil Fraud

  • Group Seven Limited and others v Ali Nasir and others: Acting for the claimants in the Chancery Division proceedings to recover €100 million in the Group Seven litigation since 2013:  an asset recovery action which is still continuing.  These proceedings included an important decision on the scope of Freezing Orders [2014] 1 WLR 735; judgment against the main fraudsters after a 30 day trial in the Chancery Division [2014] EWHC 2046 (Ch) which was upheld in the Court of Appeal [2015] EWCA Civ 631; judgment against an accountant at a firm of solicitors for knowing receipt, a bank manager and his bank in dishonest assistance/vicarious liability after a 35 day trial in the Chancery Division [2017] EWHC 2466; and a successful appeal reversing the trial judge and establishing dishonest assistance against the accountant and upholding the findings against the bank manager and his bank in the Court of Appeal earlier this year [2019] EWCA Civ 614.  The most recent decision is the first post-Ivey decision on the law of dishonest assistance and permission to appeal has been sought by the accountant to the Supreme Court. The case has achieved recent notoriety after the Financial Times front page magazine piece on 28 June 2018 about the victim of the fraud headlined, “The ship tycoon, the con men and a €100m scam”.
  • JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov and others: Acting for Russian defendant in 14-week Commercial Court trial before Teare J. Multi-jurisdictional banking fraud claim under Kazakh and Russian law extensively covered in the legal press.   Subject of multiple reported decisions.  The trial is reported at [2013] EWHC 510 (Comm) and [2013] EWHC 867 (Comm).
  • R v Ryjenko and another:  Appearing in the Old Bailey acting for a defendant banker with the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development in corruption proceedings which ended after a confiscation order was made in June 2019.  (A criminal prosecution involving alleged corruption in project financing by the EBRD in the former Soviet Union).


Media, Entertainment & Sport

Jeff’s interest in playing (or increasingly watching) sport is complimented by an established practice in sports law. As well as appearing in the London Olympic stadium dispute and multiple football cases acting for Cardiff City, Leeds United and Leyton Orient, he has also acted in several show-jumping matters including disputes involving Ben Maher and trying to get the Irish show-jumping team and Cian O’Connor into the Rio Olympics via the CAS in Lausanne.

His experience includes:

  • Horse Sport Ireland and another v Fédération Equestre Internationale:  Acting for Cian O’Connor in the Court of Arbitration for Sport appeal filed by Horse Sport Ireland and Mr O’Connor against the decision rendered by the FEI Appeal Committee on 22 August 2015 which meant the Irish team did not qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016.
  • Denis Lynch v Horse Sport Ireland Ltd, Cian O’Connor and others CAS arbitration No. CAS OG 12/03: Representing Irish show jumper Cian O’Connor before the Ad Hoc Olympic Division of the CAS in successful bid to ensure Cian could represent Ireland at the London Olympics. Cian won a bronze medal a week later.
  • Representing Ben Maher in Chancery Division proceedings arising out of the ownership of his Olympic ride Tripple X.

Appointments, memberships and prizes

  • Researcher for and Consultant to Law Commission 1987-1989
  • CEDR Accredited Mediator
  • Called to Bar of British Virgin Islands 1999
  • Queen Mother Scholarship, Middle Temple
  • Bar Standards Board Complaints Committee (2007-2012)
  • Barrister Vice-Chair, Professional Conduct Committee of the BSB (2015-2019)

Education

  • LLM First Class Cambridge University
  • BA First Class University of Sussex

Languages

German speaker with working knowledge of French.

LinkedIn

Jeff’s LinkedIn profile can be found here.


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