Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Jeffrey Chapman QCCall Date: 1989 | Silk Date: 2010

Jeff Chapman QC is recommended as a leading silk in civil fraud, commercial dispute resolution and banking.  In recent years he has appeared in the 47 day BTA Bank v Ablyazov trial in the Commercial Court; and parts 1 and 2 of the €100 million Group Seven fraud trial in the Chancery Division (30 days in the Chancery Division against the main fraudsters upheld in the CA followed by a 35 day trial in the Chancery Division against various professionals who had assisted the fraud).  The recent CA decision [2019] EWCA Civ 614 found the bank manager, his bank and an accountant liable for dishonest assistance (vicariously in the case of the bank) and is the leading dishonest assistance authority post-Ivey.  Jeff acts for the bank in the Playboy Club v Banca Nazionale Del Lavoro SPA litigation which has twice been to the Court of Appeal and once successfully to the Supreme Court to establish whether the bank did not owe a Hedley Byrne duty of care.  He has appeared in two corruption trials at the Old Bailey defending a Russian banker who worked for the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (with confiscation proceedings taking place in 2019); and cross-examined Mike Ashley in the Jeffrey Blue litigation.  Most recently, Jeff appeared in the largest ever claim for damages on a cross-undertaking ever brought in the Patent Court which settled after a long trial in 2019.

Jeff’s wide-ranging practise includes (in addition to his core work in the Commercial Court and Chancery Division) international arbitrations, multi-jurisdictional sports and art law cases involving (not at the same time) football clubs and agents, showjumpers, horses, Ferraris and works of art, offshore disputes (including advising the financial services regulator in Bermuda and acting for banks in the Isle of Man), a substantial forthcoming trial in the TCC and res judicata claims in the TCC and Patents Court.  He also appeared successfully in two important recent decisions limiting the scope of Norwich Pharmacal orders (the Ramilos decision at [2016] EWHC 3175 (Comm) and Piraeus Bank v EFG Bank [2018] EWHC 2554 Ch)).

Descriptions in practioners’ guides include, “A pleasure to work with and great with clients” and “Very original in his thinking and a man of great court craft.”  His recent notable cases are set out below.

Areas of Expertise

  • Banking & finance
  • Commercial dispute resolution
  • Financial services
  • Fraud: civil
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • International arbitration
  • Media, entertainment & sport
  • Offshore
  • Professional negligence
  • Professional discipline

Practice Areas

Commercial litigation including in particular:

  • Banking
  • International Arbitration
  • Civil Fraud
  • Insurance/Reinsurance
  • Professional Negligence
  • Sport

Recommendations

Jeff is ranked as a Leading Silk in the field of (Commercial) International Arbitration by the Legal 500 Asia Pacific directory which describes him as “User-friendly and commercial”.

Recommended by Chambers UK 2019

  • ‘He gives really practical advice to clients and is a really good advocate.’
  • ‘Jeffrey is a pleasure to work with as he is an excellent communicator and accommodates clients’ needs.’ (Banking  & Finance)
  • ‘He’s great on his feet, technically astute and amazingly user-friendly.’
  • ‘Jeffrey is thorough and articulate, and has excellent presence in court.’ (Commercial)
  • ‘He can turn the view of a commercial judge in a day of submissions.’ (Civil Fraud)

Recommended by Legal 500 2019

  • ‘ A great communicator – explains the complex clearly and cuts through to the nub of matters. ’(Banking & Finance)
  •  ‘ Responsive, smart thinking, efficient, ahead of the game with the latest precedents and case developments, and always pleasant to work with. ’ (Commercial Litigation)
  •  ‘An excellent communicator and very much hands-on type of silk which clients very much appreciate.’ (Civil Fraud)

Recommended by Legal 500 2018

  • A down to earth, clear thinking and impressive advocate.’ (Banking and Finance; including Consumer Credit)
  • An excellent counsel in commercial litigation.’ (Commercial Litigation)
  • Cuts through the nub of an argument and presents it in compelling terms.’ (Civil Fraud)

Recommended by Chambers & Partners 2018

  • Incredibly hard working and on top of the law. He has an effective style and pitches arguments perfectly” “Thorough and articulate with an excellent presence in Court” (Civil Fraud)
  • A heavyweight silk with great personality whom clients love” (Banking and Finance).
  • The court really likes him; he is a very persuasive advocate and he is also very commercial” He has a laid-back effective style, and he really pitches his arguments just about perfectly” (Commercial Dispute Resolution).

Other recommendations from previous directory entries

  • “A pleasure to work with and great with clients.”
  • “Very original in his thinking and a man of great court craft.”
  • “A talented advocate with fantastic judgement. He’s very commercial.”
  • “Commercial and strategic, he has great client-handling skills.”
  • “Impresses both on paper and in court”
  •  “A very hard working advocate who is excellent with clients.”
  •  “Quick, concise and commercial.”
  •  “A great man to have on your side when the going gets tough.”
  •  “Clear, clever and someone whom clients quickly warm to.”
  •  Noted for his “fantastic judgement”
  • “Outstanding on his feet in court, he reads the courtroom very well, and is completely on top of his material”.
  • “Recommended for football cases.”

Recent notable cases

Commercial Litigation

  • Group Seven Limited and others v. Ali Nasir and others. Jeff has acted 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”

https://www.ft.com/content/d4bc5a02-7995-11e8-bc55-50daf11b720d

  • Playboy Club London Limited v. Banca Nazionale Del Lavoro SPA [2018] UKSC 43:  Jeff acts for an Italian bank in two separate sets of proceedings brought against it by a well-known London casino who 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 it now continues with the Casino seeking to recover as damages in the deceit proceedings the costs of the negligence proceedings.
  • Piraeus Bank v. EFG Bank [2018] EWHC 2554 (Ch)  Jeff acted 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)  Ground-breaking claim in connection with disputes concerning multi-hundered 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:  Long-running Chancery Division fraud proceedings arising out of €100,000,000 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:  Notorious case in which Jeff acted 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 6 days in July 2017 to a fanfare of publicity including multiple stories of Mr Ashley’s drinking.  Jeff cross-examined Mr Ashley for 2 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 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: Represented 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 litigation above, Jeff’s practise 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.

 

Arbitration

Extensive arbitration experience including SIAC, ICC, UNCITRAL, LCIA and ad hoc arbitral experience.  Has appeared in proceedings in London, Paris, Geneva, Singapore and New York.  Recently appeared in cases involving:

  • 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. Jeff has acted 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”

https://www.ft.com/content/d4bc5a02-7995-11e8-bc55-50daf11b720d

  • 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:  Appeared 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).

 

Sport

Jeff’s interest in playing (or increasingly watching) sport is complimented by an established practice in Sports law.  Legal 500 2015 described him as, “Recommended for football cases.”  As well as appearing in the 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.

  • 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.
  • Copley Motorcars Corporation and Wexner v. Bonhams 1793 Limited and others: The owner of Victoria’s Secrets is suing the auction house Bonhams for misrepresentation in the sale of an £11 million (red) Ferrari 375 which won the 1954 Sports Car Championship and the 1954 British Grand Prix at Silverstone.  Jeff acted for one of the sellers who denies any misrepresentations and claims his share of the purchase price.  Three sets of proceedings were issued in the Commercial Court and the Chancery Division with seven defendants represented by multiple Leading Counsel and law firms.
  • Denis Lynch v Horse Sport Ireland Ltd, Cian O’Connor and others CAS arbitration No. CAS OG 12/03: Represented 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.

Reported cases

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) (Norwich Pharmacal)

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)

Summary of Practice

Jeffrey Chapman QC is a silk with extensive experience in all kinds of commercial litigation in particular complex multi-jurisdictional disputes.  He is rated in Chambers UK 2019 and the 2019 Legal 500 in Banking & Finance, Commercial Dispute Resolution and Civil Fraud.  Comments from the directories include:

“Impresses both on paper and in court”

“A very hard working advocate who is excellent with clients.”

“Quick, concise and commercial.”

“A great man to have on your side when the going gets tough.”

“Clear, clever and someone whom clients quickly warm to.”

Education

LLM First Class Cambridge University

BA First Class University of Sussex

Researcher for and Consultant to Law Commission 1987-1989

CEDR Accredited Mediator

Called to Bar of British Virgin Islands 1999

Prizes & Scholarships

Queen Mother Scholarship, Middle Temple

Languages

German speaker with working knowledge of French

Appointments

Bar Standards Board Complaints Committee (2007-2012)

Barrister Vice-Chair, Professional Conduct Committee of the BSB (appointed December 2015)


BSB Barristers' Register