Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Max EvansCall Date: 2015

Max has a busy and developing practice in commercial litigation, arbitration, professional negligence, and the regulation of financial and legal services. He recently acted for the FRC in its seven-week trial against Deloitte, one of The Lawyer’s Top 20 cases for 2019.

Areas of Expertise

  • Private International Law
  • Banking & finance
  • Commercial dispute resolution
  • Fraud: civil
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • Professional discipline
  • Professional negligence
  • Aviation

Recent Practice

Max’s recent practice includes the following matters:

Commercial and arbitration, including banking and finance

  • Gwynt-y-Mor Ofto v Gwynt-y-Mor Offshore Wind Farm Limited: Commercial Court proceedings (led by Richard Handyside QC) concerning the failure of undersea cables at an offshore wind farm. Judgment is awaited.
  • LCIA arbitrations (2020, ongoing): acting for various Respondents to substantial LCIA arbitrations.
  • Acting for a bank (led by Nicholas Medcroft QC) in a claim relating to frozen bank accounts (2020, ongoing).
  • ICICI Bank UK plc v Assam Oil Company Ltd [2019] EWHC 750 (Comm): Commercial Court proceedings (led by Laura John), in which the Bank was granted summary judgment for >£40 million. Allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation were dismissed, and the Bank recovered indemnity costs.
  • Marme v RBS and others [2019] EWHC 366 (Comm): Commercial Court proceedings (led by David Quest QC and Laura John) defending a misrepresentation claim worth nearly a billion euros. This was the first civil case concerning EURIBOR manipulation and one of The Lawyer’s Top 20 cases for 2016. All Marme’s claims were rejected, and Picken J declared that RBS was owed over €223 million, together with interest and indemnity costs.
  • Confidential >$50 million arbitrations: acting for the Claimant (led by Derrick Dale QC) in two linked offshore arbitrations arising out of the disputed sales of pledged shares. Wide-ranging allegations from fraudulent misrepresentation and unlawful means conspiracy to market manipulation and breaches of Hong Kong criminal law.
  • FSMA mis-selling claims: acted for the Defendant mortgage and insurance services provider in multiple 5- and 6-figure mortgage mis-selling claims (6 claims issued in 2018, withdrawn in 2019).
  • 7-figure contractual dispute: acted for a hospital in a substantial and complex contractual dispute with its catering services provider (led by Derrick Dale QC, settled).
  • Money-laundering advice: reviewing a firm’s procedures for compliance with money-laundering legislation.
  • Forex claim: advising a commercial entity as to a claim against a forex broker for withholding substantial profits made on trades.
  • BHS Group v Retail Acquisitions Ltd [2017] EWHC 1057 (Ch): acted proceedings for the Arcadia Group (as sole counsel) in a petition brought to wind up RAL, the company incorporated to purchase BHS for £1.
  • Mercantile court action: acted as sole counsel for a Cypriot defendant challenging the jurisdiction of the Mercantile Court over claims brought against him (settled).

Max also advises and defends claims relating to the sale of PPI policies, and advises on general contractual and aviation claims. Other past cases include analysing the tax implications of contracts between a telecommunications firm and its customers, and claims brought under Regulation 261/2004 and under the Montreal Convention.

Legal services and regulatory

  • FRC v Deloitte (one of The Lawyer’s Top 20 cases for 2019): instructed by the FRC in its action against Deloitte, arising out of the widely publicised financial scandal following HP’s takeover of Autonomy. The case includes allegations of a lack of integrity and a lack of objectivity against a Big Four partner, described by The Lawyer as “unprecedented”. A 7-week trial was held in Autumn 2019; judgment is awaited (led by Rebecca Sabben-Clare QC and Henry King QC).
  • FRC v Big Four Firm (2018): instructed by the FRC in a major investigation against a Big Four firm which recently culminated in a settlement agreement and substantial fine (led by Marianne Butler).
  • Partridge v Gomez & Co and others: defended a QC being sued in the High Court for over €15 million for professional negligence, including allegations relating to failure to plead a EURIBOR misrepresentation claim (led by Derrick Dale QC). Settled after pleadings.

Max has acted in several cases for and against solicitors prosecuted for misconduct. These include:

  • SRA v Rafiq (2020): successful prosecution of a PI-claims solicitor, including multiple findings of lack of integrity; strike off.
  • SRA v Anwar and Aziz (2019) (SDT; 11888-2018): successful prosecution of two solicitors for unlawful payment of referral fees; the Tribunal commented that “the case had been very ably presented by Mr Evans”.
  • Acting for two senior partners at separate City firms in their response to allegations of serious misconduct; the case was withdrawn without prosecution (led by Tim Dutton QC and Marianne Butler).
  • Law Society v Sibley [2017] 1453 (Ch): acting for the SRA (as sole counsel) in proceedings which confirmed the width of the SRA’s powers to investigate solicitors working for bodies not regulated by the SRA.
  • Several ongoing matters as sole counsel.

Professional negligence

  • Partridge v Gomez & Co and others: defended a QC being sued in the High Court for over €15 million for professional negligence, including an alleged failure to plead a EURIBOR misrepresentation claim (led by Derrick Dale QC). Settled after pleadings.
  • £10 million+ construction dispute (ongoing): acting for the Defendant engineer in High Court proceedings relating to alleged failures during construction at a sports ground (led by Anneliese Day QC).
  • FSMA mis-selling claims: acted for the Defendant mortgage and insurance services provider in multiple 5- and 6-figure mortgage mis-selling claims (6 claims issued in 2018, withdrawn in 2019).

Public law

  • MedCo challenges: acted for MedCo (led by James McClelland) in several linked judicial review challenges to decisions implementing the MoJ’s changes to medical reporting in soft-tissue injury claims, ultimately dismissed by the Administrative Court at [2017] EWHC 3258 (Admin).
  • HEFCE challenges: acted for a University contesting awards of funding by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (pre-action).
  • Local Authority capacity: assisting members of Chambers to advise a Local Authority as to its capacity to enter derivatives contracts, notwithstanding the decision that such contracts were void in Hazell v Hammersmith.

Education

  • MA, Cambridge University (Medicine and Law): Double First (2013) (2nd in year).
  • LLM, Cambridge University: First Class (2014).
  • BPTC, BPP University: Outstanding (2015).

Scholarships & Prizes

Selected prizes include:

  • Jonathan Brock QC Memorial Essay Prize 2016 – available to read here.
  • Baron Dr Ver Heyden de Lancey Prize and Certificate of Honour (for outstanding results on the BPTC) (Middle Temple).
  • Astbury Scholarship (Major Scholarship for the BPTC) (Middle Temple).
  • Greene Medal (awarded to a single graduating student for academic excellence) (Clare College, Cambridge).
  • Falcon Chambers Prize (for the highest mark across the University for Land Law) (Cambridge).
  • Lady Clare Precious Pearl Prize (for the highest undergraduate mark in a dissertation in the humanities or social sciences) (Clare College, Cambridge).
  • Milon Banerji Law Prize (best result in Part IA or IB law) (Clare College, Cambridge).

Other experience

Max spent several weeks on secondment at Signature Litigation.

Max’s 60 second interview with Lawyer2B is available here.


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