Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Max KasrielCall Date: 2015

Max has a busy and developing commercial and civil practice in line with Chambers’ profile. He is equally happy working as junior counsel as part of a team, or as sole counsel, and regularly appears unled before the County Court and the High Court. Before coming to the bar, Max was a management consultant.

Areas of Expertise

  • Banking & finance
  • Commercial dispute resolution
  • Financial services
  • Fraud: civil
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • International arbitration
  • Professional discipline
  • Professional negligence
  • Aviation

Recent Practice

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

 

Commercial dispute resolution

 

  • Gwynt y Mor Ofto Plc v Gwnt y Mor Offshore Wind Farm Limited and others: acting (with Anneliese Day QC) in Commercial Court proceedings relating to the failure of undersea cabling at an offshore wind farm: awaiting judgment.
  • LIC Telecommunication Sarl and another v VTB Capital Plc and others: acting (with Stephen Rubin QC and Alexander Milner) in an ongoing conspiracy and fraud claim brought against VTB Capital as part of a wider battle for control of Bulgaria Telecom. Max has acted in two Commercial Court preliminary issues trials in this matter, both in relation to issues of Luxembourg law: [2018] EWHC 169 (Comm) and [2019] EWHC 1747 (Comm).
  • Natixis v Marex Financial and ors: acted (with Alain Choo-Choy QC, Laura John and Robert Weekes) in a case concerning fraudulent metal trades based on counterfeit warehouse receipts, and a claim against insurers under the Insurance Act 2015 raising a range of coverage issues including material non-disclosure: [2019] EWHC 2549 (Comm).
  • Ventra Investments Ltd v Bank of Scotland: acted (with Rosalind Phelps QC and Rupert Allen) on a substantial damages claim concerning alleged LIBOR manipulation, misrepresentation and negligence in relation to the sale of interest rate swaps, and intermeddling in an administrative receivership. The case involved a heavy disclosure application which was one of the first to be determined under the Business and Property Courts Disclosure Pilot: [2019] EWHC 2058 (Comm).
  • JP SPC 4 v Mayer Brown International LLP: acted (with Anneliese Day QC) in a £75m claim brought by the collapsed Axiom litigation finance fund against former solicitors.
  • Financial Reporting Council v Sports Direct International Plc: acting (with Richard Lissack QC and Adam Sher) for Sports Direct International in an appeal raising important issues of privilege issues arising from a regulatory investigation in which documentary requests were made of it as a witness.
  • Aldersgate Investments Limited and others v Bank of Scotland Plc and another: acted (with Richard Handyside QC and Rosalind Phelps QC) for Lloyds Banking Group in the Reuben Brothers litigation – four claims brought by companies within the Reuben Brothers Group involving allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation in relation to the sale of interest rate hedging products indexed to LIBOR.
  • Max also regularly accepts instructions as sole counsel in commercial matters before the High Court and the County Court (including case management conferences, interlocutory matters, applications for Norwich Pharmacal orders and pre-action disclosure orders, and urgent matters such as freezing injunctions).

 

Arbitration

 

  • Acting (with Daniel Toledano QC and Timothy Howe QC) for the Claimant in an LCIA Arbitration concerning a joint venture agreement relating to a power generation project in West Africa.
  • Acting (with Anneliese Day QC and Hugh Saunders) for the Respondent in an LCIA Arbitration concerning the termination of a FIDIC contract relating to a major road construction project in the Caribbean.
  • Acting (with Anneliese Day QC and Thomas Crangle) for the Respondent in an ICC Arbitration concerning a major high-rise construction project in Central Asia.

 

Banking and finance

 

  • Ventra Investments Ltd v Bank of Scotland: acted (with Rosalind Phelps QC and Rupert Allen) on a substantial damages claim concerning alleged LIBOR manipulation, misrepresentation and negligence in relation to the sale of interest rate swaps, and intermeddling in an administrative receivership. The case involved a heavy disclosure application which was one of the first to be determined under the Business and Property Courts Disclosure Pilot: [2019] EWHC 2058 (Comm).
  • Aldersgate Investments Limited and others v Bank of Scotland Plc and another: acted (with Richard Handyside QC and Rosalind Phelps QC) for Lloyds Banking Group in the Reuben Brothers litigation – four claims brought by companies within the Reuben Brothers Group involving allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation in relation to the sale of interest rate hedging products indexed to LIBOR.
  • Hawkins v Lloyds Banking Group: acting (as sole counsel) for Lloyds Banking Group defending a claim alleging breach of duty in relation to the Bank’s conduct of the Interest Rate Hedging Product Review.
  • Advising on and defending (as sole counsel) claims related to the sale of PPI policies.
  • Acting (as sole counsel) in a variety of other small and fast-track claims before the County Court.

 

Aviation

 

  • Blanche v EasyJet Airline Co Ltd [2019] EWCA Civ 69: acted (with Akhil Shah QC) in the leading Court of Appeal case concerning flight cancellation/delay claims under European Regulation 261/2004. Max also acted for easyJet as sole counsel in the hearing below.
  • Max regularly acts in cases involving passenger claims against air carriers, including claims for breach of contract, claims under the Montreal Convention and Regulation 261/2004, and appeals in relation to such claims.
  • Skye Holdings Limited and others v Gama Aviation (Engineering) Limited and others: acted (with Michael McLaren QC) in two related claims before the London Circuit Commercial Court concerning (among other things) a disputed series of aircraft maintenance agreements, a director’s service agreement, and a claim on a promissory note.

 

Fraud: civil

 

  • LIC Telecommunication Sarl and another v VTB Capital Plc and others: acting (with Stephen Rubin QC and Alexander Milner) in an ongoing conspiracy and fraud claim brought against VTB Capital as part of a wider battle for control of Bulgaria Telecom. Max has acted in two Commercial Court preliminary issues trials in this matter, both in relation to issues of Luxembourg law: [2018] EWHC 169 (Comm) and [2019] EWHC 1747 (Comm).
  • Natixis v Marex Financial and ors: acted (with Alain Choo-Choy QC, Laura John and Robert Weekes) in a case concerning fraudulent metal trades based on counterfeit warehouse receipts, and a claim against insurers under the Insurance Act 2015 raising a range of coverage issues including material non-disclosure: [2019] EWHC 2549 (Comm).
  • Ventra Investments Ltd v Bank of Scotland: acted (with Rosalind Phelps QC and Rupert Allen) on a substantial damages claim concerning alleged LIBOR manipulation, misrepresentation and negligence in relation to the sale of interest rate swaps, and intermeddling in an administrative receivership. The case involved a heavy disclosure application which was one of the first to be determined under the Business and Property Courts Disclosure Pilot: [2019] EWHC 2058 (Comm).
  • Aldersgate Investments Limited and others v Bank of Scotland Plc and another: acted (with Richard Handyside QC and Rosalind Phelps QC) for Lloyds Banking Group in the Reuben Brothers litigation – four claims brought by companies within the Reuben Brothers Group involving allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation in relation to the sale of interest rate hedging products indexed to LIBOR.
  • Max has also appeared (as sole counsel) in a number of case management applications and applications in fraud cases (including freezing orders) before the High Court and the County Court.

 

Insurance and reinsurance

 

  • Natixis v Marex Financial and ors: acted (with Alain Choo-Choy QC, Laura John and Robert Weekes) in a case concerning a claim against insurers under the Insurance Act 2015 raising a range of coverage issues including material non-disclosure: [2019] EWHC 2549 (Comm).
  • Acting (as sole counsel) for an insurance broker in defending a claim for professional negligence relating to the placing of employers’ and public liability insurance.
  • Advising (with Richard Lissack QC) an insurer in relation to proceedings brought against in by in the Information Commission under the Data Protection Act.
  • Max also gained a broad experience of insurance work by assisting members in a range of matters during pupillage, including:
    • Acting for the Claimant in LCIA Arbitration proceedings on behalf of an insurer in relation to disputed coverholder’s commission.
    • Arbitration proceedings relating to the allocation of risk between an “all risks” and “war risks” aviation insurer.
    • Drafting particulars of claim for an insurer in a claim against an insured in respect of defence costs not covered under the policy.
    • Advice in relation to a number of insurance and insurance-related matters, including construction issues in relation to a variety of standard form policies, avoidance issues, and the drafting of settlement agreements.

 

Professional negligence

 

  • JP SPC 4 v Mayer Brown International LLP: acted (with Anneliese Day QC) in a £75m claim brought by the collapsed Axiom litigation finance fund against former solicitors.
  • Acting (as sole counsel) for an insurance broker in defending a claim for professional negligence relating to the placing of employers’ and public liability insurance.

 

Energy and construction

 

  • Gwynt y Mor Ofto Plc v Gwnt y Mor Offshore Wind Farm Limited and others: acting (with Anneliese Day QC) in Commercial Court proceedings relating to the failure of undersea cabling at an offshore wind farm.
  • Rabilizirov v A2 Dominion London Limited and others: acted (with Anneliese Day QC) for Ground Construction Limited in an appeal in the High Court concerning the construction of an office block at 16 St Pancras Way.
  • Acting (with Daniel Toledano QC and Timothy Howe QC) for the Claimant in an LCIA Arbitration concerning a joint venture agreement relating to a power generation project in West Africa.
  • Acting (with Anneliese Day QC and Hugh Saunders) for the Respondent in an LCIA Arbitration concerning the termination of a FIDIC contract relating to a major road construction project in the Caribbean.
  • Acting (with Anneliese Day QC and Thomas Crangle) for the Respondent in an LCIA Arbitration concerning a major high-rise construction project in Central Asia.

Education

  • BPTC, City Law School: Outstanding
  • BA (Law), Wolfson College, Cambridge: Starred Double First (Highest mark in university)
  • MA (Philosophy), King’s College London: Distinction (Highest mark in university)
  • BA (Philosophy, Politics and Economics), Worcester College, Oxford

Scholarships & Prizes

  • Prince of Wales Scholarship (Gray’s Inn, 2014-15)
  • Slaughter & May Prize for best performance in final examinations (University of Cambridge, 2014)
  • Three Verulam Buildings Prize for Equity (University of Cambridge, 2014)
  • Sir David Williams Prize (Wolfson College, Cambridge, 2014)
  • James William Squire Scholarship (University of Cambridge, 2013-14)
  • Clifford Chance C. J. Hamson Prize for the Law of Contract (University of Cambridge, 2013)
  • Dato Ng Kong Yeam Prize (Wolfson College, Cambridge, 2013)
  • CPE Scholarship (Gray’s Inn, 2012-14)
  • College Scholarship (Worcester College, Oxford, 2007-09)

Other Experience

College Supervisor in Contract Law at the University of Cambridge (2014-15)

Teaching Fellow at University College London (2014-15)

Before coming to the bar, Max was a management consultant with Oliver Wyman. Max worked on a variety of projects for UK and international clients, including:

  • Advising on a strategic partnership between a European tour operator and a low-cost airline.
  • Advising a UK “business to business” energy supplier on its long-term strategy, including in the areas of pricing, contract design and marketing.
  • A “turnaround project” for a UK tour operator’s in-house airline, including advising on fleet optimisation, route planning and “size and shape” decision-making.

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