Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Niamh ClearyCall Date: 2012

Niamh has a broad commercial practice with a particular emphasis on banking and finance, insurance, professional negligence, aviation, and civil fraud. Her practice encompasses arbitration, litigation, and advisory work.

She has experience of heavy litigation and complex disputes, both domestic and international. She is regularly instructed in the High Court and County Court on commercial matters, both as sole advocate and as part of a wider team.

Areas of Expertise

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

Recent practice

Banking and finance

Niamh’s practice encompasses a wide variety of banking and finance matters, including structured finance work.

Her experience of structured finance work includes advising on structured finance matters arising from the insolvency of a major financial institution.

She has appeared for a number of UK banks in a large variety of claims involving allegations of negligence, breach of contract, and breach of statutory duty, including:

  • HMG Investment Holdings Limited v Royal Bank of Scotland [2018] EWHC 3492 (Comm): Successfully defended a bank in respect of the mis-sale of an interest rate hedging product. Led by Andrew Ayers QC, instructed by Dentons UK and Middle East LLP.
  • Property Alliance Group Ltd v Royal Bank of Scotland Plc: Instructed by Dentons UK and Middle East LLP (with Richard Handyside QC and Adam Sher) in a claim involving claims of swap mis-selling, LIBOR manipulation and allegations against RBS’s GRG restructuring arm.
  • Abrol Limited v Royal Bank of Scotland Plc and National Westminster Bank Plc: Acted for the defendant banks in relation to alleged mis-sale of an interest rate hedging product. The case settled on the eve of trial. Led by Andrew Mitchell QC, instructed Dentons UK and Middle East LLP.

Niamh has experience of claims under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and related legislation. Her experience includes both contentious and advisory work, including:

  • Advising on a group consumer credit claim arising out of the sale of financial products by a retail bank.
  • Advising on consumer credit issues arising from the financing of mobile telephone handsets.

Fintech and e-money

Recent experience includes:

  • Jackson v Feeney: Acted for a commercial party seeking to recover monies from an e-money provider at the centre of a multi-party fraud claim: [2018] EWHC 1490 (Ch). Led by Paul Sinclair QC, instructed by Mishcon de Reya.
  • Instructed as sole counsel to represent a payment services provider in an e-money dispute.

Fraud

Recent experience includes:

  • Instant Access Property Limited v Rosser and Ors [2018] EWHC 756 (Ch): Successfully defended a firm of accountants accused of having defrauded the claimant company as part of an alleged tax evasion scheme. Led by Mark Simpson QC, instructed by DAC Beachcroft LLP.
  • Jackson v Feeney: Acting for a commercial party seeking to recover monies from an e-money provider at the centre of a multi-party fraud claim: [2018] EWHC 1490 (Ch). Led by Paul Sinclair QC, instructed by Mishcon de Reya.
  • Cardiff City FC v Mackay and Ors: Represented the claimant football club in three separate sets of proceedings against its former head coach and others in relation to claims of conspiracy, misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment.  Led by Jeff Chapman QC and Caspar Glyn QC, instructed by Mishcon de Reya.
  • Instructed as sole counsel to advise on a claim by a company against its former managing director for fraudulent diversion of its assets.

Professional Negligence

Experience includes:

  • CNM Estates (Tolworth Tower) Limited v (1) Vecref I Sarl: Acting for LPA receivers in a multiparty professional negligence claim. Led by Mark Simpson QC, instructed by Kennedys LLP.
  • Instant Access Property Limited v Rosser and Ors [2018] EWHC 756 (Ch): Successfully defended a firm of accountants in a multiparty professional negligence and fraud claim. Led by Mark Simpson QC, instructed by DAC Beachcroft LLP.
  • Instructed as sole counsel to advise on a claim by a company against its solicitors for failing to prevent the fraudulent diversion of its assets.

Commercial litigation

Experience includes:

  • Instructed as sole counsel to advise on a breach of warranty dispute arising out of an asset purchase agreement.
  • Kazakhstan Kagazy plc v. Zhunus: Acting (with Michael Ashcroft QC and Alexander Milner) for the respondent in respect of enforcement proceedings brought against a non-party, following a US$300 million judgment handed down against the principal defendants ([2017] EWHC 3374 (Comm) and [2018] EWHC 369 (Comm)).
  • LD Collins & Co Limited v (1) Actavis Group PTC EHF and (2) Actavis UK Limited: Represented the owner of a pharmaceutical trademark in a dispute regarding the terms of a pharmaceutical licensing agreement. Led by Jeff Chapman QC, instructed by Keystone Law.
  • Instructed (with John Taylor QC) to advise on claims arising from breach of a property development joint venture.
  • Maiden London Limited v (1) Maiden Lane Limited (In Administration) and (2) Abbey National Treasury Services PLC: Represented a commercial party in a dispute arising out of an overage agreement. Led by Simon Browne-Wilkinson QC, instructed by Rylatt Chubb LLP.
  • Niamh also has experience of unfair prejudice claims and shareholder disputes.

Sport

  • Cardiff City FC v Mackay and Ors: Represented the claimant football club in three separate sets of proceedings against its former head coach and others in relation to claims of conspiracy, misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment.  Led by Jeff Chapman QC and Caspar Glyn QC, instructed by Mishcon de Reya.
  • Acted in an ICC arbitration relating to the licensing of football broadcasting rights. Led by Simon Brown Wilkinson QC.
  • Warren v Burns [2014] EWHC 3671: Defended the boxer Ricky Burns in respect claims and counterclaims arising from management and promotion agreements concluded between the parties. Led by Mark Simpson QC, instructed by Mishcon de Reya.

Gambling

Niamh has experience of regulatory and contentious gambling matters, including online gambling. Her recent experience includes being instructed as sole counsel to advise on commercial claims arising from an alleged failure to comply with the Gambling Commission Regulations.

International arbitration

Niamh has experience of arbitration under SIAC and ICC Rules. Her experience includes the following:

  • Acted in an ICC claim relating to the licensing of football broadcasting rights. Led by Simon Brown Wilkinson QC.
  • Acted in a SIAC Arbitration in relation to a construction dispute.

She co-authors a chapter on appeals under section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 in Puschmann (ed) Challenges in Arbitration.

Insurance

Niamh has experience in insurance and reinsurance. She advises on insurance claims, including questions of contractual construction and avoidance. She is a contributor to MacGillivray on Insurance Law. Recent experience includes:

  • Instructed, as sole counsel, to advise on competition law issues arising from a trade credit insurance scheme.
  • Advising on scope of coverage under a public liability policy.

Aviation

Niamh has a wide experience of contentious and advisory aviation matters, including on aviation regulation, consumer regulation, and on competition law issues. She is currently advising (with Akhil Shah QC) a major airline on its code-sharing and route access entitlements following Brexit.

Education

  • BPTC, BPP Law School (Very Competent)
  • PhD, Trinity College Dublin
  • LLM, Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge (First Class)
  • LLB, Trinity College Dublin (First Class)

Appointments, memberships, prizes

  • Lord Denning Scholarship, The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn (2011)
  • Postgraduate Scholarship, Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (2009)
  • Leonard Coling Scholarship, Sidney Sussex College, University of Cambridge (2008)
  • Trinity College Postgraduate Research Studentship Award, Trinity College Dublin (2008)
  • Scholar of Trinity College Dublin (2005)

Teaching and research experience

  • Tutor in trusts law, Kings College London (October 2011-June 2012)
  • Adjunct Lecturer in equity and tutor in the law of contract and company law, Trinity College Dublin (October 2008–June 2011).

Publications

  • Property, Proportionality and the Defence of Change of Position”, in Mitchell, Elliott and Häcker (eds) Restitution of Overpaid Tax (2012)
  • “More Questions than Answers: Test Claimants in the FII Group Litigation v Revenue and Customs Commissioners” (2013) 24 KLJ 130
  • “Constitutional Principles and Restitution of Unlawfully Exacted Tax” in Carolan (ed), The Constitution of Ireland: Perspectives and Prospects (2012)
  • “Restitution and Public Law” [2012] RLR 38
  • “Public and Private Law Principles: Murphy v Attorney General Reassessed” (2011) 34 DULJ 155
  • “Book review: Unjust Enrichment and Public Law” [2011] RLR 268
  • Opening and Closing Submissions”, in Sweet & Maxwell, Law and Practice of Commercial Litigation in Singapore (2015)

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