Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Niamh ClearyCall Date: 2012

Niamh has a broad and varied commercial practice, with a particular emphasis on banking and finance, insurance and reinsurance and professional negligence. Her practice also encompasses public procurement, competition, aviation and regulatory work. She is on the Attorney General’s B Panel.

Niamh has extensive 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. She has also acted in arbitration claims under a variety of procedural rules.

Niamh has particular experience of large-scale multi-party claims. She is currently instructed by one of the defendants in the Ingenious Litigation and also acts for UK Trucks Claim Limited in its representative claims against certain members of a cartel of European truck manufacturers.

Her recent highlights include:

  • Secretary of State for Transport v Arriva Rail East Midlands Ltd [2020] EWHC 1568 (TCC) (listed in The Lawyer’s 20 Top Cases of 2020): Acting as part of a team led by Rhodri Thompson QC and Fionnuala McCredie QC that successfully defended the Secretary of State for Transport in four separate procurement claims. The litigation is recognised to be one of the largest and most complex procurement cases litigated to date in the UK.
  • United Kingdom Trucks Claim v Daimler, DAF, Iveco, MAN, Volvo/Renault and Scania (listed in The Lawyer’s 20 Top Cases of 2019): Acting as part of a team led by Rhodri Thompson QC in UKTC’s ‘opt-out’ class action for damages arising from the anti-competitive practices of a cartel of European truck manufacturers over a 14-year period.
  • Rowe & Ors v Ingenious Media Holdings plc & Ors (listed in The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2018): Acting for Coutts (led by Richard Coleman QC and David Yates QC) in the Ingenious Litigation, which concerns claims brought by over 500 claimants in respect of their investments in the Ingenious film partnerships.
  • Reinsurance dispute: Currently acting (with Charles Béar QC and Ben Lynch QC) in an arbitration relating to a £500 million+ reinsurance dispute.

Areas of Expertise

  • Administrative & public law
  • Aviation
  • Banking & Finance
  • Commercial dispute resolution
  • Competition
  • Financial services
  • Fraud: civil
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • International arbitration
  • Media, entertainment & sport
  • Professional negligence
  • Technology

Recommendations

‘She is extremely clever and could not work harder for clients.’
Legal 500

Niamh is ranked by Legal 500 for her work in Professional Negligence.

Other notable cases

Banking & Finance

  • CNM Estates (Tolworth Tower) Ltd v Vecref I Sarl [2020] EWHC 1605 (Comm): Acting in a dispute regarding the proper construction of certain terms of the LMA syndicated loan documentation (led by Mark Simpson QC, instructed by Kennedys LLP).
  • Successfully representing the liquidators of a major financial institution in the adjudication of several confidential claims following the insolvency of the institution.
  • Acting in a number of claims involving the mis-selling of financial products, including appearing for a number of banks in a large variety of such claims, including HMG Investment Holdings Limited v Royal Bank of Scotland [2018] EWHC 3492 (Comm) where (led by Andrew Ayers QC) she successfully defended a bank in respect of the mis-sale of an interest rate hedging product.
  • Advising on a diverse range of financial regulatory issues, including payment services, e-money, and consumer credit and protection. Recent cases include Jackson v Feeney where (led by Paul Sinclair QC) she 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).


Civil Fraud

  • Instant Access Property Limited v Rosser and Ors [2018] EWHC 756 (Ch): Successfully defending 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: Representing 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

  • Rowe & Ors v Ingenious Media Holdings plc & Ors (listed in The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2018): Instructed by Coutts in the Ingenious Litigation to defend claims arising from advice given in respect of investments in the Ingenious film partnerships. Led by Richard Coleman QC and David Yates QC, instructed by TLT LLP.
  • CNM Estates (Tolworth Tower) Limited v (1) Vecref I Sarl [2020] EWHC 1605 (Comm): 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 defending 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.


Public Procurement

  • Secretary of State for Transport v Arriva Rail East Midlands Ltd [2020] EWHC 1568 (TCC): Successfully defending the Secretary of State for Transport in four separate procurement claims arising the disqualification of bidders from three separate franchise competitions for failing to comply with the pension requirements of the competitions. Led by Rhodri Thompson QC and Fionnuala McCredie QC, instructed by DLA Piper LLP, Addleshaw Goddard LLP, and Eversheds Sutherland International.


Commercial Dispute Resolution

  • 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 $300 million judgment handed down against the principal defendants: [2017] EWHC 3374 (Comm) and [2018] EWHC 369 (Comm).
  • Instructed (with John Taylor QC) to advise on claims arising from breach of a property development joint venture.
  • LD Collins & Co Limited v (1) Actavis Group PTC EHF and (2) Actavis UK Limited: Representing 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.
  • Advising and acting in relation to unfair prejudice claims and shareholder disputes.


Media, Entertainment & Sport

  • Cardiff City FC v Mackay and Ors: Representing 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.
  • Acting in an ICC arbitration relating to the licensing of football broadcasting rights. Led by Simon Browne-Wilkinson QC.
  • Warren v Burns [2014] EWHC 3671: Defending the boxer Ricky Burns in respect of claims arising from management and promotion agreements concluded between the parties. Led by Mark Simpson QC, instructed by Mishcon de Reya.
  • Regularly advising on commercial and regulatory issues arising in the betting and gaming industry, and particularly in the context of online gaming.


International Arbitration

  • A v B: Instructed in an LCIA arbitration relating to a £500 million+ reinsurance dispute (led Charles Béar QC and Ben Lynch QC).
  • A v B: Acting in an ICC claim relating to the licensing of football broadcasting rights (led by Simon Browne-Wilkinson QC).
  • Acting in a construction dispute under the SIAC Rules, while on secondment with Clifford Chance LLP.


Insurance & Reinsurance

  • Instructed, as sole counsel, to advise on competition law issues arising from a trade credit insurance scheme.
  • A v B: Instructed in an LCIA arbitration relating to a £500 million+ reinsurance dispute (led by Charles Béar QC and Ben Lynch QC).


Aviation & Travel

  • Advising (with Akhil Shah QC) a major airline on its code-sharing and route access entitlements following Brexit.

Appointments, memberships and 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)

Publications

  • Appeals under section 69 of the Arbitration Act 1996 in Puschmann (ed) Challenges in Arbitration (2019, Butterworths)
  • Contributor, “Underwriters Negligence” in Simpson (ed) Professional Negligence and Liability
  • “Opening and Closing Submissions”, in Sweet & Maxwell, Law and Practice of Commercial Litigation in Singapore (2015)
  • 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

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)

Languages

French (basic).

LinkedIn

Niamh’s LinkedIn profile can be found here.


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