Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Nicolas DamnjanovicCall Date: 2016

Nic has a broad practice including commercial litigation, aviation law, civil fraud, public law and regulatory matters.

He has been instructed in significant cases in the Court of Appeal, including Jet2.com v CAA, which clarified the law on legal advice privilege, and Monarch Airlines v Airport Co-ordination Limited concerning the allocation of slots to an insolvent airline. He is also being led on several commercial/civil fraud claims with international dimensions as well as acting as sole counsel in a range of commercial matters in the High Court and County Court.

Before coming to the bar, Nic was a lawyer in Western Australia, where he acted for government in numerous commercial and public law matters, including as both junior counsel and as sole counsel in appeals and at first instance.

Areas of Expertise

  • Commercial dispute resolution
  • Aviation
  • Administrative & public law
  • Banking & finance
  • Fraud: civil
  • Professional discipline
  • Professional negligence
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • Restructuring/insolvency

Recent Practice

Aviation

  • (on the application of Monarch Airlines Ltd (In Administration)) v Airport Coordination Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 1892 and [2017] EWHC 2896 (Admin) (acting for the regulator at both first instance and in the Court of Appeal in judicial review proceedings concerning the allocation to an insolvent airline of valuable take-off and landing slots under EU Regulation – led by Michael Crane QC and Alexander Milner).
  • (on the application of Jet2.com Ltd) v Civil Aviation Authority [2020] EWCA Civ 35; [2018] EWHC 3364 (Admin); [2019] EWHC 336 (Admin) (seeking judicial review of decisions taken by the CAA to publicly criticise Jet2, including applications for specific disclosure raising important issues of legal professional privilege – led by Charles Béar QC)
  • Odyssey Aviation Ltd v GFG 737 Ltd [2019] EWHC 1927 (Comm); [2019] EWHC 1980 (Comm) (a dispute over the failed sale of an aircraft in which summary judgment was successfully obtained – led by Michael McLaren QC).
  • Acted (led by Akhil Shah QC) for a private jet operator in a CAA panel hearing relating to the continuing airworthiness regulation (Regulation 1321/2014) as it applies to parting out aircraft.
  • Instructed as sole English counsel in relation to a multi-jurisdictional dispute concerning an agent’s commission on the sale of aircraft.
  • Acting for an international airline in a dispute over aircraft maintenance charges (led by Akhil Shah QC)
  • Regularly appearing (as sole counsel) for airlines in the County Court in claims by passengers for compensation under Regulation 261/2004, the Montreal Convention and the common law.

 Civil Fraud and Commercial Crime

 Nic has acted for both claimants in civil fraud claims and defending those facing criminal investigations, including acting:

  • Led by Robin Barclay QC and Richard Lissack QC, for claimants in a multi-jurisdictional civil fraud claim, including obtaining worldwide freezing injunctions, Norwich Pharmacal and Bankers’ Trust
  • Led by Robin Barclay QC for claimants in multi-jurisdictional civil fraud proceedings in Guernsey.
  • Led by Nicholas Medcroft QC, for victims of ‘vishing’ frauds.
  • Led by Monica Carss-Frisk QC and Robin Barclay QC, in judicial review proceedings challenging decisions taken by the Secretary of State in relation to international requests for mutual legal assistance and search warrants obtained by the NCA.

 Banking and Finance

  • Acting for Lloyds Bank in the defence of a £40m+ claim for conspiracy to defraud and breach of contract (led by Stephen Rubin QC and Adam Zellick QC), which settled before trial: Premier Motor Auctions v Lloyds Bank.
  • Acting as sole counsel for retail banks in a variety of matters, including claims to rescind loan agreements and guarantees, claims in respect of fraudulently induced bank payments, and claims under the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
  • During pupillage, Nic assisted a number of members of chambers in banking and finance matters, including defending banks against claims in negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of trust, unjust enrichment and unlawful means conspiracy

 Other Commercial Dispute Resolution

  • Acted in relation to multiple disputes arising from a £2 billion PFI contract for the repair and maintenance of the Birmingham road network (led by Anneliese Day QC and George McDonald).
  • Instructed (led by Henry King QC) to advise in relation to the enforcement of an English judgment for US$86 million in Greece.
  • Instructed (led by Ben Lynch) to seek and hold injunctive relief and bring claims in relation to the alleged theft of high value classic motor cars.
  • Nic is regularly instructed as sole counsel to advise and draft pleadings in commercial disputes including finance leasing, telecommunications agreements, share sale agreements, guarantees and indemnities, provision of pre-paid debit cards and unfair prejudice petitions.
  • Nic has also acted as sole counsel in relation to winding-up and bankruptcy petitions, possession orders, and in interlocutory applications, including seeking Norwich Pharmacal/Bankers’ Trust orders
  • As a lawyer in Western Australia Nic:
    • acted as junior counsel (led by Peter Quinlan SC) for the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia defending a claim in private nuisance: Shogunn Investments Pty Ltd v Public Transport Authority of Western Australia [2016] WASC 42
    • acted as sole counsel defending the Department of Education of Western Australia in a civil claim for assault and battery.
    • acted as instructing solicitor with day-to-day conduct of a construction arbitration claiming A$15m.

 Public Law

  • (on the application of Monarch Airlines Ltd (In Administration)) v Airport Coordination Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 1892 and [2017] EWHC 2896 (Admin) (acting for the regulator at first instance and in judicial review proceedings concerning the allocation of slots to an insolvent airline – led by Michael Crane QC and Alexander Milner).
  • (on the application of Jet2.com Ltd) v Civil Aviation Authority [2020] EWCA Civ 35; [2018] EWHC 3364 (Admin); [2019] EWHC 336 (Admin) (seeking judicial review of decisions taken by the CAA to publicly criticise Jet2, including applications for specific disclosure raising important issues of legal professional privilege – led by Charles Béar QC)
  • Led by Monica Carss-Frisk QC and Robin Barclay QC, in judicial review proceedings challenging decisions taken by the Secretary of State in relation to international requests for mutual legal assistance and search warrants obtained by the NCA.
  • Represented the Legal Services Board as interested party in (on the application of Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) v Lord Chancellor [2019] EWHC 461 (Admin).

 Professional Discipline and Professional Negligence

  • Defending (led by Nicholas Medcroft QC) a solicitor’s negligence claim in relation to the conduct of civil recovery proceedings
  • Instructed by the Financial Reporting Council as junior counsel on several matters investigating and prosecuting auditors, including the auditors of a bank.
  • (During pupillage) assisting Marianne Butler acting for the Solicitors Regulation Authority in a disciplinary hearing before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal: SRA v Mansoor Ali

 

Other Experience

Prior to coming to the bar, Nic was a lawyer at the State Solicitor’s Office in Western Australia. During that time he:

  • acted as counsel in appeals, summary criminal prosecutions and minor civil claims.
  • acted as instructing solicitor in commercial disputes, and defending prerogative writ applications in the Supreme Court.
  • provided advice to government agencies on a wide range of matters, including statutory construction, debt recovery, leases, contracts, corporate structures, charitable trusts, freedom of information legislation and criminal prosecutions and appeals.

Before becoming a lawyer, Nic obtained a PhD in philosophy from the Australian National University and for several years was an academic in philosophy (including a period as Head of Discipline) at the University of Western Australia.

Education

Bachelor of Civil Law (Distinction), Wadham College, Oxford University

Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours), University of Western Australia

PhD (Philosophy), Australian National University

MA (Philosophy), University of Western Australia

BA (Philosophy, First Class Honours), University of Western Australia

Scholarships and Prizes

Hackney BCL Scholarship (full scholarship), Wadham College, Oxford University

King & Wood Mallesons Prize (Highest Mark for Honours Thesis in Law), University of Western Australia

H.C.F Keall Prize in Law, University of Western Australia

Jean Rogerson Honours Studentship in Law, University of Western Australia

Australian Postgraduate Award, PhD Scholarship, Australian National University.

Jean Rogerson Postgraduate Scholarship, University of Western Australia.

University Postgraduate Award, MA Scholarship, University of Western Australia

S.A. Grave Prize in Philosophy (best 3rd year Philosophy student, University of Western Australia).

Jean Rogerson Studentship in Philosophy, University of Western Australia

Publications

With Sir Marcus Smith, Henry King QC and Nico Leslie, ‘Restitution’ in Bullen & Leake & Jacob’s Precedents of Pleadings

‘Criminal Responsibility and Psychopathy in Western Australia’, University of Western Australia Law Review 35(2), 2011: 265-86.

Nic has also published numerous articles and chapters in leading philosophy journals and books.


BSB Barristers' Register