Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Philip AhlquistCall Date: 2012

Philip is identified in the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners directories (2020) as an up and coming junior in the field of commercial dispute resolution. Philip has a broad practice across the areas of Chambers’ expertise, with particular focus on commercial litigation, energy disputes, banking and finance and professional regulation. Philip was named as one of twelve ‘Stars at the Bar’ by Legal Week in 2017. Clients say that Philip ‘easily holds his own against silks many years ahead of his call’, and have described him as ‘outstandingly analytical’ and ‘a real joy to work with’.

Philip has extensive advocacy experience, and is regularly instructed as sole counsel in High Court proceedings. His advocacy experience includes a wide range of appeals, interim applications and trial advocacy, including cross-examination of an expert witness in a multi-million-dollar dispute over the valuation of businesses. Philip has been involved in some of the most significant cases in his fields in recent years, including the RBS Rights Issue Litigation and the professional disciplinary proceedings following the Al-Sweady Inquiry.

Areas of Expertise

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

Recent practice

Philip is currently instructed in a wide range of matters across the different areas of Chambers’ practice. Philip’s recent practice has focused particularly on banking and commercial litigation, arbitration, energy disputes and professional disciplinary matters.

 Arbitration

Philip regularly acts in substantial arbitration claims under a range of institutional rules. Philip’s practice has covered a wide range of arbitration procedures, from preparation of detailed statements of case, discovery and disclosure disputes, applications to the Commercial Court in support of arbitrations, applications for partial awards and a wide variety of case management issues. Examples of recent cases include:

  • Philip is currently instructed (with James Cutress QC) in multi-party ad-hoc arbitration proceedings concerning an oil pipeline facility.
  • Philip was instructed (with Stephen Rubin QC) in LCIA arbitration proceedings concerning enforcement of guarantees alleged to have been given in the context of extortion and corruption.
  • Philip was also instructed (led by Stephen Rubin QC and Alexander Milner) in an LCIA arbitration relating to the ownership of shares in a Russian technology company estimated to be worth more than US$3 billion
  • Philip has been instructed in a number of cases concerning the enforcement of arbitration awards. He is currently instructed as sole counsel in an arbitration claim for enforcement of an award under the New York Convention.

 

Banking and Financial Services

  • RBS Rights Issue Litigation – Philip was instructed to act for RBS and four of its former directors in the RBS Rights Issue Litigation, a substantial Group Litigation claim relating to the accuracy of the representations made in RBS’s Prospectus for its 2008 Rights Issue.
  • Philip was recently instructed as sole counsel in Commercial Court proceedings commenced by a lender to enforce obligations due under series of contracts in a mezzanine financing transaction.
  • Philip is regularly instructed to represent major retail and investment banks in a wide variety of disputes, including mis-selling claims. Recent instructions include acting as sole counsel for Barclays Bank in a long-running claim in the High Court, defending a claim for alleged breach of the Lending Code.
  • Philip spent 2 months on secondment to the Financial Markets litigation department of Dentons LLP in 2015, working primarily on swaps litigation.
  • In 2013-2014, Philip was undertook a three-month secondment to a major retail bank to advise on issues arising in its review of sales of Interest Rate Hedging Products, including swap transactions.
  • In 2014 Philip was seconded to Barclays’ Retail and Business Banking team where he worked directly with the in-house legal team on a variety of County Court and High Court disputes.

 

Civil Fraud

  • Philip has experience of a variety of civil fraud claims, brought both in court proceedings and in international arbitrations. Philip’s experience includes matters involving freezing injunctions and other interim relief.
  • Philip was recently instructed as sole counsel in relation to a claim brought by a company against a former manager for fraudulent diversion of employees’ salaries. The claim was settled shortly before trial.
  • Philip has also been instructed to advise on English law issues in the context of a US$60 million-dollar claim substantial claim for the enforcement of foreign judgments at common law, involving allegations of fraud and multiple freezing injunctions, in the British Virgin Islands.

 

Commercial Litigation

Philip is regularly instructed to act in a variety of commercial disputes, both as sole counsel and alongside leading counsel. Recent cases have covered areas as diverse as banking litigation, international breach of trust claims and litigation arising from defective manufacturing equipment. Philip also has experience of advising on issues of private international law ranging from the enforcement of foreign judgments to complex jurisdictional and choice of law issues. In addition to Philip’s work in the banking and financial services and energy sectors, Philip’s experience includes:

  • Instructed (with Derrick Dale QC) to advise in relation to a dispute concerning an indemnity offered as part of a corporate takeover transaction.
  • Instructed (with Derrick Dale QC) in High Court proceedings concerning claims for breach of contract, breach of directors’ duties and wrongful termination of a director’s appointment.
  • Instructed (with Charles Béar QC) to advise a government department in connection with a dispute with contractors.
  • Percival v Moto Novu LLC – Philip appeared for a judgment debtor in an appeal against registration of a judgment under the original Judgments Regulation. The case, which raised difficult issues as to the scope of permissible appeals and the function of the registration procedure, is reported at [2019] EWHC 1391 (QB).
  • Global Energy Horizons Corporation v Gray – Philip is currently instructed by the Defendant in Court of Appeal proceedings concerning an account of profits for breach of fiduciary duty. The first instance proceedings recently concluded with a 6-day trial to value a number of interests in businesses, in which Philip, led by Timothy Dutton QC, cross-examined the Claimant’s expert witness on his valuation evidence. The Court’s judgment is reported at [2019] EWHC 1260 (Ch). Philip has appeared both led and unled in a number of interim applications, some of which are reported at [2018] EWHC 2822 (Ch), [2019] EWHC 228 (Ch), [2019] EWHC 229 (Ch) and [2019] EWHC 1132 (Ch).
  • Philip was recently instructed to advise on a substantial claim for the enforcement of foreign judgments at common law in the British Virgin Islands, along with freezing injunctions obtained in support of the enforcement claim.
  • Philip has extensive experience of enforcement proceedings in the English Courts. In addition to Percival v Moto Novu LLC, Philip has recently acted for a judgment creditor enforcing two Seychellois judgments in England, along with acting in two separate claims to enforce arbitration awards through the English Courts.

 

Energy

Philip has recently been instructed in a number of matters relating to the energy sector. Current and recent cases include:

  • Global Energy Horizons Corporation v Gray [2018] EWHC 2822 (Ch), [2019] EWHC 228 (Ch), [2019] EWHC 229 (Ch), [2019] EWHC 1132 (Ch) and [2019] EWHC 1260 (Ch) – Philip is currently instructed Court of Appeal proceedings in connection with an account of profits for breach of fiduciary duty, concerning alleged interests in innovative technology for the extraction of oil from underperforming wells.
  • Philip is currently instructed (with James Cutress QC) in multi-party arbitration proceedings concerning an oil pipeline facility.
  • Philip is currently instructed to advise on unfair prejudice issues arising in a joint venture company operating petrol stations.
  • Other recent experience in the energy sector includes advising on a variety of matters concerning the retail distribution of petroleum products, both in respect of franchises and joint ventures.

 

Professional Regulation and Professional Negligence

Philip has a substantial regulation practice and is regularly instructed by both regulators and regulated professionals and entities. Philip has extensive experience of cases involving the professional regulation of solicitors, including having appeared for the SRA before both the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and the Administrative Court. His recent experience includes:

  • Representing the SRA in appeals before the Administrative Court from the SDT including Ellis v SRA [2016] EWHC 2836 (Admin) and Gurpinar v SRA [2016] EWHC 1549 (Admin).
  • Acting for Your Lawyers Ltd (led by Richard Coleman QC) in High Court and Court of Appeal proceedings on its claim for an injunction to prevent another firm from acting in group litigation proceedings in breach of a non-disclosure agreement: Harcus Sinclair Ltd and another v Your Lawyers Ltd [2017] EWHC 2900 (Ch) and [2019] EWCA Civ 335.
  • Advising an individual solicitor on his response to SRA investigations alleging dishonest misuse of client funds.
  • Philip was instructed (led by Timothy Dutton QC) in disciplinary proceedings brought by the SRA against solicitors arising out of the Al-Sweady Inquiry.
  • Boreh v Republic of Djibouti and others [2015] EWHC 769 (Comm): Philip was instructed with Timothy Dutton QC for a firm of solicitors in relation to a wasted costs application arising out of alleged misconduct by a solicitor.
  • Philip also has experience of advising the SRA, professionals and law firms on regulatory issues.

In addition to matters concerning the professional regulation of solicitors, Philip has experience of advising and representing clients in the context of financial services, insurance and intellectual property regulatory regimes.

Education

BPTC, BPP Law School (Outstanding)

BCL, Magdalen College, University of Oxford (Distinction)

BA (Jurisprudence), Magdalen College, University of Oxford (First Class Honours)

Prizes and Scholarships

Horace Avory BPTC Scholarship (Inner Temple), 2011-2012

Law Faculty Prize for best performance in European Private Law of Contract (BCL Finals 2011)

Slaughter and May Prize for best performance in Law of Contract (Law Finals 2010)

Scholarship (Magdalen College, University of Oxford), 2008-2010

Other experience

Philip is the author of a talk on good faith in the performance of contracts, focusing particularly on significant recent developments in the case law on this topic.

Visiting Tutor at King’s College London in 2011-2012 (teaching Law of Torts)

Advisor at Bethnal Green Legal Advice Clinic, October 2013 to September 2014

Publications

Proceedings against solicitors for negligent conduct of claims – how far should the court try the original claim? (2014) 30 Journal of Professional Negligence 158 – case comment on Raleys Solicitors v Barnaby [2014] EWCA Civ 686

Horizontality: questioning the concept (2008) Cambridge Student Law Review 131


BSB Barristers' Register