Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore

Stuart Ritchie QCCall Date: 1995 | Silk Date: 2012

Stuart Ritchie QC (Call 1995, Silk 2012) is recognised as one of the leading silks in practice at the Commercial Bar. His practice encompasses domestic and international commercial disputes in litigation and arbitration: particular areas of expertise include commercial contracts, civil fraud, disputes involving directors and senior executives and partners and LLP members. He is the author (with Andrew Stafford QC) of Fiduciary Duties: Directors and Employees.

Areas of Expertise

  • Fraud: civil
  • Employment
  • Commercial dispute resolution
  • International arbitration

Leading Cases

Public Institution for Social Security v Al Rajaan and 37 other Defendants
Lead Counsel for the Claimant in a claim for in excess of US$800 million alleging bribery against the former Director General of the Kuwaiti State Pension and Social Security Fund. [Lawyer top 20 case]

Golivina & another v Rusal plc
Instructed on behalf of the Defendant in connection with its challenge to the jurisdiction of the Jersey Court in a claim for breach of intellectual property rights by the Claimant and connected proceedings challenging redomiciliation under the Jersey Companies Legislation

Sakho v WADA
Instructed by the former Liverpool footballer in connection with his claim against the World Anti-Doping Authority for negligence in connection with its allegations that he had taken a banned substance.

Various senior executives v Tesco plc
Stuart acts for Tesco in claims brought by senior executives arising out of the termination of their employment in connection with the 2014 misstatement of its accounts.

Katara v Guez [2018] EWHC 3063 (Comm)
Acted for the Claimant in claim to enforce guarantees in sum of US$60m arising from sale of the business which held the Buddha Bar franchise.

Stobart Group v Tinkler LM 2018 113
Acted for the Defendant in the well-publicised dispute between the board members of the Stobart Group.

Iranian Offshore Engineering and Investment Company v Dean Investments & others
Acted for the fifth and sixth defendants in a claim in respect of the first defendant’s allegedly fraudulent failure to deliver a large drilling rig for which the claimant paid USD87 million

Pamplona v ISAM, Fink and Arora & others – Cl 2016 404 (Comm)
Acted for the Claimant in its fraud claim against ISAM, Lord Fink and Surinder Arora arising out of the pre-emption provisions of the parties’ shareholders agreement

DAAR and Bank Alkhair v Al Refai [2018] EWHC 616 (Comm); [2015] EWHC 1793
Acted for the main Defendant to conspiracy and fraud proceedings arising out of the termination of Mr. Al Refai’s directorship of the Claimant property company and bank and subsequent enforcement proceedings. [Lawyer top 20 case]

Bazhanov v Fosman [2017] EWHC 3403 (Comm)
Successfully challenged jurisdiction for a fraud claim on the part of a former government minister against alleged business partner.

Marathon Asset Management LLP v Seddon & others [2017] EWHC 479 (Comm); [2017] EWHC 300 (Comm); [2016] EWHC 2615 Comm
Acted for the main Defendant to claims for conspiracy, breach of duty and breach of confidence arising from the alleged team move of the defendants to join Jeremy Hosking in joint venture. Involving detailed consideration of Wrotham Park/negotiating damages. Successfully argued that damages should be nominal only [Lawyer top 20 case]

National Housing Trust of Jamaica v Seaton Associates [2015] UKPC 43
Acted for the successful Appellant in its challenge in the Privy Council to an arbitral award on compound interest.

Nilon Ltd v Royal Westminster Investments SA [2015] UKPC 2
Acted for the successful Appellant in its challenge in the Privy Council from the Court of Appeal decision in the Court of the Eastern Caribbean: principal issue concerned the power to rectify a share register of members in the context of provisions to serve out of the jurisdiction: related proceedings

Royal Westminster Investments v Varma; [2012] EWHC 3439 (Comm)
Acted for the successful Defendant in resisting claim for interim relief under s, 25 CJJA arising out of alleged breach of a joint venture agreement and proceedings in BVI.

John Linwood v BBC [Employment Tribunal] 7 August 2014
Acted for the successful Claimant in proceedings brought against the BBC for unfair dismissal arising from his sacking as its Chief Technology Officer in connection with its Digital Media initiative.

BAT Industries Plc v Windward Prospects Ltd [2013] EWHC 3612
Acted for the Defendant in proceedings concerning liability arising out of the remediation of the Fox River in Wisconsin and challenges brought by BAT in connection with reduction in capital and alleged unlawful distributions made by the Defendant.

VTB Capital v Nutritek Int Corp [2011] EWHC 3107 (Ch) [2011] EWHC 2842 (Ch)
Acted for the Claimant in the major fraud claim in connection with freezing relief and other interim issues.

Weight Watchers (UK) Ltd v Revenue and Customers Commissioners [2011] UKLT 433
Acted for Weight Watchers in their proceedings against the Revenue at both first instance, and in appeal, arising out of the tax and employment status of national “helpers” at their meetings.

Tullett Prebon v BGC Brokers LP & others [2010] EWHC 989, [2010] EWHC 484
Acted for the lead individual Defendant in this leading team move case heard over 42 days of trial.

Fiona Trust v Privalov
Acted for Mr. Privalov in the long-running Commercial Court fraud proceedings.

Recommendations

2020

Chambers & Partners GLOBAL

Dispute Resolution: Commercial – UK Band 1

Strengths: “Has great judgement and delivers terrific advocacy. Factually and legally highly analytical, he works well in a team.” “Stuart is a talented advocate who’s totally focused on commercial outcomes.”

 

Chambers & Partners UK BAR

Commercial Dispute Resolution – London (Bar)Band 1
Strengths: “A talented advocate and an excellent tactician who is highly focused on the commercial outcomes of a case.” “Incredibly good, he’s a fantastic advocate who is really nice to work with.”

 Employment – London (Bar) Band 1
Offers a unique blend of expertise in both employment and commercial law, paying particular attention to matters involving fiduciary duties. He appears frequently in cases involving senior executives embroiled in matters relating to interim injunctions and team moves.

“Very detail-oriented, bright and technical.” “An excellent barrister: clients love him and he handles some very high-profile work.”

Partnership – London (Bar) Band 2
Stands out for his mastery of matters concerning LLPs or fiduciary duties or those affecting individuals holding senior executive positions in commercial or asset management partnerships. Particularly active in the territory where company, agency, partnership and employment law intersect, he receives especially enthusiastic praise for the quality and determination of his advocacy.

Strengths: “A very gifted lawyer” with “an extremely impressive mind.” “When he comes to a case his speciality lies in looking at the personal dynamic and seeing what the risk matrix would be. He then picks through things in a very delicate way.”

Fraud: Civil – London (Bar)Band 2
A broad commercial practitioner who takes on high-level fraud work covering all manner of issues including trusts, dishonest assistance and breach of duty. He handles arbitration proceedings as well as litigation.

Strengths: “He really rolls up his sleeves and takes on whatever demands you put on him.” “Combines superb advocacy with great legal analysis and fine judgement.”

 LEGAL 500

London Bar: Fraud- Civil: Leading Silks – Ranked: Tier 2
“Simply one of the best silks in town and a nice guy to go with it.”

London Bar: Commercial Litigation: Leading Silks – Ranked: Tier 2
“My go-to silk for anything – he is sharp, incisive and a brilliant advocate.”

2019

Chambers & Partners – 2019 Edition

Commercial Dispute Resolution – London (Silks)Band 1
Strengths: “Has great judgement and delivers terrific advocacy. Factually and legally highly analytical, he works well in a team.” “Stuart is a talented advocate who’s totally focused on commercial outcomes.”

Employment – London (Silks)Band 1
Offers a unique blend of expertise of both employment and commercial law, paying particular attention to matters involving fiduciary duties. He appears frequently in cases involving senior executives embroiled in matters relating to interim injunctions and team moves.

Strengths: “He has an amazingly quick brain that swiftly masters the most complex scenarios. He also has a great client manner.” “A delight to deal with. He is very much a team player with clients and instructing solicitors.”

Partnership – London (Silks)Band 2
Stands out for his mastery of matters concerning LLPs or fiduciary duties or those affecting individuals holding senior executive positions in commercial or asset management partnerships. Particularly active in the territory where company, agency, partnership and employment law intersect, he received especially enthusiastic praise for the quality and determination of his advocacy.

Strengths: “Approachable, personable, and knowledgeable.” “He has the ear of the court and is a magnificent advocate and a great team leader on large disputes.”

Fraud- Civil – London (Silks)Band 3
A broad commercial practitioner who takes on high-level fraud work covering all manner of issues including trusts, dishonest assistance, and breach of duty. He handles arbitration, proceedings as well as litigation.

Strengths: “Super smart and a great team player. He is excellent with clients.” “A very gifted advocate. He is easy to work with and incredibly talented.”

Arbitration

Stuart has extensive experience of domestic and international arbitration. Domestically, his experience is typically of disputes concerning professional services companies and firms and directors, LLP members or senior individuals within them. Internationally, arbitrations have concerned disputes arising out of commercial contracts in respect of sale of businesses and other financial transactions, many involving CIS parties. He has appeared in LCIA, ICC and ad hoc arbitrations.

Leading Cases:

  • L v I (LCIA 2010 – 2013) Instructed for primary Respondent to a LCIA arbitration concerning alleged fraud and breach of fiduciary duty concerning sale of mineral business by an oligarch in a CIS state. Claim valued at in excess of $US200 million. Arbitration settled shortly before substantive hearing. Arbitral tribunal: Alan Redfern, David Sutton, Sir John Chadwick
  • E v S (ICC 2013) Instructed for Respondent in ICC arbitration concerning an operating agreement for a Guinea Gold Mine, in which both parties alleged that the other was in repudiatory breach, resulting in a temporary shut-down of the mine and a change of operating contractor. Arbitration settled shortly before substantive hearing. Arbitral Tribunal: John Marrin QC, Joe Smouha QC, Sir Gordon Langley.
  • T v A (LCIA 2011) Acted for Respondent (counterclaiming claimant), an SPV owned by a CIS national in LCIA arbitration concerning fraud on a trading account operated by a major CIS bank. Instructed 1 month prior to hearing. Amended case and successfully obtained award for US$10million in respect of unauthorised trading. Arbitrator: Hilary Heilbronn QC
  • G v J&Y (ad hoc 212-2013) Dispute between two leading law firms in relation to alleged unlawful team move of star earners from one of its litigation teams to a rival firm in alleged unlawful team move. Settled prior to arbitration. Arbitrator: Christopher Style QC
  • S v multiple parties (LCIA 2014) ) Dispute concerning fraudulent sale of shares in company operating Kyrghistan gold mine. (Arbitrators yet to be appointed)

Other Appointments

  • Commercial Mediator (ADR qualified)
  • Bencher of Middle Temple
  • Sits as a Recorder in the Crown Court
  • Expert in English Commercial Law in foreign proceedings.
  • Deputy Chairman of the Middle Temple Education Committee
  • Chairman of the Equality and Diversity Committee at Fountain Court Chambers and its senior Equalities Officer.

Education

  • BA, Christ Church, Oxford

Personal

Stuart is married with two children. He is Chairman of the Bar Choral Society and a trustee of the Gerald Finzi Trust and Oldhurst Trust. He was for 10 years a school governor and was for three years a member of the Main Committee at the Hurlingham Club where he was joint author of its governance review. His hobbies are classical music (piano, organ, choir) and sport (in particular golf).


BSB Barristers' Register