George Spalton

Education

MA Oxon; LLM Columbia University (New York)




Tel: +44 20 7822 2040
Email: g.spalton@4newsquare.com
Email Clerk: d.peck@4newsquare.com

Year of Call: 2004


Languages
Conversational French

Profile

      

George specialises in commercial litigation and arbitration, with a particular focus on the following areas: (i) international commercial arbitration, (ii) offshore work, (iii) financial services, (iv) construction law and (v) professional liability claims (including professional disciplinary work).

George is rated in Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500  for International Commercial Arbitration, Commercial Litigation, Professional Liability and Professional Disciplinary and Regulatory work. In 2016 George was nominated by Chambers and Partners as ‘International Arbitration’ Junior of the Year.

  • “An excellent junior, who is bright, pragmatic and user-friendly." "A rising star with sound commercial acumen and a strong intellect, he's thorough, communicative and a determinedly tough negotiator."
  • "Excellent – crisp and concise on paper, impressive in court and a real team player’ who ‘has a keen intellect and is an excellent sounding board offering very practical advice."
     
  • ‘Very client-friendly and has a relaxed, easy manner about him. He was well briefed, knew his stuff and was incredibly responsive. He anticipated issues very well and proved a real team player."
  • "He has got brilliant results from the clutches of defeat, and is really good in terms of the sensitivity he shows to clients."
  • "He is very quick and very commercial - a rising star" whose “grasp of the complex issues and commercial nous are extremely impressive.”

In addition, in 2012 George was named as one of ten ‘Stars of the Bar’ in a survey by Legal Week, having previously been named in the 2010 version as a ‘Highly Commended’ Junior.

George was on the Executive Committee of COMBAR (the Commercial Bar Association) from 2013 to 2016 and was Chair of Junior COMBAR from 2011 to 2013.

In May 2015 George was called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (British Virgin Islands).

Commercial: George’s experience of commercial litigation and arbitration encompasses a wide variety of domestic and international disputes. His experience ranges from construction related disputes, to conflicts of law/jurisdictional issues, insurance and reinsurance, commodities and civil fraud.

International/Offshore: George has built up a strong international practice and has been instructed in a claims and arbitrations in a wide-range of jurisdictions in recent years (including in the BVI, Trinidad & Tobago, Oman, Dubai, the DIFC, Singapore, France and USA (Washington DC)).

Financial Services: George is also developing a particular expertise in financial services claims – whether acting for or against financial institutions, banks, individual financial services practitioners or regulatory bodies. George has experience of financial markets having worked as an intern analyst at a major bank in the City and from his LLM in New York which included courses on corporate finance and accounting.

Professional Liability: George’s professional liability work involves claims for and against accountants and auditors, financial services professionals, insurance brokers & agents, lawyers – both barristers and solicitors - and surveyors.

Other core areas of practice: George has a busy practice in the fields of sports and disciplinary related work:

  • In the disciplinary context, he has appeared before tribunals for the following professional bodies: the Chartered Institute of Taxation, the Association of Taxation Technicians, the Accountancy and Actuarial Discipline Board (in its previous form as the AIDB) and he has also appeared before the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal.
  • In the context of sports, George has acted in respect of a range of sports and for both professional athletes and governing bodies. For example, he recently represented an athlete in an appeal arising out of non-selection for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

More detail on George’s practice can be found by following the links to relevant “areas of practice”.

Further Information

Before commencing practice George read history at Oriel College, Oxford where he was a scholar and won the John Shannon prize for Modern History. After converting to law, George obtained a Masters in Law (LL.M) from Columbia University, New York where he was a Stone Scholar.

George is a member of the following associations: COMBAR; LCIA; TECBAR; ChBA; PNBA and ADRL.

 


Professional Liability

George has a broad range of experience in the professional liability context, both in terms of claims involving different professions and in respect of the value and type of claims. He is recommended by both Legal 500 2016 and Chambers and Partners 2016 as a leading junior. Amongst other things he is said to be "a bright and thorough junior developing a reputation in professional negligence", "very commercial and great with clients", "a top notch advocate", “a real up-and-coming star" with a “real intellect” and a “very calm manner with clients”.

George has particular experience of acting for and against accountants and auditors, financial services professionals, insurance brokers & agents, actuaries, barrister, solicitors and surveyors. He also has good experience of disciplinary claims and tribunals.

George is an Editor of “Jackson & Powell on Professional Liability” and is one of the four co-editors of Sweet & Maxwell’s “Encyclopedia of Financial Services Law”.

His professional liability experience includes offshore work (largely focused on claims involving accountants, auditors and actuaries) – in Cayman, BVI and Trinidad & Tobago. In 2015 George was called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (BVI).

Reported decisions include:

Further examples of George’s recent work in this context are as follows:

George has been involved in a number of tax related professional liability claims in recent years – both for claimants and defending professionals (including accountants, tax advisers and solicitors).

He has built up significant experience of film finance schemes and other similar tax related schemes. He is currently instructed in large-scale, high-value litigation on behalf of a number of claimants in relation to a well-known scheme involving claims against the individuals and entities which marketed the schemes together with a number of intermediaries.

In addition, George has represented the Chartered Institute of Taxation and the Association of Taxation Technicians in a number of tribunal proceedings.


International Arbitration

In 2016 George was nominated by Chambers and Partners as ‘International Arbitration’ Junior of the Year.

"In terms of his technical skills, he is very quick on the uptake and quick to get on top of the key issues in a dispute. He is very commercial and he takes a wide practical approach to things." "He is particularly good as a strategist." - Chambers & Partners, 2016

'Dedicated and diligent; he is always ready to roll up his sleeves and get involved.' - Legal 500, 2015

George has developed an expertise in international commercial arbitration over the last 10 years. He is recommended by both Legal 500 2015 and Chambers and Partners 2015 as a leading junior and is noted as being “an absolute pleasure to work with… and comes highly recommeded”.

George has been involved in a number of domestic and international arbitrations in a variety of contexts. He particularly enjoys working abroad whenever the opportunity arises – whether in respect of arbitral proceedings themselves or to assist a client who is dealing with an ongoing claim.

A flavour of George’s work and experience is provided by the following:

George is a member of the LCIA (and its young arbitration group, YIAG) and the AAA’s young arbitration group, ICDR and has also written on this subject and provides case law updates to various journals.


Chancery

George appears in the Chancery Division on a regular basis – both in respect of professional liability claims and also pure chancery related matters such as disputes between mortgage lenders and borrowers, civil fraud and tracing claims, disputes involving insolvency or company law and tax related matters (such as film finance schemes).

Present/Recent Work:

Reported cases include:

George is member of the Chancery Bar Association.


Commercial Dispute Resolution

"An excellent junior, who is bright, pragmatic and user-friendly." "A rising star with sound commercial acumen and a strong intellect, he's thorough, communicative and a determinedly tough negotiator." - Chambers & Partners, 2016

'He explains things clearly and knows the details of the case inside out.' - Legal 500, 2016

'Excellent – crisp and concise on paper, impressive in court and a real team player’ - Legal 500, 2015

A sizeable portion of George’s work is in the Commercial Court and he has experience of an extremely broad range of commercial disputes. George has recently been named as a ‘highly commended’ junior by Legal Week in their survey ‘Stars at the Bar’ and is a recommended junior in both Chambers and Partners 2015 and The Legal 500 2015. Comments include: “Exceptionally bright but combines that with really good firm, commercial advice.” George has recently appeared without a leader in a high-profile five week trial in the Commercial Court and also acted twice in the Court of Appeal without a leader.

As well as acting in trials and arbitrations (as to which please follow the link to ‘Arbitration’), George has also appeared in a number of pre-action and interlocutory hearings such as freezing and proprietary injunctions, pre-action disclosure applications, security for costs applications and jurisdictional disputes. 

George has built up significant experience of claims for breach of warranty in the context of SPAs – acting for both claimants and defendants. Recent experience includes a 3 week trial in March 2016 (Axio Data Group Holdings Ltd v UBMG Ltd) (instructed by Nabarro LLP); acting for a large conglomerate in relation to a range of alleged breaches of warranties (instructed by Byrne & Partners LLP); and acting for a listed UK entity in a claim for various breaches of warranty (instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills LLP).

A flavour of George’s work and experience can be provided by the following:

George was formerly Chairman of the Junior Commercial Bar Association and from 2013 to 2016 was on the Executive Committee of COMBAR.


Financial Services Regulation

George is developing a particular expertise in financial services claims – whether acting for or against financial institutions, companies, individual financial services practitioners or regulatory bodies. His interest in and familiarity with financial markets stems from time spent working as an intern analyst at a major bank in the City and his LLM in New York which included courses on corporate finance and accounting (taught in conjunction with Columbia’s highly respected MBA course).

As a result he has been instructed both on his own account and in large scale financial services litigation as part of a team. For example he has acted as junior for a major international bank in respect of the bank’s alleged involvement in pensions mis-selling and prior to that, led by Patrick Lawrence QC, he acted for the Accountancy Investigation and Discipline Board (now the AADB) in proceedings against PriceWaterhouseCoopers and a former director of Mayflower Plc.

George is one of the four co-editors of Sweet & Maxwell’s ”Encyclopedia of Financial Services Law"

A flavour of George’s recent work and experience is provided by the following:


Insurance & Reinsurance

George has acted in a number of cases involving an insurance element, including advising on questions of policy construction and coverage; non-disclosure and avoidance issues.

In the context of professional indemnity insurance, George has experience of issues relating to the Minimum Terms and Conditions for solicitors and has acted for insurers in arbitrations seeking claims for reimbursement and in arbitrations seeking declarations that insurers are entitled to refuse indemnity on the grounds of dishonesty.


Costs

George has been involved in a number of cases involving the assessment of costs both in the County Court and the Supreme Court Costs Office. His experience includes assessment of solicitor and client costs under the Solicitors Act 1974, detailed assessments of inter-party costs and issues relating to CFAs.

George has also recently acted for the solicitors in Weddall v Barchester Healthcare Limited; Germany v Flatman [2011] EWHC 2945 (QB), a decision of Mr Justice Eady concerning non-party cost orders against a firm of solicitors under section 51 of the Senior Courts Act 1981.

He has additionally dealt with a number of cases raising costs related issues – particularly in the context of solicitors’ professional liability work and claims for fees.

George has also appeared before the First Tier Tax Tribunal on an appeal arising in respect of costs issues, on behalf of the taxpayer against HMRC (in British Sky Broadcasting Plc; Pace Plc v HMRC (2012) (First Tier Tax Tribunal) [LON/2008/7164] and [MAN/2007/7008]).


Disciplinary

"He has got brilliant results from the clutches of defeat, and is really good in terms of the sensitivity he shows to clients." - Chambers & Partners, 2016

Recommended in both the Legal 500 2015 and  Chambers & Partners 2015 as an ‘up and coming junior’ in the field of professional disciplinary work who is 'hardworking, diligent and user-friendly’ and an ‘absolute pleasure to work with’.

George enjoys disciplinary and regulatory work and has acted on a regular basis as prosecutor and defendant before a number of different tribunals. For example, he has appeared before the Taxation and Disciplinary Board as Prosecutor for the Chartered Institute of Taxation and also the Association of Taxation Technicians and he has also appeared before the Solicitors’ Disciplinary Tribunal on behalf of defendant solicitors solicitors and also before the ICAEW on behalf of defendant accountants.

George has also acted in disciplinary proceedings brought by the Accountancy Investigation and Discipline Board (now the Accountancy and Actuarial Discipline Board) against PriceWaterhouseCoopers and a former director of Mayflower Plc led by Patrick Lawrence QC.

George is a member of the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers.


Construction & Engineering

George has acted in a variety of construction related matters at all levels – whether in the County Court, the TCC or in the context of international arbitration. For more details please refer to the Commercial Dispute Resolution and Arbitration tabs.

Examples of recent work:

George is a member of the Technology and Construction Bar Association.


Sports Law

George’s sports practice focuses on the following areas (i) disciplinary and regulatory work; (ii) governance and selection related issues and (iii) commercial work – whether general contractual advice or, more broadly, litigation or potential disputes between players/agents/clubs/professional bodies.

He is listed in the Legal 500 in the context of professional disciplinary work as a leading junior. Comments in the directories note his “real intellect”, being "an absolute pleasure to work with", an “up-and-coming star" who picks up the "key legal issues very quickly" and a junior who "really stands out for his commercial approach."  He has experience of a wide range of disciplinary bodies and Tribunals – including (in the sporting context) the BHA and tribunals convened pursuant to the Sports Resolutions Dispute Service.

By way of example of recent work, he has recently represented a British bobsleigh athlete in an appeal arising out of non-selection for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

George has built up considerable experience of acting for and against agents and he is currently instructed in a number of high value Football Association Rule K arbitrations on behalf of agents against current or former Premier League players.

George is also rated in the directories (Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners) for commercial litigation and international arbitration - areas of work which ties in well with commercial and international disputes in the sporting context.


Offshore

In May 2015 George was called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (British Virgin Islands).

George has built up significant experience of acting on cross-border and offshore disputes in recent years. He is a recommended junior in both Chambers and Partners  and The Legal 500 for international arbitration and commercial litigation and many of the cases on which he is instructed involve international financial services issues. 

Comments in recent directories include: “Exceptionally bright but combines that with really good firm, commercial advice.” In addition, he has recently appeared without a leader in a high-profile five week trial in the Commercial Court and also acted twice in the Court of Appeal without a leader. 

George’s offshore work includes acting over the course of several years in high-profile, high-value litigation in Trinidad & Tobago (as lead junior to John Powell QC) on behalf of the Central Bank. That resulted in George gaining experience of a number of Eastern Caribbean jurisdictions – including Barbados and Grenada. 

George has also appeared before the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in the BVI (led by Justin Fenwick QC) in the context of a high-value unfair prejudice dispute between Kyiv-based shareholders.

He is one of the four co-editors of Sweet & Maxwell’s ‘Encyclopedia of Financial Services Law’ giving him additional expertise in both regulatory and non-regulatory issues.


Public International Law

4 New Square Chambers is a fast growing presence at the public international law Bar. Members of Chambers regularly act on behalf of, and against, national governments in the UK and abroad in contentious and advisory proceedings, and advise governments, corporate bodies, non-governmental organizations, and individuals on a range of matters including:

Current and recent instructions in the field of public international law include disputes before the International Court of Justice, the ICSID and ICC tribunals, the European Court of Human Rights, the Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States, and the domestic courts of the United Kingdom, the Gambia and the Republic of Turkey. Given Chambers’ long-standing strength in international arbitration work, members of chambers are particularly well placed to advise and to represent parties in investor-State disputes.

Highlights of recent public international work by Members of Chambers include: