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

He has extensive experience of international work and has been involved in cases in a number of jurisdictions in recent years including BVI (called in 2015), Cayman Islands, Trinidad, Dubai, Oman, Hong Kong and Singapore. He also accepts appointments as arbitrator.

George is rated in Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 in the following areas:

  • International Commercial Arbitration (nominated as Junior of the Year in 2016),
  • Commercial Litigation,
  • Professional Liability, and
  • Professional Disciplinary and Regulatory work.

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. He is now in the Executive Committee of the PNBA.

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

Areas of Expertise

Commercial Litigation
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George has been ranked for commercial litigation in both major directories for a number of years.

He is regarded as one of the top juniors at the Commercial Bar and was nominated as Junior of the Year in 2016 for International Commercial Arbitration by Chambers and Partners. In addition, George was recognised as one of 10 ‘star’ juniors by Legal Week in their survey ‘Stars at the Bar’ in 2013.

Comments include:

  • 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

A sizeable portion of George’s work is in the Commercial Court and he has experience of an extremely broad range of commercial disputes, extending from conflicts of law/jurisdictional issues, enforcement, asset tracing, insurance and reinsurance, to commodities and civil fraud.

In addition to his work in the Commercial Court in London he has been instructed on disputes in a wide range of jurisdictions including Dubai, Oman, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Trinidad & Tobago, BVI and the Channel Islands.

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

Examples of recent reported decisions include:

  • Towergate Financial (Group) Ltd v Clark & Others [2017] (Comm) (Leggatt J): (led by Christopher Butcher QC)
  • Dalecroft Ltd v Certain Lloyds Underwriters [2017] EWHC 1263 (Comm)
  • TJH and Sons Consultancy Limited v CPP Group Plc [2017] EWCA Civ 46.
  • Adamovsky and Stockman Interhold SA v Andriy Malitskiy and Igor Filipenko [2017] BVI HC MAP 2014/0031 and 2014/0022
  • Harlequin Property (SVG) Ltd & Harlequin Hotels and Resorts Ltd v Wilkins Kennedy [2016] 3188 EWHC (TCC)
  • Stokors S.A. & Others v I G Markets Ltd; v Craigcrook Management Services Ltd [2013] EWHC 631 (Comm)

George also has particular expertise of disputes in the corporate and offshore context, including civil fraud claims (for example acting for the Central Bank of Trinidad & Tobago in high value claims in the Caribbean), minority shareholder disputes and warranty claims (including a 3 week trial in March 2016 (Axio Data Group Holdings Ltd v UBMG Ltd) instructed by Nabarro LLP and led by Graham Chapman QC); 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).

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

International Arbitration
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In 2016 George was nominated by Chambers and Partners as ‘International Arbitration’ Junior of the Year and he has been listed towards the top of the rankings in international arbitration for several years now (including as one of only 14 juniors listed in Chambers Global).

Comments in Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners include:

  • “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

He has built up a very strong arbitration practice in recent years – with a range of claims being heard in a wide range of jurisdictions under a wide variety of institutional rules (including claims with seats in Dubai, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore and Egypt). He is now considered to be one of the busiest junior arbitration practitioners at the Bar.

George is a member of a number of arbitration related bodies and has also written on this subject and provides case law updates to various journals.

He also accepts instructions to sit as arbitrator (and is currently acting as sole arbitrator and as a co-arbitrator in ongoing LCIA arbitrations).

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

  • Acting for Albania in a high value ICC arbitration brought by a US firm relating to a concession agreement.
  • Advising in relation to an ICC arbitration between a Trinidadian holding company and a European investor in relation to an energy dispute (led by Cherie Blair QC).
  • Acting for an offshore company in relation to minority shareholder dispute concerning an African port (ICC).
  • Acting for a main contractor in Dubai in long-running ad hoc arbitration against employer (involving five separate hearings in Dubai 2013-2015).
  • Acting for contractor in defence of claim brought by MEP subcontractor in DIAC arbitration in Dubai (2015).
  • Acting for a multi-national commodities trader and agri-business in proceedings before the LCIA in a dispute arising out of a joint venture in Eastern Europe. Led by Roger Stewart QC.
  • Advising and acting in an LCIA arbitration for an Israeli company against Russian and Finnish companies in respect of a dispute over oil and gas supply contracts.
  • Advising an Indian Respondent to arbitration proceedings brought by an Australian mining company in an ICC arbitration.
  • Advising on LCIA rules and whether a party appointed arbitrator should recuse himself as a result of potential conflicts of interest.
  • Acting in high value civil fraud arbitrations before ICC and LCIA (instructed by Russian/Swiss commodities trader).

In addition, George regularly speaks at international arbitration events and conferences. Recent examples include:

  • GAR Dubai (2015)
  • LCIA IBA Event – Milan, March 2017
  • Paris Arbitration Week (Event hosted by Freshfields) – Paris, April 2017
  • British Virgin Islands Arbitration Week – BVI, May 2017
Professional liability
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George has extensive experience of professional liability claims, 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.

Examples of reported decisions include:

  • Towergate Financial (Group) Ltd v Clark & Others [2017] (Comm) (Leggatt J): (led by Christopher Butcher QC)
  • Harlequin Property (SVG) Ltd v Wilkins Kennedy (A Firm) [2015] EWHC 1122 (TCC)
  • Wright v Lewis Silkin [2016] EWCA Civ 1308
  • Planetree Nominees Ltd v Howard Kennedy LLP [2016] EWHC 2302 (Ch)
  • Stokors S.A. & Others v I G Markets Ltd; v Craigcrook Management Services Ltd [2013] EWHC 631 (Comm)
  • Webb v (1) JMQC (2) Dakers Green Brett[2010] EWHC 93 (Ch); (2010) NPC 12
  • Reader v Molesworths Bright Clegg [2007] EWCA Civ 169; [2007] 1 WLR 1082

George is an Editor of “Jackson & Powell on Professional Liability” and from 2013 to 2016 was 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).

Accountants, Auditors & Actuaries

George has particular experience of claims against accountants and actuaries. He is the editor of the chapter on actuaries in Jackson & Powell and his work in this area is  supported by accountancy courses which he took as part of his LLM in New York.

George also has significant experience of tax related claims (whether investment schemes, such as the Ingenious litigation or claims against individual tax advisers). In this regard, he was one of the panel of barristers retained by the Chartered Institute of Taxation for several years.

Examples of recent or current instructions include:

  • Harlequin Property (SVG) Ltd & Harlequin Hotels and Resorts Ltd v Wilkins Kennedy [2016] 3188 EWHC (TCC)
  • Premier Motorauctions Ltd v PwC LLP and Lloyds Bank [2016] EWHC 2610 (Ch)
  • Acting for major city council in claim arising out of negligent audit.
  • Acting for liquidators of insolvent hedge fund in offshore proceedings.
  • Acting against top four firm in relation to negligent advice on a share transaction.
  • Acting for Central Bank of Caribbean Country and liquidators of insolvent multi-national insurance company against top firm relating to alleged failure to warn about a significant fraud.

In addition, George has acted in a number of warranty claims arising out of SPAs which tie in with his accountancy related experience and also disciplinary proceedings involving ATT, ACCA and ICAEW and in high profile proceedings brought by the FRC (defending firm of accountants and actuaries).

 

Financial Services Professionals

George has significant experience of professional liability claims in the financial context. That experience is based both on his accountants/actuaries related work and also work for and against IFAs.

Having worked as co-editor of Sweet & Maxwell’s 5 volume ‘Encyclopedia of Financial Services Law’ he has a very good understanding of the relevant statutory framework.

He has successfully represented an individual said to have given negligent advice in relation to CFDs (contracts for difference) at a five week commercial court trial: (Stokors v IG Markets & Craigcrook [2013] EWHC 631 (Comm)).

Insurance Brokers & Agents

George’s experience of insurance broker related work has ranged from claims defending coverholders (e.g. Markerstudy v Synergy) to claims against brokers for advice on cover, e.g. Crowson v HSBC Insurance Brokers Ltd [2010] Lloyd’s Rep. I.R. 441. His experience of insurance work more generally provides helpful experience for this area of work (see e.g. Dalecroft Ltd v Certain Lloyds Underwriters [2017] EWHC 1263 (Comm)).

Lawyers

George has been involved in a substantial number of claims against solicitors and barristers where the underlying subject matter relates to both civil and criminal matters.

He has appeared in a number of significant cases, with three cases in the Court of Appeal on issues relating to lawyers’ liability:

  • Wright v Lewis Silkin [2016] EWCA Civ 1308 (led by Justin Fenwick QC);
  • David Frost v Wake Smith & Tofields (A Firm) [2013] EWCA Civ 1960 and
  • Reader v Molesworths Bright Clegg [2007] EWCA Civ 169; [2007] 1 WLR 1082 (led by Bernard Livesey QC).

His work for firms of solicitors has led him to acting for (and against) magic circle law firms, top tier US firms and a range of smaller firms across diverse practise areas.

George has also acted in a number of cases involving barristers, across a range of areas of expertise (such as company law, criminal law and employment law).

George also has extensive experience of costs related matters on behalf of lawyers, such as wasted costs applications, security for costs in the context of ATE and non-party costs orders (for example he 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).

Surveyors & Valuers

George has extensive experience of claims against valuers involving both residential and commercial property. He has been instructed both by banks seeking to recover losses caused by negligent valuations and also by valuers defending such claims. He also has been involved in a number of mortgage fraud cases.

Construction & Engineering
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George has a very strong construction practice which ranges from international claims (especially in Dubai and in the Middle East) to domestic adjudication.

George has built up experience of PFI related claims, including an ongoing adjudication on a high-value PFI contract worth in excess of £700m.

Examples of recent cases include:

  • Harlequin Property (SVG) v Wilkins Kennedy [2016] EWHC 3233 (TCC) (which gave rise to a number of reported decisions, including on security for costs, and which culminated in a seven week trial before Coulson J in the TCC).
  • Ongoing PFI dispute in the context of the waste disposal industry.
  • Acting for a main contractor in Dubai in long-running ad hoc arbitration against employer (involving five separate hearings in Dubai 2013-2015).
  • Acting for contractor in defence of claim brought by MEP subcontractor in DIAC arbitration in Dubai (2015).
  • Acting for a multi-national commodities trader and agri-business in proceedings before the LCIA in a dispute arising out of a joint venture in Eastern Europe. Led by Roger Stewart QC.
  • Advising an Indian Respondent to arbitration proceedings brought by an Australian mining company in an ICC arbitration.

George is a member of the Technology and Construction Bar Association and has experience as an arbitrator in construction disputes (including as sole arbitrator in an ongoing LCIA arbitration).

Insurance
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George has considerable experience of insurance claims, whether advising on questions of policy construction and coverage; non-disclosure and avoidance issues or fighting disputes on behalf of both insurers and insureds at trial.

In terms of recent experience and current cases:

  • Towergate Financial (Group) Ltd v Clark & Others [2017] (Comm) (Leggatt J): (led by Christopher Butcher QC)
  • Acting for Claimant company in coverage dispute concerning range of alleged misrepresentations, non-disclosure and alleged moral hazard in Commercial Court Trial: Dalecroft Ltd v Certain Lloyds Underwriters [2017] EWHC 1263 (Comm)
  • He was instructed as junior on behalf of RSA in the latter stages of the Coles v Hetherton litigation;
  • He was instructed in a successful coverage arbitration worth £10m arising out of a fire at a hotel in the Isle of Man.
  • He is currently instructed for the Defendant insurer in Europools Plc v RSA (led by Jonathan Hough QC) – a coverage dispute listed for trial in the Commercial Court in late 2017.

In the context of professional indemnity insurance, George has experience of issues relating to the Minimum Terms and Conditions for solicitors and has particular experience of acting in coverage arbitrations.

Sports Law
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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 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 the scope of work, he has represented a British bobsleigh athlete in an appeal arising out of non-selection for the Winter Olympics in Sochi and he has built up considerable experience of acting for and against agents and he has 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
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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, expertise which ties in with his offshore work.

Comments in recent directories include: “Exceptionally bright but combines that with really good firm, commercial advice.”

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 of Trinidad.
  • Appearing 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 (see: Adamovsky and Stockman Interhold SA v Andriy Malitskiy and Igor Filipenko [2017] BVI HC MAP 2014/0031 and 2014/0022)).
  • Appearing before BVI Commercial Court in JSC MCC Eurochem v Livingstone Properties Equities Inc & Others (May 2017).
  • Acting for a firm of accountants in proceedings brought by two offshore companies, which involved hearings in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
  • Acting for EuroChem in ongoing proceedings in the BVI.
  • Acting for a BVI based individual in proceedings before the Privy Council.
  • Acting for a major fund (in liquidation) in proceedings arising out of the collapse of the fund against Cayman Island defendants.

In addition to the above, George was one of the four co-editors of Sweet & Maxwell’s ‘Encyclopedia of Financial Services Law’ for a number of years giving him additional expertise in both financial services and regulatory issues.

Disciplinary
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George is recommended in the directories as an ‘up and coming junior’ in the field of professional disciplinary work. Comments include: ‘hardworking, diligent and user-friendly’ and an ‘absolute pleasure to work with’; “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

George enjoys disciplinary and regulatory work, recognising the importance of the cases to the professional bodies and the individuals or firms defending proceedings.

He 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 and he has also acted in a number of complaints brought by the ICAEW and ACCA against individuals and firms.

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

Qualifications & Memberships

MA Oxon; LL.M Columbia University (New York); Called 2004.

Memberships: COMBAR, LCIA, ChBA, PNBA, TECBAR.

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.

Publications

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