Nicole Sandells QC joined Chambers in 2002 having developed a successful practice at the Chancery commercial bar.
The majority of her work falls within the general categories of Chancery, commercial dispute resolution and related professional liability, with a special emphasis on civil fraud and recoveries (both on and offshore), banking, trusts, property, and mortgage litigation.
Described as ‘a mega-brain, with encyclopaedic legal knowledge and the ability to cut through complex legal issues with ease’, and ‘a master tactician who is exceptionally bright and has a fantastic ability to condense significant evidential information’, Nicole is recognised as a Leading Junior for her Professional Negligence work.
In recent years Nicole has been involved in a number of high profile civil fraud and mortgage fraud related cases, including the North East Property Buyers litigation in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court (as Scott v Southern Pacific), where Nicole represented the successful lenders in a case with significant ramifications for the law of equitable and proprietary interests in land. Nicole’s success for the Bank in the Court of Appeal in Lloyds Bank v Markandan & Uddin sparked a succession of cases pushing the boundaries of equity and trust law as a means of asserting beneficial ownership and recovering assets, culminating in a successful Supreme Court appearance representing the defendant solicitor in the follow up case AIB v Redler & Co. Nicole was also involved in the Innovator (Brown v InnovatorOne) and Gaydamak v Leviev appeals in the Court of Appeal, having been brought in to both cases for her equity and trusts expertise. Her most recent Supreme Court case, Swynson v Lowick Rose, drew on her extensive unjust enrichment and subrogation expertise. Success in that case has helped to define the boundaries of equitable subrogation, restitution and unjust enrichment.
As can be seen from her list of cases, Nicole is never happier than when tackling complex and difficult points of law, and relishes appellate advocacy. She enjoys finding novel ways to trace or defend assets and assert beneficial ownership, adapting traditional trust and equity principles to commercial situations. She has been involved in litigation, in England and internationally, seeking variously to recover and to defend assets for the liquidators of several failed Caribbean institutions, including appearing before the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court in Antigua. Nicole is currently instructed to appear as lead counsel in asset tracing litigation in several jurisdictions dealing with breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duty, restitution, tracing and the principles of accessory liability.
Nicole’s innovation, expertise and reputation is such that her cases often settle to her clients’ satisfaction, even on complex and novel points of law, long before trial. Notable examples in the recent past include two multi-million pound fraud cases involving allegations of professional involvement by way of breach of fiduciary duty and trust, and professional accessory liability for knowing assistance. In both cases Nicole’s clients obtained 6 figure settlements beyond expectations.