Justin Fenwick KC and Ben Smiley successfully defend the Former Administrators of One Blackfriars Limited in £250m High Court claim

News & Judgments
30 March 2021

Following hard-fought litigation commenced in 2017, and a fully remote trial held during 2020, judgment has recently been handed down in the case of Re One Blackfriars Ltd [2021] EWHC 684 (Ch).  Justin Fenwick KC and Ben Smiley (instructed by Mayer Brown International LLP) acted for the respondent former administrators.

The case concerned the administration of a company whose main asset was a development site, which is now One Blackfriars (otherwise known as “The Vase” or “The Boomerang”).

The judgment was a comprehensive victory for the respondents.  They faced serious allegations of breach of duty in respect of the administration, and a claim which was valued at c.£250 million.  Every single allegation of breach of duty was dismissed.  The respondents’ conduct was fully vindicated.

The Court found in favour of the respondents in respect of every disputed point of law.  The judge was critical of many aspects of the way the claim was brought, holding that several allegations should not have been pleaded or should have been withdrawn; and highlighting severe problems with the case in the light of the contemporaneous material and the expert evidence.

See a LexisNexis article by Ben on the decision here (this article was first published by Lexis®PSL on 26 March 2021) and Mayer Brown’s report of the judgment here.

Related People

Justin Fenwick KC

Call: 1980 Silk: 1993

Ben Smiley

Call: 2009



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