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George Spalton KC specialises in complex commercial litigation and international arbitration.
He is rated in Chambers and Partners / Legal 500 in the following eight areas, reflecting extensive experience of blue-chip litigation across a range of areas of commercial practice (Tier 1/New Silk):
George has particular experience of high-value and high-profile international and cross-border 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 and has acted as sole arbitrator and co-arbitrator in LCIA, ICC and ICAC arbitrations.
He is highly regarded as an advocate with Foxton J recently noting that George conducted cross-examination during a heavy 3 week fraud trial with “considerable skill” (HPII at ).
Consistent with George’s range of experience, in the last few years he has acted in a large number of important reported cases including 8 hearings in the Court of Appeal and Privy Council:
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 sits on the European Users’ Council of the LCIA and in 2022 was appointed as one of the UK delegates to the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR. He was elected to the Executive Committee of COMBAR (the Commercial Bar Association) for 2020-2022, having previously been elected to the committee from 2013 to 2016 and having acted as Chair of Junior COMBAR from 2011 to 2013, and now Co-Chairs the Gulf Sub-Committee. He was on the Executive Committee of the PNBA from 2016-2018.
In May 2015 George was called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (British Virgin Islands).
Click here for the Transparency Statement for George Spalton KC.
George has been ranked for commercial litigation in both major directories for a number of years.
He has acted in a number of major cases in recent years in the Commercial Court and abroad, including for sovereign states, and has appeared in 25 reported decisions in the period 2016-2021. In the last two years he has acted in high profile claims as lead QC (including Nissan’s claims against Carlos Ghosn and the HPII litigation).
He was previously nominated as Junior of the Year for International Commercial Arbitration by Chambers and Partners. In addition, George was recognised by Legal Week in their survey ‘Stars at the Bar’.
George has experience of an extremely broad range of commercial disputes, extending from conflicts of law/jurisdictional issues, enforcement, asset tracing, shareholder disputes (with particular expertise in SPA related matters and Earn Out disputes), 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
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) and minority shareholder disputes and warranty claims.
George has been appointed to European Users’ Council of the LCIA for a three year term from 2019 and has been appointed to the Executive Committee of COMBAR (the Commercial Bar Association) for 2019/2020, having previously been elected to the committee from 2013 to 2016 and having acted as Chair of Junior COMBAR from 2011 to 2013. He was on the Executive Committee of the PNBA from 2016-2018.
George is a specialist international arbitration practitioner – with experience across the spectrum of international commercial disputes, investment arbitration and arbitration challenges in the Commercial Court. He has acted as counsel and arbitrator in numerous arbitrations over the last c 20 years in a range of jurisdictions (including – by way of example of recent work – claims heard, or with seats in, Dubai, Zurich, Paris, Hong Kong, Moscow, Singapore and Egypt); as well as acting for and against nation states.
Experience of applications and claims in the Commercial Court is set out below by reference to certain decided cases and includes:
George sits on the European Users’ Council of the LCIA and in 2022 was appointed as one of the UK delegates to the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR. 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 in Chambers Global).
Comments in Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners include:
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 has sat in LCIA, ICC, ICAC and ad hoc arbitrations as sole arbitrator and co-arbitrator.
A flavour of George’s recent work and experience is provided by the following:
In addition, George regularly speaks at international arbitration events and conferences. Recent examples include:
“George is a highly accomplished performer. His skill on the professional negligence side of pensions litigation fills an essential need in these types of high value claims.” – Legal 500
“George stands out for his strategic approach and is fantastic with clients.” “A brilliant advocate and user-friendly” – Chambers & Partners
“A very solid, charming advocate and a very decent guy.” “He is effective and to the point.” “A robust and pugnacious barrister, and he’s very good with clients.” – Chambers & Partners
“George is very commercially aware and properly explores the needs of the client. He is calm under pressure and has a significant intellect which, combined with charm, makes him a formidable opponent. A pleasure to work with.” “George is incredibly bright and very commercial.” – Chambers & Partners
“George is a thoroughly modern barrister, easy to engage with and sensible. He is very strong on strategy and good on his feet. Clients engage with him. All in all, a safe pair of hands.” – Legal 500
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 and Chambers and Partners. Amongst other things he is said to be “very bright, thorough and commercial in his approach. He is very good with clients”, “superb on paper and on his feet”, “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
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).
George has particular experience of claims against accountants and actuaries (recently acting for KPMG, PwC and BDO). 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.
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).
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  EWHC 631 (Comm)).
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  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  EWHC 1263 (Comm) and Euro Pools Plc (In Administration) v Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance Plc  EWHC 46 (Comm)).
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:
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  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).
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.
“George commands the details very quickly and is full of sage practical advice. He is a realist when needed. He is excellent on his feet and doesn’t miss a beat. He is approaching the top of his game in the fraud and asset recovery field and he is a trusted name among peers. He is approachable, a team player and works extremely hard for the client.”– Legal 500
“Always on top of strategy and details, clients love him and he turns work round very quickly.” – Legal 500
“George is a pleasure to work with: he is very pragmatic and user-friendly. He is adept at managing difficult situations and can be relied upon to keep demanding clients happy.” – Legal 500
“He adds value by offering strategic and tactical advice that takes in to account client objectives.” – Legal 500
George is ranked for offshore work in the directories. He is called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (British Virgin Islands) and has been instructed in cases in BVI, St Lucia, St Vincent, Trinidad and Cayman Islands.
Featured Offshore Litigation cases
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.
George is an experienced lead advocate in complex and high-value construction matters. Recent cases range from international claims (especially in Dubai and the Middle East) to domestic litigation and adjudication. By way of example of ongoing cases he is currently instructed in a multi-million pound construction dispute listed for 10 weeks in the TCC in 2023 and several international arbitrations (including in the energy and mining sectors – with two ongoing cases involving nation states).
George also has considerable experience of PFI related claims, including in a recent adjudication in a high-value PFI contract worth in excess of £700m and in the context of cladding claims (acting for architects in the one of the most important cladding disputes post-Grenfell).
Featured Construction & Engineering cases
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).
“George is fabulous to work alongside. His written opinions are unerringly correct and an examplar of clarity.” – Legal 500
“Commercially astute and able to get to the central issues in dispute. Thoroughly charming, including with opponents which helps to diffuse difficult situations. A good commercial advocate.” – Legal 500
“George is phenomenal. He is always on top of strategy and details, clients love him, and he turns work round very quickly.” – Legal 500
“George is an excellent advocate and particularly good with clients. He is technically excellent, with a detailed knowledge of insurance law, which he is able to apply effectively in any given case.” – Legal 500
“Terrific on his feet and very calm under pressure.” – Legal 500
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.
Featured Insurance cases
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.
“He is not only technically excellent but is also commercially focused and has an in-depth knowledge of sport sector.” – Legal 500, 2022
“Adept at managing difficult situations and can be relied upon to keep demanding clients happy.” – Legal 500, 2021
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. Comments in the directories note his “real intellect”, being “an absolute pleasure to work with”, an “up-and-coming star” who “consistently produces high-quality work” and 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 recently acted for Nottingham Forest in a trial in the Chancery Division (Al-Hasawi & NFFI Ltd v Nottingham Forest Football Club Limited  EWHC 1287 (Ch)) 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.
He is also acting for a top six Premier League football club in an ongoing arbitration.
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.
George is currently acting and advising in a number of sanctions related matters involving both individuals and multi-nationals.
Since many of these cases are highly confidential please contact George for further information.
“He has a very impressive intellect and a specialist knowledge of disciplinary and regulatory proceedings. Solicitor and client friendly, his reassuring presence inspires confidence.” – Legal 500, 2023
“A new silk who is great with clients. He has detailed knowledge of the law and procedure at the FRC.” – Legal 500, 2022
“George is a thoroughly modern barrister, easy to engage with and sensible. He is very strong on strategy and good on his feet.” – Legal 500, 2021
“He is excellent on his feet.” – Legal 500, 2020
“He represents Magic Circle partners in SDT cases.” – Legal 500, 2019
George has been recommended for several years by Legal 500 for his professional disciplinary work.
George enjoys disciplinary and regulatory work, recognising the importance of the cases to the professional bodies and the individuals or firms defending proceedings.
He recently acted for the Law Society in the context of an intervention: Law Society v Ete & Others  EWHC 864 (Ch): urgent application for delivery up under Solicitors Act 1974 on behalf of Law Society).
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.
George also acted in the recent proceedings before the SDT involving Clifford Chance LLP on behalf of one of the defendants.
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