Where does the law stand now on discounts for minority holdings in non quasi-partnership companies?
Introduction There has been little in the area of unfair prejudice…
Matthew is a leading barrister in commercial disputes. “A very strong silk”; “his advocacy skills and ability to adapt his arguments when on his feet are flawless”; “very user-friendly and very bright”; “very robust, responsive and thorough”; “his pleadings are second to none” (Chambers & Partners 2023).
The legal directories rate him as a leader in the fields of (1) commercial disputes (2) civil fraud (3) commercial chancery (4) company & partnership & (5) product liability law.
Additional areas of focus include offshore work and professional negligence disputes. Increasingly engaged in cross-border fraud matters, much of his work is international in nature, often involving conflicts of law and jurisdictional issues. He speaks French, German and Spanish. He relishes being in court, has extensive trial advocacy experience and often appears at short notice on freezing injunction and Norwich Pharmacal applications. Further legal directory commendations include:
Advocacy – “An exceptional advocate, with a flair for cross-examination; he really knows how to tease a response from a witness”; “an excellent advocate who knows how to read a courtroom”; “An assassin in cross-examination and clearly bound for the very highest echelons of the Bar”.
Analysis – “intellectually very strong and a good strategic thinker who always puts his client’s objectives front and centre”; “His advice is absolutely brilliant. You can give him a very complicated set of facts and he just takes control and guides you through what you need to do”; “innovative”.
Paperwork – “a wordsmith, both in settling pleadings and penning correspondence”; “[his] advice is amazingly coherent and concise”; “turns stuff around really, really quickly and his paperwork is great”; “strong on paper with an eye for detail”.
Working Style – “a pleasure to work with”; “a really responsive, affable barrister […] commercial in his outlook […] will bend over backwards to get things done.”; “impresses with his enthusiasm and his willingness to go the extra mile.”; “very much works in partnership with the instructing solicitor”.
Recent Commercial Fraud Cases
Vale S.A. & Ors v Steinmetz & Ors  EWHC 343 (Comm) – acting over 2019 to 2022 for defendant to US$1.8 billion fraud claim by Brazilian mining company re joint venture in Guinea. Claim dismissed mid-trial, mid cross-examination of Claimants’ witnesses.
Bourlakova & Ors v Bourlakov & Ors (Chan Div – 2022 to date) – for a defendant to claims (deceit, conspiracy, forgery) re assets worth $ billions, arising from marital breakdown of a HNW couple.
G I Globinvest Ltd (& Ors) v XY ERS UK Ltd (& Ors) (Comm Ct – 2021 to date) – for Swiss defendant company in conspiracy to defraud claim for c.€47m, re investments in an alternative investment fund.
Akintunde Giwa v JNFX Limited & Ors (Chan Div – 2022 to date) – for claimant in c.$16m breach of contract & fraud claims re foreign exchange transactions. Freezing orders obtained at outset.
South Bank Hotel Management Company Limited v Galliard Hotels Limited  EWHC 2030 (Ch) – hotel investment scheme fraud claim; successfully resisting 2 day summary judgment application.
Palmer Birch v Lloyd & Anr  4 WLR 164 – successfully representing claimant. Significant decision: economic torts (conspiracy / procuring breach) overcame effects of a company insolvency.
Recent Commercial Chancery/Company Cases
Rudan v Leo Services & Ors (Companies Ct – 2022 to date) – for Respondent to unfair prejudice petition re fiduciary services business. Allegations of forgery and breaches of duty and the company’s articles by transferring subsidiaries out of group ownership.
Hikari Miso (UK) Limited v Knibbs & Ors (Chan Div – 2021 to date) – for Defendants/Counterclaimants in corporate control battle over company behind well-known Tofu brand (“the Tofoo Co Ltd”).
Westerby Trustee Services Limited & Ors v P2U Holdings Limited & Ors (Companies Ct, 2021 – 22) – successful claim under s.125 of the CA 2006 for rectification of company’s register. Indemnity costs.
Martin v Hochanda Ltd & Ors  EWHC 1988 (Ch) – successful preliminary issue trial in ongoing unfair prejudice petition.
Syndicate Bank v Dansingani & Ors  EWHC 3439 (Ch) – successful undue influence defence.
Recent Commercial Cases
Pedriks v Grimaux  EWHC 3448 (QB) – successfully establishing oral contract and estoppel by representation in trial of breach of contract claim.
Flowcrete UK Ltd & Ors v Watson & Ors  EWHC 2023 (Comm) – successfully resisting springboard relief and computer imaging order applications in confidential information / restrictive covenant / conspiracy claim against former employees.
Ang v Reliantco Investments Ltd  3 WLR 161 – jurisdiction challenge; consumer status, Art.17 Brussels regime. 2020 Comm. Ct trial of claim and counterclaim re Bitcoin future trading.
Goknur v Organic Village Ltd  EWHC 2201 – defending Turkish company at trial of claim re adulterated fruit juice: claim in deceit defeated; no substantive damages awarded to claimant.
LCIA arbitration in Russian oil and gas sector – force majeure / “take or pay” obligations.
Recent Product Liability Cases
JJML SUI Products Litigation & JJML POP Products Litigation (QBD – 2021 to date) acting for two claimant groups in co-ordinated group claims. Matthew’s clients allege defects/negligence against manufacturers of medical devices for treating stress urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.
Combination Hip Prosthesis Litigation (2015 – 2021) – Defending consultant surgeons alleged to have become a “producer” of metal-on-metal hip implants under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.
Matthew has long been recognised as a leading practitioner in commercial disputes. Comments from the directories include:
Matthew is experienced in Commercial Court, QBD, Chancery, Companies Court and TCC proceedings, as well as in arbitrations conducted both ad hoc and under specified institutional rules. His commercial cases often involve group / multi-party actions. Most of his cases straddle various areas of law, including commercial contract, the economic torts, civil fraud, company law and the law of fiduciary duties. His wide sector experience extends to aviation, energy/natural resources and banking disputes.
Matthew’s commercial fraud cases are addressed under the separate heading below (Civil Fraud, Asset Recovery & Injunctive Relief). Recent commercial experiences in other areas of law are grouped under the drop-down headings immediately below.
Matthew regularly appears in and advises on disputes embracing all aspects of commercial contract law. He provides clear advice on the proper construction of contracts and is experienced in litigating matters spanning the whole range of contractual law, across a variety of business contexts. He has acted in a large number of claims alleging misrepresentation.
Matthew has wide experience of domestic and international arbitrations, conducted both ad hoc and under specified institutional rules.
Matthew is experienced in work with an international dimension involving conflicts of laws and jurisdictional issues.
Featured international cases
Matthew is regularly instructed in claims relating to loans, guarantees and other forms of security and which arise more generally from the financial services sector.
In recent years Matthew has built up a significant body of experience in the energy sector. His expertise spans the construction and operation of traditional oil & gas infrastructure facilities, but he also has significant experience in the renewables sector. Matthew’s experiences of product liability cases involving highly technical evidence stand him in good stead when acting in and advising on energy matters.
Matthew has extensive experience of urgent High Court injunction proceedings seeking to restrain the alleged abuse of confidential information / breaches of restrictive covenants across various industry contexts, including recruitment, financial services and the insurance sector. His work in this area draws on and complements his knowledge and experience of economic torts claims and of claims involving breach of directors’ duties. 2021/22 has seen him acting in various restrictive covenant / confidential information claims, including in the insurance broking, recruitment consultancy and retail sectors. In Flowcrete UK Ltd & Ors v Watson & Ors  EWHC 2023 (Comm) he successfully resisted applications for springboard relief and computer imaging orders in a confidential information / restrictive covenant claim against former employees.
Matthew is ranked by Who’s Who Legal and the Legal 500 for his work in this area, which forms a central part of his practice and in which he acts in some of the most significant cases around. Comments include:
He is well used to the complexities and evidential challenges of fraud claims, and has a particular interest and experience in claims in conspiracy and the economic torts more generally. He is experienced in obtaining and resisting (often at short notice) the forms of interim relief commonly associated with claims in fraud, including freezing injunctions and Norwich Pharmacal orders.
Featured Civil Fraud Cases
Matthew has long been recognised as a leading practitioner in commercial chancery and company law disputes. Comments from the directories include:
He is experienced in chancery litigation involving the collapse of business relationships and regularly acts in and advises on partnership disputes under the Partnership Act 1890 and unfair prejudice petitions under s.994 of the Companies Act 2006. He is well versed in matters relating to the alleged misconduct of directors and associated allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, and relief arising from board-room bust-ups in all their many forms.
Matthew has a particular niche in employee/shareholder claims involving directors, and is experienced in bringing shareholder actions in the High Court in tandem with employment tribunal proceedings.
Featured Commercial Chancery & Company Law Cases
Matthew has long been recognised as a leader in product liability work. Comments from the legal directories include:
Matthew’s product liability work is broad-ranging and encompasses:
Featured Product Liability Cases
Matthew is experienced in professional liability and negligence claims, particularly those involving solicitors, independent financial advisors, valuers, surveyors and insurance brokers.
Featured Professional Negligence Cases
Matthew’s experiences in commercial chancery matters and international commercial matters serves him well in offshore litigation, an area in which he has acquired significant experience in recent years.
Featured Offshore Litigation Cases
Matthew is a member of the International Bar Association and of C5, and is attuned to the cultural sensitivities which arise when working for clients from around the globe, and in particular the Asian and CIS markets.
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