Practice Areas

Corporate

Corporate

We are experts in company law, corporate governance and corporate disputes.  We have helped to shape corporate practice, both in the UK and in key financial centres globally.

We combine unrivalled strength in depth in corporate law with commercial acumen, to deliver innovative strategies and pragmatic, real-world solutions to the most complex transactions and disputes involving companies.

  • Directors' duties and corporate governance
  • M&A and corporate reorganisations
  • Capital markets and structured finance
  • Joint ventures
  • Companies Act advice
  • Shareholder disputes and shareholder activism
  • Corporate regulation and enforcement

The best corporate set: heavyweight and authoritative, yet also approachable and practical

Leading Transactions & Cases:

Acquisition of Friends Life by Aviva –

£5.6bn acquisition, to create the largest life and pensions firm in the UK.

Bid by Qatar’s Investment Authority (QIA) and Brookfield for Songbird Estates - the owner of Canary Wharf –

The £2.6bn bid was the largest property deal in a decade.

Virgin Money IPO –

Virgin Money’s £1.25bn flotation on the London Stock Market in November 2014

Acquisition of Invensys plc by Schneider Electric –

£3.4bn takeover of the British engineering group.

Glencore takeover of Xstrata –

£26bn merger between Xstrata, a mining company and Glencore, a commodities trading house, to create one of the world's largest natural resource groups.

Vodafone sale of its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless for $130bn –

The largest corporate deal in a decade.

Re Bumi plc –

Complex shareholder dispute in which 9 Erskine barristers represented different parties.

Financial Services

Financial Services

Our expertise covers a wide range of contentious and non-contentious FSMA work.  Our strengths in corporate, banking and finance litigation combined with our pre-eminence in corporate governance and transactions, means we are well-placed to deliver advice and advocacy to clients on complex financial services matters.

We regularly undertake pioneering work in this sector, including the leading cases on prospectus liability and in the field of business transfers.

We have advised various regulatory bodies, including the FCA, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission and the Channel Islands Stock Exchange.

  • Insurance and banking business transfers (Part VIIs)
  • Funds, collective investment schemes and public offers of securities
  • Prospectus liability and market abuse
  • Securitisation and structured finance
  • Financial conduct, regulation and enforcement
  • Mis-selling claims and Conduct of Business Rules

Leading Transactions & Cases:

RBS Rights Issue Litigation –

Prospectus liability under s.90 FSMA arising from RBS' 2008 rights issue.

Lehmans Client Money –

Questions concerning the statutory trust created by the client money rules in the FSA Handbook at CASS 7.

Lehman Brothers v DZ Bank –

Dispute regarding the interpretation of tri-party repo agreements following the insolvency of Lehman Brothers.

Integration by Royal London of the long-term insurance business of Co-operative Insurance –

Part VII FSMA transfer of insurance business.

Litigation and Arbitration

Litigation and Arbitration

We are strategic, focused and highly experienced litigators. We represent clients in a wide range of corporate disputes and commercial and financial litigation in the Commercial Court, Chancery Division and in international arbitrations and offshore jurisdictions.

Erskine teams have taken the lead in landmark cases across our core practice areas, including some of the largest civil fraud, corporate and insolvency disputes of recent times.

  • Shareholder and joint venture disputes
  • LLP and funds disputes
  • Civil fraud and asset recovery
  • Commercial and contractual disputes
  • Domestic and international arbitration
  • Insolvency, banking and financial services litigation
  • Injunctions and interim relief

Impressive firepower particularly at QC level

Leading Transactions & Cases:

JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov –

Global Dispute of the Year, 2014 (American Lawyer Magazine) - complex civil fraud proceedings which have resulted in over 70 leading decisions, including 15 in the Court of Appeal.

Hewlett Packard and Autonomy v Lynch –

Acting for Hewlett Packard entities in a £3bn breach of fiduciary duty and deceit claim against former directors of Autonomy.

RBS Rights Issue –

Acting for institutional shareholders in this high-profile prospectus liability claim arising from RBS' 2008 rights issue.

Mezhprombank v Pugachev –

Civil fraud dispute against the former owner of Mezhprombank, who is currently subject to a US $2bn worldwide freezing injunction.

Eclairs Group Limited v JKX Oil & Gas Plc –

Questions whether a power in articles of association to impose voting and transfer restrictions in relation to shares had arisen and, if so, whether it was exercised for the proper purpose.

BAT Industries v Winward –

Application by BAT for the appointment of receivers over a claim by a debtor for $800m in relation to unlawful dividends. Part of multi-headed series of commercial disputes in the Commercial Court and the Chancery Division.

Re: Charterhouse Capital –

Leading judgment from Court of Appeal on unfair prejudice petition in respect of a private equity LLP.

Liverpool Football Club and RBS v Hicks –

Shareholder dispute regarding ownership of Liverpool Football Club.

Restructuring and Insolvency

Restructuring and Insolvency

We are a leading set in both contentious insolvency and corporate restructuring.  Members of Chambers have been at the forefront of the litigation arising from the largest insolvencies of recent years.

We have particular strength in areas where insolvency meets banking and finance or civil fraud, including litigation arising from the insolvency of financial institutions; advising bond-holders and security-holders; the interpretation of financial instruments; and pursuing delinquent owners and directors.

We have expertise in complex cross-border corporate insolvencies, including international corporate restructuring schemes and matters under the Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations, often involving complicated jurisdictional issues.

  • Solvent and insolvent restructuring
  • Schemes, administrations and CVAs
  • Cross-border insolvency proceedings
  • Bonds, banking and finance
  • Asset recovery and challenging transactions
  • Contested and public interest winding-up
  • Directors' disqualification

A real appreciation of the complexeties of the insolvency legislation

Leading Transactions & Cases:

Trustees of Olympic Airlines SA Pension & Life Assurance Scheme v Olympic Airlines SA –

Supreme Court decision on the meaning of “establishment” under Insolvency Regulation 1346/2000 art.2 (h).

Lehman Brothers –

A number of Erskine barristers have been instructed on multiple claims arising from the insolvency of Lehman Brothers.

Singularis v PwC –

Privy Council decision on appeal from the Bermuda Court of Appeal. Extent of the common law power of a court to give assistance to the liquidator of a foreign company.

PwC v Saad –

Privy Council decision on appeal from the Bermuda Court of Appeal which held that the Bermuda Court had no jurisdiction to wind up a foreign non-permit company.

MF Global –

Special administration regime: various issues relating to the manner in which the administrators should deal with the claims of clients, including how to determine the method of valuing client money claims under the FSA ‘client money’ rules.

Assenagon Asset Management v IBRC –

Acting for a noteholder seeking to challenge the validity of a substantial debt restructuring carried out by Anglo-Irish Bank

International and Offshore

International and Offshore

Most of our work has an international element, whether we are advising on multi-jurisdictional transactions or litigating complex cross-border disputes.

Our members are active in a large number of offshore jurisdictions, including the Channel Islands, Cayman, BVI, Bermuda, Turks & Caicos, St Vincent and Grenadine, Hong Kong and Singapore.

We have extensive trial experience in many of these countries, from First Instance to Supreme Court and Privy Council.

Leading Transactions & Cases:

Validus v IPC (Bermuda) –

Hostile scheme of arrangement to effect takeover.

Waddington v Chan (Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal) –

Multiple derivative action (the first reasoned decision on multiple derivative actions in a common law jurisdiction outside the USA).

Cukurova Finance International v Alfa Telecom Turkey Ltd (Privy Council) –

Right of appropriation of shares resulting from default on $1.6bn loan.

Singularis v PwC (Privy Council) –

The extent of the common law power of a court to give assistance to the liquidator of a foreign company.

Culross Global SPC v Strategic Turnaround Master Partnership (Privy Council) –

Power to suspend redemptions of shares in hedge funds.

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