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Christopher Lloyd

Call: 2011

Christopher has a busy commercial chancery practice. He acts as sole counsel in a variety of matters in the High Court and County Courts in commercial litigation, civil fraud claims, insolvency proceedings and trust disputes. He has experience acting as a junior in large-scale civil fraud, unfair prejudice petitions and insolvency litigation both in England and in overseas jurisdictions.

His recent cases include BTA Bank v Ablyazov [2014] 2 CLC 263, in which the Bank successfully obtained disclosure of solicitors’ papers under the fraud exception to privilege; Ardila Investments v ENRC [2015] 2 BCLC 560, a dispute concerning an iron ore mine in which the defendant alleged that licences for the mine had been obtained unlawfully; and Grant v Ralls [2016] BCC 296, a £1.2 million wrongful trading claim.  His current instructions include a claim brought by shareholders alleging fraudulent misrepresentation by the directors of a company who were involved in a management buy-out (a strike out application by the defendants was recently dismissed: Vald. Nielsen v  Baldorino [2016] EWHC 1399 (Comm)); claims brought to recover assets held on purported trusts to satisfy the debts of the settlor; and a series of insolvency claims arising from the dissipation of a company’s assets by a director and his associates.

 

 

Restructuring & Insolvency

Christopher has particular experience in relation to claims brought by office holders against directors and others. He advises regularly on claims for wrongful trading, preferences, undervalue transactions, illegal dividends and breaches of duty / misfeasance. He has advised in respect of the rights and liabilities of guarantors, landlords, floating charge holders, and on the impact of insolvency on contractors under JCT and other construction contracts.

Christopher enjoys the unusual problems that arise on insolvency: he was recently instructed to advise following the collapse of a large regional law firm, and acted in an ad hoc arbitration between an insolvent football club and its successor company as to the entitlement to a £500,000 contingent transfer fee for a premier league footballer.

Christopher appears regularly in the High Court and County Court in both bankruptcy and corporate insolvency proceedings. Recent instructions include:

  • A £1.2 million claim for wrongful trading, which was dismissed by the Judge on the basis that the alleged loss claimed by the liquidators had not been caused by the conduct of the directors (Grant v Ralls [2016] BCC 296, with Christopher Boardman).
  • Claims to recover assets dissipated by a company’s director in advance of its liquidation, including claims under section 423, breaches of duty and the payment of dividends contrary to Part 23 of the Companies Act.
  • Applications for injunctions to restrain presentation of winding up petitions.
  • Bankruptcy applications, including applications for sale and possession (and ancillary injunctive relief), applications for annulment (and rescission of an annulment order by a creditor following the bankrupt’s failure to comply with the Insolvency Rules) and applications to set aside statutory demands.

Christopher also has experience advising on professional negligence matters arising from insolvency proceedings.

Corporate

Christopher has experience acting in and advising upon company and shareholder disputes, particularly in respect of allegations of unfair prejudice. He was instructed as junior counsel in long-running unfair prejudice proceedings in the BVI and he has acted for shareholders in small and medium sized companies in England.

Recent experience includes:

  • Unfair prejudice proceedings brought in the BVI arising from the refusal of certain directors to attend board meetings thereby preventing the board from acting. (2012 – 2014, BVI High Court).
  • Unfair prejudice proceedings in England arising from a shareholder / director’s decision to wind down a company’s business (on-going).

 

Commercial Chancery & Civil Fraud

Christopher’s commercial experience ranges from County Court trials to large-scale multi-jurisdictional litigation. He has acted in a number of claims involving allegations of fraud, and has significant experience of claims governed by foreign law. He has been instructed in mis-selling claims against banks as well as advising on professional negligence claims against IFAs. Christopher has experience obtaining a variety of interim orders associated with commercial litigation including ex parte freezing injunctions, orders in aid of foreign proceedings, and disclosure orders.

Recent experience includes:

  • A claim brought in the BVI under Saudi Arabian law to the ownership of a 50% interest in a Middle Eastern oil lubricants company (2012 – 2014, BVI High Court).
  • An application for disclosure of documents held by three firms of City solicitors on the basis that fraud exception to legal professional privilege applied: BTA Bank v Ablyazov [2014] (with Stephen Smith QC and Tim Akkouh).
  • A claim for payment of a property sold at auction, involving questions of agency and the applicability of section 2 LP(MP)A 1989: Swift Advances v De Lacey [2014] (Norris J).
  • A claim for payment of US$220 million said to be due following the grant of certain licences by the Brazilian environmental authorities, which the defendant alleged had been obtained unlawfully (Ardila Investments v ENRC [2015] 2 BCLC 560, with Stephen Smith QC and Tim Akkouh).
  • A claim arising from a management buy-out in which the shareholders allege that the directors fraudulently misrepresented the company’s position causing the shareholders to sell their shares at an undervalue ( Nielsen v Baldorino [2016] EWHC 1399 (Comm) (ongoing).
  • Injunctive proceedings to freeze assets in the hands of third parties under the Chabra jurisdiction pursuant to section 25 Civil Judgment and Jurisdiction Act 1982 in support of proceedings in Australia.

Trusts & Estates

Christopher has been instructed in a variety of trusts disputes including breach of trust claims and applications to remove trustees. He also has experience advising on the trust law elements of commercial disputes, particularly on constructive and resulting trusts, following and tracing, and other equitable remedies.

He also has experience of probate matters including claims for proprietary estoppel, claims under the Inheritance Act and claims of professional negligence against solicitors. He has advised in respect of insolvent estates, claims arising from donatio mortis causa, and recently appeared in a trial on the applicability of the ‘rule against double portions’.

Education & Awards

  • BA History – Merton College, Oxford
  • GDL (Merit) – BPP University College
  • BPTC (Distinction) – BPP University College
  • Lord Mansfield, Lord Haldane and Hardwicke scholar of Lincoln’s Inn.
  • The university Gibbs prize for the top first in his year
  • Postmaster of Merton College

Membership & Publications

COMBAR

Chancery Bar Association

Recognition

‘Highly commended’ by Legal Week  – Stars at the Bar 2017

News

JSC Mezhdunarodniy Promyshlenniy Bank v Pugachev & ors [2017] EWHC 2426 (Ch)
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ERSKINE NAMED FRAUD LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR
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