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Marcia Shekerdemian QC

Call: 1987    QC: 2015

+44 (0)20 7306 0102mshekerdemian@wilberforce.co.uk

Insolvency

Marcia specialises in all aspects of personal and corporate insolvency and company law, including bankruptcy, administrations, receiverships, liquidations, voluntary arrangements, shareholders’ disputes, wrongful trading, misfeasance, disqualification of directors, directors’ duties, derivative claims and security and priority issues. She has a particular interest in cross-border insolvency.

Marcia acts for office holders, individuals, directors and insolvent companies.

Some of her recent insolvency/company cases include:

  • Re Onix Capital SA (2016 and ongoing). Marcia is acting for the Chilean Liquidator following the collapse of this Chile investment company with debts of over $200 million amidst allegations of a widespread international “Ponzi” type fraud, perpetrated within the Group Arcano Group, in Chile, the US asnd the BVI. Marcia obtained recognition of the Chiean liquidation in the UK (thought to be the first such order ever to be obtained in respect of a Chilean insolvency) the BVI and the US.
  • Re an Insurance Company (2016). Marcia advised and acted for the purchasers of the business of an insurance company in obtaining a waiver from the Financial Conduct Authority of the CASS 5 client money rules following the insolvent liquidation of the vendor company.
  • Re Craig Whyte (2016). This high profile bankruptcy concerns the former Chairmen of Rangers Football club who is currently being investigated for fraud. Marcia was instructed by Mr Whyte’s trustee in bankruptcy, Louise Brittain in proceedings against the Scottish Prosecuting Authorities to determine the status of property owned by Mr Whyte but frozen by the prosecutions, the question being whether and at what stage that property could be seized by Ms Brittain.
  • Orb a.r.l Marcia acted for the secured creditor and litigation funder of this Jersey company in the framework of a multi-million pound litigation funding arrangement following the collapse of the Orb v Ruhan proceedings, amongst other things providing advice for the Royal Courts of Jersey in connection with intended administration proceedings.
  • Re Stadler (November 2015) Marcia successfully represented the Respondents in defeating the trustee in bankruptcy’s attempt to enforce a declaration of trust over a property in Mallorca, running the defence of non est factum.
  • Re ARM Asset Backed Securities Ltd (in provisional liquidation) (2016 and ongoing).  Marcia is representing the Non-Pending Bondholder group following the widely reported collapse of this Luxembourg registered investment company after the issuer of £127 million so-called “death bonds”. The central question is whether any of the bondholder groups have proprietary claims to any funds held by the provisional liquidators (whether by virtue of a CASS statutory trust or otherwise or by virtue of any provision of Luxembourg law). Other issues include possible “waterfall” distribution and structuring issues.
  • Timothy Darren Baker (sub. nom Wood v Baker) (31 July 2015 HH Judge Hodge QC) (ongoing). Marcia has been representing the trustee in bankruptcy for 5 years in this complex and long running bankruptcy of a convicted fraudster. Most recently, Marcia obtained freezing orders and proprietary freezing orders in the context of a payroll fraud. The proceedings concern the ambit of section 307 of the Insolvency Act 1986 and piercing the corporate veil in order to claim corporate assets as the Bankrupt’s own.
  • OGX Petroleo e Gas SA (August 2015) Marcia represented the Respondent company in anti-suit proceedings following the recognition under the Cross Border Insolvency Regulations 2006 of the court supervised re-structuring of a Brazilian oil company.
  • Re Wolverton Investments Ltd (April 2015) (Chief Registrar Baister). Six day misfeasance trial in which Marcia successfully represented the Defendant directors, obtaining indemnity costs.
  • The Black Ant Company Ltd [2014] EWCH 1161 (Ch) [2016] EWCA Civ. Marcia represented the Joint Administrators at first instance and in the Court of Appeal in this £15 million dispute involving the priority between competing charges over a property portfolio. The issues include the construction of variations to facility letters and their effect and questions of “tacking”.
  • Re Vladimir Abramovich Kekhman [2014] BPIR 959, [2015] EWHC 396 (led by Alan Gourgey QC at first instance and on appeal). Marcia acted for the JSC Bank of Moscow in its challenge of to the UK bankruptcy of a Russian oligarch on the grounds of forum shopping.
  • Re Bernard McNamara. Marcia advised and represented Mr McNamara (who was then thought to be Ireland’s biggest bankruptcy “tourist” with debts of €2 billion) in his opposition to the suspension of his automatic discharge from bankruptcy (2014).
  • Re Glascon Ltd (2014 – 2015, settled). Marcia acted for the liquidators of the UK paying agent of the Czech based Bohemia Crystal Group in £13m misfeasance proceedings against the former directors.
  • Re Infinitum Consulting Group Ltd (2014 and ongoing, trial in October 2015). Marcia is representing the liquidator in this £2m misfeasance/preference/transaction at an undervalue claim.
  • Re Sixty (UK) Ltd. Marcia is representing the liquidators in £15m negligence proceedings against the former Supervisors of the Company’s now notorious failed CVA (2013 and ongoing, trial estimated in 2016.
  • Hellard and Hunt v Todd. Marcia successfully represented the Trustees in Bankruptcy at trial. The Court held that an agreement to grant a lease was a sham and accordingly set it aside (2013).
  • Re Legal & Equitable Securities Plc [2012] EWHC 910 (Ch). Marcia acted for the liquidator in what has become a key authority on the nature of indemnity rights and whether they are provable as contingent liabilities. A particular unusual feature of this case was that it involved a members’ voluntary liquidation.
  • Re Ultraclass Ltd, sub nom Michael v Assemakis & Evans (2012). Marcia (leading Philip Hinks) acted for the liquidator in this multimillion pound fraud proceedings arising out of a ‘land banking’ scam. Obtained freezing injunctions and their continuation without a requirement that the limited cross-undertaking in damages be fortified.
  • Re Avocet Hardware Taiwan Ltd (2012). Marcia represented the joint administrators on their application for a winding up order of a UK company whose principal assets and liabilities were in Taiwan and China, persuading the Court that the administrators were not under a duty to commence parallel insolvency proceedings or other enforcement proceedings in Taiwan (2012)
  • New Oxford Street Property Ltd. Marcia successfully represented the minority shareholders on a contested administration application. Marcia was brought into the case to argue discrete issues on behalf of the shareholders as to the terms of the underlying shareholders’ agreement and their impact on the ability of one shareholder group to apply for an administration order without the consent of the other shareholder group (2012).
  • Re MF Global Ltd (2012) Marcia advised significant investors in the first “Special Administration” on the status of funds held in segregated and non-segregated accounts.
  • Re Sustainable Growth Group Ltd. Marcia acted for the Proceeds of Crime Receiver in four inter-linked applications in which she successfully applied for administration orders in respect of four companies alleged to have been the vehicle for a £33 million Ponzi fraud (2012).
  • Re Autogas (Europe) Ltd. Marcia represented the liquidators on behalf of the claimant in fraud proceedings against the directors and others involved in a €5 million MTIC fraud, appearing in court both in the UK and the Isle of Man (2012).
  • Re Minmar (929) Ltd [2011] EWHC 1159. Marcia represented the administrator in this important decision on defective administration appointments by directors.
  • Re Awal Bank BSC [2009] (and ongoing). Marcia represented the External Administrators of this Bahrain registered bank in cross-border recognition proceedings both in the High Court and in the Cayman Islands following the collapse of the Saad Group of companies with debts of in excess of $8 billion. She continues to advise the External Administrators in particular with regard to their dealings with the Central Bank of Bahrain and the repeated extensions of the administration.
  • Thorniley v HMRC [2008] 1 WLR 1516. This was a test case, brought by Marcia’s clients, the company administrators, against HMRC with its active support. The question for the Court was whether a bank creditor could participate in the ‘prescribed part’ under Section 176A of the Insolvency Act in respect of its floating charge shortfall, or whether the whole of that part would fall to be shared amongst the unsecured creditors (including HMRC) to the exclusion of the bank.
  • Prudential Assurance Co Ltd v PRG Powerhouse Ltd [2007] EWCH 1002. Marcia was led by Paul Morgan QC (as he then was) in this landmark decision on guarantee stripping and CVAs.