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Sebastian has extensive experience of company litigation and has worked on a number of high-profile disputes involving both offshore and onshore company and partnership law issues.
He is regularly instructed on cases involving complex corporate structures and has particular experience with shareholder disputes, unfair prejudice claims and claims against directors for breaches of fiduciary duties. The breadth of Sebastian’s commercial and chancery practice means that he also frequently advises where company law issues interact with other legal areas such as trust law, commercial law, financial services and pensions law.
Notable matters that Sebastian has worked on include the following:
- Madoff litigation. Acting on several pieces of litigation arising out of the massive international fraud perpetrated by Bernard Madoff through the largest ever Ponzi scheme in which investors lost almost $65bn. This has included acting on behalf of investment fund managers in a claim brought against them by individual investors for having invested and lost the entirety of the sums in fund in Madoff’s Ponzi scheme and on behalf of the private individual, Mrs Sonja Kohn, in defending claims worth US $19bn that have been brought by the trustee in the US liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (with Terence Mowschenson QC)
- D.E. Shaw -v- Orient Express Hotels Ltd. Acting for a high-profile Bermudian company listed on the New York Stock Exchange in multi-million pound litigation brought by the claimant hedge funds concerning the legality of its share ownership structure. Successful in defending the claimant’s petition and striking out various allegations made against the directors of the company for breaches of fiduciary duties and unfair prejudice (with Terence Mowschenson QC).
- Chapman -v- Vigar. Acting for the director and majority shareholder of a private company in relation to successful proceedings concerning the ownership of certain shares in the company which had been settled on a workers’ trust that had failed (with Thomas Seymour).
- Langstone Leisure Limited -v- Willers. Acting for a company on its ongoing claims against its former managing director based on negligence and breaches of fiduciary duty in relation to the costs incurred by the company in funding litigation brought by the liquidator of a debtor company (with Terence Mowschenson QC).
- Re Foxcrest Ltd. Advising the directors of the company on the appropriate procedure for an application for the reduction of share capital and successfully obtaining an order from the Companies Court.
- Re IPEC Limited. Advising on the form and contents of an application to rectify the register of members of a company at Companies House.
- Re Nortel Networks UK Pension Fund. Advising the trustee of the Nortel Networks UK Pension Scheme in regulatory proceedings that involved substantial issues of company valuation where a single company in an interdependent group fails to be valued (with Michael Tennet QC).
- Advising members of a corporate residents’ association on a potential derivative action based on the legal validity of actions taken by the company and by certain members of the company including the requisitioning of an Extraordinary General Meeting of the shareholders, the replacement of the directors and the approval by the company of a deed granting rights of way to the members of the company.
- Advising on a number of company law and partnership issues arising in the context of a large international farming partnership dispute. This case involved not only a number of complex legal issues but also the sensitive handling of what was a particularly acrimonious partnership dissolution.
- Advising on and successfully obtaining numerous wind-up petitions on behalf of creditors of companies.
- Advising on changes brought in by the Companies Act 2006, such as in relation to the duties of directors, derivative action and unfair prejudice.