Wilberforce Chambers enjoys a sterling reputation both for its “tremendous strength in depth” and its well-honed credentials in commercial chancery work, with fellow practitioners labelling the set a “serious rival” in highly contested commercial disputes. It has an excellent commercial practice and is described as “the best chancery commercial chambers there is” at the Bar. “A great commercial litigation set with excellent specialists.” Clients refer to the additional strength of real international experience that Wilberforce has and its ability to take on complex, multi-jurisdictional instructions. (Quotes from both the 2022 edition of Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500)
Our strength is having the combined expertise in the different areas of law that are often present in complex business and commercial situations. This together with genuine international and offshore experience, if the dispute has multi-jurisdictional aspects, helps to meet client demand for specialist assistance in resolving commercial disputes.
Some of the leading commercial cases that Wilberforce have been involved in include:
- The Libyan Investment Authority v Credit Suisse and others – the latest chapter in the long running and high-profile litigation instigated by the LIA seeking to recoup funds invested during the Gaddafi dictatorship in Libya.
- Takhar v Gracefield Developments Limited – Supreme Court case establishing that a person who applies to set aside an earlier judgment on the basis of fraud does not have to demonstrate that the evidence of this fraud could not have been obtained with reasonable diligence before the earlier trial.
- AHAB v SAAD – a multi-billion claim relating to a complex, cross-border fraud before the Courts of the Cayman Islands.
- Naftogaz v Gazprom – resisting an application in the Commercial Court for immediate enforcement of an arbitral award of almost $3 billion granted in an SCC arbitration.
- Grupo Mexico v Registrar of Companies – Court of Appeal case concerning the question of the Court’s power to order rectification of the register to reverse the administrative restoration of an LLP where the restoration had been obtained through the provision of fraudulent material.
- Libyan Investment Authority v JP Morgan and others – a jurisdiction challenge involving a Libyan businessman against whom a claim had been brought by the Libyan Investment Authority alleging fraud and corruption in relation to transactions that it had entered into with Bear Stearns bank in 2007 to the value of $200m.
- KeyMed Ltd v Michael Woodford and Paul Hillman – one of The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2018. Claims against the former Managing Director and Finance Director of the Claimant company for breach of duty and conspiracy, in connection with benefits provided to the directors from the Claimant company’s pension scheme
- Cavendish Square Holding BV v Makdessi – acting on behalf of Cavendish in relation to the continued existence of the doctrine of penalties in both commercial and consumer contracts.
- Yukos Oil v Russian Government – acting on behalf of Yukos in relation to offshore elements of US $50 billion arbitration against the Russian Government.
- Wadour v Nekrich in the Supreme Court in Gibraltar. Wadour (a subsidiary of Rosneft) claiming the proceeds of sale of consignments of oil allegedly diverted by Nekrich and Sagredos.
- Madoff Securities International Ltd – acting in relation to various different claims arising from Madoff Investment Scandal.
- Acting for The Government of the Turks & Caicos in a multimillion dollar civil recovery programme. This is a high-profile programme employing some of the world’s leading asset recovery lawyers which is the result of an inquiry by Sir Robin Auld that highlighted widespread corruption on the islands. The use of both civil and criminal mechanisms has been praised widely.
- Leeds United FC v Football League – acting for Leeds in dispute of 15 point penalty imposed on the club.
- Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi v Ferrero – acting for the claimants banks in a complex commercial fraud claim for recovery of €30 million.
- ISIS v Kaupthing – £400 million claim in the Isle of Man for breach of directors and shadow directors’ duties in relation to improvident lending, borrowing and syndication of debt and equity investment in Somerfield supermarket.
- Langbar International Ltd v Rybak & Others – acting for the Rybak family in multi-jurisdictional fraud claim regarding alleged forged certificates of deposit.
- Stone Consultants Ltd v Natwest Bank – acting in a claim for dishonest assistance, conspiracy, deceit, unjust enrichment and negligence arising from the bank’s unwitting involvement in one of the UK’s biggest Ponzi schemes.
- ITS v GP Noble – acting in a multi-jurisdictional asset recovery exercise arising out of the largest pension fraud since Maxwell.
- Television Autonomica Valenciana SA v Imagina – Concurrent proceedings in Spain and England over F1 licensing agreement, lis alibi pendens.
- Chuan Pu Wang v Armaments Ministry of Republic of China defended US$1 billion multi-jurisdictional claims of corruption and fraud resulting from sale of French defence equipment to Taiwan which formed well-known political scandal.
Our members offer expert advice and advocacy in relation to a wide range of commercial and financial areas.
- Banking and financial services
- Civil fraud and asset recovery
- Commercial contract disputes
- Company law
- IT and telecoms
- Joint venture and partnership disputes
- Regulatory and disciplinary
- Sports law
Our experience in commercial dispute resolution spans all courts and tribunals in the UK, courts and tribunals in offshore centres and arbitral tribunals.