Company law

Wilberforce has a strong reputation for its work across all areas of company law, including financial assistance, shareholder disputes and directors’ duties issues. It has particular expertise on high-value corporate reorganisations and on offshore transactional advice and litigation.

The complementary expertise of all our members in equity and trusts provides the framework for a deeper understanding of the issues ensuing from breaches of the fiduciary duties owed to companies, equitable compensation, and the proprietary remedies arising out of wrongful disposals of company assets.

Our members offer expert advice and advocacy in relation to a wide range of company law issues such as:

  • Shareholder disputes
  • 994 petitions (under Companies Act 2006)
  • Derivative actions
  • Share and business sale agreements
  • Breach of warranty disputes
  • Shareholder agreements
  • Financial assistance
  • Directors’ duties and negligence
  • Disqualification of directors
  • Restoration of companies to the register
  • OEICs
  • Corporate insolvency – winding up, administration, CVA, receivership
  • Accounting/audit negligence

Instructions come from large, multinational corporations, through to medium sized and small companies and their directors and shareholders. A number of our members have particular experience of company law disputes in other jurisdictions, including most of the principle offshore jurisdictions, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Rankings and recognition

Wilberforce is ranked as a leading company law set in both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500. Coverage below.

Chambers & Partners UK 2024: Wilberforce Chambers represents an excellent choice of set for company matters. Its barristers frequently represent clients faced with domestic and cross-border shareholder disputes, issues of directors’ duties and breaches of fiduciary duty, among other matters. Its reputation for handling offshore work is particularly strong. Notable recent instructions include the liquidators’ claim of breach of fiduciary duties against the former directors of BHS, and a share dispute regarding Laboratoire XO, which was pursued in both the UK and Luxembourg.

The Legal 500 UK 2024: Wilberforce Chambers has ‘strength-in-depth in all areas to the highest standard’ for insolvency and company law matters. The set has ‘a wide range of amazing juniors all the way up to the KCs, but particularly a phenomenal stable of mid-level juniors – you can’t go wrong’. Members are sought after for both domestic and cross-border company law work, including financial assistance, shareholder disputes and directors’ duties matters. Lexa Hilliard KC recently acted for the defendant in Titanium Capital Investments Limited, Philip Falzon Sant Manduca & Others v. Jonathan Hughes, Hughes Group Limited & Others, a high-value dispute between former partners of a business selling Covid tests. In Re Zaha Hadid, the vastly experienced Terence Mowschenson KC conducted an inquiry into corporate governance at the architectural practice of the late Dame Zaha Hadid. In 2022, the set recruited Thomas Grant KC from Maitland Chambers, who handled Wells v Hornshaw, Re Transwaste Aggregates for the claimants, which resulted in a fifteen-day High Court trial in respect of an unfair prejudice petition. Outstanding junior Sri Carmichael is frequently instructed on s.994 unfair prejudice petitions and breach of directors’ duty claims.

Chambers Bar Awards 2023: Wilberforce wins Set of the Year and Chancery Set of the Year

Chambers Bar Awards 2023Tim Penny KC wins Chancery Silk of the Year

The Legal 500 Bar Awards 2022: Wilberforce wins Chancery Set of the Year

Chambers Bar Awards 2022Clare Stanley KC wins Chancery Silk of the Year

Chambers Bar Awards 2021Thomas Grant KC wins Chancery Silk of the Year

Notable cases

Say Chong Lim v Francis Ong et al [2023]

A claim relating to a property portfolio worth in excess of £50 million pertains to an alleged fraud perpetrated by defendant over a number of years through a complex company structure. The case was commenced by worldwide freezing order.

Read the Say Chong Lim v Francis Ong et al judgment here.

In the matter of Avivo Group [2022]

Acting for the successful respondent in one of the first reported decisions in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands in this important case on when the Court will appoint inspectors to examine into and report on the affairs of a company at the behest of a minority shareholder.  Although a case on s.64 of the Cayman Companies Act, similar statutory provisions are to be found in legislation throughout the Commonwealth, and hopefully this case will be a useful precedent in those jurisdictions too.

Read In the matter of Avivo Group judgment here.

Re BHS Group Limited [2022]

Liquidators’ claim against former directors of BHS for breach of fiduciary duty, negligence and wrongful trading.

Read Re BHS Group Limited judgment here.

In the Matter of Olalekan Akinyanmi v Lekoil Ltd [2022]

This case shows the Cayman Islands Grand Court applying the rules of natural justice to require an applicant for ex parte relief to share with the other party all documents shown to the judge. It is also a useful illustration of the court evaluating the balance of convenience and refusing an injunction to restrain a party from implementing a challenged contract for the allotment of shares, which would have the effect of diluting existing shareholdings.

Read In the Matter of Olalekan Akinyanmi v Lekoil Ltd judgment here.

Al Jaber and others v Mitchell and others [2021]

A keenly awaited Court of Appeal decision which considers the application of the doctrine of immunity from suit to statements given by a former director during an examination under section 236 Insolvency Act 1986.

Read Al Jaber and others v Mitchell and others judgment here.

Re Jabac Finance Ltd [2021]

Combined proceedings for breach of statutory duty, breach of fiduciary duty and unfair prejudice under section 994 of the Companies Act 2006.


Transomas Ltd (2) Transomas Investment Limited v (1) Kheri Trading (2) Tarnjit Singh [2021]

This case concerns a family dispute, and alleged efforts made by one son of a patriarch to remove value from the family business to prejudice of, in particular, his sister.

Floreat Investment Management Limited v Benjamin Churchill and others 2021

A high stakes fraudulent breach of fiduciary duty claim which is analytically challenging due to the complex corporate structures involved, the interplay with contractual arrangements and the impact of this on the corporate governance and the obligations of the key parties to the various companies.

Oberman v Collins [2021]

This case involved an unfair prejudice petition relating to the ownership of a company forming an £8m property portfolio. It has potentially significant ramifications for unmarried couples who jointly conduct a business together.

Re Force India (Formula 1) [2019]

A consortium led by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, father of F1 racing driver Lance Stroll, acquired the business and assets of the Force India racing team. The transaction was exceptionally complex, and ground breaking in that asset purchases were historically prohibited by the FIA.

New Look Retailers Limited [2019]

Advising the guarantor of rent due on leases taken out by New Look after the New Look CVA (Company Voluntary Arrangement).

Sky Stream Corp v Alexander Pleshakov [2018]

Dispute over ownership of 20 per cent of the shareholding of Transaero Airlines (one of Russia’s largest airlines). Acting for the claimant in both the BVI Commercial Court and the Court of Appeal.

Read Sky Stream Corp v Alexander Pleshakov judgment here.

Paylor v Bowers [2018]

Contested worldwide freezing order proceedings in the context of fraudulent breach of statutory and fiduciary duty and tracing claims against the struck-off directors of two companies involved in multi-million pound fraudulent “Ponzi” schemes straddling jurisdictions such as the UAE, Brazil and Panama.

Read Paylor v Bowers judgment here.

ABC Company (SPV) v J & Co

An application by an investor in a split portfolio company which had suspended redemptions of a minority of its portfolios to wind up the company.

Planck v Tinsel Group and Vitol Holdings

A shareholder dispute proceeding in Rotterdam concerning a significant stake in one of the world’s largest energy traders.

Apex Global Management Limited v FiCall Limited and Others

A multi-million pound shareholders’ dispute between the shareholders of FiCall.

Re ICP Strategies Cayman Islands

Acting for the liquidator landmark decision enabling foreign courts to rely on fraudulent trading provisions of the Cayman Companies Law.

Insights View all thought leadership

  1. Placeholder


    Four wins for Wilberforce at Chambers UK Bar Awards 2023

    We are absolutely delighted to have picked up four awards at last night’s Chambers UK Bar Awards! We are proud to announce that Wilberforce Chambers won the highly coveted ‘Set of the Year‘ award, as well as ‘Chancery Set of... Read more

    Friday 1 December 2023

    View more
  2. Placeholder

    Recent Cases

    Permission to appeal in Mitchell v Al Jaber [2023] EWHC 364 (Ch)

    Company law, Commercial disputes, International / offshore

    Clare Stanley KC | Jia Wei Lee | Lemuel Lucan-Wilson
    Wednesday 5 April 2023

    View more
  3. Placeholder


    John McGhee KC listed in The Lawyer Hot 100

    We are delighted to announce that John McGhee KC has been listed in The Lawyer Hot 100 2023! The Lawyer’s write-up on John reads as follows: “Wilberforce Chambers’ John McGhee KC was so busy last year he didn’t have much... Read more

    Monday 23 January 2023

    View more
  4. Placeholder

    Recent Cases

    In the matter of Avivo Group – FSD 145 of 2022 (RPJ)

    Company law, International / offshore

    Clare Stanley KC
    Wednesday 21 December 2022

    View more

View all thought leadership

Related Barristers