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James Ayliffe QC

Call: 1987    QC: 2008

+44 (0)20 7306


James has wide experience of insolvency issues and disputes, both corporate and individual, and a particular expertise in property-related insolvency. He is co-author of Transaction Avoidance in Insolvencies, OUP, 3rd ed (2018), and the specialist editor of the insolvency chapter in one of the principal practitioner texts on landlord and tenant law, Hill & Redman’s Law of Landlord & Tenant.

Some representative cases include:

  • advising landlord of valuable retail premises regarding potential challenge to CVA of well-known restaurant chain tenant;
  • acting for creditor in bitterly contested proceedings to set aside statutory demand based company debtor’s prospective inability to pay a US$6 million loan note;
  • acting for property group in proceedings for resurrection of dissolved group companies to pursue £100 million claims against a third party and appointment of a receiver of the claims with authority to commence legal proceedings to protect against potential limitation defences pending resurrection of companies;
  • advising trustee in bankruptcy and liquidators of well-known property investor and his companies in attempts to recover assets worth in excess of £100m for the benefit of creditors;
  • acting for administrators of HMV in defence of proceedings by its landlords for permission to retake possession of its flagship Oxford Circus store and other stores;
  • acting for tax authorities of foreign state seeking avoidance of transactions by which insolvent tax debtor transferred more than £100m into offshore tax havens;
  • obtaining a vesting order in favour of guarantor to help mitigate substantial on-going costs following disclaimer of lease by liquidator of insolvent tenant;
  • advising lender regarding voidability of proposed transactions under ss 238-239 Insolvency Act 1986;
  • advising landlords regarding entitlement to payment of rent as an expense in the tenants’ administration;
  • acting for well-known car dealership in a complex dispute arising out of the conduct of company administration;
  • advising the purchasers of apartments in a luxury development regarding their options following insolvency of the developer/landlord.

Chambers & Partners 2018 notes that James “is the man for brain teasers at the interface of property and insolvency law”.