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Jamie Holmes

Call: 2014   

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

Commercial

Jamie has a broad and busy commercial practice, with a particular interest in civil fraud claims and related applications for freezing injunctions and other forms of interim relief. He has experience of cases with significant multi-jurisdictional or offshore elements, including in the asset recovery or enforcement context, and in cases that involve insolvency-related issues or complex trust structures.

Jamie is ranked in The Legal 500 2021 as a “Rising Star” separately for both commercial litigation and offshore work, in which he is described as “superb”“very thorough”“very commercial in dealing with clients” and as a practitioner who “extends his thinking to the next level” and “fits into a team well”.

Jamie appears frequently as sole counsel and as a junior in both the High Court and County Court, and in arbitrations, for instructing solicitors based across the country and internationally.

Jamie spent a month in late 2018 on secondment to Ogier’s offices in the Cayman Islands where he worked with Rachael Reynolds, Marc Kish, Ulrich Payne and their team. This included a matter on behalf of a Cayman trust that had been named as a defendant in civil fraud proceedings in the (English) Commercial Court, and that was seeking to resist jurisdiction and set aside service out.

Recent work as sole counsel includes:

  • Acting for the successful claimant/applicant for a £2.5m freezing order against the former principal employee of a supplier company, alleging a procurement/invoicing fraud concerning over £13m of payments and breaches of fiduciary duty, conspiracy and dishonest assistance/knowing receipt.
  • Acting for the potential claimant in a potential breach of contract/negligence claim concerning an investment in a Cayman fund.
  • Acting for the defendants to a claim alleging diversion of business/opportunities pursuant to a fraudulent conspiracy, breaches of fiduciary duty, dishonest assistance and/or knowing receipt, and potential petitioner to wind up the company in question on just and equitable grounds/an unfair prejudice petition.
  • Acting at short notice against a silk for one of the respondents and a third party to an application for freezing orders within bankruptcy proceedings, seeking an order as to the status of the third party’s accounts.
  • Successfully resisting in part an interim injunction (and obtaining fortification) involving allegations of fraud and claims for damages and lost profits in excess of half a million pounds (settled before trial).
  • Acting for a respondent to an unfair prejudice petition seeking over £750,000 pursuant to a s996 share sale.
  • Advising and acting in potential proceedings on the indemnities/warranties within an SPA following the sale of the business, claiming over £500,000.
  • Acting in a jurisdiction challenge to VIAC proceedings claiming over half a million pounds for damages said to arise out of a contract to supply engines for specialist military equipment.
  • Advising and acting in potential proceedings seeking damages for breach of a jurisdiction clause.
  • Succeeding at trial on behalf of a defendant managing agent of a large residential estate in Fulham as to its duties of care to tenants of the estate and the construction and effect of its on-site notices in light of the Consumer Rights Act 2015.
  • Succeeding at trial on behalf of a claimant manufacturer of cold rolled steel in a battle of the forms case where the defendant relied on extensive witness evidence and the EWCA decision in Tekdata v Amphenol (2010).
  • Successfully defending at trial a claim for breach of contract on the basis of promissory estoppel.
  • Acting for claimant former director shareholders of a company in a claim for over £2.75m against the present director shareholder, pursuant to an SPA and loan agreement.
  • Acting on behalf of a defendant company in proceedings seeking specific performance of an alleged agreement to acquire shares in a company, the business of which includes the promotion of medicinal uses of cannabis.
  • Acting on behalf of a claimant casino operator and investor seeking to recover £250,000 pursuant to the terms of an agreement with a defendant casino developer and its sole director (settled before trial).
  • Appearing as sole counsel at a CCMC for claimants seeking over £1m for breaches of fiduciary duty in a complex set of interrelated proceedings in the Business List (ChD) between the two shareholders of a number of companies.
  • Successfully enforcing a Part 36 offer against defendants who alleged it had fraudulently been entered into without their authority, on the basis that it had been entered into with their apparent authority; and resisted an appeal.

Notable work as a junior includes:

  • Acting for the applicant/plaintiff in civil fraud proceedings in Raiffeisen v Scully Royalty in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands, claiming over €40m under the Cayman Fraudulent Dispositions Law and in conspiracy (with Tim Penny QC). This has involved a number of interlocutory hearings including:
    • Successfully obtaining worldwide freezing orders and notification injunctions against respondents including the NYSE-listed Cayman parent entity of the MFC Group, and successfully resisting a jurisdiction challenge by another Canadian defendant, following a 3-day hearing in January 2020. For more details please see the summary here. A 2-day appeal to the Cayman Court of Appeal is listed for September 2021.
    • Successfully obtaining an anti-suit injunction against Scully Royalty for proceedings it has subsequently brought in Malta, at a hearing in September 2020.
    • A further 2-day jurisdiction challenge hearing and cross strike-out application in January 2021.
  • Acting for the claimants in conjoined proceedings concerning a probate claim and a claim as to the ownership of the shares in a BVI company in Morina & Ors v Scherbakova & Ors (with Elspeth Talbot Rice QC, Ben Faulkner and Sparsh Garg).
  • Advising on a potential double-derivate action concerning a potential £m’s fraud against a family business (with Clare Stanley QC).
  • Acting for the defendants in €65m civil fraud proceedings in KMG v Chen & CML in the Commercial Court alleging liability under foreign tort law concerning the enforcement of a US$200m NAI arbitration award, which settled ahead of a 3-week trial in July 2020 (with Jonathan Crow QC and Graeme Halkerston). This involved a number of heavily-contested interlocutory hearings including:
    • [2020] Bus. L.R. 133: a strike out application concerning the rule against reflective loss and the conflicts of laws under Rome II and at Common Law.
    • [2019] EWHC 3634 (Comm): waiver of privilege and whether foreign law advice had been deployed.
    • [2020] EWHC 1203 (Comm): on foreign law expert evidence and amendments that were inconsistent with a case run to resist an earlier forum challenge.
  • Acting for the successful claimants at trial in Summer 2019 in confidential multi-million-US$ LME arbitration proceedings in London, concerning the supply of copper concentrate in China and SOGA, s51; with an award of the full sum sought by the claimant as its primary relief. The proceedings involved a number of interlocutory hearings, including a successfully resisted strike out application in Spring 2019 concerning Attorney General v Blake (with Alan Gourgey QC and Bobby Friedman).
  • Acting for the successful claimants in an 8-day trial in Spring 2018 in confidential ICC international arbitration proceedings in Singapore, concerning claims for breach of contract in relation to a petrochemical plant in Southeast Asia; with an award of over US$40m (with Graeme Halkerston).
  • Acting for the defendant to £13m civil fraud proceedings in the Companies Court involving allegations of misfeasance, fraudulent and wrongful trading, dishonest assistance, knowing receipt, unjust enrichment, unlawful preference payments and de facto/shadow directorship (with Marcia Shekerdermian QC).
  • Acting for a foreign government claimant in asset recovery proceedings in the Commercial Court, seeking orders for preservation of assets and evidence (with David Phillips QC and Nikki Singla QC).
  • Acting for appellants to the Privy Council of a decision of the Court of Appeal of Trinidad & Tobago concerning title to land in Tobago and counter-allegations of fraud, which settled in 2019 (with Martin Hutchings QC).
  • Acting for the appellants in Devoy-Williams v Hugh Cartwright & Amin [2018] 5 Costs L.R. 1105, concerning the acceptance of a Part 36 offer following allegedly dishonest non-compliance with an unless order (with John Wardell QC).
  • Acting for defendants in banking proceedings in Leeds District Registry of the Chancery Division arising out a special administration under the Investment Bank Special Administration Regulations (with Nicholas Medcroft QC).
  • Acting for defendants in proceedings in the Chancery Division for over £500,000 for breach of warranties in a share sale and purchase agreement (with Max Mallin QC).
  • Acting for defendants and conducting a substantial document review for privilege and related issues in civil fraud proceedings for over £12m in the Commercial Court (with Alan Gourgey QC).