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Jamie Holmes

Call: 2014   

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

Insolvency

Jamie has a broad and busy insolvency practice and frequently appears before the ICC Judges in the High Court, as well as in the County Court, on personal bankruptcy and corporate insolvency matters. Jamie is often instructed in cases involving allegations of fraud or dishonesty, and has experience acting in cases with a multi-jurisdictional or offshore element, complex trust or corporate structures, or in the enforcement or asset recovery context.

Jamie spent a month in late 2018 on secondment to Ogier’s offices in the Cayman Islands where he worked with Marc Kish, Ogier’s head of insolvency in the Caribbean and Asia, and his team. This included in particular in a matter on behalf of joint liquidators at the relatively early stages of a potentially complex liquidation of a Cayman company, investigating potential fraud claims against the company, the extent to which creditors could assert Quistclose or other trusts over the company’s assets, and related Berkeley Applegate relief.

Recent work as sole counsel includes:

  • 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.
  • Acting on behalf of a creditor in bankruptcy proceedings and successfully obtaining a bankruptcy order on a petition debt of over £3.5m against an international businessman.
  • Acting in a series of hearings on behalf of the trustee in bankruptcy of a civil fraudster; including successfully obtaining orders for s366 examination of the bankrupt’s father in his capacity as the administrator of the bankrupt’s mother’s intestate estate.
  • Successfully obtaining an order at less than 24 hours’ notice for the retrospective appointment of joint administrators by the holder of a qualifying floating charge.
  • Acting in on-going proceedings on behalf of the former corporate trustee of a Jersey trust disputing debts stat demanded by a former trustee, including on the basis of a cross claim concerning the trust’s shareholding in a BVI company and the mismanagement of overseas proceedings concerning the same.
  • Acting for one of the Respondents to a s341 and/or s423 claim brought by a trustee in bankruptcy alleging the bankrupt (a former Premier League footballer) perpetrated a £16m Ponzi scheme.  Presently stayed pending determination of a strike out application on the basis of the limitation and service of insolvency applications issues per the decision of the Court of Appeal in re Ide [2020] EWCA Civ 1469.
  • 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 in a series of hearings concerning the validity of a second charge granted after bankruptcy, defended on the basis that the lender did not have notice pursuant to LRA 2002, s86, and seeking specific disclosure in the same on the basis that documents held by a third party where in the control of the respondent pursuant to North Shore Ventures v Anstead Holdings [2012] EWCA Civ 11 and Suez Fortune Investments v Talbot Underwriting [2014] EWHC 2848 (Comm) (settled before trial).
  • Successfully acting in a number of application as to the satisfaction of the pre-cross border merger requirements in the Companies (Cross-Border Mergers) Regulations 2007, including possibly the last ever such application before the end of the Brexit transition period (heard on 18 December 2020).
  • Acting in proceedings in which a company had been placed into MVL concerning a claim as to whether monies paid to the company were by way of loan or an offer to purchase shares.
  • Successfully obtaining permission pursuant to Schedule B1, s65 of the 1986 Act for administrators to make a distribution of a balance of £170,000 to non-preferential unsecured creditors, and an extension to their term of office.
  • Successfully obtaining an order allowing a company to be placed retrospectively into MVL, following an initial defective process, and to remove related documents from the Register.
  • Successfully obtaining an Insolvency Administration Order over a bankrupt estate, concerning a debt of £75,000 owed by the estate.
  • Successfully obtaining an order for specific disclosure against the former director of a company, as part of a dispute between its shareholders.
  • Advising trustees in bankruptcy on a potential claim concerning a transfer at an undervalue of at least £300,000, and a potential s366 application.
  • Acting in a series of hearings for a petitioning creditor law firm in debt-recovery proceedings against their former client, which ultimately included bankruptcy proceedings, and resisting an application to set aside the statutory demand.
  • Successfully obtaining permission pursuant to s216 of the 1986 Act for persons to continue in office as directors of a new company with a similar name.

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.
  • Advising on a potential restructuring pursuant to Part 26A of the 2006 Act as introduced by CIGA 2020 at a time when if it went ahead this would have been the first such application (with Lexa Hilliard QC).
  • 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 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).