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Joanna Smith QC

Call: 1990    QC: 2009

+44 (0)20 7306


Joanna advises and appears in mainstream commercial/chancery litigation on a regular basis. Over the last few years she has:

  • Frederick v Positive Solutions Financial Services Limited. Joanna was instructed to appear in this 2 day appeal to the Supreme Court on vicarious liability in a commercial context in February 2019.  The case settled a few days prior to the appeal being heard.
  • Appeared in Towergate Financial (Group) Limited v Clark [2018] EWCA Civ 2744, an appeal from a refusal to grant summary judgment in a claim for breach of indemnity provisions in a share purchase agreement.
  • Appeared in Team Y&R Holdings Hong Kong Limited v Ghossoub, a fight over an antisuit injunction application and applications to set aside orders for service out of the jurisdiction and for alternative service [2017] EWHC 2401 (comm) and an application for summary judgment [2018] EWHC 2755 (comm).
  • Advised on the drafting of commercial and construction contracts with a view to ensuring that clauses operating on breach will not fall foul of the penalties doctrine (2016).
  • Advised on the content of submissions on the doctrine of penalties for an arbitration in Hong Kong (2016).
  • Acted in an ongoing commercial court claim for breach of contract/breach of fiduciary duty against the former directors of a Middle Eastern marketing company (2016).
    Appeared in the Supreme Court in a seminal case on the doctrine of penalties: Cavendish Square Holding BV v Makdessi [2015] UKSC 67.
  • Advised and acted on behalf of Leeds United in a claim involving the construction of a Technical Kit Supplier Agreement.
  • Appeared in the Court of Appeal in a case on restraint of trade and procuring breach of contract: One Money Mail Ltd v Ria Financial Services [2015] EWCA Civ 1084.
  • Appeared at numerous hearings in a hostile application to remove Administrators from office Re Angel Group Ltd [2015] EWHC 2372 (Ch).
  • Succeeded in the Court of Appeal on an appeal concerning the grant of permission to make a committal application (Cavendish Square Holding BV v Makdessi [2013] EWCA Civ 1540).
  • Successfully defended a claim against liquidators/administrators in conversion in the Chancery Division before Newey J: Euromex Ventures Ltd v BNP Paribas Real Estate Advisory and Property Management UK Ltd [2013] EWHC 3007 (Ch).
  • Acted (together with an intellectual property junior) on behalf of a composer in a claim for royalties (2013).
  • Advised in a claim in the Commercial Court under a memorandum of agreement in connection with a substantial oil infrastructure project that it was expected would be undertaken in Iraq (2013).
  • Appeared in the Queen’s Bench Division before Males J in a successful claim for damages under S 51 of the Sale of Goods Act 1979: Air Studios (Lyndhurst) Ltd v Lombard North Central Plc [2012] EWHC 3162 (QB).
  • Advised and appeared for clients based in Monaco on a multi-million pound claim for breach of an existing settlement agreement.
  • Advised on the construction of the terms of a valuable contract for the exploitation of iron ore.
  • Advised and appeared at the TCC trial of a multi-million pound dispute over the supply of a pan European fibre-optic telecommunications network.
  • Advised and appeared at numerous hearings, including an appeal, concerning the true interpretation of a ‘sole supply’ agreement (Universal Business Solutions v Compass Group Plc [2007] EWHC 1073).
  • Advised and appeared in the Commercial Court in a dispute over the construction of an insurance policy and alleged non-disclosure/misrepresentation.
  • Advised and appeared on an application to strike out a claim involving an alleged carousel fraud.
  • Advised and appeared in a complex contractual dispute arising out of a waste management contract.
  • Advised as to the interpretation of the terms of a prime brokerage agreement between a hedge fund client and Lehman Brothers.