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Call: 1972    QC: 1991

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John Martin has particular expertise in company and insolvency litigation as both advocate and judge. The following are examples:


  • Re Propinvest Group Ltd (unreported).  Question of appellate court’s jurisdiction to grant a stay of administration pending hearing of an appeal against the order.
  • Gaardsoe v Optimal Wealth Management Ltd [2013] 2 WLR 550; [2013] BCC 53.  Question of court’s jurisdiction to make an order under Insolvency Act 1986 Sch B1 para 43(6) authorising commencement or continuation of proceedings against a company in administration after administration had ceased and company had gone into creditors’ voluntary liquidation.
  • Re Plymbridge Distributors Ltd (unreported).  Application to terminate administration to enable company to go into creditors’ voluntary liquidation.

Creditors’ voluntary arrangements

  • Re Zebra Industrial Products Ltd [2005] BCC 104.  Application by liquidator for determination of question whether funds were held by him for the benefit of creditors generally or only those creditors who were bound by the CVA.

Derivative claims

  • Reeves v Sprecher [2008] BCC 49.  Application for permission to continue a derivative claim in relation to a company incorporated in Nevis where one of the issues was whether the English court had jurisdiction to grant permission in relation to the internal management of such a company.

Directors’ duties

  • G Attwood Holdings Ltd v Woodward [2009] EWHC 1083 (Ch)
  • British Midland Tool Ltd v Midland International Tooling Ltd [2003] BCLC 523.

Both of these cases concerned the circumstances in which directors’ duties are breached when they make preparations while directors to set up a competing business after their resignation.

 Financial assistance

  • Anglo Petroleum Ltd  v TFB Mortgages [2007] BCC 407.  Complex issues concerning whether the giving of security involved the giving by the company of financial assistance for the purpose of the acquisition of its own shares or to reduce a liability incurred for that purpose contrary to the Companies Act 1985 s151.

Misfeasance proceedings

  • Liquidator of Wendy Fair (Heritage) Ltd v Hobday [2006] EWHC 5803 (Ch).  Claim against directors to contribute to the assets of a company in liquidation on the basis that they continued to trade after they should have concluded that there was no prospect of avoiding an insolvent liquidation.

Provisional liquidation

  • Re Secure Recovery Limited (unreported).  Secretary of State’s application for provisional liquidator on ground of good prima facie case of fraudulent trading.

Unfair prejudice

  • Liberal Catholic Church Corporation v Palmer (unreported).  Dispute over prejudicial conduct of splinter non-conformist sect.
  • Confidential Arbitration – dispute over veto rights conferred by shareholders’ agreements affecting affairs of major international commodities producer
  • Dispute originating in Singapore over majority ability to modify pre-emption rights contained in Articles and in shareholders’ agreement.