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Jonathan Chew

Call: 2010   

+44 (0)20 7306


Jonathan has advised on the consequences of business interruption in the context of non-provision of services, and issues around non-performance of contracts of sale. As part of the successful team in EMA v Canary Wharf he has specialist expertise on supervening illegality, frustration and the law of unexpected changes in circumstance. On the litigation side, he has been involved in applying (formally and informally) for adjournments, of both trials and interim hearing, and other case management issues arising.

Jonathan has a specialised commercial chancery practice with a particular emphasis on fraud and disputes relating to complex structures, particularly with an international element. This specialism is in addition to contractual interpretation, tortious and restitutionary claims that form part of his commercial work.

He has practical experience of advising and obtaining interim relief (freezing injunctions, Norwich Pharmacal and Bankers’ Trust orders) and of succeeding in hard-fought multi- week trials as part of a wider counsel team.

Jonathan is regularly instructed in matters relating to Dubai, whether in Dubai, where he appears before the DIFC Courts, or in London on matters arising out of the Middle East.

Current ongoing matters include:

  • Acting in a multi-million pound multi-party dispute in relation to the purchase of two helicopters, acting for a co-defendant accused of knowing receipt and the subject of a tracing claim (QBD, ongoing).
  • Barclays v Kapoor: Acting as sole counsel in the DIFC Courts for Barclays on a multi- million guarantee claim.
  • Acting as sole counsel as part of a team in a multi-million-dollar DIFC-LCIA arbitration defending a claim in relation to alleged breaches of a JV agreement.
  • Canary Wharf v EMA [2019] EWHC 335 (Ch): led by Joanne Wicks QC acting for the landlord in relation to the much-awaited “Brexit” case, in successfully defeating a claim that Brexit will frustrate a lease.
  • Acting on potential breaches of warranty of a share sale agreement.
  • Acting for the victims of a major property investment fraud relating to development land in central London, including a successful finding of fraud on a summary judgment basis: Aurora Developments v Delta Holdings [2018] EWHC 1047 (Ch).

Other reported cases include:

  • Tavira Securities v Point Ventures FCZO [2017] CFI 26: acting as sole counsel against a silk in a jurisdiction challenge in the DIFC in litigation relating to an alleged share transaction.
  • Matchmove v Dowding [2017] 1 WLR 749: led by Jonathan Seitler QC, acting on an appeal relating to constructive trusts.
  • MASNOL v Cripps Harries Hall [2016] EWHC 2483 (Ch): led by Jonathan Seitler QC, successfully defending two solicitors accused of fraud. After a hard-fought multi-week trial, the individuals involved were wholly exonerated and indemnity costs obtained.
  • Caliendo v Mishcon de Reya [2016] EWHC 150 (Ch): led by Ian Croxford QC and Clare Stanley QC, successfully defending a firm of solicitors accussed of breach of fiduciary duty and negligence arising out of the sale of QPR football club.
  • DAMAC Park Towers Company v Ward (14 December 2015) CA 006/2015: Acting for the DAMAC Group in the DIFC Court of Appeal on a successful appeal in which the Chief Justice confirmed the contractual validity of property reservation agreements and a commercial approach to the construction of the related credit agreements.
  • Dany Lions v Bristol Cars [2014] 2 All ER (Comm) 403: a successful High Court trial as sole counsel arguing that a contractual clause was too vague to be binding, alternatively that reasonable endeavours had been used.