Practice overview

Rachael specialises in commercial/chancery work. Her practice encompasses civil fraud, commercial, company and insolvency disputes and her cases typically involve allegations of fraud and dishonesty. She regularly deals with applications for freezing injunctions and other urgent interim relief.

Rachael is an experienced advocate and recent work includes acting in BHS Group Limited (in liquidation) & others v Dominic Chappell, Lennart Henningson, Dominic Chandler and Keith Smith (one of The Lawyer’s Top 20 cases for 2023).

Rachael is ranked as a leading junior in both The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners.

Rachael's expertise

Download Insolvency CV

Insolvency

Rachael is often instructed on insolvency cases which are of a complex or urgent nature. She appears regularly in the High Court before ICC Judges.

Her experience extends to recognition applications under CBIR 2006, fraudulent and wrongful trading, misfeasance, antecedent transactions, unlawful dividends and disguised distributions, orders for possession and sale in bankruptcy proceedings where there are issues relating to beneficial ownership or equity of exoneration, annulment applications and appeals against adjudications on proofs of debt, remuneration challenges and removal applications.

Rachael has considerable experience in bringing and defending misfeasance claims against directors and IPs.

Recent work includes:

Corporate Insolvency

  • BHS Group Limited (in liquidation) & others v Dominic Chappell, Lennart Henningson, Dominic Chandler and Keith Smith: Defended (led by Lexa Hilliard KC) one of the former directors of BHS in a 5-week trial against misfeasance and wrongful trading claims valued at over £160 million. Awaiting judgment.
  • Advising a foreign representative in respect of a recognition application under CBIR 2005 relating to a high profile, international property group.
  • Defending former directors and shareholders of a company against unlawful dividends and misfeasance claims by Joint Liquidators. These claims depend upon the Joint Liquidators successfully re-characterising payments made through EBT schemes as dividends.
  • Acting for Joint Administrators in respect of an application to Court for approval of a complex distribution plan for client funds which are being held after the failure of a debt management firm.
  • Advising the Joint Liquidators of a national charity on the correct characterisation of £6 million in donations and whether they constitute restricted funds.
  • Acting for Joint Liquidators on fraudulent trading and misfeasance claims against former directors of a building company who defrauded elderly customers.
  • Defending a former director against misfeasance proceedings where the Liquidators claim that bonus payments made to him were excessive and made at a time when the company was insolvent.
  • Acting for Joint Liquidators on claims against former directors who operated a fraudulent VAT scheme, failing to declare some £3 million to HMRC.
  • Acting in an application by members of a company (now in liquidation) against the office holders on the grounds that the remuneration charged and expenses incurred were excessive.
  • Acting on behalf of Joint Liquidators to oppose an application for their removal from office in circumstances where the creditors’ motives in making this application are improper.
  • Brittain and Grant (as joint liquidators of GBM Minerals Engineering Consultants Limited) v Michael Wilson & Partners Ltd & others [2021] EWHC 3041 (Ch). Successfully acted for the joint liquidators in seeking directions in respect of a dividend due to a creditor but where there was also a pending application for a third party debt order.
  • Re Zoom Distribution UK Limited [2021] EWHC 800 (Ch). Successfully acted for the administrators in their application for a declaration that their appointment was valid (and not void) pursuant to rule 12.64 of the IR 2016 despite the fact that the appointing directors had failed to comply with para 26(1)(b) of Schedule B1.
  • National Crime Agency v GTG Management LTD [2020] EWHC 963 (Ch). Successfully acted for the National Crime Agency in respect of winding up petitions brought under s317 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
  • Re Houston Management Facilities Limited (2020). Successfully acted on behalf of the Joint Liquidators in obtaining a proprietary injunction against a former director and a Chabra injunction against his sibling.
  • DCL Hire Limited (in liquidation) (2019). Successfully acted (led) in a 5-day misfeasance trial against a former director who made significant payments out of the Company for nil consideration on the instruction of a shadow director.
  • Parkers Developments Limited (2019). Successfully acted on behalf of two directors in defending a misfeasance and unlawful return of capital claim in respect of their involvement in an EBT scheme worth over £1.2 million.
  • Pico’s Limited (2019). Successfully acted on behalf of the Company in seeking an urgent validation order to allow the Company to continue trading pending the first hearing of the winding up petition.
  • So Sienna Limited v (1) HMRC (2) The Official Receiver (2019). Successfully acted for the company in an application for the rescission of a winding up order and dismissal of the petition.
  • HS Works Limited (in liquidation) (2018). Successfully acted (led) in a 5-day High Court trial against a former administrator for breach of his schedule B1 and fiduciary duties, worth £4 million.

Personal Insolvency

  • Currently acting for the former partner of a bankrupt against claims brought by the Joint Trustees alleging that trust deeds, entered into when the couple purchased their home, are shams.
  • Advising Joint Trustees on the correct characterisation of funds held in the Bankrupt’s bank account where a creditor claims that those funds are subject to a Quistclose Trust agreement.
  • Acting for Joint Trustees in respect of a creditor’s challenge to their adjudication on his proof of debt worth over £1.5 million.
  • Acting for Joint Trustees in an application for possession and sale where the family home is held in the sole name of the Bankrupt’s wife but the Bankrupt has a beneficial interest by virtue of his financial contributions.
  • Acting for Joint Trustees in a breach of trust claim against the Bankrupt’s former business partner and a professional negligence claim against his former solicitors, worth over £4 million.
  • Murphy and Hyde v Munir & Others [2021] EWHC 278 (Ch). Successfully acted (led) in a 5-day trial on behalf of the Joint Trustees. The Bankrupt purported to transfer the entire beneficial interest in his substantial London property portfolio to various members of his extended family in the years before he was made bankrupt. He entered into three deeds of trust for this purpose. The Court found the deeds to be shams, alternatively they constituted transactions at an undervalue and transactions defrauding creditors.
  • Successfully acted on behalf of Joint Trustees for an order for possession and sale of the Bankrupt’s family home where his wife claimed a beneficial interest in the property and also that debts secured against the property should be applied against the Bankrupt’s beneficial share only.
  • Rachael has advised on several cases involving statutory demands based on guarantees.

Download Insolvency CV

  • Quote symbolShe is an excellent advocate and a go-to on all insolvency matters.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolShe is incredibly bright, committed and tenacious.

    The Legal 500 2024

  • Quote symbolShe is knowledgeable and determined to go above and beyond for her clients.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolRachael is tenacious, driven and a great advocate.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolRachael is definitely a rising star in the insolvency arena. She is hungry, knows her stuff and is determined to achieve the right results for clients.

    The Legal 500 2023

Insolvency insights & events View all thought leadership View all events

  1. Placeholder

    Events / Webinars

    Wilberforce Fraud, Trusts & Asset Recovery Conference 2024

    Thursday 4th July 2024 | 12.30pm - 5.25pm, followed by drinks and canapés
    The View at The Royal College of Surgeons

    £135 + VAT | 3.5 CPD

    View more
  2. Placeholder

    External Conferences

    IPA 2024 Roadshow Series | Manchester

    Wednesday 5th June 2024
    Manchester

    Speakers:
    Rachael Earle

    View more
  3. Placeholder

    Events / Webinars

    Wilberforce Insolvency Conference & Dinner 2024

    Thursday 1st February 2024 | 12.30pm - 5.55pm, followed by drinks and dinner
    The Carlton Tower Jumeirah, London

    £130 - £185 + VAT | 4 CPD

    View more
  4. Placeholder

    Events / Webinars

    Wilberforce Cayman Conference 2023

    Thursday 14th September 2023 | 3.45pm - 6.55pm followed by a dinner buffet
    Kimpton Seafire Resort

    Free to attend | 2.25 CPD

    View more

View all thought leadership View all events

Commercial disputes

Rachael has extensive experience of claims involving allegations of fraud such as fraudulent misrepresentation, deceit, the economic torts, breach of trust and / or breach of fiduciary duty as well as claims founded on secondary liability for knowing assistance or knowing receipt. She regularly deals with applications for freezing injunctions and other urgent interim relief.

Recent work includes:

  • Defending a high net worth individual in respect of a claim for alleged breach of contract in circumstances where the contract was induced by fraud. Claim valued at over £5 million.
  • Defending a claim brought two companies against a former director for breach of his fiduciary and statutory duties whilst in office, valued at over £2m. The claim involves allegations of misappropriation of company assets and deliberate concealment.
  • Advising a company on claims for breach of a confidentiality agreement and unlawful interference with its business interests, worth over £40 million.
  • Njord Partners SMA-SEAL LP & others v Astir Maritime Limited & others (2024). Led in a 5 day commercial court trial defending a former director/shareholder against deceit and conspiracy claims brought by commercial lenders and valued at over £47m. Awaiting judgment.
  • Sonderwell Bidco v Diamond (2022). Commercial court dispute relating to alleged breaches of warranties contained in an SPA (led by Max Mallin KC). Settled before trial.
  • LWMPL v Clarke, Aldridge & Raja-Jaweed (2022). Acted for one of the respondents to section 423 and conspiracy claims relating to the alleged fraudulent transfer of assets out of a company, valued at over £4 million (led by Lexa Hilliard KC). Settled before trial.
  • Kilimanjaro Limited v Dikoh (2020). Successful in obtaining for a freezing injunction against a former employee who had misappropriated significant sums of company money.
  • Kwaji v Shaw, Balogun (2018). Successfully opposed an application for an injunction in respect of a jointly owned property.
  • Re M2 Property Invest Limited [2018] B.C.C 324. Application for approval of the merger of a Polish company with its English parent company.
  • Frank Warren v Paul Smith (2018). Led in an arbitration appeal before the Boxing Board of Control concerning manager / promoter contracts and issues of breach of fiduciary duty and the duty of trust and confidence.

Download Commercial disputes CV

  • Quote symbolShe is incredibly bright, committed and tenacious.

    The Legal 500 2024

  • Quote symbolShe is knowledgeable and determined to go above and beyond for her clients.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolRachael is tenacious, driven and a great advocate.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolRachael is definitely a rising star in the insolvency arena. She is hungry, knows her stuff and is determined to achieve the right results for clients.

    The Legal 500 2023

  • Quote symbolShe is strategic with her approach and brilliant with clients.

    Chambers & Partners 2023

Commercial disputes insights & events View all thought leadership View all events

  1. Placeholder

    Events / Webinars

    Wilberforce Fraud, Trusts & Asset Recovery Conference 2024

    Thursday 4th July 2024 | 12.30pm - 5.25pm, followed by drinks and canapés
    The View at The Royal College of Surgeons

    £135 + VAT | 3.5 CPD

    View more
  2. Placeholder

    Events / Webinars

    Wilberforce Commercial Litigation Conference 2023

    Thursday 12th October 2023 | 12.30pm - 6pm, followed by drinks
    The Langham, London

    £130 + VAT | 4.0 CPD

    View more
  3. Placeholder

    Events / Webinars

    Wilberforce Cayman Conference 2023

    Thursday 14th September 2023 | 3.45pm - 6.55pm followed by a dinner buffet
    Kimpton Seafire Resort

    Free to attend | 2.25 CPD

    View more
  4. Placeholder

    Events / Webinars

    Civil Fraud Conference 2023

    Thursday 8th June 2023 | 12.15pm - 5.55pm followed by drinks & canapés
    The View at The Royal College of Surgeons, Lincoln's Inn Fields, WC2A 3PE

    £130 + VAT | 4.0 CPD

    View more

View all thought leadership View all events

Rachael's expertise

Download Company law CV

Company law

Rachael undertakes a wide range of company work including directors’ disqualification proceedings, partnership disputes, shareholder disputes, unfair prejudice petitions and derivative claims.

Recent work includes: 

  • Advising on an unfair prejudice petition worth over £3 million where the majority shareholders have excluded the minority shareholder from the management of the Company and also from dividend payments (to which he was properly entitled), this has required forensic accounting evidence on the finances of the Company.
  • Advising on a partnership dispute worth over £1.2 million which involves allegations of long term fraud and concealment by one partner.
  • Defending a former director of a well-known estate agency group in respect of multimillion-pound breach of duty claims.
  • Wakeley & Others v (1) Tech Mahindra Limited (2) Nth Dimension Limited (2023). Defended (led by Max Mallin KC) an unfair prejudice petition, claim valued at over £20m. Settled before trial.

Download Company law CV

  • Quote symbolShe is incredibly bright, committed and tenacious.

    The Legal 500 2024

  • Quote symbolShe is knowledgeable and determined to go above and beyond for her clients.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolRachael is tenacious, driven and a great advocate.

    Chambers & Partners 2024

  • Quote symbolRachael is definitely a rising star in the insolvency arena. She is hungry, knows her stuff and is determined to achieve the right results for clients.

    The Legal 500 2024

  • Quote symbolShe is strategic with her approach and brilliant with clients.

    Chambers & Partners 2023

Company law insights & events View all thought leadership View all events

  1. Placeholder

    Articles

    Administrators’ Appointments – Void or Defective – Light at the end of the tunnel

    This article was first published in ThoughtLeaders4 FIRE Magazine Issue 10. Click here to view the full article

    By Rachael Earle
    Monday 26 September 2022

    View more
  2. Placeholder

    Events / Webinars

    Wilberforce Insolvency Conference 2022

    Wednesday 13 July 2022 | 12.20pm - 6pm, followed by drinks
    Convene (and online via Zoom), 22 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4BQ

    £120 + VAT | 4.0 CPD

    View more
  3. Placeholder

    Events / Webinars

    WATCH: The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 – Overview and discussion

    Monday 3 August 2020 | 11am - 12pm
    Online, Zoom webinar

    1.0 CPD

    View more

View all thought leadership View all events

Rachael's Details

BSB/VAT information

Registered name: Miss Rachael Sian Earle
VAT number: 222308254

Privacy Notice pdf

Qualifications and Appointments

  • LLM in Commercial Law (First Class) (Ranked 1st in College), Darwin College, University of Cambridge
  • Bar Professional Training Course (Very Competent) BPP Holborn
  • LLB Law with French Law (First Class), University College London
  • Darwin College Dean’s Award (2014)
  • Blackstone Entrance Exhibition (2012)

Memberships

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Insolvency Lawyers’ Association
  • R3: Association of Business Recovery Professionals

Download Rachael's CV

Select the Expertise that you would like to download.

Close