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Practice Summary

Zoe O’Sullivan QC is a robust and experienced trial advocate. Her practice extends across a wide field of commercial litigation and arbitration, including banking, oil and gas, company law and civil fraud. She is particularly noted for her expertise in software development disputes. She has a long and successful track record in both obtaining and opposing urgent applications for interim relief including world-wide freezing orders, anti-suit injunctions and applications to the court under section 44 of the Arbitration Act 1996. Zoe is registered as a Registered Foreign Lawyer with the Singapore International Commercial Court. She also sits as an arbitrator and is on the arbitration panels of the ICC and the LCIA.

"Very technically able and very client-oriented", "She's got the brain the size of a planet".
(Chambers UK 2018 - Information Technology)

"Has a growing IT practice that sees her handling cases concerning software development and licensing, major contractural disputes and outsourcing issues. She is also experienced at handling media tech issues."
(Chambers UK 2017 - Information Technology)

 "She's formidably bright, writes very well and has a good balance of gravitas and humour."  (Chambers UK 2016)

"She's able to have very practical and pragmatic conversations and to communicate effectively with clients."  (Chambers UK 2016)

"An accomplished commercial silk with growing prominence in the technology sector, founded in part on her work in the landmark case of BSkyB v EDS. She is particularly experienced at handling software licensing disputes".  (Chambers UK 2016) 

"A very hardworking and strategic barrister, who is excellent on her feet and has a good way with clients" (The Legal 500 2015)

"Highly regarded for IT procurement disputes" (The Legal 500 2015)

Recent and continuing cases include the following:

Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust v Atos IT Services UK Ltd
For the Defendant IT supplier in a dispute over the digitisation of NHS patient records at the trial of  preliminary issues relating to limitation of liability [2017] EWHC 2197 (TCC).

CRS GT Limited v McLaren
Acting for the racing car constructor in a contractual dispute concerning the GT series road car. Trial scheduled for April 2018.

Regional County Council v Serco (Ongoing).  
Acting for a County Council in an expert determination concerning the meaning and effect of a long-term IT outsourcing contract.

Acting for IBM in a substantial dispute with a client concerning the provision of “software as a service”

Rockover Energy Limited v Maurel & Prom SA (2017)
Advising the defendant oil and gas producer in relation to a royalty dispute concerning a concession in Gabon.

Private client v Goldman Sachs (Ad hoc arbitration, 2017-2018).
For the Claimant in an international arbitration seeking damages from Goldman Sachs in respect of the liquidation of derivatives contracts.

Bank of Dubai v Lazem (Ongoing). 
For the Defendant, resisting the enforcement of Dubai court judgments.

Bank of Moscow v Chernyakov [2016] EWHC 1353 (Comm)
For the defendant businessman, resisting enforcement of Russian court judgments totalling £150 million on public policy and human rights grounds. Appeared on applications under the worldwide freezing order and at the summary judgment hearing.

Blomqvist v Zavarco Plc [2016] BCC 542
Appearing for the claimant minority shareholder in a Companies Court trial where the issues were whether the issue of 7 billion shares in a plc was authorised by the company and whether the claimant's was entitled to convene a general meeting which the directors had refused to call. Part 2 of the case, currently under way, involves whether various shareholders are entitled to exercise voting rights at the meeting.

Sanctuary Housing Association v Ciber (UK) Ltd (2016)
Acting for the defendant in a £20m dispute between the customer and the contractor under a contract to implement a SAP ERP system.

Acting in an LCIA arbitration concerning a failed agricultural joint venture between Ukrainian parties.

Advising two government agencies in respect of the Government's "Next Gneration" shared services IT programme (2015).

 Acting for the claimant in a dispute between the parties to a joint venture to explore for oil in the Kentish Weald.

Assassin Films Ltd v Apricot Sky Entertainment PVT (2015)
Successfully obtained an anti-suit injunction against the Indian co-producer of the film “India’s Daughter”.

Anglo Coal (Grosvenor) Pty Ltd v Sky Entertainment PVT (2015)
Obtaining and defending a multi-million dollar freezing order for Anglo-American Mining against a former senior employee in support of fraud claims proceeding in Australia (2014).

Acting for Siemens in an expert determination relating to a windfarm development off the coast of Wales (2014).

Leni Gas and Oil v Malta Oil Pty Ltd [2014] EWHC 893 (Comm).  Acting (with Neil Kitchener QC) for an AIM listed oil exploration company alleging that it was fraudulently induced by a co-participant to sell its interest in an oil and gas exploration block at an undervalue. 

Interprods Ltd v De La Rue International Limited [2014] EWHC 68 (Comm).  Acting (as sole counsel) for the applicant in a challenge to an LCIA arbitration award on grounds of lack of jurisdiction, procedural irregularity and bias.

Madoff Securities International (In Liquidation) v Raven [2013] EWHC 3147 (Comm).  Acting (as sole counsel) for the sons of Bernard Madoff in their successful defence of claims for fraudulent and negligent breach of directors’ duties brought against them by the liquidator of Bernard Madoff’s London trading operation:  Described by The Lawyer as one of the top 10 cases of 2013, the action was dismissed against all defendants with indemnity costs by Popplewell J in October 2013.  

Matchbet Limited v Openbet Retail Limited [2013] EWHC 3067 (Ch).  Acting (with Ken MacLean QC) in the successful defence of a £65m claim for damages for the alleged repudiation of a Software Licensing and Development Agreement relating to a betting exchange software program developed by the claimant.  Henderson J dismissed the claim with indemnity costs. 

Zoe has a working knowledge of French and Spanish, and has lectured on a variety of topics including managing E-disclosure.