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Practice Summary

With a busy practice across a number of specialist areas in commercial disputes, Anna is a team player, who prides herself on careful attention to legal and factual detail.  Her caseload includes high profile and high value cases in which she is instructed as a member of a team, as well as a broad range of matters in which she appears as sole counsel.  Anna’s cases commonly have an international element and she is at home both in the English Courts and before arbitral tribunals.

Anna works in a range of industries, including financial services, technology, media and energy.  In her banking and finance practice, Anna has acted for a number of leading global banks and financial institutions, including Commerzbank, Citigroup, Lloyds, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.

Anna has particular experience of large scale, group and test case litigation. She is familiar with the special challenges of acting in the interests of or against a large body of litigants, the importance of co-operating effectively with other counsel teams, and innovative case management that is likely to be required. 

Anna also sits as an arbitrator, having accepted six appointments (variously as sole arbitrator, co-arbitrator and chair) in ICC and LCIA arbitrations over the last two years.

Having for some years been named as a leading junior, Anna is now ranked in both Legal 500 and Chambers UK Bar as one of the leading new silks in Commercial Litigation.  She has recently been identified in a Legal Business article on “the Legal Elite” as a “genuine rising star”.

Of her work since taking silk, clients say she has “a superb grasp of the law and is very good on the factual details” (The Legal 500 (2019)).  Other clients comment that “She's indefatigable and someone who provides consistently high-quality analysis." "Anna Boase is very relaxed and confident, and she's good on her feet."  (Chambers UK Bar (2019)).

Before becoming a QC, she was described as “very bright, hardworking junior and approachable” (The Legal 500) and as “a hard-working and technically accomplished junior who peers say is “unflappable” when on her feet” (Chambers UK Bar).

The Chambers UK Bar Guide notes that her strengths include “a winning manner both with clients and in court”, and that she is “clever, but also incredibly obliging and productive”.  Top law firms praised her eye for detail and analytical ability.

Identified as a "Future Star at the Bar" by Legal Week, she was described as a commercial specialist who "is never fazed by anything". Noted for her Commercial Court work and for her financial services practice, solicitors said of her "she is always in control and does everything to perfection".

EXAMPLES OF RECENT CASES

  • Commercial Litigation

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    • Carphone Warehouse v Telefonica
      Acting for Telefonica in a dispute with one of its trading partners, concerning the availability of special offer tariffs and the sharing of customer data.
    • City East Recruitment v British Gas
      Defending British Gas against claims brought by a recruitment agency for transfer fees relating to the engagement by British Gas of engineers and other staff.
    • Tullow Oil
      Acting for Tullow Oil in connection with a high value claim against a manufacturer of defective piping installed in water injection wells in an oil field offshore Africa. 
    • Financial Reporting Council v KPMG
      Defending KPMG against very serious allegations made in disciplinary proceedings relating to the administration of the bed manufacturer Silentnight in 2011. 
    • Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation v (1) Dechert LLP (2) Neil Gerrard
      Acting for ENRC in a high value, high profile professional negligence claim brought in the Commercial Court by a mining company against its former solicitors in connection with an internal bribery and corruption investigation.  Led by Laurence Rabinowitz QC and assisted by Emma Jones and Alyssa Stansbury. 
    • Old Mutual v Fewtrell
      Acting for Old Mutual in seeking to enforce loans made to a distributor of its products.  Facing defences based upon the Singapore Moneylenders Act and the English Consumer Credit Act.  Advising on strategy in light of related foreign proceedings. 
    • University of Law
      Acting for the University on a claim involving the meaning and effect of contractual terms concerning the provision of course materials to another higher education institution.
    • Cuboxal v ICS
      Acting for a UK wholesaler of food packaging in dispute with an Italian manufacturer about whether packaging supplied was within contractual specification and complied with relevant European Regulations. 
    • Avonwick v (1) Castle, (2) Vi Holding NV, (3) Globoid, (4) Mr Machitski and (5) Mr Shlosberg
      Represented one of three oligarchs (Gayduk, Machitski and Shlosberg) in high value (US$200m), multi-party Chancery Division proceedings involving claims of unlawful means conspiracy and claims under the Insolvency Act.  The case raised expert issues of share valuation, Dutch law, Liechtenstein law and the law of St Vincent and the Grenadines. Anna was the advocate and had principal conduct of the matter until it settled shortly before a 5 week trial.  She was led by Lord Grabiner QC and assisted by Joshua Crow. 
    • AAI Consulting Limited v The Financial Conduct Authority [2016] EWHC 2812 (Comm)
      Acted for the FCA in successfully striking out a claim against the regulator for £462 million in conspiracy and misfeasance in public office.  Obtained various consequential orders, including a non-party costs order against an individual held to be the “real party” to the litigation. 
    • Gamatronic (UK) Limited v Robert Hamilton and Jayne Mansfield [2016] EWHC 2225 (QB)
      Acted for the claimant Israeli technology company in a seven-day High Court trial against two former CEO’s who had set up a competing business whilst directors and employees.  During the trial, Anna cross examined factual witnesses over three days and marshalled expert evidence on share valuation. During the course of the litigation, Anna defended a strike out application and successfully obtained an “unless order”. 
    • Endeavour Energy UK Limited v Hess Limited
      Acted on behalf of Endeavour in a substantial dispute between North Sea oil joint venture parties.  The dispute concerned liability to pay the costs of hiring an oil rig to carry out decommissioning works and whether Hess, as operator, obtained the necessary approval for such expenditure.  During the litigation, Anna successfully opposed an application for security for costs. 
    • Sir Owen Glenn and Kea Investments Limited v (1) Eric Watson, (2) Novatrust Limited, (3) Miles Leahy, (4) Nucopia Partners Limited (5) Spartan Capital Limited
      Acted on behalf of Miles Leahy and Nucopia Partners Limited in defending claims brought in the Chancery Division arising out of a failed £129m joint investment venture, Project Spartan.  The claims involved serious allegations of fraud against Mr Leahy and others.  Facing a five strong counsel team for the Claimants and cooperating with two other teams of Defendants, Anna appeared in several highly contentious three-day CMC’s during the litigation. 
    • (1) Agate Assets SA (2) Commerzbank and Anor v Banque Privee Edmond de Rothschild Europe SA & Ors
      Acted for Commerzbank in defending claims for over US$30m brought by Italian investors who acquired notes structured and sold by Commerzbank.  The Italian investors brought claims in unlawful means conspiracy, deceit, dishonest assistance and negligence.  The case involved allegations of fraud against employees of the bank, as well as expert issues of Luxembourg law and banking practice. 
    • Formula One World Championship Limited v Jaiprakash Associates Limited
      Acting on behalf of the defendant Indian company, which staged and promoted the first ever Formula One motor races in India, in a Commercial Court claim for US$51m brought by Bernie Ecclestone’s company.  Formula One is pressing for payment under a contract, notwithstanding the existence of a court order in India (imposed by the tax authorities) which renders it illegal for payment to be made. The claim gives rise to issues of Indian law and UK tax law.

     

  • Agency

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    • Advising a major energy company on the meaning and effect of its contractual obligations to a recruitment agency.
    • Advising the UK agent of a motorbike manufacturer on whether the agency was terminated and, if so, with what financial consequences.
    • Advising the German agent of a major aluminium producer on the applicability of the Commercial Agents Regulations and on the quantum of compensation payable on termination of the agency.
    • Advising a well-known designer of luxury handbags in a dispute with her former sales agent about the level of compensation due under the Commercial Agents Regulations.  The issues involved whether the Regulations apply to non-domestic sales, and how to value the agency on the date of termination, including disputes about the time period over which to assess income, the allocation of agency costs and the appropriate multiplier.
    • Advising a major distributor of nail lacquer on whether a former sales agent should be entitled to pipeline commission and compensation under the Commercial Agents Regulations and, if so, how to calculate an appropriate level of compensation. 
  • Arbitration

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    • Ad hoc proceedings (adopting UNCITRAL rules)
      Appeared on behalf of the committee of a club which operates a timeshare scheme in Tenerife, in an arbitral claim brought by a member of the club who objected to certain amendments to the club’s constitution which were proposed to permit the financial survival of the club and passed by a majority of members.  Anna acted as sole advocate in a two-day trial of preliminary issues before Sir Maurice Kay, including half a day of cross examination of a foreign law expert.
    • LCIA proceedings
      Acted (with Helen Davies QC) successfully for a Middle Eastern telecoms company in an arbitration to enforce a US$520 million debt against a prominent Saudi individual whose defence turned on his attempt to prove the existence and enforceability (as a matter of foreign law) of an oral agreement.  Appeared in a seven-day trial, with a successful outcome.
    • Section 68 challenge to arbitration award: SP v MT [2016] EWHC 3034 (Comm)
      Appeared (with Helen Davies QC) for a successful arbitral claimant in Commercial Court proceedings brought by the unsuccessful respondent.  In an application  by the award debtor under s.68 Arbitration Act 1996, it was alleged that there had been a serious procedural irregularity in the way in which the arbitral award was procured.  The application involved the novel argument that alleged misconduct by a solicitor amounted to a breach of public policy.  Anna’s team obtained security for costs in a contested application and, after a two day hearing, successfully resisted the s.68 application, which was duly dismissed with costs.
    • LCIA proceedings
      Acted for an African telecoms company in a dispute with several individual shareholders over the operation of rights of pre-emption under the shareholders’ agreement.
    • LCIA proceedings
      Acted for a County Council as a respondent to contractual claims brought by a waste management company.  It was alleged that the Council had acted in breach of a duty of good faith and various other contractual obligations which were said to arise from that requirement.

     

  • Banking and Financial Services

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    • Acted for Commerzbank in defending claims for over US$30m brought by Italian investors who acquired notes structured and sold by Commerzbank.  The Italian investors brought claims in unlawful means conspiracy, deceit, dishonest assistance and negligence.  Allegations of fraud against employees of the bank, issues of Luxembourg law and expert issues of banking practice.
    • Represented Citigroup in a claim for recovery of fees for work as a financial adviser in relation to the disposal of a company and its subsidiaries.  The dispute focussed on whether a “transaction” as defined in the contract had occurred and what the “transaction value” should be.
    • Acted for Lloyds in claims brought by over 6,000 shareholders in connection with its acquisition of HBOS.
    • Appeared for the FCA in striking out a claim for £462 million in conspiracy and misfeasance in public office.  Allegations that the FCA had investigated a regulated firm in bad faith, improperly motivated by a desire to prove that it was a robust regulator in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, were struck out. 
    • In connection with a high value bond issue, advised the Administrator and Security Trustee which had misstated redemption values, as to its potential liabilities to bondholders and to the bond issuer.
    • In connection with a transaction involving residential mortgage-based securities, advised the Trustee in a dispute concerning calculation of amounts due to different classes of noteholders.
    • Acted for a contractor in dispute with a Panamanian state entity in connection with advance payment guarantees which were alleged to be unconditional demand bonds.
    • Acted for Old Mutual, a provider of investment products, in claims against a financial adviser for recovery under loan agreements alleged to be unenforceable under the Singapore Moneylenders Act or the English Consumer Credit Act.
    • Appointed on a series of occasions an Examiner in Foreign Proceedings in a series of Letters of Request made in connection with FX litigation in New York.
    • Represented Capita Financial Managers in defending a group action brought by 1,040 individuals who invested, via a fund, in offshore cell companies which in turn invested in a range of alternative assets.  The investors claimed compensation for breach of COLL rules and in negligence.  The allegations included conflicts of interest, failure to manage risk, prudent spread of risk failure and omissions from the prospectus.  Complex valuation and quantum issues. 
    • Acted (with Mark Howard QC) for Goldman Sachs in defending claims brought by a major Dutch pension fund.  Claims arose out of a recommendation to invest in mortgage backed securities shortly before the US sub-prime crisis, and out of the appointment of asset managers too late to make market gains in an unusual asset class.
    • Acted (with Lord Grabiner QC) for Goldman Sachs in proceedings to determine whether credit default swaps were validly terminated.
    • Acted for JPMorgan in a dispute relating to tripartite repo arrangements and agency services in the context of the devaluation of securities following the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
    • Advised Lloyds in relation to Payment Protection Insurance claims.  Giving strategic advice on the orderly management of high volumes of claims in accordance with FCA guidance.
    • Advised a bank which was the minority shareholder in an offshore company in a dispute with the majority shareholder.  The dispute concerned whether or not certain “right of first refusal” provisions had been triggered by the bank’s entry into total return swaps, by which third parties acquired a derivative exposure to the economic return on the bank’s holdings.
    • Acted for a firm of solicitors on an application for a “Banker’s Trust” order, requiring disclosure of information about a customer’s account.  The firm had transferred the proceeds of the sale of a property to the account which it understood was held by the firm’s client.  In fact, the firm and its client were the victims of a “Friday afternoon fraud”. By the time the relevant account was frozen, most of the money had gone.  The purpose of the application was to establish the timing of the transfer and the identity of the transferee.

     

  • Breach of Confidence

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    • Acting on behalf of a recruitment agency in seeking a “springboard injunction” against a former employee to restrain him from benefiting from breaches of confidence committed whilst an employee.
    • Advising the former manager of a recruitment consultancy against whom orders were sought for delivery up of allegedly confidential information.
    • Acting for a financial services recruitment agency in obtaining without notice an injunction against a current employee who had used sophisticated IT techniques to steal confidential information with an apparent view to setting up in competition.
    • Acting for a newspaper facing numerous claims of breach of confidence and privacy breaches.
  • Civil Fraud

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    • Represented Vitaly Machitski, one of three oligarchs involved in high value, multi-party Chancery Division proceedings (Avonwick v Castle), involving claims of unlawful means conspiracy and various claims under the Insolvency Act (transaction at an undervalue, defrauding creditors and preference).  Allegations of document forgery, share valuation and foreign law (Dutch, Liechtenstein, St Vincent and Grenadines).
    • Acted for the FCA in successfully striking out a claim against the regulator for £462 million in conspiracy and misfeasance in public office (AAI v FCA).  Obtained various consequential orders, including a non-party costs order against an individual held to be the “real party” to the litigation.
    • Acted for Commerzbank in defending claims for over US$30m brought by Italian investors who acquired notes structured and sold by Commerzbank.  The Italian investors brought claims in unlawful means conspiracy, deceit, dishonest assistance and negligence.  Allegations of fraud against employees of the bank, issues of Luxembourg law and expert issues of banking practice.
    • Acted for two of the Defendants to claims brought in the Chancery Division arising out of a failed £129m joint investment venture, Project Spartan.  The claims involved serious allegations of fraud.
    • In professional disciplinary proceedings, acting for KPMG in defending serious allegations of misconduct in relation to the collapse of bed manufacturer Silentnight.  Allegations include conflicts of interest and the making of false statements to the pensions regulator.
    • Acted for an elderly individual who was the victim of a fraud, in which significant sums were appropriated from Swiss bank accounts.
    • Represented Clyde & Co, former solicitors to Ablyazov, in a disclosure application made by JSC BTA Bank as part of its attempts to enforce its judgments against Ablyazov worth US$4.3 billion.  JSC BTA Bank invoked the fraud exception to contend that there was no legal professional privilege in documents still held by Clyde & Co which related to Ablyazov’s assets.
    • Acted for a Croatian businessman who was persuaded by a fraudster to pay €4m as a deposit for the purchase of a Belgian hotel. The €4m was channelled through a number of corporate bank accounts and into the hands of various third parties, including a firm of solicitors. Successfully applied to the Commercial Court for a Norwich Pharmacal order against the firm and obtained disclosure of information about the missing funds.
    • Acted for the owner of a Boeing 727 aircraft situated in the UK in resisting an application for interim relief (orders for inspection of the aircraft and its records) in support of foreign proceedings.

     

  • Company, Partnership and Insolvency

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    • Acting for KPMG in defending professional disciplinary proceedings in which the actions of an insolvency practitioner are challenged and in which key issues include whether a company was insolvent and the prospects of it avoiding administration.
    • Representing Vitaly Machitski against whom allegations of transaction at an undervalue and defrauding creditors were made in high value, long running Chancery Division proceedings.
    • Acted for a former director of a company in defending an action by the liquidators for misfeasance under s.212 Insolvency Act 1986. 
    • Represented at trial a company on claims against its former directors for breach of fiduciary duties, including trading in competition with the company whilst still its employees, shareholders and directors.
    • Advised a majority shareholder of an AIM listed mining company on whether a proposed acquisition of an additional shareholding based upon information acquired in its capacity as existing shareholder would breach insider trading rules.
    • Advised a bank which was the minority shareholder in an offshore company in a dispute with the majority shareholder.  The dispute concerned whether or not certain “right of first refusal” provisions had been triggered by the bank’s entry into total return swaps, by which third parties acquired a derivative exposure to the economic return on the bank’s holdings.
    • Acted for a company in dispute with Companies House about allegedly misleading information provided for the purposes of registering a new company name.
    • Acted for one of two brothers in the taking of an account following dissolution of a partnership to operate a news agency.
    • Advised a partner in a law firm in relation to her expulsion from the partnership.

     

  • Directors’ Duties

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    • Gamatronic (UK) Limited and Gamatronic Electronic Industries Limited v Robert Hamilton and Jayne Mansfield [2016] EWHC 2225 (QB)
      Appearing (alone) in a seven day trial on behalf of an Israeli technology company and its UK subsidiary which brought claims against its two former CEO’s.  The CEO’s had set up a competing business whilst directors and employees of the UK company.  The claims were for breach of a range of fiduciary and contractual duties.  During the trial, Anna cross examined factual witnesses over three days and marshalled expert evidence on share valuation.  During the litigation, Anna defended a strike out application and successfully obtained an “unless order”.
    • Acting for a former company director facing allegations of breach of fiduciary duty in relation to various transactions entered into prior to a sale of the business.
    • Advising a major airline facing claims for share options from a former senior employee.

     

  • Group Litigation

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    • Lloyds/ HBOS
      Acted for Lloyds in claims brought by over 6,000 shareholders in connection with its acquisition of HBOS, with particular focus on the costs and costs budgeting in group litigation.
    • University Compensation
      Advising thousands of students from a range of UK universities on their rights to seek compensation for non-provision of teaching during strike action by lecturers and on obtaining a group litigation order.
    • Emma Rowntree Frost & others v. Capita Financial Managers Limited
      Represented (with Craig Orr QC) Capita in defending a group action brought by 1,040 individuals who invested in the CF Arch Cru Funds, of which Capita was the Authorised Corporate Director.  The Funds invested in offshore cell companies which in turn invested in a range of alternative assets.  Trading in the Funds was suspended in March 2009 and investors recovered less than the capital they invested.  The investors claimed compensation for breach of COLL rules and in negligence.  The allegations included conflicts of interest, failure to manage risk, prudent spread of risk failure and omissions from the prospectus.  The case also involved complex valuation and quantum issues. 
    • Mobile Telephone Voicemail Interception Litigation: News Group Newspapers
      Acting for News Group Newspapers (led by Antony White QC) in the group litigation being managed in the High Court. Applying successfully to strike out, on grounds including res judicata, fresh claims made by two victims of phone hacking who had already made and settled claims within the group litigation.
    • Bank charges litigation [2009] UKSC 6
      The FSA granted a waiver of the obligations of the banks to handle consumer complaints about allegedly unfair bank charges pending resolution of the test case (described above). Advising the FSA (with Ian Glick QC), liaising between hearings with counsel for the parties and appearing alone at hearings to intervene on case management issues.
    • ‘The Accident Group’ ('TAG') litigation
      The Accident Group offered a personal injury claims scheme on a conditional fee basis backed by insurance policies. Following the collapse of the group, subrogated claims for recovery of an allegedly illegal referral fee were brought against solicitors who had acted for personal injury claimants by three insurers in the names of c.19,000 participants in the scheme. Acting (with Stephen Auld QC) for 150 defendant firms.
  • Energy and Natural Resources

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    • Acting for an oil field operator and its joint venture partners against a manufacturer of defective tubing installed in a series of water injection wells.
    • Acting for a major retailer of gas and associated services in dispute with an agency as to contractual terms.
    • Acted on behalf of Endeavour in a substantial dispute between North Sea oil joint venture parties concerning liability to pay the costs of hiring an oil rig to carry out decommissioning works and whether the operator obtained the necessary approval for such expenditure.
    • Advised an oil rig owner in a dispute as to the terms of a rig hire contract in circumstances where there had been an early termination and unexpected demobilisation costs.
    • Acted on behalf of the owner of a wind farm in a breach of warranty claim against the previous owners, relating to compliance with voltage control requirements.
    • Acted on behalf of an industrial energy user in a dispute over supply and payment terms in a take or pay gas contract.
    • Advised a manufacturing company in a dispute involving the construction of an agreement for the forward purchasing of electricity as part of consortium.
    • Advised a global oil company in dispute with South American landowners who claimed to have suffered losses as a result of a pipeline laid on or near their land.
    • Secondment to the legal department of BP, based in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. Looking at contractual issues arising in the context of the production of liquefied natural gas in Indonesia and its supply into the Chinese market, and the operation of joint ventures in Korea.
  • Media, Entertainment and Broadcasting

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    • Leveson Inquiry: News International
      Represented News International (led by Rhodri Davies QC and Antony White QC) in its capacity as a Core Participant in the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press.   Attended hearings on behalf of the media organisation which publishes The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun, and which (until July 2011) published The News of the World.  Responded to allegations by the victims of phone hacking and other press practices and allegations of inappropriate relations between NI and the police and politicians respectively.  Responded to proposals about the future regulation of the press. 
    • Voicemail Interception Compensation Scheme: News Group Newspapers
      Acted for News Group Newspapers (led by Dinah Rose QC), publisher of The Sun and former publisher of The News of the World, in numerous claims brought by alleged victims of phone hacking and other unlawful practices, being resolved within a voluntary Compensation Scheme set up by NGN.  The Compensation Scheme ran in parallel to the group litigation managed in the High Court. 
    • Mobile Telephone Voicemail Interception Litigation: News Group Newspapers
      Acted for News Group Newspapers (led by Antony White QC) in the group litigation managed in the High Court. Applied successfully to strike out, on grounds including res judicata, fresh claims made by two victims of phone hacking who had already made and settled claims within the group litigation.

     

  • Professional Liability

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    • Acting for the international mining group ENRC in a high value professional negligence claim brought in the Commercial Court by a mining company against its former solicitors in connection with an internal bribery and corruption investigation.
    • In professional disciplinary proceedings, acting for KPMG in defending serious allegations of misconduct in relation to the collapse of bed manufacturer Silentnight.  Allegations include conflicts of interest and the making of false statements to the Pensions Regulator.

Other Experience

Before coming to the Bar, Anna worked in the External Relations D.G at the European Commission and as a legal advisor on human rights and European free movement issues.

In 2005, she worked in Hong Kong as a Pegasus Scholar where she was seconded to BP Asia, Linklaters and the Hong Kong Court of Appeal.

Anna has served on the Executive Committee of the Financial Services Lawyers Association, as a member of the International Committee of the Bar Council and on the Executive Committee of COMBAR.  She takes a particular interest in diversity of recruitment to the Bar.

 

Education

BA History, Downing College, Cambridge (1st class)
Post Graduate Diploma in Law, City University (Commendation)
Bar Vocational Course, Inns of Court School of Law (Outstanding. Top of year)

Other Academic Achievements

Baron Dr Ver Heyden de Lancey Prize (Middle Temple, 2003)
Du Cann Memorial Prize for Advocacy (3 Raymond Buildings, 2002)
Scarman Scholarship and Sibel Dedazde Pro Bono Award (both Inns of Court School of Law, 2002)
Queen Mother Scholarships (Middle Temple 2001 and 2000)
Piley Scholarship and R.J. White Prize (Downing College, 1999 and 1997)
Buchanan Scholarship (Cambridge University, 1997)