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Practice Summary

Sandy Phipps is a leading commercial junior with a broad, multi-jurisdictional practice.  He has appeared before all levels of the English courts (including two Supreme Court appearances) and is instructed in connection with disputes in foreign courts and in arbitration. He is also developing a substantial advisory practice assisting clients with matters such as internal or regulatory investigations, English law issues arising in foreign disputes, and Parliamentary inquiries.       

Sandy has been instructed on some of the most high-profile commercial disputes of recent times.  These include the long running Algosaibi v Saad fraud dispute, the Berezovsky v Hine oligarch litigation, the NML v Argentina Supreme Court case on state immunity, the Plevin v Paragon Personal Finance Supreme Court case on unfair relationships, the Libyan Investment Authority v Societe Generale bribery dispute, and the Bluewaters v Ecclestone Formula One litigation.

Now in his tenth year of practice at the Bar, Sandy has won praise from his peers as “one of the stars of his generation” (Chambers and Partners) and as “having maturity far beyond his call” (Legal 500).  In 2017 he was named by Legal Week as one of its ‘Stars at the Bar.’  In light of his experience he is routinely instructed as sole Counsel on complex commercial disputes, many of which are in the Commercial Court.  He also has extensive experience working as part of broader, silk-led teams on very substantial cases.

Sandy has particular experience with banking disputes, whether arising in the retail, commercial or investment baking contexts.  Before coming to the Bar he was a litigator in Freshfields’ banking disputes group (2006 to 2009), and his experience during this period included a secondment to the litigation team at Goldman Sachs.  He is therefore familiar with banking documents of all descriptions, including the ISDA form, syndicated lending documentation, brokerage agreements, documentary credits, guarantees and bills of exchange.  Additionally, a number of his recent banking cases have involved advising on the interaction between civil claims and regulatory or criminal investigations by agencies like the Financial Conduct Authority, the Serious Fraud Office and the United States Department of Justice.

Alongside his practice, Sandy maintains an active interest in academic law.  He has published in areas including banking law, contract, jurisdiction and civil procedure.  He is a regular contributor to the Journal of International Banking & Financial Law and writes the chapter on guarantees in one of the leading banking law textbooks.

Sandy is ranked in the legal directories in the areas of Commercial Dispute Resolution and Banking and Finance.  Legal Week has described him as “outstanding – genuinely first class” and someone who “gets things done by combining diplomacy with steel where needed.”  Elsewhere it has been said that he is “decisive, shows excellent attention to detail and offers sound commercial advice” (Chambers and Partners), a “pleasure to work with and very tactically astute” (Legal 500), and “very attuned to what solicitors really want from counsel” (Chambers).

Chambers & Partners (Banking & Finance) 2020 "A calm and thoughtful advocate, who can reduce complex problems to simple propositions."

Chambers & Partners (Commercial Dispute Resolution) 2020"Can digest a large amount of material quickly to provide sound commercial, legal and tactical advice, and shows excellent attention to detail." "A really excellent junior who is thorough and user-friendly."

Legal 500 (Commercial Litigation) 2019 - "Has a razor-sharp brain that cuts to the answer quickly and with no nonsense."

Legal 500 (Banking & Finance) 2019 - "Extremely user friendly and responsive, with an excellent client manner."

Legal 500 (Commercial Litigation) 2018 - "Great to work with, very able, and an impressive all round contributor to the team effort."

Legal 500 (Banking and Finance) 2018 - "Very user friendly, commercial, and has an excellent memory for facts and law."

EXAMPLES OF RECENT CASES

  • Banking & Finance

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    • ECU Group v HSBC
      Acting for the defendant bank in threatened Commercial Court proceedings involving allegations of foreign exchange rate manipulation and ‘front running.’ 
    • VTB v Basic Element
      Acting for the claimant bank in relation to a guarantee claim against one of Oleg Deripaska’s business interests.
    • Interest rate hedging product (‘IRHP’) mis-selling disputes
      Acting for the lender in multiple cases relating to IRHPs allegedly mis-sold prior to the 2008 financial crisis.  These cases often involve complex issues relating to the lender’s conduct of the FCA’s IRHP review process, liability under the COBS rules, contractual estoppel and consequential loss.
    • Foreign exchange rate manipulation claim
      Acting for a major UK bank in relation to a threatened claim involving allegations of foreign exchange rate manipulation and ‘front running.’
    • Conduct advice
      Advising a member of the senior management of a major UK bank on issues relating to the FCA’s / PRA’s Senior Managers Regime.
    • Libyan Investment Authority v Societe Generale
      Acting for the defendant bank in connection with multi-billion dollar claims brought by the Libyan sovereign wealth fund alleging fraud and corruption.
    • Morgan Stanley v Salzburg
      Acting for the claimant bank in Commercial Court proceedings relating to transactions between the bank and the Austrian province of Salzburg.   
    • Financial Services Compensation Scheme v Paragon Personal Finance
      Acting for the defendant lender in a claim brought by the FSCS in relation to the alleged ‘mis-selling’ of payment protection insurance.
    • Agate Assets v Banque Privee Edmond de Rothschild
      Acting for Commerzbank in relation to a dispute concerning EUR 30 million structured notes. 
    • Plevin v Paragon Personal Finance Ltd
      Acting for the defendant lender in an appeal to the Supreme Court regarding the unfair relationship provisions of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
    • CF Partners (UK) LLP v Barclays Bank Plc
      Acting for the defendant bank in resisting breach of confidence claims relating to the acquisition of a listed Swedish green energy firm.
    • UBS v Commune di Firenze
      Acting for UBS in Commercial Court proceedings concerning an interest rate swap transaction on the ISDA form with a European public entity.
    • British Arab Commercial Bank & Ors v Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi and Brothers Co
      Defending Commercial Court proceedings brought against the defendant Saudi Arabian industrial conglomerate by a group of banks.

     

     

  • Civil Fraud

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    • St John’s Trust Company v Tamine
      Acting for the respondent to an application for a freezing order and other relief in connection with overseas proceedings and against the background of a criminal investigation by the United States Department of Justice.
    • Bluewaters v Ecclestone
      Acting for Bernard Ecclestone in Commercial Court proceedings alleging bribery and corruption in connection with the sale of the Formula One motor racing business in 2005.  
    • Alleged foreign bribery
      Acting for a major UK PLC in connection with threatened proceedings concerning the alleged bribery of foreign officials. 
    • Libyan Investment Authority v Societe Generale
      Acting for the defendant bank in connection with multi-billion dollar claims brought by the Libyan sovereign wealth fund alleging fraud and corruption.
    • Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi Brothers Co v Al Sanea
      Cayman Islands proceedings arising out of an alleged US$9.2 billion fraud.
    • Bloomsbury International Limited (in administration) & Ors v Holyoake & Ors  
      Acting in substantial fraud proceedings for the administrators of the British Seafood group.
    • Co-shareholder fraud
      Advising in a substantial and long-running shareholders dispute in the Cayman Islands and the BVI involving allegations of fraud and minority oppression.
  • Commercial disputes

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    • Sale of goods dispute
      Acting for the claimant in a Commercial Court breach of warranty claim in relation to the sale of a superconducting electromagnet.
    • Bluewaters v Ecclestone
      Acting for Bernard Ecclestone in Commercial Court proceedings alleging bribery and corruption in connection with the sale of the Formula One motor racing business in 2005.  
    • Share sale agreement breach of warranty dispute
      Acting for the seller in a threatened breach of warranty claim relating to the sale of a substantial meat processing business, including in connection with an expert determination regarding the payment of deferred consideration. 
    • Libyan Investment Authority v Societe Generale
      Acting for the defendant bank in connection with multi-billion dollar claims brought by the Libyan sovereign wealth fund alleging fraud and corruption.
    • Alleged foreign bribery
      Acting for a major UK PLC in connection with threatened proceedings concerning the alleged bribery of foreign officials. 
    • Parliamentary inquiry 
      Advising an individual in connection with a Parliamentary inquiry into the collapse of a well-known UK high street chain. 
    • Gudavadze & Ors v Anisimov
      Acting for Vasily Anisimov in his defence of claims brought by the estate of the late Badri Patarkatsishvili.
    • Berezovsky v Hine
      Acting for Vasily Anisimov and businesses owned by him in their defence of claims brought by Boris Berezovsky.
    • Stokors SA v IG Markets Ltd
      Acted for the respondent on an appeal to the Court of Appeal concerning security for costs and case management (split trial) issues.
    • NML Capital Limited v Republic of Argentina
      Appeal to the Supreme Court concerning issues of sovereign immunity and civil procedure in the context of proceedings to enforce a foreign judgment.
    • Jurisdiction dispute
      Advising a defence systems manufacturer in relation to a jurisdiction dispute involving competing proceedings in the Commercial Court.
    • REC Wafer Norway AS v Moser Baer Photo Voltaic
      Acting for the claimant seller in successful Commercial Court proceedings for an anti-suit injunction to restrain the prosecution of proceedings in India brought by the defendant buyer.
    • ICC arbitration
      Acting for the respondent to an ICC arbitration in a substantial sale of goods dispute relating to silicon wafers used in the production of solar panels.
  • Insolvency & Restructuring

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    • Section 423 claim
      Advising a foreign bank on possible section 423 claims in relation to a fraud committed on a foreign company. 
    • Section 423 proceedings
      Advising a major UK corporate in connection with proceedings under section 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
    • Insolvency bonding
      Advising a major accountancy firm in relation to issues regarding the bonding of the firm’s insolvency practitioners.
    • Quarry Hill v Hersov
      Acting for the liquidators of an investment company in misfeasance and wrongful trading claims against a former director. 
    • Bloomsbury International Limited (in administration) & Ors v Holyoake & Ors  
      Acting in substantial fraud proceedings for the administrators of the British Seafood group.
    • Annulment of bankruptcy
      Acting for a local authority defending an application to annul a personal bankruptcy on the grounds of alleged mental incapacity.
    • Winding up
      Advising a minority shareholder of an offshore company in connection with proceedings to wind up the company on the just and equitable ground.

Notable Decisions

  • ECU Group v HSBC Bank [2018] EWHC 3045 (Commercial Court) – collateral use of disclosed documents
  • Bluewaters Communications Holdings v Bayerische Landesbank [2018] EWHC 78 (Commercial Court) – security for costs
  • Libyan Investment Authority v Societe Generale [2017] EWHC 2631 (Commercial Court) – collateral use of disclosed documents
  • Libyan Investment Authority v Societe Generale [2016] EWHC 375 (Commercial Court) – confidentiality clubs
  • Plevin v Paragon Personal Finance [2014] 1 WLR 4222 (Supreme Court) – unfair relationships under the Consumer Credit Act 1974
  • CF Partners v Barclays Bank [2014] EWHC 3049 (Chancery Division) – banking and breach of confidence
  • Stokors v IG Markets [2012] EWCA Civ 1706 (Court of Appeal) – security for costs and procedural appeals
  • NML Capital v Republic of Argentina [2011] 2 AC 495 (Supreme Court) – state immunity and the enforcement of judgments
  • British Arab Commercial Bank v Algosaibi [2011] EWHC 2444 (Commercial Court) – charging orders
  • REC Wafer Norway v Moser Baer Photo Voltaic [2011] 1 Lloyd’s Rep 410 (Commercial Court) – anti-suit injunctions 
  • Re Bloomsbury International [2010] EWHC 1150 (Chancery Division) – freezing orders and the fortification of cross-undertakings    

Publications

  • Regular contributor to the Journal of International Banking & Financial Law
  • Contributing author, Paget's Law of Banking
  • “Reform of anti-assignment clauses” (2018) 33(8) Journal of International Banking & Financial Law 490   
  • ‘Protecting the New Dawn for Alternative Assets: Lessons from Recent Financial Services Litigation' [2010] IFC Review (with Sonia Tolaney QC)
  • Resurrecting the Doctrine of Common Law Forbearance' (2007) 123 Law Quarterly Review 286
  • 'Non-party compensation for wrongful interim injunctions: Smithkline Beecham plc v Apotex Europe Ltd [2006] EWCA Civ 685' (2007) 26 Civil Justice Quarterly 10
  • 'The Application of the ALI/UNIDROIT Principles and Rules of Transnational Civil Procedure to New South Wales' (2004) 4 Uniform Law Review 1 (with the Hon Justice C.R. Einstein, Supreme Court of New South Wales)
  • 'Trends in International Commercial Litigation in Australia Part I - The Present State of Foreign Judgment Enforcement Law' (2005) 3 IPRax (with the Hon Justice C.R. Einstein)
  • 'Trends in International Commercial Litigation in Australia Part II - The Future of Foreign Judgment Enforcement Law' (2005) 4 IPrax (with the Hon Justice C.R. Einstein)

Education

  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons 1st Class), Australian National University
  • Bachelor of Laws (Hons 1st Class), Australian National University
  • Bachelor of Civil Laws (Distinction), University of Oxford

Awards & Scholarships

  • 2005 - Chevening Oxford-Australia Fund Scholarship
  • 2003 - University Medal in Law
  • 2003 - Attorney-General's Prize
  • 2003 - Marie Ayers Prize for Criminal Justice
  • 2002 - Harmers' Prize for Work and Law 2
  • 2001 - C.M. Williams Prize in History
  • 2000 - H.C. Coombs Honours Scholarship in Arts

Professional Affiliations

  • Lincoln's Inn
  • COMBAR
  • South Eastern Circuit
  • Anglo-Australian Lawyers Society