Andrew McLeod

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Andrew McLeod

Barrister

Call 2017

Andrew practises commercial litigation and arbitration with an emphasis on heavy contractual claims, civil fraud, company and insolvency matters, and contentious trusts.  He has extensive experience of high-value and complex business disputes as well as a notable offshore practice.

He is regularly instructed (both as sole counsel and as part of a team) in valuable, large-scale litigation before first-instance and appellate courts in England and internationally. He has recently appeared in the Privy Council in Convoy Collateral Ltd v Broad Idea International Ltd [2021] UKPC 24, a major decision on the law of injunctions and freezing relief. He is called to Bar of the British Virgin Islands and is admitted to practise in Australia (as a legal practitioner of the Supreme Court of New South Wales). He is also a contributor to Snell’s Equity, the leading text on equitable doctrines and principles.

Andrew’s current and recent instructions include:

  • Convoy Collateral Ltd v Broad Idea International Ltd [2021] UKPC 24: appeared for the successful respondent before the Privy Council (sitting as an enlarged seven-member board) in an appeal considering the court’s power to grant a freestanding freezing relief in support of foreign proceedings and against third parties.
  • Palmali Shipping SA v Litasco SA [2021] EWHC 1161 (Comm): acting for the international trading arm of Lukoil in defending a US$2bn claim under a contract of affreightment.
  • Rowland v Stanford [2021] EWHC 988 (Ch), [2021] EWHC 1682 (Ch): acting for David and Jonathan Rowland in obtaining Norwich Pharmacal relief against the retail entrepreneur Kevin Stanford in relation to the unauthorised disclosure and selective publication of a cache of private and confidential documents. Appearing as sole counsel at the consequentials hearing, Andrew obtained indemnity costs against the Norwich Pharmacal respondent, the first reported instance of the court making such an order.
  • Kea Investments Ltd v Watson [2020] EWHC 2599 (Ch), [2020] EWHC 2796 (Ch): appeared in a 17-day committal trial (believed to be the longest held in the English courts) arising from a dispute between two prominent New Zealand businessmen.
  • Renova Industries Ltd v Emmerson International Corp: acting for the claimants in this long-running, multi-faceted BVI litigation arising from a joint-venture dispute over Russian energy assets and involving multiple appearances before the BVI Commercial Court, the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal and the Privy Council.

Prior to coming to the Bar, Andrew served as an associate (judicial assistant) to the Chief Justice of Australia and as a senior analyst in the Australian Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (where he was a speechwriter and legal adviser to the head of the Australian Public Service and the National Security Adviser). He also previously taught law at the University of Oxford, the Australian National University and the University of Sydney, and has experience advising national governments and international organisations on constitutional law and design.

  • Examples of Recent Cases

    • Banking and Financial Services

      Andrew has a developing practice acting both for and against financial institutions in banking and financial services disputes of a varied nature.

      • VTB Bank v Mazurov. Acted for VTB Bank and VTB Commodities in relation to multi-jurisdictional proceedings against Dmitri Mazurov to recover sums of over US$90m owed under guarantees provided in support of lending made to the Antipinsky Oil Refinery.
      • Red Kite Management Ltd & Ors v Barclays Bank plc. Acted (as part of a junior counsel team) for a group of hedge funds involved in metal trading in their £850m claim against Barclays Bank arising from alleged mis-use of confidential information and market manipulation in the copper trading on the London Metal Exchange.
    • Civil Fraud and Asset Recovery

      Andrew is highly sought after as a go-to junior for civil fraud and tracing disputes, having acted in several high-profile matters before courts in England and leading offshore jurisdictions. He has experience across the full range of issues that arise in fraud claims – including freezing orders, pre- and post-judgment receiverships, Norwich Pharmacal and other disclosure orders, and contempt applications – and is frequently instructed in complex, high-value litigation involving allegations of dishonesty, deceit, conspiracy, asset misappropriation and breach of duty.

      • Convoy Collateral Ltd v Broad Idea International Ltd (BVI). Acting (with Richard Morgan KC) for a BVI company in relation to a worldwide freezing order granted on Black Swan and Chabra grounds. Appeared in February 2021 before the Privy Council (sitting as an enlarged seven-member Board) on an appeal revisiting – for the first time in 25 years – the decisions in The Siskina, Mercedez Benz v Leiduck and Fourier v Le Roux.
      • Renova Industries Ltd v Emmerson International Corp (BVI). Acting for the claimants in a long-running joint venture dispute worth approx. US$1bn relating to Russian energy assets and raising issues of deceit, sham and constructive trust. Appeared before the Privy Council on a preliminary point concerning ancillary disclosure orders ([2019] UKPC 24). Appeared (unled) in various interlocutory applications leading up to the claimants’ (ultimately successful) application to discharge a worldwide freezing order over assets worth US$3bn.
      • Kea Investments Ltd v Watson [2020] EWHC 2599 (Ch), [2020] EWHC 2796 (Ch). Appeared in a 17-day committal trial (believed to be the longest ever held in England) arising out of a long-running dispute between two well-known New Zealand businessmen.
      • Rowland v Stanford [2021] EWHC 252 (Ch), [2021] EWHC 988 (Ch). Acting for David and Jonathan Rowland in obtaining Norwich Pharmacal relief against the retail entrepreneur Kevin Stanford in relation to the unauthorised disclosure and selective publication of a cache of private and confidential documents.
      • Excalibur Almaz v Horie (Isle of Man). Acting (unled) for a Japanese entrepreneur in proceedings against the promoters of a defunct commercial space-flight venture involving a US$50m claim for deceit and breach of fiduciary duty.
      • Wilton Trustees (IOM) Ltd v AFS Trustee Ltd (BVI). Acting for professional trustees in multi-party proceedings concerning a £65m family settlement and alleged fraudulent misappropriation of trust assets.
      • K v Z (BVI). Acted (unled) for a prominent foreign bank in securing disclosure on Norwich Pharmacal principles against BVI registered agents. The resulting judgment of Wallbank J is now the leading case on Norwich Pharmacal relief in the BVI and its availability in support of foreign proceedings.
    • Commercial Disputes

      Andrew is regularly instructed in high-value, heavy commercial disputes of all kinds, whether in litigation in the English Commercial Court and Chancery Division and leading offshore jurisdictions or in arbitrations.

      • Palmali Shipping SA v Litasco SA [2020] EWHC 2581 (Comm), [2021] EWHC 1161 (Comm). Acting for the international trading arm of Lukoil in proceedings involving a US$2bn claim (since reduced following reverse summary judgment to c.US$150m) for breach of a contract of affreightment.
      • Renova Industries Ltd v Emmerson International Corp (BVI). Acting for the claimants in a long-running joint venture dispute worth approx. US$1bn relating to Russian energy assets.
      • Acted in an LCIA arbitration on behalf of a major British utility in successfully resisting a price review claim brought by its principal supplier for a £150m increase in charges over 10 years.
      • Acted for VTB Bank in proceedings before the English, Isle of Man and BVI courts against Dmitry Mazurov (former owner of the Antipinsky Oil Refinery) to recover judgment debts of over US$100m.
    • Insolvency and Restructuring

      Andrew accepts instructions in all areas of insolvency, bankruptcy and company law. He is regularly instructed in relation to compulsory and voluntary liquidations and applications by and against office-holders within insolvency proceedings.

      • In re BEAT TV Ltd (ChD). Acting for a significant creditor in the winding up of a high-profile streaming platform for electronic dance music.
      • In re Montpelier (Trust and Corporate) Services Ltd (in liquidation) (Isle of Man High Court). Acting on behalf of the receiver and manager (and, subsequently, liquidators’ agent) appointed to the parent company of a major corporate and fiduciary services firm following the discovery of an apparent £300m Ponzi scheme by the firm’s principal.
    • International Arbitration

      Andrew is regularly instructed in arbitration claims and court applications (both in England and abroad) arising out of such claims. He has conducted cases or advised in relation to disputes under various major arbitral rules, including LCIA, ICC and HKIAC, and is a member of the BVI Arbitration Group.

      • Acted in five consolidated LCIA arbitrations (and assisted in related offshore proceedings) arising from a shareholder dispute in relation to a very substantial Russian financial services business.
      • Acted in an LCIA arbitration on behalf of a major British utility in successfully resisting a price review claim brought by its principal supplier for a £150m increase in charges over 10 years.
      • Acted for a major Russian bank in relation to enforcement of a €70m LCIA award in England, the Isle of Man and the BVI.
      • Evison Holdings Ltd v International Co Finvision Holdings [2019] EWHC 3057 (Com). Appeared (with Aidan Casey QC) in successfully resisting the continuation of an anti-suit injunction to restrain proceedings before the Russian Arbitrazh Court alleged to be in breach of an arbitration clause.
    • International and Offshore

      Andrew is recommended as a Rising Star by the Legal 500 for Offshore work (the only barrister under 5 years' call to be ranked), with clients saying that he "operates like a senior junior and has a superb knowledge of BVI work". He has an extensive offshore practice with significant experience of high-value matters spanning multiple jurisdictions (including the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey). He is called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (BVI) and has direct experience of conducting litigation before the BVI courts (both at first instance and in the Court of Appeal) during a six-month secondment to a leading litigation firm in the BVI. He has appeared in the Privy Council on appeals from the BVI, including in Renova Industries Ltd v Emmerson International Corp [2019] UKPC 24 (concerning the nature of disclosure ancillary to a freezing injunction) and Convoy Collateral Ltd v Broad Idea International Ltd [2021] UKPC 24 (concerning the scope of the court’s power to grant injunctions and the correctness of the House of Lord’s decision in The Siskina).

      • Convoy Collateral Ltd v Broad Idea International Ltd (BVI). Acting (with Richard Morgan KC) for a BVI company in relation to a worldwide freezing order granted on Black Swan and Chabra grounds. Appeared before the Privy Council (sitting as an enlarged seven-member board) on an appeal revisiting – for the first time in 25 years – the decisions in The Siskina, Mercedez Benz v Leiduck and Fourier v Le Roux. The board's decision ([2021] UKPC 24) is likely to become a key milestone in the law of injunctions and freezing relief across offshore jurisdictions as well as in England.
      • Renova Industries Ltd v Emmerson International Corp (BVI). Acting for the claimants in a long-running joint venture dispute worth approx. US$1bn relating to Russian energy assets.
      • Excalibur Almaz v Horie (Isle of Man). Acting (unled) for a Japanese entrepreneur in proceedings against the promoters of a defunct commercial space-flight venture involving a US$50m claim for deceit and breach of fiduciary duty. The proceedings have already involved two appeals to the Staff of Government Division, producing the leading Manx authorities on the availability of anti-suit relief and summary judgment.
      • Wilton Trustees (IOM) Ltd v AFS Trustee Ltd (BVI). Acting for professional trustees in multi-party proceedings concerning a £65m family settlement and alleged fraudulent misappropriation of trust assets.
      • Agile Star Group Ltd v Throne Capable Investment Ltd (BVI). Acting for majority shareholders in a dispute concerning two inter-related logistics joint ventures with a combined value of over US$100m operating in mainland China.
      • In re Montpelier (Trust and Corporate) Services Ltd (in liquidation) (Isle of Man). Acting on behalf of the receiver and manager (and, subsequently, liquidators’ agent) appointed to the parent company of a major corporate and fiduciary services firm following the discovery of an apparent £300m Ponzi scheme by the firm’s principal.
      • K v Z (BVI). Acted (unled) for a prominent foreign bank in securing disclosure on Norwich Pharmacal principles against BVI registered agents. The resulting judgment of Wallbank J is now the leading case on Norwich Pharmacal relief in the BVI and its availability in support of foreign proceedings.
    • Media, Art and Entertainment

      Andrew has a growing practice in media, art and entertainment disputes and is regularly instructed both to advise and appear in relation to such matters. He has a particular interest in claims involving art, antiquities and objects of cultural value and is well versed in issues arising in the context of ownership and provenance disputes.

      • Mahmud v Jukin Media Ltd. Acted for a leading social media business in defending a claim arising from a licensing agreement to commercialise viral YouTube content.
      • Acting for a high-net worth investor in relation to a dispute arising from an investment in a music festival livestreaming business.
      • Acted for a leading actor in a dispute with their former agents over commissions said to be payable from appearance fees for a major streaming series.
    • Private Client

      Andrew has experience of a diverse range of private client work, generally involving large family settlements and estates or closely held businesses. He has strong academic credentials in this area, having taught and lectured in trusts at the University of Oxford (where he was a Stipendiary Lecturer and then Research Fellow). He is also contributor to Snell’s Equity (Sweet & Maxwell), the leading text on equitable principles, with responsibility for chapters on equitable doctrines and administration of assets.

      • Wilton Trustees (IOM) Ltd v AFS Trustee Ltd (BVI Commercial Court). Acting for professional trustees in multi-party proceedings concerning a £65m family settlement and alleged fraudulent misappropriation of trust assets.
      • Rowland v Stanford (ChD). Acting for David and Jonathan Rowland in relation to the unauthorised disclosure and selective publication of a cache of emails concerning the affairs of a Luxembourg-based private bank, Banque Havilland SA.
      • Montpelier (Trust and Corporate) Services Ltd v Gittins (Isle of Man High Court). Acted for the receiver and manager appointed to the parent company of a major corporate and fiduciary services in a claim against the firm’s former principal concerning ownership of and duties owed by certain subsidiaries acting as trustees within client trust structures marked by the firm.
      • Intertrust Trustees Ltd v Olswang LLP (ChD). Acted for Guernsey-based professional trustees of a Jersey trust in a professional negligence claim against solicitors for failing effectively to limit the trustees’ liability in connection with a significant property transaction and initiating litigation in the trustees’ name without authorisation.
    • Professional Liability

      Andrew regularly acts in disputes concerning the liability of professionals, including solicitors, valuers and estate agents.

      • CNM Estates (Tolworth Tower) Ltd v VECREF I S.à.r.l & Ors (Commercial Court). Acting for Knight Frank LLP in a claim involving alleged breaches of receivers’ and estate agents’ duties in relation to the disposal of the Tolworth Tower development, a substantial commercial and residential complex.
      • Intertrust Trustees Ltd v Olswang LLP (ChD). Acted for Guernsey-based professional trustees of a Jersey trust in a claim against solicitors for failing effectively to limit the trustee’s liability in connection with a significant property transaction and initiating litigation in the trustees’ name without authorisation.
  • What the Directories Say

    Chambers & Partners 2024 (Chancery: Commercial) "Extremely astute, he is adept at marshalling complex fact patterns and dealing with sophisticated data. His legal analysis is second to none and he operates at a level far above his year of call. Andrew's drafting is superb, and he's extremely effective in achieving success for clients. Adept at working across different jurisdictions and a lawyer with  superior client handling skills, he is a genuine pleasure to work with." "Andrew provided an excellent service; he delivered prompt, detailed advice. He was at all times conscious of the client's motivations and concerns and was excellent to work with."

    Chambers & Partners 2024 (Commercial Dispute Resolution) "Andrew is fantastic. He has a keen eye for detail, he's hard working and he's user friendly. His advice is thorough and commercial and he is a great advocate." "Andrew is a force to be reckoned with."

    Legal 500 2024 (Fraud: Civil) ‘Andrew is fiercely intelligent but down to earth and approachable. He is particularly skilled at distilling complicated multi-jurisdictional issues into the simple and understandable in both oral and written form.’ 

    Legal 500 2024 (Offshore) Andrew is highly articulate and engaging and has a masterly grasp of the law.’

    Chambers & Partners 2023 (Chancery: Commercial) "Andrew is an absolute champion. He'll be a future star and KC. He's hard-working, is really good on a personal level and he works well as part of a team." Andrew is extremely clever and has excellent client-handling skills - he's got everything going for him."  

    Legal 500 2022 (Civil Fraud) - "Andrew is thorough and analytical. At this level, you take technical excellence as a given, but he is particularly adept at navigating the court system to best advantage, and is strategically extremely sound.

    Legal 500 2022 (Offshore) - "A solid barrister to work with. He does a very good job and is bright and able." 

    Legal 500 2021, where clients said he "operates as a senior junior".

  • Qualifications

    • BSc (Adv) (Hons) LLB (Hons) Syd
    • BCL Oxon
  • Awards

    • Levitt Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
    • Peter Cameron Sydney–Oxford Scholarship
    • Charles Herbert Currey Memorial Scholarship
    • Eleanor Sophia Wood Postgraduate Research Travelling Scholarship
    • Sir Arthur Sims Travelling Scholarship
    • Nancy Gordon Smith Memorial Prize, University of Sydney
    • University of Sydney Convocation Medal
  • Publications

    Andrew has published articles in the Law Quarterly Review, the Sydney Law Review and the Melbourne University Law Review and his work has been cited with approval by the High Court of Australia and the Australian Law Reform Commission. He will join the contributors to Snell’s Equity with the forthcoming supplement to the 34th edition.

    He has previously served as general editor of the Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal and Associate Editor of the Sydney Law Review.

  • Previous experience

    • Research Fellow, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford
    • Stipendiary Lecturer in Law, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford
    • Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Sydney
    • Senior Analyst, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Commonwealth of Australia
    • Associate (judicial assistant) to the Chief Justice of Australia
  • Memberships

    • BVI Arbitration Group
    • Chancery Bar Association
    • COMBAR
    • Constitutional and Administrative Law Association
    • Contentious Trusts Association

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