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Practice Summary

Craig Orr QC undertakes a wide range of commercial disputes work including litigation and arbitration, both domestic and international. His expertise covers banking and financial services, civil fraud, professional negligence, shareholder and other corporate disputes, jurisdiction challenges, energy and natural resources, telecommunications and insurance.  He is recognised for his “extremely effective” advocacy and ability to give “strong strategic direction” and be “calm under pressure”.  He has been admitted as a member of the Bar in Bermuda, has acted as an expert on English law in various jurisdictions and also accepts appointments as an arbitrator.

Craig has consistently been recommended as a leading silk by the Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 directories, especially in the fields of commercial litigation, banking & finance and insurance. 

Some examples of recent comments about him:

Legal 500 2020 (Civil: Fraud) “His exceptionally quick mind brings an unrivalled courtroom presence to bear and he has an outstanding ability to focus both clients and the court on the essentials of a complex case.”

Legal 500 2020 (Commercial Litigation) “Will always be someone at the top of my list for any commercial and complex disputes.”

Legal 500 2020 (International Arbitration: Counsel) “Craig possesses a rare combination of piercing intellect, studious attention to detail, and user-friendliness.”

Legal 500 2020 (Banking and Finance) “Wonderful brain and great judgment.”

Chambers and Partners 2020 (Commercial Litigation) "Craig has a calm and unflappable demeanour, and an ability to see the bigger picture." "It's a joy to have him as an opponent, because you can then just focus on the issues and save both clients money."

Chambers and Partners 2020 (Banking and Finance) "Incredibly thorough, very hard-working and properly clever." "He is brilliant at throwing himself into the detail of a complex matter."

Chambers and Partners 2020 (Civil: Fraud) "He's very responsive and gets into the nitty gritty of the documents really quickly." "He has amazing attention to detail."

Legal 500 2019-2020 (Banking and Finance) "He is superb on his feet – calm and unflappable – and top drawer at cross-examination."

Legal 500 2019-2020 (Commercial Litigation) "Thorough, thoughtful and a tenacious advocate."

Legal 500 2019-2020 (Civil Fraud) "His exceptionally quick mind brings an unrivalled courtroom presence to bear."

Legal 500 2019-2020 (International Arbitraion - Counsel) "Fantastic at getting on top of complex and detailed issues quickly, and great with clients."

Legal 500 2019-2020 (Professional Negligence) "He is a very capable silk."

Chambers and Partners 2019 (Commercial Litigation) "A skilled, calm advocate who engages with everyone in the team, and concerns himself with every detail right down to the pagination in a trial bundle." "He's brilliant on the paperwork and also a very good advocate."

Chambers and Partners 2019 (Banking and Finance) "A really excellent barrister, who's a brilliant technical lawyer and hugely clever. He's very detail-orientated." "Brilliant on paper and also a very good advocate on his feet."

Chambers and Partners 2019 (Civil: Fraud) "Very experienced." "A convincing, authoritative advocate."

Chambers and Partners 2018 (Commercial Litigation) "Takes an excellent tactical approach to litigation, and is an extremely effective advocate." "He's got quiet authority and is seriously analytical."

Chambers and Partners 2018 (Banking and Finance) "A technically brilliant lawyer who's also incredibly hard-working and very effective on his feet." "He's very careful, thorough, seriously analytical and possessed of good judgement and quiet authority."

Chambers and Partners 2018 (Commercial Litigation) "Takes an excellent tactical approach to litigation, and is an extremely effective advocate." "He's got quiet authority and is seriously analytical."

Chambers and Partners 2017 (Banking and Finance) "A hugely impressive individual, he is incredibly conscientious and incredibly intelligent. A safer pair of hands couldn't be at the wheel." "He is very bright, very painstaking and leaves no stone unturned."

Chambers and Partners 2017 (Commercial Litigation) "He is a fantastic leader who gives strong strategic direction and is calm under pressure." "An insightful and different counsel who is always very responsive."

Chambers UK 2016 "Utterly excellent. His ability to get up to speed quickly and his command of the facts is truly remarkable." "He is incredibly hardworking and user-friendly." 

Chambers UK 2015Active on some of the most high-profile and substantial commercial disputes of the day”, he is “Absolutely fantastic” and “a pleasure to work with

Chambers UK 2015 Demonstrates capability handling multi-jurisdictional proceedings” and “is well-versed in many aspects of commercial law

Legal 500 2018-2019 (Banking and Finance) "Methodical, precise and meticulous in his preparation." 

Legal 500 2018-2019 (Commercial Litigation) "Usually five steps ahead of everyone else; fills those around him with complete confidence." 

Legal 500 2018-2019 (Professional Negligence) "Strong on professional negligence."

Craig’s recent cases include:

The Libyan Investment Authority v Societe General SA
Acting for the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) in a billion-dollar claim for bribery, corruption and fraud in relation to complex derivative investments made by the LIA with Societe Generale. Whilst the case settled on confidential terms on the first day of a 4 month trial, a joint statement issued by Societe General and the LIA at the time of the settlement recorded an apology by Societe Generale for “the lack of caution of some of its employees” and confirmed that Societe Generale was paying €963m (approx $1 billion) as part of the settlement.

One Step v Morris-Garner [2018] UKSC 20; [2017] 1 QB 1; [2014] EWHC 2213 (QB)
Acting for the claimant in a landmark case concerning breach of a non-compete covenant which went to the Supreme Court on the issue of recoverability of negotiating damages (also known as Wrotham Park damages).  This was the first occasion on which this “important question in relation to the law of damages” had been considered by the Supreme Court. Craig is now representing the claimant in having its damages assessed in accordance with the Supreme Court’s judgment.

LIC Telecommunications Sarl v VTB Capital PLC [2018] EWHC 169 (Comm)
Acting for Luxembourg and Bulgarian defendants in high value Commercial Court proceedings arising out of the restructuring and sale of a Bulgarian telecommunications business. Following a trial of preliminary issues of Luxembourg law in December 2017, the Commercial Court dismissed the main claims against the defendants. 

Otello Corporation v Moore Freres & Company [2018] EWHC 2347 (Ch)
Appearing for a New York venture capital firm in expedited proceedings in the Commercial Court arising out of the disputed sale of a 25% shareholding in an international software business. 

Pamplona Strategic Investments v International Standard Asset Management
Acting for the Chairman of an alternative investment fund manager in Commercial Court proceedings concerning ownership and control of a systematic trend-following hedge fund. The case turned on (among other things) interpretation and application of pre-emption rights in a shareholders’ agreement.

Re Etihad Notes
Advising and acting for a Gulf investor in a dispute concerning maturity and redemption of an investment in Leveraged Credit Linked Notes, linked to the performance of bonds issued by Etihad Aviation Group. 

Dar Al Arkan v Al Refai [2012] EWHC 3539 (Comm); [2013] EWHC 4112 (Comm); [2014] EWHC 1055 (Comm); and [2014] EWCA Civ 749
Acting for Kroll in defending a US$500m claim for breach of confidence, defamation and fraud arising out of consultancy work in the Middle East. The case (which was one of The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases for 2015) generated numerous interim proceedings, including a successful application by Kroll to discharge interim injunctions against it for material non-disclosure and a subsequent application to commit one of the claimants’ senior offices for providing false evidence to the Court.

Frost v Capita Financial Managers [2014] EWHC 2650
Acting for Capita in defending claims for negligence and breach of duty arising out of its role as authorised corporate director of the Arch Cru investment funds in Guernsey. 

Fortress Value Recovery Fund v Blue Skye Special Opportunities Fund [2013] EWHC 14 (Comm)
Acting for a Luxembourg liquidator in a €200m fraud and conspiracy claim arising out of the restructuring of a European hedge fund investment group. The case (which was one of The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases for 2014) raised complex issues of jurisdiction, choice of law and application of the EU Insolvency Regulation. 

Glitnir Bank hf
Advising and acting for the liquidators of Glitnir Bank in various ISDA related disputes arising out of the Bank’s winding up in Iceland.