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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, product liability 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, civil fraud and commercial arbitration.

Some examples of recent comments about him:

"He's very good at getting to grips to details quickly, is great on his feet and able to turn judges' opinions around quickly." Chambers UK 2022 - Fraud: Civil

"He is very focused and driven." "He really rolls up his sleeves and gets stuck in. He is a very good advocate as well." Chambers UK 2022 - Banking & Finance

"Very fluent in the law and a workaholic. He has an impressive way and style about him." Chambers UK 2022 Commercial Dispute Resolution

"Without doubt, Craig is exceptional. He has encyclopedic knowledge and is a razor-sharp lawyer at the top of his game." Legal 500 2021- Banking and Finance

"He is tremendously hard working, clever, and a top guy. He is just so talented and will just roll up his sleeves and get stuck in." Legal 500 2021 - Commercial Litigation

"He is really really good; he's clever and he gets stuck in." Chambers Global 2021 - Commercial Dispute Resolution 

"Extremely conscientious, a first-rate technical legal mind and a strong advocate. He is an excellent leader of junior barristers and works well with the solicitor team." Legal 500 2021 - Fraud: Civil 

"He is an excellent leader of junior barristers and works well with the solicitor team. His sense of humour comes through when things are at their toughest." Legal 500 2021 - International Arbitration: Counsel

“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 - Civil: Fraud

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

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

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

"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 - Commercial Litigation 

"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 - Banking and Finance 

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

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

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

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

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

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

"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 - Commercial Litigation 

"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 - Banking and Finance 

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

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

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

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

"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 and Partners 2017 - Commercial Dispute Resolution

Craig’s recent cases include:

Abdel-Kader & Others v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea & Others
Acting for a product manufacturer in proceedings arising out of the Grenfell Tower fire. The issues include professional negligence on the part of architects, fire safety engineers, cladding specialists and building contractors; product liability; and the liability of public authorities in negligence and under the Human Rights Act. Craig is representing the same manufacturer in the Grenfell Tower Public Inquiry.

Financial Conduct Authority v Arch Insurance (UK) Ltd & Others
Acting for Zurich Insurance in proceedings brought by the FCA under the Financial Markets Test Case Scheme to resolve issues concerning business interruption insurance arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Divisional Court’s decision ([2020] EWHC 2448 (Comm)) was the subject of a leap-frog appeal to the Supreme Court: see [2021] UKSC 1.

The Libyan Investment Authority v Societe General SA
Acting for the Libyan Investment Authority in a billion-dollar claim for bribery, corruption and fraud arising out of 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 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.

Morris-Garner v One Step (Support) Limited
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. See [2018] UKSC 20.

LIC Telecommunications Sarl v VTB Capital PLC
Acting for investors defending claims arising out of the restructuring and sale of a Bulgarian telecommunications business. Successive trials of preliminary issues were decided in the defendants’ favour in December 2017 and May 2019. See [2018] EWHC 169 (Comm), Waksman J and [2019] EWHC 1747 (Comm), Moulder J.  

Otello Corporation v Moore Freres & Company
Acting 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. See [2018] EWHC 2347 (Ch). 

Dar Al Arkan v Al Refai
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 (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. See [2012] EWHC 3539 (Comm); [2013] EWHC 4112 (Comm); [2014] EWHC 1055 (Comm) and [2014] EWCA Civ 749.

Fortress Value Recovery Fund v Blue Skye Special Opportunities Fund
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 (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. See [2013] EWHC 14 (Comm).