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Practice Summary

Edmund Nourse is a commercial litigator with particular expertise in company and insolvency litigation.  His work includes complex, high value commercial litigation and arbitration, often involving civil fraud, conspiracy claims, and shareholder disputes. Edmund also has significant GLO claims experience, acting for defendants. Recently described as "extremely hardworking and brilliantly clever" (Legal 500 - 2021/2022).

Current work includes acting for several UK water companies in group litigation involving over 100 claimants and claims of over £150m.  Last year he acted majority shareholder of c.$675 million company in connection to a unfair prejudice and equitable winding up claim being brought by three private equity firms holding a minority interest.  He has acted in numerous shareholder disputes over the years.  He has recently acted for Tattersalls in successfully defending its standard terms and conditions in a claim relating to a bloodstock sale.

Edmund has particular expertise in analysing and presenting complex, large-scale litigation, having appeared in cases such as  Digicel v Cable & Wireless (2007-2010), Re Coroin (2012-13), and, most recently, the Construction Workers “Blacklisting” Group Litigation case (Claimants v Sir Robert McAlpine plc & Ors) (2014-16).  

Edmund has substantial experience in fraud and conspiracy cases, including in the leading authority on dishonest assistance, Barlow Clowes [2006] 1 WLR 1476. In the “Blacklisting” GLO, Edmund appeared for the defendant building firms, accused of unlawful means conspiracy to defame, breach confidence/privacy and to breach the Data Protection Act.  Edmund also acted as senior junior at first instance in Digicel v Cable & Wireless [2010] EWHC 774 (Ch); [2010] EWHC 888 (Ch) in claims for breach of statutory duty and conspiracy in 77 day trial and on appeal. Edmund conducted much of the advocacy in the case himself, successfully resisting a US$100 million claim. 

In 2012-13, Edmund acted for Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay and their interests in the unfair prejudice dispute over ownership of the Connaught, Berkeley and Claridge’s hotels: Re Coroin plc: Main Judgment – [2013] 2 BCLC 583-786 (Ch D and CA); first preliminary issue [2012] 2 BCLC 611 (CA). The case involved allegations of dishonesty, breach of directors’ duties and shadow directorship. The Barclay interests were cleared of all the allegations against them. In 2014-15, Edmund acted in the unfair prejudice petition relating to Bumi plc, acting for its Chairman, Samin Tan, in his dispute with Nat Rothschild. He has experience in shareholder disputes from the smallest to the largest of companies.

Dovetailing with his shareholder dispute and fraud expertise, Edmund acted for the Secretary of State in one of the leading modern cases on directors’ duties, Re Barings plc No. 5: [1999] 1 BCLC 433 (first instance); [2000] 1 BCLC 523 (CA). In 2004, he appeared (led) in the House of Lords in a case dealing with directors’ authority and powers and duties relating to a “poison pill”: Criterion Properties v Stratford UK [2004] UKHL 28; [2004] 1 W.L.R. 1846. Other company law cases have included many disqualification cases raising issues relating to directors’ duties and obligations (a reported one being Re TransTec plc [2007] 1 BCLC 93) and, many unfair prejudice petitions and/or derivative actions. 

What the Legal Directories say;

(Company - Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 3

"He is extremely hardworking and brilliantly clever." Company and Partnership, Legal 500 2021-2022

"He works across the spectrum of company law." Company and Partnership, Legal 500 2018-2019

"Great if you need someone who can very quickly grasp the issues and appreciate all the moving parts in a case." Chambers UK 2018

"He is very charming, and clear, punchy and concise in his submissions." Chambers UK 2017

"He is very knowledgeable and good at giving forthright advice." "A super advocate who is very careful and nice to deal with." Chambers UK 2016

"Edmund Nourse … tackles company cases as part of his wider commercial practice."  He is described as 'a fantastic operator who always gets results'.  Chambers UK 2015

"A tremendous advocate who never misses a trick and works tirelessly on your behalf." Legal 500 2015