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Practice Summary

Sebastian Isaac is recognised as one of the leading senior Juniors at the Commercial Bar for both general commercial disputes and specialist banking and finance litigation. He practices in both litigation and international arbitration, and has a particular strength and expertise in dealing with complex and high value commercial disputes and heavy trials.

Seb is recognised as a leading junior by both Chambers & Partners UK and Legal 500, and is recognised both for his ability to manage heavy cases, for his advice and written advocacy, and for his strong courtroom performance.

For Commercial Dispute Resolution, Seb’s listing in Chambers & Partners UK records that “He has an authority beyond his years, and he commands the courtroom." In previous years, Chambers & Partners noted that he is “Extremely intelligent and has lots of clear ideas as to how to achieve various ends.”

Seb is also recommended for Commercial Dispute Resolution by Legal500, who said “He is bright, very good with solicitors, and a very effective advocate.

For Banking and Finance, Chambers & Partners said Seb is “Incredibly good at managing cases, and effective both on paper and on his feet” and that “He is a joy to work with, as he is a very clever man who is able to explain complex problems well.” Previous years’ commentary included “He's good at identifying unique arguments and thinking outside the box. He's great to work with, very responsive and commercially minded”, “He's very user-friendly, commercial, responsive and technically brilliant.”

Seb’s Legal500 listing says he is “Very strategic and extremely supportive – obtains fantastic results.” In previous years, Legal500 explained that Seb ““Gets to grips with complex legal and factual scenarios very quickly and is a pleasure to work with”.

Seb was also listed in the 2011 edition of Legal Week’s ‘Stars at the Bar’ feature, profiling ten highly rated junior barristers. Legal Week said “Commentators say Isaac is “extremely sought after”, as he is a “brilliant junior with fantastic legal acumen” who can “turn his hand to almost anything and is very responsive”.

In 2019, Seb appeared in two of the highest profile trials in the Commercial Court, Yukos Finance v Lynch and others [2019] EWHC 2621 in June and July 2019 and Avonwick Holding v Azitio Holdings in October and November 2019.

Seb’s recent cases include:

  • Yukos Finance v Lynch and others [2019] EWHC 2621: Seb appeared successfully with Stephen Houseman QC for the hedge fund manager Richard Deitz in a Commercial court trial arising from the acquisition of Yukos Finance BV, a $1.5 billion company, in the auctions of Yukos Oil’s assets in 2008.
  • Avonwick Holding v Azitio Holdings and others: Seb appeared (with David Wolfson QC) for Mr Oleg Mkrtchan in another of the biggest trials in the English courts, between the current and former shareholders of the Ukrainian industrial group,  Industrial Union of the Donbass (see Avonwick Holding v Azitio Holdings, below). Judgment is expected in 2020.
  • Sharp v Blank [2017] EWHC 3390 (Ch): Seb appeared (with Richard Hill QC and others) for the Claimant shareholders of Lloyds who sued the Bank and its directors over non-disclosures in the Circular for the takeover of HBOS during the global financial crisis.
  • Pinchuk v Kolomoisky & Bogolyubov: Seb acted (with Jonathan Crow QC, David Foxton QC and others) for the Ukrainian Victor Pinchuk in his very high value LCIA Arbitration and High Court claims against Igor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Bogolyubov; both of which were pursued successfully to settlement during and just before the final hearings.

Main areas of practice include energy, commodities, banking and finance, civil fraud, and professional negligence.