27 members of One Essex Court featured in The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2024
One Essex Court is delighted that 27 members of chambers are involved across 5 of the cases featured in The Lawyer’s recently published Top 20 Cases of 2024.
A summary of those cases are, as follows:
Justin Le Patourel v BT
Listed for six weeks from 29 January, this Competition Appeal Tribunal trial will see Justin Le Patourel, acting on behalf of over two million UK customers, battle against BT in a £1.8bn class action claim alleging that BT charged excessive prices regarding “standalone” fixed voice services and that this constituted an abuse of a dominant position. The case will be the first to progress to trial since the new collective proceedings regime was introduced in the UK. Derek Spitz and Matthew Barry are part of the counsel team representing Justin Le Patourel, instructed by Mishcon de Reya.
Crypto Open Patent Alliance v Dr Craig Steven Wright; Wright and others v BTC Core and others
In this much-anticipated 20-day High Court trial, scheduled for early February 2024, Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a non-profit cryptocurrency group whose mission is to prevent companies from hoarding crypto patents and obstructing innovation, seeks a negative declaration that Australian computer scientist Dr Craig Wright (under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, who was the individual who invented Bitcoin) did not write the Bitcoin White Paper. Dr Wright will seek to prove he is Nakamoto and brings a separate case against a number of individual developers and companies, alleging infringement of his IP rights by developing Bitcoin. Lord Grabiner KC, Craig Orr KC, Mehdi Baiou and Tim Goldfarb form part of the counsel team representing Dr Craig Steven Wright, instructed by Shoosmiths. Alex Gunning KC forms part of the counsel team representing the Bitcoin developers, instructed by Macfarlanes.
Skatteforvaltningen (The Danish Customs and Tax Administration) v Solo Capital Partners LLP (in special administration) and others
Laurence Rabinowitz KC, Charles Graham KC, Jamie Goldsmith KC, Sam O’Leary, Abra Bompas, Ben Zelenka Martin, KV Krishnaprasad, Matthew Hoyle and Sabrina Nanchahal will represent Skatteforvaltningen (Skat), instructed by Pinsent Masons (in turn instructed by Danish firm Poul Schmith Kammeradvokaten), when this 12-month trial reaches the Commercial Court in April – the longest scheduled hearing in the history of the High Court. The claim has been brought by Skat over its belief that dividend arbitrage trading was fraudulent, resulting in c.£1.5bn in tax rebates paid that the Danish Customs and Tax Administration do not believe should have been. The ramifications of the case will be felt widely, particularly if this kind of dividend trading – also known as cum ex trading – is found to be illegal under English & Welsh law.
Municipio De Mariana and others v BHP Group and Vale
The Fundao Dam trial, listed for 11 weeks in the Commercial Court from October, could be the largest group action to hit the English courts with more than 700,000 claimants seeking £36bn in damages following the collapse of the Fundao Dam in 2015. The company operating the dam, Samarco, is a joint venture between Vale and BHP Group, two of the largest mining companies in the world. The case covers a wide range of issues including environmental litigation, group actions, multinationals’ responsibilities for foreign subsidiaries, and the jurisdiction of the English courts. Alain Choo Choy KC will form part of the counsel team acting for the claimants, Municipio De Mariana and others, instructed by Pogust Goodhead. Daniel Toledano KC, Nicholas Sloboda, Oliver Butler, Patricia Burns, Tamara Kagan, Maximilian Schlote, Stephanie Wood, Veena Srirangam and Joe Johnson will form part of the counsel team representing the BHP Group, instructed by Slaughter and May.
The full list of featured cases can be seen here.