Claire Broadbelt, Partner, Dispute Resolution

Claire Broadbelt

Partner

Personal Profile

Claire is a Partner and Head of the Fraud Defence & Business Disputes Group specialising in multi-jurisdictional civil fraud, with a track record of success in defending and pursuing complex claims. Her cases (which include some of the highest value cases ever before the English High Court) often involve serious allegations of fraud or misconduct including the diversion of business opportunities, breaches of fiduciary duty, claims of deceit, breach of confidence, conspiracy, bribery and secret profits.

Claire leads some of the firm's biggest and most high-profile cases, which include worldwide asset-tracing and recovery, freezing and search orders and other associated injunctions.  Her clients come from a range of sectors including banking and finance, commodities trading, IT, retail and property.  She frequently deals with simultaneous investigations by regulatory and prosecuting authorities both in the UK and abroad. She has advised clients in major cases involving prosecutors in Switzerland, Hungary, Poland and Italy, co-counselling with international lawyers.

A highly-regarded commercial litigator, Claire has a wealth of experience in executing and defending search and seizure Orders, and acting as a Supervising Solicitor.  She frequently represents individuals and businesses seeking the return of money and other valuable property seized by regulatory or criminal authorities internationally.

Claire is known for her exceptional strategic approach and level of client support during what is often a challenging time professionally and personally.  She is renowned for her ability to navigate and find solutions to the most complex factual and legal issues; a recent client described her as having "an unparalleled focus, an eye for detail and also a top class tactician". She is recognised in Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 for civil fraud and named as a leading individual in asset recovery in Who's Who Legal 2020.  

Claire is the Co-Training Principal and a founding board member of the London Chamber of Arbitration and Mediation and a non-executive board member of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She is former chairperson of the Young Fraud Lawyers Association (YFLA), a current member of the Fraud Lawyers Association (FLA) and the Fraud Women's Network (FWN) and acts as a supervising solicitor. Claire is a frequent contributor to the legal press and has an MA in criminology. 

 

Key Experience

  • Acting for a Russian businessman in respect of a claim brought by an organ of the Russian State, in relation to alleged participation in a large-scale fraud leading to the collapse of a bank.
  • Advising the main individual defendant in one of the most aggressively pursued and largest claims ever brought before the Commercial Court (quantum – US$2.1bn), which was listed for a 13-week trial in April 2017 (number 6 in The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases 2017).  The case involved complex developing legal issues, including the use of confidentiality clubs in order to protect the physical security of people based in Libya. The action, which involved serious claims of intimidation and bribery, was discontinued with an agreed payment of £16.5m in respect of our client's costs.   
  • Representing private individuals and a number of overseas corporate entities in defending a substantial multi-jurisdictional shareholder dispute arising out of the management and subsequent liquidation of an off-shore investment fund which involved the setting aside of a worldwide freezing order and proprietary injunction and bringing counterclaims, some of which were double derivative claims on behalf of a foreign company.  The case settled on confidential terms shortly prior to the hearing of the defendants' application for permission to continue their derivative claims.
  • Advised in relation to successfully retaining a worldwide asset-freezing injunction against Sheikh Saud Al-Thani, a member of the royal family of Qatar and one of the world's most prolific collectors of art and antiquities in support of US proceedings and the subsequent recovery in full of the outstanding debt.  
  • Acted for Topland and its directors in their defence of two sets of High Court proceedings concerning the central London building, First Avenue House. The proceedings were brought in 2010 by the previous owner, Standard Life, and the Government tenant, the Secretary of State for Justice. Both sets of proceeding were settled on confidential terms without admission of liability with confirmation that the Secretary of State for Justice and Topland will continue to work together to ensure that the building continues to meet the operational needs of the Courts and Tribunal Service.
  • Advised a City of London banker in defending civil proceedings brought by the Bank to recover substantial bonuses paid by the Bank for alleged misconduct, deceit and breach of contract and in the parallel investigation by the Financial Services Authority. The allegations concerned the pricing of sophisticated financial products. The proceedings were successfully settled.
  • Acted for a senior executive summarily dismissed on spurious grounds of dishonesty and/or gross misconduct. Successfully negotiated a substantial financial award for the client and a full written retraction of the dishonesty allegations after actively pursuing claims in the High Court and Employment Tribunal.
  • Acted for a major dairy distributor involving multiple search orders and disclosure orders in a case of alleged fraud, breach of confidence, conspiracy to injure and malicious falsehood against the client’s major competitor in the dairy industry. The proceedings were successfully settled
  • Acted for private equity investment companies and an Administrative Receiver. Achieved innovative Interlocutory Orders allowing the companies whose ownership was in dispute to trade (by virtue of a Court appointed Board of Directors) whilst proceedings were extant. A successful Strike Out Judgment was obtained against the two main Defendants (who had asset stripped the companies and by virtue of an illegal share allotment had awarded control to themselves) to return control of the companies to their clients, damages and Costs Orders. The proceedings were successfully settled with all the Defendants.
  • Acted for a high street manufacturer and retailer of jewellery. Obtained a freezing, asset preservation, disclosure and delivery up order against ex-employees, employees and others who had stolen money, stock, confidential information and set up a competing business. Achieved Judgment at the earliest opportunity, third party debt orders, charging orders and significant cost orders against all the defendants.

Career History

Partner, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Associate, Mishcon de Reya
Assistant, Mishcon de Reya
Qualified, Peters & Peters
Scarman Centre for the Study of Public Order, University of Leicester, Criminology, MA; University of Leicester, Law (LLB) (Hons)

Articles and Publications

Claire regularly contributes articles to Mishcon de Reya's external publications and is a regular contributor to the Firm's Fraud briefings.

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