Finance and Banking Disputes

At a time of continued uncertainty and volatility in the financial markets, the level of risk faced by financial institutions and borrowers remains high, while the nature of risk has broadened. Banks and financial institutions face increased regulation and a growing potential for disputes. Borrowers too face a challenging landscape, with mounting pressure from lenders and the difficulties with refinancing, the options seem narrow and the solutions are not obvious.

Why we are different

The lawyers in our Finance and Banking Disputes Group are not merely external advisers to our clients, but form a core part of their business, proactively working with clients to analyse risks, protect assets, resolve disputes and therefore build their businesses. Our clients depend on our insight into financial markets, products and services, which has been developed through our close collaboration with financial institutions, investors and borrowers. We are able to draw on the expertise of a number of specialists across banking and debt finance, investment funds, regulatory, and insolvency and recovery. Our clients benefit from our unique insight into the challenges they face, because we act for all sides of the industry, from banks and other financial institutions, to borrowers and investors.

We work with banks and financial institutions to develop legal and commercial strategies tailored to our clients’ commercial needs and the challenges they face. We also represent borrowers, financial sponsors and creditors, and debt and equity investors on a range of disputes with lenders, and restructurings involving corporate and property acquisition finance.

Our focus is always on achieving our clients' commercial objectives, which means challenging conventional and accepted ways of working. We view litigation as one part of the overall strategy we devise for clients, which will offer clients a significant return on investment. When we litigate, we adopt a forceful approach and pride ourselves on our record of success.

Our clients range from investment and retail banks, asset based lenders, brokers and fund managers to insurers, financial services businesses, sponsors and creditors, debt and equity investors, and investors in financial products. Matters are often high value and involve a number of international jurisdictions. Our particular strength is in the swift and discrete resolution of highly sensitive disputes that may relate to data loss, fraud, regulatory investigations or corporate crime.

Services

Our expertise covers:

  • Disputes arising from complex investment products/vehicles and funds, including fund management disputes, investor disputes, mis-selling claims and misrepresentation
  • Consumer Finance, including agreements, compliance and enforcement
  • Domestic and overseas financial regulation, including investigations, discipline and enforcement
  • Disputes and restructurings arising from alleged breaches of covenant (e.g. solvency, LTV and interest cover covenants) under facility agreements relating to property and corporate acquisition finance
  • All aspects of debt recovery, enforcement, and related insolvency issues
  • Data Protection, including disclosure to credit reference agencies and CIFAS
  • Disputes between asset based lenders and their customers
  • Banker-customer and merchant acquirer-merchant disputes
  • Credit and other payment card operations
  • Trade finance disputes involving letters of credit, performance bonds, guarantees and other documentary credits
  • Insurance, including travel, PPI, income protection and legal expenses
  • Fraud (internal and external), asset tracing and recovery (freezing injunctions, search orders and third party disclosure orders) and AML
  • Advising on standard terms and conditions, promotional material, internet services, merchant acquisition and strategic alliance agreements
Work Highlights
  • Successfully represented AMERICAN EXPRESS in a merchant acquisition agreements dispute conducted under the rules of the LCIA
  • Advising the private equity firm, TERRA FIRMA, in respect of the re-trial of its US$ multi-billion claim against Citigroup arising out of the acquisition of EMI
  • Successfully represented a number of Russian individuals and corporations in a multi-jurisdictional US$500m claim by TNK-BP relating to the funding and finance of substantial real estate assets in Montenegro. We secured judgment discharging a worldwide freezing injunction (and similar orders in the foreign jurisdictions) for material non-disclosure, and refusing jurisdiction on the basis that Russia is the proper forum (OJSC TNK-BP -v- Beppler & Jacobson Ltd & Others (2012 EWHC 3286 (Ch))
  • Successfully represented BAIN CAPITAL and the Ideal Standard Group in declaratory proceedings relating to the powers of Majority Lenders and alleged events of default. Bain Capital sponsored the acquisition of Ideal Standard for US$2 billion. (Strategic Value Master Fund Ltd v. Ideal Standard International Acquisition SARL & Ors [2011] EWHC 171 (Ch))
  • Successfully represented ANGLO IRISH ASSET FINANCE PLC in the Court of Appeal in resisting an appeal by the owners of collapsed property companies against a first instance judgment refusing them security for costs against the Bank (Anglo Irish Asset Finance Plc. -v- Flood & Riddell [2011] EWCA CIV 799). The Bank’s claims arose from guarantees and the Defendants counterclaimed the sum of £200 million
  • Successfully resolved for the Russian Bank, OJSC URALSIB BANK, through High Court proceedings a claim brought by the bank relating to the rights attaching to US$100 million in loan participation notes. The Bank argued that resolutions proposed and passed by the majority noteholders affecting rights in the notes amounted to a fraud against the minority noteholders
  • Successfully settled for CREDIT SUISSE TRUST a High Court claim against an international bank in respect of advice given for the acquisition of a US$45m property in Dubai
  • Successfully represented STANDARD CHARTERED BANK in proceedings before the High Court and Court of Appeal in relation to a substantial demand guarantee dispute, which formed part of a US$130m contract for the supply of electricity in Bangladesh (Greenland Bank -v- AMEX [2008] EWCH 421 (CH) and [2009] EWCA Civ 14)
  • Acted in the first ever case in front of the Courts to challenge the FSA’s role in assisting the SEC by obtaining documents in the UK. Given that there are several hundred requests to the FSA each year to assist overseas regulators, the case was of real regulatory significance. The case was ultimately decided by the Court of Appeal [2010] EWCA Civ 123
  • Successfully advised AMERICAN EXPRESS in an appeal to the High Court relating to alleged minor technical defects in a default notice served pursuant s87(1) of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. The case is authority for the proposition that a minor technical defect relating to the service of a default notice does not prevent a lender from taking enforcement action where the borrower has not been prejudiced (American Express Services Europe Ltd -v- Ian Karl Robert Brandon [2010])
  • Acting for the former majority shareholder of a large Central Euroasian bank in relation to his claims against the government and its agencies running to hundreds of millions of dollars. We are acting as the lead law firm co-ordinating the global litigation strategy
  • Instructed by a high profile Russian national in respect of Commercial Court proceedings brought against him by the Administrators of a Lithuanian bank together with freezing orders in the region of €600 million for the alleged misappropriation of securities from the bank
  • Resolved for borrowers and guarantors disputes with lenders in relation to property and corporate acquisition finance including interest rate hedging products
  • Acting as litigation counsel for one of the world’s leading private investment and asset management firms in a dispute with its lenders concerning allegations that one of its major investment entities is in default of a US$1bn loan facility

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