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Edmund Cullen QC

Call 1990
Silk 2012

ecullen@maitlandchambers.com

Edmund’s practice covers a broad range of Chancery and commercial litigation/arbitration, including solicitors' and accountants' negligence, insolvency and company-related disputes, including claims for breach of directors' duties and minority shareholders' actions, breaches of warranty, the enforcement of guarantees and security, civil fraud and asset tracing/recovery.

He also specialises in media and entertainment work and related copyright and trade mark  disputes, in particular in the music, film and broadcasting industries. He has particular expertise in Copyright Tribunal matters.

Edmund is recommended in Chambers UK Directory for chancery: commercial, commercial dispute resolution, media and entertainment and professional negligence and in The Legal 500 for media and entertainment and professional negligence.

Areas of Practice

Commercial Litigation/Arbitration

Advises and represents clients in all aspects of commercial litigation and arbitration, including contractual disputes, banking transactions, warranty claims, jurisdiction issues, commercial fraud and asset recovery. Recent/notable cases include:

- Obtaining order for delivery up of confidential/privileged information ([2014] EWHC 1224 (QB))

- Obtaining injunction for the owner of a large European commercial property portfolio in relation to the enforcement of secured lending agreements ([2013] EWHC 3659 (Comm))

- Acting for claimant in High Court and Court of Appeal in fraud claim arising out of hotel resort development in Cambodia ([2013] EWHC 879 (QB) & [2014] EWCA Civ 67)

- Acting for a German bank in an international arbitration against gold mining company to recover c$50 million under pre-export finance agreements;

- Obtaining anti-suit injunction for German bank to restrain proceedings in Thailand;

- Representing the trustees of a pension scheme in a claim concerning a commercial lending agreement at a trial in the Chancery Division in June 2011 and subsequently in the Court of Appeal in April 2012([2011] EWHC 1757 (Ch) & [2012] EWCA Civ 958)

- Representing broadcaster in High Court trial to restrain use of confidential information by former director;

- Appearing for German bank in application for stay of proceedings under the Arbitration Act 1996 ([2012] 1 All ER (Comm) 194)

- Appearing at trial in the Commercial Court for an Australian internet gaming company in a claim against the trading arm of the Professional Footballers Association in a dispute over a sponsorship agreement ([2011] EWHC 1980 (Comm))

- Representing multi-national accountancy firm in a professional indemnity insurance arbitration

- Acting for US banks in action to recover multi-million dollar loan and to seek recognition of US court-appointed receiver

- Representing defendants in relation to 'earn-out' entitlement under share purchase agreement

- Representing broadcasting company at trial and in the Court of Appeal in relation to dispute over licensing of broadcast rights from Doncaster racecourse ([2004] EWHC 2813 & [2005] EWCA (Civ) 999)

- Acting for Miss World organisation at trial and in the Court of Appeal defending claim arising out of Miss World event ([2005] EWCA Civ 416)

- Advising and representing the owners of UK racecourses in relation to their exploitation of the broadcasting rights in UK horseracing

Intellectual property and media law

He has acted for most of the major record companies and has been instructed in disputes in relation to recordings of artists such as The Beatles, The Verve, The Smiths, Damon Albarn, Elvis Costello, Van Morrison, Tom Jones, Mis-Teeq, Elton John, Stereophonics, Kylie Minogue, Steve Winwood, Snow Patrol, Muse, Lily Allen, Sugababes, Placebo, Peggy Lee,  and Seal.

He also advises and represents broadcasters, programme makers, film producers and rights holders in contractual, licensing and copyright disputes. He has particular experience in the field of online exploitation of rights. He has also advised on the contractual rights of publishers/authors, theatre producers, actors and their agents.

In addition, he has extensive experience in the Copyright Tribunal and of passing off and trade mark claims.

Recent/notable cases include:

- Acting for broadcaster/production companies in claim for breach of confidence in relation to programme idea ([2014] EWHC 692 (QB))

- Acting for Harry Hill in dispute with his former management.

- Representing Ministry of Sound in a claim for database copyright infringement against Spotify (settled)

- Representing trustee/owner of copyright in Monty Python and the Holy Grail in claim for breach of trust ([2013] EWHC 1873 (Ch), [2013] EWHC 3759 (Ch))

- Newspaper Licensing Agency v Public Relations Consultants Association [2011] RPC 10 (Proudman J), the Court of Appeal [2012] RPC 1, the Supreme Court [2013] 2 All ER 852, [2013] RPC 19 and the CJEU – representing the NLA in a dispute over the exploitation of copyright by media monitoring organisations and their customers

- Appearing for NLA in the Copyright Tribunal in two references brought by licensees

- Advising and representing the British Phonographic Industry on internet piracy measures, including obtaining blocking orders against ISPs ([2012] EWHC 1152 (Ch), [2012] RPC 27, [2013] EWHC 379 (Ch)

- Chart Show v Video Performance Limited – appearing in the Copyright Tribunal and on appeal in the High Court ([2010] RPC 139) and in the Court of Appeal ([2011] EWCA Civ 650 in proceedings to determine the royalty to be paid by music TV broadcasters to the record companies

- Representing founder member of the Sugababes in a partnership dispute

- Advising multi-national publishers in relation to the rights to exploit ebooks of massively successful children’s author

- Crosstown Music v Taylor/Barry [2009] EWHC 600 (Ch) and [2011] 2 WLR 779 (Court of Appeal) – appearing for songwriters in claim for reversion of copyrights

- Acting for Steve Winwood in a claim against Chris Blackwell of Island Records

- Acting for Gary Rhodes in claim brought by his former managers

-Representing former member of Snow Patrol in partnership action against his former partners

- BPI v MCPS [2008] EMLR 5 - representing the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters in a landmark Copyright Tribunal reference in relation to online licensing of music

- Acting for defendants in claim relating to copyrights in T-Rex songs

- Racing UK Ltd v (1) Doncaster Racecourse Ltd (2) Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council [2004] EWHC 2813 and [2005] EWCA (Civ) 999 - representing Racing UK at trial and in the Court of Appeal in relation to dispute over licensing of broadcast rights from Doncaster racecourse.

- Onyeador v (1) Miss World Ltd (2) Allianz Nigeria Ltd [2005] EWCA Civ416 - acting for Miss World organisation at trial and in the Court of Appeal defending claim arising out of Miss World event

- Advising and representing the owners of UK racecourses in relation to their exploitation of the broadcasting rights in UK horseracing

- Beiersdorf AG & Anor v Ramlort Ltd & Ors [2004] EWHC 118 - a trademark claim in relation to exhaustion of rights

- Sony Music v Stewart [2003] EWHC 2753 - acting for the British Phonographic Industry in copyright infringement claim against counterfeiters

- Gabrin v Universal [2003] EWHC 2753 - dispute over copyright in photograph used for Elvis Costello album cover

- Mandy Allwood v Max Clifford & Max Clifford Associates Ltd [2002] EMLR 3 - a claim by Mandy Allwood against her former publicist

- Joyce v Morrissey [1999] EMLR 233 - representing former member of The Smiths at trial and in the Court of Appeal

Professional negligence

Represents claimants and defendants in professional negligence and related areas, in particular in relation to solicitors, accountants, valuers, etc. Recent/notable cases include:

- Representing a multi-national accountancy practice in Commercial Court proceedings in 2011 against their insurance brokers and advisers

- Acting for court-appointed receiver in the Court of Appeal in a claim for negligent sale of property ([2012] 1 BPIR 306)

- Bergliter v Cohen [2006] EWHC 123 - acting for professional trustee/executors of the will of Lionel Bart in claim for breach of fiduciary duty

- Margulies v Margulies CA 16/3/02 - claim against solicitors in relation to alleged secret trust

- Floods of Queensferry v Shand Construction [2001] BLR 446 and [2002] EWCA Civ 918 - representing solicitors in claim for costs arising out of large construction dispute

- Hammond Suddards Solicitors v Agrichem International Holdings Ltd [2001] EWCA Civ 2065 - large professional negligence claim against solicitors. Also notable for Court of Appeal decision on security for costs and the conditions to be imposed on the grant of permission to appeal

- British Racing Drivers Club v Hextall Erskine [1996] 3 All ER 667 - negligence claim arising out of breach of section 320 of the Companies Act 1985

Company law

Advises and represents shareholders, directors and companies in contentious work in relation to corporate governance and the rights and duties of shareholders and directors. Regularly involved in minority shareholders' litigation. Recent/notable cases include:

- Representing court-appointed receiver in long-running receivership, including establishing receiver’s right to post-discharge remuneration in the Court of Appeal ([2013] 1 WLR 3602)

- Defending a claim for breach of directors’ duties/fraud in insurance company ([2012] EWHC 1522 (Ch), [2012] EWHC 3319 (Ch))

- Representing former member of Placebo in a shareholder dispute with his former band members

- (1) Newgate Stud Co (2) Newgate Stud Farm LLC v (1) Anthony Penfold (2) Penfold Bloodstock Ltd [2008] BCLC 46 - acting for claimants in claim for breach of fiduciary duty by director/bloodstock manager

- Acting for provisional liquidator pursuing substantial claims against former shareholders/directors of buy-to-let property company

- Arrow Nominees Ltd & Ors v Graham Blackledge & Ors [2003] EWHC 1516 - unfair prejudice petition and claim for costs against non-party

- One Life v Roy [1996] 2 BCLC 608 - a claim by a liquidator to recover illegal dividends arising out of the operation of an illegal lottery

- British Racing Drivers Club v Hextall Erskine [1996] 3 All ER 667 - negligence claim arising out of breach of section 320 of the Companies Act 1985

- Re Thundercrest [1995] 1 BCLC 117 - a dispute over share pre-emption rights and the right to seek rectification of the register

Insolvency and restructuring

Acts generally in all areas of personal and corporate insolvency, including both the initiation of insolvency procedures and subsequent asset recovery, etc. Recent/notable cases include:

- Appearing in High Court in relation to issues arising out of interim order made for the purposes of an IVA ([2013] EWHC 3746 (QB))

- Representing receiver in claim for sale of receivership property at an undervalue ([2012] 1 BPIR 306)

- Butter s v BBC Worldwide [2010] BPIR 1315 (Peter Smith J) and [2010] Ch 347 (Court of Appeal) - representing the joint venture vehicle of Woolworths/BBC Worldwide in a dispute concerning the application of the anti-deprivation principle to a valuable DVD licence of BBC catalogue:

- Acting in claim against the Arts Council in relation to the administration of the Derby Playhouse

- Advising major creditor songwriters in administration of music publishers Rive Droite

- Jacob v Vockrodt [2007] EWHC 2403 - a claim for malicious presentation of a bankruptcy petition

- Acting for a trustee in bankruptcy for a declaration that a trust deed was a sham and/or a transaction defrauding creditors. Settled on first day of trial

- Huddersfield Fine Worsteds [2006] 2 BCLC 160 - represented employees at first instance in relation to administration expenses claim

- Acting for provisional liquidator pursuing substantial claims against former shareholders/directors of buy-to-let property company

- Re MTI Trading Systems [1998] 2 BCLC 246 - administration petition

- One Life v Roy [1996] 2 BCLC 608 - a claim by a liquidator to recover illegal dividends arising out of the operation of an illegal lottery

Partnership

Deals with all aspects of partnership litigation, including valuation and accounting issues. Recent/notable cases include:

- Acting for a founder member of the Sugababes in partnership dissolution claim

- Acting for member of the band Leftfield in a dispute over use of the partnership name

- Representing former member of Snow Patrol in partnership action against his former partners

- Bodor v Heal [2006] EWHC 2529 -a partnership claim arising out of relationship between property developers

- Joyce v Morrissey [1999] EMLR 233 - representing former band member at trial and in the Court of Appeal

Property

Advises on commercial and residential leasehold disputes (including forfeiture and possession proceedings) and in relation to litigation arising out of transfers of land, easements and covenants. Recent/notable cases include:

- Acting for the tenant of commercial premises within proposed Norton Folgate development

- Defending claim by landlord of nightclub in Manchester

Sport

Advises on disciplinary and regulatory issues in sport and on related contractual and licensing disputes with broadcasters, agents, etc. Recent/notable cases include:

- Representing defendant in proceedings brought by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association to enforce disciplinary sanction

- Advising and representing the owners of UK racecourses in relation to their exploitation of the broadcasting rights in UK horseracing

- Advising racehorse owner in potential dispute with the Jockey Club

- Advising the Hurlingham Polo Association in relation to its rules

Trusts law

Acts in contentious trust and probate matters, including breach of trust/fiduciary duty, tracing and asset recovery claims and disputes over the validity and interpretation of trust deeds and wills. Recent/notable cases include:

- Acting for a trustee in bankruptcy for a declaration that a trust deed was a sham and/or a transaction defrauding creditors. Settled on first day of trial

- Acting for offshore trustee company in long-running claim by HMRC arising out of alleged carousel fraud (settled 2014)

- Acting for beneficiary of large estate in claim for rectification of a will

- Bergliter v Cohen [2006] EWHC 123 - acting for professional trustee/executors of the will of Lionel Bart in claim for breach of fiduciary duty

- Margulies v Margulies CA 16/3/02 - claim against solicitors in relation to alleged secret trust

Memberships
Chancery Bar Association
COMBAR.

Qualifications
BA (Bristol)

Testimonials

Chambers UK, 2017

Chancery: Commercial
"He is a pleasure to deal with and gives first-rate advice." "He has a very nice manner and people trust him - both the court and his opponents."
Media & Entertainment
"He is one of the leading media silks at the Bar. He gives clear advice and is excellent at both cross-examination and in submissions to the judge." "His judgement, drafting and advocacy are all superb."

Chambers UK, 2015

Chancery: Commercial
"Frequently instructed on high-profile commercial disputes across a wide range of sectors."
"He is a very good all-round lawyer who enthusiastically gets stuck into the detail."
Commercial Dispute Resolution
"Shows meticulous attention to detail and has an unflinching determination to get to the right result. He works exceptionally hard and provides tremendous value for money."
Intellectual Property
"He's exceptionally bright and provides sound commercial advice."
"He's brilliant at cross-examination" and "superb at drafting submissions."
Media & Entertainment
"Renowned for his work in contractual, licensing and copyright disputes."
"Phenomenally good - he has great judgement and is so bright, easy to work with and good with clients."
"He combines real fluency as an advocate with really good commercial nous."
Professional Negligence
"He's good at unpicking difficult cases."

Chambers UK, 2014

Chancery: Commercial
"Very strong on directors' duties cases and general commercial litigation in the banking and media and entertainment sectors."
"An effective and excellent chancery barrister."
"He's a great all-round lawyer who is enthusiastic and gets stuck into the detail."
Commercial Dispute Resolution
"Sources are quick to highlight the skill that Cullen brings to his dispute resolution practice. He is well known for his impressive media and copyright expertise."
"Incredibly good. His extremely reliable cross-examination is a real strength for him."
Media & Entertainment
"Has taken well to silk and is widely expected to further make the transition from having been one of the most sought-after juniors to being one of the best QCs for film, television and music work."
"Absolutely fantastic in court, he's extremely detailed, well prepared, and excellent before the judge. I've witnessed him see off people of more seniority than himself in court."
Professional Negligence
"He's highly analytical. His work on papers is good and he is excellent with clients."

Chambers UK, 2013

Chancery: Commercial
"Bright, easy to work with and user-friendly."
Commercial Dispute Resolution
"Extremely thorough"; is praised for his "meticulous analysis of skeleton arguments."; "steady, responsible and good with clients."
Media & Entertainment
"Thorough and extremely good advocate" who has for some time now exhibited great quality in his media practice.; "he is extremely personable and very thorough."; "he seamlessly and effectively covers a wide range of issues that crop up."
Professional Negligence
"Has a strength of character and quality of judgement that have caught the eye of the market. Interviewees also note his prowess as a tactician and the subtlety of his approach to difficult issues."

Chambers UK, 2012

Chancery Commercial
"Very intelligent and with a great eye for detail." "not afraid to put the difficult questions in cross-examination."
Commercial Dispute Resolution
"Excellent on paper," he is also "fantastic on his feet" and "totally unflappable in court."
Media & Entertainment
"A very bright, very effective advocate" who is "particularly good at written submissions."
Professional Negligence
"Has been highly active in dealing with negligence cases in the media context"

Chambers UK, 2011

Commercial Dispute Resolution
"Popular with solicitors" willingness to roll up his sleeves and take ownership of cases." "unflappable approach and fantastic written work."
Media & Entertainment
"Rated as the star junior" "is a cut above the average junior." “an understated genius who packs a real punch." "to the point, unflappable, pragmatic and first-class in terms of his legal analysis.” “when he speaks, you listen.”
Professional Negligence
“Very clever and easy to work with, and a good advocate, who is both reliable and sensible.”

Chambers Global

Dispute Resolution: Commercial Chancery
"He has a very nice, rather austere style, which I like. There is an authority and grandeur about him which plays well with the court." (2017)
"Is very intelligent and has a great eye for detail." (2012)

Legal 500

Professional Negligence
"In-depth experience." (2016)
"Provides a Rolls-Royce service" "marshals his thoughts diligently to give easy-to-digest and practical advice in an understated fashion." (2012)

Legal 500

Media & Entertainment
"He is the complete package and strong on contractual issues." (2016)
"He is phenomenally clever and always comes up with something others would miss." (2014)
"Attention to detail and clear drafting." (2013)
"Gives carefully considered advice." (2010)
"Never flustered" "superb advocacy and great powers of persuasion" (2008).”

Legal 500

Intellectual Property
"As an advocate, he is persuasive and calm under fire." (2016)

Legal 500

Commercial Litigation
"Measured, reliable and a fantastic advocate."