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Jonathan Russen QC

Call 1986
Silk 2010


A significant part of Jonathan’s practice involves commercial litigation which encompasses disputes in the areas of financial services, company, partnership and insolvency. He has considerable court experience and has appeared in a number of recent reported cases at first instance, in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, some of which are listed below. He is called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (Virgin Islands) and has also acted in litigation in other offshore jurisdictions, appearing also in Gibraltar and the Isle of Man. Jonathan’s practice also includes advisory work and extends to the more traditional areas of general Chancery for which he is also highly recommended. Jonathan has also acted as an arbitrator pursuant to ad hoc appointments and given expert opinions upon English law for use in overseas proceedings.

Jonathan has for many years been recommended in Chambers & Partners UK (where he is noted for his expertise in Traditional Chancery, Financial Services and Partnership) and in The Legal 500 (for both Company and Partnership and Private Client).

Click to visit the Oxford University Press website to purchase Jonathan's book.

Financial Services : Authorisation, Supervision and Enforcement: A Litigator's Guide, Author

Notable Cases

An illustration of the nature of the litigious side of Jonathan’s practice and his areas of expertise is illustrated by the following examples of some of his more recent appearances as a silk:

National Infrastructure Development Company Limited v Banco Santander SA [2017] EWCA Civ 27 (the proper test for summary judgment on the “fraud exception” defence to payment under a letter of credit)

Patel v Patel [2017] EWHC 133 (Ch) (the forgery of a will)

Fong v Incredible Power Ltd (2016) (BVI) (issues of private international law in a shareholder’s derivative action brought in the BVI in respect of the affairs of a Liberian company)

Hall v Elia [2015] EWHC 3199 (Ch) (a claim to set aside the transfer of property on the ground of sham, as a transaction to defraud creditors and a transaction at an undervalue)

David Alastair Bruce v TTA Management Ltd & 8 Ors [2015] EWHC 936 (a claim to impugn an expert share valuation on the ground of alleged deceit)

O’Brien v Goldsmith [2015] EWHC 1320 (Ch) (the significance of a change of case after entry of a default judgment on an appeal against the judgment)

Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Co v Majid Al-Sayed Bader Hashim Al-Refai & Ors [2013] EWHC 4112 (QB) (service of committal proceedings out of the jurisdiction where respondent domiciled in a non-Member State)

E-Clear (UK) Plc v Elias Elia & Ors [2013] EWCA Civ 114 (inability to determine questions of company insolvency at the summary judgment stage for purposes of findings of breach of fiduciary duty and constructive trusteeship)

In the Matter of Lehman Brothers International (In Administration) [2013] EWCA Civ 188 (the proper approach to the determination of the Close-out Amount under the 2002 ISDA Master Agreement)

Robert Hugh Thomas Davies v Ian Watkins [2012] EWCA Civ 1570 (principles governing the proper approach to costs of a Beddoe application)

In The Matter of Lehman Brothers [2012] EWHC 1072 (Ch) (the application of the “value clean” principle on the determination of the Close-out Amount under the 1992 ISDA Master Agreement)

In the Matter of Lehman Brothers International (Europe) v CRC Credit Fund Ltd [2012] UKSC 6 (the proper distribution of moneys under the trust of “client money” created by the FSA’s Client Assets Sourcebook)

William Loveluck-Edwards, Beatrice Loveluck-Edwards v Ideal Developments Ltd [2012] EWHC 716 (Ch) (the principles governing the acquisition of adverse title by prescription)

The Estate of Liao (2011) (BVI) (concerning a grant ad colligenda bona in respect of a BVI shareholding)

Anthracite Rated Investments (Jersey) Ltd v Lehman Brothers [2011] EWHC 1822 (Ch) (an event of default under the 1992 ISDA Master Agreement triggering automatic early termination of the options governed by it and the redemption of the bonds for which those derivatives stood as principal/interest protection)

Phillip Roberts (Liquidator of Onslow Ditchling Ltd) v Peter Frohlich & Godfrey Spanner [2011] EWHC 257 (Ch) (breach of fiduciary duty by directors in circumstances where the company’s pursuit of a development project amounted to wrongful trading)

COMBAR, Chancery Bar Association.

LLB (Wales) First Class, LLM (Cantab)


Chambers UK, 2017

Chancery: Traditional
"His opinions were excellent, he was clearly very well prepared and he was good with the clients."
Commercial Dispute Resolution
"Superb knowledge of financial services litigation and very strong on civil fraud matters." "He has a lovely style about him and is firm, but never patronising, with the clients."
Financial Services
"He's responsive, brings clarity to what is contentious and recognises the different perspectives in a case."

Legal 500, 2016

Commercial Litigation
"A brilliant legal analyst with a great courtroom manner."
Company and Partnership
"He is very capable and deals well with the clients."
Private Client: Trust and Probate
"He is very capable and deals well with clients."

Chambers UK, 2016

Chancery: Traditional
"He is extremely dangerous if he is on the other side to you, because he is thoroughly good at everything that he does."
Commercial Dispute Resolution
"He can cut through weeks of litigation by appealing to judges' common sense."
"He's an excellent advocate and a client-friendly personality."
Financial Services
"He's extremely good, and the advice you get is always of a very high calibre and well thought through. He's very good at turning things around quickly."
"He gives you the legal answer but also thinks about what his answer actually means commercially."

Legal 500, 2015

Commercial Litigation
"An elegant and effective advocate, who is very good with Asia-based clients."
Company and Partnership
"Thinks through strategy clearly and presents arguments really lucidly."
Private Client: Trust and Probate
"Very good – a real pleasure to work with."

Chambers UK, 2015

Chancery: Traditional
"An accomplished commercial litigator who tackles traditional chancery matters including offshore trusts and wills work."
"A charming advocate."
"One of the nicest people at the Bar and a man with a fierce intellect."
Commercial Dispute Resolution
"A well-regarded silk with a reputation for user-friendliness among instructing solicitors."
"Provided clear, concise advice on a dispute with a complex matrix of facts. He is able to see woods for the trees."
"He is so thoughtful and considerate of clients' personal needs during the course of difficult litigation. People really feel safe with him."
Financial Services
"His financial services expertise is complimented by strengths in the related areas of company, partnership and insolvency."