Home Barristers Matthew Collings

Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Matthew Collings QC

Call 1985
Silk 2006


Over 150 reported cases establish the breadth of Matthew’s expertise in his specialist areas covering Company, Insolvency and Commercial Chancery (litigation and advisory work), for which he is recommended in Chambers UK, Chambers Global and The Legal 500.

Matthew is an experienced trial and appellate advocate (here and abroad), and also regularly appears in tribunals, as well as arbitrations, expert determinations and mediations.

Recent trials include a 20 day fraudulent misrepresentation claim, a substantial dispute as to the construction and effect of a legal charge, an insolvency case (now a principal authority on the reach of the Cross Border Insolvency Regulations), and a significant trial in the Mercantile Court.  Recent appeals include FHR in the Supreme Court, now the leading case on constructive trusts; as well as Sinclair v Versailles in the Court of Appeal on the same topic.

Matthew has recently been advising on the administration of the Caterham Formula One team, the affairs of Glasgow Rangers, the Apex v Fi Call shareholder dispute, an Olympic show jumping horse, and a €100m fraud.

An extensive offshore practice embraces Hong Kong, the Channel Islands, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Iceland. Matthew has been called to the Bar in the Cayman Islands; and in the BVI, where he has appeared in a number of substantial applications, trials and appeals.

Professional Background

LLB Hons (London)
Former member of the Insolvency Rules Advisory Committee
Member of the Chancery Bar Association, COMBAR, the Commercial Fraud Lawyers Association, the Insolvency Lawyers Association and INSOL International.

Specialist Areas, 2015 Recommendations and Reported Cases


Chambers UK: An experienced and adept QC who has appeared in a plethora of reported cases across the Chancery Bar.  Commentators count his strategic ability and client-handling skills among his many strengths.  Strengths: “Wonderful with clients and a great advocate”.  “What you get with him is a great deal of experience and an extremely user-friendly barrister”.  Recent work: Instructed on a shareholder dispute for a number of claimants against Union Zone Management, a BVI company.

Legal 500:          Extremely user friendly; clients really like him.

Progress Property Co Ltd v Moore [2010] 1 BCLC 1 (CA) and [2011] 1 WLR 1 (SC) (unlawful distributions)

Re Hoicrest Ltd [1999] 2 BCLC 346 and [2000] 1 WLR 414 (CA) (rectification of share register)

R (Clegg) v Secretary of State [2003] BCC 128 (Companies Act investigations)

Smith v Charles Building Services Ltd [2005] BCC 513 and [2006] BCC 334 (CA) (rectification of share register)

Inn Spirit Ltd v Burns [2002] 2 BCLC 780 (unlawful dividend)

Mission Capital plc v Sinclair [2008] BCC 866 (derivative claim)

Fusion Interactive Communication Solutions Ltd v Venture Investment Placement Ltd [2005] 2 BCLC 250 and 571 (authority to bring proceedings)

Rose v McGivern [1998] 2 BCLC 593 (meetings)

Vinton v Revenue & Customs [2008] WTLR 1359 (ratification)

Unfair Prejudice

Re Nottingham Forest FC Ltd [2002] BCC 145 and [2002] 1 BCLC 613

Re Ravenhart Service (Holdings) Ltd [2004] 2 BCLC 376

Re Belfield Furnishings Ltd [2006] 2 BCLC 705

Re Jayflex Construction Ltd [2004] 2 BCLC 145

Re Astec BSR plc [1998] 2 BCLC 556

Re Edwardian Group Ltd [2004] BCC 955 and [2005] 1 BCLC 696

Re Legal Costs Negotiators Ltd [1999] 2 BCLC 171 (CA)

Re Leeds United Holdings plc [1996] 2 BCLC 545

Re Milgate Developments Ltd [1993] BCLC 291

Re Ghyll Beck Driving Range Ltd [1993] BCLC 1126

Re a Company ex p. S-P [1989] BCLC 579

Re JE Cade & Son Ltd [1992] BCLC 213

Re Castleburn Ltd [1991] BCLC 89

Re a Company [1997] 2 BCLC 1

Directors Disqualification

Re Carecraft Construction Co Ltd [1994] 1 WLR 172

Re Barings plc (No 5) [1999] 1 BCLC 433

Re Barings plc (No 4) [1999] BCC 639

Secretary of State v Baker [1998] Ch 356

Eastaway v UK [2006] 2 BCLC 361

Re Blackspur Group plc (No 3) [2002] 2 BCLC 263 (CA)

Re Blackspur Group plc (No 4) [2006] 2 BCLC 489 and [2008] 1 BCLC 153 (CA)

Re Blackspur Group plc [2001] 1 BCLC 653

R v Secretary of State ex p Eastaway [2001] BCC 365 and [2000] 1 WLR 2222 (HL)

R v Secretary of State ex p McCormick [1998] BCC 379 (CA)

Secretary of State v McCormick [1998] 2 BCLC 18

Secretary of State v Ettinger [1993] BCLC 896 (CA)

Re Swift 736 Ltd [1993] BCLC 1

Re Pamstock Ltd [1994] 1 BCLC 716

Re Austinsuite Furniture Ltd [1992] BCLC 1047

Re Cladrose Ltd [1990] BCLC 204

Re Travel Mondial (UK) Ltd [1991] BCLC 120

Re New Generation Engineers Ltd [1993] BCLC 435

Re JA Chapman & Co Ltd [2003] 2 BCLC 206

Re Southbourne Sheet Metal Co Ltd [1991] BCLC 361 and [1993] 1 WLR 244 (CA)

Re Pamstock Ltd [1994] 1 BCLC 716 and [1996] BCC 341 (CA)

Re Manlon Trading Ltd [1996] Ch 136 (CA)

Re Noble Trees Ltd [1993] BCLC 1185

Re Cubelock Ltd [2001] BCC 523

Re Lombard Shipping & Forwarding Ltd [1993] BCLC 238

Re Sutton Glass Works Ltd [1997] 1 BCLC 26

Re Chartmore Ltd [1990] BCLC 673

Re Westmid Packing Services Ltd (No 2) [1996] BCC 229

Re Probe Data Systems Ltd [1989] BCLC 561

Re Surrey Leisure Ltd [1999] 1 BCLC 731 and [1999] 2 BCLC 457 (CA)


Chambers UK:        Handles insolvency cases as part of a broad chancery commercial practice.  He primarily acts in significant corporate insolvencies, both at home and abroad.  Strengths: “He is very good, and very polished.”  Recent work: Acted in the administration of Equity Trading Systems, a company involved in a significant fraud.

Legal 500:          Extremely user friendly and accessible.

Cross Border

Re Pan Ocean Co Ltd [2014] Bus LR 1041 (scope of the CBIRs)

Re BCCI SA [1993] BCC 787 (section 426)


Re Equity Trading Systems Ltd [2012] EWHC 3811 (Ch) (conflict)

Re Virtualpurple Professional Services Ltd [2012] 2 BCLC 330 (validity of out of court appointment)

Tradegro (UK) Ltd v Wigmore Street Investments Ltd [2011] 2 BCLC 616 (CA) (whether solicitor’s undertaking a valid charge)

Re Zegna III Holdings Inc [2010] BPIR 277 (challenge to decisions of administrators)

Jackson v Thakrar [2007] EWHC 2173 (TCC) (discharge)

AES Barry Ltd v TXU Europe Trading Ltd [2005] 2 BCLC 22 (moratorium)

Re Hamlet International Ltd [1998] 2 BCLC 164 and [1999] 2 BCLC 506 (CA) (validity of lien)

Re Arrows Ltd (No 3) [1992] BCLC 555 (appointment)

Re Charnley Davies Ltd [1990] BCLC 760 (whether sale negligent)

Re NS Distribution Ltd [1990] BCLC 169 (extension of time)

Re Harris Simons Construction Ltd [1989] 1 WLR 368 (appointment)

Re Consumer Industrial Press Ltd [1988] BCLC 176 (appointment) and (1988) 4 BCC 72 (disposal)

Re Charnley Davies Ltd [1988] BCLC 243 (preliminary issue)

Re Charnley Davies Business Services Ltd (1987) 3 BCC 408 (discharge)

Section 236

Hill v Van der Merwe [2007] BPIR 1562

Re Trading Partners Ltd [2002] 1 BCLC 655

Re Galileo Group Ltd [1999] Ch 100

Re Atlantic Computers plc [1998] BCC 200

Re Kingscroft Insurance Co Ltd [1994] 2 BCLC 80

Re BCCI SA (No. 7) [1994] 1 BCLC 455

Re Arrows Ltd (No 4) [1993] BCLC 242 and [1993] Ch 452 (CA) and [1995] 2 AC 75 (HL)

Re Arrows Ltd (No 2) [1992] BCLC 1176 and [1994] BCLC 355 (CA)


Sunwing Vacations Inc v E-Clear (UK) plc [2012] 2 BCLC 104 (disclosure)

Mahomed v Morris [2000] 2 BCLC 536 (CA) (challenge to decisions of liquidators)

Re Demaglass Ltd [2003] 1 BCLC 412 (floating charge)

Re Wallace Smith & Co Ltd [1992] BCLC 970 (winding-up orders)

Re Wallace Smith Group Ltd [1992] BCLC 989 (winding-up orders)

Re Vanilla Accumulation Ltd, The Times, 24 February 1998 (public interest winding-up)

Securities & Investments Board v Lancashire & Yorkshire Portfolio Management Ltd [1992] BCLC 281 (winding-up)

Re Tramway Building & Construction Co Ltd [1988] Ch 293 (section 127)

Re Japan Leasing (Europe) plc [1999] BPIR 911 (whether valid trust)

Celltech International Ltd v Dalkia Utilities Services plc [2004] EWHC 193 (Ch) (disputed debt)

Lomax Leisure Ltd v Miller [2008] 1 BCLC 262 and [2008] BCC 686 (CA) (dividends)

Re BCCI SA (No 5) [1994] 1 BCLC 429 (proof of debt)

Re BCCI SA (No 3), The Times, 5 May 1994 (strike out)

Re K&J Holdings Ltd [2004] EWHC 2874 (Ch) (proof of debt)

Re Arrows Ltd [1992] BCC 121 (provisional liquidation)

Re Keypak Homecare Ltd [1987] BCLC 409 (removal of liquidator)

Customs & Excise v Allan, The Times, 20 March 2003 (bulk transfer)

Re William Pickles plc [1996] 1 BCLC 681 (directions)

Re Tony Rowse NMC Ltd [1996] BCC 196 (remuneration and expenses)

Re Hans Place Ltd [1993] BCLC 768 (disclaimer)

Re Brompton Securities Ltd (1988) 4 BCC 189 (forfeiture)

Re Brompton Securities Ltd (No 2) [1988] 3 All ER 677 (relief against forfeiture)

Re L Todd (Swanscombe) Ltd [1990] BCLC 454 (fraudulent trading)

Habib Bank Ltd v Ahmed [2004] BPIR 35 and 864 (CA) (section 423)

Law Society v Southall [2001] BPIR 303 and [2002] BPIR 336 (CA) (section 423)

Re Westlowe Storage & Distribution Ltd [2000] 2 BCLC 590 (misfeasance)

Re British & Commonwealth Holdings plc [1992] 1 WLR 672 (scheme of arrangement)

Re Primlaks (UK) Ltd (No 2) [1990] BCLC 234 (CVA)


Salliss v Hunt [2014] 1 WLR 2402 (annulment and remuneration)

Mond v MBNA [2011] Bus LR 513 (IVA)

Shah v Cooper [2003] BPIR 1018 (IVA)

Long v Farrer & Co [2004] BPIR 1218 (privilege)

Re Naeem (a Bankrupt) [1990] 1 WLR 48 (appeal)

Morris v Murjani [1996] 1 WLR 848 (restraint from leaving jurisdiction)

Federal Bank of the Middle East v Hadkinson [2000] BPIR 44 (contempt)


Chambers UK:        A highly regarded advocate who specialises in company and insolvency litigation.  He also has a solid reputation for fraud work.  Strengths: “He is terrier-like in his commitment to the client’s cause: he’s really tenacious and fights hard.”  Recent work: Acted in a dispute regarding an Olympic gold medal-winning horse.

Legal 500 (Commercial Litigation):  Very good for fraud related work.

Ashwood Enterprises Ltd v Bank of Ireland [2014] EWHC 2624 (Ch) (effect of legal charge)

Ticketus LLP v Whyte [2013] EWHC 4069 (Ch) (summary judgment)

British & Commonwealth Holdings plc v Barclays de Zoete Wedd Ltd [1999] 1 BCLC 86 (disclosure)

Law Society v KPMG [2000] 1 WLR 1921 (CA) (professional negligence)

Express Newspapers v Telegraph Group Ltd [2002] EWCA Civ 317 (CA) (joint venture)

Vinton v Fladgate Fielder [2010] PNLR 26 (professional negligence)

Law Society v Karim [2007] EWHC 3548 (Ch) (intervention)

A Ltd v B Ltd [1996] 1 WLR 665 (security for costs)

A&J Fabrications Ltd v Grant Thornton [1998] 2 BCLC 227 (professional negligence)


Chambers UK:        His fraud practice is complemented by his highly regarded company and insolvency expertise.  He has been called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court.  Strengths: “Masterfully on top of the law in this area and a clever and bold tactician”.  “Direct in his approach and a man with great creative ability.”  Recent work: Acted in the Supreme Court on a dispute concerning the issue of whether a secret commission is subject to a constructive trust.

FHR European Ventures LLP v Mankarious [2014] Ch 1 (CA) and [2015] AC 250 (SC) (constructive trust)

Sinclair Investments (UK) Ltd v Versailles Trade Finance Ltd [2011] 1 BCLC 202 and [2012] Ch 453 (CA) (constructive trust and tracing)

Sinclair Investment Holdings SA v Versailles Trade Finance Ltd [2006] 1 BCLC 60 (CA) and [2007] EWHC 915 (Ch) (dishonest assistance)

Re BCCI SA [1994] 1 WLR 708 (CA) (Worldwide Mareva undertakings)

Federal Bank of the Middle East v Hadkinson [2000] 1 WLR 1695 (CA) (scope of Mareva)

United Mizrahi Bank Ltd v Doherty [1998] 1 WLR 435 (proprietary injunction and legal costs)

Franses v Al Assad [2007] BPIR 1233 (setting aside Mareva)

Phillips v Symes [2002] 1 WLR 853 (Brussels Convention)

Grabowski v Scott [2002] EWCA Civ 1885 (CA) (tracing)

Flack v Pattinson [2003] 1 FLR 726 (deceit)


Chambers UK:        Particularly noted for his expertise in commercial chancery work generally, including company law and civil fraud cases.  He is well regarded among instructing solicitors, who praise him for his robust style of advocacy.  Strengths: “Bright and always fun to work with.”  “He has a knack for finding creative but practical solutions to complex legal issues.”  Recent work: Appeared in a dispute between Office Depot Inc and Office Depot (Israel) over a share purchase agreement.

Legal 500 (Banking and Finance):   Very clever and easy to deal with.

SRM Global Master Fund LP v HM Treasury [2009] BCC 251 and [2009] EWCA Civ 788 (CA) (privatisation of Northern Rock)

IIG Capital LLC v Van der Merwe [2008] 1 FCR 633 (CA) (guarantee liability)

General Trading Company (Holdings ) Ltd v Richmond Corporation Ltd [2008] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 475 (penalty clauses)

Looney v Trafigura Beheer BV [2011] EWHC 125 (Ch) (repudiatory breach)

Total Spares & Supplies Ltd v Antares SRL [2006] BPIR 1330 (third party costs)

Merchantbridge & Co Ltd v Safron General Partner 1 Ltd [2012] 2 BCLC 291 (third party costs)

Re Supply of Ready Mixed Concrete [1991] ICR 52 and [1992] QB 213 (CA) (restrictive practices)

Mahomed v Bank of Baroda, The Times, 10 February 1998 (banking)

Jemma Trust Company v Liptrott [2004] 1 WLR 646 (CA) (costs)

Legal Aid Area No 1 (London) Appeal Committee v McCormick [2000] 1 WLR 1804 (costs)

JD Classics Holdings Ltd v Revenue & Customs [2010] UKFTT 259 (customs duty)

Liquid Investments Ltd v Revenue & Customs [2014] UKFTT 297 (customs duty)

WH Smith Travel Holdings Ltd v Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment Ltd [2014] Mercantile Court (9BS40280) (accounting)


Chambers UK:     Handles cases involving company, commercial and insolvency elements, both at trial and appellate level.  His offshore work is spread among the Cayman Islands, the BVI, the Channel Islands and Hong Kong, as well as Jamaica and Iceland.  Strengths: “He is incredibly creative, and is always coming up with new ideas and strategies.  He is good fun to work with and is always cheerful.  He keeps you going.”  Recent work: He acted in a significant case concerning share registers before the BVI Court of Appeal that is now moving to appeal in front of the Privy Council.


Re Staray Capital Limited, BVIHC (COM) 138 of 2011 (unfair prejudice – compulsory share redemption) (trial and appeal)

Royal Westminster Investments SA v Nilon Ltd (rectification of the share register – service out – forum conveniens)

Re Ortland Equities Corporation, BVIHC (COM) 2010/11 (liquidation – transaction at an undervalue) (trial and appeal)

Gudavadze v Carlina Overseas Corp, BVIHC (COM) 2012/11 (share ownership – nomineeship)

Re Value Discovery Partners LP, BVIHC (COM) 2013/26 (construction of Articles of limited partnership)

Re Union Zone Management Ltd, BVIHC (COM) 2011/126 (shareholders’ dispute – just and equitable winding up) (trial and appeal)


Re Matador Investments Ltd, FSD 103/2011 (share redemption – articles – side agreement)