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Paul Girolami QC

Call 1983
Silk 2002

clerks@maitlandchambers.com

Paul is a Deputy High Court Judge for the Queens’ Bench & Chancery Divisions of the High Court. He took silk in April 2002, having been one of the Junior Counsel to the Crown for about nine years. He is experienced in general commercial litigation, in particular in the areas of specialisation identified below.

He acts and advises in relation to proceedings both in the UK and internationally. In the UK he appears in the High Court, Court of Appeal, House of Lords and Privy Council, as well as in mediations and arbitrations.  Internationally Paul is called to the BVI Bar, and appears there regularly. He has appeared before the Court of Appeal in Hong Kong, before the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and before the Court of Appeal of Gibraltar. He is on the register of practitioners able to appear in the DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre). Paul is regularly instructed on matters before The Financial Services Division of the Grand Court in the Cayman Islands and has acted as an expert witness on English law in US proceedings.  He has been involved in many of the major cases of the past two decades, including of BCCI, Maxwell, Polly Peck, Barlow Clowes, the collapse of Blackspur group, British & Commonwealth & Atlantic Computers, Enron, Federal Mogul & Turner & Newell, TXU, and the NHS claims against Norton Healthcare and others. He has sector experience in distribution and finance agreements; the film industry; the fashion industry; healthcare and pharmaceuticals (including grey market and parallel imports); magazines & publishing; airlines & the travel industry.

  • Commercial (Chancery): business disputes of a contractual and non-contractual nature, in particular those involving the following specialised areas: breaches of contract; licence agreements; agreements for the sale of businesses and shares; rights over assets or property; confidential information and breaches of confidence; charges, debentures and other security interests; the meaning and effect of financial instruments; and the fiduciary obligations of agents, business professionals, joint venturers, partners, trustees and others.
  • Company: Paul is recognised as an expert in the company field. He acts and advises in relation to technical aspects of company law; disputes of all types concerning the rights of shareholders, including quasi-partnership companies; bringing and defending claims for breach of fiduciary duty against directors & senior employees; the rights and obligations of directors; disqualification of directors.
  • Insolvency/Corporate recovery: technical issues of company and personal insolvency, administration and voluntary arrangements, arising both in the UK and offshore; claims brought by and against liquidators, administrators and trustees.
  • Civil Fraud: bringing and defending civil claims of fraud, accessory liability and other claims based on dishonesty, especially those involving corporate fraud; worldwide freezing and search & seizure orders; following and recovering assets; constructive trusts; piercing the corporate veil. His instructions have included pursuing claims of dishonesty against investment fund managers; against former directors and employees, against clients of banks and against trustees.

Educated at St Paul’s School and Corpus Christi College Cambridge, Paul did a commercial pupillage at Brick Court Chambers and a Chancery pupillage at Wilberforce Chambers, before joining what is now Maitland Chambers in 1985.

Paul is recommended in all of the above categories in the Chambers UK Guide, where he has been described as “the lawyer’s lawyer par excellence”. In The Legal 500, he is recommended for commercial litigation, company & partnership, civil fraud and insolvency. Paul also appears in the Chambers UK Stars at the Bar guide where the following has been said about him:

“Time and time again people are impressed by Paul Girolami.” He is a “big name” among solicitors and peers alike, and those that instruct him declare that he is “at the top of our list,” and “one of the best company law silks at the Bar. He is very good at presenting technical matters to the higher courts, and also has a good understanding of offshore trusts – that makes him a terrific choice.” “Someone who must be one of the best chancery silks available,” he “is ideally suited for complex fraud claims," because “he is possibly the cleverest silk at the London bar.” Commentators describe him as a “particular favourite,” because of the strong mix of skills he brings to the table: “He is exceptionally gifted. Very engaging, committed and inclusive, he's a brilliant orator and one of the most able and nicest silks one could ever work with.” Girolami is acknowledged for his strong ability to handle cases with international elements, and was recently instructed to act for one of the defendants in the Libyan Investment Authority's USD1.5 billion action against Société Générale concerning alleged bribery.

Further details are available on request.

Memberships
Chancery Bar Association and COMBAR.

Qualifications
BA (Cantab)

Testimonials

Chambers UK Stars at the Bar

“Time and time again people are impressed by Paul Girolami.”
"He is a “big name” among solicitors and peers alike, and those that instruct him declare that he is “at the top of our list,” and “one of the best company law silks at the Bar. He is very good at presenting technical matters to the higher courts, and also has a good understanding of offshore trusts – that makes him a terrific choice.”
“Someone who must be one of the best chancery silks available,” he “is ideally suited for complex fraud claims," because “he is possibly the cleverest silk at the London bar.”
“particular favourite,” because of the strong mix of skills he brings to the table: “He is exceptionally gifted. Very engaging, committed and inclusive, he's a brilliant orator and one of the most able and nicest silks one could ever work with.”

Chambers 100 UK

“A deeply impressive and measured advocate who appeals to judges."

Chambers UK

Chancery: Commercial
"He's at the top of his game and must be one of the best chancery silks available. He's an extremely powerful advocate and very easy to work with." "Paul Girolami is excellent and very nice indeed." (2017)

"Absolutely outstanding. One of the best advocates out there." (2016)

"One of the top advocates at the Chancery Bar."

"He is a total delight to work with as he's a decent human being, but also a fantastically capable lawyer." (2015)

"Noted for his experience on significant company and contractual disputes and insolvency matters."

"He is also regularly sought out for large-scale fraud cases."

"I really trust his judgement. He thinks things through very thoroughly and you can rely on what he tells you. One feels comforted when he is involved." (2014)

"Very, very bright and committed," "incredibly good manner with clients." (2013)

"Brilliant, possessed of a meticulous mind and very persuasive in court." (2012)

"A heavy hitter you want with a near-unrivalled background in his fields of expertise."

"He is nothing short of a legend."

"Savoir-faire and humorous, down-to-earth manner." (2011)

“Intellectually incisive” “a no-stone-unturned type of an advocate.” (2010)

Chambers UK

Commercial Dispute Resolution
"A very, very good advocate who always has a very good read on the court." "An absolute star for interlocutory matters." (2017)

"He is one of the brightest silks in the country. He is incredibly charming, has gravitas and is a fantastic advocate."

"Just excellent. He looks for solutions and is a pleasure to work with." (2016)

"He is a very attractive advocate who has a knack for putting points in the most appealing way possible." (2015)

"He can take on anyone out there and the best solicitors use him as much as they can." (2014)

"A great analytical mind."

"Offers very attractive advocacy."

"Elegant way of expressing himself." (2013)

Chambers UK

Company
"Extremely good and very nice. He's very clever, very bright and has good judgement." "A wizard intellect." "A fantastic advocate and a pleasure to deal with." (2017)

"He impresses with his clarity of thought and delivery, his willingness to be part of a team and his ability to come up with novel solutions to complex problems." (2016)

"Hugely impressive, he gets on top of papers and has a sound knowledge of the law." (2015)

"Has an excellent reputation for his advice to clients on shareholders' rights, directors' duties and the disqualification of directors."

"He thinks things through very thoroughly and you can count on what he tells you."

"He's one of the best advocates out there and the quality of his work is incredible."

"He is a deeply impressive and measured advocate who appeals to judges." (2014)

"He is a formidable opponent, who is talented, highly capable, and a true professional." (2013)

"A courteous and persuasive advocate." (2012)

"Mind like a steel trap." (2011)

"Talented and technically minded."

"Not only knows his stuff but comports himself with dignity and good humour at all times." (2010)

Chambers UK

Fraud: Civil
"He is ideally suited for complex fraud claims." "Paul Girolami is absolutely brilliant. He is extremely effective in court." (2017)

"Absolutely outstanding - he's one of the best advocates out there." (2016)

"Has an excellent reputation for handling fraud-related issues in a commercial chancery context."

"He's a very good cross-examiner and is someone you can bounce ideas off."

"He's excellent. I have complete faith in all of the advice he provides." (2015)

"He thinks things through very thoroughly and you can count on what he tells you. He's a great person to bounce things off." (2014)

"Has a better recent record than most in the civil fraud arena." (2013)

"A reliably effective advocate who is forceful but never needlessly aggressive." (2012)

"A brilliant mind with a persuasive ability in court."

"Careful and assured." (2011)

"Prodigious brainpower."

"A sound analyst of legal problems and a creator of great solutions.” (2010)

Chambers UK

Offshore
"He's incredibly smooth and has proved himself to be imaginative and able to think outside the box." (2017)

"He has a fantastic manner with clients and is a joy to work with." (2016)

"He is an absolute delight to work with. He is absolutely phenomenal on his feet." (2015)

"Super bright and extremely well regarded." (2014)

"Formidable legal intellect."

"Very persuasive advocate."

"User-friendly and practical advice."

"Always easy to work with." (2013)

"Thoughtful, thorough and well prepared."

"Brilliant at analysing a case and not one to 'flip-flop' around." (2012)

Chambers UK

Restructuring/Insolvency
"He's very capable and can handle anything that's thrown at him. He's particularly strong in cases with an offshore element." (2017)

"He can pick up a case at very short notice and get up to speed very quickly. He is very responsive and an excellent person to just talk through things with." (2016)

"Extremely bright and tremendously experienced." (2015)

"Adept at representing clients at all levels, both at home and abroad."

"Undoubtedly one of the most thorough silks around." (2014)

"Commands the respect of the court." (2013)

"A low-key but very effective style."

"Has a brilliant mind and is very persuasive." (2012)

"Technically brilliant and highly skilled at marshalling complex facts." (2011)

"An outstanding mind and an incredible ability to take a vast amount of information and reduce it to important points quickly." (2010)

Chambers Global

Dispute Resolution: Commercial Chancery

"I really trust his judgement. He thinks things through very thoroughly and you can rely on what he tells you. One feels comforted when he is involved." (2014)

Chambers Global

Offshore

"Super bright and extremely well regarded." (2014)

Chambers Global

Dispute Resolution: Commercial

"He can take on anyone out there and the best solicitors use him as much as they can." (2014)

Chambers Global

Restructuring/ Insolvency

"Undoubtedly one of the most thorough silks around." (2014)

Legal 500

Commercial Litigation

"An excellent barrister." (2015)

"Excellent for commercial and Chancery litigation." (2014)

"A first-class operator who is easy to work with and produces consistently good paperwork." (2011)

Legal 500

Company & Partnership

"Excellent for company law." (2015)

"One of the top advocates at the Chancery Bar. A Rolls Royce." (2014)

"Has emerged over the last couple of years as one of the true star Chancery silks." (2012)

"Approachable yet full of gravitas, considered yet robust." (2011)

Legal 500

Fraud: Civil

"One of the top advocates at the Chancery Bar – a Rolls-Royce silk." (2015)

"Very thorough and extremely clever." (2014)

"Excellent, gives consistently reliable advice." (2013)

"Well-respected silk" (2012)

"First-class operator."

"Masters papers quickly and is always on top of the details." (2011)

Legal 500

Insolvency

"Very good, a real pleasure to work with." (2015)

"Strong on domestic insolvencies and ones with an offshore component." (2014)

"Recommended" (2013)

"Wonderfully calm and incredibly precise." (2012)

""All-round rising star" and "brilliant advocate."" (2011)