Paul Girolami QC
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.
Chancery Bar Association and COMBAR.