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Francesca Perselli

Call 2011

fperselli@maitlandchambers.com

Francesca practices in commercial and private client litigation. She accepts instructions with Italian language requirements and has been instructed for over 18 months in a high-value commercial dispute against the Italian multinational oil and gas company, Eni.

Having undertaken secondments to leading firms in Guernsey and Jersey, Francesca has particular experience of offshore contentious trusts work. She also frequently deals with domestic private client issues including fiduciary issues, probate and 1975 Act claims. She has contributed to  leading textbooks in her fields, including Lewin on Trusts and Williams, Mortimer and Sunnucks on Executors, Administrators and Probate.

Francesca enjoys working with issues of a technical nature and in particular those with a scientific focus (having a Master’s degree in materials chemistry) or requiring understanding of music theory (being a violinist and pianist).

A member of the Bar Council (International and Young Barristers’ Committees), Francesca is a committed member of the bar and enjoys contributing to the development of the profession.

She is qualified for direct access work and welcomes inquiries from members of the public.

Current and recent cases

  • Blue Power Group v ENI Norge and others: with Andrew Twigger QC and Jonathan Allcock. Acting for claimant Italian research and development business in a €100m claim against Eni, relating to marine transportation of compressed natural gas. Contractual claims for breaches of contract and exclusivity; IP claims for breach of confidence and infringement of database rights relating to modelling software.
  • Re Paul (deceased): led by Alex Learmonth. Probate claim relating to a £30m farming estate, seeking to set aside a will on the grounds of incapacity due to schizophrenia and want of knowledge and approval; alternatively rectification for mistake.
  • Onyeneho v Ihenagwa: sole counsel. Represented claimant in a property co-ownership trial. Uncovered mortgage fraud on the part of the Defendant. Novel point of law relating to whether trial fees payable on a re-trial reported to the Rules Committee.
  • Torr v Connor: sole counsel. Represented successful claimant in a claim for fraudulent misrepresentation relating to the sale of a high-end car previously owned by footballer Ian Wright. Currently instructed in High Court Appeal.

Commercial injunctions, civil fraud, insolvency:

  • Carlton Travel v Baby [2018] EWHC 3269 (QB). Acted for the successful respondent in an appeal against refusal of relief from sanctions; issues as to enforceability of an oral guarantee agreement, absence of consideration.
  • Joseph v Joseph: application to restrain sale of a property.
  • Freedom Travel Group v Quartz Travel: led by James Bailey. Urgent without notice freezing injunctions relating to director's fraud and breaches of fiduciary duty.
  • Spicerhaart v Gayle and Coote: respondent to freezing injunction in support of knowing receipt claim.
  • Nielsen v Baldorino, 2016: part of disclosure team on a claim brought by shareholders alleging fraudulent misrepresentation by the directors of a company who were involved in a management buy-out.
  • Weavering Macro Fixed Income Fund Limited (in liquidation) v Ernst & Young, 2015: part of disclosure team acting for the liquidators of a Cayman Fund following a major fraud by its founder, Magnus Peterson.
  • Insolvency matters including setting aside statutory demands, administration applications, restraining advertisement, powers and duties of office holders, claims against directors.
  • Shareholder remedies, directors' duties.

Contentious probate and trusts experience:

  • Claims for breach of fiduciary duty, exercise of discretionary powers, devastavit, accounts, Beddoe and Benjamin applications, removal of trustees and personal representatives, Pitt v Holt applications.
  • Construction of wills and trusts, rectification or rescission for mistake, charities, the cy-près doctrine, substitutionary gifts.
  • Non-contentious probate claims relating to grants of probate, cross-border estates, appointment of personal representatives.
  • Contentious probate claims involving testamentary capacity, validity, proprietary estoppel, constructive and resulting trusts, undue influence.
  • Mediations.
  • Property co-ownership disputes involving constructive/resulting trusts, proprietary estoppel.
  • 1975 Act claims including out-of-time applications, adult and minor children, claimants treated as children, partners, spouses, fossil marriages.

Offshore

Advised the trustee in M v St Anne’s Trustees, in which Guernsey applied Pitt v Holt.

Secondments to Mourant (Guernsey), Carey Olsen (Guernsey), Ogier (Jersey).

Involved in numerous leading cases whilst on secondment:

  • Creditforce v Arbitrage Research and Trading Limited S.A.: sham trust claim involving attempts by alleged settlor to hide ownership within a complex network of transactions.
  • Chernukhin v Deripaska: enforcement proceedings brought in support of the Filatona Trading v Navigator Equities claim in the English High Court.
  • Advising on the construction of the carried interest provisions in a partnership agreement relating to a private equity fund following the restructuring of a group of companies.
  • Deutsche Bank v Sebastian Holdings and Vik: enforcement of English judgment in Guernsey; applications for appointment of an equitable receiver and collateral use of documents.
  • First Tower Trustees Ltd v CDS (Superstores International): advised solicitors in English proceedings as to choice of law where a trustee of a foreign law trust enters into an English law contract “as trustee”.
  • First Tower Trustees Ltd v CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang: advised on negligence claim against the trustees' former solicitors in respect of the drafting of the contract and conduct of the CDS litigation.
  • Re St John’s Ambulance & Rescue Service: pension claim alleging breach of the Imperial Tobacco duty.
  • Credit Suisse Trustees Limited v Haggiag: forum non conveniens in sham trust claims, civil law recognition of trusts under the Hague Convention, injunction for conflict of interest.
  • Investec Trust (Guernsey) v Glenalla Properties (Tchenguiz Discretionary Trust): part of a team of associates in litigation before the Guernsey Court of Appeal.
  • Claims involving: service out and jurisdiction issues (forum conveniens), choice of law in trusts disputes, prescription (limitation) of trust and negligence claims, cross-border estates and insolvencies, asset tracing and bona fide purchaser defence, breach of investment mandate by fund advisor, regulatory proceedings by the GFSC.

Intellectual property

  • Blue Power v Eni (2018 – present): claims for misuse of confidential information and breach of database rights relating to modelling software for transportation of gas cylinders.
  • Discovery Yachts Limited v Sunchalk Limited: injunction restraining passing off. Advised on trade mark infringement and enforcement of a sale agreement following purchase by the claimant of the defendant’s business.
  • Pegas Touristik UK Limited: trademark appeal to the Appointed Person.
  • Comfortable with claims requiring scientific knowledge (chemistry and physics in particular); music theory.

Education

  • MChem (Dunelm), Chemistry (First) – St Mary's College, Durham.

Undergraduate Master’s research project in computational crystallography/materials chemistry.

  • GDL (Distinction) – The College of Law.
  • BPTC (Outstanding) – The College of Law.
  • LLM (Cantab), Commercial Law – Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge.

Modules in advanced trusts, conflict of laws, restitution and intellectual property.

Awards

  • Scholarship from the South Eastern Circuit to attend Florida Bar Association Advanced Civil Trial Advocacy Course (May 2016). Received excellent feedback on advocacy and in particular cross-examination.
  • Diplock Scholar of the Middle Temple for both GDL and BPTC years.
  • College of Law/Allen & Overy Stuart Menzies bursary for a promising commercial lawyer.
  • Winner of College of Law mooting competition.

Languages

Italian; experience working with Italian documents. Dual Italian and British nationality.

Interests

Studied violin and piano at Trinity College, London (Junior Department). Cambridge half blue in karate. Enjoys road cycling and musical theatre.

Memberships

COMBAR
Chancery Bar
British Italian Lawyers Association
ConTrA
International Bar Association
Bar Council (International and Young Barristers’ Committees)