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Oliver Phillips

Call 2009


Oliver practises across the full range of commercial Chancery work, with a particular focus on company and insolvency matters, international and offshore litigation, and real estate work. He acts in a wide variety of commercial disputes, and has appeared as an advocate in every level of the civil courts in England, from the County Court to the Supreme Court. He has experience of general civil and commercial litigation, company proceedings (including several unfair prejudice petitions and derivative claims), bankruptcy and insolvency matters, international jurisdiction and conflict of laws issues, and property litigation in the commercial and residential fields. In addition to his practice in England, Oliver spent several months on secondment in the litigation and insolvency department of a Guernsey law firm in 2011.

Company and Insolvency
• Instructed in matters arising out of the administration of a company formerly involved in Formula 1 motor racing
• Re Bankside Hotels Ltd (with Christopher R Parker QC): a series of unfair prejudice petitions and related actions, currently set for trial in 2015, arising out of a number of hotel development projects in and around London
• Apex Global Management Ltd v. Fi Call Ltd (with Robert Howe QC, Matthew Collings QC, and Daniel Lightman): involved at various interlocutory stages of an unfair prejudice petition between a Jordanian businessman and members of the Saudi royal family, including obtaining judgment for US$7m following breach of an ‘unless’ order
• Acting (with Richard Morgan QC) in a substantial unfair prejudice petition concerning the development of a luxury shopping precinct in Russia
• Acting (with Matthew Collings QC) for an offshore investor in an unfair prejudice petition presented against a listed company involved in the media distribution business
• Jackson v. Dear (Royal Court of Guernsey): assisting, while on secondment to a firm in Guernsey, with the first case of a shareholder seeking to bring a derivative claim in the Guernsey courts in respect of a large closed-ended investment company, following a breakdown in relations between some of the executive directors
• Connolly v. Morgan: successfully obtaining permission to bring a derivative claim in the Chancery Division, in a case involving the diversion of a business opportunity from the company into the hands of one of its two directors and shareholders. The claim was subsequently settled
• Instructed in numerous smaller applications in the Companies Court, including applications to restrain presentation and advertisement of winding-up petitions, applications on behalf of administrators, and applications by shareholders for the production of company documents

Offshore & International
• Anglo Starlite v. NCMF (with David Mumford): proceedings brought in Hong Kong by liquidators of a motor insurer against the former auditors
• Masri v. Consolidated Contractors International Co SAL [2011] EWHC 1780 (Comm) (with Alistair Schaff QC and David Mumford): appearing in this long-running international dispute in the Commercial Court for directors of a Lebanese company who were sued in England and in Greece when the company failed to pay a series of English judgments. The case involved detailed consideration of the application of articles 27 and 28 of the Brussels I Regulation; in the event the English claim was stayed on the directors’ application on article 28 grounds (and the proceedings were subsequently settled)
• Instructed (with Anthony Trace QC and Alexander Winter) on an urgent application for interim relief in support of an arbitration claim relating to the transfer of ownership of an Eastern European bank
• Drafting (with Anthony Trace QC) an appeal to the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court following the trial of an unfair prejudice petition under the Nevis Limited Liability Company Ordinance 1995
• Various matters in Guernsey while on secondment there, including Jackson v. Dear (above), cross-border insolvency work, and the local enforcement of arbitration awards.
• Other matters include acting for a Seychelles-incorporated, Ukrainian-owned company in High Court proceedings concerning the beneficial ownership of residential property in central London, appearing in a claim concerning property in St Barthélemy, and making applications for permission to serve English proceedings out of the jurisdiction

Real Estate
• Day v. Hosebay Ltd [2012] UKSC 41, [2012] 1 WLR 2884 (with Edwin Johnson QC): appearing for the successful appellants before a seven-judge panel of the Supreme Court in an appeal concerning the meaning of the word ‘house’ in the Leasehold Reform Act 1967
• Schwab v. 7-9 St George’s Square LLP (with James Hanham): acting in a two-week High Court trial of claims concerning the adequacy of reinstatement work following a fire in a multimillion pound property in central London
• Partnerships in Care Ltd v. Nazemi: obtaining urgent relief to restrain acts of nuisance and trespass caused by building works next door to a secure hospital in London
• Obtaining an urgent order in the High Court to reverse the consequences of an unlawful eviction carried out by a landlord while the tenant was abroad
• Other matters include a wide variety of County Court claims, including possession actions (acting for landlords, tenants, banks, and borrowers), dilapidations cases, and claims by Law of Property Act Receivers.

Commercial & Contractual Disputes
• Drafting proceedings (with Richard Morgan QC) seeking injunctive relief to enforce restrictive covenants against the former employee of an oil & gas business; the claim settled shortly after the draft proceedings were served
• Acting (with Andrew Ayres) for the manufacturer of industrial mixing equipment in a substantial TCC claim alleging defective workmanship and repair
• Re D: acting for an offshore company seeking to discharge restraint orders granted under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 over assets worth several billion dollars
• Advising former employees of an international mining company on a restitutionary claim by their employer to recover tax demanded by HMRC on the exercise of share options, following an incorrect tax calculation by the employer
• Advising on the rights of clients of UK banks who had entered into interest rate swaps
• Working on a heavy disclosure exercise in a long-running dispute between two UK television broadcasters

Academic background

Before coming to the bar, Oliver read Classics at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. Having taken a double first and won several major college and university awards, he remained in Cambridge for postgraduate study, taking the MPhil degree in the same subject. He then joined the Middle Temple to train as a barrister, going on to be classed as Outstanding in bar finals and winning the Sweet & Maxwell Prize in company law and the BACFI Prize for commercial practice, amongst other awards. He reached the final of the ESU/Essex Court National Mooting Competition, winning the Scarman Shield, and has also mooted in the USA. He joined Maitland Chambers in 2010 following twelve months of pupillage with Michael Pryor, David Mumford, Amanda Tipples QC, and Andrew Westwood.

Chancery Bar Association, COMBAR, Property Bar Association

MA, MPhil

Notable Cases

Julian Cohen v Stobart Holdings Ltd (2018)

Nicholas John Clwyd Griffith v Maurice Saleh Gourgey & 7 Ors (2018)

In The Matter Of Bankside Hotels v Maurice Gourgey (2018)

In The Matter Of Pedersen (Thameside) Ltd v Maurice Saleh Gourgey & Ors (2017)

In the matter of Bankside Hotels Ltd & Ors v Maurice Saleh Gourgey & Ors (2017)

Bretby Hall Management Co Ltd v Christopher Pratt (2017)

Apex Global v FI Call (2016)

Apex Global v F1 Call (2015)

In The Matter Of Bankside Hotels Ltd & Ors v Gourgey & Ors (2015)

In the Matter of Bankside Hotels Ltd v Gourgey (2014)

Day v Hosebay Limited; Howard de Walden Estates Limited v Lexgorge Limited (2012)

Munib Masri v Consolidated Contractors International Co SAL & 6 Ors (2011)