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Thomas Munby

Call 2006

tmunby@maitlandchambers.com

Thomas is a commercial litigation and arbitration lawyer, with a strong Chancery background. He is best known for heavy international business disputes, including cases with specialist fraud, company law, banking/financial services and jurisdiction / conflict of laws issues. But he also enjoys a long-standing practice in more traditional Chancery areas, including trusts, estates, insolvency and real property.

Thomas is recommended in the directories as a leading junior for Commercial Chancery, Civil Fraud and Company work. He has been described as “absolutely fantastic, great to deal with and seriously clever”, “outrageously clever and always calm”, “an exceptional junior” and “doughty and determined in court”; someone who “handles the most complex matters with ease and confidence” and “speaks a language the client can understand” while “his advocacy is always very thorough and complete, and judges trust him”. He was shortlisted for Chancery Junior of the Year at the Chambers Bar Awards 2018.

In the litigation context, Thomas appears regularly before the English Courts (including in the Commercial Court, the Chancery Division and the Court of Appeal), as well as being involved in proceedings in “offshore” common law jurisdictions.

In the arbitration context, Thomas acts as counsel in international arbitrations, as well as appearing in arbitration claims before the English courts. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and is happy to accept suitable appointments as arbitrator.

He has experience of disputes in industries including: aviation, banking, financial services, IT, accountancy/audit, media & entertainment, mining & minerals, oil & gas, private client / wealth management, shipping and property development.

PRACTICE AREAS

General Commercial Litigation

Thomas is recommended for Commercial Chancery work in Chambers & Partners, and is a member of both COMBAR and the Chancery Bar Association. Recent and/or notable cases include:

-    UC Rusal PLC v Crispian Investments Limited and Whiteleave Holdings Limited a shareholder dispute under an English law shareholder agreement concerning the proposed c.US$1.5bn sale of a minority stake in one of the world’s leading nickel companies

- Acting for an oil trading entity in a c.US$2billion claim by a shipping company for alleged breach of a contract of affreightment

-    Acting in an LCIA arbitration on behalf of an international group of lenders seeking to recover over US$750 million from a group of borrowers and guarantors largely located in CIS jurisdictions

-    Maximov v Novolipetsk Steel: Acting for NLMK, one of the largest steel companies in Russia, in Commercial Court proceedings successfully resisting claims by a Russian billionaire for the enforcement in England of a c.US$150million arbitration award set aside by the Russian courts

-    FBN Bank (UK) Ltd v Leaf Tobacco A Michailides SA: Acting for a bank obtaining judgment seeking judgment in relation to c.€160m outstanding borrowing from a group of borrowers and guarantors in Greece, Bulgaria and Albania

-    Acting in several claims by lessors of Boeing and Airbus passenger aircraft against lessee airlines (including applications to obtain interim mandatory orders for preservation and delivery up of aircraft)

-   Acting for one of the “big four” accountancy firms against another in disputes arising out of a merger between affiliates

-    Islamic Investment Company of the Gulf (Bahamas) Limited v Symphony Gems & ors Acting for judgment creditors seeking to commit a judgment debtor to prison for contempt in relation to asset disclosure under CPR Part 71 in this high value and long running litigation

-    Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Company & anr v Majid Al Refai & ors: acting for a Bahraini bank and Saudi property development company in a major Commercial Court dispute in conspiracy, breach of confidence and blackmail.

-    Acting for a claimant seeking to enforce significant entitlements under OTC coffee derivatives against a South American counterparty

-    Acting for Lady Bracewell-Smith in her high profile dispute with Alistair Barclay

-    Acting for claimant trustees in professional negligence claims against a range of property and planning professionals in relation to a substantial proposed development in the Isle of Wight.

-    Acting in claims between the beneficial owners of a freehold office-block in the City of London in relation to the contractual and other arrangements for distribution of the proceeds of sale of the property

-    Photolibrary Group Ltd & ors v Burda Senator Verlag GMBH:  acting for a German magazine publisher defending contract and bailment claims brought by a group of professional photographers following the loss in transit of a large number of photographic negatives

-    Apvodedo NV v Terry Collins:  claims relating to the attribution of losses among the victims of the “Ritz Hotel fraud”, involving issues of common law mistake in the context of finance documentation.

Civil Fraud

Thomas is recommended for Civil Fraud work by Legal 500, and is a member of the Commercial Fraud Lawyers Association. He is a contributor to Grant & Mumford “Civil Fraud: Law, Practice and Procedure” (Sweet & Maxwell, 2018). His recent and notable cases include:

-    Addlesee & ors v Dentons Europe LLP Acting against a leading firm of solicitors in a claim brought by investors in an allegedly fraudulent investment scheme

-    Islamic Investment Company of the Gulf (Bahamas) Limited v Symphony Gems & ors Acting for judgment creditors seeking to commit a judgment debtor to prison for contempt in relation to asset disclosure under CPR Part 71 in this high value and long running litigation

-    Acting for defendants to a claim brought by a liquidator of a company alleged to have been involved in a high value MTIC fraud in the electricity market

-    Advising and settling proceedings for a claimant in a very high value fraud claim brought in an “offshore” jurisdiction against the managers of a corporate / partnership trust structure

-    Alliance Bank JSC v Aquanta Corp & ors:  acting for the principal defendant on applications to challenge the jurisdiction of the Court and set aside billion-dollar freezing orders in litigation brought by a Kazakh bank against various of its former shareholders and management.

-    Dar Al Arkan Real Estate Development Company & anr v Majid Al Refai & ors: acting for a Bahraini bank and Saudi property development company in a major Commercial Court dispute in conspiracy, breach of confidence and blackmail.

-    Re D:  applications (in private) in the Administrative Court for discharge of worldwide freezing relief and interim receivership orders worth billions of dollars (pursuant to the restraint order jurisdiction under the Criminal Justice Act 1988).

-    Cadogan Petroleum Plc & ors v Tolley & ors:  fraud, conspiracy and constructive trust claims by a LSE listed petroleum company against its former CEO and others for alleged bribery

-    Irish Response Ltd v Direct Beauty Products & Simon Gook: acting, initially in a successful 7-day application to discharge freezing / search orders and subsequently at trial, in a claim for alleged inducement of breach of contract in relation to hair-loss products

-    Wirecard Bank v Scott & ors: acting for the successful claimants in relation to a wide range of enforcement and post-judgment injunction applications in this high profile fraud case arising out of ticket sales for the 2008 Beijing Olympics

-    Belletti v Morici: challenges to the jurisdiction of the Court in relation to freezing orders granted in support of foreign fraud proceedings under s.25 Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982

International Arbitration

Thomas is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb); and is happy to accept suitable appointments as arbitrator.

His experience as counsel includes:

-    Acting in five linked LCIA arbitrations (and assisting in related offshore proceedings) in a shareholder dispute concerning a very substantial trading business in a CIS state

-    Maximov v Novolipetsk Steel: Acting for NLMK, one of the largest steel companies in Russia, in Commercial Court proceedings successfully resisting claims by a Russian billionaire for the enforcement in England of a c.US$150million arbitration award set aside by the Russian courts

-    Acting in four linked LCIA arbitrations on behalf of an international group of lenders seeking to recover over US$750 million from a group of borrowers and guarantors largely located in CIS jurisdictions

-    Acting in an LCIA arbitration in relation to the finance arrangements for a property development project in a CIS state

-    Acting on applications, in private, for injunctive relief pursuant to s.44 Arbitration Act 1996 to preserve shares held subject to a complex off-shore escrow regime pending a London-seated arbitration

-    Acting in an LCIA arbitration arising out of complex settlement agreements in relation to challenges to the jurisdiction of the tribunal

-    Acting to obtain permanent stays of proceedings brought in the Chancery Division in breach of arbitration clauses contained in some (but not all) of the documents in a suite of finance documentation

Banking and Financial Services

Thomas’ recent and/or notable experience includes:

-    FBN Bank (UK) Ltd v Leaf Tobacco A Michailides SA: Acting for a bank obtaining judgment seeking judgment in relation to c.€160m outstanding borrowing from a group of borrowers and guarantors in Greece, Bulgaria and Albania

-    Acting for a mortgage lender in High Court proceedings concerning the scope of the “second charge business loan” exemption

-    Acting in an LCIA arbitration on behalf of an international group of lenders seeking to recover over US$750 million from a group of borrowers and guarantors largely located in CIS jurisdictions

-    Panagopoulos v Lloyds Bank plc: a complex and high value claim alleging swaps mis-selling

-    Re Allanfield Property Insurance Services Limited: acting for administrators in a case concerning the interpretation of the regime under CASS5 within the FCA Handbook for the maintenance of client money by insurance intermediaries.

-    Acting for claimants seeking to enforce significant entitlements under OTC coffee derivatives against a South American counterparty

-    Advising a lender in relation to claims alleging the payment of undisclosed commissions to brokers

-    Advising and acting for numerous banks in relation to claims to enforce and recover a wide variety of secured and unsecured business lending

Company, partnership and Insolvency

Thomas is recommended for Company law by Legal 500, and is a member of the Insolvency Lawyers Association. His recent and/or notable company and insolvency cases include:

-    UC Rusal PLC v Crispian Investments Limited and Whiteleave Holdings Limited a shareholder dispute as to the operation of “right of first refusal” provisions in an English law shareholder agreement in respect of a prominent Russian company

-    Koza Ltd v Akcil & ors acting in an appeal in relation to the proper operation of the exclusive jurisdictional provisions for corporate disputes under the EC Regulation on Jurisdiction and Judgments

-    Acting in five linked LCIA arbitrations (and assisting in linked offshore proceedings) in a substantial shareholder dispute concerning control of a bank

-    Re Allanfield Property Insurance Services Limited: acting for administrators seeking directions in relation to a suite of questions as to the proper distribution of client money held by insolvent insurance intermediaries pursuant to CASS5

-    Advising offshore redeemable preference shareholders in relation to a host of issues arising out of the failure of a fund vehicle

-    Acting for administrators pursuing recovery of a portfolio of valuable Central London properties subject to allegedly sham leases

-    Advising and settling proceedings for a claimant in a very high value fraud claim brought in an “offshore” jurisdiction against the managers of a corporate / partnership / trust structure

-    Acting for defendants to a claim brought by a liquidator of a company alleged to have been involved in a high value MTIC fraud in the electricity market

-    Acting for administrators in relation to issues arising from the collapse of an FSA-regulated group dealing in structured financial products

-    Acting for a liquidator investigating a significant international fraud in relation to various applications for recognition and assistance

-    Dominion Petroleum Limited v Carlo Seidel: complex shareholder dispute within an AIM-listed petroleum company, involving parallel proceedings in England and Bermuda

Trusts, real property and “traditional chancery”

Thomas’ experience includes:

-    Wilkinson & ors v JS Property Holdings & ors: Appearing for the successful appellants in the Court of Appeal in an appeal concerning the creation of express trusts of investments in a technology development business

-    Advising and settling proceedings for a claimant in a very high value fraud claim brought in an “offshore” jurisdiction against the managers of a corporate / partnership trust structure

-    Advising in relation to ownership of high-value London property in the context of potentially falsified trust documentation

-    Acting for minor and unborn beneficiaries upon a claim to rectify a trust of a long-established family farming and property business in the west of England

-    Advising beneficiaries in relation to rights to information and documents from trustees acting as directors of substantial “family” companies

-    Acting in multi-million pound proceedings between former romantic partners involving allegations of express and constructive trusts, undue influence and related proprietary tracing claims

-    Advising and acting both for active parties and for executors in relation to high value claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

-    Acting for claimant trustees in professional negligence claims against a range of property and planning professionals in relation to a substantial proposed development in the Isle of Wight

-    Advising and acting in a wide variety of landlord and tenant, 1954 Act, easement, boundary dispute, title to land and other real property disputes

EDUCATION

Before being called to the Bar, Thomas read Classics at Balliol College, Oxford and graduated at the top of his year with a Congratulatory First and various academic prizes. He took the CPE at City University, where he won the Tort Law Prize, and then the Bar Vocational Course at the Inns of Court School of Law, where he was classed as Outstanding and won a Van Der Heyden Prize and the OUP Advocacy and Procedure Prize. He was awarded the Princess Royal Scholarship and then the Stephen Chapman Scholarship by the Inner Temple.

PUBLICATIONS AND ARTICLES

“Civil Fraud: Law Practice & Procedure” (2018, Sweet & Maxwell), Contributor

“A question of trust: office-holders of insolvent trustees” (June 2016, Corporate Rescue & Insolvency)

MEMBERSHIPS

Chancery Bar Association
COMBAR
Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb)
Insolvency Lawyers’ Association
Commercial Fraud Lawyers’ Association
Young International Arbitration Group
ICC Young Arbitrators Forum

What the directories say

Who's Who Legal

Fraud: Civil
"An extremely clever barrister with very thorough knowledge of fraud work." (2018)
“Has strong international experience and “handles the most complex matters with ease and confidence.”" (2018)

Chambers UK

Chancery: Commercial
"Has encyclopaedic knowledge and is impressively on top of huge bodies of material. He has gravitas beyond his years, and is very measured and sensible in what he says." "His advocacy is always very thorough and complete, and judges trust him." (2019)
"A very strong all-round performer, whose written work is excellent. He's doughty and determined in court, and he can come up with an angle on something that gives you a new view on the case." "Very personable to deal with and clearly very bright." (2018)
"Known for his "intellectual firepower" (2017)
"Absolutely fantastic, great to deal with and seriously clever." (2017)
"He has phenomenal intellectual capability." (2017)

"He is an exceptional junior. His technical, analytical skills are first rate and his strategic and tactical awareness and insight are excellent." (2016)

"An impressive junior" (2016)

Legal 500 UK

Fraud: Civil

"First port of call with complex matters requiring a junior who will get into the fine detail." (2018/19)

"He speaks a language that clients understand and is excellent at distilling advice down." (2017)
"He punches well above his weight as a fraud junior and has excellent attention to detail." (2016)

"His excellent numeracy skills enable him to truly get into the guts of a complex commercial fraud." (2015)

"Outrageously clever and always calm." (2014)

Commercial Litigation
"Very bright and hardworking and has a great eye for detail." (2018/19)
Company and Partnership
"Perfect for complex matters requiring a junior who will get into the fine detail." (2018/19)
"He has a truly superior intellect." (2017)