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Darragh Connell

Call: 2012

Overview

Darragh is a much sought-after commercial barrister combining approachability with sensible, pragmatic advice and effective advocacy.

Prior to joining the Bar, Darragh worked for Goldman Sachs in London where he was involved in benchmark debt and equity capital markets transactions.

Darragh has a very busy commercial litigation practice with specific emphasis upon domestic and international contractual disputes, insolvency, civil fraud as well as digital asset recovery.

 

Darragh has extensive experience of contentious insolvency matters. He is frequently instructed in the Business and Property Courts in respect of complex claims concerning antecedent transactions and breaches of directors’ fiduciary and statutory duties.

He is ranked in Band 1 of Chambers and Partners for Cryptocurrency Disputes having been instructed in the one of the leading reported cases to recognise that digital assets such as Bitcoin could constitute property for the purposes of English law.

In 2009, Darragh was called to the Bar of the Republic of Ireland. He is regularly instructed in cross-border Commercial and Insolvency matters.

Darragh was appointed as a Guest Teacher in the Department of Law at the London School of Economics for the academic year 2019/2020, teaching advanced Commercial Contract Law.

Terms of Business

In the absence of written agreement to the contrary, Darragh Connell accepts instructions on the Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Services by Barristers to Authorised Persons 2020 (as updated from time to time and referred to in the BSB Handbook). A link to those terms can be found here.

“He really knows his stuff, particularly in the crypto sphere, and he is very easy to get on with.” (2022)

Chambers UK
Cryptocurrency Disputes

Expertise

Overview

Darragh appears in the High Court in commercial disputes representing an array of clients including liquidators, investors, directors, shareholders, companies and independent financial advisers.

He has acted in contractual disputes concerning international sale and distribution contracts, share purchase agreements, agency contracts, guarantees, bonus/commission arrangements and joint venture agreements.

Darragh is frequently instructed to advise on aspects of company law ranging from disputes between shareholders, to breaches of directors’ duties and the interpretation of shareholders’ agreements. He advises clients in respect of unfair prejudice petitions arising from the actions and conduct of majority shareholders.

Notable Cases

Darragh’s recent commercial cases include:

  • Perry v Hart & Hart (December 2021), High Court, QBD Admiralty Court. Acting for the successful claimant in an action for specific performance of a joint venture agreement.
  • AA v Persons Unknown & iFinex Inc t/a Bitfinex [2020] 4 W.L.R. 35. Acting on behalf of an anonymised Claimant insurance company in proceedings before Bryan J. commenced against numerous defendants including a crypto-currency exchange. The Claimant obtained a proprietary injunction and ancillary disclosure orders to trace ransomware payments following a cyber-attack.
  • Axon LLC v Drivex [2020] High Court, Queen’s Bench Division. Acting for the Claimant based in the Cayman Islands in a multi-jurisdictional dispute arising from a Formula 5 sponsorship arrangement with a Spanish motor racing team.
  • In the matter of A Fashion Company (2018), acting on behalf of the fashion design company terminating an international supply and distribution agreement for repudiatory breach by local distributor companies.
  • A Ltd v NM (High Court, Chancery Division) (2017), acting on behalf of the purchasing company pursuing a vendor for breaches of warranty contained in a multi-million pound share purchase agreement regarding the recoverability of deferred consideration in light of alleged misrepresentations during the sale process.
  • In the matter of a recruitment transfer/introduction fee (2017), acting in a high value dispute concerning the enforceability of a transfer/introduction fee in a recruitment contract for temporary employees giving rise to issues concerning the effective cause of the purported introduction and compliance with the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Regulations 2005.
  • Re A Personal Guarantee (2017), representing a guarantor in respect of an outstanding finance facility entered by the primary obligor with a bridging lender.
  • White v PSM Residential Finance [2017] EWHC 1925, opposing an application to set aside a judgment on the grounds of an alleged fraudulent misrepresentation in the context of a certificate of practical completion in respect of a property development.
  • M v K (High Court, Chancery Division) (2017), representing a claimant pursuing a contractual claim arising from the operation of a film finance scheme.

Overview

Darragh has extensive experience of contentious insolvency matters. He is regularly instructed by office holders, creditors and individuals to advise on and appear in the Insolvency and Companies Court in claims against directors for misfeasance arising from breaches of statutory and fiduciary duties. He has acted in insolvency applications involving transactions at an undervalue, preferences and transactions to defraud creditors contrary to section 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986. Darragh is also an insolvency law expert for Lexis Nexis PSL.

Notable Cases

Darragh’s notable insolvency cases include:

  • In the Matter of Genesis Capital [2020] High Court, Insolvency and Companies Court – Darragh acted for a creditor in successfully appealing a decision to reject a proof of debt in the sum of US$3.5 million plus interest.  
  • In the Matter of AFM (1932) Limited [2021] EWHC 3460 (Ch) – Darragh acted for the liquidators of a building construction company, in a 3-day trial of an insolvency application in respect of payments made for the benefit of a BVI registered company.
  • In the Matter of Care Community Limited [2020] High Court, Insolvency and Companies Court, successfully acting on behalf of a liquidator in a three day remote trial concerning misfeasance claims against a de facto director of a care home and claims as to transactions at an undervalue.
  • In the Matter of Wow Internet Limited [2020] EWHC 2890 (Ch) – Darragh acted on behalf of Stephen Hunt as liquidator of a digital media business in successfully pursuing misfeasance claims where the director failed to adduce certain books and records of the company.
  • MBI Walsden Care Limited & Ors. [2020] High Court, Insolvency & Companies Court. Together with Paul O’Doherty, Darragh appeared in various applications concerning the appointment of interim managers and administrators (Duff&Phelps) over Gavin Woodhouse’s portfolio.
  • The Carlauren Group [2020] High Court, Insolvency & Companies Court. Together with Paul O’Doherty, Darragh acted for one of the Court appointed administrators of an allegedly fraudulent investment scheme where asset tracing was required.
  • PH v LAP [2019] High Court, Insolvency and Companies Court, acting as counsel on behalf of the successful Applicant in obtaining an injunction restraining a clothing manufacturer from presenting a winding up petition in respect of a debt disputed on substantial grounds. An indemnity costs order was made in favour of Darragh’s client.
  • F v F [2018] High Court, Chancery Division, Companies Court, successfully setting aside a statutory demand in respect of an alleged £180,000 loan between family members on the grounds that there was a substantial dispute as to whether the sums were instead transferred as gifts.
  • Re A Football Club [2017] High Court, Chancery Division, Companies Court, acting on behalf of a well-known League One football club in successfully dismissing a winding up petition and obtaining validation orders prior to the hearing of the petition.
  • Re A Disputed Petition [2016] High Court, Chancery Division, Companies Court acting on behalf of the successful Applicant in obtaining an injunction restraining Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs from presenting a winding up petition in respect of a debt disputed on substantial grounds.
  • In the matter of Lotus F1 Team Limited [2015] High Court, Chancery Division, Companies Court, acting for a petitioning creditor in respect of the winding up petition issued in respect of Lotus F1 Limited.

Overview

Darragh is ranked in Band 1 of Chambers and Partners for Cryptocurrency Disputes. He has appeared in a number of high-profile crypto cases before the English High Court often in the context of civil fraud.

Darragh is recognised as a specialist in crypto asset recovery and he is frequently asked to speak at international and domestic conferences.

Notable Cases

His recent instructions include:

  • AA v Persons Unknown & Ors. [2020] 4 W.L.R. 35: Acting as counsel for the Claimant anonymised insurance company successfully obtaining a proprietary injunction, an anonymity and privacy order and consequential disclosure orders in support of its claim to recover a ransom paid in Bitcoin. The interim decision of Bryan J. recognised that cryptocurrency could constitute property for the purposes of English law.
  • O v Persons Unknown & Ors (2022), Circuit Commercial Court: Acting for the claimant victim of a sophisticated international fraud involving the dissipation of Bitcoin as a consequence of fraudulent misrepresentations and deceit. Proprietary injunctions and a worldwide freezing Order were continued by the High Court.
  • In the matter of a Bankruptcy Petition (2021), acting for a petitioning creditor seeking to rely upon a debt expressed in Bitcoin for the purposes of a bankruptcy petition.

Overview

Darragh is very experienced in obtaining and resisting injunction applications in the context of civil fraud proceedings. He has appeared in a range of cases concerning freezing orders and proprietary injunctions.

Notable Cases

His recent instructions include: 

  • AA v Persons Unknown & Ors. [2020] 4 W.L.R. 35: Acting as counsel for the Claimant anonymised insurance company successfully obtaining a proprietary injunction, an anonymity and privacy order and consequential disclosure orders in support of its claim to recover a ransom paid in Bitcoin. The decision of Bryan J. recognised for the purposes of interim relief that crypto-currency could constitute property for the purposes of English law.
  • Westmills Foods v Patel & Ors [2020] High Court, Queen’s Bench Division: Acting as counsel for the Third Respondent to an application for a freezing order where allegations of unlawful means conspiracy were advanced by the Applicant.
  • Opus Art v Rochay Productions Limited and Baker [2019] Central London CC. Acting for the Defendants in a five day trial defending a claim brought for fraudulent misrepresentation.
  • EEEL v Vijay [2019] High Court, QBD Comm Court, acting for claimant judgment creditor in successfully applying for a charging order to enforce a US$18 million arbitration award over UK assets of the judgment debtor including shares.

Overview

Darragh deals with a variety of banking and financial services litigation emanating from loan agreements, guarantees, derivatives, and complex financial products. His background working for Goldman Sachs makes him an effective choice in such disputes.

Darragh is familiar with the requirements of the FCA’s Conduct of Business Sourcebook (COBS) and MCOBS.

Notable Cases

Darragh’s banking work includes:

  • O’Hare v Coutts [2018] EWCA Civ 591, together with David Wolfson KC and Paul O’Doherty instructed by Cooke Young & Keidan representing the appellants in respect of a claim brought against Coutts & Co.
  • Re HBOS Reading Fraud (2018), acting on behalf of a director and shareholder of a company included within the Lloyds Banking Group’s HBOS Reading Fraud Redress Scheme overseen by Professor Griggs following the convictions of Lynden Scourfield and others in respect of the HBOS Reading office scandal.
  • Re Clawback Commission (2018), representing an independent financial advisor in proceedings brought by an insurance company seeking to clawback commissions paid in respect of previously issued insurance policies.
  • Re: A Bank Account (2017) (High Court, Queen’s Bench Division), together with Zoe O’Sullivan QC representing an international petroleum company contesting the imminent closure of its GBP and EUR bank accounts.
  • O’Hare v Coutts [2016] EWHC 2224 (QB), together with Paul O’Doherty instructed by Cooke Young & Keidan in a 10-day trial before Kerr J. The judgment involved setting a new standard of care for financial advisers deviating from the traditional Bolam test.

Qualifications

  • LL.M. (Commercial) Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge
  • BCL University College Dublin
  • Barrister-at-Law Degree Honorable Society of the King’s Inns, Dublin

Memberships 

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • London Irish Lawyers Association
  • Crypto Fraud and Asset Recovery network (CFAAR)

Scholarships and awards

  • Senior Exhibition Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge 
  • Emlyn Wade Award Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge
  • Prize-winning paper the Danish Law Society’s International Rule of Law Award 
  • Gold Medal for Oratory UCD Law Society
  • Swift McNeill Memorial Scholarship to the King’s Inns 
  • Stage 3 BCL Academic Scholarship

 clerks@maitlandchambers.com                                                                  

  +44 (0)20 7406 1200

Darragh Connell

Call: 2012

dconnell@maitlandchambers.com

“He really knows his stuff, particularly in the crypto sphere, and he is very easy to get on with.” (2022)

Chambers UK

Cryptocurrency Disputes

Overview

Darragh is a much sought-after commercial barrister combining approachability with sensible, pragmatic advice and effective advocacy.

Prior to joining the Bar, Darragh worked for Goldman Sachs in London where he was involved in benchmark debt and equity capital markets transactions.

Darragh has a very busy commercial litigation practice with specific emphasis upon domestic and international contractual disputes, insolvency, civil fraud as well as digital asset recovery.

Darragh has extensive experience of contentious insolvency matters. He is frequently instructed in the Business and Property Courts in respect of complex claims concerning antecedent transactions and breaches of directors’ fiduciary and statutory duties.

He is ranked in Band 1 of Chambers and Partners for Cryptocurrency Disputes having been instructed in the one of the leading reported cases to recognise that digital assets such as Bitcoin could constitute property for the purposes of English law.

In 2009, Darragh was called to the Bar of the Republic of Ireland. He is regularly instructed in cross-border Commercial and Insolvency matters.

Darragh was appointed as a Guest Teacher in the Department of Law at the London School of Economics for the academic year 2019/2020, teaching advanced Commercial Contract Law.

Terms of Business

In the absence of written agreement to the contrary, Darragh Connell accepts instructions on the Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Services by Barristers to Authorised Persons 2020 (as updated from time to time and referred to in the BSB Handbook). A link to those terms can be found here.

Qualifications

  • LL.M. (Commercial) Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge
  • BCL University College Dublin
  • Barrister-at-Law Degree Honorable Society of the King’s Inns, Dublin

Memberships 

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • London Irish Lawyers Association
  • Crypto Fraud and Asset Recovery network (CFAAR)

Scholarships and awards

  • Senior Exhibition Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge 
  • Emlyn Wade Award Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge
  • Prize-winning paper the Danish Law Society’s International Rule of Law Award 
  • Gold Medal for Oratory UCD Law Society
  • Swift McNeill Memorial Scholarship to the King’s Inns 
  • Stage 3 BCL Academic Scholarship

Commercial Disputes

Darragh appears in the High Court in commercial disputes representing an array of clients including liquidators, investors, directors, shareholders, companies and independent financial advisers.

He has acted in contractual disputes concerning international sale and distribution contracts, share purchase agreements, agency contracts, guarantees, bonus/commission arrangements and joint venture agreements.

Darragh is frequently instructed to advise on aspects of company law ranging from disputes between shareholders, to breaches of directors’ duties and the interpretation of shareholders’ agreements. He advises clients in respect of unfair prejudice petitions arising from the actions and conduct of majority shareholders.

Darragh’s recent commercial cases include:

  • Perry v Hart & Hart (December 2021), High Court, QBD Admiralty Court. Acting for the successful claimant in an action for specific performance of a joint venture agreement.
  • AA v Persons Unknown & iFinex Inc t/a Bitfinex [2020] 4 W.L.R. 35. Acting on behalf of an anonymised Claimant insurance company in proceedings before Bryan J. commenced against numerous defendants including a crypto-currency exchange. The Claimant obtained a proprietary injunction and ancillary disclosure orders to trace ransomware payments following a cyber-attack.
  • Axon LLC v Drivex [2020] High Court, Queen’s Bench Division. Acting for the Claimant based in the Cayman Islands in a multi-jurisdictional dispute arising from a Formula 5 sponsorship arrangement with a Spanish motor racing team.
  • In the matter of A Fashion Company (2018), acting on behalf of the fashion design company terminating an international supply and distribution agreement for repudiatory breach by local distributor companies.
  • A Ltd v NM (High Court, Chancery Division) (2017), acting on behalf of the purchasing company pursuing a vendor for breaches of warranty contained in a multi-million pound share purchase agreement regarding the recoverability of deferred consideration in light of alleged misrepresentations during the sale process.
  • In the matter of a recruitment transfer/introduction fee (2017), acting in a high value dispute concerning the enforceability of a transfer/introduction fee in a recruitment contract for temporary employees giving rise to issues concerning the effective cause of the purported introduction and compliance with the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Regulations 2005.
  • Re A Personal Guarantee (2017), representing a guarantor in respect of an outstanding finance facility entered by the primary obligor with a bridging lender.
  • White v PSM Residential Finance [2017] EWHC 1925, opposing an application to set aside a judgment on the grounds of an alleged fraudulent misrepresentation in the context of a certificate of practical completion in respect of a property development.
  • M v K (High Court, Chancery Division) (2017), representing a claimant pursuing a contractual claim arising from the operation of a film finance scheme.

Insolvency

Darragh has extensive experience of contentious insolvency matters. He is regularly instructed by office holders, creditors and individuals to advise on and appear in the Insolvency and Companies Court in claims against directors for misfeasance arising from breaches of statutory and fiduciary duties. He has acted in insolvency applications involving transactions at an undervalue, preferences and transactions to defraud creditors contrary to section 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986. Darragh is also an insolvency law expert for Lexis Nexis PSL.

Darragh’s notable insolvency cases include:

  • In the Matter of Genesis Capital [2020] High Court, Insolvency and Companies Court – Darragh acted for a creditor in successfully appealing a decision to reject a proof of debt in the sum of US$3.5 million plus interest.  
  • In the Matter of AFM (1932) Limited [2021] EWHC 3460 (Ch) – Darragh acted for the liquidators of a building construction company, in a 3-day trial of an insolvency application in respect of payments made for the benefit of a BVI registered company.
  • In the Matter of Care Community Limited [2020] High Court, Insolvency and Companies Court, successfully acting on behalf of a liquidator in a three day remote trial concerning misfeasance claims against a de facto director of a care home and claims as to transactions at an undervalue.
  • In the Matter of Wow Internet Limited [2020] EWHC 2890 (Ch) – Darragh acted on behalf of Stephen Hunt as liquidator of a digital media business in successfully pursuing misfeasance claims where the director failed to adduce certain books and records of the company.
  • MBI Walsden Care Limited & Ors. [2020] High Court, Insolvency & Companies Court. Together with Paul O’Doherty, Darragh appeared in various applications concerning the appointment of interim managers and administrators (Duff&Phelps) over Gavin Woodhouse’s portfolio.
  • The Carlauren Group [2020] High Court, Insolvency & Companies Court. Together with Paul O’Doherty, Darragh acted for one of the Court appointed administrators of an allegedly fraudulent investment scheme where asset tracing was required.
  • PH v LAP [2019] High Court, Insolvency and Companies Court, acting as counsel on behalf of the successful Applicant in obtaining an injunction restraining a clothing manufacturer from presenting a winding up petition in respect of a debt disputed on substantial grounds. An indemnity costs order was made in favour of Darragh’s client.
  • F v F [2018] High Court, Chancery Division, Companies Court, successfully setting aside a statutory demand in respect of an alleged £180,000 loan between family members on the grounds that there was a substantial dispute as to whether the sums were instead transferred as gifts.
  • Re A Football Club [2017] High Court, Chancery Division, Companies Court, acting on behalf of a well-known League One football club in successfully dismissing a winding up petition and obtaining validation orders prior to the hearing of the petition.
  • Re A Disputed Petition [2016] High Court, Chancery Division, Companies Court acting on behalf of the successful Applicant in obtaining an injunction restraining Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs from presenting a winding up petition in respect of a debt disputed on substantial grounds.
  • In the matter of Lotus F1 Team Limited [2015] High Court, Chancery Division, Companies Court, acting for a petitioning creditor in respect of the winding up petition issued in respect of Lotus F1 Limited.

CRYPTO CURRENCY DISPUTES

Darragh is ranked in Band 1 of Chambers and Partners for Cryptocurrency Disputes. He has appeared in a number of high-profile crypto cases before the English High Court often in the context of civil fraud.

Darragh is recognised as a specialist in crypto asset recovery and he is frequently asked to speak at international and domestic conferences.

His recent instructions include:

  • AA v Persons Unknown & Ors. [2020] 4 W.L.R. 35: Acting as counsel for the Claimant anonymised insurance company successfully obtaining a proprietary injunction, an anonymity and privacy order and consequential disclosure orders in support of its claim to recover a ransom paid in Bitcoin. The interim decision of Bryan J. recognised that cryptocurrency could constitute property for the purposes of English law.
  • O v Persons Unknown & Ors (2022), Circuit Commercial Court: Acting for the claimant victim of a sophisticated international fraud involving the dissipation of Bitcoin as a consequence of fraudulent misrepresentations and deceit. Proprietary injunctions and a worldwide freezing Order were continued by the High Court.
  • In the matter of a Bankruptcy Petition (2021), acting for a petitioning creditor seeking to rely upon a debt expressed in Bitcoin for the purposes of a bankruptcy petition.

Civil Fraud

Darragh is very experienced in obtaining and resisting injunction applications in the context of civil fraud proceedings. He has appeared in a range of cases concerning freezing orders and proprietary injunctions.

His recent instructions include: 

  • AA v Persons Unknown & Ors. [2020] 4 W.L.R. 35: Acting as counsel for the Claimant anonymised insurance company successfully obtaining a proprietary injunction, an anonymity and privacy order and consequential disclosure orders in support of its claim to recover a ransom paid in Bitcoin. The decision of Bryan J. recognised for the purposes of interim relief that crypto-currency could constitute property for the purposes of English law.
  • Westmills Foods v Patel & Ors [2020] High Court, Queen’s Bench Division: Acting as counsel for the Third Respondent to an application for a freezing order where allegations of unlawful means conspiracy were advanced by the Applicant.
  • Opus Art v Rochay Productions Limited and Baker [2019] Central London CC. Acting for the Defendants in a five day trial defending a claim brought for fraudulent misrepresentation.
  • EEEL v Vijay [2019] High Court, QBD Comm Court, acting for claimant judgment creditor in successfully applying for a charging order to enforce a US$18 million arbitration award over UK assets of the judgment debtor including shares.

Banking and Finance

Darragh deals with a variety of banking and financial services litigation emanating from loan agreements, guarantees, derivatives, and complex financial products. His background working for Goldman Sachs makes him an effective choice in such disputes.

Darragh is familiar with the requirements of the FCA’s Conduct of Business Sourcebook (COBS) and MCOBS.

Darragh’s banking work includes:

  • O’Hare v Coutts [2018] EWCA Civ 591, together with David Wolfson KC and Paul O’Doherty instructed by Cooke Young & Keidan representing the appellants in respect of a claim brought against Coutts & Co.
  • Re HBOS Reading Fraud (2018), acting on behalf of a director and shareholder of a company included within the Lloyds Banking Group’s HBOS Reading Fraud Redress Scheme overseen by Professor Griggs following the convictions of Lynden Scourfield and others in respect of the HBOS Reading office scandal.
  • Re Clawback Commission (2018), representing an independent financial advisor in proceedings brought by an insurance company seeking to clawback commissions paid in respect of previously issued insurance policies.
  • Re: A Bank Account (2017) (High Court, Queen’s Bench Division), together with Zoe O’Sullivan QC representing an international petroleum company contesting the imminent closure of its GBP and EUR bank accounts.
  • O’Hare v Coutts [2016] EWHC 2224 (QB), together with Paul O’Doherty instructed by Cooke Young & Keidan in a 10-day trial before Kerr J. The judgment involved setting a new standard of care for financial advisers deviating from the traditional Bolam test.