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Gabriella McNicholas

Call: 2013

Overview

Gabriella specialises in commercial/chancery and general commercial litigation. Her practice includes high-value contractual and other business disputes across a very broad range of industries, civil fraud and asset tracing claims, shareholder and partnership disputes, breach of fiduciary duty claims and corporate and personal insolvency applications. Many of the cases in which Gabriella is instructed have an international element and she has extensive experience in dealing with jurisdictional challenges and conflicts of laws issues.

Gabriella is experienced in dealing with the full range of applications arising in complex civil fraud and commercial disputes, including freezing orders and other injunctive relief, receivership applications, Norwich Pharmacal orders and other ancillary orders.

 

Thanks in part to her international background, covering Sweden, the US, Spain and the Netherlands, Gabriella has a creative spark which enables her to bring fresh ideas to difficult problems and she is frequently instructed to advise across the legal areas within her practice.

Gabriella is a strong and passionate advocate who appears regularly as sole Counsel before the English Courts and in arbitrations. She is also a very sought-after junior  and has experience of acting as part of a larger counsel team in high-value and complex civil fraud litigation, such as the US$2 billion claim brought by the Libyan Investment Authority (a sovereign wealth fund) against the French bank Société Générale to set aside several trades and derivative options, and its further £100 million claim against Credit Suisse and others.

Terms of Business 

The clerks are happy to discuss the basis on which Gabriella will act in any given matter. In the absence of express written agreement otherwise, the terms under which Gabriella accepts instructions are The Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services By Barristers to Authorised Persons 2020 (as updated from time to time) referred to in the BSB Handbook.

Education

Gabriella’s undergraduate degree in law included a fourth year abroad at Leiden University in the Netherlands, focused on European law as well as Private and Public International law.

She subsequently stayed on at Oxford for another year to complete the Bachelor of Civil Law (a masters level degree), taking papers in Conflict of Laws, Restitution of Unjust Enrichment, Advanced Property and Trusts and Medical Law and Ethics.

Publications

“Beyond wrongful trading – remaining risks and responsibilities” (2020) 6 JIBFL 359

“Insolvency remoteness – a holy grail or indirectly achievable?” (2019) 7 JIBFL 444

Contributor to the sections on money-laundering and whistle-blowers in MacDonald on the Law of Freedom of Information (3rd Ed)

Expertise

Overview

Gabriella is regularly instructed in claims which involve allegations of civil or commercial fraud, including allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation, dishonest assistance, inducing breach of contract, unlawful means conspiracy and claims pursuant to the Insolvency Act 1986, including wrongful and fraudulent trading and claims under section 423 (transactions defrauding creditors).

Notable Cases

  • Candy Ventures SARL v Tamara Ralph (2021-) - acting for the Defendant in defending a £17 million claim brought by an investment company founded and substantially owned by Nicholas Candy and involving allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of contract.
  • McLeod and DP Limited v Donald and MacNiven (2021-) - £10 million claim for fraudulent misrepresentation relating to a novel ballistic technology for application in the oil and gas industry. 
  • Andoro Trading Corp and Uroco Ltd v Dolfin Financial (UK) Ltd & Ors (2021) - acted with Christopher Parker QC for three of the Defendants in a US$10 million-plus claim, defending allegations of dishonest assistance, knowing receipt, inducing breach of contract, dishonest misrepresentation and unlawful means conspiracy arising out of the unsuccessful launch of private blockchain platform.  
  • (1) NatWest Markets Plc (2) Mercuria Energy Europe Trading Ltd v Bilta (UK) Ltd (2021) - assisted Christopher Parker KC in the appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal in respect of the correct test for dishonesty in claims for dishonest assistance.
  • Nimer v UAS Group & Others (2021) - £24 million unlawful means conspiracy claim against the owners of one of the largest conglomerates in the UAE.
  • LIA v Credit Suisse & Others (2021) - acting for the Libyan sovereign wealth fund in its £100 million claim against the Swiss bank, which alleged the existence of a fraudulent and corrupt scheme that involved dishonest assistance and knowing receipt.
  • Jolison Limited v Ndiaye (2019) - claim alleging that a declaration of trust in respect of a multi-million pound London property was a sham or a transaction to defraud creditors.
  • LIA v SocGen & Others (2017) acting for the Libyan sovereign wealth fund in its US$2 billion claim against the French bank and various other defendants, alleging that various trades and derivative options were procured by a fraudulent and corrupt scheme and involving allegations of bribery, claims in knowing receipt and damages for fraud.

Overview

Gabriella is regularly instructed to advise, draft pleadings and appear both led and as sole counsel in relation to a variety of commercial disputes across a very wide range of industries in both the Commercial Court and in the Chancery Division. She is experienced in dealing with the full range of issues and interim applications which substantial commercial disputes often involve, including:

  • Urgent injunctive relief, including applications to obtain, continue, vary and discharge freezing injunctions and other injunctions
  • Jurisdictional challenges and conflicts of laws issues
  • Enforcement and recognition of foreign judgements
  • Foreign law and forensic accountancy expert evidence
  • Disclosure issues, including applications for specific disclosure, and third party disclosure and issues relating to privilege

Notable Cases

  • Ralph & Russo (in administration) v Tamara Ralph (2021-) - acting for the former creative director and co-founder of the renowned British fashion house, in the highly publicised £23 million claim, which includes allegations of breach of contract and unjust enrichment.
  • Candy Ventures SARL v Tamara Ralph (2021-) - acting for the Defendant in defending a £17 million claim brought by an investment company founded and substantially owned by Nicholas Candy and involving allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of contract.
  • Nimer v United Al Saqer Group & Others (2021) EWHC 50 (QB) - 3-day jurisdictional dispute which centred on the nature and extent of the evidence required to demonstrate a serious risk of a denial of substantial justice, such that the natural forum is not the appropriate forum in which to try the claim (led by Andrew Ayres KC).
  • LIA v Credit Suisse & Others (2021) - acting for the Libyan sovereign wealth fund in its £100 million claim against the Swiss bank, which included allegations of unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duty and undue influence (led by Roger Masefield KC and Andrew George KC).
  • VTB v Mazurov (2020) - acting for Russian bank VTB in litigation in the Isle of Man stemming from its £146 million world-wide freezing injunction, involving various associated applications including for disclosure, contempt of court and the appointment of a receiver.
  • WMR Library Limited & Anor v World Media Rights Limited (2020) - contractual dispute arising out of the corporate restructuring of a TV production business.
  • Vaimo v B&W Group Ltd (2020) - contractual claim against audio equipment manufacturer Bowers & Wilkins for services relating to the design and production of an e-commerce website.
  • Jolison Limited v Ndiaye (2019) - successfully secured discharge of US$53 million world-wide Chabra injunction (led by Richard Morgan KC).
  • Blue Power Group & Others v ENI Norge AS & Others (2019) - €600 million claim for breach of exclusivity, confidentiality and best endeavours provisions related to compressed natural gas technologies (led by Andrew Twigger KC).
  • LIA v SocGen & Others (2017) - US$2 billion claim to set aside several trades and derivative options and including claims of breach of fiduciary duty and illegality (top 20 case of 2017 by The Lawyer, led by Roger Masefield KC, Craig Orr KC and Andrew George KC)). 
  • Punjab National Bank (International) v Boris Shipping Ltd & Others - £20 million claim under contracts for guarantee; application relating to service under Hague Convention ([2019] EWHC 1280 (QB)) and successful application for summary judgment. 
  • Vaimo v Carraig Donn - contractual claim against the Irish lifestyle retailer for services to create an e-commerce platform.

Overview

Gabriella is experienced in advising on and appearing in a wide range of company and shareholder matters, including corporate governance disputes, unfair prejudice petitions and other shareholder disputes, claims of breach of duty against directors and director disqualification proceedings.

She also has experience in advising on claims arising out of joint ventures and partnership disputes (the majority of which settle on confidential terms), including breach of duty claims, issues regarding beneficial ownership and division of profits, disclosure, dissolution and associated relief, such as freezing injunctions to avoid dissipation of partnership assets. 

Notable Cases

Some recent examples include:

  • Ralph & Russo (in administration) v Tamara Ralph (2021-) - acting for the co-founder and former creative director of the renowned British fashion house in the highly publicised £23 million claim brought by the Administrators, which includes various allegations of breach of statutory and fiduciary duty.
  • Wells v Hornshaw (2019-) - unfair prejudice petition (led by Thomas Grant KC); Gabriella appeared unled in the 3-day successful application to obtain summary judgment on the issue of quasi-partnership and other allegations.
  • Boca Limited v Volaw Trustee Limited & Anor (CHP 18/0065) - long-running partnership dispute in the Isle of Man, which culminated in a week-long High Court trial before Deemster Rosen KC in November 2019, in which allegations of fraud were successfully defended and a mandatory injunction secured to compel compliance with a partnership deed.
  • Pejcinovic v Locker (2018) - unfair prejudice petition including allegations of breaches of shareholders’ agreement, exclusion from management and unlawful dilution of shareholding.
  • Campbell v Campbell (2017) EWHC 2747 (Ch) (led by John Machell KC) - freezing injunction to avoid dissipation of partnership assets.

Overview

Gabriella is instructed to advise in respect of a great variety of insolvency related matters and she appears regularly in the High Court in both corporate insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings. Examples include:

  • Advising on and appearing in contested winding-up and bankruptcy petitions, and applications for injunctions to restrain the presentation of a winding up petition
  • Advising insolvency practitioners in respect of misfeasance, wrongful trading and preference claims against directors and others
  • Advising on and appearing in applications for and against validation orders under s 127 of the Insolvency Act 1986
  • Applications under s 236 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (inquiry into company's dealings)
  • Advising on and appearing in applications to lift the statutory moratorium upon administration under para 43(6)(b) of Schedule B1 to the Insolvency Act 1986
  • Advising on and appearing in applications both challenging and supporting the appointment, conduct, remuneration and removal of insolvency practitioners. 

Notable Cases

Examples include:

  • Hunt v Down (2020) 4 WLUK 474 - application under the block transfer regime, which raised issues of standing and the extent to which the cooperation of the outgoing officeholder is required.
  • Re TRIAP Limited (2020) - claim pursuant to s 127 arising out of the winding up of a company providing insolvency and restructuring services.  
  • Portland Stone Firms Limited & Ors v Barclays Bank Plc, KPMG LLP & Ors (2018) EWHC 2341 (QB) - £20 million claim for unlawful means conspiracy, in respect of which Gabriella was instructed to assist on the allegations that Administrators wrongfully pursued a fire sale and failed to genuinely consider rescuing the company as a going concern.
  • LF2 Ltd v Supperstone - application by a creditor under paragraph 74 of Schedule B1 to challenge the refusal of administrators to consider an offer to purchase a chose in action. 
  • David Rocker v Full Circle Asset Management Limited - successful application before Birss J to lift the statutory moratorium and allow Part 7 proceedings to continue, and successful application before Rose J to oppose the appointment of administrators chosen by the directors and to appoint the office-holders preferred by the majority creditor. 

Overview

Gabriella is regularly instructed in arbitration claims across her practice areas and attendant court applications. She has been instructed in and has advised on disputes under several arbitral rules, including LCIA and ICC.

Memberships

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • COMBAR
  • Young Fraud Lawyers Association

Qualifications

  • BCL (Oxon)
  • BA (Jurisprudence) Magdalen College, Oxford: First Class
  • BPTC, City University

Languages

  • Swedish (native)
  • Spanish (intermediate)

Awards

  • Denning Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Hardwicke Entrance Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Demyship and Scholar, Magdalen College, Oxford
  • Cum Laude, Department of Moot Court and Advocacy at Leiden University

 clerks@maitlandchambers.com                                                                  

  +44 (0)20 7406 1200

Gabriella McNicholas

Call: 2013

gmcnicholas@maitlandchambers.com

Overview

Gabriella specialises in commercial/chancery and general commercial litigation. Her practice includes high-value contractual and other business disputes across a very broad range of industries, civil fraud and asset tracing claims, shareholder and partnership disputes, breach of fiduciary duty claims and corporate and personal insolvency applications. Many of the cases in which Gabriella is instructed have an international element and she has extensive experience in dealing with jurisdictional challenges and conflicts of laws issues.

Gabriella is experienced in dealing with the full range of applications arising in complex civil fraud and commercial disputes, including freezing orders and other injunctive relief, receivership applications, Norwich Pharmacal orders and other ancillary orders.

Thanks in part to her international background, covering Sweden, the US, Spain and the Netherlands, Gabriella has a creative spark which enables her to bring fresh ideas to difficult problems and she is frequently instructed to advise across the legal areas within her practice.

Gabriella is a strong and passionate advocate who appears regularly as sole Counsel before the English Courts and in arbitrations. She is also a very sought-after junior  and has experience of acting as part of a larger counsel team in high-value and complex civil fraud litigation, such as the US$2 billion claim brought by the Libyan Investment Authority (a sovereign wealth fund) against the French bank Société Générale to set aside several trades and derivative options, and its further £100 million claim against Credit Suisse and others.

Terms of Business 

The clerks are happy to discuss the basis on which Gabriella will act in any given matter. In the absence of express written agreement otherwise, the terms under which Gabriella accepts instructions are The Standard Contractual Terms for the Supply of Legal Services By Barristers to Authorised Persons 2020 (as updated from time to time) referred to in the BSB Handbook.

Education

Gabriella’s undergraduate degree in law included a fourth year abroad at Leiden University in the Netherlands, focused on European law as well as Private and Public International law.

She subsequently stayed on at Oxford for another year to complete the Bachelor of Civil Law (a masters level degree), taking papers in Conflict of Laws, Restitution of Unjust Enrichment, Advanced Property and Trusts and Medical Law and Ethics.

Publications

“Beyond wrongful trading – remaining risks and responsibilities” (2020) 6 JIBFL 359

“Insolvency remoteness – a holy grail or indirectly achievable?” (2019) 7 JIBFL 444

Contributor to the sections on money-laundering and whistle-blowers in MacDonald on the Law of Freedom of Information (3rd Ed)

Memberships

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • COMBAR
  • Young Fraud Lawyers Association

Qualifications

  • BCL (Oxon)
  • BA (Jurisprudence) Magdalen College, Oxford: First Class
  • BPTC, City University

Languages

  • Swedish (native)
  • Spanish (intermediate)

Awards

  • Denning Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Hardwicke Entrance Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Demyship and Scholar, Magdalen College, Oxford
  • Cum Laude, Department of Moot Court and Advocacy at Leiden University

Civil Fraud & Asset Recovery

Gabriella is regularly instructed in claims which involve allegations of civil or commercial fraud, including allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation, dishonest assistance, inducing breach of contract, unlawful means conspiracy and claims pursuant to the Insolvency Act 1986, including wrongful and fraudulent trading and claims under section 423 (transactions defrauding creditors).

  • Candy Ventures SARL v Tamara Ralph (2021-) - acting for the Defendant in defending a £17 million claim brought by an investment company founded and substantially owned by Nicholas Candy and involving allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of contract.
  • McLeod and DP Limited v Donald and MacNiven (2021-) - £10 million claim for fraudulent misrepresentation relating to a novel ballistic technology for application in the oil and gas industry. 
  • Andoro Trading Corp and Uroco Ltd v Dolfin Financial (UK) Ltd & Ors (2021) - acted with Christopher Parker QC for three of the Defendants in a US$10 million-plus claim, defending allegations of dishonest assistance, knowing receipt, inducing breach of contract, dishonest misrepresentation and unlawful means conspiracy arising out of the unsuccessful launch of private blockchain platform.  
  • (1) NatWest Markets Plc (2) Mercuria Energy Europe Trading Ltd v Bilta (UK) Ltd (2021) - assisted Christopher Parker KC in the appeal against the judgment of the Court of Appeal in respect of the correct test for dishonesty in claims for dishonest assistance.
  • Nimer v UAS Group & Others (2021) - £24 million unlawful means conspiracy claim against the owners of one of the largest conglomerates in the UAE.
  • LIA v Credit Suisse & Others (2021) - acting for the Libyan sovereign wealth fund in its £100 million claim against the Swiss bank, which alleged the existence of a fraudulent and corrupt scheme that involved dishonest assistance and knowing receipt.
  • Jolison Limited v Ndiaye (2019) - claim alleging that a declaration of trust in respect of a multi-million pound London property was a sham or a transaction to defraud creditors.
  • LIA v SocGen & Others (2017) acting for the Libyan sovereign wealth fund in its US$2 billion claim against the French bank and various other defendants, alleging that various trades and derivative options were procured by a fraudulent and corrupt scheme and involving allegations of bribery, claims in knowing receipt and damages for fraud.

Commercial Disputes

Gabriella is regularly instructed to advise, draft pleadings and appear both led and as sole counsel in relation to a variety of commercial disputes across a very wide range of industries in both the Commercial Court and in the Chancery Division. She is experienced in dealing with the full range of issues and interim applications which substantial commercial disputes often involve, including:

  • Urgent injunctive relief, including applications to obtain, continue, vary and discharge freezing injunctions and other injunctions
  • Jurisdictional challenges and conflicts of laws issues
  • Enforcement and recognition of foreign judgements
  • Foreign law and forensic accountancy expert evidence
  • Disclosure issues, including applications for specific disclosure, and third party disclosure and issues relating to privilege
  • Ralph & Russo (in administration) v Tamara Ralph (2021-) - acting for the former creative director and co-founder of the renowned British fashion house, in the highly publicised £23 million claim, which includes allegations of breach of contract and unjust enrichment.
  • Candy Ventures SARL v Tamara Ralph (2021-) - acting for the Defendant in defending a £17 million claim brought by an investment company founded and substantially owned by Nicholas Candy and involving allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of contract.
  • Nimer v United Al Saqer Group & Others (2021) EWHC 50 (QB) - 3-day jurisdictional dispute which centred on the nature and extent of the evidence required to demonstrate a serious risk of a denial of substantial justice, such that the natural forum is not the appropriate forum in which to try the claim (led by Andrew Ayres KC).
  • LIA v Credit Suisse & Others (2021) - acting for the Libyan sovereign wealth fund in its £100 million claim against the Swiss bank, which included allegations of unjust enrichment, breach of fiduciary duty and undue influence (led by Roger Masefield KC and Andrew George KC).
  • VTB v Mazurov (2020) - acting for Russian bank VTB in litigation in the Isle of Man stemming from its £146 million world-wide freezing injunction, involving various associated applications including for disclosure, contempt of court and the appointment of a receiver.
  • WMR Library Limited & Anor v World Media Rights Limited (2020) - contractual dispute arising out of the corporate restructuring of a TV production business.
  • Vaimo v B&W Group Ltd (2020) - contractual claim against audio equipment manufacturer Bowers & Wilkins for services relating to the design and production of an e-commerce website.
  • Jolison Limited v Ndiaye (2019) - successfully secured discharge of US$53 million world-wide Chabra injunction (led by Richard Morgan KC).
  • Blue Power Group & Others v ENI Norge AS & Others (2019) - €600 million claim for breach of exclusivity, confidentiality and best endeavours provisions related to compressed natural gas technologies (led by Andrew Twigger KC).
  • LIA v SocGen & Others (2017) - US$2 billion claim to set aside several trades and derivative options and including claims of breach of fiduciary duty and illegality (top 20 case of 2017 by The Lawyer, led by Roger Masefield KC, Craig Orr KC and Andrew George KC)). 
  • Punjab National Bank (International) v Boris Shipping Ltd & Others - £20 million claim under contracts for guarantee; application relating to service under Hague Convention ([2019] EWHC 1280 (QB)) and successful application for summary judgment. 
  • Vaimo v Carraig Donn - contractual claim against the Irish lifestyle retailer for services to create an e-commerce platform.

Company, Partnerships & LLPs

Gabriella is experienced in advising on and appearing in a wide range of company and shareholder matters, including corporate governance disputes, unfair prejudice petitions and other shareholder disputes, claims of breach of duty against directors and director disqualification proceedings.

She also has experience in advising on claims arising out of joint ventures and partnership disputes (the majority of which settle on confidential terms), including breach of duty claims, issues regarding beneficial ownership and division of profits, disclosure, dissolution and associated relief, such as freezing injunctions to avoid dissipation of partnership assets. 

Some recent examples include:

  • Ralph & Russo (in administration) v Tamara Ralph (2021-) - acting for the co-founder and former creative director of the renowned British fashion house in the highly publicised £23 million claim brought by the Administrators, which includes various allegations of breach of statutory and fiduciary duty.
  • Wells v Hornshaw (2019-) - unfair prejudice petition (led by Thomas Grant KC); Gabriella appeared unled in the 3-day successful application to obtain summary judgment on the issue of quasi-partnership and other allegations.
  • Boca Limited v Volaw Trustee Limited & Anor (CHP 18/0065) - long-running partnership dispute in the Isle of Man, which culminated in a week-long High Court trial before Deemster Rosen KC in November 2019, in which allegations of fraud were successfully defended and a mandatory injunction secured to compel compliance with a partnership deed.
  • Pejcinovic v Locker (2018) - unfair prejudice petition including allegations of breaches of shareholders’ agreement, exclusion from management and unlawful dilution of shareholding.
  • Campbell v Campbell (2017) EWHC 2747 (Ch) (led by John Machell KC) - freezing injunction to avoid dissipation of partnership assets.

Insolvency & Restructuring

Gabriella is instructed to advise in respect of a great variety of insolvency related matters and she appears regularly in the High Court in both corporate insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings. Examples include:

  • Advising on and appearing in contested winding-up and bankruptcy petitions, and applications for injunctions to restrain the presentation of a winding up petition
  • Advising insolvency practitioners in respect of misfeasance, wrongful trading and preference claims against directors and others
  • Advising on and appearing in applications for and against validation orders under s 127 of the Insolvency Act 1986
  • Applications under s 236 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (inquiry into company's dealings)
  • Advising on and appearing in applications to lift the statutory moratorium upon administration under para 43(6)(b) of Schedule B1 to the Insolvency Act 1986
  • Advising on and appearing in applications both challenging and supporting the appointment, conduct, remuneration and removal of insolvency practitioners. 

Examples include:

  • Hunt v Down (2020) 4 WLUK 474 - application under the block transfer regime, which raised issues of standing and the extent to which the cooperation of the outgoing officeholder is required.
  • Re TRIAP Limited (2020) - claim pursuant to s 127 arising out of the winding up of a company providing insolvency and restructuring services.  
  • Portland Stone Firms Limited & Ors v Barclays Bank Plc, KPMG LLP & Ors (2018) EWHC 2341 (QB) - £20 million claim for unlawful means conspiracy, in respect of which Gabriella was instructed to assist on the allegations that Administrators wrongfully pursued a fire sale and failed to genuinely consider rescuing the company as a going concern.
  • LF2 Ltd v Supperstone - application by a creditor under paragraph 74 of Schedule B1 to challenge the refusal of administrators to consider an offer to purchase a chose in action. 
  • David Rocker v Full Circle Asset Management Limited - successful application before Birss J to lift the statutory moratorium and allow Part 7 proceedings to continue, and successful application before Rose J to oppose the appointment of administrators chosen by the directors and to appoint the office-holders preferred by the majority creditor. 

Arbitration

Gabriella is regularly instructed in arbitration claims across her practice areas and attendant court applications. She has been instructed in and has advised on disputes under several arbitral rules, including LCIA and ICC.