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Edward Rowntree
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A compelling advocate, who is detailed and commercial in his approach

Chambers UK

Edward combines academic excellence with an acute sensitivity to the commercial needs of his clients.  His practice encompasses a wide range of commercial and property work before all levels of tribunal. He also has a significant niche practice in contentious probate.

He enjoys working as part of a team, whether with solicitors or other counsel (both leading and led) and is known for his pragmatic and well-informed advice.  He aims to ensure that his clients are always aware of the options available to them enabling them to appreciate the merits and risks of contemplated courses of action.

Edward was called to the Bar of the Cayman Islands in 2002 and has wide experience of substantial commercial and insolvency work, often with an international aspect.

Commercial Litigation

This forms the core element of Edward’s practice.  Edward is a highly experienced courtroom advocate and adviser who specialises in complex and high value commercial litigation.

Relevant cases

  • Abulrida v Al-Najar [2018]: Instructed in relation to an £18million fraud claim arising from ‘investments’ in non-existent building projects.
  • O3b Africa Limited v Interactive E Solutions DMCC [2017] EWHC 3813 and [2018] EWCA Civ 62: A £4m claim following non-payment of sums due from a contract for the provision of mobile bandwidth and associated satellite services in northern Pakistan was met by a £70m loss of profit counterclaim.
  • [2017]: 10 day trial relating to fraudulent misrepresentation made by joint venture partners for rescission and damages plus substantial counterclaim for internally maintained overdrafts.  Confidential settlement post-trial.
  • Stallecker v Andersson [2017]: Dispute as to propriety of issue of B shares leading to a challenge to the jurisdiction of the UK Courts.
  • Collins v Litho Supplies (UK) Ltd [2016]: Trial in relation to forged documentation.  Successful at trial and case settled shortly before hearing in Court of Appeal.
  • Hughes v Pendragon Sabre Ltd [2013] and [2016] EWCA Civ 18, [2016] 1 Lloyds Rep 31: Trial in relation to a contract to sell a low-volume specialist Porsche car.  The Defendant pursued
  • Salt v Stratstone Specialist Ltd [2015] EWCA Civ 745: Brought in to lead a junior member of chambers in relation to allegations of misrepresentation.  The leading case in relation to post-contractual rescision, the rejection of consumer goods and damages under section 2(1) and (2) of the Misrepresentation Act 1967.
  • Paige & Ors v Roadchef (Employee Benefits Trustees) Limited & Ors [2014]: Claim for recovery of £28m of misappropriated shares from an employee share ownership scheme.  Represented one of the nominated representatives of one of three groups of employees. Brie-Stevens-Hoare QC and John de Waal QC acted for the others.  Settled at mediation.

Banking & Finance

Edward has acted for many of the major lending and banking institutions and advises on a wide range of securities including:

  • guarantees
  • indemnities
  • standard form undertakings
  • mortgages

Civil Fraud & Asset Tracing

Edward deals with all aspects of civil fraud such as:

  • obtaining urgent without notice relief (freezing injunction; search orders; orders for delivery up of information in electronic form)
  • establishing or challenging the jurisdiction of the English courts
  • dealing with the matter at trial or arbitration
  • enforcing any judgment obtained.

When working in this area, he is able to draw on his knowledge of commercial, company and insolvency, and property law.

Edward regularly acts for major sporting events, such as the Wimbledon Championships and the Ryder Cup, in relation to the protection of ticket management.

Relevant Cases

  • All England Lawn Tennis (Championships) Limited v Nichols [2018]:Committal application against Nichols in respect of breaches of a permanent injunction granted in 2011 resulting in a six month suspended prison sentence.
  • 10 day trial relating to fraudulent misrepresentation made by joint venture partners for rescission and damages plus substantial counterclaim for internally maintained overdrafts.  Confidential settlement post-trial.
  • All England Lawn Tennis (Championships) Limited v Miller [2017] EWHC 2876: Committal application against Miller in respect of breaches of information provision in interim injunction resulting in af our month suspended prison sentence.
  • Collins v Litho Supplies (UK) Ltd [2016]: Trial in relation to forged documentation.  Successful at trial and case settled shortly before hearing in Court of Appeal.
  • Wu v Hannam [2015]: Represented an auction house in mediation in relation to a claim for the fraudulent sale of goods. 
  • Amberclear Ltd v Euro Auctions UK Ltd [2010]: Obtained urgent ‘out of hours’ injunctive relief to prevent the sale of heavy plant at auction.
  • Advanced Industrial Technology Corporation Ltd v Bond Street Jewellers Ltd and another [2006] EWCA Civ 923:  Represented the Defendant in case where it was alleged that he did not have the authority to pawn a diamond necklace as well as whether the Claimant might be entitled to summary judgment.

Companies, Joint Ventures & Partnerships

Edward has a strong reputation for being able to consider alternative claims, remedies and solutions in order to resolve clients’ crises.   He regularly advises on directors’ duties and disqualifications, insolvency and corporate recovery, shareholder disputes, and Companies Act matters.

Edward’s experience of insolvency and insurance has frequently led him to advise on different areas of partnership law including partnership agreements, dissolution and insolvency, is a particular area of expertise at Hardwicke.

Recent Work

  • [2017] 10 day trial relating to fraudulent misrepresentation made by joint venture partners for rescission and damages plus substantial counterclaim for internally maintained overdrafts.  Confidential settlement post-trial.
  • Creo Medical plc [2018]: Application for injunctive relief.

Franchising

Edward represents individual franchisors and franchisees, as well as offering extensive experience of handling and opposing group actions related to franchising activities, whether contentious or non-contentious including misrepresentation, repudiatory breach of contract, damages for breach of agreement and all issues relating to enforcement of covenants.

Recent work

  • [2017]10 day trial relating to fraudulent misrepresentation made by joint venture partners for rescission and damages plus substantial counterclaim for internally maintained overdrafts.  Confidential settlement post-trial.

Commercial Arbitration

Edward has been and continues to be involved in many commercial arbitrations ranging from the sporting (for example O’Brien v Derby County Football Club) to the provision of pomegranate juice (Rindi GmBH v CJSC Aznar).

Employment & Executive Disputes

Edward is regularly instructed for the purpose of injunctive relief pursuant to restrictive covenants in employment and other contracts.

Directors’ Disqualification

Edward has a strong reputation for being able to consider alternative claims, remedies and solutions in order to resolve clients’ crises. Edward regularly advises on directors’ duties and disqualifications, insolvency and corporate recovery, shareholder disputes, and Companies Act matters.

Corporate Insolvency

Edward regularly acts and advises in a  significant number of company and insolvency cases.  These range from straightforward company and personal insolvency issues to international litigation involving both large sums of money or significant property assets and difficult questions as to fiduciary duties and fraud.

Relevant Cases

  • Demite Limited v Protec Health Limited [1998] BCC 63
    Case concerning voidable transactions.
  • Brian Connolly (trading as Connollys (a firm) v Patrick Harrington (Liquidator of Chelmsford City Football Club [2007] 5 Costs LR 710
    The court considered whether an agreement reached in an exchange of e-mails which compromised the dispute between the parties and dealt with payment of fees that had become payable by means of a compromise as to their payment to the extent to which they were recovered from a third party (a) amounted to a contingency fee agreement and (b) whether it imposed a cap on the reasonable fees by virtue of the indemnity principle.

Construction Insurance

Edward accepts instructions from clients on all sides of the insurance world, including Lloyd’s underwriters, insurers and mutual insurance associations, brokers and assureds.

Edward is highly experienced with the construction and interpretation of insurance policies. He has advised many corporate bodies, particularly in regards to the issues arising from construction and project insurance.

Edward’s insurance practice includes advising on policies relating to fire, and the issues arising through such claims.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Edward is a highly capable practitioner in what is a swiftly developing field. His insurance practice is wide ranging and includes all kinds of insurance policy.

Insurance Coverage

Edward has a wealth of experience dealing with the construction and interpretation of ‘Before the Event’ and ‘After the Event’ insurance policies, as well as advising on avoidance of liability and coverage issues.

Contentious Probate & Inheritance Act Claims

Edward has acted in a number of significant cases in this area ranging from contested wills and disputes relating to the administration of estates to Inheritance Act claims.  He regularly advises in relation to all contentious aspects in this area and has seen his work in this area expand significantly in recent years.

This is an area where Edward has very significant experience acting as a mediation advocate – the vast majority of his cases settling on favorable terms without the need for contested trials.  This is also an area where Edward’s special ability with clients is of critical importance.

Relevant Cases

  • Davies v Morris [2017-18]: Claim to set aside original trial and associated hearings (see further below) on the basis of the alleged fraud of one of the parties.
  • Hall v Hall [2017]: Claim by daughter for reasonable financial provision from the £2m estate of her late father.
  • Marshall v Zhang [2016]: Defending a £30m claim by an estate to recover properties in China, Hong Kong and the Uk purchased in the name of the deceased’s girlfriend with money provided over a period of years on the basis that the properties were held on trust and/or funds acquired by undue influence.
  • Taussik v Taussik [2016]: Bitter family dispute arising out of the widower’s claim for relief under the Inheritance Act.  Issues arose as to the capacity of one of the parties to litigate resulting in the appointment of the Official Solicitor.
  • King v Dubrey [2014] EWHC 2083 and [2016] Ch. 221: Trial and then appeal of a 1975 Act claim.  Now the leading cause in relation to donatio mortis causae.
  • Marshall v Alderman [2015]: Trial of claim for the proper administration of an estate.  Defendant alleged undue influence in relation to the execution of the will and contended for an earlier will.
  • Roberts v Fuschini [2012] EWHC 3204: Trial of a claim in relation to the assets of the late singer/songwriter Gerry Rafferty.
  • Kalista v Robinson [2012]: Trial as to the domicile of the deceased as at the date of his death.
  • Morris v Davies [2011] EWHC 1272 (Ch); [2011] EWHC 1773 (Ch); and [2012 EWHC 1981 (Ch): A simple claim to admit a will to probate was met by allegations of fraud, misrepresentation, lack of knowledge and approval, lack of capacity and others.  Edward successfully obtained an anti-suit injunction to prevent parallel proceedings in Belgium and defeated a preliminary issue about the domicile of the deceased.

 

Trusts including TOLATA

Edward accepts instructions in this subject area, which also overlaps with his work in Inheritance and Probate.

 

Recent Work

  • Marshall v Zhang [2016]: Defending a £30m claim by an estate to recover properties in China, Hong Kong and the Uk purchased in the name of the deceased’s girlfriend with money provided over a period of years on the basis that the properties were held on trust and/or funds acquired by undue influence.

Property Professionals

Edward has wide experience of advising in relation to and acting in a broad array of actions both for and against surveyors, valuers and other property professionals.

Commercial Landlord & Tenant

The core of Edward’s work centres on all aspects of commercial landlord and tenant disputes most particularly lease renewals under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 and issues in relation to the construction and enforcement of covenants.

In addition, he has significant experience of rent review and all aspects of dilapidations disputes.

Relevant Cases

  • Royal Exchange Trust Company Limited v Sunterra Europe Limited
    Case concerning the construction and enforcement of lease covenants.
  • English Partnerships v Vodafone Limited
    Removal of a mobile phone mast.

 

Housing (Social & Privately Rented)

Edward has experience in all areas of residential landlord and tenant work, including:

  • disputes over the nature or status of a tenancy
  • service charges disputes
  • disrepairs disputes
  • unlawful eviction
  • forfeiture and repossession

 

Real Property & Mortgages

Edward has significant experience of rent review and all aspects of real property including easements, mortgages, boundaries and trusts of land.

In 2001 and 2010, he was a substantial contributor to Cousins on the Law of Mortgages (2nd and 3rd Editions).

Directory recommendations

Edward is recommended in Legal 500 for Property Litigation.

  • “Highly experienced in the UK and internationally” (Legal 500)
  • “A compelling advocate who is detailed and commercial in his approach”

Professional associations

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Property Bar Association

Publications

E. Cousins & I. Clarke – Cousins: The Law of Mortgages, Sweet & Maxwell, 3rd edition (2010)

Qualifications

  • Open Exhibition, Christ Church, Oxford (1993, 1994)
  • BA (Oxon) – Jurisprudence (1995)
  • Hardwicke Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn (1994)
  • Sir Thomas More Bursary, Lincoln’s Inn (1995)
  • Stiebel Bursary, Lincoln’s Inn (1995)
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