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Nigel Jones QC
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An exceptional barrister; he grasps the tiny issues that turn a case

Legal 500

Nigel Jones QC is a highly experienced courtroom and advisory leader who specialises in complex and high value, international and domestic commercial litigation & arbitration, insurance, construction and professional negligence. He is acknowledged as a leading silk in these areas and is well-known for bringing a business-like and commercial approach to his work.

Within his specialist areas he has significant experience of banking & finance and joint venture disputes, commercial fraud, private international & conflict, insurance coverage and insolvency, large infrastructure design and construction disputes and property damage. Alongside these he has considerable experience in niche areas such as franchising and commercial agency and sports law as well as the utilities sector (principally electricity).

He is also a specialist class/group action lawyer and understands the complex area of costs and the third party funding of costs in domestic and international dispute resolution.

These skills led to his appointment in 2014 as chair of the investment committee of the Harbour Funds (the UK’s largest litigation funder). Harbour is involved in investing over £400m in litigation and arbitration worldwide.

Nigel is an experienced mediation advocate and a regular lecturer who has presented lectures for the London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association, the Franco-British Lawyers Society, the British German Jurists Association, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators UAE and the Annual Arbitration Summit.

Banking & Finance

Nigel has been instructed by leading banks and lenders for over 20 years in cases such as loan, mortgage and guarantee disputes, cross-border issues, documentary credits, standard undertakings, rights of subrogation and equitable charges.

Relevant work

  • Nigel is acting in relation to the collapse of Enterprise Insurance Company which operated in the UK, France, Green, Italy and Ireland.
  • Acting for a leading private bank enforcing an undertaking against City solicitors.
  • International dispute involving a Cayman Bank, investment trusts, US investments, Isle of Man corporate management, fraud and Lloyd’s insurance.
  • Beddow v Cayzer [2007] EWCA Civ 644 : Trial and appeal concerning the terms and financing of a commercial joint venture, with related issues of fiduciary duties and trusts.
  • Action Group: £20m private adjudication with 147 claimant action group and clearing bank in respect currency exchange losses.
  • Montrod v Grundkotter [2001] EWCA Civ 1954, [2002] 3 All ER 697 CA: Nullity exception in letters of credit; obligations in tort owed by credit beneficiary to credit applicant.

Civil Fraud & Asset Tracing

Nigel has considerable expertise in claims involving allegations of fraud, fraudulent misstatement, conspiracy and deceit. His experience is both domestic and international and he is an expert on worldwide freezing injunctions.

Relevant work

  • US$400m dispute between Russian oligarchs involving allegations of fraud, secret commissions and bribery. The case is multi-jurisdictional across Guernsey, the BVI, Cyprus, Switzerland, Canada and Russia.
  • Greenbrier v Ebreez, Watts & Ors: Major commercial dispute relating to a US$300m tender for a new railway facility in Saudi Arabia. The issues involved agent’s fiduciary duties, fraud and world-wide freezing orders.
  • O3B Africa v Interactive Solutions: Complex commerical/technological dispute relating to the proper working and sale of satellite capacity for mobile phones in Pakistan with allegations of breach of contract and fraud.
  • Ali & Ors v Abbeyfield VE (Vision Express): various claims by four claimants against Vision Express claiming that they were deceived into entering joint venture agreements by fraudulent misrepresentations.
  • Commercial dispute relating to a timeshare development involving allegations of fraud and conspiracy.
  • Case before the Commercial Court involving losses of about $70 m and allegations of fraud and breach of fiduciary duty, dishonest assistance and knowing receipt.
  • Advising on the liabilities of director/shareholders inflating profits before AIM listing.
  • Naftrans v Nielsen and others: Commercial court dispute involving allegations of fraud, dishonest assistance and knowing receipt.
  • Attorney General of Zambia v Meer Care & Desai [2008] EWCA Civ 754: Acting for Swiss national, on his successful appeal re conspiracy, dishonest assistance and fraud on the Zambian Government.
  • Lichter v Rubin [2008] EWHC 450 (Ch): Dissipation of assets and freezing injunction.

Commercial Arbitration

Nigel’s commercial arbitration expertise covers a number of arbitral systems and he is an accomplished operator across a number of jurisdictions including the UK, Dubai, the Caribbean, Switzerland and Gibraltar. He regularly speaks at leading arbitration summits such as that run by Legal Business.

Case examples

  • Arbitration of a dispute relating to the development of a timeshare club involving major allegations of fraud and conspiracy.
  • US$400m commercial dispute involving a major LCIA international arbitration between two Russian oligarchs.
  • Rule K Football Association Rules Arbitration involving an injury in a professional football match and a claim for £10m.
  • ARIAS specialist insurance industry arbitration relating to a settlement on behalf of a firm of solicitors.
  • ICC arbitration applying English law but where the law is Turkish and the seat is in Turkey.       It relates to a £45m dispute between joint venture partners relating to the building of a pipeline.
  • Advising the British Franchising Association on a new arbitration scheme.
  • VTB Capital Plc v Nutritek International Corp & Ors [2012] EWCA Civ 808 (20 June 2012)
    Court of Appeal case on the limits of piercing the corporate veil. For further details, read the coverage of the case in The Lawyer, and the full Judgment.
  • ICC Arbitration [2008]
    Construction of commission agreement for sale of shares in major international telecoms company.
  • Holloway v Chancery Mead Ltd [2007] EWHC 2495 (TCC)
    Entitlement to refer dispute with developer to arbitration & directions on appointment of arbitrator under the Arbitration Act 1996 s.18.

Commercial Litigation

Nigel is acknowledged as a leading commercial silk by both Chambers UK and Legal 500, and a popular speaker at commercial litigation events. He regularly acts in high profile international commercial work across a wide variety of areas and issues ranging from commodities and derivatives trading and sports contract disputes to to utilities contracts and construction/rectification.

Nigel has significant expertise in disputes involving utilities with particular expertise in the electricity sector involving distribution disputes, supply issues, seabed rights in Port of London Authority area, resistive heating fires, distributors’ liabilities and the regulation of Ofgem.

He also has particular experience in relation to Banking & Finance disputes, Civil Fraud & Asset Tracing, Directors & Shareholders’ disputes, Executive & Employment, Joint Ventures and Franchising and details of that experience can be found in those parts of his profile.

Clients particularly value his ability to think outside the box, handle emergency injunctions and motivate large teams.

Case examples

  • US$400m dispute between two Russian oligarchs whose business empire ran through Guernsey, the BVI, Cyprus, Switzerland, Canada and Russia.
  • Kitcatt Nohr v MMS & Publicis: Nigel defended a breach of warranty/ breach of collateral contract claims for £9m following a takeover of Kitcatt in 2011.
  • Greenbrier v Ebreez, Watts & Ors: Major commercial dispute relating to a US$300m tender for a new railway facility in Saudi Arabia. The issues involved commercial contract construction, conflict of laws and world-wide freezing orders.
  • O3B Africa v Interactive Solutions: Complex commerical/technological dispute relating to the proper working and sale of satellite capacity for mobile phones in Pakistan. The case has been particularly important in the development of the law on exclusion clauses.
  • Enterprise Insurance Company: Nigel leads a team dealing with the fall out of the insolvency of this major insurer which has major commercial ramifications across a number of practice areas including insurance, insolvency and general contractual law.
  • Ali & Ors v Abbeyfield VE (Vision Express): various claims by four claimants against Vision Express claiming that they were deceived into entering joint venture agreements by fraudulent misrepresentations. Vision Express counterclaimed for outstanding debts.
  • Commercial dispute relating to the development of a timeshare club which is plying out in various jurisdictions including the Isle of Man and Spain.
  • Daventry v Daventry Housing: Chancery division dispute involving construction of £50m contract for transfer of housing stock.
  • Meridian International Services v Richardson [2008] EWCA Civ 609: Implied terms in computer software contracts.
  • Lichter v Rubin [2008] EWHC 450 (Ch): Dissipation of assets and freezing injunction.
  • Chang v Clear Law Limited (Manchester DR): Strike out of claim involving attempt to set aside a sale of the assets of a solicitors’ practice.
  • R (Island Farm Developments) v Bridgend County BC [2006] EWHC 2189 (Admin): Allegations of apparent bias and pre-determination in negotiations for sale of development land.
  • Full review of the liability of distribution network operators for fires at connection points and major review by Ofgem of the liability for renewal of cables in multi-occupied buildings.
  • Shepherd & Neame v EDF Energy [2008] EWHC 123 (TCC): Resistive heating fire case.

Companies, Joint Ventures & Partnerships

Nigel’s commercial expertise has naturally drawn him into many of company issues including shareholder disputes, take-overs, market flotations, directors’ duties, restructurings etc.  He also has unparalleled experience of disputes involving partnerships and joint ventures.

Recent work

  • US$400m dispute relating to the collapse of the business relationship between two Russian oligarchs who operated through partnerships, joint ventures and corporate structures across a number of jurisdictions including Gibraltar, Guernsey, the BVI, Cyprus, Switzerland, Canada and Russia.
  • Kitcatt Nohr v MMS & Publicis: Nigel defended claims brought by the former shareholders of Kitcatt Nohr for £9m of deferred consideration allegedly due to them by Publicis following a takeover of Kitcatt in 2011.
  • Ali & Ors v Abbeyfield VE (Vision Express): various claims by 4 claimants against Vision Express claiming that they were deceived into entering joint venture agreements by fraudulent misrepresentations. Vision Express counterclaimed for outstanding debts.
  • £45m dispute between joint venture partners relating to the building of a pipeline.
  • Beddow v Cayzer [2007] EWCA Civ 644: Trial and appeal concerning the terms and financing of a commercial joint venture, with related issues of fiduciary duties and trusts.
  • HFHA Group Ltd v ASRA Greater London Housing Association [2008] EWHC 2430 (QB): Joint venture and property development.

Employment & Executive Disputes

Nigel regularly handles commercial disputes involving directors and senior employees in matters such as director’s secret profits, termination, restraint of trade, confidential information and pensions disputes.  He is known for his expertise in handling contract disputes involving high-profile sportsmen and women.

Relevant work

  • Clients seeking to hold employer to promises of early retirement without loss of pension rights.
  • Inducing breach of contract/restraint of trade following termination of commercial agency.
  • Kirk v Legal & General Assurance Plc [2002] IRLR 124 CA: Negligent references.
  • Kidd v Axa Equity & Law Life Assurance Plc [2000] IRLR 210: Negligent references.

Franchising

Nigel is a leader in the field of franchise law and regularly handles disputes relating to domestic, international and master franchise agreements, acting regularly for companies such as Kall Kwik, ServiceMaster, Grow with Us, Cash Generator, Fleet Mobile Tyres, Ovenclean/MyHome, Initial City Link franchisee association.

Relevant work

  • Acting for England’s largest charity collections franchise in mediated dispute with commercial partner.
  • Group actions involving Ovenclean and Royal Mail.
  • Appeared for Servicemaster in case concerning franchisor’s role in “policing” the network.
  • Appeared in Bondword v Cash Generators: Internet selling and territorial exclusivity.
  • Fleet Mobile Tyres v Stone and Ashwell [2006] EWCA Civ 1209: Internet trading and derogation from grant in national franchising.
  • Grow with us v Green Thumb [2006] EWCA Civ 1201: Leading case on renewal clauses in franchise agreements and data protection issues.

Private International Law

Recent case

  • Greenbrier v Ebreez, Watts & Ors: Major commercial dispute relating to a US$300m tender for a new railway facility in Saudi Arabia involving issues of private international law.

Construction Litigation

Construction work has always played an important role in Nigel’s practice and he is regularly involved in some of the largest disputes around, both domestically and internationally – operating across such diverse jurisdictions as the UK, Malaysia and the Middle East. His expertise covers both the litigation of these disputes but also adjudication and arbitration.

He covers a very wide range of issues including pipelines, railway infrastructure, waste disposal plants, loss and expense/delay, design and build, public utilities and street works disputes, local authority contracting, contaminated land and environmental issues, product liability.

He is recommended in both Chambers UK and Legal 500 as a leading silk in this area.

Case examples

  • £45m construction dispute arising from the construction of a trans-continental gas pipeline. Classic loss and expense acceleration claim.
  • Arbitration involving the design of one of the largest wine warehouses in Europe.
  • Claims relating to the construction specification and alarm response times following major fire damage.
  • O3B Africa v Interactive E Solutions: claim relating to the construction and operation of a satellite and associated earth station facility in Pakistan.
  • Claim relating to the construction of various developments in Moscow and the way in which they have been valued.
  • Kent County Council v Snohetta and Davis Langdon [2009] (TCC): The design competition and aborted project for the proposed Turner Contemporary museum in Margate.
  • Action Group v National Housebuilder [2008]: Mediated settlement for action group leading to re-building of defects in flats and application of Defective Premises Act.
  • Mirimskaya v George Evans and Dezigner Living Ltd [2007] EWHC 2073 (TCC): Construction of a fixed price construction contract.
  • Holloway v Chancery Mead Ltd [2007] EWHC 2495 (TCC): Whether construction dispute resolution clause requiring first report to NHBC can be a condition precedent to reference to arbitration.
  • Associated British Ports v HSS [2006] EWHC 1187 (TCC): Most technically difficult case involving sub-sea geology and geotechnical, concrete & steel structural engineering and novel design concept.
  • London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority v Meritor Light Vehicle Systems (UK) Ltd [2003] EWHC 2411 (TCC): Responsibility for the manufacture of a door latch used on fire engines.

Corporate Insolvency

Nigel’s expertise in commercial, construction and insurance disputes regularly involves him in issues of insolvency, usually in the corporate arena.

Recent work

  • Nigel has been handling all the litigation relating to the insolvency of Enterprise Insurance Company. This Gibraltan company operated across a multitude of different jurisdictions which has created enormous complexity.
  • Clydesdale Financial Services v Smailes [2009] EWHC 1745 (Chancery): Removal of administrators appointed under a pre-pack administration; sale at undervalue of assets of a solicitors’ practice.

Construction Insurance

Nigel has considerable experience of dealing with construction insurance. Many of the cases mentioned in the Construction part of his profile relate to insurance disputes.

He handles fire insurance generally and also the insurance aspects of utilities fires.

Recent work

  • £9m fire damage case and an insurance claim for business interruption and property damage.
  • Significant insurance advisory work (and preparation for multiple arbitrations) in relation to the construction of a major wine warehouse and the insurance recoveries emanating from a c£50m liability arising from its construction of the Accolade warehouse in Avonmouth.
  • Shinedean v Axa Insurance UK Plc [2006] EWCA Civ 939: Conditions precedent and prejudice.
  • Acting for insurers in disputes arising from the Iron Mountain fire.
  • Acting for insurers in business interruption.
  • Acting as part of the claimants’ team in the Buncefield explosion and fire litigation.
  • Several cases involving resistive heating fires in commercial and domestic premises.
  • Insurance aspects following explosion and fire at Dutch plant.
  • Nitec v Evolution [2009]: Commercial court case involving fire damage and business interruption.
  • Shepherd & Neame v EDF Energy [2008] EWHC 123 (TCC): Resistive heating fire case.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Professional indemnity claims are a particular speciality of Nigel’s practice. He is acknowledged as a specialist in the field of claims made policies with particular emphasis on solicitors’ minimum terms, but also including many other professionals in financial services, accounting, valuing, construction, architecture & engineering and corporate service providers.

Nigel advises and acts primarily for construction professionals, financial services and insurance professionals, valuers, solicitors and auditors.

Relevant work

  • Regular advice on claims made policies including issues of aggregation of claims, renewals, conditions precedent, notification, claims and coverage.
  • Regular advice on Law Society Minimum Terms cover including issues of aggregation of claims, renewals, rights to re-imbursement and coverage.
  • Regular advice on disputes between insurers of different years of account.
  • Advice on coverage & disclosure in respect of Isle of Man corporate service providers arising from the $500m AremisSoft corporate fraud case in the USA.
  • “Son of Tag” litigation: Coverage and aggregation under Law Society Minimum Terms.
  • Acting for AIM listed company is £25m action involving accountants and auditors.
  • Acting for valuers in multi-million pound country house valuation.
  • Financial services product misselling and insurance consequences.
  • Acted for national housebuilders in wide range of design and build disputes.
  • Acting for architects in relation to the Sage Centre at Gateshead.
  • Raja v Tombstone and others [2008] EWCA Civ 1444: Liability of solicitors for damages arising from improperly obtained sequestration order.

Insurance Coverage

Nigel is a renowned expert in insurance litigation and involved in some of the largest insurance disputes in the market, acting largely for insurance companies but also claimants.   Recommended in both Chambers UK and Legal 500 as a leading Insurance silk, he is also recommended by them in the related areas of Commercial Dispute Resolution and Construction.

He has particular expertise in ATE litigation policies and their relationship with conditional fee agreements. He also handles product liability insurance cases and medical insurers liablity in medical malpractice claims.

Recent cases

  • Nigel is leading a team handling the enormous ramifications arising from the insolvency of leading insurer, Enterprise Insurance Company. It operated in UK, France, Greece, Italy and Ireland with over 760,000 policyholders.
  • Advising on the potential exposure to a major insurance group arising from inter-connected claims for birth defects.
  • Advising in relation to policy coverage and a claim for £10m following an unsuccessful attempt by a mentally ill patient to commit suicide whilst in prison.
  • Ace Global Markets (now Chubb) and Avalon: Related to the “Son of Tag” insurance claims. Insurers sought to claim deductibles from insured firms of solicitors.
  • Clydesdale Financial Services v Smailes [2009] EWHC 1745 (Chancery)¨Insurance to cover bank loans funding a solicitors’ practice as well as ATE insurance for clients.
  • London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority v Meritor Light Vehicle Systems (UK) Ltd [2003] EWHC 2411 (TCC) : Successfully represented the manufacturers of a door latch used on fire engines.
  • Advising on liability of Lloyds’ syndicates arising from the worldwide SARS outbreak.
  • Advising insurers on renewal issues for niche medical services provider.

Financial Professionals, Insolvency Professionals, Directors & Officers

Nigel’s commercial and insurance work has led him to develop expertise in handling claims against financial professionals, in particular accountants.

Recent cases

  • Claim by premier division footballer against his accountants and financial advisers.
  • Acting for AIN listed company in £25m action involving accountants and auditors.
  • Financial services product misselling.

Construction Professionals

Nigel’s construction expertise means that he is often involved in claims of negligence against construction professionals.

Recent cases

  • Claim relating to the allegedly negligence construction of a major wine warehouse.
  • Acting for national housebuilders in a wide range of design and build disputes.
  • Acting for architects in relation to the Sage Centre at Gateshead.

International

Nigel is known for his expertise in complex and high value international commercial litigation & arbitration across all the practice areas outlined in his profile.

He has handled disputes involving a wide variety of international jurisdictions including the Caribbean, Gibraltar, the Middle East and Russia.

He is also a specialist class/group action lawyer with a thorough understanding of costs issues, including third party funding of costs in international dispute resolution.  He is chair of the investment committee of the Harbour Funds (the UK’s largest litigation funder), regularly making decisions in relation to the merits of disputes all over the world.

Professional Associations

  • Arbitrator and mediator member of ADR Chambers (UK) Ltd
  • Registered Legal Practitioner, Dubai International Financial Centre
  • British Insurance Law Association
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Franco-British Lawyers Society
  • Institute of Arbitrators
  • London Commercial Law & Commercial Bar Association
  • London Court of International Arbitration
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • Technology & Construction Bar Association.
  • Society of Construction Law

Directory recommendations

Nigel is recognised as a leading silk in his areas of specialist practice by Chambers UK and Legal 500 (Commercial Dispute Resolution, Company and Partnership, Construction, Insurance and Professional Negligence) and by Who’s Who in International Franchising.  He is also recommended in the Legal 500’s Arbitration Powerlist.

The following selection of quotes demonstrate the strength of his reputation for legal skills, advocacy, strategy and teamwork:

  • “Brilliant at breaking down complex legal and factual issues and putting them in simple terms.” (Legal 500)
  • “He is able to spot points not visible to others.” (Legal 500)
  • “Fantastic with clients, brilliant at breaking down complex legal and factual issues and putting them in simple terms.” (Legal 500)
  • “Very thorough with an incredible knowledge of insurance.” (Legal 500)
  • ‘A superb advocate.(Legal 500)
  • “Often the first name on the team sheet when it comes to multimillion-pound case” (Legal 500)
  • “Indefatigable and user-friendly, with a first-class intellect.” (Legal 500)
  • ‘He’s tremendously user-friendly and has a wonderful ability to explain complicated legal issues in an understandable way while also being very commercial.” (Chambers UK)
  • “An outstanding advocate.” “He clearly knows his stuff.” (Chambers UK)
  • “Charming, polite and impressive, as well as effective in cross-examination.” (Chambers UK)
  • “He’s exceptionally able, always pragmatic and measured, and an excellent team player.” (Chambers UK)
  • “Technically brilliant and able to articulate a complex argument and make it understandable. Bright, articulate and client-savvy.” (Chambers UK)
  • “He’s very clever and clients are drawn to him. He is also accessible at all hours and commercial.” (Chambers UK)
  • “An outstanding commercial and legal strategist, who is charming but with a backbone of steel.” (Chambers UK)
  • “He is a punchy advocate, who is great at cross-examination and strategic in his approach.” (Chambers UK)
  • Most original sports analogy: “Pound for pound he is the Floyd Mayweather of the Bar. There is no one better in court” (Legal 500)

Languages

French – fluent

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