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Phillip Patterson
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Phillip has a wide-ranging commercial dispute resolution and insolvency practice with experience of high value and complex disputes in a variety of courts and tribunals, including the Business and Property Court and the Privy Council.

As part of the commercial dispute resolution work he has undertaken, Phillip has represented clients in key industries such as aviation, construction/engineering and financial services. He has an astute business understanding which helps him give focused and practical advice to commercial clients.

He has particular expertise in technical company law issues, which makes him an obvious choice for claims involving allegations of misfeasance, mismanagement and breach of duty as well as shareholder disputes. Phillip handles a wide variety of banking and financial services disputes where his postgraduate qualification in banking law gives him a decided edge.

A significant proportion of Phillip’s current and recent work concerns corporate and personal insolvency, a field in which Phillip is fast becoming a go-to junior for a range of applications, acting both for office-holders and for respondents.

Phillip also has experience of consumer contract issues, professional negligence claims and a variety of private client disputes, particularly claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Families and Dependants) Act 1975.

Phillip worked as a support counsel, a judicial assistant and a report draftsman on the high-profile Al-Sweady Public Inquiry from 2010 – 2014.

He speaks and understands French to a high level.

Banking & Finance

Phillip has particular expertise in relation to banking and financial services work having obtained a postgraduate qualification in banking law.

Phillip acts both for and against lenders in relation to disputes concerning mortgage and investment agreements, as well as a range of security documents. He has a significant amount of recent experience in matters concerning guarantees and indemnities.

Recent work:

  • Representing the defendant and counterclaimant in a high-value dispute concerning alleged breaches of an agreement to loan money to a start-up company in the technology and innovation sector (Catalyst v Very Tangy Television Limited and ors [2018] EWHC 1669 (QB)).
  • Representing customers of a major high-street lender in a claim against the bank and its employees for fraudulent misrepresentation and deceit.
  • Advising a company director who made erroneous payments to a debtor of the company by way of mistaken payment from a personal account.
  • Representing a building company in relation to a dispute with a high-street lender concerning sums allegedly owing under various facilities.
  • Representing the defendant in a claim brought by the Royal Bank of Scotland against a professional investor who borrowed money to invest in a Government Private Finance Initiative.
  • Representing Santander UK in a claim brought by a mortgage customer who alleged (among other matters) breaches of the Equality Act 2010.
  • Representing the defendant in a claim brought by a lender for sums allegedly owed under a personal guarantee.
  • Representing Barclays Bank (Suisse) SA in a dispute with a borrower under a residential mortgage and the firm who advised it when the mortgage agreement was produced.
  • Representing the owners of a safety deposit box in a dispute with the bank at which the box was deposited.
  • Jurisdiction challenge in a claim between Cinnamon European Structured Credit Fund and a Portuguese bank arising out of the securitisation of a mortgage portfolio. The proceedings involved the application of the EC Council Regulation on the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.
  • Recovery of “client money” held by Lehman Brothers. The matter went to the Court of Appeal ([2010] EWCA Civ 917) and gave Phillip considerable exposure to the regulatory framework of financial services in the UK.
  • Chunilal v Merrill Lynch [2010] EWHC 1467 (Comm): a claim relating to a banker’s entitlement to a discretionary bonus.

Civil Fraud & Asset Tracing

Fraud, asset-tracing and recovery has always formed a major part of Phillip’s practice and he has experience of fraudulent misrepresentation, knowing receipt, constructive trust and restitution claims. He was involved in the leading case of Sinclair v Versailles.

Recent work:

  • Represented the Claimants in a £36m fraudulent misrepresentation claim against a high-street lender and its employees.
  • Holyoake v Savills plc: Represented high-profile property investor in relation to an application for pre-action disclosure against the large global real-estate services provider. The application concerned allegations of fraudulent conspiracy and breaches of fiduciary duty.
  • Mellor v Partridge: a fraudulent misrepresentation claim in relation to the sale of a well-known antiques company to a consortium of purchasers.
  • Representing a company and its shareholder/director in relation to fraudulent misrepresentation and economic tort claims against its former owner and accountant.
  • Defended tracing and knowing receipt claims by the alleged victims of a high profile Saudex fraud.
  • Advising the adopted son of an individual who died intestate in relation to a misrepresentation claim. Phillip’s client is seeking to rescind an agreement by which he purportedly waived his rights under the intestacy at a significant undervalue.
  • Advised and represented a commercial user of electricity seeking to recover secret commissions obtained by an agent.
  • Representing a client seeking to recover sums invested in various commercial ventures as a result of the undue influence of her former partner.
  • Benedetti v Sawiris [2010] EWCA Civ 1427: defending a restitution claim in the Court of Appeal brought by an individual seeking payment for services rendered assisting in the acquisition of an Italian telecommunications company. The litigation ultimately reached the Supreme Court and is considered a leading authority on the valuation of quantum meruit claims.
  • Sinclair v Versailles [2011] EWCA Civ 347: A claim by a company for the recovery of sums acquired by a director in breach of fiduciary duty. The judgment of the Court of Appeal was the leading authority on the nature of constructive trust claims for the recovery of bribes and secret commissions until it was overruled by the Supreme Court in 2014.

Commercial Litigation

Commercial work lies at the heart of Phillip’s practice. Whilst a large proportion of his caseload involves larger claims where he acts as part of a team, he is also highly experienced acting as sole counsel.

As illustrated below, his expertise is wide-ranging and covers a wide variety of sectors from the airline industry and investment vehicles to the building trade and the service sector. He has niche experience in consumer law including group and representative litigation and misselling claims. He also handles general professional negligence work.

His specific experience in relation to insolvency, banking and financial services, company law claims and civil fraud is dealt with elsewhere in his profile.

Phillip is a regular contributor to the Practical Law Dispute Resolution Blog and has written articles on the decisions of Snowden J and the Court of Appeal in the Premier Motorauctions case concerning security for costs.

Recent work:

  • Advised the CEO of a company involved in a £200m dispute with noteholders in the Commercial Court.
  • Represented a start-up company involved in litigation seeking substantial damages from a lender for breach of a loan agreement incurring large consequential losses.
  • Represented a bedding and pillow retailer defending a claim at trial for significant mobile phone roaming charges allegedly incurred under an airtime agreement.
  • Advising an investment agent in relation to potential claims against an investor for breach of confidentiality agreements made in support of services provided in the acquisition of a mining company and its assets in New Zealand.
  • Representing a Scottish Limited Partnership which has acquired the freehold title of property which is subject to significant fire safety defects.
  • Afriqiyah Airways Advanced Baggage Services Limited: Trial of a dispute between an airline and a General Cargo Sales Agent concerning alleged breaches of an agreement between the parties.
  • Represented various companies and individuals in a dispute relating to losses resulting from an investment in litigation funding.
  • Represented a major restaurant chain at the trial of a claim against the publisher of a magazine concerning breaches of a contract for advertising.
  • Advising a contractor in a dispute with a sub-contractor concerning the development of a group of residential properties.
  • Representing a digital marketing agent in a claim for unpaid invoices against a holiday villa letting company.
  • Represented an SME in the construction industry in relation to a claim for the non-payment of invoices for work done on the refurbishment of a school.
  • Represented a product labelling company at trial in a claim against an energy advisor and broker over unnecessary work carried out at commercial premises.
  • Represented a general practitioner in a dispute with the landlord of her surgery and the local hospital trust in relation to unpaid rent and charges.
  • Acted for the assignee of a debt arising from an adjudication decision determining a dispute concerning the refurbishment of a well-known bar.
  • Holyoake v Savills plc: Successfully resisted an application to transfer a pre-action disclosure application from the Circuit Commercial Court (formerly Mercantile Court) into the Commercial Court in London.
  • Represented a former solicitor at trial in a dispute concerning the non-payment of sums allegedly due under a settlement agreement.
  • Dispute between a company and its agent in the leisure industry in relation to the switch of its electricity supply.
  • Claim against the purchasers of a business bought through a pre-pack administration in tort for the ongoing use of equipment not transferred during the purchase.

Companies, Joint Ventures & Partnerships

Phillip advises companies, shareholders and directors in relation to a variety of claims such as unfair prejudice claims, derivative claims and other claims of mismanagement both in the UK and offshore, including in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

He also has experience of both contentious and non-contentious aspects of the law of partnerships, having advised and represented LLPs, joint ventures, partnerships and the individuals involved in them.

Recent work:

  • Advising and representing minority shareholders of a BVI company which holds the majority of shares in a Bahamian distillery company in relation to a complex shareholder dispute.
  • Represented the respondents in an unfair prejudice petition brought in respect of companies providing non-emergency medical transportation services with a combined share price of over £1.2 million.
  • Represented the former director and 50% shareholder of a company providing industrial air-conditioning units in an acrimonious dispute with the company and his former co-director.
  • Represented the respondent to an unfair prejudice petition arising out of the management of a property investment company.
  • Representing a solicitor involved in an acrimonious split with his previous joint-venture partner, including applications for injunctive relief.
  • Represented the Claimant seeking payment of deferred consideration owed by his business partner under a share purchase agreement.
  • Advising a minority shareholder of a building company in relation to a potential unfair prejudice petition.
  • Representing the purchaser of the share capital of a commercial interior fitting company in various disputes with the vendor of that share capital.
  • Advising a partner in a clothing business in respect of claims for breach of fiduciary duty and misappropriation of partnership funds, as well as the dissolution of partnership assets.
  • Representing a partnership involved in litigation against a former partner in debt and in respect of allegations of misappropriation of partnership funds.
  • Representing a Scottish Limited Partnership which has a acquired the freehold title of property which is subject to significant fire safety defects.
  • Advised members of an LLP in the renewable energy industry on the interpretation of the acquisition and transfer provisions in an LLP agreement.
  • Represented the former director and 50% shareholder of a company providing industrial air-conditioning units to trial in an acrimonious dispute with the company and his former co-director.
  • Represented the Respondent to an unfair prejudice petition arising out of the management of a property investment company.
  • Working on the team representing Sir Jack Hayward in his dispute with the family of the late Edward St George concerning the ownership of a company controlling a wide range of business interests in Freeport, Bahamas.

Corporate Insolvency

Phillip is a popular choice as a junior counsel for the insolvency teams of many firms in London and nationwide. He regularly appears in the Companies Court in a range of complex and technical corporate insolvency applications.

Phillip writes articles on recent developments in insolvency law for the publication, Insolvency Intelligence and for the LexisNexis Corporate Rescue and Insolvency publication and gives seminars both in chambers and to external organisations.

Phillip was part of the team at Hardwicke which updated the Corporate Insolvency Chapter in the current edition of Atkin’s Court Forms.

Recent work:

  • Acting for the liquidators of a large Gibraltar-based insurance company in relation to high-value misfeasance claims against its former directors and various corporate entities.
  • Re First Class Legal (IS) Limited – Represented a major creditor in the liquidation of a litigation funding and ATE insurance company. Advising the liquidators of a company which ran children’s homes in relation to potential claims for breach of duty and preferences against the former directors.
  • Advising the liquidators of a company which ran children’s homes in relation to potential claims for breach of duty and preferences against the former directors.
  • Representing creditors in an application for an administration order against a company specialising in hydroponic technology.
  • Representing the liquidators of a holiday property letting company in relation to a high-value cross-border misfeasance and transaction at an undervalue claim against a group company and its former directors.
  • Represented an airline servicing company in its application for an administration order.
  • Represented a liquidator in misfeasance claims against the former directors of a wholesaler.
  • Representing the former directors of a flooring company accused of fraudulent and wrongful trading and misfeasance by the company’s liquidators.
  • Represented the administrative receiver of a company in relation to claims brought against the company (now in liquidation) for breaches of duty and alleging the existence of transactions defrauding creditors.
  • Application under section 236 of the Insolvency Act 1986 on behalf of the administrators of a construction company against its former directors.
  • An application for an injunction restraining the advertisement of a winding-up petition against a company operating a group of convenience stores as part of a franchising agreement.
  • An application for an arrest warrant against a former director who absconded and refused to attend a public examination.
  • Represented a creditor and former director of a company in relation to claims for unpaid salary and deferred consideration in a CVA.
  • Applications for injunctions restraining the presentation and advertisement of winding-up petitions.
  • Re Lehman Brothers (Client Money Appeal) [2010] EWCA Civ 917high profile decision of the Court of Appeal concerning the segregation of client money prior to the insolvency of the bank.

Personal Insolvency

Phillip is a popular choice for a wide range of personal insolvency applications and regularly advises in relation to complex and difficult bankruptcies.

Phillip writes articles on recent developments in insolvency law for the publication, Insolvency Intelligence. He has focused in particular on the issue of the suspension of discharge from bankruptcy and one of his articles was cited with approval by Mr Justice Nugee in the leading case of Hilsdon v Weir [2017] EWHC 983 (Ch).

Recent work:

  • Bramston v Harris – represented an individual opposing an application by a trustee in bankruptcy for a Mawer v Bland-type indefinite suspension of discharge.
  • Representing an individual in a second appeal to the Court of Appeal on pure point of law concerning the impact of discharge from bankruptcy on security rights.
  • Represented a secured creditor opposing an application by a trustee challenging the validity of the security as a transaction at an undervalue.
  • Advising and representing an individual accused of acting as a director of various companies whilst an undischarged bankrupt.
  • Represented the partners who owned and operated a popular restaurant in Kent in relation to bankruptcy petitions brought against them.
  • Represented trustees in bankruptcy opposing applications for annulment brought by bankrupts.
  • Successfully represented a wealthy business executive facing a bankruptcy petition brought by HMRC after he relocated to Germany.
  • Representing the respondent to a high-value and complex bankruptcy petition involving significant alleged cross-claims.
  • Successfully set aside a statutory demand brought against a guarantor in respect of disputed refurbishment works.
  • Represented a trustee in relation to an application for possession and sale of a residential property and concurrent application for annulment.

Property Insolvency

A significant proportion of Phillip’s work involves a crossover of aspects of property and insolvency law. As a result, Phillip is well placed to handle and advise on technical aspects arising in both of these disciplines. Phillip often provides advice to office-holders and creditors in relation to property law matters arising in insolvencies.

Phillip regularly represents trustees in applications for possession and sale of properties vesting as part of the bankrupt’s estate and also has significant experience of opposing such applications.

Recent work:

  • Represented an individual property developer seeking to set aside a statutory demand served on him.
  • Represented a trustee opposing a series of applications to suspend a writ of possession in relation to residential property vesting in the trustee.
  • Represented a different trustee opposing an application to suspend a warrant of possession in relation to residential property vesting in the trustee.
  • Represented the partners who owned and operated a popular restaurant in Kent in relation to bankruptcy petitions brought against them.
  • Represented a tenant under a lease for a vesting order following the insolvency of the assignee of the lease.

Financial Professionals, Insolvency Professionals, Directors & Officers

As part of his broader corporate and personal insolvency work, Phillip has provided advice and representation in matters concerning allegations of professional negligence against insolvency professionals:

Recent work:

  • Advised a former director of a company dissolved after an administration who alleges that his advisors negligently failed to pursue the option of a CVA.
  • Represented a financial adviser in a professional negligence claim against his former solicitors in relation to advice given about the contents of agreements under which he provided services through a registered entity.

International

Phillip’s practice maintains a significant international dimension, advising clients based overseas, working on disputes which cross borders and even working on matters in other jurisdictions. He has appeared before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in relation to appeals originating from Trinidad and Tobago.

This work includes:

  • Representing the liquidators of a large Gibraltar-based insurance company in a high-value misfeasance claim against its former directors.
  • Acting for minority shareholders of a British Virgin Islands company bringing unfair prejudice proceedings arising out of a business based in The Bahamas.
  • Mohammed v Public Service Commission [2017] UKPC 31 – Privy Council judgment concerning the constitutionality of the appointment and promotion of public servants in Trinidad & Tobago.
  • Levelle Long v Police Service Commission [2018] UKPC 32 – Privy Council judgment concerning the constitutionality of a decision to retire a police officer in the public interest rather than instigating disciplinary procedures against him.
  • Hayward v St George: Represented Sir Jack Hayward in an appeal before the Court of Appeal of The Bahamas.
  • Advising UK-based companies in relation to a dispute with US and German-based entities concerning mining rights in New Zealand.

Languages

French

Professional associations

  • COMBAR
  • ChBA
  • LCLCBA
  • R3

Publications

Contributing editor for the Companies Insolvency chapter of Atkin’s Court Forms

Qualifications

  • BA (Jurisprudence), Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford
  • LLM, University College London
  • Bar Vocational Course, College of Law

CSR

Phillip volunteers for the Bar Pro Bono Unit and the COIN Scheme assisting litigants-in-person in the companies winding up court. He has also undertaken a significant amount of pro-bono work on behalf of citizens bringing judicial review and constitutional claims in Trinidad and Tobago.

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