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Ryan Hocking
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Ryan has a busy, broad-based commercial practice with a particular emphasis on insolvency. He is a sought-after trial and appellate advocate, having acted in a number of cases of wider commercial significance for the client. Ryan welcomes instructions to act as sole counsel or as part of a team and has been led in the High Court and Supreme Court.

Ryan’s insolvency practice includes both personal and corporate insolvency, acting for office-holders as well as individuals and directors. He advises and acts in respect of (amongst other things) antecedent transactions, misfeasance, and litigation brought by office-holders. Within the wide category of commercial litigation, he has experience in matters relating to contractual disputes, civil fraud, partnerships and LLPs, professional negligence, financial regulation, unjust enrichment, and of cases with an international dimension (including injunctive relief and cross-border insolvencies).

In his spare time, Ryan enjoys watching stand-up comedy and boxing, reading, playing the guitar (badly), and painting (worse).

Commercial Litigation

Ryan is instructed across a wide range of commercial disputes, as both sole and junior counsel. Ryan also acts in cases with an international element, having experience of jurisdictional disputes, without notice injunctions, and other forms of interlocutory relief in this context.

Ryan’s caseload includes contractual disputes, civil fraud, unjust enrichment, and partnership and LLP disputes. This often intersects with his work in other areas, such as financial regulation and professional negligence. Ryan’s specialist insolvency and company law practice is often a particularly useful asset.

Recent Work:

  • Cavendish Square Holding BV v Talal El Makdessi and ParkingEye v Beavis [2015] UKSC 67: Ryan was led by John de Waal QC and David Lewis, acting pro bono for the Appellant Mr Beavis. This landmark case was the first authoritative review of the law of penalties since Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co Ltd v New Garage & Motor Co Ltd [1915] AC 847 decided almost exactly 100 years before.
  • Chowdhary Ltd v Tossed and McKevitt: Ryan was led by Brie Stevens-Hoare QC for the Claimant in this civil fraud claim brought by an insolvent company against a high street food retailer and its director following entry into a franchise agreement.
  • Ryan currently represents one Defendant in a multi-party, cross-border claim concerning alleged fraud relating to financial instruments worth an estimated USD200 million. Ryan has been retained as ‘conflict counsel’ to advise on potential conflicts of interest with other Defendants and whether representation is necessary.
  • Indigo Park Services UK Ltd v Dadswell and Ors: Ryan acted for the Claimant in a case where claims against 80 separate Defendants had been joined. The three-day trial covered various issues, including applications for third party costs orders, and determined the viability of a number of further claims cumulatively worth over £100,000.
  • Ryan acted on behalf of a well-known financial institution, providing advice on the proper forum for a dispute for use in an application challenging jurisdiction in proceedings in the Republic of Cyprus.

Corporate Insolvency

Ryan accepts instructions in a range of corporate insolvency matters, with experience of acting for insolvency practitioners, directors, creditors, and debtor companies. His work in this area includes cases concerning antecedent transactions, misfeasance, injunctions to restrain presentation and/or advertisement of winding up petitions, rescission, and disputed winding up petitions.

Further, Ryan was part of the team that presented the well-attended and highly-acclaimed half-day seminar on the new Insolvency Rules on 14 March 2017, which was addressed by then (then) Chief Bankruptcy Registrar, Stephen Baister. Ryan also edited the Meetings and Decision Making and International Insolvency chapters in the corporate insolvency volume of the current edition of Atkins Court Forms.

Recent Work:

  • Advising a former director on a novel point of law in relation to limitation periods for transactions defrauding creditors under s.423 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
  • Applying for an injunction to restrain the presentation of a winding up petition on short notice. Ryan acted in favour of the holding company of a group with an annual turnover in the region of £97m.
  • Obtaining a further adjournment at the 7th hearing of a winding up petition against a debtor company holding a large amount of VAT in Iranian bank accounts it was unable to access due to the effect of international sanctions.

Personal Insolvency

Ryan has extensive experience of bankruptcy and personal insolvency matters, most often representing Trustees in Bankruptcy. His caseload includes antecedent transactions, enforcement of bankrupts’ statutory obligations, and proceedings to realise assets in the bankruptcy estate – including issues of beneficial ownership and the equity of exoneration. Ryan also represents bankrupts and interested parties in matters arising from personal insolvency, in which context his work acting for office-holders provides valuable strategic insight. Ryan has also advised in relation to cross-border bankruptcies and foreign courts invoking the assistance of the English courts in relation to their own insolvency proceedings.

Recent Work:

  • (1) Cook and Needham (2) Iqbal v (1) HMRC (2) Official Receiver [2017] BPIR 1468: Ryan represented the Trustees in Bankruptcy in their application for suspension of the Bankrupt’s discharge, heard together with the Bankrupt’s application to annul the bankruptcy. Annulment was granted and a substantial costs order was made in the Trustees’ favour against HMRC.
  • Prestige Automobiles Ltd v Sutton (unreported): opposing an application to set aside a statutory demand for over USD500,000 on behalf of the petitioning creditor – a Hong Kong registered company.
  • Opposing a Trustee in Bankruptcy’s application for possession and sale of the Bankrupt’s home, acting on behalf of the Bankrupt’s partner. The case involves issues relating to beneficial and constructive trusts, the proper apportionment of mortgage debt, and the equity of exoneration.

Financial Professionals, Insolvency Professionals, Directors & Officers

Ryan has experience of claims against accountants and financial advisers (including claims brought under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000), as well as misfeasance claims against directors. This experience includes allegations of: mis-sale of investment products, negligent advice relating to tax mitigation schemes, and negligent tax advice in relation to substantial transactions.

Professional associations

  • COMBAR
  • R3
  • Chancery Bar Association
  • LCLCBA

Publications

  • Atkins Court Forms, Vol. 9 (Corporate Insolvency) – contributing editor
  • Insurance Broking Practice and the Law, CMS – contributing editor

Qualifications

  • LLM – Wolfson College, University of Cambridge
  • BPTC – City Law School
  • GDL – Oxford Brookes University
  • BA (English Language & Literature) – Jesus College, University of Oxford
  • ADR ODR Accredited Mediator

CSR

Ryan volunteers on the COIN scheme for the winding-up court, and recently delivered training to the student volunteers on the scheme. He is also a panel member of the Bar Pro Bono Unit.

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