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Sri Carmichael
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Sri specialises in commercial litigation, insolvency, civil fraud and company law.

She is instructed, both as sole counsel and with a leader, in complex, high value Commercial Court, Chancery Division and arbitral matters and is frequently against more senior opponents.

She is an experienced trial advocate and has succeeded in a number of claims that have required her to undertake extensive cross-examination in respect of allegations of fraud and dishonesty. Sri’s cases often involve a cross-border element and require her to make or resist applications for interim injunctive relief.

Sri was appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel in March 2019 and has acted for the Government on large-scale contractual disputes and in insolvency and company law matters.

Current and recent instructions include:

  • Acting for the manager of a Cayman Islands investment fund in a multi-million dollar fraud claim in the Commercial Court against the fund’s former investment advisers. Led by Nigel Jones QC.
  • Acting for a US-based oil company in an LCIA arbitration of a joint venture dispute concerning oil and gas fields in Egypt. Led by David Lewis QC.
  • Acting in an £80 million contractual dispute arising out of the much publicised liquidation of public sector contractor Carillion. Led by Paul Reed QC.
  • Acting for the petitioner in the trial of an unfair prejudice petition concerning the fraudulent diversion of a multi-million pound care home business.
  • Acting for a company in liquidation in an eight-day trial of breach of duty claims against its former de facto directors.

Commercial Litigation

Sri has experience of a broad range of commercial matters from contractual disputes to claims against directors and shareholders. Many of her cases have an international dimension and involve advising on interim relief.

Recent work includes:

  • Floreat Investment Management Limited v Churchill & Ors: Acting for the manager of a Cayman Islands investment fund in a multi-million dollar fraud claim in the Commercial Court against the fund’s former investment advisers. Led by Nigel Jones QC.
  • Acting for a US-based oil company in an LCIA arbitration of a joint venture dispute concerning oil and gas fields in Egypt and the validity of cash calls issued under the operating agreement. Led by David Lewis QC.
  • Acting in an £80 million contractual dispute arising out of the much publicised liquidation of public sector contractor Carillion. Led by Paul Reed QC.
  • MDS Accident Repair Centre Limited (in liquidation) v Dudey & Ors: Acted for the claimant in an 8-day trial of a breach of duty/knowing receipt claim in which it was alleged that the company’s de facto directors had diverted the company’s funds to their own corporate entities. Sri undertook multiple days of cross-examination on allegations of fraud and dishonesty.
  • Acting for a well-known fashion designer in a breach of contractual dispute with a high street department store. Led by PJ Kirby QC.
  • Acting for a US-based shareholder of a technology company operating from the Ukraine in a multi-million pound dispute for breach of the shareholders’ agreement.
  • Advising a Premier League footballer seeking to extricate himself from a sponsorship contract. Led by Nigel Jones QC.
  • Advising a high-street clothing retailer in a dispute with various foreign factoring companies acting for its Turkish manufacturer over unpaid invoices and failure to deliver stock. Raised complex issues of assignment and set-off. Sri is instructed in a broad range of commercial matters, many with an international dimension, both as sole and junior counsel. She handles disputes before the courts and also subject to arbitration.

Civil Fraud & Asset Tracing

Sri has acted in a number of substantial High Court commercial fraud claims, including conspiracy claims. Her company law and insolvency expertise is a significant asset in this type of dispute.

Recent work includes:

  • Floreat Investment Management Limited v Churchill & Ors: Acting for the manager of a Cayman Islands investment fund in a multi-million dollar fraud claim in the Commercial Court against the fund’s former investment advisers. Led by Nigel Jones QC.
  • MDS Accident Repair Centre Limited (in liquidation) v Dudey & Ors: Acted for the claimant in an 8-day trial of a breach of duty/knowing receipt claim in which it was alleged that the company’s de facto directors had diverted the company’s funds to their own corporate entities. Sri undertook multiple days of cross-examination on allegations of fraud and dishonesty.
  • Harry v Harry & Salisbury Autistic Care Limited: Succeeded in the trial of a shareholders’ dispute in the Companies Court between two brothers concerning the fraudulent diversion of a multi-million pound care home business.
  • Defending former consultants to the commercial arm of a leading university who were alleged to have misappropriated confidential information worth millions of pounds in respect of computer gaming programmes developed for the military and police.
  • Acting for a US-based shareholder of a technology company operating from the Ukraine in a dispute concerning apparently fraudulent conduct by the company’s other shareholders.

Companies, Joint Ventures & Partnerships

Sri advises on all aspects of company law, including unfair prejudice petitions, claims for breach of the shareholders’ agreement or against directors and derivative claims. She also has experience in dealing with joint venture disputes.

Sri has successfully acted as sole counsel in lengthy unfair prejudice and breach of duty trials involving allegations of fraud and dishonesty.

Recent work includes:

  • Harry v Harry & Salisbury Autistic Care Limited: Succeeded in the liability trial of an unfair prejudice petition in the Companies Court between two brothers concerning the fraudulent diversion of a multi-million pound care home business.
  • MDS Accident Repair Centre Limited (in liquidation) v Dudey & Ors: Acted for the claimant in an 8-day trial of a breach of duty/knowing receipt claim in which it was alleged that the company’s de facto directors had diverted the company’s funds to their own corporate entities. Sri undertook multiple days of cross-examination on allegations of fraud and dishonesty.
  • Acting for a US-based shareholder of a technology company operating from the Ukraine in a multi-million pound dispute for breach of the shareholders’ agreement.
  • Enterprise Insurance Company plc (in liquidation) v EHL Realisations Limited & Ors: Acting as part of the counsel team (led by Nigel Jones QC) instructed by the claimant on this complex £50m fraudulent breach of duty claim in the Supreme Court of Gibraltar arising out of the much publicised collapse of one of Gibraltar’s largest insurers. Focussed on the financial assistance element of the claim.
  • Acting for a US-based shareholder of a technology company operating from the Ukraine in a multi-million pound dispute for breach of the shareholders’ agreement.

Commercial Arbitration

Sri is instructed in arbitral proceedings as part of her commercial practice. She has experience of LCIA and ad hoc arbitrations.

Recent work includes:

  • Ad hoc arbitration concerning the interpretation of a multi-million pound contract entered into by the Ministry of Defence.
  • Acting for a US-based oil company in an LCIA arbitration of a joint venture dispute concerning oil and gas fields in Egypt and the validity of cash calls issued under the operating agreement. Led by David Lewis QC.

Franchising

Sri has experience in acting in complex franchising disputes requiring urgent strategic advice and applications for interim injunctive relief in respect of breaches of post-termination restrictive covenants. She has acted for both franchisors and franchisees in a wide range of industries.

Recent work includes:

  • Jackson v E-tyres: Defending a nationwide franchisor in a claim by a former franchisee for misrepresentation and repudiatory breach of the franchise agreement. Counterclaim for loss of profit.
  • Energie v Star Gym & Ors: Acting for a gym chain in a dispute with a franchisee who set up his own rival business from the franchise premises. Involved application for interim injunctive relief. Led by Brie Stevens-Hoare QC and David Lewis QC.

Private International Law

Sri has dealt with numerous disputes with a cross-border dimension across her practice areas. She is comfortable advising on conflict of laws issues in respect of jurisdiction and choice of law, enforcement of judgments in other jurisdictions and applications for service out.

Corporate Insolvency

Sri acts for insolvency practitioners, companies, company directors and creditors in respect of antecedent transactions, winding-up, allegations of misfeasance and wrongful and fraudulent trading, and other issues arising out of liquidations, administrations and CVAs.

She is frequently instructed in commercial and fraud disputes with an insolvency angle due to her cross-discipline expertise, and she has advised on cross-border insolvency matters.

Recent work includes:

  • Acting in an £80 million dispute with the liquidator of public sector contractor Carillion. Led by Paul Reed QC.
  • MDS Accident Repair Centre Limited (in liquidation) v Dudey & Ors: Acted for the claimant company in liquidation in an 8-day trial of a breach of duty/knowing receipt claim in which it was alleged that the company’s de facto directors had diverted the company’s funds to their own corporate entities. Sri undertook multiple days of cross-examination on allegations of fraud and dishonesty.
  • Enterprise Insurance Company plc (in liquidation) v EHL Realisations Limited & Ors: Acting as part of the counsel team (led by Nigel Jones QC) instructed by the liquidator on this complex £50m fraudulent breach of duty claim in the Supreme Court of Gibraltar arising out of the much publicised collapse of one of Gibraltar’s largest insurers. Focussed on the financial assistance element of the claim.
  • Advising on strategies to remove a liquidator who appeared to have installed himself without proper authority and obtain pre-action disclosure from the company in liquidation. Dealt with the insolvency aspects of this large-scale construction dispute. Led by David Pliener.
  • Various public interest winding up petitions on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Personal Insolvency

Sri is instructed by trustees in bankruptcy, creditors and debtors in respect of statutory demands, bankruptcy petitions (including annulment and rescission applications), IVAs and debt relief orders.

Recent work includes:

  • Farrington v Turner: Successfully defended TV personality Anthea Turner in the 5-day trial of a multi-million pound transaction at an undervalue claim brought by her former husband’s trustee in bankruptcy. Led by Matthew Collings QC at Maitland Chambers.
  • Acting for a trustee in bankruptcy seeking to set aside a judgment to which he was not a party pursuant to CPR 40.9 on the basis that he was ‘directly affected’ by a bankrupt’s decision prior to his appointment not to oppose an application for a declaration regarding her ownership of a property.
  • Re Hibbert – Annulment/rescission application in long-running bankruptcy proceedings.

Directors’ Disqualification

Sri advises directors in respect of proceedings under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 including applications for permission to continue to act where a director has been disqualified or given an undertaking.

Appointments

Attorney General’s C Panel of Civil Counsel

Professional associations

  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Chancery Bar Association,
  • London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association
  • YFLA Member

Qualifications

  • BPTC (BPP London) – Outstanding
  • GDL (BPP London) – Distinction
  • BSc Politics (University of Bristol)
  • Award for outstanding performance on the BPTC – Inner Temple
  • Exhibition Scholarships for BPTC and GDL – Inner Temple
  • First prize, Individual Mediator – International Academy of Dispute Resolution International Law School Mediation Tournament 2012, Chicago
  • First prize, Individual Mediator and first prize, Mediation Team – UK Law Schools Mediation Competition 2012

CSR

Sri regularly appears in the Chancery Division urgent applications court representing litigants-in-person pro bono as part of the Chancery Litigants in Person Scheme (CLIPS).

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