Christopher is a commercial junior specialising in commercial litigation and arbitration. He has particular experience in banking and finance, commercial contractual disputes, professional negligence, insolvency, civil fraud and conflict of laws.
Christopher is regularly instructed as junior counsel in complex and high value commercial matters, often involving an international element. He has been led in arbitrations, the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Christopher also has substantial experience as sole advocate at hearings and trials in the County Court and High Court, with particular emphasis on banking and commercial disputes. He undertakes a variety of written work (led and unled), including drafting pleadings and advising on all areas of commercial law.
Notable reported cases in which Christopher has been instructed include VTB Capital plc v Nutritek International Corp  UKSC 5, Deutsche Bank AG v Comune di Savona  EWHC 1013 (Comm), Dexia Crediop Spa v Comune di Prato  EWCA Civ 428, and Secure Capital SA v Credit Suisse AG  EWCA Civ 1486. Christopher is a contributor to Paget's Law of Banking (14th edn, ed. Ali Malek QC and John Odgers QC).
‘Recent years have seen a slew of excellent juniors make silk, and still the junior members are very talented indeed.’
Legal 500 UK 2014
3 Verulam Buildings is a ‘first-rate set’ with ‘a range of very bright counsel, particularly at the junior end‘.
Legal 500 UK 2014
Banking and finance disputes form a core part of Christopher’s practice. He is regularly instructed for banking work, both individually and as a junior. His banking and financial services practice encompasses a broad range of banking disputes, including both retail and investment banking. Christopher has considerable experience of disputes relating to derivatives, guarantees, bank lending, and also of the jurisdictional and conflicts aspects of banking disputes. Christopher is a contributor to Paget's Law of Banking (14th edn, ed. Ali Malek QC and John Odgers QC).
Examples of notable reported cases include:
- Secure Capital SA v Credit Suisse AG  EWCA Civ 1486, the leading authority concerning contractual rights against issuers of bearer notes in the international securities market held via an international central securities depository (led by Adrian Beltrami QC in the High Court and Court of Appeal);
- Dexia Crediop Spa v Comune di Prato  EWCA Civ 428, the leading authority concerning ISDA related interest rate swap litigation between Italian municipalities and banks (led by Jonathan Davies-Jones QC in the High Court and Court of Appeal);
- Deutsche Bank AG v Comune di Savona  EWHC 1013 (Comm), acting for the successful applicant in a jurisdiction dispute concerning the interpretation of an English exclusive jurisdiction clause in an ISDA Master Agreement and an Italian exclusive jurisdiction clause in an advisory contract governed by Italian law (led by Jonathan Davies-Jones QC);
- VTB Capital plc v Nutritek International Corp  UKSC 5, representing the Second Defendant in one of the leading cases to address piercing the corporate veil and forum non conveniens in the context of VTB's $185 million claim in deceit and conspiracy (led by Michael Lazarus in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court).
Examples of other notable instructions and recent experience include:
- LBIE v DZ & BNYM, acting for the Bank of New York Mellon in Lehmans related litigation concerning repo transactions (as part of a counsel team led by Sonia Tolaney QC);
- acting as junior in ongoing litigation defending a bank against an alleged £90 million claim in fraud and negligence in respect of a property development project;
- instructed as junior in Commercial Court litigation between international parties concerning a bank’s entitlement to negative declaratory relief based on the terms of an ISDA master agreement;
- instructed in relation to a dispute concerning the correct construction of an obligation to lend under a multi-million dollar loan agreement (led by Richard Salter QC);
- acting as sole counsel for a charity in the context of restitution claims arising out of interest charged under a multi-million pound commercial credit agreement;
- Rees v Clydesdale, acting for the bank successfully defending allegations of professional negligence and breach of contract in connection with life insurance (led by James MacDonald);
- seconded to HSBC in 2011 and 2012, assisting the bank on a number of matters, particularly in relation to PPI and IRS mis-selling allegations, both in court and as a member of the bank's in-house legal team.
Christopher has experience both acting as junior counsel and as sole counsel across a wide range of commercial disputes. Notable instructions include:
- instructed as part of a counsel team on a matter involving a $200 million worldwide freezing order in the High Court (led by Andrew Hochhauser QC);
- VTB Capital plc v Nutritek International Corp  EWHC 2842 (Ch), concerning the admissibility of expert evidence in relation to a jurisdiction dispute (led by Cyril Kinsky QC);
- VTB Capital plc v Nutritek International Corp  UKSC 5, representing the Second Defendant in one of the leading cases to address piercing the corporate veil and forum non conveniens in the context of VTB's $185 million claim in deceit and conspiracy (led by Michael Lazarus in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court);
- a substantial LCIA arbitration concerning a construction project in Russia, successfully defending fraud claims for damages claimed in hundreds of millions of dollars (led by Toby Landau QC and Jonathan Davies-Jones QC);
- Pagel v Farman  EWHC 2210 (Comm), a Commercial Court trial involving allegations of unjust enrichment and misrepresentation between partners in a hedge fund (led by Nicholas Elliott QC);
- acted for claimants in a substantial unjust enrichment and fault-based claim brought in Bermuda in the context of Madoff litigation (led by Adrian Beltrami QC);
- NCP v Barrington-Fuller (12 February 2016), acted as sole counsel for NCP in the High Court trial of its claim under a contractual indemnity;
- acting as sole counsel securing summary judgment in the High Court against a convicted fraudster for nearly £1 million;
- instructed in a claim involving the alleged misuse of confidential information pursuant to a multinational conspiracy to obtain an illegitimate ‘springboard’ advantage (led by Andrew Sutcliffe QC).
In 2013 and 2014 Christopher was instructed as a consultant barrister to the Serious Organised Crime Agency in relation to complex and high value civil recovery proceedings.
Christopher has experience of acting in disputes concerning the liability of professionals. He has acted both for claimants and defendants, particularly in claims involving lawyers and accountants.
Notable cases and recent experience includes:
- DPL v Geldards, acting for the defendant solicitors in a multimillion pound professional negligence claim, struck out following the claimant’s failure to provide security for costs following the defendant’s successful application (led by Andrew Sutcliffe QC);
- RPL v McCarthy Tétrault, acting for an energy company in a multimillion dollar claim against allegedly negligent solicitors responsible for conducting due diligence and verification in connection with the company's listing on AIM (led by Andrew Sutcliffe QC);
- acting in claims against solicitors involving allegations of negligence, breach of contract and fiduciary duty in the context of an extensive mortgage fraud (led by Andrew Sutcliffe QC).
BCL, New College, University of Oxford - Distinction (2009)
MA in Jurisprudence, New College, University of Oxford - First (2008)
Scholar, Honorary Senior Scholar and Wallace Scholar of New College, Oxford
Jules Thorn Scholar of the Middle Temple
Winner of the Middle Temple Rosamund Smith Mooting Competition (2010)