Year of call: 2011
E: ihiggins@3vb.com

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Named by Legal 500 as one of the top 10 Commercial Litigation Juniors under 8 years call, Ian is a former solicitor with substantial experience in international arbitration and banking disputes.

He spent much of the last two years acting on behalf of Claimants in the RBS Rights Issue Litigation (one of The Lawyer’s top 10 cases of 2017), led by Jonathan Nash QC, Matthew Parker, and Peter de Verneuil Smith.

Described as “extremely user-friendly, responsive and very hardworking” (Legal 500 UK 2016), his recent led work has included:

  • a trial spanning eight weeks in the Chancery Division regarding a failure to take reasonable care on the sale of an oilfield (Rosserlane & Swinbrook v Credit Suisse International [2015] EWHC 384 (Ch)), part of a team led by Jeremy Cousins QC, and the subsequent appeal, led by Ali Malek QC and Ewan McKendrick QC [2017] EWCA Civ 91;
  • an appeal from a four-day jurisdictional application in the Commercial Court (in which Ian also appeared), relating to a power station in Tanzania dealing with issues of forum non conveniens and the effect of FNC waiver clauses (Standard Chartered Bank and others v IPTL and others [2016] 2 All ER (Comm) 740; [2016] EWCA Civ 411; [2016] All ER (Comm) 233; [2015] EWHC 1640 (Comm), led by Matthew Hardwick QC);
  • the jurisdictional phase of an ICC arbitration under a joint venture contract in relation to the refusal of a mining licence over copper and gold deposits at Reko Diq, in Pakistan (Tethyan Copper Company Pty Limited v Government of Balochistan), part of a team led by Cherie Blair QC.
  • acting for the Respondent to a very substantial Manila-seated ICC arbitration arising out of the failure of a joint venture in the renewable energy sector (led by Andrew Onslow QC);

Ian is regularly instructed as sole counsel in a variety of High Court and County Court matters, including general banking work, guarantees, professional negligence claims, possession and insolvency issues, and sales of goods cases.  He has particular experience in cases of alleged mis-selling of interest rate protection products, and undertook a part-time secondment to a major bank in early 2014, where he worked with the in-house legal teams dealing with claims for consequential loss.  He has appeared unled for the hearing of applications before the Court of Appeal and the Commercial Court.

He has recently been instructed as sole counsel in an LCIA arbitration arising out of a guarantee, two related ad hoc arbitrations arising out of two charter-parties, and in an ad hoc arbitration between two overseas parties relating to the provision of IT services.

Before coming to the Bar, Ian was a solicitor in the disputes department of White & Case LLP in London specialising in substantial commercial arbitrations. Ian has also held posts at the School of Oriental and African Studies as a part-time tutor in Equity, and as Teaching Fellow at the Faculty of Laws, UCL.


“Extremely user-friendly, responsive and very hardworking”.  Legal 500 UK 2016

Legal 500 UK 2016

Ian's recent led cases include:

two related Commercial Court actions regarding the operation and termination of a distributorship agreement (led by Andrew Sutcliffe QC);

a four-day jurisdictional application in the Commercial Court, dealing with issues of forum non conveniens and the effect of FNC waiver clauses (Standard Chartered Bank and others v IPTL and others [2015] EWHC 1640 (Comm), led by Matthew Hardwick QC), and the subsequent appeal [2016] EWCA Civ 411;

a trial in the Chancery Division spanning eight weeks in late 2014, regarding an alleged failure to take reasonable care to obtain a proper price on the sale of an interest in the largest onshore oilfield in Azerbaijan (Rosserlane & Swinbrook v Credit Suisse International [2015] EWHC 384 (Ch), part of a team led by Jeremy Cousins QC), and the subsequent appeal led by Ali Malek QC and Ewan McKendrick QC [2017] EWCA Civ 91;

the jurisdictional phase of a significant ICC arbitration under a joint venture contract in relation to the refusal of a mining licence over copper and gold deposits at Reko Diq, in Pakistan (Tethyan Copper Company Pty Limited v Government of Balochistan), part of a team led by Cherie Blair QC

acting for the Respondent to a very substantial Manila-seated ICC arbitration arising out of the failure of a joint venture in the renewable energy sector (led by Andrew Onslow QC); and

a $1.3m claim in the Commercial Court relating to oil trading (Proton Energy v Orlen Lietuva [2014] 1 All ER (Comm) 972; [2013] EWHC 2872; led by Christopher Harris).

an appointment in October 2012 as junior counsel to the Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards, led by Rory Phillips QC and David Quest QC, assisting the Commission's investigation into the collapse of HBOS as a specialist advisor.

As sole counsel, Ian's work has included:

acting in an ad hoc arbitration between two overseas parties relating to the supply of IT professionals under a staff augmentation agreement.

acting in relation to proposed appeals from and challenges to an English arbitration award under s.68 and s.69 of the Arbitration Act 1996.

acting in two related English-seated ad hoc arbitrations arising out of two charter-parties;

acting in a €2m LCIA arbitration regarding a guarantee;

advice in relation to a $2.5m ICC arbitration arising out of a share purchase transaction in the Middle East; and

acting in an ad hoc English arbitration arising out of an alleged breach of an agency agreement.

a variety of High Court and County Court matters, including general banking work, guarantees, professional negligence, PPI claims, possession and insolvency issues, and sale of goods cases. Ian appears at interim and final hearings, drafts pleadings and provides advice.

Before coming to the Bar, Ian was a solicitor in the disputes department of White & Case LLP in London specialising in substantial commercial arbitrations. Selected cases included:

Acting for the Claimant in a $250m London seated ICC arbitration arising out of the purchase of a very substantial energy infrastructure asset in Eastern Europe;

Acting for the Respondent in a €10m London seated ICC arbitration arising out of a contract for the supply of goods and services to an oil refinery;

Acting for the Respondent in the jurisdictional challenge of a $50m ICC arbitration brought in Zurich, in relation to a Middle Eastern power plant project;

Acting for the Respondent to a US$10m Singapore seated ICC arbitration arising out of an investment in the telecommunications sector of a South-East Asian state.

Acting for a FTSE 100 company in relation to a dispute about a very substantial IT contract.

While at White & Case, Ian spent six months working in the Moscow office on a range of contentious and non-contentious matters, and devised and delivered a course of lectures on English law to undergraduate and post-graduate students at the Moscow State University of International Relations (MGIMO) and the Moscow State Academy of Law (MGUA). Ian spent a further six months in the firm's Hong Kong office, dealing with a variety of disputes including a Singapore-seated ICC arbitration.

LPC, Oxford Institute of Legal Practice (Distinction) (2007)

LLM International Business Law (Distinction), University College London (2006)

BA (First Class Honours), Law, University College Oxford (2005)

Times Law Awards, 2010 (second place)

Field Seymour Parkes prize for the top mark in Property Law and Practice (joint), OXILP, 2007

Winner, UCL Senior Mooting Competition, 2006

Joseph Hume Scholarship, UCL, 2005

Quadrant Chambers Prize for International Trade, Oxford, 2005

Books

Kramer & Higgins, "Bewigged and Bewildered – A Guide to Becoming a Barrister in England and Wales” (3rd ed, Bloomsbury, 2016)

Contributor to Bullen, Leake & Jacob's Precedents of Pleadings (18th ed, 2016) (chapters on guarantees, mortgages and undue influence)

Contributor to Paget's Law of Banking (eds Ali Malek QC and John Odgers QC, 14th edn, 2014).

Contributor to Key Authorities in Banking Law 2011-2012 (eds Sonia Tolaney QC, Adam Kramer and Christopher Harris, Sweet & Maxwell 2013).

Articles 

Book review of Jan Paulsson, ‘The Idea of Arbitration’: (2015) 78(5) MLR 883

"Out of the shadows? Global regulation's response to ‘Shadow Banking'" (with Michael Blair QC), Lexis PSL Financial Services (2013)

"Recent Developments in the Law of Privilege" (2011) 26 Journal of International Banking Law and Regulation 188

"A blast from the past: credit default swaps, vires, & exclusive jurisdiction agreements" (2010) NLJ 7423

"Issue estoppel, enforcement, and Diag Human v Czech Republic" (Practical Law Company, August 2014)

Gray's Inn

Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)

Chancery Bar Association