Year of call: 1991
E: jmarkphillips@3vb.com

Email the Practice Managers:

SeniorJuniorsPMs@3vb.com

Mark is a senior junior barrister specialising in complex financial disputes with an international dimension.    He sees his role as applying legal and forensic skills to achieve an early commercial result for his clients.  He is recognised in the Legal 500 UK 2015 as a Leading Junior in Banking & Finance litigation and is cited as ‘A refreshingly imaginative thinker.’

Mark’s commercial litigation practice covers the following specialist areas:

  • Banking and Finance
  • Civil Fraud
  • Financial Services
  • Insurance & Reinsurance
  • Professional Negligence

Mark is currently acting for Novo Banco, the “Bridge Bank” successor to Banco Espirito Santo, created by the Bank of Portugal in accordance with the European Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive in an $800m case which raises key issues of jurisdiction and recognition of foreign reconstruction measures.


‘The members of 3 Verulam Buildings have significant expertise in banking litigation.’

Chambers & Partners UK 2015

‘A refreshingly imaginative thinker.’

Legal 500 UK 2015

Mark is experienced in domestic and international banking law including trade finance letters of credit and bills of exchange, security and priority questions, securitizations, syndicated lending, and traditional and electronic payment clearing and settlement systems.

He advises on matters of financial regulation, and has appeared for both prosecution and defence before regulatory tribunals. Dealing regularly with money laundering issues, he advises on the law relating to the proceeds of crime and has advised upon the implications of international economic sanctions.

Banking & Finance: Contentious

Bank resolution and cross border issues – currently representing Novo Banco, the Bridge Bank created by the Bank of Portugal as successor to Banco Espirito Santo, contesting the jurisdiction of the English courts and resisting an $800m claim brought by investors.

Letters of Credit – advising parties in the airline industry in connection with standby letters of credit, jurisdiction and proper law issues, injunction issues.

Advising international bank on terms of counter indemnities.

FX/Insolvency/breach of trust – defence of a claim against a UK bank arising from the alleged misappropriation and breach of trust in respect of funds deposited by an insolvent foreign exchange business.

Derivatives and mis-selling – Defence on behalf of financial institutions of a number of substantial claims alleging mis-selling of interest rate or foreign exchange products.

Advising a middle eastern based multi-national enterprise in connection with $100m plus losses on exotic foreign exchange derivative contracts.

Bills of Exchange – representing an individual sued in England upon a promissory note governed by foreign law and given as security for the re-structuring of trade finance agreements.

Advising the UK administrators of a substantial group on the set-off and timing implications of payments due by promissory notes.

Structured products – advising prospective claimants in connection with alleged mis-management of the reference portfolio for a synthetic CDO (a claim involving significant jurisdictional and proper law issues).

Corporate restructuring – advising various lending interests in connection with the restructuring under foreign law of a multinational business.  Jurisdiction and recognition issues arising under the Judgments Regulation and/or applicable Insolvency regimes, construction of intercreditor agreements and finance documents.

Financial markets – acting for the London subsidiary of a French bank in its successful claim against an Egyptian fund for the balance arising on closing of its position in securities traded in New York.

FX trading – acting for a London based broker recovering balances due from offshore vehicles arising from losses incurred on $400m worth of foreign currency positions.

BVI Insolvency – successfully representing one of the successors under Luxembourg law of Kaupthing Bank Luxembourg resisting an application before the BVI court to set aside a statutory demand upon a BVI company for payment of the balance due on its investment facilities against a background of multi jurisdiction litigation.

Various applications relating to parallel BVI and Hong Kong insolvency proceedings arising from the collapse of a Hong Kong and Chinese commercial group.

Client funds regulations/IOM – advising in relation to Isle of Man proceedings concerning the fate of mixed funds in the hands of the liquidators of the Kaupthing companies.

Performance guarantees – defence of proceedings against Italian banks resisting claims under performance and advance payment guarantees in connection with Moscow construction project.

Solicitors’ and litigation financing – representing lenders in proceedings arising from the collapse and insolvency of a solicitors firm engaged in high volume/low value claims funded under complex and highly engineered financing arrangements supported by the proceeds of conditional fee agreements.  The litigation involved multiple parties, contentious insolvency and challenge to the terms of a pre-packaged insolvency, detailed issues of the efficacy of the security created by the finance agreements against the complex regulatory framework and consumer credit act, as well as the validity of associated insurance products, and claims made upon them.

Representing the lender in proceedings under similar financing arrangements, the validity of which was challenged by the debtor firm.

Acting for lenders in connection with claims under associated insurance products.

Payment and clearing systems – advising a clearing bank in a dispute with a city institution over the fate of funds within the payments system following the collapse of Lehman Bros.

Advising an international hotel group in relation to high-value credit card frauds.

Advising a manufacturing company in relation to losses on electronic banking transaction, fraudulent impersonation and security breaches.

Spread Betting – defence of claims to recover spread betting losses against six individuals, counterclaims for misrepresentations and advice.

Investment advice – claims against financial advisers arising from losses of several million pounds wrongly invested in offshore property funds.

Claims against insurers of financial advisers in administration.

Internet - mandate - fraud Defence of proceedings against a UK bank involving disputed effect of business internet banking mandate, employee fraud against customer, issues of election of remedy.

Direct Debit system Advising and representing a group of companies, then administrators and bankers, in dispute with former franchisees; injunctions restraining abuse of the BACS and direct debit guarantee scheme; insolvency issues.

Advising and representing two banks in injunctive proceedings arising out of alleged fraudulent claims through the credit/debit card system

AIM listing Claim by formerly AIM listed company against its former Nominated Adviser for wrongful termination of their appointment and consequent de-listing of the company.

Bond market Advising and assisting a UK based international bank in connection with multiple proceedings before the Special Court in Mumbai and the Supreme Court in Delhi and arising out of the 1991-2 Bombay bond market scandal.

Investments, trust accounts Advising the Jersey based subsidiary of a London bank in connection with the fraudulent collapse of a Paris-based investment company, resulting in litigation before the Courts in Jersey and Paris.

Cheque fraud - liability of banks Claim on behalf of a leading city solicitors' firm against the collecting and paying bankers of a £1m cheque stolen from them. Linklaters v HSBC [2003] EWHC 1113 (Comm).

Claim by Abu Dhabi based business against a London bank arising from the collection of an apparently stolen French bank draft

Mis-selling/jurisdiction Advising on proper law and jurisdiction issues arising from allegedly negligent advice in relation to off-shore investments by Channel Islands bank.

Defence of a city law firm sued in respect of allegedly negligent advice given as to remedies for the alleged mis-selling to overseas investors of emerging market derivatives.

Bank References Defence of a foreign bank in various proceedings brought against them by casinos and based upon allegedly fraudulent bankers references.

Mark is experienced in domestic and international banking law including trade finance letters of credit and bills of exchange, security and priority questions, securitizations, syndicated lending, and traditional and electronic payment clearing and settlement systems.

He advises on matters of financial regulation, and has appeared for both prosecution and defence before regulatory tribunals. Dealing regularly with money laundering issues, he advises on the law relating to the proceeds of crime and has advised upon the implications of international economic sanctions.

Banking & Finance: Non-contentious

Bank administration Advice to the beneficiary of a financial guarantee provided by a bank going into administration.

Bank merger Advice on the implications for various syndicated loan agreements of the creation by merger of a new European Company under Council Regulation (EC) No 2157/2001 and corresponding principles of universal succession.

Foreign Securitisation Advice in relation to certain aspects of security documents relating to securitisation of foreign mortgage assets.

Trade Finance Non contentious advice in connection with trade finance operations to be conducted by UK subsidiary of overseas bank; regulatory and legal issues.

Money-laundering Advising and assisting two trade associations in connection with the implications of the Third Money laundering directive and preparation on their behalf of a response to a consultation paper issued by HM Treasury.

Gambling and lotteries Advising a UK high street bank as to the legality of and issues raised by a proposed new financial product.

Internet Banking Advising and settling on behalf of a UK bank terms and conditions relating to its provision of internet banking services.

Mark has acted in relation to a large number of domestic and international frauds, frequently involving freezing and other urgent relief. He is used to working closely with insolvency practitioners and forensic accountants at an early stage.

Relevant and interesting cases have included fraudulent banking operations, prime bank instrument and advance fee frauds, bribery and employee frauds.

Solar industry representing the Defendant in proceedings commenced by Chinese based company alleging financial irregularities based upon the non-existence of $500m of government bonds. Multi-jurisdiction litigation (including London, Singapore, Luxembourg).

Bribery/equities traders  advice and representation of a hedge fund in a claim against its former broker arising from alleged bribery of a member of the funds management.

Advice and representation of an IT company in relation to employee fraud and bribery by third parties.

Property fraud Advising a bank from an EU state on insolvency and recovery strategy arising from substantial property fraud; international enforcement issues.

Foreign state Advice and representation of a foreign department of state in relation to a substantial (>US$120m) fraud action, involving parallel civil and criminal proceedings, international criminal restraining orders and multiple jurisdictions.

Representing an insurer in relation to allegedly fraudulent inflation of claims by contractors.

Airline, ticketing fraud and abuse of frequent flyer loyalty schemes.

Prime bank instrument fraud. Successful claim against a west-end solicitors firm arising out of the misappropriation by a consultant of sums deposited with them, pursuant to a prime bank instrument fraud.

Proceedings, including freezing injunctions, on behalf of an accountancy firm against a consultant accused of substantial fraud involving an investigation by the Special Compliance Office of HM revenue and customs.

Claims, including injunctive proceedings, on behalf of a UK bank arising from the mis-appropriation by an agency manager of several million pounds.

BCCI/ICIC liquidations as a junior counsel both in various recoveries actions, and in connection with conspiracy claims advanced in the Cayman Islands.

A large number of Mark’s cases have involved the conduct of disputes or litigation in other jurisdictions including India, Singapore, Hong Kong, France, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and the British Virgin Islands, where he has been a member of the Bar since 2011.  His cases frequently involve complex questions of proper law or jurisdiction, and he particularly enjoys the combination of comparative law and practical management of multi-jurisdiction proceedings.  The nature of Mark’s work means he is accustomed to working with clients, lawyers and experts from around the world.   He is an excellent team player.

Mark has acted for or against a number of professionals including accountants and auditors, surveyors, and insurance brokers. He is most frequently retained in connection with claims against solicitors and barristers. In addition to allegations of professional negligence, these have included claims upon undertakings, for wasted costs, and tort claims including deceit and conspiracy, as well as the operation of the solicitors' compensation fund. He has experience of policy and coverage issues, and of the disputes which can arise between insurer and insured, in connection with successor practices or between successive insurers, and related partnership and authority issues.

Cases include:

Financial Services - claims against financial advisers for losses of several million pounds arising from advice to invest in offshore property funds.

Proceedings against insurers of financial advisers (in administration); policy and coverage issues.

Claim against private wealth division of high street bank for inappropriate investment advice.

Claims on behalf of a bank in administration against solicitors implicated in fraudulent mortgage transactions; Third Party claims against insurers following firm's administration.

Sprecher Grier Halberstam v Martin Walsh [2008] EWCA 1324 De Beer v Kanaar [2002] EWHC 688 (Ch) Successful claim against a west-end solicitors firm arising out of the misappropriation by a consultant of sums deposited with them, pursuant to a prime bank instrument fraud.

Defence of a city law firm sued in respect of allegedly negligent advice given as to remedies for the alleged mis-selling to overseas investors of emerging market derivatives.

Defence on behalf of solicitors of a claim brought against them and leading and junior counsel in relation to the collapse of earlier litigation concerning the allegedly fraudulent mis-use of pension funds.

Successful defence of a specialist firm accused of negligence in connection with the sale on behalf of a charity of a substantial plot of development land, contaminated by landfill.

Defence of a city firm alleged to have been negligent in the de-merger of a business and in connection with an associated IPO.

Defence of a barrister accused of negligence in the conduct of a trial concerning the breach of exclusive distribution agreements.

Defence of a west-end firm alleged to have been negligent in connection with agreements for the retirement of a senior partner of a property firm.

Defence of a west-end solicitor against whom allegations of negligence and breach of fiduciary duty were made arising out of property transactions conducted in the context of injunctive and minority shareholder proceedings.

He is co-editor of Byles on Bills of Exchange and Cheques (27th to 29th editions), where his views have been cited with approval by the Court of Appeal of New Zealand.  For some years he has authored three sections of Bullen Leake and Jacob's Precedents of Pleadings (Bills of Exchange, Cheques and Promissory Notes). Most recently he contributed two chapters to the latest edition of Paget on Banking, dealing with securities.

Inner Temple