Ian Wilson QC is an experienced commercial litigator, specialising in banking and finance (including consumer credit), financial services and regulation, commercial fraud, insurance, insolvency and restructuring, energy disputes and general commercial litigation as well as offshore litigation. He has a strong reputation as a trial advocate and cross-examiner, as well as for his advisory work. He acts principally for banks, insurance companies, financial institutions and insolvency practitioners and has wide experience of financial mis-selling claims and litigation involving fraud and unfair relationship allegations. He has appeared in a number of leading cases, including Paragon Finance v Plevin in the Supreme Court.  

Ian is consistently rated in the directories as a leading practitioner in the fields of Banking and Finance, Financial Services, and Insolvency and Restructuring.  He has been described as “brilliant, both in terms of his drafting and advocacy” (Legal 500 2016) and “very approachable and user-friendly as well as an impressive advocate and a superb cross-examiner” (Chambers & Partners 2018).  His advisory work is described as “excellent and extremely thorough while remaining concise” (Chambers & Partners 2018) and both “technically excellent” and “commercially aware” (Legal 500 2014).  He is “calm and unflappable in the most stressful circumstances” (Chambers & Partners 2015).

Ian is a co-author of Paget’s Law of Banking and the sub-editor and co-author of the banking and finance section of Bullen & Leake on Precedents and Pleading.   He is also Vice-Chair of the London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association.


“Intellectually excellent, unflappable and great both on paper and on his feet.”

Legal 500 UK 2015

“His written advice is excellent and extremely thorough while remaining concise.  He is very approachable and user-friendly as well as an impressive advocate and a superb cross-examiner.”

Chambers & Partners 2018

Ian frequently acts for banks and financial institutions, and has extensive experience of banking litigation, including guarantees and securities, investment management, and swaps and other structured financial products. He is consistently ranked in the legal directories (Chambers and Legal 500) as a leading practitioner in Banking & Finance and Financial Services.

Ian has considerable experience in representing banks in mis-selling claims, fraud trials, payment protection insurance, unfair relationship claims, and multi-jurisdictional disputes.  He is also known for his expertise and experience in consumer credit and regulatory matters. Ian acted in the Paragon Finance v Plevin litigation (concerning PPI and section 140A of the Consumer Credit Act 1974) before Supreme Court, and is currently instructed in a large-scale claim against the financial industry by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme for recoupment of compensation paid to PPI customers.

Recent instructions include:

  • Acting for banks in numerous swaps/derivatives mis-selling claims.
  • Advising for lenders and platform-providers in relation to legal and regulatory aspects of crowd-funding and peer-to-peer lending.
  • Acting in the ongoing “Arck” litigation, concerning various claims arising out of a fraudulent investment scheme.
  • Defending a high-street bank in a high-value conspiracy/fraud claim.
  • Defending a financial institution in the ongoing litigation by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme for the recoupment of PPI compensation payments.
  • Advising insurers in potential claims by retailers for the recoupment of PPI redress payments.
  • Acting for financial institutions in dealing with the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Financial Conduct Authority in relation to the sales of various non-investment insurance products.
  • Advising a financial institution in relation to multiple claims arising out of an overseas asset sale agreement.

Ian is the author of the banking chapter and sub-editor of the banking and finance section in Bullen & Leake, and a co-author of the 14th edition of Paget's Law of Banking (chapters on Unauthorised Payments, Restitution, Proprietary Claims, and Tracing).

Notable cases include:

Chudley v Clydesdale Bank plc [2017] EWHC 2177 (Comm) – Commercial Court trial; acted for the bank as case leader in successfully defending a fraud claim against it by an investor in failed investment scheme. Instructed by Addleshaw Goddard LLP.

Clydesdale Bank plc v Stoke Place Ltd [2017] EWHC 181 (Ch) – Acted for the bank in 3-week trial involving a successful fraud claim by the bank against a company director and former bank official involving allegations of deceit and conspiracy. Judgment obtained for £17m. Instructed by Gateley PLC.

Finch v Lloyds TSB Bank plc [2017] BCLC 34 – Successfully defended the first fixed interest rate loan mis-selling claim to come to trial in England. See also Finch v Lloyds [2016] EWHC 1077 (Ch) (HHJ Bird) - Application to adduce expert evidence successfully resisted. Instructed by TLT.

Summerpark Ltd v Clydesdale Bank plc (2017) – Acted for the defendant bank in a claim relating to the alleged mis-selling of a fixed rate range loan, with a damages claim of over £10million. Instructed by DLA Piper LLP. Case settled shortly before trial.

Financial Services Compensation Scheme v FirstPlus Financial Group & others (2016 – ongoing) – Acting for a lending group in a claim by the FSCS for recovery of compensation payments made to PPI customers. Instructed by Harrison Clark Rickerbys.

Hobson v Clydesdale Bank plc (2016) – Acted for the bank as case leader at a trial of structured product mis-selling claim; claim against the bank was withdrawn mid-trial. Instructed by Addleshaw Goddard LLP.

Plevin v Paragon Finance [2014] UKSC 61 – Acted for Paragon in the leading Supreme Court decision on payment protection insurance and section 140A of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. Instructed by Irwin Mitchell.

Bank of Scotland plc v Waugh [2014] EWHC 2117(Ch); & (No 2) [2014] EWHC 2835 (Ch) – Acted for the Bank of Scotland in a case which dealt with the extent to which the doctrine of estoppel may prevent a mortgagor contending that the mortgage has not been executed as a legal charge. Instructed by Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP.

USA v Abacha [2014] Lloyd’s Rep FC 392; [2014] EWHC 993 (Comm) - Acted for Standard Bank in an application for injunctive relief in support of proceedings in the USA to recover funds misappropriated by former President of Nigeria, General Abacha. Instructed by MacFarlanes LLP.

Platform Funding v Persimmon Homes (2014) – Acted for a mortgage lender in a claim involving multiple properties that developers had wrongfully caused surveyors’ valuations to be inflated to procure lending above true values. Case settled just before trial.  Instructed by Dentons UKMEA LLP.

Dunbar Assets plc v Dorcas Holdings Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 864 - Appeared before the Court of Appeal in a case considering the consequences of a procedural irregularity in the context of a claim for possession of a property standing as security for a £5m debt. Instructed by DLA Piper LLP.

WestLB v Nomura plc [2012] EWCA Civ 495; [2012] All ER (D) 116 (Apr) – Acted for WestLB; the Calculation Agent was found to have acted irrationally in attributing a nil value to the reference fund of $26 million redeemable Notes. Instructed by Macfarlanes LLP.

Rahman v HSBC Bank plc [2012] EWHC 11 (Ch); [2012] All ER (D) 131 - Acted for HSBC in a two-week trial of a £15.5m claim for recovery of commercial loans involving issues under section 140A Consumer Credit Act 1974. Instructed by DLA Piper LLP.

Swotbooks Ltd v Royal Bank of Scotland plc [2011] EWHC 2025 (QB) - Issue of whether the documents presented under a UPC500 letter of credit were discrepant.

Black Horse v Speak [2010] EWHC 1866 (QB) - Leading case on payment protection insurance and related enforcement issues; raised issues under the Consumer Credit (Total Charge for Credit) Regulations 1980.

Spencer v Barclays Bank [2009] All ER (D) 61 - Strike out of a claim by a company director and shareholder on "reflective loss" grounds.

Wilson v Barclays Bank (Lawtel, 14 Dec 07) - Successfully defended a substantial damages claim arising out of an alleged failure to establish an electronic payment facility.

ST Microelectronics NV v. Condor [2006] 2 Lloyd's Rep 525 - Acted for the beneficiary of a trade guarantee in a Commercial Court claim against the guarantor.

Paragon Finance plc v. Pender [2005] 1 WLR 3412 - Court of Appeal test case on the effects of mortgage securitisation, discretionary interest rates and extortionate credit bargains.

Oyston v. Royal Bank of Scotland (2003) – Defended the bank at the 4-week trial of a multi-million pound breach of mandate claim brought by Owen Oyston.

Lloyds Bank v. Shorney [2002] 1 FLR 81; [2002] 1 FCR 673 – Acted for the bank in this Court of Appeal decision considering the extent of the duty of disclosure and the doctrine of material alteration in relation to a bank guarantee.

PT Bank Negara Indonesia v IBL Trading Ltd [2002] EWHC 2493 (QB) – Acted for the bank in his claim for the recovery of assets subject to a proprietary claim.

Pearce v. Lloyds TSB Bank [2001] EWCA Civ 1907 – Acted for the bank in this Court of Appeal decision on the nature and extent of the defence of change of position in the context of a mistaken bank credit.

Ian has been involved in numerous large-scale commercial fraud cases. These include acting for the shipbrokers Clarksons in the Fiona Trust v Privalov litigation, which culminated in a 6-month trial in the Commercial Court. He has considerable expertise in fraud recovery actions, asset tracing, injunctive relief, contempt of court and multi-jurisdictional proceedings.

He recently has been involved in a substantial fraud claim by mortgage lenders against a property developer, a fraud trial by a bank against a company director who conspired to defraud the bank of £17m, and a fraud claim against a bank alleged to have facilitated a large-scale investment scheme fraud. Ian also has very considerable experience in a broad range of contractual and commercial disputes.

Notable cases include:

Chudley v Clydesdale Bank [2017] EWHC 2177 (Comm) – Commercial Court trial; acted for the bank as case leader in successfully defending a fraud claim against it by an investor in failed investment scheme. Instructed by Addleshaw Goddard LLP.

​Clydesdale Bank v Stoke Place Ltd [2017] EWHC 181 (Ch) – Acted for the bank in 3-week trial involving a successful fraud claim against a company director and former bank official involving allegations of deceit and conspiracy. Judgment obtained for £17m. Instructed by Gateley LLP.

Tempo & Maxima v Fortuna (2011-2014) - Litigation in Cayman and the BVI concerning a $500m development in Vietnam; the case involved claims by minority shareholders for breach of a shareholders' agreement, and various company law claims as to the validity of key corporate resolutions. Led by Stephen Phillips QC and Richard Salter QC. Instructed by Maples & Calder in Cayman, and Watson, Farley & Williams in Hong Kong.

Fiona Trust & Holding Corp v Privalov & ots [2010] EWHC 3199; [2011] All ER (D) 73 (Andrew Smith J). [2010] EWHC 3199; [2011] All ER (D) 73 – Very substantial Commercial Court proceedings involving conspiracy and fraud claims against shipping brokers and others for the recovery of commission payments. Ian acted for the UK's largest shipbrokers, Clarksons. Instructed by CMS Cameron McKenna in a 9-month trial led by John Odgers QC.

Fiona Trust & Holding Corp v Privalov & ots [2011] EWHC 1312; [2011] All ER (D) 187 - Supplemental judgment dealing with costs and other consequential issues, including ongoing contribution proceedings.

Fiona Trust & Holding Corp v Privalov & ots [2011] EWCA 1316 - Permission to appeal granted on certain (limited) issues.

Re Highfield Distribution (2008-2014) – Acted for the successful liquidators (Grant Thornton) in misfeasance and asset recover proceedings against a former company director in a case involving the misappropriation of assets and wrongful post-winding up trading; the case has involved various injunctions (including freezing injunctions), civil restraint orders, trials for the determination of beneficial interests and numerous appeals.

Pipavav v Setaf (June 2009) - Application to prevent allegedly fraudulent claim for payment under a refund guarantee. Instructed by Holman Fenwick & Willan.

UK Aid Ltd v Mitchell & ots [2007] EWHC 1052 (Ch) – Acted for KPMG liquidators in claims against directors for misappropriation and diversion of company assets. Successfully obtained summary judgment (David Richards J). The case also involved asset tracing and freezing orders across multiple jurisdictions including Spain, Switzerland, Andorra, Gibraltar, the BVI and the Bahamas. Instructed by Addleshaw Goddard LLP.

UK Aid Ltd v Mitchell & ots [2007] EWHC 1940 (Ch) - Successfully obtained a committal order against one of the company's former directors.

HSBC v 5th Avenue Partners Ltd, Michael Brown & ots (2006) - Acting for investors in a very substantial claim brought by HSBC in respect of the fraudulent misappropriation of the investors' funds. Led by Gregory Mitchell QC. Instructed by Goodman Derrick.

Cantrade Privatbank AG v Fortis Fund Services (Bahamas) Ltd (2004) (part of the Oracle Litigation). Acting for a Swiss bank in relation to proceedings in the Bahamas arising from the liquidation of the Oracle Fund. Led by Stephen Phillips QC and Robert Hildyard QC. Instructed by Holman Fenwick & Willan.

Ian is highly experienced in a broad range of contractual and commercial disputes, with particular expertise in fraud litigation, asset tracing and recovery actions, injunctive relief, contempt of court and multi-jurisdictional proceedings. Among other large-scale commercial litigation cases, he acted for the shipbrokers Clarksons in the Fiona Trust v Privalov litigation, which culminated in a 6-month trial in the Commercial Court. He has also been involved in a substantial fraud claim by mortgage lenders against a property developer.

Chudley v Clydesdale Bank [2017] EWHC 2177 (Comm) – Commercial Court trial; acted for the bank as case leader in successfully defending a fraud claim against it by an investor in failed investment scheme. Instructed by Addleshaw Goddard LLP.

Clydesdale Bank v Stoke Place Ltd [2017] EWHC 181 (Ch) – Acted for the bank in 3-week trial involving a successful fraud claim against a company director and former bank official involving allegations of deceit and conspiracy. Judgment obtained for £17m. Instructed by Gateley LLP.

Tempo & Maxima v Fortuna (2011-2014) - Litigation in Cayman and the BVI concerning a $500m development in Vietnam; the case involved claims by minority shareholders for breach of a shareholders' agreement, and various company law claims as to the validity of key corporate resolutions. Led by Stephen Phillips QC and Richard Salter QC. Instructed by Maples & Calder in Cayman, and Watson, Farley & Williams in Hong Kong.

Renpower Investments Ltd v Larkfleet Ltd [2013] EWHC 800 (QB) 2012-3) - Commercial dispute in relation to a sale and purchase agreement involving the transfer of a solar farm subject to accreditation under the Feed-In-Tariff Regulations.

Fiona Trust & Holding Corp v Privalov & ots [2010] EWHC 3199; [2011] All ER (D) 73 (Andrew Smith J). [2010] EWHC 3199; [2011] All ER (D) 73 - Very substantial Commercial Court proceedings involving conspiracy and fraud claims against shipping brokers and others for the recovery of commission payments. Ian acted for the UK's largest shipbrokers, Clarksons. Instructed by CMS Cameron McKenna in a nine month trial led by John Odgers QC.

Fiona Trust & Holding Corp v Privalov & ots [2011] EWHC 1312; [2011] All ER (D) 187 - Supplemental judgment dealing with costs and other consequential issues, including ongoing contribution proceedings.

Fiona Trust & Holding Corp v Privalov & ots [2011] EWCA 1316 - Permission to appeal granted on certain (limited) issues.

Re Highfield Distribution (2008-2014) - High Court litigation against a former company director for misappropriation and wrongfully continuing to trade post-winding up. Acted successfully for the liquidators (Grant Thornton) in section 212 misfeasance proceeding, and in obtaining various enforcement orders.

Pipavav v Setaf (June 2009) - Application to prevent allegedly fraudulent claim for payment under a refund guarantee. Instructed by Holman Fenwick & Willan.

UK Aid Ltd v Mitchell & ots [2007] EWHC 1052 (Ch) - Acting for KPMG liquidators in claims against directors for misappropriation and diversion of company assets. Successfully obtained summary judgment (David Richards J). The case also involved asset tracing and freezing orders across multiple jurisdictions including Spain, Switzerland, Andorra, Gibraltar, the BVI and the Bahamas. Instructed by Addleshaw Goddard.

UK Aid Ltd v Mitchell & ots [2007] EWHC 1940 (Ch) - Successfully obtained a committal order against one of the company's former directors.

HSBC v 5th Avenue Partners Ltd, Michael Brown & ots (2006) - Acting for investors in a very substantial claim brought by HSBC in respect of the fraudulent misappropriation of the investors' funds. Led by Gregory Mitchell QC. Instructed by Goodman Derrick.

Cantrade Privatbank AG v Fortis Fund Services (Bahamas) Ltd (2004) (part of the Oracle Litigation) - Acting for a Swiss bank in relation to proceedings in the Bahamas arising from the liquidation of the Oracle Fund. Led by Stephen Phillips QC and Robert Hildyard QC. Instructed by Holman Fenwick & Willan.

Ian has acted in various energy disputes, particularly in the context of alternative and renewable energy sources.

Notable cases include:

Renpower Investments Ltd v Larkfleet Ltd [2013] EWHC 800 (QB) - Instructed on the appeal in litigation relating to a sale and purchase agreement involving the transfer of a solar farm subject to OFGEM accreditation under the Feed-In- Tarrifs (Specified Maximum Capacity and Functions) Order 2010.

Enviro Resolutions v Peterborough Renewable Energy Ltd (2012) - Claim concerning the development of a "waste-to-energy" power plant.

Ian has also advised on a dispute arising out of a sale and purchase agreement concerning the acquisition of a company established for the purposes of obtaining OFGEM accreditation for renewable energy production.

Ian is regularly instructed by liquidators, administrators, trustees and receivers, as well as creditor groups, in relation to a range of insolvency matters. He has considerable experience in claims against former directors and others for wrongful trading, preferences, transactions at an undervalue, and misfeasance, as well as in relation to the failure of a complex tax avoidance scheme.  Many of his cases involve aspects of fraud.

He has particular experience in asset recovery actions in the insolvency context, claims by successor practitioners against former insolvency office holders, and in claims involving insolvency practitioner bonds (being one of the few members of the Bar with extensive experience in this area).  He has also recently acted in one of the leading cases concerning corporate capital reductions using the “declaration of solvency” procedure under the Companies Act 2006.

Current instructions include:

  • Acting for liquidators in a misfeasance/breach of fiduciary duty claim against a former administrator in relation to a pre-pack administration.
  • Acting for successor liquidators in a dispute with the ICAEW in relation to late notification under insolvency bonds.
  • Acting for liquidators in a misfeasance/breach of duty claim against a former director in relation to an illegal dividend and insufficient provision for a statement of solvency in the context of a corporate restructuring.
  • Acting for liquidators in a claim against former office holder for fraudulent overcharging and misappropriation.

Recent cases:

LRH Services Ltd (in liquidation) v Trew and others [2018] EWHC 600 (Ch); [2018] All ER (D) 161 (Mar) – Acted for the successful liquidators as case leader in the trial of a claim against the former directors of a company left with onerous lease liabilities following a restructuring involving the reduction of capital using the declaration of solvency procedure under s.643 Companies Act 2006 and the payment of a £21m dividend; the solvency statement and the dividend payment were held to have been invalid and the directors were held to have breached their duties to the company. Instructed by Gateley PLC.

Re FW Mason & Sons Ltd (in creditors’ voluntary liquidation); sub nom Richardson v White [2017] EWHC 1512 (Ch) – Acting for successor liquidators in a misfeasance claim against former liquidators alleged to have been deliberately overcharging the estate. Respondents consented to judgment immediately before trial. Instructed by Enyo Law LLP.

Chudley v Clydesdale Bank [2017] EWHC 2177 (Comm) – Commercial Court trial; acted as case leader in successfully defending a fraud claim against it by an investor in the context of an investment scheme in liquidation. Instructed by Addleshaw Goddard LLP.

Clydesdale Bank v Stoke Place Ltd (In Administration) [2017] EWHC 181 (Ch) – Acted in 3-week trial involving a successful fraud claim against a company director of a company in administration involving allegations of deceit and conspiracy. Judgment obtained for £17m. Instructed by Gateley PLC.

Tempo & Maxima v Fortuna (2011-2014) - Litigation in Cayman and the BVI concerning a $500m development in Vietnam; the case involved claims by minority shareholders for breach of a shareholders' agreement, and various company law claims as to the validity of key corporate resolutions. Led by Stephen Phillips QC and Richard Salter QC. Instructed by Maples & Calder in Cayman, and Watson, Farley & Williams in Hong Kong.

Re Highfield Distribution (2008-2014) – Acted for the successful liquidators (Grant Thornton) in misfeasance and asset recover proceedings against a former company director in a case involving the misappropriation of assets and wrongful post-winding up trading; the case has involved various injunctions (including freezing injunctions), civil restraint orders, trials for the determination of beneficial interests and numerous appeals.

Spencer v Barclays Bank [2009] All ER (D) 61 - Strike out of a claim by a company director and shareholder on "reflective loss" grounds.

UK Aid Ltd v Mitchell & ots [2007] EWHC 1052 (Ch) - Acting for KPMG liquidators in claims against directors for misappropriation and diversion of company assets. Successfully obtained summary judgment (David Richards J). The case also involved asset tracing and freezing orders across multiple jurisdictions including Spain, Switzerland, Andorra, Gibraltar, the BVI and the Bahamas. Led by Stephen Phillips QC. Instructed by Addleshaw Goddard LLP.

Re Mawdley's [2007] EWHC 501 (Ch) - Construction issues arising following the conclusion of a sale and purchase agreement.

Joiner v Robinson & ots [2002] EWHC 90 - Directors' personal liability for wrongful detention of goods, in the context of competing insolvency claims between former co-directors.

Joiner v Robinson & ots [2002] EWCA Civ 160 - Court of Appeal decision dealing with share valuation issues.

Ian is regularly instructed in claims involving financial advisers (including issues of inappropriate portfolio selection and advice), valuers, solicitors (in particular in the context of mortgage and other financial transactions), and other professionals.

Recent instructions include acting for a bank in a claim by a mortgagor alleging negligent valuation and sale, and acting for solicitors in relation to allegations of mortgage fraud. He was also recently instructed in a large-scale claim against solicitors involving allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, conflict of interest, and negligence in relation to the conduct of previous proceedings. A further recent case involved a substantial claim against a property developer in relation to a large-scale mortgage fraud.

Ian has litigation experience in the context of disputes in a number of offshore jurisdictions, including The Bahamas, BVI, Cayman, and the Isle of Man.

Notable cases include:

Henderson v Alico & others (2016) – Isle of Man litigation concerning the deduction of allegedly unlawful commissions from a substantial investment fund held in the form of insurance funds.

Tempo & Maxima v Fortuna (2011-2014) - Litigation in Cayman and the BVI concerning a $500m development in Vietnam; the case involved claims by minority shareholders for breach of a shareholders' agreement, and various company law claims as to the validity of key corporate resolutions. Led by Stephen Phillips QC and Richard Salter QC. Instructed by Maples & Calder in Cayman, and Watson, Farley & Williams in Hong Kong.

Cantrade Privatbank AG v Fortis Fund Services (Bahamas) Ltd (2004) (part of the Oracle Litigation). Acting for a Swiss bank in relation to proceedings in the Bahamas arising from the liquidation of the Oracle Fund. Led by Stephen Phillips QC and Robert Hildyard QC. Instructed by Holman Fenwick & Willan.

Books

Co-author of the 14th edition of Paget on the Law of Banking (chapters on Unauthorised Payments, Restitution, Proprietary Claims, and Tracing).

Author of the banking chapter, and sub-editor of the banking and finance section, Bullen & Leake, Precedents and Pleadings.

Author of further Bullen & Leake chapters on bonds, money lent; co-author of previous editions of the introductory chapter.

Articles

“No need for an expert: mitigating the bank’s risk in derivatives mis-selling cases”: Practical Law (13 December 2017).

“The limits of duties of care to advise customers”: Practical Law (26 July 2016).

"Reclaiming funds following fraud" Lexis @PSL Crime (27 February 2015).

"Debt restructuring: putting the security at risk" [2012] JIBFL 334.

"The taking of security over domestic properties in the UK" [1999] JIBL 1.

Vice-Chair of the London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association.

Pegasus Scholarship, 2001 (Mallesons Stephen Jacques, and the Federal Court of Australia).

Visiting Lecturer in Law, King's College, London, 1994-5.

Middle Temple Diplock Scholarship, 1994.

James William Squire fund law scholarship, Cambridge University, 1990.

Manners Scholarship, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, 1990 (awarded for academic achievement).

Ian is an accomplished pianist and organist and plays to a professional standard.  He is an Associate of the Royal College of Music and a Governor of St Paul's Cathedral School. He is also a trustee of the St Andrew Holborn Charity and is involved in a number of other charitable organisations.