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

Described in the directories as “Always excellent”, “extremely bright” and “very hands-on and user-friendly” and a “[v]ery thoughtful lawyer whose drafting is first rate” (Legal 500 2021), Ian is ranked in Commercial Dispute Resolution (Chambers and Partners 2021), and Banking and Finance (Legal 500 2021).

His recent led work has included the RBS Rights Issue Litigation, one of The Lawyer’s top 10 cases of 2017 (part of a team led by Jonathan Nash QC), resisting a $1.5bn freezing order on behalf of a third party (led by Adrian Beltrami QC), and appearing in the Court of Appeal on a case regarding asymmetric jurisdiction clauses under the Brussels Recast Regulation (led by David Joseph QC and Adam Kramer).  He is comfortable appearing unled or as part of a larger team, taking advantage of his experience as a solicitor.

He has substantial experience of large-scale international arbitration, both as a solicitor and as counsel. Ian was recently sole counsel in a $3m London-seated LCIA arbitration arising out of a consultancy agreement, and sole English co-counsel in a Vienna-seated commercial arbitration governed by English law, and has experience of court applications connected to arbitration.  He is also a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Ian’s cases often have a banking or finance dimension. He undertook a part-time secondment to a major bank in the early part of his career, where he worked with the in-house legal teams dealing with claims for consequential loss arising out of alleged interest rate swap mis-selling.  He is a contributor to Paget’s Law of Banking, and co-editor of Byles on Bills of Exchange and Cheques (30th edn). He also has experience of a range of insolvency matters.

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.


“Calm and unflustered and handles clients very well”.

Legal 500 UK 2018

“A very promising junior with an exceptional eye for creative solutions”. Legal 500 UK 2017

Legal 500 UK 2017

ArcelorMittal USA v Ruia and others – (Commercial Court) – Acting for VTB Bank PJSC in successfully resisting a $1.5 billion worldwide freezing order against an Essar Group holding company, on the basis of the prejudice which would be caused to VTB as an innocent third party. [2020] EWHC 740 (Comm), led by Adrian Beltrami QC.

Etihad Airways PJSC v Air Berlin PLC (Commercial Court / Court of Appeal) – Acting for the German insolvency practitioner of Air Berlin PLC in seeking to challenge the jurisdiction of the English court under the Brussels Regulation in relation to an underlying €2bn dispute in the German courts.  First instance decision at [2020] QB 793; [2019] EWHC 3107 (Comm), appeal at [2020] EWCA Civ 1707 (first English appellate decision on the applicability of asymmetric jurisdiction clauses to Art 31(2) of the Brussels Recast Regulation).  Led by David Joseph QC and Adam Kramer.

Anon – acting in a Part 8 claim dealing with the consequences of the insolvency of a major company on the factoring arrangements between its supplier and finance provider.   Led by Richard Edwards QC.

Anon (pre-action) advising a customer in a dispute with a bank regarding an irrevocable standby letter of credit in circumstances where the original had been lost.

Anon (pre-action) advising in relation to potential injunctive relief arising out of the financing arrangements for the fit-out of substantial commercial property (led by Andrew Onslow QC).

X v A Bank (pre-action) – advising in relation to potential claims against a bank arising from the freezing of a customer’s accounts.

Ecology Support Services v Hill & others (Commercial Court) - acting for 28 individual Defendants to claims under purported loans arising out of an environmental investment/tax mitigation scheme. The Defendants said that they were the victims of frauds.  There were a number of judgments: [2018] EWHC 3718 (Comm) (case management), [2019] EWHC 3144 (Comm) (security for costs); [2019] EWHC 3145 (Comm) and [2019] EWHC 3146 (Comm) (costs).  A four week trial of test cases was listed for late 2020 but the case settled. Led by Peter de Vernueil Smith QC.

Awbury v Karson (Commercial Court) - acted for a structurer of complex financial transactions in the early parts of a claim for injunctive relief to restrain the misuse of confidential information, and damages.  Led by David Head QC.

Anon (Chancery Division) - acted for an individual facing claims of dishonest assistance in a breach of trust arising out of an alleged pensions liberation scheme.  Led by Farhaz Khan.

Anon (Chancery Division) - successfully striking out a £2m claim against a major bank arising out of the direct debit guarantee.

Anon (Chancery Division) - acting for a provider of e-wallets in relation to claims against funds held on behalf of a dissolved customer.

The RBS Rights Issue Litigation - long running group action claiming compensation for allegedly untrue and misleading statements and wrongful omissions in RBS’s 2008 rights issue prospectus.  The claim settled on the eve of trial in 2017, but matters arising out of the settlement continued. Reported interlocutory decisions include [2017] 1 WLR 3539; [2017] EWHC 463 (Ch) (disclosure of details of third party funders and ATE providers), [2015] EWHC 3433 (Ch) (expert evidence and adjournment of trial).  Part of a team led by Jonathan Nash QC, subsequently led by Ben Valentin QC.

Doran v Paragon Personal Finance Ltd [2018] ECC 32 - trial of a claim under s.140A of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 raising questions about the proper application of the Supreme Court decision in Plevin and the proper limitation period applicable in cases of single-event unfairness.

HM Estates v Clydesdale Bank (Oxford County Court) - successful application to strike out allegations of economic duress.

Standard Chartered Bank and others v IPTL and others - 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 ([2016] 2 All ER (Comm) 740; [2016] EWCA Civ 411; [2016] All ER (Comm) 233; [2015] EWHC 1640 (Comm), led by Matthew Hardwick QC).

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.

ArcelorMittal USA v Ruia and others – (Commercial Court) – Acting for VTB Bank PJSC in successfully resisting a $1.5 billion worldwide freezing order against an Essar Group holding company, on the basis of the prejudice which would be caused to VTB as an innocent third party.  [2020] EWHC 740 (Comm). Led by Adrian Beltrami QC.

Senna v Henderson  - Acting for various parties facing allegations of fraud and economic torts.  [2020] EWHC 3345 (QB).  Led by Rajesh Pillai QC.

Anon (Chancery Division) - acting for an individual facing claims of dishonest assistance in a breach of trust arising out of an alleged pensions liberation scheme. Led by Farhaz Khan.

Ecology Support Services v Hill & others (Commercial Court) - acting for 28 individual Defendants to claims under purported loans arising out of an environmental investment/tax mitigation scheme. The Defendants said that they were the victims of frauds.  There were a number of judgments: [2018] EWHC 3718 (Comm) (case management), [2019] EWHC 3144 (Comm) (security for costs); [2019] EWHC 3145 (Comm) and [2019] EWHC 3146 (Comm) (costs).  A four week trial of test cases was listed for late 2020 but the case settled. Led by Peter de Vernueil Smith QC.

Anon (County Court) - acting for an employer in a claim to recover £50,000 of dishonestly claimed expenses.

Ian has experience of advising on and appearing in relation to a wide range of matters involving corporate and personal insolvency:

  • A bankruptcy application against a judgment debtor giving rise to COMI issues.
  • An urgent ex parte application for an injunction to restrain the presentation of a winding up petition in the High Court.
  • Appearing in winding-up proceedings in the High Court on behalf of a petitioning creditor.
  • Advising a bankrupt in relation to the potential liabilities of her trustee in bankruptcy.
  • Advising a major accountancy firm in relation to claims alleging historical wrongdoing by insolvency office-holders.
  • An application to annul a bankruptcy order.
  • Acting for administrators on an application to extend the administration.
  • Advising liquidators on a potential claim against a company’s former directors.
  • Appearing in the High Court on behalf of a creditor to oppose a bankruptcy application on the basis that the proposed bankrupt’s Centre of Main Interests (COMI) was not the UK. 

ArcelorMittal USA v Ruia and others – (Commercial Court) – Acting for VTB Bank PJSC in successfully resisting a $1.5 billion worldwide freezing order against an Essar Group holding company, on the basis of the prejudice which would be caused to VTB as an innocent third party. [2020] EWHC 740 (Comm), led by Adrian Beltrami QC.

Etihad Airways PJSC v Air Berlin PLC (Commercial Court / Court of Appeal) – Acting for the German insolvency practitioner of Air Berlin PLC in seeking to challenge the jurisdiction of the English court under the Brussels Regulation in relation to an underlying €2bn dispute in the German courts.  First instance decision at [2020] QB 793; [2019] EWHC 3107 (Comm), appeal at [2020] EWCA Civ 1707 (first English appellate decision on the applicability of asymmetric jurisdiction clauses to Art 31(2) of the Brussels Recast Regulation).  Led by David Joseph QC and Adam Kramer.

Anon (pre-action) – acting in a Part 8 claim dealing with the consequences of the insolvency of a major company on the factoring arrangements between its supplier and finance provider.  Led by Richard Edwards QC. 

Anon (Queen’s Bench Division) – acting unled for the defendant in a claim arising out of work done on a website.

Ivanhoe Mines v Gardner (Commercial Court) – Successfully resisted an application to set aside judgment on the basis that although the defendant had not known of an earlier hearing, that was because he had deliberately made it difficult for the claimant to contact him. [2019] EWHC 3142 (Comm).  Subsequently obtained urgent ex parte freezing injunction.

SPC Ltd v GAMA & others v Dryden (Commercial Court) – acted for the Part 20 Defendant in claims arising out of the management of a private jet. Two week trial listed for January 2020, settled in December 2019. Led by Jonathan Davies-Jones QC.

Anon (Chancery Division) - acting for an individual facing claims of dishonest assistance in a breach of trust arising out of an alleged pensions liberation scheme.  Led by Farhaz Khan.

Awbury v Karson (Commercial Court) - acted for a structurer of complex financial transactions in the early parts a claim for injunctive relief to restrain the misuse of confidential information, and damages. Led by David Head QC.

Ecology Support Services v Hill & others (Commercial Court) - acting for 28 individual Defendants to claims under purported loans arising out of an environmental investment/tax mitigation scheme. The Defendants said that they were the victims of frauds.  There were a number of judgments: [2018] EWHC 3718 (Comm) (case management), [2019] EWHC 3144 (Comm) (security for costs); [2019] EWHC 3145 (Comm) and [2019] EWHC 3146 (Comm) (costs).  A four week trial of test cases was listed for late 2020 but the case settled. Led by Peter de Vernueil Smith QC.

RBS Rights Issue Litigation- long running group action claiming compensation for allegedly untrue and misleading statements and wrongful omissions in RBS’s 2008 rights issue prospectus.  The claim settled on the eve of trial in 2017, but matters arising out of the settlement continued. Reported interlocutory decisions include [2017] 1 WLR 3539; [2017] EWHC 463 (Ch) (disclosure of details of third party funders and ATE providers), [2015] EWHC 3433 (Ch) (expert evidence and adjournment of trial).  Part of a team led by Jonathan Nash QC, subsequently led by Ben Valentin QC.

Awbury v Karson (Commercial Court) - acted for a structurer of complex financial transactions in the early parts a claim for injunctive relief to restrain the misuse of confidential information, and damages.  Led by David Head QC.

Rosserlane & Swinbrook v Credit Suisse International - a trial spanning eight weeks in the Chancery Division regarding a failure to take reasonable care on the sale of an oilfield [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.

Standard Chartered Bank and others v IPTL and others - 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 ([2016] 2 All ER (Comm) 740; [2016] EWCA Civ 411; [2016] All ER (Comm) 233; [2015] EWHC 1640 (Comm), led by Matthew Hardwick QC).

Ilkerler v Perkins and Perkins v Ilkerler - two related Commercial Court actions regarding the operation and termination of a distributorship agreement (led by Andrew Sutcliffe QC [2015] EWHC 2006 (Comm); [2016] EWCA Civ 517).

Proton Energy v Orlen Lietuva - a $1.3m claim in the Commercial Court relating to oil trading, ([2014] 1 All ER (Comm) 972; [2013] EWHC 2872, and earlier summary judgment application [2013] EWHC 334 (Comm); [2013] 1 CLC 389), led by Christopher Harris.

Ecology Support Services v Hill & others (Commercial Court) - acting for 28 individual Defendants to claims under purported loans arising out of an environmental investment/tax mitigation scheme. The Defendants said that they were the victims of frauds.  There were a number of judgments: [2018] EWHC 3718 (Comm) (case management), [2019] EWHC 3144 (Comm) (security for costs); [2019] EWHC 3145 (Comm) and [2019] EWHC 3146 (Comm) (costs).  A four week trial of test cases was listed for late 2020 but the case settled. Led by Peter de Vernueil Smith QC.

Anon - Advising on a potential very high value arbitration arising out of disputes in the operation of a large open cast mine in West Africa (led by Rajesh Pillai).

Anon - a 5-day $30m UNCITRAL arbitration seated in London arising out of a joint venture for the supply of natural gas, led by Garreth Wong of Bird & Bird LLP (settled on Day 2).

Rosserlane & Swinbrook v Credit Suisse International - a trial spanning eight weeks in the Chancery Division regarding a failure to take reasonable care on the sale of an oilfield [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.

Standard Chartered Bank and others v IPTL and others - 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 ([2016] 2 All ER (Comm) 740; [2016] EWCA Civ 411; [2016] All ER (Comm) 233; [2015] EWHC 1640 (Comm), led by Matthew Hardwick QC).

Tethyan Copper Company Pty Limited v Government of Balochistan - 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, part of a team led by Cherie Blair QC.

Anon - 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).

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

Anon (Commercial Court, LCIA arbitration) - successfully discharging an anti-suit injunction granted ex parte to restrain the respondent from pursuing proceedings in the courts of Saudi Arabia in alleged contravention of an arbitration agreement, then acting in a follow-on LCIA arbitration arising out of a dispute between shareholders. The case settled after a multi-day hearing in December 2019.  Led by Jonathan Davies-Jones QC.

Anon (LCIA arbitration) – sole counsel in a US$3m claim arising out of a consultancy agreement in the aviation sector. Settled the weekend before the merits hearing.

Anon (UNCITRAL arbitration) – advising in relation to $1.2m claim arising from an SPA.

Anon - sole English counsel in a €2.5m Vienna-seated VIAC arbitration arising out of disputed commission payments on the purchase of a large industrial concern in central Europe.

Ivanhoe Mines v Gardner (Commercial Court) – Acting for a claimant seeking to enforce a Tomlin Order from 2008, itself entered into to enforce arbitral consent order.  Obtained order, and resisted set aside on the basis that although the defendant had not known of an earlier hearing, that was because they had deliberately made it difficult for the defendant to contact him. [2019] EWHC 3142 (Comm).  Subsequently obtained urgent ex parte freezing injunction.

Anon - an application to appeal an $18m arbitral award under s.69 of the Arbitration Act, relating to contracts for the purchase of cotton. Led by Nicholas Craig.

Anon - appearing unled in an application to adjourn an ICC final hearing arising out of allegations of fraud in the purchase of a Ukrainian agricultural business.

Anon - Advising on a potential very high value arbitration arising out of disputes in the operation of a large open cast mine in West Africa (led by Rajesh Pillai).

Anon - a 5-day $30m UNCITRAL arbitration seated in London arising out of a joint venture for the supply of natural gas in Eastern Europe, led by Garreth Wong of Bird & Bird LLP (settled on Day 2).

Tethyan Copper Company Pty Limited v Government of Balochistan - 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, part of a team led by Cherie Blair QC.

Anon - 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).

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

Anon - 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.

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

Anon - acting in a €2m LCIA arbitration regarding a guarantee.

Anon - advice in relation to a $2.5m ICC arbitration arising out of a share purchase transaction in the Middle East.

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

While at White & Case LLP:

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.

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

Co-editor (with Jonathan Mark Phillips and Richard Hanke) of Byles on Bills of Exchange and Cheques (30th edn, 2019)

Contributor to Bullen, Leake & Jacob's Precedents of Pleadings (19th ed, 2019) (chapters on guarantees, mortgages and undue influence)

Contributor to Paget's Law of Banking (ed. John Odgers QC, 15th edn, 2018)

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 

“What lenders can do to protect themselves in freezing injunction cases” – PLC’s 3VB Finance Column, May 2020 (with Adrian Beltrami QC)

“The Quincecare Duty: What is it and what should you do about it?” – PLC’s 3VB Finance Column, November 2019

Book review of Grave, McIntosh and Rowan, ‘Class Actions in England and Wales’: Civil Justice Quarterly (2019) 38 CJQ 262

“Not worth the paper they’re written on”: Non-written contracts after Rock Advertising – PLC’s 3VB Finance Column, June 2018

“Cheque imaging: new regulations impose liability on collecting banks to compensate paying customers” (2018) 8 JIBFL 497 (with Jonathan Mark Phillips)

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

Member, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators