Year of call: 2015 (Qualified as a Solicitor: Australia, 2010; England and Wales, 2015)
E: rzaman@3vb.com

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Named a “Rising Star” in Banking and Finance (Legal 500 UK 2020), Rebecca has almost a decade of experience in commercial litigation and arbitration.  She advises and acts across the range of commercial disputes, with a focus on banking and finance, civil fraud and international arbitration. 

Rebecca is regularly instructed to act as junior counsel in complex and high-value arbitrations and litigation, often raising novel questions of law.  Current and recent highlights include:

  • An ongoing DIFC-LCIA arbitration concerning three major infrastructure projects in the UAE with US$270 million in dispute;
  • Court of Appeal hearing of Chudley v Clydesdale Bank PLC [2019] EWCA Civ 344, which is now the leading case on section 1 of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999; and
  • LRH Services (in liquidation) v Trew [2018] EWHC 600 (Ch), only the third reported case to consider the meaning and effect of the solvency statement procedure under s 643 of the Companies Act 2006.

Rebecca is also regularly instructed as sole counsel in arbitrations, trials and hearings in the High Court and County Court.  Recent highlights include:

  • A 2020 arbitration under the CCEA Rules concerning a £1.3m dispute between a venture capital investor and the software development company in which it invested;
  • Longulf Trading (UK) Limited v Niyazi Onen Gida SAN AS [2019] EWHC 1573 (Comm), acting for a UK company in successful proceedings for a £20m guarantee claim; and
  • Wilson v Kinsella and Anor [2019] 1 WLUK 206 (High Court), successfully resisting an appeal concerning the trial judge’s finding that the claimant builder had repudiated the building contract.  Rebecca also acted for the successful employers in the 4-day trial of the case.

Before 3VB, Rebecca was a solicitor at White & Case in London, where she practised in international arbitration and commercial litigation.  She initially qualified and practised litigation with King & Wood Mallesons in Sydney.

Rebecca was Judge’s Associate to Justice Kenneth Hayne AC of the High Court of Australia for 2011-2012.  She was awarded the Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship to study law at Harvard Law School (LLM, 2013).

In 2019, Rebecca was appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown. 


‘Highly intelligent, great analytical skills, wonderful with clients and definitely a star of the future.’

Legal 500 2021

In 2020, Legal 500 UK identified Rebecca as a “Rising Star” in Banking and Finance. She is described as “Highly intelligent, great analytical skills, wonderful with clients and definitely a star of the future”.

Rebecca advises and acts on all areas of banking law.  Recent and notable instructions include:

  • Instructed by HFW and led by Rajesh Pillai QC, advising a bank on its rights and enforcement options in a US$ 1 billion fraud claim against a Middle Eastern company and its former directors and agents.
  • Instructed by DLA Piper and led by Jonathan Davies-Jones QC, Rebecca advised investors in a Middle Eastern infrastructure project on their rights under contractual and shareholder arrangements and enforcement strategies. 
  • Milton Ashbury v Clydesdale Bank PLC (Claim No: CL-2018-000227, High Court, 2020).  Instructed by DLA Piper and led by Ian Wilson QC, Rebecca advised and acted for the Bank in defending allegations of fraudulent and negligent misrepresentations, economic duress and unconscionability.  Parties successfully compromised the dispute in the lead up to trial.
  • Longulf Trading (UK) Limited v Niyazi Onen Gida SAN AS & Niyazi Onen [2019] EWHC 1573 (Comm): Instructed by K&L Gates as sole counsel acting for a UK company in successful claim proceedings for a £20m guarantee against Turkish guarantors. 
  • Chudley v Clydesdale Bank PLC [2019] EWCA Civ 344:  Instructed by Addleshaw Goddards (with Ian Wilson QC) on appeal from first instance decision on a third party claim for breach of contract. The judgment is the third (and leading) Court of Appeal consideration of the proper interpretation and scope of section 1 of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.  
  • McMinn & Walton v Clydesdale Bank PLC (Claim No: E40MA061, High Court, 2018-2019): Instructed by DLA Piper, Rebecca advised and acted for the Bank in defending an IRHP claim.  Parties successfully compromised the dispute in the lead up to trial.
  • Cyrex Nigeria Barge Limited v (1) Federal Republic of Nigeria (2) Guaranty Trust Bank & (3) Nigerian Ports Authority [2018] EWHC 10 (Comm):  Instructed by Stephenson Harwood LLP as sole counsel acting for an African bank in a case raising issues around third party debt orders and sovereign immunity.  Successfully opposed the imposition of a third party debt order on the bank’s customer, the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
  • Chudley v Clydesdale Bank [2017] EWHC 2177 (Comm) – 2-week Commercial Court trial. Instructed by Addleshaw Goddards (with Ian Wilson QC) in successfully defending the Bank from fraud, negligence, breach of trust and restitution claims made by an investor in a failed investment scheme.
  • In 2017, Rebecca was part of a panel instructed by the Bank of England to address the regulatory consequences of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union.
  • At White & Case: advising on the contentious refinancing of an international airport, including negotiating a resolution with the insurer and existing noteholders.
  • At White & Case: advising a foreign state government on its sovereign debt restructuring, and particularly, on the interaction between public international law and English law issues in relation to certain debt instruments held by another state.
  • Instructed by HFW and led by Rajesh Pillai QC, advising a bank on its rights and enforcement options in a US$ 1 billion fraud claim against a Middle Eastern company and its former directors and agents.
  • Instructed by DLA Piper and led by Jonathan Davies-Jones QC, Rebecca advised investors in a Middle Eastern infrastructure project on their rights under contractual and shareholder arrangements and enforcement strategies. 
  • Milton Ashbury v Clydesdale Bank PLC (Claim No: CL-2018-000227, High Court, 2020).  Instructed by DLA Piper and led by Ian Wilson QC, Rebecca advised and acted for the Bank in defending allegations of fraudulent and negligent misrepresentations, economic duress and unconscionability.  Parties successfully compromised the dispute in the lead up to trial.
  • Longulf Trading (UK) Limited v Niyazi Onen Gida SAN AS & Niyazi Onen [2019] EWHC 1573 (Comm):  Instructed by K&L Gates as sole counsel acting for a UK company in successful claim proceedings for a £20m guarantee against Turkish guarantors. 
  • Chudley v Clydesdale Bank PLC [2019] EWCA Civ 344:  Instructed by Addleshaw Goddards (with Ian Wilson QC) on appeal from first instance decision on a third party claim for breach of contract. The judgment is the third (and leading) Court of Appeal consideration of the proper interpretation and scope of section 1 of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999. 
  • McMinn & Walton v Clydesdale Bank PLC (Claim No: E40MA061, High Court, 2018-2019): Instructed by DLA Piper, Rebecca advised and acted for the Bank in defending an IRHP claim.  Parties successfully compromised the dispute in the lead up to trial.
  • Cyrex Nigeria Barge Limited v (1) Federal Republic of Nigeria (2) Guaranty Trust Bank & (3) Nigerian Ports Authority [2018] EWHC 10 (Comm):  Instructed by Stephenson Harwood LLP as sole counsel acting for an African bank in a case raising issues around third party debt orders and sovereign immunity.  Successfully opposed the imposition of a third party debt order on the bank’s customer, the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
  • Chudley v Clydesdale Bank [2017] EWHC 2177 (Comm): 2-week Commercial Court trial.  Instructed by Addleshaw Goddards (with Ian Wilson QC) in successfully defending the Bank from fraud, negligence, breach of trust and restitution claims made by an investor in a failed investment scheme.
  • At White & Case:  advising on the contentious refinancing of an international airport, including negotiating a resolution with the insurer and existing noteholders.
  • At White & Case:  advising a foreign state government on its sovereign debt restructuring, and particularly, on the interaction between public international law and English law issues in relation to certain debt instruments held by another state.

Rebecca is regularly instructed as junior counsel in commercial arbitration proceedings across a range of regions, fields and institutional rules. Notable instructions include:

  • Junior counsel acting for a UK online retailer of salon-grade electrical beauty products against its Israeli supplier in an ongoing ICC arbitration (with Jane Davies Evans).
  • Junior counsel acting for a subcontractor in an ongoing DIFC-LCIA arbitration concerning three major infrastructure projects in the UAE (with Jane Davies Evans)
  • Junior counsel acting for a contractor in an ongoing UNCITRAL arbitration concerning a major infrastructure project in Kenya (with Jane Davies Evans)
  • Junior counsel acting for a UK distributor in LCIA arbitration against Russian supplier (with Tariq Baloch)
  • Junior counsel acting for a UK hedge fund in LCIA arbitration against Mauritian holding companies concerning investments in India.
  • Junior counsel acting for a subcontractor in an ongoing DIFC-LCIA arbitration concerning three major infrastructure projects in the UAE (with Jane Davies Evans).
  • Junior counsel acting for a contractor in an ongoing UNCITRAL arbitration concerning a major infrastructure project in Kenya (with Jane Davies Evans).
  • Junior counsel acting for a UK distributor in LCIA arbitration against Russian supplier (with Tariq Baloch).
  • Junior counsel acting for an East African state agency in an ongoing UNCITRAL arbitration concerning a road infrastructure project.
  • Junior counsel for an application to the Court of Appeal from a section 68 challenge in the English High Court relating to ICC Awards concerning the termination of contracts to construct a power plant in Kabul, Afghanistan (with Jane Davies Evans).
  • Worked on major ICC arbitration arising out of the delayed completion of a major infrastructure project in Qatar (with Jane Davies Evans).
  • At White & Case: Representing a major European energy provider in a highly complex ICC arbitration relating to the supply of a nuclear power plant, with the difference in dispute calculated at €6 billion.
  • At White & Case: Acting on the LCIA arbitration of a dispute between parties to a joint venture agreement for the development of a broadcasting channel in India.  On this matter, Rebecca worked alongside a leading Indian law firm as co-counsel.

Rebecca previously worked with COMBAR in assisting the Indian Arbitration Forum in developing inaugural best practice guidelines for Indian arbitration practitioners. 

Rebecca regularly acts for both liquidators and directors in litigation arising out of the insolvency of a company.

Recent instructions include:

  • LRH Services (in liquidation) v Trew [2018] EWHC 600 (Ch):  Instructed by Gateley LLP, with Ian Wilson QC.  Acted for the successful liquidator in the trial of a claim against the former directors of a company that fell into insolvent liquidation with substantial onerous lease liabilities following a group restructuring.  The restructuring involved use of the solvency statement procedure under s.643 of the Companies Act 2006, and was only the third case to consider the meaning and effect of s 643. 
  • Duncan Swift and Jeremy Willmont (Joint Liquidators of Witham Contract Manufacturing Ltd) v Whitcomb & ors [CR-2018-001139]:  Instructed by Gateley LLP, with Ian Wilson QC. Junior counsel acting for the former directors and employee of a pharmaceutical manufacturing company resisting a claim brought by the liquidator for contribution. (Parties successfully mediated the dispute.)

Rebecca advises and acts on contract disputes across a range of industries, including:

  • Wilson v Kinsella and Anor [2019] 1 WLUK 206:  Instructed by Mills & Reeve as sole counsel.  Successfully resisted Claimant’s appeal to the High Court from trial judge’s finding that the Claimant had repudiated a building contract.  Rebecca also successfully represented the defendant employers at a 4-day multi-track trial in the County Court, which involved 12 witnesses of fact (9 for the Claimant alone) and surveying experts on each side.
  • Acting for a BVI company in a claim against a UK company for its failure to build and supply demountable buildings to a resort in the Maldives;
  • Advising a supermarket group of its contractual rights and risks in considering whether to proceed with an anticipated transition into a national supermarket network; and
  • Advising an environmental technology company on its prospects of successfully resisting a claim brought against it by a funding broker.

Rebecca is currently instructed by the Pensions Regulator in a complex commercial case concerning a private equity group’s acquisition of the Silentnight business out of administration, stripped of its pension scheme liability.  The Pensions Regulator seeks Contribution Notices under the Pensions Act 2004 for the sum of £96.4m.

In 2019, Rebecca was appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown. 

Rebecca accepts instructions for public/commercial matters on behalf of the government.

Rebecca’s background in public and constitutional law includes:

  • At White & Case:  Acted on behalf of JUSTICE, the Innocence Network UK and the Criminal Appeals Lawyers Association in an amicus curiae intervention in the Supreme Court case of R (on the application of Nunn) v Chief Constable of Suffolk Constabulary [2014] UKSC 37.  The intervention concerned whether and when convicted persons ought to be able to access and test DNA evidence post-conviction, where that evidence had not been tested at trial due to the limitations of DNA technology at the time.
  • At the High Court of Australia:  Worked on a range of public and constitutional law cases, including, most notably, the unsuccessful constitutional challenge brought by tobacco companies to the Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 (Australia) on the grounds that the legislative ban on the use of patented images on cigarette packets was a compulsory acquisition of  property for which compensation must be paid: [2012] HCA 43.
  • At Save The Children eSwatini, Mbabane:  Worked with local counsel to formulate and successfully bring eSwatini’s first ever amicus intervention, raising constitutional grounds for resisting the mass eviction of a community from traditional land.
  • At Mallesons in Sydney:  Worked on teams advising and assisting asylum seekers with administrative and judicial review applications.

Rebecca taught administrative law at the Australian National University (2011-2012) and her postgraduate degree at Harvard Law School focused on comparative constitutional and public law. 

LLM, Harvard Law School (2013)

  • Frank Knox Memorial Fellowship
  • Dean’s Scholar Prize

BA (History) / LLB (first class honours), University of New South Wales (2010)

  • UNSW Law School Alumni Graduand Award for outstanding service to the university community
  • Dean’s List Award for Academic Excellence in an International Mooting Competition
  • Winner of the 2008 Australasian Society for Classical Studies’ competition for best undergraduate paper

Advocacy Prizes

Rebecca competed in a range of national and international advocacy competitions during her LLB at the University of New South Wales.  Highlights include:

  • Second in the World, Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition International Finals in Washington DC (Apr 2008); and an individual advocacy prize at the national Australian competition (Feb 2008).
  • Winner, and awarded Best Speaker in the Final, Australian National Torts Moot (2007)
  • Winner, ALRC Kirby Cup Law Reform Competition (2009)
  • Winner, UNSW Australian Intervarsity Debating Tournament (2010)

Books

'Paget’s Law of Banking' (15th ed, 2018), Chapters 22 (The Paying Bank: Obligations between Bank and Customer) and 33 (Compulsory Disclosure).

'Bullen & Leake & Jacob’s Precedents of Pleadings' (18th ed 2015, 1st Supplement 2017), Supplements to Chapters 13 (Guarantees), 15 (Mortgages and Charges) and 18 (Undue Influence).

Articles

3VB’s finance column, “Is Coronavirus a Material Adverse Change?”, PLC, published online 19 March 2020.

3VB's finance column: “Ignorance is bliss: Limiting a Bank's duty of care”, PLC, published online 22 November 2018.

Of debts and dividends (LRH Services Ltd v Trew), Lexis Nexis, published online, 18 April 2018.

'In Brief: Court of Appeal rejects $US 150m borrower’s attempt to rely on UCTA 1977 (African Export-Import Bank v Shebah Exploration & Production)', Lexis Nexis, published online, 4 July 2017.

'In Brief: Court rejects Rule 3.1(7) application to revoke an order (De La Hija v Lee)', Lexis Nexis, published online, 19 April 2017

‘The limits of duties of care to advise customers: financial entities may rest more easily but not on laurels’ (26 July 2016), Practical Law, published online at http://uk.practicallaw.com/2-631-5125 (with Ian Wilson).

‘To the Ends of the Earth: Public Trust and Private Lives’ (2015) ARDL Quarterly Bulletin, Summer, pp. 1-5.  (Winner of the 2015 ARDL Marion Simmonds QC Essay Competition.)

‘Vive la difference? Convergence and Conformity in the Rules Reforms of Arbitral Institutions: The Case of the LCIA Rules 2014' (2014) 31 Journal of International Arbitration, Issue 6, pp. 701–717 (with Dipen Sabharwal).

“Playing the Ace? Jus Cogens Crimes and Functional Immunity in National Courts’ (2010) 17 Australian International Law Journal 53.

‘Cicero and Tullia: ‘Pietas’ in Late Republican Rome’ (2009) 55(2) Classicum.