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Tony Beswetherick

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Clerks' direct contact:
+44 (0)20 7842 1200
Clerks [at] 20essexst [dot] com

Tony specialises in the fields of insolvency and restructuring, banking and finance, commercial dispute resolution and company law. His practice often involves cases with a cross-border element and with a fraud dimension. 

Tony graduated from Oxford University with a first class degree in modern history and was a CPE, Hardwicke and Sunley scholar at Lincoln's Inn. Tony previously worked as an employed barrister in the Advocacy Group of Denton Wilde Sapte, a major international law firm. Tony is ranked by The Legal 500 and Chambers UK as a leading junior in the field of insolvency and fraud. He is shortlisted for Insolvency/Company Junior of the Year at the Chambers UK Bar Awards 2017.

 

 

Directory quotes

  • "A measured and persuasive litigator." - Legal 500 2017
  • "He will find a straight path through a difficult legal argument which is easy for the judge to follow. He excels in insolvency matters." - Chambers UK 2017
  • "Experienced in cross-border insolvency cases." - The Legal 500 2016
  • "He is very approachable and his knowledge of the law is excellent. His advice has always been spot on." - Chambers UK 2016
  • "His attention to detail and speed of delivery make him invaluable" - Chambers UK 2015
  • "He is very approachable and thorough, and brilliant both on paperwork and in court" - Chambers UK 2015
  • "Experienced in contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters" - The Legal 500 2015
  • "a top notch advocate" - Who's Who Legal 2015
  • "A good reputation across a range of insolvency issues" - The Legal 500 2014
  • "never misses a point or potential argument" - The Legal 500 2011
  • "appears to have the ear of the Bankruptcy and Companies Court registrars" - The Legal 500 2010

Reported decisions

  • LB Holdings Intermediate 2 Limited and others [2017] EWHC 2032 (Ch) – acting for the joint administrators of one of the Lehman Brothers companies in an application for the approval by the Court of the settlement of the multi-billion pound “Waterfall” litigation. 
  • Leman Brothers Europe Limited and another [2017] EWHC 2031 (Ch) – acting for the joint administrators of one of the Lehman Brothers companies in an application for directions as to whether an administrator can make a distribution to shareholders.  
  • Leeds & Anor v Lemos [2017] EWHC 1825 (Ch) - acting for trustees in bankruptcy (led by Felicity Toube QC) in an application clarifying the inter-relationship between legal professional privilege and the powers of trustees in bankruptcy. 
  • Information Management Consultancy Ltd (in liquidation) v (1) B&Q Plc (2) Richard Cullen (LTL 12/7/2017) – successful application to strike out a claim in conspiracy on the basis that the proceedings constitute an abuse of process.
  • Phoenix Group Foundation and (1) Gail Alison Cochrane (2) Stewarts LLP and Harbour Fund II LP [2017] EWHC 418 (Comm) – acting for enforcement receivers in relation to complex multi-party fraud proceedings.
  • CFC 26 Limited and SHG-SH20 Limited v Brown Shipley and Co Limited, KPL European Private Bankers Limited, Concord W1 204 GPS Limited, Concord 204 GPS Limited and Westminster City Council [2016] EWHC 3048 (Ch)  – successful application for summary judgment in respect of a claim in excess of £65 million for alleged unlawful conspiracy.
  • Linvale Investments Limited v Walker [2016] EWHC B15 (Ch) – successfully represented fixed charge receivers at a trial to establish the extent of the property secured by a legal charge.  
  • Ames and Ames v Davies and Others  [2016] EWHC 235 (QB) – successful application by victims of Ponzi scheme for summary judgment upon a claim challenging a settlement agreement on the basis of alleged fraudulent misrepresentations.
  • Re The Sherlock Holmes International Society Limited [2015] EWHC 2882 (Ch) – approach of court to applications for security for costs and the imposition of conditions upon the pursuit of appeal against winding up order.
  • Re Pan Ocean Co Ltd [2015] EWHC 1500 (Ch) – successful applications by creditors to modify relief under the Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations 2006 and to obtain permission to bring arbitration proceedings against an insolvent Korean company.
  • Euro-Asian Oil SA (UK) Ltd v Abilo (UK) Ltd and Others [2015] EWHC 1741 (Comm) – acting for the claimant in an application in the Commercial Court to set aside judgment in a claim for fraud relating to an $18m cargo of oil.
  • Re Salliss; Hunt v Salliss [2014] EWHC 229 (Ch) – challenge to the remuneration of an office-holder and the approach to an application to change the basis of remuneration.
  • Wilson v Dodd and others [2012] EWHC 3727 (Ch) – trial in the Chancery Division of dispute over the existence of partnership and substantial claim for fraudulent misrepresentation.
  • Oliver Morley v Reiter Engineering GmbH & Co.KG [2011] EWHC 2798 (Ch) – successful application to challenge the jurisdiction of the English court.
  • Hellard v Michael and Fairview New Homes Farnborough Ltd [2010] BPIR 418 – application by an office-holder for directions arising from his decision to compromise a claim vested in him.
  • Re Peppard (a bankrupt); Tomlinson v Harrington and Nash [2009] BPIR 331 – trial of claim to set aside transactions at an undervalue and preferences.
  • Revenue & Customs Commissioners v Crossman [2007] EWHC 1585 (Ch) - acting for HMRC in relation to a challenge to a bankruptcy petition on public law grounds

 

Other recent instructions

Insolvency and company

  • Acting (with Stephen Atherton QC) for the secured lenders in relation to African Minerals Limited.
  • Acting for the trustees in bankruptcy of a Greek shipping magnate in proceedings to recover assets held in offshore vehicles.
  • Advising the shareholders in two joint venture companies upon petitions to wind up the companies on the grounds of unfair prejudice.
  • Advising a major bunkers supply company upon claims arising in connection with the insolvency of OW Bunkers.
  • Acting for the provisional liquidators of a company incorporated in the Isle of Man in relation to recognition and subsequent proceedings under the Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations 2006.
  • Acting for the administrators of a plc and various group companies in relation to claims arising from improper treatment of client monies and the misapplication of company funds.
  • Acting for the liquidator of a company pursuing claims to recover significant unlawful directors' loans.
  • Acting for a former director of a building contractor in disqualification proceedings brought by the Secretary of State.
  • Representing an Irish bank in a trial over the COMI of a former Irish financier.
  • Representing the administrators of a technology company in an urgent application for permission to dispense with statutory requirements in order to close the administration and achieve successful a restructuring.
  • Advising the trustees in bankruptcy of an Irish national upon the law applicable to claims to assert ownership to properties located in Ireland and in relation to claims to challenge transactions at an undervalue.
  • Representing the defendants to claims of fraudulent trading brought in the Chancery Division arising out of alleged VAT 'carousel' fraud. 
  • Acting for the joint liquidators of a debt collection company in a Berkeley Applegate Application relating to the distribution of trust monies.

 

Banking and Finance

  • Acting for enforcement receivers in relation to complex multi-party fraud proceedings.
  • Acting for the claimant in ongoing proceedings in the High Court to recover substantial consequential damages from a retail bank arising from the sale of an interest-rate swap.
  • Acting for the claimant in a complex claim against a foreign bank arising from the novation of a mis-sold interest rate hedging product.
  • Acting for an authorised representative in proceedings brought by its principal in connection with alleged breaches of duty in connection with the sale of pension products.
  • Acting for a bank in proceedings in the QBD to enforce guarantees in reliance upon estoppel by convention.
  • Representing the receivers appointed by a mortgagee in opposition to the borrower's application for injunctive relief to restrain the sale of secured properties and for their removal.
  • Acting for two Indian banks in proceedings in the Commercial Court for rectification of bank guarantees (guaranteeing £40 million each).
  • Acting for an equipment finance company in proceedings by a guarantor challenging the guarantee on the basis that it was procured by misrepresentation.

 

Commercial and Arbitration

  • Representing the defendant in consolidated LCIA arbitrations relating to enforceability of agreements alleged to have been procured by bribery of a company director.
  • Acting for the claimants in arbitration proceedings claiming relief in relation to the termination of a vessel pool agreement following the insolvency of a party.
  • Successfully acting for the corporate respondents to a freezing injunction obtained in the High Court in relation to claims alleging conspiracy and fraud.
  • Acting for the successful defendants in a 2-day trial of a claim alleging that the defendants were franchisees of the claimant and had acted in breach of the franchise agreement. 
  • Acting for the licensee of oil well sites in the Republic of Georgia in its claim for substantial damages against the site operator.
  • Acted as sole counsel in an ad hoc arbitration relating to the interpretation of contractual obligations in interlinking leases.
  • Advising an event promoter upon the application of a force majeure clause in an engagement contract in light of the forced cancellation of a concert due to be held in Turkey following an explosion in a mine.
  • Successfully representing the defendants to a claim commenced in the High Court in their application to contest jurisdiction under the EC Council Regulation No. 44/2001 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.  
  • Acting for a defendant in proceedings in the London Mercantile Court relating to the identity of parties to an agreement for the hire of equipment used in the exploitation of an oil well site.
  • Appeared as sole counsel in a LCIA arbitration applying Russian law between two companies in a dispute over the provision of agency services relating to the possible acquisition of a Russian bank.
  • Acting for an insurance brokerage company in proceedings in the Commercial Court relating to obligations under a business transfer agreement.
  • Acting for the defendant in proceedings in the Queen's Bench Division for damages for short-delivery of cement following an event of force majeure.
  • Acting for a manufacturer of glass bottles for medical use in defending a substantial claim for damages in the High Court over the alleged supply of defective goods.
  • Acting for a specialist in the manufacture of prisoner transportation vehicles in its claim in the Queen's Bench Division for consequential losses arising from the late supply of vehicle chassis.
  • Acting for two Indian banks in proceedings in the Commercial Court for rectification of two bank guarantees (guaranteeing £40 million each).
  • Advising a ship charterer in connection with arbitration proceeding following the respondent's entry into Chapter 11 proceedings in the US.
  • One of the team of counsel acting for the respondents to claims worth (Sing) $230 million in a long-running arbitration relating to the construction of an offshore pipelay vessel.

 

Professional negligence

  • Advising a bank in relation to a claim for £4 m against its former solicitors for negligence in relation to forged security documentation.
  • Advising the directors of a plc in a claim against the company's former auditors for negligence in connection with the declaration of unlawful dividends.
  • Acting for the liquidator of a company in a claim against its former solicitors for negligent advice in relation to the validity of security obtained in respect of a loan to a third party.
  • Acting for the shareholders of a company in a substantial claim in professional negligence against a firm of solicitors relating to advice given to the company which subsequently entered liquidation due to the misfeasance of a director.
  • Advising an investor in relation to a claim against a financial advisor for advice in relation to an investment in a carbon offsetting scheme.
  • Representing the proprietor of a nursing home business in a claim for substantial damages for negligence against solicitors who drafted leases and services agreements (led by Zia Bhaloo QC).

 

Publications

  • Co-author of "Reconsidering reflective loss: are creditors barred from recovery?" Comp. Law. 2016, 37(6), 178-183
  • Co-author of the chapter on “Reconstruction and Amalgamation” in Gore-Browne on Companies, a leading practitioners' text.
  • "Interpreting schemes of arrangement: a welcome intervention?"- with Stephen Atherton QC, published in the Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, September 2015
  • Co-author of "Shipping and insolvency: two regimes on a collision course?" published in Recovery Magazine, September 2015
  • "Removal of officeholders" – Insolvency Intelligence, 2011.
  • Contributor to the Sweet and Maxwell Anti-Money Laundering Guide
  • "Distressing changes for landlords"-Estates Gazette, 2013
  • "Held over a barrel?" - Estates Gazette, 2013

 

Seminars

Tony has delivered several seminars for the R3 organisation, including a briefing on the Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations 2006 and a talk upon the powers of insolvency practitioners to challenge orders made in ancillary relief proceedings following the Supreme Court's decision in Nortel.  He was a speaker at the Pinsent Masons Annual Restructuring Conference 2014.

Recent talks and seminars for solicitors include:

  • Proprietary claims and remedies: a refresher
  • Fraud and the insolvency practitioner's toolkit.
  • Shipping and insolvency issues.
  • Establishing insolvency after Eurosail.
  • A practical introduction to the Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations 2006.
  • Unfair prejudice petitions - the nuclear option?

 

Appointments and Society Memberships: 

  • Member of the Chancery Bar Association
  • Member of the Commercial Bar Association
  • Member of the Personal Insolvency Legal Advice and Representation Scheme
  • Member of the Fraud Lawyers Association

 

 

Quotes: 

"A measured and persuasive litigator." Legal 500 2017

"He will find a straight path through a difficult legal argument which is easy for the judge to follow. He excels in insolvency matters, he really does." Chambers & Partners 2017

"Experienced in cross-border insolvency cases." Legal 500 2016

"He is very approachable and his knowledge of the law is excellent. His advice has always been spot on." Chambers & Partners 2016

"He is brilliant on paper and in court." Chambers & Partners 2016

"Experienced in contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters." Legal 500 2015

"His attention to detail and speed of delivery make him invaluable." Chambers & Partners 2015

"He is very approachable and thorough, and brilliant both on the paperwork and in court." Chambers & Partners 2015