Arbitration and meditation | Banking and financial services | Civil fraud and investigations | Commercial litigation | Company and insolvency | Competition and European Union law | Employment |Energy and natural resources | Insurance and reinsurance | Intellectual property | Media, entertainment and broadcasting | Professional liability | Public law | Sports, gaming and licensing | Tax and revenue
Arbitration and meditation
International arbitration is a significant part of the dispute resolution landscape and barristers at One Essex Court regularly appear on behalf of clients in many of the main arbitral centres, including London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Paris, Dubai, Geneva and Stockholm. Members are familiar with the rules and procedures particular to the various institutions, including those of the ICC, LCIA, AAA, SIAC, DIAC, SCC, EAA, HKIAC and ICSID, as well as the UNCITRAL rules.
Counsel here represent clients in arbitration proceedings across a broad spectrum of industries, including but not limited to: aviation; construction & infrastructure; defence; energy & mining; finance & banking; health; insurance; transport; and telecommunications. They also represent state and private investors in substantial investor-state disputes.
In addition to appearing on behalf of clients, members of One Essex Court regularly accept appointments as independent arbitrators, mediators and experts, in a variety of domestic and international disputes, often where there is a foreign seat. As well as the internationally respected full-time arbitrators at One Essex Court, a number of our Queen’s Counsel also regularly accept appointments to sit either as sole arbitrator, or as part of a larger tribunal.
At One Essex Court, we have a dedicated and separate team of arbitration clerks for any administrative support required by the tribunal. This ensures a confidential service and provides the necessary separation when we have both counsel and arbitrator engaged in the same dispute. We are careful to ring fence time in an arbitrator’s diary following on from any hearing, so that the award can be rendered promptly.
In addition to the arbitration administration in London, we are able to provide real-time, high quality support through our Singapore office at Maxwell Chambers.
Situated within the Singapore dispute resolution complex, which also houses many international arbitration institutions, the One Essex Court office is able to deal with enquiries through a full-time member of our administrative staff. In addition, the office is able to support the local needs of the various One Essex Court arbitrators and barristers who regularly work in Singapore and the wider region.
The Singapore office can be contacted on tel +65 6634 1363 and fax +65 6634 1370, or via email@example.com
“One Essex Court’s ‘barristers, from silks to juniors, are second to none” – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific
Banking and financial services
One Essex Court has a long-established reputation for pre-eminence in banking work, with a considerable depth of talent available at all levels of seniority. Members regularly advise domestic and international banks (both retail and investment), financial institutions, hedge funds, corporate entities and private clients on a wide range of complex transactions, structures and regulation.
Barristers here regularly advise on the FCA Listing Rules of the UK Listing Authority (UKLA) and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) Master Agreement and related documentation, and the expertise of members covers a variety of financial instruments and arrangements including syndicated loans, security structures, collateralised debt obligations, debt restructuring, swaps and derivatives, contracts for difference, letters of credit, mortgages, guarantees, bonds and commodity trading.
In addition, our financial services expertise sees members regularly engaged to advise on the rules and guidance contained in the FCA and PRA Handbooks and the Financial Services and Markets Act, and to act for clients faced with enforcement proceedings, prosecutions, or investigations. Barristers at One Essex Court also work closely with the Financial Conduct Authority, with counsel undertaking secondments at the FCA in order to gain valuable experience and insight into the important work of the regulator.
Current work for Barristers here includes:
The RBS Rights Issue Litigation; LIA v Goldman Sachs; LIA v Société Générale; Banco Santander Totta SA v Metro do Porto SA & Ors; Chesterfield United Inc. & Anr v Deutsche Bank AG; and McGraw-Hill International UK Ltd v RBS & Ors.
Members at One Essex Court represented both sides in a reference to the Upper Tribunal brought by Ian Hannam challenging a decision of the Financial Services Authority (now the Financial Conduct Authority) to impose a penalty for market abuse. The Tribunal’s decision provides the most extensive analysis to date by any judicial tribunal of the market abuse provisions of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (“FSMA”), including the definition of “inside information”.
Various counsel at One Essex Court have also been engaged to act for claimants and banks in relation to the LIBOR rate rigging scandal and market manipulation in the Forex markets, including in relation to an investigation into the role of Bank of England officials in relation to conduct issues in the foreign exchange market. Barristers here appeared in both Graiseley v Barclays  EWHC 3093 and Deutsche Bank v Unitech Global  EWHC 471.
In addition, a team of barristers here is presently engaged for Guy Hands’ private equity firm, Terra Firma Capital Partners in a claim against Citigroup Global Markets Limited and others for £2.3bn in relation to the acquisition of music company EMI by Terra Firma.
One Essex Court has a long history of major banking litigation, which has meant significant involvements in cases flowing from the collapse of BCCI, Northern Rock, Kaupthing Bank and Lehman Brothers, as well as major engagements as a result of ‘rouge traders’ at Sumitomo Bank and Barings Bank, and complex financial work dealing with the fallout from the Madoff frauds. Counsel here also appeared for a number of the UK retail banks in the OFT ‘bank charges’ litigation, which was concerned with whether charges levied by banks on customers could be tested for fairness.
“One Essex Court ‘stands out for banking litigation’ and is ‘a good source of very technically able, hardworking and responsive counsel’.” – The Legal 500
Civil fraud and investigations
One Essex Court is home to a plethora of ‘gifted commercial barristers’ who are acknowledged as some of the ‘leading QC’s and ‘brightest young lawyers’ in the civil fraud arena. Chambers UK
Civil fraud cases form a significant part of the core work undertaken by the barristers at One Essex Court and as such we are perceived by many as the market leading set in this sector. With a worldwide reputation for our work in this area, there is notable strength in depth across all levels in chambers and members win significant praise for their forensic attention to detail and consistently high technical ability.
The principal areas covered include accounting; asset-tracing and recovery; bribery; breach of fiduciary duty; directors duties; constructive trusts; deceit and conspiracy; unlawful means conspiracy; fraudulent misrepresentation; Ponzi and pyramid schemes; freezing and disclosure orders; search and seizure and other injunctive remedies, as well as multi-jurisdictional investigations and proceedings.
Recent instructions have included those in relation to The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) claims against Goldman Sachs and Société Générale for alleged losses it made during the Gadaffi era; the Madoff frauds; the Stanford Bank Ponzi schemes; the Fortress v Blue Skye case and UK Court and arbitration claims flowing from the fraud investigations in Kazakhstan relating to Alliance Bank, JSC BTA Bank and Muktar Ablyazov.
Counsel here also acted on behalf of a successful claimant in Tangent Investments & Anr. –v- MF Global UK Limited & Ors., where the Judge awarded damages measured by the profits Tangent would have earned on the trading fund which it lost through fraud. This is believed to be the first English case in which a trader has recovered damages for the loss of the opportunity to profit through trading.
Historically, counsel from One Essex Court have been engaged in relation to many of the highest profile and most complex fraud cases and financial investigations of modern times, including significant engagements in the claims and investigations relating to Guinness, Maxwell, BCCI, Blue Arrow and Barlow Clowes amongst others.
Other notable engagements have included principal roles in litigation concerning the collapse of Barings Bank, the trading fraud at Sumitomo Corporation and the massive fraud claims involving Grupo Torras and Tajik Aluminium. Barristers at One Essex Court also acted for Smith New Court in its claim against Scrimgeour Vickers and Ors., the leading case in English law on the measure of damages for fraudulent misrepresentation.
One Essex Court is right at the very top of the commercial litigation market. Our professional clients comprise all of the major commercial litigation and disputes law firms in London and the wider UK, as well as many internationally renowned litigation operations. In addition, we are regularly engaged by in-house legal departments and general counsel to offer incisive and effective advice on a wide range of dispute resolution issues.
Barristers at One Essex Court, at all levels, appear for parties in a significant amount of the major commercial litigation that passes through the UK High Court, more particularly before the Commercial Court and the Chancery Division, as well as the appellate courts. From short procedural hearings and injunctions to large set-piece trials, barristers at One Essex Court are sought after for their powerful intellects, market leading advocacy skills and ‘commercial’ good judgment.
Large=scale commercial litigation forms the backbone of chambers work, with cases such as Apple Corps v Apple Computers; CPC Group Limited v Qatari Diar; BSkyB v EDS; Chevron v Total & Ors (Buncefield); Digicel v Cable & Wireless; Berezovsky v Abramovich; Cherney v Deripask; VTB v Nutritek; Dar Al Arkan v Kroll & Ors; and Pinchuk v Bogolyubov & Kolomoisky occupying teams of counsel, sometimes on both sides, from One Essex Court.
As well as trial work, barristers here have a great depth of experience in dealing with interlocutory hearings and applications covering a broad spectrum of relief. Those have included, challenges to jurisdiction, anti-suit proceedings, injunctions, challenges to arbitration awards, enforcement of foreign judgments, disclosure applications including Norwich Pharmacal relief, security of costs, summary judgment, letters of request and applications for declaratory relief.
Alongside this higher profile casework, new and junior members regularly appear in medium-sized and smaller scale disputes, often in the provincial courts. Fixed and capped fees can be agreed for many of those engagements.
Where recourse to the courts is to be avoided, members can be relied on for pragmatic, confident and effective advice in order to help resolve a client’s difficulties. Barristers at One Essex Court are regularly engaged to advise on technical and developing areas of law including, but not limited to; jurisdiction and conflict of laws; contracts and torts, including economic torts; obligations; evidence; damages and equitable remedies; trusts; unjust enrichment and restitution.
One Essex Court is regularly recognised by the industry as the leading commercial litigation set, winning the Chambers UK Bar Award for Commercial Litigation Set of the Year in 2010, 2011 and 2015, and The Legal 500 Commercial Litigation Set of the Year 2013. Our juniors are also regularly featured in the industry press as rising ‘Stars of the Bar’ and are credited as some of the most promising talent available at any of the major commercial sets.
“With stellar silks and sought-after juniors, One Essex Court remains a first choice set for those faced with complex, high-value commercial litigation.” – Chambers UK
Company and insolvency
The wide range of practitioners involved in this sector at One Essex Court, marks it out from the other mainstream commercial sets. Both at QC and junior levels, members have a highly technical understanding of work affected by the Companies Act and the Insolvency Act, as well as EC Regulation on Insolvency Proceedings and the Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations.
Members have considerable experience in acting for administrators, auditors, accountants, bondholders and bond trustees, creditors, directors, liquidators and shareholders in relation to a wide range of company law claims, corporate insolvency work and corporate restructuring.
A considerable amount of the recent work undertaken by barristers at One Essex Court has its roots in the global financial crisis, with a wide range of members engaged in relation to collapsed banking institutions and distressed fund management vehicles. This has involved a variety of instructions including for the administrators of Lehman Brothers and Kaupthing Bank, as well as for creditors and bondholders in claims against a range of institutions.
Counsel at One Essex Court are presently acting for institutional investors bringing claims against The Royal Bank of Scotland and its former directors in relation to a £12bn rights issue.
Barristers at One Essex Court acted for the joint administrators of Lehman Brothers Limited (in admin.) in relation to the ‘Waterfall’ application, which dealt with the priority of claims in the administration of Lehman Brothers Europe International.
Specialist counsel here also regularly advise on complex shareholder disputes and frequently appear in cases brought under section 994 of the Companies Act 2006. Several teams of counsel from One Essex Court were engaged for a number of Respondents in relation to such a petition brought by Mr Patrick McKillen in a dispute over the ownership of shares in the Maybourne Hotel Group.
Barristers here also represented the successful respondents in Arbuthnott v Bonnyman & Ors., which concerned the acquisition of shares in Charterhouse Capital Limited, and counsel from One Essex Court represented Liverpool Football Club in hotly contested claims between the Royal Bank of Scotland, Kop Football Holdings and the then owners, Messrs Hicks and Gillett.
“One Essex Court is noted for its ‘renowned strength in depth at the junior QC level’ for company law.” – The Legal 500
Competition and European Union Law
At One Essex Court specialist assistance can be provided in relation to international cartel proceedings, allegations of abuse of dominant position, anti-competitive behaviour, restraint of trade, EC state aid rules, UK and EC merger proceedings, references and regulatory work (particularly in energy, utilities and telecommunications) over charges and licence modifications for a wide variety of domestic and international clients, including in judicial review proceedings.
The work of barristers here involves frequent appearances before the Competition Appeal Tribunal, the European Court of Justice, the European General Court, as well as the UK High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
Counsel here provide advice and representation in relation to investigations by the Competition and Markets Authority. In addition, junior members regularly undertake secondments to a number of industry regulators, including Ofwat and Ofgem, where they are often required to assist with changes in regulation and competition and merger investigations.
The range of industries covered by barristers here includes (but is not limited to), the banking & financial services sector, telecommunications markets, energy and utilities and natural resources, transport and infrastructure, the environment and the UK grocery and retail markets.
We can also provide counsel with an in-depth understanding of business economics, which enables us to offer practical and commercial advice that supports business objectives. Particular expertise is also available in areas where competition law and intellectual property law overlap.
Recent work involving barristers at One Essex Court includes acting for British Airways in the air cargo cartel proceedings; for both MasterCard and various retailers in the interchange fee disputes; for Ofwat in relation to Bristol Water’s appeal of a price determination; and for PayPoint Plc in proceedings before the National Lottery Commission (“NLC”) resisting an application by Camelot, the monopoly National Lottery licensee, for permission to use its National Lottery infrastructure to enter the payment services market, on grounds that this would constitute an unlawful leveraging of Camelot’s dominant position in the lottery market into payment services, contrary to Article 102 of the TFEU.
“For some, One Essex Court is ‘a market leader in EU issues’” – The Legal 500
Expertise here covers a range of areas in the employment sphere including breach of restrictive covenants; breach of confidence; data protection; remuneration, bonuses and pensions; director’s duties; restraint of trade; team moves; notice and termination issues; and partnerships.
Recent cases have included Société Générale, London Branch v Geys before the Supreme Court, in proceedings arising out of the termination of the employment of Mr Geys, the former MD, European Fixed Income Sales of the Respondent Bank and his entitlement to a substantial bonus and contractual replacement bonus.
Counsel from One Essex Court also appeared for the successful claimant in Tullet Prebon plc & Ors. v BGC Brokers L.C. & Ors., a case relating to inter dealer brokers, which concerned an unlawful conspiracy by a competitor and its executives to induce employees of the claimant to leave the claimant’s employment in breach of their contracts of employment based on an “early exit strategy” that involved the assertion of sham constructive dismissal claims, the enforcement of garden leave provisions against those employees and the grant of a “no poach” injunction against the competitor.
The judgment also addresses issues such as the enforceability of contractual provisions requiring the giving of notice to an employer in the event of an approach by a competitor in the light of doctrine of restraint of trade and the repayment of bonuses and other contractual remuneration in the event of an employer leaving employment in breach of contract in the light of the doctrines of restraint of trade and penalty.
Several teams of barristers at One Essex Court are also presently engaged in relation to claims by groups of construction workers that they were allegedly ‘blacklisted’ by construction companies, following the discovery of a list by the Information Commissioner in 2009.
Barristers here are also engaged for Marathon Asset Management which is suing a group of former employees over allegations they conspired to cause loss to its business during the time of their resignations.
“One Essex Court is a great source of ‘commercially astute, technically responsive and dependable’ barristers.” The Legal 500
Energy and natural resources
One Essex Court has long been recognised as the pre-eminent set of chambers in this area, regularly ranked as the top set by both Chambers UK and The Legal 500.
Work here covers a wide range of industries, including water, oil and gas, coal, nuclear and electricity including hydropower, as well as renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, bio-fuel and geothermal. As such, we are able to field a deep bench of talent at all levels with cutting edge experience of the most up to date issues affecting the constantly evolving domestic and international energy markets.
We are regularly engaged directly by domestic and international energy companies and our expertise includes a detailed understanding of the complex contracts, joint venture agreements and regulation affecting companies operating in the various sectors.
In oil and gas work, we provide advice and assistance in relation to a variety of issues affecting upstream, midstream and downstream operations, transportation, distribution and operating agreements, exploration and exploitation agreements, and pipelines, drilling and licensing in the blocks and fields on the UK continental shelf and abroad, as well as disputes concerning pre-emption rights, take-or-pay agreements and force majeure provisions.
Counsel provide advice and guidance in relation to pricing mechanisms and tolling agreements, as well as industry-wide price reviews and more general questions of regulation surrounding the Gas Act and the Utilities Act, and all aspects of associated competition regulation.
In electricity, we regularly advise companies in relation to generation and distribution agreements, long term pricing and planning issues surrounding nuclear power installations, as well as associated regulation under the Electricity Act. In addition, we are able to offer expertise in relation to the various Electricity Codes, including the Balancing and Settlement Code (BSC), the Connection and Use of System Code (CUSC), the Distribution Code, the Grid Code and the System Operator-Transmission Owner Code (STC).
Counsel are also able to provide assistance in relation to the evolving ‘renewables’ market, providing guidance in relation to Renewable Obligations Certificates (ROCs) and the Feed-in-Tarriff scheme (FITs). Barristers at One Essex Court also undertake regular secondments to the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), to assist with a varied range of issues and projects.
In the water industry, counsel provide advice and support both to water companies and to the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat), on complex questions of pricing, monopolies, mergers and acquisitions, competition and licensing.
Where litigation or arbitration has proved unavoidable, counsel at One Essex Court have represented industry clients before a variety of courts and tribunals, including those concerned with competition and monopolies. We have also conducted cases raising important issues as to how energy is bought, sold and transported throughout the UK.
Recent work has included BG Global Energy Ltd & Ors v Talisman Sinopec Energy UK Limited & Ors  EWHC 110 (Comm), in a trial of a number of preliminary issues relating to the proper interpretation of a transportation, processing and operating services agreement. Underlining our pre-eminence in this field, all three parties were represented by barristers at One Essex Court.
Solicitors regard it as ‘an absolute go-to set’ that is ‘at the top of the tree’ for oil and gas work. Chambers UK
“One Essex Court is ‘the top set for energy’ with an ‘outstanding calibre of barristers’” – The Legal 500
Insurance and reinsurance
Members of One Essex Court undertake a significant amount of insurance and reinsurance work, with particular expertise in all types of commercial insurance, being regularly engaged to represent a wide range of clients in litigious insurance and reinsurance matters, both in the UK courts and in arbitrations (including in Bermuda Form disputes).
Barristers and arbitrators at One Essex Court have experience ranging from coverage disputes to negligence claims, including those concerning insurance professionals. As well as extensive historic involvements in the Lloyds Names Litigation, work has included financial ‘spread loss’ reinsurance, the operation of commutation and release agreements, aggregation disputes on solicitors’ professional indemnity policies and acting for London market insurers and reinsurers in arbitration proceedings arising out of claims against financial institutions following the collapse of Enron.
Additionally, barristers at One Essex Court have been involved in proceedings brought under quota share treaties arising out of disputes concerning the nature of direct and facultative account and negligent underwriting, continuing duty of disclosure and affirmation. Members have also acted in claims arising in connection with liability insurance excess of loss cover and in claims concerning negligent underwriting of LMX reinsurance business.
In addition, specialist counsel here provide advice in relation to the regulation of insurance companies both under the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA).
One Essex Court has a number of barristers who are specialists in intellectual property, information technology and media law, which encompasses the protection and exploitation of all forms of creative effort including inventions, literary and artistic works, designs and brands used in commerce.
Members of One Essex Court have expertise in acting in intellectual property disputes of all kinds including those relating to trade marks, passing off, copyright, designs, patents, comparative advertising, malicious falsehood, database rights, data protection, confidential information, trade secrets and privacy. Such matters also include contractual disputes involving intellectual property rights and related areas of domestic and European competition law.
We regularly advise clients (from individual artists to large commercial organisations) in relation to the acquisition and licensing of their intellectual property rights as well as all aspects of the protection of such rights and the defence to such claims.
Members of One Essex Court act for clients in proceedings at all levels of the English Courts, the General Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union, the UK Intellectual Property Office and the Office of Harmonisation for the Internal Market.
Recent work by barristers here includes, The London Taxi Co. v Fraser-Nash Research Ltd  EWHC 52 (Ch), Starbucks (HK) Limited and another v British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc and others  UKSC 31; Fenty v Arcadia Group Brands Ltd  EWCA Civ 3; Interflora Inc. & Anr v Marks & Spencer Plc  EWCA Civ 1403; Les Laboratories Servier & Anr. v Apotex Inc & Ors.  UKSC 55; JW Spear Ltd & Mattel Inc. v Zynga Inc.  EWCA Civ 290 and  EWCA Civ 1175; Société des Produits Nestlé SA v Cadbury UK Ltd  EWCA Civ 1174 and Sun Microsystems Inc v M-Tech Data Ltd.  UKSC 27.
“One Essex Court is ‘the set to beat on trade mark and other soft IP issues’.” – The Legal 500
Media, entertainment and broadcasting
Barristers at One Essex Court have a wealth of expertise in relation to a broad range of work in this area. Members regularly act for newspaper groups, publishers, television, radio and satellite broadcasters, online media outlets, production companies, performers and studios.
The support and expertise on offer at One Essex Court includes advice in relation to privacy, press regulation, intellectual property, competition issues, commercial agreements, injunctive relief, publishing and recording contracts and regulatory codes and licensing.
Recent work has included acting for News International in its capacity as a Core Participant in the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press; acting for News Group Newspapers publisher of The Sun and former publisher of The News of the World, in relation to both the Voicemail Interception Compensation Scheme and the High Court group litigation in numerous claims brought by alleged victims of phone hacking and other unlawful practices. In addition, Lord Grabiner QC was appointed by News Corporation to be the independent Chairman of the Management and Standards Committee (MSC), a body set up to look into related practices at News International.
In STV Central Ltd and STV North Ltd v ITV Network, barristers here acted in a claim by STV (formerly called Scottish Television) in a dispute regarding broadcasting rights held by ITV Network for all its members. The dispute concerned whether ITV Network was entitled to grant closed video-on-demand rights in favour of Virgin and BT without consulting STV; and in the matter of Atex Group Ltd, barristers here acted for the respondent in an unfair prejudice petition relating to a large media company whose principal business is digital content management, advertising and distribution systems.
In Starbucks (HK) Limited and another v British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc & Ors  UKSC 31, a team of barristers at One Essex Court acted for Sky, the successful defendants/respondents in the Supreme Court proceedings dealing with a claim for passing off and the use of ‘NOW TV’ as the title of an internet protocol television service.
Other instructions have involved advice to broadcasters on potential breaches of licence conditions and the Ofcom Broadcasting Code and advising a well known US film director’s management company in potential proceedings flowing from an agreement for use of a property whilst filming in London.
Barristers at One Essex Court have significant experience in relation to claims against a wide range of professionals, whether for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of trust, negligence, misfeasance or breach of contract.
A considerable amount of our expertise in this area focuses on the work of financial services professionals, including accountants, actuaries, bankers and financial advisors and covers the audit of companies, business advice, the mis-selling of investment products and ratings and valuations. In addition, we have also acted in relation to disputes concerning solicitors negligence.
Work undertaken here tends to be centred on high profile, substantial and complex disputes. Recent and ongoing work includes Cattles v PriceWaterhouseCoopers in a claim for £1.6bn in relation to the audit of a financial services group and Hewlett Packard v Lynch in a claim for £3.4bn in relation to HP’s acquisition of British software company Autonomy.
Historic work in this sector has included auditors negligence claims flowing from the collapse of Barings Bank; the pension fund management dispute between Unilever and Mercury Asset Management; the actions brought by Equitable Life against its auditors and directors; the pension fund dispute between Socpen and UBS; and the claim by London Underground Limited against its former lawyers.
“One Essex Court has a ‘strong track record in professional negligence work’ with numerous members having particularly ‘high levels of experience’.” – The Legal 500
Chambers expertise in this area is generally deployed in a commercial judicial review context, either challenging the actions (or failure to act) of regulatory bodies, governmental departments, local authorities or other body exercising a public law function, or resisting a challenge to the lawfulness of those actions, including by reference to EU law and competition regulation.
Judicial review has become increasingly important for commercial clients in recent years, as a wider range of private companies enter into complex contracts to supply goods and services to public bodies and because those companies are subject to commercial and regulatory decisions taken by government and associated bodies.
As well as representing regulators and public bodies in defence of actions taken under their rules, members here act in judicial review proceedings brought on behalf of groups of individuals, or private companies seeking relief in a range of industries, including aviation, agriculture, banking, broadcasting, construction, environment, energy, entertainment, financial services, health, lotteries, licensing, sports, telecommunications, utilities and tax.
Recent work has included, R on the application of: (1) Proteus Film Partnership No.1 (2) Samarkand Film Partnership No.3 -v- HMRC in relation to film finance tax relief; R (Imperial Tobacco, BAT, Philip Morris and Gallaher) v Secretary of State for Health in relation to plain packaging in the tobacco industry; R (Western Power Distribution) v Gas and Electricity Markets Authority in an EU law challenge to Ofgem’s decision in relation to incentive payments in the electricity market; and R (on the Application of RAB Special Situations (Master) Fund Ltd v. The Commissioners of Her Majesty’s Treasury in relation to the collapse of Northern Rock.
Sports, gaming and licensing
Expertise at One Essex Court covers a wide range of sports and the applicable rules, laws and regulations as well as the functions of related tribunals and disciplinary and governing bodies. Members act for and advise a broad spectrum of associations, affiliates, clubs, teams, competitors, societies, players, agents, promoters and sponsors.
As well as commercial disputes, we are also able to field specialist expertise in related areas such Intellectual Property, Employment and Competition law.
Notable cases include Force India Formula 1 Team v Rodriguez for the sponsor in a sponsorship dispute involving one of the F1 racing teams; appearing before a Rugby World Cup disciplinary tribunal on behalf of South Africa flanker, Schalk Burger and reducing his four-match ban to just two games after appealing against the original decision; in Fulham FC v Richards a dispute arising out of the transfer of Peter Crouch to Tottenham Hotspur FC; and in International Wheelchair Basketball Federation v UK Anti-doping & Simon Gibbs in the IWBF’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which was described by the CAS as a “frontal assault” on anti-doping rules in reliance on EU, competition and domestic public law.
In addition to representing clients before a range of courts and tribunals, members have accepted appointments to adjudicate on disputes before the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the Football Association Premier League Disciplinary Panel and a number of ad hoc tribunals set up around major sporting events.
Barristers at One Essex Court also have experience of e-commerce internet gambling in the UK and offshore, liquor licensing, regulated entertainment and gambling law, lotteries and prize competitions. We represent and advise many of the major leisure and gambling operators, retail liquor outlets, outdoor festival promoters, the Gambling Commission, television companies, and licensing authorities.
Involvements for barristers here in this field include successfully resisting a judicial review brought by Camelot, challenging the Gambling Commission’s decision to licence the Health Lottery under the Gambling Act 2005, Camelot UK Lotteries Ltd v The Gambling Commission, The Health Lottery Elm Ltd & Ors.  EWHC 2391 (Admin); and in Greene King v The Gambling Commission [GA/2014/0001/2] where the First-Tier Tribunal gave judgment on Greene King’s appeal against the Gambling Commission’s refusal to grant it bingo operating licences. The Judge allowed the appeal and remitted the applications to the Gambling Commission with a direction that the applications be allowed.
A team from One Essex Court was also successful in defending a claim for £10s of millions of damages for alleged loss of profits relating to a software development and licensing agreement for an online betting exchange in MatchBet v Openbet  EWHC 3067.
Tax and revenue
The expertise here extends to all aspects of commercial, European and international taxation, for both incorporated and unincorporated entities, their shareholders and employees. We are able to deal with all the main direct taxes, value added tax, national insurance, stamp and other duties, and the related European and administrative law.
Clients include many leading UK and foreign multi-national companies, banks, insurance companies, accountants and other financial institutions. Barristers here regularly represent both the taxpayer and HMRC at all stages of tax appeals, including before the First Tier Tax Tribunal, The Upper Tribunal, the Supreme Court and in references to the European Court of Justice.
Recent work for members has included a number of high profile tax cases such as; Trustees of the BT Pension Scheme v HMRC for HMRC in relation to exemption for approved pension schemes; whether a claim for tax credit is subject to six year time limit under s.43 TMA 1970; and for HMRC in the Eclipse Film Partners No 35 LLP and Ingenious film scheme litigation.
In addition, barristers here offer a depth of recent experience in relation to unjust enrichment and restitution claims, particularly in tax cases. Such work has included Littlewoods v HMRC in which a counsel team at One Essex Court helped to secure the repayment of compound interest in the amount of £1.2billion on overpayment of VAT dating back to 1973. The case raised important issues of EU law and the English law of unjust enrichment; and for a group of taxpayers in Franked Investment Income Group Litigation (FII GLO) in the Supreme Court, on claims concerning restitution of tax overcharged and paid by mistake and arguments as to the limitation periods applicable to those claims.
“The extraordinary strength in depth of One Essex Court, allied with its impressive commitment to client service, ensures that it is rated by many leading City solicitors as London’s pre-eminent commercial set.” – Chambers UK