Jeffrey's principal areas of practice is in the field of “commercial divorce”- business disputes between the owners of businesses (shareholder, partnership, joint venture) and disputes between a business and its directors, shareholders, joint venturers, franchisees and employees (restraint of trade, s.994, fiduciary duties). The gamut of directors/office holders and business owners rights and duties, in particular fiduciary duties are a common feature.
He is regularly instructed in claims relating to shareholders and directors, including in the insolvency and commercial fraud fields. Jeffrey has appeared in all forums in the UK (High Court/Appeal Courts) as well as in the DIFC first instance and Court of Appeal) in litigation relating to commercial contracts (Sale and Purchase Agreements, Shareholders Agreements, sale and carriage of goods, franchising), claims in fraud, disputes between businesses and their shareholders/directors or investors, co-joint venturers and other commercial and insolvency related disputes. Jeffrey has enormous expeience in relation to interim relief applications of all descriptions (restraint of trade/freezing and search orders/Protection from Harassment) including in the insolvency field (misfeasance, wrongful/fraudulent trading, preference etc).
Commercial Contracts / Company and Partnership
See under Commercial Litigation.
Jeffrey has advised many businesses or individuals on commercial contracts. These include multiple instructions on the enforceability of restrictive covenants and confidentiality claims, and advising on the contracts required in relation to the set up of a business or an IPO or investment round. Recent examples include acting direct access (at the request of a close friend) for David Lloyd, ex Davis Cup tennis player and founder of David Lloyd leisure and (at the request of an ex colleague advising Susie Cave (ex face of Vivian Westwood, L’Oreal and others and wife of Nick Cave the well known singer songwriter
Partnership and joint venture disputes are also a regular feature of Jeffrey’s practise in particular when things go wrong. Recent cases include acting for a group of partners from a large London PI law firm in a break up, acting in 2 disputes between the siblings of farming estates post death of last parent and for an accountancy partnership defending a claim by a former partner. He has acted for and against professional firms relating to the proposed expulsion or other exit of a partner.
I have a wealth of experience in all aspects of workplace disputes, with a particular emphasis on interim relief where I have been instructed on multiple injunctions including freezing and search and seizure orders. I have acted for the major insurers Marsh, Willis and Aon on team moves and for many large and small businesses. From my time at Littleton, I have also been instructed in all fields of unfair and wrongful dismissal, whistleblowing, all aspects of discrimination, share rights (good leaver/bad leaver)
Some notable reported cases in the above fields include Kynixa -v- Hynes, (leading case on implied duty of fidelity and fiduciary duties and cross over between employee and shareholder covenants), First Global Locums -v- Cosias (first case of injunction on behalf of Company and all of its employees under Prevention from Harassment Act), Brake Brothers -v- 3663 Food for Foodservice (enforced non compete injunction based on confidential information against junior sales employees), Customer Systems –v- Ranson (leading Court of Appeal authority on fiduciary duties), acting for the FA in Faria Alam-v- Football Association, Abbey National -v- Woodward (first ever case on post termination detriment in whistleblowing C/A), Hawkes -v- Ausin (first EAT decision relating to unfair dismissal by a reservist in the Marine Reservists), MOD -v- Joslyn [C/A) led by David Panick KC, a test case on pregnancy discrimination claims by women forced to resign from the Armed Forces on becoming pregnant
I have often advised on TUPE processes and consultation. I acted for the successful dismissed employees of Crystal Palace FC in administration (before the Court of Appeal overturned the decision) the Chinese state owner of the buyer of LDV Vans in a 10 day trial, Austrian packaging company in Mayer Meinhof –v- Unite the Union (TUPE issues following closure of one factory) and advising Lawyers Inc on an ongoing basis in relation to restrictive covenant and TUPE issues as they expand their new model legal ABS. I advised Stewarts Law when it started with 4 partners in its early acquisitions of teams from various firms building to 150 odd solicitors on TUPE and restrictive covenants.
Recent cases include acting for a director of a top 5 bank in their futures team in a £2 million claim for unfair dismissal, sex discrimination and equal pay, (15 day trial set for 2024), acting for a director in a disability discrimination case in a 6 day trial founded on a stress related illness, and a long running case defending a firm of solicitors against a £2 million+ claim for inducing breach of contract in relation to a solicitor moving from C to D and all clients following, where the economic torts and covenant enforceability are to the fore (15 day trial set for late 2022, settled weeks before trial) and a claim for a shareholder in an FCA business under s.994 against 2 FC regulated directors.
I have a wealth of experience from my earliest days of practise. I have acted for and against insolvency practitioners. I have many times acted in injunctive proceedings to restrain presentation or advertisement of a petition and on several occasions obtained or resisted freezing order applications related to insolvency proceedings. I have acted for an IP or company in wrongful trading, preference, transactions at undervalue claims. I have several ongoing insolvency matters, recently obtaining a restraint order in reference to parallel Part 7 proceedings.
International and Offshore - advisory and litigation
Jeffrey is regularly asked to advise or act in relation to international and offshore work.
He has appeared in the DIFC Courts instructed by Clyde & Co Dubai and KBH Kaanum in both the first instance and DIFC Court of Appeal
Since the Ukraine war, Jeffrey has advised a series of offshore companies as to their potential exposure position as a result of having shareholders subject to sanctions. These are usually tied up in complex trusts where the ultimate beneficial owner might be a child, former spouse or partner or other of the sanctioned individual but does not own a majority share in the relevant company(ies). I have also advised a number of accountancy firms as to the pros and cons of taking over roles where incumbents are resigning, possibly due to the UK governments request that Overseas Territories declare beneficial ownership by the end of 2023Jeffrey has substantial contacts who will instruct him or ask for a recommendation.
Since joining 36 Group, he has also been asked to advise Turkish clients though KPMG Istanbul to (a) set up a joint venture between a Turkish airline and US airline. (b) advise on the GDPR implications for a potential Turkish start up looking to lure UK customers to Turkey for dental and cosmetic treatments and needing advice on GDPR and acting for a Taiwanese individual in relation to the fraudulent dilution of his shares in an FCA regulated company.
Other cases with an international dimension include (a) s.994 claims with a civil fraud aspect (b) advising on the set up of companies applying for gambling licences in Africa and Taiwan.
I have over many years regularly advised on disputes and regulatory issues involving professionals and other regulated persons (professional negligence, internal disciplinary proceedings, external regulatory matters in relation to the professions -solicitors, accountants, surveyors, NHS, and financial services) in which I have been instructed by the business, by an individual or have sat on or acted as adviser to a disciplinary panel. I advised the Governors of Imperial College on an internal sexual harassment case, advised public schools as to the viability of drugs test in schools, acted as Chair of internal disciplinary matter at a London law firm, and have advised professionals and financiers in relation to regulatory issues at the GMC, the SRA, and the FCA. I also advised a start up in achieving Alternative Business Structure status with the SRA for their model aimed at rescuing solicitors firms affected by the new COLP/COFA rules and obtained ABS clearance for Dragon Argent.
I also advise with some regularity on sports law and sports related issues. Clients have included the Football Association, Frank Warren, Force India, Portsmouth and Derby County football clubs (several times for each), the Welsh Rugby Union, other football clubs and managers, Formula 1 and elite coaches and athletes.
In 2010 I was hand picked by UK Sport to advise and draft contracts, in particular related to restrictive covenants and other clauses for the elite coaches and athletes agreements for the Beijing and London 2012 Olympics.
At the time of Dame Tanni Grey Thompson’s report “the Duty of Care in Sport”, I was asked by Sports Resolutions to speak at their annual conference on issues relating to the protection of coaches, arguing that there is an over-emphasis on athlete protection and no interest in accused sports coaches. I was then instructed by the lead coach in a major Olympic sport (through a friend) in a safeguarding case which I considered rotten. A major London Law firm dedicated £70,000 of their annual pro bono budget to the case, I worked pro bono and the client was largely exonerated by some 20 witnesses against 2 complainants. I have since acted in several cases at the request of Sports Resolutions to act pro bono in a number of cases, all for elite coaches. Most recently I acted for the previous head coach at La Manga in a safeguarding case brought by the LTA. Virtually all of the LTA’s witnesses failed to appear and the client was given the go ahead to return to coaching children. Due to my work in this field I am also involved as one of the legal people in CIMPSA which is an organisation looking at protecting the coaches and we are looking to roll out a sport wide common set of Rules.
See under Commercial Litigation. Recent and ongoing cases include a claim for a farming family to set aside a 2014 judgment on the grounds that it was obtained by fraud. This follows a trial in 2021 in Scotland in which the UK Claimant was found to have fabricated documents, lied repeatedly to the family about their indebtedness and appointed by reason of fraud LPA Receivers who sold a farm, machinery and cattle to a local farmer at a pittance of true value. The claim seeks to resuurect claims made in the 2014 proceedings against the LPA Receiver for trespass and conversion. I also have a large s.994 claim based on the creation of documents by FCA registered directors.
Jeffrey has acted in number of arbitrations. Since at 36 Group this includes an appeal against an arbitrator’s decision in a party wall case, successfully acting direct access for a former partner of a Big 4 accountancy firm in relation to the terms of his exits and is presently instructed to defend an application to the High Court to stay those proceedings for arbitration.
Acting for defendant in claim by NCA re frozen funds alleged to be involved in international VAT and tax fraud money laundering scheme
Advising on cross over between civil and criminal cases in the commercial fraud sphere
Appointments & Memberships
- Professional Negligence Bar Association
- Commercial Bar Association
- Employment Lawyers Association