Georgia is a commercial litigator. She practises exclusively in banking and financial services litigation, civil fraud and asset recovery, company and insolvency matters and commercial professional liability disputes.

Georgia primarily acts in litigation involving accessorial liability, banking liabilities, breach of fiduciary duty and trust, conspiracy and fraud and she has specialist experience in company and insolvency disputes. Georgia is frequently instructed in international disputes, or cases with jurisdictional challenges, and is experienced in obtaining and resisting applications for urgent relief, most notably freezing and disclosure orders.

Georgia is a highly regarded and powerful advocate who provides authoritative and commercial advice accompanied by forensic analysis. Georgia is regularly instructed as sole Counsel in high-value and complex commercial litigation in the specialist divisions of the High Court on appeal and at first instance (in both trials and interlocutory applications).

Expertise

Georgia has significant experience acting for and against banks and other financial institutions in all aspects of banking and financial services litigation. Georgia is habitually instructed by several of the “Big Four” banks alongside a variety of international banks on a wide range of banking and financial services disputes.

Georgia’s recent experience includes:

  • Advising on numerous proposed claims against leading banks for breach of the Quincecare duty of care for failing to prevent the misappropriation of company funds when put on inquiry, including a claim with a value in excess of £1million against a bank which had allegedly executed transactions on the instruction of a company director with notice that the company had entered into liquidation and authority over the company’s account had transferred to its liquidators.
  • Advising and acting in many proposed and issued claims for actionable breaches under s.138D FSMA (including with limitation issues), including a claim brought against an insurance broker for breach of the ICOBS rules (and negligence and breach of retainer) for failing to arrange adequate insurance and successfully defending a claim brought against a bank for alleged interest rate swap mis-selling.
  • Securing an order for pre-action disclosure in the High Court against a liquidated company’s bank in relation to a proposed claim against the bank for breach of the Quincecare duty of care in circumstances in which it was alleged the bank was put on notice that the instructions to execute transactions exceeding £5.5 million by the company’s directors involved the misappropriation of company money.
  • Advising on the consequences of carrying on regulated activities under FSMA in breach of the general prohibition, including recently as to the prospects of a claim pursuant to s.26 FSMA for recovery of monies paid under a mortgage to an unregulated lender and a claim based on unauthorised investment advice.
  • Successfully defending a leading UK bank in relation to a third-party costs application in the High Court brought against the bank for alleged failure to comply with a specific disclosure order in an underlying claim for breach of statutory duty.
  • Advising in respect of a claim by a pension fund against an investment bank for losses incurred in the course of securities lending.
  • Acting and advising in multiple claims defending banks and financial institutions for breach of statutory duty, breach of fiduciary duty and unfair relationships.
  • Advising as to the prospects of success of challenging FOS decisions, and the available routes of challenge.

Advising as to the prospects of success of defending a claim for irresponsible lending.

Georgia specialises in civil and commercial fraud. She primarily acts in litigation involving accessorial liability (including dishonest assistance and knowing receipt), asset recovery and tracing, breach of fiduciary and statutory duties, breach of trust, bribery, conspiracy, fraudulent misrepresentation and banking, financial and investment fraud.

The nature of Georgia’s practice means she has particular strength in acting in cases in which urgent relief is sought (primarily freezing, search and disclosure orders alongside proprietary injunctions) and she is experienced in international cases or those with jurisdictional issues and challenges.

Georgia is regularly instructed in £multi-million fraud litigation as sole Counsel. Her recent experience as sole Counsel includes:

  • Appearing successfully in a High Court trial against a director with a value of £1.3million concerning the director’s misfeasance and breach of fiduciary duty as a result of the fraudulent misappropriation of company money and payment of unlawful dividends.
  • Acting for the successful claimants in a High Court trial for breach of fiduciary duty arising from the fraudulent transfer of company assets.
  • Currently instructed in proceedings with a claim value in excess of £1.5million for breach of trust and fiduciary duty.
  • Advising as to a prospective conspiracy and deceit claim arising from a Ponzi scheme against multiple defendants with a value in excess of £2million.
  • Advising on a derivative action with a value of £1.5million brought against the company’s director for breaches of fiduciary duty, involving the misappropriation of company funds paid to investment fraudsters where the director was on notice of the fraudulent scheme.
  • Advising as to the prospects of success of a knowing receipt claim against a third party arising from the receipt of significant funds with the alleged knowledge that they were fraudulently misappropriated by a director in breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Significant experience obtaining and resisting freezing orders in fraud cases.
  • Advising as to an application for a search order application in circumstances in which the defendant in fraud litigation threatened the destruction of financial data (and computers and remote storage systems containing the data) central to the claimant’s case.
  • Successfully defending an energy company at trial in a claim for fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of contract.
  • Advising in respect of disclosure applications in the High Court on behalf of an office-holder relating to underlying proceedings involving complex equitable proprietary claims (based on breach of duty, bribery, unlawful means conspiracy and knowing assistance).
  • Advising in litigation with a claim value in excess of £1.5million for breach of trust and fiduciary duty in relation to the fraudulent misappropriation of company assets.

Georgia’s commercial practice covers a wide range of disputes and is complemented by her experience in banking and financial services litigation and corporate and insolvency disputes.

Georgia’s recent experience as sole Counsel includes:

  • Acting and advising in a complex guarantee dispute with a value in excess of £1million.
  • Advising a potential defendant to a substantial claim seeking to challenge the enforceability of complex personal guarantees and indemnities.
  • Acting for a prominent PLC in the construction industry in the High Court in relation to debts owed by a construction company on three major development projects of over £1million.
  • Significant experience obtaining freezing orders in general commercial litigation disputes (non-fraud), including obtaining a freezing order in the High Court against a defendant who had been unjustly enriched by the mistaken payment of significant monies by an office holder based in the Republic of Ireland and on receipt started to dissipate those funds.
  • Successfully representing one of the most prominent Emirati banks in a High Court application to contest the jurisdiction of the English courts in the context of a claim for breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract.
  • Successfully obtaining an order for summary judgment, alongside a significant indemnity costs order, on behalf of a Claimant domiciled in Hong Kong against a Defendant domiciled in Chile in a breach of contract claim. Currently advising as to enforcement of the judgment.
  • Advising in relation to a security for costs application against an appellant domiciled in Australia.
  • Advising a group of companies registered in Hong Kong as to the prospects of a contractual claim against a prominent Japanese automotive company with issues of the jurisdiction of the English Courts to hear the claim.
  • Acting in relation to the enforcement of an adjudicator’s award in the TCC.

Strengthening Georgia’s commercial litigation practice is her extensive experience in company and partnership litigation. Georgia regularly acts in shareholder disputes and has particular experience in disputes with allegations of breach of fiduciary duty.

Recent cases in which Georgia has been instructed as sole counsel include:

  • Advising a prospective petitioner in a £multi-million shareholder dispute alleging breach of fiduciary duty and unfairly prejudicial conduct arising from removing the petitioner as a director and preventing the petitioner from being involved in the management of the company, with further allegations of mismanaging and failing to account for company funds and assets with a view to preventing the petitioner from obtaining payment of fair value for their shares.
  • Advising in relation to a derivative action with a value of £1.5million brought against the company’s director for breaches of fiduciary duty, involving the misappropriation of company funds paid to investment fraudsters where the director was on notice of the fraudulent scheme.
  • Advising on a high value partnership dispute regarding the enforceability of restrictive covenants.
  • Acting in a complex unfair prejudice petition with a value of £1million.

Acting in a high value partnership dispute concerning alleged serious breaches of the partnership agreement and diversion of the partnership’s primary client base.

Georgia has extensive experience in all aspects of domestic and cross-border corporate insolvency and acts for both office-holders and other financial institutions and professionals (including banks and company directors). She also acts in complex or high value personal insolvency matters.

 Georgia is frequently instructed in claims brought by office-holders against company officers, predominantly for breach of fiduciary and statutory duty, fraud, misfeasance and antecedent transactions, alongside litigation involving banks and other third parties. Georgia has significant High Court trial experience in all aspects of insolvency litigation.

 Georgia’s recent experience includes:

  • Acting for the successful liquidators in a High Court trial against the company’s director with a value in excess of £1million concerning the director’s misfeasance and breach of fiduciary duty as a result of the fraudulent misappropriation of company money and payment of unlawful dividends.
  • Significant experience acting for office-holders in the High Court in relation to defective office-holder appointments including in Re Mederco (Cardiff) Ltd [2021] EWHC 386 (Ch).
  • Advising in proceedings brought pursuant to the Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 2010 with a claim value in excess of £1.5million relating to underlying liability of the insured for breach of trust and fiduciary duty.
  • Acting for the successful liquidators in a High Court trial against the company’s director in a breach of fiduciary duty, preference, transaction at undervalue and s.423 claim.
  • Successfully appearing in a High Court trial against a director for breach of fiduciary duty as a result of orchestrating a scheme of payments to connected parties disguised as payments for proper company purposes.
  • Currently instructed by office-holders in proceedings brought against de jure and de facto directors with a claim value in excess of £1.5million for breach of trust and fiduciary duty.
  • Appearing on behalf of a liquidator in an application in the High Court for a warrant for the arrest of company directors domiciled in Northern Ireland and the related seizure of documents for failure to attend a private examination and comply with an order to deliver up documents.
  • Appellate experience, including acting for the successful trustees in bankruptcy in a High Court appeal relating to beneficial interests in land and successfully appearing on behalf of joint trustees-in-bankruptcy in the High Court in an application for relief from sanctions to pursue an out of time appeal.
  • Acting for a prominent PLC in the construction industry in a creditor’s administration order application in the High Court in relation to debts owed by a construction company on three major development projects of approximately £1million.
  • Acting for directors in s.217 proceedings issued for breach of s.216 for acting as directors of a company with a prohibited name brought by prominent litigation funders. Issues as to whether the new company was “trading” within the meaning of the statutory exception in the 12 months prior to the liquidation.
  • Successfully acting for the applicant in urgent injunctive relief proceedings in the High Court restraining presentation of a winding-up petition.
  • Advising in respect of disclosure applications in the High Court on behalf of a liquidator in relation to underlying proceedings involving complex equitable proprietary claims (based on breach of duty, bribery, unlawful means conspiracy and knowing assistance).

Notable Cases

 Re Mederco (Cardiff) Ltd [2021] EWHC 386 (Ch).

 Application in the High Court relating to a defective administration extension where the consent of hundreds of international investors with claims exceeding £4.5 million, who should have been treated as secured creditors as holders of equitable liens, was not obtained. Significant judgment considering whether the Court can backdate a retrospective administration order for more than 364 days and determining that the post-Brexit legislation applied despite the order being backdated before the end of the transition period. Retrospective administration order plus an extension obtained.

Georgia is highly experienced in directors’ and officers’ (D&O) claims and related coverage disputes, alongside claims against insolvency practitioners, in which she is particularly well positioned to act given her extensive experience in corporate and insolvency litigation.

Georgia regularly advises and acts (for both claimants and defendants) in claims concerning directors’ and officers’ breaches of fiduciary and statutory duty, insurance coverage disputes under D&O policies, claims with an insolvency element, proceedings brought pursuant to the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010 and misfeasance proceedings against office-holders.

Georgia’s recent experience includes:

  • Successfully acting in a High Court trial with a value in excess of £1million concerning a director’s misfeasance and breach of fiduciary duty as a result of the misappropriation of company money and payment of unlawful dividends.
  • Successfully appearing in a High Court trial against a director for breach of fiduciary duty as a result of orchestrating a scheme of payments to connected parties disguised as payments for proper company purposes.
  • Successfully appearing in a High Court trial against a director in a breach of fiduciary duty, preference, transaction at undervalue and s.423 claim.
  • Currently instructed in proceedings brought against de jure and de facto directors with a claim value in excess of £1.5million for breach of trust and fiduciary duty.
  • Advising on insurance coverage disputes under D&O policies, including recently advising at to the rejection of an indemnity relating to an underlying breach of fiduciary claim with a value of £1.5million.
  • Advising and acting in claims under Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010, including currently instructed in proceedings brought under the 2010 Act with a value in excess of £1million.
  • Advising a creditor of a company in administration as to the prospects of success of a misfeasance claim against the administrators for failing to realise the true value of the company’s assets and incorrectly disclaiming property.
  • Advising a group of creditors as to the merits of a misfeasance claim against the administrators for distributing dividends in breach of the order of priority, including the payment of a dividend to a lower ranking secured charge holder and the payment of the administrators’ fees first where there was no secured creditor consent to prioritise the remuneration.

Advising and successfully appearing in the High Court on behalf of joint administrators in relation to their proposed appointment as liquidators in circumstances in which many creditors had brought misfeasance proceedings against the joint administrators.

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