Professional practice

Anna Dilnot has a broad commercial and commercial Chancery practice with particular expertise in civil fraud, multi-jurisdiction disputes and international arbitration.

Anna is recommended as a leading junior in the legal directories for both commercial litigation and civil fraud, being described as “a first class junior” and “a dynamic and experienced junior …regarded as going places .” Commentators regularly note that she is “very intelligent”, a “strong advocate” and “good on her feet” while also noting that she “impresses …with the strength of her written work”.

In 2013 Anna was chosen by Chambers and Partners as one of its ten Stars of the Bar.

Anna has considerable commercial litigation experience having qualified as a commercial litigation solicitor with Stephenson Harwood in 2002, before becoming a solicitor advocate and being called to the Bar in 2008. As well as acting as junior counsel in disputes of very substantial value, she regularly appears as sole advocate, both on interim applications (including for interim relief) and at trial.

Although Anna’s trial work is focused on London, she is called to the Bar of the BVI and has often been instructed in cases proceeding in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Guernsey, Jersey and Brunei.

 

What others say

Anna Dilnot has been a commercial litigator for 14 years and has a broad commercial and commercial Chancery practice with particular expertise in civil fraud, commercial multi-jurisdiction disputes and international arbitration.

Anna is recommended as a leading junior in the legal directories for both commercial litigation and civil fraud, being described as “first class”, “excellent” and “a dynamic and experienced junior …regarded as going places .” Commentators note that she is “very intelligent”, a “strong advocate” with a “fearless and combative style” while also noting that her “work is stellar”.

In 2013 Anna was chosen by Chambers and Partners as one of its ten Stars of the Bar.

Anna has considerable commercial litigation experience having qualified as a commercial litigation solicitor with Stephenson Harwood in 2002, before becoming a solicitor advocate and subsequently being called to the Bar in 2008. As well as acting as junior counsel in disputes of very substantial value, she regularly appears as sole advocate on interim applications (including for interim relief), at trial and in arbitrations.

Although Anna’s trial work is focussed on London, she is called to the Bar of the BVI and has often been instructed in cases proceeding in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Guernsey, Jersey, Brunei and Singapore.

 

Examples of recent cases

Kazakhstan Kagazy Plc v (1) Zhunus (2) Arip [2016] EWHC 1048 (Comm); [2015] EWHC 404 (Comm); and [2015] EWHC 996 (Comm): Anna represents defendants in a substantial and hard-fought fraud, conspiracy and breach of duty claim brought by KK Plc against its former directors. The case has resulted in a series of recent decisions by the Commercial Court and Court of Appeal and involves issues relating to fiduciary duty and powers, limitation, discretionary trusts, s.423 IA 1986 and foreign law.

Alliance Bank JSC v (1) Zhuns (2) Arip [2015] EWHC 714 (Comm): Anna represented the defendants in a $300 million fraud and conspiracy claim brought by Alliance Bank in respect of a series of outstanding loans. Defendants have obtained the discharge of the freezing and proprietary injunctions granted to Alliance and the English Court has declined jurisdiction for want of a seriously arguable case.

London Steam Ship Owners Mutual Insurance Association Ltd v (1) Spain and (2) France (The Prestige) [2015] EWCA Civ 333: Anna represented Spain and France in resisting s.66 applications to enforce negative declarations granted in Awards made against them in relation to their attempts to seek compensation for losses of over €4 billion caused by the ecological disaster arising out of the sinking of the M/T Prestige in 2002. Sovereign immunity, conflicts of laws, arbitrability, the Judgments Regulation and ss.67/72 of the Arbitration Act 1996.

RP Explorer Master Fund v Malhotra & Ors [2014] EWHC 4170 (Comm): Anna acts for an investment fund in a substantial fraud and conspiracy claim against multiple defendants in several jurisdictions. By this judgment the Court dismissed an application to strike out for abuse of process and res judicata.

St Christopher School (Letchworth) Ltd v Schymanski [2014] EWHC 2573 (QB): During a two-week High Court trial Anna, acting as sole advocate, successfully defended the school against allegations of racial discrimination, bullying and breaches of the school’s duty of care. The school and each member of staff were fully exonerated.

Burger King Corporation v King Franchises Ltd [2013] EWHC 1761 (Comm): Anna represented Burger King in obtaining declaratory relief and mandatory final injunctions against its former Cypriot franchisee.

Civil fraud & asset tracing

Anna has over the past 14 years obtained substantial experience of domestic and international commercial fraud, bribery and related contempt proceedings. She has particular experience (both led and as sole advocate) of seeking and resisting applications for freezing and proprietary injunctions, including in support of arbitrations, as well as passport, cross-examination and third party disclosure/Norwich Pharmacal orders.

Examples of decisions and instructions include:

Kazakhstan Kagazy Plc v (1) Zhunus (2) Arip [2016] EWHC 1048 (Comm); [2015] EWHC 404 (Comm); and [2015] EWHC 996 (Comm):

Anna represents defendants in a substantial and hard-fought fraud, conspiracy and breach of duty claim brought by KK Plc against its former directors. The case has resulted in a series of recent decisions by the Commercial Court and Court of Appeal and involves issues relating to fiduciary duty and powers, limitation, discretionary trusts, s.423 IA 1986 and foreign law. (with Mark Howard QC and Paul McGrath QC).

Alliance Bank JSC v (1) Zhuns (2) Arip [2015] EWHC 714 (Comm):

Anna represented the defendants in a $300 million fraud and conspiracy claim brought by Alliance Bank in respect of a series of outstanding loans. Defendants have obtained the discharge of the freezing and proprietary injunctions granted to Alliance and the English Court has declined jurisdiction for want of a seriously arguable case (with Mark Howard QC).

Bank of Moscow v Andrew Chernyakov & Ors:

Anna acts for Bank of Moscow in its claims to enforce Russian judgments of over $200 million against the former owner of the largest construction group in Moscow. The case has involved the Bank obtaining a series of freezing, disclosure and passport orders against the main defendant and others, including under the Chabra jurisdiction. The case concerns the defences to enforcement of a foreign judgment at common law, as well as claims to set aside transactions under s.423 of the Insolvency Act 1986.

Conapro v Ministry of Petroleum of the Gambia:

Anna acts for the Claimant in its claim for loss of profits arising out of an oil supply contract with the Ministry of Petroleum of The Gambia. The Ministry claims the contract is void by reason of bribery of the former Gambian ambassador to Qatar.

Kazatomprom v Dzhakishev & Ors [2015]:

Anna acts for the state atomic agency of Kazakhstan in its claims proceeding in the BVI against its former directors and others in respect of alleged diversion of interests in uranium assets worth some $250 million. (With David Foxton QC)

Red October International SA v CJSC “VMZ Red October” & Ors [2015]:

Anna acted for several of the NCAD defendants against which freezing orders had been granted in the BVI under the Chabra jurisdiction. The case involved difficult questions of cross-border insolvency and conflicts of laws.

RP Explorer Master Fund –v- Malhotra & Ors [2014] EWHC 4170 (Comm):

Anna is representing a Cayman investment fund in its pursuit of various individuals (in England, Dubai, Singapore and India) and a European bank for deceit and conspiracy in respect of the issue of $200 million in global depository receipts by an Indian company and listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. (With Paul McGrath QC)

Accident Exchange –v- Autofocus & Ors (2015):

Anna is representing Accident Exchange in what has been described as the largest ever fraud on the civil justice system where thousands of expert reports and witness statements containing false information were deployed in legal proceedings against Accident Exchange and other credit hire providers. The case involves claims in conspiracy and deceit against the providers of the evidence as well as various

Commercial Dispute Resolution

Anna is an experienced commercial litigator and acts and advises in relation to a wide variety of commercial disputes. She is regularly instructed to appear as sole advocate and with leading counsel. Anna also has substantial experience of seeking and resisting applications for interim relief, including freezing orders, quia timet injunctions, anti-harassment injunctions and applications in respect of contractual restrictive covenants.

Recent decisions and examples of work include:

London Steam Ship Owners Mutual Insurance Association v (1) Spain and (2) France (the Prestige) [2013] EWHC 3188 (Comm) and [2015] EWCA Civ 333: 

Anna represented Spain and France at first instance and on appeal in resisting s.66 applications to enforce negative declarations granted in Awards made against them in relation to their attempts to seek compensation for losses of over €4 billion caused by the ecological disaster arising out of the sinking of the M/T Prestige in 2002. Sovereign immunity, conflicts of laws, arbitrability, the Judgments Regulation and ss.67/72 of the Arbitration Act 1996. (With Joe Smouha QC)

Kazakhstan Kagazy Plc v (1) Zhunus (2) Arip [2016] EWHC 1048 (Comm); [2015] EWHC 404 (Comm); and [2015] EWHC 996 (Comm): 

Anna represents defendants in a substantial and hard-fought fraud, conspiracy and breach of duty claim brought by KK Plc against its former directors. The case has resulted in a series of recent decisions by the Commercial Court and Court of Appeal and involves issues relating to fiduciary duty and powers, limitation, discretionary trusts, s.423 IA 1986 and foreign law. (with Mark Howard QC and Paul McGrath QC).

Irving Picard (Trustee of BLMIS)-v- (1) Kingate Management Ltd (2) FIM Ltd & Ors [2014]: 

Anna defended parties in claims brought by the Liquidator of Bernard L Madoff Securities LLC and the Liquidator of two substantial Bermudan hedge funds. (With Robert Miles QC)

Alliance Bank JSC v (1) Zhuns (2) Arip [2015] EWHC 714 (Comm): Anna represented the defendants in a $300 million fraud and conspiracy claim brought by Alliance Bank in respect of a series of outstanding loans. Defendants have obtained the discharge of the freezing and proprietary injunctions granted to Alliance and the English Court has declined jurisdiction for want of a seriously arguable case.

Conapro v Ministry of Petroleum of the Gambia:

Anna acts for the Claimant in its claim for loss of profits arising out of an oil supply contract with the Ministry of Petroleum of The Gambia. The Ministry claims the contract is void by reason of bribery of the former Gambian ambassador to Qatar.

Ikon International (HK) Holdings Plc v Ikon Finance & Ors:

Anna acted for the claimant in seeking sums due in respect of the profits of a joint venture pursuant to various letters of credit and guarantees (recently settled).

Acting for a major steel producer seeking compensation from its contractors for thefts of steel products on the basis of vicarious liability.

 

Commercial chancery disputes

Many of Anna’s cases are of a Commercial Chancery nature involving issues related to fiduciary duties and power, fraud, company and partnership law, trusts and property.

Alliance Bank JSC v (1) Zhuns (2) Arip [2015] EWHC 714 (Comm): Anna represented the defendants in a $300 million fraud and conspiracy claim brought by Alliance Bank in respect of a series of outstanding loans. Defendants have obtained the discharge of the freezing and proprietary injunctions granted to Alliance and the English Court has declined jurisdiction for want of a seriously arguable case.

Irving Picard (Trustee of BLMIS)-v- (1) Kingate Management Ltd (2) FIM Ltd & Ors [2014]:

Anna is defending parties in claims brought by the Liquidator of Bernard L Madoff Securities LLC and the Liquidator of two substantial Bermudan hedge funds. The proceedings in London and New York involve allegations of fraud and knowing receipt against Anna’s clients. (With Robert Miles QC)

RP Explorer Master Fund -v- (1) R Chilukuri (2) Spice International Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 1307:

Anna represented a Cayman investment fund in a dispute concerning global depository receipts issued on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. The appeal concerned the correct approach to share valuation and, in particular, the DCF valuation method. The first instance decision dealing with additional issues of breach of contract and construction is at [2013] EWHC 103 (Ch). (With David Lord QC and later Jeffrey Gruder QC)

BNE –v- Greatline Developments [2013]:

Anna represented a commercial property agent in its attempt to enforce a profit share agreement against a property developer. The case involved several allegations of forgery against the developer. After a full seven-day

trial in December 2013, the matter settled.

Independent Trustee Services Ltd-v- (1) GP Noble Trustees Ltd and Ors (2) Susan Morris [2012] EWCA Civ 195:

A decision on when the ‘purchaser aspect’ of the bona fide purchaser defence is to be assessed; rescission; setting aside of a consent order. The Supreme Court gave permission to appeal but the matter settled at an advanced stage. (With Andrew Twigger QC and James Lewis QC)

Rookledge –v- (1) Topological Systems Ltd (2) Tomassi [2012] Ch D (CR Baister):

Hard fought s.994 (unfair prejudice) proceedings. Anna successfully defended the petition at trial.

Liquidators of Connor Williams Ltd v Williams & Ors [2013]:

Anna defended misfeasance and negligence proceedings brought against a director of a substantial insolvent corporate group.

Company & insolvency law

Anna has experience of most types of company and corporate and personal insolvency applications, including obtaining injunctions to prevent the presentation of winding up petitions.

Rookledge –v- (1) Topological Systems Ltd (2) Tomassi [2012] Ch D (CR Baister):

Hard fought s.994 (unfair prejudice) proceedings. Anna successfully defended the petition at trial.

Liquidators of Connor Williams Ltd v Williams & Ors [2013]:

Anna defended misfeasance and negligence proceedings brought against a director of a substantial insolvent corporate group.

Irving Picard (Trustee of BLMIS)-v- (1) Kingate Management Ltd (2) FIM Ltd & Ors [2013]: (see description above)

CHRS Ltd (In Liquidation) -v- (1) Kirby (2) Kirby [2010]:

Anna successfully acted for the Liquidator in proceedings for specific performance of a settlement agreement and declarations as to the validity of the Liquidator’s security over the Defendant’s beneficial interest in real property.

Conflict of laws & private international law

London Steam Ship Owners Mutual Insurance Association v (1) Spain and (2) France (the Prestige) [2013] EWHC 3188 (Comm) and [2013] EWHC 2840 (Comm):

Anna represents France and Spain in resisting s.66 applications to enforce Awards made against them so as to block their attempts to seek compensation for losses in excess of €4 billion caused by the ecological disaster arising out of the sinking of the M/T Prestige in 2002. The case involves questions of the classification of causes of action/issues from the perspective of English private international law as well as the enforcement regime under the Judgments Regulation. Currently on appeal. (With Joe Smouha QC)

Energy & natural resources

Kazatomprom v Dzhakishev & Ors [2015]:

Anna acts for the state atomic agency of Kazakhstan in its claims proceeding in the BVI against its former directors and others in respect of alleged diversion of interests in uranium assets.

AJ Crane Ltd –v- BP (Caspian Sea) Ltd [2013]:

Anna acted for a supplier of cranes in a dispute with BP concerning the provision of substantial amounts of equipment for an energy project in Azerbaijan (settled). The case involved FCPA issues.

LCIA arbitration [2012]:

Anna acted as sole advocate in a two week arbitration representing a seller of wafers for photovoltaic panels in a dispute relating to a long-term ‘take or pay’ contract. She obtained an Award of circa $13 million for her client.

LCIA arbitration [2010]:

 Anna acted for an international energy commodity trader in an LCIA international commercial arbitration concerning an oil pipeline in Ghana (settled).

Financial Markets

RP Explorer Master Fund -v- (1) R Chilukuri (2) Spice International Ltd [2013] EWHC 103 (Ch):

Anna successfully represented a Cayman hedge fund in a dispute concerning global depository receipts issued on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. Her client has been awarded damages in excess of US$80 million.
(With David Lord QC)

Irving Picard (Trustee of BLMIS) -v- (1) Kingate Management Ltd (2) FIM Ltd & Ors [2013]:

Anna is defending parties in claims brought by the Liquidator of Bernard L Madoff Securities LLC and the Liquidator of two substantial Bermudan hedge funds. The Bermudan aspect of the case concerns the structural aspect of two hedge funds, restitution, constructive trusts as well as allegations of professional negligence against financial advisors. (With Robert Miles QC)

Interest rate swap litigation (various):

Anna is currently acting for various businesses which have brought claims in respect of the alleged mis-selling of interest rate swap hedging products.

Anna has advised banks and others on a number of disputes concerning FOREX trading, breaches of the ISDA Master Agreement and termination as well as the construction of contracts governing futures and interest rate swaps. Further, a substantial part of her fraud work has involved the operation of Cayman and BVI hedge funds.

Insolvency

Anna has experience of most types of company and corporate and personal insolvency applications, including obtaining injunctions to prevent the presentation of winding up petitions.

Rookledge –v- (1) Topological Systems Ltd (2) Tomassi [2012] Ch D (CR Baister):

 Hard fought s.994 (unfair prejudice) proceedings. Anna successfully defended the petition at trial.

Liquidators of Connor Williams Ltd v Williams & Ors [2013]:

Anna defended misfeasance and negligence proceedings brought against a director of a substantial insolvent corporate group.

Irving Picard (Trustee of BLMIS)-v- (1) Kingate Management Ltd (2) FIM Ltd & Ors [2013]: (see description above)

CHRS Ltd (In Liquidation) -v- (1) Kirby (2) Kirby [2010]:

Anna successfully acted for the Liquidator in proceedings for specific performance of a settlement agreement and declarations as to the validity of the Liquidator’s security over the Defendant’s beneficial interest in real property.

International Arbitration

Anna advises and acts in a wide range or arbitral proceedings conducted both domestically and internationally, both alone and as junior counsel. She also has experience of seeking injunctive relief pursuant to s.44 of the 1996 Act, enforcing or resisting the enforcement of arbitral awards and appeals to the High Court pursuant to ss.68 and 69. She also has experience of applications to appoint and remove arbitrators. Recent examples of cases include:

London Steam Ship Owners Mutual Insurance Association v (1) Spain and (2) France (the Prestige) [2013] EWHC 3188 (Comm) and [2013] EWHC 2840 (Comm):

Anna represents France and Spain in resisting s.66 applications to enforce Awards made against them so as to block their attempts to seek compensation for losses in excess of €4 billion caused by the ecological disaster arising out of the sinking of the M/T Prestige in 2002. The case involves questions of sovereign immunity, conflicts of laws, arbitrability, discretion under s.66, the Judgments Regulation and ss.67/72 of the Arbitration Act 1996. Currently on appeal (With Joe Smouha QC)

SIAC arbitration [2013]:

Anna defended a Delaware company and a director and shareholder of that company in a contract and
shareholder dispute with a substantial Indian co-operative. The matter concerns a prospective phosphorus rock off-take agreement in relation to one or more Australian mines.

Ad hoc arbitration [2013]:

Anna acted for a wealthy individual in a dispute related to the proposed demolition of a valuable London
property. Damages were awarded to Anna’s client although permanent injunctions were refused. Anna also obtained interim relief pursuant to s.44. (With Christopher Moger QC)

LCIA arbitration [2012]:

Anna acted as sole advocate in a two week arbitration representing a seller of wafers for photovoltaic panels in a dispute relating to a long-term ‘take or pay’ contract. She obtained an Award of circa $13 million for her client.

LCIA arbitration (Dubai) [2012]:

Anna acted for a large international law firm in a partnership dispute (settled). (With Michael Swainston QC)

LCIA arbitration [2010]:

Anna acted for an international energy commodity trader in an LCIA international commercial arbitration
concerning an oil pipeline in Ghana (settled).

LCIA arbitration [2009-2010]:

Anna acted for a large international telecoms and technology company in an LCIA international commercial arbitration concerning the implementation of a 3G network (settled after the final hearing and Award). (With David Lord QC)

Emmott v Michael Wilson & Partners Ltd [2009] EWHC 1 (Comm):

The first reported (and widely commented upon) decision on the Court’s powers under s. 42 Arbitration Act 1996 with regard to enforcement of a peremptory order made by a Tribunal. (With
Anthony Boswood QC)

Ad hoc arbitration [2008-2010]:

Anna acted in the hearing of a very substantial ad hoc commercial arbitration regarding alleged breaches of fiduciary and contractual duties (including the diversion of business opportunities) arising out of a business venture in the Republic of Kazakhstan. (With Anthony Boswood QC)

Offshore litigation

Anna has acted in many cases before the courts of Jersey, Guernsey, the BVI, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

Professional negligence

A number of Anna’s cases have involved allegations of professional negligence (see RP Explorer, Irving Picard, Connor Williams and Wilson v Emmott). Whilst Anna has dealt primarily with allegations of professional negligence against large firms of solicitors (which cases are confidential) and directors, she also has experience of cases involving alleged negligence by accountants, barristers, pension fund trustees and auditors.

Unjust enrichment & restitution claims

Many of Anna’s cases involve restitutionary claims, both within and outside of the civil fraud context. For example:

Irving Picard (Trustee of BLMIS)-v- (1) Kingate Management Ltd (2) FIM Ltd & Ors [2013]:
A cutting edge case arising out of the Bernard Madoff fraud which is proceeding in Bermuda and which will develop the law on unjust enrichment.

Independent Trustee Services Ltd-v- (1) GP Noble Trustees Ltd and Ors (2) Susan Morris [2012] EWCA Civ 195: A case on rescission and restitution arising out of the innocent receipt of trust monies.

Nelgado –v- Sanadiradze (2014):

A case involving questions about the consequential effects of rescission and the limits of restitutio in integrum.

Career

2008: Call

2002-2008: Solicitor, Commercial Litigation (Stephenson Harwood and Simmons & Simmons)

Education

1999: Legal Practice Course
1998: Law and French Law at University College London
1997: Université d’Assas