Professional practice

Claudia has a broad commercial practice with specialisms in arbitration, civil fraud, employment and media and entertainment law. Claudia has appeared unled in the High Court, County Courts and the Employment Tribunal and as junior counsel in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, High Court, numerous arbitrations (including under the LMAA Terms (2012), LCIA Arbitration Rules, American Arbitration Association Rules, ICC Rules and DIAC) and in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts. She is accustomed to working closely with foreign lawyers. She has been instructed in both advisory work and ongoing litigation.

Claudia is recognized as a leading junior (Tier 1) for Art and Cultural Property Law by the Legal 500 2017 which states “She has it all and will go a very long way”.

She is qualified to appear before the DIFC Courts and is uniquely familiar with the jurisdiction, having spent several months there on secondment to the DIFC Courts and an international law firm during a 2014 Pegasus Trust Scholarship. She has recently advised the newly established Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Courts on their Arbitration and Court Rules.

Claudia is the author of “Those Wild Wyndhams”, a biography of the Wyndham sisters (HarperCollins, 2014), which won the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize 2014 and was nominated for the Spears Book Awards 2014 and will be published in the US in 2018 (Knopf). She is also co-author of Heroes (Quercus 2007). In her previous career as an actress she appeared on stage with the Royal Shakespeare Company and at the National Theatre, and on television in series for the BBC and ITV.

 

Examples of notable cases
  • Instructed as junior to Joe Smouha QC to act in a case concerning the sale of a painting under a private treaty agreement now alleged to be counterfeit.
  • Grizzly Business Limited v Stena Drilling Limited and Stena Drillmax I Limited [2014] EWHC 1920 (Comm): Instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills (as junior to Andrew Hochhauser QC) to act for the Respondents at first instance and on appeal in a case concerning whether there was an oral agreement for a success fee in relation to an underlying drilling contract. Successfully secured permission to appeal on points of fact. Appeal of 1.5 days listed for February 2017.
  • Instructed as junior to David Joseph QC in an arbitration under the LMAA Terms (2012) concerning a claim for commission under agency and brokerage agreements in relation to underlying drilling contracts involving issues of alleged fraud and breach of contract and questions of Brazilian and US law.
  • Instructed as junior to Sue Prevezer QC to advise a Swiss investment fund in relation to a multi-million dollar investment fund fraud claim against FCA regulation investment managers. The claim involves allegations of deceit, conspiracy, bribery, dishonest assistance and knowing receipt and questions concerning the proper law of contractual and tortious claims.
  • Willis Ltd & Ors v (1) Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group Plc (2) JLT Specialty Ltd (3) David Gordon (4) Barry Vickery QBD [2015]: Instructed as junior to David Craig QC for the Third and Fourth Defendants in a case arising out of an alleged team move in the insurance broking industry. Settled.
  • Bibby Distribution Ltd v (1) DHL Supply Chain Ltd (2) Nisa Retail Ltd: Instructed by as junior to Richard Millett QC for the Claimants in a case involving allegations of breach of confidence, fraudulent misrepresentation and conspiracy in relation to information allegedly unlawfully procured by the defendants in advance of a handover from one logistics provider to another. Settled in advance of a six-week hearing in the Chancery Court.
  • Bocimar International NV v Emirates Trading Agency LLC CFI 008/2015 [2015]: Instructed as junior to Rupert Reed QC to act for a Belgian shipowner in a protracted cross-jurisdictional dispute in the Commercial Court and the Dubai International Financial Centre Court concerning the shipowner’s attempts to enforce in Dubai LMAA arbitral awards rendered in the owner’s favour for sums of over US$ 114 million and subsequently entered as judgments of the Commercial Court under s. 66, Arbitration Act 1996. In January 2016 secured a worldwide freezing order in the DIFC Courts in the sum of US$118m.
  • Instructed as junior to Richard Millett QC in a substantial arbitration under the American Arbitration Association Rules involving cross-claims of alleged breaches of contract in relation to a global distribution agreement, fraudulent misrepresentation, allegations of fraud, conspiracy and breaches of Chinese law. Settled in advance of a six week hearing.
  • Bates van Winkelhof v Clyde & Co LLP [2014] UKSC 32: Instructed as junior to Tom Linden QC and David Craig to act for the successful appellant, a former member of the Respondent LLP. The Supreme Court held that the appellant was a worker within the meaning of 230(3)(b) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and thus entitled to bring a whistleblowing claim against the LLP.
What Others Say

‘She has it all and will go a very long way.’ – The Legal 500 UK Bar 2017

Arbitration & related court applications

Claudia has recently advised (with Lord Saville) the Abu Dhabi Global Market Courts on its Arbitration Rules (passed in December 2015).

Examples of recent cases include:

  • Instructed as junior to David Joseph QC in an arbitration under the LMAA Terms (2012) concerning a claim for commission under agency and brokerage agreements in relation to underlying drilling contracts involving issues of alleged fraud and breach of contract and questions of Brazilian and US law.
  • Instructed as junior to Jern-Fei Ng in an arbitration under the LMAA Terms (2012) concerning claims brought by Owners for substantial sums in respect of alleged breach of contract by failure to nominate laycans. 4 day hearing in March 2017.
  • Instructed as junior to David Joseph QC to advise on jurisdictional issues concerning a possible stay of court proceedings under s. 9, Arbitration Act 1996 or the inherent jurisdiction of the court.
  • Instructed as junior to Richard Millett QC in a substantial arbitration under the American Arbitration Association Rules involving cross-claims of alleged breaches of contract in relation to a global distribution agreement, fraudulent misrepresentation, allegations of fraud and conspiracy and breaches of Chinese law. Settled in advance of a six week hearing.
  • Bocimar International NV v Emirates Trading Agency LLC CFI 008/2015 [2015]: Instructed as junior to Rupert Reed QC to act for a Belgian shipowner in a protracted cross-jurisdictional dispute in the Commercial Court and the Dubai International Financial Centre Court seeking ultimately the enforcement in Dubai of LMAA arbitral awards rendered in the owner’s favour for sums of over US$ 114 million and subsequently entered as judgments of the Commercial Court under s. 66, Arbitration Act 1996. In January 2016 secured a worldwide freezing order in the DIFC Courts in the sum of US$118 m.
  • Instructed as sole counsel in an arbitration under the ICC Rules, acting for the Respondent, an expert in the field of binary options, in respect of a claim of US$20 million made against him by his former business partners in respect of alleged breaches of a Founders Agreement. Claim settled.
  • DIAC Arbitration: During secondment with King & Wood Mallesons in Dubai, assisted Stephen Dennison QC, Rupert Reed QC and Riaz Hussain in acting in a DIAC arbitration for a major infrastructure developer in defending contractor claims for in excess of AED 1 billion by a former member of a joint venture in circumstances where the joint venture and its claims were severed by agreement and order of the tribunal.
  • Instructed as part of a team of counsel in an ICC arbitration involving a claim against a German conglomerate in the industrial sector.
  • Instructed as junior to Jeffrey Gruder QC to act for an oil company in an ad hoc arbitration brought by a major rig company.
  • Acted (led by Christopher Smith QC) on behalf of the Respondents in an arbitration under the LMAA terms involving the management of a specialist support vessel classed for work involving Dynamic Positioning, and concerning technical issues as to the state of the vessel and the level of management services provided.
  • Acted (led by Christopher Smith QC) on behalf of the buyer of a luxury yacht who brought an ad hoc arbitration against the builder, claiming to have validly rejected the yacht on account of defects present on delivery.
Civil fraud & asset tracing

Claudia has a particular interest in civil fraud and has worked on numerous cases involving civil fraud, including equitable, proprietary and restitutionary claims and remedies and tracing and asset recovery, often involving complex jurisdictional and conflict of laws issues.

Examples of recent cases include:

  • Instructed as junior to Sue Prevezer QC to advise a Swiss investment fund in relation to a multi-million dollar investment fund fraud claim against
  • FCA regulation investment managers. The claim involves allegations of deceit, conspiracy, bribery, dishonest assistance and knowing receipt and questions concerning the proper law of contractual and tortious claims.
  • Instructed as junior to David Joseph QC in an arbitration under the LMAA Terms (2012) concerning a claim for commission under agency and brokerage agreements in relation to underlying drilling contracts involving allegations of fraud and breach of contract and questions of Brazilian and US law.
  • Instructed as junior to Richard Millett QC in a substantial arbitration involving cross-claims of alleged breaches of contract in relation to a global distribution agreement, fraudulent misrepresentation, allegations of fraud and conspiracy and breaches of Chinese law. Settled in advance of a six week hearing.
  • Instructed as junior to Paul McGrath QC to advise a Nigerian bank in relation to freezing injunctions and search orders.
Commercial dispute resolution

Claudia has recently advised (with Lord Hope of Craighead) the Abu Dhabi Global Market Courts on its Court Procedure Rules.

Examples of recent cases include:

  • Grizzly Business Limited v Stena Drilling Limited and Stena Drillmax I Limited [2014] EWHC 1920 (Comm): Instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills (as junior to Andrew Hochhauser QC) to act for the Respondents at first instance and on appeal in a case concerning whether there was an oral agreement for a success fee in relation to an underlying drilling contract. Successfully secured permission to appeal on points of fact. Appeal of 1.5 days listed for February 2017.
  • Instructed as junior to Sue Prevezer QC to advise a Swiss investment fund in relation to a multi-million dollar investment fund fraud claim against FCA regulation investment managers. The claim involves allegations of deceit, conspiracy, bribery, dishonest assistance and knowing receipt and questions concerning the proper law of contractual and tortious claims.
  • Instructed as junior to Hugh Mercer QC to advise a U.S. fund on claims for the recovery of sums due in respect of global notes issued under a deed of Indenture originally governed by New York law and subsequently amended to be subject to English law and jurisdiction. The claims involve questions of rights granted under the lex situs and questions of New York law.
  • Willis Ltd & Ors v (1) Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group Plc (2) JLT Specialty Ltd (3) David Gordon (4) Barry Vickery QBD [2015]: Instructed by Eversheds LLP (as junior to David Craig QC) for the Third and Fourth Defendants in a case arising out of an alleged team move in the insurance broking industry. Settled shortly before a five-week hearing in the Commercial Court.
  • Bibby Distribution Ltd v (1) DHL Supply Chain Ltd (2) Nisa Retail Ltd: Instructed as junior to Richard Millett QC for the Claimants in a case involving allegations of breach of confidence, fraudulent misrepresentation and conspiracy in relation to information allegedly unlawfully procured by the defendants in advance of a handover from one logistics provider to another. Settled in advance of a six-week hearing in the Chancery Court.
  • Bocimar International NV v Emirates Trading Agency LLC CFI 008/2015 [2015]: Instructed as junior to Rupert Reed QC to act for a Belgian shipowner in a protracted cross-jurisdictional dispute in the Commercial Court and the Dubai International Financial Centre Court concerning the shipowner’s attempts to enforce in Dubai LMAA arbitral awards rendered in the owner’s favour for sums of over US$ 114 million and subsequently entered as judgments of the Commercial Court under s. 66, Arbitration Act 1996. In January 2016 secured a worldwide freezing order in the DIFC Courts in the sum of US$118 m.

Claudia frequently acts as sole counsel: most recently:

  • Instructed as sole counsel in Commercial Court proceedings concerning acquisition of a stake in a hedge fund under a share purchase agreement in a claim for over US$100 m in respect of alleged breaches of contract (including breach of warranty) and claims in deceit in matters relating, inter alia, to historic investments made through third party custodians in accounts managed by Bernard Madoff.
  • Instructed as sole counsel for the defendants in a copyright dispute in the Mercantile Court concerning a filmed ballet performance.
  • Mrs Farrah Jamal (née Sunderji) v Mrs Joan Christensen Successfully set aside a statutory demand on the grounds that the alleged debt was a time-barred foreign judgment which was not recoverable as a debt at common law.
  • In a Commercial Court dispute concerning sums owed under a Commission Agreement. Case settled.
  • Securing the strike out of a claim for sums due under an agreement on the basis of a preliminary issue in the County Court.
  • Successfully defending an application to set aside judgment entered in default in the Mercantile Court.
  • In county court proceedings concerning sums allegedly due under a livery agreement.
  • In county court proceedings concerning sums allegedly due under a share purchase agreement and alleged breaches thereof.
Conflict of laws & private international law

Claudia has advised on matters relating to jurisdiction, stays, injunctions and proper law. Examples of recent cases include:

  • Instructed as junior to Sue Prevezer QC to advise a Swiss investment fund in relation to a multi-million dollar investment fund fraud claim against FCA regulation investment managers. The claim involves allegations of deceit, conspiracy, bribery, dishonest assistance and knowing receipt and questions concerning the proper law of contractual and tortious claims.
  • Instructed as junior to Hugh Mercer QC to advise a U.S. fund on claims for the recovery of sums due in respect of global notes issued under a deed of Indenture originally governed by New York law and subsequently amended to be subject to English law and jurisdiction. The claims involve questions of rights granted under the lex situs and questions of New York law.
  • Instructed as junior to Sara Cockerill QC in a one day jurisdictional hearing in the High Court.
Employment

Claudia practices in all areas of employment law, including discrimination, wrongful and unfair dismissal (including redundancy), restrictive covenants and whistleblowing.

She has acted as sole counsel for the successful defendant employer in a three day unfair dismissal and pregnancy discrimination trial in the Employment Tribunal; for the Claimant in a case concerning payments claimed under related sale and purchase and share options agreements and concerning the misappropriation of assets in excess of US$50 million; and recently negotiated a high value settlement deal for a claimant employee. She acts for claimants and respondents.

Examples of recent cases include:

  • Willis Ltd & Ors v (1) Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group Plc (2) JLT Specialty Ltd (3) David Gordon (4) Barry Vickery QBD [2015]: Acted (led by David Craig QC) for the Third and Fourth Defendants in a substantial case arising out of an alleged team move in the insurance broking industry. Settled shortly before a five-week hearing in the Commercial Court. Instructed as sole counsel in Commercial Court proceedings concerning acquisition of a stake in a hedge fund under a share purchase agreement in a claim for over US$100 m in respect of alleged breaches of contract (including breach of warranty) and claims in deceit in matters relating, inter alia, to historic investments made through third party custodians in accounts managed by Bernard Madoff.
  • Instructed as junior to Charles Ciumei QC in a Commercial Court dispute concerning damages allegedly due under a Consultancy Agreement and allegations of breach of contract, fiduciary duties and/or an equitable duty of confidence. Settled in advance of a 9 day trial.
  • Bates van Winkelhof v Clyde & Co LLP [2014] UKSC 32: Acted as junior counsel to Tom Linden QC and David Craig for the successful appellant, a former member of the Respondent LLP. The Supreme Court held that the appellant was a worker within the meaning of s.230(3)(b) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and thus entitled to bring a whistleblowing claim against the LLP.
  • Instructed in a dispute concerning an alleged relevant transfer under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (“TUPE”).
Media, art, entertainment

Claudia has a strong practice in media and entertainment law. She is recognised by The Legal 500 2017 as a leading junior (Tier 1) for Art & Cultural Property Law, which states that ‘She has it all and will go a very long way.’

She has advised as sole counsel and as junior counsel on areas including passing off, trade mark infringement, and sponsorship, agency and advertising agreements.

Examples of current and recent cases include:

  • Instructed as junior to Joe Smouha QC in a case concerning the sale of a painting under a private treaty agreement now alleged to be counterfeit.
  • Instructed in a dispute concerning whether an art dealer was retained by an art collector and if so, on what terms.
  • Instructed as sole counsel in a copyright dispute in the Mercantile Court concerning a filmed ballet performance.
  • Instructed as sole counsel for an advertising agency in relation to breach of contract claims made by the corporate arm of a political pressure group under an agreement for advertising services provided by the agency. Settled.
  • English National Opera v Speckulation Entertainment Limited Instructed by the claimant opera company as sole counsel. Secured judgment in default concerning the Defendant’s breaches of contract concerning a cancelled musical event; defeated the Defendant’s application to set aside that judgment in default and advised on enforcement issues.
  • MTC v Sir Bradley Wiggins: Instructed as junior to Ian Mill QC for the claimant, a sports and entertainment agency, in a commercial dispute with its former client, cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins.
Career

2011 – 2012 Pupillage at Essex Court Chambers
2011 Called to the Bar, Gray’s Inn
2003 – 2009 Professional actor and writer

Education

2015                   Attended Keble Advocacy Course
2010 – 2011     BPTC, City University Law School (Outstanding, ranked 8th in year)
2009 – 2010   GDL, City University Law School (Distinction)
2000 – 2003  BA (Hons) in Modern History, Trinity College, Oxford (First class, ranked 4th in year)

Awards

2014 Pegasus Scholar, Inner Temple
2010 Bedingfield Scholarship, Gray’s Inn
2009 Anthony Bessemer Clark Award, Gray’s Inn
2003 Oxford University Gibbs Book Prize for Modern History
2003 Trinity College, Oxford, Finals Prize
2003 Trinity College, Commendation, R.A. Knox Memorial Prize
2001 Ford Exhibition for Modern History (awarded for a First in Honour Moderations)

Other Awards:
2012 Commendation, James Hunt Advocacy Prize (Gray’s Inn)
2010 Runner-up, City University Moot

2014 Those Wild Wyndhams awarded the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize by the Biographers’ Club
2014 Selected by The Observer in capacity as an historian as a ‘rising star’ of 2014
2010 Selected by Vogue magazine in capacity as an historian to be part of the feature ‘Bright Stars’: one of 32 young people from various fields whose careers were identified as worth following (VOGUE, January 2010)
2007 Commendation, Ian Charleson Award (Awarded by the Royal National Theatre and the Sunday Times for ‘outstanding performances by actors under 30 in classical roles’)