Professional practice

Edward Brown handles a broad range of substantial disputes focusing on the following areas:

  • Banking / financial services
  • Commercial disputes (High Court and Arbitration)
  • Commercial fraud
  • Confidential information and injunctions
  • Employment and shareholder disputes
  • Media and entertainment
  • VAT

Ed is a very experienced trial advocate and regularly handles substantial cases as sole advocate and as part of a team. He is recognised by both of the leading directories as a top litigator at the junior bar. He is ranked in Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 in commercial dispute resolution, employment, media, entertainment and sport and VAT. A large number of Ed’s cases (over 40) have been reported in the law reports. He frequently speaks at seminars and publishes articles in matters relating to his practice areas.

Ed appears frequently as sole counsel and acts in larger teams in heavyweight litigation. He has particular experience in urgent and injunctive matters, including freezing injunctions, injunctions to preserve confidential information and injunctions against employees. He also frequently advises in relation to complex issues of privilege. He is often instructed alone against leading counsel.

Recent examples of Ed’s work include acting as lead advocate in the Supreme Court in a guarantee dispute; acting for the applicants in substantial FCA proceedings in the Upper Tribunal; acting for entrepreneur John Caudwell in a High Court shareholder dispute; acting for an international bank in a lengthy LCIA arbitration and Commercial Court proceedings arising out of an Asian banking fraud; acting for the Iranian Government (with Toby Landau QC) in a multi-billion dollar arbitration; acting for an inter-dealer broker in an injunction dispute against a senior employee; acting for an insurance broker in defending a “team move” conspiracy claim brought by a competitor; acting for RBS in a Chancery Division breach of confidence trial; acting in a fraud claim (including for injunctive relief) to recover misappropriated company money.

Ed is also on the Attorney-General’s A Panel and has acted for the United Kingdom Government in a range of matters up to the Supreme Court.

 

What others say

Chambers & Partners and Legal 500, Commercial Litigation

  • “Great to work with, very much a team player, cuts to the chase on the underlying issues, and excellent on his feet in court and as a cross-examiner”
  • Tenacious, pragmatic and someone with a good eye for detail.”
  • He gives sound, practical advice, is willing to get involved in the detail as needed, and he invariably makes himself available.”
  • He is very good at drafting, very strong at getting quickly into the detail and receptive to the views of other team members. He is a pleasure to have as a sounding board on a case.
  • A class act. He is on the ball, works hard and always delivers.” “Very hard-working and collegiate in his approach.”
  • Provides excellent advice and strong courtroom skills.”
  • Considered a strong commercial junior by City solicitors, several of whom highlight his ability to quickly and thoroughly address the nub of a commercial dispute.”
  • He is very commercial in his approach, and has an ability to gain a quick grasp of the issues and the client’s overall objectives.
  • He’s thorough and very clever, and gives the team total confidence he is giving the correct advice.”
  • “Praised for his ‘fantastic advocacy’, ‘clever solutions provider’ Edward Brown is well liked by instructing solicitors due to his pragmatism and ‘willingness to get directly involved with clients.’ Sources also say he is ‘excellent in giving an opinion which is thorough, well balanced and firmly committed to its conclusions’.”

Chambers & Partners and Legal 500, Employment

  • “Great analytical skills and definitely a QC in waiting. He is efficient, with a can-do attitude, and is a very effective cross-examiner”
  • “Possesses considerable experience of High Court litigation cases, with additional expertise in representing financial services in complex Employment Tribunal disputes. His practice covers a wide range of employment issues. He is particularly noted for his strength in cases concerning team moves, garden leave and discrimination.”
  • Bright, sensible and able to manage cases alone, as well as work with leading QCs.” “He has a fantastic intellect and is extremely client-friendly.”
  • Particularly active in representing respondent clients from the financial services industry in all manner of employment disputes, he is admired for his courtroom gravitas and commercial focus.”
  • There’s an enormous depth to his knowledge and I’d have no hesitation in either using or recommending him.”
  • He combines a first-class brain with great commerciality and has an uncanny knack for getting on with and impressing people.”
  • Edward Brown receives praise from sources for his level-headed approach and his excellent advice on a range of employment disputes.”

Chambers & Partners and Legal 500, Media & Entertainment and VAT:

  • Very clear and pragmatic in his advice, as well as exceptionally client-friendly.”
  • “Putting aside his disarming modesty, he is completely unflappable and incredibly hard working. Anyone paying for him is getting the ability and judgment of a silk for the price of a junior.”
  • Thorough, easy to work with and definitely one to watch.”
  • Unflappable; indeed, he regularly appears on his own against silks.”
  • A good, persistent advocate who provides excellent advice throughout each of his cases” “He anticipates client needs, and produces innovative solutions in accordance with the law.” “He is a highly skilled, highly intelligent barrister who routinely handles multifaceted and sophisticated matters.”
  • Pursues excellence by anticipating client needs and finding innovative solutions to their issues.
  • His preparation is thorough, his written work excellent, and he cuts through to the issues in a case quickly.

The Legal 500, Administrative & Public Law

  • “Clear in his advice and robust in his advocacy, he can present difficult arguments with skill and tenacity.”
Examples of recent cases

Shagang Shipping v HNA Group. Instructed by Hogan Lovells and acting as lead counsel for the HNA group in the Supreme Court in a dispute arising out of a charterparty guarantee.

Comberg v VivoPower. Acting for a CEO in a successful high-value wrongful dismissal claim against a former employer.

Case “B1”. Instructed by Eversheds Sutherland and acting (with Toby Landau QC) for the Iranian Government in a multi-billion dispute in the Iran-US Claims Tribunal in The Hague.

FCA Proceedings. Acting for applicants in a 6-week FCA listed in the Upper Tribunal for 2021.

Signia Wealth v Dauriac and Others. Instructed by Mishcon de Reya and acting (with Monica Carss Frisk QC) for Signia Wealth and entrepreneur John Caudwell in a shareholder dispute against a former managing director. Also acting in related employment tribunal proceedings.

ICBC Standard Bank v Erdenet Mining Corporation. Instructed by Clifford Chance and acting (with David Joseph QC) for an international bank in a high value Asian fraud and banking arbitration.

TP ICAP Plc v Berry. Instructed by Macfarlanes and acting (with Dan Oudkerk QC) for the inter-dealer broker, TP ICAP, in injunctive proceedings against a senior employee.

ICC Arbitration. Acting unled in a US$18 million arbitration arising out of fund management services in Africa before Lord Hoffmann.

Ron Dennis v McLaren. Instructed by Herbert Smith and acted for Formula One team boss, Rob Dennis, in a shareholder dispute with McLaren.

Bibby Factors Limited v HFD Limited. Acted (alone) in the Court of Appeal in response to an appeal arising out of a commercial invoice factoring dispute.

Various LIBOR/EURIBOR disputes. Advising and acting in various FCA regulatory disputes in the Upper Tribunal arising out of rate-rigging issues.

Citicorp International v Castex Technologies Limited. Acting with Simon Bryan QC in a $200 million Commercial Court action arising out of a bond conversion dispute.

Arthur J Gallagher UK v Ross and others. Acted (with Dan Oudkerk QC) in a team move dispute against former senior executives in the insurance broking sector.

Ingenious Media v HMRC. Acted for Ingenious Media in an urgent appeal to the Upper Tribunal regarding allegations of dishonesty against business executives made by HMRC in ongoing litigation.

Primary Group (UK) Ltd v RBS. Acted for RBS (led by Charles Hollander QC) in a 10-day trial for breach of confidence and other misuse of confidential information claims.

Re a hedge fund. Acting for a hedge fund in a Commercial Court dispute as to economic ownership and payment entitlements.

Davis & Dann Ltd v HMRC. Acting for the respondent trader (with David Scorey QC) in the Court of Appeal in an action concerning alleged participation in MTIC fraud. Ed has acted (alone and with leading counsel) for a number of traders in other MTIC fraud cases.

Belo and others v ITV / Lime. Acted for the claimants in a Chancery Division copyright dispute arising out of the television format rights for “The Only Way is Essex”. Ed has advised on several television format disputes, both for claimants and for television production companies.

Civil fraud & asset recovery

Ed regularly acts in civil fraud claims as part of his general commercial practice. He has particular experience in obtaining high-value freezing injunctions in the Commercial Court. He also acts in fraud cases in the VAT field.

Recent cases include:

Shagang Shipping v HNA Group. Instructed by Hogan Lovells and acting as lead counsel in the Supreme Court in a dispute arising out of a charterparty guarantee.

ICBC Standard Bank v Erdenet Mining Corporation. Instructed by Clifford Chance and acting (with David Joseph QC) for an international bank in a high value Asian fraud and banking arbitration.

Without notice High Court injunction. Acted for a company in a claim against an employee for misappropriating monies including an urgent application for a freezing and proprietary injunction. Ed frequently applies for freezing injunctions in Commercial Court matters.

HMRC v Sunico. Acting (with Abbas Lakha QC) for the defendants in a £40 million unlawful means conspiracy claim brought by HMRC against foreign defendants in the Chancery Division and the Court of Appeal. The claim involved allegations of fraud made by revenue authorities in several jurisdictions. Ed has also acted in the first-tier tribunal in several claims arising out of alleged participation in MTIC fraud, and in associated asset recovery claims brought in the High Court by HMRC.

Davis & Dann Ltd v HMRC. Acting for the respondent trader (with David Scorey QC) in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in an action concerning disallowance of input tax by reason of alleged participation in MTIC fraud. Ed has acted (alone and with leading counsel) for a number of traders in other MTIC fraud cases.

 

Commercial dispute resolution

Ed has a strong Commercial practice, in line with Essex Court Chambers’ profile, and with a particular emphasis on High Court and Commercial Court disputes. He is typically instructed by leading City commercial law firms either alone or with leading counsel, and has considerable mainstream commercial trial experience.

Employment

Ed’s employment practice typically involve cases with a complex commercial aspect, both in the High Court and in employment tribunals. He focuses on disputes in the financial services sectors, termination disputes with senior executives and injunctive matters (including team moves). He also has a particular niche specialism in the field of temporary agency workers and the relevant conduct regulations, and has published in the Industrial Law Journal on this issue.

He is the contributor of the employment chapters in Mortimore – Company Directors, Duties, Liabilities and Remedies (OUP) and has contributed articles on areas such as restrictive covenants and social media at work in ELA Briefing.

Financial Services & Disciplinary Tribunals

Ed has acted for several international banks, hedge funds and financial services firms. He has substantial experience in disputes involving facility agreements, financial products and issues with a regulatory dimension. He is a contributor of articles to Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law.

Specific cases include:

An ongoing reference, listed for a 6-week hearing in 2021.

Bittar v FCA. Acting for the FCA in Upper Tribunal proceedings arising out of rate‑rigging allegations.

Upper Tribunal LIBOR / EURIBOR disputes. Ed has advised and acted (alone and with Paul Stanley QC) in regulatory appeals proceeding in the Upper Tribunal against misconduct findings arising out of the well-publicised rate‑submission manipulation.

Pottage v Financial Services Authority. Acted (with Andrew Hochhauser QC) for the FSA / FCA in enforcement proceeding brought against a senior executive. Ed has since advised and acted for a number of further individuals in FCA enforcement proceedings.

Media, art, entertainment

Edward has developed an extensive sports, media and entertainment practice, and is currently instructed by a number of high profile entertainment clients, including entertainment venues, management agencies, media executives and various actors, including Neil Morrissey.

Specific cases include:

Re an Artwork. Acting in relation to a confidential high-value artwork auction dispute.

Darroch v FAPL. Acting (with Richard Millett QC) for the FA Premier League in a dispute concerning media rights.

Belo and others v ITV/Lime. Acting for Claimants in high-profile Chancery Division entertainment dispute involving the ownership for format rights in “The Only Way is Essex”. Ed is the author of an article in the Entertainment Law Review on issues that arise in television format cases. He has since advised on a number of other format disputes, both for creators and television companies.

Axon v MOD. Acting for the Ministry of Defence in claims arising out of Operation Elveden concerning the corruption of public officials by journalists at The Sun.

Acting for two Defendants in High Court breach of privacy claim brought by a presenter and musician.

Acting in a High Court trial regarding a film financing agreement.

 

Mediation

Ed regularly appears as a representative in commercial mediations as part of his wider commercial practice. He has recently acted in the following mediations, all of which were successful:

Mediation of an agency dispute in the agricultural sector.

Mediation of a tripartite PHI insurance dispute Mediation of a claim for fees brought by a City law firm against an overseas client.

Mediation of a claim for estate agent commission arising out of the sale of a Knightsbridge flat.

Mediation of a claim against a leading supermarket for termination of a service supply agreement.

Mediation of a dispute arising from the termination of a software licence agreement.

Public & administrative law

Ed has appeared in several judicial review claims in the Administrative Court. Most of his clients are Government bodies, but he has acted for claimants in matters such as public procurement disputes. Ed regularly appears alone against leading counsel and has acted on significant cases in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Revenue law (including VAT, IPT, duties & excise)

Ed has appeared on behalf of taxpayers and HMRC in VAT tribunals, the High Court and the Court of Appeal in relation to VAT and indirect matters. He appeared with Roderick Cordara QC in a dispute regarding the tax status of Pringles, and is acting on other food related matters. He has also been instructed in a number of cases regarding MTIC fraud.

Specific cases include:

News UK. Acting (with Jonathan Peacock QC) for News UK, publishers of The Times and The Sunday Times in a dispute concerning the VAT classification of digital newspapers.

Virgin Media. Acting (with David Scorey QC) for Virgin Media in a substantial dispute concerning prompt-payment.

Amoena. Acting in the Supreme Court in a dispute concerning customs classification of mastectomy bras.

Davis & Dann Ltd v HMRC. Acting for the respondent trader (with David Scorey QC) in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court in an action concerning disallowance of input tax by reason of alleged participation in MTIC fraud. Ed has acted (alone and with leading counsel) for a number of traders in other MTIC fraud cases.

GSK. Acting for taxpayer (with Roderick Cordara QC) in a dispute regarding the tax status of Lucozade Sport.

Innocent Ltd. Acting for taxpayer (with Roderick Cordara QC) in a dispute regarding the tax status of smoothies.

BAA. Acting for HMRC in the Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal in a dispute regarding corporate acquisitions.

Career

2019     Appointed to Attorney-General’s A Panel.

2014     Appointed to Attorney-General’s B Panel.

2010     Appointed to Attorney-General’s C Panel.

2005     Judicial Assistant to Sir Anthony Evans, Chief Justice of the Dubai International Financial Centre.

 

Education

2004    MA, University of Siena

2003    LLM (Distinction), London School of Economics

2002    BVC, Inns of Court School of Law

2001    BA in Law (First Class Hons), Queens’ College, Cambridge University