Professional practice

Rebecca’s practice covers a wide range of commercial disputes, with a particular focus on commercial litigation, employment matters, professional negligence claims and arbitrations and related proceedings. Rebecca advises and acts at all stages of the dispute resolution process and she has appeared before arbitral tribunals and in the High Court, County Courts and Employment Tribunal, as a trial advocate and for a range of other hearings. Rebecca is accustomed to working both as sole counsel and as part of a larger team.

Rebecca’s current cases include: Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited v Jefferies International Limited & Ors in which Rebecca, led by Daniel Oudkerk QC and Edward Brown, is instructed on behalf of the corporate and individual defendants in an employee competition conspiracy claim in the financial services sector; Patisserie Holdings Plc & Ors v Grant Thornton UK LLP in which Rebecca, led by Mark Templeman QC, is instructed on behalf of the liquidators of Patisserie Valerie in a claim against Grant Thornton in respect of alleged negligence in its audits of the well-known café and casual dining group, which collapsed following a suspected accounting fraud; and Bonnier Books UK Group Holdings Limited & Ors v Haysmacintyre LLP in which Rebecca, led by Huw Davies QC, is instructed on behalf of the UK subsidiaries of an international media group based in Sweden in a claim against their former auditor alleging negligence in the audits of their financial statements.

Other recent instructions include: acting (led by James Collins QC) for three property investors in a claim against their prior agent and adviser, who was alleged to have acted in breach of fiduciary and other duties and misappropriated assets from their portfolio; acting (led by David Craig QC) for a defendant employer in a claim brought by its General Counsel and Company Secretary alleging breach of the Working Time Regulations 1998, detriments for making protected disclosures, sex discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation and disability discrimination; and acting as sole counsel in two separate matters arising out of suspected team moves, both involving claims for breach of contract, inducing breach of contract, breach of confidence and conspiracy to injure by unlawful means.

 

Examples of Recent Cases

Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited v Jefferies International Limited & Ors (with Daniel Oudkerk QC and Edward Brown): Rebecca is currently instructed on behalf of the corporate and individual defendants in an employee competition conspiracy claim in the financial services sector. The case arises out of Jefferies’ recruitment of six individuals from Stifel’s Investment Banking and Equities divisions, which Stifel alleges constituted an unlawful team move. Claims are made for breach of contract, inducing breach of contract and unlawful means conspiracy. Jefferies denies the claims and argues that they arise out of lawful commercial competition between competitors.

Patisserie Holdings Plc & Ors v Grant Thornton UK LLP (with Mark Templeman QC): Rebecca is currently instructed on behalf of the liquidators of Patisserie Valerie in a claim against Grant Thornton in respect of alleged negligence in its audits of the UK branded café and casual dining group’s financial statements for the financial years ending 30 September 2014 to 2017. The group collapsed in early 2019 following a suspected accounting fraud, which is alleged to have involved the manipulation and misrepresentation of its financial position and performance in its financial statements. Grant Thornton is alleged to have acted in breach of its contractual, tortious and other duties and/or negligently in its planning and conduct of the audits and in the formation and reporting of its audit opinions in respect of the same. The claimants claim over £200 million in respect of sums lost and/or expended as a result of the group’s adoption of a continued policy of expansion funded by internally-generated cash flow during the material period. A further sum is claimed in relation to money expended by the group in reasonable mitigation of its losses and an alternative claim is brought in respect of dividends declared and paid in the material period. Grant Thornton denies the claims.

Marathon Asset Management LLP v Seddon & Ors (with Martin Griffiths QC): Rebecca acted for the Fifth and Sixth Defendants in a case arising out of the departure from Marathon in 2012 of Mr Hosking, the Global Equities team and their consultant in South Africa. The Fifth and Sixth Defendants were alleged to have conspired with the other Defendants to cause loss to Marathon’s business in preparing to, and then setting up, a rival investment venture. The Sixth Defendant brought a counterclaim for unpaid consultancy fees, in relation to which it applied for but did not succeed in obtaining summary judgment: see [2016] EWHC 2615 (Comm). These claims were all settled shortly before trial.

Willis Ltd & Ors v Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group Plc & Ors (with Daniel Oudkerk QC and Edward Brown): Rebecca acted for the First and Second Defendants in High Court litigation arising out of a team move in the insurance broking industry, which settled just before reaching trial.

Connect Shipping & Anr v The Swedish Club & Ors (the ‘Renos’) [2016] EWHC 1580 (Comm) (with Steven Berry QC): Rebecca acted for the insured in a CTL dispute under a hull and machinery policy following a fire onboard a vessel. Following a four-week trial in the Commercial Court, the learned Judge found in favour of the insured and ordered that the insurers pay their respective proportions of the insured value (less a credit for the value of the wreck), together with the sum due under an increased value policy and sue and labour expenses.

U&M Mining Zambia Ltd v Konkola Copper Mines Plc [2014] EWHC 3250 (Comm) (with Graham Dunning QC): Rebecca acted for the defendant in resisting an application by the claimant to continue a worldwide freezing injunction obtained ex parte.

Konkola Copper Mines Plc v U&M Mining Zambia Ltd [2014] EWHC 2374 (Comm) (with Graham Dunning QC): Rebecca acted for the claimant in making an application to challenge an arbitration award under sections 67 and 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996.

Konkola Copper Mines Plc v U&M Mining Zambia Ltd [2014] EWHC 2146 (Comm) (with Graham Dunning QC): Rebecca acted for the claimant in resisting an application by the defendant for security for costs and security for the sums due under an arbitration award, pursuant to sections 70(6) and 70(7) of the Arbitration Act 1996, respectively.

Konkola Copper Mines Plc v U&M Mining Zambia Ltd [2014] EWHC 2210 (Comm) (with Graham Dunning QC): Rebecca acted for the claimant in making an application to amend the Arbitration Claim Form after the expiry of the 28 day period provided for in section 70(3) of the Arbitration Act 1996.

Arbitration & related court applications

Rebecca has a particular interest in arbitration and arbitration-related litigation and her cases include:

  • U&M Mining Zambia Ltd v Konkola Copper Mines Plc [2014] EWHC 3250 (Comm) (with Graham Dunning QC): Rebecca acted for the defendant in resisting an application by the claimant to continue a worldwide freezing injunction obtained ex parte.
  • Konkola Copper Mines Plc v U&M Mining Zambia Ltd [2014] EWHC 2374 (Comm) (with Graham Dunning QC): Rebecca acted for the claimant in making an application to challenge an arbitration award under sections 67 and 68 of the Arbitration Act 1996.
  • Konkola Copper Mines Plc v U&M Mining Zambia Ltd [2014] EWHC 2146 (Comm) (with Graham Dunning QC): Rebecca acted for the claimant in resisting an application by the defendant for security for costs and security for the sums due under an arbitration award, pursuant to sections 70(6) and 70(7) of the Arbitration Act 1996, respectively.
  • Konkola Copper Mines Plc v U&M Mining Zambia Ltd [2014] EWHC 2210 (Comm) (with Graham Dunning QC): Rebecca acted for the claimant in making an application to amend the Arbitration Claim Form after the expiry of the 28 day period provided for in section 70(3) of the Arbitration Act 1996.
  • Arbitrations under the LCIA Rules (as junior Counsel): Rebecca acted for a partially state-owned mining company in four consolidated arbitrations arising out of certain contractual and other disputes. Rebecca also acted for owners in a dispute relating to the non-delivery of a vessel under a bareboat charter.
  • An arbitration under the UNCITRAL Rules (as part of a large Counsel team): Rebecca acted for an oil exploration company in relation to a stabilisation clause dispute with a State. Arbitrations under the LMAA Rules (as junior Counsel): Rebecca acted for owners in three shipbuilding disputes, two of which were conducted concurrently, and for owners in a dispute under a time charter.
Civil fraud & asset recovery

Rebecca is enjoying developing her practice in this area. She was recently instructed on a substantial dispute between three property investors and their prior agent and adviser, involving claims of breach of fiduciary and other duties and seeking a range of relief with a view to locating and recovering misappropriated assets. Rebecca has previously acted in other cases giving rise to similar issues, including a case relating to a fraud on a company by its directors, which settled before reaching trial.

Commercial dispute resolution

Rebecca is particularly interested in commercial dispute resolution and she is regularly instructed in this area, both in an advisory capacity and in prospective and ongoing litigation. Rebecca has now gained experience across a wide range of commercial cases, including disputes relating to contractual construction, duties under contracts and in tort, and she has appeared in the Queen’s Bench and Chancery Divisions of the High Court on a number of occasions.

By way of example:

Rebecca was instructed as sole Counsel for a successful claimant in a three-day trial relating to a dispute arising out of a property investment business, which gave rise to claims for breach of contract and under the Partnership Act 1890.

Rebecca was instructed as sole Counsel to apply for a worldwide freezing injunction ex parte and as junior Counsel to resist an application to continue a worldwide freezing injunction obtained ex parte.

Rebecca acted as junior Counsel in applications to obtain an injunction to restrain (inter alia) a breach of confidence, for specific disclosure and for security for costs.

Rebecca has also been instructed alone to apply for summary judgment and/or strike out on a number of occasions.

Employment

Rebecca has a particular interest in employment and she is enjoying developing a practice in this area. She is currently instructed on a range of employment matters, including a substantial team move case (with Daniel Oudkerk QC and Edward Brown), as well as claims involving allegations of sex and disability discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation, breaches of the Working Time Regulations and detriments for making protected disclosures. Rebecca also regularly advises on issues arising out of employee competition, including in relation to the diversion of business opportunities, misuse of confidential information and restrictive covenants.

Rebecca has acted in a number of team move cases:

  • Rebecca is currently instructed (with Daniel Oudkerk QC and Edward Brown) on behalf of the corporate and individual defendants in Stifel Nicolaus Europe Limited v Jefferies International Limited & Ors, an employee competition conspiracy claim in the financial services sector. The case arises out of Jefferies’ recruitment of six individuals from Stifel’s Investment Banking and Equities divisions, which Stifel alleges constituted an unlawful team move. Claims are made for breach of contract, inducing breach of contract and unlawful means conspiracy. Jefferies denies the claims and argues that they arise out of lawful commercial competition between competitors.
  • Rebecca acted (with Martin Griffiths QC) for the Fifth and Sixth Defendants in Marathon Asset Management LLP v Seddon & Ors, a case arising out of the departure from Marathon in 2012 of Mr Hosking, the Global Equities team and their consultant in South Africa. The Fifth and Sixth Defendants were alleged to have conspired with the other Defendants to cause loss to Marathon’s business in preparing to, and then setting up, a rival investment venture. The Sixth Defendant brought a counterclaim for unpaid consultancy fees, in relation to which it applied for but did not succeed in obtaining summary judgment: see [2016] EWHC 2615 (Comm). These claims were all compromised shortly before trial.
  • Rebecca acted (with Daniel Oudkerk QC and Edward Brown) for the First and Second Defendants in Willis Ltd & Ors v Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group Plc & Ors, High Court litigation arising out of a team move in the insurance broking industry. The case settled before reaching trial.
  • Rebecca also acted (with David Craig QC) in another team move case in the insurance broking industry, which again settled before reaching trial.

Rebecca also acted (with Daniel Oudkerk QC) in a case arising out of the resignation of a Director of European Equities from an international investment company. The case turned on whether the ex-employee forfeited part of his deferred remuneration when he resigned and whether he, and his ex-employer, were entitled to certain other sums under the terms of his contract of employment.

Media, art, entertainment

Rebecca was instructed in a dispute between a well-known art collector and an art dealer in relation to the terms (if any) upon which the latter was retained.

Professional negligence

Rebecca is enjoying developing a practice in this area. She is currently instructed on two professional negligence claims against auditors:

Patisserie Holdings Plc & Ors v Grant Thornton UK LLP in which Rebecca, led by Mark Templeman QC, is instructed on behalf of the liquidators of Patisserie Valerie in a claim against Grant Thornton, in respect of alleged negligence in its audits of the UK branded café and casual dining group’s financial statements for the financial years ending 30 September 2014 to 2017. The group collapsed in late 2018 / early 2019 following a suspected accounting fraud, which is alleged to have involved the manipulation and misrepresentation of its financial position and performance in its financial statements. Grant Thornton is alleged to have acted in breach of its contractual, tortious and other duties and/or negligently in its planning and conduct of the audits and in the formation and reporting of its audit opinions in respect of the same. The claimants claim over £200 million in respect of sums lost and/or expended as a result of the group’s adoption of a continued policy of expansion funded by internally-generated cash flow during the material period. Further sums are claimed in respect of money expended by the group in reasonable mitigation of its losses and an alternative claim is brought in respect of dividends declared and paid in the material period.

Bonnier Books UK Group Holdings Limited & Ors v Haysmacintyre LLP in which Rebecca, led by Huw Davies QC, is instructed on behalf of the UK subsidiaries of an international media group based in Sweden in a claim against their former auditor alleging negligence in the audit of their financial statements. This case similarly involves contractual and tortious claims in respect of wasted expenditure and also in respect of misappropriated assets.

Career

2013 Tenant at Essex Court Chambers

2012-2013 Pupillage, Essex Court Chambers

2012 Called to the Bar, Lincoln’s Inn

Education

2011-2012 BPTC, Kaplan Law School, London (outstanding)

2010-2011 LLM (Commercial Law), Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge (First Class, ranked first in the year)

2007-2010 Law BA (Hons), Murray Edwards College,University of Cambridge (Double First Class, ranked joint fourth in Finals)

Awards

2012 Sunley Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn

2012 Buchanan Prize, Lincoln’s Inn

2011 Lord Denning Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn

2011 Hardwicke Entrance Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn

2011 BRD Clarke Prize for the Best Overall Performance in the LLM

2011 Rosemary Murray Scholarship, Murray Edwards College

2010 Graduate Scholarship, Murray Edwards College

2010 Rosemary Murray Scholarship, Murray Edwards College

2009 Rosemary Murray Scholarship, Murray Edwards College