Professional practice

Rebecca Akushie has a broad commercial practice in line with Chambers’ profile. She has acted in a wide range of commercial disputes and developed a particular interest in commercial litigation, arbitration and employment.

Rebecca has appeared as an advocate in the High Court (Queen’s Bench and Chancery Divisions), County Courts and Employment Tribunal, both as a trial advocate and also for a range of other hearings, including CCMCs and CMCs, interlocutory applications, handing down and consequentials, and applications relating to enforcement.

Rebecca is often instructed in an advisory capacity, as well as at numerous different stages of prospective and ongoing litigation and arbitrations. Rebecca’s experience covers the whole dispute resolution process, ranging from the pre-action stages, pleadings and interlocutory applications through to trial, handing down, applications for permission to appeal, arbitration challenges and enforcement.

Alongside her own cases, Rebecca regularly works with a variety of members of Chambers in a range of practice areas. She has appeared as junior Counsel in the High Court, the Tax Tribunal and arbitrations under the UNCITRAL and LCIA Rules, both for final and related interlocutory and procedural hearings.

Prior to commencing pupillage at Essex Court Chambers, Rebecca graduated with a Double First from the University of Cambridge, ranked fourth in her final year. Following this, she obtained an LLM from the University of Cambridge, ranked first in her year, specialising in Commercial Law.

 

Examples of Recent Cases
  • 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 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 in early 2016, 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.
  • 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.
Arbitration & related court applications

Rebecca has a particular interest in arbitration and arbitration-related litigation and she is regularly instructed in this area. Rebecca’s recent 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 tracing

Rebecca was instructed as junior Counsel in 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 recently 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 has been 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 has 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 been instructed alone to apply for summary judgment and/or strike out on a number of occasions and she has advised in relation to various other applications, including for permission to appeal, to challenge the Court’s jurisdiction, amend pleadings and add/substitute parties.
Employment

Rebecca has a particular interest in employment and she is enjoying developing a practice in this area.

Rebecca is currently instructed (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 turns on whether the ex-employee forfeited part of his deferred remuneration when he resigned and whether he, and his ex-employer, are entitled to certain other sums under the terms of his contract of employment.

Rebecca recently 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’s other recent cases include Willis Ltd & Ors v Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group Plc & Ors (with Daniel Oudkerk QC and Edward Brown), in which she acted for the First and Second Defendants in High Court litigation arising out of a team move in the insurance broking industry. The case settled before reaching trial.

Rebecca was recently instructed (with David Craig QC) in another team move case in the insurance broking industry, which involved typical allegations of breach of contractual, fiduciary and equitable duties, as well as induced breach of contract and unlawful means conspiracy.

Rebecca was also recently instructed in a case relating to the theft of an employer’s confidential information by two ex-employees and their subsequent utilisation of that information at their new place of employment. This case also settled before reaching trial.

Rebecca has appeared as sole Counsel for a successful claimant in a one day unfair and wrongful dismissal trial in the Employment Tribunal.

Insurance & reinsurance

Rebecca’s recent cases include Connect Shipping Inc v The Swedish Club & Ors (the ‘Renos’) [2016] EWHC 1580 (Comm) (with Steven Berry QC), acting 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 in early 2016, 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.

Media, art, entertainment

Rebecca is currently 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.

Mediation

Rebecca was instructed in a construction dispute arising out of the failure of a retaining wall, which settled at a successful mediation.

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

Rebecca acted for the taxpayer in a dispute with HM Revenue & Customs relating to whether or not certain supplies of teacher training are exempt from VAT by reason of the non-profit-making nature of the entity making the said supplies and/or the fact that the supplies involve the teaching of English as a foreign language.

Shipping & admiralty

Rebecca has been instructed in a number of shipping cases. She acted for owners in three shipbuilding LMAA arbitrations, two of which were conducted concurrently. Rebecca has also been instructed in a LMAA arbitration relating to a dispute under a time charter and an LCIA arbitration arising out of the non-delivery of a vessel under a bareboat charter.

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