Professional practice

Tim is a commercial litigator, with a strong reputation for civil fraud and asset recovery. He has acted in some of the largest actions to come before the courts, such as JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov, Pinchuk v Bogolyubov, Mezhprom v Pugachev, Republic of Djibouti v Boreh, PrivatBank v Kolomoisky, and ENRC v SFO.

Tim also maintains a commercial chancery practice, with an emphasis on insolvency, company and trusts disputes.

Tim is particularly experienced in applications for pre-emptive and interlocutory relief, including freezing, search, receivership, committal and Norwich Pharmacal orders.

Tim regularly appears with and without leaders in the Chancery Division and the Commercial Court. He has appeared in the Court of Appeal on over a dozen occasions and twice in the Supreme Court. Fourteen of Tim’s cases have been reported in the WLRs.

In October 2015, Tim was named Chancery Junior of the Year by Chambers and Partners. He was also a nominee for Legal 500’s 2018 Commercial Junior of the Year award. Tim is a member of the Attorney General’s A panel of counsel to the crown.

 

What Others Say

Chancery; Commercial: “Absolutely first-rate, very easy to deal with, very conscientious and someone whose written work is fantastic. He is very confident, he presents very well and he doesn’t take unnecessary or minor points.” “The perfect junior – he’s completely unflappable, furiously hard-working, he knows the law inside-out, and he is incredibly good-natured.”Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2019

Fraud: Civil: “Very responsive and very intelligent.” “Very bright and very good on his feet.” “Incredibly creative.”Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2019

Commercial Dispute Resolution: “He has a very good sense of what will play well in court, his drafting is incredibly good, and his turnaround time is excellent.” “Outstanding – he has a first-rate brain and he works extremely hard.”Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2019

Commercial Litigation: ‘Has a fantastically creative mind and isn’t afraid to pursue difficult arguments.’The Legal 500 2019

Company & Partnership: ‘Incredibly user friendly, exceptionally bright and very astute.’’ – The Legal 500 2019

Fraud: Civil: ‘Has a wealth of experience, particularly on the enforcement of freezing and disclosure orders.’The Legal 500 2019

Civil fraud & asset recovery

Tim has acted as the principal junior for the claimant in the JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov litigation since 2009. To date, judgments exceeding US$4.5 billion have been obtained against the bank’s former chairman and others for the Kazakh equivalent of breach of fiduciary duty. The case is well known for its reported decisions on freezing, receivership and committal applications.

Tim’s other civil fraud cases include Mezhprom v Pugachev, Bank of Moscow v Chernyakov, Djibouti v Boreh, FM Capital Partners v Marino, PrivatBank v Kolomoisky, Ramilos v Buyanovsky, Kazakhstan Kagazy v Zhunus, the Orb litigation and ENRC v SFO.

Tim also has experience of:

  • Norwich Pharmacal and Bankers Trust disclosure applications (including against unusual respondents such as email service providers and solicitors)
  • search orders, orders restraining parties from leaving the jurisdiction, applications to discharge injunctions (including for material non-disclosure)
  • applications to preserve documentation and applications for Peruvian Guano and specific disclosure orders.Reported cases include:
  • Tim’s cases frequently include allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, dishonesty, deceit, conspiracy and other intentional wrongdoing (eg misfeasance in public office).  Tim also acts, often for the National Crime Agency, in civil recovery claims under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
  • [2019] 1 W.L.R. 1760 (meaning of standard form freezing order)
  • [2019] B.C.C. 96 (CA) (test for claim under s. 423 of Insolvency Act 1986)
  • [2018] EWHC 2612 (Comm) (test for granting a post-judgment freezing order)
  • [2018] 2 W.L.R. 1125 (SC); [2017] QB 853 (CA); [2016] 3 WLR 659 (Teare J) (whether contempt constitutes unlawful means for the conspiracy tort)
  • [2017] 20 I.T.E.L.R. 905. (whether purported discretionary trusts were illusory or shams)
  • [2016] 2 C.L.C. 896 (Norwich Pharmacal and Bankers Trust orders in aid of foreign proceedings)
  • [2015] 1 W.L.R. 4754 (SC); [2014] 1 WLR 1414 (CA) (interpretation of standard form freezing order)
  • [2015] 1 WLR 1287 (CA) (Chabra jurisdiction)
  • [2015] W.T.L.R. 1759 (CA) (without notice freezing order against trust assets)
  • [2015] 1 WLR 1547 (Norwich Pharmacal disclosure orders)
  • [2014] 2 C.L.C. 263 (iniquity exception to legal professional privilege)
  • [2013] 1 WLR 1845 (CA) (recusal of trial judge for bias)
  • [2013] 1 WLR 1331 (CA) (unless orders following contempt findings)
  • [2012] 1 WLR 1988 (CA) (practice on committal applications)
  • [2011] Bus LR 119 (CA) (appointment of interim receivers)
  • [2010] 1 WLR 976 (CA) (privilege against self-incrimination)
  • [2010] 1 All ER (Comm) 1029 (CA) (freezing injunction asset disclosure)

Tim is recognised in all of the major legal directories for his civil fraud expertise. Legal 500 describes Tim as “The brightest light at the junior commercial Bar and a consummate team player.” Who’s Who Legal says “Peers praise Tim Akkouh as being ‘tactically astute’ and ‘great on paper and on his feet’. He has vast experience for his years in civil fraud and asset recovery and regularly appears with and without leaders in the chancery division and the commercial court.”

Commercial chancery disputes

Tim regularly appears for beneficiaries and trustees in contentious trusts litigation.  He acted for one of the defendant trustees in the Jersey Alhamrani trusts disputes (which settled after 101 days in trial in 2009) and for the beneficiaries in the Bermudian Wingate litigation ([2008] WTLR 357; [2008] WTLR 543).

Tim has a particular specialism in challenging purported discretionary trusts on the basis that they are shams or illusory trusts, following his involvement for the claimant in Mezhprom v Pugachev [2017] 20 I.T.E.L.R. 905.

His more recent reported decisions include:

  • Charity Commission v Framjee [2015] 1 WLR 16, a claim concerning the existence of a trust and sharing losses between innocent beneficiaries.
  • Mezhprom v Pugachev [2015] W.T.L.R. 1759 (CA) (without notice freezing order against trust assets)
  • Mezhprom v Pugachev [2017] EWHC 1761, 1767, 1847, 1853, 1936, 1972 (Ch) (sham/illusory trusts)
  • In October 2015, Tim was named Chancery Junior of the Year by Chambers and Partners. Tim is also the co-author of Trusts Law (Palgrave Macmillan, 5th ed, 2017)
Commercial dispute resolution

Tim’s commercial litigation practice focuses on contractual, joint venture, partnership and shareholder disputes.  A number of Tim’s commercial litigation cases are listed above.  Others include Pinchuk v Bogolyubov (dispute between Ukrainian oligarchs regarding ownership of an iron ore mine), Ardila v ENRC (claim under share purchase agreement defended on the basis of corrupt conduct) and a confidential LCIA arbitration.

Tim also has experience of:

  • Conflicts of law issues arising in commercial litigation.
  • LCIA arbitrations and appeals against arbitration decisions under the Arbitration Act 1996.
  • Claims for enforcement of judgments.
  • Applications for interim and final injunctions (including specific performance) in support of commercial claims.
  • Procedural applications, including for interim payments, summary judgment/strike out, unless orders (see [2017] EWHC 1847 (Ch)), security for costs, stay of proceedings, anti-suit injunctions (see [2015] 2 B.C.L.C. 560), and applications for the preservation of material and for specific and enhanced (Puruvian Guano) disclosure (see [2015] EWHC 3761 (Comm)).
  • Tim is recognised in Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 for his commercial litigation expertise. Chambers & Partners say that “He is very clever, and very commercially and tactically astute.”
Company law

Tim’s recent insolvency experience includes s.236 interviews/applications, applications by office holders for directions, unfair prejudice petitions, misfeasance and wrongful trading claims, undervalue/preference/s. 423 claims, applications for the appointment of administrators, and disputed debt, directors’ disqualification and public interest winding-up proceedings.

Reported cases include:

  • Charity Commission v Thrift (2019, ongoing; first public interest winding up petition brought by the Charity Commission)
  • Mezhprom v Pugachev [2017] EWHC 1761, 1767, 1847, 1853, 1936, 1972 (Ch) (transactions defrauding creditors)
  • JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov [2016] 3071 (Comm) and [2019] B.C.C. 96 (CA) (transactions defrauding creditors)
  • Ardila v ENRC [2015] 2 B.C.L.C. 560 (security for costs against insolvent company)
  • Re: Commonwealth Institute [2014] W.T.L.R. 1621 (application by administrators for directions)
  • JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov [2014] 1 BCLC 407 (appointment of litigation receivers)
  • Halabi v London Borough of Camden (The Times, 25 March 2008) (annulment of bankruptcy orders)
  • Gotham v Doodes [2007] 1 WLR 86 (CA) (limitation periods under the Insolvency Act 1986)
  • Legal 500 ranks Tim in its Company & Partnership category, saying the following: “A first-rate barrister who couples serious intellect with a user-friendly manner.”
Career

Tim was called to the bar in 2004. He is currently a member of the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel to the Crown, having previously been a member of the B and C panels.

Tim is the co-author of Trusts Law (Palgrave Macmillan, 5th edition, 2017) and is a member of the Chancery Bar Association, COMBAR and the Fraud Lawyers Association.

Education
  • 1998-2001: LLB (Lond, LSE), 1st class;
  • 2002: LLM (Lond, UCL)