Oberon Kwok

Call: 2014

Oberon has a commercial chancery practice, with particular expertise in insolvency and property law. He also has significant experience of company and commercial litigation.

He takes a collaborative and responsive approach with his solicitors and clients, and adopts a robust and meticulous approach in court.

His recent work includes successfully acting as sole counsel for the Respondent in the Court of Appeal in Watts v The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs [2021] EWCA Civ 1124; [2022] B.P.I.R. 324. He is currently acting on a multi-million euro, profit-sharing dispute in the Business and Property Courts over the sale of a famous golf course in Europe (led by Gary Blaker QC).

Since 2019, Oberon has been on the Attorney-General’s London C Panel of Counsel. He has significant experience of directors’ disqualification and public interest winding up petitions as a result.

  • Insolvency

    Insolvency is a major area of Oberon’s expertise, and he is frequently instructed on corporate and personal insolvency matters both in London and nationally. He is sensitive to the practical and financial concerns of parties involved in insolvency litigation, including those of officeholders.

    His recent work includes successfully acting as sole counsel for the Respondent in the Court of Appeal in Watts v The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs [2021] EWCA Civ 1124; [2022] B.P.I.R. 324.

    As a member of the Attorney-General’s London C Panel of Counsel, Oberon is also regularly instructed on directors’ disqualification proceedings, Revenue cases and public interest winding-up petitions.

    Oberon welcomes Conditional Fee Agreements on suitable matters.

    Some of Oberon’s recent cases include:

     Watts v The Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs [2021] EWCA Civ 1124; [2022] B.P.I.R. 324 – Successfully resisting an appeal seeking an extension of time to challenge a bankruptcy order on the basis of the effect of Covid-19 restrictions.

    • Lau v Cowley [2020] EWHC 2429 (Ch); [2021] B.P.I.R. 312 – Appealing against a recognition order of foreign trustees in bankruptcy under the Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations 2006 on the basis of defective service (with Ian Clarke QC).
    • Ardawa v Uppal [2019] EWHC 456 (Ch); [2019] Bus. L.R. 1075 – Successfully resisting an appeal on a bankruptcy annulment application, concerning the court’s jurisdiction to make retrospective substituted service orders.
    • Ardawa v Uppal [2019] EWHC 1663 (Ch); [2019] Bus. L.R. 1943 – Successfully seeking costs on behalf of a petitioning creditor in protracted proceedings on an annulment application and appeal.

    Oberon is regularly instructed in the following matters:

    • Misfeasance, transactions at an undervalue, preferences, and other officeholder claims
    • Injunctions to restrain presentation or advertisement of winding up petitions
    • Applications to set aside statutory demands
    • Administration applications
    • Challenges to, and assessments of, officeholders’ remuneration and expenses
    • Applications to annul a bankruptcy order or to rescind a winding-up order
    • Income payments order applications
    • Validation order applications
    • Public and private examinations of bankrupts
    • Possession and sale proceedings in respect of bankrupts’ properties
    • Contested winding-up and bankruptcy petitions
    • Cross-border proceedings, including under the Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations 2006
    • Public interest winding-up petitions
    • Directors’ disqualification proceedings

     Oberon is a regular contributor to Corporate Rescue and Insolvency. His publications include:

    • (2020) 1 Corporate Rescue & Insolvency 20: ‘Selborne Says’
    • (2018) 6 Corporate Rescue & Insolvency 216: ‘Selborne Says’
    • (2018) 2 Corporate Rescue & Insolvency 48: ‘Navigating the dangers of the rule in ex parte James’
    • (2017) 3 Corporate Rescue & Insolvency 108: Case Reporter – Tchenguiz & Ors v Kaupthing Bank HF & Johannsson [2017] EWCA Civ 83
    • (2016) 6 Corporate Rescue & Insolvency 229 : Case Reporter – Re Kiss Cards Ltd [2016] EWHC 2176 (Ch)
    • (2016) 5 Corporate Rescue & Insolvency 185: ‘Applications to Rescind a Winding Up: Protecting the Petitioning Creditor’s Interests’
  • Banking

    Oberon acts for both institutions and individuals in banking disputes. He is sensitive to the delicate commercial and regulatory considerations that accompany banking litigation, and has been regularly instructed in cases of allegedly mis-sold financial products, bank accounts and guarantees. Before coming to the Bar, Oberon had experience working at the Financial Conduct Authority on the Libor rigging scandal.

    Oberon also has considerable experience in disputes concerning the construction and rectification of facility agreements, and the enforcement of lending facilities by way of security and by guarantee.

    Recently, Oberon has successfully acted as junior counsel on a £6.5 million claim brought by a Middle Eastern Bank against a prominent international businessman, involving a challenge to the validity of a personal guarantee amid alleged breaches of the former Lending Code.

    Oberon’s recent instructions also include:

    • Acting as a ‘skilled person’ reviewer for a Big Four bank under the FCA investigation into the mis-selling of Interest Rate Hedging Products and the resultant compensation claims
    • Advising a bank on defending a Norwich Pharmacal application in respect of suspected criminal proceeds in a bank account, on the basis of the ‘tipping off’ provisions under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002
    • Rectification claim concerning the security provision of a lending facility
    • Equity of exoneration claims between mortgagees and joint mortgagors
    • Claims of duress and undue influence against the enforcement of security by a mortgagee bank
    • Claims concerning the construction and interpretation of large-scale banking facility agreements

     

  • Real Property

    Oberon is regularly instructed in property matters, both large and small, in London and nationally. He is experienced in addressing not only the legal but also the emotive and financial issues that surround property litigation.

    He is currently acting on a multi-million euro, profit-sharing dispute in the Business and Property Courts over the sale of a famous golf course in Europe (led by Gary Blaker QC).

    Oberon has a wide breadth of experience in property which includes the following:

    • Injunctive proceedings
    • Possession proceedings against tenants, mortgagors and trespassers
    • Disputes over beneficial ownership
    • A dispute over the rights under a sub-trust enjoyed by a sub-beneficiary of land and a head trustee
    • Equity of exoneration claims between mortgagees and joint mortgagors
    • Claims of duress and undue influence against the enforcement of security by a mortgagee
    • Dispute over the operation of the escheat doctrine following disclaimer of freehold by a trustee in bankruptcy
    • Possession and sale proceedings brought by trustees in bankruptcy
  • Commercial

    Oberon’s work in general commercial litigation spans a variety of industries, including in construction, IT, energy, established and emergent technologies, and the supply of goods and services. He has an eye for detail and understands the commercial and practical interests of his clients.

    A number of his cases often involve a cross-border element, including jurisdictional and forum non conveniens disputes. For example, he is currently acting on a multi-million euro, profit-sharing dispute in the Business and Property Courts over the sale of a famous golf course in Europe (led by Gary Blaker QC).

    Oberon has considerable experience in dealing with interim remedies such as injunctions, security for costs, disclosure applications, and applications for strike out and summary determination.

    Some of Oberon’s recent instructions include:

    • Economic tort claims for conspiracy to injure, unlawful means conspiracy, and inducing breaches of contract
    • Frustration and force majeure claims arising out of the development of a new species of wind turbine and heating technology
    • Rectification claim concerning the security provision of a lending facility
    • Claims concerning the construction, interpretation and enforcement of large-scale facility agreements
  • Company & Partnership

    Oberon has considerable experience in disputes involving alleged wrongdoing by company directors and in shareholder litigation. His recent cases include profit-sharing and unfair prejudice disputes, breaches of statutory and fiduciary duties, and shareholder redemption claims.

    Oberon’s knowledge in company matters is complemented by his in-depth experience of corporate insolvency.

     

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