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Our clerks’ room is open between:

8.30am – 6.30pm

Outside of these hours and in cases of urgency, please contact
Paul Bunting on 07971 843023 or
Darren Madle on 07769 714399.

Clerk contacts

Richard Sheehan

Deputy Senior Clerk

020 7420 9503
Oliver Ventura

First Junior Clerk

020 7420 9505
Aron Hanks

Second Junior Clerk

020 7420 9506
Archie Conners

Third Junior Clerk

020 7420 9507

Our clerks’ room is open between:

8.30am – 6.30pm

Outside of these hours and in cases of urgency, please contact
Paul Bunting on 07971 843023 or
Darren Madle on 07769 714399.

Clerk contacts

Richard Sheehan

Deputy Senior Clerk

020 7420 9503
Oliver Ventura

First Junior Clerk

020 7420 9505
Aron Hanks

Second Junior Clerk

020 7420 9506
Archie Conners

Third Junior Clerk

020 7420 9507

Stuart
Hornett

Call: 1992

Tel: 020 7420 9500

About

Stuart is an experienced advocate whose practice encompasses commercial, chancery, company and banking litigation, partnership, trusts, property, insolvency, international and domestic arbitration and professional liability. He has extensive experience in cases of high value and complexity, often involving multi-party and multi-jurisdictional aspects. Stuart has appeared in numerous high profile and reported matters at first instance and appellate level. He is recognised as a leading junior in various practice areas in Chambers & Partners, The Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal. Stuart has been the Selborne Chambers Pro Bono Champion and regularly acts for pro bono clients. He provides lectures and seminars and is a co-editor Cousins on the Law of Mortgages.

Stuart has appeared in numerous reported and significant cases in the commercial and chancery fields and has advised and acted on substantial company, banking, insolvency, shareholder and partnership disputes, director claims and fraud and assets tracing clams. Many of his cases have an international aspect. He is currently acting in a long running partnership/company claim with international aspects; acting for bank in complex s.944 claim; advising in a number of large claims against banks and administrators concerning collapsed property developments and for a venture capital fund defending a £35m claim for an alleged breach of a loan note subscription agreement. He recently acted for the ex-Chairman of BHS in connection with the Arcadia takeover and liquidator claims and in a high profile commercial court dispute, acting for the Republic of Vanuatu in an arbitration claim over fishing quotas and alleged corrupt practices. He recently acted for a group of investments funds in a large claim concerning mismanagement, breaches of fiduciary duty and constructive trusts and has appeared in a number of international arbitrations concerning recovery of loans to Russian based clients. Stuart regularly acts for and against company liquidators and administrators and appeared in one of the leading cases on s.423 IA 1986 (In Re 4Ing v Harper and Others (Ch) [2010] BCC 746) and in Re Paramount Powders [2019] EWCA Civ 1644; 2020 B.C.C. 152 on the just and equitable winding up jurisdiction under s.122(1)(g) IA 1986. Stuart also acts in directors’ disqualification claims.

Recent notable cases include:

Unimed Glory SA v Republic of Vanuatu [2023] Comm Court. Stuart acted for the Republic of Vanuatu (led by Romie Tager KC with Calum Stratton) in a widely publicised Commercial Court claim defending an injunction in support of an arbitration claim concerning agreements under which the claimant was allegedly granted the right to assign the Republic’s fishing jack mackerel fishing quotas under the SPRFMO convention in perpetuity for a fixed price to the Republic. The Republic’s case was that the agreements were fraudulent and a result of political corruption. The case raised an unsettled point of law concerning state immunity from the grant of interim injunctions on which the Court of Appeal gave permission to appeal the decision of the Comm Court but the case settled shortly before it was due to be heard. The FT report can be found here.

Al-Najjar v Majeed and others [2022] EWHC 363 (CH); [2022] EWHC 686 (Ch) Stuart is currently acting for claimants in a £5m+ partnership dispute relating to property developments in London and Slough, including breach of trust and fraud claims. Having obtained a striking out and debarring order in January 2022 before Leech J. [2022] EWHC 363 (CH), judgment was obtained at trial [2022] EWHC 686 (Ch). The proceedings are now concerned with recovery and enforcement, including freezing injunctions against non-party “Chabra” respondents, including offshore entities.

Singh v Jhutti [2021] EWHC 2272 (Ch) Leading Tom Frazer (Selborne Chambers) in a 3 week Ch D trial, Stuart successfully defended a claim concerning the ownership of a multi-million pound portfolio of c.30 properties. The case involved allegations of fraud and forgery; enforcement of contracts of sale; interplay between constructive trusts and s.1 of the 1989 Act; specific performance and laches.

BHS Group (in liquidation) v Smith and others (ChD) [2021] EWHC 3501 (Ch) appealed [2022] EWHC 2205 (Ch). Stuart (leading Daniel Webb of Selborne Chambers) acted for the ex-Chairman of BHS Group defending claims exceeding £150m brought by the liquidators against a number of former directors. The claims were for misfeasance and breaches of directors’ duties in relation to high value property related transactions and a wrongful trading claim under IA s.214 involving multiple allegations of trading whilst insolvent, pension and VAT issues. The case against Stuart’s client did not proceed to trial.

Badyal v Badyal [2018] EWHC 68 (Ch) Stuart originally acted in a 3-week Chancery trial for the successful Second Defendant in resisting a petition under s.994 CA 2006 and establishing that many UK and Indian companies and assets worth many £10ms were partnership property or held on trust. The case involved serious allegations and counter-allegations of fraud, breaches of directors’ duty and setting up competing businesses, all of which Stuart succeeded on at trial and on which he recovered indemnity costs. The case has led to numerus heavy applications, including injunctions and share transfers orders in the face of a competing Indian injunction [2019] EWHC 467 (Ch); debarring orders [2019] EWHC 2679; relief from sanctions and applications for pre-dissolution distributions [2019] EWHC 3423 (Ch)

Re Brickvest Limited  [2019] EWHC 2662 (Ch) [2019] EWHC 3084 (Ch). In this on-going matter, Stuart acted for a German bank on various disputes arising out of its investment in start-up technology company and its subsequent administration, including a complex s.994 petition and various injunctions obtained to restrain the directors from issuing shares and loan notes and to correct misleading filed accounts. The case went to a 2 week but unusually settled prior to judgment being delivered.

Re Paramount Powers [2019] EWCA Civ 1644; 2020 B.C.C. 152. Stuart successfully resisted an appeal against the refusal by the trial judge to make a just and equitable winding up order under s.122(1)(g) IA 1986. The case involved a detailed analysis of the authorities concerning the analogy with partnership concepts, clean hands and winding up being a last resort.

Ford v Bennett  [2019] EWCA Civ 1604; [2020} Costs L.R. 1472. Stuart acted for the Appellant on this appeal from complicated costs order made by the Judge in the Bennett trial (below), the key issue being whether indemnity costs should have been awarded and the extent to which the Additional Parties and Defendant joined in common cause. The Court of Appeal remarked on the “decent and attractive case” made by Stuart.

Bennett v Bennett & Otrs [2018] EWHC 1931 (Ch) Stuart acting for the Additional Parties in a 12 day trial before George Bompas QC (ChD) about the ownership of a football club worth c.£10m. The issues were whether there was an oral agreement about ownership; whether there was a partnership or constructive trust; the extent of and reasons for the clients’ contributions to the club and laches/delay.

Hameed v Packe [2018] EWHC 3061 (Ch) This was a 5 day trial of a partnership dispute concerning the dissolution of 2 partnerships relating to properties  and property development; whether properties belonged to the partnership; when the partnerships were dissolved and on what basis. The taking of the accounts and further issues for trial are proceeding before the Master.

Arbitration S v A  (2018) This was a 2 day ICC arbitration in Paris concerning liability and quantum ($2m+) for alleged breach of contract for the supply of oil pipeline machinery. I acted for the Saudi supplier, the Chinese claimant was represented by a Beijing law firm. The case was conducted in English but was particularly challenging because the law of the forum was French and the law of the contract was Chinese.

Carrasco v Johnson [2018] EWCA Civ 87. Stuart acted for the Appellant in this important Court of Appeal decision on the proper approach to awarding statutory interest to individuals. This was the first occasion that the Court of Appeal reviewed and approved the leading first instance authorities on the issue, Challinor v Juliet Beliis & Co [2013] EWHC 620(Ch) and Reinhard v Ondra LLP [2015] EWHC 2943 (Ch) and the approach taken of broadly “categorising” claimants into those who would have borrowed and those who would have left the money on deposit. The case emphasis the restitutio principle for awarding interest and the limits to the factual enquiry which the first instance court should undertake when determining the appropriate rate.

Havering Radio Cars v Phillips [2017] EWHC 614 (QB).   – Barker Gillette – Stuart recently acted at trial for the successful claimants in a claim for breach of fiduciary duty and contract, securing a multi-million pound award of damages and declaratory relief. The case has been the subject of various articles looking at the limits of the Pallant v Morgan trust.

Mellor v Partridge – Instructed by CMS Cameron McKenna, Stuart acted for David Mellor in £4m fraud claim arising out of the misselling antiques. The case involved complex issues of accounting, causation and loss

National Westminster Bank Plc v Alfano [2012] EWHC 1020; [2013] EWCA 1703. Stuart acted for the successful bank at first instance and in the Court of Appeal in a case concerning the enforceability of personal guarantees. The case raised legal points on the conditionality, dating and delivery of deeds.

Levin v Tannenbaum (2013) Stuart acted for the claimant in a £45m claim under a series of guarantees which are said to be forgeries. The claim raises issues of estoppel, holding out, agency and limitation and was the subject of two recent judgments of Nugee J. on 18 November 2013 (LTL 19/11/2013 ref AC9401436) on the Defendant’s unsuccessful strike out/summary judgment application.

JSC BTA Bank v Solodchencko & Ors (2011/2012) Stuart was instructed on behalf of Eastbridge Capital in one of the cases making up the largest commercial fraud proceedings in the Commercial Court and Chancery Division and featured as a “Top 20 case of 2011” in The Lawyer (see http://www.thelawyer.com/top-20-cases-of-2011/1006498.article). The case concerned allegations of fraud against former directors of BTA JSC Bank of Kazakhstan worth in excess of $1.5bn. Stuart appeared on freezing, search order and other applications in the Chancery Division and Commercial Court.

Kearns Brothers Ltd v Hova Developments Ltd [2012] EWHC 2968 (Ch) Stuart represented the successful Claimant in a claim under a Pallant v Morgan constructive trust in a joint venture for the development of land. The case clarifies points of law on what type of interest in land the claimant needs in order to satisfy the Banner v Luff test.

Centrehigh Ltd v Karen Amend & Ors [2013] EWHC 1448 (Ch). Acted for applicant in a long running and complex third party costs application under s.51 SCA.

Innovatis Investment Fund Limited v Ejder Group Limited (Ch) [2010] EWHC 1851
Acted with Romie Tager Q.C in obtaining judgment at trial for over US$4m under a disputed securities repurchase agreement agreement concerning a Lehman Bros Medium Term Basket Note with a face value of US$7m. The case also engaged issues of an agent’s liability under a contract in the context securities trading.

In Re 4Ing v Harper and Others (Ch) [2010] BCC 746; [2010] Bus LR D58. Acted for the relatives and connected companies of a principal defendant in an £8m fraud case and the Claimant’s application for relief under section 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986 in relation to real property and other assets in the UK and Guernsey.

Re Cotswold Company Ltd (Ch) [2009] BCC 812; [2009] 2 BCLC 371; [2009] L&TR 22 Acted for landlord in successfully challenging the decision of a supervisor of a CVA in a claim for future rents and liabilities under a commercial lease. The case concerned the effect of a subsequent deed of surrender on a claim which had already been compromised by the CVA and whether the terms of the surrender were sufficient to reserve the claim for future rents.

Mitchell & Hobbs (UK) Ltd v Mill [1996] 2 BCLC 102. 
Validity of legal proceedings authorised by company; power of director to direct legal proceedings on behalf of company.

Stuart has also appeared in a number of important cases concerning practice and procedure including the leading Court of Appeal cases of Audergon v La Baguette [2002] EWCA Civ 10; [2002] C.P.Rep 27 on review or rehearing on appeal; Goode v Martin [2002] 1 W.L.R. 1828; [2002] 1 All ER 620 concerning amendments outside the limitation period and Art6 HRA and the recent decision of Morgan J. in Centrehigh v Karen Amen & Ors [2013] EWHC 625 (Ch) concerning cross examination and summary procedure in third party costs applications.

 

Stuart regularly acts in and advises on domestic and international arbitration claims. He acted for the Republic of Vanuatu in Unimed Glory SA v Republic of Vanuatu [2023] Comm Court, which concerned the grant of injunctive relief under s.44 of the Arbitration Act 1996 and engaged an unsettled point of law concerning state immunity from the grant of interim injunctions. Stuart has acted in LCIA arbitrations in London for foreign nationals in multi-million £ commercial claims. He also regularly acts in domestic and bespoke arbitration claims. In Arbitration S v A, Stuart acted in an ICC arbitration in Paris concerning liability and quantum for alleged breach of contract for the supply of oil pipeline machinery, acting for a Saudi supplier against a Chinese claimant. The case was conducted in English but applied Chinese contract law and French jurisdictional law. Stuart is currently advising a state investment fund of a major middle east country in relation to potentially fraudulently obtained arbitration awards.

Stuart’s property practice encompasses a wide area of real property issues, including mortgages (he is a contributing editor of Cousins, the Law of Mortgage), land registration, options, restrictive covenants, overage clauses, rectification claims, proprietary estoppel cases and valuation issues. Stuart acts and advises on a range of commercial landlord and tenant cases, including dilapidation claims. Stuart has recently advised a London University in relation to the removal of a registration as an Asset of Community Value under the Localism Act and has acted for a number of Midlands Universities on option and development issues. Stuart regularly acts for developers and is completely familiar with development agreements and all their complexities, in particular reasonable and best endeavours obligations. He is currently acting for a claimant on a disputed joint venture agreement concerning two large holiday parks in Scotland; on a large dilapidations claim on a listed former brewery and for a local authority on claim for illegal fly tipping and land contamination said to be caused by a traveller site.

Notable cases include:

Alnajjar & Otrs v West One Loan Limited [2023] EWHC 315. This case concerned the equitable doctrine of marshalling. Stuart successfully argued that the doctrine has no application where a lender sought to require a beneficial owner of one property to marshal the proceeds of sale to pay down mortgages on other properties held by the same legal owner.

Singh v Jhutti [2021] EWHC 2272 (Ch) Leading Tom Frazer (Selborne Chambers) in a 3 week Ch D trial, Stuart successfully defended a claim concerning the ownership of a multi-million pound portfolio of c.30 properties. The case involved allegations of fraud and forgery; enforcement of contracts of sale; interplay between constructive trusts and s.1 of the 1989 Act; specific performance and laches.

Biggs v Countryside Developments (2016) Ch Div. Represented the claimant landowners in a highly complex claim against developers in relation to a reasonable endeavours clause in the context of a Planning / s.106 Agreement for a £100m + residential development (settled).

Paddington Basin Developments Ltd v West End Quay Estate Management (Ch) [2010] EWHC [2010] 1 W.L.R. 2735; [2010] L&TR 26 [2010] 2 EGLR 35 Stuart represented some 460 residential underlessees in the Paddington Basic Development an important action to determine whether an Estate Management Deed was Qualifying Long Term Agreement under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 and therefore subject to the statutory consultation provisions. In one of the very few High Court cases ever to consider the relevant statutory provisions, the Court held that the Deed was a Qualifying Agreement. The case is notable for its discussion of the policy behind the statute and an analysis of types of agreement that will and will not fall within the definition of Qualifying Long Term Agreement.

Hildron Finance v Sunley Holdings (Ch) [2010] EWHC 1681 [2010] 3 EGLR 1 Featured case with commentary in Vol. 1040 Estates Gazette 9/10/10. Acted for successful defendant at first instance and respondent on appeal in defending a claim under an overage agreement and the frustrating effects of the Leasehold Reform Act 1993 (applying the long line of authorities from Baily v De Crespigny).

Lyndendown Ltd v Vitamol Ltd CA [2007] EWCA Civ 826; [2007] 3 E.G.L.R. 11; [2007] 47 E.G. 170; [2007] 29 E.G. 142 (C.S.); [2007] 29 EG 142 Stuart acted for the successful defendant / subsidiary of a plc at first instance and in the Court of Appeal in a claim for damages for disrepair at the end of the term on the basis that because there was a 1954 Act protected sub-tenant holding over, damage to reversion was nil or nominal (applying Family Management v Gray). The existence of a side letter containing various assurances and an indemnity from the tenant’s parent company did not alter the position.

Northbrook v Abbey Estates Limited (CA) (2009) Acted for successful claimant seeking the return of a deposit for property purchased at auction on the basis of misrepresentation; implied covenants to title and vacant possession. Lloyd L.J. ruled that the common auction conditions did not exclude liability for positive misrepresentations.

Bruntwood v British Telecom (Ch) (2008) Acted for British Telecom in week long trial defending a multi-million pound terminal dilapidations action. The case engaged difficult issues of supersession in the context of section 18 of the Landlord and Tenant Act.

Stuart has appeared in a number of important cases concerning practice and procedure including the leading Court of Appeal cases of Audergon v La Baguette [2002] EWCA Civ 10; [2002] C.P.Rep 27 on review or rehearing on appeal; Goode v Martin [2002] 1 W.L.R. 1828; [2002] 1 All ER 620 concerning amendments outside the limitation period and Art6 HRA and the recent decision of Morgan J. in Centrehigh v Karen Amen & Ors [2013] EWHC 625 (Ch) concerning cross examination and summary procedure in third party costs applications;  Carrasco v Johnson [2018] EWCA Civ 87, which is now a leading Court of Appeal authority on the proper approach to awarding statutory interest to individuals and the inquiry the court should  undertake when determining the appropriate rate; and Ford v Bennett  [2019] EWCA Civ 1604; [2020} Costs L.R. 1472 concerning the award of indemnity costs.

Stuart is ranked as a leading junior in all aspects of his practice:

  • Leading Junior in Commercial Litigation, Legal 500 (2010 – current)
  • Leading Junior Chancery Commercial, Chambers & Partners (2010- current)
  • Leading Junior in Property Litigation, Legal 500 (2005 – current)
  • Leading Junior in Real Estate Litigation, Chambers & Partners (2006 – current)

Please see Stuart’s Privacy Notice here.

ICO Registration Number: Z7303850

Registered Name: Stuart Ian Hornett

VAT Number: 628446128