Justina Stewart

2010

Selborne Chambers
10 Essex Street
London WC2R 3AA
Email Justina Stewart
020 7420 9500

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Justina came to the Bar following a career in international investment banking, during which she was a member of world-renowned corporate finance teams (at Rothschild, Dresdner Kleinwort Benson and Schroders).

Justina has a commercial chancery practice well beyond her level of call.

Her practice encompasses the following areas:

  • Commercial disputes and civil fraud – often with a multi-jurisdictional and offshore element.
  • Company/partnership – shareholder and partnership disputes, directors’ duties, directors disqualification proceedings.
  • Insolvency – proceedings in which companies or individuals are subject to insolvency proceedings. Administrations, receiverships, voluntary arrangements. Claims brought by office holders against directors and others, including claims for wrongful trading, preference and transactions at an undervalue.
  • Financial services – in particular those requiring an understanding of financial products. Including cases with regulatory aspects and those with an offshore element.
  • Mortgages and security – claims by and against lenders relating to charges and guarantees. Includes cases involving subrogation and undue influence.
  • Property – land registry and real property (from boundary and adverse possession disputes to cases involving the enforceability of restrictive covenants, co-ownership, rectification of register and nuisance disputes. Applications to First Tier Tribunal). Commercial and residential landlord and tenant.
  • Contentious probate – including claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
  • Professional negligence – claims against professionals including solicitors, surveyors, IFAs and accountants.

Please see “Notable cases” below for examples of Justina’s cases.

Notable cases

Civil fraud

  • Client confidential – claim for over £110 m. Relates to alleged MTIC (carousel) VAT frauds, through which it is alleged that HMRC was defrauded of tax the claimant companies ought to have paid to HMRC. Claims based on dishonest assistance in breach of trust, and under s.213 IA 1986 (knowing participation in fraudulent trading).
  • Alberto Micalizzi v The Financial Conduct Authority UKUT 0335 (TCC) (Upper Tribunal Tax & Chancery Chamber) – Micalizzi, the former CEO of a hedge fund, sought to conceal massive losses following the collapse of Lehmans by deliberately misrepresenting the fund’s value and entering into agreements with third parties to acquire units in purported convertible bonds issued by a Nevada based company and backed by Russian diesel oil. Instructed by the FCA.
  • (1) Cavendish Rowe GRS Ltd (2) Mahendran v Wanstead Sports LLP – Winding up petition, and parallel proceedings with counterclaim in unjust enrichment, knowing receipt, constructive trust and tort of deceit in the context of a long and complicated management history.
  • Abbar & Anr v Sedco Real Estate Ltd, Saudi Economic & Development Company (Sedco) Ltd & Ors [2013] EWHC 1414 (Ch) – a complex contractual and misrepresentation claim relating to the “Pinnacle” development (formerly the Bishopsgate Tower), a share subscription in a development company, and subsequent inability of a subscriber to exit from his investment.
  • Yorkshire Building Society v Salter (HQ13X05838) – a claim to inter alia recover sums allegedly fraudulently withdrawn by a bank employee. Involves detailed analysis of over one hundred banking transactions for a period of c.19 years. Successful on summary judgment.
  • (1) Rosork Holdings Ltd (2) Fairlann Trading Ltd v (1) Silver (2) Jenkins (HC13E01128) – satellite action related to complex and protracted proceedings in Chancery Division (fraud, breach of duty and secret profits claim) and QBD (libel action). Security for costs application that resulted in the end of the action against the defendants.
  • Tchenguiz v Director of the Serious Fraud Office – damages claim by the Tchenguiz brothers following their investigation and arrest by the SFO in the wake of the collapse of Kaupthing, the Icelandic bank. Instructed by the SFO.

Financial services/banking

  • Barnett Waddington Trustees (1980) Ltd v Royal Bank of Scotland [2017] EWHC 834 (Ch) – Instructed by borrower. Following the borrower’s success in the first case (see below), RBS sought to allege that an “interest rate swap termination cost” arose upon redemption by reason of a swap with a third party. Borrower successfully argued that it was entitled to resist this claim on the basis that it was an abuse of process (led by Mark Warwick QC).
  • Barnett Waddington Trustees (1980) Ltd v The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc [2015] EWHC 2435 (Ch) – Instructed by the borrower, in a case concerning the liability of a borrower to indemnify a lender against ‘losses’ said to have been suffered by the lender as a result of an internal hedging arrangement. Borrower wished to redeem a loan. Lender insisted that, as a condition of redemption, borrower had to pay an ‘interest rate swap termination cost’ arising from an internal swap. Warren J determined that no such sum was payable (led by Mark Warwick QC).
  • Instructed by FCA in relation to its review, under s.166 FSMA, of the Royal Bank of Scotland’s treatment of business customers in financial difficulties and entry into RBS’s Global Restructuring Group.
  • Instructed by HSBC in relation to the FCA’s review, under s.166 FSMA, of interest rate swap miss selling, specifically on the recoverability of consequential losses claimed.
  • Client confidential – claim in excess of £20 m by fund of funds against investment manager and broker in relation to LME metals trading. Allegations including conspiracy and dishonest assistance.
  • NABCSG Group Action – instructed to advise on merits of multi-party litigation.
  • Client confidential – Advised on a claim against a major investment bank in relation to losses arising from failures relating to execution of a trade. Involved in-depth analysis of settlement procedures and the duties of a primary broker.

Other commercial

  • Centrehigh Ltd v Telstra Music Group & Ors [2013] EWHC 1448 (Ch) – third party costs order application under s.51 SCA, involving detailed financial analysis in the context of an intricate company structure (led by Stuart Hornett).
  • Multi-million pound loss of profits claim arising from breach of IT contract, in multi-jurisdiction context.

Insolvency

  • Trans-Tag Ltd v Burnell – application for injunction to restrain winding-up petition, alleging cross-claim of over £100 m based on extensive breaches of directors’ duties. Also instructed in parallel proceedings involving allegations of breach of licence agreement.
  • Client confidential – claim against liquidators pursuant to s.212 IA 1986 for over £20 m, in relation to agreement entered into (allegedly negligently) with company’s landlord in relation to a significant London property.
  • Toone and Kevin Murphy (Joint Liquidators of B Frankle & Sons Ltd), B Frankle & Sons Ltd (in creditors’ voluntary liquidation) v Frankle & ors (CR-2016-000474) – Liquidators’ claim for over £4 m, alleging breach of directors’ duties, that a share purchase scheme was implemented with the purpose of defrauding creditors within the meaning of s.423 IA 1986, sale of property to a director at an undervalue, and that the share purchase was void as it was not made in accordance with provisions of the Companies Act 2006 (led by Ian Clarke QC).
  • Re: Carolan (No.2500/2013) – application to stay bankruptcy, pending application for annulment of petition pursuant to section 282(1)(a) IA 1986 relying upon lack of mental capacity.
  • Re: Skeene (No.3292/2013) – bankruptcy petition in excess of £1 m, involving allegations of establishment of off-shore company for purpose of concealing fraudulent activities.
  • Re: Copestake (No.387/SD/2013) – involved application of s.217 IA 1986 (phoenix companies).
  • Eastern Events Ltd v Interactive Business Technology Group Ltd (No.4766/2014) – application to prevent presentation of winding up petition, on the basis that Interactive does not hold title to relevant equipment, misrepresentation, contract void for lack of certainty, lack of contractual relationship between the parties.
  • Re: Natural Wealth Consultants Ltd, Proctor Capital Limited, Land Security Management Ltd (No.2188, 2189, 2190 of 2012) – advised on public interest petition, allegations of land banking in context of complicated network of companies.

Company/partnership

  • Client confidential – acting for partner who had retired from an LLP in a claim for return of balance standing in capital account upon retirement.
  • Client confidential (arbitration) – Instructed by a former partner of solicitors’ partnership – claims include that former co-partners reopened accounts when they were not entitled to do so, thus causing him loss on retirement.
  • Client confidential (arbitration) – Instructed by former partner of accountancy partnership. Allegations of unlawful expulsion from partnership, breach of equitable duties, misrepresentation and non est factum. Included application to remove arbitrator pursuant to s.24 of the Arbitration Act 1996 – T v (1) V (2) W (3) A [2017] EWHC 565 (Comm).
  • Franks v (1) Franks (2) Michaelson Properties Ltd (CR-2015-009740) and Franks v (1) Franks (3) FWEL Ltd (CR-2015-009740) – Linked cases. Unfair prejudice petition in relation to two family-owned companies with collective value of c.£6-7 m. Instructed by petitioner. Key issue was how to separate mother’s and son’s interests in tax efficient manner.

Professional negligence

  • Shepherd v Byrne & Partners LLP [2017] EWHC 758(Ch) – acted for claimant in a professional negligence claim against a firm of solicitors for tax advice on disclosure to HMRC of undeclared offshore income (led by Hugh Jackson).
  • Clients confidential – instructed by claimants in relation to variety of professional negligence actions against IFAs, accountants and solicitors relating to CGT mitigation schemes.
  • Client confidential – claim for over £50 m against a big four accountancy firm for negligent tax advice relating to a tax deferral scheme.
  • Client confidential – claim for c.£10 m against surveyor in relation to the valuation of a substantial London commercial property.
  • Lucas v Notable Services LLP (HC-2015-000862) – claim in excess of £3.5 m in professional negligence against solicitors for alleged losses arising from inter alia alleged breaches of the Money Laundering Regulations 2007, Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 and the SRA Account Rules 2011 and breach of duty owed to in making statements relating to the same.
  • Lucas v Sillet Webb Solicitors (HC-2015-000731) – claim in excess of £800,000 in professional negligence relating to services provided in connection with a Part 20 Claim made in the context of a complex and protracted fraud case in the High Court, Group Seven Limited & another v Allied Investment Corporation Limited and others.

Property

  • Singh v (1) Singh (2) Barclays Bank Plc 93) Prestige Finance Ltd – claimant asserts among other things a beneficial interest in the property and rectification of the register, due to alleged fraudulent misrepresentation, undue influence and non est factum. Acting for second chargee.
  • Bouchiba v Turner (No.2015/0583) (Property Chamber Land Registration First-Tier Tribunal) – cohabitation dispute. Claimant alleged an interest in property by reason of a constructive trust, alternatively proprietary estoppel, notwithstanding the fact that she was not a registered proprietor (joint or otherwise) of the title.
  • Re: Hussain’s Application (LP/23/2014) – application to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) pursuant to s.84 LPA 1925 to modify restrictive covenants, so as to enable an extension to existing property located on a scheme of development.
  • Montrose Property Company Ltd v Jennings Court Estate Ltd (No.2014/0231) (Property Tribunal First-Tier Tribunal) – acted for respondent in relation to application to cancel unilateral notice. Involved showing that applicant did not have benefit of interest affecting the property, but that, if it did, interpreting a sale agreement in the respondent’s favour, alternatively showing that the sale agreement was validly rescinded.
  • Brian Meehan Limited v Powell (HC13F05008) – rectification of a lease so as to exclude the security provisions of 1954 Act.
  • Cooper v Ayres (3EA00150)questions of enforceability of restrictive covenant (including whether a scheme of development exists) and appropriate circumstances in which court should grant injunctive relief.
  • Beaufort Children LLP v Jenkins – instructed by the landlord, the owner of a prime Chelsea block of flats, seeking to redevelop the block. Tenant, 90 years old, claimed that she occupied one of the flats pursuant to a Regulated Tenancy. Involved extensive argument on decades of landlord and tenant law.
  • Stannard (t/a Wyvern Tyres) v Gore [2012] EWCA Civ 1248 – seminal case in which the Court of Appeal considered the rule in Rylands v Fletcher as it applies to escape of fire.
  • Advised developer on enforceability of restrictive covenants in anticipation of major residential development in Central London, including upon potential Wrotham Park damages.

Probate and Administration of Estates

  • Re: Estate of Andrew McConnell Deceased – claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. Involved the question of the degree to which an infant’s needs should take priority over other beneficiaries, in the context of assets both in England and Wales, and overseas.
  • Advised on whether a suicide note severed a joint tenancy.

Memberships

COMBAR
Chancery Bar Association
FSLA
Professional Negligence Bar Association

Property Bar Association

Education

  • LLB (First Class)
  • GDL (Distinction)
  • BVC (Outstanding, first in year)
  • BSc Econ (LSE)
  • MPhil (Oxon)
  • Diploma in Mineral Deposit Evaluation, Imperial College
  • Cassell and Sunley Scholarships, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Buchanan Prize, Lincoln’s Inn