Lisa Linklater K.C. is a leading silk with an established reputation nationally for her expertise, advocacy, advice and strategic excellence in cases involving commercial fraud, particularly in the context of shareholder disputes and corporate insolvency.
Lisa is frequently instructed in high value, legally and factually complex and often high-profile claims in this area. Lisa’s expertise and recent experience (for both Claimants and Defendants) in this field includes:
- Asset recovery and tracing;
- Breach of trust and breaches of directors’ duties;
- Cross-border issues;
- Knowing receipt;
- Dishonest assistance;
- Unlawful means conspiracy;
- Emergency interim relief (including freezing orders, interim injunctions and proprietary injunctions);
- Transactions at an undervalue and to defraud creditors;
- Claims that documents have been forged;
- Legal professional privilege and the iniquity exception;
- Piercing the corporate veil;
- Account of profits and equitable compensation;
- Sham transactions and
- Cases involving parallel or potential criminal proceedings.
Lisa is recommended as a Band 1 silk by both Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2024 and Legal 500 UK Bar 2024, which recognise the strength of Lisa’s skills in Commercial Dispute Resolution, Chancery and Insolvency and restructuring.
Lisa has significant experience in claims involving multiple causes of action or claimants or defendants, cross-border issues or a variety of strategic options, including as to alternative remedies.
She regularly leads legal teams that include lawyers specialist in the law and practice of different legal jurisdictions or complementary fields of practice, including criminal law and procedure.
Lisa is adept in cases involving forensic accounting, digital forensic expert reports and other specialist and expert evidence.
Lisa’s significant experience and expertise as lead trial Counsel underpins her strategic excellence on evidential issues at all stages of commercial fraud disputes.
Lisa is sensitive to the particular pressures on clients and legal teams in this field of practice and is valued for leading and fostering positive, cohesive and collaborative teams to effectively advance the clients’ cases.
Lisa served as Junior Counsel to the Crown (Attorney General’s Regional Panel) for three consecutive terms (18 years) and was regularly instructed by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in high-profile, complex company director disqualification applications and public interest winding up petitions, as well as by HM Revenue and Customs in precedent-setting cases and multi-million pound tax fraud cases. She is currently instructed as lead Counsel by the Secretary of State for Business and Trade in a complex director disqualification in the retail sector.
Recent highlights of Lisa’s practice in commercial fraud include:
- Acting in alleged claim by company administrators of £12 million for alleged knowing assistance and knowing receipt of breach of trust and alleged breaches of directors’ duties. Lisa is collaborating with Jersey lawyers in respect of a freezing order obtained in the Royal Court of Jersey (2023).
- Successfully acted for Petitioner in unfair prejudice petition under s994 of the Companies Act 2006 involving allegations of tax evasion in respect of a company in the hospitality sector in London (2021 onwards, case settled before trial listed in 2023).
- Successfully deflected threatened removal as a director of a company of client who was accused of tax evasion, securing important strategic success in bitter dispute between family members of a business in the leisure sector. Lisa acted in parallel with other silks in different fields of specialism (2022).
- Securing a favourable settlement for the defendants to a £5 million misfeasance and transaction defrauding creditors claim, brought by the liquidators of an offshore partnership that had moved onshore (2018 – 2021).
- Successfully resisting an application to remove a trustee, alleged to have misappropriated trust funds, in the context of a factually and legally complex property dispute within a family spanning 40 years in respect of a property portfolio valued at c. £4m and alleged partnership, in which she has been leading other Counsel (2020).
- Acting in a shareholder dispute involving a company in the energy sector and the alleged misappropriation of over £2 million by a director (2021).
- Successfully obtaining the withdrawal of an appeal against an assessment of over £1m in a complex MTIC tax fraud involving precedent legal issues and in which the fraud had taken place in Poland and Hungary (2016 – 2021).
Examples of Lisa’s further experience in this field are:
- Currently acting in respect of very substantial property portfolio in claim involving allegations of sham (2023).
- Acting in claim for specific performance of shareholders’ agreement, requiring shares to be transferred for nil consideration, including responding to claim that a shareholders’ agreement has been forged (2022 – ).
- Successfully obtaining settlement for Defendants to serious claims of knowing assistance, knowing receipt and related tracing claims, brought by a company registered in Gibraltar, acting by its liquidators, where the claims and costs were in excess of £1 million (2017).
- Successfully defending injunctive relief proceedings brought by a major manufacturer of bed products that had purchased a portfolio of properties from administrators in a “fire sale” and obtaining favourable settlement of claim before trial. The claim centred on allegations of civil fraud and was related to the first modern slavery prosecution in England (2016).
- Successfully representing the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in winding up numerous companies in the public interest, including companies that had:
- Acted as the trustee of pension funds of over £4 million and yet could not clearly explain the application of those funds (2018).
- Defrauded members of the public who had understood that the companies would engage in trading in binary options on their behalf Directional Solutions Ltd & ors(2017).
- Falsely promised investors in the United Kingdom lucrative returns on alleged gold mining operations. The companies were registered in South and Central America (2015).
- Successfully representing the Official Receiver in both the Crown Court and the High Court in connection with civil proceedings arising from a criminal investigation into the storage and sale of non-duty paid goods and associated money laundering activity (2015) (Proceedings in both the HCt and Crown Ct).
Lisa is widely published in her fields of specialism including in Sweet & Maxwell’s Insolvency Intelligence, R3’s Recovery and the Company Lawyer and regularly gives seminars on recent developments in these areas. She is a member of the editorial advisory board of the Company Lawyer. Recent seminars include shareholder disputes, legal professional privilege and directors’ duties. Lisa is also a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Business Law and Practice at the University of Leeds.
She is vice-chair of the Northern Business and Property Bar Association.