Lisa specialises in commercial and Chancery dispute resolution in the Business and Property Courts of the High Court of Justice. Lisa has a wealth of experience in representing a diverse range of companies and individuals in business disputes and insolvency litigation that are often high value and/or complex and whether before action, at mediation or through to trial. She is effective at positively leading the teams within which she is working and making sound strategic decisions on challenging issues under pressure. Lisa brings a creative and practical perspective to legal issues in a commercial context.
Lisa is recommended by Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guide 2021 as a leading junior in the practice areas of Chancery, restructuring/insolvency and commercial dispute resolution. Comments include “experienced and has the confidence of the court” and “her knowledge and expertise is first-rate.” She is praised by Chambers and Partners UK Bar Guide 2020 as an insolvency specialist who is “knowledgeable, persuasive in court and excellent on complex legal problems.” Lisa is also recommended in Legal 500 UK 2021 as a Tier 1 leading junior in company and insolvency who is a “great advocate and is very persuasive”. Lisa is noted as a top tier barrister in the fields of commercial, banking, insolvency and chancery law who is “very highly-regarded both as a lawyer and as an advocate” by Legal 500 UK Bar 2020 and by Legal 500 UK Bar 2019 as “imperturbable and impressive in court; a force to be reckoned with”.
Lisa is a popular choice as Counsel for advocacy, advice and drafting in contested cases in the following practice areas:
- Shareholder disputes;
- Corporate and personal insolvency;
- Directors’ and trustees’ duties and related claims;
- Secured lending disputes, including Law of Property Act receiverships;
- Commercial Contract disputes;
- Conflict of laws;
- Commercial litigation (commercial fraud, conversion, equitable remedies including injunctions, confidential information, agency and nuisance);
- Partnership, joint venture and LLP disputes;
- Proprietary estoppel claims (particularly relating to farms);
- Real property and trusts;
- Public interest winding up petitions, directors’ disqualification and tax-related litigation.
Recent highlights of Lisa’s practice include:
- Successfully defending a challenge to the court’s jurisdiction and claim that England was forum non conveniens and consequently securing payment of the underlying contractual claim.
- Currently acting for the defendants to a £5 million misfeasance and transaction defrauding creditors claim brought by the liquidators of an Isle of Man partnership.
- Unwin v Bond  EWHC 1769 (Comm), a leading case on good faith clauses in shareholder agreements, the trial of which took place remotely.
- Acting for minority shareholders in obtaining payment of just over £600,000 following presentation of a petition to wind up a crowd-funded property development company.
- Securing a settlement of just under £1 million for a shareholder in unfair prejudice petition proceedings involving a company specialising in niche pipeline product supplies.
- Advising a local authority on successfully exiting an onerous contract relating to mortuary services.
- Successfully defending a claim under a joint venture agreement and by proprietary estoppel to a valuable quarry at an 8 day trial.
- Laurence Bassini v Inner Circle Investments Limited  EWHC 3024 (Comm)
- Representing a partner in a family farming partnership in a dispute involving an enviable Yorkshire Wolds arable farm valued in excess of £6 million in which a proprietary estoppel claim was made.
- Successfully obtaining permission to continue a derivative action by a minority shareholder on behalf of a company against a company director in respect of alleged substantial misappropriation from the company which had held a valuable residential property portfolio. An indemnity of costs from the company to a specific stage in the proceedings and injunctive relief was also ordered.
- Re Graico Property Co Ltd (in administration)  BCC 15 (Norris J)
- Representing the Claimant in a substantial claim of over £1 million for breach of warranties in a share purchase agreement involving a wind farm in Scotland. The case settled before a 10 day trial and following a high profile appeal involving disclosure of privileged documents by the Defendant Atlantisrealm Ltd v Intelligent Land Investments (Renewable Energy) Ltd  EWCA Civ 1029,  C.P. Rep. 39.
Lisa is also a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Business Law and Practice at the University of Leeds. She has published articles on specialist insolvency topics in Sweet & Maxwell’s Insolvency Intelligence and R3’s Recovery, including on the “new” moratorium and furlough and administration and in Sweet & Maxwell’s the Company Lawyer, on corporate topics including directors’ duties.
In addition to the above recent highlights, the following are further illustrations of Lisa’s experience:
Lisa has a very strong practice in shareholder disputes, built from extensive experience and repeat instructions in this area.
- Defending a claim that client breached duties of good faith in shareholders’ agreement. Case involves challenging issues on forensic accountancy and how the relevant company articles are to be applied (2020).
- Currently acting for director/shareholder, alleged to have diverted contract for supply of materials for construction of flood defences in North Yorkshire, in defending derivative action and related claims to land owned by the director/shareholder. The trial is listed for 8 days in 2019 (High Court, Leeds).
- Successfully advised and acted for shareholders in valuable crowd-funded property development company in Cheshire in realising their investment by just and equitable petition (2018).
- Lisa represented majority shareholders in a highly charged 8 day unfair prejudice petition trial before HHJ Klein sitting as a High Court Judge. The trial involved three companies that sold socks to High Street retailers. Lisa succeeded in obtaining the dismissal of almost all allegations of unfair prejudice against her clients and significantly reducing the valuation alleged by Petitioners from well in excess of £1.2 million to just over £600,000 (2017) (High Court Leeds).
- Advised and represented an equal corporate shareholder of a special purpose company whose business was to install and operate a wind turbine on a remote island in Scotland in just and equitable petition and alleged breach of shareholders’ agreement (HHJ Kaye QC sitting as a High Court Judge) (2016) (High Court, Leeds).
- Lisa successfully acted for the Claimant in obtaining just under £1 million in a contractual dispute between equal shareholders in companies with the benefit of options to develop land for housing in North Yorkshire. The case settled on the first day of a 7 day trial in the Chancery Division before HHJ Behrens sitting as a High Court Judge (2015) (High Court, Leeds).
- Successfully acted (with Mark Cawson QC of Exchange Chambers) for a minority shareholder in a major print business in Yorkshire, obtaining a share sale order by an unfair prejudice petition (2013) (High Court, Leeds).
CORPORATE AND PERSONAL INSOLVENCY
Lisa has been recommended as a leading barrister in insolvency in legal directories for many years. She continues to be a very popular choice for a variety of instructions in both corporate and personal insolvency. Further detail is included in Lisa’s insolvency website entry.
- Laurence Bassini v Burnden Leisure Limited (in administration) & ors: Successfully acted for the administrator of the holding company of Bolton Wanderers football club in obtaining indemnity costs following an unsuccessful application for an injunction. (2019)
- Assisting liquidator in claims of over £1 million against directors for breaches of their duties and wrongful trading where complex limitation issues arise (2018 – 2019).
- Advising respondent to alleged claims of misfeasance valued at over £4.5 million by the liquidator of a limited liability partnership (2018 – 2019).
- Acting for defendant directors and parent company in obtaining an early and favourable settlement of threatened claim by liquidators for breaches of directors’ duties, unlawful dividends and transfer of assets at an undervalue, valued at over £1 million (2018).
- Obtaining an income payments order of in excess of £500,000 for trustees in bankruptcy in a bankruptcy involving complex financial dealings (2018).
- 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. The case settled at the court door (2017) (High Court, Manchester).
- Successfully representing a former multi-millionaire, made bankrupt following his participation in an aggressive tax scheme, in opposing an application by his trustee in bankruptcy to suspend his discharge from bankruptcy on grounds of alleged failure to cooperate (2015).
- Pettit v Novacovic  BCC 462 (Norris J) Succeeded in obtaining payment from agent who had received monies, post-bankruptcy, distinguishing Hollicourt (Contracts) Ltd v Bank of Ireland in bankruptcy context. Acted on behalf of office holder.
- Re Johnson  BPIR 987 (HHJ Roger Kaye QC) Represented Official Receiver in precedent case on application by discharged bankrupt for an annulment.
DIRECTORS’ DUTIES AND OTHER FIDUCIARIES
Lisa has a very strong practice in directors’ duties, both in shareholder disputes and claims against directors in liquidations and administrations, examples of which are set out above. She has considerable depth of experience in directors’ disqualification claims, including those involving commercial fraud (see Government litigation below).
Lisa has a very busy practice in contractual disputes in which her commercial acumen and attention to detail are valued. She has particular experience in share sale and business disputes.
- Currently advising and acting for public sector client in connection with termination of contract (2019).
- Advising in alleged breach of contract claim relating to project in Dubai (2018).
- Successfully acted for sellers of shares in claim against purchasers for breach of share purchase agreement involving a company providing car repair services for insurers. Case settled before issue of proceedings (2017).
- Lisa successfully acted for a major commercial landscaping company in obtaining settlement of a claim of just under £1 million in the Mercantile Court against a local authority. The claim was for breach of a public sector contract relating to groundworks in parks, schools and other amenities under the control of the local authority (2015) (High Court, Leeds).
- Successfully defended seller of shares in claim for alleged breach of warranties in a share sale agreement relating to a debt collection company in a case involving complex forensic accounting issues on the issue of liability (2015) (High Court, Birmingham).
In addition to the cases noted above, Lisa has a wealth of experience in acting for a range of businesses in a variety of commercial disputes.
- Wybone Limited: Successfully defended serious allegations for injunction against client in respect of management of successful company. (2020)
- Northgate Lighting Limited v Brite Source PTE Limited: Acted for Singaporean company in disputed winding up petition relating to lighting supplies valued at $2.2 million worth of supplies. (2019)
- Acted for Sports Direct in defending emergency application for delivery up of items in High Street stores following the purchase of House of Fraser (in administration) (2018).
- Representing company that bought a pharmaceutical business from a company in administration in claims brought by the administrators that the terms of the business sale agreement have been breached (2017) (High Court, Manchester).
- Successfully defended a leading Cheshire restaurant business at a 5 day trial in Manchester in claims by a residential neighbour seeking to close the restaurant on grounds of alleged noise and smell nuisance and breach of restrictive covenant (2016) (Manchester).
- 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 a favourable settlement of claim before a six day trial. The claim centred on allegations of civil fraud and was related to high profile criminal proceedings relating to the premises (2016) (HHJ Behrens sitting as a High Court Judge, Leeds District Registry).
- Successfully obtained freezing order for leading travel company, based in Yorkshire (2015) (HHJ Saffman sitting as a High Court Judge, Leeds).
- Advised and represented leading household name in the energy sector in dispute relating to power station in the North West (2015)(High Court, Manchester).
- Obtained injunction on behalf of an academy in West Yorkshire to help secure pupils and employees following violent threats by a pupil (2014).
- Close Asset Finance Limited v B & ors: Defended application for repossession of specialist machinery, used to make medical milk for export pursuant to licence, and subject to hire purchase agreements, brought by finance house. The first hearing of the application settled, preserving use of machinery for client during administration (2015) (HHJ Kaye QC sitting as a High Court Judge, Leeds District Registry).
- Oxford RFS v AP & ors (2013) (Briggs J) Successfully obtained an interim injunction on behalf of a company against a former employee restraining use of confidential information and records taken in a developing technology in the energy sector and subsequently successfully settled claim.
- Paragon Mortgages Ltd v MP  All ER (D) 65 (David Steel J) Acted for borrower in multi-million pound claims under guarantees and on personal mortgages of buy to let properties in Leeds where LPA receivers had been appointed.
- Lowes v W Machell Joinery Ltd  EWCA Civ 794,  1 All ER (Comm) 153 and  EWCA Civ 798 (Rix LJ, Lloyd LJ and Lewison J) Whether a staircase was unfit for purpose under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 due to non-compliance with Building Regulations and the extent to which new points may be taken on appeal and costs consequences.
- GE Money Home Lending Ltd v H C Wolton & Sons Ltd (t/a Wolton Chartered Surveyors)  All ER (D) 116 (May)  PNLR 28 (HHJ Behrens) Whether or not claim form in professional negligence proceedings could be amended in respect of name of one of the parties outside limitation period.
- Michael Gerson (Leasing) Ltd v Loach and others  All ER (D) 147 (Jul) (Court of Appeal) (Pill LJ, Robert Walker LJ and Sir Martin Nourse) Succeeded in appeal on issue of construction of chattel leasing agreement.
PARTNERSHIP AND LLP DISPUTES
Lisa has depth of experience in partnership and LLP disputes between farmers, solicitors and doctors and is being instructed on increasingly complex and high value disputes.
- Acting for defendant for claims of approximately £1 million in respect of solicitors’ partnership in legally and factually complex claim. Case is still ongoing and involves complex limitation issues and an entangled factual history (2020).
- Representing a partner in a family farming partnership in a dispute with assets valued at in excess of £2 million (2018).
- Advising a liquidator of a LLP in respect of recoveries against members (2017) (London).
- Defending claim brought against retired partner of a partnership between solicitors based on construction of retirement deed (2016).
- Acting for finance director of solicitors’ limited liability partnership in dispute as to whether or not he is a “good” or “bad” leaver and can reclaim capital introduced (2016).
- Acted for doctor in a partnership in respect of liabilities for shared expenses of the medical practice (2015).
REAL PROPERTY AND TRUSTS
Lisa has practised in real property and trusts for over 20 years. In 2018 she acted on proprietary estoppel claims relating to farms worth £2 million and £6 million respectively. She continues to be regularly instructed in real property matters, particularly in an insolvency context. Further details are on Lisa’s property website entry.
Lisa acted as Junior Counsel to the Crown for 18 years, regularly acting for Government departments, particularly the Insolvency Service in directors’ disqualification and public interest winding up petitions and HM Revenue and Customs in relation to tax, including MTIC fraud.
- Acting for HM Revenue and Customs in a precedent Missing Trader Intra Community (“MTIC”) case where the frauds have taken place “downstream” in other Member States (to be listed for 4 days) (2019) (Birmingham).
- Represented HM Revenue and Customs in First Tier Tax Tribunal in precedent case in respect of VAT treatment of bicarbonate of soda, sold in tubs in baking aisles Phoenix Foods Limited  UKFTT 18 (TC).
- Lisa successfully acted for the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in winding up numerous companies in the public interest that had been involved in commercial fraud.
- Successfully representing the Official Receiver in both the Crown and 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) (High Court, Birmingham and Birmingham Crown Court).
- Savidis v HM Revenue and Customs Commissioners  UKFTT 239 (TC);  S.T.I. 1938 Lisa successfully represented HM Revenue and Customs in appeal against decision refusing to repay VAT charged on two importations by the appellant of 1000 US Silver Eagle One Dollar coins (500 on each occasion).
- Lisa successfully acted for the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills in obtaining the disqualification of both a managing and other director of companies which had been involved in an intricate MTIC VAT fraud, involving complex facts: Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills v Khan & Warry  EWHC 1381 (Ch).
- ICS (UK) Ltd v HM Revenue and Customs (2013) and Church Lane Developments Ltd v HM Revenue and Customs  UKFTT 469 (TC) Successful in two MTIC VAT fraud appeals on behalf of her client in the First Tier Tax Tribunal, one involving a new variant of this type of fraud and the other for a sum in excess of £1 million.
- Shaw v Revenue and Customs Commissioners  STC 1525 (Lindsay J). Successfully responded to appeal against Commissioners’ decision to exclude credit for input tax on purchase of motor car by sole trader.