Lisa Linklater

Call 1995

linklater@exchangechambers.co.uk

"Imperturbable and impressive in court; a force to be reckoned with."

The Legal 500 2018/19
Photo of Lisa Linklater

Commercial

Lisa has forged an excellent reputation as a leading barrister in Commercial Chancery cases. She is valued by clients for combining excellent practical skills and technical knowledge with commercial acumen, an approachable manner and high quality service. Lisa brings a wealth of experience in advising and representing a diverse range of companies, individuals and Government departments (having been Junior Counsel to the Crown for 18 years).

Lisa is a popular choice as Counsel for advocacy, advice and drafting  in disputes in the High Court in the following practice areas:

  • Shareholder disputes;
  • Corporate and personal insolvency;
  • Partnership, joint venture and LLP disputes;
  • Directors’ and trustees’ duties and related claims;
  • Proprietary estoppel claims (particularly relating to farms);
  • Share sale and business sale disputes;
  • Contractual disputes;
  • Real property and trusts;
  • General commercial litigation (equitable remedies including injunctions, confidential information, agency, conversion, nuisance, conflict of laws, commercial fraud and professional negligence);
  • Public interest winding up petitions, directors’ disqualification and tax-related litigation.

Recent highlights of Lisa’s commercial practice include:

  • Successfully securing a settlement of just under £1 million for the Petitioner in unfair prejudice petition proceedings involving a family business. The settlement was reached at a mediation just before a 5 day High Court trial in Manchester (2018).
  • Re Graico Property Co Ltd (in administration) [2017] BCC 15 (Norris J) (Leeds District Registry) Acted for administrators on a precedent case on the scope of the court’s powers when ending administration.
  • Currently representing a partner in a family farming partnership in dispute involving assets with a value of in excess of £6 million and a claim of proprietary estoppel (2018) (High Court, Leeds).
  • Representing the Claimant in a substantial claim of over £1 million for breach of warranties in a share purchase agreement.  The companies purchased by the Claimant constructed, developed and operate wind farms 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 [2017] EWCA Civ 1029, [2017] C.P. Rep. 39 (2016 – 2017) (High Court, Leeds).
  • Representing 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 [2018] S. T. I. 276.

Lisa is also a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Business Law and Practice at the University of Leeds.

Commercial Cases

SHAREHOLDER DISPUTES

Lisa has a very strong practice in shareholder disputes, built from extensive experience and repeat instructions in this area.

Lisa successfully secured a settlement of just under £1 million for the Petitioner in unfair prejudice petition proceedings involving a family business.  The settlement was reached at a mediation just before a 5 day High Court trial in Manchester (2018).

Currently acting for director/shareholder, alleged to have diverted corporate opportunity for supply of materials for construction of flood defences in North Yorkshire, in derivative action brought by shareholder.  The case also involves related claims for valuable mineral rights.  The trial is listed for 8 days in 2018 (High Court, Leeds).

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 of 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 is to install and operate a wind turbine on a remote island in Scotland in petition to wind up the company on just and equitable ground and on claim further to shareholders’ agreement (HHJ Kaye QC sitting as a High Court Judge) (2016) (High Court, Leeds).  Case settled before trial.

Lisa successfully settled a claim for just under £1 million on behalf of the Claimant 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).

Succeeded in obtaining significant payment for a former employee in a claim arising from a promised interest in shares of employer by owners/directors of employer company.  The case was further complicated because shares in the employer company had been swapped into a major international company (2014).

Lisa successfully acted for the trustee in bankruptcy in realising the sale of the shareholding of a bankrupt shareholder following unfair prejudice proceedings.  The case involved many precedent issues on shareholder disputes, specifically unfair prejudice petitions and petitions to wind up a company on the just and equitable ground (2014) (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.  The case settled shortly after issue of proceedings (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.

Acting for liquidator on misfeasance claims against alleged de facto director for breaches of directors’ duties and related claims for preferences and transactions at an undervalue (2018) (High Court, Manchester).

Currently acting for directors in threatened proceedings by liquidators in respect of alleged unlawful dividends, preference and transaction at an undervalue claims of just under £1 million.  Lisa is also currently instructed by the liquidators of a different company in a similar claim against directors (2018).

Lisa continues to be regularly instructed on technical issues arising and consequent court applications in administrations involving lending in excess of £1 million (2018).

Successfully represented and advised Defendants to serious claims of knowing assistance, knowing receipt and related tracing claims brought by a company registered in Gibraltar, acting by its liquidators on a conditional fee agreement.  Lisa succeeded in obtaining a settlement for her clients of under 50% of the £1.4 million claimed for liability and costs at the start of a 4 day trial before HHJ Bird sitting as a High Court Judge (2017) (High Court, Manchester).

Re Graico Property Co Ltd (in administration) [2017] BCC 15 (Norris J) (Leeds District Registry) Acted for administrators on a precedent case on the scope of the court’s powers when ending administration.

Lisa acted in the high-profile contested administration application in respect of VE Interactive Ltd before HHJ Raeside QC sitting as a High Court Judge.  The hearing was reported in the Financial Times and other business press and is connected with the case of Re Ve Interactive Ltd (in administration); Ve Vegas Investors IV LLC and others v Shinners and others [2018] EWHC 186 (Ch)

Advising administrators on issues arising following sale of 40,000 individual voluntary arrangements (2017).

Advising and assisting liquidators of a company that had supplied coaches in obtaining substantial recoveries in claims under section 127 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (voidable transactions) (2015 – 2018).

Lisa acted for the bankrupt in a precedent claim following the case of Horton v Henry [2016] EWCA Civ 989 against a trustee in bankruptcy to recover pensions drawn down by the trustee in bankruptcy (2017).

Advising trustee in bankruptcy in relation to sham trust of property worth over £1 million (2017).

Lisa successfully acted for the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in obtaining the winding up in the public interest of companies that had 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)(High Court, London).

Represented a German bank in “bankruptcy tourism” case involving issues relating to the centre of main interests of the debtor, a Turkish national who had borrowed significant amounts from Lisa’s client to develop property in Germany (2016) (Liverpool).

Successfully represented a former multi-millionaire, who had been made bankrupt following his participation in an aggressive tax scheme that was successfully challenged by HM Revenue and Customs, in opposing an application by his trustee in bankruptcy to suspend his discharge from bankruptcy on grounds of alleged failure to cooperate (2015) (Leeds).

Pettit v Novacovic [2007] 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 [2006] BPIR 987 (HHJ Roger Kaye QC) Represented Official Receiver in precedent case on application by discharged bankrupt for an annulment.

 

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. 

Currently representing a partner in a family farming partnership in a dispute with assets valued at in excess of £2 million (2018).

Representing partner in a family farming partnership in a dispute involving assets with a value of in excess of £6 million (2018) (High Court, Leeds).

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) (Hull).

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).

 

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.  She has considerable depth of experience in directors’ disqualification claims (set out in Government litigation below).

Currently acting for directors in threatened proceedings by liquidators in respect of alleged unlawful dividends, preference and transaction at an undervalue claims of just under £1 million.  Lisa is also currently instructed by the liquidators of a different company in a similar claim against directors (2018).

Currently acting for director/shareholder, alleged to have diverted corporate opportunity for supply of materials for construction of flood defences in North Yorkshire, in derivative action brought by shareholder.  The case also involves related claims for valuable mineral rights.  The trial is listed for 8 days in 2018 (High Court, Leeds).

Successfully represented and advised Defendants to serious claims of knowing assistance, knowing receipt and related tracing claims brought by a company registered in Gibraltar, acting by its liquidators on a conditional fee agreement.  Lisa succeeded in obtaining a settlement for her clients of under 50% of the £1.4 million claimed for liability and costs at the start of a 4 day trial before HHJ Bird sitting as a High Court Judge (2017) (High Court, Manchester).

Acting for liquidator on misfeasance claims against alleged de facto director for breaches of directors’ duties and related claims for preferences and transactions at an undervalue (2018) (High Court, Manchester).

Advised liquidators of estate agency company on claims against directors for breaches of their directors’ duties and related claims for transaction at an undervalue and preferences.  Claim settled with a recovery of £150,000 for the liquidation estate (2016).

Successfully defending two directors of a renowned Italian restaurant on grounds that they acted honestly and reasonably in claims by liquidator that they allowed co-director to take money from the company (2013)(High Court, Leeds).

 

CONTRACTUAL DISPUTES

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 and a growing practice in commercial agency disputes.

Lisa is currently instructed by a Yorkshire Fastest 50 company in defending a claim brought by a commercial agent for in excess of £2.5 million in alleged unpaid commission (2018) (High Court, Manchester).

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, which settled before issue of proceedings (2017).

Lisa represented the Claimant in a substantial claim of over £1 million for breach of warranties in a share purchase agreement.  The companies purchased by the Claimant constructed, developed and operate wind farms 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 [2017] EWCA Civ 1029, [2017] C.P. Rep. 39 (2016 – 2017) (High Court, Leeds).

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).

Defended contractual dispute in the Mercantile Court between principal in the financial services sector and agent as to appropriate rate of commission due in respect of introduction of clients’ pension funds (2015) (High Court, Manchester).

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).

 

COMMERCIAL LITIGATION

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.

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 obtained dismissal of application for injunctive relief on behalf of business selling bedroom furniture for children and subsequent settlement of claim.  The Claimant, a major manufacturer of bed products, had purchased a portfolio of properties from administrators in a “fire sale”.  The claim centred on allegations of civil fraud by the Defendant in respect of a lease relied upon by the Defendant and whether or not the Defendant had an overriding interest in that property.  The case was listed for trial in the Chancery Division for six days (2016) (HHJ Behrens sitting as a High Court Judge, Leeds District Registry).

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 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 [2011] 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 [2011] EWCA Civ 794, [2012] 1 All ER (Comm) 153 and [2011] 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) [2010] All ER (D) 116 (May) [2010] 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 [2002] 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.

 

REAL PROPERTY AND TRUSTS

Lisa has practised in real property and trusts for over 20 years.  She is currently instructed on two substantial proprietary estoppel claims relating to farms and continues to be regularly instructed in real property matters, particularly in an insolvency context.

Currently acting in defence of two claims of proprietary estoppel in respect of a family farming partnership with assets in Yorkshire with a value in excess of £6 million and £2.5 million respectively.

Representing a purchaser of a pharmaceutical business in claim brought by landlord of property previously occupied by the business (now in administration) for dilapidations and unpaid rent.  Landlord is relying upon Jervis v Pillar Denton Ltd for priority over other creditors (2017) (High Court, Manchester).

Advised liquidator in claim by a charity that had awarded a grant to the company that the funds paid were held on Quistclose trusts (2016).

Firstpoint Security Trustee Ltd v Enterprise House Development Ltd & ors: Acted for Law of Property Act receivers, appointed by first charge-holder over a former hotel in the Midlands, in defending injunction proceedings brought by second charge holder.  Obtained payment from second charge holder (a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands) to cover certain costs and expenses in the LPA receivership.  Successfully obtained settlement of claim (2014)(HHJ Bird sitting as a High Court Judge, Manchester).

Assisted trustee in bankruptcy in establishing a proprietary interest in the estate of former spouse of the bankrupt, based on the terms of an ancillary relief consent order, extending previous case law.  The case settled following draft proceedings, with the debts and expenses of the bankruptcy estate being cleared entirely (2013).

 

GOVERNMENT LITIGATION

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.

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 [2018] UKFTT 18 (TC), [2015] S.T.I. 1938.

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 8 days) (2018) (Birmingham).

Currently acting for the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in relation to public interest winding up petitions relating to a company that has acted as the trustee of pension funds of over £4 million (2018) (London).

Acted for the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in a claim for the disqualification of a director, alleged to have fraudulently obtained a substantial grant from public funds.  11 year undertaking given and accepted (2017) (Middlesbrough).

Lisa successfully represented the Official Receiver in an application to set aside a default costs certificate obtained against a director disqualified for his conduct in Sky Land Consultants plc, which was wound up in the public interest having operated a land banking scheme by David Richards J [2010] EWHC 399 (Ch) (2017) (High Court, Manchester).

Represented the Official Receiver in his own capacity and as liquidator in the insolvency and criminal courts in obtaining delivery up of documents, held by a third party, which applied further to section 59(5)(b) of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 to retain documents, following a declaration that the seizure of documents was unlawful (2015) (HHJ Cooke acting as High Court Judge, Birmingham District Registry and HHJ Laird QC at Birmingham Crown Court).  The case followed from judicial review proceedings: Lees & ors v (1) Solihull Magistrates Court (2) HM Revenue and Customs [2013] EWHC 4181 (Admin).

Successfully obtained orders winding up two companies registered in South and Central America in the public interest on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.  The companies were alleged to be operating in the United Kingdom with a lack of commercial probity (2015) (High Court, London).

Savidis v HM Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2015] UKFTT 239 (TC); [2015] S.T.I. 1938 Lisa successfully represented HM Revenue and Customs in appeal against decision in which they refused to repay VAT charged on two importations by the appellant of 1000 US Silver Eagle One Dollar coins (500 on each occasion).

Acted for the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills in provisional liquidator application and public interest winding up petition in connection with winding up of business alleged to be trading illegally, without appropriate licences for hire of private hire vehicles and public service vehicles (HHJ Pelling QC acting as a High Court Judge): Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills v Oasis Limousines (Bradford) Ltd [2014] EWHC 2432 (Ch).

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills v Khan & Warry [2014] EWHC 1381 (Ch) (HHJ Hodge QC sitting as a High Court Judge, Manchester District Registry) 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.  The case is now a leading case on the appropriate period of disqualification in respect of directors of companies involved in such frauds.

ICS (UK) Ltd v HM Revenue and Customs (2013) and Church Lane Developments Ltd v HM Revenue and Customs [2013] 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.  Instructed in 2014 to defend substantial MTIC VAT fraud appeal.  Appellant withdrew appeal.

Shaw v Revenue and Customs Commissioners [2007] 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.