Jess Connors

Year of call:
2000
Email:
jess.connors@39essex.com

Clerks:
+44 (0)20 7832 1111

“She brings great attention to detail and a very user-friendly and commercial approach.”
The Legal 500 2015

Jess Connors specialises in substantial and complex commercial disputes. She regularly appears before the English Commercial Court, the TCC, and in international arbitrations (including LCIA, UNCITRAL and ICC), both as sole counsel and as part of a larger counsel team.

Jess is a highly skilled, persuasive and experienced advocate, known for her effective and robust cross-examination. She has particular experience and expertise in:

  • Oil and gas disputes, including JOAs, PSCs, back-in disputes and equity determinations
  • Construction and infrastructure disputes, including off-shore, on JCT, NEC, FIDIC and bespoke contracts, and related professional negligence disputes
  • Energy disputes, including nuclear, renewables, waste, bulk electricity supply, rig hire and pipeline construction
  • Insurance, bonds and guarantees

Jess speaks good Japanese and fluent French.

Banking & Finance


Jess has a finance background. Before coming to the Bar, she was an equity analyst with Credit Suisse First Boston and Citigroup in Paris and London. She later spent 7 months on secondment to the Financial Services Authority, as it then was, where she advised in relation to various matters, with a particular focus on insurance and investor compensation.

  • Representing an independent financial adviser in an important case on the scope of duties of care owed by IFAs to their clients, and by larger IFAs/product provider marketing consultants to smaller IFAs.
  • Advising a large financial institution in relation to the investigation and enforcement procedures of the Financial Services Authority.
  • Advising the Financial Services Authority in relation to the rules of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
  • Advising the FSA in relation to its investigation into the activities of certain fund managers and brokers in the split capital investment trust sector between September 2000 and February 2002.
  • Advising authorised persons regarding the FSA rules.
  • Advising in relation to rules of the General Insurance Standards Council, the Banking Standards Code and OFT codes of practice, as well as of the Personal Investment Authority and Lloyd’s tribunals.

Energy


  • Representing an international oil company in an international arbitration arising out of disputed cash calls under a JOA.
  • Representing an international oil company in two arbitrations arising out of an expert equity determination pursuant to an oilfield unitisation agreement.
  • Advising a party to a JOA and PSC in relation to a dispute regarding back-in rights.
  • Representing a party to an oil exploration joint venture in relation to a dispute arising out of a decision not to drill further wells.
  • Representing the claimant in a claim arising out of a long term gas supply contract.
  • Representing the claimant in a claim arising out of a bulk electricity supply contract.
  • Representing the claimant in a dispute arising out of offshore horizontal direction drilling works to build a gas pipeline (ICC arbitration).
  • Representing a nuclear engineering company in a multi-million pound warranty and indemnity claim in the TCC arising out of the sale of a nuclear processing business.
  • Representing a company manufacturing fuel oil from waste products.
  • Representing HM Revenue & Customs in a £200m case on the taxation and interpretation of long term oil and gas sale contracts in the North Sea.
  • Advising and appearing in a £40m professional negligence claim arising out of an explosion at a South African power plant.
  • Advising in relation to a professional negligence claim arising out of the construction of a micro hydro-electric plant.

Commercial


  • Advising in relation to bonus entitlements arising out of the sale of a telecoms business.
  • Representing the claimant in a dispute between partners in an international manufacturing joint venture (LCIA arbitration).
  • ICC arbitration, representing the defendant in a dispute arising out of a long-term international supply contract (aviation sector).
  • Representing the claimant in relation to the claims and cross-claims arising out of the termination of a long-term service agreement.
  • Representing numerous claimants in claims arising out of the Buncefield oil depot explosion.
  • Acting for the defendant in an arbitration arising out of warranties given on the sale of land and housing.
  • Acting for the claimant in a substantial claim arising out of an international broadcasting licensing agreement.
  • Acting for the issuers of an on demand performance bond.
  • Advising in relation to distributorship agreements in a variety of sectors (e.g. dairy, military supplies and hosiery).
  • Advising in relation to disputes arising out of abortive negotiations for the sale of a company by its shareholders.
  • Acting for the claimant in a claim for sums due under an asset sale agreement.
  • Advising in relation to a dividend dispute between shareholders and directors of a private limited company.
  • Advising in relation to a claim arising out of a fire at a DVD replication facility.
  • Acting in relation to agency disputes, e.g. auctioneers, insurance brokers, yacht brokers and estate agents.

Construction & Engineering


  • Acting for the claimant in a substantial damages claim for breach of a development agreement and deed of collateral warranty, arising out of defective workmanship/design.
  • Acting for the UK-based claimant in an architect’s fees claim against two German companies for work done on a hospital in Ghana, including dealing with questions of forum and applicable law.
  • Acting for the defendant employer in a TCC claim concerning the inter-relationship of various interim applications for payment and interim certificates.
  • Acting in relation to a dispute under a JCT 98 With Contractor’s Design contract, in relation to a block of affordable housing units.
  • Advising the employer in relation to a FIDIC contract for the construction of a hospital in Tobago.
  • Advising in relation to the proper construction of an NEC contract, in the context of a dispute arising out of a substantial infrastructure project.
  • Advising in relation to a dispute in connection with heads of terms for a contract for the design and construction of a power plant in South Africa.
  • Acting for mechanical and electrical subcontractors in a dispute concerning the non-payment of contractual sums.
  • Acting for the Department for Transport in relation to a claim for damages arising out of a bridge strike which disrupted a highway maintenance contract.
  • Representing employers and contractors in various multi-track domestic building disputes concerning allegations of defective design and workmanship.

Regulatory/Public/Procurement


  • Representing a local authority in relation to a dispute arising out of the construction of a leisure complex.
  • Advising an NHS trust in relation to a claim for rescission of a sale of land, and a claim for breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Advising in relation to a dispute arising in connection with stolen Iraqi art.
  • Advising a local authority in a matter concerning the issue of shares.
  • Extensive VAT advisory and advocacy work on behalf of HMRC.
  • Acting for the Legal Services Commission in a number of judicial reviews of funding decisions, and appeals relating to the meaning of the funding regulations.
  • Representing the claimant in a judicial review challenging a decision of the Environment Agency as to the meaning of ‘waste’ in EC law.
  • Representing a developer in proceedings arising out of the dismissal of a planning application.

Professional Negligence


  • Advising and appearing in a £40m professional negligence claim arising out of an explosion at a South African power plant.
  • Advising in relation to a professional negligence claim arising out of the construction of a micro hydro-electric plant.
  • Representing the defendant to a claim for professional negligence in the provision of geotechnical consulting services.
  • Advising in a solicitors’ negligence claim in relation to a will.

Insurance & Re-Insurance


  • Acting for Lloyd’s underwriters in a £50m claim for the recovery of illegal referral fees following the collapse of the TAG AIL scheme.
  • Acting for an insurer in a dispute as to existence of third party rights in an insurance contract.
  • Acting for insurers in relation to various forms of credit insurance and factoring contracts.
  • Advising an insurer as to the existence of an insurable interest.

Financial Services


Jess has a finance background. Before coming to the Bar, she was an equity analyst with Credit Suisse First Boston and Citigroup in Paris and London. She later spent 7 months on secondment to the Financial Services Authority, as it then was, where she advised in relation to various matters, with a particular focus on insurance and investor compensation.

  • Representing an independent financial adviser in an important case on the scope of duties of care owed by IFAs to their clients, and by larger IFAs/product provider marketing consultants to smaller IFAs.
  • Advising a large financial institution in relation to the investigation and enforcement procedures of the Financial Services Authority.
  • Advising the Financial Services Authority in relation to the rules of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
  • Advising the FSA in relation to its investigation into the activities of certain fund managers and brokers in the split capital investment trust sector between September 2000 and February 2002.
  • Advising authorised persons regarding the FSA rules.
  • Advising in relation to rules of the General Insurance Standards Council, the Banking Standards Code and OFT codes of practice, as well as of the Personal Investment Authority and Lloyd’s tribunals.

Recommendations


Jess is recommended in Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500.

“An exceptional junior with a terrific ability to immerse herself in the minutiae of a case” Legal 500 2016

“You won’t meet a human being who works harder; she leaves no stone unturned.” Chambers & Partners 2016

“She brings great attention to detail and a very user-friendly and commercial approach.” Legal 500 2015

“Covers every angle and is very client-friendly” Legal 500 2015

“One of the most hard-working barristers you could come across, she is incredibly thorough.” Chambers & Partners 2015

“Possibly the most thorough barrister I know.” Chambers & Partners 2014

“She rolls up her sleeves and gets stuck in.” Chambers & Partners 2014

“Tenacious” Legal 500

“Obvious legal ability and highly pragmatic approach” Chambers & Partners 2012

“Thorough and user-friendly manner” Chambers & Partners 2012

“realistic and clear advice” goes down well. Chambers & Partners 2010

“a source of clear, practical advice’ who is widely bruited as having a bright future ahead of her” Chambers & Partners 2009

Related Cases


Reported Cases

  • Shell UK v Revenue & Customs Commissioners (Sp Comm) 2 August 2007 Lawtel 28 August 2007.
  • RWE Nukem Ltd v AEA Technology Plc (CA) 20 October 2005 [2005] EWCA Civ 1192.
  • Seymour and Seymour v Caroline Ockwell & Co and Zurich IFA Limited 13 May 2005 [2005] EWHC 1137 (QB).
  • Oxford City Council v First Secretary of State and J A Pye (Oxford) Ltd (QBD) 12 January 2010 [2004] EWHC 2447 (Admin); [2005] JPL 847.
  • Legal Services Commission v Mohammed Rasool (CA) 5 March 2008 [2008] EWCA Civ 154; [2008] 3 All ER 381.
  • Solvent Resource Management Ltd v Environment Agency; OSS Group Ltd v Environment Agency (QBD) 30 November 2006 [2006] EWHC 3023 (Admin).
  • The Maersk Co Ltd v Wilson (CA) [2004] EWCA Civ 313.

 

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