Banking & Financial Services Barristers

Banking & Finance

What our barristers offer

39 Essex Chambers has leading QCs and junior barristers with considerable experience of acting for clients in all areas of the banking and finance field. They have significant expertise in financial services regulation and high-profile banking disputes, acting for banks and other financial institutions, regulated individuals, investors, consumers and regulators.

Members of Chambers have significant international banking and finance expertise, including in Europe (both before the EU institutions and in other EU Member States), the Far East, Middle East, the Caribbean, the Channel Islands, Gibraltar and the Isle of Man.

Who our banking and finance barristers act for

Our barristers act for clients of all types and sizes in the banking and finance field, including:

  • Banks and building societies, both domestic and international
  • Borrowers
  • Brokers
  • Independent financial advisers
  • Insurers and insurance brokers
  • Investors
  • Consumers and SMEs
  • Hedge funds, investment funds, investment managers and private equity groups
  • Central banks, including the Bank of England and central banks of other EU Member States
  • HM Treasury
  • Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)
  • Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)

Areas of banking and finance we cover

  • Asset tracing and recovery (including freezing orders, search orders and payments into court)
  • Authorisation, supervision and compliance issues
  • Banking litigation
  • Bank resolution and recovery
  • Capital adequacy
  • Challenges to decisions by the FCA, the FOS, the SFO and the FSCS
  • Client money
  • Collective investment schemes
  • Competition
  • Complaints and redress
  • Consumer credit
  • Credit and asset hire agreements
  • Derivatives and swap transactions (including ISDA transactions)
  • Disciplinary and enforcement proceedings
  • European and international legislation and guidance (including Basel III, CRD IV, EMIR, MiFID II, AIFMD, UCITS V, MAR, MCD, and BRRD)
  • Insurance, assurance and re-insurance
  • Investigations
  • Listing and prospectus rules, disclosure and transparency
  • Loans, guarantees and security
  • Market abuse and market manipulation
  • Mis-selling (including PPI, mortgages and interest rate hedging products)
  • Money laundering and financial crime
  • Mortgages
  • Offshore banking and financial services
  • Payday lending
  • Payments, letters of credit, promissory notes and bills of exchange
  • Professional negligence (for and against IFAs and other financial services professionals)
  • Recognised investment exchanges and clearing houses, including LME, LIFFE, ICE Futures, and the London Stock Exchange
  • Sanctions
  • Test case litigation
  • White collar and corporate crime

Jurisdictions we cover

Our barristers frequently appear in banking and finance cases with an international dimension, and many have been called to the Bars of other jurisdictions in order to act in cross-border disputes. They also act in banking and finance arbitrations around the world.

Members of Chambers cover jurisdictions including:

  • EU: appearing before the EU institutions, including the Court of Justice of the EU
  • Europe: Cyprus, Ireland, Germany, France, the Netherlands
  • Middle East: Dubai (including in the DIFC and acting for clients before the Dubai Financial Services Authority), Qatar, Bahrain, Oman
  • Far East: Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong
  • Caribbean: BVI, Cayman Islands, Barbados, St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • USA
  • Channel Islands: Guernsey, Jersey
  • Isle of Man
  • Gibraltar
  • International bodies such as INTERPOL

Recent cases

Recent significant cases include:

  • Libyan Investment Authority v Société Générale SA: US$2.1bn claim by Libya’s sovereign wealth fund to set aside derivative investments made during the Gaddafi era (one of The Lawyer’s Top 20 cases of 2017).
  • JSC Mezhdunarodniy Promyshlenniy Bank v Pugachev: US$ multi-billion fraud claim against ‘Putin’s banker’.
  • Al Khorafi v Bank Sarasin: largest ever DIFC financial services claim, alleging mis-selling of US$200 million structured notes.
  • R (Full Circle Asset Management) v FOS [2017] EWHC 323 (Admin): judicial review of FOS by firm of financial advisors who had been the subject of a s.166 skilled person review.
  • High Commissioner for Pakistan v Natwest Bank [2015] EWHC 55 (Ch); [2016] EWHC (Ch): claim to a £35m fund held by Natwest since the 1948 annexation of Hyderabad by India.
  • Roberts v FCA [2015] UKUT 408 (TCC): disciplinary proceedings against CEO of Catalyst.
  • Al Ansari v DFSA: disciplinary proceedings by the Dubai Financial Services Authority against the former Licensed Directors of First Capital of Switzerland Investment Bank.
  • LSE v X: disciplinary proceedings brought by the London Stock Exchange.
  • LIBOR and FOREX: acting for financial institutions in relation to rate rigging investigations by the FCA and other regulators.
  • Interest Rate Hedging Products: numerous claims for and against banks in relation to IRHP sales, as well as several members of chambers acting as s.166 skilled persons in the FCA’s IRHP review.
  • Standard Life Assurance Ltd v Corr and others: £23m claim in relation to Cattles plc.
  • R (Chancery (UK) LLP) v FOS [2015] EWHC 407 (Admin): judicial review of FOS by firm of chartered accountants in relation to a tax avoidance scheme.
  • Plevin v Paragon Finance [2014] UKSC 61: landmark Supreme Court decision on PPI finding that non-disclosure of substantial commissions gave rise to an unfair relationship.
  • Payday lending: acting in relation to the FCA’s review of regulation of payday lenders.
  • Khan v FCA (2014): disciplinary proceedings against a mortgage broker.
  • R (Croot) v FOS & another (2013): judicial review of FOS by several Lloyd’s insured.
  • Karpe and Karan v FSA (2012): disciplinary proceedings against UBS desk head and client adviser.
  • Pottage v FSA (2012): senior management responsibility disciplinary case against CEO of UBS Wealth Management.
  • Heather Moor & Edgecomb v UK [2011] ECHR 1019: article 6 ECHR challenge to the FOS.
  • R (Canada Inc) v FSA [2011] EWHC 2766: application for an injunction to restrain the FSA from publishing a Decision Notice in the Swift Trade case.
  • R (Ford) v FSA [2011] EWHC 2583: ground-breaking judicial review in relation to legal professional privilege arising from the FSA’s Keydata investigation.
  • R (British Bankers Association) v FSA [2011] EWHC 999: seminal case on redress for mis-selling of payment protection insurance, leading banks to pay over £7 billion in compensation.

Who to contact

Alastair Davidson

Alastair Davidson is the Senior Clerk for the Banking & Finance team and will, along with the clerking team below, be able to help you with any questions.


Alastair DavidsonEmail


Call: +44 (0)20 7832 1181


View clerk's team

Alison Foster QC

Alison Foster QC

Call: 1984 Silk: 2002

Hodge Malek QC

Hodge Malek QC

Call: 1983 Silk: 1999

Sean Wilken QC

Sean Wilken QC

Call: 1991 Silk: 2010

Fenella Morris QC

Fenella Morris QC

Call: 1990 Silk: 2012

Hefin Rees QC

Hefin Rees QC

Call: 1992 Silk: 2013

James Strachan QC

James Strachan QC

Call: 1996 Silk: 2013

Marion Smith QC

Marion Smith QC

Call: 1981 Silk: 2015

James Ramsden QC

James Ramsden QC

Call: 1987 Silk: 2016

Denys Hickey

Denys Hickey

Call: 1975

Jonathan Bellamy

Jonathan Bellamy

Call: 1986

Christiaan Zwart

Christiaan Zwart

Call: 1997

Jess Connors

Jess Connors

Call: 2000

Saima Hanif

Saima Hanif

Call: 2002

Ned Helme

Ned Helme

Call: 2006

Jennifer Thelen

Jennifer Thelen

Call: 2007

Catherine Dobson

Catherine Dobson

Call: 2009

Patrick Hennessey
Stephen Kosmin

Stephen Kosmin

Call: 2011

James Potts

James Potts

Call: 2011

Yash Bheeroo

Yash Bheeroo

Call: 2011

Cleon Catsambis

Cleon Catsambis

Call: 2011

Adam Boukraa

Adam Boukraa

Call: 2013

Sarah Bousfield

Sarah Bousfield

Call: 2013

David Hopkins

David Hopkins

Call: 2013

Daniel Benedyk

Daniel Benedyk

Call: 2016

Paul Hayes

Paul Hayes

Call: 2005

Patrick Lane SC

Patrick Lane SC

Call: 1977

Call +44 (0)20 7832 1111 for more information

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