Rebecca Drake

Year of call:
2007
Email:
rebecca.drake@39essex.com

Clerks:
+44 (0)20 7832 1111

“A very sharp junior punching above her call.”
Legal 500

Rebecca Drake specialises in high value commercial and construction disputes, both domestic and international. She represents a diverse clientele of businesses, representing FTSE-rated companies, property professionals, offshore investors, private developers, SMEs, and high-net-worth individuals.

Construction


“Able to deal with complex issues quickly.” Legal 500 2020

“The Lara Croft of the construction Bar: adversaries would do well not to underestimate her, she packs a powerful punch” Legal 500 2019

“Her team spirit proves vital on long-running matters.” Legal 500 2016

“A very sharp junior punching above her call.” Legal 500 2015

“She has a tenacity in court generally associated with someone of a much more senior call” Chambers UK 2013

Rebecca specialises in high value commercial and construction disputes, both as a junior and as sole counsel. She appears regularly in complex cases in the TCC and the Commercial Court and in arbitrations, both domestic and international.

Rebecca is particularly experienced in international arbitrations, in particular in the Middle East and Far East. Recent examples include:

  • Acting as junior to Paul Darling QC in a LCIA arbitration concerning the legitimacy of a demand on a bond;
  • Acting as sole counsel in a 5 day Dubai construction arbitration worth AED 30,000,000 under DIAC rules with complex questions of jurisdiction necessitating 2 sets of pleadings;
  • Acting as junior to Gordon Nardell QC in an ICC arbitration concerning solar energy in a dispute with a Danish company;
  • Acting for Bahraini marine engineering contractors against a Singapore main contractor in a dispute arising from the construction of a Desalination Plant in Algeria. The case involved issues of the validity of determination of the contract by the main contractor, including pipe design engineering issues, adequacy of environmental permitting and issues of Algerian law;
  • Being instructed in a multi million pound arbitration in Trinidad, where she was acting for an oil and gas company a in relation to payment disputes over payment for changes, and delay and disruption, and as sole counsel by solicitors in Dubai in relation to an arbitration in accordance with the laws of DIFC;
  • Acting as a junior to Sean Wilken QC in a multi million pound ICC Arbitration in relation to a project in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq;
  • Acting as a junior to Roger Ter Haar QC and Adam Robb in a multi million pound ICC Arbitration on behalf of a Kuwaiti contractor in relation to a large plant in Qatar

Recent examples of her construction experience include:

  • Acting as sole counsel in a 6 day trial concerning water damage to allegedly the world’s largest collection of Russian art, in which she was successful at first instance and successful (as junior to Adam Robb QC) on appeal, reported at [2019] EWHC 186;
  • Acting as sole counsel for a group of claimants in a forthcoming 5 day trial in February 2020 concerning alleged failure by transactional solicitors to properly advise and/or breach of duty in a failed hotel investment scheme;
  • Acting as sole counsel in an international multi million pound construction dispute in Ghana and Burkina Faso, at an estimated cost of €3 million against an Israeli telecommunications company;
  • Acting as sole counsel in ICC enforcement proceedings for a £20m arbitration;
  • Acting as sole counsel in a 4 day trial concerning water damage to a long leasehold flat and breaches of covenant;
  • Acting as sole counsel in a forthcoming 6 day trial concerning water damage to Russian art.

Rebecca has extensive adjudication experience, both as a junior and as sole counsel. She has also been instructed in adjudication enforcement proceedings in the TCC. Her experience includes:

  • Successfully acting as lead counsel in a £10m payment dispute
  • Successfully acting as junior counsel to Simon Hargreaves QC in a nuclear power dispute;
  • Sccessfully acting in adjudication enforcement proceedings in Penten Group Ltd v Spartafield Ltd [2016] EWHC 317 (TCC)
  • Successfully acting in multi million pound PFI disputes

Commercial


Rebecca has particular experience in commercial fraud, contempt, asset tracing and obtaining injunctions in support of the same, both domestic and worldwide. She was junior counsel to James Ramsden QC in a series of Court cases in which they acted for former Yukos Oil head Konstantin Kagalovsky, including New Media Distribution Company SECZ Ltd v Kagalovsky [2018] EWHC 2876 (Ch) and Wilcox & Kagalovsky v Balmore Invest [2013] EWHC 3876 (QB) (Comm). They succeeded in an application for committal for contempt in relation to Orders made under S.25 CJJA in aid of proceedings before the Commercial Court in Kiev. The claim was to recover ownership of TVi, one of the few independent media outlets in Ukraine. The Respondent was sentenced to 18 months in prison. During the proceedings Rebecca obtained multiple emergency orders and interim injunctions as sole counsel.

Other commercial fraud experience includes:

  • Successfully acting as sole counsel in a multi-million pound fraudulent helicopter purchase scheme;
  • Successfully acting as sole counsel in a large scale Bitcoin fraud case;
  • Acting as junior counsel to James Ramsden QC in the Commercial Court in a matter concerning a $250m global fraud, where assets of that fraud include rare supercars stationed in England worth in excess of $50m.
  • Acting as junior counsel to James Ramsden QC acting for the Claimants in Green v Vossen Capital Partners LLP, where they were successful in their £45m civil fraud claim.

Rebecca’s other commercial experience is wide ranging. Recent experience includes appearing in enforcement proceedings in the Commercial Court arising out of an international arbitration worth AED 80 million, appearing in the Chancery Division in a £14m dispute over the wording of a share purchase agreement, and appearing in the Queen’s Bench Division in a case involving breach of confidence and privacy issues.

Rebecca has experience of acting in cases concerning IT issues; she has been instructed in a case concerning the purchase of defective software, and arbitration concerning disputes on IT related matters.

Rebecca’s commercial law experience also extends to instructions in cases concerning international shipping, insolvency and insurance. She regularly acts for insurers in policy dispute and indemnification matters, including involving questions of subrogation.

Common Law


Rebecca has a broad common law practice including cases involving property damage, nuisance, and professional negligence.

Rebecca has a specialist equine law practice.  As an experienced horsewoman with her own horses, she understands technical terminology. She acts in cases involving high value racehorses and competition horses, up to Olympic level standard. She has experience of a number of areas of dispute in this field, including breach of contract for sale, agency, pre-purchase vetting, doping, disputes with racehorse trainers, and breaches of contract and/or negligence arising after purchase.

Property Damage

Rebecca has acted in a large number of property damage cases, ranging from damage caused by tree roots, to damage caused by fires, floods and industrial spillages in residential buildings and large commercial premises, factories and warehouses. She has acted in several property damage matters which have contained product liability issues.

Product Liability

Rebecca has acted in a wide range of product liability cases. She has been instructed in relation to defective transport (a car and a motorbike) as well as several defective agricultural machinery cases.

Her product liability experience extends to consequential damage by fire, with multi million pound losses.

Planning, Environment & Property


Planning and Environmental Law

Rebecca has experience of the Building Regulations and advising on them.

She has experienced a number of planning and environmental law cases, including an appeal against the refusal of planning permission, a prosecution brought by the environment agency, waste disposal contracts, and odour and noise nuisance cases.

Recommendations


Rebecca has been recommended for Construction law in Chambers UK & The Legal 500.

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

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