“She is absolutely phenomenal and so is her work rate” Chambers and Partners, 2023
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 ultra-high-net-worth individuals.
Areas of expertise
"She is a very safe pair of hands in any construction case." Chambers and Partners, 2023
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.
Cases of note:
- Rochford v Kilhan  EWHC 941 - Rebecca was successful in obtaining judgment in this part 8 claim that under the HGCRA 1996 the final date for payment must be a fixed period of time from the due date, and cannot be linked to the provision of invoices.
- Rabilizirov v A2 Dominion And Others  EWHC 186 - Led by Adam Robb KC, Rebecca successfully defeated an appeal brought by sub-contractor Ground Construction Limited. The case concerned an indemnity given by A2 Dominion’s contractor, Durkan, and a further indemnity given by Durkan’s sub-contractor, GCL, in relation to defective building works to a warehouse housing what was allegedly the world’s largest private collection of Russian art and antique rugs.
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 KC in a series of Court cases in which they acted for former Yukos Oil head Konstantin Kagalovsky, in relation to which 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 and the Respondent was sentenced to 18 months in prison. During the proceedings Rebecca obtained multiple emergency orders and interim injunctions as sole counsel.
- Rebecca’s 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, which was the first ever case over which a freezing and disclosure order was obtained over crypto assets in the UK
- Acting as junior counsel to James Ramsden KC 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 KC acting for the Claimants in Green v Vossen Capital Partners LLP, where they were successful in their £45m civil fraud claim.
Rebecca also has particular experience in bonds, indemnities, and insurance disputes.
Rebecca is part of the legal team advising the Foskett Panel, the independent panel assessing the direct and consequential losses suffered by victims of the fraud committed at the HBOS Impaired Assets unit based at Reading.
Cases of note:
- Euler Hermes SA v Mackays Stores Group Ltd  EWHC 1918 (Comm) - Rebecca Drake represented the successful claimant in Commercial Court proceedings concerning the interpretation of HMRC’s standard guarantee for deferred tax payments.
In a judgment dated 25th July 2022 Philip Marshall QC, sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court, found for the Claimant on both issues tried, holding that the demand made by HMRC under its standard Guarantee was a valid demand, and so Euler was correct in complying with that demand. The Court further held that, even if that demand was incorrect as contended for by the Defendants, the Defendants were in any event obliged to indemnify the Claimant under the relevant indemnity. The Court paid particular attention to the meaning of the “conclusive evidence” clause of the Indemnity. The Court also made important findings in relation to the meaning of “manifest error”, upholding the decision in Flowgroup Plc v Co-operation Energy Ltd  EWHC 344.
The judgment will be of wider significance for the interpretation of HMRC’s standard guarantee for deferred tax payments, as well as having important implications for the interpretation of indemnities and guarantees more widely.
Energy and Natural Resources
Rebecca has a wide range of experience relating to cases involving energy and natural resources. Examples include:
- Acting as junior to Gordon Nardell KC 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,
- Successfully acting as junior counsel to Simon Hargreaves KC in a multi million pound nuclear power dispute
As an experienced horsewoman and owner, Rebecca’s sports practice focuses on cases involving horses across a wide range of claims. These include:
- Acting for an equestrian in relation to a selection appeal for the 2022 Olympics together with Paul Darling KC
- Acting in disputes in relation to ownership of, and payment for, racehorses
- Claims concerning alleged doping
- Claims relating to pre-purchase veterinarian examinations
- “Rebecca is energetic and efficient, with a razor-sharp mind. She is capable of thinking on her feet and gets to grips with complex technical issues very quickly.” The Legal 500, 2023
- “She is absolutely phenomenal and so is her work rate” Chambers and Partners, 2023
- "She is a very safe pair of hands in any construction case." Chambers and Partners, 2023
- "Rebecca is very easy to work with and a to-the-point advocate." Chambers and Partners, 2023
- “Excellent ability to understand clients needs, superb choice of junior.” The Legal 500, 2021
- “Able to deal with complex issues quickly” The Legal 500, 2020
- “The Lara Croft of the construction Bar: adversaries would do well not to underestimate her, she packs a powerful punch” The Legal 500, 2019
- “Her team spirit proves vital on long-running matters” The Legal 500, 2016
- “A very sharp junior punching above her call.” The Legal 500, 2015
- “She has a tenacity in court generally associated with someone of a much more senior call” Chambers and Partners, 2013