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STUART RITCHIE QC

 

Made Silk in 2012 at 17 years call Stuart has been described in Chambers & Partners 2013 as "a superstar fully deserving of his appointment to silk" and in Legal 500 2012 as "phenomenally talented yet incredibly modest" Stuart has "the acumen to be one of the stars of the Bar.”

Stuart’s practice covers a broad range of commercial, civil fraud, private international law, employment and LLP disputes. He is experienced in domestic and international litigation and arbitration. He is listed as a leading silk in four different practice areas in legal directories. He has a particular expertise in cases involving breaches of fiduciary duty, having co-authored (with Andrew Stafford QC) Fiduciary Duties: Directors and Employees (Jordans 2008), now the leading practitioners' publication in the area.

Acknowledged for his abilities as an advocate and a tactician, Stuart has been praised for his unique "lack of flannelling that characterises his approach to litigation." Often as frustrated as litigants by the uncommerciality of litigation, his approach is to identify the end-game at an early stage, and to get there as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. Clients refer to him as "the man you want in your corner if you have a case you need to win at all costs.

Stuart prides himself on bringing the following traits to work in which he is instructed, as evidenced by recent market references in the leading legal directories:

Technical excellence: "He has an enormous brain and is a phenomenal barrister." (Chambers & Partners 2014); "He's incredibly knowledgeable and incredibly bright." (C&P 2014) "a true rising star whose ....expertise offers unique insight into apparently unsolvable problems" (Chambers & Partners 2011)

Commercial and business nous; "Very able, he has all the traits of a silk but also displays the pragmatic approach of a businessman. A good strategist.” (Chambers & Partners 2014) "He understood our firm and had a keen awareness of what we wanted as a client. He didn't just simply tell us what the law is." (Chambers & Partners 2014); "extremely analytical mind and technical excellence (with) commercial awareness and a client-friendly manner" (Chambers & Partners 2012)

Good strategic and tactical awareness "Stuart is an amazing tactician. In complex High Court litigation, he's certainly somebody that you want to have on your side." (Chambers & Partners 2014) "On-the-ball, incisive and deeply clever lawyer who adopts a good strategic approach in commercial disputes." (Chambers & Partners 2013); "thinks outside the box” (Legal 500 2012)

Outstanding advocacy "A superb advocate with a fantastic legal brain." (Chambers & Partners 2014); excellent at pitching his arguments to suit the tone of the court’ (Legal 500 2013); "acute legal mind and elegant manner" (Chambers & Partners 2011)

Responsiveness and willingness to roll up his sleeves as part of a team "He is immediately responsive, which is hugely important as team moves can happen very quickly. He is a very clear thinker and commercially astute." (Chambers & Partners 2014)  "Mixes a great brain with great client-handling skills" and "is a dream to work with". (Legal 500 2012)

 

    Commercial Dispute Resolution

Stuart has had a broad commercial practice from inception of practice in 1996, specialising in contractual and other commercial disputes including in the following sectors: financial and professional services; retail; energy and mining; motorsport. He has expertise in corporate disputes and contractual disputes arising out of the following agreements: business and asset sale, distribution and licensing, commercial agency, joint ventures. Many of Stuart’s cases have involved disputes involving company directors, breaches of fiduciary duty, asset misappropriation and other fraud. Since taking silk his case load has frequently had an international dimension: Stuart is experienced in cases involving private international law issues, and has extensive experience of obtaining interim injunctive relief, both in support of proceedings in this jurisdiction and under s. 25 CJJA and s. 44 Arbitration Act 1996. Stuart has also given evidence abroad as an expert in English commercial law.

Leading Cases include (Download CDR CV here):

  • Daar al Arkan & others v Al Refai & others (Commercial Court 2013-2014) Instructed for the First Defendant in substantial commercial court trial concerning alleged unlawful means and predominant purpose conspiracy concerning Saudi Arabian property development company and Bahraini Bank: listed for 8 week initial trial in 2015). Listed as one of 20 leading cases of 2014 by The Lawyer
  • VTB Bank v Nutritek & others  (Chancery Division 2011) Instructed for the Claimant (led by Clive Freedman QC) at first instance on the jurisdiction and interim relief hearing in this high-profile landmark litigation concerning a £200million fraud against UK subsidiary of Russian Bank. First instance hearings reported at [2011] EWHC 3107 Ch (Arnold J) and [2011] EWHC 2526 Ch (Roth J).

    Civil Fraud

Stuart’s practice in this area typically concerns disputes involving company directors, joint venturers and LLP members.  He has substantial experience of international litigation and arbitration. Much of his work in this area since taking silk has involved issues of private international law, many of the disputes involving CIS litigants. His broad commercial experience and particular expertise as regards breach of fiduciary duty provide the ideal qualification for this area of work. Stuart has extensive experience of working with foreign lawyers and forensic accountants, and in obtaining interim injunctive relief, both in support of proceedings in this jurisdiction, under s. 25 CJJA and s. 44 Arbitration Act 1996.

Leading cases include(Download Civil Fraud CV here):

  • Daar al Arkan & others v Al Refai & others   Commercial Court (2013-2014). Instructed for the First Defendant in substantial commercial court trial concerning alleged unlawful means and predominant purpose conspiracy concerning Saudi Arabian property development company and Bahraini Bank: listed for 8 week initial trial in 2015). Listed as one of 20 leading cases of 2014 by The Lawyer
  • VTB Bank v Nutritek & others  (Chancery Division 2011). Instructed for the Claimant (led by Clive Freedman QC) at first instance on the jurisdiction and interim relief hearing in this high-profile landmark litigation concerning a £200million fraud against UK subsidiary of Russian Bank.  First instance hearings reported at [2011] EWHC 3107 Ch (Arnold J) and [2011] EWHC 2526 Ch (Roth J).
  • Fiona Trust v Privalov & others ( Commercial Court 2005). Instructed for First Defendant in this high-profile landmark fraud litigation which involved contested application concerning privilege against self-incrimination.

    Employment

Having initially developed a general employment practice, covering the gamut of High Court and statutory disputes, Stuart’s employment practice now focuses on directors and senior executives, boardroom bust-ups, termination of employment and directorship and the aftermath, employment status and whistleblowing in a financial context. He specialises in High Court claims, many of them with a commercial or company law angle, involving breaches of contract and fiduciary duty, the Companies Act 2006, misuse of confidential information, garden leave and restraint of trade,. In the period 2008 – 2013 Stuart advised or acted in more than 30 team move and unlawful competition disputes, in particular in the financial sector, with particular focus on the inter-dealer broker market, but additionally in the insurance, legal, construction and advertising sectors. He has particular expertise in cases in the financial services sector and those requiring interim injunctions and speedy trials. He is co-author with Andrew Stafford QC of "Fiduciary Duties: directors and employees” (Jordans 2008), the leading modern practitioner work in this area.

Leading cases include  (Download Employment CV here):

  • Marathon Asset Management LLP v Seddon & others  (Commercial Court 2013-2014). Instructed for the Third Defendant, a former member of the Global Equities team at Marathon in this £100million+ Commercial Court claim. He is alleged to have conspired with Jeremy Hosking and other members of the Global Equities team to damage Marathon’s business by preparing to compete in a start up competitor as part of a team move. Action currently stayed pending determination of related arbitral proceedings.
  • Tullett Prebon plc v BGC Brokers LP & Others (QBD 2009-2010). Instructed (without a leader) for Tony Verrier in this leading team move case. The trial ran for - 9 weeks; 26 witnesses gave evidence. Relevant decisions reported at [2010] EWHC 484; [2010] IRLR 648; [2010] EWHC 989; [2009] EWHC 819

    Partnership & LLP

Having initially developed a general employment practice, covering the gamut of High Court and statutory disputes, Stuart’s employment practice now focuses on directors and senior executives, boardroom bust-ups, termination of employment and directorship and the aftermath, employment status and whistleblowing in a financial context. He specialises in High Court claims, many of them with a commercial or company law angle, involving breaches of contract and fiduciary duty, the Companies Act 2006, misuse of confidential information, garden leave and restraint of trade,. In the period 2008 – 2013 Stuart advised or acted in more than 30 team move and unlawful competition disputes, in particular in the financial sector, with particular focus on the inter-dealer broker market, but additionally in the insurance, legal, construction and advertising sectors. He has particular expertise in cases in the financial services sector and those requiring interim injunctions and speedy trials. He is co-author with Andrew Stafford QC of "Fiduciary Duties: directors and employees” (Jordans 2008), the leading modern practitioner work in this area.

Leading cases include  (Download Employment CV here):

  • Marathon Asset Management LLP v Seddon & others  (Commercial Court 2013-2014). Instructed for the Third Defendant, a former member of the Global Equities team at Marathon in this £100million+ Commercial Court claim. He is alleged to have conspired with Jeremy Hosking and other members of the Global Equities team to damage Marathon’s business by preparing to compete in a start up competitor as part of a team move. Action currently stayed pending determination of related arbitral proceedings.
  • Tullett Prebon plc v BGC Brokers LP & Others (QBD 2009-2010). Instructed (without a leader) for Tony Verrier in this leading team move case. The trial ran for - 9 weeks; 26 witnesses gave evidence. Relevant decisions reported at [2010] EWHC 484; [2010] IRLR 648; [2010] EWHC 989; [2009] EWHC 819

    Arbitration

Stuart has extensive experience of domestic and international arbitration. Domestically, his experience is typically of disputes concerning professional services companies and firms and directors, LLP members or senior individuals within them. Internationally, arbitrations have concerned disputes arising out of commercial contracts in respect of sale of businesses and other financial transactions, many involving CIS parties. He has appeared in LCIA, ICC and ad hoc arbitrations.

(Download Arbitration CV here)

Silk: 2012  |  Call: 1995
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