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Nicholas Goodfellow
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NICHOLAS GOODFELLOW

Nick is an experienced commercial litigator, with a particular expertise in civil fraud claims, contractual and business sale disputes, claims in the banking and finance sector, shareholder disputes, and claims against professionals.  Nick is frequently instructed in cases involving issues of company, partnership and LLP law.  Nick’s cases often involve urgent applications for commercial injunctions (such as anti-suit, freezing orders, and proprietary relief), and/or conflicts of law issues, due to an international context. Nick is often led on matters of particular complexity, and is also regularly instructed in high value commercial claims on his own account, against more senior counsel.

Nick regularly acts in business protection cases, involving claims for breach of restrictive covenants, misuse of confidential information, breach of fiduciary duties, the economic torts, and passing off.  Nick has extensive experience of complex team move litigation (led by more senior members of chambers) and has been involved in several leading reported cases in this area.

Nick is a member of Littleton’s sports law group.  A keen sportsman himself, Nick has represented a rugby player before the National Anti-Doping Panel, and acted for a racehorse trainer claiming unpaid fees and defending allegations of professional negligence.

Nick obtained 'outstanding' on the Bar Vocational Course, has a first-class degree in Natural Sciences, and before coming to the Bar worked as a management consultant.

 

    Commercial

Nick’s practice as a commercial litigator covers a wide variety of areas, including civil fraud and banking and finance claims (described under separate tabs) and the following areas:

Conflicts of law

  • A v B (Commercial Court, 2017): Instructed in defence to a claim to enforce Ukrainian judgments in the English Courts;
  • Greenbrier Companies Inc v Ebreez Railway Services and others (Commercial Court) 2016: Claim in deceit relating to a $15million commission, the subject of proceedings in Saudi Arabia; successfully resisted anti-suit injunction and application to serve outside the jurisdiction, on behalf of D1; succeeded in staying claim on grounds of forum non conveniens and discharging freezing order, on behalf of D3 (led by Jonathan Cohen QC).  Case now on appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Shareholders
  • Claim by former director of company seeking order that he was entitled to 50% share in a software company, on the basis of an alleged quasi-partnership and/or constructive trust, in order to found an unfair prejudice petition.  Case settled prior to multi-day trial (Ch) 2016;
  • Advised on the construction of a share purchase agreement on an issue potentially worth circa £2million (2014);
  • Claim for breach of warranty in a share purchase agreement (ChD), 2014.

Company, partnership and LLP
  • Button v Phelps [2016] EWHC 3185 (Ch): claim arising out of an attempted acquisition of a group of companies involved in the Po Na Na group; strike out application after claimant sought to resurrect quantum proceedings many years after trial; instructed against silk (sole counsel);
  • Poole v Horton [2016] 1315 (Ch): Claim against a liquidator appealing against proof of debt raised by claimant, seeking payment of 33.33% of the net asset value of the company when he ceased to be a director.  Succeeded after 2 day trial in Companies Court;
  • Re a Company [2016] EWHC 1548 (Ch): Application for injunction to restrain advertisement of winding up petition, raising issues relating to the doctrine of apparent authority;
  • Wraith v Fincken, 2016: Succeeded after 3-day County Court trial in claim based on loan agreement and defending counterclaim based on alleged partnership, or common intention constructive trust.

Contractual and common law claims
  • Acting for a Defendant in a claim for a profit share in relation to a contract relating to the supply of goods to the Business Class and First Class Cabins of a leading international airline (QB, 2017);
  • Vanden Recycling Ltd v Kras Recycling BV [2017] EWCA Civ 354: appeal against decision to grant summary judgment against claimant after claim against second defendant was compromised by consent order; appeal succeeded in part in restoring all claims for relief, save for damages for conspiracy (led by David Reade QC);
  • B v F (Manchester CC), 2016: claim for breach of contract arising out of agreement related to transferred workers; instructed against commercial silk (sole counsel); settled before trial (2016);
  • Rana v Tears of Sutton Bridge Limited [2015] EWHC 2597 (QB): bailment claim arising out of the destruction of Hummer limousine by arson whilst under the care of a third party;
  • JK Health & Beauty Technologies Group plc v Douglas Edgar (QB) 2015; JK Health & Beauty Technologies Group plc v The Official Receiver (County Court) 2015: final charging order obtained against individual previously adjudged bankrupt, following decision by court to exercise exceptional jurisdiction under section 346(6) Insolvency Act 1986.


Nick is a co-author of an article “When will the court grant freezing orders in support of foreign proceedings?” (click here). Nick has also lectured on the developing area of law surrounding the implied duty of good faith in commercial contracts.

Nick is also interested in international arbitration. Nick experienced a number of high value construction arbitrations during his pupillage and has acted as secretary to an ICC Arbitral Tribunal in an international commercial dispute relating to a luxury hotel in Morocco.

    Banking & Financial Services

Nick has completed a secondment in the banking and finance department of a leading law firm, and has since developed a specialism in this area.  Nick’s experience includes the following:

Banking

  • BA Cash & Carry v (1) NatWest (2) Habib Allied International Bank (QB): defending claim for conversion of two high value cheques, and bringing part 20 claim against a foreign bank for an implied indemnity in respect of the main claim;
  • Santander UK plc v Stasis (t/a/ CHL Mortgages) (Ch): claim relating to the receipt of funds paid out to a third party in breach of trust, in proceedings where two banks disputed the entitlement to frozen funds;
  • Allerton Developments (UK) Limited v Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (Ch): claim for breach of trust and a secret commission, arising out of a loan agreement.

Financial Services 

  • Standish and others v RBS (Ch) 2016-2017 (ongoing): claim for unlawful means conspiracy against a leading high street bank arising out of the steps that it took to secure a majority equity share in a company in which the Claimants were shareholders, worth in excess of £17 million (led by David Reade QC);
  • Claim for mis-selling of an interest rate hedge product worth approximately £7million (led by David Reade QC) (QBD);
  • Advising on potential claims arising out of the actions of West Register and RBS’ GRG business unit;
  • Advised an offshore trust on whether loans totalling circa £3million were a ‘regulated activity’ within the meaning of FSMA and/or were regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

Nick has written an article for the website on the leading Court of Appeal case of ‘Green v RBS: Lessons in Interest-Rate Hedge Products litigation’ (click here) and has also delivered a number of talks in this field.

    Business Protection

Nick has extensive experience of claims involving the misuse of confidential information, enforcement of restrictive covenants, breach of fiduciary duties, passing off and the economic torts, and has acted in numerous injunction hearings both as sole counsel and led by more senior members of chambers. Nick’s experience includes the following:

Confidential information / restrictive covenants

  • Vanden Recycling Ltd v Kras Recycling BV [2017] EWCA Civ 354: appeal against decision to grant summary judgment against claimant after claim against second defendant was compromised by consent order; appeal succeeded in part in restoring all claims for relief, save for damages for conspiracy (led by David Reade QC);
  • WE Cox Claims Group Ltd v Spencer [2017] EWHC 2552 (QB): application for forensic examination of computer equipment in which Nick appeared unled against a leading silk;
  • Airsys Communications v Becker [2017] EWHC 1684 (QB): claim for breach of non-compete restrictive covenants in shareholders and service agreements against former CEO; interim relief successfully obtained with court undertakings, followed by successful application for amendment and specific disclosure; case settled before trial (led by Stuart Ritchie QC);
  • A v B and others (QB) 2016-2017: claim against former sales director and his new employer for breach of confidence after he left misappropriating large volumes of the claimant’s confidential information; interim relief successfully obtained with undertakings; claim settled before trial (sole counsel);
  • M&E Global (Staffing) Solutions Ltd v Tudge (QB): international springboard injunction case, involving personnel engaged at US military bases in Germany (led by Adam Solomon, but unable to attend injunction hearing [2016] EWHC 597 (QB));
  • House of Flags v Geranio (QB) 2016: claim for breach of restrictive covenants against former managing director of company; interim injunction application successfully resolved by undertakings to Court; case also concerned forensic inspection application which was the subject of an appeal (sole counsel);
  • Ongoing claim against the former directors of the claimant company based on a conspiracy to launch a competitive business formed during the defendant’s employment, in concert with a private equity business (led by Stuart Ritchie QC);
  • Davies v Hart [2015] EWHC 3121 (QB): court refused to set aside default judgment in restrictive covenant share sale agreement case, where some aspects of the defence had no real prospect of success (sole counsel).

Team move

  • De Vere Holding Company Ltd v Belgravia Wealth Management Europe Kft [2014] EWHC 3189 (QB), [2014] EWHC 3781 (QB): multi-jurisdictional team move case concerning independent financial advisors across Eastern Europe, obtaining springboard relief against numerous defendants (led by Adam Solomon);
  • First Rate FX Ltd v Trading by Telephone Ltd and others [2014] EWHC 982 (QB); [2014] EWHC 983 (QB): foreign currency trader “team move” case involving allegations of unlawful means conspiracy in breach of financial regulations, obtaining and continuing interim injunctive relief against nine Defendants (led by Adam Solomon).

Nick has co-authored an article (with Gavin Mansfield QC) published in the Industrial Law Journal on the Court of Appeal decision in Tullett Prebon plc and others v BGC Brokers LP and others, and the implications of the decision as regards the scope of the implied duty of trust and confidence in ‘team move’ situations.  

    Civil Fraud

Nick’s commercial cases frequently involve allegations of deceit, dishonest assistance, forgery and/or dishonesty. Nick’s experience of civil fraud cases includes the following:

  • A v B (Ch) 2017: Successful application for pre-action disclosure in deceit claim based on deception surrounding investments into property development business (sole counsel);
  • Greenbrier Companies Inc v Ebreez Railway Services and others (Commercial Court) 2016: Claim in deceit relating to a $15million commission, the subject of proceedings in Saudi Arabia; successfully resisted anti-suit injunction and application to serve outside the jurisdiction, on behalf of D1; succeeded in staying claim on grounds of forum non conveniens and discharging freezing order, on behalf of D3 (led by Jonathan Cohen QC). Case now on appeal to the Court of Appeal;
  • Application for freezing order and proprietary injunction to restrain disposition of various residential properties, erroneously registered in defendant’s name because of deception, (QB) 2016 (led by Jonathan Cohen QC);
  • Instructed as sole counsel in an ongoing claim on behalf of one of the defendants in a multi-million pound claim based on an alleged fraudulent diversion of business by two company directors (QB) 2016;
  • Claim for fraudulent misrepresentation relating to the transfer of ownership of a number of hotels, pleaded at a value of £5million (Ch) 2015;
  • Claim for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, dishonest assistance and unlawful means conspiracy relating to a substantial fraudulent scheme relating to various properties (QB) 2014;
  • Claim against foreign currency trading business based on alleged breaches of the Money Laundering Regulations, dishonest assistance and/or negligence (Ch) 2013;
  • Claim for professional negligence and breach of trust against solicitors arising out of a property transaction tainted by fraud, in a claim worth circa £1million, (QB) 2013/4;
  • Santander UK plc v Foster & Co (a firm) (Ch) 2011: claim for breach of trust against a firm of solicitors arising out of a fraudulent mortgage transaction.

    Sports

Nick is a keen sportsman, which drives his interest in sports related work. Nick’s experience in the sports sector includes the following:

  • Acted for a sports agency company (led by Adam Solomon) in proceedings against a former employee seeking to recover the diverted profits of agency contracts, relating to high profile players;
  • Acted for a rugby player before the National Anti-Doping Panel;
  • Represented a racehorse trainer claiming unpaid fees and defending allegations of professional negligence under the BHA regime;
  • Acted in bankruptcy proceedings on behalf of a senior executive of a leading football club arising out of (disputed) claims under various guarantee agreements.

Nick is particularly interested in the law relating to doping in sport, and has written comments/articles on the following topics:

  • Armstrong, USADA, the UCI, WADA and limitation periods in doping cases’ (view here)
  • Horse racing and doping: Ignorance of the law is a dubious excuse’ (view here)
  • Proportionality in doping cases and proposed revisions to the World Anti-Doping Code’ (view LawInSport.com article here)

    Arbitration

As a commercial litigator, Nick is comfortable accepting instructions in any ADR forum, whether it be arbitration, or some other form of dispute resolution format that the parties have agreed.

Nick’s experience of arbitration includes the following:

  • Instructed to assist in a challenge to an arbitral award in a shipping claim worth in excess of US$ 3million, on the grounds of serious irregularity;
  • Advising on a potential ICC arbitration claim in the aircraft industry;
  • Advising on whether a claim for negligent repair work to property against an insurance provider fell within the scope of an agreement to arbitrate;
  • Acted as secretary to an ICC Arbitral Tribunal in an international commercial dispute relating to a luxury hotel in Morocco;
  • Assisted, during pupillage, in the preparation of written submissions for an ICC arbitration concerning a large government infrastructure project in a West African country;
  • Assisted, during pupillage, in advising in the context of a high value international LCIA arbitration, regarding two issues of company law.

    Background

Nick is married with a young son and daughter. His main interests are sport related. Nick is a former rugby player at county standard, and currently enjoys triathlon, cycling, kite-surfing and skiing in his spare time.

Education
BSc Natural Sciences, 1st, University of Birmingham, (2000-2003)
GDL, BPP (2007-2008) 
BVC, BPP (2008-2009)
Outstanding and top mark of year in the drafting paper on the BVC 
Awards
Hardwicke scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2008)
Lord Denning scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2008)
Sunley scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn (2009) 
Memberships
Nick is a member of COMBAR, PNBA, ELBA and BASL
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