Photo of Paul Downes QC

Paul Downes QC

Call 1991
Silk 2010

pdownes@2tg.co.uk

+44 (0)20 7822 1200

"An outstanding and confident advocate"

Chambers UK 2017

"Hugely impressive in many respects; he is tenacious and has a fantastic analytical mind."

Legal 500 2016

"...very tactically astute and communicates in a no-nonsense, clear way"

Chambers UK 2017

"Evidently a good commercial lawyer, and a skillful advocate and tactician"

Legal 500 2017

"A strong cross-examiner, who makes mincemeat of witnesses."

Legal 500 2017

Practice Overview

Paul specialises in commercial law, and has specific expertise in banking and finance-related matters.

After taking Silk in 2010, his reputation as a tough, commercially-minded barrister has continued to grow.

Before coming to the Bar, Paul worked for Barclays Bank and was an assistant examiner for the Chartered Institute of Bankers. A direct understanding of the commercial and financial worlds means clients benefit from a practical and user-friendly approach. Paul has also acted as an expert witness overseas in relation to banking regulation in the UK, and is lead contributor to Butterworths LexisNexis Encyclopedia on Forms and Precedents.

Paul also handles general commercial litigation, international trade, media and entertainment, and professional negligence. He acts as an arbitrator in LMAA shipping disputes, commercial disputes and insurance disputes.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Paul Downes QC has been appointed as an arbitrator in several insurance, and shipping arbitrations.  His recent appointments include several insurance arbitrations concerning claims arising from Hurricane Ike in Houston, Texas and LMAA arbitrations concerning charterparty disputes.  As an advocate he has considerable experience in arbitrations and court applications related to arbitrations.

Previous cases include:

 

  • Brocket Hall v Palmerstone (2016) (injunction in support of an arbitration);
  • A v AB Finance (2013-15) – injunction in support of LCIA arbitration;
  • TRG v Trust Risk Group (2014-2016) – €50m dispute as to misappropriation of insurance premiums –bribery of arbitration panel in Italy – anti-arbitration injunction;
  • S v B (2010) – LCIA arbitration over technology products;
  • PP v SI (2009) – dispute concerning construction of arbitration clause in a deed of accession;
  • AA v BE (2006) – UNCITRAL arbitration re oil exploitation rights in Azerbaijan;
  • T v O (2006) arbitration over consultancy agreement between former partner and professional services firm;
  • Re R (2005) – claim against arbitrator for excess fees paid;
  • Tradigrain v SBI – Appeal from GAFTA arbitration;
  • K v SBI (2004) – arbitration re installation of computer systems and licensing agreement;
  • M v IBS (2004) – technology arbitration;
  • M v Morgan (2004) – technology arbitration;
  • Northern P v Open Joint Stock (2005) – UNCITRAL $29m arbitration re breach of oil JV agreement;
  • C v S (2002) – RSA arbitration re sugar supply;
  • H v S (2002) – RSA arbitration re sugar supply.
Banking & Finance

Paul leads the Banking and Finance specialists at 2TG.

Particular areas of expertise include swaps and derivatives disputes, hedge funds, securities, cheques and bills of exchange, letters of credit, company and insolvency, commercial fraud and tracing, regulatory compliance, breach of warranty claims, and technical accountancy-related issues.

The 2TG Banking and Finance team is available to obtain emergency relief at short notice 24 hours a day, with language fluency in French, German and Swedish.

Commercial Dispute Resolution

Paul has a strong practice across a wide range of commercial work, including all forms of contractual disputes, notably those relating to the sale of goods, supply of services and agency agreements.

His commercial practice also covers insurance and reinsurance, construction, commercial fraud, international trade, and corporate insolvency.

Commercial Fraud

Paul has a strong practice across a wide range of commercial work, including all forms of contractual disputes, notably those relating to the sale of goods, supply of services and agency agreements.

His commercial practice also covers insurance and reinsurance, construction, commercial fraud, international trade, and corporate insolvency.

Professional Negligence

2TG is instructed in the leading professional negligence cases, including commercial and financial negligence cases in which Paul is a noted practitioner.

Media and Entertainment

Paul advises and acts for clients in media issues particularly affecting sport and the press. Areas of particular experience and expertise include applying for and resisting urgent injunction applications, advising on contractual and confidentiality issues, intellectual property and professional tribunal work.