Photo of Stewart Chirnside

Stewart Chirnside

Call 2005

schirnside@2tg.co.uk

+44 (0)20 7822 1200

“Immensely intelligent and a fantastic advocate who is always meticulously prepared”

Legal 500

"He has an amazing work ethic"

Legal 500 2016

"...a client-friendly approach and excellent advocacy skills."

Legal 500 2016

"He has courtroom gravitas well beyond his years and he is an even match for many silks."

Legal 500 2017

"He has excellent judgement and the stomach for a fight."

Legal 500 2017

"Excellent"

Legal 500 2017

Practice Overview

Stewart specialises in commercial litigation, including banking and finance, commercial fraud, professional negligence, property damage and product liability. Stewart is recommended in Legal 500 as a leading junior in the fields of Banking and Finance and Professional Negligence.

Described in legal directories as having an “an amazing work ethic, a client-friendly approach and excellent advocacy skills”, he has also been described as “immensely intelligent” and “a fantastic advocate who is always meticulously prepared”. He has also been praised as a “razor sharp intellect” who “cuts through instructions like a knife through butter.”

Stewart regularly appears in trials in the High Court (both as junior and sole counsel) and he is also regularly instructed on interlocutory applications in relation to freezing orders and other interim relief. He also has experience of international arbitrations and appeals to the Court of Appeal where he has appeared most recently in Fathollahipour v Aliabadibensi [2015] 1 WLR 2472 and Crinion v IG Markets Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 587.

Before joining 2TG in 2006, Stewart worked as a strategy and risk management consultant in the financial services industry. Stewart is a modern languages graduate with an excellent knowledge of French and German.

Banking & Finance

Stewart has a strong Banking and Finance practice and he is recognised by Legal 500 as a leading junior in this field.  He also has considerable experience of related claims involving directors’ duties, guarantees and indemnities, agency issues, insolvency, rights of set off and general contractual disputes.

In addition, Stewart has developed a particular specialism in claims for mis-selling of financial products, including interest rate swaps, structured products and other derivatives as well as claims involving CFDs/spreadbetting and claims under s.138D (formerly s.150) FSMA 2000 for breaches of the FCA Rules.

Recent cases include:

 

  • JJW Ltd v IBRC Asset Finance Ltd (ongoing) (Comm): representing the defendant lender (led by Paul Downes QC) in relation to a approx. £150m claim for damages for breach of a facility agreement in relation to the failed redevelopment of a hotel in central London.  Due for trial in June 2017.
  • Lacuna Edinburgh Ltd (in liquidation) v Barclays (ongoing) (QB): representing the claimant in relation to a c.£350,000 claim by liquidator for mis-selling of an interest rate hedging product in connection with a development of student accommodation in Edinburgh.
  • Myers v Kestrel Acquisitions Ltd [2015] EWHC 966 (Ch):  represented the claimants (with Paul Downes QC) in two related Part 8 claims for declaratory relief in relation to the issue of approx. £5.2m in unsecured loan notes.  The issues included whether or not the issuer’s power to amend the loan note instrument was subject to an implied term of good faith and whether the issuer was insolvent within the meaning of s.123 Insolvency Act 1986.
  • Weavering Capital (UK) Ltd v Peterson & Ors (2015) (Ch): represented the defendants in relation to account proceedings arising out of a $450m hedge fund fraud as well as ancillary claims for knowing receipt and unfair preference under s.340 of Insolvency Act 1986.
  • Fathollahipour v Aliabadibensi [2015] 1 WLR 2472, CA: represented the defendant on the appeal of a costs order in respect of a freezing order in support of a civil and criminal claim in Switzerland for embezzlement of CHF 565,000.  Stewart also represented the defendant on an application to vary the freezing order and for a declaration: [2014] 2120 (QB).
  • Crinion v IG Markets Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 587: successfully represented IG Markets at first instance and on appeal in two related debt claims totalling approximately €2.2m arising out of losses incurred on CFD trading accounts. The court examined the need for independent judicial reasoning where the trial judge had adopted the Defendant’s submissions wholesale. Sole counsel at first instance; led by Bob Moxon Browne QC on the appeal.
  • Rubicon Fund Management LLP v Attias & Ors (2012) (Ch): instructed as junior counsel for the claimant in a £100m claim relating to an alleged fraudulent conspiracy by former traders at a hedge fund to steal clients and confidential information
  • IG Markets v Crinion [2012] EWHC B4 (Mercantile) (Birmingham): successfully represented the claimant on a 4 day trial of two related debt claims totalling over €2.2m arising out of losses incurred on CFD trading accounts. The case involved complex issues of agency and allegations of forgery and multiple breaches of the FSA Rules.
  • McGinn & Ors v Bank of Scotland plc & Anor (2011) (Ch): instructed as junior counsel for the claimants in c.£8m claim against the bank involving issues as to whether monies held by a company on behalf of the participants in a tax avoidance scheme were held on trust and if so whether the bank had notice of the trust so as to preclude its right of set off.
  • Varveris v Credit Suisse (UK) Ltd (2010) (Comm): advising the claimants in relation to a €3m claim arising out of the alleged mis-selling of structured products and alleged breaches of the FSA Rules.
  • IG Markets Ltd v Raymond (2010): acting for the claimant in a £700,000 debt claim arising out of losses incurred on CFD trading accounts. The claim involved allegations of multiple breaches of the FSA Rules.
  • ED&F Mann Commodity Advisors Ltd v Fluxo-Cane Overseas Ltd & Another [2008] EWHC 1997 (Comm): instructed as junior counsel for the claimants on a three day summary judgment application in a claim for $22m relating to an unpaid margin call and involving multiple alleged breaches of the FSA Rules.
Commercial Dispute Resolution

Stewart has a wide-ranging general commercial practice. He regularly appears in trials in the High Court and has extensive experience of interlocutory hearings, including applications for freezing injunctions, injunctions to restrain winding up petitions, applications for disclosure and delivery up, and Norwich Pharmacal / Bankers Trust orders.

 

Recent cases include:

 

  • PHP Tobacco Carib Sarl v BAT Caribbean SA (ongoing) (Comm): representing the defendant (led by Charles Dougherty QC) in approx. €5.5m claim arising out an exclusive distribution agreement to import tobacco products into Guadeloupe and Martinique. Due for trial in February 2018.
  • JJW Ltd v IBRC Asset Finance Ltd (ongoing) (Comm): representing the defendant lender in relation to an approx. £150m claim for damages for breach of a facility agreement in relation to the failed redevelopment of a hotel in central London. Due for trial in June 2017.
  • General Mediterranean Holdings SA SPF v Qucomhaps Holdings Ltd (ongoing) (QB): representing the defendants in $19m claim under loan agreement and related guarantee.
  • Generation Metals International Ltd v Figeac Aero SA (2015): represented the respondent in an international arbitration in a c.$500,000 claim in relation to the supply of aluminium for use in manufacturer of aircraft parts. Final award in April 2015.
  • Fathollahipour v Aliabadibensi [2015] 1 WLR 2472, CA: represented the defendant on the appeal of a costs order in respect of a freezing order in support of a civil and criminal claim in Switzerland for embezzlement of CHF 565,000. Stewart also represented the defendant on an application to vary the freezing order and for a declaration: [2014] 2120 (QB).
  • Lictor Anstalt v Mir Steel UK Ltd [2014] EWHC 3316 (Ch): represented the defendant (with Paul Downes QC) in a c.€50m claim relating to the ownership and sale of a steel mill in administration. Summary judgment application is reported at [2011] EWHC 3310.
  • Damovo Group SA v Collins & Anor (2014) (Ch): instructed as junior counsel representing the defendants in a c.€50m claim for breach of directors’ duties.  The claim involved issues of Luxembourg law and Italian law as well as complex accounting issues. Led by Richard Handyside QC (Fountain Court).
  • IKON International v Yikilmazoglu (2014) (Ch): Advising and acting for the claimants (with Paul Downes QC) in a multi-million dollar dispute relating to a foreign exchange trading joint venture in China.
  • Globe Motors Inc v TRW Lucasvarity Electric Steering Ltd [2012] EWHC 3134 (QB):instructed as junior counsel on a strike out application in a c.€20 m claim arising out of alleged breaches of an exclusive supply agreement.
  • Rubicon Fund Management LLP v Attias & Ors (2012) (Ch): instructed as junior counsel for the claimant in a £100m claim relating to an alleged fraudulent conspiracy by former traders at a hedge fund to steal clients and confidential information.
  • Senergy Ltd v Zeus Petroleum Ltd [2011] EWHC 3382 (Comm): instructed as junior counsel in a £12m claim for breach of contract relating to the hire of an oil rig.
Commercial Fraud

Stewart is regularly instructed in claims involving fraud and has extensive experience of claims involving freezing orders, search orders, delivery up and disclosure orders, Norwich Pharmacal / Bankers Trust orders and other interim relief.

 

Recent cases include:

 

  • Dalby v Lester & Ors (ongoing) (Ch): representing two defendants in c.£800,000 claim relating to alleged multi-stage boiler room fraud involving the sale of “fancy” coloured diamonds.
  • Case v Unistar Group Ltd & Ors (2015) (Ch): representing defendants in relation to c.£1m claim for fraudulent breach of fiduciary duty as a result of loans made to connected companies which were allegedly insolvent.
  • Weavering Capital (UK) Ltd v Peterson & Ors (2015) (Ch): represented defendants in relation to account proceedings arising out of a $450m hedge fund fraud as well as ancillary claims for knowing receipt and unfair preference under s.340 of Insolvency Act 1986.
  • Fathollahipour v Aliabadibensi [2015] 1 WLR 2472, CA: represented the defendant on the appeal of a costs order in respect of a freezing order in support of a civil and criminal claim in Switzerland for embezzlement of CHF 565,000.  Stewart also represented the defendant on an application to vary the freezing order and for a declaration: [2014] 2120 (QB)
  • Avangaard Engineering BV v Russian Shelbourne Ltd (2013)(Ch): acting for a third party in relation to a without notice proprietary injunction in relation to shares worth approximately £2.5m.
  • Louis Group (UK) Ltd v Sunrock Limited (2013) (Ch): instructed by third party in relation to application to vary freezing order obtained in support of proceedings in Isle of Man
  • Frama UK Ltd v Klineberg (2012) (Ch): acting for the claimant in a case involving allegations of misappropriation and sale of confidential information by a former senior employee. Obtained an ex parte interim injunction and orders for delivery up and disclosure.
  • Rubicon Fund Management LLP v Attias & Ors (2012) (Ch): instructed as junior counsel for the claimant in a £100m claim relating to an alleged fraudulent conspiracy by former members of a hedge fund to steal clients and confidential information. Six week trial settled mid-trial.
  • Charles Russell LLP v Rehman [2010] EWHC 202 (Ch): instructed on behalf of defendants on 3-day application to discharge multiple freezing orders. Stewart was also instructed to defend contempt proceedings in this case.
  • Exception Var Ltd v Goff & Others (2010) (Ch): instructed as junior counsel in a claim relating to an alleged conspiracy by senior management to provide confidential information to a competitor. Stewart was involved in numerous applications including an application for springboard relief, an application to appoint a receiver, a cross-application to discharge a search order, and numerous third party disclosure orders.
  • ESurv Ltd v Saeed & Ors (2006) (Comm): instructed as second junior counsel in a multi-million pound claim involving an alleged conspiracy to defraud multiple mortgage lenders. Stewart was involved in obtaining multiple freezing orders, search orders, disclosure orders and contempt proceedings.
Professional Negligence

Stewart is ranked by Legal 500 as a leading junior in Professional Negligence. Stewart is regularly instructed to advise on and appear as an advocate in claims against various professionals including solicitors, financial advisors, surveyors, accountants, builders and architects.

There is significant overlap between this aspect of Stewart’s practice and claims against banks and other financial institutions for the mis-selling of financial and investment products where Stewart has developed a particular area of expertise.

 

Recent cases include:

 

  • Myers v Pinsents (ongoing) (Ch): representing the claimants in a multi-million pound claim for negligent advice in relation to disposal of the claimants’ business in 2004 and in particular their investment in approx. £5.2m of unsecured loan notes.
  • Barrett v Purcell Ross (2015): representing claimants in c.£500,000 claim for negligent advice in relation to a residential mortgage granted by directors as security for company’s borrowings. Trial in March/April 2016.
  • Capital Home Loans Ltd v Ringrose Law Group (2015) (Ch): representing the defendant in relation to two claims by a mortgage lender arising out of loans totalling c.£750,000 advanced against 17 properties. Listed for 6 day trial in July 2016.
  • Fox v Gecko Wealth Ltd (2015): representing defendant IFA in relation to alleged negligent advice in relation to £100,00 investment in offshore bond.
  • Hainsworth v Legal & General (2015): representing the defendant in relation to alleged mis-selling of mortgage.

Edwin Coe LLP v Aidiniantz & Ors [2014] EWHC 3994 (QB): represented the claimant in a 7 day trial involving a claim by solicitors for unpaid fees and a counterclaim for negligence in relation to advice regarding a freezing order (against William Flenley QC).

Product Liability

Stewart has considerable experience of claims involving breaches of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 as well as claims in contract and tort for defective products.

Recent cases have involved a luxury yacht with defective engines, electrical transformers, a stairlift, a wheelchair, a racing bike and defective paint. There is a significant overlap between this aspect of Stewart’s practice and his property damage practice.

Property Damage

Stewart is regularly instructed to advise on and appear for both claimants and defendants in claims involving property damage. Stewart has particular experience of claims for subsidence damage caused by tree roots as well as claims involving fire and flood damage and related insurance matters, as well as other property damage claims including party wall disputes.

Recent cases have involved: flooding caused by defective taps, a fire caused by defective downlighters, water ingress caused by defective rendering works, the collapse of the refractory roof lining of a furnace and damage caused by defective works to a fuel tank at a petrol station.