BA (1st) (Oxon)
Wronker Prize (Tort)
Whitehead Memorial Prize
Lombard Prize for International Trade
Henry Grosvenor Trust Award
Associate Chartered Institute of Bankers
Queen’s Counsel (2010)
Assistant Examiner for Chartered Institute of Bankers in Banking Law and Accountancy (1988–1993)
Consultant for Barclays Bank on Banking Law/Accountancy Training (1988–93)
Barclays Bank (1983–87)
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.
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.
Paul’s team is able to obtain emergency relief at short notice 24 hours a day, with language fluency in French, German and Swedish.
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.
2TG is instructed in the leading professional negligence cases, including commercial and financial negligence cases in which Paul is a noted practitioner.
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.
Chambers UK 2012
Leading Silk Banking and Finance Band 4
Paul Downes QC of 2 Temple Gardens is singled out as an ‘outstanding advocate,’ with one instructing solicitor asserting: ‘I have complete confidence in his abilities.’ (Chambers UK 2012) He was recently in the Court of Appeal acting for the claimant in Shah v HSBC, a case concerning a USD330 million claim arising from the alleged failure to comply with its obligations under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Leading Silk Commercial Dispute Resolution Band 5
‘An excellent advocate,’ Paul Downes of 2 Temple Gardens ‘inspires complete confidence in his clients’. He maintains a broad commercial law practice, with a particular emphasis on banking and finance matters.
Chambers UK 2011
New Silk Banking and Finance
Paul Downes of 2 Temple Gardens has recently taken Silk. The fact that he used to work in the banking sector means ‘he can really talk the client’s language’ according to solicitors. Up to two-thirds of his practice is taken up with banking work, and he recently had a major role in Investec v Zulman & Zulman, a dispute over the enforceability of a bank guarantee.
New Silk Commercial Dispute Resolution
Paul Downes of 2 Temple Gardens is much a sought-after advocate who is praised for his ‘excellent cross-examination and willingness to throw himself into a case.’ He recently acted in a USD176 million claim relating to the reimbursement for letters of credit.
Chambers UK 2010
Banking and Finance Band 4
Paul Downes of 2 Temple Gardens has several years of experience as a bank employee, prior to qualifying as a barrister. He is acting on the Shah v HSBC case concerning alleged negligent non-compliance of the Proceedings of Crime Act 2002. Clients adjudge him ‘a hands on, spirited and, above all, pragmatic lawyer who makes himself available’.
Commercial Dispute Resolution Up and Coming Individuals
Paul Downes of 2 Temple Gardens excited praise from interviewees following a glut of appearances in high-value disputes. He recently acted in Shah v HSBC in a Section 330 claim in relation to compliance with the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Listed in the Legal Experts 2011 publication under Banking and Commodities.
Recommended as a leading silk in Banking & Finance (Legal 500 UK 2011).
Rubicon Fund Management v Attias & Ors (2012) [Banking and Finance]
A claim for a springboard injunction and other relief in a matter involving alleged conspiracy by former partners in a hedge fund.
Jeeg v Hare (2012) [Media]
An application to strike out a defamation claim on the Jameel principle – whether quia timet relief was an abuse and whether absence of damage was relevant.
IG Markets Financial Derivatives Litigation (2012) [Banking and Finance]
High Court dishonest assistance claim, worth around €65 million.
IG v McKenna (2012) [Banking and Finance]
A High Court claim in the Mercantile Court worth up to £11 million. This started as a claim in debt against seven members of a Northern Irish family who had suffered financial trading losses.
Anstalt v Mir Steel UK (2012) [Commercial dispute]
Representing the defendant in a €50 million claim in the Chancery Division relating to the ownership and sale of a steel mill in South Wales following insolvency.
Senergy v Zeus Petroleum (2011) [Commercial Dispute]
A dispute over the financing of a North Sea Oil Exploration venture in 2009.
McGinn & Ors v Wenham Major Private Clients (2011) [Banking and Finance-
acting for the claimant in an £8 million claim in the Chancery Division against the major bank, HBOS, arising from the insolvency of major accounting practice.]
Investec v Zulman & Zulman  EWHC 1590 (Comm) [Banking & Finance: dispute over construction and enforceability of bank guarantee.]
ED&F Man v Fluxo Cane  EWCA Civ 406 [Commodities: $25m claim by sugar brokers for unpaid sums under brokerage agreement; counterclaim for substantial damages arising from alleged breaches of the FSA rules and negligence in closing out the clients positions on certain derivatives contracts.]
Cho & Others v Tong (2009) [Media: substantial defamation action arising from allegation of electoral fraud by London-based Korean newspaper.]
Soo Kim v Tong (2009) [Media: substantial defamation action arising from allegations of fraud and sexual impropriety by London-based Korean newspaper.]
B & Others v Wenham Major (2009) [Commercial: substantial tracing claim in relation to advance fees paid to insolvent accountant for tax avoidance scheme.]
Senergy v Bow Valley (2009) [Commercial: $29m dispute over contract for hire of the North Sea oil rig.]
Bishops Wholesale v Surridge Dawson (2009) [Banking & Finance: dispute over construction of buy back clause in share sale agreement.]
Calyon v Awal Bank (2009) [Banking & Finance: $176m claim against Bahran Bank now in administration; freezing injunction obtained securing assets in the jurisdiction.]
Re PG Shares (2009) [Banking & Finance: acting in dispute between two major investment banks over successive misallocations of shares in a Norwegian company and $3m claim arising therefrom.]
AMP Services v Walanpatrias (2009) [Banking & Finance: expert witness for proceedings in Supreme Court of the State of New York regarding compliance with FSA rules in relation to operation of brokers discretionary account.]
Shilmore v Phoenix Aviation (2009) [Commercial dispute over ownership and operation of Challenger CL 600 2B16 aircraft.]
Titan v Royal Bank of Scotland (2009) [Banking & Finance: dispute over exposure of up to €84m under complex derivatives transactions, involving allegations of breach of the FSA rules.]
Shah v HSBC  EWHC 79 (QB) [Banking & Finance: $330m claim arising from Banks alleged negligence in compliance with its obligations under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.]
Dennard v PWC (2010) [Banking and Finance: Professional negligence action against a professional valuer of PFI businesses – loss of a chance – conflicts of interest.]
Re P (2009) [Commercial Fraud: claim by leading fine art dealer concerning the sale of forged works of fine art and antique furniture.]
Re Pharmacy Mutual Insurance Company (2008) [Banking & Finance: £50m scheme to transfer insurance business under part VII of the financial Services and Markets Act 2000.]
Parktown Capital v Wilson (2008) [Commercial Fraud: injunction against former director for misappropriation of intellectual property and business opportunities in relation to large scale property development opportunities in the UK, the Middle East and the Far East.]
Titan v Passini (2008) [Commercial Fraud: £10m claim for damages and injunctions following senior director of Italian manufacturing company's departure with theft of confidential information and soliciting of key senior management and clients.]
Primus Telecommunications v Kumar (2007) [Commercial Fraud: claim for £3m re large telephone card fraud tracing, proprietary interest in assets acquired, forged documents, fiduciary relationship of employee, use of asset preservation order for legal expenses.]
R v UMBS Online [2007 EWCA Crim 3128;  Bus LR 1317 [Banking & Finance: construction of and challenge to Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 s.41 under Human Rights Act 1998.]
Dimmock v Secretary of State for Education  EWHC 2288 (Admin) [Media: judicial review of decision to distribute Al Gore's film ''An Inconvenient Truth'' to UK secondary schools, whether a breach of ss.406-407 Education Act 1996.]
K Ltd v Nat West  1 WLR 311 [Banking & Finance: Bank's suspicions of money laundering, whether customer could obtain mandatory injunction to compel bank to pay out during 31-day moratorium period.]
Re UMBS Online  EWCA Civ 406 [Banking & Finance: Judicial review of Serious Organised Crime Agency's refusal of consent to deal in relation to funds suspected to be the proceeds of crime.]
Liverpool Freeport v Habib Bank  EWHC 1149 (QB) [Banking & Finance: £4m by bank customer re unauthorised debits from account and retention of documents presented under a letter of credit; banker's lien and associated right to retain documents.]
Energy Financing Team v Director of the Serious Fraud Office  1 WLR 1316 [Banking & Finance: request for mutual legal assistance from Bosnian authorities; judicial review of SFO in determining how they complied with the request.]
Re Belfield Furnishings  2 BCLC 705 [Banking & Finance: £2m claim in section 459 petition, application to strike out on the basis that a reasonable offer had been made.]
Re P&O  EWHC 389 (Ch);  Bus LR 554 [Banking & Finance: £4bn scheme of arrangement; irregularities in company procedure and whether those irregularities were ''accidental'' under Companies Act 1985.]
Tradegrain v State Trading Company of India  1 Lloyd's Rep 216 [Banking & Finance: performance bonds; implied term relating to reimbursement of overpayment; whether claim sounded in debt or damages.]
Infiniteland v Artisan  1 BCLC 632 [Banking & Finance: £1.5m dispute over share sale agreement including company valuation, completion accounts mechanism, and whether accounts true and fair.]
UGC v Close Brothers (2005) Ch D [Commercial Fraud: £178m claim in damages for deceit from ex-directors of Partco Re acquisition of listed company by Unipart in 1999.]
LTE Scientific v Thomas  EWCH 7 (QB);  ALL ER (D) 9 [Commercial Fraud: Injunction to prevent destruction of computer files, contempt of court, need for personal service, whether defendant had deliberately interfered with the administration of justice.]
Charter v City Index (2005) [Commercial Fraud: £9m knowing receipt claim for stolen moneys gambled on spread betting.]
Redwell v Cuba Street  EWHC 946 (Ch) [Commercial: claim for interest for late payment of completion moneys; Law Society Standard Terms; Estoppel by convention; section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989.]
Venture Investment Placement v Hall  All ER (D) 224 [Media: Injunction to restrain breach of confidence; whether there can be confidence in iniquity.]
Re NP (2005) [UNCITRAL Arbitration: $29m dispute over oil exploitation rights in Russia.]
Hall v Pertemps  All ER (D) 315 [Media: confidentiality, security for costs; company co-claimant with natural person; allegations of maintenance.]
Redwell v 1-3 Cuba Street  EWCA Civ 1799 [Commercial: Sale of land, estoppel by convention, Law of Property Act (Miscellaneous Provisions) 1989, sufficiency of oral agreement as to interest.]
Re A (2004) [UNCITRAL Arbitration: $500m dispute over oil exploitation rights in Azerbaijan.]
Thistle v Orb  EWHC 322 (Ch;  All ER (D) 326  2 BCLC 174 Ch Div [Banking & Finance: dispute over £600m takeover of Thistle Hotels; construction of completion accounts provisions, deferred tax under SSAP 15 and FRS 19; security for costs.]
Iqbal v Habib Bank  EWHC Civ 1062 CA Banking & Finance: duties of bankers, letters of credit guarantees, Statue of Frauds, estoppel by convention, claim for £4m.]
TCF v Bilgin  EWHC 2732;  All ER (D) 47 Comm Court [Commercial Fraud: Freezing Injunction, Chabra jurisdiction, C inc, freezing Funds owned by off shore companies controlled by defendant, claim for £3m.]
S v K (2003) [Arbitration: breach of license for computer software supplied to a bank - including application to Court to remove arbitrator for misconduct.]
Symons v Barclays Bank  All ER (D) 210 [Banking & Finance: breach of mandate, whether bank could set-off other claims.]
Amalgamated Metal v City of London Police  EWHC 703 (Com);  1 WLR 2711;  4 All ER 1225;  1 All ER (Comm) 900 Com Ct [Banking & Finance: money laundering (RBG Fraud); interim declarations; CJA 1988 s.93A.]
Sensient v Phoenix  EWHC 1614 (QB) [Commercial: mandatory injunction to continue outsourcing of IT services; whether injunction available; whether cause of action.]
DTI v Goldberg & McAvoy  EWHC 2843 (Ch);  1 BCLC 597; Ch Div [Media: Crystal Palace Football Club Directors' Disqualification; directors' duties; company law.]
In Motion v Palau & Others (2002) Ch Div [Media: claim for £9m re breach of warranty on sale of film company valuation of rights to ''Serpent's Kiss'' and other films/rights.]
Home Doors v France  EWCA Civ 1122 CA [Banking & Finance: share sale agreement, breach of warranty, terms of disclosure, terms of limitation clause.]
Igennex v Galaxy  EWHC 1674 [Media: injunction to protect confidential information, passing off.]
Habib Bank v Abbeypearl  EWCA Civ 62 [Banking & Finance: striking out for delay, human rights, duty of banker, whether fair trial possible.]
Re S PLC (2001) [Banking & Finance: acting for the FSA in regulatory proceedings and the associated appeal concerning a breach of the UK Listing Authority Rules at paragraphs 9.1 and 9.2 of the continuing obligations, and the jurisdiction of the Financial Services and Markets: Quotations Appeal Committee.]
Williams Corporate Finance v Holland  EWCA 1526 [Commercial: costs appeal against exercise of Judge's discretion.]
Admiral Scaffolding v Simms  EWCA Civ 908 [Banking & Finance: share sale agreement, alleged breach of freezing injunction; variation of undertakings to the Court.]
Solo Industries v Canara Bank  EWCA Civ 1041;  1 WLR 1800;  2 All ER (Comm) 217;  2 LLR CA [Banking & Finance: performance bonds, fraud exception.]
Bairstow v Qmh  1 BCLC 549 QBD;  2 BCLC 531  EWCA CIV 712 CA [Banking & Finance: directors' liability for unlawful dividends, claim for £80m.]
Bank of Scotland v A B & C  LLRB 271 Ch D;  EWCA Civ 52;  1 WLR 751  3 All ER 58 CA;  All ER (Comm) 1023;  9 Gaz R 41;  NLJR 102; 145 Sol Jo LB 21;  All ER (D) 81 [Banking & Finance: money laundering, tipping off.]
Grimstead v McGarrigan (1999) CA [Commercial Fraud: misrepresentation, entire agreement clauses, UCTA.]
Turner v Palomo  4 All ER 353 CA [Commercial: Solicitors Act 1974, costs, existence of ordinary jurisdiction alongside statutory jurisdiction.]
Allied Carpets v Nethercott (1999) QBD [Banking & Finance: company directors' duties, accountancy, unlawful dividends.]
Bairstow v QMH (No.2) CA  1 AER 343 [Practice: Civil Evidence Act 1995.]
Banque Cantonale Vaudoise v Waterlily Martime  2 LLR 347 [Banking & Finance: Brussels Convention.]
Sal Oppenheim v Rotherwood (1995) CA and (1996) CA [Banking & Finance: Bills of Sale, enforceability of £3m facility.]
Bocotra Construction v A-G for Singapore  2 SLR 170; 2 SLR 523 [Banking & Finance: performance bonds: injunction to prevent call in relation to construction of central expressway in Singapore.]
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