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Simon Oakes

Simon Oakes

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Simon Oakes practises in commercial law, with a particular focus on banking & financial services matters. He has been involved in major financial services cases in recent years, including the LIBOR manipulation cases of Graiseley Properties Ltd v Barclays Bank Plc in the Court of Appeal, and Hockin v Royal Bank of Scotland in the High Court.

Having been seconded to both the Financial Services Authority and the Pensions Regulator, Simon has acted for individuals in complex regulatory cases, including those brought by international banking regulators.

Banking & Financial Services

Simon’s financial services and banking work ranges from major interest rate hedging product litigation to regulatory investigations against individuals. He has a wealth of experience in some of the most significant banking cases of recent years, in particular those involving allegations of LIBOR manipulation, mis-selling of financial products, and various banks’ business support units.

His recent work includes:

An ongoing, multiple hundred million pound dispute, between a real estate investment company and a major commercial bank. Issues include the consequences of alleged LIBOR manipulation.

Macdonald Hotels Limited v Bank of Scotland: a very high-value, Financial List banking dispute involving allegations of breach of a shareholders’ agreement. See https://www.law360.com.

Hockin v RBS : a £55m Financial List banking case concerning interest rate products and the bank’s Global Recovery Group (‘GRG’), and involving issues of misrepresentation, LIBOR manipulation, unlawful means conspiracy and implied duties of good faith (with David Reade QC and Farhaz Khan).

• The LIBOR test case of Graiseley Properties Ltd v Barclays Bank Plc, Deutsche Bank AG v Unitech Global Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 1372 (CA), in the Court of Appeal and in the High Court (with Stephen Auld QC and Farhaz Khan). One of The Lawyer’s ‘Top 20 cases’ of 2013.

Desiman Ltd v BOS, HBOS and Lloyds Bank: a significant banking matter involving issues of mis-selling, LIBOR misrepresentation, appointment of administrative receivers and bad faith. The case also involved an examination of the Bank’s Business Support Unit (with Stephen Auld QC and Farhaz Khan).

Ford, Owen & Johnson v Financial Conduct Authority [2016] UKUT 0041 (TCC): acting for the former compliance officer of Keydata (Johnson) in a reference to the Upper Tribunal.

Atwal v Bank of Scotland: an ongoing High Court interest rate hedging dispute.

• FOREX investigation: acting for individuals under investigation by global regulators in relation to Forex matters.

• Advising on high-value interest rate swap claims, including on matters arising out of the FCA Review into the mis-selling of Interest Rate Hedging Products (‘IRHPs’).

• Acting for a major international law firm conducting a s.166 FSMA Skilled Person’s review into the mis-selling of IRHPs and consequential losses.

In 2012 Simon was seconded to the General Counsel’s Division of the Financial Services Authority, providing advice on a range of matters, and drafting sections of the FSA Handbook, in particular in relation to Collective Investment Schemes.

Pensions & Trusts

Simon’s current and recent pensions work includes:

• Viavi v Shannan & Others [2018] EWCA Civ 681: Successfully resisting an appeal, as to the validity of the substitution a principal employer and consequent questions as to whether subsequent deeds were validly executed by the correct employer company. Also involved questions relating to the Duomatic principle, and estoppel by deed (led by Nicolas Stallworthy QC). See further: http://www.outertemple.com/2018/04/3787/

• Viavi v Shannan & Others [2016] EWHC 1530 (Ch) (led by Nicolas Stallworthy QC)

• Acting for the Pensions Regulator on matters including prohibition of Scheme Trustees, and Auto-Enrolment penalties

• A professional negligence claim, arising out of an alleged failure to advise in relation to pension scheme amendments

• A professional negligence claim, arising out of a failure to validly amend a scheme deed (led by Nicolas Stallworthy QC)

• Advising (with Richard Hitchcock QC and Lydia Seymour) on the enforceability of non-pensionability agreements, and on proposed amalgamation of trustee boards of several different schemes

• A professional negligence claim against the administrator of a personal pension scheme

• Advising members of various schemes on potential complaints to the Pensions Ombudsman.

Simon was seconded to the Pensions Regulator for five months in 2015, working across the Regulator’s legal teams. He built up a good knowledge of the Regulator’s approach, in particular whilst working on pensions liberation / scams, avoidance and scheme funding matters, as well as advising in relation to statutory interpretation and the exercise of the Regulator’s powers.

Commercial & Chancery

Simon is instructed in commercial work more generally, including:

• Advising as to the impact of Brexit on the reasonable security of periodical payments (particularly in relation to FSCS cover) in catastrophic personal injury cases

• Representing a number of timeshare clubs in relation to debt claims and disputes about constitutional amendments

• An increasing number of company and insolvency matters in the High Court and County Court, including disqualification of company directors, actions against former directors, annulment of bankruptcy petitions and injunctive relief

• As part of the counsel team representing the directors of an off-shore Investment Manager and off-shore Fund in a significant high-value shareholder dispute

• Hermes Ors v Banco Espirito Santo. Acting for investors in a civil fraud claim against the failed Portuguese bank and its former directors

• Advising on matters arising out of a film investment scheme

• Simon also appears in the County Court in relation to general commercial / contractual disputes.

Employment & Discrimination

Simon also regularly accepts instructions in the Employment Tribunal.

Personal Injury

Simon has been instructed in several high-value, catastrophic personal injury / clinical negligence cases, and has been led by Christopher Wilson-Smith QC and Colin McCaul QC.

Simon also regularly acts in cases involving travel law and injuries sustained abroad.

Appointments & Memberships

  • COMBAR
  • Financial Services Lawyers Association
  • Association of Pension Lawyers

Awards

  • Sir Louis Gluckstein Prize For Advocacy
  • Lord Denning Scholar, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Scholar, Christ Church, Oxford University

Simon Oakes is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please click here.

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