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Justina  Stewart

Justina Stewart

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Justina Stewart is ranked as a Leading Junior in Commercial Litigation, Banking and Finance, and Insolvency. Her practice encompasses the full range of commercial chancery and financial regulatory work.

Directory comments include:

  • Justina is brilliant. She is sensible, calm and organised as well as being really personable and a fantastic communicator…” (Banking & Finance, Legal 500 2021)
  • A highly intelligent and tenacious litigator, she is also far more financially literate than most barristers.” (Banking & Finance, Legal 500 2020)
  • … very good commercial application …” (Banking & Finance, Legal 500 2019)
  • Extremely bright, enthusiastic and commercial – she produces excellent written work and is able to both empathise with clients whilst providing well considered independent advice.” (Commercial Litigation, Legal 500 2021)
  • “A pleasure to work with. She has a great grasp of the detail and strikes a good commercial and pragmatic balance in her advice… the fine details and the quality of her work make her a real asset to any team.” (Commercial Dispute Resolution, Chambers & Partners 2021)
  • Strong, dynamic and commercial. She’s a force and great to use on difficult insolvency claims.” (Insolvency, Legal 500 2021)
  • Incredibly impressive and a force to be reckoned with.” (Insolvency, Legal 500 2020)

Justina’s cases include those with multi-jurisdictional elements, and matters which are notable for their complexity and novelty. She has extensive advocacy experience, and has appeared unled in significant matters.

Before coming to the Bar, Justina was an international investment banker, working with top-ranked corporate finance teams on complex transactions, predominantly in the oil & gas, electricity, banking, IT and telecoms sectors.

This, together with her economics degrees, gives Justina a level of financial acumen and familiarity with financial products that is rare at the Bar.

Justina is appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown.

Commercial & Chancery

In addition to her expertise in banking and financial services, Justina has experience in broad commercial and chancery matters in a variety of sectors.  This experience includes commercial contract disputes, company and partnership law, joint ventures, and insolvency and property matters.  Her cases frequently involve questions of conflicts of law and cross-border and multi-jurisdictional issues.

Examples of cases: 

General commercial

Ecology Support Services Ltd v Ivin & others (QBD) (2018)claims of ca.£23m against 29 individuals across five proceedings.  Claim for recovery of sums lent pursuant to tax mitigation scheme.

Intelsat v Luxembourg Space Telecommunications SA (Comm) (2019)Acted for defendant, which was 100% owned by major Chinese conglomerate. Claim for unpaid fees.  Context was telecoms services provided to Nicaragua Police Force via claimant’s satellite, alleged inability by defendant to pay fees as defendant’s bank (a Chinese bank) declined to do so due to US trade sanctions (North Korea).  Freezing injunction obtained in Luxembourg. Insolvency issues.

AGT Ltd v La Fenice & another (QBD) (2018/2019) – debt claim relating to construction project in Abu Dhabi, allegations of bribery and illegality.

Client confidential (2018/2019) – claim for damages in excess of US$20m in relation to alleged breaches of distribution agreement.

Instasol LLC v EM Digital & ors (QBD) (2018/2019) – claim relating to Indian defence procurement contract of hundreds of millions of US$.  Involved network of international companies, question of existence of joint venture and allegation of misrepresentation.

Company & Partnership

Shareholders’ disputes (derivative and unfair prejudice claims), directors’ duties, Companies House matters (rectification of register, restoration to register), maintenance of capital, distributions and own share buybacks, partnership disputes (including LLP law), shareholder agreements, share purchase agreements, directors’ disqualification.

Examples of cases:

Client confidential (2019) – advising a private equity investor on a potential purchase of shares in a holding company and specifically on whether steps taken in relation to a complex reorganisation of the group were effective, whether dividends were lawful and what steps should be taken to protect the client’s position in event of purchase.

Client confidential (2019) – significant (multi-million £) s.994 petition, alleged unfair prejudice arising from share dilution in context of several companies.

Michel v (1) Michel (2) Michel (3) L Kahn Manufacturing Company Ltd (ChD) (2018) – acted for successful respondents in a substantial, hard-fought shareholder dispute involving numerous allegations of unfair prejudice spanning many years.

Client confidential (arbitration) – instructed by former partner of accountancy partnership.  Allegations of unlawful expulsion from partnership, breach of equitable duties, misrepresentation and non est factum. Included application to remove arbitrator pursuant to s.24 of the Arbitration Act 1996 – T v (1) V (2) W (3) A [2017] EWHC 565 (Comm).

Franks v (1) Franks (2) Michaelson Properties Ltd (CR-2015-009740) and Franks v (1) Franks (2) FWEL Ltd (CR-2015-009740) – linked cases. Unfair prejudice petition in relation to two family-owned companies with collective value of ca.£6-7m. Instructed by petitioner. Key issue was how to resolve the dispute in a tax efficient manner.

Client confidential (arbitration) –  instructed by former managing partner of solicitors’ partnership – claim that former co-partners reopened accounts when they were not entitled to do so, thus causing former managing partner loss on retirement.

Insolvency

Winding up and bankruptcy petitions (including public interest winding up), administration, receivership, transactions at an undervalue, preferences, transactions defrauding creditors, officeholders’ duties, injunctions to restrain presentation/advertisement of petitions, setting aside statutory demands, validation orders, offshore and cross-border.

Examples of cases:

Client confidential (ongoing) – involves the question of whether a lender is entitled to rely on subrogation in order to appoint an LPA receiver over a property, and if so, how the proceeds of sale should be distributed.

Re Drinks Enterprises Ltd (2019)Claim by liquidators for £23m in relation to alleged MTIC fraud.  Application under s.235-6 IA 1986.

Re: Grabal Alok (UK) Ltd (in liquidation) (2018-2019) – instructed by liquidators in relation to validation order applications following demise of retail chain.

Client confidential (2018-2019) – instructed by trustees in bankruptcy. Individual made bankrupt following his use of tax mitigation scheme which failed.  Claim for declarations that a trust was a sham, its creation was a transaction at an undervalue and/or defrauding creditors, and that payment to various individuals (non-bankrupt) were similarly transactions at undervalues and defrauding creditors.  Issues regarding asset tracing in international context.

Re: Railbookers (ChD) (2018/2019) – claim by liquidators against director for ca.£8m, for alleged wrongful trading, breaches of directors’ duties, preferential payments (s.212, 214, 239 IA 1986).

Client confidential (2019) – instructed by liquidators on actions against directors in relation to Employer Funded Retirement Benefits Schemes (s.212, 238, 423 IA 1986).

Client confidential (2018) – claim against former director and shareholder pursuant to s.216-7  Insolvency Act 1986 (prohibited names/phoenix companies), in context of potential criminal liability under s.393 and s.414 CA 2006.

Trans-Tag Ltd v Burnell (ChD) – application for injunction to restrain winding-up petition, alleging cross-claim of over £100 m based on extensive breaches of directors’ duties. Also instructed in parallel proceedings involving allegations of breach of licence agreement.

Client confidential – claim against liquidators pursuant to s.212 IA 1986 for over £20m, in relation to agreement entered into (allegedly negligently) with company’s landlord in relation to a significant London property.

Toone and Murphy (Joint Liquidators of B Frankle & Sons Ltd), B Frankle & Sons Ltd (in creditors’ voluntary liquidation) v Frankle & ors (CR-2016-000474) – liquidators’ claim for over £4m, alleging breach of directors’ duties, that a share purchase scheme was implemented with the purpose of defrauding creditors within the meaning of s.423 IA 1986, sale of property to a director at an undervalue, and that the share purchase was void as it was not made in accordance with provisions of the CA 2006 (led by Ian Clarke QC).

Re: Natural Wealth Consultants Ltd, Proctor Capital Limited, Land Security Management Ltd (No.2188, 2189, 2190 of 2012) – advised on public interest petition, allegations of land banking in context of complicated network of companies.

Property

All aspects of disputes relating to property: from claims involving mortgages, security and subrogation, trusts and equitable claims (including proprietary estoppel), real property (e.g. restrictive covenants, easements), development disputes, vendor-purchaser disputes to land registration.  Often in the context of broader commercial chancery disputes with a property aspect (e.g. joint ventures, property fraud, insolvency).

Examples of cases:

Lucas v Gatward and another (ChD) (2018-2019) – claim including allegations relating to proprietary estoppel and constructive trust, in relation to substantial (multi-million £) property.

Sunny Trio Ltd v Freedman (2018-2019) – allegations of misrepresentations on property information form in relation to rights to light.

Client confidential (2017-2018) – advised a commercial investor on whether the terms of a transfer prevented access, and if so, what steps should be taken to protect the client’s interests.

Singh v (1) Singh (2) Barclays Bank Plc (3) Prestige Finance Ltd (2017-2018) – claimant asserted among other things a beneficial interest in the property and rectification of the register, due to alleged fraudulent misrepresentation, undue influence and non est factum.

Bouchiba v Turner (No.2015/0583) (Property Chamber Land Registration First-Tier Tribunal) – cohabitation dispute. Claimant alleged an interest in property by reason of a constructive trust, alternatively proprietary estoppel, despite the fact that she was not a registered proprietor (joint or otherwise) of the title.

Re: Hussain’s Application (LP/23/2014) – application to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) pursuant to s.84 LPA 1925 to modify restrictive covenants, so as to enable an extension to existing property located on a scheme of development.

Montrose Property Company Ltd v Jennings Court Estate Ltd (No.2014/0231) (Property Tribunal First-Tier Tribunal) – acted for respondent in relation to application to cancel unilateral notice. Involved showing that applicant did not have benefit of interest affecting the property, but that, if it did, interpreting a sale agreement in the respondent’s favour, alternatively showing that the sale agreement was validly rescinded.

Brian Meehan Limited v Powell (HC13F05008) – rectification of a lease so as to exclude the security provisions of 1954 Act.

Cooper v Ayres (3EA00150) – questions of enforceability of restrictive covenant (including whether a scheme of development exists) and appropriate circumstances in which court should grant injunctive relief.

Beaufort Children LLP v Jenkins – instructed by the landlord, the owner of a prime Chelsea block of flats, seeking to redevelop the block. Tenant, 90 years old, claimed that she occupied one of the flats pursuant to a Regulated Tenancy. Involved extensive argument on decades of landlord and tenant law.

Stannard (t/a Wyvern Tyres) v Gore [2012] EWCA Civ 1248 – seminal case in which the Court of Appeal considered the rule in Rylands v Fletcher as it applies to escape of fire.

Client confidential – advised developer on enforceability of restrictive covenants in anticipation of major residential development in Central London, including upon potential Wrotham Park damages.

Appointments & Memberships

  • Lincoln’s Inn
  • COMBAR
  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Commercial Lawyers Fraud Association
  • Financial Services Lawyers Association
  • R3
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association

Education

• LLB (First Class)
• BVC (Outstanding, first in year group)
• GDL (Distinction)
• M.Phil (Economics) (Oxford)
• BSc.Econ (LSE)

Awards

  • Cassel Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn)
  • Sunley Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn)
  • Buchanan Prize (Lincoln’s Inn)

Languages

  • French (Fair)
  • Polish (Fair)

Justina Stewart 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.

Areas of Law


Testimonials


“A pleasure to work with. She has a great grasp of the detail and strikes a good commercial and pragmatic balance in her advice… the fine details and the quality of her work make her a real asset to any team.” Commercial Dispute Resolution, Chambers and Partners 2021

“Justina is brilliant. She is sensible, calm and organised as well as being really personable and a fantastic communicator.” Banking & Finance, Legal 500 2021

“Extremely bright, enthusiastic and commercial – she produces excellent written work and is able to both empathise with clients whilst providing well considered independent advice.” Commercial Litigation, Legal 500 2021

“Strong, dynamic and commercial. She’s a force and great to use on difficult insolvency claims.” Insolvency, Legal 500 2021

“A highly intelligent and tenacious litigator, she is also far more financially literate than most barristers.” Banking and Finance, Legal 500 2020

“Incredibly impressive and a force to be reckoned with.” Insolvency, Legal 500 2020

 

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