Ashley is a highly experienced banking and insolvency litigator with over 40 years’ experience. He specialises in multi-jurisdictional and cross-border disputes and handles many disputes across a variety of different commercial and business sectors.
- Commercial litigation
- Banking litigation
- Insolvency litigation
- Fraud and asset recovery
- Acted for a Dutch bank in investigating a fraud by a customer, securing the appointment by the court of provisional liquidators of the customer and receivers of over 80 separate companies directly owned by the principal shareholder of the bank’s customer; subsequently acted in preparing evidence for the SFO which led to the conviction and imprisonment of the principal shareholder of the customer.
- Acted for Citibank and the syndicate of banks for which it was agent bank in relation to the collapse of ILG/Air Europe, including pre-insolvency planning, the appointment of administrative receivers to special purpose vehicles holding individual aircraft under complicated tax leases, dealing with the recovery of possession of a number of aircraft in various jurisdictions including Malaysia, Spain, Norway and the US, and dealing with various claims to liens over individual aircraft and fleet liens by various airport authorities and Eurocontrol.
- Acted for Credit Suisse in relation to the collapse of the Maxwell empire. This included proceedings brought by Macmillan Inc. and related to two tranches of shares in Berlitz Inc. held as security for Maxwell loans and concerned difficult issues relating to priorities and notice under both English and US law. The trial lasted 120 days and a successful outcome was secured:  3 All ER747. There then followed an appeal to the Court of Appeal as the correct law to be applied as a matter of conflict of laws:  1 All ER 585.The matter also involved further challenges to the bank’s security made by the trustees of the Mirror Pension Fund and by Bishopsgate Investment Trust. After 160 days of trial, settlement was reached with the trustees of the Mirror Pension Fund derived from extraneous commercial considerations. The Judge then raised a long list of questions that he required answering by Bishopsgate Investment Trust in its closing submissions and shortly thereafter the case collapsed.
- Acted for RTZ against Westinghouse Corporation in relation to the uranium cartel letters rogatory litigation, including applications in both the English and US courts and hearings at the US Embassy before a Federal Judge sitting as his own Special Master, culminating in a successful hearing in the House of Lords. The Court of Appeal and House of Lords judgments were reported: 1977 3 All ER 703 and 1978 1 All ER 434. The applications also dealt with claims to privilege under English and European law, the privilege against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution (including unsuccessful attempts by the US Attorney General to force testimony to be given by intervening to offer immunity from prosecution).
- Acted for Crystal Palace on various matters following the club’s purchase from administrators, eluding appearances at Football League Tribunals and litigation to enforce a gardening leave provision in the Manager’s contract of service (the first time this had ever been successfully accomplished).
- Acted for a Taiwanese telecommunications company in a dispute involving sums in excess of $200 million arising out of a syndicated loan agreement: Deutsche Bank AG and others v Asia Pacific Broadband Wireless Communications Inc and another  EWCA Civ 1091;  2 Lloyds Rep 619.
- Acted for a Malaysian public company in proceedings in London arising out of its involvement with MAS in setting up and managing Royal Air Cambodge (the Cambodian national carrier) and defending claims for breach of contract involving issues of Cambodian law.
- Acted for two Lebanese companies in contempt proceedings brought in the High Court; which matter also included conspiracy proceedings, an appeal to the Privy Council from the Court of Appeal of Bermuda and related proceedings in 12 jurisdictions worldwide:  E WHC 2458 (Comm),  EWHC 2640 (Comm),  EWHC 409 (Comm),  EWHC 1024 (Comm),  EWHC 1780 (Comm);  EWCA Civ 21,  EWCA Civ 64,  EWCA Civ 898;  UKPC 29 (Bermuda).
- Acting for a Mexican company, one of the largest mining companies in the world, in proceedings brought in England arising out of the misuse of an English SPV and advising in relation to connected proceedings in Mexico.
- Acted for the Hong Kong Futures Guarantee Corporation (whose shareholders were all major banking institutions) at the time of the 1987 crash. The matter was extremely high profile and political and involved giving insolvency advice, helping the Corporation to secure a HK$2 billion lifeboat (which had later to be increased) and securing the support of shareholders for the rescue package. Subsequently proceedings were brought separately against over 40 brokers to recover unpaid margin monies. Some of the proceedings were settled and a number of brokers had to declare themselves insolvent. The litigation continued against the rest of the brokers until settled after about two years by the application of a complicated formula designed to ensure that monies collected by and from the brokers (many of whom had pursued their own customers) were divided in an appropriate manner between the Corporation, the Regulators (who had acquired partial rights of subrogation as against the brokers through the operation of a restricted statutory compensation scheme) and the customers of the brokers who had lost money as a result of the brokers’ default.
Please note: The experience list above may include examples of work completed prior to joining Keystone Law.
Ashley qualified as a solicitor in 1976 and is also admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong. Prior to joining Keystone Law in 2019, he worked at the following firms:
- SCA Ontier
- Clifford Chance