Patrick is a highly experienced litigator with a particular niche in professional negligence, financial disputes and personal guarantees. His clients cover a wide spectrum and include consortiums, private individuals, businesses and senior executives both within the UK and internationally. Patrick also has extensive experience advising clients in the marine sector.
As a qualified mediator and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Patrick is well placed to resolve disputes in a variety of ways.
- Commercial disputes
- Personal guarantees
- Management of multi-jurisdictional and multi-disciplinary teams
- Banking disputes
- Professional negligence
- Space-sector disputes
- Financial services
- Remedies arising following the collapse of Collective Investment Funds
- Maritime communications
- Medical joint ventures
- Warranty disputes
- Successfully applied to set aside a statutory demand that had been served on a client for almost £50 million in respect of a personal guarantee for a loan to a company engaged in the construction of a biogas plant, winning the case both in the first instance and on appeal leading to judgement for the client with costs in a six-figure sum. The principal area of dispute was the representations that had been made as to funding availability which had been given in advance by the lender’s representative and upon which the guarantors had relied on agreeing to give the guarantee.
- Represented a TV and Film producer, defending a claim where a personal guarantee is alleged to have been given for production funding in relation to a project that was subsequently affected by COVID 19.
- Currently representing two husband and wife guarantors who had been coerced into personally guaranteeing money lent to their son’s company and where the guarantee had also been secured on the family home. The lenders were not only aware of the the fact that the guarantee had been procured by undue influence but, extraordinarily, also deliberately contrived to ensure that legal advice given was without the sight of the underlying loan documentation. Therefore, whilst maintaining the appearance of legal advice, such advice was defective.
- Obtained a highly favourable settlement while representing a consortium of senior medical professionals who had given personal guarantees for rent payable by a joint venture company, to a multinational healthcare operator which was the other party to the joint venture. The defence was based upon the multinational having breached the joint venture agreement for its own benefit thereby themselves causing the loss in the joint venture company. Settlement followed shortly after leave being granted by the court for the clients to bring an application for the interim taking account.
- Successfully represented two North London property developers who had given guarantees in respect of lending to an SPV carrying out a very substantial redevelopment project. Statutory demands were set aside based upon the case that the lender was in breach of contract in calling an event of default under the loan agreement, which only became apparent when the detailed accounting position was unpicked. Also an issue was the construction of the particular loan to value covenants in the loan agreement, in circumstances where the lender sought to invoke the covenant at a time when, as intended, the buildings had been gutted prior to redevelopment. Interestingly, emails also came to light which indicated that the lender’s parent bank, based in Australia, had made a policy decision to pull out of all London development lending.
- Acted for a French publishing company seeking a bankruptcy order for non-payment of a substantial personal guarantee given by director of a joint venture company. The guarantor is claiming the project had been affected by COVID-19 even though the first case of COVID-19 arrived in this country three months after the original repayment date.
- Obtained judgement following a trial in the Chancery Division in favour of a wife who claimed that her signature on a personal guarantee had been procured by undue influence of which the lender had actual notice.
- Successfully represented a British private lender based in the US in enforcing personal guarantees given to secure repayment of loan notes owed by a BVI corporation. Involved a claim against the guarantor based in Singapore and the issuing of winding up petitions of the BVI debtor company.
- Instructed by members of the family of a man who had suffered a tragic accident as a result of which he had lost mental capacity, but who had previously given guarantees to an Irish bank that had in turn sold the loan portfolio to an aggressive American debt fund. Aspects of the bank’s behaviour in realising their position were reprehensible, which opened the door for us to change the direction of the case from a banking case to one about disability discrimination, which somewhat wrong-footed the bank and resulted in a very favourable settlement.
- Co-lead adviser on a large international fraud case, including an LCIA arbitration, 2 parallel AAA arbitrations and proceedings in support of arbitration in multiple other jurisdictions. The UK team comprised 5 lawyers, 3 QCs and 4 junior barristers and internationally the team comprised about 30 other lawyers in a number of jurisdictions from the US to the Far East.
- Successfully acted for Lloyd’s names’ agency in an arbitration that concerned denial of cover on whole account excess of loss reinsurance policy.
- Acted for numerous shipping clients in LMAA Arbitrations against a variety of Romanian Government agencies.
- Acted for a well-known yacht manufacturer in LMAA arbitration defending build-quality disputes.
- Passed Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Special Fellowship examination, 1996.
- Represented Occidental Petroleum in negotiating resolution of a complex dispute with BP over the joint venture ownership of a North Sea safety rig.
- Represented numerous shipowners and their insurers in charter party disputes.
- Frequently obtained security for judgements or awards, through arrest of shipping assets, often in other jurisdictions. At one time had procured the simultaneous arrest of 7 Romanian Government-owned ships in France by persuading French courts to look behind the statutes of incorporation of the various government agencies involved.
- Represented owners in a leading case on equitable set-off from charter hire in the context of a five-year time charter.
- Advised an owner on a claim in negligence against a marine architect.
- For six years in the 1990s acted solely for the Solicitors Indemnity Fund in defending negligence claims against solicitors and advising insurers on settlement. Now advises claimants and potential claimants on professional negligence claims against solicitors and other professionals.
- Acted for an international trading company in taking a case to a three-week trial in the Chancery Division in a dispute with its bank concerning representations made by the Indian bank’s chairman. The case involved the interpretation of oral assurances given to the business by the chairman, their meaning and effect, particularly in relation to personal guarantees, and the bank’s entitlement to offset multi-currency accounts and a counterclaim for damages caused to the business as a result of the bank’s misrepresentation.
- Successfully set aside a number of statutory demands for directors of a property development companies following unilateral decisions by banks to cease lending in respect of London-based property development projects and the consequent “manufacture” of breaches of the financial covenants as a pretext for withdrawing loans and calling on the personal guarantees.
- Acted for the director of Biogas plant in a £40m dispute with funders over the failure to fund construction of gas to grid plant as agreed and leading to project failure.
- Advised a borrower on rights to call in policies of mortgage guarantee insurance following the bank’s assertion of event of default on a £250 million loan portfolio.
- Acted successfully for guarantors in defending a claim by Barclays by scrutinising the bank’s inability to produce original documents and Barclays’ entire record-keeping system.
- Advised a group of six international IFAs in respect of potential liabilities arising from clients’ investments into collapsed Bermuda-based collective investment funds.
- Advised on liability of SIPP providers and IFAs in the context of ‘execution only’ instructions and unauthorised investments.
- Regularly advises investors and IFAs in respect of claims of negligent financial advice and, in particular, pension transfer cases.
- Successfully settled a claim for life time earnings and damaged prospects at mediation for an IFA whose career had been ruined by the provision of a negligent career reference.
- Advised a large international IFA network on consequences of data breach following access of data by a disgruntled former AR.
Please note: The experience list above may include examples of work completed prior to joining Keystone Law.
Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
Admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong 1986
CEDR and ADR Net trained Mediator
Patrick qualified as a solicitor in 1983. Prior to joining Keystone Law in 2009, he worked at the following firms:
- Holman Fenwick Willan (London and Hong Kong)
- Nabarro Nathanson
- Bond Pearce