Ali Tabari

Introduction

Ali is widely recognised as a leading commercial junior, consistently ranked in the legal directories for many years and described variously as “a highly skilled and persuasive advocate”, “exceptional on his feet”, “a very impressive trial advocate”, “very incisive”, “a pleasure to work with”, “very approachable, responsive and friendly”, “absolutely fantastic”, and with an “excellent manner with clients and the judiciary”.

He has a busy and thriving commercial practice focussing on heavy commercial litigation involving fraud, insolvency, company and finance aspects. His experience in those fields also leads to instructions in professional liability matters.

He regularly appears in lengthy and complex trials in the High Court, and has been instructed in the Court of Appeal several times. Recent experience has seen him instructed as Junior Counsel and led by a number of QCs from within St Philips and London chambers, in serious and valuable cases variously concerning large-scale fraudulent misrepresentation, breaches of warranty, defective share sale agreements and fraudulent trading.

First and foremost, Ali is a confident courtroom advocate who is diligent, proactive and approachable. He welcomes early involvement so as to help formulate a strategy in line with the client’s commercial objectives, and his advice is robust, pragmatic and realistic. Ali’s responsive and collaborative style is well-suited to urgent applications for injunctive relief, as well as applications for pre-action and interim relief, all of which are regular features of his fraud and insolvency practice areas.

Moreover, Ali is an accredited civil/commercial mediator through ADR Group, and uses those skills when instructed as the advocate in mediations; he has acted in over 50 mediations as either mediator or advocate. His sensible and considered approach has also led to instructions as an independent investigator for private companies requiring findings of fact and determinations of internal disputes.

Ali is qualified to take instructions through the Direct Public Access scheme. He writes regularly for well-established practitioner resources, regularly delivers seminars, and speaks a number of languages (fluent in Farsi, good working knowledge of German and French).

QCs from within St Philips and London chambers, in serious and valuable cases variously concerning large-scale fraudulent misrepresentation, breaches of warranty, defective share sale agreements.

Commercial & Chancery Litigation

In addition to his specialist areas of work, Ali undertakes a wide spectrum of commercial litigation, both as led junior and sole counsel. Recently he has been involved in several complex high-value disputes involving breaches of contract and warranty, misrepresentation. conspiracy and economic torts, and recently secured the renewal of a General Civil Restraint Order against a vexatious litigant. He is frequently instructed by blue-chip clients on sensitive and significant disputes, and has vast experience of every type of interim relief and lengthy High Court trials.

  • Ingeus (UK) Ltd v Wardle [2021] EWHC 1268 (QB) – General Civil Restraint Order against a vexatious litigant
  • Nelson v Circle Thirty Three Housing Trust Ltd [2014] EWCA Civ 106 – one of the first post-Mitchell decisions on relief from sanctions
  • Eleftheriou v Costi [2013] EWHC 2168 (Ch) – successfully defended a claim based on constructive trust arising from a series of linked businesses
  • Chatha v Uppal [2012] EWHC 2150 (Ch) – application to vary a Freezing Order in the context of a foreign national overstaying his visa
  • Led junior to James Morgan QC in complex and high-value dispute concerning breaches of a nationwide services contract
  • Currently instructed on a multi-million dispute between a higher education provider and a university concerning mutual breaches of contract
  • Instructed by a high-street jewellery retailer in a seven-figure dispute concerning defective goods and breach of collateral contract

Commercial Fraud & Asset Tracing

Ali has a thriving fraud litigation specialist practice, and he has an excellent grasp of the strategic and commercial considerations in this increasingly prevalent area of work. Ali’s collaborative and hands-on approach suits the often time-pressured circumstances of obtaining necessary pre-action and interim relief.

Ali is fully conversant with the tools needed to take early steps, and has ample experience in applications for ex parte injunctive relief, including worldwide freezing orders, Norwich Pharmacal/Bankers Trust Orders and passport orders.

He is currently led junior in an 8-figure fraud claim arising from the sale of two businesses, and is instructed as sole Counsel in disputes concerning large-scale Ponzi schemes involving offshore and domestic investment vehicles, sophisticated employee frauds, secret commissions, sham trusts of land, fraudulent use of trust funds, application of the proceeds of crime, numerous allegations of deceit and breaches of fiduciary duty by company directors, and fraudulent applications for grants from public funds.

He has delivered seminars to the Midlands Fraud Forum and professional clients on the topic of piercing the corporate veil.

Recent work and reported cases in this area includes:

  • Kelly & another v Braid and Baker [2021] EWHC 964 (Comm) – Currently acting for an ex-shareholder in a fraudulent misrepresentation claim concerning the multi-million pound sale of a business (led by Lance Ashworth QC, listed for 11-day trial in May 2022);
  • Acting in two ongoing matters concerning multi-million pound Ponzi schemes involving investments in Jersey, Gibraltar and the Cayman Islands (one listed for trial in late-2021);
  • Successfully acted for an employer against two ex-employees alleged to have committed a substantial and sophisticated fraud. The Claim involved obtaining and extending a Freezing Order, resisting its discharge, and an application for permission to bring contempt proceedings;
  • Successfully acted for a local authority against a company and its director arising from an allegedly fraudulent application for a grant of public funds;
  • Successfully acted in numerous cases requiring Norwich Pharmacal/Bankers Trust Orders in respect of evidence to substantiate sophisticated internal frauds;
  • Currently acting for a defendant facing a claim to set aside judgments in his favour on the grounds that they were procured by fraud (listed for 10-day High Court trial in late-2021).

Insolvency & Restructuring

Ali is ranked by the directories as a leading junior in insolvency work. He is currently instructed in numerous claims involving allegations of misfeasance, TUV/preferences, unlawful dividends and transactions to defraud creditors, and was instructed with James Morgan QC on a £1m fraudulent trading claim against the director of a company wound up on public interest grounds.

As part of his corporate insolvency practice, as well as acting in the common claims against directors or shareholders, he is regularly instructed to obtain injunctive relief, including worldwide freezing orders. He regularly acts in applications to obtain or extend administration Orders, and has acted in all manner of procedural applications arising from administration and liquidation.

In bankruptcy matters, Ali has appeared in contested petitions, applications to annul bankruptcies and set aside statutory demands, challenges to an IVA, public examinations, committal applications, cases involving ‘bankruptcy tourism’, and in the Crown Court to recover luxury cars subject to a criminal Restraint Order.

Ali regularly acts for directors facing disqualification proceedings, both in disputing the application itself and in mitigating the period of disqualification. He appeared in a reported case where disqualification proceedings were dismissed as an abuse of process, and recently secured permission for a director to continue acting even after an admission of substantial financial mismanagement.

He is a regular speaker at seminars to professional networks and clients (including at chambers’ prestigious annual conference), and regularly writes for a number of leading industry publications.

Recent work and reported cases in this area includes:

  • Re Arboretum Devon (RLH) Ltd [2021] EWHC 1047 (Ch) – contested application between two secured creditors claiming priority interest over the sale proceeds of a series of woodland lodges
  • Re Benedict Cole Limited (in administration) [2020] EWHC 946 (Ch) – successfully acted for an administrator in an application concerning funds allegedly held on trust for a creditor
  • Re All Star Leisure (Group) Ltd [2019] EWHC 3231 (Ch) – obtained a declaration as to the validity of a series of apparently defective administration appointments under the out-of-hours CE Filing system
  • Tongue v RSPCA [2017] EWHC 2508 (Ch) – 10-day trial concerning a disputed proof of debt, and the bailment of hundreds of cows
  • Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills v Williams and Weston [2014] EWHC 2933 (Ch); [2014] BCC 581 – acted for a respondent in directors’ disqualification proceedings, striking out the Secretary of State’s claim as an abuse of process
  • Successfully acted for an office-holder in a £1m fraudulent trading claim against a director of three companies wound up on public interest claims, and associates alleged to have created sham trust deeds;
  • Currently acting for an office-holder to recover the proceeds of large-scale carbon credits fraud from a delinquent director
  • Acting for liquidators of a company contesting the effect of a debenture between two connected companies
  • Representing a director being pursued in misfeasance for conduct arising from a tax avoidance scheme which was retrospectively rules to be unlawful
  • Successfully acted for a liquidator in misfeasance proceedings against a director arising from the closing down and subsequent resurrection of a business, the director having relied on misrepresentations made by the liquidator pre-appointment;
  • Secured permission to act for a director who had given a substantial undertaking to the Secretary of State arising from large-scale financial mismanagement;

Banking & Financial Services

Ali is frequently instructed by large multinational banks and finance institutions in claims involving fraud, undue influence, duress, misrepresentation, estoppel and sham trusts, often contributing to early strategic decisions. He regularly advises on the enforceability of guarantees and indemnities, subrogation claims, and on the suitability of enforcement options after judgment.

Notably, he has secured a $1m judgment against a Saudi national who alleged fraud against the merchants with whom he did business, and in another matter secured a full judgment against a defendant who, amongst other defences, relied on a trust document which the bank alleged was a sham. A 5-day trial involving a £1m claim between a mortgage broker and a property developer recently ended mid-way through Ali’s cross-examination of the claimant.

He has previously acted for individuals alleging sales at an undervalue amounting to £2m, and has acted in cases involving allegations of inappropriate investment advice by IFAs. Ali also has substantial experience of acting for finance houses in asset finance cases, and has successfully acted in numerous claims for conversion and the return of goods, including a reported case concerning a luxury Porsche in which Ali’s client was successful at trial and again on appeal.

Recent work and reported cases in this area includes:

  • Blade Motor Group Limited v Reynolds & Reynolds Limited [2018] EWHC 497 (Ch), [2018] All ER (D) 164 (Feb) – resisted an injunction brought by a debtor who had failed to pay its invoices and was subsequently locked out of its own commercial database
  • Rubens v Evolution Funding Limited [2018] EWHC 270 (QB) – successfully representing a finance house seeking to assert subrogated rights in a luxury sports car, both at trial and on appeal (sole junior against a Silk on both occasions)
  • American Express Services Europe Ltd v Al-Shabrakah [2015] EWHC 3004 (QB) – secured judgment against a Saudi national who denied liability for his extravagant expenditure, alleged fraud against the merchants who had received monies from his account
  • Chatfields-Martin Walter Ltd v Lombard North Central plc [2014] EWHC 1222 (QB) – acting for a finance house in a case concerning parties’ reasonable reliance on the HPI register
  • Acting for an invoice factoring financier in a dispute involving allegations of fraudulent invoicing and the applicability of two personal guarantees;
  • Acting for a bank to recover a commercial property in circumstances where the original signatories were alleged to have forged signatures, and made counter-accusations against the bank of dishonest conduct.
  • Acting for a state-owned bank in arbitration proceedings arising from the acquisition of two other banks
  • Representing a business in its claim against an international bank for misrepresentation and breach of collateral warranty.

Professional Liability

Ali’s well-established practice in this area mainly involves claims against solicitors, surveyors and IFAs, though has also involved allegations as wide-ranging as substandard agronomy services and indemnity issues arising from property fires. As well as running matters to trial, he is regularly instructed to provide early strategic advice, mindful of the commercial imperatives in insurance-backed work. Ali’s approach is sensible and based on common-sense, which lends itself to numerous instructions as a mediation advocate.

In his recent work, Ali has been led in a large-scale action arising from a defective share sale; defended solicitors from allegations arising from property transactions, including alleged breaches of the Etridge guidance; acting for various claimants against solicitors arising from the negligently handling of civil and criminal litigation; defending IFAs and tax advisers from allegations of inappropriately risky investment/tax advice; acting for solicitors, including claiming contributions/indemnities from other firms; representing claimants against surveyors for losses arising from negligent property valuations and drainage reports.

Recent work and reported cases in this area includes:

  • Acting for a purchaser against conveyancing solicitors who allegedly failed to spot a planning issue that rendered his house worthless and uninsurable;
  • Acting for solicitors alleged to have given negligent advice during litigation; the case involved claiming indemnity/contribution from another firm of solicitors;
  • Acting for clients against their former barrister who was alleged to have given negligent advice during litigation;
  • Advising clients of tax avoidance schemes subsequently found to have been unlawful in respect of claims against IFAs and brokers.

Company and Partnership

Ali regularly advises and represents directors involved in shareholder disputes, and has acted in cases involving all of the principal methods of resolution (just and equitable winding up; voluntary liquidation; unfair prejudice petitions). His experience of obtaining urgent interim relief is a valuable tool in establishing a strategy early on in proceedings, and his calm and pragmatic demeanour is an asset when attempting to resolve matters by way of ADR.

Recent work and reported cases in this area includes:

  • Currently representing a 50% shareholder in a deadlocked quasi-partnership where there are allegations of fraudulent conduct on both sides;
  • Several cases involving the unlawful removal of directors from companies and quasi-partnerships;
  • Acted for an executor attempting to renegotiate an exit agreement made with her late husband for far below commercial value;
  • Acted at mediation for the majority shareholders in an unfair prejudice petition which involved competing expert evidence on the valuation of the company’s intellectual property and goodwill.

Education

LLB (Hons), Dunelm
BVC (Very Competent), Nottingham Law School

Appointments and Memberships

Midland Chancery and Commercial Bar Association (MCCBA)

ADR Group

Testimonials

"He's very affable, very easy to get on with and always very calm and measured in court." Chambers UK
"He brings a good balance of commercial and technical experience to matters." Chambers UK
"Excellent manner with clients and the judiciary, and he's not afraid to change tactics both procedurally and legally if it will give the client an edge." Chambers UK
"Personable, bright and very good on his feet." Chambers UK
"A very impressive trial advocate who has a real ability to endear himself to judges in hearings." Legal 500 2021
"A very impressive trial advocate who has a real ability to endear himself to judges in hearings." Legal 500
"He's very affable, very easy to get on with and always very calm and measured in court." Chambers UK
"He brings a good balance of commercial and technical experience to matters." Chambers UK
"Excellent manner with clients and the judiciary, and he's not afraid to change tactics both procedurally and legally if it will give the client an edge." Chambers UK
"Personable, bright and very good on his feet." Chambers UK
"Very available, personable, and strong on technical expertise." Legal 500 2020
"He has the ability to grasp difficult points in a case very quickly." Chambers UK
"He is really good at understanding his clients' needs, and his calm manner puts everyone at ease." Chambers UK
"An extremely talented barrister with an excellent commercial understanding of his clients' businesses. He is able to convey his advice in a pragmatic and effective manner, and always with a comprehension of what the client is seeking to achieve." Chambers UK
"Very incisive, thorough and great to work with.", "Technically sound and very commercially minded." Chambers UK
"He is a pleasure to deal with and has a splendid manner with clients and witnesses alike." Chambers UK
"He is fabulous at building a rapport with clients – he offers clear advice in everyday language and is always one step ahead." Chambers UK
“Very personable, nimble on his feet, concise and pragmatic.” Legal 500
"He's very well versed in his subject area and an impressive advocate. He's able to put the client at ease with his confident grasp of the subject material and he comes up with inventive suggestions for maximising the best result at trial." Chambers UK
"He is very approachable, responsive and friendly. It's a real pleasure working with him." Chambers UK
"He is able to deal with tricky opponents and offers sensible, commercial advice." Chambers UK
"A highly skilled and persuasive advocate." Legal 500
"He works immensely hard. A very bright and persuasive advocate with excellent knowledge." Chambers UK
"He is absolutely fantastic, he gives such good, measured advice and has a good way of explaining things to clients in ways which they can understand." Chambers UK
"He has a fantastic ability to break down complex legal ideas; he is pragmatic, sensible and exceptional on his feet." Legal 500