Introduction

Ali is a well-established leading junior, consistently ranked in the legal directories since 2014 and described variously as “a highly skilled and persuasive advocate”, “exceptional on his feet.”, “very incisive”, “a pleasure to deal with”, “very approachable, responsive and friendly”, and “absolutely fantastic”. He has a busy and thriving commercial practice focussing on heavy commercial litigation involving fraud, insolvency and finance aspects. His experience in those fields also leads to instructions in professional liability cases involving solicitors, accountants, IFAs and surveyors.

He regularly appears in lengthy trials in the High Court, and has been instructed alone in the Court of Appeal several times. He has recently been a led junior in cases variously concerning large-scale breaches of warranty, defective share sale agreements, fraudulent trading by a company director, and civil orders resulting from the largest-ever successful prosecution by the Serious Fraud Office.

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 interim relief, all of which are regular features of his fraud and insolvency practice areas. Ali is an accredited civil/commercial mediator through ADR Group, and uses those skills when instructed as the advocate in mediations. 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.

  • His recent fraud practice has involved claims arising from sophisticated schemes by employees, competitors, and third-party scams, and an action by a local authority to recover monies claimed under a European Union grant scheme. Ali has variously dealt with applications for worldwide Freezing Orders (both on notice and ex parte), Norwich Pharmacal Orders, passport orders and legal expenses paid out of frozen funds, and is well-versed in the importance of early decisive action to secure assets before they are dissipated.
  • Ali’s insolvency practice encompasses wide-ranging claims for fraudulent trading, misfeasance, TUV/preferences and transactions to defraud creditors, alongside directors’ disqualification work and all types of other procedural applications. He regularly obtains and extends administration Orders, and has recently acted in applications to remove office-holders on grounds of conflict and misfeasance.
  • In banking/finance work, he has conducted numerous trials on behalf of major international institutions involving issues of fraud, undue influence, duress, misrepresentation, estoppel and sham trusts, often providing strategic advice at an early stage. Away from pure banking work, Ali has substantial experience in asset finance, particularly automotive.
  • His professional liability work has seen him represent claimants and defendants alike in matters concerning solicitors, surveyors and IFAs, and other insurance claims involving matters as diverse as fire damage and agronomy services. His extensive experience has made him fully conversant with the commercial considerations which drive strategy in insurance-funded litigation.
  • In addition, Ali’s broad knowledge base regularly attracts instructions in unfair prejudice petitions and shareholder disputes.

Ali recently contributes articles to Corporate Rescue and Insolvency, Insolvency Intelligence and the Lexis Nexis insolvency (RANDI) blog, and he is a contributing author to the Lexis Nexis practitioner notes and precedents on Part 36 offers. He regularly delivers seminars to solicitors and professional networks on a range of topics within his core specialisms. Ali is qualified to accept instructions under the Direct Public Access scheme, where appropriate. He is fluent in Farsi, and has a good working knowledge of German and French.


Banking & Financial Services

Ranked by the legal directories as a leading junior in the field of banking work, 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 Cases:

  • Acting for an invoice factoring financier in a dispute involving allegations of fraudulent invoicing and the applicability of two personal guarantees;
  • Recovered a luxury car on behalf of a finance house where title was disputed at trial and again on appeal;
  • 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.

Commercial Fraud & Asset Tracing

Ali’s practice regularly involves allegations of fraudulent conduct, whether within his areas of specialism or within core commercial litigation, and he has a sound 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 interim relief.

Ali is fully conversant with the tools needed to take early steps, particularly on behalf of the claimant, and is regularly instructed to obtain ex parte injunctive relief, including worldwide freezing orders, Norwich Pharmacal Orders and passport orders.

He has been recently instructed in cases involving sophisticated employee frauds, 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 Cases:

  • Acting for an employer against two ex-employees alleged to have committed a substantial and sophisticated fraud (listed for 9-day High Court trial in 2019). The Claim involved obtaining and extending a Freezing Order, resisting its discharge, and an application for permission to bring contempt proceedings;
  • Acting for a local authority against a company and its director arising from an allegedly fraudulent application for a grant of public funds (listed for 8-day trial in 2019);
  • Acting for an invoice factoring financier in a dispute involving allegations of fraudulent invoicing and the applicability of two personal guarantees;
  • Acting for an employer in obtaining Norwich Pharmacal relief against several banks in advance of issuing a claim against two fraudulent ex-employees;
  • Acting for a defendant facing an action to set aside judgments in his favour on the grounds that they were procured by fraud.

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 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 Corporate Rescue and Insolvency and the Lexis Nexis insolvency (RANDI) blog.

Recent Cases:

  • £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;
  • 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;
  • Acting for two directors who were being pursued in disqualification proceedings by the Secretary of State arising from an asset and business sale worth £6m;
  • Secured permission to act for a director who had given a substantial undertaking to the Secretary of State arising from large-scale financial mismanagement;
  • Several applications to appoint administrators and to extend administrations;
  • Acted for a creditor in his application to remove an office-holder on grounds of misfeasance and conflict;
  • Acting for several office-holders in ongoing misfeasance, TUV/preference and s.423 claims;
  • Advising holders of disputed funds and other property when there are competing claims in an administration.

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 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 Cases

  • 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.

Published Journals

Banking & Financial Services

Blade Motor Group Limited v Reynolds & Reynolds Limited [2018] EWHC 497 (Ch), [2018] All ER (D) 164 (Feb)

Rubens v Evolution Funding Limited [2018] EWHC 270 (QB)

American Express Services Europe Ltd v Al-Shabrakah [2015] EWHC 3004 (QB)

Chatfields-Martin Walter Ltd v Lombard North Central plc [2014] EWHC 1222 (QB)

Commercial Fraud & Asset Tracing

Acting for an employer against two ex-employees alleged to have committed a substantial and sophisticated fraud (listed for 9-day High Court trial in 2019). The Claim involved obtaining and extending a Freezing Order, resisting its discharge, and an application for permission to bring contempt proceedings;

Acting for a local authority against a company and its director arising from an allegedly fraudulent application for a grant of public funds (listed for 8-day trial in 2019);

Acting for an invoice factoring financier in a dispute involving allegations of fraudulent invoicing and the applicability of two personal guarantees;

Acting for an employer in obtaining Norwich Pharmacal relief against several banks in advance of issuing a claim against two fraudulent ex-employees

Acting for a defendant facing an action to set aside judgments in his favour on the grounds that they were procured by fraud

Insolvency & Restructuring

Tongue v RSPCA [2017] EWHC 2508 (Ch)

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills v Williams and Weston [2014] EWHC 2933 (Ch); [2014] BCC 581

Education

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

Appointments and Memberships

Midland Chancery and Commercial Bar Association (MCCBA)
ADR Group

Testimonials

"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