Ali is widely recognised as a leading 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 heavy and complex 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 serious 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).
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.
- 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 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, 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 fraudulent misrepresentation in a business sale, several large-scale Ponzi schemes involving offshore investment vehicles, 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.
- 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);
- Acting in two ongoing matters concerning multi-million pound Ponzi schemes involving investments in Jersey, Gibratlar and the Cayman Islands
- 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;
- Currently acting for an invoice factoring financier in a dispute involving allegations of fraudulent invoicing and the applicability of two personal guarantees;
- Successfully acted in several cases requiring Norwich Pharmacal/Bankers Trust Orders in respect of evidence to substantiate sophisticated internal frauds;
- Currently 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 (including a recent reported case concerning the validity of out-of-hour appointments), 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.
- 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
- 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;
- Successfully acted for office-holders asserting their entitlement to sums which a creditor contended was held on trust for them;
- Secured permission to act for a director who had given a substantial undertaking to the Secretary of State arising from large-scale financial mismanagement;
- Numerous 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Insolvency & Restructuring
Re Benedict Cole Limited (in administration)  EWHC 946 (Ch)
Re All Star Leisure (Group) Ltd  EWHC 3231 (Ch)
Tongue v RSPCA  EWHC 2508 (Ch)
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills v Williams and Weston  EWHC 2933 (Ch);  BCC 581
Banking & Financial Services
Blade Motor Group Limited v Reynolds & Reynolds Limited  EWHC 497 (Ch),  All ER (D) 164 (Feb)
Rubens v Evolution Funding Limited  EWHC 270 (QB)
American Express Services Europe Ltd v Al-Shabrakah  EWHC 3004 (QB)
Chatfields-Martin Walter Ltd v Lombard North Central plc  EWHC 1222 (QB)
Nelson v Circle Thirty Three Housing Trust Ltd  EWCA Civ 106
Eleftheriou v Costi  EWHC 2168 (Ch)
Chatha v Uppal  EWHC 2150 (Ch)
Appointments and Memberships
Midland Chancery and Commercial Bar Association (MCCBA)