Avtar Khangure QC

Call: 1985 | Silk: 2003

Introduction

Avtar was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in 1985. Having completed a master’s degree in commercial law and a commercial pupillage in London, it gave him the practical experience to develop a commercial, company and insolvency practice in the Midlands.

Over the course of the last 25 years he has been involved in general commercial litigation within the fields of banking, company law, insolvency, professional negligence, franchising, shareholder disputes, disciplinary proceedings before regulatory bodies, tax and VAT cases before the Special Commissioners and VAT Tribunals and product liability. The claims have ranged from tens of thousands to multi-million pounds. His client base is also varied, from major institutions such as banks, to professional clients such as accountants and solicitors, to individuals and companies.

Recent directories have described Avtar as “bullish, knowledgeable and always impressive.” Although he has recently spent some time abroad, he is still active for clients in the UK. “He is particularly adept at large and complicated insolvency matters”. It goes on to say Avtar is praised for his “outstanding ability on his feet and ability to pull out fantastic results in the trickiest cases.” He has a strong focus on insolvency work and is also recognised for his appreciation of the commercial realities facing clients.”

In the last two years, Avtar has been involved in litigation in the Middle East, India, Singapore, Australia and Germany. He has experience of international arbitration and litigation in the aforementioned countries. He has lectured in the field of commercial law and insolvency to solicitors, bankers and to insolvency practitioners and was the Chairman of the Midland Commercial and Chancery Bar. Over the last few years Avtar has acted in a large number of cases involving very high value claims, including the following:

  • multi-million pound shareholder disputes
  • multi-million pound commercial disputes involving the motor-car industry
  • the insolvencies of large companies, including those listed on the stock exchange and trading in other jurisdictions
  • capital reductions
  • cases involving trusts and fiduciaries
  • banking – in particular, piercing the corporate veil so as to render individual directors liable to a major bank in respect of invoice discounting agreements
  • Derivatives and hedging products
  • franchising agreements
  • corporation Tax disputes before the Special Commissioners
  • VAT disputes before the VAT Tribunal
  • disciplinary proceedings before the IAEW and the Law Society
  • competition Act disputes
  • civil Fraud, including: – applications for freezing and search orders
  • applications for Insolvency Practitioners seeking to recover assets fraudulently dissipated whether in the UK or outside
  • applications on behalf of Banks against individuals who have committed a fraud upon them
    civil Asset recovery in the Crown Court
  • applications for Customs and Excise

Avtar has been involved in many professional negligence cases, both for claimants and defendants, concerning claims against solicitors, accountants, surveyors and valuers, insolvency practitioners and others.

As for Insolvency matters, recent directories noted that Avtar is “highly regarded for complex corporate” and individual insolvency matters. Corporate insolvency matters have included cross-border issues football league clubs (Northampton Town, Port Vale, Luton Town, Notts County, Carlisle) rugby union clubs (Moseley and Coventry) normal trading companies

Recent cases involving individual insolvency have included the consideration of family law and the Human Rights Act upon insolvency, and the personal liability of office holders. Recent directories also stated that Avtar “is commended for the breadth of his insolvency knowledge. He acts primarily for office holders, but also represents banks in factoring and loan agreements.

Sources admire his thoughtful and deliberate advocacy and value his accessible, commercial advice” and that he is praised as “hard-working, bright and gets into the detail phenomenally quickly. Khangure is considered to be “slick and knowledgeable in all aspects of insolvency law and the acknowledged local expert in the field”.

Avtar has been involved in a number of matters concerning company law, including substantial shareholder disputes, derivative actions, capital reductions, restructuring, breach of duties by directors, both statutory and common law.

Avtar has acted for Banks in many types of cases involving bank securities, including guarantees, letters of credit, bills of exchange, invoice discounting, insolvency, breach of trust and knowing / dishonest assistance in the dissipation of assets, fraud, etc. He was involved in a number of cases acting for a bank in which he successfully recovered large sums of money from directors of companies where the banks had no form of security.

What the directories say:

  • “An imposing advocate and a smooth operator.” – Legal 500 2019
  • “Excellent technical knowledge and very good on his feet.”, “An excellent performer who is persuasive and assured in court.”, “Avtar is a top-drawer advocate and is very client-friendly.”and “He’s a quality operator in the Birmingham market.” – Chambers UK 2019
  • Maintains his reputation as a leading commercial litigator who can turn his hand to an impressively wide range of disputes. He is particularly known for his expertise in shareholder and company disputes, often with international elements. Expertise: “He is very slick and has no rough edges. He got the case well and truly kicked into touch.” Chambers UK 
  • Chambers and Partners describe Avtar as: “pre-eminent in company and insolvency law for a long time,” say enamoured commentators. He advises a range of clients including major financial institutions and professionals from the accountancy and legal worlds. He also has significant cross-border expertise, and has been engaged in litigation in the Middle East, India, Singapore and Australia.”  “a tenacious advocate known for his commercial approach to complex insolvency matters,” and he is “popular both with his peers and with the local judiciary.” Recent editions have described Avtar as: “bullish, knowledgeable and always impressive. Although he has recently spent some time abroad, he is still active for clients in the UK. He is particularly adept at large and complicated insolvency matters”. It goes on to say, Avtar “is praised for his ‘outstanding ability on his feet and ability to pull out fantastic results in the trickiest cases.’ He has a strong focus on insolvency work and is also recognised for his appreciation of the commercial realities facing clients.” The current editions of Legal 500 says: “The ‘outstanding’ Avtar Khangure is ‘immensely engaging, and of the highest intellectual calibre’.”

Recent Cases:

Avtar has been recently or is currently involved in:

  • A lengthy trial involving intellectual property;
  • A court of appeal hearing involving issues as to the personal liability of an administrator of a company;
  • A professional negligence case against a firm of solicitors;
  • Partnership disputes;
  • An alleged £22,000,000 fraud;
  • A derivative action;
  • Mis-selling of derivatives and hedging products;
  • A high profile directors’ disqualification case;
  • Proceedings in DIFC in Dubai;
  • An international arbitration in Dubai

Reported Cases:

  • Creation Consumer Finance Ltd (t/a Premium First) v Allied Fort Insurance Services Ltd -Chancery Division, 30 November 2012 Subject: Civil procedure; Insurance; Dissipation of assets; Freezing injunctions; Insurance brokers; Interim injunctions; Risk; Setting aside freezing injunctions
  •  Wright Hassall LLP v Morris [2012] EWCA Civ 1472 -Court of Appeal Subject: Insolvency; Civil procedure;  Administrators; Agents; Defendants; Liabilities; Statements of case
  • Hellard v Irwin Mitchell (A Firm) [2012] EWHC 2656 (Ch) – Subject: Civil evidence; Legal profession; Negligence;  Defence counsel; Legal professional privilege; Privileged documents.
  • Kang v Kang – Chancery Division, 15 February 2012 Subject: Company law; Breach; Company records; Consent orders; Directors’ powers and duties; Disclosure; Enforcement; Further information; Inspection
  • Wright Hassall LLP v Morris [2012] EWHC 188 (Ch); [2012] B.C.C. 624; [2012] B.P.I.R. 654 – Subject: Insolvency; Agency;  Administrators; Agents’ liabilities; Conditional fee agreements
  • Till v Morris -Chancery Division District Registry (Birmingham), 22 December 2011 Subject: Partnerships; Dissolution; Documents; Partners’ powers and duties
  • Phoenix Property Investors Ltd v Grange Securities Ltd  [2011] EWHC 1131 (Ch) – Subject: Contracts; Breach of contract; Contracts for sale of land; Non-performance; Repudiation
  • Irwin v Lynch [2010] EWCA Civ 1153; [2011] 1 W.L.R. 1364; [2011] Bus. L.R. 504; [2011] B.P.I.R. 158 – Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Subject: Civil procedure; Insolvency;  Administrators’ powers and duties; Limitations; Substitution Where Reported; Official Transcript
  • Ahmed v Landstone Leisure Ltd [2009] EWHC 125 (Ch); [2009] B.P.I.R. 227 – Subject: Insolvency; Contracts; Cheques; Dishonour of cheques; Misrepresentation; Sale by auction; Setting aside; Statutory demands
  • Kelly v Hussain  [2008] EWHC 1117 (Ch) – Subject: Company law; Conduct; Directors; Dismissal; Exclusion; Petitions; Shareholders; Unfairly prejudicial conduct
  • Hill v Haines [2007] EWCA Civ 1284; [2008] Ch. 412; [2008] 2 W.L.R. 1250; [2008] 2 All E.R. 901; [2008] 1 F.L.R. 1192; [2007] 3 F.C.R. 785; [2007] B.P.I.R. 1280; [2008] W.T.L.R. 447; [2008] Fam. Law 199; [2007] 50 E.G. 109 (C.S.); (2007) 151 S.J.L.B. 1597; [2007] N.P.C. 132; Times, December 12, 2007 -Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Subject: Insolvency; Family law;  Ancillary relief; Consideration; Property adjustment orders; Transactions at an undervalue
  • Hill v Haines [2007] EWHC 1012 (Ch); [2007] 2 F.L.R. 983; [2007] 2 F.C.R. 513; [2007] B.P.I.R. 727; [2007] Fam. Law 890; [2007] N.P.C. 58; Times, May 14, 2007
  • Foyle v Turner [2007] B.P.I.R. 43 -Subject: Insolvency;  Bankruptcy; Bankrupts; Creditors; Delay; Matrimonial home; Peaceful enjoyment of possessions; Possession orders; Right to fair trial; Right to respect for private and family life
  • Re Bunting Electric Manufacturing Co Ltd [2005] EWHC 3345 (Ch); [2006] 1 B.C.L.C. 550 – Subject: Company law; Directors; Dishonesty; Disqualification orders; Intention; Professionals; Statutory declarations
  • Ram v Ram (No.1) [2004] EWCA Civ 1452; [2005] 2 B.C.L.C. 476; [2005] 2 F.L.R. 63; [2004] 3 F.C.R. 425; [2005] B.P.I.R. 616; [2005] Fam. Law 274; (2004) 148 S.J.L.B. 1317 – Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Subject: Insolvency; Family law; Human rights; Bankruptcy; Divorce; Financial provision; Protection of property; Transactions at an undervalue
  • GPN Ltd (In Receivership) v O2 (UK) Ltd [2004] EWHC 2494 (TCC); [2005] C.I.L.L. 2285 – Subject: Contracts; Agency;  Agents’ powers and duties; Agreements; Apparent authority; Quantity surveyors; Striking out; Summary judgments
  • Sere Holdings Ltd v Volkswagen Group UK Ltd [2004] EWHC 1551 (Ch) – Subject: Civil procedure; Contracts
  • Gough v Chief Constable of the West Midlands [2004] EWCA Civ 206; [2004] Po. L.R. 164; (2004) 148 S.J.L.B. 298; Times, March 4, 2004 – Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Subject: Torts; Evidence; Police; Delivery up; Ownership; Police powers and duties; Public policy; Retention; Wrongful interference with goods
  • Hirani v Rendle [2003] EWHC 2538 (Ch); [2004] B.P.I.R. 274 – Subject: Insolvency; Trusts;  Annulment; Assessment; Bankruptcy orders; Costs; Fees; Trustees in bankruptcy
  • Morrison v Chief Constable of the West Midlands [2003] EWCA Civ 271; [2003] Po. L.R. 93; Independent, February 28, 2003 – Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Subject: Civil procedure; civil Jury directions; Time; Verdicts
  • Wheatley v Wheatley [1999] 2 F.L.R. 205; [1999] B.P.I.R. 431; [1999] Fam. Law 375 -Subject: Insolvency;  Bankruptcy orders; Consent orders; Lump sum payments; Trustees in bankruptcy

Qualifications and Memberships:

  • B.A. LL.M (Cantab) 1998 Assistant Recorder 2000 Recorder 2003 Silk

Memberships:

  • Chancery Bar Association Commercial Bar Association Midland Chancery and Commercial Bar
  • Association Dubai International Financial Centre

My Expertise