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Hamish Fraser

Call 2021

Commercial

Commercial

Hamish welcomes instructions across a broad range of commercial disputes. Examples of Hamish’s work include:

Civil Fraud

  • Groen & Ors v Heath [2024] EWHC 1654 (Ch): representing the claimant group of angel investors in a complex, investment-related civil fraud claim. Following a 13-day trial, it was successfully proved that the claimants had been induced by a number of fraudulent misrepresentations to invest in a tech start-up promising innovative marketing software.
  • Drafting the defence and advising in respect of an international fraud claim against a banker alleged to have misappropriated £170m from his client’s accounts (led by Ben Quiney KC).
  • Sole counsel drafting particulars and advising on a claim for unjust enrichment and restitution in respect of c£0.5m transferred to a consultant under contracts which were alleged to have been procured under duress.
  • Advising on potential causes of actions in company, contract and tort law, including for fraudulent misrepresentation and fraudulent trading, directly against the directors of a well-known construction firm which had unexpectedly entered into liquidation after its directors had made misleading market statements.

General contractual disputes

  • Representing a well-known shoe manufacturing brand to successfully bring a debt claim against a retailer.
  • Advising and drafting particulars of claim to enforce a without prejudice settlement agreement made in relation to a defamation claim.
  • Representing a fertility clinic against a contractual claim brought by a staffing agency alleging they had employed a nurse directly in order to avoid contractual fees.
  • Successfully representing a firm of estate agents against a contractual claim that they had failed to repay a commitment fee to a prospective tenant.
  • Preparing an advice on the contractual interpretation of a major infrastructure contract awarded by the City of Westminster council in relation to a dispute over the value of work completed (as a pupil)
  • Drafting the defence in a contractual claim relating to the installation of a security system which failed during a criminal heist, allowing circa £1m of stock to be stolen (as a pupil)

Share purchase agreements/warranty and indemnity claims

  • Finsbury Food Group Plc v Axis Corporate Capital UK Ltd [2023] EWHC 1559 (Comm). Commercial Court trial representing the successful defendant W&I insurers who underwrote the £20m acquisition of a food manufacturing business. The buyer of the business claimed under the W&I policy on the basis of alleged breaches of a number of warranties under the share purchase agreement. The defendant insurers succeeded on every issue after a two-week trial (led by Daniel Shapiro KC).
  • Instructed to advise Insurers in respect of a breach of warranty claim brought by a private equity company after the acquisition of a leading professional training company.
  • Advice in relation to an alleged breach of a share purchase agreement in relation to a private equity backed acquisition of a pharmaceutical company. Valued at supra £10 million (as a pupil)

Sale of goods

  • Preparing defence and advice in a sale of goods dispute concerning allegedly defective steel rolls which were manufactured in Germany, including advising on difficult jurisdictional issues (as a pupil).
  • Advice in relation to an £2m sale of goods claim by the purchasers of allegedly defective articulated trailer movers after an operator was killed by a crushing injury (as a pupil).

Company and Insolvency

  • Representing a holiday park company in an insolvency dispute resisting an application by creditors to place the company into administration.
  • Advising on potential causes of actions in company, contract and tort law directly against the directors of a well-known construction firm which had unexpectedly entered into liquidation after its directors had made misleading market statements.
  • Advisory work pertaining to the presentation of a winding up petition by a creditor to a construction firm.

Professional services

  • Representing a firm of solicitors retained in relation to the acquisition of £6.5m of commercial debt. It was alleged that the solicitors had negligently failed to advise about certain title issues which rendered some of the debt valueless (led by Daniel Shapiro KC).
  • Representing a firm of solicitors alleged to have caused the claimant to lose the opportunity of bringing successful litigation against a well-known delivery company by missing a contractual limitation period. The underlying matter concerned a breach of contract and negligent/fraudulent misrepresentation claim.
  • Preparing a defence on behalf of a firm of solicitors who were alleged to have negligently prepared and advised on an option agreement in relation to commercial property.

Insurance

  • Finsbury Food Group Plc v Axis Corporate Capital UK Ltd [2023] EWHC 1559 (Comm). Commercial Court trial representing the defendant W&I insurers who underwrote a £20m acquisition of a food manufacturing business. The buyer of the business claimed under the W&I policy on the basis of alleged breaches of a number of warranties under the share purchase agreement. The defendant insurers succeeded on every issue after a two-week trial (led by Daniel Shapiro KC).
  • Hamsard One Thousand and Forty-Three Ltd v AE Insurance Brokers Ltd [2024] EWHC 262 (Comm). Commercial Court trial successfully representing a firm of insurance brokers alleged to have negligently failed to arrange an appropriate scope of cover and to disclose material facts such that the insurer avoided the policy for non-disclosure and misrepresentation (led by Daniel Shapiro KC).
  • Norman Hay plc v Marsh Ltd [2024] EWHC 1039 (Comm). Strike out application concerning the correct test for causation in professional negligence claims brought against insurance brokers. Appeal outstanding (led by Daniel Shapiro KC).
  • Drafting particulars in relation to a coverage dispute after insurers declined to provide an indemnity for fire damage at a commercial premises due to an alleged breach of occupancy conditions.
  • Successfully striking out a claim brought against an insurance company for a failure to provide cover to a taxi driver which he alleged had caused him £100k of losses.
  • Drafting skeleton argument and assisting preparations for the Court of Appeal proceedings in Spire Healthcare Ltd v Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Ltd [2022] EWCA Civ 17. The matter concerned the interpretation of aggregation clauses in insurance contracts and arose from multiple claims brought against a private hospital by patients injured by the disgraced breast surgeon, Ian Paterson (as a pupil).

Selected Cases

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Qualifications


  • BPTC (Outstanding), BPP
  • GDL (Distinction), City University
  • English Language & Literature (First Class), University of Oxford,

Awards

  • Buchanan Prize for outstanding performance on the BPTC (Lincoln’s Inn, 2020)
  • Advocacy Scholarship (BPP, 2019)
  • Tancred Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn, 2019)
  • Winner, the Crowther Shield for public speaking (Lincoln’s Inn, 2019)
  • Winner, the Crown Office Mooting Competition (2018)
  • The Janet Quigley Prize for Middle English studies (Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, 2016)

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