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Maurice Holmes

Call 2015

"Maurice Holmes is a very bright and clear advocate."
(Chambers and Partners, 2023)


Maurice has a practice spanning the full breadth of Chambers’ commercial work. His experience includes matters involving general breaches of contract, the sale and supply of goods and services, bailment, agency disputes, commercial fraud and financial services.

Maurice has previously spent time working for a firm specialising in commercial litigation and international arbitration. He has a keen understanding of the practical demands faced by commercial litigators.

Selected Cases

Maurice’s recent instructions as sole counsel include the following:

  • Banca Intesa v Comune di Venezia [2022] EWHC 2586 (Comm), in a dispute over interest rate swaps with a value of approximately €125 million concerning issues of capacity, private international law and restitution.
  • An ICC arbitration concerning debts allegedly owed under a $3.2 billion multi-party project to expand the Panama Canal. This involved a procedural objection to the scope of the arbitral tribunal’s jurisdiction, concerning the (non-)application of the Fiona Trust Maurice was instructed by Italian solicitors in connection with relevant aspects of the dispute under English law.
  • A Commercial Court claim for approximately £1.2m, concerning the enforcement of a foreign judgment (obtained in the US) at common law. The claim also involved an application for a notification injunction, requiring notice in the event of attempted dissipation of assets within the jurisdiction.
  • A High Court claim concerning an agreement for the sale of goods in Sweden and their transportation to the UK, whereupon they were rejected – allegedly without due justification. This involved an application before Master Yoxall, against leading counsel, to determine the appropriate jurisdiction for the dispute.
  • A High Court claim against multiple foreign companies, incorporated in Turkey, for the recovery of unpaid solicitors’ fees. This included preparation of an application for permission to serve out of the jurisdiction.
  • An LCIA arbitration concerning a multi-million euro claim for monies due pursuant to (and a counterclaim pursuing alleged repudiatory breaches of) a sponsorship agreement.
  • A claim against a pawnbroker over the alleged conversion of Rolex watches, where the claimant alleged that the watches had been stolen prior to their purchase by the pawnbroker. This involved a related appeal concerning the circumstances in which the court will (not) allow an appeal against issues of fact.
  • Gujra v Roath & Anor [2018] EWHC 854 (QB), an appeal concerning the application of the ex turpi causa (illegality) defence after Patel v Mirza [2016] UKSC 42, in the context of alleged conspiracy to defraud insurers.

Maurice has also acted as junior counsel in connection with:

  • Reeves v Drew & Ors [2022] EWHC 159 (Ch), acting for two of the successful defendants in a claim concerning a contested will which the claimant sought to propound, but which was found to have been made without the knowledge and approval of the testator whose estate was valued at an estimated £100m. The trial took place over three weeks with evidence from over fifty witnesses. (Led by Constance McDonnell KC for the Second Defendant, and Clifford Darton KC for the Fourth Defendant.)
  • Brogden & Anor v Investec Bank Plc [2016] EWCA Civ 1031, an appeal concerning the exercise of contractual discretion over claims by investment bankers for monies due under a bonus clause in their employment contracts. (Led by Raymond Cox QC and Daniel Shapiro.)
  • Schluep v Coöperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank B.A. t/a Rabobank International, London Branch [2016] EWHC 1175 (QB), a claim by a former trader for breach of the implied term of mutual trust and confidence following his former bank’s involvement with the LIBOR scandal, which led to his dismissal from a subsequent bank. (Led by Nicholas Randall QC and Andrew Smith.)
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