Andrew Sutcliffe KC

Andrew Sutcliffe KC

Call: 1983 | Silk: 2001

"Andrew is technically brilliant, incisive and tactually astute and his presentation of legal arguments is compelling. He is also delightful to work with and has a very inclusive approach."

- Chambers & Partners UK Bar (2024)

"A good all-rounder. Andrew can be a very forceful advocate when appropriate; he fights the client's corner."

- Chambers & Partners UK Bar (2024)

'Andrew has a gravitas that means he can be put in front of a board of directors and immediately command their respect. His work as a Deputy High Court Judge gives him a perspective that others lack."

- Legal 500 UK Bar (2024)

Andrew is incredibly bright, hard-working, completely unflappable and a delight to have on the team. He has a unique charm when on his feet and presents his cases with charisma, clarity and eloquence.

- Legal 500 UK Bar (2024)

'An outstanding advocate and adviser, who has an excellent courtroom manner, always keeping the court’s undivided attention, knowing just how to pitch a case perfectly.'

- Legal 500 UK Bar (2024)

Practice Overview

"Andrew is technically brilliant, incisive and tactually astute and his presentation of legal arguments is compelling. He is also delightful to work with and has a very inclusive approach." - Chambers & Partners, 2024

"Andrew has a gravitas that means he can be put in front of a board of directors and immediately command their respect. His work as a Deputy High Court Judge gives him a perspective that others lack. His advocacy is of the highest order and the fact that he is also a warm and kind person makes him very easy to work with." - Legal 500, 2024

Andrew Sutcliffe KC is an experienced litigator with a broad commercial practice, ‘commended for the quality of his work and the tenacity he shows when handling it’. He is ‘technically excellent but his particular strength lies in the courtroom. His style is clearly welcomed by judges and his cross-examination technique is both incisive and thorough’. Andrew is praised for his ‘excellent advocacy, dedication and support – a real team player’. His distinctive style separates him from the pack and he is considered ‘ruthlessly effective in battle’ by those who have seen him in action. He may be ‘absolutely charming’ but he is ‘more than capable of putting the boot in when necessary’. He has an extensive banking practice, acting both for and against financial institutions, is ‘one of the best around’ when it comes to commercial fraud and has acted in many of the leading entertainment disputes over the years.

Andrew has consistently been nominated as a leading silk in banking and finance by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500, having regularly acted and advised in domestic and international banking and financial services disputes involving all aspects of taking and enforcement of credit and security, matters involving conversion claims, prime bank instrument fraud, guarantees, bills of exchange, letters of credit, bonds and derivatives. He deals with banker-customer and inter-bank disputes, and many of his cases are concerned with the consequences of fraud. He also has particular expertise in the payment processing industry, having represented Barclaycard at trial in two leading cases in this field and advised card issuers and PSPs on a wide range of legal and risk issues.

‘Andrew Sutcliffe QC … is one of the ‘go-to’ QCs for banking litigation matters… Andrew has notable experience of handling interest rate swaps mis-selling claims, he is praised for his client-handling skills and his ability to take on large, complex cases.’ Chambers & Partners 2014

Notable cases and recent work include:

Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary v Morgan Stanley: acted for >130 noteholders under an ISDA swap  in Commercial Court proceedings against Morgan Stanley with claims of over $20m based on delay in termination for downgrade.

Barclays Bank v Charalambous v Healys LLP: acting for borrower in complex three way dispute with bank and solicitor over substantial commercial property transaction.

Adcock & Sons Ltd v Barclays Bank Plc: acted for Barclays Bank in high profile piece of swap litigation.

Timeshare Claimants v Clydesdale Financial Services: acting for > 200 timeshare clients in group litigation against bank brought under consumer credit legislation, claiming fraudulent misrepresentation by timeshare owners.

MD Mezzanine SA, Sicar  (2) ECAS S.à.r.l. -v- Stabilus GmbH  – appointed expert witness in English Law in German proceedings. Instructed on behalf of mezzanine lenders to express views on legality of restructuring of inter-creditor agreement entered into by trustee without mezzanine agreement

Mortgage Express v Griffith Smith – acted for claimant on preliminary issue concerenign alleged compromise of £30m claim for mortgage fraud

Lancore Services Ltd v Barclays Bank plc [2009] 2 CLC 306; [2009] EWCA Civ 752 – acted for successful defendant in withholding credit card payments made under merchant services agreement as merchants had processed illegal transactions on third party’s behalf

Andrew is recognised as a leading silk in commercial fraud by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500.    He has extensive experience of fraud and asset tracing work (domestic and international) including obtaining urgent interim relief – in particular without notice freezing injunctions and search orders – and other asset tracing remedies.

A good proportion of Andrew’s fraud practice is focussed on handling asset recovery claims on behalf of the National Crime Agency. He has also advised the Serious Fraud Office in cases involving proceeds of crime and advises professionals and institutions in relation to their POCA duties.

“We take a very collaborative approach and [Andrew] works incredibly well as part of the team.” “Clear thinking, wise and approachable”.Chambers & Partners 2015

Notable cases and recent work include:

Acting for National Crime Agency in securing search and seizure warrants, property freezing orders, and civil recovery orders and advising on wide variety of civil recovery related issues, including:

National Crime Agency v Shane Davies & others – acting for NCA in large civil recovery claim involving multi-jurisdictional issues, securing property freezing orders and disclosure orders

National Crime Agency v Amir Azam & others [2014] EWHC 2722 – acted for SOCA in substantial claim under proceeds of crime legislation involving multi-jurisdictional issues. Hearings in 2012 & 2013 resisting D’s attempts to set aside property freezing order & disclosure order. Successful trial in 2014

Serious Organised Crime Agency v O’Docherty & others [2013] EWCA Civ 518 – acting for SOCA in substantial claim under proceeds of crime legislation. Judgment at trial in SOCA’s favour. Appeal to CA dismissed.

Andrew has extensive experience of heavyweight commercial disputes, in the Commercial Court, Chancery Division and in arbitrations. Chambers & Partners (2014) comment:“A specialist in commercial litigation and arbitration, Sutcliffe is commended by market observers for the quality of his work and the tenacity he shows when handling it”. He is recognised as a leading silk in Chambers & Partners 2015 and Legal 500 2015.

Notable and recent cases in which Andrew is and has been instructed include:

Actial Farmaceutica Lda v Professor de Simone – acting for defendant in dispute over rights to probiotic medicine, involving issues as to correct jurisdiction for claim and whether interim injunctive relief justified.

Ryanair Ltd v Hertz Europe Ltd – acting for defendant in dispute over whether exclusive supplier agreement validly terminated.

Acting for former shareholders of an advertising agency in claim for deferred consideration arising out of a share sale and purchase agreement.

Acting for Turkish distributor in two related Commercial court actions involving the operation and termination of a distributorship agreement.

Russell Dover v British Airways (UK) Plc – expert witness in English law in New York proceedings; instructed by members of BA’s executive club to assist New York court in determining whether BA has breached the terms of its Executive Club Contract by the manner in which it charged fuel surcharge

Challinor v Juliet Bellis & Co [2013] EWHC 3467 & 629 (Ch); [2015] EWCA Civ 59. Represented claimant investors in a Guernsey unregulated collective investment scheme, arguing that investment monies were held on Quistclose trust. Succeeded after four week trial but overturned on appeal.

Mann Aviation Group (Engineering) Group Ltd v Longmint Aviation Ltd [2011] EWHC 2238. Acting for successful claimants in establishing entitlement to implied periodic tenancy in respect of occupation of commercial airport premises

Andrew is instructed by hardware and software suppliers or their customers in IT disputes, often concerning large scale cancelled hardware and software projects.

Advising UK software developer on issues arising from exclusive distribution and licence agreement in context of potential takeover.

Advised Government department in 2006-7 on wide range of complex contractual and strategic issues arising from substantial, multi-faceted IT project.

Insolvency work combines with other specialist fields of Andrew’s practice. He acts for and against liquidators, administrative receivers and trustees in bankruptcy in cases involving insolvency and corporate restructuring.

Notable cases and current instructions include

Acting for the liquidators of a renewable energy company in a high value claim against former directors for breaches of fiduciary duty and misfeasance

Hammonds v Pro-Fit USA Ltd: acting for company in resisting application for administration order by its former solicitors whose debt was disputed.

Fraser v Oystertec Plc & Davidson: acting for claimant in setting aside as null and void agreement by which company was deprived of valuable patent on its insolvency.

Dexter Ltd v Vlieland Boddy: successful claim against former director for dishonest assistance in fraudulent scheme and breach of fiduciary duty

Andrew has long been recognised as a leading silk in entertainment law and has appeared in many of the leading cases in this field. He advises publishing companies, record labels and collecting agencies on a range of copyright and contractual issues. His cases typically involve copyright and related rights, and contractual disputes in the music, film/TV, theatre and new media industries. His work also involves claims for injunctive relief to restrain breach of confidence and passing off. His recent work includes

  • Advising collecting agency on implications of Revised Term Directive
  • Acting for claimant in film finance proceedings claiming breach of contract and fiduciary duty against film studio and company directors
  • Advising leading publishing company on its rights in relation to substantial publishing dispute with high profile author
  • Acting for well known record producer in defending constructive trust claim made by well known artist.
  • Acting for claimant in copyright and contract music publishing dispute involving claim for derivative relief.
  • Advising music publisher in relation to its rights to songs of well known band.
  • Acting for third party internet service provider on issues arising from grant of injunction.
  • Acting for claimant in copyright infringement claim against well known band.
  • Advising internet registry on issues arising in relation to use of registry’s data and confidential information.

Andrew is ranked as a Leading Silk in Media and Entertainment in Chambers & Partners (2015), described as “extremely bright, highly commercial and good with clients’.

Andrew’s decided cases include:

Allen v Bloomsbury Publishing Plc [2010] EWHC 2560 (Ch) – instructed for defendant publisher in resisting alleged copyright infringement claim relating to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Fisher v Brooker [2007] EMLR 9 – claim concerning authorship of the hit A Whiter Shade of Pale

Brighton v Jones [2004] EMLR 26 – acting for playwright in resisting claim for joint authorship claim by director of West End play ‘Stones in His Pockets’

Spice Girls Ltd v Aprilia World Service BV [2002] EWCA Civ 15 – acted for successful defendant in resisting Spice Girls’ claim, leading case on misrepresentation by conduct

Andrew has been an accredited CEDR mediator since 2000 and has acted as mediator in many commercial mediations, involving media and entertainment, IP, breach of contract, insurance, re-insurance, professional negligence and banking law. Recent mediations in which Andrew has been the mediator and achieved a successful resolution include:

  • complex multi-party copyright dispute between session musician, artists, record company and music publisher;
  • constructive trust dispute between bank and corporate customer;
  • copyright/contractual dispute between producer and music publisher;
  • professional negligence case – claim by corporate client against former solicitor.

Andrew is recognised in Legal 500 (2015) as a leading silk in Professional Negligence. He has extensive experience of acting in disputes concerning the liability of professionals, particularly lawyers, accountants and actuaries. He is regularly asked to advise professionals or their clients where a confidentiality or potential conflict issue has arisen. Andrew acts for claimants and defendants in claims against solicitors and barristers, including claims arising from commercial and property transactions, fraudulent investment schemes, lost or mishandled litigation.

Notable cases and recent work include:

Fenwick v PriceWaterhouse Coopers LLP & others – acting for claimant in substantial damages claim for personal injury arising from course of conduct amounting to harassment

Derby Playhouse Ltd v Geldards LLP – acted for defendant solicitors in successful defence of £11m professional negligence claim, obtaining substantial security for costs award which resulted in proceedings being struck out

RPL v McCarthy Tetrault – acted for energy company in multimillion dollar claim against allegedly negligent solicitors responsible for conducting due diligence and verification in connection with company’s listing on ASIM. Claim settled in October 2014

Acting for IP company in claim against former solicitors concerning mishandling of cross-border litigation against licensee

Fredic Ltd v Lipkin Gorman (2007): successfully resisted security for costs application brought by former solicitors; case settled.

Feakins v Burstows [2006] PNLR 6 acting for successful claimant in claim against former solicitors relating to mishandling of long running litigation against Government department.

Precis (521) plc v William M Mercer Ltd (CA) [2005] PNLR 28: post-acquisition negligence action against target company’s actuaries.

Sab v Jones Day Reavis & Pogue [2002] EWHC 2616 (Ch): acting for successful claimant in conflict of interest, breach of fiduciary duty claim against solicitors.

French (working knowledge)

Winner: UK Bar Awards 2023
The Lawyer Awards 2022: Chambers of the Year