Ian Wilson KC

Ian Wilson KC

Call: 1995 | Silk: 2018

"I trust him more than anyone to give me the right advice in the right manner for clients to absorb."

- Chambers & Partners UK Bar (2024)

"A really impressive operator – a pleasure to work with, really knowledgeable and has a great court presence."

- Chambers & Partners UK Bar (2024)

"A very bright, calm and accomplished advocate."

- Chambers & Partners UK Bar (2024)

‘Ian is a class act. He presents clearly and commercially to clients, who take great confidence from his counsel. An excellent advocate for banking appeals.’

- Legal 500 UK Bar (2024)

Practice Overview

Ian Wilson KC is an experienced commercial litigator, specialising in banking and finance (including consumer credit), financial services and regulation, commercial fraud, insolvency and restructuring and general commercial litigation and arbitration. He has a strong reputation as a trial advocate and cross-examiner, as well as for his advisory work. He acts principally for banks, insurance companies, financial institutions and insolvency practitioners and has wide experience of financial mis-selling claims, group litigation and cases involving international fraud. He has appeared in a number of leading cases, including Paragon Finance v Plevin in the Supreme Court. As well as practicing in this jurisdiction, Ian has also been called to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the Eastern Caribbean (BVI).

Ian is consistently rated in the directories as being a leading silk in his core fields of practice: Banking and Finance, Financial Services, and Insolvency and Restructuring. The directories describe Ian in the following terms:

  • “Ian is a class act. He presents clearly and commercially to clients, who take great confidence from his counsel. An excellent advocate” (Legal 500 2024).
  • “Quite simply a superb advocate, watching him in court is a real privilege” (Legal 500 2022).
  • “An excellent technical lawyer and an impressive advocate as well as being exceptionally adept at managing clients” (Legal 500 2022).
  • "He is very clever and extremely user friendly. He is happy to roll his sleeves up and get into the trenches in terms of taking forward claims” (Chambers & Partners 2022).
  • "Unflappable, with the ability and experience to cut to the chase in complex scenarios. He inspires confidence both on paper and on his feet” (Chambers & Partners 2022).
  • "Super client-friendly and an incredibly capable advocate for complex and challenging matters… one of the most collaborative QCs to work with and provides very pragmatic, sensible advice" (Chambers & Partners 2020).
  • “Superb in terms of his technical written ability and oral performance at hearings. He also has a great rapport with clients. … A go-to for anything involving banking or financial services, he writes great skeleton arguments that grab the reader by the throat in the first paragraph. He’s a very measured advocate and clients really like him as he’s very responsible and sensible” (Chambers & Partners 2019).

Ian is general co-editor of Paget’s Law of Banking (16th edition, 2023).

Beyond his legal practice, Ian is a pianist and organist (playing to a professional standard), and an Associate of the Royal College of Music.

Ian regularly acts for banks and financial institutions, and has extensive experience of banking litigation, including investment management, securities, swaps and other structured financial products. He is consistently ranked as a leading practitioner in Banking & Finance and Financial Services.

Ian has considerable experience in representing banks in mis-selling claims, fraud trials, payment protection insurance, unfair relationship claims, and multi-jurisdictional disputes. He is also known for his expertise and experience in consumer credit and regulatory matters. Ian acted in the Paragon Finance v Plevin litigation (concerning PPI and section 140A of the Consumer Credit Act 1974) before Supreme Court, and has been involved in a substantial number of large scale financial cases.

Ian is general co-editor of Paget’s Law of Banking (16th edition, 2023).

Recent instructions include:

  • Acting in the Farol v Clydedsale litigation, one of the largest banking cases of 2023, involving challenges to break cost payments under fixed rate loans.
  • Acting for lenders in the ongoing credit broker commission claims.
  • Acting for various Lebanese banks in defending claims by customers seeking the international transfer of funds in claims arising out of the Lebanese banking crisis
  • Acting for banks in numerous swaps/derivatives mis-selling claims.
  • Advising lenders and platform-providers in relation to legal and regulatory aspects of crowd- funding and peer-to-peer lending.
  • Acting in large-scale proceedings between insurers, retailers and other intermediaries in relation to the recoupment of PPI redress payments.

Notable cases include:

Farol Holdings Ltd v Clydesdale Bank Plc & National Australia Bank Ltd [2024] EWHC 593 (Ch); [2024] EWHC 1044 (Ch). Acting for Clydesdale in one of the largest banking cases of 2023. In claims presented as test cases, claimants challenged the Bank’s entitlement to charge break costs on the early termination of fixed rate loans. After a 3-month trial in October-December 2023, judgment was handed down in March 2024 dismissing all of the claims. Instructed by DLA Piper LLP.

Hopcraft v Close Brothers Ltd (2024, ongoing). Acting for Close Brothers Ltd in the forthcoming Court of Appeal test case of motor dealer broker commission claims. Instructed by Walker Morris LLP.

Cohen v Nationwide Building Society (2024, ongoing). Acting for Nationwide in an ongoing s.140A ‘unfair relationship’ claim in relation to a £35m fixed rate loan. Instructed by TLT LLP.

Harrington & Charles Trading Co Ltd & Ors v Metha & Ors [2022] EWHC 2960 (Ch); [2023] EWHC 307 (Ch); [2023] EWHC 998 (Ch); [2023] EWHC 2420 (Ch). Acting for the joint liquidators of English companies in ongoing claims arising out of a $1billion alleged international fraud involving complex network of payments routed via offshore banks and other entities. Instructed by Hogan Lovells.

889 Trading Ltd v Clydesdale Bank Plc [2023] EWHC 215 (Ch). Acting for Clydesdale in successfully striking out various proceedings in which claims of fraud had been advanced in the context of historic property valuations associated with commercial loans. Instructed by DLA Piper LLP.

Lynch v Aldermore Bank [2022] EWHC 3050 (Ch). Acting for Aldermore Bank in its successful appeal against the decision of Chief ICC Judge Briggs to overturn a trustee in bankruptcy’s admission of a proof of debt based on a bank guarantee. Instructed by Pinsent Masons.

Manoukian v Societe Generale de Banque au Liban SAL [2022] EWHC 669 (QB). Acting for a Lebanese Bank in claims arising out of deposits in Lebanon during the financial crisis. One of The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2022. Instructed by Dechert.

Glare v Clydesdale Bank Plc [2022] EWHC 3488 (Ch). Acting for Clydesdale in successfully striking out various proceedings arising out of the charging of break costs upon the early termination of fixed rate loans. Instructed by DLA Piper LLP.

Tillman v Lloyds Bank & Better Capital (Commercial Court, 2021). Defending Lloyds in a £150m claim by the former owner of the high street chain, Jaeger, involving allegations of conspiracy, deceit and breach of confidence arising from the circumstances of its administration. Instructed by DLA Piper LLP.

Ward v Clydesdale Bank Plc [2021] EWHC 1942 (Comm). Acting for Clydesdale Bank in a £50m claim concerning the claimant partnership’s property business and their entry into swaps and tailored business loan products. Instructed by DLA Piper LLP.

Khalifeh v Blom Bank SAL [2021] EWHC 1502 (QB). Acting for a Lebanese Bank in proceedings concerning substantial US$ deposits in Lebanon and involving an application for an anti-suit injunction, and in successfully defending the claims at trial. Instructed by Dechert.

Chudley v Clydesdale Bank plc [2019] 3 WLR 661; [2019] 2 All ER (Comm) 293. Acting for the bank in the Court of Appeal case which is now the leading authority on section 1 of the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999. Instructed by Addleshaw Goddard LLP.

Cunningham v Ellis & Bank of Scotland Plc [2018] EWHC 3188 (Comm). Acting for the Bank of Scotland in a large-scale Commercial Court fraud/conspiracy claim that was successfully struck out on grounds of limitation and reflective loss. Instructed by DLA Piper LLP.

Clydesdale Bank plc v Stoke Place Ltd [2017] EWHC 181 (Ch). Acted for Clydesdale in 3-week trial involving a successful fraud claim by the bank against a company director and former bank official involving allegations of deceit and conspiracy. Judgment obtained for £17m. Instructed by Gateley PLC.

Finch v Lloyds TSB Bank plc [2017] BCLC 34. Acted for Lloyds in successfully defending the first fixed interest rate loan mis-selling claim to come to trial in England. Instructed by TLT LLP.

Financial Services Compensation Scheme v FirstPlus Financial Group & others (2016 – 2018). Acted for Paragon Finance in a group claim by the FSCS and others for recovery of compensation payments made to PPI customers. Instructed by Harrison Clark Rickerbys.

Plevin v Paragon Finance [2014] UKSC 61. Acted for Paragon in the leading Supreme Court decision on payment protection insurance and section 140A of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. Instructed by Irwin Mitchell.

Rahman v HSBC Bank plc [2012] EWHC 11 (Ch); [2012] All ER (D) 131. Acted for HSBC in a two-week trial of a £15.5m claim for recovery of commercial loans involving issues under section 140A Consumer Credit Act 1974. Instructed by DLA Piper LLP.

Swotbooks Ltd v Royal Bank of Scotland plc [2011] EWHC 2025 (QB). Issue of whether the documents presented under a UPC500 letter of credit were discrepant.

Black Horse v Speak [2010] EWHC 1866 (QB). A leading case on payment protection insurance and related issues under the Consumer Credit (Total Charge for Credit) Regulations 1980.

Paragon Finance plc v. Pender [2005] 1 WLR 3412. Acted for Paragon in this leading Court of Appeal decision on the effects of mortgage securitisation, discretionary interest rates and extortionate credit bargains.

Ian has been involved in numerous large-scale commercial dispute and fraud cases. He has considerable expertise in fraud recovery actions, asset tracing, injunctive relief, contempt of court and multi-jurisdictional proceedings.

Recent instructions include:

  • Acting for the joint liquidators in the Harrington v Mehta litigation, involving an alleged $1billion fraud.
  • Acting in one of the largest bankruptcy proceedings currently in the UK, involving a former owner of various Russian banks.
  • Acting in a $1billion multi-jurisdictional claim involving an alleged ‘corporate raid’ on a corporate structure owning strategic assets in Russia. This involved, amongst other claims, liquidation proceedings in the BVI and international arbitration proceedings in London.
  • Acting for the English shipbrokers, Clarksons, in the Fiona Trust v Privalov

Notable cases include:

Harrington & Charles Trading Co Ltd & Ors v Metha & Ors [2022] EWHC 2960 (Ch); [2023] EWHC 307 (Ch); [2023] EWHC 998 (Ch); [2023] EWHC 2420 (Ch). Acting for the joint liquidators of English companies in ongoing claims arising out of a $1billion alleged international fraud involving complex multi-jurisdictional network of payments. Instructed by Hogan Lovells.

Manoukian v Societe Generale de Banque au Liban SAL [2022] EWHC 669 (QB). Acting for a Lebanese Bank in claims arising out of deposits in Lebanon during the financial crisis. One of The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2022. Instructed by Dechert.

Halimeda International Ltd v Sian Participation Corp (2021). Acting in liquidation proceedings in the BVI (concerning a US$221million debt) and in an English arbitration in a complex multi-jurisdictional dispute ultimately concerned with the ownership and control of a major logistics company owning, amongst other things, the port of Vladivostok. Instructed by DLA Piper LLP.

Khalifeh v Blom Bank SAL [2021] EWHC 1502 (QB). Acting for a Lebanese Bank in defending an application for an anti-suit injunction to prevent parallel proceedings in Lebanon, and in successfully defending the claims at trial. Instructed by Dechert.

Chudley v Clydesdale Bank [2019] 3 WLR 661; [2019] 2 All ER (Comm) 293 (Court of Appeal). Acted for the bank in a fraud claim against it by an investor in failed investment scheme. Instructed by Addleshaw Goddard LLP.

​Clydesdale Bank v Stoke Place Ltd [2017] EWHC 181 (Ch). Acted for the bank in 3-week trial involving a successful fraud claim against a company director and former bank official involving allegations of deceit and conspiracy. Judgment obtained for £17m. Instructed by Gateley LLP.

Tempo & Maxima v Fortuna (2011-2014). Litigation in Cayman and the BVI concerning a $500m development in Vietnam; the case involved claims by minority shareholders for breach of a shareholders’ agreement, and various company law claims as to the validity of key corporate resolutions. Led by Stephen Phillips QC and Richard Salter QC. Instructed by Maples & Calder in Cayman, and Watson, Farley & Williams in Hong Kong.

Fiona Trust & Holding Corp v Privalov & ots [2010] EWHC 3199; [2011] All ER (D) 73 (Andrew Smith J). [2010] EWHC 3199; [2011] All ER (D) 73. Very substantial Commercial Court litigation involving conspiracy and fraud claims against shipping brokers and others for the recovery of commission payments. Ian acted for the UK’s largest shipbrokers, Clarksons. Instructed by CMS Cameron McKenna in a 9-month trial.

Ian is highly experienced in a broad range of contractual and commercial disputes, with particular expertise in fraud litigation, arbitration, asset tracing and recovery actions, injunctive relief, contempt of court and multi-jurisdictional proceedings.

Notable cases include:

Harrington & Charles Trading Co Ltd & Ors v Metha & Ors [2022] EWHC 2960 (Ch); [2023] EWHC 307 (Ch); [2023] EWHC 998 (Ch); [2023] EWHC 2420 (Ch). Acting for the joint liquidators of English companies in ongoing claims arising out of a $1billion alleged international fraud involving complex multi-jurisdictional network of payments. Instructed by Hogan Lovells.

Manoukian v Societe Generale de Banque au Liban SAL [2022] EWHC 669 (QB). Acting for a Lebanese Bank in claims arising out of deposits in Lebanon during the financial crisis. One of The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2022. Instructed by Dechert.

Halimeda International Ltd v Sian Participation Corp (2021). Acting in liquidation proceedings in the BVI (concerning a US$221million debt) and in an English arbitration in a complex multi-jurisdictional dispute ultimately concerned with the ownership and control of a major logistics company owning, amongst other things, the port of Vladivostok. Instructed by DLA Piper LLP.

Khalifeh v Blom Bank SAL [2021] EWHC 1502 (QB). Acting for a Lebanese Bank in defending an application for an anti-suit injunction to prevent parallel proceedings in Lebanon, and in successfully defending the claims at trial. Instructed by Dechert.

Chudley v Clydesdale Bank [2019] 3 WLR 661; [2019] 2 All ER (Comm) 293 (Court of Appeal). Acted for the bank in a fraud claim against it by an investor in failed investment scheme. Instructed by Addleshaw Goddard LLP.

​Clydesdale Bank v Stoke Place Ltd [2017] EWHC 181 (Ch). Acted for the bank in 3-week trial involving a successful fraud claim against a company director and former bank official involving allegations of deceit and conspiracy. Judgment obtained for £17m. Instructed by Gateley LLP.

Tempo & Maxima v Fortuna (2011-2014). Litigation in Cayman and the BVI concerning a $500m development in Vietnam; the case involved claims by minority shareholders for breach of a shareholders’ agreement, and various company law claims as to the validity of key corporate resolutions. Led by Stephen Phillips QC and Richard Salter QC. Instructed by Maples & Calder in Cayman, and Watson, Farley & Williams in Hong Kong.

Renpower Investments Ltd v Larkfleet Ltd [2013] EWHC 800 (QB) 2012-3) – Commercial dispute in relation to a sale and purchase agreement involving the transfer of a solar farm subject to accreditation under the Feed-In-Tariff Regulations.

Fiona Trust & Holding Corp v Privalov & ots [2010] EWHC 3199; [2011] All ER (D) 73 (Andrew Smith J). [2010] EWHC 3199; [2011] All ER (D) 73. Very substantial Commercial Court litigation involving conspiracy and fraud claims against shipping brokers and others for the recovery of commission payments. Ian acted for the UK’s largest shipbrokers, Clarksons. Instructed by CMS Cameron McKenna in a 9-month trial.

Re Highfield Distribution (2008-2014) – High Court litigation against a former company director for misappropriation and wrongfully continuing to trade post-winding up. Acted successfully for the liquidators (Grant Thornton) in section 212 misfeasance proceeding, and in obtaining various enforcement orders.

UK Aid Ltd v Mitchell & ots [2007] EWHC 1052 (Ch) – Acting for KPMG liquidators in claims against directors for misappropriation and diversion of company assets. Successfully obtained summary judgment (David Richards J) and committal of one of the company’s directors. The case also involved asset tracing and freezing orders across multiple jurisdictions including Spain, Switzerland, Andorra, Gibraltar, the BVI and the Bahamas. Instructed by Addleshaw Goddard.

HSBC v 5th Avenue Partners Ltd, Michael Brown & ots (2006) – Acting for investors in a very substantial claim brought by HSBC in respect of the fraudulent misappropriation of the investors’ funds. Instructed by Goodman Derrick.

Ian has acted in various energy disputes, particularly in the context of alternative and renewable energy sources.

Notable cases include:

Renpower Investments Ltd v Larkfleet Ltd [2013] EWHC 800 (QB). Instructed on the appeal in litigation relating to a sale and purchase agreement involving the transfer of a solar farm subject to OFGEM accreditation under the Feed-In- Tarrifs (Specified Maximum Capacity and Functions) Order 2010.

Enviro Resolutions v Peterborough Renewable Energy Ltd (2012) – Claim concerning the development of a “waste-to-energy” power plant.

Ian has also advised on various energy disputes, including for example a dispute concerning a sale and purchase agreement for the acquisition of a company established for the purposes of obtaining OFGEM accreditation for renewable energy production.

Ian is consistently ranked as a leading silk in the field of Insolvency & Restructuring. He is regularly instructed by liquidators, administrators, trustees and receivers in relation to a range of insolvency matters. He has considerable experience in claims against former directors and others for wrongful trading, preferences, transactions at an undervalue, and misfeasance, as well as in relation to the failure of a complex tax avoidance scheme. Many of his cases involve aspects of fraud.

He has particular experience in asset recovery actions in the insolvency context, claims by successor practitioners against former insolvency office holders, and in claims involving insolvency practitioner bonds (being one of the few members of the Bar with extensive experience in this area). He has also recently acted in one of the leading cases concerning corporate capital reductions using the “declaration of solvency” procedure under the Companies Act 2006.

Recent instructions include:

  • Acting for the joint liquidators in the Harrington v Mehta litigation, involving an alleged $1billion fraud.
  • Acting in one of the largest bankruptcy proceedings currently in the UK, involving a former owner of various Russian banks.
  • Acting for liquidators in a misfeasance/breach of fiduciary duty claim against former administrators in relation to a pre-pack administration.
  • Acting for directors facing various Insolvency Act claims (sections 212, 238 and 423) following a complex corporate restructuring.
  • Acting for successor liquidators in a dispute with the ICAEW in relation to late notification under insolvency bonds.
  • Acting for liquidators in a misfeasance/breach of duty claim against a former director in relation to an illegal dividend and insufficient provision for a statement of solvency in the context of a corporate restructuring.

Notable cases include:

Harrington & Charles Trading Co Ltd & Ors v Metha & Ors [2022] EWHC 2960 (Ch); [2023] EWHC 307 (Ch); [2023] EWHC 998 (Ch); [2023] EWHC 2420 (Ch). Acting for the joint liquidators of English companies in ongoing claims arising out of a $1billion alleged international fraud involving complex network of payments routed via offshore banks and other entities. Instructed by Hogan Lovells.

Lynch v Aldermore Bank [2022] EWHC 3050 (Ch). Acting for Aldermore Bank in its successful appeal against the decision of Chief ICC Judge Briggs to overturn a trustee in bankruptcy’s admission of a proof of debt based on a bank guarantee. Instructed by Pinsent Masons.

Tillman v Lloyds Bank & Better Capital (Commercial Court, 2021). Defending Lloyds in a £150m claim by the former owner of the high street chain, Jaeger, involving allegations of conspiracy, deceit and breach of confidence arising from the circumstances of its administration. Instructed by DLA Piper LLP.

Chudley v Clydesdale Bank [2019] 3 WLR 661; [2019] 2 All ER (Comm) 293 (Court of Appeal). Acted in a fraud claim by an investor in the context of an investment scheme in liquidation. Instructed by Addleshaw Goddard LLP.

LRH Services Ltd (in liquidation) v Trew and others [2018] EWHC 600 (Ch); [2018] All ER (D) 161 (Mar). Acted for the successful liquidators as case leader in the trial of a claim against the former directors of a company left with onerous lease liabilities following a restructuring involving the reduction of capital using the declaration of solvency procedure under s.643 Companies Act 2006 and the payment of a £21m dividend; the solvency statement and the dividend payment were held to have been invalid and the directors were held to have breached their duties to the company. Instructed by Gateley PLC.

Re FW Mason & Sons Ltd (in creditors’ voluntary liquidation); sub nom Richardson v White [2017] EWHC 1512 (Ch) – Acting for successor liquidators in a misfeasance claim against former liquidators alleged to have been deliberately overcharging the estate. Respondents consented to judgment immediately before trial. Instructed by Enyo Law LLP.

Clydesdale Bank v Stoke Place Ltd (In Administration) [2017] EWHC 181 (Ch). Acted in 3-week trial involving a successful fraud claim against a director of a company in administration involving allegations of deceit and conspiracy. Judgment obtained for £17m. Instructed by Gateley PLC.

Re Highfield Distribution (2008-2014). Acted for the successful liquidators (Grant Thornton) in misfeasance and asset recover proceedings against a former company director in a case involving the misappropriation of assets and wrongful post-winding up trading; the case has involved various injunctions (including freezing injunctions), civil restraint orders, trials for the determination of beneficial interests and numerous appeals.

UK Aid Ltd v Mitchell & ots [2007] EWHC 1052 (Ch). Acting for KPMG liquidators in claims against directors for misappropriation and diversion of company assets. Successfully obtained summary judgment and committal of the one of the company directors (David Richards J). The case also involved asset tracing and freezing orders across multiple jurisdictions including Spain, Switzerland, Andorra, Gibraltar, the BVI and the Bahamas. Led by Stephen Phillips QC. Instructed by Addleshaw Goddard LLP.

Ian is regularly instructed in claims involving financial advisers (including issues of inappropriate portfolio selection and advice), valuers, solicitors (in particular in the context of mortgage and other financial transactions), and other professionals. He has particular experience of the application the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 in the professional negligence context.

Notable instructions include acting for a bank in a claim by a mortgagor alleging negligent valuation and sale, and acting for solicitors in relation to allegations of mortgage fraud. Ian was also recently instructed in a large-scale claim against solicitors involving allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, conflict of interest, and negligence in relation to the conduct of previous proceedings. A further recent case involved a substantial claim against a property developer in relation to a large-scale mortgage fraud.

Ian has litigation experience in the context of disputes in a number of offshore jurisdictions, including The Bahamas, BVI, Cayman, and the Isle of Man. He is called to the Bar of the BVI.

Notable cases include:

Harrington & Charles Trading Co Ltd & Ors v Metha & Ors [2022] EWHC 2960 (Ch); [2023] EWHC 307 (Ch); [2023] EWHC 998 (Ch); [2023] EWHC 2420 (Ch). Acting for the joint liquidators of English companies in ongoing claims arising out of a $1billion alleged international fraud involving complex multi-jurisdictional network of payments. Instructed by Hogan Lovells.

Manoukian v Societe Generale de Banque au Liban SAL [2022] EWHC 669 (QB). Acting for a Lebanese Bank in claims arising out of deposits in Lebanon during the financial crisis. One of The Lawyer’s Top 20 Cases of 2022. Instructed by Dechert.

Halimeda International Ltd v Sian Participation Corp (2021). Acting in liquidation proceedings in the BVI (concerning a US$221million debt) and in an English arbitration in a complex multi-jurisdictional dispute ultimately concerned with the ownership and control of a major logistics company owning, amongst other things, the port of Vladivostok. Instructed by DLA Piper LLP.

Khalifeh v Blom Bank SAL [2021] EWHC 1502 (QB). Acting for a Lebanese Bank in defending an application for an anti-suit injunction to prevent parallel proceedings in Lebanon, and in successfully defending the claims at trial. Instructed by Dechert.

​Tempo & Maxima v Fortuna (2011-2014). Litigation in Cayman and the BVI concerning a $500m development in Vietnam; the case involved claims by minority shareholders for breach of a shareholders’ agreement, and various company law claims as to the validity of key corporate resolutions. Led by Stephen Phillips QC and Richard Salter QC. Instructed by Maples & Calder in Cayman, and Watson, Farley & Williams in Hong Kong.

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