Brick Court Chambers

Geoffrey Kuehne

Geoffrey Kuehne

YEAR OF CALL: England and Wales: 2012; Western Australia: 2006

"One of the rising stars of the London Bar across both commercial litigation and arbitration."
Legal 500 2018-19
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Geoffrey’s practice covers the full range of commercial litigation and international arbitration.  He is ranked as a leading junior in Commercial Dispute Resolution and Banking & Finance, with the current edition of Legal 500 describing him as “a pleasure to work with, … very bright but also pragmatic and practical”, and “an exceptional talent, with really deep knowledge of finance and particularly derivatives disputes.”  In 2017 Legal 500 listed him as one of the ‘Top Ten Under Eight Years’ Call’ for commercial litigation.

Geoffrey’s recent experience takes in large and high-profile High Court litigation (Rowe v Ingenious Media, Privatbank v Kolomoisky & Ors, and Holyoake v Candy), international arbitration (LCIA and ICC), and acting as sole counsel in High Court trials (Kelly v DSM Demolitions [2020], a 5-day TCC trial;  Angel Group Ltd (in liq.) v Davey [2018] EWHC 1781 (Ch), a 10-day trial; and Europa Plus SCA CIF & Anor v Anthracite Investments (Ireland) Plc [2016] EWHC 437 (Comm)).

Prior to joining chambers in 2012, Geoffrey was a Senior Associate and solicitor-advocate at Herbert Smith Freehills (London office).  His experience at HSF included a year seconded to a major investment bank, and nearly two years as a member of HSF's in-house advocacy unit.  Before relocating to London in 2006 Geoffrey practised as a solicitor in Australia, and before that, was judicial assistant to the Chief Justice of Western Australia.

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  • Banking and finance M
    • Banca Intesa Sanpaolo SpA & Dexia Crediop SpA v Commune di Venezia (Financial List): acting for the claimant banks in proceedings relating to an ISDA Master Agreement (1992 version), and in connection with Venice’s Euro 100 million counter-claim, including successfully resisting strike-out of part of the claim: [2020] EWHC 3150 (Comm).  Led by Jasbir Dhillon QC
    • Lehman Brothers Special Financing Inc. v National Power Corporation and Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp [2018] EWHC 487 (Comm) (Financial List): successfully defending a substantial claim for payment under an ISDA Master Agreement (2002 version), led by Jasbir Dhillon QC
    • Advising the Financial Conduct Authority and Financial Services Compensation Scheme in relation to the collapse of a regulated firm (with Andrew Henshaw QC)
    • Europa Plus SCA CIF and Anthracite Balanced Company (R-26) Ltd v Anthracite Investments (Ireland) Plc [2016] EWHC 437 (Comm), appearing as sole counsel for Anthracite Balanced Company (R-26) in the trial of claims arising out the unwinding of two substantial total return swaps
    • A substantial regulated firm in connection with threatened enforcement action by the FCA
    • Decura Investments LLP & Ors v UBS AG (Commercial Court), defending a claim for declaratory relief arising out of an agreement for the outsourcing of certain investment activities.  The claim has been valued at circa £100 million.
    • Deutsche Bank AG v Sebastian Holdings Inc (Commercial Court), assisting a large counsel team in relation to a multi-billion dollar FX and Equities trading claim

    While a solicitor advocate, Geoffrey regularly advised investment and retail banks, wealth managers, hedge funds and private equity firms in relation to a range of contentious matters, from Commercial Court litigation and arbitration through to contentious regulatory investigations (FSA/FCA, SFO, and US regulatory authorities) and s 166 FSMA “skilled person” reports

  • Commercial M
    • Privatbank v Kolomoisky & Ors: acting for one of the oligarch defendants in a US$2.6 billion claim concerning loans from Ukraine's largest bank, listed for trial in 2022 (led by Mark Howard QC)
    • An ICC arbitration concerning the validity of a notice of material breach under a pharmaceutical licencing agreement (led by Nicholas Saunders QC)
    • Mark Holyoake & Anor v Nicholas and Christian Candy & Ors [2017] EWHC 3397 (Ch), acting for the successful defendants in respect of a £130 million claim in the Chancery Division alleging conspiracy, duress and other causes of action arising out of a property-related loan transaction (led by Tim Lord QC and Thomas Plewman QC)
    • Kelly v DSM Demolitions & Anor: successfully defending a claim to be entitled to certain commission payments at a 5-day trial before the TCC (as sole counsel)
    • Natwest Markets & Anor v Stallion Eight Shipping Co. S.A. (The “M.V. Alkyon”) [2018] EWHC 2033 (Admlty); and [2018] EWCA Civ 2760 (CA): acting for the defendant owners in connection with claims against them under ship financing documents, including an application to release the vessel from arrest (with Tim Lord QC)
    • Atheer Telecom Iraq Limited v Orascom Telecom Iraq Corp Limited (Comm), led by Mark Howard QC, in successfully resisting an unless order seeking the strike-out of the defence to a $60m claim under a tax covenant
    • Jaytee & Anor v BioSythesis Pharma Group Limited: acting for the defendants and counterclaimants in proceedings in the Queen’s Bench Division relating to the development and testing of Cannabidiol products (as sole counsel)
    • An LCIA arbitration concerning a $40 million claim brought in connection with the supply of hydrocarbons to a European refinery (with Daniel Jowell QC)
    • Horizon Globex v Broadband Satellite Services Limited (Comm), acting for the Horizon parties in a dispute arising from the sale of satellite communications business, involving allegations of breach of warranty and fraudulent misrepresentation
    • A London Borough (as sole counsel), in an ad hoc arbitration
    • Khouj v Acropolis Capital Partners Limited & Anor (Commercial Court), acting with Jasbir Dhillon QC in relation to a claim for inspection of documents in connection with a disputed agency agreement
    • The Libyan Investment Authority (Comm), appearing (led by Charles Hollander QC) for one of the applicants in proceedings intended to deal with the consequences of a dispute as to who was entitled to exercise the functions of the LIA, in the context of the upcoming High Court trials of the LIA’s claims against leading investment banks
    • LLB (Penang) SDN BHD v DAR Al-Handasah Consultants (UK) Ltd & Anor (Queen’s Bench), as sole counsel, in a successful Part 8 claim relating to the registration of a foreign judgment under the Administration of Justice Act 1920
  • Civil fraud M
    • Rowe v Ingenious Media: acting for the Ingenious Media defendants in relation to the Chancery Division group litigation arising out of the highly publicised film finance investment schemes (with Tim Lord QC and Simon Birt QC)
    • Privatbank v Kolomoisky & Ors: acting for one of the oligarch defendants in a US$2.6 billion claim concerning loans from Ukraine's largest bank, listed for trial in 2022 (led by Mark Howard QC)
    • Angel Group Ltd (in liq.) v Davey [2018] EWHC 1781 (Ch): appearing as sole counsel at the trial of substantial claims (for breach of trust and breach of directors’ duties) against the former director and shareholder of the claimant companies
    • Mark Holyoake & Anor v Nicholas and Christian Candy & Ors [2017] EWHC 3397 (Ch), acting for the Defendants in respect of a £130 million claim in the Chancery Division alleging conspiracy, duress and other causes of action arising out of a property-related loan transaction (led by Tim Lord QC and Thomas Plewman QC)
    • Horizon Globex v Broadband Satellite Services Limited (Comm), acting for the Horizon parties in a dispute arising from the sale of satellite communications business, involving allegations of breach of warranty and fraudulent misrepresentation
  • Professional negligence M
    • Various claimants v Ernst & Young LLP (Comm), acting for EY in relation to professional liability claims arising out tax advice provided to clients in connection with investments in Eclipse Film Partners LLPs, led by Simon Salzedo QC
    • Acting for a ‘Big Four’ firm in relation to FRC Disciplinary Tribunal Proceedings
    • Heritable Trust Limited v Deloitte & Touche (Chancery), defending a multi-million pound claim for negligence arising out of advice given in relation to a scheme of tax structuring intended to avoid or minimise CGT and stamp duty (led by Charles Hollander QC)
    • Ernst & Young LLC v Metro Baltic Horizons (Isle of Man), defending a multi-million pound claim of audit negligence arising out of the collapse of property investment company, and concerning audit work undertaken in a number of European jurisdictions (led by Tom Adam QC)

    While a solicitor advocate, Geoffrey acted for both claimants and defendants in connection with professional liability claims against firms of solicitors

  • Sports M
    • Francois Kryvenko v Lotus F1 Team Limited / Renault Sport Racing Limited (Comm), appearing as sole counsel in a dispute relating to commission payments claimed in relation to sponsorship of the Lotus / Renault F1 racing team
    • Advising in relation to a potential claim against a Formula One team in connection with a sponsorship arrangement
    • Hamilton Management Group v Di Resta (Chancery), acting with Charles Hollander QC in a two-week Chancery trial for Formula One-driver manager Anthony Hamilton in relation to a claim against Formula One driver Paul Di Resta for breach of a management agreement
  • Qualifications M

    2012-13, Pupillage at Brick Court Chambers
    2010-12, Senior Associate, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP (Advocacy Unit)
    2007-10, Associate, Herbert Smith LLP
    2006-07, Bachelor of Civil Laws, University of Oxford (Distinction)
    2005-06, Articled Clerk/Associate, Freehills (Perth, Australia)
    2004-05, Associate to the Hon. the Chief Justice of Western Australia
    1999-04, LLB (Hons), University of Western Australia (First Class Hons)
    1999-04, BA (History), University of Western Australia

  • Directory Quotes M

    "A true expert in derivatives litigation. Geoff has the perfect combination of technical brilliance plus the courtroom skills to fight as hard as it takes." (The Legal 500 2022)

    "An exceptional talent, with really deep knowledge of finance and particularly derivatives disputes." (The Legal 500 2021)

    "A pleasure to work with, he is very bright but also pragmatic and practical, and his background as a solicitor means that he really gets what we are looking for from junior counsel and how he can add value to the team." (The Legal 500 2021)

    "He is very able, strong on paper and as an advocate." (The Legal 500 2020)

    "One of the rising stars of the London Bar across both commercial litigation and arbitration." (The Legal 500 2018-19)

    "An effective and highly commercial junior with a strong track record." (The Legal 500 2017)