Brick Court Chambers

Kyle Lawson

Kyle Lawson

YEAR OF CALL: 2012

‘Excellent with clients and very quick – that means he has a bright future.’
The Legal 500 2017

Kyle Lawson is a junior barrister with a broad practice which covers all aspects of commercial litigation. He has particular experience of advising on, and acting in, disputes involving banking and financial services, professional negligence, company law, shipping and international trade, insurance and reinsurance, energy and natural resources and conflicts of law (including jurisdiction and choice of law).

Kyle Lawson is a junior barrister with a broad practice which covers all aspects of commercial litigation. He has particular experience of advising on, and acting in, disputes involving banking and financial services, professional negligence, company law, shipping and international trade, insurance and reinsurance, energy and natural resources and conflicts of law (including jurisdiction and choice of law).

Examples of notable current and recent instructions include:

  • The Lloyds/HBOS Group Litigation – acting for Lloyds Banking Group (with Helen Davies QC and Tony Singla) in defence of group litigation brought by about 6000 shareholders arising out of Lloyds’ acquisition of HBOS in 2008/2009 (one of The Lawyer’s “Top 20 Cases” of 2017).
  • Property Alliance Group Ltd v Royal Bank of Scotland – acting for the claimant (with Tim Lord QC) in the first civil claim arising out of the ‘LIBOR-fixing scandal’ to be tried before the English courts (one of The Lawyer’s “Top 20 Cases” of 2016).
  • Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation Ltd v Dechert LLP ­– acting for the defendants (with Mark Howard QC) in a professional negligence claim relating to the investigation of alleged fraud, bribery and corruption on the part of ENRC and its subsidiaries in Africa and Kazakhstan.
  • The Libyan Investment Authority – acting for one of the applicants in proceedings intended to deal with a dispute as to who was entitled to exercise the functions of the LIA following the outbreak of civil war in Libya (with Charles Hollander QC).

Much of Kyle’s commercial work also takes place in international arbitration. He has acted in numerous arbitrations under a wide variety of institutional rules (including LCIA, ICC and the Swiss Rules of International Arbitration), as well as in ad hoc proceedings. He is also frequently instructed in court applications in support of arbitral proceedings (whether seated in England or elsewhere), including applications for interim relief under s.44 and applications under s.67, 68 and 69 of the Arbitration Act.

Examples of Kyle’s current and recent arbitration work include:

  • An expedited LCIA arbitration relating to the sale of interests in a major international airport (and involving applications for interim relief to the English courts under s.44) (with Graham Dunning QC).
  • An LCIA arbitration relating to the construction of a US$2 billion fertilizer plant in Nigeria (with Richard Lord QC).
  • A substantial ICC arbitration arising out of the sale of a network of telecommunication companies in the Caribbean (with Klaus Reichert SC).

Prior to coming to the Bar, Kyle read law at Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he obtained a Double First and was ranked first in his year in 2009 and seventh in 2010. He graduated from the Harvard Law School in 2011, where he specialised in private law, public international law and international arbitration.

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  • Commercial M

    The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund v Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Europe Ltd – injunction proceedings arising out of the sale of interests in a major international airport and involving alleged breaches of contractual and equitable duties of confidence (with Graham Dunning QC).

    The Libyan Investment Authority – acting 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 following the outbreak of civil war in Libya (with Charles Hollander QC).

    Cosmetic Warriors Ltd & Lush Cosmetics Ltd v Gerrie & Hawksley [2015] EWHC 3718 (Ch); [2017] 2 B.C.L.C. 456 – a dispute relating to the valuation and sale of the shares of two minority shareholders in the well-known manufacturer and retailer of cosmetics (with Simon Salzedo QC). 

    Ilkerler Otomotive Sanayai ve Ticaret Anonim & Ors v Perkins Engines Company Ltd [2018] 1 All E.R. (Comm) 401; [2017] 4 W.L.R. 144 – acting for the defendant in proceedings brought by a former distributor which raised issues as to existence of various alleged oral agreements, wrongful termination and implied duties of good faith and fair dealing (with Charles Hollander QC).

    Perkins Engines Company Ltd v Ilkerler Otomotive Sanayai ve Ticaret Anonim & Ors – a claim relating to the supply of industrial engines raising issues as to the proper interpretation of Romalpa clauses as well as claims for breach of trust and fiduciary duty (with Charles Hollander QC).

    Caterpillar Motoren GmbH & Co KG v Mutual Benefits Assurance Co [2016] 2 All E.R. (Comm) 322; [2016] 1 B.C.L.C. 419; [2015] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 261 – acting for the German subsidiary of the well-known American corporation in a claim for payments due under performance bonds and advance payment guarantees (with Jasbir Dhillon QC).

    IOT Engineering Projects Ltd v Dangote Fertilizer [2014] EWCA Civ 1348 – a dispute relating to the construction of a US$2 billion fertilizer plant in Nigeria and involving applications for injunctions to restrain the defendant from making demands on a number of performance bonds (with Richard Lord QC). 

    Stemcor UK Ltd v Global Steel Holdings Limited & Mr Pramod Mittal (Commercial Court) – a US $142 million claim against the guarantors of a Bosnian steel manufacturer (with Jasbir Dhillon QC).

    Wartski Ltd v James Stunt – a dispute between the well-known jewellers and antique dealers and a collector of fine art and antiques arising out of the sale of a purple guilloché enamelled gold cigarette case by Carl Faberegé (as sole counsel).

    RSM International Ltd v Paul Harrison (QBD) – acting for the claimant (as sole counsel) in its successful application for summary judgment and a final prohibitory injunction restraining an ex-employee from violating the terms of a compromise agreement.

    Privilege & Confidentiality

    Kyle has a particular interest in the law of privilege and confidentiality and he is regularly instructed in both contentious and non-contentious matters relating to these subjects. For example, he acted for the Property Alliance Group in all of it high-profile interlocutory disputes with RBS in relation to disclosure and privilege, including [2016] 4 W.L.R. 3 (litigation privilege); [2016] 1 W.L.R. 992 (legal advice privilege); and [2016] 1 W.L.R. 361 (without prejudice privilege).

  • Banking and finance M

    The Lloyds/HBOS Group Litigation (Chancery Division) – acting for Lloyds (with Helen Davies QC and Tony Singla) in defence of group litigation brought by about 6000 shareholders arising out of Lloyds’ acquisition of HBOS in 2008/2009 (one of The Lawyer’s “Top 20 Cases” of 2017).

    Property Alliance Group Ltd v the Royal Bank of Scotland Plc (Financial List) – acting for the claimant (with Tim Lord QC) in a highprofile dispute involving issues as to the mis-selling of interest rate swaps, LIBOR manipulation and the conduct of the RBS Global Restructuring Group (‘GRG’). 

    The case (which was identified by The Lawyer as one of the “Top 20 of 2016”) was the first civil claim arising out of the ‘LIBOR-fixing scandal’ to be tried before the English courts.  It gave rise to a number of interlocutory judgments, including a series of significant decisions on disclosure and privilege (see e.g. [2015] EWHC 1557 (Ch), [2015] EWHC 3187 (Ch) and [2015] EWHC 3341 (Ch)), as well as the leading judgment on transfers to the Financial List (see [2016] EWHC 207 (Ch)).

    The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund v Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets Europe Ltd – acting for Macquarie, the Australian investment bank, in proceedings arising out of the sale of its interests in a major international airport (with Graham Dunning QC of Essex Court Chamebrs).

    RC Cayman Holdings Limited v Michael Ryan (Grand Court of the Cayman Islands) – acting for the former owner and developer of the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman Hotel in a high value dispute relating to the financing of the hotel and its subsequent sale to a private equity fund based in New York (with Charles Hollander QC).

    Robert Daniel & Marilyn Dalton v Merrill Lynch International Bank Limited (QBD) – acting as sole counsel for Merrill Lynch in the defence of a claim relating to the alleged mis-selling of AIG Premier Bonds in the period immediately prior to the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008.

    Deutsche Bank AG v Sebastian Holdings Inc (Commercial Court) – a high value claim and counterclaim involving foreign exchange and equities trading (as a pupil, assisting David Railton QC, Simon Birt, Thomas Plewman SC, Oliver Jones and Max Schaefer). Kyle was also subsequently instructed to provide advice on English law for the purpose of related proceedings in New York.

  • Energy and natural resources M

    Advising a major operator of oilfields in the North Sea in connection with a claim against an oilfield service company arising out of the design, manufacture, supply and installation of defective electric submersible pumps (ESPs) (with Charles Hollander QC).

    TMD Friction UK Ltd v Energy Information Centre Ltd – acting for a leading provider of energy consultancy and brokerage services in proceedings involving, among other things, allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation and non-disclosure (with Charles Hollander QC).

  • Insurance and reinsurance M

    Kyle has acted (with Stephen Midwinter QC) in a number of reinsurance arbitrations under the Arbitration Act 1996.

    He is currently acting (as sole counsel) for a major firm of insurance brokers in multi-party litigation involving various claims and counter-claims by and against underwriters, sub-brokers and insureds.

  • Arbitration M

    A substantial part of Kyle’s practice involves international commercial arbitration. He has acted in numerous arbitrations under a wide variety of institutional rules (including LCIA, ICC, the Swiss Rules of International Arbitration as well as in ad hoc proceedings under the Arbitration Act 1996). He is also regularly instructed in relation to related court applications in support of arbitral proceedings (whether seated in England or elsewhere), including applications for interim relief under s.44 and applications under s.67, 68 and 69 of 1996 Act.

    His current and recent work in this field includes:

    • An expedited LCIA Arbitration relating to the sale of interests in a major international airport (and involving applications for interim relief to the English Courts under s.44) (with Graham Dunning QC).
    • An LCIA arbitration relating to the construction of a US$2 billion fertilizer plant in Nigeria (with Richard Lord QC).
    • A substantial ICC arbitration (Miami seat, Barbados law) arising out of the sale of a network of telecommunication companies in the Caribbean (with Klaus Reichert SC).

    Kyle is also a contributing author to “SIAC Rules: An Annotation” (edited by Heilbron, Hirst and Reichert), an annotated guide to the arbitration rules of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (LexisNexis, 2014).

  • Professional negligence M

    Kyle is regularly instructed to act in professional negligence claims and in professional disciplinary proceedings before a variety of different disciplinary bodies, including the Financial Reporting Council, the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and the Takeover Panel.

    For example, Kyle is currently acting for Dechert LLP (as part of a large counsel team led by Mark Howard QC) in defence of a professional negligence claim brought by the Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation which relates to Dechert’s investigation of alleged fraud, bribery and corruption on the part of ENRC and its subsidiaries in Africa and Kazakhstan.

    In 2017, Kyle was identified by the Legal 500 as a leading junior in the field of Professional Discipline and Regulatory Law. 

    Examples of Kyle’s recent work in this field include acting for a ‘Big Four’ accountancy firm (as well as individual respondents) in three of the largest FRC prosecutions of recent years – Aero Inventory Plc, Connaught Plc, and RSM Tenon Plc.

    Kyle has also acted for the SRA (as junior to Timothy Dutton QC) in proceedings before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal arising out of the ‘phone-hacking scandal’ at the News of the World.

  • Shipping and commodities M

    Kyle has experience of a wide variety of shipping and international trade matters, including claims relating to, or arising out of, bills of lading, time and voyage charters, cargo damage, the international sale of goods and the CMR Convention. He has also acted as research assistant to Lord Justice Aikens for the latest edition of Aikens, Lord, and Bools on Bills of Lading.

  • Reported cases M

    Cosmetic Warriors Ltd v Gerrie & Hawksley [2017] 2 B.C.L.C. 456

    Ilkerler Otomotiv Sanayai ve Ticaret Anonim v Perkins Engines Co Ltd [2017] 4 W.L.R. 144; [2018] 1 All E.R. (Comm) 401

    Property Alliance Group Ltd v Royal Bank of Scotland Plc [2016] 4 W.L.R. 3 (litigation privilege)

    Property Alliance Group Ltd v Royal Bank of Scotland Plc [2016] 1 W.L.R. 2783 (Practice Note: Financial List)

    Property Alliance Group Ltd v Royal Bank of Scotland Plc [2016] 1 W.L.R. 992 (legal advice privilege)

    Property Alliance Group Ltd v Royal Bank of Scotland Plc [2016] 1 W.L.R. 361 (without prejudice privilege)

    Caterpillar Motoren GmbH & Co KG v Mutual Benefits Assurance Co [2016] 2 All E.R. (Comm) 322; [2016] 1 B.C.L.C. 419; [2015] 2 Lloyd's Rep. 261

  • Publications M

    Kyle acted as research assistant to Lord Justice Aikens for the latest edition of Aikens, Lord, and Bools, Bills of Lading (2nd ed. 2015)

    Contributing author to 'SIAC Rules: An Annotation' (edited by Heilbron, Hirst and Reichert) (1st ed. 2014)

    ‘The Remoteness Rules in Contract: Holmes, Hoffmann and Ships that Pass in the Night’ – King's Law Journal, April 2012

  • Qualifications and further information M

    Education

    Daniel Stewart's and Melville College, Edinburgh (1997-2007)

    Pembroke College, University of Cambridge (2007-2010)

    Harvard Law School (2010-2011)

    BPP Law School (2011-2012)

    Qualifications

    BA (Hons) Law (2010) (Double First, 1st in year 2009; 7th in year 2010)

    LLM (2011) (Private Law, International Commercial Arbitration, Public International Law)

    Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) (2012)

    Scholarships and Prizes

    LINCOLN'S INN

    Lord Mansfield Scholarship

    Hardwicke Entrance Award

    UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE

    The Clifford Chance David Gottlieb Prize (for the best overall performance in Part IB of the Law Tripos)

    The E.C.S. Wade Prize (for the best performance in Administrative law)

    James William Squire Scholarship

    Harvard Scholarship

    PEMBROKE COLLEGE

    The Ziegler Prize (for the best overall performance in law)

    The Blackburne Daniell Prize (for the best second-year performance in any subject)

    Foundress Prize

    Foundation Scholar

    OTHER

    The Times/One Essex Court Law Awards (Runner Up, 2012)

    The Royal Historical Society's Beazley Prize

    Professional Memberships

    COMBAR

    Kyle is a member of the Young COMBAR committee, a sub-committee of the Commercial Bar Association Executive Committee.

    LCLCBA (London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association)

    Further Interests

    Kyle is a keen sportsman and, prior to coming to the bar, he played golf for the Cambridge University 'Stymies' (2nds) and rugby for Pembroke College and the Harvard Business School.