Charles Hollander has long experience practising as an advocate. The breadth of his practice is unusual. Whilst the core of his practice has always been in commercial litigation, whether in the Commercial Court, Chancery Division, in offshore jurisdictions or in international arbitrations, he has extensive expertise in sports law, and other media-related work. He is used as an advocate in major EU matters, particularly in the High Court, in competition and freedom of establishment cases and also has expertise in professional negligence. As a result of his well-known books Documentary Evidence and Conflicts of Interest he has a specialised practice in those areas: he has argued many of the leading cases in relation to disclosure and legal professional privilege, and has a substantial practice advising law firms on conflicts of interest. Charles has now been called as a full member of the Hong Kong Bar and also practises from Temple Chambers, Hong Kong and accepts instructions for cases before the Hong Kong courts.
Recommended by Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 for commercial litigation.
Major commercial litigation:
Charles has been involved in many of the major commercial disputes of the day. He has recently argued two separate Privy Council appeals: Rawlinson & Hunter v Investec from Guernsey (involving Tchenguiz trusts) and Grace Kennedy Remittance Services v Paymaster, a Jamaican appeal involving misuse of confidential information. He has been involved in the various Tchenguiz cases, the Libyan Investment Authority litigation and IKOS. He also recently argued Astex v Astra Zeneca, an appeal after an intellectual property trial in a drug discovery case. He was instructed on the appeal in Harb v Prince Abdul Aziz, where an agreement was found to have been made with the son of the Saudi king during a conversation at the Dorchester Hotel and the appeal also raised allegations of bias on the part of the trial judge (Peter Smith J). Recent cases also include FG Wilson v Holt (a series of related commercial court actions which settled after leave to appeal to the Supreme Court was given on sale of goods and retention of title issues), BHP Billiton v E.on, an expedited commercial court trial involving termination of a Gas Sales Agreement, a long fraud trial with a public procurement background Montpellier Estates Ltd v Leeds City Council, RC Cayman v Ryan (major litigation in Cayman involving the Ritz-Carlton Hotel), Pacific Electric Wire & Cable v Texan Management, a long commercial fraud trial in Hong Kong and Primary Group v RBS, a ten day trial involving allegations of breach of confidence against the bank. He was involved in the huge Accident Group litigation and its successor Composite, leading a team of leading and junior counsel. The actions were negligence suits against 634 and 85 firms of solicitors respectively.
Major commercial litigation in which Charles has been involved has included:
Charles joined Temple Chambers in Hong Kong in 2015 after passing the Hong Kong Bar exams, undertaking pupillage, and being called to the Hong Kong Bar as a full member. He now practises in Hong Kong as well as in London both before the Hong Kong courts and in arbitrations there. He is recommended by the Legal 500 in the Asia Pacific section. Please see his profile here.
Charles’ offshore work has principally focused on the Caribbean.
International arbitration is an important part of Charles’ practice. He sits occasionally as arbitrator but most of his work is as advocate. Charles recently argued Dow v Luxi Chemicals a two week Swedish Chamber of Commerce arbitration concerning copying of the specification for a Chinese Chemical plant. A lengthy arbitration in Hong Kong in relation to a joint venture for the construction of Studio City, Macau Paul Y v Yau Li settled just before commencement.
Other recent international arbitrations include Invista Technologies v Yisheng Petroleum, a CIETAC arbitration under UNCITRAL rules involving a PRC chemical plant. Helios Photo Voltaic v Jianxi Solar Hi-Tech was a HKIAC UNCITRAL arbitration concerning photographic equipment. Other arbitrations:
Charles has acted in oligarch disputes both in the BVI and this jurisdiction.
Jurisdiction and conflict of laws
All of Charles' BVI cases involve jurisdiction and conflict of laws issues. Other cases in which he has been involved which also raise these issues are:
Energy, oil, gas and electricity
BHP Billiton v E.on was an expedited Commercial Court trial involving disputed termination of a Gas Sales Agreement. Other arbitration, litigation and expert determination include:
Banking and finance
Many of these matters are referred to under major commercial litigation. Primary Group v RBS was a recent Chancery 10 day trial involving allegations of breach of confidence. Derivatives, letters of credit, cheques and other negotiable instruments. Disputes involving the acquisition and sale of companies, including many warranty claims.
Financial Services and Regulation
Charles’ practice includes regulatory and financial services work. He appears in regulatory and disciplinary tribunals. He also appears in disciplinary tribunals in sporting matters (see sports law).
Freezing injunctions, search orders, Norwich Pharmacal and Bankers Trust orders, asset tracing and breach of trust remedies:
Recommended by Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 for Professional Negligence.
Nominee for 'Professional Negligence Silk of the Year 2009', Chambers Bar Award.
Negligence claims involving solicitors, barristers, accountants and auditors, actuaries, insolvency practitioners and investment bankers, stockbrokers and fund managers.
Conflicts of Interest
Charles has written the leading book on the law of conflicts of interest, and regularly lectures on the topic. He advises very many of the leading law firms on dealing with conflicts of interest, and confidential information, both generically and in relation to specific problems that occur.
As a result of his well-known book Documentary Evidence, which is regularly cited in court, Charles has been involved in many of the leading cases in relation to the law of documents, disclosure and legal professional privilege, Norwich Pharmacal and letters rogatory. He has lectured on these topics for many years and on numerous occasions given affidavit expert evidence for foreign courts, particularly US courts: see eg In Re Trygg Hansa 1995 596 Fed Supp 624, 628. He gives regular advice on document creation, document management policies for corporations, and particular problems relating to disclosure and privilege.
Charles has long been known as having a particular expertise in sports litigation. He has appeared in a large number of sports cases, appearing in the High Court, in disciplinary tribunals, arbitration, and before the Court of Arbitration In Sport. He has chaired disciplinary and doping tribunals in athletics, football, yachting, swimming, weightlifting and bobsleigh, rugby union and rugby league. He has always had extensive expertise in doping cases and has also been Chairman of the Bar Sports Law Group. He has now been appointed Chair of the IAAF Disciplinary Panel, which involves supervising the running of the Panel which handles athletics disciplinary matters worldwide, with over 50 panel members. He chairs tribunals for the UK National Anti-Doping Panel and acts as an Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer for the Tennis Integrity Unit.
Media and Entertainment
Charles' media work dovetails with his sports expertise. He acted for Barclays in upholding an injunction preventing The Guardian publishing details of tax avoidance documentation on its website.
Charles has acted in a number of significant high court trials involving competition law and freedom of movement rights
On freedom of movement, Viking v ITF involved union ship boycotts in Finland, started life as a commercial court trial which Charles argued and, since the CJEU decision, is now the leading case on freedom of establishment. Since then Charles has been involved in a number of freedom of movement cases, often involving transport unions. The “Open Skies” litigation, involving a BA pilots’ strike raised similar issues.
In competition law, he was instructed for BT in the first ever reference to the Hong Kong Competition Tribunal Competition Commission v Nutanix and others (a case involving bid-rigging) under the new Hong Kong competition statute. In England, he has been involved in the fuel surcharge cartel litigation Emerald Supplies v British Airways. Attheraces involved the High Court finding that the British Horseracing Board was guilty of excessive pricing in breach of Article 82 in relation to data rights after a four week trial, a decision subsequently reversed by the Court of Appeal. In Adidas the Claimants argued that the application by the tennis Grand Slam Committee of the dress code to the three stripes logo was discriminatory and in breach of both Art 81 and 82. H3G is the first important authority on the application of pre-action disclosure to competition cases. In BAGS the issue in a seven week trial was whether exclusive licence agreements for picture rights from racecourses involved price fixing and were in breach of art 81.
“Documentary Evidence” 1st ed 1985, 10th ed 2009, 13th ed 2018
“Conflicts of Interest” 1st ed 2000, 4th ed 2011, 5th ed 2016
"Phipson on Evidence" (editor with others ) 19th ed 2017
"Competition Litigation" (contributor) Ist ed 2010
"Documentary Evidence in Hong Kong" (2015)