Banking & Finance Litigation

Banking and finance is a core area of our set’s expertise, with our reputation reflected in the instructions we receive from firms ranked in Band 1 in the legal directories, and our firmly-established international presence in this market.

We are consistently ranked in the leading directories as a top-tier set in this area (Chambers & Partners, Legal 500), as well as being “probably the top choice for complex banking and finance cases with a heavy insolvency element” (Legal 500, 2022).

Our members have extensive experience of banking and financial litigation, appearing in high-profile and high-value disputes, including conducting substantial trials, in the Commercial Court, Chancery Division and overseas.  These cases give rise to topical issues of significant market importance, e.g., mis-selling disputes based on alleged LIBOR manipulation (including the first major test case: Graiseley), the high-value offshore litigation arising out of the Madoff fraud (Primeo), and the landmark bank charges test case (OFT v Abbey National).

Members undertake all other aspects of banking and finance work (including advisory work).  The principal areas include large-scale financial disputes, mis-selling, derivatives, securitisations and structured finance products.

Our members regularly advise public bodies, including the Bank of England and the FCA.

Standout cases in 2020/2021

Our members are extensively involved in significant and large-scale litigation, at the highest appellate levels, and involving leading financial institutions.

For example, cases in which members have been involved in 2020 to 2021 include:

  • Primeo Fund v HSBC – Acting on opposing sides of a $2 billion claim against HSBC arising out of the Madoff fraud before the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal and the Privy Council.  The case is now the leading authority on duties owed by custodians and administrators of investment funds.
  • Libyan Investment Authority – Representing the receiver in actions against banks amounting to £2 billion before the Commercial Court and the Court of Appeal, arising out of LIA’s ownership of certain assets and the Libyan political situation.
  • Deutsche Bank v Barings UK Limited – Acting for the collateral manager in proceedings relating to the right to an incentive fee under a collateralised loan obligation securitisation before the Commercial Court (Financial List) and the Court of Appeal.
  • Downs v JFB Firth Rixson Inc. – Acting on opposing sides in relation to a dispute concerning the construction of ISDA Master Agreements, including the effect of Events of Default in Section 5 and effect of Sections 2(a)(iii) and 6(a) of the Master Agreement.
  • Adare Finance v Yellowstone Capital Management SA – Acting in relation to a claim for repayment of banking facilities before the Commercial Court, which raised novel issues in relation to the scope of the doctrines of unconscionable bargain and economic duress.

“Members with unrivalled talent… Excellent in everything they do.”


“The magic circle’s barristers chambers of choice”

The Lawyer

“The best set at the Bar for insolvency.”

Legal 500

“South Square provides ‘a world-class service’.”

Legal 500

“An excellent set at the forefront of the London Bar.”


“Incredible members at the top of their game.”


“An unrivalled collection of the best talents currently at the Bar”


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If you wish to consider engaging any member or associate member of South Square as an arbitrator or mediator or as Counsel in an arbitration or mediation, please contact

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South Square Digest is our quarterly review of news, cases, judgments and articles covering all our practice areas.
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