Julian Wilson has over 40 years’ experience in business dispute resolution, particularly in matters involving issues of business ownership, governance and reward, and the protection of business interests from unlawful competition, fraud and fiduciary wrongdoing. Clients particularly value his commercial judgment. He was a litigation partner in a leading City law firm before he joined Chambers in 1997. Having now retired from full time advocacy, he continues, as an Associate Member, to offer his advisory services, and can also add the value of his experience and insight to negotiations, neutral evaluation exercises, the mediation of disputes, and the sensitive handling of internal investigations and processes.
Business Ownership Governance and Reward
He has acted in many Shareholder Unfair Prejudice claims involving grounds including exclusion from management; dilution; excessive director remuneration; depressed dividends; unlawful capital reduction; Leaver terms and compulsory share transfer; management misconduct, breach of fiduciary duties, and diversion of assets. He is also experienced in disputes arising from joint venture breakdown, failed mergers, buyer remorse, warranty claims, the retention of deferred consideration and earn-out disputes.
He has acted in many cases involving executive bonus disputes and share plan litigation.
As a former Partner himself, he brings insight and experience to Partnership and LLP disciplinary, expulsion and compulsory retirement questions, restraint of trade issues and to the negotiation of exit terms for partners and associates. He has helped both leading firms, members and associates.
He has also acted in numerous employee fraud and fiduciary wrongdoing cases.
Confidential Information and Restraint of Trade
He has regularly appeared in injunctive proceedings to protect the confidential information of businesses, particularly of technology companies, and handled issues surrounding restraints of trade not only in service contracts but also in business sale agreements, franchise agreements, and employment supply agreements.
Disciplinary and Regulatory Law
He has undertaken numerous roles as independent Chair of complex internal disciplinary proceedings, as investigator into potential disciplinary charges, and in leading internal inquiries into regulatory, culpability, and apportionment of liability issues.
Comments referred to in Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guide and the Legal 500 Directories over recent years include:
“Brings an enviable level of experience to bear when handling major City disputes and commercially sensitive employment issues”… “approachable, very knowledgeable and an incredibly proactive barrister”
“combines considerable commitment and professionalism with a proactive and commercial approach”
“He is a joy to work with and is operating at a level above some silks”
“His magic circle solicitor’s background has instilled him with great commercial acumen”
“Hugely committed and good on his feet. His preparation for High Court cases is miraculous and meticulous and solicitors particularly appreciate his pragmatism and great attention to detail”
“He is an excellent adviser on injunctive relief work. He has a very clear and commercial approach.” “He is a cerebral person who masters complexity with verve.”
“His advocacy skills are second to none. He is my number one choice.” “He is very thorough and a very strong cross-examiner”
“He is very dogged, determined and possessed of a great will to win” “A highly regarded advocate”
Cooper v Dnata Catering Services Ltd  EWHC 2216 (Comm): Minority Protection; Contractual Certainty
Changtel Solutions Limited v G4S Secure Solutions (UK) Limited  EWHC 694 (Ch)
Insolvency; Post-petition payments under s.127; limitation; availability of change of position defence
(2021): Ex-Fund Manager claims against prominent investment management company; irrational exercise of RemCo’s discretion arising under change of control clauses in complex incentive plans and carried interest arrangements; settled after Mediation
BlackBerry (UK) v Webb (2019): Confidential information in AI Cyber security tools; enforcement of non-compete restriction by interim injunction.
Abramovich v Hoffmann  EWHC 1386 (Ch)
Alleged fiduciary wrongdoing; strike-out of counterclaim for Malicious Prosecution brought in pending action.
SAIPEM Ltd v (1) Barrett (2) Ewart (3) Stanley  EWHC 2106 (Ch)
Fraud; proprietary restraining and worldwide freezing orders; onward transfer; tracing; summary judgment; disclosure orders in aid of execution; committal for contempt.
Dial A Car v Ashton  12 WLUK 550 : failed merger; disputed ownership of trade assets; mandatory injunctive relief.
Richardson v Glencore Energy (2016): Swiss law profit participation scheme; leaver provisions; notice; redemption; applicable law; alleged breach of employee benefit trust.
Associated Newspapers v Bannatyne  EWHC 3467(Ch)
Confidential Information; privacy; media access to statements of case.
In the matter of Bannatyne Fitness Limited (2015): Unfair Prejudice petition; meaning of Contingency Agreement in event of takeover.
LS Systems Limited v Scott  EWHC 1335 (Ch)
Commercial fraud; misappropriations by financial controller; tracing; summary judgment and proprietary vesting orders.
Sanders v Trigor One Limited  EWHC 1646 (Comm)
Whether a Gibraltar Fund Investment Prospectus contained a concluded English jurisdiction agreement under Art 23 Council Regulation (EC) 44/2001.
Sheriff –v- McLaren Automotive Limited (2014): Replacement of MD during garden leave; breach of contract; entitlement to share plan rights.
Brewcorp Limited v Financial Services Commission (Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court) 2013: Judicial review and constitutional rights challenge to conduct by the BVI FSC in aid of foreign regulator; obtained orders for disclosure and cross-examination against the Commission.
McGorrin v Gibraltar International Trust Corporation (Gibraltar Supreme Court) 2013
Challenge to Gibraltar trust; true ownership of trust assets.
Bank of Ireland v Rafiq  EWHC 768 (Ch)
Fiduciary duties; alleged secret commissions; relief from sanctions
Stone -v- Bank of America Merrill Lynch (2012): Appeared for former equities trader dismissed after FSA investigation into alleged preferential dealing.
In the matter of Cloudbluff Properties Limited  EWHC 649 (Ch)
Unfair Prejudice Petition; whether a Gibraltar company as a volunteer transferee of shares was automatically bound by equitable constraints affecting the transferor.
Goldstone v Goldstone & Ors  EWCA Civ 39
Offshore structures; test for territorial jurisdiction and applicable court rules where disputed ownership and control is a preliminary issue in ancillary relief proceedings.
Constantine-v-Lloyds TSB (2010): appeared for claimant Head of Tax in whistleblowing claim over structured tax avoidance activities.
Shepherd-v- Phoenix Contracts Limited (2009): whistleblowing claim; construction bid-rigging; shareholder conflict.
Broome & Wellington LP v David Greenstein  EWCA Civ. 589
Claim on Business Sale Guarantee following termination of Joint Venture.
Duarte v Black & Decker Corporation  All ER (Comm) 40
Leading case on the role of English public policy as the law of the forum in cases involving restrictive covenants in employment contracts containing a choice of foreign law; trial of confidential information dishonest copying claim.
Hays v Ions  IRLR 904
Pre-action disclosure; first case on the competition ramifications of employee usage of the LinkedIn networking web-site.
Takacs v Barclays Services Jersey Ltd  IRLR 877
Bonus claim; upheld novel arguments on the operation of the implied terms of trust and confidence, cooperation and anti-avoidance.
Foote Cone & Belding v Theron  EWHC 1585 (Ch)
Worldwide freezing Injunction; test for domicile and residence.
Cantor Fitzgerald v Horkulak  EWCA Civ 1287
Limits of bonus discretion.
Taylor v Motability  EWHC 2619 (Comm)
Bonus claim; limits of restitutionary remedies.
Qayoumi v Oakhouse Properties Limited  All ER (D) 245
Complex and bitterly contested derivative action for minority shareholder seeking recovery of misapplied assets.
Symbian v Christensen  IRLR 77 (EWCA Civ.)
Application of restraint of trade doctrine to garden leave provisions
Gregory v Portsmouth City Council  1 AC 419
Malicious prosecution; extension of tort to cover disciplinary proceedings.
Fashion Gossip Ltd v Esprit Telecoms UK Ltd (EWCA Civ) 2000
Premium Rate Telephone numbers; conspiracy; unjust enrichment.
BA (Oxon) Jurisprudence
Solicitor England & Wales 1984-1997 (Partner, Herbert Smith, 1990-1997)
Solicitor Advocate Higher Courts (Civil) 1994
Solicitor, Hong Kong (1989)
Called to the Bar Oct 1997 (Inner Temple)
Also admitted in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (BVI), Gibraltar, and the Cayman Islands.
News, Articles & Publications
Will shareholder activism in UK companies lead to more litigation? Financial News (Dow Jones)
Q&A on Directors’ post-termination competitive activity, Financial Times
Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards : Fellas, Transatlantic Litigation
Anti -Suit Injunctions Journal of Business Law 1997, Sep, 424-437
Choice of English law in International Financial Transactions, ABA, IPWS Vol. XIII.