Julian Wilson

Julian Wilson

Professional Summary

Called 1997

Contact Details

E T +44 (0)20 7632 8500 Clerk Martin Pownall Clerk Mollie Adams E

Julian Wilson has 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 commercial litigation partner in a leading City law firm before he joined Chambers in 1997. He retired from full time advocacy  in 2023 but continues, as an Associate Member, to provide his advisory services. He also brings the value of his experience and insight into independent evaluations, negotiations, the mediation of disputes, and the sensitive handling of internal investigations and the chairing of internal disciplinary 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; exit mechanisms, 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, including as to the contested exercise of discretion.  

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 fraud and fiduciary wrongdoing cases and represented companies and employees in dismissal and whistleblowing litigation. 

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. Recent examples include the chairing of internal disciplinary proceedings against a CEO charged with exploiting confidential information; and carrying out an independent investigation into allegations about share dealings and political donations by the CEO of a tech company. 


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” 


Notable Cases

Cooper v Dnata Catering Services Ltd [2022] EWHC 2216 (Comm): Minority Protection; Contractual Certainty

Changtel Solutions Limited v G4S Secure Solutions (UK) Limited [2022] 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 [2018] 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 [2017] 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 [2016] 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 [2015] 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 [2015] EWHC 1335 (Ch)
Commercial fraud; misappropriations by financial controller; tracing; summary judgment and proprietary vesting orders.

Sanders v Trigor One Limited [2014] 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 [2013] 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 [2011] 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 [2011] 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 [2009] EWCA Civ. 589
Claim on Business Sale Guarantee following termination of Joint Venture.

Duarte v Black & Decker Corporation [2008] 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 [2008] 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 [2006] 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 [2006] EWHC 1585 (Ch)
Worldwide freezing Injunction; test for domicile and residence.

Cantor Fitzgerald v Horkulak [2004] EWCA Civ 1287
Limits of bonus discretion.

Taylor v Motability [2004] EWHC 2619 (Comm)
Bonus claim; limits of restitutionary remedies.

Qayoumi v Oakhouse Properties Limited [2001] All ER (D) 245
Complex and bitterly contested derivative action for minority shareholder seeking recovery of misapplied assets.

Symbian v Christensen [2001] IRLR 77 (EWCA Civ.)
Application of restraint of trade doctrine to garden leave provisions

Gregory v Portsmouth City Council [2000] 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 1981

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.


Regulatory Information

All members of Chambers are registered with the Bar Stardards Board of England and Wales. For general terms and conditions on which services are provided - click here

Professional title: Barrister

Full name (as registered with Bar Standards Board of England and Wales): Julian Wilson

VAT Number: GB 702295163

Legal Status: Sole Practitioner

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