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Paul Howcroft

T: +44 (0)20 3036 7274
F: +44 (0)20 3036 7774

Paul is a commercial litigator with a broad range of experience including arbitration and ADR. His cases often have an international element, involving issues of jurisdiction and conflict of laws. In addition to a broad range of commercial disputes, he has particular experience of banking, financial services, insolvency and art market work, as well as shareholder and partnership disputes.  Paul is qualified as a solicitor advocate (civil).

Paul’s experience is recognised by the Legal 500 2011, the Legal Business Legal Experts 2012 and Chambers UK 2012.


Commercial litigation

  • Acting for Britvic, the manufacturers of Pepsi, Tango and 7Up, against US and German based multi-nationals in the lead action concerning the contamination of carbon dioxide used by the UK drinks industry.
  • Acting for Australian entrepreneurs in a multi-jurisdictional dispute between the promoters of Butte Mining PLC.
  • Acting for the former management of leading book wholesalers Bertrams in a successful shareholder dispute with HgCapital (Merrill Lynch), concerning events following a private equity investment.
  • Acting for a leading IT services and solutions company against a major housing association concerning its wrongful repudiation of an IT outsourcing contract.
  • High profile joint venture dispute between internet bookseller Swotbooks and student admissions organisation UCAS.
  • Acting for a leading German container manufacturer in a commercial agency dispute.

Banking and insolvency

  • Acting for all types of banks, including clearing and smaller UK and overseas banks in several hundred cases in all areas of banking dispute.
  • Acting for high net worth individuals in cases against Swiss banks for the mis-selling of structured notes. 
  • Advising the European Commission (DGXV) on the law and regulation of pre-paid cards, and co-ordinating input from law firms in most other European states.
  • Defending New York lender from claims by Australian mining companies regarding operation of accounts in Switzerland.
  • Advising several wealthy ex-pats in successful claims against HSBC Republic (Monaco) SA (formerly Republic National Bank of New York) following a staff fraud.
  • Acting for the successful claimants in a documentary credits dispute ( Ltd v RBS [2011] EWHC 2025(QB)).
  • Acting for the receivers of a fork lift truck manufacturer in successfully defeating all but a few of 150 retention of title claims.
  • Acting for overseas banking and trade creditors of MF Global.
  • Acting in disputes arising from the Icelandic, Irish and Cypriot banking crises.
  • Swaps mis-selling claims against various banks and related breach of trust claims.

Art market

  • Successfully acting for the sellers of a Leonardo da Vinci drawing against art dealers for the recovery of secret profits (Accidia Foundation v Simon C Dickinson Ltd [2010] EWHC 3058 (CH)). 
  • Contractual and negligence disputes involving attribution and provenance.
  • Acting for South American owners of art in response to claims by international investigatory authorities.
  • Acting for US owners of a painting by Edvard Munch in a Nazi looted art dispute.
  • Acting on the purchase and sale of valuable art works.
  • Read Paul's blog Art Law London.

International arbitration

  • Acting for the claimants in a US$250m ad hoc insurance arbitration in London concerning the destruction of a PVC plant in Illinois with satellite arbitration in Bermuda and proceedings in New York.
  • ICC arbitration in Paris concerning internal conflict within an extensive Lebanese family run group of companies operating in the Middle East.
  • Acting in an LCIA arbitration between Brazilian importers and Ukrainian exporters of foodstuffs.

Professional negligence

  • Advising offshore trust companies in a professional negligence action against a well-known firm of solicitors concerning its failure to bind German sureties in a commercial property transaction.
  • Acting for clients of a firm of solicitors whose client accounts were deficient.
  • Advising stock brokers and nominated advisers concerning alleged failures relating to disclosures on the AIM market.
  • Acting in various financial services mis-selling cases.