Nicholas Cobill

Viewing: Commercial Litigation for Nicholas Cobill

Nicholas is an experienced advocate and adviser in a broad range of complex and high value commercial disputes. He appears regularly in multi-track proceedings in the High Court and County Court. As first choice counsel to several law firms, he is instructed regularly in complex or high value applications, frequently to obtain injunction orders or to resist injunction applications.
He deals mainly with high value commercial litigation arising from breaches of contract and professional negligence. He has a wide range of experience, acting for clients in the UK and overseas, including multinationals and high net worth individuals. Clients include banks, airlines, utility providers, insurers, manufacturers, franchises and UK and foreign government departments.
He advises on risk and dispute avoidance, and where proceedings are necessary, he deals with all stages, from devising strategy at the outset, to appearing in interim applications, trials and appeals.
He is recognised in the Legal 500 for his strong commercial grasp, pragmatism of the commercial realities of litigation, his approachability and focus on delivering his clients’ objectives.
His experience includes:
-representing UK and French pharma companies in contractual disputes with suppliers in India in commercial negotiations and in arbitration in the London Court of International Arbitration
- representing national airline to obtain security for costs order against an individual claimant residing in the British Virgin Islands
- obtaining worldwide freezing orders and disclosure orders on behalf of asset based commercial lender against directors of telecommunications company engaged in widespread commercial fraud
- resisting application by notorious criminal serving 17 life sentences to force the release of his DNA from the Forensic Archive
- representing Conservative and Unionist Party local association in injunction proceedings arising out of alleged breaches of the Procedure for the Selection of Local Government Candidates 2022 by which they were purported to be ‘re-running’ the selection process for candidates in the May 2022 local government elections
- representing finance provider to obtain summary judgment against director of company who had provided a guarantee and indemnity and subsequently defeating his appeal against judgment
- recovering possession of a city centre nightclub, radio station and arts centre for a commercial landlord in a trial concerning forged signatures on a fabricated lease
- obtaining the discharge of an ex-parte injunction against former managing director alleged to have taken confidential information and trade secrets from two former employers in circumstances where the injunction was obtained using confidential evidence and without full and frank disclosure
- obtaining delivery up order compelling company in administration to return tooling to manufacturer of parts for motor vehicles and engines to enable the continuation of vehicle production line
- obtaining emergency injunctions to compel a national energy supplier to reconnect electricity supplies to national fast-food franchises across South East England
- representing the Welsh manufacturer of industrial washing machines exported to South Africa in contested jurisdiction proceedings against a German industrial washing machine retailer
- obtaining disclosure orders pursuant to letters of request on behalf of an Argentinean national supermarket chain to force the disclosure of banking documents and oral testimony from deponents in this jurisdiction to assist in its defence in the largest litigation in the Commercial Court in Argentina – Carrefour Nederland BV et al. v PWC et al
- representing the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (on the Attorney General’s panel) in director disqualification proceedings (including securing disqualification orders against, company directors for periods of between 2 and 15 years in section 6 proceedings at final disposal hearings in cases including, for example, a USD 23m factoring fraud where he obtained 13, 13 and 7 periods of disqualification and a 15 year order against a defendant who acted whilst disqualified and who had falsified bank statements and deceived his co-directors)
Advisory and drafting
- advising on the merits and evidence, drafting statements of case, and representing IT company in a complex IT contract litigation pertaining to the provision of Ethernet and ADSL services under a managed service contract with Caledonian MacBrayne Ferries in the Scottish Isles
- defending former directors of a manufacturer of toiletries and beauty products in High Court proceedings brought by claims company operated by an insolvency practitioner seeking to exploit a cause of action that originally vested in the administrators of the company and which was wholly unconnected with the underlying allegations of breaches of directors duties
- advising on the permissibility of service of proceedings on EULEX in a dispute arising from the Balkan Wars (in Tomanovic and 7 Ors v (1) European Union (2) Council of European Union (3) High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (4) European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo (EULEX) [2019] EWHC 3350 (QB)
- acting for French manufacturer of cardiovascular and endovascular catheters that it supplied to an Indian manufacturer of cardiac stents and cardiovascular devices based in New Delhi. Advising on the merits of a claim for payment of invoices and debt crystallised under a settlement agreement with an ambiguous jurisdiction clause. Drafting statements of case and representing the client in arbitration in the London Court of International Arbitration
- representing an individual in a contribution claim against his co-guarantor arising from a loan agreement to secure funds for the development of a multi-million EUR complex of holiday homes with golf course and shopping complex in Spain
- representing a building merchant at mediation to resolve its dispute with an IT business solutions PLC over a failed IT systems implementation across its businesses
- representing a global insurer defending a multi-million GBP claim at mediation involving multiple defendants and competing causes of action arising from a fire at prestige commercial premises in a city centre
- drafting written submissions on behalf of a group of shareholders to assist them to recover deferred consideration in an expert determination
- representing local authority in high profile dispute with local football team arising from a failed joint venture and a grant to improve the football ground to increase the profile of the locality
- assisting a national airline in an international arbitration with foreign engine manufacturer
Alternative Dispute Resolution
- representing group of worshippers in mediation involving sensitive, longstanding and acrimonious disputes been different branches of the same religion worshipping at and using the same temple and building disputes involving next door neighbours
- assisting building merchant at mediation to resolve its dispute with an IT business solutions PLC over a failed IT systems implementation across its businesses
- representing shareholder in deadlock to resolve acrimonious dispute with family member shareholder in business competition with each other involving multiple allegations of breaches of directors’ duties
- representing a global insurer defending a multi-million GBP claim at mediation involving multiple defendants and competing causes of action arising out of a fire in an English stately home
- assisting shareholders to recover deferred consideration in an expert determination
- representing waste disposal company to settle its tortious claim against security company which failed to prevent the theft of and damage to its property by unknown third parties
- representing defendant to a claim involving allegations of defamation and malicious falsehood in a dispute with his former builder
He is recognised for his proactive and commercial approach to dispute resolution.
Client care
Prior to joining No5 Chambers in March 2011, Nicholas was a senior associate in the commercial litigation team at Wragge and Co LLP (now Gowling WLG (UK) LLP). He also led the firm’s advocacy team. He dealt with a broad range of commercial disputes from high value and complex commercial matters to comparatively lower value and high volume disputes. He worked with partners across the firm, managed solicitors and supervised trainees. He has a strong grasp of the commercial realities of litigation and clear understanding of his clients’ needs and wishes.
Represented Middle Temple at the World Universities Debating Championship Finals in Toronto 2001
BVC: Inns of Court School of Law – Very Competent
Nicholas has been involved with the governance of organisations in the third sector for over twenty years. He is a trustee and legal adviser to charities providing education, social mobility, health and counselling services in the UK and overseas.
“Nicholas is incredibly pragmatic, approachable and practical in his application of the law and his interaction with the clients.”
Legal 500 2023
“Incredibly approachable and accessible to both instructing solicitors and clients. Very strong commercial grasp and works hard with clients to help them achieve the best commercial outcome for them and their business.”
Legal 500 2022
Notable Cases
Jonathan Digby-Rogers v Speechly Bircham LLP [2019] EWHC 1568 (Ch)
Henderson and Jones Ltd v Alex Tsimboykas and Claire Tsimboykas [2018] EWHC 1493
(1) John Micheal (2) Pauline Wendy Micheal (3) Havering Radio Cars UK Ltd v (1) Gary Anthony Phillips (2) A1 Group (UK) Ltd (3) Lynn Phillips [2017] EWHC 142 (QB)
(1) Cumbria Waste Management Ltd (2) Lakeland Waste Management Ltd v Baines Wilson (a firm) [2008] EWHC 768 (QB)
Combar (Commercial Bar Association)
Chancery Bar Association
International Bar Association
Midlands Chancery and Commercial Bar Association
Middle Temple