Jeremy Cousins QC specialises in substantial commercial, commercial chancery (including trusts), banking and professional negligence disputes.
He has appeared in numerous leading cases, including the very important and well-known banking and solicitors’ breach of trust case AIB v Redler in the Supreme Court, the major, and very high value, banking dispute in Rosserlane v Credit Suisse and, most recently, in Dreamvar v Mishcon de Reya, a landmark case on solicitors’ breach of trust and negligence in conveyancing transactions, which led to the rewriting of the Law Society’s Code for Completion by Post in 2019. Jeremy is consistently recommended by the leading legal directories across his core practice areas.
Jeremy is an acknowledged expert in banking and finance litigation. He has written and lectured about/advised in/acted both for and against banks and financial institutions in relation to a wide range of financial issues, covering loan and syndicated loan agreements, letters of credit, bond issues and swap agreements. He is recognised for his expertise in the Banking & Finance chapter of The Legal 500 UK Bar 2019, which says: “Excellent advice, highly knowledgeable, and a strong commercial approach.”
In 2014 he was in the leading banking and solicitors’ breach of trust case of AIB v Redler in the Supreme Court, and he appeared for the claimants in the major case of Rosserlane v Credit Suisse (concerning the sale of an interest in an oil field in Azerbaijan). At the same time, he was also involved in the claim made by a group of shareholders against Lloyds Banking Group and some of its former directors in relation to the HBOS acquisition in 2009.
In yet another leading banking dispute, in 2015 Jeremy Cousins QC prepared submissions for various bondholders resisting Lloyds Banking Group’s attempt in BNY Mellon Corporate Trustee Services v LBG Capital No 1 and another to bring about an early redemption of part of a multi-billion pound bond issue by affiliates of Lloyds Banking Group in 2009. He was also consulted in 2018 in connection with the very contentious attempt by Aviva to redeem a series of high coupon bonds, which was ultimately resolved without litigation, as was widely reported in the financial press. He has published several articles on the issue of liability in respect of bond issues, and on disputed redemptions.
Much of Jeremy’s work in this area is highly sensitive and confidential. His reported matters include:
- Advising in relation to Aviva’s attempt to redeem high coupon bonds, which was ultimately resolved without litigation (2018)
- Rosserlane Consultants Ltd & Anor v Credit Suisse International  EWHC 384 (Ch) – Bringing a claim against the bank in relation to its involvement in the sale of an interest in an oil field in Azerbaijan
- Advising on a claim by Lloyds Banking Group shareholders in relation to its acquisition of HBOS
- Advising on the disputed redemption of several billion GBP of enhanced loan notes issued to Lloyds Banking Group affiliates
- AIB Group (UK) Plc v Mark Redler & Co Solicitors  UKSC 58– Appearing for the appellant in the Supreme Court in a case concerning solicitors’ liability for breach of trust in a security transaction
- Davies v AIB Group (UK) Plc  EWHC 2178 (Ch) – Acting for the defendant in a case concerning undue influence in a banking transaction, the significance of a solicitor’s involvement, estoppel by contract from disputing liability in transaction and subrogation in respect of earlier securities
- Shogun Finance Ltd v. Hudson  UKHL 62 – Appearing a House of Lords’ appeal considering thescope of the application of the inter praesentesprinciple where there is a written contract and the passing of title to goods.
Jeremy has been recognised for his professional negligence expertise by Chambers UK and Legal 500 for many years. He has particular expertise in relation to solicitors’ negligence.
In 2018 he led Peter Dodge in Dreamvar v Mishcon de Reya in the Court of Appeal. This case, and P&P Properties v Mary Monson Solicitors, heard at the same time, as well as establishing a vendor’s solicitor’s liability to a purchaser as trustee of purchase monies, lay down clear guidelines as to the interpretation of the Code for Completion by Post, and the scope for claims for breach of warranty of authority.
In 2014 Jeremy was in the leading banking and solicitors’ breach of trust case of AIB v Redler in the Supreme Court.
Much of his work in this area is highly sensitive and confidential. His reported cases include:
- Dreamvar v Mishcon de Reya  PNLR 29 – Appearing for the defendant law firm in the Court of Appeal, in the leading case on the interpretation of the Code for Completion by Post, solicitor’s negligence liability in conveyancing transactions, and the scope for claims for breach of warranty of authority
- AIB Group (UK) Plc v Mark Redler & Co Solicitors  UKSC 58 – Appearing for the appellant in the Supreme Court in a case concerning solicitors’ liability for breach of trust in a security transaction
- Thomas & Anor v BPE Solicitors (A Firm)  EWHC 306 (Ch) – Acting for the claimants in relation to solicitors’ negligence in completion of commercial transaction, in a case that is also considered a landmark decision on contractual acceptance by e-mail.
Jeremy has a well-deserved reputation as a leading commercial silk. Effective both on paper and in court, Jeremy deals with a wide variety of commercial disputes, from the strictly contractual to trust related. He has extensive experience not only of domestic disputes but also those involving foreign jurisdictions. He is recommended in this area by Legal 500 UK Bar.
As well as leading breach of trust cases, he has dealt with other multi-million pound trust disputes, both private client and corporate, such as Allen v Liddle (revocation of a settlement created contrary to the settlor’s instruction), Jones v Firkin Flood (judicial control of trustees’ discretions, and removal of trustees), and many Jersey cases dealing with investment of trust funds, and the exercise of powers by trusts or trust companies. Both in England and Jersey he has dealt with very substantial cases concerning wills, including on capacity and knowledge and approval issues, of which Wharton v Bancroft is a leading example.
Jeremy has consistently been recognised over many years by Chambers UK Bar and The Legal 500 UK Bar for his expertise, skill as an advocate, and user-friendly qualities. His recent recommendations include:
- “He has an ability to provide clear and concise advice in a format suitable for both the instructing solicitor and also our lay client. This is incredibly helpful.” (Commercial Chancery, Chambers UK Bar 2020)
- “He is a walking legal encyclopaedia, I have never seen a man carry so much legal information in his head.” “He has a detailed and thorough approach.” (Professional Negligence, Chambers UK Bar 2020)
- “Strong commerciality and excellent detailed legal analysis.” (Banking and Finance, Legal 500 UK Bar 2020)
- “A very strong commercial litigator.” (Commercial Litigation, Legal 500 UK Bar 2020)
- “He is very experienced” (Professional Negligence, Legal 500 UK Bar 2020)
- “Has a great depth of knowledge and has done a vast array of legal work.” “He is statesmanlike and has a very nice manner about him. You just learn a lot from him.” (Chancery: Commercial, Chambers UK Bar 2019)
- “His encyclopaedic knowledge of the authorities in the area of professional negligence and property is astounding. His ability to call upon this detailed knowledge, and the reasoning adopted by the presiding judges, makes him truly a heavyweight advocate in this field.” “He commands enormous respect.” (Professional Negligence, Chambers UK Bar 2019)
- “He has in-depth experience.” (Professional Negligence, The Legal 500 UK Bar 2019)
- “Confident in dealing with novel points of law and has an excellent depth of knowledge.” (Commercial Litigation, The Legal 500 UK Bar 2019)
- “Excellent advice, highly knowledgeable, and a strong commercial approach.” (Banking and Finance, The Legal 500 UK Bar 2019)
- “A strategic thinker who is very good at professional negligence cases.” (Professional Negligence, Chambers UK Bar 2018)
- “Has great gravitas and a lovely manner with clients. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of case law at his fingertips.” “Jeremy likes to deal with every element of the claim, and he goes the extra mile in terms of client services.” (Chancery: Commercial, Chambers UK Bar 2018)
- “He has superb knowledge of the law. He’s very quick to respond and his advice is always excellent.” (Banking and Finance, Chambers UK Bar 2018)
- “First class.” (Professional Negligence, The Legal 500 UK Bar 2017)
- “Very clever and unflappable, and a very reassuring presence during complex matters.” (Commercial Litigation, The Legal 500 UK Bar 2017)
- “A friendly and confident silk with outstanding knowledge.” (Banking and Finance, The Legal 500 UK Bar 2017)
- “He is excellent: he has an eye for detail, is incredibly thorough and looks at things in a very calm way.” (Professional Negligence, Chambers UK Bar 2017)
- “He’s very calm and assured, and you know he’s carefully considered things. His clients have a lot of faith in his advice.” (Chancery: Commercial, Chambers UK Bar 2017)
- “His encyclopaedic knowledge of the law combined with his thorough preparation makes him unbeatable.” (Banking and Finance, Chambers UK Bar 2017)
- “He has superb grasp of detail and wonderful client care.” (Commercial litigation, The Legal 500 UK Bar 2016)
- “A high-quality silk, who provides in-depth research and analysis.” (Banking and Finance, The Legal 500 UK Bar 2016)
- “He has tremendous judgment and is very reliable.” “He’s basically a dream to work with. He is incredibly knowledgeable and also very personable.” (Banking and Finance, Chambers UK Bar 2015)
- “A favourite for heavyweight litigation”. “A quite exceptional performer who is very intuitive and has a touch of genius about him.” “Remarkably versatile and client-friendly. His encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and thorough preparation make him unbeatable.”(Chancery: Commercial, Chambers UK Bar 2015)
Jeremy has contributed articles to a number of leading publications:
- “The future of Banking Litigation”, Legal Week, May 2015
- “Damages for delay: generally a liability at large”, Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, May 2014
- “The revival of lenders’ breach of trust claims”, Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, July 2012
- “Misrepresentation on bond issues: liability in the secondary market”, Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, January 2011
- “Trustees – how to sell a business and distribute the proceeds”, Sweet & Maxwell’s Private Client Business, May 2010 (considering trustees’ powers to give warranties on sale, and to restrict powers of appointing proceeds pending beneficiary covenants being given to vendors)
- “Should Jersey follow South Australia: Developments in Liability for Negligent Advice”, Jersey Law Review, October 2006 (considering developments in negligence liability and whether the Jersey Courts are free not to follow the English decisions)
- “Company Charges”, Solicitors’ Journal, 2005, Volume 149 (23), pages 694-695 (analysing the validity against a liquidator of an unregistered charge which arises by implication of law)
He is the consultant editor of “Third Party Litigation Funding” by Nick Rowles-Davies published by OUP. He also contributes articles on a regular basis for a number of leading publications, including The Royal Court Rules a commentary on civil procedure in Jersey, published by Jersey Advocates Hanson Renouf.