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Dan McCourt Fritz

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Dan McCourt Fritz

Areas of Expertise

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Year of Call: 2007 dfritz@serlecourt.co.uk

Overview

Dan McCourt Fritz has a broad commercial chancery practice with a particular focus on domestic and international commercial and commercial fraud disputes, often involving alleged defaults by trustees or other fiduciaries. He is one of a handful of juniors listed in Who's Who Legal: UK Bar (Fraud Civil). In addition to his core fraud practice, Dan has a growing company law practice, and has developed specialist interests in civil contempt proceedings and breach of confidence claims. Dan is currently instructed by one of the principal defendants to the £130m unlawful means conspiracy claim brought by Accident Exchange, and by the claimants in the long-running Fiona Trust litigation.

Areas of Expertise and Cases


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Commercial Litigation

Dan has been involved in a wide range of commercial litigation, with an emphasis on disputes with an international dimension (especially those which raise jurisdictional issues). He has developed specialist interests in claims relating to commercially sensitive confidential information, and quantum meruit claims in respect of services rendered. Recent notable cases include the following.

Accident Exchange v McLean & others (ongoing): led by Hugh Norbury QC, Dan acts for one of the defendant firms of solicitors joined to Accident Exhange's £130m unlawful means conspiracy claim. The proceedings recently gave rise to a heavy application regarding the nature and scope of the iniquity exception to legal professional privilege. 

Fiona Trust (ongoing): led by Jonathan Gaisman QC and Dominic Dowley QC, Dan acts for the claimants in this long-running litigation, the latest chapter of which concerned the claims of Mr Nikitin and the Standard Maritime Defendants under the cross-undertaking in respect of a freezing order. Judgment is awaited on the claimants' appeal against the orders of Males J (as to which see [2017] 2 All ER 570).

Wright v Rowland (ongoing): led by Philip Marshall QC, Dan acts for the appellant seeking to appeal from the dismissal of his quantum meruit claim for introducing the opportunity to acquire the Luxembourg arm of the collapsed Icelandic bank, Kaupthing (see [2017] EWHC 2478 (Comm)).

Zayo Group International v Ainger [2017] EWHC 2541 (Comm): led by Hugh Norbury QC, Dan acted for the claimant in a reverse summary judgment/strike out application concerning the service and notice requirements under a share purchase agreement.

Bank Alkhair v Al Refai (2016-17): led by Lance Ashworth QC, Dan acts for the claimant Bahraini bank. The claimants recently obtained judgment on their claim, the $30m counterclaim (based upon allegations that Bahraini judgments had been procured by fraud) having been discontinued.

Berwin v Esson (2016-17): led by Jonathan Adkin QC, Dan acted for the Claimant in a quantum meruit claim for service rendered to find a suitable partner to develop an offshore oil concession in Ghana.

Tupman v Synova (2014-2016): acted as sole counsel for the Claimant in a claim for breach of contractual and equitable duties of confidence in relation to a telecommunications business plan, which was compromised on the eve of trial.

QOGT Inc v International Oil & Gas Technology Ltd [2014] EWHC 1628 (Comm): led by Lance Ashworth QC in a high value breach of contract claim concerning the remove of an investment manager by the defendant hedge fund.

Masri v Consolidated Contractors International Co SAL [2011] EWHC 1024 (Comm): led by Alan Boyle QC and James Lewis QC, Dan acted for the first and second respondents to the long-running committal application in the Masri litigation, which raised novel issues as to the effect of mutually incompatible orders made by courts in different jurisdictions.


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Civil Fraud

Dan has exceptional experience of international and domestic fraud litigation given his call: he is one of a handful of junior barristers listed in Who's Who Legal: UK Bar 2018 for Fraud (Civil). He is equally at ease with claimant and defendant work, and acting unled or as part of a counsel team. Largely as a result of his fraud practice, Dan has developed a specialist interest in civil contempt proceedings. He has also appeared in several leading cases relating to the freezing injunction jurisdiction. Recent notable fraud cases in which Dan has been involved include the following.

Accident Exchange v McLean & others (ongoing): led by Hugh Norbury QC, Dan acts for one of the defendant firms of solicitors joined to Accident Exhange's £130m unlawful means conspiracy claim. The proceedings recently gave rise to a heavy application regarding the nature and scope of the iniquity exception to legal professional privilege. 

Fiona Trust (ongoing): led by Jonathan Gaisman QC and Dominic Dowley QC, Dan acts for the claimants in this long-running litigation, the latest chapter of which concerned the claims of Mr Nikitin and the Standard Maritime Defendants under the cross-undertaking in respect of a freezing order. Judgment is awaited on the claimants' appeal against the orders of Males J (as to which see [2017] 2 All ER 570).

Bank Alkhair v Al Refai (2016-present): led by Lance Ashworth QC, Dan acts for the claimant Bahraini bank. The claimants recently obtained judgment on their claim, the $30m counterclaim (based upon allegations that Bahraini judgments had been procured by fraud) having been discontinued.

Ballard v Ballard (2016): Dan appeared unled on behalf of the defendant in a five-day trial in the Chancery Division, in which the claimant sought to set aside a settlement agreement for fraud. Dan successfully argued that there had been no dishonesty or reliance, and that in any event the contract had been affirmed. 

IT Human Resources v Land [2016] FSR 10: Dan appeared unled on behalf of the defendant in an eight-day trial in the Chancery Division, in a complex claim concerning breaches of fiduciary duty involving the infringement of copyright in bespoke software.

Emmott v Michael Wilson & Partners, Ltd [2015] EWCA Civ 1028: led by Nicholas Lavender QC and Lance Ashworth QC, Dan successfully appealed the orders of Andrew Smith J committing the appellants for contempt by arguing that the allegedly contemptuous transactions were within the standard form business exception.

Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd v Corry & others (2014-15): acting for the claimant (led by Hugh Norbury QC) in proceedings concerning alleged bribery and over-invoicing. Dan made the successful application for freezing and disclosure orders which commenced these proceedings.

BTA v Ablyazov and others (2011-13): acting for the principal defendant (led by Duncan Matthews QC).

Weavering Capital (UK) Limited v Peterson (2011-12): acting for the second defendant (led by Paul McGrath QC) in a claim arising from the collapse of the Weavering hedge fund.

Masri v Consolidated Contractors International [2011] EWHC 1024 (Comm): led by Alan Boyle QC, Dan acted for the respondent in the longest-running contempt trial in Commercial Court history. 


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Company

Dan's wide-ranging company practice encompasses litigation, drafting and advisory work with a particular focus on shareholder disputes. Dan increasingly advises on and acts in company disputes with international aspects. He is equally at ease acting for petioners or respondents, and unled or as part of a counsel team; he has significant experience of running unfair prejudice petitions through to trial. Dan is recommended in the Legal 500 for Company Law. Recent notable cases include the following.

Re P Trust (2017): led by Richard Wilson QC, Dan acts for the trustee shareholders of a BVI company who allege that their interests are being unfairly prejudiced, alternatively that a liquidator should be appointed on the just and equitable ground.

Re Infund LLP (2016-17): led by John Machell QC, Dan acts for the defendants to a claim brought by Grupo Mexico seeking to avoid the restoration of Infund to the Register of Companies. The underlying purpose of the claim is to prevent Infund from pursuing proceedings in Mexico in which it claims a substantial shareholding in Grupo Mexico.

Re VU Chem Ltd (2008-2017): Dan continues to act for the directors and majority shareholders of a London-based pharmacy business (led by Patrick Talbot QC). Having successfully defended an unfair prejudice petition on the ground that no relief should be granted in the light of the petitioners' conduct (see [2009] EWHC 3356 (Ch)), Dan was instrumental in meeting further complaints of unfair prejudice by negotiating a buy-out of the minority shareholders.

Re Abbeystead Ltd (2016-17): Dan acted unled for the petitioner who sought relief under the Companies Act alternatively the Insolvency Act in respect of a quasi-partnership property development company. The petition was compromised following a mediation.

Re Livewell Ltd (2016): Dan acted unled for the respondents, successfully resisting an application for an order appointing a receiver to manage the affairs of the company before negotiating the purchase of the petitioner's shares.

Re B (2016): led by John Machell QC, Dan acted for the minority shareholders who threatened to bring an unfair prejudice petition in respect of a company worth several billion pounds. A settlement was reached immediately prior to proceedings being issued. The entire dispute remains confidential.


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Intellectual Property

Dan has been instructed on a wide variety of intellectual property matters in both the High Court and the PCC, ranging from a trade mark infringement and passing-off claim by Playboy against a provincial gentlemen's club to a patent dispute relating to the design of children's buggies.  Dan has a particular interest in issues relating to fashion.

Hortal v Preen (2015): acting for the defendant to a claim for copyright infringement for the use of the claimant's images on clothing produced by the defendant.

Re: Anorak (2015): advising a designer in relation to permission of and the alleged breaches of a licence agreement.

Karen Millen Fashions Ltd v Millen (2013): acting for the claimant (led by Michael Edenborough QC) in a quia timet action to prevent the defendant’s threatened trade mark infringement and passing-off.

Clarion Events Ltd v Hunt and others (2013): acting for the owner of the Classic Motor Show to protect its rights in the event.

Arada Ltd v Broseley Fires Ltd (2013): acting for the successful applicant for a declaration of invalidity in respect of a trade mark in a case which raised novel issues concerning the extinction of goodwill.

Devonshire Pine Ltd v Day (2012): acting for the claimant (led by Michael Edenborough QC) in a claim concerning the defendants’ infringement of the claimant’s intellectual property rights in relation to two ranges of oak furniture.


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Banking

Dan has acted in and advised upon a broad range of banking cases, most recently in litigation concerning interest rate swaps and a dispute over the marketing of a collective investment scheme.

Goma v RHK and others (2013): acting for the claimant in a claim arising from the failure of a complex investment involving allegations of negligence and breaches of FSMA.

BTA v Ablyazov and others (2011-12): acting for the principal defendant (led by Duncan Matthews QC).

Weavering Capital (UK) Limited v Peterson (2011-12): acting for the second defendant (led by Paul McGrath QC) in a claim arising from the collapse of the Weavering hedge fund.


Add section

Financial Services

Dan has acted in and advised upon a broad range of banking cases, most recently in litigation concerning interest rate swaps and a dispute over the marketing of a collective investment scheme.

Goma v RHK and others (2015): acting for the claimant in a claim arising from the failure of a complex investment involving allegations of negligence and breaches of FSMA.

BTA v Ablyazov and others (2011-12): acting for the principal defendant (led by Duncan Matthews QC).

Weavering Capital (UK) Limited v Peterson (2011-12): acting for the second defendant (led by Paul McGrath QC) in a claim arising from the collapse of the Weavering hedge fund.



Add section

Partnership and LLP

Dan has appeared in and advised on a number of partnership cases, most recently successfully representing a former partner in a solicitors’ firm in a dispute which followed his departure.

Tang v Grant Thornton International [2012] EWHC 3198 (Ch); [2013] 1 Lloyd's Rep 11: acting for the minority partners of a former member of the Grant Thornton group of partnerships (led by John Machell QC) in a jurisdictional dispute as to the proper construction of an arbitration clause.

Castledine v RSM Bentley Jennison  [2011] EWHC 2363 (Ch); [2012] Bus LR D77: acting for the claimant (led by Patrick Talbot QC) in a claim concerning a former partner’s entitlement to partnership goodwill.

Amin v Amin [2010] EWHC 528 (Ch); [2009] EWHC 3356 (Ch): led by Patrick Talbot QC, Dan acts for the first defendant in these ongoing proceedings which arise from the breakup of a family business empire following the patriarch’s death and which involve a complex range of partnership law issues.



Recommendations

Company - Legal 500 2017

Who's Who Legal: UK Bar 2018, Fraud Civil
 

Dan McCourt Fritz

Dan McCourt Fritz

Year of Call: 2007
Email: dfritz@serlecourt.co.uk

Overview

Dan McCourt Fritz has a broad commercial chancery practice with a particular focus on domestic and international commercial and commercial fraud disputes, often involving alleged defaults by trustees or other fiduciaries. He is one of a handful of juniors listed in Who's Who Legal: UK Bar (Fraud Civil). In addition to his core fraud practice, Dan has a growing company law practice, and has developed specialist interests in civil contempt proceedings and breach of confidence claims. Dan is currently instructed by one of the principal defendants to the £130m unlawful means conspiracy claim brought by Accident Exchange, and by the claimants in the long-running Fiona Trust litigation.

Areas of expertise

Recommendations

Company - Legal 500 2017

Who's Who Legal: UK Bar 2018, Fraud Civil
 

Quotes

Commercial Litigation

Dan has been involved in a wide range of commercial litigation, with an emphasis on disputes with an international dimension (especially those which raise jurisdictional issues). He has developed specialist interests in claims relating to commercially sensitive confidential information, and quantum meruit claims in respect of services rendered. Recent notable cases include the following.

Accident Exchange v McLean & others (ongoing): led by Hugh Norbury QC, Dan acts for one of the defendant firms of solicitors joined to Accident Exhange's £130m unlawful means conspiracy claim. The proceedings recently gave rise to a heavy application regarding the nature and scope of the iniquity exception to legal professional privilege. 

Fiona Trust (ongoing): led by Jonathan Gaisman QC and Dominic Dowley QC, Dan acts for the claimants in this long-running litigation, the latest chapter of which concerned the claims of Mr Nikitin and the Standard Maritime Defendants under the cross-undertaking in respect of a freezing order. Judgment is awaited on the claimants' appeal against the orders of Males J (as to which see [2017] 2 All ER 570).

Wright v Rowland (ongoing): led by Philip Marshall QC, Dan acts for the appellant seeking to appeal from the dismissal of his quantum meruit claim for introducing the opportunity to acquire the Luxembourg arm of the collapsed Icelandic bank, Kaupthing (see [2017] EWHC 2478 (Comm)).

Zayo Group International v Ainger [2017] EWHC 2541 (Comm): led by Hugh Norbury QC, Dan acted for the claimant in a reverse summary judgment/strike out application concerning the service and notice requirements under a share purchase agreement.

Bank Alkhair v Al Refai (2016-17): led by Lance Ashworth QC, Dan acts for the claimant Bahraini bank. The claimants recently obtained judgment on their claim, the $30m counterclaim (based upon allegations that Bahraini judgments had been procured by fraud) having been discontinued.

Berwin v Esson (2016-17): led by Jonathan Adkin QC, Dan acted for the Claimant in a quantum meruit claim for service rendered to find a suitable partner to develop an offshore oil concession in Ghana.

Tupman v Synova (2014-2016): acted as sole counsel for the Claimant in a claim for breach of contractual and equitable duties of confidence in relation to a telecommunications business plan, which was compromised on the eve of trial.

QOGT Inc v International Oil & Gas Technology Ltd [2014] EWHC 1628 (Comm): led by Lance Ashworth QC in a high value breach of contract claim concerning the remove of an investment manager by the defendant hedge fund.

Masri v Consolidated Contractors International Co SAL [2011] EWHC 1024 (Comm): led by Alan Boyle QC and James Lewis QC, Dan acted for the first and second respondents to the long-running committal application in the Masri litigation, which raised novel issues as to the effect of mutually incompatible orders made by courts in different jurisdictions.

Civil Fraud

Dan has exceptional experience of international and domestic fraud litigation given his call: he is one of a handful of junior barristers listed in Who's Who Legal: UK Bar 2018 for Fraud (Civil). He is equally at ease with claimant and defendant work, and acting unled or as part of a counsel team. Largely as a result of his fraud practice, Dan has developed a specialist interest in civil contempt proceedings. He has also appeared in several leading cases relating to the freezing injunction jurisdiction. Recent notable fraud cases in which Dan has been involved include the following.

Accident Exchange v McLean & others (ongoing): led by Hugh Norbury QC, Dan acts for one of the defendant firms of solicitors joined to Accident Exhange's £130m unlawful means conspiracy claim. The proceedings recently gave rise to a heavy application regarding the nature and scope of the iniquity exception to legal professional privilege. 

Fiona Trust (ongoing): led by Jonathan Gaisman QC and Dominic Dowley QC, Dan acts for the claimants in this long-running litigation, the latest chapter of which concerned the claims of Mr Nikitin and the Standard Maritime Defendants under the cross-undertaking in respect of a freezing order. Judgment is awaited on the claimants' appeal against the orders of Males J (as to which see [2017] 2 All ER 570).

Bank Alkhair v Al Refai (2016-present): led by Lance Ashworth QC, Dan acts for the claimant Bahraini bank. The claimants recently obtained judgment on their claim, the $30m counterclaim (based upon allegations that Bahraini judgments had been procured by fraud) having been discontinued.

Ballard v Ballard (2016): Dan appeared unled on behalf of the defendant in a five-day trial in the Chancery Division, in which the claimant sought to set aside a settlement agreement for fraud. Dan successfully argued that there had been no dishonesty or reliance, and that in any event the contract had been affirmed. 

IT Human Resources v Land [2016] FSR 10: Dan appeared unled on behalf of the defendant in an eight-day trial in the Chancery Division, in a complex claim concerning breaches of fiduciary duty involving the infringement of copyright in bespoke software.

Emmott v Michael Wilson & Partners, Ltd [2015] EWCA Civ 1028: led by Nicholas Lavender QC and Lance Ashworth QC, Dan successfully appealed the orders of Andrew Smith J committing the appellants for contempt by arguing that the allegedly contemptuous transactions were within the standard form business exception.

Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd v Corry & others (2014-15): acting for the claimant (led by Hugh Norbury QC) in proceedings concerning alleged bribery and over-invoicing. Dan made the successful application for freezing and disclosure orders which commenced these proceedings.

BTA v Ablyazov and others (2011-13): acting for the principal defendant (led by Duncan Matthews QC).

Weavering Capital (UK) Limited v Peterson (2011-12): acting for the second defendant (led by Paul McGrath QC) in a claim arising from the collapse of the Weavering hedge fund.

Masri v Consolidated Contractors International [2011] EWHC 1024 (Comm): led by Alan Boyle QC, Dan acted for the respondent in the longest-running contempt trial in Commercial Court history. 

Company

Dan's wide-ranging company practice encompasses litigation, drafting and advisory work with a particular focus on shareholder disputes. Dan increasingly advises on and acts in company disputes with international aspects. He is equally at ease acting for petioners or respondents, and unled or as part of a counsel team; he has significant experience of running unfair prejudice petitions through to trial. Dan is recommended in the Legal 500 for Company Law. Recent notable cases include the following.

Re P Trust (2017): led by Richard Wilson QC, Dan acts for the trustee shareholders of a BVI company who allege that their interests are being unfairly prejudiced, alternatively that a liquidator should be appointed on the just and equitable ground.

Re Infund LLP (2016-17): led by John Machell QC, Dan acts for the defendants to a claim brought by Grupo Mexico seeking to avoid the restoration of Infund to the Register of Companies. The underlying purpose of the claim is to prevent Infund from pursuing proceedings in Mexico in which it claims a substantial shareholding in Grupo Mexico.

Re VU Chem Ltd (2008-2017): Dan continues to act for the directors and majority shareholders of a London-based pharmacy business (led by Patrick Talbot QC). Having successfully defended an unfair prejudice petition on the ground that no relief should be granted in the light of the petitioners' conduct (see [2009] EWHC 3356 (Ch)), Dan was instrumental in meeting further complaints of unfair prejudice by negotiating a buy-out of the minority shareholders.

Re Abbeystead Ltd (2016-17): Dan acted unled for the petitioner who sought relief under the Companies Act alternatively the Insolvency Act in respect of a quasi-partnership property development company. The petition was compromised following a mediation.

Re Livewell Ltd (2016): Dan acted unled for the respondents, successfully resisting an application for an order appointing a receiver to manage the affairs of the company before negotiating the purchase of the petitioner's shares.

Re B (2016): led by John Machell QC, Dan acted for the minority shareholders who threatened to bring an unfair prejudice petition in respect of a company worth several billion pounds. A settlement was reached immediately prior to proceedings being issued. The entire dispute remains confidential.

Intellectual Property

Dan has been instructed on a wide variety of intellectual property matters in both the High Court and the PCC, ranging from a trade mark infringement and passing-off claim by Playboy against a provincial gentlemen's club to a patent dispute relating to the design of children's buggies.  Dan has a particular interest in issues relating to fashion.

Hortal v Preen (2015): acting for the defendant to a claim for copyright infringement for the use of the claimant's images on clothing produced by the defendant.

Re: Anorak (2015): advising a designer in relation to permission of and the alleged breaches of a licence agreement.

Karen Millen Fashions Ltd v Millen (2013): acting for the claimant (led by Michael Edenborough QC) in a quia timet action to prevent the defendant’s threatened trade mark infringement and passing-off.

Clarion Events Ltd v Hunt and others (2013): acting for the owner of the Classic Motor Show to protect its rights in the event.

Arada Ltd v Broseley Fires Ltd (2013): acting for the successful applicant for a declaration of invalidity in respect of a trade mark in a case which raised novel issues concerning the extinction of goodwill.

Devonshire Pine Ltd v Day (2012): acting for the claimant (led by Michael Edenborough QC) in a claim concerning the defendants’ infringement of the claimant’s intellectual property rights in relation to two ranges of oak furniture.

Banking

Dan has acted in and advised upon a broad range of banking cases, most recently in litigation concerning interest rate swaps and a dispute over the marketing of a collective investment scheme.

Goma v RHK and others (2013): acting for the claimant in a claim arising from the failure of a complex investment involving allegations of negligence and breaches of FSMA.

BTA v Ablyazov and others (2011-12): acting for the principal defendant (led by Duncan Matthews QC).

Weavering Capital (UK) Limited v Peterson (2011-12): acting for the second defendant (led by Paul McGrath QC) in a claim arising from the collapse of the Weavering hedge fund.

Financial Services

Dan has acted in and advised upon a broad range of banking cases, most recently in litigation concerning interest rate swaps and a dispute over the marketing of a collective investment scheme.

Goma v RHK and others (2015): acting for the claimant in a claim arising from the failure of a complex investment involving allegations of negligence and breaches of FSMA.

BTA v Ablyazov and others (2011-12): acting for the principal defendant (led by Duncan Matthews QC).

Weavering Capital (UK) Limited v Peterson (2011-12): acting for the second defendant (led by Paul McGrath QC) in a claim arising from the collapse of the Weavering hedge fund.

Partnership and LLP

Dan has appeared in and advised on a number of partnership cases, most recently successfully representing a former partner in a solicitors’ firm in a dispute which followed his departure.

Tang v Grant Thornton International [2012] EWHC 3198 (Ch); [2013] 1 Lloyd's Rep 11: acting for the minority partners of a former member of the Grant Thornton group of partnerships (led by John Machell QC) in a jurisdictional dispute as to the proper construction of an arbitration clause.

Castledine v RSM Bentley Jennison  [2011] EWHC 2363 (Ch); [2012] Bus LR D77: acting for the claimant (led by Patrick Talbot QC) in a claim concerning a former partner’s entitlement to partnership goodwill.

Amin v Amin [2010] EWHC 528 (Ch); [2009] EWHC 3356 (Ch): led by Patrick Talbot QC, Dan acts for the first defendant in these ongoing proceedings which arise from the breakup of a family business empire following the patriarch’s death and which involve a complex range of partnership law issues.

Qualifications

Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge - BA Medical Sciences (First Class, ranked 1st equal on the University Physiology List)

City University - LLB Hons. (First Class); GDL (Distinction)

Senior Scholar, Gonville and Caius College

Shelford Scholarship (2007), Lord Mansfield Scholarship (2006) and Lord Bowen Scholarship (2005), Lincoln's Inn

City University Scholarship (2005)

 


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