Gareth Timms works on a range of commercial claims, including complex civil fraud actions and investigations of financial institutions, often with an international aspect. Gareth regularly obtains freezing orders and other interim remedies in order to assist with asset preservation and recovery. Gareth also has a wealth of experience acting for asset based lenders in a whole range of actions based upon their standard documents and is often brought into situations to set the strategy for large scale recovery actions. Gareth also works closely with the recruitment sector providing advice and taking the necessary action to enforce restrictive covenants to protect his client’s businesses.

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    • Representing a UAE listed company in respect of issues arising under a US$850 million finance facility it put in place in 2007 and subsequently renegotiated in 2013. Instructed to issue proceedings in the English Commercial Court and to obtain an interim injunction preventing the declaring of an event of default and the enforcement of any security rights under the documents governed by English law. Coordinating with UAE and BVI lawyers in the obtaining of injunctions in those jurisdictions given the underlying legal issues and location of the security.
    • Acting in large scale bank investigations to review potential breaches of AML and compliance regulations. The investigations are often conducted in the bank’s jurisdiction and have included a number of banks in the Middle East, as well as banks in Europe and the UK. The investigations involved targeted reviews of the bank’s documents and systems in order to prepare reports for and liaise with the relevant authorities.
    • Representing a number of non-US financial institutions in connection with potential violation of US economic sanctions laws, and to assess the adequacy of compliance functions and internal controls.
    • Acting for the UK branch of an Italian fund management company, which had been defrauded by a former director/compliance officer. The fraudster forged a secondary signature on numerous electronic cash transfers, diverting funds for the benefit of the fraudster, including to third-party companies, where he was also the compliance officer. In total the sum of £6.5 million was extracted by this method. Freezing injunctions were obtained and following contempt proceedings the fraudster was imprisoned for six months. Following the contempt proceedings very substantial recoveries have been made.
    • Acting for a UK plc, a global recruiter, in defending a claim made against it and a hedge fund by a US national in the sum of US$144 million. The US national claims that he was enticed to take up the position with the hedge fund, which he alleges has connections to a former Middle Eastern regime. It is alleged that the global recruiter had knowledge of the connection to the regime and had knowledge of the investment strategy and deliberately recruited the US national in support of the hedge fund’s alleged fraud.
    • Acting for a Swiss-based trade financier, in relation to a purchase of 3.5 million meters of premium Italian fabric. After the fabric was shipped to a buyer in the US, there were various claims over the ownership and title of the goods. When a portion of the fabric was destroyed in a suspicious fire at the buyer’s warehouse without payment, our client then brought litigation against the company and the guarantor, who themselves brought counterclaims. The matter went to trial in Cooper County, Missouri, and the defendants agreed to the entry of a consent judgment in the sum of US$14.7 million, including payment of all attorneys’ fees and dismissal with prejudice of all their counterclaims. Further, all allegations of fraud by the defendants against the client and its directors were withdrawn and declared to be “without merit” in the judgment.
    • Dealing with a very complex £10.5 million fraud for a major UK bank involving obtaining freezing orders and leading to substantial recoveries and subsequent imprisonment of the main perpetrator of the fraud. Primary work – freezing orders, asset recovery and appointment of provisional liquidators.
    • Acting for an investment company that had been fraudulently induced into making a substantial investment in the solar power industry in the UK. Freezing injunctions were obtained within 24 hours of the instructions being received, which resulted in the whole investment being returned. Primary work – freezing order and asset recovery.
    • Acting for a Formula 1 Team in successfully defending winding up petitions and an application by HMRC for an administration order, enabling the team to be sold to a company within the Renault group of companies. Primary work – dealing with the numerous High Court hearings and applications.
    • Acting for a discounter in the recovery of more than £3 million following the failure of a double glazing manufacturer.
    • Acting for a discounter in the successful recovery of €607,000 of debtor receipts from a liquidator of a company based in the Republic of Ireland.
    • Dealing with the collections relating to a failed pay role service business, which involved recoveries from over 300 companies and warrantors.

    Education

    • University of Sheffield, B.A.
    • College of Law, York, C.P.E.
    • College of Law, York, L.P.C., 1996

    Admissions

    • England and Wales, 1999
    • Recommended in The Legal 500 UK 2017 for Banking litigation – investment and retail; Commercial litigation; Asset-based lending
    • Recommended in the 2016 edition of The Legal 500 UK.
    • Gareth Timms is regarded as “someone you want in the trenches with you if there’s a problem” in The Legal 500 2016.
    • Listed as a leading individual in the 2015 edition of The Legal 500 UK.
    • Gareth Timms is described in The Legal 500 2015 as “demonstrating strong business acumen and good commercial awareness,” and has “vast experience” working with asset-based lenders on the contentious side.
    • Recommended in the 2013 edition of The Legal 500 UK.
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