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Laurence Crees

Dispute Resolution
+44 (0)207 235 8000

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Laurence is a commercial litigator with a specialism in civil fraud. He has experience in advising and representing individuals, corporates and office holders in complex litigation and investigations.

Many of Laurence’s cases have involved interim injunctions, including third party disclosure and freezing orders. He is well versed in all phases of the litigation process and other forms of dispute resolution.

Key cases include:

Navigator Equities Ltd & anr -v- Deripaska [2023] EWHC 788 (Comm)

Laurence was part of a team representing Oleg Deripaska in contempt proceedings concerning alleged breaches to an undertaking not to deal with shares in a Jersey company (EN+ Group). The shares were redomiciled to Russia. The case was widely published after the case against Mr Deripaska collapsed.

 In Sova Capital Limited [2023] EWHC 452 (Ch)

Laurence acted for the largest creditor of an investment bank that entered administration following the imposition of sanctions on Russia in 2022. The case concerned the acquisition of Russian securities in exchange for a waiver of the creditor’s claim in the administration (which, in over 150 years of Bankruptcy law, had not occurred). The case was widely reported.

London Capital & Finance Plc & ors v. Thomson & Ors [2020] EWHC 2490 (Ch)

Laurence acted for a defendant to a claim for fraudulent trading and breach of director duties, valued at approximately £200 million brought by the administrators. He also acted for the same individual in the related SFO investigation. The case has been the subject of significant publicity.

ACLBDD Holdings Limited v Staechelin & ors [2019] EWCA Civ 817, [2018] EWCA 44 (Ch)

Laurence was part of a team representing de Pury & de Pury LLP, whose entitlement to a US$10 million commission in respect of the sale of a Gauguin painting was confirmed by a unanimous Court of Appeal, upholding the decision of Morgan J at first instance. The case made headlines across the art world when details of the sale of the masterpiece – to the Emir of Qatar – for US$210 million were revealed, giving art observers a rare insight into dealings at the very top of the international art market.

Cullen Investments Ltd v Brown [2017] EWHC 2793 (Ch), [2017] EWHC 1586 (Ch)

Laurence acted for a shareholder investment company against a joint venture partner in a dispute concerning the misdirection of a corporate opportunity. The claim was successful following a two-week trial of claims against directors for breach of a shareholders’ agreement, breaches of director duties and conspiracy by unlawful means.

Notable Cases