Serle Court announces appointment of leading commercial silk Zoe O’Sullivan from One Essex Court

Serle Court is delighted to announce the arrival of Zoe O’Sullivan QC from One Essex Court, in a move that underlines the set’s equal strengths in both chancery and commercial disciplines.  Zoe’s practice ranges across a wide field of commercial litigation and arbitration, including civil fraud, banking, oil & gas and company law disputes. Described by Chambers and Partners as, “very easy to work with and very hands-on.  She is clearly fiercely intelligent, cares a lot about her cases and gets very absorbed in them.” “She shows strong analytical skills in dissecting facts and applying legal principles.”  Zoe was called to the Bar in 1993 and took silk in 2015.  

Zoe is particularly noted for her expertise in software development disputes.   She was instructed as leading counsel for the defendant IT contractor in Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust v ATOS IT Services; a substantial dispute over the digitisation of NHS patient records, and in CRS GT Limited v McClaren; also as leading counsel for McLaren at the trial of a contractual dispute concerning the GT series road car, in which a supplier claimed £22 million in damages.

 Zoe also has a long and successful track record in both obtaining and opposing urgent applications for interim relief, including world-wide freezing orders, anti-suit injunctions and applications to the court under section 44 of the Arbitration Act 1996.  She often sits as an arbitrator and is on the arbitration panels of the ICC and the LCIA.

Zoe joins some of the Bar’s most renowned chancery and commercial silks at a set that continues to go from strength to strength. The move is a further boost to Serle Court’s commercial offering, following the addition of Rupert Reed QC from rival set Wilberforce in April 2017 and the return of Jonathan Adkin QC in February 2017 after 6 months at Fountain Court.

 Their clients say that what separates Serle Court from its closest competitors is the hybridisation between its commercial and chancery disciplines.  There’s also an ‘emotional intelligence’, which some say is very rare at the Bar, making members excellent team players – essential on the largest, most complex, multi-jurisdictional disputes where legal teams sometimes need to work closely together for years.

 Commenting on the appointment, John Petrie, Chief Executive at Serle Court, said: “Zoe’s arrival adds to our existing strengths in commercial work, and demonstrates that we are attracting the very best talent in this area.  As a chambers we are regularly asked to lead on some of the world’s largest and most complex commercial and chancery disputes. Clients say it’s the well-rounded perspective we bring to commercial disputes, because we are home to some of the leading legal minds across both chancery and commercial disciplines that sets us apart. Zoe joining us reinforces this important point of difference.” 

Zoe O’Sullivan QC said: “I am very much looking forward to moving to Serle Court and joining some of the top names at the Bar in the commercial and chancery fields. The undoubted strength in my core practice area of commercial litigation is complemented by expertise in other related areas that is so often called upon in commercial cases. I believe that this will be of great benefit to me and my clients.

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