He has a broad range of corporate and commercial litigation experience and has had the conduct of a number of high profile disputes in the High Court and through the ADR processes of arbitration, expert determination and mediation. He acts for individuals, corporate and commercial clients, regulators and not-for-profit organisations.
He specialises in domestic and international civil fraud and asset-tracing claims, claims against directors, partnership disputes, sports disputes and breach of warranty claims which typically have an underlying fraud/misfeasance element to them.
Paolo's work has resulted in his developing significant experience dealing with search and seize and freezing orders, passport confiscation orders, the recovery of confidential information, disc imaging, evidence preservation orders, (both for claimants and defendants and on supervising solicitor matters), data protection issues and e-disclosure. His cases frequently require him to work closely with forensic accountants, insolvency practitioners and law enforcement agencies in the analysis of substantial quantities of complex financial data.
Paolo’s caseload also focuses on highly contested intervention and regulation/enforcement work and asset recovery for the SRA; and he has been heavily engaged in a number of the high-profile investigations and subsequent regulatory and enforcement actions and Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) proceedings. He regularly advises the SRA in relation to alleged breaches of the Solicitors Accounts Rules and Solicitors Code of Conduct and the steps that need to be taken in order to protect the public from the actions of dishonest solicitors.
His recent work has been on a number of cases before the SDT arising from the alleged misappropriation of more than £100 million from an insolvent offshore litigation funder based in the Cayman Islands and he is also engaged in high profile disciplinary proceedings against a number of solicitors following the findings of the Al-Sweady Inquiry.
In addition to his contentious practice, Paolo works closely with other departments within the firm and with in-house counsel to assist them with the implementation and co-ordination of litigation, risk management, reputational and governance issues.
Paolo is recognised in Chambers UK (2019) and The Legal 500 (2019). He is also listed in the Thomson Reuters London Super Lawyers list for commercial litigation.
Market feedback reports him as a litigator who "cuts to the key issues", is "very clear in his thinking", "very thorough", "hugely important in litigious matters", has "an amazing command of detail" with "particular strength dealing with complex paper-heavy cases", "an excellent litigation lawyer" and "a practical, dedicated lawyer". It's noted that "his strength is that he is incredibly diplomatic and very good at communicating with clients".
Paolo is a fluent Italian speaker.
Commercial fraud and asset recovery
- Dissipated assets - currently acting for an individual assisting the administrators of a Russian Bank to recover over $700 million in dissipated assets against the Bank’s former directors and shareholders (National Bank Trust v Yurov & Others (claim no CL-2016-000095)
- Fraud and freezing - acting for a property development company in fraud and freezing and asset tracing proceedings against a fraudster (value over £4 million)
- Fraud proceedings - acting for a Ukraine investment bank in connection with fraud proceedings brought by Otkritie Capital International against Vladimir Gersamia for damages in excess of $122 million
- Worldwide freezing order - acting for the respondents to a post-judgment worldwide freezing order in relation to claims of dishonest assistance, knowing assistance and breach of trust (with a value in excess of £4 million)
- Frozen monies - recovering in excess of £2 million from monies frozen by the Swiss Prosecutors Office for a regulator and liquidator
- Fraudulent property - obtained freezing orders for creditors defrauded by a fraudulent property investment scheme
- Search and seize order - acting for the respondents/defendants to a search and seize order and springboard relief applications and in subsequent civil proceedings relating to the alleged theft and misappropriation of confidential information regarding a number of property transactions (value in excess of £20 million)
- Asset tracing - conducting asset tracing and ‘false accounting’ proceedings in conjunction with a worldwide freezing order for the former Master of the Queen's Music (the late Sir Peter Maxwell Davies CBE) in his claims against his former agents for the recovery of misappropriated monies
- Engaged in an international arbitration and subsequently enforcing an ICC arbitration award, which resulted in obtaining a worldwide freezing order over assets in a number of jurisdictions
- Acting for an international trading company in arbitration and subsequent High Court proceedings against two family members regarding international fraud proceedings
- Acting for a leading UK charity in a dispute relating to data protection issues arising from a data sharing agreement
- Regularly advises on urgent issues relating to the disclosure of personal and sensitive information
Disclosure of information/third party disclosure requests
- Frequently advises organisations in relation to the disclosure of confidential information to law enforcement organisations and how to respond to disclosure requests
- Acting for a regulator following the administration of professional services firms and its dealings with the administrators and office holders arising from their compelling duties and responsibilities to deal with trust monies
- Conducting intervention proceedings in the High Court on behalf of a group of overseas investors against the trustee in bankruptcy in the reported case of The Federal Bank of the Middle East v Charles Hadkinson & Others  BPIR 44 relating to their beneficial entitlement to assets falling within the bankrupt's estate
IP contractual disputes
- Advising Leonard Cheshire Disability in relation to proceedings before the Scottish Court of Session (Ref CA3/12) with this-tel Limited in relation to the charity's termination of a Digital Pen's Service Agreement
- Acting for the defendant in counterfeiting proceedings involving medical products
- Acting for a web-designer in relation to alleged negligence and misrepresentation claims in relation to an IT service contract to a national personal injury law firm
Jurisdiction and conflict of laws
- Acting as English solicitor for RSC Energia in parallel English High Court proceedings brought by the Boeing Commercial Space Company against RSC Energia before the United States District Court of California
- Advising a group of claimants in relation to their claims against lenders and the performance of their funds and asset portfolios
- Acting for a venture capital company in relation to breach of warranty, fraud and misrepresentation claims against certain former directors of a company in which it had invested
Multi-jurisdictional commercial litigation
- Acting for one of several defendants in High Court proceedings (Slocom Trading Limited v Tatik Inc and others - HC 10C00139) in relation to proceedings where damages in excess of US $55 million were sought in respect of the disputed transfer of real estate property located in France held by a substantial company with energy and commercial interests in Russia, controlled by one of the world's largest energy companies
- Provides advice to victims and creditors on the implications of the Proceeds of Crime Act, including dealing with police authorities in relation to the release of funds to creditors of individuals charged and convicted of fraud
- Assisting the Serious Fraud Office and Securities Exchange Commission in the garnering of information relating to the investigation of the affairs of Directors of an overseas trust company
- Advising both claimants and defendants on a variety of defamation and reputational management claims
- Representing a Swiss trust company in ICC arbitration proceedings against a former director for breach of his service contract and shareholders' agreement; including obtaining injunctive relief in various offshore jurisdictions to freeze assets to enforce the arbitration award
- Representing a venture capital company in relation to its widely reported High Court Petition for Unfair Prejudice against the majority shareholders of an investment company for corporate misfeasance
- Successfully defending a League One Football Club in High Court Proceedings in the Queen’s Bench Division against claims brought by former investors for the repayment of £2 million allegedly loaned to the club (DataSat v Swindon Town FC  EWHC 859 (Comm))
- Defending the directors of a food manufacturer in their defences against fraudulent breach of warranty and misrepresentation claims (value in excess of £10 million) arising from the sale of a business to a national food manufacturing company
Professional discipline / regulatory proceedings
- Acting for the SRA in relation to the high publicised disciplinary proceedings relating to the Al-Sweady Inquiry relating to Leigh Day and Public Interest Lawyers
- Acting for the SRA in relation to the enforcement of costs orders, including the obtaining of worldwide freezing orders and charging orders over assets following complex and protracted proceedings before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and in a related appeal in the Administrative Court (Mireskandari v Law Society (Solicitors Regulation Authority) (HC08CO3730))
- Acting for the SRA in SDT and subsequent Administrative Court Appeal proceedings in Solicitors Regulation Authority v Richard Anthony Barnett and Anthony Augustine Swift (SDT case No 11354-2015  EWHC 1160 (Admin) which resulted in Mr Barnett being struck-off the Roll and Mr Swift being suspended for six months following the alleged misuse of client monies in excess of £8 million
- Acting for the SRA in SDT proceedings in Solicitors Regulation Authority v David Wingate and Steven Edwards (SDT Case No 11354-2015) and subsequent Administrative Court Appeal proceedings (CO/2221/2016) in respect of an important judgement covering the regulatory consequences of manifest incompetence by solicitors. An onward appeal to the Court of Appeal is pending
- Acting for the SRA in SDT proceedings and the SRA’s subsequent successful appeal before the Divisional Court, which found that the respondent’s conduct undermined public trust in the profession. Solicitors Regulation Authority v Libby  EWHC 973 (Admin)
- Acting for the SRA in SDT proceedings in Solicitors (Regulation Authority v Duncan Gibbins, Matthew Dean and Nicola Klimkowski (SDT Case No 11386-2015)) which resulted in the three respondents being struck off the Roll following the alleged misuse of monies in excess of £6 million
- Obtaining an injunction for the SRA against a struck-off solicitor preventing him from conducting reserved legal activities and holding himself out as a solicitor. The case of The Law Society (Solicitors Regulation Authority) v Dixit Shah (AKA Sanjay Shah)  EWHC 4382 ch received significant coverage in the legal press (Legal Futures and The Law Society Gazette) which described the injunction as "unprecedented" and "ground-breaking"
- Acting for the SRA in an important Court of Appeal judgment in relation to The Solicitors' Rules on Fee Sharing (Westlaw Services Limited and Khan v Boddy and The Solicitors Regulation Authority)
- Obtaining injunction orders in support of the SRA's notices to intervene into solicitors' practices and dealing with multiple High Court intervention challenges (Wolstenholmes, Norman Saville, Rohrer and Co, Mulberry Finch Limited). These cases involved allegations of serious financial irregularities and shortfalls in client accounts in excess of £10 million and the involvement of criminals who had taken control of the practices
- Acting for the SRA in relation to obtaining a worldwide freezing order and documentation preservation order against Nasir Ilyas and his wife, Asma Quayum following the intervention into Wolstenholmes LLP
- Acting for the SRA in the reported Statutory Trust case of Andrew Roy Williams v The Law Society of England and Wales  EWHC 2302 (ch) which received widespread publicity.
Other regulatory work
Paolo has advised a public regulator in relation to a number of regulatory and insolvency related issues regarding an overseas investment fund in receivership.
- Sources in Chambers UK (2018) say"his strength is that he is incredibly diplomatic and very good at communicating with clients"
- Recognised as "a practical, dedicated lawyer", The Legal 500 (2017)
- Listed in the Thomson Reuters London Super Lawyers list for Commercial Litigation
- Market feedback reports him as a litigator who "cuts to the key issues", is "very clear in his thinking", "very thorough", "hugely important in litigious matters", has "an amazing command of detail" with "particular strength dealing with complex paper-heavy cases" and is "an excellent litigation lawyer"
Paolo is a member of the:
- LLB University College, Wales (Aberystwyth)
- Post Graduate Diploma in Italian Law from University College, Wales (Cardiff)
- LSF College of Law, Chester
Paolo trained (1991-1993) and qualified as a solicitor at a leading multinational law firm (1993-1999) and subsequently worked at an international law firm (1999 – 2004) and a national firm of solicitors (2005 – 2009) before he joined Russell-Cooke as a Partner in 2009.