Barry Isaacs QC +44 (0)20 7696 9900 barryisaacs


Practice Managers

Barry Isaacs QC

Barry Isaacs QC Barry Isaacs QC

Barry Isaacs QC

QC 2011, Called to the Bar 1994
+44 (0)20 7696 9900
Barry Isaacs QC
QC 2011, Called to the Bar 1994

Barry specialises in insolvency and restructuring, banking and finance, commercial litigation and arbitration, and company law. He is an Associate of the Society of Actuaries and has particular expertise in cases of financial complexity. He often appears as an advocate or expert in overseas jurisdictions.

Barry has appeared in numerous substantial and high-profile cases in the Supreme Court/House of Lords (eg Lehman Brothers (Waterfall), Nortel (Expenses), Rubin/New Cap Reinsurance, Sigma Finance, Mainstream Properties, Three Rivers v Bank of England), in the Court of Appeal (eg Rosesilver v Paton, Woolworths, Davenham Trust, FKI v Stribog, Golden Key, Whistlejacket Capital, OT Computers), and at first instance, including several major trials and arbitrations.

Other recent cases of note include HSBC (ring-fencing scheme), Carillion, International Bank of Azerbaijan, Ve Interactive, Orion Insurance, Stemcor, APCOA Parking, MF Global, Punch Taverns, Travelodge, BTA Bank v Ablyazov, and AWAL Bank.

Recent cases in overseas jurisdictions include (in the Cayman Islands) Nord Anglia, China Branding, Weavering Macro Fixed Income Fund, Eurasia Drilling, Homeinns Hotel Group, Pacific Harbor Asia Fund, CHC Group, Primeo Fund, FFC Fund, China Fishery Group, Sterling Macro Fund, Caledonian Bank; (in Bermuda) Lehman Re, Saab Financial (Bermuda), Millennium Asset Management, KIC; (in the British Virgin Islands) Kaupthing, Monarch Pointe Fund, Thema Fund; (in the Bahamas) British American Insurance; (in Hong Kong) Mongolian Mining Corporation; and (as an expert in proceedings in New York) Hellas Communications v TPG, Mill Financial v Hicks, and Deutsche Bank v Serengeti.   

Barry was named as Chambers and Partners Insolvency/Restructuring QC of the Year 2013. He is recommended in the Bar Guides as a leading silk in insolvency/restructuring; banking/finance; and company law. Barry is described as “one of the smartest and also nicest people you could ever hope to work with", “he has a calm courtroom presence, which is devastatingly effective", "at the top of his game"; "incredibly knowledgeable, insightful and commercial, practical and very user-friendly”; and "highly rated for his tremendous work rate, his exhaustive knowledge of insolvency law and his excellent client-facing skills". Barry is highly recommended for structured finance, insurance and insolvency issues, for his expertise in company law, commercial litigation and banking and finance, and praised for his important work on cross-border insolvency.



Insolvency and Restructuring

Recent reported cases include:

  • Bakhshiyeva v Sberbank of Russia [2018] BPIR 287, Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations, rule in Gibbs 
  • Lehman Brothers International (Europe) [2018] 1 All ER 205 (SC); [2016] Ch 50 (CA); [2015] Ch 1 (Waterfall Application), priority of subordinated debt/potential liability of members for liabilities of company/currency conversion claims/interest
  • APCOA Parking [2014] 2 BCLC 285, scheme of arrangement/change of governing law
  • Nortel; Lehman Brothers International (Europe) [2014] AC 209 (SC); [2012] BCC 83 (CA); [2011] BCC 277, provable debts/expenses
  • Rubin v Eurofinance; New Cap Reinsurance v Grant [2013] AC 236 (SC); [2012] Ch 538 (CA); [2010] 1 All ER (Comm) 81, mutual recognition and assistance/enforcement of foreign insolvency judgments
  • Bank of Scotland v Targetfollow Property Holdings [2013] BCC 817, contested administration
  • European Directories [2012] BCC 46, pre-pack administration/change of COMI
  • Stanleybet UK Investments [2012] BCC 60, removal of administrators/wishes of creditors
  • Rodenstock [2012] BCC 459, solvent scheme of arrangement/foreign company
  • Shah v Patel [2010] BPIR 496 (CA), contempt of court by company director/appropriate sentence
  • Perpetual Trustee Co v BNY Corporate Trustee Services; Butters v BBC Worldwide [2010] Ch 347 (CA); [2009] BPIR 1315, anti-deprivation principle/joint ventures

Other recent cases include Carillion, Weavering Macro Fixed Income Fund, Ve Interactive, Primeo Fund, Co-operative Bank, China Fishery Group, Mongolian Mining Corp, Cory Environmental, Punch Taverns, Travelodge, Portugal Telecom, NCP, Quinn Group, Southern Cross, Tele Columbus, Alitalia, Borsodchem, IMO Car Wash, and Metronet.

Barry’s expert evidence on cross-border insolvency and transaction avoidance was accepted by the US Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York in Re Hellas Telecommunications, TPG Capital Management v Hosking (Case No 12-10631, 29 January 2015).

Banking and Finance

Recent cases include: 

  • HSBC, ringfencing transfer scheme
  • Nord Anglia, Eurasia Drilling, Homeinns Hotel Group, dissenting shareholders/appraisal of fair value
  • Caledonian Bank, disputed sanction application/construction of facility agreements
  • US Bank Trustees v Titan Europe 2007-1, servicing agreement/identity of controlling party
  • Mill Financial v Gillett, expert on English finance law in New York Supreme Court
  • AWAL Bank, GRMA close out and misrepresentation claims
  • MF Global [2013] Bus LR 1030 (Hindsight Application), client money rules/hindsight principle
  • Davenham Trust v White [2012] 1 BCLC 123 (CA); [2011] BCC 77, guarantees/security
  • Lehman Brothers, ISDA close out and related disputes
  • Monarch Pointe Fund v Somers Dublin HCVAP 2011/040 (BVI CA) and BVIHCV 2008/197, redemption payments
  • Landsbanki
  • Kaupthing

Structured finance and investment vehicles, CFOs, CLOs and CDOs, RMBS and CMBS, including:

  • Titan Europe 2006-1, 2006-2, 2007-2
  • NorthLake CDO I
  • White Tower
  • Clio European CLO
  • Sigma Finance [2010] 1 All ER 571 (SC); [2009] BCC 393 (CA)
  • Eurosail [2009] EWHC 513 (Ch)
  • Bank of New York v Montana Board of Investments (Orion Finance) [2009] 1 All ER (Comm) 1081
  • Whistlejacket Capital [2008] 2 BCLC 683 (CA)
  • Golden Key [2009] All ER (D) 18 (CA); [2009] All ER (D) 40
  • Cheyne Finance (No 2) [2008] 2 All ER 987
  • Cheyne Finance (No 1) [2008] 1 BCLC 732
  • Sciens CFO
  • Rhinebridge
  • Mainsail

Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Barry has wide-ranging commercial experience and has appeared in a number of major trials.

Recent commercial cases include:

  • Rosesilver v Paton [2018] EWHC 103 (Ch), setting aside judgment obtained by fraud/pre-action disclosure
  • Rosesilver v Paton [2017] EWCA Civ 158, [2015] EWHC 1758 (Ch), breach of fiduciary duty/specific performance/equitable remedies  
  • Confidential arbitration, $150 million claim for professional negligence/breach of contract against valuation agent (6 week trial with 28 witnesses)
  • Confidential arbitration, $350 million fraud claim against investment manager and manager of two Bermuda hedge funds
  • Stainer v Lee [2011] 1 BCLC 537, derivative action/breach of directors’ duties
  • FKI Engineering v Stribog [2011] 1 WLR 3264 (CA); [2010] 2 All ER (Comm) 906, declaration of incompatibility/Judgments Regulation
  • Stornoway v SIV Portfolio [2011] All ER (D) 98, scope of indemnity clause
  • BTA Bank v Ablyazov, fraudulent misappropriation of funds
  • OBG v Allan, Douglas v Hello! (No 3), Mainstream Properties v Young [2008] AC 1 (HL), inducing breach of contract/interference with contractual relations/causing loss by unlawful means
  • Alfa Petroleum, dispute with BP relating to TNK-BP joint venture
  • Brunei Investment Authority v Price Jefri, misappropriation of funds
  • Leaderguard v MF Global, breach of duty and dishonest assistance
  • Amadeo Hotels v Zaman [2007] EWHC 295 (QB), worldwide freezing order

Major commercial trial experience includes Three Rivers DC v Bank of England (2 year commercial trial), the Bermuda Fire & Marine Insurance litigation (9-month trial in Bermuda), and NEMGIA v AGF.

Barry has particular expertise in relation to legal privilege, disclosure and civil procedure, having appeared in numerous cases arising from the BCCI collapse, including 7 appeals in the Court of Appeal or House of Lords:

  • [2005] 1 AC 610 (HL); [2004] QB 916 (CA); [2003] All ER (D) 40, legal professional privilege
  • [2005] CP Rep 47 (CA), judgments in private
  • [2005] CP Rep 46 (CA), restriction of cross-examination
  • [2003] All ER (D) 76, conduct of proceedings/exclusion of witnesses
  • [2003] All ER (D) 78, amendment of pleadings
  • [2003] QB 1556 (CA); [2002] CP Rep 34, scope of legal advice privilege
  • [2003] 1 WLR 210 (CA); [2002] All ER (D) 524, third party disclosure/meaning of “likely”
  • [2003] 2 AC 237 (HL), test for summary judgment
  • [2002] All ER (D) 130, disclosure/confidentiality
  • [2002] All ER (D) 207, public interest immunity/summary of report of British Intelligence services


Extensive experience of insurance and reinsurance insolvencies and restructurings, solvent and insolvent schemes of arrangement and business transfer schemes, including:

  • Royal London Mutual, Part VII transfer
  • Enstar (Bosworth, Knapton, Marlon, Mercantile, Indemnity, Unionamerica, River Thames), Part VII transfers
  • British American Insurance Co (Bermuda), scheme of arrangement
  • KIC Insurance (Bermuda)disputed proof of debt, Wrotham Park damages
  • Orion, cut-off scheme of arrangement
  • Enstar (Cavell, Fieldmill, Hillcot Re, Longmynd, River Thames, Unione Italiana (UK) Re), Part VII transfers
  • Ansvar (New Zealand), contingent solvent/insolvent scheme of arrangement
  • Lehman Re (Bermuda), subrogation/set-off/restructuring scheme
  • Re Equitas Insurance [2010] Lloyd’s LR 69, the largest transfer of insurance business, covering all 1992 and prior nonlife
  • business of members of Lloyd's
  • Re Phoenix and London Assurance [2009] EWHC (Ch) 3502, scheme of arrangement compromising guaranteed
  • pension rates and changing future investment strategy
  • Re Equitas Insurance [2009] Bus LR 509, dispensation of notification requirements under Part VII before finalisation of
  • independent expert’s report
  • WFUM Pools [2007] EWHC 1781 (Ch), contested solvent schemes of arrangement
  • Sompo, contested Part VII transfer
  • Highlands, direct solvent scheme and cedant scheme for insolvent company
  • Minster, 7 solvent schemes of arrangement
  • World Marine, solvent scheme of arrangement
  • Re Equitable Life [2002] 2 BCLC 510, scheme compromising guaranteed annuity rates and mis-selling claims
  • Re Equitable Life [2002] BCC 319, whether three classes appropriate/split voting

Other cases include:

  • Prudential, reattribution of inherited estate
  • Re OT Computers [2004] Ch 317 (CA); [2004] 1 All ER (Comm) 320, third party rights against insurers
  • Lloyd’s of London, disputes with Names
  • Equitable Life, defending mis-selling claims


Other reported cases include:

  • Dolphin Quays v Mills [2008] 1 WLR 1829 (CA); [2007] 4 All ER 503, third party costs
  • Re Crompton’s Leisure [2007] BCC 214, exit from administration
  • Three Rivers DC v Bank of England [2003] 2 AC 1 (HL), misfeasance in public office/First Bank Coordination Directive (77/780/EEC)
  • Re a Company (No 2507 of 2003) [2003] 2 BCLC 346, costs
  • Re Stallton Distribution [2002] BCC 486, administration/wishes of creditors
  • Munns v Perkins [2002] BPIR 120, remuneration
  • Society of Lloyd’s v Waters [2001] BPIR 698, annulment of bankruptcy
  • Re Mathew [2001] BPIR 531, statutory demand
  • Cevello v Currys Group [2000] BPIR 976, statutory demand/fresh evidence
  • BCCI v Al-Kaylani [1999] ILPr 278, discovery/domicile
  • Judd v Brown [1999] BPIR 517 (CA); [1997] BPIR 470, sale of matrimonial property/benefit to creditors
  • Re Raval [1998] BPIR 389, sale of matrimonial home/mental illness
  • Re Salters Hall School [1998] BCC 503, remuneration/successive liquidators
  • McMahon v AGF [1997] 2 BCLC 191, damages
  • Re Pendigo [1996] BCC 608, costs


Chambers & Partners
Insolvency/Restructuring QC of the Year 2013
"He is one of the smartest and also nicest people you could ever hope to work with"
"He is an extremely talented and clever advocate. He's very thorough and his style is lovely." 
"He is really excellent, he very much takes the bull by the horns. He is extremely effective in court, very measured and he hits the big points."
"Very diligent and very thorough. No stone is left overturned and every single point is dealt with as fully as it can be. He doesn't miss anything"
"He is a great guy to work with and very bright"
"His knowledge of the area is absolutely encyclopaedic" 
“A very clever lawyer, he really knows his stuff”
“Applauded for his attention to detail and diligence. He's very good at getting on top of a brief so that he has total recall of all the detail in the case”
“He is incredibly knowledgeable, practical and accessible”
“He has a very impressive legal mind”
“Insightful and commercial”
"I just love how well prepared he is, he's extremely thorough, logical and meticulous. You know when you refer something to Barry, he'll be prepared."
“He has excellent client relationships”
“Praised for his important work on cross-border insolvency”
“Recommended for cutting through the case law and getting right to the bottom of a case”
“Works industriously to achieve a positive outcome”
“Highly recommended for his insight into reconstruction and insolvency law, and for his complementary expertise in the areas of company, commercial litigation and banking and finance”
"A rising star, who is highly rated for his tremendous work rate, his exhaustive knowledge of insolvency law and his excellent client-facing skills”
Legal 500
“He has a calm courtroom presence, which is devastatingly effective.”
“Excellent on strategy and attention to detail.”
"At the top of his game, and extremely accessible and good with clients"
“Very smart”
“Very user-friendly and commercial”
“Strong numeracy skills and a willingness to grapple with esoteric legal and financial issues.”
“Highly recommended for structured finance, insurance and insolvency issues”
“A very well regarded banking and insolvency silk”
“Highly rated for insolvency and Chancery matters”
“Very good on company law issues”
“Praised for his excellent knowledge of the insurance world”
“Outgoing, charming and fun, and is part of the team from day one”
“Has excellent client relationships and is very good to work with”
"Very good with clients and hunts down points of law"
“Particularly effective in finding some obscure authority to use”


2015 Called to the Bar of the Cayman Islands
2012 Called to the Bar of the British Virgin Islands
2011 Appointed Queen’s Counsel
1999 Called to the Bar of Bermuda
1994 Called to the Bar of England and Wales
1991-1993 Henderson Investors plc, Investment Manager, private equity
1989-1991 Bain & Company, Strategy Consultant


Contributor to Company Directors: Duties, Liabilities and Remedies (1st Edition, OUP)


1989 Associate of the Society of Actuaries
1989 Harvard University, MA; Teaching Fellow
1987 Oriel College, Oxford University, MA

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