ProfileSusan has many years of experience in litigation, advisory, and drafting work in the areas of commercial chancery, insolvency, property litigation and serious fraud work. In addition to her practice for solicitors and clients Susan undertakes some public access work for individuals and companies, and in 2014 was awarded the right to conduct litigation by the Bar Standards Board.
Solicitors and/or clients have made the following comments on Susan’s work -
“We have instructed Susan on a number of insolvency cases. She is very responsive, and mindful of the client’s needs. Susan’s collaborative approach means working with her is always a positive team effort. Having locally based experienced counsel is invaluable” (Coffin Mew LLP).
“I have known Susan for a number of years and worked with her whilst at Grant Thornton and on secondment to the Serious Fraud Office. She provides clear and commercial advice however complex the case” (Former Fraud Investigations and Dispute Services Leader Ernst Young Cayman Islands).
“Highly recommended as counsel on fraud cases and proceeds of crime. An expert in insolvency matters. Excellent advocate and always prepares cases with great care. Is creative and really good value for money. Susan is the kind of counsel one would want to instruct rather than have against one as she is can be a formidable opponent”. (Former head of the Proceeds of Crime Unit of the Serious Fraud Office).
“I have known Susan for many years and her wide experience makes her ideally suited to assist in unusual (as well as the more routine) insolvency issues I come across. That breadth of experience and ability to drill down into a key issue also makes her ideal to head the development of her growing chambers". (Mark Sands, Personal insolvency specialist at Quantuma).
“I instructed Susan Brown to advise in assist in relation to an application to have a statutory demand set aside. The consequences of failing to do so successfully would have been potentially devastating for the client’s professional career and reputation. The case involved complex issues of jurisdiction and undue influence as well as contractual interpretation. Susan was of great help throughout the case and her technical expertise along with her client care skills were first rate. The client’s application was successful which was in no small part to the work done by Susan. I would have no hesitation in instructing her again or recommending her to others. (Senior Solicitor, Wilkin Chapman LLP).
“Susan combines excellent service with a quick and deep understanding of the issues in play and forthright advocacy”. (Partner, Gunnercooke LLP).
“Susan is a very accomplished lawyer and an effective communicator of her knowledge and skills”. (Managing Director at CMB Partners UK Limited).
After qualifying at the Chancery Bar, Susan worked in the insolvency litigation department of Alsop Wilkinson (now DLA Piper), and advised and assisted one of the Administrators of Polly Peck International PLC (In Administration), Mr Christopher Morris, in tracing the missing millions which had disappeared from Polly Peck. Susan also advised on Rough Trade PLC (In Administration) involving litigation between the music labels and their producers which was highlighted in the music press.
In 1993 Susan took tenancy in common law chambers in London and as a junior built up over the ensuing 10 years a wide chancery/commercial practice embracing commercial litigation, property (both freehold and leasehold), insolvency, and proceeds of crime litigation. In 2002 Susan moved to chancery chambers in Lincoln’s Inn London and then in 2010 moved to commercial chambers in the Temple London.
In 2015 Susan started her own Chancery and Commercial chambers, Tennyson Chambers, in Southampton after almost 23 years in full time practice in London (although clients do still have the option of having their conferences held in London if they so wish).
Also in 2015 Susan was appointed as LPP Counsel to the Rolls Royce plc inquiry by the Serious Fraud Office into Bribery and Corruption allegations against Rolls Royce plc. On 17th January 2017, a DPA was announced between the Serious Fraud Office and Rolls Royce plc for £497.25 million plus interest and SFO costs of £13 million.
Susan is a member of the Chancery Bar Association, Proceeds of Crime Lawyers Association, and an assocaite member of The Association of Business Recovery Professionals (R3), and the Hampshire Law Society. Susan has also been an advocacy trainer for the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn, and has previously been a committee member of the South Eastern Circuit.
Insolvency, and Company
Susan has been involved in this field since the start of her career and is a well-regarded and known advocate for insolvency and company matters. Solicitors feedback comments have included -
“Susan is very knowledgeable but also approachable and provided a first class service to clients that I have referred” (Senior Associate Solicitor at Pinney Talfourd LLP).
“Susan has an enviable command of her specialist area. She is able to provide advice on very difficult areas, quickly and lucidly” (Partner, Longmores Solicitors).
Susan advises on corporate insolvency (including directors disqualification), and personal bankruptcy acting for debtors, creditors, and office holders. Recent cases have included –
• acting on behalf of a hedge fund owed £43 million on an application by Administrators for directions in the Companies Court,
• advising and appearing for a major pharmaceutical company on an application for directions in relation to a dispute over retention of title of goods involving issues of complex law.
• Dealing with the placing of a league football club into administration.
• Dealing with a variety of court applications arising in a complex administration dealing with the sale of land.
Susan deals with all aspects of administrations, receiverships, company voluntary arrangements, and liquidations including all associated court work.
In bankruptcy Susan has acted on many applications to set aside statutory demands as well as defending applications for bankruptcy, acting for creditors, debtors and trustees in bankruptcy in relation to bankruptcy petitions, and individual voluntary arrangements. Most recently Susan acted to save a property developer from bankruptcy on an alleged director’s guarantee. Susan undertakes heavy insolvency cases of some complexity. In addition, she advises and appears for company directors in company director’s disqualification proceedings also of some complexity.
Reported cases include–
• In the matter of International Championship Management Limited (In Liquidation) Cohen v Canty, Davis, Shepherd and Dubey and the Matter of Mall Corporate Events Limited (In Liquidation)  2 BCLC 274; Acted as sole advocate – company insolvency. Also acted in the previous heavy director’s disqualification proceedings which were complex but not reported.
• Tanner and another v Everitt and another  EWHC 1130 (Ch),  BPIR 1026; 8 day High Court trial concerning the validity of an individual voluntary arrangement. Sole Advocate.
• Sonia Oguntunde Smith v Stephen Treharne (as Trustee in Bankruptcy of the bankrupt estate of Anthony Oguntunde Smith)  AER [D] 348 (Apr),  BPIR 925; Appeal in Bankruptcy.
• E creditors meetings – Insolvency Practitioners Association’s members bulletin August 2012.
• "The interrelationship between Restraint Orders and bankruptcy - piercing the corporate veil", Tolley's Insolvency Law and Practice Vol. 19 No.2 2003 page 43.
• "Watch out for criminal property", The Trust and Estates Law Journal March 2003 No.44 page 13.
• "Individual Voluntary Arrangements - Limitation, the appointment of supervisors and the doctrine of estoppel" Tolley's Insolvency Law and Practice Vol.20 Number 6 2004 pages 235-237.
Serious Fraud and Proceeds of Crime
Susan was appointed by the Attorney General for 3 years to the Panel “A” list of Counsel (barristers over 10 years call) for the Serious Fraud Office between 2009-2012 for proceeds of crime litigation, and in 2016 was appointed by the Attorney General to the Serious Fraud Office Panel of Review Counsel. As stated above Susan was appointed as LPP Review Counsel on the SFO’s Rolls Royce plc enquiry into bribery and corruption. .
Susan has dealt with several serious cases including -
• The enforcement of a confiscation order involving a successful appearance in the Court of Appeal and Magistrates Court. Defendant subsequently given a 3 year prison term.
• A 48 property serious mortgage fraud – successful outcome.
• Crown Prosecution Service v Ronald Compton, David Coyne (as Trustee in Bankruptcy of Ronald Compton), Comptons of Brighton Limited and Margaret Compton (2002) Court of Appeal EWCA Civil (2002) AER [D] 395 (Nov); Sole advocate. Case concerned enforcement of a restraint order in the context of bankruptcy and the Drug Trafficking Act 1994. The legal issues were which took precedence the restraint order or the bankruptcy order and whether it was possible to pierce the corporate veil in a close company used by the Defendant for money laundering. Led in the Court of Appeal, but handled all High Court hearings as sole Advocate.
• Susan’s work has included work for receivers in connection with restraint and receivership orders and the enforcement of confiscation orders.
• R v Malik (2003) EWHC 660 Admin 2003 AER [D] 33 (Apr); Witness trial – successful outcome for the prosecution – sole advocate.
• R v Katchis  ACD 70 (witness trial – successful outcome).
• As well as and numerous other types of applications under the Criminal Justice Act 1988, Drug Trafficking Act 1994, and Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Property and Landlord and Tenant
Susan has practiced in the law of property and landlord and tenant since the start of her career. All types of freehold property matters are covered including, but not limited to, co-ownership, restrictive covenants, easements including rights to light, and rights of way, boundary disputes, party wall disputes, nuisance, flooding, conveyancing disputes, Law of Property Act receiverships, mortgages, charges, mortgage repossession disputes, registration of land, trusts of land, construction of real property deeds and settlements, occupier’s liability, prescription rights, joint tenancies, tenancies in common, specific performance and injunctions, property ownership, legal estates, equitable remedies, vendor and purchaser disputes, dispositions of land, adverse possession, the law of trespass, squatting, possession, interpretation of contracts, powers of attorney relating to land, listed building consent and prosecutions connected thereto, vesting orders, limitation, incumbrances, inheritance of land, inheritance act claims, claims of fraud connected with the conveyance of land, overriding interests, dispositions of equitable interests, covenants affecting land, sale of land, professional negligence connected with all these areas, and property development matters. Recent cases, for example, have included –
• Acting for a property owner accused of breaching listed building consent on a property redevelopment.
• Advising on a dispute between freehold co-owners as to the right to redevelop property falling within a long lease of the property.
• Advising on an appeal for planning consent and judicial review connected thereto.
Susan has advised on all areas of landlord and tenants for many years both in relation to commercial and residential premises issues. These include , but are not limited to, repossession and service charge disputes, disrepair, damages, and nuisance claims connected with leasehold premises, forfeiture of leases and relief from forfeiture, waiver of forfeiture, construction of leases, validity of leases, rent claims including ground rents, extension of leases, enfranchisement of leases, Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, service charge assessment before the First Tribunal (Property Chamber), right to manage, section 20 Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 notices, eviction disputes, secure tenancies, assured and assured shorthold tenancies, long leases, drafting leases, arrears of rent and service charge, covenants, Housing Acts 1985, 1988, 1996, 2004, Landlord and Tenant Acts 1986, 1987, and 1988, failure to provide accounts, injunctions, specific performance, equitable remedies, estoppel, leasehold reform, Defective Premises Act 1972, mobile homes, Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995, land registration, Rent Act 1977, homelessness, licensing of leasehold premises, houses in multiple occupation, regulation of leasehold premises, agency, costs, surrender, security of tenure, Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 and notices there under, validity of assignment of leases, ownership, construction of covenants, statutory tenancies, termination of business and residential tenancies, grant of leases, under leases, subletting, squatting, continuation of tenancies, protection of tenancies, licences, limitation and withholding of service charges, subletting, landlord’s duties of consultation, consent to assignment, purchase of freehold, and grounds for possession.
Recent cases have included –
• Successfully obtaining judgement for just under £2.1 million in the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (now the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber). Susan was instructed on behalf of liquidators of the head lessee company (and funded by a major construction company) in relation to a block of 197 flats and the assessment of the reasonableness of the service charge for all 197 flats. Substantial works of construction and renewal of pipework of the entire building had taken place. The creditor construction company claimed disruption damages and many long leaseholders withheld service charge;
• Advising upon and defending repossession proceedings of commercial restaurant premises included issues of waiver of the right to forfeiture and application for relief from forfeiture;
• Advising and appearing on repossession proceedings brought against secure tenants by local authorities and housing trusts including the case of Windsor District Housing Association v Jean Hewitt  HLR 39.
“I have instructed Susan on a number of occasions and always found her to be knowledgeable and hard working. I particularly like the fact that Susan will quite often pick up the phone to get a better understanding of the problem and desired outcome”. (Director SP Law Solicitors Limited and assistant Coroner).
Wills, trusts, and probate
A small amount of Susan’s work involves traditional chancery work in the areas of wills, trusts, probate, and the administrations of deceased’s estates. This includes advising on will provisions, validity of wills, trusts, probate, donates mortis causa, interpretation of wills, the law of intestacy, settlements, Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 claims, and court disputes connected with these areas. Susan’s most recent reported case in this area is –
• Markou and Others v Goodwin and others  WLTR 605. A dispute between executors of a will and the beneficiaries of the will about the testamentary capacity of the deceased and whether the dementia suffered by the deceased shortly before her death was sufficient to invalidate a will (also made shortly before her death) in favour of a carer. It was 6 day High Court trial with several witnesses.
Throughout her career, Susan has undertaken advisory and litigious commercial litigation. Examples of her work include -
• acting for a major well known city reinsurance company in commercial court proceedings on a multimillion pound damages claim.
• advising on pension misselling;
• acting in relation to the enforcement of a substantial foreign arbitral award in the United Kingdom and appointment of High Court receivers.
Susan’s article “The enforcement of arbitration awards – the duty of full and frank disclosure” was published in the New Law Journal.
Susan has gained experience of multi-jurisdictional work both in the areas of insolvency and in the areas of proceeds of crime, and is keen to encourage off shore work within her new chambers in all areas of chancery and commercial work.
For further information please contact Susan Brown at Tennyson Chambers on 02381 511511 or 0203 470 0047. You may also look at her new web site at www.tennysonchambers.com which provides a wealth of further information about direct access and her chambers generally. Susan aims to give a very prompt response. Please set out, where applicable, if any court date has been set for your case, and how urgent your matter is.
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