Commercial Fraud Lawyers Association: When Banks Must Say No: the Quincecare duty in Singularis v Daiwa and JPMorgan v Nigeria

On 30th October 2019 the Supreme Court gave its judgment in Singularis Holdings v Daiwa Capital Markets [2019] UKSC 50, dismissing the appeal from the Court of Appeal where Daiwa had been ordered to pay damages for executing payment instructions given by a director of Singularis.  The result now provides the highest authority for the Quincecare duty of care, and the difficulty for banks in attempting a defence based on a customer’s own illegal acts.

Singularis comes hot on the heels of the Court of Appeal’s decision in JPMorgan v Nigeria [2019] EWCA Civ 1641, which considered the scope of the Quincecare duty owed by a bank which has reasonable grounds for suspecting that its customer’s order is an attempt to misappropriate funds, and the difficulty of excluding such a duty.

Paul Downes QC, Stewart Chirnside and Simon Oakes will examine the extent of the Quincecare duty in the light of these recent decisions and the cases preceding them, and will also consider the interrelationship between the concepts of being “on enquiry” and a banker’s duties to freeze an account where it suspects money laundering under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

Venue: Quadrant House, 10 Fleet Street

Registration: 5.45pm


Paul Downes QC

Paul is recognised as a formidable advocate and cross-examiner who is presently instructed in some of the hardest fought pieces of commercial and banking litigation at the bar. The directories describe him as “incredibly astute”, “a terrific cross-examiner” and “brave and dogged”. His advocacy is likewise praised as “powerful”, “phenomenal” and “fearless”. Paul is leading counsel for West Ham United in their various disputes over the London Stadium (including having appeared for them in the Court of Appeal in West Ham v E20) and is acting for Sheffield United Limited in their dispute with His Royal Highness Prince Abdullah Al Saud which is listed for trial in May 2019.  Paul is also leading counsel for the Claimant in N v RBS (coming to trial at the end of January 2019), listed by The Lawyer magazine as one of the top 20 cases of 2019.

Before coming to the Bar, Paul worked for Barclays Bank and is an Associate of the Chartered Banker Institute. He also previously was appointed an assistant examiner for the Institute in banking law and accountancy.  He is recommended as a leading silk for banking & finance and commercial dispute resolution in Chambers & Partners UK Bar and for Banking & Finance, Commercial Litigation, Financial Services and Fraud: Civil in Legal 500.

To view Paul's full website profile, please click here.

Stewart Chirnside

Stewart specialises in commercial litigation, including banking and finance, commercial fraud, professional negligence, property damage and product liability. Stewart is recommended in Legal 500 as a leading junior in the fields of Banking and Finance, Financial Services and Professional Negligence and in Chambers & Partners UK Bar as a leading junior for Commercial Dispute Resolution.

Described in legal directories as having “courtroom gravitas well beyond his years”, he has also been praised for having “an amazing work ethic, a client-friendly approach and excellent advocacy skills”. He has also been described as “immensely intelligent” and “a fantastic advocate who is always meticulously prepared”.

Stewart regularly appears in trials in the High Court (both as junior and sole counsel) and he is also regularly instructed on interlocutory applications in relation to freezing orders and other interim relief. He also has experience of international arbitrations and appeals to the Court of Appeal where he has appeared most recently in PHP Tobacco Carib Sarl v BAT Caribbean SA [2017] EWCA Civ 1131 (an appeal in relation to the existence of an exclusive jurisdiction agreement under Recast Brussels Regulation).

To view Stewart's full website profile, please click here

Simon Oakes

Simon Oakes practises in commercial law, with a particular focus on banking & financial services, and complex commercial fraud cases.

Simon has a wealth of experience in some of the most significant banking and financial services cases of recent years, from major interest rate hedging product litigation to regulatory investigations against individuals. He has a deep knowledge of the allegations of LIBOR misconduct against several major banks, a great deal of experience in misselling cases, and a wealth of experience of developing legal and tactical arguments in major commercial litigation.

Significant recent instructions include:

  • Two ongoing multi-million pound deceit claims against Bank of Scotland and/or Lloyds Banking Group
  • Aldersgate & Ors v Bank of Scotland & Anor [2018] EWHC 2601 (Comm): a Commercial Court claim in excess of £100 million, alleging fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation arising out of LIBOR manipulation. The case also involved a ground-breaking interlocutory application by the defendant, attempting to withdraw pleaded admissions of findings by global regulators.
  • The LIBOR test case of Graiseley Properties Ltd v Barclays Bank Plc, Deutsche Bank AG v Unitech Global Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 1372 (CA), in the Court of Appeal and in the High Court. One of The Lawyer’s ‘Top 20 cases’ of 2013.
  • Hockin v Royal Bank of Scotland in the High Court: a £55 million Financial List banking case concerning interest rate products and the bank’s Global Recovery Group (‘GRG’), and involving issues of misrepresentation, LIBOR manipulation, unlawful means conspiracy and implied duties of good faith.
  • Viavi v Shannan & Others [2018] EWCA Civ 681: a significant dispute about the validity of deeds, the principle in Re Duomatic, and estoppel by deed.
  • Advising as to the impact of Brexit on the security of motor insurers.

To view Simon's full website profile, please click here.