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Samson Spanier is a litigation and dispute resolution lawyer based in London. Samson's practice focuses on all aspects of banking and finance disputes, in particular concerning derivatives, debt capital markets, commodities and trade finance, Islamic finance, syndicated lending, sovereign debt and civil fraud in financial services.
As part of this practice, Samson also advises on blockchain / distributed ledger technology, the insolvency of financial services firms, court proceedings in support of arbitrations, jurisdiction disputes and the conflict of laws.
- Bar Professional Training Course, Inns of Court School of Law
- Graduate Diploma in Law, City University, London
- MA, History of Art, Courtauld Institute
- BA, English Literature, University of Cambridge
- Barrister, qualified in England & Wales
- Representing an investment trust company as intervener in the leading authority on lawful act duress. The Supreme Court reviewed all relevant authorities and created a new test for lawful act duress.
- Advising a commodities company on various factoring and trade finance agreements.
- Advising various companies on the civil law impact on various ISDA trades following sanctions legislation in 2022.
- Representing an SPV, the trustee of a US$650 million Islamic finance sukuk bond issuance, and a banking services company as its delegate, in this application to the High Court for trustee's directions. The judgment covers important issues about the scope of a bond trustee's powers including discussion of sections 15 and 69 of the Trustee Act 1925. The case is part of a long-running cross-border dispute.
- Representing a bank in a claim against it for an injunction preventing the disposal of financial instruments, brought in aid of foreign proceedings under s.25 of the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982.
- Advising a major bank on the completion of bond trades under ICMA rules.
- Advising a major bank on a distressed debt sale under Loan Market Association rules.
- Acting for an investment trust as note trustee on its US$3 billion+ claim for Ukraine's eurobond default in December 2015. The case raises many complex issues, including the capacity of a sovereign state to contract and the test under agency law to ascertain if a government minister has authority to act for a sovereign state. The case began in the High Court and subsequently was appealed to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court where it is pending.
- Advising a major bank on closing out derivatives transactions pursuant to an ISDA Master Agreement with an insolvent hedge fund.
- Advising a major bank on its defence of a claim concerning LIBOR and EURIBOR manipulation.
- Representing the sovereign state of Angola and its national bank in the recovery of US$500 million and a further €24.5m which they had paid to the defendants. Angola and the BNA commenced a claim alleging fraud, obtained a without notice worldwide freezing injunction and proprietary injunction against defendants located in the UK, Angola, Portugal and Japan, and successfully upheld the injunctions at the return date hearing. The case raises important issues regarding the duty of full and frank disclosure, jurisdiction disputes and the interaction with arbitration clauses, conflict of laws, the differences between, and respective advantages of, freezing injunctions and proprietary injunctions, and asset disclosure orders.
- Advising a business on the establishment of a blockchain system for authenticating assets.
- Representing a bank against a £40m plus interest rate hedging mis-selling claim brought by an English company and a Luxembourg company. The bank successfully struck out the mis-selling claim on the ground that it was time-barred. The case is a valuable guide to the workings of Section 14A of the Limitation Act 1980 and for confirmation that the way the claim is pleaded cannot change the date on which the limitation period expires.
- Representing a banking services company following the default of a US$650 million sukuk (Islamic finance bond) issuance. The transaction was one of the first ever Islamic finance defaults and relates to the prominent Saudi conglomerate, Saad Trading and its general partner Maan Al-Sanea. The Sukuk defaulted following allegations of fraud on the part of the defendants. The English claim is in parallel to proceedings in Saudi Arabia. Factual and legal issues in the global proceedings include the authenticity of wet ink signatures, jurisdiction and conflict of laws.
- Advising a major bank on its role as facility agent pursuant to a US$300 million plus loan facility.
- Acting for the claimant in a dispute concerning an escrow account set up pursuant to a share purchase agreement that had been the subject of an arbitration. The judgment involves consideration of the test for an interim injunction in the financial services context.
- Advising a counterparty to a Lehman Brothers entity over payment following the insolvency of the prominent banking conglomerate.
- Acting for an investment bank in its US$285 million dispute with Mercuria on aluminium and copper obligated 'repo' transactions (i.e. repurchase agreements) believed to be the subject of a third party fraud in the Chinese ports of Qingdao and Penglai. The case provides a notable insight into how ISDA master agreement language has been adapted for repo transactions. The case is of wider importance beyond financial services for its valuable guidance on how to construe contracts where some words appear to be repugnant to the rest, and on the defence of circuity of action.
- Author, "Chapter 7: Blockchain disputes: risks and resolutions," October 2018
Blog | March 17, 2022
Publication | March 17, 2022
Publication | December 01, 2021
Blog | October 18, 2021