Samson Spanier

Senior Associate
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

United Kingdom
T:+44 20 7444 5659
United Kingdom
T:+44 20 7444 5659
Samson Spanier

Samson Spanier



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.

Professional experience

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  • University of Cambridge, English Literature BA
  • Courtauld Institute, London, History of Art MA
  • City University, London, Graduate Diploma in Law
  • Inns of Court School of Law, London, Bar Professional Training Course


  • Barrister, qualified in England & Wales
  • Law Debenture Trust Corp Plc v Ukraine [2017] EWHC 655 (Comm); [2017] EWHC 1902 (Comm); [2018] EWCA Civ 2026; Supreme Court UKSC 2018/0191 / UKSC 2018/0192. Acting for Law Debenture as note trustee on its US$3bn plus claim for Ukraine's eurobond default in December 2015. The case raises many complex issues, including the capacity of a sovereign state to contract, the test under agency law to ascertain if a government minister has authority to act for a sovereign state, duress, and the interaction of English law with international law such as treaties, the UN Charter and the doctrine of countermeasures. The case began in the High Court and subsequently was appealed to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court
  • 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.
  • The Republic of Angola and Banco Nacional De Angola v Perfectbit Ltd [2018] EWHC 965 (Comm) and [2018] 3 WLUK 76. Representing the sovereign state of Angola and its national bank in the recovery of US$500m 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.
  • Munroe K Ltd v Bank of Scotland Plc [2018] EWHC 3583 (Comm). Representing Bank of Scotland against a £40m plus interest rate hedging mis-selling claim brought by an English company and a Luxembourg company. Bank of Scotland 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.
  • Citicorp Trustee Company Limited and Golden Belt 1 Sukuk Company B.S.C(c) v Maan Al-Sanea and Saad Trading, Contracting and Financial Services Company [2017] EWHC 2845 (Comm). Representing Citicorp Trustee Company Limited following the default of a US$650m 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. 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$300m plus loan facility.
  • KUFPEC Singapore Holding Ltd v Sanderson Capital Resources Ltd [2017] EWHC 2816 (Comm). 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.
  • Mercuria Energy Trading PTE Ltd v Citibank NA [2015] EWHC 1481 (Comm); [2016] EWCA Civ 584. Acting for Citi in its US$285m 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.


Blockchain disputes: risks and resolutions
Chapter 7 focuses on blockchain and distributed ledger technology disputes, with particular emphasis on remedies, smart contracts, conflict of laws, jurisdiction, arbitration and enforcement.
October 2018

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