Darragh Connell

Practice overview

Darragh is a much sought-after commercial barrister combining approachability with sensible, pragmatic advice and effective advocacy.

Prior to joining the Bar, Darragh worked in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs in London where he was involved in benchmark debt and equity capital markets transactions.

Darragh has a very busy commercial litigation practice focusing on domestic and international contractual disputes, insolvency, banking and financial services litigation as well as sports law. He appears regularly in the High Court demonstrating particular expertise in obtaining and resisting urgent injunction applications.

Clerk details

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Banking and Finance

Darragh deals with a variety of banking and financial services litigation emanating from loan agreements, guarantees, derivatives, and complex financial products. His background working for Goldman Sachs’ Investment Banking Division makes him an effective choice in such disputes.

Darragh is familiar with the requirements of the FCA’s Conduct of Business Sourcebook (COBS), MCOBS, MiFID, MiFID II and the market abuse regime.

Darragh’s banking work includes:

  • O’Hare v Coutts[2018] EWCA Civ, together with David Wolfson QC and Paul O’Doherty instructed by Cooke Young & Keidan representing the appellants.
  • Re HBOS Reading Fraud(2018), acting on behalf of a director and shareholder of a company included within the Lloyds Banking Group’s HBOS Reading Fraud Redress Scheme overseen by Professor Griggs following the convictions of Lynden Scourfield and others in respect of the HBOS Reading office scandal.
  • Re Clawback Commission(2018), representing an independent financial advisor in proceedings brought by an insurance company seeking to clawback commissions paid in respect of previously issued insurance policies.
  • Re: A Bank Account (2017)(High Court, Queen’s Bench Division), together with Zoe O’Sullivan QC representing an international petroleum company contesting the imminent closure of its GBP and EUR bank accounts.
  • O’Hare v Coutts[2016] EWHC 2224 (QB), together with Paul O’Doherty instructed by Cooke Young & Keidan in a 10 day trial before Kerr J. The judgment involved setting a new standard of care for financial advisers deviating from the traditional Bolam

Commercial Litigation

Darragh appears in the High Court in contractual disputes representing an array of clients including medium-sized businesses, liquidators, investors, directors, shareholders, recruitment companies, mezzanine financiers and independent financial advisers.

He has acted in specific contractual disputes concerning international sale and distribution contracts; share purchase agreements; agency contracts; guarantees; vehicle leasing agreements; bonus/commission arrangements; recruitment contracts; and restrictive covenant claims.

Darragh is frequently instructed to advise on aspects of company law ranging from disputes between shareholders, to breaches of directors’ duties and the interpretation of shareholders’ agreements. He advises clients presenting and resisting unfair prejudice petitions arising from the actions and conduct of majority shareholders.

Darragh’s recent commercial cases include:

  • In the matter of A Fashion Company(2018), acting on behalf of the fashion design company terminating an international supply and distribution agreement for repudiatory breach by local distributor companies.
  • A Ltd v NM(High Court, Chancery Division) (2017), acting on behalf of the purchasing company pursuing a vendor for breaches of warranty contained in a multi-million pound share purchase agreement regarding the recoverability of deferred consideration in light of alleged misrepresentations during the sale process.
  • In the matter of a recruitment transfer/introduction fee (2017), acting in a high value dispute concerning the enforceability of a transfer/introduction fee in a recruitment contract for temporary employees giving rise to issues concerning the effective cause of the purported introduction and compliance with the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Regulations 2005.
  • Re A Personal Guarantee(2017), representing a guarantor in respect of an outstanding finance facility entered by the primary obligor with a bridging lender.
  • White & Ors v PSM Residential Finance & Ors[2017] EWHC 1925, opposing an application to set aside a judgment on the grounds of an alleged fraudulent misrepresentation in the context of a certificate of practical completion in respect of a property development.
  • M v K(High Court, Chancery Division) (2017), representing a claimant pursuing a contractual claim arising from the operation of a film finance scheme.
  • ReConnaught Income Fund, Series 1 (In Liquidation) (2015)together with Paul O’Doherty, representing the Operator of the £100 million Connaught Income Fund, a UCIS in the property funding market, in related litigation arising from the group litigation action: Connaught Income Fund, Series 1 (In Liquidation) v (1) Capita Financial Managers Ltd (2) Blue Gate Capital Ltd[2014] EWHC 3619 (Comm).

Injunctions

Commercial Injunctions: Darragh is very experienced in obtaining and resisting injunction applications. He has appeared in a range of cases concerning freezing orders; orders restraining winding up petitions; anti-harassment injunctions; breach of confidentiality claims and commercial injunctions restraining breaches of contract including those in respect of employee/director restrictive covenants.

His recent injunction instructions include:

  • Re: A Bank Account (High Court, Queen’s Bench Division) (2017), together with Zoe O’Sullivan QC representing an international petroleum company contesting the imminent closure of its GBP and EUR bank accounts.
  • Re: A Recruitment Company(2018), obtaining an urgent injunction restraining a recruitment sales consultant from establishing a rival business in breach of a restrictive covenant in the post-termination provisions of his contract of employment.
  • Re An Injunction(2017)(High Court, Queen’s Bench Division), obtaining an urgent interim injunction on a without notice basis in respect of a proposed claim pursuant to the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
  • Re A Disputed Petition (High Court, Chancery Division)(2016), acting on behalf of the successful Applicant in obtaining an injunction restraining Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs from presenting a winding up petition in respect of a debt disputed on substantial grounds.
  • Abena UK Ltd v Zackaria(2015)(QB), appearing on behalf of a Respondent to a freezing order.

Insolvency

Darragh is frequently instructed in insolvency applications from setting aside statutory demands and winding up petitions to more complicated cases involving transactions at an undervalue, preferences and transactions to defraud creditors (s.423). He is also a regular contributor to Thomson Reuter’s Insolvency Intelligence.

Darragh’s notable insolvency cases include:

  • F v F(July 2017 & March 2018)(High Court, Chancery Division, Companies Court), successfully setting aside a statutory demand in respect of an alleged £180,000 loan between family members on the grounds that there was a substantial dispute as to whether the sums were instead transferred as gifts.
  • Re A Football Club (May 2017)(High Court, Chancery Division, Companies Court), acting on behalf of a well-known League One football club in successfully dismissing a winding up petition and obtaining validation orders prior to the hearing of the petition.
  • Re A Disputed Petition (High Court, Chancery Division)(2016), acting on behalf of the successful Applicant in obtaining an injunction restraining Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs from presenting a winding up petition in respect of a debt disputed on substantial grounds.
  • In the matter of Lotus F1 Team Limited (July 2015)(High Court, Chancery Division, Companies Court), acting for a petitioning creditor in respect of the winding up petition issued in respect of Lotus F1 Limited.

Sports Law

Darragh is a member of the British Association for Sport and Law. Drawing upon his expertise in litigation and insolvency expertise, he is developing a practice domestic and international commercial arbitrations including those in a sports or contractual context.

His recent sports-related work includes:

  • Advising a significant shareholder during the administration of a sports media company following a pre-packaged sale.
  • Representing a number of retired professional footballers in a high value claim against concerning a Spanish property development and fraudulent misrepresentations by independent financial advisers.
  • Successfully representing a league one football club in dismissing a winding up petition brought by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs including obtaining a validation order from the Court pursuant to s.127 of the Insolvency Act 1986 to ensure that the club’s players’ wages continued to be paid until the petition was dismissed.
  • In the matter of Lotus F1 Team Limited (July 2015)(High Court, Chancery Division, Companies Court), acting for a petitioning creditor in respect of the winding up petition issued in respect of Lotus F1 Limited.

Qualifications

BCL University College Dublin
Barrister-at-Law Degree Honorable Society of the King’s Inns, Dublin
LL.M. (Commercial) Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge

Professional bodies

British Association for Sport and Law (BASL)
Chancery Bar Association
Financial Services Lawyers Association
London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association
London Irish Lawyers Association

Scholarships and awards

Senior Exhibition Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge 
Emlyn Wade Award Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge
Prize-winning paper the Danish Law Society’s International Rule of Law Award 
Gold Medal for Oratory  UCD Law Society
Swift McNeill Memorial Scholarship to the King’s Inns 
Stage 3 BCL Academic Scholarship

Practice overview

Darragh is a much sought-after commercial barrister combining approachability with sensible, pragmatic advice and effective advocacy.

Prior to joining the Bar, Darragh worked in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs in London where he was involved in benchmark debt and equity capital markets transactions.

Darragh has a very busy commercial litigation practice focusing on domestic and international contractual disputes, insolvency, banking and financial services litigation as well as sports law. He appears regularly in the High Court demonstrating particular expertise in obtaining and resisting urgent injunction applications.

Clerk details

clerks@forumchambers.com

020 3735 8070

Banking and Finance

Darragh deals with a variety of banking and financial services litigation emanating from loan agreements, guarantees, derivatives, and complex financial products. His background working for Goldman Sachs’ Investment Banking Division makes him an effective choice in such disputes.

Darragh is familiar with the requirements of the FCA’s Conduct of Business Sourcebook (COBS), MCOBS, MiFID, MiFID II and the market abuse regime.

Darragh’s banking work includes:

  • O’Hare v Coutts[2018] EWCA Civ, together with David Wolfson QC and Paul O’Doherty instructed by Cooke Young & Keidan representing the appellants.
  • Re HBOS Reading Fraud(2018), acting on behalf of a director and shareholder of a company included within the Lloyds Banking Group’s HBOS Reading Fraud Redress Scheme overseen by Professor Griggs following the convictions of Lynden Scourfield and others in respect of the HBOS Reading office scandal.
  • Re Clawback Commission(2018), representing an independent financial advisor in proceedings brought by an insurance company seeking to clawback commissions paid in respect of previously issued insurance policies.
  • Re: A Bank Account (2017)(High Court, Queen’s Bench Division), together with Zoe O’Sullivan QC representing an international petroleum company contesting the imminent closure of its GBP and EUR bank accounts.
  • O’Hare v Coutts[2016] EWHC 2224 (QB), together with Paul O’Doherty instructed by Cooke Young & Keidan in a 10 day trial before Kerr J. The judgment involved setting a new standard of care for financial advisers deviating from the traditional Bolam

Commercial Litigation

Darragh appears in the High Court in contractual disputes representing an array of clients including medium-sized businesses, liquidators, investors, directors, shareholders, recruitment companies, mezzanine financiers and independent financial advisers.

He has acted in specific contractual disputes concerning international sale and distribution contracts; share purchase agreements; agency contracts; guarantees; vehicle leasing agreements; bonus/commission arrangements; recruitment contracts; and restrictive covenant claims.

Darragh is frequently instructed to advise on aspects of company law ranging from disputes between shareholders, to breaches of directors’ duties and the interpretation of shareholders’ agreements. He advises clients presenting and resisting unfair prejudice petitions arising from the actions and conduct of majority shareholders.

Darragh’s recent commercial cases include:

  • In the matter of A Fashion Company(2018), acting on behalf of the fashion design company terminating an international supply and distribution agreement for repudiatory breach by local distributor companies.
  • A Ltd v NM(High Court, Chancery Division) (2017), acting on behalf of the purchasing company pursuing a vendor for breaches of warranty contained in a multi-million pound share purchase agreement regarding the recoverability of deferred consideration in light of alleged misrepresentations during the sale process.
  • In the matter of a recruitment transfer/introduction fee (2017), acting in a high value dispute concerning the enforceability of a transfer/introduction fee in a recruitment contract for temporary employees giving rise to issues concerning the effective cause of the purported introduction and compliance with the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Regulations 2005.
  • Re A Personal Guarantee(2017), representing a guarantor in respect of an outstanding finance facility entered by the primary obligor with a bridging lender.
  • White & Ors v PSM Residential Finance & Ors[2017] EWHC 1925, opposing an application to set aside a judgment on the grounds of an alleged fraudulent misrepresentation in the context of a certificate of practical completion in respect of a property development.
  • M v K(High Court, Chancery Division) (2017), representing a claimant pursuing a contractual claim arising from the operation of a film finance scheme.
  • ReConnaught Income Fund, Series 1 (In Liquidation) (2015)together with Paul O’Doherty, representing the Operator of the £100 million Connaught Income Fund, a UCIS in the property funding market, in related litigation arising from the group litigation action: Connaught Income Fund, Series 1 (In Liquidation) v (1) Capita Financial Managers Ltd (2) Blue Gate Capital Ltd[2014] EWHC 3619 (Comm).

Injunctions

Commercial Injunctions: Darragh is very experienced in obtaining and resisting injunction applications. He has appeared in a range of cases concerning freezing orders; orders restraining winding up petitions; anti-harassment injunctions; breach of confidentiality claims and commercial injunctions restraining breaches of contract including those in respect of employee/director restrictive covenants.

His recent injunction instructions include:

  • Re: A Bank Account (High Court, Queen’s Bench Division) (2017), together with Zoe O’Sullivan QC representing an international petroleum company contesting the imminent closure of its GBP and EUR bank accounts.
  • Re: A Recruitment Company(2018), obtaining an urgent injunction restraining a recruitment sales consultant from establishing a rival business in breach of a restrictive covenant in the post-termination provisions of his contract of employment.
  • Re An Injunction(2017)(High Court, Queen’s Bench Division), obtaining an urgent interim injunction on a without notice basis in respect of a proposed claim pursuant to the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
  • Re A Disputed Petition (High Court, Chancery Division)(2016), acting on behalf of the successful Applicant in obtaining an injunction restraining Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs from presenting a winding up petition in respect of a debt disputed on substantial grounds.
  • Abena UK Ltd v Zackaria(2015)(QB), appearing on behalf of a Respondent to a freezing order.

Insolvency

Darragh is frequently instructed in insolvency applications from setting aside statutory demands and winding up petitions to more complicated cases involving transactions at an undervalue, preferences and transactions to defraud creditors (s.423). He is also a regular contributor to Thomson Reuter’s Insolvency Intelligence.

Darragh’s notable insolvency cases include:

  • F v F(July 2017 & March 2018)(High Court, Chancery Division, Companies Court), successfully setting aside a statutory demand in respect of an alleged £180,000 loan between family members on the grounds that there was a substantial dispute as to whether the sums were instead transferred as gifts.
  • Re A Football Club (May 2017)(High Court, Chancery Division, Companies Court), acting on behalf of a well-known League One football club in successfully dismissing a winding up petition and obtaining validation orders prior to the hearing of the petition.
  • Re A Disputed Petition (High Court, Chancery Division)(2016), acting on behalf of the successful Applicant in obtaining an injunction restraining Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs from presenting a winding up petition in respect of a debt disputed on substantial grounds.
  • In the matter of Lotus F1 Team Limited (July 2015)(High Court, Chancery Division, Companies Court), acting for a petitioning creditor in respect of the winding up petition issued in respect of Lotus F1 Limited.

Sports Law

Darragh is a member of the British Association for Sport and Law. Drawing upon his expertise in litigation and insolvency expertise, he is developing a practice domestic and international commercial arbitrations including those in a sports or contractual context.

His recent sports-related work includes:

  • Advising a significant shareholder during the administration of a sports media company following a pre-packaged sale.
  • Representing a number of retired professional footballers in a high value claim against concerning a Spanish property development and fraudulent misrepresentations by independent financial advisers.
  • Successfully representing a league one football club in dismissing a winding up petition brought by Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs including obtaining a validation order from the Court pursuant to s.127 of the Insolvency Act 1986 to ensure that the club’s players’ wages continued to be paid until the petition was dismissed.
  • In the matter of Lotus F1 Team Limited (July 2015)(High Court, Chancery Division, Companies Court), acting for a petitioning creditor in respect of the winding up petition issued in respect of Lotus F1 Limited.

Recommendations

“I would like to pass on my praise for the service Darragh gave this office. Irrespective of the favourable outcome he impressed me and my partner hugely with his skill and expertise.”

“Mr. Connell took everything in his stride and ran the case with aplomb.”

Qualifications

  • BCL University College Dublin
  • Barrister-at-Law Degree Honorable Society of the King’s Inns, Dublin
  • LL.M. (Commercial) Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge

Professional bodies

British Association for Sport and Law (BASL)
Chancery Bar Association
Financial Services Lawyers Association
London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association
London Irish Lawyers Association

Scholarships and awards

  • Senior Exhibition Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge 
  • Emlyn Wade Award Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge
  • Prize-winning paper the Danish Law Society’s International Rule of Law Award 
  • Gold Medal for Oratory  UCD Law Society
  • Swift McNeill Memorial Scholarship to the King’s Inns 
  • Stage 3 BCL Academic Scholarship
  • Recent cases
    I would like to pass on my praise for the service Darragh gave this office. Irrespective of the favourable outcome he impressed me and my partner hugely with his skill and expertise.
    • O'Hare v Coutts [2016] EWHC 2224 (QB), together with Paul O'Doherty instructed by Cooke Young & Keidan in a 10 day trial before Kerr J. The claim (for just under £3.3m plus interest) was brought for breach of contract, negligence, and breach of statutory duty (alleged non-compliance with COBS) arising from investment advice given by Coutts. Darragh is also instructed on the ongoing appeal before the Court of Appeal together with Paul O'Doherty and David Wolfson QC.
    • Together with Paul O'Doherty, representing the Operator of the £100 million Connaught Income Fund, a UCIS in the property funding market, in related litigation arising from the group litigation action: Connaught Income Fund, Series 1 (In Liquidation) V (1) Capita Financial Managers Ltd (2) Blue Gate Capital Ltd [2014] EWHC 3619 (Comm).
    • Acting for a respondent in an application for a multi-million pound High Court freezing injunction.
    • Acting for a petitioning creditor in the winding up petition issued in respect of Lotus F1 Limited publicised here.
    • Successfully obtaining a High Court injunction to restrain the presentation of a winding up petition in respect of a fashion design company.
    • Acting for several thousand claimants in relation to mis-sold foreign property investments.
    • Acting for a national utilities company in multi-track litigation regarding a commercial premises.
    • Drafting submissions to the FOS and the IRHP Redress Scheme regarding negligent investment advice and breaches of the FCA Handbook resulting in favourable determinations.
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