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.
Darragh has been appointed as a Guest Teacher in the Department of Law at the London School of Economics for the academic year 2019/2020, teaching advanced Commercial Contract Law.
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:
- AA v Persons Unknown & iFinex Inc t/a Bitfinex High Court, QBD Comm Court. Acting on behalf of the Claimant in on-going proceedings before Bryan J. against numerous defendants including the crypto-currency exchange known as Bitfinex. The Claimant advances a proprietary claim for breach of constructive trust and alternatively actions for conversion and knowing receipt.
- Axon LLC v Drivex  High Court, Queen’s Bench Division. Acting for a Claimant based in the Cayman Islands in a multi-jurisdictional dispute arising from a Formula 5 sponsorship arrangement with a Spanish motor racing team.
- Opus Art v Rochay Productions Limited and Baker  Central London CC. Acting for the Defendants in a five day trial defending a claim brought for fraudulent misrepresentation.
- 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 v PSM Residential Finance  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.
- Re Connaught 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 EWHC 3619 (Comm).
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:
- MBI Walsden Care Limited & Ors.  High Court, Insolvency & Companies Court. Together with Paul O’Doherty, appeared in various applications concerning the appointment of interim managers and administrators (Duff&Phelps) over Gavin Woodhouse’s portfolio.
- The Carlauren Group  High Court, Insolvency & Companies Court. Together with Paul O’Doherty, acting for one of the Court appointed administrators of an allegedly fraudulent investment scheme where asset tracing was required.
- 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.
Darragh is very experienced in obtaining and resisting injunction applications. He has appeared in a range of cases concerning freezing orders, proprietary injunctions, orders restraining winding up petitions, anti-harassment injunctions and commercial injunctions restraining breaches of contract including those in respect of employee/director restrictive covenants.
His recent injunction instructions include
- Westmills Foods v Patel & Ors  High Court, Queen’s Bench Division: Acting as counsel for the Third Respondent to an application for a freezing order where allegations of unlawful means conspiracy were advanced by the Applicant.
- AA v Persons Unknown & Ors.  EWHC 3556 (Comm): Acting as counsel for the Claimant insurance company successfully obtaining a proprietary injunction, an anonymity and privacy order and consequential disclosure orders in support of its claim to recover a ransom paid in BitCoin. The interim decision of Bryan J. recognised that crypto-currency could constitute property for the purposes of English law.
- Fibre Management Limited v Elwell & Ors  High Court, Queen’s Bench Division. Acting for the successful applicant in restraining the breach of restrictive covenants by way of interim injunction.
- EEEL v Vijay  High Court, QBD Comm Court, acting for claimant judgment creditor in successfully applying for interim relief to enforce a US$18 million arbitration award over UK assets of the judgment debtor including shares.
- PH v LAP  High Court, Insolvency and Companies Court: Acting as counsel on behalf of the successful Applicant in obtaining an injunction restraining a clothing manufacturer from presenting a winding up petition in respect of a debt disputed on substantial grounds. An indemnity costs order was made in favour of Darragh’s client.
- FML v ME & Anr.  High Court, Queen’s Bench Division: Acting as counsel on behalf of a company seeking to restrain the breach of restrictive covenants including a non-dealing provision in an employment contract of a former senior employee.
- Re: A Recruitment Company : 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: A Bank Account  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
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 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 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
BCL University College Dublin
Barrister-at-Law Degree Honorable Society of the King’s Inns, Dublin
LL.M. (Commercial) Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge
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