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Our clerks’ room is open between:

8.30am – 6.30pm

Outside of these hours and in cases of urgency, please contact
Paul Bunting on 07971 843023 or
Darren Madle on 07769 714399.

Clerk contacts

Richard Sheehan

Deputy Senior Clerk

020 7420 9503
Oliver Ventura

First Junior Clerk

020 7420 9505
Aron Hanks

Second Junior Clerk

020 7420 9506
Archie Conners

Third Junior Clerk

020 7420 9507

Our clerks’ room is open between:

8.30am – 6.30pm

Outside of these hours and in cases of urgency, please contact
Paul Bunting on 07971 843023 or
Darren Madle on 07769 714399.

Clerk contacts

Richard Sheehan

Deputy Senior Clerk

020 7420 9503
Oliver Ventura

First Junior Clerk

020 7420 9505
Aron Hanks

Second Junior Clerk

020 7420 9506
Archie Conners

Third Junior Clerk

020 7420 9507

Lara
Kuehl

Call: 2012

Tel: 020 7420 9500

About

Lara has a commercial Chancery practice, which encompasses all aspects of property litigation, commercial litigation and arbitration, company law and insolvency matters.

She is ranked as a leading junior in two practice areas (Property Litigation and Commercial Litigation) by the Legal 500 and she is recommended for Real Estate Litigation by Chambers and Partners.  The legal directories describe Lara as “an intelligent tacticiandetermined, tenacious and gets to the heart of an issue with practical solutions”; incredibly diligent; “a bright and hardworking junior with a good grasp of company law and a zest for commercial litigation. Her pleadings are excellent and she is an assured performer in court”; and “bright, thorough, responsive and very easy to work with.  She adds value to all that she has been asked to assist with which is exactly what is required”.  Previous editions have said that she “covers every angle and has brilliant drafting abilities”.

Lara is highly regarded for her advocacy and regularly appears (unled) against senior juniors or KCs.  She represents clients in Court litigation and arbitrations in England and internationally in disputes relating to a range of industry sectors, frequently with a technological focus.  Her clients include corporations, insolvency office holders, litigation funders, company directors, private individuals and the UK Government.

Lara is on the Attorney General’s C Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown and represents the Government in property, commercial and insolvency matters.

Lara is called to the Bar of the British Virgin Islands and has previously been admitted to the Bar of the Cayman Islands.

Before transferring to the English Bar, Lara was a solicitor in the London commercial disputes team of two US firms: Weil, Gotshal & Manges and McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP.  Between 2013 and 2015, Lara practised as a Cayman Islands attorney in the Dispute Resolution and Insolvency group at Maples and Calder.

Lara has significant experience of complex commercial disputes, both in court and in arbitration.  She is recommended as a leading junior for Commercial Litigation by The Legal 500.

She has appeared in the English Courts, in arbitration proceedings and offshore in disputes relating to a range of industry sectors, frequently with a technological focus and involving cross-border issues.

Lara’s practice covers all the key areas of contractual disputes, including the sale of goods and supply of services; joint venture and shareholder disputes; and claims arising from guarantees and indemnities.  She also has significant experience of arbitration-related applications to the Commercial Court.  Her clients include individuals, large corporate entities, the UK Government and litigation funders.

Lara is a member of COMBAR.  She writes regularly about subjects relating to Commercial Litigation and Arbitration for several legal journals including the Butterworths Journal of International Banking & Financial Law and the New Law Journal.

Commercial Litigation

Notable Commercial Litigation cases include:

  • Acting (both as sole counsel and led) for the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in relation to several disputes (ranging in value from £10 million to over £250 million) concerning contracts for the manufacture and sale of Covid lateral flow tests.
  • Acting (led by Clifford Darton KC) for a water undertaker in relation to a £10million claim arising from the supply of defective water meters.
  • Acting (as sole counsel) for a property developer in its misrepresentation claim for substantial damages arising from the purchase of a plot of development land.
  • NWA v NVF [2021] EWHC 2666 (Comm) – appeared for the Second Claimant in this widely reported case in relation to whether the failure of a party to comply with a contractual term requiring mediation before arbitration affected the jurisdiction of an arbitral tribunal in the context of an international commercial arbitration.
  • Sinel v Kent (unreported) – representing a defendant director in a successful application to strike out a proposed derivative claim brought by a minority shareholder.
  • Advising a litigation financing company in relation to several High Court claims concerning substantial payments made by directors at a time when a company may have been insolvent.
  • Acting for the claimant in a number of claims concerning breaches of a joint venture agreement/breaches of trust relating to a group of companies and their assets.
  • Madoff Securities International Limited (In Liquidation) v Raven and Ors [2013] EWHC 3147 (Comm) (Popplewell J) – in a 5-week trial, led by Ian Clarke, successfully represented one of the defendant directors against claims alleging fraudulent breaches of fiduciary duty brought in the Commercial Court by the liquidators of the Madoff UK corporate entity.  This case was listed as one of the Lawyer’s top ten cases of 2013.

International Commercial Arbitration

Lara has significant experience in international commercial arbitration, having represented clients in high-value and complex matters heard under ICC, LCIA, SIAC, SCC and UNCITRAL rules, as well as in ad hoc arbitrations.

Example of recent and ongoing instructions include:

  • Acting for one of the respondents to a multi-party LCIA arbitration in relation to a long-running dispute allegedly worth over £20m
  • Arbitration in Singapore (SIAC) relating to a dispute between a global manufacturing conglomerate and a Chinese company regarding breach of a confidentiality agreement relating to certain production and development technology.
  • Representing a major shipbuilding company in a LMAA arbitration governed by English law with the arbitration seated in London regarding consequential loss issues.
  • Representing an international financial institution in an UNCITRAL arbitration governed by Czech law with a London arbitration seat relating to a shareholders’ dispute.

Lara has a Diploma in International Arbitration from the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb).

Lara acts in construction and engineering disputes domestically and internationally.  She has specialist experience of representing and advising clients in all types of construction matters, from the initial phases through to litigation, arbitration or adjudication.  She has acted and advised on matters involving all the standard forms of construction contract, including JCT, NEC, FIDIC, SIA and FMB contracts, as well as many ad hoc forms.  Lara is an active member of TECBAR.

Recent experience as sole counsel includes:

  • Acting for the Government in a High Court (TCC) claim concerning alleged dilapidations in relation to premises occupied by Government entities
  • Representing two directors of an insolvent housebuilding company in relation to a claim by the National House-Building Counsel against them in respect of alleged defective construction of a new home
  • Acting for a construction contractor in a High Court (TCC) claim arising from the repudiation of a series of oral contracts for construction works relating to care homes
  • Representing the successful claimant in Maypole Dock Ltd v Catalyst Housing Ltd [2021] EWHC 1742 (TCC), [2021] B.L.R. 534 in which the High Court granted an urgent interim injunction to restrain an expert appointed by the defendant from making a determination in relation to the matters raised in the claim
  • Acting for and advising a large group of flat-owners in relation to a class-action claim against the developer of an unfinished building
  • Acting for the seller of a substantial plot of land against a developer in a High Court (TCC) claim in relation to breaches of an obligation in an overage agreement to act as a reasonable and prudent developer
  • Advising potential claimants seeking an injunction to prevent construction works causing noise and vibrations higher than the maximum thresholds in an agreed party wall award
  • Acting for a developer to defend several claims brought by purchasers of very high value apartments in relation to alleged construction defects
  • Advising a landlord regarding a claim by residential long leaseholders for noise nuisance caused by an alleged failure to install adequate soundproofing during the construction of commercial premises within the same building

Lara is a member of TECBAR, the specialist bar association for barristers who practise in the Technology and Construction Court.

Lara’s practice includes acting and advising in relation to corporate and personal insolvency matters of all sizes, including: administration applications; applications for validation orders; challenges to officeholders’ remuneration and expenses; appeals of liquidators’ rejections of proofs of debt; contested winding up petitions and bankruptcy petitions; applications to set aside statutory demands and injunctions to retrain the presentation of winding up petitions.

Lara is on the Attorney General’s C Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown and regularly advises and represents HMRC, the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, the Official Receiver and the Insolvency Service in insolvency-related matters, including winding-up petitions (and related injunctions) and directors disqualification proceedings.

Current and recent instructions include:

  • Lara (unled) is representing Paramount Licensing Inc. in its challenge to a CVA in respect of debts of £105 million proposed by London Resort Company Holdings Limited, on grounds of material irregularity and unfair prejudice.
  • Advising a litigation financing company in relation to several substantial claims relating to preferences/transactions at an undervalue.
  • Lara is currently instructed in relation to multiple directors disqualification proceedings relating to the misuse of the Covid Bounce Bank Loan scheme.
  • Representing trustees in bankruptcy in an application pursuant to s339 of the Insolvency Act 1986 (transactions at an undervalue).
  • Randhawa v Bridgeco Ltd [2019] EWHC 1811 (Ch) – Appearing for the successful creditor in opposition to a one-day hearing of an application by a debtor to set aside a statutory demand for £4.5 million.
  • Several matters in which Lara successfully obtained urgent injunctions from the High Court to prevent the advertisement of winding up petitions.
  • Acting for creditors and debtors in several contested set-aside applications and bankruptcy petitions in which the debt has been substantial (in each case, between £1m-£4m).
  • Acting for directors of an insolvent company in a successful application for validation orders to allow a company to carry on trading (by paying employee salaries and suppliers) while a winding up petition was pending.

As a solicitor, Lara advised and acted for a number of financial institutions in relation to matters arising from high-profile insolvencies, including: representing Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and various of its subsidiaries in UK proceedings related to their US Chapter 11 bankruptcies; acting for the Icelandic bank, Kaupthing, in relation to various litigation and recovery proceedings in the UK; advising and acting for creditors of Madoff “feeder funds”.  She represented Lehman Brothers Special Financing in one of the four conjoined appeals regarding (among other things) whether the operation of s2(a)(iii) of the ISDA 1992 Master Agreement in an insolvency context engaged the anti-deprivation principle or infringed the pari passu principle: Lomas v JFB Firth Rixson [2012] EWCA Civ 419.

Lara is highly regarded for her property work and is ranked as a leading junior in both Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500 for Property/Real Estate Litigation.

Her practice encompasses a broad range of real property and landlord and tenant related litigation and advice.  Given her expertise in relation to construction and insolvency matters, she is frequently instructed on complex property cases which require experience of all three practice areas.

Lara is on the C Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown and advises and acts for several Government bodies in relation to property matters which have a public law aspect.

From August 2024, Lara will be the author of the “Security on Land” chapters of Practical Lending and Security Precedents (published by Sweet & Maxwell).

Landlord and Tenant

Lara has considerable experience of representing both landlords and tenants across a range of commercial and residential disputes.  She regularly advises and acts in opposed and unopposed lease renewal claims under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 and in matters concerning forfeiture, service charges, breaches/enforceability of leasehold covenants, dilapidations and rent reviews.

Current and recent work includes:

  • Natural England v The Trustees of the Melbourne Heritage Fund – Lara is acting (as sole counsel) for Natural England in a complex contested lease renewal claim involving a split reversion and sporting rights over a site of special scientific interest.
  • Representing the Government in terminal dilapidations proceedings relating to premises previously occupied by Government entities for over 70 years.
  • Samantha Aspey v Bartley Way Limited – Appearing as sole counsel in a long-running dispute between the leaseholders of 57 flats and their claims against their landlord and the developer for serious breaches of covenant and contract.  In 2021, Lara successfully obtained an order for the appointment of a manager after a 2-day trial before the First Tier Tribunal (Residential Property) (reported as CHI/24UG/LAM/2020/0008) and has subsequently appeared several times recently for related orders to enable claims to be pursued against the landlord and developer.
  • Lara is currently instructed on multiple cases involving the landlord’s opposition to the grant of a new lease under grounds 30(1)(f) and (g) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, including cases involving the practical application of the Supreme Court’s decision in S Franses Ltd v Cavendish Hotel (London) Ltd and business tenancies affected by the Covid-19 lockdowns.
  • Acting for a commercial tenant in a substantial service charge dispute which raises issues of fairness in apportioning service charges in mixed-use premises and breaches of covenant by the landlord.
  • Representing a tenant of commercial premises alleging unlawful re-entry and seeking associated damages, in a case which raises unusual issues regarding the right to forfeit where a managing agent has acted outside its authority in affirming the lease.
  • Advising and drafting proceedings for a holiday let company against individuals who claim to have acquired a periodic tenancy.

Real Property 

Lara accepts instructions in relation to all real property matters, including co-ownership disputes, applications under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996, claims concerning proprietary estoppel, easements, nuisance, trespass, disputed boundaries and party wall litigation.

Current and recent cases include:

  • Acting for the claimant property developer in a High Court claim relating to misrepresentations made by a seller during the sale of a development site.
  • Maypole Dock Ltd v Catalyst Housing Ltd – Acted for Maypole Dock Limited in its claim against a housing developer, Catalyst Housing Limited, for breaches of an overage agreement in relation to land.  Significant reported interim decisions in these proceedings include [2021] EWHC 1742 (TCC) (injunction to restrain an expert determination) and [2022] EWHC 701 (TCC) (security for costs).
  • Demetriou v Mapara [2022] EWCA Civ 1001 – Lara (led by Justin Kitson) appeared before the Court of Appeal in this appeal relating to the nature of burial rights over land.
  • Lara is currently instructed by both claimants and defendants on multiple cases involving easements by prescription.
  • Lara represented a developer and freeholder of a high value Central London development in a substantial claim relating to alleged defects in the construction of certain apartments and an alleged easement over a parking space.
  • Lara (led by Mark Warwick KC) represented a defendant to a possession claim in respect of land charged by the claimant, which raised issues of duress, undue influence and unconscionable dealing.
  • Appeared for the successful claimants in a 3-day trial concerning the beneficial ownership of a central London house.
  • Acted for the successful defendants in a 4-day trial concerning whether a mortgagee had become entitled to enforce a charge over commercial property.

Mornington 2000 LLP (t/a Sterilab Services) v The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care [2024] EWHC 1708 (TCC) – led by Michael Bowsher KC (Monckton Chambers), appeared for the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in an application relating to the circumstances in which a party to litigation has “practical or de facto control” over a third party’s documents for the purposes of its extended disclosure obligations under PD 57AD.

South East Water Ltd v Elster Water Metering Ltd [2024] EWHC 620 (TCC) (decision under appeal to the Court of Appeal) – led by Clifford Darton KC, represented the Claimant in this summary judgment application relating to whether a schedule to a sale of goods contract should be interpreted as a provision limiting the Defendant’s liability.

Demetriou v Mapara [2022] EWCA Civ 1001 – together with Justin Kitson (leading), appeared for the Appellant before the Court of Appeal in proceedings relating to the burial rights of a Sunni Muslim association.

Maypole Dock Ltd v Catalyst Housing Ltd [2022] EWHC 701 (TCC) – application for security for costs.

NWA v NVF [2021] EWHC 2666 (Comm) – appeared as sole counsel for the Second Claimant in this significant case regarding whether the failure of a party to comply with a contractual term requiring mediation before arbitration affected the jurisdiction of an arbitral tribunal in the context of an international commercial arbitration.

Maypole Dock Ltd v Catalyst Housing Ltd [2021] EWHC 1742 (TCC), [2021] B.L.R. 534 – represented (unled) Maypole Dock Ltd before the Technology and Construction Court in its successful application for an urgent injunction to restrain an expert determination.

Randhawa v Bridgeco Ltd [2019] EWHC 1811 (Ch) – appeared as sole counsel for the creditor in opposition to an application by a debtor to set aside a statutory demand for £4.5 million.

Ernst & Young v The Immigration Department of the Cayman Islands (interlocutory injunction granted in February 2015) – representing Ernst & Young and other corporate plaintiffs in an interlocutory application in the context of judicial review proceedings for prohibitory non-disclosure injunctions against unknown defendants and “the world” (i.e., anyone with notice of the injunction) in respect of a spreadsheet containing sensitive confidential commercial information (led by Mac Imrie).

In the matter of the Shiu Pak Nin Discretionary Trust (2014) 1 CILR 173 – representing the trustee (an HSBC entity) in a complex two-day application by a trustee of a discretionary trust for directions in respect of the interpretation of a trust deed and Benjamin orders (led by Colin McKie QC).

Madoff Securities International Limited (In Liquidation) v Raven and Ors [2013] EWHC 3147 (Comm) (Popplewell J) – in a 5-week trial, together with Ian Clarke (leading), successfully represented one of the defendant directors against claims alleging fraudulent breaches of fiduciary duty brought in the Commercial Court by the liquidators of the Madoff UK corporate entity.  This case was listed as one of the Lawyer’s top ten cases of 2013.

As an instructing solicitor:

Tempo v Fortuna (judgment given in March 2015) – representing the plaintiffs in a shareholder dispute in respect of a very substantial Cayman Islands company in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands.

In the matter of Coroin Limited [2012] EWHC 2343 (Ch) – successfully represented Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay and their interests in a high profile 30 day expedited trial concerning a dispute over the ownership of Coroin Limited, which owned Claridge’s, The Connaught and The Berkeley hotels.

VTB v Nutritek [2011] EWHC 3107 (Ch) – represented Nutritek in a major 6-day jurisdiction challenge, requiring extensive Russian law expert evidence, in relation to a US$250m civil fraud and deceit claim.  The case produced a landmark ruling on the circumstances in which the corporate veil may be pierced, as well as on issues concerning the applicable law, forum non conveniens and loss in tort claims.  Jurisdiction was successfully resisted and the decision was upheld on appeal to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Lehman Brothers Special Financing (LBSF) v Carlton Communications [2012] EWCA Civ 419 – Acted for LBSF in the High Court and the Court of Appeal in a claim relating to the construction of the ISDA Master Agreement, including whether reliance on s2(a)(iii) against an insolvent swap counterparty was contrary to English insolvency law.  The appeal was heard together with three other appeals on a similar point of law and attracted considerable attention from the legal and financial press, due to its impact on global derivatives trading.

Lehman Brothers Commodity Services (LBCS) v Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank (formerly Calyon) [2011] EWHC 1390 (Comm) – represented LBCS in a Commercial Court claim for €11 million relating to the construction of an English law letter of credit and a New York law ISDA Master Agreement, involving complicated cross-border issues.

From August 2024, Lara will be the author of the “Security on Land” chapters of Practical Lending and Security Precedents (published by Sweet & Maxwell).

Section 994 Petitions: Received Wisdom? – New Law Journal, Vol 174, Issue 8069, 3 May 2024.

Foreign crypto arbitrations and UK consumer rights: a culture clash? – Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, March 2024

Case Note on Piroozzadeh v Persons Unknown & Ors – Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law, July 2023

The Decentralised Governance of Bitcoin: Truth or Myth? – Society for Computers and Law, May 2023

 

  • LLB (Hons), Durham University
  • LLM Corporate and Commercial Law, King’s College London
  • Admitted as a solicitor – 2007
  • Higher Rights of Audience (All Courts) – 2008
  • Diploma in International Arbitration, CIArb – 2017
  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Property Bar Association
  • Technology & Construction Bar Association
  • COMBAR (The Commercial Bar Association)

Please see Lara’s Privacy Notice here.

ICO Registration: ZA010441

Registered Name: Lara Kuehl

VAT Information: 220373841