Roberto Moruzzi

Partner

  • Education: University College, Cardiff, Law and Politics, 2:1 BSc Econ
  • Admitted: England and Wales, 1990
  • Languages spoken: Italian
  • Year joined: 1995
  • Year became partner: 1999

Overview

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Roberto is experienced in dealing with commercial litigation and arbitration involving international and domestic contractual disputes, mis-selling claims, fraud and asset tracing, restructuring, partnership and shareholder disputes, loan recoveries and debt collection. He is head of the Insolvency Group at Withers, advising Insolvency Practitioners and directors of distressed companies as well as creditors.

Roberto is experienced in High Court pre-action strategy, such as applying for and defending applications for worldwide freezing orders, ultimately through to enforcing judgments in the UK and abroad.

In terms of arbitration, Roberto has arbitrated cases both in the UK and abroad for international clients, including pursuant to the rules of the ICC, LCIA, LMAA and UNCITRAL. He also has experience of enforcing arbitral awards in foreign jurisdictions pursuant to the New York Convention.

Roberto also has experience in advising in privacy and defamation matters. His cases include Elite Model Management (New York) & Elite Model Look (Paris) v BBC which at the time was the largest defamation action brought before the High Court in London. He negotiated the successful outcome of this action.

Roberto has been variously quoted in Chambers and the Legal 500 as 'a very good lawyer who takes advantage of his international connections' and 'quite superb' and has regularly obtained a ‘Leader in the field' ranking.

Highlights

  • Roberto's clients include Renault Formula 1, Queens Park Rangers Football Club, State Bank of India, The Duferco Group, Vivienne Westwood Limited, Società Esplosivi Industriali Spa, Elite Model Management & Elite Model Look, Beta Skye SpA, Finint UK Limited, Cipriani International SA, Hesco Bastion Limited, and various firms of insolvency practitioners.
  • Roberto is advising on a group action against advisors who miss-sold investments in marketed tax avoidance schemes to their clients. Further information can be found at www.witherstaxcase.co.uk.    

His High Court litigation cases include:

  • Renault Formula 1 re Lotus Formula 1 / HMRC – which involved successfully resisting the attempts by various creditors to place Lotus Formula 1 in administration. This allowed for its rescue sale to Renault Formula 1 to proceed;
  • Renault Formula 1 v PVAXX / Renault Formula 1 v Jam Session Sri - which both involved a contractual dispute concerning the non-payment of sponsorship money;
  • Fortress Value Recovery Fund & Ors v Blue Skye & Ors - a case involving the implementation of a scheme to reorganise the structure by which investments in non-performing loans and receivables were held;
  • Logue & Ors v PGGL & Ors - a case involving a dispute arising out of the acquisition of a property at One Hyde Park;
  • The Complete Retreats Liquidating Trust v Logue and others - a case which involved successfully setting aside a worldwide freezing order obtained against the defendants;
  • Dominic Adams & Ors v Ford & Ors - a case involving a class action against our client arising out of the Keydata Technology investment scheme;
  • Samuel Tak Lee v Florence Tsang - acting in relation to a claim for fraudulent misrepresentation and successfully challenging jurisdiction on behalf of the defendant;
  • JP Morgan v Edsparr - a case concerning the enforcement of a restrictive covenant;
  • Queens Park Rangers v Caliendo - a case brought before the courts of Monaco concerning a football player;
  • Dunga v Queens Park Rangers - a case involving a claim brought by a former director for repayment of a loan;
  • Fieldglen Ltd & Ford v The Financial Services Authority - a case involving an application restraining the FSA from accessing and downloading data stored on a computer. Also advising generally in relation to the FSA's investigations;
  • Trading Force Limited v Hesco Bastion Limited - a case involving commission in relation to sales of defence fortifications to the US military;
  • Hervia Limited v Vivienne Westwood Limited - a case brought against our client in relation to a national franchise agreement;
  • Morgan Grenfell & Deutsche Bank v Arrows Autosports & Walkinshaw & Others - a claim brought by a lender against a Formula 1 motor-racing team and its guarantor;
  • Finint UK Limited v Kerrison - a case which involved obtaining a worldwide freezing order against the former Managing Director of a UK subsidiary;
  • Carlisle & Cumbria United Independent Supporters' Society Limited v CUFC Holdings Ltd & Others - a case involving a derivative action brought by a supporters' trust as a minority shareholder on behalf. of the holding company of a UK football club;
  • Shing Lee Ho Chee & State Family Planning Commission of China v Neville & Krikorian - a case involving an appeal brought under s.7(3) Insolvency Act 1986 seeking to reverse the decision of the supervisor of a company voluntary arrangement;
  • Fifth Street Owner Corporation & Ors v Rolin - a case involving a claim for US$45m of which we successfully negotiated the outcome;
  • Programma Italia (Fininvest) v Chase Investment Bank Limited - a case brought in relation to a breach of contract and negligence claim relating to the sale of certain investment products.

Roberto's arbitration cases include:

  • Arbitration in accordance with ICC rules - acting in relation to a dispute arising out of the awarding of an infrastructure contract in Ukraine.
  • Arbitration in accordance with the UNCITRAL rules - acting for the owners of a former state owned Macedonian steel company in relation to claims brought against it by two former state owned companies in Macedonia and a counterclaim brought against them for breach of warranty.
  • LMAA arbitration - acting for a European steel manufacturer and supplier in an arbitration brought against it by a supplier of raw materials.
  • LCIA arbitration - acting for a Jersey based oil trading company in a claim against an oil producer following on from the non supply to it of oil from an oil terminal in Ingushetia.
  • LCIA arbitration - acting for a BVI company in relation to a claim for the return of US$20million due to it from a Turkish company following the non supply of shares in a Swiss company which owned an oil terminal on the Caspian Sea.
  • LCIA arbitration - acting for an Italian company in relation to the recovery of a debt owed to it by a Brazilian company following the supply to it of customised speedboats to be used by the Brazilian Police Force.
  • ICC arbitration - acting for a joint venture partner in relation to dispute arising out of the construction of a motorway in Poland. 

Publications and speaking engagements

Roberto has lectured in Switzerland, Turkey and Italy, including at the Court of Appeal in Milan, and at the British Council in Istanbul on behalf of The Law Society. He has hosted and participated in seminars focusing on various aspects of English civil law and procedure, in particular forum shopping, enforcement of judgments, insolvency and arbitration.

Roberto was the author of 'Model Democracy' an article in 'Legal Week' about the evolvement of the law of privacy. He has also been quoted on various issues ranging from mis-selling and insolvency to defamation in The Times, Telegraph and Financial Times.

Memberships

  • Association of Business Recovery Professionals
  • London Court of International Arbitration
  • British Italian Law Association

On a personal note

Roberto is the Trustee of the Children of Fire International, a fundraising charity for the benefit of burns victim children in South Africa.

   

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