Fiona Banks

Call: 2006

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Education

MA (Hons) Cambridge (Double First)

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Introduction

‘‘A very competent lawyer. Always a pleasure to work with her.’’ – Legal 500, 2021

‘‘She is razor sharp and has excellent judgement in the court and with the client.’’ – Legal 500, 2021

‘‘Focused, committed and hardworking team player. Tenacious advocate in court. A first-class brain and her analysis of the law is also first-class.’’ – Legal 500, 2021

‘‘A robust and forceful practitioner. She is very good in competition law-related matters.’’ – Legal 500, 2021

“An expert in the field,” who “has a lot of experience and is good to work with.” “She is very accurate in all she does and works hard at the detail. Her drafting is good and she knows how to handle complex issues.” – Chambers UK, 2021

“A diligent, hard-working junior who is determined to get the best results for her clients.” “She provides thorough, timely and clear advice.” – Chambers UK, 2021

“She is a thoroughly good barrister and easy to work with.” “A very impressive advocate.”  Chambers UK, 2021

“A really bright and energetic junior.” “She is astute, provides excellent drafting and is very responsive, so it’s been a pleasure to have her in the team.” “Banks is incredibly user-friendly, diligent and thorough in going through material.”  Chambers UK, 2021

Fiona is consistently ranked as a leading junior by the legal directories and has extensive experience across Chambers’ core practice areas with a particular focus on Competition, Commercial, Public Procurement, Telecommunications and Sports law. Fiona has appeared across a variety of courts and tribunals, ranging from ad hoc anti-doping tribunals to the Court of Appeal. She frequently appears as an advocate in her own right but also works very well as a highly valued junior in larger cases. She can accept instructions directly from clients, being direct access qualified.

Fiona is a member of the Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel (B Panel) and was appointed in October 2018 as Standing Counsel to the Civil Aviation Authority in respect of procurement law.

Before joining Monckton Chambers, Fiona was a trainee solicitor and qualified at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, giving her an insight into the needs of solicitors throughout the litigation process.

  • News
  • Public procurement

    Ranked in Chambers and Partners, Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal, Fiona has extensive experience in procurement law and regularly acts for both private contractors and contracting authorities, across a range of sectors, including construction, healthcare, financial services, education, energy, defence, sport, transport and waste management. Some of her recent work is listed below and includes the recent rail franchise challenges, in which she successfully acted for the Department of Transport in defence of the claims brought by Stagecoach and others. Fiona also has an extensive advisory practice and has repeatedly advised on the ability of contracting authorities to vary existing public contracts and the application of the procurement regime (including the Concessions Contract Regulations 2016) to quasi-public bodies.

    Cases

    • Stagecoach and ors v The Department of Transport [2020] EWHC 1568 (TCC)
    • Viasat v Ofcom [2020] EWCA Civ 624; [2018] CAT 18 (acting for Claimant)
    • Secretary of State for Transport v Arriva and ors [2019] EWCA Civ 2259 (acting for Defendant)
    • Mediterranean Hospital v the Ministry of Defence (TCC, High Court, representing the Claimant) [2018] EWHC 3289 (TCC) (acting for Claimant)
    • Joseph Gleave v Ministry of Defence [2017] EWHC 238 (TCC) (acting for Claimant)
    • Acting for Defendant contracting authority in High Court claim challenging call-off pursuant to a framework agreement (2017)
    • Acting for Defendant contracting authority in High Court claim (2016/7 – settled post pleadings)
    • Counted4 Community Interest Co v Sunderland City Council [2015] (High Court)
    • Photo-Me International Plc v Network Rail Infrastructure Limited [2011] EWHC 3168 (QB)(acting for Claimant, strike out application; services concession)
    • Amaryllis -v- OGC Buying Solutions – (High Court damages claim arising out of the alleged breaches of the Public Contract Regulations 2006)
    • Enterprise plc -v- Liverpool Mutual Homes (High Court dispute raising important conceptual legal issues about the approach to awarding framework contracts
    • Contributor to “Public Procurement Law: Damages as an Effective Remedy ” (Hart, 2011)
  • Competition

    Fiona is recognised by the directories as a leading junior in competition law. She is currently acting in a number of private law damages actions, for both Claimants and Defendants, and regularly advises both private clients and regulators on a wide range of competition law issues. Fiona’s considerable experience in competition litigation is not limited to the CAT and the High Court, having also acted in the context of a number of international arbitrations involving competition and regulatory issues.

    Cases

    • Ryder Limited and ano v MAN SE and ors (CAT, representing the Claimant; ongoing)
    • Dune Group Limited and ors v Visa and Mastercard (CAT, representing multiple Claimants in ongoing interchange fee litigation)
    • National Grid Electricity Transmission Plc v ABB Ltd and ors; NKT Holding A/S and ors; Prysmian SPA and ors; Safran SA (CAT, represented Prysmian Defendants)
    • SP Power Systems Limited and ors v NKT Holding A/S and Ors, Prysmian SPA and ors (CAT, represented Prysmian Defendants)
    • Viasat v Ofcom [2020] EWCA Civ 624; [2018] CAT 18
    • Vattenfall AB and others v Prysmian SPA and others [2018] EWHC 1694 (Ch)
    • International gas arbitration raising Article 101 issues (2016)
    • Ecotricity v Tesla Inc.(2015 – High Court – alleged abuse of dominance)
    • Scottish Ministers/Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety for Northern Ireland & Ors v Reckitt Benckiser (High Court – abuse of dominance/follow on claim – concerning supply of Gaviscon)
    • Aviva Insurance UK Ltd v Primary Insurance and Ors (2014 – High Court – debt claim, allegations of abuse of dominance, misrepresentation and duress)
    • Colt Technology Services v Ofcom [2013] CAT 29 (business connectivity passive access)
    • TalkTalk v Ofcom [2012] CAT 1 (CAT appeal: wholesale broadband access)
    • BSkyB v Ofcom [2012] CAT 20 (acted on behalf of The Football Association, The Football League, The European PGA Tour, The Rugby Football League and The Rugby Football Union in their intervention in respect of the appeals brought by The Premier League and others against the Ofcom Pay TV Decision)
    • Carphone Warehouse v Ofcom [2010] CAT 27 (reference to Competition Commission: local loop unbundling)
    • Plus Markets Plc v The London Stock Exchange (High Court – abuse of dominance)
    • The Number Ltd and Conduit Enterprises Ltd v Ofcom [2009] EWCA Civ 1360 (Court of Appeal – correct interpretation of the Universal Service Directive)
    • Rapture Television Plc v Ofcom [2008] CAT 6 (CAT appeal – Ofcom’s resolution of a dispute between Rapture and BSkyB regarding BSkyB’s provision of EPG services)
  • Telecommunications

    Fiona has particular strength in the telecommunications sector and is recognised in the legal directories for her expertise in the area. She has acted for both telecoms companies and regulators in regulatory investigations and disputes, appearing in appeals before the Competition Appeal Tribunal and Court of Appeal. She has a thorough knowledge of the EU Telecoms regime which she has developed across a variety of markets, including fixed and broadband markets. Given her expertise in public procurement and state aid, she is well placed to advise on the interaction of these areas of law.

    Her notable clients have included BT and OFCOM.

    Cases

    Recent cases include:

    • Viasat v Ofcom [2020] EWCA Civ 624
    • Viasat v Ofcom [2018] CAT 18
    • Advising in relation to BDUK tenders
    • BT Plc v Ofcom [2016] CAT 22
    • Colt Technology Services v Ofcom [2013] CAT 29 (business connectivity passive access)
    • WBA Charge Control Appeal (price control appeal)
    • WBA Charge Control Appeal (non-price appeal) [2012] CAT 1
    • FAPL v OFCOM; Sky v OFCOM; Virgin v OFCOM; BT v OFCOM [2012] CAT 20
    • Carphone Warehouse v Ofcom & BT (WLR/LLU Decisions) [2010] CAT 27
    • The Number v Ofcom [2008] CAT 33; appeal to Court of Appeal, [2009] EWCA Civ 1360
  • Commercial

    Fiona is regularly instructed in commercial matters, often involving international disputes, before both national courts and arbitral bodies.

    Cases

    • International gas arbitration (2016)
    • Ecotricity v Tesla Inc.(2015 – High Court – case involving allegations of breach of confidence, economic torts and abuse of dominance)
    • Aviva Insurance UK Ltd v Primary Insurance and Ors (2014 – High Court – debt claim, allegations of abuse of dominance, misrepresentation and duress)
    • Gestmin v Credit Suisse (UK) Limited, Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) Limited [2013] EWHC 3560 (High Court – breach of contract and negligence claim relating to alleged mis-selling of investments)
    • Norbrook Laboratories Limited and Ballyedmond v James Carr/John Garnett [2013] EWHC 476 (High Court – misconduct in unincorporated associations– breach of contract claim in the context of an unincorporated association)
    • Arbitration – dispute concerning international television rights.
    • AY Bank Limited v Monarch Airlines Limited (High Court – unjust enrichment claim)
    • BWFC v Kalivions (2009) (liability under an image rights agreement)
    • Ruttle Plant Hire Ltd v Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs [2009] EWCA 97 (Court of Appeal – interest, interpretation of Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 and Supreme Court Act 1981)
  • Sport

    Listed as a leading junior in ‘Media, Entertainment and Sport’ in the Legal 500 since 2009 and recommended by Chambers UK (for Sport) and Who’s Who Legal (for Sport and Entertainment), Fiona has acted on behalf of national sports governing bodies, individual players, managers, clubs, event organisers and broadcasters in a variety of forum, including disciplinary, arbitral, High Court and CAT. The breadth of her practice is borne out by the number of different sports she has acted in respect of including football, golf, athletics, rugby league, rugby union, swimming, boxing, Formula 1, Formula E, cricket and cycling. Given her other specialisms, Fiona is well placed to advise on the interplay between sports law, competition law, telecommunications law and procurement law and has an extensive advisory practice alongside her litigation practice. In particular, Fiona has repeatedly advised in respect of dominance issues of governing bodies, salary caps, break-away leagues, funding mechanisms, home grown player requirements, doping, collective and exclusive broadcasting, licensing and valuation of rights and the application of the Concessions Regulations to sports event organisers.

    Fiona was also been selected as one of 19 barristers specialising in sports law to participate in the London 2012 pro bono legal advice and representation service.

    Cases

    • Rugby union – salary cap dispute
    • League termination disputes related to Covid-19 issues
    • F1 car design disputes
    • Acted for Premier League club in agency dispute (2019)
    • Acted for manager of F1 racing driver in contractual dispute (2019)
    • Alfa Romeo v FIA (FIA ICA 2019 – relating to clutch control)
    • Safeguarding appeal in respect of decision of national governing body (arbitration – 2018)
    • G-Drive, TDS Racing (FIA ICA 2018; Le Mans challenge – refuelling)
    • Agency dispute (Arbitration – 2016)
    • Tony Pulis v Crystal Palace [2016] EWHC 2999 (Comm) and first instance arbitration (early 2016)
    • Dragon Racing v FIA (2016, FIA Tribunal – Formula E)
    • Olympic funding dispute (2014)
    • The United States Anti-Doping Agency v. Johan Bruyneel (represented Mr Bruyneel in anti-doping proceedings before the American Arbitration Association)
    • FIA v Mercedes/Pirelli (2013, FIA Tribunal – legality of in season tyre testing )
    • BSkyB v Ofcom [2012] CAT 20 (acted on behalf of The Football Association, The Football League, The European PGA Tour, The Rugby Football League and The Rugby Football Union in their intervention in respect of the appeals brought by The Premier League and others against the Ofcom Pay TV Decision)
    • Acted at arbitration in respect of a contractual dispute concerning sports broadcasting rights, on behalf of an international sports broadcaster
    • Upul Tharanga v International Cricket Council (anti-doping – decision of Independent Anti-Doping Tribunal
    • Orphee Ltd v Adebayor
    • Bolton Wanderers v Nicolas Anelka and others [2009] (High Court – image rights dispute)
    • Sheffield United FC v West Ham FC (2008)(FA Arbitration – compensation for relegation arising out of West Ham’s use of Carlos Tevez)
    • Walsh v UKAD (anti-doping – decision of NADP)
    • Mellor v UKAD (anti-doping – decision of NADP)
  • Administrative & public

    Fiona is developing a strong public law practice and has had conduct of a number of FOIA cases in her own right. Fiona has also had conduct of cases in her other core areas which have tested key public and administrative law principles.

  • What the directories say

    Telecommunications: “An expert in the field,” who “has a lot of experience and is good to work with.” “She is very accurate in all she does and works hard at the detail. Her drafting is good and she knows how to handle complex issues.” – Chambers UK, 2021

    Public Procurement: “A diligent, hard-working junior who is determined to get the best results for her clients.” “She provides thorough, timely and clear advice.” – Chambers UK, 2021

    Sports: “She is a thoroughly good barrister and easy to work with.” “A very impressive advocate.”  Chambers UK, 2021

    Competition: “A really bright and energetic junior.” “She is astute, provides excellent drafting and is very responsive, so it’s been a pleasure to have her in the team.” “Banks is incredibly user-friendly, diligent and thorough in going through material.”  Chambers UK, 2021

    Leading junior in Competition: ‘‘A very competent lawyer. Always a pleasure to work with her.’’Legal 500, 2021

    Leading junior in Telecoms (regulatory): ‘‘She is razor sharp and has excellent judgement in the court and with the client.’’Legal 500, 2021

    Leading junior in Public Procurement: ‘‘Focused, committed and hardworking team player. Tenacious advocate in court. A first-class brain and her analysis of the law is also first-class.’’ – Legal 500, 2021

    Leading junior in Sports Law: ‘‘A robust and forceful practitioner. She is very good in competition law-related matters.’’Legal 500, 2021

    Fiona Banks “commands respect” as a top name for sports litigation with “ a lovely manner in hearings”.Sports, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2020

    Peers of Fiona Banks are “very impressed with her written skills” and “very good judgement”. She is “extremely practical” and “a delight to work with”. – Government Contracts, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2020

    Public Procurement:“Fiona has an exceptional ability to quickly absorb, process and organise a huge amount of information in a very short period of time. Her advice is always considered and accessible. She is excellent on paper and the quality of her drafting sets her apart.” – Chambers UK, 2020

    Sports: “A fiercely bright contract lawyer.”  Chambers UK, 2020

    Leading junior in Competition: ‘‘A good pleader.’’Legal 500, 2020

    Leading junior in Telecoms (regulatory): ‘‘She represents both telecoms companies and regulators in disputes and investigations.’’Legal 500, 2020

    Leading junior in Public Procurement: ‘‘A very personable, approachable and available junior.’’ – Legal 500, 2020

    Leading junior in Sports Law: ‘‘A very good pleader.’’Legal 500, 2020

    Recognised for her superb government contracts practice. One source remarks that she has “in-depth legal knowledge combined with analytical skills, and the ability to crystallise complicated arguments into clear and sensible advice” – Government Contracts, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2019

    Always inspires utter confidence in her knowledge, approach and work” say peers who commend her “clarity of thought and pragmatism” – Sports, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2019

    An excellent barrister in the field” who is well versed in acting for telecoms providers and regulators in a range of tribunal and court proceedings” – Telecoms, Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2019

    Public Procurement: : “A very tenacious advocate” who is “incredibly responsive, very impressive in terms of her attention to detail and someone who drives matters forward.” – Chambers UK, 2019

    Sports: “Impressive and eloquent, and she identifies the key points quickly. Provides sage, pragmatic advice.” “Extremely user-friendly.”  Chambers UK, 2019

    Leading junior in Telecoms (regulatory): ‘‘Her knowledge and experience of the regulatory environment is impressive and she deploys this skilfully in her work.’’Legal 500, 2018

    Leading junior in Public Procurement: ‘‘A fantastic knowledge of procurement law and a startling ability to get on top of the papers.’’ – Legal 500, 2018

    Leading junior in Sports Law: ‘‘Very personable, approachable and available.’’Legal 500, 2018

    Public Procurement: “Fiona has a quite startling ability to get on top of a set of papers with remarkable speed and pick up all the issues. Lay clients fully understand her pleadings and the advice she has drafted.” – Chambers UK, 2018

    Sports: “A superb lawyer who can grasp technical and complex matters quickly and provide clear, practical advice.” “She is personable, very intelligent and insightful. She is very user-friendly as well and has an excellent bedside manner.”- Chambers UK, 2018

    Leading junior in Public procurement: ‘‘A real expert, whose authoritative manner is backed by experience.’’Legal 500, 2017

    Leading junior in Sports Law: ‘‘She is very supportive and responsive, and able to absorb a huge amount of detail very quickly.’’Legal 500, 2017

    Public Procurement: “An able barrister with a far-reaching client list. As well as having a flourishing practice, she also contributes pieces on public procurement to various law publications.” ..“Fiona has an exceptional work ethic.” – Chambers UK, 2017

    Sports: “Fiona is an extremely safe pair of hands. She is responsive and thorough and thinks strategically.” “A strong junior who is extremely user-friendly.” – Chambers UK, 2017

    Ranked in Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2017 for Sports, Telecoms and Government Contracts.

    Government Contracts: “…recognised as a leading junior and is well-versed in representing clients before all levels of the English Courts, including successfully acting for Counted4 in the High Court in relation to resisting the lifting of the automatic suspension of a public contract for substance misuse treatment services in Sunderland.” WHO’S WHO LEGAL (WWL) UK BAR 2017

    Leading Junior in Sport: ‘‘She is very responsive and has good attention to detail.’’ – Legal 500, 2016

    Government Contracts: A highly rated junior with an excellent track record in procurement cases. She is “charming and works extremely well with clients”, according to respondents. – WHO’S WHO LEGAL (WWL) UK BAR 2016

    Sports: “A standout sports junior” with “a growing reputation in the field”. She represents governing bodies, individual players, clubs and broadcasters and has appeared in a number of high-profile arbitrations. – WHO’S WHO LEGAL (WWL) UK BAR 2016

    Sport Law: “She is very highly regarded and is a very safe pair of hands. She is very accessible and amenable.”Chambers UK, 2016

    ”She has experience acting for governing bodies, players, clubs, agents and broadcasters.” Leading Junior in Sport Law. Legal 500, 2015

    Sport: “She picked up doping issues very quickly and really understood the issues and background of a case.” “She is really something – she’s very bright and able to absorb huge quantities of information very quickly and pick out the salient points.”Chambers UK, 2015

    ‘Extremely personable with great enthusiasm.’  Fiona is recommended as a leading Junior in Sports Law – Legal 500, 2014

    Sports Law: Has represented governing bodies, clubs, and individual sportsmen and women across a variety of sports matters. She has also been regularly instructed to act on media rights cases for broadcasters. “She is a very able barrister.” “She puts everything into context and clients really appreciate her.” Chambers UK, 2014

    Fiona Banks is listed under Sports & Entertainment. Who’s Who Legal 2013

    Fiona Banks is recommended as a leading junior in Media, Entertainment and Sport Law. Legal 500, 2013

    Sport: “She has been instructed by a broad range of clients, including sportsmen and women, clubs, governing bodies and major broadcasters. She is increasingly being hailed as a future star of the Sports Bar, and has been instructed in some major issues, including disciplinary hearings, sports arbitrations and High Court cases. Clients have huge confidence in her abilities, noting occasions when she has excelled despite having been thrown in at the deep end: “When you take a young barrister from London and parachute her into a typical Yorkshire sporting dispute, you might have concerns – but not with Fiona. Her knowledge of the sport was tremendous, she knew the market inside-out, and the clients were won over in an instant.”” Chambers UK, 2013

    Media, Entertainment and Sport Law:  “Fiona Banks is ‘bright, responsive and understands the sporting context’.” – Legal 500, 2012

    Fiona Banks is recommended as a leading junior in Media, Entertainment and Sport Law. Legal 500, 2012

    Media, Entertain & Sports states that Fiona Banks “is ‘a star of the future’ and ‘definitely one to watch’.” Legal 500, 2011

    “Fiona Banks has ‘a forensic eye for detail’.” Legal 500, 2010

    Cases

    • Sports Direct v the Competition Commission (OFT intervening) [2009] CAT 32 (Enterprise Act, s.120, judicial review challenge to CC’s disclosure procedure during course of merger inquiry)
    • BUAV v Information Commissioner (FOIA request – whether information held)
    • Andrew Bousfield v The Information Commissioner [EA/2009/0113] (FOIA request – application of exemption under section 40(2))
    • Bristol City Council v Information Commissioner [EA/2010/0012] (EIR request)
    • Malcolm v Information Commissioner [EA/2008/0072] (FOIA request – whether information held)
  • Additional information

    Education & Prizes

    2002-2003

    • LPC at BPP Law School, Commendation

    1998-2001

    • BA (Hons) in Law, Magdalene College, Cambridge, Double First

    2001

    • Magdalene College Bundy Scholar
    • Norah Dias Prize for Law

    2000

    • Cambridge University Squire Law Scholar
    • Magdalene College Academic Scholar
    • Norah Dias Prize for Law

    Professional Memberships

    Fiona is qualified to undertake direct access work through the public access accreditation scheme.

  • Publications
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