Fiona Banks

Call 2006
Education
MA (Hons) Cambridge (Double First)
Contact

+44 (0)20 7405 7211

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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

“Charming and works extremely well with clients” WHO’S WHO LEGAL (WWL) UK BAR 2016

She is really something – she’s very bright and able to absorb huge quantities of information very quickly and pick out salient points” Chambers UK, 2015

She is a very able barrister” Chambers UK, 2014

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.

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.

  • Public Procurement

    Ranked in both Chambers and Partners 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 case of Counted4, in which she successfully resisted the lifting of an automatic suspension in the first such case under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. 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.

    • 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

    The breadth of Fiona’s competition practice is well evidenced by her experience across a range of industry sectors including insurance, telecommunications, sports, aviation and pharmaceuticals with notable clients including BT, OFCOM, and the health authorities of Northern Ireland and Scotland.
    Fiona is not only instructed by leading law firms specialising in competition law but is also regularly instructed by corporations directly in relation to both litigation and advisory work. She has been able to build on her time spent in house at large institutions advising on their position in relation to competition law, most notably at VISA.
    She is a contributor to the current edition of Bellamy and Child, the leading practitioners’ competition text. Recent cases include:

    • Ongoing interchange litigation
    • 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 (abuse of dominance/follow on claim)
    • Aviva Insurance UK Ltd v Primary Insurance and Ors (2014 – High Court – debt claim, allegations of abuse of dominance, misrepresentation and duress)
    • Advising in respect of competition law issues arising from a franchise agreement
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • Contributor to current edition of Bellamy and Child
  • Telecommunications

    Fiona has particular strength in the telecommunications sector and is recognised in Who’s Who Legal 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 clients have included BT and OFCOM.

    Recent cases include:

    • 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. Recent examples of Fiona’s cases include:

    • 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.

    • Ongoing agency disputeAgency 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)
  • VAT
    • Calltel & Opto v HMRC [2010] EWCA Civ 517 (Court of Appeal- test case on “Means of Knowledge” within the context of MTIC (carousel) fraud)
    • Prince Karunaraina Samarappuli Arachchige v HMRC [2009] EWHC 1077 (Ch) (High Court appeal – VAT treatment of vouchers, on appeal to the Court of Appeal, awaiting judgment)
    • Masterlease Ltd v The Commissioners for HMRC [2010] UKFTT 339 (First Tier Tribunal – VAT treatment of supplies made under HP agreements)
    • GMAC 3 v HMRC [2010] UKFTT 202 (First Tier Tribunal – VAT treatment of supplies made pursuant to hire purchasing agreements)
    • Vodafone Group Services Limited v HMRC (VAT & Duties Tribunal – VAT treatment of vouchers)
    • DSG International Insurance Services Ltd v HMRC (2007) (VAT & Duties Tribunal – insurance premium tax)
  • Public & Administrative Law

    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.

    • 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)
  • What the Directories Say

    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

  • 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.

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