Piers Gardner

Call 2000 || 2018 (Ireland)
Education
MA(Oxon)
Contact

+44 (0)20 7405 7211

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Piers transferred to the Bar in 2000, after over 20 years’ experience as a solicitor, in the City, at the European Commission Human Rights and as Director of the British Institute of International & Comparative Law. He has a detailed knowledge of all aspects of the European Convention on Human Rights, together with other European treaty based law, and their operation in domestic, EU and international law. He has dealt in particular with cases concerning the application of the ECHR to commercial, investigatory and tax matters and the interaction of international and domestic proceedings, often in several jurisdictions at once and particularly involving urgency and interim relief.

This unusual transnational practice has involved cases concerning 33 European countries apart from the UK (Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine) plus Australia, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Channel Islands, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, the Turcs and Caicos and extensively in the USA.

Key features of these cases have been:

  • protection of property and confidentiality, particularly in commercial and tax matters,
  • data protection, especially with INTERPOL,
  • jurisdictional disputes, both as to forum and enforcement, and
  • the prevention of unwarranted evidence gathering and extradition.

Piers is the UK delegate to the Permanent Delegation of the CCBE to the European Court of Human Rights and chairs the Delegation.

  • Recent / Major Cases
    • Naftogaz v United Kingdom (No 62976/12): refusal to set aside recognition in England of a Ukrainian judgment set aside in Ukraine (Arts 6, 13 & A1P1)
    • Yukos Oil Company v Russia: (2012) 54 EHRR 19 (No 14902/04): corporate tax, unfair trial and expropriation: status of defunct company as a continuing applicant and measure of damages for extinction (Arts 1, 6, 13, A1P1, 35 & 41)
    • Uzan v Turkey: (No 18240/03): termination of electricity supply concession; claim for US$185Bn (Art 1 P1)
    • R (application of Hafner) v City of Westminster Magistrates Court [2008] EWHC 524 Admin, first interpretation of the extent of Article 8 rights of an intervener to privacy in international mutual assistance
    • Georgia (No 1) v Russia (No 13255/07): fourth inter State case ever lodged before the European Court of Human Rights and the first before the permanent court
    • Miller v UK (Miller v Miller [2006] UKHL 24; No 36860/06): basis for monetary award to a spouse in a very high value divorce and adequacy of the reasoning of the High Court, Court of Appeal and House of Lords (Arts 6, 8 & A1P1)
    • Craxi v Italy (No 25337/94, 17 July 2003): telephone surveillance; public access to trial records; privacy of public figures’ conversations
  • Human Rights

    HRA cases

    • Merchant International Company Ltd v Natsionalna Aktsionerna Kompaniya Naftogaz Ukrayiny [2012] WLR D 51: SC, 2012 Applications: 2.7.2012 and Naftogaz v United Kingdom (No 62976/12): refusal to set aside recognition in England of a Ukrainian judgment set aside in Ukraine (Arts 6, 13 & A1P1)
    • R (application of Hafner) v City of Westminster Magistrates Court [2008] EWHC 524 Admin, first interpretation of the extent of Art 8 rights of an intervener to privacy in international mutual assistance
    • R v Kansal (intervention) [2001] UKHL 62, [2002] 2 AC 69, temporal scope of HRA
    • R v Lyons and others [2001] EWCA Crim 2860, consequences under English law of a finding of an unfair trial by the Eur Ct HR.

    Commonwealth

    • a Gibraltar Company, R v Financial Services Commissioner (2003) 14BHRC 499, and the Court of Appeal for Gibraltar 2003-4 GibLR 224: conformity of financial services regime with Constitutionally protected confidentiality
    • Re A US Petition (23 June 2008, Manx High Court): application under the Evidence (Proceedings in Other Jurisdictions) Act 1975 and the Manx HRA

    Eur Ct HR cases

    • Yukos Oil Company v Russia: (No 14902/04): corporate tax and expropriation (Art 1 P1)
    • Uzan v Turkey: (No 18240/03): expropriation of electricity supply concession (Art 1 P1)
    • Georgia v Russia (No 13255/07): fourth inter State case ever lodged before the European Court of Human Rights and the first before the permanent court (Arts 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10, 13, 14, 18 and Art1 P1).
    • Soering v the United Kingdom (EHRR 11:439): extradition to the USA to face death row refused; first extra-territorial application of the ECHR by the European Court; first interim measures imposed against the UK (Arts 3 & 6)
    • IJL, GMR & AKP v UK, (EHRR 33:11): compulsorily acquired testimony in company investigation; right to silence and fair hearing (Art 6)
    • Krenz and others v Federal Republic of Germany (EHRR 33:22): former Head of Government of German Democratic Republic and other senior politicians and one border guard convicted after German re-unification of manslaughter in respect of the shooting of refugees crossing the Berlin wall; State succession; retrospective criminal penalties (Arts 1 & 7)
    • Craxi v Italy (No 25337/94): telephone surveillance of former Prime Minister; public access to trial records; privacy of public figures’ conversations (Arts 6 & 8)

    UNHRC & Eur Ct HR

    • Weiss v Austria (Eur Ct HR 74511/01 and UNHRC 1086/2002) extradition, interim measures under R 39 Eur Ct HR and Rule 86 UNHRC; Governmental breach of administrative court injunction; binding character of UNHRC interim measures
  • Commercial & Regulatory

    Piers has been involved in advising in respect of commercial and regulatory issues especially involving a cross-border element, including:

    • The establishment of jurisdiction in Texas under Chapter 11 US Bankruptcy Code       for proceedings over a Russian oil company: In Re Yukos Oil Company, US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas (24 February 2005): the largest bankruptcy proceedings in USA legal history
    • The first application in the USA of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency through the operation of Chapter 15 US Bankruptcy Code in respect of the proposed sale by a Dutch company of a majority shareholding in a Lithuanian oil refinery for US $1.25 Bn: US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (26 May 2006)
    • The maintenance and continuation of substantially valuable litigation claims before the European Court of Human Rights where the claimant was declared bankrupt as a result of the issues in dispute, removed from the register of companies and deprived of normal legal capacity (Yukos v Russia No 14902/04 (2012) 54 EHRR 19)
    • The protection of companies from the domestic enforcement of national judgments which are subject to challenge under the ECHR before the Eur Ct HR (Naftogaz v UK No 62976/12 and associated proceedings in the English Commercial Court)
    • The protection of the putative beneficiaries of an estate with assets in USA and Israel through choice of jurisdiction to establish the presumed death of the assets’ owner
    • The protection of a French registered company from enforcement proceedings arising from the alleged receipt of State aid
    • The protection of business and commercially confidential documents referring to third parties from extensive disclosure:
      • In furtherance of a foreign tax enquiry undertaken in England, Scotland and the Isle of Man, and
      • In furtherance of foreign stock exchange regulatory enquiries undertaken in England, Gibraltar, Isle of Man and Switzerland, and
      • In furtherance of US regulatory and tax enquiries undertaken in Isle of Man and Ireland
    • The proper exercise of the powers of a Special Manager and Receiver under section 177 Insolvency Act 1986 and the proper limits on the provision of mutual assistance under section 426 Insolvency Act 1986
    • The scope of disclosure of joint, personal and matrimonial assets to a Trustee in Bankruptcy and the procedure for achieving “respect for private and family life” under Article 8 of the ECHR
    • The compliance of proceedings under the Company Directors Disqualification Act with the Human Rights Act both as to disclosure and fairness
    • The powers of intervention of the Office of the Supervision of Solicitors and the Law Society in a solicitors’ practice including the special issues arising with regard to registered foreign lawyers
  • European Law

    Piers has considerable experience of advisory and contentious work relating to European law, in the domestic law of the United Kingdom and other European jurisdictions.

    This work has included litigation concerning:

    • The fairness of the EU State aid investigation and enforcement regime and its compatibility with the standards of EU law and the ECHR: Scott SA v Commission Case T-366/00 RENV and Scott SA v France (No 12568/10)
    • The adequacy and extent of the jurisdiction of the national courts of Germany to review:
      • the fairness of decisions of the European Patent Office which they were required to enforce, and
      • the proportionality of the rules relating to the compulsory purchase of minority shareholders in public companies
    • The jurisdiction of the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market to challenge its own decision in respect of a European Patent application before the General Court (Case T-186/04, Spa Monopole)
    • Review of the justification for the retention of data and compensation for the consequences of its retention under the Data Protection Act 1998 and the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights

    Piers also advises on jurisdictional and enforcement issues in commercial matters under the Brussels I Regulation and issues in several high profile matrimonial cases under the Brussels II regime.

  • What the Directories Say

    Civil Liberties and Human Rights: “He has a depth of experience that’s unparalleled for his call.”Chambers UK, 2019

    Leading junior in Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police): ‘‘Pays a great attention to detail and is an imaginative litigator.’’Legal 500, 2018

    Civil Liberties and Human Rights: “He does crazily huge human rights cases in Strasbourg.” “Piers is excellent for everything to do with human rights and international treaties.” “He is phenomenally talented and has vast experience of almost every European jurisdiction. A very shrewd tactician, he’s quick witted and works well as part of a large team.”Chambers UK, 2018

    Leading junior in Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police): ‘‘Fantastic experience acting before the European Court of Human Rights.’’Legal 500, 2017

    Civil Liberties & Human Rights: “He’s completely transparent, easy to talk to, and his research and writing are fantastic.” “He has a great understanding of people and complex legal situations.”Chambers UK, 2017

    Leading Junior in Civil Liberties and Human Rights (including actions against the police): ‘‘A hugely knowledgeable and well-regarded human rights senior junior.’’ Legal 500, 2016

    Civil Liberties & Human Rights: “Has always been a leader in his field.” “He’s hugely knowledgeable, he’s worked at the court in Strasbourg, he handles enormous commercial applications to the court as well as individuals. He is very strong on detail and generally very good to work with. He works very hard to make himself available.”Chambers UK, 2016

    ”An expert in EU and international human rights issues.” Leading Junior in Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law. Legal 500, 2015

    Civil Liberties & Human Rights: “He is an excellent lawyer, who has a huge knowledge of human rights issues, and he does his utmost for his clients.” “He is very hard-working and has wonderful insight into how everything works in the European Court.”Chambers UK, 2015

    ‘He has expertise in cases involving an interaction of human rights and commercial law.’ Piers Gardner is recommended as a leading junior in Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law. Legal 500, 2014

    Draws on his expertise in international human rights law to appear in a variety of political and inter-state cases with a strong commercial element. “He is very intelligent and incredibly hard-working.” “He has a huge amount of experience in human rights law.”Chambers UK, 2014

    Piers Gardner is recommended as a leading junior in Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law. Legal 500, 2013

    Civil Liberties & Human Rights: He is “an expert on the ECHR as it applies to commercial, investigatory and tax matters. Sources confirm that he is “a very good strategic tactician with an exhaustive knowledge of the ECHR.”” Chambers UK 2013

    Piers Gardner is recommended as a leading junior in Civil Liberties and Human Rights Law. Legal 500, 2012

    “Piers Gardner of Monckton Chambers is “exceedingly clever and has a real eye for the strategic.” Sources further commend him for his “sound understanding of the law and the whole litigation process.” ” – Chambers UK, 2012

    Civil liberties and human rights (including public inquiry law and actions against the police) recommends Piers Gardner as a leading junior. Legal 500, 2011

    Civil Liberties in Chambers UK, 2011 states that “fully supported in the market [is]Piers Gardner of Monckton Chambers. Sought out for his expertise in Strasbourg, Gardner continues to act in politically sensitive and complex human rights matters in the ECHR. Recent cases include Yukos Oil Company v Russia.”

  • Publications

    Contributed to published works on international, European and Human Rights law.

  • Additional Information

    Languages

    French and German

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