Seth Cumming

Seth is regularly instructed in all areas of Chambers’ work. His main areas of practice include banking & finance, insurance, civil fraud (including interim relief), contentious probate & trust litigation, insolvency law, company law, and professional negligence. 

Seth was awarded Academic Honours and a Double First in his BSc in economics at Rhodes University, South Africa. He then completed an MSc in economics at the London School of Economics, where he was a Commonwealth Scholar. He received an LLB (First Class) from BPP Law School. He completed the BVC at City University as a Lord Diplock scholar of Middle Temple. He obtained an Outstanding and was awarded the Sweet & Maxwell Prize (for company law) and the Everard van Heyden Prize (for the top 5 students on the BVC).  Seth has also tutored land law part-time at BPP Law School.

Prior to coming to the Bar, Seth worked as an economic adviser and speechwriter for the then Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer.

 

 

Current and Recent Cases

Banking, finance & insurance
 
  • Bank of New York, Mellon v Sterling Biotech [2014] EWHC 1889 (Comm) and [2013] EWHC 1478 (Comm) – Seth was instructed (led by Andrew Twigger QC) for the Defendant in this claim in the Commercial Court concerning a $250 million bond issue by an Indian pharmaceutical company. 
  • Cooper Mechanical Oilfield Services Pte Ltd v Pauwels (2013) Seth is currently instructed by Blake Lapthorn in this ongoing dispute in the High Court relating to the provision of a $30m Standby Letter of Credit for the acquisition and refitting of oil tankers.
  • The Seashell of Lisson Grove Ltd and Ors v Aviva Insurance and Ors (2013) – Seth was instructed by Devonshires (led by David Lord QC) for the Claimants in these Commercial Court proceedings concerning an insurance policy for a famous restaurant in London that had suffered losses from a catastrophic fire. 

Commercial litigation

  • Corporate & Chancery Group Limited v Hancock (2014). Seth was instructed for the Claimant, a Mauritius trust company, in its claim pursuant to an oral agreement that it would charge the service and management fees. The trial of the matter took place over two days in Central London County Court (Chancery Business) in November 2014 and involved issues of corporate attribution, agency, oral agreements, and capital gains tax.
  • Les Ambassadeurs Club Limited v Parvizi (2014). Seth was instructed for the Claimant in these proceedings in the Chancery Division brought against a former client of a casino. The Defendant counterclaimed for alleged £10 million in losses at a high stakes poker game. The Claimant applied for summary judgment and an order striking out the Defendant's defence and counterclaim. The case raised issues concerning expert evidence, misrepresentation, conspiracy, and the defences available to a cheque.
  • Edmond de Rothschild Securities (UK) v Exillon Plc [2014] EWHC 2165 (Comm)  Seth was instructed by Stephenson Harwood (led by Andrew Twigger QC) for the Claimant in its claim and application for summary judgment in the Commercial Court. The proceedings were concerned with whether or not it was necessary for the Claimant to show that it was an "effective cause" before being entitled to a success fee under an agreement to provide advice on a shareholder requistion. 
  • Telekom Slovenije, D.D. v. Cosmote Mobile Telecommunications S.A. (2013) – Seth was instructed by Clifford Chance (led by Andrew Twigger QC) for the Claimant in these Commercial Court proceedings concerning various warranty and indemnity claims under a Share Purchase Agreement.
  • McKellar v Kingston Smith Services Limited [2012] EWHC 2116 (QB) Seth was instructed by Blake Lapthorn (led by Andrew Twigger QC) for the Defendant in this action in the Mercantile Court concerning alleged breaches of warranties contained in a Share Purchase Agreement.
  • A3D2 v Wagner (2012). Seth was instructed by Blake Lapthorn for the Claimant in this action in the Queen's Bench Division. The Claimant was a nightclub owner from whom the Defendant, a former manager and employee, had misappropriated significant sums of cash takings. Seth appeared in the Claimant's application for a freezing order and in its subsequent application for summary judgment.
Contentious trusts & probate
 
  • Poore v Wallace (2013) – Seth acted for the Claimant personal representative in her application in the Chancery Division  for a post-judgment worldwide freezing order against an attorney who had made substantial withdrawals and payments from a patient's bank account.
  • Dawodu v Adonai (2013)  –  Seth acted for the personal representatives in two trials in these proceedings in the Chancery Division, instructed by Russell-Cooke. The PRs sought an account (both a common account and on the footing of wilful default) against the former administrator of the estate. The former administrator counterclaimed for remuneration and expenses.
  • Brudenell-Bruce (Earl of Cardigan) v Moore [2012] EWHC 1024 (Ch) 14; I.T.E.L.R. 967; [2012] 2 P. & C.R. DG – Seth was instructed in this High Court trial in the Chancery Division, appearing (as a junior) for the Earl of Cardigan in his dispute with the trustees of the Savernake Estate. The trial was concerned with issues surrounding the construction of a lease, partnership law, the self-dealing rule, and acquiescence in breaches of trust.

  • Wharton v Bancroft [2011] EWHC 3250 (Ch); [2012] W.T.L.R. 693 – Seth was involved in this two-week High Court probate trial as a pupil. The trial was concerned with issues of a testator’s knowledge and approval and undue influence.

Education

 

BSc (Double First) – Rhodes University

MSc – London School of Economics

LLB (First) – BPP Law School

BVC (Outstanding) – City University

 

Professional Memberships

 

Chancery Bar Association

Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)

Seminars

Seth regularly gives seminars to solicitors on various topics and is available on request. Recent seminar topics have included:

  • Misrepresentation: Common problems and recent developments. This seminar gives a quick outline of the current law of misrepresentation and then focuses on difficult areas in practice such as quantum and the distinction between statements of fact and statements of opinion. It finishes with an analysis of recent decisions on exclusion clauses and misrepresentation.
  • Freezing orders: Tactics and strategy. This seminar considers different tactical approaches to freezing orders. It considers the position from the perspective of both the claimant and the defendant and gives a rundown of common hurdles encountered in practice.

 

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