Michael Ashe QC SC


Michael Ashe began his practice at the English Bar in 1978, having previously been a civil servant in the Inland Revenue and then a merchant banker in the City of London dealing with mergers and acquisitions and international corporate finance and asset management. He is also a practising member of the Bars of Ireland and of Northern Ireland.

His experience outside the Bar has had a telling influence on his practice. This has a strong bias towards business and finance and he is regularly instructed to advise on complex transactions as well as to appear as advocate in courts and tribunals. This work covers a broad area of law: contract, conflict of laws, company law, tax, financial services, securities regulation and also the darker side of business such as market abuse, money laundering and commercial fraud. He also has experience in general Chancery matters, judicial review and construction contracts.

Michael Ashe is often instructed from overseas and travels regularly in the course of his practice to Malaysia, Singapore, USA, the Caribbean and Europe. He has acted as prosecution counsel in Singapore, including a one hundred-day insider dealing case and has recently completed a seven month insider civil dealing case in Dublin. The pattern of his work abroad mirrors that of his domestic practice and has included investment industry matters, commercial arbitration, take-overs, privatisation, and construction contract disputes.

Recent advisory work has included EU enforcement of tax, conflict of laws with regards to trusts, corporate restructuring and reorganisation of share capital, shareholder disputes and international bankruptcy.

He is also instructed in major litigation relating to bank indebtedness of a major Russian trading group.

Examples of cases in which he has appeared over the years are:

  • Winnetka Trading Corporation v Julius Baer International Ltd [2011] EWHC 2030 (Ch) (Share purchase contract – breach)
  • Revenue and Customs Commissioners v Banerjee (No 1) [2010] STC 2318 (Deductions for employee income tax)
  • Oates v Hooper [2010] EWCA Civ 1346 (contract: repudiation)
  • Fyffes plc v. DCC plc [2007] IESC 36 Supreme Court Ireland (insider dealing)
  • Dadourian Group International Inc v. Simms & others [2006] (ch) EWHC 2973 (fraudulent misrepresentation)
  • Dadourian Group International Inc v. Simms & others [2006] EWCA 1745 (Court of Appeal: freezing order)
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  • Sirocco v. Savory & Co [2005] Turks & Caicos Islands (professional negligence)
  • Romer-Ormiston v. Claygreen Ltd [2005] EWHC 2032 (Ch) (company law)
  • Fyffes plc v. DCC plc [2005] IESC 3 Supreme Court Ireland (privilege)
  • Fyffes plc v. DCC plc [2005] IEHC 477 High Court Ireland (insider dealing).
  • Moore Large & Co Ltd v Hermes Credit & Guarantee Plc [2003] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 163, (credit insurance; variation of cover. material misrepresentation; affirmation of policy)
  • Cox v Jones [2004] 2 FLR 1010, (constructive trust) (ch)
  • Re OT Computers Ltd [2003] All ER (D) 144 (application for disclosure of policy under Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 1930)
  • Sealand Housing Corporation Ltd v. Great Future International Ltd [2003] Turks & Caicos Islands Court of Appeal (company law, fraud).
  • Hunter and Callaghan v. Blom Cooper [2003] IEHC 81 High Court Ireland (freedom of speech)
  • Mallusk Cold Storage Ltd v Department of Finance and Personnel [2003] NIQB 58 High Court of Northern Ireland (restitution)
  • Khiaban v Beard [2003] 1 WLR 1626, (Court of Appeal: civil procedure)
  • Anglo-Eastern Trust Ltd & Anor v Kermanshahchi [2002] EWCA Civ 198 (Court of Appeal: summary judgment)
  • Cigna Insurance Company of Europe SA NV & Others v Vural Ltd & Anor [2002] EWCA Civ 143 (Court of Appeal: assessment of damages/freezing order)
  • Hunter and Callaghan v. Blom Cooper [2000] I IR 510 High Court Ireland (Brussels Convention).
  • Re McGuckian [2000] NI 30 (CA) (judicial review);
  • Re Market Wizard (UK) Ltd. [1998] 2 BCLC 282 (financial services);
  • Ord v. Belhaven Pubs Ltd. [1998] 2 BCLC 447 (CA) (corporate veil);
  • Agnew v. Lansforsakringsbolagens AB [1997] 4 All ER 937 (CA) (Lugano Convention);
  • I.R.C. v. McGuckian [1997] 1 WLR 991 (HL) (tax avoidance);
  • City Index v. Leslie [1992] 1 QB 98 (CA) (stock index betting);
  • P.P. v. Allan Ng Po Meng [1990] 1 MLJ v Singapore (insider dealing);
  • Plummer v. I.R.C. [1988] 1 WLR 292 (domicile);
  • R. v. H.M. Treasury ex parte Smedley [1985] QB 657 (CA) (Govt. contributions to EC);
  • O’Sullivan v. Management Agency and Music Ltd [1985] QB 428 (CA) (breach of fiduciary duty);

In addition Michael Ashe has given expert evidence on law in:

  • Wachovia Bank v. Tien & Ors (US District Court SD Florida 2007)
  • Tomran Inc v. William M.Passano (Court of Appeals Maryland US 2006)

Michael Ashe was appointed Queen’s Counsel in England and Wales in 1994, Queen’s Counsel in Northern Ireland in 1998 and Senior Counsel in Ireland in 2000. He is a Recorder of the Crown Court in England and Wales and is a Master of the Bench of his Inn of Court, the Middle Temple, where he holds the office of Master of the Archives.

His publications include:

  • Money Laundering – Risks and Liabilities (joint author) (Round Hall Sweet & Maxwell, Dublin 2000) 2nd edition (First Law Dublin 2007)
  • International Tracing of Assets (joint editor) (Sweet & Maxwell, London 1998)
  • Guide to Financial Services Regulation (joint author) (3rd ed. CCH London 1997);
  • Insider Trading (joint author) (2nd ed. Tolley, London 1993);
  • Injunctions (joint editor) (4th ed. (reprint) Halsbury’s Laws of England, Butterworths, London 1993);
  • Money (4th ed. Halsbury’s Laws of England, Butterworths, London 1980);

He is on the Editorial Board of the Company Lawyer and of the Commercial Law Practitioner.

Michael Ashe is an independent self-employed barrister registered with the Bar Standards Board of England (ref. no 10182); whose practice is governed by the Code of Conduct of the Bar of England and Wales which code can be found at www.barstandardsboard.org.uk; has full professional liability insurance provided by the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund Limited (ref BM 2930/009) (details of the world-wide cover are provided at www.barmutual.co.uk); is registered for VAT (reg. no. 235 4694 48); and can be contacted during chambers opening hours by telephone at 02074045055 or by e-mail at clerks@9stonebuildings.com.

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