ISOLAS LLP host Litigation Briefing in London

06/10/2019 James Montado, Peter Isola

The routable event, that took place on the 1 October, was hosted by litigation partner James Montado and senior partner Peter Isola. Held at L’oscar in Holborn, James and Peter updated their guests on the recent trends in Gibraltar’s litigation space, new cases they are working on, legislative and personnel changes and the ongoing developments surrounding Brexit.

James said: “As a well-positioned  jurisdiction that is able to react quickly to the needs of business with innovative and robust legislation, Gibraltar sees its fair share of large, international commercial disputes. It’s great to be able to update our peers in the UK, and share our collective insights and experiences and explore what trends are impacting on our respective practices.”

James discussed the highly publicised MV Grace 1 detainment under the Gibraltar Sanctions Act 2019 (in which ISOLAS LLP were involved). The supertanker was carrying Iranian oil to Syria which is currently the subject of EU Sanctions. The Grace 1 was detained by Gibraltarian authorities with the assistance of  Royal Marines on 4 July, triggering a diplomatic standoff with Tehran. This was followed by the US Department of Justice making a last-minute request to the Gibraltar Supreme Court to halt its release.

He also spoke about the curious increase in defamation cases and dishonest assistance cases within the jurisdiction as well as ISOLAS’ work in the DLT space – in particular, their work in emerging “crypto litigation” cases and insolvencies.

James himself is recognised by leading legal directories for his work in high value civil litigation with an emphasis on insolvency, fraud and contentious trusts cases, in which he regularly advises officeholders, institutional clients and regulated entities.

Peter Isola then spoke about the impact of Brexit, discussing Gibraltar’s current position among the ongoing negotiations.

“While everyone remains somewhat in the dark, Brexit has cultivated some positive changes in Gibraltar. For example, Gibraltar’s relationship with both the UK and Spanish Governments has never been stronger. This has materialised in a tax treaty between the UK and Spanish Governments over Gibraltar and the recent ground breaking negotiations on a double taxation agreement between the Governments of Gibraltar and and the UK, announced by the Exchequer Secretary to Her Majesty’s Treasury, Robert Jenrick, in July,” said Peter.

“The real issue right now is surrounding how the UK will leave as this could change the dynamics of our relationship with Spain. However, while there are still concerns, we remain positive about the situation as Gibraltar is already outside the Customs Union and our border with Spain, unlike the Irish border, will therefore not change with present EU directives continuing to apply.”

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