Rupert Butler

Barrister, Head of Legal Practice

Rupert Butler has been in private practice as a Barrister since 1988, working at the self-employed bar out of 3 Hare Court, and as founder and principal of Leverets.

Rupert was one of the first barristers to be licensed to conduct litigation and to accept instructions directly from the public, which had led to him appearing in many high profile civil claims, criminal cases and public inquiries.

Rupert currently represents Camila Batmanghelidjh the founder and former CEO of Keeping Kids Company in directors’ disqualification proceedings that are due for trial in 2020. He is also the sole legal representative of the estate of the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC in The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and has represented Lord Janner’s estate in Chancery proceedings concerning its administration and in the Queen’s Bench Division successfully fending off over 30 claims for compensation by alleged victims of sexual abuse.

With substantial experience in litigation and advisory work in the fields of company law and corporate insolvency, Rupert’s practice covers a broad range of chancery and commercial litigation, including insolvency and company-related disputes, claims for breach of directors’ duties and minority shareholders’ actions, breaches of warranty, the enforcement of guarantees and security, liquidators’ claims, civil fraud, asset recovery and constructive trusts.

Qualifications

  • He is a trained and accredited mediator.
  • Member of the Irish Bar
  • LLB Manchester University
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Recent Work

In recent commercial work Rupert has represented the owners of Hello! Magazine successfully defending a claim for breach of intellectual property rights (Motivate Publishing FZ LLC v. Hello! Limited [2015] EWHC 1554) and the owners of 4 patents in vanadium redox energy storage in the Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court, successfully defending a claim for alleged fraudulent assignment of patents (Dichand v. Hydraredox Technologies Holdings Limited [2018] EWHC 1142).

Rupert Butler has acted for liquidators appointed on behalf of HMRC to recover Crown debts incurred by VAT and Excise frauds. In which respect he has sued successfully directors for fraud in the leading cases of: QEB Metallics v. Peerzada and others [2009] EWHC 3348 (Ch); and, Payless Cash & Carry v. Patel and others [2011] EWHC 2112 (Ch).

Rupert also obtained injunctions for and represented green energy suppliers Ecotricity in their well-publicised claim against Tesla Motors Inc., involving breach of confidence and competition law (Ecotricity Group Ltd & The Electric Highway Company Ltd v. Tesla Motors Inc & Tesla Motors Netherlands BV Claim No. HC14C02139).

In 2015 Rupert was instructed on behalf of the directors of Drive Assist (UK) Limited (in liquidation) defending them successfully in claims brought against them under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 and in a claim for misfeasance in office brought by the liquidator.

He represents David Bryant, for whom he also acted pro bono in the Court of Appeal in July 2016, whose conviction for historic sexual abuse of a boy in 1970s was quashed. Subsequently, Rupert has acted for other appellants, and in June 2018 he secured the quashing of the conviction for historic sex abuse of Graham Jones, a retired school-master from Eastbourne College.

Rupert is a regular commentator in the media on the topic of historic sex abuse claims and is a founder member of FAIR – a pressure group headed by Sir Cliff Richard and Paul Gambaccini to force a change in the law on the naming of suspects before charge. In 2016 Rupert’s analysis of policing complaints of historic sex abuse was mentioned in the report of Sir Richard Henriques and commended in the House of Commons’ debate on Operation Midland, where general praise for the work of 3 Hare Court was given, including by the SNP.

Rupert also specialises in sports and entertainment work, particularly acting for national governing bodies of sport, sports stars and agents, in all aspects of the business of sport and entertainment, regulation and disciplinary matters. He is recommended in Chambers UK Directory for sports law.
He has acted for the ECB on a wide range of issues and, in particular, he advised over its relationship with Allen Stanford and his sponsorship of the Stanford Twenty20 for 20 and the collapse of the Stanford Bank.

He represented Sven-Goran Eriksson, in pursuit of claims against his former financial adviser; and Carole White’s Premier Model Agency, to stop a former employee setting up in unlawful competition.

In 2008 he represented the entire Trinidad and Tobago 2006 FIFA World Cup squad in its action against its home Federation, headed by Jack Warner, for fees due to players, securing a substantial award in an international arbitration. Recently he has been advising the acting president of CONCACAF in relation to his dispute with his Federation and FIFA following the resignation of Jack Warner.

In sports he has also represented and advised the following National Governing Bodies: the Welsh RFU, British Triathlon Association, the British Cycling Federation, International Federation of Strong Men, and the British Bob Skeleton Association.

In 2011 he represented the former information spy Benji the Binman in a successful trial for breach of bailment.

He has also represented and advised the following public authorities: London Borough of Haringey, London Borough of Hackney and London Borough of Redbridge, Wiltshire County Council, National Police Improvement Agency. He has extensive experience of appearing in Employment Tribunals covering all areas of employment law, and regularly represents City Executives in the negotiation of their service contracts, remuneration benefits, and severance agreements.