Shane Sibbel

Called to Bar:
Practice areas:
BA (Oxon) (Law), First Class (4th in year), BCL (Distinction)
French (working knowledge)

Professional Experience

Shane regularly acts as sole counsel in the High Court, Employment Tribunals and County Courts, and as junior counsel in the Court of Appeal, the High Court, the London Court of International Arbitration and the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Tribunal. Shane was appointed Junior Counsel to the Crown (C Panel) in 2015.


Shane has been instructed in a wide range of commercial cases in the Court of Appeal, the High Court and the London Court of International Arbitration. His commercial experience includes large-scale civil fraud litigation, contractual disputes of many different types, complex claims in tort and equity, and claims involving intellectual property.

Current and recent work

  • Standard Bank Plc v Just Group LLC & Erdenet Mining Corpn (Comm Court, 2013)
    Litigation concerning loans made by Standard Bank to Mongolian corporation and alleged fraudulent dissipation of loan monies. Jurisdiction challenge in July 2014. Junior counsel for one of the defendant companies.
  • 2 LCIA International Arbitrations (2013 - )
    Acting for the defendant in a series of claims for unpaid sums and damages of roughly $70 million (junior counsel to Robert Weekes and Phillip Marshall QC). The details of the case remain confidential. 
  • Acting for the Appellant in the appeal of a decision of the High Court to strike out a claim for non-compliance with the CPR and by virtue of alleged unenforceability under s2(1) of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989. The appeal also raised issues as regards consideration and a Banner v Luff Developments constructive trust (junior counsel to Robert Anderson QC).
  • Acted for the Claimant in a claim alleging breaches of a technology licence agreement and compromise agreement concerning the design and construction of luxury vehicles (junior counsel to Robert Howe QC).
  • Shearman v Hunter Boot Ltd [2014] EWHC 47(QB)
    Acting for the Defendant in a dispute arising out of the termination of an agency agreement and raising preliminary issues as to the scope and effect of Regulation 17 of the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993 under domestic and EU law (junior counsel to Ian Mill QC).
  • Madoff Securities International Limited v Kohn & ors [2013] EWHC 3147 (Comm)
    Acted for the Claimant in a large and complex dispute in the Commercial Court concerning a number of payments alleged to have occurred in breach of the defendant directors’ contractual, tortious, fiduciary and trustee duties and alleged to have been knowingly received as such by Sonja Kohn and alleged affiliate/sham companies. The case was one of several pieces of litigation to recover the US$50 billion lost as a result of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi Scheme (junior counsel in a team of Blackstone Counsel led by Pushpinder Saini QC).
  • Acting for the Defendant in a claim in the High Court brought by the former director, shareholder and employee of a law firm under an alleged agreement for the making of “guarantee payments”. The claim raises issues of contractual formation and estoppel. 
  • Acted for the Defendant in a claim for agent’s remuneration owed under a purported contract for consultancy services in connection with the negotiation of a compensation claim against HS2.
  • Acting for a company in a potential High Court claim in contract, alternatively under the tortious duties owed by private carriers and/or bailees, in respect of the transportation of heavy machinery between company premises.
  • Acted for the Defendant in a claim raising issues under the Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road and involving a counterclaim for fraudulent misrepresentation. 
  • Lebara Mobile Limited v Safi, Mohammed & Faridoon
    Acted for the Claimant in a county court claim concerning breach by each of the Defendant retailers of their obligations under a branding agreement.
  • Peregrine Semiconductor Corporation v SIPAT Hong Kong Co. Limited (2014)
    Advised in relation to settling a statement of claim in a case before the Hong Kong Court of First Instance. The claim is for $1.1 million and concerns alleged breaches of contract by a distributor of semi-conductors based in Hong Kong.
  • Advised and acted for a potential defendant in relation to an investment agreement dispute concerning alleged breaches of fiduciary duties, misrepresentation and a proprietary claim based on a Pallant v Morgan type constructive trust.
  • Rajinder Dugal v Skylord Travel plc (2012)
    Acted for the Defendant in the High Court and County Court in a dispute arising out of a partnership or joint venture over the development of an airline tickets and inclusive tours business. The High Court, following a rolled-up appeal hearing, refused to grant the Claimant permission to appeal a strike out obtained against him by the Defendant.
  • Rahimian v Tchenguiz (2012)
    Acted for the Defendant in the High Court (Chancery Division), in a dispute with a former friend over sums claimed in relation to a variety of alleged trusts, partnership agreements, agency commission agreements and indemnities (junior counsel to Tom Croxford).
  • CGF No. 9 v Holford (2012)
    Acted for the Claimant in the Mercantile Court in a dispute concerning the enforceability of a personal guarantee over a number of lease agreements.
  • Latin American Investments Ltd and others v Maroil Trading Inc. (2012)
    Acted for the Defendant in the High Court (Commercial Court), concerning a dispute arising out of a large joint venture for the transportation of oil (junior counsel to Stephen Nathan QC).
  • Advised on the validity of a share buyback under section 691 of the Companies Act 2006 and the merits of a potential professional negligence claim (junior counsel to Andrew Green QC).
  • Acting for Lombard North Central plc in opposition to a bankruptcy annulment application under section 292(1)(a) of the Insolvency Act 1986.
  • Acted and Appeared for Lombard North Central Plc in the High Court and County Court in relation to a number of claims concerning the breach of various hire purchase agreements and personal guarantees (Lombard North Central v Bawden; Chowdhury; Mohsen-Taheri; Glapinski; Hinchcliffe; Qadeer; and Winterburn & Winter respectively).
  • Acted for the Hilton Group in relation to a number of contractual disputes over the recruitment of staff and the organisation of events at Hilton Hotels.

Other relevant experience

Shane is a member of COMBAR.

Public Law and Human Rights

Shane is interested in all spheres of public law practice and acts for both Claimants and the Government. He was appointed Junior Counsel to the Crown (C Panel) in 2015. Prior to his call to the Bar, Shane interned as a caseworker with the AIRE (“Advice on Individual Rights in Europe”) Centre, drafting written submissions in a range of applications before the European Court of Human Rights, interviewing clients and also producing numerous advices on the rights of EU citizens under EU law. Shane is also the author of an article on “Universal Jurisdiction and the Terrorism Acts 2000 & 2006” (3(1) (2007) Cambridge Student Law Review 13), and previously acted as a research assistant for the chapter on “Equality and Non-Discrimination” (Prof. C. McCrudden) in D. Feldman, English Public Law (OUP, 2nd Ed, 2009).

Current and recent work

  • Abdul Hakim Belhaj & others v Straw & others [2015] 2 WLR 1105
    Acting for the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the question of torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment and the Chair-Rapporteur of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention as Interveners in a case concerning the Act of State doctrine and claims against the UK for involvement in rendition and torture (with Ravi S. Mehta). The Court of Appeal found in favour of the Claimants (whose position the Interveners support) and the Defendants’ appeal to the Supreme Court is due to be heard in late 2015.
  • Acted for the Claimant in a judicial review of the ongoing refusal of a local authority to accept that he is not a “ratepayer” for the purposes of section 43 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 and the ongoing enforcement actions of that authority against the Claimant.
  • Acted for the Defendant in a claim in tort and under the HRA concerning the scope positive obligations on local authorities to prevent and investigate the criminal acts of private individuals (junior counsel to Monica Carss-Frisk QC).
  • Advised in relation to the application of the ECHR to the system of legal aid in place in a crown dependency (junior counsel to Pushpinder Saini QC)
  • Acted for the Defendant in the judicial review of a decision to detain the Claimant under section 4 and Schedule 2 of the Immigration Act 1971. The claim raised a variety of issues under the Hardial Singh principles, Article 5 ECHR, service, abuse of process and limitation.
  • Advised a large firm on the statutory basis for the contracting out of the provision of counter-fraud services to the NHS.
  • Duties owed by Local Authorities in respect of victims of human trafficking (2014)
    Advised pro bono on the obligations owed by local authorities to identify and support victims and potential victims of trafficking within the meaning of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, having regard to the EU Trafficking Directive, the ECHR and International law.  
  • Definition of Torture (2013 -14)
    Advised Freedom from Torture pro bono with Timothy Otty QC and Tristan Jones on recent international jurisprudence regarding the meaning of torture, state responsibility for torture and whether the definition of torture is context sensitive. 
  • Immigration Rules on Adult Dependent Relatives (2013)
    Advised pro bono on a potential challenge to changes to the Immigration Rules governing when adult dependent relatives who are non-EEA nationals can be brought into the UK (junior counsel to Naina Patel).
  • Defendant Costs Orders (2012)
    Advising pro bono on potential challenges to the new costs regime established by Schedule 7 to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 and the Costs in Criminal Cases (General Amendment) Regulations 2012, which caps (and sometimes prevents altogether) the recovery by successful defendants in criminal proceedings of their legal costs from the Government. 
  • Justice and Security Bill (2012)
    Advising the All Parliamentary Group on Extraordinary Rendition in relation to the Justice and Security Bill, which proposes to make closed material procedures available for use in any civil proceeding, and which also seeks to remove the court’s jurisdiction to order Norwich Pharmacal disclosure over information held by or relating to the Intelligence Services (junior counsel to Anthony Peto QC).  
  • Advised the Office of Fair Trading in relation to a potential application for an enforcement order under Part 8 of the Enterprise Act 2002 in respect of a series of domestic and community infringements (junior counsel to Ben Jaffey).
  • (1) Kashif Chaudhry and (2) Seifelden Abdelkareem v Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (2012)
    Successfully acted for the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (“QFCRA”) in the first challenge before the QFC Regulatory Tribunal by individuals to a decision notice of the QFCRA. The case concerned the respective roles of the claimants in communications between Al Mal Bank LLC and the QFCRA, and the Bank’s subsequent collapse (junior counsel to Ben Jaffey).
  • Acted for the challenge to the promulgation and maintenance of a Review of Compliance report by the First Defendant and a decision of the Second Defendant to suspend referrals to a care home owned by the Claimant (junior counsel to Michael Fordham QC).
  • Advised on the merits of a constitutional challenge to an Act of Parliament or an exercise of the Royal Prerogative to alter the name of a University (junior counsel to Michael Beloff QC).


Shane is regularly instructed in the Employment Tribunals, including in unfair dismissal, disability, race and sex discrimination, whistleblowing, unlawful deduction of pay and breach of contract cases. Shane has also acted in employment matters in the High Court and the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Current and recent work

  • Acting for the Defendant in a High Court claim concerning the alleged failure of an employer to facilitate an in-time insurance claim on behalf of an employee under a long-term incapacity policy.
  • Acted for the Claimant in the EAT in relation to a claim brought under regulation 4 of TUPE for automatically unfair dismissal contrary to regulation 7(1) of TUPE. The case arises out of the administration of the Game Group in March 2012 and involves issues of burden under TUPE and the scope of ETOs following Spaceright Europe ltd v Ballavoine [2012] ICR 520.  
  • Acting for the Respondent in an appeal to the EAT in a case concerning the dismissal of an employee for gross misconduct following the receipt by staff members, governmental departments and high-profile public figures of a series of emails containing defamatory allegations.
  • Acted for the claimant in a week-long trial against an NHS Foundation Trust concerning allegations of unfair dismissal contrary to section 103A and 94 ERA 1996.
  • Acted for a large supermarket chain in a number of tribunal claims, including:
    -  a four day hearing concerning the alleged unfair constructive dismissal of a manager and a claim for direct discrimination. All the claims were dismissed;
    -  a two day hearing concerning the alleged unfair dismissal of an employee following a long history of repeated short term absences. The claim was dismissed;
    -  a three-day hearing of a claim alleging constructive unfair dismissal, bullying and harassment. The proceedings included a dispute over whether the Claimant had forged a number of documents. All the claims were dismissed and costs were awarded against the Claimant; and
    -  a dispute involving allegations of unfair dismissal and race discrimination surrounding the summary dismissal of an employee for gross misconduct. The case was successfully struck out.
  • Acted in a three day trial for a manufacturer of luxury jewellery in a claim alleging disability discrimination and unfair dismissal following the dismissal for long-term incapacity.
  • Acted for a Respondent religious organisation in relation to a claim alleging disability discrimination, and raising questions as to i) the jurisdiction of the ET under the Equality Act 2010 in respect the Respondent’s ministers and ii) whether the duty to make reasonable adjustments can be associative (junior counsel to Emma Dixon).
  • Acted pro bono for a charity respondent in a claim alleging unfair dismissal and disability discrimination, which arose out of a decision to dismiss the employee for gross misconduct.
  • Acting for a Respondent dental practice in a county court claim for breach of contract brought by a locum dentist whose agreement was terminated following the Claimant’s allegedly erratic misbehaviour.
  • Advised a large charity in relation to the application of TUPE to the migration of outsourced healthcare contracts between the charity and an NHS trust.
  • Acted successfully for a claimant financial services executive against his firm in relation to a claim worth £900,000 alleging disability discrimination, whistleblowing and a sham redundancy exercise.
  • Acted for a large charity in relation to several separate claims brought against it by former employees alleging unfair dismissal, disability discrimination and breach of contract.
  • Acted for the Claimant in a claim worth £700,000 against the Bank for unfair dismissal, whistleblowing and breach of contract.
  • Acted for the Respondent in a case concerning allegations of constructive unfair dismissal and breach of contract. The case was withdrawn and the Respondent successfully obtained a costs order against the Claimant.

Other relevant experience

Shane is also a qualified FRU employment volunteer and a member of the Employment Lawyers Association.

Media and Entertainment

Shane has been involved in a number of commercial and copyright cases within the sphere of Media and Entertainment and has particular experience of litigation concerning mass online copyright infringement.

Current and recent work

  • Acting for the Defendant in a case alleging the breach of a trade mark licence, trade mark infringement and passing off. The case raises further issues as regards the law relating to declarations, threats contrary to section 21 TMA 1994 and breach of contractual and fiduciary duties (junior counsel to Michael Bloch QC).
  • Advising PRS on the application of the CDPA 1988 to the playing of music in hotel bedrooms (junior counsel to Pushpinder Saini QC).
  • Acted for the second, third and fourth defendants in a claim for a declaration in respect of the infringement of certain database rights and copyrights (junior counsel to Robert Howe QC).
  • Advising the owner of the copyright in a well-known musical composition in relation to the repeated infringement of its rights during an international advertising campaign
  • Acting for the Defendant in a dispute between a provider of logistical support for festivals and the manager of a well-known disc jockey, recording artist and songwriter, concerning alleged breaches of contract and questions of agency law.  
  • Acted successfully for the members of the BPI in obtaining orders under section 97A CDPA 1988 requiring ISPs to block access to 21 BitTorrent Indexing or MP3 Aggregating websites.
  • EMI Records & others v British Sky Broadcasting & others [2013] Bus L.R. 884
    Acted for the Claimants, suing on behalf of themselves and as representatives of the members of BPI, in relation to three applications under s97A CDPA 1988 requiring ISPs to block access to the website, the website and the website (junior counsel in a team led by Ian Mill QC). The orders were successfully obtained.
  • Advised the former manager of a well-known band in relation to potential claims for breach of a management agreement, breach of fiduciary duties and claims under the Partnership Act 1890.  
  • Advised on copyright law and contractual issues in a dispute relating to the planned publication of an academic treatise.
  • Advised on copyright law issues in relation to the planned publication of a series of commemorative cartoons. 
  • Acted for the BPI as junior counsel in the preparation of an application for an injunction to prevent the Pirate Party UK from providing a proxy service on its website permitting internet users to circumvent the blocking orders over The Pirate Bay website in Dramatico Entertainment & others v British Sky Broadcasting & others [2012] EWHC 268 (Ch). Ultimately the Pirate Party UK took down the proxy service in the face of imminent legal action.


Shane has acted in several cases involving sports regulators, clubs and agencies, including employment claims, commercial claims and appeals against disciplinary penalties.

Current and recent work

  • Ashely Johnson ERC citation (2015)
    Represented Ashley Johnson the hearing of his citation under Law 10.4(i), concerning a tackle on David Kearney in the Wasps v Leinster ERCC Pool 2 match on 24 January 2015.
  • English Cricket Board v Barry (2014)
    Acted for the ECB in the first ever proceedings before the Cricket Discipline Commission of the England and Wales Cricket Board concerning the Players’ Agent Regulations. The case concerned the charging by a player’s agent of “finders fees” from clubs when negotiating player contracts. 
  • Sutton v English and Wales Cricket Board Ltd & Ors (2013)
    Acting for the Defendants in a claim alleging negligence and/or breach of statutory duty in relation to an injury sustained by an umpire during a cricket match. 
  • Tevita Taumoepeau v Worcester RFC & Ors (2013)
    Acted for the Claimant in a claim alleging disability discrimination, age discrimination, whistleblowing and unfair dismissal arising out of an injury suffered by the Claimant in the course of playing for the Defendant Club and the treatment he alleges he received from the Club thereafter.  
  • Hala’Ufia v RFU (2012)
    Acted for the Appellant, a London Irish RFC No. 8, in the RFU Disciplinary Appeal Panel and successfully appealed a first instance Panel decision that the Appellant had been guilty of a tip tackle offence contrary to Law 10.4(j). The Appeal Panel held that the first instance Panel had erred in law in failing to construe the elements of “lifting” and “dropping” within Law 10.4(j) offence in a manner consistent with their natural meaning and with the principle against doubtful penalization (junior counsel to Michael Beloff QC).  

Other relevant experience

Prizes and Scholarships:

  • Pupil Advocacy Prize (Inner Temple, 2011)
  • Rawlinson Debating Cup: Winner (Inner Temple, 2010)
  • Thomas Finlay Intervarsity Moot: Finalist & Best Speaker (UCD Law Society, 2010)
  • Princess Royal Scholarship (Inner Temple, 2009 - 2010)
  • Freshfields Bruckhouse Deringer Scholarship (Oxford University, 2008)
  • Lincoln College Exhibitioner (Oxford University, 2005 – 2007)
  • Irish Rotary Youth Leadership Competition: Winner (2004)

Other Interests:

Music, Debating, Rugby, Photography.

Other Information:

VAT registration number: 120943145