Oran Gelb

Partner, Commercial Dispute Resolution

"Up-and-coming partner Oran Gelb has garnered deep experience having completed secondments at three major banks. Sources describe him as 'very calm, thorough and very promising'." (Chambers UK -2015)
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  • 13+ years’ experience working in the UK.
  • Focused on litigation and regulatory/internal investigations.
  • Specialises in working for financial institutions.
  • Examples of work include: the investigation of a global investment bank’s foreign exchange sales and trading business;  a contractual dispute for a hedge fund defending claims by a firm alleging it was owed introductory fees for bringing new investments to the fund; defending a major bank and its employee against claims for fraud, negligence and unjust enrichment by a victim of a substantial Ponzi scheme.
  • Clients include Morgan Stanley, RBS, HSBC Private Bank, Stenham Asset Management, Scottish Power and Whitbread.
  • Undertaken secondments totalling 24 months to three separate major global banks, working in their the disputes and investigations teams .
  • Recommended within: Banking litigation: investment and retail by the Legal 500 and Up and Coming in Banking Litigation within the Chambers UK directory.
  • Contributing author to the Financial Regulation: Emerging Themes in 2018 publication – essential reading for UK-based legal, risk and compliance professionals. Over 20 accessible articles, practical graphics and a handy regulatory calendar to keep you up to date.

Work Experience

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Financial Services investigations

We acted for a leading global investment bank. The firm was required by regulators in various jurisdictions to conduct an extensive investigation into the client’s FX sales and trading business following industry-wide allegations of manipulation and anti-competitive behaviour in the foreign exchange spot market. Led a cross-practice BLP team, made up of financial regulatory, competition, financial crime and employment lawyers from different jurisdictions, to advise the bank on strategy, conduct the investigation alongside US Counsel and represent the firm in discussions with financial and antitrust regulators worldwide. We also advised the bank on its policies and procedures.


Corporate investigations

We acted for a listed commercial company on an investigation by the London Stock Exchange following a public profits warning. We conducted a detailed review of the relevant facts and prepared a submission to the Exchange. The investigation was subsequently discontinued by the Exchange without any action being taken against the company, its officers or employees.


High Court Litigation

Successfully defended NatWest and one of its employees in defending a High Court claim of breach of contract, negligence and dishonest assistance arising from a Ponzi scheme. The claimants alleged that the bank ignored evidence that its accounts were used to conduct one of Britain’s biggest larges schemes. The case culminated in a 4 week trial and all the claims were dismissed. The Court concluded that both NatWest and the relationship manager had acted entirely properly and honestly throughout.


Appellate Court Litigation

Acted for Eurosail, the issuer of £650m of loan notes in a structured finance transaction. The documents provided that a potential event of default may occur if the issuer is deemed unable to pay its debts within the meaning of Section 123(2) of the Insolvency Act 1986. We advanced the position that Eurosail was not insolvent within the meaning of the statute despite the net liabilities in its balance sheet. The Supreme Court unanimously confirmed what BLP had argued successfully at first instance and in the Court of Appeal; the solvency of Eurosail 3BL, and in doing so provided definitive clarification on the balance sheet test of insolvency. The ruling was extremely significant for the securitisation and insolvency markets; providing the seminal judgment on what constitutes balance sheet insolvency and the factors that need to be taken into account by directors and advisers of all companies, not just securitisation vehicles.


Overseas litigation

Acted for a leading global investment bank in defending a £20m claim by the Winding Up Board of Kaupthing. The claim arose following an event of default under various credit default swaps which referenced Kaupthing. The claimant is seeking to argue, amongst other things, that the swaps should be rescinded. Although the claim was brought in Iceland under Icelandic procedural law, we are working alongside Icelandic Counsel in managing all aspects of the claim, including drafting statements of case, collating and reviewing evidence and formulating strategy.


Career Timeline