Davinia Gransbury Partner Head of Dispute Resolution


Speaks:  English

Qualified: 1992 - Solicitor of England & Wales


Primary office:  Birmingham



Davinia Gransbury

As a dispute resolution/commercial litigation lawyer, Davinia Gransbury has well over 25 years' expertise in corporate governance, directors' responsibilities and duties and insolvency law. She has over 15 years' experience of management responsibilities having led the commercal litigation team and for the last few years has led the UK's Dispute Resolution Group, sitting on the Management Board.

Davinia is the client and supervising partner for the firm's high profile work which is undertaken for the Department of Business Innovation & Skills (The Insolvency Service) and is one of the leading experts in the UK in investigating and pursuing directors' disqualification proceedings where the public interest is a driving factor.

Leading a specialist team, she pursues winding up proceedings against live companies, as well as undertaking investigations into insolvent companies, many of which have been of a complex and sizeable nature.

Davinia cares – she will do her utmost to get the right result and to work with and alongside her clients and team in order to achieve it.

She absolutely believes in teamwork to deliver outstanding client service. She has built up a sizeable and loyal team who have worked with her in developing their expertise in the areas in which they advise, with the development of client relationships being a key part of their ethos and attitude. They like to think it's a winning combination and one which provides clients with the confidence that they're the right law firm and team of choice.

Highlights

One particular highlight of Davinia's general commercial litigation background was acting for a shareholder of a well-known men's retailer, Ciro Citterio Menswear Plc. This started as a shareholder dispute where her client was successfully awarded judgment in the region of £7 million. Subsequently the company and various individuals dissipated many millions of pounds of assets which necessitated in us undertaking a substantial search and seizure investigation against both company premises and individuals' homes.

This led to S423 fraudulent transaction applications brought against the individuals, with specific enforcement applications being taken including garnishee's, charging orders, orders to serve against individual properties, as well as world-wide freezing injunctions to protect our client's judgment. Significant litigation was involved, resulting in five reported cases, including one of the leading cases on S330 Companies Act 1985 relating to constructive trusts arising from unlawful loans by a company to its directors.

The case is also the leading authority on the binding nature of agreements reached in mediation, following the Court of Appeal's initial refusal to approve a settlement reached at mediation, where Davinia led the team to a successful challenge of that refusal.

Clients

The Department of Business, Innovation & Skills and The Treasury Solicitor

Experience

As a dispute resolution/general commercial litigator I have well over 20 years' expertise specialising in corporate governance, directors' responsibilities and duties and insolvency law. I also have over 13 years' experience of management responsibilities having led the largest team in the firm (Commercial Litigation) and for the last two years, been a practice leader of the Dispute Resolution Group, with a place on the firm's Management Board.

I am the client and supervising partner for the firm's high profile work which is undertaken for the Department of Business Innovation & Skills (The Insolvency Service), and am one of the leading experts in the UK in investigating and pursuing directors' disqualification proceedings, where the public interest is a driving factor.

Leading a specialist team, we also pursue winding up proceedings against live companies where it is considered that they should be wound up in the public interest, as well as undertaking investigations into companies which have become insolvent, many of which have been of a complex and sizeable nature. The extent of my work has provided me with significant expertise, running and leading a team on many cases which are leading authorities on the issue of directors' responsibilities. Examples include :

  • opposing Edward Davenport's applications for leave to act as a director in circumstances where he had been convicted of high profile fraud and was imprisoned
  • acting on one of the leading S17, leave to act, applications – re Gibson Davies & Co Ltd (on appeal)
  • acting in Penrose v Official Receiver – one of the leading S216 cases
  • acting in the leading case of INS Realisations Ltd so far as variation/discharge of undertakings under S8a applications
  • acting in Stakefield Midlands, where the Court agreed that the Secretary of State is only obliged to disclose all that he has in his possession, not all that could be in his possession
  • successfully applying under S.7(2) for permission to issue proceedings in a significant case where a 14 month period had expired after the expiry of the two year limitation period
  • leading the team in successfully pursuing high profile disqualification proceedings against many, including those involving appeals to the Supreme Court

More recently, I have become involved in advising on landbanking and carbon credit and MTIC cases, as well as advising on the abuse of insolvency legislation to avoid business rates and considering the possibility of tax evasion; and similarly whether schemes are appropriately operating with nominee companies acting as directors.

In addition to the above, I have a range of experience in forensic investigations/misappropriations/fraud, including the urgent undertaking of enforcement action to preserve and recover assets.

Career & Recognition

Filter timeline:
  • 2016

    • Career
      2016
      Gowling WLG (UK) LLP, partner
  • 2014

    • Career
      2014
      Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co, partner
  • 1999

    • Career
      1999
      Wragge & Co LLP, partner
  • 1992

    • Qualifications (Year of Call/Admission, etc.)
      1992
      Qualified, Solicitor of England & Wales
    • Career
      1992
      Wragge & Co LLP
  • 1989

    • Education
      1989
      Rossall School, Fleetwood; Birmingham University, LLB Hons