Tim Hardy, FCIArb, is a former City of London solicitor who led the litigation department at a top 10 global firm for over 20 years. Over that period, Mr. Hardy established himself as a thought leader and prominent alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practitioner spanning both international arbitration and mediation. He has over 30-years’ experience of dispute resolution across a range of issues including international corporate transactions, partnership, financial services, banking, insolvency, insurance, products, construction, real property, IT, professional negligence and media law.
Mr. Hardy’s contributions to the field of ADR include serving as a member of the Board of Management of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) for three years and chairing its Practice & Standards Committee for four years. He also oversaw the redrafting of the CIArb’s International Arbitration Practice Guidelines & Protocols 2015/2019 and associated arbitration and mediation rules. Additionally, he was a nonexecutive director of a leading U.K. ADR provider for 10 years.
As an arbitrator, Mr. Hardy has been prominent in calling for arbitrators to use their authority to control costs and to manage proceedings with expedition, consistent with standards of fairness. His appointments span several continents. He is regarded as a highly competent neutral who can quickly grasp the legal, commercial and personal aspects of complex cases while dissecting the most critical issues expeditiously. As a mediator, Mr. Hardy combines a light touch with reserves of energy and good humor, underpinned by the gravitas and authority of one of London’s leading litigators with an extensive cross-border practice.
Chambers International (2019) describes Mr. Hardy as “exceptional,” offering “pertinent and thoughtful insight.” Legal 500 (2018) remarks on his “skill,” “intelligence,” ”common sense” and “patience” in dealing with challenging situations.
ADR Experience and Qualifications
- Postgraduate diploma from Oxford University in international arbitration.
- LL.M. in advanced litigation (with Distinction)
- Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
- Acted as advocate or arbitrator in disputes employing the rules of many major international arbitration institutions, including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), London Maritime Arbitrators Association (LMAA), Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA), international arbitration statutes of countries in Central and Eastern Europe and Africa, and ad hoc arbitrations under UNCITRAL
- Serves on the panel of multiple international institutions, including JAMS, London Court of International Arbitration, International Chamber of Commerce, Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), Law Society of England & Wales, Arbitration Ireland and IDR
- Has mediated over 100 disputes spanning banking and finance, commercial contracts, shareholder disputes, corporate disputes, engineering and construction, insolvency and restructuring, insurance, IT and outsourcing, partnership, professional negligence and real estate
Recent Neutral and Counsel Appointments Related to Arbitration
- Institution appointment as sole arbitrator in an expedited arbitration seated in England decided on documents pursuant to Scheme Rules within 90 days. The dispute between a Franchisor and Franchisee concerned claims under a personal guarantee contained within a Franchise Agreement, subject to English law, that had been assigned to a new franchisee.
- Party appointed sole arbitrator in an arbitration seated in California pursuant to the JAMS International Arbitration Rules, relating to a claim made by a European crypto currency trader against a US online exchange. The Terms of Service were subject to the laws of the State of California. The claim related to a sudden escalating collapse of the price, causing all of the trader’s positions on the exchange to be liquidated as the trader’s margin limit was exceeded.
- Party appointed sole arbitrator in an expedited arbitration seated in England between parties in SE Asia and Central America pursuant to the JAMS International Arbitration Rules. The loan agreement was subject to English law. A Borrower was seeking the return of securities pledged as collateral for a loan that was never advanced, while the Lender claimed the Borrower had forfeited the securities as a consequence of uncured breaches of the Loan Agreement.
- Party appointed sole arbitrator in an arbitration seated in New York pursuant to the JAMS International Arbitration Rules. The dispute arose from the merger of two European businesses effected by an agreement to exchange shares. It involved a claim for an anti-suit injunction to restrain proceedings between the parties in the local European Commercial Court.
- Party appointed sole arbitrator in an arbitration seated in Wisconsin pursuant to the JAMS International Arbitration Rules. The dispute related to a distribution agreement subject to the laws of Korea and involved contractual claims for breach and tortious claims of unlawful interference.
- Advocate on quantum at trial of an ICSID arbitration in the Hague representing the Respondent State in a mining expropriation claim valued at USD2bn.
- LCIA-selected member of a tribunal seated in Jersey concerning a dispute between a third-party funder and the funded party arising out of the withdrawal of the funding for an ICSID arbitration brought in Washington against an Eastern European country.
- Party-appointed member of an ad hoc tribunal seated in an African country concerning a dispute related to mining and prospecting rights for precious metals pursuant to a license governed by the law of that country.
- Party-appointed arbitrator in an ICC arbitration seated in London relating to a claim against an African country by a contractor for damages related to termination of a contract for the management of an engineering project governed by English law.
- Sole arbitrator in an arbitration seated in London between the owners of premises providing conferencing, training and accommodation, and a contractor employed under a facilities management agreement as to damages for repudiatory breach arising from early termination and a counterclaim for recovery of sums overpaid.
- Sole arbitrator in an arbitration seated in London relating to damages for breach of a contract for services.
- Party-appointed arbitrator in an LMAA arbitration seated in London related to a charterparty dispute concerning transport of commodities and responsibility for charges due to cancellation because of problems with the charterer’s supply chain.
- Counsel for an Eastern Europe country defending an bilateral investment treaty claim for USD 1.631 million arising from an alleged expropriation and breach of fair and equitable treatment obligations.
- ICC arbitration seated in London concerning the termination of a hotel management contract without notice, relating to a trophy property with golf courses, including obtaining an emergency injunction to maintain the status quo pending resolution of the dispute.
- ICSID investor state arbitration seated in Paris in a claim for damages arising from the state’s expropriation of a heavy industry purchased by a private equity fund.
- UNCITRAL investor state arbitraiton seated in London challenging an award on jurisdiction under s67 of the Arbitraiton Act 1996.
- UNCITRAL arbitration seated in the Middle East acting for a group of investors in a hotel development in connection with a claim arising from the wrongful release of milestone payments from a security escrow account governed by local law.
- ICAC arbitration seated in Russia concerning alleged breaches of warranties in a sale and purchase agreement governed by English law relating to shares in a company owning real estate in Russia.
- SCC arbitration seated in Stockholm concerning a claim for the return of a premium paid for an option to acquire shares in a company trading in the Russian Federation.
- LCIA arbitration in London concerning wrongful termination of the management contract of a trophy hotel, including obtaining an emergency injunction from the Commercial Court under s44 of the Arbitration Act 1996.
- GAFTA arbitration seated in London concerning pricing of a commodity in a contract concluded over the phone between a Spanish purchaser and French seller governed by French law.
- ICC arbitration seated in London acting for an Eastern European manufacturer concerning a damages claim arsing out of its acquistion of liabilities in an asset sale agreement governed by English law.
Recent Neutral and Counsel Appointments Related to Mediation
- Mediator in a dispute, subject to an arbitration, between a successful defendant seeking to enforce a costs order against the claimant’s ATE insurer, the insurer having declined coverage alleging misleading information had been given by the claimant when applying for the insurance policy.
- Mediator in a dispute between the beneficiaries of an ICSID arbitration award against an African country as to its competing entitlement to damages.
- A lack of flights due to COVID-19 restrictions caused this dispute between a major airline and its caterers. The caterers claimed compensation and adjustments to the contract required because of the drastically reduced volume of catering required for all of the airlines’ flights operating out of a major London hub.
- A claim by the owner of a large chain of public houses against its insurers for damages caused by the pandemic. The insurer disputed liability claiming the limitation of liability covers all losses across the whole estate. Conversely, the owner claims each property is a separate loss.
- A series of public sector contracts that had been awarded following a public procurement exercise. Because of changes to the method of processing payments brought about because of the pandemic, the employer alleged that they had identified a systemic pattern of overcharging and sought to recover the sums involved through a mediation before proceedings were issued.
- An international cosmetics brand involved in a complex shareholders dispute involving three sets of proceedings in the English High Court for breach of Licence Agreements and concerning Domain Name ownership; proceedings in Nevada over alleged breaches of a Stock Holder Agreement; a just and equitable winding up petition in the Court of British Columbia and an international arbitration related to the appointment of representative directors.
- Law Society appointment to resolve a complex dispute between an insurance company and an underwriter, following the underwriter’s decision to move the business to a new insurance company. Issues included allegations of continued underwriting post termination of authority, responsibility for managing claims files under a Run-Off Agreement and transfer of files to the new insurer.
- An experienced operator of restaurant franchises entered into a new franchise agreement committing to open 5 new restaurants in the first 18 months and 30 in the first five years. The agreement was terminated because of the failure to meet these targets.
- A claim by an HR Director for sexual discrimination, bullying and harassment following their being suspended for alleged misuse of a credit card for personal expenses.
Other Representative Matters
Banking, Finance and Investment
- Interest rate hedging products: A light industrial business suing its bank for losses incurred on the basis that it had received misleading and/or negligent statements in “tailored advice”; the business claimed the bank induced it to enter into interest rate swap transactions that contained disclaimers, no advice and non-disclaimer clauses
- Bank business support unit: Claim by a private limited company and its directors against a firm of accountants for breach of mandate and negligence; the claim arose from the accountant’s appointment by the “Business Support Unit” of the company’s bank to conduct a financial review of the company and advise its directors what steps they should take to improve its solvency
- Venture capital: Sophisticated investors seeking to recover from the directors of a risk management fund monies invested by purchasing shares and loan notes; five months after making their investment, it was put into administration and liquidated three months later
- Guarantee: Cross-claims between a bank, a partnership and former partners; the bank seeking to recover debts of the partnership under the guarantee; the partnership claiming restitution of sums the bank had seized asserting that the bank knew they were subject to a trust for the benefit of the partnership; and former partners claiming that the trust was for their personal benefit
- Guarantee: A director of a property development company disputing personal liability to a finance house pursuant to a guarantee given in support of a loan to finance a development; the finance house had withdrawn the loan on short notice before any money had been advanced other than the finance house’s own arrangement, surveyor and legal fees
- Security: A dispute between a property developer and a bank seeking to enforce security for a business loan secured on a portfolio of developments
- Agent’s commission on U.S. sales: A claim for damages for summary termination of an agent’s contract for the sale in the United States of automated engineering systems built in the U.K., including allegations of breach of exclusivity arrangements by both parties
- Deadlocked international trading group: Two families disputing ownership and control of a group of companies trading in the U.K. and with East Asia, following the sudden death intestate of one of the two founders of the business
- Manufacturing: A dispute between a Swedish agent, contracted to source parts for a German car manufacturer, and a U.K. smelter, contracted to provide parts, as a consequence of the agent placing the contract elsewhere
- Outsourcing freight delivery services: Claim for damages for alleged unjustified termination of outsourcing contract
- Loss of a chance: A recruitment agency employed to source candidates for a sales force to be trained to sell a High Street bank’s financial products in a national supermarket chain was suing the bank for the loss of a chance following a decision by the bank not to employ the agency
- Product guarantee: A dispute involving a German manufacturer of metal goods and a U.K. company that supplied some specialist tools with a performance guarantee that the tools allegedly failed to achieve
- Exclusivity clause: A dispute involving a graphic designer providing services to a wholesaler for damages for breach of an exclusivity arrangement and wrongful termination in breach of a contractual clause requiring six months’ notice of termination
- Recruitment: A dispute between a university and a higher education recruitment agency as to liability and performance under a services agreement
- Termination of car dealership: A dispute as to whether a car manufacturer was justified in terminating one of its dealerships because of concerns about the validity of claims for reimbursement of work claimed to have been undertaken while vehicles were under warranty
- Supply and maintenance contract: A marketing business in dispute with a contractor supplying and maintaining office equipment who terminated the contract claiming nonpayment of invoices was a repudiatory breach entitling them to termination charges, which the customer claimed were exorbitant
- Rectification: A claim brought by the owners of a specialist clinic against a private hospital chain defending a claim rectification of a contract giving the clinic rights to operate in all hospitals in the chain
- Stockbrokers: Dispute between self-employed stockbrokers who together managed a portfolio of investments on behalf of a number of clients
- Maintenance and supply contract: A dispute between a contractor and subcontractor relating to the alleged failure to supply goods fit for purpose
- Deadlocked private limited company: Two founders of a chain of retail outlets, who had equal shares, disagreed as to the need for capital injection and future expansion; one had commenced proceedings for dissolution, with a view to buying the other’s shares at a price to be fixed by the court
- Minority shareholder: Dispute between the founder of a luxury goods brand and a private equity fund that had bought a controlling interest in the brand; subsequently, the fund had entered into an agreement to acquire 100% of the brand, and a dispute arose as to the interpretation and enforceability of that agreement
- Abuse by majority: Claim by minority shareholders that they were being significantly disadvantaged by an agreement for the acquisition of a competitor that involved a change in the ownership of shares and repayment of a group loan in exchange for the issuance of further shares, thereby diluting the minority’s shareholding
- Share purchase agreement: Both parties owned supply companies and had signed an NDA and lockout agreement as part of the negotiations for the purchaser to acquire the vendor’s business; a dispute emerged as the vendor claimed that the purchaser disclosed the negotiations to the market to devalue the target
- Asset purchase agreement: The purchaser of a care home claiming damages for breach of warranty by the vendor in respect of an alleged failure to give accurate information to the professional valuer employed by the purchaser when negotiating the purchase price
- Deferred consideration: A claim brought by the vendor against the purchaser of a business for the final installment of the consideration payable under a share purchase agreement and a counterclaim for damages for fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of warranty regarding the company’s accounts
- Financial warranties and indemnities: A dispute between a U.S. construction and engineering group and a Jersey-based engineering company concerning warranty and indemnity claims arising from the sale/purchase of a U.K. subsidiary and claims for loss of value attributable to breaches of financial warranties
- Financial warranties: A dispute between the purchaser of a controlling shareholding in a pharmaceutical distribution company and the vendors for breach of financial warranties said to be evidenced by a deterioration in turnover and net assets contrary to the position warranted
- Financial warranties: The purchaser of a business claimed that amounts in the audited accounts were implicitly warranted to be true but were overstated, and that the amount overstated should be set off against sums due to the vendors
- Foreign regulatory approval agent: A European pharmaceutical manufacturer in dispute with its foreign regulatory approval agent employed to introduce products into and obtain licenses in highly regulated markets in new territories in Africa and the Middle East, including a counterclaim for damages for wrongful termination
- South American agent: European chemicals manufacturer, in dispute with its South American agent, claiming damages for termination of its appointment by extra-territorial application of the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993
- European agent: A claim by a European intermediary in the toy industry running distributors in 12 European countries for a U.S. manufacturer for damages under the Commercial Agents Regulations following the expiry of the term of the agency agreement without compensation
- Stolen know-how: U.K. manufacturer of building products being sued for alleged wrongful termination of a distribution agreement; the counterclaim alleged that the distributor had stolen know-how and set up in competition while still engaged as a distributor
- Distributorship terminated for cause: A dispute between a national franchisor and a franchisee with exclusivity in a substantial part of London, where the franchisor gave notice to terminate by reason of breaches of the agreement; the franchisee retaliated by terminating for repudiatory breach based on a “disproportionate” reduction of territory
- Competing business: A franchisee given notice to terminate for alleged breaches disputed the lawfulness of the termination and set up a competing business in the same area servicing the same customers
- Reasonable notice: A French manufacturer of sporting goods had a long-standing relationship with an exclusive English distributor without a formal agreement and had purported to terminate the relationship on three months’ notice without any compensation
- Return of stock: The manufacturer of building products suing a distributor for failing to account for proceeds of stock sold and failing to return the balance of unsold stock when the distributorship was terminated, including a counterclaim that the manufacturer had misrepresented the value of the distributorship
- Misrepresentation: A franchisee terminated the franchise claiming the right to do so because of pre-contractual misrepresentations that the franchisor was claiming against the directors’ personal guarantees, unpaid franchise and marketing commissions.
- Repudiatory breach: As a consequence of the franchisor changing the name of the franchise, the franchisee treated this as a repudiatory breach and continued trading under the previous name
- BFA Code of Ethical Conduct: A claim by a franchisee that they had been treated unfairly in breach of the British Franchise Association’s (BFA) Code of Ethical Conduct by its franchisor when terminating the franchise for not achieving targets, failing to settle debts to other network members, not attending regional meetings, failing to return questionnaires and failing to disclose out-of-territory trading
Engineering and Construction
- Cladding: A dispute between a contractor and subcontractor related to a contract for cladding high-rise residential buildings; there had been three adjudications during the life of the contract, and the contractor was contesting all three, claiming damages for delay by the subcontractor that caused the contractor to have to pay the employer significant liquidated and ascertained damages
- Glazing: A dispute between a glazing manufacturer, a High Street bank and a glazier in connection with a national contract and liability for work done after the contract had been terminated but for which the bank had received a benefit
- Final account: A dispute between a contractor and an employer for the construction of residential properties, for payment of the final account, with a counterclaim for defects, rectification work and delays
- Subcontractor’s account: A dispute between a contractor and a piling subcontractor for the construction of an office block relating to the sums due and a counterclaim for delay
- Building waste removal: A dispute arose out of a contract with a local authority where the contractor employed a subcontractor under a term contract to remove and dispose of waste materials from 35 sites; the subcontractor was alleged to have incorrectly categorized materials as waste for the landfill, rather than recyclable, so as to charge more for the service
- Sealing materials: A claim against a supplier by a manufacturer in respect of two years’ production of prefabricated housing units, which were failing because materials used to seal them, allegedly represented as suitable for the particular use and weatherproof for 20 years, were failing
- Project management: A claim by a government department against a supplier of project management services in which the contract was terminated early because of claims that the contractor failed to manage the project as required
- Credit hire insurance: An action for unlawful means conspiracy against law firms and former directors in relation to false and misleading expert evidence given in court actions related to insured damages claims
- Insurance premium: Defending the vendors of a consumer products manufacturer against a claim for damages related to the vendor's alleged failure to disclose circumstances, which caused the purchaser to have to pay a significantly increased insurance premium to obtain coverage
- Legal expenses insurance: An action for breach of fiduciary duty and an account of profits against previous management of a group providing legal expenses insurance
- Accountants professional negligence A claim against accountants for professional negligence in relation to advice, completing, submitting and amending tax returns over a six-year period
- Landlord’s consent: A claim against a law firm for negligently failing to obtain the landlord’s consent to building works in accordance with a contractual deadline
- Valuation: A dispute between a European bank claiming damages for professional negligence in connection with a surveyor’s valuation of a property used as security for a very substantial loan, in which the borrower defaulted on the loan and the property was sold at a very significant loss
- Lease renewal: A claim by a hotelier for negligence against a firm of specialist hotel consultants who were managing lease renewal proceedings and failed to make the necessary application to the court to renew the lease, so the lessor took possession of the hotel
- Limitation period: A former client suing a law firm for damages for negligent advice and breach of duty in failing to commence a civil action within the statutory limitation period
- Litigation: A former client suing a law firm employed to represent the individual in litigation for negligence in respect of the advice related to and conduct of the litigation
- Executrix: A claim of negligence brought by the principal beneficiary and executrix of an estate against a law firm employed to administer the estate
- Survey: A claim that a surveyor instructed by a prospective purchaser of an investment property to check that renovation works complied with building regulations failed to do so
- Negligent misstatement: A claim by a customer against a High Street bank for an alleged representation of the reliability and standing of another customer on which the first customer relied to its detriment, eventually leading to its insolvency
- Failure to serve process: A firm of lawyers sued by former clients, owners of a surgical clinic, for failing to serve on the correct body an appeal against a decision of the health authority to withdraw their operating license
- Lease: A claim that a law firm had negligently failed to draft termination provisions in a lease of a business center in order to protect the tenant’s interests
- Administration: Administrator dispute between shareholders of company in administration suing the administrator for negligence in the performance of his duties
- Hong Kong property fund: The parties to a joint venture set up a fund in Hong Kong with the sole purpose of acquiring and developing industrial and commercial property in the U.K.; they had decided to terminate the venture but were in disagreement as to allocation of costs and expenses between them
- Freehold reversion: A claim by a property developer to a half-share in the considerable profits made from the purchase of the freehold reversion to a block of flats in central London as a result of providing 50% of the deposit at the time of the purchase, in which the counterparty alleges that the contribution was purely a loan and did not entitle the claimant to any equity interest
- Landlord and tenant: A dispute between a landlord and tenant for breach of the landlord’s covenants and a counterclaim for the recovery of unpaid rent
- Long lease: A tenant under a long lease of a country estate and a landlord were in agreement that the tenant should surrender the leasehold interest, but they were in disagreement as to its value
- Sales commission: A claim by an agent for commissions on sales to overseas investors of long leases in a new development of student accommodation where the developer counterclaimed that it would not have developed the property but for the agent’s misrepresentations
- Repossession action: The joint owners of a property, one of whom was senile and represented by the official solicitor, resisting a repossession action by a mortgagee on the basis that the senile individual did not have sufficient mental capacity when signing the legal charge
- CRM software development: High Court TCC action by a membership organization against a software developer for damages, including the cost of a new system, based in contract on a failure to provide a system fit for purpose and in negligence for failing to advise on best practices in the design and development stages
- Project management: A claim under an outsourcing contract by a government department against a supplier of project management services in which the contract was terminated early because of claims that the contractor breached agreed service levels and generally failed to manage the project as required
- Software development contract: A dispute between a U.K. consumer credit business and a software designer employed to design, build and install a bespoke system to manage a large database of customers, including complaints that the software was not fit for purpose, was late and was over budget
- Outsourcing: A dispute relating to a contract for outsourced services terminated for alleged breach of contract together with a counterclaim for damages allegedly caused by the employer’s failure to manage the contract