- Head of Chambers
- Called: 1996
Rachel Sleeman is an experienced commercial and chancery litigation barrister specialising in the fields of insolvency and asset recovery. She became Head of Chambers at Five Paper in July 2018.
Rachel has a busy advocacy practice in the High Court and the Court of Appeal, acting as sole and leading counsel. Rachel undertakes drafting and advisory work in all of her practice areas.
Rachel aims to find workable, cost-effective solutions to achieve her client’s commercial objectives.
Rachel recently acted as lead counsel, to Gita Chakravarty in the widely reported Blavo litigation, successfully representing the Lord Chancellor in the £22m claim against Blavo & Co Solicitors and John Blavo – Lord Chancellor v Blavo and Co Solictors Ltd  EWHC 3556 (QB). Subsequent to that litigation, Rachel, representing the Lord Chancellor, was able to obtain a post-judgment worldwide freezing order against Mr. Blavo (Lord Chancellor v John Blavo  6 WLUK 33)
Rachel acts for liquidators, administrators, receivers, directors and creditors in corporate insolvency matters both before a company enters into formal insolvency but also as part of the realisation, recovery and sale of assets process.
Rachel also advises on all aspects of personal insolvency. She has appeared in the leading reported cases dealing with bankrupts who are mentally incapacitated and also acts for creditors who wish to seek payments of debts from those who lack mental capacity.
Rachel has particular experience in asset finance/factoring agreements and surrounding litigation; consumer lending transactions; enforcement of charges and costs disputes. She is regularly instructed by the Legal Aid Agency’s Debt Recovery Department in costs and debt recovery claims.
An increasing amount of Rachel’s practice deals with minority shareholder and partnership disputes.
King’s College London – LLB; AKC. Leathes Prize.
- Lord Chancellor v John Blavo  6 WLUK 33; Acted as Sole Counsel, representing the Lord Chancellor, was able to obtain a post-judgment worldwide freezing order against Mr. Blavo.
- Lord Chancellor v (1) Blavo and Co Solictors Ltd (in liquidation); (2) John Blavo  EWHC 3556 (QB); Leading Counsel in a successful claim for over £22m against a solicitor in respect of monies dishonestly claimed from the Legal Aid fund.
- Lord Chancellor v John Blavo  EWHC 126 (QB); Application for a freezing order against a solicitor pending trial of a contractual claim.
- Moloobhoy and another v Kanani  EWCA Civ 600; Appeal about whether a summary judgment application can be heard at the same time as a Jurisdictional challenge.
- Legal Services Commission v Sham Loomba; Legal Services Commission v Ngozi Blessing Ulasi; Legal Services Commission v Simon Anthony Carter & others  EWHA 29 (QB); Junior Counsel for the LSC in three ‘test cases’ brought against solicitors to recover overpaid legal aid payments.
- Marquis Francois-Eudes de Louville de Toucy v (1) Bonhams 1793 Limited (2) The Official Receiver  EWHC 3809 (Ch); (2011) All ER (D) 32 (Nov); Law Times Reports 10 December 2011; Appeal against a bankruptcy order where the court had made the incapacitated debtor bankrupt without appointing a litigation friend or representative to act on the debtor’s behalf.
- Bright Asset Ltd v Simon Lewis  EWCA Civ 122; Appeal about the interpretation of an agreement entered into between a shareholder and managing director of a failing company and a company providing corporate debt solutions.
- Nicola Haworth v (1) Donna Cartmel (Trustee in bankruptcy of Nicola Haworth (2) The Commissioners of HM Revenue and Customs  EWHC 36 (CH); Application to annul/rescind a bankruptcy order made over two years previously on the basis it should never have been made because the bankrupt lacked capacity and/or HMRC the petitioning creditor had breached its duties towards the bankrupt under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.
Rachel Sleeman regularly presents seminars to solicitors. She co-presents MBL’s “A Practical Guide to Factoring and Invoice Discounting” and was part of the panel of speakers for the LexisWebinar “Restructuring Dissolved Companies for Pursuing Claims and/or Distributing Property”. Other talks include:
- R3 SPG Technical Review on “Difficult Bankrupts”
- Insolvency Practitioners Association on Bankruptcy and Mental Incapacity Issues
- Remedies in Minority Shareholder Petitions
- Insolvency Aspects of Factoring and Invoice Discounting
She is a member of the Commercial Bar Association and the London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association. She is an Associate Member of R3 and a member of the Women’s R3 London and South East Networking Group committee.