Ian Swan


Ian Swan


Ian is an enormously experienced trial and appellate advocate, undertaking a wide range of commercial litigation, including frequently acting for and against banks and trust companies and in disputes relating to funds and investments. He also has considerable experience of insolvency, administration and liquidation.

Legal 500 - Hall of Fame Legal 500 - Leading Individual


Dispute Resolution


  • Representing the executive directors of Carlyle Capital Corporation, an investment fund, defending claims put at in excess of $1 billion, in Guernsey’s biggest ever civil trial.  Babbé took the lead role on behalf of the Defendants and was successful in having all of the Plaintiffs’ 187 claims dismissed.
  • Acting for a corporate trustee defending claims in excess of £180 million in a case which raises ground-breaking law on the right of recourse to trust assets and potentially insolvent trust structures – the case is on its way to the Privy Council.
  • Acting for the auditors of an investment fund facing claims of professional negligence as part of a suite of claims relating to losses in the fund.
  • Representing the minority shareholder in a dispute arising out of a major onshore joint venture conducted through a Guernsey corporate vehicle: having demonstrated the strength of our client’s case in emergency injunctive proceedings, we secured third party commercial funding for an unfair prejudice action and achieved a satisfactory settlement of the dispute within 5 weeks.
  • Successfully opposing an application to set aside a disposition out of a pension fund on grounds of equitable mistake – a case developing the principles in Pitt v Holt.
  • Obtaining the dismissal of a claim, on a preliminary issue on a point of construction of Guernsey’s Companies Law, in relation to claims against directors of a film fund.
  • Successfully taking a preliminary issue to the Privy Council on behalf of a local corporate trustee defending a claim for breach of trust arising out of the trust’s investment strategy – this £65 million claim was subsequently settled.
  • Winning an appeal to the Guernsey Court of Appeal on behalf of HMRC, enabling it to be joined as a party to a Hastings-Bass application – the first such joinder anywhere in the world.
  • Obtaining a freezing injunction as part of a worldwide claim arising out of allegations of the fraudulent use of voyage and time charterparties for an Eastern European tanker fleet.
  • Acting on behalf of an advisory company and its director in a claim against the directors of a Guernsey SPV which had been engaged in the development of landmark, London residential properties. The claim was valued at £160m and ultimately settled.
  • Successfully resisting a stay application on forum grounds, in a claim by trustees against a beneficiary who had commenced rival hostile proceedings in Italy.
  • Acting for construction professionals in a multi-million pound dispute concerning a major mixed use development.

After graduating from Oxford University, Ian practised commercial litigation for nearly 20 years at the London Bar before moving to Guernsey in 2004. Admitted as a Guernsey Advocate in 2006, he became a partner at Babbé LLP and leads the firm’s dispute resolution practice. He has been involved in many of the leading cases to have gone to trial and appeal in the jurisdiction. In 2015 he was named by ACTAPS as Contentious Offshore Lawyer of the Year. He is an accredited mediator.

Chancery Bar Association
Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists
Commercial Bar Association
International Bar Association

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