Expertise

Zara has over three years’ experience in financial markets and investor protection, cross-border insolvency, civil fraud, debt claims, professional negligence and contractual disputes. Zara has acted for both claimants and defendants in the UK and overseas.

Recognition

Zara was interviewed by Douglas Scott and featured in the article “Best foot forward for 2017’s Happiest Person in Legal: Zara Okereafor”.

Experience

Zara has assisted clients on a diverse range of complex, high-profile, multimillion pound commercial matters. In particular, Zara’s work has involved:

  • Assisting with high-value financial settlements on behalf of high-net worth couples following divorce
  • Assisting in a High Court jurisdiction challenge hearing relating to a high-voltage power cables cartel damages claim
  • Assisting on a multimillion pound claim brought by a large group of international institutional investors against Tesco PLC in respect of its £263m profit overstatements to the market (the first UK group action of this kind).
  • Assisting in a trial against BNP Paribas in respect of a $650m professional negligence claim involving a failed Middle Eastern bond, involving issues on Shari’ah law.
  • Representing a business owner involved in a debt claim before a county court. Zara successfully defended an application for summary judgment brought by Barclays Bank PLC and led the negotiations for a settlement with the bank’s legal representatives.
  • Supporting a team seeking recovery from Standard & Poor’s and RBS for losses of €200m caused by failed AAA-rated complex structured financial products rated by Standard & Poor, sold by RBS (ABN Amro Bank NV) and bought by European banking, insurance and pension fund investors (another UK first of its kind).
  • Defending a professional chartered accountant in disciplinary proceedings brought against him by the Association of Chartered Accountants (ACCA) for claims for professional negligence and misconduct arising out of his role as receiver of a collapsed law firm.

Career

Zara completed her Law LLB (Hons) at the University of Keele before working at a leading law firm in Macclesfield. Zara then went on to complete the Legal Practice Course at The University of Law, London Bloomsbury and began her career at Stewarts in 2014 as a Knowledge Management & Compliance paralegal. She moved to the Commercial Litigation department in 2015 as a senior paralegal and commenced her two-year training contract with the firm in September 2017. She qualified as a solicitor in September 2019.

Accreditations and Memberships

  • Aspiring Solicitors’ Network: Zara is a Professional Ambassador for Aspiring Solicitors and is committed to increasing diversity in the legal profession by providing insight and advice to its members
  • Black Solicitors’ Network
  • The Law Society Junior Lawyers Division

Personal

Typical of a litigator, Zara likes a good challenge. Zara has tackled the dizzying heights of the Stewarts office building, abseiling 180ft from the roof to raise money for Wider Horizon’s Adventure Charity. Together with colleagues from Stewarts, Zara has raced to the summit of Mount Snowdon (and back), pushing and pulling a wheelchair user over 8 miles of steep and challenging terrain, for the Back-Up Trust’s Charity Snowdon Push. Zara enjoys competing in the Back-Up Trust’s Annual Charity Dragon Boat Race and has represented Stewarts for three consecutive years. On a more regular basis, Zara plays netball and touch rugby for the Stewarts teams and has competed in several tournaments. Zara now aims to complete the 2019 Spartan Race UK (OCR) Trifecta.