Ognjen graduated from Oxford University with a First Class degree in Law (Jurisprudence). Ognjen practice has an emphasis on commercial work and group litigation. He also focuses on product liability, property, insolvency and companies law.
Ognjen is currently instructed on multiple group actions, most of which involve environmental and international mass tort claims (originating in countries including Nigeria, Zambia and Kenya). Two of these actions have reached the Court of Appeal on the issue of jurisdiction, with one having been heard in July and the other due to be heard in early 2018. Ognjen is also instructed in a domestic group action against the Post Office, in respect of which a Group Litigation Order was made earlier this year. BBC ran a Panorama programme on the underlying subject matter of this action.
In terms of his commercial work, Ognjen is presently instructed as junior counsel for the Part 20 Defendant in a matter in the Commercial Court, with a claim value of over US$60million. The international nature of this case is demonstrated by the parties arguing in respect of the application of six different governing laws.
Commercial, Finance and Consumer Credit
Ognjen has been involved in a number of commercial cases and has experience in drafting pleadings and preparing written advice for claims involving breach of contract, interpretation of contractual construction, contractual liens and sale of goods and services. Ognjen has assisted in the obtaining of a freezing injunction for £2,500,000 in the Chancery Division and has also assisted in obtaining the successful discharge of a freezing injunction for £20,000,000 in the Family Division.
Ognjen has provided an advice and drafted pleadings in a commercial case in this jurisdiction relating to a debt that allegedly accrued in the United Arab Emirates. In particular, this matter involved consideration of the applicability of Article 6 of the Rome I Regulation, as well as consideration of expert evidence on U.A.E. law.
Ognjen has gained a great deal of experience in insolvency law, appearing in the Chancery Division and county courts on a number of occasions in bankruptcy and winding-up proceedings on behalf of creditors, shareholders and debtors. In one such action he dealt with an issue of subsisting jurisdiction under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 in the context of a bankruptcy petition. Ognjen also has experience in shareholder disputes, assisting in the drafting of advices and petitions for unfair prejudice and winding up on just and equitable grounds.
Ognjen has on multiple occasions successfully represented a major multinational financial services corporation in the small claims court actions brought against it under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. On one such occasion, Ognjen was also successful in obtaining an order for costs against the claimant despite no order for costs being made in favour of the other defendant, the supplier of the services in question.
Ognjen has advised on an application to strike out a claim in malicious falsehood in which the claimant alleged that he was inaccurately and maliciously reported to credit agencies as being in default of a regulated agreement. Ognjen drafted the application and skeleton argument and appeared in court, successfully striking out the claim.
Product Liability and Group Litigation
Ognjen was instructed as a junior (led by Charles Gibson QC) on behalf of the Shell Petroleum Development Company in a high profile Group Action brought by over 15,000 Nigerian Nationals in the Technology and Construction Court. Prior to settlement, the matter was scheduled to proceed to trial on the basis of 40-50 Lead Claims, which would have made it one of the largest Group Actions ever litigated in England and Wales.
One of the Preliminary Issues determined at a trial in May 2014 ( EWHC 1973 (TCC)) was whether non-pecuniary damage (such as inconvenience and anxiety), absent personal injury, was recoverable in claims for damages in public nuisance. In particular, the issue involved consideration of what constitutes the scope of a public nuisance and what constitutes ‘particular damage’. This necessarily required an analysis of both English and Nigerian law on public nuisance and its development as a tort in recent years. The Judge’s obiter conclusions on this point are significant as this is an issue that impacts generally upon any Group Action proceeding on the basis of public nuisance, particularly in circumstances where there are allegations of environmental damage.
Ognjen has advised a large multinational corporation in respect of a substantial number of claims being brought against it under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 in relation to allegedly defective household appliances. In particular, this advice involved consideration of requisite fault and causative potency, as well as levels of apportionment of damages, in the context of potential arguments on contributory negligence.
Ognjen has experience of a wide range of product liability claims. In particular, he has assisted counsel in the provision of pleadings in a matter involving allegations of a defective medical device which relied upon causes of action under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and European Council Directive No.85/374/EEC. This matter required a technical analysis of the individual components of the device as well as its overall composition. Further, it involved an analysis of the claimant’s medical records and the factual matrix regarding the supply of the individual components of the device and the sufficiency of attendant instructions and warnings.
Ognjen has also assisted counsel in the provision of advice and pleadings for a case in which a seller of goods attempted to exclude the incorporation of terms as to correspondence with description, quality and fitness for purpose as implied by sections 13 to 14 of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 from a contract. This involved an analysis of whether the terms were incorporated and, if so, whether such terms satisfied the provisions of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.
Ognjen has assisted senior counsel in the provision of research and analysis for a presentation on the development of European legislation in relation to food products that purport to carry additional health benefits beyond basic nutrition. In particular, this involved an assessment of the risks of non-compliance with legislation, such as product recall and potential Group Actions. Useful reference points include the decisions of the Advertising Standards Authority and a U.S. class-action claim brought against Coca-Cola regarding its product, Vitamin Water.
Health and Safety
Ognjen has been instructed in several large international group actions that have involved health and safety issues. These cases, (all presently at the jurisdictional stage and either heard by the Court of Appeal, or due to be heard by the Court of Appeal), involve a focus on the emanation of groupwide policies on health and safety from a holding company and the implementation of those policies at a local subsidiary level. As well as encompassing an examination of whether holding companies assume a duty of care in relation to health and safety issues, and the scope of any duties found, these cases also look at questions of breach. One such case is AAA v Unilever  EWHC 371 (QB), which concerns allegations of post-election violence inflicted upon workers and visitors to a tea plantation in Kenya.
Ognjen has recently advised a large multinational food company on its obligations under various food safety regulations. This advice involved a detailed analysis of the origin and scope of these obligations, as well as the penalties in place for failure to comply. The advice culminated in various recommendations for future compliance.
Ognjen has also assisted senior counsel in the preparation of complex advices regarding potential health and safety prosecutions in relation to alleged breaches of various legislation, including the Health and Safety Act 1974, the Highways Act 1980, and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. This advice involved consideration of the merits of the prosecution case, basis of plea and evidence.
Ognjen has appeared on multiple occasions in the Crown Court on health and safety matters. Recently, he appeared in a pre-trial review representing one of five defendants.
Ognjen is regularly instructed to represent both private and public clients in contested possession actions (involving residential and business premises) and injunction applications.
Ognjen was instructed as a junior (led by Charles Gibson QC) on behalf of Shell Petroleum Development Company in a Group Action brought by several thousand Nigerian Nationals in the Technology and Construction Court. This Group Action arose following two oil spills in the Niger Delta and involved complex issues of title to and/or possession of land and compensation in respect of damage to land under both Nigerian and English Law.
Ognjen has provided an advice in a dispute between a formerly cohabiting couple on the extent of their respective beneficial interests in a property. In particular, the advice addressed significant contributions that were made by one party (a relatively short-term cohabitant) towards the improvement of the property, which did not result in a proportional increase in property value, as well as representations/assurances allegedly made by that same party relating to the property.
Recently, Ognjen successfully represented his client at the trial of a trespass dispute; securing both an injunction and damages award in a matter contested between neighbours.
Ognjen has assisted in the drafting of advices relating to the enforceability of restrictive covenants. He also assisted in a successful application to the Court of Appeal on the issue of rectification.
Ognjen is well-versed in the law of trusts. He has assisted in the drafting of advices and particulars of claim relating to breach of trust. He has also drafted several advices in relation to the interpretation of will trusts.
Ognjen assisted with research and the drafting of an application, claim form and skeleton argument in a matter involving the amendment of fifty-eight pension trust schemes. The Part 8 claim was brought pursuant to section 57 of the Trustee Act 1925 and was successful despite there being no precedent for the application of this provision to the facts of the case.
Recently, Ognjen was successful at trial in an application under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 in which he represented the executor and trustee of a will. This case involved the determination of beneficial interests as well as the challenge of several transactions and a request for an account and/or enquiry.
Ognjen has provided an advice and drafted an application in respect of a challenge to a trust deed under sections 339 and 423 of the Insolvency Act 1986. This was in the context of property that was distributed from one trust, before being subject to another trust declaring unequal beneficial shares between a cohabiting couple some years prior to a bankruptcy order being made.
In a different matter, Ognjen has provided an advice in a dispute between a formerly cohabiting couple on the extent of their respective beneficial interests in a property. In particular, the advice addressed significant contributions that were made by one party (a relatively short-term cohabitant) towards the improvement of the property, which did not result in a proportional increase in property value, as well as representations/assurances allegedly made by that same party relating to the property.
Public Law and Local Governments
Ognjen is currently instructed in a group of military/combat immunity Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) claims by the Ministry of Defence, as well as by the Ministry of Justice in a judicial review relating to certain aspects of the Government’s Whiplash Reform Programme.
Ognjen has assisted counsel on numerous occasions in the provision of advice and pleadings to government bodies such as the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Justice. In particular, he provided research for the counsel team that successfully represented the Ministry of Defence in appeals brought by participants in nuclear tests following unsuccessful claims for war pensions.
Recently, Ognjen assisted counsel in the provision of research and drafting of an advice to a highway authority on the scope of its statutory and common law duties.
Ognjen has appeared before the Office of the Traffic Commissioner (East of England) in an inquiry.
Ognjen has assisted in the drafting of pleadings and several advices on both liability and quantum in personal injury claims. Ognjen also has experience of personal injury matters in the specific context of the armed forces and other public bodies.
Ognjen has been instructed on several infant settlements. He has also provided an advice on settlement in a case in which issues of mental capacity were raised.