Our Barristers
  • Overview

    Chris’ practice covers the full spectrum of Commercial Chancery litigation, with a specific emphasis on financial services and banking and finance disputes, insolvency (both corporate and personal), civil fraud and commercial litigation. In addition, Chris also has a strong working knowledge of Costs, including litigation funding, having represented the successful party at both first instance and in the Court of Appeal in the landmark decision Lexlaw v Zuberi [2021] EWCA Civ 16, the first reported decision on the enforceability of Damages Based Agreements.

    Chris has also been involved in significant offshore litigation arising out of the liquidation of a number of large US insurance companies following the conviction of the ultimate beneficial owner for bribery and insurance fraud. He has also given expert evidence in proceedings before the Court of First Instance in Hong Kong concerning matters of English Civil Procedure.

    Chris is frequently instructed in cases where the opposition is represented by Leading Counsel. He is equally comfortable to act in such teams as either sole Counsel or as part of a larger team.

  • Commercial Litigation

    Chris frequently acts in substantial commercial disputes involving well known household brands and names.

    Some examples of recent and on-going instructions include:

    • Advising Manchester City Football Club in relation to its ongoing potential liability arising out of certain claims relating to the Barry Bennell abuse litigation.
    • Acting for an offshore holding company in its claim to recover c$12m following its sale of all intellectual property in the PONY brand.
    • Acting in a claim against a subsidiary of Sports Direct for trademark infringement following the sale by a Swiss liquidator of all the intellectual property in the SKINS brand.
    • Acting for the founders of the Litecoin cryptocurrency in a claim to prevent a Company registered in England and Wales from passing off the goodwill associated with the ‘Litecoin’ mark. The appeal decision has frequently been referred to as establishing a new cause of action in relation to the law of passing off: Litecoin Foundation Ltd v Inshallah Ltd [2021] EWHC 1998 (Ch).
    • Advising insurers and re-insurers in substantial on-going litigation concerning coverage issues arising out of D&O policies, claim value exceeds $40m.
    • Acting for lenders in the recovery of significant sums owed (£10m) where enforcement required recovery by fixed charge receivers of unregistered land: Liddiment v Hull [2021] EWHC 3418 (Ch)
  • Financial services and banking & finance

    Chris frequently acts for both lenders and corporates or individuals involved in financial services and/or banking and finance disputes. He has, in addition, extensive experience of claims made under the provisions of the Financial Services and Markets Act and the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order, including claims relating to alleged breaches of the general prohibition and claims relating to the enforceability of regulated mortgage agreements and other lending.

    Additionally, Chris has significant experience of mis-selling claims; including the mis-selling of derivative products and those products which contain a derivative element, such as fixed rate loans.

    Examples of Chris’ recent instructions in this area include:

    • Acting for a private individual in a claim brought under the unfair relationship provisions of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 in relation to the sale of c.£40,000,000.00 loan by a building society for the purchase of Heron House, Manchester (occupied by GCHQ) which, it is alleged, contained an embedded derivative product.
    • Acting for Kroll as fixed charge receiver and a tertiary lender seeking to recover possession of commercial assets (solar farm and agricultural land) following termination of a £10m finance facility.
    • Acting for a number of a partners in a Doctor’s surgery in relation to the alleged mis-selling of loans to the GPs’ practice by Aviva.
    • Acting for two individuals seeking to recover significant sums paid under a mortgage contract which it is alleged was made in breach of the general prohibition.
    • Advising an established company on the potential applicability of the FCA perimeter to the launch of a new insurance product.
    • Advising the Singaporean owner of shares in an English Company on its reporting requirements to the FCA following a change in control of a Company, which in turn was the person with significant control of an FCA authorised entity.
  • Insolvency

    Chris regularly acts in insolvency matters (both corporate and personal) and has experience in claims against directors for breach of duty, wrongful and fraudulent trading, and other antecedent transaction claims.

    In addition, Chris has acted for office holders in contentious applications for administration orders; extension of administration orders; and other matters relating to the insolvency liquidation of a Company’s affairs.

    A selection of recent instructions include:

    • Acting for the liquidator (Mazars) of a company seeking to recover c.£1m from a Company director arising out of misefeasant transactions, an overdrawn director’s loan account, and preferential transactions.
    • Acting for an administrator (PKF Smith Cooper) seeking a retrospective extension of an administration order following a procedural irregularity in the deemed consent procedure which had rendered an earlier presumed extension of the administration period void.
    • Acting for the respondents to various claims brought by a trustee in bankruptcy seeking to recover 12 properties from various family members of the bankrupt which it was alleged the bankrupt owned beneficially.
    • Acting for the liquidators (PKF Smith Cooper) of a large steel company in multi-jurisdictional claims brought against other members of the insolvent company’s group arising out of preferential transactions.
    • Acting for a Russian national, domiciled in Cyprus in resisting insolvency proceedings brought against him in England and Wales: Moskalev v Yanishevskiy [2021] EWHC 1575 (Ch)
  • Costs

    Chris frequently provides advice on all aspects of costs litigation and has been involved with the litigation of substantial costs cases before both the High Court and Court of Appeal. Chris successfully represented the Claimant as sole Counsel in the landmark decision of the Court of Appeal in Lexlaw v Zuberi [2021] EWCA Civ 16, the first decision concerning the enforceability of damages based agreements (“DBAs”). The decision is frequently referred to as a “watershed moment” for DBAs, and saw the General Council of the Bar (represented by Nick Bacon KC) intervene in the Court of Appeal hearing in support of the Claimant’s position.

    Chris is also frequently instructed to review and draft litigation funding agreements; DBAs and CFAs. He also has significant experience of detailed assessments and related costs litigation.

    Recent instructions include:

    • Advising Manchester City Football Club on its costs position following claims brought against it by survivors of the Barry Bennell’s abuse scandal.
    • Advising Aviva on its position as a funder of litigation following the collapse of the main developer of a significant construction site in the centre of Cardiff.
    • Drafting damages-based agreements for a number of City law firms following the publication of the decision in Zuberi.
    • Acting for a Russian national, domiciled in Cyprus in recovering costs following his successful opposition to insolvency proceedings brought against him in England and Wales: Moskalev v Yanishevskiy [2021] EWHC 1575 (Ch).
    • Successfully obtaining a non-party costs order against the sole director of a Company which had been used as a vehicle to run a dishonest claim against an insurance company.
    • Representing an Isle of Mann domicile Hedge Fund before the Supreme Court of Bermuda in an effort to recover costs against a Mexican entity following a wrongfully obtained freezing order based on a judgment of the California Court: Vision en Analisi Y Estrategia v Laureola Advisors Inc. [2022] SC (Bda) 62 Civ (12 August 2022)
  • Qualifications / education

    •  LLB (Hons), University of Birmingham
    •  BVC (Outstanding), College of Law
  • Awards

    • Jules Thorn Scholarship (Middle Temple)
    • Certificate of Honour (Middle Temple)
    • Jules Thorn Prize, Finals (University of Birmingham)
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