Ed is a commercial chancery barrister. He has a wide-ranging commercial practice but with a particular focus on disputes over land, professional negligence and cases involving allegations of fraud.
Ed offers clear, commercially sensible advice and is a highly experienced and effective trial advocate.
The following offers a snapshot of current and recent cases.
Ed enjoys complex hard-fought commercial litigation which requires responsive and strategic thinking. Coming from a commercial background himself, Ed understands the need to think beyond the legal analysis in order to secure the client’s commercial objectives.
Ed’s current and recent caseload includes:
- acting for a claimant bank to recover payments due from a member of a prominent royal family (not ours!) following the purchase of an aircraft;
- a claim to set aside a settlement agreement on the grounds that it was procured by fraud perpetrated to secure an investor’s exit for a sum several million pounds lower than (it was said) would otherwise have been the case;
- a series of claims arising out of the fraudulent disposal of high value performance vehicles and an asset tracing exercise;
- an ICC arbitration to recover commissions due following the sale of satellite communication equipment to the Turkish Navy in which the paying party sought to avoid its obligations by alleging corruption;
- defending a claim for commissions said to be due to an agent in respect of the future work of two TV personalities;
- defending a substantial claim for sums said to have been obtained fraudulently during the management of a construction project in Portugal
- (in the Supreme Court of Gibraltar) a claim between multiple investors seeking to establish proprietary interests in security instruments following the collapse of 60 bid vehicles established to acquire generic top level domain registry agreements
- an arbitration between former members of an LLP set up to attract and manage EIS finance
- defending a claim against the director of a company said to have been personally liable for breaches of a joint venture to build re-creation Aston Martin DB4 Zagatos.
- a freezing order and asset tracing exercise to recover money lodged pending unsuccessful commercial negotiations and thereafter to establish liability against directors for accessory liability for breach of trust in respect of that part which had been dissipated.
- an LCIA International Arbitration to recover USD 4.2 million due in commissions following the sale of aircraft engines and associated maintenance packages in Turkey
- a claim for declarations as to the proper construction of the termination provisions of a North American distribution agreement
Ed’s professional negligence practice has three main areas:
Solicitor’s negligence – generally (but not exclusively) insured defendant work and tending to be cases in which the underlying matter related to land, for example:
- defending a claim for £16m said to have been losses incurred following the grant of rights to light over a development site in West London
- defending a claim arising out an alleged failure to secure tenant’s contractual under an agreement for lease against future assignees
- acting for defendant solicitors following the failure, by process servers, to serve within limitation. The underlying claims arose out of the purchase of a portfolio of buy to let properties that relied, in part, upon mortgage funding obtained fraudulently permitting a defence of illegality
- a claim arising out of the purchase by a developer of a property in Notting Hill to which it was intended to add a multi-level subterranean extension and the extent to which a solicitor is required to consider and/or warn that existing consents might be susceptible to Judicial Review.
- defending a solicitor accused of misleading his client in order to force through a settlement at mediation so as to cover up earlier alleged negligence.
- Defending a claim itself arising out of failed professional negligence litigation
Negligence relating to property and construction – generally (but not exclusively) claimant work, for example
- numerous claims on behalf of Thames Water in respect of damage to foul and surface water apparatus caused by negligent construction and/or street works. Similarly, cases involving flooding and interference.
- a claim against LPA Receivers alleging breaches of the receivers’ subordinate duty to avoid preventable loss when managing a lettings business and the subsequent sale of sixteen apartments over two sites.
- acting in a substantial claim arising out of the defendant’s failure to observe and/or warn of (amongst other things) the presence of Death Watch Beetle in a 15th Century timber framed building in Herefordshire.
- A failure to warn that a building was of non-standard construction designated defective under the Housing Defects Act 1984
- claims against professionals on their PCCs in negligent misstatement including claims in which the defects arose out of deficiencies in design as opposed to departures from approved drawings
- a claim against a planning consultant for failing to identify the planning potential of a site in Alderley Edge and whether the claimant would in fact have pursued the intended purchase
- defending a local authority from claims in negligent misstatement in respect of the programming of works to regenerate a sea front
- defending a construction company following fire alleged to have been caused by that company’s hot works procedure
Financial Services – for example;
- a claim arising out of a flawed investment strategy which included the use of structured products in respect of which the capital protection provision had been misstated
- mis-sold IRHP and other financial instruments, within review but also litigation
- whether an ‘investment club’ run by an accountant for his friends and clients constituted a collective investment scheme (and so regulated activity) for the purposes of establishing a right to recover property transferred to it and the duties owed in respect of information contained in investment bulletins
- whether a financial adviser’s IFA network should be held liable for that adviser’s fraud when arranging finance to fund his own building development
Ed’s property practice includes the usual disputes over boundaries and easements and those many and varied claims that arise out of informal dealing – both in the commercial and domestic context.
Ed also acts in cases involving water, generally for Thames Water, with whom he has worked closely for several years.
Recent cases include:
- a claim to enforce a failed option agreement over a terrace of properties by way of proprietary estoppel
- whether a buyer of property was entitled to use a DS1 to cancel a legal charge when that DS1 had been provided by the seller’s solicitor in breach of his authority
- a claim to enforce assurances in respect of the family home upon the death of the claimant’s parents and whether prior inconsistent dealing was actionable
- acting for a protected party to recover secret commissions paid and losses sustained following the sale of property by an estate agent in breach of his contractual and fiduciary obligations
- a claim to establish a Pallant v Morgan trust over Welsh agricultural and amenity land purchased at auction pursuant to an informal agreement between the parties in respect of subsequent division and access rights
- a claim to establish a beneficial interest in the family home and that it was an overriding interest taking priority over the bank
- a claim concerning land intended for development and a failure by the vendor to obtain the release of part from a pre-existing option in favour of a third party leading to allegations of conspiracy