“Ed can navigate through what appear to be impossible problems and he’s very good with clients.”
“He crosses a rare bridge between being a lawyer’s lawyer and being pragmatic and commercial about what he does”.
“Extremely affable, very softly spoken but, in truth, one of the most powerful, and amongst the strongest, barristers I know… a secret weapon for me and a silk in the making.”
(Feedback to Chambers and Partners)
Edward is a commercial chancery barrister specialising in commercial litigation and professional negligence, particularly within property and construction. Ed’s commercial practice often involves cases involving complex allegations of fraud and conspiracy.
He offers clear, commercially sensible advice based upon sound judgement and a keen understanding of client objectives.
Ed is an experienced and highly effective trial advocate, the following offering a snapshot of current and recent cases.
Complex hard-fought commercial litigation, including the following:
- acting for a group of overseas investors, following the failure of a development of student housing in Liverpool, to establish proprietary claims against the security trustee
- (in the Supreme Court of Gibraltar, the Court of Appeal for Gibraltar and now the Privy Council) defending claims, and thereafter appeals, brought by multiple investors seeking to establish proprietary claims to historic distributions made in connection with an Experienced Investor Fund
- an arbitration between former members of an LLP set up to attract and manage EIS finance
- advancing claims in conspiracy between directors and a shadow director to procure the unlawful dismissal of two minority shareholders and their subsequent treatment as Bad Leavers for the purpose of a purported deemed transfer of their shareholding
- defending a claim of fraud said to have been perpetrated to secure the exit of a consortium of investors on terms alleged not to have reflected the true value of their equity
- advancing similar claims including of dishonest assistance against solicitors retained by the directors
- a series of claims arising out of the fraudulent disposal of high value performance vehicles and an asset tracing exercise
- claims arising out of a joint venture to develop property in London, horribly over budget, in which significant sums have been paid away to third parties connected to the director of one of the joint venture parties
- pursuing allegations of systematic and wide-scale fraud across £25m worth of building contracts
- defending similar substantial claims for money said to have been obtained fraudulently during the management of a construction project in Portugal
- 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
- 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
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 or litigation, for example:
- A claim for wasted legal and construction costs said to have been incurred when a large residential development stalled as a result of failing to secure the performance of s.106 obligations within a leaseback arrangement
- A claim by trustees for loss of development profits said to have been incurred when cut out of a deal giving rise to alleged conflict of duty.
- a claim for £16m said to have been losses incurred following the grant of rights to light over a development site in West London
- an alleged failure to secure a tenant’s contractual entitlement under an agreement for lease against future assignees
- failure to serve within limitation. The underlying claims concerned the purchase of a portfolio of buy to let properties by way of sub-sale 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 claims themselves arising out of failed professional negligence litigation
Negligence relating to property and construction – generally (but not exclusively) claimant work, for example
- numerous high value 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
- claims against construction professionals for breach of retainer and negligent misstatement
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 vicariously 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
- Claims by a new purchaser of a development, to clear the title of entries relating to previously defrauded off plan purchasers
- a claim to enforce assurances in respect of the family home upon the death of the claimant’s parents and whether prior inconsistent dealing prior to the parents’ death 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
- Queen Mary College, University of London (BSc Hons),
- City University and Inns of Court School of Law
Scholarships and Awards
- Harmsworth Scholar (Middle Temple)
BSB & VAT Information
Registered Name: Edward Bennion-Pedley
VAT Number: 928352215