Hugh is recommended in both the Legal 500, 2020 and Chambers Guide 2020. He is a commercial chancery practitioner with a very active practice centred on land and finance, trade, business and technology. He has an extensive track record in loss recovery in professional negligence and title reconstruction, fraud, tracing and asset recovery including related freezing orders.
‘Excellent both on paper and on his feet, and very reassuring with clients’, he has particular experience of the preparation, presentation and control of multiple claim/multiple defendant managed cases. Regarded by his clients and peers as a professional negligence specialist, he is counsel of choice for many institutional and secondary lenders, as well as private clients, in loss recovery claims and claims against professionals, particularly involving solicitors’ misconduct, as well as surveyors/valuers.
His professional negligence practice extends also to company auditors’ and tax advisers’ negligence and private client claims.
Hugh’s work extends also to corporate and joint venture disputes including directors’ duties and liabilities, and disputes concerning shareholder rights and remedies, as well as partnerships. His work includes s.994 “unfair prejudice” petitions and shareholder-agreement disputes. His work in insolvency is a natural adjunct.
Hugh has extensive experience also in land and title disputes and, in particular, mortgage fraud in the context of title to Registered Land together also with the aspects of rectification and indemnity connected with such disputes.
He is an accredited mediator and also frequently appears as a mediation representative. In the current pandemic Hugh is able to conduct mediation by Zoom or Teams.
He sits as Judge in the Property Chamber (Land Registration) in the First Tier Tribunal. He sits also as an arbitrator.
Hugh is frequently retained to act as a mediator in chancery and commercial disputes. His mediation style is open, direct and evaluative but non-confrontational, driving for commercial resolution.
He also often acts for parties in mediation as a representative and mediation advocate. He has a very strong track-record of success.
He is available for mediation work via Zoom or Teams.
Hugh has been a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators for many years.
Most recently he was retained to act as leading counsel (leading Alice Hawker) in an 8-day LCIA arbitration of a minority shareholder’s claim for breaches of a shareholders’ agreement, articles of association and the Companies Act 2006, and for relief from unfair prejudice, relating to an cloud services business.
He is currently retained as an arbitrator in an LCIA arbitration.
Civil Fraud and Asset Recovery
Hugh has extensive experience of claims involving civil fraud and accessory liability, including related freezing-order injunctive relief.
Hugh has some 27 years of experience in professional negligence litigation and the associated professional indemnity insurance issues, having acted in much of the lender-litigation in that time. He has particular skills with borrower and solicitor fraud and the related insurance coverage issues in that particular field. He has been retained to act for many institutional and secondary lenders, and operators in short-term secured and unsecured finance.
He acts also in private client claims for professional negligence, including claims relating to negligent tax advice, audit error and data breach.
Recent Notable Work
Recent work includes:
- Re M (2020) (claim concerning expropriation of shareholder’s rights in a listed plc)
- Boyle v Burke  EWHC 3364 (Ch) (disputed dissolution of partnership on transfer of business to a company)
- Re A (2019) (claim for damages for negligent publication of personal data)
- Re CLF (2019) (professional negligence in commercial lending)
- Re Q (2019) (strike out for abusive delay)
- Re B (2019) (professional negligence as to planning for a wind farm)
- Re I Ltd (2018) (pre-action disclosure in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court concerning a web services business)
- Re W  EWHC 488 (Ch) (appeal re strike out for abusive delay)
- Re A Ltd (2018) (disputed fire damage insurance claim)
- Re F (2018) (loss recovery for solicitor’s breach of fiduciary duty)
- Re CF Ltd (2018) (claim for success fees in fund-raising for app services provider)
- Re a C. Co. Ltd (2018) (LCIA arbitration, leading Alice Hawker, of a minority shareholder in claims for breaches of a shareholders’ agreement, articles of association and the Companies Act 2006, and for relief from unfair prejudice relating to an cloud services business)
- Re a H. Co. Ltd (2018) (minority shareholders’ claims for unfair prejudice)
- Re P (claims arising out of alleged mismanagement of liquidations)
- B v B (architect and planning consultant’s negligence)
- Mishcon de Reya v Hunt (2017) – (resisting claim for breach of retainer relating to a bankrupt estate)
- Shepherd v Byrne & Partners LLP  EWHC 758 – (leading a junior member of Selborne in a claim for adviser’s negligence as to disclosure to HMRC of undisclosed income)
- Earnshaw v Prudential Assurance Co Ltd  EWHC 916 (Ch) (duties owed by pensions administrator to trustees of scheme)
- McFaddens Solicitors v Chandrasekaran  EWHC 2028 (QB); Turner J. (committal for contempt)
- McFaddens Solicitors v Chandrasekaran 2014 WL 1219772 Master Cook – (discharge of charging orders)
- Rightmatch Ltd v Meisels  B.P.I.R. 733 (Court’s approach to the exercise of discretion on hearing of bankruptcy petition based on judgment contested on basis of cross claim)
- McFaddens Solicitors v Chandrasekaran  EWCA Civ 1315 (law as to sham transactions applied to trusts)
- Horn v Commercial Acceptances  EWCA Civ 958
(Construction of loan agreement and associated trust deed, as to disclosure)
- Ibrahim v Barclays Bank Plc, Court of Appeal  2 Lloyd’s Rep 13 (CA)
(Subrogation. Discharge of debtor’s liability by creditor recovering an amount equivalent to the debt from a bank that had provided a standby letter of credit)
Hugh has been ranked in the Guides as a leading junior for many years, most recently in Chambers Guide 2020 as an “impressive junior” and as “extremely detail-oriented, forensic in fact, and nothing escapes him. When we have a tricky problem, that’s when he’s in his element.” “He is very thorough, very bright, thinks up good arguments and doesn’t miss points. He’s a good-quality junior.”
In the Legal 500 2020 he is ranked in Tier 2 for Professional Negligence and recommended as “extremely knowledgeable and a very good advocate’