Justin Kitson


Selborne Chambers
10 Essex Street
London WC2R 3AA
Email Justin Kitson
020 7420 9500

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Chambers & Partners 2019Legal 500 2019Briefed

Justin is described in the Property Litigation, Professional Negligence and Media and Entertainment categories of the 2016 and 2017 editions of the Legal 500 as a barrister who is “devastatingly effective”, “very charming”, “highly clever and happy to adapt to the client needs,” and someone who “has a great legal mind”, and “gets his sleeves rolled up, and gives clear and practical advice.” In Chambers and Partners 2017, he is recommended as “bright, thorough and a great team player”. In earlier directory editions, he is commended as “a very bright chap” who “works prodigiously hard”, “installs confidence in clients”, and “stands his ground carefully.” In the courtroom, he has been described as a “very forceful” and “brave and tough advocate who is great on cross-examination.”

Justin is a commercial chancery practitioner. His work encompasses property and commercial disputes, media, entertainment, trusts and private client and related professional negligence work. He has appeared in the highest courts in this jurisdiction and the Caribbean.

Among other cases, in 2016/17 Justin has been working on (i) a £150 million commercial dispute concerning the demerger of a large gaming organisation, (ii) wills disputes concerning the proper execution of wills, (iii) a security for costs appeal for which he has recently been granted permission by the Court of Appeal to advance 2 important points of principle on a second appeal, (iv) a case before the Court of Appeal on the efficacy of trustee exoneration clauses, (v) copyright litigation arising from the disputed ownership of one of the most famous pop songs from the late 1970s, (vi) complex land disputes involving one of the large estates in North Yorkshire, (vii) a multi-million pound dispute for a national telecoms provider that involves property and telecom rights relating to a UK underground fibre-optic cabling network, (viii) defending a £30 million professional negligence claim brought by a music producer against his former solicitors in respect of the drafting of music contracts, (ix) a considerable number of professional negligence claims brought by institutional lenders against solicitors and surveyors, and (x) many real property and commercial landlord and tenant disputes (including claims involving conveyancing disputes, unlawful subletting, forfeiture, the fraudulent creation of leases, and dilapidations).

In 1999, Justin was the recipient of the prestigious Prince of Wales Scholarship from Gray’s Inn. In 2005, he was elected Chairman of the Young Barristers’ Committee of the General Council of the Bar. He is an accomplished pianist and has strong connections to both London and the North of England.


Please see Justin’s Privacy Notice here.

Notable cases

James Hall And Company (Property) Ltd v Maughan & Ors, Re The Aclet (Restrictive Covenants) [2017] UKUT 240 (LC)

Clifford Chuku v. Owen Chuku to [2017] 1 W.L.R. 3137
Appeared before Newey J. in an appeal concerning the court’s jurisdiction and exercise of discretion when considering applications for security for costs. The case is of particular interest in the context of counterclaiming defendants seeking security.

Barnsley & Others v. Noble [2016] EWCA Civ 799.
Appeared in the Court of Appeal in a dispute concerning the public policy limitations of trustee exoneration clauses.

Barnsley & Others v. Noble [2014] EWHC 2657 (Ch)
Appeared for the Claimants before Mr. Justice Nugee in a 7 week trial in the Chancery Division in £150 million claim for breach of contract, deceit, and breach of fiduciary duty.

Barnsley & Others v. Noble [2013] 2 Costs L.O. 150
Hearing before Mrs. Justice Proudman concerning whether the court had jurisdiction to order a payment on account where there had been discontinuance under r.38.6, and if it was appropriate to do so.

Crossco No.4 Unlimited v. Jolan Ltd [2012] 2 All ER 754, [2012] 1 P&CR 16
Appeared for the successful Respondent in an important case in which the Court of Appeal considered the nature and applicability of the common intention constructive trust in a commercial context.

Crossco No.4 Unlimited & Ors v Jolan Ltd & Ors [2011] EWHC 803 (Ch.D), [2011] NPC 38
Appeared for the successful Defendant in a 36-day trial before Morgan J concerning the right of a landlord to determine a business tenancy of large commercial premises in Manchester Piccadilly. The case involved complex factual and legal arguments concerning the 1954 Act, rectification, constructive trust and estoppel.

Frasers Islington Limited v. the Hanover Trustees & Others [2010] EWHC 1514 (Ch.D)
Appeared for Hanover in an important case concerning the extent to which equity will assist a claimant by making an order for the specific performance of an option in circumstances where the party seeking the relief is itself in breach of the contract that contains the option.

Eileen Corr v. IBC Vehicles Limited [2008] 1 AC 884
Appeared for the Appellant Insurer in the House of Lords in an important negligence case involving scope of duty, novus actus, causation and contribution.

Golden Grove Estates Limited v Chancerygate Asset Management Limited [2007] EWHC 968 (Ch.D)
Appeared for the Appellant in the Chancery Division. Interpretation and application of CPR provisions relating to an application for security for costs against a BVI company which had failed fully to disclose its assets, the location of its assets and its liabilities.

Handf Acceptances Limited v Russell [2007] EWHC 1273 (QB)
Appeared for Handf Acceptances in recovery of a mortgage debt flowing from a £1.2 million bridging advance.  Allegations of dishonesty and fraud.

CI Ltd v Joint Liquidators of Sonatacus Limited [2007] BCC 186 (CA)
Appeared for the Joint Liquidators in the Court of Appeal. Recipient of a benefit from a payment, voidable as a preference under the Insolvency Act 1986 s.239, could not retain that benefit where it had not shown that it had acted in good faith within s.241(2) of the Act.

Total Spares & Supplies Ltd. & Another v Antares SRL & Others [2006] EWHC 1537 (Ch.D)
Leading High Court authority on the jurisdiction of the court to order a non-party to pay costs, notwithstanding the fact that it was not causative of any costs being incurred.

Barber and Henry v CI Limited (2006) BCC 927
Whether consideration amounting to a preference, voidable at the instance of a liquidator, could be regarded as constituting a valuable consideration for the purpose of defeating a transaction at an undervalue claim under s.238 Insolvency Act 1986)

CA Webber (Transport) Ltd v Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd (formerly Railtrack Plc) [2004] 1 WLR 320
Appeared for Railtrack at first instance and in the Court of Appeal – whether a notice served under s.25 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 by recorded delivery was deemed served when posted rather than when received by the addressee and whether such approach was compatible with Art.6 and Protocol 1 Art. 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The London Mews Company v Burney [2003] All ER (D) 66
First and second appeal to the Court of Appeal – what constituted an ‘effective cause of sale’ and an ‘introduction’ for the purposes of entitling an estate-agent to commission.

Halley v The Law Society [2002] All ER (D) 182 and [2003] EWCA Civ 97
Appeared in both the Chancery Division and Court of Appeal in a claim for monies held in the client account of a solicitor whose practice was intervened. Allegations of money laundering and advance fee fraud.


“He is clever, commercial, hardworking and always willing to assist” (Property Litigation, Legal 500 (2017))

 “‘He has a great legal mind, which he combines with an excellent client manner” (Professional Negligence and Media and Entertainment, (Legal 500 (2017))

“Extremely good junior barrister, who is bright, thorough and a great team player.” (Real Estate Litigation, Chambers and Partners (2017)

“Leading Junior” in Property Litigation since 2007 (Legal 500)

“Leading Junior” in Professional Negligence since 2009 (Legal 500)

“Leading Junior” in Real Estate Litigation since 2006 (Chambers & Partners)

“Leading Junior” in Media and Entertainment (Legal 500)

“Leading Expert” in Property Law (Legal Experts)

Recent comments include:

“Devastatingly effective” (Professional Negligence; Legal 500, 2016)

Very charming, highly clever and happy to adapt to the client needs” (Media and Entertainment; Legal 500, 2016)

“Engaged and proactive; he gets his sleeves rolled up, and gives clear and practical advice.” (Property Litigation; Legal 500, 2016)

“Very bright, hardworking, client-friendly and engaged” (Property Litigation; Legal 500, 2015)

“A standout junior for professional negligence matters” (Professional Negligence; Legal 500, 2015)

“Provides clear advice and good written work, and is effective in conference” (Media and Entertainment; Legal 500, 2015)

“Regularly appears in both commercial and residential property disputes, and also has an active property-related professional negligence practice. His work ethic and client service are particularly highly praised …. He works very, very hard and is very accessible. He’s an extremely bright junior.” (Chambers and Partners, 2015)

“Sensible and stands his ground carefully” and “a very bright chap.” (Chambers and Partners, 2015)

“A brilliant team player” (Legal 500, 2014)

“He is knowledgeable, responsive and a good team player. He is so good with the detail – he works prodigiously hard and works so well with our team.” (Chambers and Partners, 2014)

“A brilliant team player – he’s very hard-working and instills confidence in clients.” (Chambers and Partners, 2014)

“Justin Kitson is a ‘brave and tough’ advocate who is ‘great on cross-examination.’  According to one respected QC he ‘does the research and gets the right points’ and allied to this, ‘he manages to make things fun'” (Chambers and Partners, 2013).

“Justin Kitson ‘has exceptional presence and is extremely bright'” (Chambers and Partners 2012)

“Justin Kitson has a particular strength in property-related professional negligence claims, and comes across as ‘a barrister with real presence.’ ‘He is the sort of person you have confidence in; for someone his age he is a very forceful advocate,’ say commentators, who also add that he ‘has the ability to absorb huge volumes of paper and can give advice extremely quickly.'” (Chambers & Partners 2011)

“Justin Kitson ‘is very pleasant, fair and sensible'” ; “The ‘exceptional’ Justin Kitson is also recommended”(Legal 500 2010)

“a proficient junior who punches above his weight.’ He has recently acted on the case of RAB Pension Trust v Fraser’s and is a big favourite with solicitors” (Chambers & Partners 2010)

“isn’t an expense, he just adds value to the case” (Legal 500 2009)

“A lawyer with ‘extremely impressive knowledge, considering his year of call,’ he acted for BT in a trial before HM Adjudicator to the Lands Registry concerning the acquisition of prescriptive easement rights and adverse possession over unregistered land belonging to the company. Sources agree that he is ‘mature beyond his years’.” (Chambers & Partners 2009)