Ed Pepperall QC MCIArb
Call: 1989 Silk: 2013
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Profile

Ed is regularly instructed in multi-million pound commercial and professional negligence litigation and arbitration. He has particular expertise in the law of restraint of trade and confidentiality and in commercial fraud work. Ed understands the flexibility required to handle urgent and high value work. He is numerate and works well with forensic accountants. His more substantial cases include:

  • A US$64-million dispute in respect of alleged breach of warranty under an international SPA, culminating in a 5-week trial in the Rolls Building.
  • A US$100-million claim in the ICC Court of Arbitration in respect of a pan-European marketing agreement for a pharmaceutical device.
  • A £150-million professional claim against a silk, junior and solicitors in respect of a Commercial Court claim.
  • A £70-million fraud claim in which Ed acted for the UK's 5 largest brewers with a market share of over 82%.
  • Advice on duties of confidence owed by a former executive in respect of a £350 million commercial dispute.
  • Advice on a US$12-million contract for the supply of military equipment to a Cypriot company for onward supply to Iraq.

Ed’s clients include a number of FTSE100 companies, US and Russian companies, the entrepreneur Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, a serving judge and a leading Formula 1 racing team. Ed was a member of the Civil Procedure Rule Committee for 6 years and regularly gives seminars, webinars and TV interviews on both procedural and substantive law. He is a lead advocacy tutor for Lincoln’s Inn teaching other barristers in England (including at Keble College’s renowned week-long advanced international advocacy course) and overseas. Ed sits as a Deputy High Court Judge in both the Chancery and Queen’s Bench Divisions and as a Recorder. He is also a Justice of the Court of Appeal of the Falkland Islands.

Ed’s professional services are offered through Ed Pepperall QC Limited, a company incorporated in England & Wales under company number 9556576. The company’s registered office is at St Philips Chambers, 55 Temple Row, Birmingham B2 5LS.


  • What-the-Directories-Say

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    • Ed is featured in the 2018 Chambers & Partners directory as a leading expert in commercial dispute resolution, company, employment and professional negligence. He is also ranked in the Legal 500 2017 as a top-tier practitioner in the fields of commercial, banking, insolvency and Chancery and employment law and is listed in Who's Who Legal: UK Bar 2018. Ed has been described in the directories as:

      • "Ed Pepperall QC is highlighted as 'an outstandingly clever guy' recognised for his wealth of knowledge on negligence claims relating to fraudulent behaviour and contractual issues." Who's Who Legal: UK Bar (2018)
      • "He's the man to go to when you have tricky procedural issues. He's very practical and gets to grips with cases very quickly." "He's excellent with the client - he's able to put things in plain English and make them feel part of the team. He's also able to pull together and deal with complex matters and break them down very easily." Chambers & Partners (2018)
      • "He's very well organised and really fights your corner in court. He's good on his feet and doesn't give up." Chambers & Partners (2018)
      • "He's very clear in his advice, and collaborative and commercial with clients." "He's a great barrister. He is very honourable and sticks to his guns." Chambers & Partners (2018)
      • "He is fantastic and can explain the most complex legal principles and unexpected outcomes that the client may not have foreseen." Chambers & Partners (2018)
      • "Very experienced in restraint of confidentiality matters." Legal 500 (2017)
      • "Recommended for complex and high-profile discrimination claims." Legal 500 (2017)
      • "A pragmatic and clinical advocate, he is user-friendly and fantastic in front of clients." Chambers & Partners (2017)
      • "Meticulous and detailed with a very retentive memory. He's very good at dealing with clients, and an extremely good advocate and cross-examiner." Chambers & Partners (2017)
      • “An experienced litigator with a formidable specialism in complex shareholder disputes.” Chambers & Partners (2017)
      • "He is an exceptional advocate with unparalleled expertise in obtaining injunctive relief." Chambers & Partners (2017)
      • "He is user-friendly and fantastic in front of clients." Chambers & Partners (2017)
      • "Experienced in multimillion-pound commercial contractual disputes, and shareholders and directors matters." - Legal 500 (2015)
      • "He is a top choice for disputes involving business sales." "He is very commanding in court and has a polished presence." Chambers & Partners (2015)
      • "Adept in all aspects of commercial law, including contractual, shareholder and boardroom disputes." Legal 500 (2014)
      • "Someone who you go to when you need a win, he instils confidence because his clients know he’s so good at what he does." Chambers & Partners (2013)
      • "This 'absolutely brilliant barrister' has 'unparalleled expertise in obtaining injunctive relief.'" Chambers & Partners (2013)
      • "Wonderfully organised in his approach, Ed Pepperall QC is noted for his creative, solutions-driven approach." Chambers & Partners (2013)
      • "An extremely pragmatic advocate …. what he does is high-value and done extremely well. He is wonderful with clients and highly recommended." Chambers & Partners (2013)
      • Previous editions of Chambers & Partners have described Ed as "incredibly quick on his feet"and "a fast-thinking commercial litigator who is exceptional on his feet." He is "very affable and easy to get on with" and his "relaxed and calm approach instils confidence." He displays "an aptitude in difficult matters which is little short of prodigious" and is praised for "his no-nonsense attitude and diligent, thorough approach [which ensures] that he remains a favourite".

  • Recent-Experience

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    • Ed’s recent experience includes a number of significant appeals in the Court of Appeal:

      • Claims for threatened breaches of confidence and fiduciary duty by a senior employee and an injunction to restrain a conflict of interest in a US$15-million contract.
      • A £3-million appeal concerning the proper approach to quantum in a concurrent liability case against a professional and the Judge’s duty to give a reasoned judgment (drawing on Ed’s earlier experience in English v. Emery Reimbold).
      • Claims to enforce an unpaid vendor’s lien and for partial specific performance of a £5-million contract.

      Other recent cases of note include:

      • A US$64-million dispute in respect of warranties under an international SPA, culminating in a 5-week trial in the Rolls Building.
      • A £150-million professional claim against a silk, junior and solicitors in respect of a Commercial Court claim
      • A class action in respect of the negligent under-settlement of hundreds of Equal Pay claims
      • A £6-million professional claim in respect of an accountant’s negligence in executing a share buy back
      • A £70-million fraud claim on behalf of the UK’s 5 leading breweries.
      • Professional negligence claim against a criminal silk for his negligent conduct of an 8-month fraud trial.
      • Professional negligence claim against another barrister for his negligent conduct of a child rape trial.
      • A £2.8-million commercial fraud claim by an Italian-owned company against its former executives and their new English company.
      • A number of unfair prejudice petitions following the dismissal and removal from the board of minority shareholders.

  • Reported-Cases

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      • First Personnel Services Ltd v. Halfords Ltd [2016] EWHC 3220 (Ch) - Claims for transfer fees on the TUPE transfer of hundreds of temporary workers.
      • Littlestone v. MacLeish [2016] 1 W.L.R. 3289 (CA) - Interplay between part 36 offers and payments on account of damages.
      • Wright Hassall LLP v. Horton [2015] EWHC 3716 (QB) - Professional negligence in respect of company law and the assignment of intellectual property rights.
      • Devon & Cornwall Autistic Community Trust v. Cornwall Council [2015] EWHC 403 (QB) and [2015] EWHC 129 (QB) - Relief from sanctions. Strike out and summary judgment at trial.
      • Back Office Ltd v. Percival & Others [2013] EWHC 1385 (QB) - Restraint of trade & commercial fraud claim.  Principles applicable to findings of civil contempt against companies, company directors & individual employees for breach of undertakings given to settle a restraint of trade case.
      • Caterpillar Logistics Services (UK) Ltd v. Huesca de Crean [2012] 3 All ER 129 (CA) & [2012] IRLR 410 (QB) – Injunction: whether available to restrain senior employee / fiduciary from taking employment on the other side of a highly contentious US$15 million contract. Breach of confidentiality & conflicts of interest.
      • George Wimpey v. Valley & Vale [2012] 2 EGLR 113 (CA) & [2011] EWHC 1833 (Ch) – Whether unpaid seller’s lien arises on £5 million agreement to surrender lease. Whether entitled to partial specific performance on waiving a condition.
      • Obsession Hair & Day Spa Ltd v. Hi-Lite Electrical Ltd [2011] EWCA 1148, White Book (Vol 1) – Failure of judge to give reasoned judgment dismissing tort claim in £3 million professional liability claim. Proper measure of damages in concurrent liability cases. Court of Appeal’s power to set aside permission to appeal.
      • Sandhu v. Jet Star Retail Ltd [2010] EWHC 1936 (QB) – Whether retention of title clause operated to prevent title passing to retail items worth £1 million upon buyer’s insolvency.
      • Cavendish Corporate Finance LLP v. GIL Investments Ltd [2009] EWCA Civ 368 (CA) – Proper construction of contract for corporate finance fee upon multi-million pound company sale.
      • Re Britannia Heat Transfer Ltd [2007] BCC 470 (Ch) – Norris J gave guidance on interplay between a CVA and the employment protection provisions against contracting out of claims (s203 Employment Rights Act 1996).
      • Fusion Interactive Communication Solutions v. Venture Investment Placement [2005] 2 BCLC 250 (Ch) – Injunction to restrain advertisement of a winding-up petition on just & equitable grounds. Authority of individual directors to instruct solicitors.
      • Re Zebra Industrial Projects Ltd [2005] BCC 104 (Ch) – Whether assets of failed CVA were held on trust for CVA creditors or general body of creditors.
      • Vincent v. Servite Homes Ltd [2002] EWCA Civ 852 – Whether employer estopped from denying liability to pay contractual PHI to employee.
      • English v. Emery Reimbold & Strick Ltd [2002] 1 WLR 2409 (CA) – Leading decision on judge’s duty to give a reasoned judgment (before Lord Phillips MR).
      • Lennon v. Alvis Industries plc (2000) CA – Whether claim statute barred.
      • Monnington v. Bonnells Electrical Contractors Ltd (1999) CA – Proper construction of agreement settling professional negligence claims and expert’s claim for unpaid fees.

  • Specialist-Areas

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  • Qualifications-and-Appointments

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      • Justice of the Court of Appeal of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands, 2017
      • Deputy High Court Judge (Chancery & Queen's Bench Divisions), 2016
      • Authorised to sit in the Administrative Court, 2016
      • Elected Bencher of Lincoln's Inn, 2015
      • Diploma in International Arbitration (CIArb, 2015)
      • Tutor in Advanced International Advocacy, Keble College, Oxford
      • Contributing author, Civil Court Practice (the White Book)
      • Birmingham University, LLB (Hons) 2:1 – 1988
      • Recorder, Crown Court: 2009 and authorised to hear serious sexual offences, 2013
      • Recorder, County Court: 2010
      • Member of the Civil Procedure Rule Committee, 2010-2016
      • Member of the Consultant Editorial Board for Lexis-Nexis PSL, Dispute Resolution 
      • Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators: 2014

  • Professional-Associations

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      • Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)
      • Chairman, Midland Chancery & Commercial Bar Association (MCCBA)
      • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)