Carl Garvie
Call: 2008
" " By

Associate Tenants Profile

Carl has over 34 years’ experience as a heavyweight commercial litigator. Prior to becoming a barrister, Carl spent 17 years as a partner with international law firm Pinsent Masons in its Birmingham, Manchester and London offices. He was appointed as one of the firm’s youngest partners when only 29. During his time there he managed the largest department in the firm; headed the International plc and Manufacturing sectors and was the office managing partner in Manchester. This experience, together with being a regional councillor of the CBI, has helped to hone his business and commercial acumen.

During his career he has handled hundreds of cases with a very broad range of commercial disputes for national and international companies (listed and unlisted), banks (both clearing and secondary), professional partnerships, owner managed businesses and individuals. Carl recognises that, whatever the size of the dispute – be it large or relatively small, there are common features – usually the most important of which is to achieve an expeditious cost- effective resolution. The important questions for a client are whether or not they going to win, how long it’s going to take and what it is going to cost. A key aspect in all disputes is the fundamental balance between risk and reward.

Carl’s approach to mediations

Whilst accepting that ownership of the dispute remains firmly with the litigants, and that they will be receiving legal advice in relation to the same, his approach to mediation is to be proactive in seeking to help the parties to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their case. Whilst never seeking to over push the pace of negotiations, as an advocate in numerous mediations, his experiences is that too many of them failed to get to grips with the pertinent commercial and legal issues at the earliest opportunity. Whilst always being aware of the emotional factors in litigation (which should never be underplayed) the key aim of any mediation is to seek to arrive at a settlement. In order to achieve this it is Carl’s firm view that the key elements that are mediator requires are (a) intellectual rigour and analysis (b) a clear commercial approach (c) total transparency and openness which flows from the confidential nature of the discussions and (d) trust (which he has to earn) from the parties and their advisers. 

Since graduating from Cambridge University with an MA in law he has pursued a broad based commercial litigation interest. His emphasis is on being the “trusted adviser”.

He was called to the Bar in 2008 and in December 2011, only three-and-a-half years after being called, he was singled out by Legal Week as one of the 10 most promising junior barristers under 10 years call in the whole of the UK.

Additional accolades include:

  • LEGAL WEEK praised him for his; “… attention to detail, strategic thinking and commercial acumen…. [and] is robust when he takes a stand and sticks to it often being proved right.” 
  • “He recognises that a deal which is commercially acceptable to the client is often more valuable than a favourable judgment after an expensive contested trial.”
  • CHAMBERS UK  noted; “He combines the skill set of being very able technically with being a key commercial litigator.” 
  • “He strikes up a good rapport with clients. He is especially user-friendly and a good man for a spot of rough-and-tumble litigation.”
  • “[Carl] is a very able [barrister] with a commercial approach who understands the demands on solicitors and their clients.” 
  • “He is an excellent strategist and tactician.”

Quotes from those instructing him include:

  • “I would place [Carl] in the top tier of mediators with whom I have worked.”
  • “His background as a solicitor and counsel is invaluable for understanding the dynamics and strategy within each client team.”
  • “[He] can relate to a wide variety of clients ranging from individual/owner managed businesses right through to large businesses. He adapts his style to suit the parties’ specific needs.”
  • “[He] is always neutral (and seen to be neutral) and acts with integrity and emotional sensitivity. He has excellent verbal and non-verbal communication skills, is an excellent listener, has an ability to define and clarify issues, is organised and has excellent problem-solving skills.
  • “….he is an excellent mediator.”
  • “He is extremely gifted at getting to the nub of the issues quickly and working with clients and opponents that are entrenched in their position to achieve a settlement.”
  • “His approach is very commercial and client friendly.”


Related News

Legal Week names Carl Garvie amongst the ten most promising Junior Barristers in the UK

Carl Garvie, one of St Philips Commercial Barristers, has been singled out by the national publication Legal Week, as one of the most promising junior barristers under 10 years call in the UK. Legal Week consulted over 200 solicitors, junior…

Read more >
View all articles

Further Information

Add CV to Brochure Builder Go to Brochure Builder View all Barristers