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St Philips Commercial

St Philips Commercial

Tuesday, 12 August 2014 00:00

Breakfast Briefings - Autumn Programme

Please find details of the St Philips Commercial Seminar Programme for this Autumn.

All of our talks will be held in chambers at either our Temple Row site in Birmingham, or at our new Leeds offices at 41 Park Square.

Registration will be at 8.00 am, with hot breakfast rolls and the opportunity for networking, with seminars then commencing at 8.30 am. All talks are CPD accredited for 1 hour.

For further details and to reserve your place, please visit the St Philips website.

We look forward to welcoming you.

09-Sep - Leeds - Insolvency
10-Sep - Birmingham - Property
16-Sep - Leeds - Property
18-Sep - Birmingham - Insolvency
23-Sep - Leeds - Wills Trusts & Probate
30-Sep - Leeds - Company
02-Oct - Birmingham - Wills Trusts & Probate
07-Oct - Leeds - Professional Liability
08-Oct - Birmingham - Company
14-Oct - Birmingham - Intellectual Property
14-Oct - Leeds - Restraint of Trade
21-Oct - Leeds - Intellectual Property
22-Oct - Birmingham - Restraint of Trade
28-Oct - Birmingham - Professional Liability

Monday, 04 August 2014 00:00

St Philips Chambers launches in Leeds

Head of Chambers Avtar Khangure QC with The Hon. Mr Justice Norris.

On Thursday 17th July St Philips Chambers Leeds office was officially opened by The Hon. Mr Justice Norris, Vice-Chancellor of the County Palatine.

Over 100 guests joined us at our prestigious new premises at 41 Park Square, which provides 7,500 sq ft of the finest barrister accommodation; furnished with state of the art conference, seminar and mediation facilities.

St Philips Leeds was born out of a successful merger with Chancery House Chambers, one of the most revered sets in the city.

Joe Wilson, Chief Clerk for St Philips, said : “Chancery House was always a natural fit for St Philips, with its reputation for high quality advice and client service standards. Our investment in Leeds and commitment to the North East’s Legal and business community, is in line with the ambitions outlined in our strategic plan, which is to give clients easy access to our first class team of barristers both nationally and internationally. Plans are now underway to increase our range of services and we are actively recruiting quality barristers to join us at all three of our sites”.


St Philips is delighted to announce that we will merge with Chancery House Chambers in Leeds from June, when St Philips opens for business in our new building at 41 Park Square, Leeds.  The union will consolidate what has been a hugely successful two-year alliance between our sets.

Refurbishment work has already started on our prestigious Georgian building on Park Square.  Behind its Grade II listed facade we are creating an ultra modern interior, providing 7,500 sq ft of the finest barrister accommodation; furnished with state-of-the-art conference, seminar and mediation facilities which we hope you will take full advantage of.

Joe Wilson, chief clerk for St Philips, said; "Chancery House was always a natural fit for St Philips with its reputation for high quality advice and client service standards. The alliance between our two sets was always the precursor to a full merger and that is now becoming a reality. Our investment in Leeds, and commitment to the North East's legal and business community, is in line with the ambitions outlined in our strategic plan, which is to give clients easy access to our first class team of barristers both nationally and internationally.  Plans are now underway to increase our range of services and we are actively recruiting quality barristers to join us at all three of our sites in Birmingham, Leeds and London".

For more information please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">Joe Wilson.

Godiva Mortgages Ltd –v- Travelers Insurance Company Ltd  and Willmett Solicitors (third party) Royal and Sun Alliance plc (4th Party) The Law Society (5th Party)

The above case, in which John Brennan is instructed on behalf of the claimant, has been included in The Lawyer’s annual look at the largest and most important cases to come before the courts in the year ahead.

Due to commence in mid-November before the Commercial Court for four weeks, the case is the largest forthcoming aggregation dispute that concerns solicitors’ professional indemnity insurance and mortgage fraud.

The Lawyer comments:

“The dispute was sparked by the activities of Willmett conveyancing partner Jonathan Gilbert. The Berkshire-based lawyer was involved in a number of fraudulent property transactions that came to light during the 2008 financial crash.

The firm was landed with a series of claims from various lenders, including lender Godiva. Judgments and claims against the firm currently stand at around £45m. The firms’ insurers Travellers and RSA, however, have capped cover at £10m because the claims all arise as a result of Gilbert’s actions.

The result is that Willmett is now in liquidation and has no funds left to pay the claims. Willmetts’ partners who were not indicated in the fraud, or who had retired before the fraud was uncovered, have in most cases been made bankrupt or have entered into individual voluntary arrangements (IVAs); and the remainder are on the verge of bankruptcy.

The Law Society has been joined to the action as an intervenor in both its representative capacity for the profession and in its regulatory capacity as the SRA.

This is likely to become the case law precedent on various major, current and recurring aggregation issues and so is exceptionally high profile. The Law Society and SRA have intervened, with the potential for significant market impact for insurers, insureds, the Law Society and the SRA.”

To read the article in full online at The Lawyer, click here.

John Brennan’s profile can be viewed by clicking here.

St Philips Commercial is delighted to announce that John Randall QC has been included in the inaugural edition of "The Chambers 100 UK Bar".

The newly launched list of the top 100 QCs at the UK Bar looks at all of those silks ranked in Bands One or Two, or as 'Star Individuals' in a key area of law in The Chambers UK Bar Guide. From these a shortlist of 200 was produced and published. After further investigation by the researchers, this was narrowed down to produce a final list, ranking the top 100 QCs out of over 1500 silks practising at the Bar of England and Wales.

As one of only six QCs based outside London to be included in the list, his inclusion is recognition of the high regard in which John is held by both his clients and colleagues.

The Chambers 100 UK bar writes: ‘John Randall QC is recognised as a leading authority on chancery law, commercial dispute resolution, professional negligence, partnerships and real estate litigation. Commentators regard him as a practitioner who “consistently delivers at the highest level” and has the ability to “deliver highly relevant commercial legal advice in a way that the client understands”.’


In December 2013 John was also named UK Barrister of the Year by Acquisition International, who said that whilst recognising “his work in the field of commercial law, property & professional negligence, this award reflects his work has a whole”.

The awards recognise the outstanding achievements of individuals and companies within the legal sector over the last 12 months, encompassing everything from barristers and boutique firms to global players, the awards are given solely on merit and, crucially, are nominated by their clients and peers. To learn more about the winners please visit the AI website where you can access the winners supplement.

To view John's General Profile, please click here.


Tuesday, 07 January 2014 00:00

Masters v Furber [2013] EWHC 3023 (Ch).

Decision of HHJ Purle QC that a supervisor of an IVA could, relying in part on a Power of Attorney in his favour, obtain a mandatory injunction requiring the debtor to comply with the terms of the arrangement in relation to the realisation of certain motor vehicles for the benefit of creditors as a whole.

Reported at

30th August 2013

James Morgan.

Monday, 06 January 2014 16:17

Re Clenaware Systems Ltd [2013] EWHC (Ch).

Decision of HHJ Barker QC as to the principles to be applied on an application for permission to act under sections 1A and 17 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986. James Morgan and Matthew Weaver were instructed by the Secretary of State.  

Link here:

9th August 2013

James Morgan.

Monday, 06 January 2014 16:15

Re Casa Estates Ltd [2013] EWHC 2371 (Ch).

Decision of Mr Justice Warren in the context of an office-holder claim as to the meaning and effect of the "balance sheet" insolvency test in s.123(2) of the Insolvency Act 1986 following the decision of the Supreme Court in Eurosail. Currently subject to a second appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Link here:

31st July 2013

James Morgan.

Decision of HHJ Pelling QC as to whether a bare right to appeal was "property" within the meaning of the Insolvency Act 1986 in the context of an application by liquidator for directions as to whether he should assign the right to conduct a tax appeal to the directors of the company.

Link here:

4th June 2013

James Morgan.

Ed Pepperall QC comments on this morning’s judgment from the Court of Appeal.

Unless you’re Peter Perfect, it’s time to check your insurance policy very carefully because the Court of Appeal has just dismissed Andrew Mitchell MP’s appeal in the CPR case of the year.

As is well known, Mr Mitchell failed to lodge his costs budget at least 7 days before the first CMC in his defamation claim against The Sun. In the first serious flexing of judicial muscles post-Jackson, Master McCloud ordered that he be treated as having filed a costs budget limited only to court fees. At a later hearing she refused to allow relief from sanctions despite the desperately tight timetable in that case.

While it is true that the 18th implementation lecture was hard hitting on the question of default, Sir Rupert Jackson never recommended zero tolerance. His reforms have always been about shifting the culture and the courts being “less tolerant” of default. Some of us will therefore have hoped for a different result.

That said, the Court of Appeal does not interfere with case management decisions unless they are outwith the generous ambit of discretion given to judges.

Furthermore there had been much criticism in the run up to Jackson at the role of the Court of Appeal in undermining the Woolf reforms, perhaps no more so than in Lord Woolf’s own judgment in Biguzzi v. Rank Leisure. Sir Rupert stressed the importance of the Court upholding robust but fair case management decisions if his reforms were to effect a change of culture.

In Mitchell, their lordships were honest enough to admit that their decision had more to do with the need to change the culture of litigation than with the justice of Mr Mitchell’s own case. Ultimately they held their noses and dismissed the MP’s appeal.


To read the full judgment click here