Duncan’s practice includes (in alphabetical order):
Banking - Chancery – Charities - Commercial - Company - Financial Services -Fraud - related Human Rights - Insolvency - Partnership - Probate - Property - Professional Negligence (solicitors)
Duncan advises and represents banks, charities, clubs, companies, partnerships and individuals in areas ranging from family quarrels to international multi-million pound trade disputes. Duncan is known for his client-focused approach to finding the best practical & cost-effective result available against a complex legal and factual background. He is a fearless advocate before any tribunal, able to turn his hand equally to an urgent freezing injunction as to a complex trial or appeal.
Duncan regularly acts as lead or sole Counsel in claims of over £10m (some over £500m) but gives the same attention to disputes of all sizes.
Recent/current clients include:
A number of substantial actions for fraudulent misrepresentation on behalf of both claimants (including one group action) and defendants (including one multi-jurisdiction action). A related claim in respect of a collective investment scheme.
A claim against RBS for negligent misselling of swaps and unlawful means conspiracy. Opposing ancillary worldwide freezing orders in aid of enforcement.
A contested winding up petition on the just & equitable basis. Advice relating potential unfair prejudice petitions.
Actions for specific performance of contracts of sale, for both claimants and defendants. Defending landlord’s multiple claims to possession of a church. Advising on the conditions of purchase of an historic farming estate.
Advising pubs on tenancies, renewals, and the Pubs Code. Successfully defending an appeal against a arbitration award.
Claims against solicitors for negligently advising and conducting substantial fraud and trust litigation, for badly redrafting Articles of Association, and for failing to prevent a transaction caused by undue influence. Advising solicitors regarding their liability for the fraud of former partners.
Proving at trial an home-made will found ten years after the death of the testator. Settling at trial a case on mental capacity. Advising on claims against personal representatives.
Chancery Bar Association
Franco-British Lawyers Society
Human Rights Lawyers Association
Bar Pro Bono Unit (reviewer)
2010 - present
2010 - present
Practice Areas (in alphabetical order)
Banking: securities; guarantees; mortgages; debentures; factoring; invoice discounting.
Chancery: informal trusts; undue influence; general Chancery not identified elsewhere
Charities: charitable property; disputes within and against religious and other charitable bodies
Commercial: general commercial; agency; partnership; international trade. Freezing injunctions and other urgent remedies. Pubs Code.
Company: meetings; minority interests; directors’ duties; derivative actions
Fraud: conversion; wrongful interference; breach of trust; tracing; knowing receipt; inconsistent dealing; dishonest assistance; restitution. Freezing injunctions and other urgent remedies.
Human Rights: Articles 6 - fair trial; Article 8 - right to a home; Article 1 to Protocol 1 - right to property.
Insolvency: company insolvency; receivers and administrators; bankruptcy; directors’ disqualification
Probate & trust: contested probate; Inheritance Act; claims against personal representatives or trustees; applications to replace personal representatives or trustees.
Property: conveyancing; land registration; rights of way and other easements; proprietary estoppel; adverse possession; landlord & tenant (commercial & residential) including pubs.
Professional negligence: claims against solicitors, accountants and financial professionals.
Skills & Interest
Bar Choral Society
MA (Oxon) - Jurisprudence
Selected Reported Cases
London Borough of Barking & Dagenham v Omokudu  EWHC 2620 (Ch). Appeal against declaration that a church had obtained relief from forfeiture.
EI Group v Clarke  EWHC 1858 (Ch). Appeal by PubCo against award by arbitrator under the Pubs Code. Terms of ‘Free of Tie’ offer.
Re Brunt (deceased); Wrangle v Brunt  EWHC 1784 (Ch). Proving home-made will found ten years after the death of the testator. Fraud; knowledge & approval.
The New York Laser Clinic Ltd v Naturastudios Ltd  EWHC 560 (QB). Setting aside post-judgment worldwide freezing order for substantial failure to disclose. Appeal pending.
Birdi v Price  EWHC 2943 (Ch).  3 All ER 250;  BPIR 306;  Bus LR 489. Claim against trustee in bankruptcy for selling tools of the trade. Consequences of discharge of trustee.
The Republic of Angola v Perfectbit Ltd  EWHC 965 (Comm). Application to discharge a $540m freezing injunction on the grounds of non-disclosure.
Gresport Finance Ltd v Battaglia  EWCA Civ 540. Appeal on liability and limitation regarding a substantial fraud by an offshore wealth manager.
Bishop v Chhokar  EWCA Civ 2717. Appeal to set aside judgment on the grounds of perjury by the Defendant.
Hira v Kanzai Securities Limited  EWHC 2213 (Ch). Bankruptcy. Whether a guarantee sounds in debt or damages.
Ahmed & Anor v Ali Khalifa  EWHC 1198 (Comm). Challenge to jurisdiction by a Bahraini sheikh relating to a claim for agents fees for introducing Bollywood stars.
Thornton v Woodhouse  EWHC 769 (Ch). 10-day trial formally to prove a complex will against the comprehensive opposition of the daughter of the testator.
Blake-Coulter v Anne Alexander Hotels  EWHC 1457 (QB). The test for setting aside judgment after non-attendance at trial.
Khosravi v British American Tobacco PLC  EWHC 123 (QB). Application to extend time to serve proceedings in a claim for kidnapping and assault in Dubai.
Touton Far East v Shri Lal Mahal  EWHC 1765 (Comm). Conflict of laws. Appropriate terms of a post-judgment Freezing Order against an Indian company. US$6.5 million claim.
Re Guidezone; Kaneria v Kaneria (30.07.15; LTL AC0147346). Company. 21-day, 3-party trial of an unfair prejudice petition. Included issues of contract, trust and equity. Claim of £5-10 million.
Rai & Ors v Ahir & Ors  EWHC 2299 (Ch). Charity. 7-day, 3-party trial concerning the election of the management committee of a religious organisation.
Farsheshani v Versani  EWHC 1966 (Ch). Chancery. 5-day trial of probate/property dispute involving undue inflence, contractual construction and section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989
Citicorp International Ltd v Shiv-Vani Oil & Gas Exploration Services Ltd  EWHC 245 (Comm). Conflict of laws. Whether the bank could simultaneously pursue claims in India and England. US$ 85 million claim.
Redstone Mortgages Ltd v Wiemer  EWHC 2497 (Ch). Guarantee. Appeal against summary judgment.
Rai v The Charity Commission for England and Wales  EWHC 1111 (Ch). Charities. Leading case on when the court will permit a party to continue charity proceedings.
Relfo Ltd v Jadvavarsani  EWHC 2168 (Ch). Fraud. 7-day trial of a complex fraud and tracing claim involving 4 jurisdictions. Led a junior in chambers.
Taylor v Lambert  EWCA Civ 3. Chancery. Appeal regarding a boundary dispute. Pro Bono.
Christie Owen & Davies Plc v Raobgle Trust Corporation  EWCA Civ 1151. Commercial. Successful appeal against the trial judge's finding of primary fact.
Re Salt & Evans  EWHC 2105 (Ch). Bankruptcy. Whether a guarantee sounds in debt or damages.
Sharafi & Anor v Woven Rugs Ltd  EWHC 230 (Ch). Companies. Complex trial of a petition for relief against unfair prejudice of a minority shareholder.
British Sky Broadcasting Plc v Sky Home Services Ltd  EWCA Civ 1101. Costs. Successful appeal on the apportionment of costs
Brown v Rice  EWHC 625 (Ch); (2008) FSR 3. Procedure. The first case about mediation privilege.
Holtham v Kelmanson  EWHC 2588 (Ch) (2006) NPC 112. Bankruptcy. The effect of Article 6 on delayed completion of a bankruptcy.
Zaman v Zoha  EWCA Civ 770. Partnership; mortgages. Status of a mortgage where partner paid underlying debt.
National Westminster Bank Plc v Malhan  EWHC 847 (Ch);  All ER (D) 196. Mortgages – s. 2 LPA 1925; Human Rights – Article 8 ECHR. Overriding interests and two trustees.
Mirzai v Zucker  All ER (D) 31. Wills; professional negligence. Whether a solicitor had been instructed to destroy a will.
Maloney v St. George  All ER (D) 184. Bankruptcy. The effects on a debt of a compromise.
Re Crown Packaging Services Ltd  EWHC 3147 (Ch). Insolvency. Winding up petition succeeds in obtaining payment.
National Westminster Bank v Patel  All ER (D) 429. Mortgages; estoppel; evidence. Enforcement of “all monies” charge refused for default on a later loan.
Forder v Forder; Swindale  1 FLR 911. Ancillary relief; partnership; trusts. Intervener entitled to 1/3 of H’s property.
Coppard v Customs and Excise  EWCA Civ 511  QB 1428;  2 WLR 1618;  3 ALL ER 351. Procedure; Human Rights. The Common Law rules as to de facto judges and how they are affected by Art 6 ECHR.
Owo-Samson v Barclays Bank Plc  EWCA Civ 714  BPIR 1373. Bankruptcy. Valuation of security by petitioning creditor.
Re Ringinfo Ltd  1 BCLC 210. Insolvency. Winding up petition should not be restrained by spurious cross-claim.
Jackson v Bell & Anor  EWCA Civ 387 (15 March 2001); (CA) BPIR  612;  Fam Law 879. Bankruptcy; Art. 8 ECHR; ancillary relief. Whether a property adjustment order by consent is a preference or transfer at undervalue. Whether a claim against former solicitors constitutes exceptional grounds to delay sale of bankrupt’s property.
Gordon v Omgate  BPIR 909. Bankruptcy – R 6.06, IR ’86. Grounds for granting leave to present 2nd petition.
Ladjadj v Bank Of Scotland  EWCA Civ 21; (CA)  2 All E.R. (Comm) 583. Mortgage. Possession order refused when miscalculation of interest prevents AJA application.
R v Cole (CA)  2 BCLC 234;  BCC 87. Insolvency – s. 216(4) IA ’86. Liability for running “phoenix” company is strict.
Re a Debtor (68/SD/97)  4 All ER 779;  BPIR 352. Bankruptcy; Legal Aid. Assisted party is trustee for debt due to Legal Aid Board.