Summary

 

Duncan’s practice includes (in alphabetical order): 

Banking - Chancery – Charities - Commercial - Company - Fraud - Human Rights - Insolvency - Probate – Property - Professional Negligence

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. 

Recent/current clients in 2018 include: 

 

An individual based in Portugal defending an international fraud claim of $540m; a banker defending an international fraud claim in the Isle of Man of £20-50m; a currency exchange pursuing a fraud claim of £1.4m; a Panamanian company pursuing an international fraud claim of £1.8m.  All subject to freezing injunctions.  An appeal setting aside judgment because it was obtained by perjury.

 

Opposing a mortgage claim where solicitors stole the purchase monies.  Partnership dispute regarding ownership of new student accommodation.  Unpicking a settlement regarding a dentists’ partnership.  Photocopier supplier claiming damages for breach of contract by an academic institution.

 

A father making a debt and coownership claim against his former daughter-in-law.  An uncle claiming in constructive trust & proprietary estoppel against his nephew arising from incomplete probate.  A dispute arising from the death of a business partner.  A Disappointed beneficiary challenging his father’s will that left all to his aunt.  Elderly victims of fraud claiming against their former solicitors.

 

A bankrupt claiming damages for the sale of valuable tools of his specialist trade.  A bankrupt reversing the bankruptcy order because the underlying judgment was a miscarriage of justice.  Another because HMRC obtained the order in breach of agreement.  Acting for a liquidator tracing company assets.

 

Advising charities on how to structure the purchase of property for a religious school.  Representing church to obtain relief from forfeiture.

Associations

 

Chancery Bar Association

Franco-British Lawyers Society

Human Rights Lawyers Association

Bar Pro Bono Unit (reviewer)

COMBAR 

 

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. 
 

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)

 

Professional negligence: claims against solicitors, accountants and financial professionals.

Skills & Interest

 

French (fluent)

Bar Choral Society

 

Education

MA (Oxon) - Jurisprudence

Selected Reported Cases

 

The Republic of Angola & Anor v Perfectbit Ltd & Ors [2018] EWHC 965 (Comm) .  Application to discharge a $540m freezing injunction on the grounds of non-disclosure. 

 

Gresport Finance Ltd v Battaglia [2018] EWCA Civ 540 (23 March 2018).  Appeal on liability and limitation regarding a substantial fraud by an offshore wealth manager.

 

Bishop v Chhokar (CA) (15 November 2017).  Appeal to set aside judgment on the grounds of perjury by the Defendant. 

 

Birdi & Anor v Price & Anor [2017] EWHC 1859 (Ch) (20 July 2017).   Application to strike out a claim against a trustee-in-bankruptcy for selling valuable tools of the bankrupt’s trade as ‘the Ferrari flying doctor’.

 

Hira v Kanzai Securities Limited [2017] EWHC 2213 (Ch).   Bankruptcy.  Whether a guarantee sounds in debt or damages. 

 

Ahmed & Anor v Ali Khalifa [2017] EWHC 1198 (Comm) (23 May 2017).   Challenge to jurisdiction by a Bahraini sheikh relating to a claim for agents fees for introducing Bollywood stars.

 

Thornton & Ors v Woodhouse & Anor [2017] EWHC 769 (Ch) (10 April 2017).  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 [2016] EWHC 1457 (QB).  Procedure: CPR 39.3(5); Article 6 ECHR. The test for setting aside judgment after non-attendance at trial.  

Khosravi v British American Tobacco PLC & Ors [2016] EWHC 123 (QB) (28 January 2016).   Application to extend time to serve proceedings in an unusual claim for kidnapping and assault in Dubai.

 

Touton Far East v Shri Lal Mahal [2016] 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 [2014] EWHC 2299 (Ch) (15 July 2014).  Charity.  7-day, 3-party trial concerning the election of the management committee of a religious organisation.

Farsheshani v Versani [2014] 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 [2014] 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 & Anor [2013] EWHC 2497 (Ch) (10 June 2013).  Guarantee.  Appeal against summary judgment.

Rai & Ors v The Charity Commission for England and Wales [2012] EWHC 1111 (Ch) (01 May 2012). Chancery. Leading case on when the court will permit a party to continue charity proceedings. 

Relfo Ltd v Jadvavarsani [2012] EWHC 2168 (Ch) (27 July 2012). Fraud.  7-day trial of a complex fraud and tracing claim involving 4 jurisdictions.  Led a junior in chambers.

Taylor v Lambert & Anor [2012] EWCA Civ 3 (18 January 2012). Chancery. Appeal regarding a boundary dispute.  Pro Bono.
 

Christie Owen & Davies Plc v Raobgle Trust Corporation [2011] EWCA Civ 1151 (13 October 2011). Commercial. Successful appeal against the trial judge's finding of primary fact. 

Re Salt & Evans [2011] EWHC 2105 (Ch). Bankruptcy. Whether a guarantee sounds in debt or damages. 

Sharafi & Anor v Woven Rugs Ltd & Ors [2010] EWHC 230 (Ch) (24 February 2010). Companies. Complex trial of a petition for relief against unfair prejudice of a minority shareholder. 

Truex v Toll [2009] EWHC 396 (Ch) (06 March 2009). Insolvency. A solicitor may not present a petition based on his bill unless it has been rendered liquidated by detailed assessment or judgment. 

British Sky Broadcasting Plc v Sky Home Services Ltd [2008] EWCA Civ 1101 (03 July 2008). Procedure. Successful appeal on the apportionment of costs

Brown v Rice & Anor [2007] EWHC 625 (Ch) (14 March 2007); (2008) FSR 3. Procedure. Successful application to enforce mediation privilege in respect of a suggested settlement. 

Holtham v Kelmanson [2006] EWHC 2588 (Ch) (24 October 2006); (2006) NPC 112. Insolvency; Human Rights. The effect of Article 6 on deferred completion of a bankruptcy. 

Zaman v Zoha (CA) [2006] EWCA Civ 770. Partnership; mortgages. Status of a mortgage where partner paid underlying debt.

National Westminster Bank Plc v Malhan & Ors [2004] EWHC 847 (Ch) (22 April 2004); [2004] All ER (D) 196. Mortgages – s. 2 LPA 1925; Human Rights – Article 8 ECHR. Overriding interests and two trustees. 

Mirzai v Zucker [2004] All ER (D) 31. Wills; professional negligence. Whether a solicitor had been instructed to destroy a will. 

Maloney v St. George [2004] All ER (D) 184. Bankruptcy. The effects on a debt of a compromise. 

Re Crown Packaging Services Ltd [2004] EWHC 3147 (Ch). Insolvency. Winding up petition succeeds in obtaining payment. 

National Westminster Bank v Patel [2004] All ER (D) 429. Mortgages; estoppel; evidence. Enforcement of “all monies” charge refused for default on a later loan. 

Forder v Forder; Swindale [2003] 1 FLR 911. Ancillary relief; partnership; trusts. Intervener entitled to 1/3 of H’s property. 

Coppard v Customs and Excise [2003] EWCA Civ 511 (09 April 2003); (CA) [2003] QB 1428; [2003] 2 WLR 1618; [2003] 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 & Anor [2003] EWCA Civ 714 (21 May 2003) (CA) [2003] BPIR 1373. Bankruptcy. Valuation of security by petitioning creditor. 

Re Ringinfo Ltd [2002] 1 BCLC 210. Insolvency. Winding up petition should not be restrained by spurious cross-claim. 

Jackson v Bell & Anor [2001] EWCA Civ 387 (15 March 2001); (CA) BPIR [2001] 612; [2001] 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 [2001] BPIR 909. Bankruptcy – R 6.06, IR ’86. Grounds for granting leave to present 2nd petition. 

Ladjadj & Anor v Bank Of Scotland [2000] EWCA Civ 21 (28 January 2000); (CA) [2000] 2 All E.R. (Comm) 583. Mortgage.  Possession order refused when miscalculation of interest prevents AJA application.

 

R v Cole (CA) [1998] 2 BCLC 234; [1998] BCC 87. Insolvency – s. 216(4) IA ’86.  Liability for running “phoenix” company is strict.

 

Re a Debtor (68/SD/97) [1998] 4 All ER 779; [1999] BPIR 352. Bankruptcy; Legal Aid. Assisted party is trustee for debt due to Legal Aid Board.

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