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.
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.
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
Bar Choral Society
MA (Oxon) - Jurisprudence
Selected Reported Cases
The Republic of Angola & Anor v Perfectbit Ltd & Ors  EWHC 965 (Comm) . Application to discharge a $540m freezing injunction on the grounds of non-disclosure.
Gresport Finance Ltd v Battaglia  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  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  EWHC 2213 (Ch). Bankruptcy. Whether a guarantee sounds in debt or damages.
Ahmed & Anor v Ali Khalifa  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  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  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  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  EWHC 1765 (Comm). Conflict of laws. Appropriate terms of a post-judgment Freezing Order against an Indian company. US$6.5 million claim.
Re Guidezone; Kaneria v Kaneria (30.07.15; LTL AC0147346). Company. 21-day, 3-party trial of an unfair prejudice petition. Included issues of contract, trust and equity. Claim of £5-10 million.
Rai & Ors v Ahir & Ors  EWHC 2299 (Ch) (15 July 2014). Charity. 7-day, 3-party trial concerning the election of the management committee of a religious organisation.
Farsheshani v Versani  EWHC 1966 (Ch). Chancery. 5-day trial of probate/property dispute involving undue inflence, contractual construction and section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989
Citicorp International Ltd v Shiv -Vani Oil & Gas Exploration Services Ltd  EWHC 245 (Comm). Conflict of laws. Whether the bank could simultaneously pursue claims in India and England. US$ 85 million claim.
Redstone Mortgages Ltd v Wiemer & Anor  EWHC 2497 (Ch) (10 June 2013). Guarantee. Appeal against summary judgment.
Rai & Ors v The Charity Commission for England and Wales  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  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  EWCA Civ 3 (18 January 2012). Chancery. Appeal regarding a boundary dispute. Pro Bono.
Christie Owen & Davies Plc v Raobgle Trust Corporation  EWCA Civ 1151 (13 October 2011). 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 & Ors  EWHC 230 (Ch) (24 February 2010). Companies. Complex trial of a petition for relief against unfair prejudice of a minority shareholder.
Truex v Toll  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  EWCA Civ 1101 (03 July 2008). Procedure. Successful appeal on the apportionment of costs
Brown v Rice & Anor  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  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)  EWCA Civ 770. Partnership; mortgages. Status of a mortgage where partner paid underlying debt.
National Westminster Bank Plc v Malhan & Ors  EWHC 847 (Ch) (22 April 2004);  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 (09 April 2003); (CA)  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 & Anor  EWCA Civ 714 (21 May 2003) (CA)  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 & Anor v Bank Of Scotland  EWCA Civ 21 (28 January 2000); (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.