Alongside his work in the area of professional liability, this is Michael’s main area of expertise with most of Michael’s work taking place in the Chancery Division in the Royal Courts of Justice or in Chancery District Registries. Michael’s practice can genuinely be described as spanning both the commercial, in the form of internal business disputes between shareholders, directors and partners, lending and insolvency, and the more traditional chancery areas of practice such as property, wills and trusts. Michael is often called upon to pursue equitable remedies such as injunctions, declaratory relief, rectification or subrogation.
Michael’s areas of practice in this field are principally the following:
- Internal Business Disputes Michael has acted in numerous minority shareholder petitions and claims against directors for breach of their fiduciary duty as well as partnership disputes. Michael also advises on company law.
- Lending/Insolvency Michael regularly acts for lending institutions, and on occasion for borrowers, in relation to the enforcement of charges and guarantees. Such work gives rise to a broad range of issues such as the avoidance of charges for forgery, undue influence and incapacity, subrogation, priorities between charges and between charges and other interests in land, overriding interests, land registration practice and procedure. Michael also acts and advises in relation to both personal and corporate insolvency and in particular claims setting aside prior transactions.
- Property Michael advises and acts in a wide range of disputes concerning real property such as contracts for the sale of land, options and overage agreements, easements, restrictive covenants, land registration and adverse possession. Michael has also acted in many co-ownership disputes and cases of proprietary estoppel. Michael also acts in relation to all aspects of landlord and tenant and has recently been advising in a number of claims relating to leasehold enfranchisement, forfeiture and the interpretation of rent review provisions.
- Trusts Whether advising in relation to the interpretation of strict settlements or invoking trust principles in relation to commercial litigation, Michael is well-versed in all aspects of trusts. He regularly acts and advises in claims both for and against trustees for breach of trust, the removal and replacement of trustees and in relation to proprietary claims, tracing, accessory liability and constructive trusts in relation to civil fraud and breach of trust claims. Michael also acts in beneficial co-ownership disputes.
- Wills and Probate Michael frequently advises personal representative and beneficiaries in relation to the interpretation of testamentary documents and other matters arising in the administration of estates. He also acts in claims regarding the validity and rectification of wills as well as in inheritance act claims.
- Equitable Remedies Whether preserving the position pending trial or as substantive relief in its own right, Michael has experience of obtaining injunctions and freezing orders and claims for rectification or declarations supporting a right of subrogation.
- Chancery related Professional Liability Through Michael’s specialism in commercial chancery practice, he has developed a significant practice in related professional liability claims. Michael’s familiarity with the underlying areas of practice enables him to deal effectively and knowledgeably with claims arising out of property or financial transactions or private client matters. He has substantial experience in dealing with claims against solicitors, both in their capacity as legal advisers but also in their fiduciary and representative capacity, and against financial advisers and accountants.