Carl is a commercial litigator with particular expertise and experience in disputes involving insurance, professional liability, classic and super cars (including motorsports), property damage and costs.   He is also a formally accredited mediator and acts as an arbitrator.

Carl is recommended as a leading junior in the fields of both insurance and professional negligence by Chambers & Partners 2017 having been described in the following terms:

go-to junior for professional indemnity
super-intelligent with great interpersonal skills
very user-friendly and good on tactics
Gives good robust advice, sticks to his guns, and is very thorough and very helpful
He’s extremely approachable and a very charming individual who has a good touch with clients
tremendous experience dealing with property-related professional negligence matters
He is very good at drafting and very good on his feet”

Carl is also ranked in the 2016 Legal 500 and has been described as:

outstanding
an accomplished advocate

Carl provides a service of the very highest quality and practical commercial solutions to even the most difficult or intractable of problems.   He is always customer focused, user-friendly and responsive with a keen grasp of all relevant detail.

Carl read law before finishing sixth on the Bar Vocational Course at the Inns of Court School of Law winning the Stephen Seabrooke Memorial Prize, the Everard Ver Heyden Foundation Prize and the Buchanan Prize as well as being awarded the Wolfson Scholarship by Lincoln’s Inn. Before joining chambers in 2003 Carl taught law to undergraduates at the University of Reading.

Areas of Expertise

Professional Liability
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A prominant part of Carl’s practice sees him advise and act in claims for and against a wide range of professionals, including solicitors, accountants, barristers, surveyors and valuers, insurance brokers, architects, engineers and financial advisers.

Lawyers

Carl has extensive expertise in dealing with claims against solicitors and barristers across a broad range of areas from conveyancing to family law, from crime to corporate transactions and lost litigation.   Examples are as follows:

  1. Numerous claims against solicitors and barristers in relation to failed litigation of all types:
    1. For example:
      1. Commercial litigation.
      2. Claims against other professionals.
      3. Real and and intellectual property disputes.
      4. Personal injury claims.
      5. Contested probate.
      6. Actions against the police.
      7. Unfair prejudice petitions.
    2. A wide range of issues arise including:
      1. Missed limitation periods.
      2. Inadequate advice on merits, procedure, strategy and costs risks.
      3. Failures to comply with unless orders.
      4. Failures to make applications.
      5. Failures to comply with ATE and BTE policies.
      6. Omissions to adduce factual and expert evidence.
      7. Delay.
      8. Failures to follow instructions.
      9. Failures to obtain instructions.
      10. Acting contrary to instructions.
      11. Reliance upon counsel.
  2. Numerous claims against solicitors and licenced conveyancers in relation to commercial and residential conveyancing involving issues such as:
    1. Identity fraud.
    2. Breach of trust.
    3. Breach of fiduciary duty.
    4. Breach of warranty of authority.
    5. Planning permission.
    6. Building regulations approval.
    7. Structural defects.
    8. Rights of way and other easements.
    9. Boundary disputes.
    10. Defective searches.
    11. Ransom strips.
    12. Title defects.
    13. Overage clauses.
  3. Numerous claims, often of very high value, against solicitors arising out of corporate transactions relating to matters such as:
    1. The drafting of sale, loan and guarantee documentation.
    2. Warranties.
    3. Financial assistance.
    4. Share transfers.
    5. Bankruptcy and insolvency.
    6. Tax computation and planning.
    7. Crporate governance.
  4. Various fraud claims against solicitors by their own professional indemnity insurers for recoupment of money paid out by those insurers to third parties making claims against the solicitors.
  5. Numerous disputes growing out of will, probate and trust transactions, including claims based uponWhite v Jones [1995] 2 AC 207.
  6. Numerous claims (including allegations of dishonesty) against many solicitors (and surveyors) arising out of mortgage fraud.
  7. Acting for the successful firm of solicitors and their insurers in the case of Green v Eadie [2012] Ch 363 concerning the accrual of causes of action arising from a voidable contract.   Carl is regularly instructed in cases involving complex issues of limitation.
  8. Claims against solicitors in respect of criminal convictions.
  9. Complex litigation involving many firms of solicitors stemming from the collapse of the Composite Legal Expenses after-the-event insurance scheme and a number of other claims arising out the collapse of litigation funding insurance schemes, including The Accident Group. Carl has acted for both professionals and insurers.
  10. Lopes v Howard Kennedy, a substantial claim in the Commercial Court against a firm of solicitors and a barrister stemming from the demise of significant commercial litigation.
  11. Numerous wasted costs applications in a wide range of courts.

Carl also has experience acting and advising in relation to the financial and professional conduct of lawyers including matters such as the operation of the solicitors’ accounts rules and the exercise of liens.

Accountants

In relation to claims against accountants, Carl has substantial experience of high value claims in the Commercial Court and other courts growing out of the provision of auditing services and taxation advice to both companies and individuals.   For example he:

  1. Was instructed for the defendant accountants in a case where a former partner in the firm was accused of colluding with a dishonest employee in the company audited by the firm.
  2. Has extensive experience of claims based upon the failure of complex tax schemes including film finance schemes.
  3. Is instructed in a claim against accountants where they gave erroneous advice regarding the withdrawal of funds from a company with the result that unnecessary tax was paid.
  4. Is instructed by insurers in relation to coverage under a D&O policy where the company (and investors) have suffered multi-million pound losses arising out of the way the business was operated which, arguably, two of the big four should have spotted when advising the company.
  5. Has been instructed by another of the big four in relation to a potential claim arising out of insolvency proceedings in foreign jurisdictions in which one of their former clients was involved.
Construction and Other Professionals

Carl has extensive experience of a wide range of claims against surveyors, especially in relation to overvaluation allegations whether by mortgage lenders or others concerning both residential and commercial property. Carl regularly acts for both claimants and defendants and is often instructed in large claims involving dozens or scores of linked property valuations which can also give rise to professional indemnity insurance issues. Carl was instructed in Barclays Private Clients International Limited v Savills Finance Limited which was such a case.

Carl is regularly instructed in claims against engineers of various different specialisms including structural and geo-technical engineers and has acted in a number of substantial claims following the discovery of extensive problems on large estates and other construction projects.

Carl has experience of a number of claims against architects, especially involving the provision of design and construction supervision services.

Carl often acts in claims against financial services professionals for claimants and defendants and is regularly instructed in claims involving allegations of mis-selling, failures to advise and failures to recommend and review suitable investment portfolios.   Carl was recently instructed in relation to a multi-million pound dispute against nationally known wealth managers arising out of advice concerning a short term investment in a film.   The case focused upon allegations of misrepresentation against the wealth managers and included a claim over by the wealth managers against solicitors involved in the transaction.   Other claims in which Carl has been retained have arisen out of mortgages, pension schemes and onshore and offshore tax schemes. Carl has particular expertise and experience in the law of limitation relating to claims against financial services professionals.

Carl is frequently retained in claims against insurance brokers concerning matters such advice upon limits of indemnity, exclusion clauses, average and the extent of business interruption cover.   This aspect of Carl’s practice often overlaps with his insurance coverage work.

Carl has recently been instructed in a number of cases involving claims against expert witnesses, including a single joint expert, following the decision of the Supreme Court in Jones v Kaney [2011] 2 AC 398 removing their immunity.

Commercial Dispute Resolution
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Commercial litigation is and always has been the core of Carl’s practice.   It embraces not only the specific areas of insurance, professional liability, classic and super cars and property damage listed separately but also includes cases involving banking and finance, civil fraud, corporate collapse, credit agreements, bailment, agriculture, product liability and, more generally, the sale of goods and the supply of services (and associated costs matters).   Examples of such cases are:

  • Cross border insolvency litigation arising out of:
    • The collapse of Kaupthing hf.
    • The bankruptcy of Nortel.
  • Litigation in foreign jurisdictions involving letters of request (letters rogatory).
  • Claims arising out of interest rate swaps.
  • Various cases involving applications for interim injunctions both with and without notice in a wide variety of different contexts.
  • A dispute arising out of corporate fraud of over a hundred million US dollars.
  • A claim arising out of the collapse of a plc as a result of alleged fraud on the part of directors.
  • A dispute concerning the rights of a former CEO of one of the UK’s largest companies against their erstwhile employer.
  • The quality and fitness for purpose of products as diverse as amino acids, a Range Rover and corrosion test chambers.
  • Agricultural disputes involving:
    • Copper toxicity in dairy cattle.
    • Defective seed drilling.
    • The escape of slurry over a pheasant farm.
  • Substantial claims for business interruption and material damage losses arising out of the explosion at the Buncefield Oil Storage Depot.
  • Townends Group plc v Cobb [2004] EWHC 3432 (Ch), a case involving an application for an interim injunction arising out of a dispute over confidentiality and contractual clauses in restraint of trade.
Insurance & Reinsurance
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Carl has considerable experience in insurance law, particularly in relation to policy construction, coverage, the minimum terms of professional bodies, misrepresentation and non-disclosure.

Carl acted for the successful insurers in Sharon’s Bakery (Europe) Ltd v (1) Axa Insurance UK plc (2) Aviva Insurance Ltd [2011] EWHC 210 Comm, a trial in the Commercial Court which concerned non-disclosure to insurers of prior dishonesty regarding a third party financial institution and the employment by the insured of fraudulent means and devices.

Carl has been instructed in a number of cases involving internet gaming.   He represented the successful party in Venturi v Eurobet UK Ltd (2012 HC unreported) and was retained in multi-million pound litigation in the Commercial Court involving a dispute over a policy of prize indemnity insurance relating to a win on the German Lotto. The case involved a number of issues, including foreign law, coverage, misrepresentation and non-disclosure.

Carl is presently instructed of behalf of insurers in a number of high value cases in the Commercial and Mercantile Courts involving questions of non-disclosure, misrepresentation and policy coverage.

Carl has recently been instructed in a number of coverage disputes between professional indemnity insurers.

Carl also acts and advises in disputes between professional indemnity insurers and their insureds.

Carl is also retained in a number of disputes between insurers and insurance brokers arising out of delegated authority schemes.

He was seconded for several months to the insurance and reinsurance team at Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP. Carl has also acted and advised in professional indemnity insurance arbitrations.

Sports Law
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Carl specialises in disputes relating to motorsports and regularly acts in cases involving circuit racing, rallying, karting and hill climbs.

He has extensive experience in relation to matters before the Motor Sports Council National Court including enquiries, appeals and disciplinary hearings. Carl has acted for the Royal Automobile Club Motor Sports Association.   Recent cases have included the following issues:

  • The safety and the adequacy of communications at a rally.
  • Unauthorised access on to a circuit during a live race.
  • Whether a circuit race was started in unsafe conditions.
  • Compliance with technical engine specifications.
  • The accuracy of information provided to competitors by an organising club.
  • The organisation of a motorsports event without permission from the MSA.
  • Whether penalties were imposed in a fair matter by a clerk of a course and stewards.
  • Speeding in the paddock.
  • Overtaking under yellow flags.
  • The conduct of officials at race events.
  • The appropriateness of the imposition of penalties upon competitors.
  • Fighting between parents of karting competitors.

Carl is instructed in relation to civil claims (including claims for personal injuries and property damage) arising out of racing incidents and has acted for British Automobile Racing Club Ltd the Speedway Control Bureau. He has also acted for Mark Webber the former Red Bull Formula 1 racing driver.

Mediation
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Carl is a formally accredited mediator and has extensive experience acting in mediations in a broad spectrum of cases. Carl is regularly instructed in mediations involving two or three parties and has also acted in a very complex mediation involving some six different parties.

Recent mediations include:

  • A claim against structural engineers and geotechnical experts arising out of a substantial property development.
  • A claim against an insurance broker in relation to specialist commercial property.
  • A breach of warranty of authority claim against a solicitor.
  • A claim against an architect in relation to design and supervision.
  • A claim arising out of flood damage.
  • A claim against the vendor of property with a related claim against a solicitor in respect of conveyancing work.
  • A claim against an accountant and a solicitor with regard to tax structuring advice.

Carl recently participated in a mediation seminar which focused on approaching “Cultural Differences in Mediation”. Please click here to view the digital version of the mini-magazine for this seminar.

Please click here for a copy of Carl’s draft mediation agreement.

Costs
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Carl has extensive experience of costs work. He regularly acts and advises in relation to applications for security for costs, non-party costs orders and wasted costs.

Carl has particular expertise in the court’s jurisdiction to make non-party costs orders under s51 of the Senior Courts Act 1981.   Recent examples include disputes as to non-party costs orders against professional indemnity insurers and in favour of recipients of letters of request (letters rogatory).

A considerable part of Carl’s practice involves the assessment of costs in the SCCO and County Courts. He was instructed in relation to a substantial multi-party dispute involving the recoverability of an ATE premium and allegations of fraud in relation to costs. He has also been involved in a number of disputes concerning costs budgeting. Carl’s costs work also overlaps with his professional liability practice particularly in relation to disputes between solicitors and their clients with regard to fees.

Carl has been instructed in a number of cases involving disputes over ATE insurance policies concerning issues of breach of warranty, misrepresentation, non-disclosure, estoppel and dishonesty.

Property Damage
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A significant part of Carl’s practice involves cases concerning damage to property whether as the result of breaches of duty in the supply of services, defective products or otherwise. This area of Carl’s work includes:

  1. Considerable experience of claims based upon the destruction of high value property by fire.   Examples of current cases of that type are the destruction of a large paper storage warehouse and extensive damage to specialist industrial premises.   Typically these cases involve complex technical and forensic expert evidence and difficult arguments concerning breach of duty, causation and quantum.
  2. Specialist expertise in cases involving the doctrine in Mark Rowlands Ltd v Berni Inns Ltd [1986] QB 211.   Recent cases in that regard have included the destruction of railway infrastructure at a London market and damage to industrial premises from welding works.
  3. Regularly acting in subrogated insurance recovery claims which often give rise to complex legal and evidential issues.   Such cases have included:
    1. The destruction of residential premises through the explosion of a hot water storage tank.
    2. Damage to a building and its contents as a result of asbestos contamination.
    3. Water penetration to sensitive building materials through specialist weatherproofing.
    4. Flooding to commercial premises following plumbing works.
    5. The contamination of land as a result of the escape of heating oil.
    6. The destruction of a building project by a fire allegedly caused by self-heating oil.
    7. Damage to industrial machinery as a result of component failure.
Classic and Super Cars
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Carl is a leading barrister in the field of automotive litigation encompassing a broad range of disputes involving vintage, classic and supercars.

The types of issue which often arise and of which Carl has extensive experience are:

  • Breach of contract in relation to:
    • The sale of a car involving some failure on the part of the buyer or seller to do what they promised.
    • Repair or restoration work, which typically relates to the quality of the work or the price which should be paid.
  • Misrepresentation where a car transpires not to be what a seller told a buyer, whether in terms of provenance or quality.
  • Personal injuries and property damage as a result of accidents whether on the road or at sporting events.
  • Disputes with agents acting for a buyer or a seller (or both) who are alleged not to have behaved as they should.
  • Disputes as to who has title to a particular car whether because two or more people claim to own a single car or because two people each claim that a car they own is a car with a particular provenance.
  • Disputes as to whether a car should be registered with a particular number plate.

Recent cases in which Carl has been involved have included:

  • Hrabalek v Hrabalek [2015] EWHC 1456 (QB), a case which went to trial in the High Court concerning the ownership of a unique and valuable Lancia Stratos collection
  • Disputes between sellers and buyers as to the provenance and quality of:
    • An ex-works group A Lancia Delta Integrale rally car.
    • A classic Rolls Royce.
  • Multi-party disputes over the ownership of:
    • A Pagani Zonda F C12 Coupe Clubsport.
    • A pre-war chassis.
    • A replica of a vintage car.
  • Disputes of over the quality of restoration works and/or the price to be paid for restoration works in relation to:
    • A classic Alfa Romeo.
    • An Aston Martin DB5.
    • Various E-type Jaguars.
  • A registration problem in relation to an Aston Martin DB4.
  • A dispute over the ownership of a classic racing Porsche.
  • Personal injury claims and associated insurance disputes arising from circuit racing and speedway accidents.
  • A claim against an expert with respect to a report he provided concerning the quality of a car.
  • An insurance dispute in relation to cover for a high specification Range Rover.

Qualifications & Memberships

LL.B. (First Class) Dip. PLS

VAT registration number: 831062563