“He is utterly brilliant – he has terrific focus and brain power and his communication couldn’t be clearer. He is very commercial and sensible and clients just love him.” “He has extraordinary gravitas for someone who’s only just ceased to be a junior – when you meet with him you know you’re talking to someone who’s highly skilled in the advice he gives.” (Chambers & Partners, 2016)
“He gets through voluminous and complex instructions at impressive speed, and consistently provides robust and commercial advice, as well as advocacy of the highest quality.” “He is quietly spoken, but his words are powerful and his advice is terrific.” (Chambers & Partners, 2015)
Graham has been consistently ranked as a leading practitioner in the field of professional negligence over several years. He acts for and against professionals in claims arising in a commercial or construction context including accountants and auditors, architects, barristers, financial advisers, insurance brokers, solicitors and surveyors. Graham has particular experience of acting in high-value and complex litigation both as sole counsel and as part of a larger team.
Graham is a contributor to the 6th Edition of Jackson & Powell on Professional Negligence (Sweet & Maxwell 2006) and is the co-author of the chapter on tort in the Construction Law Handbook (Thomas Telford).
Accountants, Auditors & Actuaries
Graham has experience of acting both for and against auditors and accountants in a wide range of disputes. He is familiar with the audit process and applicable accounting and auditing standards.
His experience includes
- Acting for the defendant auditors in a £1.6bn claim relating to the audit of the financial statements of a collapsed PLC.
- Acting for the defendant auditors in a US$500m claim relating to the collapse of an offshore investment fund.
- Acting for the defendant auditors in a claim concerning the collapse of linked Closed-End Investment Cells.
- A claim against accountants and auditors concerning the treatment of NICs and income tax in the context of the leisure industry.
- Claims against auditors alleging a negligent failure to detect and report on frauds perpetrated by directors and employees of companies whose financial statements were audited by the defendant auditors.
- Claims against accountants in respect of tax advice and representations made in relation to the film finance tax-advantaged investment schemes, technology schemes and charity tax shells.
- Claims against auditors relating to the preparation and completion of their audits.
- Claims against accountants in relation to tax advice given to individuals and corporate clients in a wide range of factual scenarios.
- Acting for defendant expert accountant in proceedings commenced by a former client in respect of expert accountancy services provided in the context of litigation.
Graham has dealt with claims against or involving a number of different construction professionals including architects, engineers, M&E consultants, project managers, geotechnical consultants and quantity surveyors. He has acted for both claimants and defendants. In particular,
- Claims against architects involving allegations of defective design, over-certification, project management and inspection/supervision arising from construction projects ranging from relatively small domestic projects to large commercial developments.
- Claims against structural engineers relating to the design of foundations for a number of different projects and relating to the design of floor slabs.
- Claims against members of the professional team arising from the design and supervision of the construction of office developments, supermarkets and housing developments.
Financial Services Professionals
Graham is often instructed in claims involving financial services professionals and/or which require a consideration of the financial services statutory regime. His experience includes acting in claims against financial advisers concerning advice given in relation to “windfall shares”, pension mis-selling, advice on life policies and other investments. He has also acted in claims concerning advice given and representations made in relation to a number of different tax-advantaged investment schemes, including those relating to film and QICT finance together with technology schemes and charity tax shells. He has experience of a wide number of different tax-advantaged schemes and claims in relation to them.
Insurance Brokers & Agents
Graham has acted in claims brought against brokers by their clients and also in claims concerning the writing of insurance pursuant to binding authorities. The claims in which he has advised have required an analysis of the relationship between insurer, broker and insured and also between placing and retail brokers. As to the latter, see Fisk v Thornhill  EWCA Civ 152;  PNLR 21 (CA). Graham regularly acts for brokers in disputes arising from coverage issues.
Graham has wide experience of acting for claimants and defendants in claims against solicitors and barristers, including claims arising from commercial and property transactions, lost or mishandled litigation including criminal and family litigation and claims involving allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, breach of trust and fraud. He particularly enjoys claims arising from complex commercial transactions and litigation.
By way of example, recent cases include
- Acting for the defendant solicitors in a £40m claim relating to the listing of a company on AIM.
- Acting for the claimants in claims concerning failed tax-advantaged property investment schemes.
- Acting for the claimant in a claim against solicitors concerning the drafting of commercial leases.
- Acting for the Claimant investors in a circa £50m dispute arising from failed investments in technology investment schemes where the claims include claims against the solicitors who acted in relation to the material transactions: see, for example, Brown & Oths v. InnovatorOne Plc  EWHC 1376 (Comm);  WLR (D) 205.
- Acting for the defendant solicitors in a multi-million pound claim arising out of the conduct of tax litigation.
Surveyors & Valuers
Graham has extensive experience of claims concerning the valuation of both commercial and residential property and in circumstances where the property is being purchased for occupation and as an investment. He has acted in cases (for both claimants and defendants) where the value of the property has been very substantial indeed and in cases involving portfolios of properties. He also has experience of defending yacht surveyors.
By way of example, recent cases include:
- Acting for the defendant valuers in a circ £100m claim relating to securitized lending with respect to a portfolio of investment properties.
- Acting for the defendant valuers in multi-million pound claims concerning multi-use commercial investment properties.
- Acting for the successful claimants (at first instance and on appeal) in Capita v Drivers Jonas.
- Acting for the claimant unit trust in a claim for circa £50m arising out of advice provided in relation to the acquisition of a shopping centre.
- Acting for the claimant housing association in a very substantial claim concerning the provision of gap funding in relation to the transfer of housing stock.