Chris Greenwood specialises in professional liability, construction, insurance, and mortgage and banking litigation.
“He’s brilliant in writing and with experts. He takes the time to explain things to clients. He’s really user-friendly and commercial.” – Chambers & Partners, 2023
“Chris is a very capable barrister with strong client skills.” – Chambers & Partners, 2023
“A very user-friendly barrister who is very good in court and not afraid of giving tough advice” – Chambers & Partners, 2022
“A very impressive, very capable advocate” – Chambers & Partners, 2022
“High quality, very detailed work. A real team player and a pleasure to work with, which is a view shared by others working with him” – Legal 500, 2022
“A very personable and responsive junior” – Legal 500, 2022
“He stood out in a complex accountants’ tax mitigation scheme matter. He’s got a real understanding of the underlying tax matters, and produces very thorough written advice. He’s excellent in conference and is a real team player” – Chambers & Partners, 2021
“A very tenacious opponent” – Chambers & Partners, 2021
“Extremely detailed in his advice, both in writing and in conference. His particulars of claim are comprehensive and miss no point. He is extremely empathetic with clients and able to build rapport. His service to solicitors is excellent” – Legal 500, 2021
“A talented, level-headed and hard-working barrister” who “gives plain, direct advice” – Chambers & Partners, 2020
“A really skilled strategist and a valuable team player” – Legal 500, 2020
“He is very hardworking and clever, with a great legal mind” – Legal 500, 2019
Chris is ranked as a leading junior in professional negligence work by both Chambers & Partners (Band 4) and Legal 500 (Band 4), and also by Legal 500 as a leading junior in construction (Band 4).
Chris is frequently instructed as sole counsel in High Court professional liability claims across the professions, often with pleaded values exceeding £1m, acting on behalf of claimants and defendants. Recent instructions include acting as sole counsel on behalf of financial advisers in Ingenious Litigation  EWHC 235 (Ch), concerning film schemes, and (led by Neil Hext QC) the ‘test case’ of Jago v Mortgage4YouLtd  EWHC 533 (QB), concerning mortgage brokers’ duties in respect of interest-only mortgages. He also appeared as sole counsel in the successful defence of a £10m claim against an insolvency professional, from which permission to appeal was refused in Rushmer v Atkinson  EWHC 524 (Ch).
Prior to 2020, Chris was led in a number of high profile professional liability disputes, including (led by Justin Fenwick QC and Graham Chapman QC) Gemini (Eclipse 2006-3) Plc v CBRE Limited and Warwick Street (KS) LLP, a lender claim for damages in excess of £230m named in The Lawyer’s ‘Top 20 Cases of 2016’, and (led by Graham Chapman QC) the series of claims beginning with Halsall v Champion Consulting Ltd & Ors  PNLR 32, now a leading case on accountants’ liability in respect of tax avoidance schemes.
Chris’ construction practice typically involves claims concerning defective engineering. He is currently (led by Ben Patten QC) acting on behalf of the employer in claims brought against developers, main contractors and construction professionals concerning a commercial warehouse subject to substantial settlement, and (led by Garry Borland QC) on behalf of main contractors in a multi-million pound dispute concerning the defective design and engineering of a retractable seating system. He has experience both as sole and junior counsel in TCC litigation, and also acting as junior counsel in arbitrations.
Chris also frequently acts as sole counsel on behalf of both insurers and commercial insureds in disputes concerning insurance policies, and for lenders in commercial and high value residential mortgage and banking litigation matters. He also has a substantial practice representing claimants and defendants in real estate disputes and commercial litigation.
Immediately before joining 4 New Square, Chris spent 6 months at the Court of Appeal, working as a Judicial Assistant to Lord Justice Mummery and Lord Justice Rix.
Chris has experience of drafting arbitration pleadings in construction, engineering and insurance disputes, and is developing his international arbitration practice. As of 2022, he is presently retained as junior counsel in respect of a forthcoming international arbitration of multi-million pound dispute concerning defective engineering.
Chris is ranked by Legal 500 as a leading junior in Construction (Band 4), commended both for his “high quality, very detailed work“, and for being “a real team player and a pleasure to work with, which is a view shared by others working with him“. He is also commended by solicitors and in the directories for Professional Negligence for his work ethic and abilities as a team player.
Chris is also able to draw on his international experience prior to the Bar, including a 10-week internship at a leading South African commercial law firm, and 5 months as a stagiaire at the European Commission in Brussels. He is therefore well suited to working in larger and smaller teams, both nationally and internationally.
Chris has considerable experience of banking disputes, and is instructed by major high street lenders in respect of business and commercial matters, including claims on guarantees, refinancing disputes, and alleged transactional errors. Chris has also been instructed in numerous claims concerning swaps, interest rate hedging products and stepped fixed rate loans.
In addition, Chris has a substantial practice acting on behalf of lenders in respect of commercial and high value residential mortgage litigation, and he is frequently instructed in professional liability claims by lenders against solicitors and valuers, and by consumers against in-house financial advisers. Details of this work may be found under the “Real Property” and “Professional Negligence” tabs respectively.
Chris has also been instructed in various applications for freezing injunctions and Norwich Pharmacal orders against banks, often at short notice.
Featured Banking & Finance Services cases
Chris has a growing practice acting in commercial contractual disputes, particularly in respect of share purchase agreements, and joint venture agreements concerning the development of properties. He also has experience of bailment, carriage, sale of goods, commercial agency agreements, and contracts for commercial advisory services.
In addition, a large portion of Chris’ broader practice is commercial in nature, ranging from banking litigation to professional liability actions by corporate entities. Details of this work may be found under the relevant tabs.
Featured Commercial Litigation cases
Chris is ranked as a leading construction junior by Legal 500 (Band 4), having built up a well-regarded practice acting both for and against employers, their insurers, building contractors and sub-contractors, increasingly in commercial contexts. He is typically instructed on cases where the allegations are of defective design or engineering, or in matters which include claims against construction professionals.
As of 2022, Chris is currently on two large claims concerning commercial property. In the first, he acts (led by Ben Patten QC) in claims brought against developers, main contractors and construction professionals concerning structural movement, sloping and cracking to the floor of a large commercial warehouse in Stoke-on-Trent. In the second, Chris acts (led by Garry Borland QC) on behalf of main contractors in a multi-million pound dispute concerning the defective design and engineering of a retractable seating system in Scotland.
Chris additionally acts on high value residential matters, principally those concerning defective design. He currently acts in a claim for rescission or damages in excess of £750,000, brought against the developers of a new build property constructed over public sewage pipes, water main and mains electric cables.
Chris has also previously been led or involved in several higher profile construction disputes: Trustees of the Marc Gilbard 2009 Settlement Trust v OD Developments and Projects Ltd  EWHC 70 (TCC), concerning works to a high value residential property in Mayfair, and Co-operative Group Ltd v Birse Developments Ltd  BLR 359, concerning the construction of internal flooring, external hardstanding and drainage systems at a large commercial distribution centre.
In undertaking this work, Chris benefits from having undertaken a secondment to the construction team of a leading firm of solicitors in the City, which is ranked in Chambers & Partners for both Construction and Professional Negligence: Technology & Construction work.
Chris also has a substantial practice acting in claims brought against construction professionals, further details of which may be found under the appropriate ‘Professional Negligence’ tab below.
Chris has developed a substantial practice in pure insurance matters, often in the context of claims against insurance brokers where a party’s entitlement to an indemnity is disputed, but increasingly also in standalone disputes between insurer and insured. Chris is most often instructed in respect of claims concerning damage to commercial or industrial buildings by fire, storm or water.
Chris’ knowledge and experience in advising insurers on coverage matters has been enhanced by the combined six months spent on secondment at three leading City firms, undertaking professional indemnity and construction work. However, Chris is frequently instructed on behalf of commercial policyholders, including acting as sole Counsel in a number of Commercial Court claims since 2017.
Chris also deals with a wide range of claims against insurance brokers, particularly in respect of allegations of material non-disclosure, misrepresentation or failure to comply with the terms of an insurance policy. Further details of this work may be found under the appropriate ‘Professional Negligence’ tab.
Featured Insurance & Reinsurance cases
Chris specialises first and foremost in professional liability claims, and is ranked as a leading Professional Negligence junior by both Chambers & Partners (Band 4) and Legal 500 (Band 4). He is frequently instructed in claims against accountants, tax advisers, financial advisers, mortgage brokers, insurance brokers, lawyers, insolvency professionals, surveyors and valuers, property agents and construction professionals.
Chris often appears in the High Court as sole counsel, frequently in claims for seven-figure sums, and has been led on a number of high profile professional liability cases in recent years.
Since joining Chambers, Chris has also completed a combined six months on secondment at three leading specialist professional indemnity firms. He is a member of the Professional Negligence Bar Association, and provides training sessions to solicitors on various areas within the field.
Chris has a well-established practice acting on behalf of accountants and tax advisers in respect of claims concerning both tax advisory and tax compliance work. He is frequently instructed as sole counsel in High Court claims, usually against QCs or senior juniors specialising in the field, and also receives instructions as to act as junior counsel to tax-specialist silks outside of Chambers.
Having previously appeared in two of the leading claims concerning tax mitigation schemes, Chris is now most often instructed in claims concerning tax compliance work, including in respect of remittances to the UK by offshore entities and the treatment and reporting of VAT on international product sales, and in claims in respect of failed inheritance tax planning and gifts with reservation of benefits. He also deals with claims concerning the handling of HMRC enquiries.
As regards tax avoidance schemes, tax-efficient investments and other tax mitigation or deferral strategies, Chris was led by Graham Chapman QC acting on behalf of the successful defendants in the leading case of Halsall v Champion Consulting Ltd  PNLR 32, and for the same defendants in several other related claims, having a combined pleaded value in excess of £25m. Since then, Chris has acted on behalf of of a variety of international and leading national advisory practices, in claims concerning film schemes, employee and shareholder benefit schemes, and remuneration trusts.
Chris is also frequently instructed in claims where both tax advisers and financial advisers have been named as defendants, including the Ingenious Litigation  EWHC 234 (Ch). Further details may be found in the appropriate tab below.
Chris is also familiar with corporate valuation issues, including the valuation of unincorporated businesses and unlisted companies, as well as companies listed on various stock exchanges.
Featured Accountants & Tax Advisers cases
Chris has a substantial practice acting both for and against construction professionals, principally architects and planning experts in respect of planning matters, or engineers in respect of defective foundations, but also contract administrators, project managers, and quantity surveyors. He has experience of claims brought against these professionals by third parties.
This area of professional liability dovetails with Chris’ construction and engineering practice, including acting for and against mechanical, electrical, heating and gas engineers. Chris is also often instructed in claims against construction contractors where the allegations are of negligent design or specification, or other claims with a professional negligence angle.
As of 2022, Chris is currently on two large claims concerning commercial property. In the first, he acts (led by Ben Patten QC) in claims brought against developers, main contractors and construction professionals concerning structural movement, sloping and cracking to the floor of a large commercial warehouse in Stoke-on-Trent. In the second, Chris acts as sole counsel for the insurers of main contractors in a multi-million pound dispute concerning the defective design and engineering of a retractable seating system in Scotland, carried out by a sub-contractor and its instructed engineer.
Further back, Chris was also involved (led by Fiona Sinclair QC and Rick Liddell) in the Part 20 claim against structural and geotechnical engineers in Co-operative Group Ltd v Birse Developments Ltd  PNLR 21.
Featured Construction Professionals cases
Chris has a developed a substantial practice acting on behalf of financial advisers. His practice covers a broad range of claims concerning a variety of investments, whether made directly or via personal pension schemes. He regularly deals with allegations concerning the suitability of unregulated collective investment schemes, forex investments, foreign property funds and investments, as well as more conventional products. Chris has also acted on a number of pensions switching claims.
Chris is frequently instructed on behalf of both advisors and principals alleged to be responsible under the FSMA 2000, s.39. In addition to issues concerning the investments themselves, Chris is therefore familiar with issues concerning the scope of authorised representatives’ authority, and is frequently instructed in claims where the defences on that basis are raised.
In 2020, Chris was instructed as sole Counsel on behalf of a financial adviser in the Ingenious Litigation  EWHC 3234 (Ch), concerning investments by 300+ investors into film schemes. The tax-related elements of this work dovetail closely with Chris’ well-established practice acting on behalf of accountants and tax advisers, details of which may be found under the appropriate tab above.
Chris has also benefited from several months spend on secondment at a specialist professional indemnity firm in the City. During this time, Chris worked directly for the author of the chapter on financial advisers in Simpson: Professional Negligence and Liability, and gained substantial experience defending claims against financial services professionals and product providers, both in the civil courts and before the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Featured Financial Advisers cases
In 2019, Chris successfully appeared as sole counsel in Rushmer v Atkinson, a High Court claim against an insolvency professional, brought by the bankrupt, seeking damages of c.£10m. The claimant (represented by specialist counsel) alleged that the insolvency professional failed to assign to him certain causes of action vested in the estate, and/or that those causes of action were under-settled.
The claim, pleaded in negligence, causing loss by unlawful means and for breach of the Insolvency Act 1986, s.304, was dismissed in late 2019 following a successful application for summary judgment and/or strike-out. Permission to appeal was dismissed in February 2020: Rushmer v Atkinson  EWHC 524 (Ch).
Chris has a considerable practice in respect of claims brought business owners against insurance brokers, and since 2017 he has been instructed as sole Counsel in a number of Commercial Court and other High Court actions, usually in claims arising out of fire or water damage, or the construction and energy industries. Chris also acts in certain claims brought against brokers and financial advisers by private individuals, typically in respect of MPPI, life or critical illness cover.
Chris is regularly instructed in claims where the client has found itself either uninsured or under-insured, including where the insurer has successfully avoided cover on grounds of misrepresentation, material non-disclosure and breach of warranty, or where no cover or insufficient cover has been placed. He also has experience of claims where brokers are alleged to have failed in their duties once policies have incepted. In all of his commercial work, Chris has a particular interest and specialism in claims for consequential loss based on non-indemnification.
This area of work increasingly dovetails with Chris’ substantial practice in claims against financial advisers, particularly in respect of critical illness and life insurance cover. Further details may be found under the appropriate tab above.
Featured Insurance Brokers cases
Chris has built up a thriving practice acting both for and against solicitors. He is frequently instructed in claims with an underlying subject matter of a litigious, commercial or conveyancing nature, and increasingly also in claims concerning inheritance tax planning and the taxation of international transactions.
Chris is most often instructed on behalf of solicitors, but also regularly acts on behalf of claimants, including banks, private lenders and businesses. Chris has substantial experience of claims involving breach of trust and breach of undertaking, as well as more common contractual and tortious claims for breach of the lender’s terms or CML handbook. Chris’ private clients are often purchasers and lessees of commercial and residential property, but also include businesses and private clients seeking compensation for defectively handled litigation.
In respect of claims against solicitors concerning tax matters, Chris’ work is complemented by his substantial practice in claims against tax advisers, accountants and financial advisers, details of which may be found under the appropriate tab above.
Chris is also being instructed with increasing regularity in claims against barristers, including contribution or Part 20 claims brought by solicitors in respect of allegedly mishandled litigation.
In all of his work, Chris has benefited from a cumulative 6 months’ first-hand experience of the day-to-day work of litigation solicitors and claims handlers, having undertaken a number of secondments at leading professional indemnity firms in the City.
Featured Lawyers cases
Chris is very frequently instructed to defend claims brought against mortgage brokers, particularly in respect of interest-only mortgages.
Chris was led by Neil Hext QC in Jago v Mortgage4You Ltd  EWHC 533 (QB), a ‘test claim’ brought against a mortgage broker, in respect of an interest-only mortgage taken out in order to invest further funds into an ultimately unsuccessful property investment.
Since then, Chris has been instructed in many further claims in respect of interest-only mortgages, including claims concerning insufficient advice, and allegations that borrowers should instead have been recommended capital repayment mortgages.
In acting on behalf of defendants to these claims, Chris draws not only on his knowledge and experience acquired in the Jago case and his wider professional liability experience, but also his substantial practice acting on behalf of mortgage lenders themselves.
Chris is regularly instructed to act on behalf of major banks and other lenders in all aspects of mortgage law, and mortgage litigation, and he has written and delivered training seminars to both lending institutions and solicitors’ firms on the topic of subrogation. This work dovetails with Chris’ substantial practice acting on behalf of lenders in banking disputes, details of which may be found under the ‘Banking & Financial Services’ tab.
Chris also advises and acts on landlord and tenant and other real property matters, whether raised in response to mortgage possession claims or in respect of ‘standalone’ property disputes, such as the interpretation of commercial leases or transactional disputes concerning deposits or alleged misrepresentations.
In addition, Chris frequently advises and acts on real property issues within the context of professional liability claims brought by lenders or purchasers, mainly against solicitors, but also against barristers and estate agents. Further details of this work may be found under the appropriate ‘Professional Negligence’ tab above.
Chris is regularly instructed on behalf of mortgagees and receivers to deal with a variety of mortgage-related claims. He is frequently instructed on possession and money judgment claims, including in cases where arrears have been cleared or capitalised, previous proceedings have failed, or the lender relies on subrogation. As a result, he has substantial experience in dealing with most if not all defences commonly advanced by borrowers, including allegations of deceit, undue influence, economic duress, misrepresentation, and non est factum, and issues arising under the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977.
In addition to possession claims, Chris deals with a variety of claims brought by borrowers, including allegations that lenders have sold property at an undervalue, claims against lenders alleged to have charged or incurred improper or unnecessary fees and charges, including claims where lenders have made payments to freeholders.
Chris’ sound grounding real property law means he is also comfortable dealing with the priority issues that frequently arise in mortgage litigation, including in relation to ‘all monies’ charges, rights of consolidation and tacking, and competing charges. He has substantial experience of applications for alteration or rectification of the Land Register.
Chris has advised and acted in numerous commercial and high value residential landlord and tenant claims, representing landlords, LPA receivers, estate agents, property managers, leaseholders and tenants.
On the commercial side, in 2020 Chris was instructed as sole counsel in a High Court claim for a declaration, brought by the tenant under a commercial lease, concerning the interpretation of a clause requiring the insured to procure insurance in the joint names of the landlord and tenant, and the destination of any insurance proceeds in the event of a claim. He has also previously advised in relation to the renewal of business leases under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, on covenants against letting in long leases, and on the interpretation of repair covenants in a lease of an industrial warehouse, and a bespoke agricultural lease.
Chris also has a developing practice in commercial dilapidations claims. In 2021 he advised the owner of a commercial building in Hartlepool in respect of a substantial dilapidations claim against the Secretary of State, and as of 2022 Chris is involved, led by Ben Patten QC, in advising the landlord of a commercial property having claims against an incumbent tenant for disrepair, including items of disrepair caused by defective construction works.
On the residential side, Chris has previously dealt with assured shorthold tenancies, claims for possession, issues concerning deposits, and claims by landlords and tenants in respect of repair covenants or dilapidations. He has also appeared on behalf of a long leaseholder in a service charge dispute in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber).
Chris has been instructed on a number of transactional disputes in respect of real property. He was also recently successful as sole counsel in respect of a claim concerning the return of a pre-contractual deposit paid by a proposed purchaser of a commercial property on Edgware Road, London, following an appeal and subsequent 2-day trial in March 2020. He has also previously advised and acted on several misrepresentation claims brought by purchasers and tenants.
63 members of 4 New Square Chambers have been ranked in the…
4 New Square
London, WC2A 3RJ
BARRISTERS REGULATED BY
THE BAR STANDARDS BOARD
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-advertisement||1 year||Set by the GDPR Cookie Consent plugin, this cookie is used to record the user consent for the cookies in the "Advertisement" category .|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-analytics||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-functional||11 months||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-others||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".|
|CookieLawInfoConsent||1 year||Records the default button state of the corresponding category & the status of CCPA. It works only in coordination with the primary cookie.|
|wp_law_pdfbuilder_bespoke||1 Year||Used for the portfolio builder|
|wp_law_pdfbuilder_list||1 Year||Used for the portfolio builder|
|_ga||2 years||The _ga cookie, installed by Google Analytics, calculates visitor, session and campaign data and also keeps track of site usage for the site's analytics report. The cookie stores information anonymously and assigns a randomly generated number to recognize unique visitors.|
|_ga_DJZVZPQ3PF||2 years||This cookie is installed by Google Analytics.|
|_gat_gtag_UA_196640177_1||1 minute||Set by Google to distinguish users.|
|_gid||1 day||Installed by Google Analytics, _gid cookie stores information on how visitors use a website, while also creating an analytics report of the website's performance. Some of the data that are collected include the number of visitors, their source, and the pages they visit anonymously.|