Andrew Kearney appointed to mediation panel of Mediation for Construction (M4C)

Andrew Kearney

Andrew Kearney, experienced construction and engineering barrister at St John’s Chambers has been appointed to the national mediation panel of M4C.

Whilst Andrew mediates general commercial disputes (a recent example being a mediation between an NHS local health board and an agency placing medical staff from abroad) his core specialism has always been construction disputes.  According to Chambers UK Bar Guide he is “widely regarded as the Western Circuit’s leading barrister for construction and engineering disputes”.  Andrew also practises in London and internationally, and will for example be counsel in an ICC arbitration in Vienna this year concerning a USD60m dispute over a pipeline in Yemen.

m4c-logoAndrew trained as a mediator in 2007, and has now been appointed, along with only 5 others at present, to the national panel of M4C.  M4C appoints mediators nationally on a fixed fee basis for construction disputes of all sizes.  M4C also seeks to inform and advocate in respect of ADR, and mediation in particular.  M4C will be advising the All Party Parliamentary Group on ADR (in respect of construction in the public sector) at the end of January 2017.  M4C will also be holding a series of events in 2017, including CPD events for legal and construction professionals in the South West and Wales.

View profile: Andrew Kearney

William Godwin appointed Silk

william%20godwinSt John’s Chambers is delighted to announce that William Godwin has been appointed Queens Counsel.

The formal silk ceremony will take place on Monday the 13th February 2017 at the Palace of Westminster.

William is an associate member of St John’s, and an expert in commercial and construction litigation and arbitration in both domestic and international arenas.

If you would like to know more, please contact his clerks

View profile: William Godwin

Pupillage applications now open for 2018

PupillageWe are looking to recruit three pupils in 2018 to work within our chancery & commercial, personal injury & clinical negligence and family practice groups.

The opening date for applications for pupillage at St John’s Chambers is Monday 7th January 2017 and the closing date for applications is 6th February 2017.  Interviews will be conducted on 11 March 2017 (round 1) and 25 March 201 (round 2).  Please note we will only be able to offer alternative dates in exceptional circumstances.

Successful applicants will commence their pupillage in October 2018.

We look to recruit top-quality applicants with the ability to analyse information quickly and to present arguments succinctly and persuasively. The typical successful applicant will have a strong academic record (although we will consider applications where extenuating circumstances apply) with relevant work or other experience and a desire to learn and excel. We also welcome interest from applicants who are changing career.

For more details on how to apply, please visit this page.

In our discussion of domestic violence cases, we have forgotten the other kind of victim

Lucy ReedLucy Reed discusses the depth of debate on domestic violence in Parliament recently in

The article originally appeared as a blog on Lucy’s Pink Tape blog.

Following this recent blog post on domestic violence cases, Lucy has also been quoted in a further article about transparency in family court proceedings in

View Lucy’s blog:  Pink Tape
View profile: Lucy Reed

Trusts and co-ownership: latest article from wills and trusts barrister Jody Atkinson

Jody AtkinsonJody Atkinson, member of our wills, trusts and tax team, has recently written an article in the December edition of the Trusts and Estates Law and Tax Journal on the case of Ely v Robson [2016].

In 2016, Jody appeared for the successful party before the Court of Appeal in the case of Ely v Robson [2016] EWCA Civ 774. Jody upheld an oral agreement, reached on a park bench, as to how an unmarried couple owned their family home. This is an important decision in the field of proprietary estoppel and constructive trusts.

Jody is a member of both our commercial & chancery and family practice groups, and has a particular expertise in cross over areas such as cohabitant disputes.

If you would like to instruct Jody on a related matter please email his clerks on: .

The Competition Appeal Tribunal: a new venue for challenging restrictive covenants?

Matthew O'ReganOne of the most significant changes to UK competition litigation introduced by the Consumer Rights Act 2015 was the creation of a ‘fast track’ procedure for some cases brought in the Competition Appeal Tribunal (“CAT”). This procedure is particularly suitable for claims brought by individuals, micro-enterprises and SMEs seeking redress for harm suffered by anti-competitive behaviour in breach of UK and/or EU competition law, which are neither factually nor legally complex.

In a recent article published in European Competition Law Review, a leading competition law publication, specialist competition law barrister, Matthew O’Regan, considers how the fast track procedure may be used to challenge restrictive covenants contain in commercial property agreements and business sale agreements.

Matthew is a skilled competition litigator, undertaking work in the English and EU courts. He advises and represents clients on all types of competition disputes, including appeals in cartel and State aid cases, judicial reviews, follow-on damages actions and standalone disputes raising competition issues. “Matthew is quickly able to digest large amounts of information relating to very complex matters. His past experience as a solicitor means he is very pragmatic and proactive in his approach to advising clients.” Chambers UK, Competition Law (2017)

View article: The Competition Appeal Tribunal: a new venue for challenging restrictive covenants

This material was first published by Sweet & Maxwell Limited in O’Regan, The Competition Appeal Tribunal: a new venue for challenging restrictive covenants? [2016] 37 European Competition Law Review 393 and is published by agreement with the Publishers.

If you would like to discuss instructing Matthew on any related matter, please contact his clerks on 0117 923 4740 or email .

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at St John’s Chambers


Over the festive period, Chambers will be closed from 4.00pm on Friday, 23rd December and will re-open from 10.00am until 4.00pm on Thursday 29th December through to Friday 30th December.

We will open again for normal business hours on Tuesday, 3th January 2017.

For any emergency enquiries, please see our out of hours numbers.

A successful year of contentious probate updates from our wills, trusts & tax team

Alex Troup and Contentious Probate Update

Alex Troup, Head of Wills, Trusts & Tax

This year our wills trusts and tax team presented their contentious probate update at seven different venues across the UK; Cornwall, Exeter, Cardiff, Swansea, Bristol, Cheltenham and Oxford.

This road show aimed to bring practitioners up to speed with all the latest developments in the world of contentious probate.  The events were principally targeted at solicitors who are (or would like to be) involved in contentious probate work, but were also of interest to non-contentious lawyers, Will writing firms and professional executors.

Leading practitioners spoke on topical issues, including construction of wills, agricultural property relief, proprietary estoppel, alternative dispute resolution, removing personal representatives and trustees, inheritance act, breach of trusts and more.  Some of these talks can be downloaded below.

Local solicitors from each area attended the events which have been described as; “Excellent, engaging and very useful”, “Very worthwhile”, and “Good value for money”.

Members of our wills, trusts & tax team will be speaking at a contentious probate update with Royds Withy King and Mogers Drewett in Bath in 2017. Further details will be available on our events and seminars page soon.

To make sure you don’t miss out on any of our updates and events, sign up to our mailing list

Download seminar notes below:

Company and Commercial team produce the third series of contract case law updates

St John’s Chambers welcomes the third update in a new series of contract case law updates produced by our company and commercial team.

Nicholas PointonThese updates aim to provide an invaluable resource for keeping up to date with the most important developments in contract law. In this issue Nick Pointon considers when commitment letters become binding following the Commercial Court’s decision in Novus Aviation v Alubaf, and when “close of business” takes place in the London commercial banking sector following the latest decision in the Lehman Brothers litigation. Our newest member of Chambers, Natasha Dzameh reviews several recent decisions, ranging from issues of offer and acceptance considered in Arcardis Consulting v AMEC to the recovery of damages for a loss of chance in McGill v Sports and Entertainment Media Group. Chancery and commercial pupil, Emma Price  looks at the recent decision on the Brogden bankers’ claim for bonuses and considers the approach taken by the Court of Appeal to the construction of contracts.

Natasha DzamehEach case discussed will feature an “In brief…” summary panel, designed to allow those in a hurry to take the most useful points from each case. No case will occupy more than two pages of the update in total. Although authored by litigators, attempts will be made where possible to identify useful points for the non-contentious practitioner too.

Since our next instalment will be due in March 2017, we take this opportunity to wish all readers a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

emma-price-116These updates are produced in a pdf format for you to download below:

Family Finance Team provide useful update to Bristol lawyers

Zoe SaundersOver 30 lawyers from in and around Bristol attended our family finance team’s 1 hour hot topic seminar on Wednesday, 30th November.

Leading Juniors Zoë Saunders, Andrew Commins  along with the latest addition to the team Bethany Hardwick presented talks on spousal maintenance, variation of settlements and non-matrimonial property.

Lawyers attending the event included Barcan+Kirby, Burges Andrew ComminsSalmon, The Family Law Company, Simpson Millar, Wards Solicitors and others.

The event has been described as “Fantastic value for money” and “Really helpful, focused and informative.”

St John’s Chambers’ Family Team has recently been ranked inBethany Hardwick
Band 1 of Chambers UK, they are described as; “A very strong Bristol-based team capable of representing clients across the full spectrum of family law matters. Offers a robust matrimonial finance practice and has also built up significant experience in private and public ADR proceedings. The set is also highly regarded for its forward-thinking approach to client service.”
Chambers UK, Family (2017)

If you missed this seminar you can download the course notes here:

Make sure you don’t miss out on our upcoming seminars and conferences by signing up to our mailing list