Commercial and chancery barrister Natasha Dzameh, a member of our Wills, Trusts and Tax Team, has recently written an article concerning the 2017 case of Gregory & Wilkins v Ziuzina, Pring & Pring heard in the High Court of Justice, Chancery Division at the Rolls Building. Natasha was instructed as junior to Leslie Blohm QC. They represented the Second and Third Defendants (family members of the deceased and beneficiaries under the intestacy rules) who provided permission for this article to be written due to the ongoing status of the litigation.
This case concerns an allegation that a British millionaire was unlawfully killed in the Ukraine such that the forfeiture rule should be invoked to deprive a beneficiary who would otherwise profit under the intestacy rules. This hearing addressed the interaction between civil proceedings and a pending inquest insofar as case management is concerned.
Natasha’s article outlines the decision reached and briefly considers the impact of this case for practitioners who find themselves in the unusual situation of acting in civil proceedings where an inquest is pending. This article was first published in the Trusts and Estates Law & Tax Journal (March 2018) and is available at lawjournals.co.uk.
For the full article please see the link below.
Read the full article: When to distribute
View profile: Natasha Dzameh
If you would like to instruct Natasha on a commercial or chancery matter, please contact her clerks: or 0117 923 4740
Patrick West, a member of St John’s Chambers’ Personal Injury team, provides readers with an article on the recent case of Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire  regarding a lady who was knocked over during an arrest and later sued for personal injury in negligence.
Everyone who has passed through law school will remember the case about the snail in the ginger beer. Poor old Mrs Donoghue. A smaller number will recall Caparo Industries Plc v Dickman  2 AC 605, a much drier case all about accountants. The latest inheritor of tortious principles is poor Mrs Robinson, knocked down in a busy shopping street by a group of policemen arresting a drug dealer. Since 1990 we should all have been reasonably clear about duty of care and when it arises. But many of us including, it appears, the Court of Appeal, are beset with “uncertainty and confusion” about it.
To continue reading full article please click button below.
Download full article: It’s a fair cop: Supreme Court reviews duty of care
View profile: Patrick West
If you would like to instruct Patrick on a related matter please contact his clerks via email on
Yesterday; Tuesday 6 February 2018, our Family Finance Team along with a Member from our Commercial & Chancery Team and two external speakers from Tanners and Milsted Langdon spoke at our ‘Constructive use of business structures in Financial Remedy Proceedings’ full day conference at the NOVOTEL City Centre, Bristol.
The day comprised of discussions on cases in which one or both of the partners in a divorce own a business and dealt with such issues as whether it is possible for both parties to continue to run the business after divorce using dividends to pay maintenance, shareholders’ agreements and S.31 (7A to 7F) Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. The talks encompassed in the day as presented by our speakers included: “But it’s my business (and always has been)”; So how should I structure my limited company or LLP?; Businesses in financial relief proceedings; Shareholder Agreements, Unfair Prejudice and Derivative Actions; Making divorce less taxing; Nuptial and Marital Agreements.
St John’s Chambers speakers included: Christopher Sharp QC, Nick Miller, Zoë Saunders, Charlie Newington-Bridges and our two guest speakers; Simon Denton, Partner at Milsted Langdon and Peter Marrow, Partner at Tanners Solicitors. We were delighted to be able to open the conference to both solicitors and accountants as talks included information and updates on eventual sharing of the sale proceeds of a business combined with cessation of maintenance.
Delegates gave excellent feedback including:
“Very helpful day thank you – linking those areas and highlighting this was really useful.”
“Great thank you! Really useful and very well thought through as a comprehensive day’s course.”
“Excellent – well worth the trip from South Wales!”
You can follow the live tweets from the day by searching #SJCFamily2018 on Twitter.
Rachel Segal, Member of our Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Practice Groups, has recently been speaking at the University of Bristol about ‘What Barristers Do’ to Bristol-based A-level students on the “Pathways To Law” programme . The programme is intended to encourage and support academically gifted school students who might not otherwise have ready access to higher education into the legal profession, to broaden their horizons and hopefully foster a more diverse profession. In addition to her talk this week she will also be talking to Bristol University law students in the context of their ‘Diversity Fortnight’ on the subject of Women at the Bar.
Rachel is a barrister specialising in Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence and has a busy court and paper practice, being regularly instructed on a range of matters involving Employer’s and Public Liability, Highways Act, RTA-related claims and dental negligence and accepts instructions across the spectrum of Personal Injury law and Clinical Negligence.
To instruct Rachel on a Personal Injury or Clinical Negligence matter please contact her clerks on | 0117 923 4730
St John’s Chambers Members, Alex Troup and Abigail Bond, were involved in the case of Re DMM, a Court of Protection case which was recently reported on Bailii and has been the subject of considerable press interest. The case concerned an application by EJ, one of the daughters of DMM, to restrain his marriage to his long term partner, SD, the effect of which would be to revoke DMM’s will which was substantially in favour of the daughters. The case raised the interesting and novel issue of whether the legal test for capacity to marry required the person in question to understand that marriage would automatically revoke their will. His Honour Judge Marston held that the test did indeed require that level of understanding, but gave permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal. Shortly thereafter, however, an expert jointly instructed by the parties reported that DMM did in fact understand that his marriage would automatically revoke his will. In a second judgment, HHJ Marston held that, in light of that expert report, DMM was free to proceed with the marriage; and in those circumstances the appeal to the Court of Appeal on the question of law became otiose and was not pursued. Alex Troup represented EJ, and Abigail Bond represented SD.
The two Bailii decisions can be viewed via the following links: DMM, Re (Alzheimer’s : power of attorney)  EWCOP 32 | DMM, Re (Alzheimer’s : marriage : power of attorney )  EWCOP 33
If you would like to instruct Alex or Abigail on a related matter please contact their clerks: 0117 923 4700 |
“The quality, range and professionalism of both solicitors and barristers in Bristol now rivals anything that other centres – including London – can offer.” Leslie Blohm QC on the new Business and Property Courts in Bristol
Leslie Blohm QC, Deputy Head of Chambers and Member of our Commercial & Chancery Team recently published an article within Lexis Nexis on ‘The Business and Property Courts in Bristol, as seen from the Bar.’ He explains to readers that the new Business and Property Courts can be viewed as a way in which to move forward and leave behind divisional differences created by litigation straddling the boundaries of being managed and tried in the same Courts.
Lord Justice Briggs notes that there are no cases too big for regional centres within the Civil Courts Structure Review further backed by Leslie who states “The regions are a pressure valve for increasing work in the system, directing more and better work out of London.” It is apparent that with the new Business and Property Courts in Bristol cases “can be dealt with more quickly, and with efficiency, with commensurate saving in time and cost.”
He maintains the view that “The quality, range and professionalism of both solicitors and barristers in Bristol now rivals anything that other centres – including London – can offer.”
Read the full article published by Lexis Nexis, January 2018 sponsored by The University of Law: The Business and Property Courts in Bristol, as seen from the Bar
If you wish to instruct Leslie on a Commercial & Chancery matter please contact his clerks on | 0117 923 4740
Yesterday; Lucy Reed and Iain Large, Members of our Family Team, hosted the first event of the year in a new series of free CPD accredited training events. The sessions will run for one hour involving two talks in the afternoon and will cover current issues in family and children law. Our January session titled; ‘Teenagers: secure accommodation, deprivation of liberty and the inherent jurisdiction’ included two talks titled: Issues around secure accommodation and Identifying and managing deprivations of liberty in children cases. Delegates gave excellent feedback with comments such as “Very enjoyable and interesting, very good speakers.”
The next event in our series will be on Wednesday, 21 March 2018 from 5 pm – 6 pm, titled; Civil Remedies in Family Proceedings. The session is primarily aimed at care practitioners and will address the two avenues of applying for financial compensation: negligence (following the recent Court of Appeal decision in CN & Anor v Poole Borough Council  EWCA Civ 2185) and via the Human Rights Act 1998. There will be a detailed consideration of the law relating to Human Rights Act claims and a discussion regarding procedure and potential cost consequences following the controversial High Court decisions in 2017.
“This highly regarded set offers an impressive group of family barristers with a fine track record in an array of complex disputes. Members are frequently instructed in financial remedy cases involving international assets for married and unmarried couples. The set also remains a strong choice for private law children proceedings and jurisdictional disputes in relation to private law children.” Chambers UK, Family/Matrimonial (2018)
Congratulations to our newly qualified trained mediators: James Pearce-Smith, Christopher Jones and Natasha Dzameh of our Commercial & Chancery Practice Group along with Vanessa McKinlay and Marcus Coates-Walker from Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury.
St John’s Chambers is delighted to announce that with these five newly trained mediators we now have a total of 26 within our Chambers.
Our newly qualified Members include: James Pearce-Smith, an experienced litigator who specialises in commercial and property disputes; Christopher Jones, a chancery and commercial specialist with particular emphasis on trust litigation and advice, contentious and non-contentious probate applications, real property litigation (particularly in relation to easements, restrictive covenants and contracts for the sale of land) and commercial and agricultural landlord and tenant disputes; and Natasha Dzameh, Bristol Law Society’s “Barrister of the Year 2017” who is a member of our Commercial and Chancery team. Natasha often appears in the County Court and the High Court for trials, procedural matters such as CMCs, CCMCs and PTRs, and interim applications e.g. pre-action disclosure, set aside, strike out and summary judgment.
From our Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury Practice Groups the following Members have also qualified this month: Vanessa McKinlay, Head of the Clinical Negligence Practice Group who leads a successful and expanding clinical negligence practice group. She brings a strong medical knowledge to her extensive clinical negligence practice and to personal injury cases in which complex medical issues arise; and Marcus Coates-Walker, who deals in personal injury, clinical negligence and inquest work. He is regularly instructed to conduct cases on the Fast-Track and Multi-Track and is very experienced in conducting trials and interim hearings, drafting pleadings and Part 35 questions to experts, and providing advice on liability, quantum and settlement tactics.
Our barristers are happy to travel to you, or alternatively we are able to host mediations here at St John’s Chambers without any additional costs. The main conference room can comfortably house up to 24 people. Video conferencing is available along with Wi-Fi, and all necessary catering and refreshments can be provided.
To instruct one of our barristers on a mediation matter please contact the following clerks:
• | 0117 923 4740
• | 0117 923 4730
- The event saw speeches from;
The Lord Chief Justice of England & Wales (Rt Hon The Lord Burnett of Maldon),
The Chancellor of the High Court (Rt Hon Sir Geoffrey Vos),
The Judge in Charge of the Commercial Court (Popplewell J),
The Supervising Judge of the Business & Property Courts of the Western Circuit (Birss J) with the Presiding Judge of the Western Circuit (May J) in the chair.
Leslie Blohm QC spoke on behalf of the local practitioners.
- Other Judges and dignitaries present included;
HHJ Cotter QC (Designated Civil Judge)
HHJ Paul Matthews
HHJ Russen QC
The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of Bristol – Councillor Lesley Alexander
Anthony Brown Esq High Sheriff of Bristol.
A copy of the Lord Chief Justice’s speech can be found by clicking here.
The opening ceremony was followed by a reception held at the University of Law.
Applications for St John’s Chambers 2019 Pupillage are now open. To apply please refer to the Guidance Notes where you will also be prompted to complete our Equality & Diversity Questionnaire after submitting your completed Pupillage application form.
All completed application forms must be submitted and sent to Isabelle Mills at the following email address: no later than Monday 5 February 2018 by 3 pm.