Personal injury barrister, Ben Handy, successful in fundamental dishonesty case

Ben HandyBen Handy, a member of our personal injury team, was instructed by Horwich Farrelly solicitors in Dawid Masel v Esure in order to defend this claim on behalf of the defendant insurer, Esure.

The trial took place on the 21st April 2016, the claimant claimed that he had been injured for a total of four months following a minor car accident with esure’s insured driver. Investigations by esure and Horwich Farrelly uncovered a publicly-available video on YouTube in which the claimant took part in, and won, a ‘Total Full Contact’ kickboxing fight within a month of the accident. The Judge watched all six rounds of the contest, during which she commented that the claimant looked “a picture of health”.

The claim was dismissed, and the defendant successfully argued that the claim was fundamentally dishonest. The claimant lost his costs-protection and the Judge ordered him to pay the defendant’s costs, which were assessed on the indemnity basis.

Ben has previously lectured on the rules and background to fundamental dishonesty, download these notes here

If you would like to instruct Ben on any related matter please contact his clerks via email .

Kambiz Moradifar appointed Circuit Judge

Kambiz MoradifarSt John’s Chambers is delighted to announce that Her Majesty The Queen has appointed Kambiz Moradifar to be a Circuit Judge on the advice of the Lord Chancellor, the Right Honourable Michael Gove MP, and the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, the Right Honourable The Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd.

The Lord Chief Justice has deployed him to the South East Circuit, based at Reading County Court with effect from 7 July 2016.

Kambiz will be known as His Honour Judge Moradifar. He was called to the Bar in 1998 when he joined St John’s Chambers. He was appointed as a recorder in 2012, and has mainly specialised in the fields of family and matrimonial law during his entire career.

Susan Hunter, Head of Chambers said: “Throughout his time at the bar Kambiz has served his clients with great skill and commitment, and those qualities will make him an excellent judge and an asset to the community he serves.”

Whilst Kambiz’s contribution will be missed, our family practice group continues to provide a high level of advocacy across the country. “St John’s is a premier family law set with a roster of experienced advocates. Members undertake family cases of all levels and complexity. The set earns a wealth of positive feedback from clients, who are highly appreciative of the fantastic service they receive.” Chambers UK (2016)

Further information about his appointment can be found here.

St John’s Chambers welcomes personal injury and clinical negligence barrister Justin Valentine

Called to the bar in 1999 Justin Valentine joins our personal injury and clinical negligence teams from Atlantic Chambers in Liverpool.

Justin is a specialist personal injury, clinical negligence and costs barrister, with considerable experience of long-running, complex brain-injury cases involving both children and adults. He brings particular expertise to complex workplace and highway claims, as well as drafting complex high value Schedules of Loss in catastrophic and fatal accident claims.

Glyn Edwards, Head of Personal Injury Practice Group said: “We are delighted to welcome Justin to St John’s Chambers. Justin adds further strength and depth to our personal injury and clinical negligence teams, and will ensure we can continue to offer our clients fantastic cover at all levels – he comes with a reputation for an exceptional user-friendly approach.”

Justin said: “The pace of legal reforms in recent years has been relentless and the legal environment has become much tougher as a result.  Perhaps with the Brexit imbroglio the Government’s focus may shift to other areas and we can all pause to take breath.  I am glad to be returning to Bristol after over 15 years practising in the North West and particularly pleased to be joining St John’s Chambers.  These are challenging times and St John’s service-orientated commitment to the provision of high quality legal advice and advocacy is the right approach.”

If you would like to discuss instructing Justin, please contact his clerks on 0117 923 4730 or e-mail .

View profile: Justin Valentine

Financial remedies pot pourri: Latest article from Christopher Sharp QC

Christopher SharpChristopher Sharp QC, who is acknowledged by Chambers UK as one of only five star Silks in Family Law in the country has written an article for the Summer edition of the FLBA’s newsletter, Family Affairs.

The article continues Christopher’s regular reviews of the more important recent financial remedy cases, this one covering the period from February 2016 to mid June 2016.

Download articles:

View profile: Christopher Sharp QC 

St John’s Sponsor Bristol Junior Lawyers Division Ball

St John’s Chambers proudly sponsored this year’s Bristol Junior Lawyers Division Ball held at the Marriott City Centre on 13th May.

Bristol Junior Lawyers divison ball

Ben Handy (St John’s Chambers), Brittany Pearce (Guildhall Chambers) and Marcus Coates-Walker (St John’s Chambers)

The ball, which had a Great Gatsby theme, was extremely successful raising £3,000 for Julian’s Trust Night Shelter, a homeless shelter in Bristol. Julian’s Trust Night Shelter provides emergency accommodation, meals, and information about other homeless agencies in Bristol.  Additional services such as health tramadol online screening, flu vaccinations and chiropody are also provided at the shelter.

The event was attended by Members and Pupils of St John’s who have said the night was highly enjoyable and entertaining. This is the 4th year that St John’s have sponsored the BJLD Ball, Laura Cavill chair of the BJLD has said “Thank you again for your continued support which makes the evening possible, we really do appreciate it.”

For further information about Julian’s Trust Night Shelter click here.

St John’s Chambers & Withy King hold contentious probate update seminar in Oxford


Alex Troup

Alex Troup, Christopher Jones & Oliver Wooding, of our wills, trusts & tax team, Tom Gilman and Amanda Noyce of Withy King and Kate Allred of Blake Morgan spoke at a contentious probate update at the Oxford Spires Hotel on Wednesday, 15th June.

This half day conference, which was attended by over 30 delegates, was chaired by Tom Gilman and started with a update on “The Golden Rule” from Amanda Noyce, Partner at Withy King. Oliver Wooding then followed with a whistle stop tour of contentious probate cases from 2015 and 2016. Oliver identified how Judges have tackled applying the law to the most recent family and estate disputes.

Oliver Wooding

Oliver Wooding

Christopher Jones discussed trustee disputes, breach of trusts and steps that can be taken to safeguard trust property and remedies available where a breach has occurred. Kate Allred, an Associate at Blake Morgan, then outlined the criteria for eligibility and the importance of will drafting in relation to the new tax allowance.

Alex Troup, head of our wills, trusts & tax team, rounded off the conference with a discussion of the latest developments in proprietary estoppel. He examined the latest authorities and provided tips for dealing with such claims in practice.

Christoper Jones

Christopher Jones

This conference has been described by delegates as “A very enjoyable afternoon with interesting and varied content, a great range of speakers” and “Excellent, engaging and very useful.”

Our Autumn contentious probate update programme will run from October to November at various locations across the UK including Cheltenham, Cornwall, Exeter, Cardiff and Swansea – further details will be published on our events & seminars page this summer.

Why are we still waiting for transparency in the family courts? Latest article from Lucy Reed

Lucy ReedLucy Reed, a member of our family practice group, has published an article on transparency in the family courts in The Guardian.

Two years ago The President of The Family Division issued “transparency” guidance concerning the publication of judgments in the Family Court. Lucy argues that this guidance is not operating as intended and that a lack of resources has frustrated the intentions behind the policy, to increase the publicly available information about the Family Courts and to enhance public understanding and confidence in the system.

View profile: Lucy Reed

If you would like to instruct Lucy on a related matter please email her clerks on: .

Clinical negligence barristers deliver ‘a very interesting’ talk on secondary victim claims

Robert Mills 1Robert Mills and Jimmy Barber of our clinical negligence team delivered a very topical seminar on secondary victim claims,  with a focus on stillbirth cases at St John’s Chambers in Bristol on 14th June. In attendance were over 30 solicitors from leading law firms across the South West.

Jimmy BarberThis seminar provided an overview of the historical development of secondary victims claims by reference to the key authorities, from the Alcock principles onwards; a review of the most recent cases; and an application of the principles to novel factual scenarios.

The seminar was described by delegates as ‘excellent’ and ‘very interesting’.

Download notes: Secondary victim claims

View profiles: 

To find out more information about our clinical negligence team, please visit this page.

Enforcement of financial remedy orders: Part 1. Latest article from family finance barrister Zoë Saunders

Zoë SaundersZoe Saunders, a member of our family finance, ToLATA and inheritance team, has published an article on the enforcement of financial remedy orders in the June edition of Family Law.

Statistics on enforcement of financial remedy orders are almost impossible to obtain, partly because the options for enforcing court orders are rather a mish-mash of general civil remedies. Anecdotally the majority of orders are complied with either wholly or mostly, but those which are not present the practitioner with a complex series of options, which may or may not be suitable in any specific case; so if you have an order which needs to be enforced what are your options?

If you subscribe to Family Law, you can read the full article here: Enforcement of financial remedy orders: Part 1

A copy of the full article will be available to download from Zoë’s profile in September.

Zoë is a family finance practitioner who has expertise in financial remedy cases involving multiple properties, trusts, complex pensions, partnership disputes, companies and corporate and personal insolvency as well as both big and small money cases and the particular challenges presented by each. Zoë also has experience of cases involving confiscation orders and Proceeds Of Crime Act (POCA) issues.

“Zoë is completely straightforward with her advice and is fearless in undertaking challenging cases.” Chambers UK, Family/Matrimonial (2016)

If you would like to instruct Zoë on a related matter please email her clerks on:


Coroners’ inquests: defining the inquisition – Latest article from David Regan

David Regan

David Regan, member of our inquests team, has written an article in this week’s Solicitors Journal on coroners’ inquests, emphasising the importance of taking up the opportunities available ahead of the hearing to define the issues to be examined and thus the evidence to be led.

View profile: David Regan

If you would like to speak to David on any inquest matter, please e-mail: .