Adam Boyle


Adam Boyle

Call 2012 (Lincoln’s Inn)
Qualifications MA (Cantab) Cambridge University (Philosophy), Graduate Diploma in Law (Distinction), Bar Professional Training Course (Outstanding)
Professional Memberships Chancery Bar Association
Awards Buchanan Prize, New Court Chambers Prize, Lord Denning Scholarship, Northumbria University BPTC Scholarship, Lord Brougham Scholarship, Hardwicke Entrance Award

Expertise


Adam has broad experience in commercial disputes owing to the work he completed during Pupillage. He is currently developing a practice encompassing both advisory and court-based work. He has experience of successfully representing both Claimants and Defendants in commercial and contractual disputes and has successfully enforced an arbitral award through the courts. In addition his secondment related to a multimillion pound procurement project and provided substantial experience of commercial work at the highest level.

Adam accepts instructions in a wide range of Court of Protection matters. Notably, he recently succeeded in a tricky appeal to the High Court in the case of Re M.

Adam accepts instructions involving bankruptcy and corporate insolvency. In addition to winding up orders, bankruptcies and so on, he has also successfully represented the liquidators of a company in relation to a Section 239 (Insolvency Act 1986) preference payment.

Adam is passionate about mediation and the benefits it can offer to the parties who participate in it. He trained as a commercial mediator with the London School of Mediation in January 2015 and has been mediating disputes since summer 2015.

His mediation experience ranges from extensive pro bono work for the local charity Bristol Mediation, to which he has dedicated countless hours over the last few years, to numerous  commercial mediations (i.e. mediations in the context of litigation) both acting for parties as a barrister and mediating disputes as the commercial mediator. This breadth of experience is of great assistance to him regardless of whether he is acting in the barrister or the mediator role.

Adam’s interest in mediation and the analysis of disagreements stems in part from his time as a Philosophy undergrad at Cambridge. He hopes that this background (occasionally) gives him some useful insights into both the difficult situations which people can find themselves in and how to help the disputants resolve those situations.

More generally Adam thoroughly enjoys his mediation work, and takes a people-centric and solutions-centric approach to the disputes which he mediates. He also finds that his involvement in cases as the mediator is instructive and informative when giving professional advice at the Bar. The two coalesce nicely.

Lastly, Adam has a high success rate as a commercial mediator which he puts down to the breadth of his relevant experiences.

Client feedback from his commercial mediations (as mediator) has included:

  •  “Very professional” with a “client-centric approach.”
  • “He made an anxious client feel at ease.”
  • “Handled the mediation with appropriate sensitivity.”
  • “Completely informed as to the problems and explained everything very clearly.”
  • “I don’t think he could have been more helpful.”

Adam had experience of professional negligence work during his Pupillage and accepts instructions in professional negligence cases.

Adam has extensive experience in a very wide range of property work. As a pupil he attended the Court of Appeal with Leslie Blohm QC, of this Chambers in the propriety estoppel matter of Davies v Davies [2014] EWCA Civ 568,. Adam then wrote an article ‘The Promised Land’ which analysed the main issues in this case and was published in the Law Society’s Private Client magazine. Many of Adam’s cases have centred around commercial properties however he accepts instructions in all property matters and has recent and wide experience in boundary disputes, rights of way, trespass and easements.

Adam advises and appears on behalf of claimants and defendants across a wide range of property insurance matters.

Adam had very extensive experience of wills, trusts and probate work during his Pupillage and is regularly instructed in all manner of cases across this area.

Practice Overview

Adam is a specialist Commercial and Chancery barrister. His practice covers a wide range of areas including property work, court of protection matters, wills, trusts & probate cases, insolvency and commercial disputes.

One of Adam’s main areas of expertise is proprietary estoppel, in relation to which he has two reported cases: Davies v Davies (a COA case in which he was led by Leslie Blohm QC) and Culliford v Thorpe in the High Court. For more information on these cases see the Notable Cases section below. In addition, Adam has written material published across a number of forums, and has given various talks and seminars on proprietary estoppel and the issues which can arise in estoppel cases.

Another of Adam’s main specialisms is property damage. He is regularly instructed in factually and legally complicated property damage cases which require in-depth analysis. He frequently advises and drafts pleadings in respect of such matters and has guided numerous cases from the initial advice stage to the obtainment of substantial settlements.

At the beginning of his career at the Bar Adam spent a large proportion of his time advising and assisting a hub of Welsh Authorities in relation to Public Procurement contracts worth circa £300,000,000, this gave him early exposure to large-scale commercial work. More recently he has been involved in landlord and tenant, shareholder litigation, contested probate, trusts cases, insolvency and various other types of chancery and commercial work, including numerous contractual and construction matters.

In addition, Adam is regularly instructed to attend CCMC’s, and a wide array of applications – ranging from urgent search orders under substantial time pressure to more run-of-the-mill applications such as strike out, relief from sanctions and so on.

Click here to connect with Adam via LinkedIn.

Notable Cases

X v Y [2018]

Adam helped to secure a circa quarter of a million pound settlement in a complicated multi-party commercial property damage case. The case involved a fire occurring as a result of the negligence of an adjacent business tenant which spread to Adam’s lay client’s property (from which his client also ran a business) in circumstances where the tenants’ Landlord was similarly implicated owing to deficient fire-proofing between the tenanted premises. Adam advised from an early stage in the case, and represented his client at mediation where the matter eventually settled.

Culliford v Thorpe [2018] EWHC 426 (Ch)

Adam represented the claimants in this proprietary estoppel/constructive trust case decided by HHJ Matthews sitting in the High Court in Bristol. The case received media attention as a result of the finding that a relatively informal exchange/agreement between two unmarried partners could (once detrimental reliance was added in) give rise to a constructive trust/estoppel in circumstances where one of the partners died and many facets of the deal/agreement between the parties were not carried out.

The case raised numerous issues including: 1) the status of the COA case of Gallarotti v Sebastianelli [2012] EWCA Civ 865 and more generally the correct approach to constructive trust cases when planned-deals don’t come off; 2) the status of the once-definitive HOL case Lloyds Bank plc v Rosset [1991] 1 AC 107 when viewed through the lens of the later case of Stack v Dowden [2007] 2 AC 432 (in the sole-name constructive trust context); 3) how to treat substantial countervailing benefits in such cases; 4) the correct approach to agreements founded on a common mistake when a party seeks to rely on the court’s equitable jurisdiction to enforce such an agreement.

P v A [2018]

Adam acted for the Applicant in a relatively high value application to set aside a statutory demand in relation to a dispute arising from the sale of a company. The case raised complicated issues relating to both the proper procedure on an application to set aside a statutory demand and substantive issues including how to conceptualise Directors Loans and the relationship between Directors Loans and debts owed to a company post the point of sale.

D v H  [2017]

In this case Adam acted for the defendants in a property dispute arising from the breakdown of a housing project commenced by two couples. Various companies were set up for the purpose of purchasing and developing relevant land and, at the point of Adam’s introduction to the case, there were already three sets of extant proceedings in respect of the failed project. Both couples were, among other things, attempting to restrict the other’s use of (and ability to sell) the land to which they had paper title, but which was arguably part of a wider agreement. The issues all came to a head when an urgent application was made to the High Court for an order that would have superseded the ongoing proceedings in the First Tier Tribunal (referred from the Land Registry). One of the main issues was whether the High Court had the inherent jurisdiction to make the order sought; another was whether the procedure adopted by the claimants had prejudiced the defendants. The defendants obtained an important adjournment at the first application hearing, and the matter subsequently settled out of court.

Davies and Another v Davies [2016] EWCA Civ 463

Adam acted in the widely publicised “Cowshed Cinderella” proprietary estoppel case. He was junior to Leslie Blohm QC, also of St John’s, for the case’s second visit to the Court of Appeal (Adam’s article following the case’s first trip to the Court of Appeal is available here).

The second appeal in Davies concerned the quantum awarded to Eirian Davies, who had worked long hours for minimal pay on the strength of various promises made to her by her parents. In the second appeal the award which Eirian received was reduced, with the court totting up her financial and non-financial detriment and then granting Eirian the total produced by adding the two together.

While the case arguably represents the Court of Appeal exhibiting a robustness, and perhaps even a reductive quality, in the face of the complexities of the doctrine, the analysis of non-financial detriment, labelled “imponderable”, was not particularly structured or deep. The fact that this was so might mean that there is room for the higher courts to revisit the doctrine yet again in the future.

Click here to read the case on Bailii.

M v W [2016]

In September 2016 Adam was instructed at less than 24 hours’ notice in relation to an urgent Search Order application. The purpose of the search was to look for information and accounts relating to the Estate of a Deceased testator, which the onetime Executor (who had been removed by the courts because of his grievous failures in respect of the role) simply would not deliver up. Despite a number of issues arising which needed to be dealt with before the judge, HHJ McCahill QC, the Search Order was granted. The search which followed the application was extremely fruitful. Adam was instructed again for the return date and at that hearing the Applicant was granted the entirety of its costs.

Darby v James [2016]

In this case Adam successfully defended the position of the defendant, James. The parties had, years earlier, compromised a land dispute which involved various issues, including problems centring around rights of way. The initial dispute was resolved by agreement through mediation, and the effects of the agreement were detailed and solidified through a Tomlin Order. The claimant later, through an application into court, sought to escape the agreement by arguing that the Tomlin Order and agreement could not be complied with, and, in effect, had to be set aside. However the court did not agree and decided the matter in favour of the defendant. This case highlights the level of finality that one can expect from both compromise agreements generally, and Tomlin Orders in particular, and also touched on the jurisdictional issues which can arise if a court seeks to do anything other than make an order effecting the terms of a compromise in Tomlin Order form.

The Office of the Public Guardian v R [2015]

In the case of The Office of the Public Guardian v R (September 2015) Adam represented an Attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney whom the OPG was attempting to replace with a Panel Deputy for a variety of reasons, including issues centring around money. Following, among other things, being shown videos of the protected party (the donor of the LPA) and, in a later hearing, having the opportunity to talk with the donor in person, who affirmed their support for the Attorney, the court made an Order protecting R’s position as Attorney and allowing her to continue on in the role as before, in line with the wishes of both R and her mother (the protected party).

Miles v The Public Guardian; Beattie v The Public Guardian [2015] EWHC 2960 (Ch), [2015] COPLR 676

In July 2015 Adam won an Appeal to the High Court in front of Mr Justice Nugee in a tricky Court of Protection matter, The case was reported: Miles v The Public Guardian; Beattie v The Public Guardian [2015] EWHC 2960 (Ch), [2015] COPLR 676.The case centred on the degree of specificity which a party drafting an LPA can go into. In particular, the key issue in this matter was whether it is possible to specify the continuation of, in effect, one element of a joint power of attorney by setting out in an LPA the express reappointment of just one of the two initially jointly appointed persons, in the event that the other can no longer continue to act.

The successful Appeal granted more choice to donors of LPAs, giving them extra control over who makes the crucial decisions regarding their wellbeing and financial affairs in the event that they become mentally vulnerable. It would also appear to represent a loosening, by the court, of the previously tight rules imposed on attempts to deviate from the norm in LPAs.

Click here to read the case on Bailii.

Stenor Environmental Services Limited v SDL Ground Engineering Limited (In Liquidation) [2015]

Adam successfully defended a multitrack commercial claim heard before HHJ Keyser QC. The claim related to payment for works done by one haulage company, Stenor, for another, SDL. It was claimed that a third haulage company, which was liquidated soon after the material events, had both done works on behalf of the Claimant for the Defendant and had assigned in equity to the Claimant its contractual right to be paid by the Defendant. Adam successfully argued, among other things, that any assignment in equity in this case would be analogous to a preference payment and could not, as a result, be supported by the court.

SC T/A SS v Y.O. [2015]

Adam successfully defended a pivotal application for relief from sanctions heard before HHJ Havelock-Allan QC in the High Court. Adam represented the claimant/respondent who was bringing a property damage claim worth over £300,000. In this matter default judgment had already been given against the defendant/applicant earlier in the history of the case. At the time of the application the relevant sanction imposed upon the defendant, following a string of failures, was that he was, in effect, precluded from defending the quantum of the case. That being so, following the successful defence of the application for relief from sanctions the claimant’s substantial quantum claim was free to continue in a manner which was virtually unopposed.

N v J

Over the course of 2014 and 2015 Adam advised in the case of N v J a complicated Landlord and Tenant matter which related to business tenancies granted pursuant to, and protected by, the 1954 Act. Adam acted for Mr N, a mesne landlord, who had inadvertently granted a protected tenancy to Mr J, in breach of the covenants within his own lease. After Mr N’s tenant stopped paying his rent, the decision was taken to terminate the accidental tenancy through the service of a section 25 notice. Mr N was ultimately, after the expiry of the notice and subsequent possession proceedings, granted both possession of the sublet land and his costs in the claim. The procedural minefield which the 1954 Act throws up had been successfully avoided.

Mediation 

Adam is passionate about mediation and the benefits it can offer to the parties who participate in it. He trained as a commercial mediator with the London School of Mediation in January 2015 and has been mediating disputes since summer 2015.

His mediation experience ranges from extensive pro bono work for the local charity Bristol Mediation, to which he has dedicated countless hours over the last few years, to numerous  commercial mediations (i.e. mediations in the context of litigation) both acting for parties as a barrister and mediating disputes as the commercial mediator. This breadth of experience is of great assistance to him regardless of whether he is acting in the barrister or the mediator role.

Adam’s interest in mediation and the analysis of disagreements stems in part from his time as a Philosophy undergrad at Cambridge. He hopes that this background (occasionally) gives him some useful insights into both the difficult situations which people can find themselves in and how to help the disputants resolve those situations.

More generally Adam thoroughly enjoys his mediation work, and takes a people-centric and solutions-centric approach to the disputes which he mediates. He also finds that his involvement in cases as the mediator is instructive and informative when giving professional advice at the Bar. The two coalesce nicely.

Lastly, Adam has a high success rate as a commercial mediator which he puts down to the breadth of his relevant experiences.

Client feedback from his commercial mediations (as mediator) has included:

  •  “Very professional” with a “client-centric approach.”
  • “He made an anxious client feel at ease.”
  • “Handled the mediation with appropriate sensitivity.”
  • “Completely informed as to the problems and explained everything very clearly.”
  • “I don’t think he could have been more helpful.”

To get in contact with Adam please use the details set out immediately below.

Email:      Phone: 0117 923 4700

Interests: Adam enjoys literature, Radio 3, Muay Thai and going to the gym.

Read Adam’s Publications below: 

The Promised Land – proprietary estoppel 
Section 21 after Spencer v Taylor: getting notices for possession right
Power Play – LPAs and the Court of Protection