Faculty of Law

St. Cross Building,
St. Cross Road
Oxford OX1 3UL


University Education:          

BA (Jurisprudence) (First Class Honours) 1971

BCL 1972


  • Honorary Scholar of St. Catherine’s College
  • Hardwicke and Cassel Scholarships, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Eldon Scholarship 1975, Oxford University

University Teaching and Lectures/Seminars:

Full time Lecturer in Law at the University of Connecticut Law School 1972-1973.

Subsequently, whilst starting at the Bar, “weekending” at St Edmund Hall and St. Catherine’s Colleges.  Also part time teaching at the London School of Economics and the Council of Legal Education (the Bar School).

In recent years, occasional university lectures and seminars at the Brooklyn Law School in Brooklyn and at the Summer School at the University of Bologna, NYU with simultaneous internet relay to Tulane and Utah law schools, the University of Leiden (LLM level) and the University of Cologne (for professors, graduates and legal practitioners).

Other lecturing and teaching:

Invited by the Chancellor of the Chancery Division to lecture the Chancery Judges and Registrars on the effect of the EC Regulation on Insolvency Proceedings (1346/2000).

Numerous lectures to international and domestic conferences dealing with insolvency law, such as those run by the International Insolvency Institute, INSOL Europe and R3. Venues include not only the UK but also Barcelona, Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, Rome, New York, Vienna, Prague, Venice and Malaga.

Number of talks on insolvency law for the European Academy of Law in Trier, which is backed by the EU, for judges, lawyers and academics in the EU and adjoining countries.

Speaker at Seminars organised by Oxford University on fixed and floating charges, intermediated securities and a comparative discussion of French and English insolvency law. 

Advised the European Parliament, Legal Affairs Committee, on the draft European Insolvency Convention as one of the four EU insolvency law experts invited.  The deliberations of the committee led to the passing of the EC Regulation on Insolvency Proceedings (1346/2000).

Nature of practice:

Practising barrister specialising in business and financial law and in particular reorganisation and insolvency related cases, including EU and other international aspects.

Involved in major “cutting edge” or “frontier” areas of insolvency law.  For example, researched the 18th and 19th Century case law relating to the “anti-deprivation” principle and developed a successful argument for an exception to the doctrine based on the old cases in the Court of Appeal in the Perpetual/Belmont case.  Another example is the invention, with a colleague, of the “head office functions test” in relation to the interpretation of Article 3 of the EC Regulation on Insolvency Proceedings (1346/2000), a test approved by the Advocate General in the Eurofood case in the ECJ and followed by national courts in the UK, France, Germany and Hungary and much discussed in the literature in the UK and EU.  The test was in effect adopted by the ECJ in the Interedil case.


  • Member of the Financial Markets Law Committee of the Bank of England and
  • Member of the Bank of England Working Groups on (i) Property Investments in Investment Securities, (ii) Building Society and Incorporated Friendly Society Set-Off and (iii) Financial Collateral, considering legal uncertainty affecting the Capital Markets and proposals for dealing with such legal uncertainty.
  • Member of the Review Panel formed by the UK Insolvency Service to assist in considering changes to English law and practice in the light of the EC Insolvency Regulation (1346/2000), which led to a number of changes to English insolvency law.
  • Member of the Review Panel set up by the Insolvency Lawyers Association to consider the enactment of the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-frontier Insolvency Proceedings in Great Britain and the proposed extension of the Model Law to banks and insurers.  The legislation enacting the Model Law in Great Britain reflected some of the recommendations made.
  • Other significant committee memberships relating to legal reforms include the Insolvency Law Sub Committee of the Consumer and Commercial Law Committee of the Law Society and the Insolvency Committee of Justice, the British section of the International Commission of Jurists.
  • Advised the Treasury in relation to implementation of the Directive on the Reorganisation and Winding Up of Insurance Undertakings and the FSA in relation to the implementation of the UCITS Directive as well as new legislation to cope with  massive financial insolvencies such as Lehmans.


Chairman of the editorial board and frequent contributor to Insolvency Intelligence, a leading refereed journal of insolvency law and to other legal journals.

Judicial role:

Authorised by the Law Chancellor to sit as a Deputy High Court Judge since 2001.  Several reported judgments involved considerable research and analysis of the legal position.  For example Macepark v Sargeant [2004] 3AER 1090 (incidental use of rights of way) involved reconciling a number of authorities including those in the Court of Appeal.  Nexus Communications v Lambert, Times, 3 March 2005 explores the doctrine of election.  Tamares v Fairpoint [2007] 1 WLR 2148, 2167 is the leading case on damages in lieu of injunction in the case of an infringement to rights to light.  Internet Broadcasting Corp Limited v Marr LLC [2009] 2 Lloyd’s Reports 295 is a significant case dealing with exclusion clauses and fundamental breach where the breach is deliberate.  Enviroco Limited v Farstad Supply is now a leading case on the interpretation of the Companies Acts’ definition of “subsidiary” and has just recently appeared in the Supreme Court.

Expert evidence:

Written expert evidence in relation to English, Bermudan, Cayman and Guernsey law in foreign courts and arbitral tribunals including US, Australia, Greece, Iceland, Italy and Poland. Oral evidence before the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of new York.

Selected Other Roles

Member of the Supervisory Board of the Academic Forum of Insol Europe and delivered papers and lectures for the Academic Forum at its meetings

International Advisor to the American Law Institute/International Insolvency Institute project on Transnational Insolvency: Principles of Co-Operation


Research Interests

Insolvency law

Options taught

Corporate Insolvency Law

Research projects