Christopher Buckingham

Call 2009

Christopher Buckingham

Introduction

Christopher is a Chancery Commercial practitioner. His work covers a range of specialist practice areas including insolvency, property, probate and trusts. In recent years he has been instructed to advise and appear in an array of complex and high value cases (both led and as sole counsel) including claims brought by insolvency office-holders, directors’ disqualification applications and proceedings under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. He appeared unled for the successful Appellant in the seminal case on mandatory ADR Lomax v Lomax [2019] EWCA Civ 1467; [2019] 1 WLR 6527.

After having read PPE at Lincoln College, Oxford, Christopher studied the GDL and then an LLM at Wolfson College, Cambridge. In 2014 he was seconded to Bell Gully, a commercial law firm in New Zealand, as part of the Pegasus Scholarship Scheme. In 2018 he was appointed to join the Regional B Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown.

He has been ranked in the legal directories for several years being described as “fabulously bright” and “an exceptional junior”.

Publications

Various case notes published on LexisPSL

Contributor to the Rural Law Notebook

“Subrogation, the Straightjacket of Unjust Enrichment and Legal Taxonomy” [2016] Conv. 219 (co-authored with Lucy Chambers)

“Overview: Company Law, Insolvency and Receivership” (2015) 6 UKSCY 355

“Intangible Property and Proprietary Restitution in the High Court” [2013] LMCLQ 296 (co-authored with Lucy Chambers)

“Trouble in Monte Carlo: Secret Commissions and Constructive Trusts” (2013) 27 TLI 102

“Draycott v Hannells Letting Ltd: the emasculation of the tenancy deposit scheme?” [2010] Conv. 261

Commercial & Chancery Litigation

Christopher has been instructed on a wide range of commercial and chancery disputes, which are often technical and high value in nature. Examples of recent work:

 

  • Drafted proceedings for specific performance of a contract for sale arising by exercise of an option.
  • Drafted proceedings on behalf of a company for a claim brought for rescission of a supply agreement and for breach of duty against a former director.
  • Advised a national food processing company on a claim for breach of a supply agreement.
  • Instructed in a multi-million pound arbitration concerning an international sale of goods dispute.
  • Appeared for the Secretary of State in a trio of successful appeals in the Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber) concerning the “bedroom tax”.
  • Advised and settled grounds of appeal in respect of a Commercial Court judgment for €113 million under various loan agreements.
  • Advised a freight company on contractual and common law rights of termination under a membership agreement.
  • Instructed to advise a supplier of healthcare and medical products on an agreement with an introducer.
  • Instructed to represent the Defendant in litigation concerning the supply of an incident management system at the UK’s Atomic Weapons Establishment.

Contentious Wills, Trusts & Probate

Traditional Chancery work is a significant part of Christopher’s practice. His experience includes Inheritance Act claims, probate disputes, applications brought under TLATA, and claims involving constructive and resulting trusts. Examples of recent work:

 

  • Advised on the validity of a will in a dispute between siblings, allegations of misappropriation of monies, and an application to remove an Executor.
  • Represented the Defendant in a High Court claim in which there was a dispute about whether a property was held on constructive trust and included an application to remove an Administrator. The case settled after an ENE.
  • Represented a law firm on an application for non-party disclosure arising in the context of a dispute about the validity of a will.
  • Advised on a Court of Protection application arising in the context of an incompletely constituted trust and a settlor’s loss of capacity.
  • Represented a widow in a long-running Inheritance Act claim, in which the status of various high-value family trusts was in dispute. The case settled after an ENE.
  • Defended an application brought by beneficiaries of a discretionary trust to compel the trustees to provide certain information and make distributions.
  • Advised on the construction of provisions in a will trust in the light of a threatened claim by a carer of the deceased.
  • Appeared in a dispute (until conclusion at mediation) concerning the validity of a civil partnership and the status of a will made shortly before the partnership.
  • Advised on the validity of a trust in the light of concerns as to whether there had been compliance with appropriate formalities.
  • Advised an executor on an application to remove under s 50 of the AJA 1985.

Insolvency & Restructuring

Christopher is regularly instructed on an assortment of applications arising out of corporate and personal insolvency. He work includes bankruptcy and winding up petitions (including those brought on grounds of public interest), applications brought by office-holders to set aside antecedent transactions, misfeasance claims and claims brought under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986. Examples of recent work:

 

  • Advised and represented the Defendants in a claim brought for possession and sale of a property by a Trustee in Bankruptcy. A key issue was the status of deeds of trust alleged to be void and/or a sham. The case settled just before trial.
  • Represented the Secretary of State at a 4 day trial of a claim to disqualify a director on the basis of failure to keep adequate accounts.
  • Represented the Secretary of State in a successful petition to wind up a company on public interest grounds arising from the fraudulent abuse of Covid-19 financial assistance schemes.
  • Advised the director of a company in respect of a claim brought by the liquidator alleging misfeasance and breach of duty under s 212 of the Insolvency Act 1986.
  • Represented the Secretary of State at a trial of a claim to disqualify a director on the basis of causing a company to trade to the detriment of HMRC.
  • Appeared for Administrators on an application concerning the status of funds collected on behalf of an insolvent firm of solicitors.
  • Acted as a junior on a £multi-million fraud case brought by a Trustee in Bankruptcy against directors and shareholders in a number of companies in the Skelwith Leisure Group.
  • Advised a director on a claim brought by Liquidators in respect of payments alleged to be unlawful dividends.
  • Represented the alleged debtor on a contested bankruptcy petition, which was determined, in his favour, after cross-examination.

Real Estate

Litigation and advisory work in all aspects of property law have been a major part of Christopher’s practice for over a decade. He has wide experience of cases involving boundary disputes, conveyancing, easements, mortgages, options, proprietary estoppel, restrictive covenants, trespassers and all aspects of commercial and residential landlord & tenant. Examples of recent work:

 

  • Obtained a vesting order of land, which had been held on trust for the Claimant by a company until its dissolution.
  • Appeared for the successful Claimant in a 3 day trial to enforce a prescriptive right to drain over a neighbour’s property.
  • Advised on and drafted proceedings to enforce a restrictive covenant to prevent development of a shared garden.
  • Represented the Defendant pub company in a complex claim alleging wrongful forfeiture, unreasonable withholding of consent to assignment and conversion of goods.
  • Advised on the construction of a user clause in a long lease, in the context of a number of flats being used as holiday lets.
  • Represented a landowner in a High Court claim for an injunction and possession order against squatters of a large commercial site in Leeds.
  • Advised a property developer on the scope and enforceability of a restrictive covenant and a potential application to the Upper Tribunal.
  • Represented the sellers of a property in a claim in which the buyers alleged fraudulent misrepresentation (settled at mediation).
  • Represented several mortgagors challenging the enforceability of short term, high value secured lending.

Reported Cases

Re Javazzi Limited [2021] EWHC 1239 (Ch); [2021] 2 BCLC 82: Represented the Secretary of State in obtaining a 7 year disqualification order against a director after a 4 day trial before HHJ Mithani QC. The case was bought on the basis of the director’s failure to keep adequate accounts.

Lomax v Lomax [2019] EWCA Civ 1467; [2019] 1 WLR 6527: Seminal case on mandatory ADR, in which the Court of Appeal ruled that parties can be compelled to take part in Early Neutral Evaluation even if they do not consent. Christopher appeared (unled) for the successful Appellant.

Education

LLM (Commercial Law), Wolfson College, Cambridge
BVC, Nottingham Law School
GDL, Oxford Brookes (Distinction)
MA Philosophy Politics and Economics, Lincoln College, Oxford
Pegasus Scholarship (New Zealand, 2014)
Sunley Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn)
Tancred Studentship (Lincoln’s Inn)
Lord Haldane Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn)
Hardwicke Entrance Award (Lincoln’s Inn)
Law Department Prize for Outstanding Performance on the GDL

Appointments and Memberships

Regional B Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown (Appointed 2018 for five years)

Chancery Bar Association (committee member)

Court of Protection Practitioners Association

Denning Society

Ecclesiastical Law Society

Testimonials

“He is very good at unpicking knotty problems and giving firm and reasoned advice.” Chambers & Partners 2022
“Christopher is an exceptionally thorough, hands-on and intelligent junior who leaves no stone unturned.” Chambers & Partners 2022
“He is extremely bright, very good with clients and gives good, pragmatic and commercial advice.” Chambers & Partners 2022
“He is fabulously bright: a careful strategist who is more than a match for opponents many years his senior. Superb on his feet and clear on papers.” Legal 500 2022
“He is extremely knowledgeable, well prepared, efficient and client-centric. His attention to detail is second to none.” Chambers & Partners 2021
“He is a leading counsel for the future and an exceptional junior.” Chambers & Partners 2021
“Without a shadow of doubt amongst the best of the best. You want him on your side.” Legal 500 2021
“Commercially minded, astute and concise.” Legal 500 2021
“A go-to-person for anything that’s relatively complicated; he is very clever and his attention to detail is fantastic.” Chambers & Partners 2020
“He is really thorough and the turnaround time is brilliant.” Chambers & Partners 2020
“Incredibly good at unpicking knotty problems.” Legal 50 2020
“Provides invaluable insight and immaculately detailed submissions.” Legal 500 2020
“A very bright and hardworking barrister.” Legal 500 2019
“Very hardworking and meticulous; judges like him.” Legal 500 2019
“He has a good eye for detail.” Legal 500 2018