deBriefed – April 2024

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Written by:

Iqbal Mohammed


Welcome to our first newsletter in 2024! The first quarter has flown by. We hope everyone got their tax returns in on time. 

St Philips Chambers was thrilled to have 7 of its members shortlisted for the Birmingham Law Society’s 2024 Legal Awards and our members enjoyed the awards evening very much. The  Business and Property Group is delighted to announce that Alexander Bradford, our current pupil, is now on his feet and able to accept instructions.

If you are interested in instructing Alexander or learning more about him, please contact the Business & Property Group clerks.



Raghav Trivedi represented the interests of a High Court Enforcement Officer at the Court of Appeal in a Fees Dispute Application under r 84.16 CPR. The case was complex and challenging covering principles of agency, vicarious liability, assumptions of responsibility, statutory interpretation and banking arrangements.

Ali Tabari represented the successful respondent to a summary judgment application which raised an interesting point about the meaning of ‘reasonableness’ in the context of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, and is a salutary warning to any party seeking to slavishly rely on their standard terms and conditions, even if those terms are industry-approved.

Iqbal Mohammed and Simon Clegg appeared against each other in a four-day trial in the TCC. The construction dispute concerned a £1.4m JCT contract alleged to have been made between the parties but strongly denied by the Defendant, who insisted that the Defendant’s signature was forged. HHJ Sarah Watson is expected to hand down judgment in May.

Ali also led Natalie Kearney in a trial in the Rolls Building, representing an alleged de facto director who is said to have orchestrated a c.£4m VAT fraud, with claims being brought in breach of duty, dishonest assistance, conspiracy and knowing receipt. Judgment is expected in May/June.

Rob Mundy was due to appear in a 10-day trial in Re Caprina Trading Ltd, an unfair prejudice petition and dispute over the beneficial interest in shares. This was due to be the third High Court trial between members of the same family. The case settled on the judicial reading day.


Amanprit Kaur was successful in obtaining an order for possession and sale for the Claimant against his ex-partner, following a breakdown of their relationship.  The Judge was satisfied that the transfer for the parties’ property included an express declaration of trust that recorded 80% to the Claimant and 20% to the Defendant and was determinative of their respective beneficial interests. 

Michelle Caney represented the defendant in a 10-day trial in the High Court concerning a £1.1m claim for unlawful eviction. The claim raises novel points of law pertaining vicarious liability and comprised cyber expert evidence on the authenticity of emails allegedly forged by a former employee of the defendant. The case has attracted nationwide media attention. Judgment is expected in the spring.

John Aldis successfully opposed an adverse possession claim to part of a residential garden on the grounds that: (a) the applicant’s first ADV1 application was defective because it referred to the wrong title number; and (b) by the time the respondent made his second ADV1 application, he no longer qualified because more than 6 months had elapsed from the date on which he had been evicted by the erection of a fence.

Amanprit also acted for three Claimants in a 4-day trial, involving 13 witnesses. Amanprit was successful in securing a judgment in the Claimant’s favour on all three grounds of their claim which included (1) Trespass (2) Nuisance and (3) breach of the Data Protection Act 2015 (“DPA 2015”), relating to unlawful use of CCTV cameras.

Anthony Verduyn has been keeping the judges thinking, with a trial in Sheffield about the appointment of a manager (to student accommodation, not Wednesday FC), in the Court of Appeal on the construction of leases for Right to Buy properties, and – nearer home – an adverse possession claim between brothers, but without a single judgment yet handed down.


Kirsty White successfully represented the liquidator of two linked companies in a two-day trial in the Business and Property Courts in Birmingham to recover sums from the sole director that he caused to be paid out at a time that the companies were insolvent. The case required analysis of the tests laid out in Sequana at multiple points in time to determine when the director knew or ought to have known each company was insolvent. The director was refused relief under section 1157 of the Companies Act 2006.



The Duke of Sussex & Ors v MGN Limited [2024] EWHC 274 (Ch), Fancourt J made an unusual order awarding costs on an indemnity basis against both parties, despite the Claimants being substantially successful. 

Al Sadeq v Dechert LLP & Ors [2024] EWCA Civ 28, a lengthy decision on the iniquity exception to scope of legal professional privilege.


Savage v Savage [2024] EWCA Civ 49, a TOLATA case in which the Court of Appeal held that the court is entitled to consider minority beneficial interests when exercising its discretion under section 14.

Williams v Williams [2024] EWCA Civ 42, the presumption in Stack v Dowden was held not to apply to the purchase of a family farm by a couple and their son for business purposes. The Court of Appeal held that the presumption was a beneficial tenancy in common rather than a joint tenancy.


Armstead v Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company Limited [2024] UKSC 6, the Supreme Court confirmed that the legal burden of proof lies on the defendant to plead and prove remoteness of loss in tort, an issue on which there was a surprising absence of authority.

Yesss (A) Electrical Ltd v Warren [2024] EWCA Civ 14, the Court of Appeal confirmed that a late application for expert evidence is not one for relief from sanctions.

Miller v Irwin Mitchell [2024] EWCA Civ 53, the Court of Appeal considered whether an implied retainer arose through the client’s use of the firm’s general helpline and whether the firm was required to advise of the Defendant’s potential insolvency.


Counsel’s Corner

Our very own Jonathan Gale is a talented musician who often provides chambers with a selection of classical music live in the atrium.

If you want to listen, please take a look at his YouTube channel.

Written by Iqbal Mohammed