Marc Brown, Head of our Business and Property Group and also Deputy Head of Chambers, undertakes work across a broad spectrum of commercial disputes, with a particular focus on insolvency matters.
A confident and user-friendly advocate with an exceptional academic background, he communicates well with both solicitors and clients. He offers advice that is tailored towards the commercial outcomes sought by the client and is conscious of the business needs of clients as well as the pure legal aspects of litigation.
Marc is regularly instructed in relation to high value and complex cases. He has experience of dealing with cases involving lengthy and detailed factual backgrounds and complex issues of law. He is conscious of the time pressures placed on solicitors and clients and the consequent need for a flexible approach. He also appreciates the value to both solicitors and clients of early in-depth analysis of the issues involved in any particular case. As a result, Marc sees value in taking a proactive and collaborative approach to litigation.
Marc regularly writes articles and is a frequent speaker on matters of insolvency law and civil procedure. He is happy to offer seminars at solicitors’ offices if requested.
Away from work, Marc is an avid snowboarder and amateur toxophilite.
Marc is the only junior barrister in the Midlands ranked in Band 1 of Chambers & Partners UK Bar 2020 for Insolvency & Restructuring. Marc regularly advises and appears in relation to many aspects of insolvency practice where he also has experience of being led in particularly high value and complex cases. He has a particular interest in new and upcoming forms of assets and their treatment in the insolvency context, in particularly intangible assets such as Cryptocurrency, in relation to which he regularly gives talks and seminars. His experience in court has taken him across the full range of insolvency matters, from regular routine winding up petitions, to the House of Lords in a case involving the liability of invalidly appointed receivers. Particular experience includes:
Corporate Insolvency – applications for administration orders or to extend or end administrations; applications to validate administrators’ appointments; applications for validation orders; advising administrators and directors in relation to transactions at an undervalue and preferences (including being led in high value cases) appearing on behalf of companies, petitioning and supporting creditors on winding up petitions; applications to restrain presentation or advertisement of winding up petitions;
Personal Insolvency – advising and appearing on transactions at an undervalue and preference cases; applications to set aside statutory demands; appearing on bankruptcy petitions on behalf of creditors and debtors; appearing on behalf of trustees in applications for possession and sale of property; appearing on behalf of creditors in relation to cross-border issues.
Marc is experienced in a wide range of commercial disputes. He acts for individuals and corporate clients in matters concerning shareholders disputes and unfair prejudice petitions, consumer disputes concerning sale of goods and provision of services and matter concerning the interpretation, operation and termination of contracts.
He has been involved in matters concerning the application of the CPR to representative actions involving charities and unincorporated associations and property disputes involving the scope of property rights and easements, including all the way to the Supreme Court.
Marc has experience of franchising disputes, including obtaining interim relief in relation to such actions. He also experience of actions involving allegations of fraud and is experienced in obtaining and responding to urgent interim relief that often accompanies such actions, including freezing injunctions.
Insolvency & Restructuring
Edginton v Sekhon & another  EWCA Civ 816. Marc acted for the Respondent petitioning creditors in this appeal (having acted for them throughout the bankruptcy proceedings). The Court of Appeal considered the proper approach to requests by debtors for an adjournment of the hearing of a bankruptcy petition in order to enable payment to be made.
Winnington Networks Communications Ltd v Revenue & Customs Commissioners  EWHC 1096 (Ch). The Court considered an application to dismiss a winding up petition on the grounds of a substantial dispute.
Schrade v Sparkasse Ludensheid  EWHC 1049 (Ch). Marc acted for the Respondent to this appeal, in which it was determined that the Registrar had been entitled to conclude that that the circumstances surrounding a petitioning creditor’s move to England were suspicious and had all the hallmarks of forum shopping.
Re Care People Ltd (In Administration)  EWHC 1734 (Ch). Decision of HHJ Purle QC (sitting as a High Court Judge) as to the validity of the appointment of an administrator by a qualifying floating chargeholder and the application of Rule 7.55 of the Insolvency Rules 1986 to defects in such appointment.
Re Hibernia (2005) Ltd  EWHC 2615 (Ch). Decision of Nicholas Strauss QC (sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge) on a contested application for an administration order, considering the exercise of the Court’s discretion to make an administration order in the context of a Pre-Pack.
Schrade v Sparkasse Lüdenscheid  BPIR 911 . Decision of Chief Registrar Baister concerning the debtor’s COMI and the jurisdiction of the court to make a bankruptcy order on a debtor’s petition. The Chief Registrar refused to make a bankruptcy order, holding that the debtor’s COMI was in Germany and not England & Wales and therefore the court did not have jurisdiction to make a bankruptcy order. The Chief Registrar also made comments about the phenomenon of bankruptcy tourism.
Sparkasse Hilden Ratingen Velbert v Horst Konrad Benk  EWHC 2432 (Ch). Marc acted for the Applicant creditor in relation to its application to annul the bankruptcy of a debtor on the grounds that the debtor’s centre of main interests was not in England & Wales at the relevant time. The Court analysed the principles applicable to such application and found that the debtor’s COMI was in Germany at the relevant time and therefore annulled the bankruptcy.
Re BTR (UK) Ltd  EWHC 2398 (Ch). This case concerned the obligations of an administrator under paragraph 55 of Schedule B1 of the Insolvency Act 1986 when proposals are rejected at an initial meeting of creditors. On the application of creditors of the company (for whom Marc acted), it was held that in such circumstances an administrator is bound under paragraph 55 to make an application to Court for directions.
Commercial & Chancery
Chandra v Mayor  EWHC 2636 (Ch);  1 WLR 729 – Marc acted for the Defendant to the initial proceedings, who was then the Claimant in these contribution proceedings concerning a claim by a Defendant who was sued in a representative capacity against the other members of the representative group. The Court determined and clarified the rights of a representative Defendant to claim a contribution against other represented persons, both in respect of a principal liability and costs, in the face of contradictory and unclear earlier authority.
Regency Villas Title Ltd & others v Diamond Resorts Europe Ltd & other  EWCA Civ 238 – Marc was led by John Randall QC in relation to the appeal of this matter against the decision of HHJ Purle QC (in which easements in respect of the use of sporting and recreational facilities were recognised). The case has been widely reported, including in the Times (1st June 2017).
Midland Chancery & Commercial Bar Association (MCCBA)
“Marc has a keen eye for detail and is able to quickly identify the key points. He provides robust, commercial advice and is also a complete advocate.” Legal 500 2023
“Marc is able to explain complex issues in accessible detail and has attention to detail.” Legal 500 2023
“Marc’s insight and input on complicated matters is second to none.” Chambers & Partners 2023
“He is knowledgeable, experienced and bright.” Chambers & Partners 2023
“Marc is good on his feet. He is an expert in his field.” Chambers & Partners 2023
“He is good in cross-examinations and very confident and calm throughout trial.” Chambers UK 2022
“He has a good rapport with both lay and professional clients and his preparation is excellent.” Chambers UK 2022
“A confident and personable advocate who combines attention to detail with a shrewd eye for tactics.” Chambers UK 2022
“Very knowledgeable. Knows their material. Excellent on his feet. A safe pair of hands. I have full confidence in his abilities.” Legal 500 2022
“He’s ferociously intelligent and a fantastic advocate.” Chambers UK
“He is very experienced and understands insolvency practitioners and how they work very well.” Chambers UK
“He’s extremely bright and very clever.” Chambers UK
“His knowledge of insolvency has been second to none.” Chambers UK
“Approachable and down-to-earth, with an outstanding intellectual background.” Legal 500 2021
“Very commercial, with excellent attention to detail.” Legal 500 2020
“He’s very tenacious in court and can be really aggressive when you need him to fight.” Chambers UK
“He is super smart and great to work with.” Chambers UK
“An excellent advocate with a wealth of knowledge and experience. He is able to drill down to the main issues very quickly and effectively.” Chambers UK
“He’s knowledgeable, well prepared, good with clients and a persuasive advocate.” Chambers UK
“He provides reliable advice and has a very good client manner.” Chambers UK
“He is very focused, has a superb drafting style and is highly intelligent and precise.” Chambers UK
“Knowledgeable, excellent on his feet and good fun to work with.” Chambers UK
“He’s diligent, very hard-working and gets on with it. He is a very, very sensible barrister.” Chambers UK
“A good advocate with an analytical eye.” Legal 500
“Extremely bright and quick to grasp the issues in a dispute. Marc has a great drafting style and is very meticulous in all areas of his work.” Chambers UK
“His strengths are cutting through all the fluff and getting to the nub of the matter – he makes it very simplistic.” Chambers UK
“He has a really easy style with judges, his written work is reliable and he makes himself available.” Chambers UK
“Marc is exceptionally knowledgeable and commercial, clients are always impressed.” Chambers UK
“A good practical advocate, who delivers well in court. He’s also very user-friendly and adaptable.” Chambers UK
“He’s very good at anticipating additional issues that might come up in a case.” Chambers UK
“Swiftly becoming an important player at the Commercial Bar. He is known for insolvency work as well as general commercial disputes.” Chambers UK