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Christopher Mann

Call 1998
Telephone 020 7831 0222
Email Christopher.Mann@42br.com

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Introduction

Christopher specialises in chancery/commercial, real property and professional negligence work. He has a busy court practice ranging from frequent appearances at trials and interlocutory applications in the TCC, Queen’s Bench and Chancery Divisions to contested multi-track trials and applications in District Registries/ County Courts; and before the Property Chamber. He also has a growing domestic and international arbitration practice. Much of Christopher’s work is advisory – both in writing and in conference. As well as preparing pleadings and other court documents, Christopher is also regularly involved in non-contentious drafting. He routinely appears at mediations/round table conferences and frequently works as part of multi-disciplinary teams and with experts. He is instructed by a large range of solicitors from city firms to regional High Street firms and from large companies to individuals. He is qualified to accept direct access from the public and is willing to consider work on a CFA basis.

Banking & Financial Services

Christopher provides advice, advocacy and drafting in relation to the full spectrum of banking and financial disputes. In recent times, he has had a particular focus on cases relating to swaps/IRHP mis-selling, guarantees and security. He also advises and litigates in connection with constructive trusts and tracing of assets, bills of exchange, consumer credit, confidentiality and investment advice. Many of the cases have an international dimension and he is familiar with conflict of laws issues.

Chancery

Christopher is regularly instructed in chancery disputes and is experienced in the administration of estates, equitable claims (both personal and proprietary), Inheritance Act actions, probate, trusts and wills.

Commercial Landlord & Tenant

Real estate litigation has always been a significant part of Christopher’s practice and he is very experienced in commercial landlord and tenant, including service charge disputes, rent reviews, dilapidations, breach of covenant claims, 1954 Act applications (opposed and unopposed), break clauses, forfeiture and guarantees, sureties and issues under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1995.

Business

Business litigation is at the heart of Christopher’s practice. 

He deals with disputes about commercial disputes of most kinds except shipping contracts. One of his advantages is that he has knowledge and expertise in a number of areas of law, in particular banking, company, civil fraud, conflict of laws and real property and brings this multi-disciplinary experience to the cases in which he is involved.

He also has a growing domestic and international arbitration practice.

Examples of recent cases include representation of a foreign bank in respect of a number of property sales alleged to have been the subject of misrepresentation; and a claim in the Chancery Division for specific performance of a contract to transfer shares/damages.

Related selected cases

  • ICC Arbitration (confidential) – junior member of a team of counsel engaged in a multi-jurisdiction energy-related arbitration. Advising and assisting particularly concerning challenge to the award under s.68 and enforcement; and in related Commercial Court guarantee proceedings.
  • Begum v Hossain [2015] EWCA Civ 717 – successful appeal to the Court of Appeal on the basis that an expert valuer of shares materially departed from his mandate.
  • Ap (UK) Limited v West Midlands Fire and Civil Defence Authority v R, G and P Patel (QBD) (Master Fontaine) (2012) (HQ05X00341) – long-running non-party costs claim by the Fire Brigade against the Respondent Patels arising from QB actions stuck out in 1999 and 2005; consideration of the appropriate test for non-party directors’ liability for costs and apportionment of costs liability (with Paul Reed QC).
  • Eugene McLaughlin and others v Bradbury & Co Limited/Sunday Solutions Limited (claim HC10C00779) – claim on behalf of over 80 IT contractors for restitution/damages/tracing and other equitable remedies; action issued in 2010 and stayed following a public interest winding up petition presented against the defendant companies; several interlocutory hearings concerning Bankers Book/injunctive/disclosure applications.
  • Cada Design Group Limited v Magazini Familia Eood (QBD) (Dec 2009) (HQ0X02023) – successful claim for damages against a Bulgarian company; conflict of laws/English/Bulgarian company/restitution law.
  • Salako Agents Limited v. Aerometals BV & others (QBD) (Commercial Court) – (Claim No. 2001 Folio 963) (2002)– high value property development claim including misrepresentation issues – with Roger Ellis QC (leader) and Gabriel Buttimore (first junior).

Company & Partnership

Christopher has considerable experience in these areas and regularly deals with shareholder disputes, claims involving directors’ duties and directors’ disqualifications. He also has knowledge of partnership law and the law relating to LLPs. Christopher frequently advises upon and reviews agreements and deals with partnership and LLP disputes, including the taking of accounts.

Sample work in this area includes:

  • Advising a member of a partnership regarding setting aside a deed of dissolution where Land Registry proceedings to set aside a TR1 on the grounds of non est factum were concurrent (compromised)
  • Advice and pleadings in a claim by a LLP against an alleged former member; Chancery Division trial listed for 2013 (compromised)
  • Advice and pleadings concerning a partnership dispute in Birmingham DR
  • Advice and representation in an unfair prejudice matter in the Companies Court
  • Advice and representation in a derivative claim in the Chancery Division
  • Partnership dispute in the Chancery Division – re-opening of a previous accountant’s expert determination

Construction & Engineering

Christopher has appeared in a range of construction and engineering disputes over the years and is skilled in digesting technical and expert evidence. Examples of recent work include a defence to a quantum meruit claim in Oxford District Registry, now compromised, which raised issues as to valuation in the light of the principle of “subjective devaluation” discussed in Benedetti v Sawiris and a defence of an architectural consultant in a multi-party TCC negligence claim, compromised at mediation. He is conversant with the procedures in the TCC and is a member of TECBAR.

Insolvency

Christopher acts for and advises companies, directors, debtors and office holders in all areas of corporate and personal insolvency including administrations, liquidations, wrongful and fraudulent trading and misfeasance claims. Many general commercial actions have an insolvency element and Christopher is able to bring a multi-disciplinary perspective.

Christopher acted, with Jeremy Callman, in Alts Limited v. Ridgeway Motors (Isleworth) Limited [2005] 1 WLR 2871 [2005] EWCA Civ 92 (Court of Appeal) which determined whether a bankruptcy/winding up petition was statute-barred by s.24 of the Limitation Act 1980 after 6 years.

Leasehold Enfranchisement

Christopher has experience, both advisory and as an advocate, in this often – complex field. He frequently puts his substantive knowledge to use in enfranchisement – related negligence actions.

Professional Negligence

Christopher routinely advises on and acts in professional negligence claims which touch upon his other specialist areas, particularly commercial, company and property law. He acts in claims for and against solicitors, accountants, surveyors and financial advisers. He finds his knowledge and experience of property and insolvency issues gives him an advantage in this field and is adept at achieving settlements, whether by well-calibrated correspondence or by advocacy at ADR (including mediations).

Christopher has several ongoing professional negligence claims against and for solicitors/surveyors brought by individuals and lending institutions in respect of alleged negligent conveyancing/handling of litigation (including leasehold enfranchisement).

Property

Christopher has extensive experience in this area. He has advised on most kinds of property disputes including claims about registration; applications to rectify the register; co-ownership claims; adverse possession actions; disputes about boundaries and easements; mortgage claims, possession claims and claims against mortgagees for sale at an undervalue. He is very experienced in residential and commercial matters including service charge disputes; rent reviews; dilapidations and breach of covenant claims; 1954 Act applications and leasehold enfranchisement matters.

Residential Landlord & Tenant

Christopher frequently deals with litigation, advice and drafting in the field of residential landlord and tenant, including possession actions, service charge disputes, rights of first refusal, breach of covenant disputes, forfeiture/enforcement and human rights issues.

Related selected cases

  • Stroud v Nagra (Ch 2013/0037) (David Donaldson QC) (October 2013) -successful resistance to an appeal from a judgment of HHJ Marshall QC in Central London (Chancery List) as to the interpretation of a lease/consideration of admissibility of fresh evidence
  • Cetyl International Group Inc v Cartwright (Court of Appeal)(July 2013) -appeal against a County Court strike out by reason of a failure to make an interim payment; compromised shortly before hearing
  • Lexi Holdings Plc v. Pandora Deborah Karen Maxwell (Oxford County Court) (2005) – possession proceedings in respect of Moulsford Manor, Oxfordshire, which attracted considerable national press coverage

Wills, Trusts & Probate

Christopher has experience in trusts; wills and probate (including trustees’ duties and Inheritance Act claims); conflict of laws and equitable claims (both personal and proprietary).

Accreditations

  • “Outstanding legal mind. Unrivalled attention to detail combined with excellent technical skills”

Professional memberships

  • Technology and Construction Bar Association (TECBAR)
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association (PNBA)
  • Property Bar Association (PBA)

Selected cases

  • ICC Arbitration (confidential) – junior member of a team of counsel engaged in a multi-jurisdiction energy-related arbitration. Advising and assisting particularly concerning challenge to the award under s.68 and enforcement; and in related Commercial Court guarantee proceedings.
  • Begum v Hossain [2015] EWCA Civ 717 – successful appeal to the Court of Appeal on the basis that an expert valuer of shares materially departed from his mandate.
  • OCC and Cherwell DC v Emaar Construction Ltd (HHJ Harris QC) (March 2014) (compromised)-including a number of novel points, central being whether a section 106 agreement was invalidated by reason of a planning condition in the related planning permission having been held to be ultra vires.
  • Stroud v Nagra (Ch 2013/0037) (David Donaldson QC) (October 2013)-successful resistance to an appeal from a judgment of HHJ Marshall QC in Central London (Chancery List) as to the interpretation of a lease/consideration of admissibility of fresh evidence.
  • Cetyl International Group Inc v Cartwright (Court of Appeal)(July 2013)-appeal against a County Court strike out by reason of a failure to make an interim payment; compromised shortly before hearing.
  • Ap (UK) Limited v West Midlands Fire and Civil Defence Authority v R, G and P Patel (QBD) (Master Fontaine) (2012) (HQ05X00341)- long-running non-party costs claim by the Fire Brigade against the Respondent Patels arising from QB actions stuck out in 1999 and 2005; consideration of the appropriate test for non-party directors’ liability for costs and apportionment of costs liability.
  • Eugene McLaughlin and others v Bradbury & Co Limited/Sunday Solutions Limited (claim HC10C00779)-claim on behalf of over 80 IT contractors for restitution/damages/tracing and other equitable remedies; action issued in 2010 and stayed following a public interest winding up petition presented against the defendant companies; several interlocutory hearings concerning Bankers Book/injunctive/disclosure applications.
  • Cada Design Group Limited v Magazini Familia Eood (QBD) (Dec 2009) (HQ0X02023)-successful claim for damages against a Bulgarian company; conflict of laws/English/Bulgarian company/restitution law.
  • Ascham Homes v All Leaseholders in the LB Waltham Forest (Lands Tribunal) (President; George Bartlett QC) (2009) (LT LRX/8/2009) – successful resistance on behalf of lessees to application by Ascham Homes, represented by Timothy Fancourt QC, for permission to appeal; consideration of the extent of the Tribunal’s implied jurisdiction to review a decision to refuse permission to appeal (also appeared at first instance before the LVT when successfully resisted Ascham’s attempt to have validated its non-compliance with service charge notification requirements for borough-wide refurbishment works) (LON/00BH/LDC/2007/0065).
  • Jafferali v. Jafferali (Central London Chancery List) (2007-2008): mortgage dispute/undue influence.
  • O’Sullivan v. O’Sullivan (Chancery Division) (2006) – validity of a cheque.
  • Alts Limited v. Ridgeway Motors (Isleworth) Limited [2005] 1 WLR 2871 [2005] EWCA Civ 92 – (Court of Appeal) – whether a bankruptcy/winding up petition statute barred by s.24 of the Limitation Act 1980 after 6 years (with Jeremy Callman).
  • Alts Limited v. Ridgeway Motors (Isleworth) Limited (No. 2) (Chancery Division) (2005) – case involving adverse possession issues and removal of the CPR automatic stay.
  • Lexi Holdings Plc v. Pandora Deborah Karen Maxwell (Oxford County Court) (2005) – possession proceedings in respect of Moulsford Manor, Oxfordshire, which attracted considerable national press coverage.
  • Philipps v. Forte (QBD and Central London Chancery List) (2003-2004): forfeiture/service charge dispute.
  • SIF v. David & Elaine Dunphy (QBD) (Oxford District Registry) (2002-2003) – successful resistance, acting for SIF, to an attempt to seek to avoid recovery of a mortgage shortfall by an alleged release of a guarantor.
  • Salako Agents Limited v. Aerometals BV & others (QBD) (Commercial Court) – (Claim No. 2001 Folio 963) (2002)– high value property development claim including misrepresentation issues – with Roger Ellis QC (leader) and Gabriel Buttimore (first junior).
  • Operation Present – conducted well over 300 immigration cases on behalf of the Treasury Solicitor/Home Office (2000-2004): considerable ventilation of Human Rights arguments.

Sample recent work

  • Advice in a misfeasance claim where a provisional liquidator had been appointed
  • Several successful mediations of, amongst other matters, a proposed claim for undue influence and for breach of a business sale and purchase agreement
  • Advice and representation in a long-running claim for restitution of monies from a former company director
  • Advice and representation in a trial for breach of restrictive covenants in a business sale and purchase agreement
  • Advice and drafting in a very large Chancery claim for financial mis-selling (with discreet additional claims before the FOS)
  • Advice and drafting in a maritime arbitration concerning jurisdiction
  • Freezing injunction before the Queen’s Bench Division in an alleged fraud case
  • Advice and drafting in a proposed claim for judicial review concerning the definition of micro-enterprise/eligibility/linked companies
  • Lease extension case concerning property in Chelsea against the Cadogan Estate
  • Case before the Property Chamber involving numerous issues as to express/implied easements/the rule in Harris v Flower/perpetuities
  • Multi-party case in the Chancery Division representing a foreign bank in respect of property sales alleged to have been the subject of misrepresentation/numerous conflict of laws points
  • Quantum Meruit claim in Oxford DR; valuation of a construction project in the light of the principle of “subjective devaluation” discussed in Benedetti v Sawiris
  • Claim in the Chancery Division for specific performance of a contract to transfer shares/damages
  • Several professional negligence claims against and for solicitors/surveyors brought by individuals and lending institutions in respect of alleged negligent conveyancing/handling of litigation (including leasehold enfranchisement)
  • Advising a member of a partnership regarding setting aside a deed of dissolution where Land Registry proceedings to set aside a TR1 on the grounds of non est factum were concurrent;
  • Advice and pleadings in a claim by a LLP against an alleged former member;
  • Advice and pleadings concerning a partnership dispute in Birmingham DR
  • Advice and representation in an unfair prejudice matter in the Companies Court
  • Advice and representation in a derivative claim in the Chancery Division
  • Advice and representation in a long-running possession claim where defence was that wife was in possession pursuant to an overriding interest
  • Advice concerning costs aspects of a case in the Supreme Court
  • Advice concerning costs in a long-running and high-profile matrimonial case involving very considerable assets and cross-border aspects
  • Advice relating to a director’s liability to a bank under guarantees; considerations of estoppel and variations to the guarantees
  • Advice and pleading on behalf of an individual whose funds were alleged to have been dissipated by a bank employee
  • Advice concerning breach of a restrictive covenant in a share sale agreement
  • Advice and representation in a dispute involving a religious institution and the extent of its right of way to process
  • Several advices for company directors and liquidators concerning unfair prejudice/just and equitable winding up and proceedings for misfeasance and setting aside preferences
  • A number of partnership disputes (including a claim by a firm against a former solicitor member and for dissolution of a partnership where there were numerous issues as to the extent of the partnership property)
  • A number of county court trials including issues as to proprietary estoppel; restitution/advancement of monies on trust/sale of timeshare apartments and possession/dilapidations claims
  • Advice and representation in a large building dispute; issues as to quantum meruit/overcharging and extent of retainer
  • Advice and pleadings in a large number of pure property matters; including claims under TOLATA/restitution for s.2 non-compliance where issues of illegality concerned/rectification of a lease
  • Advice to suppliers concerning retention of title
  • Ongoing advice and representation in claims under the Inheritance Act 1975
  • Advice and representation in claims for vesting orders/restoration to the register
  • Advice and representation in an action in the Chancery Division – undue influence/non est factum in relation to a deed of transfer/conflict of laws and probate (US probate proceedings concurrent)
  • Advice and representation in an action in the Queen’s Bench Division for an injunction to restrain an alleged breach of a motor distributorship agreement overseas
  • Defending an action in the TCC on behalf of a contractor to an employer’s claim for damages for defects and liquidated damages
  • Partnership dispute in the Chancery Division – re-opening of a previous accountant’s expert determination
  • Advisory work to a large public sector organisation relating to the Icelandic Bank collapse
  • Several costs cases in the Queen’s Bench Division/Senior Courts Costs Office
  • Advice and drafting in relation to a potential claim for damages for delay in reinstatement of business premises following earthquake damage

Education

  • 1996 MA (Hons) in Modern History, Magdalen College, Oxford. First class in finals and moderations.
  • 1997 CPE Diploma in Law (City University).
  • 1998 Bar Vocational Course: Inns of Court School of Law: graded very competent.

Awards/Scholarships

  • Demy (Full Scholar) of Magdalen College, Oxford.
  • Lincoln’s Inn CPE Bursary.
  • Lincoln’s Inn Hardwicke Entrance Scholarship.
  • Lincoln’s Inn Sunley Scholarship.

Appointments

  • Judicial Assistant to the Court of Appeal (attached to Otton and Buxton LJJ) January – May 2000. Involvement in research and preparation of memoranda/briefing notes for Judges of the Court of Appeal (Civil Division) regarding a number of high profile and interesting cases.
  • Pupil Supervisor

Seminars/Publications

Regular provider of CPD-accredited talks and contributor to Chambers’ newsletters. Past topics have included the role of experts; rent reviews; preferences/transactions at an under-value; guarantees; the Community Infrastructure Levy and claims against financial advisers after Rubenstein.

Contributor to “Pleading in Arbitration: A Practitioner’s Guide” (2nd edition) (Walker QC and Clark) published by Sweet and Maxwell, 2017

Languages

Some French, Italian and Russian.

Interests

Music; opera; theatre; cricket; chess; travel.

BSB / VAT information

Registered name: Christopher Mann

VAT number: 757158600

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