Professional Experience

Chris has practised in the areas of commercial litigation and insolvency since calling at the Bar in 2005. He previously worked as a chartered accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers and spent a period working for Lloyd's of London. His insolvency work is wide-ranging, from formal court applications to large, contested litigations, including unfair prejudice petitions, actions against directors for misfeasance and breach of disqualification orders. He also has extensive experience in the area of general commercial litigation. Among other matters, he has dealt with disputes concerning commercial contracts, professional negligence, pensions, engineering, unjustified enrichment and tax. He has advised on corporate applications to the court, including sanction for an insurance company solvent scheme of arrangement, and has acted in a number of divorce actions where commercial experience is required.

Chris appears regularly in the commercial and ordinary courts of the Court of Session, and also appears in the sheriff courts.

  • Case History

    Park (Pet.) re Norco Group Limited
    Junior counsel for the successful petitioner in an unfair prejudice petition brought under section 994 of the Companies Act 2006 (unreported, 2011).

    Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council v Springfield Retail Limited
    This case represents the current law on whether administrators are liable to pay rent as an expense of the administration where they have granted to a purchaser of the business a licence to occupy premises.

    Quids In Scotland Limited
    Junior Counsel for liquidators who succeeded in obtaining a substantial award under section 212 of the Insolvency Act 1986 against a former director for misfeasance.

    M v M and The Wards Estate Trustees Limited
    2009 SLT 608 (Outer House); 2009 SLT 750 (Inner House)
    2011 FamLR 24 (report of principal proceedings)
    Junior Counsel for the pursuer in the first divorce action in Scotland in which a trust set up by one of the parties to the marriage was set aside on the basis that it had the effect of defeating the other spouse's financial claims on divorce.

    Culdaff Construction Limited
    Action on behalf of liquidators to reduce transactions with directors as being gratuitous alienations.

    Preferred Mortgages v Shanks and Dewar
    Action of professional negligence against a surveyor and a solicitor.

    Thomson v Cavanagh Group
    Action of professional negligence against an independent financial adviser.

    Prosafe Offshore Limited v Young
    Junior Counsel for the pursuer in an action by an employer for an accounting and for unjustified enrichment following an alleged fraud.

    Briggs Marine v Pelamis Wave Power
    Counsel for the pursuer in a marine engineering/energy dispute which turned on the construction of the parties' contract.

    Kenneil v Kenneil and Kenneil
    2006 SLT 449
    Action of division and sale concerning (1) the capacity in which a Court reporter acts in selling heritable property and (2) the reduction of standard securities as unfair preferences.

    Matheson v Royal Bank of Scotland
    Dispute as to representations by bank officials to extend credit, involving allegations of bad faith on the part of the bank.

    MTIC cases
    Second junior counsel for HMRC in two VAT carousel cases.

    Numerous company related applications - e.g. restoring companies to register, extensions of administrations, replacement of liquidators, approval of accounts, discharge of administration order.

    Court-appointed Commissioner in two major Commissions.

  • Courts & Tribunals

    House of Lords; Court of Session (Inner House and Outer House); Sheriff Court; VAT Tribunal; Employment Tribunal.

Professional Career to date

Devil Masters: Robert Weir QC, Andrew Brown QC, Michael Howlin QC.

Year of call: 2005 
2003 - 2004: Murray Beith Murray WS (general commercial litigation, including bankruptcy and insolvency work and property/agricultural disputes). 
2002 - 2003: Lloyd's of London Regulatory Department (experience includes assessment of the solvency of insurance entities and analysis of pension scheme deficits). 
1997 - 2002: PricewaterhouseCoopers (audit of insurance entities, including Lloyd's syndicates; qualified as a chartered accountant in 2000). 
1994 - 1997: Confederation of British Industry (policy adviser; advised on company and commercial law, corporate governance and financial reporting).

Education & Professional Qualifications

Advocate (2005) 
MA, University of London (2003)
Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (2000) 
LLB, University of Glasgow (Public law) (1997)