Christopher Edwards

Year of Call: 2008
Email Address: christopher.edwards@3pb.co.uk
Telephone: 0117 928 1520

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Overview

Prior to being called to the Bar, Christopher completed an MPhil in International Relations at Oxford University and then worked and volunteered for NGOs in the UK and Cambodia.

He now practises as a commercial, construction and property barrister, with particular expertise in:

  • Commercial disputes
  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy
  • Construction Disputes
  • Professional negligence
  • Property.

Expertise

  • Commercial
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    Christopher has a commercial practice that encompasses the whole spectrum of business and commercial disputes, with a particular emphasis on disputes with banks and other financial institutions. He regularly advises and represents businesses in both the county and high court, and also has experience of alternative dispute resolution.

    Commercial Disputes

    Christopher has experience of a wide range of commercial disputes, including claims relating to:

    • Agency
    • Consumer credit agreements
    • Construction of contracts
    • Debt recovery
    • Guarantees and Indemnities
    • Sale of goods and supply of services

    Recent and Ongoing Cases:

    • Successfully appealing a judgment that an informal IOU given by a husband to a wife was a promissory note within the meaning of the Bills of Exchange Act 1882
    • Advising and drafting in respect of enforcement of a legal charge given by a third party guarantor to a company’s debts. Issues of interpretation of the charge and knowledge of the guarantor
    • Advising and drafting in respect of a High Court claim arising out of loans to a property development company by a private bank. Issues of economic duress and conduct by the bank
    • Advising and drafting in respect of a claim by a professional indemnity insurer against a solicitor for failure to notify. Issues of interpretation of the insurance documents and limitation
    • Representing creditor in personal loan recovery action. Whether payments were loan or gift Incapacity of Defendant and its effect on evidence and conduct of trial. Subsequent order for sale again raising issues of capacity
    • Representing taxpayer in business rates dispute. Whether landlord or tenant was in occupation of rented property
    • Representing guarantors under claim for monies due under a personal guarantee arising from hire purchase and hire contracts. Penalty clauses and automatic termination
    • Interpretation of damages clause in agreements.

    Professional Risk

    Christopher has experience in professional negligence claims against many different professionals, including solicitors, surveyors, architects and financial advisors in relation to negligence in commercial, property and financial transactions, as well as in respect of solicitors’ conduct of litigation.

    Recent and Ongoing Cases:

    • Architect’s negligence for failure to correctly supervise installation of new heating in a listed church. Issues of contractual and tortious assumption of duty
    • Solicitors’ negligence for failure to correctly identify causes of action and limitation prior to issue of a claim
    • Solicitors’ negligence in failing to properly advise in respect of quantum in a negligent surveying claim. Issues as to the correct measure of quantum in such claims
    • Financial advisors’ and solicitors’ negligence in respect of SDLT mitigation scheme. Issues of exclusion clauses and limitation
    • Solicitors’ negligence in failing to issue by limitation date. Issues of legal and equitable assignment of cause of action
    • Solicitors’ negligence in failing to issue against financial advisor rather than mortgage company in respect of mortgage mis-selling claim
    • Limitation in the context of a bank’s failure to carry out an annual review of interest rates in a fixed term mortgage
    • Claim by a professional indemnity insurer against a solicitor for failure to notify. Issues of interpretation of the insurance documents and limitation
    • Dozens of claims relating to the mis-selling of IRHPs and claims under the, and arising from, the FCA redress scheme.

    Insolvency and Bankruptcy

    Christopher has appeared in numerous matters relating to personal and corporate insolvency, including:

    • Acting for LPA receivers in complex High Court claim relating to an allegedly fraudulent mortgage charge
    • Winding-up petitions, including creditors’ petitions and petitions on the just and equitable ground
    • Bankruptcy petitions
    • Applications to set aside statutory demands
    • Acting for insolvency professionals during the course of bankruptcies and company insolvencies.

    Business Entities

    Christopher has advised and acted in relation to numerous business disputes, including partnership and shareholder disputes. He has particular experience in relation to actions in the Companies Court, including unfair prejudice petitions and petitions to wind up companies on the just and equitable ground.

    Publications

    • 2nd Sep 2016

      Christopher Edwards provides an overview of the law relating to the Commercial Agents Directive and its latest developments in Webinar for Lexis Nexis.

      View Publication
    • 2nd Sep 2016

      Continuing breach is an area of law that has suffered from a level of uncertainty. In the context of professional risk, it is often important to limitation arguments, in order to determine when a breach of duty has occurred. Christopher Edwards (Call 2008) analyses the most recent contribution of the Court of Appeal, in Capita (Banstead 2011) Ltd v. RFIB Group Ltd [2015] EWCA Civ 310.

      View Publication
    • 2nd Sep 2016

      If a contract for work and materials is performed badly, can there be a total failure of consideration? By what 'performance' is that question to be addressed? And can there also be a claim for damages? Christopher Edwards analyses the most recent contribution of the Court of Appeal to the question of total failure of consideration and damages, in Gartell & Son (a firm) v. Yeovil Town Football & Athletic Club Limited [2016] EWCA Civ 62, [2016] BLR 206, 164 ConLR 28

      View Publication
  • Property and Estates
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    Christopher has advised and represented clients on matters ranging from residential possession to boundary disputes and nuisance claims.  He also has experience of drafting notices, schedules and pleadings in relation to these matters.

    Landlord and Tenant

    • Commercial and residential landlord and tenant disputes
    • Possession hearings
    • Rent arrears and service charges

    Property

    • Boundary disputes
    • Nuisance
    • Trespass
    • Easements
    • Mortgages

    Notable and Ongoing Cases:

    • Acting for LPA receivers in complex High Court claim relating to an allegedly fraudulent mortgage charge
    • Mortgage possession case on behalf of mortgagor involving claims of mis-selling, economic duress and misrepresentation by mortgagee
    • Four day boundary dispute involving witness evidence going back 50 years as well as expert and stereoscopic photographic evidence. Interpretation of conveyances, adverse possession, demarcating boundaries by agreement
    • Nuisance, rule in Rylands v Fletcher. Extent of damages caused by publican discharging septic tanks on nearby agricultural land
    • Damages arising from disrepair. Dispute between leaseholder and freeholder as to responsibility for balcony. Interpretation of lease
    • Service charges. Whether lack of payments from tenants entitled owner to provide reduced service. Whether contractual provisions overrode small claims costs provisions.
  • Construction and engineering
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    Christopher regularly advises and represents clients in respect of a wide range construction and engineering disputes, ranging from residential property disputes to commercial developments to nationwide installation projects. He has a particular expertise in respect of professional negligence claims in the construction field.

    Christopher also has extensive experience of banking and company disputes relating to developers and construction companies.

    Recent and Ongoing Cases

    • Multi-day trial arising out of extensive roofing works at a residential property. Issues relating to contractual liability compared to tortuous liability.
    • Advising in respect of the apportionment of liability between contractors and professionals in a claim for the inadequate provision of heating for a restored medieval church.
    • Multi-day trial arising out of alleged negligent application of cladding system to residential property.
    • Defending and successfully settling a claim for monies due and owing by a contractor employed to supply playground equipment nationwide.
    • Advising and drafting in respect of a High Court claim arising out of loans to a property development company by a private bank. Issues of economic duress and conduct by the bank.

Academic qualifications

  • BA (Hons) Philosophy, Politics and Economics, St Peter's College, Oxford
  • MPhil International Relations, St Antony's College, Oxford

Professional bodies

  • Chancery Bar Association (ChBA)
  • Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)

Direct Access

Christopher Edwards is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public and professional clients under the Direct Public Access scheme.

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