Seb's Commercial practice focuses on professional negligence, insolvency and business entities (Company Law, LLPs and joint ventures). A significant proportion of the matters in which he acts raise questions of conflicts between international jurisdictions.
In the field of professional negligence, his experience in the Commercial sphere extends to claims against lawyers, insurance brokers, finance professionals, and company directors. He is frequently instructed in claims arising from the misconduct of litigation and conveyancing transactions. He also prosecutes and defends claims for breach of directors’ duties, including derivative claims under the Companies Act 2006.
In each of his practice areas he represents parties in arbitration, the High Court and the County Court.
- Buyer’s claim against manufacturer, for breach of warranties of quality and description of bulk consumer goods sold under a contract for international sale (2019; Commercial Court)
- Software claim relating to business losses suffered through errors in the design of bespoke customer relationship management software (ongoing; arbitration)
- Claim under commercial hire agreements relating to breach of warranty of defective energy turbines supplied under Feed-In Tariff scheme (ongoing; Technology and Construction Court)
- Warranty claim made against sellers of a dental practice (ongoing; Chancery List)
- Professional negligence claim against conveyancing solicitors, resulting in transfers of defective title (2018; Chancery Division)
- Professional negligence claims against financial (tax) advisors, arising from ‘film scheme’ income tax mitigation advice (2018; Queen’s Bench)
- Acting for an AIM-listed company in derivative action proceedings under the Companies Act 2006
Recent cases (Commercial):
Davy v. Pickering  EWCA Civ 30;  2 BCLC 260, The Times, 2017, 8 March - The discretion to make directions under s.1032 of the Companies Act 2006, including provision back-dating the deemed date of presentation of a winding up petition.
Dawson v. Bell  EWCA Civ 96;  2 BCLC 59 - Damages for economic duress / tort of intimidation, arising out of the execution of a shareholders’ agreement.
Green (as liquidator of Al Fayhaa Mass Media Limited) v. El-Tai  BPIR 24 (Ch) - Liquidator’s preference claim considering director’s duty of fairness between creditors, in repaying loans.
Threlfall v. ECD Insight Ltd  IRLR 185 (QB) - Breach of solicitation covenant in director’s employment contract, and in a share buy-out agreement.
JGD Construction Ltd v. Mills  EWHC 572 (Ch),  BPIR 811 - Appeal considering the extent to which the court has a discretion to make a final third party debt order, notwithstanding the fact that the judgment debtor has entered formal insolvency proceedings.
Stupples v. Stupples & Co (High Wycombe) Ltd  EWHC 1226 (Ch);  1 BCLC 729 - Defence of claim for agent’s fees, based on agent’s conflict of interest.
Asiansky Television Plc & Anor v Khanzada & Ors  EWHC 2831 (QB) - Professional negligence claim in relation to the conduct of litigation.
Imageview Management Ltd v. Jack  EWCA Civ 63;  2 All ER 666;  1 Lloyd's Rep 436;  1 BCLC 724;  Bus LR 1034; The Times, 24 March 2009 - Extent of a fiduciary’s disentitlement to remuneration following breach of duty.
Do shareholders in a family or quasi-partnership company, owe each other fiduciary duties?18th May 2020
Commercial update: fiduciary duties between shareholders of a quasi-partnership company
Do shareholders in a family or quasi-partnership company, owe each other fiduciary duties?
Seb Oram analyses the recent decision of the Chancery Division in De Sena v. Notaro  EWHC 1031 (Ch) for LexisPSL’s Case Analysis Expert Panel. This article was first published by Lexis®PSL on 11/05/2020.
Sale and purchase agreements - entitlement to disclosure of post-completion valuation report (Zedra Trust Company (Jersey) Ltd v The Hut Group Ltd)2nd Sep 2019
Access to accounting information under Share Purchase Agreements. Seb Oram analyses, for LexisPSL, the recent decision in Zedra Trust Company (Jersey) Ltd v. The Hut Group Ltd  EWHC 2191 (Comm), in which the Commercial Court considered what rights one party to a Share Purchase Agreement has against the other, to access information about the company after completion of the sale. This article was first published by Lexis®PSL on 28 August 2019.
Commercial negotiations and draft contracts: the formation of a binding contract2nd Nov 2018
Commercial update: Commercial negotiations and draft contracts – the formation of a binding contract
When one party pulls out of commercial negotiations before a contract is signed, how does the Court determine if a contract has been formed? Seb Oram analyses the Commercial Court’s recent decision in Rotam Agrochemical Co Ltd v. GAT Microencapsulation GmbH  EWHC 2765 (Comm).
Seb is a Commercial Law barrister specialising in professional negligence and the construction sector.
Unfair terms – a review of recent developments6th Nov 2017
Unfair Terms: What has changed recently?
UCTA 1997: dealing on another’s standard terms
Changes to unfair terms in consumer contracts
To read Seb Oram's analysis, please click on the link below.
After Schrems, how lawful is cloud storage?2nd Sep 2016
3PB's commercial law barrister Seb Oram authors 'After Schrems, how lawful is cloud storage?'. An analysis of Case C-362/14 Schrems v. Data Protection Commissioner.
Professional negligence: conveyancers’ scope of duty revisited3rd Apr 2017
Commercial update: Professional negligence - Seb Oram revisits conveyancers' scope of duty. The Supreme Court has recently heard a challenge to the SAAMCO 'scope of duty' principle, in the context of a professional negligence claim against conveyancers. Seb Oram analyses the recent, landmark decision in BPE Solicitors v. Hughes-Holland  UKSC 21 (SC) that considers how the scope of duty principle applies.
Experienced junior focusing on professional negligence claims against construction professionals, among others. He has experience litigating in the Court of Appeal as well as the TCC.
Strengths: "Considered, robust, articulate, technically sound and has a great ability to absorb complex facts and cut to the heart of the issue."
Recent work: Acted in a claim against structural engineers for economic losses resulting from negligent advice about the adequacy of foundations for the vertical extension of a commercial building.
Chambers UK 2021/Professional Negligence: Technology & Construction London Bar – Band 3
Strengths: "He is good at explaining things in a calm, methodical and well thought out way. He listens to instruction and his overall demeanour is very confident." "Considered, robust, articulate, technically sound, and has a great ability to absorb complex facts and cut to the heart of the issue."
Recent work: Acted in a claim against structural engineers for economic losses resulting from negligent advice on the adequacy of foundations for the vertical extension of a commercial building.
Chambers UK 2020/Professional Negligence: Technology & Construction London Bar – Band 3
"He very quickly inspires confidence in the client and is a measured but very effective negotiator."
Recent work: Acted before the Court of Appeal in a claim arising out of the design, tendering and supervision of the structural relandscaping of a terraced garden, and considering whether a professional could be held liable for services provided gratuitously.
Chambers UK 2019/Professional Negligence: Technology & Construction London Bar – Band 3
Strengths: "You can bombard him with information and he sees straight through everything that needs to be swept aside. He gets to the crux of the issue. He is also a very effective communicator."
Chambers UK 2018/Professional Negligence: Technology & Construction London Bar – Band 3
‘He has a great ability to absorb complex facts and cut to the heart of the issue. He is methodical and, in terms of bang for your buck, you get a much bigger bang with Seb than you would with other barristers of a similar year of call.’
Legal 500 2021/Professional Negligence/Leading Juniors /Tier 5/London
‘Excellent on construction-related claims.’
Legal 500 2020/Professional Negligence/Leading juniors/London
'Incredibly detailed, solid and hardworking.'
Legal 500 2018/19/Professional Negligence/Leading juniors/London
- MA (Hons.) Law, Trinity Hall, Cambridge
- LL.M., University of Bristol
Professional qualifications & appointments
- Called 2007; Lincoln’s Inn
- Associate member of the Association of Business Recovery Professionals (“R3”)
- Chancery Bar Association
- Member of the Society of Construction Law
- Technology & Construction Bar Association (TECBAR)