MA German & Russian (First Class Honours) Pembroke College, Cambridge
LLB, Nottingham Trent University (First Class Honours)
Duncan's practice covers a wide range of civil work and has experience in all of chambers' main areas of work including chancery, insolvency, property (including landlord and tenant) and contractual disputes. Unusually for chambers, he also has additional strengths in employment law.
Duncan appears regularly in tribunals, the county courts and High Court, representing claimants and defendants at trial and on appeal.
In addition, Duncan is experienced at giving advice in relation to a range of contentious and non-contentious matters.
PRACTICE AREA: COMMERCIAL CHANCERY & TRADITIONAL CHANCERY
Duncan has experience in trusts, claims under TLATA 1996, trustees’ duties and powers and breaches of trust claims and remedies. He also has particular experience and interest in probate actions.
Current and recent work
Successfully represented lender at first instance and on appeal in Time Order case;
Acted for borrower alleging that receivers had become mortgagee’s agent;
Advised beneficiary under mother’s will whether brother had valid claim for an interest in parents’ property; included whether brother had come with ‘clean hands’;
Advised and represented two beneficiaries in an Inheritance Act claim brought by their father’s former partner – pivotal issue as to whether two year co-habitation period fulfilled / whether lived together as man and wife.
Advised estate in case involving two incapacitated beneficiaries; issues arising: construction of will, application of best interests test pursuant to s4 Mental Capacity Act 2005, Deeds of Variation, compromise agreement by incapacitated beneficiaries.
Advised estate on interpretation of deathbed will;
Represented Claimant in challenge to appointment of deputy in Court of Protection;
Advised estate in claim for unpaid expenses by a deputy appointed by the Court of Protection.
PRACTICE AREA: INSOLVENCY
Duncan enjoys all aspects of insolvency matters. His experience includes applications to set aside statutory demands; bankruptcy and winding up petitions; applications for possession and sale of property; applications to annul.
Current and recent work
Successfully applied for validation order despite failures to comply with the relevant Practice Direction;
Acted for company in s234 delivery up application with accompanying issues of whether a preference had been granted.
Acted for company against liquidator in a claim to prove a debt; issues of ostensible authority of agent arising.
PRACTICE AREA: PROPERTY
Duncan has a fast developing practice in this area, advising or acting in cases involving, rights of way, boundary disputes, adverse possession, co-ownership, proprietary estoppel, mortgages and landlord and tenant (both residential and commercial).
Current and recent work
Advised local charity whether development plans constituted interference with the public highway;
Advised local residents whether security measures taken against burglars interfered with bridleway;
Advised landowner on whether a garage had been adversely possessed and rights of way over a driveway acquired;
Advised Defendant landowners whether Claimant had acquired a prescriptive right to park;
Appeared for successful Claimant in dispute over beneficial interests in a property with accompanying claim to partnership profits;
Appeared for successful Claimant in Party Wall / trespass dispute;
Represented successful landlord in dilapidations claim.
PRACTICE AREA: EMPLOYMENT
Duncan frequently appears in the Employment Tribunal and has also appeared in the Employment Appeal Tribunal. Duncan appears for both Claimants and Respondents in claims for unfair dismissal arising out of (for example) alleged misconduct, constructive dismissal and defective redundancy processes.
Represented five successful Claimants in four day trial claiming unfair dismissal arising out of a redundancy process;
Advised and represented Respondent in Disability Discrimination claim; claimant suffering from depression;
Successfully represented Claimant in constructive dismissal claim; arguments as to whether Respondent exposed Claimant to a risk of harm whilst working on specialist equipment.
Other relevant practice areas
Professional Liability:Duncan acts in professional negligence claims, where they arise from chancery related, company and commercial matters.
Duncan has recently:
Successfully represented a local businessman in a trial against a director of a company; issues involved whether sufficient evidence to plead fraud and whether corporate veil could be pierced.
Successfully obtained finding of fraudulent misrepresentation by the director as to his future intentions.
Advised an insured on whether she was liable under her insurance policy to reimburse her insurer following son’s friend causing road traffic collision.
Successfully represented a local business in a claim against its accountant for money had and received.
Relevant Professional Memberships
North-Eastern Circuit Representative on the Bar Council Public Liaisons Committee.