Ross Fentem


Year of Call 2003



General Profile


Ross practices in commercial, banking / financial services, property and company law.  He has been ranked as a leading individual on the Western Circuit in his main practice areas by both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 since 2010.


Ross has a wealth of expertise in commercial dispute resolution and litigation. His client base ranges from large institutional bodies, including banks and governmental bodies, to individuals and sole traders.  His commercial practice encompasses disputes about the sale of goods, commercial fraud, agency, franchising, restrictive covenants and insurance coverage.  Ross also practices in the litigious aspects of corporate law, and receives many instructions in disputes involving shareholders (particularly unfair prejudice petitions) and former shareholders (particularly arising out of share purchase agreements).


He has a particular expertise and interest in banking and finance work, and in the asset finance market.  He is often called on to act for lenders and borrowers in complex security-realisation cases, and in recent years has also successfully taken on cases of professional negligence against financial advisors, security valuers and others.  His vast experience in this area includes:


Commercial credit and banking:

  • Enforcement of loans and other facilities
  • Guarantees and bond enforcement and coverage
  • Cheques, bills of exchange and other payment instruments
  • Regulation and authorization
  • Inter-bank disputes
  • Financial Services and Markets Act 2000


Asset finance and leasing:

  • Commercial leasing and lease-purchasing
  • Default and enforcement
  • Quality and fitness issues
  • Fraud


Consumer credit and finance:

  • Consumer credit and hire
  • Regulation
  • Unfair relationships and other Consumer Credit Act 1974 challenges

 

All aspects of mortgage and securities law:

  • Priorities and land registration
  • Subrogation
  • Appointment, powers and duties of receivers
  • Marshalling
  • Undue influence
  • Mortgage fraud

 

Financial services / products and advice

 

Complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service

 

Ross’ practice also encompasses property law, covering both commercial and residential premises.  He is known for his specialist knowledge of land registration, and has often appeared before the Adjudicator to the Land Registry (now the First-Tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal).  His experience covers all matters of real property and landlord and tenant, including easements, restrictive covenants, renewals under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 and the sale of land.


Although principally a litigator, Ross takes the view that many commercial disputes are susceptible to sensible resolution out of court, and often acts for his clients at mediations and round-table negotiations. Ross is happy to advise on and appear in arbitrations and associated arbitration claims relating to all the main subjects of Ross' commercial experience.

 

Significant Cases and Instructions


2016-2017: Successfully representing the vendor under a share purchase agreement in an arbitration dispute concerning the withholding of deferred consideration and a series of allegations of fraudulent misrepresentation of the state of the company.


General Asset Management Ltd v Ramsden (June 2016): Successfully acting for the Claimant lender in a tricky mortgage claim involving allegations of common interest constructive trust, undue influence, overreaching, an overriding interest arising under a farm business tenancy and a TOLATA order for sale.  Ross’ cross-examination of the Defendants’ three witnesses enabled the Claimant to succeed notwithstanding that the court found a deed of postponement to be vitiated by undue influence.


Nobes v Lloyds TSB Bank plc [2016] EWLandRA 2014-0312: Successfully opposing a claim before the Property Tribunal for the reinstatement of two registered long leaseholds, whose removal enabled the Defendant lender to realise an unencumbered freehold interest.  Issues included the distinction between surrender and merger of leasehold estates and the extent to which a party’s intention was relevant to surrender.  Since then, the matter has come before the Upper Tribunal and the Administrative Court (on an application by Mr Nobes for permission to judicially review the Upper Tribunal’s refusal of permission to appeal), and is currently before the Court of Appeal on an application for permission to appeal the Administrative Court’s decision.


Royal Bank of Scotland plc v Evans (May 2016): Successfully appearing for the Claimant bank in a claim to possession under a mortgage given as security for a guarantee.  Issues involved the extent and nature of the Claimant’s equitable duty towards the Defendants and the credibility of the Defendant’s key witness.


General Asset Management Ltd v Halligan (September 2014): Successfully acting for the Claimant lender in a complex claim for the enforcement of security alleged to be affected by undue influence.  Issues included the nature of the evidential presumption of undue influence, the extent of the Claimant’s guidance with the Etridge protocol and the Shah v Shah estoppel in circumstances in which the mortgage deed was not signed in the presence of a witness.


2013: Successfully representing a client in a complex multi-million pound dispute concerning the development of a care home and an entitlement to share in the equity of a related corporate vehicle.


2011-2013: Successfully representing a range of lenders in claims concerning fraudulent equity-release schemes and allegations of overriding interests made by property occupiers.


Osteopathic Education and Research Ltd v Purfleet Office Systems Ltd (formerly NCS Management Ltd) [2010] EWHC 1801 (QB): Ross represented the successful Claimant in a complex case involving a series of leasing agreements for photocopying equipment supplied by the Defendant to the Claimant and funded by asset finance agreements with leasing houses. The judge found the Defendant liable for breach of contract and misrepresentation, saying that its business insofar as it involved the Claimant was “fundamentally dishonest”.


Walsh v Cambrian Boat Centre Ltd (2009), Mercantile Court, Cardiff District Registry:  A dispute over the sale of marine equipment, involving a claim by the buyer to return of price, acquisition costs and consequential loss following the purchase of an allegedly defective boat.


Balmoral Group Ltd v Borealis (UK) Ltd [2006] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 629:   As junior Counsel to Richard Mawrey QC.  The claim was a multi-million pound dispute about the sale of oil storage tanks, raising issues of breach of conditions as to quality and fitness, the construction of contract terms and incorporation of terms, unfair contract terms, the meaning of “international supply contract” in the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and the scope of recoverable damages.


What the Directories Say


“He is definitely someone you want in your corner.” (Chambers & Partners, 2018)


 “He has a very forensic approach with a good handle on the detail.  He’s technically excellent and is committed to the case.” (Chambers & Partners, 2018)


“He is unflappable.  He is fantastically persuasive and very easy to get on with.” (Chambers & Partners, 2017)


“Recommended for finance disputes.” (Legal 500, 2016)


“He’s is very decisive and turns work around quickly.” (Chambers & Partners, 2016)


“Extremely bright, thorough and good value for money.” (Legal 500, 2015)


“He’s incredibly bright.  He gets to the root of the problem incredibly quickly, he’s very approachable and on his feet he’s way ahead of the game.” (Chambers & Partners, 2015)


“He’s able to grasp the full details of a case and get through to the commercial outcome with lightning speed.  He’s right at the end of the game before everyone else has got to square one.” (Chambers & Partners, 2015)


Career


MA (Cantab) 1996 (Double First Class Honours)

 

MA (London) 1997 (Distinction)

 

CPE (City University) 2002 (Distinction, highest result in year group)

 

BVC (College of Law) 2003 (Outstanding, highest result in year group)

 

Legal Scholarships: Buchanan, Denning, Haldane & Hardwicke

 

Tenant at Henderson Chambers, London 2004-2008

 

Tenant at Guildhall Chambers, Bristol 2008-2018

 

Tenant at Enterprise Chambers 2018-date

 

 

Privacy notice


Ross collects, uses and is responsible for your personal information collected during the course of providing legal services as a barrister. He is the data controller in respect of this information for the purposes of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation.


The members of Enterprise Chambers have a privacy policy which sets out what information they obtain about you, why and how they use it.  This policy also sets out your rights.  Members also have a data retention policy which sets out how long they keep information for and why.


You can download copies of these policies here: (1) privacy policy (2) data retention policy .  Hard copies are available on request by contacting any branch of Enterprise Chambers.