Margaret has a thriving practice in commercial chancery litigation with an emphasis on property, company law and trusts litigation (predominantly breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud). Margaret’s experience and expertise lies in complex and high value litigation in the High Court. Margaret often appears as sole Counsel in lengthy trials against leading silks in the field.
Margaret has been repeatedly recommended by the Legal 500 as a leading junior in the fields of Commercial Litigation, Chancery and Property and is described by the directories as “fearless”, “utterly tenacious” and “something to be reckoned with” in the courtroom.
Margaret is described by her clients as “a strong advocate and a tough negotiator and combines these skills with an excellent client manner which instils great confidence”, they say she is “unstoppable”, her “business acumen is second to none and her advocacy is superb”.
Recent highlights of Margaret’s High Court practice include the following:
- Acting as sole Counsel for a defendant/Part 20 claimant in a £35 million proprietary estoppel and breach of fiduciary duty claim. Margaret’s client claims he has the benefit of an equity arising from a proprietary estoppel against his father and that a trust executed by family members disposing of the majority of the father’s assets was a sham. Further, Margaret’s client claims his father and brother have acted in breach of their fiduciary obligations as directors and trustees. Margaret is defending her client against counter allegations of breaches of fiduciary duty and allegations he has committed fraud whilst being managing director of the family company. Margaret will represent her client at a 6-week trial in the High Court.
- Acting as sole Counsel for one of multiple defendants in a proprietary estoppel and unjust enrichment claim valued in excess of £9 million. Margaret represents the mother of a family at war over land with high development value. Margaret will represent her client at a 2-week trial in the High Court.
- Acting for the petitioner in an unfair prejudice petition in respect of his shareholding in a high value family farming company. Margaret represented her client at a 4-week trial in the High Court at which the Respondents were ordered to buy her client’s shares and, in addition, pay her client £1.5 million, which represented his share of what the Respondents had caused to be lost from the company, together with the payment of his costs.
- Acting for two petitioners in an unfair prejudice petition in respect of their multi-million pound shareholding in a family company. In this case, Margaret’s client seeks an order that the Respondents purchase her client’s shares without a minority discount being applied and orders that the Respondents restore to the company the millions of pounds they have caused to be lost by their dishonest conduct and their failure to properly account for the benefits they have received from the company. The litigation is complex as the frauds perpetuated by the Respondents on the family company span decades.
- Successfully representing and defending, as sole Counsel, one of three defendants in a claim for sums in excess of £17 million for alleged dishonest assistance of breaches of fiduciary duty and knowing receipt of trust property. Margaret’s client was alleged to have spearheaded a sophisticated multi-million pound fraud on a highly valuable family company over the course of decades. This case required Margaret to work closely with her solicitors, and her co-defendants’ legal team, for a period of 6 years in this exceptionally lengthy and complex piece of litigation. Margaret successfully represented her client at a two-week trial of a preliminary issue and, ultimately, defeated all the claims made against her client together with securing multiple orders for costs. In concert with Counsel for her co-defendants, Margaret secured costs orders in excess of £2.6 million. Margaret successfully represented her client at numerous interim hearings in the High Court, the decisions of which were widely reported and, led by John Randall QC, upheld a first instance decision in her client’s favour in the Court of Appeal. The reported decisions in this case are the subject of comment in the White Book.
- Successfully representing professional trustees, including obtaining privacy orders, in complex and highly contentious family trust litigation where the assets of the trust are worth in excess of £12 million.
- Representing a defendant seeking to challenge the validity and enforceability of a loan agreement for a sum in excess of £5 million.
- Successfully obtaining multiple freezing orders ex-parte and following contested hearings on the return dates against Respondents who threaten to dispose of real property in order to frustrate Margaret’s clients’ claims.