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Christopher Pymont QC

Call 1979
Silk 1996

cpymont@maitlandchambers.com

Christopher has practised from what is now Maitland Chambers since 1980 and was elected Head of Chambers in 2012. He was appointed QC in 1996 and is a Deputy High Court Judge for the Chancery Division of the High Court.

Christopher is regarded as one of the leading Commercial Chancery silks. His practice encompasses both the traditional Chancery fields of property, company, partnership and insolvency law and also commercial disputes of all kinds, including banking, financial services and professional negligence. His recent important cases have been concerned with commercial fraud and asset recovery, breach of trust and fiduciary duties, the rights of minority shareholders, solicitors’ and bankers’ negligence, proprietary estoppel, restrictive covenants, repairing, user and alienation covenants and break clauses in leases, jurisdictional issues and the proper construction (and possible rectification) of various kinds of commercial documents. His strong reputation is evidenced by his consistent recommendation over many years in the standard directories, particularly for commercial Chancery and property litigation (recent comments are cited opposite).

Over the last couple of years Christopher has appeared in the Commercial Court and Chancery Divisions, before the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the Privy Council. He also regularly appears in both international and domestic arbitrations.

Much of Christopher’s practice has an international dimension. He has recently appeared before the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal in the BVI, St Lucia and Anguilla and in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal in the Bahamas. His recent international arbitration work includes a SIAC arbitration in Singapore.

Christopher also sits as an Arbitrator.

Recent and continuing cases illustrating Christopher’s practice are:

Commercial Chancery

FHR European Ventures LLP v Cedar Capital Partners LLC [2015] AC 250 (Supreme Court): the leading authority now establishing the availability of proprietary remedies for breach of fiduciary duty
Krys v New World Value Fund (Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal, on appeal to Privy Council (ref 2014/0089) – heard in June 2015, PC judgment 19.11.15): whether carried interest said to be worth some $300 million is payable on the liquidation of a BVI limited partnership holding assets formerly owned ultimately by Boris Berezovsky and others

Asia Resource Minerals PLC (previously known as Bumi PLC) v Roeslani  (SIAC arbitration, award Dec 2014): whether settlement agreement in respect of claims against a director for misfeasance for $173 million was enforceable (see press reports in Times and FT for further information)
Ivey v Genting [2015] LLR 98 (QB, currently the subject of an appeal to the CA to be heard Dec 2015): whether C had cheated in purporting to win some £7.7 million playing baccarat at a casino
In re Leeward Isles Ltd (Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal, Jan and June 2014): two separate appeals as to matters arising in the liquidation of an Anguillan company, including a stay of arbitration proceedings brought against the company by a creditor
Sharab v Prince Al-Waleed  [2013] EWHC 2324 (Ch Div): whether commission was payable to C on the sale of the Prince’s Airbus to Col Gaddafi (jurisdictional issues decided at [2009] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 160 and [2012] CLC 612)
Payne v Strand Investments (Bahamas Supreme Court): continuing action for recovery of assets and compensation for fraud by a solicitor on his client

Property and trusts

Sheffield v Sheffield [2014] WTLR 1039 (Ch Div): claim for trustees to account for breach of an express private trust
Ridgewood Properties v Valero [2013] Ch 525: whether a series of option agreements for the development of petrol stations had been breached by the owner
Parshall v Hackney [2013] Ch 568 (CA):  deciding the effect of a mistake by the Land Registry in separately registering two persons as owners of the same piece of land
Howard v Howard-Lawson [2012] 3 All ER 60 (CA): construction and effect of a “name and arms” clause in a will
Woodford Land Ltd v Persimmon Homes Ltd [2011] EWHC 984 (Ch Div) and CA May 2012 (settled after hearing and before judgment): rectification of a contract for the development of a large housing estate (part of a wide-ranging dispute in relation to this contract)

Memberships

COMBAR
Chancery Bar Association
Property Bar Association

Qualifications
MA (Oxon)

Testimonials

Chambers UK

Chancery: Commercial
"Christopher is calm, serene, and never gets flustered. He can understand what the client's objectives are, and has an uncanny ability to spot the points that would be of interest to the court." "He's a really smooth, calm presence, and brilliant with clients." (2017)

"He has a lovely manner in court. He has the ear of the judges and is a thoroughly nice man, who is trustworthy." (2016)

"A vastly experienced silk with a strong commercial practice."

"He is just consistently excellent in all respects and great with clients."

"He is completely unflappable." (2015)

"He is unflappable and has nerves of steel. He is a smooth, polished performer who has the ear of the court."

"His ability to break down complex issues and summarise them into a digestible form is impressive." (2014)

"Completely unflappable in court - the man has nerves of steel." (2013)

"Very bright and intellectually calm" "a cool analytical and incisive approach." (2012)

"Who can be trusted to deal with sensitive issues in a captivating and articulate manner." (2011)

Chambers UK

Real Estate Litigation
"Excellent under pressure and great with clients." (2017)

"He is intelligent, very calm and very polished."

"He is extremely thoughtful, considerate, clever and calm. He is measured in his tone of delivery to the court but also very authoritative." (2016)

"His court craft is excellent; he is a master tactician."

"He is a no-nonsense practitioner, who is very measured in his approach." (2015)

"Widely regarded as one of the masters of the real estate litigation field."

Very able, he allows clients to understand very complex legal points."

"Understated in his approach but lethal in court, he knows how to change a judge's mind." (2014)

"An extremely impressive ability to identify the issues in a dispute and to present a client's case in its most positive light." (2013)

"Rolls up his sleeves and delivers a killer punch." "nice, conversational style in court and always appears unruffled." (2012)

"Calmness and professionalism personified, he is definitely someone to have on side when the boat's rocking." (2011)

Chambers Global

Dispute Resolution: Commercial Chancery

"He is unflappable and has nerves of steel. He is a smooth, polished performer who has the ear of the court."

"His ability to break down complex issues and summarise them into a digestible form is impressive." (2014)

Legal 500 UK

Company

"He is super-bright and handles complex areas of law better than anyone else." (2017)

"A tremendous judge of how best to present a case." (2015)

"Excellent judgement; a pleasure to work with." (2014)

Legal 500 UK

Fraud: Civil

"Is a well-respected silk." (2012)

Legal 500 UK

Property Litigation
"An excellent advocate, who is marvellous with clients." (2017)

"Understands the law well and is trusted by judges." (2015)

"Calm, wise, measured and great with clients." (2014)

"Everything a top silk should be." (2013)

"Is lethal in court." (2012)

"Exceptionally bright and very meticulous." (2011)

Legal 500 UK

Private Client: Trusts and Probate
"He is authoritative, clear and exudes calmness." (2017)

"Rated for property matters that involve trusts; a strategic advocate with massive courtroom presence." (2015)

Legal Experts, 2012