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Maxim Cardew

Call 2012


Maxim practises in all areas of commercial chancery litigation.

He is frequently instructed in the High Court and the County Court and is an experienced trial advocate in cases from the small claims track to the multi-track.  He is a member of the Chancery Bar Association, COMBAR, the Property Bar Association and the Charity Law Association.

Prior to coming to the Bar, Maxim read Philosophy and Theology at Oriel College, Oxford.  He was awarded the Top First in his year and a Gibbs Prize for outstanding performance in Philosophy.

At City University Law School, Maxim received a Distinction in his Graduate Diploma in Law and was marked Outstanding on the Bar Course.  He received scholarships from Gray’s Inn for both of these – including a Bedingfield Scholarship, the highest scholarship awarded by Gray’s Inn, for the Bar Course.

Maxim is a member of the Attorney General’s C Panel of Counsel .

Examples of Maxim’s recent work are listed below.


Advising and appearing in respect of applications concerning officeholders of companies in Administration/Liquidation

  • Advised and appeared on behalf of a liquidator and successfully obtained an order under s. 236 of the Insolvency Act 1986 against a bank for production of documents relating to the insolvent company.
  • Advised liquidators on: (i) a potential negligence claim against previous liquidators; (ii) an application for an order under s. 236 of the Insolvency Act 1986.

Validation Order applications

  • Advised and appeared on behalf of the debtor at a successful application under s. 284(1) of the Insolvency Act 1986.  The respondent (and major creditor) was HMRC.
  • Instructed to prepare on an urgent basis an application for a validation order under s. 127 of the Insolvency Act 1986 and to appear at the hearing of the application.

Winding up petitions

  • Maxim regularly appears in the Companies Court winding up list on behalf of trade and local authority creditors.  He also appears on behalf of debtors (both Crown and private debts).
  • Successfully resisted two applications to rescind a winding-up order in respect of a debt based on a judgment under appeal which was said to be genuinely disputed on substantial grounds.
  • Appeared on behalf of a local authority to seek compulsory winding up of a Panamanian company for unpaid rates.  Successfully argued that the Centre of Main Interests was England and that the petition had been validly served.
  • Appeared in the Applications Court on behalf of a company subject to a winding-up petition by HMRC.  The company applied to dismiss the petition on the basis the debt was genuinely disputed on substantial grounds and HMRC cross-applied for the petition to proceed.

Directors’ Disqualification (applications for leave to act)

  • Represented the disqualified director of a company at his successful application for permission to act as a director of a company under section 1A and 17 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.


  • Advised on and drafted an application for substituted service against an apparently evasive debtor, and represented the creditor at the subsequent hearing.
  • Appeared on behalf of creditor at first hearing of bankruptcy petition and at the hearing of the debtor’s application to set aside the petition on the basis the debt was genuinely disputed on substantial grounds.
  • Appeared on behalf of debtor seeking dismissal of a petition where the creditors had approved an IVA.

Chancery and commercial litigation

Business/contract claims

  • Global Energy Horizons Corporation v Gray [2015] EWHC 2232 (Ch)
    Instructed on behalf of the respondent to an application for third party disclosure in the quantum proceedings of a substantial claim for an account in the Chancery Division.  Provided ad hoc advice on disclosure and privilege.
  • Making and resisting applications to set aside default judgment.
  • Khouj v Acropolis Capital Partners Limited [2015] EWHC 224 (Comm)
    Instructed by the defendants in their application to strike-out a claim for an account brought by the executors of the will of a prominent, deceased Saudi Arabian government official.
  • Instructed by a claimant to draft particulars of claim and reply for payment in respect of a disputed share transfer.
  • Slocom Trading Limited v Tatik Inc [2014] EWCA Civ 831
    Instructed by the respondents in an appeal concerning (i) transactions at an undervalue and (ii) the extent to which a judge was constrained in his findings by the pleadings in a large commercial case.
  • Instructed as part of the counsel team in a mixed commercial/chancery claim involving a mortgage over a liquid natural gas shipping vessel.  Assisted in preparation of cross-examination of expert witnesses on technical questions concerning the energy industry.

Shareholder disputes

  • Represented the applicants at the hearing of their application for permission to appeal a refusal to grant permission to amend particulars of claim in a large-scale shareholder dispute.
  • Instructed to advise in a long-running dispute between the shareholders of a successful private company; instructed to draft various documents including Part 36 offers.

Banking and finance

  • UBS AG (London Branch) v Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg [2014] EWHC 3615 (Comm)
    Instructed as part of the counsel team acting for Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg in a large-scale commercial court trial.  Maxim’s principal role was to carry out crucial research on points of law which arose during the course of the trial concerning (i) attribution of knowledge and (ii) rectification.
  • Instructed on a review for privileged documents in a substantial civil fraud case; provided ad hoc advice on privilege.


  • Advised a charitable incorporated organisation on the rules about distribution of assets in the event of insolvency.
  • Advised on the rule against charities with a political purpose.
  • Instructed to advise on possible legal structures for a charity to adopt in order to make social investments in businesses run by beneficiaries of the charity.

Professional negligence

  • Advised and drafted the defence in a professional negligence action against solicitors concerning a failure to enter a notice/restriction on the Land Register.
  • Advised and drafted the response to a letter before claim in a professional negligence action against solicitors concerning failure to sever a joint tenancy in accordance with the client’s instructions.


Mortgage litigation

  • Instructed on behalf of a major bank which was a Part 20 defendant (together with the Crown Prosecution Service) to proceedings concerning beneficial ownership of property which was subject to a confiscation order.
  • Represented the defendant (Chief Executive of a major bank) at an application to strike out a claim brought by the “trustee” of one of the bank’s customers.  Drafted written submissions for the claimant’s application for permission to appeal.
  • Appeared on behalf of a respondent to an application before a Circuit Judge for permission to appeal in respect of mortgage possession order which had been executed shortly before the hearing.  The applicant was the son of a borrower who, following execution of the possession order, was found to lack capacity.
  • Instructed to represent the respondent to an application for permission to appeal a refusal to grant permission to amend a statement of case.  Following refusal of permission, instructed to represent the respondent at a further application by the claimant for permission to amend.
  • Instructed in an application to obtain a final charging order.
  • Maxim is also frequently instructed to represent banks at mortgage possession proceedings.

Non-residential landlord and tenant

  • Represented the defendant at the hearing of her claim for relief from forfeiture; negotiated a consent order granting relief with opposing counsel.
  • Advised on a complex scenario concerning obligations to repair/contribute to repairs on a site which had been sold-off to various parties on a piecemeal basis.
  • Instructed on behalf of a state entity to advise on rights and remedies against a country which uses state land for its embassy and consulate.  Maxim’s primary focus was on the issues surrounding state and diplomatic immunity raised by the case.
  • Appeared on behalf of a local authority in Landlord and Tenant 1954 Act proceedings concerning termination of a tenancy and intention to redevelop, in respect of land used by the Secretary of State for the local Job Centre.  Instructed for the costs and case management conference and subsequent telephone directions hearing.
  • Advised on and prepared the defence and a draft consent order in respect of Part 8 proceedings by the Lord Chancellor against a defendant for recovery of legal aid funding provided to claimants in previous proceedings.
  • Advised on whether a landlord was out of time in respect of a rent review clause.
  • Represented the claimant landlord at a possession claim based on forfeiture for breach of covenant in a commercial property.
  • Appeared on behalf of the respondent to an application for relief from sanctions for breach of a settlement agreement.
  • Instructed to appear at the hearing of a possession claim against trespassers in an abandoned commercial property.  Obtained the order and negotiated with the persons unknown when they arrived at court.

Residential landlord and tenant

  • Maxim is regularly instructed to advise on the construction of leases, and is frequently instructed by landlords in possession proceedings, service charge and disrepair disputes.  Maxim has also been instructed by tenants in residential possession proceedings.
  • Represented the claimants at the fast-track trial of a claim for possession involving an “old” (pre-1997) assured shorthold tenancy.  Led pre-trial conferences with the clients and represented them in procedural hearings including an application to amend.
  • Represented the defendant, a major national landlord, at the hearing of a claim for disrepair.


  • Cravecrest Limited v Sixth Duke of Westminster
    Instructed on behalf of one of the respondents in an appeal to the Supreme Court from [2013] EWCA Civ 731; [2014] Ch 301.  The appeal concerned a point of general public importance concerning the principles of valuation in enfranchisement cases arising from the construction of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993.  The case settled shortly before it was due to be heard in the Supreme Court.  Led by Timothy Dutton QC, with whom Maxim subsequently co-authored two articles for the Estates Gazette on the subject-matter of the case.

General real estate

  • Advised a property developer on various matters in respect of varying a covenant limiting the use of land to light industrial use, including how to deal with (i) a public highway over unregistered land and (ii) service of proceedings to vary a restrictive covenant benefiting a nation state which was going to use neighbouring land for its new embassy.