Alan Tunkel

Alan Tunkel’s practice is divided between the contentious and the non-contentious with a bias towards real property matters. Contentious matters are pursued by protocol letters of claim or response, arbitration, mediation or litigation, as appropriate. Non-contentious matters usually involve instructions to prepare or revise draft documentation and advise.

Real property matters include: leasehold enfranchisement, rent reviews, lease renewals, dilapidations, landlord & tenant, conveyancing problems, easements, boundaries, restrictive covenants, adverse possession, construction, mortgage-fraud and property-related professional negligence

Alan’s other main areas of work are will and probate disputes, Inheritance Act claims and problems in private or charitable trusts. He has acted in a number of cases where a former cohabitee is claiming a substantial share of their home by way of constructive trust. He has also acted for several charities and helped them to resolve their problems, sometimes with the assistance of the Charity Commission.

Alan’s clients have included a foreign government, Local Authorities, housing associations, professional indemnity insurer, solicitors firms, charity trustees, the family of a former Head of State, a foreign princess, leading entertainers, a theme park and well-known property developers.

James Gibbons

James Gibbons has been in practice at the Bar since 1974.

His practice covers many aspects of chancery and commercial disputes, civil fraud and professional negligence. He has a particular interest in trade secrets and confidential information and related pre-emptive remedies, advising employers, employees, directors, partners, vendors and purchasers of businesses and in assisting clients before setting up competing businesses to avoid the risk and costs of litigation by adopting an open and straightforward strategy.

James is licensed for Direct Public Access work.


Mark Watson-Gandy

Mark practices in the areas of insolvency, company, banking and private international law. He is the author of “Watson-Gandy on Accountants”, “Corporate Insolvency Practice” and “Personal Insolvency Practice”. He is one of the Editors of the Butterworths Corporate Law Service.

He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Westminster. He was a finalist in Credit Today magazine’s Insolvency and Rescue awards in 2009 and 2010 as “Barrister of the Year” and Corporate Livewire magazine voted him “Corporate Insolvency Barrister of the Year” in 2015.

His Holiness Pope Benedict knighted him in recognition of “his work as a barrister and law professor for the Catholic Church” in 2007 (Knight of the Order of St Gregory of the Great).

Mark is also a member of the Bars of the Eastern Caribbean (BVI) and DIFC (Dubai).

Jonathan DC Turner

Jonathan is an experienced barrister specialising in intellectual property and competition law.

His practice covers all types of intellectual property and a wide variety of subject-matter. He is particularly well-known for litigation relating to fabric designs, domain name disputes, and issues relating to the interface between intellectual property and competition or free trade law.

He is also known for his willingness to take on difficult cases and fight tenaciously and creatively for his clients, challenging conventional views when necessary.

He has extensive experience of cases which involve both IP and commercial, international, tax or other issues.

He is the author of “Intellectual Property and EU Competition Law” (2d Edition, OUP 2015), which has been described as the leading work of reference on this subject.

Robert Bourne

Robert Bourne is a highly experienced barrister whose practice covers all aspects of chancery commercial disputes and civil fraud. Robert has a particular specialisation in professional negligence claims against lawyers and other advisers.

Robert’s professional negligence practice has involved cases of all types arising from defective advice by lawyers about such diverse topics as valuation, tax, company formation and flotation, partnerships, sale and purchase of land and fishing rights and medical negligence. He has also acted in many cases concerning the negligent conduct and settlement of litigation both in Court and in Arbitrations and in the UK and overseas.

Robert also acts in disputes between auctioneers and vendors and purchasers of fine art, and other items concerning proper conduct of sale, safe custody of goods, valuation, attribution and payment of price.

Robert accepts Direct Public Access work.

Robert is a member of the Bar Pro Bono panel.

Richard Peat

Richard specialises in financial services regulatory and related legal areas.

He works directly with financial services and other clients, as well as taking instructions from solicitors and in-house lawyers.

Richard joined Chambers in January 2005. He had previously been an Assistant Official Receiver in the DTI’s Insolvency Service, a Senior Examiner in the DTI’s Companies Investigation Branch, Enforcement Counsel at the Investment Management Regulatory Organisation, and an Advanced Associate, Litigation Counsel and Enforcement Counsel at the Financial Services Authority.

At the FSA, Richard was involved in legal and policy work leading up to the introduction of the FSMA regulatory regime in December 2001, and then in advising on, and managing, investigations and enforcement casework.

Since joining Chambers Richard’s work has included advising on:

  • perimeter issues, regulated financial services activities, financial promotions and collective investment schemes;
  • applications for authorisation and variations of permission, and “passporting” into and out of the UK;
  • conduct of business, client money and assets, prudential and anti-money laundering requirements;
  • FSA supervision and enforcement investigations;
  • duties of financial advisers, liability of appointed representatives and their principals;
  • Freedom of Information and Data Protection issues;
  • UK and EU regulation of medical devices and cosmetics;
  • regulation of estate agents;
  • complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service, Bar Standards Board, Legal Services Ombudsman, Information Commissioner and Parliamentary Ombudsman; and
  • applications for compensation to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Richard was heavily involved in issues arising from the failure of Keydata Investment Services Limited. Much of his work involves disputes that are resolved by agreement or determined in unreported decisions and remain confidential.

Richard is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments.

Richard Devereux-Cooke

Richard practises primarily in property based law including all aspects of landlord and tenant work (commercial and residential) as well as other issues relating to land ownership and occupation. He has a particular interest in matters involving adverse possession, easements, housing, access to land (including rights of way and highways), licences, boundary disputes, and claims concerning trespass and nuisance especially where these involve environmental issues. Richard also advises and acts on planning issues and in respect of tree preservation orders.

An important part of Richard’s practice is personal injury litigation with a regular focus on high-value and complex claims involving motorcyclists. In addition, Richard undertakes work involving clinical and other professional negligence claims, often with a strong medical context.

Richard advises and appears in cases relating to Trusts of Land, Inheritance Act claims and other matters linking property and family law such as contentious and non-contentious probate work, and in commercial contract disputes. A part of recent years’ practice has also been taken up with work dealing with Consumer Credit Act disputes.

In common with other member of Chambers, Richard also advises and acts in matters dealing with both personal and corporate insolvency and related issues.

Richard has been admitted to the Bar of Gibraltar in order to appear in personal injury and clinical negligence cases in the Supreme Court of Gibraltar, instructed by solicitors based in Gibraltar.

Richard is an accredited mediator and is equally happy to appear for parties at mediations as well as act as a mediator. He is also able to accept instructions for work through the Bar’s Direct Public Access scheme.


Richard came to the Bar after a highly successful career in agriculture, covering both practical farm management and two decades running his own agricultural business providing services to farmers and industrial land users. Whilst in that industry, he became a nationally recognised expert in pesticide use and law. He was a member of a number of government and government agency committees dealing with pesticides, environmental, and health and safety issues. He has also had major involvement in the drafting of environmental codes of practice and other industry guidance on the avoidance of pollution.


Richard has for many years been a regular contributor to technical seminars and conferences, both as a speaker and as conference chairman. He continues to contribute to seminars on property law matters.

Richard is also a Middle Temple Advocacy Trainer, and an accredited pupil supervisor.

Stuart Cutting

Stuart has a very busy practice, which covers all areas of Chambers’ work. He regularly appears in the High Court, the County Court and at commercial arbitrations as sole advocate in the chancery, commercial and property fields. In addition, he has appeared on a number of occasions as sole advocate in a wide range of regulatory tribunals and hearings. His main areas of practice include:

  • Commercial and contractual disputes (including warranty, guarantee and misrepresentation claims)
  • Commercial and civil fraud claims
  • Corporate, partnership, shareholder and director disputes
  • Banking and finance litigation
  • Insolvency (corporate and personal)
  • Professional liability (including negligence claims against solicitors, surveyors, architects, accountants and financial advisers and regulatory/disciplinary proceedings)
  • Property litigation (including real property, landlord and tenant, mortgages and trusts)
  • Contentious probate, trusts and inheritance disputes
  • Sports law regulatory/disciplinary proceedings
  • Breach of employee, partner or director restrictive covenants including the use of confidential information
  • Employment law disputes

Prior to coming to the Bar, Stuart was a partner and solicitor-advocate in the commercial litigation team of a leading national law firm based in the Midlands.

Michael Smith

Michael is a barrister specialising in intellectual property, insolvency and general commercial litigation.

His intellectual property practice comprises copyright, designs, trade marks and trade names, passing off, patents and confidential information.

In his insolvency practice, he acts for trustees in bankruptcy, liquidators, creditors and debtors.

Michael has a special interest in the music industry and in music law. He has acted in disputes between artists and their management on both sides. He is well acquainted with the various IP rights involved in music production and with how they move in the music industry. Michael has acted for and against world renowned artists and other industry players and in doing so he knows the strategies that work. In addition, his cross-discipline expertise leaves him uniquely placed to deal with questions related to insolvency of musical artists, their service companies, and record and publishing companies.

As a former IT infrastructure specialist and keen coder himself, Michael is well placed to assist with disputes about IT and software.  He has first hand experience of the contractual, technical and IP issues that can arise.  His current language of choice is C# and he has worked in the past with many, including Java, VB, VB.NET, VBScript, C++, XML, XSLT and Windows Installer.  Michael is always looking for opportunities to automate or simplify his working practices using technology.  Current projects include a C# WPF application for managing and analysing data about winding up petitions and hearings, an addin for Outlook, and an application for managing and merging data into document templates to create rich documents.

Michael has a reputation as an excellent litigation strategist and tactician. His forensic analysis of documents is meticulous and he has a keen eye for the unusual. He is known for his thorough and well considered advice and his strong commercial focus. He is an effective and persuasive advocate whose cross-examination can turn a trial.

Michael also deals with company law matters, commercial matters and general chancery work.

Katherine Hallett

Katherine has a broad practice encompassing a wide variety of chancery and commercial litigation, including advisory work. She has particular interest in insolvency and property law.

As regards insolvency, Katherine’s practice includes:

  • petitions for bankruptcy and winding up
  • applications to set aside statutory demands
  • validation orders
  • annulment and rescission applications
  • applications for possession and sale
  • actions against officers for misfeasance
  • transactions at an undervalue, preferences, unlawful dividends etc
  • challenges to office-holders’ remuneration and expenses

Katherine’s property-related work includes:

  • landlord and tenant disputes (residential and commercial, including ASBO-related matters)
  • real property (boundary disputes, adverse possession claims, easements and rights of way)
  • trusts of land matters (including orders for sale)
  • proprietary estoppel
  • mortgage repossessions (including mortgage fraud)
  • leasehold enfranchisement and lease extensions

She is also particularly interested in disputes relating to beneficial interests in property.

Katherine’s commercial practice covers:

  • company law
  • breach of contract
  • sale of goods
  • supply of services
  • contracts regulated by the Consumer Credit Act 1974
  • personal guarantees and indemnities

Katherine’s probate-related practice covers:

  • the validity, interpretation and rectification of wills
  • administration of estates
  • claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family & Dependants) Act 1975
  • challenges to wills on the grounds on lack of testamentary capacity, want of knowledge and approval and undue influence

Katherine appears before a variety of tribunals, predominantly the High Court, the County Court and the First Tier Tribunal, Property Chamber (Residential Property).

Katherine also contributes regularly to Lexis PSL Restructuring and Insolvency. She has written several Case Notes (see below) and Practice Notes (on after-acquired property in bankruptcy and partnership disqualification).