Year of Call 2007
Chris is recognised as a leading junior in the fields of Employment and Tax by Chambers UK 2015
Chris is developing a substantial practice; he has appeared recently in the High Court, EAT, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. His practice is focussed on: employment law; tax; general commercial litigation (including professional negligence and insurance); and sport.
In March 2012, he was appointed as Junior Counsel on the Attorney General's C Panel.
Before being called to the Bar, Chris was a Strategy Consultant for Accenture and the Mergers and Acquisitions Manager for media group News International.
Notable cases include:
- McLaren v HMRC  UKUT 269
- Mertrux v HMRC  STC 2199 (Court of Appeal)
- Daniel v HMRC EWCA Civ 1741
- Jose v Julio  IRLR 180
- Thomas & Others v Bridgend County Borough Council  HLR 1 (Court of Appeal)
- Andorful v London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham UKEAT/0410/11
- Gaines-Cooper v HMRC  1 WLR 2625 (Supreme Court)
- Keegan v Newcastle United Football Company Limited  IRLR 94
Has a growing reputation for the strength of his employment practice. Peers praise his handling of complicated multi-week whistle-blowing claims, and clients note his impressive and robust advocacy. He is a barrister of choice for many of the leading employment solicitors. Expertise: "He is completely unflappable and does not feel the pressure at all, even when he's handling complicated matters. His legal knowledge is second to none and he's regularly filling in the judges on points of law they may have missed." "Good with clients, he's more commercial than the average barrister." Recent work: Acted for the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in defending a whistle-blowing and unfair discrimination claim. - Employment, Chambers UK 2015
Regularly represents the Revenue and is increasingly acting for taxpayers in a variety of tax cases. Areas of expertise include employment-related tax issues, particularly those concerning employment status. Expertise: "He is very diligent and highly committed. He will stay up all night if you need him to. He has very good judgement and you can rely on any research he does." Recent work: He represented HMRC before the Upper Tribunal in a case considering the tax deductibility of travel expenses for doctors working in private practice. - Tax, Chambers UK 2015
"I have no hesitation in stating that Chris is a high calibre advocate. His advocacy is among the best I have seen for his level, and together with his other attributes he is in my opinion the best employment barrister of his level at the London bar." - Partner, leading City firmClose
EmploymentAdd to Portfolio
Chris is recognised as a leading junior in Employment Law by Chambers 2015.
He regularly handles high value and multi-day tribunal claims and has appeared on several occasions in the EAT and High Court without a leader. He recently appeard in a High Court making a successful application for an interim injunction. His advisory work includes restrictive covenants and team moves and he is often instructed to draft pleadings. He acts for Claimant and Respondent clients, which include: Credit Suisse, Barclays, British Airways, Network Rail.
Recent cases have included the following areas of law:
- Unfair dismissal (including redundancy and misconduct)
- Sex, age, race and disability discrimination
- TUPE (including the impact of insolvency)
- Restrictive covenants, including team moves
- Holiday and Working Time
- Practice and Procedure, including limitation
- Collective consultation under TULRCA 1992
Significant recent cases include:
- A series of three hearings, each of at least 5 days, representing separate Claimants alleging whistleblowing and / or race discrimination against the same employer.
- H v Bank - represented senior risk manager against large bank in claim for sex discrimination linked to pregnancy; settled for six-figure sum.
- Edelman v K&L Gates - an appeal against a finding that it was just and equitable to extend time for a disability discrimination claim
- P v S - Chris represented a major US law firm in a 10-day Tribunal hearing of a multi-million pound disability discrimination claim brought by one of its former partners
- I v I - Chris acted for two Respondents in successfully setting aside a default judgment which had been entered over two years previously and a remedy judgment of over £200,000
- Jose v Julio  IRLR 180 – the first appellate authority on the correct interpretation and application of the “domestic worker exception" in the National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999, as well as race discrimination
- Andorful v LBHF UKEAT/410/11 - concerning the Tribunal's power to strike out a discrimination case at the preliminary stage and an appeal against an award of costs.
- Simpson v Merrick UKEAT/0490/09 – the impact of an employee’s bankruptcy on an employer’s ability to bring a counter-claim
- Kevin Keegan v Newcastle United Football Company Ltd  IRLR 94 – Chris was instructed by the claimant (led by Chris Jeans QC and Nicholas Randall QC) in a constructive dismissal claim
In the High Court, Chris has been instructed in an application for the strike out of a breach of contract claim for c. £900k and an application for an interim injunction to enforce contractual restrictive covenants. Chris acted as a junior in the preparation for a speedy trial in GFI v Ahali.
Chris regularly provides seminars to solicitors. Recent topics have included:
- Trends and tactics in restrictive covenant disputes
- Breach of contract claims in the High Court and employment tribunals
- Discrimination claims by equity partners
- The quantification of personal injury claims in employment tribunals
He is a contributing author to Bloomsbury Professional's Discrimination Law.
He is a member of ELA and has written for the ELA Briefing.Close
TaxAdd to Portfolio
Chris is recognised by Chambers 2015 as a leading junior in Tax law.
Chris is developing a substantial contentious and advisory tax practice in which he is instructed in cases by HMRC and on behalf of the taxpayer. He has extensive experience of both statutory appeals and judicial review claims in the tax context.
Recent cases includes:
- Davies & James v HMRC; Gaines-Cooper v HMRC (CoA and Supreme Court)  1 WLR 2625 - legitimate expectation in respect of IR20
- Stone v HMRC - JR of HMRC's decision not to waive interest
Private client and estate planning
- Daniel v HMRC (FTT) - individual residence; full-time employment abroad; discovery assessments
- Hargreaves v HMRC UT) - individual residence; procedure for determining validity of discovery assessments
Corporate tax and taxation of businesses
- Mertrux Ltd v HMRC (FTT, UT and CoA)- Chris was led by Akash Nawbatt in this leading case on the sale of goodwill
- Ramsay v HMRC (UT) - Chris appeared without a leader in the Upper Tribunal case regarding the definition of a business for rollover relief
- McLaren v HMRC (FTT and UT) - concerning HMRC's decision that a fine of $100m imposed by the FIA was not a deductible business expense
- Samadian v HMRC (FTT and UT) - Chris appeared without a leader in the Upper Tribunal case concerning the deductibility of travel expenses
- Duckmanton v HMRC (UT) - Chris appeared without a leader in the Upper Tribunal appeal against the deductibility of expenses incurred in defending a criminal charge
- G4S v HMRC (FTT) - Chris appeared without a leader in the FtT in this case concerning the deductibility of parking fines
- Greathey Investments & Others v HMRC (FTT) - Chris was instructed in the FtT hearing of this high-value claim concerning purchase of pre-entry losses by the Peel Group
- Advised on employment status issues
- Experienced in the taxation of intermediaries (e.g. IR35)
Chris also has extensive experience in issues of procedure in the First-tier Tribunal including:
- The role of the Human Rights Act in tax appeals
- The validity of discovery assessments
- Postponement appeals
Commercial LitigationAdd to Portfolio
Chris has appeared regularly in fast and multi-track cases in the County Courts in contractual disputes and debt-recovery claims. He is developing expertise in personal and company insolvency matters, including discharge from bankruptcy and winding up.
Chris has appeared in the High Court in the following matters:
- Southern Rock Insurance v Endsleigh Insurance (led by Colin Edelman QC and Richard Harrison) - a breach of contract claim for in excess of £15million against a claims handling service arising out of 50,000 motor insurance claims. Chris was instructed on this case for over 18 months
- Southern Rock Insurance v Endsleigh Insurance  EWHC 611 (Comm) (led by Colin Wynter QC at the interlocutory application for a mandatory interim injunction)
- Bristol & West Investments Ltd v Stansbury – Chris appeared for the respondent to an application for an injunction to stay enforcement of an order of possession
He is a member of COMBAR and the LCLCBA.Close
Professional NegligenceAdd to Portfolio
Chris is developing a burgeoning professional negligence practice, having been instructed in solicitors', valuers' and architects' negligence cases on behalf of both Claimants and Defendants. He has particular speciality in solicitors’ negligence cases, with recent cases including the late service of proceedings and conveyancing matters. Many cases have involved a cross-over with Chris's expertise in employment and tax law e.g. the quantification of loss resulting from the late service of a Tribunal claim. He is familiar with drafting pleadings in such cases as well as advising on merits and quantum and settlement strategies. He has handled cases up to £900,000 in value.
Chris has lectured recently on topics including:
- Lawyer's negligence in employment claims
- Limitation in professional negligence claims
Chris drafted an article with section 61 of the Trustee Act 1925 published in the Solicitors' Journal with Alison Padfield. Click here to view.
Chris is a member of the PNBA.Close
Human RightsAdd to Portfolio
Chris was led by Robert Weir QC for the successful claimants in the Court of Appeal in Thomas & Others v Bridgend County Borough Council  HLR 1, which established categorically for the first time that diminution in the value of property was sufficient to constitute an interference with the claimants’ rights to peaceful enjoyment of their possessions under Article 1 Protocol 1 of the European Convention of Human Rights.
He has appeared in immigration judicial review proceedings involving claims for breach of human rights.Close
Sports LawAdd to Portfolio
Chris is available for instruction on all employment aspects of sports law as well as disciplinary matters. He has a particular interest in rugby.
Chris was instructed by the claimant in Kevin Keegan v Newcastle United Football Company Ltd  IRLR 94, in the Premier League Manager's Arbitration Tribunal, and by a football commentator in a claim against his media employer.
He has appeared before the Rugby Football Union disciplinary panel in a matter concerning an abandoned game and has advised a Premiership rugby player regarding his rights under his playing contract and image rights agreements. Chris is currently instructed by HMRC in the appeal by McLaren Racing Limited regarding the correct tax treatment of the $100m fine imposed in 2007 by the World Motor Sport Council.Close
Additional InformationAdd to Portfolio
Chris has delivered seminars to solicitors on the following topics:
- Litigation in the Premier League Managers' Arbitration Tribunal
- Limitation in Professional Negligence
- SAAMCO and the Recoverability of Losses in a Falling Market
- The Equality Act 2010
- Discrimination Claims by Equity Partners
- Indirect Discrimination
- Trends and Tactics in Restrictive Covenants
- Contractual and Statutory Dismissal
- The Quantification of Personal Injury Damages in the Employment Tribunal
If you are interested in exploring how Chris can deliver these seminars, please contact Wing Lau.Close