Year of call 1993
‘Incredibly impressive on the detail – commercial in his approach, with superb drafting skills. He gets on very well with clients. Robust and calls it as he sees it – he doesn’t sit on the fence but gives clear, definitive and reasoned advice.‘ – Legal 500 2022.
Andrew Butler QC practises in the areas of Property and Business & Commercial, and is Head of Chambers’ Business & Commercial Group. While he accepts instructions across the full spectrum of commercial and property work, he particularly specialises in development disputes and professional negligence matters, with company law issues also forming an increasing part of his caseload.
Andrew is a qualified mediator and a member of both the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the London Court of International Arbitration. He is an adjudicator on the panel of the Professional Negligence Bar Association. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2018 and his silk practice has gone from strength to strength, involving an appearance in the Supreme Court, and regular appearances in the Court of Appeal, as well as the Commercial and Business and Property Courts.
Andrew was short-listed for Barrister of the Year in the Lawyer Awards 2020.
Andrew’s background is in Real Property and the majority of his practice is in professional negligence and commercial claims with a property element.
In the former context, he has undertaken claims against architects, surveyors, insurance brokers and solicitors, among other professionals (see, further, “Professional Negligence” below).
In the latter context, he undertakes cases in a variety of fields, including a recent Supreme Court case involving estate agency fees (Devani v Wells  2 WLR 617). In 2022, he has undertaken High Court trials in matters as diverse as landlord consent to assignment (Gabb v Farrokhzad  EWHC 212, see link to news article here) and liability for a devastating fire at an oil processing plant in Essex (Smith v Howard  EWHC 562 (TCC)). Of Andrew’s performance in securing victory in the latter case, his instructing solicitor commented: “The result of course turned on cross-examination, where hits were scored on both sides. Perceived [sc. expert] bias proved to be the bigger hit. Not all silks would have been so effective.”
Andrew routinely undertakes advisory work on real estate disputes and developments; recent examples include the viability of the redevelopment of a major UK shopping centre and two disputes concerning prime residential real estate in the Bahamas.
Andrew undertakes purely commercial work, often with an international element. A particular example is the long-running case of UCP v Nectrus (reported on quantum at  PNLR 9), in which Andrew (despite only being instructed shortly before a 12-day Commercial Court trial) successfully defended the majority of a multi-million pound claim made against a Cypriot entity in relation to a property venture in India. The case has attracted interest in particular in relation to a reflective loss case advanced by Andrew; while this was rejected by the trial judge and the Court of Appeal in Nectrus, it has recently been confirmed by the Privy Council in a different case (Primeo v Bank of Bermuda) that the defence was sound and that Nectrus is wrongly decided in this respect. An application to re-open the appeal in Nectrus is pending.
Other recent commercial cases undertaken by Andrew include Auty v Duru, a high value s.994 petition concerning a Turkish cosmetics group, Quantum Advisory Ltd. v Quantum Actuarial LLP  1 All ER (Comm) 473, a leading Court of Appeal authority on covenants in restraint of trade, and TBD Owen Hollands v Simons  1 WLR 992, an important Court of Appeal decision on search orders and common interest privilege.
As set out in the Real Property section, much of Andrew’s work both within and beyond the field of real property has a professional negligence element. During his junior practice Andrew undertook numerous such cases. Non-property cases included e.g. Griffin -v- UHY Hacker Young  PNLR 20, which was concerned with limits of the ex turpi causa principle in the context of a director who had been given bad corporate restructuring advice. Property cases included claims against insurance brokers, solicitors and architects; his cases against architects brought him to the attention of RIBA, and he lectured on their CPD programme for many years. For the present, as well as the Nectrus case referred to above (strictly a professional negligence claim, albeit in a heavily commercial context), Andrew is instructed in disputes arising out of the allegedly negligent drafting of a Liquidated and Ascertained Damages Clause in a major construction contract, negligence by a tax adviser/company law specialist in the establishment of a family trust fund, and a negligence claim against a barrister arising out of the Court of Appeal’s decision in Gibbs v Lakeside Development Ltd.  4 WLR 6, a case concerning the forfeiture of residential property.
Andrew is a trained mediator and has ample experience of the mediation process, both as advocate and mediator.