Andrew Butler QC

Year of call 1993

Silk 2018

Instructing Andrew
For further information or to instruct Andrew please contact one of our following clerks:

Gary Collins
Practice Managers

+44 (0) 20 7421 5300
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“He’s an excellent counsel and the pleadings he drafts are top-notch. He cuts through the paperwork.” “He is great with clients.”

Chambers UK 2022

“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

“A formidable but always reasonable opponent. He consistently provides high calibre, clear advice.”

Chambers UK 2021

“He is quickly developing his silk practice.”

Legal 500 2021

“Embarrassingly good on his feet and great with clients.”

Legal 500 2020 (Property Litigation)

“He is extremely user-friendly and his tenacious and practical approach makes him a favourite with clients.”

Chambers UK 2019

“He can very quickly review a large amount of information and detail and provide practical and specialised advice, often at short notice.”

Chambers UK 2019

“Gets on well with clients, a good advocate and calm under pressure.”

Legal 500 2018

“A property specialist who is known for his expertise in cases driven by professional negligence claims. Sources see him as an approachable and accessible practitioner.”

Chambers UK 2016

“He has excellent drafting skills and is a good advocate.”

Legal 500 2015

“Highly experienced in leasehold enfranchisment and related professional negligence matters.”

Legal 500 2014

“A personable man, who has a keen intellect and a very commercial attitude…a tough, able and sensible practitioner.”

Chambers UK 2015

“Someone who offers technical knowledge matched by the ability to give practical advice. One source observed that ‘he impressed greatly with his ability to get to the heart of the issue and grasp the key facts. He has been responsive and has inspired confidence from the start’.”

Chambers UK 2014
  • Lawyer Monthly, Business Barrister of the Year (2015)
  • FCI Arb
  • MA (Oxon)
  • BA
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • Property Bar Association

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.

Areas of expertise

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 [2019] 2 WLR 617). In 2022, he has undertaken High Court trials in matters as diverse as landlord consent to assignment (Gabb v Farrokhzad [2022] EWHC 212, see link to news article here) and liability for a devastating fire at an oil processing plant in Essex (Smith v Howard [2022] 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 [2020] 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 [2022] 1 All ER (Comm) 473, a leading Court of Appeal authority on covenants in restraint of trade, and TBD Owen Hollands v Simons [2021] 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 [2010] 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. [2019] 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.

Notable Cases

  • Smith v Howard [2022] EWHC 562 (TCC) Claim arising out of major fire at oil refinery plant in Essex – Andrew acting for Claimant who succeeded in liability-only trial against co-occupier of plant – case turned on negligent placement of oil container said to have been instrumental in the spread of the fire giving rise to difficult questions of liability and (in particular) causation.
  • Gabb v Farrokhzad [2022] EWHC 212 Claim against landlord alleging unreasonable refusal of consent to assign a lease – unreasonable refusal established but claim for exemplary damages successfully defeated – partial permission to appeal obtained from Court of Appeal, but claim settled before appeal heard.
  • Quantum Advisory Ltd. v Quantum Actuarial LLP [2022] 1 All ER 473 Dispute arising out of long-term Services Agreement between actuarial pensions company and LLP formed to carry out services on its behalf – challenge to restrictive covenants preventing direct client engagement for entire 100-year duration of agreement – Court of Appeal deciding whether doctrine of restraint of trade applied and if so whether covenants were enforceable.
  • TBD Owen Holland v Simons [2021] 1 WLR 992 Important Court of Appeal decision about scope of search orders and in particular whether they permit the inspection and deployment in litigation of documents obtained as a result of a search – also issues of common interest privilege in relation to one particular document thus obtained.
  • Goyal v Florence Care Ltd. [2020] EWHC 659 Successful appeal against decision of County Court Judge giving rise to questions about (a) the continuation of proceedings against a bankrupt Defendant; (b) equitable accounting; and (c) solicitors’ responsibilities in respect of third party funds.
  • UCP v Nectrus [2020] PLR 9 £21m dispute following loss of substantial funds invested by Isle of Man entity in construction projects in India – action brought against Cyprus-based Investment Manager - acted for Defendant in 13-day split trial in Commercial Court involving issues of liability, causation and reflective loss – appeal pending to Court of Appeal.
  • Devani v Wells [2019] 2 WLR 617 Supreme Court decision on formation of oral contracts and effect and application of s.18 Estate Agents Act 1979.
  • Jones v Oven [2018] EWCA 1895 Successful resistance of appeal against High Court decision ([2017] EWHC 1647) involving construction and interpretation of restrictive covenants.
  • Ningbo Jiangdong Jiemao Import & Export Co Ltd v Universal Garments International Ltd [2017] 11 WLUK 660 Successful application for reverse summary judgment against creditor seeking to enforce Chinese judgment in the UK.
  • Dawnus Sierra Leone Ltd v Timis Mining Corporation Ltd & Another [2016] EWCA Civ 1066 Successful appeal against Judge's refusal to award security for costs against counterclaiming Defendant - whether Defendant's preference for litigating in alternative forum a relevant factor.
  • Dawnus Sierra Leone Ltd v Timis Mining Corporation Ltd & Another [2016] EWHC 236 (TCC) Jurisdictional challenge in construction dispute and cross-application for anti-suit injunction seeking to restrain proceedings in Sierra Leone.
  • Fresca-Judd v Golovina [2016] 4 WLR 107 Successful defence of claim by landlord's insurers seeking to recover damages from tenant following flood at demised premises - whether insurers entitled to bring subrogated claim - whether tenant liable on the facts.

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