Martyn specialises in costs, professional liability and commercial disputes. He is already ranked in the Legal 500 as a leading junior where he is complimented for his forensic approach and outstanding advocacy.
Martyn is sought out by clients because of his robust advocacy and his adept technical submissions in complicated areas of the law. He is an experienced trial advocate who advances his client’s case eloquently and determinedly.
Martyn prides himself on providing practical and commercially astute advice. He goes the extra mile to understand not only his client’s case but the broader implications and concerns involved.
Areas of expertise
- Costs litigation
Martyn is a specialist costs barrister and one of a very select group of juniors recommended for Costs Litigation by Legal 500, which refers to his “in-depth knowledge” of this complicated area of the law.
As well as inter-partes costs disputes, Martyn is regularly instructed in Solicitors Act assessments. He is regularly instructed in high value disputes or in cases where there are important or complicated points of principle. Martyn’s practice sees him instructed against more experienced and leading counsel.
Martyn was counsel in Malmsten v Bohinc  EWHC 1386 (Ch), the first binding authority on the application of the post-Jackson proportionality rules to detailed assessments.
He also advises on a range of issues including the compliance of purported Part 36 offers, the validity of statute bills under the Solicitors Act and the assignment of CFAs.
Martyn is frequently instructed to advise and draft documents for professional clients in non-contentious matters.
- Kelly v Ralli  EWHC B5 (Costs) – Martyn successfully applied to strike out a Solicitors Act claim where the Claim Form had been served at the incorrect address and sent by email.
- Raydens v Cole  EWHC B14 (Costs) – preliminary issue concerning whether special circumstances existed in a Solicitors Act claim.
- Representing the receiving party in a detailed assessment following a major Commercial Court claim and appeal to Court of Appeal. The total value of the two bills were assessed at £1.36m.
- Martyn successfully had a default costs certificate set aside on mandatory grounds on the basis that the bill was not compliant and that it had not been properly certified.
- Advising a professional client in respect of a proposed funding scheme for a particular niche area of legal practice. With PJ Kirby QC.
- Representing the client in a claim concerning a contentious business agreement. Martyn successfully resisted an attempt to strike out a defence to the claim advanced by leading counsel on behalf of the solicitors.
- Successfully defending solicitors against arguments including limitation and repudiatory breach of retainer by solicitors on a Solicitors Act assessment of their fees.
- Malmsten v Bohinc  EWHC 1386 (Ch) – appeal concerning the meaning of the words “of and incidental to” in a costs order and the application of proportionality in a detailed assessment.
- Drafting documents for the transfer of a CFA to a new firm.
- Representing the receiving party at a hearing of a preliminary issue in a detailed assessment concerning the recoverability of an ATE premium of over £200,000.
- Professional liability
Martyn has a busy professional liability practice which primarily relates to the legal, financial services and property sectors. He has acted in claims concerning allegations of solicitors’ and/or barristers’ negligence, negligent financial advice (whether relating to financial advisors, accountants or insurance brokers) and allegations of negligence involving property professionals (including surveyors and architects).
Martyn has considerable experience of working for and against professionals and is mindful of the strategic and tactical needs of both clients in each of these situations. He is sensitive to the commercial considerations of insurers and to the position of solicitors with both insured and insurer clients.
- Advising in respect of a claim for professional negligence against counsel concerning advice given relating to an appeal.
- Acting for a client in respect of a claim against an IFA for negligent investment advice.
- Advising and acting for a client in a claim against insurance brokers for failing to provide responsive cover.
- Advising on the prospects of a claim against solicitors and counsel for advice given in the context of litigation. The claim particularly concerned the scope of advice to be expected in light of the instructions and scope of retainer.
- Acting for a client in a claim against their solicitors in respect of negligent drafting and later application of an overage clause in the context of property transactions.
- Acting for an architect whose client alleged that the work carried out was not in accordance with the scope of work and negligent in any event.
- Acting for a Claimant in a claim against their solicitors where the underlying claim had been struck out.
- Acting for Defendant solicitors in a claim concerning the advice given in respect of the provisions of a commercial lease.
- Advising a Claimant in respect of a claim against auctioneers where the paintings which were described by the auctioneers as being authentic works by a prominent early 20th century artist were later discovered not to be.
- Advising a Claimant in respect of the prospects of a claim where the Defendant solicitors’ IT system had been hacked leading to the Claimant being defrauded.
- Acting for a Defendant surveyor, Martyn advised on and drafted an application that led to the claim against his client being discontinued.
- Advising in respect of a claim against solicitors for failing to give adequate advice in respect of the client’s obligations under various financial agreements.
- Representing an accountancy firm in respect of a claim brought against it concerning advice regarding the restructuring of the Claimant’s company and the consequent tax liability of both the individual and the company.
- Commercial dispute resolution
- Commercial litigation
Martyn regularly acts in a broad range of commercial cases involving complex issues and substantial sums. His experience extends to a wide range of industries and commercial agreements. Martyn has considerable experience in acting in banking disputes and is regularly instructed by lenders in respect of such claims.
In addition to breach of contract cases concerning the obligations and liabilities of parties, Martyn frequently deals with cases where allegations concerning misrepresentation, unfair terms or penalty clauses are advanced.
Martyn has acted in claims involving civil fraud and deceit. His attention to detail and forensic analysis are valued by clients in cases in this area.
Martyn also has considerable experience of dealing with important interim applications in commercial matters including applications for freezing injunctions, security for costs and strike out.
- Appearing for the claimant at a quantum trial for breach of a manufacturing agreement for unpaid royalties and loss of profits. Damages were assessed in the sum of £1.175m.
- Acting for a lender at trial in respect of whether the default interest provisions in a loan had been triggered and whether the interest provided for constituted an unenforceable penalty.
- Advising a party in respect of the prospects of advancing a claim of fraudulent misrepresentation in the context of a property investment.
- Advising a client in respect of the construction of a pricing clause in a supply agreement of critical importance to their business.
- Acting for a holiday park alleged to have breached an implied duty of good faith in respect of the terms of its license agreements.
- Successfully defending a party to a contract against an allegation that they had deceitfully induced the other party to enter into the agreement. Martyn acted at trial and on appeal.
- Advising an energy broker accused of making a secret commission.
- Advising in respect of the jurisdiction of an agreement between multi-national companies based in the USA and Zimbabwe regarding a contract concerning goods delivered in the UK. Martyn also advised on limitation and service of proceedings out of the jurisdiction.
- Acting on an application for a Norwich Pharmacal Order on behalf of a bank where the applicant was concerned that the respondent was wrongly asserting that assets held by him were held on trust for other parties. Led by Nigel Jones QC and Emily Betts.
- Appearing at a 3-day trial concerning the breach of joint venture agreement.
- Defending a claim where it was alleged that a loan was fraudulently procured.
- Resisting an application for further expert handwriting evidence where a single joint expert had concluded that a signature was likely to be a forgery.
- Successfully obtaining freezing injunctions in the High Court in a claim brought against a Defendant employee and other parties who had conspired to defraud the Claimant.
- Successfully acting for a commercial lender against a Defendant under a personal guarantee where the Defendant argued that the contract was unenforceable.
- Acting for a Claimant seeking that a loan agreement be set aside for alleged undue influence.
Martyn has a busy franchising practice and has acted in disputes concerning a wide range of industries. He is regularly instructed in substantial disputes and has acted for and against nationally and internationally recognised franchise businesses. He has particular experience of claims concerning allegations of misrepresentation and the operation of post-contractual restrictions.
- Representing a franchisor who had terminated the franchise agreement on the basis of various breaches in the face of allegations of misrepresentation and force majeure from the franchisee.
- Advising a franchisee in respect of their rights and obligations in respect of various items of equipment under the termination provisions of a franchise agreement.
- Appearing at a 3-day trial concerning the breach of joint venture agreement.
- Advising a franchisor in respect of the construction of a pricing clause in a supply agreement of critical importance to their business.
- Successfully striking out a claim brought against a franchisor for breach of the agreement.
- Representing a franchisee in a claim brought for alleged breaches of the franchise agreement. In addition to a denial of the factual allegations, the case also concerned arguments that the clauses governing the consequences of breach were unenforceable penalties. Having advised and drafted the defence to the claim, Martyn resolved the claim to his client’s satisfaction at a mediation.
- Advising a franchisee in respect of a claim concerning alleged misrepresentations as to the nature and structure of a franchise business.
- Advising and representing a franchisee at mediation where the franchisor had purported to terminate the agreement for alleged breaches and sought a six-figure sum in relation to future losses under the agreement.
- Insurance coverage
Martyn has a wide-ranging insurance practice and acts for both insurers and insured clients. Martyn’s practice includes advising parties on a range of insurance issues including the construction of policy terms, the scope of coverage provided and declinature of cover for fraud or breach of the duty of fair presentation. Martyn’s experience includes the following policy types: commercial combined, business interruption, litigation insurance, professional indemnity, as well as a range of consumer insurance policies.
Martyn’s costs practice means that he frequently deals with disputes relating to litigation insurance. Similarly, his professional liability practice brings with it a familiarity with professional indemnity policies.
- Acting for an insured in respect of a claim against their insurer for failing to indemnify on the basis of an alleged breach of the duty of fair presentation.
- Advising a client as to the scope of the exclusions in a policy of insurance taken out upon purchasing a converted property, which had subsequently become uninhabitable due to a construction defect.
- Advising a client regarding the construction of clauses relating to the maintenance of insurance of a property and whether the insurance was to be maintained for the joint benefit of the landlord and their tenants.
- Drafting proceedings and acting for a Claimant in a claim against a well-known insurer who was refusing to indemnify the Claimant in respect of damage caused to his property on the basis of a policy exclusion. Martyn appeared at mediation where his client compromised the claim for a six-figure settlement.
- Commercial litigation
Martyn is recommended by Legal 500 for Costs Litigation:
“Incredibly diligent, approachable and forensic in approach to cases. Martyn is able to cut through problems and grasp the critical issues with ease.” – Legal 500
“He has an in-depth knowledge of costs, his preparation is meticulous and he is an outstanding advocate who provides an excellent service to his clients.” – Legal 500
- Professional Negligence Bar Association (PNBA)
- London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association (LCLCBA)
- British Insurance Lawyers Association (BILA)
- Inner Temple
Contributing author to Insurance Broking Practice and the Law (ed. CMS Cameron McKenna).
- BPTC, City University
- GDL, City University
- Inner Temple GDL and BPTC Major Scholarships
- History MA, Cambridge University