Call: 2011

Martyn Griffiths

“His preparation is meticulous and he is an outstanding advocate who provides an excellent service to his clients” Legal 500

Practice overview

Martyn specialises in commercial law, professional liability, insurance and costs. He is already ranked in the Legal 500 as a leading junior where he is complimented for his meticulous preparation 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.

Away from chambers, Martyn is a keen cook who enjoys nothing more than spending time with family and friends. Martyn has a wide range of sporting interests; in particular he is a lifelong motorsport enthusiast and a fan of American Football.

Areas of expertise

  • Commercial dispute resolution
    • Banking & finance

      Banking & finance

      Martyn has considerable experience in acting in cases arising out of finance disputes and is regularly instructed by lenders in respect of such claims.

      Relevant cases

      • 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 lender where the Defendant alleged that the lender had failed to comply with the formalities required for the agreement to be enforceable.
      • Acting for a Claimant seeking that a loan agreement be set aside for alleged undue influence.
    • Civil fraud & asset tracing

      Civil fraud & asset tracing

      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.

      Recent cases

      • 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).
      • 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.
      • 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.
    • Commercial litigation

      Commercial litigation

      Martyn has acted for both Claimants and Defendants in a broad range of commercial cases. He has represented clients in claims concerning the construction of contractual provisions, pre-contractual misrepresentations, assignments and allegations of unfair contract terms.

      Martyn regularly appears on interim applications in commercial matters including freezing injunctions, security for costs and strike out applications.

      Relevant cases

      • Appearing at a 3 day trial concerning the breach of joint venture agreement.
      • Advising a party in respect of the prospects of advancing a claim of fraudulent misrepresentation in the context of a property investment.
      • 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.
      • Advising on and acting on an appeal where a judge had found that clauses in a loan agreement amounted to an unenforceable penalty.
      • 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.
      • 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 a client accused of having wrongfully terminated a partnering agreement.
      • Acting in a claim concerning the alleged breaches of restrictive covenants included in the sale of a client list from one professional services business to another. The claim was complicated by arguments concerning the assignment of the underlying contract.
      • Acting for a Claimant in a claim concerning damage to industrial equipment whilst in international transit; the claim involved consideration of a number of agreements as well as the common law liability of the parties. Martyn was heavily involved in the pre-action correspondence and negotiations between the Claimant and multiple Defendants, which ultimately resulted in the Claimant achieving an early settlement.
    • Franchising

      Franchising

      Martyn is a member of Hardwicke’s franchising team and has acted in a number of franchising disputes concerning a wide range of industries.

      Relevant cases

      • Representing a franchisor who had terminated the franchise agreement on the basis of various breaches.
      • 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.
      • 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.
    • Companies, joint ventures & partnerships

      Companies, joint ventures & partnerships

      Martyn has experience of representing clients involved in disputes arising out of joint ventures and partnerships. He has acted in a number of claims which, in addition to the legal position, have required a pragmatic and commercial outlook in respect of the onward operation of the business concerned.

      Relevant cases

      • Appearing at a 3 day trial concerning the breach of joint venture agreement.
      • Advising on and acting on an appeal where a judge had found that clauses in an agreement forming part of a joint venture amounted to an unenforceable penalty.
      • Acting in relation to a partnership dispute in a longstanding and lucrative business venture. Martyn advised and appeared at a mediation where the matter was resolved to his client’s satisfaction.
      • Representing the Defendant in a six-figure partnership dispute. The matter resolved following Martyn’s involvement at mediation.
  • Insurance
    • Professional indemnity insurance

      Professional indemnity insurance

      Martyn’s practice in professional liability work means that he frequently deals with professional indemnity policies. He is well placed to advise in relation to issues including scope of cover, interpretation and declinature of cover.

    • Insurance coverage

      Insurance coverage

      Martyn has a wide-ranging insurance practice and frequently 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 misrepresentation.  Martyn’s experience includes the following policy types: commercial combined, business interruption, litigation insurance, as well as a range of consumer insurance policies.

      Relevant cases

      • 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.
    • Litigation insurance

      Litigation insurance

      Martyn’s costs practice means that he has considerable experience of litigation insurance.

      He is frequently instructed by ATE insurers in relation to challenges to the recoverability of premiums inter partes. These challenges are typically technical in nature giving Martyn substantial insight into these policies.

    • Insurance funded disputes

      Insurance funded disputes

      A significant proportion of Martyn’s work involves insurers, and he has considerable experience of acting both on behalf of and against them. In addition to his professional liability practice, Martyn has considerable experience of subrogated claims by insurers for property damage or other insured losses.

      Martyn is sensitive to the commercial considerations of insurers and to the position of solicitors with both insured and insurer clients.

  • Professional liability
    • Property & construction professionals

      Property & construction professionals

      Martyn’s professional liability experience extends to property professionals such as architects, surveyors and valuers.

      Martyn also acts in professional negligence claims arising out of property transactions (see legal professionals tab).

      Relevant cases

      • 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 Defendant surveyor in a professional negligence action. He advised on and drafted an application that led to the claim against his client being discontinued.
      • Representing a Defendant architect who had designed a playground against a claim brought by a Claimant (against multiple Defendants) who had been injured when some of the equipment failed.
    • Financial professionals, insolvency professionals, directors & officers

      Financial professionals, insolvency professionals, directors & officers

      Martyn is regularly instructed in relation to claims against financial professionals including accountants, insurance brokers and other financial advisers. Martyn’s commercial practice dovetails well with acting in claims of this type.

      Relevant cases

      • Acting for a client in respect of a claim for negligent investment advice.
      • Advising and acting for a client in a claim against insurance brokers for failing to provide responsive cover.
      • Representing an accountancy firm in respect of a claim brought against it concerning advice regarding the restructuring of the Claimant’s company and the tax liability of him and the company as a consequence.
      • Acting for an insurance intermediary in respect of a claim alleging that inadequate cover had been obtained.
      • 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.
    • Legal professionals

      Legal professionals

      Martyn regularly acts for Claimants and Defendants in claims against solicitors and other legal professionals. He has experience of claims arising out of a broad range of factual circumstances from conveyancing to civil litigation to matrimonial proceedings.

      Relevant cases

      • Advising in respect of a claim for professional negligence against counsel concerning advice given relating to an appeal.
      • Advising on the prospects of a claim against solicitors and counsel for advice given in the context of litigation.
      • 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.
      • 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 the prospects of a claim where the Defendant solicitors’ IT system had been hacked leading to the Claimant being defrauded.
      • Advising a Claimant in respect of the likely recoverable losses in the particular circumstances of their claim against conveyancing solicitors where the firm had failed to advise their client about various provisions of the lease.
      • Acting for Defendant solicitors in respect of a claim alleging negligence in divorce proceedings.
      • Acting for a Defendant and successfully striking out the Claimant’s claim on the basis (a) that it was an abuse of process as a second action and (b) that the claim disclosed no reasonable cause of action.
  • Costs litigation

    Costs litigation

    Martyn regularly appears in all types of costs matters from CCMCs and security for costs applications through to multiple day detailed assessments and appeals. As well as inter-partes costs disputes, he is regularly instructed in Solicitors Act 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. He has experience of drafting documents for non-contentious matters.

    Martyn was counsel in Malmsten v Bohinc [2019] EWHC 1386 (Ch) the first binding authority on the application of the post-Jackson proportionality rules to detailed assessments.

    He is one of a very select group of juniors recommended for Costs Litigation by Legal 500, which refers to his “in-depth knowledge of costs”.

    Recent cases

    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Drafting documents for the transfer of a CFA to a new firm.
    • Drafting and advancing an application under s.60 of the Solicitors Act for the delivery of a statute bill where the client contended that the solicitors had not served a compliant statute bill.
    • 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.
    • Representing a receiving party at a preliminary hearing to a detailed assessment. Martyn successfully argued that the exceptional circumstances test in r.45.29J applied so that the receiving party escaped the fixed costs regime for claims commenced under the RTA Protocol.
    • Resisting a third party costs application brought against a credit hire company pursuant to CPR r.44.16 and section 51 of the Senior Courts Act 1981.
    • Advising a client on whether a CFA had been effectively assigned to a new firm of solicitors.

Recognition

“His preparation is meticulous and he is an outstanding advocate who provides an excellent service to his clients”Legal 500

Directory recommendations

Martyn is recommended by Legal 500 for Costs Litigation:

  • 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.”

Professional associations

  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association (LCLCBA)
  • British Insurance Lawyers Association (BILA)
  • Inner Temple

Publications

Contributing author to Insurance Broking Practice and the Law (ed. CMS Cameron McKenna).

Qualifications

  • BPTC – City University
  • Inner Temple BPTC Major Scholarship
  • GDL – City University
  • Inner Temple GDL Major Scholarship
  • History MA, Cambridge University

News

Focus On…Professional Liability

16/03/2021

Abuse of process? Res judicata and collateral attacks on prior decisions after Allsop v Banner Jones Ltd and another

12/02/2021

Commercial Litigation Journal publishes Martyn Griffiths’ article on proportionality – Malmsten v Bohinc

06/08/2019

Loss of a Chance Claims and Trials within Trials – Perry v Raleys Solicitors

23/03/2019

Articles

Abuse of process? Res judicata and collateral attacks on prior decisions after Allsop v Banner Jones Ltd and another

12/02/2021

Going for broke(rs): Claims as a result of Covid-19 on insurance policies and against insurance brokers

23/04/2020

Malmsten v Bohinc – The Correct Approach to Proportionality Confirmed

11/06/2019

Loss of a Chance Claims and Trials within Trials – Perry v Raleys Solicitors

23/03/2019

Be Warned: Your Advice May Require a Warning!

15/01/2018

Past events

Hardwicke Franchising Day – Business as Usual?

24/09/2020

The A to Z of a Solicitors Act claim

15/09/2020

Commercial litigators’ guide to financial services claims seminar

28/11/2019

Hardwicke Franchising Conference 2019: Franchise agreements under the microscope – time for change?

29/10/2019

Costly costs errors – professional negligence claims arising out of costs issues

10/10/2018

J2J: Disclosure & Privilege – Seeking, providing and withholding evidence

01/03/2016

Podcasts

Proportionality: Where are we now?

04/03/2020

Videos

Guide to Financial Services Claims

28/11/2019

Hardwicke Franchising Conference 2019

30/10/2019