Duncan Macpherson

Call: 1994

Duncan advises and represents individuals, clubs, charities, companies, partnerships, and banks in areas ranging from family quarrels to international trade disputes. Duncan is known for his client-focused approach to finding the best practical & cost-effective result available against a complex factual and legal background that often covers several specialist areas and jurisdictions.

Duncan is a fearless advocate before any tribunal, able to turn his hand equally to an urgent freezing injunction as to a complex trial or appeal. He regularly acts as lead or sole Counsel in claims of over £10m (some over £500m) but gives the same attention to disputes of all sizes.

Banking & financial services

Duncan regularly appears for and against banks and other financial institutions dealing with debentures, securities, mortgages, guarantees, and other financial instruments. He also advises and represents clients on financial services law, including mis-selling and collective investment schemes.

Featured cases

  • Lead counsel in proposed group litigation against regulated investment business for breach of duties towards offshore investors (ongoing).
  • Appealing bankruptcy order made on a guarantee (ongoing).
  • Perks v NatWest Markets Plc: [2022] EWHC 726 (Comm) Lead counsel then sole counsel representing the Claimant in a long trial for mis-selling interest rate swaps and for conspiracy in respect of RBS’s Global Restructuring Group.
  • Elite Property Holdings Limited v Barclays Bank plc [2021] EWHC 772 (Comm). Represented the Claimant in a reverse summary judgment in respect of a renewed claim for mis-selling interest rate swaps.
  • Lead counsel representing over 100 investors in complex land-banking case on grounds including that it was a collective investment scheme (settled).
  • Sole counsel,  then first junior in a team, representing a regulated individual opposing a £50m+ claim in fraud, conspiracy, and negligence concerning the sale of structured products (settled)
  • Sethia London Ltd v Sethi [2021] EWHC 367] (Comm); [2021] EWHC 2907 (Comm) Representing debtor under a guarantee who opposed judgment because of related proceedings in Dubai.

Civil fraud & asset recovery

Duncan has considerable experience in acting for claimants and defendants in claims relating to civil fraud and asset recovery at all levels. He is comfortable working as sole counsel, part of team of counsel, or leading a team of counsel. Duncan is often briefed to make or oppose freezing or proprietary injunctions and advises and represents clients through until settlement, trial or appeal.  Many cases involve more than one jurisdiction; some involve cryptocurrencies.  Much of Duncan’s work has a dishonesty angle or issues of equitable fraud.

Featured cases

  • Sole counsel, then first junior in a team, representing a regulated individual defending a £50m+ fraud, conspiracy, and negligence claim in respect of the sale of structured financial products (settled).
  • Represented an individual defending a £5m+ fraud, conspiracy, and negligence claim in respect of the sale of an education business and properties (settled).
  • Represented an individual defending a £5m+ claim in fraud, conspiracy, and dishonest assistance involving a collection of vintage cars.
  • Perks v NatWest Markets Plc: [2022] EWHC 726 (Comm) Lead counsel then sole counsel representing the Claimant in a long trial for mis-selling interest rate swaps and for conspiracy in respect of RBS’s Global Restructuring Group.
  • Lead counsel representing over 100 investors into a complex £10m+ land-banking fraud involving car parking spaces (settled).
  • Obtaining freezing injunction and negotiating quick settlement involving cryptocurrency fraud.
  • Obtaining a series of third-party disclosure orders from banks and proprietary orders against new defendants to trace money defrauded from a charity.
  • The New York Laser Clinic Ltd v Naturastudios Ltd [2020] EWHC 560 (QB). Application to set aside a post-judgment worldwide freezing order for failure to disclose.
  • The Republic of Angola v Perfectbit Ltd [2018] EWHC 965 (Comm). Application to discharge a $540m freezing injunction on the grounds of non-disclosure. Sole Counsel.
  • Gresport Finance Ltd v Battaglia [2018] EWCA Civ 540. Appeal on liability and limitation regarding a fraud by an offshore wealth manager.
  • Bishop v Chhokar [2017] EWCA Civ 2717. Appeal to set aside judgment on the grounds of perjury by the Defendant.


Duncan has considerable experience in acting for claimants and defendants in commercial claims at all levels from pre-action to trial and appeal or negotiated settlement. He is comfortable working as part of team of counsel, leading a team of counsel, and as sole counsel. Many cases involve issues of jurisdiction. Duncan has particular experience in contractual construction (including arbitration and jurisdiction clauses), conflict of laws, and agency contracts.

Featured cases

  • Representing a concrete manufacturer in claim for breach of contract, restitution, and trespass (ongoing).
  • Representing an individual pursuing repayment of a loan in Monaco (ongoing).
  • Representing a claims manager pursuing a debt under a DBA (ongoing).
  • Advised on debt claim in respect of failed Ugandan development project.
  • Represented a company defending contractual debt claim for security services (settled).
  • Advised a corporate agency on claim for introduction fee for commercial investment.
  • Advised investors on claim for compensation on closure of a Russian oilfield in the Caspian Sea.
  • Advised in respect of a lien over aircraft for maintenance fees.
  • The New York Laser Clinic Ltd v Naturastudios Ltd [2020] EWHC 560 (QB). Application to set aside a post-judgment worldwide freezing order in commercial debt claim for substantial failure to disclose.
  • Ahmed & Anor v Ali Khalifa [2017] EWHC 1198 (Comm). Junior counsel. Challenge to jurisdiction by a Bahraini sheikh relating to a claim for agent’s fees for introducing Bollywood stars
  • Touton Far East v Shri Lal Mahal [2016] EWHC 1765 (Comm). Sole Counsel. Conflict of laws. Post-judgment Freezing Order against an Indian company.
  • Citicorp International Ltd v Shiv-Vani Oil & Gas Exploration Services Ltd [2014] EWHC 245 (Comm)
    Junior counsel. Conflict of laws. Whether the bank could simultaneously pursue claims in India and England.

Company & partnerships

Duncan is regularly instructed by shareholders and directors on matters that concern meetings, shareholders agreements, minority interests, directors’ duties, and derivative actions. He also provides advice and representation on partnership agreements and dissolution.

Featured cases

  • Representing a shareholder / director opposing permission for a derivative action and opposing an unfair prejudice petition in respect of a medical practice. Cross-petition to wind up the company. (ongoing).
  • Advised directors/shareholders on breaches of shareholders agreement and bespoke articles of association in order to gain control of the company.
  • Advised directors on the validity of meetings and resolutions in respect of various tenants’ companies managing blocks of flats.
  • Re Guidezone; Kaneria v Kaneria (30.07.15; LTL AC0147346). Represented a Respondent to a complex unfair prejudice petition regarding a hotel group over a 21-day trial.

Insolvency & restructuring

Duncan advises and represents individual and corporate creditors, insolvency practitioners, debtors, directors and shareholders in petitions and applications relating to bankruptcy, insolvency, administrations, voluntary arrangements, and receiverships. Much of Duncan’s work has an insolvency angle.

Featured cases

  • Representing a shareholder / director in her petition to wind up a medical quasi-partnership. Cross-petition for unfair prejudice (ongoing).
  • Obtained the dismissal of a winding up petition on an admitted debt on the grounds of wrong creditor.
  • Portrait & Burns v Minai [2023] EWHC 1605 (Ch). Obtained the dismissal of bankruptcy petition on an admitted debt on the grounds of jurisdiction.
  • Represented a director opposing a freezing injunction and order for examination obtained by South African liquidators (settled).
  • Lead counsel representing over 100 investors in challenge to a complex CVA proposed by administrators on grounds of unfair prejudice, material irregularity, and public policy (settled).
  • Represented shareholders to oppose application by debenture-holders to replace administrators (settled).
  • Birdi v Price [2018] EWHC 2943 (Ch). [2019] 3 All ER 250; [2019] BPIR 306; [2019] Bus LR 489.
    Claim against trustee in bankruptcy for selling tools of the trade. Consequences of discharge of trustee.


Duncan regularly advises and represents clients in disputes which concern conveyancing, land registration, rights of way and other easements, proprietary estoppel, trespass, adverse possession, mortgages, and undue influence. He also advises and represents landlords and tenants of commercial and residential leases regarding termination, renewals, forfeiture, and breach of covenant. Duncan has experience of working on the Pubs Code and in appeals against arbitrations.  Much of Duncan’s work has a property angle.

Featured cases

  • Representing cement company in claim for breach of contract, breach of quiet enjoyment, and trespass (ongoing).
  • Representing purchaser of property seeking to avoid an overage clause on grounds of non-incorporation, misrepresentation, Consumer Rights Act, and unconscionable bargain (ongoing).
  • Representing landlord or carpark on encroachment of neighbouring development (ongoing).
  • Representing commercial leaseholder seeking consent from landlord for substantial development (ongoing).
  • Representing holder of a second charge to obtain the cooperation of the chargor to ensure the charge was registered; included urgent injunction; chargor opposes on grounds of duress and undue influence (ongoing).
  • Representing a publican on an appeal against the dismissal of a reference to arbitration under the Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Act 2022 (ongoing).
  • Represented landlord of development property in claim for summary judgment against a tenant claiming a new lease under the L&T Act 1954.
  • Represented the claimant in a complex and substantial nuisance and trespass claim involving water ingress (settled)
  • London Borough of Barking & Dagenham v Omokudu [2020] EWHC 2620 (Ch). Represented the Defendant in long-running claim for forfeiture and possession for non-payment of rent by a church. (settled)
  • EI Group v Clarke [2020] EWHC 1858 (Ch). Represented the publican in an appeal by PubCo against award by arbitrator under the Pubs Code. Terms of ‘Free of Tie’ offer.
  • Advised on how to extend time for payment of property purchased in an auction (settled).
  • Advised and representing non-borrowing spouse claiming undue influence against a mortgage company (settled).

Professional negligence

Duncan regularly accepts instructions relating to negligence by solicitors in areas relating to contractual, property, insolvency, and litigation work.

Featured cases

  • Lead counsel in claim by over 100 property investors against solicitors for failing to register their interest at HMLR (ongoing).
  • Represented a shareholder against his solicitors in a claim for negligently drafting a company’s articles (settled).
  • Represented an offshore individual against solicitors in a claim for negligently conducting a substantial fraud claim; opposing counterclaim for fees (settled).

Trusts, probate, & estates

Duncan regularly advises and represents personal representatives, beneficiaries, and third parties in matters relating to the construction of wills and trusts, due execution, mental capacity, knowledge and approval, and undue influence. His cases often have an international angle.  Duncan also accepts instructions relating to claims under the Inheritance Act.

Featured cases

  • Representing a widow seeking to avoid the effect of the Bahraini law on intestacy (ongoing).
  • Representing a beneficiary of offshore discretionary trusts on claim to retain a gift (ongoing).
  • Re Brunt (deceased); Wrangle v Brunt [2020] EWHC 1784 (Ch). Represented a beneficiary in a claim to prove a home-made will signed by a third party and found ten years after the death of the testator. Fraud; knowledge & approval; execution (settled after appeal).
  • Advised beneficiaries on claims against executors and solicitors.
  • Advised and represented various executors where subsequent wills alleged.
  • Thornton v Woodhouse [2017] EWHC 769 (Ch). Represented a beneficiary in a claim to oppose a will on grounds of knowledge and approval and undue influence. 12-day trial.


  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Franco-British Lawyers Society
  • Human Rights Lawyers Association


  • French (fluent)
  • Reviewer and volunteer with Advocate (Bar Pro Bono Unit)
  • Chancery Bar Litigant in Person Support Scheme (CLIPS)


  • Walking and outdoor pursuits
  • Rugby football
  • Yacht racing
  • Choral music

This is the Privacy Policy for:

Barrister: Duncan Macpherson

Address: 1EC, 3 King’s Bench Walk North, Inner Temple, London, EC4Y 7HR

The Purposes for which Personal Data is Processed:

Personal data will be processed in order to enable the provision of legal services, ie:

  1. advice;
  2. representation in court;
  3. the drafting of legal documents.

It may also be necessary to retain personal data for conflict-checking purposes or for use in the defense of potential complaints, legal proceedings or fee disputes.

The Lawful Basis for Processing Personal Data

In some cases the subject of the personal data will have given consent to the processing of his or her personal data. Where explicit consent has not been given, personal data will be processed only when:

  1. it is necessary for the performance of a contract with the person whose personal data is processed (or prior to entering such contract, in order to take steps at the request of the person whose personal data is processed); or when
  2. it is necessary for the purposes of providing legal services.

Special Categories of Personal Data

It may be necessary to process personal data which constitute particularly sensitive special categories, ie personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, and the processing of genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation.

Such data will only be processed where processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defense of legal claims.

Who will receive Personal Data

The recipients of the personal data processed will be:

  1. instructing solicitors and clients;
  2. courts and other tribunals to which documents are presented;
  3. witnesses and potential witnesses, including expert witnesses;
  4. other barristers, pupil barristers and other legal representatives;
  5. regulatory authorities.

Retention Periods for Personal Data

Personal data in case files will generally be kept at least the end of one year after the maximum relevant limitation period has expired. The limitation period will be measured from the latest date it is possible to bring any appeal.

The retention period will be reviewed when the work has been completed. The retention period may be adjusted at that time.

International Data Transfers

In cases involving international disputes, it may be necessary to transfer personal data to countries outside the European Economic Area which have different data protection standards to those which apply in the European Economic Area. This will only be done for the purposes set out in this Privacy Policy. In the event this is necessary, appropriate safeguards will be in place to protect personal data, such as European Commission approved standard contractual clauses or the EU-US Privacy Shield. You have a right to ask for a copy of the relevant safeguard.

Individual’s Rights

If your personal data has been processed or held, you have a right to request access to (and rectification or erasure of) personal data; or to request restriction of processing concerning the data subject; or to object to processing; as well as the right to data portability. These rights may be limited where there is a legal requirement, or other legitimate grounds, to process your data.

If you wish to exercise these rights, please use the contact details above.

If you have unresolved concerns you also have the right to complain to data protection authorities.