People

Dominic Bright

Dominic’s practice includes commercial, property and personal injury (including credit hire).  He is a registered Civil and Commercial Mediator with the Civil Mediation Council, and offers online and telephone mediation services: www.ResolvedOnline.com.  Dominic is also the editor of Jus Cogens, the online journal providing news, expert analysis and compelling opinion on public and private international law and arbitration for those with an international aspect to their practice.

HHJ Karen Walden-Smith (Senior Circuit Judge and Designated Civil Judge for the County Court in East Anglia) wrote a foreword to ‘A Practical Guide to the Small Claims Track’ in these terms: “… Dominic Bright has set out all that a practitioner could possibly need to know about how to deal with a small claim …”. District Judge Cridge (South Eastern Circuit) wrote a testimonial: “Dominic Bright has balanced a thorough, careful review of the Small Claims Track procedure with a helpful analysis of the most common areas of law the County Court sees. The wealth of sensible, practical advice for those coming to court helps further set this book apart.”

Richard Pitkethly, Head of Learning and Practice (In-House Counsel) at LawWorks – the pro bono unit with 150 members, including large City and international law firms, fielding over 59,000 enquiries between April 2017 to March 2018, and providing training last year to over 1000 solicitors and advisors – published a Five Star book review in the Law Society Gazette, entitled ‘A pro bono game changer’, concluding in these terms:

‘It seems inevitable that A Practical Guide to the Small Claims Track will quickly become the go-to small claims book for practitioner volunteers (and junior practitioners generally), especially those unfamiliar with handling claims allocated to the small claims track, as well as an indispensable self-help guide to LiPs.’

Dominic can be instructed directly, without having to involve a solicitor.  He is registered on the Direct Access Portal.  Dominic is also a member of Advocate (the Bar’s national charity), matching him with members of the public who need help, are unable to obtain legal aid, and cannot afford to pay.

Prior to pupillage, Dominic was judicial assistant in the Court of Appeal to Sir Brian Leveson, the former President of the Queen’s Bench Division.  He was also researcher in construction law at a leading set of barristers’ chambers, public international law at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, and national implementation measures (nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation, development and use of chemical weaponry) at the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre. Dominic is an Associate of King’s College London.

For daily case digests, connect with  Dominic on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter.

 

Publications

Dominic assists authors to publish academic articles and professional texts on national and international law.  He also publishes in his own right.

Books

Articles

Seminars / training

Dominic accepts invitations to present seminars / training from professional clients. He also attends other professional events.

Recent invitations

  • ‘Small Claims Training’ – Seminar One, 8 September 2020 (admissions; interim payments; and remote final hearings); Seminar Two, 30 September 2020 (when, how and benefits of making an oral application for strike out and / or summary judgment; judicial intervention v entering the arena; and departure from fixed costs following a finding that a party has behaved unreasonably); and Seminar Three, 23 October 2020 (appearing against litigants in person)
  • Training for a niche commercial and residential property law firm on forfeiture, trespass and assured shorthold tenancies (July 2020)
  • ‘Future of International Dispute Resolution’ (discussant analysing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on international commercial contracts with the International Dispute Resolution Group, June 2020)
  • ‘Jurisdiction and Choice of Law Clauses in International Commercial Contracts’ (seminar to City lawyers, November 2019)
  • Defence barrister in a mock trial following a road traffic collision and claim for credit hire (training for a leading law firm of about 2,500 employees and an insurer with over 166,000 employees, July 2019)

Recent events

Further information

Dominic holds two postgraduate qualifications, is an active member of various domestic and international professional associations, and enjoys gardening, travelling and learning about geopolitics when time permits.

Qualifications

  • Master of Laws (LL.M) in Professional Legal Practice (incorporating the BPTC), BPP University Law School, London Holborn, awarded Distinction
  • Master of Laws (LL.M), King’s College London, School of Law, awarded Distinction
  • Law (LL.B Hons) with European Legal Studies, King’s College London, School of Law (incorporating an Erasmus exchange at Uppsala University, Sweden)

Memberships

Interests

Dominic’s commercial practice includes all contractually based claims, guarantees, supply of goods and services, finance and credit transactions, company and partnership disputes.

Dominic has a particular interest in advising on commercial use of novel technologies, including small, unmanned aircraft, on which he wrote a leading article: ‘Drones, Airprox, and the Regulatory Environment: Cause for Concern?

Recent instructions

  • Advice in conference following a wedding that did not take place due to the COVID-19 lockdown following the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020/350, where the issues included force majeure, frustration, supervening illegality and consumer protection under the Consumer Rights Act 2015, the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013, and the Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. Email from professional client, dated 15 July 2020: ‘Thank you ever so much. It was super helpful and I look forward to working with you again in the near future.’
  • Office of the Traffic Commissioner v G – successfully represented a sole trader at one of the first in-person public inquiries after the COVID-19 lockdown, so that, although an operator licence was revoked and a disqualification as transport manager was ordered, there was no disqualification as an operator.  In the words of the Commissioner’s written decision: “Normally I would make an equally lengthy disqualification order against an operator with [G’s] record. But I acknowledge that he has made genuine and strenuous efforts to improve compliance since October 2019 (even if there remains some way to go). Exceptionally, I have decided not to make a disqualification order in his case.”
  • S v G & Anor – successfully applied for judgment against both defendants for a six figure sum (with interest at three percent); applied for costs in the sum of £17,000; resisted the defendants’ application for an adjournment; resisted the first defendant’s application to file and serve an amended defence; resisted the second defendant’s application for relief from sanctions and permission to extend the time to file and serve a defence and counterclaim; applied for summary judgment against the first defendant on the basis that there was no real prospect of successfully defending the claim and no other compelling reason why the case should be disposed of at trial; and requested default judgment to be entered against the second defendant on the grounds that a defence had not been filed and the relevant time limit for doing so had expired.  Message from lay client, received by professional client, dated 11 June 2020: ‘I am 100% fully satisfied.’
  • K v M – devilling for a Silk, namely researching and drafting the skeleton argument and bundle of authorities in applications before the High Court for general civil restraint orders, and nonparty costs orders to be awarded on the indemnity basis (April 2020).
  • Advice, letters before claim, and particulars of claim for breach of contract or alternatively money had and received in the sum of £100,000 plus simple interest or alternatively compound interest pursuant to the court’s equitable jurisdiction (February 2020).
  • U v E – successfully made an oral application on the day of trial for summary judgment in the sum of about £10,000 (January 2020).
  • Office of the Traffic Commissioner v P – successfully represented a company in a public inquiry, considering whether the operator was of good repute and had appropriate financial standing; successfully invited the commissioner to hear from the director of that company, who was not able to verify his identity in accordance with the letter calling that company to public inquiry; successfully made an oral application for a period of grace before a standard national goods vehicle licence for five vehicles and seven trailers was revoked, despite failure to produce original or certified copies of evidence demonstrating financial standing; and successfully avoided regulatory action despite the commissioner finding “a problem with the maintenance documents” (November 2019).
  • H v O-B – successfully applied for relief from sanctions, and that the claim be reinstated, despite findings of a serious and significant breach of a court order, for which there was no good reason, and that the application was not made promptly (November 2019).
  • S v F & Anor – successfully made an oral application for judgment against both defendants for around £40,000, and costs of about £11,000 in a directions hearing (September 2019).
  • Office of the Traffic Commissioner v D & Anor – successfully represented two companies in a public inquiry, considering the fitness of those companies and their directors to hold an operator licence, and then successfully applied for a restricted goods operator’s licence to authorise the use of three vehicles. Email from professional client, dated 5 September 2019: ‘Thank you for your attendance note which I found very comprehensive … I will have another case for you shortly and will advise accordingly’.
  • Advice on prospects of defending a claim in the region of £40,000, and counterclaiming in the region of £70,000, upon alleged breach of vacant possession by the seller of a six-bedroom property (June 2019).
  • A v S & Two Ors – devilling for a Silk, drafting a skeleton argument for use in proceedings in the Chancery Division of the High Court (March 2019).
  • I v A – successfully made an oral application and was granted relief from sanctions on day one of a multi-track trial re service of the defendant’s Defence, hearsay notice, and witness statement the day before trial.  About one-twelfth of the five-figure sum claimed was awarded (plus VAT).  Upon making an oral application that the winning party’s costs should be substantially reduced, they were capped to half (March 2019).
  • Advised on alleged breaches of data protection legislation by a high street bank, and damages that could be expected from a court award (August 2018).
  • Advised film production company on whether an Independent Film & Television Alliance arbitration clause was valid in a claim for around £25,000 (May 2018).

Dominic’s commercial and residential property practice includes possession, disrepair and dilapidations, breach of covenant / forfeiture, and management and service disputes.  He regularly represents private landlords, housing associations, and local authorities.

Dominic has written a leading article in the New Law Journal on the repeal of “no-fault” evictions: ‘Section 21 Sent Packing’.  He has also assisted Simon Brilliant to update ‘Trespass to Land’ in volume 40(1) of Atkin’s Court Forms (Practice and Forms).  Dominic is an Associate Member of the Property Bar Association.

Recent instructions

  • M & Anor v L – successfully applied for an acquisition order, enabling the claimant leaseholders to acquire the freehold title, on grounds including that their landlord could not be found, plus full costs of about £6,000 (following a successful application for relief from sanctions after the claim was struck out).  Letter from professional client, dated 6 July 2020: ‘I refer to the successful Order obtained by Counsel in respect of the above hearing and am most grateful to Counsel for the work undertaken by him … which clearly contributed to the successful outcome. I have heard from both clients and they are very pleased with the outcome.
  • L v K – successfully applied for an injunction to inspect, service and carry out remedial works on the landlord’s property, remaining in force for 18 months with an attached penal notice, and costs of about £1,700 (April 2020).
  •  C v M – successfully applied for possession on two discretionary grounds, judgment for arrears of about £6,000, daily occupation charges up to the date of possession, use of the tenancy deposit in part-payment, and full costs of about £1,000 (March 2020).
  • K v K – successfully applied for possession on a mandatory grounds, judgment for arrears of about £7,000, interest, daily occupation charges up to the date of possession, use of the tenancy deposit in part-payment, and permission to appeal on the issue of costs for two reasons, namely that there is a contractual right to costs in law pursuant to two judgments of the Court of Appeal, and that there was a contractual right to costs on the facts pursuant to the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement (March 2020).
  • H v H – successfully applied for possession and costs of over £1,000. Email from professional client, dated 22 January 2020: ‘The client will be very happy.
  • H v S & Three Ors – successfully applied to dispense with service of a section 8 notice, and successfully secured an order for possession on the basis that there was a breach of the tenancy agreement, namely subletting via Airbnb, Expedia and booking.com, and successfully applied for costs of about £2,500 (December 2019).
  • Advice following grant of an overriding lease on how to regain possession, claim rent in the sum of over £30,000 and costs paid to the landlord under the terms of an authorised guarantee agreement (November 2019).
  • S v A & Anor – successfully settled an appeal on the day of that appeal, so that the defendants agreed to give the claimant possession forthwith (November 2019).
  • G & Anor v F & Anor – successfully applied for possession, and both defendants to pay about £5,000 costs pursuant to a contractual agreement (November 2019).
  • H & Anor v F – successfully applied for possession, a contractual rate of interest on outstanding rent arrears, and full costs on the basis of a contractual agreement (October 2019).
  • W v R – successfully applied to strike out the defence and counterclaim, alleging disability discrimination, sex discrimination, harassment, breach of the right to quiet enjoyment, injury to feelings, psychological damage, aggravated health, and seeking awards for aggravated damages, exemplary damages, and restitutionary damages. The judge concluded in these terms: “Mr Bright’s skeleton argument runs to over 13 pages, I read this earlier today. … For reasons which have been set out in Mr Bright’s skeleton argument, I have concluded that there is no merit in the defence and no merit in the counterclaim.” The claimant was awarded possession, and all of his costs in the sum of about £4,300. Email from lay client, dated 18 September 2019: ‘Dominic Bright, performed a comprehensive and sterling defence at both Hearings and the, Judge, also commented how impressed he was with him.’
  • A v K & Anor – successfully applied to set aside judgment in a commercial property case, and successfully invited the court to include a recital in the order in the following terms: ‘UPON noting that the application was necessary due to an administrative error of the court AND UPON noting that the defendants may write to the court, requesting the costs of the application’ (September 2019).
  • O v T – successfully applied for possession on a discretionary ground (August 2019).
  • P v A & Anor – successfully applied for possession and costs pursuant to a contractual agreement of about £1,300. Email from professional client, dated 21 August 2019: ‘Dear Dominic, Thank you for your call and the update. I am pleased with the outcome. Thank you once again for your assistance in this matter.
  • Advice following a tenant complaining of water damage to her garden, allegedly caused by a damaged pipe on her neighbour’s property. Email from professional client, dated 15 August 2019: ‘Thank you for your e-mail of 11th August, attaching your comprehensive Opinion on merits in respect of the above matter. I am most grateful to you for the detailed nature of your Opinion and your very helpful advice, which will be of great assistance to my clients.’
  • Advice, letters before claim, and particulars of claim for breach of contract or alternatively money had and received in the sum of £100,000 plus simple interest or alternatively compound interest pursuant to the court’s equitable jurisdiction (February 2020).
  • U v E – Successfully made an oral application on the day of trial for summary judgment in the sum of about £10,000. (January 2020).
  • H v O-B – successfully applied for relief from sanctions, and that the claim be reinstated, despite findings of a serious and significant breach of a court order, for which there was no good reason, and that the application was not made promptly (November 2019).
  • S v F & Anor – successfully made an oral application for judgment against both defendants for around £40,000, and costs of about £11,000 in a directions hearing (September 2019).
  • Advice and particulars of claim for the owner of a property, let to a tenant, who complains of water damage to her garden, allegedly caused by a damaged pipe on her neighbour’s property (August 2019).
  • S v A & Anor – resisting appeal against an order of possession (August 2019).
  • E v M – successfully facilitated settlement for a five-figure sum, following nine-and-a-half-hour mediation, after proceedings were issued, alleging personal injury and disrepair to property (April 2019).
  • Advised in commercial property dispute, following alleged breach of contract for services to become station operator of a petrol filling station (February 2019).
  • P v I – commercial property dispute, relief from forfeiture granted to the claimant by the court, with costs awarded on my application to the defendant on the indemnity basis (January 2019).
  • G v M – commercial property dispute, successfully securing permission to apply for relief from forfeiture out of time, file an Amended Defence, bring a Counterclaim out of time, and order that the claimant disclose bank statements (January 2019).
  • S & Anor v L – commercial property dispute, application for pre-action disclosure.  District Judge Grant: “I commend Mr Bright for his application” (January 2019).
  • T v I – successfully applied for an injunction re nuisance (December 2018).
  • M & Anor v L – successfully applied for relief from sanctions, and acquisition order.  Email from professional client, dated 21 December 2019: ‘I was very impressed with Mr Dominic Bright of Counsel who represented my clients.  He had clearly prepared the matter very well and he secured a successful Order on their behalf, which was very much appreciated by not only myself but also my 3 clients who were in attendance at Court for the hearing.’
  • G v L – successfully resisted application to suspend warrant (November 2018).

Dominic’s personal injury practice is founded upon repeat instructions by professional clients acting for insurers, where there are often allegations of “fundamental dishonesty”, or that, upon a claim being struck out, the conduct of a claimant is alleged to be “likely to obstruct the just disposal of proceedings”, so as to depart from the general rule of qualified one-way costs shifting (“QOCS”).

Fast track and multi-track trials frequently include claims for credit hire, where there are disputes relating to rate, impecuniosity, mitigation of loss, enforceability, storage and recovery charges, and delivery and collection charges.

Dominic is frequently instructed by defendant insurers to apply for strike out, and substantial costs on the basis that the claimant has behaved unreasonably, where – although there is no claim for pain, suffering and loss of amenity – there is a significant claim for credit hire.

Recent instructions

  • V v T – successfully submitted that an intervention letter was received, Copley-compliant, and that it was reasonable to accept the offer that it contained, so that about one-fifth of the amount claimed for credit hire was awarded. Email from professional client, dated 13 July 2020: ‘Great result!
  • H v R – in the words of the judgment: During careful cross-examination by defence counsel, the claimant was taken to various inconsistencies in her evidence, accepting ultimately … that certainly the documents exhibited were not the full account of her financial position.” There was no finding of impecuniosity, the basic hire rate was awarded amounting to about one-third of the amount claimed for credit hire, and the other two heads of special damage were dismissed (July 2020).
  • L v V – successfully represented the defendant, so that, despite the court awarding judgment for the full amount, the claimant was nevertheless found to have behaved unreasonably and ordered to pay the defendant’s costs of about £800. Email from professional client, dated 7 July 2020: ‘I have read through your report and all I can say is wow.  Just wow.’
  • W v B – successfully invited the court to award about one-third of the sum claimed for credit hire and dismiss the other head of special damage (June 2020).
  • L v H – successfully submitted that the basic hire rate should be awarded, so that only about one-quarter of the sum claimed for credit hire was awarded, and the hearing fee was not awarded because there was no evidence of impecuniosity and the claimant failed to beat an offer that was made before the hearing fee was due (June 2020).
  • L v A – successfully submitted that about one-fifth of the sum claimed for credit hire should be awarded (June 2020).
  • R-B v N – successfully submitted that the claim should be dismissed for the reason that, on a balance of probabilities, liability had not been established (June 2020).
  • Advice on causation, quantum, responding to a Part 36 Offer to settle, and making a Part 36 Offer to settle following the proposed claimant’s alleged fall in a fruit and vegetable shop (June 2019).
  • A v A – successfully resisted the claimant’s application for relief from sanctions and permission to rely on evidence that was filed and served before the final hearing was relisted; and applied for the claimant to pay the defendant’s costs on the basis that the claimant had behaved unreasonably.  Email from professional client, dated 29 May 2020: ‘Thank you, great result as always!
  • H v T – successfully submitted that about a quarter of the amount claimed for credit hire be awarded, and nothing for three of the other heads of loss (May 2020).
  • J & Anor v A – successfully applied for the defendant’s costs following the claimant’s application to adjourn (May 2020).
  • C v H – successfully applied to exclude the claimant’s statement that was filed and served three days after the date for exchange; and applied for the claim to be struck out because the claimant had no evidence.  Email from professional client, dated 15 May 2020: ‘Great results.
  • A v C – successfully applied for the Stage 3 hearing to determine quantum for credit hire, recovery and storage, loss of earnings, and general damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity to be vacated, and that the Part 8 claim be transferred to Part 7 (May 2020).
  • S v S – started to cross-examine the claimant on discrepancies in the evidence before he left the hearing, and successfully submitted that the claim should be dismissed as the burden of proof had not been discharged, and that the claimant had behaved unreasonably by leaving the hearing, so that the court should award an amount of costs to the defendant (April 2020).
  • S v Z – successfully submitted that, although the claimant had substantially succeeded, no costs should be awarded to mark that the claimant had behaved unreasonably for three reasons, first the failure to file and serve key documents, secondly the erroneous allegation that the defendant had not served any evidence, thirdly the failure to inform the defendant or the court that the claimant’s statement was materially incorrect before it was adopted (without amendment) as her evidence in chief (April 2020).
  • C v A – successfully submitted that there was no evidence that the claimant needed to hire a credit hire vehicle, and although the matter was adjourned to allow further evidence, it was on the condition that the claimant pay the defendant’s costs to be assessed if not agreed (April 2020).
  • W v C – successfully submitted that less than half the amount claimed for credit hire be awarded (March 2020).
  • V v R – successfully applied for relief from sanctions about a month before trial, after admission of serious and significant breaches of court directions without good reason, in relation to disclosure and service of witness statements, successfully made an oral application for permission to rely on documents evidencing the claim for special damages that had only been filed and served three days previously, and successfully resisted the defendant’s application for costs (about £8,000) that exceeded fixed recoverable costs (£300) (March 2020).
  • Advice on quantum following a road traffic collision, in which a minor suffered physical injuries, including to his lower back, right hip and right leg, and psychological injuries, including initial acute stress symptoms and contribution towards Autism Spectrum Disorder symptoms, namely separation anxiety and enuresis (March 2020).
  • A v S – successfully submitted that the court should dismiss the claim, and that the claimant behaved unreasonably, so that the claimant should pay the defendant’s costs (March 2020).
  • M v C – successfully submitted that about one-fifth of the amount claimed for credit hire be awarded (March 2020).
  • K v E – successfully submitted that less than half the amount claimed for credit hire be awarded (February 2020).
  • S v N – successfully submitted that about one-fifth of the sum claimed for credit hire be awarded (February 2020).
  • W v B – successfully submitted that the claim for diminution in value, policy excess and interest should be dismissed, and that the counterclaim for the defendant’s policy excess, the defendant insurer’s outlay, and interest should be allowed (February 2020).
  • B v A – successfully submitted that the claims for credit hire, engineer’s fee and interest should be dismissed, and that the hearing fee should not be awarded as the claim for repairs was admitted in the defence (February 2020).
  • C v L – successfully applied to add a second defendant and Part 20 claimant (February 2020).
  • T v C – successfully represented the defendant so that the claim for credit hire was dismissed. Email from lay client, dated 13 February 2020: ‘Great result!’
  • W v C – successfully made an oral application to strike out the claim as an abuse of process and successfully applied for a finding that the claimant behaved unreasonably, so that the court ordered the claimant to pay £1,000 in costs to the defendant (February 2020).
  • L v P – successfully applied to disallow the hearing fee after the court awarded judgment in the sum of about £6,000 (February 2020).
  • Advice on prospects of success ahead of a multi-track trial following a claim for general damages for personal injury and special damages for medical expenses, the pre-accident value of a vehicle, credit hire charges of about £30,000, storage and recovery charges, and loss of use of a vehicle, where there was an allegation of fundamental dishonesty, application to strike out and disapply QOCS on the basis that the claimant’s conduct was likely to obstruct the just disposal of proceedings (February 2020).
  • G v T – successfully invited the court to dismiss the claim on the basis of the evidence elicited in cross-examination that the offside of the claimant’s vehicle collided with the front nearside of the defendant’s vehicle on a roundabout (January 2020).
  • P v M – successfully applied to strike out the only head of loss in dispute, and successfully applied for the defendant’s costs on the basis that the claimant behaved unreasonably (January 2020).
  • E v A – successfully resisted an application to add another defendant, invited the court to strike out the claim, and applied for the defendant’s costs on the basis that the claimant behaved unreasonably (January 2020).
  • C v W – successfully submitted that the claim for credit hire should be dismissed as need was not made out (January 2020).
  • P v T – successfully reduced the amount awarded to about one-eighth of the sum claimed for credit hire, and successfully applied to reduce fixed costs to those relevant to the judgment sum (as opposed to the sum claimed). Email from professional client, dated 22 January 2020: ‘Another brilliant result, thank you!
  • G v A – successfully cross-examined the claimant, eliciting evidence of other accidents around the time of the index accident, so that the court could not be sure that the index accident caused the damage alleged in the particulars of claim, and successfully applied for costs on the basis that the claimant behaved unreasonably (January 2020).
  • O (A Minor) & Anor v H & Anor – successfully applied for costs on behalf of the defendant after an infant settlement approval hearing (January 2020).
  • P v S – successfully applied for professional client to come off the record as acting for the claimant on the day of trial, where the defendant indicated that he would apply to strike out the claim, disapply QOCS and seek costs of about £6,000 (December 2019).
  • B v P – successfully secured about one-ninth of the sum claimed for credit hire on behalf of the defendant, and successfully applied for a reduction in the amount of the claimant’s fixed costs. Email from professional client, dated 15 November 2019: ‘Many thanks Dominic really appreciate all your efforts on this one and fantastic result!’
  • M v A – successfully represented the defendant, who saw a gap behind her, and began to reverse, before there was a collision with the claimant’s vehicle. Email from professional client, dated 29 October 2019: ‘Thanks Dominic – great job !’
  • B v L – successfully made an oral application at a directions hearing to strike out, £4,000 costs be awarded to the defendant, and QOCS be disapplied, on the basis that the claimant disclosed no reasonable grounds for bringing the claim, and his conduct was likely to obstruct the just disposal of proceedings (October 2019).
  • K v B & Anor – successfully applied to strike out the claimant’s claim for about £12,000 in respect of credit hire, on the basis that there was a legitimate concern with the claimant’s level of English, and, in absence of a translated witness statement, the court could not place any weight on it (October 2019).
  • Y & Anor v E – successfully applied for permission to rely on expert evidence in a low-value claim, despite a failure to apply to amend / vary directions for trial (that did not grant permission to rely on an expert) and finding that the application was not prompt (October 2019).
  • B v M – successfully settled on the defendant’s terms for about one-third of that claimed (October 2019).
  • H v A – successfully submitted that a Copley-compliant intervention letter was sent to the claimant’s solicitors, who were acting as agents for their client, and so, due to the agent’s failure to pass this letter on to the claimant, about an eighth of the amount claimed for credit hire should be awarded (October 2019).
  • S v I – successfully settled on the defendant’s terms (September 2019).
  • M v G – successfully represented a taxi driver in an alleged “low velocity impact”, who was awarded: about £2,300 general damages for pain, suffering and loss of amenity; about £6,700 special damages for credit hire, vehicle repairs, physiotherapy and miscellaneous expenses; and about £9,000 for costs, disbursements and witness expenses (September 2019).
  • P v E – successfully resisted application to adjourn trial, so that, in response to the claimant’s arguments, the court found opined that: “I have never heard such rubbish in my life … That is total nonsense” (August 2019).
  • S v R – successfully resisted admission of a handwritten, contemporaneous note, allegedly admitting liability, on the basis that it was not on the defendant’s list of documents (August 2019).
  • P v W – successfully cross-examined, so that the judge did not need to hear closing submissions from the defendant before dismissing the claim, allowing the counterclaim (August 2019).
  • B v H – successfully secured the full amount that was claimed for credit hire, on the basis that the claimant was impecunious, despite the judge finding that, as no wage slips were provided, and only incomplete bank statements were provided, the claimant had committed a serious and significant breach of the court’s directions, for which there was no good reason (August 2019).
  • B v L – successfully made an oral application to strike out the case as an abuse of process, and successfully submitted that the claimant behaved unreasonably, so that the court awarded the defendant costs of £2,500. Email from professional client, dated 14 August 2019: ‘What a brilliant result! I have a happy client.’
  • R v I – successfully secured a court award of about one-seventh of that claimed on behalf of the defendant, after liability was admitted, and the judge found that an accident management company was acting as an agent for the claimant, so that this agent should have passed the defendant’s intervention letter on to the claimant (August 2019).
  • S v A – successfully cross-examined the claimant in a fast track trial, in which the judge found that the claimant answered questions “in an unnecessarily argumentative way”, and his claim was dismissed (July 2019).
  • S v E – successfully secured a court award of damages that was not greater than the defendant’s final offer in a stage 3 hearing, and nothing was awarded for six sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy, which were recommended by a consultant psychologist, so that the claimant was ordered to pay the defendant’s costs (July 2019).
  • V v A – successfully adjourned when the defendant’s witnesses did not attend, and, on behalf of the defendant, successfully secured a finding of unreasonable behaviour, so that the claimant was ordered to pay the defendant’s costs of resisting the claimant’s (successful) application for relief from sanctions (July 2019).
  • H v A – successfully cross-examined, so that, in the words of the judge, the claimant accepted that his pleaded case was “completely incorrect”, and his claim was dismissed (July 2019).
  • G v U – successfully challenged the claimant’s witness statements (on the basis that neither complied with court directions, including stating the names of the parties, case number, and the address of the witness), and successfully submitted that there was no evidence of loss in respect of damages for a fleet vehicle, so that, although the cost of repairs was allowed, the claimant was limited to half of his fixed costs (July 2019).
  • K v H – successfully challenged the claimant’s written witness evidence, which attempted to rebut the defendant’s basic hire rates evidence, on the basis that that witness was employed by a subsidiary of a relevant company, and so was not independent (July 2019).
  • Advice on the defendant’s strike out application, the claimant’s relief from sanctions application, quantum (headaches for two years, neck injury for two years, jaw injury for six months, chest injury for six weeks, driving anxiety for six years and four months, and post-traumatic stress disorder for an indeterminate period), and making a Part 36 offer to settle (July 2019).
  • K v R – successfully secured a court award of damages that was not greater than the defendant’s final offer in a stage 3 hearing, so that the claimant was ordered to pay the defendants costs, plus interest (July 2019).
  • M v H – successfully rebutted allegation of impecuniosity, by eliciting in cross-examination that statements for a relevant bank account had not been disclosed; and successfully rebutted fast track costs, despite Particulars of Claim for more than £10,000, so that the ‘normal track’ was the fast track (June 2019).
  • Y v N – successfully applied for permission to resile from pre-issue admission of liability, after judgment had been entered, the judgment sum paid, and the key evidence had not been filed with the court or served on the other party (June 2019).
  • Advised a medium-sized business on liability, contributory negligence, quantum, mediation, and offers to settle, following alleged facial injuries (March 2019).
  • N v W – successful application for specific disclosure, and costs awarded.  Email from professional client, dated 5 February 2019: ‘Thank you for providing your very detailed attendance note. We are pleased with the fantastic outcome and the way in which you conducted the hearing on our behalf.  I will certainly recommend you to my colleagues for similar instructions in the future.’
  • D v K – successfully submitted that the claim should be dismissed, as need was not established.  Email from professional client, dated 18 February 2019: ‘Many thanks Dominic for you [sic] attendance, detailed note of the outcoming [sic] of the hearing and result the client will be extremely pleased with the result.’
  • K v E – successful oral application to strike out evidence, as the claimant could not understand questions in cross-examination, his directions questionnaire did not confirm that an interpreter was required, and his statement of case and witness statement did not conform to the CPR, so that, upon a further successful oral application, costs were awarded pursuant to a finding of unreasonable behaviour (April 2019).
  • A v G & Anor – email from professional client, dated 23 November 2018: ‘Thank you for your very detailed attendance note and assistance yesterday.  I really appreciate your thoroughness in preparation and attempts to salvage the case when it became apparent that our client was not going to turn up at Court.  Although I always worry whether parties will turn up on the day, we could not anticipate that our client would not actually attend and, ultimately, her non-attendance cost us the case, despite your best efforts.’
  • S v B – fast track trial, where personal injury was alleged to have been caused as a result of breach of the common law duty of care, and statutory duty (owed to lawful visitors) under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957 (July 2018).
  • H v M – fast track trial, where personal injury was alleged as a result of breach of the duty of care that an occupier owes to an unlawful visitor under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1984 (June 2018).
  • M v C – fast track trial, where the claimant alleged personal injury following a low velocity impact (“LVI”) road traffic collision, which the defendant alleged was fundamentally dishonest (April 2018).

Dominic has a particular interest in advising, representing and supporting individuals, governmental and non-governmental organisations on national, regional and international norms regulating emerging, existing and evolving technologies. This includes small, unmanned aircraft on which he wrote a leading article: ‘Drones, Airprox and the Regulatory Environment: Cause for Concern?’

He is the editor of Jus Cogens, the online journal providing news, expert analysis and compelling opinion with an eye to the emergence, regulation and enforcement of hard and soft norms surrounding novel technologies. Dominic was a legal intern in national implementation measures at the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre, providing cost-free assistance to interested states for adherence to and legislative implementation of international instruments, including those focusing on chemical, biological, nuclear and radiological weapons and the security of related materials. He was also commissioned by Stephen Tromans QC – a leading practitioner in oil and gas exploration, nuclear and renewable energy – to assist with updating the seminal practitioner text: Nuclear Law (2010).

Dominic was awarded Distinction for the module ‘Law and the Technologies of the Twenty-First Century’ as part of a Master of Laws (LL.M) at King’s College London. He was taught by Professor Roger Brownsword: author of Law, Technology and Society: Re-imagining the Regulatory Environment (2019); founding general editor of the journal Law, Innovation and Technology; and on the editorial board of Modern Law Review, International Journal of Law and Information Technology, and Journal of Law and the Biosciences.

Dominic’s recent construction-related articles include:

He has written a case summary about Bresco Electrical Services Ltd v Michael J Lonsdale (Electrical) Ltd [2019] EWCA Civ 27, which is one of the most significant construction insolvency cases. Dominic is a member of the Technology and Construction Bar Association.

Dominic is the editor of Jus Cogens, the online journal providing news, expert analysis and compelling opinion on public and private international law and arbitration for those with an international aspect to their practice. His recent articles include:

In November 2019, Dominic presented a seminar with Dr Natalia Perova to selected professional clients, entitled: ‘Jurisdiction and Choice of Law Clauses in International Commercial Contracts’. His topics included three Regulations of the European Union (Rome I, Rome II and Recast Brussels), the Agreement on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, and what can be expected after Brexit.

In September 2019, Dominic published an article in Counsel Magazine, entitled: ‘The CICC and the rule of law: Fair, transparent and convenient? What you need to know about China’s new International Commercial Court’. He has a particular interest in the regulation of novel technologies, including small, unmanned aircraft, on which he has written a leading article: ‘Drones, Airprox and the Regulatory Environment: Cause for Concern?’

Dominic is a member of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law and Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

He accepts instructions in (international) commercial litigation, international arbitration and mediation, cross-border insolvency, conflict of laws and questions of jurisdiction, public and private international law.

Dominic is a registered Civil and Commercial Mediator with the Civil Mediation Council, and offers online and telephone mediation services: www.ResolvedOnline.com. He also acts as Counsel in mediations. Dominic participated in the ‘Civil Mediation Council Annual Conference 2019’ at the Hallam Conference Centre.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a confidential process. Participants have control. Whether or not to mediate?  The procedure of the mediation? Whether or not there is a result?  If so, what are the terms of that result?

A mediator is neutral and has no interest in the result. A result cannot be imposed by a mediator. Participants can exchange offers, confident in the knowledge that this will have no bearing on how a judge would decide the dispute, if it was later referred to court.

Participants can safely attempt to settle without compromising their positions. If the participants agree on a result, reduce it to writing and sign it, it is binding like any other contract. If court proceedings have started, the participants may invite the court to make an order by agreement that reflects the result.

For more information, see the following pages on the website of the Civil Mediation Council:

Recent instructions as Counsel

  • E v M – successfully facilitated settlement for a five-figure sum, following nine-and-a-half-hour mediation, after proceedings were issued, alleging personal injury and disrepair to property (April 2019).
  • A v A – successfully facilitated settlement for a five-figure sum, after a ten-hour mediation on behalf of the claimant, who was alleging disrepair to property (April 2018).

European Code of Conduct for Mediators

The European Code of Conduct for Mediators (“the code of conduct”) sets out a number of principles to which Dominic has voluntarily decided to commit himself, under his own responsibility.  It is applicable in all kinds of mediation in civil and commercial matters.

For the purposes of the code of conduct, mediation means any structured process, however named or referred to, whereby two or more parties to a dispute attempt by themselves, on a voluntary basis, to reach an agreement on the settlement of their dispute with the assistance of a third person – hereinafter “the mediator”.

Adherence to the code of conduct is without prejudice to national legislation, or rules regulating individual professions.

1. COMPETENCE, APPOINTMENT AND FEES OF MEDIATORS AND PROMOTION OF THEIR SERVICES

1.1. Competence

Mediators must be competent and knowledgeable in the process of mediation.  Relevant factors include proper training and continuous updating of their education and practice in mediation skills, having regard to any relevant standards or accreditation schemes.

1.2. Appointment

Mediators must confer with the parties regarding suitable dates on which the mediation may take place.  Mediators must verify that they have the appropriate background and competence to conduct mediation in a given case before accepting the appointment.  Upon request, they must disclose information concerning their background and experience to the parties.

1.3. Fees

Where not already provided, mediators must always supply the parties with complete information as to the mode of remuneration which they intend to apply.  They must not agree to act in a mediation before the principles of their remuneration have been accepted by all parties concerned.

1.4. Promotion of mediators’ services

Mediators may promote their practice provided that they do so in a professional, truthful and dignified way.

2. INDEPENDENCE AND IMPARTIALITY

2.1. Independence

If there are any circumstances that may, or may be seen to, affect a mediator’s independence or give rise to a conflict of interests, the mediator must disclose those circumstances to the parties before acting or continuing to act.

Such circumstances include:

  • any personal or business relationship with one or more of the parties;
  • any financial or other interest, direct or indirect, in the outcome of the mediation;
  • the mediator, or a member of his firm, having acted in any capacity other than mediator for one or more of the parties.

In such cases the mediator may only agree to act or continue to act if he is certain of being able to carry out the mediation in full independence in order to ensure complete impartiality and the parties explicitly consent.

The duty to disclose is a continuing obligation throughout the process of mediation.

2.2. Impartiality

Mediators must at all times act, and endeavour to be seen to act, with impartiality towards the parties and be committed to serve all parties equally with respect to the process of mediation.

3. THE MEDIATION AGREEMENT, PROCESS AND SETTLEMENT

3.1. Procedure

The mediator must ensure that the parties to the mediation understand the characteristics of the mediation process and the role of the mediator and the parties in it.

The mediator must in particular ensure that prior to commencement of the mediation the parties have understood and expressly agreed the terms and conditions of the mediation agreement including any applicable provisions relating to obligations of confidentiality on the mediator and on the parties.

The mediation agreement may, upon request of the parties, be drawn up in writing.

The mediator must conduct the proceedings in an appropriate manner, taking into account the circumstances of the case, including possible imbalances of power and any wishes the parties may express, the rule of law and the need for a prompt settlement of the dispute. The parties may agree with the mediator on the manner in which the mediation is to be conducted, by reference to a set of rules or otherwise.

The mediator may hear the parties separately, if he deems it useful.

3.2. Fairness of the process

The mediator must ensure that all parties have adequate opportunities to be involved in the process.

The mediator must inform the parties, and may terminate the mediation, if:

  • a settlement is being reached that for the mediator appears unenforceable or illegal, having regard to the circumstances of the case and the competence of the mediator for making such an assessment, or
  • the mediator considers that continuing the mediation is unlikely to result in a settlement.

3.3. The end of the process

The mediator must take all appropriate measures to ensure that any agreement is reached by all parties through knowing and informed consent, and that all parties understand the terms of the agreement.

The parties may withdraw from the mediation at any time without giving any justification.

The mediator must, upon request of the parties and within the limits of his competence, inform the parties as to how they may formalise the agreement and the possibilities for making the agreement enforceable.

4. CONFIDENTIALITY

The mediator must keep confidential all information arising out of or in connection with the mediation, including the fact that the mediation is to take place or has taken place, unless compelled by law or grounds of public policy to disclose it.  Any information disclosed in confidence to mediators by one of the parties must not be disclosed to the other parties without permission, unless compelled by law.

Complaints procedure

All complaints will be acknowledged in writing within five working days of receipt.

All complaints will be investigated and responded to within 21 working days of receipt.

On occasions, further time may be required, in which case the complainant will be notified in writing.

If the response is not accepted, the complainant can appeal to the Civil Mediation Council on certain grounds.

News & Resources

*This barrister is authorised to practice in England & Wales. Click here to search on the Bar Standards Board Barristers’ Register.

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Barristers

Richard Power

Richard Power

Head of Chambers

Call: 1983

Antonio Bueno QC

Antonio Bueno QC

Call: 1964, QC 1989

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