Derek is a dispute resolution lawyer and accredited mediator who works with private and commercial clients. Derek has a broad range of experience with particular focus in commercial disputes (defended debt) contract, partnership shareholder disputes; property disputes (ownership boundaries, rights of way, tenancy); Building disputes (acting for both builders and property owners); Trusts and estates, inheritance tax claims and other claims against estates; and professional negligence.

Derek is also a strong supporter of mediation and provides training on mediation.

  • Company directors/shareholders
  • Builders and property owners
  • Individuals
  • Acted for the owner of a £2m Mill House that was devastated by escaping flood water from an adjacent farm on higher ground. The claim was for negligence and nuisance against a famer that had developed commercial fishing pools on designated flood plain without planning permission or advice – settled at the Court door. A second claim for breach of the settlement terms went to the Court of Appeal – further settled at mediation. A third claim followed for breach of contract – again settled. It involved complex expert evidence, causation and damages arguments.
  • A substantial building dispute for a developer client which many interim applications including a freezing order. Successfully won at trial. – fees circa £500k.
  • Proceedings arising from a Company Asset Sale and Purchase Agreement for non-payment of staged consideration has led to satellite litigation under warranties and personal guarantees against the Directors and applications for third party disclosure.
  • 3 mediations as the mediation advocate for a motor manufacturer, one involving technical issues with the development of a new vehicle; a second involving battery problems with a supplier for a new electric car that was under road testing. All settled successfully.
  • The setting up of complex contract arrangements for a national brand, who were in the process of launching a new online service in the UK with and American partner.
  • Acting for 3 former directors who were sued on personal guarantees by an international freight forwarding company who were owed £400k following the collapse of the region’s biggest clothing reprocessing plant. The claim on the personal guarantees failed due to an unexpected and very big stroke of luck when the claimant failed to prove at trial a chain of assignment.
  • Currently acting for a secondary lender who is owed circa £2m under charges against two farms and lease agreements for equipment and stock. 600 head of cattle have been repossessed and an LPA receiver appointed. Claims now brought by the farming family challenging the validity of the agreements and termination provisions.

Previous law firms

  • Ellis Hass & Co, Associate Director
  • Gordon Lutton, Consultant
  • Talbots Solicitors, Senior Equity Partner

Recent awards