Chris Burke specialises in dispute resolution and heads up the firm's Commercial Litigation team.
Chris handles litigation proceedings in the County Court, High Court and, where necessary, the Court of Appeal. He also has extensive experience of advising on and acting for clients in alternative forms of dispute resolution (ADR) such as mediation.
With over 25 years experience of advising on and resolving clients' disputes, Chris is known for his pragmatic and down-to-earth approach. In each case, he takes the time to understand the issues and his client's needs and focuses on achieving a cost-effective result by using the most appropriate methods – be they negotiation, court proceedings or ADR.
A member of the Commercial Litigators' Association (CLAN), Chris draws on his wide expertise to help commercial clients resolve a broad range of disputes. His experience includes:
- contract disputes
- debt recovery (including dealing with enforcement issues and setting aside judgments)
- shareholder/director disputes
- obtaining injunctions
- negligence by professionals (such as architects, accountants, lawyers and engineers)
- intellectual property matters (including copyright, design rights and patents)
- reputation management, online defamation (e.g. through social media)
- insolvency (including winding up and bankruptcy petitions)
Click on the links to find out more about these areas of Chris's work.
Chris also leads the Property Litigation department and acts for both commercial landlords and tenants in disputes that can range from complex dilapidation claims to relatively simple rent recovery.
Chris and his team act for private individuals in property disputes with particular emphasis on boundary disputes, rights of way, nuisance and trespass.
Chancery litigation (e.g. trusts, wills, inheritance issues)
Chris has wide experience of disputes that are handled in the Chancery Court. Such disputes arise, for example, when wills and inheritance are contested (sometimes referred to as 'contentious probate' matters), or when there is an alleged breach of trust.
A number of Chris's cases have been officially reported in the law reports and some have featured in the legal and national press. For example:
- Zahid -v- M Young Legal Associates Ltd  EWCA Civ 613 (Court of Appeal): successfully defending an appeal in a partnership dispute over whether an individual was a partner or employee. This decision has been cited in numerous cases.)
- S -v- H, Court of Appeal Civil Division 2 May  (EWCA): a boundary dispute involving 2 large properties about the boundary line between two properties when the plan attached to the relevant deed was of poor quality. The court decide on how to construe the transfer deed.
- HMRC -v- H  EWCA Civ 502 (Court of Appeal): defending the claim in which HMRC were ordered to pay our client's costs.
- Horridge -v- Downshire House (Reproductions) Ltd (Court of Appeal Civil Division 13 July 2010  EWCA Civ 777: a claim in nuisance relating to damages to two commercial properties.
- Shaw -v- Kovac & Others  EWCA Civ 1028 (18.7.17 Court of Appeal): a dispute over whether stand-alone damages are recoverable for lack of informed consent following success in clinical negligence action against same party.
- Shaw -v- Leigh Day  EWHC 825 (QB) (11.4.17): successfully appealing a court decision to strike out professional negligence claim.
- Shaw -v- Medtronic Corevalve LLC & Others  EWHC 54 QB (19.5.17 High Court)
Outside the office
In his spare time, Chris is a dedicated family man and enjoys most sports, particularly football.