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Martyn Griffiths
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His preparation is meticulous and he is an outstanding advocate who provides an excellent service to his clients

Legal 500

Martyn specialises in commercial law, professional liability, insurance and costs.

Martyn is sought out by clients because of his robust trial advocacy and his adept technical submissions in complicated areas of the law. He is regularly instructed to appear at trials and on appeals. Martyn prides himself on providing practical and commercially astute advice.

Martyn is happy working as sole counsel or as part of a larger team.

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.

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 work

  • 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

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.

Relevant work

  • 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).
  • Acting for a Defendant accused of deceitfully inducing a client to enter into an agreement.
  • 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

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 work

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Acting for a Defendant accused of deceitfully inducing a client to enter into an agreement.
  • Drafting a Defence and Additional Claim in respect of the onward sale of a motor vehicle where the vehicle was alleged to have been sold without title.

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 work

  • 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

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 work

  • 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.

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

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 work

  • 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

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

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.

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 work

  • 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

Martyn has acted in relation to claims against financial professionals and his commercial practice dovetails well with acting in claims of this type.

Relevant work

  • 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.

Costs Litigation

Martyn regularly appears in costs matters from CCMCs to security for costs applications through to multiple day detailed assessments and appeals.  He also advises on a range of issues including the proper interpretation of legislation, the assignment of CFAs and the compliance of purported Part 36 offers.

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“.

Relevant work

  • 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 the receiving party at a 2-day detailed assessment arising out of a claim for negligence, trespass and breaches of the ECHR in relation to the use of restraint in the care of a vulnerable individual.
  • 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.
  • Successfully appealing the first instance determination that an ATE premium was not reasonable or proportionate in amount.
  • 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.
  • Advising and drafting written submissions on behalf of a receiving party as to whether a Part 36 Offer made in the course of costs proceedings was compliant with the rules and whether the Part 36 consequences applied as a result.
  • Successfully appealing the outcome of a detailed assessment where the judge at first instance had disapplied the Medway Oil principle. Martyn successfully argued that the Judge had not been entitled to make factual findings about the intention of the parties when settling the underlying claim.
  • Successfully representing a party at first instance and on appeal who sought to set aside a default costs certificate.

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
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