Liam Owen

“confident, responsive, knowledgeable and

commercially aware”

Chambers & Partners

Liam Owen

Dispute Resolution Partner, Solicitor Advocate

Liam specialises in high value commercial litigation, with particular expertise in construction litigation, and in contentious trusts and estates.

Liam has been instructed on high value adjudications and, in some of those cases, on the subsequent enforcement via the court of the decisions his clients obtained in those adjudications. Clients trust him to grasp large amounts of documents and detail in a very short period of time then distil those into the key arguments that give them the best chance of succeeding at adjudication or at court.

Liam also has a significant practice in contentious probate disputes, and disputes arising from wills, estates and trusts generally. He takes pride in being trusted to look after his clients’ interests, including in respect of very large trusts (he has recently acted in respect of a trust where the Settlor left more than £9million) and/or estates which can hold life-changing sums of money. Liam appreciates that smaller sums of money can be life-changing to clients too, and tries to always understand his clients’ objectives, and how those can best be achieved in the relevant legal context.

Liam has considerable experience of acting as his clients’ advocate and achieving favourable outcomes at mediations. He is also a trained mediator himself, gaining accreditation through the ADR Group in 2018, and practises as a mediator in an array of commercial and civil disputes. Liam has experience in fighting for his clients in court, representing their interests in trying to reach a favourable settlement, and in acting as an independent mediator in disputes not involving his clients. This blend of experiences means Liam is able to see a dispute from a number of angles including how it will look in court, what the other side’s weaknesses are both legally and commercially, and what sorts of resolution may be realistic and appropriate.

Liam has been recommended by the legal directories for a number of years. The Legal 500 has ranked Liam as a "Next Generation Partner" for commercial litigation in the Birmingham area, stating that Liam "is impressive. He is smart and very thorough. A fighter with a relaxed demeanour, which belies his steel-like approach”. Chambers and Partners has ranked Liam as "Up and Coming".

Construction Disputes and Issues

  • Acted for a developer, who was the Responding Party, on a six figure adjudication in relation to a Final Account dispute with a Main Contractor over a luxury hotel. The matter settled on mutually acceptable terms shortly after our client filed a Response.
  • Successfully defended an adjudication brought by a main contractor, in relation to the construction of a hotel, for the sum of more than £250,000. The adjudicator decided that the main contractor was not only entitled to no further payment, but must pay back to the developer more than £130,000.
  • Successfully applied for summary judgment in relation to a final account adjudication decision, defeating arguments alleging a breach of natural justice on the part of the adjudicator. RGB P&C Limited v Victory House General Partner Limited [2019] EWHC 1188 (TCC).
  • Acted successfully on the strike out of a Part 7 claim brought by the developer in the Technology and Construction Court for declarations that an £800,000 sum awarded to Liam's client by an adjudicator should be returned following the final account. The final account was determined in favour of Liam's client. The opposing developer discontinued its claim shortly before the strike out application was due to be heard.
  • Successfully acted on a final account adjudication brought by a developer against a construction client, resulting in the developer being ordered to pay an additional sum of £1.4m plus interest to Liam’s client above what it had already paid.
  • Successfully defended a £1.1m claim brought through adjudication in relation to purported operational losses and the purported remedying of defects in relation to a luxury hotel. The Referring Party was awarded nothing.
  • Defended a multi-million pound construction claim by a local authority arising out of purported breaches of a Framework Agreement. The dispute settled at mediation.
  • Acted for a global market leading automation supplier on multiple complex and high-value contractual matters.

Commercial Disputes

  • Acted for a company in respect of a claim against two former senior employees and another company in respect of alleged: breach of contract; breach of fiduciary duty; breach of confidence; inducement and unlawful means conspiracy and diversion of business. George Green’s client issued proceedings in the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court for injunctive relief and damages. The Defendants agreed to provide affidavits. The matter settled on confidential terms at mediation shortly after proceedings were issued.
  • Represented a widow in respect of a six figure professional negligence claim against a company authorised by the FCA to advise on the transfer of pension benefits. The claim related to her late husband’s pension. The matter settled at mediation shortly after draft Particulars of Claim were provided to the Defendant.
  • Represented two former partners in a firm of solicitors in relation to a six-figure dispute over the value of their capital accounts, and partnership interests generally, upon their retirement from that firm. This complex and highly contentious claim settled on confidential terms following a mediation and a subsequent further half-day without prejudice meeting, following expert evidence from the forensic accountant Liam instructed.
  • Brought claim in the High Court for breach of fiduciary duties against the former directors of a sports equipment company in relation to, among other things, their alleged involvement in setting up a competing company before their resignations. The matter settled at mediation on confidential terms shortly after Liam’s client issued proceedings.
  • Represented the Claimant, a "partworks" publisher, on a complex claim regarding an alleged breach by the Defendant of a joint venture agreement relating to a Reader’s Digest publication. The Claimant pleaded unilateral mistake and rectification, breach of fiduciary duty, and misrepresentation. Morse v Eaglemoss Publications Limited [2013] EWHC 1507.
  • Represented the Claimants on a seven figure professional negligence dispute with their previous solicitors. Liam’s clients argued that their previous solicitors negligently failed to advise them that their proposed course of action would leave them in breach of their fiduciary duties as directors exposing them to the risk of litigation with minority shareholders. This dispute settled at mediation shortly before a listed 10 day trial in the High Court.
  • Represented a minority shareholder in an engineering company who had been ejected from the company and removed as a director. Liam’s client recovered a very substantial six figure sum after Liam acted as his advocate at mediation, arguing that the company’s affairs had been conducted in a way which was unfairly prejudicial to his interests.
  • Acted for the Respondents in defending two linked winding up petitions, arising from a dispute based on the management of two dental practices in the West Midlands. The petitions were heard together at a one-day hearing in the Rolls Building. Liam later pursued a breach of contract claim on behalf of a director of the Respondents on the basis that he had a beneficial interest in the dental practices. That claim settled on mutually acceptable terms at mediation.
  • Acted for the liquidator on an application under s.212 of the Insolvency Act 1986 against the directors of a company in liquidation, also including a claim for unlawful payment of dividends under s.830 of the Companies Act 2006. The liquidator's claim for a six figure sum settled on confidential terms at mediation.
  • Represented the Claimant on a breach of trust claim relating to shares held in several Thai restaurants and pubs from which the Claimant recovered substantial damages following a fully contested 3 day trial. The court accepted that shares in a company were held on trust for the Claimant and that the Defendants had breached that trust.
  • Represented an international charity in a dispute with a major financial institution relating to that institution's alleged procedural failings when transferring its client between different accounts. The dispute settled on confidential terms.
  • Acted for an Independent Financial Advisor client in a six figure dispute with a partner practice over the wrongful termination of his contract. The dispute was resolved on mutually satisfactory terms.
  • Successfully recovered a six-figure settlement sum from a major national firm of solicitors which had misadvised a mutual client on several claims on which it had acted. This matter required sensitive handling, as it was of paramount importance to maintain the commercial relationship between that firm and the mutual client. The settlement achieved this.
  • Acted on behalf of a tainted blood scandal campaigner against a high profile politician and that politician's publishers with regard to a statement made in the hardback publication of the politician's memoirs, and achieved a resolution and a change in the said memoirs for the paperback edition.

Contentious Probate and Related

  • Acted for two beneficiaries of a Deceased in relation to a seven figure trust, regarding some potential issues between them and the trustees.
  • Represented the two principal beneficiaries of a substantial six-figure estate in respect of a dispute over their late grandmother’s testamentary capacity when she made her Last Will and Testament. The matter settled on confidential terms.
  • Represented the estate on the Defence of a six-figure Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 claim in the High Court, brought by the deceased's girlfriend at the time of death. This was a complicated dispute which also required the interests of the minor children of one of the beneficiaries (who passed away shortly after the testator) to be taken into account. The matter resolved on confidential terms at mediation, and the settlement was approved by the court.
  • Acted for a beneficiary of an estate in circumstances where an unreasonable delay by solicitors in carrying out the deceased’s instructions and drafting a will had meant that the deceased passed away before executing their will. As a result, the proposed beneficiary had missed out on the inheritance the deceased had wanted to give them under the will. The disappointed beneficiary was able to be compensated for their loss.
  • Succeeded on an application for an order for sale under s. 14 of TOLATA.