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Chambers of William McCormick QC

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Clifford Darton

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Ely Place Chambers (Chambers of William McCormick QC)


He has been recommended in past years of ‘The Legal 500’ for commercial and chancery cases and for property and environmental work under the south-eastern section; previous commentators have described him as ‘a razor sharp intellect’ (‘The Legal 500’, 2011) and ‘one of those rare advocates who is as strong on his feet as in drafting advice and pleadings’ (‘The Legal 500’, 2012). Chancery/commercial: He has appeared in a number of reported and significant cases in the field of chancery/commercial law, including Johnson v Davis (1998) 3 WLR 1299 CA (whether an IVA under Insolvency Act 1986 released a co-debtor), and Stimpson v Smith (1999) Ch 340 CA (The rights of contribution between co-sureties on settlement with their joint creditor). Property/environment: He has an established and substantial practice in property and environmental law particularly along the south coast of England. As a result of his long association with the water industry (see Raglan HA v Southampton C.C & Southern Water (2008 2 AER CA) and with claims arising out of damage to sewers and associated pipes, he now acts in a number of substantial disputes before the Technology and Construction Court in relation to flooding claims and have acquired considerable experience of those parts of environmental legislation that affect the waste and water industry including its criminal provisions. At the start of this year he appeared, together with Ron Thwaites QC, in R v Southern Water Services (2014) EWCA Crim 120, the now lading case on sentencing for environmental offences. Previous reported property cases include Jones v Cleanthi (2007) 1 WLR 1604 CA (the statutory extinguishment of an easement under the provisions of the Housing Act 1985) and Lane v O’Brien (2004) EWHC 303 QBD (calculation of Wrotham Park damages for breach of covenant).


Called 1988; Middle Temple; pupillage 3 Serjeants’ Inn, London 1988-89; tenant Chambers of Michael Beckman QC, 12 North Pallant, Chichester, West Sussex (Pallant Chambers) 1989-2012; tenant at Ely Place Chambers (William McCormick QC) 2012 to date; registered pupil supervisor. Publications of note: ‘In Deep Water’ (an article on flooding claims) New Law Journal NLJ (vol 164, no 7597, 2014). ).


Chancery Bar Association; Property Bar Association.


Bishop Luffa School, Chichester; Lincoln College, Oxford (1987 BA, jurisprudence 2:1); Bar finals (1988).


Following my daughter’s eventing career and holding her horses when needed.

London Bar

Property litigation and agriculture

Within: Property litigation – 2019 silks

Clifford Darton QC - Ely Place ChambersQuick to absorb the facts and focuses on the crucial points.

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