Duncan Crine > Freeths LLP > Oxford, England > Lawyer Profile

Freeths LLP

Work Department

Dispute resolution.


Work Department

Dispute resolution.


Duncan heads up Freeths’ sizeable Dispute Resolution Department in Oxford.  With over 25 years’ litigation experience in the areas of commercial litigation, property litigation and professional negligence, he handles complex and high-value disputes and is familiar with High Court and County Court litigation.

Duncan is also an Accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator. He has long been a strong proponent of all forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and he is highly regarded for his mediation expertise, having represented clients at mediations for well over 20 years.

Duncan’s personal caseload includes commercial litigation (contract disputes, shareholder/SPA disputes, unfair prejudice/s994 petitions, warranty/covenant claims etc) and professional negligence matters (claims for/against legal, construction and finance professionals and their insurers, and the provision of related insurance policy advice).  His cases have involved company/corporate deals and transactions, property schemes and construction projects, failed investment/tax schemes, loss of chance claims and disputed estates and trusts. Aside from mainstream issues of breach of contract and negligence, Duncan has handled claims involving alleged breach of trust, fiduciary duty, fraud, warranty of authority, identity theft, misfeasance, conversion, IT/IP issues, database infringement and estoppel. Duncan’s reported cases include: Halifax v Gould & Swayne [CA 1998] (multiparty managed litigation – shared ownership), Barclays v Savills &others [QB 2012] (lender litigation – featured in Lawyer magazine’s “Top 20 Cases of 2012”), Page v Hewetts & another [ChD 2013] (limitation), Xenakis v Birkett Long [QB 2014] (recoverable loss), McCallum-Toppin & another v McCallum-Toppin & Others [ChD 2019] (shareholder dispute).

Clients describe Duncan as: “very bright and tactically first-class”, “gives consistently clear advice”, “pragmatic, down-to-earth” and “one of the most tenacious litigators around – a formidable opponent”, “very strong in mediation and negotiation, and gives consistently clear advice”.


Qualified 1991. Wansbroughs Willey Hargrave/ Beachcroft Wansbroughs/ Beachcroft LLP (London) 1992-2006 (partner from 2000). Henmans/Henmans Freeth/Freeths LLP 2006-date (partner).


Law Society; Property Litigation Association (PLA), Professional Negligence Lawyers Association (PNLA).


Unviersity of York (BA Hons).


Family, outdoors.

Lawyer Rankings

South East > Insurance > Professional negligence

(Leading individuals)

Duncan CrineFreeths LLP

The Oxford-based professional negligence team at Freeths LLP is highly regarded for its advice relating to legal and financial professionals, as well as those working in property, technology, and IT. Notably, the team is experienced acting for both claimants and defendants on all relevant matters. Head of department Duncan Crine has a ‘cool and wise head‘, and leads the team on high-profile claims, while Oxford managing partner Sarah Foster is known for her wide-ranging work on claims with a trust or probate background, and property litigation leader Clare Bellis ‘goes the extra mile‘.

South East > Finance > Insolvency and corporate recovery

Freeths LLP, which is highly reputed for personal and corporate insolvency matters, has well-established relationships with a number of the most prominent insolvency practitioners in the market; clients include Quantuma, Opus, FRP and Mazars. The Milton Keynes team, which is led by Simon Hobbs, is particularly known for advising insolvency practitioners and operators in the national drinks and hospitality sector; the work in this space includes advice on the acquisition/disposal of assets of national pub and restaurant chains. In Oxford, the team supports the wider national group on various matters and also acts for companies/directors facing insolvency or allegations of wrongful trading, preferences and director malfeasances. Duncan Crine has more than 25 years of litigation experience.

South East > Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40

Freeths LLP advises corporate clients, landed estates, institutions and individuals from a range of industry sectors, including technology, construction, retail and logistics. Oxford dispute management head Duncan Crine has extensive experience and is supported by a large team of lawyers in the region who cover a range of commercial disputes, including fraud, M&A, and shareholder conflicts. The team is also experienced in IT and data protection issues, with Will Richmond-Coggan being a specialist in this area.