Duncan Heath > Chambers of James Pickering KC > Leeds, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of James Pickering KC
Enterprise Chambers


Duncan has an impressive all-round Chancery practice covering both traditional and commercial work with a particular focus on insolvency and commercial disputes, as well as property and contentious trust issues. He also maintains a busy probate and Inheritance Act practice. Duncan has a First Class Degree in German.

Duncan mainly appears in the High Court in Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and London. He also appears regularly in the county courts, representing claimants and defendants at trial and on appeal. He has considerable court room and trial experience.

Duncan regularly represents Insolvency Practitioners and private individuals faced with insolvency proceedings. His extensive property and contentious trusts practice makes him ideally placed to advise Insolvency Practitioners on the composition of the insolvent estate and third party interests in the same.

His work typically extends to: applications to set aside statutory demands, bankruptcy petitions, applications to restrain winding-up petitions, administration applications, clawback proceedings (misfeasance, TUV, preferences, s.423 IA 1986) and the like. He is also experienced in dealing with cross-border issues such as COMI disputes and recognition applications.

Duncan has a burgeoning commercial practice, which has recently seen him instructed against Leading Counsel on several occasions.

Recent work includes:

  • Appearing against Leading Counsel to overturn a summary finding of dishonestly assisting a breach of trust in a commercial transaction.
  • Appearing against Leading Counsel in a dispute about the beneficial owner of shares in a Sri Lankan company and whether a loan had been assigned.
  • Acting for a claimant seeking restitution against the defendant who had received a payment into its bank account following a fraud being perpetrated on the claimant via Nigeria.
  • Acting in a claim for breach of warranty on the sale of shares in a dental practice.
  • Representing Lincoln City Football Club in the 3 day trial of a claim brought by a former England international footballer (issues arising – unjust enrichment, restitution, ostensible authority of agent).
  • Appearing at trial for a Company to successfully enforce a personal guarantee given in a trade credit application form.
  • Appearing at first instance and on appeal against leading Counsel to oppose a bank’s application for a stay on grounds of abuse of process because the borrower had issued similar claims in England and Ireland;
  • Representing a German client in a freezing injunction application, in which third parties claimed ownership of the frozen monies.

Duncan acts and advises in shareholder disputes and unfair prejudice petitions.

Duncan is regularly instructed in property claims including issues such as boundary disputes, rights of way, adverse possession, landlord and tenant disputes, proprietary estoppel and co-ownership disputes.

Duncan has substantial experience in claims under TOLATA 1996, trustees’ duties and powers and breach of trust claims and remedies. He also has particular experience and interest in probate actions and claims brought under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

He is frequently instructed in cases where trusts law overlaps with other areas, for example insolvency, company and inheritance disputes.

Duncan acts in professional negligence claims against legal representatives and others.


2007: Called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn

2013-2018: Appointed to the Attorney-General’s Regional Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown.


German. Russian.


Chancery Bar Association

Member of the North-Eastern Circuit


2007: LLB, Nottingham Law School (First Class)

2006-2007: Bar Vocational Course (Nottingham Law School).

2005-2006: Graduate Diploma in Law, Nottingham Law School.

2001- 2005: MA German & Russian (First Class) Pembroke College, Cambridge

Lawyer Rankings

Regional Bar > North Eastern Circuit > Company and insolvency

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 2

Duncan HeathEnterprise ChambersDuncan is very approachable, very good on his feet in court, and provides thorough and reasoned advice.’

Regional Bar > North Eastern Circuit > Commercial litigation

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 2

Duncan HeathEnterprise Chambers

Enterprise Chambers ‘has an excellent range of junior counsel, all of whom are able to robustly present arguments while offering very helpful strategic advice‘ across a wide range of commercial disputes. Hugo Groves is singled out for his expertise in shareholder disputes. Duncan Heath handles instructions for claimants and defendants in contentious matters, and Matthew Maddison‘s workload includes contractual and sale disputes. Cristín Toman has an excellent track record in advising on commercial injunctions.