John Churchill > Chambers of Anna Vigars KC > Bristol, England > Barrister Profile

Chambers of Anna Vigars KC
Guildhall Chambers
John Churchill photo

Work Department

Commercial; Insolvency; Costs; Court of Protection


John’s practice is predominantly in commercial and chancery law. He also handles cases in the Court of Protection relating to the property and financial affairs of incapacitated persons.

John appears in both the High Court and the County Court at all stages of proceedings, from interim relief and pre-action advice through to trials and appeals.

John’s recent commercial work has included disputes on: general contract law; sale of goods; consumer contracts; construction disputes; consumer credit; banking and financial services; partnership disputes and unfair prejudice petitions. John has also been involved in a number of cases concerning legal costs, and frequently acts and advises on discrete issues on costs.

John’s recent insolvency work has included: claims brought pursuant to s.212 Insolvency Act 1986 (often acting by or on behalf of the Official Receiver); examinations of bankrupts or directors; transactions at an undervalue or transactions defrauding creditors; bankruptcy petitions and winding-up petitions.

Amongst John’s recent cases are:

(i) Allner v Peters and May Group Ltd [2019] EWHC 3258 (Comm)—a case on to what extent BIFA terms and conditions could exclude statutory rights and remedies for consumers under the Consumer Rights Act 2015;

(ii) Newman v Gordon Dadds LLP [2020] EWHC B23 (Costs) – a decision on the preliminary issue on the effect of a solicitor’s estimate on the recovery of costs subsequently charged in excess of that estimate;

(iii) New Saints FC Ltd v Football Association of Wales Ltd [2020] EWHC 1838 (Ch)— in this case John acted as junior to Hugh Sims QC in a challenge to the national football league’s decision to terminate the football league because of COVID-19 and the subsequent decision on how to allocate rankings in the league.


Called in 2016

John’s commercial practice is diverse, although it predominantly focuses on breach of contract disputes. He is frequently involved on the construction of contracts and cases concerning implied terms. The parties who instruct John on these cases vary, and he has been repeatedly instructed by large household names to advise on contractual disputes. However he is equally familiar with smaller scale work and is frequently instructed on cases involving the rights of consumers.

Other areas of commercial work in which John has experience include disputes between shareholders and Companies Act proceedings. A large portion of John’s work comes from construction disputes. John also has experience of advising on financial services.

John has had experience of a wide spectrum of insolvency matters in both the personal and the corporate context. This has involved seeing domestic and cross-border insolvency work, with issues ranging from breaches of directors’ duties and misfeasance to transactions at an undervalue and preferences.

Additionally John has acted in applications for insolvency practitioners in obtaining orders for sale, applications in bankruptcies and in applications to set aside statutory demands. He has also acted for companies in the insolvency context, particularly in resisting winding-up orders.


Bedingfield Scholarship, Gray’s Inn;
BPTC, University of Law, Birmingham;
LLB, Durham Law School; Sullivan & Cromwell Prize Overall Performance; Forsters LLP Land Law Prize;
Macfarlanes Trusts and Equity Prize; Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship for Academic Excellence

Lawyer Rankings

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Costs

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 2

John Churchill  – Guildhall Chambers

Guildhall Chambersis the go-to set in Bristol and the South West when it comes to costs‘ work. With considerable experience, Oliver Moore heads the nine-strong team, which is instructed in relation to a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters. He specialises in costs appeals in connection with high-value personal injury and clinical negligence claims. James Wibberley’s practice primarily involves advising on litigation funding, as well as solicitor and own-client disputes. John Churchill is particularly experienced handling solicitor and client costs cases recently acted for the respondent in the High Court case Rushbrooke UK Ltd v 4 Design Concepts Ltd, which at the costs stage clarified the law on wasted costs orders against firms of solicitors acting without proper authority.

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Company and insolvency

(Rising stars)Ranked: Tier 1

John Churchill – Guildhall Chambers ‘John is a very technical barrister with superb drafting skills. He is clear, authoritative, and robust. He does all the basics well and where he stands out is his ability to think on his feet.’ 

Guildhall Chambers‘ ‘excellent’ contentious insolvency and company law team boasts a ‘great variety of junior and senior counsel‘ with broad combined expertise, including in proceedings under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 and bankruptcy restrictions orders. Insolvency work, both corporate and personal, forms a significant part of Richard Ashcroft’s practice. He also has broad directors’ duties and company law expertise and regularly acts for and against office holders in relation to transaction avoidance claims and directors’ misfeasance proceedings. John Churchill, an ‘excellent advocate‘ with ‘superb drafting skills‘, has notable experience acting in director misfeasance claims on behalf of the Official Receiver. Holly Doyle has a ‘pragmatic approach to matters‘ and her practice too sees her regularly instructed in connection with misfeasance cases, as well as transaction avoidance claims and contested applications for possession and sale. She also boasts niche expertise in relation to the professional duties and liability of insolvency office holders. Hugh Sims KC‘s commercial practice often involves corporate insolvency work.

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Commercial litigation

(Rising stars)Ranked: Tier 1

John ChurchillGuildhall Chambers ‘John’s exceptional written work is always incredible detailed and polished. He invariably identifies novel arguments to help bolster cases and his advocacy is measured and pithy. Moreover, he is pragmatic and can cut through complex factual scenarios very quickly.’