Julia Smith > Chambers of Charles Gibson QC > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of Charles Gibson QC
Henderson Chambers


Specialist practice areas: banking and finance and consumer law, including consumer credit, mortgages, sale and supply of goods, unfair contract terms and unfair commercial practices. Cases include: Office of Fair Trading v Ashbourne Management Services Limited [EWHC] 1237 (Ch), [2011] All E R (D) 276 (May) – unfair terms and unfair commercial practices in relation to gym membership agreements. Sternlight v Barclays Bank plc [2010] EWHC 1865 (QB) – test cases on whether mismatch in credit card agreement between stated APR and stated interest rate renders interest rate inaccurate and agreement unenforceable under the CCA; Adris v The Royal Bank of Scotland plc [2010] EWHC 941 (QB), [2010] 4 Costs LR 598 – non-party costs orders against claimants’ solicitors and a claims management company; Carey v HSBC Bank plc, [2009] EWHC 3417 (QB), [2010] BusLR 1142 – test cases on the true copy requirements, unfair relationships and the burden of proving improper execution under the CCA; McGuffick v The Royal Bank of Scotland plc [2009] EWHC 2386 (Comm), [2010] 1 All E R 634 – test case on whether banks may report unenforceable debts to credit reference agencies; Abbey National Bank Plc v Stringer [2006] EWCA Civ 338, CA – whether express agreement for property to be held on trust for the sole benefit of one of two registered proprietors could be inferred; Office of Fair Trading v Lloyds TSB and others [2004] EWHC 2600 (Comm); [2005] 1 All E R 843 – whether arrangements between card issuers, card networks, merchant acquirers and suppliers are ‘arrangements’ for the purposes of section 12(b) of the CCA; Thew v Cole [2003] EWCA Civ 1828, [2004] RTR 25, CA – whether credit hire agreement was exempt and so not a regulated credit agreement for the purposes of the CCA; Farrell v Sandwell MBC, [2001] EWCA Civ 1107, [2002] RVR 11 – level of compensation payable for the compulsory purchase of property; Royal Bank of Scotland plc v Etridge (No2) [2001] UKHL 44, [2002] 2 AC 773 – undue influence and extent of a solicitor’s duty when advising a third party provider of security; Jarrett v Royal Bank of Scotland Plc [1999] QB 1, CA – jurisdiction of UK courts to hear a claim under section 75 of the CCA where credit was provided to finance a timeshare in foreign property; First National Bank plc v Syed [1991] 2 All ER 250, CA – discretion to make a time-order under section 129 of the CCA.


Called 1988. Publications of note: Julia is co-author of ‘The Consumer Credit Act 2006: A Guide to The New Law’ (Law Society Publishing, 2006) and of ‘The Law of Consumer Credit and Hire’ (Oxford University Press, 2009). She is also a contributor to ‘Atkins Court Forms on Consumer Credit’.


London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Financial services regulation

(Leading Juniors) Ranked: Tier 2

Julia SmithHenderson ChambersAn excellent barrister.

Henderson Chambers is ‘an excellent set for financial services regulatory matters‘ with a selection of ‘highly recommended‘ silks and juniors. There is a strong overlap with its market-leading work on the consumer credit end, and its members are regularly instructed by the major retail banks, financial services companies, and fintech providers. The set offers a wide range of expertise on contentious and non-contentious matters, where senior silks and juniors such as Richard Mawrey QC, William Hibbert and Julia Smith have long held sway. Other names of note include up-and-coming silks Toby Riley-Smith QC and Henry Warwick QC, who took silk in 2020, and Nazeer Chowdhury.

London Bar > Banking and finance (including consumer credit)

(Leading Juniors) Ranked: Tier 2

Julia SmithHenderson ChambersA major player in this area.

Henderson Chambers is ‘at the forefront of consumer credit‘ and praised for its ‘strength-in-depth and availability‘. Its silks and juniors are ‘always very personable‘ and clients are ‘grateful for the commercial acumen they bring‘. The set is a popular with the major banks and several challenger banks, and members such as Richard Mawrey QC, Julia Smith and William Hibbert are very active on the advisory front. Notable case highlights included Toby Riley-Smith QC‘s advice to Intrum UK Finance on Intrum Finance v BaldwinHenry Warwick QC, who recently took silk, was also involved in Praetura Asset Finance v Prime Industries.

London Bar > Consumer

(Leading Juniors) Ranked: Tier 1

Julia SmithHenderson ChambersJust amazing, an actual superstar.