The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Chambers of Michael Furness QC

Work 020 7306 0102
Fax 020 7306 0095

Joanna Smith QC

Work 020 7306 0102
Wilberforce Chambers (Chambers of Michael Furness QC)


Joanna’s broad litigation practice encompasses advice and advocacy in the fields of professional liability, professional regulation, commercial litigation, arbitration (domestic/international), construction, adjudication, mediation (as a qualified mediator) and insurance. Her advocacy has been complimented at the highest level by Lord Neuberger in Cavendish v Makdessi [2015] UKSC 67 as showing “considerable forensic skill”.

On the commercial/contract side, Joanna successfully led the winning team in the Supreme Court in Cavendish Square Holding BV v Makdessi [2015] UKSC 67, a seminal case which has redefined the doctrine of penalties. In 2016/2017, her reported commercial court cases include Tiuta v Rawlinson & Hunter [2016] EWHC 3480 (comm), a decision on the consequences of a Part 36 Offer; Team Y&R Holdings Hong Kong Limited v
Ghossoub [2017] EWHC 2401 (comm), a fight over an anti-suit injunction application and applications to set aside orders for service out of the jurisdiction and for alternative service and Towergate Financial (Group) Limited v Clark [2017] EWHC 2330 (comm), a summary
judgment application in a claim for breach of indemnity provisions in a share purchase agreement. The latter two cases are awaiting the outcome of applications to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

In the field of professional liability, Joanna has recently appeared before the Supreme Court in Tiuta v De Villiers [2017] UKSC 77, a valuer’s negligence claim in which the ‘but for’ test of causation has been put under the spot light in the context of the very particular facts of that case. In 2016/2017 Joanna has appeared in The Connaught Income Fund Series 1 v Hewetts Solicitors [2016] EWHC 2286 (Ch) (a case which will be considered by the Court of Appeal at a 2 day appeal in 2018) and in the Court of Appeal in Orientfield Holdings v Bird & Bird LLP[2017] PNLR 31, an appeal involving causation issues in a claim involving solicitors.

Joanna’s recent work in the construction field has involved acting in May 2017 for a Joint Venture Contractor in a multi-million USD two week arbitration relating to the construction of airport facilities in the Gulf applying UAE law.

In the regulatory sphere, this year, Joanna has acted on behalf of the Financial Reporting Council and has prosecuted a substantial audit firm and two audit partners within that firm for misconduct (in a two week trial in October 2017).


Called 1990; qualified mediator 2003; QC 2009; director of Bar Mutual 2015.


Chancery Bar Association; COMBAR; Professional Negligence Bar Association, TECBAR.


King’s School, Ely; Christ Church College, Oxford (1989 BA First Class Hons Jurisprudence); John V Lovitt Prize for Jurisprudence; Hardwicke, Mansfield and Denning scholar of Lincoln’s Inn; called 1990; qualified mediator 2003; QC 2009.

London Bar

Commercial litigation

Within: Commercial litigation – Leading silks

Joanna Smith QC - Wilberforce ChambersA first-class advocate and has charmed the appellate court judges on numerous occasions.

[back to top]


Within: Construction – Leading silks

Joanna Smith QC - Wilberforce ChambersIn the construction sphere, she is recommended for professional liability work.

[back to top]

Professional negligence

Within: Professional negligence – Leading silks

Joanna Smith QC - Wilberforce ChambersHer written work is exceptional, she is a ferocious advocate, tactically astute and handles clients incredibly well.

Within: Professional negligence

Wilberforce Chambers is an ‘excellent set for professional negligence’ cases and its expertise spans claims against solicitors, barristers, accountants, auditors, actuaries, construction professionals, finance practitioners, company directors and insurance brokers. Joanna Smith QC is acting for the claimant lender in Tiuta International Ltd v De Villiers Chartered Surveyors, a valuers claim. John Wardell QC acted for the claimant in a case against Bird & Bird LLP, for negligence in relation to the conveyance of a £26m property in North London.

[back to top]

Back to index

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • The Cayman Islands Data Protection Law, 2017

    The following information relates to the enactment of The Cayman Islands Data Protection Law, 2017 (" DPL "), which was expected to come into force on 29 January 2019, will now come into force in September 2019. The DPL will regulate the future processing of all personal data in the Cayman Islands.
  • The Mutual Funds Law (2019 Revision)

    The following information relates to the enactment of The Mutual Funds Law (2019 Revision) and the subsequent commencement of related sections of The Mutual Funds (Amendment) Law 2015. The changes require certain funds to notify the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority if they are active in EU jurisdictions.
  • Stuarts Success - Case Review: Toby -v- Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company

    Toby –v- Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company, FSD 152 of 2013 (IMJ), Judgment delivered on 29 August 2018
  • Security Token Offerings in the Cayman Islands

    Security Token Offerings (“STOs”) are an extremely popular means of fundraising for new projects and utilise blockchain technology to do so. Whilst no specific legislation has been passed by the Cayman Islands Government in connection with STOs and cryptocurrencies, it would be incorrect to say that STOs are “unregulated”.

    Black Friday is unquestionable one of the most profitable and busiest days of the year for retail, particularly online. Worldwide almost all online store do offer sales or special promotions on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Already after this practice has established online, a trademark for " BLACK FRIDAY " was registered in Germany back in 2013. In 2016 a Chinese company acquired the trademark and then filed in 2017 for its extension to Austria. Based on the registered trademark, it granted exclusive rights to an Austrian company, which licensed usage rights to various partner stores against remuneration. Further, an exclusive " Black Friday-Cooperation Program " was established. Non-partners who used the event name or trademark were prosecuted and requested to either pay a license fee or refrain from running Black Friday promotions. Some followed the request and entered into license agreements. Some, however, did challenge the validity of the trademark. Finally, respective proceedings to check the actual protection of the trademark were initiated. Austrian courts now held that the trademark " BLACK FRIDAY " is not protected in Austria .
    - Dorda
  • The Zero Carbon Bill - a closer look

    ​​​​The long-awaited "Zero Carbon Bill" was finally released on 9 May, but despite being greeted by considerable media interest there are a number of significant issues that have yet to come to the fore.
  • A link tax in New Zealand?

    ​​​​A controversial payment to publishers for content in Europe has implications for New Zealand – despite escaping mention in a recent paper that set out the key issues for review for our own copyright laws.
  • News media exemption under the Privacy Act: now a matter of "responsibility"?

    The role of the news media as the "eyes and ears" of the public, and the corresponding right of such news media to be exempted from the Privacy Act 1993 ( Privacy Act ), is entrenched and well accepted. However, the extent to which the news media exemption applies to non-traditional forms of "news" published by "civilian journalists", such as online commentary and blogs, is a hotly debated subject.
  • Quarterly Update on Trade Defense Cases in Turkey (June 2019)

    The authority to initiate dumping or subsidy examinations, upon complaint or, where necessary, ex officio , has been given from the Ministry of Economy to the Ministry of Trade ("Ministry"). Within the scope of this authority, the Ministry announces its decisions with the communiqués published on the Official Gazette.
  • Company Formations - A jurisdictional guide to setting up a business

    The following article contains the Foreword in the IR Global Virtual Series brochure on 'Company Formations - A jurisdictional guide to setting up a business'.