Paul Chapman Financial Services Litigation Solicitor Clarke Willmott Bristol

Paul Chapman

Managing Director of the Litigation Division and COFA, Partner - Financial Services Litigation Team, Clarke Willmott Solicitors, Bristol

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Team head Paul Chapman ‘sees disputes from the client’s point of view and provides practical advice’ - Legal 500 2012

Paul is the Managing Director of the Litigation Division and the firm’s Compliance Officer for Financial Affairs. He has been a member of the firm’s Management Board since 2010. He is also a Partner in the Financial Services Litigation Team specialising in professional negligence claims involving financial institutions.

Paul has undertaken a wide variety of litigation matters during his twenty year career. This has included a claimant personal injury practice ranging from more straightforward claims to significant injury claims. He has acted for local authorities and insurers in the defence of claims ranging from accidents at work to tree roots claims, local authority search returns and footpath disputes. He has also acted for local authorities as claimants under the recovery of monies due under the National Assistance Act, actions against squatters and planning injunctions. For a period of four years, he acted for building societies in various actions against solicitors and surveyors arising out of negligent advice on property transactions. Also, he has undertaken a wide range of construction, commercial and property litigation disputes including dilapidations claims, Landlord and Tenant Act renewals, rent review appeals and professional negligence claims.

For the last ten years, he has been a Partner in the Financial Services Litigation team. He was the principal author of the team’s paper on the valuation of damages in claims for mis-selling against Equitable Life referred to by leading Counsel on behalf of the Financial Ombudsman Service in its consideration of claims.

As part of his work involving Equitable Life, he has assisted the Equitable Life Trapped Annuitants in submissions, evidence and meetings before the Parliamentary Ombudsman, Sir John Chadwick’s review, the Public Admission Select Committee, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury and the Independent Commission in respect of Equitable Life Payments.

He has acted in a variety of claims through occupational pension transfers, poor investment advice, mis-selling of bonds, etc. He has completed Financial Planning Certificates 1, 2 and 3.

Paul joined Clarke Willmott LLP in 1993 after studying/working at Bishop’s Stortford College (1979-1986), Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University (1986-1989) and Guildford College of Law (1990-1991).

Paul Chapman is recommended in Legal 500.


  • Acting for over 400 with-profits annuitants in the case of Leo Abeles and Others v Equitable Life Assurance Society. The policies that had been sold failed properly to disclose the risks associated with them. The case involved complex issues of law and causation and required significant co-ordination in considering over a 100,000 pages of documentation, identifying common threads and analysing the factual circumstances in so many different individual circumstances. The case settled on confidential terms only a month or so before a trial listed for several months.
  • Acting for an individual investor in the case of Rubenstein v HSBC. This is a case which was subject to both first instance and Court of Appeal consideration. The Court of Appeal judgment is considered to be the leading judgment on the issues of causation and foreseeability in respect of losses recoverable in respect of mis-sold investments in changing market circumstances.
  • Acting for Nationwide Building Society in a number of cases brought against various solicitors and surveyors. These cases were part of a series of cases dealt with by a group of solicitors including various trials. The cases involving the solicitors eventually settled under a confidential global settlement following the guidance of the judgements in cases such as Nationwide Building Society v Colin Bishop and Nationwide Building Society v Steggles Palmer. The surveyors’ cases were subject to independent decisions and settlements.
  • Acting for the local authority in the case of Crest Nicholson v Gloucestershire County Council. This was a dispute arising out of the interpretation of a section 106 Agreement providing drainage in respect of a housing development. It was successful at both first instance and also in the Court of Appeal.
  • Acting for the local authority in the case of Gloucestershire County Council v Evans. This was a dispute arising out of the payment of total extinguishment compensation. Following the settlement, the case was subject to a significant dispute arising out of the funding arrangements which resulted in a favourable Court of Appeal decision which is the leading authority on Collective Conditional Fee Agreements.
  • Acting for the owners of Kemble Airfield in the case of Whale and Lunn v Kemble Airfield Estates Limited and Ronan Harvey. This was a dispute arising out of alleged trespass and assault by the landlord of an aircraft hangar. The Court held substantially in the landlord’s favour on both the claim and a substantial counterclaim. This resulted in forfeiture subject to relief and very extensive subsequent applications in that regard on the interpretation of various provisions relating to public indemnity insurance arrangements for light aircraft.
Service areas
  • Financial Litigation
    Financial Litigation