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Duncan McNair

Dispute Resolution (Commercial Litigation), Professional Negligence, Wills

Duncan is a senior lawyer working in our Commercial Litigation department.

He has 35 years’ experience and specialises in Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation.

Duncan is a senior lawyer working in our Commercial Litigation department. He has 35 years’ experience and specialises in Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation.

Many of his cases involve commercial, company and banking disputes, contested probate and trusts matters and clinical and professional negligence claims. Duncan is renowned for taking on difficult cases and has been named in successive weeks as both the “Lawyer of the week” in the Times newspaper, and as “Lawyer in the News” in the Law Society Gazette.

Duncan’s clients range from high net worth entrepreneurs to large companies through to private individuals. He is described in Legal 500 as “indefatigable” in helping his clients and is named “the client’s champion”.

Duncan is currently working for numerous claimants regarding mis-selling of property in Cyprus.  Highly challenging and often urgent, these complex cases are frequently misunderstood. In October 2015 – a sensitive time for many Cyprus claims – a backbench MP also appeared to have misunderstood the facts and law. Amongst many misstatements, he described a very real loan as "mythical" and characterised an improper transaction as reasonable and sensible. Independent counsel specialising in this field has investigated the MP's commentary and concludes that it was “wholly ill-informed, misleading, inaccurate and irresponsible” and arguably “a misuse of an MP’s privilege”. 

The MP seemingly failed beforehand to consider adequately the legal and factual complexities of these cases; nor to consult those specialising in the area so as to properly inform himself. Despite the risk of harm to claimants caused by the MP's misstatements, he has not responded to requests to correct the record or to work with those helping claimants.

Duncan undertakes extensive pro-bono charitable work. He founded and is CEO of Save The Asian Elephants (www.stae.org), a not for profit coalition of professionals, politicians, academics, scientists and field experts campaigning to protect the highly endangered Asian elephant from abuse and extinction. In 2013, Duncan was asked to chair a major national enquiry for the RSPCA whose work became the McNair Report concerning the welfare of farmed animals throughout the UK. This was instrumental in providing the basis for the RSPCA's welfare standards for hundreds of millions of farm animals worldwide.  

 

Services:

  • In estate of Oakley deceased (2015) – disposition of substantial estate, missing will, duress, undue influence, construction of meaning of will
  • Acted (2014) for an intermediary company in claims for substantial damages and injunctive relief against a legal team of some 50 lawyers representing a major global manufacturer under Article 102 of the Treaty of the Functioning of The European Union and Section 18 of the Competition Act 1998 for abuses of a market dominant position in relation to determination of supplies. The case settled before trial on confidential terms
  • RWE v Thyssen (2012) – interpretation of subsidiary company’s guarantees and effect following insolvency in multi-million pound dispute regarding the construction of a power station
  • A, B and C v The Republic of Ireland (2011) a landmark result across Europe, heard in the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. 
  • TSB v Katz (1994) – interpretation of s423 of insolvency Act 1986
  • In estate of Simpson deceased (1988) - disposition of estate of Professor Keith Simpson CBE and extensive tracing remedies
  • Cubism Law
  • Lawrence Graham / Gowling WLG
  • Hogan Lovells
  • Bristol University (Vice President of Debating Union)

Duncan’s clients range from high net worth entrepreneurs to large companies through to private individuals. He is described in Legal 500 as “indefatigable” in helping his clients and is named “the client’s champion”.

Duncan has written two books “The Morello Letters” (2006) and “More Morello Letters – Pen pal to the super stars” (2011). Duncan donates all receipts from book sales to charities.