Louis Doyle

Louis’ commercial chancery practice has a particular emphasis on insolvency, company law and commercial litigation, especially shareholder, director and financial disputes. He appears regularly in the Chancery Division and in the Mercantile/Commercial Court, appearing against both juniors and silks. His caseload currently includes heavy and high value claims (in one of which he is being led) involving: interest rate swap mis-selling claims against various banks; a dispute over the proceeds of various ATE policies as between liquidators and other interested parties involving trust, estoppel and contractual interpretation issues; a high value s.994 petition which is running concurrent with a dispute between two of the parties in the Family Division; a high value wrongful trading action coupled with breach of duty claims against the former directors of a high profile failed group; various claw back actions under the Insolvency Act 1986 coupled with claims for accessory liability involving tracing remedies; and a long running dispute for a public authority concerning ownership of property subject to disclaimer and vesting order claims. Louis’ work often involves the seeking of interim remedies at short notice. His practice can be grouped under the following heads:

  • Insolvency (all aspects, corporate and personal, domestic and international, contentious and non-contentious, including claims under the Insolvency Act 1986 and the Companies Act 2006 with a particular emphasis on asset recovery, predominantly (but not exclusively) for office-holders);
  • Commercial and financial litigation (especially financial and boardroom disputes, breach of duty/breach of trust claims, civil fraud, accessory liability (dishonest assistance and knowing receipt), restitutionary and tracing claims).
  • Company law (especially director and shareholder disputes, including s.994 and “just and equitable” petitions and derivative claims);
  • Credit and security (including debt, subrogation, subordination and set-off);
  • Interim remedies (including summary judgment, applications for specific and third party disclosure, security for costs and injunctions (including freezing injunctions, worldwide and domestic));
  • Professional negligence and disciplinary regulatory work relating to the above.

Reported Cases

  • Hunt v Conwy County Borough Council [2014] 1 WLR 254 (Sir William Blackburne; leading case on bankruptcy disclaimer)
  • Appleyard v Wewelwala [2013] 1 WLR 752 (Briggs J; trustee’s remuneration and call for amendment to insolvency legislation)
  • Linfoot v Adamson [2012] BPIR 1033 (applicable test on objection to treatment of proof by voluntary arrangement supervisor)
  • Stericker v Horner [2012] BPIR 845 (proprietary estoppel, undue influence and scope of Court of Appeal’s decision in McGuinness v Norwich & Peterborough Building Society on statutory demand set aside)
  • Re MTB Motors Ltd (in administration) [2012] BCC 601 (retrospective administration orders)
  • Rehman v Chamberlain [2012] BCC 770 (Court’s approach to alleged part consideration and s.245 avoidance of floating charge)
  • Re A Block Transfer Order by Kaye [2010] BPIR 602 (block transfer of large number of IVAs; expenses of creditors’ meeting and associated formalities; jurisdiction of court to interfere with approved arrangements where costs caps met)
  • Re Power Builders (Surrey) Ltd, Power v Petrus Estates Ltd [2009] I BCLC250 (Lewison J; creditors’ meetings; liquidation; proof of debt; voting rights; proper approach to admission of proofs under r.4.70 and equivalent provisions)
  • Revenue and Customs Commissioners v Cassells [2009] BPIR 284 (annulment; discretionary powers in annulling under s.282 and reviewing under s.375)
See More...See Less...

  • Simpson v Bowker [2008] BCC 781; [2007] Costs LR 850 (Court of Appeal; creditor claims; company voluntary arrangements; costs; debtors; fees; funding arrangements)
  • Stanley J Holmes & Sons Ltd v Davenham Trust plc [2007] BCC 485 (Court of Appeal; administration; proper basis for valuation of third party goods on application for sale by administrators under Schedule B1, para 71)
  • Kingsley IT Consulting Ltd v McIntosh [2006] BCC 875 (Mr Terence Mowschensen QC; directors’ duties; secret profits; quantification of director’s liability to account to complainant company)
  • Smurthwaite v Simpson-Smith [2006] All ER (D) 368; [2006] BPIR 1469 (IVA; meaning of “reputed wife”; treatment of creditor by chairman; setting aside of arrangement; personal costs liability of office-holder, including various interim applications for specific disclosure and s.375 review before Warren J and the late Laddie J)
  • Re Ultramotorhomes International Limited [2006] All ER (D) 227(Patten J;EC Regulation on Insolvency Proceedings; applicable law; proper construction of CVA; effect of German security; delivery up of arrangement assets)
  • Akhtar v Rafiq [2006] I FLR 27 (Bodey J; appearing for the Crown (Queen’s Proctor); effect of fraud/defective service in Middle Easton court process)
  • Oakley v Ultra Vehicle Design Ltd (In Liquidation) [2006] BCC 115; noted also at [2005] IL4P 55 (Lloyd LJ, sitting as a High Court judge; appropriate jurisdiction; conflict of law; EC Regulation; English court to deal with dispute subject to German law)
  • Rio Properties Inc v AmerMouaffac Al-Midani [2003] BPIR 128 (bankruptcy;whether $2.8m gaming debt incurred in US capable of founding English bankruptcy petition)
  • Commissioners of Customs & Excise v Allen [2003] BPIR 830 (first reported disputed block transfer order)
  • Palgrave Brown v Stinnes Logistics AG [2002] All ER (D) 241 (Court of Appeal following five day trial in the Mercantile Court; interpretation of contractual agreement; liability of vendor to meet due diligence costs of prospective purchaser)
  • Doyle v Saville [2002] BPIR 947 (successful appeal to High Court overturning findings of transactions-at-undervalue and preferences below)
  • Re Salmet International Ltd (in administration) [2001] BCC 796 (Blackburne J; ranking of office-holder’s remuneration as expense in administration where shortfall)
  • Industrial Diseases Compensation Ltd v Marrons [2001] BPIR 601 (charging orders; setting aside; scope of CPR r.40.9)
  • Harris v Gross [2001] BPIR 586 (IVAs; standing of supervisor to petition for bankruptcy after expiration of fixed term arrangements)
  • Re Julie O Sullivan [2001] BPIR 534 (jurisdiction of court to interfere with nominee’s fee as fixed by creditors; subsequent appeal to the Court of Appeal aborted)
  • Fuller v Cyracuse [2001] 1 BCLC 187 (Mr Peter Leaver QC; striking out just and equitable winding-up petition in the face of complex offer to buy-out petitioner)
  • Cork v Rawlins [2001] 3 WLR 300, CA (Court of Appeal; bankruptcy; vesting of contractual claim)
  • Ord v Upton [2000] Ch 352 [2000] 2 WLR 755, CA (Court of Appeal; bankruptcy; nature of cause of action; vesting of personal injury claim)
  • Lombard North Central plc v Brook [1999] BPIR 710 (CVA; liquidated damages/ penalty clause; treatment of creditor for voting purposes)
  • National Westminster Bank plc v Caldeira [1999] CLY 3225 (bankruptcy;charging orders)
  • Kelly v Pilgrim [1998] CLY 399 (automatic directions; joinder)



  • Insolvency Legislation: Annotations & Commentary (4th edn, 2014, Jordans, now available online) (with Professor Andrew Keay and Professor Gerard McCormack)
  • Insolvency Legislation (2nd edn, 2014, Sweet & Maxwell) (1st edn 1998; now general editor of and contributor to new edition)
  • Contributing editor to Gore-Browne on Companies (looseleaf, Jordans)


As with his experience of addressing professional audiences, Louis has a long and impressive record of publishing on subjects as diverse as trustee investment, the legal nature of index-betting and derivative contracts, set-off, the spouse’s equity of exoneration, common law and statutory liability for public offering documents and cross-border insolvency. Some of his work has been cited in leading textbooks. In 2012 he contributed an analysis of the case law on the granting of permission for derivative claims under the Companies Act 2006 to the Gore-Browne Annual Bulletin. He was previously a member of the editorial boards ofInsolvency Intelligence and The Insolvency Lawyer.


Louis has been ranked as a leading junior variously in insolvency, chancery and commercial litigation in both the Legal 500 and in Chambers UK guides to the legal profession since 1999. Those recommending him suggest:

  • “He is an excellent advocate with a way of explaining complex provisions to judges in a clear way.” (2014)
  • “He is a walking textbook with all the information at his fingertips.”(2014)
  • “He is an exceptional barrister. His knowledge is second to none, he always gets the job done to a high standard and he’s a safe pair of hands.” (2014)
  • “He is very good with clients- he speaks their language and puts them at ease.”(2014)
  • “well informed, practical and down-to-earth” (2013)
  • “Louis Doyle is a dab hand at company and commercial litigation” (2012)
  • “practical, no-nonsense commercial advice” (2011)
  • “a fantastic advocate, especially for shareholder and directors disputes” (2011)
  • “his knowledge of insolvency law is second to none” (2011)
  • “extraordinary advocacy skills and great technical knowledge” (2010)
  • “good commercial understanding with bags of enthusiasm” (2010)
See More...See Less...

  • “thorough and precise and has quite a presence in court” (2009)
  • “technically strong, with moments of sheer brilliance” (2009)
  • “practical, hands-on approach and commercial perspective” (2009)
  • “gets stuck in and always delivers great results” (2008)
  • “is extraordinarily bright but clear and direct too” (2007)
  • “His intellectual capability makes him a match for any London barrister” (2006)
  • “Great on his feet, a good supply of experience and advice, a direct and straightforward approach, and clients love him” (2005)
  • “Well read, well informed and very thorough in court” (2004)
  • “Widely regarded as sensible and client friendly with a winning combination of ability and common sense” (2003)
  • “The extremely busy ex-solicitor receives much positive peer comment” (2002)
  • “Great technical brain and a safe pair of hands” (2002)


  • Insolvency Lawyers Association (full member)
  • R3 (full member)
  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Northern Chancery Bar Association
  • Committee Member, Northern Commercial Bar Association
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association
  • Bar Pro Bono Unit


  • Provincial Panel, Treasury Counsel (Civil Litigation) (primarily disqualification and Revenue work) (Appointed 2000, re-appointed 2003, retired 2007)

Career & Education:

  • Degree:LLB (CNAA), LLM (Birmingham)
  • Admitted as a solicitor in 1994 after teaching law for three years
  • Year of Call:1996 (Lincoln’s Inn)