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Louis Doyle KC

Year of Call 1996
Year of Silk 2020


Louis Doyle KC is a commercial silk with a particular a reputation and experience in insolvency and company work and related financial litigation.

In the course of his insolvency practice Louis works on both the corporate and personal sides for office-holders, creditors (private and institutional) and other stakeholders, his cases commonly involving commercial claims litigated under the procedural umbrella of a formal insolvency. On the company and financial litigation side, he has very extensive experience in boardroom and shareholder litigation, financial disputes, including all forms of credit and security, guarantees, indemnities, letters of credit and negotiable instruments, bespoke funding and security arrangements and other financial instruments (including crypto, NFTs and other electronic coinage and the use of those tokens as security, fast developing areas in which he maintains a particular and wider interest). His practice regularly involves allegations of commercial fraud, acting for both claimants and defendants in roughly equal measure.

Louis has appeared in about fifty reported cases in his areas of interest. Since 1999 he has been named variously as a leading practitioner across insolvency/restructuring, commercial dispute resolution, and commercial chancery in both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500. As one plaudit put it, “He is fantastic on his feet and has a very keen sense of how to pitch cases with judges and with opponents; he is well read, technically excellent and clients love him”.

Louis’s practice also regularly involves interim remedies, including injunctions, interim payments and summary judgment/striking out, director disqualification and public interest petition work (Attorney General panel member, 2001-2007).

Since taking silk, Louis’s practice features an increasing element of non-contentious drafting and related advisory work, including, as a natural function of the transaction avoidance work in which he has specialised for years in an insolvency context, the planning and structuring of high-value transactions, with particular reference to the susceptibility to challenge and the legal and commercial risks in such arrangements. The financial value of such assignments frequently requires bespoke insurance arrangements; the commercially sensitive nature of that work precludes more specific disclosure.

As a silk Louis has also been instructed by a variety of professionals and interested stakeholders (notably funders), in the insolvency and company law fields in which he specialized, seeking advice on the regulatory position. That work is invariably highly sensitive and has extended to the requirements and obligations imposed by a variety of bodies, including the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the Insolvency Practitioners’ Association, the Bar Standards Board and the Financial Conduct Authority.

Since its first publication in 2005, Louis continues to co-author what is now Doyle, Keay & Curl’s Annotated Insolvency Legislation (12th edn, 2024, LexisNexis) (with Professor Andrew Keay and Joseph Curl KC of 9, Stone Buildings, Lincoln’s Inn (where Louis is also a door-tenant) with the support of a team of assistant contributors). Since 2010 he has been an editor of the leading looseleaf, Gore-Browne on Companies (LexisNexis). Over lockdown, Louis also established and now edits the bimonthly journal, Kings Insolvency. (To be added to Chambers’ free distribution database or to obtain past editions, simply email info@kingschambers.com). He has lectured widely to professional audiences on his areas of interest and has undertaken pro bono work regularly throughout his career at the Bar.

Louis has acted for clients from a very wide range of backgrounds, often in very challenging circumstances, assisted by what one plaudit refers to as his “remarkable emotional intelligence and ability to connect and communicate” with clients, other lawyers and judges. As a leader, he encourages team involvement and clear role delegation. Louis’s usual approach involves at an early stage the identification of a client’s aims and preferred outcomes in conjunction with an objectively realistic evaluation of merits and risk. His ethos is that a client’s valuable resources are most effectively applied in getting to the root of a problem and its solution, rather than the generation of an impressive but not necessarily relevant display of knowledge. Louis is enthusiastic in appropriate cases about mediation and ADR, of which he has extensive experience. He is also prepared to consider innovative funding ideas, having acted (successfully) on a number of Damages Based Agreements (DBAs) and DBAs “lite”.

Louis was born in Liverpool into a working-class family. He is married and has six children and two grandchildren. He qualified as a solicitor in 1994 before being called to the Bar in 1996 and joining what is now Kings Chambers in 1999 where he has been busy ever since with his ever-developing niche practice. For many years he served as an officer in the Army’s reserve parachute battalion. In 2017 he founded and headed up Kings Chambers Wellbeing. Outside of the Bar his non- executive involvement over the years in sectors including private healthcare provision, affordable housing and forestry has provided invaluable real-world insight and experience. In 2023 he accepted an invitation to join the advisory panel of an offshore litigation funder, a role in which he is primarily concerned with investment and placement of funds. His interests include fitness, music, literature, The Cormac McCarthy Society and Liverpool Football Club. In January 2023 he published an article in the Bar’s Counsel magazine on the nature and treatment of addiction, areas in which he maintains an ongoing interest.


Practice Areas

Insolvency & Company +
  • 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)
  • 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)

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