Graeme Wood

Graeme Wood

Email: clerk@stjohnsbuildings.co.uk

Phone: 0161 214 1500

Year of call: 1968

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Graeme read Law at Cambridge University, having taken the 1st Lawson Medal for Classics in his final year at Manchester Grammar School and the Patchett Scholarship at St. John’s College, and was called to the Bar by the Middle temple in 1968.  In the earlier part of his career he combined practice with academic lecturing, including lecturing in Land Law at the University of the West of England.  He practises in the general field of chancery law including in particular mortgages, company shareholder disputes, partnership, covenants, easements, joint property, property trusts, proprietary estoppel, possession claims, title to land and adverse possession, neighbour disputes, wills and probate, succession, Inheritance Act claims, landlord and tenant matters including business and residential leases and disputes, restitutionary claims, injunctions and other equitable remedies; he also deals with agency and general contract and tort disputes.  He is a qualified Mediator.

Memberships

Before moving back north Graeme was a committee-member of the Bristol and Cardiff Chancery Bar Association.

Appointments

Accredited for Direct Public Access instructions

Expertise

  • ADR and Mediation

    Graeme is a qualified mediator who is comfortable with conducting and appearing as advocate in mediations across the chancery and common law spectrum.

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  • Banking, Finance and Insolvency

    Graeme frequently deals with mortgages as part of his property and chancery practice.

    He advised and acted for a number of farmers who were victims of an apparently systematic scheme by a mortgage lender to tempt farmers in financial distress to take short-term loans on very expensive terms with an unwritten understanding that they would be followed by long-term mortgages at High Street rates.  These cases raised common issues including fraud, misrepresentation, unconscionable terms and relief under the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

    He acted for Mrs. Grimes in the Court of Appeal authority which established that relief under s.8 of the Administration of Justice Act 1973 and s.36 of the Administration of Justice Act 1973 is available in the case of endowment mortgages: Bank of Scotland v Grimes[1985] Q.B. 1179.

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  • Company and Commercial

    Graeme’s practice includes advice and litigation in the fields of contract including sale of goods, insurance, agency and partnership; shareholder disputes; making and resisting applications for injunctions and damages in lieu of an injunction; and professional negligence in particular in the case of solicitors, estate agents, surveyors and architects.

    He acted for a farmer whose farm had been sold by a land agent. It had been held, in favour of the third-party purchaser, that the farmer was estopped by the ostensible authority in which the agent had been clothed from challenging the validity of the sale. Graeme successfully argued that the farmer could nevertheless complain that the agent was strictly liable for breach of his actual authority.

    He represented majority shareholders in a steam railway preservation company who were accused of unfairly prejudicial conduct in failing to pursue the strictly economic best interests of the company. He argued that given the cultural purpose for which the company had effectively been formed it was proper to give that purpose priority over strictly economic considerations. The dispute was successfully resolved by mediation.

    He acted for two out of three partners in a solicitors’ firm when irreconcilable differences arose between them. He successfully steered the way through negotiations for a consensual winding-up order and, against opposition from the recalcitrant ex-partner, the eventual purchase of the assets from the receiver.

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  • Property and Private Client

    Graeme acts for and advises both landlords and tenants in relation to business tenancies including their termination and renewal.  He acts for and advises mainly landlords in relation to residential tenancies including applications for forfeiture, service charge disputes and applications for the appointment of a manager.

    He acts for and advises owners of land and buildings in relation to boundary disputes, possession claims, adverse possession, title generally, easements, covenants and claims of trespass, nuisance and negligence.

    His practice includes trusts generally, trusts of land, proprietary estoppel, wills and probate, succession and Inheritance Act claims.

    He acted and advised in a succession case where family members required a deed of arrangement that was complicated by the facts that one of the children was a minor, some of the assets were shares that attracted business property relief (making it desirable for them to be marshalled into the minor’s share) but needed to be sold, and one of the residences was in France, so English conflicts rules and French substantive law were involved.  He functioned as part of a team including solicitors, specialist tax accountants and a French lawyer.

    He acted for the estate in a case which established that where damages recovered for personal injury included an amount referable to past services provided by a voluntary carer whose death preceded the award of those damages the relevant amount of the damages were held subject to an institutional constructive trust in favour of the deceased carer’s estate: Hughes v Lloyd [2007] EWHC 3133 (Ch).

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  • Public Access

    Graeme is Accredited to receive instructions through the Direct Public Access scheme.

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