Paul Mertens

Contact

Expertise

Property

Paul has significant experience of dealing with disputes concerning leasehold and freehold properties. Recent work has included a case concerning the acquisition of an easement by prescription and a High Court claim involving constructive trusts over two properties, in which he appeared from the successful applicant. He is currently instructed in a claim involving alleged trusts over eight properties in Wiltshire, which also includes issues of restitution for unjust enrichment.

Paul also frequently appears in the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) where he has successfully represented clients in cases concerning repairs, poor maintenance and the recoverability and reasonableness of service charges. In the County Court, Paul regularly represents both landlords and tenants in claims for breach of covenant, including service charge and rent arrears and in claims for forfeiture and possession.

Paul finds the crossover between his property work and his family practice engaging and is well positioned to advise clients about their potential claims when required.

Business and Commercial

With his background in company secretarial and in-house legal work, Paul has gained the skills and experience that come with negotiating and drafting contracts with multinational companies (PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Standard Chartered) and government agencies (Department of Work and Pensions, Dubai Police Authority).

Paul is interested in sale of goods and supply of services claims and has recently obtained damages of over £35,000 for an interior designer in a claim brought against her sub-contractor. Paul welcomes instructions to advise on the merits, draft pleadings and appear in such matters.

Having developed an expertise in data protection before coming to the Bar, Paul is also frequently instructed in claims on behalf of credit reference agencies and creditor-companies concerning alleged breaches of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Paul also has experience of bankruptcy and insolvency matters in the Companies Court and County Court and is happy to advise in conference or to appear in such matters, on behalf of creditors and debtors.

Employment and Discrimination

Paul has a keen interest in employment law and professional discipline and is a member of the Employment Law Bar Association and Employment Lawyers Association. 

Paul welcomes instructions from both claimants and respondents across the spectrum of employment law issues, including claims for unfair dismissal (including redundancy), whistleblowing, discrimination and harassment under the Equality Act. He has appeared in a number of multi-day trials, including a seven-day trial in the Central London Employment Tribunal and a recent four-day trial in Manchester Employment Tribunal in which Employment Judge Wade described the quality of his advocacy as “excellent”.

Paul has successfully applied to strike out claims on a number of occasions and has secured costs for successful parties.  He is a contributor to Pump Court Chambers’ Costs Reports, an area of increasing importance.

Before coming to the Bar, Paul worked for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the chartered body for human resources professionals, and gained significant experience of a wide range of employment and professional disciplinary issues.  Since joining chambers, Paul has been retained by the CIPD as a Legal Advisor to its Investigation Panels and, in 2016, Paul facilitated a recruitment day on it’s behalf.

Paul's previous employment has also given him experience of drafting company policies, particularly in the areas of social media and data protection. Paul invites instructions in any area of drafting that would be of assistance. Paul has also previously audited an organisation's compliance with data protection regulations and is well placed to assist clients identify and adapt to these statutory requirements in the most efficient and business-focused manner.

Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence

Paul has experience of representing claimants and defendants across all levels of track, in claims arising from road traffic accidents and under the Occupier’s Liability Acts. 

Paul has significant experience of claims involving credit-hire and regularly represents both Claimants and Defendants.  He is accustomed to arguing technical points, both on the merits of the claim and on costs, including on the issue of ‘fundamental dishonesty’ as an exception to QOCS.

Paul’s advisory work has included advising on a permanent facial scarring case involving difficult issues of quantification and a horseplay incident in a workplace that led to long-term injury.  Paul is happy to advise on liability and / or quantum, as required and will consider acting under a CFA where appropriate.

Inquests and Inquiries

Since joining chambers, Paul has been instructed in a number of matters by the Treasury Solicitor. 

In Tchenguiz v SFO, he was instructed on behalf of the Serious Fraud Office in its defense of a claim for misfeasance in public office, wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, trespass and violation of Article 8.  He was later retained by Slaughter and May to draft witness statements on behalf of the Case Manager and Principal Case Investigator.

In 2015, Paul was instructed on behalf of the Ministry of Defence in relation to claims for Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) arising from military service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Paul is currently instructed on behalf of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in relation to the case of Bank Mellat v Her Majesty’s Treasury, a claim for damages arising from sanctions and financial restrictions made in respect of an Iranian bank.

Paul has also previously been instructed on behalf of the Cabinet Office in relation to a major public inquiry and has recently been appointed as one of a small team of junior counsel to the Undercover Policing Inquiry (to commence in October 2016).

Family Finance

Paul gained significant exposure to financial remedies hearings as a Pupil to Geoffrey Kelly and has since been instructed to represent parties at all stages of the financial remedies process, including at final hearing.

In addition, Paul has assisted parties to obtain significant maintenance payments from their former spouses and his private law family work has also given him a strong grounding in claims for financial support for children under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989

Children Private Law

Since joining chambers, Paul has gained extensive experience in a wide range of private law children matters.  He regularly represents parents in Contact and Residence disputes and has obtained many successful results at final hearings.  Most recently, Paul successfully obtained an Order allowing a parent to relocate to Scotland with his child, despite strong opposition from the other parent.

Paul is often instructed in claims involving allegations of physical or emotional harm or of substance abuse and his empathetic but assertive manner has allowed him to successfully assist parents through all the stages of their claim.  His experience in these claims has also equipped him to successfully obtain Occupation Orders and Non-Molestation Orders in contested-hearings on a number of occasions.

Inheritance, Wills and Probate

Paul has a keen interest in Inheritance Act claims, having written advices in this area during his pupillage and attended the case of Musa v Holliday [2012] EWCA Civ 1268 in the Court of Appeal with a member of chambers.

Paul is happy to advise in writing or in conference as required.

Overview

Year of call: 2010
Appointments:
  • Harmsworth Scholarship (Middle Temple 2009) - Major BVC Scholar.
  • Certificate of Honour (Middle Temple 2010) - Prize for outstanding BVC results.
  • The Lady Templeman-Master Singhvi Memorial Fellowship – (Middle Temple 2010) - Prestigious fellowship, awarded to a single member of the Inn each year and which allowed Paul to travel to India in September 2010.
  • Paul also gave two lectures on ADR at the National Law University, Jodhpur.
  • Bar Standards Board's CPD Expert Panel
  • Independent Member of the Appeal Panel for the Anglo-European School
Areas of specialism:
  • Business and Commercial
  • Children Private Law
  • Children Public Law
  • Courts Martial
  • Employment and Discrimination
  • Family Finance
  • Inheritance, Wills and Probate
  • Inquests and Inquiries
  • Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence
  • Property
  • Public Access and Direct Access
Additional languages:
  • French
Qualifications:
  • BA - King’s College London
  • MA - University College London
  • Graduate Diploma in Law - Distinction
  • Bar Vocational Course - Outstanding
  • LLB - 1st Class (Hons.)
Professional associations:
  • Employment Law Bar Association
  • Employment Lawyers Association
  • Personal Injuries Bar Association
Outside Interests:
  • Paul is interested in film history and enjoys watching and reading about classic films. When not relaxing with his young family on holiday, Paul can be found in the mountains snowboarding or under the water scuba diving.