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Joanna Smith QC

Call: 1990    QC: 2009

+44 (0)20 7306

Practice Overview

A class act and a real credit to the Bar” The Legal 500 2017

Joanna’s broad litigation practice encompasses advice and advocacy in the fields of professional liability, professional regulation, commercial litigation, arbitration (domestic/international), construction, adjudication, mediation (as a qualified mediator) and insurance. Her advocacy has been complimented at the highest level by Lord Neuberger in Cavendish v Makdessi [2015] UKSC 67 as showing “considerable forensic skill”.

On the commercial/contract side, Joanna successfully led the winning team in the Supreme Court in Cavendish Square Holding BV v Makdessi [2015] UKSC 67, a seminal case which has redefined the doctrine of penalties. In 2016/2017, her reported commercial court cases include Tiuta v Rawlinson & Hunter [2016] EWHC 3480 (comm), a decision on the consequences of a Part 36 Offer; Team Y&R Holdings Hong Kong Limited v
Ghossoub [2017] EWHC 2401 (comm), a fight over an anti-suit injunction application and applications to set aside orders for service out of the jurisdiction and for alternative service and Towergate Financial (Group) Limited v Clark [2017] EWHC 2330 (comm), a summary
judgment application in a claim for breach of indemnity provisions in a share purchase agreement. The latter two cases are awaiting the outcome of applications to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

In the field of professional liability, Joanna has recently appeared before the Supreme Court in Tiuta v De Villiers [2017] UKSC 77, a valuer’s negligence claim in which the ‘but for’ test of causation has been put under the spot light in the context of the very particular facts of that case. In 2016/2017 Joanna has appeared in The Connaught Income Fund Series 1 v Hewetts Solicitors [2016] EWHC 2286 (Ch) (a case which will be considered by the Court of Appeal at a 2 day appeal in 2018) and in the Court of Appeal in Orientfield Holdings v Bird & Bird LLP [2017] PNLR 31, an appeal involving causation issues in a claim involving solicitors.

Joanna’s recent work in the construction field has involved acting in May 2017 for a Joint Venture Contractor in a multi-million USD two week arbitration relating to the construction of airport facilities in the Gulf applying UAE law.

In the regulatory sphere, this year, Joanna has acted on behalf of the Financial Reporting Council and has prosecuted a substantial audit firm and two audit partners within that firm for misconduct (in a two week trial in October 2017). She is presently awaiting the outcome of the trial.

Joanna is ranked as a leading silk in the Legal 500 and Chambers UK for Commercial, Professional Liability and Construction. She was awarded Chancery Silk of the Year at the Chambers UK Bar Awards 2016. In 2017 Joanna was appointed a Deputy High Court Judge.

Chambers UK 2018 (Commercial): “A delight to work with, she is very firm and demonstrates high-quality leadership under extreme pressure.” “Engaging, proactive and sensible, and she’s got a level head on her shoulders.”

Chambers UK 2018 (Professional Negligence): “Forthright, prepared and clear. A real leader.” “Very good technically and excellent with clients.”

Legal 500 2018 (Professional Negligence): ‘She is very client-friendly and instils a high level of confidence in the advice she gives.’

Legal 500 2018 (Commercial Litigation): “Highly recommended for commercial litigation”.

Legal 500 2018 (Construction): ‘A class act and a real credit to the Bar.’

Joanna is a Director of Bar Mutual, a qualified Mediator and a Supporting Member of the Society of Construction Arbitrators.