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Joanna Smith QC

Call: 1990    QC: 2009

+44 (0)20 7306


Joanna advises and appears in mainstream commercial/chancery litigation on a regular basis. Over the last few years she has:

  • Appeared in the Supreme Court in a seminal case on the doctrine of penalties:Cavendish Square Holding BV v Makdessi [2015] UKSC 67
  • Advised on the drafting of commercial and construction contracts with a view to ensuring that clauses operating on breach will not fall foul of the penalties doctrine (2016).
  • Advised on the content of submissions on the doctrine of penalties for an arbitration in Hong Kong (2016).
  • Advised in a claim for breach of confidence (2016).
  • Acted in an ongoing commercial court claim for breach of contract/breach of fiduciary duty against the former directors of a middle eastern marketing company (2016).
  • Advised and acted in ongoing litigation on an indemnity provision in a share purchase agreement (2016).
  • Advised and acted on behalf of Leeds United in a claim involving the construction of a Technical Kit Supplier Agreement (2016).
  • Appeared in the Court of Appeal in a case on restraint of trade and procuring breach of contract:  One Money Mail Ltd v Ria Financial Services [2015] EWCA Civ 1084
  • Appeared at numerous hearings in a hostile application to remove Administrators from office Re Angel Group Ltd [2015] EWHC 2372 (Ch)
  • Succeeded in the Court of Appeal on an appeal concerning the grant of permission to make a committal application (Cavendish Square Holding BV v Makdessi [2013] EWCA Civ 1540).
  • Successfully defended a claim against liquidators/administrators in conversion in the Chancery Division before Newey J: Euromex Ventures Ltd v BNP Paribas Real Estate Advisory and Property Management UK Ltd [2013] EWHC 3007 (Ch).
  • Acted (together with an intellectual property junior) on behalf of a composer in a claim for royalties (2013).
  • Advised in a claim in the Commercial Court under a memorandum of agreement in connection with a substantial oil infrastructure project that it was expected would be undertaken in Iraq (2013).
  • Appeared in the Queen’s Bench Division before Males J in a successful claim for damages under S 51 of the Sale of Goods Act 1979: Air Studios (Lyndhurst) Ltd v Lombard North Central Plc [2012] EWHC 3162 (QB).
  • Appeared in the Court of Appeal on a case concerning the true construction of a compromise agreement and the impact of the Solicitors Accounts Rules: Ondhia v Ondhia [2012] EWCA Civ 1927.
  • Appeared in the Court of Appeal on a case concerning the scope of solicitors’ retaining liens: Withers LLP v Langbar International Ltd [2011] EWHC 1151.
  • Advised and appeared in the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands in a dispute concerning a joint venture agreement for the development of an ocean front site.
  • Appeared in the Chancery Division to oppose the grant of a worldwide freezing injunction.
  • Advised and appeared for clients based in Monaco on a multi-million pound claim for breach of an existing settlement agreement.
  • Advised on the construction of the terms of a valuable contract for the exploitation of iron ore.
  • Advised and appeared at the TCC trial of a multi-million pound dispute over the supply of a pan-European fibre-optic telecommunications network.
  • Advised and appeared at numerous hearings, including an appeal, concerning the true interpretation of a ‘sole supply’ agreement (Universal Business Solutions v Compass Group Plc [2007] EWHC 1073).
  • Advised and appeared in the Commercial Court in a dispute over the construction of an insurance policy and alleged non-disclosure/misrepresentation.
  • Advised and appeared on an application to strike out a claim involving an alleged carousel fraud.
  • Advised and appeared in a complex contractual dispute arising out of a waste management contract.
  • Advised as to the interpretation of the terms of a prime brokerage agreement between a hedge fund client and Lehman Brothers.