Prof. Gerard McMeel

Called: 1993

Practice Overview

Gerard is the Professor of Commercial Law at the University of Manchester, where he teaches commercial law and banking law subjects, having previously been a Professor of Law at the University of Bristol, and is a prolific legal author. He has held visiting positions at Duke University, Tel-Aviv University, the University of South Carolina, Hong Kong University and Singapore Management University.
As a Barrister Gerard practises in the commercial and financial spheres, with a particular focus on banking and financial services litigation. Gerard’s commercial practice regularly includes advising on the meaning and effect of contractual terms and boilerplate clauses. He has expertise in commercial fraud, and a particular interest in unjust enrichment and restitution. His financial services practice involves acting for life offices, general insurance companies, trust companies, financial advisers and investors, especially high net worth individuals. It includes investor claims, disputes involving networks of IFAs and between product providers and appointed representatives and regulatory and disciplinary work in respect of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.
Gerard’s significant cases include: 21st Century Logistic Solutions v Madysen [2004] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 92, Seymour v Caroline Ockwell & Co [2005] PNLR 758, AXA Sun Life Services plc v Campbell Martin Ltd [2011] EWCA Civ 133, [2011] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 1, TFL Management Services Ltd v Lloyds TSB Bank plc [2013] EWCA 1413, [2014] 1 WLR 2006, Bull v Gain Capital Holdings Inc [2014] EWHC 539 (Comm) (with Hugh Mercer QC) and Swynson Ltd v Lowick Rose LLP [2017] UKSC 32, [2017] AC 313 in the Supreme Court (with Hugh Sims QC), and Anderson and others v Sense Network Ltd, (Court of Appeal) [2019] EWCA Civ 1395 (Comm) and (Jacobs J) [2018] EWHC 2834 (Comm), [2019] Bus LR 1601 where he was trial advocate for 95 victims of a Ponzi scheme.
Gerard routinely acts in multiple claimant investor claims (such as Bull v Gain Capital for 495 claimants) and for high net worth individuals, including acting for Mr and Mrs Alan Shearer in their multi-million pound claim against Suffolk Life Pensions Ltd and Suffolk Life Annuities Ltd (Suffolk Life), a Self-Invested Personal Pension provider and a life insurance company, and other parties. The claims related to permissible assets in their SIPP, unregulated collective investment schemes and traded life policy investments. The trial commenced on 14 July 2017 before Mr Justice Leggatt in the Commercial Court, and on the second day the Shearers settled their claims on commercial terms. Gerard also appeared in Adams v Carey SIPP (with John Virgo) for the investor in a test case on the responsibilities of of Self-Invested Personal Pensions provider firm for esoteric assets introduced by an unauthorised intermediary, in the Chancery Division, London; the Financial Conduct Authority intervened. Judgment awaited.
Gerard also acts as an expert witness on English law issues.
Gerard will be appointed Queen’s Counsel on 16 March 2020.
Gerard is ranked in both main legal practitioner directories Chambers & Partners in three practice areas - Commercial Dispute Resolution, Professional Negligence and Banking & Financial Services – and in The Legal 500, together with Who’s Who Legal – UK Bar for Banking & Financial Services.
Gerard is the author of McMeel on the Construction of Contracts – Interpretation, Implication and Rectification (Oxford University Press, 3rd edition, 2017) which has been cited by courts in England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore and Jersey.
He also writes widely in law journals and has co-authored: McMeel and Virgo on Financial Advice and Financial Products (Oxford University Press, 3rd edition, 2014) and The Law of Personal Property, (Sweet & Maxwell, 2nd edn, 2017; 1st supplement 2019). 



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