36 Young Street, Manchester, M3 3FT
DX: 718188 MCH 3
Direct Dial: 0161 832 9082
5 Park Square, Leeds, LS1 2NE
DX: 713113 LEEDS PARK SQ
Direct Dial: 0113 242 1123
Embassy House, 60 Church Street,
Birmingham, B3 2DJ
DX: 13023 BIRMINGHAM
Direct Dial: 0121 200 3570
Clerked by:Colin Griffin
Neil is widely recognised as a leading junior for business disputes in the North West. As comments in the professional guides testify he is recognised for his ability to focus on the central issues, and to explain them to clients. He appears regularly in the specialist courts on interim applications and substantial trials, where he is recognised as a very effective cross-examiner.
Significant Reported Cases
Currie v Brooks  (Merc.) Successful claim for damages for breach of a non-circumvention and confidentiality agreement by a property developer; issues of interpretation and application of the contract.
Hanlon v Rayson and Quadrant Holdings Ltd  (Ch) Successfully represented an investor recovering a loan from a borrower who had already repaid the company which acted as intermediary; issues of agency and the without prejudice rule.
R (May) v CIMA  EWHC 1574 (Admin), successful application to quash finding of professional misconduct arising out of a charge of misuse of confidential information. Led by Richard Clayton QC. We demonstrated that the information in question was not “confidential” contrary to the views of the disciplinary tribunal, and to the approach adopted by the client’s previous advisors.
Smile Better Ltd v Travis Perkins  (Merc), successful claim for breach of a series of marketing contracts
Waste Tec v H.W. Martin Waste Ltd  EWCA Civ 859, successful claim and appeal on behalf of waste management licensees; issues of construction of the contract
Sayce v TNT  EWCA Civ 1583, unsuccessful attempt to persuade CA to grant permission to appeal Copley v Lawn credit hire decision to SC, on issue of mitigation of damages
Meridian Business Support v Jared and Kennedy  (Merc), successful claim to enforce post-termination employment covenants, raising issues of enforceability
Pirtek (UK) Ltd v Joinplace Ltd  EWHC 1641 (Ch), successful claim against former franchisees, raising issues of enforceability
Neil practises in the specialist business courts (Mercantile, Chancery and TCC) in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Birmingham. He also appears in the High Court in London (including the Companies Court, Commercial Court and TCC) and in the Court of Appeal.
His practice is focused on advocacy, both oral and written.
Neil is recognised as one of the leading juniors for commercial work in the North West, and he is regularly instructed against QCs.
Neil frequently acts on applications for interim relief, where his experience and understanding of the court process enables him to provide clients with practical and realistic advice, and to focus case preparation to the client’s best advantage.
He has acted in a number of commercial arbitrations, domestic and international.
He has acted for a large number of major plc clients in the in substantial commercial disputes. He also has advised and acted in many substantial shareholder disputes, and other important company and insolvency matters.
Neil has advised and represented numerous solicitors and other professionals in partnership and LLP disputes.
Year of Call: 1982
Areas of Expertise
Banking & Finance
Chambers UK 2017
"Realistic and commercial, and quickly gains the trust of clients." "Provides knowledgeable, solid and pragmatic advice."
"His court work is just fantastic - he's really great on his feet." "He is excellent, a very solid advocate and very good with clients." "A tough litigator who is very strong on all commercial disputes."
"He is a fantastic advocate: he is someone who will take a case and grab it by the neck." "A highly regarded barrister who is always very well prepared."
Chambers UK 2016
"A top-notch barrister with a real ability to empathise and interpret complex legal principles for the layman."
"In a tough corner, he is the counsel to get to first. He is calm, assured, and a clear, focused thinker who wins the respect of judges but is challenging in witness cross-examination."
"He is clearly very experienced and has very sound judgement, which in turn inspires confidence. He is a safe pair of hands and is good with clients."
"His strengths are his preparedness to be instructed at short notice and to make himself available out of hours."
Chambers UK 2015
"A senior junior with a very good advocacy style; he gets more done by saying less." "He's ferocious. He'll always put up a good fight."
"He can turn his hand to anything. He saves the day at the last minute, keeping things calm and pulling out all the stops."
"He is a strong advocate with wide experience in partnership law. He is tactically good and able to forensically identify the relevant from the irrelevant."
"He is a strong and measured advocate." "He has a real gravitas about him."
Chambers UK 2014
"He is QC - quality: firm and robust, with a good analytical mind.” "He is very strategic in his submissions. His drafting is fantastic - he is a details person."
"He brings to the table advocacy skills of the highest level, making him a trial lawyer of considerable stature, but he also combines this with excellent and focused opinions and drafts."
"He is calm, assured, and a clear and focused thinker." "He is one of the go-to barristers in Manchester. A very dependable and knowledgeable junior."
"He is a very thorough and formidable advocate. He also has the ability to give simple, clear advice to a client who is not a lawyer."
Chambers UK 2013
"...is highly effective," "intellectually brilliant" and someone who provides "silk-like quality and dependability.”
“...regularly acts against silks in the Northern business courts. Clients like him as
"he's a determined man who doesn't panic. If he takes a point he can be relentless with it." Observers say: "He's good because he offers clear, cogent and practical advice."
“...is described as a "strong advocate" by peers who note that he is well regarded in the insolvency area.”
Chambers UK 2012
"...is very good with clients in conference.", "very strong on paper" and "excellent in court."
"a great style and ability to grasp all the important details.
"always ready to take on a challenge"
“a great advocate who takes a mature approach"
Chambers UK 2011
"...is easily one of the most able and experience juniors on the circuit.."
"...considers carefully all the possibilities on offer before providing an answer."
Chambers UK 2010
"...immensely skilled orator" "commanding trial lawyer" and a first choice for leading solicitors - "he will reach the very top in years to come,"
"...an incisive legal brain and unwavering authority in court."
"...very able intellectually and excellent in court."
Chambers UK 2009
"...first choice junior" for many solicitors as he "has a good grasp of his cases, is succinct in his submissions and has a relaxed style in court." He also "seems to have a winning streak:" he acted successfully in a two-week trial regarding a £500 million breach of warranty claim.
"...Creative yet practical" in applying his "great wealth of knowledge " to partnership law, he is "able to recognise and remove the emotional element" intrinsic to sensitive partnership disputes
"...He is terrifically astute and employs his great intellect and logical mind to good effect."
"...Very good and able Senior Junior"
Chambers UK 2008
Neil Berragan leads the way, and "he's very succinct as an advocate" " Whereas some barristers over elaborate, he sticks to the main points and develops them intelligently."
"A well-liked practitioner with bucket loads of common sense"
He consistently delivers "cogent and quick advice." His "combative" style and "gravitas in court" make him "a super senior junior that you can use on the biggest cases."
Previous comments in Chambers directory include:
"...a measured advocate whose rapier like cross examinations have done for a lot of opponents"
"...admired for his excellent advice and strong advocacy"
"...polished advocacy - commercial and user-friendly - he gets involved and is not afraid to roll his sleeves up" "good on his feet"
Legal 500 2017
‘A hugely experienced advocate; there is nothing he has not seen.’
Legal 500 2012
"Recommended for commercial dispute resolution"
Legal 500 2011
'a silk in the making'
Legal 500 2010
"widely experienced in high-value commercial disputes"
Legal 500 2009
"a veteran of numerous high-value commercial disputes"
Legal 500 2008
"a 'tough nut', excellent in court where there's a real scrap"
Legal 500 2007
"a first-class chancery lawyer with a large following"
Northern Circuit Commercial Bar Association (NCCBA)
Northern Chancery Bar Association (NChBA)
Chancery Bar Association (ChBA)
Professional Negligence Bar Association (PNBA)
Pembroke College Oxford MA (Jurisprudence)
Holt Award, Gray’s Inn