Duncan is known as “an excellent lawyer with superb client care skills” who deals with “very complex matrimonial finance proceedings and children law matters”. He is “a calm and authoritative advocate who prepares impeccably” has “brilliant judgment” and is “incredibly good to work with” (Chambers UK). He is “one of the very leading technical lawyers; a smart tactician and persuasive advocate” (Legal 500).
Duncan has been a Family Arbitrator (MCIArb) since 2013. He has been appointed as the arbitrator in eleven arbitrations, and has delivered Awards in eight (one settled; two are ongoing). He has also acted in arbitrations as a barrister. He regularly represents clients at Private FDRs and also acts as the Private FDR tribunal. He is also available as an early neutral evaluator in child welfare disputes.
Duncan is familiar with the financial complexities arising in cases involving high net worth clients, including businesses, trusts, taxation and international forum disputes (both in respect to divorce/financial applications and also relocating with children). He is often instructed where there is a knotty point of law. Reported examples include:
Big Money/Application of “sharing” principle
- K v. L (Non-Matrimonial Property: Special Contribution)  3 All ER 733,  1 WLR 306,  2 FLR 980 (led by Lucy Stone QC). Acted for a wife who inherited shares which grew to a value of £57m. Husband was awarded £5m after a long marriage.
- GW v. RW  2 FLR 108 (led by Lewis Marks QC). Effect of pre-marital cohabitation; departure from equality
- Arif v Anwar & Rehan  EWHC 124 (Fam). Appeared before Norris J (a Judge of the Chancery Division) against chancery and family QCs in a dispute about the ownership of a family home and breaches of trust.
- Hope v. Krejci & Others  EWHC 1780 (Fam),  1 FLR 182, where Mostyn J transferred a company asset to the wife adopting the “telescoping” principle.
- Mittal v. Mittal  EWCA Civ 1255,  Fam 102,  2 WLR 1033,  1 FLR 1514 (led by Tim Amos QC). Leading case about the English court’s power to stay divorce proceedings where there is a case pending in a foreign jurisdiction.
- Kim v. Morris  2 FLR 1197 (led by Tim Amos QC). Represented the husband. Technical problems with the divorce petition meant that the wife’s English petition was dismissed and the divorce proceeded in Singapore (as the husband wished).
- Duncan has been published and regularly lectures on this topic. See “Divorce Proceedings, Forum Conveniens and Stays: England still open for business in the wider world” with Tim Amos QC, Journal of Social and Welfare Law Vol 36 issue 1 Jan 2014 pp76-78
Publicity/Open Justice in Family Proceedings
- O v. H & W (forthcoming) before Munby P, dealing with third party access to hearings and documents in financial remedy proceedings.
- K v. L (above). Exceptionally, a reporting restrictions order was made, preserving the parties’ anonymity following a hearing in the Court of Appeal.
- Duncan has been published and regularly lectures on this topic. See “Reporting Restrictions in Financial Remedy Cases”  Fam Law 300-312 (with Miranda Baker)
- Re S (A Child)  EWCA Civ 705,  1 FLR 183. Successfully appealed an order that did not comply with the technical requirements of a contact or residence order under the law as it then stood.
- Re B (Removal from Jurisdiction); Re S (Removal from Jurisdiction)  2 FLR 1043. Permission to remove from the jurisdiction – relocation to Australia to live with new partner.
Appointments and Memberships
- Deputy District Judge since 2010, sitting in the Family and County Courts. Duncan hears trials and applications in cases involving (amongst others) Children Act disputes, financial provision following separation, personal injury, landlord and tenant, consumer credit and enforcement.
- Family Arbitrator (MCIArb) since 2013.
- Collaborative Lawyer since 2009. Duncan advises in writing and in five-way meetings.
- Member of the FLBA and Resolution
Duncan is married with two children. He enjoys singing, playing cricket and tennis.