+44 20 7851 0100

Hal Branch


Hal is a partner at LSGA and has practised in the law since 1989. He specialises in commercial and contractual disputes and in all aspects of family work. He has considerable experience in professional negligence claims, partnership disputes, defamation, employment law and breach of trust claims. Hal has experience in advising on complex commercial fraud litigation.

Hal regularly represents clients in the High Court but also recognises the increasing importance that mediation can play in dispute resolution.

Hal’s practice in family work has particular emphasis in the resolution of complex financial issues. Hal appears in the Divorce Law Expert Guide (follow the link here); Download our PDF about Pre Nuptual Agreements, are they legally binding.

Hal has considerable experience in criminal law including matters in the magistrates court or complex fraud cases and other matters dealt with in the Crown Court such experience gained at the start of his career as part of the team acting for Lord Spens in the Guinness trial.

Hal graduated in modern history at London University before studying law at the College of Law.

Notable Cases

Re M [2016] EWCOP 42

Acting for Teresa Kirk who was imprisoned for contempt of Court for refusing to sign a release form in respect of a patient so that the patient would be moved from a care home in Portugal to a care home in the UK. On appeal we were able to obtain Ms Kirk’s immediate release from prison.

Caroline Gibbs -v- Lakeside Developments Ltd [2016] EWHC 2203

The High Court considered whether a conflicting email and attachment constituted acceptance or a counter offer. A further significant point of law was considered on appeal was whether there can be unlawful enrichment if a possession order had not been set aside.

Meir Levin v Michael Tannebaum (2013) LTL 18/11/13 Ch D

Acting for the Claimant in a claim for damages against the guarantor of numerous loans. The claim arises from the biggest ponzi fraud in South African history.

Philip Afia v David Mellor QC PC and Others LTL 3/12/13

Acting for the Claimant, a shareholder in Partridge Fine Arts, in his successful claim for damages against guarantors who had guaranteed the acquisition of shares when Partridge was taken over. The claim concerned complicated issues of law including promissory estoppel, waiver, forbearance and the successful appeal of the decision of the District Judge to withdraw his Judgment.

Baturina v Times Newspapers Ltd [2011] EWCA Civ 308

Successfully acting for the Claimant in a significant claim for damages for defamation , against the Sunday Times,  in what is now a leading case in respect of innuendo meanings in defamation.

JSC BTA Bank v Mukhtar Ablyazov and others – High Court Chancery Division

Acting for one of the Defendants in perhaps the single largest claim in the English Courts in excess of US$4 billion and featured as a Top 20 case of 2011 in The Lawyer. There are nine sets of proceedings and the firm was instructed in respect of the AAA proceedings which concern an alleged fraudulent transaction against BTA Bank. The issues included freezing and search orders and other applications in the Chancery Division and Commercial Court.

Innovatis Investments Fund Limited v Ejder Group Limited [2010] EWHC 1851

Acting for the Claimant who successfully obtained Judgment for just over $4,000,000 in an action concerning Lehmann Brothers Medium Term Basket Note with a face value of US$7,000,000. It is believed that this is the first reported decision in which the High Court has considered the legal nature of a securities purchase agreement. The case also concerned issues of an agent’s liability under a contract in the context of securities trading.

Northbrook v Abbey Estates Limited (June 2009) Court of Appeal

Acting for a successful Claimant seeking return of a deposit for property purchase at auction on the basis of misrepresentation, implied covenants to title and vacant possession. The Defendant was refused permission to appeal at a fully argued permission hearing. Lloyd L. J. ruled that the common auction conditions did not exclude ability for positive misrepresentations. He also held that there was no reason why a Court could not award enhanced interest on costs under Part 36 where the receiving party was funded by a CFA.

Lichter & Schwartz (a partnership) v Rubin [2008] EWHC 450 (Ch D); [2008] WLR (D) 93

A successful interim application for the disclosure of information about assets which are or may be the subject of an application for a freezing injunction.

Godfrey v Torpy and Others [2007] EWHC 919 (Ch)

Insolvency Act 1986 section 423. Leave of the Court was not required to continue proceedings in which an order to set aside a transaction at an undervalue had been applied for before the debtor’s insolvency.

Manches LLP v Carl Freer [2006] EWHC 991

A company director held not to be liable for solicitors’ fees where terms of business containing a guarantee was not signed in his personal capacity.

Ch.D Re: Landhurst Leasing [1999] BCLC 286, Ch.D

The standard of conduct of directors of insolvent companies.

Charleston and Another -v- News Group Newspapers Ltd and Another [1995] 2 All ER 313

A libel action for two Australian soap stars after the publication in a Sunday newspaper of a “defamatory” photograph which was held not to be defamatory when considered with the article as a whole.


Contact Hal Branch

Telephone: +44 20 7851 0100
Email: hb@lsga.co.uk

Download Hal’s Business Card