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Lee Finch consumer law barrister

Lee is a consumer law barrister with a particular specialism in regulated financial services work and consumer regulatory investigations. He has recently represented a number of companies who were the subject of CMA investigations and has acted in significant cases regarding key issues in consumer regulatory and finance law.

Lee is recognised as a leading practitioner by Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500. He is a contributing editor to “Consumer and Trading Standards: Law and Practice” and the “Encyclopedia of Financial Services Law” and, together with Jonathan Kirk QC and Thomas Samuels, is the author of “Mis-selling Financial Services”. Lee is also an advocacy trainer for the Inner Temple.

Lee advises and represents businesses on all aspects of consumer legislation, including the Consumer Rights Act 2015 (and its predecessor legislation), the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 and the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013. In the recent past, Lee has carried out such work for universities, banks and other credit providers, an international anti-virus software provider, an international car rental company, a racecourse operator, a large letting agency, a gym and a national funeral service provider.

Lee has developed a specific practice dealing with unfair terms and regularly represents businesses on the issue in both civil litigation and investigations by consumer regulators. He also reviews and redrafts standard terms and conditions.

Recently, Lee has been advising various clients on issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lee has extensive experience advising and representing financial institutions on a broad range of banking and consumer credit matters including: advertising; enforceability disputes; the provision of statutory notices and copy documents; disputes relating to hire-purchase agreements; connected lender liability under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974; unfair relationship claims under section 140A of the Consumer Credit Act 1974; issues surrounding green deal consumer credit agreements; and alleged penalties and unfair terms.

Lee has also been instructed to advise on whether or not certain business propositions amount to regulated activities under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 and has experience of drafting and reviewing financial documentation, including due diligence reviews in the context of debt purchases. He has specific experience of advising in relation to the creation of novel financial products.

Lee also advises creditors on compliance with the FCA’s handbook and has experience of hearings concerning the revoking of consumer credit licenses.

Recently, Lee has been advising various clients on issues related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lee has extensive experience of mis-selling claims and is a co-author of “Financial Services Mis-selling”.

Lee has acted in hundreds of mis-selling claims, defending businesses against allegations of:

  • mortgage mis-selling;
  • insurance mis-selling;
  • timeshare mis-selling;
  • solar panel mis-selling; and
  • credit mis-selling.

He has particular experience defending financial institutions in mis-selling claims brought under section 75 and/or 140A of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

Lee also lectures for MBL Seminars on mis-selling topics.

Before commencing work at the Bar, Lee worked at the Financial Ombudsman Service, principally dealing with financial mis-selling complaints.

Lee has been instructed as a specialist consumer law barrister in a wide range of commercial matters including cases involving: the sale of goods; the supply of goods and services; distance selling; doorstep selling; timeshare agreements; and alleged unfair terms.

  • Steiner v National Westminster Bank plc [2022]: Lee represented NatWest in an appeal before Mr Justice Lavender concerning the scope of “arrangements” within section 12(b) of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and, therefore, the extent of liability under section 75. Judgment is awaited.
  • R (on the application of Shawbrook Bank) v Financial Ombudsman Service Limited and R (on the application of Clydesdale Financial Services Limited) v Financial Ombudsman Service Limited [2022]: Together with Jonathan Kirk QC, Lee is representing Diamond Resorts (Europe) Limited and CLC Resort Developments Limited (interested parties) in judicial reviews against the Financial Ombudsman Service. Issues involve the interpretation and application of the Timeshare Regulations 2010 and the Consumer Credit Act 1974. Permission has been granted in both claims and trial will likely take place in early 2023.
  • Competition and Markets Authority v British Airways [2021]: Together with Jonathan Kirk QC, Lee represented British Airways in the CMA’s investigation into refunds for passengers who were unable to travel as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The CMA dropped the investigation.
  • Oxford University Innovation Ltd v Oxford Nanoimaging Ltd [2021]: Lee was instructed as specialist consumer law counsel to defend Oxford University’s standard student terms against an unfairness challenge in a wider intellectual property dispute. Judgment is awaited.
  • CFL Finance Limited v Gertner [2021]: Together with Jonathan Kirk QC and Fred Philpott, Lee successfully represented Mr Gertner in the Court of Appeal. The Court confirmed that a settlement agreement scheduled to a Tomlin Order which, for good consideration, provided time to pay a disputed debt could be a regulated consumer credit agreement if the dispute was not genuine.
  • Competition and Markets Authority v a PCR test provider [2021]: Lee is representing a PCR test provider in the CMA’s ongoing investigation into alleged consumer law breaches.
  • Competition and Markets Authority v An Anti-Virus Software Provider [2020]: Together with Jonathan Kirk QC, Lee represented a major international anti-virus software provider in a wide ranging investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority.
  • Various v Diamond Resorts (Europe) Limited [2020]: Lee is representing Diamond in respect of bulk litigation brought by one solicitors firm. Allegations include misrepresentation, mistake, breach of timeshare legislation and that certain terms are unenforceable under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.
  • R (on the application of Berkeley Burke SIPP Administration Limited) v the Financial Ombudsman Service Limited [2019]: Together with Andrew George QC, Lee represented the Association of Member-directed Pension Schemes in its proposed intervention before the Court of Appeal to protect the interests of the wider SIPP industry. Issues involved the breadth and proper application of FCA Principles 2 and 6 and the extent of due diligence required by pension administrators before accepting an investment into a SIPP. The appeal was ultimately discontinued following Berkeley Burke’s administration.
  • Boyo v Lloyds Bank plc [2019]: The Claimant sued Lloyds following its closure of her current account and the recording of a default at the credit reference agencies. The Claimant alleged defamation, malicious falsehood, breach of contract and breach of common law duty. Lee acted for Lloyds in its successful defence of the claim.
  • Hitachi v Topping and Paradise Trading SLU [2018]: Lee represented Paradise in relation to timeshare mis-selling allegations levelled against it. The matter was scheduled for a three day trial before HHJ Owen QC but the debtor discontinued his counterclaim and did not pursue his defence following Lee’s cross examination on the first morning of trial. During the trial it became apparent that the case was driven and funded by a claims management company (ITRA) which was targeting Paradise’s clients. A third party costs order was obtained against ITRA.
  • Leeds Building Society v Hayford and Aggrey [2018]: Lee represented the Claimant in a possession and money claim which was defended on the basis of alleged mortgage mis-selling. The claim involved allegations of misrepresentation and a failure to assess suitability and included an unfair relationship claim under section 140A CCA. Following a two day trial before HHJ Luba QC, the mis-selling allegations and other purported defences were dismissed and the possession order made.
  • Moore & Hegelund v National Westminster Bank plc [2017] and [2018]: Lee represented the Defendant in a claim regarding a defective survey of a mortgaged property. At first instance the judge found that the Claimants could recover the cost of repairs and were not limited to the difference between what they paid for the property in reliance on the survey and what it was actually worth. On appeal, Mr Justice Birss overturned the Recorder’s finding on the basis of quantification and confirmed that the correct measure of damages was diminution in value. However, Mr Justice Birss confirmed that on the specific facts, the Recorder was entitled to use the cost of repairs as a means of determining the diminution in value.
  • Universal Advanced Technology Ltd v Lloyds Bank plc [2016]: Led by Giles Wheeler of Fountain Court, Lee represented the Respondent before the Court of Appeal. The Appellant argued that it was entitled to claim sums reversed from its account as a debt, the Respondent argued that this was a change of case from below and that, in any event, the Respondent would have a complete defence by way of a cross claim in unjust enrichment. The Appeal was dismissed. Lee had previously successfully represented Lloyds Bank at first instance and in the first appeal.

“Absolutely a rising star in the field.” Legal 500 2022

“He’s always excellent in terms of his technical expertise, approachability, pragmatism and commercial awareness.” Chambers & Partners 2022

“He has the fantastic ability to make the complex understandable and is very reassuring to clients.” Chambers & Partners 2022

“Extremely measured, Lee speaks with authority in this area of law.” Legal 500 2022

“A great ability and willingness to advise off the cuff and in conference directly with lay clients.” Legal 500 2022

“His client care is brilliant, and his written opinions are first-class.” Chambers & Partners 2021

“Has an excellent attention to detail and delivers the highest-quality product within extremely short timescales.” Legal 500 2021

“Lee is very good at considering what the reputational and practical issues of a case are.” Chambers & Partners 2021

“He’s absolutely fantastic.” Chambers & Partners 2020

“He is extremely knowledgeable, pragmatic, and genuinely understands how banks and lenders operate; his commercial awareness is second to none.” Chambers & Partners 2020

“A very detail-specific and tenacious lawyer with a very good advocacy style. He is able to relate well to clients.” Chambers & Partners 2019

“Lee has a pragmatic approach, is commercially aware and provides clear advice which can be understood.” Chambers & Partners 2019

Lee is authorised to accept direct access instructions and will act on this basis, usually for businesses and professionals.

  • Co-author of ‘Mis-selling Financial Services’ (Edward Elgar; 2019)
  • Contributing editor to ‘Encyclopedia of Financial Services Law’ (Sweet & Maxwell)
  • Contributing editor to Consumer Rights and Consumer Credit Chapters in ‘Consumer and Trading Standards: Law and Practice’  (Jordan; 2020)
  • Regular contributor to Chambers’ monthly financial services column for Practical Law
  • Author for Lexis Nexis’ Q&As and Practice Notes
  • Author of various Westlaw “Insight” articles

Lee is a keen runner, a film enthusiast and an overly ambitious amateur cook.

Who I am

I am a specialist consumer law barrister providing legal services at Gough Square Chambers. You can contact me at , on 0207 353 0924 or at Gough Square Chambers, 6-7 Gough Square, London EC4A 3DE.

I am also Head of Pupillage at Gough Square Chambers.


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