"A silk in the making."

Legal 500, 2024

Lee is a consumer law barrister with a particular specialism in consumer regulatory investigations, consumer finance work and mis-selling litigation. He is recognised as a leading practitioner by Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 and was shortlisted for the Legal 500 Group Litigation and Consumer junior of the Year Award in 2022.

Lee 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. He also provides consumer law and consumer finance expertise as a member of the Law Reform Committee of the Bar Council.

He is a contributing editor to “Consumer and Trading Standards: Law and Practice” and the “Encyclopedia of Financial Services Law”, is co-author of “Mis-selling Financial Services” and the forthcoming “Consumer Group Litigation”. Lee is also an advocacy trainer for the Inner Temple.

  • "His advocacy skills are equal to those of someone of much greater call and he is a star in the making, no doubt."

    Chambers UK Bar, 2023
  • 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 UK Bar, 2022
  • Has an excellent attention to detail and delivers the highest-quality product within extremely short timescales.

    Legal 500, 2021
  • His client care is brilliant, and his written opinions are first-class.

    Chambers UK Bar, 2021
  • He’s absolutely fantastic.

    Chambers UK Bar, 2020
    • Consumer law

      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.

    • Consumer finance

      Lee has extensive experience advising and representing financial institutions on a broad range of consumer finance matters including: secret commissions; connected lender liability; unfair relationship claims; enforceability disputes; the provision of statutory notices and copy documents; disputes relating to hire-purchase agreements; and alleged penalties and unfair terms. This work includes guiding finance providers through various forms of bulk litigation and group litigation.

      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 and regularly advises firms on compliance with the FCA’s handbook.

    • Mis-selling

      Within the broader areas of Consumer Law and Consumer Finance, Lee has extensive experience of of mis-selling claims and is a co-author of “Financial Services Mis-selling” (now in its Second Edition).

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

    • Events
    • News
    • Notable cases
      • Attempted Motor-Dealer Commission Group Action [2023]: Lee is representing Vauxhall Finance plc in the attempt by Barings Law to bring test group litigation in relation to undisclosed motor dealer commissions. The Court has recently determined that the County Court has exclusive jurisdiction but questions of severance and whether group litigation is desirable remain.
      • 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 KC, 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. Judgment is awaited.
      • Steiner v National Westminster Bank plc [2022]: Lee successfully 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.
      • Oxford University Innovation Ltd v Oxford Nanoimaging Ltd [2022]: 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. The High Court found that postgraduate student qualified as a consumer but Oxford’s terms were not unfair. The decision is the leading domestic authority on the meaning of “consumer” in respect of substantive protection.
      • Competition and Markets Authority v British Airways [2021]: Together with Jonathan Kirk KC, 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.
      • CFL Finance Limited v Gertner [2021]: Together with Jonathan Kirk KC 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 represented 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 KC, 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 represented 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 KC, 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.
    • Publications
      • Co-author of ‘Consumer Group Litigation’ (Edward Elgar; fourthcoming)
      • Co-author of ‘Mis-selling Financial Services’ (Edward Elgar; Second Edition; 2022)
      • 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’  (LexisNexis; 2023)
      • Contributing editor to ‘Miller: Product Liability and Safety’ (LexisNexis)
      • Regular contributor to Chambers’ monthly consumer finance column for Practical Law
      • Author for Lexis Nexis’ Q&As and Practice Notes
      • Author of various Westlaw “Insight” articles
    • Directory testimonials
      • “A silk in the making; Lee is dedicated, reliable and bright. Judges have always taken a real shine to his style, which is firm and direct, but polite and respectful at all times.” Legal 500 2024
      • “Lee is fantastic. He works really really hard and drops everything when you need him.” Chambers and Partners 2024
      • “His advocacy skills are equal to those of someone of much greater call and he is a star in the making, no doubt.” Chambers and Partners 2023
      • “A ‘go-to’ barrister for Consumer Credit Act claims.” Chambers and Partners 2022
      • “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
    • Education, qualifications, memberships
      • Called Inner Temple 2010
      • LLM; University of Durham
      • LLB; University of Durham
    • Privacy notice

      Who I am

      I am a specialist consumer law barrister providing legal services at Gough Square Chambers. You can contact me at lee.finch@goughsq.co.uk , 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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