Andrew specialises in commercial disputes including complex claims for breach of contract and negligence particularly in the manufacturing and engineering industries.  He has acted in shareholder disputes and other claims arising out of corporate transactions and partnership disputes for solicitors, doctors, surveyors, accountants and farmers. Andrew has particular expertise in defending and obtaining injunctions involving senior employees (involving breaches of covenant and issues of confidentiality).  He has successfully obtained and supervised Search & Seizure Orders.

Andrew  acts in proceedings brought by regulatory bodies including the Health & Safety Executive, Trading Standards and Environment Agency. He has spoken at seminars and training events on regulatory and commercial litigation issues (including an international legal event in Hong Kong on conducting litigation in different jurisdictions).

Andrew sits as a Deputy District Judge on the Midland Circuit hearing a variety of civil claims. He is a trained mediator and uses mediation wherever this is appropriate as a method of resolving cases for clients.

Andrew is also the immediate Past President and member of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. The Tribunal hears cases of professional conduct and regulatory issues concerning solicitors. Andrew regularly chairs tribunals hearing these cases.

Experience

Health and Safety and Regulatory Cases:
  • Being a member of the legal team that acted for a Midlands university in successfully defending a prosecution by the HSE following an alleged escape of smallpox from one of its laboratories.
  • Acting for a company and its directors facing a possible charge for Corporate Manslaughter. Andrew also advised in connection with the Police investigation; the Inquest; the claim for damages under the Fatal Accidents Act and a subsequent Health & Safety prosecution in the Crown Court where the company was fined.
  • Advising in connection with the death of a contractor who died whilst working in a lift shaft.
  • Advising a company in an investigation by the HSE after one of its employees was seriously injured in the workplace. This involved a detailed consideration of the company’s policies and procedures (including risk assessment documents) and taking statements from witnesses.
  • Acting for a company and one of its directors in a claim brought by the Environment Agency after chemicals entered a nearby river from its factory premises.
  • Preparing documents in support of prosecutions for offences under the Water Industry Act.

Andrew has also advised and defended companies and individuals in connection with Trading Standards prosecutions and prosecutions by other regulatory bodies. Often these have resulted in court proceedings but on occasions they have been successfully resolved by negotiation with the relevant authority.

Andrew has advised on and drafted policies and practice directions for the regulatory sector.

Injunctions:

Andrew has been appointed by the Court as Supervising Solicitor in the enforcement of four Search and Seize Orders and acted for Claimants and Defendants in obtaining and defending proceedings including:

  • Successfully defending proceedings for an Injunction that had been brought against a client who had not signed her Contract of Employment containing various restrictive covenants and where no consideration had been paid to her when the Contract of Employment was varied to include restrictive covenants. The client recovered her costs on an indemnity basis. [2018] EWHC 1972 (QB)
  • Acting for Defendants in High Court proceedings where the Claimants claimed £10 million and sought an Interim Injunction to prevent the Defendants from soliciting or dealing with customers. The case was resolved at a speedy trial where the Judge concluded that the covenants relied on by the Claimants were not enforceable and dismissed the claim against two of our clients part way through the trial. Two days later, the Claimants discontinued the claim against the other three Defendants. [2016] EWHC 2319 (QB)
  • Acting for a company against a former director and senior employee who had taken confidential information belonging to the company. Successfully obtaining a Search & Seize Order which was executed at two sites in the Midlands and the North. Subsequently Springboard Relief and Judgment was secured in the High Court in London after a speedy trial. [2009] EWHC 1083 (Ch)
Partnership
  • Acting for the partners of a firm of solicitors in defending claims brought in the High Court by their former partners following the dissolution of the partnership.
  • Acting in proceedings brought against the former partner in a professional practice for sums allegedly owed whilst he was a partner in the firm.
  • Acting for partners in a solicitors practice and advising in connection with threatened litigation (including a mediation) following the breakup of the firm.
  • Acting in a partnership dispute for an individual who was expelled from a professional partnership for alleged immoral behaviour. The claim was settled by mediation.
Commercial Claims:
  • Acting in the re-trial of a case concerning the ownership of a piece of land in Birmingham. This was a high profile case that attracted significant press coverage. The eventual trial at the High Court lasted for 10 days and involved evidence from over 20 witnesses.
  • Acting for Claimants in High Court proceedings against an international group of companies for the pensions due to them. The case concluded after a 5 day hearing in London.
  • Acting in multiple claims for an international company arising out of a sale and purchase agreement. The claims were resolved after extensive and complex negotiations. One aspect was dealt with in the Court of Appeal where a Costs Order that was initially made against our clients was reversed in its entirety. [2012] EWCA CIV 588
  • Acting for a multi-national group of companies in various arbitrations and High Court actions concerning the plant and technical equipment. One case lasted for 6 weeks and involved 4 subsequent appeals. Our client was successful in each appeal. Another involved a 3 week arbitration concerning the efficacy of a specialist seal.

Andrew Spooner is known as being "one of the best" in the market. Sources praise his skill in managing cases and getting the best out of clients and counsel.

Chambers UK 2015

Reported cases

  • Tenon FM Limited v Susan Cawley, B38 Support Services Limited & Ors 2018 EWHC 1972 (QB)
  • PHI Group Ltd v Robert West Consulting Ltd. [2012] EWCA Civ 588

Career

Andrew was formerly a partner and Head of Commercial Litigation at Martineau in Birmingham.

Memberships

Immediate past President of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and Chairman of SDTAL (2012 - 2016)

Interests

Andrew enjoys golf, fell walking, cinema, reading and watching cricket.