Francis Moraes

The directories say

Appreciated for his 'user-friendly approach and commercial advice'

- Legal 500 2014

Francis has a commercial Chancery practice with an emphasis on litigation specialising in company law, contentious property, insolvency, partnerships and professional negligence.

Francis is an experienced insolvency litigator in both the corporate and personal field, though he principally acts for liquidators and trustees. He was Counsel instructed in the first administration of a firm of solicitors and in the first successful administration of an underwriting agency.

He has extensive experience in the field of real property disputes, resulting and constructive trusts, mortgages, boundary disputes, commercial leases, contentious and the Inheritance Act 1975.

His has expertise in handling professional negligence cases arising from property and commercial transactions.

A significant part of his practice includes advising in the fields of partnerships; commercial agreements; and directors’ duties, company and shareholder issues.

Francis accepts instructions via the Direct Professional Access/Licensed Accessed procedure and he is a member of the Pro Bono Unit. In August 2004, he was granted a temporary advocate’s licence to act on the Isle of Man



Professional reputation


Francis is listed in the Legal 500 in the category of property litigation, which notes that he is "much appreciated by clients for his user-friendly approach and commercial advice". He is listed in the Legal 500 as a leading junior in insolvency.


Notable recent cases


Francis’ recent cases include:

  • Habib Bank AG Zurich v Utocroft 2 Ltd [2015] EWHC 3481 (Ch) (Validity of a lease and the requisites for obtaining the prior written consent of a mortgagee. The extent of the leasing powers of a mortgagor conferred by section 99 of the Law of Property Act 1925.)

  • Prowting 1968 Trustee One Ltd v Amos-Yeo [2015] EWHC 2480 (Ch) (Rectification for common mistake in relation to share purchase agreements. Leaving the mechanics of the transaction to trustees did not stop the parties from having the necessary specific common intention required for rectification.)

  • National Westminster Bank Plc v Tummond [2015] EWHC 1431 (Ch) (Priority of an option to purchase over a registered charge. A devastating finding of dishonesty to defraud the bank.)

  • Durley House Ltd v Firmdale Hotels plc [2014] EWHC 2608 (Ch) (The liability of the indemnifier to the creditor of the indemnified where the indemnified had not paid the creditor. Whether a settlement agreement between the indemnified and the creditor was an act of mitigation).

  • Zumax Nigeria Ltd v First City Monument Bank plc [2014] EWHC 2075 (Ch) (Challenge of the jurisdiction of the court and submitting to the jurisdiction of the court by conduct. The deeming effect of CPR11.4(5)).

  • JL Homes Ltd v Mortgage Express [2014] EWHC 190 (Ch) (Extended civil restraint orders and the ability to refer to and rely on legal advice to resist an application)
  • JL Homes Ltd v Mortgage Express [2013] EWHC 3928 (Ch) (The obligations of mortgagees and fixed charge receivers. Strike out and summary judgment in respect of possession claims)
  • Benesco Charity Limited v Kanj [2012] EWHC 20 January 2012 (Ch) (Vesting orders under the Insolvency Act 1986 and the existence of a sub-lease).

  • Fitzroy Developments Limited v Fitzrovia Properties Limited [2011] EWHC 1849 (Ch) (Rescission of a contract for the sale of land)

  • Whittaker v Kinnear [2011] EWCH 1479 (QB) (Whether proprietary estoppel can result in an oral contract overriding the effect of a written contract for the sale of land)

  • Manx Auto Rescue Club Limited & others v Mann and Partners CLA 2003 107. (The principles governing a strike out application for delay, under the New High Court Rules of the Isle of Man. This was the first decision on such an application under the new Rules.)

  • Devon & Cornwall Securities v Littler [2010] EWCA Civ 1038 (New point raised in the Court of Appeal)

  • Bangla Television Limited (In Liquidation) [2009] EWHC 1632 (Ch) (Whether liquidator was precluded from pursuing a claim for wrongful trading)

  • Bangla Television Limited (In Liquidation) [2009] EWHC 2530 (Ch) (Application to require a liquidator to attend for cross-examination)

  • Sharma v Farlam Limited [2009] EWHC 1622 (Ch) (Construction of pre-emption provisions in shareholders' agreement and whether shareholder had acted in breach of trust)

  • Sillett v Meek [2007] EWHC 1169 (Ch) (Claim relating to the beneficial ownership of a Jersey bank account transferred into joint names: was there donative intention on the part of the transferor)

  • Lexi Holdings plc v Garth Scott Stainforth [2006] EWCA Civ 988 (Interpretation of contracts and the contra proferentem rule)

  • Sharif v Sadiq [2004] All ER (D) 254 (Contract for the sale of land - formalities)

  • Daniels v Thompson [2004] EWCA Civ 307 (Professional negligence – Solicitors)

  • Royal Bank of Scotland Commercial Services Limited v Patel [2003] EWHC 3413 (Ch) (Breach of director’s duties)

  • McNicholas Construction (Holdings) Limited v Endemol UK plc [2003] EWHC 2472 (Ch) (Land contract concerning the ‘Fame Academy’)

  • Tannu v Moosajee [2003] EWCA Civ 815 (Issue estoppel)

  • Re: Asset Visions Limited [2003] EWHC 756 (Ch) (Validity of receiver’s appointment)

  • Abbey Life Assurance Co Limited v Yeap 11 May 2001 CA (Commercial Agents’ Directive)

  • Conrad Riblat v Jil Sanders 24 April 2001 (Part 36 of the CPR)

  • Plender v Hyams [2001] 2 All ER 179 (Court of Appeal: Guidance on the then new procedure on appeals to the High Court)

  • The Mayor & Burgesses of the London Borough of Hounslow v Minchinton 74 P&CR 221 CA (adverse possession)

  • Tom Wise Limited v Fillimore [1999] BCC 129 (Application to recover costs of administrator from trust assets)



  • BA Law (Hons)

  • Lincoln’s Inn – Hardwicke Scholar

Professional memberships

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association


Professional appointments


Francis sits as a Deputy High Court Master assigned to the Chancery Division.


Seminars and lectures


Francis lectures on all aspects of his practice. Recent talks include:

  • The Brave New Costs World (including Cost Budgeting)
  • The Brave New ‘Jackson’ World – the reforms to the CPR

  • The Life of Insolvencies - the pursuit of satisfaction
  • The Companies Act 2006 (Part 2) – ‘Update’

  • The Companies Act 2006 (Part 1) – ‘What's New’

  • Termination of Tenancies for Tenant Default

  • Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

  • Adverse Possession and the HRA

  • Legal Professional Privilege

  • Renewal of Business Tenancies

  • Enforcement and Insolvency

  • Equitable Interests


Insolvency set-off: “The mutuality of assignment in subordination” Corporate Recovery and Insolvency October 2014.

The mutuality of assignment in subordination


Email this CV