lara full 1 - Lara Spencer

Lara Spencer

Civil Barrister
  • Year of Call
  • 2000

Civil Law

Overview

Lara has represented both Claimants and Defendants in a variety of matters over the last 18 years. She has also given numerous talks and seminars in civil litigation to CPD providers and assisted in writing civil litigation material for online CPD providers. In October 2017, Lara was appointed as a Court Examiner. Lara is a member of the Professional Negligence Bar Association and the Personal Injury Bar Association. Many of Lara’s cases are high value. As such, she often appears against QCs. Although based in Exeter Lara undertakes court work throughout England and Wales. Lara’s common law practice affords her with a thorough understanding of the processes and tactics of civil litigation generally in many areas and enables her to provide pragmatic and practical advice.  Similarly, her early experience at the criminal bar, during which time she prosecuted and defended in the Magistrates Court and Crown Courts provides her with an understanding of criminal law and practice.

Lara accepts instructions under Conditional Fee Agreements in appropriate cases. She is registered for direct access. She accepts a significant amount of her work from direct access clients.

Commercial and chancery

Overview

Lara has considerable experience of company, commercial and contract law having first practiced in the area in 2000.  She is regularly instructed to provide urgent advice in relation to restrictive covenants, confidentiality obligations, intellectual property rights, senior employees/directors and employers on the imposition and breach of fiduciary obligations/duties, minority shareholders and unfair prejudice petitions and injunctions, advising and representing both individuals and companies.

Lara’s contract law cases often involve building disputes, joint ventures, sale of goods, consumer credit, commercial agency, insurance and guarantees.

Personal Injury and Fatal Accidents

Overview

Lara has extensive experience of personal injury claims representing both Claimants and Defendants. National and regional firms instruct her. She is regularly instructed on cases in which the value exceeds £1million, but will also undertake high-end fast track work and all levels of multi track work.

Lara has extensive advocacy experience in long and short trials and applications, in addition to advising and settling statement of case, schedules and counter schedules of loss, and professional and lay conferences, mediations, and round table discussions.

Lara’s personal injury and fatal accident work includes all aspects such as road traffic accidents, employers liability (including stress at work claims), occupiers’ liability, Animals Act claims, defective premises, industrial injury and illness, nuisance, Consumer Protection Act cases and general negligence. Lara is regularly instructed in cases involving mesothelioma and other asbestos related injuries, brain injuries, amputation and paraplegia claims.

Lara has been involved in claims and provided talks and seminars on issues such as fundamental dishonesty, collusion between parties to ‘stage’ accidents, exaggerated and fabricated claims. She advises on information searches, and analyses expert surveillance and engineering reports as well as enquiry agent and loss adjustor investigations. Lara also has extensive experience of jury and coroner only inquest hearings, representing bereaved families and other interested parties. She has appeared in workplace health and safety inquests, for employees crushed or otherwise fatally injured whilst operating machinery and/or working in unsafe systems of work.

Land and Property (including Inheritance Act or TOLATA)

Overview

Lara’s real property work regularly involves her being instructed to in the areas of boundary disputes, restrictive covenants, easements, mortgages and charges, adverse possession, nuisance and trespass. In respect of landlord and tenant work she undertakes a broad range of work in this field. It covers both residential and commercial property and includes advising, drafting and advocacy. She is frequently instructed in possession actions by both tenants and landlords, which regularly include a number of local authorities and housing associations. She is experienced in dealing with a range of claims dealing with breaches of covenant, particularly quiet enjoyment and disrepair. She has been involved in a number of cases concerning anti-social behaviour. Her commercial work includes lease renewal disputes, forfeiture and disrepair. Her agricultural work includes farm business tenancies and agricultural occupancies.

Lara’s property work has included planning law in which she has been instructed by those seeking planning permission and local authorities which have had claims threatened or issued against them.

Lara is regularly instructed in TOLATA claims usually arising from the breakdown of a relationship or due to personal insolvency and/or debt recovery. She also undertakes work in respect of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

She has experience of the more specialised tribunals, such as the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) and before the Adjudicator to the Land Registry.

Professional Negligence including Clinical Negligence

Overview

Lara’s practice includes professional negligence work in which again she takes instructions from both Claimants and Defendants, such claims often being brought against, solicitors, surveyors and conveyancers.

Lara has a successful high value clinical negligence practice, where her compassionate approach allows vulnerable and often distressed clients to feel as at ease as possible and to have confidence in her expertise.

Other Civil Work

Lara has undertaken a number of cases in which claims have been brought or defended in respect of slander and defamation matters.

She also undertakes many civil applications under the CPR, including: admissibility of expert evidence, cost capping, interim payments, summary judgment, provisional damages, strike out and relief from sanctions.

Biographical and Other Information

  • Academic
  • Lara obtained a First Class LLB Honours Degree from Exeter University along with numerous prizes and a Scholarship from Lincolns Inn.
  • Membership
  • She is a member of the PIBA and the PNBA.
  • Appointed
  • She was appointed as a Court Examiner on 1st October 2017.

Civil Law team members