Civil Law

The members of our Civil Team offer expertise over a broad spectrum of civil law. We have a particular emphasis on Personal Injury, Contract and Commercial, Land and Property, Professional Negligence, Landlord & Tenant, Planning and Housing.

Other work undertaken by individual Barristers includes Employment, Libel & Malicious Falsehood, Wills & Probate, Trusts and Insolvency. Our Civil Law Barristers have extensive experience of selecting experts and dealing with expert evidence. The Team has developed expertise in the increasingly important area of mediation and alternative dispute resolution.

Personal Injury

Our Civil Barristers regularly act in high value personal injury actions for both Claimants and Defendants. We offer a consistent and high quality service during all stages of litigation.

We deal with injuries and accidents, including fatal accidents, ranging from accidents at work to road traffic accidents and holiday accidents. We have a particular interest in sporting accidents and accidents abroad. The Team has a respected expertise in personal injury claims involving negligence by the prison service, local authorities, hospital trusts and the armed forces.

From our experience comes an understanding of the needs of our clients, many of whom have significant disability. In appropriate cases we are happy to meet clients with disabilities at their homes.

We regularly accept instructions on a conditional fee basis and will provide a realistic and accurate assessment of the merits of the claim at all the key stages of the litigation.

A number of our barristers are Personal Injury Bar Association (PIBA) and Professional Negligence Bar Association (PNBA) members and regular training ensures continued professionalism.

Members of the Civil Law team have been involved in a number of leading cases and have appeared at all levels from District Judge up to the House of Lords (now Supreme Court).

Contract and Commercial

The Civil Team can advise on all aspects of contractual disputes and commercial litigation, including building disputes, sale of goods, consumer credit, partnership disputes, commercial agency and insurance.

Land and Property

Our barristers are regularly instructed in land and property disputes, covering areas such as boundary disputes, co-ownership and trusts of land, mortgages and charges, restrictive covenants & easements, nuisance, trespass and adverse possession.

Landlord & Tenant and Housing

We can advise on all aspects of housing law and act in landlord & tenant disputes both residential and commercial. Members of the team have particular experience in the area of anti-social behaviour.

Professional Negligence

We act in professional negligence actions for both Claimant and Defendant, and our barristers cover all professional services including those of Doctors and other medical professionals, accountants, surveyors and those who provide financial advice.


Our barristers can provide advisory, drafting and advocacy services to both the private and public sectors covering the full range of planning law issues at all levels and for all sizes of development.

Civil Law team members

Mark Treneer

Year Of Call : 1987

The main focus is in ancillary relief (financial remedies) for husbands, wives and children, especially where there are trust and/or business assets and farms. Mark cuts through volume of paper to the core and critical issues and is focussed and blunt with his clients and the Court alike.

View Profile

Hugh Cornford

Year Of Call : 1994

Hugh has extensive experience acting for Local Authorities, parents, grandparents, Guardians and proposed special guardians in care proceedings, including representing young and vulnerable parents, clients with learning difficulties and clients with chronic health conditions. View Profile

Lara Spencer

Year Of Call : 2000

Lara has represented both Claimants and Defendants in a variety of matters for over 20 years. She has a wide general civil litigation practice, and has given numerous Continuing Professional Development talks and seminars. She is certified to conduct all aspects of litigation, and therefore is certified to carry out all the legal work that not only barristers do, but also those legal activities usually reserved to solicitors. View Profile

Emma Smith

Year Of Call : 2005

Emma is a practitioner who accepts instructions in both civil and family law. Personable and approachable to clients, Emma has a practical and down-to-earth style both in conference and in court. View Profile

Felicity Payne

Year Of Call : 2010

Felicity is a common law barrister with an established and varied practice in all aspects of criminal and civil law. Felicity is thorough, practical and robust in her approach, whilst remaining personable. View Profile

Laura Searle

Year Of Call : 2011

Laura is a family barrister with a busy and varied practice acting and advising in public and private law proceedings, applications for injunctive relief and financial remedy proceedings. She is a personable and approachable advocate who prides herself on going the extra mile for her clients. She has studied and worked internationally in France, Brussels, Luxembourg and New Zealand and is a Denning and Eastham Scholar of Lincoln’s Inn View Profile

Evie Dean

Year Of Call : 2019

Evie accepts instructions in both criminal and family law. She regularly appears in the Crown and Magistrates’ Courts where she prosecutes and defends in all stages of proceedings. She also acts for parents in both private and care proceedings from application stage through to contested interim and final hearings.

Since joining Walnut House after successfully completing a twelve-month pupillage in chambers, Evie has continued to enjoy a busy and varied practice. She has been complimented on her pragmatic and personable manner with her clients. View Profile

Sam Wysocki

Year Of Call : 2020

Sam has developed a diverse practice across Chambers’ family, criminal and civil teams, representing clients throughout the South West. He prides himself on his attention to detail, being approachable and offering pragmatic advice.
Sam completed his pupillage under the supervision of Hugh Cornford and accepted tenancy from Walnut House in October 2021. Furthermore, Sam successfully obtained his public access qualification in October 2022. View Profile

Zoe Kuyken

Year Of Call : 2021

Zoe recently completed a successful pupillage at Walnut House and as a result was offered a tenancy which she accepted. Prior to pupillage, she worked as a paralegal at a boutique agricultural law firm. During her BPTC, she volunteered as an Appropriate Adult, supporting children in police station interviews, and at Support Through Court, assisting litigants in person with the court process. She has also completed internships assisting a children’s charity with their policy documents, and in the privacy department of an international firm. View Profile

Azzam Bhatti

Year Of Call : 2017

Azzam has a mixed Civil, Criminal and Family practice at Walnut House.

View Profile