The Honourable Christopher Butler

Consultant

Christopher accepted an invitation to join Verralls as an independent consultant in March 2021 following his retirement as a Puisne Judge in the Supreme Court of Gibraltar. He has unrivalled experience in litigation in almost all fields in the UK and Gibraltar, both as a Barrister  and as a judge. He is a member of the Bar of England and Wales and a member of the Bar and Acting Solicitor in Gibraltar.

He is available to advise and/ or appear in litigation of all types (particularly those with an international element) and also to act as arbitrator, mediator and Private Financial Dispute Resolution (“FDR”) judge. He also undertakes all types of drafting, including contracts and pre- and post- nuptial agreements.

Christopher is well-known for his ability to understand his clients and their problems, to isolate quickly the real issues in cases and to identify solutions.

He served as a Supreme Court Judge in Gibraltar for nearly 10 years and has sat as a part-time judge (“Recorder”) in England since 1994 (and continues to do so when time allows). He is an elected lifetime “bencher” or “master” of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple in London. He is a member of the Association of International Family Law Judges and as such has attended the International Court of Justice in the Hague at sessions to discuss reforms and developments in the field of international family law concerning finance and children.

Christopher is passionate about his cases, approachable and always concerned to reassure his clients and achieve the best outcome for them. He has been instructed largely in cases involving esoteric points of fact and/ or law, and in particular advocacy in all areas.

HIs achievements in the legal world are too numerous to list here but the following is a selection:

After graduating from the London School of Economics Christopher went to Sydney Law School as a lecturer, researcher, author and adviser (working on the second edition of Nye’s Conflict of Laws in Australia, as assistant editor of “Lawasia”, advising state governments on family law reform, acting on a committee producing a Family Law Handbook for the layman and writing various articles on Public Order, Constitutional Law, Family Law, etc. He then graduated from the College of Law in London.

He has had a wide-ranging practice, including high value personal injury, negligence, employment, common law, commercial, professional negligence and defamation law, actions against the police, high profile crime, etc. etc. He has always had a strong interest in family law, particularly high- value and complex financial cases and serious and complex children matters. He was elected Head of St Mary’s barristers chambers in Nottingham in 1995 and in 2000 became the first Head of St Mary’s Family Law Chambers (the first, and probably still the only, purely family law chambers in England and Wales outside London), which continues to be enormously successful and highly respected.

 

Christopher has been instructed in and has judged numerous high-profile cases, including the following examples:

Singh v Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire (the first claim by a serving police officer against a Chief Constable based on instutionalised race discrimination – judgment used by institutions of many kinds – acted for the Chief Constable).

The Broxtowe Case, successfully acting for Nottingham City Council in wardship proceedings against 10 barristers representing parents of over 30 children. Nottingham’s biggest child abuse case, involving intense complex and sensitive issues of alleged ritualistic, sexual and satanistic abuse of children. Landmark case in England and Wales.

He has appeared in many murder and criminal fraud cases.

Re T (adult: refusal of medical treatment) – then leading case in which he acted for the official solicitor at first instance (at the request of Ward J) and in the Court of Appeal in relation to the important issue of medical ethics and blood transfusion for an unconscious 18 year old Jehovah’s witness.

Chevron Corporation v De Leon involving judgment in Ecuador for many billions of pounds. Reported worldwide. Many extremely complex points of law and fact.

Gibfibrespeed v Gibraltar Regulatory Authority – involving complex factual and legal issues in the important fields of telecommunications, competition and European law (Privy Council decision pending).

B v B – leading authority in Gibraltar on principles and preparation in financial remedy disputes following divorce.

He has been involved in many civil and family cases with international elements.

POSITIONS HELD

Past member of Marre Committee reporting on future of the Bar in England and Wales

Member of panel advising/ representing barristers threatened with wasted costs order for many years

Member of Nottingham University Court for many years; Departmental Fellow in the law Department at Nottingham University 1990-1991

Member Nottinghamshire’s Legal Aid committee for many years

Member of Family Law Bar Association in England and Wales

Member/ chair of “FAME” – family mediation charity

Member of Association of International Family Law Judges

Part-time circuit judge in England and Wales (Recorder)

Founding Head of St Mary’s  family law barristers Chambers in England

Founding member of Inner Temple society at Nottingham University

Puisne Judge in the Supreme Court of Gibraltar 2010-2019

Past door tenant member of Devereux Chambers in London and Guildford Chambers in Surrey

Editor “Current Law” for many years

Chair of Nottingham Music Society for many years