Duncan Fairgrieve has a wide-ranging practice in public law, EU law, human rights and commercial law. He has appeared in all major jurisdictions in England and Wales, including the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
Duncan was instructed as counsel in a series of landmark Supreme Court cases on the negligence liability of public authorities : Michael v South Wales Police  UKSC 2 and Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire  UKSC 4 (led by Nicholas Bowen QC), and CN & GN v Poole BC  UKSC 25 (led by Lizanne Gumbel QC). He is currently instructed on another significant case before the Supreme Court concerning the tort of negligence, to be heard during 2020. He is co-author with Dan Squires QC of the leading practitioner text on this topic, Negligence Liability of Public Authorities (2nd edition, OUP, 2019) He has also been instructed in significant cases on human rights issues, such as Cheshire West and Chester Council v P  UKSC 19 (Supreme Court case on Article 5 ECHR) and A v Essex CC  UKSC 33 (Supreme Court case on the meaning of Article 2 Protocol 1 right of access to effective education under the ECHR).
Duncan has particular expertise in product liability litigation and mass torts, and has been involved in many of the iconic products cases in England and France (including in the pharmaceutical and medical device sector, chemicals, yachts, automobiles, and tobacco). He is co-author with Prof. Richard Goldberg of the leading practitioner text on this topic, Product Liability (Oxford University Press, 3rd Edition, 2020).
Duncan’s practice has a significant international and cross-border element. He regularly provides expert evidence on English, French and Comparative Law issues in domestic and foreign proceedings, including before the English Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, before courts in Europe, the United States and Canada, as well as many other jurisdictions. He is also often instructed in offshore litigation, with particular expertise regarding offshore contract and commercial law, including the jurisdiction of Jersey, Channel Islands, where he taught Jersey and comparative contract law for many years at the Institute of law, Saint Helier. He is currently leading a project in Jersey to draft a Restatement of the Jersey law of contract.
Duncan is also a leading legal academic and has held senior positions in the UK and abroad. He has been Senior Fellow in Comparative Law at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, London since 2001, where he is also responsible for the Product Liability Forum. As an academic, he has published widely, including 20 books, and as co-editor of the festschrifts for Lord Slynn and Lord Bingham. His work has been cited extensively by the courts in the UK and abroad.
Duncan Fairgrieve is Professor of Comparative Law at Université de Paris Dauphine PSL in France. He was called to the Paris Bar in 2002 and also practises as a French avocat before the Paris Bar, from 49 boulevard de Courcelles, Paris.
- Ecila Henderson v Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation  UKSC 43 : UK Supreme Court decision on the defence of illegality in tort law.
- CN & GN v Poole BC  UKSC 25: UK Supreme Court considered the extent to which local authorities and their employees owe a common law duty to protect children from harm caused by third parties.
- Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire  UKSC 4: Led by Nicholas Bowen QC in landmark judgment on the tort of negligence.
- Michael v South Wales Police  UKSC 2 (led by Nicholas Bowen QC) : Landmark judgment on the tort of negligence before specially-convened seven-judge panel of the Supreme Court concerning the negligence of police and Article 2 ECHR.
- Cheshire West and Chester Council v P  UKSC 19 (with Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel QC, and Henry Witcomb: Supreme Court case on Article 5 ECHR.
- A v Essex CC  UKSC 33 (with Nicholas Bowen QC): Supreme Court case on the meaning of Article 2 Protocol 1 right of access to effective education under the ECHR.
- Mobilx Ltd & Calltel Telecom Ltd v HMRC  EWCA Civ 517 (with Michael Patchett-Joyce): Court of Appeal test case on ECJ Kittel test – knowledge of connection with VAT fraud.
- X and Y v London Borough of Hounslow  EWCA Civ 286 (with Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel QC, and Henry Witcomb QC) : Court of Appeal case regarding public authority liability.
- Neil Martin Limited v HMRC  EWCA Civ 1041:(with Nicholas Bowen QC) : Court of Appeal test case on whether the tax authorities owe a duty of care in tort to the taxpayer.
Duncan Fairgrieve contributes a letter on the Coronavirus Vaccine to The Times - Dec 2020
Duncan Fairgrieve remotely appears before the Supreme Court in landmark tort law case - May 2020
Publication of ‘The Negligence Liability of Public Authorities’ - Jul 2019
Protecting children from harm: CN & GN v Poole Borough Council - Jun 2019
Seven 1COR members in landmark Supreme Court case - Jul 2018
The Supreme Court has granted permission to the Appellants to appeal in the case of CN (1) & GN (2) v Poole Borough Council - Mar 2018
Duncan Fairgrieve appears in the Supreme Court for the claimant in landmark tort law decision - Feb 2018
Duncan Fairgrieve in Supreme Court case on police liability in negligence - Jan 2015
Duncan Fairgrieve in Supreme Court case on Emergency Services liability in negligence - Jul 2014
Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel QC, Henry Witcomb and Duncan Fairgrieve in Supreme Court cases re Cheshire West on Deprivation of Liberty - Mar 2014
Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel QC, Henry Witcomb and Duncan Fairgrieve appear as interveners in the Supreme Court cases on Deprivation of Liberty - Oct 2013