tattersall-g enlarge photo

Practice Areas


Geoffrey Tattersall QC


Prior to taking silk in 1992 I had a predominantly personal injury orientated practice. At its outset it had embraced all common law matters, family and crime but became increasingly narrow as time passed. Before taking silk I became Head of a large set of Chambers [about 26 members] in Manchester.

On taking silk I undertook a wide range of cases, including a few murders as I thought I would benefit from the experience but I quickly gave this up to concentrate on civil work. Thereafter my only experience with crime, apart from sitting, was in two pro-bono death row cases in the Privy Council [Reckley v Minister of Public Safety and Immigration [1997] AC 527 and Henfield v AG of Bahamas [1997] AC 413] which turned on administrative law issues. Since Reckley was executed on the day I last represented him, it was an experience I doubt that I will forget.

In the last few years my work has been largely substantial personal injury claims, almost invariably resulting in spinal injury or brain damage. The cases are seldom reported or reportable. I still undertake some administrative / judicial review work and professional and clinical negligence. I enjoy the mix.

Some Notable Cases 

Gibbs v Bishop of Manchester  [Div Ct] : Judicial Review : Revocation of a lay worker`s licence by Bishop

AD & OH  v Bury Metropolitan Borough Council [CA] : Duty of care owed to parent by local authority instituting care proceedings

Re Child A v Ministry of Defence [CA] : Duty of care owed by MoD for negligent treatment abroad of servicemen and their dependants

Marsh v Chief Constable of Lancashire [CA] : Striking out : damages for misfeasance in public office

The Shipman Inquiry : representing Registrars of Birth, Deaths and Marriages

Re the Dean of Ripon [Ripon Consistory Court] : Proceedings under Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction Measure 1966

Brown v Bishop of Carlisle [Archbishop of York] : Appeal from revocation of a priest`s licence by Bishop

White v White & Motor Insurers` Bureau [HL] : Incompatibility between the MIB Agreement and an EEC Insurance Directive

R v Tameside Magistrates` Court & Tameside MBC ex p Coleman & Davenport [CA] : Enforcement of liability for community charge

Taylor v Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council [CA] : Liability : tripping case

R(CR) 2/02 [Social Security Commissioners] : Deduction of statutory benefits

R v Manchester Health Authority ex p Manchester City Council [Div Ct] : Judicial review : inadequate consultation for new hospital

Henfield v Attorney General of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas [PC] : Death row : delay in executing constitutes inhuman punishment

Amakye v Aramark Services Plc [CA] : Quantum : loss of earnings if residing abroad

Reckley v Minister of Public Safety & Immigration [PC] : Death row : Judicial review of the exercise of the royal prerogative

Re Pearce Deceased [CA] : Inheritance financial provision for an adult

Scargill v Newell Transport [CA] : Liability : road traffic accident

Denwood v Harrod [CA] : Liability : factory accident

Wills v Entwistle [CA] : Liability : road traffic accident

White Arrow Express v Lameys Distribution [CA] : Part performance of a contract

Easton v Ford Motor Co Ltd [CA] : Amendment of pleadings

Sheikh v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester [CA] : Race relations : police

Robertson v Ridley [CA]  : Members suing their own clubs

R v Salford Health Authority ex p Janaway [HL] : Judicial review : Applicability of the conscience clause in the Abortion Act

D v M [CA] : Test to be applied in a custody appeal

Judicial Experience 

For the last ten years my judicial sittings have been mainly in the Isle of Man, where as the sole Judge of Appeal I sit in the Staff of Government Division [the Manx Court of Appeal] with a local Deemster or an Acting Deemster. The practice is that the Judge of Appeal gives the judgment of the Court. I am also the final arbiter under the Advocates’ Act 1995 as to whether foreign advocates can be licensed to appear in the Manx courts.

The work is very varied because the Staff of Government Division hears all appeals. However although there are some criminal appeals the vast majority of the work is civil : it frequently involves trusts or conflict of law issues. Given that the decisions of all English courts are of only persuasive authority, it is not a judicial forum for the faint-hearted. Appeals lie to the Privy Council.

Some of the cases I have heard include :

Isle of Man Insurance v Floyd [1996-98] MLR 350 : Limitation of Actions : foreign trustee in bankruptcy.

Eurotrust v Barlow Clowes [No 1] [1996-98] MLR 394 : Limitation of Actions – constructive trusts : Civil Procedure – dismissal for want of prosecution. Privy Council twice refused leave to appeal.

Deras v Ocean Marine Mutual Insurance Association Limited [1996-98] MLR 517 : Injunctions : discharge of Mareva injunction.

In Re The Villa Marina [1999-01] MLR 224 : Local Government : powers of local authority : charitable trust.

Dobson v R [1999-01] MLR 267 : Criminal Law : murder – intent – diminished responsibility.

Jones v R [1999-01] MLR 369 : Criminal Procedure : jurisdiction to make exclusion order from the Isle of Man.

In Re Galloway [1999-01] MLR 479  : Judicial review : Prisons  :  transfer of Manx prisoners to the UK without their consent.

In Re Frost [1999-01] MLR 501 : Judicial review : Mines, minerals and quarries : rights of landowner to compensation.

Rosewood Trust Limited v Schmidt [1999-01] MLR 570 : Discretionary trusts : rights to disclosure of trust information by objects of dispositive power.

Liggins v Lumsden Limited [1999-01] MLR 601 : Partnership : Time-share in Lanzarote – solicitor knowingly assisting in breach of trust – liability of partners and third parties.

In Re Manx Ices Limited [2001-03] MLR 64 : European Law : licensing system for ice-cream imports – effect of EEC Treaty Art 28 – misfeasance in public office.

Eurotrust v Barlow Clowes [No 2] [2001-3] MLR 330  : Courts : grounds on which judges should recuse.

Mount Murray Country Club Limited v Macleod [2001-3] MLR 381 : Judicial review : Income Tax : tax returns – whether public interest in disclosure of tax returns to commission of inquiry outweighs public interest in confidentiality.

Barlow Clowes International Ltd v Eurotrust International Ltd [2003-05] MLR 18 : Trusts : constructive trusts – knowing assistance – `blind eye` dishonesty.

In Re Atrium Trading Limited [2003-05] MLR 91 : Banking : Regulation and licensing of the Financial Supervision Commission.

In Re World Duty Free Limited [2003-5] : Conflict of Laws : enforcement in the Isle of Man of judgment of the High Court of Kenya transferring shares in a Manx company.

Re Bellfield Limited [2003-5] MLR 330 : Companies : validity of share allocation – effect of illegality.

Newbery v R [unreported : 30.09.2004] : Criminal Law : two murders – appeal against conviction.

In Re Roys Poyiadjis [unreported 17.02.2005] : Civil Procedure : proceeds of criminal conduct – restraint orders under Criminal Justice Act 1990  – alleged insider trading in New York.

Re Navigator Gas Transport Plc [2003-05] MLR 317 + 459 : Conflict of Laws : transfer of shares in Manx company pursuant to letter of request by US court in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Caldwell-Camp v R [2003-05] MLR 505 : Criminal law : Sentencing guidelines for supplying Class A drug : English guidelines not followed.

Drower v Gubay [2003-05] MLR 531 : Contempt of court : Internet libel – the nature and extent of the legal protection from disclosure in Manx law in the absence of the [English] Contempt of Court Act 1981.

In  Re Law Investments Limited [2005-06] MLR 1 and 73 : Companies : Winding up – expedient in the public interest

AG`s Reference : Lindon [2005-06] MLR 125 : Criminal Law : manslaughter by reason of provocation – appropriate sentence.

Boothman v K D Resources [2005-06] MLR 174 [also as yet unreported : 13.03.2007] : Contract : effect of illegality – failure to declare income on German tax returns.

AG`s Reference : Sayle [2005-06] MLR 273 : Criminal Procedure : judge`s summing up : improper reference to sentence or sentencing implications

In Re Hafner [2005-06] MLR 309 : Judicial Review : application by Australian Securities + Investments Commission.

In Re Pereril Court [20.06.2006] : Land : application under Partition Act 1931.

AG`s Reference : Gosling [20.11.2006] : Criminal Law : manslaughter by reason of diminished responsibility – appropriate sentence

Montpelier Tax Planning Limited v Jones & Morris [18.05.2007] : Contract : effect of legal professional privilege.

Re a decision of the Control of Employment Appeal Tribunal [01.06.2007] : Control of Employment Act 1975 : roles of the Work Permit Committee and the Control of Employment Appeal Tribunal

Re an order of the Interception of Communications Tribunal [25th July 2007] : Judicial review : Interception of Communications Act 1988 : whether some of the rules of natural justice should be imported into a statutory system which authorizes the interception of communications but contains safeguards, monitoring and complaints mechanisms

CTM Management Limited v Goodwin & Others [11th February 2008] : Striking out for want of prosecution

R v Hatcher Pharmaceuticals Limited [16th April 2008] : Criminal law : section 20 Misuse of Drugs Act 1976

Devo & Riedel v Attorney General [29th October 2008] : Criminal law : evading prohibition of unauthorized use of trade marks and/or commission of offences outside the Isle of Man

Kyrgyz Mobil & Others v Fellowes International & Others [28th November 2008] : Forum non conveniens : leave to serve out of jurisdiction : Kyrgyz law

Other Experience      

I have always taken a particular interest in disciplinary matters. I was actively involved, with others, in reviewing the disciplinary procedures of the Church of England and producing the Clergy Discipline Measure 2001. In 2005 I was appointed by both Archbishops as one of the panel of [10] chairmen to chair tribunals throughout the country.

In 2005 I was appointed as one of two External Reviewers of decisions of the Director of Fair Access as to the terms of access agreements made between the Director and academic institutions [which permit increased tuition fees] or sanctions imposed for breach of such agreements.

Other legal activities  

Member of Manchester Area Legal Aid Committee 1976-2000

Chairman of Australia and New Zealand sub-committee of Bar`s

International Relations Committee 1998-2001

Member of the Bar Council 2008-

Chairman of Lincoln`s Inn University Liaison Committee 1998-

Member of Lincoln`s Inn Treasurer`s, Education, Staff and Chapel Committees

Member of Personal Injury Bar Association

Member of the European Circuit

Member of Ecclesiastical Law Society and Ecclesiastical Judges Association

Member of the New South Wales Bar Association


Recorder of the Crown Court -1989
Queen’s Counsel – 1992
Senior Counsel New South Wales – 1995
Bencher of Lincoln’s Inn – 1997
Judge of Appeal of the Isle of Man – 1997
Deputy High Court Judge – 2003
Chancellor of the Diocese of Carlisle – 2003
Lay Canon of Manchester Cathedral – 2003-
Chancellor of the Diocese of Manchester – 2004
Deputy Vicar General of the Diocese of Sodor and Man – 2004
External Reviewer of decisions of the Director of Fair Access – 2005
Chairman of Disciplinary Tribunals under Clergy Discipline Measure – 2006


Manchester Grammar School [1958-1966]

Christ Church Oxford [1966-1969]:
MA Jurisprudence : Class 2


Inn: Lincoln’s Inn

Outside interests

Family, Church