Christian Panayi

Call: 2009 

“Christian provided our company with sound legal advice which balanced commercial imperatives with key legal principles."

Gee Yung Loong, Senior Director, EMEA Legal, McAfee, 2019

"Christian has shown an ability to fit into multidisciplinary teams in dealing with our numerous projects.”

Gee Yung Loong, Senior Director, EMEA Legal, McAfee, 2019

“I instructed Christian Panayi, who I found to be very professional, efficient and provided simple clear advice.”

London Boroughs Legal Alliance member, 2015

Practice Summary

Christian’s practice spans commercial and chancery work with expertise in contractual disputes, property & housing, media & intellectual property, commercial debt recovery, insolvency, and consumer credit.

He regularly appears in the County Court and High Court in trials, appeals, injunctions, judicial review hearings, winding-up petitions and interlocutory applications. He has also appeared in proceedings in the Trade Mark Registry, First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber), and the First Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber).

Christian’s expertise comprises contentious and non-contentious commercial work, with particular application to the digital media / IT sector.

His experience includes extended instruction as in-house Counsel for cyber security software specialists McAfee in 2018 (4 months), and for McAfee’s divested enterprise business, Musarubra, in 2021-22 (13 months). Primarily dealing with the UK and South Africa regions, and occasionally Asia, Christian provided commercial contract drafting and negotiation on major client accounts across enterprise, consumer and public sector channels. He worked on a variety of contract-types, including software licensing, professional services, cloud services, OEM agreements, SLAs, support terms, partner contracts, and data processing agreements.

Prior to joining Chambers, Christian spent 6 months working at specialist commercial, media and IP firm Hansel Henson LLP. During this time, he developed experience in commercial litigation, media contract drafting (including merchandising agreements, licence agreements and data protection policies), trade mark searches and registrations, and drafting undertakings relating to IP infringement (including trade mark and copyright infringement, passing off and Protected Designation of Origin).

Christian also brings substantial industry and commercial experience having come to the Bar following a successful career in the digital media industry. Over a ten-year period, Christian helped large and small brands to realise their business and communications objectives through creative branding, media-marketing and technology solutions. He developed his role from project management to consultancy and divisional management, working for some of the leading players in the digital space, including the WPP Group.

Throughout his industry career, Christian regularly addressed legally-related issues in a commercial context, including negotiating terms of business, developing supplier/partnership agreements and service level agreements, software and media licensing, online data protection, and brand/trade mark protection in the digital space. He combines legal knowledge and industry experience to deliver commercially practical legal advice to clients.

Christian’s experience also includes commercial fraud work, having worked as Disclosure Counsel for the Serious Fraud Office on major investigations, including the high profile case of R v GPT & others (2020).

Christian is accredited to accept instructions from clients directly.

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Commercial & Chancery

Christian’s commercial practice includes general contractual disputes, IP/IT and media-related disputes (see “Media & Intellectual Property”), commercial debt recovery, company law, insolvency and consumer credit.

Examples of work:

  • Extensive experience at trial in commercial debt recovery proceedings and damages claims for breach of contract; personal and corporate insolvency, including winding-up petitions, bankruptcy, annulments, set asides of statutory demands, and trustee applications; regulated and non-regulated consumer credit agreements, asset recovery, and debt assignment.
  • Acting for a firm of solicitors to secure a High Court injunction compelling the defendant consultant solicitor to deliver up client files and to not take on any more client matters on behalf of the firm
  • Drafting the pleadings in a claim for damages for breach of contract and/or restitution for unjust enrichment, relating to the Defendants’ failure to transfer company shares pursuant to a business sale agreement
  • Advising the second beneficiary under a trust settled in Cyprus on the appropriate jurisdiction for bringing various claims, including actions against the Cypriot company directors for failing to file annual accounts and returns, and against the Cypriot trustee for breach of trust
  • Advising the original designers and developers of an innovative golf ball product on the options for recovering a share of the royalties following their exclusion from the business and subsequent sale of the product
  • Drafting and appearing for the defendant in a successful application for a stay of a writ of control and set aside of judgment granted 3 years previously
  • Acting for the claimant to defeat an application by the defendant to enforce the terms of a Tomlin Order, and to successfully appeal an adverse costs order made upon that application (Initiative International (UK) Ltd v Azad [2017] EWHC 2105 (Ch); [2017] 5 WLUK 133)
  • Advising and appearing for the majority shareholders of a company in a dispute with the minority shareholder and company directors; this involved resisting and then settling an injunction application brought by the directors on the company’s behalf

Media / Intellectual Property

Drawing upon his industry background and legal experience, Christian has developed expertise in IP/IT and media-related commercial matters, with particular knowledge of the digital sector. His experience spans media contract disputes, trade marks, design rights, copyright, passing off, Protected Designation of Origin, software & media licensing, merchandising, and data protection.

Examples of work:

  • In-house counsel for security software specialists, McAfee (July to October 2018) and Musarubra (November 2021 to November 2022), providing commercial contract drafting and negotiation on major client accounts, and advising on potential disputes
  • Advising on and drafting the defence and counterclaim for a card payment solutions provider in a High Court claim for trade mark infringement and passing off. The instruction involved consideration of parallel opposition proceedings in the Trade Mark Registry, compliance with the Disclosure Pilot under CPR Practice Direction 51U, and drafting an application for transfer of the case from the Business and Property Courts to the IPEC. The claim was settled on favourable terms
  • Advising the proprietor of a patent for a fan apparatus ventilation and extraction system on potential infringement of the patent
  • Acting for the defendants in securing summary dismissal in the IPEC of the Claimant’s claim for infringement of a trade mark registered in relation to a competence registry.
  • Drafting the claim form and particulars of claim for a provider of website optimisation services, and advising on settlement, in a prospective debt claim for unpaid invoices against its customer
  • Acting for the Respondent music promoter in applications brought by a pop group in consolidated trade mark registration and cancellation proceedings in the Trade Mark Registry
  • Acting for the Third Defendant on a direct access basis in a High Court claim for breach of copyright arising out of unlicensed playing of sound recordings at a nightclub. Damages and costs were substantially reduced from that sought (Phonographic Performance Limited Performing Rights Society Limited v CGK Trading Limited, Clive Kang, Kerry Ormes Trading as Miya Nightclub [2016] EWHC 2642 (Ch), [2016] 10 WLUK 550, [2017] L.L.R. 161)
  • Advising and appearing for the applicant affiliate marketing company in a successful application in the High Court for an injunction to restrain the respondent supplier from presenting a winding-up petition
  • Advising a Member of Parliament on copyright infringement relating to the use of election material
  • Drafting the pleadings in a breach of contract and copyright dispute for a creative media agency
  • Drafting the pleadings and witness statements in defence of a debt claim by a radio station against its programme partner
  • Advising a major fashion retailer on design rights infringement

Property & Housing

Christian has considerable experience in dealing with mortgage disputes, landlord & tenant (commercial and residential), TOLATA claims, LPA Receiver claims, claims against trespassers, forfeiture proceedings, charging orders, orders for sale, and anti-social behaviour proceedings relating to social housing.

Examples of work:

  • Acting for a Community Interest Company following strike-out of its claim for rent and service charges amounting to £1.2m, owing under leases of its properties granted to the Defendant Registered Social Housing provider. The instruction involved securing permission to amend the particulars together with dismissal of the defendant’s application for summary judgment, and negotiating a favourable settlement
  • Advising the Claimant company on questions of ownership and registration of a floating restaurant vessel, in the context of the Defendant mortgagee’s application to strike-out the particulars of claim
  • Advising a former bankrupt of the position in relation to property owned by him that became subject to escheat following his bankruptcy
  • Advising, drafting and appearing for a parent company and its subsidiary in the defence of a complex claim for fees under alleged licence agreements for occupation of office premises. Default judgment was successfully set aside and the claim was ultimately settled
  • Acting for the defendant in a TOLATA claim for an order for sale and claim for occupational rent
  • Drafting the claim form and particulars of claim in a claim for wrongful forfeiture or alternatively relief from forfeiture of a commercial lease
  • Advising a local authority on the interpretation and application of change of use and overage provisions in relation to a proposed assignment of a lease
  • Advising the administrators of a company tenant in a series of advices on the exercise of an option to buy the tenanted property and the landlord’s purported prior termination of the option agreement
  • Advising, drafting and appearing for the applicants in an application to appoint a manager under s 24 Landlord and Tenant Act 1987
  • Advising on succession rights to a secure tenancy under the Housing Act 1985
  • Advising a local authority on the exercise of a power of sale under s101 Law of Property Act 1925, pursuant to an overriding statutory charge
  • Advising a local authority on lability for National Non-Domestic Rates in respect of a property subject to mortgage possession proceedings
  • Appearing for a major provider of registered social housing in applications for anti-social behaviour injunctions under the Housing Act 1996 and related committal proceedings
  • Advising on, drafting, and appearing for the defendant in a successful application to appeal out-of-time a possession order and money judgment granted 6 years previously, post execution of the warrant of possession
  • Extensive experience of mortgage possession and landlord and tenant possession claims – particularly claims under s 8 and s 21 of the Housing Act 1988

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