Helen Pugh

Helen Pugh


Helen specialises in professional negligence, general commercial disputes, travel law, and also has considerable experience of company & insolvency disputes. She is a confident advocate and an able negotiator in mediations, settlement meetings and in other ADR settings.

Professional negligence: Helen regularly acts for and against professionals in negligence actions including for/against firms of solicitors, surveyors and valuers, insurance and other brokers or intermediaries, and accountants. Helen is ranked in both Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners in professional negligence.

Recent significant cases include:

• a commercial court trial against a city law firm arising out of tax advice Symrise AG v Baker & McKenzie (led by William Godwin) ,
• a claim against an accountant for overvaluing a company,
• a claim against a mortgage broker for misselling an interest only mortgage,
• a claim against conveyancing solicitors arising out of a planning permission defect,  
• a claim against a surveyor for failing to appreciate a risk specific to property in the relevant locality.

General commercial disputes: Helen acts in a wide range of commercial disputes including those involving services contracts, sale and supply of goods contracts, agency disputes, and insurance policy disputes. She has a particular interest in restitutionary claims and jurisdictional/conflict of laws issues.

Recent significant cases include an arbitration concerning the supply of sugar in South America and a claim against the supplier of nanotechnology for fraudulent misrepresentation.

Company & insolvency:Helen’s practice encompasses civil fraud, shareholder disputes, directors’ disqualification proceedings, misfeasance and breach of fiduciary duty claims, unlawful distributions, beneficial ownership disputes and other proceedings under the Insolvency Act such as petitions, annulment applications, requests for private examinations.

She was instructed in the leading Supreme Court case on de facto director: Holland v HMRC (led by Peter Knox QC). 

Linked to her interest in jurisdictional/conflict of laws issue generally, Helen has extensive experience of claims arising out of accidents occurring abroad. She frequently advises on jurisdictional questions, foreign law and standards, upon package travel claims and upon liability under the Athens and Montreal conventions. Recent cases have included a fatal accident act claim arising out of quad-biking accident abroad, a claim by secondary victims witnessing a sexual assault whilst on holiday, and a multiparty action against a cruise operator. Helen is ranked in Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners in Travel: International Personal Injury.

Chambers & Partners 2018

'Meticulous in her analysis of the legal issues and a tenacious advocate.'
'An incredibly astute counsel who provides considered, balanced and practical advice, which is always well received by clients.'
'She offers wide-ranging expertise for all manner of travel related matters and is also very detail-orientated.'
'She is pleasant and knowledgeable'.

Legal 500 2016 and 2017

'She has an excellent grasp of the issues'

Chambers and Partners 2017

'A real asset to our team who worked incredibly hard and who clearly knows this area well'.

'She comes well prepared, she is very good at announcing right at the beginning what the main issues are going to be'.

'Helen is a talented junior who prepares thoroughly, keeps an open mind and welcomes input from those instructing her'

'She is a very profound advocate and her written advice is always spot-on'. 

'She is pleasant to deal with, hard-working and knowledgeable'. 

Before joining the Bar, Helen spent a year studying in Germany. She subsequently taught commercial contract law at the LSE.


In addition to writing for chambers’ own publications, Helen regularly contributes to a range of external journals and periodicals including the Journal of International Banking and Finance Law, the Journal of Corporate Rescue and Insolvency, the New Law Journal and others.

Recent contributions/ publications include:
Good faith in commercial contracts (Westlaw Insight)(current)
An implied term of good faith: a watershed or a damp squib? (2013) JIBFL Vol 28 No 6

APIL Guide to Accidents Abroad

Equitable subrogation: standing in the shoes of a third party with a secured interest (2013) JIBFL Vol 28 No 10

Registration of company charges and company insolvency: dealing with costly mistakes (2015) 6 JIBFL 364A

No ifs, no buts. Cost pressures & solicitors’ negligence are no excuse for cutting corners, says Helen PughNLJ Vol 165, Issue 7659

Third Party duress and undue influence:pitfalls for the IP (2017) 5 CRI p159


Harris Scholarship, Inner Temple Duke of Edinburgh and major scholarship.


COMBAR (Commercial Bar Association)
PNBA (Professional Negligence Bar Association)
LCLCBA (London Common Law & Commercial Bar Association)
ARDL (Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Law)
PNLA (Professional Negligence Lawyer's Association)


BA (Law with German Law) (First Class) (Oxon); BCL, Keble College, Oxford


German - conversational
French - basic