Rupert Butler


Rupert is instructed in several high profile direct access cases using his licence to conduct litigation.

Recent and Current Practice

Since 2017 he is the sole legal representative of the estate of the late Lord Janner of Braunstone QC in The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. Rupert is working alongside Daniel Janner QC (the late peer’s son), with The Times describing them as a “formidable legal team”.

In 2017 Rupert also represented the estate of the late Lord Janner in the Queen’s Bench Division fending off successfully over 30 civil claims that were being brought, or were threatened to be brought, by complainants of historic sexual abuse.

He also represents the estate of the late Lord Janner in proceedings concerning its administration that are before the Chancery Division.

Rupert represents David Bryant, for whom he also acted pro bono in the Court of Appeal in July 2016, whose conviction for historic sexual abuse of a boy in 1970s was quashed. This case received extensive media coverage with The Daily Mail recognising that without the help of Rupert and his team, “David would not be a free man today”. Rupert was also featured in the Solicitors Journal with his account of the case - the article can be read in full here. In December Rupert’s analysis of policing complaints of historic sex abuse was commended in the House of Commons debate on Operation Midland, where general praise for the work of 3 Hare Court was given, including by the SNP.

In 2015 Rupert represented the owners of Hello! Magazine in the Chancery Division successfully defending an expedited claim for breach of intellectual property rights and contract brought by publishers in the Middle East (Motivate Publishing FZ LLC v. Hello! Limited [2015] EWHC 1554).

In 2018 Rupert represented the owners of 4 patents in vanadium redox energy storage in the Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court, successfully defending a claim in respect of the alleged fraudulent assignment of those patents (Dichand v. Hydraredox Technologies Holdings Limited [2018] EWHC 1142).

Commercial and Business Law; Insolvency & Restructuring

Rupert Butler has substantial experience in litigation and advisory work in the fields of company law and corporate insolvency. His practice covers a broad range of chancery and commercial litigation, including insolvency and company-related disputes, claims for breach of directors' duties and minority shareholders' actions, breaches of warranty, the enforcement of guarantees and security, liquidators’ claims, civil fraud, asset recovery and constructive trusts. He acts regularly for several major accountancy firms.

Rupert Butler has developed a niche acting for company liquidators, including magic circle accounting firms, who have been appointed on behalf of HMRC to recover Crown debts incurred by VAT and Excise frauds. In which respect he has sued successfully directors for fraud in the leading cases of:

QEB Metallics v. Peerzada and others [2009] EWHC 3348 (Ch) 

Payless Cash & Carry v. Patel and others [2011] EWHC 2112 (Ch)

He is instructed to take cases up from the moment of the appointment of a provisional liquidator, to obtaining freezing injunctions and search/seizure orders, winding-up errant companies and then to trial against its directors and those beyond. In asset recovery he acts for banks within this jurisdiction and overseas.

In 2014 Rupert obtained injunctions for and represented green energy suppliers Ecotricity in their well-publicised claim against Tesla Motors Inc.,involving breach of confidence and competition law (Ecotricity Group Ltd & The Electric Highway Company Ltd v Tesla Motors Inc & Tesla Motors Netherlands BV Claim No. HC14C02139).

In 2015 Rupert was also instructed on behalf of the directors of Drive Assist (UK) Limited (in liquidation) defending them successfully in claims brought against them under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.

Sports and Media Law

Rupert Butler also specialises in sports and entertainment work, particularly acting for national governing bodies of sport, sports stars and agents, in all aspects of the business of sport and entertainment, regulation and disciplinary matters. He is recommended in Chambers UK Directory for sports law.

He has acted for the ECB on a wide range of issues and, in particular, he advised over its relationship with Allen Stanford and his sponsorship of the Stanford Twenty20 for 20 and the collapse of the Stanford Bank.

He represented Sven-Goran Eriksson, in pursuit of claims against his former financial adviser; and Carole White’s Premier Model Agency, to stop a former employee setting up in unlawful competition.

In 2008 he represented the entire Trinidad and Tobago 2006 FIFA World Cup squad in its action against its home Federation, headed by Jack Warner, for fees due to players, securing a substantial award in an international arbitration. Recently he has been advising the acting president of CONCACAF in relation to his dispute with his Federation and FIFA following the resignation of Jack Warner.

In sports he has also represented and advised the following National Governing Bodies: the Welsh RFU, British Triathlon Association, the British Cycling Federation, International Federation of Strong Men, and the British Bob Skeleton Association.

In 2011 he represented the former information spy Benji the Binman in a successful trial for breach of bailment.

Employment Law

He has also represented and advised the following public authorities: London Borough of Haringey, London Borough of Hackney and London Borough of Redbridge, Wiltshire County Council, National Police Improvement Agency. He has extensive experience of appearing in Employment Tribunals covering all areas of employment law, and regularly represents City Executives in the negotiation of their service contracts, remuneration benefits, and severance agreements.

Direct Access

Rupert Butler is licensed by the Bar Council to accept instructions direct from the public and is one of the first barristers in private practice to be granted the right ‘to conduct litigation’ since changes to the rules in 2014. Rupert is able to accept instructions directly from members of the public, companies and other entities through the public access scheme (also known as direct access). He has acted, advised and drafted pleadings and documents for a number of individuals and small and medium sized businesses on a direct access basis. 

For more information on public access, please see the Bar Council website.


He is a trained and accredited mediator.

Legal Directories

Chambers & Partners 2017

  • "Very user-friendly and a good man to have on the team. He's got a lot of experience."
  • Sports

Other relevant information

He also trains advocates for Gray's Inn and is appointed as an external examiner for the BPTC at City University as well as a counsellor for people suffering from dependency and depression.

Publications and Lectures

Former consulting Editor of LS law’s online product liability cases and a regular contributor to leading law journals (including The Solicitors’ Journal), as well as being a law lecturer.

Rupert regularly contributes to client bulletins and has recently been invited to speak at the International Fraud Litigation conference organized by Lexis Nexis on 'Trial process before trial, with particular reference to the JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov & others litigation'.

Civil Fraud Talks

Rupert gave a series of talks on civil fraud covering rights and remedies; commercial, insolvency and employment aspects of fraud in 2014.


Member of the Irish Bar


LLB Manchester University