Chris Payne

Called in 2012

Areas of Practice
Employment & Discrimination, Personal Injury, Family, Business & Commercial, Property, Landlord & Tenant


Practice Profile

Medium chris payne

Chris joined Chambers on completion of his pupillage at 5 Pump Court. Prior to coming to the Bar, Chris worked as a specialist adviser at the NFU advising its 50,000-plus membership on employment law and a wide range of civil and commercial disputes. Before that Chris was a senior paralegal in the employment law department of a large multi-national law firm managing his own caseload of contentious employment law matters.

Practice profile

Chris has a busy practice predominantly comprising a mix of civil and commercial law, and family law. Chris is friendly, personable and down to earth. He is highly sought after by solicitors who value his ability to deal with papers quickly, to give realistic commercial advice, and to build strong working relationships. Around Chambers, he is known as someone who is highly committed both to his practice, and also to the future of the profession and he takes a lead role in pupil recruitment and training.  

Employment & Equality Law

Chris is building a strong employment law practice. He receives instructions on behalf of both employers and employees and regularly appears in the Employment Tribunal. Chris has a broad knowledge of employment law having gained substantial experience advising SMEs on the full range of employment rights from fair recruitment through to dismissal procedure and practice before he came to the Bar. Whilst managing his own caseload at a multi-national law firm, Chris predominantly dealt with respondent instructions on a wide range of matters including unfair dismissal (including experience of SOSR dismissals), redundancy, discrimination and TUPE. He has built on that strong foundation in practice, and is particularly good at considering the commercial implications of a case as well as the legal position.  

Chris is happy to advise on all stages of the employment law process from pre-investigation/dismissal through to settlement negotiations. He is keen to be involved in potential disputes from the early stages to allow him to get the best result for his clients and assist with managing disputes from start to finish.

Chris is qualified to accept Direct Access instructions, so is able to advise claimants and respondents on claims, defences and settlement agreements directly.

Notable Cases

  • Successfully representing a large charity pro bono in a 5-day age discrimination case based on an alleged failure to promote
  • Advising a senior executive at a FTSE 100 company on exit strategy and subsequent negotiations

  • Representing a claimant in a claim for pregnancy discrimination where damaging cross-examination during the first day of trial lead the respondent to settle the next morning

  • Advising a local authority and negotiating on their behalf in a multi-claimant pay dispute arising out of Bear Scotland v Fulton decision

  • Advising on settlement in a case involving numerous sexual harassment allegations and a claim for victimisation, where the respondent was accused of making retaliatory allegations in response to a complaint

  • Successfully applying for a direction on behalf of a claimant that a final order be complied with in 7 days because the respondent company was threatening to wind up if it lost the claim, and a freezing injunction would have been disproportionate in cost.

Civil & Commercial Law

Chris has a busy civil and common law practice and is regularly instructed to appear in court and to advise and draft pleadings in a range of matters.

Property and Landlord & Tenant

Chris acts as a legal adviser to a London Borough Council’s arbitration panel advising on issues of disrepair, service charges, and leaseholder disputes.

Chris conducts a mix of court and written work in property matters including possession and rent arrears, disrepair and defective premises, rights of way and easements.

Chris is regularly instructed to prosecute private statutory nuisance matters in the Magistrates Court and has also provided training to expert witnesses who appear in statutory nuisance matters.

Recent cases have included:

  • Acting in a multi-party claim for breach of quiet enjoyment, s.11 disrepair and an occupiers’ liability personal injury claim where the landlord began construction work in the rear garden with the tenants still in occupation

  • Advising developers on a prospective apartment complex’s right to light and the right to light of neighbouring properties

Contract and Commercial

Chris gained extensive experience of consumer and commercial contract disputes in his role as a specialist adviser at the NFU. Chris is able to provide clear and pragmatic advice and is able to come up with creative and practical solutions to help his clients achieve their goals. He has an appreciation of the commercial impact of disputes, and will build that into his advice from the outset.

Credit Hire

Chris is regularly instructed both on behalf of claimants and defendants in credit hire matters and is familiar with the arguments raised on both sides and the weaknesses likely to be present in a given case. He is always able to cut to the heart of a case and distil it down to the key issues in dispute.

Personal Injury

Chris is regularly instructed in disputed liability RTAs and represents both claimants and insurers on both the small claims and fast track.

Chris is fully conversant with the procedural and costs regimes in Part 8 proceedings involving personal injury infant approvals and Stage 3 oral hearings.


Employment Lawyers Association

London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association


Chris is an avid board gamer, with his collection standing at 102 games at his last count, with firm favourites including Anachrony, Crystal Palace, and Twilight Imperium.

Chris really enjoys cooking, something his wife is extremely grateful for, with his latest obsession being making fresh pizza from scratch.

Chris also owns a very dusty electric guitar which occasionally sees the light of day.

direct access

Chris is qualified to accept instructions under the Direct Public Access to Barristers Scheme.

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T 020 7353 2532 or 07976 368031

F 020 7353 5321


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