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Carlo Taczalski

Call 2010

"Wise beyond his call."
(Legal 500, 2017)

Carlo specialises in commercial, construction, insurance, and professional negligence matters. He is recommended as a leading individual in the 2017 edition of the Legal 500.

He is regularly in court both on trials and interlocutory matters, for both claimants and defendants; he has appeared in both the High Court and County Courts across the country, as well as in the Privy Council. The regularity of his court work means that he is very good on his feet, and is praised for his meticulous and forceful cross examination.

His present and recent case-load includes: two significant cases proceedings before the High Court of Antigua and Barbuda; a case put at £20 million+ in the Mercantile Court concerning the design and sale of a prototype electric vehicle; and an allegedly valuable professional negligence claim against accountants relating to the conduct of a COP9 / fraud enquiry by HMRC (Carlo acts for the accountants). Carlo is also presently sole counsel for two of the Defendants in a $26 million claim in the (English) High Court concerning alleged professional negligence of Spanish and English lawyers said to have been conducting an arbitration in the US and then resisting the enforcement of its award in England.

Carlo read law at Downing College, Cambridge where he was the President of the Cambridge University Law Society. Before coming to the Bar, he spent a year working for PricewaterhouseCoopers, and later developing business and service monitoring systems for a charity (of which he is now a trustee). His experience gives him the ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of people, work well either as part of a team or individually, and bring an acute commercial perspective to the issues at hand.

Carlo welcomes public access clients.

Commercial

Carlo is regularly instructed in his own right and as junior counsel in commercial matters involving, for example, the sale of goods, the supply of goods and services, bailment, franchise agreements, hire agreements and defective products.

He has experience of cases with international elements including issues of jurisdiction and choice of law, and can often make himself available at short notice where the case requires it for example where an interim injunction is to be applied for or resisted.

Carlo is also frequently engaged to advise on contracts as they are being negotiated, and is happy to do so on a public access basis where appropriate.

Selected Cases

  • Salt s.r.l. v Frazer-Nash Research Limited – A Mercantile Court claim in respect of the development of a prototype luxury electric vehicle. Carlo is currently instructed with Muhammed Haque QC for the developers who are suing for fees due under the development agreement, and are defending a counterclaim said to be worth in excess of £20 million for various allegedly lost opportunities and development costs.
  • Landmark Limited & Woods Development Limited v American International Bank (In receivership) – This was a Privy Council appeal from the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal; it concerned the basis on which the Appellants were entitled to charge and claim for electricity which they had provided following the inability of the Antiguan statutory provider to meet the Respondent’s needs. Carlo was instructed with Kim Franklin QC for the successful Appellants.
  • Antigua Power Company Limited v The Attorney General of Antigua & Barbuda & Others – This is a claim for approximately £100m in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. It arises out of a breach by the Antiguan Government of a Joint Venture Agreement to build a power-plant in Antigua. The Privy Council upheld APCL’s claim for breach of contract in 2013 (the report is at [2013] UKPC 23), and remitted the assessment of damages to the Antiguan High Court. Carlo is presently instructed on the assessment of damages trial with Kim Franklin QC and Dane Hamilton QC.
  • Antigua Power Company Limited v The Attorney General of Antigua & Barbuda & Others Carlo is also instructed (with Geoffrey Robertson QC and Kim Franklin QC) on a further claim on behalf of APCL claiming substantial damages as a result of a conspiracy to cause loss by unlawful means in Antigua.
  • Papa John’s v Doyley – Junior counsel for Ms Doyley, the successful defendant franchisee, at the liability trial of her counterclaim for well over £1/2 m in damages for negligent misstatement and misrepresentation; led by Jason Evans-Tovey, they were successful on virtually all issues argued at trial including a number of technical arguments relating to the incorporation and construction of various non-reliance, exclusion and guarantee clauses. The nine day liability trial included an application by Papa John’s to adduce further witness evidence midway through the trial. Jason and Carlo successfully resisted the application; the judgment is at [2011] EWHC 2621 (QB).
  • Catapult & Lowe v Ariadne – Sole counsel for Catapult & Lowe in a dispute over a consultancy contract. Carlo successfully had the counterclaim (pleaded in excess of £200k) struck out, and was successful on virtually all issues fought at trial with the result that Ms Lowe was awarded (a little) in excess of her Part 36 offer made about 2 years before trial, and was awarded indemnity costs for the entire period of the claim.

Construction & Engineering

 

Many of Carlo’s commercial instructions are in the context of construction, engineering and energy disputes, whether the bailment of plant, alleged breach of contract (including many of the JCT and other standard forms), or negligence.

Further, the overlap of Carlo’s expertise in construction, insurance and professional negligence makes an excellent choice where the issues involved in the case straddle those different traditional specialisms; a number of Carlo’s instructions are therefore in cases where issues of negligence overlap with insurance coverage.

In addition to appearing in Court, Carlo is comfortable dealing with disputes in arbitration, adjudication or mediation, and has recently been instructed by a well known contractor in a series of adjudications, where the difference in the parties’ valuations of the work undertaken on the subcontract is in the region of £3m.

As well as appearing in adjudications, Carlo is a TECBAR accredited Adjudicator

Carlo is the author of the chapter about the NHBC in Emden’s Construction Law.

Selected Cases

  • Landmark Limited & Woods Development Limited v American International Bank (In receivership) – This was a Privy Council appeal from the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal; it concerned the basis on which the Appellants were entitled to charge and claim for electricity which they had provided following the inability of the Antiguan statutory provider to meet the Respondent’s needs. Carlo was instructed with Kim Franklin QC for the successful Appellants.
  • Antigua Power Company Limited v The Attorney General of Antigua & Barbuda & Others – This is a claim for approximately £100m in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. It arises out of a breach by the Antiguan Government of a Joint Venture Agreement to build a power-plant in Antigua. The Privy Council upheld APCL’s claim for breach of contract in 2013 (the report is at [2013] UKPC 23), and remitted the assessment of damages to the Antiguan High Court. Carlo is presently instructed on the assessment of damages trial with Kim Franklin QC and Dane Hamilton QC.
  • Antigua Power Company Limited v The Attorney General of Antigua & Barbuda & Others – Carlo is also instructed (with Geoffrey Robertson QC and Kim Franklin QC) on a further claim on behalf of APCL claiming substantial damages as a result of a conspiracy to cause loss by unlawful means in Antigua.

Insurance & Reinsurance

Carlo has significant experience of advising on and appearing in proceedings concerning policy interpretation, avoidance of cover for nondisclosure, misrepresentation and breach of notification and other clauses.

Examples of recent work include:

  • Instructed (with Andrew Bartlett QC and James Medd) in relation to coverage provided by a £5m excess layer professional indemnity insurance policy, following alleged defective design of an office block overseas.
  • Junior to Andrew Bartlett QC in a London arbitration relating to coverage under a product liability policy, potentially determinative of claims and various layers of insurance worth up to £300m.
  • Various claims involving coverage including for property damage and subsidence. In one such claim Carlo acted for insurers, in England, where the relevant property was situated in Scotland and the English proceedings followed exhaustive judicial review proceedings brought in Scotland; it involves interesting questions of policy coverage, causation, choice of law and jurisdiction.
  • Carlo is also adept at bringing his knowledge of insurance law to bear in other associated contexts such as personal injury and accidental damage claims and regularly acts of insurers pursing subrogated claims.

Personal Injury

Carlo appears in and advises on personal injury matters.

He has experience of a wide range of personal injury work including claims involving occupier’s liability, the Highways Act 1980, employer’s liability and road traffic accidents, but is most regularly instructed in cases where fraud or conscious exaggeration is either specifically alleged, or otherwise intimated.

Many of Carlo’s instructions involve complicated issues of medical causation, often with multiple experts on either side, including cases involving LVI (Kearsley v Klarfield [2005] EWCA Civ 1510 and Casey v Cartwright [2006] EWCA Civ 1280 arguments).

One of Carlo’s recently concluded cases was (with Andrew Davis) for a Claimant who suffered very serious brain and physical injuries when he had an accident in the course of his employment. The case involved a number of interesting issues relating to the quantification of the Claimant’s damages, owing to the claimant’s residence abroad and family in various different countries.

Has experience of industrial disease work, including asbestos-related conditions.

Product Liability

Carlo’s product liability practice overlaps with his practice in construction, property damage and professional negligence, with those cases often involving an element of product liability, for example:

Various fire claims involving the failure of electrical components, including being for a leading high-street chain seeking to recover damages including for business interruption following a fire started by a defective component within a freezer in one of their shops.

Junior to Andrew Bartlett QC in a London arbitration relating to coverage under a product liability policy in a pharmaceutical context potentially determinative of claims and various layers of insurance worth up to £300m.

Professional Liability

Carlo is recommended as a Leading Individual in the 2017 edition of the Legal 500 in this area and is frequently instructed in professional negligence claims involving the full spectrum of professionals, including lawyers, accountants, architects / engineers / design consultants, valuers and brokers.

He has recently conducted a (resoundingly successful) adjudication under the pilot professional negligence adjudication scheme.

Selected Cases

  • Kinde & Knight v Dellapina & Diaz – Instructed for a Spanish lawyer said to have negligently advised on and conducted an arbitration in the US, in a claim in the English Courts pleaded at $26 million. In addition to the more usual issues concerning scope and breach of duty, and causation of damage, the case raises questions involving the illegality and public policy defence, recently re-cast by the Supreme Court in Patel v Mirza [2016] UKSC 42.
  • Harris & Trotter v Bazargan – Instructed, with Ben Quiney QC, for accountants who (when suing for their fees) have been met with an allegedly significant claim for damages relating to a series of HMRC enquiries / COP9 / fraud investigations which they managed for their clients.
  • A v B – instructed for a broker against a leading law firm in a matter recently settled on confidential terms. The brokers had designed a new insurance product, the structure of which had been the subject of negligent advice from the law firm in question.
  • Birdi & Senna v McAndrew – allegedly valuable claim against a valuer and auctioneer by two parties, one of whom was bankrupt and one of whom was alleged to have some interest in property apparently forming part of the other’s bankruptcy estate. Carlo succeeded in having the claim by both claimants against his client struck out by Newey J at the conclusion of pleadings (it continues between one of the claimants and another defendant).
  • Jones v Kaney [2011] UKSC 13; [2011] 2 WLR 823 – During pupillage, Carlo assisted Roger ter Haar QC and Daniel Shapiro in the preparation and research for the landmark appeal to the Supreme Court.

Property Damage

Carlo has particular experience of claims which arise out of different forms of property damage, many of which involve insurance coverage issues / subrogation.

Examples of recent work include:

  • Instructed for a leading high-street chain seeking to recover damages including for business interruption following a fire started by a defective component within a freezer in one of their shops.
  • Acted for the defendant freeholder in a claim for property damage and business interruption suffered by his tenant, which had been alleged to have been caused by an uncapped sewerage pipe.
  • Advised the claimant property developer following an electrical fire traced to the development’s power supply installation, which involved the removal of the property from the market for a significant period and later re-marketing.
  • Instructed on a number of cases involving subsidence and particularly tree-roots subsidence.
  • Advised a defendant security company following theft from and damage caused to a property, which was alarmed and monitored by them.

News


Qualifications


  • Queen Mother Scholarship, Middle Temple (2010)
  • Harmsworth Entrance Exhibition, Middle Temple (2010)
  • Lovells Examination Prize, Downing College (2006)
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers Scholarship (2005 – 2007)

Memberships


  • CLCBAR
  • COMBAR
  • PIBA
  • TECBAR

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