Paul French

Independent insolvency barrister,offering advisory, advocacy and consultancy services in relation to all insolvency and insolvency-related matters, to solicitors and insolvency practitioners, as well as to the public under the Direct Access scheme.


About me

Paul French is an enthusiastic, user friendly and incredibly quick barrister who is able to use his academic knowledge to provide responsive, practical and helpful advice. His practice covers all areas of personal, corporate and partnership insolvency, from the matrimonial home in bankruptcies to multi-million pound administrations, whether litigious, advisory or technical.

  • Acts regularly in all types of asset recovery actions, in particular transactions at an undervalue, preferences, transactions defrauding creditors, post-petition dispositions and wrongful trading claims.
  • Advises on technical issues, especially IVAs and CVAs, Debt Management Plans, whether in live cases or regarding points of principle and/or the drafting of standard conditions.
  • Involved in preparing technical guidance from R3 and the Recognised Professional Bodies issued to insolvency practitioners.
  • Motivated individual who works well on his own or as part of a team, in conjunction with instructing solicitors and, where appropriate the client (whether professional or lay).
  • Undertakes both Direct Access work (from other professionals) and Public Access work (from members of the public).


Co-editor         Bankruptcy and Personal Insolvency Law Reports (Jordans)

General Editor Lawson: Individual Voluntary Arrangements (loose-leaf) (Jordans, loose-leaf)

Co-author        Insolvency and the Enterprise Act 2002 (Jordans, 2003). 


Client recommendations

‪Richard Gore

Director, Dispute Resolution Lawyer, Head of the Digital Media and Technology Sector and Accredited Commercial Mediator

‪Excellent barrister. Thorough consideration of the subject matter and good advocacy skills. Highly recommended. ”


Legal Directory Recommendations

Chambers UK 2015


Paul French

Now works as an independent barrister and is highly regarded as a leading insolvency practitioner. He receives praise for his friendly manner and his expertise in highly complex cases.

Strengths: "He has a strong technical insolvency practice; he is very flexible and approachable." "He is very friendly, gives straightforward, practical advice and knows his stuff." 


Chambers UK 2014


“Excellent technical expertise, and he gets the ear of the judge.” “He has an encyclopedic mind. If you have a case which involves knotty points of law, then Paul is your man. That is the sort of thing that he really thrives on.”


Chambers UK 2013


Paul French not only has an “encyclopedic knowledge of the law,” but is also a barrister who “charms the judge.” Sources observe that they would “struggle to find anyone in the country who knows insolvency as well as he does.” Interviewees go on to say that he is “good with clients, very friendly and highly accessible.”


Chambers UK 2012


Paul French is “a fount of knowledge in relation to personal insolvency,” and combines being “extremely practical and helpful” with being “very academic and responsive.”


Chambers UK 2011


The “incredibly quick” Paul French, who has particular experience in bankruptcy and personal pension schemes. Clients appreciate his “enthusiasm and his fantastic brain.”


Chambers UK 2010


Paul French does a solid job for his clients, who describe him as “approachable, knowledgeable and very experienced.”


Paul French has particular prowess in bankruptcy and personal pension schemes. He is hailed by one source as “a brilliant barrister with an encyclopedic knowledge of complex personal insolvency law.” Others find him “quick-thinking and good under pressure.”


Chambers UK 2009


Paul French is highly recommended for his work in general commercial litigation. “User friendly and proficient in technical matters”, he counts banks and debtors amongst his regular clients.


The “highly talented” Paul French is “incredibly tenacious, enthusiastic and creative in providing solutions to problems.” He is developing a great reputation as an erudite lawyer who is exceptionally strong in personal insolvency. Noted for his “keen attention to detail and encyclopaedic knowledge of case law,” he provides commercial advice and is considered a “pleasure to deal with.”


Legal 500 2013


“understanding and insightful


Legal 500 2012


Guildhall Chambers fields an impressive insolvency team - featuring Paul French, who is recommended in this area.


Legal 500 2011


Paul French ‘his knowledge of law and, in particular case law, is legendary’.


Legal 500 2010


Paul French 'prepares thoroughly and has an outstanding knowledge of case law'.


Legal 500 2009


Paul French “is highly-rated for individual and corporate insolvency.”


Legal 500 2008


Paul French “is our counsel of choice for insolvency – a good brain and great to deal with.”


Professional & academic

Insolvency Rule Committee Membership

March 2013 – March 2016

Tenant at Guildhall Chambers, 23 Broad Street, Bristol

May 1991 – December 2015

Co-editor         Bankruptcy and Personal Insolvency Law Reports (Jordans)

General Editor Lawson: Individual Voluntary Arrangements (loose-leaf) (Jordans, loose-leaf)

Co-author        Insolvency and the Enterprise Act 2002 (Jordans, 2003).

Creditors ain't what they used to be – the landscape after Nortel (Insolvency Law Online, Jordans, October 2013)

Voluntary Arrangements; Assets and Liabilities (Insolvency Law Online, Jordans, August 2013)

Putting off the evil day; IVA proposals and adjourning bankruptcy petitions (Insolvency Law Online, Jordans, May 2013)

Bramston v Haut: back door to suspension of automatic discharge firmly shut and bolted (Insolvency Law Online, Jordans, May 2013)

Assignment of Claims (Insolvency Law Online, Jordans, August 2012)

Liquidated or unliquidated, that is the question (Insolvency Law Online, Jordans, April 2012)

An obstacle to the hunt for recoveries (Insolvency Law Online, Jordans, February 2012)

Kapoor: Clarification on good faith in Individual Voluntary Arrangements, but also a missed opportunity (Insolvency Law Online, Jordans, November 2011)

Case Note: Belmont Park Investments Pty Ltd v. (1) BNY Corporate Trustee Services Ltd (2) Lehman Brothers Special Financing Inc [2011] UKSC 38 (Insolvency Law Online, Jordans, July 2011)

Co-author (with Neil Levy): The Enterprise Act 2002: preparing for the next recession? [2003] NLJ Vol 153, p.1113

Co-author (with Chris Brockman): The Annulment of Bankruptcy Orders [2006] 19 Insolvency Intelligence 62 (Part 1) and [2006] 19 Insolvency Intelligence 93 (Part 2).


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