Sandra Bristoll

Call: 1989


Sandra has been in practice since 1990, specialising in chancery and commercial law, with a particular emphasis on insolvency law. Sandra joined St Philips in 2004, relocating from 3-4 South Square, Gray’s Inn, where she remains an associate member.

Sandra has been listed as a leading junior in the Midlands in the field of restructuring / insolvency in Chambers UK for several years and has also been listed in the Legal Experts directory as an expert in this field. Similarly, Sandra has been listed in Chambers UK in the Midlands in the field of commercial dispute resolution over the years.

Sandra has detailed legal knowledge, which she combines with an approachable manner and strong court presence. Sandra advises on and conducts commercial litigation mainly in the Chancery courts, with her work frequently arising from business disputes in the insolvency context.

Sandra’s corporate insolvency work includes large numbers of administrations, receiverships, provisional liquidations and liquidations, acting for office holders, directors and creditors in cases such as Atlantic Computer Systems, Polly Peck International plc, Maxwell Group, Barings plc, MG Rover and the Save Group. She has frequently advised on bankruptcy pension issues, having been the advocate in the leading case of Re LANDAU. She also has a wealth of experience of schemes of arrangement.

Sandra has conducted many directors’ disqualification cases, both for the Secretary of State for Trade & Industry (as he then was) (B panel between 1994 & 2000) and now for individual defendant directors, successfully defending defendant directors at trial or assisting in securing the discontinuance of such proceedings.

As a fellow of R3, she sits on R3’s General Technical Committee and is a former member of the Constitution Committee of the Insolvency Practitioners Association, reflecting her depth of experience in the insolvency field.

Sandra acts in and advises on various issues arising from companies legislation including section 994 petitions as well as on warranty claims arising from the sales of companies. She has substantial experience in a range of business litigation work including contractual, banking and insurance law disputes and cases arising from professional negligence claims.

Sandra undertakes work relating to partnership matters across a wide range of industries and professions and has significant depth of experience in this field, dealing with both contentious and non-contentious issues and offering advice and advocacy on cases concerning both solvent and insolvent partnerships.

Sandra is a CEDR accredited mediator and also appears as an advocate in mediations, helping to achieve favourable settlements for her clients. In mediation, as in her practice generally, Sandra is perceptive and sensitive to people’s feelings and needs, which helps to establish a good rapport with the parties. She is also alive to the need to look for the parties’ hidden agenda rather than simply taking a case at face value.

In all cases her aim is to provide sound, practical and commercial advice, based on her legal knowledge, but Sandra is always keenly aware of her clients’ business and other needs and the commercial sensitivity required. She is approachable and enjoys working with both instructing solicitors and clients in a team effort, responding to her clients’ needs and seeking the best result for the benefit of her client.

Away from Chambers, Sandra enjoys spending time with family and friends.


What the directories say:

Specialises in commercial issues with an insolvency angle. She is known for her eye for detail.  Expertise: “She has a great attention to detail and the sheer ability to pull out what is important.” “She is personable, helpful, and you always feel like you have her attention.” CHAMBERS UK 2015.

Sandra has been listed as a leading junior in the Midlands in the field of restructuring / insolvency in Chambers UK for several years – the following comments sum up the nature and quality of her work:

“receives praise for her manner with clients and ability to handle document-heavy cases” [2014]

“praised for her “intelligent approach” and “seen as someone who “gets straight to the heart of the matter”” [2013]

“highly regarded for her outstanding technical insolvency expertise” [2012]

“she is renowned for her technical excellence and her faultless preparation” [2011]

“hailed as a “joy to work with”, …. her “assiduous eye for detail and love of teamwork”” [2010]

“renowned for her “absolutely excellent paperwork” and prized as an “invaluable local insolvency resource, with a “detailed and thoughtful approach” [2009]

“technically astute” and “a real details-led person” who “enjoys dealing with the nitty-gritty of a case” [2008]

“very thorough and impossible to catch off guard as she is often one point ahead of you already” [2007].

Sandra has also been listed in the Legal Experts directory as an expert in the field of insolvency/corporate recovery.

Similarly, Sandra has been listed in Chambers UK in the Midlands in the field of commercial dispute resolution over the years:

“her fine eye for detail” and “highly methodical approach” [2013]

“impresses with her meticulous approach and ability to master an astonishing amount of documentation and fact” [2012]

“a growing reputation on the local circuit” [2011]

“an excellent ability to get on with clients, … “extremely organised” and having a “technical knowledge that is second to none” [2010]

“tremendous court performance” [2009]

noted as a both a strong litigator and mediator [2008]

“impressive level of specialist experience” and “calm, reasoned approach” [2007]

“impressive advocacy” [2006].

Recent Cases:

Advising on claims arising from sales transactions in an insolvency, including the possible avoidance of antecedent transactions under the IA1986.

Acting on misfeasance claims

Providing strategic advice on partnership and minority shareholder disputes in order to seek to manage the business disputes effectively and expeditiously in the interests of preserving any potential on-going, underlying business and goodwill.

Reported Cases:

ACCA v KOUMETTOU [2012] EWHC 1265 (Ch) – block transfer orders and insolvency practitioners’ powers and duties

METROCAB LTD, RE [2010] 2 BCLC 603 – rescission of winding-up orders

CKE ENGINEERING LTD (IN ADMINISTRATION), RE [2007] BCC 975 – retention of title dispute in administration


RE SSSL REALISATIONS (2002) LTD, MANNING V AIG EUROPE UK LTD [2005] 1 BCLC 1 –interpretation of subordination agreements and pari passu principle in insolvency

KIRREH v BANQUE DE COMMERCE ET DE PLACEMENTS SA [2004] BPIR 906 – creditors’ powers and duties at creditors’ meetings in IVAs

BRENNAN v KETTELL (T/A DIAMOND FIRES & FABRICATIONS) [2003] EWCA Civ 1186; [2004] 2 P&CR 4 – real property dispute – covenants for title and rectification

MINI-LUX LTD v PANASONIC (UK) LTD Chancery Division, 21 February 2003 – civil procedure -security for costs & unless orders

BARINGS PLC (IN LIQUIDATION) (No.2) [2002] 1 BCLC 401 – issues arising as to distribution of surplus in liquidation

BARINGS PLC (IN LIQUIDATION) (No.1) [2001] 2 BCLC 159 – issues arising as to creditors’ voting rights at creditors’ meetings in liquidation

OBG LTD v ALLAN [2001] BPIR 1111 – banker-customer relationship and interpretation of debenture and validity of appointment of receivers

TOLLINGTON PROPERTIES, RE Chancery Division (Companies Court), 19 April 2000 – CDDA case

HAWK INSURANCE CO LTD, RE [2001] BCC 57 – schemes of arrangement

CUSTOMS AND EXCISE COMMISSIONERS v ANCHOR FOODS LTD (No.2) [1999] 1 WLR 1139 -civil procedure & Mareva injunctions

HOPE v PREMIERPACE (EUROPE) LTD [1999] BPIR 695 – bankruptcy; debts; liquidated damages

LANDAU (A BANKRUPT), RE [1998] Ch. 223 – bankruptcy; pensions

LIGHTNING ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS LTD, RE [1996] 2 BCLC 302 – insolvency & prohibited names and impact on directors

PENROSE v OFFICIAL RECEIVER [1996] 1 WLR 482 – insolvency & prohibited names and impact on directors

DOLLAR LAND (FELTHAM) LTD, RE [1995] 2 BCLC 370 – voluntary arrangements and winding-up

POLLY PECK INTERNATIONAL PLC v NADIR (No.3) Court of Appeal (Civil Division), 17 March 1993 – civil procedure & leave to serve process in foreign jurisdictions

POLLY PECK INTERNATIONAL PLC v NADIR (ASIL) (No.2) [1992] 4 All ER 769 – civil procedure & Mareva injunctions

Articles and Publications:

Past contributor to Halsbury’s Laws of England Vols 7(3) & 7(4), Companies and Partnership Insolvency – 4th edition (2004 reissue)

Past contributor to Totty & Moss: Insolvency and Gore-Browne on Companies

Case Note: Bilta (UK) Limited (In Liquidation) & Ors –v- Muhammad Nazir & Ors [2012] EWHC 2163 – forthcoming in CRI 2012

Company Directors Disqualification Act: an update – Insolv. Int. 2009, 22(1), 1-3

Schemes of arrangement: a question of class – IL&P 2002, 18(6), 216-218

Case Comment: Bank of Credit and Commerce International (Overseas) Ltd v Akindele [1999] BCC 669 (Ch D) – Insolv. Int. 1999, 12(4), 29

Single Market and the law of banking – LLP Professional Publishing. Ross Cranston (editor) (Feb 1995)

Qualifications and Appointments

1985-1988 – Downing College, University of Cambridge – MA Hons Law 2.1

1988-1989 – Inns of Court School of Law – Bar Examinations Class II Div 1 (12th in order of merit)

1994-2000 – Attorney-General’s B Panel

2010 – Recorder – Crown Court


Association of Business Recovery Professionals (R3) – fellow

Midland Chancery and Commercial Association (MCCBA) – secretary

Insolvency Lawyers’ Association (ILA)

Chancery Bar Association



My Expertise