Clare Mackay

Clare Mackay

An experienced commercial disputes lawyer, with particular expertise in urgent injunctions.
Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution Team
Senior Associate
Email Clare


Previously working for a City of London law firm gave me an excellent foundation in litigation and dispute resolution, something I’m delighted to have built on over the last 12 years of my career.

I bring extensive experience to contract disputes, including construction of terms, allegations of breach and misrepresentation. I also regularly provide companies with commercially astute advice prior to the termination of agreements, so that this step can be taken knowing the implications and the risks.

I also advise individuals, and have particular experience in professional negligence claims, predominantly against solicitors. I also regularly advise on probate and inheritance disputes.

I have a particular interest in education law, where I advise schools and universities on sensitive issues including withdrawals and exclusions of pupils, bullying, discrimination and the recovery of unpaid fees. My education work also includes advice to parents on issues such as appeals against school admissions and pupil exclusions.


Commercial litigation

  • Extensive experience of litigation in the High Court, County Court and LCIA arbitration, often with an international element
  • Expertise in urgent injunction applications including to protect confidential information, enforce restrictive covenants and to freeze assets
  • Keen advocate of mediation as an effective way to resolve disputes
  • Represented international technology company in multi jurisdiction LCIA arbitration arising out of termination of distribution agreement for repudiatory breach and defending counterclaim based on tort of inducing/procuring breach of contract
  • Acted for City recruitment consultancy in injunction proceedings to restrain breach of restrictive covenants and misuse of confidential information, where the preservation of confidentiality of the data was business critical to the operation of our client
  • Acted for major lighting company in urgent without notice application for a freezing order to preserve assets and related fraud claim against former employee, securing a full recovery of all monies taken
  • Defended claim for payments alleged to be due under a long term contract which involved complex issues of contract interpretation
  • Acted in acrimonious shareholder dispute in the health and wellbeing sector (including claims for unfair prejudice under section 459 Companies Act and for the company to be wound up on the ground that it would be just and equitable to do so)
  • Professional negligence claim against a firm of solicitors arising out of the sale of a business
  • Acted for one of the big name banks in a reported 8 week High Court trial on the issue of whether the bank could appoint a receiver
  • Acted for an international client in a complex agency dispute where funds were misappropriated by the alleged agent
  • Acted for the liquidators of BCCI, obtaining numerous freezing orders and recovering misappropriated funds from several jurisdictions
  • Defended criminal proceedings brought against a national service provider under consumer protection legislation
  • Acted on a reported 4 week High Court trial on a misrepresentation case arising from the sale of antiques valued at £2million.

Contentious probate

  • Regularly advises beneficiaries, personal representatives and disappointed family members on a variety of probate related disputes.
  • Extensive experience of claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 (acting for Claimants, Defendants and Personal Representatives)
  • Challenges to wills based on testamentary capacity; knowledge and approval of will; duress and undue influence; and forged signatures
  • Advice on obtaining information from personal representatives and applications to remove from office.
  • Acted for beneficiary in multi jurisdiction case which involves complex questions on the interpretation of terms of a will
  • Represented respondent in fiercely contested proceedings in the Court of Protection concerning the identity of persons to be appointed as deputy.

Education law

  • School admission appeals for oversubscribed secondary and primary schools, including in year appeals following divorce, house move or issues at previous school
  • School exclusion appeals – both in the state and the independent sector
  • Complaints, particularly in relation to bullying, discrimination and SEN provision
  • Regulatory issues – successfully defended a teacher in professional misconduct proceedings, getting the Teaching Regulatory Agency to withdraw all allegations
  • Successfully defended a university in a 5 day race discrimination claim.


  • Qualified in 1998
  • Trained and worked at Pinsent Curtis (now Pinsent Masons) 1996-2001
  • Solicitor at Lawrence Graham (now WLG Gowlings) 2001-2008
  • Joined SA Law in 2008
  • LLB Law degree - University of Birmingham
  • Legal Practice Course - Nottingham Law School
  • Won annual Law Society Award for achieving highest Legal Practice Course score
  • Won Birmingham Law Society Gold Medal for Legal Practice Course results
  • Recognised as a “Rising Star” in the Legal 500 2019/2020
  • Was a Governor at Crabtree Infants School in Harpenden for 4 years
  • Trustee and member of the Parochial Church Council, St Helen’s Church (2016 to present)
  • Speaks conversational French

When not at work, Clare enjoys travelling to new places with her family and being outside surrounded by nature.

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