Lyndsey de Mestre KC
Lyndsey de Mestre KC

Lyndsey de Mestre KC

Call: 1999 | Silk: 2018

"An excellent mediator. Not only is she extremely bright and knowledgeable, she also has huge empathy and is brilliant with clients."

The Legal 500

Lyndsey has been practising at the business and property Bar for over 20 years and was appointed QC in February 2018. She is a full-time arbitrator and mediator and her expertise is in business related disputes of all types (including shareholder disputes, joint ventures (in both a corporate and partnership context), breaches of NDAs and SHAs, unfair prejudice, quasi-partnerships, material non-disclosure, misrepresentation, rescission of subscription agreements, forfeiture of leases) with particular experience in insolvency, company and contract related disputes. Lyndsey works both domestically and in offshore jurisdictions (notably the BVI and the DIFC). As a result of over 15 years’ appointment representing the UK government (primarily the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) for the Attorney General and appointment as standing counsel to the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants in insolvency matters, she developed a specialisation in a range of work involving public interest aspects, corporate governance, directors’ fiduciary and non-fiduciary duties and responsibilities to shareholders and stakeholders. Lyndsey has experience under the rules of UNCITRAL, LCIA, DIFC-LCIA and ad-hoc arbitrations.

Approach to arbitration

Lyndsey is a robust and thorough arbitrator with a forensic eye for detail. She considers it important to engage with the parties at the outset regarding matters of procedure and expectations for timetable. Lyndsey encourages the early identification of potentially dispositive issues and discussions as to whether there are compelling reasons to consider resolution of such issues as a preliminary matter or, based on their factual matrix or otherwise, whether these are more appropriately reserved for resolution as part of the final award. Lyndsey’s view is that proceedings should be conducted with a view to expediting the resolution of the dispute and she takes seriously the obligation to comply with the timetable set out in the applicable rules or established early in the arbitration.

Examples of arbitration and related decision-making experience

Acting as arbitrator:

  • Presiding arbitrator with Juliet Blanch and Peter Jago in ad hoc arbitration (seat Zambia, subject to the provisions of the Zambian Arbitration Act)
  • Sole arbitrator in LCIA shipping arbitration concerning demurrage with parties in South Africa, Malta and India (seat London, English law)
  • Co-arbitrator in ad-hoc arbitration of fee-payment obligations between parties in Singapore and London (seat London, English law)
  • Sole arbitrator in LCIA insolvency-related arbitration concerning inspection of financial records of a company in liquidation (seat London, English law)
  • Arbitrator in an LCIA arbitration concerning a cross-border litigation funding agreement (seat London, English law)
  • Arbitrator in ad hoc arbitration of contract dispute (seat Dubai, English law)
  • Sole arbitrator in ad hoc arbitration concerning interpretation and effect of provisions of constitution of unincorporated association (seat London, English law)

As Counsel in international arbitrations:

  • Advising in relation to arbitration arising out of breaches of contract in JV for supply and operation of deep sea-bed bathymetrics, between Australian and English companies.
  • Acting as sole Counsel in DIFC-LCIA arbitration concerning fraudulent misrepresentation in the course of establishing an investment bank. Parties were in Madrid, Panama, Dubai and London and the issues concerned rescission of subscription agreement, breaches of NDAs and SHAs.
  • Acting as Counsel in arbitration of contractual dispute concerning superconducting magnets and low temperature measurement systems. Related antisuit injunction proceedings in Sydney and London.
  • DIFC-LCIA arbitration concerning misrepresentation and forfeiture of leases in multi-million dollar restaurant chain shareholder dispute.

Acting as mediator

In multiple commercial disputes. Please contact practice manager for further details.


Lyndsey has an effective approach to ensuring the parties to a mediation have the best possible chance of reaching a negotiated settlement, based on thorough preparation and drawing on her experience and commercial judgment developed over 20 years as a commercial barrister. Lyndsey uses an initial conversation at the very beginning of the mediation process in the course of which agreement can be reached about the shape of the mediation and the detailed process to be employed. Thereafter she uses an inclusive approach to resolving complex disputes and brings a calm, approachable personal style to mediations. Lyndsey draws on her litigation skills to work outside the limitations of the litigation process: a rigorous understanding of the legal issues; astute commercial judgment; understanding what the participants need; talking realistically with them about both the strengths and weaknesses of their legal position and the litigation process they may be engaged in. By those means Lyndsey is able to use mediation to bring in effective conversations that go to the heart of the issues, to understand nuances that might otherwise be missed and to introduce fresh perspectives.


  • A $65m international commercial mediation between parties in Saudi Arabia and Switzerland concerning agency and freight agreements, breach of contract and lien
  • A £11m commercial mediation concerning the operation of a professional indemnity policy and duties owed pursuant to a series of administration agreements
  • £4m breach of directors’ duties claim and dividend challenge under the Companies Act 2006 & under sections 238 and 423 Insolvency Act 1986 claim
  • Acting as mediator in high value aviation misrepresentation dispute
  • Acting as mediator in shareholder dispute regarding valuation of investment shares during buy-out
  • Acting as mediator in JV dispute regarding including issues of probate and family trusts
  • Mediator of choice in multiple mediations of insolvency related matters, especially concerning claims for wrongful trading, breach of duty, preferences, trading whilst insolvent and recovery of property in corporate and personal insolvencies
  • Numerous other specialist insolvency related matters including Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, customs relief and other HMRC related claims

Chair of Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service disciplinary panels: Lyndsey chairs 3 person disciplinary panels for the Bar of England and Wales. As such she is experienced in directing and framing the panel’s decision-making process, keeping to the agenda, time management, and producing clearly reasoned, written adjudications.

Chair of Police Misconduct Panel (Eastern Regions): chairing 3 person disciplinary panels, requiring panel-based decision making and judgments both ex tempore and written.

Chair of Bishops' Disciplinary Tribunal: presiding over bishop’s disciplinary tribunals, which hear cases of misconduct against priests and deacons.

Other information

  • Recommendations

    In The Legal 500 2024 client’s comment that Lyndsey is “an excellent mediator.  Not only is she extremely bright and knowledgeable, she also has huge empathy and is brilliant with clients.”

    Identified as a leading mediator and silk for insolvency and company work in The Legal 500 2023. Lyndsey de Mestre KC is described as ‘extremely well prepared, very efficient, drafts beautifully and has a brilliant manner’ and her ‘USP is her empathy and her ability to communicate that empathy to the client. She is incredibly diplomatic, as well as hugely knowledgeable – a key combination of skills for a mediator.’

    Previous editions of The Legal 500 describe Lyndsey as ‘calm, measured and very engaged – on top of all the issues’ and that she “provides clear advice”; is “calm and well-judged advocacy”;  “outstanding”; “incisive knowledge of the law”; “excellent at explaining complex technical issues in a clearly understandable way”; “conscientious, thorough and able to explain the intricacies of technical matters effectively and clearly”.

    Previously recommended in Chambers & Partners for business restructuring: “…stands out due to her skill at handling complex international cases”; “very forthright and precise in her advice”; “a strong presence”; “if there’s a war going on, she will bring calmness to the storm”.

  • Academic history

    LLB, MA (Hons) Cantab (1st Class) – Downing College, Cambridge (graduated 1998)

    Tutor in Commercial and Insolvency Law (London School of Economics) 1998-2000

    Queen Mother Scholar of Middle Temple

  • Appointments

    2000: Junior counsel to the Secretary of State for Trade & Industry in Company Directors’ Disqualification matters

    2003: Junior Counsel to the Crown

    2011: Standing counsel to the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants for insolvency matters

    2015: Junior Counsel to the Crown re-appointment

    2018: Silk appointment

    2018: Qualified & accredited mediator

    2019: Chancellor of diocese of St Albans

    2020: Chair BTAS disciplinary panel

    2020: Chair of Police Misconduct Panel (Eastern Regions)

    2020: Chancellor of diocese of Leicester

    2020: Panel member of London Chamber of Arbitration and Mediation

    2021: Chair of Bishops’ Disciplinary Tribunal

  • Professional memberships

    Chancery Bar Association

    Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS)

    Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)

    London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)

    Arbitral Women

  • Publications

    Expert contributor to Tolley’s Insolvency Law (Insolvency & Human Rights; The Administration of a Bankrupt’s Estate).