Chris Baylis

Year of Call: 1997

Chris has more than 25 years’ legal experience. He normally works with clients on a fixed fee annual retainer basis and as he is authorised by the Bar Council for direct/public access work, he is instructed mainly by in-house corporate teams.

He graduated with Honours in Philosophy from Exeter University and it was his Philosophy professor who first encouraged him to take up law. He was called to the Bar in 1986 and was awarded a major scholarship by the Inner Temple. He also gained 2 Masters degrees from London University (MTH and LLM) and 2 Masters degrees from Cambridge University (Trinity Hall) (MBA and MPhil). Whilst at Cambridge he was in the Cambridge University Boxing team fighting at light middleweight; he was awarded his Blue.

He is a specialist in motor industry law and advises a wide range of motor retail corporate clients. He is recognised as one of the UK’s leading authorities on motor industry law and is retained by most of the UK’s major motor retail groups (see client list below). He is also standing Counsel to the Retail Motor Industry Federation, the largest motor industry trade body in the UK.

Chris says : “I always get a thrill working out the best strategy from a commercial and a legal standpoint. The legal problem and the commercial strategy often raise separate issues; I therefore really enjoy the challenge of trying to find an answer to the client’s problem. There is always a legal solution which fits with the commercial strategy provided you look hard enough and examine the problem from different aspects.”

Chris conducts a significant amount of non-contentious work advising clients in the areas of expertise listed below and finding legal solutions which fit with the clients’ commercial strategy. Chris also regularly appears in the High Court, Employment Tribunals, and the Employment Appeal Tribunal. He also specialises in formal and informal mediations as an alternative to court litigation.

Chris lives with his family in London, Devon and Switzerland along with his dogs Hector (a Great Dane) and Thor (a miniature Daschund). Chris also enjoys skiing, boxing and walking on Dartmoor.

Chris is retained by the following Clients

Jardine Motors Group
Renault Retail Group UK
Eastern Holdings
Benfield Motor Group (Addison)
Cambria Automobiles Holdings
Allen Ford (Camden Ventures)
Dick Lovett Group
GK Group
Drive Motor Retail
City Motor Holdings
Sandicliffe Motor Group
Sinclair Motor Holdings
Stephen James
TG Holdcroft (Holdings)
Hodgson Automotive
W Brindley Garages
Currie Group
Westover Group
John Martin Group
The Harratts Group
HR Owen plc
SG Smith Motor Group
Peter Vardy
Barretts Motor Group
Lifestyle Europe
Silver Street Automotive Group
McLean & Appleton (Holdings)
Citygate Automotive
Cotswold Motor Group
S G Petch
L & L Automotive
Collier Motor Group
Howard Garages
Wessex Garages
Horizon – Magna Motor Group
Pilling Motors
Hylton Group
Hampshire Motor Group (Tony Purslow)
Slaters of Abergele
Hodgson Newcastle
JCB Medway
Chapel House Holdings
Regent Automotive Ltd
Lloyd Motors
Barratts Motor Group
Marsh Wall
West London Motor Group
Mills Garages North East
Riders Garage Group
Birchwood Motor Group
Steven Eagell
Sky Ford
Martins Group (Saftdwin Ltd)
Spire Automotive
FG Barnes & Sons

Notable Cases

Areas of Expertise


  • Unfair dismissal
  • Redundancy
  • Constructive dismissal
  • Sex discrimination
  • Compromise agreements
  • TUPE (including insolvent transferors, consultation, corporate reorganisation)

Employment contracts

  • Company commercial law in relation to the motor industry:
  • Company law (including corporate restructuring)
  • Sale of goods
  • Contract law
  • Leasing agreements
  • Finance agreements
  • Corporate regulatory compliance
  • Health and safety
  • Franchise agreements
  • Manufacturer agreements
  • Block Exemption Regulations
  • Distribution agreements