Chris Holliss | Partner | Debt Collection & Asset Recovery Skip to content

Chris Holliss

Partner - Commercial Disputes

My experience

I am a partner in the Commercial Disputes department and head up the Debt Collection & Asset Recovery team.  My expertise is in:

  • business to business commercial and contractual disputes;
  • shareholder and partnership disputes;
  • injunctions;
  • claims relating to breaches of restrictive covenants and confidentiality provisions;
  • banking and finance litigation;
  • asset based finance litigation and recovery;
  • insurance litigation;
  • insolvency based disputes;
  • recovery of money and assets for insolvency practitioners in the course of company administrations/ liquidations; and
  • alternative forms of dispute resolution, such as mediation.

Since joining Paris Smith LLP in 2003, I have built up an impressive portfolio of clients, ranging from blue chip multinational companies and Plc’s, to no less important smaller SME’s and owner managed businesses. As recognised and acknowledged by my clients, my approach emphasises my practical understanding of my clients’ business needs, issues and risks and I balance these with cost effective and plain spoken advice.

On international, national and local platforms, I advise investment and commercial lenders, brokers, financial services businesses and corporations on the complex litigation issues that often arise in the course of lending. I recognise the need to act quickly and efficiently in securing assets and issuing various forms of proceedings where necessary in order to protect my client’s interests. I am also highly experienced in advising clients in relation to shareholder and partnership disputes.

I have also developed a niche in recruitment law and am recognised as an expert in this field. As a result of my detailed knowledge in this area of law, I attract multinational and SME recruitment companies, and not only advise on detailed litigation resulting from contractual disputes, but also advise on the Terms and Business and on various methods of protecting my client’s interests. Through the course of acting for over 140 recruitment agencies, I also have extensive experience in advising clients in relation to injunctions and measures to protect an agency upon a key employee
exiting (often to a competitor), particularly in light of potential breaches of restrictive covenants and confidentiality provisions.

How I’ve helped our clients

A source says "100% confidence is instilled from Chris and he grasps the most complex of cases in minutes, offering frank and reassuring appraisals. I'm glad he's on our team as I wouldn't want to be opposite this shrewd litigator;" another says "A professional yet personal approach to doing business," whilst a third says "Chris is at the end of the phone to help with questions and point us in the right direction for any specific case. He's very responsive and he works well with us."

Chambers Legal Directory 2024

Referees say "Our in-house legal team were faced with a complex dispute and they were experiencing delays, barriers and a lack of understanding with our normal external solicitors. Chris Holliss and David Eminton of Paris Smith were recommended to me and we found dealing with Paris Smith to be a breath of fresh air. Within 4 weeks their expertise had solved our dispute which was a record and their approach was a breath of fresh air, sensible and experienced heads who were breaking the mould of the tedious stuffy approach", "Chris Holliss and David Eminton were outstanding, their approach is fresh and their knowledge and understanding of not just the law but business is outstanding. I believe that for a solicitor to be truly effective they need to understand in depth the issue at hand and both Chris and David seemed as versed in my business as they did in the law within a few hours. I cannot recommend them highly enough", "Chris Hollis demonstrated exceptional skill in dealing with a very antagonistic individual and has shown a great deal of empathy and commitment to resolving matters", "Chris Holliss has amassed a lot of knowledge in the recruitment sector. He is always available and will give us an honest opinion of the best course of action"; "I have worked alongside Chris Holliss for over 15 years and he has always provided an excellent service to my clients and to me. I can trust that any work I pass to Chris will be handled to a high standard" and another says "Chris Holliss’ particular quality, aside from being a great lawyer, is his industry knowledge. A number of firms claim to specialise in the sector with little substance behind those claims. Chris genuinely understands the market".

Legal 500 2024 Edition

I wanted to thank you for the great service accorded by Paris Smith. Right from the initial contact it seemed “right”. Thank you. I was also very impressed at how Christina got to grips with the technical aspects of our issues and drafted a very forthright but extremely well-structured rebuttal of claims against us.

Geoff Neal, Managing Director
Euclid Limited

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for the work you carried out on behalf of my company. Paris Smith continue to represent Premier Recruitment Solutions Ltd with outstanding results. I highly recommend Paris Smith for all types of legal work!

Marcus Hackney, Managing Director
Premier Recruitment

In the event of default and disputes Delta Finance had engaged a number of different firms of solicitors over the years and found the process slow and cumbersome. After being recommended to Chris Holliss and the team at Paris Smith we had finally found a firm of solicitors who dealt with matters with the expediency, urgency and enthusiasm that we ourselves input to problem cases. It has also been refreshing to receive advice from someone with a detailed knowledge and genuine understanding of our industry. We would happily recommend them to anyone in the asset finance and equipment finance industry.

Delta Finance
Delta Finance

I have referred a number of my key clients to Chris in the confidence that Chris will deal with their issues in a professional, speedy and efficient manner. The level of service and expertise provided by Chris continually exceeds my expectations and those of my clients. Chris provides plain English advice and explanations. We would thoroughly recommend Chris and in fact do on a regular basis.

Greenfield Insurance
Greenfield Insurance

Paris Smith LLP, by way of Chris Holliss, has represented us brilliantly in two disputes. In both cases, poorly drafted legacy commercial agreements, gave the other party, on the face of it, a distinct advantage. Chris Holliss’ fine appreciation of the law, risk, and human psychology, combined with excellent preparation and communication, swung both cases in our favour, saving our company both time and money. We could not recommend them highly enough.

Laura Villasenin - Miista Ltd

Chris' advice was clear and his in depth knowledge reassured me that I had someone on top of his game. He had figured out the other side immediately. His drafting was detailed and he made it quite clear to the other side that we knew what we were doing. Chris made all the difference here and helped me through a very difficult time.

Nicholas Hall

Over that last year or so, I have had the pleasure to work with and be proficiently assisted by Chris Holliss (LLP Partner) and Steven Adams of Paris Smith Solicitors. Both Chris and Steven possess a wealth of relevant experience which they have skillfully employed to assist navigating a rather problematic dispute. I would not hesitate to recommend Chris or Steven to assist with such matters.

Wesley Wright, Director - Wright Business Consultancy Ltd

We have used Chris and his team's services in debt resolution for the last three years and as we have grown we have had more and more cases for him to help with. He and his team deal with our requests promptly and most importantly get good results in terms of collections. His team are our "go to" legal debt recovery team.

Paul Tonks, FD - Quba Solutions

Chris Holliss has been our ‘go to’ man and we have found him straight forward, knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with.

Project Resources Ltd

We have frequently used Chris for high-value or complicated dispute resolution matters and have found his service to be excellent. Chris has gained a reputation as a solicitor with specialist knowledge of the recruitment market and it is refreshing to deal with someone who understands the legal and commercial issues which we face on a daily basis. I would highly recommend him.

Randstad CPE Ltd

All the work Chris has done for us and other associates has always been first class.

St James Motor Company

I would recommend Chris’ services to any company. In addition to working on specific litigation matters, he has also been proactively helping enhance our Terms and Conditions.

Spectrum IT Recruitment

If you're looking for that professional service with a personal touch, look no further than Paris Smith. I have personally worked with Christina Spiers and Chris Holliss on a commercial basis, and both bring a wealth of experience, guidance and advice to everything that's required. They are efficient and timely, and in this modern world of automation, they remind you that people and relationships are key to everything we do. By far the best service I've ever received and I will be using their expertise forever more.

Chris Hayes, Group Finance Director
Konnect Recruit

Myself and my business partner would like to formally thank Chris Holliss and Paris Smith for their professionalism, efficiency and commitment. Empathetic, well-organized and highly skilled professionals with a commitment to us. Paris Smith are without a shadow of a doubt the best legal support we have ever experienced. We believe our relationship with Chris and Paris Smith will continue for the rest of our professional careers and feel confident the relationship will also be inherited by our future successors.

Yong Chong & Karl Cassey - Modum Search Founders

A source states "Chris Holliss – encyclopaedic knowledge of his practice area. Especially good on agency disputes. Always client-focused".

Legal 500 2023 - Referee Comments

Chris Holliss advises clients on shareholder and contractual disputes, as part of his wider litigation practice. A client describes him as "an excellent voice of reason" and commends his ability to "calm some very tense situations."

Chambers & Partners Legal Directory 2021