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Malcolm Waters QC

| Silk 1997
| Call 1977

Profile: Overview

Malcolm Waters QC’s practice is focused on retail banking, financial services, mortgages, consumer credit, building societies and other mutual institutions, land law and conveyancing. He has a particular interest in the law relating to unfair contract terms and in the different legal and regulatory regimes which provide redress for the unfair treatment of consumers by financial services businesses.


Experience and Expertise

Malcolm Waters QC acts regularly for banks, building societies and other financial institutions in litigation, drafting and advisory work relating to their retail lending and deposit-taking business. He also specialises in consumer credit and mortgage work and in the law relating to mutual institutions (including building societies, friendly societies and co-operative and community benefit societies). His practice additionally includes land law and conveyancing.

He has extensive experience in applying the legislation on unfair terms (now contained in Part 2 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015) to standard form contracts, particularly those relating to mortgages, unsecured loans, current accounts and savings accounts. He acts regularly in cases involving other legal and regulatory regimes which provide protection for consumers in the financial services area, including the unfair relationships provisions of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, the Payment Services Regulations 2017, MCOB, BCOBS and the Standards of Lending Practice. His work in these areas covers claims in proceedings before the civil courts, regulatory intervention by the FCA and complaints to the FOS. He also has wide experience of issues relating to mortgage regulation, including the application of provisions implementing the Mortgage Credit Directive and the consequential changes in the boundary between regulation under FSMA and the CCA.

His consumer credit work includes the drafting of standard form documentation and he has experience in advice and litigation in all areas of consumer credit law. He previously acted for a number of licensees seeking to avoid the revocation of their licenses, or the imposition or requirements by the OFT. Following the transfer of responsibility for consumer credit regulation to the FCA, he has continued to act for businesses seeking to obtain or maintain authorisation under FSMA or to respond to regulatory intervention by the FCA.

He provides specialist advice on the law relating to building societies, friendly societies and co-operative and community benefit societies (previously known as industrial and provident societies). He was involved in all the building society transfers of business which took place in the 1980s and 1990s and, more recently, appeared for the transferor societies at the hearings to confirm the mergers of the Lambeth and Portman Building Societies, the Portman and Nationwide Building Societies, the Derbyshire and Nationwide Building Societies and the Cheshire and Nationwide Building Societies. He also appeared for Britannia Building Society at the hearing seeking confirmation of its merger with the Co-operative Financial Services (which was the first transaction to proceed under the new legislation which permits mergers between different types of mutual organisation) and for Kent Reliance Building Society at the hearing to confirm the transfer of its business to OneSavings plc.

His work in relation to mortgages grew out of his practice in land law and conveyancing, in which he retains an active interest. He (together with Elizabeth Ovey) is a member of the two committees responsible for drafting each of the successive editions of the Standard Conditions of Sale and the Standard Commercial Property Conditions.


Cases and Work of Note





He is senior editor of Wurtzburg and Mills on Building Society Law (which he co-edits jointly with colleagues, Elizabeth Ovey and Mark Fell), a looseleaf work which is kept up to date with regular releases.

He is also the author, along with Elizabeth Ovey and Mark Fell, of Retail Mortgages: Law, Regulation and Procedure, 2013, Sweet & Maxwell.

He was (together with Elizabeth Ovey) a contributing editor of The Law of Investor Protection, 2nd edition, and consultant editor of the title on Mutual Institutions in the current (fifth) edition of Halsbury’s Laws of England: http://lexisweb.co.uk/guides/sources/halsbury-s-laws-of-england.

He was also consultant editor of the title on Friendly Societies in the preceding (fourth) edition of Halsbury’s Laws of England (2007 reissue).



He is happy to provide seminars on unfair terms/unfair treatment in the retail financial services area and on consumer credit and topics relating to mortgage law.



BA (first class) Oxford University BCL (first class)

Oxford University Queen’s Counsel



Member of the Chancery Bar Association and the Professional Negligence Bar Association.


Other Details

VAT Registration Number: 235337667 Bar Membership Number: 18031


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Malcolm Waters QC
“Malcolm Waters QC stands head and shoulders above everyone else in terms of his intellectual application, enthuse sources. His practice concentrates on consumer finance and retail banking, in which he generally advises lenders. Solicitors single him out in the field, saying: He is an absolutely crucial element of our team.”

Chambers UK