Founder | In Memoriam

Xenophon Protopapas BA (Law) sadly passed away on 21 November 2021 at the age of 74. We take this opportunity to remember Xenophon, an accomplished lawyer, savvy businessman, true gentleman and inspirational mentor.


Xenophon achieved a BA degree in law through self-study and by attending evening classes. He entered the legal profession after spending a number of years in commerce and was in private practice, as a principal, since 1st May 1982. He founded Protopapas Solicitors in September 1990 and for 30 years, the firm – now Protopapas LLP – has been flourishing under his strict but fair leadership. His legacy will continue through the loyal partners and staff of Protopapas LLP, led by his wife, Zoë Protopapas, and son, Chrysanthos Protopapas.



Over nearly four decades, Xenophon dealt with a vast number of cases and matters. His knowledge and expertise meant that he was able to offer high quality advice on wide ranging areas of law. He particularly specialised in property, commercial matters and all types of dispute resolution and challenging litigation; and often dealt with high value commercial litigation, property litigation, debt actions, contentious probate matters and matrimonial disputes. Xenophon also provided advice on a range of corporate and non-corporate business matters including, sole trader and partnerships, formation of and structuring and restructuring of offshore and onshore companies, mergers, sales and acquisitions and all pertinent finance and corporate documents generally.


Xenophon always placed a huge importance on work being done quickly and efficiently every time to the client’s satisfaction. He also often used to say: “A compromise may taste bitter to some litigants; however, it often proves to be far sweeter than any court decision”


The impossible we can do immediately; miracles take a little longer, was Xenophon’s motto when he was presented with an unmeritorious case. Indeed, conquering the difficult, even hopeless cases was his speciality, and miracles did sometimes happen! Xenophon had a unique and admirable ability to remain calm and collected in the most challenging circumstances, while his wisdom, ingenuity and expertise helped unravel the most complicated cases.


His disarming charm, wittiness and dry humour shone through, until the very end.


Community Contribution

Aside from his professional and business excellence, Xenophon was a pillar of the Greek community in the United Kingdom and devoted much of his energy and time to the Greek Community and Greek Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom. He was always happy to help both in his professional and personal capacity. Xenophon served on the Council of the Greek Orthodox Community of Barnet since 1982. He was also a member of the Trust and chaired the council from 2004 to 2021. His legal and business acumen was deployed selflessly in assisting with the rebuilding of the Church Hall after it burned down, paying off the crippling Community debt and maintaining the Church through lean years caused by a dwindling congregation and declining donations.


In loving memory of Xenophon, his family, business partners and friends have established ‘The Xenophon Protopapas Foundation’, a charitable organisation, for the advancement of the Greek Orthodox religion, education and culture in the Greek Diaspora. For details, applying for a grant and to make a donation go to


Pro Bono Work 

Xenophon’s benevolent nature saw him welcome many overseas and UK students to the firm, providing them with valuable work experience and internships to support, nurture and help them in their studies and future careers. Further, Xenophon devoted time and care in training many solicitors and always valued and treated members of the firm and the wider profession with utmost courtesy and respect.


Notable Cases

Xenophon successfully acted for clients in a vast number of cases over the many years. Some of Xenophon’s notable High Court and Court of Appeal cases include:


Yianni v Edwin Evans & Sons (a firm) – [1981] 3 All ER 592/3 WLR 843

This was a High Court case which established that a valuer instructed by a mortgagee lending institution could owe a duty of care in tort to a mortgagor purchaser relying on a valuation. The defendants initially lodged an appeal but it was later withdrawn for fear of opening the floodgates. This decision was later approved by the House of Lords in the jointly heard cases of Smith v. Eric Bush (1990) 1AC 831 and Harris v Wyre Forest District Council (1990) 1 AC 831.


Hilton International Hotels (UK) Ltd v Protopapa – [1990] 1 WLUK 449 / [1990] I.R.L.R 316

This case related to constructive dismissal. Mrs Protopapa resigned from her job after she was severely reprimanded by her supervisor in front of her colleagues for making a dental appointment without asking for permission to be absent from work. The tribunal upheld her complaint of constructive dismissal. Hilton appealed on the basis that the supervisor who reprimanded Mr Protopapa would have had no authority to dismiss her. The appeal was dismissed as it was immaterial that the supervisor upon whose conduct Mrs Protopapa relied had no authority to dismiss. Whether the employer was bound by the supervisor’s actions depended on whether the supervisor was acting within the scope of his employment in reprimanding Mrs Protopapa, which in this case he clearly was. The employer was therefore bound by his action.


Economides v Commercial Union Assurance Co plc [1997] EWCA Civ

This was a Court of Appeal case concerning an insurance claim in relation to contents insurance. The case established that an honest representation of belief in an insurance context must have some basis and that if insurers wished their clients to obtain independent valuations of their goods, then that must be made a term of the contract. It was also held that the test for non- disclosure of information was also that of honesty.


Watford Petroleum Ltd v Interoil Trading SA and others [2003] EWCA Civ 1417

This was a Court of Appeal case concerning disclosure of documents. Watford Petroleum had originally applied to the court for an order that certain documents should not be disclosed at the disclosure stage of the court proceedings; the order was initially granted however it was later reversed in the Court of Appeal where it was held that disclosure is an integral part of the litigation procedure and litigants must comply with it no matter the risks involved.


“The impossible we can do immediately; miracles take a little longer”

Xenophon Protopapas