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Chambers & Partners 2017

Chambers & Partners 2017 ranked Wilberforce Chambers as a leading set for:

  • Chancery: Commercial
  • Chancery: Traditional
  • Charities
  • Commercial Dispute Resolution
  • Company
  • Fraud: Civil
  • Offshore
  • Pensions
  • Professional Negligence
  • Real Estate Litigation
  • Tax

Individually ranked for:

  • Arts and Cultural Property
  • Construction
  • Information Technology
  • Restructuring/Insolvency
  • Trusts

A dominant force for all types of chancery work, noted for housing an outstanding team of client-focused lawyers.  This set is considered “one of the standout names for offshore work” and is widely regarded as a first port of call for private client tax matters. It also excels at general commercial litigation and has a noted specialism for pensions law.  The set has quality from top to bottom and is known for having a “list of outstanding juniors that just goes on and on.”  Its bench of leading silks includes the venerable Robert Ham QC who is described as “a doyen of the contentious trusts world” and Brian Green QC who is described as “one of the big superstar names at the Chancery Bar.” They have recently been joined by a number of new members as Wilberforce scooped up members from both 3 Stone Buildings and the now defunct 11 Stone Buildings, amongst others.  The clerking team is led by practice director Nicholas Luckman  who is said to run “a very efficient and professional ship” and head clerk Mark Rushton who “gives great service.”

Chancery Commercial  (Band 2)

 THE SET
Renowned across the legal market for traditional chancery work, Wilberforce also has a strong and growing reputation for commercial matters at the Chancery Bar. The team consists of a number of leading silks and high-quality juniors, who have expertise in fraud, company law disputes and major trust litigation in the UK and other jurisdictions. Sources say: “Everybody there is at the top of their game. They reply and deal with matters in a way that appeases clients.”

Client service: Wilberforce’s clerking team, led by senior clerk Mark Rushton, is seen to be highly efficient. “The clerks are responsive, commercial and they will phone you from wherever they are. It’s just a great set.” Practice director Nicholas Luckman is also praised for running “a very efficient and professional ship.”

SILKS

Alan Gourgey QC 
Popular advocate with clients and other professionals, who has an excellent track record at the Chancery Bar. He advises clients on a spectrum of commercial chancery issues, and regularly handles UK and international litigation and arbitration work.
Strengths: “He is simply superb. He gets through papers at lightning speed and spots killer points. He is also exceptionally user-friendly and advises with humour as well as incision.”

Terence Mowschenson QC 
Has accumulated a wealth of experience over a long career. While he can handle a range of commercial chancery matters, both in the UK and offshore, his practice concentrates in particular on cases with a complicated business element.
Strengths: “He is very approachable and really good on the detail. He went through a huge bundle of documents in really good time and marked everything up. He’s also a nice guy to be around.”
Recent work: Represented the claimant in a dispute over shareholder ownership of one of Russia’s largest airlines. The case was heard in the Commercial Court of the British Virgin Islands.

James Ayliffe QC 
A veteran of the Commercial Chancery Bar whose substantial caseload includes company, property, financial services and pensions law cases, to name but a few.
Strengths: “He has an excellent legal brain and is good in a team. He really assists in the formulation of how to take a matter forward, and is the epitome of the modern QC.”
Recent work: Represented the defendant in Royal Mail Estates v Maples Teesdale, a high-value dispute concerning the sale of a major West London property.

Lawrence Cohen QC 
A successful and highly regarded silk whose practice focuses on high-value and complicated cases. He has experience in a range of matters, and particular expertise in dealing with financial services litigation.
Strengths: “He is one of the best chancery silks around – clients love him and he is great at working in a team with both them and the solicitors. He’s a great strategist who is considered in his advice and helpful.”
Recent work: Acted for a leading law firm in a major professional negligence claim involving English and Mexican tax law.

Ian Croxford QC 
Experienced silk with a rich history of work at the Chancery Bar. He is particularly adept at civil fraud and major professional negligence claims.
Strengths: “He’s a very engaging and attractive advocate.” “An old-school gentleman lawyer but also a bit of a street fighter.”

John Wardell QC
Respected commercial chancery practitioner whose work spans a range of matters at the Chancery Bar, but who has a growing focus on major civil fraud claims. He also has expertise in professional negligence.
Strengths: “He’s quick, good on his feet and someone who can see the wood for the trees.”
Recent work: Acted in Actial v De Simone, a case involving allegations of fraud and conspiracy concerning the control of a probiotic medical product sold in the UK, Europe and the USA.

Joanna Smith QC 
Rising silk with an impressive portfolio of recent cases, ranging from professional negligence and insolvency matters to regulatory work. She represents clients in both the Chancery Division and the Commercial Court.
Strengths: “She is very user-friendly, very bright and definitely a star of the future.” “She is charming, works hard and can always be relied upon to come to the table with fresh ideas. She has not only got the legal attributes but she also gets on with the judges.”
Recent work: Represented the successful appellant in Cavendish Square Holdings BV v Makdessi, a ground-breaking case relating to the law of penalty clauses.

Lexa Hilliard QC
Has experience in a range of commercial chancery matters including company and insolvency cases. She is active both domestically and internationally.
Strengths: “Her ability to get up to speed very quickly is very, very impressive. To take on board the amount of information she does is an impressive skill.”
Recent work: Advised on a construction dispute between Pioneer Point and London & Regent Construction.

Marcia Shekerdemian QC

Particularly good on insolvency and partnership cases, she is widely praised for the approach she takes with both clients and opponents.
Strengths: “She is highly thought of and has an excellent reputation.” “She has an extensive knowledge of insolvency points and is able to adeptly deal with some pretty strange and unique circumstances.”
Recent work: Represented a group of 4,000 bondholders in a case arising from the collapse of a Luxembourg investment company. The matter raised complex questions of trusts law.

Thomas Lowe QC
Handles a variety of cases including those relating to high-stakes insolvency restructuring and complex cross-border fraud. He has a strong offshore bent to his practice.
Strengths: “He has got a very fine intellect. Fiendishly clever, he has great clarity of thought, and is able to discern the correct points very quickly.” “He is a fabulous advocate who is very calm even when dealing with hard-fought cases.”

Fenner Moeran QC
A large proportion of his chancery work pertains to sophisticated pensions litigation, although he also acts for clients in a range of other matters.
Strengths: “He is a confident and attractive advocate who is a fast worker.”
Recent work: Appeared before the Court of Appeal in Ballinger v Mercer, a multimillion-pound professional negligence case.

Tim Penny QC
Recent silk whose varied practice encompasses cross-border fraud claims and freezing orders, shareholder disputes and cases concerning media and entertainment law.
Strengths: “Very effective at dealing with the competing interests of parties involved in litigation.”
Recent work: Represented the claimant in Avrahami v Biran, a commercial fraud case which raised points of law on fiduciary duties and necessitated a worldwide freezing order.

JUNIORS

Graeme Halkerston
A “fantastically able commercial chancery junior” who brings an interesting perspective due to his experience of working at an offshore law firm. The majority of his cases are international in nature, and include cross-border insolvency and trusts matters.
Strengths: “He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things relating to insolvency and company disputes. His depth and breadth of offshore knowledge makes him a standout.”
Recent work: Intervened on behalf of Barclays Bank in Cayman Islands liquidation proceedings to reverse permission of the Grand Court to bring claims in excess of USD80 million against the bank. The claims arose out of the collapse of the ICP fund group following a major fraud.

Max Mallin
An experienced junior who before coming to the Bar worked in banking. He handles a range a commercial chancery matters, and has particular experience in contract cases and those concerning breach of directors’ duties and professional negligence.
Strengths: “He is extremely focused and business-minded. He’s an ideal barrister because he is very sensible, intelligent, excellent at cross-examination and very good with clients. He has it down to an art.”

Andrew Mold
A skilled junior whose diverse practice combines complex commercial chancery work with expertise in more traditional chancery matters. His commercial work sees him handling cases relating to breaches of fiduciary duties, civil fraud and trusts, and he is active both in the UK and offshore.
Strengths: “He is an excellent chap who is highly clever and practical.” “His pleadings are clear and concise.”
Recent work: Acted in a high-profile dispute in relation to One Hyde Park, the ultra high-value Knightsbridge residential property development.

Nikki Singla
An “extremely personable and commercial” junior with substantial experience of a variety of commercial chancery matters. He acts for clients in UK-based and international litigation, and regularly appears in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
Strengths: “He did a fine job of leading us through the quagmire of a case where everything went wrong. He is a great advocate and has just been a steady pair of hands who is calm in the face of a storm. His advocacy, both oral and written, is top-notch.”
Recent work: Represented ReachLocal in a conspiracy claim against a rival business.

Edward Sawyer
An “incredibly industrious” junior with a growing multi-jurisdictional chancery practice. His work takes in fraud and asset tracing, financial services cases, pensions litigation and company disputes.
Strengths: “He has a fantastic eye for detail and a Trojan work ethic.” “He is an exceedingly good draftsman who is very thoughtful and has a keen eye for detail. He’s brilliant at memorising facts which he can then pull out of a hat when he needs them.”
Recent work: Acted in IBM v Dalgleish, a case concerning a breach of 4,000 employment contracts by IBM.

Iain Pester
Has a broad commercial chancery practice which encompasses company litigation, partnership disputes and civil fraud work. He often undertakes multi-jurisdictional cases and, being a Russian speaker, regularly acts on behalf of international clients based in the CIS.
Strengths: “He does a lot of Russian work and is excellent.” “He is very, very bright and an outstanding advocate.”

Tiffany Scott 
An established junior with a versatile skill set, whose practice includes UK-based and international work. She routinely handles cases involving breach of fiduciary duty as well as funds and partnership disputes.
Strengths: “She is extremely good at handling appeals and is a good draftswoman.”
Recent work: Acted for the bank in Investec Bank (Channel Islands) v Kamyab, a case regarding the authenticity of certain trust deeds.

James McCreath 
A young junior with a thriving practice, who has acted in some major commercial chancery cases in recent months. He works both as sole counsel and alongside leaders on matters including large shareholder disputes and insolvency cases.
Strengths: “He is an outstanding junior who has really good attention to detail, and is incredibly responsive, helpful and hard-working. He’s exactly the type of person you would want on your case.”
Recent work: Acted as junior counsel in the Supreme Court case of Cavendish Square v Talel El Makdessi, a precedent-setting case concerning the law of contractual penalties.

Emer Murphy
Has noteworthy experience in property and pensions work, and has appeared in major recent cases relating to fraud and professional negligence.
Strengths: “A thinker and a doer.” “She adds real value and makes good contributions.”
Recent work: Acted in the high-profile matter of Clutterbuck and Paton v Al Amoudi, a four-week trial in the Chancery Division of the High Court.

 

Chancery: Traditional (Band 1)

THE SET
Wilberforce is a leading set with a stellar reputation in traditional chancery, whose members’ expertise spans all aspects of the area. “The chambers is exceptional in terms of the quality of its silks and juniors,” says one instructing solicitor. It is particularly strong on private client trusts, tax and estates work, including offshore trusts cases. Another source reports: “Wilberforce is the set that probably has the widest and deepest talent for private client work. The barristers are a tremendous bunch.”

Client service: “Mark Rushton, their head clerk, is great, and those under him are all incredibly responsive and super polite on the phone. They are good at looking after their clients – both solicitor clients and their lay clients.”

SILKS

Brian Green QC 
An “exceptional” chancery silk who is widely praised for his work on high-value offshore trusts litigation and pensions work. He is an “extremely astute” practitioner and the top choice of many leading firms for big-ticket disputes involving knotty trusts law problems.
Strengths: “If I was a client I would want Brian Green every single time. He is brilliant and a very good advocate. The way in which he presents arguments to the court is very attractive and persuasive, and he is very human and good at dealing with clients. He is a star.” “Brian Green is one of the big superstar names at the Chancery Bar. You get a pretty unerring sense of what will and won’t work from him, and he’s a great advocate.”
Recent work: Acted for a charitable foundation in a USD16 billion dispute before the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong.

Gilead Cooper QC 
A trusts specialist who often appears in significant offshore cases, particularly in the British Virgin Islands. He also acts in high-value domestic trusts litigation in the Chancery Division and the Court of Appeal.
Strengths: “He’s a trial barrister. He is a supergun you bring out for the cases where you really want to get on with matters.”
Recent work: Represented one of the parties in a Lebanese family dispute concerning complex trust arrangements in the UK, Guernsey and Lebanon.

Michael Furness QC 
Expert in onshore and offshore trusts and tax litigation, who has additional experience in professional negligence matters. His cases often involve complex, multi-jurisdictional trusts and taxation issues.
Strengths: “He has one of the biggest brains on the planet, and is really thoughtful and really wise. You get clarity of thought with him and he can distil technical problems in ways not many other people can.”
Recent work: Successfully acted for the executors in a dispute regarding the construction of Lucian Freud’s will.

Robert Ham QC
A hugely experienced practitioner who specialises in trusts and taxation matters, handling both contentious and non-contentious work. He also has expertise in pensions and professional negligence matters.
Strengths: “A doyen of the contentious trusts world, who is one of the strongest on the paperwork.” “He’s very commercial for someone who is so knowledgeable. From the outside you might think he’s rather old-school, but actually he’s massively commercial and very good at cutting through all the rubbish and getting to the point. Clients like him because he doesn’t take awkward technical points which are academically interesting but take you nowhere.”

John Martin QC
Head of chambers with a broad-ranging chancery practice. He is often instructed in contentious trust matters, and has a huge amount of experience of offshore litigation.
Strengths: “Really very good senior man. One is glad to have him on one’s side.”

Fenner Moeran QC 
A specialist in complex family disputes who frequently receives instructions to handle delicate trusts matters of significant value. Moeran has also developed a substantial offshore disputes practice.
Strengths: “His ability to work with offshore lawyers, onshore lawyers and a large team is second to none.”
Recent work: Leading counsel for a number of offshore fiduciaries in a family trusts dispute between ultra high net worth brothers. The case involves high-value trust assets in Guernsey and spans multiple jurisdictions.

Jonathan Hilliard QC
Hilliard recently took silk and is widely seen as one of the Chancery Bar’s future stars. He is frequently involved in matters relating to complex offshore structures, and has a wide-ranging practice that sees him acting in matters in Gibraltar, the Isle of Man and Bermuda.
Strengths: “He’s exceptionally bright and clearly destined for great things. He’s very easy to use; you can just pick up the phone and have a chat and resolve issues.” “He has got to be one of the youngest silks ever. He’s exceptionally bright and very good with clients.”

JUNIORS

Andrew Child
Leading traditional chancery junior who regularly advises on breach of trust claims with international legal dimensions. He often handles major cases, appearing unled against silks.
Strengths: “He is technically excellent in contentious trust and probate matters, particularly those with a foreign element.” “He is exceptionally good on his feet, and highly rated for his trusts and pensions work.”

Judith Bryant 
Senior junior with an extensive trusts litigation and advisory practice. She often advises on trusts variation matters, trustees’ applications and disputes over the interpretation of complex trusts documentation.
Strengths: “It’s the way she cuts through the technical stuff and doesn’t show off by quoting statute. She’s very easy with the clients as she’s approachable, empathetic and down-to-earth.” “Very nice to work with, very calm and someone who gives very clear advice.”

Emily Campbell 
Campbell advises on complex wealth planning matters, and has considerable experience in contentious and non-contentious private client work. She handles trusts and estates issues, including offshore trusts, and is also an expert in private client tax matters.
Strengths: “Clear and to the point. She will not only clearly analyse all the problems, but will always look to provide creative ways of solving them.”
Recent work: Acted for Swiss resident trustees in a breach of trust claim concerning a will trust and a related Liechtenstein foundation.

Mark Studer 
Wide-ranging chancery practitioner with key expertise in trusts drafting, who regularly advises on the construction and interpretation of trusts documentation. Studer has a significant charities law practice, and also undertakes instructions in professional negligence and property litigation matters.
Strengths: “Mark Studer has a really very precise and intellectual approach to trusts law and is extremely knowledgeable on case law and drafting.” “He has a good grasp of complex issues and provides practical advice.”

Andrew Mold 
Junior with a broad chancery practice who regularly appears against silks in court. Mold has particular expertise in breach of trust matters, and is excellent at handling the trust elements of high-value divorce proceedings.
Strengths: “Andrew Mold is a silk in waiting. He’s very practical and won’t get wrapped up in the law; he understands the underlying commercial requirements of the client.”
Recent work: Advised on a divorce case in which the majority of the USD12 billion assets in dispute were held in a Cypriot trust structure. The case featured parallel proceedings in England, Switzerland, Cyprus, the British Virgin Islands, Singapore and Florida.

Tiffany Scott 
Has a wealth of experience in the full range of traditional chancery work, representing clients including charities and high net worth individuals. Scott receives praise for the insight and concision she shows in her “very good written work.”
Strengths: “She continues to impress people and she’s thoroughly lovely.”
Recent work: Junior counsel for the Marquesa Soledad Cabeza de Vaca in a case brought by her son regarding a £160 million trust fund.

 

Charities (Band 3)

THE SET
A leading chancery set whose members frequently represent parties in notable charity cases, both domestically and offshore. Recent reported disputes have concerned gift construction and trust issues. Several of the set’s members specialise in cases concerning charities and tax avoidance.

Client service:  Mark Rushton heads a clerking team that is “excellent and very well organised.”

SILKS

Michael Furness QC 
An accomplished silk with long experience, most notably in trust-related matters. He is particularly active in onshore and offshore tax litigation.
Strengths: “He has an excellent mind and is very thoughtful. His analysis is spot-on and he is highly responsive.”
Recent work: Advised the Cup Trust on its approach to tax avoidance schemes entered into by previous trustees.

JUNIORS

Mark Studer 
Advises on trusts, estates, property and conveyancing law, and has a number of major charities as clients. He is best known for private client litigation in the UK and other jurisdictions including Hong Kong, The Bahamas, Bermuda and Guernsey.
Strengths: “He is an excellent draftsman who goes about his business in a very straightforward fashion and gives clear advice.”
Recent work: Assisted the appellants in a Hong Kong Final Court of Appeal case concerning the will of Nina Wang, formerly Asia’s richest woman.

Commercial Dispute Resolution (Band 4)

THE SET
Frequently seen in leading Commercial Court and Chancery litigation across a wide range of sectors. Professional negligence and civil fraud cases remain central to the set, but its members are just as likely to be involved in real estate, pensions, insolvency or contentious M&A work. They are increasingly involved in banking and finance matters and are noted for their strong presence in foreign jurisdictions such as Hong Kong, Singapore and the Cayman Islands. Recent matters of interest include Cavendish Square Holdings BV v Makdessi, a Supreme Court case that is now the leading authority on contractual penalties, and Les Laboratoires Servier v Apotex, another Supreme Court case concerning an application for millions of pounds worth of damages arising out of an injunction.

Client service: “The clerks are responsive and tell you what you need to know quickly.” The team is led by Mark Rushton.

SILKS

Alan Gourgey QC 
A “fine legal brain” and a hugely respected silk who has a wealth of experience of acting in big-ticket fraud and conspiracy claims. He is also active in IT, company law and insolvency matters.
Strengths: “Very astute and has a good sense of both the merits of a case and the strategy needed to progress it.” “He gives clear advice even in the most complex of cases.”
Recent work: Instructed in a USD150 million claim between Bank of Moscow and companies which owed money to the bank.

Ian Croxford QC 
Highly regarded for the depth and versatility of his practice, he has experience of leading significant commercial matters. He draws praise for his ability to fight for his clients and his provision of unvarnished counsel.
Strengths: “Hugely experienced, you go him if you want commercial, no-nonsense advice.” “He has broad shoulders and can soak up the fire that judges throw at him.”

Terence Mowschenson QC
A fine chancery silk with a flourishing practice that takes in banking, joint venture, company and partnership disputes. Solicitors respect the way he instils confidence in a team and admire him for his tenacity.
Strengths: “Hugely experienced and a man with an incredibly impressive mind.” “He doesn’t sit on the fence and he offers advice in a way that clients understand and appreciate.”
Recent work: Successfully acted in a dispute over ownership of 20% of the shareholding of Transaero Airlines, one of Russia’s largest airlines. The action was heard in the Commercial Court of the BVI.

John Wardell QC 
Active in complex civil fraud and professional negligence cases, both domestically and in offshore jurisdictions. Sources praise him for his natural flair and his ability to put points forward in a succinct manner.
Strengths: “Extremely clever and very approachable, he’s a strategic thinker whose cross-examination technique is a pleasure to behold.” “He grasps the nub of the case very quickly.” Recent work: Acted for PCP-LLP in a claim for in excess of £300 million brought against Barclays. The case arose out of the rescue of Barclays at the time of the financial crash.

JUNIORS

Max Mallin 
A former banker who understands the way financial institutions operate. He is noted for his commercial and user-friendly approach, as well as for his superior analysis of legal issues. Strengths: “He is very commercial and he gives good advice.” “Approachable and client-focused, he is ferociously intelligent.”
Recent work: Retained in the dispute between ITV2 and HTV. He successfully won £4 million in damages for the claimant.

Company (Band 4) 

THE SET

Wilberforce Chambers is a highly regarded chancery set with a growing presence in the company law arena. The set is highlighted for the breadth of its members’ practices, who handled a range of advisory and contentious matters, both in UK and international courts.

Client service: “The clerks, led by Mark Rushton, are always very professional and accommodating. They are willing to always go the extra mile to accommodate the client’s requirements.”

SILKS

Terence Mowschenson QC 
An esteemed silk with an outstanding reputation in company disputes. He is often instructed in cases concerning shareholder claims and agreements.
Strengths: “A consummate gentleman who is lovely to work with and tenacious in his views. He shows incredible client loyalty.”

Lexa Hilliard QC 
A well-regarded silk who frequently handles claims relating to company and insolvency law. She regularly acts in cross-border shareholder disputes.
Strengths: “She is extremely practical, gets along really well with clients and is respected by the bench.”

Marcia Shekerdemian QC 
Enjoys a busy company practice which is complemented well by her work in insolvency and restructuring cases. She regularly advises on domestic and international disputes.
Strengths: “She is a powerhouse. She is fair, knowledgeable and very practical in terms of understanding the outcomes rather then being esoteric about the law.”
Recent work: Acted for the administrators of The Black Ant Company on a £13 million dispute which raised issues around the Land Registration Act of 2002, among others.

JUNIORS

Max Mallin 
An experienced senior junior with a wide-ranging commercial chancery practice. He is regularly instructed in company law matters including Section 994 petitions and breach of fiduciary duty claims.
Strengths: “Clear and effective in court.”

Fraud Civil (Band 2)

 THE SET

A growing team comprising “lots of talented barristers” catering to clients caught up in alleged fraud. Cases span onshore and offshore jurisdictions and are frequently valued at billions of pounds. Members are adept at locating, freezing and recovering the proceeds of fraud.

Client service: “The clerks are very good and it is a very user-friendly chambers.” “The set is well served by its clerks, who have got things well organised.” Nicholas Luckman is the practice director and Mark Rushton is the head clerk.

SILKS

Alan Gourgey QC 
Routinely called upon to deal with difficult, fast-moving fraud litigation and arbitrations involving such allegations as breach of contract, deceit, bribery and misappropriation. He is successful at obtaining freezing and search orders.
Strengths: “He’s excellent and his cross-examination is superb.” “Alan Gourgey is very balanced, very good and very clever.”
Recent work: Acted in Bank of Moscow v JFC BVI & Others, a USD150 million misappropriation of assets claim.

Ian Croxford QC 
A tenacious silk regularly engaged in high-profile commercial disputes in which fraud is alleged.
Strengths: “He is hugely versatile and able, and he is extremely good to work with.” “He is a mature, sensible silk.”

John Wardell QC 
An outstanding leader with a wide-ranging practice who is accustomed to fighting complex fraud disputes.
Strengths: “He is user-friendly and a good fighter.” “Great with clients, he’s very hands-on and approachable. He understands and speaks the language that business people understand and is not afraid to give a view.”
Recent work: Acted for PCP in bringing a deceit claim against Barclays relating to the refinancing of the bank in 2008.

Lawrence Cohen QC 
Has been involved in a number of complex, high-value cases such as those arising out of the liquidation of BCCI, and is noted for the international reach of his practice.
Strengths: “He is very incisive, very clever and very tactical.”
Recent work: Acted in Planck v Tinsel Group and Vitol Holdings, a dispute concerning one of the world’s largest energy traders.

Fenner Moeran QC
A versatile barrister who maintains a broad practice covering civil fraud, pensions and trusts work among other things. He provides clients with well-considered advice and is particularly good on fraud cases with financial services aspects.
Recent work: Represented a company’s liquidators in an action against a former director relating to property that allegedly went missing.

Tim Penny QC 
An excellent advocate who solicitors are pleased to see has recently taken silk. He has handled a number of significant fraud cases, and is especially knowledgeable in the realm of injunctive relief.
Strengths: “He’s got a great courtroom presence and knows how to do the best for his clients in tricky situations.” “He is an expert in this field and works well with clients.”
Recent work: Successfully brought a £15 million claim on behalf of JSC VTB Bank against various defendants.

JUNIORS

Iain Pester 
Has worked on a number of high-profile civil fraud cases and, being a fluent Russian speaker, is an expert in work emanating from that country.
Strengths: “He has a good, analytical mind and is a strong advocate whose Russian language skills are of enormous benefit.”
Recent work: Represented JSC Bank of Moscow in making a committal application against Vladimir Kekhman after he had breached a USD250 million freezing order.

Max Mallin
Instructed in heavyweight fraud claims, especially those with international or banking elements.
Strengths: “He is very good and very knowledgeable.” “He’s exceptional. I would go to him if I was in trouble.”
Recent work: Represented Nextam Partners in bringing a contempt claim against Mohamed Sarwar Mughal and others for breaching various interlocutory orders.

Offshore (Band 1)

THE SET
Widely considered a standout set of chambers for offshore and international disputes, Wilberforce Chambers offers dedicated strengths in such areas as trusts, banking and finance, company law and asset tracing. The set boasts a deep and multi-talented pool of expert barristers who are members of, or have been called to, the Bars of the Bahamas, the BVI, the Cayman Islands, Dubai, Singapore and the UK Crown dependencies. Instructing lawyers are quick to highlight the set’s pre-eminent position, revealing that “Wilberforce is one of the standout names for offshore work, and really is the set to beat.”

Client service: “The clerks are very helpful and always responsive, and the chambers is very well run.” Mark Rushton is the head clerk.

SILKS

Gilead Cooper QC 
Has a great standing in offshore litigation, and noted ability in trusts, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and professional negligence disputes. He has appeared in court proceedings in the BVI, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Hong Kong.
Strengths: “His real value lies in his ability to communicate clearly and concisely, and in a language that is easy to understand. That’s a real skill.”

Brian Green QC
A market leader in chancery work, who is regularly instructed by solicitors due to his ability to handle the most complex and high-profile litigation. He has a wide-ranging practice but proves particularly adept at cases concerning trusts and pensions.
Strengths: “He’s outstandingly able and practical in his application of very complex legal principles.”

Robert Ham QC 
Robert Ham is a star of the trusts world, and receives effusive praise for his outstanding efforts in private client work, tax law and pensions.
Strengths: “An absolutely brilliant trusts lawyer, who knows that very fine line between protecting the trustee and minimising costs.”

Michael Furness QC
An impressive silk, who is especially knowledgeable in trusts and tax disputes, as well as contentious and non-contentious pension scheme work. His practice regularly leads him to appear in Bermudian trust cases, and he has experience of acting in Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal.
Strengths: “A really quite formidable and wonderfully smooth advocate.”

Thomas Lowe QC 
Has a wealth of experience of appearing in the Cayman Islands and BVI, acting in a wide range of private client disputes and contentious trust matters. He has a particular forte in handling litigation following the collapse of investment structures.
Strengths: “Powerful and clear on his feet. He can explain the most complicated principles and reduce them to their basic elements very effectively.”

Terence Mowschenson QC 
A popular and much-admired chancery silk, who has undertaken a range of banking, finance, company and insolvency cases worldwide. He has appeared in a wide range of jurisdictions, including Gibraltar, the Isle of Man, the Cayman Islands and the BVI.
Strengths: “A serious figure in the offshore market,” who is “charming and effective.”

James Ayliffe QC
A very strong chancery commercial performer who is proficient in banking, civil fraud, partnership, real estate and trusts cases. Truly international in his scope, he has handled matters in many offshore jurisdictions, as well in a host of countries such as South Africa and the USA.
Strengths: “He has an excellent legal brain and he really knows how to take a matter forward.”

Jonathan Hilliard QC 
His appointment as Queen’s Counsel in early 2016 demonstrated his excellent reputation in trusts and commercial litigation work. His practice has led him to act in the Isle of Man, Gibraltar and the BVI, amongst other jurisdictions.
Strengths: “Exceptionally bright and clearly destined for great things. He’s very easy to use, and someone you can just pick up the phone to and have a chat with in order to resolve issues.”

JUNIORS

Nikki Singla 
A very highly regarded junior with experience of appearing for clients in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Dubai. Solicitors turn to him for advice on a wide range of commercial and business cases, and admire him for his specialist trusts expertise.
Strengths: “He states things in a clear and clever way, is sensible and doesn’t take bad points.”

Graeme Halkerston 
Very well acquainted with the offshore market, having worked for several years as a partner in a leading firm in the Cayman Islands. He maintains a diverse and dynamic commercial litigation practice, and has strengths in banking and financial disputes and cross-border fraud.
Strengths: “He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things to do with insolvency and company law. His depth and breadth of offshore knowledge is something that really makes him stand out.”

Andrew Mold 
Adroitly handles a diverse range of traditional and commercial chancery matters, demonstrating considerable strength in cases concerning trusts, professional liability and company law. His practice has led him to litigate or advise on matters in the Cayman Islands, Jersey, the Isle of Man, Bermuda and Singapore.
Strengths: “Quick, good on his feet and someone who can see the wood for the trees. He can explain matters in a way clients understand.”

Andrew Child 
Has a strong offshore practice and noted experience of handling civil fraud and trusts matters. He joined the set from Three Stone Buildings in October 2015.
Strengths: “Displays good commercial acumen in solving trust disputes.”

 

Pensions (Band 1)

THE SET

Wilberforce Chambers is widely regarded as the leading set for pensions law issues. Its members bring impressive knowledge to traditional pension matters, as well as to cases intersecting with trust and insolvency issues. They enjoy a wealth of experience representing both employers and trustees, as well as scheme members, the Pensions Regulator and the Pensions Protection Fund. Members of Wilberforce frequently appear in the most high-profile pensions disputes, including IBM v Stuart Dalgleish, which concerned the employer’s power to close a scheme against the opposition of its members. The group is also acting on both sides of British Airways v Trustees of the Airways Pension Scheme in a dispute concerning the Trustees’ use of a discretionary power to grant pension increases. Respondents enthuse about the set’s “very good array of silks” and its “list of outstanding juniors that just goes on and on.”

Client service: “They’re very accommodating, always ready to help out, and they make sure you get what you need.” Mark Rushton is the head clerk.

SILKS

Brian Green QC 
One of the leading lights in the pensions industry, he is frequently seen on some of the most high-profile and significant pieces of litigation. He brings well-honed advocacy skills to his litigation and offers expertise in tax and trusts law.
Strengths: “He has an incredible brain and makes sense of complex issues in an authoritative and sensible way.” “When he’s working on a case he gives absolutely everything. He’s incredibly committed, hard-working and really experienced.”
Recent work: Represented Stena and the other employers of the Merchant Navy Pension Fund in ongoing litigation concerning a new contributions scheme.

Michael Furness QC
Enjoys broad expertise in occupational pensions and other relevant areas, including tax law and trust litigation. He is well known for engaging in international litigation in offshore jurisdictions.
Strengths: “Because he’s very intellectual he usually manages to stave off any attacks on the argument from the judge.” “I’d particularly go to him when we have intricate, technical pension issues that might require assessment from the court.”
Recent work: Represented ITV in the Court of Appeal in an attempt to strike out part of the opposition’s pleading.

Paul Newman QC 
Highly regarded in the industry, he acts in the full range of pension matters and is particularly recommended for high-profile, intricate cases. He acts for a diverse set of clients, including employers, trustees, the Pensions Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund.
Strengths: “He’s very impressive on the technical pensions analysis and also has a litigator’s instinct.” “He’s a creative thinker; he’s one of the people we would go to with a problem that needs to be solved.”
Recent work: Acted for the members of the Merchant Navy Pension Scheme in a three-week trial after the proposed increase to the number of employers contributing to the scheme funds.

Michael Tennet QC
One of the leading silks for pensions, he is a master in regulatory matters and additionally specialises in actuarial issues. He is regularly seen in some of the pension industry’s most high-profile and contentious cases.
Strengths: “He has a very nice, calm and measured advocacy style and he’s a good cross-examiner.” “He’s someone to go to if you want a commercial steer, but he’s also got the technical ability to back up that instinct.”
Recent work: Secured, on behalf of the Trustees of the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund, a declaration on the legality of a recovery plan to ensure the funding of a £200 million deficit.

Robert Ham QC
A much-admired silk with a very strong reputation in the field of chancery. He is frequently sought out to provide counsel on complex pension scheme matters. He also offers expertise in associated professional negligence issues.
Strengths: “He’s very good at reading the court.” “It was an incredibly complicated matter and he was able to break it down into very simple terms for our client.”

Fenner Moeran QC 
An impressive advocate, particularly well versed in pension liberation, fraud and moral hazard disputes. He frequently represents trustees and employers, as well as the Pensions Regulator and the government.
Strengths: “He’s very good at thinking laterally and he brings a novel argument.” “He’s really good on his feet and at taking a commercial view.”
Recent work: Acted on behalf of the Secretary of State for Defence in an Ombudsman appeal concerning the incorrect administration and potential public liability of the Army pension scheme.

Jonathan Hilliard QC
Widely regarded as the go-to barrister for technical pensions issues, he represents parties in a broad array of cases. He has significant experience in liberation, moral hazard and professional negligence matters.
Strengths: “He invariably makes the right call and is an encyclopaedia in the pensions fraud context.” “He has a ferocious intellect and gets to the bottom of problems very effectively.”
Recent work: Represented the trustee of Box Clever before the Court of Appeal in a case brought by the Pensions Regulator to consider the Upper Tribunal’s powers when dealing with financial support directions.

JUNIORS

Andrew Mold
Highly regarded junior who receives praise for his measured approach in court and his ability to simplify complex pension issues. He often appears unled in significant cases and specialises in professional negligence and regulatory aspects.
Strengths: “He is outstandingly intelligent, incredibly easy to work with and flexible. He has a really fabulous manner and is supremely intelligent.” “He struck the right balance between technical advice and tactical advice.”
Recent work: Instructed for the administrators of the Nortel Networks Pensions Scheme on the powers of the Pensions Regulator to compel other companies to fund the scheme.

Edward Sawyer 
A gifted and experienced pensions barrister who has appeared in several high-profile cases affecting the industry. He is often involved in long-running litigation with international elements concerning pension schemes and the Regulator.
Strengths: “He sees the big picture and thinks of innovative strategies for taking things forward.”
Recent work: Acted for the Trustee of the IBM Pension Plan following a major trial and ruling that determined that IBM had breached its duty of good faith.

Emily Campbell 
Maintains an impressive reputation for her handling of pension matters that contain financial, actuarial or tax aspects. She is also experienced in regulatory, professional negligence and rectification issues.
Strengths: “She’s able to cut through the detail on complex academic pensions law questions and come to working practical solutions.” “Her mathematical brain is almost as impressive as her legal brain, which is of huge benefit when dealing with pension cases that involve complex maths issues.”
Recent work: Represented the proposed representative beneficiary in a dispute regarding a mistake in a scheme’s early retirement arrangement.

Emily McKechnie
A well-reputed chancery lawyer whose expertise in pensions is complemented by her burgeoning reputation in professional negligence.
Strengths: “She’s very adept at finding practical solutions around very difficult and complex issues.” “She’s very good with clients and extremely professional. She’s a good orator and very good at conveying things verbally in an understandable manner.”
Recent work: Acted for the BBC in a case brought by a member complaining that a capped pay rise was contrary to Section 91 of the Pensions Act 1995 and breached the trust rules.

James Walmsley 

An established pensions junior who is highly reputed for his diligent work ethic. He is well versed in regulatory investigations. Strengths: “He’s extremely clever, easy to work with and makes himself available.” “He’s a really autonomous junior who will just run with a case on his own until the leader is available.”

Recent work: Assisted the Trustee of the Merchant Navy Pension Scheme in a trial for the approval of the handling of a large deficit.

Benjamin Faulkner
Promising junior with a broad commercial chancery practice. He specialises in pensions and related professional negligence disputes.
Strengths: “He’s very easy to work with, he’s very calm and he produces very good work very quickly.” “He puts the work in and is prepared to get into the detail, and all that with an easy-going friendly manner.”
Recent work: Assisted with the high-profile IBM litigation, challenging significant pension cuts at trial and acting in the consequential issues hearing.

Thomas Robinson 
Enjoys a wealth of experience in regulatory, moral hazard and insolvency cases. Highly valued by the Pensions Regulator.
Strengths: “He’s very considered, level-headed and a good strategist.” “He’s very good in court; he’s very calm and won’t be pushed around.”
Recent work: Acted in Re Desmond & Sons, a case that sought Contribution Notices against the former directors of a manufacturer and distributor.

Sebastian Allen 

A well-regarded junior with experience in the full spectrum of pensions cases. Has advised and advocated on some of the most large-scale pensions disputes, including Silentnight and Nortel. Strengths: “He was always approachable and willing to help.” “A massive brain.”

Recent work: Acted for British Airways in a challenge against the trustees’ decision to utilise an unusual discretionary power and make pension increases.

Bobby Friedman

A respected pensions junior with considerable regulatory experience. He has acted in some of the most high-profile pensions disputes and trials.
Strengths: “A rising star. He’s unafraid to make difficult calls and he portrays a confidence that belies his years.” “He’s been very consistent and authoritative in the advice he’s provided.”
Recent work: Acted for the Pensions Regulator in proceedings concerning Section 7 of the Pensions Act 1995 in relation to the appointment of a trustee to an occupational pension scheme.

James McCreath
Acts for employers, trustees and scheme members in a variety of pension disputes. He has gained particular exposure to Section 75 debt claims and regulatory cases.
Strengths: “He’s a great team player, who is very smart and has excellent drafting skills.” “He masters his brief very well and works very effectively with his leader.”
Recent work: Defended two Russian companies against the Pensions Regulator, who sought high value contribution notices.

Thomas Seymour 
Has a broad commercial chancery practice encompassing both pensions and trusts.
Strengths: “He has a strong instinct about what the right thing is to do and he builds an intellectual case around that.” “He’s incredibly thoughtful and can be relied upon to get the right answer.”

Jonathan Chew 
Enjoys a busy and broad pensions practice. He has acted in regulatory cases concerning moral hazard, liberation and debt issues.
Strengths: “His opinions and written submissions were excellent.” “He’s very hard-working, bright and a really good team player.”
Recent work: Acted for the trustees in a dispute concerning Capgemini’s obligation to pay towards the debt on leaving the scheme.

Professional Negligence (Band 3) 

THE SET

Leading commercial and chancery set with an enviable reputation at the Professional Negligence Bar. Members at Wilberforce Chambers are often instructed to act for and against legal and construction professionals, including solicitors, engineers and architects. Recent cases include CIP Properties v Galliford Try, concerning the redevelopment of Birmingham Children’s Hospital, and Accolade Wines v VolkerFitzpatrick, a £170 million claim in respect of defective concrete flooring at a drinks distribution warehouse. Instructing solicitors comment on the “good spread of specialists” at the set and say: “They are difficult to beat, frankly.”

Client service: “The clerking team is very helpful and goes above and beyond those of other sets I have used.” “The clerks at Wilberforce are very commercial and very responsive.” Nicholas Luckman is the practice director and Mark Rushton is the head clerk.

SILKS

Ian Croxford QC
An impressive advocate who boasts an extensive track record of dealing with large-scale professional liability cases. Takes on claims involving a wide range of professionals, including civil engineers, stockbrokers, solicitors and management consultants, among others.
Strengths: “He’s robust, very good with clients, and one of the best cross-examiners I’ve ever seen.” “His attention to detail and ability to identify alternative and sustainable arguments, combined with his pragmatic advice, is invaluable.”

Paul Newman QC
Best known for his pensions expertise, Paul Newman QC also has a wealth of experience in handling professional negligence claims relating to pension schemes and other financial services.
Strengths: “Paul is very committed as an advocate, very confident and energetic.” “An absolutely outstanding advocate, who fights with a passion which seems to be lacking in many others.”
Recent work: Acted in Strawson v Berkeley Burke, concerning an alleged failure to maintain accurate trust records as well as allegedly negligent tax advice.

Joanna Smith QC
Highly thought of for her advocacy and her technical skills, Joanna Smith QC takes on a full spectrum of professional negligence claims, although she is especially well versed in cases concerning the construction industry.
Strengths: “Her written work is fantastic, her advocacy is first class and she’s excellent with clients.” “By far the best and most supportive barrister I’ve ever worked with. She is down to earth and really values the importance of having a good relationship with her clients.”
Recent work: Acted for a subcontractor as one of the defendants in CIP Properties (AIPT) Limited v Galliford Try and Others, a multiparty claim alleging negligence in the redevelopment of Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

John Wardell QC
Maintains a strong commercial practice with a steady emphasis on professional negligence matters in which he acts for both claimants and defendants. He regularly takes on cases relating to legal, financial and property services, and also regularly defends other barristers against claims of negligence.
Strengths: “He’s very experienced, with an unerring instinct for what is important in a case.” “I like the fact that he’s bold and he sticks to his guns, he never sits on the fence.”
Recent work: In PB Limited v Watson Burton, defended a silk and junior facing negligence claims relating to advice they had given on the construction of an asset sale agreement.

James Ayliffe QC
An experienced practitioner who regularly takes on high-value professional negligence claims. Particularly active on cases arising in the property and legal sectors, he also handles claims relating to accountants, actuaries and financial advisers, among others.
Strengths: “He calms the clients down; he’s very good at putting people at their ease.” “James is very measured, and prepared to stick his neck out when it’s the right thing to do.”
Recent work: Acted in Royal Mail Estates v Maples Teesdale, representing the defendant against a claim concerning a contract for the sale of a high-value development site in Kensington.

Jonathan Seitler QC
Commands an impressive professional negligence practice in the property sector, often advising on claims relating to very high-value transactions. Regularly advises on cases brought as the result of allegedly faulty advice given by solicitors and valuers.
Strengths: “He’s very personable, gives good practical advice and is not scared to jump off the fence.” “If it’s a property-based claim, he would be the first person I’d think to go to.”
Recent work: Acted in Barker v Baxendale Walker, defending a solicitor against a £19 million professional negligence claim regarding tax advice.

Lexa Hilliard QC
Although she is most often called upon to handle claims regarding accountants and insolvency practitioners, Lex Hilliard QC also regularly takes on a range of other professional negligence work. She regularly advises and litigates claims concerning auditors, investment advisers and solicitors, among others.
Strengths: “Very good on complicated, cross-border matters, she’s provided some concrete opinions on what are really complicated issues.” “Widely experienced in the field, she has excellent client skills, is a pleasure to work with and is an extremely good advocate.”

Clare Stanley QC
Represents a broad range of professionals in high-value negligence claims, including legal, financial, accountancy and insolvency practitioners. She is often involved in cases featuring highly complex and technical elements, as well as allegations of fraud.
Strengths: “With a very high level of technical ability, she’s able to see a lot of the nuances in the case.” “Clare provides highly intelligent, strategic and commercial advice.”
Recent work: Successfully defended the law firm Mishcon de Reya against claims that they acted negligently in the drafting of documents pursuant to the sale of Queens Park Rangers FC.

 

Real Estate Litigation (Band 2)

THE SET

Wilberforce demonstrates a mastery of property work, attracting work ranging from advising on real estate transactions and development proposals to high-value disputes for prominent clients. Its members are regarded as a tough proposition to come up against in court, with sources saying: Wilberforce is difficult to beat, frankly. Everybody there is at the top of their game.” The set is widely acclaimed for its widespread expertise in cases concerning adverse possession, trusts of lands, village greens, easements and restricted covenants.

Client service: “Mark Rushton is the clerk there and he gives great service. He’s brilliant at clerking and he’s my go-to person for bigger stuff. He’s very good at finding people within my budget for all my needs.”

SILKS

Jonathan Seitler QC
Continues to be considered one of the top property litigation silks of the Bar. He frequently handles a broad caseload of high-profile, complex real estate disputes.
Strengths: “He’s in a different league.” “He has immense flair.” “Jon Seitler is a standout individual – he’s very down to earth and he’s super-bright.”
Recent work: Represented Stella McCartney in a Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 case relating to the proposed development of a flagship store on Bond Street.

Joanne Wicks QC
Has a fine reputation as a top real estate QC, and has a practice centred around property transactions and professional negligence. She has recently seen an increase in arbitration and expert determination work.
Strengths: “She’s really smart and knows her stuff.” “The way she picks up facts is very impressive. She is very astute and you always feel like she knows what’s going on in the case.”
Recent work: Acted for Josephs of Bond Street in a Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 case against fashion designer Stella McCartney, resisting the proposed development of a flagship store on Bond Street in premises occupied by Josephs.

Michael Barnes QC
Well known for his work in administrative and property law. His primary focus is on cases concerning estoppel, laws of natural justice, and landlord and tenant disputes. His recent work has seen him acting in cases in the Cayman Islands and Hong Kong.
Strengths: “Highly intellectual and has a strategic mind for litigation.”

Martin Hutchings QC
Noted for his impressive property practice spanning contentious and non-contentious matters and professional liability. His areas of specialism include landlord and tenant matters, dilapidations and lease issues.
Strengths: “Technically excellent and very commercial.” “Very easy to work with, clever and thoughtful.”
Recent work: Represented the claimant in London & Regional v Corradi, a 1954 Act redevelopment case which also had elements of highway and trespass law.

James Ayliffe QC
Often praised for his approach to property cases and his effectiveness as a communicator. He is the editor of a leading landlord and tenant practitioner text and he regularly handles high-value property disputes.
Strengths: “He’s very bright and he’s very good at putting people at ease.” “Superb, gives detailed but practical advice.”
Recent work: Successfully defended a £55 million claim against a company for losses caused by breach of options.

John Furber QC
Particularly adept at handling landlord and tenant disputes, and is an expert on development and commercial property cases. His practice also incorporates matters relating to easements and restricted covenants.
Strengths: “Well respected by the court. His advice is spot-on and very rarely changes throughout the process.” “Hands-on and helpfully clear and firm in his directional steer of cases.”
Recent work: Successful claim for a declaration on behalf of the leaseholder of a commercial premises in West London that the landlord’s consent for alterations to the premises to create 16 or 17 flats had been unreasonably withheld.

Jonathan Davey QC
Has extensive experience of working in the Court of Appeal. He is an expert in real property and landlord and tenant disputes.
Strengths: “Very good with clients, and someone with a very calm manner.” “A brilliant Treasury counsel, in massive demand for good reason.”
Recent work: Acted in a high-value landlord and tenant dispute between a commercial landlord and tenant concerning Centre Point, New Oxford Street.

JUNIORS

Julian Greenhill
A major player at the Property Bar known for his expertise in handling real property and  landlord and tenant cases.
Strengths: “Very commercially focused and very good with clients. He has an excellent bedside manner.” “When you ask him to do something, he does exactly what you want – his drafting and teamwork are really impressive.”
Recent work: Represented GLH Hotels in its defence against an indemnity claim.

Tiffany Scott
Has a highly visible practice in the property litigation sector. She has become known for her work in the full spectrum of real estate cases and handles matters relating to rights of light, trespass and adverse possession. She also regularly tackles development disputes.
Strengths: “Technically very sharp and engaging with clients.” “Bright and considered.”
Recent work: Successfully achieved an expedited trial and subsequent settlement of a dispute surrounding the sale, purchase and development of land that had increased in value after the initial agreement.

Benjamin Faulkner
Focuses on high-profile, complex property litigation. He is noted for his user-friendly approach and attention to detail. His expertise extends to tenancy agreements and property statutes.
Strengths: “He’s thoughtful, very bright and he’s a pleasure to work with.” “He has great attention to detail. He is also good from a tactical perspective too, and you see that he cares about the cases he deals with.”
Recent work: Represented Gordon Ramsay in Ramsay v Love, a high-profile case concerning a major London pub.

Zoë Barton  
Has a practice that combines property, trusts and estates with other chancery work. She is known for taking on cases with elements of fraud, and for acting for high-street retailers.
Strengths: “She’s absolutely fabulous and is very persuasive before the court. I would not want to be on the end of a cross-examination by her.”
Recent work: Acted for four trustees who were looking to be registered as the proprietor of freehold land upon its registration. He successfully obtained first registration for the trustees.

 

Tax Private Client (Band 2)

THE SET

Barristers at this set are adept at dealing with highly complex offshore trusts, estate and inheritance tax planning matters. Its members represent private clients in a range of litigious personal tax disputes.

Client service: “The clerking is superb and obviously top-notch. They’ve worked on that to make sure it’s an easy and friendly system.” The head clerk is Mark Rushton.

SILKS

Brian Green QC

An experienced private client and chancery barrister, Green advises on trusts and estates as well as pension tax issues. Strengths: “The brilliant thing is his ability to see through complex matters; he is ingenious and very creative. His writing is clear and his drafting is clever.” “He has been an absolute gem: he has given amazing advice and is coming up with great solutions.”

Michael Furness QC 
Experienced in advising private clients and the Revenue on personal tax and inheritance matters. He also represents clients on offshore trust and tax litigation.
Strengths: “He is a good technician.”
Recent work: Advised on a range of issues relating to film scheme reliefs.

Jonathan Davey QC 
Having taken silk in 2016, Jonathan Davey QC has expertise representing high net worth clients in complex private tax matters. His practice also sees him representing the Crown in personal tax disputes.
Strengths: “He’s very good: personable and on the ball. He’s a real team player. He was a pleasure to work with.” “He has been extremely impressive.”

Ranked barristers in other areas:

Art and Cultural Property Law  (Band 2)

Gilead Cooper QC
An accomplished and admired traditional chancery silk who also handles disputes concerning important art and cultural property. His work takes in proceedings before the Spoliation Advisory Panel.
Strengths: “He’s very good at handling intricate points about what museums can and cannot do.”


Construction (Band 2)

Joanna Smith QC
Impressive QC with a strong construction practice and recognised skill in associated professional negligence matters. She regularly acts for prominent supplier-side clients in litigation and adjudications.
Strengths: “Her written work is fantastic, her advocacy is first-class and she’s excellent with clients.” “Commercial and a great team player.”
Recent work: Represented a subcontractor in CIP Properties Ltd v Galliford Try, a high-value multiparty dispute concerning the redevelopment of Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Information Technology (Band 2)

Alan Gourgey QC
A chancery law leader who is well regarded for his skill  in handling the commercial aspects of information technology disputes. He is noted for his ability in court, and is also recognised for his quality as an arbitrator.
Strengths: “He’s great on his feet. Judges really appreciate being addressed by him because they have the feeling that they will now get to the bottom of the issue.”

 

Restructuring/Insolvency (Band 2)

Lexa Hilliard QC
Esteemed practitioner offering an impressive breadth of experience and expertise across all areas of insolvency law. She regularly takes instruction at both the domestic and international level, while her respected practice focuses predominantly on advisory work.
Strengths: “She is absolutely superb. She is a first choice for complex restructuring work. She’s very user-friendly, easy to deal with and will turn work around very quickly.”
Recent work: Acted for former joint liquidators in the Supreme Court of Antigua in connection with their claim for remuneration.

Restructuring/Insolvency (Band 4)

Marcia Shekerdemian QC
Regularly approached by clients seeking advice on corporate and personal insolvency cases. She has carved out a niche in the area of fraud and asset recovery work, and regularly acts in cross-border cases.
Strengths: She is exceptionally good at drafting and offering strategic advice. She’s a tenacious adviser who punches well above her weight.”
Recent work: Represented a large group of bondholders following the collapse of a Luxembourg investment company dubbed the ‘death bond’ company.

Restructuring/Insolvency (Band 3)

Thomas Robinson
Inspires confidence in clients, who rate him as “unflappable and eloquent.” He is well known for his adept representation of the Pensions Regulator, and continues to be a popular choice for international insolvency matters.
Strengths: “He’s highly competent – he’s undoubtedly going to go a long way.”

Iain Pester
Routinely handles insolvency instructions on behalf of distressed corporates and individuals. His areas of skill include directors’ disqualification proceedings and shareholder disputes.
Strengths: “Iain knows his subject inside out and is diligent with research – he’s an excellent all-round junior.”
Recent work: Advised the trustee of bankruptcy of two directors of Weavering Capital. The matter concerned a USD459 million fraud.

Trusts (Band 1)

Gilead Cooper QC
Handles trusts work as part of his wide-ranging chancery practice and appears in a multitude of jurisdictions.
Strengths: “He is a shrewd litigator, who is tenacious and thoughtful.”
Recent work: Acted in a Lebanese family dispute involving trust arrangements in the UK, Guernsey and Lebanon.

Brian Green QC
Hugely respected chancery silk who is regularly instructed in complex high-value matters both domestically and in offshore jurisdictions.
Strengths: “He sees a way through very complex matters which seem to be beset with intractable problems. Ten other silks wouldn’t see what he sees, he’s that ingenious and creative.”

Robert Ham QC
Handles trusts cases both in a litigious and advisory capacity, and is also a noted expert in trusts-related professional negligence cases.
Strengths: “A doyen of the contentious trusts world, who’s one of the strongest when it comes to the paperwork.”

Fenner Moeran QC
Handles trusts cases that are high in value and of a sensitive nature. He has experience in matters resulting from matrimonial breakdown and intricate family disputes.
Strengths: “His commercial acumen is phenomenal, and his ability to work with offshore lawyers, onshore lawyers and a large wider team is second to none.”
Recent work: Acted in a high-profile will dispute involving a wealthy Pakistani family. The will was contested on the grounds of possible forgery.

Trusts NEW SILK

Jonathan Hilliard QC
Active in a wide variety of jurisdictions, and someone with expertise in high-profile divorce matters involving offshore trusts. He is well versed in the intricacies of complex offshore trust structures.
Strengths: “Exceptionally bright, and clearly destined for great things.”
Recent work: Acted for a Gibraltar law firm in its defence against claims of dishonesty regarding its management of a large trust.