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Chambers Global 2016

  • Offshore
  • Dispute Resolution: Commercial Chancery
  • Private Wealth: Tax
  • Private Wealth: Trusts

Offshore (Band 1)

SILKS

Michael Furness QC

A formidable advocate with a strong reputation for Bermuda and Cayman trust cases. His occupational pensions and professional negligence expertise is well noted.
Strengths: “He is brilliant as he’s clear in his advice, personable and hard-working. He’s a major intellectual force.” “His trusts work in Bermuda and Channel Islands is excellent.”
Recent work: Represented CoT in a tax-related claim in the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong. The case concerned depreciation allowances claimed for the construction of the aircraft refuelling facility at Hong Kong airport.

Robert Ham QC
Robert Ham specialises in trust cases, particularly those with a tax or pensions element.
Strengths: “He is a very highly regarded senior statesman in the trusts world.” “He has a stellar intellect, an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and an incredibly persuasive manner when arguing cases.”

Terence Mowschenson QC
A personable and intelligent advocate who is meticulous in his approach. He is primarily called upon to handle offshore commercial chancery cases in the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas and Gibraltar.
Strengths: “He is a very hands-on advocate who truly cares about the cases he works on.” “He has a very impressive knowledge of the law.”
Recent work: Acted in Alexander Plashekov v Sky Stream Corp and Linkov, a dispute over the ownership of a stake in the shares in Transaero Airlines.

Brian Green QC
One of London’s leading practitioners on all manners of offshore trust cases. He acts for clients in the BVI, Hong Kong, the Channel Islands and Bermuda.
Strengths: “He is an all-round leading advocate who is highly approachable.”
Recent work: Acted in the Wang Family trust case in the Supreme Court of Bermuda.

Thomas Lowe QC
Draws much praise both for his profound knowledge of the law and his work in the Cayman Islands. Trusts, insolvency and professional negligence matters are key components of his practice, and he is active in many offshore jurisdictions.
Strengths: “He has a very wide skill set and his knowledge of the market is incredible.” “If you need a safe pair of hands for a really complicated case, he is your man.”
Recent work: Acted for one of the defendants in the multi-jurisdictional case of AHAB v Saad Investment Company.

James Ayliffe QC
James Ayliffe is an experienced commercial barrister who is regularly instructed in the Channel Islands and the BVI.
Strengths: “He’s impressive in the way that he can work through conflicting views and find a way forward without being dogmatic.”
Recent work: Acted in Tawney Assets v East Pine Management, a claim in the BVI to set aside a joint venture agreement.

Jonathan Hilliard QC
Well respected for his trusts work, much of which involves the defence or attack of complex offshore structures. He is often called upon to act in the Isle of Man, Gibraltar and the BVI.
Strengths: “He is a real star in the making.” “He has a very pleasant manner and approaches matters in a commercial way.” 
Recent work: Acted in Ackerman v Hassans, a dishonesty claim in Gibraltar involving a significant trust.

JUNIORS

Graeme Halkerston
Graeme Halkerston is a former solicitor at Applebys who has an extensive offshore litigation practice.
Strengths: “He is very good indeed. It helps that he has been offshore and understands how we work. The clients love him.” “He has a real passion for the job that comes through, and he is a brilliant strategist.”
Recent work: Acted for the administrators in Lehman Brothers International v Carr, a Cayman Islands claim against a former client investor.

Andrew Child
Handles contentious trusts and estate litigation work, and has an offshore practice that spans many jurisdictions.
Strengths: “He is outstanding and a powerful advocate.”
Recent work: Acted for the wife of deceased property magnate Jack Dellal in a dispute regarding the will of her late husband.

Nikki Singla
A commercial and pragmatic junior who has appeared in courts in Bermuda, Dubai and the Cayman Islands. He leads the offshore section of the Commercial Bar Association Executive Committee.
Strengths: “He is excellent with clients, very calm, and he has a great manner to him.” “He is a very bright and impressive junior.”
Recent work: Acted for the Class A Shareholders of Bimini Bay luxury condominiums in a dispute with the developers.

Andrew Mold
Regularly handles litigation arising from offshore trust disputes. He is active in many of the traditional offshore jurisdictions, and has recently handled cases in Cyprus, Singapore and the Isle of Man.
Strengths: “Combines technical excellence with a user-friendly approach.”
Recent work: Acted in Ackerman v Line Trust & Hassans, a breach of trust claim in Gibraltar.

Dispute Resolution: Commercial Chancery (Band 2)

SILKS

Lawrence Cohen QC
A seasoned and versatile litigator who remains popular amongst clients for his broad commercial chancery caseload. He is often involved in insolvency matters and is a noted expert on financial services litigation, both on and offshore.
Strengths: “He is very good, and has an attractive conversational style in court.”

Ian Croxford QC
A vastly experienced silk with a notable domestic and international workload. He is regularly instructed in matters of professional negligence and civil fraud.
Strengths: “He is impressive on his feet in court.” “He is a great cross-examiner.”

Terence Mowschenson QC
A well-respected silk who maintains a fine commercial chancery practice and handles a wide range of business matters. He is experienced in disputes concerning partnerships, joint ventures and financial services, amongst others.
Strengths: “He is clever and capable. He is a very good client man, who always remains very calm.” “His legal knowledge is extraordinarily wide.”
Recent work: Acted on a BVI case concerning the ownership of a 20% stake in major Russian airline Transaero Airlines.

John Wardell QC
Regularly appears on cases proceeding through the Chancery Division, and is also active in offshore jurisdictions. A significant proportion of his commercial cases involve allegations of fraud relating to companies, joint ventures and partnerships.
Strengths: “He is a go-to silk for pretty much anything in the commercial, fraud or professional negligence space.” “In court he is very direct, but very effective in how he questions the witness.”
Recent work: Represented the defendants in a significant dispute between shareholders of FiCall.

Alan Gourgey QC
Offers an impressive range of expertise relevant to commercial chancery matters. He is widely regarded for his civil fraud practice, and also highly adept at handling company and insolvency disputes.
Strengths: “He is, in one word, brilliant. He has a fantastic legal mind, and he is also very commercial in how he approaches disputes. Excellent at dealing with everybody, he’s approachable and not aloof. Once in court, he’s a great cross-examiner who can deliver submissions without any reference to notes.”
Recent work: Acted on Telfer v Pisani, a case regarding the collapse of a tiling joint venture.

James Ayliffe QC
Regularly advises and represents clients involved in disputes proceeding in foreign jurisdictions. He maintains a broad practice comprising all manner of  commercial chancery cases.
Strengths: “He is very user-friendly, and has the ability to digest information and advise coherently on the most complex of legal arguments.”
Recent work: Represented Bank Leumi against GHM in a significant claim resulting from an abortive property development.

Lexa Hilliard QC
Handles a wide range of substantial claims, especially those touching upon professional negligence, insolvency and company issues. Her practice is further strengthened by her abilities as a mediator.
Strengths: “Her performance was excellent – she was really on top of all aspects of the case. Her performance on paper and her delivery to the judge were excellent, and she was available night and day and at short notice.”
Recent work: Represented the claimant in NGM Sustainable Developments v Wallis, a case concerning fraudulent misrepresentation.

Joanna Smith QC
Takes instructions in a wide array of commercial chancery cases, particularly those regarding professional negligence and insurance. She is also acknowledged for her expertise in construction matters.
Strengths: “She is forthright, excellent with clients, and her attention to detail is impeccable. She has a lovely style when on her feet and has a lot of character.”
Recent work: Acted on a negligence claim brought against Bird & Bird solicitors following the conveyancing of a substantial St John’s Wood property.

Fenner Moeran QC
Receives praise from impressed peers and solicitors who see him in top-quality traditional and commercial chancery cases. His commercial practice involves professional negligence and fraud claims, although he is best known for his pensions work.
Strengths: “He is very good, and a strong, doughty advocate.” “He is very bubbly, bright and good strategically.”
Recent work: Instructed by Dalriada Trustees in respect of fraudulent or unlawful pension schemes and the recovery of funds invested in them.

Tim Penny QC
Frequently works on cases with an international flavour, especially those involving worldwide freezing and search orders. His experience and knowledge of commercial disputes is broad and takes in commercial fraud, partnership and shareholder disputes.
Strengths: “He is thorough and diligent.” “He is silk quality.”
Recent work: Acted on FCA v Asset Land, a dispute concerning alleged significant breaches of the Financial Services and Markets Act.

JUNIORS

Max Mallin
Regularly instructed in relation to company law disputes centring upon shareholder disputes and breaches of directors’ duties. His broad commercial chancery practice also sees him handling fraud and banking and finance issues.
Strengths: “He has a thorough understanding of business and how things operate, which is always a major benefit.”
Recent work: Represented the defendant in Marco Pierre White v Featherman, a case concerning the breach of a joint venture agreement.

Graeme Halkerston
Frequently instructed in high-value, high-stakes cases concerning financial and insolvency issues. He is also well known for his ability to handle cases in offshore jurisdictions, especially in the Cayman Islands.
Strengths: “He is a very good and tenacious advocate.” “His brilliantly quick mind cuts through the noise to get to the heart of issues quickly.”
Recent work: Acted on BVI litigation concerning the liquidation of an investment fund holding assets worth over USD1 billion.

Tiffany Scott
A notable junior who is well versed in a wide range of commercial chancery matters. She is instructed by solicitors seeking counsel for matters concerning civil fraud and insolvency. She also handles partnership and fund litigation.
Strengths: “Exceptionally bright and hard-working. She makes the advice very easy to understand when tackling subjects that are very, very difficult.”
Recent work: Acted on Zarach v Douba, a shareholder dispute involving the owners of a business set up to run two Italian restaurants in London.

Iain Pester
A fine junior who is well liked by peers, and who tackles a varied commercial chancery workload. He takes instructions in matters concerning civil fraud and insolvency, and is also an expert on jurisdictional disputes.
Strengths: “He’s a deep thinker and, whereas some counsel shoot from the hip, he’s measured and thinks very deeply about things so that you get extremely good-quality advice.” Opponents say: “He is a very courteous opponent.”
Recent work: Represented the defendant in Port Capital v Zulfikar Masters, a case concerning a claim on a guarantee.

Nikki Singla
Maintains a busy contentious and non-contentious commercial chancery practice. He is also noted for his offshore work and has particular expertise in cases occurring in the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
Strengths: “He’s absolutely delightful to be against as he’s utterly fair and charming.” “He gets under the skin of the case and is a very good team player.”
Recent work: Acted as claimant counsel on a significant banking fraud claim brought by eGain against Barclays Bank and 14 other defendants.

Andrew Mold
A versatile junior who maintains a strong presence in both the traditional and commercial chancery areas. His commercial work is characterised by regular appearances in cases concerning trusts, fiduciary duties, financial services and fraud.
Strengths: “He is very patient and talks things through. He’s also very good under pressure and user-friendly.”
Recent work: Appeared on a case concerning allegations of conspiracy arising from the development of the One Hyde Park residential scheme in London.

Private Wealth: Tax (Band 2)

SILKS

Michael Furness QC
An experienced litigator, who has a strong focus on work relating to both onshore and offshore trusts and is well equipped to deal with matters concerning clients from overseas.
Strengths: “He is extremely good. He is a core chancery practitioner who has very great knowledge of private client and inheritance tax law.” “He is very good and very responsive.”
Recent work: Appealed on behalf of Samarkand and Proteus Film Partnerships in a case involving the denial of tax relief.

Brian Green QC
A leading chancery practitioner with a strong practice in private client issues. He specialises in matters relating to trusts and estates, and also advises clients on pension-related tax.
Strengths: “He is known as a pensions and trusts man and has a tremendously good reputation on that side. He is very bright indeed and has a very good following in his area.” “Masterful, definitely at the top of his form.”

Jonathan Davey QC
Appointed on numerous high-value private client matters, he handles complex litigation matters with aplomb. He is experienced in handling significant matters relating to the creative industries and also advises individuals on pensions and tax avoidance cases.
Strengths: “He is an excellent draftsman and a charming and effective advocate with a good understanding of tax avoidance cases.”

Private Wealth: Trusts (Band 1)

SILKS

Robert Ham QC
Undertakes trust litigation and advisory work and is regarded by solicitors as “a top-flight silk.” He handles a range of private client work, and is good on tax law and trusts-related professional negligence.
Strengths: “He is very approachable and very affable yet has tremendous authority.” “He is very user-friendly, responsive and quick to pick things up.”
Recent work: Represented the trustee in a large-scale Bermuda trust dispute concerning rights to trust information.

Brian Green QC
Handles all aspects of commercial and private trusts work and is widely hailed as “one of the great names of the Chancery Bar.” He is experienced in a range of UK and offshore courts and is frequently sought out to handle multimillion-pound trust disputes.
Strengths: “He has a mastery of the subject and very good advocacy and client-handling skills.” “He is incredibly thorough and the quality that comes out of him is quite something. He is charming and unflappable and that comes from the fact that he is incredibly prepared.”

Gilead Cooper QC
Specialises in contentious trusts and brings the experience to bear of having been a former litigation solicitor in a city firm. He enjoys an increasingly international practice and has handled a range of trusts disputes in the BVI, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda.
Strengths: “He gives incisive, well-crafted opinions and is a fearless advocate.” “Gilead is very methodical and diligent in his approach and is able to argue clearly and concisely, expertly navigating through ancillary issues that have been raised by the opposition in an attempt to distract the judge from the purpose of the proceedings.”
Recent work: Represented the Earl of Cardigan in a Court of Appeal challenge to the trustee’s decision to sell Tottenham House.

Fenner Moeran QC
Tackles high-profile family trust disputes as part of his traditional chancery practice. He is frequently instructed in offshore disputes and has recently appeared in litigation in Guernsey and Bermuda.
Strengths: “He delivers tailored advice and is a great team player.” “He’s very client-friendly and fun to work with.”
Recent work: Acted on behalf of several offshore professional trustees in the Rothschild group in Salem v Salem, a multimillion-pound dispute concerning property and trading assets held in Guernsey trusts.

NEW SILK

Jonathan Hilliard QC
Enjoys a broad trusts practice, handling private, commercial and pension trusts disputes. He has experience acting without a leader in a range of English and offshore courts, and has advised on the full spectrum of trusts issues.
Strengths: “He is excellent at making a complicated case seem simple for a judge and he comfortably holds his own.” “He’s very strong, user-friendly, hard-working and quick, both intellectually and in his response times.”
Recent work: Defended US law firm Ackerman against dishonesty allegations relating to their running of a substantial trust.

JUNIORS

Mark Studer
Handles the full range of drafting, advisory work and private client litigation in the field of trusts. He has particular experience of dealing with the affairs and administration of charities, and he himself is a trustee of several charities.
Strengths: “His gravitas and knowledge are extraordinary and of great help to the court.” “He’s an excellent draftsman who’s very straightforward, direct and clear about how he expresses his views.”
Recent work: Represented the appellant in Chinachem Charitable Foundation Ltd v The Secretary for Justice of Hong Kong, a Court of Appeal case concerning the interpretation of a will relating to an estate of HKD86 billion.

Andrew Child
Focuses his practice on contentious trust and estate disputes. He has been involved in several high-profile cases in recent years and has experience of acting in trials without a leader.
Strengths: “Andrew Child is great on his feet and my first choice for a difficult undue influence claim.” “He is an outstanding and powerful advocate.”
Recent work: Acted in Re Goss, a probate and proprietary estoppel dispute concerning valuable farmland.