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Chambers & Partners, 2019

Wilberforce celebrates continued success in the 2019 edition of Chambers & Partners, highlighting collective strength across our core practice areas and the expertise and experience of members of chambers and staff. We are recognised as a leading set in 12 areas (below), including improved set rankings in the Chancery: Commercial and Commercial Dispute Resolution sections. Overall, we have 138 barrister rankings, which includes five new entries and 23 improved individual rankings. Furthermore, we are pleased that Chambers & Partners has recognised the growing area of trusts law in the family/matrimonial context and we are delighted to see two of the seven barristers ranked are from Wilberforce: Jonathan Hilliard QC and Andrew Mold.

Leading set rankings:

  • Chancery: Commercial
  • Chancery: Traditional
  • Charities
  • Commercial Dispute Resolution
  • Company
  • Fraud: Civil
  • Offshore
  • Pensions
  • Professional Negligence
  • Real Estate Litigation
  • Restructuring/Insolvency
  • Tax: Private Client

Agriculture & Rural Affairs

Mark Wonnacott QC
Well-respected property litigator with a broad-based rural practice. Peers praise him for his knowledge of the more specialist aspects of land law, such as manorial and mineral rights.
An extremely safe pair of hands, he is really efficient. If you’re going to counsel, you want a nice piece of punchy advice, and that’s what you’re going to get from him.

Art and Cultural Property Law

Gilead Cooper QC
Traditional chancery barrister whose practice centres on acting for museums, galleries and other institutions. He has experience in title disputes and is a contributor to Palmer on Bailment.
A very good man in a crisis as he’s excellent at finding ways through issues. He is very clear in his advice and in his work.” “Good at strategy and plotting things out.
Recent work: Acted in Zoullas v Zoullas, providing expert evidence for use in US proceedings concerning the beneficial title to a Monet painting.

Chancery: Commerical (Band 1)

THE SET
Wilberforce is recognised as an “extremely high-end chancery set” and one “that is obviously excellent and blessed with a great range of barristers.” It has some of the leading silks in the market on board, along with “very bright and able juniors, some of whom are up to silk level themselves in terms of the expertise and knowledge they have.” The set has grown more than any other in the market over the past decade, during which time areas such as insolvency have been fostered in order to complement its long-standing strength in commercial litigation, trusts, pensions and civil fraud cases. As ever, the set attracts high-value, complex matters, many of which are international in nature. Recent examples of work undertaken include the Supreme Court case of Abela v Baadarani, the Bitel litigation, and the very high-profile matter of AHAB v Saad Investment Company. In commenting on the barristers here, one solicitor states: “They are incredibly commercial in their outlook. I like them because of this but also because they are down to earth and can speak the client’s language.”

Client Service:The clerks always know the right person to connect you with and they are very helpful. They always try and make things work.” Head Practice Manager Mark Rushton is especially praised for being an “excellent operator” who has “global reach and a clear understanding of key offshore markets.

Alan Gourgey QC
A popular member of the Commercial Chancery Bar, who is particularly praised for his “second to none” work ethic and his ability to handle top-flight cases. His expertise include civil fraud, insolvency and banking litigation as well as international arbitration.
Truly phenomenal on his feet. He is someone who is very numerical and very good at mastering a high level of detail. When he presents to the court he makes devastating points in a simple, understated way.” “He is very dynamic, has an excellent commercial mind set, and is someone who gives very effective, hands-on, clever advice.
Recent work: Acted in a USD400 million dispute concerning the enforcement of a Nigerian arbitration award.

Andrew Mold
A well-liked junior with a broad chancery practice, who is effective in fraud and breach of fiduciary duty cases. He is admired for the quality of his advice and advocacy. His work also includes property, pensions and partnership disputes.
Incredibly detailed, he thinks of every possible eventuality.” “He has good intellectual capability and is exceptional on paper. He can dissect really complex points in a way which the court can readily follow.
Recent work: Acted in a dispute over how a property business should be split between two sides of a warring family.

Terence Mowschenson QC
A senior silk with a strong reputation for his “encyclopaedic” knowledge of the law and all-round commercial chancery expertise. He sits as a Deputy High Court Judge in the Chancery and Queen’s Bench divisions.
There is almost no area of chancery law he doesn’t know about. In addition, he cares about his clients and he cares about the case.” “A charming advocate whom judges really like to listen to. His written work is to the point and economical; there is no surplus. He is very good at explaining things simply and inspiring confidence in clients.
Recent work: Instructed in a dispute over ownership of 20 per cent of the shareholding of one of Russia’s largest airlines.

James Ayliffe QC
Has a broad commercial chancery practice, and has handled many joint venture and real property cases. He is regarded as very thorough and measured in his approach, and is also recognised for his work on professional negligence, real estate and contentious trust matters.
Someone who can be relied upon to anticipate what judges are going to say; he is extremely good in court. He’s very good at reading judges and he really knows the legal background incredibly well.” “His drafting is strong and he is also good strategically.
Recent work: Represented the defendant, a major US engineering company, in a multimillion-pound claim for breach of conditional contract for the sale and purchase of land for the construction of a new manufacturing facility in England.

James Bailey
Acts in a variety of commercial chancery matters, including company law, fraud and insolvency cases. Sources regard him as a strong candidate for silk. He has a strong international practice acting in cases concerning the US, Switzerland, Italy, Hong Kong and Japan.
An excellent advocate who commands a courtroom; he is very bright and good with clients.” “He’s very good in conference as he is very direct and doesn’t sit on the fence. He very much works alongside you and is very supportive.
Recent work: Acted in a multi-jurisdictional dispute between the two partners in an international architectural practice pertaining to its dissolution.

Ian Croxford QC
A powerful advocate with a good deal of experience in the commercial chancery world. His practice has a particularly prominent civil fraud strand. He also has extensive experience of dealing with high-profile professional negligence cases against solicitors, accountants and stockbrokers.
A most persuasive advocate who is extremely clever and extremely likeable as an opponent.” “He is really smooth and has a really conversational style with the judge.

Graeme Halkerston
Has particular expertise in offshore cases in the Cayman Islands, where he was a partner in a leading firm for several years. He is praised as a clever and experienced advocate.
A very strong advocate who is hard-working, user-friendly, knowledgeable and insightful.
Recent work: Acted in Meridian v Batista, a case concerning a worldwidefreezing injunction (WFI) against Eike Batista, a Brazilian oil magnate once ranked seventh on the Forbes rich list. The matter revolved around an elaborate and complex oil fraud.

Edward Sawyer
A hard-working junior whose practice encompasses breach of fiduciary duty, trusts and company law cases, among others. He is noted for his suitability for large and document-heavy cases.
Thinks of everything and is incredibly considered in his approach. His drafting style is just excellent; he is very clear and conscious of giving full detailed advice to clients. He is incredibly good at being on top of all technicalities and strategically he understands what clients want to achieve.
Recent work: Acted for one of the parties in a joint venture dispute concerning allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and breach of trust. The joint venture involved the development of high-end properties in Mayfair.

Joanna Smith QC
Has a strong commercial chancery practice that takes in professional negligence and insolvency matters. Her cases often involve novel or subtle points of law, and a number of them go to appeal. She is also experienced in both domestic and international arbitration.
A cracking team player who comes to the table without any ego.” “She is excellent and very clear on her feet.
Recent work: Acted for the defendant solicitors in a professional negligence claim alleging failure to report to clients on the content of a Plansearch report during the conveyancing of a £25 million London property.

John Wardell QC
A highly thought-of barrister with a good reputation for fraud and professional negligence work in particular. Sources describe him as an excellent advocate and a good team player. He also often handles claims for breach of trust and breach of fiduciary duty.
A ferocious cross-examiner. He is robust and incisive and has a very good instinct as a litigator.
Recent work: Instructed in a dispute arising out of the demerger of a group of property companies.

Lawrence Cohen QC
An experienced commercial chancery silk who leads substantial and complicated matters to successful conclusions. His recent caseload has involved a significant element of shareholder dispute work and an international aspect.
He’s incredibly decisive and always up to speed on new developments in the law.

Lexa Hilliard QC
A respected silk whose practice includes company and fraud disputes, and who is particularly known for her insolvency work. Sources praise her for her technical ability and practicality. She also regularly handles arbitration and advises on offshore disputes.
Really distinguishes herself with her paperwork and seems to have a real knack for anticipating points that judges are going to raise. She is a good person to go to if you want to avoid court or know how best to maximise your position.
Recent work: Acted in a claim for an injunction to restrain the defendant, a Chinese incorporated company, from breaching a settlement agreement and making threats of violence against the claimant’s officers.

Thomas Lowe QC
Has a strong reputation for offshore commercial chancery work, particularly in the Cayman Islands, and is described by one solicitor as “an international superstar in cross-border insolvency.” He is admitted in both the BVI and the Cayman Islands.
An excellent operator, who is incredibly user-friendly and a go-to silk for offshore work.
Recent work: Acted in AHAB v Saad Investment Company, a case concerning the largest ever Ponzi scheme which defrauded victims of USD350 billion.

James McCreath
A bright and well-regarded junior with a broad commercial chancery practice. Sources praise him for his technical ability and his willingness to work hard. His cases often involve property, pensions or trusts.
A real brainbox who gets on with clients very well and has a great sense of humour.” “A very academic lawyer who knows all the relevant law, he simplifies and explains legal arguments very well.
Recent work: Represented United Utilities in a matter concerning its ability to charge the owners of Liverpool and Birkenhead Docks for sewerage charges.

Fenner Moeran QC
Praised as a modest and straightforward QC with a direct and effective advocacy style. He handles commercial chancery cases of many different stripes, many of which involve company law, fraud and pensions issues.
Positively effervescent with enthusiasm and a man who has good ideas. You definitely want to have him on your side because he will really drive a case forward.” “He is quick and a good judge of how the court will respond.

Iain Pester
A Russian speaker with a good reputation for commercial chancery work. His practice has a particular focus on fraud and insolvency matters.
Got a very good eye for detail and has a very good grasp of legal issues. He is able to exploit the other side’s deficiencies or mistakes quite ruthlessly.” “Incredibly bright, extremely deep-thinking and extremely well prepared, he puts cases forward in an extremely effective way and understands complicated issues.
Recent work: Acted for two defendants in a case concerning claims of alleged civil fraud in relation to the running of a foundation school.

Thomas Robinson
A well-liked junior with an aptitude for technically complicated legal issues. His practice includes both pensions and insolvency cases, as well as other general commercial chancery work. Robinson regularly appears in offshore cases.
Has a very efficient, linear mind, and structures his arguments extremely well.” “He’s extremely bright and makes everything easy to work through, even if it’s complex – nothing rattles him. Very organised in his approach, he knows exactly what he’s doing and when he’s doing it.
Recent work: Acted in Camden Market Holdings Corp & Others v Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, a claim for damages for breach of an implied term in the banking documentation of a now insolvent Irish Bank.

Anna Littler
A talented junior with a direct and focused approach to commercial chancery work, who shines in civil fraud and insolvency work. Interviewees praise her for her ability to work through a complicated question and produce a reliable answer. She has recent experience of working in the Isle of Man and the Caribbean.
Exceptionally clever, highly articulate and someone who sees the big picture.” “She is a good sounding board for the instructing solicitor and has a great sense of what will look good before a court.
Recent work: Acted for the liquidators of a company in a claim for fraudulent breach of duty against its former directors.

Max Mallin QC
Has a respected commercial chancery practice, and is effective at company law and fraud cases. Mallin is a convincing advocate who is known for the commerciality of his advice. He regularly acts in shareholder disputes, commercial fraud claims and freezing injunctions.
A very numerate lawyer, who is better with numbers than pretty much any other barrister out there.” “Max is incredibly bright and very, very well prepared for cross-examination. He is not afraid of being very robust in terms of tactics and strategy.
Recent work: Acted in re TPD Investments, appearing for one of the principal respondents to a Section 994 Petition.

Emer Murphy
Has a varied practice that encompasses property, trusts and professional negligence cases. Sources describe her as an effective advocate who produces especially attractive paperwork.
A bright, sparky junior who’s like a dog with a bone; she will argue with great tenacity.” “She is a very thorough advocate who really does her homework and considers every possible angle.
Recent work: Acted in Twin Benefits v Barker and Confiance, a case concerning the unwinding of a multimillion-pound offshore trust.

Tim Penny QC
A thorough and capable junior silk who has a strong practice handling injunctions, including freezing orders, as well as cases of commercial fraud and bankruptcy. His work often involves cross-border and conflicts of laws issues.
Has good expertise, particularly in the financial services area.” “He is very good at what he does and the social aspect is there. Clients quickly develop a rapport with him and like his advice.
Recent work: Acted for the claimants in a breach of contract and fraud claim against ten defendants relating to a sale and purchase agreement of shares in an Irish company.

Marcia Shekerdemian QC
Instructed in a variety of commercial chancery matters, and has a particular focus on insolvency work. Praised for her client skills, she has experience of appearing before courts in the Cayman Islands and the Isle of Man.
Handles cases very well and gets good results. She analyses very cleverly and argues cases very well using a precise, concise advocacy style.” “Her written work is very good, she does very good skeleton arguments.
Recent work: Acted for the defendants in a breach of fiduciary and statutory duty claim brought by a company’s liquidator. The claim included allegations of the misuse of the proceeds of sale of a large property development.

Clare Stanley QC
Has a broad chancery practice and is an expert in civil fraud and insolvency cases. She is a forceful advocate who is admired for her ability to identify the good and bad points in a case with objectivity. Stanley is regularly instructed in cases relating to breach of trust and fiduciary duty, cross-border insolvency and fraud.
Shows outstanding ability and dedication when handling complex, commercial, multi-jurisdictional work.” “She is very cool, calm and collected, and a force to be reckoned with.
Recent work: Acted for the main defendant, of eleven, against a claim alleging breach of a pledge over shares in a Cyprus company.

Tiffany Scott QC
Works on a range of chancery matters, including shareholder disputes and joint ventures. She also handles claims against fiduciaries and claims arising out of insolvency and civil fraud.
Fierce when you need her to be fierce, she is just brilliant in court and her legal mind is incredible. She is very direct and matter of fact and has a good presence in the courtroom.” “Tiffany is very assured, highly realistic and someone who can manage client expectations in difficult circumstances.
Recent work: Acted in Axle Holdings v Letter, a claim for fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of warranty against the sellers of shares in a company which manufactures and sells high-security limousines and other vehicles.

Nikki Singla QC 
Has a primarily litigious practice and is praised for his committed and determined advocacy. His chancery practice covers a wide range of commercial and business disputes including those relating to professional negligence, contracts and joint ventures.
Incredibly commercial with clients and speaks their language. He gets the balance right between impressing clients, working with solicitors, and understanding the commercial realities of day-to-day business.” “A very effective, robust and ferocious advocate whose elevation to silk was entirely to be expected.
Recent work: Acted in a large and hostile shareholder dispute between the owners of the ‘Dishoom’ Indian restaurants in London.

Chancery: Traditional (Band 1)

THE SET
Wilberforce Chambers is a leading chancery set that provides expertise in a wide variety of domestic and international disputes. It is acknowledged for its strength in traditional chancery matters, with one legal expert reporting that “it is a powerhouse for private client work.” Sources further praise it as “a 21st century operation” and note that the barristers there are “technically brilliant but also highly commercial.” Members are well-known for their work in trusts, tax and probate matters and are also acknowledged for their familiarity with key offshore jurisdictions. One market insider enthuses that “this is a top chancery set with people who are intellectually streets ahead of almost everybody else.” Another adds that “the set has really good quality which goes down deep.” Recent cases handled include Freedman v Freedman, and the major Hong Kong case of Tang v Tang.

Client Service:The clerking team is just fantastic. The combination of practice director Nicholas Luckman and head practice manager Mark Rushton is really stellar. They are a great team.” “The set is service-orientated. It is a very slick operation and is the antithesis of your old-school barristers chambers.

Brian Green QC
Highly rated silk who is a leading practitioner in trust and estate law. He is further praised for having wide-ranging experience in other chancery matters, and is a noted expert in offshore disputes. His expertise also extends to pension and family disputes.
An extraordinarily brilliant man and one of the best advisers and advocates at the Chancery Bar. He is very good with clients and inspires confidence.” “Incredibly intelligent, he deals with huge cases in a down to earth and sensible manner.
Recent work: Acted in Tang v Tang, appearing for the respondent in an appeal to Hong Kong’s most senior court on the limits of the remedy of account of profits in a constructive trust case.

Emily Campbell
Has a practice encompassing a broad range of chancery work. She is particularly experienced in litigation and advisory work relating to trusts, estates, pension schemes and taxation. Campbell also has expertise in international matters and is known for her ability to deal with technical trust issues with considerable mathematical content.
Very responsive, very practical and very clear-minded, she gives really solid advice on complicated trusts matters. She provides detailed and well thought-out advice you can always rely on.
Recent work: Instructed in a long-running dispute concerning the conversion of a Liechtenstein establishment into a foundation. The allegations included breaches of trust, wilful default and the wrongful distribution of significant trust assets.

Andrew Child
Leading junior in the field of traditional chancery, who often handles many of the most important cases concerning estate and trust litigation both domestically and offshore. He is noted for his expertise in breach of trust claims and specialises in disputes with an element of fraud or undue influence.
A sharp-witted and tough litigator, who is persuasive in court and knows how to construct a neat and concise argument.” “He is brilliant at working out the best strategy in a case and helping the instructing solicitor implement it.
Recent work: Represented the trustees in bankruptcy of the estate of Brinsley Black in connection with various claims brought against them by the estate of his late wife.

Gilead Cooper QC
Specialises in contentious trust and property matters on both a domestic and international basis. He is highly regarded for his expertise in offshore matters and regularly appears in overseas courts on high-profile cases. His expertise in art and cultural property matters is also acknowledged by the market.
He’s a great creative thinker who’s a great one for pulling a rabbit out of the hat in a case where no one else knows what to do.
Recent work: Involved in a dispute between the Dowager Countess Bathurst and the current earl who is her stepson. The dispute relates to the Dowager’s intended use of £13 million worth of family heirlooms.

Michael Furness QC
Noted for his work in onshore and offshore disputes, he often deals with trust and tax litigation as well as associated professional negligence matters. His cases often involve complex, multi-jurisdictional issues and he is recognised for his experience of dealing with matters in the Hong Kong courts.
Very good at knotty, intellectually demanding trust matters. The more complex it is, the more likely he will be the only person who can deal with it in a reasonable and effective manner.” “He combines careful attention to detail with an incisive ability to get to the nub of the problem.

Robert Ham QC
Hugely experienced practitioner who specialises in trusts and taxation matters, handling both contentious and non-contentious work. He also deals with pensions and professional negligence matters. His expertise extends to offshore disputes for wealthy families and trust companies.
His knowledge of the law is encyclopaedic, his experience is unrivalled and he is trusted to give the right advice. He is one of the all-time greats.

Judith Bryant
Well-experienced junior who specialises in advisory and litigation work involving trusts. She often advises on trust variation matters, trustees’ applications and disputes over the interpretation of complex trusts documentation. She also acts as a mediator in a broad range of private client disputes.
Brilliant with clients and has a sure touch when dealing with sensitive cases in which parties may be quite adversarial. She is very calm and demonstrates very good judgement.

Jonathan Hilliard QC
Often involved in matters relating to complex offshore structures, he acts in various jurisdictions. He is also noted for his recent experience in dealing with highly lucrative trust and divorce cases in both onshore and offshore jurisdictions. His practice also encompasses significant pensions work.
Has a phenomenal appetite for work and has massive brainpower. Out of all the younger QCs, he’s the real rising star. His work is tremendous and nothing fazes him.

Fenner Moeran QC
Specialises in complex family disputes and frequently handles sensitive and high-profile trust cases. He has developed a substantial offshore disputes practice and is noted for his expertise in cases concerning complex property issues arising out of matrimonial breakdown. He often acts for large financial institutions as well as wealthy individuals and families.
Incredibly clever and very bright, he provides very practical and commercial advice. He is good on strategy and absolutely superb in court.” “Fenner really delves into the academic nuances which arise in this area of law. He is really committed to cases and always wins the client’s confidence.

Jonathan Davey QC
Regularly involved in complex and high-value traditional chancery disputes, he is noted for his experience in significant tax litigation and has acted in several high-profile cases relating to that area. He also has expertise in pensions and charity matters. He is further noted for his extensive familiarity with arbitration and other forms of ADR.
Demonstrates real in-depth knowledge and a full understanding of all the issues in a case.” “Even when immersed in the detail, he can cut though the nonsense and find the most relevant issues.
Recent work: Dealt with a multimillion-pound trust dispute regarding the ownership of a nationally significant property portfolio in Central England.

John Martin QC 
Exceptionally experienced barrister with specific expertise in contentious trust cases. He also has plenty of experience in offshore disputes and regularly appears in court in a variety of overseas jurisdictions. His practice also includes ADR and he is a qualified mediator.
Very wise and very sensible, he is good at suppressing the emotion in a case.” “Very forceful in court, he is a good barrister for nasty disputes when the other side is taking potshots.

Andrew Mold
Junior with a broad chancery practice who regularly appears against silks. He has particular expertise in breach of trust matters, and is excellent at handling the trust elements of high-value divorce proceedings. He also advises on pensions, fraud and partnership matters.
Extremely clever and someone who is very good at dealing with both solicitors and lay clients.” “He has good intellectual capacity and is exceptional on paper. He can dissect really complex points in a way which the court can readily follow.
Recent work: Advised in follow-up proceedings to the high-profile Estrada v Juffali divorce case. Mold advised in relation to enforcement against offshore trusts and overseas assets.

Clare Stanley QC
Focuses her practice on contentious trusts and probate litigation on both a domestic and international scale. She has significant experience of handling offshore disputes and numerous 1975 Act claims. Stanley has in-depth expertise in cases involving fiduciary duty and major fraud allegations.
Meticulously prepared for trial and someone who always gives you complete confidence, she’s a big gun whom you bring in for tough cases.” “Advocacy-wise, she is really good at judging the courtroom and how judges will react.
Recent work: Represented beneficiaries of a large trust, which included a portfolio of properties, who are suing their uncle and aunt, acting as trustees, for misappropriation of funds.

Zoë Barton
Her practice primarily encompasses a wide range of property, professional negligence and trust work. She also has experience of dealing with large-scale disputes which give rise to fiduciary duties.
Really good in court, she is tenacious, thorough and forthright.” “Zoe demonstrates clear thinking and is strategic. When you have conferences with clients, she is very adept at making them understand the pitfalls and risks in a case.
Recent work: Instructed by the son in a dispute relating to parts of his mother’s will. He alleged undue influence on behalf of her neighbours who were gifted the estate in her will.

Tiffany Scott QC
Recent silk who advises on all aspects of trusts and estates work, both on a contentious and non-contentious basis. She is also noted for her expertise in offshore and multi-jurisdictional matters. Her clients include major financial institutions as well as high-net-worth families.
Her advice is always very detailed and thorough. She demonstrates impeccable judgement and has some excellent experience for a new silk.” “She is very smart, very responsive and very bright.
Recent work: Represented the Hayward family in a trust dispute in the Bahamas which was worth over USD100 million.

Charities (Band 3)

THE SET
A set with a compact team of charities lawyers who provide support on a wide range of charities and trusts issues. Charitable status, tax, governance and trustee issues are all areas of experience. Members also provide strong litigation support to a broad range of national and international charitable organisations, including healthcare, heritage and faith-based charities. They additionally act for charitable foundations and trusts.

Client Service:The clerks are always very responsive and approachable.” “I can’t speak highly enough of their practical assistance; they’re very helpful and can always point me in the direction of a new barrister if it’s something specific we need.Mark Rushton leads the clerking team.

Michael Furness QC
An accomplished silk with long experience, most notably in trust-related matters, who is known for his work handling highly sensitive, political issues. He is particularly active in onshore and offshore tax litigation, and matters involving the international transfer of charitable assets and the international structuring of charitable organisations.
A very thorough and thoughtful counsel who provides extremely clear and helpful advice. One of his great strengths is his knowledge of both trust law and tax issues. He has the ability to combine the two to provide sensible and practical advice and solutions.

Commercial Dispute Resolution Department (Band 3)

THE SET
Wilberforce Chambers handles a vast array of commercial litigation matters. Cases relating to banking and finance, structured investment, energy transmission and civil fraud are just a few of the matters handled by a set that is renowned both domestically and internationally. Its barristers regularly appear in a number of foreign jurisdictions including Hong Kong, Singapore and the Cayman Islands and are instructed by the very best international law firms. Illustrative of their work, they recently acted in PCP v Barclays Bank, KeyMed v Michael Woodford and Paul Hillman, and Sabbagh v Khoury. One instructing solicitor affirms that “Wilberforce is a set that can produce whole teams of counsel all of whom are excellent.

Client Service: “Excellent and very accommodating, the clerks are responsive and sensible in dealing with brief fees and diary commitments.” “Chambers is well organised, efficient, and excellently managed and clerked.Mark Rushton is the head practice manager.

Alan Gourgey QC
An unrivalled expert on contractual and commercial matters who has an excellent brain and who gives clear advice.” “He’s tough and brave, and willing to explore difficult avenues of argument.
Recent work: Acted for IPCO Nigeria in arbitration award enforcement claims against the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, following a favourable judgment on damages for breach of contract.

Terence Mowschenson QC
Doesn’t sit on the fence, and advises in a way that clients understand and appreciate.” “He’s very pleasant to deal with, and very knowledgeable about the law and the offshore world.
Recent work: Acted for Alexander Plashnekov in claiming ownership of 20% of the shares of Transaero Airlines, one of Russia’s biggest airline companies.

John Wardell QC
A real team player who is formidable on his feet and has an almost unbelievable grasp of the detail in a case.” “John is a very clever tactician and an excellent advocate who is good with the client.
Recent work: Instructed to act for the claimant in PCP-LLP v Barclays Bank, a high-profile multimillion-pound claim for deceit against Barclays arising out of the rescue of Barclays at the time of the financial crash.

Ian Croxford QC
An excellent silk who is quick to grasp the points in a case. He’s very good with clients and peerless in court.” “Ian is a first-class trial lawyer with excellent judgement.

Marcia Shekerdemian QC
Incredibly committed and client-friendly, she has good technical skills and delivers incredible value and insight.
Recent work: Acted in re Sixty UK Ltd, representing the claimants in proceedings alleging professional negligence and breach of fiduciary duty against the former administrators and former CVA supervisors of the high street clothing retailer Miss Sixty.

James Walmsley
Immerses himself in the case and is a real team player. He’s got good judgement and he’s a good guy to have on your side.” “He is technically excellent and very client-focused.
Recent work: Appeared in the Court of Appeal for claimant Sana Hassib Khoury, in overturning a previous verdict that the English courts held no jurisdiction over her conspiracy case against Wael Said Khoury and others.

Company (Band 4)

THE SET
Wilberforce Chambers houses a bench of experienced company law specialists who offer clients excellent advice regarding disputes and transactional matters, and who have distinct proficiency in offshore matters. Areas of particular strength include cases concerning shareholder disputes, breaches of fiduciary duty, reorganisation issues and equitable compensation. Recent instructions include Alexander Plashekov v SkyStream and Linkov and others, a significant shareholder dispute with proceedings in the commercial court of the BVI. One interviewee says: “This is a set composed of high-quality, user-friendly advocates.

Client Service: “The clerks are very, very good. We never have difficulty getting in touch with them, and they’re very in tune with the requirements of solicitors.” “The clerks are good at being proactive and reaching out to us.Mark Rushton is the head practice manager.

Terence Mowschenson QC
An esteemed silk with an outstanding reputation in company disputes. He offers clients recognised strength in a wide array of cases, including those relating to shareholder claims, cross-border insolvency and fraud.
He’s unstoppable, good humoured and fantastic on his feet.
Recent work: Acted in Wardour Trading v Nekrich, a dispute concerning fraudulent trading.

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 and offshore litigation, and has made appearances in the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and the Caribbean. Hilliard exhibits further strength in fraud, professional negligence and banking matters.
Very proactive and goes the extra yard to come up with suggestions that we haven’t thought about. She offers incredible value and insight.
Recent work: Advised on an application in connection with the restoration of LBGP No 1 Limited to the register.

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. Most recently, she has been engaged in several high-profile shareholder litigation matters and issues concerning breach of director’s duty.
She has great knowledge and is a real fighter who is good to have on your side.
Recent work: Acted with regard to a minority shareholder petition presented under Section 994 concerning Tiebridge Property.

James Bailey
Has a broad commercial chancery practice and often appears in company disputes, displaying considerable expertise in litigation involving hedge funds and private equity houses. He receives regular instructions to act in cross-border cases, including those concerning interests in the Cayman Islands, the USA and Hong Kong.
He doesn’t sit on the fence; he lays it out straight and tells you exactly where you are.
Recent work: Appeared in Re S. Simon & Co, a case concerning breaches of directors’ duty.

Construction

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.
Ferociously bright and a great team player. She has an amazing work ethic and a will to win that is unmatched.

Family/Matrimonial : Trusts/Tax Experts

Jonathan Hilliard QC
Well-established silk, sought after for his knowledge of intersecting chancery and family matters. He regularly appears in divorce cases for high net worth clients that involve trusts in onshore and offshore jurisdictions. Hilliard is also highly regarded for his expertise in pensions issues.
Very bright and hard-working. He’s a real rising star amongst the young QCs and has a phenomenal appetite for work and phenomenal brainpower.

Andrew Mold
Regularly instructed in high-value divorce cases involving complex trust assets. His practice has seen him appear in a wide range of jurisdictions, including the Cayman Islands, Jersey and Singapore. His clients also benefit from his deep knowledge of related pensions issues.
He’s very insightful and a very good and creative draftsperson.

Fraud: Civil (Band 2)

THE SET
Wilberforce Chambers houses a large cohort of barristers who are experienced in civil fraud disputes. It acts for both claimants and defendants in an array of high-value disputes, relating to such allegations as deceit, conspiracy, fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty. Many of its instructions arise in the banking and finance sector. Members of the set possess the multi-jurisdictional knowledge required to fight cross-border cases and are proficient in asset tracing and recovery.

Client service: “A very professional chambers.” “The clerks are very easy to deal with. They have a clear global reach and an understanding of key offshore markets so they can provide barristers who fit the bill.Nicholas Luckman is the practice director and Mark Rushton is the head practice manager.

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. His instructions come from across the globe.
“He is very approachable and has got an eye for detail.” “A very good advocate who is a pleasure to work with.”
Recent work: Acted in a trial of a USD400 million dispute concerning the enforcement of a Nigerian arbitration award.

John Wardell QC
An outstanding leader with a wide-ranging practice who is accustomed to fighting complex fraud disputes. Many of his instructions originate abroad in such places as the Middle East and the Caribbean. He bolsters his civil fraud offering with complementary knowledge in commercial chancery and professional negligence law.
“A brilliant advocate.” “He has very good judgement.”
Recent work: Acted in PCP v Barclays Bank, a multimillion-pound claim for deceit against Barclays arising out of its rescue at the time of the financial crash.

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. He acts for both claimants and defendants. He is noted for his skills in obtaining injunctive relief.
“He has great judgement. He is effective at getting his points across to the judge.” “Good attention to detail.”
Recent work: Acted in Danilina v Navigator Equities, Chernukhin and Kargin, a dispute between two Russian businessmen concerning the true ownership of a company.

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.
“Incredibly decisive and has excellent knowledge of all the relevant legal authorities.”

Ian Croxford QC
Tenacious and experienced silk regularly engaged in high-profile commercial disputes and professional negligence matters in which fraud is alleged.
“A fine advocate who produces brilliant trial arguments.”

Jonathan Hilliard QC
Skilled silk who practises civil fraud as part of thriving commercial litigation practice which also includes pensions, offshore trust and regulatory work. His cases concern a variety of allegations including bribery and dishonesty.
“Extremely approachable and a pleasure to work with.” “Very user-friendly. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of insolvency-based fraud issues.”

Max Mallin QC
Instructed in heavyweight fraud claims, especially those with international or banking elements. Allegations he has dealt with include conspiracy and fraudulent misappropriation of funds. He has an expert understanding of financial markets owing to his background as an investment banker.
“Commercial, sensible, approachable and user-friendly. He always sees the bigger picture and he is very popular with clients. He is brilliant on his feet.”
Recent work: Acted for the claimants in Natural Instinct v Brock and others, a claim for equitable compensation for fraudulent misappropriation of company funds by former directors.

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. He is skilled at dealing with parallel criminal proceedings.
“Confident, tactically astute and someone who takes a no-nonsense approach to client advice.”

Tim Penny QC
An excellent advocate who has handled a number of significant fraud cases. He is especially knowledgeable in the realm of injunctive relief and is adept at obtaining and resisting worldwide freezing and search orders.
“Very user-friendly, clever and considered. A thoughtful and effective advocate.” “Very commercial and a very good team player.”
Recent work: Acted in Deutsche Bank v SHI, a dispute involving assets of the £300 million judgment debtor.

Information Technology

Alan Gourgey QC
A chancery law leader who is well regarded for his skill in handling the commercial aspects of IT disputes. He is noted for his ability in court, and is also recognised for his quality as an arbitrator. Gourgey is an experienced adviser on cases involving online gaming and software rights.
Really understands the issues and the TMT technology, and is unfazed by anything.” “He is very understated, and as a result the tribunal listens and ascribes a lot of weight to his points simply because he is not too aggressive or bombastic.
Recent work: Advised in Andanza Technologies v 724 Solutions, a USD220 million claim concerning data and video optimisation software.

Offshore (Band 1)

THE SET
Wilberforce Chambers is an established offshore presence, well known for its high-level capability across the Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, Bermuda and the BVI, as well as the Isle of Man. Barristers at the set are regularly instructed in fraud, asset tracing and good faith related proceedings, frequently representing private clients, liquidators and trust companies. Members were involved in the Cayman Islands in the matter of Torchlight, which related to the winding up of a successful investment fund.

Client Service:
The clerks are probably the best in London in terms of their knowledge of the market and their efficiency.” “Their clerks are very easy to deal with. Head practice manager Mark Rushton is an excellent operator who has clear global reach and an understanding of key offshore markets.

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. Of late he has handled matters in the Cayman Islands and Hong Kong.
Incredibly intelligent, but also down-to-earth and sensible. He has just the sort of attitude you need.
Recent work: Advised one branch of a family on strategic matters relating to the administration of the estate of a deceased high net worth individual in Hong Kong, against a backdrop of a family dispute.

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.
He is absolutely fabulous. He’s incisive, commercial and brilliant with clients. His addresses in court combine great sophistication with elegant simplicity of language.

Thomas Lowe QC
Has a wealth of experience of appearing in the Cayman Islands and the 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, and regularly acts in disputes between fund managers. Lowe is frequently called upon by commercial clients including banks and insurance companies.
An excellent operator who understands the market and is incredibly user-friendly.” “He’s very effective on his feet.
Recent work: Acted in Re Torchlight EP, a Cayman Islands matter concerning the winding up of an exempt limited partnership in Australia. Additional issues included a conspiracy claim and restraint on exercise of commercial discretion.

Terence Mowschenson QC
A popular and much-admired chancery silk who has undertaken a range of banking, finance, company and insolvency cases worldwide. His practice also encompasses joint ventures and partnerships. He has appeared in a wide range of jurisdictions, including Gibraltar, the Isle of Man, the Cayman Islands and the BVI. He has additional expertise in alternative dispute resolution proceedings.
Experienced, knowledgeable, responsive and clear-thinking.
Recent work: Acted in Alexander Pleshakov v Sky Stream Corp and Linkov and another, a dispute over the ownership of 20% of the shareholding of Transaero Airlines heard in the BVI.

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 also handles property disputes. Cooper has appeared in court proceedings in the BVI, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Hong Kong.
QC must mean quintessential counsel in Gilead’s case; he blends gravitas and commerciality with intellectual rigour.” “He comes up with novel arguments that require creative thinking.
Recent work: Acted for the settlor and beneficiary of a Bermuda trust in Re Eaglehill Trust, a dispute which arose following an action by the trustees who sought approval from a Jersey court to sell the trust’s principal assets.

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. He also provides counsel on professional negligence claims.
A really bright guy who is extremely quick-witted. He has a manner about him that inspires confidence.” “Michael is an expert at handling legal issues which require detailed and painstaking analysis.

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, restructuring proceedings and cross-border fraud.
Has an amazing capacity for detail and his advice is always spot-on, both legally and commercially. In court he is both authoritative and appealing.
Recent work: Acted in Meridian Trust Company and others v Eike Batista. The case concerned a fraud claim made by investors in bonds in a Brazilian oil company. The allegation was that the chair of the company, Eike Batista, had intentionally misled capital markets in a fraud that led to losses of USD60 billion.

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. He has recently been active in a number of intra-family disputes including high-value divorce proceedings.
Extremely clever, extremely good at client handling and very responsive. He is someone who goes the extra mile.
Recent work: Instructed in follow-on proceedings concerning enforcement actions against offshore trusts and overseas assets following the death of Dr Walid Juffali. Dr Juffali had died before payment of a large lump sum awarded to his ex-wife following their divorce.

James Ayliffe QC
A very strong chancery commercial performer who is proficient in banking, civil fraud, partnership, real estate and trusts cases. He frequently acts for trustees and high net worth individuals. Truly international in his scope, Ayliffe has handled matters in many offshore jurisdictions, as well as in a host of countries such as South Africa and the USA. His recent work has included BVI joint venture disputes.
He’s very user-friendly, very knowledgeable and someone who provides clear advice.
Recent work: Appeared in Tawney Assets v East Pine Management, a dispute in the BVI. He acted for a Russian joint venture partner defending a claim to set aside a joint venture agreement for the sale of agricultural machinery in the former Soviet Union.

Andrew Child
Has a strong offshore practice and noted experience of handling civil fraud and trusts matters. He is also involved in asset transfer disputes and is active in Guernsey and the Cayman Islands. Child has further expertise in private client matters including estate management.
Really good on the detail, he can work out the best strategy and help you implement it.

Jonathan Hilliard QC
Has an excellent reputation for trusts and commercial litigation work. His practice has led him to act in the Isle of Man, Gibraltar and the BVI, among other jurisdictions.
Very dependable and really knows his stuff. He’s on the ball and deeply analytical in his approach to complex matters.

Nikki Singla QC
A highly regarded performer 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. His clients include high net worth families and trustees. He regularly handles shareholder disputes, negligence and joint venture ownership disputes, among others.
Very easy to work with, very knowledgeable and very efficient.” “Gets stuck into a case and always brings good commercial sense to the table.
Recent work: Acted on behalf of defendants in Synergy Capital v Concept Group. The case concerned breach of trust, fraud and negligence claims arising from a series of investment losses in distressed equity investments.

Pensions (Band 1)

THE SET
A full-service pensions law group, much in demand among regulators, trustees, scheme sponsors and other interested parties. Its instructions relate to a vast array of issues including alleged wrongful calculation, breach of duty, pensions increases, pensions liberation scams, the rectification of documents and the equalisation of benefits. In addition to offering representation in courtroom trials members dispense innovative advice with respect to the construction of pension schemes and related issues. A recent highlight was Barnardo’s v Buckinghamshire and Others, an appeal to the Supreme Court regarding whether trustees have the power to switch the index for increases to pensions from RPI to CPI. A solicitor interviewee portrays Wilberforce as “a well-organised set which has a real, coherent focus on pensions.

Client service:Very professional. The clerks are great. Everything runs smoothly.” “The clerks are a class act. They make an effort to find out about the clients’ businesses and cases.Mark Rushton is the head practice manager.

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. He is noted for his experience advising on charity and legacy public sector schemes.
An intuitive lawyer who has a deep understanding of pensions law.” “Excellent on his feet in court and very clear in his delivery of complex arguments. He commands the judge’s attention.” “Knowledgeable, supportive to clients and brilliantly innovative.
Recent work: Acted in Safeway v Newton, a dispute about whether retrospective amendment power can level down pension ages levelled up during the Barber window.

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. Trustee boards and large household-name employers seek out his counsel.
Very experienced, excellent on paper and a strong advocate. He has real gravitas.” “Intellectually he is incredibly strong and very good on the detail. He is also incredibly user-friendly.
Recent work: Advised the trustees of the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund on various issues concerning the interpretation of the scheme rules.

Andrew Mold
Highly regarded junior who often appears unled in significant pensions cases and specialises in professional negligence and regulatory aspects. He is experienced in appellate matters, including those before the Supreme Court.
An experienced junior with strong pensions expertise. He is exceptional on paper and can dissect really complex points in a way which courts can readily follow.” “Very bright.
Recent work: Acted for Lloyds in relation to proceedings brought alleging sex discrimination in the provision of pension benefits under a number of its pension schemes.

Paul Newman QC
Highly regarded in the industry, he acts on 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. He is also an accomplished adviser on allegations of professional negligence.
He impresses with his rigorous analysis of the law.” “A first-rate litigator.” “Very sharp and practical. He expresses his opinion in a user-friendly form.
Recent work: Acted in Marathon Oil v Centrica Resources, a Commercial Court trial involving a claim by an operator under a UK offshore oil and gas contract to recover pension deficit contributions from the non-operating participants.

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. He also has prior experience of advising on professional negligence allegations.
A good strategist who comes up with good ideas to drive things forward. He is very bright, accessible and user-friendly.” “Incredibly hard-working.” “He has a great eye for detail and never misses a point.
Recent work: Acted in litigation involving Lloyds and the equalisation of benefits in respect of guaranteed minimum pensions.

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. His broad experience includes advising trustees, employers and representative beneficiaries.
Very bright, well respected and a good advocate. He is great to work with.” “He provides well-structured advice which is readily comprehensible, commercial and robust.
Recent work: Acted in connection with a large claim for rectification of Honda pension scheme documents.

Robert Ham QC
A much-admired silk with a very strong reputation in the field of chancery and associated trusts work, both at home and overseas. He is frequently sought out to provide counsel on complex pension scheme matters. He also offers expertise in associated professional negligence issues.
Very bright and always pragmatic. Clients adore his easy manner.

Thomas Robinson
Enjoys a wealth of experience in regulatory, moral hazard and insolvency cases all the way up to the Supreme Court. Highly valued by the Pensions Regulator.
A skilled advocate and negotiator who consistently provides clear, pragmatic legal advice.” “Super-bright.
Recent work: Acted for the Pensions Regulator in a Financial Support Direction case against Nortel Networks relating to a scheme deficit of £2.1 billion.

James Walmsley
An established pensions junior who is highly reputed for his diligent work ethic. He is well versed in regulatory investigations and rectification actions.
Very responsive and technically brilliant.” “A superb logical thinker and a delight to work with.
Recent work: Acted for the Pensions Regulator in a case relating to its first exercise of its Section 15 and Section 16 powers concerned with recovering funds for pension schemes where parties have been involved in the misappropriation of scheme assets.

Sebastian Allen
A well-regarded junior with experience in the full spectrum of pensions cases. He has advised and advocated on some of the most large-scale pensions matters including benefits indexation, equalisation and moral hazard proceedings.
Very personable, client-friendly and hard-working.” “A clear-headed, resourceful junior with strong advocacy skills.
Recent work: Acted for British Airways in a trial against its pension scheme trustees relating to the exercise of discretionary powers.

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. She is additionally noted for handling matters with an international dimension.
Very bright, user-friendly and very responsive. Clients trust in her.” “She has a thorough and diligent approach.
Recent work: Acted in Barnardo’s v Buckinghamshire and Others, an appeal to the Supreme Court on the question of whether trustees have the power to change the index for increases to pensions from RPI to CPI.

Benjamin Faulkner
Promising junior with a broad commercial chancery practice. He specialises in pensions and related professional negligence disputes. He has notable experience of high-stakes, document-heavy matters.
He is very hard-working and gets on top of technical stuff very quickly.” “Very bright.
Recent work: Acted in IBM v Stuart Dalgleish, a dispute relating to savings that IBM sought to make by reducing members’ benefits under the company 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. He is sought after by the Pensions Regulator, as well as sponsors and trustees.
He has phenomenal brainpower. His work is tremendous and nothing fazes him. He is very bright and very hard-working.” “A joy to work with.
Recent work: Acted for the Pensions Regulator in connection with an alleged pension liberation scheme.

Emily McKechnie
A well-reputed chancery lawyer whose expertise in pensions is complemented by her burgeoning reputation in professional negligence. Her client roster includes representative beneficiaries, company sponsors and the Pension Protection Fund.
Very easy to work with and very bright. She is on top of the pensions material from a technical perspective.” “Very personable.
Recent work: Acted in BBC v Bradbury, a dispute about the right of an employer to cap pay for pensionable purposes.

Fenner Moeran QC
An impressive advocate, particularly well versed in pension liberation, fraud and moral hazard disputes. He frequently represents trustees, insurance companies and employers, as well as the Pensions Regulator and the government.
A very good advocate who always has the ear of the court. He comes across extremely well.” “Quick at coming to intelligent solutions and a pleasure to work with.
Recent work: Represented Carey Pensions on a SIPP wrongful advice claim.

Thomas Seymour
A highly experienced junior barrister with a broad commercial chancery practice encompassing both pensions and trusts.
Very thorough analysis. He thinks outside the box and is inventive in terms of looking for solutions.” “He really knows his stuff.
Recent work: Acted for the scheme targets in connection with the Coats Pension Plan and a proposed Financial Support Direction.

Bobby Friedman
A respected pensions junior with considerable regulatory experience. He has acted in some of the most high-profile pensions disputes and trials. He has advised on high-value financial support direction actions, and related allegations of professional negligence. He is particularly known for his work defending the targets of regulatory action.
He is impressive on his feet in court and he provides clear, pragmatic legal advice in conference.” “Enthusiastic and technically excellent.
Recent work: Acted in Hague v Rowanmoor, a High Court claim brought by the trustees and members of a pension scheme against a pension scheme administrator, alleging negligence and breaches of duty.

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, as well as professional negligence allegations in the pensions arena.
Very hard-working and bright.” “Incredibly user-friendly. He is dedicated to doing whatever he can to assist both the clients and his instructing solicitors.
Recent work: Acted for ITV in resisting an attempt by the Pensions Regulator to impose liability on it for the pensions deficit in the pension scheme of a joint venture it participated in.

Professional Negligence (Band 3)

THE SET
Able to provide counsel to act in claims against a wide range of professionals, including solicitors, barristers, accountants, auditors, brokers, and tax and pensions advisers. They serve claimants as well as defendants and their insurers. One impressed source describes it as “a powerhouse set with a broad variety of expertise.” Recent cases of note include Caliendo v Mishcon de Reya and a claim against Deloitte arising from the collapse of the MG Rover Group.

Client service: I have found the clerking to be very good: they are very helpful and responsive.” “Across the board I find them to be very professional and willing to help.Mark Rushton is the head practice manager.

Joanna Smith QC
Highly thought of for her advocacy and her technical skills, Joanna Smith QC takes on the full spectrum of professional negligence claims, although she is especially well versed in cases concerning the construction industry. She appears at first instance and also provides appellate representation. She acts for claimants as well as defendants.
Very, very client-savvy and manages expectations extremely well.” “Very commercial and can make the complicated simple.” “One of the best silks around. A fantastic advocate – her written work is top-class, her judgement is excellent, and she’s incredibly good tactically and very astute.
Recent work: Acted in the Supreme Court for the claimant lender in a negligence case against valuers, turning on the proper application of the ‘but for’ test.

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.
Very, very good to work with. Very clear, and he dealt well with my client.
Recent work: Acted for a tax barrister and his insurers in defence of claim by accountants for losses arising from failed tax avoidance schemes.

Ian Croxford QC
An impressive advocate who boasts an extensive track record of dealing with large-scale professional liability cases. He takes on claims involving a wide range of professionals, including civil engineers, stockbrokers, solicitors and management consultants, among others.
Excellent at cross-examination. Clearly understands the legal issues but is also extremely good at generating goodwill in the courts.

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. He has particular expertise in cases arising out of failure to equalise the retirement ages of pension schemes.
Very good at not losing sight of the legal issues and finding a solution.
Recent work: Acted for a firm of financial advisers in a claim brought by members of a pension scheme for the alleged failure to keep accurate trust records and for alleged negligent advice on the tax consequences of the allocations of contributions to members.

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. His professional negligence practice is supported by his experience of fraud-related work.
Great client-handing skills. Very popular with instructing solicitors.
Recent work: Acted for Orientfield in its claim against Bird & Bird, its former solicitors, for negligence in relation to the conveyance of a £26 million property in North London.

Jonathan Seitler QC
Commands an impressive professional negligence practice in the property sector, often advising on claims relating to very high-value transactions. He regularly advises on cases brought as the result of allegedly faulty advice given by solicitors and valuers. He also has experience in general commercial litigation.
He is very user-friendly, very down-to-earth and gives clear advice.

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, especially in relation to trust law and fraud. She is regularly instructed to act on behalf of high-profile law firms and additionally represents claimants against lawyers.
Meticulously prepared for trials and always gives you complete confidence. She is on top of everything and very good at dealing with witnesses. She’s the big gun you bring in when you need firepower for tough cases.
Recent work: Acted for Taylor Wessing, defending a claim for allegedly negligent tax planning advice given in relation to the setting up of a disabled person’s trust.

Professional Negligence: Technology & Construction

Joanna Smith QC
Frequently instructed in highly complex multiparty claims involving defective design, engineering and construction. She acts both for and against professionals. She has notable experience of appellate work.
The work she does is of extremely high quality.” “She can get the judge eating out of her hands.
Recent work: Acted in relation to a claim against numerous parties in respect of the design and construction of the Northern Triangle building at the Emirates Stadium.

Real Estate Litigation (Band 2)

THE SET
Fields a solid bench of barristers practising in real estate, and has particular depth at silk level. The barristers are highly skilled in commercial work, but also undertake high-value residential disputes. Their areas of strength include leasehold issues, dilapidations claims, possession claims and a broad variety of additional landlord and tenant matters, and they often act in appellate cases of great importance to the sector. They are also strong in development disputes and easement cases. One source states: “The set as a whole from the head of chambers down to the junior clerks feels very much like it is part of the team.

Client service: The clerks are excellent and make it easy to work with the chambers.” “The clerks are always personable, helpful and go the extra mile to get the job done.Mark Rushton is the head clerk.

Jonathan Seitler QC
Continues to be considered one of the top property litigation silks at the Bar. He frequently handles a broad caseload of high-profile, complex real estate disputes. He is particularly prized for his superior level of expertise in tricky appellate cases and is often at the forefront of establishing new points of law in the area.
Technically excellent, accessible and a joy to work with.” “He is now the leading practitioner in the field and is highly sought after by solicitors and clients directly.” “One of the best advocates operating in the real estate sector, he is unique in finding angles on difficult questions and turning complex arguments into deceptively simple submissions.
Recent work: Acted in the Court of Appeal in No. 1 West India Quay v East Tower Apartments, a case which addressed the question of when a landlord can reasonably withhold consent to an assignment of a lease.

Joanne Wicks QC
Has a fine reputation as a top real estate QC, and has a practice centred on property transactions and professional negligence. She undertakes arbitration and expert determination work. She has been elected as Chair of the Property Bar Association.
She has the ability to cut through the issues and be pragmatic and commercial.” “She is an asset to any legal team and is an absolute pleasure to work with.” “An excellent advocate and an enviable opponent for all who come up against her.
Recent work: Secured permission to appeal to the Supreme Court in S Franses v The Cavendish Hotel, a case which concerned the question of whether a landlord can lawfully contrive to remove a protected business tenant by formulating a scheme of deliberately disruptive redevelopment works with no commercial purpose.

Mark Wonnacott QC
An established property silk with a practice involving complex property litigation, who regularly handles landlord and tenant and dilapidations cases. He has appeared at all levels of the domestic courts up to the Supreme Court. He is lauded particularly for his commercial property practice, among other aspects.
A phenomenal performer in the Court of Appeal, who operates at the very highest level.” “He gives clear advice, is a reassuring presence for clients, has excellent court presence and is becoming one of the leading property silks.

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. He is also regularly instructed in relation to restrictive covenants and development agreements.
He blends his excellent technical skills and wealth of experience with a clear and personable manner.” “He is excellent at understanding clients’ commercial needs and providing practical advice very quickly.” “The go-to person for complex dilapidations claims and a real joy to work with.
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in a terminal dilapidations claim worth £3 million, concerning a commercial property in South London.

James Ayliffe QC
Much 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 including cases relating to real estate finance deals. He is able to act in cases spanning a range of jurisdictions.
A fantastic mind; he brings together the financial and real estate worlds seamlessly.” “He gives concise advice, which saves time and instils confidence.
Recent work: Represented a major US engineering company in defence of a multimillion-pound claim for alleged breach of a conditional contract for the sale and purchase of land for the construction of a new manufacturing facility in the North of England.

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. Barton is further noted for her work in property-related professional negligence claims.
She is a superstar advocate in the making.” “She is very bright and easy to work with and great at providing sensible, commercial and creative solutions.
Recent work: Acted in a claim for possession of a buy-to-let portfolio of 16 properties in Liverpool as well as a counterclaim on the grounds of mis-sold interest rate hedging products.

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. He also edits a leading textbook on landlord and tenant law.
He produces sensible and accessible advice that clients appreciate.” “Very detailed, hugely experienced and enormously well respected.
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in chancery litigation between Westminster City Council and NCP relating to a claim for over £1 million relating to insurance, service charges and rates allegedly due pursuant to a lease of one hundred spaces in a London car park.

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. In addition to his domestic work he has acted in cases in the Cayman Islands and Hong Kong. He has authored numerous texts on landlord and tenant law.
Extremely knowledgeable and a man whose communication is really good – he gives very prompt responses to questions.

Charlotte Black
Skilled junior and former solicitor who operates a broad practice in landlord and tenant and other property litigation. She is chiefly recognised for her expertise in dilapidations claims.
Incredibly user-friendly: her experience as a solicitor has allowed her to understand what it is like to be in our position and as a result she gives us everything we need.” “Eminently sensible, very commercial and easy to instruct. She is able to turn around advice quickly yet is always thorough and conscientious.
Recent work: Acted in a multimillion-pound terminal dilapidations case relating to an office building on the South Bank in London.

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 for clients including governmental departments and corporate entities. He is editor of Butterworths Property Law Handbook.
Great intellect and excellent interpersonal skills.” “Extremely bright and excellent with clients as he can relay tricky points with ease.
Recent work: Acted for a leading university in a multimillion-pound property dispute with a government department.

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. He also handles cases related to town and village greens as well as land registration issues. He regularly takes on cases acting as sole counsel.
Energetic, responsible and user-friendly.” “He is incredibly thorough and leaves no stone unturned. He provides really good commercial advice.
Recent work: Secured permission to appeal to the Supreme Court in S Franses v The Cavendish Hotel, an important case establishing whether a landlord can devise an artificial scheme of works deliberately designed to be expensive and disruptive with the sole aim of gaining possession of the premises from a protected tenant.

Harriet Holmes
Frequently appears in the High Court and County Courts, taking on a diverse range of matters, including adverse possession, enfranchisement and party wall issues. She is noted for her dedication to her clients and her work in the Chancery Division.
Excellent on landlord and tenant matters.” “Works tirelessly to obtain the best commercial outcome for the client and has the utmost technical ability.
Recent work: Represented Homebase in obtaining an emergency order from the High Court to evict some public schoolboys who had been planning a party in a disused store in Battersea.

Julian Greenhill QC
A major player at the property Bar known for his expertise in handling real property and landlord and tenant cases, among his wider chancery and commercial law practice. He is noted by market sources for his excellent advocacy and client skills.
Gives very clear advice and works well with solicitors.” “He is a fantastic litigator and property specialist.” “He is measured and always gives great consideration to matters so that you get high-quality and commercially sound advice.
Recent work: Represented the landlord in a dispute over the rent payable at the Mayfair premises of the leading fashion retailer Vivienne Westwood.

Tiffany Scott QC
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 has handled matters relating to rights of light, trespass and adverse possession. In addition, she also regularly tackles development disputes, and has contributed to and edited a number of prominent texts on real estate law. She has recently appeared before the Court of Appeal.
Approachable, very friendly and has a keen eye for detail.” “She provides clients with excellent commercial legal solutions and is quick to get to the heart of a problem.” “A tough and tenacious advocate.
Recent work: Acted for the Soho hardware store Hautford as tenant in a claim against its landlord, who refused to allow it to obtain planning permission for using the upper floors of the property as flats, so as to prevent Hautford from enfranchising.

Restructuring/Insolvency (Band 3)

THE SET
Wilberforce Chambers is a strong commercial chancery set offering significant expertise in a wide range of corporate and personal insolvency matters. Members are regularly instructed in high-profile cases both in the UK and further afield, with recent work for the set including acting for the liquidator following the collapse of Chilean investment company Onix Capital. The set’s clients also include debtors and both secured and unsecured creditors.

Client service:The clerks are very friendly and easy to deal with.” “They are a phenomenal outfit – the clerks go above and beyond and are very efficient.” The clerking team is led by head practice manager Mark Rushton.

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 the international level and has been instructed in relation to several offshore disputes in the Caribbean, Channel Islands and Isle of Man. Her respected practice focuses predominantly on advisory work.
She’s a superb barrister who is very proactive and really goes the extra mile. Lexa will roll her sleeves up, get embedded in the team and show incredible commitment to the case.” “She is very bright but also very practical, and clients really love her because she is very clear in her advice and doesn’t beat around the bush or dress things up in technical terms. She is switched on, very user-friendly and very good at managing expectations.
Recent work: Advised the joint administrators in connection with the administration of Redx Pharma and Redx Oncology. The administrators were able to rescue the group as a going concern but complicated and novel reporting and tax issues required several applications to court.

Thomas Robinson
He is well known for his adept representation of the Pensions Regulator, and continues to be a popular choice for international insolvency matters.
He is very thorough, concise and a great team player. He is very confident, persuasive and takes a very commercial approach.” “He is an impressive advocate.
Recent work: Instructed in Camden Market Holdings Corp and others v Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, a claim for damages for breach of implied term in banking documentation of a now-insolvent Irish bank.

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. She represents a variety of clients including directors, debtors, office holders and lenders.
She is very knowledgeable and is a real fighter in court. She is someone who is very good to have on your side.” “She has an excellent depth of knowledge in relation to personal insolvency and provides very commercial, straightforward advice.” “She is very user-friendly and a very able advocate.
Recent work: Represented a group of 4,000 bondholders, many of whom had lost their life savings following the high-profile collapse of RM Asset Backed Securities.

James Bailey
A well-regarded practitioner who has a strong practice encompassing commercial chancery, company and insolvency law. He frequently plays a key role in major, high-profile cases. He is frequently involved in cases concerning misfeasance and wrongful trading claims and has considerable expertise handling contentious recovery work.
He is very hard-working and a real details man. He is also very strong on his feet and is an authoritative figure that judges listen to.” “He is a very sensible operator who is able to take a pragmatic view.
Recent work: Acted for an Australian company from which the liquidators of Changtel Solutions were seeking to recover in excess of £3 million.

Iain Pester
Routinely handles insolvency instructions on behalf of distressed corporates and individuals. His areas of skill include directors’ disqualification proceedings and shareholder disputes, while he is particularly well known for his handling of high-value contentious insolvency claims.
He always provides insightful advice and displays considerable judgement as to what will be effective before a court.” “He is very good technically and effective in commercial litigation – he is always very well prepared.
Recent work: Successfully obtained an injunction preventing the presentation of a winding-up petition. This was followed at a subsequent contested costs hearing by an order that the liquidators of Holaw (Ashton), which had threatened to present a winding-up petition, pay the costs personally.

Tax

Jonathan Davey QC
Accomplished in handling tax litigation for both the Revenue and the taxpayer. His experience includes a great many high-value disputes involving individuals and limited liability partnerships. He has considerable knowledge of probate, pensions and trusts issues.
He knows his onions when it comes to HMRC and pensions and is a pleasure to work with.” “A reasonable operator with an extremely good litigation style.
Recent work: Acted in Ingenious Film Partners 2 and others v HMRC, a dispute regarding the proper tax analysis in respect of high net worth individuals investing in partnerships involved in the film and games industries.

Michael Furness QC
Specialises in trust work and an array of related issues. He possesses particular expertise in occupational pensions, tax litigation and onshore and offshore trust matters. He is additionally well versed in the tax aspects of professional negligence claims.
Has a very nice manner with both the client and the court and possesses impressive gravitas.
Recent work: Represented the BBC in intervening in tax appeals relating to the taxation of BBC staff engaged through service companies.

Tax: Private Client (Band 2)

THE SET
Wilberforce Chambers is known as an “outstanding chambers” which has “very good tax people and recruits at a high level.” One market insider comments that “the set has very strong practitioners.” Another reports that “they’re a set at the top of their game.” Barristers at the set have wide-ranging expertise in private client matters, including trusts, administration of estates and Inheritance Tax and Capital Gains Tax.

Client service: Led by head practice manager Mark Rushton, the clerking at the set is considered to be “absolutely brilliant.

Jonathan Davey QC
Particularly well known for his recent work on high-profile film scheme litigation. He is often instructed by the Revenue, but also acts for private clients in trusts and tax matters.
He is a real up-and-coming star. He really excels at the tax work he does.

Michael Furness QC
Well-regarded tax, pensions and chancery specialist. He handles a wide array of offshore trusts litigation and tax scheme cases, including film schemes, as well as advising on tax structuring.
A superb advocate.

Brian Green QC
One of the Bar’s top chancery silks, with an unrivalled reputation in major trusts cases. He is also a leading pensions expert and has a very strong offshore practice.
He is brilliant and is definitely my go-to barrister. He always comes up with very pragmatic advice and always manages to put together seemingly incompatible strands of very complex matters. What sets him apart is that he always makes a point of making himself available to us and will drop everything so we can get everything done and satisfy our client.

Trusts

Gilead Cooper QC
Instructed in some of the most important and high-profile trust cases of recent years. He has an increasingly international practice and acts for many significant clients in this area. Cooper is admitted to the BVI Bar and frequently appears in the courts of the Cayman Islands and Hong Kong.
Very imaginative when coming up with novel arguments.” “He is always a name to use on contentious cases when clients want to see the opposition challenged thoroughly.
Recent work: Acted in Countess Bathurst v Chantler & Others,a claim by a beneficiary seeking the removal of trustees, together with directions on various disputed issues of construction.

Brian Green QC
Lauded as being one of the foremost trusts barristers, he handles a broad range of both domestic and international disputes. He is particularly recognised for his offshore expertise and is well versed in disputes involving the variation of trusts. His recent advisory work has centred around trusts in the Bahamas, the Cook Islands, Gibraltar, and New Zealand.
Immensely clever, immensely bright and capable of moving hugely intractable cases along.” “Lightning quick at grasping issues, he is a very persuasive advocate who has huge authority.
Recent work: Acted successfully for his client in an appeal to the Supreme Court in relation to the legal title of Saudi-based shares held under a Cayman Islands trust.

Robert Ham QC
Offers significant expertise in trusts law as part of his broad private client law practice. He handles both contentious and non-contentious mandates in the UK and abroad. Ham is particularly adept dealing with offshore disputes for wealthy families and trust companies.
Not to be underestimated in court, he is incredibly knowledgeable on trust matters.” “He appears in some of the biggest cases in this field and is very highly rated.
Recent work: Acted in A v B, an application under the Variation of Trusts Act 1958 involving family trusts worth c.£958 million.

Jonathan Hilliard QC
Has appeared in many confidential and high-value trust and divorce cases in the UK courts and in offshore jurisdictions. He also regularly acts for trustees in professional negligence and breach of trust claims. His expertise includes in-depth knowledge of trusts which hold complex corporate structures.
An outstandingly intelligent guy and just one of the smartest people you will ever meet.” “He is really on the ball and is deeply analytical in his approach to complex matters.
Recent work: Acted in Spencer v Fielder, a case concerning the decision of the trustees of the BA Airways Pension Scheme to grant discretionary benefit increases.

Fenner Moeran QC
Well known for handling sensitive trusts disputes involving complex family situations. He often acts for large financial institutions and has developed a substantial offshore disputes practice.
Very able and intelligent barrister whom you see in some of the biggest cases.” “He is outstanding; he has such good judgement and is always impeccable in his analytical skills.

Judith Bryant
Highly sought out on high-value variations of trust cases. She is also instructed in applications by trustees for authority to effect transactions, and regularly advises on issues relating to the construction, administration and taxation of trusts. Her experience also includes acting as a mediator in the context of trust disputes.
Very bright and pragmatic in relation to trust issues.” “She is sensible, never flustered, very personable and very approachable.
Recent work: Acted in X v Y, an application to vary two trusts (with funds worth together c.£75 million) to extend the trust for the future and enable the accumulation of income to meet liabilities and protect beneficiaries.

Emily Campbell
Experienced at tackling complex private client litigation and also an expert in drafting trust documentation. Her practice encompasses cross-border trust disputes and she is also well versed in professional negligence claims involving trust law. She is also known for her ability to deal with technical trust issues with considerable mathematical content.
An authority on variation of trust applications, who leaves no stone unturned.” “She is very talented and people are keen to send her work because they know she will do a very good job.
Recent work: Acted in a long-running trust dispute which included allegations of breaches of trust, wilful default, wrongful distribution of significant trust assets, tracing and excessive fee-taking by the trustees. The case arose out of the conversion of a Liechtenstein establishment to a foundation.

Andrew Child
Highly experienced junior with a broad knowledge of domestic and offshore trusts law. He regularly acts for personal representatives, trustees and beneficiaries in breach of trust claims. Child has in-depth expertise in trust matters with a fraud element.
A good advocate who has particular skill when dealing with big trusts disputes with a family or divorce aspect.
Recent work: Represented the beneficiaries in a hostile removal claim against  trustees, who were alleged to have acted in breach of duty by failing to safeguard a number of property assets.

Andrew Mold
Particular expertise in breach of trust and breach of fiduciary duty claims. He is also known for his expertise with regard to the treatment of trust assets in high-value divorce cases. His experience extends to offshore disputes and he is also admitted to the Cayman Islands Bar.
A great advocate, who is incredibly user-friendly. He is down to earth and really tries to give you what you need.” “His written work is of a very high standard and he is really thoughtful and measured in his approach to matters.
Recent work: Involved in a high-profile divorce case advising on enforcement against various offshore trusts and overseas assets.