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Chambers & Partners, 2021

We are delighted to announce our continued success in the latest 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 chambers in 12 areas (below), including four top-tier set rankings. Overall, we have 138 barrister rankings, which includes 14 improved individual rankings.

Full coverage in the 2021 guide can be found here.

Leading set rankings

  • Chancery: commercial
  • Chancery: traditional
  • Charities
  • Commercial dispute resolution
  • Company
  • Fraud: civil
  • Offshore
  • Pensions
  • Professional negligence
  • Real estate litigation
  • Restructuring and 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.
“His court craft is exceptional and his ability to capture a judge’s attention and explain complicated information in a manner that appears effortless and simple is exceptional.” “He has a lovely grasp of fine legal distinctions and a good way of explaining them.” “He is an incisive, clear-minded advocate.”

Art and Cultural Property Law

Gilead Cooper QC
Well-known chancery barrister with in-depth knowledge of a wide range of art law topics. He often acts for major cultural institutions, including galleries, public bodies and museums.
“Lovely and has a brain the size of Britain.” “He is very clever and bright.”

Chancery: Commercial (Band 1)

An impressive set, noted for its expertise in complex commercial chancery litigation arising in the UK and across several international and offshore jurisdictions. The team is regularly instructed in company, insolvency and civil fraud disputes, and offers considerable strength when undertaking complex commercial litigation involving elements of pensions, trusts and property law. Instructing solicitors praise Wilberforce Chambers as a pre-eminent set that provides an excellent service, adding that it houses a real depth of talent. Standout cases recently handled by the set’s members include Takhar v Gracefield Developments and Others, a high-profile case heard in the Supreme Court that redefined the test for setting aside judgments for fraud.

Client service: “The clerking team is fantastic – they know their barristers very well and have a good handle on their skill set. They really understand the type of work the barristers do and are an efficient team who are quick to turn around on requests.” “The clerking service is engaging and everyone is prompt to respond and endeavours to deal with concerns fairly.” “Practice director Nick Luckman is very smooth and user-friendly.” Mark Rushton is the head practice manager.

Alan Gourgey QC

A strong advocate with a commanding reputation at the Chancery Bar. He is highly sought after for shareholder disputes, banking matters, and international commercial work.
“He’s very easy to work with and is a very good advocate. He achieves successful result after successful result.”

Andrew Mold QC

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.
“He has a great balance between technical skill and commercial sense – he never gets lost in the technical detail. He is also very, very good with clients and is an excellent communicator.” “Andrew makes complicated matters seem simple. He’s also very personable.”

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 considerable experience in offshore work, including in the Isle of Man and the Caribbean.
“An excellent barrister – she is really committed and has a good analytical mind.” “She’s absolutely superb. When she speaks everyone listens to her and she is a really deep thinker.”

Bobby Friedman

“Experienced, diligent and helpful.”

Clare Stanley QC
A respected silk whose broad-ranging commercial chancery practice includes fraud, insolvency and asset tracing both domestically and abroad. She is regularly instructed on high-value and complex matters.
“Clare is hard-working and reliable.” “She’s excellent – very responsive and great in court. She’s very authoritative and is highly respected by the judiciary. Her written work is very compelling.”

Edward Sawyer
A respected junior with a straightforward approach to commercial chancery matters. He is sought-after for cases with a large volume of documentary evidence, and for matters with some international element.
“One of the best draftsmen at the junior Bar, with a great eye for detail. He’s a very reliable barrister.” “He is unbelievably intelligent, and sees angles that nobody else ever spots. He’s very thorough, very likeable, excellent with clients, and a very good advocate. He’s sympathetic but very analytical.”

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.
“Emer is super-smart, always focused on strategic outcomes and is willing to go the extra mile for her clients. Her advice is clear, direct and well thought out, and she works fast and hard. She is also friendly, approachable and a real pleasure to work with.” “A fantastic junior – her attention to detail is unmatched and clients are impressed by the quantity and quality of her work.”

Fenner Moeran QC
A well-known silk who is particularly experienced in chancery matters with both traditional and commercial aspects. He is frequently instructed on high-value and high-profile work.
“Fenner has a great manner with clients and is particularly good at explaining complicated areas in simple ways so that clients understand. He is good on his feet and is a delight to work with.” “He has great strategic instincts and is very outcome-focused and pragmatic. He manages to be modern in a very old-fashioned world.”

Graeme Halkerston
A noted junior with a respected commercial chancery practice, particularly global freezing litigation. He was a litigation partner in the Cayman Islands for six years, and as a result is an exceptionally good choice for international, offshore and cross-border matters.
“He is very impressive on his feet and good at reading the court and pushing difficult points as far as they can go.”

Iain Pester
A respected junior who is highly sought-after for company litigation, partnership disputes, and conflict of laws matters. He is also noted for his work in civil fraud. His strong command of Russian makes him an unusually fine choice of counsel for matters with some Russian element.
“He’s very inventive and thinks outside the box. He knows the documents inside out, is very hands-on and understands the issues quickly.”

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.
“He is a particularly outstanding trial lawyer – one of the best barristers for cross-examinations.”

Jack Watson

“Super bright and very focused on the detail.” “A great drafter and good with clients – an impressive individual.”

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.
“Simply top notch – he is able to assess complex situations and devise highly effective strategies. He inspires confidence in clients, is first class on his feet and a pleasure to deal with.” “He’s measured, understated and thoughtful in his advice.”

James Bailey QC
A new silk who is building on a respected junior practice. He is most often instructed on long-running and high-profile cases and appears in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
“He’s extremely measured, thinks everything through very carefully and is great with clients.”

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.
“His written work is really impressive.”

Joanna Smith QC
Highly respected silk with a wide-ranging commercial chancery practice. She is sought after for commercial matters, including shareholder disputes, insolvency, professional negligence and other high-profile and high-value work.
“She’s very impressive and technically excellent. She has an excellent way with words and great client skills.” “Simply brilliant. She is incredibly impressive and a great team player with a common touch where required for lay clients. Her advocacy is superb.”

John Wardell QC
A widely renowned silk whose broad commercial chancery practice includes company, joint venture and partnership matters. He is sought after by a wide range of clients, including banks and high net worth individuals.
“He’s brilliant when it comes to matters of fraud and is always on top of his cases. A very user-friendly barrister.” “He is at the top of his game when it comes to complex fraud and has an incisive mind. He’s able to explain matters clearly and has a huge courtroom presence.”

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 is very good – very analytical and a creative thinker.” “His strengths are his immense competence, thoroughness and experience, all of which make for a quick turnaround time on opinion work.”

Lexa Hilliard QC
A former academic whose exceptional depth of expertise is widely respected throughout the Commercial Chancery Bar. She is frequently instructed on both litigation and advisory work and is noted for her confident handling of insolvency matters.
“Her reputation is truly fantastic. She’s a brilliant practitioner for any insolvency or restructuring matter and has such a loyal following. Judges really listen to her.” “Her pleadings are good and she’s also very practical when dealing with clients.”

Nikki Singla QC

“He is really impressive on his feet and gets under the skin of the case really quickly. He sees the commercial side of the case not just the legal matters.” “He is always on top of the detail and is a very good trial advocate.”

Terence Mowschenson QC
A respected and highly experienced silk with a depth of expertise in company, banking, insolvency and commercial matters. He handles both litigation and advisory work and is noted for his dispute resolution in mediation and arbitration as well as court.
“He is extremely engaging to work with and very user-friendly. He is excellent at digesting complex legal and factual scenarios and distilling them into clear and well-crafted arguments. He has a calm and confident demeanour in court and delivers his arguments in a clear and well-structured manner.”

Thomas Lowe QC
An able advocate who is respected for his handling of high-value and high-profile matters across the full scope of commercial chancery. He is particularly fine choice of counsel for matters in the BVI and the Cayman Islands, as he has full practising certificates in both jurisdictions.
“A fantastic trial advocate – he is excellent in court.”

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.
“A great strategist and very hard-working. He has a good court manner.” “Very able and easy to work with.”

Tiffany Scott QC
A recent silk with a depth of experience in commercial chancery matters, particularly fund and partnership disputes and work with some international element. She is noted for her calm and confident client-management and practical approach to advisory matters.
“She is really strategic and has an eye for the detail. Her communication skills are great and she puts clients at ease. She is very knowledgeable and a pleasure to deal with.” “Her ability to tap into the details of a case at a moment’s thought is what sets her apart from other counsel in this area.”

Tim Penny QC
A popular commercial chancery silk with a depth of experience in commercial fraud and partnership disputes. He is particularly respected for his work on freezing orders and is often sought after for cross-border matters.
“A really brilliant, thoughtful and compelling advocate. His written work is excellent, and he’s a pleasure to work with.” “He’s extremely thorough and capable of getting through a lot of material while maintaining the quality of his drafting. In his oral submissions he’s able to represent some very dense and factually intricate material in a really clear and persuasive way. An excellent leader.”

Tom Roscoe
A rising star in the commercial chancery market who is building a broad practice. He is often instructed on international, offshore and cross-border disputes.
“He is great – ferociously intelligent and his drafting is always impeccable. He can deal with anything you throw at him.” “An impressive and charming advocate.”

Chancery: Traditional (Band 1)

THE SET

Wilberforce Chambers is “my go-to set for lots of chancery matters,” says an interviewee, who explains: “They have such a lot of good barristers, and the level of service is so high. The clerking is excellent and they are very commercial in their approach.” The set’s group of respected silks and juniors are regularly instructed in complex pensions, wills and trusts matters, and often act in cross-jurisdictional and offshore cases. “The team are very knowledgeable and thoughtful, and their strengths are in technical expertise and the robustness of the advice,” states a source. Another commentator describes Wilberforce as the “first choice of set for trust work” and adds: “To my mind, it’s the top set for trust work.”

Client service: “The clerks are completely first class, the best in the City without a doubt. They really commit to their client service and make the effort to respond very quickly,” explains an interviewee. The practice director is Nicholas Luckman and the head practice manager is Mark Rushton.

Andrew Child
Enjoys a commanding reputation in the field of traditional chancery. He is regularly sought after for high-value matters domestically, offshore and in cross-border situations, and is noted for his work on contentious trusts and estates matters, including those involving a fraud element.
“He is really good at drafting papers and explaining matters. He is just a brilliant lawyer.”

Andrew Mold QC
Has a wide-ranging traditional chancery practice. Sources highlight his particular expertise in matters with matrimonial trust aspects to them. He also advises on complex fraud and pensions matters.
“Very impressive and very pleasant.” “He gives first-class practical advice and his drafting skills are excellent.”

Brian Green QC
A respected silk whose depth of experience in both contentious and non-contentious matters is widely recognised. He works on a range of challenging cases both domestically and offshore, and is a particular expert in trusts and pensions matters. Green is the head of chambers.
“Has a great eye for detail. He’s so well known and well regarded in this area.”

Clare Stanley QC
Acts in a wide range of private client and trust litigation, regularly handling highly complex disputes. She is frequently instructed in high-value matters both onshore and offshore.
“She is fantastic.” “She gives clear, confident advice, and you can tell that the lay client has complete confidence in her.” “So approachable” and someone whose “advice is always spot-on.”

Emily Campbell
Well-known junior with a highly respected traditional chancery practice, encompassing pensions cases, advisory and contentious trusts matters and estate planning. She is noted for her capability with extremely detailed or complex cases.
“A first-rate junior.” “Has a superb intellect and a highly impressive, logical manner. She is very sharp and tough, although courteous in court. She is very hard-working, and prepared to be intensely involved when necessary. A friendly and approachable counsel.”

Fenner Moeran QC
Particularly focused on pensions and associated trusts, although he is also regularly instructed in cases concerning other contentious trusts. He has a substantial advisory practice both onshore and offshore.
“So strategic” and “brilliant at pulling the strings.” “He gave very clear advice which was consistent throughout. He was rock-solid from the outset.”

Gilead Cooper QC
An eminent silk whose respected chancery practice is focused on contentious property and trusts. He attracts a wealth of praise for his advocacy.
“An experienced and hard-hitting trial lawyer. He clearly relishes getting his teeth into cases.” “Has an incredible mind. He knows his stuff inside and out, and gets it right first time around.”

Jonathan Davey QC
Frequently sought after for high-value and high-profile traditional chancery matters. He is noted for his expertise in charities and pensions matters, and for handling highly complex tax litigation.
“A real pleasure to work with.” “He has particular expertise in both tax and property law, which is so helpful. He relates to clients in a very positive way.”

Jonathan Hilliard QC
Has a broad traditional chancery practice that takes in a wide array of trusts matters and a substantial amount of advisory work. He is widely respected for his depth of technical knowledge. Hilliard has built a formidable practice focusing on trusts, fraud and pensions cases.
“On another planet when it comes to detail.” “He is so responsive and, night or day, you very rarely have to wait very long for a response from him. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a barrister who has a greater appetite for hard work and the law.”

Judith Bryant
Advises on a range of trusts work on both the contentious and non-contentious sides, and is instructed both onshore and offshore. She is also noted for her considerable experience of alternative methods of dispute resolution.
“Incredibly user-friendly, helpful, proactive, thoughtful and approachable. She’s very good at untangling knotty trust documents.” “She’s very user-friendly and very collegiate.”

Michael Furness QC
A deeply respected silk who has an impressive depth of knowledge across the board in traditional chancery, and is highly respected for his handling of offshore and overseas litigation. Furness is noted for his representation of clients in tax, trusts and pensions litigation.
“He’s a lovely team player and a fantastic technical lawyer. He’s very, very clever.”

Robert Ham QC
Focuses his practice on trusts and other private client work, including tax matters, both contentious and non-contentious. He is regularly instructed in cases which go to the Supreme Court.
“A titan of the Chancery Bar.” “He’s absolutely top drawer. He has this incredible ability to make the complex simple, which is so helpful.”

Tiffany Scott QC
Has a depth of experience in both contentious and non-contentious trusts matters, and is frequently instructed by charities, high net worth individuals and estates. Her practice  also includes property disputes and professional liability cases, and she is noted for her involvement in offshore work.
“Immensely clever.” “She is very intelligent, very user-friendly and very responsive.”

Zoë Barton
Has a broad chancery practice, which makes her a particularly fine choice of counsel for matters with commercial or real property aspects. She is also noted for work on fiduciary matters.
“Very pragmatic and very well liked by clients. She explains complex things in a really straightforward way.”

Charities (Band 3)

THE SET

A highly distinguished chancery set, whose charities specialists frequently advise foundations, charities themselves and the Charity Commission on a diverse range of issues including those concerning commercial and tax questions as they impact on charitable bodies. Individuals are active on behalf of these clients in contentious matters as well, and also represent trustees and the HMRC in test cases concerning devolution and tax avoidance schemes. Clients further benefit from the set’s well-renowned high-quality offshore expertise.

Client service: Nicholas Luckman is practice director and Mark Rushton is head practice manager. Both are described as being “flexible, commercial and willing to take a long-term view of things.”

Michael Furness QC
An accomplished silk with long experience, most notably in trust-related matters. He is particularly active advising in relation to onshore and offshore tax issues, and on matters involving the international transfer of charitable assets and the international structuring of charitable organisations. Furness is highly versed in contentious trust litigation and tax litigation in a variety of jurisdictions.
“Never anything less than extremely impressive in both his written advice and in conference.”

Commercial Dispute Resolution Department (Band 3)

THE SET

“A supremely sophisticated and well-established set,” Wilberforce Chambers has at its disposal a strong bench of barristers, with particularly impressive capability at silk level. Its members are capable of handling a wide spectrum of commercial matters, including, among others, cases arising out of company law, insolvency and civil fraud. Recent successes have included acting for the respondent in Naftogaz v Gazprom, resisting an application in the Commercial Court for immediate enforcement of an arbitral award of almost USD3 billion. Members also defended RBS in a case which questioned the bank’s ability to terminate a relationship with a customer it suspected of money laundering, regardless of the impact on its client. Wilberforce barristers are well noted for their ability to represent clients in international disputes, and regularly appear in a range of jurisdictions such as Hong Kong, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

Client service:The clerks’ room is a smoothly operating machine; the clerks understand the client’s needs and run a very tight ship.” “Everyone is a pleasure to deal with. The clerks go out of their way to help solicitors.” Mark Rushton is the head practice manager.

Alan Gourgey QC
“Terrific and easy to get on with.” “He is very popular and has a busy practice.”
Recent work: Successfully appeared for Gazprom in resisting an application for immediate enforcement of an arbitral award of almost USD3 billion.

Ian Croxford QC
“A brilliantly robust advocate who takes no prisoners.”

James Walmsley
“He is incredibly logical and will look at things very thoroughly from all angles.”
Recent work: Acted for Mr Titarenko in Renova v Emmerson & Others, British Virgin Islands proceedings concerning a joint venture in relation to power generation assets in Russia. The principal sum at stake was approximately USD1 billion.

John Wardell QC
“John has a lovely advocacy style which is easy to follow and very persuasive.” “He is very impressive, proving aggressive when needs be, and is always realistic in his advice.”
Recent work: Successfully defended RBS in a case which questioned its ability to terminate a relationship with a customer it suspected of money laundering, despite the fact that that as a result of this action the customer might have been unable to continue trading.

Marcia Shekerdemian QC
“She has a wealth of intellectual capital and great expertise.”
Recent work: Acted for Countess Von Sachsenburg in a case regarding a minority shareholder petition under Section 994 of the Companies Act 2006. The case involved numerous contested allegations brought by the Countess’s ex-husband relating to Mulberry House.

Terence Mowschenson QC
“Very client-friendly.” “He is tenacious and gets to the heart of the matter quickly.”
Recent work: Successfully acted for Alexander Plashekov in his action against Sky Stream, Linkov and others, regarding the ownership of 20% of the shareholding of Transaero Airlines.

Tim Penny QC
“He presents very dense and factually intricate material in a really clear and persuasive way.”
Recent work: Represented the second defendant Mr Belyaev in National Trust Bank v Yurov. This was a USD1 billion claim against former shareholders of National Trust Bank.

Company (Band 4)

THE SET

Wilberforce Chambers represents an excellent choice of set for company matters. Its barristers frequently represent clients faced with domestic and cross-border shareholder disputes, issues of directors’ duties and breaches of fiduciary duty, among other matters. Their reputation for handling offshore work is particularly strong. Recent work includes a role advising in O’Keefe v Caner, a high-profile case regarding allegations of breach of fiduciary duty.

Client service: “The clerking is exceptional. They’re very good at matching the people in the case with the right personality.” “The clerks are engaging and prompt to respond. They endeavour to deal with concerns fairly.” Mark Rushton is the head practice manager.

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.
“Lexa is a delight to work with. She’s energetic and works very well with instructing solicitors.”
Recent work: Defended FRP Advisory against a claim brought by a shareholder alleging conspiracy to reduce the company’s shareholding value.

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 directors’ duty.
“Fantastic at getting to the heart of the matter and giving clear advice on complex claims.”
Recent work: Represented the respondent to a minority shareholder petition under Section 994 of the Companies Act 2006 concerning Mulberry House Ltd., the UK market leader for the production of training products in the care sector.

Terence Mowschenson QC
An esteemed silk with an outstanding reputation in company disputes, among broader experience in banking, partnership and financial services matters. He offers clients recognised strength in a wide array of cases, including those relating to shareholder claims, cross-border insolvency and fraud.
“Extremely engaging to work with and very user-friendly. He is excellent at digesting complex legal and factual scenarios and distilling them into clear and well-crafted arguments. In court he has a calm and confident demeanour.”
Recent work: Acted for the liquidator in Wardour Trading v Nekrich, an action concerning allegations of fraudulent trading.

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. She is also active in international arbitration, including recently in the Middle East.
“A forceful advocate, whose drafting style is concise and easy to understand.” “One of the great brains of the Commercial Bar and good for high-volume or complex legal issues. She has a capacity for hard work and is a great team player.”

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 offshore jurisdictions.
“One of the go-to chancery silks in the field, who handles highly substantial, complex cases and shows obsessive attention to detail. He is a real driving force in the case.”

Andrew Mold QC
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 Isle of Man, France, the Middle East and Russia.
“One of the few chancery leaders who can actually step into these cases with a quasi-matrimonial dimension and perform greatly.” “You know you are in for a tough fight when he is on the other side. He is always on top of the detail and knows his stuff.”
Recent work: Acted in Abdullah v Aldoukhi, appearing on behalf of the husband. The proceedings involved a real estate dispute regarding the ownership of three properties which were acquired by a couple in Kuwait while they were married.

Fraud: Civil (Band 2)

THE SET

Wilberforce Chambers houses a strong bench of experienced barristers who are regularly instructed in high-value and multi-jurisdictional civil fraud disputes. The team is noted for its expert handling of cases involving offshore jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands and the BVI, as well as matters arising in Asia and Europe. Members offer expertise in claims stemming from allegations of misrepresentation, conspiracy and breach of duty. Cases involving complex jurisdictional issues and contempt proceedings are also key areas of strength for the set.

Client service: “The clerks are fantastic – they’re extremely efficient and really understand the type of work their barristers do.” “Head practice manager Mark Rushton is very accommodating, responsive and quick to find solutions.” Nicholas Luckman is the practice director.

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.
“A fantastic advocate who is very impressive in court.” “He is phenomenal both on paper and on his feet. He’s also very creative and works very hard.” “A genius who is exceptionally good on complex fraud cases.”
Recent work: Acted for one of the defendants in Libyan Investment Authority v JP Morgan and Others, a case involving allegations of fraud and corruption.

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. His cases frequently involve allegations such as unlawful means conspiracy, bribery and manipulation of a trading account.
“He is incredibly cerebral and intelligent.” “He is very inventive, understands the issues and can quickly give advice.”
Recent work: Acted for the third defendant in Danilina v Navigator, Chernukhin, Kargin, a dispute between Russian businessmen over the ownership of a company. Allegations of fraud were made on both sides.

Ian Croxford QC
Tenacious and experienced silk regularly engaged in high-profile commercial disputes and professional negligence matters in which fraud is alleged.
“He is clever and incredibly impressive on fraud cases.” “An outstanding trial lawyer who can address difficult tactical issues.” “He is pragmatic in his advice and superb on his feet.”

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.
“He has an incisive mind and a huge courtroom presence.” “An impressive appellate advocate who has considerable experience at the Bar.” “He is a barrister that you want in the trenches with you – he rolls up his sleeves and understands the needs of the client.”

Recent work: Acted for RBS in the defence of an £80 million claim brought by the liquidators of a number of companies caught up in a VAT fraud involving carbon credits.

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 dishonesty and misappropriation.
“Extremely bright, energetic and a very good advocate.”

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.
“An impressive operator who is good at explaining complex ideas in simple terms.” “He is very sound in terms of his legal knowledge and willing to be creative.”
Recent work: Assisted the claimant in KSSL v King & Others, an action to recover money fraudulently diverted from the claimant company by former directors.

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.
“He is thorough, well prepared and has the respect of the court.” “He is incredibly knowledgeable on civil fraud and freezing orders and has an assured advocacy style.” “An excellent leader who is able to present dense and factually intricate material in a clear and persuasive way.”
Recent work: Instructed in Receivers of Sebastian Holdings v Sarek, Vik & Others, a claim involving allegations of dishonest breach of duty.

Information Technology

Alan Gourgey QC
A leading chancery lawyer 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.
“Just brilliant – on top of the detail and very precise.”

Offshore (Band 1)

THE SET

Wilberforce Chambers offers significant strength and depth in all the major offshore jurisdictions, including those in the Channel Islands, the Caribbean and Asia. Members of the set are instructed to act in matters such as trust litigation, high-value commercial disputes and fraud claims. Its barristers continue to appear in a number of high-profile cases including AHAB v Saad and Torchlight Fund. A source comments: “The set is a mainstay in the offshore world.”

Client service: “The process is very seamless and the clerks are very supportive.” “The clerking team is responsive and helpful.” Nicholas Luckman serves as practice director.

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 and family disputes.
“Extremely tough and very bright.”

Andrew Mold QC
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 is experienced in intra-family disputes including high-value divorce proceedings.
“He is disarmingly clever.” “Exceptionally able and a very nice guy.”

Recent work: Represented the investment manager in resisting the application to wind up an investment fund in proceedings in the Cayman Islands.

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. He has recently handled matters in Bermuda, Hong Kong and Jersey.
“So incredibly brilliant and so incredibly practical. He cuts through all the noise and always gets to the crucial central issue.” “A very bright advocate who is very easy to get on with.”

Clare Stanley QC
Noted for her commercial and company law practice, encompassing the likes of insolvency and fraud matters. She is well versed in the intricacies of acting in a number of offshore jurisdictions, including the Cayman Islands.
“Very accessible and very talented. An excellent team member and someone on whom you can rely.”
Recent work: Acted for the widow of a high net worth Caymanian individual in a dispute with the residuary beneficiary of the deceased’s estate, centred on claims to the subsequent increase in value of the estate.

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.
“He is personable, responsive, and surgically incisive in getting to the heart of the issues.” “Very bright, thorough and accommodating.”
Recent work: Acted in the Zhao litigation matters in the BVI, two related cases involving a dispute between Chinese nationals over the beneficial ownership of shares in a group of companies valued at over USD1 billion.

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. The bulk of his work is BVI or Cayman Islands based. He maintains a diverse and dynamic commercial litigation practice and has strengths in banking and financial disputes, restructuring proceedings and cross-border fraud.
“Very user-friendly, detail-oriented and knows Cayman procedure very well indeed.”
Recent work: Represented the investors in Meridian Trust v Eike Batista, a fraud claim with proceedings in both the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas.

John Wardell QC
Has a strong commercial and company law practice and a broad range of expertise, including in fraud and breach of fiduciary duty cases. He is admitted to the Bar in the BVI and has further experience in the Cayman Islands.
“An impressive advocate and pleasant to deal with.” “He is very bright and a brilliant advocate.” “To say he is unflappable is an understatement.”
Recent work: Acted for the claimants in proceedings brought in the BVI relating to the ownership and control of a valuable group of companies in Ukraine.

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, the Channel Islands and the BVI, among other jurisdictions.
“He is very talented and an exceptional litigator.” “His intelligence and knowledge is astonishing.”

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.
“Happy to get his hands dirty and into the detail of the case.”
Recent work: Acted in a Guernsey breach of trust case regarding the alleged failure to distribute assets and failure in reporting IHT charge.

Nikki Singla QC
A highly regarded performer with experience of appearing for clients in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Dubai and the Channel Islands. 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.
“He is absolutely fantastic. His mannerisms and approach are brilliant, and his knowledge of international law is spectacular.” “An extremely effective orator.”
Recent work: Continued to act in Pavilion v Radcliffes LeBrasseur regarding claims of breach of retainer.

Robert Ham QC
A very highly regarded practitioner who receives effusive praise for his outstanding efforts in private client work, tax law and pensions. He acts in cases in Guernsey, the Caribbean and the Isle of Man, among other jurisdictions.
“Top-notch trusts silk.” “Fantastically knowledgeable and provides very clear and concrete advice on trust and other matters.”

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.
“Hugely experienced, knowledgeable about Isle of Man law. Extremely responsive and clear.”
Recent work: Acted for the respondents in O’Keefe v Caner regarding breach of fiduciary duty claims.

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. He also provides expertise in matters relating to fraud and insolvency.
“A devastating cross-examiner. A real iron fist in a velvet glove.” “Very creative and an intellectual powerhouse.” “He is excellent and knows the Caymans inside out.”
Recent work: Acted in a case revolving around the contentious winding-up of an investment fund.

Pensions (Band 1)

THE SET

Wilberforce Chambers is a distinguished set with a market-leading group of both silks and juniors able to handle the full spectrum of pensions work. Members are thoroughly experienced in handling large-scale, high-profile cases at the forefront of the pensions industry. Wilberforce barristers are equipped for advice and advocacy in relation to a host of regulatory matters and act for employers, trustees and the Pensions Regulator. The set is able to act in complex cases with elements of employment, trusts and tax law.

Client service: “The clerks are absolutely first-class. They make it a pleasure to instruct a barrister from their chambers. They manage diaries perfectly, always deliver, don’t overpromise, have excellent resources and are very easy to deal with.” Mark Rushton is the head practice manager.

Andrew Mold QC
Garners considerable praise for his impressive ability in major pensions cases. He specialises in professional negligence and the regulatory aspects of complex pensions cases. He is experienced in appellate matters, including those before the Supreme Court.
“He is very pragmatic and commercial, and has great attention to detail.” “He is highly intelligent and very personable. He is fantastic.”

Recent work: Continued to act for Lloyds Bank in ongoing proceedings regarding Guaranteed Minimum Pension equalisation.

Benjamin Faulkner
High-quality 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 an excellent junior; he is very personable and strong on the technical detail.”

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 clients against regulatory action.
“He certainly knows his stuff and is robust in professional negligence claims.” “He writes extremely well.”
Recent work: Acted as sole counsel for a member of a pension scheme whose investments were entirely lost due to what he contends is negligent trading and investment.

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 outstanding advocate and an outstanding technical pensions litigator. He is absolutely at the top of the Pensions Bar and has serious gravitas in court.” “When he reaches a view he expresses it, rather than dancing around the issues.” “He is the very best – there’s no one better than Brian Green QC. He has phenomenal experience, a brilliant mind and speed of thought. He’s utterly practical, utterly approachable and always ready to help.”
Recent work: Acted for Stena Line in a case regarding the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund and whether an accrued rights proviso to an amendment power precludes amendments to ill-health and death benefits not yet fallen into payment.

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 Pensions Regulator. He also has prior experience of advising on professional negligence allegations.
“He sees the angles that nobody else ever spots. He is very thorough excellent with clients and a very good advocate.” “He has incredible attention to detail, an incredible memory, and he is a great team player. He is very much a class act.”

Recent work: Continued to act for the trustees of the Mitchell & Butlers Pension Plan in a large rectification claim being brought by the trustee against the employer on behalf of the members. The case concerns whether the plan must or should stop using the Retail Prices Index to increase pensions.

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.
“She has a very good legal mind. She always has eyes for the ultimate position for the client.” “She provides really excellent technical pensions expertise and develops novel arguments on complex tax and overseas pensions matters.” “She is very committed and will not back down.”
Recent work: Acted for the Universities Superannuation Scheme in an appeal regarding the meaning of the ill-health early retirement provision for university staff and whether the trustees had the power to decide whether the member was suffering from incapacity at all, rather than just the extent of that incapacity.

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.
“She is super intelligent, really practical and has judges wrapped around her finger.” “She is extremely diligent, technically excellent and provides exactly what you want from a senior junior barrister.”

Recent work: Acted for the representative beneficiaries in Part 8 proceedings brought by the trustees of the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund regarding the right to an ill-health pension.

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.
“He is very efficient, very user-friendly, extremely reliable and has a consistently positive and enthusiastic attitude.”

Recent work: Acted for Caribonum Pension Trustees in a dispute with Pelikan Hardcopy Production concerning the wording of the standard Pension Protection Fund assets guarantee.

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.
“He is great with clients and on top of his subject.” “He is a very good technical lawyer on the pensions trust side.”

Recent work: Acted for ITV as part of the counsel team in the Box Clever litigation.

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.
“He is exceptionally good – extremely bright and hard-working.” “He always adds value when considering difficult areas of contract law.”

Recent work: Continued to act for the Pensions Regulator in its exercise of its Financial Support Direction power in proceedings against ITV regarding the collapse of the Box Clever joint venture.

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 appeared in courts at all levels of the British judicial system, as well as the CJEU.
“He works very effectively and does excellent advocacy.” “He is intellectually prodigious and always exceptionally well prepared.”

Recent work: Continued to act for the trustees of Airways Pension Scheme in a Beddoe hearing to determine whether the trustee could use the scheme funds to appeal to the Supreme Court in the long-running litigation with BA.

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 and a great technical lawyer.” “He is very careful and meticulous.”
Recent work: Acted for the members of British Airways Pension Scheme in Beddoe proceedings concerning whether the trustee should be able to fund an appeal to the Supreme Court and whether the trustee should compromise the litigation.

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.
“If you’re in the trenches then you want him with you. He’s very, very clever, absolutely determined to get the right results and really cares about winning for the client. He is absolutely top drawer.”

Recent work: Acted for the representative beneficiaries of the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund in a Part 8 claim to determine the validity of the provisions and procedure governing the grant of ill-health early retirement pensions to a member of the scheme.

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 a number of FTSE 100 companies, trustees, the Pensions Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund. He is also an accomplished adviser on allegations of professional negligence.
“He is absolutely fantastic; he provides fantastic advice on tax.” “He is a real go-to for no-nonsense, straightforward advice. He gets to the heart of things very quickly, offers high-quality advice with a commercial feel, has technical knowledge and is very easy to work with.”
Recent work: Acted in Marathon Oil UK v Centrica Resources, a claim regarding the reimbursement of deficit pensions funding contributions under a joint venture agreement.

Robert Ham QC
An experienced 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.
“He gives something quite special in terms of experience and judgement. He brings decisiveness and gives you short and succinct answers.” “He doesn’t skirt around issues and cuts through the information easily.”

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.
“He is thorough, detailed and reliable. He adapts his style to suit the particular client, and he is easy to work with. His depth of knowledge of subject matter and wealth of practical experience makes him a go-to barrister.”

Recent work: Instructed to act for a group of claimant rail companies in their dispute with the Secretary of State for Transport regarding the rejection of their bids as part of a recent rail franchise procurement process. The case concerns the way in which the Department for Transport treated the assessment by the different bidders of the future pension costs associated with joining the Railways Pension Scheme during the term of the franchise.

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, especially for moral hazard cases. He also has experience in professional negligence cases.
“He is very thorough and has great attention to detail.” “He has a very pleasing manner in court.”

Recent work: Acted in Blatchford v Blatchford & Others, a case in which the new guidance by the Court of Appeal on rectification was applied to a pension scheme deed.

Thomas Seymour
A highly experienced junior barrister with a broad commercial chancery practice encompassing both pensions and trusts.
“He is very experienced.”

Recent work: Acted for three claimants in a claim for judicial review against the PPF and DWP brought in the wake of the CJEU decision in Hampshire v PPF concerning Article 8 and compensation for loss of pension benefits on employer insolvency.

Professional Negligence (Band 2)

THE SET

Wilberforce Chambers can bring to bear deep expertise in a wide range of professional negligence claims, acting for both defendants and claimants. The set is frequently sought out for solicitors’ liability claims and matters involving financial services professionals. Property-related work is a strong suit, with notable recent work including a claim concerning rights of light in relation to a £20 million development site. A solicitor reports: “It is a very professional yet approachable set. They offer great, commercially decisive advice, have leading experts, and they embody a great mix of modern thinking and traditional values.”

Client service: “The clerking is absolutely amazing – they go above and beyond all the time, always call you back and stick to agreed fees.” Nicholas Luckman and Mark Rushton lead the team.

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.
“Her grasp of the law is phenomenal, and she has immense knowledge which is so wide-ranging. Fantastic in court, very persuasive, and knows how to get the judge on side.”
Recent work: Acted for the defendant solicitors in a claim alleging they had disbursed client monies in breach of trust.

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.
“A particularly outstanding trial lawyer: one of the best at cross-examination and addressing difficult tactical issues.” “He really has the most thorough understanding of the law and how it operates, and is incredibly quick to understand and provide solutions to the commercial and professional risks facing firms.”

James Ayliffe QC
An experienced practitioner who regularly takes on high-value professional negligence claims. Particularly active in cases arising in the property and legal sectors, he also handles claims relating to accountants, actuaries and financial advisers, among others.
“User-friendly, and good on the commercial aspects of the case.”

Joanna Smith QC
Highly valued for her advocacy and her technical skills, Joanna Smith QC takes on the full spectrum of professional negligence claims, including those arising in the construction industry. She appears at first instance and also provides appellate representation, acting for claimants as well as defendants.
“Handles high-profile cases, and is an absolute mastermind – so knowledgeable and razor-sharp on the law. She has excellent advocacy skills both orally and on paper.” “Great in court and an incisive brain.”
Recent work: Acted in a claim against two firms of solicitors and a planning consultant in relation to the proposed development of a substantial commercial property by Morrisons.

John Wardell QC
Maintains a strong commercial practice with a steady emphasis on professional negligence matters, in which he acts for claimants and defendants. He regularly takes on cases relating to legal, financial and property services, and also defends other barristers against claims of negligence. His professional negligence practice is supported by his experience of fraud-related work.
“He has an immense capacity for work and is able to digest and understand complex intellectual property issues within the context of professional negligence claims with impressive ease.” “A superb advocate, who works very well in a team and is very personable.”
Recent work: Acted for patent attorneys Carpmaels and Ransford in defence of a claim relating to their alleged failure to file a notice of appeal against the revocation of a patent for an emission reduction system to be used in diesel engines worldwide.

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.
“Very precise and to the point in his advice, and wins the confidence of clients.” “Very client-friendly, and presents his advice in a clear and succinct manner.”
Recent work: Represented Walker Morris in a claim brought by Jane Richardson Fletcher OBE, in respect of the defendant’s conduct of litigation against Leeds City Council arising out of the loss of a contract to build a new arena in the city.

Paul Newman QC
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.
“His advice is always right on the money.”

Recent work: Acted for Womble Bond Dickinson in defence of a claim for breach of duty, in respect of the drafting of amendments to pension schemes which did not comply with the relevant amendment powers.

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, and has notable experience of appellate work.
“Excellent legal analysis, first-class written work, great with clients and a superb advocate.” “An absolute mastermind: so knowledgeable and sharp on the law.”
Recent work: Acted in a claim against engineers for approving the use of a particular type of fill beneath the foundations of a school.

Real Estate Litigation (Band 2)

THE SET

Wilberforce Chambers is a highly reputable set with “excellent people” and “lots of strength in depth.” Sources appreciate that it is “equipped to deal with anything in the property litigation domain.” Barristers here act in a wide range of property matters, including both residential and commercial landlord and tenant cases, development disputes, title disputes and agricultural property cases. Members appear frequently in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, including in high-profile cases such as Canary Wharf v European Medicines Agency and Duval v 11-13 Randolph Crescent, a Supreme Court appeal dealing with the question of whether covenants in flat leases prevent the landlord giving one leaseholder consent for works to their flat without the permission of all other leaseholders in the block.

Client service:“The clerks are friendly, efficient and helpful.” “The clerks at Wilberforce are really very good. They take the admin burden away from you and are very responsive.” Nicholas Luckman serves as practice director, with Mark Rushton as head practice manager.

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.
“Very bright and enjoys a challenge. He has a personable style and inspires confidence.” “Energetic, responsible and user-friendly.”
Recent work: Acted for Sainsbury’s in a £6 million claim for breach of a keep open covenant.

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. She has recently acted in cases before the Supreme Court and High Court.
“Charlotte is very calm, focused and a safe pair of hands.”

Recent work: Instructed in Persimmon Homes Limited v Ashfield Provincial Properties, a development agreement dispute over a residential site.

Emer Murphy
Respected junior attracting notable instructions in commercial and residential landlord and tenant matters. She also acts in development disputes and property contract cases, among other matters.
“Very hard-working and diligent and has the ability to take complex issues and break them down into manageable components.” “Her advice is clear, direct and well thought out.”
Recent work: Acted in Duval v 11-13 Randolph Crescent, a landlord and tenant dispute over one tenant’s ability to carry out refurbishment works in their flat.

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.
“An excellent junior barrister both technically and in terms of interpersonal skills.” “Very hard-working, with a meticulous eye for detail.”

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.
“Very thorough. Good on the contractual side as well as pure property disputes.” “Fantastic mind. Brings together the financial and real estate worlds seamlessly.”

Recent work: Successfully advised Cummins, a US engineering company, on the strike-out of a claim alleging breach of a conditional contract for the sale and purchase of land.

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 is currently chair of the Property Bar Association.
“An excellent barrister who is commercial and client-friendly whilst being utterly devastating when deployed in the courtroom.” “One of the top property silks out there – very bright with an excellent manner, and very considered with excellent judgement.” “She’s top of the profession. She’s analytical, thorough, incisive and great at building a relationship with clients.”
Recent work: Led in the Supreme Court for the landlord, 11-13 Randolph Crescent, in a case which dealt with whether a common form of covenants in flat leases prevents the landlord giving one leaseholder consent for works to their flat without the permission of all other leaseholders in the block.

John Furber QC
Particularly adept at handling landlord and tenant disputes, and 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.
“Approachable and reliable, John produces sensible and accessible advice that clients appreciate.”

Recent work: Advised Daytona Sandown Park on a dispute with Jockey Club Racecourses concerning its lease to operate a go-kart track at Sandown Park Racecourse.

Jonathan Chew
Has a robust real estate litigation practice and is highly experienced in the High Court. He frequently handles high-value landlord and tenant disputes. He is also able to handle complex cases involving property-related fraud.
“Clear and commercial in his advice and good with clients.” “A very good advocate, who is responsive and user-friendly. He has great technical expertise.” “Very capable,  quick to respond and engaging. Nothing seems to be too much trouble.”

Recent work: Acted in a high-value dispute between companies in the Colony group and Quidnet, a UK-based asset manager, concerning whether Quidnet had earned a £7 million fee by managing a £270 million property portfolio well, or whether they were not entitled and in fact had been negligent.

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 government departments and corporate entities. He is editor of Butterworths Property Law Handbook.
“Thorough, detailed, meticulous in his preparation.” “He’s very easy to work with. Very reactive, proactive and always willing to get stuck in and deliver what’s required.”
Recent work: Acted for HMRC in a Court of Appeal test case concerning the meaning of ‘property’ in the context of leases and estate planning for family homes. The subject of the case was the arrangements of the late Lady Hood for her family home in Chelsea.

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.
“Jonathan is a god amongst counsel. A brilliant mind, fabulous with clients and a real pleasure to work with.” “The person to go to with a tricky case.” “Very user-friendly, a creative strategist and a superb advocate. Always impresses clients.”

Recent work: Instructed in Ron Dennis v Spink Construction and Others, a £40 million dispute concerning the creation of a 1,700-house development in the Oxford-Cambridge corridor.

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.
“He’s a great team player, commercial, hard-working, and clients really trust him.” “Always calm under pressure with a skilled ability to maintain a clear and objective strategy.”

Recent work: Acted for the owners of a major West End development to resist an application for interim rights under the Electronic Telecommunications Code 2017.

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.
“Fantastic advocate and innovative tactician.” “Has the ability to cut through the most complex problems to find the decisive point.” “He has an encyclopedic knowledge of property law and gives very user-friendly and robust advice.”
Recent work: Acted in Dangoor v Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, a multimillion-pound terminal dilapidations claim concerning a building in Basingstoke.

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.
“Extremely responsive and user-friendly, in addition to providing robust and excellent advice.” “He is commercial, to the point and has a great way with clients.”

Recent work: Acted for the applicant in O’Byrne v Magdalen College, a dispute regarding the modification of restrictive covenants in which the Tribunal effectively modified an easement as well as a covenant.

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 Supreme Court.
“Sharper than a scalpel when dissecting witnesses.” “Very accessible and approachable. Presents complicated advice in a simple and client-friendly way.” “Decisive on her feet.”

Recent work: Acted for the tenant in Sequent Nominees Ltd v Hautford Ltd, a Supreme Court case concerning the landlord’s refusal to allow Hautford to obtain planning permission to use the upper floors of a property on Brewer Street in Soho as flats.

Zoë Barton QC
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.
“Brilliant tactically.” “A great advocate who is very commercial and tenacious.”
Recent work: Acted for the landowners in a high-value claim brought by former F1 boss Ron Dennis concerning allegedly fraudulent representations affecting the sale of land.

Restructuring/Insolvency (Band 3)

THE SET

Wilberforce Chambers is noted for its impressive work tackling both corporate and personal insolvency matters. Members are frequently called upon to undertake cases arising both in the UK and further afield, and offer significant expertise in the handling of complex multi-jurisdictional disputes. Areas of particular strength for the set include administrations, CVAs, restructurings and schemes of arrangement. The team is also regularly instructed in cases involving complex pensions and property elements, owing to the set’s established strengths in these areas. An enviable client list includes creditors, debtors and insolvency officeholders.

Client service: “The clerks are responsive, helpful and open to negotiations on fees.” The clerking team is led by head practice manager Mark Rushton.

Daniel Lewis

Highly popular in the market for his advocacy style and personable manner. He undertakes wide-ranging insolvency work with a particular emphasis on claims arising from participation in tax avoidance schemes. He is also well regarded for his handling of professional negligence claims both for and against insolvency office holders. He is noted for his expertise in international insolvency matters.
“He’s a very charming advocate who is well liked by courts and is very user-friendly. He’s very much a team player and is very commercial.”
Recent work: Acted for the former administrator of a company in a claim brought against him by the current office holders alleging that he had disposed of satellite TV channels worth around £3 million at a substantial undervalue.

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 is responsive, thoughtful and very supportive.” “He is always very well prepared and is excellent on his feet.”

James Bailey QC
A well-regarded silk 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 well prepared, hard-working and a good advocate.”
Recent work: Acted for office holders seeking to recover funds in the controversial Miss World litigation. The case involved an alleged fraud arising out of a beauty pageant in which millions of pounds were alleged to have been dissipated through a range of vehicles that then collapsed into various insolvency regimes.

Lexa Hilliard QC
Esteemed practitioner offering an impressive breadth of experience and expertise across all areas of insolvency law. She regularly takes instruction at both the domestic and international levels 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.
“Incredibly intelligent and very commercial.”
Recent work: Instructed in Re Comet Group, an application by the liquidators for directions permitting them to pay funds away to an SPV for secured creditors in circumstances where the ICAEW threatened to report the liquidators to their licensing body if they did so.

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.
“Clever, pragmatic and commercial.” “Marcia is a go-to silk. She is very commercial, she has a very sharp intellect, strategically she is very strong and she’s a good advocate. An exceptional talent.” “She is superb and universally respected by the insolvency profession.”
Recent work: Acted for a consortium of 12 Indian banks in Re Vijay Mallya. The banks had petitioned for Dr Mallya’s bankruptcy relating to a £1 billion debt.

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 has experience of appearing before the Supreme Court.
“He’s really bright, thinks outside the box and is very commercial.” “His advocacy is fantastic.”
Recent work: Acted for an administrator accused of misleading the court and creditors and accused of improper conduct in running a trading administration.

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.
“An extremely good advocate who is very measured and has a commanding presence in court.” “He is always well prepared and incredibly conscientious.”
Recent work: Acted for the Revenue in Viscount Hood as Executor of Estate of Lady Hood v HMRC, an appeal regarding inheritance tax provisions relating to ‘gifts with reservation’ in relation to family homes.

Tax: Indirect Tax

Jonathan Davey QC
Esteemed silk noted for his ability in indirect tax cases. He regularly acts for the Revenue, handling prominent VAT cases in the charity and education sectors.
He is sharp and switched-on.”
Recent work: Acted in Witney Town Bowles Club v HMRC, a VAT case concerning the meaning of ‘community amateur sports club’ in the context of indirect tax disputes.

Tax: Private Client (Band 2)

THE SET

Barristers at Wilberforce Chambers act for individuals on the full array of private client matters. They regularly advise on onshore and offshore trusts, as well as tax domicile issues. Sources say that “the barristers are very knowledgeable and thoughtful. Their strength lies in their technical expertise and the robustness of their advice.”

Client service: Mark Rushton is the head practice manager and a man who enjoys the full confidence of the market.

Brian Green QC
A well-known chancery silk whose private client tax practice is much respected. He is an exceptional choice of counsel for taxation of trusts matters.
“An offshore trusts specialist who is very, very good.” “He is concise and gets to the point quickly.”

Jonathan Davey QC
Highly respected silk who is trusted with complex work by both HMRC and private clients. He is noted for his work on high-value trusts. Davey is particularly well known for his recent work in high-profile film scheme litigation.
“He is very measured, very calm and someone whose judgement you can put your trust in.” “He is a good advocate who is always well prepared and incredibly conscientious.”
Recent work: Instructed by the Revenue in Ingenious Games LLP v HMRC, a case concerning tax liabilities of high net worth individuals investing in partnerships involved in the film and game industries.

Michael Furness QC
Well-regarded tax, pensions and chancery specialist. He handles a wide array of offshore trusts litigation and tax scheme cases, including those pertaining to film schemes. He further advises on tax structuring.
“He is brilliant for trust matters.”

Recent work: Acted in Scott v HMRC, a case concerning the ability to claim unused corresponding deficiency relief to reduce the rate payable on chargeable gains.

Trusts

Gilead Cooper QC
Instructed in some of the most important and high-profile trusts 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.
“Robust, sensible and excellent with clients.” “He can handle very complicated cases involving a lot of different jurisdictions with real ease, and always gives clear advice.”
Recent work: Acted for the fiancée of a deceased high net worth individual, who apparently committed suicide in Belgium after fleeing the UK to avoid extradition to Russia.

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 on trusts in the Bahamas, the Cook Islands, Gibraltar and New Zealand.
“He is the person to go to for a top-class trust opinion.” “Brian Green is amazing to work with. He never stops working as far as I can tell.”
Recent work: Appeared in a successful appeal to the Supreme Court concerning a disposition of legal title to Saudi shares held under a Cayman Islands trust which the appellant claimed to be entitled to in equity.

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.
“A very clever and creative barrister with exceptionally deep knowledge,” he “offers superbly pragmatic advice every time.”

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 that hold complex corporate structures.
“He is on another planet when it comes to handling the detail in a case – he wants to know absolutely everything and he bases his advice on that. He must be one of the most hard-working barristers at the Bar.”

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.
“Fantastic – he’s very bright and a real all-rounder when it comes to traditional chancery law.” “He gives very clear, consistent, rock-solid advice.”

Recent work: Acted in Financial Services Compensation Scheme Ltd and Others v Estera Corporate Trustees (Guernsey) Ltd, a high-value trusts dispute arising from the insolvency of the Freedom Bay property development scheme in St Lucia.

Andrew Mold QC
Has particular expertise in breach of trust and breach of fiduciary duty claims. He is also known for his skill 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.
“Has amazing judgement, and is excellent when handling trusts issues in the context of divorce proceedings. He has a brilliant nose for what’s going to happen, and is also a lovely, user-friendly person. Andrew has a calm, measured advocacy manner which is very engaging.”

Recent work: Appeared in the case of Monderer, acting for the trustee of a trust holding a significant property portfolio in the UK.

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 user-friendly and collegiate in her dealings with the instructing solicitor. She’s a very senior junior, who has so much expertise and experience. A brilliant lawyer, who is always measured and calm in her responses.”

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.
“A no-nonsense practitioner with a very fine mind, who cuts through any amount of idiocy. She is so terribly clever and has this ability to scythe through endless reams of paper and muddled thinking to get to clear and sensible solutions.”

Recent work: Acted for a trustee in a dispute between trustees as to how two funds should be distributed.

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 very clever and highly personable barrister who is really lovely to deal with.”
Recent work: Acted in Re: Lo, a huge-value Hong Kong trust case involving a family at war over interests in one of the leading property companies in Hong Kong, valued at approximately HKD27.7 billion.