Selected recommendation:

Chambers & Partners 2024

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 five top-tier set rankings. Overall, we have achieved a record 163 barrister rankings, which includes 33 new and improved individual rankings.

Full coverage in the 2024 guide can be found here.

Our expertise

Select an expertise from the filter below to learn more.

Art and Cultural Property Law

Gilead Cooper KC is well known for handling major chancery cases and he is also a respected figure in the art law market.

“Gilead is lovely, a very entertaining character. He is very experienced in this field and is intelligent and insightful.”
“He is something of a legend in the art market and lived up to it as he is very experienced and authoritative. You can see a real commercial understanding of the market.”

Bobby Friedman of Wilberforce Chambers maintains a commercial practice of fraud, insolvency and shareholder disputes, and also advises on complex art matters.

Chancery: Commercial (Leading Set)

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. One instructing solicitor notes: “The set is always my first port of call. It has a large stable of barristers so there’s always someone at the right level whether I need a silk or junior.” Members are instructed in high-profile matters of the greatest complexity including Tulip LLP v Bitcoin Association, a multibillion-pound cryptocurrency claim, and Suppipat & others v Narondej & 16 others, a matter concerning an alleged fraud arising out of the sale of Thaland’s largest wind energy company.

“The clerking is brilliant – very efficient and friendly. I work with them a lot and they always bend over backwards to help me.”
“The clerks are responsive, cooperative, and people who go out of their way to meet your requirements.”
“The clerks at Wilberforce Chambers are responsive, generous with their time and polite – they are a pleasure to work with.”

Nicholas Luckman is the Practice Director.

Leading silks

Alan Gourgey KC

“A fantastic advocate, who’s very bright and quick at analysing matters.”
“Very much a details person,he’s excellent at strategic thinking. In court he has very clear judgment and an excellent advocacy style.”
“His written pleading is impressive.”

John Wardell KC

“Always keen to listen to the entire team and give his advice following input from everyone: clients, solicitors and any other relevant people. Very responsive and highly engaging, he really gets to grips with the facts and chases points down.”
“An absolutely lovely man, who’s forthright and not afraid to give a very robust view on the chances of success. A very strong advocate who stands by his word, he understands the pressures solicitors are under, and is mindful of commercial realities.”
“John is extremely effective in court – he doesn’t waste words and is both direct and clear. His style reflects his written advocacy; its sharp and succinct.”

Thomas Grant KC

“Very able on points of complex academic law, he’s an excellent, very persuasive advocate, who’s very experienced in front of judges at all levels of seniority. He’s also good with lay clients too and very charming.”
“Thomas did a brilliant job on the advocacy: he had great presence in court, and cut to the chase effectively. Excellent on his feet, he was brilliant on the strategy and easy to work with. All round, he did a super job.”

Clare Stanley KC 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.

“A lawyer with a commercial mind, who has in-depth knowledge of the law like I have never seen before. She has a way of getting the Judge or Master to listen to her point in court and work with her on it.”
“Clare is an excellent advocate, who is an expert in all things trust related. Clients love her.”
“She is a top class silk, who is hugely impressive in both written and oral argument.”

Fenner Moeran KC

“Fenner is an exceptional barrister specialising in civil fraud cases. His deep knowledge of the law, combined with his meticulous analysis, sets him apart. This allows him to navigate complex legal issues with ease. His intellectual courage ensures that no aspect of the case goes unexamined, and he leaves no stone unturned in his analysis of the facts and evidence. He is a formidable advocate and his compelling arguments are difficult to resist. With his user-friendly approach, clients can rely on him for exceptional legal representation and guidance.”

Terence Mowschenson KC

“An effective and direct advocate who doesn’t pull any punches.”

Tim Penny KC

“A charming advocate who captivates the court, even when he’s handling difficult points. Tim has the ear and trust of the court and can take any argument forward well. He is also great at cross examination, proving both calm and composed.”
“A very strong advocate, who is client friendly and easy to get on with. Judges love his easy approach to his advocacy, which is both effective and persuasive.”

“Excellent in court and always on top of his brief.”

James Ayliffe KC

“One of the most pleasant, hardworking impressive barristers around. He’s very clever and a hugely effective advocate.”

Lawrence Cohen KC

“Has good institutional knowledge and the ability to apply in-depth knowledge contextually and against a backdrop of current legal positions and authorities.”
“It’s always a pleasure to have him as an opponent; he’s very charming to deal with.”

Lexa Hilliard KC

“Very good at trial and very detailed in her approach, she is just so easy with the judge.”
“Absolutely brilliant and a safe pair of hands on any matter.”
“She is a very capable advocate, who is delightful to work with, in all respects.”

Nikki Singla KC

Nikki is very knowledgeable and has a nice style about him. He takes on board things you say and you can have a very healthy dialogue and debate with him. Super responsive and approachable, he makes himself available night and day.”
“Very tenacious and brilliant at cross-examination, he’s a real master of his brief. He is a tough but wonderful barrister, who offers a Rolls Royce service.”
“Brilliant with clients, personable, measured and someone who instils confidence, he gets good results.”

Thomas Lowe KC

“Judges love him; he has a great approach and an affable manner in court.”
“He’s an impressive performer.”

Tiffany Scott KC

“Very on top of the detail and someone with real clarity of thought, she is totally focused on understanding the facts and legal issues in a case. Possessed of an incredible intellect, she makes a fiercely complicated case seem a lot simpler than it is.”
“Tiffany is extremely clever and always has an eye to the future – she foresees potential problems down the line and takes action to avoid them. Always realistic with clients, she helps them make informed decisions.”
“Incredibly commercially sound.”

Andrew Mold KC

“He’s very commercial, easy to work with and someone who gets to the point very quickly.”
“A very pleasant person to deal with.”

Ian Croxford KC

“A thoroughly lovely man, he’s very honest and a genuine opponent.”
“A very sound, hard-working, and thorough individual.”

James Bailey KC

“Knowledgeable, approachable and a very good advocate.”

Marcia Shekerdemian KC

“Always first rate when it comes to tactics and someone who knows the court system very well.”
“Incredibly easy to work with, very charming and very client oriented. She’s someone whom clients respect as she has a straightforward way of explaining legal content.”
“A very clever barrister, who is very assured in court.”

Leading juniors 

Edward Sawyer

“Edward is a very capable fellow.”
“Offered impressive advice and support: he identified issues and options before providing a clear route map for us to follow.”
“Everything was written very lucidly and clearly signposted for the judge. He made complex concepts easy to understand.”

Graeme Halkerston

“Technically brilliant and responsive. A fearless advocate.”
“He has an astonishing work rate and a fantastic ability to unpick and understand everything very quickly. “

Thomas Robinson

“An absolute delight to work with, he is ferociously intelligent, very quick to grasp the detail, alive to commercial sensitivities and very personable and client friendly.”
“As well as having technical expertise, he always makes practical suggestions. Very accommodating and tremendously, clever, he has a really calm and impactful manner in court.”
“He knows his stuff and is extremely user friendly. We work very closely with him and he’s very easy to pick up the phone to and ask questions of.”

Bobby Friedman

“Very comprehensive, highly intelligent and someone who communicates very effectively.”
“He is without a doubt fantastic with clients; he’s super user friendly.”
“A fantastic barrister who can handle cases singlehandedly against much more experienced barristers and merge into a larger team with ease. He is very user friendly from the perspective of a solicitor and clients are always happy to work with him.”

Emer Murphy

“Very bright, hardworking and user-friendly – a future star of the bar.”

Emily McKechnie

“Smart, aggressive, really good to deal with and very responsive. She will be a big name in the industry in a few years time.”
“Emily was very responsive and put a lot of effort into producing work within short deadlines. Her contribution to the matter was integral to providing the client with sound advice from an English law perspective, and she considered the case from all angles.”
“Excellent and easy to work with.”

Jack Watson

“Jack is a brilliant barrister with a huge brain who takes a very commercial approach to litigation. He is great with clients and fantastic on his feet.”
“Jack was very precise and his cross-examination skills were brilliant.”

James McCreath

“James provided sound, clear and concise advice and was mindful of the commercial realities within which our client operates.”
“He’s a measured and well balanced advocate.

Tom Roscoe

“Incredibly responsive, very diligent, very able, good on the detail, and someone who comes out with helpful, constructive suggestions.”
“I was very impressed with Tom. He had excellent knowledge and recall of the details of our case which spanned a significant period. He gave us good, strategic advice throughout. His written and oral advocacy proved highly persuasive and resulted in us achieving an excellent result for our client.”
“Excellent, responsive and clear.”

Anna Littler

“Very wise and good at getting to the core of issues, she doesn’t get bogged down in complexities. She’s very commercial and on the ball, never missing a trick. A joy to work with, she is always calm and happy.”
“Anna is hard-working, technically brilliant, and someone who provides hands-on support.”
“Her output is incredibly high in terms of its quality and she has the technical aspects of a case down to a tee. She’s also considerate, which is key when matters are running high on emotion. All in all she’s a real role model for people in the industry.”

Jonathan Chew

“Able, practical, clever and resourceful, he’s good with clients, hard working, and accessible.”
“He’s really personable and has a very effective courtroom manner that judges warm to quickly.”
“A really solid barrister, who provides pragmatic solutions and is good on the strategy.”

Tim Matthewson

“Switched on, bright, diligent and user-friendly.”
“Very calm and highly intelligent. He’s all over the detail and someone you really enjoy working with him as he’s very polite and considerate.”

Chancery: Traditional (Leading Set)

Wilberforce Chambers has an impressive group of barristers who handle complex disputes surrounding trusts and estates, and demonstrate multi-jurisdictional knowledge of the law. “The team here is tried, tested, battle-hardened and excellent,” comments a source. Recently, members of the set have appeared in a number of significant matters including Halabi v Equity Trust, which looked at fundamental principles of trusts and insolvency and their interrelationship. As one interviewee said: “Wilberforce is the go-to set for tricky cases that sit at the interface between different areas of law. They are the set to go to when you need someone really skilled and you’re seeking out the best advice.”

Nicholas Luckman is the practice director.

“The barristers and clerks are absolutely first rate and the clerks are always willing to go above and beyond to find someone with availability or assist with paperwork.”
“All the clerks are always very willing to help in terms of discussing availability, CVs and fee estimates. Everyone is friendly and approachable.”

Quotation symbol"The barristers and clerks are absolutely first rate and the clerks are always willing to go above and beyond to find someone with availability or assist with paperwork."

Chambers & Partners 2024

Star Individuals

Brian Green KC is 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.

“Brian is the unparalleled master of complex trusts matters – he combines true down to earth approachability with immense intellect and vision.”
“He is just the leading silk in this area. He is the best there is.”

Leading Silks

Clare Stanley KC 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.

“A lawyer with a commercial mind, who has in-depth knowledge of the law like I have never seen before. She has a way of getting the Judge or Master to listen to her point in court and work with her on it.”

“Clare is an excellent advocate, who is an expert in all things trust related. Clients love her.”
“She is a top class silk, who is hugely impressive in both written and oral argument.”

Fenner Moeran KC is particularly focused on high value private client litigation and associated advice, acting in both court proceedings as well as various forms of ADR. He has a substantial advisory practice both onshore and offshore.

“He is a very forceful advocate.”
“Fenner is extrovert, extremely likeable and one of the most welcoming people at the Bar.”
“His research and presentation of advice in a short time frame were genuinely flawless.”

Gilead Cooper KC is an eminent silk whose respected chancery practice is focused on contentious property and trusts. He attracts a wealth of praise for his advocacy.

“He gives a Rolls Royce service.”
“One of the very finest KCs. In addition to being very smart, he is very subtle and doesn’t feel as though he has to prove just how smart he is. He really keeps his eye on the ball and I appreciate how tactful he is. He appreciates that cases can often excite emotions.”

Jonathan Hilliard KC 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.

“Energetic and very detailed and responsive to a degree that is breathtaking. He is also incredibly rapid at turning around matters and very modern in the fact that he is accessible. There are very few of his generation with his firepower.”
“An outstanding lawyer, who is exceptionally clever, unbelievably hard working and conscientious.”
“Jonathan has an incredible ability to absorb complex detail and give legal advice that fully takes into account strategic and commercial realities. A truly brilliant and rare KC.”

Michael Furness KC

“Technically excellent and gives clear, pragmatic advice. He is readily available and takes a real interest in the outcome of his advice, rather than the issues alone.”
“Exceptionally clever, conscientious and very pleasant to deal with, he is an outstanding lawyer.”
“An excellent advocate and a very intelligent man, who is very popular with judges. He’s got a nice style of presentation which is simple and intelligent “

Robert Ham KC focuses his practice on trusts and other private client work, including tax matters, both contentious and non-contentious. He is regularly instructed in offshore cases.

“Robert is just fabulous – he has a way of making contentious issues non-contentious. He is incredibly wise and with him you get a depth of experience you don’t find elsewhere. Andrew has a very conciliatory manner and is a strong advocate, who doesn’t offend people but just shows you where the solution lies. He is so respected.”
“Rob’s very reassuring and very considered. With him you get a real view – he does not make arguments he doesn’t believe in.”
“In a tight spot Robert is brilliant. Every time he knows exactly what will happen and calls it right – he is really helpful. He knows everything and gives great bullet point advice.”

Tiffany Scott KC has a depth of experience in both contentious and non-contentious trusts matters, and is frequently instructed by high net worth individuals and top firms. Her practice also includes advisory work, and she is noted for her involvement in offshore work.

“Tiffany is very good at getting to grips with technically challenging cases.”
“She provides very strong, technical and focussed trust advice. She has also been very understanding of client’s needs.”

Andrew Mold KC has a wide-ranging traditional chancery practice, with particular expertise in matters with matrimonial trust aspects to them. He also advises on complex fraud and pensions matters.

“A silent assassin, who is so targeted in his approach and so detailed. He has a ferocious intellect and as an advocate he is so refined.”
“Andrew has great judgment on how to put things. He knows how to steer a client in the right direct and make a difficult case work.”

Jonathan Davey KC is frequently sought after for high-value and high-profile traditional chancery matters. He is noted for his expertise in charities and for his handling of highly complex tax litigation.

“Jonathan is an exceptional drafter who produces pristine paperwork. He is able to unravel highly complicated problems so that pleaded submissions are presented with breathtaking clarity.”
“He is the whole package. His advocacy and drafting are both amazing and he always puts clients at ease.”
“It is remarkable to witness how he can work through complex areas of law to present a client’s case so simply and clearly.”

Zoë Barton KC 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 Court of Protection matters.

“She is impressive in all areas.”
“Zoë has a good eye for detail.”

Leading Juniors

Andrew Child enjoys a commanding reputation in the field of traditional chancery. He is 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.

“A terrific barrister with a very compelling manner.”

Michael Ashdown combines expertise in private client trusts law with extensive tax knowledge to handle disputes centred on wills, trusts and estates.

“The way that he is able to break down complex legal points into language that can be understood by clients is invaluable. His written work is also invariably detailed and immaculate.”
“Technically very good and someone who gives clear, practical advice.”
“Just amazing. Michael is so bright but also just a delight to work with. He is already essentially a KC in terms of the quality of his work.”

Edward Sawyer acts in both contentious and non contentious matters involving trusts, probate and succession, both domestic and offshore.

“Incredibly bright but also very user friendly, he absolutely grasped the client’s needs and expertly navigated his way through a maze of tricky legal points to identify a clear strategy for the clients. He not only understands the law but is able to then use that to come up with solutions. He is also an excellent advocate and tactician.”
“An outstanding lawyer, who is exceptionally clever, very polite and an excellent advocate.”
“Absolutely brilliant. He is a pleasure to work with and always has the measure of everyone and everything.”

James Goodwin has a chancery practice that sees him acting in a range of onshore and offshore trust matters.

“James is a superb junior, who is extremely intelligent and good on paper.”
“Incredibly approachable and happy to roll his sleeves up and work through all the documents in a case. He is also very commercial and very easy to work with.”

Jennifer Seaman is a specialist in probate and estate disputes, as well as pensions and inheritance matters.

“Jennifer gets to grips with the facts and issues of a matter quickly, presenting them in a client friendly manner.”
“A very approachable and knowledgeable junior, who immerses herself in the detail of complex matters and delivers advice clearly and succinctly.”

Charities (Leading Set)

Wilberforce Chambers is 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 HMRC in cases concerning the meaning of a ‘charity’. Clients further benefit from the set’s well-renowned high-quality offshore expertise. One recent matter handled by the members was Jaffer v Jaffer and others, an important case concerning the governance of an international Islamic charity.

Client Service

Nick Luckman is the practice director. whilst Stewart Cameron is the senior practice manager.

Jonathan Davey KC is an experienced silk who is typically involved in complex and high-value charity matters. Recently he has been active on the high-profile Jaffer v Jaffer case, regarding an international Islamic charity’s dispute over allegedly invalid presidential elections and other breaches. He acts for a strong range of clients including HM Revenue and Customs.

“He’s very responsive and good with clients.”
“Jonathan has a good range of work, is very organised, and is someone who leads his teams very well.”

Michael Furness KC is 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 in a variety of jurisdictions.

“Michael Furness is a very good barrister and advocate.”
“He gives considered, thoughtful and helpful advice.”

 

Commercial Dispute Resolution (Leading Set)

Wilberforce Chambers has at its disposal a strong bench of commercial 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. The set’s barristers are well known 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. Recently, members have acted in Tulip LLP v Bitcoin Association, a very high profile case from the crypto sector, as well as Suppipat & Others v Narongdej & others, a claim alleging fraud and asset-stripping. Other matters handled include the Greensill litigation, a case which followed the collapse of Greensill Capital. One interviewee commented “Wilberforce Chambers is a set crammed with very skilled and sophisticated barristers, who deal with complex multi-jurisdictional litigation matters.”

Client Service

“Nick Luckman, practice director, and Andrew Barnes, senior practice manager, are always available. They are very practical individuals, who want the best outcome for the client.”
“Stewart Cameron, senior practice manager, was a stand out. He was always available and not afraid of discussing pricing.”
“The clerks have very good response times and are not afraid to deal with complex issues such as cost estimates. They are very professional in negotiation and are excellent at liaising with the court.”
“The clerks instil confidence that they will be able to get you want you need in terms of counsel support.”
“The clerks bend over backwards to accommodate requests.”

Leading Silks

Alan Gourgey KC

“Alan Gourgey has an eye for detail like no other and is extremely good at dealing with very difficult clients.”
“Alan is excellent at strategic thinking and has very clear judgement. His advocacy style is also excellent.”

John Wardell KC

“John Wardell is a very good listener. He is always keen to listen to the entire team and then give his advice following a hearing from everyone.”
“John is very passionate and very motivated.”
“John is a good strategist.”
“He is forthright in his advice and not afraid to give very robust opinions as to the chances of success.”
“Extremely effective in court.”

Tim Penny KC

“Tim Penny is a charming advocate who captivates even when dealing with difficult points. He has the ear and trust of the court.”
“Tim displays extraordinary attention to detail.”

Marcia Shekerdemian KC

“Marcia is a great technician.”
“She impresses with her skills, sharp mind, steadiness and composure.”
“Marcia is a delight to watch on her feet.”

Ian Croxford KC

“Exceptional. His advocacy and cross examination were masterful.”
“Ian’s attention to detail and focus on the key issues are superb. He is ferociously hard working and is the best trial advocate.”

“He has great courtroom presence and is a very careful strategist.”

James Bailey KC 

“James is outstanding is his advocacy and in particular the way he deals with issues when on his feet.”

Terence Mowschenson KC

“An effective and direct advocate, who doesn’t pull punches.”

Leading Juniors

Jack Watson

“A top quality barrister working on complicated matters, who is comfortable taking the lead on large and complex cases. He provides clear and concise advice at every stage.”
“Very commercially minded, he gets to point very quickly and is good on his feet.”
“Incredibly accomplished, responsive and articulate.”

Sri Carmichael

“Sri Carmichael is very thorough in her approach.”
“She evidently cares about the work she is doing and is always focused on getting the best outcome.”
“Sri is very approachable, user-friendly and incredibly astute.”

Bobby Friedman

“Bobby Friedman is highly intelligent and an effective communicator. He is very comprehensive in his approach.”
“A very efficient and personable barrister.”

James Walmsley

“James had a mastery of the thousands of documents in the case and explained complicated legal concepts in a very straightforward fashion to the clients. His understanding of the law is a sight to behold.”
“James’ intellect is astonishing and his ability to retain huge volumes of information is phenomenal.”

“James is very easy to work with and he provides excellent guidance.”

Tim Matthewson

“Tim Matthewson is very switched on, diligent and user-friendly.”
“Tim is very measured. In those situations where there is a lot of hyperbole and unnecessarily long letters are being thrown around, he’s good at reining in emotions.”

Company (Leading 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. Its reputation for handling offshore work is particularly strong. Notable recent instructions include the liquidators’ claim of breach of fiduciary duties against the former directors of BHS, and a share dispute regarding Laboratoire XO, which was pursued in both the UK and Luxembourg.

Client Service

“The clerks go above and beyond the call of duty. Their engagement with the court staff is excellent.”
“Senior practice manager Stewart Cameron is very diligent and capable and also very sensible in fee discussions.”
“Andrew Barnes and Jessica Edson are both super friendly, quick to respond and very approachable.”

Nick Luckman is the practice director.

Leading Silk

Lexa Hilliard KC is 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 Hilliard is very user friendly and practical. One has no hesitation in putting her in front of clients.”
“A very capable advocate, who is delightful to work with in all respects.”
“Lexa is very good at trial and very detailed in her approach.”

Marcia Shekerdemian KC maintains 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.

“Marcia always gives a strong steer thanks to her unwavering ability to cut through to the heart of the matter.”
“Marcia is always first rate on tactics.”

Terence Mowschenson KC is 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.

“Terence is phenomenally experienced in a broad range of company and commercial law matters. He brings real gravitas to any dispute.”
“Terence is a brilliant advocate, who knows company law inside and out.”

Family/Matrimonial : Trusts/Tax Experts

Star Individuals

Jonathan Hilliard KC is a 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 involving trusts in offshore jurisdictions. Hilliard is respected for his knowledge of the law and for the quality of his advocacy before international courts.

“He is extremely clever, creative and very knowledgeable. He has excellent judgement and he is extremely charming and user-friendly.”
“He’s a brilliant lawyer, his mind works at an unbelievable pace and his analytical ability is incredible.”
“Jonathan is very bright, works incredibly hard and is tactically very sound.”

Leading Silks

Andrew Mold KC 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, the BVI, Switzerland and Cyprus. He has additional experience in ADR proceedings.

“He’s got this real clarity of thought. He’s able to cut through the issues, work out the key thing to deal with and fills in the strategy around that.”
“His client skills are great.”

Leading Juniors

Joseph Steadman is a trusts, pensions and commercial law expert with High Court and Court of Appeal experience. His expertise also extends to property-related matters.

“He was so engaged with the case and really taking it seriously. He really cared about the outcome and gave enormously helpful input. It really made a difference to the conduct of the case.”
“Joseph is a team player and incredibly hard-working. He breaks down complicated situations into manageable chunks.”
“He is very bright and able to break down a complicated case very simply.”

Fraud: Civil (Leading 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. Recent work handled by the set’s tenants includes acting in Bourlakova & Others v Borulakov & Others, a USD3 billion fraud claim alleging defrauding of creditors and dishonest breaches of fiduciary duty in the drawing up and execution of an oligarch’s will.

Client Service
“The clerks provide a very good response time and aren’t afraid to deal with complex issues. They are very professional in negotiations and excellent in liaisons with the court.”
“The clerks are very professional, efficient and friendly.”
“They are so service and client-oriented, which makes them unbeatable as a clerking team.”

Leading Silks

Alan Gourgey KC is 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.

“Alan is excellent. He is easy to work with, a persuasive advocate and really on top of his game.”
“He spots killer points very quickly and knows what will win.”
“Alan is a brilliant, hands-on silk with very good advocacy and judgement.”

John Wardell KC is 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.

“John is very passionate, motivated and has huge energy and drive.”
“He is a very good listener, engaged and really gets to grips with the facts.”
“He is highly experienced and a fantastic advocate.”

Thomas Grant KC is an experienced silk who offers considerable expertise in freezing orders and other injunctions. He is regularly instructed in high-value disputes arising from serious allegations of fraud, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.

“Tom has a brilliant advocacy style and command in the courtroom.”
“Tom is an exceptional advocate. He is extremely charming yet forceful and willing to go the extra mile in court for clients.”
“He is a brilliant performer, creating excellent engagement and involvement in the court.”

Ian Croxford KC is a tenacious and experienced silk who is regularly engaged in high-profile commercial disputes and professional negligence matters in which fraud is alleged.

“Ian is a class act and a fantastic cross-examiner.”

Tim Penny KC is 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 a charming advocate who captivates the court, even on difficult points.”
“Tim leaves no stone unturned and is a very good advocate.”
“Tim works extremely hard, and his advice is always focused on the big picture.”

Jonathan Hilliard KCis a skilled silk who practises civil fraud as part of a thriving commercial litigation practice which also includes pensions, offshore trust and regulatory work. His cases concern a variety of allegations including dishonesty and misappropriation.

“He is the go-to guy for a big piece of heavy litigation.”
“He is very good: incredibly detail-oriented and delving into the nitty gritty issues.”
“Jonathan’s mind works at an unbelievable pace – his analytical ability is incredible.”

Max Mallin KC is 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.

“Max is a brilliant silk and a great asset for any client and team.”

Offshore (Leading Set)

Wilberforce Chambers offers significant strength and depth in all the major offshore jurisdictions, including those in the Channel Islands, the Caribbean and Asia. Market commentators regard it as a “top class” set, “boasting some of the top names of the offshore Bar.” Members of the set are instructed to act in matters such as trust litigation, high-value commercial disputes, fraud claims and insolvency matters. Its barristers continue to appear in a number of high-profile cases, such as Halabi v Equity Trust (Jersey). The Privy Council handed down a landmark decision regarding the insolvent trust, which will have a significant impact on the wider industry. A particular fan of the set remarked: “I love Wilberforce Chambers. It is by far and away the easiest set to deal with.” They continue: “I have no doubt that in the field, it stands out against the other chambers.”

“The clerks at Wilberforce are fantastic. They’re very helpful, quick to come back to us on queries, and overall provide a fantastic service.”
“They are the best clerks of any set I have worked with. They are brilliant.”
“Nick Luckman, practice director, and his team have been available to us day and night and weekends. They are highly responsive whenever needed.”
“The clerks are very accommodating to offshore needs.”

Brian Green KC is 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 handled matters in Bermuda, Hong Kong and Jersey.

“The crème de la crème of barristers in the trusts dispute world.”

Jonathan Hilliard KC 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.

“Jonathan’s mind works at an unbelievable pace and his analytical ability is incredible. He’s a pleasure to work with, and an enormous support when he’s in court.”
“Jonathan is the most capable and thorough advocate I’ve ever dealt with. His agility to assimilate information is extraordinary. He has a fantastic ear for what the court needs in order to persuade it to do what you want.”
“A superbly clever man; he’s a go-to for large, complicated matters.”

Robert Ham KC is 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.

“Robert is a quiet, yet effective advocate who keeps things simple, but produces bold submissions.”
“Robert is hugely experienced.”

Thomas Lowe KC 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.

“Tom has quite a following in Cayman – he is well respected by the judiciary and practitioners alike.”
“Truly exceptional – Thomas is the best.”
“Thomas is extremely good on his feet and highly familiar with the Bench in Cayman.”

Clare Stanley KC is noted for her commercial and company law practice, encompassing the likes of insolvency and fraud matters. She has further expertise in handling trust dispute cases. She is well versed in the intricacies of acting in a number of offshore jurisdictions, including the Cayman Islands.

“Clare is on top of all the detail and very robust.”
“Clare is extremely level-headed – unruffled in the darkest of storms. She is the most responsive and committed silk I’ve ever instructed, and her ability to work seamlessly with solicitors really stands out.”
“Clare has always impressed me. She’s extremely hardworking and has a calmness about her. Her advice is extremely clear and there’s very little room for doubt. She’s a pleasure to work with.”

Gilead Cooper KC has a great standing in offshore litigation and has noted ability in trusts, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and professional negligence disputes. He also handles property disputes and art law. He has appeared in court proceedings in the BVI, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and Hong Kong.

“Gilead is one of the leading lights of the international trust Bar. He’s very clever, an excellent advocate, and very hardworking. You definitely want to have him on your team.”
“Gilead is very thoughtful, responsive and good fun to work with.”
“Gilead is very efficient in the way that he works; he cuts straight through to the detail.”

John Wardell KC 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 outstanding advocate and a real bulldog in the courtroom.”
“John is a ruthless commercial barrister. He is really, really good on his feet – deceptively so.”
“John has been involved in some of the most high-profile disputes in Cayman and is very much sought after. He brings his considerable insight and experience and always works towards reaching the best solution for his clients.”

John Wardell KC 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.

“He is a powerful advocate.”

Michael Furness KC is 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 acting in Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal. He also provides counsel on professional negligence claims.

“Michael’s intellectually very strong and he has a very relaxed manner that belies the thinking that goes on underneath. He’s a pleasure to work with.”

Terence Mowschenson KC is 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.

“Terence is very good – he’s very experienced, easy to work with and sensible. You know you can trust his judgement.”
“Terence is our first choice for complex trusts matters.”

Andrew Mold KC 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.

“Andrew is an excellent advocate and produces high-quality written work. He is extremely responsive and thoroughly engaged with the case from start to finish.”

Nikki Singla KC is a highly regarded performer with experience appearing for clients in the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Mauritius, 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.

“Nikki has one of the sharpest legal analytical minds that I have ever worked with, he can take a very complex problem and distil it into something simple and compelling.”
“Nikki Singla KC is a master of facts and excels in his advocacy in commercial litigation.”
“Nikki is responsive, intelligent and has good judgement.”

Leading Juniors

Graeme Halkerston is 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.

“Graeme is technically brilliant, responsive, and a fearless advocate.”
“My go-to barrister for really complex matters. He has this fantastic ability to unpick and understand everything very fast, and has an encyclopedic knowledge of all the latest updates.”
“Graeme is the first choice for complex corporate disputes, especially those involving unfair prejudice claims.”

Anna Littler as a strong practice in the offshore world. She regularly undertakes trusts litigation, including in Bermuda. She is well equipped to handle a range of issues trusts and trustees may encounter.

“Anna is hardworking, technically brilliant, and provides hands-on support to leading counsel and instructing attorneys.”
“Anna’s output is incredibly high-quality. She has the technical elements down, but she’s also very practical. She’s very considered and very considerate, which is key when matters are running high on emotions.”

Tom Roscoe is recognised as a prominent junior in the offshore trusts and commercial disputes space. He has ample experience appearing unled in courts across the Caribbean, notably in the BVI. He has additional exposure to matters in Gibraltar and the DIFC.

“Tom is really great with clients. He’s very personable, approachable, and able to get legal information across in a very client-friendly way. His work is of a very high standard. All in all, an excellent junior.”
“Tom is user-friendly, very knowledgeable about DIFC law, commercially minded, and handles himself well at hearings.”
“Tom takes a sporting attitude towards litigation and relishes a good fight, whilst at the same time being easy to work with. Clients quickly trust him, and he never fails to deliver a top-quality service.”

Pensions (Leading Set)

Wilberforce Chambers is a distinguished set, with a market-leading group of both silks and juniors capable of handling 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’s 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. In the past year, members of the set have been acting for the trustees of the Railways Pension Scheme in a case concerning the interaction of the scheme’s Protection Order and Section Rules. Wilberforce Chambers has also been representing Trustees of Newell Ltd in a Part 8 claim raising a number of issues arising from the conversion of DB pension rights into DC benefits.

Client Service
“Their service is seamless, particularly their clerking team. You never have any concerns about anything; they just handle all of the details.”
“Wilberforce has great clerks who are quick to respond and very easy to communicate with about fees.”
“The clerks are quite sophisticated operators and have got a good grasp of the cases and issues.”
“Some of the best clerks I have interacted with.”

Nicholas Luckman is the practice director.

Star individuals

Brian Green KC is 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.

“Brian is the unparalleled master of complex trusts matters – he combines true down to earth approachability with immense intellect and vision.”
“He is just the leading silk in this area. He is the best there is.”

Leading Silks

Jonathan Hilliard KC is widely regarded as the go-to barrister for technical pensions issues, and 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.

“Jonathan has an amazing capacity to take on work and deliver to the highest standard.”

Michael Furness KC 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.

“Michael is excellent on all counts, and best of all, he is very approachable, enjoys a challenge and delivers to time.”
“He is incredibly bright and gets to the root of the problem very quickly.”
“Michael is perfect for tricky trust cases.”

Michael Tennet KC is 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.

“Michael is incredibly clever. He’s very commercial, hands-on and very easy to deal with, and he’s very good with clients.”
“My go-to silk for a good reason. He is commercially minded, astute, has seen everything and is fun to work with.”
“Michael is one of the outstanding barristers at the Bar. He is a safe pair of hands and has seen it all before.”
“Michael gives pragmatic but also very well-considered and well-researched advice. He can deal with the most complex case with ease. “

Paul Newman KC is 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.

“Paul Newman will defend client interests robustly.”
“Paul is able to give clear and considered advice in a complex regulatory environment.”
“Paul gives very clear advice and responds promptly to requests. He is willing to engage with alternative perspectives.”

Fenner Moeran KC is 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.

“Fenner is fast-paced and dynamic and, while occasionally surprised, never stumped.”
“Fenner is robust in his advice and has excellent judgement when assessing how the court will react. He is a great strategist and loved by clients.”
“He has the ability to translate the very complex into something that a lay client can easily understand.”

Andrew Mold KC 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.

“Andrew is very active in this space and is an impressive advocate who is very steely.”

Leading Juniors

Edward Sawyer is 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.

“An amazing technical mind who misses nothing.”
“He was absolutely astonishing in his written work.”
“Edward is one of the best juniors out there. Exceptional attention to detail and preparation, coupled with good commercial acumen, makes him a high-demand barrister.”

James Walmsley is an established pensions junior who is highly reputed for his diligent work ethic. He is well versed in regulatory investigations and rectification actions.

Sebastian Allen is 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.

“Sebastian is well and truly a rising star. Technically gifted and wonderfully easy to work with.”
“Sebastian is great to work with. He combines phenomenal intellect with keen commercial awareness and a genuine enthusiasm for getting the best result for the client.”
“Sebastian is a pleasure to work with, full of ideas and ready to take an innovative approach to pensions matters.”

Thomas Robinson enjoys a wealth of experience in regulatory, moral hazard and insolvency cases all the way up to the Supreme Court. He is highly valued by the Pensions Regulator, especially for moral hazard cases. He also has experience in professional negligence cases.

“Thomas really is outstanding. His knowledge of pensions regulatory law is first-rate, and his additional insolvency expertise is very valuable.”

Emily McKechnie is 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.

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.

“James is very responsive and gets into the detail of a case quickly.”

Jennifer Seaman is well respected in the pensions arena. She offers expertise in a wide range of cases, including civil fraud, professional negligence and regulatory matters. She has represented clients solely before the High Court and appeared in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. She is particularly knowledgeable on trustee powers.

“Jennifer provides excellent advice and gets to grips with cases quickly.”
“Jennifer provides clear and succinct advice, giving full consideration to the commercial issues that are likely to arise for the client.”

Jonathan Chew is well versed in pensions regulation. He has experience of scheme restructurings, changes to pension increases and rectification claims, among other pensions issues.

“Jonathan is excellent – he has good attention to detail and is a pleasure to work with.”

Michael Ashdown enjoys a strong reputation among employers and trustees for his experience in regulatory matters. He is also noted for his expertise in negligence claims.

“Michael prepared a clear piece of technical advice.”
“Michael has encyclopedic knowledge of trusts law and is a very reliable source of information.”

Thomas Seymour is a highly experienced junior barrister with a broad commercial chancery practice encompassing both pensions and trusts.

“Fantastically responsive, and astonishingly quick at getting to the bottom of very complex, technical and intricate issues. He is so adept at researching and getting to grips with some of the most archaic areas of pension law.”
“Thomas meticulously ensured that every point was right. He has specialist expertise in pensions law that our clients trusted.”

Professional Negligence (Leading 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, often complicated by fraud elements. Property-related work is a strong suit, and the barristers are an obvious choice for negligence claims concerning the more complex of conveyancing matters, or major development projects. Members continue to act in matters of considerable size and importance, including Curtiss v Zurich Insurance, a group claim alleging dishonest certification of new-build flats in the largest tower block in Wales.

Client Service
“The clerks are good to talk with and we can always find a way through.”
“The best clerking team in London. They are so service- and client-orientated.”
“The clerks are good to deal with and very clear on fees.”
“The clerks are pragmatic and commercial on fee discussions. They understand the challenges faced by solicitors on costs.”

Nicholas Luckman leads the team.

Leading Silks

Ian Croxford KC is 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.

“Ian is very enjoyable to work with and he is an exceptional trial barrister. He wears his intellect lightly but he is also a very accomplished barrister with a deep knowledge of the law.”

John Wardell KC 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.

“John was like a surgeon performing a difficult operation but performing it with the confidence of someone who has done it hundreds of times.”

James Ayliffe KC is an experienced silk 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.

Jonathan Seitler KC 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.

“Jonathan is a client-friendly leader in his field. He is entirely reliable in the advice that he gives.”

Paul Newman KC has a wealth of experience 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.

“Paul is good to work with, very focused and solution-oriented.”

Thomas Grant KC acts mainly in financial and legal sector negligence claims, with broad experience in the senior courts. He has contributed to several leading texts on the subject of professional negligence.

“Thomas Grant is an excellent commercial barrister and very versatile.”
“Thomas is very good with clients, very commercial and very pragmatic.”
“Tom’s appetite for work is of course legendary, as is his grasp of the facts of the case and the law relating to it. His approach is always one of calm assurance, as is his delivery. As an advocate few impress as much, indeed he commands the attention of the court on every occasion with his knowledge of the law and presentation of the evidence.”

Clare Stanley KC 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.

“She did a phenomenal job, especially on cross-examination.”

Tiffany Scott KC is well regarded for her professional negligence-focused practice. She has experience of the full breadth of the field, having acted for both claimants and defendants, in cases involving solicitors, barristers, finance professionals and insurance brokers.

“Tiffany is really reliable, hardworking and fantastic. Solicitors love her because she is helpful, inclusive and is very practical.”
“She is very good in court.”

Leading Juniors

Benjamin Faulkner has notable experience in professional negligence claims concerning the sale of property and pensions advice, among other matters.

“Ben was exceptional in unpicking a complex matter to formulate clear and compelling arguments. In client conference, he took charge and clearly impressed the client by distilling information and explaining the position clearly and in a digestible way.”

Real Estate Litigation (Leading Set)

Wilberforce Chambers acts 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. This year the set has been instructed is such matters as Annington Property Ltd & Others v The Secretary of State for Defence and Manchester Ship Canal Company v United Utilities Water. A source reports that “members of Wilberforce have the ability to cut through complex matters and identify the points that are central to these and most important for clients,” and another interviewee adds: “A premium offering of property counsel.”

Client Service
“The clerks at Wilberforce is what sets this chambers apart from others. Always helpful, always responsive and always wanting to help.”
“Danny Smillie as practice manager heads a highly responsive team who understand the pressures involved with their subject and go above and beyond to assist.”
“Core cover 24 hours a day and genuinely invested in providing a quality, timely service.”
“Clerks are always helpful and available at short notice when needed.”
“Excellent clerking team, very responsive, pragmatic and pleasant to deal with.”

Star Individuals:

Joanne Wicks KC has a fine reputation as a top real estate silk, and has a practice centred on commercial and residential property transactions and professional negligence. She regularly appears in the Supreme Court. She also undertakes arbitration and expert determination work.

“Top of her game and a leading light. Joanne is phenomenally intelligent, quickly masters even the most complex of facts and is extremely effective as an advocate.”
“Joanne’s advocacy style is clear, succinct and not overly confrontational. Her level of client service and awareness is second to none and she is always prepared to put herself out at short notice to deal with tricky issues that arise.”
“Incredibly detailed-oriented but never loses sight of the big picture. The perfect ‘reasonable’ advocate.”

Leading Silks

John McGhee KC is a leading property silk whose practice takes in property-related professional negligence matters as well as general real estate cases. He is admired for his tactical approach and his knowledge of equitable remedies, including rectification and specific performance in a real estate context. Right to light is one area in which he has particular expertise.

“He is the go-to for rights to light. What sets him apart is that he really understands the technical side and is deeply interested in it. He is the person you want on the biggest cases.”
“He is brilliant, commercial, incredibly hardworking and is able to see the light side of litigation, which can be a great calming influence on clients.”
“In addition to being a very effective advocate in court, he is renowned for providing legal opinions on complex development issues that help unlock developments.”
“He was all over the detail and immersed in the case and its issues. I have always valued John’s prompt response time and clarity of advice.”
“A master in his field. Unflappable and stalwart.”

Jonathan Seitler KC 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 an incredibly creative barrister who is user-friendly.”
“Jonathan continues to provide excellent and innovative advice.”
“Jonathan is the go-to for complex real estate litigation matters. He is innovative and if anyone can get you out of a tricky situation, he can.”
“The Picasso of property litigation.”
“He is a very strong advocate and has a real ability to put the client at ease in complicated matters.”

Martin Hutchings KC is 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.

“The quality of his legal opinions is second to none.”
“The breadth of Martin’s knowledge of real estate litigation is astonishing. His advice is always produced with an understanding of the commercial position of the client and a view to the strategy needed to succeed.”
“Martin is the go-to KC for restrictive covenant claims where his experience is second to none. He is easy to deal with, knowledgeable and a fantastically calm advocate.”

Thomas Grant KC is a respected property silk with a focus on landlord and tenant matters. His practice specialises in chancery litigation and he regularly appears in the Court of Appeal. He is a general editor of Lender Claims, a leading text in the area.

“Thomas is a ferocious advocate, brilliant in court and his oral submissions and cross-examination are a sight to behold.”
“He was excellent on his feet with a great presence. Thomas was brilliant with the strategy and easy to work with.”
“He is really thoughtful and incredibly effective.”

Julian Greenhill KC is 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.

“Julian is really accessible and was able to produce information that was palatable and understandable for the client.”

Tiffany Scott KC 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.

“Tiffany Scott is fantastic. An iron fist in a velvet glove.”

James Ayliffe KC is much praised for his approach to property cases. 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.

John Furber KC is much praised for his approach to property cases. 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.

Jonathan Davey KC 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

“A superlative courtroom advocate.”
“He is very user-friendly, very responsive and good with clients.”

Zoë Barton KC 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 absolutely excellent, so clever and user-friendly. Zoë cuts through all the nonsense and is sensible the whole way through a matter.”

Leading Juniors

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.

“Benjamin is commercial and very approachable.”
“Ben is absolutely superb. He is keen to look at every avenue to achieve the client’s aim.”
“He is extremely accessible.”
“He is very knowledgeable and very good with clients.”

Emer Murphy is a 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.

“Emer is a joy to work with and seriously impresses clients.”
“Emer is very easy to work with and her service standards are excellent – her written work is incredibly thorough.”
“Brilliant and loved by clients – very thorough and leaves no stone unturned.”

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 has particular knowledge of niche areas of law, including mines and minerals and telecoms. She is noted for her dedication to her clients.

“Harriet is a key member of the team, she can anticipate the court’s reaction and hone the strategy to fit.”
“Outstanding. A pleasure to work with.”
“Harriet is a strong advocate and very easy to deal with.”
“Harriet is very communicative and will provide regular updates. She balances the client’s commercial objectives versus when to protect their position, which is greatly appreciated.”
“Super client manner and on top of all the papers quickly.”

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.

“Jonathan is very experienced and delivers very commercial but effective advice.”
“A good advocate. He clearly thinks through matters and suggests good strategy.”
“Jonathan sets himself apart with his team player approach.”

Alice Hawker acts on a wide range of matters across the property law practice area. She has significant expertise in dealing with trespass and harassment, service charge and boundary disputes, among a whole host of other issues.

“Alice is very pleasant to work with, very personable and gives very thorough advice but in a way that is accessible and can be taken forward.”
“Very good client-handling skills, always available and eager to help.”

James McCreath acts on a broad range of real estate matters, such as forfeiture and sale agreement disputes. He works at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court. He has significant expertise in restrictive covenant cases.

“James is very intelligent and explains his thinking in a client-friendly way.”
“James is one of the brightest juniors I have had the pleasure of working with and he remains focused on the commercial objectives. He is very user-friendly, coming over well with clients.”

Simon Atkinson is regularly instructed in high-value real estate cases. He handles everything from disputes regarding property titles to rights of way cases and possession claims.

“Simon is approachable and provides excellent client service, going to great lengths to ensure he is available throughout a dispute, no matter what his diary commitments are. Commercial and frank in his delivery, and his pleadings are very thorough.”

Tom Roscoe has a strong property practice with a particular focus on commercial matters. He has impressive experience advising clients in the public and private sectors on trespass and adverse possession issues.

“He had excellent knowledge and recall of the details of the case. He gave us strategic advice throughout.”

“Tom is commercially astute and his opinions are clear and user-friendly.”

“Tom is a highly accomplished advocate. Very pragmatic and commercially aware.”

Rising Stars

Daniel Petrides is a very impressive junior who is regularly instructed in high-profile property litigation mandates. He has expertise in a broad range of issues including dilapidations, lease renewals, rights of way and enfranchisements.

“Daniel is an up-and-coming junior who is able to jump on cases quickly. He is a confident advocate.”
“A real star in the making.”

Joseph Steadman regularly acts across a wide range of property law matters. He has experience in high-profile rent arrears cases, rights of way actions and leaseholder disputes. He has appeared in the County Court, tribunals and the Court of Appeal.

“Joseph left no stone unturned and appreciated the commercial aspects that our client had to think about.”
“Joseph is very responsive, very thorough and provided user-friendly advice.”
“He is incredibly astute.”

Restructuring/Insolvency (Leading 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. Market commentators note that “the barristers at Wilberforce are highly intelligent and extremely capable” and “have good experience on a range of insolvency matters,” with particular areas of strength for the set spanning 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 office holders. Recent cases of note include defending a former director against wrongful trading and misfeasance claims worth over £160 million in relation to the collapse of BHS.

Client Service
Practice director Nicholas Luckman “is very good at what he does, listens to the solicitor, is responsive and cares about the relationship.”
“They are always communicative in clear, efficient terms and have a ready and commercial approach to an instructing solicitor’s needs.”
“The clerks’ room is brilliant. They are really responsive and friendly.”

Leading Silks

Lexa Hilliard KC is an 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.

“She’s very good – approachable and personable as well as being an exceptional barrister.”
“She has a brilliant legal mind relating to cross-border insolvency, and her written analysis is impressive.”
“Lexa is brilliant: clear, concise and reads the court well.”

Marcia Shekerdemian KC is 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 a fantastic KC who leads from the front and seamlessly handles defensive and offensive litigation.”
“Marcia is our first choice in all contentious matters – a first-rate litigator and always first-rate on tactics and the court system.”
“Marcia is very easy to work with and an expert on insolvency matters.”

Clare Stanley KC is noted for her broad expertise covering trusts, company, fraud and insolvency. Stanley is often instructed on high-value, offshore insolvency matters across the Cayman Islands, Jersey and Guernsey, with a particular focus on proceedings involving complex offshore structures and asset tracing.

“She’s very responsive and gets to the point very quickly.”
“She’s excellent in court and is always very well prepared.”

James Bailey KC is 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 in handling contentious recovery work.

“He is absolutely outstanding, his advocacy in particular and the way he deals with issues on his feet – he reads the room of the court very well.”
“He’s fantastic; his submissions are very analytical.”

Leading Juniors

Thomas Robinson is well known for his adept representation of clients including the Pensions Regulator and continues to be a popular choice for international insolvency matters. He has experience appearing before the Supreme Court.

“He invests himself in all aspects of a case and is on top of all of the points from the get-go.”
“Tom is incredibly bright, always calm and eloquent, has a great team ethic and is an absolute fighter.”
“He is absolutely superb.”

Daniel Lewis is 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 is very responsive, his drafting is excellent, and he is very commercial and very knowledgeable on this area of law.”
“He is an assured advocate, and his advice and knowledge of the insolvency courts fills you with confidence.”

Bobby Friedman has a broad commercial chancery practice which encompasses civil fraud, company and insolvency disputes. He is regularly instructed in both domestic and offshore matters, and is called in the British Virgin Islands.

“He had a really easy, charming way about his submissions that kept the focus on the main issue.”
“Bobby works exceptionally well with solicitors and their teams at all levels. All in all, he is a great package of talent and he ticks so many boxes that you would always want him on your side.”
“He has an ability to cut through a case and focus on which stone to pick up and which stone to leave.”

Rachael Earle garners recognition for her individual and corporate insolvency practice, often bringing and defending claims against insolvency practitioners. She regularly defends office holders from claims of misfeasance or in relation to remuneration challenges.

“Rachael is tenacious, driven and a great advocate.”
“She is an excellent advocate and a go-to on all insolvency matters.”
“She is knowledgeable and determined to go above and beyond for her clients.”

Sri Carmichael is regularly instructed in both corporate and personal insolvency matters. She fields considerable expertise in contentious insolvencies and has experience handling complex cases involving claims brought against directors.

“She’s very, very good on her feet and has excellent client-handling skills.”
“She is a great team player, always helpful and knowledgeable in her field of insolvency.”
“Sri is a fantastic junior who continues to perform to a very high standard in all areas of her practice.”

Sport

David Phillips KC of Wilberforce Chambers is a well-regarded practitioner with a wealth of experience dealing with regulatory and disciplinary disputes. He regularly sits as judicial chair for the FPA and FAPL, as well as acting as an arbitrator.

“David is an experienced and safe pair of hands.”

Tax

Jonathan Davey KC is 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.

“Jonathan is extremely smooth, very hardworking and highly organised. He is fantastic – a high level barrister.”

Tax: Indirect Tax

Jonathan Davey KC is an 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.

“A very pleasant lawyer who works extremely hard – his preparation is second to none. He is always very good on his feet and clients really like him.”

Tax: Private Client (Leading Set)

Wilberforce Chambers is widely known as one of London’s top chancery sets, regularly involved in the largest litigation matters in the UK and offshore. It also has a high-end tax practice for private client matters. Members have recently represented HMRC in its dispute with Jamie Ritblat and others over the taxation of his property investment firm and other assets, including an employee benefit trust.

Client Service
“The clerks are always committed to clients and keeping them up to date throughout the process.”
“The team are always committed to clients and keeping them up to date throughout the process.”
“They were very proactive in ensuring tight timescales were met around a busy period.”
“Stewart Cameron was particularly responsive and a pleasure to work with.”

Nicholas Luckman is the set’s practice director.

Leading Silks

Jonathan Davey KC is a 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.

“Jonathan’s knowledge is second to none and he has the ability to work over complex areas of law and present them in support of a client’s case in the most simple and clear manner. He can also think on his feet within the court arena and appears at all times to be confident and in control.”

Brian Green KC is 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.

“Brian is an absolute superstar. He is extremely user-friendly.”

Trusts

Andrew Mold KC 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.

“Andrew is an excellent advocate, who produces high-quality written work. He is extremely responsive and thoroughly engaged with the case from start to finish.”
“Andrew ticks all the boxes in terms of ability and brains, and is very good at handling clients.”
“Andrew is a real pleasure to work with. His client skills are great and his ability to work with a team of solicitors impressive. He listens to us all and allows us a voice.”

Brian Green KC is lauded as one of the foremost trusts barristers. He handles a broad range of both domestic and international cases, and is particularly recognised for his offshore expertise and his handling of disputes involving the variation of trusts. His recent advisory work has centred on trusts in the Bahamas, the Cook Islands, Gibraltar and New Zealand.

“A most persuasive advocate, who is creative and never misses a trick. Seemingly always available to speak, he lives, eats and sleeps his professional life – it is everything to him. He is a force of nature and completely on top of things.”
“Brian is fiendishly intelligent and very charismatic. He is one of these people that lives the law. He gives incredibly good client service and has cutting-edge legal knowledge.”
“Brian is dynamic, very hands-on and incredible in court . He’s also accessible and tremendous to work with. Clients love him.”

Clare Stanley KC boasts a strong reputation in handling matters including trusts and probate, commercial litigation and professional negligence cases. She is experienced in contentious trusts litigation between beneficiaries and trustees, international trusts litigation and trust arbitration.

“One of the great performers in this area, she is just the most responsive and committed silk I’ve worked with. Her ability to work seamlessly with solicitors really stands out.”
“Very responsive and gets to the point quickly. She answers questions in a way that we can take away and use.”
“Clare is very practical and down to earth, which leads to a good working relationship with clients, who have confidence in her. She is helpful, easy to deal with, and someone who focuses on what is important. I have also been very impressed with her written work, which is presented in a clear, concise and persuasive manner.”

Fenner Moeran KC is 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.

Gilead Cooper KC is 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.

“Very intelligent and good at seeing where things could end up. He is very good at assessing situations and a great cross-examiner.”
“Gilead is one of the leading lights in this area and has an encyclopedic knowledge of the law. He’s also highly responsive, which matters a lot when things are moving quickly.”
“An excellent advocate who is very clever and very hardworking. Gilead has a different way of looking at things; he thinks outside the box.”

Jonathan Hilliard KC has appeared in many confidential and high-value trusts 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.

“Jonathan is excellent. He is very responsive, incredibly clever and able to think outside the box.”
“What stands out is his ability to get into the detail on very big cases very quickly.”
“He’s got real expertise and an incredible ability to get on top of matters extremely quickly. He retains it all in his head and can give great insight into how to play the case strategically. Jonathan has also got a lot of experience in offshore courts and how they operate.”

Nikki Singla KC has a wealth of experience in handling commercial and trusts matters, and is regularly seen in the Chancery Division and the Commercial Court. He is also experienced in handling international matters, with prior cases in Mauritius, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

“Nikki is very knowledgeable and has a nice style about him. You can have a very healthy dialogue and debate with him.”
“Nikki is a master of facts and excels in his advocacy.”
“Nikki is responsive, intelligent and a man of good judgement.”

Robert Ham KC 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.

“He is phenomenally brilliant, very practical and fantastic to deal with.”

Leading Juniors

Andrew Child is a 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.

Joseph Steadman regularly instructed in the High Court, has a strong chancery practice that spans commercial matters as well as trusts and estates. He is experienced in handling onshore and offshore trust cases, and has particular expertise in advising in relation to tax considerations.

“Joseph is a superb junior, who’s incredibly hardworking and a good team player. He breaks down complicated situations into manageable chunks.”
“Joe was excellent – he was on top of the facts, responsive and very collaborative. A great person to have on your team.”
“Joseph is excellent with clients, as he explains and unpacks complicated legal issues in a way that is both informative and very reassuring.”

Michael Ashdown has known expertise handling chancery matters including trusts and estates. He is experienced in dealing with offshore instructions, such as in Jersey, Guernsey and the BVI, and appears regularly in the High Court and the County Court.

“He turns works around quickly and is a good team player.”
“Michael is an outstanding performer. His knowledge of the law is second to none, his client skills are excellent and he is highly responsive. He is everything that an instructing solicitor could want in a barrister.”

Tom Roscoe has a strong chancery practice which includes advising on contentious trusts, wills and estates. He takes national and international instructions, and in particular has disputes experience in the Cayman Islands, the BVI and Guernsey.

“A fantastic barrister, who is very nice and fun as well.”
“He’s easy to work with.”

Want to read more?

The history of Wilberforce Chambers

  1. 1928
  2. 1932
  3. 1943
  4. 1948
  5. 1954
  6. 1961
  7. 1976
  1. The set now known as Wilberforce Chambers was founded by Andrew Clark in 1928, not long after he was called to the Bar. He served in the First World War and won an MC, but delayed his call to the Bar until 1928. His chambers were in 11 New Court, an attractive red brick Victorian building that used to stand on the corner of Carey Street and Serle Street.

  2. There he was joined, among others, by Richard Wilberforce in 1932 and Irvine Goulding in 1936.

  3. Chambers closed down during the Second World War, thereafter re-opening in rooms on the first and upper floors of 3 New Square, Lincoln’s Inn. Andrew Clark took silk in 1943.

  4. He inherited his baronetcy on the death of his father in 1948. Between 1952 and 1960, when no new Chancery judges were appointed, he and Charles Russell QC were widely regarded as the leading advocates of the Chancery Bar.

  5. Richard Wilberforce took silk in 1954. His most famous case was the Spanish Champagne case, in which he established for the first time that a passing off action could be maintained by a class of champagne producers to protect the name champagne, and that it was not limited to the protection of the goodwill of one individual producer as had previously been considered the case.

  6. In 1961 he was appointed a Judge of the High Court. Within three years he was appointed a judicial member of the House of Lords, where he earned a high reputation for the quality of his judgments. Irvine Goulding took silk in 1961, and was appointed a High Court Judge in 1971. He was succeeded as head of chambers by Victor Hallett.

  7. The modern incarnation of chambers began in earnest in 1976 when Edward Nugee became the new head, taking silk the following year. From 10 juniors when he became head until he retired as head 30 years later, chambers expanded enormously. Many outstanding pupils became tenants, and experienced counsel from other sets also joined. The premises in 3 New Square were enlarged, but by 1993 proved too small; and the chambers moved, with half of its members occupying the Northern half of 8 New Square and further rooms in 7 and 9, and the other half occupying the new building, now 16 New Square, as remains the case today.