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Zoë Barton QC

Call: 2003    QC: 2020

+44 (0)20 7306 0102zbarton@wilberforce.co.uk

Practice Overview

Ranked as a leading barrister in multiple practice areas, a strength that makes her well-suited to litigation that straddles disciplines, Zoë is “an impressive and formidable new silk” (Legal 500 2021) particularly noted for advocacy and client skills. Her practice is grounded in a strong technical understanding of property and trusts. In addition to her practice spanning the breadth of those areas, this technical expertise serves as the foundation of her civil fraud practice, which forms a significant element of her work and where the ability to establish or challenge proprietary interests and trust structures can be decisive. Zoë also practises in professional liability, typically related to her other practice areas.

Zoë is “an impressive and formidable new silk” and “astute tactician” whose “client-craft in conference is second to none” (Legal 500 2021). She is “very bright, proactive and innovative” (Legal 500 2020), “a great advocate who is very commercial and tenacious”, “brilliant tactically” (Chambers & Partners 2021) and who has “real presence” (Chambers HNW), shows “exceptional attention to detail” and “gets straight to the point and is very knowledgeable” (Chambers & Partners 2020).

Zoë is especially well-regarded for her advocacy having been described as “a concise, effective and tenacious advocate”, “a superstar advocate in the making” and somebody who “understands complex legal issues quickly and flawlessly demonstrates this through her persuasive advocacy” and “is extremely eloquent and can think quickly on her feet” (Legal 500 2019) with one solicitor commenting “she’s absolutely fabulous and is very persuasive before the court. I would not want to be on the end of a cross-examination by her” (Chambers & Partners).

Zoë “has a discerning eye for the important points in a case” (Chambers & Partners) and applies herself assiduously to her clients’ cases, combining being “very quick to get to grips with matters” with “a keen eye for detail” and being “sharp, concise and very approachable”, such that “her work is flawless”. But what sets Zoë apart from her peers is her “excellent rapport” and the way in which she “builds incredible faith in her clients”. She is “good at keeping everybody focused”, “very calm”, “very approachable, and very keen to see a good result for the client”. Zoë understands and reflects her clients’ objectives and as a fan of saying what she thinks, she “provides forthright, unwavering advice”, “does not shy away from difficult issues and gives her opinion without fear or favour” (Chambers & Partners) in “a nice manner … that clients appreciate”, leaving “[clients] … very impressed with her”. She knows that litigation is a war of attrition, understands the importance of strategy and uses her ability to “[deal] with the technical issues very well” to that end, creating and exploiting weaknesses in her opponents. Zoë is frequently instructed in cases that call for equitable remedies as her appreciation of where the merit lies lends itself particularly well to cases concerning the exercise of discretion.

Zoë is also a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.