4 Pump Court silks target Hong Kong with arbitration launch

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  • wow. watch the other sets pile in now....

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  • Whats this? Forward planning? Bravery? A proper business idea? What a very odd barristers chambers.

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  • This chambers is interesting. They are ranked in a lot of different areas and have one or two of the best young silks around, but have really come from nowhere over the last 10 years. This across the practice areas move appears to reflect that. If they can pull it off it will be a coup. But that is a big if... The only way they will be able to is if HK solicitors support the move.

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  • Setting up is one thing. Getting work here is another. I have only heard of one of these silks (the last one) actually doing work in Hong Kong before. That said, if the rest are as good this venture could well work.

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  • I dont see why HK firms would not support it: our HK office constantly complains about the inability to get good technical specialist advocates for large scale arbitrations from the local bar.

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  • But surely the Hong Kong bar will not allow this?

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  • Whether or not it will work will presumably depend on the quality of the silks being offered. A check check on Chambers and Partners suggests that at least one of them is highly ranked in International Arbitration relating to Construction/ Engineering of which there is an abundance in Hong Kong. That might drive work to this new chambers.

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  • Its interesting that they are targeting Hong Kong rather than Singapore. The thinking may be that that gives a better entry into mainland China work. It also gives them first mover status, which might be useful.

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  • If this can be done why have no London chambers done it before? Surely its an obvious move?

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  • Re the post @ 10.15 am: presumably the whole reason why they are keen to emphasise that only Arbitration instructions will be accepted through these new "arbitration chambers" is to sidestep the ability of the Hong Kong bar to block it?

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  • But if that works surely one can expect all commercial sets of barristers (or at least those who can credibly offer internationasl Arbitration specialists) to follow 4 Pump Court's lead?

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  • I can see that it may give them a better entry into China work. It may also be thought that they are getting in on a wave of increased work in Hong Kong, given that the government there appears to be getting keener to devbelop it as an Arbitraion centre in competition with Singapore.

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  • This appears to have been a long term approach. For the last two years this set has really ramped up its profile in Hong Kong: it is now obvious that it was done for a purpose. Long term planning and bold moves like this from barrister chambers - and particularly from its more junior silks - is uncommon. The bar could do with more of this and with less complaining about its lot.

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  • I don't think anyone from 4 Pump Court has ever been heard complaining about their lot...I certainly hope not, anyway.

    A good move into a good market, best of luck to them all.

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  • I agree with the comment that it all depends on the quality of the Advocates. The bar here is expensive but there is a lot of good quality. Brannigan QC from 4 Pump Court is recognised as being a star and a lot of people will be keen to instruct him as advocate in Engineering and Energy Arbitrations. Moger QC is known as an arbitrator, and has been in the Courts here a lot in more purely commerical disputes. I suspect he will market himself more as an Arbitrator than an advocate.The others are less well known here and will need to do more work to establish a reputation.

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  • At least they won't be jailed for it (probably) like they would if setting up in Kurdistan.

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  • Brought to this story by the twitter feed which "sells" it!
    Its an interesting one as much for what it doesnt explain as what it does: why are these six silks "going it alone" with this venture? Why isn't 4 Pump Court as a whole doing it? is this an early example of the bar responding in a wholly new way with an ABS? If so its really very interesting indeed, and a sign of the future.

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  • Speaking as a Hong Kong solicitor this can only be a good thing as it will encourage all other UK barrister chambers to fly out to Hong Kong and buy me lunch and possibly dinner to convince me not to send all the work to the barristers bothering to make the effort and set up a base here.

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  • Why is this such a story? Who cares? More rich barristers looking to make more money, now overseas. Ho hum. What good does it do society?

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  • Re twitter follower | 23-May-2012 1:59 pm

    I hardly think that 4Pump Court will be the set to embrace ABS nor will any other set at the Inns seeing as it isn't really an option without them first becoming proper incorporated structures.
    The fact is that barristers are struggling to deal with the new economic climate. While the select few are billing £3k hourly rates others are struggling to find work at all in the shrinking London market. The barristers who have built international practices are the ones who will keep the work rolling in.

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  • with regards to the comment @ 2.24.
    I'm sure you are right, but the story suggests that it is only a part of this 4 Pump Court who are undertaking this venture. the ones doing it must surely then be doing so using some other form of structure apart from a chambers one?
    Either way, it looks like they are doing what you suggest they should, which is going out into the international market place and getting work!

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  • Re overfed: as I have tried to point out, it is a big story because it should result in some good lunches for me. And As I am part of society, it must then be doing some good.

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  • I agree with the comment above: they do have some stars - Sean Brannigan is the most obvious example - so this should work BUT it may well not work for all unless some of the lower profile silks are able to really step up their profile. Specialism is probably the key here: if you are a Hong Kong solicitor you may well jump at the chance of using a star specialist silk from the UK who is demonstrating a real committment to the region but will have no real incentive to use a general commerical silk when there is plenty of those at the local bar?

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  • I would be very interested to know more about this, as it might provide a very useful resource for those who ave work which emanates from Hong Kong, but not the experience to deal with it without the bar.

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  • They're a very business minded set, so I'm sure it was well thought through. I've worked for some years with barristers from there. I wish them every success in this venture

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