Barristers you can bank on

Banking litigation continues to be a fertile area for barristers specialising in financial institutions.

But, according to one banking practitioner, recent high profile cases involving Banque Bruxelles Lambert, Credit Suisse and Bishopsgate Investment Trust have been taking some of the senior banking barristers out of circulation for extended periods.

Another partner said that the central core of major players in this area has stayed more or less constant, with fewer joining the middle and upper ranks.

This list is not exhaustive but is based on the subjective recommendations of leading banking and banking litigation practitioners.

The chambers mentioned most frequently are Brick Court Chambers, Fountain Court, 3 Gray's Inn Place and 3-4 South Square.

At Brick Court Chambers, those recommended for "pure commercial banking problems" include Jonathan Sumption QC who, "when you can afford him, and can get him, is very bright indeed and very persuasive in court".

Christopher Clarke QC is regarded as "one of the leading QCs for banking work".

At the same set Mark Hapgood QC is said to be"very clever, very commercial and market-aware" and "is one of the leading practitioners in banking law and knows everything there is to know about banking matters".

Also in the same chambers, Mark Howard, although "not a QC yet, is intelligent, practical and good in court".

At Fountain Court, Peter Scott QC is "one of the leading QCs at the Bar, clear, concise and very reliable".

Peter Goldsmith QC is "very intelligent, easy to work with, and very effective in court".

Guy Philipps at these chambers is "very impressive".

Others highly regarded as leaders are Michael Brindle QC, Anthony Boswood QC and, although "rather more general than pure banking work", Nicholas Stadlen QC.

Gordon Pollock QC at Essex Court Chambers is considered to have "a formidable intellect" and be "a very good advocate".

Both Anthony Grabiner QC and Elizabeth Gloster QC at 1 Essex Court chambers are regarded as having an "excellent reputation in banking matters".

Steven Gee QC is considered to be "extremely quick and innovative and professional".

Dominic Chambers at One Hare Court is also "highly rated".

Some barristers who were recommended had more of a reputation in the company or insolvency area but, like Robin Potts QC at Erskine Chambers, they are also considered "very good on banking".

For certain types of case, one practitioner said Richard Southwell QC at One Hare Court was also "highly recommended".

Next door, at 2 Hare Court, Charles Flint QC was recommended as "bright, commercial and client-friendly".

When instructing any of the barristers at 3 Gray's Inn Place, one partner said he "tended to go with" John Jarvis QC.

At the same set, William Blair is also "very clever".

Another partner's "particular favourite" at these chambers is Richard de Lacy.

Neville Thomas QC also comes highly recommended.

And at 3-4 South Square, the names mentioned most frequently were Michael Crystal QC, who is also rated highly for insolvency matters, plus Gabriel Moss QC and Richard Adkins QC.

Another is John Higham QC who is "very good on both insolvency and banking".

In other sets, a number of individuals have carved out a niche in this area.

These include Richard Field QC and Lord Irvine of Lairg, both at 11 King's Bench Walk, and Robin Potts QC at Erskine Chambers, who is regarded as "exceptional".

Other recommendations are Antonio Bueno QC at 5 Paper Buildings and Kenneth Rokison QC at 20 Essex Street.