Chambers of the Year

Brick Court Chambers

2nd place: 3-4 South Square
3rd place: Matrix Chambers
Shortlisted: 42 Castle Street Chambers, 7 Bedford Row, Blackstone Chambers
The winner of the Chambers of the Year Award, sponsored by Lawtel, is Brick Court. Not only has it outperformed its rivals financially in 2000-2001, it now boasts the ideal blend of commercial, public and European law expertise. It also has one of the most highly rated clerking teams in Ian Moyler and Julian Hawes, further enhanced last year with the addition of Deborah Anderson from Littleton Chambers. That it has this strength in such depth is evidenced by the fact that its tenants have appeared in nearly all the leading cases of the last 12 months. The set left its magic circle rivals standing in The Lawyer Court of Appeal Survey 2000.
No fewer than 18 of Brick Court's 23 silks, as well as 15 of 37 juniors, were instructed during that period. Brick Court also finished second in The Lawyer House of Lords 2000 Survey, in which European expert David Vaughan QC ranked second in the silks table.
In second place is premier insolvency set 3-4 South Square, which has also had an impressive year. Not only has it managed to hire Lord Alexander as joint head of chambers, but it has also been busy developing its international connections, building a network of door tenants from South Africa to Germany. Expect much more from this set and its band of young and ambitious tenants – such as Mark Phillips QC and Robin Dicker QC – in the next few years.
Matrix Chambers is awarded third place for its determination to develop a modern set, despite the restrictions of a conservative bar and practice rules that hamper innovation. It launched at a difficult time for the bar, with several chambers dissolving, and while its public relations might have backfired, its barristers can still claim to collectively have appeared in more cases before the International Court of Justice than any other set.