Coming up commercially

Solicitors on the prowl for competent commercial counsel are finding that there are some very able juniors out there…As in any area of practice, the highly-rated sets are the first ports of call for commercial litigation solicitors in search of counsel.

What solicitors in this area are looking for are counsel who “work hard and are not frightened to get into the documentation, who can put forward their views clearly as well as being able to work as a team”. As a more forthright partner said, they are seeking “barristers who don't get up the judge's nose”.

The leading commercial sets are also considered the hunting grounds for those looking to instruct good juniors.

At Brick Court Chambers, there is a raft of juniors who figure high in solicitors' counsel lists. These include Nicholas Green who is “very impressive on the difficult points, and on the European side”, Catherine Otton-Goulder is also seen as up-and-coming and on the way to silk, as are Charles Hollander, David Garland, Michael Swainston, with Alan Roxburgh being described as “excellent”.

Also singled out as “a superb general commercial junior” is Neil Calver, who is “first-rate – he turns things round quickly, is in a set with loads of silks and is likely to become one in the future.”

At Fountain Court Chambers, the juniors to note include Stephen Moriarty, Bankim Thanki, Daphne Loebl, Craig Orr, Patricia Robertson and Guy Philipps.

At 1 Essex Court, headed by Anthony Grabiner QC, Rhodri Davies also rates numerous mentions, as does Alan Griffiths for his technical expertise, particularly on the financial services side. Michael Bloch, Clare Reffin, Jeffery Onions, Anthony de Garr Robinson, Thomas Ivory, Laurence Rabinowitz, Charles Graham, Neil Kitchener and Graeme Halkerston and the “superb” Alain Choo Choy are among the many juniors noted at the same set.

At 2 Hare Court, Monica Carss-Frisk is noted for the administrative law-related cases.

At 20 Essex Street Chambers, Stephen Morris is “very good for general commercial and competition law”, and Christopher Hancock, Duncan Matthews and Clifford Gill are also noted.

At Essex Court Chambers, David Mildon is “very clever”, and David Foxton is “probably one of the best juniors”.

Others noted here are Joe Smouha, Geraldine Andrews, Richard Jacobs, John Lockey and Steven Berry with baby barrister Philippa Hopkins also rating a recommendation.

Dominic Dowley at One Hare Court is considered “a safe pair of hands”, as is Nigel Tozzi at 4 Pump Court, and Peter McMaster at 3 Paper Buildings, headed by Isaac Jacob.

At Enterprise Chambers there is a selection of juniors mentioned – the very senior junior David Halpern, and Leslie Michaelson, Peter Arden Geoffrey Zelin and Hugo Groves, who also practises in Leeds from that set.

At Littleton Chambers are the “superb and very efficient” Antony Sendall, the “excellent” Ian Gatt, and senior junior Colin Manning, with Naomi Ellenbogen also racking up mentions.

At 11 Old Square, Katherine McQuail is noted, and at 11 King's Bench Walk, juniors Jonathan Swift, Charles Bear and Daniel Stilitz all rate mentions.

Other names mentioned include Stephen Richards at Monckton Chambers, Mark Wannacott at 199 Strand, David Edwards at 7 King's Bench Walk, and Peter Hayward at 222-225 Strand.

At 3-4 South Square, very senior junior Richard Hacker is “very competent”. At the same set David Marks, Robin Dicker, David Alexander and Sandra Bristoll were mentioned while Lexa Hilliard is described as “no-nonsense and effective”.

At Thirteen Old Square, headed by Charles Sparrow QC, Philip Jones and David Blayney are recommended.

Another set getting a general recommendation is 2 Temple Gardens.

In the regions Stephen Cogley of Merchant Chambers in Manchester is rated as an up-and-coming junior. Mark Cawson at 68 Quay Street Manchester rates a mention, as do Leslie Blohm and Neil Levy at St John's Chambers in Bristol.