Junior “fave raves'

A raft of juniors from a broad range of sets were recommended in this area

In London, the focus is on the “top dog” chambers specialising in family – Queen Elizabeth Building, 1 Mitre Court and 29 Bedford Row – although the spread of sets containing recommended juniors is far broader than for the silks. There was, of course, the odd muttering about expense. However, as the clerks will tell you, “you need to spend the money to get the quality”.

Common consent has 1 Mitre Court as having usurped Queen Elizabeth Building for top spot. Nearly all the juniors at this set earned praise. At the top of the list are Valentine LeGrice and Philip Moor – a “hardy annual”. Nigel Dyer is rated for his “sound opinion on both children and money”.

To the delight of many, Katharine Davidson will soon be returning from maternity leave to join other stars such as Nicholas Cusworth, and all the Todds: Charles, Richard and Elisabeth. Timothy Bishop, “the youngster in the pack”, is rated as another “class act”. Christopher Wood and Nicholas Carden are also popular.

Ian Karsten QC's chambers, Queen Elizabeth Building, also has strength and depth. Tim Amos has “an enthusiastic and intelligent approach to financial cases” which wins him a place in our dream team. Nominated, but just missing out is Jennifer Roberts, also for financial matters, winning strong praise for being “a good tactician and a determined advocate”. Two other stars, both for finance, are Elizabeth Clarke who has a “no-nonsense approach”, and Andrew Moylan who “has a sound approach to cases and is liked by clients”. One other rated junior at this set is Thomas Brudenell.

The “leading light” at 29 Bedford Row is Nicholas Francis, who appears in the third of our dream teams. Deborah Bangay is “useful”, she has a “radical lets-go-for-it approach” and is highly rated alongside Lucy Stone, who is “very hard working”. Nicola Gray is “is good with clients and will have the opposition “for breakfast”.

Also rated at this set are Peter Duckworth, Howard Shaw, Neil Sanders, Philip Cayford, Clare Renton and, at the more junior end, Robert Peel. Ann Hussey is “extremely adept at picking up the ball at a late stage and running very hard with it”, while Paul Storey is “unrivalled in terms of his knowledge of the law and advocacy skills”.

At 1 King's Bench Walk, James Roberts is a “useful youngster”. Deborah Eaton and Christopher Pocock is also highly rated. For children, Vera Mayer of 4 Brick Court is “very well-respected”, as is David Boyd who is “thorough, approachable but firm in negotiations and in court”.

One Garden Court Family Law Chambers – one of the largest family sets – possesses a number of talented juniors, not least Stephen Cobb, described as “amazingly young and very very able”. For a case revolving around evidence Judith Rowe is the person to turn to, while Peter Horrocks and Bruce Coleman are everything you could ask for from a super-sub. Also rated at this set are Caroline Willbourne and, for finance, Peter Nathan.

4 Paper Buildings is also blessed with a raft of talent. For finance Mark Johnstone “is thorough and good with detail”, while Marcus Scott-Manderson is an expert in all areas relating to children's law, particularly abduction. Also good for children's work, both public and private is Joy Brereton. For work out of English jurisdiction and for children, Michael Sternberg is excellent.

David Balcombe of 1 Crown Office Row “does a good mix” but is particularly rated for his work in matrimonial finance. 2 Gray's Inn Square has Fawzia King and Susan Baldock for public and child matters with Markanza Cudby doing the same at 2 Garden Court. Jonathan Cole is rated at Lamb Chambers as is Jonathan Bennett of 22 Old Buildings who is good with parent clients.

Pump Court Chambers and 3 Dr Johnson's Buildings both win praise, notably for Ann Waddington, Hugh Travers and Oliver Peirson from the former and Malcolm Chisholm, Malcolm Hay and Barbara King from the latter.

A special mention must go to Charles Howard of New Court Chambers, whose thoroughness and approachability make him “fave rave” with one firm in particular.