Stars of chancery

With the expansion in commercial chancery work, and the heavy hitters from the commercial Bar appearing against the chancery heavyweights, the commercial chancery counsel may be gaining a foothold in both camps.

At 3-4 South Square, there is more of an emphasis on liquidation and insolvency work: Michael Crystal QC has his fans as does John Higham QC, and Gabriel Moss QC is “good in court”; Simon Mortimore QC is “good, very helpful”, Richard Adkins QC is “very good on paperwork”, and David Richards QC is noted as “brilliant, intelligent, very hardworking and useful”; senior juniors David Alexander, Mark Phillips, Susan Prevezer and Hillary Stonefrost are all noted as “possessing good intellectual ability” and the more junior Adam Goodison, Anthony Zacaroli and Glen Davies are “all enthusiastic, turn work around quickly, give sound advice and give value for money”; Robin Knowles is “good and must be approaching silk”, while Robin Dicker is good on the insolvency and general commercial work, and is also seen as on the way to silk.

And Anthony Mann QC and Leslie Michaelson, both at Enterprise Chambers, headed by Benjamin Levy, are also recommended.

Another set known in the area of 'traditional corporate practice' is Erskine Chambers where a number of barristers are “excellent for their advice”: head of chambers Richard Sykes QC is very rarely in court, but is “impressive” with Robin Potts QC “forceful and aggressive”; Leslie Kosmin QC and William Stubbs QC are also highly regarded and juniors Michael Todd and David Mabb are seen as close to silk; David Chivers is certainly up and coming of the same set; also referred to are Richard Snowden, Catherine Roberts and Mary Stokes.

Of the “modern breed” of barristers, instructed for example in cases involving fraud, there are at 7 Stone Buildings headed by Charles Aldous QC who is “a very good strategist and trial lawyer and very shrewd generally”: Nigel Davis QC is “first class” and David Unwin QC, is also noted; Guy Newey has impressed, and “top” senior junior Alistair Walton has a “very dry sense of humour and is very good”, and is tipped for silk; other juniors are senior junior Fergus Ungoed-Thomas, and Edmund Cullen also springs to mind, and James Clifford is “very able and has a good manner in court”.

And at Falcon Chambers: Jonathan Gaunt QC, Kim Lewison QC are rated, with Kirk Reynolds QC enthused over as “superb”, and juniors Jonathan Brock seen as coming up for silk, and Tim Fancourt and Gary Cowen are also rated.

At 4 Stone Buildings headed by Peter Curry QC, the “names to watch” include: Anthony George Bompas QC, Philip Heslop QC. Robert Hildyard QC “is very creative” and Rosalind Nicholson is “good for general chancery, particularly on trade”. Also mentioned are Peter Griffiths, Malcolm Davis-White, Robert Miles who “has huge potential and is very experienced for a junior of his call”, John Brisby, Sarah Harman and Jonathan Crow, who is also seen as getting close to silk.

At 12 New Square: set head John Mowbray QC, John MacDonald QC, and Charles Purle QC are all well-regarded, and Stephen Smith is “bright”.

And at 1 New Square: James Munby QC, John McDonnell QC and Edward Bannister QC are both recommended for general chancery work; Rodney Stewart-Smith is described as an “extremely reliable senior junior”.

Also regarded as good for general chancery work are Elizabeth Gloster QC at 1 Essex Court; David Foxton at Essex Court Chambers is a “good advocate” and John Peacock at 11 New Square. Isaac Jacob and Edward Denehan at 3 Paper Buildings are also singled out, as are Michael Burton QC, Clive Freedman, Paul Lowenstein and Charles Samek at Littleton Chambers.

Other highly-rated barristers include: Simon Berry QC, Nicholas Patten QC and Judith Jackson QC. Daniel Hochberg, John McGhee, David Hodge and Katharine Holland are ones to watch at 9 Old Square.

At 11 Stone Buildings Murray Rosen QC, Alan Gourgey, Robert Deacon, Tim Penny, Raquel Agnello, and Jane Giret stand out. On the first floor at 11 Stone Buildings Michael Ashe QC is good for trusts and settlement work, junior David Iwi is “above average” and Penelope Reed is good for probate-type work. At 2 Hare Court, crossing over from the commercial side, Barbara Dohmann QC, Charles Flint QC and junior Robert Howe are mentioned.

At 11 Old Square, the chambers of Grant Crawford and Jonathan Simpkiss, Simpkiss stands out, as does junior Mark Wonnacott at 199 Strand.

17 Old Buildings is where to go for tax specialists such as John Child, Andrew Lloyd-Davies and Alexandra Mason.