As in any area of specialisation, junior barristers wanting to make a name for themselves gravitate towards the chambers that are seen as the stellar sets.
At 2 Crown Office Row, headed by Rupert Jackson QC, Simon Monty is “careful and studious, and quickly gets to the heart of the problem”, Ian Holtum also rates numerous mentions, and Paul Parker is “a young Turk who is excellent at pleadings”. Fiona Sinclair is “competent, clever, efficient and able, does meticulous pleadings, gives sound advice and is a good advocate”, and is also “an excellent advocate”, but demand for her makes it difficult to secure her services.
Roger Stewart also receives many mentions and is a “real rising star”. Also rated are Mark Cannon, Andrew Stafford, Ben Hubble, who also was mentioned numerous times, and Gavin Hamilton, Paul Sutherland and Martin Fodder.
At 2 Crown Office Row headed by Graeme Hamilton QC, Ben Patten (formerly at 22 Old Buildings) is said to be “a rising star who now has considerable experience of solicitors' professional indemnity. He is outstanding both intellectually and as an advocate.”
John Stevenson has “great intellectual depth and is a superb advocate and negotiator. Above all, he wins cases, often against the odds.” Ian Swan, Jason Evans-Tovey and Simon Howarth are also mentioned in this set. John Greenbourne “may have a downbeat approach but has a nice lugubrious attitude”.
And at 2 Temple Gardens, headed by Patrick Phillips QC, Susan Rodway, Jennifer Smith and Christopher Russell are all singled out for praise, as are Daniel Pearce-Higgins, Sarah Vaughan Jones and Graham Eklund, as is the more junior junior Clare Brown and David Turner at the same set, the latter being described as “certainly up and coming”.
At another set receiving mention for this work, Enterprise Chambers, Teresa Peacocke is “good on detail and a real terrier in court although sometimes gets carried away in cross-examination. She relishes really difficult cases.”
At the same set, David Halpern is “likely to be on the way to silk at some point” and Peter Arden is good on insolvency practitioners and receivers claims. Others to note are Linden Ife, and Geoffrey Zellin.
There is also a raft of well regarded juniors at 4 Paper Buildings – Laurence West- Knights, Anthony de Freitas, Michael Pooles, the last receiving many mentions, as do Jane Mishcon, Derek Holwill, Patrick Lawrence, Francis Bacon, William Flenley, Julian Picton and Alison Gulliver.
At 4 Pump Court, Lindsay Boswell, Alex Charlton, Michael Douglas, Oliver Ticciati, David Sears and Nigel Tozzi are all mentioned, as are the more junior James Cross, Dominic McCahill and Michael Davie. Senior junior Jeremy Nicholson is said to be “particularly good on attention to detail”.
Paul Smith at One Hare Court is described as “good for detailed, complex legal issues and is academic, very thorough, particularly in relation to solicitors' conveyancing cases, and is bloody good”.
At Keating Chambers, for the building side, Marcus Taverner is “in great demand and is a victim of his own success”, Peter Coulson, at the same set, is also rated, as are Paul Darling and Robert Evans, who are good on the architectural/ construction negligence side, and Alexander Nissen.
At 4-5 Gray's Inn Square, Sam Aaron is also rated, as are Jane Davies at One Paper Buildings, headed by John Slater QC, and the “very good” Melanie Hall at Monckton Chambers, and Peter Mantle.
At 20 Essex Street, for general professional indemnity work across the board, Duncan Matthews is worthy of mention as “a star; he is prepared to roll up his shirt sleeves and do the work, has a meticulous eye for detail and is very pleasant to deal with, a quality which cannot be overrated”. For cases involving accountants, Clifford Gill, who is also a chartered accountant, “saves you money as you do not have to instruct an expert at such an early stage”. Karen Maxwell “is one for the future, is extremely well-organised and very bright” and Charles Kimmins is also singled out for mention.
Further along Essex Street, at number 39, Stuart Catchpole and Charles Manzoni also rate mentions; and at 12 King's Bench Walk, Stephen Worthington is “very good”, and the more junior Vincent Moran has also made a name for himself.