Counting on the junior bar

Many solicitors are hard-pressed to name a junior banking barrister they have used recently. Work, they say, is increasingly being carried out in-house, at the expense of the junior bar.

Once again, 3 Verulam Buildings stands out for its strength in this field. Adrian Beltrami is “extremely good”, Richard de Lacy “knows what he is talking about”, John Odgers is “highly technical” and Jonathan Harold Marks “doesn't waffle, doesn't waste time and deals with the issues directly”. At the same set, Annie Hockaday, Ewan McQuater, Jonathan Nash, Jonathan Mark Phillips, Andrew Onslow, Michael Kay and David Quest are also recommended.

Fountain Court is also strong in banking. Guy Philipps is described as “knowledgeable, approachable and easy to work with”, Craig Orr is “very thorough and thoughtful” and David Waksman is “good on paper”. At the same set, Patricia Robertson, Thomas Keith, Marcus Smith, Raymond Cox, Murray Shanks, and Richard Handyside are all well regarded.

One Essex Court, the chambers of Anthony Grabiner QC, has significantly boosted its banking presence by the recent acquisition of David Wolfson from 3 Verulam Buildings, and Hannah Brown and Michael Sullivan from 5 Bell Yard. Wolfson is described as “a very bright young chap – one to watch”, and Sullivan is “quick and thoughtful”, “thinks of issues no one else would have thought of” and “has an excellent client base”. At the same set, Rhodri Davies is “excellent “, Andrew Lenon is “very bright” and Laurence Rabinowitz is also recommended.

At Enterprise Chambers, Linden Ife can “talk around judges in situations you wouldn't expect her to”, Hugo Groves is “an academic with a major grasp of the intricacies of a problem” and Geoffrey Zelin is “good on his feet”.

John Cone, of Erskine Chambers, is “very user-friendly and accessible and has a sensible commercial awareness”. At the same set Andrew Thornton is “very good value for money”.

At Essex Court Chambers, Brian Dye is “excellent, particularly on derivatives and financing”, David Mildon “has a good brain”, Huw Davies is “diligent”, “hardworking”, “first class” and Victor Lyon is highly recommended.

At 3/4 South Square, Robin Knowles is “absolutely superb – he explains his advice very clearly”, and Adam Goodison and Robin Dicker are well regarded.

Ian Gatt, at Littleton Chambers, “has an in-depth knowledge of the issues” and Timothy Higginson is “very good”.

John McGhee and Michael Pryor of 9 Old Square, David Owen and Duncan Matthews of 20 Essex Street, and Malcolm Davis-White of 4 Stone Buildings are all described as excellent barristers.

In the regions, Lesley Anderson and Katherine Dunn at 40 King Street, Manchester, are both “very good”. While in Bristol, Neil Levy at St John's Chambers has “an excellent mind”, and Stephen Davies of Guildhall Chambers is “very thorough”.