Meet tomorrow's champions

As in other areas of specialist work, opinions are mixed as to whether the next wave of barristers match up to the current crop of the silks. But nevertheless practitoners have singled out a few first rate juniors.

At Falcon Chambers, one of the juniors who is noted in particular as following in the leading lights' footsteps is Wayne Clark who “is very approachable, not arrogant and gets the job done on time”. At the same set, ex-solicitor and “very bright” Stephen Jourdan is frequently mentioned as a junior who “is also quick with the paperwork”. Almost all of

Falcon's juniors are mentioned, with Jonathan Brock, senior junior Nicholas Dowding and Timothy Fancourt and Guy Fetherstonhaugh receiving numerous mentions. Martin Rodger and Joanne Moss are singled out on the agricultural side in particular, while others mentioned are Edwin Prince, Edward Cole, Erica Foggin and “one to watch” Gary Cowen, with the more junior juniors Jonathan Small and Janet Bignell also noted.

And at the other noted set for this type of work, 4 Breams Buildings, the “very senior” junior John Male is “first class”, with the “almost silk” David Holgate and Jonathan Karas, David Elvin, Nicholas Taggart and Karen McHugh are all getting the approval of property litigation solicitors, with David Forsdick picked out – “with his panache, he is a real up and coming star”.

At 9 Old Square, John McGhee is “user-friendly and elegant”, and John Dagnall is “one of the most thorough of counsel – his written advice and pleadings are all excellent”. Senior junior Edwin Johnson also rates an honourable mention, and Katherine Holland “is good on her feet”. Thomas Leech is also singled out and David Hodge “is also rated intellectually”.

At Enterprise Chambers, the chambers head Benjamin Levy is “very senior and superb value for money – he knows it all inside and out”. And at the same set, the “up and coming” Jacqueline Baker and James Barker are “very capable for the more general knockabout stuff”. Nigel Gerald, Charles Morgan, Ann McAllister and Caroline Hutton at the same set also rate mentions.

At Barnards Inn, set head Timothy Bowles and ex-solicitor Timothy Dutton are singled out for mention. And Jonathan Arkush at 11 Stone Buildings, headed by Michael Beckman QC, who was instructed in the Hindcastle case, is also highly rated.

And at the other 11 Stone Buildings, headed by John Campion, David Iwi is rated for his written opinions.

Nearby in 5 Stone Buildings, headed by Henry Harrod, Sally Barber and Mark Blackett-Ord are seen as being more on the chancery side but nevertheless good for landlord and tenant work. And in the chancery crossover area, Christopher Nugee at Wilberforce Chambers is a “brilliant intellectual, useful in conference and easy to talk to”, and James Ayliffe is also a junior to watch.

At 199 Strand, middle-ranking junior Philomena Harrison is also noted for doing a “thorough job”.

At 13 Old Square headed by William Christie, juniors Anthony Trace, John Nicholls, Christopher Pymont all rate honourable mentions, as does senior junior James Thom at Queen Elizabeth Building headed by Richard Stone QC, and Philip Rainey at Francis Taylor Building headed by Phillip Matthews.

Another ex-solicitor, Tom Jefferies at 3 New Square is “very approachable”, with Siobhan Ward at 11 King's Bench Walk, headed by Lord Irvine of Lairg QC, described as “meticulous and highly effective” while Nigel Giffin at the same set is also “very good”. And Jonathan Steinert at New Court Chambers comes highly recommended.

The regions have not been ignored, with Leslie Blohm and Charles Auld at St John's Chambers, Bristol, being the solicitors' choice. And in Birmingham, Douglas Readings at Priory Chambers and David Stockill at 5 Fountain Court, headed by Anthony Barker QC, stand out. Further north, head of St James' Chambers, Manchester, Robert Sterling, and the more junior Mark Cawson are rated, as are Mark Halliwell and Katherine Dunn at 40 King Street and Neil Berragan and John Dowse at 9 St John Street.