One Essex Court picks up banking silk duo from 3VB

One Essex Court has taken heavyweight commercial banking silks Adrian Beltrami QC and Sonia Tolaney QC from 3 Verulam Buildings (3VB).

The duo will be joined by juniors James MacDonald and Sandy Phipps.

The hires come just weeks after The Lawyer revealed Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer disputes veteran Ian Terry would be joining the set.

One Essex said in a statement: “Each has a formidable reputation at the commercial bar, particularly in the banking and finance sector, which will both complement and strengthen the services offered to clients in that and related areas.”

The move will bring One Essex’s silk headcount up to 36 and tenant headcount up to 90. According to The Lawyer’s Bar Top 30 report, the set turned over £64m last year.

3VB chambers director Robin Jackson said he was sorry to see the four barristers leave the set. “They have brought a great deal to 3VB in their team with us and I am sure they feel they have benefitted considerably as well,” he said.

“3VB will continue to flourish with our 67 other members including our two new silks for 2016, David Head QC and Richard Edwards QC, whose appointments we will be celebrating shortly.”

Head and Edwards were made up in the 2016 silk round. Following the exits 3VB will have 22 silks and 45 juniors.

Tolaney, who is also a deputy high court judge, will bring her work on the Royal Bank of Scotland £4bn shareholder claim to One Essex. Tolaney has been instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills to lead the bank’s defence in the case, which will go to trial in March 2017.

Other 3VB silks, including Jonathan Nash QC and Andrew Onslow QC, will continue to lead for a number of the claimant groups.

Beltrami has acted on a raft of headline Libor and swaps mis-selling claims in recent years, acting for a number of the major banks.