Regions to be cheerful
15 March 1999
In the professional negligence field, the general perception is that the expertise is based in London and it is, in fact, true that the London Bar is used exclusively for the biggest cases. The reason given for this is that professional indemnity insurers are largely based in the capital and they prefer the expertise that the London Bar clearly has.
Since panel solicitors go to London counsel, it is difficult to find practitioners for defence work in the regions. However, on the plaintiff side the work is spread fairly evenly throughout the country and many barristers in the provinces are recommended in this field, albeit often for work at the lower end of the market.
At Lorne Park Chambers in Bournemouth senior junior Michael Norman is rated as "on a par with anyone in London". Although he has a broader practice, as tends to be the case in the regions, Norman "takes a very realistic approach and is an exceptional lawyer".
At Portsmouth Barristers' Chambers, Andrew Parsons is praised for his "very thorough commercial approach".
And at 4 St Peter's Street in Winchester Mark Lomas is "technically very able", "impressive with difficult clients" and "very good value".
In Birmingham, John Randall QC of 7 Fountain Court is a "superb advocate" and "great fun to work with", but, as a testimony to his success, "is always very busy".
At 4 Fountain Court, Jeremy Cousins gives a "first-class service" with "very accurate assessments". For at least one solicitor, he is "as good as anyone at the London Bar".
Meanwhile, at 1 Fountain Court, Stephen Eyre is "very reliable". Mark Anderson at 3 Fountain Court is also rated.
Paul Isaacs of 9 Woodhouse Square in Leeds "doesn't roll over easily" and is relied upon for his "very careful judgement".
At Wilberforce Chambers in Hull, Neil Cameron is "academically top-notch and on the ball" and "gives crisp advice to insurers", especially in construction cases.
In Nottingham, Ropewalk Chambers' William Woodward QC is regarded as "very sound".
At Liverpool's Oriel Chambers, senior junior Andrew Sander is recommended as a "very good all-round commercial junior" with a "first-class mind" and good experience. William Rankin is also rated, as is Peter Cowan, who is said to be "in the ascendancy".
The provincial Bar in Manchester is seen as much stronger, and is used more widely. At Byrom Street Chambers, three silks - Giles Wingate-Saul QC, Geoffrey Tattersall QC and Michael Black QC - are all recommended.
In St James' Chambers, Anthony Elleray QC is "vastly experienced", while Mark Cawson stands out for his "in-depth experience in the biggest cases" and "superb intellect".
Raymond Machell QC in Deans Court Chambers is admired as "a first-class lawyer and advocate".
In 40 King Street, Peter Smith QC is equally admired for his "ability to have, at his fingertips, a tremendous volume of complex facts and law". Among the juniors, Katherine Dunn, Stephen Pritchett and Mark Harper are singled out.
Over at 9 St John Street, Timothy Horlock QC gets a mention.
And along at 28 St John Street, Paul Taylor and John Phillips are rated as experienced.
In Cardiff, Geraint Jones of 9 Park Place is the only barrister to come up on the radar of many solicitors. He is seen as a "leading practitioner" with "specialist experience". Others include head of chambers Phillip Rees. John Milwyn Jarman is also recommended.
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