Stars in a diverse universe
15 March 1999
A wide range of practitioners come within the professional negligence Bar's broad church - right across the spectrum of common law and specialised Chancery sets. The following list is by no means exhaustive, rather a selection based on the subjective recommendations of leading professional negligence solicitors.
First port of call for many (especially for solicitor's negligence) is 2 Crown Office Row, which will move to 4 New Square in September. The set headed by John Powell QC is held to be an "excellent professional negligence chambers" where all members are deemed to be of "an exceptional standard". A chorus of regrets were expressed over the departure of Rupert Jackson QC to the Bench in January.
Singled out for particular praise is Powell himself - when an "academic approach is required" and for his "confidence-inspiring presence". Iain Hughes QC is noted for his "awareness of the politics of matters", while Justin Fenwick QC is seen to have a "tremendous intellect" and to be "a master of detail".
Another renowned set is 4 Pump Court, where set head Bruce Mauleverer QC is the leader of choice for many, being the "ultimate diplomat" and "able to see problems from all sides". John Rowland QC and Michael Douglas QC are also rated, as is Christopher Moger QC, who, for many, is "the best advocate".
Four Paper Buildings is respected for professional negligence.
At 1 Paper Buildings, Andrew Bartlett QC is commended for his "watertight opinions" and "distinguished presence". And John Slater QC is known for his "extreme eloquence".
At 9-12 Bell Yard, Edmund Lawson QC is noted as "a good man to have around" for accounting or auditing cases.
In many of the "big ticket" - often multi-party - cases, the first, and often only, choice is silks from the mainstream commercial sets. Among these are the "very shrewd" Peter Scott QC, Andrew Smith QC and the "no-nonsense" and "very friendly" Michael Brindle QC from Fountain Court.
Trevor Philipson QC, meanwhile, is described as a "smooth, iron fist in velvet glove-type cross-examiner". Top of many peoples' lists in the same chambers is "the superstar" Peter Goldsmith QC, who is rumoured to have "three brains" and nicknamed "God".
Over at Brick Court Chambers is the "legendary" Jonathan Sumption QC, who is labelled "probably the cleverest man at the Bar". Christopher Clarke QC is considered "top notch", "a joy to work with" and "certainly gets the judge's ear". Mark Howard QC is "a pleasure to work with and widely experienced", while Stephen Ruttle QC gets a mention, notably for his insurance work.
At 1 Essex Court, Anthony Grabiner QC is singled out for his "formidable intellect" and attracts admiration for his "laid-back approach".
At Atkin Chambers Andrew White QC is praised for the "speed with which he distills all the issues". John Blackburn QC is hailed as "a top man, especially in construction cases".
Another stop for construction-related negligence is the "often too busy" Keating Chambers where John Uff QC is "always in demand". Stephen Furst QC is valued as a "damn good tactician" and Timothy Elliott QC is charged with being "excellent analytically and a faultless cross-examiner".
Over at 1 Crown Office Row Philip Vallance QC is described as "a very practical nuts and bolts merchant".
At Enterprise Chambers, Teresa Rosen Peacocke QC impresses as "an aggressive fighter", while David Halpern QC "is very sound indeed".
Leslie Kosmin QC of Erskine Chambers is described as "very switched on in terms of the commercial aspects".
Michel Kallipetis QC at Littleton Chambers is sought out for his "superb advocacy and presentation skills".
Meanwhile, at 12 New Square Charles Purle QC is "a real one-off", "loves an argy-bargy" and is "very inventive".
At 5 Stone Buildings, the "absolutely fantastic" Alastair Norris QC is "a gem" who "can be relied on to always give 110 per cent".
Nine Old Square comes onto the radar, where Nicholas Patten QC receives many accolades and is thought to be "on a judicial wavelength" listened to in the biggest cases.
At 13 Old Square, Michael Briggs QC is valued for his "excellent judgement".
Jeremy Stuart-Smith QC of 2 Temple Gardens also receives praise.
Christopher Symons QC, John Jarvis QC and Ali Malek QC at 3 Verulam Buildings are also rated.