The best of the rest

Chancery barristers now frequently cross over into various areas of commercial work, making it impossible to restrict the sphere of practice that is covered by chancery specialists.

Movement between chambers is becoming increasingly regular and it is easy to see why. The leading chambers are recommended not only for the individual barristers they contain, but for the service they provide. The work of the clerks can make or break a barrister's practice and so it is essential to be in the right set.

Serle Court is at the top of its game, providing an excellent all-round service. Typical of the barristers in this set are Nicholas Harrison, who is “terribly hard working and very quick to grasp the issues” and Philip Marshall, who is noted for being “very good on huge pieces of litigation” and is a “real asset because he defines relevant points clearly and succinctly”. Philip Jones earned a number of mentions for his “robust” advocacy. He is very flexible and “provides a great level of service”. Beverley Ann Rodgers has an “immense wealth of experience in contentious trust and probate”, William Henderson is “excellent on his feet and on paper” and “very good with clients”, and Elizabeth Jones is recommended.

1 New Square has a number of traditional chancery experts. Rodney Stewart Smith “has specialist knowledge of trusts”, while Mark Hubbard is “very prompt with paperwork” and gives “good practical advice”.

For company work 11 Stone Buildings has a good collection. Jane Giret runs “a very business-like practice”, “works hard” and, perhaps most importantly, “doesn't lose cases”. Raquel Agnello has “good technical knowledge on insolvency”, and Tina Kyriakides is also highly recommended.

At Enterprise Chambers David Halpern stands out for being “bloody good” and “very fair, incisive and quick”, and Teresa Peacocke and Linden Ife earn numerous mentions.

John Briggs of 3/4 South Square is a highly rated insolvency practitioner who also delves into other areas of commercial practice. At the same set Robin Dicker is excellent and William Trower is recommended.

At 24 Old Buildings, Michael Gadd is rated highly, Daniel Gerrans is described as “an extremely able lawyer, extremely quick and responsive” and Michael King is noted for property and trust related matters.

Falcon Chambers comes surprisingly high up the list of leading chancery sets, where Wayne Clark is “quick and bright”, Guy Fetherstonhaugh is “very good in conferences and for opinions” and Anthony Tanney is “commercial and straight to it”.

Three leading sets who did not fare as well as expected are 4 Stone Buildings, where only Robert Miles, Jonathan Crow and Christopher Harrison earned mentions, 9 Old Square, where Simon Burrell is very highly rated for contentious probate and partnership matters, and 13 Old Square where only Matthew Collings and the “very bright” and “singularly effective” John Nicholls were mentioned. At 3 New Square, David Rowell and Josephine Hayes earn honourable mentions,

At 5 Stone Buildings Mark Blackett-Ord is rated, while at 8 New Square Fiona Clarke is strong for intellectual property. Edmund Cullen of 7 Stone Buildings is a “very bright lawyer”, and Guy Burkill at Three New Square is good for intellectual property.

In the regions, Chancery House Chambers in Leeds has the rated Paul Morris, who is described as “good with clients, authoritative and very practical”.

In Manchester 40 King Street is the leading set. Here Paul Chaisty is “very knowledgeable” and Mark Harper is “a very good young junior, definitely up and coming”. Elsewhere in Manchester Stephen Davies of 8 King Street is rated, while in Guildhall Chambers in Bristol a man of the same name is excellent on insolvency. In the same chambers Paul French strays into chancery and can be pretty good.

In Wales Graham Walters at 33 Park Place is highly regarded and Geraint Jones at 9 Park Place is “extremely experienced” and, for one practitioner, is considered to be “the only guy to use locally”.

James Corbett of St Philip's Chambers in Birmingham is recommended as “particularly good on insolvency”.