The best silks, Bar none

The professional negligence Bar encompasses counsel from the commercial Bar to the Chancery Bar as well as other disciplines.

Those named in this feature do not make up an exhaustive list but are based on the subjective recommendations of leading professional negligence and professional indemnity practitioners (and are to be used in addition to those named in 1996).

At 2 Crown Office Row, headed by Rupert Jackson QC, the set head combines "consummate advocacy skills with intellectual depth" and John Powell QC is seen as "extraordinarily enthusiastic, even on what can be seen as the most boring of topics". A number of practitioners have bemoaned the departure of Roger Toulson QC to the bench from this set (and those of Gordon Langley QC and Timothy Walker QC from Fountain Court Chambers), but other recommended silks in this set are Justin Fenwick QC, who is "a masterful tactician, and particularly good in difficult fraud cases", Michael Brooke QC, who is "calm and unruffled", Christopher Gibson QC, who "is very able and has earned his spurs the hard way", and new silk Iain Hughes QC is "top class, able to put the case into the client's language". Bernard Livesey QC is also mentioned.

In the other leading set for this area of practice, headed by Graeme Hamilton QC and also at 2 Crown Office Row, Michael Harvey QC "is very meticulous and thorough and covers all the angles, and has a knack of correctly estimating what a court will do, particularly when it is a marginal case", recent silk Richard Lynagh QC rates numerous mentions and is "very good at cross-examining", and Roger ter Haar QC is also highly recommended.

Another set receiving praise in this area is 4 Paper Buildings, headed by Harvey McGregor QC, where Nicholas Davidson QC is highly rated.

And 2 Temple Gardens is another set with a raft of silks recommended for professional negligence work – Benjamin Browne QC is "frighteningly quick sometimes", and the "very solid" Robert Moxon-Browne QC at the same set has also been mentioned for his work on accountancy cases; William Crowther QC, Timothy Lamb QC and Patrick Twigg QC are also mentioned.

At commercial set Brick Court Chambers the set head Christopher Clarke QC and "the most intellectual" Jonathan Sumption QC and Mark Hapgood QC are the commercial heavyweights rated in this area, as are Jonathan Hirst QC and Mark Howard QC. Fountain Court Chambers is also the stop for new silk David Railton QC and for the more established silks Peter Goldsmith QC, Peter Scott QC and Trevor Philipson QC.

Other silks rating numerous mentions in this area of practice are John Slater QC at One Paper Buildings and Elizabeth Gloster QC at 1 Essex Court. At 7 King's Bench Walk Jeremy Cooke QC is "a hard hitter" and Julian Flaux QC is also rated. Richard Seymour QC at Monckton Chambers and Augustus Ullstein QC at 29 Bedford Row are also named.

And at 4 Pump Court, set head Bruce Mauleverer QC, and Anthony Temple QC and Christopher Moger QC are all rated as leaders for this type of work. Nicholas Patten QC at 9 Old Square also has a strong reputation in this field.

Michael Hart QC at 5 Stone Buildings and Ronald Walker QC, set head at 12 King's Bench Walk, and Timothy Stow QC have also been singled out for a mention.

Edwin Glasgow QC at 39 Essex Street is to be used "particularly where there is a heavy damages aspect to the case". Genevra Caws QC at 4-5 Gray's Inn Square is the "first choice on any case of substance". Michael Burton QC, Michel Kallipetis QC and Daniel Serota QC at Littleton Chambers are also recommended.

For chancery-related cases, Jules Sher QC and Terence Etherton QC at Wilberforce Chambers are highly rated, as is Peter Crampin QC at 11 New Square.

Another new silk, Edward Faulks QC, at No 1 Serjeants' Inn, is also mentioned, as is relatively recent silk Romie Tager QC at Hardwicke Building, who is following the lead of the set head Walter Aylen QC.

The premier chambers for construction work are 10 Essex Street and Atkin Chambers, and Keating Chambers where Richard Fernyhough QC is "probably one of the best construction silks", and Vivian Ramsey QC is also "in great demand", as is John Uff QC; Stephen Furst QC and Timothy Elliott QC are also singled out, as are Christopher Symons QC and Nicholas Elliott QC at 3 Verulam Buildings of the more junior silks.

At up and coming 9 Bedford Row, Simeon Maskrey QC has impressed, as have Edward Bannister QC and James Munby QC at 1 New Square.

Nigel Davis QC at 7 Stone Buildings also has experience in this area. Others seen as safe pairs of hands are David Steel QC at 4 Essex Court, Edmund Lawson QC at 9-12 Bell Yard, Ian Croxford QC at 2-3 Gray's Inn Square, Michael Briggs QC at Thirteen Old Square, Alan Steinfeld QC at 24 Old Buildings, joint set head at One Hare Court Richard Southwell QC, Colin Edelman QC at Devereux Chambers and Guy Mansfield QC at 1 Crown Office Row who also rates an honourable mention.

Outside of London, Gareth Evans QC at 5 Fountain Court, Birmingham, is also named.