39 Essex Chambers has emerged as the most active set for the third quarter of this year, according to data carried out by The Lawyer.
The Lawyer’s Litigation Tracker reveals that the set was the busiest of all chambers from the period of 1 July to 30 September, as defined by number of cases and by case days.
The set represented clients in 39 cases totalling 55 days, involving 29 barristers. Of those barristers, banking silk Hodge Malek QC was the busiest, working on seven cases lasting 11 days.
Such cases include the high-profile trusts case between “Putin’s banker” Sergei Pugachev and his former bank JSC Mezhdunarodniy Promyshlenniy Bank, in which the High Court ruled that trusts owned by the Russian businessman were a sham.
Malek acted for Pugachev’s ex-partner Alexandra Tolstoy, who was defending the trust for herself and three children. He took instruction from Devonshires Solicitors.
Other cases taken on by the set include three professional discipline claims for which it acted for the General Medical Council and a case in the Court of Appeal that decided that doctors and relatives can agree between themselves whether it is in the best interests of a patient to withhold or withdraw medical treatment.
In the last 12 months, the set received the most instructions from Devonshires Solicitors, followed by Bircham Dyson Bell, Irwin Mitchell and Walker Morris, among others.
The second most active set was Blackstone Chambers, which represented clients in 35 cases totalling 92 days.
Five barristers from the set – Kieron Beal QC, James Eadie QC, Ivan Hare QC and juniors Peter Head and Tristan Jones – worked on three cases that reached judgment.
Notable cases for the commercial set include the landmark employment tribunal ruling, in which the Supreme Court ruled that employment tribunal fees were unlawful. Unison solicitor Shantha David instructed Blackstone Chambers’ Dinah Rose QC Ian Steele, alongside and Matrix Chambers’ Karon Monaghan and Matthew Purchase. Old Square Chambers’ Michael Ford QC intervened for the Equality and Human Rights Commission in this case.
The set also took instruction from Mishcon de Reya in which the firm failed to throw out a claim for £3.5m in compensation against its Belgian client, the diamantaire Pluczenik, in the High Court.
These findings are based on The Lawyer’s Q3 Litigation Tracker reportl, which is available to purchase from Monday. The report is based on over 450 recorded judgments in the Litigation Tracker database and identifies the most active firms, chambers and barristers in the last quarter.