A cut above their peers

Brand new silks at the Criminal Bar, who also feature in our pick of the Criminal Bar, include David Calvert-Smith QC and Peter Clarke QC, at Queen Elizabeth Building (Hollis Whiteman Chambers), Ken MacDonald QC at 2 Garden Court, Gaias Gozem QC at Lincoln House Chambers, Manchester, Nigel Lithman QC at 3 Hare Court, Steven Kay QC at 3 Gray's Inn Square and Neil Ford QC at Albion Chambers, Bristol.

In the area of commercial crime, Brian Leveson QC at 22 Old Buildings (formerly Byrom Chambers), headed by Benet Hytner QC, is also recommended and gets a "star rating".

As for the others, it is the established silks such as George Carman QC, set head at New Court Chambers, who "if you can get him, is still king".

David Fisher QC at 6 King's Bench Walk, which is headed by Michael Worsley QC, is another recent silk who continues to impress. Both Alan Rawley QC and Philip Mott QC at 35 Essex Street are also singled out for mention, and Robert Marshall-Andrews QC at 4 Paper Buildings is just one of "a good spread of silks at that set".

Vivian Robinson QC and David Jeffreys QC "for his experience and his hard work" at Queen Elizabeth Building (Hollis Whiteman Building) are given honourable mentions, as is John Hilton QC. Another "star on fraud" is Peter Rook QC at 5 King's Bench Walk.

Others to note at Cloisters are Lawrence Kershen QC and Winston Roddick QC at 10 King's Bench Walk, the "experienced" Anthony Hacking QC at 1 King's Bench Walk, Michael Stokes QC at One KBW at 36 Bedford Row, Nicholas Blake QC at 2 Garden Court, who is "known more for judicial review work, but has impressed with the sheer amount of work he put into criminal matters", and Martin Heslop QC at 1 Hare Court.

At 3 Hare Court, Andrew Munday QC is first choice for other partners, and Timothy Barnes QC at 9 Bedford Row and Michael Lawson QC at 36 Essex Street are also singled out for mention.

In the area of company director disqualifications and the regulatory side, Michael Briggs QC, at 13 Old Square, John Brisby QC and Philip Heslop QC at 4 Stone Buildings are rated, as are Stewart Jones QC and Michael Parroy QC at 3 Paper Buildings.

But it is not just the London-based silks who are attracting instructions for crime. At Park Court Chambers in Leeds, James Stewart QC is a "good silk" for both Leeds and London, Michael Harrison QC is "A-list", Robert Smith QC is also "rated very highly and in demand", as are, at the same set, the more junior Simon Bourne-Arton QC, Stuart Brown QC at Pearl Chambers, Leeds, Peter Collier QC at 32 Park Square, Leeds, Michael Shorrock QC and Antony Morris QC at Peel Court Chambers, Manchester and Howard Bentham QC.

Charles Chruszcz QC "is good for the heavy legal elements" in fraud, and Anthony Gee QC is also singled out for mention. Both are at 28 St John Street, Manchester. In Sheffield, Roger Keen QC at 12 Paradise Square is "excellent".

Other silks to note are John Rees QC at 33 Park Place, Cardiff and Roger Thomas QC at 9 Park Place, Cardiff.

In Liverpool, David Steer QC at Corn Exchange Building and David Turner QC at Exchange Chambers merit honourable mentions.

Anthony Barraclough QC at 25-27 Castle Street has "impressed with his expertise", and at the same set, Stephen Riordan QC is also rated.

In the Midlands, Anthony Hughes QC and David Crigman QC at 1 Fountain Court are both mentioned. Colman Treacy QC at 3 Fountain Court is "highly recommended", as are leader of the circuit Richard Wakerley QC at 4 Fountain Court, and in the same set, John Mitting QC, and John Saunders QC, as well as Anthony Barker QC, next door at 5 Fountain Court. Further along at 7 Fountain Court, Rex Tedd QC is singled out for mention.

On the Western Circuit, Paul Dunkels QC and Francis Gilbert QC at Walnut House, Exeter, are highly regarded, as is Charles Barton QC at Albion Chambers, Bristol.