From silks to seniors and juniors, the chambers in the regions house a wealth of talent, according to leading practitioners.
According to leading practitioners, the regional Bar is serving family law well.
At silk level, Lindsey Kushner QC and Charles Bloom QC at 28 St John Street, Manchester are noted. New silk from this year Ernest Ryder QC at 8 King Street in Manchester continues to impress, along with David Harris QC at Peel House, Liverpool. Another new silk, Annabel Walker QC at 12 Paradise Square, Leeds, is also singled out for mention, with Jill Black QC at 30 Park Square also recommended. Philip Raynor QC at 40 King Street, Manchester is also mentioned.
In the Midlands, with Estella Hindley QC having gone to the bench, the circuit is still served by Heather Swindells QC at Ropewalk Chambers in Nottingham. And on the Western circuit, recent silk Mark Evans QC at All Saints Chambers is the counsel that regional practitioners head for, and Suzan Matthews QC at Guildford Chambers is also noted.
Still in the north, the juniors who stand out are Eleanor Hamilton at 6 Park Square, Leeds, Paul Isaacs and Rebecca Thornton at 9 Woodhouse Square, Sally Cahill at Park Lane Chambers. Ian Kennerley and Christine Harmer at Broad Chare Chambers in Newcastle upon Tyne receive numerous mentions, and Sally Bradley is considered “first choice”. Others mentioned at this set are Kester Armstrong, John O'Sullivan, Judy Moir, Pauline Moulder, Anne Richardson, and the more junior Elizabeth Lugg.
At 67A Westgate Road chambers, Tom Finch, Claire Middleton and Sarah Woolrich stand out. Rachel Hudson at Trinity Chambers is seen as having rising-star status.
Noted senior juniors are the “wonderful” Lesley Newton, set head at Young Street, Manchester; Maureen Roddy, Gail Owen, Ross Duggan and Michael Kennedy at Peel House Chambers, Liverpool; Alan Booth and “good allrounder” Karen Brody at Deans Court Chambers. At 28 St John Street, Manchester, Bernard Wallwork, Charles Eastwood, and Anthony Hayden are noted; as are Jane Walker and Gillian Irving at 9 St John Street, and Mark Laprell at 18 St John Street. Senior junior Kim Foudy at 8 King Street is also well-regarded. Also in Liverpool, set head Andrew Sander at Oriel Chambers rates a mention.
Others seen as developing well are Andrew Fox, David Hernandez and Ceri Warnock at Young Street; Susan Grocott at Queens Chambers; Louise Bancroft at Deans Court Chambers; Lisa Judge at Manchester House Chambers; and Alex Kloss at 28 St John Street. Senior juniors Stephen Dodds and Barbara Watson at 15 Winckley Square, Preston also receive honourable mentions.
In Leeds, Jayne Pye at 25 Park Square is rated very highly, although she is still quite junior. At the same set, the more senior junior Richard Newbury is mentioned. Louise Hill at 30 Park Square is noted for care proceedings. Rodney Ferm at 37 Park Square is also recommended. Set head Christopher Butler at St Mary's Chambers, Nottingham is also noted, as is Mark Rogers at that set.
Graham Parnell at East Anglian Chambers, Norwich, is “very organised and very good in public law”. Tony Kefford at the same set, is “one of the most popular”, and Tim McLoughlin is also recommended. Peter Wain, Roderick Newton “is an extremely good advocate”. The Oxford annexe of Harcourt Chambers houses a number of juniors who have served well including Edward Hess, Gavyn Arthur and Jonathan Baker. At 21 White Friars in Chester, there are a number of juniors recommended – Julian Shaw, Sarah Leigh, Julian Lloyd, Deborah Shield and Mark Connor.
In Birmingham, set head at Priory Chambers Patricia Deeley is “still one of the best”.
With the move to 5 Fountain Court of a number of family specialists, including Robin Rowland and Ros Bush, the set has strengthened, with Anne Smallwood and Lorna Meyer already tenants. At St Ive's Chambers, Nick Cole is seen as up-and-coming.
On the Western circuit, Christopher Sharp at St John's Chambers, Bristol, is good for the large financial cases and “deserves much more recognition”.
Stephen Wildblood at Albion Chambers rated numerous mentions, as did David Tyzack at Southernhay Chambers. The more junior Ralph Dixon and Susan Jacklin at St John's Chambers are developing a practice in this area, as is Sheelagh Corfield at Guildhall Chambers, who is good on detailed finance and with children work. Nicholas Miller and Catriona Duthie at the same chambers are mentioned. Also at Albion Chambers, Sally Porter and Caroline Wright are noted and, at Assize Court Chambers, Deborah Dinan-Hayward, is also noted.
At another up-and-coming set, Walnut House in Exeter, Corinne Searle, Shane Lyon, Andrew Eaton Hart and Elizabeth Ingham are all making a mark. And in Taunton's South Western Chambers, Richard Hickmet and Harry Hodgkin are also developing in this area, as is Heather Burwin and David Cadin at King's Bench Walk in Plymouth.
Another name receiving numerous mentions is Mark Horton at Colleton Chambers in Exeter, along with Mark Whitehall and Martin Meeke at the same set.