Many leading regional lawyers instruct junior counsel locally and are more than happy with the standard of service they receive – and the fees for local advocates are competitive.
In the Midlands, the set at 5 Fountain Court in Birmingham has several popular junior barristers. Paul Bleasdale is often mentioned. "He is decisive, very good on his feet and in conference, and good with clients" is one comment. Satinder Hunjan also receives widespread praise. "He is keen on the work, takes an interest in medical issues and, therefore, understands mid-range cases," says one lawyer.
Senior junior Robert Holdsworth, at 5 Fountain Court, is said to be "streets ahead" and the more junior Jennifer Jones is complimented on her "very good legal brain". Along with Mark Radburn and Nick Xydias at the same set, she is thought to be one to watch in the future. Stephen Oliver-Jones, also at this set, is commended for his quantum skills.
At 3 Fountain Court, Christopher Bright is praised for his plaintiff work in both personal injury and medical negligence; he recently won an impressive test case in gynaecological surgery. Mark Anderson, at the same chambers, is described as "very able". Close by at Priory Chambers, Lance Ashworth and Stephen Campbell are both mentioned.
In Nottingham, Patrick Limb, Dominic Nolan and Jayne Adams, at 24 The Ropewalk Chambers, are recommended for defence work in the personal injury field. Adams in particular is said to be "delightful to work with" and a very hard worker.
Recommendations in the North East are a mixture of those in situ and members of the local circuit. Jeremy Freedman and Bill Broderick at New Court Chambers in Newcastle are singled out. Both are described as "very competent, quick and good with clients" and a bright future is predicted for Broderick.
Simon Wood, at Newcastle's Trinity Chambers, is noted for being "a very good pleader" as well as a "thoroughly nice man". And senior junior Mark Grenyer, at York Chambers, is said to be very competent.
On the circuit, Bruce McIntyre, Richard Craven and Catherine Foster, all from Plowden Buildings in London, are highly commended. Foster is said to be a "robust performer" after the recent vibration "white finger" British Coal cases and is considered one to watch.
St John Street in Manchester seems as good a location as any in the North West to find good junior counsel. At number 18, David Heaton is commended for his medical negligence plaintiff work. "He has a good understanding of complicated medical issues and an empathy with the clients," says one leading lawyer.
Further along, at number 28, James Rowley is also said to have "a good appreciation of medical negligence issues", and his fellow tenant Winston Hunter is also mentioned. Nick Hinchliffe, at number 9, is rated for his ability to turn papers around quickly. Patrick Field, at Deans Court Chambers, and Chris Melton, at Peel Court Chambers, complete the Manchester recommendations.
In Liverpool, Yaqub Rahman, at Peel House Chambers, is considered a promising defence counsel in medical negligence, and "stands clear of the competition" in the city. Adrian Lyon, at 14 Castle Street, is recommended as a very experienced personal injury barrister.
In Wales, senior juniors Lawrence Griffiths and Philip Marshall, at Iscoed Chambers in Swansea, are described as efficient and able, and Marshall is noted for his work in repetitive strain injury cases. Paul Thomas, at the same chambers, is called "a good all-rounder".
Gareth Jones, at 33 Park Place, and Lloyd Williams, at 30 Park Place in Cardiff, both receive a mention, while Peter Brooks at 9 Park Place is said to get straight to the point. Andrew Keyser at the same set is praised for his good analysis and advocacy skills.
In the South West, Glyn Edwards and Christopher Sharp, at St John's Chambers in Bristol, can celebrate being the most commended juniors in the region for their thorough paperwork and advocacy expertise. Ian Bullock, also at St John's, is similarly "good on his feet".
At Guildhall Chambers in Bristol, senior juniors Brian Watson, Peter Barrie and Ian Pringle are all mentioned. As counsel for plaintiffs Watson and Barrie are especially commended for "treating clients as equals – they don't patronise".
In the South East region, Anthony Coleman, at 17 Carlton Crescent in Southampton, is praised for his attention to detail. Finally, at East Anglian Chambers, the three Johns – Holt, Wardlow and Hamey – are held in high esteem.