One family law solicitor explains that because of the personal and subjective aspects involved in family law, solicitors in this area tend to return to the “tried and tested” counsel. This is the case for both leaders and juniors, as well as the chambers which are used.
Again it is mainly the sets wit the most frequently instructed silks which also house the up-and-coming juniors.
At Bedford Row Chambers, there is a whole raft of junior counsel singled out for mention, including senior junior Peter Duckworth “who con- tinues to deserve a well-respected reputation”, Howard Shaw, Neil Sanders, Philip Cayford, Nicholas Francis, who is “very able”, Ann Hussey, the “gutsy” Deborah Bangay, Robert Peel, and the more junior Brent Molyneux. The “very able senior junior” Lucy Stone has also made an impression. She gets many mentions and is said to be “very much in demand, and excellent in, all aspects of family law work”.
Another set with a number of outstanding baby barristers is 1 King's Bench Walk, with the “outstandingly numerate middle ranking junior” Lewis Marks rating numerous mentions, as do Suzanne Coates and Christopher Pocock.
Others in the set, including Deiniol Cellan-Jones, Charles Kemp, James Turner and Elizabeth Selman, are also mentioned. Andrew Macfarlane at the same set is an “excellent senior junior on both children and ancillary relief”.
At Mitre Court where a number are singled out as “impressive rising stars”: the “up and coming” Nigel Dyer; Valentine Le Grice, who is “steady and straightforward, has a good brain and is brilliant on his feet”; Philip Moor, who is “very efficient, pays attention to detail and is well-organised, which is vital”; the “excellent” Nicholas Mostyn; Catriona Murfitt; Charles Todd; Christopher Wood, who is “very thorough, and one to watch out for”; Nicholas Cusworth; Richard Todd; Rachel Platts; and Katharine Davidson, “who has a good grasp of international children matters”.
The up-and-coming junior counsel at Queen Elizabeth Building are Tim Amos, “excellent for complicated financial cases – he is fairly tough but very nice, you know that he is really going to take a case forward and he deals with things quite speedily”, along with “the very competent” Jennifer Roberts.
Fellow juniors Andrew Tidbury, Thomas Brudenell, Andrew Moylan, Roderick Blyth, Sarah Edwards, and David Bradly are also seen as distinguishing themselves in this area of practice.
At One Garden Court, Peter Nathan, Martin O'Dwyer, John Mitchell and Ellen Solomons are all on the leading practioners' lists and next door at 2 Garden Court, Markanza Cudby is given an honourable mention.
But it is not just the mainly family and matrimonial law sets which are seen as having the specialists.
For example, senior junior Henry Setright at 1 Gray's Inn Square is “one of the foremost barristers on child abduction cases – he usually does not need a leader”. Kharin Cox and Dermot Main-Thompson at the same set are also recommended. At 14 Gray's Inn Square, Sarah Forster, Samantha King and Kate Hudson are singled out.
David Balcombe at 1 Crown Office Row is “excellent on financial matters.” Diane Redgrave at Gray's Inn Chambers is “very sensible and down to earth, and a very good cross-examiner”.
The “underrated and overlooked” Jonathan Cohen at 4 Paper Buildings is “a very good advocate and the judges like him”, and Allen Dyer at 4 Pump Court is named too.
Charles Howard and Gail Carrodus at New Court Chambers were singled out by one leading practitioner as fulfilling the two requirements of “not being wimps, and able to be straightforward”, as is the underrated Jamie de Burgos at 36 Bedford Row.
At 22 Old Buildings, Stephen Cobb, Caroline Budden, Caroline Streets, Jonathan Bennett, Peter Horrocks and Michael Liebrecht are all good on public law childcare cases, as is Susan Shackleford at New Court Chambers, headed by Christian Bevington.