Formal professional negligence Bar as such

Although a number of practitioners commented that they doubted whether there was a "formal professional negligence Bar as such", with recommendations spanning commercial, chancery and even family counsel, the names are very much horses for courses.

What leading practitioners are looking for is a realistic assessment at an early stage, and whether it ties in with and backs up their view or provides a different line, the advice work should be carried out quickly and must be clear.

This list is not exhaustive but is based on the subjective recommendations of leading professional negligence and professional indemnity practitioners.

At 2 Crown Office Row, the head of chambers Rupert Jackson QC and John Powell QC "literally wrote the book". Jackson in particular has "consummate advocacy skills combined with immense intell- ectual depth", and Powell has "gone from strength to strength as a silk".

At the same set, Roger Toulson QC is one of the most frequently recommended, and those recommendations have been followed by rumours of official approval and a move to the bench in the near future.

Justin Fenwick QC is a "masterful tactician and intellectual lawyer", and Michael Brooke QC is "calm and unruffled in the face of any storm, and is commercial, persuasive and effective". And "a recent silk who has earned his spurs the hard way" is Christopher Gibson QC.

Ian Holtum is "robust" and Roger Stewart is an "excellent draftsman"; Paul Parker is "a young Turk and prepares excellent pleadings". And Simon Monty is "careful and studious, quickly gets to the heart of the problem".

At "the other" 2 Crown Office Row, headed by Raymond Kidwell QC, the chambers head, Michael Harvey QC, is "extremely knowledgeable" in this area.

At 4 Paper Buildings, headed by Harvey McGregor QC, Nicholas Davidson QC, who is deputy chair of the Professional Negligence Bar Association, is a "leading specialist in solicitors professional indemnity and financial services".

Michael Pooles is "excellent, gives clear realistic advice and is good on paper and very good on his feet"; Anthony de Freitas can be "relied on to dig you out of a very big hole, and is well-known for his knowledge on agricultural matters".

Patrick Lawrence, at the same set, is "very cool on his feet and has a very good eye for detail".

At Brick Court Chambers, senior junior Stephen Ruttle "continues to impress".

Also recommended and regularly instructed on insurance matters and professional indemnity generally are Bruce Mauleverer QC who is also "top of the list for construction", Anthony Temple QC and Christopher Moger QC, all at 4 Pump Court.

Others at the set singled out for mention include Oliver Ticciati, "a senior junior well worth a mention as an extremely bright, robust and capable junior", Nigel Tozzi, David Friedman QC and David Blunt.

Peter Hamilton has been noted by one practitioner as being something of a rarity as he is as often instructed for the plaintiff as the defendant.

Robert Seabrook QC's set at 1 Crown Office Row was also praised because it is "clerked so well"; Philip Vallance QC in those chambers is a "clever and intelligent thinker", good on construction, as are Paul Rees and Guy Mansfield QC.

Others recommended for construction include John Slater QC at One Paper Buildings. At 2 Temple Gardens, headed by Patrick Phillips QC, Patrick Twigg QC is singled out and Robert Moxon Browne QC "has made a huge impression", as has Andrew Collender QC, and Jeremy Stuart-Smith, although "still a junior, should be a leader".

Another "good set" is Robert Nelson QC's set at 1 Paper Buildings, where John Slater QC and Andrew Bartlett QC are "very good", and others given an honourable mention include Colin Nixon and James Medd.