Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Asia Pacific: The English Bar

Asia Pacific: The English Bar > Market overview > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Market overview clients in Asia Pacific: The English Bar using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The popularity of English law as a governing legal system for transnational commercial deals has meant that the English Bar is a popular choice for Asian businesses and law firms involved in international arbitration. Shipping is a core area of work, in part due to English law being the de facto international standard for shipbuilding agreements. Other areas of work include construction disputes, financial services matters and energy issues.

Singapore is, for many, the key hub for arbitration in Asia. Some of England’s leading sets have opened satellite offices in Singapore, although few barristers are permanently based there. Further north, Kuala Lumpur is seeking to be a leader in the region, partially competing on cost.

Hong Kong is another key jurisdiction, where the closeness to China makes it a popular arbitral venue for disputes between Chinese and non-Chinese parties. Mainland China is becoming increasingly accepted as a venue for international arbitration, with China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) leading and the Shanghai International Arbitration Centre and Beijing Arbitration Commission growing in prominence. In a separate ecosystem, many elite criminal barristers gain instructions in the region, either for strategic-level advice or representation in Hong Kong financial crime trials, where London silks can be instructed in exceptional cases.

2 Bedford Row is a preferred chambers for white-collar crime’ with a growing international workload. The clerks are proactive and helpful’, with senior clerk John Grimmer particularly so’.

3 Verulam Buildings is a leading set with good people at all levels’. Chambers has particular strength in India disputes and financial services-related work. The clerks are flexible, friendly and sensible’; Stephen Penson is a key contact.

4 Pump Court is not only a good choice for construction and energy disputes, but also equally capable of handling commercial cases involving complex legal issues’. It has a notable strength in the Sinosphere and a presence in Hong Kong through links with Arbitration Chambers Hong Kong. Chief Executive Carolyn McCombe is highly efficient and able to recommend the best fit for the client’s case’, and Carl Wall (who leads the clerking team alongside Stewart Gibbs) provides great help for law firms based outside the UK’.

5 Paper Buildings’ Jonathan Caplan QC defends in Hong Kong fraud trials but also has experience handling Singapore cases. Dale Jones is chambers’ senior clerk.

6KBW College Hill’s David Perry QC has been active prosecuting in serious Hong Kong fraud cases. Andrew Barnes is chambers’ senior clerk.

7BR’s Collingwood Thompson QC has experience in legal professional privilege and financial regulation matters in Hong Kong. On the administrative side, joint senior clerks Paul Eeles and Rod McGurk are key contacts, alongside chief executive Rachel Holmes.

7 King's Bench Walk’s particular strengths include insurance, commodities and shipping disputes. The joint senior clerks are Bernie Hyatt and Greg Leyden, with practice development and marketing manager Brian Lee also a key contact.

20 Essex Street is best known for its strengths in commodities, commercial and shipping disputes. Head of practice support Rachel Foxton is well known in Singapore’s international arbitration circles’, and senior clerk Neil Palmer is stands out for quality of service, approachability and commercial nous’.

At 39 Essex Chambers, Asian clients feel valued on the basis that the set has invested in the region through establishing Singapore and Kuala Lumpur offices’. Chambers has a broad practice, spanning the full spectrum of international arbitration, with members acting as both arbitrators and counsel. CEO David Barnes and Malaysia-based Director of Asian Business Roderick Noble are singled out for praise.

Particularly well regarded for construction matters, Atkin Chambers’ members appear in arbitrations worldwide. In the clerks’ room, senior clerk Justin Wilson is extremely responsive and easy to work with’.

Blackstone Chambers has a particular strength in India-related disputes. Chambers includes Harish Salve SA, an Indian senior advocate, as a door tenant. The key contacts are senior clerk Gary Oliver, chambers director Julia Hornor and deputy chambers director Mat Swallow.

Brick Court Chambers’ Charles Hollander QC was admitted to the Bar of Hong Kong in 2015, where he also practices out of Temple Chambers. Ian Moyler and Julian Hawes are the joint senior clerks.

Boutique criminal set Cloth Fair Chambers’ members are regularly instructed in top-grade white-collar crime matters, including in Hong Kong. Senior clerk Nick Newman is a key contact.

Doughty Street Chambers has a strong reputation for international criminal law. Key criminal clerks include business development director Maurice MacSweeney and team leader Tom Street.

Essex Court Chambers includes counsel with Asia-focused international arbitration practices spanning shipping, energy, construction and investment treaty matters. A number of members spend significant amounts of time in Singapore, where chambers has an annexe.

Fountain Court Chambers is well connected’ in the Singapore market, where it has been active since the 1980s and opened an annexe in 2014. Work includes a range of commercial arbitrations, often touching on financial services, insurance and civil fraud. Caroline McConnon is the key contact in Singapore, while Alex Taylor is chambers’ senior clerk in London.

Keating Chambers’ strong reputation for construction in London penetrates out to arbitration work in the Asia Pacific region and beyond. Director of clerking Declan Redmond always recommends the right barrister for the job’.

Regarded as one of London’s leading sets for financial and international crime, Matrix Chambers includes a number of silks with strong Hong Kong practices. Chief executive Lindsay Scott and practice manager Paul Venables are key contacts.

Monckton Chambers’ Thomas Sebastian, who practised as a member of the Indian bar for over a decade before qualifying in London in 2012, advises on international trade matters. David Hockney is the senior clerk.

Well known for international commercial arbitration, One Essex Court opened its Singapore office in 2012. Darren Burrows is the senior clerk in London, while Kelly Lim is the key administrative contact in Maxwell Chambers.

Quadrant Chambers has a leading reputation for shipping and commodities, with its members regularly instructed directly by Asian law firms. While dry shipping makes up a core part of the practice, it retains a strength in wet shipping work, with some members having been admitted ad hoc to the Hong Kong Bar for such cases. Simon Slattery and Gary Ventura are the joint senior clerks.

St Philips Stone Chambers was formed in August 2016 when London shipping set Stone Chambers merged with St Philips Chambers, a major player in the English regions. Dan Tan of Dan Tan Law joined as an associate member shortly before the merger.

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • New requirement for all issuers operating on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange

    On 10 August 2017 the Luxembourg Stock Exchange announced that all domestic and foreign issuers operating on the regulated market (Bourse de Luxembourg) or on the multilateral trading facility (Euro MTF) of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange must provide their legal entity identifier (“LEI ”) codes to the Luxembourg Stock Exchange before 15 September 2017.
  • Luxembourg law on the exploration and use of space resources entered into force

    The Luxembourg law on the exploration and use of space resources of 20 July 2017 entered into force on 2 August 2017 and placed Luxembourg among the most innovative space-oriented nations in the world.
  • VAT in the GCC – Q&A updates from the UAE Ministry of Finance

    On 9 July the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Finance (MOF) published an update of the Value Added Tax (VAT) FAQ section of its website.
  • PRIIPs KID: The final pieces of the puzzle

    The pieces of the puzzle are finally falling into place. The long-awaited level 3 and 4 measures have been published earlier this week, half a year before the PRIIPs KID becomes compulsory.
  • MiFID II: Further guidance on product governance requirements

    Amongst the numerous topics covered by the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II), the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has decided to provide further guidance on the requirements regarding product governance through its guidelines dated 2 June 2017 which focus on the target market assessment by manufacturers and distributors of financial products.     
  • Arendt & Medernach is again the “Luxembourg Tax Firm of the Year”

    The partners of Arendt & Medernach are pleased to announce that their firm has been awarded once again the prestigious “Luxembourg Tax Firm of the Year” title during the International Tax Review’s European Tax Awards ceremony held at the Savoy Hotel in London on 18 May.
  • Signature of the Multilateral instrument – reservations made by Luxembourg

    On 7 June 2017, the official ceremony for the signing of the multilateral instrument (“MLI”) took place bringing to a close a process initiated last year when a consensus was reached on the wording of the MLI on 24 November 2016 (see also our newsflash dated 2 December 2016, available on our website section Publications/Newsflash).
  • Arendt & Medernach: Luxembourg Law Firm of the Year

    Luxembourg, May 2017 – Arendt & Medernach is proud to have been named “Luxembourg Law firm of the year” both by Chambers & Partners and IFLR (International Financial Law Review). The prestigious trophies were both received in April in London at the respective ceremonies of the Chambers Europe Awards 2017 and the IFLR European Awards 2017.
  • First VAT EU case law on the cost-sharing VAT exemption

    The question of the scope of the cost-sharing VAT exemption, also referred to in the Council Directive 2006/112/EC of 28 November 2006 as amended ("EU VAT Directive") as “Independent Groups of Persons” or “IGPs”, is currently being debated at the Court of Justice of the EU (“CJEU”) in several cases. Last Thursday marked the first milestone regarding this specific VAT exemption since the CJEU released its judgment in the case Commission v Luxembourg (C-274/15).
  • An Introduction to Corporate Guarantee

    In the UAE, the risk management activities inherent in running a corporate or investment banking business remain of crucial importance, not least because of the strong local characteristic of “name lending”, by which is meant lending or providing other banking facilities to family or other private businesses, primarily on the strength of the “name” or “names” of the proprietors standing behind the business, rather than on the strength of the asset quality and underlying credit of the particular business. Of course, in practice, there is commercial overlap between the proprietors and the companies which they own, but the credit analyses can break down where poor banking practices and procedures result in poorly constructed legal documentation and gaps in guarantee and security support documents.

Press Releases worldwide

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to