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Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance (including consumer credit) – Leading sets
  2. Banking and finance (including consumer credit) – Leading silks
  3. Banking and finance (including consumer credit) – New silks
  4. Banking and finance (including consumer credit) – Leading juniors

Banking and finance (including consumer credit) – Leading silks

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Banking and finance (including consumer credit) – New silks

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Banking and finance (including consumer credit) – Leading juniors

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The growing complexity of banking litigation, and the increased need for specialist litigators and judges, was recognised in 2015 with the launch of the Financial List. This specialist court, aimed at the most complicated financial disputes, draws experienced judges from both the Chancery and the commercial divisions and guarantees that they will remain on the docket throughout the entire case. Several disputes have already made it onto the List and the development has been well received within London’s legal community. It reaffirms London’s position as the most reliable venue for resolving disputes of this nature, and confirms the more specialised direction banking disputes are taking. Banking and finance law is no longer open to part-timers, something reflected by the experience of the barristers ranked in this table.

An ‘easy-to-deal-with, friendly and commercial’ set, 3 Verulam Buildings is considered by some to be ‘the go to set for financial services litigation with outstanding senior counsel and a strong crop of juniors’. The departure of Sonia Tolaney QC and two juniors to One Essex Court and Laura John to Fountain Court Chambers was significant, but the set has more than enough highly regarded counsel to keep the market happy. Chambers has several barristers acting on different sides of the RBS rights issue litigation and also has members on both sides of Banco Santander Totta v Portuguese transport companies, the first case on the new Financial List.

Fountain Court Chambers is ‘a top-class set in every way’ and ‘the premier chambers for banking litigation’; ‘even if your preferred barrister is unavailable, you are always confident that any alternative will be excellent’. Members are involved in a steady stream of market-leading cases, including the RBS rights issue litigation, Property Alliance Group v RBS, and Deutsche Bank v Unitech. As well as some lateral hires on the commercial side, the investigatory practice was strengthened by the recent arrival of numerous counsel, including Richard Lissack QC from Outer Temple Chambers.

One Essex Court contains ‘a wide range of practitioners at all levels specialising in banking litigation, which allows for the structuring of strong and efficient teams with relevant expertise’. The banking and finance practice grew significantly following the arrival of three barristers from 3 Verulam Buildings, including highly rated silk Sonia Tolaney QC. Banco Santander Totta v Portuguese transport companies and Terra Firma v Citibank feature among chambers’ recent work highlights.

Blackstone Chambers has ‘an excellent reputation’ and is praised as ‘enormously strong in the FCA field, regarding both contentious and non-contentious matters’. Chambers has had several members involved in some of the banking sector’s most high-profile cases, including R (Holmcroft) v KPMG LLP and others, Libyan Investment Authority v Société Générale, and FCA Investigation v the London Whale.

Brick Court Chambers is a ‘leading set for commercial and banking disputes’. Members regularly act for both the claimants and the banks, and have taken lead roles in headline disputes such as Terra Firma v Citibank, Bank St Petersburg v Arkhangelsky, and Property Alliance Group v RBS.

Essex Court Chambers has a ‘very strong spread of barristers across the board’; ‘the intake is always of high quality and the silks are very user-friendly’. Members have been involved in several key cases – notably Barclays Bank v Unicredit and Lehman Waterfall part C – as well as several significant banking arbitrations.

South Square has ‘cornered the market with regards to structured finance disputes’ and provides much more than its undoubted expertise in insolvency. Major cases involving several silks and juniors include BNY Mellon v Taberna Europe and Landsbanki v UBS.

4 Stone Buildings is ‘an excellent set’, where ‘the barristers seem to share in the ethos that counsel should be approachable both in terms of legal advice and client relations’. Chambers contains some of the most active silks in this area, involved in blockbuster cases such as Libyan Investment Authority v Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank v Unitech.

20 Essex Street is a ‘first choice when looking for counsel in London’, particularly among foreign clients. Clients also praise the ‘responsive and thoughtful’ service. Members have taken lead roles on several significant cases including Libyan Investment Authority v Goldman Sachs.

All the barristers are very strong’ at Gough Square Chambers, which is praised as ‘very approachable, very receptive and promoting good client relationships’. The set is best known for its ‘unrivalled experience and expertise in consumer credit’.

Henderson Chambers is ‘one of the top, if not the top set for consumer credit and financial regulation’, with ‘excellent strength in depth and availability of counsel’. Members are highly recommended for contentious and non-contentious matters.

Maitland Chambers is ‘a really excellent set; the quality of the counsel is very high and the service they provide is second to none’. The set provides a strong blend of Chancery and commercial barristers and has been heavily involved in the Lehman Brothers client money litigation.

The service is first rate’ at Radcliffe Chambers, which remains very strong on regulatory and consumer credit matters. The arrival of Jeremy Cousins QC and Chris Boardman from the now-defunct 11 Stone Buildings, has added greater strength in general banking disputes.

Serle Court comes highly recommended for its expertise in commercial and Chancery-related banking disputes. Several members are involved in the RBS rights issue litigation, while other key mandates include Carlyle Capital v Conway and RBS v Dongbu Insurance.

XXIV Old Buildings is a popular choice, particularly for offshore-related banking disputes. Solicitors also appreciate that the set is ‘responsive to client needs’. Members appeared on opposing sides in First Newland Bank v The Winterbotham Trust Co.

4 Pump Court has made a strong push into banking and finance work in recent years. As well as acting on commercial banking cases, several members are particularly noted for their FCA-related advice.

7 King’s Bench Walk houses a selection of excellent silks with sterling reputations for advocacy work. Highlights included acting for RBS (and four directors) on the defence of shareholder claims arising from the 2008 rights issue.

Outer Temple Chambers is particularly noted for regulatory issues and bank investigations. Richard Lissack QC was among the team that recently departed for Fountain Court Chambers, but chambers’ offering of quality silks and juniors remains strong.

Wilberforce Chambers provides a strong combination of expertise in offshore and fraud-related banking disputes. The ranks were also strengthened by the arrival of several barristers from 11 Stone Buildings.

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