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Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation – Leading sets
  2. Commercial litigation – Leading silks
  3. Commercial litigation – 2017 silks
  4. Commercial litigation – 2018 silks
  5. Commercial litigation – Leading juniors
  6. Commercial litigation – Top ten under eight years’ call

Commercial litigation – Leading silks

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Commercial litigation – 2017 silks

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Commercial litigation – 2018 silks

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Commercial litigation – Leading juniors

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Commercial litigation – Top ten under eight years’ call

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Who Represents Who

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3 Verulam Buildings is β€˜a favourite go-to set for almost everything’ and has a β€˜great bench of commercial operators and good clerks’. Clients note the set is β€˜interested in building joint strategies for developing practice areas and clients, rather than just waiting for cases to be brought to them. A very modern and refreshing approach’. Members have been involved in several blockbuster cases, including Manning & Napier v Tesco, Vincent Tchenguiz v Grant Thornton, and Ryanair v Hertz Europe.

Brick Court Chambers is the β€˜thoroughbred stable of the commercial Bar’ and β€˜a top-rated set for very good reason’, thanks to its β€˜great array of experience in all types of commercial disputes’. The barristers are β€˜uniformly excellent’. The chambers is also commended for its clerks, who are β€˜responsive, knowledgeable and always happy to help’. The set has been involved in some of the largest trials of the past year, including Holyoake v Candy Brothers, Libyan Investment Authority v Societe Generale, and DP World v Republic of Djibouti.

SETS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

One Essex Court

One Essex Court is right at the very top of the commercial litigation market. Β Barristers here appear for a broad spectrum of parties in a significant amount of the major commercial litigation that passes through the UK Courts. Β From short procedural hearings and injunctions to large, complex trials, barristers at One Essex Court are sought after for their powerful intellects, market leading advocacy skills and β€˜commercial’ good judgment.

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Essex Court Chambers are a β€˜go to set for heavy duty litigation’ with a β€˜fantastic team, from the most senior QCs down to the youngest juniors’. Clients also praise β€˜the best clerks’ room in the City, they are sensible on rates’. Members could be found on a wide range of major energy, fraud, banking, and broader commercial disputes. Notable highlights included National Bank Trust v Yurov, Vincent Tchenguiz v Grant Thornton, and BAT v Sequana.

Fountain Court Chambers has β€˜great strength in depth and highly intelligent yet friendly members’, and is praised for its β€˜unfailingly good service’. The excellent pedigree of its senior and junior members was reflected in the quality of their caseload. Significant cases included Property Alliance Group v RBS, the RBS rights issue litigation, and Bluewaters Communications v Bayerische Landesbank, Bernie Ecclestone & Bambino Holdings.

One Essex Court is β€˜the pre-eminent commercial set’ where β€˜you know you will get people that are good’ as β€˜the strength in depth is exceptional’. Clients also note that the clerks are β€˜very approachable, with a can-do attitude’. Members were involved in a wide variety of major cases including crucial roles on either side of the RBS rights issue litigation. Other key mandates included Libyan Investment Authority v Societe Generale, and Fortress and others v BNP Paribas, and Golden Belt v BNP Paribas.

7 King's Bench Walk is a β€˜stellar set’, praised for its β€˜excellent strength in depth and expertise’ and is β€˜the go-to set for any insurance or commercial dispute’. Clients also praise the β€˜commercially oriented and very practical’ clerk’s room. Among the larger cases, the set had seven members acting on Single Buoy Mooring v Zurich, while PDVSA v PetroSaudi was another major highlight.

Blackstone Chambers is a β€˜first-rate’ commercial set and praised for being β€˜always keen to make the right people available even on short notice’. Clients also note the set is β€˜particularly adept at handling cases where they are on all sides, making effective use of Chinese walls’. Pound for pound it has some of the top barristers in the country, something reflected in the calibre of its cases. Highlights include Libyan Investment Authority v Societe Generale, Sabbath v Khoury and others, and VBFA v Segesta & Owen Oyston.

The β€˜intellectual calibre is outstanding’ at Maitland Chambers and clients report that the β€˜clerking team is great to deal with’. The set stands out for its strong commercial Chancery focus, including strong expertise in offshore and trusts. Highlight cases include BAT v Sequana, and JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov.

Serle Court is β€˜bursting with talent’ and able to β€˜provide a range and depth of counsel that means they are a go-to set for any commercial Chancery work’. Members have enjoyed plum roles on leading cases, including the RBS rights issue litigation, Carlyle Capital v Conway, and Glen v Watson, re Spartan Capital, which involved seven barristers from within chambers. The clerking team provides β€˜great client care and great attention to detail’.

4 Stone Buildings is β€˜a great set for commercial litigation, especially that related to company law’, and is noted for its β€˜good mix of seniors and juniors with genuine expertise’. The set’s commercial barristers enjoyed another active year with significant roles in Autonomy Corporation v Dr Michael Lynch, Robert Tchenguiz v Grant Thornton, and Haven Insurance v Gavin Edmondson Solicitors. The service from the clerks is β€˜proactive and collaborative’.

20 Essex Street has β€˜excellent commercial silks and juniors’, and while the set is β€˜historically known for shipping work, it has become a leading set in complex commercial litigation’. The set’s commercial offering was boosted by the arrival of Paul Lowenstein QC from 3 Verulam Buildings. Notable highlights include Retailers v MasterCard and Retailers v Visa, as well as Petrosaudi Oil Services v Novo Banco & PDVSA. Clients also note that β€˜the clerks are great to work with and extremely flexible in their approach’.

Erskine Chambers is β€˜simply the top set for company law matters’ and is also noted for its strong offering in complimentary areas such as insolvency and civil fraud. This has invariably led to a strong caseload in the increasingly grey area between the commercial and Chancery courts, notable examples including BAT v Sequana and BTA Bank v Khrapunov.

Quadrant Chambers is a β€˜go-to chambers due to the quality of the members, the set’s specialism in marine/insurance litigation, as well as its commercial approach to litigation’. The chambers is sailing far beyond its traditional shipping horizons thanks to a string of new recruits, including Paul Downes QC and a team of juniors from 2TG – 2 Temple Gardens, who came onboard in 2018. Clients also appreciate the chamber’s β€˜responsiveness and willingness to be sensible regarding fees’.

South Square is a β€˜solid and reliable’ commercial set with β€˜a lot of technical expertise’. While its insolvency work might capture the headlines, members have played prominent roles in cases that stretch beyond this, notably Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi v SAAD, Primeo v HSBC, Tchenguiz v Grant Thornton, and Bluewaters Communications v Bayerische Landesbank, Bernie Ecclestone & Bambino Holdings.

Wilberforce Chambers is β€˜undoubtedly a leading set with great strength in depth’, where traditional areas of expertise, such as offshore work, compliment the set’s increasingly commercial focus. Members have been involved in several major cases, including Sabbagh v Khoury, PCP v Barclays Bank and Abela v Baadarani. Clients praise the β€˜responsive, helpful, and excellent’ clerk’s room.

XXIV Old Buildings is praised for its β€˜strength and depth in numbers of counsel’. Its traditional strengths in Chancery and offshore work have increasingly seeped into the world of big ticket commercial litigation. Carlyle Capital v Conway, Arcadia v Bosworth, and Al Sadik v Investcorp, each required the expertise of multiple barristers within chambers.

4 New Square is a new entry having made strong strides into the world of general commercial litigation. The set is β€˜clearly rising, with real strength-in-depth and an excellent balance between heavyweight and well-established QCs and rising stars’.

4 Pump Court β€˜rivals its most costly competitor sets with a good bench of QCs and juniors’. A major highlight has been successfully representing the claimants in the Golden Belt litigation against BNP Paribas. The clerking team is also praised for giving β€˜honest and transparent information on cost and availability’.

Littleton Chambers’ β€˜high-quality’ barristers are β€˜well prepared and easy to speak to’ and possess β€˜excellent knowledge of the law but are also very commercial and strategic’. The set’s members have been involved in several cutting edge disputes, notably BTA Bank v Ablyazov & Khrapunov.

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