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United Kingdom > London Bar > Commodities > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Commodities - Leading sets
  2. Leading Silks
  3. 2018 Silks
  4. 2019 Silks
  5. Leading Juniors

Commodities - Leading sets

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Leading Silks

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    • Steven Berry QC - Essex Court ChambersA reliable advocate for insurance, shipping, banking and commodities cases.
    • Nigel Eaton QC - Essex Court ChambersOne of the cleverest barristers at the commercial Bar, he offers superb clarity and can be trusted to give reliable guidance.
    • Peter MacDonald Eggers QC - 7 King's Bench WalkResponsive, level-headed and thorough in his work.
    • Timothy Hill QC - Twenty EssexOne of the "go-to" guys when you want someone punchy and aggressive; user-friendly and always willing to go the extra mile.
    • Chirag Karia QC - Quadrant ChambersA leading legal mind, he always seems to take the right points and is an excellent counsel for complex and high-pressure disputes.
    • Dominic Kendrick QC - 7 King's Bench WalkUser-friendly, experienced and knowledgeable.
    • David Lewis QC - Twenty EssexA leader in his field who is destined for the top; he has an encyclopaedic knowledge of case law and exceptional advocacy skills.
    • Sean O’Sullivan QC - 4 Pump CourtA good tactician, subtle, analytical and charming, he is one of the very best in the field.
    • Luke Parsons QC - Quadrant ChambersA delight to work with, he has great technical knowledge and a practical approach.
    • John Russell QC - Quadrant ChambersExceptionally commercial and pragmatic and skilled in cross-examinations, he is excellent on his feet.
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    • Guy Blackwood QC - Quadrant ChambersRecommended for metals and mining matters, he is trusted with GAFTA appeals.
    • Julian Kenny QC - Twenty EssexVery clever, very intellectual.
    • Thomas Macey-Dare QC - Quadrant ChambersRecommended for complex shipping, international trade and insurance matters.
    • Michael Nolan QC - Quadrant ChambersAn effective and meticulous advocate.
    • Nathan Pillow QC - Essex Court ChambersFormidable and unflappable, good to work with.

2018 Silks

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2019 Silks

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Leading Juniors

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    • Stewart Buckingham - Quadrant ChambersStraightforward, calm and user-friendly, he is never intimidated and puts his points forcefully.
    • Henry Byam-Cook - Twenty EssexCool, calm, collected and an absolute pleasure to work with; his work is comparable to, if not better than, many QCs.
    • Charles Debattista - The 36 GroupExtremely knowledgeable with good insight into cases involving a crossover between commodities and shipping.
    • Charles Priday - 7 King's Bench WalkVery careful, detailed and accurate in his analysis of issues.
    • Richard Sarll - 7 King's Bench WalkA strong player in international trade, shipping and commodities.
    • Jessica Sutherland - 7 King's Bench WalkVery smart, completely reliable, sharp and efficient - you know she has played devil’s advocate in respect of every single angle.
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    • Ravi Aswani - The 36 GroupA rising star who is both intelligent and user-friendly.
    • Clara Benn - 7 King's Bench WalkA genuine star of the future, very intelligent, diligent, personable and sensible with a fluent drafting style.
    • Daniel Bovensiepen - Twenty EssexA cerebral advocate.
    • Oliver Caplin - Twenty EssexTotally unflappable, he can stand up against anyone and appears far more experienced than his years of call; first-class in high-value oil trading cases.
    • Benjamin Coffer - Quadrant ChambersHis response times are exceptional and he has a calm and considered approach to urgent and legally difficult questions.
    • Sandra Healy - 7 King's Bench WalkShe has matured into an extremely sharp, thorough and practical lawyer, and her work rate is exceptional.
    • Malcolm Jarvis - Twenty EssexA good team member who is willing to roll up his sleeves up and help solicitors to achieve the right result for the client.
    • Mark Jones - The 36 GroupExperienced in shipping and commodities disputes.
    • Susannah Jones - Twenty EssexShe is thorough, has a tremendous eye for detail and can be relied on to know her brief inside out.
    • Angharad Parry - Twenty EssexShe has an incisive mind, gives clear and concise advice and looks for the solution rather than just the problem.
    • Luke Pearce - Twenty EssexVery strong, very user-friendly, he knows his stuff and gets to grips with the issues quickly.
    • Philip Riches - Twenty EssexEfficient, diligent and intelligent, he is thorough and detailed with a no-nonsense style.
    • Paul Toms - Quadrant ChambersA barrister of intellect and mature judgement - a person befitting his profession.
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    • Tom Bird - Quadrant ChambersA calm and sound strategic mind matched with a sympathetic approach to the underlying commercial issues.
    • Thomas Corby - Twenty EssexA rising star who will undoubtedly take silk, he is clever, reassuring and user-friendly with a sharp legal mind.
    • Max Davidson - Quadrant ChambersExtremely thorough, well-reasoned, persuasive and articulate, he is always quick to respond and enthusiastic.
    • Josephine Davies - Twenty EssexPrecise in her work and excellent in technical matters, she is also straightforward and pleasant to work with.
    • Ben Gardner - Quadrant ChambersA very capable junior with an exceptional understanding of both the commercial and legal aspects of a case.
    • Colleen Hanley - Twenty EssexAn extremely thorough and skilful advocate; nothing fazes her.
    • Dominic Happé - The 36 GroupA stylish advocate.
    • Paul Henton - Quadrant ChambersQuick to respond, clear, bright and to the point.
    • Charles Holroyd - 7 King's Bench WalkStrong in shipping and international trade.
    • Marcus Mander - 7 King's Bench WalkWell respected, fiercely bright and hardworking.
    • Simon Milnes - Twenty EssexA very bright and commercially astute barrister who gets to the point quickly.
    • Ben Olbourne - 39 Essex ChambersA skilled advocate and arbitrator in high-value and complex international commercial disputes.
    • Sean Snook - Twenty EssexHe has a good understanding of the sugar world and brings a lot of commercial cleverness to cases.
    • David Walsh - Essex Court ChambersVery bright, responsive and user-friendly, he connects well with clients and provides clear, digestible advice.

Twenty Essex is ‘still the standout set for commodities matters’ and clients note that is has 'some real quality among its members, both silks and juniors'. One remarks that 'the clerks are helpful, commercially flexible and responsive'. The set combines great depth in shipping matters with in-depth knowledge of commodities trading across a broad range of soft commodities, oil, coal, gas, and metals. Co-head of chambers Duncan Matthews QC has more than 30 years' experience in this field and he successfully appeared for the claimant in Euro-Asian Oil SA v Credit Suisse AG, in which the Court of Appeal upheld a $15m award arising from a dispute concerning a contract to buy oil. Highly regarded senior-junior Henry Byam-Cook defended oil and gas company OMV in claims brought in the Commercial Court by Glencore.

7 King's Bench Walk is 'an excellent set with some of the best legal minds', remarks a client who sees it as 'our first choice set for shipping, commodities and insurance-related arbitration work'. Another notes that 'the end-to-end service is unparalleled and the clerks ensure availability – you are safe in the knowledge that they have not left a stone unturned'. Robert Bright QC is one of the best-known silks in the commodities sector and in 2018, along with Marcus Mander, Clara Benn and other members, he acted for ING/OW Bunkers in arbitration claims following a landmark Supreme Court decision from 2016. In ED&F Man Sugar v Royal and Sun AlliancePeter MacDonald Eggers QC is currently handling a US$19m claim for lost or damaged sugar which had been stored in a warehouse in Ghana.

'I consider it to be the best shipping and trading set', remarks a client of Quadrant Chambers who adds that 'frankly the range of talent available is now so good it is very strong set in terms of maritime law and commodity trade disputes, particularly at the junior end'. Clients also note that 'the clerks are responsive and helpful; they give an excellent service in terms of speed of response and finding suitable counsel whenever required'. Simon Rainey QC, who frequently handles appeals following commodity arbitration awards by trade bodies such as GAFTA and FOSFA, represented Sucden Financial in a landmark appeal in the Commercial Court regarding the standard governing the sale and carriage of sugar. Respected junior Stewart Buckingham handled a large matter concerning the quality and condition of soybeans sold to buyers in Iran.

Essex Court Chambers is 'the pre-eminent set in international arbitration, shipping and commodities', according to one client who remarks that 'the quality of their barristers is unrivalled'. Another notes that it has 'a number of very good and user-friendly barristers for complex high-value commercial disputes' and that 'the clerking is really helpful, responsive, accommodating and flexible'. Graham Dunning QC acted as lead counsel in a Commercial Court trial and ensuing appeal between Citibank and Mercuria regarding obligated repos in respect of allegedly missing metal in China. Experienced junior David Walsh joined from Quadrant Chambers in 2018.

36 Stone, part of The 36 Group, is a dedicated commodities, shipping and international trade set. Its members have extensive experience in matters relating to shipping and commodities contracts in the civil and criminal courts, arbitrations, inquiries and other tribunals in the UK and overseas. It has highly regarded specialists including international trade and commodities specialist Vasanti Selvaratnam QC, who acted for a respondent Malaysian Bank in Deutsche Bank AG v CIMB Bank Berhad, which concerned discrepancies in documents in a commodity transaction. Highly experienced junior Charles Debattista practices in commodities, dry shipping and international trade disputes, both as counsel and as arbitrator. Ravi Aswani frequently handles the physical and paper elements of commodities transactions, and has experience in arbitrations before specialist trade bodies including GAFTA and FOSFA.

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