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United Kingdom > London Bar > International arbitration: counsel > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. International arbitration: counsel - Leading sets
  2. Leading Silks
  3. 2018 Silks
  4. 2019 Silks
  5. Leading Juniors

Leading Silks

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2018 Silks

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2019 Silks

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Leading Juniors

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Essex Court Chambers a 'go-to set for any general commercial or arbitration-related matters'. The chambers is praised for being 'commercial and strategic in approach' and 'typically team-oriented and user-friendly, including for non-UK clients'. The barristers are 'the cream of the crop' and few will quibble with the set's overall market-leading status. Members are well-versed in arbitrations across a range of jurisdictions, sectors, and disciplines, including insurance, infrastructure, BIT claims, and general commercial disputes. The set's barristers have been involved in several high-profile disputes, including Turkmenistan v National Iranian Gas Corporation in which Paul Key QC was lead counsel for the National Iranian Gas Corporation. Another highlight was Progas Energy Limited, Progas Holding Limited, and Sheffield Engineering Company Ltd v Republic of Pakistan, in which Dan Sarooshi QC faced David Foxton QC and Iain Quirk.

7 King's Bench Walk is an 'excellent set with some of the best legal minds' and contains a 'well-rounded mix of juniors and silks working at the highest standard' and who take a 'rigorous intellectual approach' to their instructions. Chambers is praised for its strength in depth, whereby 'if the barrister of choice is not available, there will likely be a quality alternative'. The set is a market leader when it comes to insurance and reinsurance disputes, but its members are also highly experienced in broader commercial arbitrations.

Atkin Chambers is the 'number one set for construction law' with some 'standout barristers' whose 'competence and experience is really what you need for complex and international disputes'. The set has a hugely impressive global reach, and members are extremely experienced acting on disputes in the Middle East and Asia. In Latin America, Manus McMullan QC successfully represented the Panama Canal Authority which received another award in its favour in December 2018 as part of its ongoing series of arbitrations with Grupo Unidos per el Canal.

Brick Court Chambers houses an excellent set of barristers, well-versed across a range of areas, including general commercial disputes and BIT claims. Members are involved in several significant disputes and Simon Salzedo QC was among four acting on FSDEA v dos Santos and others, in which they are representing the Angolan sovereign wealth fund in its pursuit to recover control of a $3bn fund from associates of the previous Angolan regime.

Fountain Court Chambers has 'many outstanding members at all stages of their careers' and when it comes to international arbitration, the set's members offer strong expertise across a range of disciplines. Members also have strong links to key arbitration centres such as Singapore. The set's barristers have been instructed on several major disputes, including Naftogaz v Gazprom, in which Alexander Milner is on the team representing Naftogaz. In the high-profile Maldives International Airport dispute, Bankim Thanki QC is representing GMR in a claim concerning the unlawful cancellation of the development project.

Keating Chambers is a 'go-to set' for construction and infrastructure-related arbitrations, and has 'barristers who are willing to work as part of a team and roll their sleeves up with the rest of us, which is much appreciated', according to solicitors, who also note chambers for having 'many barristers with experience in the Middle East'. Four members, led by Simon Hughes QC, are acting on a nuclear power plant-related dispute in the UAE, while a further five members, including David Thomas QC, are currently acting on either side of a major coal-fired power plant dispute in South Africa.

One Essex Court has an excellent reputation for international arbitration, and its clerking team is 'very efficient in finding appropriate barristers'. The set fields numerous top name silks and juniors with strong expertise in commercial arbitration and BIT claims. Recent highlights for members, such as John McCaughran QC and Nicholas Sloboda,  include successfully representing Israel Electric Corp, a defendant in East Mediterranean Gas v Egyptian General Petroleum Corp & Others. The set was recently boosted by the arrival of Alexander Gunning QC from 4 PUMP COURT.

Twenty Essex is 'especially good quality in international arbitration, public international law, and the international trade world'. The highly versatile set has a broad range of expertise, and members regularly handle major shipping, commodities, fraud, and BIT claims, as well as arbitration-related spin-off suits in the courts. Recent highlight cases include PL Holdings S.A.R.L and Republic of Poland in which Sara Masters QC led Belinda McRae  in a case that will consider the impact of the Achmea decision.

3 Verulam Buildings is praised for its 'mentality and ethos'. The set has built up an impressive roster of arbitration counsel over recent years, particularly at the more junior end. Recent highlight cases include Marfin Investment Group v Cyprus, where Ali Malek QCTariq Baloch and Mark Wassouf represented the claimants, and Anatolie Stati & (2) Gabriel Stati & (3) Ascom Group S.A. & (4) Terra Raf Trans Traiding Ltd v The Republic of Kazakhstan in which Malek and Christopher Harris QC represented Kazakhstan.

39 Essex Chambers has some 'outstanding and world-class advocates with a team-focused and goal-oriented approach'. The set has a good balance of barristers with expertise in infrastructure and insurance-related disputes. Recently, members such as Sean Wilken QC  have been involved in several major disputes in the energy sector, while Adrian Hughes QC is noted for his experience in Asia-based arbitrations.

4 PUMP COURT is home to a versatile group of highly rated barristers with strong expertise across a range of areas, including infrastructure, shipping, insurance, and general commercial. Members are very active in Asia and the Middle East, where several members, including Sean Brannigan QC and Rachel Ansell QC, are facing each other in a significant airport-relate dispute.

4 New Square is a 'set to watch' and 'clearly growing as a force in both public international law and international arbitration', according to instructing solicitors. The set is especially strong at the senior junior end, with several barristers who are making strong names for themselves, including Can Yeginsu who was lead counsel for Turkmenistan in the ICSID dispute SECE Insaat v Turkmenistan.

Blackstone Chambers is 'particularly strong in the mid and junior level silk bracket, with a number of strong individuals', says a source. The set's barristers are capable of handling a variety of disputes, including BIT claims, across a wide range of sectors. Notable mandates include $650m LCIA shareholder dispute concerning a Caribbean development project, in which Robert Howe QC was one of three members involved. Harish Salve is also known for his strong India-related expertise.

Crown Office Chambers is 'very much a coming force in international construction', with 'a handful of top international arbitrators and very strong senior advocates', according to clients. The chambers has a strong focus on the UAE and the Middle East, where the likes of Roger Ter Haar QC and Andrew Rigney QC are highly experienced, and members were involved in several major disputes concerning development projects within the region.

Quadrant Chambers is a popular choice for major arbitrations in the commodities, energy, maritime, and infrastructure sectors, and fields a strong cadre of experienced counsel and arbitrators. Members such as Simon Rainey QC and Luke Parsons QC have been involved in several significant disputes in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

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