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Thanks to its strength in depth of ‘knowledgable, technically excellent’ and ‘first-class’ counsel, the ‘top notch’ 1 Chancery Lane is recommended across the civil common law spectrum, including personal injury, clinical negligence, professional negligence, police and travel law, among other areas. Additionally, some say it has become the ‘go-to set’ for ‘London-based abuse work’ and for ‘novel duty of care and local authority work’. ‘Leading by example’, senior clerk Clark Chessis is ‘an integral part of chambers and its smooth operation’, and with highly rated first junior David Barrow he runs, what is to some, ‘the best and most personable clerks’ room’ in London and which ‘tries to make your life easier.’ Offices in: London

A ‘first-choice’ chambers – ‘especially in a crisis’ – 1 Crown Office Row has ‘little competition when it comes to the strength of its set’. Offering ‘impressive counsel at all levels of seniority’, the set’s members produce ‘excellent quality work that is thorough and on time’. It remains a ‘go-to for clinical negligence’ and continues to gain plaudits for its regulatory and public law and work. Offering a ‘huge array of talent’, solicitors ‘always know that if you call up looking for counsel, you are likely to be offered someone perfect for the job’, or as one firm put it, chambers is ‘so good you take them for granted’. Under the ‘inimitable guidance’ of ‘first-rate’ senior clerk Matthew Phipps in London, the ‘approachable, cooperative and dependable’ clerks’ room understands how ‘even the smallest requests mean something’ as it ‘goes out of its way to make you feel welcome and valued’; the clerking team is ‘definitely the benchmark for other sets’. First juniors John Mclaren and Andrew Tull come highly recommended and ‘get you what you want without breaking a sweat’. Having risen through the ranks, third junior Chloe Turvill ‘stands out’ as ‘a very safe pair of hands’ and ‘a highly reliable, astute clerk’. The set also benefits from its Brighton annex where its members have expertise across a broad spectrum of specialisms, including commercial, banking and Chancery, as well as crime, employment and family matters. David Bingham is the senior clerk in Birmingham and Andrew Meyler is chambers director. Offices in: London, Brighton.

With strength across commercial and Chancery disputes, 1 Essex Courtalso has expertise in employment and regulatory law matters. Ian Hogg is chambers’ senior clerk. Billy Gander joined the set as junior clerk in June 2018. Offices in: London

In ‘a class of its own’, 1GC | Family Law is ‘renowned for its expertise in child care law work’, but the size of the set, and its ‘well-rounded barristers’, means it has ‘an extensive knowledgebase in all aspects of family law’, including finance matters. According to some, 1GC ‘is a breath of fresh air’, compared to other heavyweight chambers. ‘From their real baby juniors to QCs, the quality of work they produce is fantastic. They are clearly led by some excellent heads of chambers and silks whose work ethic, ethos and attitude has rubbed off on all junior tenants.’ Senior clerk Paul Harris has had big shoes to fill following Howard Rayner’s departure to Queen Elizabeth Building (QEB), but according to solicitors he has risen to the challenge. He is ‘a fantastic leader’, ‘one of the best clerks in London’ and ‘runs a tight ship’. First junior David McDonald has joined from the now closed 2-3 Hind Court. Meanwhile, practice manager Austen Soper is ‘a natural talent’ and is ‘developing into a senior clerk of the future’. Collectively, the clerks’ room works ‘cohesively and proactively’ to ‘inspire confidence’ for both instructing solicitors and clients. ‘Nothing is ever too much trouble’ for clerks who are ‘honest, approachable and hardworking’. The set has relocated to new modern surroundings at 10 Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Offices in: London

The ‘pre-eminent divorce and finance set in the country’, 1 Hare Court offers ‘a total Rolls Royce experience from first call to the conclusion of a case’, meaning ‘you can be confident in the knowledge that if you instruct one of its barrister, you will receive excellence’. It has ‘some exceptionally astute juniors, and are more flexible on price at the QC end’. The calibre of its members is matched by the ‘professionalism, efficiency and charm’ of ‘one of the best’ clerking teams in the market. The ‘faultless’ clerking operation is led by ‘exceptional’ senior clerk Steve McCrone, ‘fantastic’ first junior Michael Lay and ‘star’ second junior Daniel Barnett, all of whom ‘can be relied upon to help facilitate the best possible outcome’ for clients. Overall, the clerks are ‘responsive, efficient, reliable and trustworthy’. ‘There is a strong sense of teamwork among the clerks’; ‘Most of all, the experience of working with them is genuinely enjoyable.’ A special mention goes to the ‘refreshingly good’ Grant Walker who holds chambers’ front of house role and is ‘very helpful in emergencies’. Offices in: London

Known for having ‘many of the brightest juniors’ and ‘rising silks’ at the family Bar, 1 King's Bench Walk is ‘the first port of call’ for both complicated children and finance cases. Solicitors know that ‘even if their favourite counsel is not available the alternatives offered will be of the highest calibre, be meticulously well prepared and will not disappoint’; ‘a wide variety of styles and personalities are on offer but all have a consistently high level of intellect and expertise’. The clerks’ room has weathered the retirement of David Dear very well. New senior clerk Chris Gittins runs ‘one of the best clerking teams around’ and which is described as ‘experienced, extremely helpful and sympathetic’. Deputy senior clerk Mark Betts, along with Nicola Cade, and Tim Madden, ‘continues to provide an excellent service to solicitors, always reliable and helpful so that they really are a pleasure to deal with’. Chris Young is also praised for ‘always going the extra mile’. Offices in: London

Common law chambers 1MCB has ‘a wealth of talented individuals’ providing ‘a very well-rounded employment offering’, and for some it is ‘the first port of call’ for crime and public law work. ‘The barristers are extremely passionate about their work, however "mundane" the case may appear; they do the absolute maximum for the client rather than worrying about their own reputations.’ The clerk’s room, under the leadership of Adam Brosnan (senior criminal clerk) and Sophia Carter (senior civil clerk), ‘strives to provide excellent customer service’. Collectively, the ‘smooth’ and ‘knowledgeable’ clerking team is ‘quick and efficient; always return calls and emails’ and ‘will move counsels’ diaries around at short notice to accommodate the vast majority of requests’. Offices in: London

Demonstrating real strength in depth, 2 Bedford Row is ‘one of the most respected and established criminal sets’ in the country and is able to take on the most serious of cases. However, it is also particularly strong in regulatory and health and safety matters thanks to its ‘A-list collection’ of advocates. In a significant move Richard Kovalevsky QC left the independent Bar to join Stewarts Law LLP. Meanwhile, the service of the clerks’ room is ‘excellent’ with all clerks going out of their way to accommodate solicitors and keeping ‘the best interests of clients’ in mind. ‘Exceptionally experienced’ senior clerk John Grimmer ‘continues to excel and run a very professional set, which he does with aplomb’. Grimmer ‘has set a high standard for a very long time’ and clerks Paul Rodgers and Lee Bartlett are ‘following in the same mould’. The ‘spot on’ Bartlett and Joe Martin are ‘very honest and genuine’ about which barrister to instruct. Junior clerk Harry Potter is singled out as being ‘polite, engaging and an effective communicator’. Offices in: London

A ‘first-class’ crime set, 2 Hare Court ‘will not let you down’. The breadth of experience of counsel ‘means they can assist with simply anything’ and, to some, it is the ‘first port of call, especially when looking to instruct capable and polished juniors’. In addition, chambers’ ‘knowledge in indirect tax evasion is second to none’. Its members are said to ‘precisely identify the difficulties found in a matter and provide a strategic pathway to success’ in general crime, fraud and regulatory issues. The clerks are ‘some of the most open and approachable in the profession’. Director of clerking Julian Campbell and senior practice clerk Ben Heaviside ‘get the job done’ by ‘working fantastically as a team to ensure the smooth running of both chambers and cases’. Heaviside is ‘one of the best clerks in the industry’ and resolves problem in ‘an efficient, professional and productive manner’; ‘there are not many clerks who take such an active approach and take such interest in each matter’. Meanwhile, practice clerk Tara Shah is ‘extremely organised, always happy to help and quick to answer any queries’. ‘It is a first-class set from beginning to end and they never let you down.’ Offices in: London

‘High on quality and successfully punching above its weight’, the ‘increasingly in-demand’ 2TG – 2 Temple Gardens has ‘good strength in depth’ for clinical negligence and travel and cross border work. ‘Always delivering a first-class service’, it is a ‘go-to chambers for insurance-related disputes’ and has ‘a suitable barrister for each individual case on which assistance is required’. It also has experience in the niche area of property damage disputes. ‘Impressive’ senior clerk Lee Tyler, who ‘is always only too willing to help’, guides a clerking team that is ‘always on hand to assist’ and ‘never holds back if they feel they can assist their instructing solicitors and insurer clients in any way’; they reflect ‘a rightly assured "old school" and genteel style of clerking, for which there is a lot to be said’. ‘Excellent’ joint first junior clerks Billy Hammonds (‘very helpful and provide a quick response to enquiries’) and Leanne Taylor, (‘efficient, responsive and always a pleasure to deal with’) are also worthy of note. Offices in: London

‘One of the foremost sets in travel law’, and with ‘a seemingly endless depth of well-trained, able juniors added every year’, the ‘standout’ 3 Hare Court also offers ‘quality and depth of experience’ in relation to commercial litigation, fraud and insolvency cases, and places ‘an extremely important emphasis on delivering client service’. Members ‘routinely feature in notable and important cases, breaking new ground and setting precedents’, and ‘conduct complex and heavyweight litigation’. The ‘superb’ clerks’ room is headed up by the ‘delightful’ and ‘charming’ senior clerk James Donovan, who ‘knows his barristers - their strengths and weaknesses - inside out’ and ‘is interested in building lasting working relationships rather than short-term profits’. Chambers ‘really seems to be going places’ under Donovan’s guidance, and he is ably assisted by ‘commendable’ first junior Toby Eales, whose service to solicitors ‘cannot be faulted’. Second juniors clerks Duane Hitchman and Simon Hamilton ‘are always happy to assist in tight corners’. Junior clerk Bradley Patterson is singled out for his professionalism and for his ‘work with the listing office’. Offices in: London

With barristers operating out of six UK offices, 3PB’s ‘strength in depth is remarkable’. A key highlight for the set was Hamish Dunlop appearing in the Supreme Court regarding the high-profile Owens v Owens divorce case. Recent key developments in 2018 include Vanessa Meachin QC taking silk and Simon Lillington joining from College Chambers. The clerks are ‘extremely proactive and on the ball’, and ‘they know their barristers well’. Chambers directors Mark Heath, Russell Porter, Stuart Pringle and Matthew Wildish are key contacts. Simon Astill is the chief executive. Offices in: London, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Oxford, Winchester

3 Temple Gardens is ‘a standout set in serious and financial crime’ with ‘good strength in depth’, which includes ‘a good selection of heavyweight barristers’ at all levels of call who regularly appear in noteworthy fraud cases. Solicitors are ‘impressed with standards of preparation and professional efficiency’ from both counsel and the clerking team. ‘Powerhouse’ senior clerk Gary Brown ‘combines commercial nous, market insight and an intelligent approach’ to recommend counsel and accommodate solicitors. An ‘extraordinarily good business generator with excellent contacts’, Brown is ‘a straightforward person who knows the industry inside out’ and ‘has the ability to tackle any problem that might arise’. Deputy senior clerk Glenn Matthews and joint first junior Richard Bronzite are ‘a credit to chambers’. William McKimm (also joint first junior) is another key contact. Overall, the clerks’ rooms provides ‘excellent client care and a top-class service to solicitors’. Offices in: London

The ‘first-class’ 3 Verulam Buildings is ‘where to go with the most difficult questions’ in the banking and finance world thanks to its ‘formidably strength’ at junior and silk levels. A ‘pre-eminent’ set in relation to commercial litigation, 3VB’s ‘quality and reliability is universally high’ and it has ‘worked very hard to keep that personal touch that contrasts well with the "super sets"’. Chambers was bolstered earlier this year following the arrivals of Hodge Malek QC, Saima Hanif, Cleon Catsambis, James Potts and Yash Bheeroo from 39 Essex Chambers. Chambers has also ‘really impressed in recent years with the strength and breadth of its arbitration practitioners, particularly at the junior end’. Offering ‘premier service from a premiership set’, chambers director Robin Jackson leads ‘the best clerks in London, by a country mile’ that is ‘well informed, responsive and reliable’ and ‘understands the pressures facing law firms’. The ‘first-rate’ joint senior practice manager Stephen Penson is the set’s ‘standard bearer on client service’; ‘he is down to earth, has excellent judgement’ and is ‘always thinking of ways to help, add value and make solicitors’ lives easier’. ‘Excellent’ joint senior practice manager Stuart Pullum is ‘very responsive, helpful and has a strong relationship with the court and other senior clerks from the top commercial sets’. Andrew Monks is ‘responsive, proactive, knows his counsel well and offers the right selection for the job in hand’; Robert Croke is also recommended for clerking. James Kelly is ‘particularly helpful when it comes to answering queries about the inner workings of the commercial court and listing’; Richard Ansell and Ed Tolfts ‘stand out as particularly strong clerks’. Offices in: London

‘A forward-looking and internationally minded chambers’ that is ‘modern and unstuffy’, 4 New Square has ‘real strength in depth’ and ‘an excellent balance between heavyweight QCs and rising stars’. Using chambers’ ‘extremely impressive stable’ of counsel ‘adds gravitas to your litigation tactical toolkit’. In addition, to its core areas of professional negligence, commercial, construction, costs, product liability and sports law, the set is ‘fast becoming a household name’ in international arbitration. The facilities are ‘excellent, and mediation suites very useful’, observes one solicitor. Instructing law firms consider it ‘a well-oiled machine’, where clerks and barristers ‘appear to work symbiotically’. Senior clerk and chief executive Lizzy Stewart ‘understand relationships and have a very modern approach to clerking’, which is appreciated by solicitors. Deputy senior clerks Dennis Peck (‘great client service’) and Alex Dolby (‘understands the quality we are looking for and is always very responsive to our needs’) are ‘first class’. The managing trio of clerks do ‘a fantastic job’ marshalling the clerks’ room, which is described as ‘flexible, collaborative and responsive’; ‘you feel you are working as part of a team with them’. The ‘excellent’ senior team clerk Andrew Call is ‘very responsive and helpful’; the ‘impressive’ Tom Woolsey and James Barrass provide ‘good, practical assistance in a timely manner’. Offices in: London

The ‘remarkable’ 4 Paper Buildings is ‘simply the best stable’ of barristers who are ‘committed and passionate’ to children law, both domestic and international. With ‘a wide spread of barristers who excel in the field’, chambers offers ‘accomplished, expert counsel at every level of call and covering all particular niches’. Many of the set’s ‘stellar’ counsel are ‘absolute leaders in the field’ and there is also ‘a seemingly endless raft of very capable juniors’ coming through. Chambers’ matrimonial finance barristers are also ‘excellent’ and of the ‘highest quality’. The set is very approachable, inviting solicitors to share knowledge and welcoming in their dealings with clients, as well as being very accommodating from ‘fixing conferences in the evening to being agreeable when it comes to price’. ‘Friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and reliable’, the clerks ‘understand the importance of client relationships and go out of their way to assist solicitors provide the best possible service to clients’. ‘Excellent’ senior clerk Michael Reeves and first junior Paul Hennessey are ‘particular stars’ able to ‘assist with any last minute instruction you may require and recommending the best counsel for that particular case’. Second junior Kenny Martin has been ‘particularly helpful on some urgent international cases, and considered the cost position for the clients’. Overall, the clerk’s room is ‘a second-to-none team of likeable people, and you always feel supported; I trust their judgement to make suggestions for who is right for a certain case’. Or as another solicitor put it: ‘I have lost track of all the times they have gone above and beyond. As the saying goes, "if Carlsberg made clerks…" it’d be 4PB without doubt.’ Offices in: London

With its ‘seasoned QCs, supported by strong juniors and extremely client-friendly senior clerks’, 4 Pump Court ‘remains a leading London set for commercial, construction, and insurance/reinsurance work’. Chambers’ ‘impressive strength in depth’ allows for the provision of ‘user-friendly, sharp and able’ counsel at all levels who ‘often bring a fresh approach’ to shipping, IT, arbitration and professional negligence work. The set’s international reputation continues to grow, especially in Hong Kong, where it is highly regarded. Former chief executive Carolyn McCombe (‘a major force’ who has ‘built up an excellent set’) has taken on a new role in chambers as head of ADR and professional standards. Joint senior clerks Carl Wall and Stewart Gibbs are ‘fantastic’ and have developed a ‘friendly, knowledgeable and commercial’ clerks’ room that offers ‘an extremely responsive, efficient and professional service’. Meanwhile, new deputy senior clerk ‘excellent relationship builder’ Oliver Miney ‘understands the pressures that solicitors working in a commercial environment are faced with and proactively works to make their lives easier’; the ‘realistic and refreshing’ Mark Winrow ‘actively manages client relationships from start to finish’. Billy Griffiths is also highlighted for his ‘extremely responsive and professional service’. Head of business operations Jon Robinson is ‘accommodating and efficient’. Offices in: London and Hong Kong

Described by some as ‘a bit of a Slaughter and May of the Bar’, Chancery set 4 Stone Buildings is ‘very good for banking and commercial disputes’, offering approachable counsel for company and partnership, financial services, civil fraud and insolvency work. The clerks’ room, led by senior clerk David Goddard, is ‘the best in the market’ and ‘eager to assist’; ‘if I have a question others cannot answer, I go to them,’ said one solicitor. Others highlighted the team’s ‘excellent relationship with the court and listings office’ and its pragmatism ‘when it comes to negotiating fees’. First junior clerk Jason Doyle is ‘user friendly and happy to discuss which counsel to use for your matters’, and ‘understands what is required for the lay client’. ‘Ones to watch’, Ben Lashmar and Harry Hinkins offer an ‘excellent service’ and ‘are always available to speak’. Offices in: London

Having spent a few years rebuilding, 4-5 Gray's Inn Square merged with Arden Chambers on 1 October 2018. The new combined set ‘has some truly excellent juniors coming through’ its ranks and is well regarded for planning, property, public, commercial, regulatory, media, IP and sport law matters. Following the merger it is also set to become the ‘first port of call’ for those looking for ‘the very best expertise in social housing law’. The clerks are ‘easy to deal with and provide a good all-round service’. ‘Excellent’ senior practice manager Emily Martin is ‘very personable and professional’. Head of Arden Chambers Andrew Arden QC is now practicing as a sole practitioner at the Chambers of Andrew Arden QC. Offices in: London and Birmingham

‘A highly regarded specialist chambers’, 5 Essex Court is ‘a leading police law set with real strength at all levels and a genuine commitment to this sector’. It is also ‘arguably the best set for public authority inquest and inquiry work’. According to some it is ‘a first choice for the more complex and high-profile work of this type’. Chambers is ‘very commercial in terms of pricing structure’ and ‘good at communication so that distance never an issue’; ‘Counsel obviously have accessibility ingrained as a mantra.’ Providing an ‘excellent service’, the ‘outstanding’ clerks’ room, helmed by Mark Waller, ‘do its utmost to assist clients and go the extra mile’. Waller ‘leads by example’ alongside team leaders James Cole and Paul Read, who are ‘first rate’. Offices in: London

The ‘fantastic’ 5KBW has dealt with many high-profile criminal cases over the last year and is ‘fast becoming a leading chambers thanks to the ability and experience of its counsel’. ‘I have yet to find their weak link,’ said one solicitor. Head of chambers Sarah Forshaw QC leads ‘a truly excellent team’ of counsel and clerks, ‘right from the top to the bottom’, and which has ‘coped very well with legal aid cuts’. They always respond quickly to enquiries and ‘resolve any complications that may arise to provide a first-class service’. The ‘highly efficient and friendly’ clerks’ room ‘can be relied on to provide you the best barrister to suit your client’s needs’. The ‘inimitable’ Lee Hughes-Gage ‘epitomises all of these high qualities’. Offices in: London

An ‘extremely strong set’ for both criminal and regulatory matters, 5 Paper Buildings has ‘good coverage at the junior end’ and ‘some of the rising stars at the fraud Bar’. Service from the clerks’ room is ‘superb’. ‘Clerks are good to their word; they do not make promises they cannot keep with regard to counsel being available for listings.’ Further, they are ‘realistic with the diaries and will not accept work if it is unlikely to meet the requirements of instructing solicitors’. ‘Knowledgeable and efficient’ senior clerk Dale Jones has ‘a friendly way about him and is always available to recommend the right barrister for the job’ and ‘he is not afraid to point you in another direction if he feels there is no-one suitable to deal with a matter’. First junior Graham Briggs is ‘proactive’ and ‘a very effective second in command’. Overall, the clerks’ room is ‘truly efficient and a tight ensemble’ which is ‘a joy to deal with’. Offices in: London

5 Pump Court is ‘excellent’ on criminal and regulatory work related to property and housing, including local authority prosecutions under the Housing Act 2004. The set also has expertise across the family and civil spectrums. The clerks’ room is ‘flexible and reactive’. Key contacts are senior clerk Tim Markham, criminal clerk and first junior John Wooloughan, family clerk Jay Dorton and civil clerk Adam Todd. Offices in: London

A ‘go-to’ media law set ‘with great depth’, the ‘unsurpassable’ 5RB houses ‘superb’, ‘switched on’ and ‘first-class’ barristers who ‘lead the way’ in defamation, privacy and data protection cases. Some say it is ‘without doubt the pre-eminent media set: you can be confident there is a barrister for every issue, and who will be at the top of their game’. Members are ‘highly knowledgeable and without exception offer a very high standard of advice’. For some, chambers is ‘the first port of call for publication proceedings and pre-publication advice’. The ‘reassuring’ senior clerk Andrew Love ‘understands the matters at hand very quickly – almost better than if you were explaining it to another solicitor – and is immediately able to suggest the right barrister or course of action’. A ‘great team leader’, Love helms a clerks’ room that has ‘gone up a notch in recent years’ and provides a ‘second-to-none’ service thanks to ‘some of the best clerks in London’. Also in the team, deputy senior clerk Jamie Clack ‘could not be more helpful or responsive’; Antony Braeger is a ‘standout’ practice manager; and junior clerk Jack Button is ‘excellent to deal’. Solicitors also praise the set for its ‘excellent seminars’ and a ‘very well maintained’ website, which is ‘a useful resource for legal developments’. Offices in: London

With ‘a vast array of talent in the field’, the ‘well-respected’ 5 St Andrews Hill is ‘one of the go-to extradition sets’. The chambers’ education programme is praised for being ‘very up to date and on point’ and clients are always ‘greeted with a smile by friendly staff’. Following Wayne King’s departure to 23 Essex Street, first junior Gary Norton has ‘brilliantly stepped into the role’ left by the former chambers’ director to ‘offer a great service; nothing is too much trouble’. He is assisted by Dean Cook who is ‘very knowledgeable about the suitability of his counsel and goes the extra mile to accommodate the requests of solicitors’. Overall, solicitors say the ‘exceptional’ clerks ‘bend over backwards to accommodate’ them. Alastair Rhodes is the new chambers director. Offices in: London

5 Stone Buildings has ‘tremendous strengths across chambers in a variety of disciplines’. It is ‘the go-to chambers for private client work’, is ‘well able to deal with all forms of Chancery work’, has ‘a particularly strong offering’ in Court of Protection work (‘not just in property and affairs work, but also increasingly in health and welfare work as well’) and is ‘highly regarded for offshore trust work’. Senior clerk Paul Jennings is ‘a good communicator who responds quickly, clearly understands the work and invariably directs you to the person most suitable for the job in hand’. Solicitors are also impressed by first junior Dan Coote and second junior Elliott Hurrell for their ‘efficiency, responsiveness, and ability to recommend suitable counsel’. Collectively, the clerks’ room is ‘very attentive and a pleasure to work with’. Offices in: London

Offering ‘a brilliant mix of QCs and juniors’, 6KBW College Hill is a set ‘at the top of its game’ and is ‘most definitely a leader in the field when it comes to business crime and global investigations’. ‘Whether they are prosecuting for the SFO or defending multinationals like Rolls Royce, they are always involved in the most high-profile cases.’ The ‘hugely respected set’ also has ‘some of the stars of the extradition Bar’. The ‘exceptional’ clerking team, seen by some as ‘the best in London’, is led by ‘fantastic’ senior clerk Andrew Barnes and deputy senior clerk Mark Essex who ‘always provide sensible recommendations for counsel’. First junior Richard Summerscales is also highly recommended by solicitors. Collectively, the clerks’ room ‘understands the market and is commercially aware when it comes to fees’; ‘they are friendly, accommodating and well respected’. Offices in: London

With ‘a barrister for every occasion’, ‘leading claimant set’ 7BR offers a broad and strong range of experienced counsel in personal injury, clinical negligence, product liability, family and crime. All are ‘supportive of each other and draw on their experience’ to produce a ‘first-class’ service. Joint senior clerk Paul Eeles remains ‘a real credit to the set’ and the ‘lynchpin’ to an ‘efficient, reliable, personable’ and ‘absolutely top-notch’ clerks’ room that ‘cannot be improved’ upon. Joint senior clerk Steven Wright joined in 2017 from Three Raymond Buildings. ‘Standout’ first junior Mark Waterson is also highlighted as offering ‘excellent service’. Former chambers’ chief executive Rachel Holmes has moved to Matrix Chambers. Offices in: London

7 Harrington Street is well known for having strength in criminal law, however, the set is also noted for its ‘very strong family team’, which handles public and private children law, financial remedy cases, as well as relocation and abduction matters. Personal injury is another main area of instruction. Recent developments include Clive Baker and Christine Bispham appointed to the bench and Ian Whitehurst depart for Exchange Chambers. Practice director John Kilgallon leads the ‘extremely personable’ clerking team, which includes the ‘helpful and approachable’ senior family clerk Carolyn Cregeen. Offices in: Liverpool

In the fields of insurance and reinsurance, the barristers at ‘stellar’ 7 King's Bench Walk are ‘in the premier league’ of the Bar. At the top end the set is ‘as star studded as any’ chambers; no wonder it is described as ‘one of the pre-eminent shipping and commercial sets’, and is also highly rated for international arbitrations. However, chambers’ real strength, according to solicitors, is ‘in the uniform brilliance of its juniors’ and being ‘switched on to the changing nature of client and solicitor relationships’. The ‘highly effective and personable clerking team’, which is ‘particularly excellent at managing difficult Chinese wall issues and dealing with the court’s diary’, is run by senior clerks Bernie Hyatt and Greg Leyden. Leyden is ‘absolutely superb’ in terms of client/barrister management and ‘getting you in front of the right judge, at the right time, with the right barrister’; Hyatt meanwhile is ‘instrumental’ to chambers, as well as being ‘collaborative’ and ‘sensitive to clients’ needs’. ‘Commercially orientated and very practical’, Eddie Johns ‘is a pleasure to deal with’. First junior Gary Rose is ‘the standout clerk’; ‘incredibly friendly, helpful and cheerful’. Joe Clayton has the knack for ‘remaining informed at all times’. Practice development and marketing director Brian Lee ‘may not strictly be a clerk any more, but he nonetheless always has a good feel for putting forward the right barrister for a job’. Offices in: London

8 New Square is ‘perhaps the main repository of intellectual property and media barristers’. The ‘professional, yet down-to-earth’ IP specialists are ‘just superior; they are smooth, unflappable and really a pleasure to work with’. ‘The standard of work is of universally high quality and they somehow keep turning out great young new talent to add to the ranks.’ And, according to one solicitor, the set is adept at handling Chinese wall situations. The ‘immensely experienced’ and ‘wise’ senior clerk John Call, ‘runs a tight ship’ that is ‘a commercial, modern outfit’ and ‘supports clients’ needs’. ‘Veteran’ head of operations Tony Liddon is ‘a gem’. The ‘slick’ clerking operation also includes ‘reliable’ practice managers Nick Wise, Ben Newham and Martin Williams, who are all ‘a pleasure to deal with and make sure your clients’ interests are looked after’; ‘they recognise where their business comes from’. Offices in: London

The ‘dependable’ 9 Bedford Row is recognised as being ‘among the foremost experts in the field of international criminal law’ and is ‘one of the best crime sets of barristers in London’. Because of its strength in depth, solicitors ‘have no hesitation in sending the most serious work to them as they have the barristers to meet the challenge demanded of these cases’. With ‘some star performers’ in its ranks, chambers is fast becoming the ‘go-to set for junior instructions’. Senior clerk Paul Outen ‘runs a very tight ship’ of clerks who provide ‘a proactive, helpful and knowledgeable service’. ‘They have the infrastructure in place and are able to provide the personal service that is demanded’. Martin Secrett is director of chambers. Offices in: London

The ‘fantastic’ 9 Gough Square ‘stands alone as a set of well-rounded, talented and hardworking, committed individuals, who collectively never fail to impress’. The chambers boasts ‘a wide skill set’ and an ‘array of knowledge, approachability and professionalism’ from ‘many excellent barristers’ makes it an obvious go-to chambers for catastrophic and serious personal injury and clinical negligence matters. It also offers ‘a good range of criminal practitioners, all of whom are excellent and passionate about what they do’. The family practice is described as ‘small but perfectly formed’. The overall ethos of the set ‘extends into the most proficient clerking team in the business’ that goes ‘above and beyond to provide alternatives if first-choice counsel is unavailable’. Senior clerk Michael Goodridge ‘expertly’ leads the clerks’ room ‘from the front to ensure the best client care possible’; he is described as a ‘moderniser’, who ‘appreciates the commercial realities facing firms’. Senior criminal clerk David Landa is ‘a no nonsense, thoroughly reliable criminal clerk’, who is ably assisted by Matthew Shepherd. Meanwhile, on the family team, ‘nothing is too big or too small’ for ‘brilliant clerks’ Jaime Brooks and Charlotte Abbott. John Irving is director of operations. Offices in: London

9 Park Place has expertise across criminal, family and civil law. In 2018 Owen Thomas QC took silk; Natalie Sandercock joined from 30 Park Place Chambers; and Andrew Barcello and Robert Vernon were appointed to the district bench. The clerking service is ‘first class; they maintain the perfect balance of professionalism and friendliness’; ‘they are very accommodating and always return calls promptly’. Senior clerk Michael Lieberman is ‘excellent’ and senior family clerk Leslie Haikney is ‘supremely efficient’. Offices in: Cardiff

9 St John Street has notable strength in Chancery, family and employment law, but is singled out for its ‘good strength and depth’ in personal injury law. Recent moves include Sara Lewis join St Philips Chambers in 2017, Ian Denham leave for Outer Temple Chambers, while Sarah Kilvington arrive from 18 St John Street Chambers. In 2018 Matthew Haisley was appointed to the district bench. The clerking team includes senior clerks Tony Morrissey (‘always very helpful and runs a tight ship’) and Chris Swann, who manage the civil and criminal barristers, respectively. Offices in: Manchester

Chancery chambers 9 Stone Buildings has ‘real strength in depth’, particularly for contentious trust and probate work, as well as property litigation and insolvency law. The clerk’s room is ‘friendly and responsive’. Senior clerk Alan Austin is ‘always willing to help’, ‘be it in liaising with court staff or any logistical issues’. First junior David Clayton is ‘exceptionally good at recommending alternatives when your barrister of first choice is not available’. Offices in: London

‘A heavyweight set’ which specialises in employment, education and public law work, 11KBW is ‘simply the best’, ‘held in highest regard’ by clients and is ‘everything you want and expect from a leading chambers’. ‘There is no other chambers with such a consistency of quality in both the technical advice and level of service’ and where counsel have ‘such a great bedside manner’ with clients. The clerks’ room is under the guidance of joint senior clerks Lucy Barbet and Mark Dann (‘excellent’; ‘a clerk of distinction’). For the ‘superb’ Barbet, ‘nothing is ever too much trouble; there is always a solution with a smile. Pricing is fair and transparent. Whenever Lucy is in charge, there is nothing to worry about’. Darren Bacon, John Davitt, Michael Smith, Martin Pownall and first junior Lee Cutler are all ‘knowledgeable, organised and quick to return calls and answer queries’. Offices in: London

Counsel at tax set 11 New Square handle both contentious and non-contentious matters, including tax planning. Chambers has ‘some interesting new silks, which shows promise for the future’. John Casey is the clerk. Former senior clerk John Moore has left the set. Offices in: London

Demonstrating ‘expertise and efficiency of service’, not to mention ‘some top-class patent silks’, 11 South Square remains the ‘first port of call on intellectual property cases’. The set has ‘a strong capability’ with ‘a good succession rate of junior barristers’. ‘All of the members I have used have a great attitude combined with technical excellence and ability,’ said one solicitor. A real strength in chambers is the ‘proactive, approachable, efficient and easy to work with’ clerks, who – with their ‘can-do attitudes’ – are invaluable in getting cases to trial. Ashley Carr is ‘a wizard’ of a senior clerk; ‘exemplary clerking, very fair and easy to deal with. His communication skills are great and you feel really looked after’. Offices in: London

From silks to juniors, the ‘impressive’ 12 King's Bench Walk offers ‘strong individuals at all levels’ for personal injury matters and travel litigation. Overseeing a ‘responsive, friendly and accessible’ clerks’ room that ‘knows its barristers really well’, client-focused director of clerking Oliver Parkhouse ‘continues to bring chambers on leaps and bounds’. Meanwhile, ‘top-draw’ senior clerk Graham Johnson is ‘very on his game’ and ‘always willing to go the extra mile and make time for urgent work’. Practice team leader Lexie Johnson is ‘unfailingly reliable’; Tristan Whigham is ‘a credit to the set’ and ‘particularly good at matching the right barrister to the client’. At practice manager level, Philip Austin is ‘one of the best clerks around’; senior practice manager Kevin McCourt is ‘particularly efficient and helpful’; junior practice manager Harry Gamble is ‘well organised’ and ‘responds quickly to queries’. Collectively, chambers’ staff were described by one lawyer as being ‘very attentive to deliver a positive client experience’. Praise is also given to the set’s front of house receptionist, Tracey Oliver, who is described as ‘a superstar’. Offices in: London

Common law set 12 Old Square has specialists in civil, criminal, family, immigration and public law. Spencer Payne is the senior clerk and Ishaq Botchway is chambers’ first junior. Offices in: London

18 St John Street Chambers is noted for its ‘solid family department’, as well as its extensive expertise in personal injury and clinical negligence cases, as well as criminal matters. Recent moves include Sarah Kilvington join 9 St John Street. The clerks are ‘commercial, helpful, pragmatic and always help to find a solution’. Senior clerk John Hammond runs a clerks’ room split into civil, criminal and family sub-teams. Katie Brown, Emma Higgins and Ryan Pugh are the names to note on the civil side. James Hotchin (head criminal clerk) and Camille Scott (head family clerk) are also key contacts. Offices in: Manchester

An ‘extremely well-established commercial set’ with ‘very strong international trade expertise’, 20 Essex Street is ‘a premier set for private international law issues’ and houses ‘excellent barristers in all areas’. Led by practice directors Arron Zitver, Christopher Theobald and Anthony Carroll, the clerks are ‘very attentive and take the time to understand clients’ wants and needs. They are exceptionally understanding about costs and fee negotiations’. A focus on ‘valuing longterm relationships’ and ‘the transition to a younger clerking team has done wonders for making the set more accessible’. The ‘pragmatic’ Billy Brian is ‘always very efficient and commercial on fee discussions’; George Bennett is ‘very helpful and proactive’ and Rachael Osborne is ‘a rising star’. Other names to note are Jemma Tagg, who is director of strategic development, and Rachel Foxton, who is head of marketing and practice support. Offices in: London and Singapore

23 Essex Street is best known for criminal law and it maintains a strong presence in that space nationwide. It is also increasing its offering in Chancery and commercial law, particularly on the Northern Circuit, where it is ‘a relative newcomer in Manchester but is fast becoming an established name’. In 2018 Wayne King took over as chambers director, while Colin Griffin, formerly a chief clerk at Kings Chambers, became the set’s clerking director. Senior clerk to Manchester and Nottingham Sean Hulston and his deputy Kevin Ambridge are ‘excellent clerks’, while lead clerk of the commercial team Colin Perrin is ‘highly approachable and very commercial’. Adam Chapman is first junior clerk; second juniors Liam Kitcher and David Cox are ‘affable, helpful and a pleasure to deal with’. Offices in: London, Manchester, Nottingham

A leading ‘go-to’ crime set, the barristers and clerks at 25 Bedford Row ‘never let you down’ thanks to their strength in depth across all areas of criminal defence work and an ‘accumulation of talented counsel’. With ‘excellent experience’ across the team, the clerks’ room is described as ‘second to none’. ‘One of the best senior clerks in the industry’, Guy Williams ‘runs a tight ship’ and ‘knows how to offer an excellent service to solicitors, which keeps one going back to instruct them’. ‘Fantastic’ deputy senior clerk Emma Makepeace is ‘first class’ and ‘goes the extra mile with solicitors, making you feel reassured that you are getting the right person for the job’. First junior Alfie Lee ‘is now coming into his own and has matured into one of the most approachable clerks in London’. Offices in: London

With ‘a barrister for every type of family case’, the breadth of talent at 29 Bedford Row Chambers is ‘outstanding’. ‘One of the best for private finance work’, the set boasts ‘especially bright and hardworking juniors that make themselves available at short notice, are flexible on fees and are thoroughly approachable’. This ‘real team effort’ goes down so well with instructing solicitors, as does chambers’ new arbitration suites. ‘They seem to be constantly strengthening their offering and innovating,’ said one solicitor. While ‘predominantly’ a matrimonial finances set, it ‘really punches about its weight’ with ‘some excellent’ children law specialists. ‘Absolutely stellar’ senior clerk James Shorthall is ‘at the top his game’ and ‘one of the outstanding family law clerks’. The clerks’ room ‘excels’ under Shorthall’s leadership; it is the ‘standard-bearer for clerking’. The ‘top’, ‘most user-friendly’ and ‘commercial’ clerking team has ‘grown, developed and continues to provide capable and efficient service’; they are ‘a delight to work with’. Also worthy of note are joint first juniors Julie Holcomb (‘professional and reliable’) and Hudson Brewer (‘friendly and conspicuously helpful’). Offices in: London

Multi-disciplinary set 30 Park Place Chambers’ core strength is in family law, with members instructed in public and private children law and family finance matters. Crime, personal injury and public law (with a key focus on immigration matters) are other key areas. Court of Protection is a growing area of instruction for the set. Recent barrister moves include Gareth Jones join from Civitas Law, Adem Muzaffer join from St Ives Chambers and Natalie Sandercock move to 9 Park Place. In 2018 Caroline Rees QC took silk. The ‘brilliant’ Phillip Griffiths is senior clerk, while Tony Naylon leads the criminal team. Lead civil clerk Kayleigh Jefferies is ‘efficient, organised and has excellent client care skills’. Collectively, ‘the clerks are very efficient and always happy to assist’. Offices in: Cardiff

The ‘very approachable’ boutique chambers 33 Chancery Lane is a ‘market leader in the niche of white collar crime’ and ‘certainly leads in POCA and asset forfeiture cases’. ‘The set also excels in high-profile fraud cases and has brilliant silks and juniors straddling both areas’. Practice director Martin Adams is ‘bright, proactive, extremely responsive and good to get on with’. With deputy practice director Chris Chiles and second deputy practice director Oliver Carroll by his side, Adams ‘provides a first-rate service to solicitors’. Offices in: London

The ‘very progressive’ 39 Essex Chambers is ‘a go-to for insurance, commercial litigation and construction disputes’ and is ‘streets ahead in the personal injury arena’. The ‘spot on’ set offers ‘a great mix of experience’ and ‘a diverse group of barristers’ who are ‘always willing to get involved as part of the wider legal team’. Chambers has grown over the last year with the likes of Samantha Jones, Katherine Barnes Fiona Paterson joining from 7BR, Francis Taylor Building and Serjeants' Inn Chambers, respectively. Chambers’ move into a ‘superb new building with fantastic facilities’ and its ‘very personable and professional’ service from reception staff is also worth highlighting. The loss of the ‘brilliant commercial law clerk’ David Barnes to Atkin Chambers set tongues wagging last year, but 39 Essex has filled the hole with ‘excellent’ new chief executive and director of clerking Lindsay Scott, who joined from Matrix Chambers. Senior clerks Alastair Davidson and Michael Kaplan run a ‘knowledgeable and friendly’ clerking team that is ‘at the top of its game’ and which provides ‘value-added services’. At senior practice manager level, Ben Sundborg is ‘particularly strong on client care’ and ‘well respected by clerks and clients alike’; Andrew Poyser is ‘committed to client service’; Peter Campbell ‘makes you feel like your work is important and is given priority’; and Sheraton Doyle is ‘extremely helpful’. Practice manager Nik Merison (‘invests a lot of time developing relationships for the longer term that are built on trust’) is also worthy of note. Offices in: London, Manchester, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur

A common law chambers with ‘a can-do attitude’, 42 Bedford Row is ‘very strong’ across employment and family law issues. Chambers offers ‘a range of styles which are suitable for all case types’ and is ‘particularly skilled with complex public law matters’. Junior counsel are ‘solid and reliable’, and more senior practitioners are ‘highly respected and easy to work with’. The ‘well-organised’ clerks’ room is ‘efficient and accommodating’ and ‘willing to go the extra mile’. At senior practice manager level, Steve Sheridan ‘bends over backwards to help’ and James Tidnam ‘goes above and beyond to ensure client satisfaction’. Practice manager Clare Sabido is ‘a cut above other clerks’ and the ‘fantastic’ Stuart Ritchie ‘ensures that top-quality service is provided at all times’. Vincent Denham is chambers director. Offices in: London

‘Highly skilled, multi-disciplinary set’ 187 Fleet Street Chambers has ‘great advocates’ specialising in general crime and fraud work. The ‘brilliant’ clerks’ room is ‘very professional, responsive and helpful’. ‘The clerks spent considerable time with solicitors to ensure the right counsel is recommended for the right type of case and generally if they have offered someone, they would ensure there are no issues regarding availability afterwards.’ Key contacts are senior clerk John Pyne and deputy senior clerk Michael Johnson. Offices in: London

Albion Chambers is noted for its expertise in criminal and family law. The criminal group is regularly instructed in murder, regulatory crime, serious sexual offences and fraud cases. The family team reports an increase in both public and private children law and matrimonial finance matters. Recent developments include David Sapiecha joining from Colleton Chambers and Jason Taylor QC taking silk before his appointment to the circuit bench in 2018. Paul Fletcher is the chambers director, while Michael Harding, Bonnie Colbeck and Steve Arnold head up the family, crime and civil clerking teams, respectively. Offices in: Bristol

Criminal law is the key practice area at Apex Chambers, where the practitioners are adept at handling high-profile murder, sexual offences and fraud cases. Regulatory and professional discipline work are other main areas of instruction. Craig Mansfield is the senior clerk. Offices in: Cardiff

Ashley Murray Chambers was set up in 2014 by Ashley Murray, whose expertise lies in high-net-worth financial remedy cases. Pre-nuptial agreements are a prominent growth area. Offices in: Liverpool

‘Simply the best construction set in London’, Atkin Chambers is ‘a cut above the rest’, offering ‘top-quality’ and experienced counsel and arbitrators across the board, and all with ‘in-depth construction law and engineering knowledge’. ‘Loved across the Bar and by solicitors’, the return of ‘Commander’ David Barnes as chief executive, following a successful stint at 39 Essex Chambers, has been welcomed by clients. Senior clerk Justin Wilson ‘always has a solution for you’. Barnes and ‘fantastic’ senior clerk Justin Wilson (‘goes the extra mile and nothing is too difficult’) make a strong leadership team in a clerks’ room that is ‘very responsive and completely understands solicitors’ needs’; ‘nothing fazes these clerks’. Elsewhere, ‘Very commercial’ senior practice manager Andrew Burrows is ‘terribly knowledgeable and helpful’, while the ‘responsive’ Rob Bryant is a ‘standout’ senior practice manager. Julie Demeritt is chief operating officer. Offices in: London

Multi-disciplinary set Atlantic Chambers houses personal injury and clinical negligence, Chancery, employment, and family law practitioners. Chambers also reports an increase in criminal law instructions, in which Anne Whyte QC has a growing area of practice. Head clerk Lee Cadwallader runs ‘an incredibly efficient and effective clerking team’ and ‘will go above and beyond reasonable expectations to provide exceptional service and availability’. Offices in: Liverpool

Common law set Bank House Chambers is best known for its criminal practice, with expertise in terrorism trials, homicide and serious sexual offences, to name a few. Family and civil law are other key areas. In 2017, Carl Fender joined from Regency Barristers Chambers and in 2018, Gul Nawaz Hussain QC took silk. Wayne Digby is the senior clerk. Offices in: Sheffield

Family law is the keystone area of expertise at Becket Chambers; members represent local authorities, children, guardians and parents in TOLATA cases, family finance matters and public and private children law, with an increase in instructions for the latter area. Senior clerk Paul Eaton and first junior clerk Arron Smith are key contacts. Offices in: Canterbury, Dartford, Eastbourne, Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells

‘At the top of its game’ Blackstone Chambers is a set ‘full to the rafters with high-calibre barristers with an appetite for a fight’. Chambers is ‘renowned for providing high-quality advice, particularly in relation to financial services’, where ‘no other set can rival them’, and it also ‘has a longstanding and deserved reputation as a first-class’ commercial and public law set. In addition, chambers offers ‘a breadth of silks and juniors in areas of fraud and asset recovery’, and, according to some, is ‘now challenging the position held by Brick Court Chambers and Monckton Chambers ’ when it comes to competition law work. As the market has come to expect, the ‘excellent’ clerks’ room is ‘well managed’ by the ‘exceptional’ and ‘proper’ senior clerk Gary Oliver. Deputy senior clerks Derek Sutton (‘a real gent; the standout individual; consistently delivering an outstanding first-class service’) and Adam Sloane (‘very happy to assist and ensure that the correct person is on hand to help with each matter’) are also highly rated by solicitors. The clerking team is ‘particularly adept at handling cases where they are on all sides, making effective use of Chinese walls’ and ‘understand the concept of "horses for courses" and the need to match counsel both to the case and the client’. Kevin Grubb is ‘an excellent clerk’ who ‘knows the court system well’, along with ‘each barrister's strengths’. Adam Fuschillo ‘is very helpful in all respects’. Danny Compton is ‘responsive and accommodating’. For providing ‘an excellent service’, chambers director Julia Hornor and her deputy, Mat Swallow, are also names to note. Offices in: London

‘Top set’ Brick Court Chambers has ‘a well-deserved reputation for all-round quality’ in commercial litigation work; its ‘substantial roster of excellent and creative advocates’ provides ‘great strength in depth’ for EU law instructions; while a ‘pre-eminence’ in competition law and antitrust work, leaves solicitors with ‘a feeling of being in the best hands’. The ‘slick’ and ‘proactive’ clerking team is ‘top class, straightforward, transparent’ and ‘very good at developing and promoting the qualities of their juniors’. The clerk’s room has undergone change of late, with former senior clerks Julian Hawes and Ian Moyler stepping down from their roles after many years of distinguished service (Hawes remains in chambers as director of clerking). Paul Dennison (‘first class’) and Tony Burgess (‘makes the job of managing client expectations a lot easier’) have now been promoted to joint senior clerks. The ‘industrious’ Jo Francis is ‘responsive, friendly and efficient’, while the ‘brilliant’ Luke Carvalho ‘is professional and very easy to deal with’. As one solicitor put it: ‘One doesn’t often notice a significant difference between the clerking teams of major sets of chambers; but Brick Court is unmatched.’ Offices in: London

Broadway House Chambers is an ‘excellent set’ with a notable practice in family law; financial remedy work is a core area of instruction, however, members are also adept in public and private children matters. Crime and employment are other areas of expertise. The clerking team provides ‘an excellent service’. Civil/family clerk Robin Slade is ‘very helpful and efficient’, and senior criminal clerk Hayley Sanderson is a key contact. Offices in: Leeds

For one solicitor, Byrom Street Chambers is ‘the number one set for serious personal injury and clinical negligence work’, with practitioners handling brain injury, cerebral palsy, catastrophic injury and amputation cases. A key highlight for chambers is its involvement in the ongoing Mau Mau case, involving allegations of torture and maltreatment of 20,000 Kenyans by the British government in the 1950s. The clerks are ‘approachable, considerate and insightful into solicitors’ needs and prepared to go the extra mile to service lay clients’ needs’. Senior clerk Steve Price is ‘an unflappable leader’. Offices in: Manchester

Members of the ‘outstanding’ Carmelite Chambers specialise in all areas of criminal law, but have particular strength in serious fraud and financial crime matters. Key contacts in the clerks’ room are senior clerk Marc King and deputy senior clerk Matthew Butchard. Offices in: London

Castle Chambers is best known for its criminal practice, where barristers are adept in prosecution and defence work across a spectrum of cases. The set is noted for housing a number of CPS prosecutors. Ann Kenyon is the senior clerk. Offices in: Harrow

Commercial litigation set Cerulean Chambers is comprised of members Juliette Levy and Stuart Cakebread and senior clerk Charlie Wayling. Offices in: London

Charity Law Chambers is the set of Hubert Picarda QC, one of the country’s best known charity law barristers, whose cases involve domestic and international issues, concerning the religious, medical and educational fields, among others. Offices in: London

Recommended for criminal law, as well as related fraud and regulatory matters, Charter Chambers ‘goes from strength to strength’ and has ‘excellent counsel with a great depth of knowledge’. Members are ‘very easy to work’ and solicitors are impressed with the number of ‘good young barristers under ten years’ call’ coming through the ranks. ‘I’ve found them extremely professional and helpful,’ said one. ‘I’ve never had cause to complain.’ Key contacts include Ian Payn, who is chambers director, and James Hall, who has recently taken on the mantle of senior clerk and is ‘determined to move the set forward’. Offices in: London

Common law set Church Court Chambers has ‘a strong bench of experienced counsel’ specialising in criminal law. Daniel Bartlett (senior clerk) and Rod McGurk (practice manager) are ‘the key clerks and ensure chambers provides a first-class service; they have also made themselves available and resolved last minute changes helpfully and efficiently’. Overall, the service of the clerks’ room is ‘exceptional’, and as one solicitor said: ‘It would be very difficult to identify areas of improvement as the set is very well organised and efficiently run.’ Offices in: London

Civil law set Civitas Law focuses on personal injury, commercial, clinical negligence, employment and public law. Inquests is another notable strength, with selected members appointed to the National Procurement Service panel in Wales to act as advisors to local authorities in inquests. In 2017 Elizabeth Marshall joined from Iscoed Chambers and in 2018 Gareth Jones moved to 30 Park Place Chambers. Senior clerk Andrea Mclean leads the ‘always helpful’ clerking team. Offices in: Cardiff

‘A committed and dedicated’ team, with ‘a number of leaders in the field’ and ‘a good range of junior barristers climbing the ranks’, Cloisters is the ‘go-to’ chambers for quantum-related matters, specifically in regards clinical negligence cases. Chambers’ core areas of practice also include civil liberties, personal injury and employment law, where the set has ‘a strong reputation, particularly where cases involve discrimination issues’. Members are ‘all friendly, approachable and put clients at ease’ with ‘a lovely team-oriented approach’. Managed by ‘wise, flexible and excellent’ senior clerk Glenn Hudson, ‘nothing is ever too much trouble’ for the ‘efficient, reliable and personable’ clerks’ room that has developed ‘a problem-solving approach to diary management’. First junior Mark Skipp is ‘particularly helpful’ and Andy Hunter is ‘professional and efficient’. Offices in: London

‘All members’ of ‘leading set’ Cloth Fair Chambers are of ‘extremely high quality’ in the fraud, business crime and general crime fields. The ‘first-class’ clerks’ room is comprised of Adrian Chapman and Mark O’Neill. Offices in: London

Common law set Cobden House Chambers houses ‘a good depth of skilled barristers’ who are recognised for their strength in personal injury and clinical negligence law and criminal matters. Martin Leech is the clerking director. Offices in: Manchester

College Chambers is best known for family law, where members handle care proceedings, private law children matters and financial remedy cases. Commercial and property law are other areas of instruction. Recent moves include Simon Lillington depart for 3PB. Senior clerk Wayne Effeny leads the ‘very helpful’ team. Offices in: Southampton

Colleton Chambers houses ‘very experienced practitioners’ in family law, particularly in care proceedings, financial remedy and complex surrogacy matters. Criminal law is another core strength. In 2018 David Sapiecha moved to Albion Chambers. Family and civil clerk Gareth Latchem is ‘constantly available, extremely well organised, and always quick to respond to any queries’. Criminal clerk Nikkie Browning is ‘very helpful and knows her barristers well’. Offices in: Exeter

Boutique set Commercial Chambers is home to Andrew Marsden, who left St John's Chambers in 2015. Marsden specialises in commercial litigation, especially in disputes between shareholders, directors and partners. Offices in: Bristol

One of the ‘strongest sets in London’, the ‘go-to’ Coram Chambers has ‘a long history of excellence’ in public law children matters, as well as cases involving unusual medical issues, wardship, Court of Protection and human rights issues. Its well-established children law team is ‘well complemented by its up-and-coming financial team’. Members have ‘a high level of expertise’, which solicitors find invaluable in extremely complex cases, yet they also ‘strike the right balance between being technical and having good client care’. Chambers will ‘go out of its way’ to ensure briefs are not returned and that there is continuity of counsel throughout a case. Moreover, the quality of counsel is ‘consistent across the board’, meaning there will ‘always be a high-quality alternative in the event regular counsel on the case is not available’. The ‘reliable’ clerks are ‘excellent at keeping in touch with solicitors, maintaining a high level of communication on a consistent basis and they can also manage any sensitive issues discreetly’. First juniors George Mo (‘an outstanding clerk, he has a great sense of humour which really helps in the job he has to do’) and David Sadler (‘helpful, friendly and approachable’) are both highly regarded. Also of note is fees clerk Natalie Giles, who is ‘very knowledgeable and responsive’. Sarah McCarthy is chambers director. The ‘fantastic’ Paul Sampson, who has provided ‘a phenomenal service’ for chambers over many years, stepped down from his role as senior clerk in May 2018. The ‘excellent’ Sam Carter, previously of 12 King's Bench Walk, has joined to take over the vacant senior clerk position. Offices in: London

A ‘market leading’ set for planning law, Cornerstone Barristers has a depth of knowledge in the field of social housing law that is ‘exemplary’, and is also ‘top-class’ for judicial review and local government work. ‘Friendly, available and always helpful’, from senior clerks through to juniors, the ‘second-to-none’ team is ‘always willing to go the extra mile’ with ‘a can-do attitude’. The clerks are ‘accommodating and appreciative when it comes to clients’ budgets’ and their flexibility has ‘helped to progress cases in circumstances where other sets may not be willing to do so’. Senior clerk Elliot Langdorf is ‘modern in approach while retaining the best elements of an "old-school" clerk’. Justin Callaghan, and Alex Hill in particular are ‘always helpful’. Elizabeth Woodman is chambers’ chief executive. Offices in: London, Birmingham, Cardiff

Cornwall Street Barristers’ counsel handle family, crime, regulatory, employment and professional discipline cases. In 2018 Anthony Lowe was appointed to the circuit bench. Chambers manager James Farmer and practice manager and civil clerk Matt Fleming are the key contacts. The service of the clerks is described as ‘dependable’. Offices in: Birmingham, Oxford, Shrewsbury

An ‘impressive’ set for professional negligence and personal injury work, Crown Office Chambers also has ‘an outstanding construction and engineering practice’ and, for some, is their ‘first port of call’. Under the leadership of senior managing clerk Andy Flanagan, the ‘professional and friendly’ clerks’ room is ‘excellent’ and ‘ensures a seamless service is provided’. Commercial, construction and energy clerk Chris Sunderland ‘provides a first-class service’. On the clinical negligence and personal injury team, senior clerk James Wilkinson goes ‘above and beyond to secure preferred counsel’; Greg Frewin is ‘one of the best clerks to deal with and provides an exceptional service’; Oliver Edwards is ‘extremely responsive, very capable and very personable’. Insurance and professional liability clerks Steve Purse and Matthew Solari are ‘efficient and very helpful’; Joe Shepherd and Sam Barrett ‘go the extra mile to find a barrister for a piece of work with a quick turnaround or tight deadline’. The 'excellent' senior criminal regulatory and environmental clerk Toby Sparrow and his leading health and safety team are 'immensely helpful and highly responsive'. Nick Hamilton and Christopher Kent are also worthy of note. Solicitors also highlighted how ‘on visits to chambers, their front office team are equally professional and helpful as the clerks and barristers’. Offices in: London

‘Quality Northern Circuit set’ Deans Court Chambers is well known for its strength in personal injury, crime and family law, and reports an uptick in regulatory and clinical negligence instructions. In 2018 Tim Horlock QC took over as head of chambers after Craig Sephton QC was appointed to the bench; Alison Woodward was also appointed to the circuit bench. Recent barrister moves include Ros Scott Bell join from Trinity Chambers and Iain Simkin join from St John's Buildings. Senior clerk Matthew Gibbons leads the ‘always helpful and accommodating’ clerking team. Offices in: Manchester

Counsel at Dere Street Barristers have recognised expertise in crime and employment law matters. Members are adept at handling serious sexual offences, fraud, murder and large-scale drugs conspiracies, while in the employment practice, discrimination cases have been on the increase, among other areas. Highlights for the set included multiple members acting for the prosecution in Operation Shelter, where over 20 defendants were charged with the sexual exploitation of vulnerable girls and women. Personal injury and clinical negligence, family and commercial law are included in chambers’ expertise. Senior clerk Kevin Beaumont leads the ‘approachable, helpful and dedicated’ team. Offices in: Newcastle, York

Devereux has an ‘excellent range of counsel available, all of whom you are able to put in front of a very wide range of lay business stakeholders without fear’. The set is recommended for a range of practice areas, including personal injury, employment, telecoms regulation and it ‘now stands as one of the strongest tax sets’ in the market. The ‘standout clerking team’ has ‘grown considerably under strong leadership’ of chambers director Vince Plant, and is praised for being ‘one of very few chambers who take the time to understand the client and its industry’. Senior practice manager Glenn Billenness is ‘knowledgeable and always helpful’. Practice manager Lawrence Willicombe ‘understand the pressures placed on in-house counsel’; Tom Keiller, Cyrus Biggs and Chris Downes ‘provide an excellent clerking service’. Offices in: London

Devon Chambers is well known for its criminal practice, where members are instructed for the prosecution in murder, people trafficking and fraud cases, among other areas. Civil, family and regulatory law are other key areas of instruction. Recent developments for the set include Joanna Martin QC take silk in 2018. Chambers manager Julie James leads the clerking team. Offices in: Plymouth

An ‘amazing set of committed and talented barristers’, Doughty Street Chambers has ‘a great reputation, are leaders in their field’ and is ‘easy to work with’. Chambers has experts in public law and human rights, civil and international law matters, is ‘the go-to set for inquest work’, and ‘covers everything under the crime umbrella’ in London. On the Northern and Western Circuits, chambers houses barristers predominantly in employment and personal injury law. Recent barrister moves include Sarah Vine and Adam Wagner joining the London set from 187 Fleet Street Chambers and 1 Crown Office Row, respectively, while Paras Gorasia joined in Manchester from Kings Chambers. The clerking ‘is peerless’, ‘irreproachable’ and solicitors appreciate how the clerks ‘often go above and beyond what they need to do’. The ‘superb’ senior practice manager Sian Wilkins is the ‘consummate professional’ and brilliantly leads a committed and friendly civil clerking team that ‘makes you feel very valued’ and whose work is ‘unerringly accurate and - most importantly these days - prompt’; Richard Bayliss and Anthony Ward are also recommended for their efficiency; Rachel Finch and Emily Norman are ‘always helpful and very responsive’. Key contacts on the crime team include the ‘professional and helpful’ practice leaders Tom Street and Richard Vile. Maurice MacSweeney is the set’s development director and Mark Dembovsky is chambers’ chief executive. Offices in: London, Manchester, Bristol

‘Reliable’ Drystone Chambers is ‘a very good set’, with ‘a number of star counsel’ among ‘a wide spread of capable barristers covering all areas of crime, fraud, regulatory, and appeals’ work. It remains headquartered in London, but retains a considerable number of barristers who work only on the South Eastern, Midlands and Western Circuits. Led by senior clerk Mark Cornell, the clerks’ room is ‘efficient, helpful, always go the extra mile and makes solicitors lives’ more bearable in stressful times’. In addition, the clerks ‘provide great feedback and are easy to work with, providing great overall support to their solicitor clients’. First junior Richard Goodman is ‘particularly helpful’. Offices in: London

Chancery and commercial disputes are a cornerstone area of instruction for East Anglian Chambers; criminal law is another key area of expertise. In 2018 Carolyn Rothwell was appointed to the bench. The ‘excellent’ senior clerk Fraser McLaren leads the ‘very helpful’ team. Offices in: Chelmsford, Ipswich, Norwich

Demonstrating strength in depth, Ely Place Chambers’ members specialise in employment, public law, media, commercial/Chancery and property matters. The ‘excellent’ barristers are ‘hardworking and quick to pick up the facts of a case’. The ‘equally excellent’ clerking team offers ‘a prompt service and is open on availability and fees’. Key contacts include chambers director Michael Couling, senior clerk Richard Sheehan and deputy senior clerk Kevin Morrow. Offices in: London

Enterprise Chambers is an ‘excellent set’, noted for its strength in Chancery, commercial, property, banking and insolvency law. Having taken in several former members of Guildhall Chambers, the set’s commercial practice has been strengthened, particularly with the addition of Stephen Davies QC. In London, senior clerk Michael Ireland is ‘proactive and responds well to pressure’ and Luke Daws is a key name in the team. On the North Eastern Circuit, Joanne Caunt (‘nothing fazes her’) and Ellen Cockcroft are ‘very professional and understand exactly what solicitors are looking for’. Collectively, the clerks’ room ‘provides a first-class service’. Offices in: London, Leeds, Newcastle

Offering ‘a good balance between advice and litigation’, the ‘fabulous’ Erskine Chambers ‘remains probably the best known set for corporate law matters’, particularly shareholder disputes work, and is ‘a premier set in insolvency law’. ‘Counsel are very responsive and the overall quality is extremely good.’ It continues to expand, and in a significant move Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s Nick Segal, who specialises in restructuring, insolvency, corporate and banking law, is to join chambers in late 2018. Senior clerks Mark Swallow and Chris Reade have taken over from Mike Hannibal in ‘a seamless fashion’. Overall, the clerks’ room is ‘friendly, commercial and practical’ and ‘provide an excellent solution to any problem’. Importantly, the clerks ‘have the ear of the listing clerks so they can quickly iron out listing difficulties if they arise’. Offices in: London

‘The Rolls Royce of the Bar’, Essex Court Chambers is ‘brimming with talent’ and ‘absolutely brilliant from top to bottom’. With its expansion into Singapore, and a track record of dealing with complex disputes, it is seen as ‘one of the leading sets for international arbitration’ and is ‘up there with Pump Court Tax Chambers as the leading indirect tax sets’. Leading junior Ruth den Besten has joined from Serle Court. The clerking at Essex Court is ‘assertive, pragmatic and sensible’, helping to maintain strong relationships with instructing solicitors. In a significant development for chambers’ international aspirations, the ‘legendary’ David Grief has stepped down as joint senior clerk to take on a new role as director of international business development. This leaves ‘leading clerk’ Joe Ferrigno to continue running ‘a tight ship’ as the sole senior clerk. Ferrigno is ‘a class act – very well connected, good to deal with and always finds a pragmatic, sensible way of resolving any issues’. Team leader and first junior clerk Ben Perry is ‘particularly responsive and sharp’. Offices in: London and Singapore

With offices across the Northern and North Eastern circuits, Exchange Chambers has ‘great strength in depth’. With over 160 barristers across three bases, the set provides a ‘wealth of expertise’, particularly in its commercial, personal injury and crime practices. In a testament to chambers’ strength, three members – Simon Medland QC, Amanda Yip QC and Catherine Howells – were appointed to the bench in 2017. Additionally, David Knifton QC took silk and Ian Whitehurst joined from 7 Harrington Street in 2018. ‘The clerks are exceptionally helpful and go the extra mile’; ‘every task and challenge is met with enthusiasm and a smile’. Manchester senior clerk Nick Buckley ‘runs a very tight ship’ and Leeds senior clerk Ian Spencer ‘goes out of his way to provide a Rolls Royce service’. Chambers director Tom Handley ‘leads the team effectively and efficiently – he is a real mover and shaker with his finger on the pulse’. Offices in: Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds

The ‘pre-eminent property litigation set’, Falcon Chambers has ‘a counsel to suit every type of client’, including ‘a particularly strong array of juniors’ who are ‘very reliable and easy to work with’. Having such a ‘formidable reputation’ in the property disputes space means it is ‘able to attract the best talent, which shows in the quality of its membership’ and ‘the exceptional results that it achieves’. ‘Remarkably efficient’ senior clerk John Stannard is ‘the high watermark of professionalism in clerking’; ‘goes out of his way to assist and cares about the level of service and client experience’; and ‘somehow manages to be all over everything happening with everyone in chambers at exactly the same time. Quite a feat, but he delivers time and time again’. Following Mark Ball’s move to Landmark Chambers, the ‘go getting’ Joanne Meah, who has been ‘a fantastic addition to the team’ since joining from Tanfield Chambers, has been promoted to first junior. Meah is ‘highly responsible, organised and walks the delicate tightrope of giving her barristers what they want, while giving her instructing solicitors what they want, with ease’. The recruitment of second junior James Clarke from Selborne Chambers is ‘undoubtedly a positive’ for a clerks’ room that has undergone a number of changes of late. Edith Robertson is chambers director. Offices in: London

With ‘first-class counsel at all levels’, Farrar's Building is a ‘go-to set’ for personal injury work, and one which also offers expertise in clinical negligence, criminal law and professional disciplinary matters. Overall, the ‘excellent’ clerks’ room is described as ‘efficient, helpful and accommodating’. ‘Their knowledge about their counsel and their cases is second to none. Exactly what you need from a clerk for a busy and successful set.’ Key contacts are senior clerk Alan Kilbey and first juniors Andrew Duckett and James Shaw. Offices in: London

Bermondsey-based Farringdon Chambers is ‘an extremely good set with some heavyweight senior junior counsel’ specialising in criminal law, with related expertise in regulatory issues, such as health and safety cases. ‘Brilliant’ senior clerk Robert Archer ‘goes out of his way to keeps in touch with instructing solicitors and is very easy to work with’ and he ‘ensures the right person is available for specific cases’. Offices in: London

Fenners Chambers’ practice areas include family, employment, commercial Chancery, crime, regulatory and property matters. Senior clerk Paul Green leads the clerking team, in which deputy senior clerk Cathy Hugo is a key contact. Offices in: Cambridge

Field Court Chambers is ‘an excellent set’ with barristers who offer a high level of service to clients in areas such as employment, family, media and public law. The clerks’ room provides ‘a prompt and efficient service’ with ‘highly organised clerks’ who are ‘approachable, helpful and friendly’. Senior clerk Ian Boardman is supported by deputy senior clerk Mark Townsend and ‘fabulous’ first junior Hayley Walker, who is singled out for ‘bending over backwards’ to get one solicitor the barrister they wanted. Offices in: London

‘Highly regarded’ Field Court Tax Chambers has expertise in private and corporate tax matters, both contentious and non-contentious. Members have appeared not only in the UK courts, but also in the European Court of Justice, the Privy Council and other courts overseas. Clients have included governments, tax authorities, multinational corporations, charities and celebrities. Practice managers Marie Burke and Stephanie Talbot are described as ‘helpful, prompt and efficient’. Offices in: London

A leading set with ‘second-to-none, cutting-edge expertise and knowledge of the social housing sector’, Five Paper has real strength and depth and ‘the ability to take on even the most complex work at a moment’s notice’. With ‘a good spread across junior and senior levels’, the set is able to offer ‘excellent value for clients’. Its approach to client care is ‘spot on’ thanks to head of chambers Nicholas Grundy QC who ‘really does lead from the front and has maintained a hands-on and proactive approach’, meaning solicitors ‘feel comfortable speaking with him and discussing thorny issues’. Indeed, Five Paper are ‘a delight to deal with, blending a professional and unstuffy approach from tenants to clerks’. The ‘particularly helpful and approachable’ clerks’ room under the ‘excellent’ senior clerk David Portch ‘can be relied on to handle anything thrown at them’. First junior Gemma Lewis is also highly recommended and ‘will always go out of her way to help’. Overall, the clerking team is ‘good at building rapport with solicitors and you feel in experienced hands’. Offices in: London

A year on since 9-12 Bell Yard’s rebrand to Foundry Chambers and the criminal law set continues to go from strength to strength. With ‘a large breadth of counsel to choose from’, from the very junior to the most senior, Foundry is to some ‘one of the best sets out there’ for general crime, fraud and regulatory matters. In a significant move, former head of chambers Mukul Chawla QC has left the independent Bar to lead Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP's UK corporate crime team in London. Chief clerk Angela May and first junior Steve Parr are formidable clerks who run a run a tight ship of ‘well organised, extremely accommodating and honest’ team. The clerks ‘will bend over backwards to find a replacement if desired counsel is unavailable; they do not leave you high and dry’. Offices in: London

North Eastern set Fountain Chambers’ practice areas include Court of Protection, inquests, crime, family, employment, housing, regulatory and personal injury work. Amanda Mallett, Samantha Rumins and Shanaz O’Brien are key contacts in the clerking team. Offices in: Middlesbrough, Newcastle

The ‘outstanding’ Fountain Court Chambers is ‘a premier set of the highest quality for banking, commercial litigation and professional regulation and discipline’; it has ‘strength in depth at all levels’, meaning there are ‘many safe pairs of hands to choose from’. Clients have also noticed how it is ‘substantially increasing its offering in the insurance coverage and professional negligence arena’. The ‘highly responsive’ clerks’ room is ‘exceptional’ and able ‘to provide various solutions demonstrating incredible commercial awareness’. The team is led by ‘fantastic’ senior clerk Alex Taylor, who is ‘a very real asset to chambers’. According to one solicitor, the clerks are ‘efficient and user friendly; willing to go above and beyond (including thinking creatively) to meet your needs, but without overpromising’. Katie Szewczyk and Sian Huckett have been promoted to joint deputy senior clerks; Szewczyk ‘stands out as a future senior clerk – highly responsive, very client friendly’; the ‘impressive’ Huckett is ‘on the ball’ when it comes to relationship management with law firms. At team leader level, Richard Evans and Alfie Harper are ‘adept at responding to solicitors’ needs’; and Reiss Note and Chloe Gibbs ‘look for solutions, not problems’. Meanwhile, Luke Diebelius is singled out as ‘commercial, always available and trustworthy’; Georgie Boggis is also ‘highly recommend’. Former deputy senior clerk Paul Martenstyn has joined third-party funder Vannin Capital as its new managing director. Offices in: London

Slightly away from the mainstream family law sets, Fourteen is ‘hungry, ambitious and making an impression’ on solicitors. ‘They are exceptional in the market, outstanding with difficult and complex cases, exceptional with client care, wonderful to work with and certainly ones to watch,’ said one solicitor; another added: ‘They have now established themselves not only as a player on the money field, but also having Michael Glaser QC appointed silk establishes themselves as heavyweights.’ It is also seen as ‘a more cost effective chambers’ which manages to ‘still maintain an excellent standard of advocacy and advice’. Led by ‘hospitable’ practice director J-P Schulz, the ‘impressive’ clerks’ room is ‘second to none’ when it comes to client care. ‘I have been impressed by their diligence and how approachable they are,’ said one client. ‘They are professional and friendly and the set benefits from their competent handling.’ Senior practice manager James Mitchell ‘makes the job of instructing solicitors very easy’; practice manager Joe Lamb ‘goes above and beyond to assist any way he can’. Offices in: London

The ‘impressive’ Francis Taylor Building is recommended for planning, environment, and public law matters. What sets it apart from other chambers, however, is the ‘strength in depth of its barristers who specialise in licensing’. The service provided by the clerks’ room and support staff is described as ‘excellent, helpful and efficient’ and the ‘great’ seminars arranged by chambers offer added value to solicitors. The clerks’ room is led by senior clerk Paul Coveney, who has moulded a team that is ‘always willing to help however they can, particularly with ensuring a suitable barrister is selected to meet client need’. The ‘outstanding’ principal clerks Andrew Briton, James Kemp and Tom Rook are also recommended for the high levels of client service. Offices in: London

Littered with ‘top end’ barristers, Furnival Chambers is, for some, the ‘go-to’ chambers for crime, which also offers specialist advocates in extradition and professional disciplinary and regulatory work.‘There are some real superstars in the set,’ said one solicitor, ‘this means my high-profile and difficult cases are covered well, including aspects of returns being dealt with by barristers at the same or even greater seniority than original instructed counsel.’ Senior clerk Stephen Ball has ‘a unique ability to engender trust in solicitors; he is undoubtedly a credit to chambers and a key part of their success’. First junior Joel Mason is also highly regarded. Offices in: London

A set of ‘very high calibre’, the quality of the barristers and their work at ‘behemoth’ Garden Court Chambers is ‘consistently excellent and their passion and commitment unfailing’. As one of the largest chambers in the country, it has great strength in depth and is able to offer ‘excellent counsel at all levels of seniority’; ‘all are down to earth, care about the clients and are on top of the law’. Chambers specialises in human rights and civil liberties, public law, as well as in crime and family matters, and for some is ‘the best set for immigration law’. Led by director of clerking Colin Cook, the clerks’ room will ‘often move heaven and earth to accommodate the needs of solicitors’.The ‘tremendously efficient’ clerks are ‘quick to respond, offering advice on suitable counsel’. Members of the immigration team who drew high praise include practice manager Lisa O’Leary, who is ‘completely unflappable’, ‘wonderful’ deputy practice manager Luke Harvey, and deputy practice manager Helen-Louise D’Agostino, who ‘always sorts out anything needed in the blink of an eye’. The family clerks, comprising practice manager Sumaya Gilmore, deputy Paul Sams and assistant Tiffany Daniels, are ‘exceptionally experienced and helpful’. ‘They know the solicitors in the field and have a deft understanding of the expertise required for even the most complex cases.’ Housing practice manager Tim Hempsted ‘goes out of his way to ensure a high level of service’. Glenn Fletcher is chambers’ director. Offices in: London

Multi-disciplinary set Garden Court North Chambers houses ‘a large number of counsel who are very skilled in presenting immigration and asylum cases’. Criminal defence, personal injury, social housing, Court of Protection and inquests work are other core areas of expertise. Recent headline instructions include multiple members acting for 73 of the victims in the Grenfell Tower inquiry. Chambers director Sarah Wright leads the clerking team, which ‘always goes the extra mile to help’. Offices in: Manchester

An ‘up and coming’ immigration and asylum set, Goldsmith Chambers has strength in depth with ‘a number of very cable barristers’, meaning the clerks’ room ‘never fails’ to provide cover for crime, family and wider public law matters. Counsel and clerks are ‘thorough, friendly and understand the aims and objectives of lay clients’. Key contacts include senior clerk John Francis; senior criminal clerk Lynn Pilkington; and senior civil, family and immigration clerk Alex Nunn. First junior immigration clerk Elliot Gardiner and fees clerk James Nicholson deserve special mention for their ‘efficient, responsive and helpful’ service. Offices in: London

‘Top of the tree on consumer work’, specialist regulatory set Gough Square Chambers is ‘full of genuine experts who are user friendly and commercially aware’. For some, it is the ‘first choice’ in cases involving consumer protection and food safety investigations and prosecutions. Members also have ‘unparalleled knowledge’ of all things regulatory in the trading standards, health and safety, and environmental spaces. The clerks, who ‘go out of their way to build relationships’, have ‘a notable awareness of the market and an enthusiasm for what they do are’, and are ‘responsive and personable; it’s like dealing with one big happy family’. ‘First-rate’ senior clerk Bob Weekes and first junior Richard Bryant are ‘always very open, honest and friendly’, and with second clerk Jack Bradshaw ‘always go out of their way to help and resolve any difficulties’. Offices in: London

Offering ‘a very professional all-round service’, Gray's Inn Tax Chambers continues to focus on the prevention of tax disputes both in the UK and abroad and clients remain ‘wowed’ by the set’s modern offices on Queen Street. ‘Always responsive’ senior clerk Chris Broom leads ‘a professional and efficient’ clerking team which includes deputy clerk Ben Stern, who provides ‘first-rate client service and always ensures financial requirements are met’. Offices in: London

Guildford Chambers has solid expertise in family law; the practice has ‘a very good offering in relation to private and public law children cases’. The group is also adept in financial remedy and TOLATA matters. Property law is another core area of instruction. Senior clerk Simon Morris is ‘one of the best’. First junior clerk Gavin Street is another key contact. Offices in: Guildford, London

Bristol-based Guildhall Chambers is noted for its expertise in personal injury, insolvency, Chancery, employment and clinical negligence matters, with crime and regulatory law other cornerstone practice areas for the team. Matthew Porter-Bryant was appointed to the Welsh district bench and James Townsend was appointed to the circuit bench in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Recent barrister moves include a number of the commercial team to the newly opened Enterprise Chambers in Bristol and Suzanne Staunton move to Simmons & Simmons. ‘The clerks provide an excellent service and are quick to accommodate any requirements.’ In 2017 Christy Farrer became chief executive and in 2018 principal civil clerk Justin Emmett left the set. Commercial practice manager Mike Norton is ‘very responsive’, and principal crime, regulatory and sports clerk Lucy Northeast is ‘very efficient’. Offices in: Bristol

With ‘unparalleled strength in depth’, Hailsham Chambers is well regarded across the fields of costs, professional negligence, clinical negligence and personal injury. While losing Martin Spencer QC to the High Court was seen as ‘a bit of a blow’, the set has ‘plenty of heavyweights and rising stars to fill the gap’. Leading an ‘exemplary clerking team’ that is ‘second to none’, senior clerk Stephen Smith is ‘a wonder’, and ‘so helpful and ably assisted’ by deputy senior clerk Michael Kilbey, first junior Stuart Paley and second junior Jack Crowhurst. The clerks are careful to ‘identify appropriate counsel to provide expertise tailored to the individual client and matter needs’. The team is ‘very good at creating the illusion you are the only client they have’. Offices in: London

Harcourt Chambers is well known in London and the South Eastern Circuit as a ‘strong chambers in family law’, with ‘fantastic depth and breadth’. The set reports an uptick in instructions across the board for public and private children law work, including serious physical and sexual abuse, child relocation and abduction matters, as well as matrimonial finance. In 2018 Nick Goodwin QC took over from Frances Judd QC as head of chambers, and Jane Campbell joined from Six Pump Court. The clerks’ room is a ‘well-oiled machine, efficient and professional’. Oxford-based chambers’ director Simon Boutwood and senior practice manager Judith Partington ‘ensure that levels of service never falter, even at their busiest times’. In the words of one solicitor, London practice manager Matthew Molloy and clerk Laurie Amron are ‘like Mick Jagger and Keith Richards – the best collaborators, longstanding devotion and in it for the long haul’. Offices in: London, Oxford

The ‘fantastic’ Hardwicke is ‘a first division operation with great strength in depth’. The chambers is ‘out on their own for construction and insurance’ matters, is ‘an excellent commercial litigation set’, well regarded in property law, and ‘the clear leader’ in franchising work. Counsel are ‘responsive and make clients and solicitors feel part of the team’. Chambers’ style ‘means its approach to the lay client is friendly, clear and approachable’. ‘Trustworthy’ chief executive Amanda Illing is ‘the shining star of the team’; she has ‘taken chambers to a new level’ and ‘puts the quality of service at the heart of everything she does, while making sure we all feel like a member of her family’. The praise for the chief continues, with one solicitor explaining how Illing has ‘brought a user friendliness and unstuffiness’. Thanks to the leadership of practice director Deborah Anderson, the ‘top-drawer’ clerking team is ‘always efficient and client focused’ and ‘willing to go the extra mile’. Anderson, ‘who ensures that key relationships are kept and built upon’, is assisted by ‘superb’ senior practice managers Richard Sumarno and James Duncan-Hartill, who are ‘quick to respond and active in resolving queries’. Also of note, both Natasha Devlin-Clingham and Rhian Hiscocks are ‘efficient, personable and approachable’ and ‘know their barristers really well’. Offices in: London

‘Without any doubt, the leading product liability defence set in the UK’, and ‘a top-notch chambers for commercial disputes’, Henderson Chambers benefits from an ‘in-depth range of juniors and seniors who can deal with anything you throw at them’. The recent refurbishment of chambers has not gone unnoticed, with solicitors commenting on the ‘impressive accommodation’ and ‘excellent facilities’. Under the leadership of ‘simply the best’ chief clerk John White, the ‘down-to-earth’ clerks’ room ‘takes a commercial approach to fees’. Senior practice managers Daniel Kemp and Nick Bryant come highly recommended and are ‘always a pleasure to deal with’. Assistant practice manager Joseph Sutton is ‘a rising star’. Offices in: London

Hirst Chambers is home to Leonie Hirst. A sole practitioner, she handles work involving public law and human rights, and specialises in deprivation of liberty and unlawful detention cases. Offices in: London

The ‘first-rate and highly respected’ Hogarth Chambers has ‘real strength in depth’ and ‘unrivalled quality’ in intellectual property work, particularly in respect of registry matters. Instructing solicitors ‘derive a great benefit from the set’s involvement in the latest cutting-edge cases’ and also benefit from ‘members’ support of those clients with more limited budgets and will work as hard for them as those with more big ticket cases’. Furthermore, solicitors recognise the set’s commitment to firms outside of London, demonstrated by the array of seminars it provides to regional firms throughout the year. Some say the ‘always helpful and highly professional’ clerks’ room has ‘really upped its game’ of late; ‘They are phenomenal. Always open and approachable when discussing fees and will move mountains when you are dealing with a particularly urgent or challenging matter.’ Solicitors are big fans of ‘famously charming’ chambers director Ian Bowie, who is ‘commercially minded, practical and solutions driven’, as well as being blessed with ‘an encyclopaedic memory and knowledge of the IP Bar, solicitors and judges’. ‘Always willing to go the extra mile’, senior clerk Clive Nicholls will ‘bend over backwards to assist you and help you meet the demands of your clients’. Assistant clerk John Davies ‘offers a friendly face and is always on hand to assist when preferred counsel isn’t available’. Offices in: London

Swansea-based Iscoed Chambers provides ‘a comprehensive service’ across personal injury, employment, crime and property matters. Chambers’ director Avril Llewellyn leads the clerking team, in which Donna Williams is singled out as ‘always helpful and should any problem arise she works to reach a resolution’. Offices in: Swansea

Family law is a core practice area at KBG Chambers, where the practitioners handle public law children cases and financial remedy matters, with private law children instructions another key area of expertise. Practitioners are also adept in property law. The ‘proactive, swift and accommodating’ clerks ‘are always willing to help out and be flexible to accommodate difficulties that arise’. Senior clerk Colin Palmer is ‘superb’; family clerks Yvonne Simmons and Elizabeth Crothers are singled out as ‘very helpful, efficient and very pleasant to deal with’. Offices in: Leeds

Criminal law remains a keystone area of strength for KBW, however, the set is very well versed in employment, family, public and regulatory law. Members have noteworthy expertise in acting for police forces across the North East. Head of the clerking team Jayne Turner and first junior clerk Lee Baines are ‘thoroughly dedicated’; ‘no task is ever too small or too troublesome for them and they will always try to meet requests for specific counsel’. Offices in: Leeds

KCH Garden Square’s key strengths are in crime and family law, although practitioners are also adept in civil matters including professional negligence, Chancery and employment cases. Recent developments include Pami Dhadli appointed to the district bench in 2018. Anthony Krogulec and Stuart Walker head up the crime and civil/family clerking teams respectively. Offices in: Nottingham, Leicester

Still the ‘go-to set for construction-related disputes’ at home and abroad, Keating Chambers has ‘great strength and depth’ and ‘is clearly at the top of its game’, especially when it comes to public procurement matters. ‘From pupils to QCs they have all been very quick to pick up highly specialist technical issues, as well as being down to earth and easy to work with,’ said one solicitor. Led by a ‘simply excellent’ chief executive and director of clerking, Declan Redmond, and ‘forward-looking’ business development director Holly Gavaghan, the ‘very professional’ clerking team is ‘always on hand to help with availability or fee issues’. Deputy senior clerk Rob Cowup and senior practice manager James Luxmoore are ‘efficient yet also flexible and very easy to deal with’. Will Shrubsall is also ‘particularly good’. Offices in: London

Immigration and asylum matters are prominent in Kenworthy's Chambers’ workload, although practitioners are also adept in criminal, personal injury, family and employment law. In 2018 Anisa Niaz-Dickinson moved to Kings Chambers. Practice manager Maria Rushworth is the key clerking contact. Offices in: Manchester

‘Very strong’ set Kings Chambers houses barristers adept at handling matters across the civil law spectrum, especially planning law, and is viewed by some as ‘a go-to resource for planning professionals’. Personal injury, Chancery, insolvency, and commercial matters are prominent in the team’s workload. Other areas of expertise include Court of Protection and costs law. Recent barrister moves include Anisa Niaz-Dickinson join from Kenworthy's Chambers and Paras Gorasia move to Doughty Street Chambers, and in 2018 Mark Halliwell was appointed a specialist civil circuit judge. On the clerking side, Colin Griffin moved to 23 Essex Street; William Brown and Stephen Loxton are the chief clerks for Manchester. Gary Smith is the senior clerk in Birmingham and Louise Barnes took over from Rory Davis as senior clerk in Leeds. Offices in: Manchester, Leeds, Birmingham

Common law set Lamb Building has ‘vastly experienced’ counsel who provide ‘good value for money’ and specialist expertise, particularly in immigration law, where its members are described as ‘excellent’. Chambers is ‘well organised and always deliver on time’, thanks to the ‘very responsive’ clerking team led by senior clerk Gary Goodger. David Corne (criminal and civil groups clerk) and Paul Hammond (family and civil practice groups clerk) are key contacts. Of particular note, however, is immigration clerk Phil Silverman, who is praised for his responsiveness, friendly attitude and being ‘always happy to accommodate at short notice’. Offices in: London, Brighton

An ‘extremely efficient and helpful chambers’, with ‘strength and depth’ across the civil law spectrum, Lamb Chambers is a ‘go-to set’ for some solicitors. The clerks ‘go above and beyond what is expected of them’. Cliff Alderson, Philip Alden and Paul O’Mullane are ‘all easy to get along with, knowledgeable and helpful’. Offices in: London

‘A leading public law set’, the ‘impressive’ Landmark Chambers has ‘a seemingly bottomless depth and breadth of expertise’, particularly in planning where it is described as ‘a premier set’ covering all areas – including more niche fields, such as green belt. Providing ‘a high level of service and at reasonable rate’, chambers also offers ‘strength in depth in other areas, such as rating legislation’, while one solicitor described it as ‘a pathfinder in the field of immigration law’. The whole clerking team has ‘an in-depth knowledge of planning law and procedure’, meaning it is well placed to recommend individuals with particular interest or experience. The clerking team is ‘skilfully led’ by chief clerk, Jay Fullilove, who is ably assisted by experienced senior practice managers Bill King, Kevin Squires, Mark Ball and Ben Connor, who are all recommended as ‘knowledgeable, responsive, commercial and, above all, helpful’. At practice manager level, Neil Perry ‘knows his barristers really well; is pleasant, with great humour; speaking to him is like speaking with an old friend’. Michael Gooch is ‘exceptionally helpful’ and Richard Bolton is ‘extremely efficient’. Offices in: London

Criminal law is a mainstay of Lincoln House Chambers’ practice, housing barristers who are well versed in cases involving historical sexual abuse, drugs conspiracies, fraud, homicide and serious violence. Regulatory law is another cornerstone area of instruction. The ‘calm and measured’ David Wright (‘a brilliant asset to the chambers’) leads the ‘responsive’ clerking team. Offices in: Manchester

Linenhall Chambers is well known for its practice in family and criminal law across the North West of England and on the Wales and Chester circuit. Members are also well versed in areas such as personal injury, employment, commercial and property law. The clerking team includes senior criminal clerk Gareth Stickels, senior family clerk Gavin James Reeves and senior civil clerk James D’Arcy. Martin Griffiths is the chambers director.

A ‘powerhouse employment chambers’, Littleton Chambers is a ‘go-to’ set, particularly for emergency injunctions. Chambers set out its stall to be the leaders in the business protection space, which ‘they’ve achieved with aplomb’. It is also ‘full of bright counsel’ who have ‘a great reputation’ in sports law. It has strength in depth across the board, with all members ‘operating in a client-focused way, balancing the law with the priorities of each individual client’. The ‘first-rate’ clerks’ room is ‘both very friendly, effective and pragmatic’ and ‘go out of its way to assist – even out of hours’. Senior clerk Jason Drakeford is ‘excellent’ and deputy senior clerk Dan Woodbridge is ‘always responsive’. Former team leader Tim Tarring (‘exceptionally helpful and accommodating’) has become the set’s client relationship manager. Liz Dux is chambers director. Offices in: London

Magdalen Chambers has solid expertise in civil and family law; recent instructions include care proceedings and financial remedy matters. Property law cases are prominent on the civil side, however, members are well versed in commercial, insolvency and planning matters. In 2018 Michael Berkley was appointed to the circuit bench, while Jonathan O’Neill became in-house counsel for the London Borough of Hillingdon. Senior clerk James Basden and civil clerk Harry Turner are ‘very personable, efficient, client focused and responsive’ as well as being ‘always cheerful, willing to help and have an understanding of both solicitors’ and clients’ needs’. Offices in: Exeter

Maitland Chambers is a ‘top of the tree Chancery set’ with ‘some of the strongest juniors going’. In addition to commercial and Chancery work, it is also a ‘go-to’ for complex fraud, offshore, insolvency and partnership matters. For some, it is also ‘the set of choice for specialist property litigation work’. The members, from the silks down to the juniors, are described as ‘quite commercial and client friendly’. A ‘favourite’ senior clerk among some solicitors, John Wiggs is ‘a class act’. Wiggs runs a ‘slick’, ‘old-style’ clerks’ room, and ‘as a consequence of which you get good personal service’; ‘I trust the clerks at Maitland implicitly to provide me with the most appropriate level of barrister for the work required.’ Other solicitors described the clerks as ‘professional, helpful and great to deal with’. Deputy senior clerks Robert Penson (‘commercial and responsive’) and Harry Gilson are also key contacts. Stewart Thompson is chambers director. Offices in: London

‘A go-to set for human rights and public law matters’, Matrix Chambers has ‘a depth of expertise that is second to none’. Chambers also has ‘a fantastic reputation in employment, discrimination and judicial review’ and ‘are leaders in the field of education law’. And its commercial offering, although smaller, ‘has some notably excellent practitioners’. While both Monckton Chambers and Brick Court Chambers have well-deserved reputations as leaders in competition law, ‘Matrix are coming through to challenge them’. Chambers’ ‘highly professional’ and ‘polished’ practice managers are ‘approachable, pragmatic, attentive and efficient’ and ‘think outside the box to solve problems’. Offering ‘excellent client service’, practice director Jason Housden is a ‘phenomenal clerk’, senior practice manager Paul Venables is ‘always exceptionally helpful and efficient’ and ‘a pleasure to deal with’, while ‘on the ball’ Alison Scanes is ‘as diligent and responsive as ever’; ‘an absolute delight to work with’. At practice manager level, Elizabeth Boucher is highly regarded by solicitors and Chris Beard is ‘very knowledgeable on the details of individual cases which installs instructing solicitors with the confidence he has the ability to match counsel to suitable cases’. The set also drew praise for ‘a significant legal and document support offering which has made the administration of certain aspects of the work much less stressful’. Rachel Holmes has joined from 7BR following the departure of Lindsay Scott to 39 Essex Chambers. Offices in: London

The reputation of Monckton Chambers’ barristers, ‘all of whom are of high quality and good to work with’, ‘makes it hard to look elsewhere’ when it comes EU law and competition law instructions. It is also ‘undoubtedly one of the strongest chambers for procurement and public law’. Members have ‘in-depth knowledge of human rights law as well as proceedings before European courts’. Solicitors ‘value the fact that juniors roll up their sleeves and get stuck in’, and that senior members are ‘not stuffy and able to work collaboratively and flexibly’. Under the guidance of senior clerk David Hockney, the ‘exceptional’ clerking team is ‘always on top of its brief’. Deputy senior clerk John Keegan is ‘a pleasure to deal with’. First junior Steven Duffett is ‘a real problem-solver when it comes to getting time with counsel’. Gemma Rawlinson is ‘fantastic’. And finally, more than one solicitor commented on how the set’s receptionist, Linda Antonioni, is ‘a joy’ to speak with. Offices in: London

‘Highly recommended’ for children law cases, New Court Chambers offers barristers with ‘a wide range a skills and expertise’; ‘There is a good mix of personalities and characters that will be well matched to your client’. The set ‘prides itself on a friendly, relaxed approach’. The ‘expert’ clerks are ‘always helpful’ and ‘very often will go above and beyond to assist the instructing solicitor’. Paul Bloomfield is the senior clerk and first junior James Stammers is ‘particularly outstanding’. Offices in: London

New Park Court Chambers has established expertise in crime and regulatory work, particularly medical professional misconduct matters. The barristers are also adept at handling family law instructions, while inquests and inquiries work is a developing area for the set, with Paul Greaney QC currently acting on behalf of a core participant in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. Tim Coulson is chambers director; Kirsten Frankland is the chambers’ manager; and Teresa Pugh was recently made practice director. Janet Jackson and Wayne Stevens are the senior clerks for civil/family and criminal law, respectively; both also handle regulatory law. Offices in: Leeds, Newcastle

A ‘strong commercial set’, New Square Chambers ‘continues to go from strength to strength’. The Chancery set has expertise in commercial and private client litigation, as well as media, intellectual property and public law. The clerks are described as ‘efficient and helpful’, ‘as one would expect with any strong commercial set’, but they also possess ‘a surprising amount of legal knowledge’, which places them ‘ahead of the pack’, according to some solicitors. Phil Reeves is head of clerking and he is assisted by deputy head of clerking Michelle Greene. Offices in: London

Common law set Nexus Chambers and has expertise in family, personal injury and criminal law. Chambers was bolstered by last year’s arrival of Michael Mansfield QC and 20 other barristers from Mansfield 1 Gray’s Inn Square. Key names to note in the clerks’ room are practice managers Del Edgeler, Lee Wakeling and Martin Parker. Offices in: London

Specialist criminal set No.1 High Pavement Chambers houses barristers who prosecute and defend in high-profile cases, including drugs conspiracies, murder, and serious violent crime. Nigel Wragg is the senior clerk. Offices in: Nottingham

A set ‘in a class of its own’, No5 Barristers Chambers’ ‘depth and calibre of counsel is exceptional’. It has strength across commercial, construction, crime, family, employment, personal injury, clinical negligence, property, planning, public law and regulatory matters. Recent developments include a number of barristers join the set from St Philips Chambers and Christopher Young QC take silk. ‘All of the clerks are hardworking and diligent’; chief executive and director of clerking Tony McDaid ‘always comes up with the goods’. Geoff Carr is the London director of clerking. Offices in: Birmingham, London, Bristol, Leicester

No.18 Barristers Chambers’ practitioners have particular expertise in family law, with other notable strengths including personal injury, employment and public law, with immigration matters prominent in the case of the latter. Mark Windebank is the senior clerk and leads the ‘excellent’ team. Offices in: Southampton

Practitioners at Octagon Chambers have expertise in crime, family and employment law. Robert Gibson leads the clerking team, which includes family clerk Gemma Mulloy and criminal clerk Stephen Unsworth. Offices in: Norwich

Old Square Chambers is ‘a go-to set for employment matters’, with ‘excellent counsel at all levels’. For some, chambers offers the best counsel around ‘in terms of value for money, availability and high-quality barristers’. While the set is well respected for its work on employment issues, it also houses ‘a decent roster’ of ‘talented’, ‘extremely knowledgeable’ personal injury counsel, and has ‘great set with depth’ in clinical negligence work; ‘they have someone who is right for each case’. Members are ably assisted by a group of ‘responsive clerks with very good knowledge of clients and practice areas. They offer the right barrister up for the right client’. ‘Nothing is ever too much trouble’ for the ‘fantastic, professional and slick’ clerking team led by ‘friendly, approachable and client-focused’ senior clerk William Meade; ‘he always listens to what you want and provides super service’. Deputy senior clerk Graham Smith is ‘highly regarded’; Jack Wheeler and Joe Kallas are both ‘excellent clerks’ who ‘always respond very quickly and provide an outstanding service’. Olivia Moliterno is singled out for praise and consultant Nick Salt is also a name to note. Chambers premises are ‘widely admired’ as a venue for conferences and settlement meetings. Offices in: London, Bristol

Specialists in private and corporate tax, Old Square Tax Chambers has ‘strength in depth’ and ‘counsel are available, friendly and highly expert in their fields’. In the clerks’ room, Cliff Holland, Franco Lombardi and Adam Blades are all ‘unfailingly helpful and efficient’. Offices in: London

The ‘modern’ One Brick Court is ‘a premier set for reputation and information law work’, including defamation and data protection matters, and has strength in depth with ‘some of the best heavyweight silks’ and ‘particularly strong, user-friendly juniors’. The clerks are ‘some of the nicest at the Bar’ and ‘utterly dedicated to their barristers’. Senior clerk David Mace is ‘rightly highly regarded for his commercial common sense’ and deputy senior clerk Melvin Warner is ‘a future senior clerk for sure’. Together they are ‘probably the two most experienced clerks in media law and will always fight your client's corner’. They are ‘hugely professional and have integrity in their handling of instructions’. Offices in: London

‘One of the elite civil sets in England’, One Essex Court ‘is shaping up as the most dynamic and highest performing chambers’ around with ‘a number of stars’ in commercial, banking and fraud areas. Members ‘combine outstanding academic and intellectual rigour with practical aptitude and a robust gutsy approach’. The clerks’ room, led by the ‘outstanding’ and ‘one of the very best’ senior clerks around, Darren Burrows, ‘sets the standard for clerking’ and is ‘in a different league to most chambers’. The ‘flawless’ team ‘out performs other top sets in its service delivery’; it provides ‘responsive and intelligent clerking’, gives ‘clear and salient information’, offers ‘cost-effective solutions for the lay client’ and ‘adds significant value’ to solicitor relationships. Offering ‘a consummate professional service’, ‘on the ball’ deputy senior clerk Jackie Ginty is ‘simply a class above the rest, never fails to find a solution’ and provides ‘an excellent service, responding quickly to queries and addressing any issues which may arise’. Among the junior clerks Adam Wheeler ‘always impresses with his attention to good service and willingness to go the extra mile’; Rob Smith is ‘approachable, easy to deal with, gives his honest opinion’, ‘takes the time to build relationships with solicitors’ and ‘develops innovative fee structures’; Ben O'Hanlon is ‘first rate’; Kirsty Hough ‘provides an excellent service’; Jack Miller ‘finds practical solutions when sourcing counsel and through the lifetime of the case’; ‘nothing is too much trouble’ for ‘effective operator’ David Amdor; and Jessica Barnes is ‘incredibly helpful in overcoming challenges with court listings’. Offices in: London

‘Excellent’ common law set One Pump Court has ‘a wide variety of expert counsel to choose from’, particularly in immigration, crime and family work. Senior clerk Ian Burrow is ‘very helpful, experienced and knowledgeable’. Practice managers James Rourke and Mycal Thomas are ‘dependable and can find people even on urgent cases with short notice; very good at keeping in contact; and can be trusted’. Scott Haley is also ‘highly recommended’. Offices in: London

Barristers at Oriel Chambers are active in personal injury and clinical negligence, regulatory, commercial and Chancery cases. The ‘extremely helpful and friendly’ clerks are led by chambers’ director Sarah Cavanagh and chambers’ manager Paul Thompson. Offices in: Liverpool, Preston

Having established itself as ‘a leading set across a wide range of disciplines’, ‘strong and modern’ Outer Temple Chambers ‘offers a one-stop shop for solicitors’ thanks to its ‘fairly eclectic set of barristers’ who have expertise in personal injury, clinical negligence, pensions, employment and financial services. For travel law work it is described as ‘a rising, up-and-coming set’. Business development directors David Smith and David Scothern run ‘a very slick machine’. ‘No problem is too big, and I always feel like I can call on them for help’, said one solicitor. The business team’s senior clerk, Matt Sale, ‘is realistic when working with client budgets’; ‘excellent’ first junior Peter Foad’s ‘depth of experience, friendly manner and effortless charm make him a very popular clerk to work with’. Key contacts in the health team are business development directors Graham Woods (‘ensures the provision of great service’) and Paul Barton (‘the go-to guy to get things done’ and ‘extremely knowledgeable of the PI market’). Second juniors of note are the ‘very client-focused’Adam Macdonald and Chris Rowe. Steve Graham and Christine Kings lead the staff. Offices in: London, Manchester

Pallant Chambers has a strong reputation for family, commercial, property and employment law. Charlotte Georges has departed to The 36 Group. Alister Williams is the senior clerk. Offices in: Chichester

‘Excellent set’ Park Square Barristers has established expertise in criminal, family and regulatory matters; personal injury and clinical negligence law is another key area. In 2018 Andrew Mitchell and Claire Murden were appointed to the district and circuit benches, respectively. Senior managing clerk Richard Sadler leads the clerking team, which includes ‘brilliant’ senior civil clerk Francine Kirk and regulatory and public law clerk Madeleine Gray (‘always goes the extra mile’). Key contacts also include senior civil clerk Francine Kirk, senior criminal clerk Andrew Thornton and senior family clerk Claudine Cooper (‘a star’). Collectively, the team ‘is happy to challenge the traditional barriers between solicitors and barristers to offer a more progressive and pragmatic service which can only benefit the end user: the lay client’. In 2018 Richard Wright QC took over as sole head of chambers after Andrew Lewis QC stepped down from the post. Offices in: Leeds

Parklane Plowden is a ‘fantastic set which has a large depth and breadth of experience’, most prominently in employment, personal injury and clinical negligence and family law. In another recent development, the commercial team has been strengthened by the arrival of barristers from St Philips Chambers. On the support side, the clerks are ‘friendly and helpful and always willing to go the extra mile’. Practice director Michael Stubbs is ‘a pleasure to work with’; senior clerk Mark Williams is ‘excellent’; and senior civil clerk Sharon Robson is ‘brilliant, always happy to help and very responsive’. Clerking director Andy Gray is no longer at the set. Offices in: Leeds, Newcastle

‘One of the foremost sets and the only one that is truly focused, exclusively, on partnership law’, Partnership Counsel is the ‘repository of all knowledge relating to general partnerships’ and is ‘often instructed directly by law firms on partnership disputes’. Members Roderick l’Anson Banks and Simon Jelf are ‘superstars of the partnership Bar’. ‘Excellent’ clerk Tyroon Wyn is ‘exceptionally easy to get along with and efficient’. ‘It is very easy to discuss matters with him and he is practical and proactive.’ Offices in: London

Pump Court Chambers has a reputation as an ‘outstanding family set’, where members have expertise in high-value matrimonial finance, international child abduction, non-accidental injuries, sexual abuse and fabricated illness matters. Crime, regulatory, property, commercial and employment law are other prominent areas of instruction. Recent key developments include James Newton-Price QC take silk in 2018. Following the recent retirement of chief clerk David Barber, Tony Atkins took over as senior clerk and attracts praise for his ‘superb management of client relationships’. Family clerks Sean Gentleman and Charlotte Horn are ‘incredibly helpful, efficient and professional. They always go the extra mile’. Offices in: London, Winchester, Swindon

‘The strongest tax chambers by a country mile,’ Pump Court Tax Chambers is ‘the first port of call on tax advice’ and ‘rightly regarded as the pre-eminent set for tax litigation’. It has ‘a wealth of experience across all fields of tax’ and is ‘full of excellent silks’. At the junior end, the set’s ‘very talented’ barristers ‘truly impress with their intelligence, maturity, interest in their subject and ability to express themselves clearly’. All the clerks are ‘excellent’, particularly senior clerk Nigel Jones, who is ‘amenable, constructive and courteous’. Jones manages ‘a very slick’ team ‘with effortless ease and is exceptionally good at helping clients to choose counsel’. Team leaders John Poyser, Bruno Antoniotti and deputy team leader Rob Adams are ‘all impressive when dealing with clients’. Offices in: London

With a ‘wealth of talent’, QEB Hollis Whiteman offers ‘excellent service across the board at all levels’ and is highly recommended for white collar crime, fraud, confiscation, regulatory matters and sex offences cases. The set is ‘very commercially astute’ and ‘all barristers are very personable and capable’. Senior clerk Chris Emmings is ‘particularly helpful and experienced in dealing with very large cases where agreeing fees and other financial arrangements can be less than straightforward’. First junior Faye Patis has ‘an excellent clerking manner and is well liked by clients’. According to one solicitor, the pair ‘deserve special praise for their ability to suggest suitable counsel for each case after listening carefully to the requirements’. Second junior clerk David O’Sullivan is also recommended by solicitors for his ‘efficiency and responsiveness’. Stacey Hunt is chambers manager. Offices in: London

Quadrant Chambers is the ‘go-to set for shipping’ matters, but it also has a growing reputation for general commercial work and international arbitration. ‘Having successfully carved out a particular specialism in the insurance, energy and trade sectors’ the set is ‘gaining a formidable reputation outside its core areas’. With ‘good strength in depth and guaranteed quality’, chambers is described as ‘a very cost effective option’ which ‘offers real value for money’. Chambers was strengthened this year with the arrivals of a specialist banking and commercial team from 2TG – 2 Temple Gardens; Paul Downes QC, Emily Saunderson, Stewart Chirnside and Joseph Sullivan all joined in January 2018. The ‘extremely well-run’ and ‘efficient’ clerks’ room is led by senior clerks Gary Ventura and Simon Slattery. ‘Knowledgeable and enthusiastic about his barristers’, the ‘tremendous’ Ventura is ‘a bit of a legend’ and ‘a great figurehead’ for chambers; the ‘great’ Slattery regularly meets client requirements ‘no matter how unusual some of those requirements might be’. The team is ‘first rate and always willing to work to urgent deadlines’. Practice managers John Walker and Daryl Hughes are ‘particularly on the ball; they cannot do enough for you’. Offices in: London

Quartz Barristers Chambers’ ‘very experienced’ practitioners have expertise across a broad range of matters, including costs, family, employment, personal injury and commercial law. Head of clerking Paul Wright is ‘very attentive’.

Queen Elizabeth Building (QEB) holds ‘a number of shining stars’ and ‘a stellar array of individuals at every level’. Chambers is ‘terrific’ and excels in family law, particularly in high-value financial remedy cases. With ‘some real intellectual heavyweights in its stable’, QEB ‘goes about its business quietly and effectively, obtaining fantastic results for clients’. For some, it is also the ‘go-to’ set for nuptial agreements and enforcement, in particular complex cross-border cases. Known for their ‘thorough presentation of cases, intelligence and pragmatic advice’, counsel are able to ‘combine the traditions of the Bar with the modern standards of client care and availability that high net worths demand’. Chambers ‘exudes class’ and is ‘very much at the top of the game in London’ with ‘astounding strength in depth, backed up by a fantastic clerking team’. Senior clerk Howard Rayner has ‘assembled and leads a universally excellent dream team’ of ‘second to none’ clerks who ‘go above and beyond’ on a regular basis and are ‘a true asset’ to chambers. ‘Miracle worker’ Jon Bartlett is ‘in a league of his own’ among family clerks. Elizabeth Seymour is ‘capable, helpful; you always feel well looked after in her hands’. Harry Tennent has ‘a promising future and is one very much to watch’. Asked how chambers could improve, one solicitor said: ‘As with Mary Poppins, they are practically perfect in every way.’ Offices in: London

Queen Square Chambers’ members are active across the Western Circuit and South Wales, particularly in the areas of criminal, family and employment law. Other key areas include personal injury, regulatory, clinical negligence and commercial law. Recent barrister moves include Caroline Elford exit to St John's Chambers and Jonathan Heard joining St Philips Chambers. Following the retirement of Steve Freeman as chief executive in 2017, senior civil/family clerk James Dowse and senior criminal/regulatory clerk Colleen Inker act as chambers’ managers. Offices in: Bristol, Cardiff

Radcliffe Chambers remains ‘the go-to set’ for contentious trust and probate work, as well as charity law, pensions, real estate, complex insolvency and commercial litigation work. ‘An impressive array of contentious and non-contentious expertise means there is always someone available.’ The Chancery set has been bolstered by the arrival of members from St Philips Stone Chambers, and has gone from strength to strength under the leadership of chief executive Fiona Fitzgerald and ‘first-rate’ senior clerks John Clark and Keith Nagle. The team offers ‘a fantastic service’ and is ‘willing to help out in times of a crisis’; ‘you really notice the difference when you go elsewhere’. At practice manager level, the ‘model of efficiency’ Lee Wright is ‘particularly commercial when it comes to arranging brief fees’ and ably assisted by junior clerk Bradley Edwards in ‘ensuring a practical solution to any problem that may arise’. Justin Allen and Nathan Ellingham both come highly recommended by solicitors for ‘efficiency and responsiveness’. Second junior Vince Carter is also ‘incredibly responsive and helpful’. Offices in: London

Red Lion Chambers is highly regarded for its expertise in criminal law; the barristers have solid experience in handling high-profile homicide, fraud, serious sexual offences and drug trafficking. In a testament to chambers’ strength in this area, David Walbank QC took silk in 2018. Mark Bennett is practice director; deputy director Nick Parkinson, assistant practice director Lee Young and practice manager Chris Jones are also key contacts. Former head of chambers Max Hill QC has been appointed the new director of public prosecutions. Offices in: London, Chelmsford

Reeds Chambers 230462] is an arm of Oxford-based [Reeds Solicitors and houses barristers who have particular expertise in criminal law, including serious sexual offences, murder and serious violence cases. Wendy Emanuel is the key clerking contact.

Barristers at Regency Barristers Chambers are well known for their expertise in family law, handling a workload of public and private children law cases and financial remedy matters. Members also have strength in property, personal injury, Chancery and employment law. Recent moves include Carl Fender depart for Bank House Chambers. Toby Lowther leads the clerking team. Offices in: Cambridge, Peterborough

Ropewalk Chambers is ‘a strong set with significant expertise in defendant personal injury and fraud claims’, as well as industrial disease and claimant clinical negligence instructions, and it also handles costs, property, planning, environmental, commercial and inquests and inquiries cases. ‘Ever friendly’ senior clerk Tony Hill provides ‘an excellent service because he makes tremendous effort to get to know clients’. Deputy senior clerk Alan Odiam and clerking team leader Adrian Kelly are ‘hardworking and unflappable’. Offices in: Nottingham

‘Unsung heroes’ of the Bar Selborne Chambers continues to ‘punch above its weight’ and is fast becoming ‘a force in commercial property litigation’ and has ‘some real stars’ in professional negligence. It has ‘a wide range of expertise and levels to suit all matters and is very good value for money’. What sets chambers apart, according to some, is the clerking team; ‘the service provided by the clerks is excellent and inspires confidence in chambers’. Deserving plaudits for ‘quietly building the set up into something really rather good’, senior clerks Darren Madle and Paul Bunting ‘obviously know their business’, are ‘particular adept at finding the right barrister at the right price for cases’ and ‘unlike some clerks at other chambers, they are keen to assist and work within client expectations’. First junior Oliver Ventura provides ‘invaluable assistance’ to solicitors. Offices in: London

Senate House Chambers is well known for its expertise in public and private children law; members’ workloads include fabricated illnesses, female genital mutilation cases, non-accidental injuries and serious sexual abuse. Civil and crime law are other areas of instruction. Sue Crook, Rebecca Davis and Elaine Christie comprise the clerking team. Offices in: Northampton

The ‘brilliant’ Serjeants' Inn Chambers has been involved in some of the most high-profile Court of Protection cases in recent years and has ‘a great array of impressive silks and junior barristers at all levels of call’. Chambers has ‘a longstanding, well-deserved, reputation as one of the best clinical negligence sets in the UK and has many of the best counsel in the field’; ‘the breadth of experience they offer is brilliant and the quality of their junior barristers is second to none’. It retains its standing as ‘a premier set, particularly on regulatory and disciplinary law’ and ‘right from the most junior to the most senior members, it is littered with exceptional talent’. Chambers has welcomed a number of new additions to its ranks, including Nageena Khalique QC from No5 Barristers Chambers and Alexander dos Santos from Charter Chambers. Client care director Catherine Calder and chambers’ business director Martin Dyke have been promoted to joint chief executives. Dyke is responsible for operational management and deals with strategic and business planning with Calder. Described as ‘a marvel’, Calder has ‘set new standards in client care and is to be highly commended for the results she has achieved in recent years’. And as another solicitor said: ‘You know from the first point of contact with them that you’re in safe hands and they are expert at what they do.’ The clerks’ room ‘has always been strong’, and has a ‘great understanding of solicitor needs and time pressures’. There isn’t a solicitor around who doesn’t know ‘brilliant’ senior clerk Lee Johnson who ‘can be relied upon for a personal touch’. Tom O’Connor and Samantha Jones support Johnson ‘extremely ably and you always get a sensible, friendly and efficient service from them’. Jennifer Pooler stands out as being ‘incredibly hardworking but always responsive and approachable’. Meanwhile, the ‘efficient’ Louis Lockwood is ‘really coming into his own’ as a clerk. Client care manager Isabel Biggs is another name to note. Offices in: London

‘Top-drawer’ Serle Court is a strong Chancery set with ‘real strength in depth in company and partnership and fraud-related matters’ and has ‘some of the best and brightest at the Bar’. ‘Excellent in the trusts and probate’, some say it is ‘also challenging established property chambers, matching them with legal acumen, while exceeding them in adaptability and delivery of service’. The clerks’ room is led by ‘old school’ head clerk Steve Whittaker, who ‘seeks to keep everyone happy and always finds a solution to every problem’, and ‘star’, ‘go-to’ senior clerk Nick Hockney, who is ‘charming and extremely responsive’ to queries. Among the rest of the ‘pragmatic’ team, Paul Ballard is ‘always helpful, efficient and easy to deal with’; Adam Bell or Dan Wheeler ‘always recommend a barrister suitable for the job and generally make life easier’. John Petrie is chambers chief executive. Offices in: London

The ‘outstanding’ Six Pump Court has ‘strength in depth for regulatory work’ and offers a wide choice of ‘knowledgeable’ senior juniors across health and safety, environmental and consumer matters. The set continues to offer ‘exceptional value for money while delivering a top-class service’. Led by the ‘excellent’ Richard Constable, the clerks ‘combine enthusiasm, wit and ability to great effect’. All clerks are ‘extremely knowledgeable about their barristers’ strengths’ and ‘value their instructing solicitors’. First juniors Ryan Barrow and Graham Colloff are ‘great to work with’; ‘very friendly manner and very responsive’. Second junior Michael Hearn is ‘a real asset to the clerks’ room; he has the ability to make you feel like you are the only solicitor providing instructions and nothing is too much trouble’. Offices in: London, Maidstone

‘First-class’ South Square ‘remains the premier insolvency set with good variety of choice for silks and juniors’ and ‘cannot be bettered in relation to company law matters’. The clerking team, led by chambers director William Mackinlay, ‘values the commercial relationship’ with solicitors and ‘treats them as part of the team’. Senior practice manager Dylan Playfoot and practice manager Jim Costa ‘always make sure we get the best service, and the team under them is responsive and efficient’. Mike Killick is ‘excellent’ and Marco Malatesta stands out as ‘knowing his counsel and solicitors really well’. Luke Clark and James McAusland are singled out as ‘accessible, attentive and helpful’. Offices in: London

Following a rebrand in July 2017, 37 Park Square became Spire Barristers, a specialist family and public law set. Counsel handle the full range of children law matters, including abuse cases and care proceedings, and reports a growth in instructions relating to alleged radicalisation. Court of Protection and matrimonial finance work are other core areas of expertise. The ‘excellent’ clerks are headed by Leigh Royall. Offices in: Leeds

In the words of one solicitor, St Ives Chambers is ‘a superb family set’, housing a team with expertise in children, care, financial remedy and surrogacy matters. Other key practice areas are crime, property, housing, Chancery and regulatory law. The clerking team ‘are all efficient, friendly and helpful; they deal with difficulties with aplomb and a smile’. Key contacts include civil and family finance practice manager Ross Hands, whose ‘customer care skills are exceptional’; assistant civil and family finance practice manager Catherine Merry, who is ‘excellent’; family practice manager Sarah Robinson and crime practice manager Philip Hidson are other names to note. Jackie Maskew is chambers director. Offices in: Birmingham

Common law set St John's Buildings houses over 230 members across its four locations and is one of the largest chambers on the Northern and North Eastern circuits. It has a reputation as ‘a Northern Court of Protection powerhouse’ and has notable strength in family and personal injury matters, with an emphasis on defendant work. Other core areas include criminal, Chancery, commercial and employment law. ‘The clerks are always helpful, proactive and responsive’ and ‘always able to assist’. Chris Ronan is chief executive. Offices in: Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Chester

Civil law set St John's Chambers is an ‘outstanding regional set’ with ‘excellent depth and breadth’. The group has expertise in commercial, construction, family, personal injury, clinical negligence, regulatory, public and inquests and inquiries matters. On the support side, ‘the clerks are always very helpful and a pleasure to deal with’ and chief executive Derek Jenkins is ‘outstanding’. The practice managers are Robert Bocock, who ‘provides a first-class service’; Annette Bushell, who ‘will go out of her way to assist’; and Luke Hodgson, who is ‘always very helpful and highly knowledgeable’. Offices in: Bristol

St Mary's Chambers specialises solely in family law and is very well known for handling public law care proceedings, particularly non-accidental injury and abuse cases. The set reports an uptick in high-net-worth matrimonial finance matters. Senior clerk Scott Baldwin and first junior Kamla Chall-Bange are key clerking contacts. Offices in: Nottingham

‘Very strong’ St Paul's Chambers is well known for its expertise in criminal law, with regulatory, personal injury and public law matters included in the barristers’ workloads. A key highlight for the set is its involvement in the ongoing Mau Mau Kenyan reparation claims. Senior clerk Jayne Drake provides ‘a great service’. Offices in: Leeds

St Philips Chambers maintains a presence across the Midlands and North Eastern circuits, housing barristers who are active in commercial, criminal, regulatory, personal injury and clinical negligence, family, and property law cases, among other areas. Members of St Philips Stone (formerly Stone Chambers) in London have departed to form ‘36 Stone’, part of The 36 Group. Other key developments include Rosalyn Carter and Louise McCabe appointed to the circuit and district benches, respectively, while Heidi Kubik QC took silk shortly before being appointed to the circuit bench. Joe Wilson is the clerking director.

Stour Chambers’ barristers’ workload includes family finance, public and private children law, and abduction cases. In 2018 Gemma Farrington moved to 42 Bedford Row. ‘The clerks are always helpful, approachable and know their members inside out’; senior clerk Marc Goddard is ‘outstanding’ and ‘goes the extra mile to assist’. First junior clerk Charlie Mills is singled out for being ‘quick and efficient’. Offices in: Canterbury

Tanfield Chambers is a ‘go-to’ for residential work and, for some, is ‘the premier all-round set for leasehold enfranchisement and service charges’ work. It has ‘good strength in depth at all levels’ and is seen as ‘flexible, modern, unstuffy and very well-priced’. Chambers has ‘made great strides in positioning itself as one of the leading property sets’ and it ‘has had home-grown silks in each of the last three years, and is clearly ambitious for more’. The clerks are ‘attentive to solicitors’ needs and extremely responsive’. Tanfield is ‘well clerked’ at senior practice manager level by Zoe Bluck (‘sensible, available and quick to respond’), Richard Powell is (‘extremely helpful and responsive’) and Billy Forecast (‘amiable and always willing to discuss funding arrangements that suit clients’ needs’). Eamonn Kelly is chief executive. Offices in: London

Temple Garden Chambers is ‘a force’ in the health and insurance sectors and has ‘excellent, hardworking costs counsel, who are respected by judges’. The set has real strength in depth across its core areas of practice, including personal injury where is has ‘a good range of very competent counsel’, and is ‘always able to accommodate requests’ from solicitors. The clerks’ room is ‘very professional and always willing to assist’. Senior clerk Dean Norton and joint first juniors Nancy Rice and Keith Sharman are ‘excellent clerks with strong customer service skills and who will go the extra mile to make preferred counsel available’. Offices in: London

Members of Temple Tax Chambers specialise in a range of tax matters, including direct and indirect tax and private client matters, both in the UK and abroad. The ‘excellent’ all-female clerking team, led by ‘wonderful’ senior clerk Claire James and first junior Lucy Campbell, is ‘friendly, helpful and provide an extremely efficient and professional service’. Offices in: London

‘Top-notch’ Ten Old Square ‘seems to have a key role in almost every major piece of Chancery litigation going right now’. Led by ‘exceptionally responsive, helpful and fair’ senior clerk Keith Plowman, the ‘great’ clerking team is ‘flexible, understands client relationships and make life easier’ for solicitors. Able to ‘work wonders’, deputy senior clerk Marc Schofield is ‘excellent and works hard for his counsel and for instructing solicitors’ and ‘is always willing to put forward recommendations and sensible fee arrangements, as well as deal with court appointments swiftly and efficiently’. Offices in: London

The 36 Group has ‘certainly made inroads into the traditional sets’ dominance of the family market’. In addition to its family practice, the ‘leading multi-specialist set’ provides ‘top-notch’ barristers with expertise in criminal and civil law, and, following the arrival of members from Stone Chambers, shipping and international trade counsel. ‘An excellent set with some first-class criminal barristers’, ‘36 Crime’ practice manager Michelle Simpson and first crime clerk Lloyd Hawkins have ‘done an excellent job’ promoting their extradition team and have ‘an obvious care and pride over their counsel’. Hawkins in particular is ‘very good at building and maintaining relationships with instructing solicitors’. The clerking team of the family division, known as ‘36 Family’, is led by Danny Chapman, who ‘runs a team of quality clerks and is always prepared to go that extra mile when required’. Members of the brand formerly known St Philips Stone (Stone Chambers) have now joined The 36 Group under the new brand name ‘36 Stone’, and continue to be clerked by senior clerk Luke Irons. Other key contacts from the civil team include business development manager Steven Newbery and senior civil clerk Everton Wedderburn. Collectively, the clerking team ‘understand the need to keep clients happy’ and ‘will always do their best to assist a solicitor’. The clerks also appreciate ‘the financial constraints some clients face and always anxious to help where they can’. Offices in: London

Thomas More Chambers is ‘an under-appreciated set’ with ‘some astonishingly bright’ and ‘formidable specialist advocates’ practising across a dozen core areas, including arbitration, crime, employment, insolvency and property. Head of chambers Geoffrey Cox QC has recently been appointed attorney general. The clerking is ‘first rate’; chief clerk Stuart Sellen is ‘very efficient, knows exactly where his barristers are, what they can do and when they can do it by’; ‘nothing is too much trouble’ senior civil clerk Craig Brown; and senior criminal clerk Clifford Strong goes ‘above and beyond to assist counsel in their chambers, the instructing solicitors and the client’. Offices in: London

‘An impressive stable of QCs and senior juniors’, Three New Square is ‘one of the top three sets for patent litigation’, particularly in the life sciences space. Chambers is seen by clients as ‘the pre-eminent set for intellectual property work and has a broad range of extremely capable counsel’; ‘there is always someone to offer of varied call in what is a very competitive space’. Solicitors ‘keep coming back’ due to members being ‘very user friendly, responsive and get stuck in as part of a team’. The ‘trustworthy’ clerks are ‘a pleasure to work with and communicate well, quickly and candidly’, offer ‘excellent service both to solicitors and clients’ and ‘appreciate the importance of building relationships’. Running ‘a very good ship’ that has ‘a strong focus on good client care’, senior clerk Nicholas Hill is ‘one of the strongest clerks at the patent Bar’, is ‘well tapped into the pulse around court’ and ‘has a positive can-do attitude that is easy to work with’. Tim Fairburn is ‘easy to deal with, efficient and well informed; providing practical advice and suggestions’. David Court ‘in particular is very approachable and keen to assist’. Lee Reynolds is ‘an impressive junior clerk. One for the future’. Offices in: London

With ‘no weak links’ Three Raymond Buildings is ‘a leading set for business and regulatory crime’, has an ‘excellent reputation’ in extradition and international crime matters, and is also the ‘go-to licensing chambers’. The ‘super-efficient’ clerks’ room provides ‘very transparent and value for money fee quotes with no unwelcome surprises at billing time’ and ‘always appear to go the extra mile’. ‘Helpful, professional and efficient’, senior clerk Eddie Holland is ‘particularly good at dealing with demanding client needs’. Clerk Dean Brown is ‘very responsive and finds the right barrister for the job, every time’. Offices in: London

Chancery set Three Stone – the amalgamation of 3 Stone Buildings and Thirteen Old Square Chambers – now has strength in depth and some very good juniors with ‘specialist commercial knowledge’. Clerks and barristers are ‘well aware of the needs of commercial solicitors and their clients’. Justin Brown is ‘an excellent’ senior clerk who is ably supported by deputy senior clerk Gary Bateman. First junior clerks Bill Rice (‘approachable and knowledgeable – very keen to work with you to resolve issues and manage clients’) and Steve Anten (‘goes out of his way to help’) also deserve mention. Second junior clerk Frank Lee is ‘practical and accommodating’ and ‘very good at managing expectations and pressures of big and high value cases’, including those of an international nature. Offices in: London

Chelmsford-based Trinity Chambers houses ‘strong family specialists’, who have solid expertise in TOLATA, Children Act and matrimonial finance cases. Personal injury claims are also a core area of instruction. Chief clerk Keith Willmore is ‘friendly, approachable and a delight to work with’. Tony Sleigh is senior clerk. Offices in: Chelmsford

North East set Trinity Chambers’s traditional strength lies in family law, with particular expertise in financial remedy instructions, but the team is also adept at handling Chancery law, employment, crime, regulatory, as well as personal injury and clinical negligence cases. Ros Scott Bell departed for Deans Court Chambers. The ‘extremely efficient’ clerks, led by Richard Embley, are ‘always keen to assist’. Simon Stewart is the practice director. Offices in: Middlesborough, Newcastle

Westgate Chambers’ core areas of strength lie in criminal and family law. In the criminal practice, members are well versed in prosecution and defence work in general and regulatory crime cases, while on the family side, public law care proceedings are prominent in the team’s workload. The ‘very approachable and personable’ clerks provide ‘an excellent level of service’. Following the departure of former senior clerk James Still, Paul Tuffs and Adam Armstrong are the practice managers; Armstrong also leads the family and civil teams. Offices in: Lewes

The ‘polished’ Wilberforce Chambers is ‘the best in the market’ for pensions litigation work and one of the ‘premier’ offshore sets as it can offer ‘a choice of top flight barristers who can offer a deep understanding of the offshore legal market and who have hands-on experience in the offshore courts’. Chambers ‘has grown and gone from strength to strength’ since the ‘solutions driven’ Nicholas Luckman was appointed as practice director. Luckman (‘a stalwart in the offshore legal world’) and head clerk Mark Rushton are ‘both responsive and sensitive to client needs and oversee a commercially focused clerks’ room’. Rushton in particular is praised for ‘going out of his way to ensure a fantastic service and constantly asking how they can get even better’. The clerking team is ‘second to none’, providing ‘an integral part of the exceptional service the set provides its clients’. Solicitors highlight ‘cream of the crop’ Colin Everson, who ‘clearly understands the market very well, and is always keen to go the extra mile’; the ‘standout’ Fraser Geddes; a ‘superb’ Ben Rippengale, who is ‘on the ball, efficient, personable and a genuine pleasure to deal’; and Stewart Cameron, who is ‘responsive and great at trying to fix listing problems as well as squeezing in assistance from counsel at short notice when we need it’. In addition, Danny Smillie and the ‘impressive’ Nancy Lee are also recommended. Offices in: London

Wilberforce Chambers’ areas of expertise include family, criminal, employment and regulatory law. Phillip Paxton is the practice manager. Offices in: Hull

Windsor Chambers is the set of Marc Beaumont, who specialises in regulatory law and has established expertise in defending professionals, including solicitors, barristers and chartered surveyors, against allegations of professional misconduct.

The ‘solid’ XXIV Old Buildings is ‘a strong commercial chambers’ and ‘a premier offshore set’ with ‘a good choice of top-flight barristers’. With ‘clear strength in depth’, counsel are always ‘available and ready to muck in’. Its ‘down-to-earth’ clerking operation, which is ‘in touch with the detail of the particular case and what they promise to do and when’, is helmed by the ‘always helpful’ chambers director Sue Medder, who ‘adds a depth of understanding to the whole support team that you don't get at many other chambers’. The ‘thoroughly professional’ team includes senior practice managers Paul Horsfield and James Ladbrook (‘offer a great service supported by their teams’), and Daniel Wilson (‘always a pleasure to deal with’). At practice manager level, Tommie Drury is singled out for ‘not shying away from dealing with difficult issues’. Offices in: London

‘Fantastic’ set Zenith Chambers is well known for its strong offering in family law, with particular expertise in children law cases and matrimonial finance. In a testament to chambers’ strength in this area, John Hayes QC was appointed to the circuit bench in 2018. Housing, personal injury and crime are also prominent areas of instruction. The clerks are ‘very helpful and accommodating’; key names in the team are senior family clerk Rebecca Hartley, ‘extremely accommodating’ senior criminal clerk Karen Davis, and senior civil clerk Paul McNab, who is singled out for providing an ‘exceptional clerking service’. Shelagh Kirkby took over as chief executive from Simon Coatsworth in 2018. Offices in: Leeds

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