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The ‘original Northern Powerhouse’, Enterprise Chambers remain a ‘go-to set’ for commercial Chancery and property matters, and is regarded by some as ‘the best set in Leeds by some distance’, covering the range of commercial, property, and Chancery work, and is ‘exceptionally strong in regard to insolvency’, especially after its new-for-2018 Bristol annexe opened.‘They have excellent strength in depth in terms of juniors up to about 15 years’ call’ and members’ ‘detailed written advice and opinions are drafted with the client’s understanding of the law in mind and tackle the legal and practical options succinctly’. The set is also praised for offering ‘helpful training sessions for junior solicitors which are greatly appreciated’. In recent chambers news, James Pickering was appointed the new head of chambers; Richard Litter QC was a 2019 silk appointment; Hugo Page QC joined from Blackstone Chambers; Amit Gupta moved from St Philips Chambers; and the ‘perfect’ Mike Ireland has been appointed senior clerk, which is seen by the market as being ‘well-deserved despite the comparative seniority of his recent predecessors’ as he ‘makes life very easy for instructing solicitors’. The ‘user-friendly’ clerks’ room has ‘always been a strong point’ of chambers, according to instructing solicitors. Based in London, Raj Lamba ‘deserves particular mention for his efficiency and responsiveness’; practice manager Luke Clark has recently joined the team from South Square. Leeds-based Joanne Caunt is highly commended by solicitors: ‘She is friendly, professional, responsive, and delivers a first-class service’ and ‘one of the reasons why I choose to instruct Enterprise’. Bristol-based Justin Emmett is ‘brilliant, nothing is too much trouble; quotes are accurate and he is efficient at securing time in the court diary and enabling urgent applications where necessary’. Offices in: Bristol, London, Leeds, and Newcastle upon Tyne

The ‘down-to-earth’ counsel at 1 Chancery Lane are ‘highly proficient’, ‘well-respected’, and ‘offer a collaborative approach’ to personal injury claims. In the challenging arena of historic abuse claims, chambers is ‘renowned’ for its knowledge and ‘good strength in depth’ on the subject. Chambers is also described as a ‘reliable set’ for clinical negligence, offering ‘a strong range of expertise’ both at junior and senior levels; is an ‘excellent’ choice for ‘complex duty of care situations’; and is ‘second to none in travel litigation, brilliant from top to bottom’. The set is also ‘packed with excellent, bright barristers’ specialising in police law. In December 2018, a seven-strong team of civil law specialists (Ian Stebbings, Richard Cherry, Simon Newman, Conor Kennedy, Richard McLean, Christopher Pask, and Terence Wong, along with clerk Greg Piner) joined chambers from 33 Bedford Row, while professional negligence juniors Ivor Collett and Nicola Atkins moved to Crown Office Chambers, catastrophic injuries junior Kiril Waite joined 7BR, and Richard Beaty joined Hailsham Chambers. The ‘incredibly helpful’ senior clerk, Clark Chessis, and his ‘responsive, personable’ clerking team are ‘keen to please’ and ‘always go the extra mile’ to deliver ‘a seamlessly efficient service’. ‘They always find suitable counsel even at the last minute and out of hours’, said one instructing solicitor. First junior David Barrow ‘goes out of his way to assist’, while Dan Olivia is ‘a credit to the set’; ‘They know their barristers well.’ Offices in: London

‘Undoubtedly one of the top sets for clinical negligence work in the country’, 1 CROWN OFFICE ROW has ‘great strength in depth’ with ‘a good range’ of silks, as well as senior juniors and junior counsel who are ‘all very hardworking and knowledgeable’ and ‘not unsurprisingly involved in lots of the most interesting and high-profile cases’. In London, chambers’ strengths lie in regulatory, public law, and inquests and inquiries. Meanwhile, on the South Eastern circuit, the set has a strong team across the commercial, professional negligence, crime, as well as family and children law disciplines. In recent chambers news, Robert Kellar QC and Neil Sheldon QC took silk in 2019, while clinical negligence specialist Cara Guthrie joined from Outer Temple Chambers in June 2019. In London, the clerking team is led by senior clerk Matthew Phipps and first juniors John Mclaren and Andrew Tull; David Bingham is the senior clerk in Brighton and is ably assisted by first junior James Hart. Andrew Meyler is chambers director. Offices in: London and Brighton

The 19-member-strong, multidisciplinary set 1 Essex Court has expertise across a range of Chancery, commercial, and civil matters, including employment, regulatory, personal injury, and family law disputes. Ian Hogg is chambers’ senior clerk and he is assisted in the clerks’ room by first juniors Billy Gander and Josh Hall. Offices in: London

‘The best set for financial remedy work’, 1 Hare Court houses ‘excellent’ members at all levels ‘guaranteeing you quality of service’. According to one solicitor: ‘I always take my complex cases to 1HC as they really do have a certain fine quality about all their barristers.’ The clerks are ‘in a league of their own’, ‘unrivalled in terms of friendliness, organisation, and generally getting things sorted’. Solicitors praise the team for being ‘very professional, friendly, courteous; very helpful in finding suitable alternatives if your first choice can’t make a hearing at short notice’; ‘you feel confident instructing another member on their recommendation’ to run a case. ‘The best clerks in the business’ is led by Steve McCrone, ‘the most exceptional senior clerk in the industry’, who is ably assisted by first junior Michael Lay and second junior Daniel Barnett; ‘they bend over backwards to help, providing a service that is second to none and outshine all other clerking teams.’ Offices in: London

1 KING'S BENCH WALK ‘nail it for being the set that best combines top-quality money and children practitioners’ as well as those who ‘scale the heights in the intellectually highbrow family law/human rights jurisdictional disputes’. ‘One of the strongest children law chambers’ and ‘a major player’ for complex financial matters, 1KBW offers ‘strength in depth’ and ‘high-calibre’ barristers who ‘look after solicitors very well’. In recent chambers news, Philip J Marshall QC, immediate past chair of the Family Law Bar Association, was elected an honorary life vice-president of the association, and James Roberts QC took silk in 2019. Also of note, juniors Katherine Kelsey and Juliet Chapman have returned from their respective maternity leaves. Led by senior clerk Chris Gittins and deputy senior clerk Mark Betts, the ‘user-friendly’ clerking team is ‘better than any other set by a long way’. Nicola Cade, Tim Madden, and Chris Young are other clerks to note for delivering ‘excellent client service’. Offices in: London

11 New Square members handle both contentious and non-contentious tax matters, including tax planning. Following the departure of John Moore, Tom Rook is now senior clerk having joined from Francis Taylor Building in March 2019. He is assisted by Joe Critchell. Offices in: London

‘One of the top IP sets’, the ‘very professional’ 11 SOUTH SQUARE leverages its strong knowledge of patent law to act for clients in the IT and media sectors. In recent news, Brian Nicholson QC took silk in March 2019. Solicitors describe the clerking team as providing ‘a very good service and fair pricing’. Ashley Carr is the senior clerk, assisted by the ‘very helpful’ first junior Sam Fullilove and second junior clerk Jordan Foley. Offices in: London

‘Well-resourced at both senior and junior level’, ‘high-quality outfit’ 11KBW is the ‘go-to’ set for employment and education work, and has a ‘stellar reputation’ in public procurement. With ‘high intellectual ability’, ‘whichever barrister you use is likely to be an asset to the team’ and they are ‘much more service-oriented than many sets so make it their business to get back to solicitors between hearings, on trains, whatever it may be’. Chambers is ‘second to none’ for IT and telecoms law as well as being particularly strong in data protection matters. Chambers has strengthened its defamation and privacy offering with the arrival of David Glen and Hannah Ready from the dissolved One Brick Court, while Stephen Kosmin strengthened the set’s public, commercial, and international law practices following his arrival from 39 Essex Chambers at the tail end of 2018. In other recent news, joint head of chambers John Cavanagh QC and fellow silk Karen Steyn QC have been appointed High Court judges in the Queen’s Bench Division, effective from 1 October 2019, and Holly Stout has been appointed an employment judge; Jane McCafferty has taken silk. Led by joint senior clerks Lucy Barbet (‘always helpful’) and Mark Dann (‘easy to get on with’), the ‘very communicative’ clerks’ room is ‘responsive, commercial, pragmatic, and doesn’t waste time’; the team’s ‘contribution to the running of chambers cannot be flawed’. Lee Cutler is ‘away and on hand to get the right barrister at the right price’; Harry Gilson and Martin Pownall are ‘excellent at keeping solicitors informed and ensuring instructions are met’. Offices in: London

Offering ‘a breadth of experience that is unrivalled’, 12 King's Bench Walk is ‘in a class of its own’ for ‘complex and major loss personal injury claims’ and is increasingly recognised for international claims. Chambers has ‘a long history and impressive pedigree’ with ‘responsive, flexible, and collaborative’ counsel, but it has nonetheless ‘modernised its approach of late’ to maintain its status as a leading personal injury and industrial disease set and make further inroads into the clinical negligence space. Solicitors also praise the set’s ‘first-class’ and ‘well-planned’ seminars and CPD training. Chambers has recently been strengthened by the arrival of Ivan Bowley, an industrial disease and workplace injury claims specialist, from Lincoln House Chambers; Hollie Patterson joined the employment team from Capsticks LLP; and Scottish advocate Craig Murray brings his ten years of personal injury and clinical negligence expertise from north of the border after the completion of his pupillage. The clerks’ room has ‘improved tenfold’ since the appointment of ‘approachable’ director of clerking Oliver Parkhouse who has ‘transformed, reinvigorated, and elevated the standard of clerking and marketing to a new high’. The ‘market leading’ team is ‘proactive and bend over backwards to assist’; ‘you don’t get any nonsense when it comes to agreeing brief fees’; ‘Nothing phases them and if a matter is urgent they will deliver’. ‘Extremely helpful and friendly’ Graham Johnson is a ‘standout’ senior clerk who ‘never lets you down’ and ‘one who can solve any problem’; ‘first-class’ practice team leader Tristan Whigham ‘always delivers’ as ‘there is no problem too large or too small for him to sort out’ and ‘he takes the time to find out about the case and ensure both client and instructing solicitor are in good hands’; ‘top notch’ Lexie Johnson stands out in terms of diary management and problem solving and has a ‘never-say-no attitude’. A recent recruit from Fountain Court Chambers, practice team leader George Boggis is ‘excellent, prompt, and efficient’; senior practice manager Kevin McCourt and junior practice managers Megan Pryde and Harry Gamble are also well-regarded. The set has also recently recruited Alex Jones from MAITLAND CHAMBERS , who joined as an assistant team leader. Offices in: London

Common law set 12 Old Square has counsel specialising in civil, criminal, family, immigration, and public law. The clerks’ room is made up of senior clerk Spencer Payne, practice manager Ishaq Botchway, deputy practice manager Anthony Cooke, and junior clerk Tom Ford Foy. Offices in: London

The ‘impressive’ 14 GRAY'S INN SQUARE is for some the ‘first port of call’ when looking for specialists in the area of public and private family law as well as ‘value for money’. Solicitors note the set ‘offers good juniors for mid- to high-net-worth matters’ who are ‘safe pairs of hands’ and ‘are very capable of dealing with complex children matters’. ‘I have full confidence in them to represent my clients,’ said one source. Early in 2019, Camini Kumar joined chambers. The ‘first-rate’ clerking team is led by practice director J-P Schulz and senior practice manager James Mitchell, who ‘are real assets to the set and are always prepared to go the extra mile to assist’. Practice manager Joe Lamb is ‘fantastic, down to earth and a really integral part to chambers. He is always helpful and friendly, no matter how busy he is’. ‘The clerks are helpful and diligent, always keen to help where they can to make counsel available if possible. There is no evidence of cases being "bounced" to enable more lucrative cases to be prioritised. There is a real attempt at continuity of counsel, and where that isn’t possible, the clerks are clear why and endeavour to reach an acceptable solution.’ Offices in: London

‘A progressive chambers for the modern era’, crime specialists 15 New Bridge Street is ‘a solid and reliable set with good performers at all levels, enhanced by the presence of a few genuine stars’. Chambers has expanded of late following the arrival of new senior clerk Glenn Matthews, who arrived from 3 TEMPLE GARDENS with juniors Alexander Williams, Rupert Hallowes , Sarah Read, and Simon Smith. More recently, dual-qualified Kerry Moore has joined from 9 King's Bench Walk. New senior clerk Matthews is ‘one of the most known figures in the criminal professional’ and his appointment at 15NBS ‘has further strengthen the team’. The clerks’ room provides ‘a good honest approach and you can rely on what you are told by them; there is no sales patter or bluster, simply an open, honest, and helpful approach’. ‘Amazing’ practice manager Joe Wheeler is ‘always calm and makes you feel like you are the most important firm’ and solicitors have ‘a high regard for his ability and initiative. If I task him with finding me counsel, he will and it will be somebody who is suitable to my client’s needs’. Fellow practice manager Tom Parker is described as ‘a cheeky chap that will bend over backwards to accommodate your requests. Extremely friendly and really does know his stuff’. Offices in: London

18 St John Street Chambers covers a range of personal injury, criminal law, and family law matters, and has a growing commercial practice as evidenced by Richard Chapman’s 2019 silk appointment. Also of note, junior Hannah Phoenix has recently returned to chambers after taking a sabbatical to work as a judicial assistant in the Court of Appeal for Sir Andrew McFarlane and Lord Justice Peter Jackson. The ‘really friendly and efficient’ clerks include senior clerk John Hammond; in the family clerking team, Camille Scott and Garrick Brown are ‘always prepared to go out of their way to find suitable counsel, last-minute if necessary’; and civil clerk Katie Brown, who is ‘very efficient and quick to reply’. Offices in: Manchester

187 Fleet Street Chambers specialises in general crime and fraud work. In recent news, Mozammel Hossain took silk in 2019 and Maria Dimmock has been appointed the new chambers general manager. The six-strong clerks’ room is led by senior clerk John Pyne. Offices in: London

Boasting ‘unparalleled strength across the board’ and ‘genuine stars at every level’, the ‘impressive’ 1GC | Family Law is ‘a force to be reckoned with’ in the children law arena, and continues to enhance its reputation for financial work with several upcoming juniors of note. In recent news, Susan George and Elpha LeCointe have joined from Coram Chambers, while Sam Momtaz QC has been appointed to the Family Justice Council. Chambers’ commitment to publicly funded work, as well as ensuring senior and junior counsel are always available, ‘make them a hit with instructing solicitors’. Members ‘take pride in their work, forge excellent relationships, and work with solicitor at all times’ to ‘provide clear advice and pragmatic solutions’ in the most sensitive of cases. The ‘stupendous’ clerking team ‘work together, communicate well, and ensure you get the Rolls-Royce service’; ‘they are fair and ethical in relation to fees’; ‘they’re just a nice bunch’. ‘Fantastic’ senior clerk Paul Harris has elevated the clerks’ room to ‘an incomparable level’ producing ‘some of the best clerks’ around who are ‘fantastic ambassadors for their tenants’ and ‘a dream to work with’. Harris’ dedication to chambers is ‘second to none’ and he is ‘a stellar example of what a senior clerk should be’. Also in the team, ‘extremely personable’ first junior clerk David McDonald is ‘a significant addition to the team’, has ‘a fantastic relationship with solicitors’, and offers ‘a top-class service’ by ‘always going the extra mile’; practice manager Harry Smith and assistant practice manager Sam Ditchman are also highly recommended; Austin Ekford-Soper has left chambers. The set's’ ‘seamless’ rebrand and move to ‘amazing’ bespoke premises in Lincoln’s Inn also draws praise from solicitors: ‘The building is a poignant reminder of the high-calibre and bespoke chambers 1GC is.’ Marie-Christine Willis was appointed chambers director in January 2019. Offices in: London

‘Excellent’ common law set 1MCB is well regarded in crime as well as immigration and asylum circles where is has ‘performed consistently for a number of years’ with ‘knowledgeable and experienced’ barristers. The clerks’ room is ‘efficient and helpful’ offering ‘flexible, professional, and reliable’ service. Tim Markham joined chambers in January 2019 as its new senior civil clerk with Julie Clarke becoming chambers manager; Adam Brosnan remains senior criminal clerk at the set. Junior civil and family clerk Charlotte Forey is singled out for being ‘very good and helpful’. Offices in: London

‘Powerhouse’, ‘blue chip’ chambers 2 Bedford Row is ‘the Rolls-Royce of criminal sets’, ‘bursting with heavyweight counsel’, and ‘packed full of talented juniors with bags of potential’. In addition to its expertise in fraud and business and regulatory crime, the set also has ‘a strong presence and pedigree’ in the field of health and safety law. When asked how the set could improve, one solicitor replied: ‘Short of cloning some of its members to make them more available, it is hard to say.’ In recent chambers news, Dean George QC took silk in 2019 and Brian Altman QC continues to act as lead counsel to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse; Jamas Hodivala joined Matrix Chambers. The busy clerks’ room provides ‘a strong personal service’ under the leadership of ‘model’ senior clerk John Grimmer, who is ‘a master of the craft’ and combines ‘the very best traditions of the old-fashioned clerk (approachable, good humoured, and diplomatic) with the sharpest business brain going’; ‘his own high standards are maintained by the clerks he manages because he simply won’t tolerate anything less’. The ‘excellent’ Paul Rogers is ‘very knowledgeable, efficient and helpful’; the ‘enthusiastic’ Lee Bartlett is ‘approachable, professional, and supportive’, ‘quickly resolving any problems that arise’; and ‘go-to’ clerk Joe Martin is ‘attentive, dedicated, and always willing go that extra mile’. Offices in: London

Counsel at the ‘classy’ 2 Hare Court are ‘a cut above’ in the fields of criminal and professional discipline and regulatory law. Solicitors note it has ‘strengthened considerably its private prosecutions’ offering of late; its expertise in the field of health and safety law; and its ‘respected’ experts in the licensing and sport arena. The ‘first-choice’, ‘forward-thinking’ set boasts ‘an impressive range of clever, accomplished counsel’ who ‘instinctively understand the needs of the client’. In recent chambers news, Alison Levitt QC, the founder of Mishcon de Reya LLP’s white collar crime practice, has joined the set, while Narita Bahra QC, Zubair Ahmad QC, and David Whittaker QC took silk in 2019, further strengthening chambers at the senior end. Meanwhile, the junior ranks have been bolstered by the arrival of Merry Van Woodenberg and Nneka Akudolu, formerly of Foundry Chambers and 187 Fleet Street Chambers respectively. Leaving chambers, Andrew Hurst was appointed to the circuit bench. Chambers has a ‘strong’ clerking team which is ‘modern in its outlook’ and ‘recognises that the traditional flow of work is not going to apply in every case’. The team is led by director of clerking Julian Campbell, who is ‘widely recognised as being amongst the best in the business’ and ‘provides an extremely slick and professional service’. All the clerks are ‘attentive, quick’, and ‘efficient in sending through information and truthful regarding availability’. Senior practice clerk Ben Heaviside is an ‘A+ clerk; approachable, reasonable, and accommodating’. The ‘exceptionally efficient, prompt, and friendly’ Tara Shah has moved to Twenty Essex. Offices in: London

Named after Helena Normanton KC, the first woman to join an Inn of Court, Normanton Chambers (formerly 218 Strand Chambers) rebranded in February 2019. Areas of practice for the multidisciplinary set include banking and finance, charities, clinical negligence, cost, insolvency, and insurance, among others. The clerking team is led by chambers director Martin Davies, who is assisted by junior clerk Yazmyn Corteggio. Offices in: London

For such a large set of chambers, 23 Essex Street ‘manages to maintain consistent quality throughout’. The set’s ‘reputation as a leading criminal law set is well deserved’ with ‘an impressive depth across the junior ranks’. In recent chambers news, James Mulholland QC has been elected vice chair of the Criminal Bar Association and Sarah Morris, formerly of 2 King's Bench Walk, joined chambers in September 2019. The addition of ‘excellent’ chambers director Wayne King to the ‘efficient’ clerking team has been ‘positively received’ by clients. ‘The clerking team is always pleasant to deal with and always constructive should any problems arise. They go the extra mile to assist.’ London-based senior crime clerk Adam Chapman ‘definitely stands out’ as he ‘really understands the cases and is able to recommend who would be best counsel with an informed suggestion’. Jack Shah, first criminal junior in London, is also highly rated by instructing solicitors. The names to note in Manchester are senior crime clerk Sean Hulston, deputy senior clerk Kevin Ambridge, and senior commercial clerk Colin Perrin. Offices in: London and Manchester

The ‘reliable’ and ‘well-run’ 25 Bedford Row has ‘all the advantages of a bigger, traditional set’ with ‘a good number of robust defence practitioners, well versed in POCA, at all levels of call’ and is an ‘excellent, top-notch choice for white collar work’. ‘The client care and service provided to lay clients and instructing solicitors exceeds expectations.’ Chambers has been strengthened following Nicola Howard and Simon Pentol taking silk in 2019, and Mark Stevens and Lisa Wilson-Taylor, formerly of 2 King's Bench Walk and Furnival Chambers respectively, joining chambers. Director of clerking Guy Williams ‘offers a great service’ and leads the ‘extremely responsive’ clerks’ room which is ‘always on hand to help and are sensible in their choice of counsel’. Deputy director of clerking Emma Makepeace is ‘a standout clerk’ who is ‘personable, honest, gets to know the solicitor and, therefore, has a unique ability to match the solicitor with the appropriate barrister for a particular case’. Senior practice clerk Alfie Lee ‘constantly raises the standard of clerking’; ‘he is contactable 24/7 and nothing is too much trouble. He is able to find sensible representation for a client regardless of the short notice of instructions or the location of court’. Offices in: London

29 Bedford Row Chambers has ‘lovely clerks’ and ‘crop of very good younger juniors coming through’. Chambers offers ‘high-quality counsel’ in both private children law proceedings and financial remedy matters. Solicitors find the clerks’ room to be ‘of the highest quality and always very helpful’. ‘When my first choice of counsel is not available the clerks always try their best to assist and offer suitable alternatives where possible,’ said one client. Senior clerk James Shortall is ‘a credit to chambers’. He is ably assisted by ‘excellent’ first junior Julie Holcombe. Hudson Brewer joined Coram Chambers as its new director of clerking. Offices in: London

‘A solid set with a number of stars and a can-do attitude’, 2 Temple Gardens is a ‘go-to chambers’ in the fields of clinical negligence, personal injury, and travel law, and has a number of leading silks who are ‘very dependable and well-organised’. In recent chambers news, Martin Porter QC was elected as the new head of chambers in July 2019; Bruce Gardiner has been appointed as a salaried employment judge. The ‘very on-the-ball’ clerks are ‘professional and efficient’ and ‘inspire confidence’. ‘Excellent and responsive’ senior clerk Lee Tyler is assisted by deputy senior clerk Paul Cray. Joint first junior Leanne Taylor is ‘very sensible to deal with’. Joint first junior clerks Matthew Moylan, Billy Hammonds, and Ollie Gillen-Smith ‘are always professional, efficient, and approachable’.

3 Hare Court offers an 'impressive line-up of top-quality counsel’ across a wide range of specialisms, including commercial litigation, fraud, and insolvency, amongst others, and ‘never fails to impress’, particularly in travel law where it is highly regarded. The set has ‘maintained a balance with affordability when it comes to fees and its ability to provide a high quality of service’. Katherine Deal QC took silk in 2019, former solicitor and personal injury and travel law specialist Michael Nkrumah joined chambers, while commercial litigation junior Alexander Halban left for Littleton Chambers. All the clerks are ‘realistic, proactive, and always willing to go the extra mile to ensure their clients are happy’. ‘You always feel like their first priority and they respond quickly and when then say they will.’ Their willingness to look at alternative funding arrangements is also well received by clients. Senior clerk James Donovan is ‘very on the ball’ and ‘manages the delightful team brilliantly’ to delivery ‘unrivalled, exceptional’ service. First junior Toby Eales ‘does everything he can to help instructing solicitors’ and is ‘knowledgeable about the strengths and weaknesses of his barristers’. Senior second junior Darren Whitbread ‘makes sourcing counsel easy. He is able to immediately grasp the context of a case and identify multiple counsel that would be appropriate dependent upon the seniority desired’. Offices in: London

3 TEMPLE GARDENS is ‘a prominent set in the field of white collar and serious crime’ with its members appearing in some of the most high-profile cases. In recent news, Jeremy Wainwright QC took silk in 2019 and chambers was further strengthened by the arrival of three new tenants – Justin Hugheston-Roberts, Puneet Grewal, and Richard Reynolds – from 9 Bedford Row. Meanwhile, Alexander Williams, Rupert Hallowes , Sarah Read, and Simon Smith moved to 15 New Bridge Street with former deputy senior clerk Glenn Matthews, while Karlia Lykourgou joined Doughty Street Chambers. The quality of the clerking team led by ‘responsive approachable’ senior clerk Gary Brown is ‘second to none’. ‘Very commercially astute’, Brown ‘is responsible for chambers being propelled as a player in the international market and they regularly receive instructions on heavyweight fraud cases crossing borders’. Michael Cross is the deputy senior clerk and William McKimm is the first junior clerk. Offices in: London

‘One of the first choices for banking and financial market disputes’, the ‘top notch’ 3 Verulam Buildings has ‘strong bench strength’ with ‘numerous barristers who are excellent in a range of other areas’, including arbitration, fraud, and insolvency; ‘they are all reliable and provide quality advice, with some superstars there present’. The set ‘unquestionably has the heft and the strength in depth of the very best commercial sets,’ said one client, and despite its ‘top-flight status’ solicitors are pleased chambers has ‘managed to stay in the real world’ when it comes to fees, which are described as ‘realistic and commercial’. Christopher Harris, Peter De Verneuil Smith, and Nicholas Craig all took silk in 2019. After a busy 2018 for recruitment, chambers further strengthened its stable with the arrival of new commercial litigation and insolvency silk Jamie Riley QC and junior James McWilliams from Littleton Chambers. The set also celebrated the arrival of three new high-profile associate members: Brian King, formerly head of arbitration at Freshfields, Sean Hagan, former general counsel of the International Monetary Fund, and sovereign debt specialist Lee C Buchheit. But it is not just the set’s membership that has grown; chambers has also recruited talented clerk Samantha Jones from Serjeants' Inn Chambers. The set’s senior management consists of chambers director Robin Jackson and joint senior practice managers Stephen Penson (‘a pleasure to deal with’) and Stuart Pullum (‘responsive, helpful, and has a strong relationship with the court’), who together oversee ‘one of the best clerks' rooms around’. The clerks are all ‘approachable and highly responsive. They take time to get to know you and can put together the right team for you in short order’. Richard Ansell is ‘particularly impressive’; Ed Tolfts is ‘helpful, hardworking, and goes the extra mile’; Robert Croke, James Ingham, Harry Freeman, and Jack Wheeler are also rated for their ‘exemplary’ client service. Offices in: London

30 Park Place Chambers is ‘a good set’, with ‘strength in depth in personal injury law’, the position according to some as ‘the market lead for Court of Protection Practice in Wales’ and a ‘very strong criminal team’ plus strong public law and family offerings. In recent chambers news, Adem Muzaffer has been appointed a district judge; Dafydd Enoch QC has joined the criminal team as a working door tenant; while Angharad Davies and Rhian Kirby joined 9 Park Place; Andrew Taylor, Marian Lewis, and Lowri Wynn Morgan joined Apex Chambers. Senior clerk Phillip Griffiths is ‘very approachable, and keen to help when needed’, with specific team leaders including the ‘excellent’ Tony Naylon, who leads the criminal clerking team, and public law team head Kayleigh Jefferies, who ‘goes above and beyond’. Offices in: Cardiff

33 Chancery Lane is ‘a very strong’ set for white collar crime and POCA instructions. The clerks’ room is ‘hardworking and always deliver very suitable solutions to problems’. Practice director Martin Adams is ‘a marvellous clerk and extremely helpful’. Deputy practice manager Chris Chiles and second deputy Oliver Carroll ‘can never do enough to make you feel welcome and important to chambers’. Offices in: London

The ‘ever-growing' 39 Essex Chambers has ‘a good selection’ of ‘outstanding, world-class, user-friendly advocates’ who have ‘a team-focused and goal-oriented approach’. Chambers has a wide range of specialties but it is particularly noted for being ‘one of the market leaders for defendant personal injury’; the ‘top set for Court of Protection work’; ‘great for public law matters’ and professional discipline; and for having ‘an impressive set of international arbitrators’. Since our last guide, Rory Dunlop QC, Victoria Butler-cole QC, James Todd QC, and David Brynmor Thomas QC all took silk in 2019; Michael McParland QC and Zane Malik joined from Quadrant Chambers and 12 Old Square respectively, while Justine Thornton QC and Alison Foster QC have been made High Court judges in the Queen’s Bench Division. Chief executive and director of clerking Lindsay Scott has ‘done a good job’ of growing the set’s Asian business, as chambers now boasts one of the largest stables of Singapore-based barristers; director of Asian Business Rod Noble is well-connected across the region. Back home, the set’s Chancery Lane location is superb, with ‘all the facilities a solicitor could hope for’. Senior clerks Alastair Davidson (‘extremely helpful and efficient’) and Michael Kaplan (‘helpful, diligent, and convivial’) run a ‘five-star’ clerks’ room that is ‘responsive, practical, proactive, and client friendly’; a ‘second to none’ team that is ‘always willing to go the extra mile’ for clients. Deputy senior clerk Andrew Poyser is ‘one of the most reliable clerks’ at the Bar. Senior practice managers Peter Campbell, Jamie Tucker, and Sheraton Doyle are ‘what all clerks should aspire to be’; Ben Sundborg is ‘excellent and provides a high level of service’. Hannah Milne, Harry Airth, and Tom Gibbons are all ‘really friendly, helpful, and provide solicitors with what they need’. Practice manager Nathan Hitchman has joined New Square Chambers. Offices in: London, Manchester, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur

‘One of the largest in the country’ with a presence across the southern and central England, 3PB has a family team with ‘high-calibre barristers’, ‘accessible and user-friendly’ employment practitioners, ‘excellent counsel in the area of social housing litigation’, a personal injury offering with ‘a wealth of technical experts’ and, according to some observers in the criminal law space ‘the monopoly on the Western Circuit, due to its strength and depth’. In recent chambers news, Scottish silk and arbitrator David Parratt QC joined from Crown Office Chambers, the second Scottish silk to join chambers following Angela Grahame QC’s arrival as a door tenant. The combined clerks’ room across the set’s six offices is a ‘well-oiled machine’. In Birmingham, practice director Ian Charlton is ‘the warmest, most caring clerk – he will do everything possible to help solicitors find appropriate counsel’, while fellow practice director James Parks ‘has a huge amount of time for people’. Oxford-based chambers director Russell Porter ‘leads on outstanding client service’ and practice director David Snook is ‘always on the look-out for ways to innovate’. The Winchester office includes chambers director Stuart Pringle and centre manager Lee Giles (‘a master of his art’). And in Bournemouth, practice director Robert Leonard ‘runs a tight ship and will always bend over backwards when solicitors need counsel at short notice’, while practice manager Sophie Rice is ‘always helpful and particularly efficient’. In Bristol, chambers director Mark Heath is ‘the go-to man in a crisis - he is unflappable and can find a solution to any problem’. Offices in: London, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, Oxford, and Winchester

‘The doyen’ of professional negligence sets, 4 New Square stands ‘head and shoulders above similar chambers’ with ‘good bench strength and some excellent leaders’. It also has ‘strength in depth from junior to silk level’ in professional indemnity and insurance policy coverage issues, and is ‘fast becoming one of the leading sets in sports law’, according to instructing solicitors. The ‘well-respected' sports law practice was ‘boosted' by Kendrah Potts’s arrival from Mishcon de Reya LLP last year, while the international arbitration practice has been strengthened with the arrival of Jonathan Worboys from Henderson Chambers and Jordan-based senior advocate Aiman Odeh, who has joined as a door tenant. Also of note, Siân Mirchandani QC and Daniel Saoul QC took silk in 2019. The ‘dynamic’ chambers also has a ‘very effective and responsive clerking team’ which exhibits a ‘can-do attitude’ and is ‘a significant part of the set's offering’. The ‘highly responsive, pragmatic, and sensible’ team is headed by ‘terrific’ CEO and senior clerk Lizzy Stewart and deputy senior clerks Alex Dolby (‘reliable and efficient’) and Dennis Peck (‘knows the ropes’), who together are all ‘first rate’; ‘nothing is too much for them’ and ‘the service provided by the clerks is one of the reasons chambers is a cut above the rest’. Special mention is also due Andrew Call who ‘provides a fantastic client service’. The clerking team has been strengthened with the arrival of Adam Marr from 7BR. Offices in: London

The ‘strong and versatile’ 4 Paper Buildings is ‘the pre-eminent set’ for children work – public or private – with ‘some of the biggest hitters’ in the field and 'a huge number of talented juniors who are winning admirers for their caring yet effective style of representation’. Chambers is able to offer a barrister ‘with the appropriate expertise and skill to the right client at the right cost’. While it has historically been known as a children set, more of its junior members are also undertaking finance and cohabitation work, so much so that for some solicitors it has become the ‘go-to’ set for all family work in London and across the regions. In recent news, Cyrus Larizadeh QC has been appointed acting chair of the Family Law Bar Association and Oliver Jones has been appointed a circuit judge. Michael Reeves’ ‘well-run’ clerks’ room is ‘the best in the business’ and ‘a pleasure to deal with’; ‘responsive and accommodating, they bend over backwards to help at short notice when needed’. The clerks are ‘slick, hugely communicative with instructing solicitors, personable, engaged, and proactive’. First junior Paul Hennessey and second junior Kenny Martin ‘are excellent clerks’ held in high regard by solicitors. Asked to give their impression of chambers as a whole, one solicitor offered: ‘From the moment they enter the reception at 4PB, a client feels that they are in professional and nurturing hands. A client who may be very anxious is eased by the calm waiting room and the offer of a cup of tea and yet there is in an air of productivity and business which is also reassuring.’ Chambers manager Clare Bello has joined Cornerstone Barristers as its new chief executive officer. She was replaced by Furhana Mallick on 16 September. Offices in: London

A ‘first-choice chambers’ for commercial Chancery work, 4 Stone Buildings is a ‘go-to’ set for company, insolvency, and financial services disputes, with junior barristers who have ‘very sharp minds’ and are ‘uniformly good’. Andrew de Mestre QC took silk in 2019 strengthening chambers at the senior end. Led by senior clerk David Goddard, the clerking team is described as ‘responsive, helpful, user friendly, and commercially minded’. First junior Jason Doyle and clerks Ben Lashmar and Ryan Tunkel are highly regarded by instructing solicitors. Offices in: London

4-5 Gray's Inn Square is ‘a great team offering a good mix of old school QC experience and fresh energetic juniors’. Chambers is ‘very strong on property disputes and public law issues relating to the rented sector’, particularly following its merger with Arden Chambers in October 2018. In recent chambers news, US lawyers Elisabeth Mason and Denise Gomez DelSignore, as well as Edwin Cameron (former judge of South Africa's Constitutional Court) joined the set, strengthening its international team, while Selena Jones and Philippa Seal join the property team; Iain Christie has been appointed vice chair of the Independent Decision-making body (IDB) of the Bar Standards Board; Garrett Thomas Byrne has been appointed a circuit judge. The set’s clerking and administration teams are led by chief executive Vicky Thompson. The ‘excellent’ clerks are collectively ‘helpful, practical, and knowledgeable’. Senior clerk Tom Grove is ‘brilliant to work with’, and he is ably assisted by senior practice managers David Penson and Emily Martin, who is ‘very responsive and practical’. David Wright is the set’s director of business development. Offices in: London and Birmingham

42 Bedford Row offers a wide range of ‘experienced and personable’ counsel across the employment, family, housing, and personal injury disciplines. The ‘efficient’ clerks’ room is ‘client-focused and will always try and make a member available’ for instructing solicitors. Chambers director Vincent Denham is assisted by senior practice manager Steve Sheridan and practice managers Stuart Ritchie and Chris Collinson. In recent news, the set’s family team has been strengthened after Damian Woodward-Carlton took silk in 2019, and the addition of former McMillan Williams partner Caroline Landes, who joins chambers after being called to the Bar, along with Marcia Hyde from Coram Chambers, Alison Pryor from Church Court Chambers, and Shelly Glaister-Young. Other new additions include Krishma Patel joining the set’s civil team from Atlantic Chambers; Jason Braier, (formerly Field Court Chambers) and Tim Welch (ex-36 Bedford Row) add to the set’s growing employment group; Arfan Khan brings his specialist appellate practice in Chancery, commercial, and public law to the set. Meanwhile, Timothy Adkin has been appointed a full-time salaried employment judge; Edward Bennion-Pedley has joined Selborne Chambers; while practice manager Clare Sabido and Natasha Southgate have both joined Serjeants' Inn Chambers. Offices in: London

A leading chambers for inquest and inquiry instructions and a ‘first choice for all police law work’, 5 Essex Court continues to go from strength to strength and is considered ‘the most knowledgeable set’ taking ‘many of the biggest cases for police forces around the country’. Its silks are ‘leaders in the field’, have ‘fearsome intellects’, and are ‘formidable opponents, yet very approachable and pleasant to work with’, which makes chambers a ‘go-to set for training’, say instructing solicitors. Clients say: ‘The quality of work members produce, and at the very sensible rates they charge, make them stand out for value from other commercial/police chambers’. In recent news, Alan Payne QC took silk in March 2019 while Jeremy Johnson QC will join the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court in October 2019. Senior clerk Mark Waller is ‘the best in the business’, ‘always available and will pull out the stops to ensure the barristers provide the best service at short notice’. Solicitors describe Waller’s junior clerks as ‘helpful and responsive; they reply to e-mails and telephone calls and are keen to build a strong working relationship’. Offices in: London

During a difficult time for criminal legal aid barristers, ‘with cuts on the rise and level of competency and care from some professionals dropping over the years’, solicitors praise members of the ‘excellent’ 5 Paper Buildings for their ‘professional case preparation and top-draw advocacy’. Chambers has ‘good strength in depth’ for criminal work (‘they have great experience of prosecution work, and have been involved in many of the SFO cases in recent times. They provide fantastic coverage in general crime matters’) and professional disciplinary matters. In recent chambers news, Jonathan Rees QC took silk. The set’s 'highly responsive, client-focused’ clerking team is led by senior clerk Dale Jones, who ‘has a fantastic understanding of the industry and commands a lot of respect’. ‘An asset to chambers’, Graham Briggs is the ‘perfect blend of old-school clerking, along with the adaptable approach of modern times’. Solicitors praise his understanding of legal work and ‘recommendations from him are spot on; he knows which barrister is a perfect fit for the particular type of case’. Offices in: London

5 Pump Court is well known for its criminal and regulatory work but the set also has expertise across the family and civil spectrums. The clerks’ room consists of first junior and designated criminal clerk John Wooloughan, designated family clerk Jay Dorton, designated civil clerk Greg Piner, and assistant practice clerk Stephen Bush. Offices in: London

With expertise across all levels of call, 5 St Andrews Hill is a ‘go-to’ chambers for international crime and extradition matters, as well as regulatory, general crime, and POCA cases. In recent news, Edmund Burge and Kevin Dent have taken silk and chambers has been further strengthened following the arrival of Alecsandra Manning-Rees from Kingsley Napley LLP, Eve George from Maidstone Chambers, and former solicitor and High Court advocate Oliver Kirk; leaving chambers, Edward Connell has been appointed a circuit judge. The clerks’ room is ‘client-focused, efficient, friendly, accommodating’, and ‘work with solicitors to ensure clients are satisfied’. Senior clerk Gary Norton ‘takes the time to understand the organisation you are working for so he can recommend barristers for particular jobs depending upon the requirements of the instructing client department’. Norton is assisted by Dean Cook who is ‘an extremely able and responsive clerk who ensures everything runs smoothly and feels like an extension of the legal team’. Dave Scothern, formerly business development director at Outer Temple Chambers, is the new chambers director. Offices in: London

For some, 5 Stone Buildings is ‘the best Chancery set bar none’. Members have an ‘excellent depth of knowledge on contentious probate, trusts and estates, as well as Court of Protection matters’, along with pensions and art and cultural property issues. ‘Even the most junior counsel provides solid advice and there are some big hitters to utilise for experience’ meaning ‘there is always someone available who can assist and who you can trust to have a good client manner’. In recent news, Toby Bishop joined from Field Court Chambers, while David Rees QC has been elected vice chair of the new Court of Protection Bar Association. The clerks' room is one of chambers’ greatest strengths, according to solicitors. Senior clerk Paul Jennings is as well-known as his members and is ‘great at maintaining relationships between his barristers and those instructing them’. Jennings ‘runs a tight ship with humour’ and ‘is always available (and commercially realistic) for the discussion of fees’. First junior Dan Coote and second junior Elliott Hurrell are also recommended for being ‘responsive and agile in their approach’; ‘tell them what you need, and they will always find a way to deliver’. Asked how chambers could improve, one solicitor replied: ‘Hard to say when they are so close to perfection’. Offices in: London

‘A powerhouse of talent’, 5KBW is ‘home to some of the biggest names’ at the criminal Bar. ‘Strong from top to bottom’, solicitors receive a ‘second-to-none’, ‘competitively priced’ service from a diverse group of hardworking barristers. In recent news, Danny Robinson QC was appointed Queen’s Counsel and James Brown joined from 2 HARCOURT BUILDINGS. The clerk’s room befits chambers’ good reputation. Under the leadership of ‘receptive, responsive, and friendly’ senior clerk Lee Hughes-Gage, the team is ‘honest, transparent, and have a sense of urgency’. First junior Matthew Harper and junior clerk Arthur Crouch are ‘ultra-efficient, helpful, and able to think outside the box’. Second junior Jim Jeffs is also recommended by clients. The clerks ‘all genuinely understand the importance of keeping instrument solicitors informed and always return telephone call promptly. They are all incredibly professional’. Offices in: London

‘The best media sets out there with a massive cross section of counsel covering all aspects of media law’, 5RB is the market leader in defamation and privacy law with instructing solicitors expecting chambers to consolidate its position following the arrival of seven new members from the now defunct One Brick Court (Andrew Caldecott QC, Jane Phillips, Aidan Eardley, Kate Wilson, Jonathan Scherbel-Ball, Clara Hamer, and Ben Gallop). Also strengthening chambers, Adam Wolanski QC, William Bennett QC, and Christina Michalos QC took silk in March 2019, providing further strength in depth which is ‘a real asset when seeking to match up counsel with a particular client’. In addition, solicitors rate the set’s bi-annual conference, which is described as ‘the go-to event’ in media law circles. ‘Special credit’ goes to senior clerk Andrew Love and his deputy, Jamie Clack, who together ‘run a strong, efficient, and very user-friendly clerking team’. Also of note, James Price QC has retired from practice. Offices in: London

A ‘go-to’ set for the full spectrum of criminal defence work, 6KBW COLLEGE HILL offers ‘unfluctuating levels of excellent service across the board’. Following cuts to legal aid, solicitors bemoan the ‘the significant loss of high-calibre counsel’ willing to take publicly funded work. However, this chambers continues to accept such work which ‘compliments their predominately privately funded practice, although they do not treat legally aided cases any differently’. ‘The set deserves full recognition for this fact and their commitment to justice for all in what is now a very difficult climate,’ said one solicitor. In recent news, Timothy Cray and Alison Morgan have taken silk; Professor Ian Dennis, Emeritus Professor of Law at UCL, has joined as an associate member; and Mark Weekes has been appointed a circuit judge. The ‘dynamic’ clerks’ room is led by highly regarded senior clerk Andrew Barnes and his deputy, Mark Essex. ‘Ubermaster of the clerking world’, first junior Richard Summerscales ‘always goes above and beyond’ for instructing solicitors; he is ‘extremely personable, dealing with matters professionally while maintaining great good humour’. A ‘true asset to chambers’, Lizzie Miller’s ‘levels of efficiency are formidable’; ‘she is able to head off any problem many days in advance. She is completely unflappable and takes everything in her stride’. Offices in: London

‘A big set which always someone on hand to help with the appropriate expertise’, 7 Harrington Street has a much-praised employment group, as well as ‘a good number of experienced counsel dealing with clinical negligence and higher-value personal injury work’, ‘a family offering that covers all the bases’, and criminal expertise, too. John Kilgallon is the practice director, while senior family team clerk Carolyn Creegan is ‘helpful and approachable – she always tries to ensure continuity of counsel’. Assistant civil practice director Neil McHugh ‘efficient and helpful along with being commercially aware’. In recent news, Janet Reaney has been appointed a circuit judge and personal injury specialist Simon Holder has joined chambers. Offices in: Liverpool

With ‘unrivalled strength in depth’, 7 King's Bench Walk has ‘a first-class reputation’ for complex insurance and reinsurance matters, and remains one of the leading sets for shipping and commercial work, as well as being highly rated for international arbitrations. In addition, the set is making inroads into more high-profile civil fraud work. Members are ‘first rate’ and ‘without exception, fiercely intelligent and diligent’. Solicitors ‘always expect excellent service’ from the set’s ‘reliable, friendly, efficient, sensible, and effective’ clerks’ room. Led by ‘top class’ co-senior clerks Bernie Hyatt and Greg Leyden they are, collectively, ‘a class act’ and ‘always anticipate the next requirements’. ‘They build genuine relationships with solicitors and proactive problem solvers.’ Eddie Johns, Gary Rose, and Joe Clayton are all praised by solicitors for their responsiveness and being easy to work with. In recent news, returning to chambers as full-time arbitrator, former Supreme Court deputy president Lord Mance has been appointed international judge of the Singapore International Commercial Court, and Ritin Rai, senior advocate of the Bar of India, has joined as a door tenant. Also of note, Brian Lee, practice development and marketing director, will be retiring in 2019. Offices in: London

7BR is a ‘forward-thinking, progressive’ set which is ‘commercially aware and client focused’. Chambers has ‘very good bench-strength at all levels’ with ‘a healthy number of counsel who come with prior expertise outside of the law’. The set also benefits from maintaining a broad range of practice areas, which ‘helps when faced with challenging problems which require cross-practice expertise’ and ‘enables the barristers to maintain a broader perspective’. The set has expanded over the last 12 months, welcoming catastrophic injuries specialist Kiril Waite from 1 CHANCERY LANE; clinical negligence and family junior Sarah Edwards from Queen Elizabeth Building (QEB); crime junior Stephen Ferson from Furnival Chambers; and clinical negligence, inquests, and personal injury junior Ross Beaton, previously of the European Commission and the Government Legal Department; Lee Parkhill moved to Cornerstone Barristers. The clerks’ room provides ‘a first-rate service’ with ‘clerks who know their barristers and who is best placed for any particular case’. The ‘great’ team is led by co-senior clerks Paul Eeles (‘one of the best, personable clerks’) and Steven Wright (‘exceptionally helpful and easy to deal with’). Elsewhere in the ‘friendly and efficient’ clerks’ room, ‘adept’ first junior Mark Waterson has ‘great knowledge of his counsel and whether they are a good fit with solicitors and clients’. Offices in: London

For patent litigation ‘you can’t go wrong’ with the intellectual property specialists housed at 8 New Square. From silk through to junior counsel, they offer ‘exceptional service’. Chambers news of note includes Lindsay Lane QC and Mark Chacksfield QC taking silk in 2019, while Charlotte May QC and Quentin Cregan are now accredited mediators. The ‘experienced’ senior clerk John Call is assisted by practice managers Nick Wise, Ben Newham, and Martin Williams. Tony Liddon is head of operations. Offices in: London

9 Bedford Row is a solid criminal set with a niche in international crime. In recent chambers news, the set was strengthened by the arrival of extradition specialists Stuart Allen and Jonathan Swain from Drystone Chambers, Alex Tinsley from Church Court Chambers, and international crime practitioner Zacharias Miah from Carmelite Chambers, as well as new door tenants Dov Jacobs and Nadim Bashir. Leaving chambers, Samantha Cohen has been appointed to the circuit bench; Charlotte Mitchell-Dunn joined Thomas More Chambers; John Cammegh took silk in 2019 before joining The 36 Group with Adrian Amer; and Justin Hugheston-Roberts, Puneet Grewal, and Richard Reynolds moved to 3 TEMPLE GARDENS in January 2019. The ‘great’ service provided by the set’s clerking team is thanks to senior clerk Paul Outen’s leadership. ‘Paul is always willing to accommodate our needs and takes time to understand the nature of requests and act accordingly.’ Communication between the clerks and clients is ‘consistent and friendly’. Russell Good is the first junior clerk and Martin Secrett is chambers director. Offices in: London

9 Gough Square has ‘successfully attracted barristers who are exceptionally good and yet truly approachable’. The set is well recognised for personal injury work and have a varied mixture of experience – both claimant and defendant – has several clinic negligence experts, and has ‘a good selection of criminal practitioners at all levels’. In recent news, Jacob Levy has assumed the role of head of chambers, Giles Mooney took silk in 2019, and Max Melsa joined from 2 Dr Johnson’s Buildings. The overall ethos of the set extends into ‘the most proficient clerking team in the business’. Director of clerking and business development Michael Goodridge is ‘an absolute asset to chambers’ as he ‘encompasses all the qualities that other sets’ senior clerks seemingly lack – he truly stands apart as a moderniser; he is also the most capable of all the senior clerks, and appreciates the commercial matrix facing the firms who instruct the set’. A ‘rising star’, executive civil clerk Ellie Brand is ‘really carving out a great reputation’ for herself for being ‘hardworking and organised’. ‘Excellent’ junior executive civil clerk Philip Austin has arrived from 12 King's Bench Walk. Gordon Walters is the new director of operations following the departure of John Irving and consultant clerk Garry Farrow has left chambers after 43 years of service. Offices in: London

9 Park Place is a common law set with expertise across a range of areas, including Chancery, crime, employment, family and children, immigration, professional discipline, and property, amongst others. In recent news, Angharad Davies and Rhian Kirby have joined from 330 Park Place Chambers. Senior clerk Michael Lieberman is ‘the most flexible, helpful clerk a solicitor could ever wish to deal with’ and criminal clerk Nigel East is another notable name in the team. Offices in: Cardiff

Manchester multidisciplinary set 9 St John Street has ‘good strength in depth in personal injury work’ and ‘a strong family team, meaning availability of appropriate counsel never is an issue’ as well as criminal, regulatory, and employment expertise. The ‘very responsive and helpful’ clerks are led by the ‘impressive’ Tony Morrissey. Peadar Minstry, who heads the family clerking operation, is ‘proactive and willing to negotiate’, personal injury clerk Joe Gibson is ‘very helpful and pragmatic – it will be sorted out if you leave something with him’, while Julia Lanza and Chris Swann lead the commercial and criminal teams respectively. In recent news, Guy Mathieson has been appointed a circuit judge and employment and personal injury junior David Campion (formerly of Atlantic Chambers) has joined the set. Offices in: Manchester

Insolvency, contentious trusts and probate, and property litigation are the specialisms at Chancery set 9 Stone Buildings. In recent news, Chancery and tax junior Julian Hickey joined after a stint as an associate member of Temple Tax Chambers, and commercial litigation practitioner Andrew Mace returns to the Bar after a decade as a partner in various solicitors’ practices, while Paul Wilmshurst moved to New Square Chambers. The clerks’s room, led by senior clerk Alan Austin and first junior David Clayton, is ‘always helpful, very easy to deal with, and goes the extra mile to make things work’. Offices in: London

Bristol’s Albion Chambers is best known for criminal and family expertise, and also ‘provides a good offering in the regulatory sector’. In recent news, Adam Vaitilingam QC became head of chambers after Charles Hyde QC stepped down having held the role for four years; Edward Burgess QC and Kirsty Real have been appointed to the circuit bench. Paul Fletcher is the chambers director and Bonnie Colbeck the senior criminal clerk. Michael Harding is the key clerking contact for family law. Offices in: Bristol

Apex Chambers handles a range of criminal and regulatory work from Cardiff. Notably, door tenant Robert Buckland QC was appointed Lord Chancellor in July 2019 under Boris Johnson’s premiership, and Jonathan Elystan Rees QC took silk in the 2019 round. Recent additions to chambers include Hashim Salmman from Temple Court Chambers, while Andrew Taylor, Marian Lewis, and Lowri Wynn Morgan arrived from 30 Park Place Chambers; Vanessa Francis has been appointed to the circuit bench. Craig Mansfield is the senior clerk. Offices in: Cardiff

Ashley Murray Chambers is the set of senior family barrister Ashley Murray, who is very well-regarded for elite family finance work in the North West. Offices in: Liverpool

Atkin Chambers is ‘an extremely strong construction set’ with ‘competent, down-to-earth barristers, who are commercial and demonstrate excellent client service’. Chambers has ‘an impressive number of skilled international arbitration practitioners at senior level and some of the most impressive arbitrators sitting on international disputes’. Chambers has been strengthened following the arrival of construction and professional negligence junior Katie Powell from 4 New Square. The clerks’ room ‘appreciate the bigger picture and need for lasting relationships’. The clerks are ‘knowledgeable, helpful, and proactive and work to find solutions to issues that arise’. Chief executive and director of clerking David Barnes is ‘a consummate professional. Provides a reassuring and reliably excellent level of service’. Chambers is ‘fortunate to have the standout’ senior clerk Justin Wilson, who is ‘impressive and particularly helpful’ to instructing solicitors. Senior practice manager Rob Bryant is ‘an up-and-coming star’. Fellow senior practice manager Andrew Burrows and practice manager Matthew Ashman are ‘very responsive and a pleasure to work with’. Offices in: London

With expertise in personal injury, clinical negligence, Chancery, employment, and family matters, common law set Atlantic Chambers ‘provides a good clerking service and are a very personable set’. In recent news, Natalie Louise Cuddy has been appointed a district judge, while David Campion joined 9 St John Street, Krishma Patel has moved to 42 Bedford Row, and Anne Whyte QC has left for QEB Hollis Whiteman. Lee Cadwallader is the head clerk – his team also includes Neil Grisdale, who clerks the criminal team, and Stacy Cadwallader, who manages the family group. Offices in: Liverpool

Although a crime-focused set, Bank House Chambers also includes some civil and family expertise. Chambers followed the silk appointment of Gul Nawaz Hussain QC in 2018 with fellow co-head of chambers Katherine Goddard QC taking silk in 2019. Wayne Digby is the senior clerk. Offices in: Sheffield

Becket Chambers, which has a presence in Kent and Sussex, is best known for its family work – including members accepting appointments as family mediators – but also handles other civil matters, including personal injury, employment, and planning. Senior clerk Paul Eaton and first junior Arron Smith are both based in Canterbury. Offices in: Canterbury, Dartford, Eastbourne, Maidstone, and Tunbridge Wells

‘Practically a brand name for quality public lawyers’, Blackstone Chambers remains ‘the top chambers for complex public law’ instructions thanks to its ‘stellar list of counsel’, or as one source said: ‘Almost any high-profile public law case in the courts involves Blackstones.’ This was recently demonstrated in R (Miller) v the Prime Minister and Cherry and ors v Advocate General for Scotland, in which 11 members of chambers acted for various parties before the Supreme Court. The set has ‘some genuine intellectual heavyweight advocates at the more senior end’ together with ‘really impressive juniors who will no doubt be stars of the future’. Clients also find the set an ‘excellent choice’ for sport, media and entertainment, commercial litigation, regulatory enforcement, and competition law matters. ‘They have good strength in depth and there is usually somebody excellent available’ and their ‘commitment to pro bono work is also very impressive’. In the last 12 months, Diya Sen Gupta (current chair of the Employment Law Bar Association) and Tom Hickman were appointed Queen's Counsel in 2019, while Nathalie Lieven QC was appointed a High Court judge in the Family Division in 2018, with Pushpinder Saini QC set to join the Queen’s Bench Division on 1 October 2019, and Hugo Page QC recently moved ENTERPRISE CHAMBERS. The ‘well-run’ clerking team offers a ‘first-rate, top-notch’ service, ‘especially when it comes to commerciality and the ability to establish effective Chinese walls’. Senior clerk Gary Oliver (‘incredibly knowledgeable and well-connected’) leads the ‘brisk, commercial, and approachable’ team with deputy senior clerks Derek Sutton (‘very impressive and you can rely on him to point you in the right direction’) and Adam Sloane (‘a real pleasure to deal with and understands our client's needs’); ‘capable’ clerks Dean Tolman (‘effective and friendly’); Adam Fuschillo (‘takes a sensible and pragmatic approach’); Sophie Floydd (‘efficient and easy to deal with over fees’); Danny Compton (‘highly rated’); and Lewis Walker (‘knows his stuff; is a star’) are all praised by clients. Solicitors also appreciate the ‘extremely hospitable’ front of house staff. Julia Horner is chambers director and Mat Swallow is her deputy. Offices in: London

‘One of the super-sets’, Brick Court Chambers is ‘an all-round strong’ set with ‘a large selection of high-quality competition law specialists’, ‘top commercial counsel’, ‘an excellent chambers for banking litigation’, and a ‘go-to’ set for public administrative law. ‘The availability of high-calibre junior barristers assists in picking the most qualified whilst cost effective team to serve the client,’ said one solicitor. In recent news, Martin Chamberlain QC has been elevated to the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court and will cease to practise with effect from 1 October. Also of note, Alec Haydon, Margaret Gray, Fionn Pilbrow, and Victoria Wakefield all took silk in 2019, while Professor Mads Adenas has been appointed an Honorary Queen’s Counsel. The clerks’ room ‘sets the benchmark’ for other sets with its ‘friendly, knowledgeable, and hardworking’ clerks. Senior clerks Paul Dennison (‘first rate; responsive, commercial, and helpful') and Tony Burgess (‘highly recommended; a good salesman for his set and always accessible’) have ‘stepped up brilliantly’ following changes to the clerks’ room; ‘they are a pleasure to work with’. At practice manager level, Will Jackman and Philip Wilkes are ‘stars’; Luke Carvalho ‘stands out as very commercial and knowledgeable’; Jo Francis is ‘very helpful and responsive’. Overall, the team is said to be ‘highly responsive, proactive in assisting the smooth running of cases, and always willing to assist in document production, arranging meetings, document filings, and assisting in complex cost and budgeting issues’. Offices in: London

For some Broadway House Chambers is ‘one of the leading sets in the North of England with some extremely talented young barristers coming through the ranks’, covering a wide mix of work, including criminal, family, employment, and immigration law. The ‘very helpful and friendly’ clerks include, on the civil and family team, Robin Slade and Kelly Bacon who are ‘always particularly helpful, easy to contact and approachable’, plus the ‘friendly and professional’ Eleni Reynolds. Neil Terry heads up the criminal clerking group and Helen Craven is the chambers director. Offices in: Leeds and Bradford

Byrom Street Chambers is ‘the place to go for silks in clinical negligence and serious personal injury’. The set is composed of silks and senior-juniors (Peter Burns making the transition from the latter category in 2019) who are ‘all extremely helpful and approachable’, making it, according to some observers ‘the best clinical negligence set in the UK’. The ‘excellent team of clerks always go above and beyond’ including the ‘excellent – very efficient and helpful’ Steve Price and Matt Tudor, who is ‘always available to address any queries’. Offices in: Manchester

Members of the ‘tremendous’ Carmelite Chambers specialise in all areas of criminal law, but have particular strength in serious fraud and financial crime matters. Since publication of the 2019 guide, Chris Henley QC took up the reins as chair of the Criminal Bar Association, leading the group through negotiations with the government over improved defence and prosecution fees; Henley QC’s time as chair ended on 1 September 2019. Also of note, Andrew Alty (formerly of Chavasse Court Chambers) has joined the set, while Zacharias Miah and Sahara Fergus-Simms joined 9 Bedford Row and Furnival Chambers respectively. The ‘best clerked chambers at the criminal Bar’ is led by senior clerk Marc King and deputy senior clerk Matthew Butchard. ‘The clerks provide an excellent service by being approachable, reliable, and willing to go the extra mile.’ Offices in: London

Commercial litigation set Cerulean Chambers is composed of members Juliette Levy and Stuart Cakebread and commercial director Charlie Wayling. Offices in: London

Recommended for criminal law, as well as related fraud and regulatory matters, Charter Chambers is ‘a well-trusted, leading set of chambers with very experienced counsel’, although junior members are seen by solicitors as the set’s real strength. New senior clerk James Hall is ‘extremely keen, young, and hungry. His enthusiasm is beginning to prove an asset and as he becomes more experienced in the role’. The service of the clerks overall is ‘very good’; ‘they often go above and beyond when a problem arises.’ Ian Payn is chambers director. Offices in: London

Church Court Chambers has ‘a good number of good quality criminal barristers’. The clerks’ room is ‘extremely pleasant’ and ‘works well’. Senior clerk Daniel Bartlett ‘always listens to instructing solicitors and seeks to ensure the set maintains a high standard of work’. Practice director Rod McGurk is ‘very helpful and swift to respond to enquiries’. Fees clerk Mark Bird is ‘extremely helpful and goes that extra mile to ensure the clients requirements are fulfilled’. In recent moves, Patrick Upward QC arrived from 9 Bedford Row, Benjamin Aina QC and Maria Karaiskos from 33 Bedford Row, from Millennium Chambers, former solicitor advocate Mazharul Mustafa, Gregory Wedge  from 2 Dr Johnson’s Buildings , as well as Nazmeen Imambaccus  and Islam Khan. Alex Tinsley and Alison Pryor joined 9 Bedford Row and 42 Bedford Row respectively, while Sam Stockwell joined Furnival Chambers. Offices in: London

Civitas Law covers a broad practice of civil matters while ‘offering a more niche range of barristers than others within Wales’, and although mainstream criminal work is the one key area it does not offer, it ‘carries out a lot of regulatory work’. Lucy King has joined as a new tenant with a broad civil practice. The clerks are ‘reliable and quick to respond’, specifically senior clerk Andrea Mclean who is ‘always helpful and gives great advice on a choice of barrister’. Offices in: Cardiff

Cloisters is the ‘go-to’ chambers for clinical negligence cases, with some members ‘highly skilled in handling catastrophic injury claims’, as well as for employment instructions as it houses some ‘must-have’ counsel for discrimination claims. In recent news, Rachel Crasnow QC and Christopher Milsom have been elected to serve on the executive committee of the Employment Law Bar Association, while Sarah Fraser Butlin has been elected chair of the Industrial Law Society. The clerks’ room is led by 'excellent' senior clerk Glenn Hudson, who is ably assisted by 'efficient' first junior Mark Skipp and the 'very helpful' second junior, Andy Hunter. Offices in: London

‘Among the best for business and regulatory crime’, the ‘powerhouse’ Cloth Fair Chambers remains the ‘go-to’ set for the most complex financial crime matters. The ‘high-calibre’ counsel are ‘without exception extremely hardworking, great with clients and solicitors, highly intelligent, committed, and have a huge depth of experience’. Instructing solicitors welcome the addition of new junior tenants to chambers, including, most recently, Rachel Kapila and Aaron Watkins from Three Raymond Buildings and Matrix Chambers respectively. Integral to the set’s success is the ‘endeavour of excellent’ clerks Adrian Chapman and Mark O’Neill, who are described as ‘commercially minded, efficient, and eternally patient, this duo are widely known and respected throughout the solicitors’ profession; they can always be counted on when exigency strikes’. Sarah Finlayson is chambers manager. In recent news, Nick Newman, former senior clerk from the creation of chambers until his retirement in 2016, sadly passed in May 2019. Offices in: London

Cobden House Chambers covers a range of work, with strengths in criminal, family, and housing law, as well as an established personal injury offering. Martin Leech is the director of clerking, and Dan Monaghan is his deputy. Offices in: Manchester

College Chambers has strengths in family law and Chancery matters concerning private wealth and inheritances. Wayne Effeny is the set’s senior clerk. Offices in: Southampton

Colleton Chambers has ‘a good family team with experienced counsel’, as well as a well-regards criminal team. The ‘reliable and sensible’ Gareth Latchem clerks both the family and civil teams, with Nikkie Browning and Josh Warren (‘always a pleasure to deal with’) clerking the criminal team. Offices in: Exeter

Commercial Chambers on the Western Circuit is the one-man vehicle for Andrew Marsden, who handles a range of commercial and Chancery matters. Offices in: Bristol

The ‘first choice for many family solicitors’, the ‘forward-thinking and modern’ Coram Chambers comprises a range of ‘intellectual, meticulous, and talented’ members who are renowned for ‘producing high-calibre work in an array of legal issues’. The set is fully equipped to handle child care matters and understand the needs of the local authority lawyers, especially when it comes to safeguarding matters. Solicitors note that the traditionally ‘excellent children set’, known for taking on ‘complex private and public law children matters including alternative family and surrogacy work’, is also building ‘a really strong finances team’. ‘The service offered by the clerks is second to none,’ says one solicitor. ‘They frequently go above and beyond to assist with enquiries and always with a high standard of professionalism.’ Solicitors know they can ‘always rely’ on first junior David Sadler, ‘who will always assist when they are able and nothing is too much trouble’. First junior George Mo is ‘exceptional and always tries his best to assist in any way he can’. Harry Butcher and Anthony Stafford are ‘wonderful representatives of the high standards which Coram is renowned for’. Hudson Brewer has joined from 29 Bedford Row Chambers as the new director of clerking after the ‘impressive’ chambers director, Sarah McCarthy, left chambers and former senior clerk Sam Carter joined the International Arbitration Centre as the new managing director of its in-house arbitrators. Another new addition to the clerks’ room is Joseph Bernard, previously of Harcourt Chambers, 1 Gray’s Inn Square, and Queen Elizabeth Building (QEB). In member moves, children law expert Susan George has returned to 1GC | Family Law, joined by Elpha Lecointe, and Marcia Hyde has left for 42 Bedford Row. Offices in: London and Zurich

The ‘go-to’ set for social housing matters, Cornerstone Barristers is ‘renowned for its breadth of public sector work’; is ‘very strong on homelessness law’; and a leading set for licensing matters. ‘They not only have leading counsel in all areas of public sector, but a good range of senior juniors, junior juniors, and an exceptional group of newly qualified barristers too.’ Solicitors praise the set’s business structure which ‘makes them much more flexible and their approach to collaborative working with solicitors is pioneering’. ‘You always feel as though your instruction is the only one that counts and that your business is the most important, whether it is for a small matter or large.’ The ‘superb’ clerking team is led by Elliot Langdorf, who is ‘excellent at finding solutions’. Alex Hill and Naomi Bridge are ‘always professional and will make you feel like your business is their most valued and most important’; Justin Callaghan is ‘a delight to work with’. In recent chambers news, Steven Gasztowicz QC has been appointed deputy High Court judge in both the Queen's Bench and Chancery Divisions; public law juniors Lee Parkhill and Riccardo Calzavara joined from 7BR and the dissolved Arden Chambers respectively; Clare Bello, formerly of 4 Paper Buildings, is the set’s new CEO. Offices in: London, Birmingham, and Cardiff

Cornwall Street Chambers is ‘a very user-friendly set’ with expertise in family law, crime, and regulatory matters. ‘Whilst not the biggest set, the clerks are always able to manage diaries so cases are covered’ – the ‘professional, personable, and organised team’ is headed by chambers manager James Farmer and practice manager Matthew Fleming, who ‘will sort out any problems: if a barrister becomes unavailable for any reason, he finds solicitors another one’. Offices in: Birmingham, Oxford, and Shrewsbury

With ‘a great spread of senior and junior counsel’, Crown Office Chambers is a ‘go-to set for health and safety work and inquests due to its impressive showing and availability of truly specialist counsel’. Chambers is also well-known for its ‘excellence in construction and engineering cases’, has strength in depth for insurance work, and ‘a formidable reputation in the professional negligence arena’. Isabel Hitching and Daniel Shapiro took silk in 2019 and chambers has been further strengthened by the arrival of Paul Higgins from Deans Court Chambers and Simon O’Dwyer from Old Square Chambers. Under the leadership of ‘standout’ and ‘extremely responsive’ senior managing clerk Andy Flanagan, the ‘top notch’ clerks’ room is ‘business savvy and knows how to manage instructing solicitors’ expectations’. Senior insurance and professional liability clerk Steve Purse has ‘changed the professional indemnity market’s perception of the set’; Purse ‘runs a tight ship’ and solicitors ‘can be confident of receiving a responsive service no matter whether the case is being handled by a QC or a pupil’. Solicitors also praise the 'excellent' senior commercial, construction, and energy clerk Chris Sunderland.  ‘Pragmatic’ senior criminal regulatory and environmental clerk Toby Sparrow is ‘is simply fantastic’, ‘going out of his way to make things run smoothly’; ‘he builds genuine relationships with solicitors which makes it really easy to pick up the phone and discuss the best counsel for particular cases’. Senior clinical negligence and personal injury clerk James Wilkinson ‘has been a very good acquisition’ to the team. Meanwhile, Greg Frewin and Matt Solari are ‘extremely efficient and offer a Grade A service at all times’, and Sam Barrett is ‘very reliable and an asset to chambers’. Offices in: London

A ‘good, all-round common law set’, Deans Court Chambers is ‘a very strong set with some excellent advocates’ for family law work and ‘great options for crime, health and safety and inquests’. Matthew Gibbons is the senior clerk to chambers, senior criminal and regulatory clerk Peter Kelly is ‘honest and frank; he is extremely collaborative in providing immediate responses’, and senior civil and family clerk Andy Flannigan ‘stands out for his professional approach’ – specifically for criminal work, the set is well-connected in the Falkland Islands in this space. The family clerks include Emma Manning, who ‘never hesitates to help as much as they are able to’, and Louise McCarty, who ‘sets the benchmark for family clerks – she will move heaven and earth if booked counsel goes part-heard and pulls out all the stops to secure a suitable replacement’. In recent moves, Zoe Dawson and Adam Lodge join the criminal team from 18 St John Street Chambers, while Jacob Dyer and Colette Renton have also joined the team from 15 Winkley Square. Paul Higgins joined Crown Office Chambers. Offices in: Manchester

Dere Street Barristers ‘offers considerable strength-in-depth for family law work’, counsel ‘always willing to go the extra mile’ in personal injury and clinical negligence work including ‘juniors who understand the costs constraints on solicitors and senior counsel able to undertake the most complex and valuable cases’. The clerks are ‘professional, responsive, and hardworking’, with notable names under head clerk Kevin Beaumont including senior family clerk Neil Gibson (who heads a team that includes the ‘approachable and friendly’ Liam Branch), ‘standout’ senior civil clerk Andy Gray and senior criminal clerk Craig Mead. Offices in: Newcastle and York

The ‘incredible’ Devereux is ‘a very strong set of personal injury barristers, with a broad range and level of experience’ as well as having ‘a strength in depth in the field of telecoms disputes’, while, in the employment arena, solicitors note that 'there is a specialist in every complex area of law that you might need’, and it continues to be ‘a strong chambers in the tax market’. The set has ‘significant figures both at silks and senior junior levels’ who are ‘approachable, pragmatic, technically sound, and understand the pressures that instructing solicitors are under’. ‘It feels like you are working as a team; they do not undermine solicitors in front of clients or propose unreasonable deadlines.’ Members are ‘so client-friendly, unpretentious, and all-round excellent at their craft’. In recent news, Aparna Nathan QC took silk in 2019 and Rebecca Murray joined from Temple Tax Chambers. Meanwhile, Oliver Hyams recently left to take up a full-time position as an employment judge. The set’s management is led by chambers director Vince Plant. The clerks are ‘quick to respond, helpful, and always available when you need them’. Practice managers Cyrus Biggs and Chris Downes are ‘will track down a response from counsel if you can’t and they feel like part of the team’. Offices in: London

Devon Chambers covers a range of crime and family work, as well as employment, personal injury, and property, amongst other practice areas. The ‘really helpful’ clerks’ room includes senior clerk Rachael Duchnowski, who oversees the civil and family teams, and Schannine Dobson clerks the criminal practice. Regulatory crime is another area of activity. Offices in: Plymouth

The ‘top-class’ Doughty Street Chambers ‘tends to be involved in most high profile and/or legally significant cases’. It is ‘one of the best sets for civil liberties and criminal instructions’ and, with a ‘solid team’ of fraud practitioners, it is building itself ‘a strong reputation as a business-crime set’. Chambers also provides pro bono assistance in death penalty and constitutional/human rights cases in the Caribbean and other Commonwealth countries. ‘They have a big team of gifted advocates at all levels who can do the most serious trials as well as appeal work. They are the go-to set for fighting cases against the state.’ Overall, chambers is described as ‘excellent; from reception to senior management they have a real friendly, can-do attitude and a professional feel about how they conduct themselves that can be missing at other sets’. The set also ‘regularly hosts interesting legal events and see the bigger picture in trying to keep their solicitors happy’. The clerks are praised for resolving listing issues thanks to the maintenance of good relationships with both listing offices and other sets, which ‘allows for collaborative resolutions’. Senior practice manager (civil) Sian Wilkins is ‘excellent, friendly, and helpful’. ‘She suggests the right barrister for the work at hand and knows solicitors requirements without prompting.’ Matthew Butchard, senior practice manager (crime), is also a name to note. At practice manager level, Marc Gilby and Rebecca Gilchrist are ‘efficient and easy to deal’, while Callum Stebbing is ‘always very helpful and pleasant’ and Richard Vile ‘is extremely responsive, efficient, and friendly – just what you want from a clerk’. In recent news, general crime practitioner Karlia Lykourgou joined from 3 TEMPLE GARDENS; Adrian Waterman QC moved to Matrix Chambers; the set has moved its Manchester office to 3 Hardman Square in the business district of Spinningfields; and what seems to be becoming a trend at the Bar, after five years in chambers former business development director Marurice MacSweeney has joined Harbour Litigation Funding as a director; and in the clerking team, Georgia Pilbro joined Wilberforce Chambers. Offices in: London, Bristol, Manchester, and The Hague

Drystone Chambers has a ‘wealth of experienced and talented barristers’, across silk and junior levels, specialising in criminal law. Members’ expertise in POCA, human rights, and serious crime make it a ‘go-to set’ for some solicitors. Continuing its expansion plans, the last 12 months has seen chambers welcome Graham Blower (Cartwright King), Helen Easterbrook (2 King's Bench Walk), Annie Johnston (REFORM CHAMBERS), and Benedict Peers (Fenners Chambers); extradition specialists Stuart Allen and Jonathan Swain have joined 9 Bedford Row. The clerks’ room has also seen change, with Mark Cornell stepping down as senior clerk. The names to note in the senior clerking team following the restructure include Stephen McCarthy, Richard Goodman, Ryan Bartlett, first junior David Cox, and marketing director Brett Carver. The clerking team ‘do their utmost to assist. This is vital when working at such a fast pace and with little time to think – there is no room for time wasting – and you can trust chambers to provide a service which exceeds my expectations’. Offices in: London

‘A local set with some real gems able to match up to big city barristers’, East Anglian Chambers ‘has a vast range of counsel’ and ‘generally offers an excellent service’. The set’s family law team is particularly praised, however, chambers also covers criminal law and a broader mix of civil work, too. Fraser McLaren leads a team of clerks who are ‘keen to assist’, including ‘friendly and helpful’ first junior Dan Twite, and Chelmsford-based centre clerk Jennifer Bird, who is ‘brilliant – a go-to if you have any queries on billing’. Offices in: Chelmsford, Ipswich, and Norwich

Erskine Chambers is ‘a very good set, filled with juniors and silks who are often top of their game’. The set shines in the areas of company shareholder and partnership disputes, as well as restructuring and insolvency. Tim Akkouh has joined Essex Court Chambers. Senior clerks Mark Swallow and Chris Reade ‘run an excellent ship’; they are assisted by first junior clerk Michael Shillingford. Offices in: London

From senior silks down to ‘some very clever and able juniors’, the ‘first-class’ Essex Court Chambers has ‘outstanding bench strength and depth’ and is ‘at the cutting edge of the leading civil fraud cases’, ‘always in the line-up on heavy duty commercial cases’, and a ‘go-to chambers’ for international arbitrations and insurance matters. ‘They have an excellent set of highly competent counsel of all levels, who bring a good mix of intellect and practical/commercial awareness to their work; they are, quite simply, the best.’ It is also described as ‘the chambers to turn to if there’s a Friday night emergency’. In recent news, Tim Akkouh has joined from Erskine Chambers and Richard Millett QC continues as leading counsel to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, while Martin Griffiths QC has been appointed a High Court judge in the Queen’s Bench Division. Senior clerk Joe Ferrigno leads ‘a gold standard’ clerking team from the front and trains his clerks well; the ‘top notch’ clerks are ‘flexible and proactive, always happy to help’. His is able assisted by the 'frankly superb' Ben Perry, who becomes deputy senior clerk effective 1 October 2019. Former senior clerk David Grief heads up Essex Court Duxton in Singapore. Offices in: London and Singapore

Exchange Chambers is ‘the premier set in the north’, with ‘tremendous strength in depth without any dead wood’ across Yorkshire, Lancashire, and Cheshire. The set divides its expertise into a criminal team that has ‘standout counsel in the region for regulatory, health and safety, and crime’; a ‘commercial team with real talent’ that is ‘particularly strong in insolvency matters’; and a civil team including ‘local luminaries’ for family law in Liverpool. In recent chambers news, criminal specialist Richard Littler QC was a 2019 silk appointment; Andrew Haslam QC joined from St Paul's Chambers; Patrick Harrington QC, head of chambers at Farrar's Building, and 5 Paper Buildings’ Jonathan Elystan Rees joined as door tenants; while former Kings Chambers senior clerk Colin Griffin arrived as senior commercial clerk in January 2019. Tom Handley, the set’s chief executive is based in Liverpool, as is practice director and ‘solicitors’ dream’ Neil Wright, who ‘goes the extra mile’, and ‘superb’ chambers director Jonathan l’Anson. Also on Merseyside, senior criminal clerk Kate Masher provides ‘exceptional and up-front clerking’, while civil and family clerks Rachel Williams and Sarah Rotherham are ‘fantastic’. Further along the M62, the set provides ‘London service with a Manchester smile’. Nick Buckley, who also straddles the commercial and civil team, is for many ‘the best criminal clerk on the circuit’. Also in Manchester, commercial clerk Joe Mawson is ‘very responsive and helpful’. On the other side of the Pennines, Ian Spencer ‘runs Leeds with quiet, understated efficiency’. Offices in: Manchester, Liverpool, and Leeds

For its ‘sheer strength and breadth of expertise’, Falcon Chambers is ‘the pre-eminent set’ for property litigation and agricultural work, while it also has an ‘excellent reputation’ in planning law, making it a go-to set for many instructing solicitors. In addition to offering ‘the best QCs in the business and very strong junior talent too’ they are also ‘phenomenally good value’. Stephanie Tozer took silk in 2019. The clerks’ room is led by senior clerk Johnathan Stannard, with first junior Joanne Mea and second junior James Clarke in support. Edith Robertson is chambers director. Offices in: London

Farrar's Building is ‘a good, solid set offering a good variety of barristers in the defendant personal injury market’. Chambers also has expertise in clinical negligence, crime, and professional discipline. ‘There is always a good availability of counsel and if a particular barrister is required the clerks will do their best to free them up if they have an earlier booking.’ Senior clerk Alan Kilbey ‘runs a very tight ship’ ably assisted by first juniors Andrew Duckett and James Shaw. ‘Excellent clerking all round, they will always go the extra mile to accommodate and are honest regarding turnaround times for papers/availability.’ Offices in: London

Farringdon Chambers has ‘a diverse range’ of ‘some truly brilliant’ defence specialists ideal for heavyweight crime matters. ‘They are an unintimidating set; clients are wholly satisfied with the service they receive from members.’ According to one solicitor: ‘They are an expanding set but you still feel like you get a personal touch with the service you receive.’ The size of chambers affords the clerks’ room ‘time to provide a tailored and personal service’ and ‘their work ethic is a reflection of the approachability and professionalism of the set’. Senior clerk Robert Archer ‘stands out for his sensitivity to solicitor needs’. Archer is ‘well-liked in the legal community not just because he is nice, but because he is so good at his trade that he makes keeping everyone happy look easy’; he and first junior Tom Robinson ‘make a brilliant team’, with fee matters ‘more than ably handled’ by Natalie Henderson. Offices in: London

Fenners Chambers covers a range of instructions, including criminal, employment, family, and property from Cambridge. Paul Green is the senior clerk, and Cathy Hugo his deputy. Offices in: Cambridge

Field Court Chambers offers barristers with specialisms in employment, family, media, and public law. The set has strengthened its social housing team with the arrival of Alexander Campbell, Clare Cullen, and Sarah McKeown from the now dissolved Arden Chambers. Leaving chambers, Toby Bishop has gone to 5 Stone Buildings, Jason Braier to 42 Bedford Row, and Victoria Flowers to Harcourt Chambers. The clerks’ room is led by senior clerk Ian Boardman, who is supported by deputy senior clerk Mark Townsend and first junior Hayley Walker and acting first junior Andrew Jobson. Offices in: London

Field Court Tax Chambers has expertise in private and corporate tax matters. Clients include governments, tax authorities, multinational corporations, charities and celebrities. Practice manager Marie Burke and assistant practice manager Stephanie Talbot are the names to note. Offices in: London

The ‘innovative’ Foundry Chambers retains ‘a hardcore of proper defence advocates’; ‘these talented juniors will adorn the profession in years to come’. ‘These counsel can put the most experienced clients in their place by virtue of not just their legal knowledge, but also their practical experience and knowledge of courts, particular those in the Thames Valley and London areas.’ ‘Brilliant’ senior clerk Angela May is ‘resourceful, patently honest, and resolutely cheerful. She knows each of her barristers, and her instructing solicitors, really well.’ Also of note is Dean Begley as the first junior clerk and Daniel Blackman as the second junior. Daniel Sternberg has departed for Temple Garden Chambers; Elizabeth Lowe and Jonathan Davies have been appointed as circuit judges. Offices in: London

Teesside set Fountain Chambers covers a range of private client, employment, regulatory, criminal, and personal injury matters. Mandy Mallett, Frank Hughes, and Samantha Rumins are the key names to note in the clerks’ room. Offices in: Middlesborough

The ‘reassuringly expensive’ Fountain Court Chambers remains the ‘go-to’ set for banking and financial services litigation as well as being a ‘first choice’ for aviation instructions and civil fraud, according to solicitors who note its ‘abundance of talent and depth from the most junior junior to big name silks’. ‘Its expansion programme with lateral hires has been a real success.’ The ‘transparent’ clerking team is ‘user-friendly and helpful and generally willing to accommodate any particular or unusual requirements the client may have’. Senior clerk Alex Taylor ‘runs a tight ship with supervision from top to bottom; nothing comes as a surprise or too difficult for him to deal with and he understands the importance of relationships’. Following Paul Martenstyn’s departure, the ‘excellent’ Katie Szewczyk and Sian Huckett (‘devoted to client service and a particular asset to her set, she epitomises their fantastic service’) are now the set’s deputy senior clerks. Since the publication of our last guide, banking and fraud expert Nicholas Medcroft took silk in 2019 and specialist fraud and investigations practitioner Leonora Sagan joined from disputes boutique Kobre & Kim LLP. Also of note, Ian Benjamin SC (head of Bethany Chambers in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago) has joined a door tenant; arbitrations Professor Luca Radicati di Brozolo and Anneliese Day QC have been appointed as vice president of the LCIA and as a new member of the LCIA Court respectively; and door tenant Professor Andrew Burrows has been appointed as a new Justice of the Supreme Court, commencing June 2020. Offices in: London and Singapore

One of the leading licensing sets, Francis Taylor Building has ‘some of the most famous names in the Industry’ and ‘unrivalled depth with a range of talents primarily skilled in representing licensing authorities, applicants, and objectors’. It is also a ‘fantastic’ chambers for environmental issues, including planning and compulsory purchase and complex issues of compensation. The clerks, led by senior clerk Paul Coveney and deputy senior clerk James Kemp, are ‘personable and understand the business realities in many of cases’. Solicitors consider them to be an ‘integral part’ of their team. Offices in: London

Furnival Chambers has ‘a very good reputation’ for crime and extradition thanks to having ‘a strong list of very capable and experienced counsel’. It is able to offer ‘a wide spectrum of counsel capable of dealing with small scale drugs cases to large scale frauds’. In recent news, Caroline Haughey QC was awarded an OBE for her public service. Strengthening chambers, Julia Smart and David Durose took silk in 2019, while Sam Stockwell joined from Church Court Chambers, Rishy Panesar moved from Charter Chambers, Joanna Staples joined from Drystone Chambers, and Sahara Fergus-Simms arrived from Carmelite Chambers. Leaving chambers in the past year, James Stansfeld joined Matrix Chambers and Lisa Wilson-Taylor went to 25 Bedford Row. Senior clerk Stephen Ball and first junior Joel Mason lead the clerking team, which is described as ‘polite, courteous, and reliable; always going the extra mile’. Offices in: London

In the words of one source: ‘Think civil liberties… think Garden Court Chambers’. The multidisciplinary set is ‘peppered with excellence’, ‘champions the vulnerable and is a voice for the voiceless’ across immigration, inquest law, actions against public authorities, and ‘works effectively within the increasingly hostile environment of the criminal justice system’, including the youth justice system. Counsel are ‘client-minded, not fee-minded. They have been instructed even where funding has been at risk and continued to work diligently. Their barristers always share their knowledge, they always give 110% to you’. David Emanuel, Hossein Zahir, and Keir Monteith took silk in 2019 and the crime team was strengthened by the arrival of senior junior and former solicitor Hugh Mullan and Gerwyn Wise from 187 Fleet Street Chambers. ‘Any clerks’ room that is led by Colin Cook is destined to success.’ The set’s ‘legendary’ director of clerking is ‘an approachable and reliable person to deal with. The rest of his team follow his example.’ The ‘absolutely class’ immigration team is led by Lisa O’Leary and he deputies, Helen-Louise D’Agostino and Harriet Massie. Housing practice manager Tim Hempsted provides ‘an excellent, prompt, and above all professional service that surpasses expectations’. Civil deputy practice manager Joe Fraser is ‘extremely attentive and organised in arranging counsel and managing cases’. In the crime team, practice manager Charlie Tennent ‘particularly impresses for his personable style and efficiency’; deputy practice managers Michael Barrett and Luke Harvey are ‘always eager to help and are a pleasure to deal with’. Naomi Bridge has joined from Cornerstone Barristers as the new deputy practice manager in the family team. Offices in: London

Multidisciplinary set Garden Court North Chambers has highly regarded public and criminal law practices across the Northern Circuit, with its members involved in heavyweight cases; the set followed up its appearance before the Supreme Court, and against well-known London counsel, in R (Gibson) v Secretary of State for Justice in 2017-18 with Samuels v Birmingham City Council in early 2019. Annmarie Nightingale is the set’s head of practice management ; previous chambers director Sarah Wright has left the set. Among its members, Nina Grahame QC is a 2019 silk appointment. Offices in: Manchester

Goldsmith Chambers is ‘committed to defending the rights of clients’ in immigration crime, family, and wider public law matters, according to instructing solicitors. The team is ‘very active with sharing their knowledge as they organise regular seminars and will very often advise on cases pro bono’. Counsel are ‘very organised, competent, and responsive’. Lawrence Youseffian joined from Richmond Chambers in January 2019. Led by senior clerk John Francis, the clerks’ room takes an ‘individual approach to every instruction received and in linking the cases with very competent counsels’. The senior members of the clerking (Lynn Pilkington, Alex Nunn, and Ben Cressey) is ‘always ready to assist with the new instructions, especially when there are short notice instructions and no ready counsel to accept them’. Senior immigration clerk Neil Dinsdale is ‘always ready to assist and advice on the availability of counsels and is extremely efficient’. Offices in: London

Gough Square Chambers is the ‘dominant’ set for consumer, food, and trading standards matters but it also has ‘a strong reputation for banking disputes with a regulatory focus, where they have a strength in depth – clients do not need to be persuaded to instruct counsel from this set’. Members ‘provide proper and cost-effective expertise’. Senior clerk Bob Weekes and first junior Richard Bryant lead ‘a responsive and informed clerks’ room and brings great experience’. Second junior Jack Bradshaw is ‘an excellent junior clerk. Very efficient and responsive’. Offices in: London

When it comes to the arena of high-profile tax disputes, Gray's Inn Tax Chambers is described by instructing solicitors as ‘excellent and provides a first-rate service’, whether it be in relation to direct or indirect taxation. Senior clerk Chris Broom leads ‘a responsive and efficient’ clerks’ room, consisting of deputy senior clerk Ben Stern and first junior clerk Jamie Hall. Offices in: London

Guildford Chambers, which is primarily praised for its family law offering, but also claims commercial and personal injury expertise, has ‘an increasingly large pool of quality barristers, which means solicitors can have confidence that if their first choice is not available there will be an equally strong alternative’. Senior clerk Simon Morris and first junior Gavin Street are ‘always calm, polite, and approachable – their sense of humour is much appreciated’. Offices in: Guildford, London, and Reading

The Western Circuit’s Guildhall Chambers covers a range of matters, including having ‘strength in numbers in the regulatory sector’ and a property offering that can ‘give London sets a run for their money’, as well as continuing to be for some ‘the strongest set in the South West for commercial work’ and having ‘strength in depth in criminal cases, sexual offences in particular’. The set also has a ‘widely experienced’ personal injury and clinical negligence offering. In recent news, Serle Court’s Christopher Stoner QC has joined as a door tenant and employment junior Kerry Gardiner joined from Queen Square Chambers. Senior civil practice manager Philip Alden heads up a team including the ‘flexible and approachable’ Chris Checketts, who ‘tries to find ways to help solicitors’. The criminal clerking team, headed by senior practice manager Lucy Northeast and practice manager Grant Bidwell ‘provides an excellent service – nothing is too much trouble, cases are efficiently handled and the go the extra mile to ensure that counsel can meet your client's requirements’. Property and estates practice manager Lisa Frostrup is ‘particularly responsive’. Offices in: Bristol

The ‘top-class’ Hailsham Chambers is a ‘slick and professional set’ with an ‘impressive knowledge of professional negligence, particularly lawyer and accountant liability instructions’, as well as being a ‘first choice’ for clinical negligence and costs. Chambers has ‘great strength and depth, a great bunch of people, and incisively intelligent and pragmatic barristers who will leave no stone unturned for their instructing solicitors’. And ‘they do all of this without the stuffiness of some other sets’. In recent developments, Theo Barclay joined the set’s costs group and Richard Beaty arrived from 1 CHANCERY LANE. The ‘very impressive’ senior clerk Stephen Smith and his deputy, Michael Kilbey, lead the ‘personable, reliable, and responsive’ clerking team to ‘provide impeccable service’. ‘They will always, without exception, strive to address our needs proactively and with urgency where warranted,’ said one solicitor. Another source added: ‘Always made to feel like the most important client. Never fail to recommend suitable counsel – realistic regarding workloads. Highly commercial in terms of fees, costs, and benefits.’ ‘Meticulous’ first junior clerk Stuart Paley is ‘always accessible and prompt’. Mary McGuigan is the new fees clerk. Offices in: London

Harcourt Chambers is ‘the number 1 set for children work, both domestic and international’, which offers ‘a wide choice of very high-calibre advocates providing clear and accurate advice and great advocacy’. When it comes to family law, the set has ‘a number of first-class barristers whose rates are more reasonable than some chambers which are better known for finance work’. Chambers has a ‘very organised and approachable’ Oxford office. In recent news, Francis Judd QC has been elevated to the Family Division of the High Court and Victoria Flowers has joined from Field Court Chambers. The clerks are seen as ‘friendly, hardworking, and go out of their way to assist instructing solicitors’. Simon Boutwood is the chambers director, Judith Partington the senior practice manager in Oxford, and Matthew Molloy the senior practice manager in London. Offices in: London and Oxford

‘An exciting, forward-thinking, solutions-focused set with a huge amount of commercial expertise,’ Hardwicke is ‘excellent from top to bottom’ and ‘continues to impress’, particularly in property litigation, real estate, and social housing fields, and it is ‘THE set for franchising work’. ‘The junior barristers are excellent for property work and there are a fair few which seriously punch above their weight.’ Solicitors also note how chambers ‘continues to go from strength to strength – its profile in the professional negligence and insurance spheres being raised hugely in recent years’. The set is also praised for delivering training sessions to law firms outside the bubble of legal London. In recent news, Brie Stevens-Hoare QC succeeded Paul Reed QC to join PJ Kirby QC as co-heads of chambers; David Lewis QC took silk in 2019 while the set’s planning team was bolstered with the arrival of Martha Grekos, formerly a partner at Howard Kennedy LLP and head of planning at Irwin Mitchell. The set has continued its growth strategy over the last 12 months with Lauren Godfrey and Charlotte John joining from 1 CROWN OFFICE ROW; Oliver Hyams from LAMB CHAMBERS; Rajiv Bhatt from Farrar's Building; and Robin Dunne from Clerksroom. Elsewhere, Simon Allison has moved to Landmark Chambers. Practice director Deborah Anderson ensures the substantial clerking team ‘goes the extra distance to help even where formal instructions are not yet ready but advice needed is urgent’. More than one solicitor commented on how ‘the best thing about chambers is its service’. ‘Its ethos of friendly commercial advice can be seen from all levels from the receptionist through to the most senior members of chambers. They are not a stuffy set. There is a real relationship between them and those instructing them.’ At senior practice manager level, Richard Sumaro is ‘quick, helpful, and thinks frequently how he can make our life easier’, while James Duncan-Hartill ‘runs a tight ship’ and is ‘a joy to liaise with; always responsive, helpful, and pragmatic’. At practice manager level, Natasha Devlin-Clingham is ‘an outstanding clerk, always helpful, very good at actioning matters urgently, and delivering a good service’; Patrick Sarson’s ‘hard work makes the process seem effortless from instruction through to representation’. The set’s ‘particularly brilliant and supportive’ chief executive, Amanda Illing, is praised for being ‘generous with her time and insights on business development and corporate social responsibility matters’. 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 best in the business’, specialist set Hogarth Chambers is a ‘go-to’ chambers because of its ‘superb knowledge of all areas of IP’ and due to there ‘always being someone available to assist on short notice and to support litigation when required’. Solicitors note chambers has ‘considerable strength in depth and are just great people to work with’. It is also said to hold ‘the best’ seminars for solicitors, ‘which it does regularly and on interesting, useful topics’. In recent news, Nicholas Caddick QC has taken over as head of chambers and Edward Cronan has joined from the IP litigation team at Hogan Lovells International LLP. Led by ‘invaluable’ chambers director Ian Bowie, the clerks are ‘uniformly excellent, approachable, and confidence-inspiring’. ‘Nothing is too much trouble and they will genuinely do anything they can to help.’ Senior clerk Clive Nicholls is ‘an exceptionally supportive, very responsive, warm, and reliable clerk. A joy to deal with’. Assistant clerk John Davies is ‘coming of age and becoming a great and useful clerk’. Offices in: London

Iscoed Chambers ‘provides a good service – it has a wide selection of expertise’ covering criminal, family, civil, and employment law. The set’s clerks ‘are also very good – they put effort into learning their instructing firms’ idiosyncrasies and case-handlers’. Avril Llewellyn is the chambers director. Offices in: Swansea

KBW is ‘a very friendly set that never fails to deliver the goods’. It has expertise in criminal, employment, and family law, but away from these more typical practice areas it notably has expertise in immigration and police law. The clerks are ‘extremely helpful when trying to book conferences’. Senior clerk Jayne Turner and first junior Lee Baines ‘could not be better in their approach to allocating counsel, which ensures clients are kept abreast of developments and diary changes’. Offices in: Leeds

‘Known worldwide as industry leaders’, Keating Chambers ‘remains top of the tree when it comes to high-quality silks, juniors, and adjudicators at the Bar’ making it, for some, ‘the first port of call’ for complex construction, engineering, and energy disputes, as well as ‘one of the go-to sets’ for the growing area of public procurement litigation. Chambers is praised for ensuring regional firms ‘receive the same level of service and care’ as those in London, which has stood them apart from other sets. The clerking team is a huge strength of chambers and ‘is probably among the top echelon of the clerks’ rooms of any set in London’. ‘They understand solicitors’ pressures and needs, and pull out the stops to meet our expectations.’ The ‘down-to-earth’ clerks are collectively described as ‘fast, responsive, and attentive; they listen to their clients and provide pricing that is always clear’. The team is well led by ‘top-class’ chief executive and director of clerking Declan Redmond and business development director Holly Gavaghan. Deputy senior clerk Rob Cowup is ‘universally liked and always willing to go the extra mile to assist’. Senior practice managers James Luxmoore and Will Shrubsall ‘can be relied upon to recommend counsel for any particular case’. Dominic Woodbridge has joined the team from Monckton Chambers; Aimee Hallett has moved to Essex Court Chambers, and has been replaced internally by Sarah Walker. Jane Lemon QC sadly passed in April 2019. Offices in: London

Kenworthy's Chambers is a ‘highly evolved and progressive set, with strong evidence of a strategic approach to widening its capacity expertise’. ‘A first point of call for immigration and asylum barristers’, it is also ‘happy to step up and assist on employment matters’ and also handles criminal and clinical negligence caseloads, too. The ‘friendly and efficient’ clerking team is led by Maria Rushworth. Senior immigration and family clerk Courtney Soden ‘sets the standard for efficiency and professionalism in the North West’, while senior criminal clerk Paul Mander is ‘always willing to accommodate last-minute cases at short notice’ and senior civil clerk Michael Jones is ‘excellent in terms of his understanding of the case issues and in terms of counsel’s availability, checking points, arranging for call backs and such like’. Offices in: Manchester

Kings Chambers is ‘a strong regional set with a sought-after planning offer, particularly at silk level’, and also has other strings to its bow such as being ‘an excellent personal injury set with a host of fantastic barristers who clear support one another’, and has ‘strong counsel at all levels of experience on employment law’. Being ‘a large set, availability of counsel is never an issue and it has good strength in depth’. The ‘efficient and responsive’ clerking team is spearheaded by William Brown, while chief personal injury clerk Stephen Loxton is ‘friendly, helpful and discreet – part of the service as much as the barristers he clerks’; the business and property, and planning and public law teams are led by Gary Young and Gary Smith (‘excellent – he looks after you’) respectively. Sarah Pritchard and Giles Cannock are 2019 silk appointments. Offices in: Manchester, Leeds, and Birmingham

Common law set Lamb Building is ‘top notch’ in the immigration field, ‘with strength at all levels’. The set’s immigration team ‘adhere to the culture of the chambers and that is to really look out for the client,’ said one solicitor. ‘It isn’t about the money for them. They genuinely care about the clients and doing a great job truly acting for the best interests of the clients’. Gary Goodger is the senior clerk in London. Phillip Silverman ‘is a fantastic clerk – accessible, helpful, and sensitive’. Max Goodger is the clerk in chambers’ Brighton annexe. Offices in: London and Brighton

Multidisciplinary set LAMB CHAMBERS has expertise across the commercial, construction, property, insolvency, personal injury, property, as well as media and entertainment. Mark Rowlands is the set’s chief executive. The names to know in the clerks’ room are senior practice manager Cliff Alderson and practice managers Paul O’Mullane and Joe Grimmer. Offices in: London

‘Fully deserving its reputation as the pre-eminent planning set’, Landmark Chambers has ‘a full complement of top-quality silks, together with a large team of juniors at every level of experience’ across the range of planning law and environmental specialisms.‘They are the go-to set for high value, complex matters and large development projects – retail, residential, and commercial.’ In addition, chambers ‘continues to grow in strength as a public law set’, and contains ‘a number of high-calibre immigration specialists’. In recent news, Charles Banner, Tim Buley, and Charles Banner took silk in 2019 and the opening of a Birmingham office has expanded the service the set provides. Solicitors also note how chambers has ‘hoovered up some great barristers from other sets to bolster its already formidable property practice’, including Simon Allison, Rupert Cohan, and Leon Glenister from HARDWICKE and Zia Bhaloo QC from Enterprise Chambers, making the set ‘a force to be reckoned with’. The clerking team is a real strength of chambers: ‘All of the clerks are well-versed in planning law procedures and are always helpful and good humoured; they are proactive, flexible, and very open and easy to deal with on fees.’ ‘Highly rated’ chief clerk Jay Fullilove is ‘one of the most experienced clerks in the business’ and ‘superbly’ leads ‘a seamlessly smooth, strong team who are approachable, knowledgeable, and provide an excellent service’. At senior practice manager level, Kevin Squires is ‘a real gentlemen’ and a ‘favourite clerk’ among some solicitors; Mark Ball, who recently arrived from Falcon Chambers, has been ‘a breath of fresh air’ for solicitors; Bill King is ‘highly experienced, efficient and cost-sensitive’. At practice manager level, Michael Gooch is ‘most helpful in offering people advice at short notice’; the ‘up and coming’ Jason Allen ‘will go far; he has all the skills one would look for in an excellent clerk’; Neil Perry is ‘a pleasure to deal with’. Offices in: London and Birmingham

Lincoln House Chambers is for many, ‘a go-to set in the North’, with ‘wonderful practitioners who are capable across the full range of regulatory and criminal law’, the primary area of work for the set. Director of clerking David Wright is ‘at the top of profession’; ‘he is friendly and always willing to accommodate requests for particular counsel including on training matters’, while Andy McGuiness is ‘very reliable and efficient’. Offices in: Manchester

Linenhall Chambers’ family and criminal law practitioners are particularly visible in North Wales and the North West. Members are also well versed in personal injury, employment, commercial, and property law. Martin Griffiths is the chambers director, with Gareth Stickels and Gavin James Reeves leading the criminal and family clerking teams respectively. Offices in: Chester

The ‘heavyweight’ Littleton Chambers is ‘probably the top employment set’ for complex and emergency instructions. ‘They are happy to roll up their sleeves to the get the right result.’ Chambers is also well known for both commercial litigation and sector specialisms, such as sports law and professional disciplinary cases, and ‘having invested well over recent years is now seen as one of the leading business protection sets in the UK’. ‘There is real strength in depth and go-to barristers range from silks across the spectrum to more recently qualified juniors.’ In recent news, Mohinderpal Sethi (current vice chairs of the Employment Law Bar Association), Dale Martin, and Nicholas Siddall all took silk in 2019, while the set also welcomed international commercial arbitration specialist Louise Barrington as an associate tenant, and commercial litigation junior Alexander Halban joined from 3 Hare Court. Jamie Riley QC and James McWilliams joined 3 Verulam Buildings. Clerking has always been a strong suit of chambers. ‘Solutions-focused’ Jason Drakeford is ‘one of the best senior clerks’ around; ‘a number of sets could learn a trick or two from him on how chambers ought to run’. Deputy senior clerk Daniel Woodbridge ‘provides exceptional service’. Assistants Ian Smethurst and Scott Hersey are ‘always very responsive and willing to assist’. Liz Dux is chambers director. Offices in: London

Magdalen Chambers, ‘a very reputable set which always tries to be accommodating’, has ‘a very strong family team’ as well as a particularly strong group of civil practitioners versed in commercial, insolvency, and planning matters. James Basden is the senior clerk of the set, senior family clerk Grainne McGovern ‘goes out of her way to be helpful’ and senior civil clerk Harry Turner is ‘extremely helpful, personable, and goes the extra mile’. Offices in: Exeter

‘One of the top Chancery sets’, Maitland Chambers is ‘a really first-class professional chambers’ with ‘great strength and depth’ in commercial disputes and arbitrations, as well as being a leading stable for trusts and probate specialists and having ‘a good reputation’ in charity law. The set’s barristers are described as ‘proactive and turn work around quickly with follow up responses being timely and of an excellent standard’. In chambers news, Andrew Walker QC returned to practice following tenure as chair of the Bar Council. Solicitors are impressed by the clerking team, which is thought of as ‘helpful, communicative, proactive, charming, and professional’. Senior clerk John Wiggs and deputy senior clerk Robert Penson are ‘among the best in the business’. In a recent addition to the clerking team, Luke Irons joined as deputy senior clerk from The 36 Group. Offices in: London

The ‘swanky’ Matrix Chambers is ‘full of stars and stars in the making’ with ‘some of the cleverest barristers around’ who ‘work in a modern collaborative way and get results’. Or as one source commented: ‘Amazing breadth of coverage. Horses for courses, but they have a thoroughbred for every kind of case.’ ‘There can be very few landmark decisions in the last decade that have not involved one or other side represented by chambers,’ said another. Strengthening the crime team, chambers has welcomed Jamas Hodivala from 2 Bedford Row, Florence Iveson from The 36 Group, James Stansfeld from Furnival Chambers, and, most recently, Adrian Waterman QC from Doughty Street Chambers. Making the set ‘an increasing force in the new media law landscape focusing on privacy and data protection’, chambers also welcomed Catrin Evans QC and Ian Helme from the now defunct One Brick Court, while the employment team has been bolstered by the arrival of Nathan Roberts from Cloisters. Leaving chambers, Ben Emmerson QC joined Monckton Chambers and Aaron Watkins moved to Cloth Fair Chambers. Split into three teams, the clerks are ‘highly organised, efficient, and easy to get hold of’. Practice director Jason Housden and practice manager Simon Gardner are ‘a dream team to work with and just get things done – any member of the Bar would kill (or at least maim others) to be clerked by them’. Senior practice manager Allison Scanes ‘goes out of her way to ensure the availability of barristers and that their services are competitively priced; you feel that you are in a safe pair of hands’. ‘Dapper’ senior practice manager Paul Venables is ‘fantastic – responsive, commercial, proactive, charming, and always follows up’. Senior Practice manager Elizabeth Bousher is ‘highly regarded’ by solicitors. Also of note are Simon Gardner (‘just brilliant!’); Zoe Mellor (‘enormously helpful’); and Chris Beard (‘friendly and responsive’); while ‘well-regarded’ practice manager Rhian Hiscocks has joined from HARDWICKE and practice manager Gary Collins has arrived from New Square Chambers. According to one source: ‘Chambers as a whole, from the front desk to their excellent print department, takes pride in their work and in running cases successfully.’ Rachel Holmes is chambers chief executive. Offices in: London, Geneva, and Brussels

Although known as a ‘leading set’ for EU, competition, and public procurement law instructions, thanks to having ‘excellent strength in depth across the spectrum’, Monckton Chambers ‘also has barristers who can turn their hand to more esoteric public law challenges’. Chambers is also a ‘go-to’ for civil liberties and human rights work. ‘Barristers have always made themselves available on a pro bono basis, including at the highest level, and consistently produced work of the highest quality.’ Robert Palmer, Ronit Kreisberger, and Valentina Sloane took silk in 2019. Meanwhile, in other news, Steven Gee QC joined chambers after five years at boutique litigation firm Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP, while Ben Emmerson QC arrived from Matrix Chambers. Senior clerk David Hockney and his deputy, John Keegan, ‘run a great clerking team’ that is ‘a cut above all other sets’. The clerks are ‘responsive to requests for assistance; open to considering varied arrangements for instruction, and thoroughly 21st century in their use of technology and means of communications’. First junior Steven Duffett is ‘highly effective in a hands-on and task-focused way’. Offices in: London

New Court Chambers' members boast expertise in the areas of public law care, adoption, private law children, financial relief, and Court of Protection. The clerking team draws praise for ‘always going the extra mile to find the right advocate’. Paul Bloomfield is the senior clerk and the first junior is James Stammers. Also in the team are second junior clerk Adam Grant and third junior Amie Smith. Offices in: London

The North Eastern Circuit’s New Park Court Chambers is ‘very highly regarded by clients: it works together to accommodate and never lets them down’. On top of being an esteemed criminal set, particularly at the senior end and overlapping into areas such as inquests and inquiries, it is also ‘a very talented set of family chambers with a good mix of barristers’. Tim Coulson is chambers director and Kirsten Frankland chambers manager, while senior civil and family clerk Janet Jackson is ‘a go-to – without fail she is always at hand to help out, and she does her best to go over and above in tricky situations’. She shares responsibility for regulatory work with senior crime practice manager Wayne Stevens – his team ‘is always available to discuss issues that solicitors have and make arrangements around their schedules’. Offices in: Leeds and Newcastle

‘A leading Chancery set for trust-related commercial work’, New Square Chambers also has ‘an eclectic skill set centred around corporate matters and contains great offshore expertise’. Solicitors say ‘the set has some excellent seniors as well as a crop of brilliant younger barristers coming through and making names for themselves’. Also of note is the set’s impressive new initiative, New Square Consulting, which enables law firms to have a barrister in their offices at no cost, at a time which is most convenient for them. Solicitors say this is ‘a good way of getting to know different barristers in the set’. In recent news, James Davies joined from 3PB, Paul Wilmshurst arrived from 9 Stone Buildings, while Sebastian Prentis has been appointed a full-time Insolvency and Companies Court judge. The clerks, led by head of clerking Phil Reeves, are collectively described as ‘personable, diligent, very organised, and proactive; they build a personal relationship with you, value your custom, and always go the extra mile’. Deputy senior clerk Michelle Greene (‘amazing’), and practice managers Cameron Grant and Charlie Sherwood (‘the quality of service is unbeatable’) all draw particular praise. Practice manager Nathan Hitchman has joined from 39 Essex Chambers. Though not a clerk, John Campbell, the set’s business development director, ‘should be mentioned as he is doing a great job in raising the set’s profile’. Former senior practice manager Gary Collins has joined Matrix Chambers. Offices in: London

Nexus Chambers, the new home of Michael Mansfield QC, has expertise in family, personal injury, and criminal law. Andrew Arden QC, formerly of Arden Chambers, has joined after his former stable merged with 4-5 Gray's Inn Square last year, while Annette Henry QC also joined from Furnival Chambers. The clerks’ room includes practice managers Del Edgeler, Lee Wakeling, and Martin Parker. Offices in: London

Nexus Chambers, the new home of Michael Mansfield QC, has expertise in family, personal injury, and criminal law. Andrew Arden QC, formerly of Arden Chambers, has joined after his former stable merged with 4-5 Gray's Inn Square last year, while Annette Henry QC also joined from Furnival Chambers. The clerks’ room includes practice managers Del Edgeler, Lee Wakeling, and Martin Parker. Offices in: London

No.18 Barristers Chambers, a set that primarily focuses on children law and matrimonial finance, has ‘a varied group of skilled lawyers’. Senior clerk Mark Windebank heads a clerking team that is ‘very capable and understanding when briefs are sent late – the clerks are always helpful with booking in return dates and keeping consistency in representation’. Offices in: Southampton

One of the largest sets at the English Bar, the ‘impressive’ No5 Barristers Chambers is ‘an efficient, well-run set’ that is ‘able to offer a wide selection of counsel, with strength and depth in a variety of legal areas’. With its origins in Birmingham and strong presences in Bristol and London, it ‘consistently produces remarkable and talented barristers nationwide’. The set has members active across a wide range of areas: ‘a go-to set for many specialist clinical negligence firms with a huge selection of specialists, many of whom with a fantastic reputation’ and ‘a highly experienced serious personal injury group with great strength in depth’; it also has ‘an excellent offering of family law barristers’; is ‘a first choice for Court of Protection work’; offers ‘a wealth of expertise in employment law’; has an ‘outstanding’ commercial and Chancery team, and is ‘still one of the main sets for regulatory law in the Midlands’; has ‘a wide range of experienced and enthusiastic barristers at all levels’ of its crime team; and, for some, is considered ‘one of the best immigration sets in London’. In recent news, family specialist James Snelus arrived from St Mary's Chambers; Steven Fisher joined the personal injury group from Kew Chambers; Keri Tayler joined the public law group from 42 Bedford Row; Jonathan Shaw joined the commercial and Chancery group from Fenwick Elliott LLP; and Samantha Crabb has been appointed a circuit judge; while Alex Cisneros moved to Outer Temple Chambers. Birmingham-based CEO and director of clerking Tony McDaid ‘always comes up with the goods’. Business and property group practice director Danny Griffiths (‘he makes great recommendations of counsel – part of the glue that makes it a great set of chambers’), regulatory and criminal heads Chris Norman and Andrew Trotter (both ‘always accommodating’), ‘helpful’ personal injury and clinical negligence leaders Clare Radburn and Zoe Tinnion and employment practice director Martin Ellis, who is ‘always available to deal with queries and does so efficiently’. Geoff Carr is director of clerking in London. Direct access instructions are sought under the NoVate Direct Legal Solutions banner, which is headed by senior practice manager Russell Hobbs. Solicitors praise the set’s ‘second-to-none’ facilities for being ‘always clean and presentable, with admin staff able to offer assistance and biscuits always offered with tea and coffee’. Tony McDaid is the set’s CEO. Offices in: Birmingham, London, Bristol, and Leicester

Norfolk, all-junior set Octagon Legal, formerly known as Octagon Chambers, has a track record in family, employment, and criminal law. Robert Gibson is the senior clerk. Offices in: Norwich

The ‘impressive’ Old Square Chambers is ‘an excellent personal injury set’ and ‘one of the leading employment chambers nationally’. ‘Their expertise in employment law issues is second to none and they have good coverage at all levels, meaning you can always find the right barrister for the case in question,’ said one solicitor. The ‘capable, efficient, and helpful’ clerks’ room provides ‘a service-orientated approach and goes above and beyond in trying to ensure you have the right barrister for the job; you have the utmost confidence in the clerking. The team is led by senior clerk William Meade, who ‘is excellent, approachable, leads by example, and he works hard to ensure the practice runs smoothly’. Deputy senior clerk Graham Smith is ‘accommodating and works hard to find alternative counsel if there is a diary clash’; he and Olivia Moliterno are the ‘standout performers’ in the team. Senior team leader Paul Adams is also of note. Senior clerking assistant Jenny O’Grady, team leader Joe Kallas, and junior team leader Lee Jennings are ‘thoroughly helpful and professional to deal with, and transparency on fees is another strength’. Offices in: London and Bristol

OLD SQUARE TAX CHAMBERS is ‘very strong on private client and personal taxation matters’. Solicitors also appreciate the ‘useful seminars throughout the year on specialist tax-related issues’. Senior clerk Cliff Holland, Franco Lombardi, and Adam Blades are ‘personable and responsive’. Offices in: London

A ‘first-class set for product liability and personal injury’, Henderson Chambers becomes ‘a go-to set when the two areas combine’, according to solicitors. The set is also ‘the first port of call’ for health and safety work, and has ‘a very good range of counsel – from QCs to impressive juniors to very competent junior juniors’. In recent chambers news, regulatory specialist Tim Green joined from Outer Temple Chambers, while John White announced he will be retiring on 31 May 2020 after almost 45 years in chambers, 30 of them as chief clerk. The clerking team ‘reflects John’s emphasis on client care’; senior practice manager Daniel Kemp is ‘an asset to the set’. Overall the team is described as ‘efficient with fee notes and always willing to make counsel available and to facilitate accessibility’. Practice managers Nick Bryant, Daniel Smith, and Joseph Sutton are 'always helpful and responsive'; Shaun Wright has joined as a junior clerk from One Essex Court. Offices in: London

A ‘premier’ set for big ticket commercial disputes, the ‘stellar, dynamic, and energetic’ One Essex Court is ‘uniformly good’ and has a ‘deep bench strength’ of ‘extremely smart, hardworking, and commercially savvy barristers’ who are expert in financial markets disputes and international arbitrations, as well as being ‘fun to work with’. Or as one source put it: ‘It’s probably the top commercial set, end of.’ In recent news, Alexander Gunning joined from 4 PUMP COURT, Anna Boase took silk in 2019, and Sonia Tolaney QC has been elected chair of the Commercial Bar Association. One of chambers’ strength is its ‘elite’ clerks’ room, which is ‘super responsive, always goes the extra mile’, and has ‘an unrivalled reputation for flexibility, honesty, and transparency’. ‘The quality of the clerking is second to none and I am reminded how good they are because I am invariably disappointed whenever I use another set,’ offered one solicitor. Senior clerk Darren Burrows runs the ‘honest and pragmatic’ team like ‘a well-oiled machine’. He is assisted by ‘astute’ deputy senior clerk Jackie Ginty who is ‘very efficient, open, and responds promptly’ to queries. Clerks Rob Smith, Ben O’Hanlon, Jade Cassell, David Amdor, and Kirsty Hough, in particular, are ‘extremely personable and do all they can to assist’ solicitors and ‘provide a good insight into new talent and as to the work being done in chambers’. Jessica Barnes and Adam Wheeler are 'both responsive, friendly, and do their best to assist'. Offices in: London and Singapore

Having recently celebrated its 40th birthday, common law set One Pump Court continues to offer its expertise across the immigration, crime, and family law spectrums. ‘Respected’ senior clerk Ian Burrows runs the ‘well-regarded’ clerks’ room containing a number of ‘always helpful, efficient, and responsive’ clerks, including practice manager Mycal Thomas, Scott Haley, and assistant practice manager James Rourke. Offices in: London

‘A well-respected set in Liverpool, as evidenced by the experience of counsel in the set and how long they have stayed there’, Oriel Chambers ‘attracts high-calibre counsel’. The set has a strong track record in personal injury, regulatory, and commercial matters, and its family team is also well-regarded by clients. Chambers director Sarah Cavanagh and chambers manager Paul Thompson are ‘first class: proactive, pragmatic, approachable, and friendly’; Julie Konarski clerks the Preston annexe. Offices in: Liverpool and Preston

A ‘high-quality set’ with expertise across personal injury, clinical negligence, pensions, employment, and financial services, Outer Temple Chambers (OTC) has ‘an impressive range of well-rounded and capable advocates’ offering ‘a consistently high standard of service’. ‘Many of its new silks have been trained by the heavyweights, and this comes across in their approach,’ said one source, while another commented: ‘It gives out a very positive vibe – the impression is of an enthusiastic, committed, outgoing, and supportive team who are serious heavyweights.’ In chambers news this past year, Jonathan Hand and Fiona Horlick took silk in 2019; sports law specialist Louis Weston joined from 3PB; trusts expert Elaine Palser arrived from 9 Stone Buildings; and Alex Cisneros joined from No5 Barristers Chambers; Canadian advocate Paul Bates and Mark Beer OBE (president of the International Association for Court Administration) joined chambers as professional associates; Caribbean-based Tim Prudhoe, Delhi-based Percival Billimoria, and former white-collar crime McGuireWoods London LLP partner David Kirk have joined as door tenants. In a career that has taken her from barrister to Simmons & Simmons solicitor – and latterly Lloyds Banking Group's people director, employee relations and policy transformation – Rebecca Priestley returns to the Bar as OTC's new chief executive. Also of note, Natasha Joffe and Benjimin Burgher both took full-time positions as Employment Judges in the summer of 2019. Former business development director Dave Scothern has joined 5 St Andrews Hill as its new chambers director, regulatory specialist Tim Green has joined Henderson Chambers, and Simon Oakes joined Quadrant Chambers. Chambers offers an ‘excellent’ clerking service that is ‘communicative, responsive to requests, and has a willingness to always learn and improve’. Recently promoted practice manager Paul Barton ‘goes over and above’ and is ‘particularly helpful with urgent matters in relation to cost budgeting, listing, and barristers’ availability’; Mark Gardner and Peter Foad are ‘always very helpful and efficient’; ‘Nothing is too much trouble’ for Gardner; and the ‘never stuffy’ Graham Woods is ‘a real pleasure to work with and takes a commercial approach to working with solicitors’. Chambers director Steve Graham is in charge of practice development across the set. Offices in: London, Manchester, New York, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai

In addition to being ‘a chambers of choice for criminal law, in both the Crown and Magistrates Court’, Park Square Barristers is also ‘a very strong set in public and private law children work with an enviable team of excellent members’. Richard Sadler is the senior managing clerk, who is supported by senior family clerk Claudine Cooper (‘a joy to work with – she is a gem of a clerk who goes the extra mile’), senior criminal clerk Andrew Thornton, senior regulatory and public clerk Madeleine Gray, and the ‘very helpful’ senior civil clerk Francine Kirk. Offices in: Leeds

Parklane Plowden is ‘generally regarded as the top personal injury set in the North East thanks to its depth of talent’, as well as having ‘a good range of counsel at various levels of experience’ for employment work, and a track record of family and commercial law. Michael Stubbs, the set’s director of clerking, ‘leads an excellent team – he works hard to create a positive working relationship with instructing solicitors’, while senior practice director for the civil and family team Mark Williams ‘keeps in touch on matters that enables the smooth running of listing and continuity of counsel’, while Sharon Robson is ‘really good and responsive’. Offices in Leeds and Newcastle

Specialist chambers Partnership Counsel is the ‘go-to’ set for all things partnership-related, thanks to expert members Roderick I’Anson Banks and Simon Jelf. The pair are ably clerked by practice manager Tyroon Win. Offices in: London

‘Outstanding set’ Pump Court Chambers is 'well-rounded' with 'strength in depth' across family law, including matrimonial finance work. 'Their baby barristers are great for the more simple cases and their more experienced barristers are superb for the more complex matters,' said one source. Other practice areas of note include international child abduction, as well as expertise in non-accidental injuries, and sexual abuse instructions, along with crime, regulatory, property, commercial, and employment law. In recent chambers news, Sarah Jones took silk in 2019. Senior clerk Tony Atkins is 'loyal and supportive of his instructing solicitors. He will do whatever he can to make counsel available or to resolve any minor issues. His approach is innovative to the running of a barristers' set as he never takes instructions for granted.' Atkins leads the 'fantastic' clerks’ room which he 'runs like a well-oiled machine to deliver a brilliant service' and 'make this set what it is'. 'They can always provide me with counsel of different experience to meet all client’s needs. They are also very good value for money as compared with other London sets,' said one instructing solicitor. 'Exceptional' senior family clerk Sean Gentleman 'brings new ideas and excellent service' . 'Excellent' family clerk Charlotte Horn is also worthy of note, as is Jordon King who is 'an emerging clerk who delivers great service, is knowledgeable, and extremely helpful', and the 'very efficient and helpful' James Goodman; 'they go the extra mile to meet clients' needs'. Other clerks of note include senior criminal clerk Tony George and the 'approachable and friendly' senior civil clerk Jonathan Cue, who 'always help with chambers enquiries'. Offices in: London, Winchester, and Swindon

‘The best set in the country for tricky tax issues and disputes’, Pump Court Tax Chambers’ list of barristers ‘reads as a “Who’s Who” of the tax world’. With its very broad offering it is, for some, the ‘go-to’ set to deal with all tax issues as well as associated private client matters. ‘They have some really good young barristers and cover all tax bases at all levels of experience,’ said one source, with another adding: ‘I have never had any difficulty with availability because of the set’s strength in depth at every level.’ The clerking team is ‘always helpful and keen to make sure the right barrister for the advice needed’. ‘First-rate’ senior clerk Nigel Jones manages ‘a well-run ship’ which also includes team leaders John Poyser and Bruno Antoniotti, who are ‘always very responsive’. Offices in: London

The ‘pre-eminent’ criminal and regulatory chambers in the UK, ‘big hitter’ QEB Hollis Whiteman has ‘a number of real star performers’ ‘from top to bottom’ whose cases are ‘rarely out of the headlines’. Chambers ‘continues to produce stars of the future’, and its strength in depth and ‘dedication to quality’ can be seen in its pupils, ‘who are amongst the most impressively trained at the London Bar’. Since the publication of our last guide, Nick Corsellis took silk in 2019 and Anne Whyte joined from Atlantic Chambers on the Northern Circuit. Described as ‘an efficient, commercial machine’, the clerks’ room is ‘at the top of its game’, led by ‘quality operators’ senior clerk Chris Emmings and first junior Faye Patis. ‘Leading the pack of new breed senior clerks’, Emmings is ‘wonderful and straightforward’ to deal with, and ‘always very approachable if issues do arise’. The ‘charismatic’ Patis is ‘one of the top clerks in London’ and is respected by barristers, fellow clerks, and solicitors alike. Second junior David O’Sullivan is ‘the junior clerk to watch’; ‘he is able to quickly grasp the issues of a case and secure the best possible counsel, even at short notice’. Diary clerks James Booth and Jonathan Wagstaff ‘provide brilliant support’ and junior clerk Sam Window is ‘very good’. Stacey Hunt is chambers manager. Offices in: London

Although best known for its shipping expertise – with ‘the strongest consolidated offering of shipping silks at the London Bar’ – Quadrant Chambers also provides ‘a premier service’ in respect of commodities disputes, contains ‘the kings and queens’ of aviation work, and has a ‘strong’ travel practice. ‘Barristers are very user-friendly and more importantly, they understand instructing solicitors’ and clients’ needs very well,’ said one source. Since publication of our last guide, Christopher Smith took silk in 2019, commercial litigator Simon Oakes arrived from Outer Temple Chambers, former HFW managing partner Marcus Bowman joined as an associate member, while Michael McParland QC joined 39 Essex Chambers. The ‘second-to-none’ clerks’ room is ‘on the ball’; ‘responsive, helpful, and reliable, they know their client and so recommend the right barrister for the right case, and generally at the right price.’ The ‘great team’ is led by ‘two of the best in the business’: ‘the ever-charming’ Gary Ventura, who is ‘all you look for in a clerk’, and Simon Slattery, who is ‘proactive, engaging, and responsive’; both ‘understand client pressures’. At practice manager level, Paul Bloxham and Daniel Westerman (‘very helpful and efficient’); Daryl Hughes (‘standout; he cannot do enough for clients’); John Walker (‘very accurate, easy to work with, and responsive’); and James Tanner (‘very helpful, quick to response, and clear’) are all worthy of note, as is first junior Billy Beckett. Offices in: London

Quartz Barristers Chambers has a track record in commercial dispute resolution, family law, employment, and personal injury claims. Paul Wright is the set’s CEO, James Petts the senior clerk. Offices in: Nottingham

Regarded as ‘one of the more cerebral chambers in London’, Queen Elizabeth Building (QEB), is the ‘go-to chambers for complex financial applications’ thanks to ‘unparalleled strength in depth at all levels, from heavyweight silks, a handful of much-sought-after recently appointed QCs, several of the leading senior juniors, and many up-and-comers destined for great things’. Solicitors note how the transition from Lewis Marks QC to Tim Amos QC as head of chambers was ‘seamless’ and welcome the set’s ability to accommodate private FDRs. In recent news, Catherine Cowton took silk in 2019. Offering ‘exemplary service’ QEB’s clerks’ room ‘shows all other sets how it should be done’. The team is full of ‘consummate professionals who work hard for their members and the solicitors who instruct them’, and has become ‘more user-friendly and supportive’ under the leadership of ‘star’ senior clerk Howard Rayner. Guiding the chambers operation ‘with charm and diplomacy’, Rayner ‘maintains a great balance between commerciality and flexibility,’ said one source, ‘it is easy to tell him what a client needs – be it a good price or advice in a hurry (or both!).’ First junior Jon Bartlett is also highly regarded by instructing solicitors. Offices in: London

Queen Square Chambers ‘is a good regional set that has a range of very competent junior counsel for employment matters’, but also has ability across family law, commercial matters, crime, and personal injury arenas. Since publication of our last guide, former solicitor Alex Daymond joined the criminal department, while employment junior Kerry Gardiner moved to Guildhall Chambers, Ryan Morgan left for St John's Chambers. ‘Some of the most passionate clerks on the Western Circuit’ include senior criminal and regulatory clerk Collen Inker, who ‘always goes above and beyond to accommodate availability of requested counsel’ and civil and family clerk James Dowse. Offices in: Bristol and Cardiff

‘Strong in contentious Chancery, private client, contested probate work, pensions litigation, and partnership disputes’, RADCLIFFE CHAMBERS is a ‘chambers of choice’ for some instructing solicitors. The ‘solid’ set has ‘a fantastic spread of barristers, from silks through to very experienced juniors, and to budding juniors at the bottom’, including ‘real specialists in niche fields such as charities’. Since publication of our last guide, Tom Dumont took silk in 2019, commercial barrister Paul Burton arrived from Three Stone, Chancery silk Avtar Khangure QC joined as an associate member, and Mark Mullen was appointed an Insolvency and Companies Court judge. ‘Standout’ chief executive Fiona Fitzgerald provides ‘excellent service’ to clients. The 'experienced, efficient, and helpful’ clerking team is jointly led by senior clerks Keith Nagle and John Clark. The ‘superb' Nagle is ‘a very experienced senior clerk’ while Clark ‘is a particular asset of the chambers; he is responsive, helpful, and understands the needs of those instructing him’. Solicitors also praise deputy senior clerk Lee Wright as ‘another great clerk’; practice managers Justin Allen and Nathan Ellingham ‘are both excellent’; second junior Vincent Carter is ‘always willing to assist and is clear on availability and cost of counsel’; assistant practice manager Bradley Edwards is ‘always very helpful’; while junior clerk Charles Edwards goes ‘beyond call of duty’. Offices in: London

Red Lion Chambers ‘continues to grow and go from strength to strength’ across the gamut of criminal defence and prosecution. The set is ‘organised and efficient’. ‘They will ensure all cases are covered properly and that solicitors are always kept informed.’ While a London set, it is also active in Kent’s criminal cases and maintains an outpost in Chelmsford. In recent news, Michelle Nelson, Christopher Paxton, and Michael Goodwin took silk in 2019; Sara Lawson QC has been appointed general counsel of the Serious Fraud Office and David Malone has taken a sabbatical to work as the deputy head of the specialist fraud division at the Crown Prosecution Service; Angela Rafferty QC has been appointed a circuit judge on the South Eastern Circuit. The set has recently launched a lecture series which is described as ‘unprecedented’ by clients: ‘These events are invaluable to the solicitors’ profession in terms of continued professional development and are very much highly regarded.’ The clerks’ room is ‘fully understanding and willing to assist in those rare moments of crises’. Mark Bennett is the senior clerk/practice director; deputy director Nick Parkinson, assistant practice director Lee Young, and practice manager and lead Chelmsford clerk Chris Jones are also key contacts. Offices in: London and Chelmsford

Reeds Chambers – the advocacy arm of Reeds Solicitors – has a presence across the South East. Like the firm, it specialises in criminal work.

Regency Barristers Chambers in Cambridgeshire has expertise across the range of family law. Toby Lowther is the senior clerk. Offices in: Peterborough

Ropewalk Chambers has a strong track record for personal injury, clinical negligence, and industrial disease work across the East Midlands. In the clerks’ room, Tony Hill is the senior clerk and Alan Odiam his deputy. Offices in: Nottingham

The ‘unsung heroes’ of the property Bar, Selborne Chambers ‘punches well above its weight’ in property disputes thanks to ‘good strength in depth and quality across the board from the very junior to QC level’. In the words of one source: ‘They don’t cost the earth and their quality represents superb value for money.’ In recent news, Edward Bennion-Pedley joined chambers from 42 Bedford Row. The ‘superb’ clerks’ room ‘truly sets chambers apart from any other’ and ‘couldn’t be rated higher’ by solicitors. The ‘slick, professional, top-notch’ clerks have ‘a sensible, pragmatic approach to fees’ and ‘do not over promise in the way some chambers do.’ Senior clerk Paul Bunting ‘provides an unparalleled, impeccable service’, ‘often going the extra mile for instructing solicitors’. Co-senior clerk Darren Madle is ‘first class’; ‘he will move mountains to assist at the eleventh hour – shifting diaries to accommodate urgent instructions, his help is often invaluable in securing appropriate counsel for a given instruction’. First junior Oliver Ventura is ‘incredibly helpful and always tries to accommodate, even in difficult circumstances’. ‘Friendly’ receptionist Laurie Davies is also highlighted by clients as she ‘can always be counted on to assist if needed’. Offices in: London

Senate House Chambers is best-known for covering the range of children law, both public law and private, but it also handles some crime and civil matters, too. Su Snaith, who joined from outside the Bar in 2018, is the practice director, and Sue Crook is a notable clerking contact. Offices in: Northampton

Containing ‘really experienced silks and juniors, which isn’t matched by any other chambers’, Serjeants' Inn Chambers is a ‘heavyweight’ set across the spectrum of clinical negligence, inquest, and Court of Protection work. Chambers has strength in depth across these disciplines after continuing to add established practitioners to its roster, including Alexander dos Santos, Matthew Chidley, Rhys Hadden, and Dr Simon Fox QC, formerly of Charter Chambers, Furnival Chambers, Guildhall Chambers, and Exchange Chambers respectively. Joint chief executive Martin Dyke is responsible for operational management and deals with strategic and business planning alongside co-CEO Catherine Calder. The ‘inimitable’ Calder leads the ‘fabulous’ dedicated client care team, which ‘sets chambers apart from the market as a modern and forward-thinking set’ giving it ‘an edge over competitors when it comes to helping both lay clients and instructing solicitors with their needs’. Calder is supported by client care manager Isabel Biggs ('a key asset to the team, she is always available to assist and nothing is too much trouble') and client care executive Bronwyn Gray, and as a team they ‘go out of their way to enhance the relationship between chambers and its clients’. Solicitors say chambers ‘made an incredibly shrewd move investing in this arm of its business’ and it has been ‘money, time, and effort well spent’. Not to be outdone, the ‘helpful, honest, and approachable’ clerks’ room, which also ‘goes above and beyond’ for clients, is led by senior clerk Lee Johnson, with one solicitor admitted ‘the reason a lot of our work goes there is because of how Johnson manages everything’. Also in the team, Tom O’Connor is ‘responsive and pulls out all the stops to provide a reliable service’. New faces in the clerking team include Clare Sabido and Natasha Southgate, who have joined the team from 42 Bedford Row, while Samantha Jones has departed for 3 Verulam Buildings. Offices in: London

A ‘one-stop shop’, Chancery set Serle Court offers ‘a good spectrum of expertise’ from commercial litigation, to civil fraud, and contentious trusts, shareholder, and insolvency matters, with most of its barristers having expertise across often overlapping fields, as well as having the ‘perfect mix of on and offshore experience’. ‘Juniors are often better value for money than at some of the leading commercial/banking set,’ said one solicitor. In the last year, Constance McDonnell took silk and Zoe O’Sullivan QC arrived from One Essex Court, while Ruth den Besten departed for Essex Court Chambers. Head clerk Steve Whitaker (‘a real gent; responsive, straight-talking, and able to think outside the box’) leads the ‘impressive’ and ‘user-friendly clerks’ room. Co-senior clerks Dan Wheeler (‘commercial and a pleasure to deal with’) and Nick Hockney (‘makes the effort to know the market properly and is very well informed’) are well regarded, as is Paul Ballard (‘great to work with, always helpful, and very responsive’). John Petrie is chambers chief executive. Offices in: London

SIX PUMP COURT is described as ‘traditional and friendly, lacking the corporate and impersonal feel of some chambers; you are dealing with nice people’. The set has grown in strength and offer ‘a great deal of expertise’ in planning, environmental, and regulatory matters. Likewise, in crime, the set has ‘excellent strength in depth’ which is ‘so important with such a high proportion of cases going into warned lists’. Solicitors also praise chambers’ ‘informative’ seminars which are a ‘huge plus’. The set is also strong in the South East, with Maidstone, where the set has an annexe, its Kent hub. In recent news, William Upton took silk in 2019, while arbitrator and mediator Anthony Connerty, formerly of LAMB CHAMBERS, joined the set, as has Singapore-based arbitrator Andrew Moran QC, who arrived as an associate tenant. Double silk Roy Martin QC sadly passed away in August 2019. Senior clerk Richard Constable and ‘dedicated’ first junior Ryan Barrow ‘stand out and go way beyond normal service requirements’; first junior Graham Colloff ‘provides an excellent service to solicitors’. Second junior Michael Hearn is ‘very friendly and always on hand to help out in any way he can, he is a real credit to chambers’. Also of note is legal secretary Debbie Eggleton, the ‘friendly face of chambers and an asset to any office’. Offices in: London, Maidstone

‘Outstanding’ South Square is ‘the pre-eminent’ insolvency chambers as it boasts ‘strength-in-depth’ at both silk and junior levels. Other areas of expertise include, company, civil fraud, and offshore work. In recent news, William Trower QC has been appointed a High Court judge assigned to the Chancery Division. Led by chambers director William Mackinlay, the clerks’ room is ‘never less than reliable and efficient; a pleasure to deal with, commercial on fees, and punctual and responsive on billing issues’. Of particular note are senior practice managers Mike Killick and Dylan Playfoot (‘always helpful and responsive’), practice managers Jim Costa and Marco Malatesta, as well as ‘exceptional’ first junior Chris Filby. Luke Clark has joined Enterprise Chambers. Offices in: London

Spire Barristers is a specialist set covering the full range of family and Court of Protection law across Yorkshire. In recent news, Tania Woodliffe has joined chambers on her return to the Bar following a stint as a partner at BG Solicitors in Grimsby. Leigh Royall is the set’s senior clerk, heading up a team that is ‘personable and easy to work with’, and which also includes senior family and public clerk Donna Gaughan. Offices in: Leeds

‘A professional, friendly and efficient set’, St Ives Chambers ‘offers a wide range of experienced and talented barristers’. In addition to being ‘a hidden gem in Birmingham, offering a high-standard of family law expertise and advocacy’, it has ‘a large number of barristers experienced in housing cases, who clients have confidence in to attend hearings involving a whole raft of issues’. Since the publication of our last guide, Graeme Simpson joined the criminal group from Citadel Chambers. Fellow criminal practitioner Dafydd Enoch QC joined as a door tenant. In the family and children law team, Sarah Fahy and Jayne Mullen returned to chambers in January; former family solicitor Hasnat Bashir arrived in chambers, later to be joined by Terri Mason, a children law solicitor of 14 years; while Adem Muzaffer has been appointed a district judge. The set, whose seminars ‘provide invaluable guidance to the Birmingham legal community’, has a clerking team that provides a ‘second-to-none’ service and ‘treat firms as if they were their only client’. Civil and family finance practice manager Ross Hands is ‘instrumental in matching suitable barristers to cases based on particular skillsets and client needs’ (assistant practice managers in the team include Catherine Merry and the ‘great’ Hannah Yates). The children law clerking team is led by Sarah Robinson and includes the ‘fantastic’ Nick Burdon and ‘very efficient’ Asma Akhtar. Philip Hidson heads up the criminal clerking team, and Jackie Maskew is the chambers director. Offices in: Birmingham

One of the largest chambers on the Northern and North Eastern circuits, St John's Buildings is particularly strong in family law across Yorkshire and Lancashire. The set also has expertise in Court of Protection, defendant personal injury, criminal, Chancery, and employment work. Since our last guide, Lorraine Cavanagh QC has taken silk; former solicitor David Jones has joined the set’s employment group; and Jennifer Scully has officially been sworn in as a circuit judge. The ‘friendly and accommodating clerks’ are led by chief executive Chris Ronan. Tim Booth and Mark Robinson run the Sheffield and Chester operations respectively, while in Manchester, Mark Heald heads the crime team, Paul Laverty leads the family clerking, and Chris Shaw the civil team, which manages personal injury, employment, and commercial law. Offices in: Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, and Chester

For some, St John's Chambers is ‘unquestionably the go-to set for private client litigation in the South West’, while others say it is ‘a must instruct for personal injury and clinical negligence’, as well as covering the gamut of other practice areas including commercial, construction, and property law. In recent chambers news, dual-qualified Ryan Morgan, formerly of Queen Square Chambers, joined the family and divorce team. The ‘excellent’ clerks are ‘always helpful and approachable, they are a main cog in the process of the great communication between instructing solicitor and barrister – they just get it’; chief executive Derek Jenkins heads the team that ‘makes the lives of instructing solicitors so much easer, making the set feel like an extension of the solicitors’ own departments and not a standalone body’. Practice managers Rob Bocock, Luke Hodgson, and Annette Bushell manage the commercial, family, and personal injury teams respectively. Offices in: Bristol

The East Midlands’ ‘specialist family law set’, St Mary's Chambers, is ‘a well-established set of chambers with a good selection of barristers available for Children Act cases’. In early 2019, Matthew O’Grady was appointed a judge of the First-Tier Tribunal. The clerks’ room is led by the ‘totally reliable and efficient’ senior clerk Scott Baldwin. First junior Kamla Chall-Bange is ‘a delight to deal with at all times – she provides what is needed, when it is needed’. The set has a particular offering in direct access though bookabarrister.co.uk. Offices in: Nottingham

St Paul's Chambers is known for its expertise in criminal and regulatory law, with personal injury and public law also notable strengths of its members. In recent chambers news, Nigel Edwards took silk in 2019 and head of chambers Simon Bickler QC has been authorised to act as a High Court judge in the Family Division; Andrew Haslam QC joined Exchange Chambers. Jayne Drake is the senior clerk. Offices in: Leeds

West Midlands and Yorkshire-based, multidisciplinary set St Philips Chambers covers a broad mix of work ranging from crime and personal injury through to property and commercial matters. In particular, its members are ‘well-regarded in the field of employment law’ and ‘has real depth in its family finance team’, according to instructing solicitors. An ‘excellent team of clerks provide first-class teamwork for the client and instructing solicitors’. The clerks’ room is headed by chambers director Joe Wilson. Of particular note in the team is Anthony Burgess, who is described as ‘the most pragmatic family clerk in Birmingham – he is simply fantastic at what he does’. In recent chambers news, crime and regulatory silk Richard Atkins QC has become the current chair of the Bar Council, while Peter Haynes QC has been appointed president of the International Criminal Court Bar Association. In barrister moves, Juliet Allen has joined the family team from No5 Barristers Chambers; Sharon Hughes and Sofia Ashraf joined the personal injury team; while the employment team has been bolstered by the arrival of Russell Bradley and Barry Harwood-Ferreira as door tenants; children law expert Karl Rowley QC has also been added as a door tenant. Leaving chambers, insolvency junior Amit Gupta has moved to Enterprise Chambers, while Elizabeth Walker, Tom Rochford, and Stephen Thomas have been appointed to the circuit bench; Jonathan Meichen has been appointed a salaried employment judge. Offices in: Birmingham and Leeds

‘As a set of chambers, Stour Chambers has a good set of counsel for family matters’, with a focus on children law, according to its clients. The clerks are ‘always cheerful and quick to respond’; senior clerk Marc Goddard is ‘outstanding’ and first junior Charlie Mills ‘goes above and beyond what you get from other sets; they will always do their best to rearrange diaries to free up cover for hearings’. Offices in: Canterbury

‘A top property set’, which was historically better known as a ‘tour de force for leasehold enfranchisement’, landlord and tenant, and service charges work, Tanfield Chambers’ commercial real estate experience is ‘considerable and growing’, and the set is now ‘used extensively by City firms for a broad range of property litigation’ matters. Solicitors also note that the set is ‘making a name for themselves in the right to light arena’. And when it comes to residential property instructions, ‘from silks down to the juniors, the fact they deal with residential work on a regularly basis really shows’.The ‘very collegiate set’ has members with ‘high technical standards’. ‘Their strength in depth is a real asset as they have a vast range of counsel from the junior to senior end. There is always someone that is available to take on matters.’ In recent news, Nicholas Isaac took silk in 2019. Eamonn Kelly is the set’s CEO. The senior practice managers are Alex Southern, the ‘personable and likeable’ Billy Forecast (‘has an uncanny ability to choose the right counsel for each piece of work both from a technical and budget perspective’), and Richard Powell, who ‘is a great addition to clerks’ room’. Senior practice manager Zoe Bluck has moved to The 36 Group. Offices in: London

Temple Garden Chambers has strength and expertise across its core areas of practice, which include health and safety, inquests and inquiries, and personal injury, as well as costs and international crime and extradition. In recent chambers news, Daniel Sternberg joined from Foundry Chambers. The ‘helpful and informative’ clerks’ room is led by senior clerk Dean Norton and joint first juniors Nancy Rice and Keith Sharman. Offices in: London and The Hague

‘Covering all tax bases’, Temple Tax Chambers has a ‘versatile’ stable of counsel. ‘Faultless’ senior clerk Claire James ‘smoothly’ runs the ‘friendly, extremely helpful, and responsive’ clerks’ room. Lucy Campbell is the deputy senior clerk, while Cindy Green and Kaylin O’Rourke are the junior clerks. In December 2018, Julian Hickey moved over to 9 Stone Buildings, while in January 2019, John Baldry moved to O'Melveny, and Rebecca Murray departed for Devereux. Offices in: London

‘Excellent from top to bottom’, Ten Old Square is ‘a favourite set for complex, traditional Chancery matters’ and ‘the go-to set for trustee applications involving rectification, variation of trusts, and other administrative court proceedings’. Chambers has ‘technically able and user-friendly’ barristers who are considered ‘good value for money’. Senior clerk Keith Plowman leads a team which ‘goes out of its way to work calendars, ensure availability, and keep solicitors updated’. Plowman is supported by the ‘utterly reliable’ deputy senior clerk Marc Schofield and first junior clerk Fay Bennett. Offices in: London

Multidisciplinary set The 36 Group offers specialist counsel across the fields of crime, commercial, family, public and human rights, as well as commodities and shipping. Chambers, which was joined by members of 4 Field Court and Stone Chambers in 2018, provides ‘a cost-effective service’ and are 'excellent value for money’ with ‘a down-to-earth and friendly ethos that fosters strong relationships with instructing solicitors’. The 36 Crime team has expanded of late following the arrival of John Cammegh and Adrian Amer from 9 Bedford Row, and James Bide-Thomas and Helen Marley from No.1 High Pavement Chambers. This followed the appointment of Julie Warburton, Rebecca Herbert, Georgina Gibbs, and Steven Evans as circuit judges. Elsewhere in chambers, Madeleine Heal (formerly of New Square Chambers) and Ceri Davis (sole practitioner) joined 36 Commercial, while dual-qualified barrister Jamsheed Peeroo (England and Wales, and Mauritius) and arbitrator Doran Doeh (formerly of Dentons) have joined 36 Stone. In other news, Vasanti Selvaratnam QC, Dean Armstrong, and William Tyler QC have become joint heads of chambers. The clerking team is ‘second to none’ and ‘will move heaven and earth to assist’ solicitors. ‘Energetic and enthusiastic’ family practice manager Danny Chapman is ‘incredibly efficient and pushing chambers to the forefront of the family law market’; first junior Ashley London is ‘astute, sociable, and down to earth’, while second junior Adam Cope is ‘a strong junior clerk who is making his mark and gaining an enviable reputation’. Other names to note in the clerks’ room include Michelle Simpson (criminal practice manager), Steven Newbery (commercial practice manager), and Everton Wedderburn (senior clerk public and human rights). In recent clerking news, former 36 Stone senior clerk Luke Irons has moved to MAITLAND CHAMBERS, while the ‘standout’ Zoe Bluck has arrived from Tanfield Chambers as the new pratice and business development manager for 36 Stone. Offices in: London and Singapore

Thomas More Chambers has specialist advocates across a number of practice areas, including arbitration, crime, employment, insolvency, and property. Head of chambers Geoffrey Cox QC was appointed the Attorney General in July 2018. In more recent news, Juliet Donovan (formerly of East Anglian Chambers) and Charlotte Mitchell-Dunn (formerly of 9 Bedford Row) have joined chambers. Chief clerk Stuart Sellen ‘runs a tight ship and is entirely client-focused’. He oversees a ‘fantastic’ clerks’ room that is described by solicitors as ‘reliable, pleasant, polite, and accommodating’. ‘Knowledgable and proactive’ senior civil clerk Craig Brown ‘provides a first-rate clerking service; he is a consummate professional and will pull out every stop to accommodate clients and solicitors’. Senior criminal clerk Clifford Strong and junior clerks Tony Meates and Jack Phillips complete the team. Offices in: London

‘Strong all-round’, Three New Square is ‘a pre-eminent’ IP set full of ‘go-to’ barristers ‘for those difficult patent cases’. Chambers ‘stands out’ for the ‘exceptional’ level of knowledge it contains and ‘the service levels it provides’. The ‘brilliant, organised, and responsive’ clerking team is managed by ‘standout’ senior clerk Nick Hill; Tim Fairburn is also a name to note for being ‘an excellent support service’. Offices in: London

‘A cut above the rest’, Three Raymond Buildings is ‘the best set for business crime’, according to some solicitors. Chambers is filled with ‘highly experienced, intellectually rigorous, and approachable trial advocates,’ who are ‘reliably excellent’ for general crime, financial crime, and extradition matters. In recent news, Richard Wormald took silk in 2019 and Bill Emlyn Jones was appointed Senior Treasury Counsel. The ‘dependable’ clerks’ room is ‘head and shoulders above other sets’ and led by ‘outstanding’ senior clerk Eddie Holland. The clerks are collectively described as ‘prompt and trustworthy’. Of particular note is the ‘exceptional’ Dean Brown, who is ‘very helpful, accommodating, and easy to work with’. Offices in: London

Three Stone is a well-regarded Chancery commercial set. In recent news, Stephen Woodward joined chambers having previously worked at Withers LLP and Payne Hicks Beach where he was a partner in its private client department. The clerks are ‘approachable, commercially aware, and very responsive’. Senior clerk Justin Brown and deputy senior clerk Gary Bateman ‘never fail to deliver’. First junior Steve Anten and second junior Frank Lee are ‘standout’ clerks. ‘They are genuine team players and nothing is ever too much trouble – first class.’ Offices in: London

‘A force to be reckoned with in East Anglia’, Chelmsford family set Trinity Chambers has ‘an excellent local knowledge of the courts and judiciary’. The clerks, who are ‘well-known and respected amongst local practitioners’, are led by chief clerk Keith Willmore, who is noted by clients as having ‘a friendly approach and is easy to work with’; senior clerk Tony Sleigh and first junior James Adcock are also key names to note in the clerks’ room. Offices in: Chelmsford

Trinity Chambers is ‘one of the most renowned sets in the North East for good reason’. The set has built on a track record of family law, with recent growth in other practice areas, including employment. Recent recruits include former employment judge and now mediator Michael Malone, and Paul Reid (who joined from Fountain Chambers). In other recent news, Caroline T Goodwin QC has been elected chair of the Criminal Bar Association. In the ‘very good, knowledgeable and responsive’ clerks’ room, Tim Harris MBE joined as chambers director in October 2018, with Steve Walker (‘an experienced hand who knows the strengths of each tenant’), Steven Preen, Liam Gorman (‘very professional’) and the ‘excellent’ Chris Gibbin leading the civil, family, criminal, and Middlesbrough teams respectively. Offices in: Middlesbrough and Newcastle

The ‘go-to’ chambers for international arbitrators and counsel, the recently rebranded Twenty Essex is ‘one of the leading sets’ for public international law instructions, a ‘leader in the charterparty and bill of lading/contractual side of shipping’, as well as commodities work, and it also has ‘a good reputation for commercial litigation’. Solicitors also notice its members’ ever increasing presence in banking work. In recent news, following three years in the Cayman Islands as a litigation attorney at Walkers, Sarah Tresman has returned to chambers. Led by practice directors Arron Zitver, Christopher Theobald, and Anthony Carroll, the ‘ever improving’ and ‘helpful’ clerks’ room is ‘friendly, prompt, and flexible on fees’. Tara Shah has recently joined the clerks’ room from 2 Hare Court. Other names to note are CEO Jemma Tagg, COO Daniel Clark, and Rachel Foxton, head of marketing and BD director, Asia. Offices in: London and Singapore

Westgate Chambers is particularly strong in criminal and family law work (including public child law), with the former being handled by a strong bench of juniors. The set recruited senior clerk Sean Gould from 18NBS in August 2018, with first juniors Paul Tuffs and Adam Armstrong managing the criminal and family/civil teams respectively. Offices in: Lewes

‘The Rolls-Royce of pensions sets’ and sitting ‘right at the top of the tree when it comes to big-ticket trust matters’, Wilberforce Chambers is in ‘the Premier League’ of Chancery sets with ‘the strength and depth you would expect of a chambers of its calibre’. Chambers is also developing its reputation as ‘a top-class’ property set and reinforcing its leading positioning in the offshore market where its ‘top-notch’ and ‘collaborative’ members are considered ‘thought leaders’, particularly in the Cayman Islands where ‘a number of its QCs have begun to make their mark’. Further strengthening chambers at the top end, James Bailey took silk in 2019. Clients appreciated the set’s one-day commercial and trust litigation conferences which is ‘of an excellent quality’. ‘Always a pleasure to deal with’, practice director Nicholas Luckman ‘has no rival’ at the Bar. Together with head practice manager Mark Rushton, Luckman runs ‘a very slick operation’ that befits the calibre of the set’s members. The ‘fabulous’ clerking team ‘delivers a service with professionalism and integrity’. ‘Forever going above and beyond’, senior practice manager Fraser Geddes is recommended for his ‘helpful, can-do approach’. ‘He is incredibly client-focused and will always do everything he can to accommodate.’ Also worthy of a special mention is senior practice manager Danny Smillie, who is ‘excellent, and goes the extra mile’. Practice manager Stewart Cameron is ‘a delight to work alongside. Extremely polite, impressively organised, and responsive to boot. You get the sense nothing is too much trouble for him, and he will do all he can to deliver the highest quality service’. Solicitors have also been ‘particularly impressed’ by practice manager Ben Rippengale. The ‘exceptionally helpful’ Andrew Barnes has recently been promoted to senior practice manager and, judging from solicitor feedback, this was a shrewd move by chambers (‘His clerking is second to none and he has been an absolute asset to the team; he’s excellent – responsive, helpful, and has a genuine understanding of the teams he works with’). Antonia Matthew has also been promoted to practice assistant. In addition to the internal promotions, the team has recently expanded too with new practice managers Jess Edson and Conor Michaels arriving from Keating Chambers and 4 PUMP COURT respectively, junior clerk Georgia Pilbro arriving from Doughty Street Chambers alongside Francisco Iannuzzi and Jake Walker in their first clerking roles. Hayley Eustace is the set’s marketing and business development manager. Offices in: London

Humberside’s Wilberforce Chambers continues to do a range of work, much of it concerning crime and family law. After only recently taking silk, John Thackray has left chambers for the bench, sitting in the Crown Court in Grimsby. Strengthening chambers, former Hull solicitor Richard Lee, has transition to the Bar and joined the set’s family team. Phillip Paxton is the criminal clerk and practice manager, with Hayley Naylor the clerk responsible for the family and civil teams. 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. Offices in: Windsor

A ‘terrific’ Chancery-commercial chambers, XXIV OLD BUILDINGS is ‘one of the standout sets for offshore trust work’ and ‘going from strength to strength’ when it comes to Middle East-related matters. Members have ‘a rare balance of intellectual excellence allied to an ability to explain complicated legal principles in simple terms’. In recent news, Steven Thompson QC has been appointed chair of the International Committee of The Bar Council. ‘Wonderful and formidable’ chambers director Sue Medder has announced her retirement, effective August 2019, after five years in chambers during which time she led a ‘fantastic, highly responsive, and approachable’ clerking team which ‘matches the quality’ of the set’s members. The team includes ‘impressive’ senior practice managers Paul Horsfield and James Ladbrook, who are ‘straightforward to deal with’ and ‘very competitive’ on fees. Offices in: London and Geneva

4 PUMP COURT offers ‘some very good silks and juniors who are very good value’ across the commercial, construction, and insurance/reinsurance sectors, as well as shipping, IT, arbitration, and professional negligence. Solicitors note how the set is very adept at ‘running very successful campaigns to corner a particular market’. Since the publication of our last guide, Sean Brannigan QC joins Nick Vineall QC as joint head of chambers; Rachel Ansell QC has been appointed chair of the Technology and Construction Bar Association; and James Watthey has been appointed to the council of the London Shipping Law Centre. James Leabeater QC and Jessica Stephens QC took silk in 2019, and chambers was further strengthen by the arrival of Lord Edward Garnier QC, Stephen Cogley QC, and Jennie Gillies from One Brick Court, XXIV OLD BUILDINGS, and in-house at Arup respectively, while Alexander Gunning QC joined One Essex Court. In the clerks’ room, Carl Wall and Stewart Gibbs are joint senior clerks of a ‘responsive, helpful and accommodating’ team that is ‘very easy to work with, and help make the whole solicitor/counsel firm/chambers dynamic feel like a proper team’. Also of note, Lucy Burrows, formerly of 3 Verulam Buildings, has joined chambers as a new deputy senior clerk, and former chambers chief executive Carolyn McCombe is now head of ADR and professional standards at the set. Offices in: London and Hong Kong

Zenith Chambers is particularly well-regarded for its family law expertise, with a strong focus on private children law, but its members are also active in housing, personal injury, and crime. Chambers has appointed its first leadership management team, relinquishing the need for a CEO – a role previously held by Shelagh Kirkby and Simon Coatsworth – and aims to eliminate ‘the long-standing "silos” that have previously existed in chambers’. The new team comprises senior family clerk Rebecca Hartley; senior criminal clerk Stephanie Hunt; senior civil clerk Paul McNab; head of business development Debra Hinde; barristers Bronia Hartley, Tom Tyson, and Elliot Kay, along with David Bradshaw and John Boumphrey head and deputy head of chambers respectively. Offices in: Leeds

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Legal Developments in the UK

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  • Court of Justice rules on source of income for Derivative Residence applications

    On 2 October 2019, the Court of Justice delivered its judgment in Bajratari v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Directive 2004/38/EC) Case C-93/18 which concerns Chen applications and the source of funds for self-sufficiency. 
  • End of the ‘centre of life test’ in Surinder Singh cases?

    In the recent case of  ZA (Reg 9. EEA Regs; abuse of rights) Afghanistan   [2019] UKUT 281 (IAC ), the Upper Tribunal found that there is no basis in EU law for the centre of life test, as set out in Regulation 9(3)(a) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (the “Regulations”). It further found that it is not to be applied when Judges assess  Surinder Singh  cases that appear before them.
  • Terms of employment as a sole representative

    In this article we examine the working arrangements of sole representatives, looking at the terms and conditions of employment that the Home Office will expect a sole representative to have in order to qualify as a representative of an overseas business.  
  • Can Sole Representatives Be Shareholders?

    The Immigration Rules require that an applicant for a  sole representative visa  is not “a  majority shareholder in the overseas business”.
  • Immigration Skills Charge - A Guide for Employers

    As a Sponsor, you may be required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) each time you sponsor a migrant in the  Tier 2 General  or  Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Long-term Staff  subcategory.
  • 5 FAQS about paragraph 320(11)

    In applications for entry clearance where the applicant has a negative immigration history in the UK, the application may be refused under the general grounds for refusal, which are found in part 9 of the Immigration Rules. Where an applicant has  ‘previously contrived in a significant way to frustrate the intentions of the Immigration Rules’,  the application could be refused under paragraph 320(11). In this post we look at five frequently asked questions about paragraph 320(11). 
  • Multiple nationality and multiple citizenship (including dual nationality and dual citizenship)

    British nationality law permits multiple nationality and multiple citizenship, including dual nationality and dual citizenship.
  • Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the Exceptional Talent or Promise Category

    The  Exceptional Talent  and Exceptional Promise categories are for individuals who are recognised leaders or emerging leaders in their field of expertise. There are a number of endorsing bodies for lots of different fields of work, including  artists and musicians ,  architects ,  digital experts ,  scientists  and  academics . While there isn’t an endorsing body for every expert, the growing list means that many individuals could enjoy the flexibility that this category has to offer. 
  • PARALLEL PROCEEDINGS – CIVIL AND CRIMINAL

    Syedur Rahmanconsiders the factors that determine when civil proceedings can go ahead before,or at the same time as, criminal proceedings relating to the same circumstances.
  • Rights of appeal after the Immigration Act 2014

    The Immigration Act 2014 (“the 2014 Act”) reduced the circumstances in which the refusal of an immigration application will give rise to a right of appeal. The  explanatory notes  to the 2014 Act state that the Act was intended to restructure rights of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal. Previously, a right of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal existed against any of the 14 different immigration decisions listed in s.82 of the  Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002  (“the 2002 Act”). As explained below, whether or not the refusal of an immigration application currently generates a right of appeal depends on the subject matter of the application rather than its categorisation.

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to