Index of tables
Northern Circuit – Leading Sets
- Byrom Street Chambers (Raymond Machell QC) (Manchester)
- Deans Court Chambers (Mark Turner QC) (Manchester)
Exchange Chambers (David Turner QC and Bill Braithwaite QC)(Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester)
Kings Chambers (Dr Nicholas Braslavsky QC)(Manchester)
- Lincoln House Chambers (Alistair Webster QC and Guy Gozem QC) (Manchester)
- 9 St John Street (Charles Garside QC) (Manchester)
- St Johns Buildings (Anthony Hayden QC) (Manchester)
- Cobden House Chambers (Roger Farley QC) (Manchester)
Garden Court North Chambers (Ian Macdonald QC)(Manchester)
Kenworthy’s Buildings (Francis Burns)(Manchester)
Liverpool Civil Law (Andrew Heap)(Liverpool)
- Oriel Chambers (Richard Bradley) (Liverpool and Preston)
- 18 St John Street Chambers (Peter Birkett QC) (Manchester)
- Doughty Street Chambers (Manchester)
The Northern Circuit has been particularly subject to market changes, with sets noting greater competition due to the increasing number of solicitor-advocates, as well as sets from other circuits attempting to grow their market share. St Johns Buildings completed its merger with Paradise Chambers in Sheffield and India Buildings Chambers in Liverpool, bringing its total number of members to over 250.
Byrom Street Chambers is the go-to set for personal injury and clinical negligence matters, Kings Chambers retains its reputation in commercial, Chancery and planning work, and 9 St John Street is well known for its employment capability. Deans Court Chambers and Exchange Chambers are solid all-round sets, and Atlantic Chambers, St James’s Chambers and 18 St John Street Chambers are also well regarded. Oriel Chambers fields a number of well-respected practitioners in personal injury and employment, and Doughty Street Chambers’ reputation continues to grow.
Chancery and commercial litigation
The ‘commercially sound’ Kings Chambers fields a number of heavyweight Chancery and commercial silks, including Lesley Anderson QC, Paul Chaisty QC, Michael Booth QC and David Casement QC. Dr Mark Friston is ‘extremely personable and pleasant with clients’, and Martin Budworth continues to build on his reputation in sports litigation. Neil Berragan and Andrew Grantham are recommended for commercial dispute resolution. Andrew Latimer, Mark Harper, - Jeffrey Terry and Lisa Walmisley have broad commercial and Chancery practices. Eleanor Temple and Louis Doyle are recommended for insolvency and commercial disputes.
St Johns Buildings’ David Berkley QC has an ‘in-depth, analytical and thoughtful mind’, and Susanne Muth’s written work is ‘of the highest quality’. Pépin Aslett has ‘an excellent legal brain’, and James Malam is ‘quick to grasp the strengths and weaknesses of a case’.
At St James’s Chambers, the ‘professional and approachable’ Sarah Harrison has particular experience in probate and trusts. Robert Sterling has a broad Chancery and commercial practice, as does Lucy Wilson-Barnes. Brad Pomfret is ‘technically focused and commercially aware’.
At 18 St John Street Chambers, David Hoffman’s broad commercial and Chancery practice covers insurance, construction and professional negligence. Nicholas Fewtrell is well respected for commercial litigation.
At Exchange Chambers, Mark Cawson QC has a ‘calm, no-nonsense approach’, and Edward Bartley Jones QC is praised for his ‘technical ability and depth of knowledge’, Alison Graham-Wells is recommended for tax work, and Christopher Cook specialises in technology disputes. Giles Maynard-Connor is recommended for insolvency.
Atlantic Chambers’ David Green and Nicholas Jackson undertake a broad range of commercial and Chancery work. Graham Sellers is also recommended, for his insolvency practice.
Lincoln House Chambers’ Alistair Webster QC and Guy Gozem QC are particularly recommended for financial crime matters. James Pickup QC is building a reputation for VAT tribunal work, and the newly appointed Kate Blackwell QC is particularly strong in regulatory matters. Peter Wright QC and Simon Csoka QC both handle serious crime matters, while Bernadette Baxter and Suzanne Goddard QC are recommended for their GMC work. Kevin Donnelly has particular experience in HSE matters, as does Lisa Roberts, who is also noted for her trading standards expertise. Andrew Nuttall, Mohammed Nawaz and Paul Lawton are regularly instructed in high-level financial crime and drug conspiracy cases. Rachel Smith has a strong prosecution practice, and Richard Simons is recommended for serious and organised crime cases. James Gregory, Peter Warne and Katherine Pierpoint are also recommended.
St Johns Buildings’ ‘tactically brilliant’ Jeffrey Samuels QC continues to receive high-profile murder instructions. The ‘formidable’ Andrew O’Byrne QC is ‘extremely intelligent and pleasant’, Hugh McKee has a ‘tactical approach’, and Steven McGarry is a ‘safe pair of hands’. Philip Parry continues to grow his profile in inquest work. Patrick Thompson, Paul Hodgkinson and Keith Harrison all have broad criminal practices. Raymond Herman and John Gibson joined as part of the merger with India Buildings Chambers.
9 St John Street’s Nicholas Clarke QC has a strong reputation for large-scale fraud work, as do Peter Cadwallader and Gary Woodhall. Louise Brandon, Tom Gilbart, Jaime Hamilton and Nicola Gatto are also recommended.
Garden Court North Chambers’ Mark George QC has a well-established reputation for serious crime cases. The newly appointed Pete Weatherby QC focuses on human rights and civil liberties cases, as does Nina Grahame. Mary McKeone is recommended for serious and violent sexual offence matters.
Exchange Chambers’ Tania Griffiths QC has particular experience in police work, including deaths in custody and malicious prosecution matters. John Jones QC has a significant criminal fraud practice, as does Nick Johnson. Brian Cummings QC handles serious violence and organised crime cases, and Simon Berkson has particular experience in drugs and fraud cases. Oliver Jarvis, Paul Taylor and Stephen Meadowcroft QC are also recommended.
Stuart Driver QC leads Atlantic Chambers’ criminal team, which includes Lee Bonner (recommended for POCA instructions) and Anne Whyte QC.
7 Harrington Street’s Richard Pratt QC, Andrew Menary QC and Ian Unsworth QC all receive high-profile crime instructions. Ian Whitehurst is recommended for fraud instructions, and Peter Davies has a broad criminal practice.
Kenworthy’s Buildings’ Barry Grennan is a ‘hardworking and dedicated barrister’ who does ‘outstanding work’. Patrick Cassidy is recommended for cases involving vulnerable adults.
9 St John Street is considered to be ‘one of the best employment law sets in the country’, thanks in large part to the ‘first-rate’ Dr Stephen Hardy. Rachel Wedderspoon is recommended for her ‘depth of expertise across a wide range of complex employment law issues’, and Carlo Breen ‘deals very thoroughly with complex cases’. Edward Morgan is a ‘highly capable advocate’, and Nigel Grundy is ‘very client friendly’. Joanne Woodward has ‘the ability to cut through a complex factual matrix to see the core’; Rebecca Eeley has a ‘commercial approach and down-to-earth attitude’; and Paul Gilroy QC has extensive experience in the field. Stefan Brochwicz-Lewinski, Zoë Thompson and Matthew Snarr are also recommended.
Kings Chambers’ Nicholas Siddall has particular experience in whistleblowing and discrimination cases. James Boyd and Colin Bourne undertake a range of employment work including unfair dismissal and discrimination cases.
St Johns Buildings’ ‘very helpful and knowledgeable’ employment team includes Ghazan Mahmood, who is ‘an astoundingly bright advocate’, and Annette Gumbs, who is ‘very thorough in cross-examination’. Lorraine Mensah, who joined with the set’s merger with India Buildings Chambers, is a ‘good fighter in tribunal’. Louise Quigley and Jason Searle are also recommended.
Doughty Street Chambers’ Paul Draycott has particular experience in employment work relating to human rights.
Atlantic Chambers’ John Benson QC and David Tinkler are recommended.
Garden Court North Chambers’ Kerry Smith has a wide-ranging practice.
St Johns Buildings’ Sally Harrison QC is ‘the best ancillary relief barrister in Manchester’. Anthony Hayden QC has significant experience in children matters and ‘his memory for facts and evidence shine through’, and Sarah Singleton QC is recommended for local authority work. Karl Rowley has ‘an understated, yet confident manner’, and Charles Eastwood is ‘extremely tenacious’. Alexander Kloss handles finance-related matters, and ‘silk in the making’ Lorraine Cavanagh focuses on children work. Neil Montaldo has a ‘high and consistent level of commitment’. Leona Harrison, Michael Kennedy and Gail Owen joined with the set’s India Buildings Chambers.
At Deans Court Chambers, the newly appointed Frances Heaton QC is in high demand for childcare cases, as are Susan Grocott QC and Jane Cross QC. Team head Louise Bancroft, Karen Brody and Francesca Fothergill are experienced in complex ancillary relief work.
At Atlantic Chambers, Malcolm Sharpe’s broad family practice covers both financial and children work. Michael Sellars and Christine Johnson are recommended for complex children cases, and Andrew Banks has particular experience in finance matters. Samantha Hillas and Abigail Bennett are also recommended.
7 Harrington Street’s Zoe Thorne has experience in public and private law children matters, and Joanna Mallon is regularly instructed in complex child law cases. Deirdre McGuire is recommended for matrimonial finance work.
At Exchange Chambers, the ‘dedicated’ Judith Fordham is ‘at the top of her game’. Ancillary relief specialist Karen Gregory is also recommended, as is Caroline Gee.
Personal injury and clinical negligence
Byrom Street Chambers’ Winston Hunter QC is ‘a real heavyweight litigator with a silky touch’. Raymond Machell QC is ‘meticulous’, and James Rowley QC has a ‘great eye for detail on medical issues and quantum’. David Heaton QC is ‘incredibly thorough’, and Geoffrey Tattersall QC is ‘an excellent advocate and marvellous with clients’. Christopher Melton QC has ‘a vast knowledge and understanding of the law’, David Allan QC is ‘the country’s leading high-value quantum expert’, and Andrew Lewis QC has ‘an excellent manner with clients’. Darryl Allen is a ‘first-class junior’ and Mary Ruck is ‘completely reliable, tenacious and pragmatic counsel’. Sally Hatfield ‘picks up relevant detail in the cases fluently and quickly’. The ‘very client-friendly’ Richard Pearce is also recommended, as is Peter Burns, who is ‘excellent at cutting through the mass of documentation and getting to the key issues’. Simon Kilvington recently joined the set from 18 St John Street Chambers.
At Deans Court Chambers, Craig Sephton QC and Patrick Field QC are recommended for catastrophic personal injury claims, as is Stephen Grime QC, who is ‘excellent on detail’. Timothy Smith handles occupational and industrial disease litigation, while Jonathan Grace, David Boyle and Simon McCann have particular experience in personal injury claims. David Eccles and Daniel Paul are also recommended.
St Johns Buildings’ Michael Redfern QC is a ‘tenacious and brilliantly astute negotiator’, and Philip Grundy takes ‘a very grounded and sensitive approach to seriously injured clients’. Peter Harrison is recommended for complex personal injury work, and Darrel Crilley specialises in industrial disease cases. John McNeill is ‘always clear in his advice to clients’. Andrew Bridgman is recommended for dental injury matters, and Richard Norton for high-value catastrophic claims. The merger with India Buildings Chambers brought Charles Feeny, Wendy Owen, Douglas Cooper, Simon Holder and Matthew Stockwell into the fold.
At Kings Chambers, Jeremy Roussak recently joined from St Johns Buildings, bringing his ‘impressive medical knowledge’ to a team that includes Dr Nicholas Braslavsky QC, who is highly regarded for clinical negligence claims; and Michael Rawlinson QC, who is recommended for spinal and brain injury cases. Newly appointed silk Nigel Poole QC is also recommended for clinical negligence claims, as are Sarah Pritchard and Stephen Maguire. Michael Ditchfield also joined from Leeds-based Parklane Plowden; he brings with him his ‘great technical expertise’.
At 9 St John Street, Christopher Kennedy QC’s ‘cross-examination skills are outstanding’. Michael Lemmy is recommended for occupational disease work, while Gerard Mcdermott QC has particular expertise in brain and spinal cord injury cases. Nicholas Hinchliffe QC and Brian McCluggage are also recommended, as is Matthew Snarr, for his ‘fearless manner’.
Exchange Chambers’ Bill Braithwaite QC is ‘exceptionally gifted’, and William Waldron QC is ‘not afraid to run difficult cases’. Also recommended are Paul Kirtley, who impresses with his ‘game-changing problem solving abilities’; and Amanda Yip QC, who is ‘a tough negotiator and advocate’. Sara Sutherland has industrial disease expertise, and Gerard Martin QC specialises in severe brain injuries. Christopher Barnes and David Knifton handle clinical negligence and personal injury matters.
Scott Donovan leads Atlantic Chambers’ clinical negligence group and has particular experience in complex birth injury cases. Michael Armstrong and Ivan Woolfenden are also recommended.
Liverpool Civil Law’s Allan Sellers is recommended for RTA work, and John Entwistle specialises in claimant personal injury cases.
Planning, construction and property
Kings Chambers’ Paul Tucker QC has particular experience in large infrastructure cases, and Stephen Sauvain QC is highly regarded for his expertise in highways law. Andrew Singer is recommended for construction, and Ruth Stockley covers the full spectrum of town and country planning law. Ian Ponter, Jonathan Easton, John Barrett and Giles Cannock also have significant planning practices. Nigel Clayton continues to impress with his mortgage expertise, and Wilson Horne is recommended for commercial property matters. Clients also have ‘a high regard’ for David Manley QC and Roger Lancaster.
At Exchange Chambers, Edward Bartley Jones QC’s ‘technical ability and depth of knowledge are excellent’, and Paul Burns is considered ‘the best housing counsel on the Northern Circuit’.
Regulatory and public law
Kings Chambers’ Melanie Plimmer specialises in judicial reviews and is particularly recommended for immigration matters. Adam Fullwood’s ‘knowledge and advocacy skills in this area are second to none’. Sam Karim covers a broad spectrum of public law work.
Deans Court Chambers’ regulatory team is led by Mark Turner QC, who has significant experience in health and safety matters. Tim Horlock QC has particular expertise in public funding issues and local authority liability, and Sophie Cartwright is recommended for inquest work. Mark Savill is regularly instructed in GMC work. Peter Smith recently joined the set from St Johns Buildings.
Garden Court North Chambers’ Vijay Jagadesham and Rory O’Ryan specialise in public law work involving immigration and asylum matters.
Doughty Street Chambers’ Paul Draycott has significant experience in human rights matters arising out of employment disputes, and Nick Stanage specialises in police work. Alex Durance is ‘extremely approachable’.
At St Johns Buildings, Steven McGarry is ‘a dedicated safe pair of hands’. Matthew Stockwell recently joined as a result of the merger with India Buildings Chambers, bringing his ‘wide knowledge base’ to the set. Iain Simkin is also recommended.