The Legal 500

Brick Court Chambers

Chambers of Jonathan Hirst QC and Helen Davies QC

Work 020 7379 3550
Fax 020 7379 3558
London, Brussels

London Bar

Within Administrative and public law (including local government), Brick Court Chambers (Jonathan Hirst QC and Helen Davies QC) is a second tier set,

Brick Court Chambers is regarded for its expertise across public, EU and competition law, and for its ‘clear investment into the depth of its offering'. Significant cases include R (Bancoult) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Bank Mellat v HM Treasury.

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Within Aviation, Brick Court Chambers (Jonathan Hirst QC and Helen Davies QC) is a third tier set,

Brick Court Chambers is experienced in EU and Competition law, and has advised on cases concerning slots at airports and various carrier difficulties with providers. It also handles commercial aviation matters and leasing cases.

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Within Banking and finance (including consumer credit), Brick Court Chambers (Jonathan Hirst QC and Helen Davies QC) is a third tier set,

Brick Court Chambers is ‘a highly successful set in which very bright counsel operate'. It is also rated as a ‘strong' choice for financial products litigation. Key banking disputes included Barclays Bank v Graiseley and JP Morgan v BVG v Clifford Chance.

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Within Civil liberties and human rights (including public inquiry law and actions against the police), Brick Court Chambers (Jonathan Hirst QC and Helen Davies QC) is a second tier set,

Brick Court Chambers ‘has a solid reputation', with counsel acting in leading cases of national and international significance. The recently elevated Martin Chamberlain QC is widely recognised as a standout barrister.

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Within Commercial litigation, Brick Court Chambers (Jonathan Hirst QC and Helen Davies QC) is a first tier set,

Brick Court Chambers is often a ‘first port of call for high-value, complex commercial disputes', which is reflected in the set’s recent workload. Excalibur Ventures v Texas Keystone, Constantin Medien AG v Bernard Ecclestone and others, and the Alexandros T dispute, which went to the Supreme Court are all cases of note. Some say ‘there is scarcely a weak link' among the barristers, with ‘strength in depth from top to bottom'. Many also consider it ‘the strongest set for disputes where there are Russian and fraud aspects involved'.

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Within Commodities Commodities - Leading juniors

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Within Energy, Brick Court Chambers (Jonathan Hirst QC and Helen Davies QC) is a second tier set,

Brick Court Chambers has ‘strength in depth from top to bottom'. Its reputation rests partly on its role in disputes such as Berezovsky v Abramovich, though its broad energy expertise is demonstrated by recent matters involving issues such as fracking and the acquisition of seismic data in North Africa. Harry Matovu QC recently acted in Excalibur Ventures LLC v Texas Keystone Inc & Ors.

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Within Environment Environment - Leading silks

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Within EU and competition, Brick Court Chambers (Jonathan Hirst QC and Helen Davies QC) is a first tier set,

Brick Court Chambers reaps praise as a ‘top-rate', ‘simply outstanding' and ‘very dynamic' set. Members have experience at a domestic level and also before the Luxembourg courts and the European Commission in Brussels, and appeared in most of the follow-on actions before the Competition Appeal Tribunal and High Court in 2013. A noteworthy case highlight was David Anderson QC and David Scannell’s involvement in AbbVie v EMA before the Court of Justice of the European Union.

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Within Fraud: civil, Brick Court Chambers (Jonathan Hirst QC and Helen Davies QC) is a first tier set,

Brick Court Chambers has ‘incredible strength in depth', and both the clerks and barristers win plaudits for their responsiveness. Among recent work highlights, members represented both sides in the expedited appeal of VTB Bank v Nutritek in the Supreme Court.

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Within Insurance and reinsurance, Brick Court Chambers (Jonathan Hirst QC and Helen Davies QC) is a third tier set,

Brick Court Chambers is ‘a premier set for commercial litigation and arbitration', and handles matters in a wide range of areas, including marine and aviation. Members have been involved in multimillion-dollar reinsurance claims arising from the 2010-11 New Zealand earthquakes, and the successful Supreme Court appeal relating to a maritime insurance claim brought by the owners of the Alexandros T vessel. Tom Adam QC is acting for the RSM Tenon Group’s professional indemnity insurers in several coverage matters. Sir Sydney Kentridge QC retired.

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Within Intellectual property Intellectual property - Leading juniors

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Within International arbitration: arbitrators, Brick Court Chambers (Jonathan Hirst QC and Helen Davies QC) is a second tier set,

Brick Court Chambers is commended for its ‘all-round strength in arbitration', and its arbitrators are ‘a cut above the rest'. The set has seven retired judges among its members, as well as 13 QCs with a strong track record in arbitration.

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Within International arbitration: counsel, Brick Court Chambers (Jonathan Hirst QC and Helen Davies QC) is a second tier set,

Brick Court Chambers is ‘an exceptionally strong set for international arbitrations, particularly those with Russian/CIS elements'. As well as general commercial arbitrations, chambers is increasingly involved in major Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) disputes. Tenants often act in the same cases, with one energy-related London Court of International Arbitration case involving nine members.

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Within IT and telecoms IT and telecoms (excluding regulatory) - Leading juniors

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Within Media and entertainment, Brick Court Chambers (Jonathan Hirst QC and Helen Davies QC) is a second tier set,

Brick Court Chambers is known as ‘a go-to media and entertainment set'. Chambers’ recent work includes continued involvement in the Pay TV Competition Appeal Tribunal case that went to the Court of Appeal, and acting for pub landlords in a case relating to premiership football matches televised via satellite decoder cards obtained from outside the UK.

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Within Professional negligence, Brick Court Chambers (Jonathan Hirst QC and Helen Davies QC) is a second tier set,

Brick Court Chambers houses ‘an array of top-notch individuals for professional negligence matters' and provides ‘first-rate service'. It is active in finance, accountancy, tax, law and property-related disputes. Recent high-profile cases include Cattles Group Limited v PwC and Stichting Beheer Beroepsvervoer v Goldman Sachs Management International.

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Within Public international law Public international law - Leading juniors

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Within Public procurement Public procurement - Leading juniors

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Within Set overviews: England and Wales,

Brick Court Chambers is ‘the premier set for commercial disputes', with particular strength in EU and competition, civil fraud, insurance and energy litigation. Housing ‘a large number of very intelligent and versatile barristers', the set is also recognised for its highly regarded public law practice and arbitration experience. In 2013, Helen Davies QC became the set’s first female joint head of chambers, replacing Nicholas Green QC (now a High Court judge) and joining Jonathan Hirst QC. ‘Clients can be assured of a very high minimum standard of service', and the clerks’ room reaps praise as ‘outstanding and completely trustworthy'. For some, ‘they are skilled business developers, with a very professional and helpful approach'; ‘the best around, by a long way'. Senior clerks Julian Hawes and Ian Moyler ‘set the tone for likeability and user friendliness'. Former clerk Deborah Anderson left chambers in 2014. Offices in: London

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Within Shipping Shipping - Leading silks

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Within Sport Sport - Leading silks

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Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Finding the 
right words

    In the recent case of Newbury v Sun Microsystems [2013], the defendant argued that an offer to settle proceedings was ‘in principle' only and that a binding contract could not be formed until further terms had been agreed and a formal contract had been signed. It supported this argument by referring to a statement, in the offer letter, that the settlement was to be ‘recorded in a suitably worded agreement'. 

  • Behind the corporate veil: is that all there is?

    That companies have an existence entirely separate to that of their shareholders and directors is a foundational principle of English law and commerce.

  • Restoring environmental damage: putting a price on ecosystem services

    On 7 August 2009 a 40-inch pipeline ruptured, spilling 5,400 cubic metres of crude oil into the soil and groundwater of La Crau nature reserve in southern France, a habitat protected under French and European law. The operator had to excavate and replace 60,000 tons of soil, install 70 wells to pump and treat groundwater and 25 pumps to skim oil from surface water, at a cost in the region of €50m. However, this was just the primary remediation (that is, restoring the site to the state it would have been if the damage had not occurred). The operator was also required to compensate for the damage to the habitats and the loss of the ecosystem services that would otherwise have been provided by La Crau nature reserve. Measures included purchasing land outside of the nature reserve and contributing to its management for a period of 30 years (over €1m), monitoring the water table for 20 years (over €500,000), monitoring fauna over three years (€150,000) and rehabilitation in accordance with best available ecological techniques (nearly €2m). Overall, the compensatory restoration (to compensate for the amount of time that the ecosystem was impacted) and complimentary restoration (to compensate for elements of the ecosystem that had been permanently lost) came to more than €6.5m. 

  • The role of arbitrators in EU antitrust law

    In May 2014, it will be ten years since Regulation No 1/2003 entered into force. When the legislator of the European Union adopted this Regulation on 16 December 2002, its main objective was to decentralise the enforcement of the two main provisions of EU antitrust law, Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (now Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)). Where do the arbitrators fit in this picture?

  • New Immigration Bill, October 2013: cause for concern or appeasing public sentiment?

    The year 2013 has seen a string of reforms to the immigration system by the current coalition government. On 10 October, the government published a Bill aimed at continuing its drive to reduce net migration figures. 

  • New Schengen EU Regulations: impact on short-stay visa visitors

    The publication on 26 June 2013 of the European Union Regulation EU 610/2013 modified the incumbent Regulation EU 562/2006 in relation to third country nationals (ie non-EU citizens) and those travelling on a short-stay visitor visa, as well as those who do not require a visa to enter the Schengen area, Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria. Exceptions include EU and EEA nationals travelling to other EU/EEA states within the Schengen area together with foreign nationals holding either long-stay or residence permits for their destination Schengen countries.

  • New revised guidelines for administrators in pre-pack sales

    Pre-pack sales by administrators are now used frequently enough for most people in business to be aware of them and many have come across them in their business lives. A small amount of controversy still attaches to pre-packs, but it is probably right to say that they are now an accepted part of the UK business scene as a useful means of rescuing a business in difficulty and preserving some or all of the jobs connected with the business.
    - Druces
  • Silence is not always golden

    In PGF II SA v OMFS Company 1 Ltd [2013], the Court of Appeal considered, for the first time, whether a failure by a party to respond to an invitation to mediate should be treated as an unreasonable refusal to mediate - previous cases having focused on situations where there had been an express refusal to do so. 

  • Continued uncertainty for international manufacturers in the US

    For manufacturers that export, a key strategic issue for in-house counsel is assessing the risk of being sued in another jurisdiction - particularly the US. 

  • Parking rights: here to stay? Consent might be the surprising answer 

    In the field of the acquisition of easements by prescription, little has caused more consternation over the last decade or so than the question of whether a right to park cars can be acquired by twenty years user as of right. The types of property capable of being adversely affected range from individual residential units all the way up to major development sites. The establishment of such a right can have a devastating impact on the value of the burdened land.