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Essex Court Chambers

Living Wage
24 LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS, LONDON, WC2A 3EG, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 020 7813 8000
Fax:
Fax 020 7813 8080
DX:
320 LONDON CHANCERY LANE WC2
Email:
Web:
www.essexcourt.com
London, Singapore

London Bar

Set overviews: England and Wales

From senior silks down to ‘some very clever and able juniors’, the ‘first-classEssex 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

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Asia Pacific: The English Bar

Market overview

Essex Court Chambers has members instructed in heavyweight commercial disputes worldwide. Several of its barristers are based out of a Singapore office under the Essex Court Chambers Duxton banner and are primarily qualified in Singapore. Toby Landau QC is the name to note. Joe Ferrigno is the set’s senior clerk following David Grief’s assumption of the role of director of international business development.

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London Bar

Administrative and public law (including local government)
Leading Silks

Hugh Mercer QC - Essex Court ChambersA leading light in agricultural and public law issues.

Ranked: tier 4
2018 Silks

Dan Sarooshi QC - Essex Court ChambersInnovative in his thinking, which is always based on legal principle.

Ranked: tier 1

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Banking and finance (including consumer credit)
Banking and finance (including consumer credit) - Leading sets - ranked: tier 3

Essex Court Chambers

Essex Court Chambers is a 'high-profile, high-quality set' whose members have an enviable track record when it comes to complex and highly technical banking litigation. In recent years chambers has been involved in several insolvency-related banking disputes, such as the Lehmans Waterfall litigation relating to the distribution of over $1bn from the Lehman's estate. Another highlight involving numerous members was the Hellas II litigation – Hosking v Apax Partners, Deutsche Bank & Others, in which Joe Smouha QC and Ciaran Keller faced a team including David Foxton QC.

Leading Silks

David Foxton QC - Essex Court ChambersCombines immense charm with encyclopaedic knowledge of the law, along with boundless energy and tireless persistence in court.

Ranked: tier 2

Joe Smouha QC - Essex Court ChambersOne of the most exceptional silks in the City, he is also brilliant with clients.

Ranked: tier 2

Paul McGrath QC - Essex Court ChambersIncredibly clever and creative, with great legal knowledge, particular in the area of fraud.

Ranked: tier 3

Jeffrey Gruder QC - Essex Court ChambersA very wise lawyer who has a good bedside manner.

Ranked: tier 4

Stephen Houseman QC - Essex Court ChambersEasy to deal with, proactive and a good combination of strategic oversight plus willing.

Ranked: tier 4

Nathan Pillow QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is incredibly easy to work with, brilliant with clients, and has a great eye for the detail as well as overall strategy.

Ranked: tier 5
2018 Silks

Edmund King QC - Essex Court ChambersHe lives and breathes his cases – judges listen to him because he's always on top of the detail.

Ranked: tier 1
Leading Juniors

James Sheehan - Essex Court ChambersExtremely knowledgeable, hardworking, and has a very good attention to detail.

Ranked: tier 2

James Willan - Essex Court ChambersAbsolutely outstanding in every imaginable way.

Ranked: tier 2

Ciaran Keller - Essex Court ChambersVery bright, commercial, accessible, a good team player and a pleasure to work with.

Ranked: tier 3

Emily Wood - Essex Court ChambersHas excellent judgement across the whole spectrum of skill sets.

Ranked: tier 3

Louise Hutton - Essex Court ChambersShe has a tremendous grasp of the relevant caselaw and great technical knowhow.

Ranked: tier 3

David Davies - Essex Court ChambersAn excellent junior, very user friendly and responsive.

Ranked: tier 4

Tom Ford - Essex Court ChambersHe is unflappable, dealing with each challenge efficiently and effectively through a combination of determination and charm.

Ranked: tier 4

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Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - Leading sets - ranked: tier 1

Essex Court Chambers

Essex Court Chambers is a 'first-class set to turn to on significant matters' with 'an incredibly deep and diverse bench'. The set's versatility on commercial disputes is one of the things that marks it out, with some excellent expertise in areas such as fraud and international arbitration. The set has expanded heavily at the junior level in recent years, with Tim Akkouh arriving from Erskine Chambers being the most recent example. Major recent cases have included PJSC Tatneft v Bogolyubov & Others in which Paul McGrath QC, David Davies and James Sheehan were on opposing sides to fellow members, including Ruth den Besten. Other highlights included Fortress Group v BNP Paribas (the Golden Belt litigation), and Yukos Finance v Lynch. Martin Griffiths QC has been appointed a High Court judge in the Queen’s Bench Division.

Top ten under eight years’ call

Richard Hoyle - Essex Court ChambersA promising and rising barrister whose grasp of the law is impressive.

Leading Silks

David Foxton QC - Essex Court ChambersHe really is extraordinary, and completely deserves his reputation as one of the leaders of the Bar.

Ranked: tier 1

Joe Smouha QC - Essex Court ChambersLives up to his reputation for excellence.

Ranked: tier 1

Andrew Hochhauser QC - Essex Court ChambersAn excellent advocate with superb judgement and a great team player.

Ranked: tier 2

Paul McGrath QC - Essex Court ChambersHas an infectious joy in the job, an impressive handle on the detail, and is wonderful in cross-examination.

Ranked: tier 2

Vernon Flynn QC - Essex Court ChambersAn absolutely brilliant litigator with a sharp legal mind and sound commercial sense.

Ranked: tier 2

Jeffrey Gruder QC - Essex Court ChambersCharming and unflappable, and is excellent at managing challenging clients.

Ranked: tier 3

Richard Millett QC - Essex Court ChambersProduces reliably well-prepared, persuasive submissions no matter the case.

Ranked: tier 4

David Joseph QC - Essex Court ChambersInspires confidence in the client and has a proactive approach to case management and working as a team.

Ranked: tier 5

Graham Dunning QC - Essex Court ChambersProvides clear advice and strategic thinking, he is on top of the issues and a superb advocate.

Ranked: tier 5

Paul Stanley QC - Essex Court ChambersGreat rapport with the judges, good presentation skills, and quick on his feet.

Ranked: tier 5

Stephen Houseman QC - Essex Court ChambersAn exceptional advocate – he makes a debate with the Court of Appeal over difficult and complex points of law look like a chat about the weather.

Ranked: tier 5

Nathan Pillow QC - Essex Court ChambersAn outstanding barrister, he is incredibly easy to work with, brilliant with clients, and has a great eye for detail as well as overall strategy.

Ranked: tier 6
2018 Silks

Edmund King QC - Essex Court ChambersA powerful and compelling advocate who fights his corner with talent.

Ranked: tier 1
Leading Juniors

James Willan - Essex Court ChambersA standout practitioner with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law.

Ranked: tier 1

Ruth den Besten - Essex Court ChambersVery commercial and practical in her approach to litigation, both from a client perspective and in her advocacy.

Ranked: tier 1

Anna Dilnot - Essex Court ChambersOne of the very best juniors I have had the pleasure of working with, deservedly very busy and highly sought after by clients.

Ranked: tier 2

Ciaran Keller - Essex Court ChambersVery bright and responsive, a pleasure to work with.

Ranked: tier 2

David Peters - Essex Court ChambersGood on his feet and on paper, he has strategic awareness and exudes confidence.

Ranked: tier 2

James Sheehan - Essex Court ChambersA calm and charming advocate to work with, he fits very well within any team we assemble.

Ranked: tier 2

Tim Akkouh - Essex Court ChambersHe has a commanding gravitas and his creativity is unrivalled.

Ranked: tier 2

David Davies - Essex Court ChambersVery perceptive, he sees the problems and the solutions.

Ranked: tier 4

Edward Brown - Essex Court ChambersA true craftsman when it comes to drafting pleadings and an extremely skilled cross-examiner.

Ranked: tier 4

Anton Dudnikov - Essex Court ChambersA first-rate draftsman and tactician.

Ranked: tier 5

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Commodities
Commodities - Leading sets - ranked: tier 3

Essex Court Chambers

Essex Court Chambers is 'the pre-eminent set in international arbitration, shipping and commodities', according to one client who remarks that 'the quality of their barristers is unrivalled'. Another notes that it has 'a number of very good and user-friendly barristers for complex high-value commercial disputes' and that 'the clerking is really helpful, responsive, accommodating and flexible'. Graham Dunning QC acted as lead counsel in a Commercial Court trial and ensuing appeal between Citibank and Mercuria regarding obligated repos in respect of allegedly missing metal in China. Experienced junior David Walsh joined from Quadrant Chambers in 2018.

Leading Silks

Nigel Eaton QC - Essex Court ChambersOne of the cleverest barristers at the commercial Bar, he offers superb clarity and can be trusted to give reliable guidance.

Ranked: tier 3

Steven Berry QC - Essex Court ChambersA reliable advocate for insurance, shipping, banking and commodities cases.

Ranked: tier 3

Claire Blanchard QC - Essex Court ChambersHighly recommended.

Ranked: tier 4

Graham Dunning QC - Essex Court ChambersA team player, well prepared and rapier-like in cross-examination.

Ranked: tier 4

Nathan Pillow QC - Essex Court ChambersFormidable and unflappable, good to work with.

Ranked: tier 5
2018 Silks

Edmund King QC - Essex Court ChambersA strong shipping and commodities advocate.

Ranked: tier 1

Jern-Fei Ng QC - Essex Court ChambersExtremely hardworking, fiercely intelligent and tireless in his pursuit of an argument.

Ranked: tier 1

Philippa Hopkins QC - Essex Court ChambersThorough and persuasive.

Ranked: tier 1
Leading Juniors

David Walsh - Essex Court ChambersVery bright, responsive and user-friendly, he connects well with clients and provides clear, digestible advice.

Ranked: tier 3

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Company and partnership
Company - Leading Silks

James Sheehan - Essex Court ChambersExcellent manner with clients; exceptionally hardworking and committed to the cases he works on.

Ranked: tier 3

Ruth den Besten - Essex Court ChambersShe has strengths in abundance – excellent with clients, calm, commercial, tenacious, expert, a team player and very polished.

Ranked: tier 3
Partnership - Leading juniors

Ciaran Keller - Essex Court ChambersHe is incredibly bright, and fiercely intelligent.

Ranked: tier 3

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EU Law
Leading Silks

Hugh Mercer QC - Essex Court ChambersA renowned expert in the field.

Ranked: tier 4

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Employment
Employment - Leading sets - ranked: tier 2

Essex Court Chambers

The 'extremely good' Essex Court Chambers has members who are 'great for complex commercial employment matters'. Andrew Hochhauser QC acted for a former senior banker who had worked for the respondent bank for four decades in a substantial claim for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination. Meanwhile, Daniel Oudkerk QC is instructed by cyber-security company Secarma in a multimillion-pound damages claim and injunctive relief arising out of a poaching raid. Martin Griffiths QC has been appointed a High Court judge in the Queen’s Bench Division.

Leading Silks

Andrew Hochhauser QC - Essex Court ChambersHe can win the unwinnable cases, he can terrify the opposition with his name alone, and he can make the court dance to his tune.

Ranked: tier 1

Daniel Oudkerk QC - Essex Court ChambersWorks hard and has swagger that breeds confidence; leads the charge of the next generation stars of the Bar.

Ranked: tier 1

David Craig QC - Essex Court ChambersIncredibly clever, but also an astute tactician, commercial, practical and empathetic to the client’s needs.

Ranked: tier 1

Charles Ciumei QC - Essex Court ChambersAn excellent barrister for commercial employment cases in the High Court.

Ranked: tier 3
Leading Juniors

Jane Russell - Essex Court ChambersA first-class barrister; knows her field of employment law, discrimination, and related issues of whistleblowers rights, inside out.

Ranked: tier 1

Edward Brown - Essex Court ChambersExcellent communicator and reliable and accurate with his advice.

Ranked: tier 2

Iain Quirk - Essex Court ChambersHis strengths are his knowledge of the law, attention to detail, intelligence and ability to think outside the box.

Ranked: tier 4

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Energy
Energy - Leading sets - ranked: tier 2

Essex Court Chambers

Essex Court Chambers is 'a "go-to" set in London for complex matters' and has 'excellent strength in depth'.  In 2017 and 2018, the set was instructed in energy cases with a combined value in excess of $80bn related to oil, gas, coal and renewable energy. Graham Dunning QC was lead counsel for the Kurdistan Regional Government in a $35bn LCIA arbitration relating to an oil and gas project in Northern Iraq and potential pipelines to serve Europe. Paul Key QC successfully represented Nigeria in its defence of a $9bn arbitration award. David Mildon QC represented the applicant in Kufpec UK Limited v Enquest Heather Limited, which centred on issues under a Farm-In Agreement for various North Sea license blocks. Among the juniors, Siddharth Dhar acted as sole lead advocate for the defendant in Hydro & Ors v Republic of Albania, a $1.5bn ICSID claim arising from alleged investments in the hydroelectric sector. According to one client: 'The clerks are uniformly excellent – responsive and helpful'.

Leading Silks

Paul Key QC - Essex Court ChambersQuick, responsive, highly effective, intelligent and user-friendly, he thinks outside of the box.

Ranked: tier 1

David Mildon QC - Essex Court ChambersExperienced, careful and extremely conscientious, he has detailed knowledge of oil and gas price arbitration.

Ranked: tier 2

Vernon Flynn QC - Essex Court ChambersIn addition to his flair as an advocate, his strengths are diligence in preparation and enthusiasm for the fight.

Ranked: tier 2

Claire Blanchard QC - Essex Court ChambersHighly recommended, impressive on her feet.

Ranked: tier 3

Graham Dunning QC - Essex Court ChambersRapier-like cross examination.

Ranked: tier 3

David Foxton QC - Essex Court ChambersA top energy disputes silk with a fantastic understanding of the industry.

Ranked: tier 4
2018 Silks

Jern-Fei Ng QC - Essex Court ChambersExtremely bright, diligent, thorough and meticulous, he will fight like a gladiator to win the case.

Ranked: tier 1
Leading Juniors

Siddharth Dhar - Essex Court ChambersA star performer in international arbitration.

Ranked: tier 2

Anton Dudnikov - Essex Court ChambersClever, thoughtful and tactically insightful; he is a junior going places.

Ranked: tier 3

Ciaran Keller - Essex Court ChambersOne of the very best juniors at the commercial Bar, he will no doubt be a star for many years to come.

Ranked: tier 3

Iain Quirk - Essex Court ChambersVery sound and very able, he is smooth and incredibly sharp with great forensic ability.

Ranked: tier 3

Lucas Bastin - Essex Court ChambersIncredibly personable, responsive and commercial, he is phenomenally hardworking.

Ranked: tier 4

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Environment
Leading Silks

Hugh Mercer QC - Essex Court ChambersHe shows in-depth knowledge of EU civil procedure law and creativity to find out-of-box solutions.

Ranked: tier 4

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Fraud: civil
Fraud: civil - Leading sets - ranked: tier 1

Essex Court Chambers

Essex Court Chambers is 'without question the go-to set for heavy-duty commercial litigation, in particular, fraud'. The set has expanded significantly in this area over recent years, particularly at the junior end, and the recent arrival of tier-one junior Tim Akkouh, from Erskine Chambers, continues the trend. Five members, including Nathan Pillow QC, David Davies, and James Willan  were involved in the nine-week National Bank Trust v Yurov & ors trial, relating to a $800m fraud claim. Paul McGrath QCJames Sheehan, and Ruth den Besten were among those with significant roles on Tatneft v Bogolyubov & Ors.

Leading Silks

Paul McGrath QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is Mr Civil Fraud and knows more about injunctions than the rest of us put together.

Ranked: tier 1

Joe Smouha QC - Essex Court ChambersNot only is he a formidable advocate, he brings fresh perspective and angles to every element of a case.

Ranked: tier 2

Huw Davies QC - Essex Court ChambersVery user-friendly and has a superbly under-stated courtroom manner.

Ranked: tier 3

Vernon Flynn QC - Essex Court ChambersAn absolutely brilliant litigator with a sharp legal mind and sound commercial sense.

Ranked: tier 3

Jeffrey Gruder QC - Essex Court ChambersA delight to work with, always happy to muck in, and is an effective team player.

Ranked: tier 4

Nathan Pillow QC - Essex Court ChambersA tremendous trial advocate and cross-examiner.

Ranked: tier 4
2018 Silks

Jern-Fei Ng QC - Essex Court ChambersExtremely intelligent and tactically astute, his advocacy skills are also very impressive.

Ranked: tier 1
Leading Juniors

Anna Dilnot - Essex Court ChambersShe has excellent judgement, good legal knowledge, bags of confidence, is quick thinking, and works incredibly hard.

Ranked: tier 1

James Willan - Essex Court ChambersAn excellent advocate who judges and senior silks really pay attention to.

Ranked: tier 1

Tim Akkouh - Essex Court ChambersHis name immediately springs to mind on any new major international fraud litigation.

Ranked: tier 1

Ciaran Keller - Essex Court ChambersA star junior who will be a star silk.

Ranked: tier 2

David Peters - Essex Court ChambersAn experienced practitioner acting both for claimants and defendants – he has great tactical awareness.

Ranked: tier 2

David Davies - Essex Court ChambersPossesses great judgement and is a fine lawyer – known for his involvement in cases involving complex fraud.

Ranked: tier 2

James Sheehan - Essex Court ChambersVery hardworking, intellectually strong, with good judgement.

Ranked: tier 2

Louise Hutton - Essex Court ChambersVery, very bright, ferociously efficient and utterly charming.

Ranked: tier 2

Ruth den Besten - Essex Court ChambersClever, switched on, energetic and fun to work with, her advocacy is charming and snappy.

Ranked: tier 2

Anton Dudnikov - Essex Court ChambersHe has a great eye for detail, and therefore is ideally suited for work on complex fraud matters.

Ranked: tier 3

Tom Ford - Essex Court ChambersA superstar destined for great things.

Ranked: tier 4

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IT and telecoms
IT and telecoms (excluding regulatory) - Leading Juniors

Iain Quirk - Essex Court ChambersHe is able to leverage his broad expertise across multiple practice areas.

Ranked: tier 3

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Insurance and reinsurance
Insurance and reinsurance - Leading sets - ranked: tier 2

Essex Court Chambers

Essex Court Chambers has 'great strength-in-depth' for insurance and reinsurance work. Although it is active across a range of insurance disputes, the set stands out for its Bermuda Form and marine insurance expertise. David Foxton QC and David Walsh, who joined from Quadrant Chambers in 2018, are involved in Double Eight Marine v RSA & others, a claim for the total loss of the vessel, the Panamax Trader. Elsewhere, John Lockey QC was instructed in the $1bn dispute, Single Buoy Mooring v Insurers and was also instructed in platform rig claim, Siri v Noreco. David Scorey QC was instructed in Harvey Weinstein v Chubb, a claim by the former film producer seeking coverage for his legal costs relating to multiple sexual assault allegations.

Leading Silks

John Lockey QC - Essex Court ChambersHe gives clear, commercially sensitive advice and always exceeds expectations.

Ranked: tier 1

David Foxton QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is outstanding.

Ranked: tier 2

David Scorey QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is great with clients, willing to get his hands dirty, highly responsive and commercial.

Ranked: tier 4

Steven Berry QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is very talented.

Ranked: tier 4

Graham Dunning QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is a brilliant silk.

Ranked: tier 5

Jeffrey Gruder QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is very experienced and knowledgeable.

Ranked: tier 5

Mark Templeman QC - Essex Court ChambersHis advocacy is well-pitched and to the point, and he is always meticulously prepared.

Ranked: tier 5
2018 Silks

Philippa Hopkins QC - Essex Court ChambersShe is noted for her clarity of thought in complex matters.

Ranked: tier 1
Leading Juniors

David Peters - Essex Court ChambersHe is very confident and capable.

Ranked: tier 4

David Walsh - Essex Court ChambersVery good to work with.

Ranked: tier 4

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International arbitration: arbitrators
International arbitration: arbitrators - Leading sets - ranked: tier 2

Essex Court Chambers

Essex Court Chambers has a strong group of full-time arbitrators who work out of its seperate and specialised chambers, 24 Lincoln's Inn Fields. Barristers who divide their time between acting as counsel and arbitrators can be found within the main chambers.

Leading arbitrators

Toby Landau QC - Essex Court ChambersA leading light in arbitration, working at an elevated level.

V V Veeder QC - Essex Court ChambersExcellent – a top tier arbitrator.

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International arbitration: counsel
International arbitration: counsel - Leading sets - ranked: tier 1

Essex Court Chambers

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

Leading Silks

David Foxton QC - Essex Court ChambersAmazing for arbitration matters.

Ranked: tier 1

David Joseph QC - Essex Court ChambersVery strong in international arbitration, and has the ear of tribunals.

Ranked: tier 1

Graham Dunning QC - Essex Court ChambersA veteran in this field and a standout performer.

Ranked: tier 1

Joe Smouha QC - Essex Court ChambersVery astute tactically, quick minded analytically, and reassuringly calm and measured.

Ranked: tier 1

Paul Key QC - Essex Court ChambersHas great judgement from a tactical point of view and is very up to speed in the law.

Ranked: tier 1

Richard Millett QC - Essex Court ChambersUrbane and charming, and very pleasant to work with.

Ranked: tier 1

Toby Landau QC - Essex Court ChambersA giant in this field.

Ranked: tier 1

Huw Davies QC - Essex Court ChambersExcellent in all areas, a joy to work with, and really impressive in both his written and oral presentations.

Ranked: tier 2

Jeffrey Gruder QC - Essex Court ChambersA brilliant mind, commercial as well as legal.

Ranked: tier 2

Malcolm Shaw QC - Essex Court ChambersAuthoritative yet approachable, and immensely knowledgeable – a real pleasure to work with.

Ranked: tier 2

Paul Stanley QC - Essex Court ChambersHe has been great, I would definitely instruct him again.

Ranked: tier 2

Vernon Flynn QC - Essex Court ChambersA superb silk.

Ranked: tier 2

David Scorey QC - Essex Court ChambersIntelligent, astute, insightful and tenacious.

Ranked: tier 3

David Mildon QC - Essex Court ChambersVery highly regarded in commercial arbitrations, particularly in energy pricing.

Ranked: tier 3

James Collins QC - Essex Court ChambersA very thoughtful and hands-on barrister.

Ranked: tier 3

Ricky Diwan QC - Essex Court ChambersExceptionally sharp and extremely pleasant to work with.

Ranked: tier 4

Sam Wordsworth QC - Essex Court ChambersA really impressive silk.

Ranked: tier 4

Salim Moollan QC - Essex Court ChambersA smooth and persuasive advocate, hardworking, and hugely knowledgeable on international arbitration.

Ranked: tier 4
2018 Silks

Dan Sarooshi QC - Essex Court ChambersHe has a well-earned reputation to be counted among the finest in London.

Ranked: tier 1

Jern-Fei Ng QC - Essex Court ChambersTireless in his pursuit of an argument but without losing sight of the commercial realities of any claim.

Ranked: tier 1
Leading Juniors

David Davies - Essex Court ChambersHas an excellent and user-friendly manner.

Ranked: tier 1

Iain Quirk - Essex Court ChambersA go-to individual, particularly for investment treaty work.

Ranked: tier 1

James Willan - Essex Court ChambersThe best junior at the Bar.

Ranked: tier 1

Lucas Bastin - Essex Court ChambersA fantastic lawyer and advocate.

Ranked: tier 1

Siddharth Dhar - Essex Court ChambersVery rigorous and does a great job at analysing arguments and challenging them.

Ranked: tier 1

David Peters - Essex Court ChambersHe is personable, intelligent, and very willing to get stuck in and involved in the cases.

Ranked: tier 2

Emily Wood - Essex Court ChambersExceptionally bright, strategic and commercial in approach.

Ranked: tier 2

Damien Walker - Essex Court ChambersAn outstanding draftsman capable of distilling complex points into highly effective written advocacy.

Ranked: tier 3

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Media and entertainment (including art and cultural property)
Art and cultural property - ranked: tier 1

Essex Court Chambers

Highlighted as an ‘outstanding set’, Essex Court Chambers has ‘a top reputation’ in the arts and cultural property sector. As well as being ‘very commercial on fees’, the set offers ‘quick responses and great strength in depth’. Work highlights include Joe Smouha QC’s continued instruction to defend an art dealer in a criminal complaint filed in the principality of Monaco, and Emily Wood’s representation of Sotheby’s in several matters, including a $10m claim relating to alleged forgery of work by the Golden Age painter, Frans Hals.

Art and cultural property - Leading Silks

Joe Smouha QC - Essex Court ChambersAn exceptional barrister and stellar advocate.

Ranked: tier 1
Art and cultural property - Leading Juniors

Claudia Renton - Essex Court ChambersA phenomenal and unflappable junior with encyclopaedic knowledge.

Ranked: tier 1

Emily Wood - Essex Court ChambersShe is very smart and offers excellent strategic advice.

Ranked: tier 1
Media and entertainment - Leading Juniors

Iain Quirk - Essex Court ChambersAn impressive, plain-speaking and unstuffy barrister.

Ranked: tier 2

Edward Brown - Essex Court ChambersAn extremely intelligent tactician with good commercial sense.

Ranked: tier 3

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Offshore
Leading Silks

Richard Millett QC - Essex Court ChambersHis broad commercial practice includes BVI litigation.

Ranked: tier 4
Leading Juniors

James Willan - Essex Court ChambersExtremely clever and a good strategist as well as good on detail.

Ranked: tier 2

Ciaran Keller - Essex Court ChambersIncredibly bright and fiercely intelligent.

Ranked: tier 3

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Private client: trusts and probate
Leading Juniors

Louise Hutton - Essex Court ChambersAn experienced advocate.

Ranked: tier 4

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Professional negligence
Leading Silks

Christopher Smith QC - Essex Court ChambersA brilliant silk.

Ranked: tier 4
Leading Juniors

Ruth den Besten - Essex Court ChambersA very able junior.

Ranked: tier 4

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Public international law
Public international law - Leading sets - ranked: tier 1

Essex Court Chambers

Essex Court Chambers is a 'very eminent set' with an 'unparalleled range of talents' working across all areas of public international law. The set has a strong focus on state v state and investment treaty arbitrations, and has a strong blend of barristers with both academic and commercial expertise. Members regularly appear before the International Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights. Major cases include Ukraine v Russia, in which Sam Wordsworth QC is leading Amy Sander.

Leading Silks

Vaughan Lowe QC - Essex Court ChambersNot only a luminary of the public international law community, but also a skilled practitioner.

Ranked: tier 1

Malcolm Shaw QC - Essex Court ChambersHas an excellent knowledge of international human rights law.

Ranked: tier 2

Sam Wordsworth QC - Essex Court ChambersA thoroughly effective advocate with a keen eye for detail.

Ranked: tier 2

Sir Frank Berman QC - Essex Court ChambersAn elder statesman of PIL.

Ranked: tier 2

Toby Landau QC - Essex Court ChambersUndoubtedly one of the best.

Ranked: tier 2

Paul Key QC - Essex Court ChambersA top-drawer mind matched with powerful advocacy skills and the ability to read a tribunal.

Ranked: tier 3
2018 Silks

Dan Sarooshi QC - Essex Court ChambersA go-to silk on all matters of public international law and investment law.

Ranked: tier 1
Leading Juniors

Amy Sander - Essex Court ChambersHer professionalism, courtesy and diligence is truly exemplary.

Ranked: tier 1

Lucas Bastin - Essex Court ChambersHe has a deep and up-to-date knowledge of public international law and never hesitates to roll his sleeves up.

Ranked: tier 1

Alan Boyle - Essex Court ChambersA well-regarded PIL specialist.

Ranked: tier 2

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Set overviews: England and Wales

From senior silks down to ‘some very clever and able juniors’, the ‘first-classEssex 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

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Shipping
Shipping - Leading sets - ranked: tier 2

Essex Court Chambers

With 'top quality barristers', Essex Court Chambers is seen as a 'pre-eminent set in international arbitration, shipping and commodities'. Major marine insurance dispute, The Panamax Trader, is a key highlight for Steven Berry QC and Jeremy Brier, which concerns whether the shipowners deliberately sank a vessel. Euro-Asia v Credit Suisse, which relates to missing bills of lading and an alleged letter of credit fraud, is a notable case for Jeffrey Gruder QC  and Nathan Pillow QC saw the end of long-running bribery and conspiracy case case Fiona Trust & Holding Corp v Privalov and others in 2018, when permission to appeal was refused. The 'user-friendly' set welcomed David Walsh from Quadrant Chambers in 2018.

Leading Silks

Steven Berry QC - Essex Court ChambersVery clever and a good advocate.

Ranked: tier 1

Graham Dunning QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is a rapier-like cross examiner.

Ranked: tier 2

Christopher Smith QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is highly recommended for shipping disputes.

Ranked: tier 3

David Foxton QC - Essex Court ChambersAn incredible advocate and he knows shipping law backwards.

Ranked: tier 3

Jeffrey Gruder QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is highly rated by clients.

Ranked: tier 3

Nathan Pillow QC - Essex Court ChambersFormidable and unflappable.

Ranked: tier 3

Claire Blanchard QC - Essex Court ChambersA star of the commercial Bar.

Ranked: tier 4

Nigel Eaton QC - Essex Court ChambersHe offers superb clarity and can always be trusted to give a reliable, neutral guidance on the prospects of a case.

Ranked: tier 5

Roderick Cordara QC - Essex Court ChambersVery charming and easy to work with.

Ranked: tier 5

Vernon Flynn QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is very experienced in shipping work.

Ranked: tier 5
2018 Silks

Edmund King QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is noted for his experience in shipping cases.

Ranked: tier 1

Jern-Fei Ng QC - Essex Court ChambersExtremely intelligent and tactically astute.

Ranked: tier 1

Philippa Hopkins QC - Essex Court ChambersVery clever and thoughtful.

Ranked: tier 1
Leading Juniors

David Davies - Essex Court ChambersHe is a good choice for shipping disputes.

Ranked: tier 3

David Walsh - Essex Court ChambersHe is a real star.

Ranked: tier 3

Jeremy Brier - Essex Court ChambersHas a wealth of experience.

Ranked: tier 3

John Snider - Essex Court ChambersA very clever lawyer and very good on paper.

Ranked: tier 3

John Robb - Essex Court ChambersHas an ability to quickly grasp technical issues.

Ranked: tier 3

Neil Hart - Essex Court ChambersHe is very astute.

Ranked: tier 3

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Tax: corporate and VAT/indirect tax
Tax: VAT - Leading sets - ranked: tier 1

Essex Court Chambers

Essex Court Chambers is noted for its work in indirect tax disputes, acting for the taxpayers in cases involving VAT, Goods and Services Tax (GST), Landfill Tax, Insurance Premium Tax, and Customs Duty. Major VAT cases for Roderick Cordara QC include acting for the taxpayer in American Express v HMRC, conducting an analysis on the relationship between merchants, American Express and Cardholder, with £50m at stake; and Safestore in Safestore v HMRC, an appeal to the First-tier Tribunal in a case concerning the status of insurance arrangements made through the client for its customers' goods.

Tax: VAT - Leading silks

Roderick Cordara QC - Essex Court ChambersHe has an encyclopaedic knowledge of VAT case law and the best analytical mind of his generation of tax silks.

Ranked: tier 1

David Scorey QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is incredibly bright, clear in his advice and able to explain complex matters to clients and judges.

Ranked: tier 3
Tax: VAT - 2018 silks

Edmund King QC - Essex Court ChambersHe has an impressive ability to quickly review and assimilate large volumes of technical information and to apply the law to nuanced, industry-specific cases.

Ranked: tier 1

Jern-Fei Ng QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is is extremely bright and diligent.

Ranked: tier 1
Tax: VAT Leading juniors

Edward Brown - Essex Court ChambersIn addition to his command of the courtroom, he combines detailed knowledge of tax with a commercial and common-sense approach to disputes.

Ranked: tier 2

Andrew Legg - Essex Court ChambersHe is a thoughtful and charming advocate who convinces judges without flaunting his daunting intellectual abilities.

Ranked: tier 3

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Travel law (including jurisdictional issues)
Leading Silks

Hugh Mercer QC - Essex Court ChambersA creative and industrious lawyer, his preparation is meticulous and well judged.

Ranked: tier 2

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Asia Pacific: The English Bar

Commercial

Essex Court Chambers’s Jern-Fei Ng QC was appointed silk in 2018 – his practice includes joint venture, distributorship and commodities arbitrations.

Commercial – Leading silks

David Joseph QC Essex Court ChambersYou cannot go wrong instructing him.

Ranked: tier 3
Commercial – 2018 Silks

Jern-Fei Ng QC Essex Court ChambersInstructed in Asean and Hong Kong matters.

Ranked: tier 1

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Energy

Essex Court Chambers’ Jern-Fei Ng QC has a practice which includes oil and gas engineering, tax and commodities disputes.

Energy – 2018 silks

Jern-Fei Ng QC Essex Court ChambersVery organised and practical.

Ranked: tier 1

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Market overview

Essex Court Chambers has members instructed in heavyweight commercial disputes worldwide. Several of its barristers are based out of a Singapore office under the Essex Court Chambers Duxton banner and are primarily qualified in Singapore. Toby Landau QC is the name to note. Joe Ferrigno is the set’s senior clerk following David Grief’s assumption of the role of director of international business development.

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Shipping

Essex Court Chambers’s Jern-Fei Ng QC represents shipyards and shipping operators from across the region in various dry shipping matters.

Shipping – 2018 silks

Jern-Fei Ng QC Essex Court ChambersInstructed in shipping disputes across Asia.

Ranked: tier 1
Shipping – Leading juniors

David Walsh Essex Court ChambersInstructed in shipbuilding and cargo claims cases.

Ranked: tier 2

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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
  • 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.