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39 Essex Chambers

Chambers of Neil Block QC and Alison Foster QC

81 CHANCERY LANE, LONDON, WC2A 1DD, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 020 7832 1111
Fax:
Fax 020 7353 3978
DX:
298 LONDON CHANCERY LANE
Email:
Web:
www.39essex.com
Kuala Lumpur, London, Manchester, Singapore

London Bar

Set overviews: England and Wales

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

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Asia Pacific: The English Bar

Market overview

β€˜One of the strongest sets in Singapore’, 39 Essex Chambers is β€˜an overall commercial powerhouse with a very wide selection of specialities from insurance to energy and construction’. The set also includes a number of members who accept appointments as arbitrators. The clerks β€˜provide an excellent service and are very responsive’. Notable individuals include practice manager Niki Merison, who β€˜invests a lot of time in developing long-term relationships built on trust’. Rod Noble, the set’s director of Asian business, is permanently based in Singapore. It also has a permanent office in Kuala Lumpur. Formerly a senior practice manager at the set, Owen Lawrence is now the CEO of the International Arbitration Centre in London.

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London Bar

Administrative and public law (including local government)
Administrative and public law (including local government) – Leading sets - ranked: tier 2

39 Essex Chambers

39 Essex Chambers β€˜is certainly a leading set in the area of public law, it has strength and depth and to most in the know is the go-to set’. The scale of its work takes in key roles in the Grenfell inquiry and the Charlie Gard cases. Kate Grange QC is part of the team representing the government in challenges to the intelligence sharing regime between the UK and US, and the system of interception of external communications under RIPA. Alison Foster QC in instructed in Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee v the Department of Health, a judicial review challenge to proposals to reduce funding for the sector.

Administrative and public law (including local government) – Leading silks

Nigel Pleming QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Fully deserves his reputation as one of the top silks and wonderful to work with.’

Ranked: tier 2

Alison Foster QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜She is a highly effective and confident advocate who is listened to by judges at all levels.’

Ranked: tier 3

Lisa Giovannetti QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜She is an outstanding lawyer: highly intelligent and she fights an impressive fight for clients.’

Ranked: tier 3

Fenella Morris QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A tenacious advocate and her experience in public law is right at the top of the field.’

Ranked: tier 4

Jenni Richards QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A formidable advocate who knows the area inside out.’

Ranked: tier 4

Eleanor Grey QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜She has a focus on health, social care and disciplinary and regulatory proceedings.’

Ranked: tier 5

James Strachan QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He is a super advocate and has the sheer intellect and ability to get to the heart of the issue.’

Ranked: tier 5
Administrative and public law (including local government) – 2017 silks

Deok Joo Rhee QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜She is a very clever, considered and careful advocate.’

Ranked: tier 1

Kate Grange QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜She is a first rate public law specialist who has very quickly established herself as a silk.’

Ranked: tier 1
Administrative and public law (including local government) – 2018 silks

Parishil Patel QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A preferred choice of counsel when it comes to public law. Good at drafting and on his feet.'

Ranked: tier 1
Administrative and public law (including local government) – 2019 silks

Rory Dunlop QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He is extremely well prepared and is a fair and honourable counsel.’

Ranked: tier 1

Victoria Butler-Cole QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜She is an excellent barrister and all-round star.’

Ranked: tier 1
Administrative and public law (including local government) – Leading juniors

Katherine Apps - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Excellent public lawyer who has the trust of government in sensitive and complex cases.’

Ranked: tier 3

Richard Wald - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He is personable, nice to deal with and gets stuck in.’

Ranked: tier 3

Fiona Paterson - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Takes on a range of challenges particularly in the healthcare field.’

Ranked: tier 4

Katharine Scott - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A practical choice for healthcare matter.’

Ranked: tier 4

Nicola Greaney - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A high-quality public law specialist who understands the client’s needs.’

Ranked: tier 4

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Aviation
Aviation – 2017 silks

Michael McParland QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He is a fantastic litigator, a highly impressive advocate in court and really fights for the client.’

Ranked: tier 1

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Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police)
Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police) – Leading sets - ranked: tier 3

39 Essex Chambers

39 Essex Chambers members are regularly instructed on human rights issues in judicial reviews proceedings before the Administrative Court as well as the Court of Protection and the European Court of Human Rights. Nigel Pleming QC was involved in the Core Issues Trust v Transport for London case challenging Tfl’s decision not to place an advertisement championing sexual orientation equality on the side of its buses. Lisa Giovannetti QC represented the Home Secretary before the Supreme Court in MM (Lebanon) & others v Secretary of State for Health which considered changes to the financial requirements for sponsoring a foreign spouse or partner to reside in the UK.

Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police) – Leading silks

Nigel Pleming QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Excellent on his feet without the need to be aggressive. Always has the ear of the court.’

Ranked: tier 2

Lisa Giovannetti QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Great advocate with exceptional knowledge of the law. Pragmatic, excellent judgement.’

Ranked: tier 3

Alison Foster QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Superb advocate with an impressive depth and breadth of litigation experience.’

Ranked: tier 4

Jenni Richards QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Extremely clever, tactically astute and incredibly passionate.’

Ranked: tier 4

James Strachan QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Highly intelligent, creative, unflappable and precise.’

Ranked: tier 4

Vikram Sachdeva QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Meticulous in his preparation and will always go the extra mile for the client.’

Ranked: tier 4
Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police) – 2017 silks

Deok Joo Rhee QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Very knowledgeable, especially on EU law issues.’

Ranked: tier 1
Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police) – 2019 silks

Victoria Butler-Cole QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A great team player. Very bright, incredibly approachable and brilliant at dealing with litigants.’

Ranked: tier 1
Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police) – Leading juniors

Katherine Apps - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜An excellent public lawyer. Professional, cooperative, experienced, and personally very kind.’

Ranked: tier 3

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Clinical negligence
Clinical negligence – Leading sets - ranked: tier 3

39 Essex Chambers

39 Essex Chambers is β€˜a fantastic set’ that offers β€˜wide range of excellent leading junior counsel skilled in healthcare litigation’ and β€˜very knowledgeable silks’, such as Neil Block QC and Charles Cory-Wright QC. The set deals with full range of claims: minor injuries, catastrophic injury and death, and group litigation; Block and Judith Ayling represented disgraced surgeon Ian Paterson against claims brought by numerous ex-patients and which concerned the liability of the NHS for surgeons providing treatment in the private sector.

Clinical negligence – Leading silks

Neil Block QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He is a great tactician who understands the real issues and how to resolve them.’

Ranked: tier 1

Susan Rodway QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Susan has an excellent rapport with clients and experts and is extremely knowledgeable.’

Ranked: tier 4

Charles Cory-Wright QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Charlie is the epitome of calm and measured.’

Ranked: tier 5
Clinical negligence – 2019 silks

James Todd QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He is methodical and extremely thorough, as well as being utterly charming with clients and experts alike.’

Ranked: tier 1
Clinical negligence – Leading juniors

Romilly Cummerson - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜She has immaculate attention to detail, excellent drafting skills and a feisty and robust negotiator.’

Ranked: tier 3

Emily Formby - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜She is very knowledgeable and determined.’

Ranked: tier 4

Judith Ayling - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜She is undoubtedly silk material who applies the same commitment and rigour to every case, irrespective of the relative complexity or value.’

Ranked: tier 4

Nicola Greaney - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜In the mental health field she is second to none.’

Ranked: tier 4

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Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation – 2017 silks

Michael McParland QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Has an incredibly broad knowledge of cross-border and jurisdictional issues.’

Ranked: tier 1

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Commodities
Commodities – Leading juniors

Ben Olbourne - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜His work is thorough and well researched, and he is always willing to consider different views.’

Ranked: tier 3

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Competition
Competition – Leading juniors

Kelly Stricklin-Coutinho - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A highly practical, down-to-earth barrister and great value for money. Her written advice is also very readable and client friendly.’

Ranked: tier 3

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Construction
Construction – Leading sets - ranked: tier 2

39 Essex Chambers

39 Essex Chambers is β€˜superb with constructions at all levels’, with a recent spike in instructions for PFI/PPP and public procurement disputes. Several members are involved in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, notably Kate Grange QC who is counsel to the inquiry. The set has been strengthened of late, following the arrivals of Lindy Patterson QC from CMS, Paul Darling OBE QC from Keating Chambers and Anthony Edwards from St Philips Chambers.

Construction – Leading silks

Stuart Catchpole QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Fearsomely intelligent and incisive.’

Ranked: tier 1

Paul Darling QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Exceptional in his expertise and a powerful personality’

Ranked: tier 2

Richard Wilmot-Smith QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Quite pugnacious advocate, and author of serious construction law academia: one of those silks to seek out for difficult cases.’

Ranked: tier 3

Adrian Hughes QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Very personable and responsive; a fount of technical knowledge of construction matters.’

Ranked: tier 4

Charles Manzoni QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Recommended for international litigation and arbitration.’

Ranked: tier 5

Lindy Patterson QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Quick thinking, innovative, with focused quality advice.’

Ranked: tier 5

Marion Smith QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Adopts a highly detailed approach that negates the possibility of unwanted surprises from opponents or tribunals.’

Ranked: tier 5

Sean Wilken QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A truly creative silk, his strategic thinking and advice is often many steps ahead of his opposing parties.’

Ranked: tier 5
Construction – 2017 silks

Karim Ghaly QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Very difficult to praise him highly enough.’

Ranked: tier 1

Kate Grange QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A superstar.’

Ranked: tier 1
Construction – 2018 silks

Adam Robb QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜His ability to digest, understand and present highly complicated technical cases is unrivalled.’

Ranked: tier 1
Construction – Leading juniors

Karen Gough - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Practical advice, amazingly perceptive, able to cut through complex questions, loved by clients for her no-nonsense approach.’

Ranked: tier 3

Rachael O’Hagan - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜She works very diligently on any role she is given.’

Ranked: tier 3

Alexandra Bodnar - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Gets straight into the detail, and is extremely impressive in conference, with a phenomenal grasp of case law.’

Ranked: tier 4

Jess Connors - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A natural intelligence, she inspires confidence and is able to quickly earn a clients’ trust.’

Ranked: tier 4

Rebecca Drake - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜The Lara Croft of the construction Bar: adversaries would do well not to underestimate her, she packs a powerful punch.’

Ranked: tier 4

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Costs
Costs – Leading sets - ranked: tier 2

39 Essex Chambers

39 Essex Chambers has worked on a number of costs litigations in the Court of Appeal and High Court. Vikram Sachdeva QC is very active on matters surrounding the assignment of conditional fee agreements, most notably in cases such as Milton Keynes Hospital NHS Foundation Trust v Sally Anne Hyde and Griffith v Paragon.

Costs – Leading silks

Vikram Sachdeva QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Has an effective and persuasive advocacy style.’

Ranked: tier 3
Costs – Leading juniors

Judith Ayling - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Very articulate and gives sound, well-thought-out advice.’

Ranked: tier 3

Katharine Scott - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Acts for claimants and defendants in costs litigation.’

Ranked: tier 4

Nicola Greaney - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A superlative cross-examiner, with wonderful natural authority.’

Ranked: tier 4

Simon Edwards - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A very strong forensic brain allied to a lot of experience.’

Ranked: tier 4

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Court of Protection and community care
Court of Protection and community care – Leading sets - ranked: tier 1

39 Essex Chambers

39 Essex Chambers is a β€˜brilliant, market leading set, with several well respected practitioners’. Members are frequently instructed by claimants, relatives, statutory agencies, private bodies and the Official Solicitor to advise across the full range of community care matters. Members have particular expertise in health and welfare matters, as well as considerable skill in handling property and affairs. In Briggs v Briggs Jenni Richards QC acted for Mrs Briggs in the Court of Appeal, a case about funding for medical treatment cases and whether such issues should be brought pursuant to section 21 of the Mental Capacity Act. Fiona Paterson has joined from Serjeants' Inn Chambers.

Court of Protection and community care – 2018 silks

Parishil Patel QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He is passionate about his work.’

Ranked: tier 1
Court of Protection and community care – 2019 silks

Victoria Butler-Cole QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜She is unflappable with a richly deserved reputation as being one of the best around.’

Ranked: tier 1
Court of Protection and community care – Leading silks

Fenella Morris QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A creative thinker and an impressive advocate.’

Ranked: tier 1

Jenni Richards QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Prepares strong pleadings.’

Ranked: tier 1

Vikram Sachdeva QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A persuasive advocate.’

Ranked: tier 3
Court of Protection and community care – Leading juniors

Alexander Ruck Keene - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A highly recommended barrister.’

Ranked: tier 1

Fiona Paterson - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Recommended for complicated medical cases.’

Ranked: tier 2

Mungo Wenban-Smith - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Technically excellent.’

Ranked: tier 2

Neil Allen - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things CoP, but also very likeable and pragmatic.’

Ranked: tier 2

Nicola Greaney - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜She is very knowledgeable and thorough.’

Ranked: tier 2

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Defamation and privacy
Defamation and privacy – Leading silks

Richard Spearman QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Hugely experienced in defamation cases.’

Ranked: tier 2

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EU law
EU law – Leading silks

Timothy Lyons QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Technically superb, extremely knowledgeable and well-connected in the EU.’

Ranked: tier 3
EU law – 2017 silks

Deok Joo Rhee QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Very clever and considered; a careful advocate.’

Ranked: tier 1
EU law – Leading juniors

Katherine Apps - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Emerging junior with a strong practice built around her twin public law and EU law skills, she excels at technical cases with hard legal problems at their core.’

Ranked: tier 4

Kelly Stricklin-Coutinho - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜She is fleet of foot in terms of adapting and adjusting her approach.’

Ranked: tier 4

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Education
Education - Leading sets - ranked: tier 4

39 Essex Chambers

When it comes to education law, 39 Essex Chambers β€˜is a great set’ that β€˜is able to offer counsel with a variety of specialties and experience’. It handles judicial reviews, negligence, discrimination and contractual matters on behalf of students, their families and teachers, as well as local authorities. Members have expertise in cases of academic exclusion, discrimination or alleged misconduct. In Wallace v Secretary of State for Education Rory Dunlop acted for the Secretary of State in a successful appeal by a former β€˜super head’ who was prohibited from teaching for life due to awarding high-value contracts to his ex-partner’s company without disclosing this to the governors.

Education – Leading silks

Fenella Morris QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜She is intellectually very quick, hugely experienced, pragmatic, and emotionally intelligent.’

Ranked: tier 2
Education – 2019 silks

Rory Dunlop QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He is responsive, practical, and sees the big picture.’

Ranked: tier 1
Education – Leading juniors

Jack Anderson - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A very highly rated barrister.’

Ranked: tier 5

Thomas Amraoui - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He is very clear with both the court and his clients and prepares carefully drafted submissions.’

Ranked: tier 5

Jennifer Thelen - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Highly rated in this area.’

Ranked: tier 6

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Energy
Energy – Leading sets - ranked: tier 2

39 Essex Chambers

With β€˜excellent strength in depth for construction-related and commercial energy disputes’, 39 Essex Chambers also handles public international law in the energy sector; it β€˜consistently delivers, often on short notice or with imperfect or incomplete information’. Stuart Catchpole QC acted for Tepe in an enforcement appeal to the Privy Counsel from the Court of Appeal in Jersey regarding two arbitral awards over the construction of a pipeline in Turkey. Duncan Sinclair is especially experience in electricity work: he defended npower in a regulatory case brought by Ofgem, and represented Peakgen as claimant in a judicial review case against the regulator regarding the latter’s changes to transmission charges.

Energy – Leading silks

Sean Wilken QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Very clever, and always on top of the detail.’

Ranked: tier 2

Richard Wilmot-Smith QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Very strong in cross-examinations.’

Ranked: tier 3

Stuart Catchpole QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Tenacious and spectacular; an astonishing cross-examiner.’

Ranked: tier 3

Stephen Tromans QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Incredibly responsive, technically excellent and a pleasure to deal with.’

Ranked: tier 4
Energy – 2017 silks

Karim Ghaly QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A charismatic advocate who can present unattractive arguments attractively.’

Ranked: tier 1
Energy – Leading juniors

Duncan Sinclair - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A go-to for electricity ratings work.’

Ranked: tier 2

Jess Connors - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Very bright – an incredibly hard worker with a great eye for detail.’

Ranked: tier 3

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Environment
Environment – Leading sets - ranked: tier 1

39 Essex Chambers

39 Essex Chambers is a β€˜very trustworthy’ set with a β€˜great range of juniors and silks’. Stephen Tromans QC has acted on air quality issues including ultra low emissions zone and proposals for Heathrow expansion and acting for London Gateway defending an action by fishermen for alleged damage caused by siltation from port works.

Environment – Leading silks

Stephen Tromans QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Continues to reign supreme.’

Ranked: tier 1

James Strachan QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Has extensive experience in the environmental aspects of major infrastructure projects.’

Ranked: tier 2

Nigel Pleming QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Provides excellent, pragmatic advice.’

Ranked: tier 2

Richard Harwood OBE QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Comprehensive knowledge of planning, ability to instantly identify flaws in arguments and forensic cross-examination skills.’

Ranked: tier 2

William Norris QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Strong advocate who develops innovative arguments.’

Ranked: tier 4
Environment – Leading juniors

Christiaan Zwart - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Recommended advisor on environmental aspects of major infrastructure.’

Ranked: tier 3

Colin Thomann - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Phenomenally knowledgeable, thoughtful and hardworking.’

Ranked: tier 3

Ned Helme - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He has particular expertise in Environmental Impact Assessments.’

Ranked: tier 3

Richard Wald - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He stands out as being exceptionally pragmatic, approachable and knowledgebale.’

Ranked: tier 3

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Financial services
Financial services – Leading juniors

David Mayhew - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Very well regarded for contentious financial services regulatory matters.’

Ranked: tier 3

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Health and safety
Health and safety – Leading juniors

Christian Du Cann - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He easily bridges the gap between civil and health and safety work.’

Ranked: tier 3

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IT and telecoms (excluding regulatory)
Data protection – Leading sets - ranked: tier 2

39 Essex Chambers

39 Essex Chambers is highlighted for its expertise in data protection and Freedom of Information Act matters. Its members frequently advise public authorities and government bodies, including the Crown Prosecution Service and the Cabinet Office.

Data protection – Leading silks

Eleanor Grey QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜She has extensive expertise in information law and data protection.’

Ranked: tier 2
Data protection – 2019 silks

Rory Dunlop QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He is very competent in this area, with considerable experience.’

Ranked: tier 1

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Immigration (including business immigration)
Immigration (including business immigration) – Leading sets - ranked: tier 3

39 Essex Chambers

39 Essex Chambers β€˜is a go-to set’, according to one source, β€˜because of the quality of its barristers, modern, unstuffy approach, and excellent clerking.’ Members act in judicial reviews ranging across removal and detention challenges, control orders and challenges to immigration rules. Lisa Giovannetti QC represented the Home Secretary before the Supreme Court concerning the controversial changes to the financial requirements for sponsoring a non-EEA foreign spouse or partner to enter the UK. Kate Grange was instructed in the SIAC appeal of an individual who was suspected of terrorist activity and had subsequently been deprived of their British citizenship

Immigration (including business immigration) – Leading silks

Lisa Giovannetti QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A brilliant lawyer – the most liked and trusted counsel at the immigration Bar.’

Ranked: tier 1
Immigration (including business immigration) – 2017 silks

Kate Grange QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜She is tremendous – tough, sensible, thorough and hardworking – a real star.’

Ranked: tier 1
Immigration (including business immigration) – 2019 silks

Rory Dunlop QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He is a fair and honourable counsel in an area that can often be tense and confrontational.’

Ranked: tier 1
Immigration (including business immigration) – Leading juniors

Colin Thomann - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A cerebral and wise junior in any case that has a jurisdictional element.’

Ranked: tier 4

Zane Malik - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Fine knowledge of immigration law; regardless of the issue, he always has a solution.’

Ranked: tier 4

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Inquests and inquiries
Inquests and inquiries – Leading silks

Jenni Richards QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Fantastic on her feet, always has the ear of the court and superb with clients.’

Ranked: tier 3

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Insurance and reinsurance
Insurance and reinsurance - Leading silks

Neil Block QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜An excellent all-rounder he can always see the wood for the trees.’

Ranked: tier 4

Stuart Catchpole QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Hardworking, a huge capacity for detail, easy to work with and a cross-examiner par excellence.’

Ranked: tier 5
Insurance and reinsurance – Leading juniors

Jonathan Bellamy - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜An experienced and knowledgeable insurance junior, who turns his work round quickly and effectively.’

Ranked: tier 3

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

39 Essex Chambers

39 Essex Chambers has a deep pool of talent, including several ex-solicitors who are now full time arbitrators, with strong experience in insurance, energy and infrastructure disputes.

International arbitration: arbitrators – Leading individuals

David Brynmor Thomas QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Thoroughly professional and very accessible.’

John Tackaberry QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A leading construction law international disputes arbitrator.’

Peter Rees QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜An efficient and courteous arbitrator.’

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International arbitration: counsel
International arbitration: counsel – Leading sets - ranked: tier 3

39 Essex Chambers

39 Essex Chambers fields a range of high-quality silks and juniors with an excellent pedigree in construction and insurance disputes. The set has established a strong reputation for work in the Middle East.

International arbitration: counsel – Leading silks

Stuart Catchpole QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Very intelligent and responsive, as well as easy to work with.’

Ranked: tier 1

Adrian Hughes QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Very personable and responsive; a fount of technical knowledge on construction matters.’

Ranked: tier 3

Richard Wilmot-Smith QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Excellent for energy and infrastructure arbitrations.’

Ranked: tier 3

Sean Wilken QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Very responsive and a sharp intellect, he’s a joy to work with.’

Ranked: tier 3
International arbitration: counsel – 2018 silks

Adam Robb QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜An up-and-coming junior silk for construction and engineering disputes.’

Ranked: tier 1
International arbitration: counsel – 2019 silks

David Brynmor Thomas QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Gives you in-depth time and commitment.’

Ranked: tier 1
International arbitration: counsel – 2017 silks

Karim Ghaly QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A brilliant brain combined with amazing charm, possibly the most complete barrister I know.’

Ranked: tier 1
International arbitration: counsel – Leading juniors

Karen Gough - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Stays focused and has as strong commercial overview.’

Ranked: tier 2

Jess Connors - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Her great strength is a natural intelligence and her ability to think matters through.’

Ranked: tier 3

Rachael O’Hagan - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A very engaging team player who works very diligently on any role she is given.’

Ranked: tier 3

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Media and entertainment (including art and cultural property)
Media and entertainment – Leading silks

Richard Spearman QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He very good in injunction-related pre-publication privacy work.’

Ranked: tier 3

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Personal injury, industrial disease and insurance fraud
Personal injury – Leading sets - ranked: tier 1

39 Essex Chambers

39 Essex Chambers is β€˜streets ahead in the personal injury arena, at every level and in every respect’. The set has β€˜an excellent coverage of all insurance areas and provides a personal touch with clients and barristers who go the extra mile’. It offers β€˜real strength in depth’ with β€˜good range of counsel at all levels’. The β€˜excellent and very knowledgeable’ barristers deal with catastrophic injury, abuse and high-profile claims.

Personal injury – Leading silks

Neil Block QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A go-to when in need of a heavyweight silk with gravitas; nothing seems to ruffle him.’

Ranked: tier 1

William Norris QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜His strengths are his prolific work ethic, attention to detail and tremendous finesse in the presentation of cases.’

Ranked: tier 2

Charles Cory-Wright QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A wonderful courtroom performer with an impressive ability to absorb the complexities and cut through the main issues.’

Ranked: tier 3

Susan Rodway QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Once she throws her weight behind a case she is dogged and determined.’

Ranked: tier 3

Colin McCaul QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Superb advocate who is tactically astute, approachable and delights clients.’

Ranked: tier 4

Derek O’Sullivan QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Extremely thorough, diligent, and tenacious, plus an absolute pleasure to work with.’

Ranked: tier 4
Insurance fraud – 2019 silks

James Todd QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He is methodical and extremely thorough as well as being utterly charming with clients and experts alike.’

Ranked: tier 1
Personal injury – 2019 silks

James Todd QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜His trial preparation and performance is second to none, and his knowledge of law is in depth.’

Ranked: tier 1
Insurance fraud – Leading juniors

Sadie Crapper - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Incisive, has an excellent and personal approach to clients.’

Ranked: tier 1
Personal injury – Leading juniors

Bernard Doherty - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜An eminent barrister with impressive advocacy and client skills.’

Ranked: tier 1

Christian Du Cann - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜One of the best advocates, wonderful courtroom performer, intelligent, fair and even-handed.’

Ranked: tier 1

Emily Formby - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜She is very knowledgeable, determined, extremely clever and well prepared.’

Ranked: tier 2

Romilly Cummerson - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜First class at placing vulnerable clients at ease, her advice is always insightful and her written work is meticulous.’

Ranked: tier 3

Camilla Church - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜She is reliable and absolutely perfect for guiding the client through the process.’

Ranked: tier 4

Geoffrey Brown - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He is charming with clients and has a commanding presence in any court.’

Ranked: tier 4

Judith Ayling - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Bright, responsive, authoritative.’

Ranked: tier 4

Quintin Fraser - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He seems very driven and committed with a pragmatic mind.’

Ranked: tier 4

Sadie Crapper - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜She is a leading junior who is extremely good at cutting through the issues.’

Ranked: tier 4

James Burton - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He is incredibly bright, has a fantastic attention to detail and will always come up with innovative solutions.’

Ranked: tier 5

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Planning
Planning – Leading sets - ranked: tier 2

39 Essex Chambers

β€˜Very strong set for planning and environmental matters’, 39 Essex Chambers has been involved in many high-value instructions from both national and international clients. In a recent highlight, Peter Village QC, James Strachan QC and Ned Helme have been instructed in an inquiry for City and Country Group in its proposed redevelopment of a Grade I listed mansion, which involves a detailed assessment of the heritage interest.

Planning – Leading silks

James Strachan QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Sheer intellect and ability to get to the heart of the issue.’

Ranked: tier 1

John Steel QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Recommended for transport infrastructure and Green Belt work.’

Ranked: tier 2

Peter Village QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Absolutely on the detail of the case: very commercial, a clear thinker, and huge fun to work with.’

Ranked: tier 2

Brian Ash QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He quickly gets to the point, without seeking unnecessary resource or input from others, and presents the case in a very clear and compelling manner.’

Ranked: tier 3

Matthew Horton QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Recommended for regeneration and residential schemes.’

Ranked: tier 3

Paul Stinchcombe QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Not conventional and someone who thinks outside the box.’

Ranked: tier 3

Richard Harwood OBE QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Offers comprehensive knowledge of planning and an ability to instantly identify flaws in arguments.’

Ranked: tier 4

Stephen Tromans QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜His expertise in Habitats regulations cannot be beaten.’

Ranked: tier 4

Thomas Hill QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Recommended for transport and heritage work.’

Ranked: tier 4
Planning – 2017 silks

Andrew Tabachnik QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Recommended for regeneration and residential development.’

Ranked: tier 1
Planning – Leading juniors

Richard Wald - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A good senior junior: personable, nice to deal with, gets stuck in.’

Ranked: tier 2

John Pugh-Smith - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Clients appreciate the transparency of his advice: he has a good nose for detecting matters likely or unlikely to succeed in the High Court.’

Ranked: tier 3

James Burton - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Tireless, imaginative, and becoming a formidable opponent.’

Ranked: tier 4

Ned Helme - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A delightful junior and a pleasure to work alongside; has a neat and succinct writing style.’

Ranked: tier 4

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Product liability
Product liability – Leading silks

Neil Block QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Acted in many of the recent high-profile group actions.’

Ranked: tier 3

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Professional discipline and regulatory law
Professional discipline and regulatory law – Leading sets - ranked: tier 1

39 Essex Chambers

39 Essex Chambers is β€˜a go-to set for complex regulatory issues, for both advisory work and litigation’, with members covering both professional services and medical regulation. In the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal, Andrew Tabachnik QC prosecuted and Gregory Treverton-Jones QC defended in a case brought against two solicitors from the now-closed firm Tandem Law; the pair borrowed money from the now collapsed Axiom Legal Financing Fund, with the funds spent by the solicitors on, among other things, a Porsche Cayenne. David Bradly successfully defended a mental health nurse, who ordered the strip searches of two patients he believed to be in possession of cannabis.

Professional discipline and regulatory law – Leading silks

Gregory Treverton-Jones QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He has been involved in so many of the leading cases, his insights are a distinct advantage.’

Ranked: tier 1

Alison Foster QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Technically very proficient, and great with clients.’

Ranked: tier 3

Fenella Morris QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Excellent on the technical aspects of the law in this area.’

Ranked: tier 3

Jenni Richards QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜She represents the Health and Care Professions Council.’

Ranked: tier 4

James Ramsden QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Charming, impressive on his feet and a pleasure to work with.’

Ranked: tier 4

Vikram Sachdeva QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜The man you want to instruct in difficult litigation – determined and robust, while remaining a calm personality.’

Ranked: tier 4
Professional discipline and regulatory law – 2017 silks

Andrew Tabachnik QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Instructed by the SRA in some of its most high-profile cases.’

Ranked: tier 1
Professional discipline and regulatory law – 2019 silks

Rory Dunlop QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Responsive, practical and sees the bigger picture.’

Ranked: tier 1

Victoria Butler-Cole QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Her practice includes HCPC cases.’

Ranked: tier 1
Professional discipline and regulatory law – Leading juniors

David Bradly - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜His first-class judgement explains why he is a first port of call on complex, sensitive and high-profile cases.’

Ranked: tier 1

Peter Mant - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He has excellent judgement and is a pleasure to work with – a favourite for PSA work.’

Ranked: tier 2

Robert Lazarus - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜His medical background gives him significant background knowledge of the healthcare world, which is very helpful.’

Ranked: tier 2

Alexis Hearnden - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Very helpful assisting with issues concerning expert evidence.’

Ranked: tier 3

Nicola Greaney - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Instructed in cases involving the more exotic health regulators.’

Ranked: tier 4

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence – Leading sets - ranked: tier 5

39 Essex Chambers

39 Essex Chambers has an β€˜outward looking approach’ and is β€˜well respected’ for professional negligence cases, particularly involving construction and engineering issues.

Professional negligence – Leading silks

Stuart Catchpole QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Very highly rated.’

Ranked: tier 1

Paul Darling OBE QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He is active across a range of construction-related professional negligence cases.’

Ranked: tier 3

Richard Wilmot-Smith QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Tremendously able.’

Ranked: tier 3

Adrian Hughes QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Hardworking and a good team player.’

Ranked: tier 4

Neil Block QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Highly regarded.’

Ranked: tier 4
Professional negligence – 2017 silks

Karim Ghaly QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Very charming and experienced.’

Ranked: tier 1
Professional negligence – 2018 silks

Adam Robb QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Great on technically complex and challenging issues.’

Ranked: tier 1
Professional negligence – leading juniors

Karen Gough - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜She is able to cut through complex questions.’

Ranked: tier 6

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Public international law
Public international law – Leading juniors

Christopher Staker - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Absolutely outstanding public international lawyer and scholar.’

Ranked: tier 3

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Set overviews: England and Wales

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

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Social housing
Social housing – Leading juniors

Sian Davies - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A specialist in the nexus between immigration law and housing assistance.’

Ranked: tier 4

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Sport
Sport – Leading juniors

Jonathan Bellamy - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A first-rate football litigator and a renowned arbitrator.’

Ranked: tier 2

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Tax: corporate and VAT
Tax: VAT – Leading sets - ranked: tier 3

39 Essex Chambers

β€˜Great set’ 39 Essex Chambers is β€˜growing in strength for tax disputes’, particularly in relation to VAT and indirect tax. Timothy Lyons QC and Kelly Stricklin-Coutinho are acting for the taxpayer in a major customs duty case. In Pendragon Plc v Revenue and Customs Commissioners, Nigel Pleming QC is representing HMRC at the Court of Appeal in relation to the VAT treatment of the sale of cars.

Tax: VAT – Leading silks

Alison Foster QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜She has a real flair for advocacy, particularly in VAT and tax cases involving public law.’

Ranked: tier 2

Nigel Pleming QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A living legend.’

Ranked: tier 2

Timothy Lyons QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Amazing technical ability.’

Ranked: tier 4
Tax: corporate – Leading silks

Timothy Lyons QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Technically superb and extremely knowledgeable.’

Ranked: tier 3
Tax: VAT – Leading juniors

Kelly Stricklin-Coutinho - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜She is very methodical and has a wide range of expertise.’

Ranked: tier 3

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Travel law (including jurisdictional issues)
Travel law (including jurisdictional issues) – Leading sets - ranked: tier 2

39 Essex Chambers

39 Essex Chambers has β€˜a wide range of counsel at all levels of call’ and a β€˜particular specialism in jurisdiction and travel claims’. The set’s travel and jurisdictional expertise includes group litigation and individual claims arising from food poisoning, sport and road traffic accidents, aviation and maritime issues, terror attacks, and personal injury.

Travel law (including jurisdictional issues) – Leading silks

Neil Block QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He quickly grasps the issues and provides solutions to problems.’

Ranked: tier 2
Travel law (including jurisdictional issues) – 2017 silks

Michael McParland QC - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He richly deserved to take silk as he is intimidating to the opposition but very good with clients and judges.’

Ranked: tier 1
Travel law (including jurisdictional issues) – Leading juniors

Bernard Doherty - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He is top rate, especially on complex cases.’

Ranked: tier 1

James Burton - 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He is incredibly bright, meticulous in his approach to cases and always incredibly well prepared.’

Ranked: tier 3

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Asia Pacific: The English Bar

Commercial

39 Essex Chambers continues to have members instructed in commercial disputes across the Asia region.

Commercial – Leading silks

Adrian Hughes QC 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A sensible advocate who makes clients feel confident they are getting excellent expertise.’

Ranked: tier 1

Charles Manzoni QC 39 Essex Chambers β€˜His work includes commercial, finance and IP disputes with Chinese connections.’

Ranked: tier 1
Commercial – Leading juniors

Jonathan Bellamy 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Very well regarded for disputes in Asia.’

Ranked: tier 1

Loretta Malintoppi 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Highly regarded as an arbitrator, she is also an expert in public international law.’

Ranked: tier 2

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Construction

39 Essex Chambers is active in construction disputes across the entire Asia region, covering both traditional buildings and infrastructure as well. Charles Manzoni QC is also notably a senior counsel in Hong Kong on top of being an English silk and a qualified mechanical and electrical engineer.

Construction – Leading silks

Paul Darling QC 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He provides helpful strategic guidance, and clients find his advocacy style appealing.’

Ranked: tier 1

Adrian Hughes QC 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Tremendously dedicated to each case, with a great understanding of the technical matters in question.’

Ranked: tier 2

Charles Manzoni QC 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Instructed in Hong Kong construction disputes.’

Ranked: tier 2

Marion Smith QC 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Instructed in construction disputes across Asia.’

Ranked: tier 2

Peter Rees QC 39 Essex Chambers β€˜An absolute delight to work with: well prepared and always thoughtfully responsive.’

Ranked: tier 2
Construction – Leading juniors

Ben Olbourne 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Unflappable, with a breadth of legal knowledge and experience.’

Ranked: tier 1

David Bateson 39 Essex Chambers β€˜A very good arbitrator with great commercial judgement – he is personable and good with parties.’

Ranked: tier 1

Jonathan Bellamy 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Very experienced in construction disputes.’

Ranked: tier 1

Samar Abbas 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Extremely diligent and a producer of high-quality work, he has a very international practice.’

Ranked: tier 1

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Energy

39 Essex Chambers has members handling a range of energy work, including hydrocarbon extraction disputes and the construction of power stations. One name of note is Peter Rees QC, who brings in-house expertise as a former legal director of Shell.

Energy – Leading silks

Peter Rees QC 39 Essex Chambers β€˜At the top of the field for energy-related construction disputes.’

Ranked: tier 1

Adrian Hughes QC 39 Essex Chambers β€˜He is exceedingly well respected across Hong Kong and China.’

Ranked: tier 3
Energy – Leading juniors

David Hopkins 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Exceptionally capable and extremely versatile.’

Ranked: tier 1

Denys Hickey 39 Essex Chambers β€˜Instructed in offshore oil and gas matters.’

Ranked: tier 1

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Market overview

β€˜One of the strongest sets in Singapore’, 39 Essex Chambers is β€˜an overall commercial powerhouse with a very wide selection of specialities from insurance to energy and construction’. The set also includes a number of members who accept appointments as arbitrators. The clerks β€˜provide an excellent service and are very responsive’. Notable individuals include practice manager Niki Merison, who β€˜invests a lot of time in developing long-term relationships built on trust’. Rod Noble, the set’s director of Asian business, is permanently based in Singapore. It also has a permanent office in Kuala Lumpur. Formerly a senior practice manager at the set, Owen Lawrence is now the CEO of the International Arbitration Centre in London.

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Shipping

Alongside his arbitrator practice, 39 Essex Chambers’s Ben Olbourne acts as counsel on dry shipping matters and shipbuilding disputes.

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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
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