The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

39 Essex Chambers

Chambers of Charlie Cory-Wright QC and Richard Harwood QC

Work 020 7832 1111
Fax 020 7353 3978
Kuala Lumpur, London, Manchester, Singapore

39 Essex Chambers is a long established set with 47 Queen's Counsel and 87 juniors. With offices in London, Manchester, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, the set offers substantial expertise in almost every aspect of civil liability, commercial, construction and engineering, commercial fraud, financial services, costs and litigation funding, aviation, energy,  planning, environmental and property, personal injury and clinical negligence, public, regulatory and disciplinary law, shipping and alternative dispute resolution, both in the UK and worldwide. Members of chambers have wide experience of all courts and tribunals including the Supreme Court, Privy Council, Court of Appeal, the European Court of Human Rights and the European Court of Justice, specialist courts, tribunals and planning and other public inquiries, as well as of domestic and international arbitrations. Members have participated in many significant investigations before Parliamentary Select Committees and 23 members are on the Attorney General's Panel of Counsel instructed on behalf of the Crown. Members also undertake pro bono work for public interest organisations.


Administrative and public: judicial review and public law, including civil liberties and human rights, education, local authorities, health trusts, mental health, community care, court of protection, housing and housing associations, immigration, VAT and customs and excise.

Aviation and aerospace: leading experts who advise and represent clients on issues across the aviation and aerospace sector in the UK and internationally. This includes: planning and development of airports, heliports and aviation-related infrastructure; environmental; commercial; construction; civil liability and regulatory disputes; advice on compulsory purchase; surface access; noise and emission controls; AAIB inquiries and air accidents; air traffic services; the effects of wind turbines on radar and ATC; lease finance; airport, aircraft, pilot and crew licensing; engineering and management; taxation; aircraft leasing and sales; passenger claims; cases involving UK and foreign governments; ICAO, EASA and the RAA; competition; and European and international law.

Commercial: insurance and reinsurance, commodities and derivatives, funding disputes, banking, mergers and acquisitions, sale and carriage of goods, insolvency, company law, financial services law, professional negligence and professional indemnity work for auditors, legal advisors and international commercial arbitration.

Construction and engineering: litigation and related claims, including professional negligence and indemnity work, from major international ventures to smaller domestic contracts, acting for employers, contractors, subcontractors and professional advisors. Members act as advocates, mediators and arbitrators in the United Kingdom, the EU and worldwide.

Costs: members of chambers appear in every court and tribunal where costs issues arise. Members also carry out advisory work on potential funding arrangements and in drafting cost documentation including CFAs, CCFA and legal expenses insurance policies.

Employment: work for employers and employees, local authorities and central government. An emphasis is on public law-related work, discrimination, restrictive covenants, wrongful dismissal and breach of fiduciary duties.

Energy: a unique capability to cover corporate/commercial, construction, engineering, projects, environmental, planning, public and regulatory work in the electricity, nuclear, oil and gas and renewable sectors.

Entertainment and sports: entertainment and media-related work including performers' contracts, passing off, breach of confidence, film and management agreements and broadcasting regulation. Sports-related work includes public liability of sports clubs for acts of their players, employer's liability, disciplinary tribunals, disputes concerning control of clubs, transfer fee disputes, EU free movement and other employment issues.

European: EU law before domestic and EU courts, including competition, discrimination and equality law, public procurement, free movement, state aids and milk quotas.

Human rights: members regularly appear in domestic Human Rights Act cases and also have extensive experience as advocates before the European Court of Human Rights and in courts overseas. Members have appeared in leading cases with a human rights dimension in diverse fields including civil liberties, commercial law, healthcare, housing, immigration, local government, mental health, community care, planning, police and prisoners.

Personal injury and clinical negligence: sea, air and crowd disasters, group actions, industrial disease, sports injuries, injuries of maximum severity,  pharmaceuticals, product liability and high profile and complex matters, ranging from sensitive consent-to-treatment cases to those involving serious disability and death.

Planning, environmental and property: compulsory purchase, contaminated land, environmental civil liability, environmental regulation, European law and human rights, health and safety and product liability, insurance, international environmental law, licensing, marine environment, parliamentary and public affairs, planning law, nuisance and rating.

Public inquiries: members of chambers have been instructed in most of the major public inquiries over the past ten years including BSE, the King's Cross fire and, more recently, the Bristol Royal Infirmary, Victoria Climbie, the Saville inquiry, the Hutton inquiry, Hillsborough, the Leveson Inquiry and the Bristol Review.

Regulatory and disciplinary: appearing in tribunals and hearings, and carrying out advisory work across the entire medical sphere, appearing before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and in challenges to interventions by the Law Society, social care, education, financial services, broadcasting, communications and the media, sport, transport and health and safety, buildings and housing, local government standards, licensing.

INTERNATIONAL: 39 Essex Chambers has a number of members who have been called to the Bars of various international and offshore jurisdications including California, France, Hong Kong, New South Wales, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago and the British Virgin Islands. Chambers also has experience of acting in disputes in various foreign jurisdictions including Western and Central Europe, Africa, the USA, India, China and Hong Kong SAR, Malaysia, Singapore, the Middle East and the Caribbean.

RECRUITMENT: the set is a member of Pupillage Gateway and also advertises recruitment via its website.

Above material supplied by 39 Essex Chambers (Chambers of Charlie Cory-Wright QC and Richard Harwood QC).

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 ‚Äėcentre of life test‚Äô 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 ‚ÄúRegulations‚ÄĚ). 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 ‚Äúa¬† majority shareholder in the overseas business‚ÄĚ.
  • 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 ¬†‚Äėpreviously contrived in a significant way to frustrate the intentions of the Immigration Rules‚Äô,¬† 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. 

    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 (‚Äúthe 2014 Act‚ÄĚ) 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 ¬†(‚Äúthe 2002 Act‚ÄĚ). 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.