The Legal 500

Chambers of Stephen Moriarty QC

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London Bar

Top-tier recommendations

London Bar

Within Administrative and public law (including local government) Administrative and public law - Leading Silks

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Within Aviation, Fountain Court Chambers (Stephen Moriarty QC) is a first tier set,

The ‘very user-friendlyFountain Court Chambers attracts praise for its ‘very professional’ clerks, and its array of ‘bright and able barristers’. Michael Crane QC is regarded as ‘the king of aviation’, and ‘combines charm and humour with a gimlet eye for detail and a devastating line in cross-examination’. Also recommended are the ‘first-classBankim Thanki QC, and the ‘bright, meticulous and tenaciousAkhil Shah QC, who exhibits ‘very good judgement’. Michael McLaren QC has ‘an excellent intellect, which he applies ruthlessly’, and acted for the claimant in ACG Acquisition XX v Olympic Airlines. Stephen Moriarty QC is noted for his ‘excellent written and oral advocacy’. At junior level, Adam Zellick is ‘procedurally brilliant and commercially astute, and has the ability to provide detailed, accurate and intuitive pleadings in a timely manner’. He is particularly highlighted for his expertise in catastrophic loss cases. Also recommended are Rosalind Phelps, whose ‘work is consistently top quality’, and James Cutress .

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Within Commercial litigation, Fountain Court Chambers (Stephen Moriarty QC) is a first tier set,

The barristers at Fountain Court Chambers are highlighted for their willingness to go ‘above and beyond to deliver a first-rate client service’. Michael Brindle QC is noted for his ‘good leadership’, and for his ‘presence both in and out of court, which gives confidence to clients’. Michael Crane QC is ‘an exceptional all-round barrister - technically excellent, articulate, strategically astute, and brilliant at dissecting the opponent’s case’. Also recommended are Stephen Rubin QC and Jeffrey Chapman QC, who is noted for his ‘fantastic judgement’. ‘First-class juniorPaul Sinclair has ‘an extremely good sense of the client’s commercial considerations’. Patrick Goodall also attracts praise for his ‘potent mix of commercially sensible, digestible legal advice’. Tamara Oppenheimer is ‘extremely diligent at chasing down all avenues in a productive and commercially focused manner’.

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Within Company and partnership Company - Leading Juniors

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Within Employment Employment - Leading Silks

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Within Energy, tier 5

Fountain Court Chambers has growing expertise in international extractive resources matters, including mining and drilling disputes. Anthony Boswood QC remains an authority in this area, and is recommended alongside Michael Brindle QC, Timothy Howe QC and Richard Handyside QC .

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Within Fraud: civil, Fountain Court Chambers (Stephen Moriarty QC) is a first tier set,

Fountain Court Chambers is ‘excellent for commercial fraud litigation; its members have the highest level of legal analytical ability, appear in the top cases, and are very hardworking’. Michael Brindle QCmarries the skills of a cunning fox with the panache of a respected legal statesman’, and Simon Browne-Wilkinson QC is ‘imaginative in his solutions, yet very pragmatic’. Other highly rated silks include Anthony Boswood QC, Stephen Rubin QC and Bankim Thanki QC . Deepak Nambisan is noted for his ‘unrivalled technical skills, superior knowledge and team ethic’. The ‘exceedingly brightAdam Zellick and Simon Atrill (‘without doubt a star of the future’) are also recommended.

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Within Insolvency,

Also recommended are ‘tenacious advocateSimon Davenport QC and Clara Johnson at 3 Hare Court; the ‘patient and affableCharles Raffin and Jonathan Titmuss at Hardwicke; the ‘analytical and user-friendlyGraeme Halkerston at Wilberforce Chambers; the ‘responsive and assertiveStephen Atherton QC and the ‘very approachable, commercial and proactiveBlair Leahy at 20 Essex Street; the ‘user-friendlyBridget Lucas at Fountain Court Chambers; the ‘tactically astutePeter Shaw at 9 Stone Buildings; the ‘technically excellentDavid Peters at Essex Court Chambers; and the ‘very high-qualityAndreas Gledhill at Blackstone Chambers.

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Within Insurance and reinsurance, Fountain Court Chambers (Stephen Moriarty QC) is a third tier set,

Fountain Court Chambers is ‘a powerhouse for insurance and reinsurance work’. Recommended silks include ‘very good insurance lawyersMichael Crane QC and David Railton QC, who are experienced in Bermuda and UK insurance issues; Anthony Boswood QC, who acted in the Rolls-Royce Mermaid Pods litigation; and Derrick Dale QC, who acted for the insurers in Godiva v Willmett. Bankim Thanki QC is also singled out for finance-related issues. Stephen Moriarty QC is ‘exceptionally bright’, and ‘gives 100%’. At junior level, the ‘excellent’, ‘brightPatrick Goodall is ‘a star of the future’, and James Cutress is noted for his ‘formidable intellect’.

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Within International arbitration, Fountain Court Chambers (Stephen Moriarty QC) is a second tier set,

Fountain Court Chambers is ‘extremely strong in the area of complex international disputes, and specifically oil and gas’. Michael Crane QC is ‘an excellent all-round barrister’, with ‘a wonderfully conversational style with the tribunal’. The ‘meticulous and extremely cleverDavid Railton QC is ‘exceptionally user friendly and reliable’. Stephen Moriarty QC’s ‘aptitude and experience really come to the fore in difficult cases, where he spots all the points’. The ‘super-bright, meticulous, and tenaciousAkhil Shah QC is ‘particularly strong on high-value, complex international arbitration’. Anthony Boswood QC is ‘a robust advocate who is willing to stand up to a tribunal, and a decisive and skilful cross-examiner’. The set also has a good selection of juniors, including Patrick Goodall, a longstanding leader in the market.

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Within Media, entertainment and sport,

Fountain Court ChambersJeffrey Chapman QC successfully represented Leyton Orient in the Olympic Stadium dispute. Mark Simpson QC handles Formula 1 and football disputes.

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Within Product liability, Fountain Court Chambers (Stephen Moriarty QC) is a third tier set,

Fountain Court Chambers has a significant product liability caseload within its mainstream commercial practice. Philip Brook Smith QC was instructed in the Seroxat litigation. Michael Crane QC and Akhil Shah QC are also highly rated.

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Within Professional discipline and regulatory law (including police law), Fountain Court Chambers (Stephen Moriarty QC) is a second tier set,

Fountain Court Chambers has ‘great strength in depth for solicitors ’ regulatory work’, with Timothy Dutton QC highlighted as ‘a class act in this area’. Other ‘very able silks’ include Patricia Robertson QC, Michael McLaren QC and Richard Coleman QC . James McClelland is ‘terrifyingly intelligent’, and stands out for his ability ‘to place himself in the shoes of the client and apply detailed legal analysis to the practical issues’. Rupert Allen is also noted as ‘a good draftsman’ who is ‘very credible, persuasive and determined on his feet’.

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Within Professional negligence, Fountain Court Chambers (Stephen Moriarty QC) is a third tier set,

Very professional and easy to deal with’, Fountain Court Chambers provides ‘consistently good advice’. Stephen Moriarty QC (‘excellent in both his written and oral advocacy’) is leading the ‘thoughtful and consideredJames Cutress for the defendant in a high-profile case in the Cayman Islands concerning a claim by a hedge fund against its investment advisers. Other recommended individuals include the ‘proactive and tenaciousMark Simpson QC ; Timothy Dutton QC, who is ‘always measured and thoughtful’; the ‘brilliantBankim Thanki QC ; Michael Brindle QC, who ‘is consistently thorough’; Guy Philipps QC, who recently acted in the Al-Suleiman litigation; and Derrick Dale QC, who is ‘very good with clients’. Recommended juniors include Deepak Nambisan, Rosalind Phelps, David Murray, and Tamara Oppenheimer, who is ‘always on top of her brief’.

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Within Tax: corporate and VAT Tax: VAT - Leading Silks

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Within Treasury Panel Lists Junior Counsel to the Crown - A Panel

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London Bar: Banking and finance (including consumer credit)

Within Banking and finance, Fountain Court Chambers (Stephen Moriarty QC) is a first tier set,

Fountain Court Chambers is considered by many to be ‘the go-to set’ for banking and finance litigation. Michael Brindle QCmarries the skills of a cunning fox with the panache of a respected legal statesman’. The ‘technically excellentDavid Railton QC is ‘in a class of his own’, with clients highlighting his ‘deceptively understated style’. Raymond Cox QC is ‘immensely knowledgeable about financial services matters’, and ‘an excellent adviser’. Bankim Thanki QC is ‘expert in substantive banking law’; ‘having him on the same side in court is delightful and reassuring, while having him against you is delightful yet daunting’. Jeffrey Chapman QC is ‘outstanding on his feet in court; he reads the courtroom very well, and is completely on top of his material’. Andrew Mitchell QC is praised for his ‘instant grasp of key issues, and sound judgement on strategic matters’. The ‘outstandingPatricia Robertson QC is ‘tenacious, with great attention to detail and a robust style’. John Taylor QC is ‘an authoritative and robust advocate’ who is ‘quick to get to the heart of the matter’. Patrick Goodall is ‘a leader among juniors’, and is ‘liked by clients for his willingness to roll his sleeves up’. The ‘excellentDeepak Nambisan is ‘very diligent, careful and analytical, and writes extremely well’. The ‘very conscientious and user-friendlyNik Yeo also attracts praise for his ‘grasp of complex market practices’.

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Legal Developments by:
Fountain Court Chambers (Chambers of Stephen Moriarty QC)

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Home Office announces extension of support service for SMEs

    An online support service for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) which need to recruit skilled overseas workers has been extended until 28 February 2014. The pilot was launched by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) in partnership with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and provides a step by step guide to sponsoring an overseas worker. This service is available via the GLA website.
  • Penningtons Manches' immigration team considers new changes to the Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance

    The Home Office has recently published new Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance, version 12/13. This guidance is to be used by all prospective and existing Tier 4 sponsors from 11 December 2013.
  • Finding the 
right words

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

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

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

  • Playing fair with penalty clauses

    It is often difficult to predict what will be recoverable as damages for breach of contract. To provide some certainty, parties will often seek to agree the sum that will be payable in the event of specified breaches. 

  • Restoring environmental damage: putting a price on ecosystem services

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

  • The role of arbitrators in EU antitrust law

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

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

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

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

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

  • New revised guidelines for administrators in pre-pack sales

    Pre-pack sales by administrators are now used frequently enough for most people in business to be aware of them and many have come across them in their business lives. A small amount of controversy still attaches to pre-packs, but it is probably right to say that they are now an accepted part of the UK business scene as a useful means of rescuing a business in difficulty and preserving some or all of the jobs connected with the business.
    - Druces