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 (including local government) - Leading silks

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

‘A star set for aviation work', Fountain Court Chambers fields ‘a fantastic team of experts' and houses ‘broad aviation expertise'. Notable cases include Alpstream AG and others v PK Airfinance and GE Capital and ANA v Thai, which involved the total loss of a 747 aircraft in a hangar fire in Thailand. Harriet Jones-Fenleigh moved to Norton Rose Fulbright in 2013.

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

Fountain Court Chambers’ experience in the sector is ‘unparalleled' and it has ‘a good range of counsel at all levels'. The set’s longstanding track record in banking litigation sees it typically acting for banks and financial institutions. The ‘absurdly clever' and ‘very approachable' members are invariably involved in the largest cases; the 16-week trial of Deutsche Bank v Sebastian Holdings was a clear highlight, as was the Libor test case Deutsche Bank v Unitech.

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

Fountain Court Chambers is ‘a first-rate all-round commercial set' that is ‘great for premiership work'. ‘The quality is excellent no matter what level of barrister is approached'; ‘they are always very capable, easy to work with and integrate into the team'. This depth is reflected in the cases, such as the six-week Commercial Court trial Alpstream & Ors. v PK Airfinance and GE Finance, which involved three silks and three juniors.

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Within Company and partnership Company - Leading juniors

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Within Employment Employment - New silks

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

Fountain Court Chambers’ energy practice is allied to the set’s strengths in commercial litigation.

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

Fountain Court Chambers is ‘really at the top of its game'; ‘not only are the barristers incredibly bright, but they are also very commercially focused and hardworking'. ‘The individuals have all the clout needed for the biggest cases', such as JSC BTA Bank v Ablyazov, the largest fraud ever tried in England. Ben Valentin joined from South Square in 2014.

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Within Insolvency Insolvency - Leading silks

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

Fountain Court Chambers is ‘an excellent set with real bench strength'. It is instructed on all types of insurance-related matters, including D&O policies, Bermuda Form coverage disputes and professional indemnity cases. In 2013, Michael Crane QC led Patrick Goodall QC in Heraldglen v AIOI Nissay Dowa Insurance Company, which dealt with the aggregation of claims arising from the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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

The barristers at Fountain Court Chambers are ‘excellent, and exactly what you would expect from a first-rate set'. Chambers is particularly strong in financial services matters. Infrastructure disputes also feature heavily, and multiple members are involved in the $3bn UNCITRAL arbitration between Indian company GMR and the Maldives government over the cancellation of an airport construction project.

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Within Product liability, tier 4

Fountain Court Chambers is ‘strong' in this field with notable expertise in aircraft and automotive product liability disputes. Members and clerks alike are ‘pleasant to deal with', and the approach of counsel is ‘commercial without being pushy'.

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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 is praised for its ‘intellectually rigorous, yet approachable' style. It is justifiably recognised as the ‘leading set for the SRA work' as a result of an impressive roster of barristers that includes Timothy Dutton QC, Richard Coleman QC and Chloe Carpenter.

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

Fountain Court Chambers is ‘very strong, commercial and user friendly'. The set received high-profile instructions across solicitors, barristers, financial services and tax-related professional negligence. Recent cases include Levi Roots v Simons Muirhead Burton and London Underground v Freshfields and Herbert Smith.

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Within Set overviews: England and Wales,

Fountain Court Chambers has ‘extraordinary talent across the board', and for many, it is ‘the best set for banking disputes'. It also has ‘huge depth of commercial litigation experience', which was recently bolstered through the arrival of Ben Valentin from South Square, the set’s first lateral hire in almost a decade. International work is a key focus for chambers, and it is set to launch in Singapore in September 2014. ‘Everyone, from the clerks to the receptionists, to the most senior members, is extremely approachable and friendly.' Senior clerk Alex Taylor is ‘a banjo-thumping superstar' and ‘an example to all'. Together with deputy senior clerk Paul Martenstyn, who ‘always goes the extra mile', they run ‘a very tight ship'. ‘They are responsive and you always can trust what they say; they never oversell and know their tenants’ experience inside out.' Offices in: London

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Within Sport Sport - Leading silks

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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
  • Finding the 
right words

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

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

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

  • Restoring environmental damage: putting a price on ecosystem services

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

  • The role of arbitrators in EU antitrust law

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

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

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

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

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

  • New revised guidelines for administrators in pre-pack sales

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

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

  • Continued uncertainty for international manufacturers in the US

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

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

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