3 Verulam Buildings 'remains one of the best sets for banking litigation', praised for its strength-in-depth from top silks down to baby juniors. Not one to rest on its laurels, it continues to attract up-and-coming senior juniors, as demonstrated by the arrivals of Adam Temple and Liisa Lahti from 4 Pump Court and Quadrant Chambers. The set's quality is reflected in its cases, including BNP Paribas v Trattamento Rifiuti Metropolitani SpA in which Adrian Beltrami QC led Christopher Bond for the claimants before the Court of Appeal in a case with contested jurisdictional issues. Another highlight is National Bank of Kazakhstan v BNY Mellon; Anatolie Stati; & Others, a matter which Kazakh entity owns assets held by the American bank in which a team of four members, including Ali Malek QC, David Quest QC and William Edwards are representing the claimants, the Kazakh central bank.
Banking and finance (including consumer credit) in London Bar
‘3VB is an excellent set – one of the best in this area. ‘
‘3VB has excellent strength in depth. I’ve used this chambers for many years and have always been impressed with the quality of Counsel (juniors through to seniors).’
‘3VB is a set that my colleagues and I probably turn to more than any other both now and, in my case, the last 30 years. They are a very strong set in financial services but have also established a very strong offering in a broader range of disciplines. Over the years they have recruited numerous former solicitors who have spent a few years in leading City firms. This means that a lot of their people have hands on experience of the very different role of a solicitor. ‘
‘Very strong set for banking and commercial litigation generally. Strong individuals right the way from the junior, mid-junior, senior-junior, up to QC.’
‘3VB have been for many years one of our “go-to” sets for our more complex cases. High quality counsel are available at all levels (silk, senior junior and junior). They are invariably very responsive to training requests and are now a regular feature of our internal training programme. Highly recommended.’
‘All the clerks are very approachable and commercial.’
‘Very responsive and commercial. Robert Croke has been very helpful in liaising with the court and assisting with billing matters.’
‘Very good, responsive and always contactable.’
‘Very able and responsive clerks across the board. Steve Penson in particular deserves credit for his responsiveness, his pragmatism and his willingness to provide a high quality service to instructing solicitors. Rob Croke is also very accomplished and good to deal with.’
Fountain Court Chambers is 'one of the leading sets for banking related disputes' with 'genuine quality and strength in depth across the board'. With some exceptions, the majority of the set's members typically act on the bank side, and several, such as Richard Lissack QC have strong overlaps into the criminal and fraud side. Several members have been involved in The Ingenious Litigation concerning banks' duties with regards to concerning tax avoidance schemes, with Richard Coleman QC representing Coutts and Richard Handyside QC and James Duffy advising UBS. Another major mandate taking up much of Andrew Mitchell QC's time is Loreley 30 v Credit Suisse in which he and Adam Sher are acting for five Credit Suisse entity defendants.
‘One of the very top tier sets. Consistently excellent.’
‘The set has an abundance of talent and depth. Its expansion programme with lateral hires has been a real success. ‘
‘Top banking set for LIBOR and derivatives.’
‘Fountain have fantastic barristers across all levels. You feel safe in their hands.’
‘Fountain court has a great bench. Very good at the top end but with some really remarkable juniors.’
‘Efficient and responsive.’
‘The clerk room is practical, helpful and responsive – one of the best in the top rate sets.’
‘I think the clerks are great, responsive and professional. Alex Taylor is a strong head clerk and very commercial. ‘
‘Sian Huckett is fantastic. Open, honest and pragmatic.’
‘I have dealt with Jake Hubbard primarily, and find that he is always incredibly professional, prompt and personable to deal with.’
One Essex Court is ‘one of the top three commercial sets‘ for high-end banking and finance disputes, with an almost unmatched roster of top tier silks and juniors. Coupled with this is the set’s highly praised flow of junior juniors, all providing market-leading support. Top cases include Federal Deposit Insurance Company v. Barclays, Lloyds, HBOS, RBS, Deutsche Bank & Other banks, with Sonia Tolaney QC and Nehali Shah defending Deutsche Bank, and Conall Patton QC representing Rabobank in this matter brought by the reciever of collapsed US banks which hand entered in to transactions based on LIBOR, which the claimants allege was manipulated by the defendant banks. Adam Rushworth has also been representing the firm of solicitors in Raiffeisen Bank International AG v Asia Coal Energy Ventures Ltd and Ashurst LLP, originally led by David Lord David Wolfson QC, who is now a government minister in the Ministry of Justice.
‘Top tier set, full of talented individuals.’
‘One Essex Court has excellent strength in depth, offering outstanding advocates at the top of their game.’
‘A fantastic set of chambers to work with.’
‘One Essex is first rate from top to bottom. Everyone assembled on the team was impressive, bright and responsive.’
‘One Essex Court is unquestionably the leading set for high value and complex disputes.’
‘Excellent. The clerks are a pleasure to deal with. I have had dealings with each of David Amdor, Jade Cassell, Kirsty Hough, Jack Miller, Daniele Thripp and Ross Magee who are extremely responsive and take ownership of questions and issues that arise.’
‘We have had a very positive experience of the clerks at One Essex Court. Darren Burrows, Rob Smith and Jade Cassell deserve particular praise for managing all the barristers we instruct and generally being extremely responsive and competitive.’
‘The clerks are engaging, responsive, and practical when it comes to fee negotiations.’
‘The clerks, Rob Smith in particular, are excellent.’
‘Very responsive. David Amdor is very good.’
Brick Court Chambers is praised for its 'stable of super-bright and hardworking barristers' and is 'at the very top of its game' when it comes to banking and finance disputes. The set's members stand out for their ability to handle technically heavy, complex cases. Tim Lord QC remains a leading figure for claims against the banks and led Fred Hobson in Loreley Financing 30 v Credit Suisse, one of the last 2008 crisis disputes involving the sale and structuring of RMBS CDOs. The chambers had members on both sides of Allianz Global Investors v HSBC, a damages claim concerning Forex transactions, with Helen Davies QC leading Sarah Abram for HSBC. Another highlight has been Burford Capital Ltd v London Stock Exchange Group PLC, a Financial List dispute involving allegations of unlawful short selling, with Jasbir Dhillon QC and Jonathan Dawid representing Burford.
‘Fantastic counsel. Very hands-on and friendly team. Extremely responsive and excellent juniors.’
‘Brick Court is one of our go to sets. Deep talent pool.’
‘Brick Court is one of the stellar sets. It has a stable of super-bright hard working counsel and a very good clerking team. ‘
‘Brick Court is of course excellent. Their barristers are the very best at what they do. At the same time, they are very accessible.’
‘Powerful set with massive strength in depth and across disciplines.’
‘Always very helpful and responsive.’
‘The clerks at Brick Court are responsive and helpful. Paul Dennison is particularly impressive.’
‘Tony Burgess is commercial and responsive.’
‘Always excellent and Tony Burgess a standout.’
‘The service in Brick Court is good and perhaps a notch ahead of its competitors. The clerks are responsive and personable. Paul Dennison is particularly impressive.’
Essex Court Chambers is 'strong in banking litigation' and has 'unparalleled strength in depth' for banking fraud cases. One of the set's most notable cases is PCP Capital Partners LLP v Barclays Plc - a long-running dispute concerning Qatari investment in the bank during the 2008 crisis - in which Joe Smouha QC is leading a team of silks and juniors from within chambers including the highly rated senior junior, James Sheehan. Another highlight case with strong fraud aspects was National Bank TRUST v Yurov, Belyaev & Fetisov in which Nathan Pillow QC is leading David Davies QC, who recently took silk, and Anton Dudnikov. Stephen Houseman QC has made a strong impression in this area and is representing the claimant in Madison Pacific Trust v Sahkoor Capital and PrivatBank, a dispute about limited recourse notes issued by a Ukranian bank which was nationalised in 2016.
‘All the barristers I worked with are top-notch.’
‘A set crammed full of quality advocates at every level. You can go to Essex Court and know that you will be able to instruct a barrister of the highest quality and any level. Excellent marketing and events. ‘
‘Joe Ferrigno leads a very good team which has been very active in the past 5+ years in recruiting some of the most talented senior juniors at the commercial Bar.’
‘Joe Ferrigno is one of the best clerks I have come across. He is extremely welcoming when dealing with solicitors.’
‘Kevin Grubb and the clerking team are very good.’
‘Efficient and helpful.’
‘Very user friendly and good to deal with. Joe Ferrigno and Jack Wood stand out in particular.’
South Square is probably the top choice for complex banking and finance cases with a heavy insolvency element. Clients also single out the set's expertise in related offshore claims, often overlapping with civil fraud. One of the larger cases has been Primeo Fund v HSBC, in which Tom Smith QC and Richard Fisher QC represented the Madoff feeder fund Primeo in a $2 billion claim arising from the Ponzi scheme. Felicity Toube QC and Jeremy Goldring QC were also on opposing sides of the swaps litigation dispute ING v Santander. The set boasts a strong stable of juniors, with Adam Al-Attar, William Willson and Georgina Peters among those developing good reputations.
‘South Square is one of the leading sets for Offshore financial litigation.’
‘They have excellent lawyers at all levels in the finance litigation space.’
‘I have the highest regard for South Square Chambers. They have an excellent bench strength both at the senior and junior end. Their particular area of recognised expertise has, for a long time, centered on Insolvency but the reality is that their expertise extends very significantly beyond that. South Square also offers excellent training and presentations, certainly in relation to insolvency law and practice but also beyond.’
‘South Square is widely regarded as the best chambers for restructuring, insolvency and insolvency litigation. It has great depth as well as the majority of the leading silks in this area.’
‘We work a lot with South Square, particularly on large scale complex commercial litigation and insolvency cases, usually with an international element. They are also strong on fraud cases.’
‘Excellent. Dylan Playfoot is a class act.’
‘The clerks room is excellent – they are helpful, responsive, commercial, and do not over-promise.’
‘I never cease to be impressed by the clerking at South Square. In particular, I would single out Dylan Playfoot, Jim Costa and Mike Killick. They are all excellent, responsive, friendly and very helpful. Negotiations around fees are always constructive and never awkward and they are invariably understanding of lay client demands and constructive in finding a solution that works for everyone. If only it were that pleasant dealing with the other leading sets of chambers…’
‘The South Square clerks are always extremely responsive and helpful.’
‘Excellent service, very responsive clerks.’
4 Stone Buildings brings a huge amount of experience to the table, with several top name silks and juniors. The set has excellent credentials for insolvency-related banking disputes, but also regularly acts on broader finance litigations, including cross-border and offshore claims. Notable highlights include Sharp & Ors v Blank & Ors in which Richard Hill QC acted for the claimant group of Lloyds bank shareholders in a trial that concluded in 2020 with judgment on a costs point. The highly-rated Sharif Shivji QC has a prominent role acting for Credit Suisse in Republic of Mozambique v Credit Suisse, and is also leading two juniors in a major banking dispute before the DIFC. Juniors such as Christopher Harrison, Alastair Tomson and James Knott have also made a good impression on the market.
‘4 Stone Buildings are a top notch Chancery set and over the years, I have instructed a number of barristers and they have all been of a high standard.’
‘They are a set I have used for many years and they have never let me (or the client) down.’
‘Extraordinarily consistent and good chambers – and the judges know that they always play with a very straight bat which always give valuable credibility and momentum.’
‘4 Stone Buildings has several excellent senior barristers to fill the shoes of Robert Miles QC, who has now joined the bench. They are particularly strong on chancery matters but are comfortable with commercial cases as well.’
‘4 Stone Buildings is the go to set at my former firm and my present firm.’
‘David Goddard is the consummate professional.’
‘Always first rate.’
‘First rate – Ryan Tunkel and Ben Lashmar in particular.’
Blackstone Chambers has a first class generation of silks with excellent credentials for general banking and finance disputes. This is in addition to its clear strengths in financial services regulatory matters. Javan Herberg QC is one of the leading silks in the market for the regulatory side, but also handles an impressive selection of litigation claims, and represented UK Asset Management/Northern Rock Asset Management on the 'mortgage prisoner' group litigation, Davis v Lloyds. Other leading silks include Andrew George QC who successfully acted for the claimant in Pipia v BGEO, a high-profile case involving alleged asset stripping and intimidation by the London parent of a Georgian banking group, in which Andrew Hunter QC represented the defendant. Andrew Green QC is poised for a busy 2022, representing HSBC in the Ingenious Litigation.
‘Blackstone remain my go-to chambers. The quality of the barristers is incredible. Their recent virtual Covid training events have been fantastic.’
‘Blackstone are a leading commercial set, particularly strong in relation to financial services regulatory work. They have a formidable line up of silks and juniors who are regularly instructed by the regulators and defence counsel alike.’
‘Excellent service from the clerks’ room. Very efficient and easy to deal with.’
Gough Square Chambers 'are specialists in consumer law and have a number of extremely skilled barristers with varying post call years. There is always someone available and turnaround times for advice are impressive.' The set's relatively small size gives it an edge in terms of customer service. Some of the set's juniors such as Fred Philpott have silk-like status in the consumer credit market - he recently led Lee Finch in CFL v Gertner before the Court of Appeal, a claim concerning the question of whether the schedule to a Tomlin Order might constitute a regulated credit agreement. Other leading individuals include Iain MacDonald who represented the defendant in Milne v Open Access Finance Ltd, a dispute about the scope of liability of a peer-to-peer lending platform. Simon Popplewell also had a significant role for Bank of Scotland in Various SAM Borrowers v BOS (Shared Appreciation Mortgages) No 1 PLC & others, involving a challenge to shared appreciation mortgages.
‘They are the leaders in relation to consumer finance and related matters.’
‘Fabulous client focused chambers.’
‘Very user friendly and cooperative. They are my “go to” set for any and all Consumer Credit queries.’
‘Will bend over backwards to help out where necessary. The leading small set on consumer credit and financial mis-selling.’
‘The set as a whole is knowledgeable about financial services regulation and banking litigation and are good value for money. They offer a good range of training programmes which are easy to digest.’
‘The clerks will always endeavour to accommodate and Jack Bradshaw is an outstanding, attentive second clerk.’
‘The clerks are very knowledgeable in consumer credit regulation and have been with Gough Square for a significant period. They know the subject matter and can proactively suggest and recommend which Counsel may be best to work on a matter.’
‘Bob Weekes is extremely helpful and responsive.’
‘The clerks are very responsive and friendly. They will go out of their way to assist. Jack Bradshaw always replies to instructing solicitors promptly and is very helpful.’
‘They are superb. They are always at reach and responsive with a quick turnaround and extremely flexible to work to meet with our clients expectations and approach.’
Henderson Chambers is best known for its consumer credit expertise, pioneered by long-standing silks such as Richard Mawrey QC, who remains a senior statesman in this corner of the market. Other silks making a strong name for themselves in this space include Henry Warwick QC, who is advising claimant investors in the pre-action stage in potential claims against Hargreaves Lansdown and Link Financial Solutions. He is also on Central Bridging Loans’ counsel team, with Julia Smith, in Anwer v Central Bridging Loans, which concerns an unfair debtor-creditor relationship claim. Head of chambers William Hibbert is another key figure, both for consumer credit and general banking regulatory issues.
‘Excellent articles on key changes in law, providing a practical slant on the issues that arise, not just dry legal analysis.’
‘Always have a junior available and strong clerking team.’
‘Joe Sutton is very responsive.’
Quadrant Chambers has been steadily building up a impressive cohort of banking and finance barristers. Paul Downes QC is especially-well regarded in this area and is currently involved in Deutsche Bank v CBA, one of a series of disputes concerning the enforceability of interest rate swaps. Downes QC is also leading Emily Saunderson in Williams v Capitalbond, a Consumer Credit Act claim concerning debts of over £20m. Stewart Chirnside has also developed a strong name in this area, and is representing the defendants in a cryptocurrency fraud claim Blockchain Optimization SA & Anor v LFE Market Ltd & Ors. Liisa Lahti recently left to join 3 Verulam Buildings.
‘Very strong set with extremely capable barristers at all levels.’
‘Quadrant Chambers have an excellent reputation in this area and beyond. They always have counsel available to assist and they offer excellent webinars and marketing materials.’
‘Excellent strength in depth across all levels of call. Generally can always offer Counsel at the level of call being requested.’
‘Always very helpful and efficient with Daniel Westerman being a stand-out performer.’
‘The clerks are always a delight to speak to.’
‘The clerks are very helpful.’
‘Very personable and willing often to be commercial when it comes to fees.’
‘Quick to turn things around and pragmatic. ‘
Serle Court has 'good depth of counsel across a wide range of banking and finance areas'. Philip Marshall QC continues to be a formidable force for banking related fraud claims and led top tier junior Simon Hattan in The Public Institution for Social Security v Al-Rajaan, an $800m dispute concerning banking and investments by Kuwait's state pension fund. David Blayney QC is also highly recommended for his impressive technical expertise. The set is especially strong on offshore related banking disputes and has also built up a strong reputation for Middle Eastern banking and finance claims before the DIFC, with Rupert Reed QC especially experienced on this front.
‘A market leading set for high end commercial disputes.’
‘Very good set who understand how we work and the intricacies of working on DIFC Court cases.’
‘Good depth of counsel across a wide ranging of banking and finance areas. ‘
‘Service and clerking are second to none.’
‘Daniel Wheeler is very responsive.’
‘Responsive and accurate in counsel bookings and fee quotes.
Twenty Essex fields a selection of impressive silks and juniors with good track records in a wide range of banking and finance claims, from complex trade-related derivatives issues through to consumer credit disputes. Paul Lowenstein QC is consistently busy on banking and related fraud claims, and led Luke Pearce on behalf of the claimants in Dove and others v HBOS and Bank of Scotland and Wells v HBOS and Bank of Scotland, a banking dispute involving significant fraud allegations. Philip Edey QC is also representing one of the defendants, Russian billionaire Boris Mints, in PJSC National Bank Trust v Mints, in a case concerning alleged fraudulent conspiracy in relation to the restructuring of loans. The arrival of Andrew Ayres QC from Maitland Chambers added further fire power.
‘On Consumer Credit work I am impressed by the firm’s ability to resource a large number of county court matters efficiently.’
’20 Essex Street are an excellent set.’
‘We are using this set more and more, they have high quality barristers.’
‘Back office runs very smoothly and clerks are very efficient and helpful.’
‘Good clerks – very responsive and amenable.’
‘The clerking is always excellent. Arron Zitver is very approachable and easy to deal with. Tara Shah understands instructions perfectly, is efficient and goes out of her way to help.’
‘Tara Shah is always helpful and on point.’
XXIV Old Buildings has a good spread of members with strong banking and finance expertise, both at the junior and senior level. The set is especially strong on banking disputes involving a strong offshore or trusts element, and several members also have considerable expertise in the Dubai International Financial Centre courts. Significant cases in London include Elite Property Holdings & ors v Barclays Bank Plc, in which Edward Cumming QC represented the claimants in a case regarding an alleged conspiracy between the bank and an accountancy firm to put the client in administration. Stephen Moverley Smith QC and Sarah Bayliss represented the defendant, an insurance subsidiary of Credit Suisse, in Ivanishvili v Credit Suisse Life (Bermuda) Ltd, in an investment fraud claim brought by the former President of Georgia. Oliver Assersohn is also highly rated in this field, as well as broader financial services matters.
‘Extremely able barristers in complex, highly technical litigation.’
‘Always a pleasure.’
‘Efficient – no problems and easy to deal with.’
‘Excellent support from very able and personable clerks.’