Banking and finance (including consumer credit) in London Bar
3 Verulam Buildings 'continues to thrive as a first-rate set,' and is a 'clear market leader in this field', according to instructing solicitors, who add that on 'all banking and finance matters they can offer genuine expertise and huge strength in depth'. The set's silks and juniors are regularly called upon to act on the market's largest and most technically challenging banking disputes. Recent examples using multiple members include PJSC Commercial Bank Privatbank v Kolomoisky & Others, in which Ali Malek QC and Matthew Parker represented Gennadiy Bogolyubov. Another highlight was PCP Capital Partners v Barclays Bank Plc, in which Ewan McQuater QC represented Barclays, while Andrew Onslow QC advised the Serious Fraud Office in related parallel criminal proceedings.
Fountain Court Chambers 'continues to excel in the area of banking and finance' and has 'great strength in depth' with 'a number of eminent barristers', according to sources. The set, which typically represents banks, has a broad spread of barristers covering every aspect of banking law, from the advisory to the crossover between the criminal and the regulatory spheres. A significant highlight saw Bankim Thanki QC lead the Ukraine's defence in the Court of Appeal against a $3bn Eurobond claim brought by Russia. Other notable cases included Property Alliance Group v RBS, in which Richard Handyside QC succesfully represented RBS in the Court of Appeal, and Marme v RBS, in which Timothy Howe QC, Laura John and Simon Atrill successfully represented the bank.
One Essex Court is 'one of the pre-eminent sets for financial markets disputes' with 'a range of barristers, the quality of whose advice and advocacy is unfailingly excellent', say instructing solicitors. Members regularly act on both sides of the table, although the calibre of its silks has led to it being an increasingly favoured choice of the banks. Recent highlights include Sonia Tolaney QC leading the successful defence of Barclays Bank against a £1.6bn claim by Compucredit. Another lead case was Red Kite Management Limited & Ors v Barclays Bank PLC, in which Alain Choo Choy QC and Laurence Rabinowitz QC were on opposing sides.
Brick Court Chambers is a 'top-class, go-to set for banking litigation' which solicitors note is 'able to deploy strong teams across all levels of seniority'. Unlike the sets in the top tier, the set's origins are not fixed in the banking world, so barristers have typically been a lot more versatile in acting for and against banks. Members have also been seeing a lot of Russia and fraud-related banking disputes; notable highlights including Bank St Petersburg v Arkhangelsky, in which Tim Lord QC led Simon Birt QC and Richard Eschwege, and The Federal Republic of Nigeria v JP Morgan Chase Bank NA, where Roger Masefield QC represented Nigeria.
Essex Court Chambers is a 'high-profile, high-quality set' whose members have an enviable track record when it comes to complex and highly technical banking litigation. In recent years chambers has been involved in several insolvency-related banking disputes, such as the Lehmans Waterfall litigation relating to the distribution of over $1bn from the Lehman's estate. Another highlight involving numerous members was the Hellas II litigation – Hosking v Apax Partners, Deutsche Bank & Others, in which Joe Smouha QC and Ciaran Keller faced a team including David Foxton QC.
South Square has an excellent reputation for handling technically challenging and knotty banking issues, often with an insolvency and fraud angle. The credit crunch saw the set's members embark on an impressive run of high-profile mandates, which continues to this day. Highlight instructions include Primeo Fund v HSBC, in which Tom Smith QC and Richard Fisher represented Primeo before the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal, the Lehman Waterfall I, II, and III applications, and SAAD v AHAB, which involves several members including Mark Phillips QC. William Trowers QC has recently been appointed a High Court judge and assigned to the Chancery Division.
4 Stone Buildings houses a strong complement of highly experienced banking silks and juniors. The set can often be found on complex mandates, usually with an insolvency or regulatory bent. Notable cases included Singularis Holdings Limited v Daiwa Capital Markets Europe Limited, in which Robert Miles QC and Andrew de Mestre QC represented the claimant, and Jonathan Crow QC the respondent. Richard Hill QC, Sharif Shivji and Alastair Tomson also represented the claimaint in Al Khorafi v Bank Sarasin-Alpen before the DIFC.
Blackstone Chambers 'offers great talent, and recommendations from the clerks can be trusted with little worry', say instructing solicitors. The set's expertise spans the crossover between complex banking, fraud, and regulatory matters, and it fields an especially strong cadre of experienced silks. Notable highlights include R (Holmcroft) v KPMG LLP and others, in which Javan Herberg QC represented KPMG.
Gough Square Chambers offers 'deep knowledge across the set as a whole' and is 'excellent in consumer finance affairs', according to sources, who note how chambers fields a selection of 'hugely experienced barristers who have seen it all'. The set's members, including Fred Philpott and Ruth Bala, have been involved in the defence of several significant group actions, including payday lender claims. In Various v Shawbrook Bank Ltd, a case which concerns the mis-selling of solar panel systems, Iain Macdonald and Thomas Samuels are among four members representing the defendants.
Henderson Chambers has 'a very good range of counsel, from QCs to impressive juniors, to very competent junior juniors', according to one instructing solicitor. The set has an excellent reputation for consumer credit issues, where its members are among the most experienced in the market. The set's members, including Richard Mawrey QC, William Hibbert and Julia Smith, have been involved in several key recent consumer banking cases, including DGOFT v First National Bank, OFT v Lloyds TSB Bank, and Wadham Stringer v Meaney.
Serle Court has 'good-quality barristers' and its 'juniors are often better value for money than those at some of the leading banking sets', according to clients. The set punches well above its weight with members such as David Blayney QC and Simon Hattan having been instructed on several blockbuster cases, most notably the RBS Group litigation, where they were key members of the team that represented RBS.
XXIV Old Buildings has several barristers who have built up a strong reputation for banking work. The set is especially noted for its expertise in offshore banking and fund-related disputes and insolvencies. Notable highlights on this front include Michael Black QC and Marcus Staff's role in Al Sadik v Investcorp BSC in the Cayman Islands.
4 PUMP COURT is praised for helping 'make the whole solicitor-counsel-firm-chambers dynamic feel like a proper team'. The set has made strong inroads into the banking arena, and has a talented cadre of juniors coming through to support the more well-established silks. Members have been involved in several major cases, including Golden Belt v BNP Paribas and Fortress Securities v BNP Paribas, in which Nigel Tozzi QC represented the claimants in the consolidated claims.
Quadrant Chambers has invested heavily in the banking and finance arena and now boasts an impressive cohort of well-respected and highly experienced silks and juniors. The set's members can be increasingly found on some of the most significant banking claims to hit the markets, including N v Royal Bank of Scotland, where Paul Downes QC led Emily Saunderson on behalf of the claimants.
RADCLIFFE CHAMBERS has 'excellent strength in depth, particularly in the retail banking sector'. The set fields a selection of high-quality silks and juniors, including Malcolm Waters QC and Mark Fell, with a strong grounding in consumer credit issues and regulatory matters, and those, such as Jeremy Cousins QC, who are highly experienced in broader banking claims.
Twenty Essex fields a selection of high-end silks and juniors well-versed in complex banking and trade finance disputes. Members are also experienced in derivatives claims and banking-related cyber fraud. Highlights included Fundo Soberano De Angola and ors v Jean-Claude Bastos De Morais and ors, in which Philip Edey QC and Andrew Fulton represented the corporate respondents.