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Leading Silks

Nicholas Bacon KC4 New Square ‘Suave and sharp in court, Nicholas will constantly work the argument to find a way, if at all possible, to make it chime with the bench. He is a force that you want on your side.’
Alexander Hutton KCHailsham Chambers ‘Alexander is utterly charming and a top-dog of the costs Bar.’
PJ Kirby KCGatehouse Chambers 'A leading costs silk.'
Roger Mallalieu KC – 4 New Square ‘Quite simply, the go-to silk for costs litigation.’
Benjamin Williams KC4 New Square ‘Benjamin is a go-to counsel on anything to do with costs. He is able to say in one sentence what other counsel often take a page over.’
Jamie Carpenter KCHailsham Chambers ‘Jamie is by far the best barrister in this area. He is absolutely outstanding in every respect.’
Robert Marven KC4 New Square ‘Absolutely on top of his field of practice, Robert  provides very commercial advice in an area which still surprises even the most experienced litigators.’
Andrew Post KCHailsham Chambers ‘What comes across very clearly with Andrew is not just his expert knowledge on costs, which is a given, but how his broader practice provides insight and balance.’

2023 Silks

Nicola Greaney KC39 Essex ChambersShe is excellent in advisory work and on her feet, and can contend with complex facts with ease.
Andrew Roy KC12 King’s Bench Walk ‘Encyclopaedic knowledge of costs principles and case law; Andrew is highly persuasive and a formidable advocate.’

Leading Juniors

Rupert CohenLandmark Chambers ‘Rupert is an expert in the highly technical and specialist field of contentious solicitors costs. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and practice and is well known to the judiciary sitting in the specialist SCCO.’
Robin DunneGatehouse Chambers 'Robin has a calm, unflappable approach to costs matters. He is clearly in control of the case.'
Mark FristonHailsham Chambers ‘Mark is Mr Costs. His knowledge of costs law and procedure is encyclopaedic and without parallel.’
George McDonald4 New Square ‘George is an excellent communicator. He identifies the weaknesses in his opponents arguments and holds them to task.’
Dan StaceyHailsham Chambers ‘Dan is very pragmatic in his approach, conscientious, precise, very knowledgeable on costs, and a good advocate.’
Imran BensonHailsham Chambers ‘Imran's written advocacy is a masterclass and his style of writing is like Lord Denning’s unique prose style.’
Pippa Manby4 New Square ‘If you are not instructing Pippa you are missing out on one of the sharpest, smartest and steadiest costs barristers currently practising.’
Joshua MunroHailsham Chambers ‘Joshua has built a stellar reputation as a go-to junior in an area where approachability, grasp of detail, technical skill and creativity are key. He provides calm, clear and frank advice when required.’
Theo Barclay4 New Square ‘Theo is incredibly bright, but also very friendly and approachable. He turns things around very quickly and is a joy to work with.’
Martyn GriffithsGatehouse Chambers 'Martyn has the ability to get to the crux of a case in a way that leaves clients confident that he has a full grasp of the issues, and that the case is in safe hands.'
Stephen Innes4 New Square ‘Stephen's advocacy is clear, forceful and highly persuasive.’
Mark JamesTemple Garden Chambers ‘Mark is a very good advocate, coupled with his knowledge of the law, he stands out from other barristers. Mark has the ability as an advocate and in his paperwork, to be able to identify and argue with precision the legal points and achieve success even in the most difficult of cases.’
Matthew Waszak4 New Square ‘Utterly brilliant. Matthew knows costs inside-out and gives clear, practical and strategically savvy advice.’
Simon Teasdale4 New Square ‘Simon is leagues ahead of others juniors, his written advocacy is what one would expect from silks. In court, he is five steps ahead of anyone else in that room.’
Alaric WatsonGatehouse Chambers 'Alaric has a mind like a computer. In court he is serene and collected, and lets nothing faze him.'
Richard WilkinsonTemple Garden Chambers ‘Richard is technically very strong, unflappable and assured.’

Costs in London Bar

4 New Square Chambers

Offering a ‘costs team that is second to none’, 4 New Square Chambers continue to be the pre-eminent set in this area, offering an unparalleled depth of expertise at both silk and junior level and regularly appearing on significant Court of Appeal and Supreme Court cases. Nicholas Bacon KC has recently acted in BSV Claims v Bittylicious Ltd and others, a major CAT class action and the UK’s first crypto-related collective proceedings, with the claim of collusion alleging to have caused close to £10bn in losses. In Belsner v Cam Legal, Benjamin Williams KC led George McDonald , with the pair successfully appealing to reverse the High Court’s decision that solicitors were subject to fiduciary duties when negotiating their own terms and business, entitling solicitors to deduct full reasonable costs from lower value personal injury claims. Both Robert Marven KC and Matthew Waszak acted in AKC v Barking, a significant test case before the Court of Appeal regarding the information bills of costs must contain in order to comply with CPR requirements. Theo Barclay, being led by Bacon KC, represented the Danish Customs and Tax Administration in the highly publicised SKAT litigation, where the costs bill in favour of the defendants on the indemnity basis totalled £46m.


‘Excellent service, great relationships with the clerks. Chambers meeting rooms are made available on the day of a hearing providing conferences room, before, at lunch and after the hearing. The service is impeccable.’

‘James Barras and Jack Boggins in particular are utterly fantastic and the model of what a modern clerk should be. They are attentive, sensible and good fun.’

‘Excellent service form the clerking team throughout. Perry Allen is a joy to work with.’

‘Denis Peck will go out of his way to accommodate and find solutions to any issues.’ 

‘4NS are simply the number one costs set in the country – bar none.’ 

‘4 New Square are the go-to chambers in costs disputes. I have known the clerks and many of the barristers for a number of years and having them on your side is a massive boost in any case.’

‘4NS is the premier costs set.

‘The Costs team at 4 New Square is second to none.

Hailsham Chambers

Hailsham Chambers are a ‘go-to set for costs related matters’, where in addition to the highly regarded advocacy on major precedent-setting cases, members are valued for their advisory and drafting skills, frequently handling complex retainers and funding arrangements on which the recovery of millions of pounds of fees may depend. The ‘wonderfulJamie Carpenter KC successfully defeated a High Court appeal in Diag Human & Stava v Volterra Fietta, with the ruling that it was not possible to sever the hourly rate part of a retainer with an unenforceable success fee. Alexander Hutton KC acted for the appellant in Harrison v University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, with the Court of Appeal handing down a ruling in December 2022 that compensation as part of a settlement, like as part of an award of damages, cannot be set off against litigation costs in cases where qualified one-way costs shifting applies. At junior level, Joshua Munro faced senior opposition in McGuinness v Mawer, a long-running case that saw the High Court find that disclosure of a CFA is no longer the norm where there is no inter partes success fee.


‘Stephen Smith is always available and keen to assist.’

‘Michael Kilby is excellent – helpful, reliable and knowledgeable.’

‘I have found all of the clerks – and in particular Stuart Paley – to be responsive, clear and helpful.’

‘Excellent service, fast, friendly, responsive and wholly in tune with the needs of their instructing solicitors; a seamless part of the legal team.’

‘Hailsham’s strength in depth on costs and retainer issues is unmatched.’

‘One of, if not the best costs set in the country. Great strength in depth.’

The costs team is smaller than others but excellent and they have a rigorous process to identify the junior talent.’

Excellent costs practice at Hailsham, second to none for depth of expertise and experience.’

Work highlights

39 Essex Chambers

With considerable expertise in costs issues arising from group litigation, 39 Essex Chambers’ well established costs practice sees its members regularly appearing before the SCCO, High Court, CAT, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court; as well as a strong international arbitration presence, especially in the Middle East and Asia. Simon Browne KC represented the claimant in AKC v Barking and Redbridge NHS Trust, a significant case before the Court of Appeal concerning electronic bills of costs that do not identify individual fee earners. Vikram Sachdeva KC acted for the appellant in Bushby v Galazi, a High Court case which developed on the Court of Appeal’s guidance in Glover v Baker concerning the impact of litigation friends on costs responsibilities. In RPB v HMRC, Nicola Greaney KC continues to represent HMRC in a significant case for after-the-event premiums recoverability in publication and privacy proceedings.


‘I needed an urgent advice and the clerk, Tom Gibbons, responded to me very quickly with availability of suitable counsel.’

‘The service provided by clerks is excellent. My primary contact has been Alastair Davidson, the most senior clerk, who is excellent.’

‘Superb clerking. Approachable, friendly, solution driven and satisfaction focussed. Commercially savvy and driven to impress. What more could a client want?’

‘The clerks are approachable, reliable and always go that extra mile to provide service.’

‘39 Essex Chambers is an excellent top-rank set. It is the largest set in London and widely regarded as the top mixed-disciplinary practice set in the country.’ 

‘The set is known for its specialist costs counsel.’

‘In relation to costs work where a London barrister is required, 39 Essex Chambers is my first port of call.’

Work highlights

Gatehouse Chambers

With specialists at all levels of call, the costs team at Gatehouse Chambers are frequently instructed on the most high-profile and complex appellate cases. PJ Kirby KC appeared before the Supreme Court in PACCAR Inc v Road Haulage Association Ltd, with the court declaring that litigation funding agreements that entitle funders to payment based on damages recovered amount to damages-based agreements, which are therefore unenforceable unless complying with the DBA regulatory regime, a judgment with significant ramifications for UK litigation funders and claimant law firms. Following on from the highly-publicised Belsner case, Robin Dunne is acting as sole counsel in Edwards & Ors v Slater & Gordon; a test case clarifying for the first time that disclosure under Part 31 CPR applies to solicitor and client claims and that claimant firms taking these cases do not do so illegally.


‘Their clerks are always helpful and cover each other so they are responsive and quick.’

‘The clerks are great.’

‘Their overall costs team is strong.’

‘Their costs team is very good.’

‘Gatehouse is one of my go-to sets. The strength and depth of their counsel is superb.’


Temple Garden Chambers

Temple Garden Chambers has a long-established presence in the costs space, with members regularly appearing before the senior courts costs office and regional costs judges, as well as handling costs disputes arising from substantial litigation. Mark James is frequently instructed to advise on cases that raise complex legal and technical issues, such as litigation funding agreements. James Laughland is highly sought-after by leading legal expenses insurers to advise on how best to respond to challenges to after-the-event insurance premiums and other funding arrangements.


‘The clerks and the receptionists are pleasant to work with and provide an excellent service. Thomas Neale is an outstanding clerk.’

‘The standard across the whole set is very high.’