1 Hare Court is a ‘brilliant set with excellent people from top to bottom. All the barristers are approachable and always helpful when last-minute emergencies occur.’ The set is variously described as one of the 'top divorce and finance sets that is led from the front by the very best advocates' and is also praised for its range of 'stellar individuals who are questionably leaders in their field', including the newly promoted Nicholas Neville Grylls Cusworth QC, as well as 'some future stars in its junior ranks', such as Joshua William Viney. Among its ‘huge range of excellent barristers’ is Nigel Dyer QC who is advising on an interesting case dealing with the legal status of a wife who stayed in the property owned by the husband pending its sale post-divorce. The sale was delayed and the question centred on whether or not the wife was a trespasser during this period. Simon Webster QC and Rebecca Carew-Pole QC have further strengthened the set following their elevation to silk.
Family (including divorce and financial remedy) in London Bar
1 King's Bench Walk has a ‘wide range of top quality senior and junior barristers. Known for its heavyweight financial work it also has a team that can handle any type of children work.’ It regularly deals with cases involving enormous wealth with complex and intricate assets, trusts and businesses both in the UK and offshore. It has ‘many market leaders who are at the forefront of developing our case law’ among them the ‘fearless advocate’ Charles Howard QC as well as Philip J Marshall QC who has an ‘encyclopaedic knowledge of financial remedy law.’ This set has ‘great strength-in-depth’ with Richard Harrison QC and Katherine Kelsey reaching the summit of the silk and junior rankings respectively. Harry Oliver's recent elevation to silk has further strengthened chambers at the senior end.
29 Bedford Row Chambers is an ‘amazing set’ that ‘goes from strength to strength in finance work.’ For many, it remains the first port of call for heavyweight and high-value national and international matrimonial finance cases. Timothy Scott QC successfully acted for the husband in Lachaux v Lachaux  EWCA Civ 738, a complex case that dealt with the recognition of a Dubai divorce as well as other issues such as the court’s jurisdiction over a child who was resident in Dubai. The matter is ongoing as the wife has made an application for permission to appeal the case to the Supreme Court. The set is praised for its ‘collegiate atmosphere’ and for having ‘some of the best silks and junior counsel in London – all of whom are highly accessible.’ Alexis Campbell QC and Nicholas Allen QC join this year's silk rankings, while the 'razor-sharp' Sally Max reaches the pinnacle of the junior rankings. In recent news, Robert Peel QC has been appointed a Justice of the High Court with effect from 6 October 2020.
Queen Elizabeth Building (QEB) has ‘top-notch advisers for the most complex financial cases. They are always well-prepared, professional and highly knowledgeable. The set is a "must" when considering which chambers to brief for such cases.’ The set continues to excel at the financial aspects of relationship breakdown. Of particular note, Lucy Stone QC recently acted for Marina Wheeler the former wife of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Tim Amos QC is 'an amazing strategist' and Lewis Marks QC is at the 'apex of the financial remedy world whose advice is invariably spot-on.' The set remains a ‘very strong set with leading figures from top to bottom’ and is ‘still seen as a very smart set of chambers.’
4 Paper Buildings ‘excels at offering consistent quality family law barristers at all levels.’ The set is excellent at dealing with family disputes involving high-net-worth and international clients. It is an ‘excellent set with first-rate practitioners who have a broad range of experience.’ Charles Hale QC is a 'great QC who very unusually still does financial and children work' and recently acted in the Court of Appeal for the Intervener in Attorney General v Akhter and Others, an important case which could have significant consequences for marital rights and in particular Sharia divorce and nullity proceedings. Samantha Woodham rises to the top of this year's junior rankings, while Julia Townend and Harry Nosworthy are new entrants to the table.
At 1GC | Family Law ‘the fact that it undertakes both private and public children work, as well as finances, means that you are always in safe hands in the most complicated of cases.’ The set has an ‘extremely strong team with a personality to fit every client. It achieves great results and is a pleasure to work with.’ Members advise on a wide array of matters from complex business and trust structures through to major jurisdictional and enforcement matters. Key members who specialise in this area include Penelope Clapham and Philip Perrins. The 'stellar' Eleri Jones is a new entrant in this year's junior rankings.