Legal Market Overview
‘A top-notch set with many excellent barristers‘, 2 Temple Gardens has members active in the DIFC courts. Senior clerk Lee Tyler heads a team which also includes Billy Hammond, one of three joint first junior clerks, who is ‘very good – punctual, and good at getting fee estimates‘.
3 Verulam Buildings is ‘a leading set for specialists in banking law and civil fraud, with good experience of arbitration as well‘. The set’s clerking service is described as being ‘as impressive as that given by its tenants‘ – the ‘responsive and pragmatic‘ team is headed by joint senior practice managers Stuart Pullum (‘a particular star and always available to help with whatever is requested‘) and Stephen Penson (‘a pleasure to work with‘).
Among a diverse practice range in London spanning from professional negligence through to insurance matters, 4 New Square‘s construction offering takes some of its members to the Middle East. ‘One of the best clerked sets in London‘, a team which is ‘always friendly and quick to help out‘ is led by senior clerk Lizzy Stewart and deputy senior clerks Dennis Peck and Alex Dolby, who are ‘both excellent.’
4 Pump Court has ‘extensive experience in the region‘, with a number of ‘quite simply excellent‘ members handling a range of engineering-related work spanning from shipbuilding through to heavyweight mainstream construction. Carl Wall and Stewart Gibbs lead the clerks’ room; formerly the set’s CEO, Carolyn McCombe is now practice director of Hardwicke.
Atkin Chambers is ‘certainly one of the best, if not the best, sets in relation to construction and engineering matters – the experience its members have is really the one you need for complex, international disputes‘. The well-regarded clerks’ room is headed by chief executive David Barnes – ‘charm and professionalism personified‘ – and senior clerk Justin Wilson, who is ‘excellent and very easy to deal with‘.
A set which covers a broader range of domestic work in the UK, Crown Office Chambers‘ key international workstream relates to construction matters. Andy Flanagan is the set’s senior managing clerk, and Chris Sutherland notable as senior commercial, construction, and energy clerk.
Devereux‘s key visibility in the Middle East comes from a number of members instructed in pioneering DIFC employment law cases. Vince Plant is the chambers director.
A ‘top flight set of commercial litigators with particular expertise in complicated fraud, banking and financial litigation and commercial disputes‘, Fountain Court Chambers is instructed in large disputes worldwide and the Middle East is no exception. Alex Taylor continues as senior clerk, Katie Szewczyk and Sian Huckett his deputies.
Construction and engineering-focused set Keating Chambers has ‘great choice of different personalities and impressive overseas experience‘, with a range of expertise spanning from senior silks in demand as arbitrators down to ‘impressive pupil recruitment‘. The set is ‘superbly led‘ by director of clerking Declan Redmond, ‘whose knowledge and ability to match the right barrister with the right client and case is very skilful‘. Deputy senior clerk Rob Cowup is ‘extremely responsive and really goes out of his way to provide excellent service – nothing is too much trouble’, and senior practice manager James Luxmoore, who clerks the set’s senior juniors and newer silks, is ‘delightful, honest and easy to deal with‘.
‘Committed to the region by having offices in Dubai and Abu Dhabi‘, Outer Temple Chambers has a broad range of expertise in London, and handles a range of work in the DIFC courts, spanning from commercial and employment disputes through to Chancery matters. Rebecca Priestley is the set’s chief executive.
Quadrant Chambers has built on its strong platform as ‘one of the best shipping chambers‘, with its members active in more terrestrial Middle Eastern cases, including ones with insurance and asset tracing elements. Gary Ventura is ‘always helpful, flexible and a pleasure to work with’ – he is joint senior clerk alongside Simon Slattery, who is ‘swift to identify the most appropriate counsel for instructing firms‘.
Known as a set comfortable with the growing fusion of Chancery and commercial work, Serle Court has ‘good depth of seniors and juniors with experience of the DIFC Courts‘. John Petrie is the set’s chief executive, with head clerk Steven Whitaker, alongside senior clerks Nicholas Hockney and Daniel Wheeler (‘an excellent clerk and very personable‘), other key contacts.
XXIV Old Buildings is a ‘very well-respected‘ set in the region, with strong connections to the DIFC Courts. Ian Moyler, formerly senior clerk of Brick Court Chambers, is now the set’s director following the retirement of Sue Medder – Paul Horsfield was appointed as active head of clerking in July 2019.