Leading Silks

Michael Black QCXXIV Old BuildingsMichael is a truly exceptional advocate who combines persuasive argument with superb tactical awareness.  He is also a pleasure to work with and he makes every team member feel comfortable.'
Guy Blackwood QC – Quadrant Chambers ‘Guy is an excellent commercial barrister with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law. He is exceptionally personable and modest for a person so talented and as a result a pleasure to work with.’
Nicholas Craig QC3 Verulam BuildingsHe is a very strong advocate who revels in fact-heavy matters.’
Anneliese Day QC - Fountain Court Chambers  'Anneliese is truly excellent to work with. She seems to be able to manage to combine being incredibly intelligent and a brilliant advocate cutting through to the key issues whilst also developing strong client relationships and being approachable and fun.'
Chirag Karia QC - Quadrant Chambers 'His legal opinion is based on a very deep knowledge and practice in English Law.'
Yash Kulkarni QCQuadrant ChambersA very calm, poised and objective lawyer, Yash can be relied upon for accurate, no nonsense advice.  He is unflappable in hearings and presents in a compelling way.  A go-to junior QC for arbitration work.’
Ali Malek QC3 Verulam Buildings 'Highly engaged, responsive, commercial and precise - advice is commercial, practical and effective.'
Hodge Malek QC3 Verulam BuildingsHodge is a superstar of the Bar and one of the pre-eminent heavyweight silks at the Bar. He is an intellectual powerhouse and also two steps ahead.’
Tom Montagu-Smith QC - 3 Verulam Buildings ‘Tom is accessible, responsive and user-friendly. His written and oral advocacy is always excellent and his succinct style is appreciated by Judges.'
David Quest QC3 Verulam BuildingsHe provides first-class insolvency support, particularly in the Abu Dhabi Global Market courts.’
David Russell QCOuter Temple ChambersDavid is an outstanding lawyer with an enormous reputation that goes beyond national boundaries. As such, he is very well connected within the international legal community. When working together on an assignment, David always manages to make sure matters are viewed from various perspectives.’
Robert-Jan Temmink QCQuadrant ChambersA brilliant advocate, technical lawyer and tactician, and a real joy to work with.  Rob is an absolute Rolls Royce of a QC who works hard, delivers when it matters and gets great results.'
Steven Thompson QC - XXIV Old Buildings 'Steven is supremely knowledgeable and has excellent analytical skills.  He is creative, commercial and always gets the very best result for his clients.'
Ewan McQuater QC3 Verulam BuildingsEwan is highly intelligent and very experienced.  He is able to read the court very well, and adapts his style accordingly.  He is very calm and user friendly.’
Andrew Onslow QC3 Verulam BuildingsAndrew is robust, decisive and an unflappable advocate.’ 

2021 Silks

Saima Hanif QC3 Verulam Buildings 'She is immensely hardworking, very bright, produces excellent and elegantly argued documents, and is a terrific team player. She’s is a top quality commercial barrister, and will be an extremely successful QC - deservedly so.'

Leading Juniors

Stephen Doherty - Outer Temple Chambers  'Stephen is a pleasure to work with. He is commercially minded, reliable and also delivers a calm and considered approach to advocacy.'
Ian Edge 3PB ‘Ian is very knowledgeable about the UAE legal system and, more broadly, its relationship with the political system. To the extent that the law is not clear, Ian nonetheless gives pragmatic and usable advice.’
Ali AlmihdarOuter Temple ChambersThe go-to expert on Saudi law. He is eloquent, commercially minded, has a deep and practical understanding of the arbitration process, produces clear well-written expert reports and can explain to the tribunal complicated issues of Saudi law in a simple and persuasive manner.
Yash Bheeroo3 Verulam BuildingsVery hardworking and diligent, who demonstrates real intellect and clarity of thought. A junior of choice for the most complex matters.’
Timothy Chelmick - 4 New Square 'Tim is very client-friendly, commercial in approach, great to work with in terms of responsiveness and getting to grips with the case and the issues involved; he is a great asset to the team.'
Farhaz Khan3 Verulam BuildingsFarhaz is an exceptional strategic thinker and very balanced and reasonable in explaining his position to clients.'
Timothy Killen2 Temple GardensTim is a fantastic advocate, very responsive and one of the leading barristers for work in the common law courts in the UAE.’
Edward KnightXXIV Old BuildingsEdward is excellent and very good on his feet.’
Laurence Page  - 4 Pump Court  ‘Very pro-active, user-friendly, understands the legal framework in the UAE and the interplay between onshore and offshore regimes. He is very friendly and willing to attend preliminary meetings or provide preliminary advice, which is often well received by clients.’
James Bickford SmithLittleton ChambersTechnically strong and not afraid to stick his neck out and give percentage changes of success of various arguments and similar. A good operator.’
Matthew Watson3 Verulam Buildings ‘Super bright; efficient and excellent to work with. The best junior barrister for the regional market.’
Elizabeth WeaverXXIV Old BuildingsElizabeth plays an integral role on highly complex and urgent matters before the DIFC Courts. She impresses the entire legal team with her persuasive writing and ability to quickly grasp and distill the issues of complex disputes.’
Justina Stewart  - Outer Temple Chambers 'Justina is a hard-hitting litigator. She is able to parachute into a dispute and turn it 180 degrees in favour of her clients.'
Andrew Rose – 4 Stone Buildings ‘Andrew has all the potential of becoming a leading barrister in his space. He is sharp, incisive in his analytical skills, great drafting skills and able to see the big picture.
Gideon Shirazi  - 4 Pump Court 'Gideon is absolutely all over the detail. Able to digest enormous amounts of information and represent it in a persuasive and convincing manner. Clearly a rising star and one destined for the top. Clients respect his detailed and careful manner.'
Alastair Tomson 4 Stone Buildings ‘Alastair’s strengths are his ability to understand the essential elements of a dispute quickly, to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of a case, to draft whatever is required quickly and efficiently, to present the case forcefully and persuasively in court and to work well under pressure and time constraints. Alastair is an excellent advocate.’
Joseph Wigley 4 Stone BuildingsHe is excellent. Strong legal skills while at the same time user-friendly and very sensible. He understands the demands of his clients and manages them well.’
Jonathan Bellamy39 Essex ChambersJonathan has a forensic eye for detail and a brilliant legal acumen.  He is a pleasure to work with, prompt and extremely knowledgeable.’
David HollowayOuter Temple ChambersDavid has a very clear mind and quickly identifies relevant issues. He is also a strategic and commercial thinker who can provide relevant legal advice in context. David is unflappable and persists to advocate persuasively even in hostile settings.'
Peter Linstead - Outer Temple Chambers 'Peter has always been highly accessible and responsive when working together. He has a calm and reassuring manner.'
James Potts3 Verulam BuildingsJames is an incredible lawyer and is brilliant in analysing complex legal issues in financial cases. He has done a lot of Middle Eastern work, particularly Oman and Iran-related. Leaders know they can totally rely on him.’
Mark Wassouf3 Verulam BuildingsMark offers clear-sighted legal analysis, which is focused on the client’s commercial objectives.  He drafts with elegance and economy.’ 

Commercial in Middle East: The English Bar

3 Verulam Buildings

3 Verulam Buildings has particular expertise in banking and finance disputes and international arbitration in the Middle East. Andrew Onslow QC represented a number of the defendants in the London leg of the high-profile SKAT v Solo Capital Partners dispute concerning "cum-ex trading" alleged to be a fraud by the Danish tax authorities; the matter also featured large-scale proceedings in the DIFC. In Abu Dhabi, Ewan Mcquater QC is leading the counsel team, which includes David Quest QC among others, for the lenders in NMC Healthcare Ltd v Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC, the largest insolvency in the region. Hodge Malek QC is another standout name and acted for an Iranian petrochemical company in a $70 million banking fraud claim. The set welcomes the arrival of Tom Montagu-Smith QC, who joined in 2021 from XXIV Old Buildings.



I think 3VB is a growing and successful set, which top barristers from other sets have joined in recent years.  Within the world of banking litigation and commercial litigation, there certainly is strength-in-depth and the junior counsel in particular are very available to assist.’

A first rate and top commercial set.’

3VB have great strength in depth and are one of the key chambers for banking and director / shareholder disputes.’

3VB is the dominant presence in the Middle East. They have members at all levels of seniority being regularly instructed to appear in the DIFC or ADGM courts and in arbitrations.’

3VB has an excellent selection of barristers with an knowledge and experience of commercial matters in the Middle East, and in Dubai in particular. 3VB is a reliable set of hands for any commercial matter in Dubai.’


The set is very well clerked.  Stuart Pullum is very efficient, responsive, can-do and importantly likeable and sensible when it comes to agreeing fees. Much better to deal with than the other top commercial chambers in my view.’

Samantha Jones is very quick in responding questions. She is also resourceful, and very pleasant to deal with.’

The clerks are very good and responsive, in particular Stuart Pullum who is outstanding.’

Steve Penson is first rate, extremely helpful and responsive, even when he is on leave. He is also well supported by his colleagues.’

In my experience, the clerks I have dealt with are always responsive and very helpful.’

Quadrant Chambers

Quadrant Chambers has a strong international commercial disputes offering and showcases in-depth sector expertise. The set has an established presence in the shipping, trade and marine insurance sectors, in addition to its extensive corporate and commercial disputes practice. Chirag Karia QC specialises in cross-border commercial, shipping and commodities cases, and Guy Blackwood QC is another key individual to note and has an impressive international arbitration practice.



The set have always been extremely helpful and pleasant to deal with. They provide top quality support and back up, to the extent of even being willing to go outside Chambers in the very rare event of their being unable to provide Counsel from the set for a specific task.’

Increasingly strong commercial set in addition to the traditional shipping strengths that the set is known for.’

Quadrant remains my chambers of choice for commercial work particularly in international trade.’

The strengths, I would say, are in shipping, trade and marine insurance, but they are becoming well known for commercial and corporate disputes too.’


Gary Ventura – simply the best.’

Strong. User friendly.’

Capable. Gary Ventura remains a premier league senior clerk.’

The clerks are good – they are understated not too pushy.’

Excellent. I have always found Joint Senior Clerk Simon Slattery a pleasure to deal with.’

XXIV Old Buildings

XXIV Old BuildingsMichael Black QC has a well-established presence in the Middle East and showcases in-depth expertise across the oil and gas, shipping, leisure and retail, banking and insurance sectors; in the DIFC he represented Credit Suisse in making a claim against Gulf Petroleum in relation to alleged fraud and against directors under personal guarantees. Steven Thompson QC is another key individual to mention. Key changes in the set include the departure of Tom Montagu-Smith QC who joined 3 Verulam Buildings in 2021.



XXIV Old Building have a great depth of practice in the Middle East.’

24 Old Building remain the go to set of chambers for DIFC and UAE law work in my view.’

XXIV is a genuinely international set with strength in depth at all levels of seniority.’

XXIV remain the leading chambers for work in Dubai with depth in numbers at all levels of seniority.’

XXIV Chambers lawyers are responsive, effective and of exceptional quality. They have a deep bench of outstanding barristers and are my “first call” for complex disputes in the MENA region. I would compare them favourably with any other Chambers in the market.’


James Ladbrook is good to deal with and is responsive and available.’

Paul Horsefield is responsive and understands our needs well.’

Most of my communication is with Paul Horsfield who is always a delight to deal with.’

The clerks are responsive and friendly, I have worked mostly with Samantha Perry and James Ladbroke who have both been very helpful.’

Clerks are friendly, helpful and efficient.’

4 Stone Buildings

The members of 4 Stone Buildings have DIFC court experience and are particularly well suited to advising clients on finance and commercial disputes. Sharif Shivji QC was instructed in the now-settled Akhmedova v Akhmedov  case, acting for Straight Establishment, a Liechtenstein establishment owning a superyacht valued at around $500m, in a global asset tracing matter in which the ex-wife of Azeri-Russian businessman Farkhad Akhmedov sought to enforce the London family courts' largest ever financial remedy order.



Good reputation in the chancery/commercial market space.’

Well known in the chancery/commercial area with a good offering.’

For work in this region, they are a top set.’


David Goddard, Senior Clerk has played a crucial role in fostering our  relationship with the set.’

We have found the clerks to be extremely flexible, cooperative and efficient.’

Outstanding service and responsiveness.’

Outer Temple Chambers

Commercial litigation, arbitration, company and employment law are key areas of strength for Outer Temple Chambers. Joint head of chambers Andrew Spink QC has an extensive company law practice, demonstrated through his involvement in advising on new DIFC company law and legislation. Dr Ali Almihdar advises on the full spectrum of commercial law and has a particularly strong focus on advising clients in Saudi Arabia, where he is also locally admitted alongside his English qualification. Tax and trusts specialist David Russell QC is another key individual to note.



Every barrister I have had the pleasure with at Outer Temple has been extremely impressive. They are very approachable and I appreciate their focus on maintaining relationships with solicitors.’

Strong and impressive presence in the Dubai International Financial Centre and the international legal community there. One of the foremost chambers in the jurisdiction.’

OTC has an excellent stable of barristers with impressive performances in the Middle East.’

Frequently delivers training programmes in the UAE, including the DIFC and ADGM.  Offers strength in depth in matters requiring both lead and junior counsel.  Several members of chambers have spent time in the Middle East and have a very good understanding on the legal landscape in onshore and offshore UAE jurisdictions.’


Colin Bunyan is always very helpful and responsive.’

Sam Carter is first class. Easy to deal with and very efficient.’

The clerks are helpful and friendly. They are also commercially sensitive and flexible.’

Colin Bunyan is quick to respond and helpful.’

39 Essex Chambers

39 Essex Chambers has a broad commercial litigation and arbitration offering with expertise ranging from banking and finance, through to company and share purchase disputes. Karishma Vora is a commercial litigation specialist and is dual-qualified in India and England; Karishma is defending cybersecurity company Spectrami DMCC in Emirates NBD Bank PJSC v KBBO CPG Investment LLC and others in a $294m freezing injunction case in the DIFC courts. Jonathan Bellamy  has expertise in all the major arbitral forums in the region.



The chambers set has good strengths in their mix of expertise across a wide range of legal areas including the ability to offer barristers for claims in jurisdictions outside the UK. They are also able to offer good availability of barristers, including for matters in Dubai.’

The strength and depth of counsel at 39 Essex is impressive.  Whether this is for counsel or arbitrator appointments, there will be a selection of top tier candidates with unrivalled expertise proposed.’


Niki Merison has always been very helpful and available to have a frank discussion on fees and any client restrictions on budget.’

The clerk service is at a very high standard. Mark Winrow and Niki Merison in particular are very responsive and approachable.’