Erskine Chambers > London, England > Set Profile
Erskine Chambers Offices
33 CHANCERY LANE
Erskine Chambers > The Legal 500 Rankings
London Bar > Company Tier 1‘Undoubtedly top of the league in company law, from the silks down to the juniors‘, Erskine Chambers are the standout set, housing members that cover the range of both litigation and transactional matters. The set were unsurprisingly a key player across various of the market trends this year, one notable area being contested schemes of arrangement. A particular highlight in that respect saw David Chivers KC leading Andrew Blake in hedge fund HBK’s successful opposition to Caesars Entertainment’s acquisition of William Hill. Martin Moore KC acted on the opposite side in that case and is, along with Chivers, routinely instructed on the highest stakes cases spanning multiple jurisdictions. Michael Todd KC specialises in contentious and transactional advice on company law in the UK and internationally, whereas Peter Arden KC‘s practice has more of an insolvency and restructuring focus. Experienced company and finance litigation expert David Mabb KC is another name to note, and Andrew Thompson KC has a standout practice in both LLP law and shareholder disputes, including representing the five non-executive directors of Carillion in defending directors disqualification proceedings. Experienced senior junior Catherine Roberts also has vast experience in shareholder disputes in England and offshore, and Nigel Dougherty is another highly regarded senior figure.
‘They have a great range of excellent counsel, particularly in the company law field.’
‘Erskine Chambers are the go-to Chambers for company law advice.’
‘Erskine are absolutely top drawer when it comes to corporate matters. A first port of call for complicated corporate type litigation.’
‘Erskine are undoubtedly top of the league in company law, from the silks down to the juniors, and exceptionally well clerked.’
‘The leading company law set with unrivalled strength in depth – a wealth of talent and experience.’
‘Very good indeed. Exceptional service from Chris Reade and Michael Shillingford.’
London Bar > Insolvency Tier 2Company law heavyweight Erskine Chambers has particular strength in areas where insolvency meets banking and finance or civil fraud. The liquidation of Carillion led to some of chambers’ most notable work in this area, Andrew Thompson KC acting for its five non-executive directors and James Potts KC representing its former finance director in directors’ disqualification proceedings. CVAs have been a notable trend and leading insolvency silk Peter Arden KC has led Ben Shaw on a number of these, including acting for a group of landlords challenging the New Look CVA, the leading case on CVAs in the retail industry.
‘Erskine is one of the top sets of barristers for company, restructuring and insolvency.’
‘Go to chambers for disputes with a corporate/company law angle.’
‘Efficient, friendly and helpful.’
‘Alex Calder and Seamus Nixon are very responsive and very good at assisting with getting matters listed and liaising with the Court.’
‘Generally excellent across the board.’
‘Excellent service, very responsive clerks.’
London Bar > Commercial litigation Tier 4Erskine Chambers remains the ‘go-to chambers for disputes with a corporate or company law angle‘ with barristers who ‘are out of the very top draw of talent at the Chancery Bar‘. Many are also used for broader commercial disputes, and stand out for claims with an offshore angle. High-profile cases include an injunction restraining the exercise of call options relating to the founder’s shares in the cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp, in which Andrew Thompson KC led Jack Rivett on behalf of the claimant. Edward Davies KC and Ben Griffiths both represented the claimant in IsZo v Nam Tai, in a bid to reverse the US$170m placement of shares in the NYSE-listed company registered in the BVI.
‘Go-to chambers for disputes with a corporate/company law angle.’
‘Excellent company chambers.’
‘Still the go-to set in relation to company law matters and insolvency. A particular feature of the set is the impressive strength and depth of it barristers. Without exception all members of chambers are out of the very top draw of talent at the Chancery bar.’
‘A strong set, not just in English company law, but also BVI company law and international commercial litigation.’
‘The go-to set for company law issues.’
‘Extremely well clerked. The return of Phil Reeves as the senior clerk ensures the set will continue to remain a tight and well run ship.’
Western Circuit > Commercial litigation
Western Circuit > Company and insolvency
London Bar > Banking and finance (including consumer credit)
London Bar > Partnership
London Bar > Pensions
London Bar > Insurance and reinsurance
The English Bar Offshore > The English Bar Offshore Tier 3Erskine Chambers is a well-known set in corporate transactions, restructuring and insolvency, civil fraud and asset recovery and financial services. Within these areas, the set's barristers have been influential in developing company law of offshore jurisdictions and have seen a rise of cross-border related work in the BVI and Cayman Islands. Michael Todd KC found success assisting Jersey advocates for the investment fund in FTV Capital v Tuckwell, a shareholder dispute between a company founder, who was at one point one of the ten richest men in the Channel Islands, and one of his company's private equity backers. Andrew Blake stands out for his specialisms in company law, corporate and commercial litigation, restructuring and corporate insolvency.
Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Commercial litigation
Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Company and insolvency
Erskine Chambers > Set Profile
Erskine Chambers is recognised as being pre-eminent in company law and a leading set in associated fields including insolvency, financial services and corporate/commercial litigation (including civil fraud and asset recovery).
The set: Chambers’ size (27 barristers including 10 KCs) allows it to maintain expertise in its core practice areas while fielding effective teams in Commercial Court and Chancery Division litigation. Prominent former members include Lady Arden of Haswal, Sir David Richards and Richard Snowden LJ, while present members sit on various law reform committees and are editors and contributors to the leading texts on company law.
Types of work undertaken:
Company law: Erskine is the go-to set for company law disputes and corporate transactions, including: shareholder disputes (Kleanthous v Paphitis; Bumi), joint venture disputes and technical company litigation (Eclairs v JKX; Enviroco v Farstad – both Supreme Court). Members have advised on most of the largest UK corporate transactions of recent years, including Friends Life/Aviva, Invensys/Schneider, Glencore/Xstrata and Vodafone/Verizon. Erskine provides counsel for the majority of schemes of arrangement, cross-border mergers (Honda Europe; Sony; Itau BBA), Part VII transfers of insurance business (Royal London/CIS, Barclays/ING), and reductions of capital.
Corporate/commercial litigation and arbitration: a large proportion of Erskine’s work is litigation at the intersection between company, commercial and insolvency law, including: commercial and contractual disputes; breach of fiduciary duty (Autonomy v Lynch; BAT Industries v Windward); LLP and funds disputes (Re Charterhouse Capital; F&C Investments v Barthelemy); and civil fraud and asset recovery (BTA Bank v Ablyazov; Mezhprombank v Pugachev). Members have particular expertise in freezing injunctions and other forms of interim relief.
Insolvency: Erskine has a strong reputation for both contentious insolvency and corporate restructuring. Insolvency litigation often involves cross-border issues (Olympic Airlines Trustees; Nortel & Lehman Bros v Pensions Regulator; Belmont Park v BNY – all Supreme Court; Singularis v PwC; PwC v Saad; MF Global). Restructurings include insolvent schemes of arrangement, administrations and CVAs (SphinX, Halliwells, Baugur, Miss Sixty).
Financial services: members undertake both contentious and non-contentious FSMA work. Litigation includes: funds, collective investment schemes and public offers of securities; prospectus liability (RBS rights issue litigation); financial conduct, regulation and enforcement (Lehmans client money) and interest rate swap claims against banks. Non-contentious work includes Part VII business transfers, securitisation and structured finance.
International: Erskine’s work is highly international, whether advising on multi-jurisdictional transactions or litigating complex cross-border disputes. Members are active in a large number of offshore jurisdictions, including the Channel Islands, Cayman, BVI, Bermuda, Turks & Caicos, St Vincent and Grenadine, Hong Kong and Singapore and have extensive trial experience, from First Instance to Appellate and Privy Council.
|Senior Clerk||Phil Reeves|
|Members of Chambers||TODD KC, Michael (1977) (KC-1997)|
|Members of Chambers||MABB KC, David (1979) (KC-2001)|
|Members of Chambers||MOORE KC, Martin (1982) (KC-2002)|
|Members of Chambers||CHIVERS KC, David (1983) (KC-2002)|
|Members of Chambers||ARDEN KC, Peter (1983) (KC-2006)|
|Members of Chambers||AGNELLO KC, Raquel (1986) (KC-2009)|
|Members of Chambers||THOMPSON KC, Andrew (1991) (KC-2014)|
|Members of Chambers||POTTS KC, James (1994) (KC-2013)|
|Members of Chambers||THORNTON KC, Andrew (1994) (KC 2020)|
|Members of Chambers||DAVIES KC, Edward (1998) (KC-2017)|
|Members of Chambers||SEGAL, Nick (2018) (Solicitor-1982)|
|Members of Chambers||ROBERTS, Catherine (1986)|
|Members of Chambers||PRENTICE, Prof Dan (1982)|
|Members of Chambers||DOUGHERTY, Nigel (1993)|
|Members of Chambers||HORAN, Stephen (2002)|
|Members of Chambers||SHAW, Ben (2002)|
|Members of Chambers||GRIFFITHS, Ben (2004)|
|Members of Chambers||PARFITT, Matthew (2005)|
|Members of Chambers||RIVETT, Jack (2010)|
|Members of Chambers||SCHARNETZKY, Anna (2011)|
|Members of Chambers||STAYNINGS, Chantelle (2012)|
|Members of Chambers||BLAKE, Andrew (2012)|
|Members of Chambers||MCLAUGHLIN, Conor (2017)|
|Members of Chambers||WOODS, Seamus (2018) (New Zealand 2013)|
|Members of Chambers||MORRISON, Philip (2018)|
|Door Tenant||NOLAN, Richard (1999)|
|Door Tenant||SMITH KC, Stephen (1983) (KC-2000)|
|Door Tenant||STOKES, Mary (1989)|
|Raquel Agnello||Raquel is a sought-after specialist in insolvency, company and commercial litigation. Additionally,…||View Profile|
|Peter Arden||Peter is a highly regarded silk, with a focus on insolvency and…||View Profile|
|Andrew Blake||Andrew specialises in company law, corporate and commercial litigation, restructuring and corporate…||View Profile|
|David Chivers||David is a highly experienced, sought-after silk who specialises in company law,…||View Profile|
|Edward Davies||Edward is an experienced commercial litigator, with a strong grounding in company…||View Profile|
|Nigel Dougherty||Nigel is a highly regarded senior junior. He is particularly sought-after in…||View Profile|
|Ben Griffiths||Ben is a corporate, insolvency and financial law specialist. His expertise spans…||View Profile|
|Stephen Horan||Stephen’s main area of practice is company law and related matters of…||View Profile|
|David Mabb||View Profile|
|Conor McLaughlin||Conor is developing a commercial, company and insolvency law practice. Following pupillage…||View Profile|
|Martin Moore||Martin is a leading Silk for company law litigation and advice, corporate…||View Profile|
|Philip Morrison||View Profile|
|Richard Nolan||Specialist in company law, commercial law, insolvency, trusts.||View Profile|
|Matthew Parfitt||Matthew is an advocate, litigator and adviser who specialises in company and…||View Profile|
|James Potts||Company law, corporate insolvency (cross border and domestic), financial services, LLP, partnership…||View Profile|
|Prof Dan Prentice||Specialist in company law, insolvency and financial services. Is the professor of…||View Profile|
|Jack Rivett||Jack Rivett has a strong commercial chancery practice, with an emphasis on…||View Profile|
|Catherine Roberts||Specialist in Company Law and commercial litigation involving issues of Company Law,…||View Profile|
|Anna Scharnetzky||Anna specialises in company law, corporate insolvency and corporate finance, as well…||View Profile|
|Nick Segal||Nick has extensive experience in a wide variety of work in commercial…||View Profile|
|Ben Shaw||Ben has a busy practice which is divided equally between litigation and…||View Profile|
|Stephen Smith||Stephen specialises in complex commercial litigation, often with chancery (including company and…||View Profile|
|Chantelle Staynings||Chantelle has appeared as sole advocate in the Companies Court, High Court…||View Profile|
|Mary Stokes||Mary is a senior junior barrister who has practised at Erskine Chambers…||View Profile|
|Andrew Thompson||Andrew is a sought-after, specialist commercial litigator, with particular expertise in: corporate…||View Profile|
|Andrew Thornton||Andrew is involved in most of the leading public company M&A transactions…||View Profile|
|Michael Todd||Michael specialises in litigation and transactional advice on company law, corporate finance,…||View Profile|
|Seamus Woods||View Profile|
Erskine Chambers: Diversity/pro bono/CSR
Erskine Chambers is committed to ensuring equality of opportunity and fair treatment for all its members, as well as pupils, mini-pupils, employees, clients and the public.
A number of members of Chambers are involved in pro bono activities from time to time, and support several legal charities engaged in law reform and human rights issues.
It is our policy to comply with the rules relating to equality and diversity set out in the Code of Conduct, supplemented by the guidance contained in the Bar Standards Board Handbook Equality Rules. Chambers adheres to a written policy on equality and diversity, and an associated implementation plan. Specific policies designed to promote and protect equality and diversity have been adopted by Chambers in relation to flexible working, recruitment and diversity data collection.
Chambers acknowledges that all its members are entitled to an equal opportunity to develop their practices and to experience the full range of the available work. In order to ensure a fair and equitable allocation of unassigned instructions, and to provide support and guidance in career development and marketing, individual members of chambers meet with the senior clerks on a regular basis (once in every three-month period in the case of junior tenants) to review the nature and development of that member’s practice and to identify any concerns over the fair distribution of work. It is recognised that discriminatory or stereotypical assumptions about the type of work that a member of Chambers might undertake may well be subconscious. To address these considerations, all clerks undertake appropriate equality and diversity training. If any solicitor insists on a discriminatory allocation of work, that instruction will be refused.
The extent to which members of Chambers conduct their practices from Chambers or from home, the hours and days that they choose to work, the length of their holidays and their timing is left to members’ discretion, subject to all members of Chambers providing the level of service which meets the reasonable expectations of Chambers’ clients and prospective clients. Chambers recognises that flexible working practices, such as the ability to work from home, make it easier to combine practice in Chambers with childcare and other domestic responsibilities and therefore facilitates working from home, including through the use of remote access to Chambers’ computer network and access to online research tools.
Chambers is focused upon ensuring equality of opportunity, fair treatment and diversity, in relation to recruitment. For those seeking tenancy, it is not a pre-requisite to have studied company or insolvency law, and Chambers considers candidates with both law and non-law degrees. Two of our most recent tenants did not read law at university. Amongst our members of Chambers we have individuals who have transferred from other professions, including former academics and solicitors. The members of chambers with responsibility for the selection of members of chambers, pupils, clerks, other employees or assessed mini-pupils have been trained in fair recruitment and selection processes.
Erskine Chambers will not tolerate any form of harassment and will take all necessary steps to ensure that its members, pupils, mini-pupils and employees are not subject to harassment. Chambers prohibits any behaviour which causes offence or distress to another and which is perceived by that person as relating to or arising from their race, religion, political belief, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age and/or which constitutes less favourable treatment on such grounds. Disciplinary action will be taken against any member or employee of chambers found to have harassed a colleague or other person in the conduct of their work.
Top Tier Set Rankings
- Western Circuit > Commercial litigation
- Western Circuit > Company and insolvency
- Banking and finance (including consumer credit)
- Insurance and reinsurance
- The English Bar Offshore > The English Bar Offshore