Set Profile > Erskine Chambers > London, England

Erskine Chambers
Erskine Chambers

Insolvency Tier 2

Erskine Chambers contains practitioners well versed in contentious insolvencies and corporate restructuring, drawing on substantial experience from large insolvencies acted in over the last decade. The set is particularly strong in cases where insolvency intersects with banking and finance or civil fraud. David Chivers QC was instructed in Liquidators of Weavering MacroFixed Income Fund v Skandanaviska Ensiklda Banken; Peter Arden QC continued to act in Re Lehman Brothers International(Europe): the surplus schemeRaquel Agnello QC has developed a niche in the interface between insolvency and pensions law.

Leading Juniors

Ben Shaw - Erskine ChambersHe has an easy and authoritative manner before the court and is clearly highly rated in the field of insolvency litigation.
Ranked: Tier 2
Matthew Parfitt - Erskine ChambersHis advice is very clear and comprehensive.
Ranked: Tier 3
Nigel Dougherty - Erskine ChambersVery reliable and a good all-round performer.
Ranked: Tier 4
Ben Griffiths - Erskine ChambersStrongly recommended for insolvency.
Ranked: Tier 4
Tim Akkouh - Erskine ChambersHe has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law as well as hands on experience.
Ranked: Tier 5

Leading Silks

Peter Arden QC - Erskine ChambersHe is one of the most deeply knowledgeable insolvency silks and has a finely tuned sense of how the courts are considering insolvency issues.
Ranked: Tier 1
David Chivers QC - Erskine ChambersHe seems to see things that others sometimes don’t.
Ranked: Tier 3
Raquel Agnello QC - Erskine ChambersHe has a fantastic technical ability and vast experience in knowing how to deal with difficult debtors and obstructive litigants.
Ranked: Tier 4
Martin Moore QC - Erskine ChambersHe is accessible, willing to make himself available, direct when required and creative when appropriate.
Ranked: Tier 5
James Potts QC - Erskine ChambersHe knows how to make the most out of a situation for the client but does not shrink from tough advice.
Ranked: Tier 5
Stephen Smith QC - Erskine ChambersVery responsive and switched on to the complex legal issues involved.
Ranked: Tier 5
Andrew Thompson QC - Erskine ChambersHe is meticulous in preparation and tenaciously persuasive in court.
Ranked: Tier 5
Michael Todd QC - Erskine ChambersHe is excellent in the offshore sphere.
Ranked: Tier 5

Offshore Tier 3

Erskine Chambers' members are well versed in Chancery issues across the British Overseas Territories and the Crown Dependencies. Michael Todd QC and Philip Gillyon represented the appellant latter party in East Asia Company v PT Satria Tiratama Energindo, a Privy Council case stemming from the transfer of shares of Bali Energy, a Bermudian company with geothermal energy rights in Indonesia. Todd QC also represented the defendant law firm in Bermuda Bar Council v Walkers, a case which reached the Privy Council and concerned whether Walkers complied with the Bermudian regulator's requirement for local ownership of law firms.

Leading Juniors

Philip Gillyon - Erskine ChambersHe has sound judgement and is first-rate in his area.
Ranked: Tier 2
Andrew Blake - Erskine ChambersExtremely bright, focused and practical in his approach.
Ranked: Tier 3

Leading Silks

Michael Todd QC - Erskine ChambersOne of the most brilliant legal minds many have come cross in their careers.
Ranked: Tier 1
Stephen Smith QC - Erskine ChambersHis depth of experience in fraud means he is rightly very confident in his approach to the legal issues.
Ranked: Tier 2
David Chivers QC - Erskine ChambersHe has experience from stints on the BVI bench,
Ranked: Tier 3
Edward Davies QC - Erskine ChambersHighly intelligent and an impressive advocate.
Ranked: Tier 4

Commercial litigation Tier 4

Erskine Chambers is 'a very good set, filled with juniors and silks who are often top of their game'. The set will miss Tim Akkouh, who has joined Essex Court Chambers, although it still has several extremely well-regarded juniors among its ranks. The set is especially strong on Chancery issues, and is also noted for its fraud expertise. A notable highlight was Andrew Thompson QC's role representing BAT Industries in its dispute with Sequana, which went to the Court of Appeal.

Leading Juniors

Nigel Dougherty - Erskine ChambersWell regarded for commercial litigation.
Ranked: Tier 3

Leading Silks

Stephen Smith QC - Erskine ChambersSuperb in his field of expertise, and can really inspire confidence in the court.
Ranked: Tier 2
David Chivers QC - Erskine ChambersAlways ready with a complete answer to any legal question, regardless of how difficult or problematic it is.
Ranked: Tier 3
James Potts QC - Erskine ChambersA go-to QC for company law disputes – a lovely chap, easy to work with, and frighteningly clever.
Ranked: Tier 5
Andrew Thompson QC - Erskine ChambersGreat in conference, superb on the detail, comprehensive in his preparation, and always has the ear of the court.
Ranked: Tier 6
Michael Todd QC - Erskine ChambersA highly experienced commercial Chancery silk.
Ranked: Tier 6

Company and partnership

Erskine Chambers is noted for its 'strength in depth and large number of counsel available' for UK and offshore company law matters. In recent highlights, Andrew Thompson QC and Ben Griffiths are acting in BAT v Sequana (a multi-jurisdictional commercial dispute regarding environmental pollution of US rivers, and claims of breach of fiduciary duty)in addition to regularly advising on corporate transactions. Also of note, Martin Moore QC is assisting Sky in its complex takeover by Comcast. In another highlight, Stephen Smith QC was instructed by JSC Mezhprombank in JSC Mezhprombank v Pugachev; complex proceedings against a former Russian oligarch in connection with the liquidation of a Russian bank and claims of misappropriation.

Company - Leading Juniors

Nigel Dougherty - Erskine ChambersAn amazing tactician, superb trial advocate and has total mastery of shareholder disputes and company law.
Ranked: Tier 1
Philip Gillyon - Erskine ChambersHe is a hardworking junior barrister with particular expertise in company law and related matters.
Ranked: Tier 1
Catherine Roberts - Erskine ChambersShe specialises in shareholder disputes.
Ranked: Tier 1
Andrew Thornton - Erskine ChambersOne of the leading juniors at the company Bar.
Ranked: Tier 1
Tim Akkouh - Erskine Chambers'He is responsive, unassuming and has a great sense of humour'.
Ranked: Tier 2
Ben Griffiths - Erskine ChambersA very talented junior.
Ranked: Tier 2
Ben Shaw - Erskine ChambersHis strengths and qualities are his intellect and adaptability and the excellent standard of his written work.
Ranked: Tier 2
Mary Stokes - Erskine ChambersAn expert in company law litigation.
Ranked: Tier 2
Stephen Horan - Erskine ChambersExtremely client friendly, pragmatic and technically astute.
Ranked: Tier 3
Patrick Harty - Erskine ChambersHe is responsive, highly intelligent and easy to work with.
Ranked: Tier 4
Matthew Parfitt - Erskine ChambersHis technical ability is outstanding and he is very user friendly and responsive.
Ranked: Tier 4

Company - Leading Silks

David Chivers QC - Erskine ChambersHe is a go-to for any novel, complex or non-routine company law advice.
Ranked: Tier 1
Martin Moore QC - Erskine ChambersHe is accessible, willing to make himself available, direct when required and creative when appropriate.
Ranked: Tier 1
Michael Todd QC - Erskine ChambersNo question, the first-choice company law barrister.
Ranked: Tier 1
Peter Arden QC - Erskine ChambersHe is a very thoughtful and user-friendly QC.
Ranked: Tier 2
David Mabb QC - Erskine ChambersHis work spans both litigation and advisory.
Ranked: Tier 2
Stephen Smith QC - Erskine ChambersHe is an experienced company law specialist.
Ranked: Tier 2
Andrew Thompson QC - Erskine ChambersHe is at the top of the game in company commercial disputes.
Ranked: Tier 3
Ceri Bryant QC - Erskine ChambersShe has an extensive company law practice.
Ranked: Tier 4
Edward Davies QC - Erskine ChambersHe is confident and has an excellent manner with clients.'
Ranked: Tier 4
James Potts QC - Erskine ChambersHe is one of the go-to silks for shareholder disputes.
Ranked: Tier 4

Set overviews: England and Wales

Erskine Chambers is ‘a very good set, filled with juniors and silks who are often top of their game’. The set shines in the areas of company shareholder and partnership disputes, as well as restructuring and insolvency. Tim Akkouh has joined Essex Court Chambers. Senior clerks Mark Swallow and Chris Reade ‘run an excellent ship’; they are assisted by first junior clerk Michael Shillingford. Offices in: London


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 (30 barristers including 11 QCs) 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 Arden LJ, David Richards LJ and Richard Snowden J, 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.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior clerks Mark Swallow
Senior clerks Chris Reade
Clerks Michael Shillingford
Clerks Alex Calder
Clerks Seamus Nixon
Clerks Jake Taylor
Clerks Samantha Rouse
Members of Chambers TODD QC, Michael (1977) (QC-1997)
Members of Chambers MABB QC, David (1979) (QC-2001)
Members of Chambers MOORE QC, Martin (1982) (QC-2002)
Members of Chambers CHIVERS QC, David (1983) (QC-2002)
Members of Chambers ARDEN QC, Peter (1983) (QC-2006)
Members of Chambers SMITH QC, Stephen (1983) (QC-2000)
Members of Chambers BRYANT QC, Ceri (1984) (QC-2012)
Members of Chambers AGNELLO QC, Raquel (1986) (QC-2009)
Members of Chambers THOMPSON QC, Andrew (1991) (QC-2014)
Members of Chambers POTTS QC, James (1994) (QC-2013)
Members of Chambers DAVIES QC, Edward (1998) (QC-2017)
Members of Chambers SEGAL, Nick (2018) (Solicitor-1982)
Members of Chambers ROBERTS, Catherine (1986)
Members of Chambers GILLYON, Philip (1988)
Members of Chambers STOKES, Mary (1989)
Members of Chambers PRENTICE, Prof Dan (1982)
Members of Chambers DOUGHERTY, Nigel (1993)
Members of Chambers THORNTON, Andrew (1994)
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 HARTY, Patrick (2008)
Members of Chambers RIVETT, Jack (2010)
Members of Chambers SCHARNETZKY, Anna (2011)
Members of Chambers LLOYD, Christopher (2011)
Members of Chambers STAYNINGS, Chantelle (2012)
Members of Chambers BLAKE, Andrew (2012)
Members of Chambers WILLIAMS, Emma (2013)
Members of Chambers MCLAUGHLIN, Conor (2017)
Members of Chambers NOLAN, Richard (1999) (Door tenant)
Photo Name Position Profile
 Raquel Agnello QC photo Raquel Agnello QC
 Peter Arden QC photo Peter Arden QC
 Andrew Blake  photo Andrew Blake
 David Chivers QC photo David Chivers QC
 Edward Davies QC photo Edward Davies QC
 Nigel Dougherty  photo Nigel Dougherty
 Philip Gillyon  photo Philip Gillyon
 Ben Griffiths  photo Ben Griffiths
 Patrick Harty  photo Patrick Harty
 Stephen Horan  photo Stephen Horan
 Christopher Lloyd  photo Christopher Lloyd
 David Mabb QC photo David Mabb QC
 Conor McLaughlin  photo Conor McLaughlin
 Martin Moore QC photo Martin Moore QC
 Richard Nolan  photo Richard Nolan
 Matthew Parfitt  photo Matthew Parfitt
 James Potts QC photo James Potts QC
Prof Dan Prentice  photo Prof Dan Prentice
 Jack Rivett  photo Jack Rivett
 Catherine Roberts  photo Catherine Roberts
 Anna Scharnetzky  photo Anna Scharnetzky
 Nick Segal  photo Nick Segal
 Ben Shaw  photo Ben Shaw
 Stephen Smith QC photo Stephen Smith QC
 Chantelle Staynings  photo Chantelle Staynings
 Mary Stokes  photo Mary Stokes
 Andrew Thompson QC photo Andrew Thompson QC
 Andrew Thornton  photo Andrew Thornton
 Michael Todd QC photo Michael Todd QC
 Emma Williams  photo Emma Williams