Essex Court Chambers > London, England > Set Profile
Essex Court Chambers Offices
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Essex Court Chambers > The Legal 500 Rankings
Essex Court Chambers is to some the 'go-to commercial set above all others' and 'the universal quality of its counsel marks it out as exceptional'. Perhaps a mark of the set's quality and depth is its ability to carry on despite the departure of several high profile silks in 2021, in part owing to sanctions imposed on the set by the Chinese government. A glance at the calibre of the set's new silks and juniors suggests the future remains bright. Among these, James Willan QC was sole counsel to Nikolay Fetisov, one of the defendants in National Bank Trust v Yurov, a matter concerning an alleged misappropriation of funds from a Russian bank, with Nathan Pillow QC, David Davies and Anton Dudnikov appearing for the claimant, and Paul Stanley QC acting for another defendant. Joe Smouha QC also led for the claimants in PCP Capital Partners LLP v Barclays Bank plc with a team that included James Sheehan.
‘Fantastic strength in depth – the pre-eminent dispute resolution chambers.’
‘Essex Court Chambers is a fantastic set, with an excellent range of silks and juniors covering all commercial bases.’
‘They have so many first rate individuals – you are spoiled for choice. Good to see more diverse crop of barristers coming through.’
‘Top-flight commercial litigation and civil fraud set. Perhaps the market leader.’
‘Top class set which we as a firm use as one of our go to sets for this type of work and more widely. ‘
‘Oliver Butcher and Oliver Duane stand out.’
London Bar > Fraud: civil Tier 1
Essex Court Chambers is 'the leading set for large, complex civil fraud cases', commended for its 'number of very impressive individuals, and huge strength in depth'. Silks such as Paul McGrath QC and Joe Smouha QC are among the most eminent practitioners in the field, and Smouha QC represented Mozambique in The Republic of Mozambique v Credit Suisse, Privinvest, and others, the 'tuna bond' scandal involving allegations of $200m in bribes, alongside Nathan Pillow QC and leading a team that includes Ciaran Keller. A highlight for McGrath QC has been The Libyan Investment Authority v Credit Suisse International, GLG Partners Asset Management Ltd & Ors, in which he is leading Ruth den Besten on behalf of GLG Partners, in a claim involving allegations of bribes paid to secure a $200m investment into funds. Vernon Flynn QC left to join Brick Court Chambers.
‘Excellent strength in depth – they really are pre-eminent in this area.’
‘Excellent recent fraud conference series and lots of great barristers in this area.’
‘ Superb for complex fraud. ‘
‘A magic circle set, with a particular strength in civil fraud and asset recovery. Reliably excellent, I am happy using barristers there that I have not worked with before.’
‘They are the ‘go to’ fraud chambers, in a category of their own when it comes to civil fraud.’
‘Jack Wood is consistently outstanding. He delivers an extremely high level of service to solicitor clients: he combines a can-do attitude with a pragmatic commercial approach to ensure that the right counsel is instructed. If I ever have a tricky case or a last minute issue, Jack is my first call.’
Essex Court Chambers is still for many 'the leading set in this area', a fact undiminished by the much-publicised sanctions imposed by China in 2021 over a legal opinion written by a number of members of chambers concerning the country’s controversial treatment of its Uyghur minority. The subsequent fallout resulted in the departure of several high profile silks, but the set's strength-in-depth and pedigree in this area ensures no reduction in quality. In addition to its cadre of top tier silks who have dominated the market for years, the set has an excellent pool of younger QCs and juniors climbing the ranks, notably Alison Macdonald QC who was part of a team, including David Peters representing the Yukos majority shareholders in the enforcement of their $50bn arbitral award against the Russian Federation. Paul Key QC is representing the claimant and Lucas Bastin QC is part of Pakistan's team in the investment treaty dispute, Karkey Karadeniz Elektrik Uretim A.S. v The Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
‘First class in all departments. The barristers at Essex Court are universally first-rate, and highly responsive. Essex Court also delivers very high quality training programmes.’
‘The Rolls-Royce set – everything purrs.’
‘Very good chambers, maybe the best when it comes to international dispute resolution.’
‘Essex Court Chambers is the market leader in international arbitration by some distance. No other chambers comes close to matching the bench-strength they have on offer.’
‘Fantastic strength in depth.’
‘They are excellent. Extremely responsive and very easy to deal with.’
A number of barristers at 'top-class set' Essex Court Chambers act for art dealers, collectors, and auction house claimants and defendants engaged in disputes involving matters of breach of contract, purchasing, and authenticity. In Sotheby’s v Mark Weiss Ltd, Joe Smouha QC (leading Claudia Renton) acted for an art dealer, and Emily Wood QC appeared for Sotheby’s in a contractual dispute over a painting, purported to be work of Frans Hals, but subject to dispute over authenticity - the auction house successfully sought the recession of the sale. Wood also represented the New York-based defendant in QIPCO v Ariadne Galleries, in which Qatari state-linked entities and members of the royal family alleged that it had purchased forgeries from the gallery.
‘One of the strongest sets that there is – without a doubt.’
‘Top-class set with whom we work a lot across the board. One of our go-to sets.’
‘Ollie Butcher is very responsive.’
‘Clerks are good.’
‘Always been very efficient.’
Essex Court Chambers has an excellent reputation for public international law, where 'despite a heavy workload, the counsel have been available for working with us and for providing the expected qualities'. The set stands out for its combination of commercial and academic nous, with a selection of top quality silks and juniors who straddle both worlds with ease. Members are regularly involved in major state versus state cases, including maritime boundary matters such as Mauritius v Maldives where Alison Macdonald QC represented the former against Prof Alan Boyle and Naomi Hart for the latter. Members are also regularly involved in high-profile international arbitrations involving states, including Boonyanit v Malaysia, a matter concerning the treatment of fraudulent transfers under the latter's land law where Sam Wordsworth QC and Lucas Bastin QC represented the claimant, the estate of a Thai national. Toby Landau QC left the chambers and is now practicing from Singapore.
‘All clerks were immensely helpful. Ben Perry, whom I communicated with over the years, should be particularly noted.’
Essex Court Chambers has a well-established presence in the VAT litigation space and features expertise in cases involving environmental taxation, customs duty and other aspects of indirect tax. David Scorey QC has 'strong advocacy' skills and acted for RBS in RBS v HMRC, a case that involved allegations of an £88m VAT fraud arising from the sale and purchase of carbon credits in 2009. Roderick Cordara QC has a strong UK and Australian indirect tax practice; he was recently acting for Target Group against HMRC in a case that concerned issues of VAT exemptions. Edward Brown QC is also noted and was involved in Virgin Media v HMRC, a high-profile VAT dispute in the telecoms space.
Essex Court Chambers is 'strong in banking litigation' and has 'unparalleled strength in depth' for banking fraud cases. One of the set's most notable cases is PCP Capital Partners LLP v Barclays Plc - a long-running dispute concerning Qatari investment in the bank during the 2008 crisis - in which Joe Smouha QC is leading a team of silks and juniors from within chambers including the highly rated senior junior, James Sheehan. Another highlight case with strong fraud aspects was National Bank TRUST v Yurov, Belyaev & Fetisov in which Nathan Pillow QC is leading David Davies QC, who recently took silk, and Anton Dudnikov. Stephen Houseman QC has made a strong impression in this area and is representing the claimant in Madison Pacific Trust v Sahkoor Capital and PrivatBank, a dispute about limited recourse notes issued by a Ukranian bank which was nationalised in 2016.
‘All the barristers I worked with are top-notch.’
‘A set crammed full of quality advocates at every level. You can go to Essex Court and know that you will be able to instruct a barrister of the highest quality and any level. Excellent marketing and events. ‘
‘Joe Ferrigno leads a very good team which has been very active in the past 5+ years in recruiting some of the most talented senior juniors at the commercial Bar.’
‘Joe Ferrigno is one of the best clerks I have come across. He is extremely welcoming when dealing with solicitors.’
‘Kevin Grubb and the clerking team are very good.’
‘Efficient and helpful.’
London Bar > Employment Tier 2
Essex Court Chambers is regularly instructed in high-profile, complex employment cases. In Citadel Securities v GSA Capital Partners and others, David Craig QC represented Citadel in claims for conspiracy and misuse of confidential information, which related to an algorithmic trading strategy; and in JLT & Ors v Ed Broking & Ors, Daniel Oudkerk QC and senior junior Edward Brown QC acted for the claimants in a high-value High Court claim (with related disclosure applications in the New York Courts) that arose out of a poaching raid in the insurance sector. Boosting the set's senior end, Iain Quirk QC took silk in 2021.
‘Essex Court has some of the best barristers around and some great juniors coming through.‘
‘Essex Court Chambers is an outstanding set- full of quality from top to bottom.‘
‘Essex Court Chambers has some excellent barristers in the restraint of trade area (dealing with restrictive covenants, team moves and confidential information).‘
‘Great set of senior barristers.‘
‘Great and very professional.‘
‘Very user friendly.‘
London Bar > Energy Tier 2
Essex Court Chambers is ‘first-class in all departments, the barristers are universally first-rate and highly responsive’. One client describes it as ‘the Rolls-Royce of sets - everything purrs’. The set has a long-standing practice in high-value energy litigation, largely due to its market-leading practice in international commercial arbitration. Its members are frequently involved in international arbitrations and expert determinations in relation to the energy sector, often relating to state-owned entities. They are also in major Commercial Court matters, including challenges to awards under the Arbitration Act and enforcement proceedings. Prominent energy and natural resources specialist Paul Key QC represented Nigeria in its defence of an action in the Commercial Court to enforce a $9bn disputed debt arising out of an energy dispute. Siddharth Dhar is among the set’s vastly experienced juniors, and his recent work includes acting for oil trader Vitol in a Commercial Court claim for breach of contract for the supply of propane to a Ghanaian energy producer.
‘First-class in all departments. The barristers at Essex Court are universally first-rate, and highly responsive. Essex Court also delivers very high-quality training programmes.’
‘Essex Court Chambers has a number of members who practice effectively and with distinction in this sector.’
‘Essex Court is the Rolls-Royce of sets – everything purrs.’
‘Essex Court has always been my go-to chambers. They have good strength in depth and cover most points that involve my work.
‘They are excellent. Extremely responsive and very easy to deal with.’
‘Katie Myles in particular stands out for me for her efficiency, relationship building and commitment.’
London Bar > Shipping Tier 2
'A leading commercial set with a strong shipping practice', the barristers at Essex Court Chambers are frequently instructed on wet and dry shipping disputes, in court and in arbitration. Christopher Smith QC had another strong year, handling complex litigation including the CCNI Arauco, a case in the wake of an explosion on a ship caused by a dangerous cargo of paint thinner. In this he led Stephen Donnelly, and acted opposite David Walsh; one of a number of cases in 2020 in which Walsh acted as sole counsel against silks. 2018 silk Philippa Hopkins QC continues to act on dry and wet shipping matters both in English courts and in arbitration. Elsewhere, Steven Berry QC and John Robb acted together on several cases, including the bills of lading dispute FIMBank plc. v Polaris Bulkship SA, and Halis Holdings v Revelry Limited, which involved issues of force majeure related to the COVID-19 pandemic. David Davies QC is a 2021 Silk appointment.
‘A leading commercial set with a strong shipping practice.’
‘A very highly respected Chambers for shipping, with some of the top barristers in this area.’
‘An excellent set. I have used them, almost exclusively, for more than 40 years.’
‘Essex Court Chambers has incredible pedigree in commodities and shipping work with a host of names you would want to turn to for high-value, heavy and contentious disputes.’
‘Essex Court has very good strength in depth for shipping disputes mainly for higher value disputes. Because there are so many experienced senior counsel they are always able to offer someone who you know is good.’
‘Refreshingly clear and straightforward.’
London Bar > Commodities Tier 3
Essex Court Chambers is ‘very strong, particularly at the senior end, and it has incredible pedigree in commodities and shipping work with a host of names you would want to turn to for high-value, heavy and contentious disputes’. The set has a long track record of involvement in shipping, shipbuilding and commodities cases, with particular expertise in wet and dry shipping, as well as high-value fraud cases touching on those issues. Nigel Eaton QC is among the set’s standout silks and he recently includes high-value international commodities arbitrations and matters concerning ore and oil shipments. David Walsh is a prominent junior in this area of law, and he frequently assists for major trading houses with pricing disputes concerning energy commodities. He recently acted as sole counsel in a $15m claim against commodity insurers following a fire at a warehouse in Zambia.
‘Very strong chambers, particularly at the senior end. Probably the strongest set for QCs specialising in commodities.’
‘A very strong set that understands client service for top-end commercial disputes and gets it right.’
‘Essex Court Chambers has excellent counsel and there are always a number of strong candidates to choose from.’
‘Essex Court Chambers has incredible pedigree in commodities and shipping work with a host of names you would want to turn to for high-value, heavy and contentious disputes.’
‘Refreshingly clear and straightforward.’
‘The clerks are helpful and seem to provide a good service.’
Essex Court Chambers regularly represents the London market, international insurers, policyholders and brokers in major insurance and reinsurance disputes. Recent high-profile cases include Financial Conduct Authority v Arch (UK) Insurance & Others, the test case on Covid-19 business interruption, in which John Lockey QC and junior Jeremy Brier QC represented the first defendant in both the Divisional Court and the Supreme Court. In other areas, David Scorey QC acted for Chubb in Halliburton v Chubb, a $100m claim under an insurance policy, which related to the $1.1bn claims settlement by Halliburton for the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico - the matter reached the UK Supreme Court on a point about the selection of arbitrators across multiple linked disputes.
‘The barristers here are all very good people.‘
‘Very effective and pleasant with it.‘
London Bar > Offshore Tier 3
Essex Court Chambers members are frequent fixtures in in long-standing commercial dispute resolution and chancery commercial litigation across the Caribbean. Paul McGrath QC had a standout year, advising Convoy as the appellant in Convoy v Roy Cho and Broad Idea, which was heard by the Privy Council in February 2021. Appointed silk in March 2021, James Willan QC is retained to act for Madam Yao in her appeal to the Privy Council in shareholder dispute Yao Jun v Kwok Kin Kwok & Crown Treasure Group Ltd.
‘Essex Court Chambers is brimming with talent.‘
‘Good strength in depth and generally user-friendly.‘
‘Very strong in the area of arbitration with a number of very qualified senior practitioners.‘
Essex Court Chambers > Set Profile
Essex Court Chambers is a leading set of barristers’ chambers, specialising in commercial and financial litigation, arbitration, public law and public international law.
Members of chambers are recognised specialists in all areas of commercial law and handle disputes across the full spectrum of the business and financial world, including banking and finance, civil fraud, corporate/chancery and offshore, insurance and reinsurance, energy, trade, shipping, revenue, and employment.
Chambers is not a firm, nor are its members partners or employees. Rather, chambers is comprised of individual barristers, each of whom is a self-employed sole practitioner. Members of chambers are commonly retained by opposing sides in the same dispute, both in litigation and arbitration, with protocols in place to safeguard confidentiality. As well as acting on opposing sides, individuals appear in front of other members acting impartially as Deputy Judges or Arbitrators.
The barristers at Essex Court Chambers advise and act in disputes both in the UK and worldwide. They have a reputation for exceptional talent, top-class advocacy and a client-oriented approach.
The set: Founded in 1961, the then five members of chambers included the future judges Lord Mustill, Lord Justice Evans and Lord Justice Kerr. Other distinguished alumni include Lords Saville and Steyn, Lord Thomas (Lord Chief Justice), Lord Justice Beatson, Sir Anthony Colman, Bernard Eder (now Sir Bernard Eder), Geraldine Andrews (now Mrs Justice Andrews), Simon Bryan (now Mr Justice Bryan), Sara Cockerill (now Mrs Justice Cockerill), Richard Jacobs (now Mr Justice Jacobs), Tim Eicke (now a Judge of the European Court of Human Rights), Dame Rosalyn Higgins (former president of the International Court of Justice) and Sir Christopher Greenwood (formerly a Judge of the International Court of Justice). Essex Court Chambers continues to attract the highest calibre of recruits, and now comprises over 100 members.
Pupillage: Chambers typically offers up to four funded 12-month tenancy-seeking pupillages per year. Applications should be made via the Pupillage Gateway. Applications from both law and non-law graduates are welcomed. Applicants for pupillage are encouraged to undertake a mini-pupillage (of 1-2 days). Information about mini-pupillage, including deadlines for mini-pupillage applications and an online application form, is available at www.essexcourt.com.
Types of work undertaken: Annual market research and award ceremonies confirm that members are consistently recognised as leading individuals by clients and peers in a number of key areas, but most notably: international commercial arbitration; commercial litigation; civil fraud; public international law; VAT; energy and natural resources; insurance and reinsurance; shipping; banking and finance; commodities; employment; professional negligence; media, entertainment and sport; civil liberties and human rights; administrative and public law; agriculture; information technology; immigration; aviation; EU and competition; offshore litigation; commercial chancery; and insolvency and corporate recovery.
|Senior Clerk||Joe Ferrignoemail@example.com||020 7147 7221|
|Deputy Senior Clerk||Ben Perryfirstname.lastname@example.org||020 7147 7222|
|Team Leader||Jack Woodemail@example.com||020 7147 7223|
|Team Leader||Katie Myles||KMyles@essexcourt.com||020 7147 7281|
|Team Leader||Kevin Grubb||KGrubb@essexcourt.com||020 7147 7281|
|Lorraine Aboagye||View Profile|
|Tim Akkouh QC||Tim is a commercial litigator, with a strong reputation for civil fraud…||View Profile|
|Rebecca Akushie||Arbitration; commercial litigation; conflict of laws; insurance and reinsurance; international commercial arbitration;…||View Profile|
|Sean Aughey||Barrister||View Profile|
|David Baker||Barrister||View Profile|
|Lucas Bastin QC||Lucas has a versatile practice across an array of practices areas, albeit…||View Profile|
|Mark Belshaw||Barrister||View Profile|
|Sir Franklin Berman||Specialises in international arbitration and advisory work in international law. 50-year career…||View Profile|
|Steven Berry||Has specialised since 1985 in the associated fields of insurance and reinsurance,…||View Profile|
|Claire Blanchard||Barrister. Claire Blanchard QC has a specialist commercial practice and is an…||View Profile|
|Adam Board||Adam acts and advises as counsel in commercial litigation and international arbitration…||View Profile|
|Stewart Boyd||Has appeared as counsel in the English courts and in other courts…||View Profile|
|Prof Alan Boyle||Specialist in public international law, especially international environmental law and law of…||View Profile|
|Jeremy Brier QC||Commercial barrister frequently appearing in the Commercial Court and in international arbitrations,…||View Profile|
|Edward Brown QC||Broad-ranging practice across the following practice areas: commercial litigation; employment; media, entertainment…||View Profile|
|Wei Jian Chan||Barrister||View Profile|
|Charles Ciumei||Has a practice covering all aspects of employment with a commercial aspect,…||View Profile|
|James Collins||Has a broad-based commercial practice. Recognised as clever, commercial and user-friendly, he…||View Profile|
|Roderick Cordara||Has a broad commercial and public law practice with over 30 years’…||View Profile|
|David Craig||Widely recognised as a leading junior in employment law. Does the full…||View Profile|
|Stuart Cribb||Stuart has a broad commercial practice in line with Chambers’ profile. He…||View Profile|
|Simon Crookenden||Shipping: charterparty and bills of lading disputes; cargo claims; ship building; ship…||View Profile|
|Prof Paul Davies||Paul is Professor of Commercial Law at UCL, having previously been a…||View Profile|
|Huw Davies||Experienced and effective cross examiner with ‘an incredibly impressive style and approach’…||View Profile|
|David Davies||Has a broadly based commercial practice encompassing both acting as junior counsel…||View Profile|
|Siddharth Dhar||Siddharth acts as an advocate and advisor in substantial commercial litigation and…||View Profile|
|Anna Dilnot||Broad commercial and commercial chancery litigation practice with a particular speciality in…||View Profile|
|Ricky Diwan||Ricky Diwan QC specialises in international commercial and investment arbitration and related…||View Profile|
|Stephen Donnelly||Barrister||View Profile|
|Shane Doyle||Shane Doyle QC has a commercial practice covering a wide range of…||View Profile|
|Anton Dudnikov||Anton has a broad commercial practice. He is regularly instructed in international…||View Profile|
|Graham Dunning||Graham Dunning QC was until recently the co-head of Essex Court Chambers.…||View Profile|
|Nigel Eaton||Specialises in international and domestic commercial litigation, with a particular emphasis on…||View Profile|
|Tim Eicke||Highly experienced and respected public law advocate with a strong background in…||View Profile|
|Tom Ford||View Profile|
|Daniel Fox||Daniel has a broad commercial practice in line with Chambers’ profile. He…||View Profile|
|Martin Griffiths||Has a busy general commercial practice including a significant proportion of employment-related…||View Profile|
|Jeffrey Gruder||Jeffrey Gruder QC is widely recognised as a leading silk at the…||View Profile|
|Naomi Hart||Naomi has a broad commercial litigation and arbitration practice. She has experience…||View Profile|
|Neil Hart QC||Specialises in the fields of insurance and reinsurance, shipping (dry and wet)…||View Profile|
|Andrew Hochhauser||Has a broad-based commercial practice, including a significant number of employment-related disputes…||View Profile|
|Philippa Hopkins||Advises and acts in a wide range of commercial disputes, both in…||View Profile|
|Stephen Houseman||Handles a wide range of commercial disputes. Many of his cases are…||View Profile|
|Richard Hoyle||Barrister specialising in commercial litigation and international arbitration – most matters involve…||View Profile|
|Ian Hunter||Has a broad-based commercial practice in line with chambers’ profile. A major…||View Profile|
|Louise Hutton||Louise’s practice covers commercial and commercial/chancery litigation and arbitration, including banking and…||View Profile|
|David Joseph||Has acted as counsel and arbitrator in an extremely wide range of…||View Profile|
|Catherine Jung||View Profile|
|Ciaran Keller||Commercial and chancery litigation and arbitration (domestic and international), including: business agreements…||View Profile|
|Paul Key||In private practice as a barrister since 1997, specialising in international and…||View Profile|
|Prof Martin Lau||Regularly advises on South Asian law and Islamic law in the form…||View Profile|
|Andrew Legg||Andrew has a broad commercial practice in line with Chambers’ profile. He…||View Profile|
|Owen Lloyd||Barrister||View Profile|
|John Lockey||Barrister specialising in insurance, reinsurance, commercial litigation, and professional negligence including brokers’…||View Profile|
|Prof Vaughan Lowe||Practises as counsel in International Court of Justice, European Court of Human…||View Profile|
|Alison Macdonald||Barrister||View Profile|
|Jackie McArthur||Barrister||View Profile|
|Paul McGrath||Barrister with a broad-based practice. Between 1999 and 2001 he was editor…||View Profile|
|Hugh Mercer||Court and advisory advocate specialising in EU, competition, public law and cross-border…||View Profile|
|David Mildon||General commercial litigation and arbitration including ABCI v Banque Franco Tunisienne …||View Profile|
|Richard Millett||Specialises in: banking law, securities, debt and other financing instruments, derivatives, loan…||View Profile|
|Bibek Mukherjee||Bibek undertakes a broad range of commercial work, as both sole and…||View Profile|
|Freddie Onslow||Barrister||View Profile|
|Daniel Oudkerk||Daniel Oudkerk QC has a broad-based trial and advisory practice. He is…||View Profile|
|David Peters||Wide experience of commercial law with emphasis on general commercial litigation, civil…||View Profile|
|Nathan Pillow||Specialises in commercial dispute resolution. Practises in the English courts at all…||View Profile|
|Freddie Popplewell||Barrister||View Profile|
|Iain Quirk||Has a broad commercial practice before the English courts and in arbitration.…||View Profile|
|Katherine Ratcliffe||View Profile|
|Claudia Renton||Claudia has a broad commercial practice with specialisms in media and entertainment…||View Profile|
|Mr John Robb||John has a broad commercial law practice. He specialises in shipping, banking…||View Profile|
|Jane Russell||Practises in employment and commercial law, acting for mainly city respondent clients.…||View Profile|
|Amy Sander||Amy has a broad commercial practice with a particular interest in public…||View Profile|
|Prof Dan Sarooshi||Professor Dan Sarooshi Q.C. has a track record of achieving success in…||View Profile|
|David Scorey||Wide-ranging practice in international and domestic commercial law, litigating in both domestic…||View Profile|
|Malcolm Shaw||Barrister focusing on public international law. Cases include: R v Mohamed Gul…||View Profile|
|James Sheehan||Specialist in commercial and chancery litigation and arbitration. Practice areas include civil…||View Profile|
|Christopher Smith||Chris Smith has a broad based practice covering all aspects of domestic…||View Profile|
|Joe Smouha||Has a broad-based commercial practice with a particular emphasis on appearances in…||View Profile|
|John Snider||Barrister practising in the following areas: shipping, insurance, arbitration (including LMAA, ICC,…||View Profile|
|Akash Sonecha||View Profile|
|Paul Stanley||Prior to being called to the bar, Paul lectured on European Community…||View Profile|
|Luke Tattersall||Barrister||View Profile|
|Mark Templeman||Practises primarily in the fields of reinsurance and insurance (marine and non-marine).…||View Profile|
|Benedict Tompkins||Benedict has a broad commercial litigation and arbitration practice. He has experience…||View Profile|
|David Walsh||Barrister with a broad commercial practice. Particularly well-known for his work in…||View Profile|
|Felix Wardle||View Profile|
|Mubarak Waseem||Barrister||View Profile|
|Prof Philippa Watson||Has a practice in London, Dublin and Brussels. Most of her work…||View Profile|
|Peter Webster||Undertakes a broad range of commercial work, as both sole counsel and…||View Profile|
|Mr Paul Wee||Paul Choon Kiat Wee specialises in commercial litigation, international commercial arbitration, and…||View Profile|
|Jessica Wells||Has a broad commercial practice, with a particular interest in public international…||View Profile|
|Angeline Welsh||Barrister||View Profile|
|James Willan||Barrister with a broad-based commercial practice, appearing before the county courts, High…||View Profile|
|Emily Wood QC||Has a broad commercial practice in line with chambers’ profile. Focused on…||View Profile|
|Adam Woolnough||Arbitration, commercial litigation, conflict of laws, insurance and reinsurance, public international law,…||View Profile|
|Sam Wordsworth||In private practice as a barrister since 1997, specialising in public international…||View Profile|
|Ruth den Besten||Ruth den Besten is a senior junior practitioner with substantial expertise in…||View Profile|
Staff FiguresLucy Smith : Head of Marketing Jacky Chase : Operations Manager
CLIENT: Andy McGregor, Head of Civil Fraud, RPC
TESTIMONAL: “We have been very impressed and pleased with the completely reliable round the clock service, both in London and Singapore. As you know the best work often comes in on Friday night and Saturday morning and one has to be able to deploy serious combined resources without fuss immediately. On a major multi-party energy dispute we needed to drop everything over a weekend to deliver time critical advice and a top QC and junior worked solidly for three days to get this done. Another QC/senior junior team has been deployed at short notice to great effect on an extremely sensitive contempt application where familiarisation with a huge amount of material has been required. There have been a number of other mainstream matters where everything has gone very smoothly. We consider ourselves to be in extremely capable hands with a depth of resource that can take on whatever is needed.”
CLIENT: Michael Leeds, Partner, Grant Thornton UK LLP
TESTIMONAL: “I have worked with Essex Court Chambers for a number of years now and continue to have a very positive experience in terms of both the quality of barristers that I have worked with and the support team in place.
1 – The EC team organise a number of key technical events within the market which have been thorough in content and material. They are well organised and innovative in approach and explore topics not many other organisations look at eg Banking Disputes on insolvency cases
2 – The EC team is innovative in its approach to Business Development for example in the way it targets markets and regions eg the Offshore market, Russia and the Asset Recovery space
3 – My interactions with the support team on events have only been positive and in particular team members at the junior clerk level have pro-actively sought to build relationships with Business Development people within my team to grow a rapport at all levels
4 – When I have sought the input of the EC clerking team on identifying suitable Counsel for matters, I have found them to be adept at recommending the right people, whether they are QCs or Juniors
5 – The EC team is an effective communicator across multiple channels, especially LinkedIn and Email
6 – It is clear from everyone at EC that this is a market leading Chambers.
The service from EC Chambers goes from strength to strength and their support for our Insolvency and asset recovery and Forensics and Investigations practices is outstanding. We thoroughly enjoy working and engaging with their clerking team and their barristers and are always provided with a superb level of service.”
CLIENT: Andrew Savage, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP
TESTIMONAL: I have found the Essex Court team to be (as ever) very responsive and attuned to the outlook of the lay client. They are excellent at identifying the right barrister for the job and always reliable. A go to set of chambers with clerks who don’t rest on their laurels.
CLIENT: Sophie Eyre, Bird and Bird LLP
TESTIMONAL: “The team at Essex Court Chambers are forward looking and client understanding. The now clear split between arbitrator clerks and barristers clerks is also of huge assistance and adds an extra layer of separation so that information barriers are all the more visible to clients.
The clerks recognise the pressure solicitors are often put under by clients and the budgetary constraints and various fee structures that we are required to work with now. They are always creative and find counsel that not only specialise in the issues but who culturally suit the client/solicitors.
TESTIMONAL: Joe Ferrigno and his team are a modern group with clear value add above other sets and whose modus operandi is to build long term relationships with solicitors.”
CLIENT: Rupert Boswall, Senior Partner, RPC
TESTIMONAL: “Essex Court’s stellar reputation is driven to a large extent by having a clerking team that is head and shoulders above the competition. Joe and his team are always commercial and a joy to work with.”
CLIENT: Kambiz Larizadeh, Partner, Akin Gump
TESTIMONAL: “Choice of counsel is a very important decision in any significant piece of litigation. A good clerking team is an integral part of that decision-making process and also in ensuring that, once made, the counsel team provide the best possible client service. The clerking team at Essex Court Chambers, led by Joe Ferrigno, is without question the premier clerking team in London, in a crowded field. They are reliable, provide excellent judgment and advice in choice of counsel, and help effectively to co-ordinate with the Courts to administer client cases. All of which enables solicitors to meet and manage client expectations. The team goes from strength to strength, and is one of the key reasons I keep coming back to Essex Court time and time again.”
Members of Essex Court Chambers are involved in a variety of initiatives for the furtherance of equality and diversity and promoting access to the legal profession and to the bar. Examples of these include:
The Social Mobility Foundation
For the last five years, Essex Court Chambers has been an official supporter of the Social Mobility Foundation, and a large number of members of Chambers are regularly involved in running workshops and activities for students identified by the Social Mobility Foundation. Essex Court Chambers was the first (and still the only) chambers to become an official supporter of the Social Mobility Foundation. One of the key focuses of the Social Mobility Foundation is to support talented students from non-traditional backgrounds to focus on both thinking about careers and university choices whilst at school, and to support students in these endeavours. Supporting the Social Mobility Foundation came as part of a recognition by members of chambers that more needs to be done, far earlier in the recruitment process, and with a long term focus: supporting talented students to achieve their potential at school and university, enabling them to be the barristers of the future. Members of Chambers run at least four events per year with the Social Mobility Foundation, including a public speaking workshop for sixth form students, a mooting workshop for students at university, attending the Social Mobility Foundations career events, giving feedback on draft personal statements for university law degree applications, and providing mock university law interviews.
Essex Court Chambers is one of six Barristers’ Chambers who created a mentoring scheme for underrepresented groups at the Bar. The mentoring scheme, aims to support and encourage individuals from groups which are underrepresented at the Bar of England and Wales (and in particular the commercial bar) to pursue careers as barristers. Those underrepresented groups include women; people from minority ethnic backgrounds; people with disabilities; LGBT+ people; people who spent time in care; and people from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.
Outreach to potential candidates to widen the pool of potential applicants, for instance sponsoring QMUL’s diversity event, providing speakers or participants to student events, providing mentors for students as part of the KCL Bar & Mooting Society’s Social Mobility Mentors Scheme, putting on student open days, assisting with the Bar Council’s Bar Placement Week, participating in the Inner Temple’s Pegasus Access and Support Scheme. In 2019, one of our current pupils, Lorraine Aboagye, spoke as a panelist for BME Legal, which caters to aspiring barristers from a black/minority and/or low socio-economic background, providing support, one-to-one mentoring and workshops on the pupillage process. The event was a workshop on networking tips and tricks, and general pupillage application advice.
Assisting with the work of COMBAR, the specialist bar association for the commercial bar, which has recently been supporting a series of diversity events with ‘Cake and Counsel’ in Birmingham and London with an emphasis on informal networking with aspiring lawyers. Several members of chambers are involved in COMBAR’s governance, and Bibek Mukherjee is a member of the Junior COMBAR Committee.
Annual Student Open Day
Essex Court Chambers led the way in introducing an annual student open day, in addition to traditional mini-pupillages, as a way of running an event specifically focused on giving students an opportunity to learn about the different areas of the bar and the routes to the bar, the available scholarships and financial support and where they are encouraged to freely ask questions and meet current members of Chambers. This annual event has proved very popular, including attracting many students not yet studying law and attracting equal numbers of male and female students.
Members of Chambers regularly undertake pro bono work, including via the Bar Pro Bono Unit and the Employment Law Appeal Advice Scheme (“ELAAS”). Notable pro bono cases undertaken by members of Chambers include appearing in the Supreme Court in (1) Jivraj v Hashwani, in which the Supreme Court held that an arbitrator was not a person “employed” within the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003; and (2) Bates van Winkelhof v Clyde & Co LLP, in which the Supreme Court held that members of limited liability partnerships are workers for the purposes of whistleblowing protection. Further information on pro-bono work undertaken by members of Essex Court Chambers can be found on individual members’ CVs. In addition to arguing cases pro bono, many members of Essex Court Chambers are individually involved in supporting charitable causes, including working with legal advice clinics and acting as trustees. In 2019 Essex Court Chambers was acknowledged as a Gold Patron of the Bar Pro Bono Unit.
- Commercial litigation
- Fraud: civil
- International arbitration: counsel
- Media and entertainment (including art and cultural property)
- Public international law
- Tax: corporate and VAT/indirect tax
Top Tier Set Rankings
- Data protection
- European Union law
- Travel law (including jurisdictional issues)
- Administrative and public law (including elections)
- Business and regulatory crime (including global investigations)
- Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police)
- Company and partnership
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