Set Profile > Essex Court Chambers > London, England

Essex Court Chambers
24 LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS
LONDON
WC2A 3EG
England

Commercial litigation Tier 1

Essex Court Chambers is 'top of the pile' with 'fantastic counsel at all levels'. Clients add that the set is 'a market-leader when it comes to the production of know-how and has first-class administration'. The 'great strength in depth' is demonstrated by David Foxton QC's departure to become a judge, and the availability of other tier one silks to step into the breach. Complex international disputes feature heavily, including the $1bn Avonwick v Taruta, in which Nathan Pillow QC and Anton Dudnikov are among those representing the Ukrainian businessman, Sergey Taruta. Paul McGrath QC is also leading David Davies and James Sheehan in Tatneft v Bogylubov/Kolomoisky.

Rising stars

Stuart Cribb - Essex Court ChambersA great work ethic, and an ability to marshal large amounts of detail very quickly and effectively - he's a very good team player and a pleasure to work with.
Ranked: Tier 1
Richard Hoyle - Essex Court ChambersPleasant, intelligent and hard working. Always good to work with and will do his best to understand what drives clients and solicitors in particular cases and to tailor his approach, strategy and style of advice accordingly. On my list to recommend to my colleagues!
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks

Joe Smouha QC - Essex Court ChambersExtraordinarily powerful and effective advocacy, he wins arguments and succeeds in submissions that other QCs simply wouldn't win on, and combines this with a very collegiate, team ethos that is rare in QCs of his seniority.
Ranked: Tier 1
Andrew Hochhauser QC - Essex Court ChambersExtremely intelligent, very tenacious and will fight every inch in his client's best interests.
Ranked: Tier 2
Paul McGrath QC - Essex Court ChambersUnrivalled understanding of Judicial response to applications, impressive grasp of complex legal and factual issues as well as the sometimes stark cultural differences.
Ranked: Tier 2
Vernon Flynn QC - Essex Court ChambersA class act with no airs and graces, utterly sincere and genuine.
Ranked: Tier 2
Jeffrey Gruder QC - Essex Court ChambersGives real confidence not only because of his experience, but because he is willing to get involved in the detail of complex arguments.
Ranked: Tier 3
Graham Dunning QC - Essex Court ChambersWell-prepared and dogmatic in cross.
Ranked: Tier 4

Stephen Houseman QC - Essex Court Chambers ‘He was excellent, charming and forceful - an uber competent advocate.

Ranked: Tier 4
David Joseph QC - Essex Court ChambersCommercial and sensible, sound and practical judgment and a pleasure to work with.
Ranked: Tier 4
Richard Millett QC - Essex Court ChambersExcellent at distilling complex issues and providing a streamlined strategy.
Ranked: Tier 4
Paul Stanley QC - Essex Court ChambersCompletely brilliant - one of the very best that the commercial bar has to offer.
Ranked: Tier 4
Nathan Pillow QC - Essex Court ChambersCommands the respect of the Court and has a very charming courtroom manner, but is willing and able to talk a judge round when they are in danger of finding against the client, and to secure a win.
Ranked: Tier 5
Huw Davies QC - Essex Court ChambersGreat to work with; he is responsive and accessible and is a persuasive advocate, his depth of experience and affable manner make him an invaluable asset both in the Court room and on the page.
Ranked: Tier 6

Daniel Oudkerk QC - Essex Court Chambers ‘Super intelligent and knows exactly what his opponent is thinking so he can head it off, and an excellent advocate and great team player.

Ranked: Tier 6

Leading Juniors

Ruth den Besten - Essex Court ChambersExceptionally clever senior Commercial and Chancery Junior – heading for the very top.
Ranked: Tier 1
James Willan - Essex Court ChambersOutstanding in every way and is in my opinion the best junior at the commercial bar - his written work is outstanding, his legal knowledge is deep and impressive and his advocacy is exceptional.
Ranked: Tier 1
Tim Akkouh - Essex Court ChambersExtremely bright, has an excellent working knowledge of the law and is one of the most commercially-minded barristers I have worked with.
Ranked: Tier 2
Anna Dilnot - Essex Court ChambersExceptionally knowledgeable, analytical, superb on paper and in Court, delightful to work with and very hard working.
Ranked: Tier 2
Ciaran Keller - Essex Court ChambersCiaran is one of my "go-to" barristers for commercial disputes, I would readily engage him rather than involving a silk on all of my matters.
Ranked: Tier 2
David Peters - Essex Court ChambersClever, incisive, bold - A class act and first rate commercial mind that navigates a clear path through highly complex litigation, never losing sight of the issues that count and how to present them.
Ranked: Tier 2
James Sheehan - Essex Court ChambersAn excellent drafter, his written work is a joy to read.
Ranked: Tier 2
Edward Brown - Essex Court ChambersGreat to work with, very much a team player, cuts to the chase on the underlying issues, and excellent on his feet in court and as a cross-examiner.
Ranked: Tier 3
David Davies - Essex Court ChambersCommercial and sensible, sound and practical judgment and a pleasure to work with.
Ranked: Tier 3
Anton Dudnikov - Essex Court ChambersTechnically excellent, great with clients, very user friendly, a real star.
Ranked: Tier 4
Emily Wood - Essex Court ChambersA sensational barrister - she is incredibly easy to work with, always available to discuss strategy and procedure, and she is excellent with clients.
Ranked: Tier 4
Tom Ford - Essex Court ChambersHe combines immense intellectual firepower with incredible focus and a great tactical sense, he drives the litigation in a way that few junior barristers can do or would even attempt.
Ranked: Tier 5

Fraud: civil Tier 1

Essex Court Chambers has established itself 'as a go-to set, not only for Commercial Court work and international arbitration but for offshore international fraud cases, too'. The 'excellent set is teeming with talent at all levels' and 'seems to have monopolised the top senior juniors in commercial fraud', making it 'the leading fraud set, by a significant margin – they have all the good juniors and most of the good silks'. Notable cases include National Bank Trust v Yurov in which Nathan Pillow QC, David Davies and Anton Dudnikov represent the claimant, with James Willan sole counsel for one of the bank's directors. A 'dedicated and valuable team player', Stuart Cribb is a rising star in chambers.

Rising stars

Stuart Cribb - Essex Court ChambersBright and on top of all the factual detail as well as intricate legal points. Thorough and faultless written work with a nice style. A confident and calm advocate who is very well prepared and who gets the judge on side.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks

Paul McGrath QC - Essex Court ChambersUndoubtedly one of the leading lights of the civil fraud bar, and has particular expertise and experience in relation to interim injunctive relief - his knowledge in this area is encyclopaedic.
Ranked: Tier 1
Joe Smouha QC - Essex Court ChambersA real heavyweight in trusts and fraud matters who likes to organise every aspect of a winning strategy, he has a real cutting edge to his cross-examination and delivery of submissions.
Ranked: Tier 1
Huw Davies QC - Essex Court ChambersVery approachable and as comfortable dealing with the most junior associate as the partner, it is a pleasure to pick up the phone to talk to him.
Ranked: Tier 3
Vernon Flynn QC - Essex Court ChambersHe rolls up his sleeves and fights side to side with his clients and instructing lawyers. He is very user friendly and successfully advances aggressive, but justifiably so, arguments against fraudsters.
Ranked: Tier 3
Nathan Pillow QC - Essex Court ChambersOne of the best courtroom advocates and cross-examiners I have seen, also exceedingly good to deal with and always focused on the bigger strategic picture without losing sight of the detail.
Ranked: Tier 3
Jeffrey Gruder QC - Essex Court ChambersHis advocacy is clear and authoritative.
Ranked: Tier 4
Paul Stanley QC - Essex Court ChambersA force to be reckoned with in civil fraud - robust but backed by extreme intellectual fire power.
Ranked: Tier 4

Leading Juniors

David Davies - Essex Court ChambersVery sensible, easy to deal with and a safe pair of hands - a great addition to any team.
Ranked: Tier 1
Anna Dilnot - Essex Court ChambersMy first choice of counsel when I need a senior junior or junior silk on a civil fraud case - she combines excellent knowledge with outstanding tactical nous.
Ranked: Tier 1
David Peters - Essex Court ChambersMy first port of call for large, complex fraud cases, he is more than an excellent legal mind - he has phenomenal judgement and knows what a judge will make of things.
Ranked: Tier 1
James Willan - Essex Court ChambersSimply one of the best juniors around, truly outstanding - he is a top QC in the making; drafts beautifully, is very commercial and is incredibly hard-working.
Ranked: Tier 1
Tim Akkouh - Essex Court ChambersTim drafts beautifully, is an excellent team player and really grasps what the client's priorities are.
Ranked: Tier 1

Ruth den Besten - Essex Court Chambers ‘A phenomenal junior for the most hard fought fraud cases - very bright, and knows fraud inside out. A strong advocate, not intimidated by QCs on the other side of the room.

Ranked: Tier 2
Anton Dudnikov - Essex Court ChambersTurns around his work with effortless ease and with alarming attention to detail as well as seeing the bigger picture - his fluent Russian is an added bonus.
Ranked: Tier 2
Louise Hutton - Essex Court ChambersThere is no junior in the civil fraud area with more experience of large cases. Has a great instinct for what will and won’t matter when the chips are down.
Ranked: Tier 2
Ciaran Keller - Essex Court ChambersExtremely efficient and an outstanding junior, one of the very best at the commercial bar.
Ranked: Tier 2
James Sheehan - Essex Court ChambersHis written work is excellent; he is very thorough; he leaves no stone unturned.
Ranked: Tier 2
Tom Ford - Essex Court ChambersOne of the finest juniors I have ever worked with - diligent, hard-working, highly-intelligent and talented strategist, his package of skills are, to my mind, unrivalled in this area.
Ranked: Tier 3

International arbitration: counsel Tier 1

Essex Court Chambers is 'top of the list for international arbitration' with a 'deep bench of excellent barristers'. The set has been a market leader for some time, but hasn't rested on its laurels, with the arrivals of Alison Macdonald QC and Angeline Welsh from Matrix Chambers and Sean Aughey from 11KBW, which together is considered 'quite a coup' by observers. Notable cases include VRG Linhas Aereas SA v MatlinPatterson Opportunities II LP in which Vernon Flynn QC and Emily Wood are representing the private equity group MatlinPatterson in a challenged arbitral award. Flynn and Lucas Bastin are also facing off against Paul Key QC in Karkey Karadeniz Elektrik Uretim A.S. v The Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Leading Silks

Graham Dunning QC - Essex Court ChambersAbsolutely brilliant.
Ranked: Tier 1
Vernon Flynn QC - Essex Court ChambersHas an exceptional international practice.
Ranked: Tier 1
David Joseph QC - Essex Court ChambersVery detail-focused, sharp and proactive, and he is a real authority on private international law.
Ranked: Tier 1

Paul Key QC - Essex Court Chambers ‘Combines high intellect with a sure eye for how a Tribunal thinks and always has beguilingly simple but effective answers to complex problems.

Ranked: Tier 1
Toby Landau QC - Essex Court ChambersA very impressive advocate.
Ranked: Tier 1
Richard Millett QC - Essex Court ChambersA real willingness to listen, collaborate and think-outside of the box - a wonderful, thoughtful counsel with real skill in oral advocacy.
Ranked: Tier 1
Joe Smouha QC - Essex Court ChambersAn elite barrister - absolutely top-drawer. He has a lightning intellect, masters very complex issues with ease, leads from the front, and is very popular with both the legal team and clients.
Ranked: Tier 1
Jeffrey Gruder QC - Essex Court ChambersA great silk who has an incredible in-depth knowledge of arbitration law and practice.
Ranked: Tier 2
David Scorey QC - Essex Court ChambersSharp as a knife and gets entirely on top of the facts, regardless of how complicated or convoluted they may be - he has an excellent strategic sense and I have complete confidence in his ability to hold a court or tribunal.
Ranked: Tier 2
Malcolm Shaw QC - Essex Court ChambersThe work he has done for us was at the highest professional level.
Ranked: Tier 2
Paul Stanley QC - Essex Court ChambersAn impressive silk.
Ranked: Tier 2
Huw Davies QC - Essex Court ChambersClear on which issues matter and which don't, with an eye on the client outcome at all times, which means he cuts through difficult issues - he is happy to stand by his judgement which is informed by his own experience as an arbitrator.
Ranked: Tier 2
James Collins QC - Essex Court ChambersA really impressive barrister - he is pragmatic and innovative in the strategies he comes up with. 
Ranked: Tier 3
David Mildon QC - Essex Court ChambersStrong analytical abilities and persuasive oral submissions.
Ranked: Tier 3
Salim Moollan QC - Essex Court ChambersA very impressive silk.
Ranked: Tier 3
Ricky Diwan QC - Essex Court ChambersExtremely sharp and understated at the same time - advocacy at its best.
Ranked: Tier 4
Alison Macdonald QC - Essex Court ChambersA tremendous addition to Essex Court - delightful to work with, exceptionally clever with great intuition for international work and relationships.
Ranked: Tier 4
Jern-Fei Ng QC - Essex Court ChambersVery rigorous in terms of his legal analysis and considerations. Highly effective in both his written advocacy and on his feet. One of the most talented counsel I have worked with on issues of strategy, where he is always several steps ahead of the current state of proceedings.
Ranked: Tier 4
Sam Wordsworth QC - Essex Court ChambersStands out in the area of international arbitration, specifically investment disputes.
Ranked: Tier 4

Leading Juniors

Lucas Bastin - Essex Court Chambers ‘He is the best junior barrister out there - extremely smart, commercially-minded and very good at explaining complex situations in a simple way.

Ranked: Tier 1
David Davies - Essex Court ChambersGood judgement and a leading light in the arbitration arena.
Ranked: Tier 1
Siddharth Dhar - Essex Court ChambersHas excellent drafting skills, really exceptional, and is also a quick-witted and persuasive advocate.
Ranked: Tier 1
Iain Quirk - Essex Court ChambersWell-known on the arbitration scene and brings his experience to bear, he's equally good in written or oral advocacy and thinks creatively, too.
Ranked: Tier 1
James Willan - Essex Court ChambersHe is a very gifted barrister with an exceptionally fast-working mind and fantastic manner with clients, he clearly has a great future at the bar.
Ranked: Tier 1

Emily Wood - Essex Court Chambers ‘Emily is a sensational barrister. She is incredibly easy to work with, always available to discuss strategy and procedure, and she is excellent with clients.

Ranked: Tier 1
David Peters - Essex Court ChambersHighly intelligent and gets right into the detail of the case - he is quick to pick up the key issues and never loses sight of them, even though the volume of documents in the large cases that he works on will often be intimidating.
Ranked: Tier 2
Angeline Welsh - Essex Court ChambersAn impressive junior who is enjoyable to work with.
Ranked: Tier 2
Sean Aughey - Essex Court ChambersSean is exceptional - He has a brilliant mind.
Ranked: Tier 2
Damien Walker - Essex Court ChambersProduces written submissions and correspondence of high quality, which are the product of his excellent analytical mind - he is very approachable, collegiate and very easy to work with.
Ranked: Tier 3

Public international law Tier 1

Essex Court Chambers is 'well known as an excellent PIL set' and the 'counsel are consistently of top quality and involved in some of the highest-profile PIL work around'. The set has 'recruited well recently' with the arrival of Alison Macdonald QC from Matrix Chambers and Sean Aughey from 11KBW cementing its status at the top. Recent cases include Qatar v United Arab Emirates at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), where Dan Sarooshi QC and Vaughan Lowe QC appeared on opposing sides. Macdonald also represented The Republic of Mauritius in a high profile ICJ Advisory Opinion on the Chagos Archipelago, in which Sam Wordsworth QC was opposing counsel.

Rising stars

Naomi Hart - Essex Court ChambersNot only is she super efficient and quick to respond to several different issues that may arise, her instincts are spot on when giving advice.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks

Vaughan Lowe QC - Essex Court ChambersPeerless and in a class of his own, he ought to be the next UK judge at the ICJ.
Ranked: Tier 1
Sir Frank Berman QC - Essex Court ChambersAn elder statesman of PIL.
Ranked: Tier 2
Toby Landau QC - Essex Court ChambersUndoubtedly one of the best.
Ranked: Tier 2
Malcolm Shaw QC - Essex Court ChambersOne of the top international lawyers, with deepest and extensive academic and practical knowledge and experience.
Ranked: Tier 2
Sam Wordsworth QC - Essex Court ChambersAn obvious star. He stands out in the area of international arbitration, specifically in investment disputes.
Ranked: Tier 2
Dan Sarooshi QC - Essex Court ChambersConsiders the legal and strategic issues in great depth and builds the authorities and arguments to present them most compellingly. Excellent with clients.
Ranked: Tier 3
Paul Key QC - Essex Court ChambersHas a rare and considerable depth of knowledge of both public and private international law; his success in representing and working with government advisers and foreign counsel is in part due to his ability to apply international norms and English legal principles to matters of international investment and trade.
Ranked: Tier 3
Alison Macdonald QC - Essex Court ChambersClassy, and brilliantly smart, a pleasure to work with and adored by clients for her ability to pull together a flawless case.
Ranked: Tier 3

Leading Juniors

Lucas Bastin - Essex Court ChambersAn excellent asset to any legal team, his organised work is easy to follow up with regardless of how complex a case is, and he has excellent analytical capabilities and can segregate irrelevant or minor matters from crucial and more important matters.
Ranked: Tier 1
Amy Sander - Essex Court ChambersAn excellent advocate, arguing her points with a clarity and fluency that is welcomed by the bench and appreciated by her colleagues.
Ranked: Tier 1
Sean Aughey - Essex Court ChambersA really strong hands-on junior, unfazed by complex sets of facts, and with an exceptional and reliable sense of judgement, makes him all the more rare.
Ranked: Tier 2
Alan Boyle - Essex Court ChambersA well-regarded PIL specialist.
Ranked: Tier 2

Banking and finance (including consumer credit) Tier 2

Essex Court Chambers is 'always one of our first ports of call' for banking and finance disputes, and is 'particularly good on complex cases with an international element'. The chambers stands out for having 'an absolutely fabulous set of senior juniors'. Market-defining cases are a matter of course, such as PCP Capital Partners LLP v Barclays Plc, in which Joe Smouha QC and James Sheehan are representing the claimant. Nathan Pillow QC and David Davies are among a team of four members representing the claimant in Bank Trust v Yurov & others, with James Willan on the opposing team.

Leading Silks

Joe Smouha QC - Essex Court ChambersOne of the true heavyweights of the current commercial bar - a truly excellent advocate, inspires confidence, and fantastic on the law and trial tactics.
Ranked: Tier 2
Stephen Houseman QC - Essex Court ChambersHis intelligence, and his ability to clearly advocate a complex legal argument, are both strong points, but he is also a pleasure to work with and a real team player.
Ranked: Tier 3
Paul McGrath QC - Essex Court ChambersIt is a genuine pleasure to work with him on complex cases where we are pushing at the boundaries of the law.
Ranked: Tier 3

Jeffrey Gruder QC - Essex Court Chambers ‘He is an excellent lawyer with a very good grasp of the case.

Ranked: Tier 4
Nathan Pillow QC - Essex Court ChambersExcellent grasp of the key issues, legal and commercial, and able to deal with potentially challenging issues and clients with aplomb.
Ranked: Tier 4

Leading Juniors

James Sheehan - Essex Court ChambersNever afraid to roll up his sleeves and be fully immersed in a case, he is hard working, ferociously bright and has excellent judgement.
Ranked: Tier 1
James Willan - Essex Court ChambersAn absolute star - he is excellent all round and can operate equally well as a junior supporting a Silk or as lead barrister.
Ranked: Tier 1
Louise Hutton - Essex Court ChambersHer combination of expertise in insolvency, banking litigation and fraud is invaluable.
Ranked: Tier 2
Ciaran Keller - Essex Court ChambersHe is a complete all rounder: super bright, all over the detail, calm under pressure, clear and confident with clients, very easy to work with and forms an integral part of our team.
Ranked: Tier 3
Emily Wood - Essex Court ChambersShe has keen litigation sense and gives clear advice about what the options are and which is best to choose and why - her writing is crystal clear and persuasive, and she can crank out a written submission faster than I have ever seen.
Ranked: Tier 3
David Davies - Essex Court ChambersHe is quick responsive and incisive, his written work is excellent and thorough.
Ranked: Tier 4
Tom Ford - Essex Court ChambersHe is bright, energetic and has the tenacity to always stay one step ahead of the opposition - his strategic thinking is beyond his years.
Ranked: Tier 4

John Robb - Essex Court Chambers ‘Incredibly bright, hardworking, and able to produce top quality work whilst under a lot of pressure and maintaining his good humour throughout.

Ranked: Tier 4

Company and partnership

Company - Leading juniors

Tim Akkouh - Essex Court ChambersHe drafts beautifully, is an excellent team player and really grasps what the client's priorities are.
Ranked: Tier 2
Ruth den Besten - Essex Court ChambersShe is a standout junior.
Ranked: Tier 3
James Sheehan - Essex Court ChambersHe is an outstanding junior.
Ranked: Tier 3

Partnership - Leading juniors

Ciaran Keller - Essex Court ChambersHe is a complete all-rounder: super bright, all over the detail, calm under pressure, clear and confident with clients, very easy to work with and forms an integral part of our team.
Ranked: Tier 3

Employment Tier 2

Essex Court Chambers is 'a leading commercial set that is also a leader in employment law, not just because of the quality of its advocates but because its employment barristers have cross-over practices into other areas, which give them an edge in contentious and complex employment and employment-related disputes'. Of recent note, Andrew Hochhauser QC acted in an ET unfair dismissal and disability discrimination claim, which was brought by a former senior banker, who had worked for a bank for almost 40 years. Daniel Oudkerk QC has appeared in several significant commercial employment disputes, including Egon Zehnder v Tillman SC, the first employee competition case in over 100 years to reach the Supreme Court.

Leading Silks

David Craig QC - Essex Court Chambers ‘A phenomenal silk at the top of his game, he is the natural first choice for the most complex and high-value High Court employment claims and arbitrations. David is an outstanding advocate with devastating cross-examination skills, and his mastery of the detail in hugely complex litigation is without comparison.

Ranked: Tier 1
Andrew Hochhauser QC - Essex Court ChambersExtremely intelligent, very tenacious and will fight every inch in his client's best interests.
Ranked: Tier 1
Daniel Oudkerk QC - Essex Court ChambersA go-to barrister for employment matters – he really knows this area!
Ranked: Tier 1
Charles Ciumei QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is well prepared and presents cases diligently and clearly.
Ranked: Tier 3

Leading Juniors

Jane Russell - Essex Court ChambersHighly impressive knowledge of a range of complex employment law issues.
Ranked: Tier 1
Edward Brown - Essex Court ChambersGreat analytical skills and definitely a QC in waiting. He is efficient, with a can-do attitude, and is a very effective cross-examiner.
Ranked: Tier 2
Iain Quirk - Essex Court ChambersHe really knows the law and is very good for detail.
Ranked: Tier 4
Andrew Legg - Essex Court ChambersExtremely diligent and hardworking, and an exceptionally able lawyer. He is also a creative legal thinker, coming up with innovative solutions to legal problems.
Ranked: Tier 5

Energy Tier 2

Essex Court Chambers is 'at top of the tree with great strength in depth', remarks one client. A prominent set for international arbitration, it has several members who appear in large-scale energy litigation. Although David Foxton QC was appointed to the High Court Bench in early 2020 the set retains 'many junior silks and senior juniors with real strength in this area'. Among these are Jern-Fei Ng QC, who took silk in 2018, and Siddharth Dhar, who acted for Karkey in an $845m dispute concerning the provision of Turkish electric power barges for the supply of electricity to the city of Karachi. Paul Key QC acted as lead counsel for National Iranian Gas Corporation in its on-going defence of a $5bn energy arbitration claim brought by Turkmenistan. One client notes that 'you cannot fault the clerks room, which is efficient and friendly, and Joe Ferrigno is a fantastic senior clerk'.

Leading Silks

Paul Key QC - Essex Court ChambersAn excellent advisor and strategist who communicates well with clients.
Ranked: Tier 1
Vernon Flynn QC - Essex Court ChambersA very persuasive advocate who is easy to work with and is able to present arguments in very simple terms.
Ranked: Tier 2
David Mildon QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is very diligent and always well prepared and he has particular expertise in gas pricing arbitrations.
Ranked: Tier 2
Claire Blanchard QC - Essex Court ChambersA popular silk who has an impressive manner in court.
Ranked: Tier 3
Graham Dunning QC - Essex Court ChambersHe provides clear and crisp advocacy and has the depth of knowledge and experience to apply first principles.
Ranked: Tier 3
Philippa Hopkins QC - Essex Court ChambersShe is one of the brightest QCs and is extremely quick on the uptake, providing clear, focused advice of the highest quality.
Ranked: Tier 4
Jern-Fei Ng QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is very committed to the case, energetic and presents well to clients.
Ranked: Tier 4

Leading Juniors

Siddharth Dhar - Essex Court ChambersFirst and foremost, he is an excellent lawyer, very easy to work with and very responsive with a very collaborative approach.
Ranked: Tier 1
Anton Dudnikov - Essex Court ChambersTechnically excellent, fiercely bright and commercially shrewd, he is a real star who zeroes in on the killer points.
Ranked: Tier 2
Iain Quirk - Essex Court ChambersHe has a great brain and a pragmatic approach and he has all the skills to be a silk.
Ranked: Tier 2
Ciaran Keller - Essex Court ChambersExtremely efficient, highly responsive and insightful, he is one of the very best juniors at the commercial bar.
Ranked: Tier 3
Lucas Bastin - Essex Court ChambersHe is simply outstanding - intelligent, pragmatic and responsive.
Ranked: Tier 4
Stuart Cribb - Essex Court ChambersHe is sharp, hardworking and very user friendly.
Ranked: Tier 4

International arbitration: arbitrators Tier 2

Essex Court Chambers is a 'first-rate international arbitration chambers' and this reputation extends to its stable of arbitrators. The full-time arbitrators, which include Sir Bernard Eder and several other highly respected former judges, are housed in the associated specialist chambers, 24 Lincoln's Inn Fields. The main chambers has several well-respected counsel who also work as arbitrators, with Toby Landau QC and Jeffrey Gruder QC among the most active. The set, and the market as a whole, mourns the loss V V Veeder QC, who sadly passed away in 2020 and was widely considered to be a doyen of the arbitration world.

Travel law (including jurisdictional issues)

Leading Silks

Hugh Mercer QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is undoubtedly extremely strong on all relevant jurisdictional conflict issues.
Ranked: Tier 2

Shipping Tier 2

‘A very good and well-respected set’, Essex Court Chambers covers a range of shipping disputes, including those involving shipbuilding, insurance, and charterparties. Highlights of 2019 for the set included the Panamax Trader, in which Steven Berry QC and Jeremy Brier handled a Commercial Court trial and LMAA arbitration involving allegations that shipowners scuttled their ship to claim insurance. Elsewhere, Nathan Pillow QC acted in the high-value Commercial Court case Palmali Shipping vs Litasco, while Christopher Smith QC handled CCNI Arauco, a case related to an explosion on a vessel.

Leading Silks

Steven Berry QC - Essex Court ChambersVery clever and a good advocate.
Ranked: Tier 1
Graham Dunning QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is a rapier-like cross-examiner.
Ranked: Tier 2
Jeffrey Gruder QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is highly rated by clients.
Ranked: Tier 3
Nathan Pillow QC - Essex Court ChambersVery strong on his feet and in cross-examination.
Ranked: Tier 3
Christopher Smith QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is highly recommended for shipping disputes.
Ranked: Tier 3
Claire Blanchard QC - Essex Court ChambersMarvellous to work with; a tough and effective advocate even in the most difficult cases.
Ranked: Tier 4
Nigel Eaton QC - Essex Court ChambersOne of the cleverest barristers at the commercial bar.
Ranked: Tier 5
Vernon Flynn QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is very experienced in shipping work.
Ranked: Tier 5
Roderick Cordara QC - Essex Court ChambersA brilliant and fiercely-competitive performer.
Ranked: Tier 5

Leading Juniors

Jeremy Brier - Essex Court ChambersHas a wealth of experience.
Ranked: Tier 3
David Davies - Essex Court ChambersHe is a good choice for shipping disputes.
Ranked: Tier 3
Neil Hart - Essex Court ChambersHe is a very astute advocate.
Ranked: Tier 3
John Robb - Essex Court ChambersClever, tenacious, and hardworking.
Ranked: Tier 3
John Snider - Essex Court ChambersAn excellent and experienced junior for large cases.
Ranked: Tier 3
David Walsh - Essex Court ChambersSuperb performance in oral hearing by comprehensive and intensive preparations and sharp cross-examinations.
Ranked: Tier 3
Adam Board - Essex Court ChambersClever and is able to get to the heart of complex disputes.
Ranked: Tier 4

Commodities Tier 3

Essex Court Chambers is 'very user-friendly' and clients note that 'you can always find the suitable barrister and there are juniors who are very intelligent and easy to work with'. The set has a long history in the shipping and commodities arena and continues to be involved in high-value arbitrations. Graham Dunning QC has 35 years' experience in shipping and commodities matters and his recent work includes high-value fraud matters relating to the storage of metal. Nigel Eaton QC recently handled high-value matters relating to coal, mining and energy. Prominent junior David Walsh acted for BMCE Bank International in a two-week trial concerning a cargo of steel billets that went missing in Nigeria. 'You cannot fault the clerks room', notes one source who praises senior clerk Joe Ferrigno.

Leading Silks

Nigel Eaton QC - Essex Court ChambersA highly intelligent and clear commercial barrister for shipping and commodities matters.
Ranked: Tier 3
Nathan Pillow QC - Essex Court ChambersHe has a wonderful manner and his intellect enables him to deftly deal with any challenge that might arise.
Ranked: Tier 4
Steven Berry QC - Essex Court ChambersA versatile advocate with experience in insurance, shipping, banking and commodities cases.
Ranked: Tier 4
Graham Dunning QC - Essex Court ChambersHe has a great depth of knowledge and experience.
Ranked: Tier 4
Claire Blanchard QC - Essex Court ChambersAn experienced advocate, both in court and in international arbitration.
Ranked: Tier 5
Philippa Hopkins QC - Essex Court ChambersShe provides clear, focused advice of the highest quality and is also excellent at strategy.
Ranked: Tier 5
Jern-Fei Ng QC - Essex Court ChambersExtremely intelligent and tactically astute, he is one of a kind and is highly sought after.
Ranked: Tier 5

Leading Juniors

David Walsh - Essex Court ChambersHe has a first-rate brain and excellent judgement, and is prodigiously hardworking, urbane and perceptive.
Ranked: Tier 2

Insurance and reinsurance Tier 3

Essex Court Chambers is 'a class act and a set full of good counsel'. Its members are experts in insurance disputes, including Bermuda Form arbitrations, but are also recognised in more traditional fields of insurance, such as marine insurance. David Scorey QC acted for Chubb in a $100m Supreme Court insurance policy claim that related to Deepwater Horizon, the worst maritime environmental pollution disaster in US history. John Lockey QC represented Weyerhaeuser in the Commercial Court, which produced the leading decision on resolving jurisdiction battles where the policy contains competing arbitration and jurisdiction clauses. The former head of chambers, David Foxton QC, has been appointed to the High Court Bench.

Leading Silks

John Lockey QC - Essex Court ChambersA brilliant silk who always strives to achieve the best for clients.
Ranked: Tier 1
David Scorey QC - Essex Court ChambersUnderstands the pressures solicitors face from clients, which is extremely helpful in ensuring our advice to clients is consistent and caters to their needs. His knowledge of the Bermuda Form is second to none, but he is a class act in relation to any insurance/reinsurance form.
Ranked: Tier 3
Steven Berry QC - Essex Court ChambersA highly skilled silk.
Ranked: Tier 5
Mark Templeman QC - Essex Court ChambersGreat knowledge and experience in heavyweight matters.
Ranked: Tier 5

Leading Juniors

David Peters - Essex Court ChambersA first-class act for highly complex issues.
Ranked: Tier 4
David Walsh - Essex Court ChambersA go-to junior for complex marine insurance coverage cases. He has a first-rate brain, excellent judgement, and is prodigiously hardworking.
Ranked: Tier 4

Administrative and public law (including elections)

Leading Silks

Dan Sarooshi QC - Essex Court ChambersHe had good judgement and deep understanding of the relevant law.
Ranked: Tier 3
Hugh Mercer QC - Essex Court ChambersA masterclass in terms of his ability to assimilate complex issues.
Ranked: Tier 4

Leading Juniors

Edward Brown - Essex Court ChambersClear in his advice and robust in his advocacy, he can present difficult arguments with skill and tenacity.
Ranked: Tier 3

European Union law

Leading Silks

Hugh Mercer QC - Essex Court ChambersAn excellent advocate able to distil complex legal arguments in a manner accessible to the court.
Ranked: Tier 3

Leading Juniors

Andrew Legg - Essex Court ChambersA very structured and organised mind, he articulates his arguments well and is patient with demanding clients. He has a great command of tax law.
Ranked: Tier 3

Environment

Leading Silks

Hugh Mercer QC - Essex Court ChambersA sheer specialist who provides a masterclass in terms of his ability to assimilate complex issues yet focus on the tiniest of detail.
Ranked: Tier 3

Business and regulatory crime (including global investigations)

Leading Silks

Alison Macdonald QC - Essex Court ChambersAn outstandingly bright silk. Methodical, clear and precise. She has great client care skills and the client is very happy to follow her sage advice.
Ranked: Tier 3

Offshore Tier 3

'A leading set with an extremely impressive roster', Essex Court Chambers not only has a reputation for handling elite commercial matters before the English courts but is also active in the British Overseas Territories. James Willan represents Barclays in litigation in the Cayman Islands in proceedings against the latter party of the AHAB v Saad case, while Jern-Fei Ng QC and Vernon Flynn QC are both instructed for China Shanshui Cement Group in Caymanian litigation concerning the company's proposed winding-up. As far as the BVI is concerned, Paul McGrath QC represents the former in the Renova Industries v Emerson International dispute, which in 2019 went to the Privy Council on a point concerning freezing orders. Members of chambers are well-connected in the Isle of Man, with Ciaran Keller representing a defunct space tourism company in a long-running dispute with Japanese businessman.

Leading Silks

Vernon Flynn QC - Essex Court ChambersHe works on devilishly difficult freezing injunctions, receiverships and disclosure orders.
Ranked: Tier 3
Paul McGrath QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is very, very knowledgeable and one certainly gets the impression that he is with you all the way, especially in asset tracing exercises.
Ranked: Tier 3
Jern-Fei Ng QC - Essex Court ChambersKnowledgable about the latest position not only in England but across the Commonwealth.
Ranked: Tier 3
Richard Millett QC - Essex Court ChambersRichard is immensely thoughtful and personable. He always willingly gives his time, even at short notice. He really makes an effort to build a relationship with us, and he has rescued difficult situations on multiple occasions.
Ranked: Tier 4

Leading Juniors

Ciaran Keller - Essex Court ChambersExtremely efficient and highly responsive, he provides insightful to-the-point advice.
Ranked: Tier 2
James Willan - Essex Court ChambersA clear thinker able to express his points concisely and is very clever.
Ranked: Tier 2

IT and telecoms

IT and telecoms (excluding regulatory) - Leading Juniors

Iain Quirk - Essex Court ChambersHe is able to leverage his broad expertise across multiple practice areas.
Ranked: Tier 4

Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police)

Leading Silks

Alison MacDonald QC - Essex Court ChambersExperienced advocate with expertise across international law and human rights.
Ranked: Tier 4

Media and entertainment (including art and cultural property)

'Experts in their field', Essex Court Chambers has 'a top reputation and lives up to it' when it comes to arts and cultural property instructions. Joe Smouha QC shines in title, dealer commission, authenticity, and purchasing syndicate disputes, as demonstrated in a recent Commercial Court trial concerning the sale of an alleged counterfeit painting by Sotheby's. The Joint Head of Chambers recently acted for defendant Mark Weiss Ltd, leading art fraud and contractual breach expert Claudia Renton. Emily Wood, who also sits as an arbitrator on art-related matters, was instructed by the other side in this $10m claim against the Old Master dealer.

Art and cultural property - Leading Silks

Joe Smouha QC - Essex Court ChambersHe combines keen intellect with commercial awareness and an excellent understanding of the art market and the unusual legal situations it often throws up.
Ranked: Tier 1

Art and cultural property - Leading Juniors

Claudia Renton - Essex Court ChambersA phenomenal junior, unflappable and extremely hard-working.
Ranked: Tier 1
Emily Wood - Essex Court ChambersVery smart and responsive, excellent drafting.
Ranked: Tier 1

Media and entertainment - Leading Juniors

Iain Quirk - Essex Court ChambersAn impressive, plain-speaking and unstuffy barrister.
Ranked: Tier 2
Edward Brown - Essex Court ChambersVery clear and pragmatic in his advice, as well as exceptionally client-friendly.
Ranked: Tier 3

Set overviews: England and Wales

From its base in London and outpost in Singapore, Essex Court Chambers is one of the leading commercial sets for both domestic and international disputes. The latest guide sees the set among the top ten chambers with the most leading set rankings, the most Tier 1 set rankings, the most overall barrister rankings, and the most leading silks rankings. In recent news, Joe Smouha QC and Huw Davies QC were appointed Joint Heads of Chambers, following the announcement of David Foxton QC’s elevation to the High Court Bench in December 2019. Alison Macdonald QC and Angeline Welsh  joined from Matrix Chambers, while Sean Aughey  arrived from 11KBW. Toby Landau QC was elected to the governing board of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration. Hugh Mercer QC has been elected to serve as Head of the UK Delegation to The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe.

Testimonials

Clerks:

Best clerks in any set – they go above and beyond.

Cannot fault the clerks room. Joe Ferrigno is a fantastic senior clerk. Particular mentions also to Jack Wood, Oliver Duane and Oliver Butcher – nothing is ever too much trouble and they are professional but friendly and develop a real rapport with solicitors.

Clerks room excellent – always ready to help in professional efficient way

Jack Wood is, in my opinion, the best clerk in London. Super responsive, helpful and commercially-savvy. Always a pleasure to deal with him.

Joe Ferrigno is a force of nature, who makes my life significantly easier.

Joe Ferrigno is outstanding. Highly responsive and engaged.

Kevin Grubb is very good to work with and attuned to commercial realities and pressures faced by solicitors firms vis-a-vis clients. This makes a massive difference when deciding which set to reach out to.

Ollie Butcher has been outstanding as a clerk, very responsive and savvy. He has done very well with listings.

The best out there – they make a real effort to get to know their solicitors, and to make our lives easier.

The clerking team are consistently great. Ben Perry is the best in the business. His commercial instincts are spot on and he knows exactly what is needed for a dispute.

The clerks are always very efficient and friendly – they will engage effectively on negotiating commercial terms and are happy to be flexible to accommodate client requirements

The clerks are always very efficient, practical and friendly. Good at understanding the commercial framework and happy to discuss rates/commercial terms and arrangements.

The clerks we have communicated with have always been helpful, providing timely and qualified service.

They have been upping their game in terms of service both from the barristers and the clerks room. Definite feeling of greater approachability.

Very good service and I’m particularly impressed with Joe Ferrigno’s hands on approach and can-do attitude. He wants to find ways to be innovative.

Very helpful indeed in sorting out everything from zoom conferencing to prepping bundles/delivery of hard copy documents, in fact pretty much anything you ask of them. Great bunch.

Very responsive. Ben Perry, is excellent and particularly easy to deal with when negotiating fees.

Set:

Clearly one of the leading commercial sets. very well clerked and resourced top to bottom.

Deep bench of excellent barristers at Essex Court Chambers.

Essex Court are absolutely top rate and the go to set for complex international disputes.

Essex Court are the top of the tree – great strength in depth and coverage.

Essex Court are top of the pile. They have fantastic counsel at all levels, are market-leaders when it comes to the production of know-how and have first-class administration

Essex Court Chambers has always had a good selection of extremely bright counsel for high court litigation and for international arbitration. The right counsel are not always available but they are always worth an enquiry.

Essex Court chambers has an excellent reputation in the market for VAT, with an all-star team including Roderick Cordara QC, Edmund King QC, David Scorey QC and Jern-Fei Ng QC.

Essex Court Chambers is in my view rightly considered one of the leading if not the leading commercial set in England. Huge strength and choice of counsel to choose from.

Essex court is a powerhouse in commercial litigation for very good reason. Chambers is full of extremely bright and effective advocates.

Essex Court is the go to set for advice on high value complex litigation. All members are immensely bright and able, whilst being easy to work with, and the clerks room is always responsive and eager to help. A hugely well established set, which you can be confident will deliver – whichever member you are instructing.

Extremely professional, quick and effective. Take time to develop a personal relationship by phone and email communication.

The chambers are very easy to work with, highly efficient and flexible, often treating Instructing Solicitors as part of the ‘team’ and assisting with filing documents at court etc when there are time pressures. They are also very accommodating when we find ourselves in London for a trial and in need of a ‘base’, which is very much appreciated.

This is an excellent set, and a top set for international arbitration.

Top set with great clerking and a strong team at QC and junior level. Always think of them when looking for counsel. Reasonable prices and very open to negotiation and the client circumstances.

Very strong team of barristers particularly for complex commercial disputes.

Tax: corporate and VAT/indirect tax

With 'an all-star team', Essex Court Chambers is a leading light for contentious VAT. In addition to VAT litigation, members have vast experience in matters involving environmental taxation, customs duty and other aspects of indirect tax. Roderick Cordara QC is admitted to practice in England and Wales and Australia, and often appears in the European Court of Justice on tax-related matters. In a recent highlight, he acted for American Express against HMRC in a case concerning how Amex cards work in relation to merchants and cardholders. Edward Brown focuses on VAT and customs duty, acting for and against the revenue; he appeared for News UK in its VAT dispute with HMRC concerning the treatment of digital media. David Scorey QC acted for an NHS foundation trust in The Queen (on application of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust) v The Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs, successfully arguing that it was eligible for a recovery for the input tax on its car leasing scheme.

Tax: VAT - Leading silks

Roderick Cordara QC - Essex Court Chambers He has a really impressive and in depth knowledge of VAT from his years at the Bar. He is a brilliant advocate, always extremely professional and a pleasure to appear against.
Ranked: Tier 1
David Scorey QC - Essex Court ChambersHe is excellent and presents cases economically and effectively in a way which most judges find attractive.
Ranked: Tier 2
Jern-Fei Ng QC - Essex Court ChambersHas an excellent reputation for VAT-related work.
Ranked: Tier 4

Tax: VAT Leading juniors

Edward Brown - Essex Court ChambersPutting aside his disarming modesty, he is completely unflappable and incredibly hard working. Anyone paying for him is getting the ability and judgment of a silk for the price of a junior.
Ranked: Tier 2
Andrew Legg - Essex Court ChambersHe is industrious yet unflappable. Has good attention to detail and knowledge of public and EU law. His particular skill is being able to bring a commercial understanding to tax disputes and convey that context to the tribunal.
Ranked: Tier 3

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 & finance, civil fraud, corporate/chancery & offshore, insurance & 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 90 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.

Members of Chambers have been consistently instructed in many of the largest court and arbitral proceedings of the last 50 years, including the Tin Council litigation, the Lloyd’s litigation, the swaps litigationElektrim SA v Vivendi Universal SAKuwait Airways Corporation v Iraq Airways Co, the Solitaire arbitrationFiona Trust & Holding Corporation v PrivalovCherney v Deripaska and Deutsche Bank AG v Sebastian Holdings Inc.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior Clerk Joe Ferrigno jferrigno@essexcourt.com 020 7147 7221
First Junior Clerk & Team Leader Ben Perry bperry@essexcourt.com 020 7147 7222
Team Leader Jack Wood jwood@essexcourt.com 020 7147 7223
Team Leader Katie Myles KGrubb@essexcourt.com 020 7147 7281
Team Leader Kevin Grubb KGrubb@essexcourt.com 020 7147 7281
Photo Name Position Profile
 Tim Akkouh  photo Tim Akkouh Tim is a commercial litigator, with a strong reputation for civil fraud…
 Rebecca Akushie  photo Rebecca Akushie Arbitration; commercial litigation; conflict of laws; insurance and reinsurance; international commercial arbitration;…
 Sean Aughey  photo Sean Aughey Barrister
 David Baker  photo David Baker Barrister
 Lucas Bastin  photo Lucas Bastin Lucas has a versatile practice across an array of practices areas, albeit…
 Mark Belshaw  photo Mark Belshaw Barrister
Sir Franklin Berman QC photo Sir Franklin Berman QC Specialises in international arbitration and advisory work in international law. 50-year career…
 Steven Berry QC photo Steven Berry QC Has specialised since 1985 in the associated fields of insurance and reinsurance,…
 Claire Blanchard QC photo Claire Blanchard QC Barrister. Claire Blanchard QC has a specialist commercial practice and is an…
 Adam Board  photo Adam Board Adam acts and advises as counsel in commercial litigation and international arbitration…
 Stewart Boyd QC photo Stewart Boyd QC Has appeared as counsel in the English courts and in other courts…
Prof Alan Boyle  photo Prof Alan Boyle Specialist in public international law, especially international environmental law and law of…
 Jeremy Brier  photo Jeremy Brier Commercial barrister frequently appearing in the Commercial Court and in international arbitrations,…
 Edward Brown  photo Edward Brown Broad-ranging practice across the following practice areas: commercial litigation; employment; media, entertainment…
 Wei Jian Chan  photo Wei Jian Chan Barrister
 Charles Ciumei QC photo Charles Ciumei QC Has a practice covering all aspects of employment with a commercial aspect,…
 James Collins QC photo James Collins QC Has a broad-based commercial practice. Recognised as clever, commercial and user-friendly, he…
 Roderick Cordara QC photo Roderick Cordara QC Has a broad commercial and public law practice with over 30 years’…
 David Craig QC photo David Craig QC Widely recognised as a leading junior in employment law. Does the full…
 Stuart Cribb  photo Stuart Cribb Stuart has a broad commercial practice in line with Chambers’ profile. He…
 Simon Crookenden QC photo Simon Crookenden QC Shipping: charterparty and bills of lading disputes; cargo claims; ship building; ship…
 David Davies  photo David Davies Has a broadly based commercial practice encompassing both acting as junior counsel…
 Huw Davies QC photo Huw Davies QC Experienced and effective cross examiner with ‘an incredibly impressive style and approach’…
 Ruth Den Besten photo Ruth Den Besten Ruth den Besten is a senior junior practitioner with substantial expertise in…
 Siddharth Dhar  photo Siddharth Dhar Siddharth acts as an advocate and advisor in substantial commercial litigation and…
 Anna Dilnot  photo Anna Dilnot Broad commercial and commercial chancery litigation practice with a particular speciality in…
 Ricky Diwan QC photo Ricky Diwan QC Ricky Diwan QC specialises in international commercial and investment arbitration and related…
 Stephen Donnelly  photo Stephen Donnelly Barrister
 Shane Doyle QC photo Shane Doyle QC Shane Doyle QC has a commercial practice covering a wide range of…
 Anton Dudnikov  photo Anton Dudnikov Anton has a broad commercial practice. He is regularly instructed in international…
 Graham Dunning QC photo Graham Dunning QC Graham Dunning QC was until recently the co-head of Essex Court Chambers.…
 Nigel Eaton QC photo Nigel Eaton QC Specialises in international and domestic commercial litigation, with a particular emphasis on…
 Tim Eicke QC photo Tim Eicke QC Highly experienced and respected public law advocate with a strong background in…
 Vernon Flynn QC photo Vernon Flynn QC Vernon Flynn QC is a veteran of many heavyweight litigation and arbitration…
 Tom Ford  photo Tom Ford
 Martin Griffiths QC photo Martin Griffiths QC Has a busy general commercial practice including a significant proportion of employment-related…
 Jeffrey Gruder QC photo Jeffrey Gruder QC Jeffrey Gruder QC is widely recognised as a leading silk at the…
 Naomi Hart  photo Naomi Hart Naomi has a broad commercial litigation and arbitration practice. She has experience…
 Neil Hart  photo Neil Hart Specialises in the fields of insurance and reinsurance, shipping (dry and wet)…
 Andrew Hochhauser QC photo Andrew Hochhauser QC Has a broad-based commercial practice, including a significant number of employment-related disputes…
 Philippa Hopkins QC photo Philippa Hopkins QC Advises and acts in a wide range of commercial disputes, both in…
 Stephen Houseman QC photo Stephen Houseman QC Handles a wide range of commercial disputes. Many of his cases are…
 Richard Hoyle  photo Richard Hoyle Barrister specialising in commercial litigation and international arbitration – most matters involve…
 Ian Hunter QC photo Ian Hunter QC Has a broad-based commercial practice in line with chambers’ profile. A major…
 Louise Hutton photo Louise Hutton Louise’s practice covers commercial and commercial/chancery litigation and arbitration, including banking and…
 David Joseph QC photo David Joseph QC Has acted as counsel and arbitrator in an extremely wide range of…
 Catherine Jung  photo Catherine Jung
 Ciaran Keller  photo Ciaran Keller Commercial and chancery litigation and arbitration (domestic and international), including: business agreements…
 Paul Key QC photo Paul Key QC In private practice as a barrister since 1997, specialising in international and…
 Toby Landau QC photo Toby Landau QC In private practice as a barrister since 1994, specialising in international and…
Prof Martin Lau  photo Prof Martin Lau Regularly advises on South Asian law and Islamic law in the form…
 Andrew Legg  photo Andrew Legg Andrew has a broad commercial practice in line with Chambers’ profile. He…
 Owen Lloyd  photo Owen Lloyd Barrister
 John Lockey QC photo John Lockey QC Barrister specialising in insurance, reinsurance, commercial litigation, and professional negligence including brokers’…
Prof Vaughan Lowe QC photo Prof Vaughan Lowe QC Practises as counsel in International Court of Justice, European Court of Human…
 Alison Macdonald  photo Alison Macdonald Barrister
 Jackie McArthur  photo Jackie McArthur Barrister
 Paul McGrath QC photo Paul McGrath QC Barrister with a broad-based practice. Between 1999 and 2001 he was editor…
 Hugh Mercer QC photo Hugh Mercer QC Court and advisory advocate specialising in EU, competition, public law and cross-border…
 David Mildon QC photo David Mildon QC General commercial litigation and arbitration including ABCI v Banque Franco Tunisienne [2003]…
 Richard Millett QC photo Richard Millett QC Specialises in: banking law, securities, debt and other financing instruments, derivatives, loan…
 Salim Moollan QC photo Salim Moollan QC Specialises in international and commercial law, in particular international commercial and investment…
 Bibek Mukherjee  photo Bibek Mukherjee Bibek undertakes a broad range of commercial work, as both sole and…
 Jern-Fei Ng QC photo Jern-Fei Ng QC Barrister specialising in civil fraud, commercial litigation, energy and commodities, international arbitration,…
 Freddie Onslow  photo Freddie Onslow Barrister
 Daniel Oudkerk QC photo Daniel Oudkerk QC Daniel Oudkerk QC has a broad-based trial and advisory practice. He is…
 David Peters  photo David Peters Wide experience of commercial law with emphasis on general commercial litigation, civil…
 Nathan Pillow QC photo Nathan Pillow QC Specialises in commercial dispute resolution. Practises in the English courts at all…
 Freddie Popplewell  photo Freddie Popplewell Barrister
 Iain Quirk  photo Iain Quirk Has a broad commercial practice before the English courts and in arbitration.…
 Claudia Renton  photo Claudia Renton Claudia has a broad commercial practice with specialisms in media and entertainment…
Mr John Robb  photo Mr John Robb John has a broad commercial law practice. He specialises in shipping, banking…
 Jane Russell  photo Jane Russell Practises in employment and commercial law, acting for mainly city respondent clients.…
 Amy Sander  photo Amy Sander Amy has a broad commercial practice with a particular interest in public…
Prof Dan Sarooshi QC photo Prof Dan Sarooshi QC Professor Dan Sarooshi Q.C. has a track record of achieving success in…
 David Scorey QC photo David Scorey QC Wide-ranging practice in international and domestic commercial law, litigating in both domestic…
 Malcolm Shaw QC photo Malcolm Shaw QC Barrister focusing on public international law. Cases include: R v Mohamed Gul…
 James Sheehan  photo James Sheehan Specialist in commercial and chancery litigation and arbitration. Practice areas include civil…
 Christopher Smith QC photo Christopher Smith QC Chris Smith has a broad based practice covering all aspects of domestic…
 Joe Smouha QC photo Joe Smouha QC Has a broad-based commercial practice with a particular emphasis on appearances in…
 John Snider  photo John Snider Barrister practising in the following areas: shipping, insurance, arbitration (including LMAA, ICC,…
 Paul Stanley QC photo Paul Stanley QC Prior to being called to the bar, Paul lectured on European Community…
 Luke Tattersall  photo Luke Tattersall Barrister
 Mark Templeman QC photo Mark Templeman QC Practises primarily in the fields of reinsurance and insurance (marine and non-marine).…
 Benedict Tompkins  photo Benedict Tompkins Benedict has a broad commercial litigation and arbitration practice. He has experience…
 Damien Walker  photo Damien Walker Damien Walker is a senior junior counsel specialising in commercial dispute resolution.…
 David Walsh  photo David Walsh Barrister with a broad commercial practice. Particularly well-known for his work in…
 Mubarak Waseem  photo Mubarak Waseem Barrister
Prof Philippa Watson  photo Prof Philippa Watson Has a practice in London, Dublin and Brussels. Most of her work…
 Peter Webster  photo Peter Webster Undertakes a broad range of commercial work, as both sole counsel and…
 Jessica Wells  photo Jessica Wells Has a broad commercial practice, with a particular interest in public international…
 Angeline Welsh  photo Angeline Welsh Barrister
 James Willan  photo James Willan Barrister with a broad-based commercial practice, appearing before the county courts, High…
 Emily Wood  photo Emily Wood Has a broad commercial practice in line with chambers’ profile. Focused on…
 Adam Woolnough  photo Adam Woolnough Arbitration, commercial litigation, conflict of laws, insurance and reinsurance, public international law,…
 Sam Wordsworth QC photo Sam Wordsworth QC In private practice as a barrister since 1997, specialising in public international…
Lucy 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.

In particular:

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.

Mentoring Scheme

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

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.

COMBAR

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.

Pro Bono

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.