Essex Court Chambers > London, England > Set Profile

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

London Bar > Commercial litigation Tier 1

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.

Rising stars

Felix Wardle - Essex Court ChambersExtremely bright and adds tremendous value to cases. Particularly good with intellectually challenging matters such as complex foreign law. A creative and deep thinker.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks

Joe Smouha QC - Essex Court ChambersOne of the most serious heavyweights at the Bar for heavy-duty commercial litigation, particularly with a fraud element. One to use for serious and incisive cross examination.
Ranked: Tier 1
Andrew Hochhauser QC - Essex Court ChambersIncredibly tough and thorough.
Ranked: Tier 2
Paul McGrath QC - Essex Court ChambersA brilliant combination of academic thinking and commercial nous. A pleasure to work with and a fine court presence.
Ranked: Tier 2
Jeffrey Gruder QC - Essex Court ChambersErudite and technically strong. Jeffrey has a wealth of experience.
Ranked: Tier 3
David Joseph QC - Essex Court ChambersExtremely knowledgeable in the area of jurisdiction and also arbitration-related litigation; he really gets into the detail of a case. He is thoughtful, imaginative and full of energy and a highly persuasive advocate.
Ranked: Tier 3
Graham Dunning QC - Essex Court ChambersA star barrister.
Ranked: Tier 4
Stephen Houseman QC - Essex Court ChambersVery smart, and a polished and highly effective advocate. He is also very calm under pressure and user-friendly - Stephen doesn't get flustered if things don't go quite to plan and is also a great team-player.
Ranked: Tier 4
Ranked: Tier 4
Nathan Pillow QC - Essex Court ChambersA brilliant cross-examiner who is fantastically easy to work with, generous with his time and has a deep strategic insight.
Ranked: Tier 4
Paul Stanley QC - Essex Court ChambersExceptionally clever.
Ranked: Tier 4
Huw Davies QC - Essex Court ChambersHighly recommended for complex disputes.
Ranked: Tier 5
Daniel Oudkerk QC - Essex Court ChambersFirst and foremost, just a superb advocate. Dan only focuses on what matters and is crisp and clear in his delivery. He truly is one of the very best.
Ranked: Tier 5
John Lockey QC - Essex Court ChambersHighly intelligent, understated in style of advocacy, courteous and witty.
Ranked: Tier 6

2021 Silks

David Davies QC - Essex Court ChambersA wonderful barrister.
James Willan QC - Essex Court ChambersIntellectually outstanding, creative and pragmatic when it comes to problem-solving; he takes ownership of cases and is a real team playe.

2022 Silks

Emily Wood QC - Essex Court ChambersOne of the most impressive all-round barristers. She is technically superb, her written submissions and advice are second-to-none and she is a spectacular oral advocate.
Jeremy Brier QC - Essex Court ChambersA very powerful advocate with a dogged determination in arguing his case, both in written and oral advocacy.
Tim Akkouh QC - Essex Court ChambersHugely experienced with great insight and judgement.
Edward Brown QC - Essex Court ChambersDirect and straight to the point, he grasps issues quickly, analyses them thoroughly and provides straightforward advice.

Leading Juniors

Ruth den Besten - Essex Court ChambersA brilliant junior: smart and immensely energetic.
Ranked: Tier 1
James Sheehan - Essex Court ChambersHe is a pleasure to work with - astute, hard-working, highly experienced and has a can-do attitude. He has a calm, considered but punchy advocacy style which holds up well to silks many years his senior.
Ranked: Tier 1
Anna Dilnot - Essex Court ChambersFantastic in court - she knows just how to pitch the most difficult submissions.
Ranked: Tier 2
Ciaran Keller - Essex Court ChambersA future leader in the field.
Ranked: Tier 2
David Peters - Essex Court ChambersIncredibly bright, incredibly user-friendly, and willing to pull his weight and get into the details. Also a brave and intelligent advocate capable of getting the better of QCs.
Ranked: Tier 2
Anton Dudnikov - Essex Court ChambersA fiercely bright, commercial junior. His drafting is second to none, as is his command of the relevant legal principles. Anton's pragmatic approach sets him apart from other juniors at his level.
Ranked: Tier 3
Tom Ford - Essex Court ChambersAn absolute machine. He can single-handedly dismantle a team of five or more on the other side with his sharp legal mind and extraordinary work ethic and determination to win.
Ranked: Tier 4

Testimonials

Set

‘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. ‘

Clerking

‘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.

Rising stars

Felix Wardle - Essex Court ChambersA great team player. Felix has superb black letter knowledge. Very smart and great work ethic. A star of the future.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks

Paul McGrath QC - Essex Court ChambersThe doyen of civil fraud. A tenacious advocate. Paul is a pleasure to work with.
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 cross-examination and delivery of submissions.
Ranked: Tier 1
Nathan Pillow QC - Essex Court ChambersAn extremely sharp legal and strategic mind, wrapped in a very personable and approachable body. Nathan is fantastic to work with and knows instinctively how to drive a case to a successful conclusion.
Ranked: Tier 2
Huw Davies QC - Essex Court ChambersA very capable and experienced fraud specialist who is not afraid of fighting cases to trial.
Ranked: Tier 3
James Collins QC - Essex Court ChambersA great advocate, great on the papers and generally great with everything. Very responsive.
Ranked: Tier 4
Jeffrey Gruder QC - Essex Court ChambersErudite and technically strong. He has a wealth of experience.
Ranked: Tier 4
Paul Stanley QC - Essex Court ChambersExceptionally clever.
Ranked: Tier 4

2021 Silks

David Davies QC - Essex Court ChambersA new silk to watch
James Willan QC - Essex Court ChambersThe very top of the tree. An absolute superstar who always delivers and undoubtedly a first choice for any difficult fraud claim.
Anna Dilnot QCEssex Court ChambersBrilliantly incisive. Instantly understands the key issues and delivers commercially-minded advice to clients which goes to the heart of the matter.
Louise Hutton QC - Essex Court ChambersExcellent, particularly for cases with an insolvency dimension.

2022 Silks

Tim Akkouh QC - Essex Court ChambersVery approachable, highly responsive - absolutely at the top of the field for civil fraud matters.

Leading Juniors

David Peters - Essex Court ChambersA QC in all but name - Incisive, clever, robust, passionate about law, sees the arguments early and how to deal with them.
Ranked: Tier 1
James Sheehan - Essex Court ChambersA real brain box who co-edited one of the leading books on fraud.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ruth den Besten - Essex Court ChambersGreat at assimilating a lot of information and distilling it into clear advice and/or elegant pleadings. She has a sense of what the important points are in a case, which assists a team in focusing its energy on the key areas.
Ranked: Tier 2
Anton Dudnikov - Essex Court ChambersAn extremely knowledgeable and accomplished fraud practitioner. He is an utterly reliable and polished advocate who appears to be unflappable even under pressure on his feet or otherwise.
Ranked: Tier 2
Tom Ford - Essex Court ChambersSimply put, Tom is a civil fraud star. He is relentless - absolutely committed and a dream to have on your team.
Ranked: Tier 2
Ciaran Keller - Essex Court ChambersPossibly the most promising junior in the country.
Ranked: Tier 2
Stuart Cribb - Essex Court ChambersAn up and coming junior. Very knowledgeable on freezing injunctions. Very thorough and is a confident advocate. Has the answers at his fingertips.
Ranked: Tier 4

Testimonials

Set

‘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.’

Clerking

‘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.’

London Bar > International arbitration: counsel Tier 1

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.

Rising stars

Benedict Tompkins - Essex Court ChambersAn up-and-coming barrister who is very diligent, knows the law and very easy to work with. He is also very good in coming up with novel angles to issues.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks

Joe Smouha QC - Essex Court ChambersAcknowledged as being one of the leading international arbitration counsel in practice today, Joe is deeply immersed in each case he takes on - always finding time for instructing solicitors and the client.
Ranked: Tier 1
Graham Dunning QC - Essex Court ChambersA formidable opponent and a particularly robust cross-examiner - but always excellent company outside the hearing room.
Ranked: Tier 1
David Joseph QC - Essex Court ChambersCompletely on top of the facts and his cross-examination was highly effective. His understanding of private international law is unmatched.
Ranked: Tier 1
Paul Key QC - Essex Court ChambersAn outstanding intellect. He is sharp as a tack, with superb brevity and timing. His opponents rightly fear him.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ranked: Tier 1
Ranked: Tier 2
Jeffrey Gruder QC - Essex Court ChambersA calming and reassuring presence both in hearings and in preparation. He brings unruffled insight to difficult situations.
Ranked: Tier 2
David Scorey QC - Essex Court ChambersAlways the best-prepared barrister in the room, and the combination of hard work and talent enables him to take charge of proceedings.
Ranked: Tier 2
Malcolm Shaw QC - Essex Court ChambersHis individual strength and qualities are based on his highest reputation, strong commitment to international law and the principles and code of legal profession and the highest possible standard of academic competence, experience, knowledge and expertise.
Ranked: Tier 2
Paul Stanley QC - Essex Court ChambersA superstar. He is probably the most intelligent person I have worked with at the Bar (and they are all intelligent) and yet he meshes that with a good sense of humour, approachability and tactical acumen. He is my go-to silk for difficult commercial problems.
Ranked: Tier 2
James Collins QC - Essex Court ChambersA great advocate, great on the papers and generally great with everything. Very responsive - at any time of day or night.
Ranked: Tier 3
Alison Macdonald QC - Essex Court ChambersVery diligent and collegiate. Equally strong advising on matters of strategy as well as substance. Calm and convincing as an oral advocate.
Ranked: Tier 3
David Mildon QC - Essex Court ChambersQuick and agile mind who provides incisive analysis of issues.
Ranked: Tier 3
Ricky Diwan QC - Essex Court ChambersHe provides clear, concise analysis of difficult points. Thoughtful and considered. Excellent all-round knowledge. Very hands-on and responsive. An absolute pleasure to work with.
Ranked: Tier 4
Philippa Hopkins QC - Essex Court ChambersExtremely impressive - she is very hands-on and approachable, and gives very commercial and pragmatic advice. She also has a very good advocacy style which is very engaging with the arbitrators.
Ranked: Tier 4
Dan Sarooshi QC - Essex Court ChambersAn exceptional and experienced advocate armed with encyclopedic knowledge of international and investment law.
Ranked: Tier 4
Sam Wordsworth QC - Essex Court ChambersAn outstanding senior in this area.
Ranked: Tier 4

2021 Silks

James Willan QC - Essex Court ChambersAstonishingly clever, very hard-working, responsive and easy to work with.

2022 Silks

Lucas Bastin QC - Essex Court ChambersOne of the brightest legal minds of his generation: he has a wealth of knowledge, is very responsive and experienced. A class act.
Emily Wood QC - Essex Court ChambersConfident and punchy advice. Not afraid to make a difficult judgement call and to defend it. A pleasure to work with.
Edward Brown QC - Essex Court ChambersDown-to-earth, super-bright and a joy to work with. A huge asset on the most complex and demanding cases.

Leading Juniors

Siddharth Dhar - Essex Court ChambersVery thorough and quickly able to grasp even very technical issues. His arbitration expertise is phenomenal and working with him is always a pleasure as he is very user-friendly.
Ranked: Tier 1
Iain Quirk - Essex Court ChambersSimply exceptional. Calm and authoritative. Easy to work with and excellent on the law and the advocacy is sensational.
Ranked: Tier 1
Sean Aughey - Essex Court ChambersHe has a razor-sharp intelligence and forensic manner and able to communicate complex issues in an accessible fashion.
Ranked: Tier 2
David Peters - Essex Court ChambersIncredibly bright, incredibly user-friendly, and willing to pull his weight and get into the details. Also a brave and intelligent advocate - he has gone up against QCs and got the better of them.
Ranked: Tier 2
Paul Wee  - Essex Court Chambers> ‘One of the best juniors I have worked with – a brilliant lawyer with fantastic legal knowledge, drafting skills, and attention to detail, along with mature judgment and excellent strategic ability. A real star.
Ranked: Tier 2
Angeline Welsh - Essex Court ChambersAn exceptional barrister - she is clever, easy to work with and her attention to detail is second to none. She excels in difficult cross-examinations.
Ranked: Tier 2
Peter Webster - Essex Court ChambersHe is as comfortable analysing and shaping document-heavy factual and expert evidence for arbitral proceedings as he is developing the most elaborate legal arguments for the Supreme Court. He is an absolute star.
Ranked: Tier 3

Testimonials

Set

‘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.’

Clerking

‘They are excellent. Extremely responsive and very easy to deal with.’

London Bar > Media and entertainment (including art and cultural property) Tier 1

A number of barristers at 'top-class setEssex 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.

Art and cultural property - Leading Silks

Joe Smouha QC - Essex Court ChambersJoe is a first-class lawyer who combines keen intellect with commercial understanding and empathy so as to ensure clients achieve the best possible outcome.
Ranked: Tier 1

2022 Silks

Edward Brown QC - Essex Court ChambersVery good on his feet. Very responsive and fast turnaround.
Emily Wood QC - Essex Court ChambersEmily is technically superb, her written submissions and advice are second to none and she is a spectacular oral advocate.

Art and cultural property - Leading Juniors

Claudia Renton - Essex Court ChambersIncredibly diligent, hard-working - a no-nonsense junior.
Ranked: Tier 1

Testimonials

Set

‘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.’

Clerking

‘Ollie Butcher is very responsive.’

‘Clerks are good.’

‘Always been very efficient.’

‘Top-class.’

London Bar > Public international law Tier 1

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.

Rising stars

Naomi Hart - Essex Court ChambersNaomi is beyond brilliant, extremely pleasant to work with and dedicated to her clients. She is superb at drafting and has astute analytical abilities.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks

Vaughan Lowe QC - Essex Court ChambersAn eminent international law academic practicing at the bar.
Ranked: Tier 1
Alison Macdonald QC - Essex Court ChambersAlison is a shining star, and one of the smartest, most charming advocates at the Bar.
Ranked: Tier 2
Malcolm Shaw QC - Essex Court ChambersHis individual strength and qualities are based on his highest reputation, strong commitment to international law and the principles and code of legal profession and the highest possible standard of academic competence, experience, knowledge and expertise.
Ranked: Tier 2
Sam Wordsworth QC - Essex Court ChambersSam is a first-class public international lawyer. His knowledge of the law is exceptional.
Ranked: Tier 2
Dan Sarooshi QC - Essex Court ChambersHe combines deep-seated academic and professional knowledge and experience with formidable advocacy skills.
Ranked: Tier 3
Ranked: Tier 3
Graham Dunning QC - Essex Court ChambersOne of the most experienced barristers dealing with the crossover between international law and commercial law in the English courts, with particular strength in state immunity issues.
Ranked: Tier 3
Paul Key QC - Essex Court ChambersExtremely knowledgeable on matters of public international law and international arbitration, and often comes up with creative ideas or solutions.
Ranked: Tier 3

2022 Silks

Lucas Bastin QC - Essex Court ChambersLucas is just a brilliant lawyer. He is immensely knowledgeable in his field and has a deep wealth of experience, especially for his age.

Leading Juniors

Amy Sander - Essex Court ChambersSuper diligent, has an exceptional intellect, and has unparalleled advocacy experience for a senior junior in state on state cases.
Ranked: Tier 1
Sean Aughey - Essex Court ChambersA great junior barrister in public international law..
Ranked: Tier 2
Paul Wee  - Essex Court ChambersPaul has a deep and up-to-date knowledge of public international law which he is able to apply strategically when required. His mastery of the detail is impressive and his cross examination is rigorous and forensic.
Ranked: Tier 2
Ranked: Tier 3

Testimonials

Clerking

‘All clerks were immensely helpful. Ben Perry, whom I communicated with over the years, should be particularly noted.’

London Bar > Tax: corporate and VAT/indirect tax Tier 1

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.

Tax: VAT - Leading silks

Ranked: Tier 1
David Scorey QC - Essex Court ChambersDavid has strong advocacy skills and the ability to come up with solutions rather than just identify problems. He delivers clear advice to solicitors and lay clients.
Ranked: Tier 2

2022 Silks

Tax: VAT - Leading juniors

Andrew Legg - Essex Court ChambersAndrew is very approachable, positive, engaged and flexible to deal with. In hearings his advocacy style is measured and non-confrontational which achieves more in the long run than a combative approach.
Ranked: Tier 3

London Bar > Banking and finance (including consumer credit) Tier 2

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.

Leading Silks

Joe Smouha QC - Essex Court ChambersOne to use for serious and incisive cross-examination. Works out every angle of a case and knows exactly how they intend to won. Absolutely brilliant tactical mind.
Ranked: Tier 1
Stephen Houseman QC - Essex Court ChambersHe does a fantastic job and absolutely lives and breathes the case. He is totally charming.
Ranked: Tier 2
Paul McGrath QC - Essex Court ChambersOne of the cleverest and most creative barristers at the commercial Bar, yet down to earth.
Ranked: Tier 3
Nathan Pillow QC - Essex Court ChambersHe has a fantastic legal and strategic mind, wrapped in the one of the most user friendly and personable bodies around. He is super responsive and attentive, and instinctively knows how to drive a case to the best possible outcome.
Ranked: Tier 4
Jeffrey Gruder QC - Essex Court ChambersHis judgement is always 100% accurate and he instills complete confidence in his clients.
Ranked: Tier 4

2021 Silks

Louise Hutton QC - Essex Court ChambersExcellent, particularly for cases which include an insolvency dimension.
James Willan QC - Essex Court ChambersThe cleverest member of the Bar solicitors know. His ability to master the most complex suite of securitisation documents and deftly advise on every nuance is outstanding. I have also seen him before he took silk outshine a courtroom full of illustrious silks by his brilliance.

2022 Silks

Emily Wood QC - Essex Court ChambersVery clever, very sharp and very good with clients. Gets on top of the papers and the issues quickly and efficiently and provides succinct and clear advice.

Leading Juniors

James Sheehan - Essex Court ChambersOutstanding. He is calm and measured, but well able to fight his corner, including when there are multiple senior barristers on the other side of the court room.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ciaran Keller - Essex Court ChambersExcellent in the banking and finance arena.
Ranked: Tier 3
John Robb - Essex Court ChambersIncredibly hardworking and very bright, with an unparalleled ability to deal with difficult clients in highly-pressured situations.
Ranked: Tier 4
Anton Dudnikov - Essex Court ChambersOne of the brightest junior barristers at the bar. Ruthlessly efficient and extremely smart, Anton is responsive and pro-active with an ability to get quickly and effectively into the detail of a matter in a way that is second to none.
Ranked: Tier 4
Tom Ford - Essex Court ChambersHe has confidence beyond his years to put forward his opinion on matters, meaning solicitors get great value from him.
Ranked: Tier 4

Testimonials

Set

‘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. ‘

Clerking

‘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.

Leading Silks

David Craig QC - Essex Court ChambersDavid is the complete package - intelligent, commercial, hard-working, and with gravitas and great client skills. In recent years he has moved to the very elite level of the employment Bar and he never disappoints.
Ranked: Tier 1
Andrew Hochhauser QC - Essex Court ChambersIncredibly clever, sharp and articulate. Always the person you want on your side in court and the person the other side don't want against them.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ranked: Tier 1
Charles Ciumei QC - Essex Court ChambersCharles is razor-sharp in court.
Ranked: Tier 3

2021 Silks

Iain Quirk QC - Essex Court ChambersVery hard-working and communicative. 

2022 Silks

Edward Brown QC - Essex Court ChambersStrategy-focused and highly technically competent - a fantastic, user-friendly barrister. Solicitors can't say enough positive things about him.

Leading Juniors

Jane Russell - Essex Court ChambersJane clearly has the ear of the court and an excellent team player.
Ranked: Tier 1
Andrew Legg - Essex Court ChambersHe is intellectually very capable and works hard to meet the needs of the case.
Ranked: Tier 5

Testimonials

Set

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.

Clerking

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.

Leading Silks

Paul Key QC - Essex Court ChambersVery impressive in his quick grasp of the relevant issues, he exemplifies the modern approach towards the barrister's profession.
Ranked: Tier 1
Vernon Flynn QC - Essex Court ChambersVernon is thoughtful, excellent in court, extremely responsive and a pleasure to work with.
Ranked: Tier 2
David Mildon QC - Essex Court ChambersHe has a profound knowledge of oil and gas law combined with an ability speedily to produce clear, succinct and correct awards.
Ranked: Tier 2
Graham Dunning QC - Essex Court ChambersGraham is an impeccable barrister - he is always prepared and is a dominant force in hearings.
Ranked: Tier 3
Philippa Hopkins QC - Essex Court ChambersShe is an excellent cross-examiner, and her advice is clear and to the point.
Ranked: Tier 4

2021 Silks

Iain Quirk QC - Essex Court ChambersQuite simply, brilliant - he is calm, reassuring and fights the cause in a realistic and attractive manner.

2022 Silks

Lucas Bastin QC - Essex Court ChambersHighly impressive in action, a QC in waiting, he is excellent with clients and a formidable advocate.

Leading Juniors

Siddharth Dhar - Essex Court ChambersA great choice for high-value, complex work in the energy sector, he is a very experienced and capable advocate who uses his considerable charm to great effect.
Ranked: Tier 1
Anton Dudnikov - Essex Court ChambersAnton is analytically very strong, with an excellent grasp of the law, and is very good at taking a step back and considering issues that others might not.
Ranked: Tier 2
Paul Wee  - Essex Court Chambers  ‘A standout senior junior in this area and one of the best at the Bar, he is razor-sharp, and his advocacy is tailored and superbly polished.
Ranked: Tier 2
Ciaran Keller - Essex Court ChambersCiaran has a sharp mind, responds quickly to new facts and is skilled at rigorously putting the client's best case.
Ranked: Tier 3
Stuart Cribb - Essex Court ChambersAn up-and-coming junior and a very thorough and confident advocate.
Ranked: Tier 4

Testimonials

Set

‘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.

Clerks

‘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.

Rising stars

Stephen Donnelly - Essex Court ChambersFirst rate and very hard working. He is also a good team player with the ability to fit in and get on with a wide spread of individuals. Incredible attention to detail, wise beyond his years and an intellectual powerhouse.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks

Ranked: Tier 1
Ranked: Tier 2
Jeffrey Gruder QC - Essex Court ChambersUnrivalled in giving very prompt and accurate advice on complex legal issues, including those of huge significance to clients.
Ranked: Tier 3
Nathan Pillow QC - Essex Court ChambersVery robust advocate and personable to deal with. Very reliable.
Ranked: Tier 3
Christopher Smith QC - Essex Court ChambersHe has the ability to cut through complex contractual arrangements with ease. Good presentation of evidence and issues - clear and concise.
Ranked: Tier 3
Ranked: Tier 4
Roderick Cordara QC - Essex Court ChambersA pleasure to work with and a persuasive advocate.
Ranked: Tier 5
Nigel Eaton QC - Essex Court ChambersOne of the leading QCs in the fields of shipping and commodities. Very strong analytically and an incisive and persuasive advocate.
Ranked: Tier 5
Ranked: Tier 5
Philippa Hopkins QC - Essex Court ChambersVery bright and user-friendly. A good advocate.
Ranked: Tier 5

2021 Silks

2022 Silks

Jeremy Brier QC - Essex Court ChambersAn excellent advocate, calm and unflappable in hearings. Very clear advice given. Strongly recommended.
Neil Hart QC - Essex Court ChambersVery easy and enjoyable to work with. Neil appreciates the commercial and costs issues facing clients and tailors the legal advice provided accordingly.

Leading Juniors

David Walsh - Essex Court ChambersHe is prepared to roll his sleeves up and get into the weeds of the documents when necessary but always has an eye on the bigger commercial picture and a mind to what will make clients’ lives easier.
Ranked: Tier 2
Adam Board - Essex Court ChambersA very sharp and clear thinker. Highly effective, highly efficient and highly recommended.
Ranked: Tier 3
John Robb - Essex Court ChambersA very thoughtful, calm junior with excellent communication and technical skills. He is an excellent team player.
Ranked: Tier 3
John Snider - Essex Court ChambersHe provides clear advice and is willing to express a strong view. Easy to work with, level-headed and calm.
Ranked: Tier 3

Testimonials

Set

‘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.’

Clerks

‘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.

Leading Silks

Nigel Eaton QC - Essex Court ChambersOne of the leading QCs in the fields of shipping and commodities, he is very strong analytically and an incisive and persuasive advocate.
Ranked: Tier 3
Graham Dunning QC - Essex Court ChambersA formidable opponent and a particularly robust cross-examiner.
Ranked: Tier 4
Nathan Pillow QC - Essex Court ChambersA robust and very personable advocate.
Ranked: Tier 4
Philippa Hopkins QC - Essex Court ChambersVery hands-on and approachable, she is a source of commercial and pragmatic advice.
Ranked: Tier 5

Leading Juniors

David Walsh - Essex Court ChambersHis written work is very precise and very clear, measured and reasonable.
Ranked: Tier 2
Adam Board - Essex Court ChambersA very sharp and a clear thinker, he is skilled and confident in drafting and providing tactical and procedural advice.
Ranked: Tier 3

Testimonials

Set

‘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.’

Clerking

‘Refreshingly clear and straightforward.’

‘The clerks are helpful and seem to provide a good service.’

London Bar > Insurance and reinsurance Tier 3

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.

Leading Silks

John Lockey QC - Essex Court ChambersVery intelligent, he has a very good sense of humour and is very balanced.
Ranked: Tier 1
David Scorey QC - Essex Court ChambersVery intelligent and quickly gets the measure of a case.
Ranked: Tier 2
Steven Berry QC - Essex Court ChambersHe has an outstanding reputation.
Ranked: Tier 5
Philippa Hopkins QC - Essex Court ChambersHighly intelligent and with great knowledge of her field, allied with a practical and down-to-earth application of what will work. A real pleasure to work with, she always adds value, while both managing expectations and getting the best possible result.
Ranked: Tier 5
Ranked: Tier 5

2022 Silks

Jeremy Brier QC - Essex Court ChambersA brilliant advocate and an excellent drafter.

Leading Juniors

David Peters - Essex Court ChambersExtremely clever and incredibly thorough - he runs rings around opponents. An energetic and resourceful barrister, who is always on top of all issues.
Ranked: Tier 4
David Walsh - Essex Court ChambersImpressive - efficient, analytical, and a naturally collaborative and inclusive style that makes David a pleasure to work with.
Ranked: Tier 4

Testimonials

Set

The barristers here are all very good people.

Clerking

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.

Leading Silks

Paul McGrath QC - Essex Court ChambersA brilliant combination of academic thinking and commercial nous.
Ranked: Tier 2
Ranked: Tier 4

2021 Silks

James Willan QCEssex Court ChambersVery responsive and clear, he has the trust of the client.

Leading Juniors

Ciaran Keller - Essex Court ChambersA deep thinker with an enormous brain and capacity for cutting through complex legal issues to provide clear and effective advice.
Ranked: Tier 2

Testimonials

Set

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.

London Bar > Data protection

London Bar > European Union law

London Bar > Travel law (including jurisdictional issues)

London Bar > Administrative and public law (including elections)

Leading Silks

Dan Sarooshi QC - Essex Court ChambersHe has a very considerable knowledge of public law case-law and principles, excellent judgment, hard work, and a very easy manner that makes Dan a pleasure to work with.
Ranked: Tier 3
Hugh Mercer QC - Essex Court ChambersHe has the finest mind I have encountered on administrative law issues relating to food and agriculture and EU law generally.
Ranked: Tier 4

2022 Silks

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

London Bar > Business and regulatory crime (including global investigations)

Leading Silks

Alison Macdonald QC - Essex Court ChambersAn excellent lawyer: pragmatic and a practical problem solver, she takes full ownership of cases and is one of the nicest people you will meet.
Ranked: Tier 3

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

Leading Silks

Alison MacDonald QCEssex Court ChambersAn experienced advocate with expertise across international law and human rights.
Ranked: Tier 4

London Bar > Environment

Leading Silks

Hugh Mercer QC - Essex Court ChambersHe has a very impressive ability to break down and present complex legal arguments in a readily understandable and persuasive way.
Ranked: Tier 4

London Bar > Company and partnership

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.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Senior Clerk Joe Ferrignojferrigno@essexcourt.com020 7147 7221
Deputy Senior Clerk Ben Perrybperry@essexcourt.com020 7147 7222
Team Leader Jack Woodjwood@essexcourt.com020 7147 7223
Team Leader Katie MylesKMyles@essexcourt.com020 7147 7281
Team Leader Kevin GrubbKGrubb@essexcourt.com020 7147 7281
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Lorraine Aboagye  photo Lorraine Aboagye
Tim Akkouh QC photo Tim Akkouh QCTim 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 QC photo Lucas Bastin QCLucas has a versatile practice across an array of practices areas, albeit…
Mark Belshaw  photo Mark Belshaw Barrister
Sir Franklin Berman photo Sir Franklin BermanSpecialises in international arbitration and advisory work in international law. 50-year career…
Steven Berry photo Steven BerryHas specialised since 1985 in the associated fields of insurance and reinsurance,…
Claire Blanchard photo Claire BlanchardBarrister. 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 photo Stewart BoydHas 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 QC photo Jeremy Brier QCCommercial barrister frequently appearing in the Commercial Court and in international arbitrations,…
Edward Brown QC photo Edward Brown QCBroad-ranging practice across the following practice areas: commercial litigation; employment; media, entertainment…
Wei Jian Chan  photo Wei Jian Chan Barrister
Charles Ciumei photo Charles CiumeiHas a practice covering all aspects of employment with a commercial aspect,…
James Collins photo James CollinsHas a broad-based commercial practice. Recognised as clever, commercial and user-friendly, he…
Roderick Cordara photo Roderick CordaraHas a broad commercial and public law practice with over 30 years’…
David Craig photo David CraigWidely 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 photo Simon CrookendenShipping: charterparty and bills of lading disputes; cargo claims; ship building; ship…
Prof Paul Davies photo Prof Paul DaviesPaul is Professor of Commercial Law at UCL, having previously been a…
Huw Davies photo Huw DaviesExperienced and effective cross examiner with ‘an incredibly impressive style and approach’…
David Davies  photo David Davies Has a broadly based commercial practice encompassing both acting as junior counsel…
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 photo Ricky DiwanRicky Diwan QC specialises in international commercial and investment arbitration and related…
Stephen Donnelly  photo Stephen Donnelly Barrister
Shane Doyle photo Shane DoyleShane 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 photo Graham DunningGraham Dunning QC was until recently the co-head of Essex Court Chambers.…
Nigel Eaton photo Nigel EatonSpecialises in international and domestic commercial litigation, with a particular emphasis on…
Tim Eicke photo Tim EickeHighly experienced and respected public law advocate with a strong background in…
Tom Ford  photo Tom Ford
Daniel Fox photo Daniel FoxDaniel has a broad commercial practice in line with Chambers’ profile. He…
Martin Griffiths photo Martin GriffithsHas a busy general commercial practice including a significant proportion of employment-related…
Jeffrey Gruder photo Jeffrey GruderJeffrey 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 QC photo Neil Hart QCSpecialises in the fields of insurance and reinsurance, shipping (dry and wet)…
Andrew Hochhauser photo Andrew HochhauserHas a broad-based commercial practice, including a significant number of employment-related disputes…
Philippa Hopkins photo Philippa HopkinsAdvises and acts in a wide range of commercial disputes, both in…
Stephen Houseman photo Stephen HousemanHandles 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 photo Ian HunterHas a broad-based commercial practice in line with chambers’ profile. A major…
Louise Hutton photo Louise HuttonLouise’s practice covers commercial and commercial/chancery litigation and arbitration, including banking and…
David Joseph photo David JosephHas 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 photo Paul KeyIn private practice as a barrister since 1997, 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 photo John LockeyBarrister specialising in insurance, reinsurance, commercial litigation, and professional negligence including brokers’…
Prof Vaughan Lowe photo Prof Vaughan LowePractises 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 photo Paul McGrathBarrister with a broad-based practice. Between 1999 and 2001 he was editor…
Hugh Mercer photo Hugh MercerCourt and advisory advocate specialising in EU, competition, public law and cross-border…
David Mildon photo David MildonGeneral commercial litigation and arbitration including ABCI v Banque Franco Tunisienne [2003]…
Richard Millett photo Richard MillettSpecialises in: banking law, securities, debt and other financing instruments, derivatives, loan…
Bibek Mukherjee  photo Bibek Mukherjee Bibek undertakes a broad range of commercial work, as both sole and…
Freddie Onslow  photo Freddie Onslow Barrister
Daniel Oudkerk photo Daniel OudkerkDaniel 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 photo Nathan PillowSpecialises 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.…
Katherine Ratcliffe  photo Katherine Ratcliffe
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 photo Prof Dan SarooshiProfessor Dan Sarooshi Q.C. has a track record of achieving success in…
David Scorey photo David ScoreyWide-ranging practice in international and domestic commercial law, litigating in both domestic…
Malcolm Shaw photo Malcolm ShawBarrister 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 photo Christopher SmithChris Smith has a broad based practice covering all aspects of domestic…
Joe Smouha photo Joe SmouhaHas 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,…
Akash Sonecha  photo Akash Sonecha
Paul Stanley photo Paul StanleyPrior to being called to the bar, Paul lectured on European Community…
Luke Tattersall  photo Luke Tattersall Barrister
Mark Templeman photo Mark TemplemanPractises 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…
David Walsh photo David WalshBarrister with a broad commercial practice. Particularly well-known for his work in…
Felix Wardle photo Felix Wardle
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…
Mr Paul Wee photo Mr Paul WeePaul Choon Kiat Wee specialises in commercial litigation, international commercial arbitration, 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 QC photo Emily Wood QCHas 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 photo Sam WordsworthIn private practice as a barrister since 1997, specialising in public international…
Ruth den Besten photo Ruth den BestenRuth den Besten is a senior junior practitioner with substantial expertise in…
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.