Nathan Pillow KC KC > Essex Court Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Essex Court Chambers
Nathan Pillow KC photo


Specialises in commercial dispute resolution. Practises in the English courts at all levels, and before international arbitral tribunals of all varieties. Extensive experience of working on heavy and complex cases, as part of a team made up of solicitors, foreign lawyers and/or other counsel; but equally at home acting alone, both as an advocate and in an advisory context. Particular interest in and experience of cases involving civil fraud, including injunctive and other interim relief; equitable, proprietary and restitutionary claims and remedies; and tracing and asset recovery. Work generally has an international character and often involves complex jurisdictional and conflict of laws issues.


Called 1997, Gray’s Inn; Essex Court Chambers 1998; Silk 2015.


French (near fluent).


Magdalen College, Oxford (BA).

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Commodities

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 4

Nathan Pillow KCEssex Court ChambersA robust and very personable advocate.

London Bar > Commercial litigation

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 4

Nathan Pillow KCEssex Court ChambersA brilliant cross-examiner who is fantastically easy to work with, generous with his time and has a deep strategic insight.

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 KC 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 KC, David Davies and Anton Dudnikov appearing for the claimant, and Paul Stanley KC acting for another defendant. Joe Smouha KC also led for the claimants in PCP Capital Partners LLP v Barclays Bank plc with a team that included James Sheehan.

London Bar > Fraud: civil

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 2

Nathan Pillow KCEssex 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.

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 KC and Joe Smouha KC 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 KC 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 KC left to join Brick Court Chambers.

London Bar > Banking and finance (including consumer credit)

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 4

Nathan Pillow KCEssex 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.

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 KC 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 KC is leading David Davies KC, who recently took silk, and Anton Dudnikov. Stephen Houseman KC 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.

London Bar > Shipping

(Leading Silks)Ranked: Tier 3

Nathan Pillow KCEssex Court ChambersVery robust advocate and personable to deal with. Very reliable.