Set Profile > Twenty Essex > London, England

Twenty Essex
Twenty Essex


Leading Silks

Stephen Atherton QC - Twenty EssexWe hold him in high regard.
Ranked: Tier 2

2020 Silks

Blair Leahy QC - Twenty Essex ‘She distils the questions asked of her and zeroes in on the key issues.

Leading Juniors

Tony BeswetherickTwenty Essex ‘A great tactician.

Ranked: Tier 3


Leading Silks

Stephen Atherton QC - Twenty Essex ‘On the go-to list of counsel in the restructuring and insolvency arena.

Ranked: Tier 4

2020 Silks

Blair Leahy QC - Twenty EssexShe distils the questions asked of her and zeroes in on key issues so that our clients needs are looked after properly.

Leading Juniors

Tony Beswetherick - Twenty Essex ‘He is a great tactician, anticipates every argument and is fully prepared to counter it.

Ranked: Tier 5

Commodities Tier 1

Twenty Essex is 'still considered the leading set for commodities matters'. Members have extensive experience in private international law and frequently represent major commodities trading houses in high-value disputes. Their work is closely tied to the set's prominence in shipping and insurance matters. Co-head of chambers Duncan Matthews QC has more than 30 years' experience in shipping and commodities matters and he recently led prominent junior Susannah Jones in a successful $32m claim by Natixis against commodities broker and trader Marex for breach of a conditional repo agreement in relation to a metal spot purchase contract. Experienced silk Timothy Young QC and new 2020 silks Henry Byam Cook QC and Phillip Riches QC are among the set's other stars. The clerks are well led by Arron Zitver, whose 23 years' experience in instructions in the shipping, commodities and insurance sectors.

Leading Silks

Michael Ashcroft QC - Twenty EssexA leading shipping silk who also excels in commodities matters, especially highly technical cases.
Ranked: Tier 1
Timothy Young QC - Twenty EssexHe has a long history as an effective advocate.
Ranked: Tier 1
Michael Collett QC - Twenty EssexA leading shipping silk who is skilled in litigation and international arbitration relating to commodities.
Ranked: Tier 2
Charles Kimmins QC - Twenty EssexA first-class commodities specialist - one of the few counsel who properly understands that area of law.
Ranked: Tier 2
Duncan Matthews QC - Twenty EssexAn excellent advocate with a great deal of experience in shipping and commodities.
Ranked: Tier 2
Philip Edey QC - Twenty EssexA highly capable counsel who is easy to work with and highly knowledgeable.
Ranked: Tier 3
Timothy Hill QC - Twenty EssexUser-friendly and hardworking, but aggressive when needed.
Ranked: Tier 3
David Lewis QC - Twenty EssexA very deft and clever advocate in complex, multi-jurisdictional disputes.
Ranked: Tier 3
Sara Masters QC - Twenty EssexAble to handle complex technical matters with ease.
Ranked: Tier 4
Michael Coburn QC - Twenty EssexA very commercial silk who always gets straight to the point.
Ranked: Tier 4
Christopher Hancock QC - Twenty EssexA first-class shipping silk who brings a user-friendly approach to commodities matters.
Ranked: Tier 4
Julian Kenny QC - Twenty EssexA clever silk at the number one set for commodities work.
Ranked: Tier 5

2020 Silks

Henry Byam-Cook QC - Twenty EssexA very good new silk who is very well regarded and is an impressive performer in this field.
Philip Riches QC - Twenty EssexAn intelligent, efficient and hardworking new silk.

Leading Juniors

Daniel Bovensiepen - Twenty EssexA clever and thoughtful advocate for shipping and commodities cases.
Ranked: Tier 1
Oliver Caplin - Twenty EssexA very impressive junior who really knows his stuff and is ahead of the game.
Ranked: Tier 2
Malcolm Jarvis - Twenty EssexA hardworking junior who shows skill in commodities and shipping matters.
Ranked: Tier 2
Susannah Jones - Twenty EssexThorough and meticulous, she is always on top of the brief.
Ranked: Tier 2
Angharad Parry - Twenty EssexAn impressive commodities practitioner who is bright, switched on, hardworking and very user-friendly.
Ranked: Tier 2
Luke Pearce - Twenty EssexA fantastic junior who is highly intelligent and great to work with.
Ranked: Tier 2
Thomas Corby - Twenty EssexA rising star who is particularly recommended for shipping and commodities matters.
Ranked: Tier 3

Josephine Davies - Twenty Essex ‘Precise in her work and excellent in technical matters, she is also straightforward and pleasant to work with.

Ranked: Tier 3

Colleen Hanley - Twenty Essex ‘A hardworking and highly capable junior with experience in the court and in arbitral tribunals.

Ranked: Tier 3
Simon Milnes - Twenty EssexA bright and commercial junior with experience in both London and Singapore.
Ranked: Tier 3
Sean Snook - Twenty EssexCommercial and bright, he has experience in court and in arbitration in both shipping and commodities.
Ranked: Tier 3

Company and partnership

Company - Leading Silks

Stephen Atherton QC - Twenty Essex ‘Held in high regard by clients.

Ranked: Tier 3

Company - 2020 Silks

Blair Leahy QC - Twenty Essex ‘She is extremely user friendly and always willing to go the extra mile to make sure that the quality of the work she produces is of outstanding standards.

Company - Leading juniors

Harris Bor - Twenty Essex ‘He is a real fighter for the clients and a persuasive oral advocate.

Ranked: Tier 5

International arbitration: arbitrators Tier 1

Twenty Essex's longstanding commitment to international arbitration is demonstrated by its strong selection of highly-rated arbitrators, many of whom have established themselves as leading figures on the market. These include highly-rated former solicitors, such as Judith Gill QC and Julian Lew QC, as well as former judges, including Sir Bernard Rix. Several practising counsel are also popular choices for the tribunal, including Duncan Matthews QC. The arbitrators are regularly appointed to sit on major commercial and investment treaty arbitration tribunals. Gill and Michael Lee primarily work from the set's Singapore base.

IT and telecoms

IT and telecoms (excluding regulatory) - Leading Silks

Lawrence Akka QC - Twenty Essex ‘He is fantastic – approachable, insightful and clear. Very measured; strong analytical skills; expert in IT issues; pleasure to work with.

Ranked: Tier 1

Paul Lowenstein QC - Twenty Essex ‘He is brilliant under pressure, bright, innovative, hard-working, responsive, brilliant as a team leader.

Ranked: Tier 3

Public international law Tier 1

Twenty Essex is 'top of the list for public international law'. Clients appreciate that the 'powerhouse' set's 'very approachable' juniors and silks 'wear their considerable expertise lightly'. Two of the set's top members, Sir Daniel Bethlehem QC and Sir Michael Wood KCMG served as principal legal advisers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and are now highly sought after as counsel. Both Bethlehem and Wood, as well as Guglielmo Verdirame QC, Philippa Webb, and Sudhanshu Swaroop QC, are representing Italy in a dispute with India, following the 'Enrica Lexie' Incident, before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. Verdirame QC was also a member of the government's legal team advising on the controversial Internal Markets Bill. Chambers' junior ranks have been bolstered by the arrival of Simon Olleson from Three Stone.

Leading Silks

Sir Daniel Bethlehem QC - Twenty EssexA pre-eminent silk in public international law.
Ranked: Tier 2
Sudhanshu Swaroop QC - Twenty EssexHe reads the lay of the land and assists to build a case from the very outset.
Ranked: Tier 3

2019 Silks

Guglielmo Verdirame QC - Twenty Essex ‘Top of the list for public international law. Very strong and highly knowledgable in international issues.

Leading Juniors

Penelope Nevill - Twenty EssexOne of the leading public international law juniors at the English bar. Very clever, thoughtful and invariably right.
Ranked: Tier 1
Kate Parlett - Twenty EssexGreat knowledge of the law and ability to communicate it to (non-specialist) lawyers and non-lawyers. Clear written advice. Fantastic cross-examination skills, including attention to detail, tenacity and just the right level of aggression.
Ranked: Tier 2
Philippa Webb - Twenty EssexThe go-to expert on state immunity issues - well known for her expertise in ICJ practice, she is equally at home handling inter-state arbitration proceedings.
Ranked: Tier 2
Monica Feria-Tinta - Twenty EssexSharp intellect, dedication, excellent knowledge of the law, and experience - willing and able to think outside the box.
Ranked: Tier 3
Belinda McRae - Twenty EssexShe has a superb grasp of substantive principles in arbitration law and in public international law.
Ranked: Tier 3
Simon Olleson - Twenty EssexA powerful intellect and good to work with.
Ranked: Tier 3

Commercial litigation Tier 2

Twenty Essex is 'a very reputable commercial set' which seems 'to have an expert in every field of commercial law', and is particularly noted for its strong expertise in international trade. The set fields a strong selection of 'very able' barristers, including senior silks and up-and-coming baby juniors. Notable cases include Halliburton v Chubb, in which Charles Kimmins QC and Luke Pearce led the LCIA's intervention to the Supreme Court concerning the high profile arbitration award. Philip Edey QC also led Andrew Fulton in the $5bn dispute, Fundo Suberano De Angola and Others v Jean-Claude Bastos De Morais and Others.

Leading Silks

Duncan Matthews QC - Twenty EssexVery good and excellent in advocacy and organizing strategy.
Ranked: Tier 2
Philip Edey QC - Twenty EssexHe is tenacious in Court and an exceptional advocate.
Ranked: Tier 3
Paul Lowenstein QC - Twenty EssexHe is my go-to silk for heavyweight commercial disputes, particularly those with an international element.
Ranked: Tier 3
Charles Kimmins QC - Twenty EssexFriendly, approachable, responsive and a great asset to the team.
Ranked: Tier 6
David Lewis QC - Twenty EssexHis written and oral advocacy is of a very high standard and he deploys arguments in an exceedingly effective manner.
Ranked: Tier 6

2020 Silks

Blair Leahy QC - Twenty EssexExtremely easy to work with and able to get up to speed extremely quickly on a very complex matter.
Philip Riches QC - Twenty EssexCan grapple with complex, thorny issues, and will come up with innovative solutions.

2021 Silks

Andrew Fulton QC - Twenty EssexHe is the one I would always want to have on my side in a tough commercial fight.

Leading Juniors

Susannah Jones - Twenty EssexHe has excellent analytical skills, and is always on top of her subject.
Ranked: Tier 3
Josephine Davies - Twenty EssexVery user-friendly, structured, measured and thoughtful - assists in making difficult decisions with aplomb and tactically very effective.
Ranked: Tier 4
Malcolm Jarvis - Twenty EssexHe is particularly good on complex jurisdictional problems.
Ranked: Tier 5
Belinda McRae - Twenty EssexA brilliant communicator both as an advocate and an advisor - makes difficult points clear.
Ranked: Tier 5
Luke Pearce - Twenty EssexA fantastic junior - highly intelligent and great to work with.
Ranked: Tier 5

Fraud: civil Tier 2

Twenty Essex is an 'excellent' set with a strong background in civil fraud, particularly when it comes to disputes in associated areas such as commodities trading and insolvency. Clients appreciate 'the good availability of highly experienced counsel' and note that they are 'glad to accept their suggestions of junior counsel'. Recently, Stephen Atherton QC has been leading Tony Beswetherick in Standard Chartered Bank v African Minerals. Elsewhere, in Vneshprombank LLC v Bedzhamov & Ors, Paul Lowenstein QC and rising star Sam Goodman acted for the Deposit Insurance Agency of Russia, and new silk Blair Leahy QC was on the opposing team; Philip Riches was another member of the set to be elevated to silk in March 2020.

Rising stars

Sam Goodman - Twenty EssexA junior to watch for sure and already punching above his weight.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks

Paul Lowenstein QC - Twenty EssexHe is brilliant under pressure, bright, innovative, hard working, responsive, and brilliant as a leader.
Ranked: Tier 2
Duncan Matthews QC - Twenty EssexAbsolutely brilliant.
Ranked: Tier 2
Philip Edey QC - Twenty EssexImpressive - I have a massive amount of time for him.
Ranked: Tier 3
Stephen Atherton QC - Twenty EssexAn impressive silk, spanning a number of areas of practice, and a persuasive advocate who jumps in and gets to grips with the issues.
Ranked: Tier 4

2020 Silks

Blair Leahy QC - Twenty EssexBlair is extremely easy to work with and was able to get up to speed extremely quickly on a very complex matter when we urgently required assistance. Her input (even when instructed on such a matter at short notice) was exceptionally perceptive and helpful.
Philip Riches QC - Twenty EssexHe is an excellent advocate and skilful cross-examiner.

2021 Silks

Andrew Fulton QC - Twenty EssexHe is extremely bright, an excellent advocate and always fights the clients’ case with enthusiasm and vigour.

Leading Juniors

Christopher Newman - Twenty Essex ‘Chris exudes confidence and assertively picks apart an opponent's cases seemingly with ease.

Ranked: Tier 2
Tony Beswetherick - Twenty EssexHe is a great tactician, anticipates every argument and is fully prepared to counter it.
Ranked: Tier 4

International arbitration: counsel Tier 2

Twenty Essex offers top-notch expertise in areas of traditional strength, such as international trade and shipping, as well as broader commercial disputes. The set's provision of highly experienced senior silks is matched by an impressive up-flow of impressive juniors. Members are regularly instructed on major disputes, such as PL Holdings S.A.R.L -and- Republic of Poland, in which Sara Masters QC and Belinda McRae lead Poland's bid to set aside a BIT arbitration award, with Phillip Riches QC among the opposing counsel. Riches and Henry Byam-Cook boosted chambers at the senior end following their respective elevations to silk, plus the arrival of highly-rated former solicitor advocate Wendy Miles QC from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a further demonstration of the set's commitment to international arbitration.

Leading Silks

Charles Kimmins QC - Twenty EssexVery knowledgeable and sharp, he can pick up on issues very quickly, knows the law and has the cases/authorities at his fingertips.
Ranked: Tier 1
Duncan Matthews QC - Twenty EssexOne of the very best leading silks for International Arbitration.
Ranked: Tier 1
Philip Edey QC - Twenty EssexHe is above a lot of the others in his generation.
Ranked: Tier 2
David Lewis QC - Twenty EssexAn excellent silk - he is hugely intelligent and can read into complex matters and produce top quality notes of advice, pleadings and other documents with incredible speed.
Ranked: Tier 2
Timothy Young QC - Twenty EssexHe is knowledgeable, hardworking and conscientious. I have no hesitation recommending his services.
Ranked: Tier 2
Michael Ashcroft QC - Twenty EssexAn always impressive silk for arbitration matters.
Ranked: Tier 3
Sara Masters QC - Twenty EssexHugely experienced in the international arbitration field both as counsel and arbitrator.
Ranked: Tier 3
Timothy Hill QC - Twenty EssexExcellent - a top-quality silk.
Ranked: Tier 4

2020 Silks

Henry Byam-Cook QC - Twenty EssexAn impressive performer in the arbitration field.
Philip Riches QC - Twenty EssexHe has a wonderful ability to work through and articulate clearly both orally and in writing any knotty legal or factual problem.

2021 Silks

Andrew Fulton QC - Twenty EssexHe is intellectually very able; always fights the clients’ case with vigour; able to cut to the heart of the dispute quickly; understands the pressures of private practice and the need to adopt commercial approach rather than giving ivory tower solutions.

Leading Juniors

Harris Bor - Twenty EssexThorough, clever, easy to work with, and a good cross-examiner.
Ranked: Tier 2
Belinda McRae - Twenty EssexA rapier-sharp junior.
Ranked: Tier 3

Shipping Tier 2

‘A very good and well-respected set', Twenty Essex’s barristers handled a number of high-profile, cross-border shipping disputes in 2019. The highly experienced Michael Ashcroft QC led Luke Pearce in RENOS - The Swedish Club v Machrimar Management S.A. before the Supreme Court, while the Commercial Court case The Chang Hang Guang Rong featured Ashcroft QC and Oliver Caplin against Thomas Raphael QC, while Sara Masters QC represented another party to the dispute. Pearce was also against Daniel Bovensiepen in Nautica Marine Limited v Trafigura Trading LLC (The Leonidas) before the Commercial Court. Chambers has been strengthened at the senior end after Henry Byam-Cook and Philip Riches both took silk in 2020. Also of note, at the junior end, Matthew McGhee is a rising star in chambers.

Rising stars

Matthew McGhee - Twenty EssexA bright, clear thinker, who has demonstrated a knack for devising creative legal arguments.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks

Michael Ashcroft QC - Twenty EssexOne of the best silks in this area.
Ranked: Tier 1
Timothy Young QC - Twenty EssexHe is very experienced and extremely knowledgeable.
Ranked: Tier 1
Philip Edey QC - Twenty EssexA very good and approachable counsel.
Ranked: Tier 2
Christopher Hancock QC - Twenty EssexHe is very good with clients.
Ranked: Tier 2
Duncan Matthews QC - Twenty EssexVery persuasive in front of tribunals.
Ranked: Tier 2
Timothy Hill QC - Twenty EssexHe is able to grasp the most difficult areas of the law as well as very technical issues, and is a fantastic tactician.
Ranked: Tier 3
Charles Kimmins QC - Twenty EssexAn excellent cross-examiner.
Ranked: Tier 3
David Lewis QC - Twenty EssexA very good advocate.
Ranked: Tier 3
Michael Coburn QC - Twenty EssexA very strategic thinker.
Ranked: Tier 4
Michael Collett QC - Twenty EssexHe has a genial manner that belies his razor sharp mind.
Ranked: Tier 4
Sara Masters QC - Twenty EssexShe is a very able silk. I would definitely recommend her.
Ranked: Tier 5
Thomas Raphael QC - Twenty EssexWell-regarded for his work in cross-jurisdictional matters.
Ranked: Tier 5

2020 Silks

Henry Byam-Cook QC  - Twenty EssexHe is incredibly good.

Philip Riches QC Twenty Essex ‘Very thorough and detailed.

Leading Juniors

Daniel Bovensiepen - Twenty EssexHe is outstanding and is very good on paper.
Ranked: Tier 1
Oliver Caplin - Twenty EssexA great barrister and well-liked by clients.
Ranked: Tier 2
Luke Pearce - Twenty EssexHis advices are very well-structured and coherent and always highlight the more complex and trickier aspects.
Ranked: Tier 2
Thomas Corby - Twenty EssexAbsolutely excellent and very user-friendly; nothing is too much trouble.
Ranked: Tier 3
Colleen Hanley - Twenty EssexShe has a sharp eye for details. Applies a commercial and cost-conscious approach.
Ranked: Tier 3
Malcolm Jarvis - Twenty EssexHe is very experienced.
Ranked: Tier 3
Angharad Parry - Twenty EssexA wonderful barrister.
Ranked: Tier 3
Sean Snook - Twenty EssexA very able junior counsel.
Ranked: Tier 3
Josephine Davies - Twenty EssexA very bright and attentive barrister; methodical, thorough and very articulate.
Ranked: Tier 4

Banking and finance (including consumer credit) Tier 3

Twenty Essex has several silks and juniors with a strong grounding in this area, particularly in disputes relating to futures and derivatives, and on claims with a trade, offshore, fraud or insolvency element. Paul Lowenstein QC and and Tony Beswetherick are currently representing Alfa Bank in Alfa Bank v Abyzov, Emmerson and others. Lowenstein is also acting for the claimants, alongside Luke Pearce, in two separate claims against HBOS: Dove v HBOS, and Wells v HBOS. A highlight for Philip Edey QC has been his advice to Boris Mints on PJSC National Bank and PJSC Bank Otkritie v Boris Mints and Others.

Leading Silks

Philip Edey QC - Twenty EssexConscientious and hard working, he is also a joy to work with.
Ranked: Tier 4
Paul Lowenstein QC - Twenty EssexHe is brilliant under pressure, bright, innovative, hard working, responsive, and brilliant as a leader.
Ranked: Tier 4

2021 Silks

Andrew Fulton QC - Twenty EssexHe is intellectually very able, always fights the clients’ case with vigour, and able to cut to the heart of the dispute quickly.

Leading Juniors

Luke Pearce - Twenty EssexVery user-friendly and pro-active - he is a steady hand on cases and provides useful tactical insight on procedural matters and general case strategy.
Ranked: Tier 2
Tony Beswetherick - Twenty EssexBrilliant on paper and in court.
Ranked: Tier 4

Energy Tier 3

Twenty Essex has 'very successfully tapped into the need to market and is a set of the future' in the energy market, with clients remarking that it is 'a modern-thinking set, keen to work in partnership with those instructing them'. Strong in shipping, commodities and commercial litigation, the set increasingly handles a broad range of energy disputes relating to oil and gas including rig construction and LNG supply matters, as well as cases in the renewable energy sector. The 'very knowledgeable and sharp' Charles Kimmins QC advised respondents in a substantial dispute concerning the construction of a jack-up drilling rig. Of the clerks, clients note that 'they really understand the set having been there for many years but are still young and enthusiastic'.

Leading Silks

Charles Kimmins QC - Twenty EssexHe can pick up on issues very quickly and he thinks outside of the box to provide practical solutions.
Ranked: Tier 3
Duncan Matthews QC - Twenty EssexA vastly experienced silk in shipping and energy matters, be they in the oil, gas or power sectors.
Ranked: Tier 3
Michael Ashcroft QC - Twenty EssexA leading shipping silk with a strong intellect that he applies to conventional and renewable energy matters.
Ranked: Tier 4
Timothy Hill QC - Twenty EssexA top-quality silk who is smart and very strategic in his approach.
Ranked: Tier 4
David Lewis QC - Twenty EssexA very deft and clever advocate in international arbitration.
Ranked: Tier 4

2020 Silks

Philip Riches QC - Twenty EssexA very hardworking and intelligent new silk with a direct style.

2021 Silks

Andrew Fulton QC - Twenty EssexHe is intellectually very able and always fights the client’s case with vigour.

Leading Juniors

Malcolm Jarvis - Twenty EssexA very intelligent and composed junior with a determined approach.
Ranked: Tier 3

International crime and extradition

Leading Juniors

Monica Feria-Tinta - Twenty Essex ‘A junior who is very competent and dedicated to her work.

Ranked: Tier 3

Professional negligence

Leading Silks

Paul Lowenstein QC - Twenty Essex ‘He is incredibly bright.

Ranked: Tier 3

Insurance and reinsurance Tier 4

Twenty Essex's members consistently act for and against insurance entities in cases that raise questions about the construction of standard forms in common use, and which impact upon insurers and the insured. In recent work of note, Christopher Hancock QC acted for the claimant in a major declaration application, which concerned a pollution liability claim by the insurers under a P&I contract, and Charles Kimmins QC appeared in a UK Supreme Court appeal of a Bermuda Form liability insurance award, which arose from the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe. Michael Ashcroft QC  also has extensive experience in insurance disputes, particularly in the marine and energy sectors, but also in relation to property and legal expenses.

Leading Silks

Philip Edey QC - Twenty EssexHardworking and tenacious in court.
Ranked: Tier 3
Christopher Hancock QC - Twenty EssexA very strong advocate.
Ranked: Tier 4
Charles Kimmins QC - Twenty EssexA first-class counsel.
Ranked: Tier 4
Michael Ashcroft QC - Twenty EssexA highly skilled silk.
Ranked: Tier 5


Leading Juniors

Monica Feria-Tinta - Twenty Essex ‘Hard-working, very committed, and generous. She has made disputes under international environmental treaties her own.

Ranked: Tier 4

Administrative and public law (including elections)

Leading Silks

Gordon Nardell QC - Twenty EssexHe can see the arguments instantaneously and advise on the hoof.
Ranked: Tier 4

Leading Juniors

Penelope Nevill - Twenty Essex ‘Penelope has an encyclopaedic knowledge of her field. She was always able to come up with an interesting angle or case to consider.

Ranked: Tier 4

Set overviews: England and Wales

Benefiting from offices in London and Singapore, Twenty Essex has an excellent reputation for international arbitration work. The set has seen multiple recent developments: Sir Peter Gross has returned to chambers as an arbitrator following his departure after being appointed to the bench; Simon Olleson joined the public international law team from Three Stone; Henry Byam-Cook QC, Blair Leahy QC and Philip Riches QC took silk in early 2020; Wendy Miles QC joined from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in February 2020; Judith Gill QC was elected vice president of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration, with effect from 1 April 2020; Duncan Matthews QC and Stephen Atherton QC were appointed joint Heads of Chambers, effective from 1 August 2020;  Penelope Nevill and Belinda McRae  were appointed to the Attorney General's Panel of Counsel, effective from 1 September 2020; and former solicitor-advocate Maria Kennedy joined from Norton Rose Fulbright.



Consistent with approach of chambers overall – they do a good job of helping firms to work with chambers, rather than the traditional role of acting as a gatekeeper (however friendly) to an ivory tower of experts. Anthony Carroll typifies this.’

‘Great service, professional, accommodating and efficient.’

‘I have always had very prompt, friendly and professional service from the clerks. Chris Theobald in particular has a very good knowledge of what I need.’

‘The clerks at 20 Essex are very good. In particular, Tara Shah (the clerk to Paul Lowenstein QC and Luke Pearce) has chased up queries from my firm in a timely and helpful manner.’

‘The clerks at Twenty Essex are extremely responsive, friendly and efficient. Rachael Osborne is particularly good – knowledgeable and always ready to help.’

‘The clerks at Twenty Essex work very hard. They are contactable at all times of the day and night and even on weekends. I have not had any issue with them as they have generally been very helpful in helping me find the right barrister for the case. Arron Zitver has been outstanding.’

‘The clerks were friendly and helpful, providing a personalised service. Anthony Carroll  is a pleasure to work with.’

‘The service is good and the clerks always available to discuss and propose alternatives.’


’20 Essex are probably the best set for international arbitration, particularly with an international trade, energy and maritime focus.’

’20 Essex is one of the “go to” places in terms of shipping and commercial matters.’

’20 Essex Street is an excellent set, with long-standing strength and depth in PIL.’

I rate Twenty Essex very highly – they are the Chambers with whom I work most closely.’

’20 Essex St is the foremost set for international trade disputes. They have great strength in depth at the mid junior and senior levels and as a whole are a pleasure to work with.’

‘One of the pre-eminent arbitration and PIL sets. Set themselves apart from the other three PIL powerhouses, which our firm also like and use, in that their barristers (or almost all of them) consistently wear their considerable expertise lightly. Very approachable.’

‘Twenty Essex have good availability of highly experienced counsel. We have often been glad to accept their suggestions off junior counsel that we have not come across before. This gives us a wider variety of counsel to work with on future cases.’

‘Twenty Essex is a very reputable commercial set. They seem to have an expert in every field of commercial law. I can’t think of an instance where we had to instruct counsel and a name from Twenty Essex did not come up.’

‘Twenty Essex is an impressive set for commodities (which includes associated sectors like fraud and insolvency) and I use them a lot. Their commodities trading expertise is fantastic and their barristers have deep knowledge of the industry.’

The Set: A leading commercial set of chambers, the barristers of Twenty Essex offer outstanding legal minds combined with a modern and commercial disputes experience.

Clients include major global companies, institutions, governments and their advisors from around the world and our barristers advise and appear as advocates in court or arbitration in relation to a broad range of company and commercial, EU, competition, and public international law disputes. Practices involve the preparation and conduct of litigation before a wide range of courts and tribunals, in the UK, in foreign jurisdictions as well as on the international stage.

The vast majority of the work is international in nature and we have well-established links to many overseas markets, including through our Asian hub in Singapore servicing clients throughout Asia Pacific and beyond.

The set is also home to a number of highly respected domestic and international arbitrators and mediators, some of whom were previously judges either in the UK or overseas.

Types of work undertaken:

Commercial dispute resolution: most members of Twenty Essex advise and act as advocates in relation to all types of commercial disputes, particularly in disputes with an international dimension. These may be resolved in the English courts, by institutional or ad hoc international arbitration, or by London maritime and commodity trade arbitrations. Members are experienced in representing overseas and large corporate clients and advising in complex, high-value and multi-forum litigation. The areas in which members accept instructions are: financial services (banking/compliance/regulation); international trade (including shipping, commodities and sale of goods); energy and natural resources; insurance and reinsurance; civil fraud; aviation; information technology, data protection; intellectual property; telecoms and media; ; shareholder, joint venture and partnership disputes; agency and sport.

Brexit, EU and competition: a number of members at Twenty Essex specialise in the substantive law of the EU (including Brexit) and in UK and EU competition law. Virtually all members deal with aspects of EU law regularly. A number have experience of working in the European Court of Justice, at the European Commission and for UK government regulatory authorities. Members appear before the: Competition Appeal Tribunal; Competition Commission; European Commission; European Court of First Instance; and European Court of Justice. In addition, members of the set appear regularly before domestic courts and tribunals to argue questions of EU and competition law. They also advise and represent Community institutions, member states, corporations and private individuals. Advice and the conduct of litigation both for and against the OFT and other regulatory bodies also forms a significant part of members work.

International arbitration: Twenty Essex has a strong reputation as a leading arbitration set. It has an exclusive team of 15 leading international arbitrators from around the globe. In addition, the set has 79 barrister members who act as advocates and arbitrators at all of the world’s major institutions. Its high-quality silks and juniors deal with all manner of international commercial disputes involving banking, shipping, international trade and energy, and investor trade disputes (among many others).

Insolvency and company: members of Twenty Essex are well known for their expertise in contentious and non-contentious restructurings (including schemes of arrangement), insolvency law and company law, spanning all business and industry sectors. In the context of restructurings and insolvency, members regularly advise and represent insolvency office-holders, companies, creditors, shareholders and company directors (both in the UK and abroad) and have been heavily involved in most of the major restructurings and insolvencies of recent years.

Public international law: Twenty Essex is pre-eminent in public international law. Two members of chambers have been principal legal advisers to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Others have been appointed judges ad hoc of the International Court of Justice, president and members of the North American Free Trade Association tribunals and members of tribunals under the World Bank’s International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes and have been engaged as legal adviser within the United Nations. Members provide legal and strategic advice to states and other parties and appear before English courts in cases in which issues of public international law arise, before international courts and tribunals including: The International Court of Justice; dispute settlement panels of the World Trade Organisation; the European Court of Human Rights; the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea; and international arbitral tribunals.

Department Name Email Telephone
Head of Chambers Duncan Matthews QC (1986) 442078421200
Head of Chambers Stephen Atherton QC (1989) 44207842100
CEO Jemma Tagg 442078421200
Practice Director Arron Zitver 442078421205
Practice Director Christopher Theobald 442078421210
Practice Director Anthony Carroll 442078421230
Member Alexander Layton QC (1976) 442078421200
Member Timothy Young QC (1977) 442078421200
Member Christopher Hancock QC (1983) 442078421200
Member Sir Daniel Bethlehem QC (1988) 442078421200
Member Phillip Edey QC (1994) 442078421200
Member Timothy Hill QC (1990) 442078421200
Member Paul Lowenstein QC (1988) 442078421200
Member Michael Coburn QC (1990) 442078421200
Member Charles Kimmins QC (1994) 442078421200
Member Gordon Nardell QC (1995) 442078421200
Member Michael Ashcroft QC (1997) 442078421200
Member Lawrence Akka QC (1991) 442078421200
Member Sara Masters QC (1993) 442078421200
Member Michael Collett QC (1995) 442078421200
Member David Lewis QC (1999) 442078421200
Member Thomas Raphael QC (1999) 442078421200
Member Wendy Miles QC (2020) 442078421200
Member Andrew Ayres QC (1996) 442078421200
Member Sudhanshu Swaroop QC (1997) 442078421200
Member Julian Kenny QC (1997) 442078421200
Member Guglielmo Veridrame QC (2006) 442078421200
Member Nakul Dewan SA (2014) 6562257230
Member Henry Byam-Cook QC (2000) 442078421200
Member Blair Leahy QC (2001) 442078421200
Member Phillip Riches QC (2001) 442078421200
Member Andrew Fulton QC (1999) 442078421200
Member Sir Michael Wood (1968) 442078421200
Member Karen Maxwell (1992) 442078421200
Member Julie Anderson (1993) 442078421200
Member Malcolm Jarvis (1998) 442078421200
Member Susannah Jones (1999) 442078421200
Member Zannis Mavrogordato (1999) 442078421200
Member Sean Snook (2000) 442078421200
Member Socrates Papadopoulos (2001) 442078421200
Member Angharad Parry (2002) 442078421200
Member Simon Olleson (2002) 442078421200
Member Colleen Hanley (2003) 442078421200
Member Christopher Newman (2003) 442078421200
Member Simon Milnes (2005) 442078421200
Member Tony Beswetherick (2003) 442078421200
Member Daniel Bovenseipen (2004) 442078421200
Member Josephine Davies (2006) 442078421200
Member Stefan Talmon (2007) 442078421200
Member Patricia Edwards (2006) 442078421200
Member Sarah Tresman (2008) 442078421200
Member Harris Bor (2006) 442078421200
Member Luke Pearce (2007) 442078421200
Member Albert Dinelli (2007) 6562257230
Member Penelope Nevill (2010) 442078421200
Member Rupert Hamilton (2010) 442078421200
Member Thomas Corby (2011) 442078421200
Member Mahnaz Malik (2012) 442078421200
Member Oliver Caplin (2012) 442078421200
Member Alex Carless (2012) 442078421200
Member Thomas Leary (2012) 442078421200
Member Richard Greenberg (2013) 442078421200
Member Matthew McGhee (2013) 442078421200
Member Andrew Feld (2013) 442078421200
Member Andrew Dinsmore (2013) 442078421200
Member Monica Feria-Tinta (2014) 442078421200
Member Belinda McRae (2014) 442078421200
Member Alexander Thompson (2014) 442078421200
Member Kate Parlett (2015) 442078421200
Member John Bethell (2014) 442078421200
Member Sam Goodman (2015) 442078421200
Member Alistair Wooder (2015) 442078421200
Member Jonathan Ketcheson (2016) 442078421200
Member Phillipa Webb (2016) 442078421200
Member Mark Tushingham (2016) 442078421200
Member Paulo Busco (2017) 442078421200
Member Patrick Dunn Walsh (2012) 442078421200
Member Michal Hain (2017) 442078421200
Member Fiona Whiteside (2017) 442078421200
Member Matthew Chan (2018) 442078421200
Member Edward Gilmore (2018) 442078421200
Member James Gardner (2018) 442078421200
Member Maria Kennedy (2018) 442078421200
Member Fiona Petersen (2018) 442078421200
Member Paolo Busco (2014) 442078421200
Member Daniel Kalderimis (1999) 442078421200
Member The Honorable Charles N Brower 442078421200
Member Michael Lee (Arbitrator) 6562257230
Member David Sutton (Arbitrator) 442078421200
Member J William Rowley QC (Arbitrator) 442078421200
Member Malcolm Holmes QC (Arbitrator) 442078421200
Member L Yves Fortier QC (Arbitrator) 442078421200
Member Sir Bernard Rix (Arbitrator) 442078421200
Member David Owen QC (Arbitrator) 442078421200
Member Michael Tselentis QC (Arbitrator) 442078421200
Member Professor Julian Lew QC (Arbitrator) 442078421200
Member Dr Michael Moser (Arbitrator) 442078421200
Member Sir Martin Moore-Bick (Arbitrator) 442078421200
Member Sir Mark Havelock-Allan (Arbitrator) 442078421200
Member Clare Ambrose (Arbitrator) 442078421200
Member Judith Gill QC (Arbitrator) 65 62257230
Member Sir Peter Gross (Arbitrator) 442078421200
Member Lord Glennie (Arbitrator) 442078421200
Member Nigel Rawding QC (Arbitrator) 442078421200
Member Professor Hi-Taek Shin 442078421200
Photo Name Position Profile
 Clare Ambrose  photo Clare Ambrose Clare is a full-time arbitrator with over 25 years’ experience of arbitration…
 Julie Anderson  photo Julie Anderson Julie has an outstanding level of “hands on” litigation experience in the…
 Michael Ashcroft photo Michael Ashcroft Michael has a broad commercial practice, specialising in high value and complex…
 Stephen Atherton photo Stephen Atherton Stephen’s practice comprises international and domestic corporate insolvency and restructuring, company law,…
 Andrew Ayres photo Andrew Ayres Andrew has an established commercial disputes practice, with a core of trial…
 Tony Beswetherick  photo Tony Beswetherick Tony specialises in the fields of insolvency and restructuring, civil fraud, commercial…
 John Bethell  photo John Bethell John practises mainly in the areas of commercial disputes and public law.…
Sir Daniel Bethlehem photo Sir Daniel Bethlehem Daniel specialises in public international law, accepting instructions as counsel and adviser…
Dr Harris Bor  photo Dr Harris Bor Harris’s practice covers all areas of international arbitration and commercial and company…
 Daniel Bovensiepen  photo Daniel Bovensiepen Daniel’s practice covers a broad range of international commercial work, with a…
The Honorable Charles N Brower  photo The Honorable Charles N Brower Charles’s 55-year career in the law has combined extensive practice at the…
 Paolo Busco  photo Paolo Busco Paolo specialises in international dispute settlement, public international law and EU law.…
 Henry Byam-Cook  photo Henry Byam-Cook Henry practises in a range of commercial disputes, including shipping and international…
 Oliver Caplin  photo Oliver Caplin Oliver has a broad commercial practice which particularly focuses on international trade,…
 Alex Carless  photo Alex Carless Alex specialises in a broad range of commercial matters, including banking and…
 Michael Coburn photo Michael Coburn Michael practises in all aspects of commercial law, usually with an international…
 Michael Collett photo Michael Collett Michael specialises in commercial law. His areas of practice include general commercial…
 Thomas Corby  photo Thomas Corby Thomas has a varied commercial practice, with a focus on international arbitration,…
 Josephine Davies  photo Josephine Davies Josephine specialises in all areas of commercial and competition law and litigation.…
 Nakul Dewan SA  photo Nakul Dewan SA Nakul practises from Singapore, Delhi and London. He accepts appointments both as…
 Albert Dinelli  photo Albert Dinelli Albert’s practice in London and Singapore focuses on arbitral proceedings and advice…
 Andrew Dinsmore  photo Andrew Dinsmore Andrew has extensive international commercial litigation and arbitration experience. His practice focuses…
 Patrick Dunn-Walsh  photo Patrick Dunn-Walsh Patrick became a member of Chambers in September 2018, having joined as…
 Philip Edey photo Philip Edey Philip is a specialist lead advocate whose practice focuses on commercial disputes…
 Patricia Edwards  photo Patricia Edwards Patricia has a broad commercial practice, with a particular emphasis on advising…
 Andrew Feld  photo Andrew Feld Andrew has a busy commercial practice encompassing all areas of Chambers’ work,…
 Monica Feria-Tinta  photo Monica Feria-Tinta Monica is a specialist in public international law. Her practice covers the…
The Honorable Yves Fortier photo The Honorable Yves Fortier Arbitrator/mediator, specialising in public international law and international dispute resolutions.
 Andrew Fulton  photo Andrew Fulton Andrew has a broad and busy practice. He advises and appears in…
 Judith Gill photo Judith Gill Judith is recognised as one of the leading practitioners in the field…
 Sam Goodman  photo Sam Goodman Sam has a broad commercial practice covering both litigation and international arbitration,…
 Richard Greenberg  photo Richard Greenberg Richard has a broad commercial practice, with a particular focus on civil…
 Michal Hain  photo Michal Hain Michal joined Twenty Essex after successfully completing his pupillage in September 2018.…
 Rupert Hamilton  photo Rupert Hamilton Rupert has a varied practice covering all aspects of commercial law. He…
 Christopher Hancock photo Christopher Hancock Christopher is joint Head of Chambers. He has appeared before courts at…
 Colleen Hanley  photo Colleen Hanley Colleen is recommended as a leading junior for both shipping and commodities…
Sir Mark Havelock-Allan photo Sir Mark Havelock-Allan Mark is a former Mercantile Judge on the Western Circuit, and judge…
 Timothy Hill photo Timothy Hill Timothy specialises in international commercial litigation and arbitration. He has considerable expertise…
 Malcolm Holmes photo Malcolm Holmes Malcolm is a chartered arbitrator primarily based in Sydney but with an…
 Malcolm Jarvis  photo Malcolm Jarvis Malcolm specialises in commercial and EU law. He acts in commercial disputes…
 Susannah Jones  photo Susannah Jones Susannah specialises in commercial and private international law disputes, in particular concerning…
 Julian Kenny photo Julian Kenny Julian specialises in commercial law, particularly banking, shipping and commodities, insurance and…
 Jonathan Ketcheson  photo Jonathan Ketcheson Jonathan practises across all Chambers’ areas of expertise, including international arbitration, public…
 Charles Kimmins photo Charles Kimmins Charles specialises in commercial law, and represents clients in both court and…
 Alexander Layton photo Alexander Layton Alex is a specialist in private international law. His practice consists almost…
 Blair Leahy  photo Blair Leahy Blair is a commercial litigator specialising in complex multi-jurisdictional fraud and asset…
 Thomas Leary  photo Thomas Leary Tom has a broad practice in commercial litigation, arbitration and public law.…
 Michael Lee  photo Michael Lee Michael is an experienced international commercial arbitrator practising principally from Singapore and…
Dr Julian Lew photo Dr Julian Lew Julian is a full-time arbitrator in international commercial and investment disputes. He…
 David Lewis photo David Lewis David is a specialist advocate who took silk in 2014 at the…
 Paul Lowenstein photo Paul Lowenstein Paul is a leading commercial silk in domestic and international litigation and…
 Mahnaz Malik  photo Mahnaz Malik Mahnaz is a barrister and arbitrator at Twenty Essex who specialises in…
 Sara Masters photo Sara Masters Sara specialises in all areas of commercial law. She has a particular…
 Duncan Matthews photo Duncan Matthews Duncan is joint Head of Chambers. He is a leading trial advocate…
 Zannis Mavrogordato  photo Zannis Mavrogordato Zannis is a barrister, French avocat and arbitrator. He is a specialist…
 Karen Maxwell  photo Karen Maxwell Karen practises in commercial law and international trade, with a particular focus…
 Matthew McGhee  photo Matthew McGhee Matthew enjoys a broad commercial practice. Clients instruct him to advise or…
 Belinda McRae  photo Belinda McRae Belinda has developed an impressive and diverse commercial practice. She has a…
 Simon Milnes  photo Simon Milnes Simon specialises in international dispute resolution, especially in the fields of energy…
Sir Martin Moore-Bick  photo Sir Martin Moore-Bick Sir Martin recently retired as a Lord Justice of Appeal after serving…
Dr Michael Moser  photo Dr Michael Moser Michael serves as arbitrator in high-value, complex international disputes. His specialities include…
 Gordon Nardell photo Gordon Nardell Gordon specialises in international litigation and arbitration. He has a particular focus…
 Penelope Nevill  photo Penelope Nevill Penelope is a specialist in international law. Her practice focuses on disputes…
 Christopher Newman  photo Christopher Newman Chris has a broad commercial practice with a focus on heavyweight commercial…
 David Owen photo David Owen David is a full-time arbitrator and mediator, with a practice covering a…
 Socrates Papadopoulos  photo Socrates Papadopoulos Socrates has been a tenant at Twenty Essex since October 2001. He…
Dr Kate Parlett  photo Dr Kate Parlett Kate specialises in public international law and international arbitration. She acts for…
 Angharad Parry  photo Angharad Parry Angharad specialises in advisory and advocacy work in a wide range of…
 Luke Pearce  photo Luke Pearce Luke has a broad practice covering all aspects of commercial law, with…
 Thomas Raphael photo Thomas Raphael Thomas is a commercial silk, with a wide commercial practice, and a…
 Philip Riches  photo Philip Riches Philip has a wide-ranging commercial practice in international litigation and arbitration. His…
Sir Bernard Rix  photo Sir Bernard Rix Sir Bernard retired in 2013 as a Lord Justice of Appeal with…
 J. William Rowley photo J. William Rowley Bill is a highly experienced international arbitrator. He joined Twenty Essex in…
 Sean Snook  photo Sean Snook Sean advises and represents clients in a broad range of commercial and…
 David St John Sutton  photo David St John Sutton David is a full-time arbitrator practicing in London and Paris in international…
 Sudhanshu Swaroop photo Sudhanshu Swaroop Sudhanshu practises commercial, arbitration and public international law. He has acted in…
Prof Stefan Talmon  photo Prof Stefan Talmon Stefan has a wide-ranging practice in public international law. He has appeared…
 Alexander Thompson  photo Alexander Thompson Alexander is a commercial litigator. He has a broad practice in all…
 Michael Tselentis photo Michael Tselentis Michael’s practice as an international arbitrator covers a wide field, which includes…
 Mark Tushingham  photo Mark Tushingham Mark has a broad practice in commercial law and a growing practice…
 Guglielmo Verdirame photo Guglielmo Verdirame Guglielmo acts as counsel in cases before English courts, international courts and…
 Philippa Webb  photo Philippa Webb Philippa’s practice covers all aspects of public international law. She acts for…
 Fiona Whiteside  photo Fiona Whiteside Fiona became a member of Twenty Essex on successful completion of her…
Sir Michael Wood KCMG  photo Sir Michael Wood KCMG Sir Michael is a member of the United Nations (UN) International Law…
 Alistair Wooder  photo Alistair Wooder Alistair is a commercial litigator with a broad practice spanning general commercial…
 Timothy Young photo Timothy Young Timothy’s principal area of practice is international trade, embracing shipping, commodities, insurance,…
Chinese (Mandarin)
Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)
Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC)
General Council of the Bar of England and Wales
Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC)
INSOL - International Association of Restructuring
IBA (International Bar Association)
International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)
London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)
London Maritime Arbitrators Association (supporting member)
British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL)
Young International Arbitration Group

Diversity and inclusion

Twenty Essex has adopted a proactive approach to ensuring diversity within chambers and at the Bar. With an active and engaged committee spearheading internal and external initiatives, Twenty Essex is proud to be an inclusive environment and is committed to ensuring equal opportunities for members, employees, pupils, mini-pupils, prospective tenants and prospective pupils.

For questions relating to our equality and diversity policy, please contact our Equality and Diversity Officer, Angharad Parry.

We are proud to declare that we are a London Living Wage employer.

Diversity data

The Bar Standards Board Code of Conduct states that a summary of the Diversity Data submitted by the Members of the Workforce be published every three years from 31 December 2012 onwards. The summary data for Twenty Essex can be found here.

Rare contextual recruitment

We use Rare’s Contextual Recruitment System to review applications for pupillage and mini-pupillage in the context of the candidates’ socio-economic background. The system is intended to allow a recruiter to put a candidate’s achievements into the context of the candidate’s circumstances. Efforts to improve recruitment processes in terms of fairness, objectivity and awareness are just one piece of the jigsaw that will lead to a more diverse Bar and this is why a long-term commitment to diversity is one of our strategic objectives.

Women in Law Pledge

We are proud signatories to the Women in Law Pledge created by the Bar Council of England and Wales, The Law Society, and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx). We are committed to the progress of gender equality, elimination of gender discrimination and pledge to make positive change for the legal profession.

Disability and accessibility at Twenty Essex

Twenty Essex’s premises are compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act and if you would like to discuss any particular requirements for adjustments to services, including specific visitor needs, please contact our Facilities Manager.


We recognise that working in the legal profession can often create a highly demanding and stressful environment for members and employees. As a chambers we are determined to achieve the appropriate balance between the professional and personal demands of working at the Bar and the need for individual wellbeing. We are focused on the wellbeing of members and employees and we are pleased to highlight that we have been awarded the Wellbeing at the Bar Certificate of Recognition.


Pro bono

Twenty Essex has a long tradition of its’ members providing legal advice and representation on a pro bono basis. Barristers support Advocate, CLIPS, and FRU on a regular basis as well as a range of other organisations.

Social mobility

Chambers has provided placements on the Bar Placement Week in partnership with the Bar Council and a number of our barristers have volunteered as mentors for students in recent years, through the Social Mobility Foundation as well as other organisations.

Volunteering and giving

Members and employees regularly make charitable donations, and within the work environment take part in a range of charitable events such as the annual London Legal Walk and the Palace to Palace bike ride in support of The Prince’s Trust. Internally hosted fundraising events also raised money for local and nominated charities.

The evolution of the Commercial Bar (
Duncan Matthews QC, co-head, and Jemma Tagg, chief executive, reflect on the evolution of Twenty Essex and wider sector changes across the Commercial Bar