Set Profile > Chambers of Bill Braithwaite QC > Liverpool, England
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Chambers of Bill Braithwaite QC > The Legal 500 Rankings
Mediators Tier 2
Paul Johnson at Exchange Chambers in Manchester is 'approachable, commercial, pragmatic and persistent - if anyone can get a settlement, Paul can'. Johnson has mediated over 700 disputes, and his mediation practice includes insolvency, shareholder and partnership disputes, inheritance and probate, professional negligence and banking.
Paul Kirtley is the key figure in Exchange Chambers medical negligence team on circuit and is primarily instructed for the claimant in claims relating to the general practitioner, surgical and birth injury spaces.
Home to one of the largest commercial teams in the region, Exchange Chambers is a noticeable presence in all areas of commercial, banking, insolvency and Chancery work. The team features members with specialist practices in professional negligence, competition law, and credit hire litigation. In competition, David Went acts for a follow-on damages claimant in the truck cartel case. Mark Cawson QC co-leads on behalf of the claimants in Municipio De Mariana and others v BHP Group, a multi-party claim arising from the collapse of the of a Brazilian dam in 2015 being brought against its British owners.
Exchange Chambers is home to several strong commercial practitioners, and is praised for the 'good availability of counsel', and particularly the set's contingent of 'very capable insolvency juniors'. Other notable aspects of the set's offering include competition and EU law work, where David Went is one of the most notable names outside of London, and shareholder disputes, where Lisa Linklater and Alfred Weiss are particularly strong. Recent highlights for the set include Linklater's representation of shareholders in a crowd-funded property development who sought to remove company directors, and Went's representation of the Road Haulage Association in a group action in the truck cartel scandal.
Members of Exchange Chambers practice across the construction, planning and environment sectors, with several members having operated in industry roles before their time at the Bar. Former chartered surveyors David Fearon and Peter Dixon lead the construction and planning practice groups respectively and have helped cement the set's reputation for 'excellent technical knowledge' among clients. James Malam recently represented the purchasers in a £6m claim against the developers of a block of 51 flats for breach of contract and failure to install fire safety features.
Exchange Chambers is home to costs specialist Richard Wilcock, who is particularly notable for his work on behalf of the NHS in costs matters. One notable recent case is Nicolaou v Cass, in which Wilcock represented the paying party in a challenge to a two-stage after-the-event insurance premium.
Exchange Chambers' 'tremendous strength in depth' enables it to provide a strong service across a wide range of criminal instructions. Nicholas Johnson QC recently acted for the first defendant in a gang-related assassination case, involving two murders, and in which three of the six charges led to acquittals. Emma Bennett departed the set for Parklane Plowden.
Exchange Chambers is home to one of the strongest criminal teams in the region, with barristers regularly appearing in serious and complex cases. According to one client, the set 'has some real quality barristers and great strength in depth', a sentiment which was echoed by several others, who praised the sets 'great ability to provide alternative counsel' even at short notice. High-profile instructions include Gordon Cole QC's representation of England cricketer Ben Stokes, who was acquitted of charges of affray concerning what the defence argued was Stokes' and a team-mate's intervention in a homophobic attack. Among the juniors, Mark Ainsworth was instructed as the leading junior in a three month trial to prosecuted the Liverpool-based Fernhill Gang, who supplied class A drugs within the city. David Potter was appointed to the circuit bench.
Exchange Chambers' employment team is instructed to represent clients at all levels of the court system, from employment tribunals up to the Court of Appeal, as well as in settlement meetings and mediations. Discrimination cases are a key area of work for the set. A recent highlight is Ashley Serr's continued representation of the respondent in De Groen v Gan Menachem Nursery, which concerned allegations of discrimination on the grounds of the claimant's lack of belief by the respondent Orthodox Jewish nursery, now in the appeals process - the matter was remitted back to tribunal after some findings of direct discrimination were upheld and some of indirect discrimination were not.
Family practitioners at Exchange Chambers are predominantly instructed in high-value financial remedy cases, as well as private Children Act matters. Particular areas of expertise include the representation of public figures, variations to shared parenting arrangements, and jurisdictional issues.
Exchange Chambers' members are instructed in a wide range of inquests and inquires, from extremely high-profile work such as Louis Browne QC's involvement in the Manchester bombing and Grenfell Tower inquiries (for Salford University and number of firefighters respectively), to the clinical negligence and personal injury-adjacent work undertaken by Sara Sutherland.
Exchange Chambers houses a large number of specialist personal injury counsel, across both the senior and junior ranks. A notable niche at the firm is the defense of claims brought against the military, an area in which William Waldron QC and Louis Browne QC have thriving practices. Christopher Barnes represented former heptathlete Serita Shone in a claim against British Bobsleigh concerning an injury suffered in her first training run as a bobsledder. David Knifton QC co-led the case for the claimant in the Supreme Court in Lewis v Tindale and MIB, which concerned the liability of the Motor Insurers' Bureau for incidents involving uninsured vehicles on private land; in this instance an elderly farmer ran over a man he believed to be scrap metal thief, causing the claimant to break his neck.
Exchange Chambers 'always has the right person for the case' and its members are commonly instructed in high-value cases involving catastrophic injuries. Pankaj Madan represented the defendant in a chronic pain case, in which an injury resulted in a loss of employment rendering the claimant ineligible for indefinite leave to remain, resulting in a substantial loss of future earnings claim.
Exchange Chambers is praised by clients for the wide range of 'very knowledgeable, experienced and capable' counsel within its property team, one of the largest in the region. Members are instructed on a wide range of matters including unlawful evictions, possession claims and boundary and easement disputes. In a recent highlight, Andrew Williams represented the claimant in a case concerning the interpretation of option agreements, throughout both the initial trial and appeals process.
Exchange Chambers' public law team is best known for its work on behalf of local authorities and other government bodies in challenges brought against their decisions. Of recent note, Louis Browne QC acted for the senior coroner in R (Hughes) v HM Coroner for Sefton, an application for judicial review of an inquest touching upon the death of a woman in a care home, which was brought by the family on grounds of irrationality and insufficient inquiry into the deceased's clinical care and the cause of death, with permission eventually being refused.
Paul Kirtley at Exchange Chambers maintains a wide professional disciplinary practice covering police law, the regulation of solicitors and medical sector disciplinary proceedings. Other key areas include sports discipline work, where Kirtley acts for both athletes and governing bodies.
Members of the regulatory team at Exchange Chambers are instructed primarily on professional disciplinary and health and safety matters. The set's members accept both prosecution and defence instructions. John Jones QC recently defended an evangelical church in a health and safety prosecution following the death of a volunteer worker who fell through a suspended ceiling. Ian Whitehurst recently represented a company in its appeal against a fine for the illegal dumping of waste, following the appellant's attempt to remove the waste and remediate the damage to the site.
Exchange Chambers is ‘the premier set in the north’, with ‘tremendous strength in depth without any dead wood’ across Yorkshire, Lancashire, and Cheshire. The set divides its expertise into a criminal team that has ‘standout counsel in the region for regulatory, health and safety, and crime’; a ‘commercial team with real talent’ that is ‘particularly strong in insolvency matters’; and a civil team including ‘local luminaries’ for family law in Liverpool. In recent chambers news, criminal specialist Richard Littler QC was a 2019 silk appointment; Andrew Haslam QC joined from St Paul's Chambers; Patrick Harrington QC, head of chambers at Farrar's Building, and 5 Paper Buildings’ Jonathan Elystan Rees joined as door tenants; while former Kings Chambers senior clerk Colin Griffin arrived as senior commercial clerk in January 2019. Tom Handley, the set’s chief executive is based in Liverpool, as is practice director and ‘solicitors’ dream’ Neil Wright, who ‘goes the extra mile’, and ‘superb’ chambers director Jonathan l’Anson. Also on Merseyside, senior criminal clerk Kate Masher provides ‘exceptional and up-front clerking’, while civil and family clerks Rachel Williams and Sarah Rotherham are ‘fantastic’. Further along the M62, the set provides ‘London service with a Manchester smile’. Nick Buckley, who also straddles the commercial and civil team, is for many ‘the best criminal clerk on the circuit’. Also in Manchester, commercial clerk Joe Mawson is ‘very responsive and helpful’. On the other side of the Pennines, Ian Spencer ‘runs Leeds with quiet, understated efficiency’. Offices in: Manchester, Liverpool, and Leeds
Chambers of Bill Braithwaite QC > Firm Profile
Exchange Chambers is a multidisciplinary progressive northern powerhouse set, with offices in Liverpool, Leeds and Manchester.
The set: Exchange Chambers is a long-established set, formed during World War II in Liverpool.
The set moved to its current Liverpool premises in 1991, which prompted substantial growth in the following years. The set opened chambers in Manchester in 2000 and in Leeds in 2011. With 171 members, it is the third largest chambers in the UK.
It is a multi-disciplinary set, and has practitioners who practise in all major areas of law, with specialists in very niche areas such as construction, competition, data protection, IP, pensions and tax. It is particularly lauded for expertise in insolvency and professional negligence. Our barristers act in cases on a national scale, covering the full breadth of England and Wales.
Exchange Chambers is a progressive, forward-thinking set, recognised for its dynamic approach and strong clerking team, which is described as “innovative and cutting edge”.
Exchange is known for having one of the largest criminal departments in the country, with a high number of fraud specialists and more Category 4 prosecutors than any other barristers’ chambers. It also has a large number of specialist regulatory practitioners.
Types of work undertaken:
Alternative dispute resolution: Exchange Chambers covers all forms of ADR including arbitration, adjudication, dispute resolution boards, expert determination, early neutral evaluations and mediation.
Commercial: Exchange Chambers is widely acclaimed for its array of commercial and chancery services, including mediation, across a range of sectors and professions. Its members offer significant expertise in commercial litigation, commercial fraud, insolvency, professional negligence, and property, and niche areas such as competition, IP and tax. Several of our barristers have this year been instructed in one of the biggest legal claims ever filed in a British Court: Municipio De Mariana and others v BHP Group. The mining company is being sued for around £5bn by Brazilian victims of the Samarco dam collapse, the worst environmental disaster in Brazil’s history that occurred three years ago.
Construction: Barristers at Exchange provide specialist expertise for clients across the full spectrum of the construction industry including all aspects of alternative dispute resolution. The team comprises members with industry specific qualifications such as Charted Quantity Surveyors and a Chartered Builder.
Court of Protection: Our Court of Protection barristers have significant experience in bringing and acting in complex proceedings in relation to the welfare and rights of vulnerable adults and children. We also provide expert advice in relation to property and monetary affairs.
Criminal: The criminal team is one of the largest, most successful teams in the country, with 40 Category 4 Prosecutors and many appointed to specialist CPS panels. The team defends in equal measure, in all types of serious and general crime, financial crime and criminal regulatory work. The financial crime and fraud team act in cases of national and international stature, and are perfectly adept at handling cases where there are crossover aspects.
Data Breach and Privacy: Exchange Chambers have a dedicated team of barristers who specialise in this fast-developing area of law. Our members have significant experience advising both individual claimants and group actions in relation to data breaches, and regularly receive a range of high-profile instructions in this specialist practice area, including “right to be forgotten” claims.
Employment: Exchange Chambers is a distinctive force in the employment field, known for its strength in handling complex and sensitive issues. Five members of the team are appointed to the Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel.
Family: The family team provides specialist advice and representation throughout the field of family law. We cover all manner of private and public children law, and financial relief work in equal measure. We are particularly renowned for handling substantial matrimonial finance cases concerning complex assets.
Inquests and inquiries: Exchange Chambers’ coronial law barristers have been involved in some of the most significant inquests and public inquiries of recent times. We have particular expertise in inquests which engage ECHR Article 2. A number of the team are currently instructed to review the unused material following the Hillsborough Investigation, and one of our silks is currently representing The Fire Officers’ Association at the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
Local government and social housing: This specialist department is independently acclaimed as ”first-class” in the provision of legal services to the legal government and social housing sectors in England and Wales. Exchange has sixteen barristers appointed to the Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel for central government work.
Personal injury and clinical negligence: The department covers claimant/defendant personal injury, clinical negligence and industrial disease, as well as a variety of niche matters. They have a proven track record in handling the most severe catastrophic claims on a national level.
Police law: The specialist team has extensive experience of representing police officers facing misconduct proceedings. Their barristers are routinely instructed in sensitive, high profile cases on a national scale. They particularly excel in defending disciplinary proceedings with potential or concurrent criminal proceedings.
Property and planning: Exchange Chambers has renowned expertise with barristers covering commercial, agricultural and residential property and planning matters. Clients range from individual landlords and tenants, to local authorities, large corporations and national property developers.
Public law/Judicial Review: The team is dedicated to ensuring that the interests of individuals, companies and regulated bodies are recognised and protected. Exchange also offers broad experience in judicial review claims before the Administrative Court and a range of courts and tribunals in the UK.
Regulatory: Exchange Chambers has teams dedicated to the full range of regulatory practice areas, including environmental, health and safety, healthcare (predominantly for the GMC), inquests and inquiries, police law, and professional discipline. Barristers draw on their experience from areas such as general crime and public law to bring unrivalled strength and depth.
Restructuring and Insolvency: The nationally reputed team undertakes all manner of personal and corporate insolvency work. Many of barristers have experience of acting in other jurisdictions, including Gibraltar and the Seychelles.
|Head of Chambers||Bill Braithwaite QC|
|Chief Executive||Tom Handley|
|Chambers Director||Jonathan I'Anson|
|Practice Manager||Neil Wright|
|Senior Clerk||Nick Buckley|
|Senior Clerk||Ian Spencer|
|Mr Mark Ainsworth||View Profile|
|Mr Christopher Allen||View Profile|
|Ms Charlotte Atherton||View Profile|
|Ms Kyra Badman||View Profile|
|Mr Christopher Barnes||View Profile|
|Mr David Birrell||View Profile|
|Mr Rupert Bowers QC||View Profile|
|Mr Bill Braithwaite QC||View Profile|
|Mr Louis Browne QC||View Profile|
|Mr Paul Burns||View Profile|
|Mr Neil Cadwallader||View Profile|
|Ms Julie Case||View Profile|
|Mr John Charles Rees QC||View Profile|
|Mr Paul Clark||View Profile|
|Ms Rebecca Clark||View Profile|
|Mr Tom Clarke||View Profile|
|Mr Gordon Cole QC||View Profile|
|Ms Natalia Cornwall||View Profile|
|Ms Nicola Daley||View Profile|
|Ms Alice Dobbie||View Profile|
|Mr Robert Dudley||View Profile|
|Mr Simon Earlam||View Profile|
|Mr Timothy Evans||View Profile|
|Mr Anthony Eyers||View Profile|
|Ms Judith Fordham||View Profile|
|Mr Anthony Goff||View Profile|
|Ms Claire Gourley||View Profile|
|Ms Karen Gregory||View Profile|
|Ms Sarah Griffin||View Profile|
|Ms Tania Griffiths QC||View Profile|
|Ms Sheren Guirguis||View Profile|
|Mr Chris Gutteridge||View Profile|
|Mr William Hanbury||View Profile|
|Mr Ian Harris||View Profile|
|Mr Neil Hawes QC||View Profile|
|Ms Stella Hayden||View Profile|
|Mr Roger Hillman||View Profile|
|Ms Anya Horwood||View Profile|
|Mr Andrew Jebb||View Profile|
|Mr John Jones QC||View Profile|
|Ms Charlotte Kenny||View Profile|
|Mr Peter Killen||View Profile|
|Mr David Knifton QC||View Profile|
|Mr Eric Lamb||View Profile|
|Ms Eleanor Laws||View Profile|
|Mr Andrew Maguire||View Profile|
|Mr Philip Marshall||View Profile|
|Mr Gerard Martin QC||View Profile|
|Mr David McCormick||View Profile|
|Mr Stephen McNally||View Profile|
|Ms Fiona McNeill||View Profile|
|Mr Anthony Metzer QC||View Profile|
|Mr Mark Mulrooney||View Profile|
|Mr Cairns Nelson||View Profile|
|Mr Hedley Nield||View Profile|
|Mr Damian Nolan||View Profile|
|Ms Sarah O’Brien||View Profile|
|Mr Robert O’Sullivan||View Profile|
|Mr Scott Redpath||View Profile|
|Mr Gareth Roberts||View Profile|
|Mr Jonathan Rogers||View Profile|
|Mr Kerron Rohrer||View Profile|
|Mr Michael Scholes||View Profile|
|Mr Andrew Scott||View Profile|
|Mr Kevin Slack||View Profile|
|Mr Andrew Smith||View Profile|
|Mr Ray Smith||View Profile|
|Ms Martine Snowdon||View Profile|
|Mr Christopher Stables||View Profile|
|Mr Matthew Stockwell||View Profile|
|Mr Steven Swift||View Profile|
|Mr Daniel Travers||View Profile|
|Mr Philip Tully||View Profile|
|Mr David Tyack||View Profile|
|Mr Andrew Vinson||View Profile|
|Mr William Waldron QC||View Profile|
|Mr Nicholas Walker||View Profile|
|Mr Ian Whitehurst||View Profile|
|Ms Kim Whittlestone||View Profile|
|Mr Andrew Williams||View Profile|
|Mr Robert Wyn Jones||View Profile|
|Mr John Wyn Willams||View Profile|
Equality and Diversity
Chambers is committed to promoting the culture of equality and diversity and we are proud to underpin these values to our work and how we operate Chambers.
We are committed to treating all applicants equally and fairly and we assess candidates for pupillage, tenancy and staff roles on merit alone, without reference to background, racial group, colour, ethnic or national origin, nationality, religion or belief, gender, marital status, age, sexual orientation or disability.
We are committed to offering opportunities for gaining experience and practice development to all pupils and members of Chambers equally without discrimination. We offer mini-pupillage and work experience opportunities throughout the year.
We have ensured that Chambers is accessible to people using wheelchairs. We accommodate any requests for reasonable adjustments to assist disabled applicants.
We recognise the need to promote a positive and supportive community for both barristers and staff and to encourage a cohesive and collaborative culture. We have been recognised by the Bar Council for our commitment to Wellbeing at the Bar.
We have been part of a pro-bono alliance with the National Autistic Society’s Education Rights Service for over five years. In 2016 Exchange Chambers won the pioneering Best Family Support Award at the National Autistic Society (NAS) Professional Awards for its pioneering pro bono alliance. A team of 30 barristers deliver legal support to families with autistic children and provide free representation before the Special Needs Tribunal. Our barristers undertake autism awareness and special educational needs training from the National Autistic Society.
In keeping with our commitment to wellbeing, we have a charity partnership with Mersey Counselling and Therapy Centre (MCTC), a charity that exists to provide mental health support to members of the community who are unable to access the help they need through the social care system or access care independently.
Top Tier Set Rankings
- London Mediators
- Regional Bar Clinical negligence
- Regional Bar Commercial, banking, insolvency and Chancery law
- Regional Bar Commercial, banking, insolvency and Chancery law
- Regional Bar Construction, planning and environment
- Regional Bar Costs
- Regional Bar Crime
- Regional Bar Crime
- Regional Bar Employment
- Regional Bar Family and children law
- Regional Bar Inquests and inquiries
- Regional Bar Personal injury
- Regional Bar Personal injury
- Regional Bar Property
- Regional Bar Property
- Regional Bar Public law
- Regional Bar Regulatory, health and safety, and licensing
- Regional Bar Regulatory, health and safety, and licensing
- London Bar Set overviews: England and Wales