Set Profile > Chambers of Bill Braithwaite QC > Manchester , North West

Chambers of Bill Braithwaite QC
Exchange Chambers
M3 3NW
North West

Set overviews: England and Wales

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 BuildingsJonathan 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

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.

Mediators Tier 4

Exchange ChambersPaul Kirtley in Leeds is 'an excellent mediator who is approachable and sympathetic to the needs of parties and takes the time to put them at ease and explain things'. Kirtley is an accredited civil and commercial and workplace mediator, who has mediated in over 50 mediations. He regularly mediates in commercial, employment, public sector, negligence, personal injury, probate, trusts and property and boundary claims.

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.

Department Name Email Telephone
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
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