Set Profile > Guildhall Chambers > Bristol, England

Chambers of Anna Vigars QC
Guildhall Chambers
23 BROAD STREET
BRISTOL
BS1 2HG
England

Business and regulatory crime (including health and safety) Tier 1

Members of Guildhall Chambers have been kept especially busy over the past year handling complex environmental and health and safety cases. Andrew Langdon QC has an excellent reputation for his expertise in prosecuting and defending high-profile cases – often including fatalities – brought by the HSE. Samuel Jones, ‘an all-round excellent performer‘, is acting for the Avon Fire Authority in prosecuting the owner of a tower block for fire safety breaches following a fire at the property. Alistair Haggarty is another key name in the team, with a regulatory practice that predominantly focuses on health and safety matters.

Leading Juniors

Alistair HaggartyGuildhall ChambersHe is congenial, and takes a collaborative approach to cases.
Ranked: Tier 1
Samuel Jones - Guildhall ChambersHe is bright and sharp, with a mature court presence way beyond his call. Respected by judges and opponents alike due to his in-depth preparation. He has an incisive grasp on the issues in each case he deals with.
Ranked: Tier 1

Testimonials

Set

Guildhall Chambers has great strength and depth in terms of its regulatory offering‘.

A class regional set‘.

Clerking

The clerks at Guildhall Chambers consistently deliver the very highest levels of support. Led by Lucy Northeast, they are highly knowledgeable and proactive in understanding and delivering on the client’s requirements from both a financial perspective and personality “fit”‘.

Lucy Northeast is a strong leader‘.

Clinical negligence Tier 1

Guildhall Chambers is noted by clients as housing 'a very good set of clinical negligence barristers' with 'great strength in depth'. Selena Plowden QC is 'willing to tackle the novel and the challenging, with unrivalled commitment and insight'; 'she brings with her such experience and such tenacity that if she's on your case you feel confident in taking it forward'. The 'very responsive' Sophie Holme is instructed in a range of cases including claims involving spinal injuries arising from surgical negligence and delayed and missed diagnoses, while Robert Sowersby is singled out for his expertise in advising on causation disputes. Martin Lanchester represents claimants and defendants in cases involving neurological, spinal and cardiological injuries. The 'very confident' Kriti Upadhyay counts cases involving negligent obstetric and gynaecological care and delayed cancer diagnoses as key areas of expertise.

2020 Silks

Selena Plowden QC - Guildhall ChambersSelena is a super brain. She has a great ability to organise, analyse and distill the essence from huge quantities of material. She never misses an important point in the evidence.

Leading Juniors

Sophie Holme - Guildhall ChambersSophie combines a fierce intellect with meticulous attention to detail. She is also tactically astute.
Ranked: Tier 1
Martin Lanchester - Guildhall ChambersMartin is a great communicator. He works well with medical experts, ensuring he is on point with his evidence.
Ranked: Tier 2
Robert Sowersby - Guildhall ChambersRobert is always well-prepared, very down to earth, and adept at putting forward hard hitting, persuasive arguments. I have every confidence that with his guidance, the outcome at the end of the case will be the best for the client.
Ranked: Tier 2
Kriti Upadhyay - Guildhall ChambersKriti leaves no stone unturned. She is very knowledgeable, precise, and provides advice in a timely manner.
Ranked: Tier 2

Testimonials

Set

Guildhall Chambers provides a solid clinical negligence offering in the South West‘.

The clinical negligence team is very experienced‘.

Chambers is organised, effective and efficient, and provides quality legal advice and services to clients‘.

A quality set with longstanding strength in clinical negligence‘.

Clerking

The clerks are efficient and proactive‘.

Olive Kavanagh is extremely helpful and well-organised‘.

Olive Kavanagh is excellent: very responsive, able to arrange instructions at short notice with tight turnaround times, and always happy to help‘.

Olive Kavanagh always provides top quality service‘.

Commercial litigation Tier 1

Guildhall Chambers' commercial litigation team 'provides strength in depth from top to bottom', and 'the advice of its members is always strong and commercially driven'. Recent instructions include practice head Hugh Sims QC leading Jay Jagasia in MDW Holdings Ltd v Norvill & Norvill & Norvill, involving a claim regarding alleged breaches under a sale and purchase agreement concerning the sale of a drain-clearing business in 2015. James Wibberley is 'bright and effective, and strikes the right manner with the judge'; he regularly appears before the High Court in a broad range of contentious commercial work. Consumer credit and financial services specialist Lucy Walker is 'acutely aware of her strategy and tenacious in its pursuit'. The 'very responsive' John Churchill stands out as 'a future star of the bar in the making'.

Rising stars

John Churchill - Guildhall ChambersJohn is extremely clever, very astute and is able to contextualise complex matters so that lay clients can understand the finer points of the advice given. He has an excellent advocacy style.
Ranked: Tier 1
Samuel Parsons - Guildhall ChambersHe works incredibly hard. Quick-thinking, personable and good with both lay and professional clients.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks

Hugh Sims QC - Guildhall ChambersAn intellectually excellent, pre-eminent silk in the South West.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors

Stefan RamelGuildhall ChambersVery bright and analytical, user-friendly, and responsive. He possesses sound commercial judgement.
Ranked: Tier 1
John Virgo - Guildhall ChambersJohn is technically excellent. He has unrivalled expertise in financial services regulation matters.
Ranked: Tier 1
Lucy Walker - Guildhall ChambersLucy has an immediate presence when entering a room. She is confident, clear and articulate in manner, remaining concise and commercial at all times. She has a meticulous eye for detail and presents complex arguments in a simple, yet powerful and digestible manner.
Ranked: Tier 1
James Wibberley - Guildhall ChambersHe is astute, insightful and very intelligent, with a calm and measured approach. His case analysis and tactical insight is well beyond his year of call.
Ranked: Tier 1
Richard Ascroft - Guildhall ChambersVery responsive, tenacious, and extremely good with clients.
Ranked: Tier 2
James Hannant - Guildhall ChambersJames takes an extremely hands-on approach - he is always willing to roll up his sleeves and get into the details.
Ranked: Tier 2
Jay Jagasia - Guildhall ChambersHe provides practical and commercial advice, and has a great client manner.
Ranked: Tier 2
Oliver Manley - Guildhall ChambersHe is extremely good on costs arguments. Very accessible, and clients really like him.
Ranked: Tier 2

Testimonials

Set

Excellent stable of talent for commercial litigation matters‘.

Excellent chambers with good strength in depth‘.

Very responsive‘.

Clerking

Very efficient and helpful‘.

They are quick to respond, flexible and pragmatic‘.

Supportive and attentive throughout. Joe Stayte has been particularly helpful. No request has seemed like too much trouble and his support has been invaluable‘.

Joe Stayte is very proactive‘.

Stephen Arnold is very helpful and pleasant‘.

Company and insolvency Tier 1

Guildhall Chambers has ‘a very strong insolvency offering‘, with members adept at handling contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters, and fields strength in advising on corporate recovery, turnaround and directors’ disqualification issues. Hugh Sims QC successfully represented the claimant in Rwamba v Secretary of State for BEIS, an application for leave to act as a director of two companies despite being disqualified. In another matter, Simon Passfield acted for the Official Receiver in the case of Official Receiver v Duckett, where a decade-long disqualification order was issued against a de facto director of a company which was alleged to have been a vehicle for MTIC fraud. The ‘thorough and dedicated‘ Stefan Ramel is regularly instructed in cross-border insolvency cases, while Holly Doyle is sought after for her expertise in transaction avoidance claims and complex misfeasance cases.

Rising stars

Samuel Parsons - Guildhall ChambersHe is very bright and quickly cuts to the root of the issue. One of the best insolvency juniors around.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks

Hugh Sims QC - Guildhall ChambersHugh combines a superb analytical legal mind with real user-friendliness and approachability. He adopts a hands-on approach and is someone you would want "in the trenches".
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors

Simon Passfield - Guildhall ChambersSimon conducts himself with a quiet confidence and his reassuring manner is very helpful in dealing with clients. Always responsive, very practical and extremely knowledgeable on the law.
Ranked: Tier 1
Stefan Ramel - Guildhall ChambersStefan is always a trusted pair of hands. He is steady and reliable in court, and a calming influence for clients.
Ranked: Tier 1
Richard Ascroft - Guildhall ChambersHe is confident, knowledgeable and tenacious. A fighter in court.
Ranked: Tier 2
Holly Doyle - Guildhall ChambersShe is always well-prepared and will fight to the nth degree for her client.
Ranked: Tier 2
James Hannant - Guildhall ChambersJames takes an extremely hands-on approach. He is always willing to roll up his sleeves and get into the details.
Ranked: Tier 2

Testimonials

Set

‘I have worked with several of the barristers at Guildhall Chambers, mostly those who specialise in insolvency and company matters. I consider the set to be very good value – high quality barristers at reasonable rates.’

‘They are a very strong set of chambers with numerous, highly regarded specialists in their field.’

‘Strong set, first choice particularly at the junior end for insolvency work in the South West.’

‘We use Guildhall regularly. What I like about those I work with is the shared ethos of approachability and problem solving: I can put them in front of my clients and not have to step in constantly to translate advice into English. The set is strong in regional level banking work in particular.’

‘Guildhall are one of very few chambers that are an absolute pleasure to deal with. The clerks are always happy to work with solicitors to lessen burdensome matters.’

Clerking

‘The clerks are always very efficient and helpful.’

‘Guildhall Chambers now has an excellent civil clerking team led by Oliver Edwards. The insolvency team are primarily managed by Joe Stayte and Stephen Arnold, who are both adept at ensuring cases are placed with the right barrister and client care generally.’

‘Dan Cuthbertson and Joe Stayte are absolute stars with a keen understanding of the needs and wants of instructing solicitors and an eagerness to please.’

‘Dan Cuthbertson is super helpful, nothing is too much trouble and he is extremely efficient.’

‘The clerks are always willing to help and everything works very smoothly.’

Costs Tier 1

Housing 'a very successful costs team', Guildhall Chambers fields a number of juniors with solid expertise in costs and litigation funding. Areas of strength for the team include professional negligence cases concerning costs issues, costs appeals, and enforceability of funding arrangements. Oliver Moore is 'very knowledgeable in all things costs', and acts as head of the practice group in chambers. Highlights included James Bentley acting for the claimant in Bateman v Devon County Council, which involved issues concerning fixed costs after the claimant was injured while riding a motorcycle on a defective road; it was ruled that fixed costs did not apply and costs should instead be assessed as the case fitted into neither the road traffic accident or public liability protocols.

Leading Juniors

Oliver Moore - Guildhall ChambersVery approachable and able to make complex and confusing areas of cost law very easily understandable with succinct and to-the-point advice. Very tactically astute and able to see the bigger picture when delivering costs advice.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ranked: Tier 1
James Bentley - Guildhall ChambersJames is an accomplished and confident costs barrister whose ability in court far exceeds his call. He has a first-rate understanding of the fixed costs regimes. I am always impressed with the quality of his advocacy which is backed up by detailed and exhaustive preparation.
Ranked: Tier 2

Testimonials

Set

‘Guildhall Chambers has a very successful costs team.’

‘Fantastic all round from top to bottom and great clerking.’

‘Guildhall Chambers is a large chambers with an impressive number of very good barristers assigned to it. I have never found a problem getting an appropriate barrister to take something on for me, even at quite short notice. I have always found that Guildhall looks after its instructing solicitors very well – pre-Covid there was at least 1 full day Claimant PI update training event that I would attend which was entirely free of charge and these have been continuing throughout the pandemic by way of remote zoom webinar presentations. I am also lucky to have been able to speak to barristers on an ad hoc and non charge basis in the past for a second opinion on a tricky issue and there is never a problem with that.’

Clerking

‘Wendy Shaw and Olive Kavanagh. Two highly efficient and affable characters.’

‘All of the clerks are friendly, efficient and willing to go as far as possible to achieve an outcome for you. I particularly work with Wendy Shaw and Olive Kavanagh, both of whom are extremely efficient, easy to get hold of and talk to and have never let me down.’

Crime (general and fraud) Tier 1

Praised by instructing solicitors as 'head and shoulders the best set in the West' and 'a go-to set for criminal representation', Guildhall Chambers has 'an outstanding team' with 'strength in depth at all levels' and 'formidable silks at the fore'. In a prominent highlight for the set, Richard Smith QC led Jennifer Tallentire in the prosecution of a man, who was charged with murder and convicted of manslaughter after strangling his lover; the initial sentence of ten-and-a-half years was increased by three years by the Court of Appeal in R v Brehmer. Also of note, Anna Vigars QC successfully prosecuted fourteen defendants who were convicted of running a Class A drugs ring, as well as the rape and exploitation of the leader's young girlfriend.  Strengthening the team at the senior end, Ray Tully QC took silk in March 2021. Tara Wolfe is now head of legal advice and welfare services at NGO Freedom From Torture.

Leading Silks

Andrew Langdon QC - Guildhall ChambersAn absolutely first-class criminal silk. He has it all. Extraordinarily bright, respected by the judiciary and a master at unearthing arguments or points that change cases. He is also great with clients and solicitors love him.
Ranked: Tier 1
Christopher Quinlan QC - Guildhall ChambersA powerful advocate who can distill the most complex of specialist expertise for jurors to follow with confidence.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ranked: Tier 1
Anna Vigars QC - Guildhall ChambersAnna is an extremely bright and hardworking silk; an inspiring leader.
Ranked: Tier 1

2021 Silks

Ray Tully QC - Guildhall ChambersRay is meticulous in both his preparation and presentation of cases.

Leading Juniors

Mary Cowe - Guildhall ChambersShe is a formidable cross-examiner. She can see the nuances and understands how to use them to persuade the judge. Her witness handling is excellent, particularly when it comes to vulnerable witnesses.
Ranked: Tier 1
James Haskell - Guildhall ChambersJames is a very diligent and purposeful advocate. Judges and juries appreciate his measured courtroom style.
Ranked: Tier 1
David Scutt - Guildhall ChambersHe combines a commanding courtroom presence with assiduous client care skills.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ranked: Tier 2
Ramin Pakrooh - Guildhall ChambersHe is a measured and thoughtful advocate.
Ranked: Tier 2
Jennifer Tallentire - Guildhall ChambersShe is subtle yet piercing in cross-examination. A silk in all but title.
Ranked: Tier 2
Mark Worsley - Guildhall ChambersMark has an easy confidence in front of a jury which makes him a highly persuasive advocate. Always on top of his brief, he is equally sure-footed cross-examining a vulnerable witness as making legal submissions before a hostile tribunal.
Ranked: Tier 2
Ranked: Tier 3
Ranked: Tier 3
Alistair HaggartyGuildhall ChambersAlistair’s personality shines through when advising challenging and vulnerable clients. He is able to put a client at ease and make sure that they know they are being looked after and quell any fears and concerns relating to their case.
Ranked: Tier 3
Sam JonesGuildhall ChambersHe is confident, measured and authoritative – a formidable advocate.
Ranked: Tier 3

Testimonials

Set

The crime team has strength at all levels‘.

Guildhall Chambers have a deservedly good reputation, and have breadth and depth of cover in all areas of serious crime‘.

A solid close knit crime team‘.

The set is clearly committed to quality‘.

A first-class criminal set‘.

Clerking

The crime team clerks are a credit to the set‘.

Lucy Northeast is immensely experienced and goes way beyond what could reasonably be expected to help professional clients. She is always the person with a steady hand on the tiller‘.

Lucy Northeast and Shannon Winstone are both super-stars in their field‘.

Grant Bidwell and Shannon Winstone go above and beyond to offer the best service that any set can provide‘.

Employment Tier 1

'A brilliant set for employment law', Guildhall Chambers 'has a huge reputation and you have the confidence that all members of the set are of the highest calibre'. Department head Julian Allsop successfully represented the respondents in a complex claim involving allegations of sex discrimination, harassment and victimisation. The 'calm, clear and successful' Debbie Grennan regularly acts for public sector clients, including local authorities and NHS trusts, in complex whistleblowing cases and discrimination claims. Douglas Leach is 'a great advocate, especially under pressure' and 'keeps his focus on the key issues'.

Leading Juniors

Douglas Leach - Guildhall ChambersAn excellent court performer with a calm air of authority.
Ranked: Tier 1
Allan Roberts - Guildhall ChambersAllan is very good at explaining the tribunal process in a client-friendly way and gives them confidence that he has fully understood the issues within a case.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ranked: Tier 1
Julian Allsop - Guildhall ChambersJulian's strengths are his legal intellect, attention to detail and grasp of the more complex areas of employment law. I would not hesitate to instruct him in work involving technical and untested or grey legal issues. His advocacy is excellent.
Ranked: Tier 1
Debbie Grennan - Guildhall ChambersDebbie's courtroom skills are exceptional. She is crystal clear on paper and in person, and always puts the clients at ease.
Ranked: Tier 1
Kerry Gardiner - Guildhall ChambersShe is very approachable, and provides methodical and clear advice.
Ranked: Tier 2
Geraint Probert - Guildhall ChambersA superb advocate with a measured and effective courtroom manner.
Ranked: Tier 3

Testimonials

Set

Guildhall Chambers is an amazing set. The employment team are equally as good as the top London employment sets. The quality all round is phenomenal‘.

Great strength and depth‘.

A fantastic set‘.

Clerking

The clerks are always helpful and contactable, and Kate Hather will always ensure that your needs are met on time and solutions found for you‘.

Kate Hather is a star‘.

Kate Hather provides impeccable service‘.

Kate Hather is extremely efficient and very knowledgeable‘.

Planning and environment

Leading Juniors

Ranked: Tier 1
Harry Spurr - Guildhall ChambersHe is very commercial, thorough and approachable.
Ranked: Tier 1

Agriculture

Leading Juniors

William Batstone - Guildhall ChambersHe is amazing. My go-to barrister in relation to agricultural disputes including partnerships, proprietary estoppel, agricultural tenancies, and agricultural estates. He is truly brilliant in terms of his expertise in the law but also in terms of his approach to the case. Calm and pragmatic. In addition to his technical brilliance, he never loses sight of the need for the client to understand what is being argued and why.
Ranked: Tier 1

Professional disciplinary law

Leading Juniors

Kriti Upadhyay - Guildhall ChambersKriti has an excellent strategic brain. She is extremely reliable and detail-orientated. Reassuring, calm and eloquent and able to decipher complex cases to ensure clients understand all merits and risks to their case. She delivers advice with compassion.
Ranked: Tier 1

Professional negligence Tier 1

Bristol's Guildhall Chambers houses a team which is regularly instructed in cases involving claims against solicitors, developers, accountants and surveyors, and has notable strength in handling professional negligence matters relating to the financial services sector. Praised for his 'excellent client skills', Hugh Sims QC is 'fantastic on his feet' and represents both claimants and defendants in professional negligence disputes. Recent instructions of note included Jay Jagasia acting as junior counsel for the claimant in an appeal in the Adams v Options SIPP case, a pensions mis-selling case; the Court of Appeal granted permission for the appeal.

Leading Silks

Hugh Sims QC - Guildhall ChambersHugh is highly knowledgeable, has great technical ability, and is extremely well prepared in the conduct of his advocacy. He is always one step ahead of our opponents.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors

Jay Jagasia - Guildhall ChambersHe is brilliant on his feet: really calm and collected when cross-examining witnesses. He is very thorough with keen attention to detail, and is excellent with clients.
Ranked: Tier 2
John Virgo - Guildhall ChambersA go-to barrister for financial services professional negligence actions. Always puts clients at ease and offers sensible and pragmatic advice on settlement.
Ranked: Tier 2
James Wibberley - Guildhall ChambersJames is approachable and meticulous. He is great at diving down into the detail but then presenting his decisive and direct advice in a concise, client-friendly manner. Insightful and good at thinking outside the box.
Ranked: Tier 2

Testimonials

Set

A good set of chambers with a first-rate clerking team‘.

First-class‘.

Clerking

Clerks are very efficient and commercial‘.

Very good and sensible on fees‘.

Sport Tier 1

Guildhall Chambers remains the pre-eminent set for sports law on the Western circuit. Practice head Christopher Quinlan QC has an excellent reputation for his 'industry-leading knowledge of the rugby and football regulatory regimes'. Sports disciplinary and regulatory matters are key areas of expertise for the team, which also provides advice to multiple sporting bodies. Richard Smith QC has noted experience in rugby union discipline, with a track record in acting as counsel to the England team. Samuel Jones acted for Bath Rugby player Tom de Glanville, one of thirteen players charged breaching Covid-19 policies causing the cancellation of the 2020 England-Barbarians fixture; the sanction of a two-week ban being one of the lowest imposed.

Leading Silks

Christopher Quinlan QC - Guildhall ChambersChristopher is particularly outstanding when dealing with sport disciplinary hearings. As Chair of World Rugby's Judicial Panel, he has an excellent feel for how a sports panel operates and as an experienced criminal QC, is first-rate at dealing with evidence and cross-examination. I was particularly impressed with his handling of and interaction with clients.
Ranked: Tier 1
Richard Smith QC - Guildhall ChambersHe stands out for his calmness and assuredness, as well as his superb clarity of message.
Ranked: Tier 1

Testimonials

Set

‘Guildhall Chambers appear to be at the forefront of sports law, most notably in the field of rugby where they have an unrivalled experience in rugby discipline both at a national and international level. No other set in the country has such expertise and experience in this area.’

‘In my view they are the best regional set for sports work I have come across.’

‘Guildhall is a leading sports set, with excellent clerking and a strong team of very experienced advocates. They are leaders in the field in rugby discipline.’

Clerking

‘Well organised, helpful, efficient and reliable.’

Chancery, probate, and tax Tier 2

Guildhall Chambers houses a group of 'strong regional specialists in Chancery work'. Key areas of instruction for the team include contentious wills, probate and trusts matters and Inheritance Act claims. At the junior end, Matthew Wales is 'a very sharp and formidable advocate', and garners praise as 'level headed, technically sound but very practical'. Michael Selway acted for the defendant in a case involving an application for the rectification of a will, which included an error relating to the identity of beneficiaries.

Leading Juniors

Ewan Paton - Guildhall ChambersHis advice is thorough, clear and decisive.
Ranked: Tier 1
Matthew Wales - Guildhall ChambersMatthew is a very bright lawyer and a superb strategist. Clients are completely won over by his confidence and trust his opinion. He is the Olympic Bolero of advocates.
Ranked: Tier 1
Oliver Mitchell - Guildhall ChambersOliver is very knowledgeable and quick to grasp the facts of a case. His advice is detailed, yet clear and concise.
Ranked: Tier 2
Michael Selway - Guildhall ChambersVery bright and very thorough. His advice is always comprehensive and well considered.
Ranked: Tier 2
Ranked: Tier 2

Testimonials

Set

A solid, approachable set‘.

Clerking

Efficient and responsive‘.

Stephen Arnold has a bright and breezy nature – a calm harbour for stressed out solicitors‘.

Stephen Arnold is responsive and helpful‘.

Personal injury Tier 2

Guildhall Chambers' 'excellent' personal injury team provides 'high quality advice and representation'. The 'very thorough' Martin Lanchester is 'very good on his feet', and is instructed by both claimants and defendants in cases involving life-changing injuries. 'A high-class performer in court', Gabriel Farmer's senior-junior caseload predominantly comprises catastrophic injury cases, however he is also sought after for advice on occupier and public liability claims. Anthony Reddiford ('very hardworking with an excellent intellect') has established expertise in high-value catastrophic injury cases, and has a specialist asbestos claims practice.

Leading Juniors

Oliver Moore - Guildhall ChambersOliver is an extremely safe pair of hands. His knowledge and experience means that there is never a stone left unturned; he has an answer to every question thrown at him and he always strives to get the best possible result for every client he represents. He is popular with clients and experts.
Ranked: Tier 1
Anthony Reddiford - Guildhall ChambersAn excellent senior junior. He has tremendous expert knowledge and is quick to grasp the complexities in difficult cases.
Ranked: Tier 1
John Snell - Guildhall ChambersHe is fabulous with clients and on his feet.
Ranked: Tier 1
Julian Benson - Guildhall ChambersA tough competitor willing to fight his client’s corner. Meticulous in his preparation, and highly responsive. A joy to work with.
Ranked: Tier 2
Gabriel Farmer - Guildhall ChambersGabriel is excellent on complex, life-changing injury cases. He is highly forensic in his approach, and a polished advocate with a real focus on the key issues.
Ranked: Tier 2
James Bentley - Guildhall ChambersJames is very bright, and his advice is grounded and succinct. But above all, he is meticulous.
Ranked: Tier 3
Martin Lanchester - Guildhall ChambersMartin always provides very sound, well thought-out advice. He is very good at putting clients at their ease, with a kind and approachable manner, and at explaining concepts with concise but user-friendly language. He is empathetic and easily instils confidence.
Ranked: Tier 3
Oliver Manley - Guildhall ChambersOliver is a persuasive advocate who commands the judge's attention.
Ranked: Tier 3
Daniel Neill - Guildhall ChambersDaniel is very thorough and approachable. He always provides sound and sensible advice.
Ranked: Tier 3

Testimonials

Set

An impressive and well-regarded set‘.

The personal injury group has excellent strength in depth‘.

Guildhall Chambers has a comprehensive range of barristers who deal with all types of personal injury litigation‘.

The set as a whole is stunningly bright‘.

Clerking

The clerks are helpful and quick to respond‘.

The clerks are excellent – reliable and always accommodating‘.

Olive Kavanagh provides a first class service‘.

Olive Kavanagh is extremely efficient‘.

Property and construction Tier 2

'Excellent set' Guildhall Chambers houses a team of 'strong regional specialists in property law'. Recent highlights for the set include Ewan Paton and Jay Jagasia acting as co-counsel for multiple claimants in Freehold Properties 250 Ltd v Field and others, on whether tenants have a right to acquire the freehold of residential properties under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 if the roof and load-bearing walls are not part of the demised premises; the case is due to be heard before the Court of Appeal. Deputy district judge Matthew Wales handles the gamut of property litigation. Julian Allsop is sought after for his established expertise in construction law. Rising star Brittany Pearce is 'very robust and detail-orientated, excellent in Court and with clients'.

Rising stars

Brittany Pearce - Guildhall ChambersBrittany is extremely thorough and gives detailed yet practical advice.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors

Julian Allsop - Guildhall ChambersResponsive and concise, with a good client manner.
Ranked: Tier 1
William Batstone - Guildhall ChambersHe is always thorough; clients have faith in his advice.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ewan Paton - Guildhall ChambersHe is a strong and very bright property and estates barrister.
Ranked: Tier 1
Matthew Wales - Guildhall ChambersA formidable and impressive advocate who has the ability to make incisive points that often makes his opponents realise they are out of their depth. Clients come away thinking he fought for their cause with tenacity.
Ranked: Tier 1
Jay Jagasia - Guildhall ChambersAn excellent advocate. He is responsive, robust and pragmatic, and puts clients at ease. He possesses highly impressive problem-solving abilities.
Ranked: Tier 2
Oliver Mitchell - Guildhall ChambersIntellectually able - a very bright junior.
Ranked: Tier 2
Ranked: Tier 2

Testimonials

Set

A very tuned-in set‘.

Good range and availability of counsel‘.

Clerking

Clerks are very affable and personable‘.

Joe Stayte is brilliant with client management‘.

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Business and regulatory crime (including health and safety) Tier 1

Members of Guildhall Chambers have been kept especially busy over the past year handling complex environmental and health and safety cases. Andrew Langdon QC has an excellent reputation for his expertise in prosecuting and defending high-profile cases – often including fatalities – brought by the HSE. Samuel Jones, ‘an all-round excellent performer‘, is acting for the Avon Fire Authority in prosecuting the owner of a tower block for fire safety breaches following a fire at the property. Alistair Haggarty is another key name in the team, with a regulatory practice that predominantly focuses on health and safety matters.

Leading Juniors

Alistair HaggartyGuildhall ChambersHe is congenial, and takes a collaborative approach to cases.
Ranked: Tier 1
Samuel Jones - Guildhall ChambersHe is bright and sharp, with a mature court presence way beyond his call. Respected by judges and opponents alike due to his in-depth preparation. He has an incisive grasp on the issues in each case he deals with.
Ranked: Tier 1

Testimonials

Set

Guildhall Chambers has great strength and depth in terms of its regulatory offering‘.

A class regional set‘.

Clerking

The clerks at Guildhall Chambers consistently deliver the very highest levels of support. Led by Lucy Northeast, they are highly knowledgeable and proactive in understanding and delivering on the client’s requirements from both a financial perspective and personality “fit”‘.

Lucy Northeast is a strong leader‘.

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Clinical negligence Tier 1

Guildhall Chambers is noted by clients as housing 'a very good set of clinical negligence barristers' with 'great strength in depth'. Selena Plowden QC is 'willing to tackle the novel and the challenging, with unrivalled commitment and insight'; 'she brings with her such experience and such tenacity that if she's on your case you feel confident in taking it forward'. The 'very responsive' Sophie Holme is instructed in a range of cases including claims involving spinal injuries arising from surgical negligence and delayed and missed diagnoses, while Robert Sowersby is singled out for his expertise in advising on causation disputes. Martin Lanchester represents claimants and defendants in cases involving neurological, spinal and cardiological injuries. The 'very confident' Kriti Upadhyay counts cases involving negligent obstetric and gynaecological care and delayed cancer diagnoses as key areas of expertise.

2020 Silks

Selena Plowden QC - Guildhall ChambersSelena is a super brain. She has a great ability to organise, analyse and distill the essence from huge quantities of material. She never misses an important point in the evidence.

Leading Juniors

Sophie Holme - Guildhall ChambersSophie combines a fierce intellect with meticulous attention to detail. She is also tactically astute.
Ranked: Tier 1
Martin Lanchester - Guildhall ChambersMartin is a great communicator. He works well with medical experts, ensuring he is on point with his evidence.
Ranked: Tier 2
Robert Sowersby - Guildhall ChambersRobert is always well-prepared, very down to earth, and adept at putting forward hard hitting, persuasive arguments. I have every confidence that with his guidance, the outcome at the end of the case will be the best for the client.
Ranked: Tier 2
Kriti Upadhyay - Guildhall ChambersKriti leaves no stone unturned. She is very knowledgeable, precise, and provides advice in a timely manner.
Ranked: Tier 2

Testimonials

Set

Guildhall Chambers provides a solid clinical negligence offering in the South West‘.

The clinical negligence team is very experienced‘.

Chambers is organised, effective and efficient, and provides quality legal advice and services to clients‘.

A quality set with longstanding strength in clinical negligence‘.

Clerking

The clerks are efficient and proactive‘.

Olive Kavanagh is extremely helpful and well-organised‘.

Olive Kavanagh is excellent: very responsive, able to arrange instructions at short notice with tight turnaround times, and always happy to help‘.

Olive Kavanagh always provides top quality service‘.

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Commercial litigation Tier 1

Guildhall Chambers' commercial litigation team 'provides strength in depth from top to bottom', and 'the advice of its members is always strong and commercially driven'. Recent instructions include practice head Hugh Sims QC leading Jay Jagasia in MDW Holdings Ltd v Norvill & Norvill & Norvill, involving a claim regarding alleged breaches under a sale and purchase agreement concerning the sale of a drain-clearing business in 2015. James Wibberley is 'bright and effective, and strikes the right manner with the judge'; he regularly appears before the High Court in a broad range of contentious commercial work. Consumer credit and financial services specialist Lucy Walker is 'acutely aware of her strategy and tenacious in its pursuit'. The 'very responsive' John Churchill stands out as 'a future star of the bar in the making'.

Rising stars

John Churchill - Guildhall ChambersJohn is extremely clever, very astute and is able to contextualise complex matters so that lay clients can understand the finer points of the advice given. He has an excellent advocacy style.
Ranked: Tier 1
Samuel Parsons - Guildhall ChambersHe works incredibly hard. Quick-thinking, personable and good with both lay and professional clients.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks

Hugh Sims QC - Guildhall ChambersAn intellectually excellent, pre-eminent silk in the South West.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors

Stefan RamelGuildhall ChambersVery bright and analytical, user-friendly, and responsive. He possesses sound commercial judgement.
Ranked: Tier 1
John Virgo - Guildhall ChambersJohn is technically excellent. He has unrivalled expertise in financial services regulation matters.
Ranked: Tier 1
Lucy Walker - Guildhall ChambersLucy has an immediate presence when entering a room. She is confident, clear and articulate in manner, remaining concise and commercial at all times. She has a meticulous eye for detail and presents complex arguments in a simple, yet powerful and digestible manner.
Ranked: Tier 1
James Wibberley - Guildhall ChambersHe is astute, insightful and very intelligent, with a calm and measured approach. His case analysis and tactical insight is well beyond his year of call.
Ranked: Tier 1
Richard Ascroft - Guildhall ChambersVery responsive, tenacious, and extremely good with clients.
Ranked: Tier 2
James Hannant - Guildhall ChambersJames takes an extremely hands-on approach - he is always willing to roll up his sleeves and get into the details.
Ranked: Tier 2
Jay Jagasia - Guildhall ChambersHe provides practical and commercial advice, and has a great client manner.
Ranked: Tier 2
Oliver Manley - Guildhall ChambersHe is extremely good on costs arguments. Very accessible, and clients really like him.
Ranked: Tier 2

Testimonials

Set

Excellent stable of talent for commercial litigation matters‘.

Excellent chambers with good strength in depth‘.

Very responsive‘.

Clerking

Very efficient and helpful‘.

They are quick to respond, flexible and pragmatic‘.

Supportive and attentive throughout. Joe Stayte has been particularly helpful. No request has seemed like too much trouble and his support has been invaluable‘.

Joe Stayte is very proactive‘.

Stephen Arnold is very helpful and pleasant‘.

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Company and insolvency Tier 1

Guildhall Chambers has ‘a very strong insolvency offering‘, with members adept at handling contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters, and fields strength in advising on corporate recovery, turnaround and directors’ disqualification issues. Hugh Sims QC successfully represented the claimant in Rwamba v Secretary of State for BEIS, an application for leave to act as a director of two companies despite being disqualified. In another matter, Simon Passfield acted for the Official Receiver in the case of Official Receiver v Duckett, where a decade-long disqualification order was issued against a de facto director of a company which was alleged to have been a vehicle for MTIC fraud. The ‘thorough and dedicated‘ Stefan Ramel is regularly instructed in cross-border insolvency cases, while Holly Doyle is sought after for her expertise in transaction avoidance claims and complex misfeasance cases.

Rising stars

Samuel Parsons - Guildhall ChambersHe is very bright and quickly cuts to the root of the issue. One of the best insolvency juniors around.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks

Hugh Sims QC - Guildhall ChambersHugh combines a superb analytical legal mind with real user-friendliness and approachability. He adopts a hands-on approach and is someone you would want "in the trenches".
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors

Simon Passfield - Guildhall ChambersSimon conducts himself with a quiet confidence and his reassuring manner is very helpful in dealing with clients. Always responsive, very practical and extremely knowledgeable on the law.
Ranked: Tier 1
Stefan Ramel - Guildhall ChambersStefan is always a trusted pair of hands. He is steady and reliable in court, and a calming influence for clients.
Ranked: Tier 1
Richard Ascroft - Guildhall ChambersHe is confident, knowledgeable and tenacious. A fighter in court.
Ranked: Tier 2
Holly Doyle - Guildhall ChambersShe is always well-prepared and will fight to the nth degree for her client.
Ranked: Tier 2
James Hannant - Guildhall ChambersJames takes an extremely hands-on approach. He is always willing to roll up his sleeves and get into the details.
Ranked: Tier 2

Testimonials

Set

‘I have worked with several of the barristers at Guildhall Chambers, mostly those who specialise in insolvency and company matters. I consider the set to be very good value – high quality barristers at reasonable rates.’

‘They are a very strong set of chambers with numerous, highly regarded specialists in their field.’

‘Strong set, first choice particularly at the junior end for insolvency work in the South West.’

‘We use Guildhall regularly. What I like about those I work with is the shared ethos of approachability and problem solving: I can put them in front of my clients and not have to step in constantly to translate advice into English. The set is strong in regional level banking work in particular.’

‘Guildhall are one of very few chambers that are an absolute pleasure to deal with. The clerks are always happy to work with solicitors to lessen burdensome matters.’

Clerking

‘The clerks are always very efficient and helpful.’

‘Guildhall Chambers now has an excellent civil clerking team led by Oliver Edwards. The insolvency team are primarily managed by Joe Stayte and Stephen Arnold, who are both adept at ensuring cases are placed with the right barrister and client care generally.’

‘Dan Cuthbertson and Joe Stayte are absolute stars with a keen understanding of the needs and wants of instructing solicitors and an eagerness to please.’

‘Dan Cuthbertson is super helpful, nothing is too much trouble and he is extremely efficient.’

‘The clerks are always willing to help and everything works very smoothly.’

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Costs Tier 1

Housing 'a very successful costs team', Guildhall Chambers fields a number of juniors with solid expertise in costs and litigation funding. Areas of strength for the team include professional negligence cases concerning costs issues, costs appeals, and enforceability of funding arrangements. Oliver Moore is 'very knowledgeable in all things costs', and acts as head of the practice group in chambers. Highlights included James Bentley acting for the claimant in Bateman v Devon County Council, which involved issues concerning fixed costs after the claimant was injured while riding a motorcycle on a defective road; it was ruled that fixed costs did not apply and costs should instead be assessed as the case fitted into neither the road traffic accident or public liability protocols.

Leading Juniors

Oliver Moore - Guildhall ChambersVery approachable and able to make complex and confusing areas of cost law very easily understandable with succinct and to-the-point advice. Very tactically astute and able to see the bigger picture when delivering costs advice.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ranked: Tier 1
James Bentley - Guildhall ChambersJames is an accomplished and confident costs barrister whose ability in court far exceeds his call. He has a first-rate understanding of the fixed costs regimes. I am always impressed with the quality of his advocacy which is backed up by detailed and exhaustive preparation.
Ranked: Tier 2

Testimonials

Set

‘Guildhall Chambers has a very successful costs team.’

‘Fantastic all round from top to bottom and great clerking.’

‘Guildhall Chambers is a large chambers with an impressive number of very good barristers assigned to it. I have never found a problem getting an appropriate barrister to take something on for me, even at quite short notice. I have always found that Guildhall looks after its instructing solicitors very well – pre-Covid there was at least 1 full day Claimant PI update training event that I would attend which was entirely free of charge and these have been continuing throughout the pandemic by way of remote zoom webinar presentations. I am also lucky to have been able to speak to barristers on an ad hoc and non charge basis in the past for a second opinion on a tricky issue and there is never a problem with that.’

Clerking

‘Wendy Shaw and Olive Kavanagh. Two highly efficient and affable characters.’

‘All of the clerks are friendly, efficient and willing to go as far as possible to achieve an outcome for you. I particularly work with Wendy Shaw and Olive Kavanagh, both of whom are extremely efficient, easy to get hold of and talk to and have never let me down.’

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Crime (general and fraud) Tier 1

Praised by instructing solicitors as 'head and shoulders the best set in the West' and 'a go-to set for criminal representation', Guildhall Chambers has 'an outstanding team' with 'strength in depth at all levels' and 'formidable silks at the fore'. In a prominent highlight for the set, Richard Smith QC led Jennifer Tallentire in the prosecution of a man, who was charged with murder and convicted of manslaughter after strangling his lover; the initial sentence of ten-and-a-half years was increased by three years by the Court of Appeal in R v Brehmer. Also of note, Anna Vigars QC successfully prosecuted fourteen defendants who were convicted of running a Class A drugs ring, as well as the rape and exploitation of the leader's young girlfriend.  Strengthening the team at the senior end, Ray Tully QC took silk in March 2021. Tara Wolfe is now head of legal advice and welfare services at NGO Freedom From Torture.

Leading Silks

Andrew Langdon QC - Guildhall ChambersAn absolutely first-class criminal silk. He has it all. Extraordinarily bright, respected by the judiciary and a master at unearthing arguments or points that change cases. He is also great with clients and solicitors love him.
Ranked: Tier 1
Christopher Quinlan QC - Guildhall ChambersA powerful advocate who can distill the most complex of specialist expertise for jurors to follow with confidence.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ranked: Tier 1
Anna Vigars QC - Guildhall ChambersAnna is an extremely bright and hardworking silk; an inspiring leader.
Ranked: Tier 1

2021 Silks

Ray Tully QC - Guildhall ChambersRay is meticulous in both his preparation and presentation of cases.

Leading Juniors

Mary Cowe - Guildhall ChambersShe is a formidable cross-examiner. She can see the nuances and understands how to use them to persuade the judge. Her witness handling is excellent, particularly when it comes to vulnerable witnesses.
Ranked: Tier 1
James Haskell - Guildhall ChambersJames is a very diligent and purposeful advocate. Judges and juries appreciate his measured courtroom style.
Ranked: Tier 1
David Scutt - Guildhall ChambersHe combines a commanding courtroom presence with assiduous client care skills.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ranked: Tier 2
Ramin Pakrooh - Guildhall ChambersHe is a measured and thoughtful advocate.
Ranked: Tier 2
Jennifer Tallentire - Guildhall ChambersShe is subtle yet piercing in cross-examination. A silk in all but title.
Ranked: Tier 2
Mark Worsley - Guildhall ChambersMark has an easy confidence in front of a jury which makes him a highly persuasive advocate. Always on top of his brief, he is equally sure-footed cross-examining a vulnerable witness as making legal submissions before a hostile tribunal.
Ranked: Tier 2
Ranked: Tier 3
Ranked: Tier 3
Alistair HaggartyGuildhall ChambersAlistair’s personality shines through when advising challenging and vulnerable clients. He is able to put a client at ease and make sure that they know they are being looked after and quell any fears and concerns relating to their case.
Ranked: Tier 3
Sam JonesGuildhall ChambersHe is confident, measured and authoritative – a formidable advocate.
Ranked: Tier 3

Testimonials

Set

The crime team has strength at all levels‘.

Guildhall Chambers have a deservedly good reputation, and have breadth and depth of cover in all areas of serious crime‘.

A solid close knit crime team‘.

The set is clearly committed to quality‘.

A first-class criminal set‘.

Clerking

The crime team clerks are a credit to the set‘.

Lucy Northeast is immensely experienced and goes way beyond what could reasonably be expected to help professional clients. She is always the person with a steady hand on the tiller‘.

Lucy Northeast and Shannon Winstone are both super-stars in their field‘.

Grant Bidwell and Shannon Winstone go above and beyond to offer the best service that any set can provide‘.

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Employment Tier 1

'A brilliant set for employment law', Guildhall Chambers 'has a huge reputation and you have the confidence that all members of the set are of the highest calibre'. Department head Julian Allsop successfully represented the respondents in a complex claim involving allegations of sex discrimination, harassment and victimisation. The 'calm, clear and successful' Debbie Grennan regularly acts for public sector clients, including local authorities and NHS trusts, in complex whistleblowing cases and discrimination claims. Douglas Leach is 'a great advocate, especially under pressure' and 'keeps his focus on the key issues'.

Leading Juniors

Douglas Leach - Guildhall ChambersAn excellent court performer with a calm air of authority.
Ranked: Tier 1
Allan Roberts - Guildhall ChambersAllan is very good at explaining the tribunal process in a client-friendly way and gives them confidence that he has fully understood the issues within a case.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ranked: Tier 1
Julian Allsop - Guildhall ChambersJulian's strengths are his legal intellect, attention to detail and grasp of the more complex areas of employment law. I would not hesitate to instruct him in work involving technical and untested or grey legal issues. His advocacy is excellent.
Ranked: Tier 1
Debbie Grennan - Guildhall ChambersDebbie's courtroom skills are exceptional. She is crystal clear on paper and in person, and always puts the clients at ease.
Ranked: Tier 1
Kerry Gardiner - Guildhall ChambersShe is very approachable, and provides methodical and clear advice.
Ranked: Tier 2
Geraint Probert - Guildhall ChambersA superb advocate with a measured and effective courtroom manner.
Ranked: Tier 3

Testimonials

Set

Guildhall Chambers is an amazing set. The employment team are equally as good as the top London employment sets. The quality all round is phenomenal‘.

Great strength and depth‘.

A fantastic set‘.

Clerking

The clerks are always helpful and contactable, and Kate Hather will always ensure that your needs are met on time and solutions found for you‘.

Kate Hather is a star‘.

Kate Hather provides impeccable service‘.

Kate Hather is extremely efficient and very knowledgeable‘.

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Planning and environment

Leading Juniors

Ranked: Tier 1
Harry Spurr - Guildhall ChambersHe is very commercial, thorough and approachable.
Ranked: Tier 1

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Agriculture

Leading Juniors

William Batstone - Guildhall ChambersHe is amazing. My go-to barrister in relation to agricultural disputes including partnerships, proprietary estoppel, agricultural tenancies, and agricultural estates. He is truly brilliant in terms of his expertise in the law but also in terms of his approach to the case. Calm and pragmatic. In addition to his technical brilliance, he never loses sight of the need for the client to understand what is being argued and why.
Ranked: Tier 1

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Professional disciplinary law

Leading Juniors

Kriti Upadhyay - Guildhall ChambersKriti has an excellent strategic brain. She is extremely reliable and detail-orientated. Reassuring, calm and eloquent and able to decipher complex cases to ensure clients understand all merits and risks to their case. She delivers advice with compassion.
Ranked: Tier 1

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Professional negligence Tier 1

Bristol's Guildhall Chambers houses a team which is regularly instructed in cases involving claims against solicitors, developers, accountants and surveyors, and has notable strength in handling professional negligence matters relating to the financial services sector. Praised for his 'excellent client skills', Hugh Sims QC is 'fantastic on his feet' and represents both claimants and defendants in professional negligence disputes. Recent instructions of note included Jay Jagasia acting as junior counsel for the claimant in an appeal in the Adams v Options SIPP case, a pensions mis-selling case; the Court of Appeal granted permission for the appeal.

Leading Silks

Hugh Sims QC - Guildhall ChambersHugh is highly knowledgeable, has great technical ability, and is extremely well prepared in the conduct of his advocacy. He is always one step ahead of our opponents.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors

Jay Jagasia - Guildhall ChambersHe is brilliant on his feet: really calm and collected when cross-examining witnesses. He is very thorough with keen attention to detail, and is excellent with clients.
Ranked: Tier 2
John Virgo - Guildhall ChambersA go-to barrister for financial services professional negligence actions. Always puts clients at ease and offers sensible and pragmatic advice on settlement.
Ranked: Tier 2
James Wibberley - Guildhall ChambersJames is approachable and meticulous. He is great at diving down into the detail but then presenting his decisive and direct advice in a concise, client-friendly manner. Insightful and good at thinking outside the box.
Ranked: Tier 2

Testimonials

Set

A good set of chambers with a first-rate clerking team‘.

First-class‘.

Clerking

Clerks are very efficient and commercial‘.

Very good and sensible on fees‘.

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Sport Tier 1

Guildhall Chambers remains the pre-eminent set for sports law on the Western circuit. Practice head Christopher Quinlan QC has an excellent reputation for his 'industry-leading knowledge of the rugby and football regulatory regimes'. Sports disciplinary and regulatory matters are key areas of expertise for the team, which also provides advice to multiple sporting bodies. Richard Smith QC has noted experience in rugby union discipline, with a track record in acting as counsel to the England team. Samuel Jones acted for Bath Rugby player Tom de Glanville, one of thirteen players charged breaching Covid-19 policies causing the cancellation of the 2020 England-Barbarians fixture; the sanction of a two-week ban being one of the lowest imposed.

Leading Silks

Christopher Quinlan QC - Guildhall ChambersChristopher is particularly outstanding when dealing with sport disciplinary hearings. As Chair of World Rugby's Judicial Panel, he has an excellent feel for how a sports panel operates and as an experienced criminal QC, is first-rate at dealing with evidence and cross-examination. I was particularly impressed with his handling of and interaction with clients.
Ranked: Tier 1
Richard Smith QC - Guildhall ChambersHe stands out for his calmness and assuredness, as well as his superb clarity of message.
Ranked: Tier 1

Testimonials

Set

‘Guildhall Chambers appear to be at the forefront of sports law, most notably in the field of rugby where they have an unrivalled experience in rugby discipline both at a national and international level. No other set in the country has such expertise and experience in this area.’

‘In my view they are the best regional set for sports work I have come across.’

‘Guildhall is a leading sports set, with excellent clerking and a strong team of very experienced advocates. They are leaders in the field in rugby discipline.’

Clerking

‘Well organised, helpful, efficient and reliable.’

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Chancery, probate, and tax Tier 2

Guildhall Chambers houses a group of 'strong regional specialists in Chancery work'. Key areas of instruction for the team include contentious wills, probate and trusts matters and Inheritance Act claims. At the junior end, Matthew Wales is 'a very sharp and formidable advocate', and garners praise as 'level headed, technically sound but very practical'. Michael Selway acted for the defendant in a case involving an application for the rectification of a will, which included an error relating to the identity of beneficiaries.

Leading Juniors

Ewan Paton - Guildhall ChambersHis advice is thorough, clear and decisive.
Ranked: Tier 1
Matthew Wales - Guildhall ChambersMatthew is a very bright lawyer and a superb strategist. Clients are completely won over by his confidence and trust his opinion. He is the Olympic Bolero of advocates.
Ranked: Tier 1
Oliver Mitchell - Guildhall ChambersOliver is very knowledgeable and quick to grasp the facts of a case. His advice is detailed, yet clear and concise.
Ranked: Tier 2
Michael Selway - Guildhall ChambersVery bright and very thorough. His advice is always comprehensive and well considered.
Ranked: Tier 2
Ranked: Tier 2

Testimonials

Set

A solid, approachable set‘.

Clerking

Efficient and responsive‘.

Stephen Arnold has a bright and breezy nature – a calm harbour for stressed out solicitors‘.

Stephen Arnold is responsive and helpful‘.

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Personal injury Tier 2

Guildhall Chambers' 'excellent' personal injury team provides 'high quality advice and representation'. The 'very thorough' Martin Lanchester is 'very good on his feet', and is instructed by both claimants and defendants in cases involving life-changing injuries. 'A high-class performer in court', Gabriel Farmer's senior-junior caseload predominantly comprises catastrophic injury cases, however he is also sought after for advice on occupier and public liability claims. Anthony Reddiford ('very hardworking with an excellent intellect') has established expertise in high-value catastrophic injury cases, and has a specialist asbestos claims practice.

Leading Juniors

Oliver Moore - Guildhall ChambersOliver is an extremely safe pair of hands. His knowledge and experience means that there is never a stone left unturned; he has an answer to every question thrown at him and he always strives to get the best possible result for every client he represents. He is popular with clients and experts.
Ranked: Tier 1
Anthony Reddiford - Guildhall ChambersAn excellent senior junior. He has tremendous expert knowledge and is quick to grasp the complexities in difficult cases.
Ranked: Tier 1
John Snell - Guildhall ChambersHe is fabulous with clients and on his feet.
Ranked: Tier 1
Julian Benson - Guildhall ChambersA tough competitor willing to fight his client’s corner. Meticulous in his preparation, and highly responsive. A joy to work with.
Ranked: Tier 2
Gabriel Farmer - Guildhall ChambersGabriel is excellent on complex, life-changing injury cases. He is highly forensic in his approach, and a polished advocate with a real focus on the key issues.
Ranked: Tier 2
James Bentley - Guildhall ChambersJames is very bright, and his advice is grounded and succinct. But above all, he is meticulous.
Ranked: Tier 3
Martin Lanchester - Guildhall ChambersMartin always provides very sound, well thought-out advice. He is very good at putting clients at their ease, with a kind and approachable manner, and at explaining concepts with concise but user-friendly language. He is empathetic and easily instils confidence.
Ranked: Tier 3
Oliver Manley - Guildhall ChambersOliver is a persuasive advocate who commands the judge's attention.
Ranked: Tier 3
Daniel Neill - Guildhall ChambersDaniel is very thorough and approachable. He always provides sound and sensible advice.
Ranked: Tier 3

Testimonials

Set

An impressive and well-regarded set‘.

The personal injury group has excellent strength in depth‘.

Guildhall Chambers has a comprehensive range of barristers who deal with all types of personal injury litigation‘.

The set as a whole is stunningly bright‘.

Clerking

The clerks are helpful and quick to respond‘.

The clerks are excellent – reliable and always accommodating‘.

Olive Kavanagh provides a first class service‘.

Olive Kavanagh is extremely efficient‘.

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Property and construction Tier 2

'Excellent set' Guildhall Chambers houses a team of 'strong regional specialists in property law'. Recent highlights for the set include Ewan Paton and Jay Jagasia acting as co-counsel for multiple claimants in Freehold Properties 250 Ltd v Field and others, on whether tenants have a right to acquire the freehold of residential properties under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 if the roof and load-bearing walls are not part of the demised premises; the case is due to be heard before the Court of Appeal. Deputy district judge Matthew Wales handles the gamut of property litigation. Julian Allsop is sought after for his established expertise in construction law. Rising star Brittany Pearce is 'very robust and detail-orientated, excellent in Court and with clients'.

Rising stars

Brittany Pearce - Guildhall ChambersBrittany is extremely thorough and gives detailed yet practical advice.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors

Julian Allsop - Guildhall ChambersResponsive and concise, with a good client manner.
Ranked: Tier 1
William Batstone - Guildhall ChambersHe is always thorough; clients have faith in his advice.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ewan Paton - Guildhall ChambersHe is a strong and very bright property and estates barrister.
Ranked: Tier 1
Matthew Wales - Guildhall ChambersA formidable and impressive advocate who has the ability to make incisive points that often makes his opponents realise they are out of their depth. Clients come away thinking he fought for their cause with tenacity.
Ranked: Tier 1
Jay Jagasia - Guildhall ChambersAn excellent advocate. He is responsive, robust and pragmatic, and puts clients at ease. He possesses highly impressive problem-solving abilities.
Ranked: Tier 2
Oliver Mitchell - Guildhall ChambersIntellectually able - a very bright junior.
Ranked: Tier 2
Ranked: Tier 2

Testimonials

Set

A very tuned-in set‘.

Good range and availability of counsel‘.

Clerking

Clerks are very affable and personable‘.

Joe Stayte is brilliant with client management‘.

 
One of the UK’s leading multidisciplinary sets with a national reputation for formidable advice, advocacy and client service. Chambers handles the full spectrum of crime and specialises in key civil practice areas. The barristers are consistently top ranked and recognised as leading specialists in their fields. Chambers is renowned for its client-focussed approach offering professionalism and approachability with a strong commitment to efficient case management and exceptional client care. Types of work undertaken are:

Banking and financial services: Expertise includes disputes such as mortgages and charges, guarantees and indemnities, other third-party securities, issues relating to the Consumer Credit Act, receiverships and retail banking transaction. Regulation and compliance, data protection act & GDPR, consumer and business finance issue, lender and bank liabilities, cryptocurrencies and cryptoassets, crowd funding and peer to peer lending.

Clinical negligence: The team covers all aspects of clinical negligence litigation from minor to catastrophic claims acting for public and privately funded claimants, the NHSLA, NWSSP, Legal and Risk Services, Medical Defence organisations, and commercial providers of care. The team has specialist knowledge in associated fields such as professional disciplinary hearings, professional negligence, inquests and costs.

Commercial litigation: The team is nationally recognised and handles the full spectrum of commercial dispute resolution cases at all levels, from small claims through to the most serious and high value claims. The team benefits from experience of work in a wide variety of industry sectors and are recognised as having strong sector expertise for commercial disputes. Key areas of practice include breach of contract, banking and finance, civil fraud and recovery of assets, injunctions, competition law, consumer credit, corporate and partnership, professional negligence, sale and supply of goods and services and TCC.

Company law: The team handles a wide range of company and commercial disputes including the interpretation and dispute resolution of commercial contracts and partnership and joint ventures, shareholder agreements, the allotment and transfer of shares, directors’ duties, shareholder disputes, derivative claims, just and equitable windings up. We have significant experience handling unfair prejudice disputes and director qualification proceedings.

Costs and litigation funding: The team includes some of the most prominent regional specialists in this field, offering advice and representation across the whole breadth of costs procedure and law. Members provide advice and representation in respect to the full range of inter partes costs disputes and costs issues arising in litigation generally. The work of our specialists includes advice and representation in respect to assessments of costs involving issues of principle and of high value, costs appeals, and costs management. The teams experience and expertise also covers advising on enforceability of funding arrangements, issues of coverage and indemnity relating to BTE and ATE insurance, solicitor – own client disputes and professional negligence cases relating to costs and funding.

Crime: One of the foremost criminal sets in the country and the leading set on the Western Circuit, the crime team has 5 silks and 20 juniors. The team provides specialist expertise in all areas of criminal defence and prosecution work from murder, serious sexual allegations, slavery, terrorism and serious fraud, to road traffic cases, drug and vehicle crime. Chambers has an outstanding reputation for the provision of a complete, efficient, effective and genuinely top quality service. Excellence in barristers and clerks alike ensures that Chambers attracts instructions from prosecution authorities and leading firms of solicitors nationwide.

Employment and discrimination: The team offers a depth of expertise and quality of service across the full range of employment and discrimination issues including unfair, constructive and wrongful dismissal, contractual disputes, actionable discrimination, complex discrimination, whistleblowing and TUPE matters, breach of confidence, equal pay employment status, redundancy and restructuring, professional discipline, industrial action and injunctions. Our members regularly appear in the EAT and Court of Appeal and in front of a variety of professional disciplinary bodies, such as the GMC and NMC.

Insolvency: Guildhall chambers is recognised as ‘a centre of excellence for insolvency counsel’ and ‘the go-to set for insolvency matters in the West of the country’. The team provides specialist advice and advocacy on all aspects of insolvency and company law, including corporate, partnership and personal insolvency, corporate and partnership break-up, and company directors & disqualification. Several members of our team are members of the Attorney General’s Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown, and we receive instructions from Government departments, leading firms of insolvency lawyers, insolvency office holders and regulatory bodies. Team members also advise on non-contentious insolvency issues, corporate recovery and turnaround.

Personal injury: The team is highly regarded for their expert handling of a wide range of high-value and complex personal injury claims. Work includes serious brain injury, chronic pain, psychological injury, product liability, workplace accidents, public liability, highways, road traffic accidents – with particular experience of acting for insurers in complex group claims, inquests and industrial disease. Specialisms also include animals act claims, sports related injuries and members regularly advice on related costs and professional negligence claims.

Professional negligence and indemnity: Chambers provides expertise in disciplinary proceedings across all professions and at all levels, from healthcare and education sectors, to assisting police officers. We handle employers’ internal disciplinary procedures and proceedings before regulators. The team represents both claimants and defendants / insurers in relation to the full range of professional advisers, including solicitors, accountants, constructions professionals, financial advisors, surveyors, valuers and brokers.

Property, estates and planning: Chambers advises and act in all forms of real property law including landlord and tenant, agriculture, trusts, inheritance, wills and probate, estates and commons, towns and village greens, planning and property-related insolvency and professional negligence cases associated with property transactions. Chambers also handles the full range of planning matters offering advisory and advocacy services in the full range of tribunals including planning appeals and inquiries, enforcements, injunctions and development plan examinations.

Regulatory and discipline: The teams work encompasses all aspects of criminal prosecutions, professional disciplinary proceedings and regulation in the fields of financial services, education, healthcare, environment, fraud, animal welfare, heath & safety, licensing, inquests and professional discipline. They deal with professional conduct proceedings and undertake internal investigation processes for employer clients dealing with such issues as disciplinary, grievance, whistleblowing and health and safety.

Sport: Guildhall’s sports barristers provide expertise and experience across the sports sector, throughout the United Kingdom and abroad. Their unique knowledge, experience and proven expertise gives all our clients a genuinely competitive edge in the prompt, cost effective resolution of sports-related disputes. We represent a wide range of clients from renowned sportsmen, professional clubs and national sporting bodies, to individual amateur athletes. We are highly experienced in disciplinary and regulatory hearings; sports-related contract, professional negligence, insolvency; commercial, competition, criminal and employment law matters. The winning mentality of our barristers is recognised across a broad spectrum of sporting disciplines including rugby, football, horse racing, motor-racing, athletics, fencing, snooker and swimming.

Technology and construction: The teams construction work includes advice and representation in relation to payment claims, whether as a debt action or arising in adjudications and the enforcement of adjudication decisions by the High Court. We also act in relation to claims in relation to defective work, delay and disruption and loss and expense claims. We also handle disputes arising in projects which have used standard form contracts, such as those published by the Joint Contracts Tribunal (‘JCT’) and the Institution of Civil Engineers (such as the ICE / ICC and NEC3 forms).

 

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior Practice Manager - Civil Oliver Edwards oliver.edwards@guildhallchambers.co.uk 0117 930 9000
Senior Practice Manager - Crime, Regulatory & Discipline, Sports Lucy Northeast lucy.northeast@guildhallchambers.co.uk 0117 930 9000
Practice Manager - Commercial and Insolvency Stephen Arnold stephen.arnold@guildhallchambers.co.uk 0117 930 9000
Practice Manager - Crime Grant Bidwell grant.bidwell@guildhallchambers.co.uk 0117 930 9000
Practice Managaer - Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Caroline Evans caroline.evans@guildhallchambers.co.uk 0117 930 9000
Practice Manager - Employment and Costs & Litigation Funding Rob McDonald robert.mcdonald@guildhallchambers.co.uk 0117 930 9000
Practice Manager - Commercial and Insolvency Joe Stayte joe.stayte@guildhallchambers.co.uk 0117 930 9000
Assistant Practice Manager - Crime Elena Brake elena.brake@guildhallchambers.co.uk 0117 930 9000
Assistant Practice Manager - Crime Michael Cregg michael.cregg@guildhallchambers.co.uk 0117 930 9000
Assistant Practice Manager - Civil Dan Cuthbertson dan.cuthbertson@guildhallchambers.co.uk 0117 930 9000
Assistant Practice Manager - Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence Olive Kavanagh olive.kavanagh@guildhallchambers.co.uk 0117 930 9000
Assistant Practice Manager - Commercial and Insolvency Jordan Yandell jordan.yandell@guildhallchambers.co.uk 0117 930 9000
Assistant Practice Manager - Crime Shannon Winstone shannon.winstone@guildhallchambers.co.uk 0117 930 9000
Members of Chambers SMITH QC, Richard (1986)
Members of Chambers LANGDON QC, Andrew (1986)
Members of Chambers WHITTING QC, John (1991)*
Members of Chambers QUINLAN QC, Christopher (1992)
Members of Chambers STONER QC, Christopher (1996)
Members of Chambers VIGARS QC, Anna (1996)
Members of Chambers SIMS QC, Hugh (1999)
Members of Chambers CHIPPINDALL, Adam (1975)
Members of Chambers FENNY, Ian (1978)
Members of Chambers WARNER, Malcolm (1979)
Members of Chambers BATSTONE, William (1982)
Members of Chambers VIRGO, John (1983)
Members of Chambers TULLY, Ray (1987)
Members of Chambers GERASIMIDIS, Nicolas (1988)
Members of Chambers SCUTT, David (1989)
Members of Chambers SMITH, Nicholas (1990)
Members of Chambers THOMAS, Charles (1990)
Members of Chambers CORNWALL, Virginia (1990)
Members of Chambers DENT, Stephen (1991)
Members of Chambers PLOWDEN, Selena (1991)
Members of Chambers BENSON, Julian (1991)
Members of Chambers REDDIFORD, Anthony (1991)
Members of Chambers SNELL, John (1991)
Members of Chambers MOORHOUSE, Brendan (1992)
Members of Chambers WALES, Matthew (1993)
Members of Chambers McMEEL, Gerard (1993)
Members of Chambers WORSLEY, Mark (1994)
Members of Chambers FARMER, Gabriel (1994)
Photo Name Position Profile
 Julian Allsop  photo Julian Allsop Julian has a specialist employment practice which covers all aspects of the…
 Richard Ascroft  photo Richard Ascroft Richard specialises in insolvency law, company law and commercial litigation. He has…
 William Batstone  photo William Batstone William is an agricultural and rural property barrister who advises and acts…
 James Bennett  photo James Bennett James is an experienced criminal, health and safety, and regulatory barrister. His…
 Julian Benson  photo Julian Benson Julian is a personal injury barrister whose work is focused chiefly on…
 James Bentley  photo James Bentley James is a specialist personal injury and clinical negligence barrister, who joined…
 Matthew Brown  photo Matthew Brown Matthew is a specialist property and estates barrister who practises exclusively in…
 Susan Cavender  photo Susan Cavender Susan specialises in a variety of areas of law that includes criminal,…
 Adam Chippindall  photo Adam Chippindall Adam is a specialist barrister with over 30 years’ experience in clinical…
 Mary Cowe  photo Mary Cowe Mary is a criminal barrister who defends and prosecutes exclusively in serious…
 Stephen Dent  photo Stephen Dent Stephen has practised criminal law for the last 22 years; he has…
 Holly Doyle  photo Holly Doyle Holly specialises in commercial law and insolvency and undertakes advisory work, drafting…
 Gabriel Farmer  photo Gabriel Farmer Gabriel is head of the Guildhall personal injury team. He has two…
 Ian Fenny  photo Ian Fenny Ian Fenny is a criminal barrister who was called to the Bar…
Miss Kerry Gardiner photo Miss Kerry Gardiner Kerry is a specialist employment barrister.
 Nicolas Gerasimidis  photo Nicolas Gerasimidis Nicolas is a busy leading junior specialising in complex and serious high-profile…
 Katie Gibb  photo Katie Gibb Katie specialises in commercial law, company and insolvency matters. Her commercial law…
 Pushpanjali Gohil  photo Pushpanjali Gohil Anjali is a criminal barrister regularly instructed in document-heavy, multi-handed conspiracies, drugs,…
 Greg Gordon  photo Greg Gordon Gregory is a criminal and regulatory barrister and joined Guildhall Chambers as…
 Debbie Grennan  photo Debbie Grennan Barrister specialising in all aspects of employment law (including transfer of undertakings,…
 Alistair Haggarty  photo Alistair Haggarty Alistair is a criminal advocate with a burgeoning Crown Court practice, who…
 James Hannant  photo James Hannant James is a member of both the commercial and insolvency teams having…
 James Haskell  photo James Haskell James is a specialist criminal advocate who prosecutes and defends in a…
 Sophie Holme  photo Sophie Holme A busy and dedicated junior personal injury and clinical negligence barrister who…
 Jay Jagasia  photo Jay Jagasia Jay joined Guildhall’s commercial and property and estates teams in October 2013,…
 Samuel Jones  photo Samuel Jones Sam is a specialist criminal advocate who prosecutes and defends in a…
 Martin Lanchester  photo Martin Lanchester Martin is a member of the Guildhall personal injury and clinical negligence…
 Andrew Langdon photo Andrew Langdon Andrew is a criminal silk who regularly appears in cases of homicide,…
 Douglas Leach  photo Douglas Leach Douglas is a specialist employment and discrimination barrister. He has a well-rounded…
 Gerard McMeel  photo Gerard McMeel Gerard acts and advises in commercial dispute resolution and banking and financial…
 Oliver Mitchell  photo Oliver Mitchell Oliver joined Guildhall’s commercial and property and estates teams in October 2013,…
 Oliver Moore  photo Oliver Moore Oliver is a barrister who specialises primarily in personal injury claims and…
 Brendon Moorhouse  photo Brendon Moorhouse Brendon is an expert barrister in criminal, environmental and regulatory law, for…
Dr Daniel Neill  photo Dr Daniel Neill Daniel has a busy and broad-based medico-legal practice, acting on behalf of…
 Ramin Pakrooh  photo Ramin Pakrooh Ramin conducts a busy criminal defence practice, balanced by prosecution work, with…
 Adrian Palmer photo Adrian Palmer Specialist experience in the fields of commercial litigation and professional negligence (including…
 Tom Panton  photo Tom Panton Tom is an experienced personal injury, industrial disease and health and safety…
 Simon Passfield  photo Simon Passfield Simon is a specialist insolvency barrister who undertakes litigation and advisory work…
 Ewan Paton  photo Ewan Paton Ewan practises extensively in the traditional chancery areas of property, wills and…
 Selena Plowden  photo Selena Plowden Selena is a specialist clinical negligence barrister, who also undertakes some associated…
 Matthew Porter-Bryant  photo Matthew Porter-Bryant Matthew is specialist personal injury and clinical negligence barrister who acts for…
 Christopher Quinlan photo Christopher Quinlan Christopher took silk in 2011. He has continued to prosecute and defend…
 Stefan Ramel  photo Stefan Ramel Stefan is a highly regarded commercial advocate who litigates regularly in the…
 Anthony Reddiford  photo Anthony Reddiford Anthony (Tony) has specialised in personal injury and clinical negligence claims for…
 Allan Roberts  photo Allan Roberts Allan is a specialist employment barrister with experience of employment related disputes,…
 Raj Kumar Sahonte  photo Raj Kumar Sahonte Raj is a property and probate barrister, who also has a special…
 David Scutt  photo David Scutt A highly accomplished and experienced barrister, David’s criminal practice includes homicide, other…
 Michael Selway  photo Michael Selway Michael practises in property and estates and commercial law, appearing in the…
 Hugh Sims photo Hugh Sims Hugh is recognised as a star of the UK Bar, with rankings…
 Richard Smith photo Richard Smith Richard is a criminal and sports law barrister, with over 25 years’…
 Nicholas Smith  photo Nicholas Smith Nick has 20 years of experience as an employment tribunal advocate. He…
 John Snell  photo John Snell John specialises in clinical negligence, personal injury, professional discipline (particularly doctors and…
 Robert Sowersby  photo Robert Sowersby Rob specialises in clinical work: he is well regarded in the field,…
 Abigail Stamp  photo Abigail Stamp Abigail specialises in clinical negligence and personal injury work, acting for both…
 Caighli Taylor  photo Caighli Taylor Caighli is a criminal barrister who prosecutes and defends in both the…
 Charles Thomas  photo Charles Thomas Charles is an experienced specialist criminal barrister. His practice encompasses the entire…
 Ray Tully  photo Ray Tully Ray is a heavyweight criminal law and sports law barrister who is…
 Anna Vigars  photo Anna Vigars Anna is a criminal, health and safety and environmental law barrister with…
 John Virgo  photo John Virgo John is a specialist commercial barrister, with a strong practice emphasis on…
 Matthew Wales  photo Matthew Wales Matthew is a property barrister who works primarily in the field of…
 Lucy Walker  photo Lucy Walker Lucy undertakes both contentious and non-contentious advisory work in respect of all…
 Tim Walsh  photo Tim Walsh Tim specialises exclusively in property and probate law. He has particular experience…
 Malcolm Warner  photo Malcolm Warner Malcolm predominately has a High Court practice, in chancery and commercial law.…
 James Wibberley  photo James Wibberley James is a commercial and employment barrister, with experience of dealing with…
 Tara Wolfe  photo Tara Wolfe Tara specialises in all areas of criminal law, immigration and asylum, as…
 Mark Worsley  photo Mark Worsley Mark has been practising in criminal law for 17 years. He defends…