XXIV Old Buildings > London, England > Set Profile

Chambers of Elspeth Talbot Rice QC
XXIV Old Buildings
24 OLD BUILDINGS, LINCOLN'S INN
LONDON
WC2A 3UP
England

London Bar > Offshore Tier 1

Covering insolvency, trust disputes and commercial litigation, XXIV Old Buildings has 'for many years been one of the premier sets with a focus on the offshore market.' Members' work covers a breadth of jurisdictions: in Bermuda, Francis Tregear QC is instructed in the large-scale B Trust litigation before the Court of Appeal. In the Cayman Islands Robert Levy QC has become a go-to name for dissenter appraisal cases, Nicole Langlois is a former litigation partner at Carey Olsen, and as a Jersey advocate gave expert evidence in The Serious Fraud Office & anor v Litigation Capital Limited & ors in February 2021. Other names to note include Elspeth Talbot Rice QC, who continues to be a leading name in offshore litigation, and Stephen Thompson QC, who was particularly active in Bermudan cases recently, including being instructed by Point Investments to oppose a winding up petition and provision liquidation application.

Leading Silks

Elspeth Talbot Rice QC - XXIV Old BuildingsShe provides thoughtful. practical, informed advice and at the same time is personable and sensitive to the need and opinions of the individuals involved in each matter.
Ranked: Tier 1
Stephen Moverley Smith QC - XXIV Old BuildingsA real legal heavyweight, he always has a clever perspective to add to any case.
Ranked: Tier 1
Alan Steinfeld QC - XXIV Old BuildingsA very skilled advocate who commanded the respect of the Cayman court.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ranked: Tier 2
Robert Levy QC - XXIV Old BuildingsA pleasure to work with, he gets stuck in and masters the detail, and is tenacious in court.
Ranked: Tier 2
Francis Tregear QC - XXIV Old BuildingsA great intellect and he brings a sense of calm, control and careful thought.
Ranked: Tier 2
Steven Thompson QC - XXIV Old BuildingsHe balances a direct no-nonsense approach, with full awareness of legal and strategic nuance.
Ranked: Tier 3
Edward Cumming QC - XXIV Old BuildingsHis knowledge of the law is phenomenal but what sets him apart is his willingness to roll up his sleeves and help in all aspects of the litigation.
Ranked: Tier 4

Leading Juniors

Andrew Holden - XXIV Old BuildingsAndrew offers the full package. His written work and communication skills are first rate.
Ranked: Tier 1
Nicole Langlois - XXIV Old BuildingsClearly her background in Jersey is of great assistance in the offshore field.
Ranked: Tier 1
Sarah Bayliss - XXIV Old BuildingsSarah is both perceptive and practical, and is extremely good at seeing the wood for the trees, even in very complex cases and under significant pressure.
Ranked: Tier 2
Daniel Warents - XXIV Old BuildingsBrilliant mastery of the factual issues and encyclopeadic knowledge of the applicable law.
Ranked: Tier 2
Elizabeth Weaver - XXIV Old BuildingsA fantastic all-round advocate who I would not hesitate to instruct again.
Ranked: Tier 2
Adam Cloherty - XXIV Old BuildingsAn absolute star - practical yet thorough and very user friendly.
Ranked: Tier 3
Bajul Shah - XXIV Old BuildingsClearly pushing at the door to becoming a silk and accordingly punches above his years when it comes to a lot of offshore advocacy.
Ranked: Tier 3
Marcus Staff - XXIV Old BuildingsVery easy to work with and a proficient communicator, very knowledgeable in the trusts sector.
Ranked: Tier 3

Testimonials

Set

As a whole, XXIV Old Buildings has always struck me as a set with a lot of depth and quality.

Impressive chambers. Well managed and a depth of quality counsel.

They increasingly dominate in the offshore world.

The set has a weight of experience in offshore work.

XXIV have for many years been one of the premier sets with a focus on the offshore market.

Clerking

Very personable and cooperative clerks, particularly Paul Horsfield.

London Bar > Private client: trusts and probate Tier 1

XXIV Old Buildings is a 'go to set for tricky trust problems and is also very good for contentious and non-contentious private client, trusts and estates work.' Stephen Moverley Smith QC successfully acted for the defendant in a case that involved a consideration of the circumstances in which the blessing of a court to a decision by the trustees could be set aside (Twin Benefits Ltd v Barker). The set has a number of 'excellent' practitioners among them Elspeth Talbot Rice QC who has an ‘encyclopaedic knowledge of onshore and offshore trust law’ and the ‘fiercely brightEdward Cumming QC. The ‘very knowledgeable and tenaciousHeather Murphy has been added to the rankings at the junior end. In the rising star category Timothy Sherwin remains ‘a highly effective junior, and an excellent advocate on his own feet.’  The set is 'full of very clever people who manage to avoid being grand about it.'

Rising stars

Timothy Sherwin - XXIV Old BuildingsTimothy is a real up and comer and is clearly developing a strong reputation for private client / offshore trust work. His written work is excellent and he works well part of a team.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks

Elspeth Talbot Rice QC - XXIV Old BuildingsElspeth is highly regarded as at the pinnacle of the Chancery Bar: tough while gracious, with clients, opponents and judges; very good-humoured; always to the point, a model of conciseness - not a word wasted.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ranked: Tier 1
Ranked: Tier 2
Edward Cumming QC - XXIV Old BuildingsEdward is that rare thing amongst Chancery barristers in that he is not only extremely bright but also extremely client friendly. He is able to deal with complex contentious problems, whether trust or commercial, and distil them in an accessible way for clients. Solicitors have him on direct dial.
Ranked: Tier 2
Ranked: Tier 3
Francis Tregear QC - XXIV Old BuildingsFor a senior silk Francis is easy to deal with and is down to earth. His advice and strategy for matters is sound.
Ranked: Tier 3

Leading Juniors

Elizabeth Weaver - XXIV Old BuildingsGood to deal with, sound advice, good turnaround, accommodating.
Ranked: Tier 2
Adam Cloherty - XXIV Old BuildingsAdam provies clear and practical advice in conference. He is approachable and addresses questions raised in a knowledgeable way.
Ranked: Tier 2
Andrew Holden - XXIV Old BuildingsThe full package. His written work and communication skills are first-rate. He is someone you want on your team and is a pleasure to work with. He is very responsive an easy to work with.
Ranked: Tier 2
Ranked: Tier 4
Helen Galley - XXIV Old BuildingsHelen is very knowledgeable, calm and exceptionally good with clients. She is a very good advocate and will represent the client's best interests at all times but will not shy away from giving the client firm and sometimes unwelcome advice.
Ranked: Tier 4
Heather Murphy - XXIV Old BuildingsShe is very focused on getting a good result for clients and not afraid to take novel points. Good at unpicking difficult issues.
Ranked: Tier 4
Bajul Shah - XXIV Old BuildingsBajul is a very calm and engaging advocate. He is very likeable in court and unassuming. He is tactically highly astute and very sensitive to the tribunal. He is easy to work with.
Ranked: Tier 4
Daniel Warents - XXIV Old BuildingsDaniel is a seriously bright junior destined for great things - hardworking, across the detail, calm under fire and extremely user-friendly.
Ranked: Tier 4

Testimonials

Set

‘The set is fantastic. All the barristers we have worked with are highly intelligent and provide practical, commercial and detailed advice and are very easy to work with. ‘

‘A good set for Chancery work particularly onshore and offshore trust and probate work. A number of heavy hitting leading counsel and very bright and knowledgeable juniors.’

‘XXIV has for many years been one of the premier sets with a focus on the offshore market. It has the sort of strength and depth that one would expect in this area.

‘XXIV is an extraordinary set. The members work well as a team offering good QC and junior combinations thus providing the client with real value.’

‘XXIV Old Buildings is an exceptional set with a group of excellent barristers.’

Clerking 

The clerks are professional and easy to deal with.

London Bar > Aviation Tier 2

Considered a ‘very efficient, personable and helpful‘ set in the aviation sector, XXIV Old Buildings is a key resource for aviation lessors, manufacturers, and airlines, primarily in private law disputes. Steven Thompson QC is considered an ‘excellent advocate‘ by his peers, while juniors Bajul Shah and Arshad Ghaffar are notable for their work on high-value claims. Erin Hitchens focuses primarily on matters in the Commercial Court. Tom Stewart Coats is another key individual. As of April 2021 Philip Shepherd QC is practicing from his own chambers.

Rising stars

Tom Stewart Coats - XXIV Old BuildingsTom is really likeable and a team player. He generates ideas and really contributes. He is a highly intelligent and effective litigator, is highly responsive, and a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks

Steven Thompson QC - XXIV Old BuildingsA great barrister for any commercial or fraud case, Steven has a particular specialism in aviation, and it shows. One of the absolute best that you can instruct on an aviation case.
Ranked: Tier 3

Leading Juniors

Bajul Shah - XXIV Old BuildingsA very strong, sensible and calm advocate. He is a pleasure to deal with and always very clear in his advice.
Ranked: Tier 1
Arshad Ghaffar - XXIV Old BuildingsHe has excellent knowledge of aviation matters.
Ranked: Tier 2
Erin Hitchens - XXIV Old BuildingsTenacious, hardworking, user-friendly and good intellect, allied to sound legal judgement and commerciality.
Ranked: Tier 3
Heather Murphy - XXIV Old BuildingsHeather is very diligent and thorough and takes every point available to her client.
Ranked: Tier 3

London Bar > Commercial litigation Tier 2

XXIV Old Buildings 'has an astounding number of highly talented barristers, from experienced QCs to the most junior of juniors, practicing across a wide range of topics from traditional Chancery work to commercial work'. The set is especially strong on offshore and trusts work, but has successfully shifted to a much more full service offering in recent years. Robert Levy QC and Hugh Miall represented over a hundred claimants in Ward & Ors v Savill, in a bit to recover assets from offshore entities involved in a major tax avoidance scheme. In addition to several top level silks, the set also fields a number of highly experienced and respected senior juniors, such as Elizabeth Weaver, Stuart Adair, Bajul Shah  and Alexander Pelling who regularly lead on their own matters.

Leading Silks

Robert Levy QC - XXIV Old BuildingsAn excellent trial advocate. He is the best solicitors have seen on cross-examination, delivering a perfectly executed strategy which leaves the other side's case is tatters.
Ranked: Tier 3
Elspeth Talbot Rice QC - XXIV Old BuildingsA formidable and powerful advocate, with real gravitas in court. Her no-nonsense approach and fearless and combative style is admired by both the court and opponents.
Ranked: Tier 3
Stephen Moverley Smith QC - XXIV Old BuildingsHe has impressive court room presence and brings a wealth of experience to his cases. User-friendly across the team and with clients.
Ranked: Tier 4
Alan Steinfeld QC - XXIV Old BuildingsAlan commands the court room - he is incredibly intelligent and sparkly.
Ranked: Tier 4
Steven Thompson QC - XXIV Old BuildingsAn awesome talent. Provides exccellent advice and does not sit on the fence.
Ranked: Tier 4
Ranked: Tier 5
Francis Tregear QC - XXIV Old BuildingsA consummate gentleman, cool under pressure and exceedingly pleasant to deal with regardless of the demands of the case. Francis is thoughtful and measured in his advocacy and highly responsive.
Ranked: Tier 5
Edward Cumming QC - XXIV Old BuildingsHe is fantastic at absorbing and analysing complex information quickly, and can formulate very sound advice at an impressive speed.
Ranked: Tier 6

Leading Juniors

Hugh Miall - XXIV Old BuildingsHe is really top notch. With superb strategic judgement, he is very easy to work with and a star in the making.
Ranked: Tier 3
Alexander Pelling - XXIV Old BuildingsAlexander is great to work with - he focuses in on the key points with an eagle eye, superb draftsman and great advocate.
Ranked: Tier 3
Bajul Shah - XXIV Old BuildingsVery bright, he possesses a deep understanding of the law. A very effective advocate with a gentle style.
Ranked: Tier 3
Elizabeth Weaver - XXIV Old BuildingsSuperb - she has all of the qualities of a silk, and is hugely experienced and effective both with clients and in the court room. She is a fantastic all round advocate who solicitors would not hesitate to instruct again.
Ranked: Tier 3
Stuart Adair - XXIV Old BuildingsGo-to counsel for substantial and complex cases, a definite alternative for a Silk. He is good on his feet and aggressive when he needs to be.
Ranked: Tier 3
Adam Cloherty - XXIV Old BuildingsAn absolute star. Practical yet thorough and very user-friendly.
Ranked: Tier 3
Edward Knight - XXIV Old BuildingsHe has a gravitas and presence that demands attention. His brain is the size of a planet.
Ranked: Tier 4
Nicole Langlois - XXIV Old BuildingsThoughtful, commercial, approachable and experienced, she takes care to consider the practical as well as the pure law aspects.
Ranked: Tier 4
Oliver Assersohn - XXIV Old BuildingsOliver has a rare mix of commercial acumen, empathy and wide-ranging communication skills which enable productive engagement at all levels.
Ranked: Tier 5

Testimonials

Set

‘XXIV Old Buildings are my go-to commercial chancery set. They have a very deep bench of talent.’

‘Excellent standard of counsel – strong in commercial litigation across the board.’

‘XXIV Old Buildings have long commanded a significant place in respect of offshore matters but increasingly are seen as heavyweights on both commercial litigation as well as fraud matters. Their insolvency expertise is growing and they represent excellent depth and breadth in that area.’

‘Chambers has a very strong Middle East practice, with many of the leading practitioners at silk and junior level.’

‘Impressive Chambers. Well managed and a depth of quality counsel.’

Clerking

‘A professional and responsive clerking team, and their hard work to develop the chambers is paying off.’

London Bar > Company and partnership

Appearing in substantial company and partnerships law matters in equal measure, XXIV Old Buildings is a go-to set for trials before the High Court and abroad. Alan Steinfeld QC is highly rated senior silk across both disciplines, described as a ‘tour de force’ by an instructing client. A considerable bulk of mandates for the set involve international and offshore proceedings, particularly Stephen Moverley Smith QC’s practice, whose recent highlights included directors’ disputes in the BVI and Cayman courts. Stuart Adair maintains a strong reputation in representing energy companies across the CIS region, notably in regards to contentious joint venture fallouts. Helen Galley is currently handling a spate of farming partnerships disputes.

Company - Rising stars

Timothy Sherwin - XXIV Old BuildingsAn absolute superstar.
Ranked: Tier 1

Company - Leading Silks

Alan Steinfeld QC - XXIV Old BuildingsFantastic. Well respected by peers and clients.
Ranked: Tier 1
Elspeth Talbot Rice QC - XXIV Old BuildingsFew stand comparison with Elspeth in the partnership field. She scares opponents and is loved by clients.
Ranked: Tier 2
Stephen Moverley Smith QC - XXIV Old BuildingsHe always has a clever perspective to add to any case.
Ranked: Tier 2
Francis Tregear QC - XXIV Old BuildingsCool under pressure, exceedingly pleasant to deal with regardless of the demands of the case, thoughtful and measured in his advocacy and highly responsive.
Ranked: Tier 2
Ranked: Tier 3
Edward Cumming QC - XXIV Old BuildingsHis knowledge of the law is phenomenal but what sets him apart is his willingness to roll up his sleeves and help in all aspects of the litigation.
Ranked: Tier 4
Ranked: Tier 4

Partnership - Leading silks

Alan Steinfeld QC - XXIV Old BuildingsFantastic. Well respected by peers and clients.
Ranked: Tier 1
Elspeth Talbot Rice QC - XXIV Old BuildingsFew stand comparison with Elspeth in the partnership field. She scares opponents and is loved by clients.
Ranked: Tier 2
Francis Tregear QC - XXIV Old BuildingsCool under pressure, exceedingly pleasant to deal with regardless of the demands of the case, thoughtful and measured in his advocacy and highly responsive.
Ranked: Tier 3

Company - Leading Juniors

Stuart Adair - XXIV Old BuildingsStuart has a very sharp mind and a thorough knowledge of the law.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ranked: Tier 2
Hugh Miall - XXIV Old BuildingsHugh is a very high-quality advocate on paper and on his feet.
Ranked: Tier 3
Daniel Warents - XXIV Old BuildingsDaniel is unrelenting in ensuring no stone is left unturned when considering the client's best interests.
Ranked: Tier 5

Partnership - Leading juniors

Helen Galley - XXIV Old BuildingsDetermined and knowledgeable
Ranked: Tier 3

Testimonials

Set

I believe XXIV is a great set for all chancery commercial work.

XXIV is an extraordinary set. They work well as a team offering good QC and junior combinations thus providing the client with real value.

A strong set with a lot of talent across the board.

XXIV Old Buildings as a whole provides excellent options for counsel, with many juniors punching way above their weight. Counsel have good availability and the clerks go beyond their way to accommodate tight timescales and work collaboratively with solicitors.

Clerking

Very efficient.

Very amenable and proactive.

London Bar > Fraud: civil Tier 2

XXIV Old Buildings is one of the premier sets for offshore disputes, and this invariably feeds into its members experience in large-scale civil fraud claims, with silks and juniors both coming highly recommended. Steven Thompson QC has a strong reputation in this area and is facing off against Edward Cumming QC in Kazakhstan Kagazy v Martin, in which the defendant is accused of taking a bonus from money that he allegedly knew was stolen from the claimant.  The set also fields a selection of extremely experienced senior juniors, including Stuart Adair who is representing a shareholder and director, John McCarthy, in the case of Re Emerald Meats (London) Limited, an insolvency involving allegations of fraud, in which Alan Steinfeld QC is on the opposing side, representing another shareholder and director.

Rising stars

Timothy Sherwin - XXIV Old BuildingsHelpful and bright with a good future.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks

Elspeth Talbot Rice QC - XXIV Old BuildingsHer no-nonsense approach and fearless and combative style is admired by both the court and opponents.
Ranked: Tier 2
Stephen Moverley Smith QC - XXIV Old BuildingsVery easy to work with and excellent at identifying an approach which will resonate with the court.
Ranked: Tier 2
Alan Steinfeld QC - XXIV Old BuildingsIt is great to be able to be put in such a safe and experienced pair of hands.
Ranked: Tier 2
Robert Levy QC - XXIV Old BuildingsA strong courtroom advocate. Highly personable and excellent on his feet. He is one of the best in cross-examination of witnesses; a professional hitman who executes the strategy perfectly.
Ranked: Tier 2
Steven Thompson QC - XXIV Old BuildingsHard working, a team player and great fun, Steven is highly intelligent and enthusiastic too.
Ranked: Tier 3
Francis Tregear QC - XXIV Old BuildingsClients love him - good common sense while alive to their priorities.
Ranked: Tier 3
Edward Cumming QC - XXIV Old BuildingsDevastatingly clever, with a tireless work ethic. He can charm and persuade, but will fight tenaciously when the need arises; he is utterly fearless.
Ranked: Tier 4

Leading Juniors

Stuart Adair - XXIV Old BuildingsTenacious, he fights his corner and is a pleasure to deal with.
Ranked: Tier 2
Edward Knight - XXIV Old BuildingsIncisive, with forensic attention to detail and great with clients.
Ranked: Tier 3
Hugh Miall - XXIV Old BuildingsHe has the Midas touch and can spot winning points that others do not. He combines excellent factual analysis with strong interpersonal skills. One to watch.
Ranked: Tier 3
Alexander Pelling - XXIV Old BuildingsGreat to work with - he focuses in on the key points with an eagle eye, superb draftsman and great advocate.
Ranked: Tier 3
Bajul Shah - XXIV Old BuildingsA very effective advocate with a gentle style.
Ranked: Tier 3

Testimonials

Set

‘XXIV are my go to Commercial Chancery set. I am usually working with two or three of their barristers at any time and will always consider them for complex trusts, fraud and off-shore work.’

‘XXIV is an extraordinary set. They work well as a team offering good QC and junior combinations thus providing the client with real value.’

‘XXIV is a really good set, full of extremely bright people who manage to avoid veering into being grand about it.’

‘XXIV Old Buildings have a lot of QCs who are experienced in offshore cases.’

‘XXIV have for many years been one of the premier sets with a focus on the offshore market. They have the sort of strength and depth that one would expect in this area.’

Clerking

‘Paul Horsfield in particular is extremely user friendly and conscientious.’

London Bar > Insolvency Tier 2

Members of XXIV Old Buildings handle the full breadth of insolvency instructions, both domestically and internationally. Chambers' most experienced insolvency silk Alan Steinfeld QC is instructed on complex and often highly confidential cases, recently acting for Carlyle related entities in Carlyle Capital Corporation Limited (in liquidation) and others v Conway & others, a $2bn claim in the Guernsey courts, moving to the Privy Council. Stephen Moverley Smith QC continues to act in varied international matters, including bankruptcy proceedings against a member of the Saudi royal family, while in Gorbunova v Berezovsky, Elspeth Talbot Rice QC acts for the trustees of Boris Berezovsky’s insolvent estate. At the junior level Stuart Adair and Edward Knight had notably busy years in this area.

Leading Silks

Alan Steinfeld QC - XXIV Old BuildingsFabulous. Respected by peers and admired by clients.
Ranked: Tier 1
Francis Tregear QC - XXIV Old BuildingsCool under pressure and his advice and strategy for matters is sound.
Ranked: Tier 2
Robert Levy QC - XXIV Old BuildingsA superb and compelling advocate with a finely tuned ability to read a judge and the situation.
Ranked: Tier 3
Elspeth Talbot Rice QC - XXIV Old BuildingsElspeth is a formidable and powerful advocate, with real gravitas in court.
Ranked: Tier 3
Stephen Moverley Smith QC - XXIV Old BuildingsA real legal heavyweight, he brings a wealth of experience to issues and is able to provide practical solutions to knotty legal problems.
Ranked: Tier 3
Steven Thompson QC - XXIV Old BuildingsHas an excellent knowledge of insolvency law and a mastermind in this area.
Ranked: Tier 4
Edward Cumming QC - XXIV Old BuildingsVery bright and quick and clients like him.
Ranked: Tier 5
Ranked: Tier 5

Leading Juniors

Stuart Adair - XXIV Old BuildingsHas a very sharp mind and a thorough knowledge of the law and the facts of his cases.
Ranked: Tier 1
Edward Knight - XXIV Old BuildingsIncisive with forensic attention to detail and great with clients.
Ranked: Tier 4
Hugh Miall - XXIV Old BuildingsHugh is an extremely good advocate with excellent in depth knowledge of his area.
Ranked: Tier 5
Daniel Warents - XXIV Old BuildingsHis ability is already superior to many barristers of higher seniority and solicitors would have absolutely no problem to instruct him as sole advocate against a silk on the opposite side.
Ranked: Tier 5

Testimonials

Set

Their insolvency expertise is growing and they represent excellent depth and breadth in that area.

A set with no weaknesses.

As a whole, XXIV Old Buildings has always struck me as a set with a lot of depth and quality.

Extremely able barristers in complex, highly technical litigation.

Clerking

Paul Horsfeld is incredibly responsive and polite and has his finger on the pulse of the market.

They are ably led by Paul Horsfield.

London Bar > Banking and finance (including consumer credit) Tier 3

XXIV Old Buildings has a good spread of members with strong banking and finance expertise, both at the junior and senior level. The set is especially strong on banking disputes involving a strong offshore or trusts element, and several members also have considerable expertise in the Dubai International Financial Centre courts. Significant cases in London include Elite Property Holdings & ors v Barclays Bank Plc, in which Edward Cumming QC represented the claimants in a case regarding an alleged conspiracy between the bank and an accountancy firm to put the client in administration. Stephen Moverley Smith QC and Sarah Bayliss represented the defendant, an insurance subsidiary of Credit Suisse, in Ivanishvili v Credit Suisse Life (Bermuda) Ltd, in an investment fraud claim brought by the former President of Georgia. Oliver Assersohn is also highly rated in this field, as well as broader financial services matters.

Leading Silks

Edward Cumming QC - XXIV Old BuildingsAbsolutely superb - he is particularly strong in the banking field and is excellent for the claimant side.
Ranked: Tier 5
Stephen Moverley Smith QC - XXIV Old BuildingsHe has impressive court room presence and brings a wealth of experience to his cases. User friendly across the team and with clients.
Ranked: Tier 5
Francis Tregear QC - XXIV Old BuildingsA consummate gentleman; cool under pressure, exceedingly pleasant to deal with regardless of the demands of the case, thoughtful and measured in his advocacy and highly responsive.
Ranked: Tier 5

Leading Juniors

Oliver Assersohn - XXIV Old BuildingsA superbly able junior, if there is an answer to a problem he will find it.
Ranked: Tier 2
Marcus Staff - XXIV Old BuildingsHe is engaged, to the point, highly intelligent, innovative, industrious and a team player.
Ranked: Tier 4
Sarah Bayliss - XXIV Old BuildingsSuperb with sensitive clients. Exceptional grasp of the detail, with sound strategic judgement.
Ranked: Tier 4
Alexander Pelling - XXIV Old BuildingsGreat to work with - he focuses in on the key points with an eagle eye, superb draftsman and great advocate.
Ranked: Tier 4

Testimonials

Set

‘Extremely able barristers in complex, highly technical litigation.’

Clerking

‘Always a pleasure.’

‘Efficient – no problems and easy to deal with.’

‘Excellent support from very able and personable clerks.’

Dispute resolution > Mediators Tier 5

Michael King – XXIV Old Buildings Accredited mediator Michael King of XXIV Old Buildings 'connects well with clients facing emotionally challenging disputes'. Regularly mediating significant trust, probate, estate and inheritance claims, King was a commercial and traditional chancery barrister until 2017.

Lyndsey de Mestre QC - XXIV Old Buildings A silk since 2018, XXIV Old Buildings' Lyndsey de Mestre QC is 'calm, measured and very engaged - on top of all the issues'. An expert in directors’ duties and disqualification, and company and insolvency law, she is regularly appointed to mediate commercial matters, as well as probate claims.

London Bar > Charities

Leading Silks

Edward Cumming QC - XXIV Old BuildingsEdward is quite simply brilliant. He has an excellent mind and is exceptional on his feet, dynamic and highly charismatic. A silk who has a keen eye for strategy and a great ability with people.
Ranked: Tier 2
Elspeth Talbot Rice QC - XXIV Old BuildingsElspeth is a very strong and hardworking advocate.
Ranked: Tier 2

London Bar > International arbitration: arbitrators

London Bar > International arbitration: counsel

London Bar > Professional negligence

London Bar > Financial services regulation

Leading Juniors

Oliver Assersohn - XXIV Old BuildingsOliver takes ownership of a case from the outset and will work tirelessly in support of the client's case. He is very bright, and has significant FCA expertise.
Ranked: Tier 2

London Bar > Property litigation

Middle East: The English Bar > Commercial Tier 1

XXIV Old BuildingsMichael Black QC has a well-established presence in the Middle East and showcases in-depth expertise across the oil and gas, shipping, leisure and retail, banking and insurance sectors; in the DIFC he represented Credit Suisse in making a claim against Gulf Petroleum in relation to alleged fraud and against directors under personal guarantees. Steven Thompson QC is another key individual to mention. Key changes in the set include the departure of Tom Montagu-Smith QC who joined 3 Verulam Buildings in 2021.

Leading silks

Tom Montagu-Smith QC - 3 Verulam Buildings ‘Tom is accessible, responsive and user-friendly. His written and oral advocacy is always excellent and his succinct style is appreciated by Judges.'
Ranked: Tier 1
Steven Thompson QC - XXIV Old Buildings 'Steven is supremely knowledgeable and has excellent analytical skills.  He is creative, commercial and always gets the very best result for his clients.'
Ranked: Tier 1
Michael Black QCXXIV Old BuildingsMichael is a truly exceptional advocate who combines persuasive argument with superb tactical awareness.  He is also a pleasure to work with and he makes every team member feel comfortable.'
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading juniors

Edward KnightXXIV Old BuildingsEdward is excellent and very good on his feet.’
Ranked: Tier 1
Elizabeth WeaverXXIV Old BuildingsElizabeth plays an integral role on highly complex and urgent matters before the DIFC Courts. She impresses the entire legal team with her persuasive writing and ability to quickly grasp and distill the issues of complex disputes.’
Ranked: Tier 1
Ranked: Tier 2

Testimonials

Set

XXIV Old Building have a great depth of practice in the Middle East.’

24 Old Building remain the go to set of chambers for DIFC and UAE law work in my view.’

XXIV is a genuinely international set with strength in depth at all levels of seniority.’

XXIV remain the leading chambers for work in Dubai with depth in numbers at all levels of seniority.’

XXIV Chambers lawyers are responsive, effective and of exceptional quality. They have a deep bench of outstanding barristers and are my “first call” for complex disputes in the MENA region. I would compare them favourably with any other Chambers in the market.’

Clerking

James Ladbrook is good to deal with and is responsive and available.’

Middle East: The English Bar > Construction Tier 3

XXIV Old Buildings works closely with a number of local and international law firms in Dubai.  Arshad Ghaffar has an extensive disputes practice with in-depth knowledge of the construction and engineering space, as well as a particular interest in aviation law.

Leading silks

Ranked: Tier 2
Tom Montagu-Smith QC3 Verulam BuildingsHe has a great knowledge of the regional market and its laws and practices. Great to work with and excellent team player. The best QC in the market.’
Ranked: Tier 2

Testimonials

Set

XXIV Old Building have a great depth of practice in Middle East.’

24 Old Building remain the got to set of chambers for DIFC and UAE law work in my view.’

XXIV is a genuinely international set with strength in depth at all levels of seniority.’

Clerking

The clerks are responsive and friendly, I have worked mostly with Samantha Perry and James Ladbroke who have both been very helpful.’

Clerks are friendly, helpful and efficient.’

The Chambers

XXIV Old Buildings is a specialist commercial and chancery chambers based in London with an office in Geneva.  The members have an unrivalled reputation for their commercial and chancery work both internationally and domestically.

A leading set in Offshore; Private Client: Trusts and Probate; Commercial Litigation; Banking and Finance; Insolvency; Company and Partnership; Aviation;  Fraud: Civil; Professional Negligence, their strength and breadth of expertise can be demonstrated by the frequency of their appearance in courts of other jurisdictions, with members called to the Bars of Jersey, the BVI, Bermuda, St Vincents, the Cayman Islands, Dubai (DIFC), and other leading international financial centres such as the ADGM Abu Dhabi and the court in Astana (AIFC) in a judicial capacity. They are recognised as one of the most forward-thinking and innovative sets at the London Bar.

Work Undertaken

The calibre of XXIV Old Buildings’ practice is evidenced by the cases in which members are routinely instructed undertaking litigation, arbitration and the provision of advice across the full range of commercial and chancery work, from UK commercial litigation and insolvency work to truly international litigation and arbitration involving large-scale business disputes, fraud and asset tracing, and cross-border insolvency and restructuring; and to ‘traditional’ chancery matters such as private family trust and succession disputes. This broad base of expertise is supplemented by members’ specialist experience in fields such as hedge funds/SIVs; financial derivatives (including spread betting/CFDs); and aviation. Members are also highly experienced arbitrators and mediators. Examples of our work are set out below:

Wallis Trading Inc v Air Tanzania: A US$40 million award against the Defendants, Air Tanzania and the Tanzanian Government, following a 2-week trial in a dispute arising out of an aircraft leasing transaction. The judgment illustrated why English law is routinely chosen as the governing law in aircraft leasing transaction between international parties.

Public Institution for Social Security of Kuwait v Man Group PLC plus 37 other defendants: A large-scale fraud claim concerning a lawsuit launched by the Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS) in Kuwait which alleges it is owed £639.5bn as a result of a large-scale fraud by its former director general.

Routier and another v HMRC: A Supreme Court case concerning a testamentary gift of property on trust for purposes which were agreed to be exclusively charitable under English law.

Ciban Management Corp v Citco: This Privy Council case explored the scope of duties of nominee directors of BVI companies when the ultimate beneficial owner of such companies effectively pull the strings to control the company but seek to keep entirely out of sight.

Lehtimaki and others v Cooper: A landmark Supreme Court judgment on issues of equity and charity law which potentially has significant ramifications for trust law and company law.

Byers & ors v Samba Financial Group: One of the most important pieces of commercial-chancery litigation before the English courts. It centres on a US$300 million transfer made by the director of a company in liquidation to the defendant bank.

Wong v Grandview: Claim that very large Bermudian non-charitable purpose trusts, or the transfers of very substantial assets into them, are void or should be set aside.

Dawson-Damer v Grampian Trust Company Ltd: A £400 million breach of trust/set aside claim in the Bahamas that has clarified the law on DPA/GDPR disclosure by trustees in England, and which involves ancillary injunction proceedings in Bermuda.

Times Travel Limited v Pakistan International Airlines Corporation: Supreme Court case on economic duress where airline held to have used illegitimate pressure to force IATA agent into agreement to abandon claims for commission.

Re Blackstar: A complex and substantial trustees’ remuneration dispute.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Practice Management Clerksclerks@xxiv.co.uk+44 (0) 20 7691 2424
Practice Management Paul Horsfield, Head of Clerking
Practice Management James Ladbrook, Senior Practice Manager
Practice Management Perry Brown, Senior Practice Manager
Members of Chambers STEINFELD QC, Alan (1968)
Members of Chambers BLACK QC, Michael (1978)
Members of Chambers MOVERLEY SMITH QC, Stephen (1985)
Members of Chambers TREGEAR QC, Francis (1980)
Members of Chambers BROWNBILL QC, David (1989)
Members of Chambers TALBOT RICE QC, Elspeth (1990)
Members of Chambers LEVY QC, Robert (1988)
Members of Chambers THOMPSON QC, Steven (1996)
Members of Chambers DE MESTRE QC, Lyndsey (1999)
Members of Chambers CUMMING QC, Edward (2006)
Members of Chambers KING, Michael (1971)
Members of Chambers GADD, Michael (1981)
Members of Chambers WEAVER, Elizabeth (1982)
Members of Chambers GALLEY, Helen (1987)
Members of Chambers MEAKIN, Ian (1991)
Members of Chambers GHAFFAR, Arshad (1991)
Members of Chambers STAFF, Marcus (1994)
Members of Chambers ADAIR, Stuart (1995)
Members of Chambers PELLING, Alexander (1995)
Members of Chambers SHAH, Bajul (1996)
Members of Chambers HUGHES, Jessica (1997)
Members of Chambers LANGLOIS, Nicole (2008)
Members of Chambers KNIGHT, Edward (1999)
Members of Chambers BAYLISS, Sarah (2002)
Members of Chambers ASSERSOHN, Oliver (2003)
Members of Chambers CLOHERTY, Adam (2005)
Members of Chambers HITCHENS, Erin (2006)
Members of Chambers HOLDEN, Andrew (2007)
Members of Chambers CURRY, Owen (2009)
Members of Chambers WARENTS, Daniel (2009)
Members of Chambers MIALL, Hugh (2009)
Members of Chambers MURPHY, Heather (2009)
Members of Chambers KING, Kira (2011)
Members of Chambers SHERWIN, Timothy (2014)
Members of Chambers STEWART COATS, Tom (2014)
Members of Chambers GERASIMENKO, Alina (2015)
Members of Chambers WAISTELL, Ben (2015)
Members of Chambers FENNEMORE, James (2017)
Member of Chambers GARG, Sparsh (2017)
Member of Chambers HUGHES, Emma (2018)
Member of Chambers HARTSTON, Catherine (2018)
Member of Chambers PEPLOW, Alex (2019)
Member of Chambers CLARK-JONES, Jessica (2019)
Member of Chambers STRACHAN, Charles (2019)
Member of Chambers SAMUELS, Harry (2020)
Members of Chambers VIRGO QC, Graham*
Members of Chambers CONAGLEN, Matthew*
Members of Chambers * Door tenant
Members of Chambers MANN QC, Martin (1968)**
Members of Chambers GADD, Michael (1981)**
Members of Chambers ** Former member
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Stuart Adair  photo Stuart Adair Stuart has an extremely successful commercial chancery practice which focuses on commercial…
Oliver Assersohn  photo Oliver Assersohn Financial services, banking, commercial/ Chancery.
Sarah Bayliss  photo Sarah Bayliss Barrister specialising in traditional and commercial Chancery, company/insolvency, and banking/financial services disputes.
Michael Black photo Michael BlackAdvocate and arbitrator in international commercial disputes.
David Brownbill photo David BrownbillBarrister specialising in all aspects of trusts and related company matters, contentious…
Adam Cloherty  photo Adam Cloherty Adam’s practice covers a broad range of contentious and non-contentious international and…
Edward Cumming  photo Edward Cumming Edward is a barrister specialising in most areas of chancery and commercial…
Owen Curry  photo Owen Curry Trusts and estates, company law, insolvency and commercial.
Lyndsey De Mestre  photo Lyndsey De Mestre Lyndsey has been practising at the business and property Bar for over…
Michael Gadd  photo Michael Gadd Specialises in commercial Chancery. Frequently engaged in cases that cross international boundaries…
Helen Galley  photo Helen Galley Private client work – probate, estates, trusts and family provision, including the…
Arshad Ghaffar  photo Arshad Ghaffar Barrister specialising in commercial law: agency, arbitration, aviation, bills of lading, carriage…
Erin Hitchens  photo Erin Hitchens Erin specialises in traditional and commercial Chancery work, including contentious probate matters,…
Andrew Holden  photo Andrew Holden Since joining chambers in October 2008, Andrew has enhanced his strong academic…
Jessica Hughes  photo Jessica Hughes Barrister involved in a wide range of contractual and trust disputes, from…
Edward Knight  photo Edward Knight Barrister with a practice directed towards commercial matters, including their interaction with…
Nicole Langlois  photo Nicole Langlois Main areas of specialisation are trust and company disputes; commercial contractual disputes;…
Robert Levy photo Robert LevyRobert specialises in substantial commercial litigation. His cases frequently span international borders,…
Ian Meakin  photo Ian Meakin Ian has extensive experience in dispute resolution, international business law, trusts and…
Hugh Miall  photo Hugh Miall Hugh has a busy junior commercial chancery practice with a particular emphasis…
Stephen Moverley Smith photo Stephen Moverley SmithBarrister specialising in international litigation and arbitration in the fields of commercial,…
Heather Murphy  photo Heather Murphy Heather Murphy is an experienced advocate with a rich and varied commercial…
Alexander Pelling  photo Alexander Pelling Barrister with breadth and depth of knowledge in commercial and chancery litigation…
Bajul Shah  photo Bajul Shah Bajul has a broad commercial Chancery practice with an emphasis on aviation,…
Timothy Sherwin photo Timothy SherwinTimothy is a chancery barrister with a practice in private client and…
Marcus Staff  photo Marcus Staff Barrister specialising in private and commercial trust and fund disputes resolved in…
Alan Steinfeld photo Alan SteinfeldBarrister specialising in trusts, partnership law, trust-related and general insolvency, company law,…
Elspeth Talbot Rice photo Elspeth Talbot RiceDescribed by opponents as “the smiling assassin”, and crowned Legal 500’s Trusts…
Steven Thompson photo Steven ThompsonBarrister specialising in corporate and personal insolvency, company law, aviation law and…
Francis Tregear photo Francis TregearFrancis’ practice focuses on business disputes, company and insolvency matters, funds and…
Daniel Warents  photo Daniel Warents Daniel specialises in most areas of chancery and commercial work both in…
Elizabeth Weaver  photo Elizabeth Weaver Elizabeth has a general commercial chancery practice handling a wide range of…
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