Set Profile > Civitas Law > Cardiff, Wales

Civitas Law
Civitas Law
CF11 9LL

Chancery, probate, and tax Tier 1

At Civitas LawCathrine Grubb specialises on debt and insolvency matters alongside other Chancery work, while Welsh speaker Owain Rhys James advises on Chancery and trusts matters within a public law context and increasingly focuses on disputes involving rural property and farms.

Leading Juniors

Rachel Anthony - Civitas LawShe has excellent knowledge of legislation and case law.
Ranked: Tier 1
Anthony Vines - Civitas LawKnowledgeable, approachable, very helpful and well-prepared.
Ranked: Tier 1
Cathrine Grubb - Civitas LawShe has a very analytical and straightforward approach.
Ranked: Tier 2
Owain Rhys James - Civitas LawHe is strong on providing clear advice to clients on complex areas of law.
Ranked: Tier 2

Commercial litigation Tier 1

Junior members of 'prompt and professional' set Civitas Law are instructed in a wide range of matters, including civil fraud cases, disputed debts and insurance-related disputes touching on all areas of the Welsh economy, including the public sector.

Leading Juniors

Anthony Vines - Civitas LawHe is very down-to-earth and has a good way with clients.
Ranked: Tier 1
Dan Dyson - Civitas LawVery approachable and pragmatic in his advice as well as reliable and highly competent.
Ranked: Tier 2
Cathrine Grubb - Civitas LawExperienced across a wide range of commercial matters.
Ranked: Tier 2
Owain Rhys James - Civitas LawHe has the ability to build a rapport with client departments in some difficult circumstances.
Ranked: Tier 2

Employment Tier 1

Appearing for both claimants and some significant public sector respondents, Civitas Law remains one of the largest employment sets on the circuit. In one case, Christopher Howells successfully defended a school in a claim brought by a litigant in person, who used a Polish interpreter throughout the hearing, concerning allegations of sustained harassment by her line manager and another senior senior manager. Joanne Williams is instructed by HMRC to defend a race, disability and sex discrimination claim brought by a former employee. Jonathan Walters joined from River Chambers in November 2019.

Leading Juniors

Christopher Howells - Civitas LawHe is a fountain of knowledge and also very modest.
Ranked: Tier 1
Anthony Vines - Civitas LawHe is incredibly thorough in his preparations and prepared to go to great lengths to assist in getting the cases which he is involved in to the best possible position ahead of trial.
Ranked: Tier 1
Joanne Williams - Civitas LawSecond-to-none preparation with the ability to deliver strong advice whilst still maintaining a good rapport with witnesses.
Ranked: Tier 1
Mona Bayoumi - Civitas LawVery organised and thorough and builds rapport with clients very quickly, she is a pleasure to work with.
Ranked: Tier 2
Owain Rhys James - Civitas LawHis written advice is clear and succinct, even where the law is ambiguous.
Ranked: Tier 2
Jonathan Walters - Civitas LawAppears in long and complicated tribunal cases predominantly for respondents.
Ranked: Tier 2

Personal injury Tier 1

Hosting the largest personal injury team on the circuit, Civitas Law has the full range of counsel available, including catastrophic injuries specialist Nicholas David Jones, who deals with acquired brain injuries, spinal cord injuries as well as upper and lower limb amputations, as well as fatal accidents expert Simon Hughes.

Leading Juniors

Simon Hughes - Civitas LawA robust advocate whose paper advice is always thorough and clear. 
Ranked: Tier 1
Nicholas David Jones - Civitas LawHe has a good analytical brain and is strong on advising on evidence as well as having exceptional negotiating skills.
Ranked: Tier 1
Victoria Hillier - Civitas LawA very good barrister - dedicated, efficient and caring who is always well prepared, respectful and presents her case very well.
Ranked: Tier 2
Rebecca Mansell - Civitas LawStrong on her feet in court, she fights her clients’ corner with determination.
Ranked: Tier 2
Kate Parker - Civitas LawRecognised for building a good rapport with her clients.
Ranked: Tier 2
Bryan Thomas - Civitas LawHis particular strengths lie in negotiation and joint settlement meetings.
Ranked: Tier 2

Planning and environment Tier 1

Civitas Law's work in relation to planning and environmental matters is wide-ranging, spanning from planning applications involving significant infrastructure projects through to to planning enforcement prosecutions and environmental law advice. Anthony Vines is sole counsel for the Welsh government in the public inquiry concerning improvements to the A40.

Leading Juniors

Owain Rhys James - Civitas LawHe has extensive experience advising and conducting hearings in both English and Welsh.
Ranked: Tier 1
Matthew Paul - Civitas LawA first-rate lawyer with an astute awareness of the political realities of this area of practice, including personal experience which gives him an insight into the operations of planning and other regulatory bodies.
Ranked: Tier 1
Anthony Vines - Civitas LawRecommended for a wide range of planning cases.
Ranked: Tier 1

Administrative and public law (including civil liberties and human rights) Tier 2

Members of Civitas Law undertake a range of public and administrative work, acting for central and local government as well as quangos. In one matter, Owain Rhys James represented the DVLA in a dispute over a registration mark assigned to a vehicle purporting to be a classic Mark 1 Ford Escort.

Leading Juniors

Mona Bayoumi - Civitas LawShe regularly acts in judicial review claims both in the Upper Tribunal and High Court.
Ranked: Tier 2
Mona Bayoumi - Civitas LawShe regularly acts in judicial review claims both in the Upper Tribunal and High Court.
Ranked: Tier 2
Victoria Hillier - Civitas LawVery active on behalf of police authorities and public bodies.
Ranked: Tier 2
Owain Rhys James - Civitas LawHe is a confident and excellent advocate.
Ranked: Tier 2
Anthony Vines - Civitas LawHe has a good eye for detail and gets into the minutiae of the case.
Ranked: Tier 2

Business and regulatory crime (including health and safety)

Members of 'professional' set Civitas Law handle a wide array of issues in the field of business and regulatory crime, from Companies House prosecutions and directors' disqualifications through to trading standards and food hygiene prosecutions. Matthew Paul represented a food business in an appeal against an improvement notice concerning the allegedly unsafe storage of animal by-products, and Newport City Council instructed Anthony Vines in a prosecution concerning illegal tobacco found in the basement of a shop.

Leading Juniors

Matthew Paul - Civitas LawA first rate lawyer who masters his briefs.
Ranked: Tier 1
Anthony Vines - Civitas LawHe has a good eye for detail and gets into the minutiae of the case.
Ranked: Tier 1

Clinical negligence

Civitas Law's Bryan Thomas is instructed in clinical negligence cases involving fatalities, including delayed cancer diagnosis cases.

Leading Juniors

Bryan Thomas - Civitas LawGood manner with clients, polite and professional.
Ranked: Tier 1

Company and insolvency

Civitas Law provides representation in the full range of matters in this space, including corporate governance disputes around company directors and insolvency litigation.

Leading Juniors

Anthony Vines - Civitas LawMeticulous and personable.
Ranked: Tier 1


Civitas Law's members work across the full spectrum of immigration matters including deportation, immigration and human rights appeals, with some members, including Owain Rhys James having undertaken numerous judicial review matters on behalf of the Home Office.

Inquests and inquiries

Members of Civitas Law handle inquests and inquiries acting on behalf of various UK and Welsh government bodies, including police forces. In one matter, the Welsh Government instructed Richard Cole as lead for an inquest into eight historic deaths of care home residents in the Gwent Valleys.

Leading Juniors

Mona Bayoumi - Civitas LawShe represents government departments following detention-related deaths.
Ranked: Tier 1
Richard Cole - Civitas LawRepresents the government in care home related deaths.
Ranked: Tier 1

Property and construction

At Civitas Law, Owain Rhys James is instructed to advise on disputes with contractors and architects arising from projects, as well as on buildings insurance matters and debt recovery in the industry.

Leading Juniors

Owain Rhys James - Civitas LawHe is very methodical and his pleadings are excellent.
Ranked: Tier 1

Set overviews: England and Wales

Civitas Law in Cardiff specialises in civil and public law  matters. Over the past 12 months, employment and professional disciplinary specialist Jonathan Walters has joined chambers; Owain James was appointed a Deputy District Judge and to the Paralympic Board of Appeal of Classification; and Bryan Thomas was involved in Wales' first virtual civil trial.



‘Civitas are well clerked, very efficient and accommodating. Andrea McLean and Alyson Hartington-Clark are always very helpful and willing to find a solution to issues which arise.’

‘Competent and friendly.’

‘Prompt and professional.’

‘The clerking is always excellent from the moment that papers are received until the case concludes. The role of the two senior clerks, Andrea McLean and Alyson Hartington-Clark have been invaluable, particularly when short notice court hearing cover is required.’

‘The clerks are always friendly and accommodating ad prompt in dealing with queries.’

‘The Clerks are efficient and papers are passed on to Counsel quickly. Fee notes are delivered quickly which assists, in keeping a control of costs. This is vital as we work under the Legal Aid System.’

‘The clerks are friendly and helpful. Lee Fifield is notably prompt with enquiries.’

‘The clerks are professional and very competent.’

‘The clerks have always been helpful and prompt in all their dealings with us.’

The PI and CN clerks are excellent in this chambers.’

‘They are excellent – so helpful.’

‘Very professional and understand the issues re invoicing etc very well.’


‘Civitas Chambers has built up a wealth of very capable individual counsel in all areas of civil and public law. This means that they have the ability to cross reference cases where several discrete issues may arise, but which cross over the boundaries of several areas of legal practice.’

‘Civitas have a good set of employment barristers that provides choice, depth in abilities and expertise and competitive quotes.’

‘Civitas is a Cardiff-based set which has a strong provision in the areas of employment, education and public law, particularly in aspects of those areas that are devolved and have a Welsh dimension. It is the go-to set for Welsh public law matters.’

‘Civitas offer good value, and are supportive and helpful.’

‘I have used Civitas more or less exclusively for the last 10 years. We enjoy an excellent rapport with the clerks and Claimant PI Counsel. If chosen Counsel proves unavailable, I am safe in the knowledge that we will be provided with a more than competent replacement of similar experience and expertise.’

‘Without doubt, Wales’ leading set in the field of personal injury.’

Social housing

At Civitas Law, is 'able to assist with representation in this area in which there is a limited number of counsel'. Rachel Anthony is the name to note when it comes to social housing matters. In one of her recent instructions, she represented a tenant in what is thought to be the first case in Wales relating to COVID-19 guidance, obtaining a mandatory injunction against a local authority in respect of homelessness obligations.

Leading Juniors

Rachel Anthony - Civitas LawShe continues to break new ground in Welsh housing law.
Ranked: Tier 1

Civitas Law is an award-winning, leading specialist civil and public law barristers’ chambers serving clients across Wales and England. It believes clients are best served by a set of highly specialist lawyers offering excellence and innovation in advisory work, drafting, mediation and advocacy. With the support of its dedicated, experienced and highly responsive clerks and client support teams, barristers are able to provide a full range of counsel services in personal injuries and clinical negligence; employment; public, planning and regulatory; chancery, business, consumer; and ADR matters. The wide range of experience within each group allows the set to work successfully with clients from small-track cases to a complex appeal. The set continues to develop its reputation by attracting the best of the Bar and aims to provide a cutting-edge service while maintaining traditions of independence and integrity. Civitas Law is a Law Society-accredited course provider and regularly hosts CPD training, seminars and conferences, either in-house, at clients’ offices or in collaboration with sector organisations.

The set: Civitas Law puts itself at the heart of the evolution and development of legal services, the civil and public law process and the communities in which it and its clients operate in. Working closely with clients and understanding their legal and business needs has allowed chambers to create valuable client benefits that add to its pure counsel capacity.

Its professional standards and advice are supported by a first-class client care team and service-oriented approach to help deliver and support clients beyond all expectations. The provision of providing clear legal advice which is easily understood by the set’s lay clients is a founding principle of Civitas Law, established in 2008 as Wales’ first focused civil and public law set. The set works closely with its professional clients to ensure that chambers’ services are tailored to their unique requirements and business objectives.

Among its 21 members are barristers who write or contribute to leading practitioner texts and publications, act as mediators and arbitrators and are appointed as Treasury Counsel, to the Attorney General’s Panel and as counsel to the Welsh Government and National Assembly for Wales.

Civitas Law has set for itself the highest standards in the delivery of services to its clients; that of excellence. The set aims to be professional and approachable and to provide legal advice which is clear and easily understood by lay clients.

Types of work undertaken: The personal injury and clinical negligence division consists of more than 15 specialist practitioners at all levels of experience acting for claimants and defendants, including major trade union and insurance clients, central, local and the Welsh Assembly Government and NHS trusts. The group has specialists in occupational deafness and disease work and in injuries of maximum severity.

Chancery practitioners specialise in all aspects of probate, inheritance and property disputes, including extensive advisory work.

Practitioners in the employment division specialise in all aspects of employment law, ranging from basic unfair dismissal claims to the more complex discrimination and equal pay and breach of contract claims.

The public law and regulatory division brings together practitioners from public and administrative law, civil aspects of public authority work and criminal enforcement, reflecting patterns of change in local government. It serves the requirements of public bodies of all descriptions and provides appropriate specialist knowledge tailored to the individual issues. From advisory work, inquiries and court appearances at all levels to judicial review, regular instructions cover the breadth of public law and include health and safety, trades descriptions, care standards, food hygiene and licensing.

In addition individual members practise extensively in town and country planning and environmental work.

The dispute resolution division provides expert and experienced mediation, arbitration and adjudication services in civil and commercial disputes.

Department Name Email Telephone
Chambers director Peter Keen
Senior clerk Andrea McLean
Clerks Alyson Hartington Clark
Fees Clerk Deborah Tully
Members of Chambers WIILLIAMS QC, Sir Wyn (1974)*
Members of Chambers THOMAS, Bryan (1978)
Members of Chambers JONES, Nicholas D (1987)
Members of Chambers COOMBES DAVIES, Mair (1988)*
Members of Chambers KING, Lucy (1992)
Members of Chambers VINES, Anthony (1993)
Members of Chambers MARSHALL, Elizabeth (1995)
Members of Chambers HOWELLS, Christopher (1999)
Members of Chambers WILLIAMS, Joanne (1999)
Members of Chambers ANTHONY, Rachel (2000)
Members of Chambers COLE, Richard (2000)
Members of Chambers PAUL, Matthew (2000)
Members of Chambers HUGHES, Simon (2003)
Members of Chambers THOMAS-SYMONDS MP, Nicklaus (2004)*
Members of Chambers BAYOUMI, Mona (2004)
Members of Chambers HILLIER, Victoria (2005)
Members of Chambers MANSELL, Rebecca (2005)
Members of Chambers DYSON, Dan (2007)
Members of Chambers GRUBB, Cathrine (2007)
Members of Chambers PARKER, Kate (2010)
Members of Chambers JAMES, Owain Rhys (2011)
Members of Chambers REES, William (2012)*
Member of Chambers MEIKLE, Ian (2013)
Member of Chambers WILLIAMS, Alys (2016)
Members of Chambers EVANS, Dominic (2016)
*Door tenant
Photo Name Position Profile
 Mona Bayoumi  photo Mona Bayoumi Mona’s practice is extensively based within the public, planning and regulatory and…
 Richard Cole  photo Richard Cole Richard is instructed by the Force Solicitors of the police forces across…
 Mair Coombes Davies  photo Mair Coombes Davies Mair specialises in dispute resolution. She has conducted many hundreds of separate…
 Dan Dyson  photo Dan Dyson Dan specialises in commercial and property litigation.  His practice features business disputes…
 Cathrine Grubb  photo Cathrine Grubb Barrister specialising in chancery, commercial and public law. Cathrine also accepts instrucion…
 Victoria Hillier  photo Victoria Hillier Victoria is ranked in the Legal 500 2011 and 2012 directory for…
 Christopher Howells  photo Christopher Howells Chris is ranked as a Chambers UK Guide ‘Leader in their field’…
 Simon Hughes  photo Simon Hughes Simon practices in the field of personal injury law. He appears in…
 Owain James  photo Owain James Owain has a busy advocacy and advisory practice across all of chambers’…
 Nicholas Jones  photo Nicholas Jones Nick acts on behalf of claimants and defendants (including central government and…
 Kate Parker  photo Kate Parker Kate has a specialist chancery and commercial practice with a particular focus…
 Matthew Paul  photo Matthew Paul Matthew Graham Paul practices within Civitas Law’s public, planning and regulatory group.…
 William Rees  photo William Rees Will practices in the areas of commercial, public law, construction law and…
 Bryan Thomas  photo Bryan Thomas Bryan is a Chambers UK Bar Guide and Legal 500 ‘Tier 1’…
 Anthony Vines  photo Anthony Vines Anthony has an extensive practice and is a member of the Public,…
 Graham Walters  photo Graham Walters Practice is essentially concerned with property, planning and public and administrative law.…
 Joanne Williams  photo Joanne Williams Joanne is recommended as leading counsel for personal injury and employment law…
English (fluent)