Set Profile > St John's Chambers > Bristol, England

Chambers of Susan Hunter
St John's Chambers
101 VICTORIA STREET
BRISTOL
BS1 6PU
England

Agriculture Tier 1

St John's Chambers is home to several experienced agricultural practitioners with practices that include property litigation, trusts and estates, and tenancy disputes. One particular case of note is Habberfield v Habberfield, a Court of Appeal case centering around the initial decision to order compensation of a farmer's daughter who had been promised her parent's farm; Leslie Blohm QC led Christopher Jones to successfully defeat the appeal brought by the surviving parent. Alex Troup is another key figure within the team, with recent cases involving contentious probate, proprietary estoppel, and family disputes concerning the sale of farmland.

Leading Silks

Leslie Blohm QC - St John's ChambersIntelligent, able in court, and great with clients in conference.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors

Christopher Jones - St John's ChambersA quick thinker and talented advocate who is good both on his feet and with clients.
Ranked: Tier 1
Alex Troup - St John's ChambersExtremely pragmatic, knowledgeable and persuasive: he speaks with great authority whether before clients, opponents or the judiciary
Ranked: Tier 1

Chancery, probate, and tax Tier 1

St John's Chambers houses one of the premier Chancery teams on the western circuit, with a collection of 'expert, approachable, and down to earth' barristers who 'offer London expertise at regional rates'. At the top end of the team, Leslie Blohm QC is involved in some of the most complex and high-value trusts and probate matters in the region, such as Sofer v Swiss Independent Trustees Ltd., in which he led Alex Troup on behalf of a beneficiary in a £9m claim for breach of trust. Other notable members of the team include Charles Auld, whose recent work has included contentious probate and charitable trusts, and Natasha Dzameh, who is recommended for multi-claim and multi-party estates matters. At the junior end, Joss Knight is emerging as one to watch in this space, with a strong track record in matters concerning the removal of executors.

Rising stars

Joss Knight - St John's ChambersA strong advocate who gets to the heart of a problem and provides sound, clear advice.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks

Leslie Blohm QC - St John's ChambersExtrremely authoritative, commanding respect from all parties, but with a deft touch that clients appreciate.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors

Charles Auld - St John's ChambersA formidable advocate at court who is always aware of the commercial realities of a case.
Ranked: Tier 1

John Dickinson  -St John's ChambersHas great attention to detail and gives clear, pragmatic advice.

Ranked: Tier 1
Natasha Dzameh - St John's ChambersHer strong legal analysis and keen eye for detail allow her to offer concise and pragmatic advice.
Ranked: Tier 1
Christopher Jones - St John's ChambersA quick thinker who is both very good on his feet and with clients.
Ranked: Tier 1
Charlie Newington-Bridges - St John's ChambersA clear thinking, positive and precise barrister whose advice is accessible and practical.
Ranked: Tier 1
Alex Troup - St John's ChambersCombines very good technical knowledge on contentious probate matters and excellent client skills with persuasive and authoritative advocacy.
Ranked: Tier 1
Adam Boyle - St John's ChambersVery approachable and good to work with, and provides sound advice that leaves no stone unturned.
Ranked: Tier 2
Oliver Wooding - St John's ChambersClear and concise with his advice and drafting, with an imaginative yet practical approach to cases.
Ranked: Tier 2

Clinical negligence Tier 1

St John's Chambers is one of strongest sets in the Western circuit for clinical negligence work, with a range of junior counsel covering both claimant and defendant matters. Vanessa McKinlay is a key practitioner, with recent cases including a £1m cauda equina case on behalf of the claimant, and a successful defence of a £2m claim on appeal, in which McKinlay acted as a led junior. For dental negligence cases, rising star Robert Mills is highly recommended despite his junior call date, while continuing to build a substantial practice in general clinical negligence matters. Justin Valentine undertakes a substantial amount of birth injury and neonatal work, and recently acted for a claimant who suffered Erb's palsy at birth in 1998, in a case which centered on the differing standards for a negligent application of force compared to current practice.

Rising stars

Marcus Coates-Walker - St John's ChambersCalm under pressure with a level of knowledge and grasp of technical issues well beyond his years' call.
Ranked: Tier 1
Robert Mills - St John's ChambersWise beyond his call, incredibly practical and pragmatic, and a strong tactician.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors

Tim Grice - St John's ChambersQuick, thorough and practical in his written advice and a powerful advocate in court.
Ranked: Tier 1
Tom Leeper - St John's ChambersExtremely thorough, with an advocacy style that commands respect from the Bench and instils confidence in clients.
Ranked: Tier 1
Vanessa McKinlay - St John's ChambersHer medical background allows her to really drill down into the issues of a case, particularly in relation to causation disputes.
Ranked: Tier 1
Justin Valentine - St John's ChambersForensic in his investigation of the key issues in a case, with an in-depth knowledge of his brief.
Ranked: Tier 1
Emma Zeb - St John's ChambersAlways well-prepared, very good with clients in conference and an impressive advocate.
Ranked: Tier 1
James Marwick - St John's ChambersFocused and unflappable, offering high quality advocacy and pragmatic advice.
Ranked: Tier 2
David Regan - St John's ChambersA very thoughtful advocate who is well liked by clients.
Ranked: Tier 2

Commercial litigation Tier 1

St John's Chambers remains one of the strongest commercial forces in the western circuit, with 'a good range of Barristers to cover most matters and levels of experience'. Senior counsel, such as Leslie Blohm QC, handle complex matters involving breaches of contract, fraudulent misrepresentation, and arbitration, including High Court appeals of arbitral awards. Senior junior Richard Stead is also highly recommended, with a practice that focuses primarily on construction-adjacent matters such as disputes over the installation and manufacture of industrial equipment and amenities. The set is also home to Nicholas Pointon, who has a substantial offshore practice, both as an advisor and as an advocate in parallel English law proceedings for offshore cases, with a particular focus on Jersey.

Leading Silks

Leslie Blohm QC - St John's ChambersHis unflappable manner reassures both solicitor and client and his delivery in Court is always considered, measured and compelling.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors

Christopher Jones - St John's ChambersAn extremely accomplished advocate who is robust and straight-talking with his advice.
Ranked: Tier 1
Charlie Newington-Bridges - St John's ChambersCommercially astute, hard-working, and very responsive.
Ranked: Tier 1
James Pearce-Smith - St John's ChambersCuts to the heart of a case and addresses the true issues, with a level of legal knowledge that instils confidence in his clients.
Ranked: Tier 1
Richard Stead - St John's ChambersA consummate advocate who is able to perfectly judge the right approach and always has the ear of the court.
Ranked: Tier 1
John Dickinson - St John's ChambersOne of the best barristers I know for client service – he is very reliable and gives very through, well thought out opinions. He has a fantastic eye for detail.
Ranked: Tier 2
Natasha Dzameh - St John's ChambersNatasha is very responsive, extremely thorough, pragmatic and easy to work with as part of the team. She is an assertive and tenacious advocate.
Ranked: Tier 2
Matthew O'Regan - St John's ChambersCombines an in-depth understanding of competition law with a hugely pragmatic and commercial approach to cases.
Ranked: Tier 2
Nicholas Pointon - St John's ChambersHighly diligent, responsive, and reliable, with an excellent grasp of the details of a case.
Ranked: Tier 2

Court of Protection and community care Tier 1

Members at St John's Chambers have worked on a number of interesting cases with patients affected by a range of issues, including vascular dementia, paranoid schizophrenia, and brain injuries caused either through personal injury or medical negligence. The 'approachable' Alex Troup, who 'has a strong presence which asserts itself when needed', predominantly focuses on property and affairs disputes. Abigail Bond represents parties in health and welfare cases and is a fee-paid judge of the First-tier Tribunal (Mental Health jurisdiction). A 'good advocate' with a 'very sound understanding of law', Oliver Wooding is also recommended.

Leading Juniors

Abigail Bond - St John's ChambersVery patient and great empathy with disadvantaged adults.
Ranked: Tier 1
Alex Troup - St John's ChambersExtremely pragmatic, knowledgeable and persuasive: he speaks with great authority whether before clients, opponents or the judiciary. Clients love his down to earth manner, novel problem solving and capacity to spot flaws in an opponents position. A silk in the making.
Ranked: Tier 1
Oliver Wooding - St John's ChambersStrengths: exceptionally easy to work with; extremely approachable; no nonsense approach to claims.
Ranked: Tier 1

Inquests and inquiries Tier 1

Emma Zeb heads St John's Chambers' inquests department, representing public bodies such as prisons and local health boards in inquests. She acted in Re Conner Marshall for the private contractor to the probation service in an inquest into the management of an offender who committed a high-profile murder. David Regan and Tom Leeper both sit as deputy coroners, with Regan acting in complex multi-party inquests on clinical negligence, deaths in custody and the workplace and motorway collisions. Leeper acts for bereaved parties in inquests which often focus on mental health provision. Matthew White frequently undertakes Article 2 inquests and Human Rights Act claims.

Rising stars

Marcus Coates-Walker - St John's ChambersHe is great on his feet and his thoughtful approach endears him to coroners and other IPs alike. Lay clients love him. His sensitive manner really shines through, and sets him apart from others with the same call and beyond.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors

Tom Leeper - St John's ChambersHe has a cautious and well balanced approach and never misses any facts or information.
Ranked: Tier 1
David Regan - St John's ChambersHe has an excellent manner with clients in the most sensitive and emotive cases.
Ranked: Tier 1
Rachel Russell - St John's ChambersVery experienced across a range of inquest matters.
Ranked: Tier 1
Matthew White - St John's ChambersHe is a standout counsel.
Ranked: Tier 1
Emma Zeb - St John's ChambersEmma is very organised and sharp and always knows her papers very well. She is excellent with witnesses. She is also very approachable and happy to be available at all stages to talk matters through.
Ranked: Tier 1

Personal injury Tier 1

Led by the 'impressive' Emma Zeb, the personal injury team at St John's Chambers is home to a number of notable barristers. The 'dependable' Andrew Mclaughlin was recently instructed in a case that settled for the highest ever periodical payments order (PPO): £950,000 per annum, plus a lump sum of £3.1m. Ben Handy is 'excellent to work with' according to one client and has acted in several seven-figure injury claims in the past year. Matthew White is 'exceptionally user-friendly' and advises on and litigates all areas of personal injury work with particular interests in highway claims, occupational illness litigation, pain conditions, and accidents at work.

Leading Silks

Christopher Sharp QC - St John's ChambersUnparalleled forensic analysis of deeply complex issues, combined with practical common sense.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors

Andrew McLaughlin - St John's ChambersSuperb advocate, very good in Court. Also provides clear and concise advice which gets to the heart of a case without dwelling on peripheral issues. Very good manner with clients, relatable and engaging.
Ranked: Tier 1
Richard Stead - St John's ChambersRichard is very user friendly and always provides sound, measured advice. He is an experienced and first-rate advocate.
Ranked: Tier 1
Matthew White - St John's ChambersMatthew is exceptionally user friendly with me and my clients, always has time to answer my queries and can turn his mind to the most complicated of cases/issues with speed and enthusiasm. His knowledge of the law and his forensic approach always serves him well.
Ranked: Tier 1
Emma Zeb - St John's ChambersEmma is always very well prepared and is a fierce advocate in Court. Her written advice is comprehensive and always provided in a timely manner.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ben Handy - St John's ChambersQuick to get to the crux of the issue, mindful of the bigger picture, provides pragmatic advice, adds significant value to the cases they work on and excellent to work with.
Ranked: Tier 2
James Marwick - St John's ChambersJames is an excellent advocate. He is analytical, pays great attention to detail and provides stellar advice. He is ultra client focused.
Ranked: Tier 2
Darren Lewis - St John's ChambersDarren is an excellent advocate. He responds promptly to written instructions and is well organised. In court, he has a calm but effective approach. He is able to adapt the degree of intensity required on any given case. He communicates well with clients and in my own experience has a proven successful track record at trial.
Ranked: Tier 3

Professional negligence Tier 1

With 'good strength in depth', St John's Chambers has an impressive team acting in professional negligence cases. Praised for his 'impressive attention to detail', John Dickinson is 'very smart and very responsive' and receives a steady stream of mostly claimant work stemming from alleged negligence in probate, trust, and commercial matters. James Pearce-smith regularly represents clients in a broad range of claims against solicitors, surveyors, architects, and other professionals, and has also been instructed to represent defendants. James Marwick is regularly instructed in relation to claims arising out of solicitor negligence. He successfully defended a firm of solicitors who were alleged to have been negligent in their conduct of a fundamentally dishonest personal injury claim. A rising star in the field, Joss Knight was recently successful in the mediation of a high-value dispute against solicitors who negligently drafted a share-purchase agreement and successfully obtained a strike-out in the High Court of a claim against a professional executor alleging breach of duty, breach of trust, devastavit, overcharging, and negligence.

Rising stars

Joss Knight - St John's ChambersVery thorough and commercially minded.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors

John Dickinson - St John's ChambersOutstanding grasp of complex matters, excellent quality of written pleadings, highly responsive to client requests, personable.
Ranked: Tier 1

James Marwick - St John's Chambers ‘James is an excellent advocate and very client focused.

Ranked: Tier 1
James Pearce-Smith - St John's ChambersVery capable and able to dig out of the mire the true issues to address.
Ranked: Tier 1

Property and construction Tier 1

St John's Chambers members appear in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, as well as the new Property and Business Courts in Bristol. Leslie Blohm QC acted for the respondents in Toms v Rubery, a forfeiture action against a public house, and Haddock v Churston Golf Club, on whether a burdensome obligation is compulsory. Charles Auld ran a successful appeal against the Church of England's claim to adverse possession of a burial vault. John Sharples appeared in a case on an informal alteration of boundaries and rights of way. Christopher Jones handles litigation and landlord and tenant disputes, with expertise in agricultural issues. Rebecca Taylor has wide experience of construction disputes.

Leading Silks

Leslie Blohm QC - St John's ChambersHe is a first-class silk.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors

Charles Auld - St John's ChambersCharles is very, very knowledgeable and drills down into the detail. He has vast experience in this area. Good at strategic practical solutions that are commercially sensible. Clients trust him. He exudes authority.
Ranked: Tier 1
Christopher Jones - St John's ChambersA clinical, first-class advocate.
Ranked: Tier 1
John Sharples - St John's ChambersQuality of advice and down to earth people skills; John is without a doubt one of the leading property litigation counsel in the country, who just happens to be based in Bristol.
Ranked: Tier 1
Rebecca Taylor - St John's ChambersRebecca is technically very able but also gives practical advice in terms of different approaches and strategies in a dispute. Her commerciality has found favour with clients. She is very measured and organised and you always feel in safe hands with Rebecca.
Ranked: Tier 1
Natasha Dzameh - St John's ChambersAn excellent and compelling advocate. Natasha is insightful, personable and very intelligent.
Ranked: Tier 2
Alex Troup - St John's ChambersHe has great soft skills which mean not only do the solicitors love to use him the clients do, too.
Ranked: Tier 2
Oliver Wooding - St John's ChambersVery sound understanding of law and is good advocate; very friendly, realistic in his advice and good service.
Ranked: Tier 2

Company and insolvency Tier 2

'A great set to work with as they put the needs of instructing solicitors first', St John's Chambers has noticed a significant increase in the volume of both debt recovery actions and shareholder disputes over the past year. Advice on joint venture agreements, breach of warranty claims, company structures, breaches of fiduciary duty claims, and share purchase/sale agreements also feature in recent instructions, along with unfair prejudice petitions and the enforcement of restrictive covenants. Former solicitor James Pearce-smith has a particular focus on shareholder/director disputes and claims under share purchase agreements. Meanwhile, former investment banker Charlie Newington-bridges is in particular demand for unfair prejudice petitions and related work.

Leading Juniors

Charlie Newington-Bridges - St John's ChambersCommercially astute. Hard working. Very responsive and easy to work with.
Ranked: Tier 1
James Pearce-Smith - St John's ChambersVery capable and able to dig out of the mire the true issues to address. Instils confidence in the clients that he knows what he is talking about and is very much on their side.
Ranked: Tier 1

Costs

St John's Chambers has a well-established costs team in the region, with leading personal injury barristers advising on costs and funding issues. Described as the 'go-to' for costs in the South West region by one client, Darren Lewis is a key member of the set, along with the 'reliable' James Marwick. In AS v Wirral NHS Trust, Marwick recently successfully acted for the claimant on appeal in overturning a decision to disallow any success fee.

Leading Juniors

Darren Lewis - St John's ChambersThe go-to in the South West on costs issues. Down to earth, commanding presence in court.
Ranked: Tier 1
James Marwick - St John's ChambersJames provides reliable and clear advice, which takes into consideration the client's needs. He has an eye for detail often overlooked by other members of the bar. What may seem innocuous to others can be crucial to a case and he has the knack of applying perfect weight to the issues which allows him to rescue even the most dire cases.
Ranked: Tier 1

Family and children law

St John's Chambers is home to a large team of family barristers specialising in high-profile public and private family matters on the Western Circuit. Abigail Bond heads the children law team and specialises in care proceedings, while Zoe Saunders heads the family finance team, covering heavyweight financial remedy cases involving multiple properties, trusts of land, and farms. Andrew Commins is noted for his expertise in family finance matters; Christopher Sharp QC focuses on child care cases involving extreme abuse and injury; and the head of chambers on the Western Circuit, Susan Hunter, is an 'excellent advocate' who appears on behalf of parents, guardians, local authorities and state institutions.

Rising stars

Asha Groves - St John's ChambersVery prepared, willing to go the extra mile to reach a conclusion for the client, persistent, a confident advocate. Asha has a lovely manner with clients and explains things very clearly throughout the hearing.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks: Child Law (Public and Private)

Christopher Sharp QC - St John's ChambersAn outstanding advocate with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and infallible judgement.
Ranked: Tier 1
Kathryn Skellorn QC - St John's ChambersHer preparation, drafting and advocacy is of an extremely high standard.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks: Divorce and Financial Remedy

Christopher Sharp QC - St John's ChambersAn outstanding advocate with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and infallible judgement.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors: Child Law (Public and Private)

Abigail Bond - St John's ChambersVery patient and great empathy with clients with learning disabilities and disadvantaged adults.
Ranked: Tier 1
Judi Evans - St John's ChambersHighly knowledgeable, excellent with clients and a formidable advocate.
Ranked: Tier 1
Susan Hunter - St John's ChambersSusan has a depth of experience that is difficult to match and I cannot think of a case that would be beyond the skill, expertise and knowledge held. Alongside that, her manner with clients is straightforward and clear and balances straight talking with compassion and care for the very difficult situations they are in.
Ranked: Tier 1

Caroline Elford -St John's ChambersRecommended for complex care cases.

Ranked: Tier 2
Lucy Reed - St John's ChambersMs Reed is extremely dedicated to her work. She is extremely knowledgeable and has great attention to detail. Ms Reed works very hard to try to get the best outcome for the clients and she ensures she is fully appraised with the law in the area and all options available to the client. Ms Reed is also very good with clients and is sensitive to their needs.
Ranked: Tier 2
Olivia Pike - St John's ChambersAttention to detail. Clear analytical skills. Strong advocacy skills.
Ranked: Tier 4

Leading Juniors: Divorce and Financial Remedy

Andrew Commins - St John's ChambersHard working and immaculately prepared - gives sensible and thoughtful advice and relates to clients well.
Ranked: Tier 1
Jody Atkinson - St John's ChambersWonderful - supportive and calm and capable and very bright. Always goes the extra mile with the client but will tell them when to stop.
Ranked: Tier 2
Nick Miller - St John's ChambersNick is an excellent communicator and gets to the nub of the issues very quickly. He is practical and explores every opportunity to secure a fair outcome for clients by negotiation but in the event that has not been possible he is a very skilled advocate in cross examination and submission.
Ranked: Tier 2
Richard Norman - St John's ChambersRichard is one of my go-to barristers. I find him easy to work with - he is very approachable, and has an excellent manner with clients. I think he is particularly good with cases where businesses are involved, and has an excellent grasp of technical issues.
Ranked: Tier 2
Zoe Saunders - St John's ChambersA fierce advocate, Zoe is undoubtedly very bright and has mastered well before most the art of paperless working. Her advice is clear and backed by both a sound understanding of the law and a ready appreciation of the client's predicament.
Ranked: Tier 2
Jack Harris - St John's ChambersGood on his feet and great with clients.
Ranked: Tier 3

Licensing

St John's ChambersRoy Light is highly active in licensing matters, acting for the trade as well as local authorities in relation to alcohol, taxi, and private hire vehicle licensing matters. Of recent note, Professor Light acted for an off-license, which had faced multiple previous reviews for serving alcohol to minors in a licensing review following an incident in which the shopkeeper assaulted a customer with a claw hammer and, in addition, weapons including a samurai sword were found behind the counter. Light secured the continuation of the licence.

Leading Juniors

Roy Light - St John's ChambersHis significant knowledge and practical approach to all licensing matters. Also his availability and promopt response to instructions, along with his excellent personable skills in dealing with a variety of individuals. Be that Responsible Authority Officers, lay persons or the court.
Ranked: Tier 1

Planning and environment

The 'very approachable and down to earth' Peter Wadsley of St John's Chambers 'always provides advice in a clear and concise format' for developers, local authorities, and third parties in planning matters. A former solicitor and head of the Public & Administrative Law Practice Group in chambers, his recent instructions of note include acting in cases involving wind turbine noise nuisance, caravan sites, and assets of community value.

Leading Juniors

Peter Wadsley - St John's ChambersPeter's strengths lie not only in his client management skills but also his holistic strategic advice at the outset of the case. He his skilled in the art of cross-examination and has a wealth of knowledge on case law.
Ranked: Tier 1

Set overviews: England and Wales

Bristol-based St John's Chambers has an excellent reputation for its expertise across a wide gamut of practice areas; personal injury, clinical negligence and private client litigation are recognised core strengths for the set, however the chambers also offers expertise in property, commercial, family, construction, employment and planning, to name a few. In recent chambers news, Stephanie Cope was appointed as a circuit judge on the Western Circuit, and Rachel Russell and David Regan were both appointed Recorders on the Western and Wales Circuits respectively.

Testimonials

Clerks:

A very efficient and in depth service. Luke Hodgson is extremely proficient and helpful at all times.

Adam and Hugh are fantastic clerks and always work hard to ensure barristers meet deadlines requested, even when these can be quite last minute.

Adam Marston is very helpful, sensible and experienced.

All the clerks do a good job but in particular, I think Elaine Jewell Moore is friendly, helpful and an excellent clerk.

An effective team, particularly Hugh Maguire who is always prompt, professional and incredibly helpful.

Brilliant – Annette is a true powerhouse, as is Derek and Adam is an up and coming star.

Clerking is outstanding – particularly Annette Bushell.

Clerks are efficient. I mainly deal with Paul Bennett who is always very responsive.

Clerks are helpful and approachable.

Clerks are quick to respond and helpful.

Adam Marston really stands out.

Clerks are responsive and commercially minded. Unlike some London chambers where you get the feeling you are being held to ransom, they will work with you.

Clerks are very efficient, especially Hugh Maguire. Team of clerks well managed by Annette Bushell.

Clerks are very friendly and have been keen to engage with me socially

Clerks in Chambers are excellent, reliable, always respond quickly, no miscommunications or delays in response- Hugh and Adam are the clerks I mainly deal with but there is always someone who can help – which is very reassuring.

Clerks really available and commercial. They make it easy to get hold of people. Rob Bocock, Paul Bennett, Elizabeth Champion and Simon Lyons all excellent.

Clerks’ room is commercially minded and the clerks ensure that it is easy to get hold of people. They are quick to respond. Everyone from the Practice manager down makes it their business to make it easy to use this set.

Elaine is lovely and helpful. Luke is very practice-focused and no nonsense.

Elaine Jewel is always there to help, and is always cheerful even in times of great stress.

Elaine Jewell-Moore in particular is fantastic. She is warm, friendly and accommodating.

The team is headed up by Derek Jenkins who is very well respected in Bristol.

Elaine Jewell-Moore is a particularly helpful clerk.

Elizabeth Champion is excellent- very responsive and good to work with.

Excellent clerking team. Friendly and helpful. Regularly deal with Rob, Simon, Elizabeth and Paul.

Excellent clerks. Great flexibility. Great support. Not a push over but open to fee negotiation. Luke Hodgson rules with an iron fist in a kid glove. Always approachable, always willing to help. Elaine Jewell-Moor also extremely helpful and goes the extra mile.

Good, often speak to Hugh Maguire who is always helpful and on the ball/aware of what you are talking about!

Hugh Maguire and Adam Marston are excellent. The clerks are friendly, helpful, and provide a very good service.

Hugh Maguire and Adam Martson are very easy to work with

Hugh Maguire clerks Rob and he has always been very approachable.

Hugh Maguire is brilliant. Gets to know the cases so he can get what I need and fast.

I find the Clerks at St Johns to be competent and polite.

I have dealt with Simon Lyons and Paul Bennett in the main – I have found them both to be very friendly and efficient.

In my experience, the service has always been very good.

Lizzie Champion and Rob Bocock are the clerks i deal with. They are most knowledgeable and always provide a first rate service – no job is too small or too much trouble.

Luke Hodgson in particular, is very approachable and goes above and beyond to try to accommodate changes in the listing of hearings, and access to the barristers of choice.

Luke is amazing as a clerk, he is intuitive and gets things done efficiently. Elaine is equally adept at managing expectations and working magic to get the right barristers available for the right clients.

Matthew to a degree does his own clerking-probably due to his solicitor background. Unlike some counsel, he does not have an “ivory tower” attitude.

Most of my dealings have been with the Practice Team Leader Paul Bennett who I find very helpful. Enquiries are always dealt with promptly.

Paul Bennett and Rob Bocock are always on hand to answer queries and pick up instructions. The clerking team as a whole works well together so there is a seamless service even if a particular clerk is unavailable.

Paul Bennett is a fantastic asset to their clerking team. He is helpful and friendly and makes everything run more smoothly.

Paul Bennett is my go to clerk at St John’s. He always responds and will try to accommodate requests as regards fees.

Paul Bennett, Rob Bocock and Simon Lyons are all extremely responsive, sensible and pragmatic.

Please see above. Annette Bushell is always particularly helpful and approachable.

Rob Bocock and Paul Bennett are excellent and are more prone to pick up the phone to discuss requirements than email which is the default of most other chambers

Rob Bocock has been a long-standing and particularly helpful clerk.

Robert Bocock is fantastic. Paul Bennett is an excellent Clerk.

Simon Lyons and Rob Bocock are both very responsive and easy to get hold of.

Simon Lyons and Rob Bocock are nothing short of brilliant when it comes to service. They are both responsive and really do their best for you.

Simon Lyons is an exceptional clerk who should take credit for many of the solicitor / counsel relationships. Understanding in his approach and not afraid to tackle difficult conversations when necessary.

Simon Lyons. Good clerk. Always friendly and happy to help reliable

Special mention to Luke and Elaine for their client service and always helpful, problem solving approach.

St John’s have a great clerking team which make it easy to arrange cons and get instructions to Counsel. They are happy to work electronically, which is essential nowadays.

St John’s is a modern set with very good reliable clerking. Calls and emails are always dealt with promptly.

The Chancery Clerks are available when needed as well as being friendly and professional. They are very responsive and quick to provide fee estimates; accurate when doing so.

The clerk service is excellent. If your preferred counsel is not available they will move work around or ensure that you are informed if there are prospects of cover. Annette Bushell and Adam Marston stand out.

The clerking at St.John’s has always been very good. In particular Paul Bennett is always extremely helpful and responds to enquiries quickly.

The clerking is good with the team led by the ever excellent Derek Jenkins.

The clerking staff are always happy to assist and provide a very good service.

The clerking team is excellent, very efficient and very friendly.

The clerking team is great and makes securing counsel an easy process – clear transparency on fees.

The clerks are all helpful and approachable. They respond quickly and are proactive in resolving any issues that arise. For the most part I have dealt with Annette Bushell for many years and Adam Marston more recently and I find them both charming and helpful.

The clerks are always friendly and able to assist with enquiries. I have contact with Simon Lyons and Paul Bennett – both of whom are professional and friendly and quick to turn around enquiries and information when required.

The clerks are always helpful and able to keep you informed of any difficulties and provide alternatives when other cases unexpectedly run over.

The Clerks are always helpful. They are friendly and in my opinion this sets them apart from many other sets.

The clerks are always very friendly and helpful; again they are an essential part of the excellent service delivered by this set of Chambers

The clerks are efficient and helpful

The clerks are excellent and always try to accommodate my needs, no matter how demanding I appear. Annette and Adam stand out amongst a very good group of clerks.

The clerks are excellent. In particular, Marcus was meant to do a conference with me on one of my cases. He was in a trial in the week before and his clerk contacted me to inform me that the trial was likely to overrun and if it did so it would affect the conference. However if this did happen they would try and rearrange as soon as possible. This gave me the opportunity to prepare my experts and client rather than things being done last minute. In the end his trial did overrun but we were all prepared for this and the clerk (Hugh Maguire) went out of his way to rearrange asap.

The clerks are excellent. They are very quick to respond and offer various options in terms of cost and seniority of counsel. I deal predominantly with Paul Bennett who is completely on the ball.

The clerks are exceptional. Very helpful and flexible on brief fees and respond to emails promptly.

The Clerks are extremely helpful and friendly in their approach.

The clerks are very helpful and do their upmost to accommodate any request.

The Clerks are very helpful and quick to respond.

The clerks at St John’s Chambers are exceptional and you could not ask them to be more helpful and accommodating. They will always find a barrister for the case even at short notice and are very happy to chat through a case and recommend the best barrister for the claim. I particularly highly regard Hugh, Adam and Annette who are the clinical negligence clerks and who are always willing to help and they provide a first rate service.

The clerks have always provided a professional service.

The clerks on the care side of the team work well and are efficient and helpful.

The clerks room is superbe, offering a swift and proactive service. I am particularly impressed by Paul Bennett.

The clerks run the team well, are in control of all diaries and try their best to accommodate tight deadlines. In particular, Hugh Maguire has been exceptionally helpful and diligent when providing short-notice assistance and is quick to offer solutions.

The clerks work hard to support counsel. They respond promptly and are extremely well organised. This enables a fluent working relationship.

The clerksroom are extremely responsive and nothing is ever too much trouble. Annette Bushell leads the clinical negligence team strongly and the clerks Adam and Hugh really understand the issues in the cases and are keen to help to ensure cases progress smoothly.

The PI clerks are universally excellent and helpful. If not available on the telephone they will return messages promptly.

The PI clerks have real strength in depth with my two main contacts being Hugh Maguire and Adam Marston. Both are unflappable and always available.

The team at St John’s is very effective and always available to assist wherever required.

Their clerks are great. Get on really well with them.

We have had many dealing with Paul Bennett and Rob Bocock, both have been exceptionally helpful and well organised.

We have had many dealings with Paul Bennett and Rob Bocock, both have been exceptionally helpful and well organised.

You always get a first-class service from the St John’s Chambers team – and , importantly, at realistic and proportionate prices .

Set:

A good local set with a well deserved reputation for clinical negligence due to its longstanding contribution in this area. As a rule, the barristers are all affable yet highly professional and take their work very seriously whatever the case. They offer an impressive array of training events for local lawyers and are the ‘go to’ for many lawyers in the South West.

A sound local set, useful in providing cover for Inquests and matters of moderate to mid range value.

A strong set with excellent practitioners covering a wider range of areas

A very good set particularly in property, land nuisance and regulatory work. The barristers are always prepared to travel and look at things on the ground with the client.

A very professional, efficient and amicable set. Clerks are excellent and willing to go that extra step to help.

A very professional, efficient and amicable set. The Clerks are excellent and willing to go above and beyond.

Always a good service

Always helpful and swift to reply to queries.

Always very happy with chambers. High quality barristers across the spectrum of contentious probate.

Andrew is the only barrister from this set with whom I do any meaningful volumes of work.

Availability is good and generally good quality of work.

Chambers are very efficient. I can usually secure counsel for both advices and hearings. Chambers offer numerous training facilities and have also supported our own client training sessions including mock trials and general training updates.

Counsel and his clerk are always helpful and available to pick up urhent matters as and when needed.

Excellent depth in this area, if counsel not available an excellent alternative can always be offered

Excellent on financial remedy and children.

Excellent set of chambers. Good quality throughout

Excellent set with great clerks.

Fantastic chambers across the board. Some excellent Juniors and fantastic senior Counsel. All incredibly down to earth and obliging. Very user friendly. A great bunch.

Formidably strong local set. London set service, but just around the corner from the office. Have come to the fore with assistance during Covid-19 lockdown. Everyone sings from the same hymn sheet and understand each others specialities.

From Leslie Blohm QC downwards, the agricultural team know their stuff and are committed to the sector. This includes travelling some distance to give talks and provide assistance and training to organisations such as the regional groups of the Agricultural Law Association, and regional law societies.

Good quality training programmes and Counsel (particularly Rob Mills and Marcus Coates-Walker) have been willing on many occasions to come to our firm and provide bespoke training.

Good range of counsel at all levels to cover hearings where counsel is not available

Good set with good reputation for chancery work. Oliver Wooding and Alex Troup are standout performers. There are a number of weak barristers there which water down the set somewhat.

Good set. I also work with Rob Mills who is an excellent barrister.

Good strength in depth and excellent clerking.

Great set for several areas of work with newer barristers, such as Charlie Newington Bridges rapidly gaining a strong reputation.

I find St John’s Chambers to be very easy to work with. The wide range of barristers means I am able to instruct someone with appropriate experience, even at short notice. I have attended a number of useful training sessions run by or in conjunction with the Chambers both in house and at conferences.

I have instructed St Johns Chambers since I was a trainee. Since then I have instructed them without fail. Annette Bushell is fantastic and Derek is lovely. If I need a advice on something particularly specialist there is always someone available. James Marwick for medical negligence and personal injury Andrew McLaughlin for personal injury and Emma Zeb for medical negligence, They are first on my list for training programmes and their affiliation with Headway. Availability is never an issue, I have spoken with counsel and for this example Mr Valentine during the evenings, weekends, holidays. Always on hand to advise.

I have never experienced any issues with instructing Counsel. The Clerks are always readily willing to recommend alternative suitable counsel in the event of unavailability.

I have been to a number of conferences run by Legal Networks Wales in which barristers from St Johns have spoken. They have been very helpful and informative in keeping up to date with case law and changes in legislation.

I have used many Counsel from St John’s Chambers over the years. There is usually an array of Counsel I can choose from but to name a few – Andrew McLaughlin, James Marwick, Darren Lewis, Jimmy Barber, Patrick West, Ben Handy, Rachel Russell. They run training programmes regularly aimed at handling the most complex cases to courses designed on a breadth of topics for the more junior fee earners.

I have used St Johns for many years. The clerks are very helpful. If Miss Elford is not available,(always a first choice), then they assist with the matching of the client with an alternative barrister I have been on many of their training courses which have been helpful and informative.

I have worked with Chambers for over 10 years and have always found members and clerks to be excellent to work with. They have strength in depth we have an excellent working relationship with chambers.

I like the set as a whole, they run some excellent training throughout the year and are strong supporters of Bristol lawyers.

I strongly recommend St Johns Chambers. I instruct several members of Chambers on a regular basis and find that the quality of their work is every bit as high as with specialist London based Chambers, yet at a more competitive cost.

I use St John’s Chambers a great deal for all my clinical negligence cases, They have a large number of very competent and experienced clinical negligence barristers all of whom I trust and find are brilliant. They provide excellent training courses.

I very much like working with St John’s Chambers. I have instructed a number of their Barristers over the last 9 years. They have a good range of Barristers to cover most matters and levels of experience. They usually have someone suitable available, even at the last minute, and then also run helpful and informative training courses. They are my “go-to” set for Commercial and Chancery work.

In my view St John’s Chambers are the go to set in the South West. They provide London quality advice to our region on our doorstep. Vanessa McKinlay leads the ever expanding clinical negligence and PI team at St John’s. There are some very impressive Juniors coming up through the ranks who are extremely competent and engaging.

In my view they are the strongest chancery set in the southwest. The quality of their counsel as a whole is excellent compared to other chambers

Lots of talented barristers covering niche cases involving the Animals Act 1971 for example.

Luke is a very knowledgeable and experienced senior clerk who is a pleasure to deal with.

Set contains a number of well respected personal injury practitioners.

Several outstanding litigators in the Chancery and Property teams

SJC run seminars on topical issues that are well attended. On the planning front they have a decent number of planning barristers although my instructions are limited to practice leading Peter Wadsley.

Solid set of family law barristers from most senior to most junior. Excellent support and collaboration provided to their up and coming juniors.

They work hard to ensure availability.

St Johns are always highly efficient to work with, and keen to help. I find them honest and commercial.

St Johns Chambers are my preferred chambers for the specialist work that I carry out. They offer a good range of training and do their utmost to always accommodate any request of counsel’s opinion or appearance.

St Johns Chambers are one of the fore-front chambers offering counsel for Public Childcare. The clerks are particularly helpful and will go above and beyond to find cover for hearings at short notice.

St Johns Chambers, easy to speak with, helpful clerks, good availability, good training – will send videos of seminars & folders/info packs if cannot attend etc

St Johns do have strength in depth when it comes to property, from QC to junior level. That does make them the strongest set in the Western Circuit.

St Johns has a good reputation in the contentious probate area. They are approachable and accommodating and always willing to get involved in training seminars etc. I always attend their contentious probate seminars, which are always well delivered and have excellent content.

St Johns has a very good spread of family law barristers with a range of styles to suit most cases

St Johns has a very strong Chancery team and excellent clerks. Their barristers are expert, approachable, down to earth and offer London expertise at regional rates.

St Johns have a number of excellent barristers across different practice areas. I tend to instruct Zoe Saunders, Lucy Reed (Children Act matters) and Charles Auld (Chancery)

St Johns is a friendly and helpful chambers. Matthew White and Andrew Mclaughlin are stand out counsel for personal injury work.

St Johns is my set of choice in the south west and further a field if they can accomodate.

St Johns is the only chambers I will use in the South West. They have a large panel of suitably qualified barristers, whether the case is worth £1000 or £1M.

St Johns’ care team is excellent. They are highly sought after which means they are not always available.

St John’s are very well respected in Bristol and the South West, used by our team across our offices. They have a range of specialisms and have assisted in cases involving children, complex finances and unmarried couples.

St John’s Chambers are a regional set with a number of experienced Chancery barristers and mediators. They are well known and respected on the western circuit. Although a regional set, they have a wealth of experience on par with London sets.

St John’s Chambers are a well run, excellent set of Chambers who deliver London-quality work, whilst based in the South West.

St John’s Chambers are one of the best around. There is a good range of Counsel and their training seminars are informative.

St John’s Chambers Bristol is an excellent set of Chambers with great strength in depth across all areas of specialism. They provide regular first class training course at very reasonable cost.

St John’s Chambers commands the South West market with exceptional breadth in most practice areas. Some heavy weight senior counsel but a growing group of juniors means they are able to assist 9 times out of 10.

St John’s Chambers have a strong team of Chancery Court Barristers who collectively have a wide range of experience coupled with their impressive depth of knowledge.

St John’s Chambers is a high quality set of chambers with Counsel with a wide range of skills. They are very easy to work with. Helpful and friendly. They offer regular training seminars and useful information on legal developments. They will remain one of my “go-to” sets.

St John’s Chambers is my go-to chambers in Bristol for construction advice. They provide good training on a broad range of topics, including those relating to construction. The back office staff are very approachable and helpful.

St John’s Chambers is my go-to set of chambers in Bristol. They have a broad range of experience and also expertise which ensures that you can get a great match for you client from all walks of life

St John’s Chambers is one of the leading Clinical Negligence sets in Bristol. Vanessa McKinlay is frequently instructed in clinical negligence claims, particularly for client’s based in the South West.

St John’s Chambers is the go to set in the South West for Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury. They have invested a lot in building up a strong base of quality Juniors and Senior Juniors who bring London quality advice to the Western Circuit on our doorstep.

St John’s Chambers is the only set I would consider approaching outside of London for construction and engineering disputes. I attended a very good event on mediation organised by St John’s.

St John’s Chambers offers a high quality service, with high quality Counsel.

St John’s Chambers tend to have more of a PI focus than claimant clinical negligence, although I have used Rob Mills previously who I know has a good reputation for this work.

St John’s has a good broad range of talent. Excellent responsive clerking. Good value and excellent training offering.

St John’s has an excellent range of talent especially dealing with children matters. Generally they always have counsel available if booked in sufficient time. I’ve not had any experience with them in respect of finances yet.

St John’s is an excellent set backed by good clerks.

St John’s Chambers are the leading regional set outside of London in the South of England. The Chambers have a wide range of barristers who are each specialists in their work areas. They also provide excellent, informative seminars which are widely recognised and well attended in the practice area.

St John’s Chambers are the leading regional set outside of London, in the South of England. The Chambers have a wide range of barristers who are each specialists in their work areas. They also provide excellent, informative seminars which are widely recognised and well attended in the industry.

St John’s Chambers is a leading regional heavy-weight. I have never had any inclination to pay London prices when I can get the same level of expertise and quality of service for considerably less and far closer to home.

St. Johns are a good local set who have some very strong barristers.

St. John’s Chambers are a very strong set and are a definite go-to set in both Bristol and the west country generally. Some members in the Family team are published in relation to particular aspects of family proceedings also so that they have become authorities in relation to those aspects.

St. John’s is undoubtedly the best set for contentious trusts and probate in the region. They have a number of very good specialists.

Strongest set in Bristol and very competitive with London.

The absolute go-to set for chancery and commercial in the southwest.

The Chambers is always very prepared, organised and professional.

The go-to set for traditional chancery work, both in the South West and arguably nationally: they give London a run for their money: London quality, without London fees.

The set as a whole are great. Very corporate approach to BD and marketing and clerking, and this results in a very slick process for solicitors.

The set is building in strength through the very good juniors coming through; aided by the excellent clerking team.

The set is large and generally will have someone who can cover a hearing even at short notice.

The set is reliably excellent. As good as any London set and often much better.

Their clin neg set is the best in Bristol. There is someone for every type of case, all of whom are at the tope of their game and present stiff competition for the London sets.

There is definitely strength in depth in this Chambers. They provide excellent seminars and knowledge transfer events. They will often have several options in terms of counsel if instructions need advice at short notice.

They are an excellent set of chambers that provide a high quality service to their clients.

They are in my opinion by far the best set in Bristol. Their clerks are very efficient and they offer excellent training as well.

They are now putting out weekly webinars which are very good

They do provide a “London” service here in the West Country and are a well rounded set, providing superb general and specialist training to all levels of solicitors both junior and senior and are always available to provide a second “ear” for tricky tactical situations.

They have an excellent pool of juniors who are frequently available on short notice, I use Marcus Coates-Walker and Robert Mills frequently, and both provide very high quality advice.

They have excellence within their ranks so even if my chosen Barrister is unavailable for a hearing, I know that matters will be dealt with appropriately.

They have real heavyweights such as Leslie Blohm QC, who has years of experience and in the case I referred to above added value due to his knowledge of the inquest rules and also aspects of criminal law which featured in the case. The juniors in the set are proactive – Charlie Newington-Bridges stepped in to pick up a hearing due to unavailability and very quickly got up to speed and was a confident advocate despite being called in at short notice. Juniors such as Natasha and Annie Sampson are trained well by the other members of chambers.

V good set broad range of skills and depth.

Very positive views on set as a whole. Excellent clerking, with good recommendations as to suitability of particular barristers, good strength in depth, best I have come across to date in Bristol.

Very prompt in responding; and always polite and helpful.

 

Set overviews: England and Wales

Bristol-based St John's Chambers has an excellent reputation for its expertise across a wide gamut of practice areas; personal injury, clinical negligence and private client litigation are recognised core strengths for the set, however the chambers also offers expertise in property, commercial, family, construction, employment and planning, to name a few. In recent chambers news, Stephanie Cope was appointed as a circuit judge on the Western Circuit, and Rachel Russell and David Regan were both appointed Recorders on the Western and Wales Circuits respectively.

Testimonials

Clerks:

A very efficient and in depth service. Luke Hodgson is extremely proficient and helpful at all times.

Adam and Hugh are fantastic clerks and always work hard to ensure barristers meet deadlines requested, even when these can be quite last minute.

Adam Marston is very helpful, sensible and experienced.

All the clerks do a good job but in particular, I think Elaine Jewell Moore is friendly, helpful and an excellent clerk.

An effective team, particularly Hugh Maguire who is always prompt, professional and incredibly helpful.

Brilliant – Annette is a true powerhouse, as is Derek and Adam is an up and coming star.

Clerking is outstanding – particularly Annette Bushell.

Clerks are efficient. I mainly deal with Paul Bennett who is always very responsive.

Clerks are helpful and approachable.

Clerks are quick to respond and helpful.

Adam Marston really stands out.

Clerks are responsive and commercially minded. Unlike some London chambers where you get the feeling you are being held to ransom, they will work with you.

Clerks are very efficient, especially Hugh Maguire. Team of clerks well managed by Annette Bushell.

Clerks are very friendly and have been keen to engage with me socially

Clerks in Chambers are excellent, reliable, always respond quickly, no miscommunications or delays in response- Hugh and Adam are the clerks I mainly deal with but there is always someone who can help – which is very reassuring.

Clerks really available and commercial. They make it easy to get hold of people. Rob Bocock, Paul Bennett, Elizabeth Champion and Simon Lyons all excellent.

Clerks’ room is commercially minded and the clerks ensure that it is easy to get hold of people. They are quick to respond. Everyone from the Practice manager down makes it their business to make it easy to use this set.

Elaine is lovely and helpful. Luke is very practice-focused and no nonsense.

Elaine Jewel is always there to help, and is always cheerful even in times of great stress.

Elaine Jewell-Moore in particular is fantastic. She is warm, friendly and accommodating.

The team is headed up by Derek Jenkins who is very well respected in Bristol.

Elaine Jewell-Moore is a particularly helpful clerk.

Elizabeth Champion is excellent- very responsive and good to work with.

Elizabeth Fitzgerald is an excellent clerk. She’s very professional and has a great telephone manner. The other clerks pick up well in her absence. If someone is meant to call you back they do without any prompting or chasing

Excellent clerking team. Friendly and helpful. Regularly deal with Rob, Simon, Elizabeth and Paul.

Excellent clerks. Great flexibility. Great support. Not a push over but open to fee negotiation. Luke Hodgson rules with an iron fist in a kid glove. Always approachable, always willing to help. Elaine Jewell-Moor also extremely helpful and goes the extra mile.

Good, often speak to Hugh Maguire who is always helpful and on the ball/aware of what you are talking about!

Hugh Maguire and Adam Marston are excellent. The clerks are friendly, helpful, and provide a very good service.

Hugh Maguire and Adam Martson are very easy to work with

Hugh Maguire clerks Rob and he has always been very approachable.

Hugh Maguire is brilliant. Gets to know the cases so he can get what I need and fast.

I find the Clerks at St Johns to be competent and polite.

I have dealt with Simon Lyons and Paul Bennett in the main – I have found them both to be very friendly and efficient.

In my experience, the service has always been very good.

Lizzie Champion and Rob Bocock are the clerks i deal with. They are most knowledgeable and always provide a first rate service – no job is too small or too much trouble.

Luke Hodgson in particular, is very approachable and goes above and beyond to try to accommodate changes in the listing of hearings, and access to the barristers of choice.

Luke is amazing as a clerk, he is intuitive and gets things done efficiently. Elaine is equally adept at managing expectations and working magic to get the right barristers available for the right clients.

Matthew to a degree does his own clerking-probably due to his solicitor background. Unlike some counsel, he does not have an “ivory tower” attitude.

Most of my dealings have been with the Practice Team Leader Paul Bennett who I find very helpful. Enquiries are always dealt with promptly.

Paul Bennett and Rob Bocock are always on hand to answer queries and pick up instructions. The clerking team as a whole works well together so there is a seamless service even if a particular clerk is unavailable.

Paul Bennett is a fantastic asset to their clerking team. He is helpful and friendly and makes everything run more smoothly.

Paul Bennett is my go to clerk at St John’s. He always responds and will try to accommodate requests as regards fees.

Paul Bennett, Rob Bocock and Simon Lyons are all extremely responsive, sensible and pragmatic.

Please see above. Annette Bushell is always particularly helpful and approachable.

Rob Bocock and Paul Bennett are excellent and are more prone to pick up the phone to discuss requirements than email which is the default of most other chambers

Rob Bocock has been a long-standing and particularly helpful clerk.

Robert Bocock is fantastic. Paul Bennett is an excellent Clerk.

Simon Lyons and Rob Bocock are both very responsive and easy to get hold of.

Simon Lyons and Rob Bocock are nothing short of brilliant when it comes to service. They are both responsive and really do their best for you.

Simon Lyons is an exceptional clerk who should take credit for many of the solicitor / counsel relationships. Understanding in his approach and not afraid to tackle difficult conversations when necessary.

Simon Lyons. Good clerk. Always friendly and happy to help reliable

Special mention to Luke and Elaine for their client service and always helpful, problem solving approach.

St John’s have a great clerking team which make it easy to arrange cons and get instructions to Counsel. They are happy to work electronically, which is essential nowadays.

St John’s is a modern set with very good reliable clerking. Calls and emails are always dealt with promptly.

The Chancery Clerks are available when needed as well as being friendly and professional. They are very responsive and quick to provide fee estimates; accurate when doing so.

The clerk service is excellent. If your preferred counsel is not available they will move work around or ensure that you are informed if there are prospects of cover. Annette Bushell and Adam Marston stand out.

The clerking at St.John’s has always been very good. In particular Paul Bennett is always extremely helpful and responds to enquiries quickly.

The clerking is good with the team led by the ever excellent Derek Jenkins.

The clerking staff are always happy to assist and provide a very good service.

The clerking team is excellent, very efficient and very friendly.

The clerking team is great and makes securing counsel an easy process – clear transparency on fees.

The clerks are all helpful and approachable. They respond quickly and are proactive in resolving any issues that arise. For the most part I have dealt with Annette Bushell for many years and Adam Marston more recently and I find them both charming and helpful.

The clerks are always friendly and able to assist with enquiries. I have contact with Simon Lyons and Paul Bennett – both of whom are professional and friendly and quick to turn around enquiries and information when required.

The clerks are always helpful and able to keep you informed of any difficulties and provide alternatives when other cases unexpectedly run over.

The Clerks are always helpful. They are friendly and in my opinion this sets them apart from many other sets.

The clerks are always very friendly and helpful; again they are an essential part of the excellent service delivered by this set of Chambers

The clerks are efficient and helpful

The clerks are excellent and always try to accommodate my needs, no matter how demanding I appear. Annette and Adam stand out amongst a very good group of clerks.

The clerks are excellent. In particular, Marcus was meant to do a conference with me on one of my cases. He was in a trial in the week before and his clerk contacted me to inform me that the trial was likely to overrun and if it did so it would affect the conference. However if this did happen they would try and rearrange as soon as possible. This gave me the opportunity to prepare my experts and client rather than things being done last minute. In the end his trial did overrun but we were all prepared for this and the clerk (Hugh Maguire) went out of his way to rearrange asap.

The clerks are excellent. They are very quick to respond and offer various options in terms of cost and seniority of counsel. I deal predominantly with Paul Bennett who is completely on the ball.

The clerks are exceptional. Very helpful and flexible on brief fees and respond to emails promptly.

The Clerks are extremely helpful and friendly in their approach.

The clerks are very helpful and do their upmost to accommodate any request.

The Clerks are very helpful and quick to respond.

The clerks at St John’s Chambers are exceptional and you could not ask them to be more helpful and accommodating. They will always find a barrister for the case even at short notice and are very happy to chat through a case and recommend the best barrister for the claim. I particularly highly regard Hugh, Adam and Annette who are the clinical negligence clerks and who are always willing to help and they provide a first rate service.

The clerks have always provided a professional service.

The clerks on the care side of the team work well and are efficient and helpful.

The clerks room is superbe, offering a swift and proactive service. I am particularly impressed by Paul Bennett.

The clerks run the team well, are in control of all diaries and try their best to accommodate tight deadlines. In particular, Hugh Maguire has been exceptionally helpful and diligent when providing short-notice assistance and is quick to offer solutions.

The clerks work hard to support counsel. They respond promptly and are extremely well organised. This enables a fluent working relationship.

The clerksroom are extremely responsive and nothing is ever too much trouble. Annette Bushell leads the clinical negligence team strongly and the clerks Adam and Hugh really understand the issues in the cases and are keen to help to ensure cases progress smoothly.

The PI clerks are universally excellent and helpful. If not available on the telephone they will return messages promptly.

The PI clerks have real strength in depth with my two main contacts being Hugh Maguire and Adam Marston. Both are unflappable and always available.

The team at St John’s is very effective and always available to assist wherever required.

Their clerks are great. Get on really well with them.

We have had many dealing with Paul Bennett and Rob Bocock, both have been exceptionally helpful and well organised.

We have had many dealings with Paul Bennett and Rob Bocock, both have been exceptionally helpful and well organised.

You always get a first-class service from the St John’s Chambers team – and , importantly, at realistic and proportionate prices .

Set:

A good local set with a well deserved reputation for clinical negligence due to its longstanding contribution in this area. As a rule, the barristers are all affable yet highly professional and take their work very seriously whatever the case. They offer an impressive array of training events for local lawyers and are the ‘go to’ for many lawyers in the South West.

A sound local set, useful in providing cover for Inquests and matters of moderate to mid range value.

A strong set with excellent practitioners covering a wider range of areas

A very good set particularly in property, land nuisance and regulatory work. The barristers are always prepared to travel and look at things on the ground with the client.

A very professional, efficient and amicable set. Clerks are excellent and willing to go that extra step to help.

A very professional, efficient and amicable set. The Clerks are excellent and willing to go above and beyond.

Always a good service

Always helpful and swift to reply to queries.

Always very happy with chambers. High quality barristers across the spectrum of contentious probate.

Andrew is the only barrister from this set with whom I do any meaningful volumes of work.

Availability is good and generally good quality of work.

Chambers are very efficient. I can usually secure counsel for both advices and hearings. Chambers offer numerous training facilities and have also supported our own client training sessions including mock trials and general training updates.

Counsel and his clerk are always helpful and available to pick up urhent matters as and when needed.

Excellent depth in this area, if counsel not available an excellent alternative can always be offered

Excellent on financial remedy and children.

Excellent set of chambers. Good quality throughout

Excellent set with great clerks.

Fantastic chambers across the board. Some excellent Juniors and fantastic senior Counsel. All incredibly down to earth and obliging. Very user friendly. A great bunch.

Formidably strong local set. London set service, but just around the corner from the office. Have come to the fore with assistance during Covid-19 lockdown. Everyone sings from the same hymn sheet and understand each others specialities.

From Leslie Blohm QC downwards, the agricultural team know their stuff and are committed to the sector. This includes travelling some distance to give talks and provide assistance and training to organisations such as the regional groups of the Agricultural Law Association, and regional law societies.

Good quality training programmes and Counsel (particularly Rob Mills and Marcus Coates-Walker) have been willing on many occasions to come to our firm and provide bespoke training.

Good range of counsel at all levels to cover hearings where counsel is not available

Good set with good reputation for chancery work. Oliver Wooding and Alex Troup are standout performers. There are a number of weak barristers there which water down the set somewhat.

Good set. I also work with Rob Mills who is an excellent barrister.

Good strength in depth and excellent clerking.

Great set for several areas of work with newer barristers, such as Charlie Newington Bridges rapidly gaining a strong reputation.

I find St John’s Chambers to be very easy to work with. The wide range of barristers means I am able to instruct someone with appropriate experience, even at short notice. I have attended a number of useful training sessions run by or in conjunction with the Chambers both in house and at conferences.

I have instructed St Johns Chambers since I was a trainee. Since then I have instructed them without fail. Annette Bushell is fantastic and Derek is lovely. If I need a advice on something particularly specialist there is always someone available. James Marwick for medical negligence and personal injury Andrew McLaughlin for personal injury and Emma Zeb for medical negligence, They are first on my list for training programmes and their affiliation with Headway. Availability is never an issue, I have spoken with counsel and for this example Mr Valentine during the evenings, weekends, holidays. Always on hand to advise.

I have never experienced any issues with instructing Counsel. The Clerks are always readily willing to recommend alternative suitable counsel in the event of unavailability.

I have been to a number of conferences run by Legal Networks Wales in which barristers from St Johns have spoken. They have been very helpful and informative in keeping up to date with case law and changes in legislation.

I have used many Counsel from St John’s Chambers over the years. There is usually an array of Counsel I can choose from but to name a few – Andrew McLaughlin, James Marwick, Darren Lewis, Jimmy Barber, Patrick West, Ben Handy, Rachel Russell. They run training programmes regularly aimed at handling the most complex cases to courses designed on a breadth of topics for the more junior fee earners.

I have used St Johns for many years. The clerks are very helpful. If Miss Elford is not available,(always a first choice), then they assist with the matching of the client with an alternative barrister I have been on many of their training courses which have been helpful and informative.

I have worked with Chambers for over 10 years and have always found members and clerks to be excellent to work with. They have strength in depth we have an excellent working relationship with chambers.

I like the set as a whole, they run some excellent training throughout the year and are strong supporters of Bristol lawyers.

I strongly recommend St Johns Chambers. I instruct several members of Chambers on a regular basis and find that the quality of their work is every bit as high as with specialist London based Chambers, yet at a more competitive cost.

I use St John’s Chambers a great deal for all my clinical negligence cases, They have a large number of very competent and experienced clinical negligence barristers all of whom I trust and find are brilliant. They provide excellent training courses.

I very much like working with St John’s Chambers. I have instructed a number of their Barristers over the last 9 years. They have a good range of Barristers to cover most matters and levels of experience. They usually have someone suitable available, even at the last minute, and then also run helpful and informative training courses. They are my “go-to” set for Commercial and Chancery work.

In my view St John’s Chambers are the go to set in the South West. They provide London quality advice to our region on our doorstep. Vanessa McKinlay leads the ever expanding clinical negligence and PI team at St John’s. There are some very impressive Juniors coming up through the ranks who are extremely competent and engaging.

In my view they are the strongest chancery set in the southwest. The quality of their counsel as a whole is excellent compared to other chambers

Lots of talented barristers covering niche cases involving the Animals Act 1971 for example.

Luke is a very knowledgeable and experienced senior clerk who is a pleasure to deal with.

Set contains a number of well respected personal injury practitioners.

Several outstanding litigators in the Chancery and Property teams

SJC run seminars on topical issues that are well attended. On the planning front they have a decent number of planning barristers although my instructions are limited to practice leading Peter Wadsley.

Solid set of family law barristers from most senior to most junior. Excellent support and collaboration provided to their up and coming juniors.

They work hard to ensure availability.

St Johns are always highly efficient to work with, and keen to help. I find them honest and commercial.

St Johns Chambers are my preferred chambers for the specialist work that I carry out. They offer a good range of training and do their utmost to always accommodate any request of counsel’s opinion or appearance.

St Johns Chambers are one of the fore-front chambers offering counsel for Public Childcare. The clerks are particularly helpful and will go above and beyond to find cover for hearings at short notice.

St Johns Chambers, easy to speak with, helpful clerks, good availability, good training – will send videos of seminars & folders/info packs if cannot attend etc

St Johns do have strength in depth when it comes to property, from QC to junior level. That does make them the strongest set in the Western Circuit.

St Johns has a good reputation in the contentious probate area. They are approachable and accommodating and always willing to get involved in training seminars etc. I always attend their contentious probate seminars, which are always well delivered and have excellent content.

St Johns has a very good spread of family law barristers with a range of styles to suit most cases

St Johns has a very strong Chancery team and excellent clerks. Their barristers are expert, approachable, down to earth and offer London expertise at regional rates.

St Johns have a number of excellent barristers across different practice areas. I tend to instruct Zoe Saunders, Lucy Reed (Children Act matters) and Charles Auld (Chancery)

St Johns is a friendly and helpful chambers. Matthew White and Andrew Mclaughlin are stand out counsel for personal injury work.

St Johns is my set of choice in the south west and further a field if they can accomodate.

St Johns is the only chambers I will use in the South West. They have a large panel of suitably qualified barristers, whether the case is worth £1000 or £1M.

St Johns’ care team is excellent. They are highly sought after which means they are not always available.

St John’s are very well respected in Bristol and the South West, used by our team across our offices. They have a range of specialisms and have assisted in cases involving children, complex finances and unmarried couples.

St John’s Chambers are a regional set with a number of experienced Chancery barristers and mediators. They are well known and respected on the western circuit. Although a regional set, they have a wealth of experience on par with London sets.

St John’s Chambers are a well run, excellent set of Chambers who deliver London-quality work, whilst based in the South West.

St John’s Chambers are one of the best around. There is a good range of Counsel and their training seminars are informative.

St John’s Chambers Bristol is an excellent set of Chambers with great strength in depth across all areas of specialism. They provide regular first class training course at very reasonable cost.

St John’s Chambers commands the South West market with exceptional breadth in most practice areas. Some heavy weight senior counsel but a growing group of juniors means they are able to assist 9 times out of 10.

St John’s Chambers have a strong team of Chancery Court Barristers who collectively have a wide range of experience coupled with their impressive depth of knowledge.

St John’s Chambers is a high quality set of chambers with Counsel with a wide range of skills. They are very easy to work with. Helpful and friendly. They offer regular training seminars and useful information on legal developments. They will remain one of my “go-to” sets.

St John’s Chambers is my go-to chambers in Bristol for construction advice. They provide good training on a broad range of topics, including those relating to construction. The back office staff are very approachable and helpful.

St John’s Chambers is my go-to set of chambers in Bristol. They have a broad range of experience and also expertise which ensures that you can get a great match for you client from all walks of life

St John’s Chambers is one of the leading Clinical Negligence sets in Bristol. Vanessa McKinlay is frequently instructed in clinical negligence claims, particularly for client’s based in the South West.

St John’s Chambers is the go to set in the South West for Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury. They have invested a lot in building up a strong base of quality Juniors and Senior Juniors who bring London quality advice to the Western Circuit on our doorstep.

St John’s Chambers is the only set I would consider approaching outside of London for construction and engineering disputes. I attended a very good event on mediation organised by St John’s.

St John’s Chambers offers a high quality service, with high quality Counsel.

St John’s Chambers tend to have more of a PI focus than claimant clinical negligence, although I have used Rob Mills previously who I know has a good reputation for this work.

St John’s has a good broad range of talent. Excellent responsive clerking. Good value and excellent training offering.

St John’s has an excellent range of talent especially dealing with children matters. Generally they always have counsel available if booked in sufficient time. I’ve not had any experience with them in respect of finances yet.

St John’s is an excellent set backed by good clerks.

St John’s Chambers are the leading regional set outside of London in the South of England. The Chambers have a wide range of barristers who are each specialists in their work areas. They also provide excellent, informative seminars which are widely recognised and well attended in the practice area.

St John’s Chambers are the leading regional set outside of London, in the South of England. The Chambers have a wide range of barristers who are each specialists in their work areas. They also provide excellent, informative seminars which are widely recognised and well attended in the industry.

St John’s Chambers is a leading regional heavy-weight. I have never had any inclination to pay London prices when I can get the same level of expertise and quality of service for considerably less and far closer to home.

St. Johns are a good local set who have some very strong barristers.

St. John’s Chambers are a very strong set and are a definite go-to set in both Bristol and the west country generally. Some members in the Family team are published in relation to particular aspects of family proceedings also so that they have become authorities in relation to those aspects.

St. John’s is undoubtedly the best set for contentious trusts and probate in the region. They have a number of very good specialists.

Strongest set in Bristol and very competitive with London.

The absolute go-to set for chancery and commercial in the southwest.

The Chambers is always very prepared, organised and professional.

The go-to set for traditional chancery work, both in the South West and arguably nationally: they give London a run for their money: London quality, without London fees.

The set as a whole are great. Very corporate approach to BD and marketing and clerking, and this results in a very slick process for solicitors.

The set is building in strength through the very good juniors coming through; aided by the excellent clerking team.

The set is large and generally will have someone who can cover a hearing even at short notice.

The set is reliably excellent. As good as any London set and often much better.

Their clin neg set is the best in Bristol. There is someone for every type of case, all of whom are at the tope of their game and present stiff competition for the London sets.

There is definitely strength in depth in this Chambers. They provide excellent seminars and knowledge transfer events. They will often have several options in terms of counsel if instructions need advice at short notice.

They are an excellent set of chambers that provide a high quality service to their clients.

They are in my opinion by far the best set in Bristol. Their clerks are very efficient and they offer excellent training as well.

They are now putting out weekly webinars which are very good

They do provide a “London” service here in the West Country and are a well rounded set, providing superb general and specialist training to all levels of solicitors both junior and senior and are always available to provide a second “ear” for tricky tactical situations.

They have an excellent pool of juniors who are frequently available on short notice, I use Marcus Coates-Walker and Robert Mills frequently, and both provide very high quality advice.

They have excellence within their ranks so even if my chosen Barrister is unavailable for a hearing, I know that matters will be dealt with appropriately.

They have real heavyweights such as Leslie Blohm QC, who has years of experience and in the case I referred to above added value due to his knowledge of the inquest rules and also aspects of criminal law which featured in the case. The juniors in the set are proactive – Charlie Newington-Bridges stepped in to pick up a hearing due to unavailability and very quickly got up to speed and was a confident advocate despite being called in at short notice. Juniors such as Natasha and Annie Sampson are trained well by the other members of chambers.

V good set broad range of skills and depth.

Very positive views on set as a whole. Excellent clerking, with good recommendations as to suitability of particular barristers, good strength in depth, best I have come across to date in Bristol.

Very prompt in responding; and always polite and helpful.

 

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Agriculture Tier 1

St John's Chambers is home to several experienced agricultural practitioners with practices that include property litigation, trusts and estates, and tenancy disputes. One particular case of note is Habberfield v Habberfield, a Court of Appeal case centering around the initial decision to order compensation of a farmer's daughter who had been promised her parent's farm; Leslie Blohm QC led Christopher Jones to successfully defeat the appeal brought by the surviving parent. Alex Troup is another key figure within the team, with recent cases involving contentious probate, proprietary estoppel, and family disputes concerning the sale of farmland.

Leading Silks

Leslie Blohm QC - St John's ChambersIntelligent, able in court, and great with clients in conference.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors

Christopher Jones - St John's ChambersA quick thinker and talented advocate who is good both on his feet and with clients.
Ranked: Tier 1
Alex Troup - St John's ChambersExtremely pragmatic, knowledgeable and persuasive: he speaks with great authority whether before clients, opponents or the judiciary
Ranked: Tier 1

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Chancery, probate, and tax Tier 1

St John's Chambers houses one of the premier Chancery teams on the western circuit, with a collection of 'expert, approachable, and down to earth' barristers who 'offer London expertise at regional rates'. At the top end of the team, Leslie Blohm QC is involved in some of the most complex and high-value trusts and probate matters in the region, such as Sofer v Swiss Independent Trustees Ltd., in which he led Alex Troup on behalf of a beneficiary in a £9m claim for breach of trust. Other notable members of the team include Charles Auld, whose recent work has included contentious probate and charitable trusts, and Natasha Dzameh, who is recommended for multi-claim and multi-party estates matters. At the junior end, Joss Knight is emerging as one to watch in this space, with a strong track record in matters concerning the removal of executors.

Rising stars

Joss Knight - St John's ChambersA strong advocate who gets to the heart of a problem and provides sound, clear advice.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks

Leslie Blohm QC - St John's ChambersExtrremely authoritative, commanding respect from all parties, but with a deft touch that clients appreciate.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors

Charles Auld - St John's ChambersA formidable advocate at court who is always aware of the commercial realities of a case.
Ranked: Tier 1

John Dickinson  -St John's ChambersHas great attention to detail and gives clear, pragmatic advice.

Ranked: Tier 1
Natasha Dzameh - St John's ChambersHer strong legal analysis and keen eye for detail allow her to offer concise and pragmatic advice.
Ranked: Tier 1
Christopher Jones - St John's ChambersA quick thinker who is both very good on his feet and with clients.
Ranked: Tier 1
Charlie Newington-Bridges - St John's ChambersA clear thinking, positive and precise barrister whose advice is accessible and practical.
Ranked: Tier 1
Alex Troup - St John's ChambersCombines very good technical knowledge on contentious probate matters and excellent client skills with persuasive and authoritative advocacy.
Ranked: Tier 1
Adam Boyle - St John's ChambersVery approachable and good to work with, and provides sound advice that leaves no stone unturned.
Ranked: Tier 2
Oliver Wooding - St John's ChambersClear and concise with his advice and drafting, with an imaginative yet practical approach to cases.
Ranked: Tier 2

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Clinical negligence Tier 1

St John's Chambers is one of strongest sets in the Western circuit for clinical negligence work, with a range of junior counsel covering both claimant and defendant matters. Vanessa McKinlay is a key practitioner, with recent cases including a £1m cauda equina case on behalf of the claimant, and a successful defence of a £2m claim on appeal, in which McKinlay acted as a led junior. For dental negligence cases, rising star Robert Mills is highly recommended despite his junior call date, while continuing to build a substantial practice in general clinical negligence matters. Justin Valentine undertakes a substantial amount of birth injury and neonatal work, and recently acted for a claimant who suffered Erb's palsy at birth in 1998, in a case which centered on the differing standards for a negligent application of force compared to current practice.

Rising stars

Marcus Coates-Walker - St John's ChambersCalm under pressure with a level of knowledge and grasp of technical issues well beyond his years' call.
Ranked: Tier 1
Robert Mills - St John's ChambersWise beyond his call, incredibly practical and pragmatic, and a strong tactician.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors

Tim Grice - St John's ChambersQuick, thorough and practical in his written advice and a powerful advocate in court.
Ranked: Tier 1
Tom Leeper - St John's ChambersExtremely thorough, with an advocacy style that commands respect from the Bench and instils confidence in clients.
Ranked: Tier 1
Vanessa McKinlay - St John's ChambersHer medical background allows her to really drill down into the issues of a case, particularly in relation to causation disputes.
Ranked: Tier 1
Justin Valentine - St John's ChambersForensic in his investigation of the key issues in a case, with an in-depth knowledge of his brief.
Ranked: Tier 1
Emma Zeb - St John's ChambersAlways well-prepared, very good with clients in conference and an impressive advocate.
Ranked: Tier 1
James Marwick - St John's ChambersFocused and unflappable, offering high quality advocacy and pragmatic advice.
Ranked: Tier 2
David Regan - St John's ChambersA very thoughtful advocate who is well liked by clients.
Ranked: Tier 2

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Commercial litigation Tier 1

St John's Chambers remains one of the strongest commercial forces in the western circuit, with 'a good range of Barristers to cover most matters and levels of experience'. Senior counsel, such as Leslie Blohm QC, handle complex matters involving breaches of contract, fraudulent misrepresentation, and arbitration, including High Court appeals of arbitral awards. Senior junior Richard Stead is also highly recommended, with a practice that focuses primarily on construction-adjacent matters such as disputes over the installation and manufacture of industrial equipment and amenities. The set is also home to Nicholas Pointon, who has a substantial offshore practice, both as an advisor and as an advocate in parallel English law proceedings for offshore cases, with a particular focus on Jersey.

Leading Silks

Leslie Blohm QC - St John's ChambersHis unflappable manner reassures both solicitor and client and his delivery in Court is always considered, measured and compelling.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors

Christopher Jones - St John's ChambersAn extremely accomplished advocate who is robust and straight-talking with his advice.
Ranked: Tier 1
Charlie Newington-Bridges - St John's ChambersCommercially astute, hard-working, and very responsive.
Ranked: Tier 1
James Pearce-Smith - St John's ChambersCuts to the heart of a case and addresses the true issues, with a level of legal knowledge that instils confidence in his clients.
Ranked: Tier 1
Richard Stead - St John's ChambersA consummate advocate who is able to perfectly judge the right approach and always has the ear of the court.
Ranked: Tier 1
John Dickinson - St John's ChambersOne of the best barristers I know for client service – he is very reliable and gives very through, well thought out opinions. He has a fantastic eye for detail.
Ranked: Tier 2
Natasha Dzameh - St John's ChambersNatasha is very responsive, extremely thorough, pragmatic and easy to work with as part of the team. She is an assertive and tenacious advocate.
Ranked: Tier 2
Matthew O'Regan - St John's ChambersCombines an in-depth understanding of competition law with a hugely pragmatic and commercial approach to cases.
Ranked: Tier 2
Nicholas Pointon - St John's ChambersHighly diligent, responsive, and reliable, with an excellent grasp of the details of a case.
Ranked: Tier 2

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Court of Protection and community care Tier 1

Members at St John's Chambers have worked on a number of interesting cases with patients affected by a range of issues, including vascular dementia, paranoid schizophrenia, and brain injuries caused either through personal injury or medical negligence. The 'approachable' Alex Troup, who 'has a strong presence which asserts itself when needed', predominantly focuses on property and affairs disputes. Abigail Bond represents parties in health and welfare cases and is a fee-paid judge of the First-tier Tribunal (Mental Health jurisdiction). A 'good advocate' with a 'very sound understanding of law', Oliver Wooding is also recommended.

Leading Juniors

Abigail Bond - St John's ChambersVery patient and great empathy with disadvantaged adults.
Ranked: Tier 1
Alex Troup - St John's ChambersExtremely pragmatic, knowledgeable and persuasive: he speaks with great authority whether before clients, opponents or the judiciary. Clients love his down to earth manner, novel problem solving and capacity to spot flaws in an opponents position. A silk in the making.
Ranked: Tier 1
Oliver Wooding - St John's ChambersStrengths: exceptionally easy to work with; extremely approachable; no nonsense approach to claims.
Ranked: Tier 1

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Inquests and inquiries Tier 1

Emma Zeb heads St John's Chambers' inquests department, representing public bodies such as prisons and local health boards in inquests. She acted in Re Conner Marshall for the private contractor to the probation service in an inquest into the management of an offender who committed a high-profile murder. David Regan and Tom Leeper both sit as deputy coroners, with Regan acting in complex multi-party inquests on clinical negligence, deaths in custody and the workplace and motorway collisions. Leeper acts for bereaved parties in inquests which often focus on mental health provision. Matthew White frequently undertakes Article 2 inquests and Human Rights Act claims.

Rising stars

Marcus Coates-Walker - St John's ChambersHe is great on his feet and his thoughtful approach endears him to coroners and other IPs alike. Lay clients love him. His sensitive manner really shines through, and sets him apart from others with the same call and beyond.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors

Tom Leeper - St John's ChambersHe has a cautious and well balanced approach and never misses any facts or information.
Ranked: Tier 1
David Regan - St John's ChambersHe has an excellent manner with clients in the most sensitive and emotive cases.
Ranked: Tier 1
Rachel Russell - St John's ChambersVery experienced across a range of inquest matters.
Ranked: Tier 1
Matthew White - St John's ChambersHe is a standout counsel.
Ranked: Tier 1
Emma Zeb - St John's ChambersEmma is very organised and sharp and always knows her papers very well. She is excellent with witnesses. She is also very approachable and happy to be available at all stages to talk matters through.
Ranked: Tier 1

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Personal injury Tier 1

Led by the 'impressive' Emma Zeb, the personal injury team at St John's Chambers is home to a number of notable barristers. The 'dependable' Andrew Mclaughlin was recently instructed in a case that settled for the highest ever periodical payments order (PPO): £950,000 per annum, plus a lump sum of £3.1m. Ben Handy is 'excellent to work with' according to one client and has acted in several seven-figure injury claims in the past year. Matthew White is 'exceptionally user-friendly' and advises on and litigates all areas of personal injury work with particular interests in highway claims, occupational illness litigation, pain conditions, and accidents at work.

Leading Silks

Christopher Sharp QC - St John's ChambersUnparalleled forensic analysis of deeply complex issues, combined with practical common sense.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors

Andrew McLaughlin - St John's ChambersSuperb advocate, very good in Court. Also provides clear and concise advice which gets to the heart of a case without dwelling on peripheral issues. Very good manner with clients, relatable and engaging.
Ranked: Tier 1
Richard Stead - St John's ChambersRichard is very user friendly and always provides sound, measured advice. He is an experienced and first-rate advocate.
Ranked: Tier 1
Matthew White - St John's ChambersMatthew is exceptionally user friendly with me and my clients, always has time to answer my queries and can turn his mind to the most complicated of cases/issues with speed and enthusiasm. His knowledge of the law and his forensic approach always serves him well.
Ranked: Tier 1
Emma Zeb - St John's ChambersEmma is always very well prepared and is a fierce advocate in Court. Her written advice is comprehensive and always provided in a timely manner.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ben Handy - St John's ChambersQuick to get to the crux of the issue, mindful of the bigger picture, provides pragmatic advice, adds significant value to the cases they work on and excellent to work with.
Ranked: Tier 2
James Marwick - St John's ChambersJames is an excellent advocate. He is analytical, pays great attention to detail and provides stellar advice. He is ultra client focused.
Ranked: Tier 2
Darren Lewis - St John's ChambersDarren is an excellent advocate. He responds promptly to written instructions and is well organised. In court, he has a calm but effective approach. He is able to adapt the degree of intensity required on any given case. He communicates well with clients and in my own experience has a proven successful track record at trial.
Ranked: Tier 3

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Professional negligence Tier 1

With 'good strength in depth', St John's Chambers has an impressive team acting in professional negligence cases. Praised for his 'impressive attention to detail', John Dickinson is 'very smart and very responsive' and receives a steady stream of mostly claimant work stemming from alleged negligence in probate, trust, and commercial matters. James Pearce-smith regularly represents clients in a broad range of claims against solicitors, surveyors, architects, and other professionals, and has also been instructed to represent defendants. James Marwick is regularly instructed in relation to claims arising out of solicitor negligence. He successfully defended a firm of solicitors who were alleged to have been negligent in their conduct of a fundamentally dishonest personal injury claim. A rising star in the field, Joss Knight was recently successful in the mediation of a high-value dispute against solicitors who negligently drafted a share-purchase agreement and successfully obtained a strike-out in the High Court of a claim against a professional executor alleging breach of duty, breach of trust, devastavit, overcharging, and negligence.

Rising stars

Joss Knight - St John's ChambersVery thorough and commercially minded.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors

John Dickinson - St John's ChambersOutstanding grasp of complex matters, excellent quality of written pleadings, highly responsive to client requests, personable.
Ranked: Tier 1

James Marwick - St John's Chambers ‘James is an excellent advocate and very client focused.

Ranked: Tier 1
James Pearce-Smith - St John's ChambersVery capable and able to dig out of the mire the true issues to address.
Ranked: Tier 1

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Property and construction Tier 1

St John's Chambers members appear in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, as well as the new Property and Business Courts in Bristol. Leslie Blohm QC acted for the respondents in Toms v Rubery, a forfeiture action against a public house, and Haddock v Churston Golf Club, on whether a burdensome obligation is compulsory. Charles Auld ran a successful appeal against the Church of England's claim to adverse possession of a burial vault. John Sharples appeared in a case on an informal alteration of boundaries and rights of way. Christopher Jones handles litigation and landlord and tenant disputes, with expertise in agricultural issues. Rebecca Taylor has wide experience of construction disputes.

Leading Silks

Leslie Blohm QC - St John's ChambersHe is a first-class silk.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors

Charles Auld - St John's ChambersCharles is very, very knowledgeable and drills down into the detail. He has vast experience in this area. Good at strategic practical solutions that are commercially sensible. Clients trust him. He exudes authority.
Ranked: Tier 1
Christopher Jones - St John's ChambersA clinical, first-class advocate.
Ranked: Tier 1
John Sharples - St John's ChambersQuality of advice and down to earth people skills; John is without a doubt one of the leading property litigation counsel in the country, who just happens to be based in Bristol.
Ranked: Tier 1
Rebecca Taylor - St John's ChambersRebecca is technically very able but also gives practical advice in terms of different approaches and strategies in a dispute. Her commerciality has found favour with clients. She is very measured and organised and you always feel in safe hands with Rebecca.
Ranked: Tier 1
Natasha Dzameh - St John's ChambersAn excellent and compelling advocate. Natasha is insightful, personable and very intelligent.
Ranked: Tier 2
Alex Troup - St John's ChambersHe has great soft skills which mean not only do the solicitors love to use him the clients do, too.
Ranked: Tier 2
Oliver Wooding - St John's ChambersVery sound understanding of law and is good advocate; very friendly, realistic in his advice and good service.
Ranked: Tier 2

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Company and insolvency Tier 2

'A great set to work with as they put the needs of instructing solicitors first', St John's Chambers has noticed a significant increase in the volume of both debt recovery actions and shareholder disputes over the past year. Advice on joint venture agreements, breach of warranty claims, company structures, breaches of fiduciary duty claims, and share purchase/sale agreements also feature in recent instructions, along with unfair prejudice petitions and the enforcement of restrictive covenants. Former solicitor James Pearce-smith has a particular focus on shareholder/director disputes and claims under share purchase agreements. Meanwhile, former investment banker Charlie Newington-bridges is in particular demand for unfair prejudice petitions and related work.

Leading Juniors

Charlie Newington-Bridges - St John's ChambersCommercially astute. Hard working. Very responsive and easy to work with.
Ranked: Tier 1
James Pearce-Smith - St John's ChambersVery capable and able to dig out of the mire the true issues to address. Instils confidence in the clients that he knows what he is talking about and is very much on their side.
Ranked: Tier 1

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Costs

St John's Chambers has a well-established costs team in the region, with leading personal injury barristers advising on costs and funding issues. Described as the 'go-to' for costs in the South West region by one client, Darren Lewis is a key member of the set, along with the 'reliable' James Marwick. In AS v Wirral NHS Trust, Marwick recently successfully acted for the claimant on appeal in overturning a decision to disallow any success fee.

Leading Juniors

Darren Lewis - St John's ChambersThe go-to in the South West on costs issues. Down to earth, commanding presence in court.
Ranked: Tier 1
James Marwick - St John's ChambersJames provides reliable and clear advice, which takes into consideration the client's needs. He has an eye for detail often overlooked by other members of the bar. What may seem innocuous to others can be crucial to a case and he has the knack of applying perfect weight to the issues which allows him to rescue even the most dire cases.
Ranked: Tier 1

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Family and children law

St John's Chambers is home to a large team of family barristers specialising in high-profile public and private family matters on the Western Circuit. Abigail Bond heads the children law team and specialises in care proceedings, while Zoe Saunders heads the family finance team, covering heavyweight financial remedy cases involving multiple properties, trusts of land, and farms. Andrew Commins is noted for his expertise in family finance matters; Christopher Sharp QC focuses on child care cases involving extreme abuse and injury; and the head of chambers on the Western Circuit, Susan Hunter, is an 'excellent advocate' who appears on behalf of parents, guardians, local authorities and state institutions.

Rising stars

Asha Groves - St John's ChambersVery prepared, willing to go the extra mile to reach a conclusion for the client, persistent, a confident advocate. Asha has a lovely manner with clients and explains things very clearly throughout the hearing.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks: Child Law (Public and Private)

Christopher Sharp QC - St John's ChambersAn outstanding advocate with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and infallible judgement.
Ranked: Tier 1
Kathryn Skellorn QC - St John's ChambersHer preparation, drafting and advocacy is of an extremely high standard.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Silks: Divorce and Financial Remedy

Christopher Sharp QC - St John's ChambersAn outstanding advocate with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and infallible judgement.
Ranked: Tier 1

Leading Juniors: Child Law (Public and Private)

Abigail Bond - St John's ChambersVery patient and great empathy with clients with learning disabilities and disadvantaged adults.
Ranked: Tier 1
Judi Evans - St John's ChambersHighly knowledgeable, excellent with clients and a formidable advocate.
Ranked: Tier 1
Susan Hunter - St John's ChambersSusan has a depth of experience that is difficult to match and I cannot think of a case that would be beyond the skill, expertise and knowledge held. Alongside that, her manner with clients is straightforward and clear and balances straight talking with compassion and care for the very difficult situations they are in.
Ranked: Tier 1

Caroline Elford -St John's ChambersRecommended for complex care cases.

Ranked: Tier 2
Lucy Reed - St John's ChambersMs Reed is extremely dedicated to her work. She is extremely knowledgeable and has great attention to detail. Ms Reed works very hard to try to get the best outcome for the clients and she ensures she is fully appraised with the law in the area and all options available to the client. Ms Reed is also very good with clients and is sensitive to their needs.
Ranked: Tier 2
Olivia Pike - St John's ChambersAttention to detail. Clear analytical skills. Strong advocacy skills.
Ranked: Tier 4

Leading Juniors: Divorce and Financial Remedy

Andrew Commins - St John's ChambersHard working and immaculately prepared - gives sensible and thoughtful advice and relates to clients well.
Ranked: Tier 1
Jody Atkinson - St John's ChambersWonderful - supportive and calm and capable and very bright. Always goes the extra mile with the client but will tell them when to stop.
Ranked: Tier 2
Nick Miller - St John's ChambersNick is an excellent communicator and gets to the nub of the issues very quickly. He is practical and explores every opportunity to secure a fair outcome for clients by negotiation but in the event that has not been possible he is a very skilled advocate in cross examination and submission.
Ranked: Tier 2
Richard Norman - St John's ChambersRichard is one of my go-to barristers. I find him easy to work with - he is very approachable, and has an excellent manner with clients. I think he is particularly good with cases where businesses are involved, and has an excellent grasp of technical issues.
Ranked: Tier 2
Zoe Saunders - St John's ChambersA fierce advocate, Zoe is undoubtedly very bright and has mastered well before most the art of paperless working. Her advice is clear and backed by both a sound understanding of the law and a ready appreciation of the client's predicament.
Ranked: Tier 2
Jack Harris - St John's ChambersGood on his feet and great with clients.
Ranked: Tier 3

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Licensing

St John's ChambersRoy Light is highly active in licensing matters, acting for the trade as well as local authorities in relation to alcohol, taxi, and private hire vehicle licensing matters. Of recent note, Professor Light acted for an off-license, which had faced multiple previous reviews for serving alcohol to minors in a licensing review following an incident in which the shopkeeper assaulted a customer with a claw hammer and, in addition, weapons including a samurai sword were found behind the counter. Light secured the continuation of the licence.

Leading Juniors

Roy Light - St John's ChambersHis significant knowledge and practical approach to all licensing matters. Also his availability and promopt response to instructions, along with his excellent personable skills in dealing with a variety of individuals. Be that Responsible Authority Officers, lay persons or the court.
Ranked: Tier 1

Regional Bar > Western Circuit > Planning and environment

The 'very approachable and down to earth' Peter Wadsley of St John's Chambers 'always provides advice in a clear and concise format' for developers, local authorities, and third parties in planning matters. A former solicitor and head of the Public & Administrative Law Practice Group in chambers, his recent instructions of note include acting in cases involving wind turbine noise nuisance, caravan sites, and assets of community value.

Leading Juniors

Peter Wadsley - St John's ChambersPeter's strengths lie not only in his client management skills but also his holistic strategic advice at the outset of the case. He his skilled in the art of cross-examination and has a wealth of knowledge on case law.
Ranked: Tier 1

Regional Bar > Set overviews: England and Wales

Bristol-based St John's Chambers has an excellent reputation for its expertise across a wide gamut of practice areas; personal injury, clinical negligence and private client litigation are recognised core strengths for the set, however the chambers also offers expertise in property, commercial, family, construction, employment and planning, to name a few. In recent chambers news, Stephanie Cope was appointed as a circuit judge on the Western Circuit, and Rachel Russell and David Regan were both appointed Recorders on the Western and Wales Circuits respectively.

Testimonials

Clerks:

A very efficient and in depth service. Luke Hodgson is extremely proficient and helpful at all times.

Adam and Hugh are fantastic clerks and always work hard to ensure barristers meet deadlines requested, even when these can be quite last minute.

Adam Marston is very helpful, sensible and experienced.

All the clerks do a good job but in particular, I think Elaine Jewell Moore is friendly, helpful and an excellent clerk.

An effective team, particularly Hugh Maguire who is always prompt, professional and incredibly helpful.

Brilliant – Annette is a true powerhouse, as is Derek and Adam is an up and coming star.

Clerking is outstanding – particularly Annette Bushell.

Clerks are efficient. I mainly deal with Paul Bennett who is always very responsive.

Clerks are helpful and approachable.

Clerks are quick to respond and helpful.

Adam Marston really stands out.

Clerks are responsive and commercially minded. Unlike some London chambers where you get the feeling you are being held to ransom, they will work with you.

Clerks are very efficient, especially Hugh Maguire. Team of clerks well managed by Annette Bushell.

Clerks are very friendly and have been keen to engage with me socially

Clerks in Chambers are excellent, reliable, always respond quickly, no miscommunications or delays in response- Hugh and Adam are the clerks I mainly deal with but there is always someone who can help – which is very reassuring.

Clerks really available and commercial. They make it easy to get hold of people. Rob Bocock, Paul Bennett, Elizabeth Champion and Simon Lyons all excellent.

Clerks’ room is commercially minded and the clerks ensure that it is easy to get hold of people. They are quick to respond. Everyone from the Practice manager down makes it their business to make it easy to use this set.

Elaine is lovely and helpful. Luke is very practice-focused and no nonsense.

Elaine Jewel is always there to help, and is always cheerful even in times of great stress.

Elaine Jewell-Moore in particular is fantastic. She is warm, friendly and accommodating.

The team is headed up by Derek Jenkins who is very well respected in Bristol.

Elaine Jewell-Moore is a particularly helpful clerk.

Elizabeth Champion is excellent- very responsive and good to work with.

Elizabeth Fitzgerald is an excellent clerk. She’s very professional and has a great telephone manner. The other clerks pick up well in her absence. If someone is meant to call you back they do without any prompting or chasing

Excellent clerking team. Friendly and helpful. Regularly deal with Rob, Simon, Elizabeth and Paul.

Excellent clerks. Great flexibility. Great support. Not a push over but open to fee negotiation. Luke Hodgson rules with an iron fist in a kid glove. Always approachable, always willing to help. Elaine Jewell-Moor also extremely helpful and goes the extra mile.

Good, often speak to Hugh Maguire who is always helpful and on the ball/aware of what you are talking about!

Hugh Maguire and Adam Marston are excellent. The clerks are friendly, helpful, and provide a very good service.

Hugh Maguire and Adam Martson are very easy to work with

Hugh Maguire clerks Rob and he has always been very approachable.

Hugh Maguire is brilliant. Gets to know the cases so he can get what I need and fast.

I find the Clerks at St Johns to be competent and polite.

I have dealt with Simon Lyons and Paul Bennett in the main – I have found them both to be very friendly and efficient.

In my experience, the service has always been very good.

Lizzie Champion and Rob Bocock are the clerks i deal with. They are most knowledgeable and always provide a first rate service – no job is too small or too much trouble.

Luke Hodgson in particular, is very approachable and goes above and beyond to try to accommodate changes in the listing of hearings, and access to the barristers of choice.

Luke is amazing as a clerk, he is intuitive and gets things done efficiently. Elaine is equally adept at managing expectations and working magic to get the right barristers available for the right clients.

Matthew to a degree does his own clerking-probably due to his solicitor background. Unlike some counsel, he does not have an “ivory tower” attitude.

Most of my dealings have been with the Practice Team Leader Paul Bennett who I find very helpful. Enquiries are always dealt with promptly.

Paul Bennett and Rob Bocock are always on hand to answer queries and pick up instructions. The clerking team as a whole works well together so there is a seamless service even if a particular clerk is unavailable.

Paul Bennett is a fantastic asset to their clerking team. He is helpful and friendly and makes everything run more smoothly.

Paul Bennett is my go to clerk at St John’s. He always responds and will try to accommodate requests as regards fees.

Paul Bennett, Rob Bocock and Simon Lyons are all extremely responsive, sensible and pragmatic.

Please see above. Annette Bushell is always particularly helpful and approachable.

Rob Bocock and Paul Bennett are excellent and are more prone to pick up the phone to discuss requirements than email which is the default of most other chambers

Rob Bocock has been a long-standing and particularly helpful clerk.

Robert Bocock is fantastic. Paul Bennett is an excellent Clerk.

Simon Lyons and Rob Bocock are both very responsive and easy to get hold of.

Simon Lyons and Rob Bocock are nothing short of brilliant when it comes to service. They are both responsive and really do their best for you.

Simon Lyons is an exceptional clerk who should take credit for many of the solicitor / counsel relationships. Understanding in his approach and not afraid to tackle difficult conversations when necessary.

Simon Lyons. Good clerk. Always friendly and happy to help reliable

Special mention to Luke and Elaine for their client service and always helpful, problem solving approach.

St John’s have a great clerking team which make it easy to arrange cons and get instructions to Counsel. They are happy to work electronically, which is essential nowadays.

St John’s is a modern set with very good reliable clerking. Calls and emails are always dealt with promptly.

The Chancery Clerks are available when needed as well as being friendly and professional. They are very responsive and quick to provide fee estimates; accurate when doing so.

The clerk service is excellent. If your preferred counsel is not available they will move work around or ensure that you are informed if there are prospects of cover. Annette Bushell and Adam Marston stand out.

The clerking at St.John’s has always been very good. In particular Paul Bennett is always extremely helpful and responds to enquiries quickly.

The clerking is good with the team led by the ever excellent Derek Jenkins.

The clerking staff are always happy to assist and provide a very good service.

The clerking team is excellent, very efficient and very friendly.

The clerking team is great and makes securing counsel an easy process – clear transparency on fees.

The clerks are all helpful and approachable. They respond quickly and are proactive in resolving any issues that arise. For the most part I have dealt with Annette Bushell for many years and Adam Marston more recently and I find them both charming and helpful.

The clerks are always friendly and able to assist with enquiries. I have contact with Simon Lyons and Paul Bennett – both of whom are professional and friendly and quick to turn around enquiries and information when required.

The clerks are always helpful and able to keep you informed of any difficulties and provide alternatives when other cases unexpectedly run over.

The Clerks are always helpful. They are friendly and in my opinion this sets them apart from many other sets.

The clerks are always very friendly and helpful; again they are an essential part of the excellent service delivered by this set of Chambers

The clerks are efficient and helpful

The clerks are excellent and always try to accommodate my needs, no matter how demanding I appear. Annette and Adam stand out amongst a very good group of clerks.

The clerks are excellent. In particular, Marcus was meant to do a conference with me on one of my cases. He was in a trial in the week before and his clerk contacted me to inform me that the trial was likely to overrun and if it did so it would affect the conference. However if this did happen they would try and rearrange as soon as possible. This gave me the opportunity to prepare my experts and client rather than things being done last minute. In the end his trial did overrun but we were all prepared for this and the clerk (Hugh Maguire) went out of his way to rearrange asap.

The clerks are excellent. They are very quick to respond and offer various options in terms of cost and seniority of counsel. I deal predominantly with Paul Bennett who is completely on the ball.

The clerks are exceptional. Very helpful and flexible on brief fees and respond to emails promptly.

The Clerks are extremely helpful and friendly in their approach.

The clerks are very helpful and do their upmost to accommodate any request.

The Clerks are very helpful and quick to respond.

The clerks at St John’s Chambers are exceptional and you could not ask them to be more helpful and accommodating. They will always find a barrister for the case even at short notice and are very happy to chat through a case and recommend the best barrister for the claim. I particularly highly regard Hugh, Adam and Annette who are the clinical negligence clerks and who are always willing to help and they provide a first rate service.

The clerks have always provided a professional service.

The clerks on the care side of the team work well and are efficient and helpful.

The clerks room is superbe, offering a swift and proactive service. I am particularly impressed by Paul Bennett.

The clerks run the team well, are in control of all diaries and try their best to accommodate tight deadlines. In particular, Hugh Maguire has been exceptionally helpful and diligent when providing short-notice assistance and is quick to offer solutions.

The clerks work hard to support counsel. They respond promptly and are extremely well organised. This enables a fluent working relationship.

The clerksroom are extremely responsive and nothing is ever too much trouble. Annette Bushell leads the clinical negligence team strongly and the clerks Adam and Hugh really understand the issues in the cases and are keen to help to ensure cases progress smoothly.

The PI clerks are universally excellent and helpful. If not available on the telephone they will return messages promptly.

The PI clerks have real strength in depth with my two main contacts being Hugh Maguire and Adam Marston. Both are unflappable and always available.

The team at St John’s is very effective and always available to assist wherever required.

Their clerks are great. Get on really well with them.

We have had many dealing with Paul Bennett and Rob Bocock, both have been exceptionally helpful and well organised.

We have had many dealings with Paul Bennett and Rob Bocock, both have been exceptionally helpful and well organised.

You always get a first-class service from the St John’s Chambers team – and , importantly, at realistic and proportionate prices .

Set:

A good local set with a well deserved reputation for clinical negligence due to its longstanding contribution in this area. As a rule, the barristers are all affable yet highly professional and take their work very seriously whatever the case. They offer an impressive array of training events for local lawyers and are the ‘go to’ for many lawyers in the South West.

A sound local set, useful in providing cover for Inquests and matters of moderate to mid range value.

A strong set with excellent practitioners covering a wider range of areas

A very good set particularly in property, land nuisance and regulatory work. The barristers are always prepared to travel and look at things on the ground with the client.

A very professional, efficient and amicable set. Clerks are excellent and willing to go that extra step to help.

A very professional, efficient and amicable set. The Clerks are excellent and willing to go above and beyond.

Always a good service

Always helpful and swift to reply to queries.

Always very happy with chambers. High quality barristers across the spectrum of contentious probate.

Andrew is the only barrister from this set with whom I do any meaningful volumes of work.

Availability is good and generally good quality of work.

Chambers are very efficient. I can usually secure counsel for both advices and hearings. Chambers offer numerous training facilities and have also supported our own client training sessions including mock trials and general training updates.

Counsel and his clerk are always helpful and available to pick up urhent matters as and when needed.

Excellent depth in this area, if counsel not available an excellent alternative can always be offered

Excellent on financial remedy and children.

Excellent set of chambers. Good quality throughout

Excellent set with great clerks.

Fantastic chambers across the board. Some excellent Juniors and fantastic senior Counsel. All incredibly down to earth and obliging. Very user friendly. A great bunch.

Formidably strong local set. London set service, but just around the corner from the office. Have come to the fore with assistance during Covid-19 lockdown. Everyone sings from the same hymn sheet and understand each others specialities.

From Leslie Blohm QC downwards, the agricultural team know their stuff and are committed to the sector. This includes travelling some distance to give talks and provide assistance and training to organisations such as the regional groups of the Agricultural Law Association, and regional law societies.

Good quality training programmes and Counsel (particularly Rob Mills and Marcus Coates-Walker) have been willing on many occasions to come to our firm and provide bespoke training.

Good range of counsel at all levels to cover hearings where counsel is not available

Good set with good reputation for chancery work. Oliver Wooding and Alex Troup are standout performers. There are a number of weak barristers there which water down the set somewhat.

Good set. I also work with Rob Mills who is an excellent barrister.

Good strength in depth and excellent clerking.

Great set for several areas of work with newer barristers, such as Charlie Newington Bridges rapidly gaining a strong reputation.

I find St John’s Chambers to be very easy to work with. The wide range of barristers means I am able to instruct someone with appropriate experience, even at short notice. I have attended a number of useful training sessions run by or in conjunction with the Chambers both in house and at conferences.

I have instructed St Johns Chambers since I was a trainee. Since then I have instructed them without fail. Annette Bushell is fantastic and Derek is lovely. If I need a advice on something particularly specialist there is always someone available. James Marwick for medical negligence and personal injury Andrew McLaughlin for personal injury and Emma Zeb for medical negligence, They are first on my list for training programmes and their affiliation with Headway. Availability is never an issue, I have spoken with counsel and for this example Mr Valentine during the evenings, weekends, holidays. Always on hand to advise.

I have never experienced any issues with instructing Counsel. The Clerks are always readily willing to recommend alternative suitable counsel in the event of unavailability.

I have been to a number of conferences run by Legal Networks Wales in which barristers from St Johns have spoken. They have been very helpful and informative in keeping up to date with case law and changes in legislation.

I have used many Counsel from St John’s Chambers over the years. There is usually an array of Counsel I can choose from but to name a few – Andrew McLaughlin, James Marwick, Darren Lewis, Jimmy Barber, Patrick West, Ben Handy, Rachel Russell. They run training programmes regularly aimed at handling the most complex cases to courses designed on a breadth of topics for the more junior fee earners.

I have used St Johns for many years. The clerks are very helpful. If Miss Elford is not available,(always a first choice), then they assist with the matching of the client with an alternative barrister I have been on many of their training courses which have been helpful and informative.

I have worked with Chambers for over 10 years and have always found members and clerks to be excellent to work with. They have strength in depth we have an excellent working relationship with chambers.

I like the set as a whole, they run some excellent training throughout the year and are strong supporters of Bristol lawyers.

I strongly recommend St Johns Chambers. I instruct several members of Chambers on a regular basis and find that the quality of their work is every bit as high as with specialist London based Chambers, yet at a more competitive cost.

I use St John’s Chambers a great deal for all my clinical negligence cases, They have a large number of very competent and experienced clinical negligence barristers all of whom I trust and find are brilliant. They provide excellent training courses.

I very much like working with St John’s Chambers. I have instructed a number of their Barristers over the last 9 years. They have a good range of Barristers to cover most matters and levels of experience. They usually have someone suitable available, even at the last minute, and then also run helpful and informative training courses. They are my “go-to” set for Commercial and Chancery work.

In my view St John’s Chambers are the go to set in the South West. They provide London quality advice to our region on our doorstep. Vanessa McKinlay leads the ever expanding clinical negligence and PI team at St John’s. There are some very impressive Juniors coming up through the ranks who are extremely competent and engaging.

In my view they are the strongest chancery set in the southwest. The quality of their counsel as a whole is excellent compared to other chambers

Lots of talented barristers covering niche cases involving the Animals Act 1971 for example.

Luke is a very knowledgeable and experienced senior clerk who is a pleasure to deal with.

Set contains a number of well respected personal injury practitioners.

Several outstanding litigators in the Chancery and Property teams

SJC run seminars on topical issues that are well attended. On the planning front they have a decent number of planning barristers although my instructions are limited to practice leading Peter Wadsley.

Solid set of family law barristers from most senior to most junior. Excellent support and collaboration provided to their up and coming juniors.

They work hard to ensure availability.

St Johns are always highly efficient to work with, and keen to help. I find them honest and commercial.

St Johns Chambers are my preferred chambers for the specialist work that I carry out. They offer a good range of training and do their utmost to always accommodate any request of counsel’s opinion or appearance.

St Johns Chambers are one of the fore-front chambers offering counsel for Public Childcare. The clerks are particularly helpful and will go above and beyond to find cover for hearings at short notice.

St Johns Chambers, easy to speak with, helpful clerks, good availability, good training – will send videos of seminars & folders/info packs if cannot attend etc

St Johns do have strength in depth when it comes to property, from QC to junior level. That does make them the strongest set in the Western Circuit.

St Johns has a good reputation in the contentious probate area. They are approachable and accommodating and always willing to get involved in training seminars etc. I always attend their contentious probate seminars, which are always well delivered and have excellent content.

St Johns has a very good spread of family law barristers with a range of styles to suit most cases

St Johns has a very strong Chancery team and excellent clerks. Their barristers are expert, approachable, down to earth and offer London expertise at regional rates.

St Johns have a number of excellent barristers across different practice areas. I tend to instruct Zoe Saunders, Lucy Reed (Children Act matters) and Charles Auld (Chancery)

St Johns is a friendly and helpful chambers. Matthew White and Andrew Mclaughlin are stand out counsel for personal injury work.

St Johns is my set of choice in the south west and further a field if they can accomodate.

St Johns is the only chambers I will use in the South West. They have a large panel of suitably qualified barristers, whether the case is worth £1000 or £1M.

St Johns’ care team is excellent. They are highly sought after which means they are not always available.

St John’s are very well respected in Bristol and the South West, used by our team across our offices. They have a range of specialisms and have assisted in cases involving children, complex finances and unmarried couples.

St John’s Chambers are a regional set with a number of experienced Chancery barristers and mediators. They are well known and respected on the western circuit. Although a regional set, they have a wealth of experience on par with London sets.

St John’s Chambers are a well run, excellent set of Chambers who deliver London-quality work, whilst based in the South West.

St John’s Chambers are one of the best around. There is a good range of Counsel and their training seminars are informative.

St John’s Chambers Bristol is an excellent set of Chambers with great strength in depth across all areas of specialism. They provide regular first class training course at very reasonable cost.

St John’s Chambers commands the South West market with exceptional breadth in most practice areas. Some heavy weight senior counsel but a growing group of juniors means they are able to assist 9 times out of 10.

St John’s Chambers have a strong team of Chancery Court Barristers who collectively have a wide range of experience coupled with their impressive depth of knowledge.

St John’s Chambers is a high quality set of chambers with Counsel with a wide range of skills. They are very easy to work with. Helpful and friendly. They offer regular training seminars and useful information on legal developments. They will remain one of my “go-to” sets.

St John’s Chambers is my go-to chambers in Bristol for construction advice. They provide good training on a broad range of topics, including those relating to construction. The back office staff are very approachable and helpful.

St John’s Chambers is my go-to set of chambers in Bristol. They have a broad range of experience and also expertise which ensures that you can get a great match for you client from all walks of life

St John’s Chambers is one of the leading Clinical Negligence sets in Bristol. Vanessa McKinlay is frequently instructed in clinical negligence claims, particularly for client’s based in the South West.

St John’s Chambers is the go to set in the South West for Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury. They have invested a lot in building up a strong base of quality Juniors and Senior Juniors who bring London quality advice to the Western Circuit on our doorstep.

St John’s Chambers is the only set I would consider approaching outside of London for construction and engineering disputes. I attended a very good event on mediation organised by St John’s.

St John’s Chambers offers a high quality service, with high quality Counsel.

St John’s Chambers tend to have more of a PI focus than claimant clinical negligence, although I have used Rob Mills previously who I know has a good reputation for this work.

St John’s has a good broad range of talent. Excellent responsive clerking. Good value and excellent training offering.

St John’s has an excellent range of talent especially dealing with children matters. Generally they always have counsel available if booked in sufficient time. I’ve not had any experience with them in respect of finances yet.

St John’s is an excellent set backed by good clerks.

St John’s Chambers are the leading regional set outside of London in the South of England. The Chambers have a wide range of barristers who are each specialists in their work areas. They also provide excellent, informative seminars which are widely recognised and well attended in the practice area.

St John’s Chambers are the leading regional set outside of London, in the South of England. The Chambers have a wide range of barristers who are each specialists in their work areas. They also provide excellent, informative seminars which are widely recognised and well attended in the industry.

St John’s Chambers is a leading regional heavy-weight. I have never had any inclination to pay London prices when I can get the same level of expertise and quality of service for considerably less and far closer to home.

St. Johns are a good local set who have some very strong barristers.

St. John’s Chambers are a very strong set and are a definite go-to set in both Bristol and the west country generally. Some members in the Family team are published in relation to particular aspects of family proceedings also so that they have become authorities in relation to those aspects.

St. John’s is undoubtedly the best set for contentious trusts and probate in the region. They have a number of very good specialists.

Strongest set in Bristol and very competitive with London.

The absolute go-to set for chancery and commercial in the southwest.

The Chambers is always very prepared, organised and professional.

The go-to set for traditional chancery work, both in the South West and arguably nationally: they give London a run for their money: London quality, without London fees.

The set as a whole are great. Very corporate approach to BD and marketing and clerking, and this results in a very slick process for solicitors.

The set is building in strength through the very good juniors coming through; aided by the excellent clerking team.

The set is large and generally will have someone who can cover a hearing even at short notice.

The set is reliably excellent. As good as any London set and often much better.

Their clin neg set is the best in Bristol. There is someone for every type of case, all of whom are at the tope of their game and present stiff competition for the London sets.

There is definitely strength in depth in this Chambers. They provide excellent seminars and knowledge transfer events. They will often have several options in terms of counsel if instructions need advice at short notice.

They are an excellent set of chambers that provide a high quality service to their clients.

They are in my opinion by far the best set in Bristol. Their clerks are very efficient and they offer excellent training as well.

They are now putting out weekly webinars which are very good

They do provide a “London” service here in the West Country and are a well rounded set, providing superb general and specialist training to all levels of solicitors both junior and senior and are always available to provide a second “ear” for tricky tactical situations.

They have an excellent pool of juniors who are frequently available on short notice, I use Marcus Coates-Walker and Robert Mills frequently, and both provide very high quality advice.

They have excellence within their ranks so even if my chosen Barrister is unavailable for a hearing, I know that matters will be dealt with appropriately.

They have real heavyweights such as Leslie Blohm QC, who has years of experience and in the case I referred to above added value due to his knowledge of the inquest rules and also aspects of criminal law which featured in the case. The juniors in the set are proactive – Charlie Newington-Bridges stepped in to pick up a hearing due to unavailability and very quickly got up to speed and was a confident advocate despite being called in at short notice. Juniors such as Natasha and Annie Sampson are trained well by the other members of chambers.

V good set broad range of skills and depth.

Very positive views on set as a whole. Excellent clerking, with good recommendations as to suitability of particular barristers, good strength in depth, best I have come across to date in Bristol.

Very prompt in responding; and always polite and helpful.

 

St John’s Chambers is one of the largest and most prestigious barristers’ sets in the South West, with 8 silks and 74 juniors attracting high-quality work in all major areas of civil law. We were voted ‘Regional Set of the Year 2018’ by Legal 500 and ‘Chambers of the Year 2018‘ by Bristol Law Society; these awards endorse our position as a stand-out national set. Chambers has recently been shortlisted ‘Regional Set of the Year’ by Chambers UK Bar Awards 2020.

We demonstrate excellence and innovation in the provision of legal services having been involved in a number of landmark decisions in the High Court and Court of Appeal. The leading directories describe us as a ‘Western Circuit Powerhouse’ (Legal 500) and ‘Like having London-quality barristers on your doorstep.’ (Chambers UK).

Our stand-out legal expertise is evidenced by the number of our members who go on to distinguished service in the judiciary. Within the team we have five Recorders, one fee-paid Judge of the Upper Tier Tribunal, two High Court Judges, three Deputy District Judges, an Assistant Deputy Coroner and two members on the Attorney General list.

Our commitment

Whether you are a law firm, a business, a public sector organisation or a private individual, you can be sure you will receive legal expertise and client care of the very highest standards from St John’s. Our barristers are described by peers as easy to work with and committed to delivering quality advice on time. They will prepare the strongest possible case and keep all parties informed at every stage. As part of our commitment to our clients, we make sure all communications are timely, clear and concise.

Our clients

Our client base includes regional and national law firms, representing and advising prominent businesses and private individuals. We also provide advice and representation under the public access scheme to members of the public and individual professionals and executives such as planning consultants, managing directors and doctors. Read more.

Areas of work

We have top tier expertise in: agriculture & rural affairs, clinical negligence, commercial, construction & engineering, Court of Protection, employment, family & divorce, health & safety, inquests & public inquiries, international arbitration, licensing, personal injury, planning, professional negligence, public & administrative law, real estate, tax, and wills & trusts.

Mediation

For cases where mediation is appropriate, we have a team of 26 qualified mediators available to assist in the capacity of adviser, advocate or mediator.

Department Name Email Telephone
Chief executive Derek Jenkins
Head of Marketing & Events Sarah Sands
Office manager Isabelle Mills
Key clerking contacts Rob Bocock (commercial and Chancery)
Key clerking contacts Luke Hodgson (family)
Key clerking contacts Annette Bushell (personal injury and clinical negligence)
Members of Chambers SHARP QC, Christopher (1975)
Members of Chambers BLOHM QC, Leslie (1982)
Members of Chambers WILSON-SMITH QC, Christopher (1965)*
Members of Chambers ORNSBY QC, Suzanne (1986)*
Members of Chambers PHILLIPS QC, Matthew (1993)
Members of Chambers GODWIN QC, William (1986)*
Members of Chambers O'SULLIVAN QC, Derek (1990)*
Members of Chambers BLACKMORE, John (1983)
Members of Chambers STEAD, Richard (1979)
Members of Chambers NEILL, Robin (1979)
Members of Chambers AULD, Charles (1980)
Members of Chambers WADSLEY, Peter (1984)
Members of Chambers HUNTER, Susan (1985)
Members of Chambers MILLER, Nick (1994)
Members of Chambers MORGAN, Simon (1988)
Members of Chambers LEEPER, Tom (1991)
Members of Chambers SHARPLES, John (1992)
Members of Chambers MARTIN, Dianne (1992)
Members of Chambers LIGHT, Prof Roy (1992)
Members of Chambers McLAUGHLIN, Andrew (1993)
Members of Chambers PHILLIMORE, Sarah (1994)
Members of Chambers PEARCE-SMITH, James (2002)
Members of Chambers DICKINSON, John (1995)
Members of Chambers EVANS, Judi (1996)
Members of Chambers WHITE, Matthew (1997)
Members of Chambers O'REGAN, Matthew (2015)
Members of Chambers HARRISON, Graeme (1997)
Members of Chambers HORNE, Julian (1998)
Members of Chambers TROUP, Alex (1998)
Members of Chambers BOND, Abigail (1999)
Members of Chambers VALENTINE, Justin (1999)
Members of Chambers THORNTON, Delia (1999}
Members of Chambers HUSSAIN, Zahid (2001)
Members of Chambers RUSSELL, Rachel (2001)
Members of Chambers REED, Lucy (2002)
Members of Chambers ELFORD, Caroline (2002)
Members of Chambers BELYAVIN, Julia (2003)
Members of Chambers SAUNDERS, Zoe (2003)
Members of Chambers TAYLOR, Rebecca (2003)
Members of Chambers JONES, Christopher (2004)
Members of Chambers LEWIS, Darren (2004)
Members of Chambers COMMINS, Andrew (2004)
Members of Chambers ATKINSON, Jody (2005)
Members of Chambers Asprey, Louise (2007)
Members of Chambers WEST, Patrick (2007)
Members of Chambers HANDY, Ben (2008)
Members of Chambers PIKE, Olivia (2008)
Members of Chambers BARBER, Jimmy (2008)
Members of Chambers MARWICK, James (2008)
Members of Chambers CLARKE, Michael (2009)
Members of Chambers WOODING, Oliver (2009)
Members of Chambers NORMAN, Richard (2009)
Members of Chambers DZAMEH, Natasha (2010)
Members of Chambers NEWINGTON-BRIDGES, Charlie (2011)
Members of Chambers HUGHES, James (2011)
Members of Chambers BOYLE, Adam (2012)
Members of Chambers HARRIS, Jack (2012)
Members of Chambers COATES-WALKER, Marcus (2013)
Members of Chambers GROVES, Asha (2013)
Members of Chambers SEGAL, Rachel (2013)
Members of Chambers MILLS, Robert (2014)
Members of Chambers KNIGHT, Joss (2014)
Members of Chambers LARGE, Iain (2016)
Members of Chambers Scarsbrook, Bethany (2014)
Members of Chambers RILEY, Oliver (2013)
Members of Chambers Smith-Holland, SOPHIE (2015)
Members of Chambers Dudbridge, HARRIET (2015)
Members of Chambers Soar, Daniel (2016)
Members of Chambers Sampson, ANNIE (2017)
Members of Chambers Lindfield, JONATHAN (2017)
Members of Chambers Thompson, GEORGINA (2017)
Members of Chambers Jones, RHODRI (2017)
Members of Chambers Morton, Dominik (2018)
Members of Chambers Forster, DAVID (2018)
Members of Chambers Pearson, Kate (2019)
Photo Name Position Profile
 Louise Asprey  photo Louise Asprey
 Jody Atkinson  photo Jody Atkinson Specialises in family, financial disputes (including divorce, cohabitation and child support), court…
 Charles Auld  photo Charles Auld Charles specialises in chancery and commercial work. The chancery work comprises real…
 Jimmy Barber  photo Jimmy Barber
 Julia Belyavin  photo Julia Belyavin Julia specialises in family law and her practice encompasses all areas within…
 John Blackmore  photo John Blackmore Barrister specialising in all areas of commercial litigation. Boasts particular expertise and…
 Leslie Blohm photo Leslie Blohm Chancery and commercial practitioner with a strong emphasis on property law. Real…
 Abigail Bond  photo Abigail Bond Family law barrister with a particular interest in care proceedings.
 Adam Boyle  photo Adam Boyle Adam is a specialist Commercial and Chancery barrister. His practice covers a…
 Michael Clarke  photo Michael Clarke Michael has a commercial and chancery practice. His particular areas of expertise…
 Marcus Coates-Walker  photo Marcus Coates-Walker
 Andrew Commins  photo Andrew Commins Andrew is a family law barrister specialising in all matters of family…
 John Dickinson  photo John Dickinson John specialises in chancery and commercial litigation. John’s chancery practice includes contentious…
 Harriet Dudbridge  photo Harriet Dudbridge Harriet has joined chambers after her completion of pupillage under the supervision…
 Natasha Dzameh  photo Natasha Dzameh Specialist commercial and chancery barrister. Accredited mediator.                                        
 Caroline Elford  photo Caroline Elford
 Judi Evans  photo Judi Evans Barrister specialising in planning, local government, environment and licensing law, as well…
 David Forster  photo David Forster David is a member of the Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence teams, and joined Chambers following…
 Timothy Grice  photo Timothy Grice Highly respected, heavyweight practitioner with a predominantly claimant practice involving high-value catastrophic…
 Asha Groves  photo Asha Groves
 Ben Handy  photo Ben Handy Chambers’ Head of Pupillage, Ben is an experienced personal injury barrister specialising…
 Jack Harris  photo Jack Harris Jack is recognised in Chambers & Partners as a specialist family barrister.…
 Graeme Harrison  photo Graeme Harrison
 Julian Horne  photo Julian Horne Barrister specialising in personal injury, product liability, property damage, insurance, commercial and…
 James Hughes  photo James Hughes James is a specialist personal injury and clinical negligence practitioner. He has…
 Jacqueline Humphreys  photo Jacqueline Humphreys Call: 1994
 Susan Hunter  photo Susan Hunter Susan has over 20 years’ experience working in family law at all…
 Zahid Hussain  photo Zahid Hussain Specialist family law practitioner; undertakes all aspects of private and public Children’s…
 Christopher Jones  photo Christopher Jones Christopher is a chancery and commercial specialist with particular emphasis on trust…
 Rhodri Jones  photo Rhodri Jones Rhodri is a member of the  Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence teams. He joined Chambers…
 Joss Knight  photo Joss Knight
 Iain Large  photo Iain Large
 Tim Leader  photo Tim Leader
 Tom Leeper  photo Tom Leeper Practises on the western circuit exclusively in clinical negligence, inquests and personal…
 Darren Lewis  photo Darren Lewis Darren has a specialist PI multi-track and fast-track personal injury practice with…
Prof Roy Light  photo Prof Roy Light Prof Light enjoys a national reputation for the quality of his work.…
 Jonathan Lindfield  photo Jonathan Lindfield Jonathan has a specialised practice covering all aspects of Personal Injury and…
 Dianne Martin  photo Dianne Martin Specialist family practitioner: Dianne practises across the spectrum of family work with…
 James Marwick  photo James Marwick
 Adrian Maxwell  photo Adrian Maxwell Defends and prosecutes in heavy crime on all circuits. Specialises in fraud…
 Andrew Mclaughlin  photo Andrew Mclaughlin Talented and popular practitioner. Known for his ability to provide swift and…
 Nick Miller  photo Nick Miller Formerly a solicitor, Nick has specialised in family law, exclusively financial cases,…
 Robert Mills  photo Robert Mills Robert is a clinical negligence specialist, acting for both claimants and defendants.…
 Ryan Morgan  photo Ryan Morgan Ryan accepts instructions in all areas of family law with a particular…
 Simon Morgan  photo Simon Morgan Senior member of chambers specialising in regulatory matters and serious crime. Significant…
 Dominik Morton  photo Dominik Morton
 Robin Neill  photo Robin Neill Robin is a highly experienced lawyer, bringing with him the twin benefits…
 Charlie Newington-bridges  photo Charlie Newington-bridges Charlie undertakes a wide range of commercial and chancery work in litigation,…
 Richard Norman  photo Richard Norman Richard practises in family law and is a member of the family…
Mr Matthew O'Regan photo Mr Matthew O'Regan Competition, regulatory and EU law specialist. Practice covers all aspects of UK…
 James Pearce-smith  photo James Pearce-smith Barrister specialising in commercial and chancery litigation. Areas of practice: commercial contract…
 Kate Pearson  photo Kate Pearson
 Sarah Phillimore  photo Sarah Phillimore Undertakes public and private law children applications. Sarah is registered with the…
 Olivia Pike  photo Olivia Pike Olivia is a family law barrister, specialising in public and private law…
 Lucy Reed  photo Lucy Reed Lucy is a family law specialist and has practiced in family law throughout…
 David Regan  photo David Regan Specialises in personal injury, clinical and other professional negligence and employment law.…
 Oliver Riley  photo Oliver Riley Oliver is a family barrister and accepts instructions in all areas of…
 Rachel Russell  photo Rachel Russell Specialist personal injury practitioner. Busy practice acting for both claimants (on a…
 Annie Sampson  photo Annie Sampson Annie’s broad commercial and chancery practice encompasses wills and trusts work, real…
 Zoe Saunders  photo Zoe Saunders Zoë is a specialist family law barrister and mediator, and completed her…
 Bethany Scarsbrook photo Bethany Scarsbrook
 Rachel Segal  photo Rachel Segal
 Christopher Sharp photo Christopher Sharp A personal injury and family law specialist with many years experience, who…
 John Sharples  photo John Sharples Barrister specialising in all areas of real property and landlord and tenant…
 Kathryn Skellorn photo Kathryn Skellorn Specialist Children Act practitioner experienced in all aspects of public and private…
 Sophie Smith-Holland  photo Sophie Smith-Holland Sophie is a specialist family law practitioner with a thriving junior practice…
 Daniel Soar  photo Daniel Soar
 Richard Stead  photo Richard Stead One of Chambers most senior practitioners, Richard Stead has an extensive practice…
 Rebecca Taylor  photo Rebecca Taylor Experienced civil practitioner, with specialisms in civil fraud, construction, and personal injury.
 Georgina Thompson  photo Georgina Thompson Georgina is a member of the Commercial and Chancery team. She joined…
 Delia Thornton  photo Delia Thornton Specialises in family law and deals with a wide range of public…
 Alex Troup  photo Alex Troup Practises in the chancery field with a particularly strong expertise in property…
 Justin Valentine  photo Justin Valentine Justin specialises in clinical negligence and personal injury litigation. He undertakes all…
 Peter Wadsley  photo Peter Wadsley Barrister specialising in planning and local government law, environment law and licensing.…
 Patrick West  photo Patrick West Practises in all areas of personal injury work for both claimants and…
 Matthew White  photo Matthew White Matthew routinely deals with all aspects of personal injury litigation for both…
 Oliver Wooding  photo Oliver Wooding Chancery practitioner and mediator focussing on contentious and non-contentious probate and inheritance…

St John’s Chambers is committed to celebrating and advancing Equality, Diversity and Wellbeing at the Bar.

Inclusivity and fairness are of paramount importance to us. We truly believe that the Bar should be populated by those with the requisite gifts, regardless of their background or the challenges which life may have placed in their path.

We provide a working culture in which all our barristers and staff are treated with dignity and respect. We benefit from an environment where our colleagues feel comfortable to be themselves and do their best work. As a result we have twice been nominated in the Legal Cheek Awards: in 2020 for ‘Best Chambers for Colleague Supportiveness’, and in 2021 for ‘Best Chambers for Work-Life Balance’.

St John’s Chambers understands diversity at the Bar is an issue which requires the work and attention of far more than just one Chambers, however we are determined to do everything in our power to lead from the front on this very important matter. It is an issue which should be close to the heart of everyone interested in justice and fairness.

As part of our continued commitment to promoting diversity we have instigated the following:

  • Mini-Pupillage: As part of the Western Circuit’s ‘BarNone’ initiative we have pledged to offer 50% of mini-pupillages to applicants from underrepresented backgrounds.
  • Mentoring: We are also signatories to the ‘BarNone’ mentoring scheme, providing guidance and support to aspiring barristers from underrepresented backgrounds.
  • Internships: We are proud to be part of the Bar’s inaugural programme with 10,000 Black Interns which starts in Summer 2022, along with organisations such as Matrix Chambers, Keating, Littleton, and Bridging the Bar. Through this scheme we will be offering paid work experience in Chambers.
  • Secondary School outreach: We are part of the Bar Council’s outreach program, as well as offering work experience placements to Year 10 students in the Bristol / South Gloucestershire / BANES catchment area.
  • Pupillage applications: Before written applications for pupillage are assessed we redact data indicative of sex and ethnic background in order to limit the scope for unconscious bias. We are also proud to be one of the few chambers to redact the identity of the university and school our applicants attended. All applicants are marked according to measurable and transparent criteria based on key competencies. For more information take a look at our pupillage policy here.
  • Bar E-Mentoring Scheme: Visit this page.
  • Webinars: We have put in place a program of webinars promoting equal opportunities for underrepresented groups.
  • New Pupils: We have a ‘buddy’ system for our pupils so that they have someone other than their supervisor to speak to about welfare issues.
  • Barrister and staff recruitment: All of those involved in the recruitment at St John’s Chambers are offered regular Fair Recruitment and Selection training.
  • Work allocation: All of our clerks are offered fair distribution of work training.
  • Flexible working and parental Leave: We have a generous parental leave policy in place to support our members who become parents whether through pregnancy, surrogacy, or adoption. In addition, we also have a policy in place to support our members to work flexibly where they need or choose to do so.
  • Wellbeing: St John’s Chambers was one of the first Sets to be awarded the Bar Council Wellbeing at the Bar Certification. St John’s is also a member of Bristol City Council Wellbeing Charter.

Data Diversity Information

Under the terms of the Bar Standards Board’s Equality and Diversity Provisions of the Code of Conduct, each set of barristers’ Chambers is required to collect diversity data from barristers and Chambers’ staff. This data is updated annually and will be published in July 2021.

If you have any comments or suggestions relating to how we could improve our offering on this front, please do not hesitate to contact the Data Diversity Officer Isabelle Mills with your suggestions.


CLIENT: Simon Care, Partner
COMPANY/FIRM: Berry Smith
TESTIMONIAL: “St John’s is an excellent set of chambers with a deservedly strong reputation. Chambers offer a wide range of barristers with varying levels of expertise; this means that St John’s is our ‘go-to’ chambers for all levels of chancery, commercial, and property matters. We are confident when instructing Counsel at St John’s that the matter is in safe hands, and that the advice received will be consistently clear, comprehensive, and informative. Additionally, the clerks are approachable, helpful, and efficient; and are always willing to go above and beyond to ensure that an excellent service is provided.”


CLIENT: Maeve England, Partner
COMPANY/FIRM: Mogers Drewett
TESTIMONIAL: “St John’s Chambers in Bristol is our go-to set for property and commercial disputes. This is a standout, excellent set with great strength in depth, ably supported by an efficient and responsive team of clerks. I cannot overstate the role of the clerks team, whose whole approach is to make things as accessible and easy to use as possible. Particular strengths are their very experienced and skilled real estate litigators and their top-rate commercial team.”


CLIENT: Georgia Wookey, Associate Solicitor
COMPANY/FIRM: Wards Solicitors
TESTIMONIAL: “St Johns Chambers Wills and Trusts team is very highly regarded for inheritance and trust disputes. A number of their Wills and Trusts barristers also have excellent skills in Family, Agricultural, Court of Protection and Commercial law meaning they can handle the most complex cases which often involve cross-over expertise. The barristers I have had the pleasure to work with at every level are approachable, client friendly and experts in their field. The clerks are equally friendly and approachable and on hand to offer assistance at every stage. With such a large team of different levels of experience, cross-over expertise and years of call, there is an option for all budget levels and case types.”


CLIENT: Frances Letchford, Managing Associate
COMPANY/FIRM: Enable Law
TESTIMONIAL: “St John’s Chambers are an exceptionally professional set of barristers Chambers, with a superb clinical negligence speciality. The quality of service provided by the whole clinical negligence team is outstanding. No communication has ever been over-looked or message left unanswered and as an instructing solicitor, this is so critical. The attention to detail, strength of knowledge, ability to meet deadlines and provide high standards of work, even at very short notice is the reason I have used these chambers for many years. I know from discussions with colleagues at Enable Law, that these chambers have very many excellent clinical negligence barristers, with a wide breadth of expertise and whom my colleagues regularly instruct. I myself, have instructed several barristers at St John’s but in particular, Justin Valentine is without doubt one of the most skilful impressive barristers I have worked with”.


CLIENT: Gareth Schofield, Partner
COMPANY/FIRM: Clarke Willmott LLP
TESTIMONIAL: “I have been doing this job for far too long but have always valued both the expertise that St John’s provides in terms of its barristers and the way that it is run so as to make the process of using a barrister as painless and effective as possible. Their service levels are fantastic and take full account of all the vagaries and difficulties of family work. They have a vast range of experts in their field including in matrimonial finance, the unmarried family and child law who we both regularly use and come up against on the Western Circuit, and further afield. They have enthusiastically embraced direct access and the imaginative ways cases are now being dealt with using the “new” technology and also arbitration and mediation in all its forms and have experts to both judge and advise on these issues. I have no hesitation in recommending them for the award – it would be a very deserved accolade!”