Set Profile > Three Stone > London, England

Chambers of John McDonnell QC
Three Stone


Leading Silks

David Lord QC - Three StoneHe gets the ear of any judge with ease and clients love his no-nonsense plain language.
Ranked: Tier 1

Property litigation

Leading Juniors

Sebastian Kokelaar - Three StoneShines both on paper and on his feet. Knowledgeable, very thorough and careful, a good advocate.
Ranked: Tier 4


Leading Juniors

Katherine Hallett - Three StoneShe has very sound judgement and is able to balance the legal position with the commercial realities.
Ranked: Tier 4
James Couser - Three StoneHe is very commercially astute, often spotting commercial and practical points other junior counsel do not.
Ranked: Tier 5

Commercial litigation

Leading Silks

David Lord QC - Three StoneHe is never fazed by a question from the judge, is always calm and well-reasoned and immaculately well-prepared in court, with encyclopaedic knowledge always of the documents and their contents - clients love him and he is a true team player and always a joy to work with.
Ranked: Tier 4

Insurance and reinsurance

Leading Silks

David Lord QC - Three StoneAn exceptionally good cross-examiner and advocate, who works immensely hard and is always committed.
Ranked: Tier 5

Set overviews: England and Wales

Three Stone is highly regarded for its strength in Chancery commercial matters. In recent news, Christopher Howitt joined chambers from Kobre & Kim LLP while Mark Watson-Gandy was appointed Commander of the Order of St John.



‘All clerks which I have dealt with have been very professional in their approach and have offered their full assistance (which has included attending the High Court and the Supreme Court on occasions to file documents and to collect orders). In the main I have dealt with Steve Anten and Frank Lee.’

‘Excellent – particularly Bill Rice.’

‘Gary Bateman is a real star.’

‘Good all round clerks room and go the extra mile to help/facilitate clients.’

‘I work mainly with Gary . He is very helpful and efficient. He is easy to get hold of and when not available there are other clerks who cover him.’

‘Justin Brown is outstanding.’

The clerking team are friendly, user friendly and realistic on fees. Certainly one of the easier sets to deal with.’

‘[He] is readily available and able to understand the counsel best suited to my clients needs, whether it is a cost issue or a niche area of expertise.’

‘The clerks here go over and above. We deal with Bill Rice who we can commend as being one of the best clerks around; always willing to help and accommodate any eventuality which arises. He is our go to clerk when in difficulty as he will always find a way to help.’

‘Very helpful and contactable out of hours – nothing is too much for them. Special mention of Mr Bill Rice.’


‘3 Stone Chambers are very well respected for chancery type work, particularly insolvency – where they have a good number of very able junior counsel.’

‘A very user friendly and modern Chambers . I have used various barristers there and have been very happy with the service. The clerks are particularly friendly, efficient and helpful. Particularly strong on contentious probate , commercial and property related matters.’

‘They have some really excellent juniors coming up – and a good number of them are individuals who have successfully transitioned from solicitor to barrister, which makes them particularly good to work with.’

‘Excellent set with upcoming trust and contentious probate lawyers.’

‘I solely use Three Stone Chambers due to availability of counsel, their fees are reasonable, and I have not received poor advice/representation for my clients so far from these chambers.’

‘Three Stone is a very strong set of counsel, approachable and responsive.’

Strong set with strength in depth when it comes to trust and probate disputes.’

Three Stone is a merger between the members of highly regarded sets 13 Old Square Chambers and 3 Stone Buildings to form one set of chambers called Three Stone. The merger has been widely reported in the legal press.

The set: Three Stone has always focused on commercial chancery, with specialisms in particular in commercial actions, insurance and reinsurance, insolvency and restructuring, commercial trusts, trusts of land, property work, traditional chancery work, and taxation. Two members have developed high-quality public international law practices. Chambers also has an established IP practice and this has developed in tandem with expertise in sports, media and entertainment and has been augmented by the recruitment of competition specialists.

A highly efficient set of barristers, committed to delivering excellence to clients in accordance with the best traditions of the Bar, chambers has developed a substantial offshore reputation and practice. Two members are admitted in New York, other members have appeared regularly in Hong Kong, have been admitted ad hoc to appear in cases in the Cayman Islands, as well as in the Caribbean jurisdictions, Isle of Man, Eire and Northern Ireland. The sets’ presence offshore is also growing, with connections in Guernsey and Jersey.

Chambers’ client base ranges from Magic Circle to high-street firms, with strong regional connections to the Midlands and the North West. Instructions are received directly from firms in the Channel Islands, the Caribbean, Hong Kong and New York, and in the past year the volume of work undertaken has increased significantly, requiring chambers to recruit a number of new, highly experienced members.

Types of work undertaken: Members of chambers conduct a wide range of litigious and advisory work in most offshore jurisdictions and accept instructions from foreign clients who have no established relationship with English solicitors. Members’ expertise in commercial litigation, banking and finance, insolvency, trust law and the land laws of other jurisdictions, and extensive experience of interim remedies and as trial lawyers, are particularly valuable.

All members of Three Stone are accustomed to advising and appearing in mediations and arbitrations, and individual members have been engaged in some substantial arbitrations in recent years. Three Stones’ members are all regularly retained in mediations either as advocates or mediators. The sets’ involvement includes English, European and international procedures, with a substantially increasing practice in Anglo-American proceedings conducted in the US, the UK and elsewhere around the world as members also act as experts on English law in alternative dispute procedures conducted by foreign lawyers.

Three Stone is able to accept instructions across an extensive range of law, including arbitration; art (cultural property); banking and financial regulation litigation; charities; civil fraud (asset tracing and recovery); commercial disputes and litigation; company law; competition law; conflict of laws; construction; Court of Protection (powers of attorney); entertainment (media and sports); financial regulation; insolvency and restructuring; insurance/reinsurance; intellectual property; mediation and ADR; offshore; partnership; pensions; professional liability; property; public international law; regulatory; taxation; trusts (trusts of land); and wills, probate and family provision.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior clerk Justin Brown
Head of Chambers McDONNELL QC, John (1984)
Member of Chambers MATHEW QC, Robin (1992)
Member of Chambers LORD QC, David W (2009)
Member of Chambers SUBEDI QC (Hons), Surya (2017)
Member of Chambers COSEDGE, Andrew (1972)
Member of Chambers GIBBONS, James (1974)
Member of Chambers JEFFERIS, Michael (1976)
Member of Chambers TUNKEL, Alan M (1976)
Member of Chambers DETTER, Ingrid (1977)
Member of Chambers BOURNE, Robert (1978)
Member of Chambers TURNER, Jonathan DC (1982)
Member of Chambers COLLACO MORAES, Francis (1985)
Member of Chambers VAUGHAN-WILLIAMS, Laurence (1988)
Member of Chambers WATSON-GANDY, Mark (1990)
Member of Chambers CLARKE, Timothy (1992)
Member of Chambers MAYNARD-CONNOR, Giles (1992)
Member of Chambers PEAT, Richard (1993)
Member of Chambers WATSON, Ian (2005)
Member of Chambers LUDBROOK, Tim (1996)
Member of Chambers DEVEREUX-COOKE, Richard (1999)
Member of Chambers CHICHESTER-CLARK, Adam (2000)
Member of Chambers COUSER, James (2000)
Member of Chambers KOKELAAR, Sebastian (2004)
Member of Chambers HALLETT, Katherine (2006)
Member of Chambers KNIGHT, Emma (2008)
Member of Chambers BURKITT, Daniel (2008)
Member of Chambers SMITH, Michael (2008)
Member of Chambers HUNTER, Simon (2009)
Member of Chambers CUTTING, Stuart (2011)
Member of Chambers COE, Rupert (2015)
Member of Chambers BOWLES, Richard (2014)
Member of Chambers RYAN, Stephen (2016)
Member of Chambers GLEYZE, Daria (2014)
Member of Chambers WOODWARD, Stephen (2018)
Member of Chambers WOOLRICH, James (2019)
Member of Chambers HOWITT, Christopher (2011)
Photo Name Position Profile
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 Andrew Cosedge  photo Andrew Cosedge Barrister specialising in trusts and tax planning; property; partnership; wills and estates;…
 James Gibbons  photo James Gibbons Barrister specialising in Chancery and commercial litigation including in particular, breach of…
 David Lord photo David Lord Barrister also called to the Bar of the British Virgin Islands and…
 Alan Michael Tunkel  photo Alan Michael Tunkel Barrister specialising in property; professional negligence; probate; trusts; insolvency, commercial litigation, drafting…
 Ian Watson  photo Ian Watson Barrister and New York attorney specialising in US and English wills, trusts…