Set Profile > Chambers of Michael Furness QC > London, England

Chambers of Michael Furness QC
Wilberforce Chambers

Offshore Tier 1

Wilberforce Chambers continues to be 'a go-to set for trust disputes', with members instructed in all manner of Chancery matters across the Caribbean and in other common law-based jurisdictions. Numerous members of chambers were involved in the  high-profile AHAB v SAAD case in the Cayman Islands: Tom Lowe QC and Jack Watson represented SIFCO 4, one of the defendant companies; John Wardell QC is instructed to represent AHAB in appeals. In another Cayman highlight, Graeme Halkerston secured the jurisdiction's first statutory ex-parte global freezing order for investors in a collapsed commodity company; the investors alleged fraud by the company's manager, Eike Batista, a Brazilian ex-billionaire who was sentenced to prison in 2018 for a separate bribery matter. Moving to the Channel Islands, Gilead Cooper QC is advising the defendants in the long-running CMC Holdings v Forster case in the Jersey Royal Courts, a case in which the claimants allege the local directors (who include high-profile Kenyan political figures) of a business importing cars to eastern Africa operated a Jersey trust as a slush fund.

Leading Juniors

Graeme Halkerston - Wilberforce ChambersInstructed on complex civil fraud matters.
Ranked: Tier 1
Andrew Mold - Wilberforce ChambersHe has a track record of big trusts cases.
Ranked: Tier 2
Jack Watson - Wilberforce ChambersA fantastic senior-junior who is brilliant in writing and robust in conference.
Ranked: Tier 2
Anna Littler - Wilberforce ChambersShe has experience in the Isle of Man and Bermuda.
Ranked: Tier 3

Leading Silks

Gilead Cooper QC - Wilberforce ChambersAn incredibly quick mind with great intellectual powers, he is an excellent courtroom advocate.
Ranked: Tier 1
Michael Furness QC - Wilberforce ChambersHugely experienced, with exceptional knowledge in the specialist area of contentious trusts.
Ranked: Tier 1
Brian Green QC - Wilberforce ChambersA superb intellect with the ability to get to the nub of a matter and provide creative solutions to problems.
Ranked: Tier 1
Robert Ham QC - Wilberforce ChambersExcellent and first-rate.
Ranked: Tier 1
Thomas Lowe QC - Wilberforce ChambersA pleasure to work with and an extremely effective cross-examiner.
Ranked: Tier 1
Terence Mowschenson QC - Wilberforce ChambersExcellent with clients and charming in court.
Ranked: Tier 1
John Wardell QC - Wilberforce ChambersUnflappable, impressive and with the ability to really engage with senior judges on their level.
Ranked: Tier 1
James Ayliffe - Wilberforce ChambersWell liked by onshore firms.
Ranked: Tier 3
Jonathan Hilliard QC - Wilberforce ChambersHe has a fantastic ability to map an effective way through all the relevant issues.
Ranked: Tier 3
Clare Stanley QC - Wilberforce ChambersA very reassuring, authoritative and approachable silk who exudes a calm aura.
Ranked: Tier 4

Pensions Tier 1

Considered the 'pre-eminent set for pensions' by its clients, Wilberforce Chambers ‘is unrivalled in the area of pensions', has 'unparalleled strength-in-depth' and is 'full of iron brains'. In one standout instruction, Brian Green QC acted for the trustees of the BT Pension Scheme  on several issues affecting the pensions of 24,000 members and £2bn liabilities. Meanwhile, in the Court of Appeal, Michael Tennet QC was successful for British Airways in a claim that is considered important in clarifying the roles and responsibilities of trustees. Also of note, Michael Furness QC represents ITV In a case regarding the Box Clever Pension Scheme, which consider's the television network's liabilities for the scheme's deficit.

Leading Juniors

Andrew Mold - Wilberforce ChambersReally the go-to senior junior for tricky pensions work.
Ranked: Tier 1
Edward Sawyer - Wilberforce ChambersConsiderable insight on procedural and tactical issues, adopting a thorough and “no stones unturned” approach.
Ranked: Tier 1
Sebastian Allen - Wilberforce ChambersHighly intelligent, articulate and always very precise in his thinking and drafting.
Ranked: Tier 2
Emily Campbell - Wilberforce ChambersVery organised, highly intelligent, strategically sound and very accessible.
Ranked: Tier 2
James McCreath - Wilberforce ChambersReal expertise in pensions matters, a true technician and extremely hardworking.
Ranked: Tier 3
Thomas Robinson - Wilberforce ChambersVery enjoyable, pleasant to work with and impressive in meetings with clients.
Ranked: Tier 3
Jonathan Chew - Wilberforce ChambersA great team player with a considerable appetite for work and eye for detail.
Ranked: Tier 4
Benjamin Faulkner - Wilberforce ChambersExtremely bright and hardworking junior with great presence beyond his call.
Ranked: Tier 4
Bobby Friedman - Wilberforce ChambersExcellent on paper and a punchy advocate, with a very good knowledge of pensions and related areas of law.
Ranked: Tier 4
Emily McKechnie - Wilberforce ChambersExtremely pragmatic, diligent and very good at appealing to clients and judges alike.
Ranked: Tier 4
Thomas Seymour - Wilberforce ChambersVery thorough and reliable analysis of tricky trust law issues.
Ranked: Tier 4
James Walmsley - Wilberforce ChambersFast coming up through the ranks as a go-to pensions counsel.
Ranked: Tier 4

Leading Silks

Brian Green QC - Wilberforce ChambersVery experienced and knowledgeable pensions silk who presents with style, and is charming to a fault.
Ranked: Tier 1
Paul Newman QC - Wilberforce ChambersHe has a first-class mind and is well-known for his courtroom manner and robust pragmatism.
Ranked: Tier 1
Michael Tennet QC - Wilberforce ChambersBest all round pensions silk, incredibly hardworking, committed and very personable with lay clients.
Ranked: Tier 1
Michael Furness QC - Wilberforce ChambersHugely experienced with an encyclopaedic knowledge of pensions law.
Ranked: Tier 2
Fenner Moeran QC - Wilberforce ChambersFirst-rate on handling pensions disputes, particularly those with a scams focus.
Ranked: Tier 2
Jonathan Davey QC - Wilberforce ChambersA top-class silk. His advocacy is attractive, thoughtful and measured.
Ranked: Tier 3
Robert Ham QC - Wilberforce ChambersAn intellectual giant, who always finds a pragmatic solution and is brilliant with clients.
Ranked: Tier 3
Jonathan Hilliard QC - Wilberforce ChambersExtremely bright, highly knowledgeable and explains difficult concepts clearly.
Ranked: Tier 3

Private client: trusts and probate Tier 1

The 'impressive' Wilberforce Chambers is a ‘strong set for Chancery advice’ with its ‘top-notch lawyers' who have 'a lot of offshore experience'. Members are instructed by many of the UK's major private wealth firms, as well as those internationally, to act in some of the leading trust cases. In one example, Brian Green QC led in Safeway v Newton on a successful reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union. The fundamental issue at stake was the interaction between domestic law and EU law on trustees powers. In another significant instruction heard before the Court of Appeal, Robert Ham QC  successfully acted for the second defendant in a case whereby a registered charity sought approval to make a grant of $360m to a new charity that had been established by one of its trustees.

Leading Juniors

Judith Bryant - Wilberforce ChambersSuper intelligent and super responsive.
Ranked: Tier 1
Emily Campbell - Wilberforce ChambersA simply brilliant junior.
Ranked: Tier 1
Zoë Barton - Wilberforce ChambersHas a calm disposition and is able to work with her opponents to achieve a satisfactory conclusion without giving them the upper hand.
Ranked: Tier 3
Andrew Child - Wilberforce ChambersVery bright and tenacious.
Ranked: Tier 3
Andrew Mold - Wilberforce ChambersGets to the heart of the problem quickly, communicates complex ideas clearly and succinctly, and develops a good rapport with clients.
Ranked: Tier 4

Leading Silks

Michael Furness QC - Wilberforce ChambersHugely experienced with exceptional knowledge in the specialist area of contentious trusts.
Ranked: Tier 1
Brian Green QC - Wilberforce ChambersHis key strength is his ability to take complex issues and make them digestible – his intellect is truly incredible.
Ranked: Tier 1
Robert Ham QC - Wilberforce ChambersHas a superb mind and provides wonderfully clear advice.
Ranked: Tier 1
Clare Stanley QC - Wilberforce ChambersIs a seasoned trusts litigator with razor-sharp technical ability.
Ranked: Tier 2
Gilead Cooper QC - Wilberforce ChambersIs the Rolls-Royce silk of the Chancery Bar. He is a master strategist and a star advocate.
Ranked: Tier 2
Jonathan Davey QC - Wilberforce ChambersIs a brilliant advocate, excellent with clients, diligent, a leader who will go the extra mile for a client and then some.
Ranked: Tier 3
Jonathan Hilliard QC - Wilberforce ChambersIs incredibly clever, user-friendly and hardworking.
Ranked: Tier 3
John Martin QC - Wilberforce ChambersA very experienced silk.
Ranked: Tier 3

Charities Tier 2

Wilberforce Chambers continues to be involved in some complex and high-value matters across the charity sector. As an example of his expertise, Jonathan Davey QC is leading in the significant case of Life Services Ltd v Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs, which is an important test case about the taxation of charities and similar entities. Michael Furness QC has a 'good reputation' among instructing solicitors for charities-related work, aided by his 'quick response time and detailed knowledge' of the sector.

Leading Silks

Jonathan Davey QC - Wilberforce ChambersIs an excellent advocate who is is clear, persuasive and unflappable and his submissions are logically ordered and rigorous.
Ranked: Tier 1
Michael Furness QC - Wilberforce ChambersIs very responsive and knowledgeable.
Ranked: Tier 2

Fraud: civil Tier 2

Clients praise Wilberforce Chambers for providing 'excellent support' and 'communication which is honest and proactive so that any capacity issues can be properly managed'. The set is becoming 'one of the leading sets in the civil fraud arena' and is also noted for its expertise in overlapping areas, such as offshore disputes. Recently, Tom Lowe QC and John Wardell QC were on opposing sides of AHAB v SAAD, while Alan Gourgey QC and Anna Littler are representing Walid Ghiami, one of the defendants in Libyan Investment Authority v JP Morgan & Ors.

Leading Juniors

Iain Pester - Wilberforce ChambersTremendously commercially minded and hugely respected.
Ranked: Tier 3
Anna Littler - Wilberforce ChambersConsiders all the angles, her depth of thought and analysis is very impressive.
Ranked: Tier 4
Edward Sawyer - Wilberforce ChambersAlways has an incredible grasp of the detail and is a pleasure to work with.
Ranked: Tier 4

Leading Silks

Alan Gourgey QC - Wilberforce ChambersOutstandingly good on his feet, very able legally and tactically, and excellent with solicitors and clients.
Ranked: Tier 1
John Wardell QC - Wilberforce ChambersSharp, relentless and fierce, John has a frightening ability to recall incredible levels of detail.
Ranked: Tier 2
Thomas Lowe QC - Wilberforce ChambersEnormously respected in the Cayman market, both by the profession and, crucially, by the judiciary.
Ranked: Tier 3
Tim Penny QC - Wilberforce ChambersAn outstanding advocate whose charm and sound judgement inspire confidence in clients and court alike.
Ranked: Tier 3
Lawrence Cohen QC - Wilberforce ChambersHighly experienced in complex offshore civil fraud.
Ranked: Tier 4

Private client: personal tax Tier 2

Wilberforce Chambers is 'highly regarded' for personal tax issues. Jonathan Davey QC successfully acted in the high-profile case of Viscount Hood as Executor of Estate of Lady Hood v HM Revenue and Customs, which dealt with the key inheritance tax provisions relating to ‘gifts with reservation’ in relation to family homes.

Leading Silks

Jonathan Davey QC - Wilberforce ChambersIs a good litigator with a strong sense of strategy.
Ranked: Tier 2
Michael Furness QC - Wilberforce ChambersProvides incisive, common sense and realistic strategic advice in difficult situations.
Ranked: Tier 2
Brian Green QC - Wilberforce ChambersVery willing to go that extra mile and makes himself available.
Ranked: Tier 2

Professional negligence Tier 2

Wilberforce Chambers is commended for its 'enormous strength-in-depth' and although it is the 'market leader in the pensions field', it is 'starting to become the pre-eminent set for property disputes' and is therefore well placed to deal with professional negligence claims in the pensions and property space. The set handles claims against solicitors, barristers, accountants, auditors, actuaries, construction professionals, pensions professionals, finance practitioners, company directors, and insurance brokers. John Wardell QC is acting for the defendant bank in N v RBS, which examines duties owed by bankers when money laundering is suspected. Elsewhere, Jonathan Seitler QC acted for the defendant solicitors in Barker v Baxendale Walker, a claim relating to a £40m trust.

Leading Juniors

Zoë Barton - Wilberforce ChambersVery bright, proactive and innovative.
Ranked: Tier 4
Graeme Halkerston - Wilberforce ChambersVery knowledgeable.
Ranked: Tier 5
Andrew Mold - Wilberforce ChambersHe is experienced across a range of professional negligence disputes.
Ranked: Tier 5
Sebastian Allen - Wilberforce ChambersHe is noted for professional negligence work.
Ranked: Tier 6
Benjamin Faulkner - Wilberforce ChambersHe is very engaging and great with clients.
Ranked: Tier 6
Emily McKechnie - Wilberforce ChambersResponsive and user-friendly.
Ranked: Tier 6
Emer Murphy - Wilberforce ChambersVery thorough and detailed in her advice.
Ranked: Tier 6
Edward Sawyer - Wilberforce ChambersBrilliant at getting to grips with incredibly complex cases.
Ranked: Tier 6

Leading Silks

John Wardell QC - Wilberforce ChambersHe is very experienced.
Ranked: Tier 1
Ian Croxford QC - Wilberforce ChambersHe is clever, fearless and has a highly strategic mind.
Ranked: Tier 2
Jonathan Seitler QC - Wilberforce ChambersHe is outstanding.
Ranked: Tier 2
Joanna Smith QC - Wilberforce ChambersExtremely sharp and personable.
Ranked: Tier 2
James Ayliffe QC - Wilberforce ChambersHe is experienced.
Ranked: Tier 3
Michael Furness QC - Wilberforce ChambersOne of the finest technical lawyers and highly respected by judges and opponents alike.
Ranked: Tier 3
John Martin QC - Wilberforce ChambersHe has a wealth of experience.
Ranked: Tier 3
Paul Newman QC - Wilberforce ChambersHe is well-known for his forceful courtroom manner and robust pragmatism.
Ranked: Tier 3
Michael Tennet QC - Wilberforce ChambersHe is particularly experienced in pensions-related disputes.
Ranked: Tier 3
Joanne Wicks QC - Wilberforce ChambersVery focused and detail-orientated.
Ranked: Tier 3
Clare Stanley QC - Wilberforce ChambersShe is very bright.
Ranked: Tier 4
Lexa Hilliard QC - Wilberforce ChambersShe stands out for her sheer depth of experience.
Ranked: Tier 4
David Phillips QC - Wilberforce ChambersHe is first-rate.
Ranked: Tier 4

Property litigation Tier 2

Wilberforce Chambers provides ‘strength at all levels’ with a ‘strong stable of leading names’. The set is adept on all land law fronts though it boasts specific expertise on commercial and residential landlord and tenant, development, mortgage, and title matters. Joanne Wicks QC and Jonathan Chew recently acted against Jonathan Seitler QC and Emer Murphy in the leading case of Canary Wharf Group v European Medicines Agency which considered whether Brexit constituted a frustration of a long-term lease. A further inter-chambers battle saw Seitler QC face Martin Hutchings QC in No 1 West India Quay Residential Ltd v East Tower Apartments Ltd, the first long lease case under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1988 to reach the Court of Appeal.

Leading Juniors

Zoë Barton - Wilberforce ChambersPersuasive in oral and written submissions.
Ranked: Tier 2
Emer Murphy - Wilberforce ChambersShe is very sharp, efficient and shows an impressive grasp of detail.
Ranked: Tier 3
Charlotte Black - Wilberforce ChambersShe has a very strong work ethic, meticulous attention to detail and really good client care skills.
Ranked: Tier 4
Jonathan Chew - Wilberforce ChambersA tenacious advocate.
Ranked: Tier 5
Benjamin Faulkner - Wilberforce ChambersHe is super bright, spots every point going and can tackle absolutely any question.
Ranked: Tier 5
Harriet Holmes - Wilberforce ChambersHer drafting skills are first class, and her attention to detail is excellent.
Ranked: Tier 5
James McCreath - Wilberforce ChambersClearly destined for great things, a true rising star.
Ranked: Tier 5

Leading Silks

Joanne Wicks QC - Wilberforce ChambersShe has dealt with the most high-profile property disputes.
Ranked: Tier 1
Jonathan Seitler QC - Wilberforce ChambersAn unbelievable brain which he uses to obtain not only a technical but normally a commercial advantage over the other side.
Ranked: Tier 2
Martin Hutchings QC - Wilberforce ChambersVery easy to work with, and sound in his judgements and advice.
Ranked: Tier 3
Mark Wonnacott QC - Wilberforce ChambersA shining light of the property Bar.
Ranked: Tier 3
Michael Barnes QC - Wilberforce ChambersRecommended for landlord and tenant, estoppel and compulsory acquisition.
Ranked: Tier 4
John Furber QC - Wilberforce ChambersHis main strength lies in advancing potentially complex arguments in a very clear way.
Ranked: Tier 4
James Ayliffe QC - Wilberforce ChambersUnderstands the need to bring the client along with him in the direction of his advice.
Ranked: Tier 5

Commercial litigation Tier 3

Wilberforce Chambers has 'excellent strength in depth' and is often the 'first port of call on all Chancery, trust matters'. The barristers are 'first-class specialists and masters of their brief' who 'never disappoint'. Clients note that the set's 'expansion in recent years has turned them into a full-service set to deal with any area of law'. A major highlight has been the significant role several members have had on the AHAB v SAAD dispute, including Tom Lowe QC and John Wardell QC who are on opposing sides. Joanna Smith QC was also instructed to represent the apellants before the Supreme Court in Frederick v Positive Solutions Financial Services Limited.

Leading Juniors

Iain Pester - Wilberforce ChambersAn excellent lawyer who instinctively knows what will play out well and what will irritate a court.
Ranked: Tier 3
Edward Sawyer - Wilberforce ChambersIncredibly bright and hardworking, dedicated and diligent.
Ranked: Tier 4
James Walmsley - Wilberforce ChambersAcutely intelligent and very hands-on, which is a great combination.
Ranked: Tier 5

Leading Silks

Alan Gourgey QC - Wilberforce ChambersHas a fantastic brain.
Ranked: Tier 2
Thomas Lowe QC - Wilberforce ChambersA first-class advocate and a pleasure to work with.
Ranked: Tier 3
Terence Mowschenson QC - Wilberforce ChambersA dream to work with.
Ranked: Tier 3
John Wardell QC - Wilberforce ChambersAn excellent advocate, both at first instance in the High Court and in the Court of Appeal.
Ranked: Tier 3
Lexa Hilliard QC - Wilberforce ChambersHer sheer depth of experience means she has seen and done virtually everything, either here or overseas.
Ranked: Tier 4
Joanna Smith QC - Wilberforce ChambersAn excellent advocate, she is dynamic and inspires confidence.
Ranked: Tier 4
Ian Croxford QC - Wilberforce ChambersThe best cross-examiner I have ever seen, destroyed the other side’s witnesses and had the judge eating out of his hand.
Ranked: Tier 5
Tim Penny QC - Wilberforce ChambersVery diligent and thoughtful – he treats every case as if he himself was a party to the litigation.
Ranked: Tier 6

Insolvency Tier 3

Wilberforce Chambers houses specialists in corporate and personal insolvency litigation and advice, who are often instructed on matters in the UK and offshore. Lexa Hilliard QCJames Bailey QC and Bobby Friedman acted in Re Force India (Formula 1), while Bailey and Marcia Shekerdemian QC were instructed on Re Paul Baxendale Walker. Shekerdemian QC is particularly noted for her expertise in restructuring and insolvency litigation, successfully representing the security trustees in the contested application for the removal of the administrators in Re: Zinc Hotels (Investments) Ltd.

Leading Juniors

Iain Pester - Wilberforce ChambersVery analytical and thorough in his approach, good client handling skills and a skilful advocate.
Ranked: Tier 4
Bobby Friedman - Wilberforce ChambersHe is very bright and gives timely and effective advice.
Ranked: Tier 5
Thomas Robinson - Wilberforce ChambersHe has never appeared without having complete mastery of his papers and his arguments and is always quick on his feet.
Ranked: Tier 5

Leading Silks

Marcia Shekerdemian QC - Wilberforce ChambersA star of the senior insolvency Bar; has an enormous capacity for work and never phased, and always great with the client.
Ranked: Tier 2
Lexa Hilliard QC - Wilberforce ChambersShe is an impressive silk.
Ranked: Tier 3
Terence Mowschenson QC - Wilberforce ChambersExcellent advocate who has a very good eye for detail and is thorough in his preparation.
Ranked: Tier 4
Alan Gourgey QC - Wilberforce ChambersAn outstanding silk.
Ranked: Tier 5

Company and partnership

An 'excellent set with all necessary levels of expertise in commercial areas', Wilberforce Chambers' members are instructed in all areas of company law, including financial assistance, shareholder disputes, and directors' duties matters. Lexa Hilliard QCBobby Friedman, and 2019 silk James Bailey QC are advising a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll on the acquisition of the business and assets of the Force India racing team, in Re Force India (Formula 1). In another matter, Terence Mowschenson QC successfully acted for the claimant in Sky Stream Corp v Alexander Pleshekov; a dispute over the ownership of a 20% stake in Transaero Airlines.

Company - Leading Juniors

Graeme Halkerston - Wilberforce ChambersNoted for his intellect and responsiveness.
Ranked: Tier 4
Iain Pester - Wilberforce ChambersVery analytical and thorough in his approach, good client handling skills and skilful advocate.
Ranked: Tier 4

Company - Leading Silks

Lexa Hilliard QC - Wilberforce ChambersShe is very effective even when under extreme pressure.
Ranked: Tier 2
Terence Mowschenson QC - Wilberforce ChambersEasy to work with and makes himself available at short notice.
Ranked: Tier 2
Marcia Shekerdemian QC - Wilberforce ChambersFerociously bright while very user friendly and proactive.
Ranked: Tier 3
John Wardell QC - Wilberforce ChambersHe has a very lucid mind and is extremely good on his feet.
Ranked: Tier 3
Lawrence Cohen QC - Wilberforce ChambersGets under the skin of case, is a great tactician and clients like him.
Ranked: Tier 4
Max Mallin QC - Wilberforce ChambersGood with clients, clear in his advice, excellent in cross and with judges.
Ranked: Tier 4

Set overviews: England and Wales

The Rolls-Royce of pensions sets’ and sitting ‘right at the top of the tree when it comes to big-ticket trust matters’, Wilberforce Chambers is in ‘the Premier League’ of Chancery sets with ‘the strength and depth you would expect of a chambers of its calibre’. Chambers is also developing its reputation as ‘a top-class’ property set and reinforcing its leading positioning in the offshore market where its ‘top-notch’ and ‘collaborative’ members are considered ‘thought leaders’, particularly in the Cayman Islands where ‘a number of its QCs have begun to make their mark’. Further strengthening chambers at the top end, James Bailey took silk in 2019. Clients appreciated the set’s one-day commercial and trust litigation conferences which is ‘of an excellent quality’. ‘Always a pleasure to deal with’, practice director Nicholas Luckman ‘has no rival’ at the Bar. Together with head practice manager Mark Rushton, Luckman runs ‘a very slick operation’ that befits the calibre of the set’s members. The ‘fabulous’ clerking team ‘delivers a service with professionalism and integrity’. ‘Forever going above and beyond’, senior practice manager Fraser Geddes is recommended for his ‘helpful, can-do approach’. ‘He is incredibly client-focused and will always do everything he can to accommodate.’ Also worthy of a special mention is senior practice manager Danny Smillie, who is ‘excellent, and goes the extra mile’. Practice manager Stewart Cameron is ‘a delight to work alongside. Extremely polite, impressively organised, and responsive to boot. You get the sense nothing is too much trouble for him, and he will do all he can to deliver the highest quality service’. Solicitors have also been ‘particularly impressed’ by practice manager Ben Rippengale. The ‘exceptionally helpful’ Andrew Barnes has recently been promoted to senior practice manager and, judging from solicitor feedback, this was a shrewd move by chambers (‘His clerking is second to none and he has been an absolute asset to the team; he’s excellent – responsive, helpful, and has a genuine understanding of the teams he works with’). Antonia Matthew has also been promoted to practice assistant. In addition to the internal promotions, the team has recently expanded too with new practice managers Jess Edson and Conor Michaels arriving from Keating Chambers and 4 PUMP COURT respectively, junior clerk Georgia Pilbro arriving from Doughty Street Chambers alongside Francisco Iannuzzi and Jake Walker in their first clerking roles. Hayley Eustace is the set’s marketing and business development manager. Offices in: London

The set:

The set is widely recognised as one of the leading chambers in its core specialist areas of commercial litigation, insolvency, pensions, private client and trusts, property, professional negligence and arbitration. With 73 barristers (34 QCs), chambers is able to offer specialist barristers at all levels of seniority and across the spectrum of commercial and chancery work. It has individuals who possess excellent reputations for their specialist capabilities in the additional fields of arbitration, art and cultural property, banking and financial services, company and partnership, construction, fraud, IT and telecoms, restructuring and insolvency, sport, and tax. With its strength and depth of expertise, members of chambers undertake many of the most complex and important cases in the UK and overseas. Members work hard to build and maintain strong long-term relationships with their clients, including leading UK and international law firms, multinational corporations, major organisations, private companies and individuals. Clients value the modern quality of chambers’ clerking and organisational management and the approachable service provided by barristers and clerks.

Types of work undertaken:

Arbitration and alternative dispute resolution: chambers provides first-class advice and representation in arbitrations and mediations and acts as arbitrator, mediator and expert.

Banking and finance: loan agreements; mortgages and charges; guarantees; other forms of security; retail banking; consumer credit; syndicated lending; asset and project finance; asset tracing; preservation and recovery; insolvency issues; professional negligence claims against those advising lenders.

Commercial: including agency; civil and commercial fraud; confidentiality; construction; contract; energy; joint ventures; partnerships and telecommunications.

Company: shareholder disputes; s994 petitions; derivative actions; share and business sale agreements; breach of warranty disputes; shareholder agreements; directors’€™ duties; disqualification of directors; conduct of meetings; restoration of companies to register; OEICs; corporate insolvency; accounting and auditing negligence.

Financial services: Markets Act 2000; FCA enforcement and disciplinary proceedings; unit trusts; OEICs; mis-selling claims; Financial Ombudsman Service cases; insolvency of investment firms.

Insolvency: liquidation; administration; receivership; bankruptcy; IVAs, asset tracing; preservation and recovery; avoidance of transactions defrauding creditors; disclaimer of onerous property; CVAs.

International and offshore: the nature of the work conducted overseas is varied and often high-profile, reflecting the broad spectrum of work which members of chambers undertake including trust litigation; company and commercial law; property and intellectual property disputes.

Pensions: trust law; regulatory and tax issues arising in connection with occupational pension schemes and other employment-related trusts.

Private client, trusts and taxation: contentious and non-contentious litigation involving both private trusts and trusts in the wider commercial context, both in the UK and worldwide.

Professional liability: of accountants; actuaries; auditors; company directors; financial advisors; insurance brokers; investment mergers; barristers; solicitors; surveyors and trustees; and construction-related professional negligence.

Property: commercial and residential landlord and tenant law; property-related insolvency; proprietary estoppel; property finance and mortgages; restrictive covenants; easements and profits; property-related torts and questions of title; and the sale and registration of land.

Regulatory and associated law: financial services; professionals; sport; utilities; transport; environmental and planning.


Department Name Email Telephone
Head of Chambers Michael Furness QC (1982)
Deputy Head of Chambers Jonathan Seitler QC (1985)
Practice Director Nicholas Luckman
Head Practice Manager Mark Rushton
Members of Chambers BARNES QC, Michael (1965)
Members of Chambers MARTIN QC, John (1972)
Members of Chambers COHEN QC, Lawrence (1974)
Members of Chambers CROXFORD QC, Ian (1976)
Members of Chambers HAM QC, Robert (1973)
Members of Chambers FURBER QC, John (1973)
Members of Chambers MOWSCHENSON QC, Terence (1977)
Members of Chambers PHILLIPS QC, David (1976)
Members of Chambers GREEN QC, Brian (1980)
Members of Chambers WARDELL QC, John (1979)
Members of Chambers GOURGEY QC, Alan (1984)
Members of Chambers COOPER QC, Gilead (1983)
Members of Chambers TENNET QC, Michael (1985)
Members of Chambers LOWE QC, Thomas (1985)
Members of Chambers AYLIFFE QC, James (1987)
Members of Chambers HILLIARD QC, Lexa (1987)
Members of Chambers SMITH QC, Joanna (1990)
Members of Chambers NEWMAN QC, Paul (1991)
Members of Chambers WICKS QC, Joanne (1990)
Members of Chambers HUTCHINGS QC, Martin (1986)
Members of Chambers WONNACOTT QC, Mark (1989)
Members of Chambers MOERAN QC, Fenner (1996)
Members of Chambers SHEKERDEMIAN QC, Marcia (1987)
Members of Chambers STANLEY QC, Clare (1994)
Members of Chambers PENNY QC, Tim (1988)
Members of Chambers DAVEY QC, Jonathan (2003)
Members of Chambers HILLIARD QC, Jonathan (2003)
Members of Chambers MALLIN QC, Max (1993)
Members of Chambers GREENHILL QC, Julian (1997)
Members of Chambers SCOTT QC, Tiffany (1998)
Members of Chambers SINGLA QC, Nikki (2000)
Members of Chambers BAILEY QC, James (1999)
Members of Chambers CHILD, John (1966)
Members of Chambers SEYMOUR, Thomas (1975)
Members of Chambers POLLARD, David (2017)
Members of Chambers BRYANT, Judith (1987)
Members of Chambers FADIPE, Gabriel (1991)
Members of Chambers HALKERSTON, Graeme (1994)
Members of Chambers CAMPBELL, Emily (1995)
Members of Chambers CHILD, Andrew (1997)
Members of Chambers PESTER, Iain (1999)
Members of Chambers SAWYER, Edward (2001)
Members of Chambers MOLD, Andrew (2003)
Members of Chambers ROBINSON, Thomas (2003)
Members of Chambers BARTON, Zoë (2003)
Members of Chambers McKECHNIE, Emily (2005)
Members of Chambers BLACK, Charlotte (2006)
Members of Chambers ALLEN, Sebastian (2006)
Members of Chambers WALMSLEY, James (2007)
Members of Chambers FAULKNER, Benjamin (2008)
Members of Chambers LITTLER, Anna (2008)
Members of Chambers McCREATH, James (2009)
Members of Chambers MURPHY, Emer (2009)
Members of Chambers ROSCOE, Tom (2010)
Members of Chambers CHEW, Jonathan (2010)
Members of Chambers FRIEDMAN, Bobby (2011)
Members of Chambers ATKINSON, Simon (2011)
Members of Chambers HOLMES, Harriet (2011)
Members of Chambers WATSON, Jack (2012)
Members of Chambers ASHDOWN, Michael (2013)
Members of Chambers GOODWIN, James (2013)
Members of Chambers HOUGHTON, Elizabeth (2014)
Members of Chambers MATTHEWSON, Tim (2014)
Members of Chambers HOLMES, Jamie (2014)
Members of Chambers STEADMAN, Joseph (2015)
Members of Chambers TAYLOR, Tara (2015)
Members of Chambers SCOTT, Daniel (2016)
Members of Chambers GOLDTHORPE, Cara (2017)
Members of Chambers LEE, Jia Wei (2017)
Members of Chambers MITCHELL, Francesca (2017)
Members of Chambers PETRIDES, Daniel (2018)
Door Tenants SHER QC, Jules (1968)
Door Tenants FURZE, Caroline (1992)
Photo Name Position Profile
 Sebastian Allen  photo Sebastian Allen
 Michael Ashdown  photo Michael Ashdown
 Simon Atkinson  photo Simon Atkinson
 James Ayliffe QC photo James Ayliffe QC
 James Bailey QC photo James Bailey QC
 Michael Barnes QC photo Michael Barnes QC
 Zoë Barton  photo Zoë Barton
 Charlotte Black  photo Charlotte Black
 Judith Bryant  photo Judith Bryant
 Emily Campbell  photo Emily Campbell
 Jonathan Chew  photo Jonathan Chew
 Andrew Child  photo Andrew Child
 John Child  photo John Child
 Lawrence Cohen QC photo Lawrence Cohen QC
 Gilead Cooper QC photo Gilead Cooper QC
 Ian Croxford QC photo Ian Croxford QC
 Jonathan Davey QC photo Jonathan Davey QC
 Gabriel Fadipe  photo Gabriel Fadipe
 Benjamin Faulkner  photo Benjamin Faulkner
 Bobby Friedman  photo Bobby Friedman
 John Furber QC photo John Furber QC
 Michael Furness QC photo Michael Furness QC
 Cara Goldthorpe  photo Cara Goldthorpe
 James Goodwin  photo James Goodwin
 Alan Gourgey QC photo Alan Gourgey QC
 Brian Green QC photo Brian Green QC
 Julian Greenhill QC photo Julian Greenhill QC
 Graeme Halkerston  photo Graeme Halkerston
 Robert Ham QC photo Robert Ham QC
 Jonathan Hilliard QC photo Jonathan Hilliard QC
 Lexa Hilliard QC photo Lexa Hilliard QC
 Harriet Holmes  photo Harriet Holmes
 Jamie Holmes  photo Jamie Holmes
 Elizabeth Houghton  photo Elizabeth Houghton
 Martin Hutchings QC photo Martin Hutchings QC
 Jia Wei Lee  photo Jia Wei Lee
 Anna Littler  photo Anna Littler
 Thomas Lowe QC photo Thomas Lowe QC
 Max Mallin QC photo Max Mallin QC
 John Martin QC photo John Martin QC
 Tim Matthewson  photo Tim Matthewson
 James McCreath  photo James McCreath
 Emily McKechnie  photo Emily McKechnie
 Francesca Mitchell  photo Francesca Mitchell
 Fenner Moeran QC photo Fenner Moeran QC
 Andrew Mold  photo Andrew Mold
 Terence Mowschenson QC photo Terence Mowschenson QC
 Emer Murphy  photo Emer Murphy
 Paul Newman QC photo Paul Newman QC
 Tim Penny QC photo Tim Penny QC
 Iain Pester  photo Iain Pester
 Daniel Petrides  photo Daniel Petrides
 David Phillips QC photo David Phillips QC
 David Pollard  photo David Pollard
 Thomas Robinson  photo Thomas Robinson
 Tom Roscoe  photo Tom Roscoe
 Edward Sawyer  photo Edward Sawyer
 Daniel Scott  photo Daniel Scott
 Tiffany Scott QC photo Tiffany Scott QC
 Jonathan Seitler QC photo Jonathan Seitler QC
 Thomas Seymour  photo Thomas Seymour
 Marcia Shekerdemian QC photo Marcia Shekerdemian QC
 Nikki Singla QC photo Nikki Singla QC
 Joanna Smith QC photo Joanna Smith QC
 Clare Stanley QC photo Clare Stanley QC
 Joseph Steadman  photo Joseph Steadman
 Tara Taylor  photo Tara Taylor
 Michael Tennet QC photo Michael Tennet QC
 James Walmsley  photo James Walmsley
 John Wardell QC photo John Wardell QC
 Jack Watson  photo Jack Watson
 Joanne Wicks QC photo Joanne Wicks QC
 Mark Wonnacott QC photo Mark Wonnacott QC

Equality and diversity

Wilberforce Chambers is committed to equal opportunities in all aspects of its work. All barristers are committed to observing the Bar Standards Board’s Equality and Diversity Rules of the Code of Conduct in relation to non-discrimination in the acceptance of work, the carrying out of that work and all dealings with clients, colleagues, staff and others. Staff are committed to complying with this policy.

It is our policy to treat everyone equally and fairly regardless of their racial group, colour, ethnic or national origin, nationality, citizenship, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, religion or political persuasion.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Wilberforce maintains a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Through our Bar Access Programme we are actively involved in outreach and access initiatives to encourage and support people from diverse backgrounds in developing a career at the Bar. An important element of the Bar Access Programme is our on-going partnership with the Sutton Trust (the well-known charitable foundation whose aim is to promote social mobility) through which we support their various initiatives in the legal arena. We continue to run mini-pupillage/placement programmes for their Pathways to Law pupils and Pathways Plus students and a number of our Members are actively involved in a mentoring programme for Sutton Trust students.

We have also built strong relationships with the Legal Social Mobility Partnership, and the Pegasus and Bar Placement (Social Mobility Foundation) programmes, and provide support to the Barristers’ Benevolent Association and the Strand Trust (via sponsoring the King’s College London’s Trust Law prize, which rewards the student who obtains the best result in the LLB Law of Trusts examination each year).