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Chambers of Michael Furness QC

8 NEW SQUARE, LINCOLN'S INN, LONDON, WC2A 3QP, ENGLAND
Tel:
Work 020 7306 0102
Fax:
Fax 020 7306 0095
DX:
311 LONDON CHANCERY LANE
Email:
Web:
www.wilberforce.co.uk

London Bar

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

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London Bar

Agriculture
Leading Juniors

Harriet Holmes - Wilberforce ChambersHer drafting skills are first class, and her attention to detail is excellent.

Ranked: tier 4

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Charities
Charities - Leading sets - ranked: tier 2

Wilberforce Chambers

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

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Commercial litigation
Commercial litigation - Leading sets - ranked: tier 3

Wilberforce Chambers

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.

Top ten under eight years’ call

Jack Watson - Wilberforce ChambersVery responsive, down to earth, and gives well considered and pragmatic advice.

Leading Silks

Alan Gourgey QC - Wilberforce ChambersHas a fantastic brain.

Ranked: tier 2

John Wardell QC - Wilberforce ChambersAn excellent advocate, both at first instance in the High Court and in the Court of Appeal.

Ranked: tier 3

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

Joanna Smith QC - Wilberforce ChambersAn excellent advocate, she is dynamic and inspires confidence.

Ranked: tier 4

Lexa Hilliard QC - Wilberforce ChambersHer sheer depth of experience means she has seen and done virtually everything, either here or overseas.

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
2018 Silks

Nikki Singla QC - Wilberforce ChambersHe provides sensible and commercial advice and his written work has been excellent.

Ranked: tier 1
2019 Silks

James Bailey QC - Wilberforce ChambersHis common sense judgement and practical advice put him head and shoulders above his peers.

Ranked: tier 1
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

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Company and partnership
Company - Leading sets - ranked: tier 2

Wilberforce Chambers

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 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

John Wardell QC - Wilberforce ChambersHe has a very lucid mind and is extremely good on his feet.

Ranked: tier 3

Marcia Shekerdemian QC - Wilberforce ChambersFerociously bright while very user friendly and proactive.

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
Company - 2018 Silks

Nikki Singla QC - Wilberforce ChambersHe is exceptional in court and with clients and turns out excellent work.

Ranked: tier 1
Company - 2019 Silks

James Bailey QC - Wilberforce ChambersFantastic attention to detail, energy, and a good manner in court.

Ranked: tier 1
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

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Financial services regulation
Leading Silks

James Ayliffe QC - Wilberforce ChambersA great QC to have in a crisis, and is more than willing to roll up his sleeves and get stuck in.

Ranked: tier 3

Terence Mowschenson QC - Wilberforce ChambersProvided very clear and robust advice.

Ranked: tier 3

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Fraud: civil
Fraud: civil - Leading sets - ranked: tier 2

Wilberforce Chambers

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 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
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

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Insolvency
Insolvency - Leading sets - ranked: tier 3

Wilberforce Chambers

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 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
2019 Silks

James Bailey QC - Wilberforce ChambersHe reads the tribunal well and gets on the right side of the Registrar.

Ranked: tier 1
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

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Media and entertainment (including art and cultural property)
Art and cultural property - Leading Silks

Gilead Cooper QC - Wilberforce ChambersHe is an experienced advocate with real knowledge of the art market and its issues.

Ranked: tier 1

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Offshore
Offshore - Leading sets - ranked: tier 1

Wilberforce Chambers

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 Silks

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

Gilead Cooper QC - Wilberforce ChambersAn incredibly quick mind with great intellectual powers, he is an excellent courtroom advocate.

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

Michael Furness QC - Wilberforce ChambersHugely experienced, with exceptional knowledge in the specialist area of contentious trusts.

Ranked: tier 1

Robert Ham QC - Wilberforce ChambersExcellent and first-rate.

Ranked: tier 1

Terence Mowschenson QC - Wilberforce ChambersExcellent with clients and charming in court.

Ranked: tier 1

Thomas Lowe QC - Wilberforce ChambersA pleasure to work with and an extremely effective cross-examiner.

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
2018 Silks

Nikki Singla QC - Wilberforce ChambersA silk unafraid to roll up his sleeves, get stuck in to the detail and deliver some home truths when necessary.

Ranked: tier 1
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

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Pensions
Pensions - Leading sets - ranked: tier 1

Wilberforce Chambers

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 Silks

Brian Green QC - Wilberforce ChambersVery experienced and knowledgeable pensions silk who presents with style, and is charming to a fault.

Ranked: tier 1

Michael Tennet QC - Wilberforce ChambersBest all round pensions silk, incredibly hardworking, committed and very personable with lay clients.

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

Fenner Moeran QC - Wilberforce ChambersFirst-rate on handling pensions disputes, particularly those with a scams focus.

Ranked: tier 2

Michael Furness QC - Wilberforce ChambersHugely experienced with an encyclopaedic knowledge of pensions law.

Ranked: tier 2

Jonathan Hilliard QC - Wilberforce ChambersExtremely bright, highly knowledgeable and explains difficult concepts clearly.

Ranked: tier 3

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
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

Emily Campbell - Wilberforce ChambersVery organised, highly intelligent, strategically sound and very accessible.

Ranked: tier 2

Sebastian Allen - Wilberforce ChambersHighly intelligent, articulate and always very precise in his thinking and drafting.

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

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

Benjamin Faulkner - Wilberforce ChambersExtremely bright and hardworking junior with great presence beyond his call.

Ranked: tier 4

Emily McKechnie - Wilberforce ChambersExtremely pragmatic, diligent and very good at appealing to clients and judges alike.

Ranked: tier 4

James Walmsley - Wilberforce ChambersFast coming up through the ranks as a go-to pensions counsel.

Ranked: tier 4

Jonathan Chew - Wilberforce ChambersA great team player with a considerable appetite for work and eye for detail.

Ranked: tier 4

Thomas Seymour - Wilberforce ChambersVery thorough and reliable analysis of tricky trust law issues.

Ranked: tier 4

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Private client: personal tax
Private client: personal tax - Leading sets - ranked: tier 2

Wilberforce Chambers

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

Brian Green QC - Wilberforce ChambersVery willing to go that extra mile and makes himself available.

Ranked: tier 2

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

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Private client: trusts and probate
Private client: trusts and probate - Leading sets - ranked: tier 1

Wilberforce Chambers

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 Silks

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

Michael Furness QC - Wilberforce ChambersHugely experienced with exceptional knowledge in the specialist area of contentious trusts.

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 Hilliard QC - Wilberforce ChambersIs incredibly clever, user-friendly and hardworking.

Ranked: tier 3

John Martin QC - Wilberforce ChambersA very experienced silk.

Ranked: tier 3

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
2018 Silks

Tiffany Scott QC - Wilberforce ChambersBrilliant at condensing complex points with clients – always calm and reliable.

Ranked: tier 1
Leading Juniors

Emily Campbell - Wilberforce ChambersA simply brilliant junior.

Ranked: tier 1

Judith Bryant - Wilberforce ChambersSuper intelligent and super responsive.

Ranked: tier 1

Andrew Child - Wilberforce ChambersVery bright and tenacious.

Ranked: tier 3

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 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

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Professional negligence
Professional negligence - Leading sets - ranked: tier 2

Wilberforce Chambers

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 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

Joanne Wicks QC - Wilberforce ChambersVery focused and detail-orientated.

Ranked: tier 3

John Martin QC - Wilberforce ChambersHe has a wealth of experience.

Ranked: tier 3

Michael Tennet QC - Wilberforce ChambersHe is particularly experienced in pensions-related disputes.

Ranked: tier 3

Michael Furness QC - Wilberforce ChambersOne of the finest technical lawyers and highly respected by judges and opponents alike.

Ranked: tier 3

Paul Newman QC - Wilberforce ChambersHe is well-known for his forceful courtroom manner and robust pragmatism.

Ranked: tier 3

Clare Stanley QC - Wilberforce ChambersShe is very bright.

Ranked: tier 4

David Phillips QC - Wilberforce ChambersHe is first-rate.

Ranked: tier 4

Lexa Hilliard QC - Wilberforce ChambersShe stands out for her sheer depth of experience.

Ranked: tier 4
2018 Silks

Julian Greenhill QC - Wilberforce ChambersHe is experienced.

Ranked: tier 1

Nikki Singla QC - Wilberforce ChambersHe is noted for professional negligence disputes.

Ranked: tier 1

Tiffany Scott QC - Wilberforce ChambersAn incisive and bright silk.

Ranked: tier 1
Leading Juniors

Zoë Barton - Wilberforce ChambersVery bright, proactive and innovative.

Ranked: tier 4

Andrew Mold - Wilberforce ChambersHe is experienced across a range of professional negligence disputes.

Ranked: tier 5

Graeme Halkerston - Wilberforce ChambersVery knowledgeable.

Ranked: tier 5

Benjamin Faulkner - Wilberforce ChambersHe is very engaging and great with clients.

Ranked: tier 6

Edward Sawyer - Wilberforce ChambersBrilliant at getting to grips with incredibly complex cases.

Ranked: tier 6

Emer Murphy - Wilberforce ChambersVery thorough and detailed in her advice.

Ranked: tier 6

Emily McKechnie - Wilberforce ChambersResponsive and user-friendly.

Ranked: tier 6

Sebastian Allen - Wilberforce ChambersHe is noted for professional negligence work.

Ranked: tier 6

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Property litigation
Property litigation - Leading sets - ranked: tier 2

Wilberforce Chambers

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 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

John Furber QC - Wilberforce ChambersHis main strength lies in advancing potentially complex arguments in a very clear way.

Ranked: tier 4

Michael Barnes QC - Wilberforce ChambersRecommended for landlord and tenant, estoppel and compulsory acquisition.

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
2018 Silks

Julian Greenhill QC - Wilberforce ChambersVery focused, incredibly bright but also very good with clients.

Ranked: tier 1

Tiffany Scott QC - Wilberforce ChambersApproachable, knowledgeable, excellent on her feet.

Ranked: tier 1
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

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

Jonathan Chew - Wilberforce ChambersA tenacious advocate.

Ranked: tier 5

James McCreath - Wilberforce ChambersClearly destined for great things, a true rising star.

Ranked: tier 5

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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

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    In the recent case of  ZA (Reg 9. EEA Regs; abuse of rights) Afghanistan   [2019] UKUT 281 (IAC ), the Upper Tribunal found that there is no basis in EU law for the centre of life test, as set out in Regulation 9(3)(a) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (the “Regulations”). It further found that it is not to be applied when Judges assess  Surinder Singh  cases that appear before them.
  • Terms of employment as a sole representative

    In this article we examine the working arrangements of sole representatives, looking at the terms and conditions of employment that the Home Office will expect a sole representative to have in order to qualify as a representative of an overseas business.  
  • Can Sole Representatives Be Shareholders?

    The Immigration Rules require that an applicant for a  sole representative visa  is not “a  majority shareholder in the overseas business”.
  • Immigration Skills Charge - A Guide for Employers

    As a Sponsor, you may be required to pay the Immigration Skills Charge (ISC) each time you sponsor a migrant in the  Tier 2 General  or  Intra-Company Transfer (ICT) Long-term Staff  subcategory.
  • 5 FAQS about paragraph 320(11)

    In applications for entry clearance where the applicant has a negative immigration history in the UK, the application may be refused under the general grounds for refusal, which are found in part 9 of the Immigration Rules. Where an applicant has  ‘previously contrived in a significant way to frustrate the intentions of the Immigration Rules’,  the application could be refused under paragraph 320(11). In this post we look at five frequently asked questions about paragraph 320(11). 
  • Multiple nationality and multiple citizenship (including dual nationality and dual citizenship)

    British nationality law permits multiple nationality and multiple citizenship, including dual nationality and dual citizenship.
  • Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the Exceptional Talent or Promise Category

    The  Exceptional Talent  and Exceptional Promise categories are for individuals who are recognised leaders or emerging leaders in their field of expertise. There are a number of endorsing bodies for lots of different fields of work, including  artists and musicians ,  architects ,  digital experts ,  scientists  and  academics . While there isn’t an endorsing body for every expert, the growing list means that many individuals could enjoy the flexibility that this category has to offer. 
  • PARALLEL PROCEEDINGS – CIVIL AND CRIMINAL

    Syedur Rahmanconsiders the factors that determine when civil proceedings can go ahead before,or at the same time as, criminal proceedings relating to the same circumstances.
  • Rights of appeal after the Immigration Act 2014

    The Immigration Act 2014 (“the 2014 Act”) reduced the circumstances in which the refusal of an immigration application will give rise to a right of appeal. The  explanatory notes  to the 2014 Act state that the Act was intended to restructure rights of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal. Previously, a right of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal existed against any of the 14 different immigration decisions listed in s.82 of the  Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002  (“the 2002 Act”). As explained below, whether or not the refusal of an immigration application currently generates a right of appeal depends on the subject matter of the application rather than its categorisation.