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UK Bar: Banking & Finance 2016

This year 77 practitioners have been identified by our research as the leaders in the field.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Leading Silks
Laurence Rabinowitz QC One Essex Court
Richard Handyside QC Fountain Court Chambers
Mark Howard QC Brick Court Chambers
Mark Hapgood QC Brick Court Chambers
David Foxton QC Essex Court Chambers
Sonia Tolaney QC  3 Verulam Buldings
David Railton QC Fountain Court Chambers
Adrian Beltrami QC 3 Veralum Buildings
Leading Juniors
Fionn Pilbrow Brick Court Chambers
Sharif Shivji 4 Stone Buildings
Adam Zellick Fountain Court Chambers
Farhaz Khan Outer Temple Chambers


3 Verulam Buildings stands out for its deep bench of expertise in banking and finance law. In total 13 silks are selected to this chapter, including two who are named in our most highly regarded section. Sonia Tolaney QC is “simply excellent”. She possesses a “sharp mind” and is “incredibly articulate”. She has recently been acting for Deutsche Bank in the 16-week trial of its FX and Equities prime brokerage claims against Sebastian Holdings. Adrian Beltrami QC is described as “understated but effective”. He is “extremely able” and handles complex financial matters in England and in commonwealth jurisdictions. The “very bright” Ewan McQuater QC is a “huge name” in the banking field. He possesses “great flair and skill” and “makes it look effortless”. Ali Malek QC specialises in banking and financial disputes providing “clear strategic direction” and a “commercial approach”. Andrew Onslow QC is able to “distil issues clearly and concisely” and “has a great way with clients”. David Quest QC is a “banking and finance guru” and is a “solicitor favourite”. He has vast experience in disputes involving investment management, trade finance, securities, syndications, swaps, options and structured financial products. Jonathan Davies-Jones QC is a “talented silk” who impresses with his “keen eye for detail”. John Odgers QC was an investment banker prior to joining the bar and clients appreciate his “commercial insight” and “forensic approach”. Catherine Gibaud QC specialises in disputes involving allegations of the mis-selling of complex financial products and derivatives and the ISDA master agreement. She has an “impeccable work ethic” and is “incredibly thorough”. The “accomplished” Jonathan Nash QC provides “practical and solutions-oriented advice” specialising in banking and financial services law. Richard Salter QC is a “heavyweight litigator” who “has the judge’s ear”. He is “quick on his feet” and “always well prepared”. Andrew Sutcliffe QC is a “top talent” who is “incredibly intelligent” and “always a team player”. David Head QC, appointed silk in 2016, is “making a real name for himself” and is “recommended without hesitation”.

At Fountain Court 12 silks stand out for recognition. Richard Handyside QC is a “great advocate” and “clients turn to him with their most complex and high value matters”. He is a “dedicated practitioner” who “really knows his stuff”. David Railton QC is “great on his feet” and is “a favourite with the big banks”. He impresses with “excellent eye for detail” and “commanding presence”. Bankim Thanki QC is a “name in the market” for banking and financial law disputes. Peers praise him as being a “real class act”. His notable cases include acting for Lloyds Bank in the OFT test case on bank charges. Michael Brindle QC is a “talented” lawyer with an “impressive depth of experience” in banking law matters. Patrick Goodall QC earns recognition for his “strong command of the law” and “ability to distil facts clearly”. The “great” Timothy Howe QC is a “pre-eminent” barrister who has extensive experience acting in disputes and proceedings in overseas jurisdictions including Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, the Channel Islands, the USA and the Caribbean. Raymond Cox QC is “first-rate in court and on paper” while Andrew Mitchell QC is “highly responsive and a pleasure to deal with”. Derrick Dale QC impresses in court and is considered “persuasive” and “unflappable” by peers. Patricia Robertson QC has been heavily involved in cases arising from the events of late 2008 and she often manages cases with parallel regulatory investigations. She has a “sharp mind” and is “very articulate”. John Taylor QC provides “excellent advice” in a “timely and responsive manner”. Clients appreciate his “incredible work ethic” and “ability to build a strong rapport with clients”. Ben Valentin QC is “hardworking” and “methodical”. Appointed silk in 2016, he was a “standout” in the junior bar and peers praise his “extensive experience in an advisory and advocacy capacity”.

Nine silks earn praise at One Essex Court, including the “eminent” Laurence Rabinowitz QC. Praised for his ability to “keep clients happy while delivering robust advice” he is “definitely a big name” in the field. Daniel Toledano QC has “impeccable judgement” and is “calm and measured” in his approach to matters. David Wolfson QC is a “great all-rounder” who is able “to focus on the small details while keeping an eye on the bigger picture”. Stephen Auld QC has vast experience in FSA proceedings and other financial services related disputes. He is “extremely personable” and “highly astute”. Anthony Grabiner QC is “outstanding” by all reports. He is “devastatingly effective in the courtroom, personable and above all sensible when deciding which arguments to run”. Neil Kitchener QC has a “great courtroom presence” and a “real way with clients”. Alain Choo-Choy QC has experience at all levels of the high court, including the appellate courts. He has also appeared in the Supreme Court. He is considered a “team player” who “always impresses”. Ian Glick QC primarily acts as an arbitrator and is a “trusted advisor” on banking and financial matters. The “sensational” Craig Orr QC is “quick to get up to speed” and has a “brilliant work ethic”.

At Brick Court Chambers five silks are singled out. Mark Hapgood QC is “in demand” from the city’s top solicitors due to his “composed manner” and “fierce intellect”. Tim Lord QC is “great to work with” and peers praise him as being “devastatingly effective”. His “cross-examination is particularly great”. Simon Salzedo QC has a “strong grasp of technical details” and “simplifies matters and expresses himself clearly”. The “superb” Simon Birt QC has an “easy way of articulating himself” while Mark Howard QC is a “top silk” who “makes it look easy”.

South Square receives five listings. Antony Zacaroli QC is an “exemplary silk” who has extensive experience in heavy and complex trials. Robin Dicker QC receives praise for his ability to “build a strong rapport with clients”. William Trower QC is a “pleasure to work with” is valued for his “exceptional commercial understanding”. Tom Smith QC is renowned for his “fierce intellect” and “winning way” with judges. Jeremy Goldring QC is “highly efficient and brilliant at identifying issues and formulating solutions”.

4 Stone Buildings’ Robert Miles QC stands out for his “brilliant litigation skills” and “calmness under pressure”. Jonathan Crow QC is a “leading light of his generation at the bar”; he has appeared more than 30 times in the Supreme Court or the House of Lords. Richard Hill QC is considered a “point of reference” at the bar and has “incredible strategic awareness”.

Essex Court Chambers is home to three leading silks in this field. David Foxton QC has a “great manner with clients” and is a “team player” who “gets up to speed quickly”. Joe Smouha QC is “first-class” and takes on “high-stakes” disputes. Richard Millett QC is “highly accomplished” and is “renowned for forming watertight arguments”.

Thomas Raphael QC at 20 Essex Street Chambers made silk in 2015 and is “incredibly good”. He is a “prominent player” who “instils confidence in clients”.

39 Essex Chambers’ Hodge Malek QC has “top-notch experience” of high-stakes trials and peers describe him as “very effective and efficient”.

Christopher Butcher QC at 7 King’s Bench Walk is a “strong advocate” who is “highly sought-after”.

At Serle Court David Blayney QC has a focus on disputes involving complex financial or quantum issues. His recent work has included the test case on the fairness of bank charges and the group litigation relating to the RBS £12 billion rights issue in 2008.

At Maitland Chambers newly appointed silk David Mumford QC is “very talented” and “highly responsive”. He boasts an impressive caseload and his experience is “years above his call”.

South Square’s Daniel Bayfield QC has an “impeccable reputation” and is known for his “approachable manner” and “work ethic”.


Fountain Court has a “stellar offering” on the junior side and nine individuals are singled out. Adam Zellick has a “calm manner” which “instils confidence in his clients”. He is “pragmatic and sensible” and “very thorough”. Nik Yeo is “held in high regard” by peers for his “articulate manner” and “technical understanding of banking disputes”. Henry King qualified as a chartered accountant before turning to the law and brings “significant insight” and “commercial acumen” to his cases. He is regularly involved in banking cases and those involving the interpretation and understanding of financial reports. James Duffy is a “standout name” in the field. In recent years he has been acting for Barclays against UniCredit in a trial of a substantial credit crunch-related matter. Rosalind Phelps is “efficient” and “cuts to the chase”. She is “incredibly innovative” and has a “no-nonsense approach”. Simon Atrill is deemed a “smooth operator” by peers. He has “top-notch experience” in the field and is a “hands-on junior”. James Cutress is a “joy to instruct” and has been involved in many prominent cases including Greenclose Ltd v National Westminster Bank plc. Tamara Oppenheimer is “tenacious” and “extremely talented”. She has a “can-do approach” and “always mucks in”. Adam Sher has experience in a full range of banking matters including investment banking, private banking and retail banking. He has been heavily involved in derivate-related litigation including Libor and Euribor.

At Brick Court Chambers three juniors are recommended. Fionn Pilbrow has “a great deal of advocacy experience” and is “very good on his feet”. Clients commend his “strong analytical skills” and “calming presence”. Stephen Midwinter is “extremely impressive” and “handles matters with great flair”. Craig Morrison impresses with his “astute mind” and “deep legal knowledge”. He has a “huge capacity to get things done”.

3 Verulam Buildings is home to two “standout” juniors. Adam Kramer is “extremely bright” and has an “impressive work ethic”. Solicitors “cannot praise him highly enough”. Laura John is an “exceptional team player” and a “junior of choice” for many silks.

At Maitland Chambers Louise Hutton is instructed by top City solicitors on complex banking and finance matters. She is “approachable” and “hardworking” and “always makes herself available”.

At 4 Stone Buildings Sharif Shivji is “building an excellent name for himself”. According to peers he is “great to work with” and “always on top of the details”.

Farhaz Khan at Outer Temple Chambers is “thoroughly recommended” by peers and is considered an “exceptionally smart lawyer”. He is “focused” and “employs a forensic approach”.

Essex Court Chambers’ Edmund King is “great at problem-solving” and is an “exceptional team player”.

In Bristol’s Guildhall Chambers John Virgo is a “specialist” in high-value financial product mis-selling claims with a “very active” practice.

At One Essex Court Richard Mott is singled out for his “strong command of the law” and “ability to get up to speed quickly”. He is a “very bright junior” who is “sought after” by silks.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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