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UK Bar: Government Contracts 2016

This year 24 practitioners have been identified by our research as the leaders in the field.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Leading Silks
Nigel Giffin QC 11KBW
Sarah Hannaford QC Keating Chambers
Michael Bowsher QC Monckton Chambers
Leading Juniors
Rob Williams Monckton Chambers
David Gollancz Keating Chambers
Joseph Barrett 11KBW

Silks

Monckton Chambers has established an outstanding procurement set through its traditional excellence in EU and competition law. Its silks are among the first to cultivate a practice in procurement law and remain its “leading lights”, acting in many of the most significant procurement cases both domestically and internationally. Michael Bowsher QC is referred to as “an undisputed star” by sources, who note that “his knowledge and experience of the area is second to none.” Instructing solicitors also claim that he has “superb written skills”. Head of chambers Paul Lasok QC’s “leading procurement practice” stems from his “extraordinary knowledge of EU law”.  He is “remarkably intelligent” and “very shrewd”, according to instructing solicitors. The “excellent” Philip Moser QC is described as “a very fine advocate” with “significant expertise in procurement litigation.”

11KBW’s high status in public law has given the set a unique advantage in this field and it boasts many of the most experienced and well-learned silks in procurement law. Nigel Giffin QC is considered “the silks of choice” for many public authorities and tenderers. According to one instructing solicitor, “Nigel is a high-status silk, who ensures you have only the very best advocacy and written skills on your case.” James Goudie QC is an accomplished senior silk and “a widely held authority on procurement law.” Sources comment that “he has an excellent reputation in the courtroom” and “his presence on a case is reassuring for the client and equally effective”. Jason Coppel QC is a junior silk with “a fantastic reputation” and who is reportedly “at the apex of ongoing procurement law developments”. He is also known to be “client-friendly” and “sensible and pragmatic in his advice”.

Keating Chambers’ construction law pedigree makes it a natural place for procurement expertise to flourish. Sarah Hannaford QC is “an elite name in procurement law” and “an extraordinarily good all round counsel.” She has led on many of the major UK and EU procurement cases and she is in high demand. Instructing solicitors regard her as “the epitome of a modern barrister: hands on, commercial and very client-friendly”. Fionnuala McCredie QC is a junior silk with “an ever-growing presence in procurement”. She acts for both contracting authorities and bidders and has been involved in a number of notable cases of late. Peers regard her as “a fluent advocate who has an excellent manner with clients”.

Blackstone Chambers has a good reputation in procurement, derived from its “thoroughbred expertise” in EU and public law. John Howell QC is “among the top flight of silks at the bar” and has developed a “sophisticated procurement practice”. Peers often regard him as “one of the most intelligent individuals they have been up against” and client report that his “attention to detail and his strategic sense is fantastic”.

Henderson Chambers has a strong offering in procurement law build around the expertise of Rhodri Williams QC. He is has extensively experience of the EU public procurement regime and in litigation concerning all aspects of public procurement. Clients describe him as “knowledgeable”, “strong in court” and “user-friendly”.

Scotland

Axiom Advocates is the go to public procurement set in Scotland, having developed an excellent bench of seniors and juniors who are active representing local authorities and companies before the Court of Session. Alistair Clark QC has “substantial knowledge and experience” of procurement law matters and known to be “an outstanding trial advocate.” James Mure QC “really knows his stuff” and is described as a counsel who “can contend with the most complex procurement challenges”. Roddy Dunlop QC has acted for both tenderers and contracting authorities and is described as “a knowledgeable and effective counsel” in this regard.

Juniors

Monckton Chambers has the most impressive array of juniors in this field. Rob Williams stands out as “a star junior”, who is often instructed to act on high-profile procurement cases. He is described as “technically superb” and “very user-friendly”. Valentina Sloane is “a first-class senior junior” with significant experience of heavyweight EU procurement litigation. She receives effusive feedback from instructing solicitors, who describe her as “sensible and sharp”, as well as “determined and hands on”. Ewan West regularly acts for tenderers and local authorities on the full range of procurement matters. Sources remark that “he has built a first rate junior practice in procurement law.” Fiona Banks is a highly rated junior with an excellent track record in procurement cases. She is “charming and works extremely well with clients”, according to respondents. Anneliese Blackwood has a strong focus on procurement law and has been involved as junior counsel in a number of high profile cases. She is “very focused and dedicated to her clients”, according to sources. She is also praised for both her “excellent” written and oral skills.

Keating Chambers boasts two leading procurement juniors with significant experience in EU and procurement law. David Gollancz, former head of procurement at Fieldfisher, advises on procurement regulation and management, as well as representing clients in challenges. Sources state that “his detailed understanding of procurement law is communicated effectively to his clients.” Simon Taylor returned to the bar in 2012 after 20 years spent practising as an EU and competition lawyer. He often represents bidders and contracting authorities in procurement disputes and advises on the tender process. One source describes him as an “analytical” counsel, who is “very good at identifying and addressing problems.”

11KBW boasts one of the finest procurement juniors. Joseph Barrett is effusively praised by clients and peers alike for his “sensational” EU public procurement practise. He is described as “extremely intelligent and technically assured”, and clients particularly like the fact that he is “spirited and always up for the fight.”

At Blackstone Chambers, James Segan has established “a reputable practice in procurement”, through his EU and public law knowledge. He is particularly well known for his telecommunications and IT sector expertise and was instructed to act on Fujitsu’s procurement claim against the Department of Transport.

Scotland

Morag Ross is Axiom Advocates’ is an experienced and prominent junior, who is active in advising and representing both contracting authorities and bidders. Peers regard her as “bright, very perceptive and personable”. John MacGregor is praised by peers as “a knowledgeable public law practitioner” and “an excellent advocate”. He has acted as junior counsel on a number of notable procurement cases over the last few years. 

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