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UK Bar: Restructuring & Insolvency 2016

This year 59 practitioners have been identified by our research as the leaders in the field.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Leading Silks
Antony Zacaroli QC South Square
Tom Smith QC South Square
William Trower QC South Square
Gabriel Moss QC South Square
Peter Arden QC Erskine Chambers
Robin Dicker QC South Square
Daniel Bayfield QC South Square
Leading Juniors
Stephen Robins South Square
Tiran Nersessian 4 Stone Buildings
Giles Maynard-Connor Exchange Chambers
Blair Leahy 20 Essex Street Chambers
Catherine Addy Maitland Chambers


An impressive 13 silks are highlighted in our research from South Square as leading individuals in their fields. Antony Zacaroli QC stands out as “a barrister like no other”. He has been involved in many of the most significant insolvency cases over the last 20 years, building up “extensive experience of heavy and complex commercial cases”. Tom Smith QC is described as “a certain inclusion” due to his “wide-ranging expertise”. The “excellent” William Trower QC has a “leading reputation in the industry” from representing clients in “many of the major, precedent-setting insolvencies and restructuring cases” in recent years. In particular clients praise him for his “skilful handing of complicated legal problems”. Gabriel Moss QC is known for his “outstanding contribution to the market”. He is recommended for his “technical excellence” and for “always acting in the best interests of clients”. Robin Dicker QC has a fantastic reputation as “a consummate professional” and clients say they “couldn’t wish for a more skilled advocate”. David Allison QC is known for having a “comprehensive understanding of the industry”. He has an “extensive overseas practice” encompassing Dubai, BVI, Jersey, Cayman and Guernsey. Daniel Bayfield QC is described as “responsive, hardworking and practical”, and is recommended for being “an innovative and dedicated practitioner”.  Michael Crystal QC is a “dedicated practitioner”. He is praised for his “hands-on and friendly approach” and “willingness to always go the extra mile” for clients. The “highly skilled” Mark Phillips QC is described as “head and shoulders above the competition”. His “impressive clientele” include many high profile names. “Widely acclaimed as an outstanding practitioner”, Felicity Toube QC is “a major player in the industry.”  Simon Mortimore QC has “boundless knowledge of the sector” and is praised for his “clear sightedness when handling complex issues”. Glen Davis QC focuses his practice on domestic and cross-border insolvency and restructuring, and is particularly recommended for his “unrivalled technical, strategic and intellectual skills”. Jeremy Goldring QC is a “highly accomplished practitioner”, renowned for his “creativity, resourcefulness, and persistence in finding solutions for clients”. Martin Pascoe QC is known for his “financial know-how” and “insightful approach”. He is “a popular choice” for complex multi-jurisdictional high-value cases. Mark Arnold QC is recommended for combining “extensive technical expertise” with a “commercial and pragmatic approach”.

At Maitland Chambers Rebecca Stubbs QC is “a true great” in the industry with an “exhaustive knowledge base”.  She focuses her practice on the fields of banking, financial services and civil fraud and asset recovery. The “wonderful” Paul Girolami QC is praised for being a “naturally gifted advocate” and “as smart as they come”. Michael Gibbon QC has a reputation for “excellence and achievement” founded on his “extensive experience” in the field. Clients particularly praise his “hard work and dedication”. Matthew Collings QC is recommended for his “superb advice and strategic approach” to complex matters. His “extensive breadth of expertise” is illustrated by his involvement in over 150 reported cases.

At Erskine Chambers Peter Arden QC is “a sensational barrister” who “certainly knows his stuff”. He specialises in larger and complex insolvency cases, with a focus in the financial sector. His “scrupulous approach” has led to him being considered a “go-to barrister” for clients. David Chivers QC is described as “someone to be reckoned with”. He is recommended by clients and peers for being “extremely knowledgeable and accessible.” Known for his “incredible insight and diligence”, James Potts QC produces “work of the highest quality for clients”.

At Guildhall Chambers Stephen Davies QC has been praised for his “creative approach to clients’ most complex problems”. He has advised in “many high-profile insolvencies” and is described as “a top player in the field”.  Also recommended at the chambers is Hugh Sims QC is a “standout practitioner”, and a “firm favourite amongst clients.”

From 4 Stone Buildings, the “splendid” Richard Hill QC “outshines the completion” with his “innovation and vision” when handling difficult matters. He is joined by Robert Miles QC who has been described as a “truly unique barrister” and is praised for “his thoughtful and insightful advice”.

Recommended at Wilberforce Chambers is Lexa Hilliard QC for her “unparalleled knowledge of insolvency law”.  The “internationally regarded” Marcia Shekerdemian QC is praised by clients and peers for her “ability to get to the heart of the matter”.

From XXIV Old Buildings Malcolm Davis-White QC is an “exceptionally talented” practitioner with a “long track record of excellence” in the field. The “highly competent” Alan Steinfeld QC has a “formidable reputation in the market”. He regularly advises and appears in the Cayman Islands, Channel Islands, the BVI, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Gibraltar, the Isle of  Man and Hong Kong.

At Ampersand Stable the “amazingly gifted” David Sellar QC is recommended for his “fantastic work ethic and no nonsense approach”. Robert Howie QC is noted for his “tenacity, and ability to successfully negotiate complicated legal issues”.

Andreas Gledhill QC at Blackstone Chambers is praised for his “highly technical approach” and for “always delivering for clients”.

From 20 Essex Street Chambers Stephen Atherton QC has been described as “one of the very best in the area”. He features prominently in our research for his “exceptional client manner”, and “adroit advice”.  

From Kings Chambers Lesley Anderson QC is a “thoroughly impressive” practitioner. “Savvy and experienced”, she is known for “keenly protecting clients’ best interests”.

Hugh Jory QC from Enterprise Chambers “offers world-class expertise”. He is particularly praised for his ability to pay “close attention to detail whilst never losing sight of the bigger picture.”

Alan Summers QC at Terra Firma Chambers impresses clients with his “vast and intricate knowledge” combined with “strong commercial acumen”.


South Square leads the way with eight juniors recognised in our research.Stephen Robins has been involved in many of the major insolvency cases in recent years, through which he has built up “vast experience and expertise” to bring to the industry. Adam Al-Attar has “substantial experience” of bank and fund insolvencies, and is known for “providing unique insight into difficult legal matters”. The “brilliant” Lloyd Tamlyn specialises in “all aspects of domestic and cross-border insolvency”, often with a cross border element. He is praised by clients and peers for his “direct, clear and effective method of advocacy”. Richard Fisher is “in a class of his own”. He has “a particular talent for domestic and cross-border reconstruction and insolvency”, offering “a personal service” and “a high standard of client care”. Marcus Haywood has “a wealth of industry experience”, and is known for his “deep commercial insight”. John Briggs is recommended as an “exceptional practitioner”, who “certainly knows his stuff”. Clients praise Hilary Stonefrost’s “thorough and intelligent approach”, which produces “sophisticated solutions” to complex issues.

From 4 Stone Building Tiran Nersessian is praised for his “superb technical skill” and “high-quality work”. He focuses his practice on claims concerning transactions at undervalue and preferences, disputed winding up and bankruptcy petitions, applications to set aside statutory demands, bankruptcy restriction orders, and wrongful/fraudulent trading, among other matters. He regularly represents HMRC and the Official Receiver as well as acting for companies, and private litigants. Alongside him Andrew de Mestre has “a fantastic reputation in the industry” advising and acting in litigation for both office-holders and defendants, and clients say they “couldn’t wish for a more skilled advocate”.

At 20 Essex Street, Blair Leahy is “second to none” for her “phenomenal level of skill” and “versatile thinking”. Likewise Tony Beswetherick is held in high regard for his “first-rate advice” and “commitment to his clients”.

From Erskine Chamber, the outstanding Ben Griffiths has been described as “a heavyweight” at the bar, with a reputation for being “an incredible legal strategist”. Ben Shaw is admired as an “impressive litigator” with a “commanding presence in court”.

Eleanor Temple at Kings Chambers is known for being “extremely thorough and not missing a thing.” She is joined by Claire Jackson, who “brings real value to a case” and is “very user-friendly”.

From XXIV Old Buildings Richard Ritchie has been described as “fantastic on his feet”, with “shrewd insights” and “strong analytical skills”. Alongside him is the “impressive” Edward Cumming. Described by clients and peers as “a very compelling advocate”, his “sharp mind” has earned him “wide acclaim in the market”.

At Exchange Chambers Giles Maynard-Connor is recommended for his “tremendous understanding” of this area of law, and ensuing “high level of practice”.

From Maitland Chambers Catherine Addy is “sensational”. With “unrivalled technical, strategic and intellectual skills”, she has been described as “a true professional in the courtroom”.

Christopher Boardman at Radcliffe Chambers draws on “invaluable and wide ranging sector experience”, specialising in both personal and corporate insolvencies and also advising on directors’ liabilities and disqualification actions. 

The “intuitive” Sandra Bristoll from St Philips Chambers is “a notable talent”, recommended for her “incredibly quick grasp of the details” and “skilful cross-examination”.

Paul O’Brien at Axiom Advocates is in “high demand” for his “excellent attention to detail” and “creative approach”.

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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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