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UK Bar: Government Contracts 2017

We recognise 29 advocates for their leading government contracts work, primarily handling EU and domestic procurement matters, as well as competition and commercial disputes relating to public projects. 

Most Highly Regarded
Silks
Jason Coppel QC 11KBW
Nigel Giffin QC 11KBW
Sarah Hannaford QC Keating Chambers
Michael Bowsher QC Monckton Chambers
Juniors
Joseph Barrett 11KBW
Valentina Sloane Monckton Chambers
Ewan West Monckton Chambers
Rob Williams Monckton Chambers

Silks

With public and administrative law at the heart of the set, it is unsurprising that 11KBW tops the research this year. It boasts a longstanding reputation as one of the pre-eminent sets in the field, with its barristers regularly representing a wide range of clients including public bodies, private companies, regulators and individual claimants. Three leading silks achieve listings this year for their outstanding government contracts work.
The “pre-eminent” Nigel Giffin QC is “first port of call” for many clients seeking support on procurement matters. He is “tactically very astute” and known for his “exceptionally rigorous approach”.
Jason Coppel QC is “one of the top silks” when it comes to procurement litigation. According to sources he is “incisive, client-friendly and really knows his stuff”.
James Goudie QC is a distinguished veteran of the public law Bar and is clearly recognised by peers and clients as a leader in public procurement matters. 

KEATING CHAMBERS achieves three listings in this chapter. It excels when it comes to public procurement work, which its members undertake predominantly across the construction, energy, transport and healthcare sectors.
Sarah Hannaford QC boasts “an unsurpassed reputation” in the market. She is highlighted for her particularly strong construction sector work and is admired by clients, one of whom praises her as "very user-friendly, with a sharp mind and keen intellect."
The highly rated Fionnuala McCredie QC is “a joy to work with” and “a consummate advocate”. She is active for both public bodies and private-sector clients in procurement litigation.
The “esteemed” Paul Darling QC is also recognised in this area as a part of his broader construction practice.

Known for its strong public and EU law focus, MONCKTON CHAMBERS counts two admired names in procurement at both the silk and junior level.
Michael Bowsher QC is “one of the foremost procurement silks in the country”. He is very frequently engaged in the largest procurement cases across the UK and Ireland, including challenges in the transport, IT, and health sectors. According to commentators, he is much sought after, with a wealth of knowledge and experience.
According to clients, Philip Moser QC “has great judgement, inspires confidence and is an absolute pleasure to work with.” He is regularly engaged as counsel in the largest procurement disputes, including those before the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

At BLACKSTONE CHAMBERS, John Howell QC is considered to be “in the top flight of procurement silks,” and is admired for his “exceptional public law knowledge”. 

Charles Béar QC of FOUNTAIN COURT CHAMBERS is known for his “terrific knowledge of procurement law” and for his “robust advocacy style”.

Rhodri Williams QC at HENDERSON CHAMBERS is known particularly for his expertise in EU procurement law. His first-rate practice also encompasses procurement matters relating to local and regional government in the UK. 

Scotland

AXIOM ADVOCATES boasts a reputation as the go-to set in Scotland for public procurement matters. Three leading silks from the set are highlighted this year. 
Ruth Crawford QC is recognised for her top-notch public law practice and the invaluable counsel that she delivers to both tenderers and contracting authorities.
She is joined by the “excellent” James Mure QC, who according to one respondent is “definitively pre-eminent at the Scottish Bar when it comes to complex procurement challenges”.  
Roddy Dunlop QC is also highlighted for his strong procurement law expertise. 

Juniors

Five juniors are recognised at MONCKTON CHAMBERS standing it out as having the greatest depth of expertise in the area.
Ewan West is admired by peers and clients alike for his excellent public procurement practice. He is currently active in the headline Energy Solutions v Nuclear Decommissioning Authority case.  A client cites his “practical advice, fierce advocacy and excellent client service”.
Sources value Valentina Sloane for her “sensible approach” and “sharp intellect”. She is known particularly for her strong focus on EU procurement law.
According to respondents, Rob Williams is “completely brilliant” and “one to watch”. “He is an excellent junior with a fantastic client facing manner.”
Fiona Banks is also recognised as a leading junior and is well-versed in representing clients before all levels of the English Courts, including successfully acting for Counted4 in the High Court in relation to resisting the lifting of the automatic suspension of a public contract for substance misuse treatment services in Sunderland.
Anneliese Blackwood is recommended for her “calm and balanced approach”. One client also praises “her impressive ability to distil complex legal arguments into concise drafting”.

KEATING CHAMBERS has outstanding juniors, three of whom are deemed to have sufficiently strong practices in procurement law. 
David Gollancz, former head of procurement at Fieldfisher, is “completely marvellous” when it comes to both domestic and international public procurement law. Peers praise him for “his brilliant legal brain”.
Simon Taylor, a former EU and competition law firm partner, stands out for his contentious procurement practice, in which he represents both authorities and bidders.  His client handling skills are said to be “superb”.
Revered construction senior junior Calum Lamont is also identified for his impressive work in procurement.

At 11KBW, Joseph Barrett is considered to be “the top procurement barristers at the junior level” by several sources. According to one respondent, “His knowledge of EU public procurement matters and his excellent case and client management skills earns him his deserved reputation.”

Peter Trepte of LITTLETON CHAMBERS is “a star in procurement policy”. He is known for his impressive work regarding international regulation and reform in the area. 

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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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