UK Bar: Real Estate 2017
In this chapter, Who’s Who Legal identifies 58 leading barristers active at the property bar. Each barrister listed has a proven track record representing landlords, tenants, commercial developers and multinational companies in the appropriate fora, including all civil courts, arbitral proceedings, expert determinations and mediations. As well as contentious work, some nominees may also offer transactional advice.
|Most Highly Regarded|
|Timothy Fancourt QC||Falcon Chambers|
|John Male QC||Landmark Chambers|
|Martin Hutchings QC||Wilberforce Chambers|
|Jonathan Seitler QC||Wilberforce Chambers|
|Joanne Wicks QC||Wilberforce Chambers|
|Stephanie Tozer||Falcon Chambers|
|Nicholas Taggart||Landmark Chambers|
|Christopher Jones||St John’s Chambers|
|Julian Greenhill||Wilberforce Chambers|
Renowned property law specialist FALCON CHAMBERS again emerges as the number-one set in our real estate research. An impressive 19 out of its 41 members are selected for inclusion, including nine Queen’s Counsel. The set stands out for contentious property matters and offers real strength in depth across its bench. Below we select some of the leading silks.
Timothy Fancourt QC is described as “an absolute pleasure to deal with” and “as clear an advocate as one could hope to hear”. Fancourt regularly appears in high-profile matters relating to development agreements, leasehold obligations, commercial leases and appeals.
Jonathan Gaunt QC is “an authority” with a wealth of experience handling landlord and tenant issues. Sources praise his “encyclopaedic knowledge of the law” and his “calm, measured approach”.
Nicholas Dowding QC is seen as “a star of the property bar”. He is particularly well versed in commercial property disputes, appearing regularly before the Supreme Court, High Court and Court of Appeal.
“Intellectual powerhouse” Jonathan Karas QC is regarded as “pre-eminent” in public law-related property matters by respondents who are impressed by the breadth of his knowledge and his ability to think quickly on his feet.
The “fantastic” Guy Fetherstonhaugh QC is a reputed name in the market, known for his expertise in easements and restrictive covenants, rent review work and development agreements.
Stephen Jourdan QC draws praise for his property litigation practice. One client is particularly effusive: “He is incredibly precise, clearly has a grip on all the detail and lets you know you are in incredibly safe hands."
WILBERFORCE CHAMBERS has a longstanding reputation for excellence in real estate law and its members are regularly engaged in significant matters, ranging from transactional advisory work to high-profile property disputes. Eight of its leading silks recognised in the following pages.
The “distinguished” Joanne Wicks QC comes highly recommended in this year’s research thanks to her “excellent client-management skills” and “highly impressive cross-examination skills”. Sources were particularly impressed with her ability to deliver “clear and cogent advice” and “cut right to the heart of the issues at stake”.
Jonathan Seitler QC is a widely reputed member of the UK property bar. A “formidable and skilled advocate”, Seitler is regularly instructed in high-profile, precedent-setting cases.
Martin Hutchings QC is a commercial landlord and tenant specialist with a perennially busy practice and a proven track record in dilapidations issues. According to one source, “Martin has a nature which immediately puts clients at ease, allowing him to elicit exactly the information he needs to advise and makes the most of his time. He also has a real air of authority in the courtroom that leaves no doubt as to the extent of his expertise.”
Jonathan Davey QC draws praise for his "ability to distil complex procedures into easy-to-understand, practical advice for the client” and his personable and approachable manner. A relatively new silk, Davey has built upon his star status as a junior, boosted by an interesting and varied practice as a consequence of his work for the Property Tribunal and the Treasury.
MAITLAND CHAMBERS is well known for its expertise in real estate law. Its members are experienced in the full gamut of property work and appear regularly in high-profile matters before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, as well as Privy Council appeals from non-UK jurisdictions. Seven property silks are recommended in this chapter.
Timothy Dutton QC is an accomplished property silk with over 30 years of experience at the bar. He regularly acts in both contentious and non-contentious matters relating to enfranchisements, equitable remedies and contractual disputes.
John McGhee QC is a major player at the property bar known for his expertise in landlord and tenant matters, particularly those relating to rights of light. Sources consider him an “excellent litigator”
Alan Johns QC is commended for his "pithy style which judges tend to appreciate".
LANDMARK CHAMBERS impresses in this year’s research. The well-rounded set, which features planning, environmental and public law specialists too, sees its members regularly engaged in significant property disputes. five outstanding silks are recognised.
John Male QC is regarded as “a grandee of the bar” on account of his experience and international renown, as well as his tremendous expertise in tenancy and rent reviews. He is also a recommended arbitrator and mediator in the field.
Katharine Holland QC is one of the property bar’s leading lights, impressing peers and clients alike with her attitude: “She is very happy to roll up her sleeves and get stuck in, even at short notice.”
Interviewees are particularly impressed with Tim Morshead QC’s technical aptitude and logical mind. One source maintains, “He is a definite inclusion who is very clear and excellent in writing.”
Sources consider ST PHILIPS STONE CHAMBERS’ John Randall QC “one of the best silks around”. According to the interviewee, “He is incisive and has an unparalleled knowledge of the law which he always applies in a commercially constructive way.”
FALCON CHAMBERS’ specialisation in the area ensures that it can foster a very strong bench of juniors in this year’s research, with 10 practitioners singled out.
Stephanie Tozer is a clear client favourite, earning a number of rave reviews. One solicitor claims, “Stephanie is quick to pick up complicated issues and really puts the hours in to deliver. She is not afraid to give very honest advice and client direction, as well as being very bright and having a great head for detail.”
Sources strongly endorse Wayne Clark for his “commercial and practical advice” and his “persuasive, non-abrasive style”. His practice covers a wide range of property law, specialising in business tenancies.
Mark Sefton is considered “one of the pre-eminent juniors at the bar” and “a delight to deal with in court”. According to a source, “Sefton is calm, collected and able to tackle whatever is thrown at him.”
LANDMARK CHAMBERS boast five noteworthy junior barristers in the following pages.
Nicholas Taggart is considered “a top junior in the landlord and tenant field” by one source thanks to his “excellent knowledge of the law and personable manner with clients”.
The “impressive” Myriam Stacey is a well-established practitioner with a wide-ranging commercial property practice covering commercial and residential land and tenant through to restrictive covenants and service charges, among others.
Camilla Lamont’s impressive practice focuses on residential service charges, as well as real estate-related environmental litigation. One respondent noted, "Camilla is able to present her advice in a way which appeals to clients of all types. She can be firm when she needs to be and does not sit on the fence. Her advice is pragmatic and shows a real understanding of the commercial realities faced by clients."
WILBERFORCE CHAMBERS is represented by two leading juniors.
Julian Greenhill is deemed an extremely impressive junior by sources who expect him to take silk in the coming years. Greenhill’s practice encompasses technical landlord and tenant issues, often involving developments.
The “brilliant” Charlotte Black is “sensible and pragmatic” according to respondents. Her practice focuses on property litigation and property-related professional liability matters.
At ST JOHN'S CHAMBERS in Bristol, Christopher Jones is noted for his “excellent client skills, rational thinking and practical application of legal principles”. Jones focuses his practice on litigation relating to easements, restrictive covenants and land sale contracts.