UK Bar: Restructuring & Insolvency 2017
The following 63 Barristers are experts in a wide range of matters concerning insolvency and restructuring, including liquidations, bankruptcies, administrations and receiverships. The financial crisis and continued instability of the world economy has driven this area to the fore in the past decade – during which time many prominent cases have arisen from major corporate collapses, including the failures of Lehman Brothers, Northern Rock and the Icelandic banking sector. The leading sets in this area are predominantly commercial chancery specialists, and many of the individuals listed are also recognised experts in banking, company law and civil fraud.
|Most Highly Regarded|
|Robert Miles QC||4 Stone Buildings|
|Robin Dicker QC||South Square|
|Gabriel Moss QC||South Square|
|William Trower QC||South Square|
|Antony Zacaroli QC||South Square|
|Andrew de Mestre||4 Stone Buildings|
|Ben Shaw||Erskine Chambers|
|Adam Al-Attar||South Square|
|Richard Fisher||South Square|
|Stephen Robins||South Square|
SOUTH SQUARE is the dominant restructuring and insolvency set. The reputations of its members are peerless. They are regularly instructed on the largest and most complex insolvency disputes and restructuring issues, including key roles in the long-lasting Waterfall Applications I and II. In total, 17 members are recognised, just over half the number of listings in this chapter. Below we select some of the standout silks.
Gabriel Moss QC is a senior silk with a titanic reputation in the market. As a source notes, “He is a heavy hitter for the most difficult cases.”
Robin Dicker QC earns universally high praise from market respondents, one of whom states: “He is probably the best in the business at the moment and the first choice for complicated insolvency matters.” Recent matters include acting for the creditor CVI in its case against Lehman Brothers Holdings.
William Trower QC ranks among the elite silks. Solicitors regularly state that he is one of the top five most popular to instruct, citing his “sensible approach” and “excellent judgement”.
Antony Zacaroli QC has a stellar reputation for handling complex cross-border insolvency matters and is regularly instructed on the leading cases in the market. Numerous respondents also note that he is “a pleasure to work with” and “very client-friendly”.
Mark Phillips QC is a very highly regarded senior silk, whose recent matters include acting for the Lehman administrators in the Supreme Court and for the liquidators of Rangers FC.
Felicity Toube QC is active in the full range of domestic and cross-border insolvency and restructuring matters, including most recently for Saad Group, Madoff, Lehman Brothers and Stanford. Respondents say she is “a top silk”, describing her as “robust, thoughtful and good to have on your side”.
Tom Smith QC is regarded as one of the top junior silks in this field. He is considered a leading choice for complex restructurings and schemes of arrangement mandates.
David Allison QC continues to grow rapidly in stature and is regarded as a “future star” by respondents. In particular, he is highlighted as a “guru” on schemes and arrangements, and is in demand for technical restructuring work.
Daniel Bayfield QC was made silk last year. As a junior he has been instructed on many of the landmark cases over the years, including for the administrators in the Lehman Brothers collapse. He is popular among responding solicitors who find him “extremely intelligent” and “easy to work with”.
MAITLAND CHAMBERS is a large set with an excellent reputation in this area, which is a part of its broad commercial chancery practice. Its members are frequently engaged in cases derived from the largest corporate collapses in recent times, including BCCI, Maxwell, Lehman Brothers, Northern Rock and the Icelandic banking collapse. Six silks earn recognition.
Rebecca Stubbs QC is regarded as the best in set by a number of her peers, with a reputation as “a battling yet stylish advocate”. Past engagements include acting for the administrators and liquidators of Global Trader.
Paul Girolami QC is a distinguished silk with a broad commercial, fraud, company and insolvency law practice. He has handled a significant number of noteworthy insolvency cases over the last two decades, such as the collapse of BCCI, Maxwell and Polly Peck.
Matthew Collings QC is described as an “exceptionally good barrister” and “very user-friendly”. He focuses on both domestic and cross-border corporate insolvencies.
Newly appointed silk Catherine Addy QC has a broach chancery and commercial practice with a focus on insolvency matters. She has appeared in a number of headline matters, including advising HM Treasury in relation to Northern Rock and acting for the creditors of Lehman Brothers.
4 STONE BUILDINGS is an established commercial chancery set, counting insolvency and restructuring as a key area of practice. Three of the set’s six Queen’s Counsel are recognised in this chapter.
Robert Miles QC is widely regarded as one of the best silks at the Bar, and “an all-round first class act”. He has acted in some of the largest cases over the last two decades, including recently acting for Lehman Brothers Holdings Intermediate 2’s joint administrators.
Richard Hill QC and George Bompas QC are also strongly recommended.
ERSKINE CHAMBERS is a top company law set with additional expertise in civil fraud, banking and finance, and insolvency and restructuring. The set often focuses on the intersection of these areas and its members are noted for their cross-disciplinary knowledge. Three silks stand out.
The “superb” Peter Arden QC is highly respected in this area. His instructions most often focus on domestic and cross-border insolvencies in relation to the financial services sector. He is also described as “very clever, meticulous and scrupulously detailed” by respondents.
David Chivers QC is particularly well regarded for his cross-border insolvency work and for his “fantastic advocacy”.
James Potts QC is a silk with “an excellent future”, strongly endorsed for his company law and insolvency expertise.
Outside these core sets there are a number of standout individual silks.
At 20 ESSEX STREET, Stephen Atherton QC is considered to among the 10 best silks by several respondents and is particularly in demand for offshore cases. He is known as a “robust advocate” and an “excellent tactical litigator”.
ONE ESSEX COURT’s Anthony de Garr Robinson QC has a broad commercial practice that includes a significant focus on domestic and offshore insolvencies. One source notes, “He is excellent – clever, charming, very client friendly and also sensible.”
Marcia Shekerdemian QC of WILBERFORCE CHAMBERS focuses on contentious insolvencies, both domestic and cross-border. One client responds: “Not only is Marcia very smart, savvy and experienced, she is also able to communicate a point in simple and clear terms that clients greatly appreciate. She is the ultimate team player.”
SOUTH SQUARE is the main artery for future leaders at the Bar in this field. Out of 22 junior members, nine are selected for inclusion in this chapter. We highlight some of the top performers in our research.
Stephen Robins stands out as the leading junior in our research. He is active in the biggest cases in the courts at the moment, including acting for the administrators in the Waterfall litigation and for the liquidators of Rangers FC. He is also representing the administrators for the African mining company Afren.
Richard Fisher is an experienced senior junior regularly instructed on difficult domestic and cross-border insolvencies. He is highly regarded by solicitors, who described him as “very user-friendly”.
Adam Al-Attar is an “extremely popular junior” and well regarded for complex cases. Recent mandates include the insolvencies of Lehman Brothers and MF Global, and the restructuring of the Co-operative Bank.
Adam Goodison is a top senior junior, particularly established in high-value domestic and international restructurings.
Georgina Peters is active across the remit of insolvencies and restructurings. She is regarded as “hardworking and user-friendly” by solicitors.
4 STONE BUILDINGS illustrates the strength and depth of its restructuring and insolvency practice with three standout juniors in our research.
Andrew de Mestre has a broad commercial practice with a growing presence in this field. One source notes, “He is experienced, intelligent and easy to work with – definitely one of my first choices at the senior junior end.”
Tiran Nersessian is strongly endorsed for his insolvency litigation practice. One client reports that he is “extremely calm, responsive, accessible and supportive”; another notes that he “is very sharp and analytical, and possesses a great advocacy style”.
Sharif Shivji is known for his strong insolvency practice, particularly in matters relating to the financial services sector. He is highly thought of as “intelligent, hardworking and easy to work with”.
Two juniors earn recognition from ERSKINE CHAMBERS.
The “outstanding” Ben Shaw is one of the top five juniors in our research. He has an active insolvency and restructuring practice, and is much in demand.
Ben Griffiths earns wide-ranging praise for his restructuring and insolvency practice. He is placed among the top 10 juniors in our research and is noted for his reputation as “one of the cleverest individuals at the Bar”.
We select five leading individuals from the Scotland Bar.
Two individuals earn recognition from TERRA FIRMA CHAMBERS.
Michael Howlin QC is considered one of the top silks in this area, with standout knowledge and experience of both contentious and non-contentious insolvency matters, regularly acting for administrators and creditors.
Alan Summers QC focuses on insolvency litigation and is well regarded by his peers. As one source remarks, “He is an excellent courtroom advocate: robust and very good on his feet.” Rangers FC is a key client.
At AMPERSAND STABLE, David Sellar QC is widely regarded as one of the top insolvency and company law Barristers in Scotland. According to respondents, his experience and standing are “unmatched at the Scottish Bar”; he also receives praise for being “very good at the detail”.
Two juniors are select from AXIOM ADVOCATES.
Paul O'Brien is an experienced junior and a former solicitor with a broad commercial practice. A number of peers in both Scotland and England recommend him as “one of the best junior counsel in Scotland” and “very user-friendly”.
David Thomson has a strong insolvency litigation practice that is also widely endorsed by peers.