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20 Essex Street

20 Essex Street is a highly reputable commercial law set with one of the very best international disputes practices at the bar. Members are applauded for their skills in arbitrations, appearing as counsel or arbitrator in some of the most significant commercial disputes across the world. In particular, the set excels in international trade and commodities disputes, often appearing in trade arbitral panels. Members of 20 Essex Street are also widely consulted for their expertise in insolvency and restructuring matters, banking and finance, and insurance and reinsurance disputes, often with an international dimension. 

Widely held to be among the very best in the commodities market, clients consistently praise the knowledge and commercial aptitude of its members, as well as their profound expertise in international arbitrations. Andrew Baker QC is widely seen as “a leader in international trade and commodities”.  He is also described as “intelligent and highly logical”, and “very personable”. Philip Edey QC is famed for his “fierce intelligence”. He is often called to act on complex multi-jurisdictional commodity disputes. Timothy Young QC is described as “a heavy hitter” in the soft commodities space. He is said to have a “first-class legal mind and an innovative approach to problems”; additionally, clients describe him as being “very user-friendly” and “an absolute pleasure to work with.” Michael Ashcroft QC is a junior silk who has “rapidly progressed up the ranks and will be a huge success”, according to peers. Clients add that he is an “attractive advocate” with “a huge knowledge base.”

The set is celebrated as “an authority in international arbitration”, and members regularly act on high-profile disputes. Julian Lew QC is “a pillar of the arbitration community” and “one of the most its most recognisable players” in a broad range of commercial and investment disputes. J William Rowley QC is a senior silk with “worldwide fame for his expertise in commercial arbitrations.” Respondents also note that he is “very friendly and outgoing”. Charles Brower draws widespread praise for his “fierce style” as an arbitrator and his “razor sharp mind.” Michael Lee is also held up as “first-rate”, with vast experience in energy and project finance disputes in particular.

20 Essex Street covers the full range of insurance matters, led in particular by three very prominent silks. The “phenomenal” Christopher Hancock QC is well known for his “top-notch” performances in high-value international insurance disputes. Iain Milligan QC is described as “a great star in insurance disputes.” He is also widely seen to be “a grandee in the finance sector”, having had success in numerous noteworthy banking disputes over the years. Respondents often remark that he is “an elegant”, “sophisticated” and “stylish” advocate.

In essence, the set boasts some of the most prominent names in the commodities, insurance and finance sectors, as well as in general international arbitrations, as door tenants. It is clearly distinguished by peers at the bar and by clients the world over for being a centre of excellence in commercial disputes.

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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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W11 1QQ, UK