WWL profiles the eight sets with the most listings in our 2020 edition.
Market-leading commercial set Essex Court Chambers enjoys a prominent position at the UK Bar. It demonstrates the depth and breadth of expertise on offer from its advocates in this edition, achieving 63 listings across 10 practice areas.
Arbitration is a core strength of the set, with 19 silks and juniors recognised for their excellence in our corresponding chapter. They are singled out for their top-tier handling of international commercial arbitration proceedings under various arbitral rules, as well as related court proceedings.
The set also excels when it comes to handling insurance and reinsurance disputes. We recognise nine barristers in this edition for their outstanding work representing clients on an array of matters including coverage disputes, fraud, non-disclosure and Bermuda Form matters.
Civil fraud is another area in which the set performs well this year. Ten silks and juniors are distinguished in our corresponding chapter for their leading work on freezing injunctions, asset recovery and fraud claims.
Key barristers at the set include Toby Landau QC who ranks highly among peers for his world-class arbitration practice. Joe Smouha QC is hailed as a leading light for high-value commercial disputes, while Paul McGrath QC draws high praise for his impressive work on contentious asset recovery proceedings. Claire Blanchard QC is commended for her impressive advocacy across four practice areas – international trade and commodities, insurance and reinsurance, energy, and shipping.
Well-established set One Essex Court is renowned for its leading offering at the UK Bar. It performs well in this edition and showcases the breadth of its expertise achieving 56 listings across eight practice areas.
Banking and finance is a clear strength of the set, with 16 silks and juniors recognised in this edition for their excellence handling related disputes for a range of clients, including financial institutions, banks, funds and private clients.
Energy and natural resources is a further area in which the set excels. We single out 11 of its barristers for their market-leading work representing clients in contractual, regulatory and transactions disputes across a range of sectors including oil and gas, power and renewables.
The set’s arbitration practice also performs well this year with nine barristers identified for their leading work in commercial and investment treaty proceedings under arbitral rules around the world.
Key figures at the set include David Wolfson QC and James MacDonald, who rank among the foremost banking and finance advocates at the bar. Orlando Gledhill QC is a pre-eminent silk in energy-related disputes, while Laurence Rabinowitz QC is lauded for his breadth of expertise spanning disputes relating to banking, energy, civil fraud, corporate tax and arbitration proceedings.
Blackstone Chambers is one of the UK’s most prestigious sets, and continues to demonstrate its prominence as a centre for excellence in international and domestic commercial matters before UK courts, achieving 63 listings across 11 practice areas in this edition.
The set leads the market when it comes to sports disputes, with 13 barristers listed for their excellence in contractual, IP and transactional matters. The set’s labour, employment and immigration group also performs strongly with 11 advocates identified for their outstanding work on related disputes.
Civil fraud is a further area in which the set excels with an impressive eight listings. Its barristers are recognised for their skill and experience in asset recovery, fraud and bribery proceedings. We also recognise 10 telecoms specialists this year for their strong expertise in regulatory and commercial disputes across the sector.
The set has a number of standout names, especially in the labour and employment field, with Paul Goulding QC and Jane Mulcahy QC recognised as market-leading advocates in related disputes. Adam Lewis QC, Nick De Marco QC, Kate Gallafent QC and Ian Mill QC are go-to advocates when it comes to matters involving sports law, and David Pannick QC wins widespread acclaim for his media and entertainment law expertise.
Powerhouse commercial set Twenty Essex shines in this year’s research and cements its position as one of the go-to chambers at the UK Bar for a range of commercial disputes. Its barristers achieve an impressive 55 listings across 10 different practice areas, illustrating the strength and depth of their expertise.
Arbitration continues to be a strong focus of the set, with eight silks and seven juniors achieving a listing for their work as arbitrators and counsel in domestic and international disputes.
The set also achieves prominence in international trade and commodities disputes, with 14 listings for its specialists in this area of law. Its barristers are recognised for their capabilities in commodity contract disputes, as well as insurance, distribution and purchase agreement issues. These substantial capabilities are augmented by the depth of international shipping expertise among its barristers, with 11 listings in total for those who specialise in financing, charter party and shipbuilding disputes.
The set is a nexus of top legal minds when it comes to arbitration proceedings, with Charles Brower, J William Rowley QC, Judith Gill QC and Julian D M Lew QC all recognised as pre-eminent names in the field. Paul Lowenstein QC is hailed for his market-leading asset recovery expertise, while Christopher Hancock QC, Timothy Young QC and Josephine Davies are considered leading lights in international trade and commodities disputes. Michael Ashcroft QC and Oliver Caplin rank highly for their exceptional advocacy in the shipping sector, and Tony Beswetherick is a prominent junior for restructuring and insolvency proceedings.
Brick Court Chambers continues to demonstrate its prominent presence at the UK Bar, with 65 listings across 14 practice areas in this edition.
The set performs exceptionally well in our competition chapter, with 16 barristers highlighted for their outstanding work on a range of matters spanning abuse of dominance and cartel investigations, as well as damages claims. The set also excels in banking and finance disputes, with 13 barristers recognised for their excellence across regulatory and transactional matters.
Insurance and reinsurance, and telecoms, are additionally strong areas for the set, which achieves six and five listings in our respective chapters. Eight individuals are recognised for their outstanding work in alternative dispute resolution methods, including arbitration and mediation, while four barristers are highlighted for their leading work in contentious proceedings in the energy and natural resources sector.
Standout names at the set include William Wood QC and Tony Willis, who are distinguished as pre-eminent mediators. Mark Hoskins QC is a top name for competition matters, while Marie Demetriou QC is highly rated by peers for her regulatory work in competition and telecoms. Tim Lord QC is recognised for his extensive expertise in banking and finance matters, and Maya Lester QC is considered a go-to silk for competition and international trade disputes.
First-rate set Matrix Chambers enjoys an outstanding reputation at the UK Bar for the breadth and depth of expertise it offers. It performs well in this edition receiving 50 listings across 11 practice areas.
Defamation and privacy is a standout area for the set in which we highlight 11 impressive silks and juniors for their excellent track record handling freedom of expression, libel and complex privacy cases. The set achieves a further seven listings in our media and entertainment chapter.
Labour, employment and immigration is a further area in which the set’s expertise shines. This year we recognise nine standout barristers for their work handling a range of matters including equal pay claims, trade union and unfair dismissal cases.
Criminal fraud and investigations is another area of great strength for the set, whose expertise in corporate investigations and white-collar crime defence is reflected by its nine listings in our research.
Key figures at the set include Clare Montgomery QC, who is highly regarded for her strength of expertise in investigations and white-collar criminal defence matters. Gavin Millar QC and Sara Mansoori are renowned for their outstanding work in privacy and defamation issues. James Laddie QC is applauded for his expertise in labour, employment and immigration disputes and Maurice Sheridan is a leading junior for contentious proceedings relating to environmental law.
Leading set 7 King’s Bench Walk demonstrates its strong presence at the UK Bar in our research this year with a total of 44 listings across five chapters.
Insurance and reinsurance is an area where the set dominates the market, with 14 silks and six juniors ranking highly for their depth of knowledge and expertise in a wide array of insurance matters, including Bermuda Form matters, reinsurance, coverage disputes and liability claims.
The set is well known for its strong international trade and commodities practice. We recognise seven silks and six juniors for their outstanding work in related disputes. It further excels in shipping, with nine advocates listed for their top-tier work in shipping litigation and arbitration.
Standout names at the set include Alistair Schaff QC, Gavin Kealey QC and Josephine Higgs who are recognised as leading lights in insurance and reinsurance disputes. N G Casey is a go-to junior for complex international trade and commodities proceedings, while Charles Priday enjoys a stellar reputation in the shipping sector.
Top-tier set Fountain Court Chambers is renowned for its expertise in high-value disputes across a host of practice areas. Their strength is showcased in our research this year with a total of 66 listings across 12 chapters.
The set performs exceptionally well in our banking and finance chapter, with nine juniors and 15 silks highlighted for their outstanding work in financial disputes and banking litigation. Civil fraud is another area in which the set really excels. Our research recognises 10 barristers in our corresponding chapter, for their outstanding work handling complex and serious fraud proceedings.
The set also stands out for its first-rate insurance and reinsurance offering, with seven silks and two juniors highlighted for their leading expertise in handling insurance claims in litigation and arbitration. The set is an established name in the aviation and travel sector, for its renowned work in commercial disputes, loss and damage claims, and insurance and reinsurance advisory work.
Top names at the set include Richard Handyside QC, David Railton QC and Laura John, who rank as leading figures in the banking and finance arena. Mark Simpson QC is commended for his first-class professional negligence practice, and Akhil Shah QC is recognised for his experience and expertise in the aviation and travel sector.