UK Bar: Banking & Finance 2018

This year we recognise 93 leading barristers who represent the top tier of the banking and finance Bar. 

Most Highly Regarded
1. Laurence Rabinowitz QC One Essex Court
2. Robert Miles QC 4 Stone Buildings
3. Richard Handyside QC Fountain Court Chambers
4. Jonathan Nash QC 3 Verulam Buildings
5. David Wolfson QC One Essex Court
6. Tim Lord QC Brick Court Chambers
7. David Railton QC Fountain Court Chambers
1. Laura John Fountain Court Chambers
2. Adam Kramer 3 Verulam Buildings
3. Farhaz Khan Outer Temple Chambers
4. James MacDonald One Essex Court
5. Richard Power Fountain Court Chambers


Leading commercial set FOUNTAIN COURT CHAMBERS leads the way in the banking and finance sector, with 12 top-tier silks recognised for their work in the area.
Richard Handyside QC is “a very accomplished advocate” who boasts “an amazing reputation for banking work”. Peers “rate him very highly”, describing him as “the embodiment of what the modern silk should be”.
The “absolutely fantastic” David Railton QC is described as “one of the top silks at the banking Bar” by peers, who are particularly “impressed by his skilful approach to cross-examinations”.
Rosalind Phelps QC is a leading figure at the commercial Bar with “a good eye for the wider strategic issues of a case”. She is highly regarded among clients who praise her “efficiency and user-friendliness”.
The “excellent” Bankim Thanki QC is regarded as “a very smooth advocate” by sources who applaud his client-centred approach and vigour in court.
The “outstanding” Michael Brindle QC is “absolutely first class” in the banking space according to commentators, who name him as “a top-notch advocate who really wins over the courtroom”.
Richard Lissack QC is internationally recognised as a leader in the field and is widely recognised as the “go-to silk for complex LIBOR rigging mandates”.

3 VERULAM BUILDINGS also ranks prominently in our research, thanks to its members’ involvement in a range of high-value banking disputes. This year, 11 silks are highlighted for their expertise.
Jonathan Nash QC is highly recommended thanks to his “flawless knowledge of banking and financial law, which is underpinned by a commercial and highly practical client-friendly approach”.
“Star banking silk” Adrian Beltrami QC is “absolutely a leading light in this field” according to respondents, who endorse him for his “analytical mind and great intellect”.
The “enormously impressive” Ewan McQuater QC is an accomplished silk who garners recognition for his “insightful practical analysis of complex mandates”.
Andrew Sutcliffe QC is “an outstanding technical litigator and utterly charming leader” according to one junior, adding that he is “a real star at the Bar”.
Ali Malek QC is a “high-profile” barrister with an “excellent courtroom manner” according to commentators, who name him “a leader in the field”.
Andrew Onslow QC is “a very charming opponent” according to impressed commentators, who admire his superb advocacy in high-profile banking disputes.

ONE ESSEX COURT is home to nine impressive silks who receive plaudits for their work in the banking and finance arena.
Laurence Rabinowitz QC ranks among the very elite of practitioners in our research thanks to his “incredible presence in court”. One impressed source refers to him as “an absolutely brilliant advocate who excels in complex cases”. 
David Wolfson QC is “utterly brilliant” according to sources, who describe him as “an incredibly creative silk”, adding that he has “one of the most impressive minds at the Bar”.
Daniel Toledano QC is “a very persuasive advocate who stays calm under pressure. Respondents consider him “very clever, commercial and user friendly”.
The “excellent” Stephen Auld QC is “a very experienced banking silk” who sources call “a very effective litigator” thanks to his performance in some of the most high-profile cases of recent years.
“Super advocate” Sonia Tolaney QC ranks prominently for her leading commercial practice. Commentators applaud the way she “effortlessly takes a sophisticated academic argument and makes it palatable for the court”.

BRICK COURT CHAMBERS also boasts a strong reputation in the commercial sphere, seeing nine leading lights in the world of banking and finance recognised.
Tim Lord QC is “a big star in the banking world” who is warmly described as “a strong courtroom advocate and strategist who is also technically excellent” by impressed sources.
The “brilliant” Mark Howard QC is “a standout name in the market” who has “a great reputation as a skilful cross-examiner”.
Simon Birt QC is a key name in the area with a wealth of experience litigating in the banking and financial services sectors. Sources effuse that he is “extremely talented, charming and simply first-class".
Helen Davies QC is “a really fantastic barrister” who is commended for her exceptional work in the banking space, and is noted by peers as “a pleasure to work with”.
Sources “think very highly” of Andrew Henshaw QC, and effuse: “Whatever room you put him in, his analysis is the most accurate, considered and clearly articulated.”

Achieving six listings, SOUTH SQUARE has built up a world-class reputation in the market thanks to its members’ proven track record in banking and commercial disputes.
The “outstanding” Robin Dicker QC is “right up there at the top” according to commentators who describe him as “a senior leading light” in the banking and finance arena.
William Trower QC is “a class act” according to sources, who are impressed by his long-standing experience in the field, most notably when it comes to insolvency-related disputes.
Jeremy Goldring QC is “an outstanding silk” who draws praise as “an excellent strategic thinker with a brilliant mind”.
The “excellent” Tom Smith QC is a heavyweight at the commercial Bar whose expert knowledge of banking and finance matters means that he is highly sought after for complex cases.

4 STONE BUILDINGS is also well known for its strong banking offering and sees three top silks included in this chapter.
“Leading silk” Jonathan Crow QC is “a really excellent advocate” who is strongly recommended for being “unbeatable on appellate work”.
The “very eminent” Robert Miles QC is “a formidable advocate who has the command of the court”. He is “enormously impressive” in financial litigation according to sources, who admire his “superb style of delivery”.
Richard Hill QC is a skilled litigator who receives wide-ranging endorsements for his well-established banking practice.

Four top-tier silks from specialist commercial set ESSEX COURT CHAMBERS are also highlighted.
The “outstanding” Joe Smouha QC is “a big name in the market” and is widely recognised as one of the most prominent silks at the commercial Bar.
The “brilliant” David Foxton QC is “the go-to silk” for handling complex banking and lending disputes for domestic and international clients.
Richard Millett QC is “a big name” in the banking and finance arena, and is recognised for his particular expertise handling complex offshore matters.
Edmund King QC is “very knowledgeable and technically excellent” according to peers, thanks to his extensive experience litigating in large-scale banking disputes.

The “fantastic” David Mumford QC at MAITLAND CHAMBERS has “a great reputation in the market” for his brilliant work litigating in high-profile banking disputes. One impressed peer describes him as “the full package”.


FOUNTAIN COURT CHAMBERS also tops our rankings at the junior Bar, and sees seven first-class barristers recognised.
The “fantastic” Laura John is “one of the top juniors in the field”, winning praise for her ability to “pick up complex concepts and present them with real clarity and enthusiasm”.
The “excellent” Richard Power is highly recommended by sources, who describe him as “extremely pleasant, always very charming and talented”.
The “absolutely outstanding” Alex Barden is lauded as being “extremely effective in court” thanks to his terrific style of delivery in financial litigation proceedings.
Rupert Allen is “a pleasure to work with” according to sources, who admire his “exceptional eye for the detail and nuance in complex pleadings”.
Adam Sher “has a brilliant mind, formidable energy and a good sense of humour” according to one impressed source, who also notes that “his raw intellect means he is always three steps ahead in his thinking”.

BRICK COURT CHAMBERS achieves an impressive four nominations.
Richard Eschwege is “a real star” at the Bar and draws praise for his “very successful commercial practice” which covers a range of matters including banking, energy and civil fraud.
Craig Morrison is “a fantastic lawyer” who impresses commentators with “the speed and clarity of his advice”.

Two juniors from ESSEX COURT CHAMBERS are recognised in this chapter.
The “really outstanding” James Willan is “just superb” according to commentators, with one remarking: “No one at the junior Bar is better at banking and finance work.”
The “exceptional” Emily Wood is an accomplished commercial litigator with a well-developed banking and finance practice. Sources note: “She is a pleasure to work with.”

James MacDonald at ONE ESSEX COURT boasts “a strong reputation in commercial disputes”, with sources naming him “a phenomenal advocate who fights for his clients with great tenacity”.

Adam Kramer of 3 VERULAM BUILDINGS is described as “one of the most talented and impressive banking litigators at the junior Bar”. Commentators are also quick to highlight him as being “exemplary on his feet as an advocate, very hands-on and easy to work with”.

Farhaz Khan at OUTER TEMPLE CHAMBERS “has an exceptional reputation in the area and is very easy to work with” according to impressed commentators, who consider him “the go-to junior in the fields of financial market regulation and investor claims against banks”.

The “excellent” Ben Shaw at ERSKINE CHAMBERS is a highly regarded practitioner who is widely recognised for his “extensive knowledge” of complex transactions.

John Virgo at GUILDHALL CHAMBERS is “a first-rate advocate” who impresses commentators with his expertise when it comes to high-value financial product mis-selling litigation.

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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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