UK Bar: Restructuring & Insolvency 2018

Our research has identified 36 silks and 25 juniors who stand out for their excellence in major domestic and cross-border insolvency and restructuring litigation.

Most Highly Regarded
1. Gabriel Moss QC South Square
2. William Trower QC South Square
3. Robin Dicker QC South Square
4. Robert Miles QC 4 Stone Buildings
1. Richard Fisher South Square


SOUTH SQUARE remains a dominant force at the UK Bar in restructuring and insolvency matters, where it boasts a pre-eminent reputation. We list 13 of its 18 silks here – comfortably the most of any set in this chapter.
“Insolvency pro” Gabriel Moss QC is regarded by sources as “the leading expert on cross-border work and outstanding on academic matters as well”. He has more than 40 years’ experience in all aspects of UK and EU insolvency.
William Trower QC “would be top of my list” according to one peer, thanks to his superb experience as counsel, arbitrator, mediator and as a Deputy High Court Judge.
The “really good” Robin Dicker QC is picked out by one instructing solicitor as “the best – our go-to guy for lots of things”, a view reflected across our respondents. He has vast experience at trial and on appeal, including the Supreme Court and is particularly well regarded for his prowess in complex insolvency cases.
David Allison QC is “doing very well as a relatively junior silk” and is particularly praised by sources for his work on schemes of arrangement. He regularly appears in offshore cases as well as in the UK courts.
Standout junior silk Tom Smith QC is frequently instructed by leading firms, including the Magic Circle, on high-value and sophisticated insolvency and restructuring cases in the UK and overseas.
Jeremy Goldring QC is an “excellent barrister and a nice guy”, say interviewees. Among his prominent recent matters was acting for the liquidators in the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal case Conway v Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken.
Daniel Bayfield QC is a well-known junior silk with a highly regarded insolvency practice. He is particularly noted for his work for the administrators of Lehman Brothers International (Europe).
Mark Phillips QC is a senior silk with a superb reputation for his top-tier insolvency practice. He brings more than 30 years’ experience to a host of complex matters.
Felicity Toube QC is a superb litigator who handles a broad range of restructuring and insolvency matters in the UK and offshore, with notable experience in the Cayman Islands.
Barry Isaacs QC gains plaudits for his excellent insolvency practice, which included a prominent role for Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in the recent Waterfall I appeal in the Supreme Court.

Three outstanding silks from 4 STONE BUILDINGS are noted in this year’s edition.
The “outstanding” Robert Miles QC is described by one peer as “among the best practitioners in this area”. He regularly appears in complex litigation and arbitrations in the UK and overseas and also sits as arbitrator in numerous cases.
George Bompas QC is a “really good” commercial and chancery silk who regularly appears in the Court of Appeal on complex insolvency matters.
The “very strong” Richard Hill QC is also recognised.

Stephen Atherton QC at 20 ESSEX STREET is “at the top of the list” for many barristers. He is praised for his extensive experience and capabilities in offshore matters and is “doing extremely well for himself”, according to sources.

Three prominent names from ERSKINE CHAMBERS are highlighted.
David Chivers QC is regarded as one of the leading names in the market. He has 35 years’ experience in UK and offshore restructuring and insolvency matters, including prominent Supreme Court and Privy Council appeals.
Peter Arden QC is noted for his heavy focus on insolvency matters and gains plaudits for his depth of expertise in the area.
James Potts QC is also recommended for his expertise in insolvency cases.

Catherine Addy QC of MAITLAND CHAMBERS comes “highly nominated” by peers for her understanding of complex insolvency matters. Her outstanding knowledge is highlighted by her role on the Insolvency Rules Committee.

The “excellent” Andreas Gledhill QC of BLACKSTONE CHAMBERS “handles a lot of insolvency work and is well regarded”, according to commentators.


SOUTH SQUARE’s exceptional insolvency bench extends to its talented juniors, 12 of whom are listed in this year’s edition.
Richard Fisher justifies his position as “a top junior” in the insolvency space, according to interviewees. He has appeared in numerous, prominent recent cases including various matters relating to the Lehman Brothers insolvency.
Charlotte Cooke is a “rising star” in the restructuring and insolvency field, say sources, with notable experience at all levels, including in the Supreme Court.
Georgina Peters is a “user-friendly” barrister who is “doing well” in the area. She has particular experience acting for banks and other financial institutions.
Marcus Haywood is a senior junior who is noted by sources for his work in offshore jurisdictions including the Cayman Islands. One fellow barrister says: “I’ve been against him and he was very impressive.”
Stephen Robins is an “unbelievably productive” junior who has been deeply involved in the various Waterfall litigations, among others and frequently appears as a junior in the Supreme Court and before the Privy Council.

Three juniors from 4 STONE BUILDINGS feature this year.
Sources “highly rate” Andrew de Mestre, calling him a “standout junior at the set and noting his “growing practice”. He is well known for his wide-ranging experience in Insolvency Act work.
Sharif Shivji is a “good, clear and entertaining advocate” who wins praise for his work in banking insolvency matters and is well known for his international expertise in jurisdictions including the British Virgin Islands and Dubai.
Tiran Nersessian is also listed for his expertise in this area.

Two standout names at ERSKINE CHAMBERS are highlighted.
Ben Griffiths is “as clever as a rocket scientist”, say sources who, who urge our researchers to “watch him in this space”. He frequently acts for administrators and liquidators, among others, on complex matters.
The “excellent” Ben Shaw is a “really good, user-friendly and sensible senior junior” with extensive expertise in domestic and cross-border insolvency matters.

Sources are left with “very positive impressions” of Tony Beswetherick of 20 ESSEX STREET, citing him as a “very solid and very popular” barrister who is frequently instructed by leading firms for complex matters.

At ENTERPRISE CHAMBERS in Leeds, Hugo Groves is a well known and highly regarded senior junior in the insolvency space who is particularly well known for his US and other international work.

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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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