UK Bar: Government Contracts 2019

This year we recognise 17 silks and 13 juniors for their impressive work handling public procurement matters for domestic and European clients, as well as advising on and litigating in commercial disputes relating to public projects.

Most Highly Regarded
1. Michael Bowsher QC  Monckton Chambers
2. Jason Coppel QC  11KBW
3. Fionnuala McCredie  Keating Chambers
4. Nigel Giffin QC  11 KBW 
1. Joseph Barrett  11KBW
2. Ewan West  Monckton Chambers


11KBW sees three silks recognised for their work in the field of government contracts this year.
Jason Coppel QC stands out as one of the foremost government contracts silks at the Bar. He is “very experienced in public law” and “highly recommended” for his work on procurement litigation. 
Nigel Giffin QC is “a real expert in procurement law” say peers who consider him “the best” and “a great all-rounder for public procurement, public law and state aid” work.
James Goudie QC is a brilliant government contracts silk with “incredible specialist knowledge” of this area. Sources consider him “an impressive advocate, particularly on judicial review and public procurement matters”.

Monckton Chambers sees three lawyers recognised for their work in the field.
Michael Bowsher QC is “extremely knowledgeable” in government contracts matters. He is a key name in the field, and is highlighted as “very bright” and strong on procurement matters.
Philip Moser QC is recognised for his superb practice and is considered a leading lawyer in the public procurement space. One source notes that “many would go straight to Philip” for government contracts matters.
Valentina Sloane QC is also recognised for her considerable experience handling complex public contracts matters relating to EU procurement regimes.

Keating Chambers achieves two listings in this chapter.
Fionnuala McCredie QC is an exceptional government contracts lawyer who is “great in helping formulate litigation strategy”. One source notes, “She is very highly regarded in this field.”
Sarah Hannaford QC is a “star” in the field of government contracts and is particularly renowned for her expertise in contractual matters relating to construction proceedings.

Charles Béar QC of Fountain Court Chambers has a “great reputation” as an “excellent” government contracts silk. He gives expert advice on contractual matters, as well as other public and procurement law issues.

John Howell QC of Blackstone Chambers is an “incredibly intellectual” advocate who is highlighted for his “terrific” work on a range of procurement and public law cases.

Rhodri Williams QC of Henderson Chambers has “very good judgement, and his analysis of the law is excellent” say peers, who add that he is “very experienced” in government contracts, and “does a lot of procurement law work”.

Fiona Scolding QC of Landmark Chambers “an excellent government contracts silk”. She wins high praise from sources who note she is “very thorough, and very practical”.

Northern Ireland

“Leading silk” Michael Humphreys QC is “a star in procurement matters”. He has in-depth knowledge of government contracts law and provides top-tier dispute resolution services.


Ruth Crawford QC of Axiom Advocates has a superb government contracts practice. She has worked with UK and Scottish governments, and has been instructed several times by contracting authorities.


Monckton Chambers performs very well in this year’s research with six juniors listed.
Ewan West is a highly experienced government contracts junior who is highlighted as an expert in advising on commercial solutions to procurement issues.
Rob Williams is an “extremely knowledgeable” government contracts junior who stands out for his excellent work advising contractors, public authorities and utilities companies.  
Anneliese Blackwood’s work in the field of government contracts is “outstanding” say peers. She is a key name in the field, and has appeared before the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal.
Fiona Banks is recognised for her superb government contracts practice. One source remarks that she has “in-depth legal knowledge combined with analytical skills, and the ability to crystallise complicated arguments into clear and sensible advice”.
Ligia Osepciu “is very experienced in the field”, according to our research. Sources say: “She has an excellent brain, and always presents the case in a very clear manner.”
Ben Rayment draws high praise from market sources who consider him “intellectually very astute, knowledgeable, approachable and pragmatic”.

11KBW achieves three listings in this chapter.
Joseph Barrett has worked on major public contract matters and is a key name in the government contracts space. He “very active in the field” and is praised for being “very clever and meticulous”.
Rupert Paines is recognised by market sources for his impressive handling of procurement disputes at trial and appellate levels.
Patrick Halliday is “engaged, proactive and on the ball” say sources. He is very well regarded for his work in government contracts, and “has an advanced knowledge of the law”.

Simon Taylor at Keating Chambers is “very active in the field” and “a great junior for public procurement” where he stands out for his work on both contentious and non-contentious matters.

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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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