UK Bar: Banking & Finance 2019

In this chapter 68 silks and 32 juniors are recognised for their outstanding work handling a range of sophisticated banking and finance disputes.

Most Highly Regarded
1. David Wolfson QC One Essex Court
2. Robert Miles QC 4 Stone Buildings
3. Joe Smouha QC  Essex Court Chambers
4. David Foxton QC  Essex Court Chambers
5. Richard Handyside QC  Fountain Court Chambers
6. David Railton QC  Fountain Court Chambers
1. Laura John Fountain Court Chambers
2. James MacDonald  One Essex Court
3. Richard Eschwege  Brick Court Chambers
4. Farhaz Khan  3 Verulam Buildings


3 Verulam Buildings performs well in this year’s research with 14 silks listed.
Adrian Beltrami QC is a “highly intelligent and articulate” advocate who “works on lots of the major banking cases” and is “very popular with the big banks” according to sources. They add he “is incredibly bright and hard-working”.
Ewan McQuater QC is “an extremely good advocate”. He is highly praised by peers who “really rate him” for his extensive experience in the banking and finance arena.
Andrew Onslow QC is recognised for his brilliant banking and finance practice. He is commended for his “very strong ability to handle both the civil and criminal aspects of banking litigation”.
David Quest QC is “an exceptionally analytical and eloquent barrister” say sources who note he “can see the detail and the big picture”.
Richard​ Edwards QC is very well regarded in the field of banking and finance. He “works on very significant cases” and has in-depth knowledge of the field.
John Odgers QC has “a very strong banking practice” say sources who note he “definitely merits a mention”. He works on a number of high-value cases, particularly in commercial and financial services disputes.
Jonathan Nash QC is well respected among peers and works as both counsel and arbitrator in complex disputes, often relating to complex financial structures.
Ali Malek QC is highly praised by peers, who call him “a marvellous and effortless advocate”. He stands out for his expert handling of major banking litigation on an international level.
David Head QC frequently handles contentious and non-contentious work relating to a wide range of matters including structured finance, insolvencies and derivatives.

Fountain Court Chambers also sees 14 silks listed here.
Richard Handyside QC is “a real leader in the banking sphere” who impresses with his work representing and advising financial institutions on complex disputes.   
David Railton QC is “an extremely impressive” banking and finance silk with over 35 years of experience. He is “very effective, and a great authority who has the ear of the court”.
Bankim Thanki QC is “absolutely first rate” and a “star name” in banking and finance. He has advised a high number of central banks on an array of matters including regulatory investigations, commercial litigation and arbitration.
Patrick Goodall QC is “absolutely amazing” say sources, who describe him as a “very calm and very clever” advocate. He stands out for his work on significant international and domestic banking disputes.
Rosalind Phelps QC is a top-tier banking and finance silk with a broad commercial practice. She is “very thorough” and “a tough opponent” who has “particularly impressive cross-examination skills”. 
Ben Valentin QC is very well regarded in the field of banking and finance and has a wealth of experience as a trial and appellate advocate, as well as a strong international practice.
James Cutress QC has a “very impressive legal brain” and is described by peers as a “superstar” at the Bar. He works on a number of complex commercial disputes relating to banking and finance.

One Essex Court sees 10 exceptional banking and finance silks recognised in this chapter.
David Wolfson QC draws high praise from respondents who say he is “brilliant on his feet”, “incredibly creative” and “a very, very good technical lawyer”.
Laurence Rabinowitz QC is “a remarkable advocate” who has a broad arbitration and litigation practice and in-depth knowledge of banking and finance matters.
Daniel Toledano QC is a “very thoughtful” advocate with “great tactical judgement”. He frequently advises and represents various domestic and international clients in the banking sphere.   
Sonia Tolaney QC is a “really stellar” and “very polished” advocate with “a very good technical mind” according to market commentators. She is often instructed by financial institutions to work on complex disputes.
Orlando Gledhill QC is highly recommended by sources who note he has “the rare combination of impressive intellect, commercial awareness and emotional intelligence”.
Stephen Auld QC is an exceptional banking and finance practitioner whose work spans a range of matters, including swaps and derivatives, and various financial products and markets.
Ben Strong QC has a “very strong practice in the field” and stands out for his “meticulous” work. He works on international and domestic disputes within the banking and finance sphere.
Alain Choo-Choy QC is highly praised by peers as a “very clever” and “inventive” advocate. He has in-depth knowledge of banking and finance matters and performs commercial litigation, arbitration and advisory work.

Brick Court Chambers also performs very well this year with 10 lawyers acknowledged for their work in the field.
Tim Lord QC is a “very tenacious advocate” who has “one of the best banking practices at the Bar”. He has extensive knowledge in capital markets, corporate finance and banking matters.
Andrew Henshaw QC is commended by peers as an “excellent” and “very thoughtful” silk. He has a wealth of experience in the field and is particularly knowledgeable in corporate transactions and derivatives disputes.
Mark Howard QC draws widespread praise from respondents who highlight him as a “big name” in the banking and finance space, and as a standout figure at the commercial bar.

South Square sees six silks listed here.
Robin Dicker QC is a “phenomenal” banking and finance lawyer who is “very experienced in the field”. He works on cases involving financial services, banking and company law.
David Allison QC is a well-recognised banking and finance silk who has a significant international practice and works on structured finance, financial services and banking disputes.
William Trower QC is a “fabulous lawyer” who often works on high-value disputes, and is an expert in restructuring and insolvency matters.
Tom Smith QC is an experienced litigator and arbitrator who is well known for his work on banking and investment funds issues.

Essex Court Chambers achieves four listings in this chapter.
Joe Smouha QC is a “very calm, collected and hardworking” silk. He is highly commended in this year’s research as one of the best-regarded practitioners in the field.
David Foxton QC stands out in the banking and finance field, with peers remarking that he is “extremely clever”. He has particular expertise in lending disputes, swaps, derivatives and performance bonds cases.
Richard Millett QC is a well-respected advocate in the banking arena who works on a number of complex cases relating to financial markets, private equity and banking.
Edmund King QC is recognised for his work in the field of banking and finance, most notably when it comes to cases with an international element. He often acts for hedge funds, investors and shareholders.

4 Stone Buildings sees three silks recognised for their expertise in the field.
Robert Miles QC emerges from our research this year as one of the most highly regarded silks in the field. He is applauded by peers who remark that he is “an exceptional advocate” and “very calm and persuasive in court”.
Jonathan Crow QC is “a superstar of the Bar” who performs very well in this year’s research. He advises and represents financial institutions in a range of complex regulatory and contractual disputes.
Richard Hill QC is very well regarded in the banking and finance space, and works on a high number of banking cases, many of which have a cross-border element.

Jonathan Gaisman QC of 7 King’s Bench Walk is “a very robust advocate” with a wealth of experience acting for a number of banks and financial groups in relation to issues such as rights and derivatives.


Fountain Court Chambers sees eight exceptional juniors recognised for their work in the field.
Laura John is an “absolutely outstanding” barrister who is described by sources as “very good with clients”. She comes top of our research this year as one of the most prominent juniors in the field.
Tamara Oppenheimer is “a very impressive junior” who advises and acts for a number of banks relating to various complex disputes.
James Duffy is a well-known commercial litigator who is frequently engaged in advising and representing financial institutions on a number of high-value cases.
Richard Power is a “very impressive” banking and finance junior with strong experience of complex commercial disputes in litigation and arbitration proceedings.
Alex Barden is “definitely going places”, say respondents who commend his “great court manner”. He is “very sought after” for his work on complex litigation with financial institutions.
Rupert Allen is “just brilliant” effuse peers who add he is “super clever” and “really hardworking”. He has particular expertise in regulatory matters involving the financial services.
Adam Sher is recognised as “absolutely excellent” and a “standout junior” in the field. He is “really rated in the banking world” and has worked on cases involving well-known banks on matters relating to investment and retail banking.
Nik Yeo gains recognition in this chapter for his particular expertise in matters relating to capital markets, derivatives, and securitisations.

One Essex Court sees six practitioners listed for their banking and finance practice.
James MacDonald receives high commendation for his “forensic rigour and formidable intellectual ability.” Sources credit his ability to “adapt his approach to different clients and individuals”.
Sandy Phipps is an “extremely bright” barrister who “has fantastic in-depth working knowledge of finance and financial litigation”. One source effuses: “Sandy is technically very strong and identifies the key issues and solutions straight away.”
Conall Patton is an “extremely clever” advocate who has “a very bright future” according to respondents. He is “very well regarded” among peers for his “outstanding” work on banking-related contentious matters.
Jamie Goldsmith is an “incredibly hardworking and diligent barrister” who works on litigation and arbitration proceedings within the banking and finance sector.

Brick Court Chambers sees four juniors recognised for their work in the field.
Richard Eschwege is “a very strong technical lawyer” with “razor-sharp intellect” and “excellent drafting and legal analysis skills”. He is recognised in our research as one of the foremost juniors in the field.
Craig Morrison has “outstanding intellect” and is described by peers as “one of the very cleverest juniors at the Bar” when it comes to banking and finance disputes.  
Oliver Jones is a well-recognised junior in the banking sphere who is highlighted by sources as “excellent at international litigation”.  
Tony Singla is recognised for his superb banking and finance practice and often works with banks and other financial groups on complex, high-value cases.

Two juniors from 3 Verulam Buildings are recognised for their work here.
Farhaz Khan is recognised as one of the most highly regarded juniors in the field. He is praised by peers who remark that he has “great intellect” and possesses the “ability to see his way around very complex legal problems”.
Adam Kramer is described as an “absolute guru on banking disputes”. He has impressive experience in the field and is an expert on matters relating to money tracing, loan facilities and note structures. 

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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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