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Chambers UK 2020 Rankings

Chambers UK 2020 Rankings

Set rankings

We are ranked as a set in:

  • Commercial Dispute Resolution
  • Construction
  • Professional Negligence
  • Property Damage
  • Real Estate Litigation
  • Social Housing


Editorial and Testimonials 

  • Chancery Commercial

    Charles Raffin

    Enjoys a burgeoning reputation for the strength of his commercial chancery practice, having been instructed in both domestic and international matters. Excels in areas including company law, insolvency and broader commercial disputes.

    Strengths: “He’s extremely good on his feet and excellent at understanding complex and specialist disputes.” “He is my absolute go-to person. He is really excellent.

    Recent work: Appeared as sole counsel for Imagine Property Developments in its successful defence and counter-claim in a dispute arising from the failure of a residential property development.

  • Chancery Traditional

    Brie Stevens-Hoare QC

    Noted for her handling of complex probate matters and those with a real property aspect. Her recent work has included the high-profile Ilott case. She is widely praised for her straightforward and practical approach.

    Strengths: “She’s the type of person you could just sit down and talk to all day – very approachable, very much on the client’s level.”

    Recent work: Acted for 27 clients against professional trustees and financial advisers who are believed to have defrauded clients of £24-30 million in cash and property.

  • Clinical Negligence

    Charles Bagot QC

    Well-liked silk with a comprehensive understanding of clinical negligence law. He represents both claimants and defendants in a broad range of instructions, relating to such matters as catastrophic brain injuries and fatal accidents. He has developed particular expertise in cases involving secondary victims.

    Strengths: “He is extremely well respected and his advice carries real gravitas. He’s thorough and can provide very balanced advice.” “A great advocate who is always liked by clients.”

    Recent work: Involved in a fatal accident claim which arose out of the sudden death of a young mother, within days of giving birth to her third child, due to the negligence of the defendant Trust.

  • Commercial Dispute Resolution

    The Set

    A set with an ever-growing number of instructions in high-profile commercial litigation that regularly undertakes  international disputes in such diverse jurisdictions as those in Latin America and the Middle East. Barristers from here are routinely instructed by litigation boutiques, high-profile commercial solicitors and more specialised firms. The chambers’ recent work has seen it defend in the case of His Highness Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Saeed Bin Shakboot Al Nehayan v John Kent, which explored key issues relating to economic and physical duress and implied duty of good faith. Members have also been involved in SKAT v Sanjay Shah and others, a USD2 billion claim arising from successful applications for the reimbursement of dividend tax paid out by the Danish tax authorities. Sources remark on Hardwicke’s “excellent individuals who are always friendly and approachable, and who all get how a modern practice should operate.”

    Client service: “The clerks are responsive, easily accessible and friendly, and they have exceptional interpersonal skills.” “All at the set are very easy to deal with, well organised and hard-working.” 

    Nigel Jones QC

    Strengths: “Nigel’s knowledge is top-drawer. His tactical insight is welcomed by clients and his advice is clear and well reasoned.” “Calm, rational and creative, he puts both legal and lay teams at ease, and always has the steadiest of hands on the tiller.”

    Recent work: Represented Sanjay Shah and his 22 internationally based companies in connection with the Danish tax authority SKAT’s claim for £2 billion, arising from successful applications for the reimbursement of dividend tax paid out by the authority.

    PJ Kirby QC

    Strengths: “Thorough, great with clients and a real team player.”

    Recent work: Acted in Warren v Mohammad Mubarak SA Al-Kaabi, defending claims relating to the obtaining of very substantial refinancing loans over various London commercial properties.

    David Lewis QC

    Strengths: “David is determined and dogmatic, and offers great tactical insight.” “His advocacy is persuasive, and he can hold his ground in areas with which he isn’t familiar.”

    Recent work: Acted for Kent in His Highness Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Saeed Bin Shakboot Al Nehayan’s claims stemming from the demerger of their interests, which included Cypriot, Greek and English businesses and the Aquis Hotel Group.

    Charles Raffin

    Strengths: “He’s very easy to deal with, and he gets to grips with complex issues very quickly in a way that’s client-friendly.” “Every silk’s ideal junior, he’s incredibly hard-working and a great writer in terms of putting together submissions.”

    Recent work: Acted for motor racing teams R-Motorsport/AF Racing and Black Falcon in appeals to the Belgian Motor Racing National Court of Appeal. The case regarded the disqualification of cars for alleged technical infringements of racing rules.

    Emily Betts

    Strengths: “Very diligent junior counsel who is very responsive, confident in her advice and a real technical expert, who knows the civil procedure rules inside out.” “Emily Betts is great to work with, exceptional value and good on her feet.”

    Recent work: Acted for Mr Kamran in a dispute against Mr Andersson, with whom he co-founded Learning Enterprises Organisation, and who later sought an injunction to prevent the estranged Mr Kamran from appointing new directors.

  • Commercial Dispute Resolution - South Eastern

    Lauren Godfrey

    Adept at handling a broad array of commercial disputes, including cases concerning professional negligence, restraint of trade, breach of fiduciary duties, confidential information, IP rights and data protection. He is also experienced in the handling of insolvency-related matters. He acts for a broad range of clients including insurers, banks and senior employees.

    Strengths: “He is extremely approachable, client-friendly and willing to go the extra mile to get the job done.”

    Recent work: Acted for the claimant in a case concerning allegations of negligence and a claim for payment of sums due under a number of unpaid invoices.

  • Commercial Dispute Resolution - Northern

    Lesley Anderson QC

    Commands broad respect as one of the leading commercial silks on the Northern Circuit. She covers a wide range of contentious commercial and chancery matters, including company, insolvency and property disputes. She acts for professional firms, multinational companies and financial institutions.

    Strengths: “She is a formidable advocate with good procedural knowledge. She cuts to the chase, has a good eye for detail and is a brilliant all-round lawyer.” “She has an impressive ability to persuade judges to come round to her way of thinking. Without fail all clients are impressed by her.”

    Recent work: Acted for the defendant in Gillespie v Lone Star, a claim for success fee in connection with the sale of various commercial loan portfolios to one of the major clearing banks.

  • Construction

    The Set

    A destination set for construction disputes, drawing upon its strengths in the related areas of professional negligence and property damage. Members are frequently instructed by major contractors, developers and other professionals in the sector. The set offers significant capability in adjudications as well as being frequently instructed in TCC proceedings and arbitration. A recent highlight is Henkel v Bowmer & Kirkland and Sprigg Little, a multimillion-pound claim involving the defective design of a warehouse development. Other notable instructions include significant cases relating to energy and housing projects, and in particular claims involving cladding defects.

    Client service:A special mention for the clerks there – they are extremely friendly, hard-working and you can always can get hold of someone.” “Hardwicke comes across as a good, professional chambers with an excellent group of clerks who make a real effort with their solicitor clients.”

    Nigel Jones QC

    Skilfully handles complex construction claims on behalf of developers, contractors and public authorities, among others. His practice is international in scope, with a focus on Malaysia and the Middle East, and is complemented by his significant experience in insurance-related disputes.

    Strengths: “He’s very reflective in his advice, thorough and willing to debate points and consider other perspectives.”

    Recent work: Defended a claim for defects and contractual indemnities brought by the owners of a block of flats developed by Heronslea.

    Paul Reed QC

    Popular QC with a quality practice both domestically and in the Middle East. His construction offering is enhanced by his acknowledged expertise in the insurance sector. His client base includes contractors, insurers and developers.

    Strengths: “A real expert in construction disputes with a deep understanding of the construction and insurance industries.” “He is methodical and commercial, and has great advocacy skills. Crucially, he is popular with team members at all levels for his inclusive approach.” “A fantastic strategist, hard-working and dedicated to the entire litigation team.

    Recent work: Instructed in Volkerfitzpatrick & Keller v Stewart & Harris, a £20 million claim involving the failure of foundations at the Accolade wine factory near Bristol.

    David Pliener

    Highly regarded senior junior who regularly acts in litigation, arbitration and adjudications nationwide and abroad. He has advised on disputes in sectors as diverse as renewables, structural engineering and leisure. Clients that typically instruct him include contractors, construction professionals and property owners. He is strong in construction-related insurance issues.

    Strengths: “A very capable advocate offering great strategic and commercial advice.” “He is approachable, insightful, organised and efficient – a silk in the making.”

    Recent work: Represented over 70 leaseholders in claims against ten defendants for over £20 million arising from defective redevelopment works to The Lancasters, a prestigious development in central London. The dispute has resulted in a key decision on the scope of the Defective Premises Act as well as consideration of the meaning of ‘fitness for habitation’ under the Act.

    Sarah McCann

    Acts on a variety of domestic disputes including TCC claims and adjudications, with a particular focus on professional negligence and insurance-related construction work. She has a strong track record of handling complex cases, both led and unled, and is particularly well versed with handling defect claims.

    Strengths: “She is quick to respond, always available and knows the law better than anyone else. I can’t sing her praises high enough.”

    Recent work: Acted on behalf of the claimant homeowner in a long-running dispute with the NHBC involving a defect in the basement of the property, which required remedial works of approximately £1.3 million.

    Michael Wheater

    Strong junior with a UK-focused practice who represents clients from across the construction industry, including developers and contractors. He is particularly proficient in construction disputes involving professional negligence claims, and also has experience of advising on insurance mandates.

    Strengths: “A very good technical lawyer. He knows his subject matter, his written work is excellent and he’s great with clients.” “Exceptional. He is incredibly knowledgeable and able to perceive problems before they come up and deal with them.”

    Recent work: Represented Henkel, the tenant of a warehouse in Cheshire, in a claim for approximately £10 million against the contractor and professional team for negligence in the design of the warehouse and floor following damage to the warehouse caused by the floor subsiding.

    Catherine Piercy

    Quality junior whose diverse practice includes regular appearances in adjudications, ADR and high-value litigation. She is regularly instructed by a client base of contractors, insurers and other insurance professionals. Her recent work includes disputes concerning allegedly defective cladding.

    Strengths: “She has a great strategic mind and works phenomenally hard, and is as charismatic as she is hard-working.” “Catherine Piercy is excellent. She is proactive, brilliant with clients and gives no-nonsense advice.”

    Recent work: Represented a housing developer in proceedings against a builder, NHBC and NHBC building inspectors arising from numerous alleged defects which are said to cost £2 million to remediate.

  • Costs Litigation

    PJ Kirby QC

    A knowledgeable commercial silk whose practice encompasses all areas of costs law, including cases relating to detailed assessments, wasted costs and funding arrangements. He has experience of acting before the SCCO as well as the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Kirby further acts as a costs expert, appears in private hearings and advises in out-of-court settings.

    Strengths: “A pleasure to work with and highly knowledgeable.” “He offers something extra as he brings in experience of the commercial litigation arena.”

    Recent work: Acted for the claimant in Herbert v HH Law, a dispute that concerned whether post-LASPO a solicitor has to take into account risk when agreeing a CFA with the client and the extent to which the client has to give informed approval to the terms of the CFA.

    Robin Dunne

    A costs and litigation funding specialist who handles a number of high-value, complex cases and has experience of appearing in both the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. He is particularly expert at solicitor and client costs cases and is noted for having written important texts on the subject, such as A Practical Guide to Solicitor & Client Costs.

    Strengths: “Does a hell of a lot of costs work” and “can handle sensitive and time-pressured instructions.”

    Recent work: Acted in Herbert v HH Law, an important case considering two issues: (i) whether a post LASPO success fee needs to be risk-assessed and (ii) whether the after-the-event insurance policy should appear in a solicitor’s bill or the cash account.

  • Court of Protection: Health & Welfare

    Alison Meacher

    Alison Meacher
    Has experience of forced marriage, capacity to marry and other issues surrounding mental capacity law. She regularly acts for and advises vulnerable clients, local authorities, care home providers and landlords.

    Strengths: “She’s very easy to deal with and is very responsive.” “Alison is an extremely intelligent and skilled advocate. She’s able to pick apart the issues and deal with them in a logical manner.”

  • Education

    Shazia Akhtar

    Has a wide-ranging education practice, fielding particular strength in SEN and school governance matters, as well as academy conversions and challenges to Ofsted inspections. She is also regularly called upon to advise universities on their responsibilities under the Equality Act. Her diverse client base also includes students, schools, NGOs and charitable organisations.

    Strengths: “She is very approachable, has good legal knowledge and secures outstanding results for her clients.” “Her drafting is excellent and she is very impressive in settlement negotiations.”

  • Employment

    Lauren Godfrey is recommended in the South East section of Chambers UK.

    Represents both claimant and respondent clients in connection with a vast array of employment matters. He is especially proficient in unfair dismissal claims.

    Strengths: “Very good on paperwork, fabulous with clients, responsive and very approachable.”

    Recent work: Represented the first respondent in Mitchell and others v NCCS and NCCP, a constructive dismissal claim, which also involved zero-hours contracts and the applicability of TUPE.

  • Insurance

    Nigel Jones QC

    Nigel Jones QC
    Takes on significant insurance claims arising from a broad array of underlying incidents, including construction disputes, professional negligence and sports injuries. Jones is frequently instructed by insurers but is also experienced in acting for policyholders in insurance disputes.

    Strengths: “He’s very reflective in his advice, thorough and willing to debate points and consider other perspectives.”

    Paul Reed QC

    Noted for the breadth of his expertise in property damage and construction disputes, he typically takes on high-value insurance cases arising out of these areas. His matters often involve major international projects. He offers additional expertise in professional negligence and indemnity matters. He remains a recognised authority on matters relating to constructional risk.

    Strengths: “He’s a leader in the field of contractor all-risk insurance.” “He is very hands-on and very good with clients.” “Excellent technical knowledge, with an ability to make complex matters understandable.”

    Recent work: Acted for the first defendant main contractor in a £12 million claim relating to a fire at a Boots store.

    David Pliener

    A highly capable insurance junior who also has considerable property damage and construction expertise. He represents many of the leading insurers in complex coverage and policy disputes and is also adept in reinsurance disputes and arbitrations.

    Strengths: “Very knowledgeable, very thorough and bright.”

  • Mediators

    Sara Benbow

    Sara is capable across a range of commercial mediations and offers significant expertise in property disputes. One interviewee reports: “Sara was very professional and engaging. The clients felt assured that she was working hard to bring the parties together.”

  • Partnership - Northern

    Lesley Anderson QC

    A widely regarded leader in the market who handles contentious chancery and commercial matters. She offers expertise in areas including breach of contract matters, shareholder issues and VAT.

    Strengths: “She is very good and has got a good profile nationally. She is a fearsome advocate and her cross-examination is very impressive.” “She is very analytical; she lays things out in a sensible, analysed way and she manages client expectations very well.”

    Recent work: Successfully obtained summary judgment on series of claims against a former director for misappropriation of monies from property development companies.

  • Personal Injury

    Charles Bagot QC

    A well-regarded silk with an excellent reputation for personal injury litigation. He has developed a practice, primarily acting for defendants and insurers, that focuses on catastrophic injury, psychiatric shock and allegations of fraud. He has been deeply involved in legal developments surrounding secondary victims.

    Strengths: “He is very knowledgeable, robust in his advice, proactive and responsive.

    Recent work: Instructed in a claim involving a six-year-old boy who was left with a catastrophic brain injury after being struck on the head when concrete furniture collapsed in a school playground.

    Colm Nugent

    Manages a diverse caseload of catastrophic injury, psychiatric injury and fatal accident claims. He is known for his focus on occupiers’ liability cases and his knowledge of the Defective Premises Act. His practice is balanced between claimants and defendants.

    Strengths: “He’s brilliant at talking to clients in a sensitive and straightforward way. He is reassuring, but also good at telling the truth.”

    Recent work: Acted for the claimant in Tonkins v Tapp, a serious brain injury claim that arose as a consequence of an accident at work.

    Jasmine Murphy

    Experienced in the handling of employers’ and occupiers’ liability claims arising from accidents in the workplace. She also has a specialist expertise in injuries caused by animals and accidents involving air travel.

    Strengths: “She’s really down to earth and clients love her.” “She has a vast knowledge of personal injury law and is very good in JSMs.”

    Recent work: Acted for the defendant in Denker v Lufthansa, a Montreal Convention claim brought by a male model who slipped over in an airport. The claimant alleged that the accident caused several injuries including the worsening of a pre-existing squint.

  • Professional Negligence

    The Set

    Handles professional negligence claims against solicitors, surveyors, architects, insurance brokers and financial professionals, acting for defendants and claimants. The set has expertise in handling cross-border disputes, and is particularly experienced in areas such as the provision of allegedly negligent advice relating to property, and investment schemes. Market sources report: “They are really sensible, they give good-quality advice and they always provide a safe pair of hands.

    Client service: “Other than the expertise of the counsel, the clerking service is one of the main reasons I use Hardwicke: the practice managers are helpful and knowledgeable and I can feel confident that the list of names proposed for any particular matter is likely to be the best available.”

    Nigel Jones QC

    Draws on his extensive experience in commercial litigation and insurance law to bolster his robust professional negligence practice. He is regularly instructed in cases that concern accountants, solicitors and surveyors, among others. He is also co-head of chambers at Hardwicke.

    Strengths: “He is a very good leader in terms of having a direction to the strategy. He and his team were completely on it and available 24/7.” “Pragmatic, clever and personable. A joy to work with and adds real value.”

    Recent work: Instructed in the Commercial Court and the Dubai International Financial Centre to represent a businessman in claims relating to advice he received from lawyers relating to reimbursement of tax by the Danish government. The dispute centred on allegations of fraud but also involved negligence claims.

    John de Waal QC

    Handles a broad range of professional negligence cases, most often on behalf of defendants, and is particularly well versed in claims concerning solicitors, architects and property developers. He also serves as a mediator.

    Strengths: “He gets to the point immediately and deals very adeptly with the client, even if they are unfamiliar with the area of law. It’s a really pleasant and a thoroughly modern approach.” “He has expert knowledge of the law and an authoritative air, and gives you an answer rather than a range of options.”

    Recent work: Acted in relation to a claim brought by Harringay Meat Traders against a surveyor who failed to meet the deadline for issuing a compensation claim, in respect of land formerly owned by the company, which was compulsorily purchased for use in the 2012 Olympics.

    Sarah McCann

    Focuses her practice on defending liquidators and architects from claims of professional negligence, as well as representing solicitors, insurance brokers and others. She has experience in the High, Appeal and Supreme Courts.

    Strengths: “A very able junior” who is “careful and accurate, and very good at responding promptly to queries.”

    Recent work: Represented the liquidator of Enterprise Insurance in various claims against 14 defendants, including former directors of the company, valued at £36 million.

    James Hall

    Takes on substantial negligence claims relating to surveyors, architects and solicitors. He is able to draw upon his previous experience as an employed barrister in the financial services department of a national law firm. He is also adept at handling claims against valuers.

    Strengths: “He is a very personable lawyer – almost like an outsourced member of our team. Because of his law firm background, he understands exactly how clients like his advice to look. He’s very adept at striking a balance between detail and practicality.”

    Recent work: Represented the defendant accountants in a claim regarding alleged investment advice in a Qualifying Registered Overseas Pension Scheme in Cyprus.

  • Professional Negligence: Technology & Construction

    Paul Reed QC

    Has a strong practice in professional negligence disputes concerning construction projects and is the author of the leading legal text on professional indemnity in the construction industry.

    Strengths“He is extremely nice and effective in court.” “A very competent advocate who is very good technically in the law and whose knowledge of insurance law is excellent.”

    Recent work: Represented Volkerfitzpatrick in the recovery of sums from engineers, as part of a major dispute relating to defects at the largest warehouse in Europe.

    David Pliener

    Instructed extensively on cases of professional negligence in the construction industry. He regularly represents property owners, contractors and engineers, as well as their insurers. He has experience of handling litigation, adjudication and arbitration, and his professional negligence practice is well served by his knowledge of insurance law. He is adept at handling both domestic and international matters.

    Strengths: “Very experienced” and “always impressive.”

    Recent work: Acted as lead counsel in a multiparty claim regarding the alleged defective redevelopment work to The Lancasters, a prestigious landmark development in central London, valued at over £20 million.

    Michael Wheater

    Appears unled in a variety of TCC negligence claims brought by private, commercial and public agents against construction professionals.

    Strengths: “He is extremely good technically and his written product is first class.”

    Recent work: Represented Henkel, the tenant of a large warehouse in Cheshire owned by BAE, in a claim against the contractor and professional team responsible for the design of the floor, which was found to be subsiding.

    Catherine Piercy

    Regularly instructed as sole counsel to defend claims against structural engineers and other contractors and their insurers.

    Strengths: “Her written work is very good and she is known as a strong advocate.” “She rolls her sleeves up and clients really like her. She’s down to earth and user-friendly, with good attention to detail and the ability to make points clearly.”

    Recent work: Defended a subcontractor who designed and installed flammable cladding that was used on a Premier Inn hotel at Gatwick Airport.

  • Professional Negligence - Northern

    Lesley Anderson QC

    Respected commercial and chancery practitioner who is noted for her skill in professional negligence matters. She is widely considered to be one of the standout barristers on the Northern Circuit. She represents both claimants and defendants, and is particularly well regarded for her deft handling of claims against solicitors, surveyors and financial advisers.

    Strengths: “A formidable advocate with good procedural knowledge. She cuts to the chase and has a good eye for detail. She is a brilliant all-round lawyer.” “A formidable opponent.”

    Recent work: Acted for the defendants in Adamczyk and over 100 others v GPC Sipp and Guardian Pension Trustees, a claim for breach of contract and duty brought by multiple parties under FSMA in relation to their SIPP investments in the Harlequin overseas property investment and related dealings with the FSCS and Financial Ombudsman.

  • Property Damage

    Hardwicke offers considerable strength across a wide range of property damage cases. Members are regularly called on to handle disputes involving construction and redevelopment projects. The team houses considerable expertise in claims arising from fires, explosions and flooding, and provides comprehensive representation to both claimant and defendant clients.

    Client service: “The clerking service is very good.”

    Paul Reed QC

    A highly respected property damage silk who wins praise for his considerable expertise in construction and insurance matters. He is regularly instructed in substantial, high-profile claims concerning multiple parties, and is noted for experience of handling fire damage cases.

    Strengths: “A very good advocate.”

    Recent work: Instructed in a £20 million claim arising out of the failure of the foundations at the Accolade wine factory near Bristol.

    David Pliener

    A senior junior who is known for handling disputes of a highly technical nature with aplomb. He also possesses invaluable understanding of the construction industry and is often instructed in cases with an international aspect. Pliener is skilled in handling both the insurance and negligence aspects of damage claims.

    Strengths: “He gets to the nub of the issue very quickly and his written work is excellent.”

    Recent work: Acted as lead counsel in a claim for over £20 million arising from defective redevelopment works to ‘The Lancasters’, a very prestigious landmark development in central London.

    Michael Wheater

    Offers expertise across a broad range of property damage disputes, including those arising from fires, explosions and floods. His broad client base includes insurers, property owners and tenants.

    Strengths: “His written work is excellent, he’s great with clients and he’s very user-friendly.”

    Recent work: Acted for the defendant in a claim arising out of defective underpinning and deep basement works at the defendant’s property which caused approximately £1 million worth of damage to the claimant’s neighbouring property.

    Catherine Piercy

    Proficient property damage junior skilled in insurance and construction-related disputes. She is capable of dealing with a variety of cases including those relating to fire, explosion and water damage. Her clients include insurers and property owners.

    Strengths: “She’s exceptionally hard-working and great with clients.” “A first-class advocate.” “She always provides good, clear analysis.”

    Recent work: Acted for Anglian Water in relation to a claim brought by a number of homeowners who live in the flood plain of the Kirkley Stream near Lowestoft. The claimants alleged that Anglian Water were negligent in their maintenance of the stream, which meant that in heavy rainfall the stream was able to overtop its banks and flood their properties.

  • Real Estate Litigation

    The Set

    Hardwicke fields a strong group of practitioners who are able to provide advice and accomplished representation in tribunals and courts for a wide array of property disputes. Members are equipped to handle commercial property disputes and development claims, residential landlord and tenant claims and Land Registry matters, among other cases. The set’s tenants appear frequently in appeals. “The ethos of friendly, commercial advice can be seen at all levels, from the receptionist through to the most senior members of chambers,” says one instructing solicitor.

    Client service:   “The set has adopted a really commercial approach and the clerking system is superb at Hardwicke.” “The clerks’ knowledge of matters is detailed and their communication is fast, efficient and reliable.” 

    John de Waal QC

    A prominent real estate litigation silk who frequently works with insurers on contentious real estate mandates. He is renowned for his leading advisory practice working with clients on a range of construction and property issues. De Waal has particular strength in property-related professional negligence issues. His clients tend to be property developers and commercial property owners, as well as insurers.

    Strengths: “Always prepared and easy to work with.” “He is very commercial, gives realistic assessments of chances and is good on tactics.” “He is approachable and gets right into the detail.”

    Recent work: Acted in a claim for £1 million in damages brought by Kivells, which took a lease of Holsworthy Cattle Market in Devon from Torridge District Council, regarding a defective sewerage system installed at the market.

    Brie Stevens-Hoare QC

    Regularly works with property developers and owners on significant professional negligence litigation matters, as well as disputes arising from real estate transactions. She frequently appears in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

    Strengths: “She is an advocacy expert who is able to read between the lines.” “She is very impressive and thorough in her approach.” “A persuasive advocate who is able to make complicated points simple to grasp.”

    Recent work: Acted in an appeal against summary judgment in favour of the defendant seeking to strike out a claim for breach of a restricted covenant on the basis of a building scheme.

    Monty Palfrey

    A highly popular choice for a wide variety of commercial and residential property mandates. He regularly represents clients in court in numerous landlord and tenant, easement and boundary disputes. Palfrey has noted expertise in cases involving pubs and restaurants.

    Strengths: “Monty is an excellent all-round advocate who is very easy to work with.” “Totally reliable and a go-to guy.” “Technically strong and very knowledgeable.”

    Recent work: Acted in Arthur Court Freehold v Dockerty, a claim for determination of a lease following a breach by way of use as a brothel.

    Daniel Gatty

    Handles a wide range of property matters, and has a strong focus on professional negligence disputes arising from real estate issues. He is also known for his work in cases involving land registration, secured lending and mortgages. He is an accredited mediator and sits as a judge of the First-tier Tribunal.

    Strengths: “Easy to work with.” “In trial he is very effective, has good gravitas and gets to the heart of the issues needing to be resolved.” “Extremely good on his feet.”

    Recent work: Acted for the freeholder of a block of flats to defend a claim from long lessees regarding damage allegedly caused by works to add an additional floor to the block.

    John Clargo 

    He accepts instructions on the full range of landlord and tenant and property-related professional negligence matters. He predominantly acts for landlords on residential work, and also accepts instructions from landlords and tenants on commercial matters.

    Strengths: “He is a particularly thorough and knowledgeable barrister.” “Sophisticated and persuasive advocate.”

    Recent work: Acted in Wellington Pub v Naveet, a case in which the landlord sought forfeiture of a London pub based on allegations of multiple breaches of the tenant’s obligations.

    Jamal Demachkie

    Recognised for his work in commercial and property law. His practice concentrates on commercial disputes, chancery litigation and landlord and tenant claims. He is also an accredited mediator. He has recently appeared in cases before the Court of Appeal.

    Strengths: “He is down to earth, knows what you want, and what he delivers is user-friendly.” “Engaging, positive and a collaborative team player.” “Excellent technically and his written advice is always clear, even in the most complex matters.”

    Andy Creer

    Centres her practice on real property, commercial landlord and tenant matters and lease renewals. Her work covers issues such as property damage and land registration.

    Strengths: “Tenacious attention to detail and really good on her feet.” “Incredibly thorough and technical.” “Fantastic expertise in property law.”

    Recent work: Acted in a claim for an easement based on an express grant or arising by prescription. The case required examination of documents from the past 130 years.

    Emily Betts

    A rising star who is recognised for her work particularly in landlord and tenant matters. She tends to represent corporate landlords and other commercial interests, with recent cases involving issues of trespass and vacant possession, among others.

    Strengths: “Provides good practical advice and is really good on her feet.” “Proactive, quick to respond and always very good.” “She is responsive and helpful.”

    Recent work: Acted for the defendants in a dispute concerning unpaid licence fees and damages relating to paintings, furniture and other rare items licensed to the claimant, who is a tenant at Brocket Hall, a Grade I listed stately home used for weddings and events.

  • Real Estate Litigation – South Eastern (Bar)

    John Clargo

    Has a strong practice in landlord and tenant and real property law. He has experience of a wide range of cases, from fraudulent property sales to forfeiture claims and complex ownership disputes.

    Strengths: “He is very good at seeing through a problem and pinpointing exactly what the crux of the matter is, before thinking outside the box for solutions or answers.” “He is a particularly thorough and knowledgeable barrister who demonstrates an impressive ability to cross-examine and persuade the judge of the cogency of his arguments.”

    Recent work: Acted for the purchasers of a property in a complex case regarding Japanese Knotweed which was encroaching on to the property from land retained by the seller. A mandatory injunction was obtained to require the seller to enter a contract for the purpose of eradicating the plant.

    Jamal Demachkie

    Skilled barrister with a diverse property practice covering landlord and tenant disputes and real property work. He also undertakes instructions concerning co-ownership and constructive trust matters. He has recent experience of tackling cases involving alleged breaches of covenants.

    Strengths: “Excellent on his feet and brilliant with clients. He manages to charm while destroying the arguments in front of him.” “He is responsive and truly down to earth.”

    Recent work: Handled a long-running TOLATA claim involving several GP surgeries. The case concerned whether a party can enforce a mediation agreement where the terms of the agreement were still to be resolved post-mediation.

    Charlotte John

    Property-focused barrister with a wider chancery practice. She undertakes instructions on residential and commercial landlord and tenant matters as well as land and boundary disputes. She often appears in property cases with probate elements.

    Strengths:Her knowledge is terrific.” “She is very thorough, responsive, approachable, highly capable and completely client-focused.”

     

    Recent work: Acted for one of several defendants in a case concerning the beneficial ownership if a property registered in the joint names of a bankrupt party and the first defendant.

  • Real Estate Litigation - Northern

    Lesley Anderson QC

    Has an enviable reputation in the sector and is recognised for her considerable strength in commercial property cases, particularly those relating to insolvency. She is an experienced representative of clients before the Supreme Court and routinely advises local authorities on development-related issues. Since 2008 she has sat as a deputy judge in the Chancery Division of the High Court.

    Recent work: Acted for the tenant and lender in relation to the forfeiture of a former BHS store at Cribbs Mall, Bristol on the grounds of a breach of a keep open covenant.

  • Restructuring/Insolvency

    Sarah Clarke

    A well-regarded insolvency junior, noted for her expert handling of both corporate and personal insolvency work. She is regularly instructed to act on behalf of parties including debtors, creditors and insolvency practitioners.

    Strengths: “An excellent advocate.” “She is a pleasure to work with – she’s approachable, reliable and responsive. She also has excellent technical knowledge and is adept at anticipating and avoiding problems.”

    Recent work: Instructed in Re Moorgate Industries, a complicated application by administrators for a winding-up and for the appointment of alternative liquidators.

  • Restructuring/Insolvency - Northern

    Lesley Anderson QC

    A top restructuring and insolvency silk offering expertise across the board. She is well equipped to handle both corporate and personal insolvency matters of the utmost complexity. She regularly deals with disputes surrounding corporate administrations and liquidations. She is routinely instructed in property-related insolvency matters.

    Strengths: “She is very sensible, yet knows when and how to fight very passionately for her clients.” “She’s bright, hard-working and an excellent advocate.”

    Recent work: Represented Mr Ezair in Avery-Gee and Conn v Jacob Ezair, a case relating to the administration of Charlotte Street Properties/Jersey Street Properties.

  • Social Housing

    The Set

    Members of Hardwicke are frequently instructed by major housing associations to act in a considerable range of housing issues, including anti-social behaviour injunctions, disrepair claims, unlawful occupations and possession proceedings. Hardwicke is also able to deal with cases relating to the construction of housing developments.

    Client service: “The clerking team is highly efficient and approachable. You get straight and sensible answers from them.” James Duncan-Hartill and Richard Sumarno are senior practice managers.

    Alison Meacher

    A specialist in housing work, which crosses over with Court of Protection, mental capacity and other social welfare matters. She habitually acts on behalf of local authorities, registered providers and vulnerable tenants, and regularly appears before the Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal. She is particularly strong on cases where a person’s right to occupy is contested.

    Strengths: “She provides very detailed and knowledgeable advice and is a very good and thorough advocate.”

    Morayo Fagborun Bennett

    Handles a wide range of social housing matters, and has a practice with a particular emphasis on homelessness and disrepair cases. She regularly receives instructions from housing associations, local authorities and individuals. Her esteemed work in the area is complemented by her substantial property practice. Her recent work has seen her act in complicated possession cases.

    Strengths: “She has a mild exterior with a steely interior.” “Very diligent, thorough and impressive.”

    Recent work: Acted for a defendant landlord in an anti-social behaviour case in which an injunction order and an exclusion order were sought following an arson attack.

    Laura Tweedy

    A top choice for many large housing associations to act in homelessness and possession cases, among others. She elicits praise for her deft client-handling and cross-examination skills, and makes regular appearances before the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.

    Strengths: “She has great customer care skills and looks for solutions rather than problems. A go-to in difficult cases.”

    Recent work: Defended two elderly tenants in a claim for possession stemming from rent arrears. Tweedy successfully negotiated an agreement to rehouse the tenants and a £30,000 reduction in rent arrears.

  • Star of the Bar

    Lesley Anderson QC is lauded by Chambers UK as one of their Stars of the Bar.  Recommended in no fewer than six practice areas.

    Sources describe her as a “super advocate,” who is “very sensible but prepared to fight passionately for her clients.” They applaud her “devastating cross-examination,” “technical excellence” and “air of authority”; in short, she is “a brilliant all-round lawyer” who is popular with clients and judges alike. Her standing in the field can be demonstrated by her recent appearance for the winning party in Gavin Edmondson Solicitors v Haven Insurance Company, an important Supreme Court case concerning the enforceability of the solicitor’s equitable lien.

    Her enviable experience in courtroom litigation is supplemented by a previous career in legal academia, as well as her appointment to the bench in the Chancery Division. Despite such glittering achievements, she“never lives off her reputation,” according to one instructing solicitor: “She always reads absolutely everything in the case and knows it better than you do.”

  • Hardwicke's Associate Members' Chambers UK Rankings

    Gordon Exall is recommended for Personal Injury – North Eastern

    Renowned for his written work and opinions in complex cases, particularly fatal accident claims. He has authored a number of widely read texts relevant to the personal injury field.

    Strengths: “Very thorough, very pragmatic, and an expert in cases concerning fatal accidents and high value catastrophic injury claims.”

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