Anthony Grabiner QC's "reputation precedes him" and clients confirm he "undoubtedly lives up to his profile as a star at the Bar." Lauded for his "superb judgement," interviewees say: "He offers invaluable insight into tactical issues and has a great ability to know what arguments will appeal to the court." Grabiner is just one of a bevy of leading silks at the set, with Laurence Rabinowitz QC also attracting consistent praise as a star performer. An "exceptionally bright" barrister, he "inspires complete confidence due to his searching intelligence, big-picture thinking and capacity for hard work." Sources further note: "He mixes law, fact and the commercial background into a clear message that is delivered expertly no matter how complex the evidence." Ian Glick QC is also a "polished and experienced silk" with an "efficient and user-friendly" style. He maintains a diverse practice acting on both mainstream banking and banking regulation cases.
David Wolfson QC attracts widespread praise for his "innovative thinking and creative arguments." Instructing solicitors say he is "top of the list for cross-border issues," as recently demonstrated by his work for Terra Firma on banking issues arising out of the multibillion-pound acquisition of EMI, as well as its USD4 billion fraud trial against Citibank in New York. He moves up in this year's rankings, as does Daniel Toledano QC. Sources say Toledano "has all the attributes you could want in a silk," specifying that he is "effective, commercial, analytical and easy to deal with." His practice covers retail and commercial banking issues, both domestically and internationally. Alain Choo Choy QC is another "outstanding young silk" who impresses market observers with his "creative" approach and "excellent attention to detail."
Neil Kitchener QC "works hard to fight his client's corner" and is "willing to go the extra mile." His recent workload includes advising Parabola Investments on a potential negligence and fiduciary duty claim against brokers for trading-related losses. He wins market approval along with Stephen Auld QC, who is "always a safe pair of hands" and "really understands the quirks of the banking sector." Anthony de Garr Robinson QC stands out as an "incredibly persuasive advocate" who demonstrates "a great facility for finding winning points." Sources add: "He is able to pick a path through tricky jurisprudence to create a credible and convincing legal argument." Craig Orr QC has recently joined the set from Fountain Court Chambers. He remains a highly sought-after silk and is admired for his excellent advocacy and client-friendly style.
The "terrifically hard-working" Hannah Brown "has an excellent reputation" due to her "efficient and analytical" approach to banking and finance matters. She has remained busy of late advising on issues arising from the financial crisis, such as defaults under loan notes facilities and negligence and fraud actions. "An efficient drafter," Henry Forbes Smith demonstrates "exceptional legal knowledge and lateral thinking." He is a rising star within the set alongside Benjamin Strong, who elicits praise for his "ability to unpack the most complex commercial arrangements." Sources say he demonstrates excellent judgement and "approaches legal problems thoroughly and intelligently."
Anthony de Garr Robinson QC is recommended.
Anthony Grabiner QC is undoubtedly one of the most illustrious silks at the Commercial Bar. Not only is he an "incisive and instinctive advocate" who "has judges deferring to his gravitas," he also possesses "superb client skills." Year on year, Laurence Rabinowitz QC attracts a torrent of praise from interviewees. When interviewees discuss him they talk of "a true intellectual heavyweight with great powers of analysis" who "masters the detail of a case incredibly quickly and always adds significant value both with his advice and as a tactician." Simply put, "few silks have the ability to hit harder or advise more effectively on heavyweight commercial cases." Ian Glick QC's mix of considerable intelligence, formidable advocacy and client-friendly manner sets him apart as one of the set's top silks. He has been heavily involved in litigation arising out of the Buncefield oil depot explosion. Jeffery Onions QC commands respect as a "real fighter," who is "an authoritative presence in court." He maintains a diverse caseload that covers banking, insolvency, insurance, oil and gas and media-related disputes.
Alain Choo Choy QC has quickly established himself as a "first port of call for many of the City's leading solicitors." They applaud the diligence and creativity he brings to complex disputes, and value his in-depth understanding of financial instruments. Equally in demand is the "responsive and commercial" Neil Kitchener QC. Sources say he is "an exceptional advocate who will really go the extra mile for his clients." He moves up in the rankings, as does Daniel Toledano QC. Though still a relatively junior silk, Toledano never fails to impress and can go toe to toe with QCs who are a number of years senior to him. One interviewee says of him: "He is effective and practical, always quick with his written work and very easy to work with. With Toledano, you are always happy that you are giving the case its best shot." David Wolfson QC is another silk who finds himself promoted in this year's tables. "A great all-rounder," he has "a no-nonsense commercial approach backed up with a comprehensive knowledge of banking law, issues of jurisdiction and conflicts of law," say sources. Wolfson's recent work includes advising Terra Firma on litigation arising out of its multibillion-pound acquisition of EMI.
Kenneth MacLean QC really excels in the courtroom, where his "thorough analysis and incisive cross-examination skills" come to life. He continues to act for Çukurova in its ongoing dispute with Alfa concerning control over Turkcell, the largest Turkish mobile phone operator. The "approachable and unflappable" John McCaughran QC can be relied on to dispense "user-friendly and common-sense advice." He has particular expertise in energy-related work, and recently acted for Shell in a dispute concerning a contract for petroleum exploration in Egypt. Craig Orr QC recently joined One Essex Court having previously been a tenant at Fountain Court Chambers. He has a thriving commercial practice, which spans banking and finance, insurance, civil fraud and professional negligence disputes. Orr's new colleagues include David Cavender QC, "a commercial and practical" barrister who "really understands the client's perspective." His practice has a particular emphasis on the utilities, IT, construction and engineering industries.
Stephen Auld QC's "achievements when cross-examining the other side's witnesses are legendary," according to market observers. They also favour the fact that he "has an excellent commercial manner with clients." Auld has recently been acting for the defendants in an action brought by Sibir for alleged breach of fiduciary duty by Sibneft following a joint venture to develop certain oilfields in Siberia. Rhodri Davies QC is highly sought after because he both "understands the intricacies of financial products and structures" and "has a knack of distilling key points from a mass of material to excellent effect." He has strong market support, as does Anthony de Garr Robinson QC, whom some described as being "the full package." "He has a good rapport with clients, identifies arguments that have a chance of success both legally and commercially, and writes excellent pleadings." Charles Graham QC is held in high esteem for his expertise in share sale agreements and breach of warranty claims. He shares a set with Nicholas Strauss QC, who has a strong track record for producing articulate, well-prepared submissions.
Of the set's juniors, Anna Boase is "clearly heading towards the top." Clients favour her as she is a "commercially astute, efficient and sensible" barrister, who provides advice in a timely manner. She has a wealth of experience in commercial banking disputes. James Goldsmith is another "name for the future." He is "incredibly hard-working and easy to deal with," and instructing solicitors say of him: "We love him and the clients do too." He recently acted for Liverpool FC in its much-publicised takeover litigation. Michael Fealy is another to receive high praise from market observers. They say: "He already operates as a QC would," and produces an "exceptional quality of written advice that is both clear and concise." Others to impress here include Sebastian Isaac, who "inspires trust and confidence in clients through his excellent commerciality." His practice centres on energy, commodities, professional negligence and banking and finance disputes. Interviewees describe Conall Patton as "a Laurence Rabinowitz of the future." Patton is a lawyer who combines his "excellent analytical skills" with "a fantastic bedside manner and fast turnaround times."
Sa'ad Hossain is deemed "an exceptionally bright senior junior with a superb grasp of the law and great commercial insight." In the last year, he has advised Standard Chartered Bank on proceedings brought against Sri Lankan oil company Ceylon Petroleum for sums owing under various derivatives contracts. He remains in high demand, as does Clare Reffin, a "quick-thinking" junior who offers "sensible, pragmatic advice." Benjamin Strong stands out due to his "ability to unpick the most complex commercial arrangements." He has remained busy of late advising on various disputed derivatives transactions. Alexander Polley is fast establishing a practice beyond his 2005 year of call. He recently acted with Lord Grabiner for Christian Candy's CPC Group in its prolific dispute with Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment. Simon Colton is commended by clients and opponents alike. He has showcased his considerable talents this year in a number of significant cases, including Berezovsky v Abramovich and the BTA Bank fraud litigation.
Others to be recommended include Steven Elliott, "a top junior with a razor-sharp mind" who "demonstrates a strong creative flair and has the ability to take a case beyond its straightforward parameters." He wins plaudits along with Matthew Cook, who stands out for his excellent numeracy skills. One source says of him: "He is very good as he has a superb grasp of quantum arguments." Daniel Hubbard is another favourite amongst solicitors due to his "ability to provide sound legal advice in its commercial context." He is fully endorsed, as is Richard Mott, who "goes above and beyond the call of duty" to serve his clients needs. Mott particularly impresses with his "excellent drafting skills."
Anthony de Garr Robinson QC is recommended.
Thomas Sharpe QC comes highly recommended for his in-depth competition law expertise. He is described as "fantastic and hugely experienced," and clients "love the way he works." He has been instructed for the appellants in John Sisk & Son Ltd (2) Sicon Limited v OFT, an appeal to the CAT concerning the OFT's fine regarding cover price infringement.
The "technically excellent" Matthew Cook is praised by solicitors for his command of a brief. He has been instructed as sole advocate by Willis in OFT v A H Willis & Sons Ltd, CAT proceedings relating to the construction industry and alleged cartel bid rigging. Conall Patton is another commercial barrister at the set who is accomplished in competition law work. He has been instructed as junior counsel by Bowmer & Kirkland in the OFT Investigation into cover pricing in the building industry. Sources describe him as "hugely industrious and terrifically efficient." His fast turnaround of papers was particularly commented upon.
The "fantastic" Laurence Rabinowitz QC is a genuine standout in this field, and is consequently one of the busiest and most in-demand counsel around. He is "exceptionally bright and inspires complete confidence due to his searching intelligence, big-picture thinking and hard work." Impressed solicitors praise his "ability to mix law, fact and commercial background into a clear message which he then delivers strongly and clearly no matter how complex the evidence." His colleague Ian Glick QC is also highly rated for his excellent work on high-value energy disputes. He has been busy recently working on a range of cases, including litigation arising out of the Buncefield explosion. Anthony Grabiner QC is another key silk who is regularly involved in the highest-value energy disputes. He is an "excellent advocate" with a huge amount of experience of running high-level litigation. One notable recent highlight of his was acting in the Court of Appeal for Total in the Buncefield litigation. Solicitors find John McCaughran QC "a pleasure to work with since he is approachable, personable and sharp." He is "particularly masterful in complex cases" and is "effective at conveying advice to clients."
A major player in oil and gas, Jeffery Onions QC continues to impress market sources through his securing of excellent results. He regularly advises on high-value disputes relating to the transportation of oil and is also acting for British Gas in its dispute with Accenture over billing systems for customers. The "very easy to work with" Daniel Toledano QC wins praise from solicitors since he is "bright, works hard within a team, rolls his sleeves up and gets stuck in." He provides advice on a range of energy matters, and, by way of example, he has recently been advising on matters pertaining to the exploration and production of petroleum in a range of places across the globe. Alain Choo Choy QC has a wide-ranging commercial practice which encompasses heavyweight litigation and advisory work. He recently acted for the defendant in Renova Resources Private Equity Ltd v Brian Gilbertson & Others, a case involving a dispute over the ownership of rights to the Fabergé brand. Also recommended, Neil Kitchener QC is an industrious silk with extensive court experience, who has recently been advising on a North Sea pipeline dispute. Solicitors say that "he never throws the towel in. He just keeps on rolling."
Alan Griffiths brings his expertise in commercial law to bear on a range of energy disputes. He has a particular focus on the regulation of the energy industry and its associated environmental and European law issues. Sa'ad Hossain is highly rated by peers for his work on high-complexity disputes. Not only is he often led on market-leading disputes by top-tier silks, he also has substantial experience of appearing as sole counsel, something which he did in Applied Drilling Technology International v Endeavour Energy UK Ltd. Solicitors feel that he really knows his law and is a man who's so comfortable in his own skin that he puts others at ease. Michael Fealy is a "clear-thinking, highly effective and well-regarded operator." Although he is involved in a range of litigation and advisory matters he has a particular focus on regulatory issues in the electricity sector. Conall Patton continues to build an impressive reputation for his work on a range of energy disputes. One notable case he has been involved in is E.ON UK plc v Gas and Electricity Markets Authority before the Competition Commission. Entering the rankings this year is Orlando Gledhill, "a quality operator" with a heavyweight and varied energy practice. As part of his practice he has valuable experience of conducting litigation relating to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.
Laurence Rabinowitz QC is "in the top handful of the most eminent advocates anywhere at the Bar." Not just "a fabulous advocate," he is also noted for his excellent client skills and superb management of large teams of counsel and solicitors. One source commented: "When it comes to complex cases involving sizeable teams of people, there are few better than Rabinowitz." He further excels on the pure law side and is known as "a totally calm performer who proves highly imaginative and is perfectly willing to have a crack at the most difficult applications." His talents were recently put to good use in the Berezovsky litigation, a case which also involved Richard Gillis QC. Gillis is another with a fine grasp of black letter law, and is "unfailingly polite" with "an easy-going manner that allows him to swiftly develop a rapport with the client." Anthony Grabiner QC is lauded for being both "charming and highly instructive" when dealing with clients. In court he has "a bearing which immediately commands respect." One of the go-to silks of the modern era, he recently acted for the Candy brothers in the CPC Group v Qatari Diar dispute concerning the redevelopment of Chelsea Barracks.
Fluent French speaker Alain Choo Choy QC is now three years into silk, impressing all with his "insightful input and accurate judgement." His recent cases include advising Stirling Mortimer with regard to an alleged EUR10 million fraudulent misappropriation of funds. Stablemate Neil Kitchener QC has a broad commercial disputes practice that takes in some notable civil fraud cases. He joined Grabiner in appearing in the Chelsea Barracks case and is a regular on serious fraud cases. Clients seeking "a dogged fighter and a consummate professional" would do well to consider engaging him, according to sources. Like many at the set, the "responsive and user-friendly" Anthony de Garr Robinson QC has a broad international practice. He is also admitted to the Bars of the Bahamas and the British Virgin Islands, and is very well travelled and fêted globally. In addition to a number of highly confidential commercial arbitrations, he has recently advised entities including CMC Group. Other silks to garner praise at the set include Michael Sullivan QC, who recently acted for the State and Bank of Zambia in connection with the recovery of USD165 million. He is a regular on the international arbitration scene along with Daniel Toledano QC, who has acted in a number of fraud-related arbitrations and court hearings for a host of marquee clients, including Gallaher International and Sumitomo. Toledano is known for the thoroughness of his written work and for his whole-hearted commitment to any case he takes on. Finally among the silks here, Stephen Auld QC has recently advised Hull City AFC concerning a dispute with its former chairman and CEO Paul Duffen. Sources speak of his "forceful and authoritative courtroom style" and his "excellent communication skills when dealing with solicitors and clients alike."
Steven Elliott has "great intellectual strength and a diligent manner." A lawyer with a rising profile, he impressed recently with his work on the multimillion-pound Parabola Investments fraud. Fellow junior Orlando Gledhill recently advised Glitnir Banki with regard to a multi-jurisdictional dispute and freezing order. Sources say that "he has a piercing cross-examination style that regularly punctures his opponents' arguments."
Philip Roberts is recommended.
Geoffrey Hobbs QC is an expert in IP and particularly trade mark disputes. He is known for his "bullish advocacy style that really gets results." Commentators say: "He always has such a clear understanding of the law, and even the judges seem to defer to him in their judgments, such is his depth of knowledge."
Emma Himsworth is a "terrific junior barrister - diligent, clever and thoughtful." Her practice spans a variety of IP matters, and she has represented Marks & Spencer in its high-profile dispute with Interflora in relation to the use of trade marks in Google Adwords. She "knows her law and her way round a set of papers, and can be relied upon to provide constructive input and creative arguments." Guy Hollingworth continues to impress with his expertise and the "remarkably short time it takes for him to turn round his papers." He has recently been instructed by easyGroup on a number of trade mark infringement and passing-off disputes. Commentators are hugely impressed by his "real grasp of the detail of cases and his capacity to put his hand on the relevant information very quickly." They say he "really gets stuck in, and knows the work backwards." Philip Roberts has a more technology-oriented practice than his colleagues, and is known for his expertise in IT-related IP matters. He is always good for "immediate, off-the-cuff, incisive advice" and is described as "a gentleman who is quite softly spoken, very calm and collected and extremely intelligent." He was recently instructed in the trade mark and passing-off dispute between Absolut Vodka and Absolute Radio.
Laurence Rabinowitz QC is a much-revered member of the Bar, who "continues to impress both as an advocate and on advisory work" in arbitration-related matters. Sources say: "His hands-on and accessible approach is highly appreciated by clients." Similarly rated, David Wolfson QC is "a master of innovative thinking, who is prepared to put his name to creative arguments." Instructing solicitors have a lot of time for him, noting that "clients always respond positively to his incredibly commercial advice." Daniel Toledano QC is deemed "extremely talented for both energy and banking-related disputes" referred to arbitration. In the last year he has acted as counsel in ICC, LCIA and UNCITRAL proceedings. Anthony de Garr Robinson QC "really comes to the fore as a master tactician." He has been called to the British Virgin Islands Bar and is also registered as an advocate in the Dubai International Financial Centre courts.
Sa'ad Hossain displays strong technical ability due to his academic background in natural sciences. He has appeared in a range of international commercial arbitrations, demonstrating particular expertise in oil and gas and financial services disputes.
Susanna FitzGerald QC is recommended.
Kenneth MacLean QC is recommended.
Charles Graham QC is recommended.
Richard Gillis QC is recommended.
Daniel Toledano QC is recommended.