CHAMBERS AND PARTNERS GLOBAL DIRECTORY
XXIV Old Buildings and its members are recommended by Chambers and Partners Global in all the following areas:
Dispute Resolution: Commercial
Dispute Resolution: Commercial Chancery
Dispute Resolution: Most In Demand Arbitrators – United Arab Emirates
International Arbitration – The English Bar – Global Market Leaders
Private Wealth: Trusts
Restructuring and Insolvency
DISPUTE RESOLUTION: COMMERCIAL
XXIV Old Buildings possesses significant talent in the commercial litigation sphere at both silk and junior level, and has barristers who are praised by interviewees for being “incredibly bright and a delight to deal with.” It is regularly involved in key cases across the sector. By way of example, recent matters handled by the tenants include Magner v Royal Bank of Scotland, a claim for dishonest assistance against RBS, and Re Sky Stream Corporation, an appeal to the Privy Council concerning the beneficial ownership of the shares in a company holding circa 20% of a Russian airline. Barristers here are not only experienced in handling disputes in the UK, but also frequently act in cases overseas, and have noteworthy experience in jurisdictions in the Middle East and the Caribbean, among many others. Instructing solicitors praise XXIV Old Buildings as “one of the top sets for offshore commercial work.”
Client service: “The clerks are extremely professional and very well organised.” Paul Horsfield is the head of clerking.
Alan Steinfeld KC
Strengths: “Very, very good and extremely patient even with the trickiest of clients. He’s so clever you can almost hear his brain whirring.”
Stephen Moverley Smith KC
Strengths: “A modern KC, who is very involved and engaged; he really gets stuck in. He is calm, assured and someone who instils confidence.”
Strengths: “A formidable advocate who is very direct in her views – she calls a spade a spade and clients love her for it.”
Robert Levy KC
Strengths: “Gets stuck in, masters the detail and proves very tenacious in court.”
Strengths: “Hard-working and motivated, he is someone who is just as keen as you are to win. He is very smart and great to work with.”
Strengths: “A phenomenal lawyer, who is one of the set’s rising stars.”
Strengths: “Impressive at advocacy and good on the technical side as well, he is very prompt in all his dealings and a good member of the team. He is user-friendly and provides top-notch advice.”
Strengths: “He is very pleasant and user-friendly.”
Strengths: “His advice is very commercial and practical – he distils technical legal issues into clear layman terms.”
DISPUTE RESOLUTION: COMMERCIAL CHANCERY
XXIV Old Buildings is highly regarded for its expertise in complex cases arising in offshore jurisdictions, earning praise from instructing solicitors who describe it as “a strong commercial chancery set, that is well regarded for offshore work.” The set’s members undertake a wide range of commercial chancery matters, and are frequently instructed in high-value commercial litigation, especially civil fraud and insolvency disputes. The team is also well versed in commercial matters involving elements of professional negligence, trusts and partnership law, drawing on the set’s established strengths in these areas.
Client service: “The clerks are very helpful and pragmatic, and get things done quickly. They are very efficient and a smooth part of the process, proving very good at pointing you in the right direction if you haven’t used someone before.” Paul Horsfield leads the clerking team.
Strengths: “A really stellar silk with a brain the size of a planet, who is confident in lots of areas. ” “Excellent. He is just incredibly bright and must have swallowed whole books.”
Strengths: “Clients really appreciate his input and sensible advice. His advice is always tailored to the individual client’s concerns.”
Strengths: “Absolutely divine. He is a delight to work with as he is so incredibly user-friendly.”
Strengths: “Has a fantastic knowledge of trust law and offshore jurisdictions.”
Strengths: “Of the highest quality, she is bright, hard-working and a good advocate.” “Elspeth has a wonderful manner, is committed to her clients and is a really good adviser and advocate.”
Robert Levy KC
Strengths: “Highly commercial, he understands what is going on in the real word and understands what matters and what doesn’t.”
Strengths: “Accessible and very hard-working. He’s very sensible and not afraid to tackle serious issues.”
Strengths: “A very clever guy who uses his intelligence in a practical way.”
Strengths: “Very thorough and meticulous in his approach to legal and factual issues, he always knows his facts and he drills down into the legal issues. He works hard and is very quick to produce excellent quality written work, making himself available when you need him.”
Strengths: “An extremely pleasant person to work with, he is very calm and considered, thorough, clear and concise. He takes a very logical approach to things.”
Strengths: “He is confident, able and technically brilliant.”
Strengths: “Very committed and very good. He is incredibly assiduous and exceptionally smart.”
Strengths: “A really effective advocate, who is a very good sounding board throughout the case. He achieves remarkable settlements for clients.”
Strengths: “Has knowledge and strategic nous well beyond his years.”
DISPUTE RESOLUTION: MOST IN DEMAND ARBITRATORS – UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Michael Black KC is especially noted for his in-depth experience advising on construction and energy matters in the Middle East. He is frequently appointed as an arbitrator in addition to his work as counsel.“He is one of those names that is synonymous with the region.” “Michael Black KC is one of the most responsive barristers I have ever worked with.” “He is a super-smart guy. He is a clever lawyer and someone with very deep experience.”
INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION – THE ENGLISH BAR – GLOBAL MARKET LEADERS
Michael Black KC is known at the International Arbitration Bar for his longstanding experience in different types of disputes including those relating to company law and energy. His expertise in Middle Eastern matters is well recognised within the market, as is his ability to represent national and international clients in arbitrations under the auspices of various arbitral bodies including the LCIA, ICC and DIFC.
XXIV Old Buildings maintains a superb reputation for its handling of an array of offshore work, with members frequently appearing in trusts, funds, fraud and restructuring disputes. The set is able to offer significant expertise in the Channel Islands, the BVI and the Cayman Islands, as well as in the Middle and Far-Eastern jurisdictions. An instructing solicitor comments: “It is one of the top sets for offshore commercial work.”
Client service: “The set has excellent clerking, which is always on time and responsive.” “The clerks are a very good team and are able to assist with minor queries easily.” Paul Horsfield is the head of clerking at the set and “really stands out as excellent.”
Alan Steinfeld KC has wide commercial and traditional chancery expertise and a profound knowledge of trust disputes. He has broad offshore experience across the Channel Islands, the Caribbean and Hong Kong. Steinfeld is well versed in hedge fund, investment fund and property disputes. He is also active on behalf of private clients in family and estate disputes.
Strengths: “Alan is one of the grandees of the Chancery Bar. His advice is incredibly insightful and he’s also a marvellous advocate.”
Stephen Moverley Smith KC is well versed in a range of commercial cases, including those concerning restructuring, fraud and insolvency. He also specialises in fraud and corruption cases.
Strengths: “He really is responsive and always comes back with very sharp, mindful comments.”
Francis Tregear KC is well known for his liquidation work, and he has acted for clients in Bermuda, the BVI and the Cayman Islands. He offers additional expertise in trust disputes and has recently been active in Jersey. Tregear regularly acts for shareholders and liquidators.
Strengths: “He’s good on the technical side and he’s someone you like to have as part of your team.” “He is brilliant. He’s very strategic, very calm with excitable clients, measured and a team player.”
David Brownbill KC is a natural choice for the most complex and contentious trusts litigation. He is frequently called upon to handle work in the Channel Islands, the BVI and the Cayman Islands. His specialism lies in multi-jurisdictional and high-value traditional and commercial chancery work. Brownbill is particularly sought after for claims arising out of liquidation and insolvency.
Strengths: “He is committed, cordial, and it is a fantastic experience working with him.” “David is really great. He’s been very good at offshore work and legislative changes.”
Elspeth Talbot Rice KC is a highly regarded and much sought-after expert who handles a full spectrum of commercial and traditional chancery work. She has experience of acting in jurisdictions spanning the BVI, Bermuda and the UK Crown Dependencies, and acts for both claimants and defendants in significant trust and estates disputes. She has particular experience in cases concerning asset transfers and restructuring.
Strengths: “Elspeth is great to work with, very responsive and very proactive. She has a knack of describing complex legal arguments in terms understandable to lay clients without appearing patronising.” “She has a calm advocacy style which gives judges comfort.” “She’s first-rate and particulary good in Bermuda cases. She’s a very effective advocate.”
Robert Levy KC
Robert Levy KC is a leading silk for complex, high-value insolvency claims, particularly within the Caribbean jurisdictions. He has been called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean in the BVI, and the Bars of Anguilla and St Vincent, and he is also admitted ad hoc in the Cayman Islands. Levy is frequently involved in shareholder disputes.
Strengths: “He is reliable, a pleasure to deal with, helpful, constructive and knowledgeable.” “He’s extraordinarily responsive, he’s very thoughtful and his analysis is excellent.”
Edward Cumming KC is highly regarded among peers for his excellent advocacy skills. He frequently appears in trust, company and general commercial litigation. He has a substantial offshore practice and appears in Singapore, South Africa and Mauritius, alongside more traditional jurisdictions in the Caribbean and Channel Islands. Cumming is instructed on behalf of multinational corporates in addition to high net worth private clients.
Strengths: “He is a go-to contact. He has a very modern approach and he is full of energy.” “He has energy as well as bright, strategic thinking and is a delight to work with.”
Elizabeth Weaver a deeply experienced junior barrister, well versed in professional negligence and general chancery matters. She is routinely called upon for her expertise in international trusts disputes, high-value commercial litigation and asset recovery, and also frequently acts for ultra high net worth families. She has been called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and has been active in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
Strengths: “She’s a really good advocate and knows her trusts.”
Marcus Staff is particularly active in the Caribbean jurisdictions, having appeared in the Cayman Islands and the BVI. He is frequently instructed in contentious trust disputes, handling such issues as the removal of trustees and tax-related matters. He has also recently been involved in matters relating to investment funds and civil fraud. Acted for a claimant in a claim for the removal of a trustee and protector of a Bahamas trust.
Bajul Shah has an enviable offshore practice and handles cases in Dubai, Cyprus, the Caribbean and the Channel Islands. He offers expertise in a broad range of commercial chancery areas, including insolvency, trusts, probate and civil fraud, and is frequently called upon by liquidators and trustees.
Strengths: “He’s really bright, incredibly easy to work with and so patient.” “He’s amazing, capable and delightful to work with. His legal brain has no limits and he’s very good at delivering practical advice.”
Nicole Langlois is a respected junior with considerable credentials in commercial contractual and trust litigation, whose other areas of expertise include insolvency and fraud. She is called to the Bar in both the UK and Jersey. She regularly handles cases with professional negligence and breach of trust allegations.
Strengths: “She is thoughtful, commercial, approachable, experienced and takes care to consider the practical as well as the pure law aspects.”
Adam Cloherty impresses sources with his courtroom advocacy skills, and has particular experience of BVI and Cayman Islands cases. His clients, who include beneficiaries and shareholders, benefit from his extensive trust knowledge. He has also handled matters in Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Gibraltar.
Strengths: “He is thorough, good to work with and turns things around quickly.” “His company knowledge is outstanding.”
Andrew Holden receives consistent praise for his deep level of experience in trust litigation work. He also handles pension and liquidation disputes. His experience extends to Bermuda, the Channel Islands, the BVI and the Cayman Islands, among others. Holden acts on behalf of high net worth families and individuals as well as commercial entities.
Strengths: “He’s very intelligent, awesome on strategy, and he is part of the team when working with clients.”
PRIVATE WEALTH: TRUSTS
Alan Steinfeld KC is active across a wide array of practice areas and has a substantial focus on trust law. He is experienced in offshore, as well as domestic, trusts disputes, and is recognised for his familiarity with international arbitrations in connection with contentious trust matters.
Strengths: “A class act who is everything you want in a very senior silk.” “He’s very direct and straightforward in the advice he gives. His opinions are always well expressed and well thought through.”
David Brownbill KC is noted for his strong track record in private client litigation and has specific expertise in trust law. He is the editor of leading textbook ‘International Trust Laws’ and is often instructed in high-profile offshore disputes. His expertise also extends to trust issues in the context of investment funds.
Strengths: “He is an excellent technical trusts lawyer who really gets into the weeds of cases. He is very, very good at getting his head across the important detail in a case.”
Elspeth Talbot Rice KC is a widely admired barrister with a very strong track record in trusts litigation. She is frequently instructed by many leading solicitors in this field and often acts in very significant and high-value disputes, both onshore and offshore. Peers recognise her as a leading silk who deals with the most high-profile cases in the trusts world.
Strengths: “She has an encyclopedic knowledge of onshore and offshore trust law, and is a strong strategic thinker who really fights for the client.”
Marcus Staff is a former head of the set’s Geneva office. A man with long experience of handling trusts-related work, he counts a number of key solicitors firms among those that instruct him. He demonstrated his credentials in the trusts sphere by appearing in Schmidt v Rosewood Trustees, the leading trusts case heard in the Privy Council in the last 20 years.
Strengths: “A man of remarkable intellect and great breadth of knowledge.”
Andrew Holden appears in a wide variety of both domestic and international trusts matters, acting both as a litigator and in an advisory capacity. He is an expert in trust structuring and trust protectors. Holden is particularly adept at handling large offshore disputes and often acts in high-profile, multibillion-dollar disputes in key jurisdictions.
Strengths: “A good, strategic thinker whose knowledge of offshore trust law is just phenomenal. He does a lot in Bermuda and Cayman and has written a lot on the subject of protectors.”
RESTRUCTURING AND INSOLVENCY
XXIV Old Buildings offers expertise in both domestic and international insolvency matters, and its members are highly regarded for their handling of cases arising in offshore jurisdictions such as the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and the Isle of Man. Areas of expertise for the team include complex administrations, liquidations and both company and individual voluntary arrangements. The set’s barristers are also well versed in directors’ disqualification proceedings and asset tracing and recovery matters.
Client service: “The clerking service at XXIV Old Buildings is very good.” “The clerks do a good job all around and are always keen to help out.” Paul Horsfield is head of clerking.
Alan Steinfeld KC stands out for his active practice in offshore jurisdictions, notably the British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands. He also routinely advises clients in significant domestic litigation.
Strengths: “He’s amazingly insightful and an absolute delight to work with – a marvellous advocate.”
Stephen Moverley Smith KC attracts major international instructions owing to his deep experience in cross-border matters. He frequently appears in courts in the British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands, as well as the Privy Council. He has a particularly robust reputation in the area of offshore work and trusts.
Strengths: “He’s sensible, measured and approachable.”
Stuart Adair is a popular choice for clients seeking high-quality advice on both contentious and non-contentious matters in the insolvency arena. He is frequently instructed in the most litigious disputes and has expertise in cases concerning claims of misfeasance, fraudulent trading and setting aside prior transactions.
Strengths: “He’s charming and a very good advocate.”
Hugh Miall is a well-regarded junior with a broad insolvency and restructuring practice spanning both contentious and non-contentious work. He is particularly adept at advising on cross-border matters and foreign insolvencies. He also offers expertise in asset recovery after bankruptcy or liquidation, claims involving antecedent transactions and misfeasance, IVAs and CVAs and winding-up proceedings.
Strengths: “His advice is very commercial, he’s practical and he distils technical legal issues into clear layman’s terms.”