Chambers & Partners

CHAMBERS AND PARTNERS UK BAR DIRECTORY

2021 RECOMMENDATIONS

XXIV Old Buildings and its members are recommended in all the following areas:

Aviation International Arbitration: Construction/Engineering
Chancery: Commercial International Arbitration: General Commercial & Insurance
Chancery: Traditional Mediators
Charities Offshore
Commercial Dispute Resolution Partnership
Company Restructuring/Insolvency
Financial Services Sport
Fraud: Civil Travel: Regulatory and Commercial
International Arbitration: Arbitrators Trusts

 

AVIATION

Philip Shepherd QC, Steven Thompson QC, Edward Cumming QC, Bajul Shah and Tom Stewart Coats are all recommended.

XXIV Old Buildings deploys a wealth of expertise across the full facet of aviation matters. The set’s strong silks and juniors are recognised for their handling of complex product liability, negligence and insurance claims in the industry. Members here regularly handle high-value litigation both for and against major operators, airports and owners in matters pertaining to aircraft leases, repossessions and contractual disputes. Barristers at the set are particularly adept at advising airlines on compensation claims and other insolvency issues.

Client service: The clerks are described as “very helpful, really easy to work with and very responsive.” Paul Horsfield is the head of the clerking team.

SILKS

Philip Shepherd QC

A market-leading expert known for his thoroughgoing sector focus and formidable courtroom demeanour. He is regularly instructed by premier aviation firms in high-profile cases related to leasing and product liability disputes, and is active on headlining cases concerning the loss of aircraft.

Strengths: “One of the top aviation lawyers. He’s no-nonsense and is extremely robust in his oral and written submissions.” “He has a wealth of expertise and knowledge and is a very strong and passionate advocate. His advice is very thorough and straight to the point.”

Recent work: Acted in a fraudulent misrepresentation claim relating to the fitness for purpose of a fleet of eight Russian SSJ100 regional aircraft leased to CityJet.

Steven Thompson QC

Aviation cases form a significant part of his broader commercial practice, with disputed leases and maintenance contracts forming the core of his workload. He has a wealth of knowledge in relation to insolvency cases in the aviation sector and has notable expertise in handling complex technical matters.

Strengths: “He is highly regarded.”

Recent work: Acted for Cathay Pacific in dispute with Lufthansa Technik regarding sums due under a maintenance agreement.

Edward Cumming QC

A well-known figure at the Aviation Bar, who is particularly adept in technically sophisticated matters relating to regulatory and financing matters. Key areas of strength include cases assessing liability for damage to aircraft under leasing arrangements.

Strengths: “A strong advocate, quick on his feet, very thorough, very bright and a pleasure to work with.”

Recent work: Represented a vendor in a dispute regarding the collapsed sale of a Boeing 737 aircraft.

JUNIORS

Bajul Shah

An enormously capable and experienced junior whose strong market profile is built out of his broad experience in the aviation sphere. He is regularly instructed to handle cases related to leasing, contractual and insolvency disputes, a number of which involve difficult points of law. An impressive client roster includes bodies from across the spectrum of the industry, including lessors, lessees and airlines.

Strengths: “A committed aviation lawyer.” “Very thorough, detailed and impressive pleadings.”

Recent work: Acted for Wallis Trading in a USD30 million claim against Air Tanzania and the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania. The dispute raised the issue of directors’ authority and concerned allegations of breaches of procurement legislation.

Tom Stewart Coats

Tom Stewart CoatsEnters the rankings this year following a busy year handling disputes in the aviation industry. He is noted for his work defending airlines in claims for compensation for delays and cancellations under EU Regulations.

Strengths: “An effective advocate with a really impressive level of detail and expertise. He knows the law in depth and is able to relate it in a clear, effective manner.”

Recent work: Instructed by Air Canada to defend a claim for compensation for delay under EU Regulation 261/2004. The case concerns the interaction between the Regulation and customary international law.

 

CHANCERY: COMMERCIAL

Alan Steinfeld QC, Stephen Moverley Smith QC, Francis Tregear QC, David Brownbill QC, Elspeth Talbot Rice QC, Robert Levy QC, Edward Cumming QC, Marcus Staff, Stuart Adair, Bajul Shah, Adam Cloherty, Daniel Warents, Hugh Miall and Tim Sherwin are all recommended.

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 go-to set for offshore commercial 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 chambers is very professionally run and the clerks are quick to respond and transparent in respect of fees and turnaround times.” “The clerks are exceptional – they’re very helpful and happy to assist with regard to any issues.” “Head of clerking Paul Horsfield is very good, responsive and quick – he’s very impressive.”

SILKS

Alan Steinfeld QC

“He is a real class act and a top-class trust litigator. He has a well-deserved reputation and his knowledge is superb.” “He is incredibly intelligent and absolutely charming.”

Stephen Moverley Smith QC

“He’s very experienced, efficient and knows the court and the judges.”

Francis Tregear QC

“His ability to forensically analyse complicated matters and to get to the core of the issue is just outstanding. He is an excellent advocate and very responsive.”

David Brownbill QC

“An authoritative practitioner who really knows his stuff. He has a wealth of knowledge for all things trusts-related.”

Elspeth Talbot Rice QC

“She has an extraordinary commitment to her cases and inspires people who work with her.” “She is formidable – razor-sharp in her analysis, really good on strategy and an excellent advocate. She is one of the best out there.”

Robert Levy QC

“He’s very versatile and has the correct answer to almost everything you ask him. He also has the ability to be robust without being unpleasant.” “A forceful advocate.”

Edward Cumming QC

“He is phenomenally bright and has an insane capacity for work – a real dynamo. His written work and advocacy put clients at ease.” “A strong advocate – he’s quick on his feet, thorough, very bright and a pleasure to work with.”

JUNIORS

Marcus Staff

“He is intelligent, innovative and forceful.”

Stuart Adair

“An experienced barrister who is very creative in developing tailor-made legal strategies.” “A brilliant advocate in court. He is very experienced, knowledgeable and thorough in his work and approach. He’s also very quick in dealing with papers and is an absolute pleasure to work with.”

Bajul Shah

“Hugely impressive with a brain the size of the moon, but he’s still very approachable, practical and very commercial. He’s bright, very straightforward and a great barrister.”

Adam Cloherty

“Very bright, responsive and user-friendly.”

Daniel Warents

“Daniel is an excellent lawyer with maturity beyond his years. He has great judgement and works hard with determination.” “An excellent practitioner – he’s thoughtful and shrewd.”

Hugh Miall

“He’s brilliant –  incredibly intelligent but also personable and good to work with. He goes the extra mile to be available.” “He’s super bright, down to earth and approachable. He distils complicated concepts into easy to understand language.”

Tim Sherwin

“He is terrific, really smart and practical. He’s tremendously accessible and approachable.” “He is very down to earth with a human approach. He is astute and patient, very good on his feet and excellent at legal research.”

 

CHANCERY: TRADITIONAL

Alan Steinfeld QC, Francis Tregear QC, David Brownbill QC, Elspeth Talbot Rice QC, Edward Cumming QC, Elizabeth Weaver, Helen Galley, Bajul Shah, Adam Cloherty and Andrew Holden are all recommended.

XXIV Old Buildings is an established and highly respected traditional chancery set. “They are the gold standard. Barristers and clerks alike are all very easy to deal with,” comments a source, and another states that “it is a very good chambers, which gives me confidence that my clients will receive a very good service.” The set is also noted for its depth of expertise in offshore matters and its ability to tackle complex commercial cases.

Client service: Sources are particularly impressed with the clerking at XXIV Old Buildings, which is led by head of clerking Paul Horsfield. “It’s a really smooth and professional operation. The clerking is responsive and helpful – it’s an excellent set,” says a source, while another notes: “The clerking is so good, because the clerks are so commercial in their attitude and they’re incredibly easy to work with. It’s excellent clerking.”

SILKS

Alan Steinfeld QC

Frequently instructed in the most high-profile and complex traditional chancery matters, and someone with extensive experience of trust cases. He is also highly sought after for offshore work.

Strengths: “He knows everything there is to know.” “A very smooth advocate and a very nice chap.” “He is a real class act,” and “a top-class trusts litigator. Clients single him out; he has a great reputation and it is well deserved. His knowledge is superb.”

Francis Tregear QC

Respected silk with a well-established traditional chancery practice. He is a recognised authority on offshore and overseas matters, and has been called to the Bar of the Eastern Caribbean. He has an impressive depth of experience in trust and estate matters, and is particularly noted for his expertise in contentious proceedings.

Strengths: “Tremendously careful and elegant in court.”

David Brownbill QC

A highly respected silk whose broad traditional chancery practice includes frequent instructions in complex matters both onshore and offshore. He is also noted for the depth of his technical knowledge.

Strengths: “A highly intelligent individual who can see straight to the heart of a matter and easily deal with it. His advocacy skills are also impressive, and he helps judges understand the issues in a case in the most clear and efficient way.” “It is a great pleasure to work with him.”

Elspeth Talbot Rice QC

Has an exceptional reputation at the traditional Chancery Bar and is also noted for her skilful handling of large offshore matters. She is frequently sought after for the most complex, high-profile and high-value matters.

Strengths: “Outstanding.” “She is the doyenne of the trusts Bar.” “Not a single word is wasted.”  “She writes the most extraordinary papers and is a terrific cross-examiner. She knows exactly what she’s doing, and is also a lot of fun. A real star, and brilliant at handling clients.”

Edward Cumming QC

Respected for his handling of high-value cases across the full breadth of traditional chancery law. He regularly acts for very wealthy individuals. His recent work has included complex trust litigation.

Strengths: “Both delightful and brilliant – he’s just relentlessly good and relentlessly charming.” “Just one of the best around.” “He gets to the bottom of extremely complicated cases so quickly. He’s approachable, friendly and good with clients – such an amenable man.”

JUNIORS

Elizabeth Weaver

An eminent junior with a broad traditional chancery practice. She is frequently instructed in high-value matters, including cross-border cases. She handles a wide array of work, including trust disputes.

Strengths: “She’s just brilliant. She’s very clear-thinking and very good to deal with.” “Her skeleton arguments are a model of clarity. She is truly excellent – a first-class barrister.”

Helen Galley

Particularly noted for her work on trusts within a broader traditional chancery practice. She is also experienced in cases with real property aspects.

Strengths: “She’s a very practical lawyer who cuts straight to the issues.” “She’s very good when it comes to advising on ambiguous clauses in wills and trusts.”

Bajul Shah

Maintains an excellent reputation at the traditional Chancery Bar, regularly assisting charities, trustees and high net worth individuals on a wide range of matters. He is noted for his handling of both onshore and offshore matters.

Strengths: “Really good at trusts with an offshore element and financial services work. He’s an extremely bright lawyer, who just gives you immediate confidence that he understands the issues.”

Adam Cloherty

A respected junior with a wide-ranging practice who is frequently instructed in wills, trusts and estates matters. He is establishing impressive expertise in cross-border funds and charities litigation, and is also known for his work handling financial services and insolvency disputes.

Strengths: “Someone I would go to for complicated or unusual points. Someone for the niche points.” “He has a very good way about him, he is very easy to work with and he provides opinions which are straightforward and easy to understand.”

Andrew Holden

Noted for his skilful handling of a wide variety of matters, including complex trusts, disputed wills and estates work. He attracts instructions in both UK-based and offshore cases, and is particularly well known for his handling of matters concerning protectors.

Strengths: “Fantastic to work with, he’s an exceedingly brainy man, who grasps legal concepts very quickly, makes himself available and is very impressive on client calls.” “His written and oral advice are both excellent.”

 

CHARITIES

Edward Cumming QC

A well-known charities practitioner who undertakes this work as part of a broad chancery practice. His reputation in the area continues to grow, as a result of his advice on some prominent charities disputes. Lately, he has represented philanthropists, charities and other not-for-profit organisations.

Strengths: “Bright and very sharp-witted, he quickly picks up the issues.” “Very hard-working, he goes the extra mile, and has an incredible ability to grapple with points he hasn’t come across before.”

 

COMMERCIAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION

Alan Steinfeld QC, Stephen Moverley Smith QC, Philip Shepherd QC, Elspeth Talbot Rice QC, Robert Levy QC, Steven Thompson QC, Tom Montagu-Smith QC, Edward Cumming QC, Stuart Adair, Adam Cloherty and Hugh Miall are all recommended.

The set possesses significant talent in the commercial litigation sphere at both silk and junior level, and has barristers who are praised by interviewees for being “proactive and collaborative.” It is regularly involved in key cases across the sector. By way of example, it acted for the Property Alliance Group in its test case against RBS arising out of the rigging of LIBOR, and also successfully acted for Goldas in striking out a USD500 million claim brought by Société Générale concerning gold bullion consignments. Other matters undertaken include the United Company Rusal Plc dispute, which concerned one of the largest aluminium companies in Russia. 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 such as the Middle East and the Caribbean, among many others.

Client service: “The clerks, led by Paul Horsfield, are responsive and friendly.” “They are all very quick to reply to queries and highly efficient.”

SILKS

Alan Steinfeld QC

Strengths: “Incredibly intelligent and absolutely charming, he is a fantastic barrister.”

Stephen Moverley Smith QC

Strengths: “Has a wealth of experience of dealing with both English and Caribbean litigation, and is the perfect counsel for cross-border court proceedings.” “He has very good client-handling skills.”

Philip Shepherd QC

Strengths: “The barrister to unleash when you need someone tough to make your case.” “He is extremely knowledgeable and great to work with.”

Elspeth Talbot Rice QC

Strengths: “She is incredibly successful, has razor-sharp analysis and is really good at strategy.” “You can’t throw a situation at Elspeth that she hasn’t seen before, and she is always able to predict how strategies will play out.”

Robert Levy QC

Strengths: “He argues very passionately and is fantastic.” “Robert is easy to work with and gets on top of the detail.”

Steven Thompson QC

Strengths: “Knowledgeable, commercial and astute.” “He is very good with words, in both the written and verbal form, and is a beguiling presence in court.”

Tom Montagu-Smith QC

Strengths: “A lawyer with a very high success rate, he keeps himself up to date on case law and has a brilliant way with judges.” “He is excellent and rightly has a very good reputation for his work in the Middle East and DIFC courts.”

Edward Cumming QC

Strengths: “Very easy to work with, very responsive, very pragmatic and very committed.” “He gets to grips with things easily, is tenacious and really fights your corner.”

JUNIORS

Stuart Adair

Strengths: “A very good advocate who is aggressive when you need him to be and really good at thinking on his feet.” “He develops tailor-made legal strategies and thinks out of the box.”

Adam Cloherty

Strengths: “Has a very good understanding of international law and is easy to work with.” “He is just so efficient and effective.”

Hugh Miall

Strengths: “He is just brilliant; he explains things in a pragmatic way and he is really good at providing support to the client.” “Hugh is hard-working and will go the extra mile.”

 

COMPANY

Alan Steinfeld QC, Francis Tregear QC, Edward Cumming QC and Stuart Adair are all recommended.

Market sources are quick to highlight the strength of the company offering at XXIV Old Buildings, and reserve particular praise for the strength of their expertise in connection with offshore matters. A number of the market’s leading barristers practice at the chambers, and receive instructions in a variety of company matters. Examples of recent work includes a role in Carlyle Capital Corporation v Conway, significant proceedings regarding claims based on breaches of contract and fiduciary duty.

Client service: “The clerks are very engaging and quite entrepreneurial.” “They’re sensible, commercial and easy to deal with.” “The clerks are all really good and responsive, and turn things around quickly.” James Ladbrook is the senior practice manager.

SILKS

Alan Steinfeld QC

An impressive practitioner who is frequently involved in high-profile cases. He has a wealth of experience in shareholder disputes, having made appearances in all the UK courts and those of the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, the BVI and the Channel Islands. His broad practice also takes in a host of commercial chancery and partnership matters.

Strengths: “Alan is brilliant and achieves exemplary end results.”

Francis Tregear QC

Regularly instructed by well-known City and offshore firms for both litigation and advisory work. He has a specialism in hedge fund and structured investment vehicle-related matters, as well as those concerning cross-border insolvency. His company offering is complemented by his experience in fraud, asset recovery and professional negligence work.

Strengths: “His ability to forensically analyse complicated matters and to get to the core of the issue is just outstanding. He’s a great advocate who is highly responsive.”

Edward Cumming QC

An impressive company silk who receives routine instructions from a number of top City law firms. His company work benefits from wider capabilities in commercial chancery and civil fraud.

Strengths: “Absolutely exceptional. He is very hands-on and approachable, and embeds himself as part of the team.”

JUNIORS

Stuart Adair

He is regularly instructed in a variety of company law disputes, and has strong credentials in minority shareholder actions and claims against directors. Many of his cases also include an international aspect, and he has a strong offshore practice. He is also well versed in unfair prejudice claims and joint venture disputes.

Strengths: “Stuart is detailed, meticulous and incredibly helpful. He is exceptionally good.”

 

FINANCIAL SERVICES

Oliver Assersohn

A highly regarded junior who is an expert at handling complex issues relating to mis-sold investments and breaches of the perimeter. Having been on secondment to the FCA, he has highly valuable insight into the workings of the regulator.

Strengths: “An impressive specialist in FCA enforcement-related matters.” “He’s very responsive, very easy to deal with and the quality of his advice is also very good.”

 

FRAUD: CIVIL

Alan Steinfeld QC, Stephen Moverley Smith QC, Elspeth Talbot Rice QC, Robert Levy QC, Steven Thompson and Edward Cumming QC are all recommended.

XXIV Old Buildings is regularly instructed in fraud-related disputes involving offshore jurisdictions such as the BVI and the Channel Islands. The set is also noted for its expertise in domestic disputes, and its members are experienced in the handling of cases involving allegations of conspiracy, misappropriation and fraudulent transactions. The team is also well versed in obtaining and opposing applications for injunctive relief, such as disclosure, freezing and search orders.

Client service: “The chambers is very well organised and the clerking service runs smoothly.” Paul Horsfield is head of clerking.

SILKS

Alan Steinfeld QC

A respected silk well known for his work in the fields of offshore trusts, company law and civil fraud. He has conducted actions in a host of jurisdictions beyond the UK for many years.

Strengths: “An excellent barrister who is charming in court and well received by judges.”

Stephen Moverley Smith QC

Handles substantial civil fraud litigation as part of a practice that also covers trusts, finance and insolvency. He has acted in numerous international cases, relating to such jurisdictions as the BVI, Russia and Gibraltar.

Strengths: “He combines a wealth of experience in English and Caribbean litigation, thus making him a perfect counsel for cross-border litigation in the Caribbean region.” “He knows the BVI court rules and culture really well.”

Elspeth Talbot Rice QC

Effective at dealing with large, multimillion-pound fraud and asset-tracing claims. Her practice also encompasses general commercial dispute resolution and traditional chancery. Many of her instructions have an international aspect.

Strengths: “She is very well regarded, has a good courtroom manner and good litigation instincts.” “A ruthlessly good performer who is able to deal with difficult situations and make the absolute best of it.”

Robert Levy QC

An experienced commercial silk who has fought and won major civil fraud cases for clients located across the world including in the Caribbean, South America and Russia. He acts for both claimants and defendants.

Strengths: “A tenacious advocate who gets on top of the detail and is easy to work with.”

Steven Thompson QC

Has run a successful commercial practice in silk since being appointed in 2015, appearing in cases arising out of fraud in a number of jurisdictions. He has dealt with various allegations including breach of fiduciary duty and dishonest assistance. He is respected for his international experience in such jurisdictions as Russia, China, the BVI and Switzerland.

Strengths: “An understated and very clever barrister.”

Edward Cumming QC

Talented silk with a busy commercial practice, which includes frequent civil fraud instructions. He boasts extensive experience in acting as sole counsel. He is well regarded for his handling of matters involving banks.

Strengths: “He is imaginative and super bright.” “A tenacious silk who is very eloquent and meticulous on detail.” “He is responsive, clear and shrewd.”

 

INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION: ARBITRATORS

Michael Black QC

Noted for his experience arbitrating complex disputes in the Middle East. He is well regarded for his ability to master the facts of challenging arbitrations and calm handling of tribunals.

Strengths: “He’s very quick on legal issues and at reaching practical solutions to tricky issues. He doesn’t get too wound up in the detail.” “He is very approachable and able to turn his hand to many types of cases.”

 

INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION: CONSTRUCTION/ENGINEERING

Michael Black QC

An accomplished practitioner who has a strong track record in construction and engineering arbitrations, including those in the oil and gas sector. He takes appointments both as arbitrator and as counsel. He often undertakes work concerning the Middle East.

Strengths: “He is extremely skilled, with a high level of acumen.”

Tom Montagu-Smith QC

Enters the rankings this year following a busy year representing contractors and multinational companies in arbitrations under DIFC rules. His practice has a strong focus on South-East Asia and the UAE.

Strengths: “He is very confident and articulate and has a nice manner with the tribunal and judiciary. He has a formidable knowledge of the law.”

 

INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION: GENERAL COMMERCIAL & INSURANCE

Michael Black QC

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.

Strengths: “He is good on tricky interpretations and has an easy way with his presentation. He is good at getting to the crux of things in a straightforward way, which makes him an impressive advocate.” “He is a thorough expert in the Middle East and he is very well attuned to how businesses work and how information flows in those jurisdictions.”

 

MEDIATORS

Michael King

A recognised specialist mediator in contentious trusts and probate area, whose practice also covers commercial disputes in both the UK and internationally. He’s “one of a handful of mediators that you can go to in the trusts field, knowing that you will get specialist knowledge of the area.”

 

OFFSHORE

Alan Steinfeld QC, Stephen Moverley Smith QC, Francis Tregear QC, David Brownbill QC, Elspeth Talbot Rice QC, Robert Levy QC, Edward Cumming QC, Elizabeth Weaver, Marcus Staff, Bajul Shah, Nicole Langlois, Adam Cloherty, and Andrew Holden  are all recommended.

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: “They are one of our go-to sets. They deliver on time and we like working with them.”

Client service: “The clerks are very helpful, very responsive and always available.” “The clerking is very modern and user-friendly.” Paul Horsfield is the head of clerking at the set.

SILKS

Alan Steinfeld QC

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: “He has great analytical skills.”

Stephen Moverley Smith QC

He 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: “An excellent advocate who is very persuasive on his feet.” “Very hands-on, diligent and a very safe pair of hands.”

Francis Tregear QC

Well known for his liquidation work, 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: “Insightful, user-friendly and very astute.” “Solid and unflappable.”

David Brownbill QC

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: “Extremely thorough and delightful to work with.” “Very technically gifted.” “Very bright, a real pleasure to work with.”

Elspeth Talbot Rice QC

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: “Commercial and good on her feet.” “Very strategic, no-nonsense and instils a lot of confidence.” “Very good at understanding the clients needs.”

Robert Levy QC

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 excellent and great to deal with.” “He is a very calm, efficient silk.”

Edward Cumming QC

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: “Super helpful, keen to assist and technically brilliant.” “Very good at mastering the facts at the law.” “Incredibly able and pleasant to deal with.”

JUNIORS

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: “A very articulate and impressively persuasive barrister.”

Marcus Staff

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.

Strengths: “He has a great international trusts practice.”

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: “Incredibly personable and exceedingly bright.” “He is supremely talented.”

Nicole Langlois

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: “Very, very good and approachable.”

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: “A very strong senior junior who provides clear and concise advice.”

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: “Technically excellent but also robust, a barrister you want if you are running a novel argument.” “Commercial, intelligent and approachable.” “Very technical, capable and user-friendly.”

 

PARTNERSHIP

Alan Steinfeld QC, Elspeth Talbot Rice QC and Helen Galley are all recommended.

A set that offers a strong bench of partnership practitioners on both the contentious and non-contentious sides. Its members act for financial services clients, property developers and traditional family-owned partnership structures, among others, and have particular strength in partnership cases in offshore jurisdictions.

Client service: “The clerks are all very helpful and friendly.” Paul Horsfield is the head of clerking.

SILKS

Alan Steinfeld QC

Commands tremendous respect as one of the London Bar’s most active and redoubtable commercial and chancery silks, being particularly well known for his handling of partnership matters with a strong commercial or financial services aspect. He regularly acts in complex partnership issues considered in the courts of a number of British offshore territories.

Strengths: “A leading counsel with extensive knowledge and experience of partnership and LLP law. ” “He is confident, authoritative and decisive.” “Clients feel they are in safe hands.”

Elspeth Talbot Rice QC

Noted for combining a formidable courtroom presence with widely admired clarity of thought when dealing with especially complex and highly contentious partnership matters. Her experience covers the full range of partnership types, and she has particular familiarity with issues affecting commercial, financial services or family-owned structures.

Strengths: “Very effective in negotiations and has a powerful presence.” “She comes straight to the point and sticks to it. Her sense of confidence comes across forcefully in court.”

JUNIORS

Helen Galley

A seasoned senior junior with a robust practice that covers both general chancery law and partnership law. She is notable for her expertise in property development and farming partnership disputes. Galley also provides advice on partnership dissolution.

Strengths: “A real grafter who turns papers round quickly.” “In court she stands firm and sticks to her guns.”

 

RESTRUCTURING/INSOLVENCY

Alan Steinfeld QC, Stephen Moverley Smith QC, Steven Thompson QC, Richard Ritchie, Stuart Adair and Hugh Miall are all recommended.

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 clerks are very responsive and have quick turnaround times. The nature of this type of work is often urgent and they are good at putting forward recommendations of available counsel.” “The clerks are user-friendly and easy to get along with.” Paul Horsfield is head of clerking.

SILKS

Alan Steinfeld QC

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 one of the great brains of the English Bar.” “He is fantastic – incredibly intelligent and absolutely charming.”

Stephen Moverley Smith QC

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 an excellent barrister and a pleasure to work with. He has a wonderful personality, he is very engaging and his written work is outstanding.” “A very creative thinker who is very familiar with both the offshore and onshore worlds.”

Steven Thompson QC

Silk who has a strong reputation for his effective advocacy style. He frequently advises clients based in the Middle East, and his deft handling of cross-border matters wins notable praise. He is called upon for his expertise in technical matters concerning complex financial transactions.

Strengths: “A hugely experienced, very powerful and persuasive advocate.”

JUNIORS

Stuart Adair

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: “Stuart is a brilliant advocate in court – very experienced, knowledgeable and thorough in his work and approach. He’s also very quick in dealing with papers and is very responsive – an absolute pleasure to work with.”

Hugh Miall

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: “Super bright, down to earth and approachable. He distils complicated concepts into usable language.” “He’s very easy to deal with, takes a sensible view and is very good at talking directly without offending the clients.” “His grasp of the detail is terrific.”

 

SPORT

Ian Meakin

A Formula 1 expert who frequently acts in highly contentious contractual matters involving the motorsport industry. He has also acted in cases concerning football and a range of high-profile doping cases.

Strengths: “He has excellent advocacy skills and is excellent at cross-examining witnesses.”

 

TRAVEL: REGULATORY & COMMERCIAL

Philip Shepherd QC and Bajul Shah are both recommended.

Philip Shepherd QC

Respected silk who is frequently instructed by travel agents and airlines in aviation-related disputes. An experienced commercial litigator and arbitrator, he also advises on jurisdiction and foreign law issues.

Strengths: “Very knowledgeable and a robust advocate. He has the ear of the court.”

Bajul Shah

Undertakes commercial disputes in the aviation industry, and has substantial aircraft leasing and maintenance knowledge. He also advises on product liability and potential engineering negligence issues.

Strengths: “An impressive barrister who adapts quickly to his client’s needs.”

 

TRUSTS

SILKS

Alan Steinfeld QC

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 top-class trusts litigator, who is a real class act. Clients single him out for his superb knowledge of the law.”

David Brownbill QC

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: “Easy to chat to, very engaging, thorough and someone who thinks through all the issues very well.” “He is technically absolutely excellent.”

Elspeth Talbot Rice QC

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 trust world.

Strengths: “Elspeth Talbot Rice QC has an unquestionable knowledge of the law and the strength of character to inspire confidence in even the most demanding clients.” “She is a formidable advocate with a very bright mind, who never gives up – you really feel that she is fighting for you in court.”

JUNIORS

Marcus Staff

A former head of the set’s Geneva office, Staff is a man with long experience in trusts-related work. He counts a number of key solicitors firms amongst those that instruct him, and 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 very clever litigator, who’s thorough and hard-working. He’s thinks very hard about trusts law and writes very well on the subject too.”

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. He is particularly adept at handling large offshore disputes and often acts in high-profile, multibillion-dollar disputes in key jurisdictions.

Strengths: “Has an incredibly astute mind and a very very busy practice for a junior. He adopts a lovely down-to-earth approach.”