Legal 500

LEGAL 500 UK BAR DIRECTORY

2021 RECOMMENDATIONS

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

Aviation Insolvency
Banking and Finance International Arbitration
Charities Mediators
Commercial Litigation Offshore
Company and Partnership Pensions
Construction Private Client: Trusts and Probate
Financial Services Regulation Professional Negligence
Fraud: Civil Property Litigation

 

AVIATION

XXIV Old Buildings is recommended as a leading aviation chambers (tier 2).

Increasingly viewed as an ‘impressive‘ set in the aviation space, XXIV Old Buildings acts for airlines, lessors, and manufacturers, among other aviation stakeholders, mostly in commercial disputes. One notable highlight for Philip Shepherd QC includes Wallis Trading Inc v Air Tanzania Corporation Limited, a claim for over $30m against Air Tanzania and the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania. Steven Thompson QC is praised for sector knowledge, while at the junior end Bajul Shah and Arshad Ghaffar are the names to note; Tom Stewart Coat is a rising star in the field.

  • Philip Shepherd QC – ‘Direct, forceful and no-nonsense. A formidable advocate.
  • Steven Thompson QC – ‘He has good aviation knowledge and is very capable on large complex cases.
  • Arshad Ghaffar – ‘Has excellent knowledge of aviation matters.
  • Bajul Shah – ‘A very strong, sensible and calm advocate. He is a pleasure to deal with and always very clear in his advice.
  • Tom Stewart Coats – ‘He has exceptional knowledge of the law, and is a very effective advocate.


BANKING & FINANCE

XXIV Old Buildings is recommended as a leading banking and finance set (tier 3).

XXIV Old Buildings is ‘a fantastic set‘ where ‘everyone has been great – really down to earth and user friendly‘. The chambers has ‘really increased the depth of its expertise over recent years‘ and its members are ‘extremely cost effective‘. Its members have good expertise in hedge fund and structured investment vehicle-related matters, mis-selling claims and cross-border insolvencies. Highlight cases include Al Sadik v Investcorp BSC  where Michael Black QC and Sarah Bayliss represented the claimant. Stephen Moverley Smith QC also represented the defendants Société Générale v Goldas, while Francis Tregear QC led Alexander Pelling in Janus Capital Management LLC v Safeguard World International Ltd.

  • Michael Black QC – ‘Quick to understand the issues involved and has an excellent ability in explaining his thoughts in the briefest way possible.
  • Stephen Moverley Smith QC – ‘Very good and remains my first choice.
  • Francis Tregear QC – Always prepared and available, and very impressive ability to deal with and solve complex issues.
  • Marcus Staff – ‘Has good experience and sufficient flexibility when dealing with difficult clients.
  • Alexander Pelling – ‘Thoughtful and tactically astute.
  • Sarah Bayliss – ‘Has an encyclopaedic knowledge of banking law and is extremely user friendly.
  • Oliver Assersohn – ‘Highly personable and a dream to work with – slots into the team very well and a tremendous team player.


CHARITIES

  • Elspeth Talbot Rice QC – ‘Is fiercely bright, commercial and user friendly. She is tenacious and is certainly someone you would rather have in your corner than your opponent’s.
  • Edward Cumming QC – ‘He is highly intelligent, quick to pick up the core points including points not picked up by others. His written arguments are very clear.


COMMERCIAL LITIGATION

XXIV Old Buildings is recommended as a leading commercial litigation set (tier 2).

XXIV Old Buildings is ‘one of the leading sets of commercial and Chancery chambers‘ and noted for its ‘strength in offshore and international cases‘. The set has several ‘first-class silks and excellent juniors at all ends of the experience spectrum‘ who represent fantastic value‘. Clients also appreciate the ‘fantastic training programmes‘. Significant mandates include the liquidation of the Herald Fund, one of the largest Madoff feeder funds, in which Francis Tregear QC, Michael Black QC and Bajul Shah were all involved. Robert Levy QC and Hugh Miall have also been representing over 100 claimants in Ward & Ors v Savill & Ors.

  • Alan Steinfeld QC – ‘Phenomenally bright, great court room manner, garners respect and clients love him.
  • Michael Black QC – ‘A pleasure to work with, highly engaged and a team player – he has deep expertise in corporate matters and his practice bridges effectively English law and the laws of Middle Eastern jurisdictions.
  • Stephen Moverley Smith QC – ‘A genuinely good fellow, his gentle approach in submissions seems to have the ears of the Judges.
  • Philip Shepherd QC – ‘Just the type of senior silk you want in your corner in a challenging commercial case.
  • Francis Tregear QC ‘A pleasure to deal with and an excellent advocate.
  • Elspeth Talbot Rice QC – ‘Superb QC to work with – extremely responsive and empathetic whilst setting a clear path forwards
  • Robert Levy QC – ‘A real star and an absolute pleasure to deal with – he is a lethally effective cross-examiner and has an almost super-human work ethic.
  • Steven Thompson QC – ‘Fabulous advocate – punches the points home, and really strong analytically, commercial, savvy, subtle, and assertive.
  • Elizabeth Weaver – ‘She is smart, efficient, pragmatic and gets straight to the heart of contentious issues cost effectively.
  • Stuart Adair – ‘He is very creative in developing tailor-made legal strategies and regularly demonstrates thinking out-of-the-box approaches.
  • Alexander Pelling – ‘He’s not fazed by anything in either litigation or arbitration.
  • Bajul Shah – ‘Bajul stands out for the clarity of his thought – he is fantastic at seeing the wood from the trees and has an uncanny ability to pick out the issues that really matter.
  • Nicole Langlois – ‘Very articulate in her drafting and has a keen eye in spotting potential strengths and weakness of a case.
  • Edward Knight – ‘His judgment is always very reliable and he has the intellectual clout to intimidate most opponents.
  • Oliver Assersohn – ‘Technically outstanding, and very hard working and responsive – he also has very sound client management (expectation management and empathy) skills.
  • Adam Cloherty – ‘Top notch advocate, great on his feet and on paper – he makes well thought out, powerful submissions.
  • Hugh Miall – ‘He is a highly effective advocate both on paper and in person.


COMPANY AND PARTNERSHIP

XXIV Old Buildings is recommended as a leading company and partnership chambers (tier 2).

Experts in company and partnership law, barristers in XXIV Old Buildings lead the way in Chancery and offshore work, as well as domestic and international partnership disputes in the professional services industries. Elspeth Talbot Rice QC’s practice spans both company and partnership; she is acting for BVI company Ben Nevis in a case involving a claim by the South African Revenue Service for the wrongful transfer of assets for the purposes of evading tax. Elizabeth Weaver is acting for the defendants in Carlyle Capital Corporation Limited (in liquidation) and others v Conway & others, a $2bn breach of contract and fiduciary duty claim arising out of the failure of a US hedge fund incorporated in Guernsey. Making a name for himself as ‘years ahead of his call‘, rising star Timothy Sherwin has an increasingly active practice in section 994 petitions and companies held in trust structures.

Company

  • Alan Steinfeld QC – ‘Garners respect and loved by clients. Very impressive and knowledgeable in partnership law.
  • Michael Black QC – ‘Clear and concise in his advice.
  • Stephen Moverley Smith QC – ‘Very sharp mind. Great clarity in drafting. Tactical nous.
  • Francis Tregear QC – ‘His advocacy is superb and his drafting and insight into the intricacies of a case is exceptional.
  • Elspeth Talbot Rice QC – ‘Quite simply a superb lawyer and a great person to have on your team.
  • Lyndsey De Mestre QCProvides clear advice.
  • Edward Cumming QC – ‘Huge amounts of energy, and an appetite to get involved in the detail of a matter.
  • Elizabeth Weaver – ‘An exceptional junior for company law matters.
  • Stuart Adair – ‘He has a first-class knowledge of company and partnership law and a great ability to dissect the issues in a case, analyse them and apply the law to them.
  • Hugh Miall – ‘Very good grip of the authorities and superb ability to marshal the facts and present them persuasively.
  • Timothy Sherwin – ‘He is exceptionally bright, years ahead of his call in his knowledge and capability, extremely approachable and conscientious.

Partnership

  • Alan Steinfeld QC – ‘Garners respect and loved by clients. Very impressive and knowledgeable in partnership law.
  • Francis Tregear QCHis advocacy is superb and his drafting and insight into the intricacies of a case is exceptional.
  • Elspeth Talbot Rice QC – ‘Quite simply a superb lawyer and a great person to have on your team.
  • Helen Galley – ‘Approaches cases very sympathetically, but also in a pragmatic and no-nonsense way.


CONSTRUCTION

Michael Black QC, Tom Montagu-Smith QC and Arshad Ghaffar are recommended in construction, particularly for their work in the Middle East.

  • Michael Black QC – ‘He is highly experienced, a good case manager, and has a good understanding of the UAE market.
  • Tom Montagu-Smith QC – ‘Tom has extensive experience in the UAE and understands UAE law better than most barristers.
  • Arshad Ghaffar – ‘He is logical, incisive, committed and hard-working.


CIVIL FRAUD

XXIV Old Buildings is recommended as a leading fraud chambers (tier 2).

XXIV Old Buildings is ‘one of the go-to chambers‘ with ‘brilliant strength in depth‘ and ‘ a large number of barristers from silk down to the lowest junior who are outstanding on this field‘. The chambers is especially noted for its ‘strong links to offshore centres and Dubai‘. Noteworthy cases include RAK Investments v Bestfort Development Ltd, a $42m fraud claim from Georgia in which Stephen Moverley Smith QC and Alexander Pelling are both involved. Robert Levy QC and Hugh Miall also acted for over 100 claimants in the long-running asset tracing dispute, Ward & Ors v Savill & Ors. The ‘highly effective and dependable‘ Timothy Sherwin is a rising star in chambers.

  • Alan Steinfeld QC – ‘Absolutely excellent and I would recommend him unhesitatingly for chancery and trusts work.
  • Stephen Moverley Smith QC – ‘Extremely responsive and able to articulate complex arguments in a persuasive and attractive manner. His gentle approach in submissions seems to have the ears of the judges.
  • Philip Shepherd QC – ‘He has seen it all and has a well-judged eye as to when to run a point aggressively, and when to adopt a softer strategy.
  • Francis Tregear QC – ‘Very focused on the strategy, has a clear and reasonable way to explain the choices, and is always available.
  • Elspeth Talbot Rice QC – ‘A great, robust advocate and definitely one to have on your side.
  • Robert Levy QC – ‘A natural choice for offshore fraud work – he is phenomenally hard-working, incredibly aggressive, and absolutely committed to his clients.
  • Steven Thompson QC – ‘Steven is a confident and assertive advocate who presents well in consultation with clients. Good grasp of details and persuasive presentation to the court: especially orally.
  • Stuart Adair – ‘A strong, methodical advocate and able to handle very big disputes – he is at a silk’s level.
  • Alexander Pelling – ‘Clients trust him because he understands their problems and thinks creatively about how to solve them.
  • Bajul Shah – ‘He is supremely calm, both on his feet and in conference with clients – nothing perturbs him, and there are very few barristers who respond better when up against the ropes.
  • Edward Knight – ‘Edward gives decisive advice which engenders confidence.
  • Hugh Miall – ‘Excellent junior. Focussed and hard working. Good written style.
  • Timothy Sherwin – ‘Exceptionally bright, years ahead of his call in his knowledge and capability, extremely approachable and conscientious.


FINANCIAL SERVICES REGULATION

  • Oliver Assersohn – ‘Excellent attention to detail, good analytical skills coupled with regulatory knowledge and experience.


INSOLVENCY

XXIV Old Buildings is recommended as a leading insolvency chambers (tier 2).

Members of XXIV Old Buildings handle all aspects of domestic and international insolvency law, drawing on specific expertise in arbitration, Chancery, commercial and trusts work. Among high-profile matters that exemplify the set’s strengths, Elspeth Talbot Rice QC is acting for the trustees of Boris Berezovsky’s estate in Gorbunova v Berezovsky, while Francis Tregear QC is instructed on behalf of the additional liquidator for the Herald Fund, one of the largest feeder funds with claims against the Madoff estate, in Re Herald Fund SPC. Also of note, Edward Knight, who is also a qualified chartered accountant, is noted for handling cases at the intersection between fraud and insolvency.

  • Alan Steinfeld QC – ‘An absolutely superb silk.
  • Stephen Moverley Smith QC – ‘He has a razor-sharp intellect and is able to cut through complicated legal and factual matters with ease.
  • Francis Tregear QC – ‘Excellent value and very user friendly.
  • Elspeth Talbot Rice QC – ‘Fiercely bright, commercial and user friendly.
  • Robert Levy QC – ‘He really knows his stuff. He gives robust advice and is an extraordinarily effective cross-examiner.
  • Steven Thompson QC – ‘Good grasp of details and persuasive presentation to the court.
  • Lyndsey de Mestre QC – ‘Calm and well-judged advocacy.
  • Edward Cumming QC – ‘Very insightful and gets to the point quickly.
  • Stuart Adair – ‘He has wide knowledge of the law in this field and the ability to get good results for the client.
  • Edward KnightExtremely bright and being a qualified accountant, he brings an unmatched level of forensic analysis to complex insolvencies, especially where the company has tried to mask its dishonesty.
  • Sarah Bayliss – ‘Her analysis is clear and practical.
  • Daniel Warents – ‘He is a great advocate and is excellent on paper and when on his feet.
  • Hugh Miall – ‘Very commercial but also technical at the same time. Bright and approachable.


INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION: ARBITRATORS

  • Michael Black QC – ‘His experience and abilities are such that he is the go-to arbitrator for any disputes in the Middle East region.


INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION: COUNSEL

Michael Black QC, Tom Montagu Smith QC, Ian Meakin and Arshad Ghaffar are recommended.

  • Michael Black QC – ‘A top-rate silk with years of experience. A familiar barrister appearing as counsel in international commercial arbitrations with a UAE link.
  • Tom Montagu-Smith QC – ‘Richly deserves his reputation as a leader in the field of UAE arbitration law and practice – he brings forensic knowledge, combined with unparalleled skills in advocacy before Tribunals.
  • Ian MeakinHe masters cross-examinations and has an excellent relationship with clients – he is a great team player. He is a highly persuasive advocate in particular with tribunals comprising continental European arbitrators. He is a highly respected member of the Swiss arbitration community and the first port of call for English law disputes in Switzerland.
  • Arshad Ghaffar – ‘Great attention to detail, excellent cross-examination skills and forceful advocacy.


MEDIATORS

Michael King – ‘a brilliant mediator who will not allow parties to let matters drift; he is thoroughly effective in achieving a resolution‘. He is highly experienced and acts across London and the regions in complex, trust, probate, estates and inheritance disputes. He has acted in approximately 180 mediations to date.


OFFSHORE

XXIV Old Buildings is recommended as a leading offshore chambers (tier 1).

One of the go-to chambers for international contentious trusts work, XXIV Old Buildings has ‘a fantastic reputation and a great selection of very capable and impressive trust disputes barristers‘, as well as strength on insolvency and commercial litigation matters. Elspeth Talbot Rice QC represents the claimant in the Wong v Grand View case in Bermuda concerning trusts containing the legacy of the founder of Formosa Plastics, while Stephen Moverley Smith QC represented the appellant in Magner v RBS International, a Gibraltarian case concerning dishonest assistance before the Privy Council in the wake of the collapse of law firm Marrache & Co. Unusually for the London Bar, Nicole Langlois, a former Carey Olsen partner, is also a Jersey advocate.

  • Alan Steinfeld QC – ‘Very clever and makes difficult concepts approachable.
  • Stephen Moverley Smith QC – ‘He has a razor-sharp intellect and is able to cut through complicated legal and factual matters with ease.
  • Francis Tregear QC – ‘He commands respect with his experience and is very impressive in court.
  • David Brownbill QC – ‘A calm advocate and a real leader in the field.
  • Elspeth Talbot Rice QC – ‘In a world of waffle, she gives clear advice.
  • Robert Levy QC – ‘Unstuffy and easy to work with, plus tenacious as an advocate.
  • Steven Thompson QC – ‘Very good at reading judges, he always pitches it just right.
  • Edward Cumming QC – ‘The perfect modern barrister.
  • Elizabeth Weaver – ‘Instructed on a range of advisory matters.
  • Marcus Staff – ‘He is a barrister of the highest calibre. He is incredibly detailed, leaves no stone unturned and user-friendly.
  • Bajul Shah – ‘An incredibly talented senior junior.
  • Nicole Langlois – ‘A tenacious advocate who sees the key issues immediately.
  • Sarah Bayliss – ‘Sarah is easy to work with, practical, and excellent at focusing on the parts of a case which really matter, producing reliably high quality work throughout.
  • Adam Cloherty – ‘A good team player and a constructive thinker.
  • Andrew Holden – ‘A strategic thinker and a good communicator.
  • Daniel Warents – ‘A great advocate excellent on paper and on his feet.


PENSIONS

  • Alan Steinfeld QC – ‘His advocacy is tremendous and he really does have the ear of the court.


PRIVATE CLIENT: TRUSTS AND PROBATE

XXIV Old Buildings is recommended as a leading private client chambers (tier 1)

XXIV Old Buildings is an ‘excellent set for traditional Chancery work and one of the ‘go-to’ sets for trust and probate litigation matters. It has  a real depth of experience in this area, with specialists of differing years call.’ The set has been described as  ‘one of the premier contentious trusts sets, offering a host of high-quality QCs and junior counsel.’ Its established reputation in this area is exemplified by Alan Steinfeld QC who, in Gerald Metals v (1) Safeguard Management Corp (2) The Trustees of the Timis Trust, advised the trustees of a Cayman trust in a major case about potential claims against a third-party and the obtainment of Beddoe relief. This year sees Edward Cumming QC enter the silks rankings, Daniel Warents join the junior list, and Timothy Sherwin recognised as a rising star of the Bar.

  • Alan Steinfeld QC – ‘A persuasive advocate.
  • Stephen Moverley Smith QCUtterly and disarmingly charming. He has a razor sharp mind and is a brilliant barrister.
  • Francis Tregear QCHe commands respect with his experience and was very impressive in court.
  • David Brownbill QC – ‘Is very knowledgeable, technical, detailed and thorough. He is a persuasive and calming advocate and a real leader in the field.
  • Elspeth Talbot Rice QC – ‘Is technically exceptional, a great strategic thinker and has excellent client communication skills. One of the leading silks in her field.
  • Edward Cumming QC – ‘Humour, hard work, stamina and a very large brain – nothing phases him.
  • Michael Gadd – ‘Has an excellent grasp of the detail.
  • Elizabeth WeaverIs a persuasive advocate with extensive knowledge and experience in contentious trust and probate matters.
  • Helen Galley – ‘Straight to the point, very good with clients, fast turnaround with work.
  • Bajul Shah – ‘Very knowledgeable.
  • Adam Cloherty – ‘Never fails to impress with his incisive commentary and robust advocacy. He is a great barrister to have on one’s side in a difficult case in light of his strong and positive approach.
  • Andrew Holden – ‘Is an outstanding junior, incredibly bright and very good and patient with clients.
  • Daniel Warents – ‘A very experienced practitioner.
  • Timothy Sherwin – ‘Has an excellent nose for the way in which judges are likely to approach cases instinctively. He is tough, tenacious and charming.


PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE

XXIV Old Buildings is recommended as a leading professional negligence chambers (tier 4).

XXIV Old Buildings handles claims against solicitors, barristers, accountants, auditors, surveyors, valuers and trustees, and is particularly experienced in professional negligence cases involving financial mismanagement. Highlights include Francis Tregear QC acting for a Swiss investment bank in The Public Institution for Social Security v Al Rajaan, which relates to breach of fiduciary duty and tracing claims, as well as appearing in Jackson & Money v Gershinson & Others, which concerned a claim of breach of duty against the directors of a company in liquidation. In addition, Helen Galley appeared in Southwark Living Ltd v Cramer Pelmont, a solicitors’ negligence claim.


PROPERTY LITIGATION

Helen Galley – ‘She has an abundance of common sense, gets on well with her clients, is forthright and is speedy with her written work.