Legal 500

LEGAL 500 UK BAR DIRECTORY

2022 RECOMMENDATIONS

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

Aviation Insolvency
Banking and Finance International Arbitration: Arbitrators
Charities International Arbitration: Counsel
Commercial Litigation Mediators
Company and Partnership Offshore
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).

Considered a ‘very efficient, personable and helpful‘ set in the aviation sector, XXIV Old Buildings is a key resource for aviation lessors, manufacturers, and airlines, primarily in private law disputes. Steven Thompson QC is considered an ‘excellent advocate‘ by his peers, while juniors Bajul Shah and Arshad Ghaffar are notable for their work on high-value claims. Erin Hitchens focuses primarily on matters in the Commercial Court. Tom Stewart Coats is another key individual

  • Steven Thompson QC – ‘A great barrister for any commercial or fraud case, Steven has a particular specialism in aviation, and it shows. One of the absolute best that you can instruct on an aviation case.
  • Arshad Ghaffar – ‘He 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.
  • Erin Hitchens – ‘Tenacious, hardworking, user-friendly and good intellect, allied to sound legal judgement and commerciality.
  • Heather Murphy – ‘Heather is very diligent and thorough and takes every point available to her client.
  • Tom Stewart Coats – ‘Tom is really likeable and a team player. He generates ideas and really contributes. He is a highly intelligent and effective litigator, is highly responsive, and a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend.


BANKING & FINANCE

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

XXIV Old Buildings has a good spread of members with strong banking and finance expertise, both at the junior and senior level. The set is especially strong on banking disputes involving a strong offshore or trusts element, and several members also have considerable expertise in the Dubai International Financial Centre courts. Significant cases in London include Elite Property Holdings & ors v Barclays Bank Plc, in which Edward Cumming QC represented the claimants in a case regarding an alleged conspiracy between the bank and an accountancy firm to put the client in administration. Stephen Moverley Smith QC and Sarah Bayliss represented the defendant, an insurance subsidiary of Credit Suisse, in Ivanishvili v Credit Suisse Life (Bermuda) Ltd, in an investment fraud claim brought by the former President of Georgia. Oliver Assersohn is also highly rated in this field, as well as broader financial services matters.

  • Stephen Moverley Smith QC – ‘He has impressive court room presence and brings a wealth of experience to his cases. User friendly across the team and with clients.
  • Francis Tregear QC – A consummate gentleman; cool under pressure, exceedingly pleasant to deal with regardless of the demands of the case, thoughtful and measured in his advocacy and highly responsive.
  • Edward Cumming QC – ‘Absolutely superb – he is particularly strong in the banking field and is excellent for the claimant side.
  • Marcus Staff – ‘He is engaged, to the point, highly intelligent, innovative, industrious and a team player.
  • Alexander Pelling – ‘Great to work with – he focuses in on the key points with an eagle eye, superb draftsman and great advocate.
  • Sarah Bayliss – ‘Superb with sensitive clients. Exceptional grasp of the detail, with sound strategic judgement.
  • Oliver Assersohn – ‘A superbly able junior, if there is an answer to a problem he will find it.


CHARITIES

  • Elspeth Talbot Rice QC – ‘Elspeth is a very strong and hardworking advocate.
  • Edward Cumming QC – ‘Edward is quite simply brilliant. He has an excellent mind and is exceptional on his feet, dynamic and highly charismatic. A silk who has a keen eye for strategy and a great ability with people.


COMMERCIAL LITIGATION

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

XXIV Old Buildings ‘has an astounding number of highly talented barristers, from experienced QCs to the most junior of juniors, practicing across a wide range of topics from traditional Chancery work to commercial work‘. The set is especially strong on offshore and trusts work, but has successfully shifted to a much more full service offering in recent years. Robert Levy QC and Hugh Miall represented over a hundred claimants in Ward & Ors v Savill, in a bit to recover assets from offshore entities involved in a major tax avoidance scheme. In addition to several top level silks, the set also fields a number of highly experienced and respected senior juniors, such as Elizabeth Weaver, Stuart Adair, Bajul Shah  and Alexander Pelling who regularly lead on their own matters.

  • Alan Steinfeld QC – ‘Alan commands the court room – he is incredibly intelligent and sparkly.
  • 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 – ‘He has impressive court room presence and brings a wealth of experience to his cases. User-friendly across the team and with clients.
  • Francis Tregear QC ‘A consummate gentleman, cool under pressure and exceedingly pleasant to deal with regardless of the demands of the case. Francis is thoughtful and measured in his advocacy and highly responsive.
  • Elspeth Talbot Rice QC – ‘A formidable and powerful advocate, with real gravitas in court. Her no-nonsense approach and fearless and combative style is admired by both the court and opponents.
  • Robert Levy QC – ‘An excellent trial advocate. He is the best solicitors have seen on cross-examination, delivering a perfectly executed strategy which leaves the other side’s case is tatters.
  • Steven Thompson QC – ‘An awesome talent. Provides exccellent advice and does not sit on the fence.
  • Edward Cumming QC – ‘He is fantastic at absorbing and analysing complex information quickly, and can formulate very sound advice at an impressive speed.
  • Elizabeth Weaver – ‘Superb – she has all of the qualities of a silk, and is hugely experienced and effective both with clients and in the court room. She is a fantastic all round advocate who solicitors would not hesitate to instruct again.
  • Stuart Adair – ‘Go-to counsel for substantial and complex cases, a definite alternative for a Silk. He is good on his feet and aggressive when he needs to be.
  • Alexander Pelling – ‘Alexander is great to work with – he focuses in on the key points with an eagle eye, superb draftsman and great advocate.
  • Bajul Shah – ‘Very bright, he possesses a deep understanding of the law. A very effective advocate with a gentle style.
  • Nicole Langlois – ‘Thoughtful, commercial, approachable and experienced, she takes care to consider the practical as well as the pure law aspects.
  • Edward Knight – ‘He has a gravitas and presence that demands attention. His brain is the size of a planet.
  • Oliver Assersohn – ‘Oliver has a rare mix of commercial acumen, empathy and wide-ranging communication skills which enable productive engagement at all levels.
  • Adam Cloherty – ‘An absolute star. Practical yet thorough and very user-friendly.
  • Hugh Miall – ‘He is really top notch. With superb strategic judgement, he is very easy to work with and a star in the making.


COMPANY AND PARTNERSHIP

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

Appearing in substantial company and partnerships law matters in equal measure, XXIV Old Buildings is a go-to set for trials before the High Court and abroad. Alan Steinfeld QC is highly rated senior silk across both disciplines, described as a ‘tour de force’ by an instructing client. A considerable bulk of mandates for the set involve international and offshore proceedings, particularly Stephen Moverley Smith QC’s practice, whose recent highlights included directors’ disputes in the BVI and Cayman courts. Stuart Adair maintains a strong reputation in representing energy companies across the CIS region, notably in regards to contentious joint venture fallouts. Helen Galley is currently handling a spate of farming partnerships disputes.

Company

  • Alan Steinfeld QC – ‘Fantastic. Well respected by peers and clients.
  • Michael Black QC – ‘Clear and concise in his advice.
  • Stephen Moverley Smith QC – ‘He always has a clever perspective to add to any case.
  • Francis Tregear QC – ‘Cool under pressure, exceedingly pleasant to deal with regardless of the demands of the case, thoughtful and measured in his advocacy and highly responsive.
  • Elspeth Talbot Rice QC – ‘Few stand comparison with Elspeth in the partnership field. She scares opponents and is loved by clients.
  • Lyndsey De Mestre QCProvides clear advice.
  • Edward Cumming QC – ‘His knowledge of the law is phenomenal but what sets him apart is his willingness to roll up his sleeves and help in all aspects of the litigation.
  • Elizabeth Weaver – ‘An exceptional junior for company law matters.
  • Stuart Adair – ‘Stuart has a very sharp mind and a thorough knowledge of the law.
  • Daniel Warents – ‘Daniel is unrelenting in ensuring no stone is left unturned when considering the client’s best interests.
  • Hugh Miall – ‘ Hugh is a very high-quality advocate on paper and on his feet. ’
  • Timothy Sherwin – ‘An absolute superstar.

Partnership

  • Alan Steinfeld QC -‘Fantastic. Well respected by peers and clients.
  • Francis Tregear QC -‘Cool under pressure, exceedingly pleasant to deal with regardless of the demands of the case, thoughtful and measured in his advocacy and highly responsive.
  • Elspeth Talbot Rice QC – ‘ Few stand comparison with Elspeth in the partnership field. She scares opponents and is loved by clients. ’
  • Helen Galley – ‘ Determined and knowledgeable 


CONSTRUCTION

Michael Black 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.
  • 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 premier sets for offshore disputes, and this invariably feeds into its members experience in large-scale civil fraud claims, with silks and juniors both coming highly recommended. Steven Thompson QC has a strong reputation in this area and is facing off against Edward Cumming QC in Kazakhstan Kagazy v Martin, in which the defendant is accused of taking a bonus from money that he allegedly knew was stolen from the claimant.  The set also fields a selection of extremely experienced senior juniors, including Stuart Adair who is representing a shareholder and director, John McCarthy, in the case of Re Emerald Meats (London) Limited, an insolvency involving allegations of fraud, in which Alan Steinfeld QC is on the opposing side, representing another shareholder and director.

  • Alan Steinfeld QC – ‘It is great to be able to be put in such a safe and experienced pair of hands.
  • Stephen Moverley Smith QC – ‘Very easy to work with and excellent at identifying an approach which will resonate with the court.
  • Francis Tregear QC – ‘Clients love him – good common sense while alive to their priorities.
  • Elspeth Talbot Rice QC – ‘Her no-nonsense approach and fearless and combative style is admired by both the court and opponents.
  • Robert Levy QC – ‘A strong courtroom advocate. Highly personable and excellent on his feet. He is one of the best in cross-examination of witnesses; a professional hitman who executes the strategy perfectly.
  • Steven Thompson QC – ‘Hard working, a team player and great fun, Steven is highly intelligent and enthusiastic too.
  • Edward Cumming QC – ‘Devastatingly clever, with a tireless work ethic. He can charm and persuade, but will fight tenaciously when the need arises; he is utterly fearless.
  • Stuart Adair – ‘Tenacious, he fights his corner and is a pleasure to deal with.
  • Alexander Pelling – ‘Great to work with – he focuses in on the key points with an eagle eye, superb draftsman and great advocate.
  • Bajul Shah – ‘A very effective advocate with a gentle style.
  • Edward Knight – ‘Incisive, with forensic attention to detail and great with clients.
  • Hugh Miall – ‘He has the Midas touch and can spot winning points that others do not. He combines excellent factual analysis with strong interpersonal skills. One to watch.
  • Timothy Sherwin – ‘Helpful and bright with a good future.


FINANCIAL SERVICES REGULATION

  • Oliver Assersohn – ‘Oliver takes ownership of a case from the outset and will work tirelessly in support of the client’s case. He is very bright, and has significant FCA expertise.


INSOLVENCY

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

Members of XXIV Old Buildings handle the full breadth of insolvency instructions, both domestically and internationally. Chambers’ most experienced insolvency silk Alan Steinfeld QC is instructed on complex and often highly confidential cases, recently acting for Carlyle related entities in Carlyle Capital Corporation Limited (in liquidation) and others v Conway & others, a $2bn claim in the Guernsey courts, moving to the Privy Council. Stephen Moverley Smith QC continues to act in varied international matters, including bankruptcy proceedings against a member of the Saudi royal family, while in Gorbunova v Berezovsky, Elspeth Talbot Rice QC acts for the trustees of Boris Berezovsky’s insolvent estate. At the junior level Stuart Adair and Edward Knight had notably busy years in this area.

  • Alan Steinfeld QC – ‘Fabulous. Respected by peers and admired by clients.
  • Stephen Moverley Smith QC – ‘A real legal heavyweight, he brings a wealth of experience to issues and is able to provide practical solutions to knotty legal problems.
  • Francis Tregear QC – ‘Cool under pressure and his advice and strategy for matters is sound.
  • Elspeth Talbot Rice QC – ‘Elspeth is a formidable and powerful advocate, with real gravitas in court.
  • Robert Levy QC – ‘A superb and compelling advocate with a finely tuned ability to read a judge and the situation.
  • Steven Thompson QC – ‘Has an excellent knowledge of insolvency law and a mastermind in this area.
  • Lyndsey de Mestre QC – ‘Calm and well-judged advocacy.
  • Edward Cumming QC – ‘Very bright and quick and clients like him.
  • Stuart Adair – ‘Has a very sharp mind and a thorough knowledge of the law and the facts of his cases.
  • Edward Knight – ‘ Incisive with forensic attention to detail and great with clients. ’
  • Daniel Warents – ‘His ability is already superior to many barristers of higher seniority and solicitors would have absolutely no problem to instruct him as sole advocate against a silk on the opposite side.
  • Hugh Miall – ‘Hugh is an extremely good advocate with excellent in depth knowledge of his area.


INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION: ARBITRATORS

  • Michael Black QC – ‘He is highly experienced, and has a sound understanding of construction cases. He runs hearings efficiently and politely, and his judgement is good.


INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION: COUNSEL

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


MEDIATORS

  • Lyndsey de Mestre QC – ‘calm, measured and very engaged – on top of all the issues‘. An expert in directors’ duties and disqualification, and company and insolvency law, she is regularly appointed to mediate commercial matters, as well as probate claims.
  • 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).

Covering insolvency, trust disputes and commercial litigation, XXIV Old Buildings has ‘for many years been one of the premier sets with a focus on the offshore market.‘ Members’ work covers a breadth of jurisdictions: in Bermuda, Francis Tregear QC is instructed in the large-scale B Trust litigation before the Court of Appeal. In the Cayman Islands Robert Levy QC has become a go-to name for dissenter appraisal cases, Nicole Langlois is a former litigation partner at Carey Olsen, and as a Jersey advocate gave expert evidence in The Serious Fraud Office & anor v Litigation Capital Limited & ors in February 2021. Other names to note include Elspeth Talbot Rice QC, who continues to be a leading name in offshore litigation, and Stephen Thompson QC, who was particularly active in Bermudan cases recently, including being instructed by Point Investments to oppose a winding up petition and provision liquidation application.

  • Alan Steinfeld QC – ‘A very skilled advocate who commanded the respect of the Cayman court.
  • Stephen Moverley Smith QC – ‘A real legal heavyweight, he always has a clever perspective to add to any case.
  • Francis Tregear QC – ‘A great intellect and he brings a sense of calm, control and careful thought.
  • David Brownbill QC – ‘A calm advocate and a real leader in the field.
  • Elspeth Talbot Rice QC – ‘She provides thoughtful. practical, informed advice and at the same time is personable and sensitive to the need and opinions of the individuals involved in each matter.
  • Robert Levy QC – ‘A pleasure to work with, he gets stuck in and masters the detail, and is tenacious in court.
  • Steven Thompson QC – ‘He balances a direct no-nonsense approach, with full awareness of legal and strategic nuance.
  • Edward Cumming QC – ‘His knowledge of the law is phenomenal but what sets him apart is his willingness to roll up his sleeves and help in all aspects of the litigation.
  • Elizabeth Weaver – ‘A fantastic all-round advocate who I would not hesitate to instruct again.
  • Marcus Staff – ‘Very easy to work with and a proficient communicator, very knowledgeable in the trusts sector.
  • Bajul Shah – ‘Clearly pushing at the door to becoming a silk and accordingly punches above his years when it comes to a lot of offshore advocacy.
  • Nicole Langlois – ‘Clearly her background in Jersey is of great assistance in the offshore field.
  • Sarah Bayliss – ‘Sarah is both perceptive and practical, and is extremely good at seeing the wood for the trees, even in very complex cases and under significant pressure.
  • Adam Cloherty – ‘ An absolute star – practical yet thorough and very user friendly. ’
  • Andrew Holden – ‘Andrew offers the full package. His written work and communication skills are first rate.
  • Daniel Warents – ‘Brilliant mastery of the factual issues and encyclopeadic knowledge of the applicable law.


PRIVATE CLIENT: TRUSTS AND PROBATE

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

XXIV Old Buildings is a ‘go to set for tricky trust problems and is also very good for contentious and non-contentious private client, trusts and estates work.’ Stephen Moverley Smith QC successfully acted for the defendant in a case that involved a consideration of the circumstances in which the blessing of a court to a decision by the trustees could be set aside (Twin Benefits Ltd v Barker). The set has a number of ‘excellent’ practitioners among them Elspeth Talbot Rice QC who has an ‘encyclopaedic knowledge of onshore and offshore trust law’ and the ‘fiercely bright’ Edward Cumming QC. The ‘very knowledgeable and tenacious’ Heather Murphy has been added to the rankings at the junior end. In the rising star category Timothy Sherwin remains ‘a highly effective junior, and an excellent advocate on his own feet.’  The set is ‘full of very clever people who manage to avoid being grand about it.’

  • 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 QC – ‘For a senior silk Francis is easy to deal with and is down to earth. His advice and strategy for matters is sound.
  • 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 – ‘Elspeth is highly regarded as at the pinnacle of the Chancery Bar: tough while gracious, with clients, opponents and judges; very good-humoured; always to the point, a model of conciseness – not a word wasted.
  • Edward Cumming QC – ‘Edward is that rare thing amongst Chancery barristers in that he is not only extremely bright but also extremely client friendly. He is able to deal with complex contentious problems, whether trust or commercial, and distil them in an accessible way for clients. Solicitors have him on direct dial.
  • Michael Gadd – ‘Has an excellent grasp of the detail.
  • Elizabeth Weaver – ‘Good to deal with, sound advice, good turnaround, accommodating.
  • Helen Galley – ‘Helen is very knowledgeable, calm and exceptionally good with clients. She is a very good advocate and will represent the client’s best interests at all times but will not shy away from giving the client firm and sometimes unwelcome advice.
  • Bajul Shah – ‘Bajul is a very calm and engaging advocate. He is very likeable in court and unassuming. He is tactically highly astute and very sensitive to the tribunal. He is easy to work with.
  • Adam Cloherty – ‘Adam provies clear and practical advice in conference. He is approachable and addresses questions raised in a knowledgeable way.
  • Andrew Holden – ‘The full package. His written work and communication skills are first-rate. He is someone you want on your team and is a pleasure to work with. He is very responsive an easy to work with.
  • Daniel Warents – ‘Daniel is a seriously bright junior destined for great things – hardworking, across the detail, calm under fire and extremely user-friendly.
  • Heather Murphy – ‘She is very focused on getting a good result for clients and not afraid to take novel points. Good at unpicking difficult issues.
  • Timothy Sherwin – ‘Timothy is a real up and comer and is clearly developing a strong reputation for private client / offshore trust work. His written work is excellent and he works well part of a team.


PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE

Alan Steinfeld QC, Helen Galley and Edward Knight are recommended.


PROPERTY LITIGATION

Helen Galley is recommended.