DEPARTMENT PROFILE

3 Verulam Buildings

Dispute Resolution: Commercial

34 ranked barristersBand 1UKGlobal 2021 View ranking table
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Ranked Barristers
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Ranked Barristers

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"A pre-eminent commercial set" whose market-leading reputation arises out of its involvement in headline-grabbing commercial cases. Recent highlights include successfully striking out serious allegations of fraud and misconduct in the highly publicised Tchenguiz v Grant Thornton case, as well as representing claimants in the VW emissions scandal, one of the largest group action cases in the English courts. Members have also been heavily involved in the major cases of PCP Capital Partners v Barclays Bank, Avonwick Holdings v Azitio Holdings and Skat v Solo Capital Partners and others. With a deep bench of highly ranked individuals, the set boasts some of the strongest practitioners in the market. "Their barristers are very switched-on and, no matter who you get, you know they will be very good," says one impressed source, with another reporting: "They produce exemplary work."

Client service:

"The clerks are a dream; they are completely reliable, they respond very quickly to enquiries and they are incredibly helpful." "You don't have to give them any guidance; they second-guess what needs to be done and ensure it is done." "The clerking service is excellent: in equal measure responsive, commercial and personable." Stephen Penson and Stuart Pullum are the joint senior practice managers.

Strengths:

Adam Kramer QC
"He is very precise and has a very good grasp of the issues." "Adam is incredibly clever and great tactically. He is a joy to work with."
Recent work: Acted for a group of car purchasers in their claims against the VW manufacturers relating to the diesel emissions scandal.

Strengths:

Adrian Beltrami QC        
"An outstanding advocate who is fiercely intelligent." "He has a wonderful way of presenting a case; he provides insightful analysis with great humour and charm."
Recent work: Acted for Grant Thornton in successfully striking out and dismissing fraudulent claims and malicious prosecution claims of up to GBP2.2 billion arising out of the arrest of the Tchenguiz brothers.

Strengths:

Alexia Knight
"A cool, calm and collected advocate." "She is very clever and grasps everything very quickly."
Recent work: Successfully defended Clydesdale Bank against claims brought by Naylor alleging breach of tailored business loan terms and conditions,  misrepresentation, duress and undue influence, mistakes and sales at an undervalue.

Strengths:

Ali Malek QC
"So experienced, he is terrific with clients, great on his feet and superb in cross-examination." "Quick-thinking and pragmatic, he has excellent judgement and is a phenomenal advocate. You run out of superlatives to describe him."
Recent work: Defended Banque Havilland & Vladimir Bolelyy against allegations of fraudulent conspiracy brought by the State of Qatar concerning an alleged attempt to destroy the economy by devaluing the Qatari riyal and undermining public confidence in the Qatari bonds market.

Strengths:

Andrew Fletcher QC
"An extremely capable and commercial silk." "He is very detailed, knows how to present to the judge and adopts a very nice tone with the court."
Recent work: Acted for Chicago Bidsure in its GBP95 million claim against Surestone Insurance for breach of warranty in a share purchase agreement.

Strengths:

Andrew Onslow QC
"Clients really like him: they like the way he gets stuck in, is very positive, doesn't take nonsense from the other side and is the right side of firm. Judges also appreciate the way he handles himself." "He is a heavy hitter, so you know when he is on the other side you will be in trouble."
Recent work: Defended Solo Capital Partners against claims brought by SKAT, the Danish customs and tax authority, which alleged an abuse of the regime for refunds of withheld tax under double taxation treaties.

Strengths:

Andrew Sutcliffe QC
"He is amazingly industrious, demonstrates excellent judgement and is a good team player." "Andrew is a terrific advocate with a lovely style in court; he can turn the judge 180 degrees by being punchy, concise and clear."
Recent work: Acted for Russell Dover and others in their claim against British Airways over whether the airline had breached the terms of its Executive Club Contract by charging fuel surcharge.

Strengths:

Anne Jeavons
"Very switched-on and great to work with." "She shows great determination and will hunt down the right arguments to make her point."
Recent work: Acted for Pan African Minerals in a contractual dispute arising out of Banco BTG Pactual's enforcement of security and appointment of joint receivers in breach of an alleged forbearance agreement concerning the enforcement of a debt.

Strengths:

Christopher Bond
"He has an understated advocacy style that goes down well with the judge."
Recent work: Acted for BNP Paribas in a EUR100 million dispute with TRM, an Italian municipal body. The case arose out of an alleged mis-selling of an interest rate swap.

Strengths:

Christopher Harris QC
"Very impressive and great with clients," "he is delightful and a quality advocate." "Christopher is extremely effective."
Recent work: Represented the claimant in Forum International v OOS International, a case regarding a representation agreement relating to the chartering of oil exploration assets in Brazil.

Strengths:

Cleon Catsambis
"Very responsive and detailed in his approach." "He works hard and spots the real nub of a case."
Recent work: Acted for Steven Goodman in a GBP120 million case against DMS Offshore Investment Services, involving claims of vicarious liability and breach of contract.

Strengths:

David Head QC
"Very user-friendly, good on his feet and someone who works very hard to prepare for trial." "He is a very charming advocate" who is "forensically clever."
Recent work: Defended Baglan Zhunus against a USD150 million fraud claim brought by Kazakhstan Kagazy, who alleged misappropriation of corporate funds, the use of bogus construction contracts and false accounting.

Strengths:

David Quest QC
"Has an advocacy style which is very easy to listen to." "He immediately sorts the meaningful from the distracting, and as a result always produces analysis that you can trust. You want him on your team."
Recent work: Acted for Pan African Minerals in a USD40 million dispute over the right to control a manganese investment in Burkina Faso.

Strengths:

Ewan McQuater QC
"Extremely impressive and involved in a huge number of leading cases." "He is versatile and exceptionally bright."
Recent work: Defended Vodafone against claims brought by the administrators of Phones 4u alleging that, in collusion with other network operators, Vodafone had caused the mobile phone retailer's GBP1 billion collapse into insolvency.

Strengths:

Farhaz Khan
"He gets to the heart of the matter quickly." "You want him in your corner when fighting a complicated claim."
Recent work: Successfully defended Atlas Mara Bank, and won part of its counterclaim, in a case regarding a multimillion-dollar contract claim brought by John Vitalo, the former CEO of the bank in the Middle East and North Africa.

Strengths:

Hannah Glover
"Excels at getting to the key issues in a case and coming up with answers to tricky problems." "She is all over the detail and is great with instructing solicitors and clients alike."
Recent work: Acted for the EU and the European Investment Bank in their claim to recover EUR190 million from the Syrian Arab Republic.

Strengths:

Hodge Malek QC
"Hard-working, incisive and good with clients, he is particularly strong at navigating complex international disputes." "An absolutely delightful individual who is extraordinarily intelligent and gets to the nub of the problem."
Recent work: Acted for over 200,000 individuals, including businesses, foundations, churches, municipalities, utility companies and indigenous people, in Municipio de Mariana & Others v (1) BHP Group PLC (2) BHP Group Ltd, a USD5 billion case arising out of the collapse of the Fundão Dam in Bento Rodrigues, in Brazil.

Strengths:

Ian Higgins
"Always excellent," "he is very hands-on and user-friendly." "Ian is extremely bright and produces really clear documents."
Recent work: Represented 28 defendants in Ecology Support Services v Ivin and Others. The case concerned an environmental investment/tax scheme fraud.

Strengths:

James McWilliams
"Bright, incredibly responsive and a man who loves hard work." "He puts clients at ease and explains difficult concepts to them in a way they can understand."
Recent work: Defended General Electric against a deceit and unlawful means conspiracy case brought by Ritchie Capital Management. The case concerned an allegation that the company knew that Mr Tom Petters was operating a Ponzi scheme and, in not informing the authorities, became complicit and was therefore liable for losses incurred.

Strengths:

Jamie Riley QC
"Very brainy, incredibly thorough and someone who is calm in cross-examination." "He is a very safe pair of hands at trial and he has a great manner with clients."
Recent work: Successfully represented Alexander Taracanov and Capital City Services as lead counsel in unfair prejudice proceedings valued at USD40 million.

Strengths:

John Jarvis QC
"He is very good and makes pithy submissions." "John gets straight to the point and delivers user-friendly advice within tough deadlines."
Recent work: Acted for CITGO, a large US oil and gas company, in relation to claims concerning the proceeds of a reinsurance policy between Swiss Re and CITGO's captive insurer, PDV Insurance Company Limited (now in liquidation).

Strengths:

Jonathan Davies-Jones QC
"Jonathan is a delight. He is supremely hard-working, very good to work with and someone who really rolls up his sleeves." "He is very eloquent and a really good cross-examiner."
Recent work: Appeared for the defendant in Astra v Co-op Bank, a case arising out of the proposed sale of distressed debt assets that raised significant issues concerning the law of unjust enrichment.

Strengths:

Jonathan Nash QC
"The ideal silk; he has almost superhuman response times and his advocacy is very calm and considered." "You never want him on the other side as he is terrifying to oppose and really good."
Recent work: Acted for the petitioner Edgeworth Capital, a Robert Tchenguiz vehicle, in a five-day hearing of a bankruptcy petition against Mr Glenn Maud. The underlying debt related to the financing and ownership of the ‘Financial City’ office and real estate complex in Madrid, valued at around USD3 billion.

Strengths:

Liisa Lahti
"Superb, really thorough, knowledgeable, full of ideas, completely dependable and really great to work with." "She is very commercial and writes well."
Recent work: Acted in Aldersgate & Others v Bank of Scotland. This case involved concurrent claims brought by companies associated with the Reuben brothers relating to financial products worth over GBP2 billion, and revolved around allegations of LIBOR manipulation by the Bank of Scotland.

Strengths:

Matthew Hardwick QC
"Very user-friendly and incredibly hard-working." "He is very persuasive, responsive and quick on his feet."
Recent work: Defended ED&F Mann Capital Markets against a claim brought by SKAT, the Danish tax administration authority. The case concerned numerous defendants and related to an alleged DKK12.673 billion in fraudulent applications for the refund of dividend withholding tax.

Strengths:

Matthew Parker QC
"He has an incisive intellect and a determined and persuasive courtroom style." "Matt is excellent both on his feet and on paper. The only downside is that he is becoming too popular!"
Recent work: Acted as sole counsel in defence of the National Bank of Greece over claims arising out of its sale of Finansbank. The claims were brought by three of the Turkish bank's senior executives and related to EUR28 million incentive fee agreements they had with the Greek bank.

Strengths:

Michael Lazarus
"A top-quality, very smooth and polished advocate." "Incisive and someone who gets to the nub of the case, he offers a high level of client service and is commercial in his advice."
Recent work: Acted for the The Public Institution for Social Security in a case against its former director general and 37 other defendants who were alleged to have assisted him in procuring the payment of unauthorised secret commissions believed to exceed USD850 million in value.

Strengths:

Nathaniel Bird
"A terrific junior who is extremely diligent, incredibly bright and very strong on his feet." "He drafts well, is a good legal analyst and is a very helpful member of the team."
Recent work: Acted for Triumph Group in a USD4 million claim against Primus International Holding and others for breach of share purchase warranties in connection with the sale of an aerospace engineering business operating in the UK and Thailand.

Strengths:

Nicholas Craig QC
"Has excellent judgement and is great at simplifying things and putting clients at ease." "He is level-headed, quick to turn things around and helpful strategically."
Recent work: Acted for Woodbury residential in its GBP30 million claim against Belden arising out of its failure to provide accounts by a specified date.

Strengths:

Peter de Verneuil Smith QC
"Very effective on his feet and very good with clients." "He has a good sense for what the judge wants to see in the evidence and is good at reading the court."
Recent work: Successfully defended Manning and Napier against a strike-out of its claims regarding losses to Tesco's shares following the revelation that the supermarket giant had engaged in improper accounting and inflated its profits.

Strengths:

Peter Ratcliffe
"Very clever and extremely popular." "He has a fantastic eye for detail and can get to grips with document-heavy, complex cases."
Recent work: Acted for Prandicle, one of the defendants, in the USD1 billion Avonwick Holdings Ltd v Azitio Holdings Ltd & Others case, which arose out of the division of former joint business interests by Ukrainian oligarchs.

Strengths:

Philip Hinks
"Extremely switched-on to the issues in a case, and someone who always makes a great contribution to the wider team."
Recent work: Defended Andrey Petrik against claims that he had conspired to misappropriate Alexander Tugushev's one-third shareholding in the Russian fishing giant, the Norebo Group.

Strengths:

Rajesh Pillai QC
"A fine advocate who gets on top of the detail really quickly and has good knowledge of the law." "He is strategic, great with the clients and has a good vision for a case."
Recent work: Acted for Triumph Controls in a USD75 million breach of warranty dispute with Primus International.

Strengths:

Richard Salter QC
"Incredibly bright," "very technical in his approach and very accurate." "He is very user-friendly and hands-on."
Recent work: Represented the claimants Abdullah Nasser Bin Obaid and others in a dispute against Al-Hezaimi regarding the true purposes for which Mr Bin Obaid made payments totalling GBP35 million to the defendants between 2013 and 2016.

Dispute Resolution: Commercial Department

3 Verulam Buildings

firm
Department location

3 Verulam Buildings

Gray's Inn

London

Greater London

UK

WC1R 5NT

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Ranked Barristers

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Silks (QC)

UK

Dispute Resolution: Commercial


Adam Kramer QC
New Silks
Adrian Beltrami QC
Band 1
Ali Malek QC
Band 1
Andrew Fletcher QC
Band 5
Andrew Onslow QC
Band 1
Andrew Sutcliffe QC
Band 4