DEPARTMENT PROFILE

4 New Square

Costs Litigation

7 ranked barristersBand 1All CircuitsUK Bar 2021 View ranking table
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4 New Square has a strong bench of seasoned costs experts at both silk and junior levels, who are renowned for their handling of major matters. Ever present in frontline costs cases, they have been involved in Merricks v Mastercard, the first mass consumer class action to be brought before the English courts, and Gempride v Jagrit Bamrah, the leading costs case on the application of Rule 44.14 of the Civil Procedure Rules, which deals with the court's powers in relation to misconduct. Members here are routinely called upon to handle inter partes, solicitor-client and public funding disputes, and have significant experience of appearing before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. They are also expert on the advisory front, drafting conditional and contingency fee agreements, advising clients in relation to the suitability and legality of such agreements, and counselling on the setting up of alternative business structures. Instructing solicitors note: "This set is undoubtedly a leader in costs litigation and stands as a guarantee of good service."

Client service:

"The clerks are always on hand and very responsive." "They are very approachable and easy to strike up a very good relationship with." Lizzy Stewart is the senior clerk and CEO, who is ably supported by highly experienced deputy senior clerk Dennis Peck.

Strengths:

Benjamin Williams QC
Eminent advocate who draws praise for his expertise in costs litigation and who is particularly well known for his handling of cases with technically challenging aspects to them. He frequently handles matters at the highest level, and has been active in a number of precedent-setting cases in the Court of Appeal.
"Ben has good attention to detail - if there's a needle to be found in a haystack he will find it for you." "A very effective advocate, especially in the Court of Appeal, who is masterful and all over the facts." "He offers decisive strategic input to a case."
Recent work: Appeared in the Court of Appeal in both Sony Music v Bailey and Howe v MIB, the leading decisions relating to the 'qualified one-way costs shifting' regime.

Strengths:

Daniel Saoul QC
Barrister, previously qualified as a solicitor advocate, who frequently handles solicitor-client costs disputes. He also has experience of practising as an attorney in the British Virgin Islands. Saoul assisted Lord Justice Jackson with his landmark Report on Civil Litigation Costs, and has since been instructed in some of the most significant costs disputes in the High Court and beyond. 
"Very eloquent and one of the most composed advocates around." "He is a go-to costs silk who will always fight your corner and tell you honestly if you're facing an uphill battle. He's confident but not arrogant." "Daniel is good at client care and expert at identifying the tactical considerations in a case."
Recent work: Acted for Stephenson Harwood in a claim against high-profile former client Robert Tchenguiz, and his offshore trusts, seeking to recover more than £6 million owed in legal fees.

Strengths:

George McDonald
Represents a range of clients in complex costs disputes, and has particular experience of handling specific costs issues relating to large group actions and complicated funding structures. McDonald is experienced at representing clients before the Supreme Court and is a past master at handling solicitor-client disputes.
"A very confident advocate who is absolutely brilliant. He's quick, highly responsive and someone who provides very good, clear advice." "His written work is excellent and he's very good on his feet." "George provides trenchant, commercial advice which is exceptionally well drafted."
Recent work: Acted for the BBC in handling the costs aspects (which were worth over £4 million) arising from its privacy dispute with Sir Cliff Richard. The case arose from a police raid on the singer's home which was covered by the broadcaster.

Strengths:

Nicholas Bacon QC
Distinguished advocate in the costs litigation sphere who heads the set's costs team and boasts an enviable résumé, having led cases in the Supreme Court and appeared in numerous other significant appeals. 
"A master cross-examiner of both lay and professional witnesses." "Nick has gravitas and he is highly respected by everyone."
Recent work: Represented the claimant in Merricks v Mastercard, the first mass consumer class action brought before the English courts.

Strengths:

Robert Marven QC
Well versed in costs, CFAs, fixed-fee regimes and litigation funding (including commercial funding for significant disputes). His client roster includes public bodies, insurers and private individuals. Marven has good experience of representing clients before both the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.
"Very, very knowledgeable and has first-hand experience of the most significant costs decisions. It puts your mind at ease that he's incredibly up to date on the law." "He has one of the sharpest legal minds and his knowledge of the subject is unbelievable - there are never any grey areas with him." "Articulate, clever and very quick-thinking."
Recent work: Acted for the funder in Davey v Money. This was an important High Court decision which held that the cap on a commercial funder’s liability for adverse costs to the level of funding provided is not a rule that applies automatically, but merely an approach that might commend itself in other cases.

Strengths:

Roger Mallalieu QC
New silk who frequently represents parties in solicitor-client disputes, third-party costs cases and CFA compliance matters. He has vast experience of representing clients before the Court of Appeal and is frequently instructed in high-profile, complex cases. Mallalieu is regularly called upon by insurers and solicitors' firms to provide guidance on cost matters.
"Displays great gravitas when appearing before either a High Court judge or Court of Appeal justice. He leads the way in terms of costs and is great with clients." "Roger is composed, very logical and someone who has a wonderful way with clients."
Recent work: Acted in Cham v Aldred, an important appeal concerning concerning counsels’ fees for approval hearings in fixed-costs cases.

Strengths:

Stephen Innes
Complements his professional negligence offering with a busy costs practice, and regularly appears in the SCCO, often in cases concerning points of principle of wider application. He is further known for his handling of matters concerning costs issues relating to prominent and widely covered criminal cases. Innes is additionally qualified as a costs mediator with CADR and accepts instructions on a direct basis.
"An understated performer who just gets right to the point. Costs judges are quite particular, and prefer people who know the rules and don't try to muddy the issues. Stephen is one of those people they like to deal with."
Recent work: Acted in the detailed assessment of a bill of costs of over £3 million. This was a case which was subject to costs budgeting and went to trial, with the claimant’s costs substantially exceeding the budget.

Costs Litigation Department

4 New Square

firm
Department location

4 New Square

Lincoln's Inn

London

Greater London

UK

WC2A 3RJ

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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)

All Circuits

Costs Litigation


Benjamin Williams QC
Band 1
Daniel Saoul QC
Band 3
Nicholas Bacon QC
Band 1
Robert Marven QC
Band 2
Roger Mallalieu QC
New Silks

Juniors

All Circuits

Costs Litigation


George McDonald
Band 1