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Brick Court Chambers is a pre-eminent set with a strong bench of experienced silks and juniors collectively offering an impressive level of expertise in the energy sector. Members are particularly respected for their prowess in commercial cases, in addition to competition, public law and insurance disputes. Clients include multinational oil and gas companies, oligarchs, energy regulators and financial services giants. Recent examples of top-tier work include multimillion-pound damages claims relating to oil and gas fields and breach of contract claims regarding solar energy plants. Sources say that Brick Court "stands out as the best in class" and note that barristers at the set are prevalent in "real energy work."
Client service: "I am very impressed by the professionalism of the chambers. A pleasure to work with, on the administrative side and the clerks." "The clerking service is excellent and Paul Dennison, joint senior clerk, deserves praise." "Tony Burgess, joint senior clerk, is really good and he is tuned in to what people are thinking."
Alec Haydon QC
Up-and-coming silk with strong technical and advocacy skills when handling commercial cases in the oil and power industries. Haydon has recently appeared in several disputes in the upstream and midstream markets.
Strengths: "Very thorough and commercial. A notable new silk in the energy practice area." "Very impressive."
Recent work: Represented BP Exploration in a contractual dispute with Dolphin Drilling, seeking to establish BP's right to immediately terminate its contract for the hire of a semi-submersible drilling rig.
Daniel Jowell QC
Well-regarded silk who is known for his commercial, competition and energy work. He has a healthy practice that focuses on cases concerned with domestic energy and utility supply markets. Jowell frequently advises clients with regard to regulatory judicial reviews and in arbitrations in the LCIA.
Strengths: "He's a good all-rounder so can see the big picture. He is excellent with clients and his advocacy is good."
Recent work: Represented KUFPEC in a contractual dispute with Enquest regarding the interpretation of a farm in agreement for the exploration of a North Sea oil field.
Fionn Pilbrow QC
A familiar presence at the Energy Bar, he regularly handles high-value disputes concerning joint venture terms, mining licences and product quality, among other issues. He is particularly noted for his expertise in matters involving detailed technical evidence. Pilbrow has considerable experience acting in high-value fraud cases for energy industry clients. His experience covers arbitrations in the ICC, UNCITRAL and the LCIA, as well as cases before the Commercial Court, the Technology and Construction Court and the Administrative Court.
Strengths: "He's very user-friendly and as an oral advocate he's very persuasive on his feet. He is excellent at getting the equities of the situation across to the judge and skilled at cutting through opponents' tactics." "Very tenacious with a good eye for detail."
Recent work: Acted for EVP in Federal Government of Nigeria v Shell, Eni and EVP, a high-profile case in which the Federal Government of Nigeria sued all parties alleged to be involved in a conspiracy relating to OPL 245, an offshore licence, and the alleged bribery of the President of Nigeria and other ministers.
Widely reputed as a rising star in energy regulation, he regularly appears before the CMA, Ofgem and in the High Court on behalf of energy companies and regulators in high-profile disputes and appeals.
Strengths: "He's excellent - incredibly bright and meticulous." "Very impressive on public and regulatory work, well known and highly regarded." "A good all-rounder who gets through work efficiently and is good with clients."
Recent work: Represented National Grid in a claim by electricity generators that National Grid were obliged, under the provisions of EU law which caps transmissions, to refund £120 million.
Helen Davies QC
Has a strong focus on the energy sector and is very highly reputed for her advocacy skills. Her practice takes in various issues ranging from resource exploitation to utility supply, and she does a lot of work relating to the oil and gas industry. Her broad experience covers disputes involving oil and gas fields in the North Sea, Azerbaijan and Africa.
Strengths: "Frankly a superstar - so unflappable and clinical in her advocacy." "Absolutely excellent. A real delight to work with and liked by clients."
Recent work: Continued to act for the defendant in Blue Power Group and Others v Eni Norge and Others, a breach of contract claim between energy companies regarding a new technology for the compression and transportation of gas.
Mark Howard QC
Cuts a commanding figure at the Commercial Bar, and has an excellent reputation in the energy sector. His energy work generally consists of very high-value commercial disputes, and he is noted for his formidable cross-examination in court.
Strengths: "A top commercial silk at the Bar. His name strikes fear into the heart of the opposition." "He's up there with the best."
Recent work: Acted on behalf of a number of oil-trading companies who were claimants in Arcadia Group v Bosworth. The claimants alleged they were defrauded by former management and traders. Damages are estimated at USD400 million.
Michael Bools QC
Respected silk with experience of oil and gas exploration disputes, acting both for and against government bodies of various nations. He is also adept in cases pertaining to renewables. Bools is frequently instructed by major oil companies in Commercial Court proceedings.
Strengths: "He has a nice manner in court and he makes his point in a good way to a judge."
Recent work: Acted for PetroSaudi, the claimants, in claims against PDVSA alleging that a USD131 million demand on the SBLC was fraudulent.
A high-performing junior who attracts significant praise from solicitors and barristers alike. He handles a substantial caseload of disputes in the oil and gas industry and has multi-jurisdictional expertise. He is noted for his capacity to handle disputes concerning oil and gas production in the North Sea.
Strengths: "A razor-sharp mind even compared to the high standards of the Commercial Bar. A hard worker who can be relied on even in the most complex and pressurised of cases." "Absolutely outstanding."
Recent work: Acted for Crispian Investments, a company ultimately controlled by Roman Abramovich, in a dispute with Rusal regarding the sale of USD1.5 billion worth of shares in the world's largest nickel company.
Simon Birt QC
Noted for his commercial practice and his representation of oil companies in a wide variety of cases, including North Sea disputes. He has experience acting for Russian oligarchs in joint venture disputes. His recent work has also included complex natural resources disputes in Eastern Europe.
Strengths: "He's very into the detail and someone who will roll up their sleeves and get into the the nitty-gritty of a case."
Recent work: Represented BP, Repsol Sinopec, JX Nippon and ENI in a dispute with Scottish Power regarding the shut-in of the Andrew Field in the North Sea, including claims of force majeure.
Stephen Midwinter QC
Particularly adept at handling cases related to the oil industry, and is also well versed in disputes over mining rights. He regularly appears in arbitrations and has experience in the Commercial Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
Strengths: "His advocacy is fantastic, his written work is a thing of beauty and he is chilled out and does not flap around."
Recent work: Acted for Kaztransgas as claimant in a sale and purchase agreement dispute with the sellers concerning gas from a Kazakhstan oil field.