Erskine Chambers

Dispute Resolution Department

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Erskine Chambers is a set with "big-name chancery silks who do fantastic work." The set is best known for offering "exquisite company law advice" but is also prominent in the wider commercial chancery market. As well as company law matters it handles insolvency, banking and financial services, civil fraud and other commercial disputes, and has its hand in some of the major pieces of litigation of the day. By way of example, its members were recently involved in BTA Bank v Ablyazov, Mezhprombank v Pugachev, and LLC v Sequana.

Client service: Senior clerks Mark Swallow and Chris Reade lead a team of  "quick, responsive and helpful" clerks.

David Chivers QC
Especially renowned for his expertise in company and insolvency work, including matters with an offshore or international element. Sources regard him as a lawyer with an authoritative courtroom style. In 2018 he spent three months sitting as an additional judge of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, assigned to the BVI Commercial Court.
Strengths: "One of the leading figures in company law disputes, he is authoritative and reasonable in his submission. In court he is firm and able to stand his ground but does so with real equanimity and calmness." "He is a class act and a thoughtful, highly intelligent lawyer, whom courts take genuinely seriously."
Recent work: Acted in Mehta v Viking River Cruises. The value of the claim was in the region of several hundred million pounds.

Peter Arden QC
A well-regarded silk who has a particularly good insolvency practice and is "technically brilliant." He also deals with matters of a more general commercial chancery nature.
Strengths: "Clearly very, very experienced, he has a good understanding as to the way in which the judicial wind is blowing and how judges in insolvency matters are thinking about various issues. He understands the legal landscape totally."
Recent work: Appointed by the Icelandic courts, together with Professor Andrew Keay, as an independent expert in English law considering the winding-up of the Landsbanki and Kaupthing banks.

Stephen Smith QC
A senior silk with an exceptionally strong reputation for civil fraud litigation. He successfully blends a good eye for technical points of law with a pragmatic, inventive and forthright approach to the rough and tumble of litigation. His practice has a recognised international and offshore element, and he has been called to the Bar in the BVI, the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands.
Strengths: "The master of the injunction and probably the best in the country for that type of work." "He is someone whom the court clearly listens to and takes a lot of guidance from. As an advocate he never over-eggs the pudding, and judges trust him because he never makes submissions that are too expansive or emotive. He has handled a large number of cases where his submissions have developed the law."
Recent work: Acted in JSC Mezhprombank v Pugachev, proceedings against a former Russian oligarch in connection with the liquidation of a major bank in Russia.