DEPARTMENT PROFILE

Essex Court Chambers

Dispute Resolution

25 ranked barristersBand 1UKGlobal 2021 View ranking table

Chambers Review

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Essex Court Chambers is "a premium set for commercial litigation work" that is regularly involved in some of the highest-value domestic and international commercial disputes. By way of example, it acted in Avonwick Holdings Ltd v Sergiy Taruta and Others, a Ukrainian oligarch dispute with claims valued at over USD1 billion. Individuals here have also appeared in PCP Capital v Barclays, a USD1.5 million claim, and Tatneft v Bogolyubov/Kolomoisky & Others, a case concerning fraudulent diversion of funds to pay a USD400 million oil liability. The set has a deep pool of experts capable of handling commercial cases arising from many different legal areas, such as banking, civil fraud, energy and shipping, to name but a few. Its barristers are praised by instructing solicitors for having "an impressive range of expertise and top-quality advocacy skills."

Client service:

"The clerks are good, always prompt and easy to get hold of." "The team works together seamlessly so that work proceeds quickly and efficiently." "The clerks are really good and easy to have a conversation with. Senior clerk Joe Ferrigno knows his barristers in every respect and is highly approachable." Deputy senior clerk Ben Perry is further praised for being "one of the best around - he lines his barristers up well and really gets things moving."

Strengths:

Andrew Hochhauser QC
"A man with excellent judgement," who is "a ruthless cross-examiner in the best sense of the word."
Recent work: Defended Alexander Codrington and Russell Hartley, the former limited partners and senior portfolio managers at BlueCrest Capital Management, against claims that they were legally bound to return the performance bonuses that the company had paid them two months before they handed in their notices of resignation.

Strengths:

Anna Dilnot QC
"Responsive and has a good legal brain." "She is amazing at getting to grips with a case."
Recent work: Defended Dmitry Tsvetkov against claims brought by Rustem Magdeev, who sought to recover his investment in the Graff diamond business. Tsvetkov counterclaimed, alleging that Magdeev conspired with Emil Gaynulin to asset-strip the business.

Strengths:

Anton Dudnikov
"He has a sharp mind and he keenly analyses legal issues. His drafting is succinct and persuasive, as is his advocacy." "Anton's Russian language skills give him an unique selling point."
Recent work: Acted for the collapsed National Bank Trust in a claim against its former owners who were accused of mismanagement, leaving a USD1 billion 'hole' in the balance sheet.

Strengths:

Ciaran Keller
"His work ethic is incredible and he is an exceptional advocate who will get the result the client wants." "Ciaran is hugely clever, all over the detail and very user-friendly."
Recent work: Defended Nop Narongdej and Nuttawat Phowborom against claims of USD2 billion brought against them by Nopporn Suppipat relating to alleged misappropriation of shares.

Strengths:

Daniel Oudkerk QC
"Very able and has fantastic client-handling skills." "Judges melt before him."
Recent work: Acted for New Balance in its dispute with Liverpool Football Club, a trial which considered the operation of a 'matching provision' in a sponsorship agreement.

Strengths:

David Davies QC
"Very commercial and very quick with paperwork." "He knows the fraud market, is highly commercial and is both capable and clever."
Recent work: Acted for the claimant bank, Bank Trust, in a USD1 million dispute involving its former owners. The owners were accused of perpetrating an alleged fraud against the bank in order to conceal its insolvency via sham loans of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Strengths:

David Peters
"Hard-working, adaptable and user-friendly." "His written work is top quality, and he works very well as part of a team."
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in Blackstar Advisors v Cheyne Capital International, a claim for substantial fees allegedly due to an introducer from a fund manager.

Strengths:

Edward Brown
"Bright, articulate user-friendly and very helpful." "He is an excellent advocate and has an incisive mind."
Recent work: Acted for New Balance in a case concerning the operation of a ‘matching provision’ in a sponsorship agreement with Liverpool Football Club.

Strengths:

Emily Wood
"She is excellent and understands the issues well." "She responds in a commercial and client-friendly way."
Recent work: Acted for PAO Tatneft, including unled in the Court of Appeal, in enforcing its USD112 million award against Ukraine.

Strengths:

Graham Dunning QC
"A first choice for difficult conflict of laws points, he is a superb tactician and a fine trial advocate."
Recent work: Acted for over 27,000 Nigerian citizens seeking to sue companies relating to oil giant Shell in the English courts. The case arose out of a huge maritime pollution incident which occurred in Nigerian coastal waters after leakage during a loading exercise at an installation in Shell’s Bonga oilfield.

Strengths:

Huw Davies QC
"A great advocate who is user-friendly and a great person to have on your side." "He is very clear in his advice about what matters and he does not waste time on peripheral things."
Recent work: Acted in ED&F Man Capital Markets Ltd v Come Harvest Holdings Ltd, a case involving a cross-border fraud concerning the theft of approximately USD300 million.

Strengths:

James Collins QC
"An excellent advocate, particularly good at cross-examination, who is very user-friendly." "James is always ready to roll up his sleeves and get stuck in."
Recent work: Acted in Tatneft v Bogolyubov/Kolomoisky & Others, a case concerning fraudulent diversion of funds to pay a USD400 million oil liability.

Strengths:

James Sheehan
"He's absolutely brilliant, a pleasure to work with and someone who gets right to the crux of the legal issue." "He is user-friendly, responsive and sharp-witted."
Recent work: Acted for PJSC Tatneft, a Russian oil company, seeking damages of approximately USD300 million on the basis of an alleged conspiracy by Bogolyubov and others to divert funds which were due under contracts for oil supplied.

Strengths:

James Willan QC
"Easy to work with, he listens to other people's opinions, and when he has something to say it is always worth listening to." "He is bright, quick and thorough."
Recent work: Acted for Barclays Bank in resisting claims brought in the Financial List by the FDIC on behalf of 39 failed US banks. The FDIC claimed substantial damages for alleged LIBOR lowballing.

Strengths:

Jeremy Brier
"He is articulate, hard-working, affable and someone with a first-rate brain. Other barristers should be very scared when they come up against him as they will be outfoxed."
Recent work: Acted unled for Bonita against the Daelim Corporation. The case concerned an injunction to protect funds alleged to be due to different parties under different international agreements.

Strengths:

Joe Smouha QC
"A star at the Bar." "He is a top-flight advocate who gives impeccable client service."
Recent work: Acted for the Republic of Mozambique in its claim against Credit Suisse over the 'Tuna Bond' scandal, which pushed Mozambique into a debt crisis via government-backed loans arranged by the bank.

Strengths:

Nathan Pillow QC
"A charming advocate who is very bright and very prepared." "He is not only intellectually very sharp, but also commercially pragmatic."
Recent work: Acted for National Express in defending a GBP20 million claim brought by a former franchisee, Dunn Motor Traction (YourBus), for wrongful termination of a long-term coach services contract.

Strengths:

Paul McGrath QC
"Has an encyclopedic knowledge of many areas of law." "Clients love him as he is easy to work with, and he is a real heavyweight at the Bar."
Recent work: Acted for Tatneft in its case against Bogolyubov and Kolomoisky regarding the fraudulent diversion of funds to pay a USD400 million oil liability.

Strengths:

Paul Stanley QC
"Intelligent, thoughtful and insightful." "He is fantastic, and his oral advocacy is impressive and very polished."
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in Aircraft Purchase Fleet Ltd. v Compania Aeria Italiana. The case concerned a claim for substantial damages from the Italian company that operates the Alitalia airline in relation to the termination of a long-term agreement for the purchase of Airbus aircraft.


Strengths:

Richard Millett QC
"He has a great legal mind." "For a problem which needs solving you need the Millet solution - the ingenious solution." 

Strengths:

Ruth den Besten
"Very good and highly methodical." "She is a delight to work with and very good at what she does."
Recent work: Defended Igor Kolomoisky against claims brought by Tatneft that he and others misappropriated oil monies by way of conspiracy.

Strengths:

Stephen Houseman QC
"An excellent advocate and a master of the courtroom" who "can be trusted with the most difficult and sensitive of cases."
Recent work: Acted for the National Airport Authority in a case against Western Air, on appeal from the Court of Appeal of The Bahamas. Houseman's client sought to overturn a finding of liability for negligence in failing to prevent the theft of a commercial aircraft from Nassau International Airport.

Strengths:

Steven Berry QC
"You go to him for high-value cases as you know you can take his advice to the client." "He is devastating in cross-examination and silver-tongued in arguments." "Steven comes up with some very clever points and is an unnerving opponent for the other side."
Recent work: Acted for the defendant in Blackstar Advisors v Cheyne Capital International, a claim for substantial fees allegedly due to an introducer from a fund manager.

Strengths:

Tim Akkouh
"Tim Akkouh is first class, a star in the making and a leading junior barrister." "He's got a lovely manner, is very considered in his approach and is a great team player." "A great advocate who has real presence in court."
Recent work: Acted for PrivatBank in its case against Ihor Kolomoisky, a USD1.9 billion fraud case arising out of Ukraine.

Strengths:

Tom Ford
"Very thorough and precise, he is fantastic to work with and has great energy." "He is good on his feet and he knows what the court wants to hear."
Recent work: Acted for International Military Services in defending a claim against it brought by the Ministry of Defence relating to the enforcement of an arbitration award. The case involved complex questions as to the compatibility of the relief sought with EU sanctions legislation.

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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


Andrew Hochhauser QC
Band 4
Anna Dilnot QC
New Silks
Daniel Oudkerk QC
Band 4
David Davies QC
New Silks
Graham Dunning QC
Band 2
Huw Davies QC
Band 4