Kings Chambers

Commercial Dispute Resolution Department

Northern (Bar)
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An excellent choice for any form of contract litigation, possessing strong experience of advocacy in the Commercial Court and Chancery Division and the appellate courts. The barristers are also highly knowledgeable about disputes arising from business ownership, including company and shareholder claims, and cases relating to contested M&A. Recent areas of practice include claims regarding the obligations between prominent sports or television personalities and their agents. Some sources consider Kings "the best commercial set in Manchester."

Client service: "The clerking team are a real asset for Kings – they get to know the instructing solicitors and their cases in a way that makes the service feel more personal." "They have been extremely helpful and will do everything in their power to assist." "The clerks are well organised, efficient and very professional, yet personable and user-friendly." The commercial clerking is led by chief clerk Gary Young.

Aidan Reay

Has strong knowledge of contractual disputes and various other areas including consumer credit. He has appeared in legally difficult cases before the High Court and Court of Appeal.
Strengths: "He is very strong on his advice, can relate to clients very well and gets a handle on the key issues very quickly." "He is an excellent advocate." "He is incredibly bright and astute."
Recent work: Successfully represented Mill Road SIPP in a claim for the restitution of a pre-contractual deposit paid in respect of a commercial land transaction.

Andrew Grantham QC

Handles a range of cases concerning contractual disputes, commercial fraud and the sale of businesses and shares. His practice also spans professional negligence matters and claims involving restrictive covenants. He often represents banks, public companies and small firms, as well as private investors.
Strengths: "His written arguments are very good – clear and concise." "He is very good at presenting things in a very straightforward way." "He is very bright and thorough – if he's on your team no stone will be left unturned."
Recent work: Acted for a defendant in claims brought by a number of professional footballers, alleging that secret commissions were shared between their agents and independent financial advisers.

Ben Harding

A talented junior, noted for his adroit handling of a wide range of commercial disputes. He offers notable expertise in professional negligence, construction and insurance matters. He is also regularly instructed in insolvency cases.
Strengths: "He is extremely diligent, knows the law inside out and is not afraid to come off the fence and give his view." "He gives insightful advice on knotty commercial litigation disputes." "He is a very good advocate, who is extremely knowledgeable and hard-working."
Recent work: Defended the Geordie Shore star Chloe Ferry in a claim for breach of contract after she dismissed her manager.

David Casement QC

Well-respected silk with a broad commercial and chancery practice, including particular expertise in cases concerning sports and company disputes. He is well placed to handle restructuring and insolvency, fraud and entertainment-related disputes, while also possessing a strong arbitration practice. His practice serves a wide range of clients including trustees and insolvency office holders, as well as high-profile individuals and large companies.
Strengths: "He's superb – a real team player, technically excellent and an extremely good communicator." "He is a good strategist."
Recent work: Acted for the defendant in a multimillion-pound Commercial Court case regarding an introduction agreement.

Kelly Pennifer

Established senior junior praised for her courtroom skills. She operates in large commercial and construction-related cases, and is especially adept at handling injunctive relief, fraud and contract matters. She is also well regarded for her strength in business rate mitigation scheme cases.
Strengths: "She is technically excellent on the law and retains a very important ability to take a step back and ensure the client also has an eye on the commercial realities of a case and possible creative solutions. She is thorough and compelling in her drafting and powerful on her feet." "She is able to express the law extremely clearly in a very accessible way." "Her attention to detail is second to none."
Recent work: Defended Bellrock Property and Facilities Management in a claim  brought by a company it purchased, for loss of management time and other damages.

Lesley Anderson QC

Roundly viewed as the leading commercial silk on the Northern Circuit. She covers a wide range of contentious commercial and chancery matters, including company, insolvency and property disputes. She acts for professional firms, multinational companies and financial institutions.
Strengths: "She is highly intelligent and has a great presence in court." "She is brilliant on her feet." "Lesley has a real gift when it comes to speaking to clients and they are quickly inspired with confidence that she is really invested in fighting their corner."
Recent work: Acted for the Education Secretary in defence of a claim regarding a contract between the Learning and Skills Council and a private education provider.

Mark Harper QC

Has an impressively broad practice with strength in company, shareholder and partnership disputes. His practice also spans litigation in areas such as professional negligence, sports and IP. He is additionally recognised for his expert handling of restraint of trade matters.
Strengths: "He has a real eye for detail." "He is very good performer in court." "He is very bright and a pleasure to deal with."
Recent work: Acted for Abbeydale Food Group in a breach of warranty claim brought under a share purchase agreement. The claim alleged that the defendants sold shares in a food manufacturing business which was being operated in breach of food hygiene regulations.

Martin Budworth

Noted in the market for a diverse commercial offering, which includes significant work in arbitration. He acts in cases concerning company, partnership and directors' disqualification, as well as professional negligence and sports-related matters. He is frequently instructed in contentious matters involving freezing injunctions and seizure orders.
Strengths: "Behind Martin's calm unflappable exterior is a technically brilliant barrister who is quick on his feet and who isn't afraid to put in the hard graft for his clients." "He is bright, knowledgeable, practical, to the point and good with clients." "He offers an excellent quality of written work and advocates in a calm, assured and persuasive manner."
Recent work: Acted for the defendant in a claim and appeal arising from a dispute between the owners of an international sports agency.

Neil Berragan

Highly experienced senior junior who is lauded for his commercial acumen and impressive advocacy. He is regularly instructed in cases concerning urgent injunctions, shareholder disputes and company issues. He is also recognised for his expertise in insolvency claims, acting on behalf of insolvency practitioners and company directors. He regularly appears in the commercial and mercantile courts as well as the Court of Appeal, and also has an active domestic and international arbitration practice. 
Strengths: "He is unbelievably good on his feet and is academically fantastic." "His advice is always technically sound and he has an eye on the commercial realities for his clients." "He is an excellent advocate and his calm manner disguises a steely desire to secure the appropriate result for his client."
Recent work: Acted in a dispute over the ownership of the 'Bongo's Bingo' brand.

Paul Chaisty QC

Pre-eminent Northern silk with an outstanding reputation in commercial matters. He deals with a broad range of cases relating to company, shareholder and joint venture disputes, as well as breaches of contract. He is also active in matters concerning civil fraud. His practice has a significant international element; he is qualified at the Bar of both the British Virgin Islands and the Bahamas.
Strengths: "He is very tenacious, well-prepared and hard working, and turns things around quickly." "He is excellent in court."
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in a multimillion-pound claim concerning a joint venture relating to a hotel property development, and an associated shareholder dispute.

Tina Rañales-Cotos

Maintains a solid reputation for her commercial work, which includes cases concerning director, partnership and shareholder matters, restrictive covenants and franchising agreements. She acts for private equity firms, banks and multinational companies, as well as public sector bodies.
Strengths: "She is very thorough and gives clear, unambiguous advice. She is also very effective on her feet."
Recent work: Acted for the National Union of Mineworkers in claims for breach of contract and trust against a French international trade union body.