Client Service at the Bar 2024

Discover the sets commended for providing exceptional client service, as researched by the Chambers UK Bar team.

Published on 8 November 2023
Written by Rebecca Patton
Rebecca Patton

Exceptional client service

12 King’s Bench Walk

Director of Clerking: Oliver Parkhouse

“The clerks at the chambers are very helpful. They are willing to go the extra mile to assist. Any queries that are put to them, responses are forthcoming promptly.”

“Outstanding. Lexie Johnson, in particular, is responsive and attentive to all manner of client needs.”

“The clerks are led by the impressive Oliver Parkhouse, director of clerking. Oliver brings a wealth of experience to his role and ensures that service levels never drop. The clerks are also friendly and professional.”

“I think the long-standing clerks are A1 and always have been. Daniella Evans is excellent as well. People like Tristan Whigham and Lexie Johnson will always go out of their way for you.”

“The clerks at 12 KBW have always provided a top class, excellent service. I have never been dissatisfied.”

View 12 King’s Bench Walk’s profile here.

Deka Chambers

Director of Clerking and Business Development: Michael Goodridge

“The clerks make this chambers.”

“Jaime Brooks is an excellent clerk who knows how to liaise with instructing solicitors in a positive, collaborative way. He is ably assisted by Louis Candy who shares the same approach.”

“Michael Goodridge is the best in the business and oversees strong service levels.”

“The clerks are incredibly responsive and helpful. Clark Chessis is the best in the business.”

“Ellie Brand is my go-to as nothing is ever too much trouble for her.”

“The clerks are very helpful and knowledgeable in their own right. The team is great at getting quick hearing dates.”

View Deka Chambers’ profile here.


Director of Clerking and Business Development: Glenn Billenness

“All the clerks are extremely efficient.”

“The clerking is very good and very responsive – you can just chat with them. There is also a lot of communication between the barristers, it is a very accessible chambers.”

“I have always experienced first-class levels of service from the clerks at Devereux. The team is responsive, accommodating and sensitive to client’s needs and requirements, both financially and otherwise.”

“Nathan Williams and Glenn Billenness are super down to earth and lovely to work with. It feels very much a team effort when working with them. They do their darndest to help us when we are in a bind and they are a large part of why we keep coming back to Devereux.”

“Glenn Billenness is the best clerk I have worked with. Others are good, but he does show them up a little. He is the key reason why I continue to direct work to Deveraux.”

View Devereux’s profile here.  

Garden Court Chambers

Director of Clerking: Colin Cook

“They are very responsive and always ensure that all matters are dealt with effectively and efficiently.”

“The process of sourcing counsel is made as easy as possible by the clerks.”

“They are the lynchpins of the set.”

“Colin Cook is one of the godfathers of the clerking profession. One of the most respected clerks in England and he invests into that team so they are providing a good service. He is modern but has the values of the old school when it comes to integrity and case, which is what the solicitor-chambers relationship requires.”

“Tim Hempsted and Joe Fraser are excellent. They respond immediately and are capable of dealing with queries and issues efficiently and effectively.”

View Garden Court Chambers’ profile here.

Parklane Plowden

Director of Clerking and Business Development: Michael Stubbs

“The clerks always provide a high standard of service and are very easy to work with.”

“The clerks will go above and beyond to ensure that you instruct the right counsel. Sharon Robson is incredibly helpful and realistic when it comes to achieving the client’s objectives.”

“All the clerks are excellent. However, Lucy Peacock really stands out. She goes the extra mile.”

“Mark Williams and Hannah Townsend will always accommodate you where possible and are on hand to assist with logistics.”

“The clerks are amongst the best of any set I deal with. Always available and happy to assist. Invoices are sent in quickly and they are adaptable to accommodate various requests.”

View Parklane Plowden’s profile here.

St Ives Chambers

Chambers Director: Jackie Maskew

“A good, available clerking team that is both honest and upfront and goes out of its way to accommodate in every way.”

“The clerks are always very helpful and proactive in trying to make available our first choice of counsel. They are sensible when negotiating fees and take a commercial view. They see the sense in maintaining good relationships with solicitors that instruct the chambers regularly, and try to go above and beyond for us.”

“Excellent level of service and always offering solutions when difficulties arise.”

“The clerks are excellent. Sarah Robinson, Nick Burdon and David Walters in particular have an in-depth knowledge of the practice areas that they deal with which means that they are able to offer the best fit of barrister for each case.”

“The clerks Sarah Robinson and Asma Akhtar are brilliant, they are always on the ball.”

View St Ives Chambers’ profile here.  

Wilberforce Chambers

Practice Director: Nicholas Luckman

“Their top-rate clerking remains central to our whole relationship with the set.”

“The best of the best – if I have any issues and know anything needs to be dealt with quickly I know the clerks will bend over backwards to make sure it is sorted.”

“Danny Smillie as senior practice manager heads a highly responsive team who understands the pressures involved with their subject and go above and beyond to assist. The clerks are diligent and certainly easy to work with, making instructing and working with counsel seamless.”

“The clerks were swift in responding and gave detailed and complex indications as to the fee structure which helped greatly when presenting the information to clients.”

“Andrew Barnes and Jessica Edson are both super friendly. They instil confidence that they will get you what you need in terms of counsel support. Both are amenable in terms of discussions around making something work for a client.”

View Wilberforce Chambers’ profile here.

Doughty Street Chambers

Senior Practice Managers: Sian Wilkins and Matthew Butchard 

“The clerking team is always helpful and professional. Stand-out individuals are Callum Stebbing and Freddie Wilkins.”

“All the clerks are super friendly and ready to help.”

“The clerking team is fantastic. They are responsive and knowledgeable in offering suitable counsel for the level of complexity of the cases.”

“Matt Butchard is a true professional. Such as fantastic clerk, very engaged, understanding and keen to assist.”

“The clerks have always been very impressive compared to other sets. Always on hand, helpful and willing to go just that little bit further. They are very modern in how they think.”

View Doughty Street Chambers’ profile here.

Blackstone chambers

Chambers Director: Mat Swallow

“Gary Oliver superbly leads a first-rate clerking team.”

“The Blackstone clerks are phenomenal and a pleasure to work with.”

“The service levels and responsiveness of the clerks are excellent. They demonstrate professionalism, efficiency and a proactive approach in assisting us.”

“Their clerking team is friendly, personable and great at the work they do. Easy to relate with, charming and they are all good. They understand the instructing solicitor and know who they would like to work with.”

“The clerks are one of the strongest assets to the chambers – they are so practical and have a ‘can-do’ attitude when needed.”

View Blackstone Chambers’ profile here.  

3PB Barristers

Chambers Directors: Mark Heath, Russell Porter and Stuart Pringle 

“The ability of the clerks, particularly Joe Townsend, to immediately suggest relevant counsel no matter the unexpectedness of the circumstances makes briefing counsel a seamless process.”

“Excellent service from the clerks. Mark Heath and David Fielder go the extra mile in building relationships.”

“The clerks work hard to honour our requests for specific counsel.”

“Sarah Jenking and Rob Leonard go above and beyond when a solution is needed. They are very approachable and efficient.”

“The client service is second to none. They are very responsive and very quickly become aware of the client’s business reality. David Fielder stands out – he has business acumen, is knowledgeable about the market and goes the extra mile on every engagement.”

View 3 PB Barristers’ profile here.

No5 Barristers

CEO and Director of Clerking: Tony McDaid 

“The clerks are very helpful. A special mention for Danny Griffiths, Jordan Zaza, Olivia McIntyre and Daniel Birch who are all excellent.”

“The client service was excellent. Shannon Thompson was really helpful, very professional, courteous and prompt with information and replies.”

“Christopher Norman is a first-rate clerk – he is an extension of our own firm. With Christopher I know nothing is missed.”

“One of the outstanding features of the chambers is the clerking team. It goes above and beyond, are fantastic to deal with, build fantastic relationships and are fantastic with negotiating costs.”

“An excellent clerking team. William Theaker in particular provides a very high level of service. The clerking team at No5 sets itself apart from others due to the excellent service it provides.”

View No5 Barristers’ profile here.    

9 St John Street

Director of Clerking: Tony Morrissey

“Tony Morrissey and Julie Lanza are very accessible and responsive.”

“Whilst the entire clerking team is fantastic, Chris Swann, in particular, is tremendously good at what he does. He ensures that counsel, the lay client and the professional client are supported in the best way that they can be.”

“All of the clerks are very helpful, proactive and professional. Phillip Spencer, in particular, is a very reliable clerk who will go out of his way to try to ensure you receive the support you need.”

“Joe Gibson and Phillip Spencer are friendly, approachable and professional. They will always do their best to meet my requests and are very flexible in relation to bookings, instructions and working practices.”   

View 9 St John Street’s profile here.

Quadrant Chambers

Senior Clerk: Simon Slattery

“The Quadrant clerks are some of the best we work with, in terms of manner and responsiveness. They appreciate the pressures we are under.”

“The clerks at Quadrant have a great knowledge of the business and the needs of the client.”

“The clerks are always very helpful and go above and beyond what other chambers do.”

“Simon Slattery is very client-friendly and responsive.”

“I think client service from the clerking team stands Quadrant out amongst the leading commercial sets.”

“The clerks are fantastic, in particular, Daniel Westerman is extremely responsive and personable.”

“The clerks are second to none and really understand the shipping sector.”

View Quadrant’s profile here.

1 Crown Office Row

Chambers Director: John Petrie MBE

“The clerks at 1 Crown Office Row are fantastic to work with. They respond quickly to enquiries and even in tricky situations they almost always find a way to make things work.”

“All the clerks I have dealt with at 1 Crown Office Row have been outstanding. They are polite and always go beyond. They are prompt with responses and enquiries and are very helpful.”

“The 1 Crown Office Row clerks are the very best clerking team I work with, always helpful and responsive.”

“Andrew Tull, Matthew Phipps and John McLaren are great clerks who provide excellent service to clients. They are very easy to deal with and are efficient.”

“The clerks at the set are second to none, led by Matthew Phipps, who is always happy to assist and responds promptly to any queries. The clerks are polite, knowledgeable and always respond in a timely fashion.”

“The team are great, in particular, Chloe Turvill is a superstar.”

View 1 Crown Office Row’s profile here.

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