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Stars at the Bar 2022

The Stars at the Bar have proved their excellence across a range of practice areas. Read below for details on these top stars.

Published on 23 November 2021
Written by Eleanor Crundwell
Eleanor Crundwell

Jonathan Crow QC (4 Stone Buildings)

"Jonathan Crow QC has such an amazing combination of public and constitutional law expertise as well as a natural ability as an advocate." "He is just excellent - his advocacy is extraordinary and he's incredibly persuasive." "He has a razor-sharp mind and commands a court with elegant simplicity." "He is absolutely first rate and a go-to barrister for big commercial disputes. He's so user-friendly, very responsive and clients love him. He exudes confidence, is a great advocate and is very good in cross-examinations." "Jonathan Crow QC is a class above in terms of his advocacy skills and also his overall thinking. He's an absolute standout - no one sees through problems like him and clients absolutely trust him."

Mark Howard QC (Brick Court Chambers)

"Mark Howard QC is the pre-eminent trial lawyer of his generation. His intellect and his advocacy skills are remarkable, and his cross-examinations are things to behold." "A top commercial silk at the Bar. His name strikes fear into the heart of the opposition." "Right at the top of the Commercial Bar, he is a phenomenal advocate and a stellar performer." "Mark Howard QC is well respected by judges and is very canny in terms of shaping the case."  "A ferocious cross-examiner who is well regarded."

Clare Montgomery QC (Matrix Chambers)

"Clare Montgomery QC has a giant intellect and such good judgement and clarity of thought." "She is a forensic and impressive advocate who can completely decimate in cross-examination." "A phenomenal silk who is incredibly quick at picking up the facts and getting straight to the heart of the issue. She has the confidence of the judges and has a real blend of criminal and commercial expertise which is so helpful." "She is utterly brilliant and one of the cleverest barristers in the country. She handles really sophisticated work which you would trust only a handful of people to do. A formidable advocate." "Clare Montgomery QC is the best criminal lawyer at the Bar and has an unsurpassable reputation. Her intellect is fierce."

Dinah Rose QC (Blackstone Chambers)

"She’s just stellar. An incredible public law barrister." "Dinah Rose QC is incredibly compelling; when she speaks, everyone sits back and angels appear." "She makes complicated issues seem simple; she knows how to select the right points to argue as she goes straight to heart of the matter and always has the best answer to any question asked by the judges." "Dinah Rose QC’s courtroom advocacy is like conversation, in the sense that she reduces the complex to a series of self-evident observations, so her arguments sound so straightforward and compelling."

Paul Chaisty QC (Kings Chambers)

"Paul Chaisty QC is one of the best silks we have ever worked with - at trial, for advisory work and drafting. He is very quick and succinct and is one of those people judges love. He is really effective and never labours points; he knows exactly what to say and what not to." "Paul Chaisty QC is a leading commercial silk, well regarded among peers and a go-to person when it comes to shareholder disputes."

Joe Smouha QC (Essex Court Chambers)

"Very measured and very, very experienced. Joe Smouha QC has good judgement and a very nice manner." "He has great strategic vision and is excellent with clients." "He's incredibly client-friendly, commercial and a smooth operator." "He is someone who manages the entire compass of commercial litigation, from trench work to courtroom advocacy. He's skilled in every single aspect of the work." "Universally acknowledged as one of the most effective courtroom advocates, Joe Smouha QC also has a very good understanding of commerce and makes sure things are aligned with the client's business priorities."

Hugh Sims QC (Guildhall Chambers)

"He's very bright and has a first-class brain. Judges adore him as he is laid back, never gets flustered and puts his case across very convincingly. He also works hard and prepares well for court." "Hugh Sims QC is always massively impressive, astonishingly sharp, very commercial and practical. He is very much part of the team and willing to get involved." "He is incredibly articulate and persuasive on his feet. He is a class act." "Hugh has an incredible knack for dealing with matters efficiently and he has an impeccable eye for detail. His advice always has commerciality in mind."

David Perry QC (6KBW College Hill)

"The best you can get at the criminal Bar. David Perry QC is a well-rounded person you want on your side when things are difficult." "Absolutely fantastic across the whole range of specialist areas." "David Perry QC is one of the most celebrated criminal lawyers of his generation. He is just a real pleasure to deal with and his judgement is impeccable." "Very responsive and has a lovely and plain way of delivering advice - he connects with his clients and brings a real joy to his work."

John Randall QC (St Philips Chambers)

"He is our go-to for almost everything in the Midlands. Give him a case on Friday and he'll know it better than the clients on Monday!" "John Randall QC has proven himself to be the finest advocate and silk that anyone has ever worked with here. He has been absolutely outstanding from start to finish." "John really rolls his sleeves up and leaves no stone unturned. He somehow strikes the balance between telling clients what they need to hear and telling judges what they want to hear while keeping everyone happy."

Lesley Anderson QC (Kings Chambers)

"Lesley Anderson QC is one of the top barristers in Manchester." "You have that sense that she can see through the problem and very quickly sees the paths through, then evaluates the best one." "She is excellent - a true inspiration."

Bankim Thanki QC (Fountain Court Chambers)

"He's got an outstanding intellect and he gives clients what they most need, which is a clear and well-judged advice." "Bankim Thanki QC is unbelievably clever, deadly in cross-examinations and his submissions are superb. The courts eat out of his hands." "A genuine all-rounder who has the universal respect of his clients, his opponents and the judiciary."  "Bankim Thanki is extremely authoritative, hard-working and knowledgeable. He's measured and sophisticated in client handling. The complete-package barrister."

Jonathan Gaisman QC (7 King’s Bench Walk)

"Jonathan Gaisman QC is incredibly thorough and is on top the detail. He really is phenomenal." "Jonathan is a first-rate advocate." "He is an absolutely lethal cross-examiner." "Hard-hitting and forceful, he's terrific with overall strategy and is one of the best cross-examiners around."  "A phenomenal barrister who is very thorough and always on top the detail." "Jonathan Gaisman QC takes the time to understand the matter properly and get to know the facts. He is on top of everything." "He's second to none in terms of legal analysis and attention to detail."

Roger Stewart QC (4 New Square)

"In terms of courtroom advocacy and crisp, effective, succinct advice he's at the top of the tree. He's peerless at making the complex simple." "Roger Stewart QC is very intellectually sharp and very hard-working. He's an impressive arbitrator." "He is engaged, personable, and willing to contribute to the drafting of the award with his expertise." "Roger turns matters around quickly, has a lot of gravitas and is also user-friendly."

Laurence Rabinowitz QC (One Essex Court)

"Laurence Rabinowitz QC is a big name and his reputation as one of the leading barristers is well deserved. He is very client-friendly, measured, has excellent judgement and is very good technically." "Laurence is simply superb. He can assimilate information remarkably quickly and is always very calm and effective on his feet." "He is incredibly impressive, clear in his thinking and gets straight to the heart of the issue. As an advocate he is persuasive, balanced and reasonable. He is a pleasure to work with." "In terms of the quality of analysis he brings, he is top class."

Philip Jones QC (Serle Court)

"Philip Jones QC is undoubtedly one of the best silks around. He is approachable, user-friendly and also great with lay clients." "A very pleasant and utterly charming opponent who commands the respect of every tribunal he comes before." "A consummate professional with excellent client skills. His advocacy skills are an art form to observe, and he inspires confidence in clients. He is hands-on as a silk, readily contactable and always informed on the papers." "Philip Jones QC is my favourite advocate to use. He has a subtle style and is very good at persuading a judge; he can take very difficult points and turn the mind of tribunal around."

Elspeth Talbot Rice QC (XXIV Old Buildings)

"Elspeth Talbot Rice QC is that rare combination of a fine advocate who is good with both clients and instructing solicitors. She is insightful when it comes to the legal issues and always comes up with commercial answers. She is every instructing solicitor's dream." "She is forthright in trials and very straightforward. Her advocacy is excellent and she's very, very impressive on her feet." "Very responsive and very proactive, she has a knack of describing complex legal arguments in terms understandable to lay clients without appearing patronising." "Elspeth Talbot Rice QC has an encyclopedic knowledge of onshore and offshore trust law, and is a strong strategic thinker who really fights for the client."

Richard Lissack QC (Fountain Court Chambers)

"Richard Lissack QC is so charming and has an enormous brain. He's also good humoured and fun to work with."  "One of those fantastically versatile QCs, he can cover all the issues in a multi-faceted matter - he brings you something not many QCs can. Richard is very user-friendly, incredibly responsive, and someone who always gives the service the client needs." "He is excellent; he has very, very good judgement, years of experience, and his delivery is excellent. He is measured and judges trust him."

Ali Malek QC (3 Verulam Buildings)

"If you need someone to deal with a tricky, powerful client who is incredibly robust in their view, you need someone who can command a room like Ali Malek QC - he rolls with the punches and really impresses." "He is a formidable advocate and is really good at cutting to the core issues and distilling what's important. He's great at directing the team and making sure they all come together. You go to Ali for his leadership and advocacy." "A forceful and eloquent advocate who delves deep into the issues and is always thoroughly prepared."

Mark Harper QC (Kings Chambers)

"Mark Harper QC is a fierce opponent but is sensible, very diligent and gets straight back to you. He is very natural in his approach and doesn't seem over-rehearsed." "He's frighteningly bright, razor sharp, incisive, to the point and very effective. If you want to roll out the big guns, choose Mark Harper QC." "He is exceptionally proficient and a technical lawyer. He is very responsive and has a great rapport with judges."

Richard Drabble QC (Landmark Chambers)

"By some way the country's leading expert in social security." "Richard Drabble QC is an incredibly talented human rights practitioner and continues to deliver excellent results." "A wonderful silk who is lovely to work with and easy to engage with." "He commands respect in the courtroom but is also approachable, works well with solicitors and has excellent client care skills." "A great barrister and a clear, concise and formidable advocate."

David Streatfeild-James QC (Atkin Chambers)

"David Streatfeild-James QC has an immense ability to get on top of the detail very quickly, and he's prepared to think about strategies that are different." "He is the brain of the Bar! He has the most brilliant legal mind I have come across in the construction field." "David Streatfeild-James QC is highly intelligent and very good at getting to the nub of an issue and explaining complex points in a way that the tribunal will understand." "A very good, very well-respected barrister who would be a go-to on any matter requiring a big-picture view of a case."

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