Chambers UK Bar Guide 2021

From Chambers UK Bar Guide 2021

Lisa Giovanetti QC, Stuart Catchpole QC, Neil Block QC – just some of the 39 Essex tenants listed as star individuals in our guide. Few other sets of chambers can match the cast list at 39 Essex, and with a hugely impressive twenty rankings in our guide, instructing solicitors know they can find quality counsel across a vast array of areas. For matters relating to health and welfare, for example, clients can choose from a number of top silks, such as the “fantastic” Jenni Richards QC, “true leader” Vikram Sachdeva QC, or “absolute star” junior Alexander Ruck Keene. 39 Essex Chambers also holds a top band ranking in our competitive personal injury section. There are many juniors and silks worthy of mention here, but Christian Du Cann continues to reign supreme among senior juniors. “He is one of the best advocates I’ve ever been against,” says a fellow barrister. In our professional discipline category, the set fields several top counsel. “Top performer” David Bradly has long held the coveted star individual status, and Eleanor Grey QC, Fenella Morris QC and Gregory Treverton-Jones QC all appear in band one. Another of the set’s stars is Stephen Tromans QC, “the doyen of environmental law.” Tromans and several other specialists make up the top-ranked environment team at the set. Members of this chambers hold 37 band one rankings between them, in areas ranging from international arbitration to education, and from construction to media. As a result, instructing solicitors at all manner of specialist boutiques and magic circle firms happily return to this “well run set” time and time again.

 

Clerks

Solicitors find that, “while others do an adequate job, the clerks at 39 Essex really go the extra mile.” “The clerking team is absolutely fabulous,” according to one source: “Out of all the sets I have dealt with in 20 years, these are the clerks who really know how to look after solicitors – they are permanently in touch and always inviting you to functions and keeping a close relationship going.” Moreover, they “really understand the work, and just get what you want really quickly.” Director of clerking Lindsay Scott, who is well known as an innovator in the profession, is ably assisted by senior clerk Alastair Davidson in co-ordinating a “progressive, modern, ambitious and international” team. The set’s practice managers are praised as “highly organised and very efficient at coming back to you,” and solicitors note that they “always turn around the work when they say they will.” Public law specialists Sheraton Doyle and Peter Campbell are repeatedly singled out for approbation by our interviewees: “They make a real effort to get to know you and the work you do, so that they make sure they are offering you the best barrister for your case.” Meanwhile, commercial solicitors highlight Niki Merison as a man who “goes out of his way to assist with extras and is sensible on fees.” Sources enthusiastically commend deputy senior clerk Andrew Poyser as “probably the best planning clerk we come across,” adding: “He is honest, transparent and accommodating with us; he is relatively understated and modest and takes a genuine interest in our work.” Others view Ben Sundborg and Tom Gibbons, who lead the practice management for civil liability, as “particularly affable clerks with whom we have developed a good relationship,” while Hannah Milne is said to be “very responsive, and excellent at managing her barristers’ diaries.” Clients are confident that the “user-friendly” chambers “never tries to swindle us,” adding that “on the rare occasions we want to challenge the billing, they will always facilitate a sensible conversation.” Also appreciated by instructing solicitors are the practice managers’ efforts towards organising bespoke training programmes led by the barristers. Roderick Noble is the set’s director of Asian business.

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