Chambers UK

From Chambers UK Bar Guide 2019

39 Essex Chambers is home to a deep bench of silks and juniors, capable of handling work across a diverse range of practice areas. Areas of a particular particular strength for the set include community care and personal injury, where the “meticulous and strong” Neil Block QC retains his reputation as a leading silk in the field. The group takes on a wide range of claims, from historical sexual abuse claims and RTAs to catastrophic and psychiatric injuries. It recently handled the high-profile Kenyan Emergency Group Litigation brought by 42,000 Kenyans against the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The Court of Protection team is also well regarded in the market and features two leading juniors, Victoria Butler-Cole and Alexander Ruck Keene, as well as the highly acclaimed Vikram Sachdeva QC. The recent addition of the “very pragmatic, astute and intelligent” Fiona Paterson has bolstered the team’s offering in this area. Further areas of strength for the set include professional negligence, education, local government and costs litigation, as well as environment and professional discipline, evidenced by the presence of two leading individuals in these latter two areas. The “phenomenal” Stephen Tromans QC is regarded as “a real expert on contaminated land matters”, while fellow star individual David Bradley is noted as “a charmingly persuasive advocate who is very natural and incredibly responsive,” ensuring he remains a first choice junior for a wide range of professional discipline matters.  The set’s strength in construction law is complemented by its recognised expertise in international arbitration. “Premier league silk” Stuart Catchpole QC is frequently instructed to appear as counsel in both high-value construction litigation and arbitrations, while the set also houses several established arbitrators, including David Brynmor Thomas, Charles Manzoni QC and John Tackaberry QC.

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