Chambers Bar Awards 2021 – Monckton success as Set wins for Competition and Ben Lask is Competition Junior of the Year

At last night’s awards ceremony, Monckton Chambers and its members won two awards – Ben Lask won Junior of the Year for Competition and Monckton Chambers was awarded Competition Set of the Year.

Competition Junior of the Year, Ben Lask, is Standing Counsel to the Competition and Markets Authority. He is described in the most recent Chambers Bar Guide as “very much on top of the issues; he is an accessible barrister and turns things around over a short timescale.” Recent high profile cases include acting for the CMA in Facebook’s unsuccessful appeal concerning the CMA’s use of interim measures in merger investigations and representing Royal Mail and BT in the ongoing Trucks litigation.

Although not winners on the night, we were also delighted that Jon Turner QC and Paul Harris QC were in the shortlist for Competition Silk of the Year and Julianne Kerr Morrison was in the running for Competition Junior of the Year.

The awards, which are based on research for the 2022 edition of Chambers UK Bar, reflect a set’s pre-eminence in key practice areas. They also reflect notable achievements over the past 12 months including outstanding work, impressive strategic growth and excellence in client service.

For further details, see the Chambers and Partners website.

Mentoring Scheme for underrepresented groups offers places to nearly 200 applicants

Monckton Chambers is delighted to announce that the ten sets of Chambers participating in the Mentoring Scheme for underrepresented groups have, between them, offered places on the scheme to nearly 200 applicants from groups that are underrepresented at the Bar.

The scheme will make a real contribution to increasing opportunity and diversity at the Bar, by providing mentees with a source of information and advice, and by making it clear that a career at the Bar is open to anyone, from any background.

More details about the scheme are here.

It is open to people from underrepresented groups including women; people from minority ethnic backgrounds; people with disabilities; LGBT+ people; people who spent time in care; and people from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds.

The participating sets of Chambers are:

  • Monckton Chambers
  • Blackstone Chambers
  • Brick Court Chambers
  • Essex Court Chambers
  • Fountain Court Chambers
  • Gatehouse Chambers
  • Keating Chambers
  • 7 King’s Bench Walk
  • One Essex Court Chambers
  • 3 Verulam Buildings

Paul Harris QC is Barrister of the Year in The Lawyer Awards

Paul Harris QC has won the “Barrister of the Year” category in this year’s The Lawyer Awards. The virtual awards ceremony was hosted by BBC news anchor Huw Edwards, who announced the winners of the 29 awards.

In summarising why Paul was the winner of this award, the presenter highlighted the judges’ recognition of Paul’s trailblazing collective competition law proceedings (CPOs) practice, and in particular his “strong leadership of a novel case” in acting for the opt-out claimants in Walter Hugh Merricks CBE v Mastercard Inc. This was the first mass consumer claim successfully brought under the new collective action regime and the judges were impressed with Paul’s “extremely strong advocacy credentials” in this “relatively new area of law.”

The judges also cited Paul’s “pre-eminence in, and his commitment to, his chosen fields of competition and sports law, as supported by the detailed testimonials by instructing solicitors and clients as to his personal and legal ability, which led further force to his submission”

These testimonials can be accessed here.

Chambers Bar UK 2022 – Monckton Chambers is once again top tier for Competition, EU Law, Telecoms, Procurement and Indirect Tax

The recently launched Chambers Bar UK 2022 ranks 57 individual Monckton barristers across 19 practice areas with many appearing in multiple categories.

Monckton Chambers is one of the most highly ranked sets in the UK as it has been recommended in eleven practice areas; in five of these, Monckton is recognised as a “Band One” leading set:

  • Competition
  • European Law
  • Telecommunications
  • Public Procurement
  • Indirect Tax

The Set has also been ranked in a further six categories:

  • Administrative and Public Law
  • Civil Liberties & Human Rights
  • Data Protection
  • Sports Law
  • Environment
  • Community Care

Individual members were also recognised as “Leading Individuals” in a further nine categories:

  • Aviation
  • Commercial Dispute Resolution
  • Education
  • Immigration
  • Local Government
  • Public International Law
  • Social Housing
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Consumer

For further details on how Monckton Chambers performed, visit the Chambers and Partners website.

We welcome two new tenants – Antonia Fitzpatrick and Clíodhna Kelleher

Monckton Chambers is delighted to announce that Antonia Fitzpatrick and Clíodhna Kelleher have accepted invitations to join Chambers following successful completion of pupillage.

Prior to pupillage Antonia was Student Director of the School Exclusion Project. She was also, for six years, a member of St. John’s College and the History Faculty, University of Oxford, holding the positions of Junior Research Fellow and Departmental Lecturer in Medieval History.

Clíodhna Kelleher, a graduate of University College Dublin and Harvard Law School, was the recipient of the Irving R Kaufman Fellowship awarded by Harvard Law School and has won a number of debating championships including the John Smith Memorial Mace and the 2016 ‘Irish Times’ debate individual award.

Antonia and Clíodhna became tenants on 1st October 2021 having experienced a broad range of practice areas as part of pupillage.

Legal 500 UK Bar 2022: Monckton recognised as top tier for five practice areas

In the recently launched Legal 500 UK Bar 2022, a record 55 individual barristers from Monckton Chambers are listed across 16 practice areas with many recommended in multiple categories.
Monckton Chambers has been recommended, as a TOP-TIER set in the following five practice areas:

  • Competition
  • EU law
  • Telecoms (regulatory)
  • Public procurement
  • Tax – VAT

The Set has also been ranked in a further four areas:

  • Administrative and public law (including local government)
  • Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police)
  • Data protection
  • Sport

Individual members were also recognised as “Leading Individuals” in:

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Education
  • Fraud:civil
  • Immigration (including business immigration)
  • International arbitration: counsel
  • Public international law
  • Social housing

See full Monckton Chambers’ rankings here.

Ian Wise QC is The Lawyer’s Barrister of the Week

The Lawyer has selected Ian Wise QC as “Barrister of the Week” for his recent landmark human rights case involving a vulnerable five-year-old boy, Mathew Richards. Ian, leading Monckton’s Michael Armitage and Will Perry, succeeded in showing that the Environment Agency is not discharging its statutory duty under s. 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 to protect the boy’s right to life and right to respect for private and family life (under Articles 2 and 8 respectively of the European Convention on Human Rights) in its regulation of harmful hydrogen sulphide emissions from the Walleys Quarry Landfill Site in the Staffordshire village of Silverdale. See Monckton website news 16 September 2021.

The Lawyer article leads with Ian’s own words, stating he does “people cases, not money cases,” working predominantly for claimants against public bodies and visited the House of Lords and Supreme Court on 14 occasions.

But this was not just a people case, it was people Ian knew and this only added to the urgency. “If there was ever a case that required sleeves to be rolled up and burn the midnight oil, then this was the case. I certainly felt an additional imperative to get it right,” he tells The Lawyer.

Although successful, it is recognised that the fight is far from over, as it is still to be seen as to whether the Environment Agency complies with its obligations. If not, Wise will be ready. “We won’t be leaving any stone unturned to ensure that this judgment is enforced,” he said.

The Lawyer concludes with Ian using the case example to promote both the Judicial Review process and the Human Rights Act, as crucial tools to protect people’s rights and challenge the interests of public bodies. It is also a case in point to highlight that underlying Ian’s “entire practice is an instinctive sense of right and wrong.”

“Barrister of the Week” is selected by The Lawyer’s Litigation Tracker team. Subscribers can read the full article here.

Paul Harris QC shortlisted for Barrister of the Year in this year’s Lawyer Awards

Paul Harris QC is one of seven Silks who have been selected for the shortlist of the “Barrister of the Year” category.

Paul’s successful submission focussed primarily on his trailblazing collective competition law proceedings (CPOs) practice, as the only QC in this country to have led on the first five major contested CPO hearings, both for claimants and for defendants. In particular, Paul led a team of other silks and juniors on behalf of the opt-out claimants in Walter Hugh Merricks CBE v Mastercard Inc., the first mass consumer claim successfully brought under the new collective action regime. Paul was pivotal in determining strategy for the case and considers acting on behalf of 46 million consumers in the UK’s biggest ever damages action and leading the team to a successful conclusion in the Supreme Court as one of the greatest challenges of his career to date. The case was instrumental in The Lawyer recognising Paul as Barrister of the Week and including him in The Lawyer Hot 100 2021.

However, Paul’s case highlights in 2020 were not just about competition and collective actions; it also reflects his pre-eminence as a Sports law barrister. In July 2020, Paul led the successful appeal before the CAS by Manchester City FC against the decision by UEFA to impose a two-year ban from the Champions League. The result saw the CAS overturn the previous decision, thus enabling the club to progress through the competition to the Final in 2020-2021. Similarly, Paul was heavily involved in assisting Mercedes GP to a seventh double world championship in the world of Formula 1.

The Lawyer Barrister of the Week article best summarised Paul’s exceptional year and his suitability for this award, with the following: “It has been a year in which he has helped shift the legal landscape for good and keep his football club competing among Europe’s elite. There is no doubt that these results only come round once in a Blue Moon.”

The winner of the Barrister of the Year and the other categories will be announced at a digital awards ceremony taking place on Tuesday 2nd November.

Josh Holmes QC is The Lawyer’s Barrister of the Week

The Lawyer has selected Josh Holmes QC as “Barrister of the Week” for his recent victory for Coca Cola European Partners in the CAT, which struck out a £11.6m claim made against the British multinational bottling company. See Monckton website news 30 July 2021.

Forrest Fresh Foods claimed that Coca-Cola European Partners had abused its dominant position but was admonished by the specialist tribunal for failing to be specific about its serious allegations, and not having “a proper approach to litigation.”

The article highlights Josh’s success in positioning himself as the “go-to-barrister for major competition disputes”, including acting in the Forex and Trucks proceedings, as well as newer disputes such as Google’s Epic Games and Play Store.

Josh led Monckton’s Nikolaus Grubeck for Coca-Cola European Partners, and was instructed by CMS.

“Barrister of the Week” is selected by The Lawyer’s Litigation Tracker team. Subscribers can read the full article here.

Robert Palmer QC appointed as a Deputy High Court Judge

Chambers is pleased to announce that Robert Palmer QC has been appointed a Deputy High Court Judge. His appointment will take effect on 1st October 2021.

The appointment followed an open competition by the Judicial Appointments Commission. Robert will hear cases in the Queen’s Bench Division. The role of Deputy High Court Judge is reserved for those who have the experience and expertise to deal with very complex cases which would otherwise be undertaken by High Court Judges.

Robert will sit in the High Court for around 30 days a year, and will also continue to practise full time from Chambers.