Chambers UK, 2016

  • Administrative & Public Law

    Monckton Chambers houses broad administrative and public law expertise and has experience in areas including freedom of information, human rights and immigration. The set was strengthened in June by the arrival of five public-law practitioners, including Ian Wise QC. It has particular strength in cases involving the overlap of commercial and regulatory matters, and has a focus on Utilities Regulations and EU law. Its recent cases include Buckinghamshire County Council v Secretary of State for Transport (High Speed 2 Rail).

    Client service: The team is led by the “very responsive” David Hockney and described by sources as “very good and efficient.”


    Tim Ward QC

    Praised for his strategic abilities, he specialises in bringing public law actions against commercial regulators. He is experienced in acting for large law firms and boasts recent involvement in cases to do with regulators such as Ofcom and Ofgem.

    Strengths: “He has an excellent tactical brain, good foresight and knowledge as to how things will pan out in court, he has a calm presence and is sensible and commercial in his advice.” “His advocacy has an attractive style, it is both conversational and forceful and he is obviously completely on top of everything.”

    Recent work: Acted for Akzo Nobel in bringing about a judicial review, appealed to the Supreme Court, concerning UK territorial jurisdiction. The case specifically addressed whether the UK has dominion over the activities of a corporate group taking place outside the UK.

    Jon Turner QC

    Known for his work in public law with a particular focus on commercial and regulatory judicial review. He is recommended for actions against regulators, including Ofcom, and offers additional expertise in environmental matters.

    Strengths: “He is very bright, works hard and is good on his feet.” “He is very ordered and clear and he picks up on where the bench is coming from very quickly.”

    Recent work: Instructed by BT during an appeal heard in the Court of Appeal against a public law judgment made in the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

    Daniel Beard QC

    Maintains a broad practice focused around judicial review including commercial and regulatory matters. He regularly deals with a wide range of public law issues both domestic and EU, including unlawful detention, and has also acted as a special advocate.

    Strengths: “He is clear, calm and organised.” “Really impressive – he is very good at having an ostensibly casual approach while in fact being thoroughly prepared.”

    Recent work: Instructed on behalf of the MoD in judicial review proceedings. The matter concerned a legal claim made by families in an attempt to force the MoD to carry out further inquiries into the deaths of six military policemen in Iraq.

    Ian Wise QC
    Recently joined the set and has continued his respected and broad public law practice. He often acts in challenges against local authorities before the Supreme Court.

    Strengths: “Very determined, knowledgeable, down-to-earth and good with clients.”

    Recent work: A Supreme Court case concerning the lawfulness of Haringey Council’s consultation process relating to its proposed council tax reduction scheme.

    Kassie Smith QC

    Maintains a wide public and administrative law practice acting for clients ranging from NGOs to government departments. She has particular expertise in commercial and regulatory judicial review matters with a special insight into their overlap with EU law.

    Strengths: ”She is reserved and poised so when she speaks people listen.” “She’s very effective.”

    Recent work: Engaged in a matter concerning a challenge to the companies in control of fuel storage and transport at Heathrow Airport, particularly the bylaws affecting access to the airport.

    Gerry Facenna QC

    Possesses broad knowledge in public law matters and is frequently instructed to act both for and against public bodies. His experience includes cases involving regulatory, environmental and human rights issues.

    Strengths: “He is a go-to barrister for a diverse range of matters and has a genuinely broad practice. He’s a solid advocate and a fantastic backup for any senior silk. He has good judgement and a really good set of barrister skills in terms of analysis and drafting.”

    Recent work: Acted on a judicial review relating to the failure to hold an inquiry into the deaths of six military policemen in Iraq. The claim involved allegations that the commanders failed to take reasonable precautions.


    Robert Palmer

    Attracts praise for his technical expertise and courtroom delivery. He possesses a broad public law practice and is recommended for commercial and regulatory judicial review work.

    Strengths: “A very calm and cool advocate with excellent knowledge of European law.” “His preparation is first-class, he’s client-friendly and sticks to his guns.”

    Recent work: Engaged in the judicial review of the Home Secretary’s decision to exclude Maryam Rajavi from the UK. The review was brought by 16 MPs and members of the House of Lords.

    Stephen Broach

    Draws praise for his committed approach to public law cases, particularly those involving disabled people. He possesses significant experience in inquests into the actions of the police and judicial review work.

    Strengths: “He really knows his stuff, and is extremely approachable, innovative, highly committed to clients and conscientious.” “He is very passionate about the rights of children, sensible and pragmatic.”

    Recent work: Instructed in a challenge to the proposed reduction of the amount of support available via the Disabled Students Allowance.

    Azeem Suterwalla

    Has a wide practice covering public law and overlapping human rights law. He focuses on the rights of children, the vulnerable and disabled as well as prisoners and migrants.

    Strengths: “He’s great, good and effective. He fights well for his clients and is a delightful person and a fair opponent.” “He’s very passionate about the rights of children.”

    Recent work: Led by Steve Cragg QC in the successful appeal of a decision concerning the requirement for all previous convictions and cautions to be disclosed on Criminal Record Certificates.

    Nikolaus Grubeck

    Noted for his impressive public law expertise and ability to approach problems creatively. His practice focuses on civil and international law with a human rights feature.

    Strengths: “He has a technical background which means he can add a whole different dimension to cases. He has years of experience in his fields of practice and is hugely connected.” “He works incredibly hard and is very well informed on all the technical public law questions.”

    Recent work: Acted on a complex judicial review challenge to the policy of supplying state aid to Ethiopia which, it is argued, contributed to the abuse of human rights.

    Brendan McGurk

    Boasts involvement in some high-profile litigation including the Atomic Veterans case and the Guantanamo Bay civil claims. Maintaining a broad practice, his experience in public law is complemented by additional expertise in EU and commercial law.

    Strengths: “He is good on complex matters and esoteric areas of the law.”

    Recent work: Instructed by the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis in defence of a judicial review claim challenging the decision to issue and retain a warning notice on police file.

    Julianne Morrison

    Frequently involved in EU-related judicial reviews as well as those concerning a variety of other areas including regulatory, information and procurement issues. Her particular expertise lies in the overlap between public law and data protection, and information and procurement law.

    Strengths: “She is extraordinarily knowledgeable, brilliant on paper and in terms of junior work, she is my favourite of the year.” “She is a rising star. Her knowledge of the law and freedom of information cases, and the passion and commitment to getting the best for clients convinced me she is going to go a long way.”

    Recent work: Acted for HM Treasury and BIS in a judicial review brought by Russian oil company Rosneft over EU sanctions against the Russian Federation and measures implemented by the UK authorities.

  • Competition Law

    Houses a vast array of strong and experienced practitioners, and can furnish those that instruct it with both established senior figures and rising stars. Individuals here are recognised for their excellent advocacy and are noted for assisting clients on some of the most complex competition cases available. They are strong both in terms of their advisory work and their performances in court, and are thoroughly au fait with procedure in the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT), the European courts and the High Court.

    Client service: Senior clerk David Hockney leads the clerking team. Clients say: “Monckton is known for its highly efficient administration and the clerks are keen to assist.”


    Jon Turner QC

    A competition law supremo of long standing who is known for having superior knowledge of the subject. His practice encompasses competition and EU law, public and administrative law, environmental law and telecommunications.

    Strengths: “Has few equals in competition law” and “is never caught out by a question in court.”  “Extremely clever and hard-working, he’s tactically astute and excellent to work with.”

    Recent work: Represented Google in claims brought by Foundem and Streetmap for damages due to an alleged abuse of dominance.

    Daniel Beard QC

    Impresses with his first-class knowledge and is known for having experience beyond his years. A first choice for many clients, he is constantly sought after to work on competition cases at the highest level.

    Strengths: “Incredibly popular with clients, and also very erudite and cerebral.” “He’s commercially aware and tactically astute.”

    Recent work: Acted for Singapore Airlines in connection with damages claims being brought in relation to the air cargo cartel.

    Tim Ward QC

    Highly regarded within the field of competition law and has particular knowledge of the regulated utilities sectors. Sources appreciate his “down-to-earth” approach and ability to work well as part of a team.

    Strengths: “He is extremely responsive and always accessible. It is clear that he works very hard.”

    Recent work: Acting for Tesco in damages claims made against Visa and MasterCard concerning the legality of fees charged by them.

    Paul Harris QC

    Has a broad practice encompassing sport, broadcasting, VAT, European and competition law. Within competition law he has enviable experience of handling damages actions in relation to both abuse of dominance and cartels. He has handled numerous competition law cases within the sports industry.

    Strengths: “Incredibly fearless, incisive and decisive.” “He is insightful and incredible both on his feet and also in preparation.” “His cross-examination was phenomenal and really persuasive.”

    Recent work: Acted as lead counsel for the claimants in the high-profile damages case of Emerald Supplies Limited & Others v British Airways Plc.

    Paul Lasok QC

    Head of chambers and a lawyer who handles a broad range of EU law cases including those relating to competition law. He boasts experience across the full range of competition matters, and has handled abuse of dominance, cartels, damages and state aid cases.

    Strengths: “He offers a wealth of experience and is a very clear thinker.”

    Recent work: Represented Frucona in the General Court in its action against a Commission decision on state aid.

    Kassie Smith QC

    A young silk who has created a strong reputation for herself in the market. Sources praise her for both her written work and her advocacy skills in court.

    Strengths: “An extremely good barrister who is legally excellent and has an abundance of common sense.” “She’s strong on strategic thinking and is user-friendly.”

    Recent work: Acted for Skyscanner in its appeal of the OFT’s decision to accept commitments from numerous online travel agents and the InterContinental Hotels Group.

    George Peretz QC

    A new silk who attracts praise from a range of clients. He has experience of representing private clients, regulators and government bodies.

    Strengths: “Extremely bright, very tenacious and someone who quickly grasps the commercial issues.” “He’s thorough and an effective advocate.”

    Recent work: Represented the European Commission in the General Court regarding an appeal of its decision in the Lundbeck and Servier so-called ‘pay for delay’ cases.

    Meredith Pickford QC

    A young silk who is appreciated by clients for his economics expertise. He has expertise in mergers, damages actions, abuse of dominance and cases concerning both competition law and intellectual property.

    Strengths: “An outstanding barrister whose economics training is a valuable asset.”

    Recent work: Acted for BSkyB in an appeal being heard in the CAT regarding Pay TV.


    Josh Holmes

    Handles high-profile cases and receives widespread recommendations from clients. He has significant experience across both competition law and European law.

    Strengths: “Very hard-working, very forensic and a good draftsman.” “He is a tremendous asset to any team.”

    Recent work: Assisted the CMA with its ‘pay for delay’ investigation into GlaxoSmithKline and other pharmaceutical companies concerning their settlement of the paroxetine patent litigation.

    Ronit Kreisberger

    A highly regarded junior who regularly acts for a range of clients including highly regarded law firms and numerous regulatory bodies. She has of late been involved in investigations, regulatory appeals, damages actions and abuse of dominance cases.

    Strengths: “A bright counsel who is highly engaged.” “She provides clear, prompt advice and is very user-friendly.”

    Recent work: Acted as sole counsel for The London Clinic in an appeal of the CMA’s decision requiring the HCA group to divest itself of certain hospitals in central London. The London Clinic claims that this divestiture remedy does not go far enough.

    Rob Williams

    A former in-house barrister at a large City law firm who attracts consistent praise from sources. His wider practice encompasses commercial litigation, public law and public procurement.

    Strengths: “His pleadings and skeleton arguments are particularly good.”

    Recent work: Led by David Railton QC and Tim Ward QC, he represented Tesco in its damages claim in relation to interchange fees set by Visa and MasterCard.

    Julian Gregory

    Handles the full range of competition law mandates and benefits from having a keen understanding of the economics. He has of late been active across a wide range of sectors including the construction and media industries.

    Strengths: “He’s very thorough and he picks up new areas very quickly.”

    Recent work: Acted in the case of Competition Commission v Sky regarding the pay TV market.

    Anneli Howard

    A former solicitor and a former referendaire at the ECJ who has come to be highly regarded at the Bar for both UK and EU competition law expertise.

    Strengths: “She’s intelligent and analytical and makes short work of complex matters.”

    Ben Lask

    Continues to impress with his involvement in topical cases. Within his competition practice, he has particular knowledge of broadcasting, telecommunications and environmental compliance.

    Strengths: “He has good transferable skills and is particularly strong on areas that cover the regulatory, public law and competition law overlap. He is a delight to work with and you can always rely upon him to produce very good work.”

    Recent work: Acting for TalkTalk in British Telecommunications plc v Office of Communications, a case heard in the CAT.

    Alistair Lindsay
    Particularly experienced within the area of merger control. He is a former solicitor from Allen & Overy and regularly handles cases in the CAT.

    Strengths: “He is a heavyweight when it comes to competition law” and is “very knowledgeable about the healthcare sector.”

    Recent work: Worked on the case of Eurotunnel v Competition and Markets Authority in which Eurotunnel challenged the CMA’s decision that it had jurisdiction to investigate under UK merger control.

    Ben Rayment
    Regularly receives instructions from both law firms and regulatory bodies. He has previously acted as a legal secretary to the CAT.

    Strengths: “Has a huge intellect, and is both incredibly hard-working and very organised.” “He has a very thoughtful style and is able to deal with a variety of complex legal issues quickly.”

    Recent work: Acted in the highly publicised air cargo damages case currently being heard in the Court of Appeal.

    Alan Bates

    Attracts praise from numerous sources for his expertise across competition law, public law and public procurement. He has experience of competition law litigation at both the UK and EU level.

    Strengths: “He’s extremely commercial, very knowledgeable and tactically adept.” “A very impressive barrister who manages to cut through things extremely quickly.”

    Recent work: Led by Jon Turner QC, he acted for Pilkington in its appeal to the General Court against the EUR357 million fine imposed on it by the European Commission.

    Alison Berridge

    A former solicitor practising at both Freshfields and Allen & Overy. She is fast growing a well-respected practice and has of late been active in numerous high-profile cases.

    Strengths: “Very able and went to great efforts to assist our client.”

    Recent work: Advised the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills with regard to Pfizer’s high-profile bid for AstraZeneca.

    Philip Woolfe
    Has a practice which encompasses competition law and telecommunications. He has experience of acting in the CAT, High Court, COA and the Supreme Court.

    Strengths: “He is very helpful on procurement issues.”

    Recent work: Acted for the English NHS in a case against Reckitt Benckiser regarding its withdrawal of Gaviscon to the NHS.

    Anneliese Blackwood

    An up-and-coming barrister who continues to build her reputation in the market. She is regularly instructed by both law firms and regulatory bodies.

    Recent work: Led by Ian Milligan QC and Paul Harris QC, she worked as part of a team bringing claims against British Airways as a result of its involvement in the air cargo cartel.

    Laura Elizabeth John

    Up and coming in this area, she has appeared in some interesting cases both led and unled.

    Strengths: “A star of the future, no doubt.” “She is excellent and very user-friendly.”

    Recent work: Acted sole counsel to the Welsh NHS in its damages claim against Servier regarding ‘pay for delay’.


  • Data Protection

    Monckton offers a strong bench of junior counsel who are highly regarded for their knowledgeable and adept representation across the full range of information law cases. They act for both private and public clients, and regularly represent the Information Commissioner in both advisory and trial capacities. The set offers additional expertise in relation to the application of freedom of information principles in the context of public procurement.

    Client service: The clerks at Monckton are led by David Hockney.


    Gerry Facenna QC

    Highly respected barrister with extensive experience of representing the Information Commissioner, public authorities and private individuals in information request proceedings.

    Strengths: “He strikes an enviable balance between being a forceful advocate and a charming one.” “He brings the imagination that’s necessary for the applicant, presents nicely, writes nicely and thinks things through.”

    Recent work: Acted for the Home Secretary in defending a judicial review seeking to overturn the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act on ECHR and human rights grounds.


    Laura Elizabeth John

    Enjoys a growing reputation for her practice in the field of information law. She regularly appears in the First-tier and Upper Tribunals in matters concerning the EIR and the DPA and FOIA.

    Strengths: “She is exceptionally good – she’s succinct and could really go far.” “She was very professional and did everything well.”

    Recent work: Acted for the Information Commissioner in defending a claim addressing the validity of the use of a closed hearing in information rights cases. The matter was in connection with the appointment of a panel to investigate 15 alleged murders by the Ulster Volunteer Force in the 1990s.

    Ben Lask

    Experienced at representing public authorities, the Information Commissioner and private individuals in a range of information law cases. He has noted expertise in matters addressing the correct application of statutory exemptions to the requirement to disclose information.

    Strengths: “He was extremely resilient and impressive in a case where he was under extreme pressure from the court.” “His advice is competent and well expressed.”

    Recent work: Represented Defra in an important case in the Upper Tribunal addressing the entitlement of the department to withhold information under an exemption in the EIR.

    Julianne Morrison

    Well-regarded counsel in relation to requests for information and to challenges to orders to disclose. She has also acted on behalf of the Information Commissioner on a number of occasions.

    Strengths: “She is a pleasure to work with. In court she is composed, methodical and compelling, and her analysis of written material from the other side is very impressive.” “She is meticulous, very diligent and extremely helpful.”

    Recent work: Acted for a Russian national living in the UK in relation to a claim against the National Crime Agency (NCA) on data protection and human rights grounds. Her client wished to prevent the NCA from processing his personal information in response to INTERPOL requests from the Russian Federation.

  • Environment

    The team’s environment practice is focused heavily on EU law related issues. Its members are regularly seen leading cases in European as well as English courts, and act for a wide range of clients from private individuals to government departments.

    Client service: One impressed solicitor said: “The clerks, led by David Hockney, got a team in place within 48 hours and that made the difference between winning and losing.”


    Jon Turner QC

    Areas of expertise include the EU-wide carbon trading scheme, habitat protection and illegal logging.

    Strengths: “He has a brain the size of a planet, is unbelievably hard-working and is so motivated that he inspires the people around him. He does all that while being gentle and humble.”

    Recent work: Advised the World Wide Fund for Nature on the EU Free Movement of Goods and how it pertains to the UK legislation on timber products.

    Kassie Smith QC

    A junior silk who represents a wide range of clients including community associations, local authorities, NGOs and central government. She is highly recommended for her knowledge of EU environmental law.

    Strengths: “She is a really good advocate who is very thorough and easy to work with.”

    Recent work: Retained by the New Under Ten Fisherman’s Association and Greenpeace to challenge the government’s decision to reallocate fishing quotas for artisan fishermen. The case dealt with EU law and the judge found for the claimants.

    Gerry Facenna QC

    Knowledgeable on EU environmental law as well as domestic regulations. He is frequently retained by major environmental charities, and also regularly acts for the Environment Agency.

    Strengths: “He made spirited submissions that were very persuasive and useful. He is very gutsy as a barrister and is a very animated and powerful advocate.”

    Recent work: Instructed by the Environment Agency to defend it against a water quality challenge brought by Fish Legal. The case related to the UK’s implementation of the Water Framework Directive


  • European Law

    Monckton Chambers houses a strong offering of practitioners who are rated for their knowledge and advocacy skills. Its members advise across all areas of EU law and are frequently engaged to act for high-profile clients.

    Client service: The clerking team is led by senior clerk David Hockney.


    Paul Lasok QC

    A strong figure in the market who is widely respected for his depth of expertise. He represents both private companies and government bodies across the wide range of EU concerns.

    Strengths: “He is a silk with very wide experience and a really broad understanding of how EU law works in practice. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of case law and has a very good understanding of court procedure.”

    Recent work: Continues to be involved in proceedings against a Commission decision on state aid granted to a Slovakian distillery, now being heard in the General Court.

    Tim Ward QC

    Practice spans across EU, competition and public law. He has experience of acting before the ECJ, the European Free Trade Area Court and numerous domestic courts.

    Strengths: “He is pragmatic and effective and is the go-to silk for issues of commercial EU law.”

    Recent work: Acted as lead counsel in a challenge brought under the free movement principles of EU law regarding a new tax regime imposed on certain oil drilling companies.

    Daniel Beard QC

    Highly regarded for his knowledge of competition and EU law. He is able to assist in a variety of EU cases, from sanctions to environmental information disclosure.

    Strengths: “I think he is pretty outstanding as an advocate and generally he is a very accomplished EU lawyer.”

    Recent work: Acted for the Secretary of State for Transport as intervener in a case concerning the rights of disabled persons on international flights.

    Philip Moser QC

    Regularly acts for governmental bodies in addition to private clients. He has significant experience appearing before both the UK and EU courts.

    Strengths: “He has a fantastic manner with clients. He is formidable and authoritative as an advocate.”

    Recent work: Acted in a case regarding non-UN EU sanctions against Zimbabwe.

    Kassie Smith QC

    Well respected by sources for her depth of knowledge within EU law. Her practice also includes disputes involving competition, environment and telecommunications.

    Strengths: “She is brilliant and has two amazing skills; she knows everything about EU law and is the fastest worker I have ever met. Her written style is very straightforward and there is no messing around; she is really excellent.”

    Recent work: Acted for Defra in a judicial review regarding the government’s failure to comply with EU emission limit values in London.

    Jon Turner QC

    Maintains a strong reputation for being at the forefront of competition law. He also gains praise for his wider EU practice where he has worked on a range of EU matters including issues of environmental law and criminal justice.

    Strengths: “Very smart on EU special protection certificates.” “He is fantastically impressive and really has a sense of how to get the sympathy of the court.”

    Recent work: Acted in a case brought by a group of low-fare airlines in a judicial review challenge to the proposed changes to the EU carbon trading regime.

    Ian Rogers QC

    Has particular experience of EU free movement and labour law issues; however, he regularly handles cases across other areas of EU law. His clients include both private corporates and government bodies.

    Strengths: “He is very personable, which clients like, and he has a very nice manner in court. He is very good at getting the judge onside in a nice, low-key manner.”

    Recent work: Appeared for the Council of Immigration Judges in a Supreme Court appeal regarding the issue of discrimination in judicial pension rights against part-time workers.

    Gerry Facenna QC

    Has a broad practice and handles a range of EU mandates. He has significant experience of acting before the ECJ and is often chosen to act on behalf of government bodies.

    Strengths: “Very, very able and utterly dedicated to securing the best outcome for his clients. He is commercial, adept and fearless in court.”

    Recent work: Acted in a test case before the Chancery Division regarding the compatibility of the UK’s protection for pensioners of employers who become insolvent with EU law.


    Josh Holmes

    Highly regarded for his competition law knowledge and has also gained noteworthy expertise within EU law. He was formerly a référendaire at the Court of Justice of the EU.

    Strengths: “An excellent junior; very commercial, presentable and accessible.” “Super-smart and very pleasant.”

    Recent work: Instructed by the Attorney General in the high-profile case regarding letters written by the Prince of Wales to government ministers.

  • Public Procurement

    Monckton Chambers boasts a strong roster of barristers who “always impress with their performances in court, their level of preparation and their commerciality.” Members have recently been instructed in a range of prominent and high-value procurement challenges, including NATS v Gatwick Airport, a dispute concerning the tender of air traffic control services. They are regularly called upon to act for public and private sector clients, and have experience in a range of areas including the aviation, construction, energy, healthcare, IT and housing sectors.

    Client service: The clerks, led by David Hockney, are “a pleasure to deal with” and “excellent in terms of customer service.” They are “helpful and efficient” and “understanding when it comes to fees.”


    Michael Bowsher QC

    A heavyweight silk with unrivalled experience in the field. Top choice to instruct in complex procurement disputes.

    Strengths: “At the very top of his field, and a man with instant recall of all the key cases.” “He has an excellent feel for identifying the killer fact in a case” and “answers difficult questions with unmatched authority.”

    Recent work: Advised Willmott Dixon on a challenge against Hammersmith and Fulham Council concerning a social housing maintenance contract.

    Paul Lasok QC

    An expert on EU law and resulting procurement issues who is regularly called upon by contracting authorities, tenderers and utility companies. He is a go-to barrister for both his advocacy and advisory work.

    Strengths: “Excellent and responsive.” “Very clever and very bright.”

    Philip Moser QC
    Has a solid grounding in EU law and is often instructed by private contractors and public bodies on novel and untested points of law.

    Strengths: “He was able to spot lines of attack that we had not appreciated. When he seizes on a point he has a talent for presenting it in a completely unarguable form.”

    Recent work: Acted for the MoD in a dispute challenging a contract for the armed service’s worldwide food provisions.


    Valentina Sloane

    A leading junior for EU procurement matters. She is regularly instructed by pre-eminent law firms, and often appears unled against prominent QCs.

    Strengths: “She knows the law inside and out, is pragmatic and offers crisp advice.”

    Recent work: Instructed by the MoD in a dispute concerning the procurement of armoured vehicles.

    Rob Williams

    Highly regarded junior who undertakes instructions for clients such as government departments and utility companies. He has recently been involved in several standout procurement challenges.

    Strengths: “He inspires confidence as he demonstrates a clear depth of knowledge and has an instinctual feel for this kind of work. He is a go-to junior if you need a creative solution to a new problem.”

    Recent work: He was lead junior counsel, acting for the defendants, in the high-profile NATS v Gatwick Airport case.

    Ewan West

    Has an extensive procurement practice that covers a range of advisory work and litigation. He is a well-renowned practitioner who has experience handling cases in numerous sectors including the transport, health, education and pharmaceuticals industries.

    Strengths: “Dedicated and immensely thorough, he has a natural flair for procurement law and an unbending commitment to delivering the top-quality service our clients expect.”

    Recent work: Acted for the claimant in Grifols UK v National Health Service Blood Transfusion, a challenge concerning the award of a UK-wide blood screening services contract.

    Ligia Osepciu

    A very popular junior with a stellar reputation amongst solicitors. She is regularly called upon to advise on disputes concerning high-value projects.

    Strengths: “A very quick thinker with a great breadth of knowledge and understanding of the potential grounds for bringing actions. She’s able to work very impressively to tight deadlines and engages well with a range of different clients.”

    Recent work: Advised The Pirbright Institute in a dispute centred around the procurement of a new integrated IT system.

    Anneliese Blackwood

    A junior who has been recently instructed in several significant procurement cases. She acts for both government bodies and private clients.

    Strengths: “She is dedicated, diligent and extremely sharp. Working with her is a pleasure as she ‘gets it’ straight away.”

    Recent work: She was instructed in Willmott Dixon v The Mayor and Burgesses of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, led by Michael Bowsher QC.

  • Sport

    Monckton Chambers has built a strong reputation for guiding clients through the full range of competition, commercial and sports regulatory provisions, in all major sports including rugby, football and motorsport. The set has the manpower to handle anything from advertising and image rights disputes, to ticketing, corporate governance and discrimination cases.

    Client service: “They are very flexible; The clerks are always striving to give us a solution, and coming up with innovative charging for little bits of work.” The clerking team is led by senior clerk David Hockney.


    Paul Harris QC

    A competition specialist with a vast amount of experience within the sports sector. He has handled high-profile disputes in football, rugby, tennis, horse racing, basketball and boxing.

    Strengths: “He is very intelligent, responsive, and a real heavyweight advocate.” “He is a combative driving force who is good on detail and strategy.”

    Recent work: Appeared before the FIA for Mercedes-Benz GP, in litigation arising from the ‘tyregate’ affair.


    Fiona Banks

    Has a broad sports practice that covers work in motorsport, football and swimming. She acts for both individual players and clubs on both disciplinary and commercial matters.

    Strengths: “She is very highly regarded and is a very safe pair of hands. She is very accessible and amenable.”

    Recent work: Instructed in Poullain v Palacios & Tottenham Hotspur, a case concerning a contractual player-agent dispute.

  • Tax: Indirect Tax

    Widely recognised as a leader in this area, Monckton Chambers continues to impress the market with its enviable bench of dedicated indirect tax law specialists. Its stable of experienced silks and juniors are particularly well known for their extensive VAT expertise, and have complementary capabilities in EU law and customs duties law. Its members attract instructions from HMRC and the taxpayer, and appear in domestic courts and tribunals, as well as before EU courts.

    Client service: “David Hockney and the rest of the clerks are alert to our needs and incredibly responsive. They have a commercial edge and are flexibile. The key ingredient is that they consistently steer you to the barrister who will deliver the best service.”


    Melanie Hall QC

    A “very talented and very thoughtful” advocate who, according to market commentators, “thinks through all the various options for clients.” She is particularly well known for her VAT expertise and continues to attract sophisticated instructions from both HMRC and taxpayers, who entrust her with highly complex mandates including significant test cases of high monetary value.

    Strengths: “A fearsome opponent in court.” “Very user-friendly and has a good depth of knowledge.”

    Recent work: Represented HMRC before the Court of Appeal in a significant test case relating to the payment of landfill tax by operators who convert methane into electricity.

    Paul Lasok QC

    Singled out by market sources for his extensive VAT and customs duties expertise, particularly in relation to EU law. His long-standing experience in this area sees him represent both taxpayers and the government in substantial cases, including significant claims in the Supreme Court.

    Strengths: “He is very clear-thinking and makes difficult issues transparent.” “He is the master of EU law points and he has always got the court’s ear.”

    Recent work: Represented HMRC in BT v HMRC, a case relating to UK VAT bad debt relief rules, which involved significant elements of EU law.

    Philip Moser QC

    Handles a variety of EU law-related VAT, customs and tax-related mandates, and has a particular emphasis on VAT fraud cases. He is regularly instructed by the government and by corporations on matters of significance in this area, with recent work highlights including an MTIC fraud test case before the ECJ.

    Strengths: “He has a fantastic manner with clients. He is formidable and authoritative as an advocate.”

    Recent work: Represented HMRC in a test case relating to whether the interest accrued on unpaid VAT is recoverable in tribunals.

    George Peretz QC

    Possesses great expertise in cases concerning VAT, and frequently acts for HMRC. He is experienced in appearing before the First-tier and Upper Tribunals as well as in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

    Strengths: “He is exceptionally bright and has a great command of evidence and argument.”

    Recent work: Recovered £1 billion for HMRC in Rank Group v HMRC, a case concerning the UK’s VAT laws on gaming machines.


    Peter Mantle

    Comes highly rated by market sources, who praise his “excellent client manner” and impressive “attention to detail.” He predominantly focuses on VAT-related claims and has extensive complementary expertise in EU law.

    Strengths: ”He is incisive but very approachable and supportive.” “His knowledge of VAT is very good and he’s good at understanding or thinking about how issues fit together.”

    Recent work: Represented HMRC against Huddersfield University in a case about the abuse of an EU law principle relating to rights and leases of land through an opted lease and leaseback scheme.

    Valentina Sloane

    Garners praise from commentators for her substantial customs duties law expertise. She predominantly represents taxpayers, and her impressive client roster includes significant multinational companies. She has experience of appearing before the Court of Appeal and the ECJ.

    Strengths: “She has superb client-handling skills and is always fully prepared.” “She is extremely knowledgeable in relation to customs legislation, is diligent and user-friendly.”

    Recent work: Represented The Rank Group in Supreme Court proceedings relating to the UK’s VAT laws on gaming machines being in breach of fiscal neutrality principles.

    Raymond Hill

    Singled out as a “superb lawyer” who is “highly experienced.” He has extensive expertise in VAT cases, particularly those relating to exemptions, and recent experience of representing clients before the ECJ.

    Strengths: “Raymond Hill has a vast legal mind.” “He knows his stuff and puts it together well on paper.”

    Recent work: Appeared before the ECJ in a significant VAT case involving Skandia America and the taxable supply between the company’s American headquarters and its Swedish branch.

    Andrew Macnab

    Handles a broad range of matters in this area, including VAT, custom duties and excise duties cases. He represents various clients, particularly HMRC, in First-tier Tribunals, the High Court, the Upper Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.

    Strengths: “A consummate practitioner with great in-depth knowledge.”

    Recent work: Represented HMRC in an ongoing claim against Littlewoods Retail relating to compound interest on overpaid VAT, which involved issues of EU law.

  • Telecommunication

    A pre-eminent set for telecoms sector work, with an especially strong reputation as the go-to chambers for matters involving competition and European law. A number of its members were involved in the highly significant BT v Telefónica O2 and Others case, recently heard in the Supreme Court. Other high-profile cases include EE v Ofcom in the Court of Appeal and the pay-TV broadcasting case.

    Client service: “The clerks are very useful, approachable, pragmatic and businesslike.” “The clerks are good to deal with, responsive, and flexible on fee arrangements.”


    Daniel Beard QC

    A popular choice for complex disputes, he is praised for his impressive depth of knowledge of regulatory telecommunications issues. He has experience of acting for both telecommunications operators and regulatory bodies.

    Strengths: “A safe pair of hands on any regulatory matter.” “In court he is very pragmatic. He goes through things stage by stage and explains things very well.”

    Recent work: Successfully acted for BT in the Supreme Court in a case concerning charges to non-geographic numbers.

    Jon Turner QC

    Consistently lauded for his advocacy skills, he has frequently appeared in the CAT and Court of Appeal acting on behalf of major telecommunications companies.

    Strengths: “Jon is silver-tongued and expert at putting forward a clear, seductive case, whilst also picking apart the opponents.” “He’s lovely to work with, charming, skilful in court and strategically adept.”

    Recent work: Represented EE, Three and Vodafone in a Supreme Court case regarding charges for calls to 08 numbers.

    Tim Ward QC

    His wide-ranging expertise in European and public law contributes to his strength in telecoms matters. He is frequently instructed by mobile and fixed line operators, and also has experience of acting for Ofcom.

    Strengths: “It’s rare to find counsel where you think not only are they a good barrister, super-smart, and understand the industry, but they also have a lot of experience in the industry.” “He’s very effective at cutting down complex issues into simpler, logical structures.”

    Recent work: Appeared for Telefónica O2 in the non-geographic numbers case, and will continue to represent the company in subsequent disputes to be heard in the CAT.

    Kassie Smith QC

    Especially strong on the crossover between telecoms and IP issues, and also has impressive experience in competition law. Sources appreciate her pragmatic approach and her depth of regulatory knowledge.

    Strengths: “She is able to bring clarity to complex issues and do it quickly.” “Very sensible and strategically unflappable.”

    Recent work: Representing LIME BVI in judicial review cases in the High Court of the British Virgin Islands regarding decisions by the regulator concerning margin squeeze and the provision of connectivity services.

    Meredith Pickford QC

    A leading figure for telecoms disputes, who receives consistent praise for his advocacy skills. His strong background in economics gives him a deep understanding of the economic issues in cases and makes him a popular choice. His impressive client roster has recently included EE, Vodafone, TalkTalk, Three and BSkyB, among others.

    Strengths: “He understands the economic argument and then articulates it in a persuasive way that succinctly gets the point across.” “Our go-to guy, he’s one of the cleverest at the Bar and also nice to work with.”

    Recent work: Acted for BSkyB and TalkTalk in a tribunal regarding broadband charges.

    Gerry Facenna QC

    Enters the rankings having worked on a range of telecoms disputes, advising on competition law issues as well as matters involving elements of public law. He has expertise in disputes involving the premium rate regulator PhonepayPlus.

    Strengths: “Very punchy and very formidable, he’s extremely knowledgeable and has an impressive grasp of European, competition and public law.” “He’s very responsive, gets to the heart of commercial issues, and understands how legal issues impact them.”

    Recent work: Acted for BT in the Court of Appeal on the pay-TV litigation between Ofcom and BSkyB.


    Josh Holmes

    Widely praised for his ability to handle complex telecommunications cases, he’s a lawyer with an especially strong reputation for disputes involving elements of competition and European law. His advocacy skills were singled out for mention.

    Strengths: “A personable, warm advocate who appeals to the court, and is a bright, prodigious worker.” “Gives thoughtful, careful, sensible advice.”

    Recent work: Acted for BT as intervener in an appeal brought by Vtesse in the General Court of the EU concerning the funding for superfast broadband in Cornwall.

    Robert Palmer

    Highlighted for his experience in regulatory disputes, he often appears for major telecoms providers. He has acted in notable matters in the Court of Appeal and the CAT.

    Strengths: “He’s a very thoughtful and persuasive advocate.” “He grasps the issues and reduces them to the simple and practical.”

    Recent work: Worked with a major technology company on interception warrants under RIPA.

    Anneli Howard

    Maintains an excellent reputation for cases involving competition law, and has experience ranging from mobile telecommunications to broadband and spectrum issues. Also known for work involving elements of EU law.

    Strengths: “Experienced, with very practical knowledge.” “Very knowledgeable of EU law and the telecoms regulatory system, and also very down-to-earth.”

    Recent work: Represented Telekom Polska in an appeal to an EU Commission decision regarding broadband services.

    Philip Woolfe

    Identified for his telecommunications expertise, particularly in cases involving competition law. He is especially active for mobile network operators, and adept at handling challenges to the decisions of regulatory bodies.

    Strengths: “He has a really good, softly spoken manner which belies his forceful arguments that can be really effective. He’s also quite a considered advocate and people really listen to him.” “Has a great work ethic and is very hands-on.”

    Recent work: Acted for EE in the Supreme Court case regarding charges for calls to non-geographic numbers.

    Alan Bates

    A strong ability in a range of interrelated areas, including utilities regulation and competition law, contributes to his impressive reputation for handling regulatory disputes.

    Strengths: “He has a very nice manner with both clients and his instructing solicitors. He’s a very good team player and has a very good grasp of both the economic and legal principles behind competition law.” “On his feet he has a persistence about him.”

    Recent work: Represented Clix in a judicial review regarding the issuance of the Prior Permission Notice by the premium rate phone lines regulator PhonepayPlus.

    Ben Lask

    Noted for his work in regulatory and competition law-related disputes, as well as contract cases. He has experience of appearing for both regulatory bodies and mobile and fixed line providers.

    Strengths: “He was extraordinarily thorough, and brought himself up to speed exceptionally quickly.” “He’s extremely bright and extremely good at picking up issues.”

    Recent work: Worked for TalkTalk in an appeal at the CAT concerning an Ofcom decision about wholesale call charges.

    Ligia Osepciu

    Enjoys a growing reputation for telecoms matters, and is described as a diligent worker who provides intelligent advice. Her complementary expertise spans competition and utilities law.

    Strengths: “She’s very switched on, is able to make difficult things seem easy, and provides sensible, straightforward advice.” “Her written advocacy is of high quality; she’s someone who is worth keeping an eye on.”

    Recent work: Represented BT in the CAT regarding Ofcom’s decision about price ladders.