Chambers UK, 2015

  • Administrative & Public Law

    Monckton Chambers has a strong reputation for its traditional focus in public law on EU, commercial, competition and regulatory matters, particularly in terms of utilities regulation. In addition to these specialist areas, its members have in recent years demonstrated additional prowess in handling matters in the areas of human rights, freedom of information and immigration. They are expert in acting in judicial reviews for government, commercial entities and pressure groups.

    Client service: “The clerking at Monckton is outstanding – head and shoulders above the rest.” David Hockney is the senior clerk.


    Tim Ward QC

    Specialises in representing commercial claimants in public law actions against regulatory bodies, in which respect he is very well regarded. He has further experience in appearing for defendants, particularly in the field of education.

    Expertise: “He is exceptional. He has a very good manner with clients and is passionate and enthusiastic. He is excellent at distilling a morass of information down to the nub of the issue.” “A first choice for work concerning the crossover between public and competition law.”

    Recent work: Acted for Akzo Nobel in a challenge to the efforts of the Competition Commission to exert control over the activities of a company taking place outside the UK, in a case raising significant questions of territorial jurisdiction in the context of regulation.

    Jon Turner QC

    Centres his public law practice on commercial and regulatory actions, typically acting against regulatory bodies. He has additional expertise in issues arising in the context of environmental law.

    Expertise: “He is very impressive, and phenomenal in terms of his judgement and knowledge in the field of EU compliance.”

    Recent work: Represented Ofwat in a judicial review challenge to its decision concerning the terms under which Welsh Water was required to give a bulk supply of water to a new market entrant. The case addressed the extent to which the regulator is entitled to discretionary exercise of statutory powers.

    Ian Wise QC

    Maintains a diverse practice in the field, with a particular emphasis on healthcare and the rights of disabled people. He has additional experience in proceedings concerning the treatment of children and vulnerable adults.
    Expertise: “Undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with in public law litigation, he is tactically canny and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of decided cases.” “A formidable opponent who develops a good line of argument in court.”
    Recent work: Acted in Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust v James, the first case to reach the Supreme Court from the Court of Protection. The matter concerned the legal requirements for withholding and withdrawing treatment for critically ill patients.


    Brendan McGurk

    Represents government and regulatory bodies in judicial reviews and inquiries. He is particularly experienced in matters relating to the conduct of the military and national security.

    Expertise: “He is a supremely capable barrister whose public law practice is diverse and of a very high quality.”

    Recent work: Acted for the Ministry of Justice in a case that sought a Declaration of Incompatibility in relation to the Gender Recognition Act.

    Gerry Facenna

    Acts in judicial reviews for both the government, and commercial and traditional claimants. He is experienced in discrimination, equality law and regulatory challenges.

    Expertise: “He is an absolute engine in any case. He’s a good advocate who is a very well-respected senior junior.”

    Recent work: Acted for the Defence Secretary in a judicial review challenging the decision not to hold an inquiry into the deaths of six Royal Military Policemen in Iraq in 2003. The challenge follows a recent landmark case establishing the operation of the HRA in relation to soldiers serving abroad, and contends that this development is grounds for bringing a claim out of time.

    Robert Palmer

    Maintains a broad public law practice that includes handling challenges to budget cuts, the imposition of financial sanctions and prison detention decisions. He is also accomplished in commercial and regulatory judicial reviews.

    Expertise: “He is an excellent public law junior whose written and oral advocacy often has the elegance and clarity of a QC.” “He is excellent – he can do any area of public law.”

    Recent work: Represented the Foreign Secretary in a judicial review seeking to overturn his decision to propose that five Iranian individuals be listed under EU sanctions.

    Azeem Suterwalla

    Focuses his public law practice on immigration, asylum and children’s rights matters. He has further experience in protecting the rights of prisoners.

    Expertise: “He fights tooth and nail for the client, the quality of his written work is very good and he has a very confident and assured courtroom manner.” “He’s a very nice opponent, but doesn’t pull any punches and is effective.”

    Recent work: Acted for the claimant in an age-dispute case at the Court of Appeal, in which the court issued important guidance as to the test to apply in such instances.

    Stephen Broach

    Acts for claimants in public law proceedings relating to the rights of children and vulnerable adults. He also has an interest in regulatory matters, particularly in the context of the disclosure of adverse information.

    Expertise: “He’s exceptionally bright and reliable.” “Highly intelligent and has an excellent understanding of policy and the law.”

    Recent work: Acted alone for the claimant in a successful judicial review challenging a decision to disclose certain information on Enhanced Criminal Record Certificates, on the basis it interfered with the subject’s rights under Article 8 of the ECHR.

    Nikolaus Grubeck

    Focuses on pursuing human rights arguments through public law proceedings. He has particular expertise in issues arising in the context of national security and the conduct of the military. Expertise: “He is incredibly competent and very accommodating. He seeks to push the boundaries of the law, yet always offers pragmatic and realistic advice.”

    Recent work: Acted for the claimant in a high-profile and significant test case determining whether the UK military has a lawful power to detain terrorism suspects captured in Afghanistan.

  • Civil Liberties & Human Rights

    Ian Wise QC

    Offers representation in a range of issues, and has particular experience in cases concerning healthcare and police retention of data. He is also a noted authority in the area of children’s rights.

    Expertise: “He is very approachable, really clear and not at all elitist in his approach. He has a broader constitutional picture in his mind at all times.”

    Recent work: Acted for the claimant in a successful judicial review of the decision of the police to disclose unproven allegations against a nurse on her Enhanced Criminal Record Certificate. The Court of Appeal found that the decision was disproportionate and unlawful.

    Piers Gardner

    An expert on international human rights law and its integration into domestic law. He is particularly experienced at handling predominantly commercial cases between nation states that are founded on human rights arguments.

    Expertise: “He is an excellent lawyer, who has a huge knowledge of human rights issues, and he does his utmost for his clients.” “He is very hard-working and has wonderful insight into how everything works in the European Court.”

    Recent work: Acted for YUKOS against Russia in the largest financial claim ever brought before the ECHR, which contested severe tax assessments that had led to the company’s liquidation.

    Azeem Suterwalla

    Has a human rights practice characterised by an emphasis on challenging policies on the retention and disclosure of data by the police. He also often brings actions on behalf of children and vulnerable adults.

    Expertise: “He is very capable and has a very good grasp of what is needed to assist the client.”

    Recent work: Acted for the claimants in a judicial review successfully challenging the policy of the police to retain photographs of people arrested who are not subsequently convicted of any offence. The policy was declared incompatible with Article 8 ECHR.


  • Community Care

    Ian Wise QC

    Prolific silk who focuses heavily on claimant representation. He is popular amongst instructing solicitors for his knowledge of children’s rights law, and is also particularly experienced in acting for charities.

    Expertise: “Undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with in public law litigation. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of decided cases and stays completely up to date with developments in all aspects of public law.” “A tenacious lawyer who has incredible insight into the Convention on the Rights of the Child and how it should be developed.”

    Recent work: Appeared in a case which considered whether a local authority had engaged in sufficient discussions before implementing a tax reduction scheme.

    Stephen Broach

    High flyer of the administrative public law and community care fields. He is particularly valued for his public policy background and his understanding of children’s rights law.

    Expertise: “Very good and also very easy to work with. He’s really impressive in terms of his skills and in terms of children’s rights, and is a first choice for the most complex cases.” “He knows the area of children’s law backwards. His drafting style is brilliant and he is really committed.”

    Recent work: Led by Ian Wise QC on a Supreme Court case which considered whether individuals who lacked capacity and were receiving local authority funded care were being deprived of their liberty under the ECHR.

    Azeem Suterwalla

    Highly recommended junior with an active community care practice. He receives particular acclaim for his work relating to age assessment cases and care leavers.

    Expertise: “Extremely engaged and a very good tactician.” “Really bright and pleasant to deal with.”

    Recent work: Acted for a woman who was a failed asylum seeker and mother of a young child in making a successful claim for local authority support under the Children’s Act 1989.

  • Competition

    Monckton Chambers offers a wealth of both experienced practitioners and up-and-coming stars. Clients and instructing solicitors regularly return to it due to the excellent advocacy skills and superior expert knowledge to be found at the set. A true market leader, it has members who regularly appear before the High Court, the CAT and the European courts on significant cases such as Lafarge, Eurotunnel and Global Holdings. Individuals at this chambers have been involved in the majority of the follow-on damages actions currently proceeding through the courts. They are further praised by market commentators for having set up a dedicated merger control group, which provides solicitors with teams of counsel who have specialist knowledge of merger work.

    Client service: “The clerks, led by David Hockney, are on the ball and very responsive, and take the time to get to know you. They provide a really good service.”


    Jon Turner QC

    A standout leader in the field, with a wealth of experience to his name. He excels at advocacy and receives consistent praise for the unfathomable depths of his competition law knowledge.

    Expertise: “He works incredibly hard and leaves nothing to chance.” “A gold standard barrister, he’s a superb advocate who masters the detail and gives himself absolutely to the case.”

    Recent work: Lead counsel for National Grid in National Grid Electricity Transmission plc v ABB Limited and Others. The case concerned a damages claim for £500 million.

    Daniel Beard QC

    Very much in vogue, Beard is in high demand and is marked out as the one to watch by all who have seen him in action. Owing to his remarkable body of case experience, his reputation precedes him as one of the best young silks around.

    Expertise: “A fearless advocate who really holds his own in court.” “He’s extremely clever, very insightful and also very user-friendly.”

    Recent work: Acted for ExxonMobil in a multimillion-pound damages claim concerning an alleged aviation fuel cartel in Italy.

    Tim Ward QC

    Receives a wealth of praise for his excellent advocacy and user-friendly attitude to clients. He has been particularly active of late in private damages actions.

    Expertise: “He is incredibly quick and someone who gets to the point.” “Very approachable, accessible and hands-on, he’s both a sensible and a persuasive advocate.”

    Recent work: Represented Akzo Nobel in a judicial review against the Competition Commission. The case turned on whether the UK regulator can block a merger carried out by a company based outside the UK.

    Paul Harris QC 

    Combines knowledge of both sports law and competition law, making him a highly attractive option where the two interact. Beyond this, he has a very strong general competition practice and has appeared before all of the major forums. Of late he has proved himself to be particularly strong on follow-on damages actions.

    Expertise: “Like a one-man commando unit, he’s highly forceful in court.” “A great leader who is excellent on his feet; it’s always impressive to see him in action.”

    Recent work: Acted for two claimants in the private damages action Department of Health and Others v Reckitt Benckiser, which involved the medicine Gaviscon and raised the issue of exemplary damages.

    Paul Lasok QC

    Noted for both his competition and wider European knowledge, he is a user-friendly barrister who advises and represents private clients and government departments in litigation before the English and European courts, and regularly appears before regulatory authorities.

    Expertise: “He’s very good at boiling matters down to the issues that really affect the clients’ commercial interests. He can also explain matters to them at a level which is understandable.” Recent work: Represented the claimant in Secretary of State for Health v Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc, a damages action relating to the supply of certain pharmaceuticals to the NHS.

    Kassie Smith QC

    A young silk popular with top clients, who gains particular praise for her cross-examination and advocacy skills. She has been active of late in a number of matters, ranging from market investigations to private enforcement actions.

    Expertise: “She knows her stuff and has a good head on her shoulders.” “She stands her ground and thinks hard about questions.”

    Recent work: Acted for the Competition Commission in its market investigation into the private healthcare sector.


    Josh Holmes 

    An outstanding young barrister with an excellent knowledge of competition law and an impressive list of case highlights. Clients sing his praise, whilst peers envy him for the quality of his practice. Expertise: “He is a superstar; clients use him as an alternative to a silk.” “Absolutely first-rate, he’s responsive, switched-on, pragmatic and very easy to use.”

    Recent work: Represented Google in a damages claim brought by Streetmap alleging that Google engaged in anti-competitive conduct in the way it compiled search results.

    Ronit Kreisberger 

    Regularly instructed by the best law firms in the business, she is respected by peers and clients alike. Kreisberger has a strong private client base, and also acts for government bodies and the regulator.

    Expertise: “A fearless advocate.” “She is very helpful, clear and commercial, and is able to advise on new legal developments.”

    Recent work: Represented Cathay Pacific Airways as junior counsel in its appeal against the EC’s decision to impose fines in relation to the air cargo cartel.

    Anneli Howard 

    A former Freshfields lawyer who came to the Bar ten years ago, Howard has built up a very strong reputation, especially amongst private sector clients. Testament to her standing, she is Standing Counsel to the Civil Aviation Authority.

    Expertise: “She’s very responsive and shows great attention to detail.” “She’s fantastic, knows the law inside and out and is intellectually very gifted.”

    Recent work: Led by Stephen Morris QC and Daniel Jowell QC, she has been representing Visa Europe in 12 sets of proceedings brought against it for competition law damages regarding interchange fees.

    Julian Gregory 

    Has a strong focus on competition and regulatory matters. He has been particularly active of late in competition cases concerning telecoms companies.

    Expertise: “He is very approachable and combines a down-to-earth attitude with strong intellectual ability.”

    Recent work: Worked on the case of Competition Commission v Sky, regarding pay-TV.

    Ben Lask

    A well-regarded junior with a fast-growing profile. Within competition law he has a particular focus on telecommunications, broadcasting and environmental cases.

    Expertise: “He’s very easy to work with and always keeps you informed.” “You can rely on him completely.”

    Recent work: Advised the OFT with regard to the payday lending market investigation.

    Alistair Lindsay

    Specialises in competition law exclusively and has previous experience as a competition law solicitor. He is particularly recognised for his knowledge of merger control.

    Expertise: “Working with him is an absolute pleasure,” as “he’s incredibly approachable and patient to a large degree, and puts in hard work behind the scenes.”

    Recent work: Assisted AG Barr in gaining unconditional approval from the Competition Commission for its proposed merger with Britvic.

    Alan Bates

    Specialises in competition, procurement, EU, and public and administrative law. He moves up in the rankings this year due to an array of positive reviews from clients.

    Expertise: “He is very knowledgeable and always extremely well prepared.” “He speaks plain English and gives incredibly clear advice.”

    Recent work: Instructed as sole counsel by the EC to represent it in an appeal brought by British Airways. The appeal relates to a EUR104 million cartel fine concerning freight charges.

    Anneliese Blackwood 

    Represents clients in EU, commercial and procurement law matters, as well as competition law cases. Private clients such as Microsoft and Rolex have retained her, as have government clients such as the OFT and Ofgem.

    Expertise: “She is very good and undoubtedly a star of the future.” “Her work is completed to a high standard and she really gets stuck in.”

    Recent work: Instructed by Dualit in the case of Nestec SA and Others v Dualit Limited and Others, which involved the interaction between competition law and IP rights.

    Laura Elizabeth John

    A favourite of both law firms and regulators, she is no stranger to the big stage and appeared in the first competition case to reach the Supreme Court, BCL Old v BASF.

    Expertise: “An excellent lawyer who is very poised in court.” “Extremely hard-working, she puts in unsociable hours to get the job done.”

    Recent work: Represented Welsh NHS claimants in the case of Welsh Ministers and Others v Reckitt Benckiser. Reckitt Benckiser has been accused of abuse of dominance in relation to the Gaviscon brand.

    Meredith Pickford 

    A star junior, who regularly receives rave reviews. Noted for his background in economics, he is selected for the most complex cases and has appeared unled in the Court of Appeal, High Court and CAT.

    Expertise: “Very incisive and user-friendly.” “If you had a competition regulatory question on pricing, he’d be every competition silk’s choice.”

    Recent work: Represented the defendant in Albion v Dŵr Cymru (Welsh Water), a follow-on damages action for compensatory and exemplary damages.

    George Peretz 

    Advises on all areas of competition law, including state aid. He has been active in an array of competition law matters of late, including cases relating to abuse of dominance, anti-competitive agreements and damages.

    Expertise: “Absolutely brilliant on paper and someone who has had great success in court recently.”

    Recent work: Represented AbbVie in the High Court and the Court of Appeal in Chemistree v AbbVie. The case regarded abuse of dominance.

    Ben Rayment 

    A former legal secretary to the Competition Commission/CAT, who has built up a strong practice at the Bar. He has, of late, been involved in numerous high-profile cases.

    Expertise: “He clearly knows this area of law extremely well.” “He is proactive, gets stuck into a matter, and is a real team player.”

    Recent work: Represented Arriva in Arriva The Shires Limited v London Luton Airport Operations Limited. The case concerned a claim for abuse of dominance.

    Philip Woolfe 

    Focuses on competition law and telecommunications. He is an increasingly strong presence in the market and moves up in the rankings this year, having earned positive client feedback.

    Expertise: “His advocacy is good, and he has the ability to see through a problem and find a way to solve it.”

    Recent work: Involved in the case of Capital Meters v National Grid, a follow-on action for damages being heard in the CAT.

    Rob Williams

    A promising competition law junior, who is also expert in wider commercial litigation, public procurement and public law cases.

    Expertise: “A joy to work with, he’s extremely accessible and easy to get hold of despite being in high demand.” “I have been really pleased how he has got stuck into the issues.”

    Recent work: Led by Daniel Beard QC, Williams represented the Competition Commission in the case of Akzo Nobel NV v Competition Commission, regarding the Competition Commission’s decision to block Akzo Nobel’s acquisition of Metlac.

    Alison Berridge 

    A former solicitor who, since coming to the Bar in 2011, has built up a decent practice consisting of complex merger cases and high-profile competition litigation.

    Expertise: “She is very bright, gets across all the material in a case and really mucks in with the client team, which makes a huge difference.”

    Recent work: She is acting as junior to Daniel Beard QC in defending the Competition Commission against Ryanair’s challenge to the Commission’s decision requiring the airline to reduce its stake in Aer Lingus.

  • Construction

    Michael Bowsher QC

    He has a wealth of experience in construction law matters, and is a specialist in procurement and tendering disputes.

    Expertise: “Technically astute and able to quickly grasp the issues at hand.”

    Recent work: He acted for the developers in Nucom UK v Sandwell Homes, a case concerning public housing maintenance arrangements.


  • Data Protection

    Monckton is well capable of handling all manner of FOIA, data protection and EIR cases. It is well known for having a strong EU information law practice, and is expert on matters under the Aarhus Convention. Its client base includes the ICO, diverse local and central government bodies, NGOs, commercial organisations and private individuals. Ongoing judicial review challenges and FOI requests in a public procurement context are particular specialisms of the team here.

    Client service: Senior clerk David Hockney heads up the team at Monckton. Sources note: “In terms of fee negotiation and ensuring the availability of counsel they are very good. They not only provide a quick service, but have been prepared to go the extra mile when a matter is being heard.”


    Gerry Facenna

    The architect of an extensive public and EU law practice, he acts extensively for the Information Commissioner, public authorities and private information requesters. Peers view him as being “a shrewd litigator, who is a professional and worthy opponent.”

    Expertise: “Gerry has an impressive understanding of the area and has shown an amazing grasp of detail in cases dealing with large amounts of highly technical information. He is also a highly effective and cordial cross-examiner.” “He takes an appropriately robust approach.”

    Recent work: Acted for the Environment Agency in a case where the ICO decided to uphold a refusal to disclose confidential information on financial guarantee arrangements for landfill sites. This followed an appeal from Swansea Friends of the Earth.

    Laura Elizabeth John

    Regularly appears in the First-tier (Information Rights) and Upper Tribunals, she has particular strength in data protection cases concerning the environment and competition law. She often appears in the Court of Appeal, sometimes in a pro bono capacity for environmental requesters.

    Expertise: “She has made big strides in the data protection area, and is particularly strong in the environmental field.”

    Recent work: Represented the ICO against Eastleigh Borough Council in a First-tier Tribunal case surrounding potential disclosure of preferred sites for strategic development.

    Anneliese Blackwood  Has broad DPA and FOIA experience, with additional competition, EU, procurement, commercial and human rights law expertise. She is routinely instructed by public authorities and the ICO.

    Expertise: “She can think on her feet and is incisive in her cross-examination of witnesses.”

    Recent work: Successfully acted for Transport for London on resisting a vexatious FOI request concerning a conviction for an offence under Section 5 of the Regulation of Railways Act 1889.

    Ben Lask

    Highly rated junior in the data protection, telecoms and EU competition spheres, who makes frequent appearances in the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights), particularly on behalf of public authorities.

    Expertise: “Very nice to work with, responsive and accessible.”

    Recent work: Acted for the Department for Work & Pensions in DWP v Information Commissioner. The case concerned a state benefits medical assessment appeal, and considered the definition of ‘personal data’ under the DPA and EU Data Protection Directive.

  • Education

    Ian Wise QC

    Has extensive experience at the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court level. He frequently acts for claimants in public law cases involving children.

    Expertise: “A very pragmatic advocate, who works very quickly and is good on his feet. He’s very clear and is a leader on the issue of children’s rights.”

    Recent work: He acted in R (Brooks) v Essex County Council, representing the claimant in a challenge to the council’s decision to close down all of its children’s homes.

    Steve Broach

    Focuses on children’s rights and primarily advises individuals. He is well regarded for his expertise in disability matters.

    Expertise:“He provides clear advice and is approachable. His knowledge of community care issues proves useful.”

    Recent work: Acted in R (O) v Hammersmith and Fulham; a case concerning the placement of a child with autism at a residential special school.


  • Environment

    Barristers at Monckton act for a wide variety of clients, from NGOs to government departments and private clients. The set marries its environmental practice to a strong EU law offering, as illustrated by its involvement in Clientearth v Secretary of State for EFRA, a Supreme Court challenge to a failure to comply with EU pollution limits. Monckton’s barristers regularly act in the domestic and European courts.


    Jon Turner QC

    Routinely present in major cases, he acts for a variety of clients including NGOs, regulators and commercial concerns.

    Expertise: “He has tenacity and an exceptional ability to get to the heart of the matter.”

    Recent work: Led in the High Court in City Electrical Factors Ltd and Electrical Waste Recycling Group v Philips Electronics; GE Lighting & Ors. The case concerned a breach of EU environmental legislation.

    Kassie Smith QC 

    Regularly acts for large organisations, and appears in courts at all levels.

    Expertise: “She has an amazing knowledge of EU law and is an excellent member of the team.” “Her paperwork is very good and done at exceptional speed.”

    Recent work: Acted for Greenpeace and others in R (ex p UKAFPO) v Secretary of State; a case that raised complex issues of EU and human rights law. The matter concerned the reallocation of fishing quotas to smaller vessels.


    Gerry Facenna 

    Regularly acts for government agencies and NGOs. He is strong in EU environmental and environmental information law.

    Expertise: “He is bright and pleasant.”

    Recent work: Acted for Swansea Friends of the Earth in Roy Jones v Information Commissioner & Ors. The tribunal action concerned the decision of the Information Commissioner with regard to certain financial information.

  • EU Law

    A strong group of practitioners offering assistance in all areas of EU law. Members have deep experience of EU law and procedure due to their consistently high level of activity in this area. They receive strong praise from a long list of impressive clients.

    Client service: The clerking team is led by senior clerk David Hockney. Sources say: “The clerks at Monckton are responsive and flexible.”


    Paul Lasok QC

    A widely respected figure with great depth of expertise in this area. He advises a wide range of clients, from private individuals to government departments.

    Expertise: “He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of European [EU] case law.” “He seemingly knows more about European [EU] law than anyone at the court itself.”

    Recent work: Acted for HMRC in a VAT case being heard at the ECJ regarding the direct effect of directives.

    Tim Ward QC

    Has a strong practice focusing on EU law, competition law and public law. He receives glowing praise from clients and is experienced in all areas of EU law.

    Expertise: “He is fantastic and definitely one of my top choices for EU law.” “Approachable, accessible, sensible, hands-on and a persuasive advocate.”

    Recent work: Acting in the case of McCarthy, a test case before the CJEU on whether the UK has the right to retain its own border checks under EU law.

    Daniel Beard QC

    Excels in competition law and is also highly regarded for his work on wider European law matters. His cases are wide-ranging, covering everything from terrorism sanctions to disclosure of environmental information.

    Expertise: “He advises very well on the strategy and adds value to any case.”

    Recent work: Acted for the UK in a leading case regarding international terrorist sanctions.

    Philip Moser QC

    Singled out by clients as someone they can trust to get the job done. He practises in all areas of EU law, and is especially strong on fraud and tax cases.

    Expertise: “Very impressive.” “He’s very responsive and proved to be a calming presence at a very difficult time.”

    Recent work: Represented a Libyan applicant in a case before the Grand Chamber of the CJEU. The matter concerned the question of continuing interest in applications for annulment by listed individuals in terrorist sanctions cases, where they have since been delisted by the UN Security Council.

    Kassie Smith QC

    Specialises in EU, competition/regulatory and public law cases. She is well regarded by sources, who note her increasing presence in this field.

    Expertise: “Her paperwork is exceptional and she produces it at great speed.” “Very calm and measured when dealing with the judiciary.”

    Recent work: Acted for the Department for Transport in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court in a case that related to access to air travel for disabled persons.

    Jon Turner QC

    Enters the rankings this year, having earned excellent praise from the market. He is best known for his competition expertise, but wider EU law also takes up a large part of his practice.

    Expertise: “He is always on top of issues and knows how to cut through the bluster of a case.”

    Recent work: Active in a judicial review challenge to proposed changes to the EU carbon trading regime in relation to foreign airlines.

    Ian Rogers QC

    Receives praise for his handling of a practice that spans European law, public law and human rights cases.

    Expertise: “Very thorough and very clear, he’s always prepared to express an opinion rather than be non-committal.”

    Recent work: Represented 750 Council of Immigration Judges in a Supreme Court appeal regarding discrimination in judicial pension rights against part-time workers.


    Gerry Facenna

    Regularly acts for the government and private parties across a range of EU matters.

    Expertise: “Hands-on and very straightforward. He doesn’t over-complicate matters.”

    Recent work: Defended the government in the High Court in a judicial review of UK immigration rules.

    Josh Holmes

    A junior who is widely respected no matter what area he turns his hand to. He has experience of working for the European Court of Justice, and his EU practice covers a wide range of matters, taking in anything from food safety standards to emissions trading cases.

    Expertise: “A very able barrister whom it is a pleasure to work with.”

  • Immigration

    Robert Palmer

    Often instructed in seminal cases concerning the freedom of movement, civil liberties and national security, he regularly acts in Supreme Court and ECJ cases. He has been appointed to the Attorney General’s A Panel.

    Recent work: Counsel in ECJ cases concerning the right of migrant criminals to remain in the UK under EU law.

  • Local Government

    Ian Wise QC

    Advises on a range of public law matters, including those involving duties to vulnerable individuals as well as council tax reduction disputes.

    Expertise: “He has a very adventurous approach.” “An attractive advocate.”

    Recent work: Advised the appellants in R (ET and Others) v Islington, a case surrounding the local authority’s duties to children at risk from paedophiles.

  • Public Procurement

    Monckton Chambers devotes more than 20 barristers to this area and has been at the forefront of the sector from its inception. Its strong team of silks and juniors has the pedigree and skill to tackle the larger matters of the day, as evidenced by its members’ key role in the dispute concerning the Department for Transport’s decision to award the West Coast Main Line contract to First Group rather than Virgin Trains. The group acts for public sector bodies and private companies in both an advisory and litigious role. The set is active in the energy, construction, transport, pharmaceutical and aviation sectors, amongst many others, and remains, without doubt, a pre-eminent name in the field.

    Client service: David Hockney is the senior member of a clerking team that is praised as being “flexible, accommodating and very easy to deal with.”


    Michael Bowsher QC

    Credited as being one of the first barristers to develop a practice in this niche, he has enjoyed considerable success over the years. He remains a popular choice of silk for the UK government and for a number of public bodies, such as the NHS.

    Expertise: “Michael is very intelligent and highly creative in his thinking, and is not afraid to get stuck into a case in order to find the right arguments.” “He is the indisputable leading heavyweight in public procurement, and has encyclopaedic knowledge of the law in this area. He identifies key issues and answers difficult questions with unmatched authority.”

    Recent work: Advised on the high-profile Alstom v Eurostar dispute, concerning the award of a contract for train replacement.

    Paul Lasok QC

    Has broad EU and competition law capabilities, which dovetail effectively with his public procurement work. His client base includes a number of public bodies, and he has recently undertaken a good deal of work for transport infrastructure operators.

    Expertise: “He’s very clear in his answers and can turn complicated issues into yes/no answers.”

    Recent work: He provided advice to the Laidlaw Inquiry on processes associated with the West Coast Main Line franchise tender.

    Philip Moser QC

    One of the newer silks at the set, widely praised for his strong European law knowledge. Multinational companies and local authorities alike seek out his counsel.

    Expertise: “He is user-friendly and has achieved great results for our clients.”


    Valentina Sloane

    Rapidly becoming a go-to junior for this practice area, her skill set ensures she is selected to advise on an array of procurement matters. She is especially known for advising companies as potential challengers to alleged procedural impropriety.

    Expertise: “She’s very approachable, straight-talking and commercial.” “She was on top of not just the law but also the procedural stuff in preparation for trial.”

    Recent work: Acted for the complainant in Pearson v Cabinet Office, a case concerning alleged regulatory breaches made when awarding a driving theory testing contract.

    Rob Williams 

    Acts for a number of public bodies, including government departments, as well as private companies. His key areas of interest include advising on policy reviews, challenges and compliance.

    Expertise: “He’s very knowledgeable on his subject and a good team player, who is very easy to work with.” “Very sensible and pragmatic in his advice, he gives a credible and clear view on the merits of a case.”

    Recent work: Advised Learn Direct on Pearson’s challenge to the award of a driving theory testing contract in the case of Pearson v Cabinet Office.

    Ewan West 

    A senior civil servant before being called to the Bar, he has a client list that includes losing bidders as well as notable government departments.

    Expertise: “Ewan is clever, articulate and committed to finding answers to difficult questions.” “He’s responsive, practical and firm in his dealings.”

    Recent work: Advised on the procurement dispute of Apollo Property v Circle Housing.

    Ligia Osepciu 

    A younger yet highly capable barrister who punches above her weight. She acts both led and unled, and has recently advised a number of claimants on challenges to procurement awards.

    Expertise: “Excellent, with a capability well beyond her years of experience. She is also very pleasant to work with.” “She was very helpful and responsive, and able to put the clients at ease.”

  • Sport

    Paul Harris QC

    A competition specialist who has worked with clients from a wide array of sports and is noted for his expertise on Formula 1, rugby and football cases.

    Expertise: “He’s an extremely good sports lawyer who provides pithy, commercial advice.”

    Recent work: He acted for the Mercedes-Benz GP team in connection with the Formula 1 ‘tyregate’ affair concerning the illegal testing of tyres.

    Fiona Banks

    Acts for governing bodies and federations on contractual and doping disputes. She also acts for players, agents and clubs on a wide range of contractual and disciplinary matters. She has worked in a range of sports, including rugby league, Formula 1, football and swimming.

    Expertise: “She picked up doping issues very quickly and really understood the issues and background of a case.” “She is really something – she’s very bright and able to absorb huge quantities of information very quickly and pick out the salient points.”

    Recent work: She acted for a number of governing bodies in an appeal against Ofcom’s decision to make Sky provide a regulated wholesale supply of Sky Sports 1 & 2 to other pay TV retailers.


  • Tax

    “The leading European chambers covering VAT and other European issues,” Monckton has a strong group of silks and juniors regularly engaged in notable cases, acting for both taxpayers and HMRC. The members’ significant expertise in EU matters means that they act for clients at European level, as well as in the UK before Tax Tribunals, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

    Client service: “The set provides a high standard of service. Correspondence, calls and e-mails are always dealt with promptly and staff are helpful and accommodating.” David Hockney leads the clerking team.


    Melanie Hall QC

    A VAT expert of great repute who is well known for handling complex and significant cases both for the Revenue and taxpayers.

    Expertise: “She is a real VAT specialist who has a lot of experience on both sides of disputes (HMRC and taxpayer). A creative and independent thinker who, at the same time, is receptive and sympathetic to the views of those instructing her.”

    Recent work: Represented HMRC in a case concerning the lawfulness of the UK VAT status of hot takeaway food.

    Paul Lasok QC

    A well-established presence at the Tax Bar with respect to VAT and customs duty matters. He works with HMRC and private clients in cases of great substance and significance.

    Expertise: “If you had a really big VAT case you would be thinking about going to him.”

    Recent work: Acted for HMRC in a case involving BT relating to UK rules concerning VAT bad debt relief.

    Philip Moser QC

    Represents a variety of clients, including NGOs, companies, private individuals and HMRC, in indirect tax cases. His areas of expertise include public procurement, EU sanctions and missing trader intra-community (MTIC) fraud matters.

    Expertise: “He has a really, really broad understanding of EU law.”

    Recent work: He handled an ECJ case for the Revenue in which the interpretation of Kittel was tested in a variety of East European contexts.


    Peter Mantle

    An experienced indirect tax and EU law practitioner. His expertise involves remedies cases, including group litigation in the VAT context, and the representation of HMRC and private clients before UK and European institutions.

    Expertise: “Very thorough and well prepared.”

    Recent work: He represented HMRC against Dixons Retail in a VAT case regarding the status of fraudulent payments for goods made with credit cards.

    Valentina Sloane

    Often acts on behalf of the taxpayer, taking instructions from leading accountancy firms. He also has experience of representing the interests of the Revenue in significant cases.

    Expertise: “A leading light on both VAT and customs duty matters – she gets to know the important details of clients’ businesses and provides advice which is highly practical and usable.”

    Recent work: She was involved against HMRC in a continuing case concerning the tax status of gaming machines.

    Raymond Hill 

    An established expert on matters concerning VAT and indirect taxation more generally. He is especially well known for his work representing the Revenue’s position before the ECJ.

    Expertise: “He has a calm demeanour and gets to the heart of the matter.” “On his feet he’s unflappable and is adept at handling interventions whether they be from the Bench or from his opponents.”

    Recent work: He handled a case for the Treasury before the ECJ concerned with determining whether or not final salary pension schemes should be exempt from VAT with reference to special investment funds.

    Andrew Macnab 

    Concentrates his practice on a range of indirect tax areas, including VAT and customs and excise duties. He is particularly known for his work with the Revenue, but his workload also includes advising private clients on VAT matters.

    Expertise: “He is very experienced at working with government.”

    Recent work: He represented HMRC in a challenge brought by Leeds City Council regarding the UK’s three-year cap on repayment claims of overpaid VAT and its compatibility with EU law.

  • Telecommunications

    The stellar reputation of the set in competition law gives it an edge in the telecoms field, and it represents a go-to group for those with disputes in the CAT. A number of its barristers are highly experienced in handling complex European law and competition law issues for telecoms clients. It has enjoyed extensive participation in the 08 numbers case and pay-TV cases, and its barristers have acted for Ofcom, BT and BSkyB.

    Client service: “The set is very well clerked. David Hockney is very responsive and has a fantastic team. The clerks discuss things frankly and are never precious about giving you access to the barristers.” “The set is very commercial, and very focused, right from the clerks through to the QCs.”


    Jon Turner QC

    A leading figure in the telecoms field, who is acknowledged for his leading roles representing telecoms companies in the most significant regulatory disputes in the sector.

    Expertise: “One of the established stars of the Regulatory Bar, Turner has extensive experience in the telecoms field.”

    Recent work: Instructed by solicitors for EE, Vodafone and Three in their challenge to a CAT decision regarding Ofcom’s resolution of disputes between telecoms providers. The case was heard in the Supreme Court in February 2014.

    Daniel Beard QC 

    Lauded for his superior advocacy and his experience in telecoms, as well as competition and European law disputes more generally. He acts for a variety of clients in this field, and appears for both telecoms providers and the government.

    Expertise: “A heavy hitter who thinks strategically.” “He is commercial and focuses on the key issues.”

    Recent work: Instructed by BT in its appeal to the Supreme Court against the Court of Appeal decision in BT v Telefónica. The case concerned 08 numbers.

    Tim Ward QC 

    Regularly represents key clients BT and Vodafone in a range of regulatory disputes. He is a significant presence in the CAT and regularly handles EU law matters.

    Expertise: “I use him on cases which raise a public law issue – he’s a very strong juridical review lawyer.”

    Recent work: Acted as lead counsel for BT in the CAT. This case concerned Ofcom regulation on local loop unbundling.

    Kassie Smith QC 

    Has extensive expertise in telecoms and is the architect of a highly developed general regulatory practice. She is noted for her work handling telecoms matters with an IP element, and has recently handled cases raising FRAND issues.

    Expertise: “Incredibly accessible, proactive and really down to earth.” “She has broad experience in telecoms and the broader competition field, and is destined to become one of the most sought-after QCs.”

    Recent work: Acted for LIME BVI in judicial review proceedings arising out of the new regulatory regime in the British Virgin Islands. Challenges were brought to the regulator’s decision on margin squeeze and dominance.


    Josh Holmes 

    Regularly appears unled for Ofcom in the CAT. He also demonstrates experience acting in other jurisdictions and in European forums. Commentators particularly praise him for his written advocacy.

    Expertise: “A smooth operator with an encyclopaedic knowledge of this area.” He “drafts like a dream” and is “capable of demolishing the other side step by step.”

    Recent work: Successfully represented Ofcom in an appeal by Colt against the client’s decision on passive remedies in business connectivity markets.

    Meredith Pickford

    Accrues a wealth of positive feedback from peers and instructing solicitors. Pickford is lauded for his strength in handling complex economic issues that arise. Sky and TalkTalk are amongst the major clients he has represented.

    Expertise: “A formidable degree of experience and intellect, and his advocacy skills are excellent.” “An economist by training – so he brings those analytical skills too.”

    Recent work: Represented Sky and TalkTalk in the appeal of a CAT decision in relation to BT’s overcharging of competitors for access to key telecoms products.

    Anneli Howard 

    A prominent competition lawyer, who is active for major clients on telecoms disputes. Recently, she has represented major clients including Ofcom and BT.

    Expertise: “A real competition law expert who is brilliant with clients.”

    Recent work: Successfully defended Ofcom against Frankovich damages claims regarding implementation of the EC Telecoms Authorisation and EC Access Directives.

    Ben Lask 

    Handles significant regulatory and competition-related disputes in the telecoms field. He is commended by instructing solicitors for his responsiveness and accessibility.

    Expertise: “Very thorough in his analysis and highly practical in his advice to the client.”

    Recent work: Represented Ofcom in judicial review proceedings brought by a provider of premium rate phone services, which was arguing that the regulation set by Ofcom was contrary to domestic and European law.

    Robert Palmer 

    Regularly appears for BT in significant regulatory disputes concerning regulators and service providers. Interviewees highlight his clear, direct and effective style of advocacy.

    Expertise: “He’s really outstanding in terms of clarity and the succinct way in which he expresses himself.”

    Recent work: Acted for BT in Colt’s appeal to the CAT regarding Ofcom’s decision not to impose passive remedies on BT. These remedies would have forced the client to allow access to its connectivity infrastructure.

    Alan Bates 

    Enjoys an increasing profile in utilities regulatory matters, and regularly handles telecoms cases. He acts on a range of cases concerning the Communications Act, and also has experience of handling EU law matters.

    Expertise: “He has a terrific manner and is super-smart – he brings something new to every case.”

    Recent work: Represented BSkyB as an intervener in a case concerning Ofcom’s dispute resolution duties under the Communications Act.

    Ligia Osepciu 

    Won praise from commentators for her recent representation of BT in the Supreme Court appeal BT v Telefónica. Sources identify her as a rising force in regulatory disputes in the telecoms sector, and specifically praise her for her modern and receptive approach.

    Expertise: “She always comes across excellently.”

    Recent work: Acted as second junior for BT in BT v Telefónica, which concerned Ofcom’s dispute resolution powers in the context of BT’s decision to apply ladder pricing to 08 number calls on its network.

    Philip Woolfe 

    Enters the table this year following a raft of positive feedback, much of it relating to the strength of both his written work and his oral advocacy.

    Expertise: “He has extremely strong knowledge of telecoms, and can give concise advice very quickly.”

    Recent work: Represented BSkyB and TalkTalk in their local loop unbundling case against Ofcom, which challenged the regulator’s decision in respect of access to BT-owned infrastructure.