Chambers UK, 2019

  • Administrative and Public

    Regularly instructed in a wide variety of public and administrative cases. The set is particularly noted for its expertise in EU, procurement and competition matters, but also has a growing practice in high-profile human rights judicial reviews. Solicitors call the barristers here “very accessible and a real pleasure to work with.” They further state that the set is “efficient and thorough and has an impressive roster of counsel including people who can deal with any type of regulatory issue.” Recent work includes instruction in Uber’s appeal against TfL’s licensing decisions and representing Three in the Ofcom spectrum decision challenge.

    Client service: “The clerking is excellent – they are very proactive and responsive.” “The brilliant reception and clerking makes life much easier. They’re very helpful and willing.” David Hockney is the senior clerk.

    SILKS

    Tim Ward QC 

    Brings his considerable EU law expertise to bear on public and administrative law disputes. He typically acts for corporate clients in challenges to regulatory decisions. He is also noted for his ability to handle judicial reviews invoking human rights arguments.

    Strengths:He is easy to work with; his advocacy is very clear and he has good judgement. He gets on well with clients.” “Direct, sensible, and a good team player who treats the team he’s working with as his intellectual equals. He’s shrewd and capable.

    Recent work: Successfully represented Southern Rail in defence of a challenge brought by the Association of British Commuters to the alleged failure of the DfT to properly regulate its performance as a rail franchise operator.

    Ian Wise QC

    Strong choice to represent claimants in judicial reviews challenging legislation, government policy and decisions of local authorities. He handles a wide array of public law disputes and recently he has been involved in claims arising out of healthcare provision, housing and asylum.

    Strengths: “Extremely intelligent, with great experience in the area. He’s very committed and reliable, and someone who produces excellent written work.” “A man with a bright mind, he is very proactive about strategy. He relates to people from all backgrounds; he’s down-to-earth and a breath of fresh air.” “Makes his clients feel at ease.” 

    Recent work: Appeared in a case challenging the lawfulness of Ealing LBC’s housing allocation policy, on the grounds that it unlawfully discriminated against women and disabled people.

    Daniel Beard QC 

    Focuses his administrative and public law practice on commercial and regulatory judicial reviews. He is particularly renowned for his expertise in claims that involve EU and competition law. He also handles public law cases concerning complex issues of national security and terrorism.

    Strengths: “Extremely clever, very diligent, and well prepared for court appearances. He has a great ability, even when a judge is not on his side, to persuade people of his case through sheer force of character.” “A really stylish advocate and a really good lawyer: powerful, punchy, persuasive.”

    Gerry Facenna QC 

    Broad depth of administrative and public law expertise, with a particular emphasis on EU law and regulatory matters. He is also adept at judicial reviews involving human rights law. Recently, he has been active in public law claims concerning constitutional law and infrastructure.

    Strengths: His formidable intellect and pragmatic approach make him a brilliant tactician.” “Very smooth, very persistent and someone with very impressive advocacy skills.

    Recent work: Acted for Heathrow Aiport in a judicial review against the Office of Road and Rail and others, challenging a decision restricting the airport’s ability to charge an infrastructure levy on Crossrail trains using the Heathrow Express rail spur.

    Jon Turner QC

    Frequently appears in administrative and public law cases in the commercial and regulatory spheres. Recently, he has also been involved in numerous judicial reviews involving equality and human rights law. His practice also encompasses cases concerning environmental protection.

    Strengths: “A silky smooth advocate – great on his feet and very bright.” “Absolutely outstanding, he’s a great tactician and strategist who leads the team effectively without dominating it.”

    Recent work: Represented Three in a judicial review challenge to a decision made by Ofcom regarding the rules of an auction for 4G and 5G spectrum.

    JUNIORS

    Robert Palmer

    Capable of handling a wide range of administrative and public law matters including commercial, regulatory and human rights claims. He represents claimants and defendants in judicial reviews challenging decisions of central government, local authorities and regulators. He has particular experience in cases concerning competition, environmental regulation and procurement.

    Strengths: “An impressive advocate.” “An excellent public law junior whose written and oral advocacy often has the elegance and clarity of a QC.”

    Recent work: Represented the claimant in a judicial review challenging the government’s decision to extend IGas’s petroleum licence to allow fracking at a site in Cheshire.

    Azeem Suterwalla

    Advocates for claimants in judicial reviews involving a crossover with human rights law and he is especially well versed in children’s and migrants’ rights. He is also knowledgeable about information law and data protection. He is also capable of representing commercial claimants in regulatory challenges.

    Strengths: “Prompt, efficient, personable and easy to work with. He turns around work extremely quickly.” “A sensible advocate.”

    Recent work: Represented the claimant in a test case, deciding whether a local authority is obligated in law to treat an unaccompanied asylum-seeking young person claiming to be a child, as a child, pending a full assessment of their age.

    Steve Broach 

    Has considerable experience of bringing challenges against local and central government decisions. He is particularly committed to handling cases involving disabled claimants. He is especially active in challenges involving healthcare provision and housing allocation by local authorities.

    Strengths: Very genial and good with clients.” “Approachable and hands-on. He’s great in court and turns things around very quickly.

    Recent work: Appeared in the judicial review of a decision by NHS England to refuse exceptional funding for a drug to treat a child with the rare combination of severe autism and PKU, a condition which inhibits the metabolisation of protein.

    Nikolaus Grubeck

    Highly knowledgeable on the overlap between public and human rights law. His expertise in cases concerning national security and foreign affairs is of particular note. He receives instructions from both claimants and defendants, including government departments. He also frequently appears in public law challenges concerning commercial regulation.

    Strengths: “He has a phenomenal ability to understand the wide array of issues which arise. He’s good with clients and he has a great ability to inspire confidence.” “He’s really hard-working and gets to the point. He goes out of his way to help instructing solicitors, which is appreciated.”

    Recent work: Represented the claimant in the first judicial review of the Independent Press Standards Organisation to be granted permission by the High Court, consisting of two claims alleging misreporting of an event in the House of Lords.

    Brendan McGurk

    Predominantly defends public bodies, including government departments and commercial regulators, in judicial reviews. His broad substantive expertise includes human rights, competition and taxation. He has considerable experience in public law litigation arising out of international armed conflicts.

    Strengths: “Committed, creative, and has excellent instincts as well as the knowledge to back them up. Uses his breadth of experience to great effect.” “Incredibly knowledgeable.”

    Recent work: Acted for the CMA in defending judicial review claims brought against decisions refusing to refund penalties paid pursuant to competition infringement proceedings.

    Julianne Morrison

    Involved in significant public and administrative law challenges on behalf of both claimants and defendants. Her broad public law experience encompasses commercial, regulatory and human rights law challenges.

    Strengths: “Very clear and careful on the law and very client-friendly and down-to-earth – an outstanding combination.”

    Recent work: Acted for GMB, a union, in relation to its participation in the appeal brought by Uber against TfL’s decision not to renew its operator’s licence in London.

    Conor McCarthy

    Frequently sought out by individual claimants and NGOs seeking to challenge government decisions through judicial review. His wide-ranging expertise encompasses administrative and public law claims invoking EU law, human rights and procedural grounds.

    Strengths: An excellent drafter and an excellent advocate.” “Has a very impressive background as an academic and is a very good lawyer with substantive knowledge.

    Recent work: Acted for the claimant in a challenge concerning a local authority’s power to grant discretionary housing payments.

     

  • Aviation

    Anneli Howard

    Her proficiency in regulatory and competition law is reflected by her appointment as standing counsel for the CAA. She is also capable when handling aviation matters with European and public law overlap. She also has significant expertise in the impact of Brexit on the industry. She has also advised other governmental bodies on various regulatory issues pertaining to aviation.

    Strengths: “She’s certainly an expert in her area; she’s clearly very experienced and she brings that to her work. She’s very responsive, understands us as a client and takes a practical approach.”

    Recent work: Acted for the CAA in its first regulatory investigation under the Transport Act 2000 regarding complaints from Ryanair and Manchester Airports Group about NERL’s performance in relation to en route air traffic control services at Stansted Airport.

  • Civil Liberties & Human Rights

    Monckton Chambers draws on its members’ extensive civil liberties and human rights experience in disability discrimination, social care and abuse of authority work. Sources say that the barristers at the set are “a real pleasure to work with.” Members acted for intervening NGOs in Campaign Against Arms Trade v Secretary of State for Trade and Intervenors, a challenge to the decision to continue to grant licences for the export of arms and military equipment to Saudi Arabia.”They’re flexible, accommodating and always at the end of the phone, I never have to chase them and they can always fit me in.”

    JUNIORS

    Piers Gardner

    Highly regarded for his in-depth knowledge of EU law and particularly the ECHR, having previously worked at the European Commission of Human Rights. He advises throughout the UK and Europe on data and property protection, jurisdictional issues and extradition matters. He also has experience acting on behalf of the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

    Strengths: “He has a depth of experience that’s unparalleled for his call.”

    Recent work: Acted in OOO Flavus and Others v Russia, an intervention on behalf of the UN Special Rapporteur concerning the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, in five cases pending in the ECHR concerning the authorities’ shutting down and blocking access to certain websites on the grounds of alleged extremist content.

    Eric Metcalfe

    A highly commended human rights practitioner who is a familiar face in the Supreme Court. He regularly handles high-profile, sensitive cases concerning national security and immigration matters. He frequently represents government departments and NGOs. He also has experience acting for coalition groups and has intervened at the ECHR in support of the right to freedom of expression worldwide.

    Strengths: “He is incredibly good.”

    Recent work: Appeared for a coalition of digital rights and human rights groups in Google Inc v CNIL, a case at the CJEU concerning the scope of the right to be forgotten under EU law.

    Azeem Suterwalla

    A respected practitioner with a broad human rights practice, known for his expertise in the rights of children, education and social housing. He also demonstrates particular insight into the needs of vulnerable adults and matters concerning state retention of information. He is regularly instructed in major human rights cases at all levels of UK court as well as at the ECHR and CJEU.

    Strengths: “Azeem is a committed and bright public law barrister. He is keen to take on challenging cases and push at the boundaries of the law, where appropriate. He has sound judgement and is able to think tactically about a case.”

    Recent work: Appeared in Secretary of State for the Home Department v (1) Tom Watson, (2) Peter Brice, (3) Geoffrey Lewis and Others, on behalf of the second and third respondents. The case concerned whether the provisions of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act 2014 was in breach of Articles 7 and 8 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and Article 8 of the ECHR.

    Nikolaus Grubeck

    An up-and-coming civil liberties and human rights junior who has a significant practice at all levels of UK court and the ECHR. He represents NGOs and individuals as well as the government in a range of matters, with a particular specialism in national security. He is known for his expertise in data protection, especially when it comes to new developments in the area.

    Strengths: “He has a phenomenal ability to understand the wide array of issues which arise.” “He drafts beautifully and has a really good tactical sense of what works.”

    Recent work: Appeared in Yunus Rahmatullah v Secretary of State for Defence & Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, a judicial review and private law claim arising out of the claimant’s capture by British forces in Iraq and his subsequent rendition to a US military detention facility in Afghanistan, where he was held for over eight years.

    Conor McCarthy

    A junior with a growing human rights and civil liberties practice, known for his involvement in surveillance matters. He draws on his prior experience working at the ECHR and for the UN, focusing his practice on judicial review claims and public international law.

    Strengths: “An effective human rights lawyer.”

    Recent work: Acted in SY v Director of Public Prosecutions, a challengeto a decision by the DPP to refuse to prosecute an individual for rape, despite finding that both the evidential test and the public interest test for prosecution were satisfied on the facts of the case. The case relied in part on Article 3 of the ECHR.

  • Community Care

    The set acts in highly complex community care matters at all levels including at the Supreme Court. It excels at providing advice and representation on all manner of social care cases, with a particular specialism in cases involving disabled children and adults. Members act for a wide range of clients, including individuals, public authorities, NGOs and private companies operating in the social care area. One recent work highlight is R (DA and others) v SSWP, in which the Court of Appeal considered whether the government’s cap on benefits discriminated against single parents of children under the age of two.

    Client service: “A ‘high-end’ chambers with a fantastic location and venue. They are efficient and put on nice events.” 

    SILK

    Ian Wise QC

    Praised for his work representing claimants, and experienced across an array of issues. His community care work is complemented by strength in local government, human rights and administrative and public law generally. He has regularly appeared in community care cases in the higher courts, including the Supreme Court.

    Strengths: “If you need to talk to someone about community care, he’s one of the best brains in the country.” “Very good at pursuing public law points concerning welfare for children.”

    Recent work: Acted in a challenge to the NHS decision not to fund treatment of Phenylketonuria, in line with a policy not to fund it except in exceptional circumstances, in a young boy with autism in whom the disease could have led to brain damage.

    JUNIORS

    Steve Broach

    Particularly well known for his work concerning the rights of disabled children and adults. He is a go-to barrister for community care work and has been instructed in cases all the way up to the Supreme Court.

    Strengths: “He is a standout in anything to do with the rights of disabled people, I don’t know anyone as committed as him – he’s brilliant.” “Very much at the forefront of this area.”

    Recent work: Acted for two children in R (Juttla and Scott) v Hertfordshire Valleys CCG, in which their litigation friends sought to challenge the CCG’s decision to stop funding a respite unit for severely disabled children on the grounds that it was ultra vires because of a misdirection in law by the CCG.

    Azeem Suterwalla

    Specialist in public and human rights law. He is an expert in work that relates to vulnerable and disabled children and adults, and is very experienced in immigration matters. He has also been involved in a number of cases challenging budget-related cuts to public services.

    Strengths: “He is one of our go-to barristers: he delivers every time and he really cares about the client.”

    Recent work: Represented the claimant in R (S) v Croydon LBC, a test case which sought to clarify whether a local authority should treat an unaccompanied asylum-seeking young person claiming to be a child as a child before a full assessment of their age has been completed.

  • Commercial Dispute Resolution

    JUNIORS

    Drew Holiner – London

    Strengths: “One of a very small pool of high-level Russian law experts who acquits himself well in difficult cases.”

    Recent work: Represented co-defendant Leonid Lebedev in breach of fiduciary duty and fraud claims for over USD1.3 billion brought by Ziyavudin Magomedov and Akhmed Bilalov in relation to a sale of partnership-managed shares.

    Gregory Pipe – North Eastern

    Strengths: “A very good cross-examiner who gets devastating answers,” Gregory Pipe is a good choice for complex, high-value contractual fraud cases. He has many years of experience of handling cases relating to shareholder disputes, joint ventures, commercial fraud, contracts and acquisitions.”Greg is a superb advocate who is great on his feet.”

    William Buck – North Eastern

    Experienced practitioner instructed in large-scale commercial disputes often involving financial services and shareholder disputes. Much of his work takes in multi-jurisdictional cases with an offshore element. He handles claims relating to contracts, property, trusts and professional negligence.

    Strengths: “His written advice is very clear and in person he is very approachable and easy to deal with.” “He’s very responsive, which is really important when you’re up against it.”

    Recent work: Acted in Cunningham v Ellis, a £39 million dispute concerning the failure of an engineering firm.

  • Competition

    Sources enthuse that “for competition law the wise beat a path to Monckton,” a chambers that acts for clients from the transport, TMT and life sciences sectors on abuse of dominance, cartel and merger clearance cases. Commentators particularly highlight the set’s junior members, reporting that “Monckton has the strongest junior team currently.” Its barristers represent claimants, defendants and regulators in competition litigation cases, and are active on state aid cases and pricing agreements. Several of them have recently been instructed by government departments.

    Client service: “The clerks are excellent as they are really human, friendly and modern.” “They are terrific and commercial,” and “offer top-notch client service.” 

    SILKS

    Jon Turner QC

    Boasts an outstanding competition litigation practice, representing both claimants and defendants in several of the highest-profile cases in the market, appearing before both the UK and EU courts. He is highly esteemed for his work on abuse of dominance and cartel-related matters. Turner also advises clients on appeals against CMA decisions.

    Strengths:“He is a brilliant advocate who presents difficult arguments in a pleasant way and leads the team in a way that makes it clear that it is a team effort.” “Turner is very effective in court and tough under pressure.” “He brings a sense of calm and exhibits good commercial and strategic sense.”

    Recent work: Represented Google in defending Foundem’s claim alleging abuse of dominance.

    Daniel Beard QC 

    Highly sought after by both claimants and defendants for abuse of dominance, cartel and state aid cases. He advises clients from the technology and aviation sectors.

    Strengths: “When you have something tricky, he’s the man to work with him.” “Tactically, he is a great advocate, and it’s always a pleasure to have him on your team.”

    Recent work: Acted for Apple in Apple v Commission, a very important case looking at whether Ireland had granted unlawful state aid to the tech giant.

    Tim Ward QC 

    Sought after for a number of different competition law matters, assisting claimants and defendants with cartel and abuse of dominance cases. Ward has several clients from the TMT sector.

    Strengths: “He gets down to the nub of the case very quickly, giving clear and concise advice, and communicating in a clear and simple way. His advocacy is also excellent.”

    Recent work: Represented Royal Mail in a claim for damages following the truck cartel.

    Meredith Pickford QC

    Has acted for clients on excessive pricing, abuse of dominance and cartel cases. He also assists on cases with an overlap between competition and IP law. Pickford has several clients from the technology sector.

    Strengths: “Has the ability to absorb a lot of information very quickly and to identify issues that other advisors might miss.”

    Recent work: Advised Asda and other retailers on an appeal against Mastercard’s interchange fees.

    Philip Moser QC

    Acts for both claimants and defendants in cartel damages claims. He also assists clients with state aid law and abuse of dominance allegations.

    Strengths: “He is a beautiful advocate who is very erudite.”

    Recent work: Represented Emerald Supplies and other claimants in a damages case following the air cargo cartel decision.

    Mark Brealey QC

    A leading practitioner both at domestic and EU level, who acts for both claimants and defendants. He has a broad practice, representing clients in cartel follow-on claims, pricing investigations and FRAND licensing matters. Brealey has several clients from the technology industry.

    Strengths: “He has a very powerful instinct for the points that will appeal to a court and an attractive way of presenting arguments in court.”

    Recent work: Advised Sainsbury’s on a claim for damages against Visa following the interchange decision.

    Paul Harris QC 

    Advises clients on a number of cartel litigation cases, acting for both claimants and defendants. He also assists parties with abuse of dominance and merger clearance matters.

    Strengths: “He is a very effective courtroom advocate,” and “knows his subject matter very well.”

    Recent work: Represented Walter Merricks CBE in the Mastercard collective proceedings, the biggest UK damages action ever brought involving claims totalling over £13 billion.

    Kassie Smith QC

    Acts for clients on cartel and abuse of dominance damages actions and competition law appeals. She also assists clients with merger filing notifications.

    Strengths:“Very considered and practical. She has a good grasp of the detail in a case and is very tuned in to the client’s concerns and aims.”

    Recent work: Advised the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the proposed merger between Sky and 21st Century Fox.

    George Peretz QC

    Acts for a number of clients on state aid matters. He also assists with cartel investigations, abuse of dominance cases and merger clearance mandates.

    Strengths: “Peretz is very knowledgeable on state aid and is a man you can talk freely and frankly with. He’s good at bouncing ideas off.”

    Recent work: Advised the EC on various appeals against its decisions in the ‘pay for delay’ cases.

    Josh Holmes QC

    Has a broad competition law practice, advising clients on state aid, abuse of dominance and cartel matters. He frequently represents defendants in competition law appeals and follow-on damages claims.

    Strengths: “Holmes is very pleasant to deal with, drafts very clearly and is very precise and good at getting the point across.”

    Recent work: Acted for Frucona Košicea, a Slovakian distillery, in challenging a state aid decision which would have required it to pay millions of euros to the Slovak authorities.

    JUNIORS

    Rob Williams

    Has a broad competition law practice, frequently representing the CMA in merger clearance investigations and in defence against appeals. He also advises on cartel cases and excessive pricing matters.

    Strengths: “Very user-friendly, responsive and hard-working.” “He is very committed to the case and really cares about getting the right result.”

    Recent work: Acted for the CMA in successfully opposing an application by Flynn Pharma for interim relief in a case concerning alleged excessive pricing for anti-epilepsy drugs.

    Anneli Howard 

    Acts for a number of regulators on abuse of dominance and cartel investigations. She also represents defendants in follow-on damages claims.

    Strengths: Measured, user-friendly and someone who gets the commercial side of things.”

    Recent work: Acted for the Civil Aviation Authority in an investigation into allegations of price fixing at the car park at East Midlands Airport.

    Ronit Kreisberger 

    Particularly popular with clients from the healthcare sector, assisting with pay for delay and excessive pricing mandates. She also acts for clients on competition law appeals.

    Strengths: “Kreisberger has a good instinct for how competition regulators think and how far to take things.”

    Recent work: Advised Cathay Pacific on an appeal against the EC’s revised air cargo surcharges decision.

    Alistair Lindsay 

    Advises clients on obtaining clearance for mergers and on appealing prohibition decisions. He also assists with abuse of dominance matters and other competition law questions.

    Strengths: “Formidably intelligent and really authoritative.”

    Recent work: Acted for ATF Fuels in an appeal against a decision by the Jersey Competition Authority that ATF had abused a dominant position.

    Julian Gregory 

    Offers a broad competition law practice, advising on merger clearance, follow-on damages claims, pricing and state aid cases. He frequently acts for claimants in competition litigation.

    Strengths: “He is able to assimilate complex material and is impressively diligent.”

    Recent work: Advised the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the proposed mergers between Fox and Sky, and Fox and Disney.

    Ben Rayment

    Acts for private sector clients and enforcement agencies in follow-on damages claims and appeals against competition law decisions. He has a number of pharmaceutical sector clients.

    Strengths: “Fantastically experienced and someone with a deep knowledge of the sector.”

    Recent work: Advised Daimler as defendants on the damages claims arising from the Commission’s truck cartel decision.

    Alan Bates

    Acts for both regulators and clients in challenges to decisions by the regulators, particularly in the areas of state aid and abuse of dominance. He also advises clients on cartel investigations and competition damages cases.

    Strengths: “Goes out of his way to serve the client’s interests, is very good on his feet and understands the client’s objectives.”

    Recent work: Acted for Whistl on a claim for abuse of dominance brought against Royal Mail.

    Ben Lask

    Represents regulators as defendants in appeals against their decisions. He is an expert on abuse of dominance, cartel cases and licensing issues.

    Strengths: “He is a very solid junior, who is hard-working and calm.”

    Recent work: Acted for the EC as defendants on a challenge to the Commission’s Euribor decision.

    Philip Woolfe

    Represents a number of public and private sector clients before the UK and EU authorities in a range of competition litigation cases, and has a particular focus on cartel and abuse of dominance cases.

    Strengths: “Has very good judgement as to how to approach things and what will play well in court.”

    Recent work: Represented the Secretary of State for Health in a damages claim against Servier following the ‘pay for delay’ case.

    Anneliese Blackwood

    Represents private clients and government departments as claimants in competition damages claims, both at a UK level and before the EC. She also advises clients on CMA investigations into abuse of dominance.

    Strengths: “She is always on top of her brief and fantastic to work with.”

    Recent work: Advised Royal Mail and BT on damages claims against DAF following the truck cartel case.

    Laura Elizabeth John

    Acts in a number of cartel and abuse of dominance cases, particularly on the claimant side. She has clients from a number of sectors, including the energy, healthcare and technology industries.

    Strengths: “Able to get up to speed very quickly,” and “a good sounding board for silks.”

    Recent work: Assisted Microsoft with a claim for damages against Sony following the lithium ion batteries cartel decision.

    Ligia Osepciu 

    Assists with state aid, abuse of dominance, cartels and patent infringement cases, representing claimants, defendants and appellants.

    Strengths: “Very user-friendly and hard-working.”

    Recent work: Assisted Google in defending a follow-on damages claim from Kelkoo after the EC’s abuse of dominance decision.

    Alison Berridge

    Assists clients with merger control matters, and also acts for clients who are subject to CMA and FCA competition law investigations into cartels and pricing agreements.

    Strengths: “Takes real time to understand the client’s objectives, and is clear in her delivery.”

    Recent work: Acted for comparethemarket.com in relation to the CMA’s investigation into most favoured nation clauses.

    James Bourke 

    Acts in a number of competition law cases before the EU courts, including those relating to state aid, abuse of dominance and cartel investigations. He has a number of clients from the technology industry.

    Strengths: “Bourke knows how the EGJ works, which is a very valuable skill, and he gets on well with the client.”

    Recent work: Acted for Google in defending the EC’s allegations of abuse of dominance.

    Thomas Sebastian

    Represents both claimants and defendants in cartel follow-on damages claims. He also advises regulators and government bodies on appeals against authority decisions, particularly those relating to the pharmaceutical industry.

    Strengths:“He is a good team player who is very pleasant to work with.”

    Recent work: Acted for DAF trucks in defending a claim for damages following the trucks cartel decision.

     

     

     

  • Construction

    Michael Bowsher QC

    Experienced silk with a widely admired procurement and construction practice. His specialist work on EU procurement rules has drawn particular praise from industry sources. He is becoming increasingly involved in PFI and DBFO project disputes. Strong international presence in Central Asia and the Far East.

    Strengths: “Highly respected silk who is very authoritative on procurement law.”

    Recent work: Acted for Bechtel Management, one of the bidders for the decommissioning of the Magnox reactors in a claim against the government relating to the procurement of a decommissioning.

  • Data Protection

    A set with the legal firepower to adeptly cover the full extent of Data Protection Act, Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations cases. Its highly diverse client base includes the Information Commissioner, public bodies, businesses, NGOs and private individuals. Members of chambers have recently appeared in the hotly contested Court of Appeal matter of Willow v Information Commissioner and Ministry of Justice, which concerned an information request for details of the restraint methods used on minors in custody, and explored the relationship between the Freedom of Information Act and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    Client service: “The clerks are a real pleasure to work with, really helpful in moving diaries around, and very accessible.” “They’re always at the end of the phone, and they can always fit you in.

    SILK

    Gerry Facenna QC

    Tends to a varied client base of individuals and organisations requesting information, and regularly acts for public authorities and even the Information Commissioner itself, offering advice on all aspects of data protection and freedom of information. He has an extensive track record of appearing in cutting-edge Information Tribunal cases against leading silks in this area.

    Strengths: “He fully understands data protection and information law in the wider context, and applies the law in a commercial sense.” “Gerry can cut through to the heart of the matter.”

    Recent work: Successfully acted in the Court of Appeal for the information requester and campaigner Alex Henney, opposing the Government’s appeal in relation to his request for environmental information. This case represents the leading Court of Appeal authority on the meaning of ‘environmental information’.

    JUNIORS

    Laura Elizabeth John

    Security cleared and regularly instructed by the Information Commissioner, often as sole counsel, John has an impressive portfolio of definitive data protection and information law cases under her belt. She bolsters her information law practice with expertise in areas such as environmental, competition and administrative law.

    Strengths: “Laura is good at getting to grips with matters and gaining client confidence.” “Exceptionally bright and strategically aware, she’s a star in the making.”

    Recent work: Acted for the ICO in Willow v IC and MOJ, a case examining how the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child affects information requests regarding the restraint of detained minors.

    Julianne Kerr Morrisson

    Has experience of appearing before the appeal courts, High Courts and Tribunals in cases concerning data protection, environmental information regulations and the Freedom of Information Act, often appearing as sole counsel. She maintains a strong list of claimant and requester clients, whilst also representing public authorities and the Information Commissioner itself.

    Strengths: “She gets the brief immediately, is very good on her feet and is not fazed by senior lawyers.” “Julianne is hard-working and very quick on the uptake when handling difficult points of law.”

    Recent work: Represented Professor David Carroll and others in an ICO complaint and litigation against Cambridge Analytica, alleging the defendant’s involvement in voter profiling.

  • Education

    SILK

    Ian Wise QC

    Has an active appellate practice and handles a wide range of important education, public law and human rights matters. He is routinely instructed by national charities and has strong knowledge of equality law. His advice is regularly sought in connection with the Children and Families Act 2014, and he has been instructed on a number of cases relating to its provisions.

    Strengths: “He has excellent negotiation skills and is a safe pair of hands who is very good with clients.”

    Recent work: Instructed in Harvey v United Kingdom, a case concerning a teacher who claimed that the decision to bar him from working with children and vulnerable adults breached his article 6 and 8 rights.

    JUNIOR

    Steve Broach

    A notable public law junior who acts for a number of prominent clients in the education sector. Much of his work is concerned with the special educational needs of disabled children, as well as young people with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. Broach has expert knowledge of the Children and Families Act 2014, as well as particular expertise regarding the law on school transport and higher education Disabled Student Allowances.

    Strengths: “He’s professional, very knowledgeable and reliable. He has a wealth of knowledge in relation to children with disabilities and adult social-care matters.”

  • Environment

    Well-run chambers supplying high-calibre advice and advocacy in relation to domestic and EU environmental law. Members receive instructions from private individuals, corporations and campaign groups as well as a range of government bodies. They are capable of attending to the full range of environmental issues including contamination, conservation, permits, pesticides, pollution and waste disposal.

    SILKS

    Jon Turner QC

    Has an extremely strong reputation for his work on behalf of NGOs, action groups and commercial clients. He is an expert on issues such as pollution control, the protection of natural habitats and climate change.

    Strengths: “Intellectually strong and knowledgeable. An excellent advocate and a good strategic thinker.”

    Gerry Facenna QC

    Recognised as an expert for cases relating to the EU regulation of, and access to, environmental information. His client base includes campaign groups, individuals, corporations, government bodies and regulators.

    Strengths: “A good tactician.”

    Recent work: Brought a claim for compensation against Zodiac, the international shipping company, on behalf of a worker who was injured in a ship-breaking yard in Bangladesh.

  • European

    Solicitors report that the set is “a go-to chambers for European law matters.” Monckton Chambers has a strong reputation for its handling of cases involving EU telecommunications, transportation and chemicals regulations. Clients appreciate that the set is “very user-friendly,” adding that “working with Monckton helps us to proceed with confidence.” Barristers also advise on European competition law and financial services regulations. Recent highlight cases have included the Article 50 challenge and several high-profile state aid matters.

    Client service:The clerks are very good; they are straight about who is available and who isn’t, and they give sensible suggestions about which barrister to instruct.

    SILKS

    Tim Ward QC 

    Leading EU law litigator, representing both the UK government and multinational companies. He is highly regarded for his knowledge of EU single-market frameworks and freedom of movement issues. Ward has been very active in telecommunications and technology regulatory matters as well as pesticide cases.

    Strengths: “The top EU lawyer in the set.”

    Recent work: Acted for O2 in a judicial review challenge to Ofcom’s decision regarding the auction of further radio spectrum for use by mobile phone companies for 4G and 5G services.

    Philip Moser QC 

    A leading EU lawyer with a particular focus on public procurement and VAT questions, as well as freedom of movement issues. Moser acts for both government bodies and corporate clients. He also has a specialist expertise in Commercial Agency work.

    Strengths: “Moser is a fantastic advocate who is really good on his feet and very good technically.”

    Recent work: Acted for the claimants in Emerald Supplies and others v British Airways, a follow-on damages claim arising from the Air Cargo cartel case.

    Jon Turner QC 

    Has a leading EU antitrust practice, and also acts in cases concerning telecommunications, environmental issues and financial services questions. He is also experienced in the handling of antitrust cases.

    Strengths: “Turner is technically very good and very solutions-focused.”

    Recent work: Acted for American Express in two challenges to new EU-wide regulations of payment systems.

    Daniel Beard QC 

    Has an outstanding EU law competition practice and is particularly popular with clients from the telecommunications sector. He regularly advises on Francovich claims as well as cases concerning state aid mandates.

    Strengths: “He is very knowledgeable and very bright.”

    Kassie Smith QC 

    Offers a broad EU law practice, advising government bodies, NGOs and private companies on environmental law and energy law issues. She also has experience of appearing in the ECJ regarding discrimination and child abduction cases.

    Strengths: “She is one of the leading silks for EU free movement rights, and her way of explaining things to the client and her client management skills have been excellent.”

    Recent work: Represented Ryanair in an appeal against a fine for transporting individuals without the correct documents evidencing their right to travel to the UK. The case was based on EU regulations concerning free movement.

    Ian Rogers QC 

    Has a strong non-competition EU law focus. He has recently advised on a number of tobacco-related cases. He also assists with cases concerning minimum pricing, employment and pensions issues. Rogers frequently acts for the government legal department.

    Strengths: “Intellectually very strong.” He has “an incisive mind and an in-depth grasp of European matters.”

    Recent work: Advised several UK government departments on whether the introduction of minimum pricing for alcohol in Scotland would breach EU free movement of goods law.

    George Peretz QC

    Has a strong focus on European law issues in the pharmaceutical and agricultural sectors. He frequently acts for governmental bodies and departments.

    Strengths: “From a litigation point of view, he’s really excellent.”

    Recent work: Acted for DEFRA in a Francovich claim brought by Speciality Produce following its delisting as a producers’ organisation under Common Agricultural Policy rules.

    Gerry Facenna QC

    Advises the UK government and private companies on a broad range of EU law issues, including free trade, sanctions and financial matters. Facenna often represents clients in European Union employment law regulations and state aid matters.

    Strengths:“He is a fabulous advocate who is very good for EU environment law.”

    Recent work: Represented the UK as an intervenor in the EU’s proposed free trade deal with Singapore.

    Josh Holmes QC 

    Acts for government bodies, private businesses and the EC on a range of European, regulatory and public matters. Holmes is particularly active in state aid challenges, competition law and data privacy regulations.

    Strengths:“He is very approachable, with a superb manner, and is technically and strategically astute.” “He is an excellent performer in the EU courts in Luxembourg. He knows the system very well.”

    Recent work: Acted for the UK government as an intervenor in a challenge brought against the EC’s decision to allow companies to export data from the EU to the USA.

    JUNIOR

    Anneli Howard

    Advises on EU free movement, environmental law, IP and European human rights for both government bodies and private companies. She also represents a number of NGOs. She has experience appearing before the General Court and ECJ in Luxembourg, as well as the UK Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

    Strengths: “She offers well-drafted written work, clear and thorough presentation skills and a responsive and user-friendly approach.”

    Recent work: Represented the MHRA in judicial review proceedings concerning the MHRA’s refusal to validate a generic application under the EU Pharmaceutical Code.

  • Immigration

    Robert Palmer

    Regularly appears in the higher domestic and EU courts in significant national security, EU freedom of movement and human rights cases. His stellar reputation is reflected by his position on the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel.

    Strengths: “An excellent barrister who was great in front of the Supreme Court.”

    Recent work: Acted unled for the Home Secretary before the Supreme Court and for the UK government in the CJEU in a case concerning the residence rights of EU citizens in the UK following a term of imprisonment.

  • Local Government

    Ian Wise QC

    Well versed in complex local authority disputes, including matters relating to the duty to support children and families in need. He regularly acts for claimants and has deep knowledge of social care law. He has appeared in the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal in a number of important cases concerning local authorities and young asylum seekers. He is also well regarded for his handling of cases involving local government finance.

    Strengths: “He’s a fantastic negotiator. As he has been practising for so long, he has an accumulated knowledge and is able to cut straight to the heart of the matter.”

    Recent work: Acted in R (J & L) v Hillingdon LBC, a case concerning housing obligations towards families with disabled children. The case involved a detailed consideration of the interrelationship between the authority’s obligations under the Housing Act and various Children Acts.

  • Public International

    Thomas Sebastian

    Highly regarded for his investment treaty and WTO work. He has acted in treaty disputes in Cuba, Poland, Colombia, Thailand, India and South Africa. He has also advised the UK government on Brexit-related PIL issues.

    Strengths: “Outstanding advocate and WTO expert, renowned for his trade law knowledge.”

    Recent work: Acted in a WTO dispute concerning wide-ranging sanctions imposed on Qatar by Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

  • Public Procurement

    A set that handles a range of contentious and non-contentious public procurement matters, acting for suppliers, contracting authorities and utilities. Its members have experience of handling a wide range of cases including those relating to the energy, health and defence sectors. One client refers to them as “pragmatic, commercial and very responsive.” Individuals at the set recently acted in Bechtel Management and The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, a matter concerning a £6.1 billion deal to clean up redundant Magnox nuclear reactors that was pulled after the government erred in the way the work was awarded. Members worked with Bechtel to bring a claim over how the contract was handled.

    Client service: “The clerks are all very helpful and accommodating; they always assist with urgent last-minute instructions.”

    SILKS

    Michael Bowsher QC

    Public procurement work makes up a large proportion of the practice of this greatly respected silk. Having been at the forefront of this area from its inception, he is an advocate revered by both claimants and defendants faced with high-value and important procurement challenges. Bowsher is also an experienced member of the Northern Irish Bar.

    Strengths: “Michael’s formidable reputation is well deserved; he is a master at thinking outside of the box and coming up with creative, innovative solutions for clients.” “His depth of knowledge of the law in this area is superb. He identifies the angles other procurement counsel don’t spot.”

    Recent work: Acted for FP McCann in a dispute with the Department for Regional Development. This case concerned a High Court ruling that a £100 million Northern Irish road contract was awarded in breach of regulations.

    Philip Moser QC

    Highly regarded for his experience in procurement, commercial agent cases and EU law. A significant portion of his work arises from instructions received from the government. His advisory and litigation practice is extensive and covers a wide range of contracting authorities and private and public undertakings. Moser has acted in a range of procurement cases, including those in the defence and healthcare sectors.

    Strengths: “Has vast experience of procurement challenges and provides excellent strategic advice to clients. He has a very relaxed style and is excellent with clients.”

    Recent work: Acted for the Secretary of State for Education with regard to a procurement challenge brought by Pearson. The case concerned the contract for testing of all primary school children at state schools in England and Wales.

    JUNIORS

    Valentina Sloane

    An admired adviser and litigator who handles procurement cases as part of her wider European law practice. She is regularly instructed by top law firms and the government, and has experience across a range of areas, having handled procurement challenges relating to the rail, defence, security and education sectors.

    Strengths: “Provides clear and well-directed advocacy, which is delivered extremely crisply.” She is “responsive, good to deal with, dependable and hard-working.”

    Recent work: Appeared in Flogas v Minister for the Cabinet Office. Sloane acted as sole counsel for the Cabinet Office, defending a challenge from Flogas against the appointment of Calor to a national framework for the provision of fuel for customers such as the Welsh government, the MoD and the Ministry of Justice.

    Rob Williams

    A go-to barrister for both public sector and utilities work who has been instructed in a number of leading procurement cases. He has a client base consisting of government departments and other public bodies. Williams has particular expertise of handling cases in the health sector.

    Strengths: “Commercial, down-to-earth and very user-friendly, he takes a very practical approach to the law.” “A really impressive and hard-working senior junior with an excellent eye for detail.”

    Recent work: Acted for NHS Guildford and Waverley in defending a challenge brought by Virgin Care Services. The case concerned the procurement of children’s community health services in Surrey.

    Ewan West

    Previously a civil servant in the Department for Transport, this well-respected barrister has a public procurement practice that covers transport, utilities and health. He has worked on many significant and high-profile challenges. His practice includes both litigation and advisory work, and he acts for both challengers and utilities/contracting authorities.

    Strengths: “Helpful and practical, she marries deep knowledge of the procurement sector with an understanding of the client’s commercial goals.”

    Recent work: Acted for Karakusevic Clarkson Architects in a claim regarding a development management contract for a high-profile redevelopment in Lambeth. Following the claim and application for disclosure, the defendant decided to not proceed and cancelled the procurement.

    Brendan McGurk

    Regularly involved in high-value procurement disputes, acting for bidders, contracting parties and authorities. He has particular experience in defence procurement matters.

    Strengths: “His legal acumen and his commitment to the cause cannot be questioned.”

    Recent work: Acted for the Secretary of State for Defence in a dispute with Capita Business Services over a contract for the outsourcing of the management of the Ministry of Defence’s estate in the UK.

    Azeem Suterwalla

    A respected junior who acts for clients including public bodies and local authorities in a full range of procurement matters. He regularly acts for both claimants and defendants.

    Strengths: “Really responsive and has a great grasp of some horribly complex areas of law.” “He’s incredibly approachable and builds up a good rapport with our clients.”

    Recent work: Acted for Coloplast in a claim regarding the tender process for the award of a contract by the Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group. The claimant is a world-leading supplier of intimate healthcare products.

    Fiona Banks

    An able barrister with a far-reaching client list that takes in both contracting authorities and tenderers. As well as having a flourishing practice, she also contributes pieces on public procurement to various law publications.

    Strengths: “A very tenacious advocate” who is “incredibly responsive, very impressive in terms of her attention to detail and someone who drives matters forward.”

    Recent work: Banks acted for Joseph Gleave and Sons, a supplier of hand tools, in respect of two significant High Court claims brought against the Secretary of State for Defence arising from two procurements in 2016. The claims were worth in excess of £8 million.

    Anneliese Blackwood

    A knowledgeable junior who handles contentious and non-contentious matters, and has been involved in a significant percentage of the leading procurement cases that have gone to trial in recent years. She acts for a range of clients, including those in the education sector.

    Strengths: “Approachable and very client-friendly,” she is “an excellent junior whose knowledge of the procurement regime, attention to detail and drafting skills are all impressive.”

    Recent work: Acted for GLD in Pearson Education v Secretary of State for Education, a challenge by Pearson to the award of a contract for delivery of all National Curriculum Assessments.

    Ligia Osepciu

    A talented junior who has experience in competition law, public procurement and utilities regulation. She has worked on a number of important cases, often unled.

    Strengths: “Very thorough, clear and hard-working, she’s a pleasure to have as a junior.” “She is very clever and invariably on top of things.”

    Recent work: Acted in EnergySolutionsUK (ATK) v NDA, a case which concerned the management and decommissioning of the 12 redundant Magnox nuclear power sites which formed the UK’s first fleet of nuclear power stations.

     

  • Sport

    An esteemed chambers renowned for its experience in sports disputes and competition cases under EU law. The set frequently takes on matters which overlap with media, broadcasting, corporate governance and agency law. The barristers are also experienced in disciplinary work.

    Client service: “We get excellent service and value from the chambers.”

    SILK

    Paul Harris QC

    He is renowned for his excellent knowledge of regulatory frameworks and the broader sporting environment, as well as his robust advocacy style and strong client service. He is frequently instructed in sport matters involving competition law aspects. He has been active in relation to sports including football, F1 and boxing.

    Strengths: “A real sports expert.” “Excellent advocate and impressive clarity of thought in competition-related but also commercial matters.” “Extremely robust.”

    Recent work: Successfully defended Massimo Cellino against two of three disciplinary charges before the FA relating to alleged false transfer documentation.

    JUNIOR

    Fiona Banks

    A noteworthy junior who receives instructions across a variety of sports, including football, rugby, motor racing and cycling. She is particularly well known for acting in contractual disputes, often involving broadcasting and rights issues. She acts for a combination of individuals and teams, national sports governing bodies and broadcasters.

    Strengths: “Impressive and eloquent, and she identifies the key points quickly. Provides sage, pragmatic advice.” “Extremely user-friendly.”

    Recent work: Acted for Tony Pulis in the defence of a claim brought by Crystal Palace FC arising from the circumstances of his departure from the club in 2014.

  • Tax: Indirect Tax

    Monckton Chambers has a deep bench of indirect tax practitioners. It acts on behalf of both the Revenue and the taxpayer and has pronounced strength at the intersection of tax and such areas as public, EU and human rights law. Members handle a broad array of matters including assessments, exemptions, judicial reviews and MTIC fraud. They recently successfully represented HMRC before the Supreme Court in a dispute with Littlewoods regarding compound interest. Sources say they are “very commercial” and “know their stuff.”

    Client service: “The clerks are always approachable, commercial and user-friendly.” “The set is a pleasure to deal with. The clerking is responsive and very sensible.”

    SILKS

    Melanie Hall QC

    A leader in the field of indirect tax who is well known for her expertise in VAT matters in particular. She regularly takes substantial and high-value instructions from HMRC and from taxpayers. She has a wealth of experience handling matters involving landfill tax and challenges to the aggregates levy, and has an established charities tax practice.

    Strengths: “Very thorough and a pleasure to work with.” “Impeccably well prepared, fiercely clever and down to earth. She demonstrates absolute command of the subject matter and is an unflappable advocate.”

    Recent work: Acted for the Revenue in a challenge to the UK’s legislation on the direct selling sector.

    Philip Moser QC

    Highly respected for his expertise in EU-related tax matters in the areas of both VAT and customs, he regularly appears before the ECJ. He is trusted with sophisticated and substantial instructions from HMRC and corporations. He also has long-standing experience of handling MTIC fraud cases. He has appeared in a number of high-profile test cases.

    Strengths: “A very impressive advocate. He is responsive to client needs and has an excellent grasp of several specialist legal areas.” “Very easy to work with.”

    Recent work: Acted for HMRC in a dispute with Emblaze regarding whether and how interest on unpaid VAT is recoverable in the Tribunals.

    George Peretz QC

    Well known for his VAT practice in particular. He is often trusted by HMRC with the most complex and challenging of VAT cases, and has a wealth of experience appearing before the Supreme Court and the ECJ. He is noted for his knowledge of the ‘special legal regime concept’ applicable to public bodies in VAT matters.

    Strengths: “Approachable and very thorough.” “Sensible and very client-friendly.”

    Recent work: Acted in a judicial review by a private waste collector of an HMRC decision that supplies of waste collection services are exempt from VAT.

    JUNIORS

    Peter Mantle

    Highly regarded for his vast expertise in all areas of indirect tax. He is most frequently retained by HMRC to assist in complex litigation and advisory matters. He also has broad experience of acting for private clients across an array of sectors including financial services, insurance and retail. He is well versed in indirect tax disputes involving EU law.

    Strengths: “He absorbs information like a sponge and is able to deliver the most intellectually demanding ideas with the utmost clarity in court.” “He dispenses both technical expertise and practical industry knowledge in a thorough and logical manner.”

    Recent work: Acted for the Revenue in a dispute with ING regarding the VAT status of bank accounts for which a bank imposes no money charges.

    Raymond Hill

    An indirect tax specialist who is singled out for his vast experience of representing clients before the ECJ. He is particularly well known for his command of complex VAT matters. He has acted in several leading ECJ cases regarding the exemption for special investment funds.

    Strengths:“His knowledge of European case law in particular is outstanding. He invariably gets to the heart of any dispute quickly. He has a very sensible, measured approach and is excellent with clients.” “Very bright and very user-friendly.”

    Recent work: Acted for HMRC in a dispute with Harley-Davidson Europe concerning VAT liability for benefits accompanying membership of the Harley Owners Group.

    Valentina Sloane

    A leading junior in indirect tax matters. She specialises in representing taxpayers while simultaneously holding a position on the Treasury A-Panel. She regularly appears before the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and the ECJ. She is particularly noted for her expertise in customs duty cases.

    Strengths: “Incredibly compelling.” “An intelligent and dynamic advocate with excellent command of the detail.”

    Recent work: Acted for Honeywell in a customs duties dispute with HMRC.

    Andrew Macnab

    Can call upon broad indirect tax expertise spanning VAT, excise duties and customs duties, among other matters. He continues to act regularly for HMRC, handling complex and high-profile test cases particularly in the field of VAT. He has experience acting at all levels of the domestic court system and the ECJ.

    Strengths: “Very approachable and client-focused.”

    Recent work: Represented HMRC in connection with a claim by Littlewoods, the catalogue retailer, for compound interest on overpaid VAT.

  • Telecommunications

    A chambers that benefits from having a deep bench of silks and juniors at all levels of call who can tackle issues ranging from sensitive advisory mandates up to the most high-profile competition law and telecoms regulatory disputes. It remains the first port of call for many leading telecoms-focused law firms seeking counsel for proceedings before the ECJ, CAT, Senior Courts and the Supreme Court. Key members of chambers are also regularly instructed directly by telecoms operators, by Ofcom or by government departments on advisory topics and on contentious cases.

    Client service: “Senior clerk David Hockney is excellent and very reliable.” “The clerks are really responsive, and if one person is not available someone else will come back to me really quickly. They know their barristers’ availability and suggest suitable people who are available to take on some of the work.” “They have a good strong stream of junior barristers.”

    SILKS

    Tim Ward QC

    Popular choice among London solicitors and in-house counsel at UK and international telecoms companies faced with sensitive regulatory disputes. Interviewees often highlight his advocacy skills and his ability to build a rapport with judges, junior barristers and lay-clients.

    Strengths: “Really smart, level-headed and pragmatic. He is down to earth and his advice is always very much grounded in practical considerations.” “He immediately spots good points and he works in a very user-friendly manner.” “From a client perspective he’s just fantastic.”

    Recent work: Represented Telefónica as one of the interested parties in proceedings brought by BT and Three seeking judicial review of Ofcom’s rules on the auction of 4G and 5G spectrum.

    Jon Turner QC

    Has a well-established reputation as one of the most important telecoms silks in the UK. He advises on challenges to Ofcom decisions before the CAT, Administrative Court and Court of Appeal, and also has notable experience in precedent-setting commercial disputes that inform the sector’s approach to the licensing of standard-essential patents.

    Strengths: “He’s a brilliant advocate; I have seen him really deftly take a court through arguments that one might have thought unarguable.” “He has an incredibly good feel for how the court or judge might view things, so if he runs a point you know it’s a good one.” “It is very easy to work with him as he is a good team player.”

    Recent work: Acted for Three on judicial review proceedings before the Administrative Court seeking to challenge Ofcom’s rules for the auction of 4G and 5G spectrum.

    Daniel Beard QC

    Regularly instructed by leading UK telecoms operators on their most important competition law-based regulatory appeals. He also handles competition law cases for operators based in continental Europe. He is a highly respected figure among peers and instructing solicitors.

    Strengths: “Good on the black-letter law and at managing cases. He communicates well with clients and is effective on his feet.” “If you are acting for an underdog his advocacy style is good because he can be tenacious.” “An excellent oral advocate who is tactically astute.”

    Meredith Pickford QC

    Has an impressive client list that includes many of the largest global telecoms operators and electronics manufacturers. He handles competition law and complex intellectual property disputes, including Court of Appeal cases that clarify the meaning of FRAND terms in the licensing of standard-essential patents. Interviewees often highlight his economics background and his deep understanding of telecoms technology as key strengths.

    Strengths: “He has a detailed knowledge of economics and has acquired a familiarity with the technical and complex commercial aspects of the sector.” “He is approachable; he picks up the phone and will discuss anything no matter how mundane. He also comes across really well in court as he is able to gauge the level of detail to go into, and when to push and not to push.”

    Recent work: Acted for Sky and TalkTalk in the Ethernet appeals. The Court of Appeal held that BT was liable for £95 million in damages plus interest.

    Kassie Smith QC

    Best known for her work on important cases that test the relationship between the protection of IP rights and the use of standard-essential patents in mobile telecoms technology. She also advises on competition law cases in the media and telecoms sector, including in foreign jurisdictions.

    Strengths: “She has a very thorough grasp of the fundamentals in the telecoms area” and “she really has oodles of common sense.” “She works hard, is approachable and is flexible when it comes to attending to the client’s needs.”

    Recent work: Represented ZTE in patent infringement proceedings brought by Conversant Wireless Licensing. Huawei and ZTE contested the claim that Conversant had made a FRAND offer for licences to use its standard-essential patents.

    Gerry Facenna QC

    Has acted in several important public law cases that test the relationship between data privacy and the obligation on telecoms providers to store and disclose data in the interests of counter-terrorism. He also assists with competition law cases that cross over into the media sector.

    Strengths: “He has a fantastic public law practice that he built from scratch. That is a testament to his skill and the fact that clients love him.”

    Recent work: Represented the defendant government bodies in a case brought by Privacy International arguing that the power exercised by UK security services in intercepting and retaining bulk telecoms data is unlawful in EU law. The case was referred to the ECJ.

    Josh Holmes QC

    Among the counsel of choice for Ofcom and other international regulatory bodies. He advises on competition law challenges to decisions on key aspects of telecoms or media sector regulation. Holmes is widely recognised as a rising star in the telecoms sector.

    Strengths: “Has an absolutely fantastic feel for the tactics and strategy of a case and has a persuasive, considered style of advocacy.” “He builds a picture slowly, steadily and without dramatics to produce a very forceful argument, and is very subtle in his cross-examination of witnesses.” “He is flexible and adaptable, and brings previous experience of having acted for the regulator.”

    Recent work: Defended Ofcom’s position in an application for judicial review brought by Viasat. Viasat sought to overturn the decision to grant Inmarsat a licence to provide mobile communications services to airline passengers.

    JUNIORS

    Robert Palmer

    Earns praise from diverse sources for his activity in important cases in the telecoms sector. He handles complex advisory mandates, regulatory appeals and court proceedings for a varied client list that includes leading telecoms operators and public authorities.

    Strengths: “He is very direct and is extremely clear and critical in his advice.” “Leads big cases on his own, is very effective as an advocate and is confident and persuasive.” “In case management conferences he is calm, measured and forensic.”

    Strengths: Acted for BT regarding its successful CAT challenge to the regulatory changes introduced in Ofcom’s 2016 BCMR. It was held that Ofcom’s product and geographic market definitions were inaccurate.

    Anneli Howard

    Highly in-demand senior junior who wins instructions either as sole counsel or as junior to a silk in significant competition law mandates. She advises key telecoms and media clients on the competition law implications of decisions made by UK public bodies, and handles challenges to those decisions before the CAT and CJEU. She also assists telecoms operators with appeals against EC fines.

    Strengths: “Incredibly hard-working and knows the telecoms sector in great depth.” “She is able to craft really good and concise legal arguments.” “Very much a team player and someone who comes up with ideas and recommendations.”

    Recent work: Represented Inmarsat as an intervener in both an ECJ case brought against the EC by Viasat and in related judicial review proceedings in the UK. Viasat sought to block the launch of Inmarsat’s mobile communications services for airline passengers and crew.

    Philip Woolfe

    Plays a prominent role in important judicial review proceedings on behalf of various key operator clients, having been led by renowned telecoms silks both within chambers and in other sets. He also stands out for his instruction as sole counsel in competition law cases that inform Ofcom decisions on dark fibre access.

    Strengths: “He is very accessible and it is great to work with him.” “He is personable and good to get on with.”

    Recent work: Acted for EE on its application for judicial review of Ofcom’s decision to increase annual licence fees for spectrum in the 900 MHz and 1,800 MHz bands. The case was appealed up to the Supreme Court.

    Alan Bates

    Best known for his work on competition law and state aid matters, including sensitive cases that involve clients in the telecoms sector. Recent work highlights demonstrate his expertise in disputes arising from public tenders for telecoms services.

    Strengths: “He has quite a self-effacing personal manner, but that manner is coupled with a surprising degree of assertiveness.” “He is creative and is effective at coming up with good arguments to take on the regulator. When there is going to be a scrap, he’s often on the top the list of those you’d like to instruct.”

    Recent work: Advised Interoute Communications on its dispute with Anglian Water over the outcome of the latter’s public procurement process. The case addressed the issue of competing offers from traditional telecoms service providers and cloud-based service providers.

    Ben Lask

    Has a broad client list that includes telecoms operators, Ofcom and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. He is well respected by peers for his experience in competition law disputes within the telecoms sector.

    Strengths: “Has excellent technical knowledge and explains the reasoning behind his advice very clearly.”

    Recent work: Advised the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on EE’s Court of Appeal challenge to the increase in annual licence fees for the use of 900 MHz and 1,800 MHz spectrum.

    Stefan Kuppen

    Recognised as a valuable resource both for his advisory work relating to difficult points of telecoms regulation and on the defendant side of regulatory investigations. He attracts particular attention for his experience gained working within the financial services sector.

    Strengths: “Knows the technology and the industry well, so can hit the ground running in cases.” “He is on top of the Ofcom guidance, on top of the legislation, and importantly from the client’s point of view is on top of Ofcom’s thinking.” “He has lots of commercial nous and is great to have on board as a junior.”

    Recent work: Represented Sky in an Ofcom investigation relating to the alleged breach of consumer protection rules. Ofcom decided to discontinue its investigation into Sky’s procedures for the cancellation of landline and broadband contracts.