Commercial Dispute Resolution - London (Bar)
Brick Court has long been regarded as a heavyweight chambers in commercial litigation work and remains a firm favourite with instructing solicitors. The instructions it receives are wide-ranging in nature, and include natural resources, banking, property and company disputes, as well as disputes originating in Russia and the CIS. The set is well stocked with leading silks and highly regarded juniors, and its members are consistently praised for their robust and intelligent advocacy. Sources say: "The barristers exhibit strong technical expertise and commercial awareness, and will always go the extra mile for the client."
Client service: "Superb on clerking. They are fantastically responsive. They are always transparent about diaries and what can be done, and you don't get problems with double-bookings." Ian Moyler and Julian Hawes serve as joint heads of a clerking team that is praised for its modern and commercial approach.
Mark Howard QC
A titan of the Commercial Bar, Howard is praised by instructing solicitors as "nothing short of superb" and by peers as "the person one would least like to find oneself against." His practice spans the commercial spectrum and features regular appearances in the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court and the Privy Council on some of the most high-profile cases of recent years.
Expertise: "Delivers decisive, clear commercial advice and is formidable in the courtroom." "A brilliant trial lawyer who combines an astute legal mind with an eye for strategy, and is a great team player."
Recent work: Acted for the appellant in Benedetti v Sawiris, a dispute relating to the quantum meruit basis of remuneration.
Mark Hapgood QC
A leading light in commercial litigation and regarded by instructing solicitors as an "outstanding commercial advocate" who "works like stink." He is a go-to silk for heavyweight and high-stakes disputes, and his recent cases have included fraud claims, insolvency-related disputes and professional negligence matters.
Expertise: "Provides top-drawer oral advocacy and runs rings around the opposition." "He is particularly adept at cutting to the heart of complicated issues and presenting them simply and clearly. He provides practical commercial and strategic advice and is a very persuasive advocate."
Recent work: Represented Cattles Group in its USD1.6 billion professional negligence claim against PwC, arising out of the collapse of the Welcome Financial Services group.
Charles Hollander QC
A silk held in high esteem by solicitors, who has significant courtroom presence and intellectual ability and a reputation for being easy to work with. He is an acknowledged expert on questions of legal privilege.
Expertise: "He is very good on his feet and very articulate. He always has the ear of the judge and is someone with an enormous amount of courtroom presence." "Highly intelligent, yet unassuming and very client-friendly."
Recent work: Acted for FG Wilson (now Caterpillar NI) on two claims against John Holt relating to international sale of goods and retention of title clauses.
Helen Davies QC
Joint head of chambers and an experienced silk, with an international practice spanning arbitration, energy and competition. She is held in high regard by instructing solicitors and is an established name at the Commercial Bar.
Expertise: "Highly intelligent and a pleasure to work with." "A very good commercial advocate."
Recent work: Represented telecom operator BMIC in its high-profile shareholder dispute with former investment partner Siva and Siva's chairman, Chinnakannan Sivasankaran.
Jonathan Hirst QC
Joint head of chambers alongside Helen Davies QC. He is a seasoned advocate with experience in a range of commercial matters, including financial services disputes, shipping cases and arbitration. Sources name him as a "heavyweight" who "truly understands appellate courts."
Expertise: "A leader in his field. Gives very clear advice and instils real confidence in the client." "He's excellent in every way."
Recent work: Acted for International Oil and Gas Technology Fund in relation to a high-value contractual dispute with, and counterclaim against, QOGT.
Tim Lord QC
Held in high regard by instructing solicitors for his engaging advocacy skills, as well as his user-friendliness. He handles heavyweight commercial matters, and has a particular focus on complex and high-profile banking and finance disputes.
Expertise: "A genuine fighter who is capable of standing up to difficult points. He has a great rapport with the judge and is a very entertaining advocate. He's super-jolly and fun to work with." "His cross-examination was superb: it was very thorough, very carefully put and very thoughtful. He's a great strategist and he really understands client management."
Recent work: Acted for CF Partners in its £75 million claim against Barclays Bank, alleging breach of confidence in relation to the Tricorona M&A deal.
Simon Salzedo QC
An impressive recent silk who attracts praise from peers and instructing parties for his sound advice and high-calibre advocacy. His practice spans general commercial, financial services and professional negligence disputes as well as arbitration.
Expertise: "A superb advocate who is very nimble on his feet and very easy to get on with." "A consummate performer and a brilliant advocate."
Recent work: Acted for Erste on a conspiracy and tortious interference claim against Russian state entity Red October.
Neil Calver QC
A bright and user-friendly advocate whom sources praise as a "strong all-rounder." His expertise encompasses insurance and reinsurance, banking and finance, and aviation law, and he also has a strong arbitration practice.
Expertise: "Super-good with clients, he wins their confidence very quickly." "He has always been very much a hands-on silk, and he gives very good commercial, strategic advice."
Recent work: Acted for Aspen on a Court of Appeal case relating to product liability under a product liability insurance policy.
Daniel Jowell QC
A relatively recent silk who has notable experience in so-called 'oligarch' litigation arising in Russia and the CIS. Instructing solicitors hold him in high regard, praising him as a "brilliant up-and-coming all-rounder."
Expertise: "Very bright and detailed, and a useful cross-examiner." "A real star in the making."
Recent work: Instructed by Enyo Law to seek a conflict of interest injunction against White & Case, as a result of which the defendant was debarred from acting for Victor Pinchuk in his high-profile dispute with Gennadiy Bogolyubov and Igor Kolomoisky.
Harry Matovu QC
Comes strongly recommended by instructing solicitors, who consistently highlight his charm and his ability in cross-examination. He maintains a diverse commercial practice which encompasses civil fraud, natural resources disputes, jurisdictional challenges and arbitration.
Expertise: "Absolutely charming to work with and very good with clients. He produces really first-rate written work and is a very good cross-examiner. He works hard, is sensible and doesn't pursue duff arguments." "Some advocates bamboozle, bully or fight; he charms them all, and mauls witnesses with a smile."
Recent work: Represented two of the three principal defendants to a USD1.1 billion fraud claim brought by Alliance Bank.
Michael Bools QC
Has a strong commercial practice covering both arbitration and litigation, and regularly handles appellate work. He has notable experience in natural resources, energy and insurance cases.
Expertise: "He is meticulous in his attention to detail, and is incredibly bright, fantastically user-friendly and highly accessible."
Recent work: Acted with Mark Hapgood QC for Bambino Holdings, Bernie Ecclestone's family trust company, in relation to a USD140 million fraud claim brought by Constantin Medien.
Tom Adam QC
Highly regarded by instructing parties and peers alike, with one source naming him as "undoubtedly one of the most brilliant legal minds of his generation." His practice covers a range of commercial matters, and he has particular expertise in insurance and professional negligence matters.
Expertise: "Commercial, user-friendly and a delight to work with. He has terrific judgement and is an accomplished advocate." "Clearly had a grasp of the detail that was second to none. A very good advocate who was very good on cross-examination; he knew where he was going tactically."
Recent work: Acted for a syndicate of investors bringing high-value claims of fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duties against Dr Balwinder Sidhu and others. The case concerned a Bulgarian land investment venture.
Richard Slade QC
A well-liked silk with a broad commercial practice. His recent cases include disputes in the banking, financial services and international trade sectors.
Expertise: "Excellent at cutting to the heart of the matter and very user-friendly." "He was very accessible to the client, which was great."
Recent work: Acted for UBS in relation to its USD100 million claim against the Leipzig water authority, Kommunale Wasserwerke Leipzig.
Michael Swainston QC
Held in high regard by instructing solicitors, and has a high-profile, international caseload. He is particularly well regarded in respect of civil fraud matters and 'oligarch' litigation arising in Russia and the CIS.
Expertise: "Exceptionally bright. A leader that you would not want to see appearing for the other side. Devastatingly effective in cross-examination, he's strongly recommended for civil fraud and CIS disputes."
Recent work: Acted for JKX Oil & Gas on a dispute with Eclairs Group and Glengary over the validity of voting and transfer restriction notices.
Jasbir Dhillon QC
A silk with a strong reputation in the commercial market, particularly for complex banking and finance disputes.
Expertise: "He is very good with the client, and will do all he can to work with the material he is given." "Impressive in the more complex disputes, particularly banking and company law matters."
Recent work: Acted for FG Wilson (now Caterpillar NI) on its USD13 million claim against Holt for generators, other goods and services, as well as in defence of a USD50 million claim brought against FG Wilson by Holt.
Andrew Henshaw QC
Negotiates a broad commercial litigation and arbitration practice, and has particular experience in oligarch disputes. He's also noted for his handling of jurisdictional challenges, and for his expertise in European and public law.
Expertise: "Very good on the paperwork, and a real brain."
Recent work: Acted for Linton Capital in relation to claims brought by QOGT over the management of an investment fund.
Roger Masefield QC
A junior silk with a strong reputation in the commercial market, who acts on complex and high-stakes litigation and arbitrations. He has a practice covering civil fraud, energy and insurance, and has particular experience in banking and finance matters.
Expertise: "A very creative, lateral thinker who has a tremendous depth of legal knowledge that he has acquired through his involvement in massively complex cases. He is a very clear-thinking lawyer in terms of strategy and has a very good manner with clients, whose commercial objectives he understands."
Recent work: Acted for Standard Bank on the defence of a claim by Sabre relating to the sale of an oil company investing in an offshore oil field.
Receives consistently high praise from instructing solicitors and has a strong reputation at the Commercial Bar. His practice is wide-ranging, and he tackles financial services, insurance, professional negligence and shipping cases, to name but a few.
Expertise: "An extraordinarily thoughtful, bright barrister whose drafting is excellent. A very, very smart guy who has great advocacy skills." "Unbelievably hard-working, he was a pleasure to work with on a super-stressful case."
Recent work: Acted alongside Tim Lord QC and Simon Salzedo QC for J.P. Morgan on a complex CDO claim against the Berlin transport authority.
An active junior who attracts a range of high-end instructions, and has particular experience in energy and natural resources disputes. Instructing solicitors consider him to be "very good on his feet," and he often acts as sole advocate.
Expertise: "His advice is clear and logical." "Incisive and commercial in his approach, he's a force for the future."
Recent work: Represented Energy Venture Partners, with Mark Howard QC, in its successful recovery of an approximately USD110 million commission payment from Malabu Oil & Gas following the sale of a Nigerian oil licence.
A darling of the junior Bar who attracts praise from peers and instructing solicitors alike. He appears, led and unled, in both general commercial disputes and international arbitrations.
Expertise: "Exceptionally bright, efficient and also a very good advocate. He is a first-choice junior counsel, particularly on complex civil fraud matters." "A very, very able advocate, he really did wipe the floor with the opposition."
Recent work: Led by Mark Howard QC in Goldman Sachs' defence of a EUR200 million professional negligence claim brought by Pensionenfonds Vervoer.
Has a strong reputation for representing major financial institutions, accountancy firms and investment managers. He has particular expertise in the application of EU law to the financial services sector.
Expertise: "A real asset to the team and very good with tricky technical points of both law and fact."
Recent work: Represented UBS in a claim against the Leipzig water authority for sums owed under a CDO. He also acted for UBS Global Asset Management in defence of professional negligence claims relating to the management of the CDO portfolio.
Senior junior with a broad commercial practice that covers shareholder, professional negligence, insurance and banking disputes. He is particularly valued by instructing solicitors for his strategic input.
Expertise: "Incredibly good at devising strategy, getting to the key issues and finding a way through them that meets clients' commercial objectives." "He's very good on fraud and careful to find a proportionate strategy."
Recent work: Led by Mark Howard QC for Gennadiy Bogolyubov in relation to his high-profile dispute with Victor Pinchuk.
An impressive and active junior, with a broad practice encompassing insurance, energy, civil fraud and professional negligence cases. Solicitors appreciate his user-friendliness and strong work ethic.
Expertise: "Tony is very approachable, good on his feet, and excellent if you require practical and commercial advice." "He has a very good grasp of the issues and puts a lot of effort into knowing everything about the case. Very easy to work with, he has no airs and graces."
Recent work: Led by Mark Howard QC on the Alexandros T Supreme Court case, regarding the operation of Articles 27 and 28 of the Brussels Regulation.
A bright and reliable junior, with a practice spanning a range of commercial litigation and arbitration cases. Insurance, civil fraud and shipping cases are a particular focus, and he is strong on contractual disputes.
Expertise: "Very bright, good on the detail and excellent tactically." "Really calm, really sound and obviously going places."
Recent work: Acted for African Minerals in defence of a significant fee claim by Renaissance Capital.
A dynamic junior who has impressed with his work rate and intellectual ability. He appears in a number of heavyweight commercial cases.
Expertise: "He has a fantastically rigorous intellect." "A total glutton for work and someone who is wise beyond his years."
Recent work: Led by Tom Linden QC for Group Lotus in relation to an unfair dismissal claim by its former CEO and a counterclaim concerning the same's conduct during his tenure as CEO.
Thomas Plewman SC
A well-regarded advocate with particular experience in financial services, banking, professional negligence, intellectual property and mining law. His heavyweight presence in the London market follows on from his success as a commercial silk in South Africa.
Expertise: "Extraordinarily good." "Pugnacious, straightforward and straight-talking."
Recent work: Appeared in Cattles v Pricewaterhouse, a USD1.6 billion professional negligence dispute over the collapse of the Welcome Financial Services group.
Has a strong commercial litigation and arbitration practice, and has expertise in EU and competition law.
Recent work: Appeared unled for BAE Systems in defence of a fee claim by two former agents.
A well-regarded junior with an enviable and high-profile recent caseload.
Expertise: "Incredibly hard-working and very smart, he punches above his weight. On his feet, he is very confident and very effective, and he shows good judgement."
Recent work: Led by Michael Swainston QC for API in defending claims for declaration of liability to indemnify British American Tobacco for the cost of the Fox River cleanup.
An active junior with a practice spanning energy, banking and civil fraud disputes. His recent work has included high-profile oligarch litigation.
Expertise: "Very easy to deal with and very fair."
Recent work: Appeared with Mark Howard QC and Alec Haydon for Gennadiy Bogolyubov in relation to the high-profile dispute with Victor Pinchuk over an iron ore mining company.
A well-regarded junior with a practice that takes in commercial, competition and public law cases.
Recent work: Instructed as sole counsel by Archimedes Pharma in relation to a breach of contract and compensation for loss claim against Recipharm.