4 Stone Buildings is a “totally brilliant” set that is steeped in chancery law. The members here are fully au fait with all the workings of the Chancery Division and the ways of its judges. Their work is wide-ranging and often high-profile in nature, covering everything from commercial contractual disputes to banking litigation and matters arising in the oil and gas sector. They are particularly noted for their deft handling of corporate work and have strong expertise in shareholder disputes. Commentators say: “This is a set of concentrated quality that oozes class. The calibre of the people there is quite something.”
“The clerks know their business and are helpful and proactive.” Ben Lashmar and Jason Doyle are particularly “fantastic and pragmatic. They are very, very good at getting back to you and their response times are excellent. You can always rely on them.” Senior clerk David Goddard leads the team and is similarly praised for his all-round efficiency and helpful attitude.
George Bompas QC
An exceptionally intelligent barrister, with particular expertise in company and financial matters. Sources agree that his paperwork and technical abilities are especially impressive, but also compliment him for his hard work and fast turnaround times. His practice involves work for both domestic and overseas clients.
“A completely charming opponent and one of the most delightful people to be against. He is a persuasive chap who is incredibly efficient and never takes a silly point.”
Recent work: Acted before the BVI Commercial Court in a shareholder dispute involving a listed public company.
John Brisby QC
A well-liked and highly experienced silk whose forthright advocacy is particularly admired. He acts in a spread of valuable and high-profile commercial chancery matters, both inside and outside the UK. Brisby has been instructed in cases in the Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Bermuda, the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands.
“A master cross-examiner with great gravitas, who makes you feel like you are witnessing something extraordinary. He has a phenomenal bank of experience, he just knows his stuff inside and out.”
Recent work: Acted for Dr Michael Lynch in claims brought against him by Hewlett Packard Enterprise seeking over USD5 billion of damages.
Jonathan Crow QC
An outstanding advocate with an extremely broad practice, who is a regular in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Interviewees praise him for his combination of intellectual ability and charm, and say he has a “fluent, persuasive advocacy style.” He has a particularly active offshore practice, and regularly appears in such jurisdictions as Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and the BVI.
“In a class of his own. He has got the most polished, sharp delivery. When you watch him in court, you think: ‘I would like to grow up to be like Jonathan Crow.'” “He is like God in this world. The sheer scale on which he does everything is amazing – I don’t know how he crams so much in. He makes it all seem effortless, and really is something else.”
Recent work: Instructed by Sir Christopher Hohn in a matter concerning the administration of the charity Sir Christopher had founded.
Robert Miles QC
A universally admired silk who blends technical strength with elegant advocacy. Miles is noted for the tactical input and judgement he brings to a case, and is involved in some of the best cases at the Chancery Bar. He also has a lot of experience of dealing with domestic and international arbitrations.
“A very urbane, elegant advocate who is very calm and has good judgement.” “He has a lot of flair and makes clients feel utterly comfortable, confident and safe. His is a very relaxed, confident style and he is very persuasive.”
Recent work: Represented Icelandic bank Kaupthing in claims of conspiracy and malicious prosecution brought by Vincent and Robert Tchenguiz.
Richard Hill QC
Acts in a range of top-flight commercial chancery matters, including shareholder disputes, financial services cases and civil fraud matters. He is praised for being a strong advocate, as well as a thoughtful and calm lawyer. He also regularly appears in international arbitrations and courts in offshore jurisdictions.
“Brilliantly clear in his advocacy, he gives the judge a real road map to the position he wants to end up at. Robust but charming, he just oozes confidence in his knowledge of the rules and the relevant area of law. His written work is clear, punchy, concise, and straight to the point.”
Recent work: Acted for the claimants in a high-profile shareholder action against Lloyds Bank and its former directors arising out of the acquisition of HBOS.
Andrew de Mestre QC
A well-liked senior junior with a broad practice, who acts with high-profile QCs on significant pieces of litigation. As well as his technical ability and talent as an advocate, sources highlight his excellent client relations and ability to work as part of a team. He has a particular specialisation in disputes arising from securitisation transactions and other bond issues.
“Very good, straightforward and straight down the line as an opponent.” “His ability to grasp the details of complicated cases is impressive. He is a walking encyclopaedia.”
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in Singularis Holdings Limited v Daiwa Capital Markets Europe. This was a claim to recover USD204 million which it was alleged was wrongly paid away by the defendant, a Japanese broker.
A calm advocate with a particular skill in handling shareholders’ disputes. Solicitors say he is thorough in his approach and a user-friendly team member. He is also called to the Bars of the Cayman and Turks & Caicos Islands.
“A charming guy who is very easy to work with. He is always responsive and open to discussion. Very much on top of things, he will go the extra mile to understand the complex issues. Christopher is a sensible, level-headed, commercially-minded advocate whose written work is strong.”
Recent work: Advised a creditor on claims regarding the company voluntary arrangement (CVA) and administration of a well-known, nationwide retail chain. The CVA and administration were worth hundreds of millions of pounds.
A senior junior with a broad commercial chancery practice that takes in insolvency and fraud cases. He is praised as an efficient and capable advocate who has the ability to move a case along. Sources describe him as a “persuasive” advocate. He also has recognised experience working on cases with a cross-border component.
“A very able, charming junior. He has a focused approach to cases and marshals facts brilliantly.”
Recent work: Acted for a well-known art collector in a dispute concerning a painting sold to him with an allegedly false provenance.
A widely praised junior who has appeared in some of the most significant recent cases. He is noted for being “unflappable” and for being “a good multitasker.” He has particular expertise in shareholder disputes and derivative claims.
“An absolutely outstanding lawyer and writer. He is fast, efficient and smart, and is invaluable in trials.” “Gregory is extremely bright and has a good manner with clients. His drafting is fantastic and he has a good commercial, strategic view on things.”
Recent work: Represented Barclays Bank in a claim brought by a company seeking rectification of Deeds of Adherence entered into in 2016.
A former derivatives trader who brings his inside knowledge of the workings of the City to bear on some of the most sophisticated commercial chancery cases. He frequently works on substantial cases requiring large teams, either managing other juniors or as the senior junior among silks. His past experience means he is especially strong on cases with a banking of financial services element.
“Works very hard and is a good person to work with because there are no unnecessary obstacles.” “Very bright, reliable and on top of the detail, he has the full trust of the client.”
Recent work: Led by Robert Miles QC and Richard Hill QC in acting for Dr Michael Lynch with regard to claims brought against him by Hewlett Packard Enterprise in relation to his former role as CEO of Autonomy Corporation.
Wins praise from instructing solicitors and other barristers as a strong “all-rounder.” His work focuses particularly on shareholder disputes and insolvency cases. He also has experience of dealing with conflicts of laws and cases with an international element.
“A really excellent junior who is extremely bright and comes up with creative arguments. His submissions are always punchy and effective, and clients really like working with him.” “He is very thorough and responds quickly. His advice is easy to understand, practical and commercial. He explains the context of the case and understands objectives.”
Recent work: Acted for the former liquidator of the Icelandic bank Kaupthing, defending Robert Tchenguiz’s claims for conspiracy and malicious prosecution. The claim was said to be worth over GBP1 billion.