Chambers UK Bar Guide 2018 Rankings

Chambers UK Bar Guide 2018 has now been published.

We are pleased to announce that our rankings as a set are:

Band 1 Chancery: Traditional
Band 2 Court of Protection: Property and Affairs
Band 3 Pensions
Band 3 Tax: Private Client

Our members also have many individual rankings in numerous fields of practice.

The set overview, in which counsel and clerks were praised highly, says “5 Stone Buildings is one of the outstanding sets of chancery chambers. With expertise at all levels in the fields of private client, estate planning, tax, probate disputes, partnership, property litigation, art and cultural property, professional negligence, pensions and all chancery related commercial matters. Chambers has an extensive team experienced in the field of advice, drafting and litigation relating to trusts, wills and associated taxation both in the UK and overseas; and a specialist team experienced in Court of Protection work. Chambers aims to provide a fast, efficient modern service of the highest standard.”

5 Stone Buildings is renowned for its expertise in private client work and is described as “a real go-to set in the traditional chancery area.” Its members deal with a very broad range of matters, including trusts, pension and revenue work, professional negligence, tax, charities, partnership and real estate litigation. The set is particularly recognised for its strength in Court of Protection matters and 1975 Act claims, whilst it is also developing a reputation for its offshore expertise. Sources praise the set’s strength and depth, with one solicitor explaining: “The set’s excellence is borne out by the number of barristers it has and the excellent qualities those barristers possess.”
Paul Jennings is excellent and runs a tight ship.” “The clerks are very easy to deal with and it’s easy to develop good relationships with them. You can be confident they will find the right counsel for any problem and they are very responsive and approachable.”

Individual members of chambers who are ranked in various fields of practice, with some selected quotes;

Shân Warnock-Smith QC
(Trusts, Band 1, Chancery: Traditional, Band 1 and Offshore, Band 1)
“A powerful advocate who knows how to catch and keep the judge’s attention, and a good technical chancery lawyer who will really get involved in tough cases.” “She has an outstanding reputation in trust work and is one of the foremost experts in offshore matters.”

Andrew Simmonds QC
(Pensions, Star Individuals)
“He is one of the best pensions silks in the market. He is a very good advocate and can present difficult material in court in a very digestible way. He makes the difficult stuff sound easy, which is a great skill.” “His ability to grasp the detail quickly and give rigorous, commercial and pragmatic advice is second to none.”

Penelope Reed QC
(Trusts, Band 1, Chancery: Traditional, Band 1 and Court of Protection: Property & Affairs, Band 1)
“Hugely admired and respected for her general level of knowledge and ability; she is one of the first choices for some of the best solicitors in the market.” “She is very calm and clear in her advice, which is always incisive and consistent, and she makes good tactical and strategic decisions.”

Christopher Tidmarsh QC
(Chancery: Traditional, Band 2 and Pensions, Band 3)
“Provides very incisive and analytical advice and deals well with very complex tax matters.” “He gets on well with clients, is very skilled on the technical details of a case and can master complex legal issues.”

Tracey Angus QC
(Trusts, Band 1, Chancery: Traditional, Band 1 and Court of Protection: Property & Affairs, Band 2)
“Excellent at dealing with complex trust disputes and very quickly identifies the core issues in the matter. She radiates confidence and is an extremely reassuring presence for the client.” “Her skeleton arguments are top-notch and she is very impressive in court. She is a real hard worker who is 100% committed to the client and the task of getting the best result for them.”

Henry Legge QC
(Ranked Senior Barristers – Art and Cultural Property Law, Band 1, Chancery: Traditional, Band 1, Trusts, Band 1 and Pensions, Band 3)
“Very flexible and adapts to circumstances as they change. He is always on the ball and hugely responsive.” “Henry really understands the traditional chancery world and gives impeccable advice.”

David Rees QC
(Court of Protection: Property & Affairs, New Silk and Chancery: Traditional, New Silk)
“Clever, bright, has tons of legal knowledge and is informed on the technical aspects of the law.” “He is very calm in difficult situations and his client skills are excellent as he is very empathetic and a good listener.”

Christopher Whitehouse
(Chancery: Traditional, Band 1 and Tax: Private Client, Band 1)
“The go-to man for fiendishly complex and high-value tax disputes.” “Superb on inheritance tax issues, he’s an expert in very complex and obscure areas of the law. He is extremely knowledgeable and is also a superb lecturer and author.”

Mark Blackett-Ord
(Partnership, Band 1)
“Obviously a leading light in this area: he’s very well known, is steeped in partnership law and he really knows his stuff.”

Miranda Allardice
(Chancery: Traditional, Band 4)
“Very knowledgeable, hugely intelligent and highly analytical.” “She is a very strong mediator, especially in the area of contentious trusts, who achieves very favourable settlements for our clients.”

Michael O’Sullivan
(Court of Protection: Property & Affairs, Band 2 and Chancery: Traditional, Band 3)
“Very knowledgeable and his advice is always very easy to comprehend; his opinions are always very sensible and given in a way clients can understand. He is also very quick at dealing with matters and his turnaround time is wonderful.”

Patrick Rolfe
(Real Estate Litigation, Band 3)
“Displays fantastic attention and is very tenacious when needs be. He invariably gets it right.” “Patrick is extremely user-friendly and an impressive advocate, who is excellent at managing clients’ expectations.”

Barbara Rich
(Chancery: Traditional, Band 1 and Court of Protection: Property & Affairs, Star Individuals)
“Handles clients extraordinarily well. She also has a good academic grasp of the law whilst at the same time being a strong litigator who can identify and make practical arguments.”

Leon Sartin
(Chancery: Traditional, Band 1, Court of Protection: Property & Affairs, Band 3 and Tax: Private Client, Band 3)
“Clear, unfussy and incredibly clever. He is very accessible, responsive and extremely nice to deal with.” “Really excellent when there are complex tax issues to be dealt with.”

Sarah Haren
(Court of Protection: Property & Affairs, Band 2 and Chancery: Traditional, Band 3)
“Fought her corner well in a difficult interim hearing. She was very straightforward in her advocacy, and proved sensible, measured and calm. In court she is tough when needed and doesn’t give up easily.” “She has an authoritative manner that reassures clients.”

Luke Harris
(Junior Barristers – Art and Cultural Property Law, Band 1 and Chancery: Traditional, Band 4)
“Has a broad spread of knowledge and will always go the extra mile for the client. He is really keen on getting the right answer and is very passionate about looking after clients.”

Joseph Goldsmith
(Court of Protection: Property & Affairs, Band 1, Pensions, Band 2 and Chancery: Traditional, Band 2)
“A pragmatic and sensible barrister, who will always handle matters in a diligent and conscientious manner.” “He has an excellent written style and impressive grasp of detail and of the law.”

Charlotte Edge
(Court of Protection: Property & Affairs, Band 1 and Chancery: Traditional, Band 4)
“Very good on the law” and “excellent for delicate cases with a sensitive family aspect. She can sit down with clients and go through difficult personal issues in a sympathetic manner.”

Mark Baxter
(Court of Protection: Property & Affairs, Band 2 and Chancery: Traditional, Band 4)
“Enthusiastic, thoughtful and has good empathy with clients faced with often distressing situations. He comes up with very imaginative solutions.”

Ruth Hughes
(Court of Protection: Property & Affairs, Band 2)
“Ruth quickly assesses a matter, focuses on the key issues and provides targeted advice.” “Her knowledge of legal procedures and technicalities is excellent.”

Edward Hewitt
(Chancery: Traditional, Band 4)
“Hugely conscientious as well as being very intelligent and sensible.” “He gives very measured, sensible and detailed advice, and knows how to put clients at ease.”

William East
(Court of Protection: Property & Affairs, Band 3)
“He is a very good writer who can clearly break down complex issues.” “I’ve seen his opinions and they are beautiful.”

Jordan Holland
(Junior Barristers – Art and Cultural Property Law, Band 2, Court of Protection: Property & Affairs, Band 3 and Chancery: Traditional, Band 4)
“Produces excellent detailed drafting and is very thorough and clear in the way he expresses his opinion. He has a good grasp of the practical approach needed when dealing with litigation.”

To see the full report, click here.