The 2016 legal rankings, just published by Chambers & Partners, confirm the leading status of 1kbw

In Matrimonial Finance they are ranked as a Band 1 set. Leading Silks are named as Charles Howard QC, Deborah Eaton QC, Philip Marshall QC, Richard Anelay QC, James Turner QC, Christopher Pocock QC and Richard Harrison QC.

Within Leading Juniors, Harry Oliver is ranked in the top tier as a Star Individual. Other members of chambers named are Richard Castle, Deepak Nagpal & James Roberts within Band 1; Ian Cook & Katherine Kelsey within Band 2; Nicholas Anderson, Alexander Chandler &  Nicola Fox within Band 3 and Caroline Lister & Peter Newman within Band 4.

Within the Child Law category, Deborah Eaton QC is ranked as a Star Individual in the list of Leading Silks. Richard Harrison QC, Charles Howard QC, Anthony Kirk QC, Pamela Scriven QC & James Turner QC all achieved Band status within Leading Silks.

Other members of chambers named are Anna McKenna within Band 1; Nicola Fox,  Stephen Jarmain, Katherine Kelsey & Madeleine Reardon within Band 2; Markanza Cudby, Caroline Lister, James Roberts & Elizabeth Selman within Band 3 and Katy Chokowry within Band 4.

In relation to the Child Law category, 1kbw retains its Band 2 status in a tight group of only 3 sets forming Bands 1 & 2.


1 King’s Bench Walk offers nationally renowned expertise across a wide area of family law and has experts in matrimonial finance, public and private law children and child abduction work. It regularly represents both claimants and defendants at all levels of the court system, and had members involved in every single child abduction matter in the Supreme Court in 2014. Recent cases include Re G in which the issue of a child’s contact with its natural family while in foster care was addressed. The set’s highly regarded membership continues to increase its involvement in arbitration, mediation and early neutral evaluation, and has recently been augmented by the arrival of Juliet Chapman from Lamb Building.

Client service: “They do great seminars and their clerks are good. They’re really friendly and get back to you really quickly with fee estimates.” David Dear heads the team and is “fantastic – everything you would want in a senior clerk.”


Deborah Eaton QC
Joint head of chambers, she has an enormous reputation for her private law children work and is very adept at dealing with matrimonial finance issues. Commentators simply run out of superlatives when discussing her. One of the giants at the family Bar.
Strengths: “She is an absolute superstar and absolutely wonderful. In terms of children work no one else compares – she’s the supreme queen of child law. She is an unrivalled advocate, who judges her style of advocacy perfectly to the situation. Such a pleasure to deal with, she has a genuine interest in her clients and their family lives. She is very acutely aware of the bigger picture.”

Charles Howard QC
Specialises in family law but comes from a broad legal background that saw him handling criminal, contract and trust law cases. He is known for fighting his corner and being a resolute defender of his clients’ interests.
Strengths: “He is one of the great beasts of family law. He is intellectually very nimble and he has a breadth of knowledge and understanding because he didn’t always do family law. He is very tenacious and dogged, and isn’t afraid of anybody.”

Philip Marshall QC
Enjoys the admiration of many of his peers in the profession, receiving strong endorsements for his work in matrimonial finance matters. His colleagues compliment him for his “encyclopaedic knowledge” of the area.
Strengths: “He is the most charming and wonderful advocate. He is enormously helpful and practical, and very very supportive of both the clients and the team he has in place. Just a joy to work with.”

James Turner QC
He has wide-ranging experience in family law, including complex financial cases and children matters, and is sought after to handle appeals. He is particularly known for his work on child abduction cases.
Strengths: “He is so so good with the details and the law. He has an exceptional mind and a real ability to absorb information very quickly and process it, but he is still very personable. That is what you really want in a barrister. He has the brains but also the ability to understand it from a client’s point of view.”

Richard Harrison QC
A silk who can claim to be equally strong on both money and children cases, he’s an expert at dealing with complicated cases and has a particular knowledge of international issues.
Strengths: “He is imaginative, he inspires confidence and he is utterly reliable.” “He is an absolutely wonderful barrister, who is very, very thorough in his preparation and works through all the possible weaknesses of the case.”

Christopher Pocock QC
Specialises in high net worth financial remedy cases, especially those involving a complicating factor such as business assets and trusts. One peer called him “lethally quick with numbers.”
Strengths: “His strengths are his mastery of complicated detail, and his knowledge of obtuse aspects of financial remedy law, including foreign jurisdictional aspects, trust and tax issues. He has an enormous all-round knowledge which he brings to bear.”

Richard Anelay QC
Maintains a broad-based family practice that includes both public and private children work, ancillary relief and ADR. He is highly experienced and able to draw on a background which includes serious criminal work.
Strengths: “He has been at the Bar for a very long time and he’s very familiar with the area he practises and judges in. Because of his experience he’s aware of the law as it used to operate pre White v White and is able to draw on the principles that are still material. He is good and practical.”

Anthony Kirk QC
Deals with both private and public children law work to a very high standard including international abduction cases. Has a strong reputation as a mediator and collaborative lawyer.
Strengths: “He is magical! He has the ability to help parents come to an agreement who are seemingly unable to agree about anything, even the colour of the sky.”

Pamela Scriven QC
Specialises in public children law cases often involving very serious sexual abuse or injury claims. She’s also experienced in dealing with highly complicated private law children work.
Strengths: “She was extremely calm and reassuring. There was so much going on – emotions were running very high and there were so many different aspects to the case. She just took it all in her stride, and nothing was too much trouble. I felt able to approach her at any time day or night and she was very much a team player.”

Barry Singleton QC
Has a vast amount of experience of dealing with cases with an international element.
Strengths: “The ultimate ‘elder statesman’ with a coruscating mind and exceptional judgement.” “He is a very, very senior silk.”


Harry Oliver
A go-to senior junior for high net worth financial relief matters with complicated assets. His peers are quick to praise both his incredible numeracy and tenacity.
Strengths: “Harry has become one of the leading juniors in financial cases. He knows the law backwards, and gets all the details in no time at all. A real fighter, who thrives on complex cases, he’s the very best and most hard-working of the new generation, who will not be long out of silk.”
Recent work: Involved in the high-profile case reported as H v H in which a judge awarded a settlement of £17 million in favour of the the wife of a property tycoon. The husband was sentenced to four months in prison for breaching a court order of disclosure.

Richard Castle
Specialises in high-value matrimonial finance cases. His experience includes cases involving complex corporate structures, significant assets and international elements.
Strengths: “He is proactive, very clever, and is a barrister you want when you need a strategic overview and a bit of lateral thinking. He will really drive a case forward. He’s an excellent litigator, who is good at seeing the overall strategy of a case and who has a very nice style when on his feet.”

Anna McKenna
Often finds herself tackling the most grave of cases, including those concerning non-accidental injury, child death and allegations of sexual abuse. She is seen in the market as one of the leading juniors in this area.
Strengths: “She is always approachable and knowledgeable. Her client care is excellent, enabling the people around her to feel confident and supported even in the most challenging circumstances. Her written work is always of the highest standard. She is a calm and unflappable advocate and has established herself as the first choice for complicated cases.”
Recent work: Represented the guardian in a fact-finding hearing to determine the guilt of a father of a 5-week-old baby in a potentially non-accidental injury death case.

Deepak Nagpal
Very experienced at dealing with jurisdictional and other technical issues of matrimonial finance. Sources are eager to point out his intellectual prowess, and say that clients benefit from his straightforward, cerebral approach.
Strengths: “He is exceptionally clever, very good with figures and he has an exceptional grasp of the law. He is probably going to be a very young QC.” “He is a real star. If you have a knotty jurisdictional or technical issue he would be a first point of call.”

James Roberts
A senior junior specialising in finance work who also handles private law children work including leave to remove and abduction cases. He also sits part time as a judge. His peers pick him out for his client manner and sharp legal analysis.

Strengths: “Forensically he is second to none. Give him enough time in a case and he will find the thread that unravels the whole lot. He’s really bright, really sharp, and is a very good advocate, who is expressive and can put things across succinctly.”
Recent work: Appeared pro bono without a leader in the Court of Appeal to contest a precedent-setting case concerning whether or not an individual parent can challenge the habitual residence of a child.

Markanza Cudby
Her practice covers both private and public children law.
Strengths: “She is a fantastic advocate and can clearly and concisely put a case to the court. Accessible and friendly, she provides excellent legal advice.”

Ian Cook
Advises exclusively on matrimonial finance matters. Peers say that he is particularly good at matters of non-disclosure due to his ability to expose witnesses through forensic cross-examination.
Strengths: “He is an excellent barrister. He is a very effective advocate and his cross-examination skills are particularly impressive. He has a no-nonsense approach which his clients like and appreciate. Mature, sensible and level-headed and doesn’t get flustered by tricky clients, judges or cases.”

Nicola Fox
Primarily advises clients on children matters but is also experienced at dealing with matrimonial finance matters and child maintenance claims involving unmarried parents.
Strengths: “She conducted a final hearing superbly on a leave to remove application. She really engaged the client. Her advice and direction was spot-on. She has a great way of dealing with children matters. She does not fuss. She is very direct and to the point.”

Stephen Jarmain
Has an understated manner, which belies his effectiveness inside and outside the courtroom. He was most vividly described by one observer as a “silent assassin.” He maintains a broad-based private matrimonial law practice.
Strengths: “He is absolutely excellent. All his skills far surpass his call. His knowledge is extremely varied, his documents are first-rate and you can see the amount of work that goes into them. He goes more than the extra mile.”

Katherine Kelsey
Consistently praised by her colleagues for being “user-friendly,” she is able to maintain an enviable working relationship with both clients and instructing solicitors. She handles both matrimonial finance and private children work.
Strengths: “Katherine is equally skilled at dealing with cases involving complex Children Act issues and matrimonial finance. She is one of the most diligent practitioners and is always fully prepared. Her paperwork is immaculate and she works so fast. Her manner and clear abilities inspire immediate confidence in her clients and her advocacy is also impressive.”

Madeleine Reardon
Draws particular praise for her pre-courtroom preparation work including her position statements and general drafting. Madeleine advises on a range of private family law issues and has particular expertise in complicated children issues.
Strengths: “Her drafting is exceptional. She has a real craftsman’s touch on paper. She articulates her clients’ cases impeccably and persuasively in her written work. Her advocacy is beautifully judged and balanced in these difficult cases.”

Shona Rogers
“A rising star” who handles both public and private children law work.
Strengths: “Very conscientious and always extremely well prepared. She combines steely and very effective advocacy with an easy bedside manner with clients. Certainly one to watch.”

Caroline Lister
Has a broad practice concerned with the financial and private children aspects of matrimonial dissolution.
Strengths: “Caroline is a talented advocate who builds an excellent working relationship with her clients. She is immensely skilled at dealing with clients who are experiencing emotional difficulties.”

Nicholas Anderson
A name instructing solicitors associate equally with money and private children work. Solicitors were eager to compliment his case management skills and detail-oriented approach.
Strengths: “His command of the brief was astonishing. Within a week he had a complicated case completely at his fingertips. He has a very quick mind and he’s agile in court. Clients know they are in good hands. He is sympathetic and very friendly but businesslike.”

Alexander Chandler
Handles matrimonial finance cases as well as child maintenance claims made between unmarried parents and trust matters concerning cohabitants.
Strengths: “I think of him when an exceptional level of attention to detail is required. His stellar preparation shows in the courtroom. He thinks about it all in advance and so he’s a reassuring advocate to have.”

Elizabeth Selman
Admired for her ability to handle both financial and private children claims with equal aplomb. Peers consistently compliment the way she handles her clients and the warmth she brings to the courtroom.
Strengths: “Emotional clients in difficult circumstances come out feeling loved. She gives them clear advice when they need it and soothes them. She gets the nuances of advocacy and so doesn’t turn judges off.”

Peter Newman
Peers praise the way “he can have judges on side before he’s even opened his mouth” due to his meticulous and persuasive drafting. He advises clients on both matrimonial finance and private children matters including abduction.
Strengths: “He is very intelligent and gets to the heart of the case with ease. He is straight-talking and forthright with clients and always prioritises their interests.”

Katy Chokowry
Has a reputation for possessing expertise that goes far beyond her level of call. She specialises in international children matters with a particular emphasis on leave to remove, abduction and related financial applications.
Strengths: “For a junior advocate she is exceptional at holding her ground and putting forward a persuasive case for her client.” “She punches above her weight; I don’t know anyone else I would go to at her level who has the same expertise and experience.”
Recent work: Handled In the matter of LC (Children), a Supreme Court child abduction case with European significance.