Chambers and Partners Rankings 2013

THE SET 1 King’s Bench Walk enjoys a sterling reputation in the family law sphere. The set is noted for its strong offering in children law matters, and is labelled “a leading set” for abduction and private law children work. Its excellence in the children law arena is, however, trumped by the breadth and quality of its matrimonial finance work. The set has a number of the London Bar’s leading money silks and juniors, and senior clerk David Dear’s clerking team is praised by solicitors for its strong client focus.

SILKS Deborah Eaton QC is a market leader for children law and matrimonial finance cases. She ascends to the star category for children law silks, having received overwhelming feedback from interviewees, who highlight her as “the most robust children’s advocate around,” and “a real fighter” who provides “calm, clear advice.”

Charles Howard QC is one of the acknowledged leaders of the Family Bar and an expert in cases pertaining to ancillary relief, child care and child abduction. Sources remark that he is an “absolutely excellent” advocate and that he is “at the top of the tree.”

The highly experienced Barry Singleton QC is an “effective operator” who is held in the highest regard for his matrimonial finance practice. Sources confirm that he “remains a heavyweight” for cases involving complex jurisdictional and ancillary relief. He is particularly noted for handling matters involving complex trust issues and offshore elements.

James Turner QC is a “brilliantly academic barrister” who delivers “superb pleadings” and is “hugely respected by judges.” He is a regular performer in the Supreme Court, both in children law and matrimonial finance cases. Of particular note is his work relating to high net worth ancillary relief, especially those cases involving trusts and overseas jurisdictional issues.

Head of chambers Richard Anelay QC is a “very wise and experienced counsel, who doesn’t make a meal of things,” according to instructing solicitors. His principle area of expertise is high-value matrimonial finance disputes, and he recently acted on the well-publicised Grubb v Grubb, a high-value divorce case in which he successfully achieved a significant settlement on behalf of Mrs Grubb.

Anthony Kirk QC is commended for his “strong advocacy and mediation skills” in children law matters. Recent cases he has handled have included matters of international abduction, child care, mental health issues and adoption.The “brilliant, calm and polished”

Christopher Pocock QC displays “excellent judgement” in complex matrimonial finance disputes. Instructing solicitors speak highly of his “superb client care skills” and his anxiety to avoid unnecessary disputes. Pocock is recommended along with Pamela Scriven QC, who handles private and public children law cases. Recent cases for her have included one concerning allegations of physical abuse prior to the death of a child and issues relating to the psychological fitness of the parent.

The “superb” Richard Harrison QC is expected to progress well following his appointment to silk in 2012. He is highly rated for both children law and matrimonial finance disputes, and recently acted on the Supreme Court in Re E (a child), a landmark international child abduction case.

Also new to silk in 2012 is Philip Marshall QC, who was previously regarded as “one of the stars of the junior Bar” by impressed solicitors. His principal area of focus is matrimonial finance, and he garners warm praise from the market, with one observer noting that “he has a grip on the most complex of cases.”

 Deepak Nagpal is one of the most highly regarded juniors at the Family Bar. He specialises in complex, high-value matrimonial finance disputes and is adept at matters involving offshore or international elements. His oral and written advocacy both elicit strong praise, with one respected silk commenting that “I rate him very, very highly indeed.”

James Roberts is “tipped for silk” by market observers impressed with his broad family law expertise. The core of his practice is high-value matrimonial finance disputes, while in the private children law sphere he has a noted specialism in international child abduction cases. Sources relate that he is “a good, thorough advocate” who is “at the top of his game.”

Also in the top rank of matrimonial finance juniors is Harry Oliver, who is lauded by sources for his tenacious advocacy style. He was recently led by stablemates James Turner QC and Richard Anelay QC in the aforementioned Grubb v Grubb. Sources comment that he is “a real star with an exceptionally bright future who is excellent with clients.”

Dominic Brazil has a broad family law practice and noted expertise in matrimonial finance cases. Sources attest that he “provides novel and ingenious solutions to complex cases,” and further comment that he has a “very approachable” persona that works well with lay clients.

Markanza Cudby is a noted children law practitioner who handles both private and public law cases, including matters relating to abuse, relocation and schooling. Sources agree that she “does great work” in this sphere.

Richard Castle offers “the all-round package,” say sources. He concentrates his family law practice on financial applications, and is noted by sources for his knowledge of TOLATA issues. One instructing solicitor notes that he is “very logical and easy to understand.”

Ian Cook also handles matrimonial finance disputes and is an “excellent advocate” who “provides comprehensive advice, and adopts an extremely pragmatic approach to resolving complex cases.

“The “terrific” Madeleine Reardon has a broad family law practice and recognised excellence in private and public children law. Her recent cases include issues of international adoption, same-sex parenting and relocation.

Cherry Harding is a highly experienced junior practitioner who focuses on children law. Recent cases for her include allegations of abuse and mental health issues.

Nicholas Anderson, another here with a broad family law practice, is particularly noted for his matrimonial finance work.

Another who impresses is Caroline Lister, who is recognised for her work on high-value financial remedy cases and Inheritance Act matters.

Equally impressive is Deiniol Cellan-Jones, who handles all forms of ancillary relief as part of a broader family law practice.

Katherine Kelsey is “exceedingly pleasant as an opponent and very practical in her outlook,” say peers. She handles disputes relating to ancillary relief and TOLATA, and advises on all areas of private children law.

Susan Wilkins handles both matrimonial finance and children law matters, and is particularly noted for her expertise in all forms of ancillary relief. She is joined in the rankings by the “seriously talented” Elizabeth Selman, who gains plaudits for her “tenacious and analytical” approach to family law. Selman is recognised for her work on private law children matters, and is experienced in complex residence and contact disputes.

Camden Pratt QC of 1 King’s Bench Walk is a mainstay of the South Eastern Circuit, and is highly respected for his work in all aspects of the criminal law. One observer remarked: “He is one of the best advocates I’ve ever seen.”