As of September 2012
Within Commercial litigation, Essex Court Chambers is in the first tier:
Essex Court Chambers' clerks are 'always incredibly responsive and will go out of their way to assist'. Joe Smouha QC is 'smooth as marble', and Andrew Hochhauser QC is 'a natural choice where a very robust approach is called for'. David Foxton QC has 'an unflappable style and irresistible charm', and Vernon Flynn QC 'engages in effortless dialogue with the court, deflecting every negative element of a case to the other side of the courtroom'. 'Two steps ahead at all times', David Mildon QC is 'an impressive advocate and deservedly commands respect'. Edward Brown's 'quiet and gentle' style is 'the verbal honey trap for the unsuspecting judge', and Paul Key is 'one of the most incisive and insightful juniors at the Bar'.
Also recommended in this area are: Gordon Pollock QC, Richard Siberry QC, Jeffrey Gruder QC, Graham Dunning QC, David Joseph QC, Richard Millett QC, Martin Griffiths QC, Paul Stanley QC, Stephen Houseman, Nathan Pillow, Ricky Diwan, Edmund King and David Scorey.
Within International arbitration, Essex Court Chambers is in the first tier:
Essex Court Chambers has 'both the strength and breadth of knowledge required to provide first-rate service in international arbitration matters'. Toby Landau QC has 'an extraordinary grasp of international arbitration that surpasses almost all of the more established QCs in this area'. Jeffrey Gruder QC has 'a formidable legal brain for issues involving novel or uncharted points of law'. David Joseph QC is 'an excellent advocate whose calm, relaxed manner ensures he has the ear of the tribunal'. Vernon Flynn QC is 'an exceptionally bright and persuasive advocate' who has 'a masterful ability to prepare and present a case'. David Scorey is 'a real star' and 'an excellent senior junior' for complex insurance disputes, and for investment treaty arbitrations the 'very knowledgeable' Dan Sarooshi 'bridges academia and professional practice very well'.
Also recommended in this area are: Ian Hunter QC, Richard Jacobs QC, Graham Dunning QC, Joe Smouha QC, David Foxton QC, Paul Stanley QC, James Collins QC, Sam Wordsworth, Ricky Diwan and David Davies.
Within Public international law, Essex Court Chambers is in the first tier:
Essex Court Chambers is 'the go-to set on public and private international law', with 'juniors and silks who have incredible experience of international matters'. Among them, Vaughan Lowe QC is praised for his 'informed, reasoned and very persuasive advocacy'. The 'superb' Malcolm Shaw QC is 'a challenging and creative thinker, and one of the leading experts in the world on international law'. Among the juniors, Sam Wordsworth is one of the best-known experts in the market; and Dan Sarooshiis 'an invaluable source of knowledge' who 'masters his brief very quickly and applies public international law in a practical fashion'.
Within Shipping, Essex Court Chambers is a second tier set.
Essex Court Chambers is a 'very strong shipping set' with a deep bench of silks and juniors. Steven Berry QC is highly regarded, and Graham Dunning QC 'stands out as one of very few barristers who can deservedly be called a superstar'. David Foxton QC recently acted in demurrage test case Suek AG v Glencore International AG; and Richard Siberry QC is 'a go-to barrister for high-value cases where gravitas is needed to command the attention of a court or arbitral tribunal'. Claire Blanchard QC combines 'first-rate legal analysis with a resolute, no-nonsense approach to both her advocacy and her advice'. Simon Bryan QC is 'very measured, very steady and very bright', and Christopher Smith QC is 'a superb advocate and an excellent strategist'. At junior level, Edmund King has 'excellent knowledge of shipping law', Jeremy Brier is 'quick-thinking and has an ability to formulate unique arguments', and Jern-Fei Ng is a 'formidable advocate able to stand up to commercial silks and senior juniors'. Respected senior junior Philippa Hopkins is also recommended.
Within Commodities, Essex Court Chambers is in the second tier:
Essex Court Chambers' Steven Berry QC is 'quite punchy and will modify his argument to fit the case'. Simon Bryan QC and Claire Blanchard QC are also recommended. Nigel Eaton is 'a very good lawyer who puts his case very well', Brian Dye 'cuts through the complications and makes his client's case very clearly', and Edmund King has 'excellent knowledge of physical commodities law and practice'. Philippa Hopkins is another excellent senior junior.
Within Energy, Essex Court Chambers is in the second tier:
Essex Court Chambers' David Mildon QC is 'an impressive advocate' and 'highly knowledgeable' in long-term gas contracts and international arbitration procedure, and Claire Blanchard QC is 'quick, bright and tenacious in court'. Oil and gas expert Simon Bryan QC is a 'first-rate advocate with a real eye for detail', and Vernon Flynn QC is 'accessible, with a sharp mind and good feel for international arbitration'. Other recommended silks include Gordon Pollock QC, Steven Berry QC, David Foxton QC and Jeffrey Gruder QC.
Within Fraud: civil, Essex Court Chambers is in the second tier:
Essex Court Chambers' Joe Smouha QC has renowned expertise in fraud and asset recovery, and Huw Davies QC is also highly respected in this area. Paul McGrath QC, who took silk in 2011, is 'at the vanguard of latest developments, and his academic knowledge is extraordinary'. At junior level, Jern-Fei Ng has a 'wealth of experience in civil fraud, and is in the ascendancy'. David Davies is 'a rising star whose sound judgement belies his years at the Bar'.
Within Insurance and reinsurance, Essex Court Chambers is in the second tier:
At Essex Court Chambers, the 'clever and commercial' James Collins QC is 'an excellent all-rounder', and Richard Jacobs QC is 'a pleasure to work with, bringing fresh ideas and vigour to his matters'. David Scorey receives high praise for his Bermuda form arbitration expertise. Stephen Houseman was instructed by the insurers in proceedings concerning the construction and operation of the world's largest hydroelectric project in Brazil. Mark Templeman QC and Paul Stanley QC are also recommended.
Also recommended in this area are: Gordon Pollock QC, Ian Hunter QC, Stewart Boyd QC, V V Veeder QC, David Mildon QC, Graham Dunning QC, Steven Berry QC, David Joseph QC, Richard Millett QC , Joe Smouha QC, John Lockey QC, Simon Bryan QC, David Foxton QC, Clare Blanchard QC, Phillipa Hopkins and James Collins QC
Within Tax: corporate and VAT, Essex Court Chambers is in the second tier:
Essex Court Chambers has very capable VAT expertise, where its silks are among the leaders in the field. The 'superb' Roderick Cordara QC has an excellent reputation in the market and continues to be a dominant figure in the VAT arena. David Scorey is a 'real fighter' and presents 'very detailed submissions'. VAT expert Edmund King is 'very effective, organised and knowledgeable in all complex VAT issues'. Edward Brown has a busy indirect tax practice both for and against HMRC, and is 'very much a rising star in the firmament of VAT work'. Jern-Fei Ng is a 'busy and highly regarded VAT practitioner'; and VAT expert Paul Key specialises primarily in international and commercial law and is 'approachable and responsive'.
Also recommended in this area is: Joe Smouha QC
Within Banking and finance (including consumer credit), Essex Court Chambers is in the third tier:
At Essex Court Chambers, David Foxton QC is 'outstanding in every aspect', and Jeffrey Gruder QC is 'highly intelligent and excellent in complex banking disputes'. The 'hands-on' Joe Smouha QC is 'brilliant on his feet', and Paul McGrath QC benefits from being 'one of the more intellectually powerful silks at the commercial Bar'. David Scorey 'calmly dispenses intensely clever advice but unlike so many of his ilk does so in a wholly commercial and practically applicable manner'.
Within Media, entertainment and sport, Essex Court Chambers is in the third tier:
Clients commend Essex Court Chambers' 'excellent service'. Iain Quirk represents media organisations and personalities including Neil Morrissey, and handles Formula 1 disputes. Also recommended are the 'solid, hands-on and approachable' Edward Brown, Vernon Flynn QC and Andrew Hochhauser QC.
Within Employment, Essex Court Chambers is in the fourth tier:
Essex Court Chambers' Andrew Hochhauser QC is 'a formidable advocate with a well-earned reputation as a fiery and effective cross-examiner'. Martin Griffiths QC's greatest strength is his 'commitment to cases and hands-on approach'. Recommended juniors include Charles Ciumei, who shows 'extremely sound judgement when it comes to difficult decisions'; and David Craig, who demonstrates 'exceptional attention to detail'. The 'very hardworking' Jane Russell joined from Tooks Chambers in 2012.
Within Professional negligence, Essex Court Chambers is in the fifth tier:
The following members are also recommended either in the tables or text for the following categories: