Garden Court Chambers ranked Band 1 in Chambers UK 2011

Tuesday 23 November 2010

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Garden Court Chambers has once again been placed in Band 1 in the prestigious Chambers UK 2011 rankings. The set is now recommended in seven areas of practice, together with 44 barristers being individually recommended.

Administrative & Public Law (Band 3)

"This set is home to a strong selection of fiercely committed lawyers who handle a huge range of claimant work. Inquests, prison law, mental health, community care and claims against the police are just a few of the many areas in which the set excels."

SILKS: The respected public law practice of Jan Luba QC is centred on housing law, where he is seen as being firmly at the forefront of the market. 'A phenomenal appellant counsel, he takes ambitious points whilst adopting a natural, easy-going manner.' New silk Stephen Knafler QC is widely admired as a 'brilliant advocate' who 'works extremely hard and to a very demanding standard.' He has appeared in a host of leading public law cases in the areas of community care, discrimination, mental health, immigration and prisons. According to one source, before his appointment he was 'the best social welfare public law junior in the business'.

JUNIORS: Stephanie Harrison is building a solid reputation for her civil liberties and discrimination expertise, and does particularly well on immigration and asylum law matters. She is recommended along with Stephen Simblet, whose practice is centred on civil claims against the police, inquests and mental health. He is described as 'an excellent advocate who is quick on his feet.'"

Click here to read more about the Public and Administrative Law Team.

Civil Liberties (Band 2)

"This long-established set is dedicated to fighting injustice and inequality across a wide range of areas. It acts for individuals and organisations in the areas of crime, immigration, housing, family law prison law, police law, employment and discrimination."

SILKS: Senior barrister Mark Muller QC has an established reputation in public international law, terrorism and criminal defence. He frequently appears in the ECHR, and recently appeared on behalf of an Armenian national bringing a human rights claim against the Armenian government for unlawfully detaining him on account of his political opinions and beliefs. Like Muller, Dexter Dias QC is 'tremendously committed to human rights'. He is something of an expert on inquests and has recently been seen in a number of terrorism-related human rights cases. New silk Stephen Knafler QC recently appeared in the test case of UE (Nigeria) as to whether community benefits provided by an individual could be a factor in deciding whether their removal from the UK would be a breach of the Article 8 right to private life. Solicitors say that 'his long list of reported cases speaks for itself.'

JUNIORS: Stephanie Harrison's strength lies in discrimination cases, particularly those relating to asylum and immigration. Examples of her work include a successful challenge to the Home Office age assessment policy, under which children wrongly detained as adults were being prosecuted for immigration-related offences. Nadine Finch is highly regarded for her 'extremely useful combination of childcare and immigration law expertise,' while Edward Grieves is sought out for his human rights expertise in terrorism matters. He recently achieved success for a Tamil appellant in the newly formed Charity Tribunal's first case, with the tribunal finding no improper terrorist links to the appellant and reversing a decision of the Charity Commission to remove him as trustee to a charity. Stephen Simblet's practice focuses on claims against the police, prison authorities and psychiatric hospitals. He has a wealth of experience of dealing with judicial reviews and inquests into deaths in custody. One recent work highlight for him was acting in the inquest into the police restraint-related death in custody of Faisal Al-Ani. Similarly, Leslie Thomas focuses on claims against the police and public authorities. He recently acted for families in a number of high-profile death in custody inquests."

Crime (Band 3)

"Renowned for its 'hard-hitting criminal advocates' and 'strong ethos that sets store by the rights of the individual', Garden Court is a multi-disciplinary set that proves strong in a number of areas. Solicitors particularly value the fact that 'you always get 100% effort from the members here', the majority of whom handle pro bono cases as part of their practice."

SILKS: Co-head of chambers Courtenay Griffiths QC, is 'an exceptional advocate' who has recently branched out from his general practice to become involved in war crimes-related matters. So excellent is his reputation and expertise, that many solicitors view him as their primary counsel of choice. Equally sought after by solicitors is Henry Blaxland QC. 'A calm advocate that juries warm to and are convinced by', Blaxland has represented defendants in a number of high profile terrorism trials. 'His knowledge of recent case law is almost encyclopaedic', enthused one source. Michael Turner QC is 'tenacious, hard-working, and dedicated to providing excellent client care.' A true expert on shaken baby syndrome, he has recently achieved successes in a number of cases in this area. Adding to the set's impressive pool of silks this year is Judy Khan QC. She is applauded for her 'energy, intellect and exceptional client care', and sources are convinced her transition to silk will be a very natural and smooth one. She recently acted as leading defence counsel in a highly complicated murder case.

JUNIORS: Of the set's juniors, Adrian Eissa is 'someone likely to be joining Khan in silk very soon.' He recently appeared in the first ever criminal trial in the UK in which a jury was not present."

Click here to read more about the Crime Team.

Family: Children

"Maggie Jones of Garden Court Chambers is particularly admired for representing parents in care proceedings."

Click here to read more about the Family Team.

Immigration (Band 1)

We remain the only set ranked in Band 1 for Immigration, and Laurie Fransman QC remains the only Star Individual.

"When its comes to immigration law this set remains the number-one choice, largely because of its 'plentiful array of excellent barristers at every level of seniority.' Sources are keen to praise the fantastic training at the set, where the 'juniors really do learn from the best.'

SILKS: Undoubtedly the jewel in the set's crown is the 'absolutely marvellous' Laurie Fransman QC, whose 'depth of knowledge on nationality law remains unmatched.' He is widely sought out for his opinions on highly sensitive matters because of his pre-eminence and his depth of experience in the field. Another admired silk at the set is Ian Macdonald QC , who remains a widely recognised authority, having authored a leading textbook on immigration. Sources say that he is 'the godfather of immigration law.'

JUNIORS: Kathryn Cronin attracts a wealth of praise from market commentators for her expertise in immigration cases with a family or childcare element. Her performances in court are 'simply top-notch' and she is 'able to handle the most complicated and challenging matters with confidence and ease.' Sources also commend her generosity with her time and exceptional client manner: 'Clients adore her and would trust her with anything.' Nicola Rogers is widely recognised for her expertise on EU-related immigration law and is a familiar face at the ECJ, having been involved in a number of significant cases in this area. She is said to be an 'original thinker, who is thoroughly prepared, and always approachable.' Rick Scannell has a broad immigration and asylum practice but is singled out for his knowledge on refugee law and EU free movement law. His advocacy skills are highly admired: 'He gets straight to the point, has an inside-out knowledge of his subject area and is extremely easy to listen to.'

Duran Seddon also maintains a broad immigration practice. Sources are eager to praise his wealth of enviable attributes: 'Responsive, commercial, thorough, personable and intelligent - an absolute star.' One instructing solicitor enthused: 'He gives me everything I need, I cannot get enough of him.' He has been involved in numerous complex cases involving the interplay between asylum and extradition law. Also popular is David Jones, who is praised for his 'fantastic advocacy skills and charming manner.' Sources commend his 'ability to tackle challenging and complex legal arguments' and his energy when it comes to 'wrestling with guidance that is constantly changing.' Peter Jorro has 'absolutely superb knowledge' on asylum and human rights. Instructing solicitors are keen to praise his 'generosity in sharing his knowledge and his willingness to take the time to explain the most complex legal issues.'

Patrick Lewis 'never gives up and takes cases as far as they can go.' He is particularly commended for his exceptional manner with clients: 'He is able to simplify and explain complex procedures and put clients at ease no matter how difficult and stressful the situation' He shares a set with the 'energetic and inspiring' Navtej Singh Ahluwalia, who is said to be a 'really passionate fighter.' Sources praise him for his 'impressively fluid prose and advocacy style that always gets results.' He provides advice on a whole range of immigration and asylum law, but is particularly praised for his expertise on individuals seeking indefinite leave to remain. Nadine Finch's best work is done on immigration matters with a family crossover, including trafficked and vulnerable children, whilst Stephanie Harrison is commended for her specialist knowledge on immigration-related national security cases. She is said to be 'very impressive and clear on her feet.' Ronan Toal is best known for his expertise in cases involving Somali nationals and is said to be 'extremely innovative in his legal thought and always challenging of the legal environment.' He is recommended along with Navita Atreya, who is commended for her work on trafficking cases. Sources were keen to applaud her 'fantastic ability in dealing with distressed clients'.

Others who impress at the set include Adrian Berry, who has an extensive British nationality law practice but is also an 'EU whiz-kid' who manages to 'unscramble the EU and social security minefield with ease.' His stablemate Sonali Naik is praised for her broad immigration, asylum and nationality practice and has recently been building an enviable reputation as a result of her involvement in judicial review cases. The 'enthusiastic and positive' Sadat Sayeed is a popular choice amongst instructing solicitors, who say he is 'always prepared to take on a challenge and never gives up on it when he does.' Another 'enthusiastic fighter' to join the rankings this year is Michelle Brewer, who has a growing reputation for her work in this field. She has a 'strong intellect, good business acumen and is extremely approachable'."

Click here to read more about the Immigration Team.

Police Law: Mainly Claimant (Band 2)

"Garden Court Chambers parlays its excellence in civil liberties and human rights work into a host of police law cases. It handles all manner of actions, including false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, assault and misfeasance in public office. The team's collective judicial review experience comes in for particular praise, and it remains a go-to group for a number of instructing solicitors as it has 'straightforward, down-to-earth advocates who really understand the law and fight for their clients'."

JUNIORS: Colin Hutchinson receives tremendous acclaim for his experience with inquests concerning police custody issues. He is 'a gritty fighter who gets straight to the point and cuts out all the legal jargon in a case.' His reputation is matched by that of Stephen Simblet, a lawyer who possesses particular strength in judicial review work. Simblet has devoted years to his practice and has in-depth knowledge of false imprisonment, assault, malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office issues. Commentators say that 'he takes more of an interest in his work than almost anyone else and is simply superb on the paperwork.' Also recommended, Leslie Thomas stands out in particular for his fantastic jury trial skills and for the fact that 'he never gives up until every last avenue has been explored.' Police law fits in well with his civil liberties and human rights practice."

Click here to read more about the Police Actions Team.

Social Housing (Band 1)

We remain one of only two sets ranked in Band 1 for Social Housing, and Jan Luba QC is one of only two Star Individuals.

"Best known for representing tenants, Garden Court is home to a wealth of intelligent and passionate barristers who are 'extremely committed to their work and always willing to go that extra mile.' Clients appreciate the set's strength and depth in a range of disciplines, such as immigration and civil liberties, which naturally complements its housing expertise. The full spectrum of housing law is catered for here, particularly homelessness, unlawful eviction and disrepair issues."

SILKS: Jan Luba QC is hailed as the 'best appellant advocate in the field.' Peers admire the ease with which he 'commands the courtroom,' and instructing solicitors agree he is 'clearly in a different league from almost everyone else at the Housing Bar'. Luba is invariably seen at the forefront of cases concerning the relationship between housing and the Human Rights Act. He has been joined in silk this year by Stephen Knafler QC, which comes as no surprise to those experienced in instructing him: 'He just devours information and seizes on the killer points immediately, making his speed of turnaround unmatched,' say admiring solicitors.

JUNIORS: Liz Davies receives outstanding praise for her expertise on homelessness and housing allocation work. Instructing solicitors turn to her for particularly tricky legal points, safe in the knowledge that 'she will always spot what has never been noticed before.' Davies is noted for her 'clarity of expression and probing cross-examination' in the courtroom. David Watkinson is very experienced in this sector and is renowned for putting up a 'brave and compassionate fight for the underdog.' Stephen Cottle also fights hard for his clients, and is commended by sources for being 'extremely driven and determined.' The increasingly popular Edward Fitzpatrick attracts attention for his 'fantastic advocacy skills and tremendous enthusiasm for the subject,' whilst Beatrice Prevatt is praised for being 'personable and thorough.' Finally, Bethan Harris makes her debut in the tables this year, praised for her 'accurate and meticulous approach,' and her 'fantastic rapport with clients'."

Click here to read more about the Housing Team.

To read the rankings in full, please visit the Chambers UK 2011 online directory.

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