Garden Court Chambers remains a Top Tier set in Legal 500 2014

Wednesday 1 October 2014

We are proud to learn today that Garden Court Chambers has once again been recommended as a Top Tier set in Legal 500 2014. Of particular interest is that as a set we have ascended through the ranks this year in two of our key areas of practice.

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Fighting for civil liberties and human rights has always been one of the core principles of Garden Court, so we are pleased to have been promoted to the top tier in this field. Similarly as one of the largest criminal defence sets of chambers in the country, we are pleased to have been promoted to the second tier for Crime.

In other areas, we have retained our top-tier status in the field of social housing, and we remain the only chambers in London ranked in Tier 1 for immigration law.

In total, 12 of our silks and 39 junior barristers are now recommended in the directory.

Below are selected highlights from the editorial commentary.

Administrative and public law (including local government): Tier 4

"Garden Court Chambers is ‘excellent' and noted for its ‘experience in housing, immigration and community care law'."

Four members of our Public and Administrative Law Team have been highlighted as leading individuals:

  • Jan Luba QC ‘By far the most articulate housing barrister in the country.’
  • Marc Willers QC ‘A keen eye for the key points in complex litigation.’
  • Nadine Finch ‘Has a patient and unflappable manner.’
  • Stephen Simblet ‘Extremely knowledgeable.’

Civil liberties and human rights (including public inquiry law and actions against the police): Tier 1

"Garden Court Chambers’ practitioners ‘will always go the extra mile for their clients'. The set is highly recommended for its expertise in the area of civil liberties, and also has ‘a great depth of experience in actions against the police and inquests', in addition to being ‘a go-to set for youth justice representation'."

20 members of Chambers have been highlighted as leading individuals:

  • Dexter Dias QC ‘Formidable intellect together with an incisive grasp of the issues at hand.’
  • Henry Blaxland QC ‘Brilliant and hardworking.’
  • Stephen Knafler QC ‘Provides incisive and strategic advice and written work.’
  • Leslie Thomas QC ‘Very strong on his feet.’
  • Amanda Weston ‘Experienced and expert; thinks outside the box.’
  • Colin Hutchinson ‘Experienced in actions against the police.’
  • Felicity Williams ‘Able to grasp complex legal issues and formulate cogent and powerful arguments in writing.’
  • Kirsten Heaven ‘An exceptional jury advocate, who has perfect judgement in terms of presenting a case to a jury.’
  • Leonie Hirst ‘A powerful advocate.’
  • Maya Sikand ‘An expert in youth justice law.’
  • Nadine Finch ‘Knowledgeable, with a patient, unflappable manner.’
  • Patrick Roche ‘Extremely thorough, knowledgeable and reliable.’
  • Paul Troop ‘He has wide experience and a thoughtful approach.’
  • Rajeev Thacker ‘Committed, with a very good instinct for resolving knotty issues of law.’
  • Sean Horstead ‘Highly dedicated and committed, and an articulate and effective advocate.’
  • Shu Shin Luh ‘Dedicated and bright.’
  • Stephen Cottle ‘An expert in housing-related cases.’
  • Stephen Simblet ‘In-depth knowledge of a very wide variety of civil liberties matters.’
  • Terry Munyard ‘An extremely good advocate who cares about the issue at hand.’
  • Tim Baldwin ‘A technically excellent and extremely composed advocate.’

Crime: Tier 2

"Garden Court Chambers houses ‘a great selection of barristers covering all aspects of crime'."

Five members of our Crime Team have been highlighted as leading individuals:

  • Henry Blaxland QC ‘An excellent barrister with an understated but effective delivery’
  • James Scobie QC ‘One of the busiest silks at the Old Bailey’
  • Michael Turner QC ‘A hugely experienced trial and appellate advocate.’
  • Stephen Kamlish QC ‘A standout silk’
  • Shiraz Aziz ‘A safe pair of hands’

Immigration: Tier 1

"‘There is clearly a great deal of strength in depth' at Garden Court Chambers, which fields ‘some of the stars of the immigration world'. The set enhanced its immigration and public law presence in 2013 when it welcomed the majority of Tooks Chambers’ practitioners. The immigration team attracts praise, as do the ‘excellent' clerks - in particular, Rob Abrahams and Lisa O’Leary are ‘always willing to help'."

21 members of our Immigration Team have been highlighted as leading individuals:

  • Ian Macdonald QC ‘The go-to person in extremely complicated cases.’
  • Stephen Knafler QC ‘Works assiduously.’
  • Laurie Fransman QC ‘The go-to barrister for nationality law.’
  • Abigail Smith ‘Goes beyond the call of duty; she is clearly very committed to her work and client base.’
  • Adrian Berry ‘Judges listen to him.’
  • Amanda Weston ‘Very passionate and committed.’
  • David Jones ‘An excellent written style which is mirrored by the manner in which he presents cases.’
  • Greg Ó Ceallaigh ‘The go-to counsel for third country issues.’
  • Kathryn Cronin ‘The obvious choice for international family cases with complex immigration issues.’
  • Leonie Hirst ‘Impresses with her practical and engaging style.’
  • Mark Symes ‘Not a single judgment or development escapes his radar.’
  • Michelle Brewer ‘Works extremely hard for her clients.’
  • Navtej Singh Ahluwalia ‘Secures positive outcomes in cases when no other barrister could.’
  • Nicola Braganza ‘Committed and very accessible.’
  • Patrick Lewis ‘He puts clients and judges at ease.’
  • Rebecca Chapman ‘A real expert, with great client-handling skills.’
  • Ronan Toal ‘Calm, patient and very clear-headed.’
  • Sadat Sayeed ‘He can relate to clients from all backgrounds.’
  • Duran Seddon ‘Highly recommended by solicitors.’
  • Nadine Finch ‘She knows her stuff on children’s rights and is a safe pair of hands.’
  • Peter Jorro ‘Achieves successful outcomes in difficult appeals.’

Planning: Tier 6

"Garden Court Chambers has particular expertise representing Gypsies and Travellers seeking planning permission for caravan sites, and in defending planning enforcement action taken against them."

Two members of our Planning and Environmental Law Team have been highlighted as leading individuals:

  • Marc Willers QC ‘Formidable in his commitment to cases.’
  • Tim Baldwin ‘A talented barrister and valuable team member.’

Social housing: Tier 1

"Garden Court Chambers is ‘proactive and at the top of its field'. Barristers specialise in representing tenants, with Jan Luba QC notably acting in landmark human rights case, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council v Armour. Stephen Knafler QC led Adrian Berry in the Supreme Court case SL v Westminster City Council, regarding responsibility for housing asylum seekers."

11 members of our Housing Team have been highlighted as leading individuals:

  • Stephen Knafler QC ‘Supremely intelligent and pursues cases with diligence and skill. Brilliant on his feet.’
  • Jan Luba QC ‘Leader in his field when it comes to acting for tenants.’
  • Adrian Berry ‘His knowledge of European Law is exceptional and his drafting is precise and clear.’
  • Beatrice Prevatt ‘Senior, thorough, affable and excellent.’
  • Catherine O ‘Very approachable and good with clients.’
  • Edward Fitzpatrick ‘Good on his feet and willing to deal with difficult clients.’
  • John Beckley ‘Extremely approachable and he gets the job done with no fuss.’
  • Liz Davies ‘Knowledgeable and understands how to get the best out of judges.’
  • Marina Sergides ‘Frequently instructed by the Official Solicitor on community care matters.’
  • Stephen Cottle ‘A tenacious fighter with a razor-sharp mind.’
  • Tim Baldwin ‘Diligent, conscientious and always well informed about developments in the law.’

In addition, individual barristers have been ranked in the fields of children's law and employment law.

  • Ian Peddie QC ‘Approachable and sensible.’
  • Maggie Jones ‘She does good work for vulnerable people and excels at it.’
  • Nicola Braganza ‘She works hard to ensure good preparation.'

Full information about all of the rankings is available on the Legal 500 website.

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