Garden Court in the latest Legal 500 (2007) Rankings

Thursday 27 September 2007

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Crime - Leading Set (ranked 2)

Garden Court Chambers is respected for its commitment to social justice, acting in some of the most important and complex crime trials and appeals. Michael Turner QC is respected, David Spens QC 'seems to be flourishing' and Courtenay Griffiths QC has taken his already good reputation up a gear through his work in the 'dirty bomb' terrorism case; plus defence work in R v Carty (Tom ap Rees Pryce). There are some excellent juniors; we single out Roy Ledgister, Judy Khan and Adrian Eissa who can all handle difficult criminal cases to a very high level and inspire confidence.

Family - Leading Set (ranked 3)

Garden Court Chambers family team is known both for the quality of its work and also its strong commitment to legal aid and social justice. Ian Peddie QC is highly regarded for his work in abuse cases.

Immigration - Leading Set (ranked 1)

Leading Silks
Laurie Fransman QC (ranked 1)
Ian MacDonald QC (ranked 2)

Leading Juniors
Rick Scannell (ranked 1)
Stephanie Harrison and Frances Webber (ranked 2)
Nadine Finch, Duran Seddon, kathryn Cronin and Nicola Rogers (ranked 3)

At Garden Court Chambers, from judicial reviews and appeals before the immigration appellate authorities to ECJ references, Laurie Fransman QC 'is the undisputed leading counsel on all nationality cases'. Ian Macdonald QC is an immensely experienced advocate for any case, but particularly stands out for his leading expertise on race and the law. Richard Scannell has a genuinely broad practice, but is singled out for his expertise in refugee and EU free movement law. Stephanie Harrison is a strong choice for appearance before the adjudicator, the Immigration Appeal Tribunal, and the higher courts, and has been a junior in some of the defining immigration cases, including Shah and Islam. Frances Webber's 20 years of experience in immigration law includes some of the most important cases relating to refugee and asylum status and gender, including Shah and Islam and Fornah. Nadine Finch is an experienced choice for any case involving family, childcare or mental health issues. Duran Seddon is praised for his 'cost-effective and commercial advice'. Kathryn Cronin is recognised as an experienced leading junior for all asylum, nationality and family law. Nicola Rogers enters the table for the first time this year on the strength of her European law expertise, and a track record of ECJ appearances, including TUM v Secretary of State for the Home Department.

Public and Admin law - Leading Set (ranked 3)

Leading Silks
Jan Luba QC (ranked 3)
Owen Davies QC (ranked 3)

Leading Juniors
Stephanie Harrison (ranked 2)
Stephen Knafler (ranked 3)

Another set with a strong leaning towards claimant human rights and social justice cases is Garden Court Chambers, and housing law is among its specialisms. Jan Luba QC is 'a brilliant advocate who has taken a leading role in the development of housing law in the past two decades'. Stephen Knafler is 'one of the most effective junior counsel in the social welfare field with a long strong of reported cases', and is 'much respected by the judiciary'. Junior Stephanie Harrison is another recommendation.

Civil liberties and Human Rights - Leading Set (ranked 2)

Leading silks
Owen Davies QC (ranked 2)
Courtenay Griffiths (ranked 3)
Henry Blaxland QC (ranked 3)
Mark Muller QC (ranked 3)

Leading Juniors
Stephanie Harrison (ranked 1)
Terry Munyard (ranked 2)
Leslie Thomas (ranked 2)
Frances Webber (ranked 2)
Dexter Dias (ranked 2)
Stephen Simblet (ranked 3)

Garden Court Chambers established an international human rights team in 2006 led by Mark Muller QC who is currently chair of the Bar human rights committee. Along with Dexter Dias, he was a nominee for the Human Rights Lawyer of the Year award 2006. The set has a strong commitment to pro bono work and a strong ethical and progressive approach. Joint heads of chambers Courtenay Griffiths QC and Owen Davies QC embody that approach with their sterling work and expertise. Stephen Simblet is well regarded for his work on deaths in custody cases and the engagement of Article 2 ECHR. Leslie Thomas is a specialist in police-related litigation. Frances Webber is well known for her immigration human rights expertise and also recent cases involving the review of control orders under the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005.

Police law

On the claimant side, Stephen Simblet of Garden Court Chambers is seen as excellent on civil actions against the police 'given his knowledge of the law, tactics at trial and assessment of damages'.

Leading claimant Set - Leading Set (rank 2)

Garden Court Chambers is highly recommended in immigration, and also recommended in crime, civil liberties and administrative and public law. Well-recognised housing barrister Jan Luba QC was 'Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year' in 2007.

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