Devereux Recognised by Chambers UK 2012

Members of Devereux received a total of 40 individual listings across 16 practice areas in Chambers UK 2012 edition, which has just been published. Devereux sits within the top 50 sets with the most barrister rankings. 5 members received new entries and 11 rose a rank. Devereux is recommended in the 'Leading Set' rankings in Employment, Insurance, Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence. In addition, Devereux is “particularly commended for their provision of quality client service”

Full list of entries - Chambers UK 2012: 

Clinical Negligence - recognised as a leading set 

Robert Glancy QC

Robert Weir QC

Richard Cartwright  

This "unstuffy set" has developed a good reputation for its clinical negligence work. Although acting for both defendants and claimants it is generally more focused on its claimant work. Solicitors receive "service of the highest order" from the "very attentive" barristers at the set. The team was particularly recommended for its work on complex brain and spinal injury cases, in which they always "go the extra mile."

SILKS Robert Weir QC is a "real star at Devereux." He is is "incredibly intelligent, gets through the issues quickly and is a fantastic advocate." His "authoritative yet conversational" manner in court was picked out for special praise. Robert Glancy QC is another impressive silk. Solicitors "reserve him for the biggest things" since "he can can quickly master the most complex of briefs" and "manage clients in a sensitive manner." He is also a first-class advocate and a "ruthless cross-examiner."

JUNIORS Richard Cartwright has "excellent client care skills, is an able negotiator and is good with figures." He uses these skills to good effect on the full spectrum of clinical negligence work. It is, however, his work on quantum that particularly impresses. Cartwright is a firm favourite with the market as "he makes difficult claims as pleasurable as they can be."


Oliver Hyams of Devereux Chambers is singled out for his charity related education work and his general wealth of experience. Clients note he is "responsive and deals with things quickly."

Employment - recognised as a leading set 

Akash Nawbatt 
Andrew Burns 
Bruce Carr QC 
Ingrid Simler QC
Lucinda Harris  
Mohinderpal Sethi 
Nicholas Randall 
Peter Edwards 
Shaen Catherwood  
Sophie Belgrove
Timothy Brennan QC 

THE SET Devereux Chambers offers barristers with good technical expertise, who are well serviced by clerks who "take the time to understand what the solicitor needs." Of late, the set has had a shake-up in terms of its administration which has been welcomed by the market - "all here are showing greater willingness to be flexible on fees and are generally making themselves more approachable." Claimant and respondent work all fall into the mix at a set that is particularly good at trade union work and is getting more of a foothold in City-type cases. It ... is well known for housing some key individuals who involve themselves in headline-grabbing cases such as the recent British Airways saga.

SILKS A key figure here is Bruce Carr QC, who is "one of the cleverest and most impressive barristers in this field." He is highly sought after for his expertise in industrial relations, an area in which he is "obviously storming ahead," as evidenced by work on behalf of British Airways. Not only does he combine "excellent commercial judgement with engaging and persuasive advocacy," but he is also "a great team player and willing to roll his sleeves up." Timothy Brennan QC is "an unrivalled choice when a definitive answer is needed on complex tax-driven employment legislation." He is "charming, highly intellectual and ruthless when you need him to be." Brennan is commended for his collegiate approach, as is Ingrid Simler QC, who is "a popular choice for really tough cases." "Tenacious and very cool under pressure," she is an exceptionally good cross-examiner, as well as being "accessible and crystal-clear in her advice to clients."

JUNIORS Sources cannot fault the "enormously bright and commercial" Nicholas Randall, who receives widespread praise for his "creative mind" and "down-to-earth attitude." He is a great tactician and "not afraid to tell it to you straight." Mohinderpal Sethi has a growing City injunctions and bonus claims practice and played a prominent role in the high-profile Tullet Prebon case, concerning a major City team move. Sources admire his calm demeanour and his "keen eye for detail." He is also seen as being "incredibly hard-working and responsive to the client." She "works tirelessly for her clients and is incredible in cross-examination." Her merits have ensured that she has attracted an enviable client base, which includes PwC, UBS, Mitsui Energy, The Body Shop International and IBM.

Akash Nawbatt is an "excellent strategist who is extremely hard-working." He has "a very understated style that is incredibly compelling and effective," and is appreciated by instructing solicitors for his charming client manner. His stablemate Andrew Burns is becoming increasingly popular for industrial relations issues. Burns is extremely quick to get to the heart of difficult issues, and his enthusiasm and positive nature make him "a key asset to any team." Sophie Belgrove continues to make an impression with her "articulate and forceful arguments." She is a "fighter in court," and proves "calm and reassuring to clients."

Peter Edwards is a go-to junior for trade union work and has "done a huge amount of brilliant work in this area." He represented Unite in a number of the actions brought by, and against, British Airways arising out of the highly publicised industrial action by cabin crew members. Shaen Catherwood is noted as being "very pragmatic and possessed of fantastic client care skills." Also recommended at the set, the "robust and driven" Lucinda Harris joins the rankings as a "real rising star."

Fraud: Criminal 

Jonathan Fisher QC

Chartered tax adviser Jonathan Fisher QC, formerly of 23 Essex Street, moved recently to Devereux Chambers. Sources praise him for his gravitas and his "very good, clear advice." He acted in the Southwark Crown Court alleged Ponzi fraud prosecution of R v John James

Health & Safety

At Devereux Chambers Stephen Killalea QC "wins over the court through the attractions and persuasiveness of his argument." One observer said: "He is one of the most understatedly effective advocates I've come across." He acts for companies and individuals facing a range of regulatory enforcement actions, and has notable experience of defending fatality cases. Sources also commented on his "great way of handling clients and judges."

Insurance - recognised as a leading set 

Alison Padfield     
Andrew Burns 
Colin Edelman QC 
Colin Wynter QC 
Richard Harrison  

THE SET Insurance and personal injury work form two important struts of Devereux Chambers, a set whose reputation in the insurance market is driven by that of its leading silks. The set's advocates win considerable praise for "talking the language of the insurers" and for their work advising brokers and third-party claimants. The group has been playing key roles in major cases such as the EL Trigger asbestos litigation and Bedfordshire Police Authority v Constable

SILKS Colin Edelman QC is showered with praise for being an "exceedingly bright and wonderfully persuasive" advocate with "excellent cross-examination skills." Greatly respected by the judiciary, he brings "clear thinking" to cases, examples of which include instructions relating to the fall of Lehman Brothers and the Madoff fraud case. Most notably, he acted for Zurich in the toxic sofas litigation. Equally impressive, the "amiable and sure-footed" Colin Wynter QC is a popular sounding board for insurance, reinsurance and brokers' cases. He commands respect for his "commercial awareness," delivers advice with a "down-to-earth style" and is "not easily rattled." He has been retained by five different parties to take on three different insurers in the infamous EL Trigger litigation.

JUNIORS Blessed with "crisp and concise writing skills," Andrew Burns is considered "extremely confident and a friendly face on any case." He has lately been advising victims in the EL Trigger litigation. The "conscientious, highly thorough and detailed" Alison Padfield enters the rankings this year, having recently acted on Synergy Health (UK) Ltd v CGU Insurance plc & Others, a multimillion-pound property, fire and business interruption insurance claim.... Promising junior Richard Harrison, has "a good sense of how to identify the relevant issues and answer them in a clear fashion." He expresses "sound and reliable opinions" and brings "bright and innovative ideas" to a case. He, too, has a role in the EL Trigger litigation. 

International Arbitration: General Commercial & Insurance

At Devereux Chambers, the mainstays of Colin Edelman QC's international arbitration practice are insurance and reinsurance disputes and commercial professional negligence claims. He has extensive experience of Bermuda Form arbitrations and has advised on various disputes arising from Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Ivan.

International Arbitration: Arbitrators
Colin Edelman QC of Devereux Chambers is "first class" and "one of the bright stars of the international arbitration circuit." His core area of expertise lies in insurance and reinsurance disputes. 


Nicholas Randall of Devereux Chambers has a particular forte acting on the crossover area between pensions law and employment law. His recent significant work has included acting for the Public and Commercial Services Union in its challenge to the government's proposed change to the Civil Service Compensation Scheme and its impact on pension benefits.

Personal Injury

Bruce Silvester
Colin Mendoza
Robert Glancy QC
Robert Weir QC
Stephen Killalea QC

THE SET Devereux Chambers tackles severe and complex personal injury cases, choosing to concentrate much of its firepower on the more heavyweight end of the market. It proves particularly strong at the senior end, and offers "commercially aware" advocates who are backed by a "highly able and approachable" clerking team. Solicitors were quick to point out how "in tune all the barristers are with the clients' needs, from the very early stages of a claim to final resolution."

SILKS Clients praise the knowledge, experience and long track record of eminent silk Robert Glancy QC. Catastrophic, workplace stress and sports injury cases lie at the heart of his strong personal injury and clinical negligence practice, and he recently concluded the severe brain injury case of Wood v Hatch. "Wonderful client management skills and an easy communication style" are features of Stephen Killalea QC. "Technically superb and always approachable," he handles personal injury and health and safety work ... giving "definitive and clear advice." He advised the claimant in Grove v Sumiya, a case where an academic was brain damaged following a road traffic collision in Australia. Robert Weir QC has an "excellent legal brain" and takes "a very proactive approach" to his work. He has been handling brain injury cases of late, and appeared in C v Merthyr Tydfil CBC, a multimillion-pound child brain injury claim.

JUNIORS Clients and opposing counsel enjoy working with "fantastic negotiator" Bruce Silvester, a "wonderfully bright and experienced" practitioner who is a "formidable junior and a tough opponent for experienced silks." Cited by some as "destined for greatness," he has been handling a brain damage case of a gifted trainee actuary. Another top referral is the "unbelievably hard-working and incredibly sharp" Colin Mendoza, a "stunning lawyer" who is both "technically and commercially astute" and who has "an uncanny ability to interact with judiciary witnesses and experts to get to the nub of complex cases." He has lately been acting for a young cyclist injured in an RTA.

POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture 

Fraud and confiscation expert Jonathan Fisher QC of Devereux Chambers is also a chartered tax adviser. He is an experienced and active silk with "a diplomatic and thoughtful style," who is particularly identified with money laundering cases.

Professional Negligence

Colin Edelman QC of Devereux Chambers is a standout name in professional negligence. Solicitors lined up to praise him as a "master strategist," with one saying he has "probably the finest mind that I've ever worked with." "A crisp and clear advocate," Edelman is known for his exemplary work on insurance coverage disputes. Ben Lynch, at the same set, also impresses. He is a "hard-working strategist" who provides "thorough, robust and pragmatic advice on technical cases."

Sports Law

Nicholas Randall of Devereux Chambers is an employment barrister who has developed a fantastic reputation for his handling of employment cases within the football industry. He is acknowledged as "a technically brilliant, first-rate advocate," whose client skills are second to none. One client comments: "He's enormously approachable, never aloof or stuffy, and he understands our industry."


At Devereux Chambers, Timothy Brennan QC "comes up with the goods time and again." An experienced litigator and adviser, he has recently been involved in domestic matters in the Supreme Court, along with various international tax issues. Commentators say he is "very solutions-based, pragmatic and user-friendly. He displays great agility in his analytical range, which enables him to understand cases and offer opinions quickly.” At the same set, Ingrid Simler QC is another popular practitioner. Interviewees commend her for her "fantastic analysis and ability to put her message across in plain English." 


Graham Read QC of Devereux Chambers is one of the genuinely few people at the Bar with a broad experience of telecoms work. He takes on a wide spectrum of cases, including regulatory actions and also contract litigation, not to mention real property matters concerning telecommunications infrastructure. He is described as "a charming man" and "a good, thoughtful advocate." Also at Devereux, Ben Lynch is "very well thought of in this field" and is seen as a "very good junior on his way up." He has become a firm favourite for BT in its major litigations, acting both with and without a leader.


Bruce Silvester of Devereux Chambers is also recommended. He has a particular grounding in catastrophic injuries claims.

Client Service at the Bar

Devereux Chambers has undergone a minor revolution in terms of its approach to client service in recent times. Under the auspices of CEO Beverly Landais it has put the whole question of catering to the client’s needs right at the forefront of its thinking. It fully understands the dictates of the modern legal world and is urgently pushing itself forward in an attempt to strengthen existing relationships and to further seek out new legal markets. Solicitors report that it is doing well in its mission – “from the receptionist to the clerks room, this is an impressive set which is in tune with the client’s needs from the outset.” As ever, any set which hopes to be a leading client service provider must have excellent clerking and Devereux is no exception. The “receptive and helpful” clerks are “never anything but accommodating” and left solicitors impressed since they are “interested in wanting to know what we want rather than just content to sell their people to us.” This honest and understanding approach really pays off with solicitors, who describe how they trust the clerks and are happy to follow their advice if a first-choice barristers is unavailable. It is not just the clerks, however, that impress. The members here “are keen to come to us and share their knowledge,” says interviewees, with one client being particularly impressed by a mock tribunal run by the chambers. All in all this is a set that has made real strides on the client care front and it richly deserves recognition for its efforts in this regard.

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