Devereux Recognised by Chambers UK 2013

Members of Devereux received a total of 42 individual listings across 17 practice areas in Chambers UK 2013 edition, which has just been published. Devereux sits within the top 50 sets with the most barrister rankings and highest proportion of barrister rankings. 4 members received new entries, 11 rose a rank whilst 2 are marked as Star Individuals:

Star Individuals

New category entries

  • Commercial Dispute resolution - Ben Lynch Band 5
  • Insurance - Ben Lynch Band 3
  • Tax - Jonathan Fisher QC Band 3
  • Travel - Robert Weir QC Band 3

Risen a rank

Devereux is recommended in the 'Leading Set' rankings in Employment, Insurance, Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence. In addition, Devereux is commended for the provision of quality Client Service - “excellent job the set does with client service".

Devereux recently secured a double award win as Insurance Set of the Year and Colin Wynter QC as Insurance Silk of the Year at the recent annual Chambers Bar Awards 2012. The Awards are based upon independent research conducted for the recent 2013 edition of Chambers UK.

The full list of entries for Chambers 2013 are:

Clinical negligence recognised as a Leading Set Band 5

THE SET Devereux Chambers has a personal injury and clinical negligence team that is highly experienced and undertakes a variety of cases ranging from multi-track to maximum severity cases. The group acts for publicly funded and trade unions clients as well as NHS trusts and individual clinicians.

SILKS Robert Glancy QC is a seasoned expert in clinical and professional negligence claims, who handles a wide range of cases but is particularly strong on cerebral palsy claims. He recently obtained a multimillion-pound settlement for a claimant whose spinal cord was severed by a neurosurgeon.

The "extremely intelligent and able" Robert Weir QC is "a go-to barrister for the most complex claims." He habitually handles cerebral palsy and other brain injury cases, and recently handled a claim concerning cerebral palsy which arose as a result of an episode of hypocarbia shortly after birth.

JUNIORS The "solid and reliable" Richard Cartwright is equally comfortable on liability and quantum. He handles clients "with great sensitivity" and is excellent in negotiation and "fantastic with figures" according to those that instruct him. 

Commercial Dispute Resolution

  • Ben Lynch Band 5

Ben Lynch of Devereux Chambers is identified by sources as a junior worth paying careful attention to. One instructing solicitor said Lynch "is an incredibly bright junior, who is extremely responsive and highly commercial."


  • Oliver Hyams Band 3

Oliver Hyams of Devereux Chambers is "supportive," "very thorough," "hard-working" and "an extremely bright and confident advocate.", and wins market approval.

Employment recognised as a Leading Set (Band 2)

THE SET This set has impressive expertise at all levels of seniority and its members frequently act in ground-breaking cases. It remains the chambers of choice for industrial relations disputes for many large private and public sector employers and has a thriving, high-value discrimination practice. Market sources note the consistent, client service-focused approach across all levels of seniority.

SILKS The "incredibly impressive" Ingrid Simler QC is a "ferocious cross-examiner" who is "universally liked by her clients," sources say. Her areas of expertise include appellate cases, high-value discrimination claims and restrictive covenant matters. She recently acted for an investment bank in a case in which the claimant sought reinstatement or re-engagement and £13 million in compensation for unlawful sex discrimination.

Bruce Carr QC has "real gravitas, excellent judgement, great advocacy skills and a calm and commercial manner with clients," impressed sources report. His areas of expertise include high-value discrimination claims, contractual issues arising from change management and industrial relations. His recent highlights include his representation of Haringey Council in claims brought by the social workers in charge of Baby P.

The "extremely reassuring" Timothy Brennan QC is acclaimed by market sources as "someone to go to when it really matters." He is frequently instructed by clients in the City and accountancy firms to advise on employment matters with a tax element. Brennan recently appeared in the Supreme Court in Autoclenz v Belcher, a case on employment status and other issues.

JUNIORS Nicholas Randall is a "superb trial tactician" with an "easy and authoritative" manner, who is highly acclaimed for "getting to the heart of the argument and running the central points with great skill." He recently defended News Group Newspapers in a claim brought by Andy Coulson for legal fees under his termination agreement.

Mohinderpal Sethi is "clear-sighted on discrimination issues." "Highly bright," he "looks at old problems in new and creative ways," sources say. He is representing the former head of the UK Border Force in his High Court and Employment Tribunal claims against the Home Secretary. 

Akash Nawbatt is "highly pragmatic and commercial" and "has great client care skills and a down-to-earth approach," sources say. He recently represented Haringey Council in the Court of Appeal in a claim brought by Sharon Shoesmith regarding the termination of her employment as head of Haringey's children's services following the death of Baby P.

The "approachable" and "charming" Andrew Burns is commended for his "hard-working," "enthusiastic" and "knowledgeable" manner. He recently acted for the employers in a leading industrial action case, ASLEF v London Midland and RMT v Serco.  

Peter Edwards has a thriving appellate practice in employment and industrial relations matters. He was recently involved in Transocean International Resources v Craig in the Supreme Court, the final stage of the Offshore Workers, Working Time Regulation litigation.

Sophie Belgrove is "an effective cross-examiner, whose approachable style makes her highly client-friendly," impressed sources say. She has recently represented British Airways in industrial action litigation in the High Court and in the Employment Tribunal.  

Shaen Catherwood is "experienced, thorough and excellent with clients," market sources report. He recently appeared in the Court of Appeal in Tiffin v Lester Aldridge, in which the court considered whether a fixed share partner of a limited liability partnership is an employee.

Lucinda Harris is acting for Transport for London in the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal. She has notable expertise on discrimination matters.

Fraud: Criminal (London)

  • Jonathan Fisher QC Band 2

Jonathan Fisher QC of Devereux Chambers is "an extremely experienced leader who is very easy to work with and who is very used to working across the criminal and civil sphere." He has great experience of money laundering and sanctions cases.

Health & Safety

One solicitor said that Stephen Killalea QC of Devereux Chambers "is a great tactician and an effective but understated advocate. He is particularly good when handling clients with sensitive issues." Killalea has particular experience of dealing with fatal accidents, and also acts in an advisory capacity assisting with risk management and health and safety policies. Recently, he has been acting for the defendants in R v Oak Farm Gas Company Limited, a case involving a fatality after a gas explosion.

Insurance recognised as a Leading Set Band 4

THE SET Insurance and reinsurance is a core area for this well-regarded set. Its team deals with directors' and officers' policies, product and public liability insurance and professional indemnity, to mention but a few areas of expertise. It is active on a number of highly publicised cases such as the EL Trigger litigation, and Royal Insurance & Others v Rolls-Royce, a case relating to substantial losses arising from defects in ships' engines supplied by Rolls-Royce.

SILKS Colin Edelman QC receives compliments from all quarters for his "clear and cogent advocacy style." One source states: "He is in a class of his own, as he is technically excellent, and has a sharp mind and a down-to-earth manner." Edelman is to be seen in the vast majority of the major insurance cases. He had roles in both the EL Trigger litigation and the Rolls-Royce case mentioned above. 

Colin Wynter QC has "unrivalled knowledge of property insurance issues." He is "bright, accessible and amenable," according to observers. Such is his reputation in the market, he was retained by five different parties to take on three different insurers in the EL Trigger litigation.

JUNIORS Richard Harrison "is the kind of barrister who is always willing to go the extra mile. As well as being technically superb, he is approachable and pleasant to work with." He has experience as both counsel and arbitrator in a wide variety of insurance and reinsurance disputes.

Andrew Burns has assisted with many of the insurance team's most significant cases, including the EL Trigger litigation and the Toxic Sofas litigation. His instructing solicitors greatly appreciate his "collaborative style of working and his calm manner."

Alison Padfield is increasing her market reputation and is seen as a "shrewd and effective advocate." As a highly skilled junior she continues to make her presence felt on key cases. Recently, she acted in Synergy Health (UK) Ltd v CGU Insurance, a huge business interruption insurance and brokers’ negligence claim arising out of a property fire.

New addition to the rankings Ben Lynch is a "bright, responsive and commercial barrister," who is praised for his advocacy skills. He has a broad practice, and is particularly good at professional negligence disputes. His recent matters include Flexsys America L.P. v XL Insurance Company Limited, which was an insurance claim relating to rubber tyres.

International arbitration: arbitrators (London)

Colin Edelman QC is a highly regarded arbitrator and advocate at Devereux Chambers, and is considered a standout member of the International Arbitration Bar. His particular focus is on reinsurance and insurance disputes.

International arbitration: general commercial & insurance (London)     

Colin Edelman QC of Devereux Chambers is "one of the leading counsel and arbitrators in insurance-related work," and is highly valued by instructing solicitors as a "terrific advocate." Sources note his "great knowledge of insurance law," and the past year has seen him act in a range of related arbitrations. 


  • Nicholas Randall Band 3

Nicholas Randall of Devereux Chambers continues to maintain a healthy pensions practice. Acknowledged as a leading employment law junior, he brings to the table a valuable understanding of the interplay between both practice areas. By way of example, he advised the NUJ on a BBC pension scheme restructuring challenge and the function of implied and contractual employment contract terms in the context of an employer's pension scheme duties.

Personal Injury recognised as a Leading Set Band 3

THE SET Devereux Chambers' team covers the full range of complex and high-level personal injury cases. It tackles severe brain and spinal cord injury matters, psychiatric injury cases and other claims involving severe and debilitating injuries. Commentators note the set's regular involvement in challenging and high-profile cases, such as Smith and others v Ministry of Defence, a much publicised alleged negligence claim where the team acted for the family of members of the armed forces killed in Iraq.  

SILKS Robert Glancy QC's practice is concentrated on clinical negligence and personal injury cases. He typically, although not exclusively, represents claimants, and is highly regarded for his considerable expertise in catastrophic brain and spinal injury cases. Commentators note that "there is unlikely to be a more experienced personal injury counsel at the Bar - he has an enormous amount of courtroom experience and is not fazed by high-level settlements."

Stephen Killalea QC "expertly handles the full range of maximum severity cases." His practice is split between health and safety and personal injury, and he is widely regarded for his representation of claimants in catastrophic brain and spinal injury cases. Instructing solicitors positively enjoy working with a barrister who is "simply a delight with clients, but also offers all-round tactical ability."

Robert Weir QC acts for a broad range of clients, and receives instructions from both claimants and defendants. He "is an exceptional advocate and a brilliant problem solver who displays a high attention to detail" in all he does. He is further praised by instructing solicitors for his "sympathetic and down-to-earth" approach to clients. He appeared in Smith and others v Ministry of Defence, the much publicised case concerning members of the armed forces killed in Iraq. 

JUNIORS Colin Mendoza receives regular instructions from both defendants and claimants in catastrophic injury cases involving spinal cord injury and brain damage. He acted in Virgo v Howie, a case brought by the claimant following a severe injury in a road traffic accident.

Bruce Silvester is "a fearsome advocate who is capable of handling the most complex and high value of claims." He has many years of experience of a wide variety of personal injury claims, and is highly regarded for his expertise in cases involving brain and spinal injuries. He acted in Mark Lynch v CEVA Logistics, acting for the claimant, an electrician who was crushed under a fork-lift truck in the defendant's warehouse.

POCA Work & Asset Forfeiture (all circuits)

  • Jonathan Fisher QC Band 2

Jonathan Fisher QC of Devereux Chambers is "academically very bright" and "knows exactly what he's doing" when it comes to POCA work. A chartered tax adviser and noted expert on money laundering, he has extensive knowledge of white-collar crime, and is a savvy choice for any complex POCA work. Bottom

Professional Negligence

Colin Edelman QC of Devereux Chambers has an outstanding reputation as "the number one insurance coverage specialist at the Bar." He displays real depth of knowledge and is a "very distinguished, highly sought-after barrister." His recent cases include those involving Chubb and Ernst & Young.

At the same set, Ben Lynch consistently impresses those who instruct him. He is recognised for his excellent judgement and sensible pleadings and advocacy. Lynch recently won a significant limitation point in the Court of Appeal, and is currently involved in a complex multiparty dispute.


  • Nicholas Randall Band 1

Nicholas Randall of Devereux Chambers handles employment-related disputes in the sports sector. He principally represents footballers and football managers, but also acts in cricket disputes. Sources single him out for his "excellent vision and flawless judgement."


Timothy Brennan QC of Devereux Chambers is "a very good, robust" performer and "a fine tactician," who brings a real breadth of knowledge to his work. He is an especially good choice for clients seeking to resolve workplace-related tax disputes. His recent cases have included Autoclenz Ltd v Belcher, a Supreme Court case examining employee tax status. 

Ingrid Simler QC also of Devereux Chambers is "a very effective litigator who achieves great victories." She frequently appears for HMRC in relation to resident and non-domicile tax disputes, and recently played a role in the precedent-setting Gaines-Cooper & Davies & James v HMRC. This case concerned HMRC's written guidelines on residence for tax purposes.

At the same set, Jonathan Fisher QC is an "engaging, client-friendly barrister" who brings "great commercial acumen" to his cases. An expert on tax-related fraud, he is a veteran of many cases concerning investigations by HMRC. Recently, he has been instructed by the House of Commons Treasury Committee to act as a special adviser in its investigation into the LIBOR scandal.


Graham Read QC of Devereux Chambers is a "very hard-hitting litigator" with an "enormous amount of experience in the area." He recently persuaded the CAT to overturn an Ofcom decision which would have affected BT's ladder pricing. 

He is at a set that also includes Ben Lynch, an up-and-coming junior who has been busy proving his mettle handling a major regulatory case concerning Ethernet disputes. Lynch also appeared in the BT v Ofcom (PPC) Appeal.


Robert Weir QC of Devereux Chambers has acted on personal injury matters for some years. His travel practice sees him act particularly on matters with a maritime aspect, and he recently advised on Saldanha v Fulton, a case concerning injury to an Indian merchant seaman. Sources describe him as an "excellent advocate."

Bruce Silvester of the same set offers "assertive advocacy," and acts on anything from large illness group actions to RTA fatalities. Solicitors speak of his "fantastic client skills," noting that "he can be quite direct with clients and sometimes you need the barrister to be like that." He advised on Barltrop v TUI, which concerned a serious coach accident in Bulgaria.

Client Service at The Bar

The Devereux Chambers brand has become increasingly linked with strong client service in recent years, which commentators put down to the set-wide leadership of the CEO, Beverly Landais, and the Head Clerk, Vince Plant. The set is positioning itself as a far more commercial and client orientated organisation, and the results have been impressive, with instructing solicitors quick to praise the "excellent job the set does with client service". The clerking team draws particular praise as being "highly approachable and always responsive, no matter what time of the day or night", but what impresses commentators is that "Devereux Chambers from top to bottom is just a great set and very easy to use; you get responsive clerking, effective time management from counsel, and fantastic work feedback." One recent further step in the modernisation and commercialisation of the set has been the launch of its new website, which has been designed with the clients' needs firmly in mind. 

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