As we approach the end of 2020, members of Essex Court Chambers would like to share with our clients, colleagues and friends a round-up of the year’s cases, news and achievements.
High Profile Cases
- The Lawyer Top 20 Appeals of 2020
Members of Essex Court Chambers featured in three of The Lawyer’s Top 20 Appeals of 2020.
- The Lawyer Top 20 Cases of 2020
11 members feature in The Lawyer’s annual synopsis of the Top 20 Cases of 2020.
- Grenfell Tower Inquiry
Richard Millett QC continues his appointment as Lead Counsel to the Inquiry.
- IMS v MODSAF
Following an expedited appeal the Court of Appeal confirmed in February that EU Regulation 267/2012 extends to preventing a sanctioned party from claiming interest under an arbitration award for the duration that its contractual counterparty was prevented from making payment pursuant to the arbitration award as a result of the sanctions.
- PCP v. Barclays
In June, Waksman J found Barclays Bank Plc to have waived privilege in legal advice given by its internal and external lawyers in respect of agreements entered into in 2008, as part of events which form the basis of a claim in deceit brought against Barclays by PCP Capital Partners LLP.
- FCA Test Case
After an expedited trial in July, the Commercial Court handed down judgment in September. The Supreme Court has since granted permission to appeal to all parties in the case.
- Shagang v. HNA Group
In August, the Supreme Court has handed down judgment in Shagang Shipping v. HNA Group Company.
- Enka v Chubb
In October, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Enka Insaat Ve Sanayi AS v. OOO Insurance Co Chubb following an expedited appeal heard in July from the Court of Appeal decision earlier this year.
- The Central Bank of Venezuela
Also in October the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in The “Maduro Board” of the Central Bank of Venezuela v. The “Guaidó Board” of the Central Bank of Venezuela.
- Chubb v. Halliburton
In November, the Supreme Court handed down judgment in Halliburton Company v. Chubb Bermuda Insurance Ltd.
- Sotheby’s v. Mark Weiss
Also in November, the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in Sotheby’s v (1) Mark Weiss Ltd (2) Fairlight Art Ventures LLP.
- PSJC Tatneft
On 21 December oral closings came to an end following the 12 week Commercial Court trial in PJSC Tatneft v Bogolyubov, with judgment now awaited. The trial is believed to be the longest fully remote trial to have yet taken place. Members of Chambers acted on both sides.
New Appointments, Tenants and Cross-Recruits
- David Foxton QC Appointed to High Court Bench
David Foxton QC, Head of Chambers from July 2017 to December 2020, was sworn in as a Justice of the High Court (Queen’s Bench Division) on 13th January 2020. Joe Smouha and Huw Davies replace David as joint Heads of Chambers.
- Five new QC appointments
Five members of Essex Court Chambers have been appointed to Queen’s Counsel by the Lord Chancellor; Louise Hutton, Iain Quirk, David Davies, James Willan and Anna Dilnot.
- Three new junior tenants
Members welcomed three new tenants to chambers after successful completion of pupillages; Lorraine Aboagye, Katherine Ratcliffe and Akash Sonecha.
- Alison McDonald QC and Angeline Welsh join Chambers
Chambers announced that Alison Macdonald QC and Angeline Welsh would be joining Chambers. Joe Smouha QC and Huw Davies QC said, “They are advocates who have earned formidable reputations, and will enhance Chambers’ offering in mainstream categories of work and a number of complementary areas of practice”.
- Sean Aughey joins Essex Court Chambers from 11KBW
Members also welcomed Sean Aughey to Chambers in summer, Joe Ferrigno said “The recruitment of Sean Aughey is very exciting and a brilliant opportunity to add significant value to our Public International Law and Arbitration practice areas, as well as our global profile in Investor-State Arbitration and Public Law
- Professor Dapo Akande joins Essex Court Chambers
Members announced that Professor Dapo Akande, Professor of Public International Law in the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University, accepted an invitation to join Chambers in December. Joe Ferrigno said “Professor Akande is globally recognised as one of the leading public international lawyers of his generation… his arrival clearly demonstrates our commitment to further strengthening our capabilities in PIL.”
- New appointments to the The Attorney General’s London panel of counsel and PIL panel of counsel.
Members announced multiple new appointments to the panel of counsel.
- Essex Court Chambers awarded ‘Chambers of the Year’ at the Legal Business Awards
In the award announcement Legal Business said ‘Even by its own high standards 2019 was a good year for Essex Court Chambers.’ and highlighted ‘Several new junior litigators, continued revenue growth, and major judicial appointments’ all contributed to Essex Court Chambers being awarded.
- Three awards for Essex Court Chambers at the Bar Awards
After being shortlisted for multiple awards, Essex Court Chambers were delighted to have won three awards at the Chambers UK Bar Awards which was held virtually for the first time this year.
- Chambers wins at the Legal 500 Awards
Members of Chambers were awarded Commercial Litigation Set of the Year and Lucas Bastin won International Arbitration Junior of the Year at the Legal 500 UK Awards.
- Naomi Hart award Pro Bono Hero
Advocate (Formerly the Bar Pro Bono Unit) have highlighted Naomi Hart as a Pro Bono Hero.
- Jacky Chase shortlisted for Women in Law Award
Chambers Operations Manager, Jacky Chase, was shortlisted for the Unsung Hero Award at the Women in Law Awards.
- Members recommended in Who’s Who Legal Arbitration 2021
Multiple members of Chambers were recommended in WWL: Arbitration 2021, a table of rankings prepared by Who’s Who Legal and Global Arbitration Review.
- Essex Court Chambers Clerks praised by leading legal directories
Members congratulated Clerks and Staff who received outstanding praise from clients collected by the leading legal directories.
- Essex Court Chambers ranked highly by the leading legal directories
Multiple members have once again been highly ranked by the leading legal directories for 2021.
- Members recognised in the Chambers Global Guide
62 individual members of Essex Court Chambers have been recognised across 20 practice areas in the latest edition of the Chambers Global Guide.
- Mentoring scheme for underrepresented groups
Members of Essex Court Chambers together with six sets of Chambers launched the Mentoring Scheme for underrepresented groups this year. Between them they have offered places on the scheme to nearly 150 applicants. Over 400 applicants from groups that are underrepresented at the Bar applied for places on the scheme.
- Joint initiative to encourage more women to the Commercial Bar
Essex Court Chambers featured in an article in The Times that highlights the event series ‘A career as a commercial barrister: A great choice for women.’