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"The barristers are reliable specialists in their field who provide high quality legal advice and representation. They also understand their clients"

Chambers & Partners

Legal 500 ranking released


Legal 500 was published in October 2014 and we are delighted to see our reputation enhanced by the 10 new entries this year, 18 members moving up a ranking and 0 regressions.

Old Square Chambers is ‘the go-to set for reliable, client-friendly and no-nonsense counsel'. It is often best known for its employment practice (rated by some as being ‘second to none'), but other areas of strength include personal injury, clinical negligence and environmental law. Chambers also continues to build its professional discipline practice. The service provided by the ‘friendly and approachable' clerks is consistently identified as being ‘among the best'. ‘They know their barristers really well and do a great job of taking into account individual firms ’ likes and dislikes.' In addition, ‘they understand the changing legal landscape and have embraced the post-Jackson changes positively, looking at different ways to work with solicitors cost effectively'. The clerks’ room is led with ‘enthusiasm, commercial acumen and pragmatism' by the ‘excellent' William Meade, who is ‘extremely personable and goes the extra mile'. Deputy senior clerk Oliver Parkhouse also ‘never fails to deliver a great service'.

Our Bristol Chambers has been recommended as a TOP-TIER SET in the Western Circuit.

9 of our QCs are listed in the "Leading silks" list as detailed below:

Civil liberties and human rights – Leading silks
– John Hendy QC ‘Fights tenaciously for his clients’ interests.’

Clinical negligence – Leading silks
– David Wilby QC ‘He has the ability to absorb and analyse complex evidence at short notice.’
– Mary O'Rourke QC ‘Lay clients always hold her in the highest of regards.’

Employment – Leading silks
– Jane McNeill QC ‘She has a huge intellect and inspires confidence in clients.’
– John Hendy QC ‘The counsel of choice for the vast majority of trade union clients.’
– Mark Sutton QC ‘Without doubt the leading authority on doctor work in the High Court and appellate courts.’
– Oliver Segal QC ‘He tells it like it is, and gets right to the heart of the matter.’
– Paul Rose QC ‘Provides clear advice and pragmatic solutions effectively.’
– Michael Ford QC ‘The go-to person for anything that requires a sharp, analytical and logical mind.’

Health and safety – Leading silks
– John Hendy QC ‘Recommended for high-profile inquests.’

Personal injury – Leading silks
– David Wilby QC ‘A very fine silk.’
– John Hendy QC ‘Highly recommended by solicitors.’
– Nigel Cooksley QC ‘His friendly approach and excellent client care skills are a real credit to him.’
– Paul Rose QC ‘Brings clarity to complex cases.’

Professional discipline and regulatory law (including police law) – Leading silks
– John Hendy QC ‘As part of his broad-ranging practice he handles disciplinary work for those in the medical and legal profession.’
– Mary O’Rourke QC ‘She has a superb knowledge of the law, is a tenacious advocate and always provides superb client care.’

33 barristers are listed in the "Leading juniors" list:


Clinical negligence – Leading juniors
– Alan Smith ‘He is always able to make clients feel at ease over complex and difficult issues.’
– Charles Woodhouse ‘Very good at explaining issues to the clients in terms that they can understand.’

Employment – Leading juniors
– Ben Collins ‘Always understands the clients’ business context and commercial pressures.’
– Ben Cooper ‘He will take silk sooner rather than later.’
– Deshpal Panesar ‘A ruthless cross-examiner, who works exceptionally hard to get to the heart of the case.’
– Emma Smith ‘She always ensures that clients leave a hearing feeling well defended.’
– Ijeoma Omambala ‘She is down to earth and very pleasant to work with.’
– Louise Chudleigh ‘Quickly digests a huge amount of documentation.’
– Melanie Tether ‘One of the brightest juniors around.’
– Nadia Motraghi ‘She has an excellent manner with clients.’
– Simon Cheetham ‘Always goes the extra mile to provide a really outstanding service.’
– Stuart Brittenden ‘Wonderful with clients – totally on their side.’

Environment – Leading juniors
– Malcolm Galloway ‘Very good with clients in conference, managing expectations and assisting them through the court process’
– John Bates ‘An absolute heavyweight junior; he is careful, methodical, accurate, hardworking, and quick with advice’

Health and safety – Leading juniors
– Malcolm Galloway ‘He gets the judge or coroner on his side.’
– Philip Mead ‘Regularly instructed in accident-at-work matters.’

Personal injury – Leading juniors
– Alan Smith ‘Very good with clients.’
– Bella Webb ‘Always makes herself available for advice, even when she is clearly busy.’
– Brian Cummins ‘Very committed to his clients.’
– Charlie Woodhouse ‘Always prepared to be part of the client’s team.’
– Christopher Makey ‘An excellent eye for detail.’
– David Rivers ‘Always up to date with legal developments.’
– Katherine Howells ‘She has the forensic focus to get straight to the issue in a case.’
– Michael Nicholson ‘Experienced in workplace and public liability claims.’
– Philip Mead ‘Recommended for cases involving injury suffered abroad.’
– Christopher Walker ‘Suave and strategic.’

Professional discipline and regulatory law (including police law) – Leading juniors
– Giles Powell ‘Able to communicate complex issues clearly and effectively.’


Western Circuit – Construction, planning and environment – Leading juniors
– Malcolm Galloway ‘His environment practice wins plaudits’

Western Circuit – Employment – Leading juniors
– Melanie Tether ‘She has forensic preparation, combined with impressive flexibility, capacity and drive’
– Spencer Keen ‘Good with clients, combative and creative’
– Andrew Midgley ‘An established and highly effective advocate whose practice includes discrimination and working time claims’
– Helen Gower ‘Very calm and measured in her approach to advocacy’
– Hilary Winstone ‘Discrimination is one of her strong suits’
– Mark Whitcombe ‘A skilled advocate with very good attention to detail’
– Toby Kempster ‘Approachable and collaborative’

Western Circuit – Personal injury and clinical negligence – Leading juniors
– Brent McDonald ‘Solely focused on personal injury and clinical negligence’
– Charles Woodhouse ‘An extremely confident advocate’
– David Rivers ‘He does not shy away from tricky cases’
– Andrea Risoli ‘Well known for representing claimants’
– Christopher Walker ‘Lulls his opponents into a false sense of security before striking’
– Jonathan Clarke ‘A specialist in noise-induced deafness claims’
– Toby Kempster ‘Able to turn papers around quickly’

Western Circuit – Regulatory, health and safety, and licensing – Leading juniors
– Brian Cummins ‘Recognised for his inquests expertise’
– Malcolm Galloway ‘He prosecutes in health and safety, trading standards, and environmental matters’

We are also proud to annouce that our Senior Clerk, William Meade, is shortlisted for Senior Clerk of the Year at the Legal 500 Bar Awards 2014.

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Shortlist Updated

Out of hours

William Meade (Senior Clerk)

07970 649 755