Brick Court Chambers

Brick Court Chambers and individual members are widely and consistently recognised and recommended across numerous areas of law by legal directories.

Please see below for quotes from the current and past editions of Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500.

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  • Chambers & Partners

    Leading Sets by number of rankings

    Brick Court Chambers tops the rankings in four categories this year and continues to be highly rated for its deep bench of experienced silks and juniors tackling a wide range of practice areas, from banking to telecommunications law. Members act for clients based in the UK, in several offshore jurisdictions and across Africa and the Middle East. They deal with all manner of cases, from public law and human rights challenges to professional negligence actions. The set “has bags of talent” in competition law, and the “incredibly incisive” Marie Demetriou QC and “intellectual powerhouse” Mark Hoskins QC have both achieved the coveted star individual status in our rankings this year. European law continues to be a standout area of expertise for several barristers at Brick Court, and the venerable David Anderson QC has been involved in many of the leading cases in this area, including Canary Wharf Group v European Medicines Agency. The “phenomenal” Maya Lester QC is another of Brick Court’s top EU law silks. She is a particular specialist in sanctions work, of which she is described as “the queen.” Barristers at this “exceptional set” are equipped to handle all manner of challenging commercial litigation, as well as arbitrations, and instructions come from well-known names in the energy and insurance sectors. Helen Davies QC is one of the set’s big names handling “very high level and big ticket” energy and other commercial matters. The “legendary” Mark Howard QC and “very fine advocate” Tim Lord QC are particular standouts for banking disputes.

    - Chambers & Partners 2020: Leading Sets by Number of Rankings

    Administrative & Public Law

    THE SET

    Impressive set best known for its market-leading commercial and regulatory work and its outstanding expertise in EU law. The set's barristers are sought after for the representation of major businesses, regulators and government departments in challenges across the full spectrum of industry sectors, earning it accolades as an "extremely pukka, blue-chip commercial chambers," among market sources. Barristers from the set have made notable appearances in recent cases including Holmcroft Properties v KPMG, a novel case addressing the amenability of private companies to judicial review, and in the Wightman reference, which examined the possibility of unilaterally revoking Article 50. Members of the team also act for claimants and defendants in leading cases in the human rights and civil liberties space. They recently led Liberty's successful challenge to the Investigatory Powers Act, and Campaign Against Arms Trade's legal campaign to stop the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia, among many other landmark cases.

    Client service: "The clerks were fantastic - I don't know what we would have done without them." "They always keep on top of their diaries and make sure we're updated." Tony Burgess, who leads the clerking alongside Paul Dennison, is found to be "always responsive and helpful."

    - Chambers & Partners 2020: Administrative & Public Law (Band 2)

    Banking & Finance

    THE SET 

    Brick Court Chambers boasts an impressive reputation for handling major banking matters including those involving debt recovery, damages claims, regulatory investigations and conspiracy allegations. The set tackles financial disputes both on behalf of banks and investors, and handles cases right up to the Supreme Court. Recent matters undertaken include Federal Republic of Nigeria v JP Morgan, a dispute arising out of a fraudulent scheme to sell the rights to a Nigerian oil block to a consortium of Royal Dutch Shell and Eni. The skill and approachability of the set is highlighted by commentators, one of whom said: "It is one of the best out there and all its barristers are very responsive." Another commented that "Brick Court has a group of very talented and very nice individuals."

    Client service: "This is a really good set and all involved are very friendly and approachable." "The clerks are good and very helpful in talking about fee structures." 

    - Chambers & Partners 2020: Banking & Finance (Band 2)

    Civil Liberties & Human Rights

    THE SET 

    Brick Court Chambers is lauded for its bench of high quality stand-out individuals, who are regularly instructed in leading human rights and civil liberties cases in the UK and further afield, particularly in Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories. Its members offer adroit representation across a wide variety of matters including national security, asylum, discrimination and sanctions cases. Brick Court Barristers have recently appeared in Sophocelous & Others v FCO and MOD, a test case concerning the Government's liability for acts of torture allegedly committed by the British Army during the 1950s Cyprus Emergency.

    - Chambers & Partners 2020: Civil Liberties & Human Rights (Band 3)

    Commercial Dispute Resolution

    THE SET 

    Brick Court Chambers has long been a name on instructing solicitors' lips when it comes to selecting the best barristers for the biggest jobs. Able to field teams of highly respected silks and juniors on the major cases of the day, it has a highly diverse commercial disputes practice, and caters to a client base that takes in everybody from individual litigants to multinational corporations. Recent cases handled by the set include SKAT v Solo Capital Partners and others, a multiparty claim by the Danish Tax Authority (SKAT) seeking to recover £1.5 billion, and Arcadia v Bosworth, a USD400 million fraud claim. Other matters of note include Federal Republic of Nigeria v J.P. Morgan, which concerned an allegedly fraudulent and corrupt scheme to sell the rights to an east Nigerian oil field to a consortium of Shell and Italian energy business Eni, and Canary Wharf v European Medicines Agency, a major case in the wake of the Brexit referendum. One fellow barrister observes that “Brick Court is a strong commercial set that has enviable EU law expertise.” As such it is extremely well placed to involve itself in key litigation in what are uncertain times.

    Client service: “The clerks are very good at putting fee summaries together, good on the logistical side, and people who go the extra mile.” “They’re extremely responsive, they work really well with us and they’re really reasonable.”

    - Chambers & Partners 2020: Commercial Dispute Resolution (Band 1)

    Competition Law

    THE SET

    Brick Court boasts a huge team of competition law barristers at all levels of call, who take on a wide variety of instructions. All manner of competition cases are handled. For example, individuals represent both claimants and defendants in follow-on damages cases, including those that clarify the CAT's role in the certification of collective proceedings, and advise on UK or CJEU appeals against CMA decisions. They regularly represent regulators, defending challenges to their decisions, and have further expertise in state aid cases. Members at the set have involvement in all the major cases of the day as illustrated by their recent participation in the Trucks litigation, the Phenytoin litigation, the Interchange fees litigation, the FRAND litigation and the Ping online retailing case. They are described by those that use them as "excellent, technically great, superior strategists, who are practical and very pleasant to work with."

    Client service: Sources comment: "The barristers offer fantastic responsiveness and are good at communicating with us, if for whatever reason, the workload is too heavy and timings need to change." "It is a client-friendly and commercial set; all there are modern in their approach and easy to deal with." "The clerks know their barristers well and are very experienced." "Tony Burgess is really approachable and will just drop everything to help you." "Luke Carvalho in the clerking team is really good at making sure you get the right barrister for the job." 

    - Chambers & Partners 2020: Competition Law (Band 1)

    Energy & Natural Resources

    THE SET 

    Brick Court Chambers is a highly respected commercial set with expertise in a wide variety of energy disputes, from fraud cases to mining disputes. The set routinely advises on contractual disputes arising from farm-in, off-take and gas sale agreements. A number of the set's barristers also have expertise in insurance disputes pertaining to oil and gas infrastructure. Its clients include natural resources and mining companies, as well as big names in the power sector, such as National Grid. Members of Brick Court Chambers continue to act in Arcadia & Others v Bosworth & Others, a high-profile fraud case relating to West African crude oil trading. A source notes the "outstanding quality of barrister" provided by Brick Court, adding that the set's tenants are "user-friendly, responsive and extremely bright."

    Client service: "The set is smoothly organised and well functioning. The clerking service is excellent." "The clerks are very helpful."

    - Chambers & Partners 2020: Energy & Natural Resources (Band 2)

    Environment

    THE SET 

    Brick Court Chambers is well known as a set which brings a wealth of expertise in EU law to bear in a wide range of environmental work. The set is able to deal with cases concerning air pollution regulations, and continues to appear in cutting-edge climate change litigation.

    Client service: "The clerks are very organised and helpful."

    - Chambers & Partners 2020: Environment (Band 3)

    European Law

    THE SET

    Maintains a prominent presence across various key areas of European law. The set acts for member state governments, for the European Commission or for beneficiary companies in state aid appeals, including mandates relating to the enforceability of arbitral awards or the funding of key energy projects. The barristers assist life sciences or chemical sector companies with applications for the judicial review of EC or UK regulatory decisions, and handle UK or CJEU proceedings that examine HMRC's application of various elements of EU tax law. They advise on novel cases that test the scope for damages awards against EU institutions that have unlawfully imposed economic sanctions. Members have also secured instructions in the most consequential cases to examine the legality and potential impacts of Brexit, including the Wightman reference and Canary Wharf v EMA.

    Client service: "The clerking team and the administrative side at Brick Court is excellent." "The clerks are highly professional and you can always get hold of them."

    - Chambers & Partners 2020: European Law (Band 1)

    Fraud: Civil

    THE SET 

    Brick Court Chambers is highly regarded for its handling of high value multi-jurisdictional fraud disputes across an impressive breadth of sectors. Members offer particular expertise in matters involving the banking and energy sectors, and are regularly instructed in complex multi-party disputes. The set's barristers have experience representing multinational corporates and high net worth individuals in cases involving allegations of conspiracy, negligence and bribery, and are also adept at cross-border asset tracing. Many of the set's instructions involve Russia, the CIS, the Middle East and Africa. Several members recently appeared in Privatbank v Kolomoisky, a USD2.6 billion fraud claim brought by Ukraine's largest bank against two oligarchs who were formerly the bank's largest shareholders, in which their assets were frozen by the English court.

    Client service: The clerking is excellent - the whole team is incredibly responsive." "The clerks are available at all hours, which is so important for international cross-border work."

    - Chambers & Partners 2020: Fraud: Civil (Band 1)

    Insurance

    THE SET 

    Brick Court Chambers offers insurers, reinsurers and policy holders a strong bench of practitioners with extensive expertise in a comprehensive range of insurance disputes. The set routinely takes on litigation and arbitration, and demonstrates considerable prowess handling claims emerging from the banking and financial services sector, as well as the marine, energy and construction arenas. A number of members have been extensively involved in Single Buoy Moorings v Zurich, which is among the biggest commercial claims of the year.

    Client service: "The clerking is very good. The clerks offer particularly good support around hearings and trials." "The set offers a good clerking service, especially the helpful and responsive senior clerk Paul Dennison."

    - Chambers & Partners 2020: Insurance (Band 2)

    International Arbitration: General Commercial & Insurance

    THE SET 

    Brick Court Chambers is a highly regarded set in the world of international arbitration that boasts a wealth of expertise across a number of industries, and has "heavy-hitting" barristers handling noteworthy cases in the energy, construction, mining and telecommunications sectors. Members are proficient at handling disputes under a variety of arbitral bodies, including the LCIA, ICC and the LMAA, and often act in ad hoc arbitrations. Barristers at the set also have extensive experience of enforcing and challenging arbitration awards.

    Client service: "The set is smoothly organised and well functioning. The clerking services are excellent." "The clerks are very responsive and receptive. Both senior clerks, Paul Dennison and Tony Burgess, are very good."

    - Chambers & Partners 2020: International Arbitration: General Commercial & Insurance (Band 2)

    Professional Negligence

    THE SET

    Offers top-drawer expertise in negligence claims brought against a range of professionals and has recently been particularly active in major cases relating to accountancy, auditing and tax advice. The set is regularly instructed to defend the big four and other leading accountancy firms, having represented Ernst & Young in defence of a claim alleging negligent tax advice, as well as Grant Thornton in one of the leading cases on the applicability of the SAAMCO rule. Other clients include solicitors, insurance brokers and claimant companies. Interviewees report: "Brick Court has always been regarded as one of the top commercial sets and, as a solicitor, I have found they have always provided a first-rate service."

    Client service: "The whole operation works well and the clerking team is very responsive and helpful."

    - Chambers & Partners 2020: Professional Negligence (Band 2)

    Telecommunications

    THE SET 

    A chambers with a solid bench of silks and juniors, offering particular expertise in competition matters in the telecoms sector. This expertise includes representing interveners in regulatory appeals and acting for telecoms companies before the Competition Appeal Tribunal. Barristers from the set are also instructed for non-contentious mandates regarding telecoms legislation, assisting both public bodies and telecoms operators. Member of chambers have expertise in both the UK and Irish telecoms regulatory landscapes.

    Client service: Interviewees appreciate that "the service side of things is always really good. "The clerks are nice and friendly. Another good thing is they are reasonable on fees - you don't get the impression they are trying to squeeze money out of the client."

    - Chambers & Partners 2020: Telecommunications (Band 2)

  • The Legal 500

    Set overviews

    ‘One of the super-sets’, Brick Court Chambers is ‘an all-round strong’ set with ‘a large selection of high-quality competition law specialists’, ‘top commercial counsel’, ‘an excellent chambers for banking litigation’, and a ‘go-to’ set for public administrative law. ‘The availability of high-calibre junior barristers assists in picking the most qualified whilst cost effective team to serve the client,’ said one solicitor. In recent news, Martin Chamberlain QC has been elevated to the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court and will cease to practise with effect from 1 October. Also of note, Alec Haydon, Margaret Gray, Fionn Pilbrow, and Victoria Wakefield all took silk in 2019, while Professor Mads Adenas has been appointed an Honorary Queen’s Counsel. The clerks’ room ‘sets the benchmark’ for other sets with its ‘friendly, knowledgeable, and hardworking’ clerks. Senior clerks Paul Dennison (‘first rate; responsive, commercial, and helpful') and Tony Burgess (‘highly recommended; a good salesman for his set and always accessible’) have ‘stepped up brilliantly’ following changes to the clerks’ room; ‘they are a pleasure to work with’. At practice manager level, Will Jackman and Philip Wilkes are ‘stars’; Luke Carvalho ‘stands out as very commercial and knowledgeable’; Jo Francis is ‘very helpful and responsive’. Overall, the team is said to be ‘highly responsive, proactive in assisting the smooth running of cases, and always willing to assist in document production, arranging meetings, document filings, and assisting in complex cost and budgeting issues’.

    - The Legal 500 2020: Set overviews

    Administrative and public law

    Brick Court Chambers is 'an extremely impressive set in public and administrative law with both high-quality silks, and intelligent, committed juniors, who can all turn their hand to almost anything'. The set includes a number of government panelists, with national security a notable area of expertise, and has also been particularly active in matters for claimants, ranging from pharmaceutical companies to major NGOs. Martin Chamberlain QC (soon to join the Queen’s Bench Division in October 2019) represented the Campaign Against the Arms Trade in a successful Court of Appeal case concerning the government's grant of export licences for arms exports to Saudi Arabia for use in the civil war in Yemen; Jemima Stratford QC represented interveners Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Paul Bowen QC represents the Cayman government in a judicial review of a decision to transfer two men serving life sentences for murder to serve their sentences in HMP Belmarsh in London. 2019 silk promotion Victoria Wakefield QC represented the Lord Chancellor in defeating a claim from the Institution of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, which attempted to enter the market as a regulator of legal services.

    - The Legal 500 2020: Administrative and public law (including local government) (Tier 2)

    Banking & Finance

    Brick Court Chambers is a 'top-class, go-to set for banking litigation' which solicitors note is 'able to deploy strong teams across all levels of seniority'. Unlike the sets in the top tier, the set's origins are not fixed in the banking world, so barristers have typically been a lot more versatile in acting for and against banks. Members have also been seeing a lot of Russia and fraud-related banking disputes; notable highlights including Bank St Petersburg v Arkhangelsky, in which Tim Lord QC led Simon Birt QC and Richard Eschwege, and The Federal Republic of Nigeria v JP Morgan Chase Bank NA, where Roger Masefield QC represented Nigeria.

    - The Legal 500 2020: Banking and finance (including consumer credit and financial regulation) (Tier 3)

    Civil Liberties & Human Rights

    Brick Court Chambers is an 'excellent set with strength in depth' with many of its members involved in high-profile and often complex civil liberties and human rights claims. Maya Lester QC has a specialism in sanction law and also undertakes considerable public interest litigation work surrounding civil liberties. Paul Bowen QC is currently leading the independent inquiry into the death of Welsh politician Carl Sargeant and is instructed in an Article 2 right to life matter in the High Court. David Anderson QC remains a preeminent barrister in this area, having been the former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation between 2011 and 2017. Martin Chamberlain QC (soon to join the High Court) acted for the Equality and Human Rights Commission in KO (Nigeria) v Home Secretary which challenged a deportation order on the grounds that it would breach the Article 8 rights of the deportee’s British child; he also appeared in the Supreme Court for the police pertaining to the use of closed material in applications for warrants in Haralambous v Chief Constable of Hertfordshire .

    - The Legal 500 2020: Civil liberties and human rights (including public inquiry law and actions against the police) (Tier 3)

    Commercial Litigation

    'A quality set across the board', Brick Court Chambers is 'pre-eminent for commercial disputes'. Clients note that the 'work ethic of the barristers and excellence of their work-product and delivery is almost always superb'. The set's hugely impressive workload demonstrates the esteem with which its barristers are held, as well as their versatility. Recent highlights include Holyoake v Candy Brothers, in which Tim Lord QC, Tom Adam QC and Ben Woolgar were among a group of five members acting for the defendants. Other major cases include Bank St Petersburg v Arkhangelsky, and SKATv Solo Capital Partners and (160) others.

    - The Legal 500 2020: Commercial litigation (Tier 1)

    Competition

    For many 'the best competition litigation set' Brick Court Chambers has 'a large selection of high-quality competition law specialists who enable any instructing solicitor to have their pick of silks and juniors alike'. The set is well-represented in all manner of major cases, such as the trucks cartel case, in which James Flynn QC, Kelyn Bacon QC, and Daniel Jowell QC represent the Road Haulage Association, Iveco, and MAN respectively. Many members are involved in the high-profile Merricks v MasterCard case, with Mark Hoskins QC representing MasterCard in defence of a claim on behalf of a class comprising the majority of the UK population. Marie Demetriou QC, in addition to involvement in the Merricks case for the claimants, also represented the Competition and Markets Authority, defeating an appeal by Ping, which was sanctioned for banning online sales of its golf clubs, the first time the issue was considered by a British court – she was against Robert O’Donoghue QC , also from chambers. The set now also includes Jon Lawrence, who was called to the Bar in 2018 after spending over two decades as a partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.

    - The Legal 500 2020: Competition (Tier 1)

    EU Law

    Brick Court Chambers 'has a wide array of excellent silks and juniors' involved in many of the agenda-setting EU law cases before the UK and the European courts. In the High Court, Lord David Anderson  of  Ipswich  KBE QC represented the landlords in Canary Wharf Group v European Medicines Agency; the latter institution, which was relocated to Amsterdam from London in March 2019 due to Brexit, argued that its lease was frustrated under English law as it no longer had the power under EU law to pay the rent. Marie Demetriou QC represented Ioan Micula in the Supreme Court in Micula and others v Romania: two brothers won an investment treaty award against the Romanian government, which the European Commission instructed the Romanians to refuse to honour, alleging that payment of the award would constitute state aid – Gerard Rothschild and Emily MacKenzie having represented the Romanian government at various junctures. In the European courts, Maya Lester QC represented the victorious claimants in Wightman – a case considering whether it is permissible for the UK to withdraw its Article 50 notice – while Jemima Stratford QC represented MSD Animal Health in a challenge to a decision of the European Medicines Authority to release its veterinary clinical trial data.

    - The Legal 500 2020: EU Law (Tier 1)

    Energy

    Brick Court Chambers frequently handles high-value energy and natural resources disputes with 'a terrific array of silks and juniors at every level; a suitable counsel for every case'. Clients remark that 'the clerks' room is easy to deal with and highly commercial', while another notes that 'the service from the clerking team is second to none'. Mark Hapgood QC and rising star silk Fionn Pilbrow QC are representing three defendants – a Nigerian oil company and two of its directors – in claims brought by former international EPC company Afren in the Commercial Court. Richard Gordon QC and Gerard Rothschild frequently act for UK Power, National Grid and Scottish Power.

    - The Legal 500 2020: Energy (Tier 2)

    Fraud: Civil

    Brick Court Chambers is 'an excellent set with some very impressive junior lawyers', according to instructing solicitors. Members can regularly be found on some of the largest fraud cases to hit the London courts. Several members, including Tim Lord QC, are representing the defendants in SKAT v Solo Capital Partners and (160) others in which the Danish Tax Authority is seeking to recover £1.5bn in tax refunds to several international defendants accused of fraud. Arcadia Petroleum v Bosworth also involved various members on either side, including Mark Howard QC, Fionn Pilbrow QC and Richard Eschwege.

    - The Legal 500 2020: Fraud: civil (Tier 1)

    Insurance & Reinsurance

    Brick Court Chambers is 'one of the leading sets for insurance and reinsurance work' thanks to its 'range of able counsel', according to clients. Eight members of chambers were instructed on the high-profile Single Buoy Moorings v Zurich Insurance case, where Mark Howard QC, Neil Calver QC, Stephen Midwinter QC, Tony Singla and Fred Hobson played a key role. FRC v KPMG (re Equity Red Star), which examined the alleged deficient auditing of the technical reserves of a Lloyd’s Motor Syndicate, was a notable case for Simon Salzedo QC in which he led Hobson. Meanwhile, Singla was also instructed in Crowden v QBE Insurance, which involved the interpretation and application of an exclusion in a professional liability insurance policy to a claim for mis-selling of financial instruments.

    - The Legal 500 2020: Insurance and reinsurance (Tier 2)

    International Arbitration: Counsel

    Brick Court Chambers houses an excellent set of barristers, well-versed across a range of areas, including general commercial disputes and BIT claims. Members are involved in several significant disputes and Simon Salzedo QC was among four acting on FSDEA v dos Santos and others, in which they are representing the Angolan sovereign wealth fund in its pursuit to recover control of a $3bn fund from associates of the previous Angolan regime.

    - The Legal 500 2020: International arbitration: Counsel (Tier 2)

    International Arbitration: Arbitrators

    Brick Court Chambers has a strong selection of ex-judges and barristers with an excellent track record for leading and co-arbitrating on tribunals.

    - The Legal 500 2020: International arbitration: Arbitrators (Tier 2)

    Mediators

    • Conducting approximately 80 mediations each year, the 'very agreeable' William Wood QC of Brick Court Chambers has a mediation practice that takes him to Dubai, Hong Kong, Paris and New York, as well as to all parts of the UK. Wood's mediations involve complex, high-profile matters, including competition disputes, financial services, employment, share sales, internet and telecoms-related disputes, professional negligence and international trade, as well as insurance, reinsurance and aviation.
    • Brick Court Chambers' Stephen Ruttle QC, also at In Place of Strife, regularly mediates large cases where high values are at stake, and he is increasingly active as a mediator of community and faith-based disputes. He practices mainly in London but also mediates in other parts of the UK and Ireland, as well as many jurisdictions abroad. Recent matters include a large construction dispute between high-profile entities, a dispute over the ownership of valuable personal assets and various shipping claims.
    • Tony Willis at Brick Court Chambers is a former Clifford Chance LLP litigation practice head. An independent mediator in commercial, business and regulatory matters, he has been a full-time mediator, negotiator and designer of dispute resolution processes since 1998. His representative mediation experience includes professional negligence, shareholder and M&A disputes, partnerships, pensions and IT matters. Willis has also mediated disputes involving employment issues, trusts, insolvency, tax, construction, insurance and reinsurance.

    - The Legal 500 2020: Mediators

    Professional Negligence

    Brick Court Chambers is an 'exceptional set with truly superb counsel at all levels'. It is noted for its experience in high-profile cases involving film finance investment schemes, as well claims involving auditors, solicitors, brokers and financial services professionals. Tom Adam QC appeared for Ernst & Young in Alton v Ernst & Young, a claim alleging that negligent advice was given to wealthy individuals regarding a film finance, tax-management opportunity. Simon Salzedo QC and Tony Singla defended Grant Thornton in Manchester Building Society v Grant Thornton, a £50m claim for negligent auditing.

    - The Legal 500 2020: Professional negligence (Tier 2)

  • Who's Who Legal

    Top-tier commercial set Brick Court Chambers performs impressively in this year’s rankings, showcasing the breadth and depth of expertise on offer. It achieves a total of 65 listings across 13 practice areas.

    Competition is an area in which the set particularly excels. It sees 16 barristers highlighted in our corresponding chapter, ranking it top of our research in the field this year. The strength of its practitioners spans matters including merger control, abuse of dominance and cartel investigations in the UK and the EU. 

    The set is also highly accomplished in banking and finance advocacy, with its silks and juniors achieving a combined 14 listings for their expertise in transactional and regulatory matters. The insurance and reinsurance, and telecoms practices are also impressive, with six listings for the former and five for the latter in this edition.

    The set also stands out for its first-rate alternative dispute resolution offering, with four barristers highlighted for their arbitration expertise and three recognised for their excellence in mediation.