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A leading set specialising in commercial, construction, insurance and property law


Many of our barristers have been ranked in the independent legal directories Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500 for many years. 40 of our barristers are currently ranked across 20 practice areas, giving Hardwicke 88 separate rankings in The Legal 500 and Chambers UK.

We are also ranked as a leading set in the areas of Construction, Court of Protection, Education, Property Litigation and Social Housing.

Our client service and our Practice Management Team are also praised in Chambers UK, 2015:

  • "very approachable, practical and down to earth."
  • Hardwicke represents a breath of fresh air in the way it operates."
  • Enlightened in its approach, it understands what instructing solicitors and clients want."
  • Hardwicke barristers are a very friendly group, their clerks are always helpful."
  • Very efficient and responsive. There are never any delays or problems."
  • The clerks are very good at client care, and get the job done very effectively."
  • The clerks and practice managers make a real effort to build relationships with instructing solicitors."

Chambers and Partners, 2015 and The Legal 500, 2014

  • Administrative and Public Law

    The Legal 500, 2014

    Alison Meacher: "Excellent in social welfare cases"

  • Civil Liberties, Human Rights, Court of Protection

    Chambers UK, 2015

    Court of Protection

    The Set: Esteemed set whose members are well versed in jurisdiction proceedings and have a strong grounding in cases concerning the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The team has strength in community care, social housing, public law and education law, all of which assists both claimant and local authority clients in related Court of Protection cases.

    Market perception: "Hardwicke barristers are a very friendly group, and their clerks are always helpful."

    Alison Meacher: An impressive junior whose social housing background is highly valued by instructing solicitors. She acts for claimants and family members as well as local authorities, and is particularly good on questions concerning capacity to litigate and deprivation of liberty.

    Expertise: "A firecracker, who knows the area incredibly well, gets to the heart of the matter and gets on really well with clients and opponents alike." "The crossover with her social housing law knowledge is really good. She's a really good advocate and always tries to find a solution."

    The Legal 500, 2014

    Alison Meacher: "Excellent knowledge of Court of Protection work."

  • Clinical Negligence

    Chambers UK, 2015

    Margaret Bloom: Practised as a GP for 13 years prior to coming to the Bar. She enjoys a broad practice that encompasses orthopaedics, obstetric negligence and mental health cases, and has a particular focus on cerebral palsy claims.

    Expertise: "She's very sympathetic and very willing to explore difficult cases. She has that medical expertise, too, which makes it easier for her to challenge experts."

    Recent work: Acted for the claimant in a complex matter arising from delayed diagnosis of a bowel obstruction and subsequent negligent care which resulted in a baby being left with severe cerebral palsy.

    The Legal 500, 2014

    Maggie Bloom: "Excellent at understanding and interpreting complex medical details."

  • Commercial Dispute Resolution

    Chambers UK, 2014

    PJ Kirby QC: A respected and experienced recent silk known for his expertise in professional negligence cases, commercial employment cases and costs litigation.

    Expertise: "Provides excellent strategic and legal advice," and is "very user-friendly. He gives clear commercial advice."

    Recent work: Acted in a dispute between Starlight Shipping and its former solicitors, in which a former partner of the defendant law firm is admitted to have doctored hearings transcripts prior to their supply to Starlight Shipping.

    David Lewis: A respected senior junior with significant advocacy experience and a collaborative, client-friendly approach. He has strength in civil fraud cases, and is particularly strong on  restrictive covenants injunction and commercial agency cases.

    Expertise: "Great to work with, very sharp and very responsive."

    Recent work: Advised litigation funder Buttonwood Legal Capital on the merits of a claim it was funding. The withdrawal of funding was subsequently upheld in High Court proceedings.

    The Legal 500, 2014

    Nigel Jones QC: "An exceptional barrister; he grasps the tiny issues that turn a case."

    David Lewis: "He has a natural flair for advocacy and cross-examines with great skill."

  • Construction

    Chambers UK, 2015

    The Set: Hardwicke continues to act on high-profile and complex construction disputes. Its members are often instructed by leading law firms and appear for a host of well-known players in the construction sphere. Alongside domestic matters, they frequently act in substantial international disputes, and are praised for being "very approachable, practical and down to earth."

    Market Perception/ Client Service: "very approachable, practical and down to earth." "Hardwicke represents a breath of fresh air in the way it operates."  "Enlightened in its approach, it understands what instructing solicitors and clients want." Amanda Illing is the practice director.

    Nigel Jones QC: Frequently handles complex construction disputes, and acts for a range of clients including housing associations and contractors.

    Expertise: "He takes a very pragmatic approach to his advice, and always offers value for money."

    Recent work: He acted in Heart of England (t/a Orbit) v Stratford District Council, appearing on behalf of a housing association in a £12 million claim against a local authority, relating to construction defects in 6,000 properties that were transferred to the claimant.

    Paul Reed QC: Regularly instructed in high-profile TCC and major international disputes. He has recently been active on matters in the Caribbean and Dubai.

    Expertise: "Methodical, commercial, and someone with great advocacy skills." "He's very diligent and hard-working."

    Recent work: He appeared in Grosvenor Street Partnership v Carillion & Others, a £20 million claim concerning the negligent design and construction of a new development which caused damage to adjoining properties.

    David Pliener: Focuses his insurance practice on assisting clients with CAR, property damage and professional indemnity issues. He also acts on more conventional insurance cases, some of which have an international dimension.

    Recent work: Instructed on a dispute arising out of a solicitors' professional indemnity policy. He represented the solicitors seeking coverage under the policy. 

    Sarah McCann: Experienced in high-profile and high-value disputes, she has a broad practice which covers construction, professional negligence and property damage matters. 

    Expertise: "She is very quick and will always give a definite opinion."

    Recent work: She acted for the defendants in Lloyds TSB Bank v McBains Cooper, a case brought by Lloyds claiming that the defendants had breached the terms of their appointment.

    Michael Wheater: Well regarded for his efforts in insurance-related constructed cases. He is experienced in issues relating to policy coverage and liability.

    Expertise: "Down to earth and gains a quick understanding of the issues." "Commercial, user-friendly and helpful."

    Recent work: Appeared for construction consultants in a claim resulting from the alleged defective design of a country estate in Essex.

    Catherine Piercy: Frequently instructed in significant TCC cases, she acts for a range of employers, contractors and insurers.

    Expertise: "Hard-working and good to bounce ideas around with; she gives good, practical advice." "She's phenomenally hard-working, bright and down to earth."

    Recent work: She acted for the engineers in Aldersgate v Robinson, a case concerning a breach of contract and negligence claim.

    Chambers Global, 2015

    David Pliener: Acts for contractors, property developers and insurers. He is experienced in domestic and international cases, and regularly handles arbitration and adjudication work.

    Expertise: "A very commercial problem solver, who is brilliant with lay clients and an active part of the legal team." "He's very thorough and doesn't miss any points."

    Recent work: He acted in Dalata v Litton, a case concerning a substantial water leak at a new hotel in Cardiff.

    Michael Wheater: Well regarded for his efforts in insurance-related constructed cases. He is experienced in issues relating to policy coverage and liability.

    Expertise: "He's down to earth and gains a quick understanding of the issues." "Commercial, user-friendly and helpful."

    Recent work: Appeared for construction consultants in a claim resulting from the alleged defective design of a country estate in Essex.

    The Legal 500, 2014

    Paul Reed QC: "Translates highly complicated analysis to very uncomplicated advice."

    Nigel Jones QC: "Very knowledgeable."

    David Pliener: "Extremely able.

  • Costs

    Chambers UK, 2015

    PJ Kirby QC: As well as handling costs litigation, he is also a Bar Council-appointed High Court costs assessor and sits as a deputy district judge.

    Expertise: "I've always found him to be accurate in what he says. His role as a part-time judge helps give him that insight into the judicial approach to various arguments." "He's very careful with his preparation and picks up on points that opponents would miss."

    Recent work: Acted in Hussain v Chartis Insurance, a successful High Court appeal concerning whether causation of damage was an issue to be determined by the court's judge when considering an increase in the success fee of a settled personal injury claim.

    The Legal 500, 2014

    PJ Kirby QC: "Commercial, punchy, efficient and an absolute pleasure to work with."

  • Education

    Chambers UK, 2014

    The Set: This set has a well-rounded offering and is especially well regarded for its members' expertise in SEN cases. Individuals act for a wide range of clients and are regularly instructed to represent individuals, local authorities, schools and universities. Those that instruct the set are pleased not only by the quality of barrister on offer, but also by the added extras that the set provides. By way of example, "their seminars are very good and up to date in terms of content and relevance."

    Market Perception/ Client Service: "The clerks are good and cover all bases." "Very efficient and responsive. There are never any delays or problems."

    John Friel: A highly experienced barrister, who has recently been active in the Court of Appeal. He specialises in SEN and discrimination cases.

    Expertise: "A superb advocate, who is very approachable and always well prepared." "He is a specialist in the field, and he wins."

    Recent work: He successfully acted for the respondent in Slough Borough Council v The Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal & Others at the Court of Appeal.

    Clive Rawlings: Represents defendants and claimants, frequently appearing in the Court of Appeal and Upper Tribunal. He focuses on cases concerning SEN, exclusions and academy conversions.

    Expertise: "A very experienced advocate with a keen eye for detail, who is an expert at dealing with the most complex cases, in particular those concerning comparative costings and funding arrangements for specialist education placements."

    Recent work: He acted in Abukar v LB Barnet and Bishop Douglas School.

    The Legal 500, 2014

    Clive Rawlings: "He has the ability to cut through swathes of detail."

    John Friel: "Noted for his experience acting for independent schools, maintained schools and governing bodies."

  • Employment

    The Legal 500, 2014

    Paul Strelitz: "He really fights for his clients, who feel a sense of relief when they have him on their side."

  • Insolvency

    The Legal 500, 2014

    Wendy Parker: "Developing a strong reputation for real estate related insolvencies."

    Charles Raffin: "An extremely good eye for detail and a sharp mind."

    Jonathan Titmuss: "Wide knowledge of technical insolvency and exceptional attention to detail where it matters."

  • Insurance and Reinsurance

    Chambers UK, 2014

    Nigel Jones QC: Has a broad commercial practice and represents some of the largest Lloyd's syndicates and insurers in the market. He is particularly strong at advising insurers facing product liability issues.

    Expertise: "Very experienced and very able," he is "a very good advocate."

    Recent work: Advised QBE in relation to multiple claims arising out of failed financial services investment products that minimised high net worth individuals' tax burdens but are now viewed as aggressive tax avoidance. 

    Paul Reed QC: Especially strong within the construction insurance field, and has particular expertise in the Contractors' All Risk (CAR) arena. His knowledge of the technical side of the law enables him to get the very best out of expert witnesses in the courtroom.

    Expertise: "He's proactive, goes the extra mile, and is someone you would want with you in the trenches." "A tenacious advocate."

    Recent work: Successfully defended AXA against a claim brought by the Gleeson Group under a CAR policy following damage to a development in Watford. 

    David Pliener: Focuses his insurance practice on assisting clients with CAR, property damage and professional indemnity issues. He also acts on more conventional insurance cases, some of which have an international dimension.

    Recent work: Instructed on a dispute arising out of a solicitors' professional indemnity policy. He represented the solicitors seeking coverage under the policy. 

    The Legal 500, 2014

    Nigel Jones QC:  "Can turn any case around."

    Paul Reed QC:  "Fantastically commercial."

    David Pliener: "A commercial problem-solver."

  • Intellectual Property

    Chambers UK, 2015

    Mark Engelman: An esteemed trade mark law and passing-off expert with 25 years of experience of representing well-known brands as a solicitor and then barrister. Sources commend him for his refreshingly informal but highly commercial approach.

    Expertise: "He's incredibly approachable and has a fantastic knowledge base." "He has an inventive mind for challenging situations."

    Recent work: Acted for Apple in a trade mark dispute with Wapple.net, in which it was found that the latter's name was confusingly similar to that of his client.

    The Legal 500, 2014

    Mark Engelman: "Works well under pressure and argues his corner when questioned."

    Ian Silcock: "A good all-rounder."

  • Personal Injury

    Chambers UK, 2015

    Charles Bagot: An extremely popular choice for insurers and solicitors faced with serious accident claims. He does a lot of international personal injury work, regularly appearing opposite silks, and is great on quantum.

    Expertise: "He is extremely thorough and great on the paperwork." "He is the consummate professional: he is always prepared and he manages your expectations. In joint settlement meetings he is clear and sets out the position so reasonably and sensibly that it is difficult for the other side to come back and oppose him."

    Recent work: Instructed in a £10 million RTA case where the claimant had sustained serious neurological damage that left her completely paralysed.

    The Legal 500, 2014

    Charles Bagot: "An astute and analytical thinker who is exceptional at managing clients’ expectations."

    Colm Nugent: "A strong junior."

    John Gallagher: "His practice is complemented by expertise in clinical negligence and general insurance."

    Jasmine Murphy: "Her manner impresses and reassures clients."

    Henry Slack: "Experienced in handling motor claims."

  • Professional Negligence

    Chambers UK, 2015

    Nigel Jones QC: Frequently represents solicitors, valuers and banking institutions in professional negligence matters. He is noted for his expertise in cases with an international element.

    Expertise: "There are very few advocates who really do stand out in terms of advocacy, but he's one of them. He also has a very impressive manner and is collaborative in his approach." "He is clearly very bright and looks at finding ways around things."

    Recent work: Acted for the defence in Bancroft v Weil Gotshal, a solicitors' negligence case.

    John de Waal QC: Regularly acts for the insurers of solicitors in negligence claims. He is noted for his expertise in cases arising from property disputes.

    Expertise: "He is extremely thorough, legally sound and he has good commercial understanding." "His advocacy is persuasive, and he is quick on his feet and adaptable to what is thrown at him."

    Recent work: Represented the defendant solicitors in a claim for the loss of £2 million due to the negligent drafting of an option for sale.

    Sarah McCann: Handles professional negligence cases for clients in the legal, financial, property and insurance markets. She is notably strong in valuers' and solicitors' negligence disputes. 

    Expertise: "A very tenacious advocate with a very analytical mind."

    Recent work: Acted for the defendant in the £1.6 million surveyors' negligence case of Lloyds TSB bank v McBains Cooper.

    The Legal 500, 2014

    Nigel Jones QC: "Impressive drafting skills"

  • Property Damage

    Chambers UK, 2014

    Paul Reed QC: The architect of a healthy construction and insurance practice, he often acts on high-profile cases such as the dispute relating to fire damage at the Royal Marsden Hospital.

    Expertise: "I think that he is phenomenal. He has an inexhaustible appetite for work and an unbelievable eye for detail."

    Recent work: He acted for the defendant in a £175 million claim concerning damage to Europe's largest warehouse.

    David Pliener: Frequently instructed by insurers in relation to fire claims. He has a keen understanding of both construction and insurance law.

    Expertise: "He is a superb advocate who is extremely likeable and very able."

    Recent work: Instructed on a £500,000 claim involving water damage to Ovaltine Court caused by alleged negligent plumbing that led to leaks across the development.

  • Real Estate Litigation

    Chambers UK, 2015

    The Set: Hardwicke is a set which is highly praised by clients for the "refreshing level of attention and customer care" both its barristers and clerks provide. Its 20-strong team has members who are active in all areas of real property law, and are known for the "practical, reasonable and sensible" advice they give. One solicitor said of them: "They have a very commercial approach both in terms of their advice and the fees they charge. Clients can actually understand their opinions, which saves me the need of having to translate things into layman's terms."

    Market Perception/ Client Service: "The clerks are very good at client care, and get the job done very effectively." "The clerks and practice managers make a real effort to build relationships with instructing solicitors."

    Brie Stevens-Hoare QC: A recognised authority on commercial and development-led property disputes, who also maintains an active professional negligence practice. In addition, she is an experienced mediator.

    Expertise: "She understands property law, and sensibly puts the client's best interests to the fore." "Straightforward and clear in her delivery, she is liked by judges."

    Recent work: Acted in a major professional negligence action relating to a substantial Kensington estate.

    John de Waal QC: Works primarily on property disputes and property-related professional negligence issues. He mainly represents large commercial landlords, professional indemnity insurers and developers.

    Expertise: "An exceptionally responsive barrister, who knows how to give the lay client confidence and understanding." "He's very thoughtful about the client's position, and very supportive and encouraging."

    Recent work: Appeared in Walton Homes Ltd v Staffordshire County Council, an application to set aside a payment determined by experts under an overage agreement on the basis that the expert involved had made a manifest error.

    Daniel Gatty: Has a broad landlord and tenant and real property law practice, with a specialisation in mortgage and land registration issues. He also acts regularly as a mediator.

    Expertise: "His advice is well set out and competent." "He is pleasant, efficient and willing to help wherever possible."

    Recent work: Successfully acted in a dispute concerning the interpretation of a lease covering a bridge over a railway line.

    Alexander Bastin: Majors in property litigation and acts for a wide variety of clients across a range of issues. He is particularly valued for his clear, strategic advice.

    Expertise: "In a case where you can't see the wood for the trees, he will provide clarity."

    Recent work: Acted successfully for a management company in a service charge dispute. The court ruled that a landlord's legal costs could be recovered as both a service charge and an administration charge.

    Monty Palfrey: Admired by clients and peers for his clear, persuasive advocacy and proactive approach to dispute management. He is an experienced courtroom advocate, and has acted extensively in landlord and tenant cases and boundary disputes.

    Expertise: "Clients love his no-nonsense approach and practical advice." "He's a charming opponent, who is very sharp."

    Recent work: Acted in Northumberland & Durham v Ouahib, acting for a landlord in a claim for possession of a very valuable property following the death of a Rent Act protected tenant.

    Edward Rowntree: Handles property disputes as part of his wider chancery practice. He tackles all aspects of real property law, including easements, boundaries and trusts of land, and has contributed to a textbook on the law of mortgages.

    Expertise: "A compelling advocate, who is detailed and commercial in his approach." "He's accessible and turns work around quickly."

    Recent work: Acted for an executor in successfully defeating a claim of beneficial entitlement to a Docklands apartment brought by the wife of the deceased.

    The Legal 500, 2014

    John de Waal QC: "Gets great results."

    Brie Stevens-Hoare QC: "An excellent trial lawyer who combines gravitas with no airs and graces."

    Alexander Bastin: "Handles all complex property disputes very well without getting flustered."

    Daniel Gatty: "Calm and very bright, and gets to the root of legal issues."

    Simon Allison: "Very accessible and highly knowledgeable on service charge procedures and defences."

    Peter Petts: "Has an assured manner and an excellent technical grasp."

    Edward Rowntree: "He has a priceless ability to make complex lease provisions understandable for lay clients."

  • Social Housing

    Chambers UK, 2015

    The Set: This set's barristers are praised for their "rounded advice," and typically act for housing providers and local authorities. Those that instruct them do so as they offer "real passion and the personal touch." The individuals here specialise in all manner of housing-related work, such as allocation reviews, possession actions, anti-social behaviour cases and disrepair claims, to name but a few.

    Market Perception/ Client Service: The barristers provide "excellent handling of urgent work, and pull out all the stops." They benefit from a "smooth clerking team" that is "responsive and friendly." Paul Horsfield is the senior practice manager for the property and private client division.

    Alison Meacher: Has significant expertise in cases involving mental health and Court of Protection issues, and is good on cases relating to welfare benefit. She generally acts for local authorities.

    Expertise: "Confident in court, she certainly had the judge’s ear," said one instructing solicitor. "She was able to see our position and work from that standpoint."

    Recent work: She recently appeared for the local authority in Babergh DC v Grimsey, a case involving possession proceedings against a vulnerable tenant.

    Laura Tweedy: Has a broad social housing practice, and regularly handles complex antisocial behaviour injunctions.

    Expertise: "She is robust, and you can see the passion in her to get things done." "Energetic and thorough." "Her advice is always concise and tailored to our clients’ needs."

    Recent work: She recently acted for the tenant in Leicester Housing Association v Armstrong, which involved defending a claim for possession.

    The Legal 500, 2014

    Alison Meacher: "Assertive, practical and good with clients."

    Alexander Bastin: "Experienced in handling Leasehold Valuation Tribunal cases."

    Alastair Redpath-Stevens: "A good advocate who goes the extra mile. Careful, considered advice."

    Laura Tweedy: "She has maturity beyond her call, and a can-do attitude: she will always go the extra mile."

Chambers UK, 2014 and The Legal 500, 2013

  • Construction

    Chambers UK, 2014

    Hardwicke is handling an increasing amount of overseas work and continues to be instructed on significant and varied construction law matters. Its nigh-on 20-member team acts in jurisdictions across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and America. Its recent high-profile cases include the UK Power Networks test cases, and the Heron Tower matter.

    Client service: "Their clerking is very good, and they are always receptive to helping out at short notice."

    Nigel Jones QC (Band 4)

    Often involved in difficult and high-profile construction disputes, and frequently called upon to advise in non-contentious situations.

    Expertise: "Very user-friendly, he has a very good brain, is very good at thinking outside the box and a very persuasive advocate as well."

    Recent work: He acted in the case of Carillion v Phi, regarding unstable embankments on a railway line. The case reached the Court of Appeal.

    Paul Reed QC (Band 4)

    Increasingly active on international cases, his practice focuses on project and risk insurance in relation to the construction industry. Reed is also a tutor at King's College and has recently published a textbook.

    Expertise: "Methodical and commercial, he has great advocacy skills." "You get advice that is very clear and simple, and he makes often quite complicated issues very manageable."

    Recent work: He acted on behalf of three electricity distributors in Smith & Others v UKPN, major trials involving liability for fires.

    Michael Wheater (Band 3)

    A highly regarded junior who continues to be instructed on large and important cases. He is particularly well known for his handling of cases where construction law, insolvency and insurance interconnect.

    Expertise: "He is down to earth and gains a quick understanding of the issues; he provides effective advice."

    Recent work: He acted in Beck Interiors Ltd v UK Flooring Contractors Ltd, appearing on behalf of the contractor. The case involved a claim to enforce an adjudicator's decision.

    David Pliener (Band 3)

    Recommended for his broad expertise in construction matters, and particularly where there are insurance issues.

    Expertise: "A very commercial problem solver, who is brilliant with lay clients and an active part of the legal team."

    Catherine Piercy (up and coming)

    An up-and-coming junior with an excellent reputation and a busy caseload of litigation and arbitration matters.

    Expertise: "She prepares well, and is innovative and commercially minded." "Hard-working and good to bounce ideas off. She gives good, practical advice."

    Recent work: She acted on behalf of Westfields in Westfields Construction Limited v Lewis in enforcing an adjudicator's award and determining at trial the scope of the 'residential occupier' exception.

    Sarah McCann (Band 4)

    Admired for her expertise in professional negligence and insurance-related construction matters.

    Expertise: "Bright, tenacious and decisive, she's not afraid to take a view and to take a tough stance."

    Recent work: She acted for several electricity distributors in successfully defending a series of negligence claims.

    The Legal 500, 2013

    Other recommended silks include [...] for PFI matters, Hardwicke's Nigel Jones QC, who "can turn any case around".

  • Court of Protection

    Chambers UK, 2014

    This set's work includes deprivation of liberty, forced marriage and care, contact and residence issues. Much of the work involves human rights aspects, particularly the impact of Articles 5 and 8 ECHR. Sources say it is “a professional set which provides us with great Court of Protection training. It has a solid reputation for the quality and variety of its work in this area.”

    Client service: “A slick clerking team which houses pleasant, professional clerks who are always willing to help.” “The clerks know what they are doing and pitch matters at the right level, bearing in mind the members' capabilities.”

    Alison Meacher (Band 3)

    Brings substantial knowledge of social welfare law to her Court of Protection work. She acts for the Official Solicitor, local authorities and family members, and many of her cases involve mental capacity issues. Expertise: “She has a good grasp of this area. Very calm, she can control difficult clients.”

  • Education

    Chambers UK, 2014

    Hardwicke has a strong presence in the education law sphere. Clients seek the expertise of its members for a large variety of matters but particularly in the area of special educational needs. The barristers here act for many stakeholders in the education sector, including individuals, charitable organisations, schools, further and higher education institutions and local government bodies.

    Client service: "I find the clerks to be very friendly, approachable and helpful, and nothing is too much trouble for them." "They have very efficient clerks, and the set up is very good." "The barristers will be flexible, and ensure matters are covered well."

    John Friel (Band 2)

    A long-standing, recognised player in the education sphere. He is particularly well regarded in the areas of special educational needs and discrimination.

    Expertise: "Possessed of vast experience and knowledge, he has unique forensic and analytic skills combined with a detailed understanding." "You know you're in very safe hands, and he gives you the feeling that you're totally supported."

    "He's a very experienced SEN expert, who is very approachable and always well prepared."

    Clive Rawlings  (Band 2)

    A specialist in education law matters, he is frequently called upon to handle cases involving exclusions and admissions, special educational needs, discrimination and student discipline.

    Expertise: "Clive runs a varied case load and offers advice both to parents and to local authorities. His advice is honest and practical. Parents find him easy to work with." "Very client-friendly, he inspires confidence, and is personable." "He can translate complex legal points into really simple language for clients."

    The Legal 500, 2013

    Hardwicke's Clive Rawlings appeared in Lewer v Tonbridge and Others, the leading case on liability for discrimination claims following academy conversion.

  • Employment

    Paul Strelitz (Band 1, South Eastern Circuit)

    Has a broad employment practice and acts for both claimants and defendants across the full spectrum of employment matters. He is noted for his strong advisory work.

    Expertise: "He is a noted advocate, fierce when he needs to be and clients like him as well."

  • Insolvency

    The Legal 500, 2013

    Also recommended are [...] the "patient and affable" Charles Raffin and Jonathan Titmuss at Hardwicke.

  • Insurance

    Chambers UK, 2014

    Nigel Jones QC (Band 4)

    Has an impressively varied insurance practice, with areas of expertise including claims concerning fire damage, product liability and medical malpractice insurance.

    Expertise: "He responded in a tight timeframe and his advice on a complex policy was very clear and succinct." "Bright, focused and commercial, he's easy to work with."

    Recent work: Recently acted in the PIP Implants case, a huge class action.

    Paul Reed QC (Band 4)

    Specialises in construction insurance-related disputes and policy wording. Often acts for the biggest insurers and reinsurers in the market.

    Expertise: "What he says is always on the money."

    Recent work: Appeared in a key appeal in the Cayman Islands, acting successfully for the Attorney General and the Cayman Islands Insurance Association (CIIA) as intervener. The matter concerned the legality of conditional fee agreements approved by the judiciary.

    David Pliener (Band 3)

    Acts in complex insurance matters, often of an international nature. He is an expert in construction-related insurance, and is well versed in CAR and professional indemnity issues.

    Expertise: "The advice he gave was very commercial and complex, but he expressed it in client-friendly terms. He's a good problem solver."

    Recent work: Appeared in Yeates v Aviva Insurance, a coverage dispute regarding the law on fraudulent means and devices and the duty of good faith.

  • Intellectual Property

    Chambers UK, 2014

    Mark Engelman (Band 4)

    An experienced senior junior who undertakes a variety of trade mark, passing-off and design right disputes concerning a range of industries. Praised for his client-facing skills and robust advocacy.

    Expertise: "He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and is incredibly commercial." "A very tenacious senior junior."

    Recent work: Acted for Fred Perry Holdings in a trade mark infringement case in the Court of Appeal against Brands Plaza Trading.

    The Legal 500, 2013

    Other recommended individuals include [...] Mark Engelman and Ian Silcock at Hardwicke.

  • Personal Injury

    Chambers UK, 2014

    Charles Bagot (Band 2)

    Singled out in particular for his ability to tackle extremely technical matters relating to costs. He acts for claimants and defendants, focusing on catastrophic injury claims and fatalities, and has significant experience in cases involving fraud.

    Expertise: "He's the rising star at Hardwicke - probably a future silk." "He's Mr Analytical. He's very good at making complex things straightforward and explaining it to the client."

    Recent work: Acted for the defendant in Taylor v Novo (UK), a Court of Appeal case concerning a psychiatric injury caused by the claimant having witnessed the death of a work colleague.

    The Legal 500, 2013

    Hardwicke is noted for its "strong sense of service across the board, from reception to clerks and counsel alike". Charles Bagot is "a great analyst, with a strong eye for detail"John Gallagher, Colm Nugent, Jasmine Murphy and Henry Slack are also names to note.

  • Professional Negligence

    Nigel Jones QC (Band 3)

    A hugely experienced practitioner, who has carved out a reputation advising on claims involving solicitors, valuers and construction professionals.

    Expertise: "He has a brain the size of a planet. His paperwork is fantastic and he never gets flustered."

    Recent work: Acted for Rowe against Pitmans in an action relating to a contract for the development of Watford town centre.

    John de Waal QC (New Silk)

    A new silk who has a defendant-focused property based practice.

    Recent work: Defended Stratford-on-Avon local authority against negligence claims relating to planning and property purchase.

    Sarah McCann (Band 4)

    Has a broad professional negligence practice and acts in claims for and against most professionals. He is particularly good on the construction side.

    Expertise: "She is a clear orator, who is extremely knowledgeable and approachable."

    Recent work: Acted for Starlight Shipping in a professional negligence claim against its former solicitors.

  • Property Damage

    Chambers UK, 2014

    Paul Reed QC (Band 2)

    A noted construction and insurance specialist, who receives regular instructions from major insurance companies. He is highly regarded for his expertise in property damage claims.

    Expertise: "He's very thorough and very good to work with, and turns things around quickly."

    Recent work: He was instructed on behalf of the defendants in Smith & Others v South Eastern Power Networks, five cases concerning fires caused by resistive heating using cut-out assemblies.

    David Pliener (Band 2)

    A noted construction and insurance specialist, who is regularly instructed on behalf of insurers in property damage disputes, especially those concerning fire damage.

    Expertise: "He is very insightful, charming and effective. His advice is always brilliant."

  • Property Litigation

    Chambers UK, 2014

    Hardwicke has a sizeable team of exclusive property specialists noted by clients and peers for their work on professional negligence, dilapidations, rent reviews and service charge disputes, acting on both commercial and residential landlord and tenant matters. They regularly appear in the Chancery and Queen's Bench divisions. The set's members are noted by solicitors for their "clear, reasoned advice," the "excellent" quality of their work, and their ability to "empathise with the lay client."

    Client service: "The clerks at Hardwicke are excellent and are able to accommodate most fee structures depending on the nature of the case."

    Brie Stevens-Hoare QC  (New Silk)

    Continues to receive instructions in high-profile property disputes, often acting in the Court of Appeal. She has a focus on development cases and receives high praise from clients for her professional negligence work.

    Expertise: "She's very good and has a lovely humility and charm. She has comprehensive knowledge of the law, and is a very good advocate, who is well prepared."

    Recent work: Recently acted on appeal in a land ownership controversy between an estate and the son of the deceased owner.

    John de Waal QC (New Silk)

    A renowned property litigation specialist highly commended by clients for his professional negligence-related work, he often acts for commercial landlords and developers, and regularly appears in the Court of Appeal.

    Expertise: "He is just very good at what he does, as he's fabulously commercial and user-friendly. He has this outwardly relaxed manner and he's unflappable." "He provides high-quality and thorough advice which, coupled with his tremendous ability to communicate and empathise with the lay client, means that he is always counsel of choice."

    Recent work: He recently acted for a Garfunkels restaurant in Oxford Circus in a Landlord and Tenant 1954 Act application for a new lease, which was initially opposed by H&M.

    Alexander Bastin  (Band 5)

    Receives acclaim from clients and peers for his specialist property litigation practice, and has particular expertise in LVT disputes.

    Expertise: "His work is consistently good and he is firm in his advice. He goes to considerable lengths in addressing the issues which will come before the court. He has a good rapport with clients and I would have no hesitation in recommending him."

    Recent work: He recently acted in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber), successfully appealing a service charge dispute relating to a substantial residential and commercial Battersea development project.

    Daniel Gatty (Band 4)

    A valued junior whose practice spans most aspects of landlord and tenant law and cases connected to professional negligence and mortgages. Clients are quick to point out that his role as deputy adjudicator to HM Land Registry gives him valuable specialist knowledge of land registry issues.

    Expertise: "Helpful, pragmatic and good value." "Very good with clients – he makes them feel at ease and takes them through difficult matters. He's great value as well."

    Recent work: Recently acted for The Mortgage Business, a member of Lloyds Banking Group, in achieving a victory in the Court of Appeal. This was a sale and rent back matter with important ramifications for case law in this area.

    Monty Palfrey (Band 5)

    Focuses his practice on real property and landlord and tenant disputes. He regularly appears in the LVT and the Lands Chamber.

    Expertise: "Very good at preparing matters and he enjoys a very high success rate."

    Recent work: He recently acted for the successful landlord in a complex possession claim over a high-value property, which involved interpretation of Shari'a law in order to determine whether the defendant could be said to be the wife of the deceased at the time of death.

    Edward Rowntree (Band 5)

    Undertakes commercial property disputes, and has extensive experience of acting for large London estates.

    Expertise: "Very approachable and knowledgeable," he provides "very clear advice and is excellent with clients."

    Recent work: He recently acted in the High Court in a case concerning celebrity Kevin Francis' attempt to obtain injunctive relief on a property he formerly occupied.

    The Legal 500, 2013

    Hardwicke saw several of its juniors take silk in 2013, including development disputes and commercial property specialist Brie Stevens-Hoare QC, and the "resilient and direct" John de Waal QC, who is recommended for property-related professional negligence matters. Juniors of note include the "practical and succinct" Alexander Bastin, and "understated" Daniel Gatty.

  • Social Housing

    Chambers UK, 2014

    Hardwicke boasts a number of barristers who are solicitor and client favourites in this sector. Though the team is smaller than some, it regularly handles complex or high-profile cases. Recent highlights include Sims v Dacorum Borough Council and Byrne v Poplar Housing. Members here generally focus on acting for housing providers and local authorities.

    Client service: "The clerks are brilliant - they're always accessible and extremely personable."

    Laura Tweedy (Band 3)

    Frequently acts for social landlords and is noted for her work in obtaining antisocial behaviour injunctions.

    Expertise: Solicitors particularly enjoy working with her and commend her rapport with clients. "She's totally committed, energetic and forward-thinking and has Expertise: Solicitors particularly enjoy working with her and commend her rapport with clients. "She's totally committed, energetic and forward-thinking and has natural empathy with clients."

    Recent work: She recently acted on Southern Housing v Sarah Ings, which involved an antisocial behaviour injunction complicated by a shared lease for a part-privately owned property.

    Alexander Bastin (Band 3)

    A client favourite, who is praised for her pragmatic approach and deep understanding of the housing officer's role. He is noted for his experience in antisocial behaviour matters and work before the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal.

    Expertise: "An excellent trial advocate," he is admired by those who instruct him as "he is always on hand to offer advice and guidance when there are knotty issues to confront."

    Alison Meacher (Band 3)

    Has significant expertise working on matters involving vulnerable tenants and often appears in the Court of Protection.

    Expertise: "A really robust, no-nonsense, likeable barrister who will cut through side issues and get straight to the point." She is great with lay clients and has a keen eye for detail.

    Recent work: She recently appeared in Gallichan v Gallichan which involved possession proceedings brought against a daughter by the mother's appointed financial deputy.

    The Legal 500, 2013

    Hardwicke is "incredibly professional and client friendly", and represents "excellent value for money". Clients also seek out Alexander Bastin and the "robust" Alison Meacher.