Legal 500 2021

Set rankings

We are recommended as a set for:

  • Commercial Dispute Resolution
  • Construction
  • Insolvency
  • Insurance and Reinsurance
  • Personal Injury
  • Professional Negligence
  • Property Litigation
  • Social Housing

Multidisciplinary set Hardwicke, which has particular expertise across the construction, professional negligence, and property litigation space, has had an eventful year, becoming a limited company and announcing plans to move to One Gray’s Inn in mid 2021. The set’s expansion plans have continued with the arrival of Mark O’Grady from Lamb Chambers, and Philipp Simon and Faisel Sadiq from Ely Place. Chambers management has also expanded with the hiring of Zoe Mellor as Practice Operations Director. In other recent news, the set has celebrated the appointment of five new Recorders: Jamal Demachkie Andrew Skelly Matthew Hodson (South Eastern, Crime), Rupert Higgins (Midland, Family), and Alison Meacher (South Eastern, Family).”

Hardwicke is referred to as “modern and forward thinking” as well as “dynamic and proactive which has been especially apparent during the Covid-19 crisis. They have been adaptable and helpful in sharing knowledge and information.”

Excellent clerks across the whole set…[who] are always available to speak, they are polite, friendly and professional.”


  • Civil Fraud

    Nigel Jones QC

    “Every once in a while you come across a barrister who does and has it all – insightful and detailed legal knowledge, amazing on his feet, fabulous client bedside manner, able to predict with accuracy what the future holds and he is also commercial.”,“His grasp of the facts and the evidence is encyclopaedic.”

  • Civil Liberties and Human Rights (including actions against the police)

    Alison Meacher

    “Thorough, hard-working, very accessible, knowledgeable, and tenacious.”

  • Clinical Negligence

    Charles Bagot QC

    “Very good technical lawyer, but also calm and personable, works well as part of a team. Not afraid to stand by his views and fight to trial in appropriate cases”,”Her drafting style is clear and persuasive. She is very personable and easy to work with. She is excellent at responding quickly to enquiries. She has a good rapport with clients and is not afraid to take on difficult cases.”

  • Commercial Litigation

    Hardwicke is a “dynamic and proactive‘”set, “which has been especially apparent during the Covid-19 crisis”. Several clients praise the “excellent training programmes in various areas“. The versatile commercial set draws on strengths from across several areas, including insolvency, insurance, franchising and Chancery disputes. Clients also note the set is “one of the most human and engaging, with counsel who live in the real world“. Major mandates include the SKAT litigation, in which Nigel Jones QC and Laurence Page  are representing Sanjay Shah. David Lewis QC and Emily Betts acted together in the shareholder dispute, Andersson v Kamran.

    Nigel Jones QC

    ‘”The epitome of calm, cool and collective – his clarity of thought is second to none, as is his written work. He is generous to share credit with his juniors and instructing solicitors.”,“A bright and strategically creative silk.”,“A good personal manner, and a great all-round knowledge of the law and ability to apply different areas of law to sets of facts.”,”Incredibly hard-working and a very able lawyer – he is a particular expert in disclosure, where his knowledge of the detail is impeccable and second to none.”,”Very user friendly, exceptionally hard working and very bright, she is easy to get on with and a rising star amongst counsel of her year of call.”,”Has an in depth grasp of the commercial realities, pressures and drivers that means he talks his client’s language and understands their needs in a way that is rare amongst the Bar.”

  • Company & Partnership

    Nigel Jones QC

    Goes the extra mile to fight for clients.”,”A fearless litigator willing to fight hard for her clients; believes in her arguments and is unwavering.”

  • Construction

    Hardwicke possesses ‘”exceptional performers” who are instructed by the top tier construction firms. The “brilliant” Paul Reed QC  is leading the David Pliener and the Ebony Alleyne  in Green Oasis International Company Limited & Others v Northacre Plc & Others (2018), a £20m claim arising from defective redevelopment works to ‘The Lancasters’, a landmark development in central London overlooking Hyde Park. Acting in the TCC has been Nigel Jones QC , leading Catherine Piercy  in Lessors & Management Company of Herons Court v HeronsLea Limited, NHBC and others, defending a defects claim brought in effect by 20 owners of a block of flats built/developed by Heronslea.

    Nigel Jones QC

    A delight to work with; nothing is ever too much trouble.”,”Widely regarded as the leading authority in relation to Construction All Risks Insurance, and he has a compendious knowledge of the subject. He’s a brilliant advocate, both persuasive and forceful. His legal advice is spot on, and always has an eye on wider commercial considerations.”,One of the best juniors and a silk in waiting. Very commercial and user-friendly.”,”Sarah is extremely knowledgeable about all areas of construction law and is able to analyse the issues from the views of all parties.”,Incredibly hardworking, his written work is second to none and he gets a complete grip on even the most complex of cases.”,”She is incredibly intelligent and able to get to the heart of a claim quickly.”,”Helena is an astute advocate and perceptive of client needs.”,”Extremely capable and professional barrister who is able to quickly identify the key issues in complex claims.”,”Professional and knowledgeable with a keen grasp of the legal issues, and able to build a natural rapport with clients.”,”For his year of call, he punches way above his weight. He will be a QC one day and is going to be a real star.”

  • Costs

    PJ Kirby QC

    Great knowledge in relation to complex cross-border, multi-party-funded litigation.”,Has a thumping costs practice.”,”Has an in-depth knowledge of costs, his preparation is meticulous and he is an outstanding advocate who provides an excellent service to his clients.”

  • Court of Protection and Community Care

    Alison Meacher

    Has an impressive ability to assimilate a large amount of information in a short space of time and “Is a confident litigator, who strives to achieve the best result for the client. Her advocacy skills are excellent and she is exceptionally good at negotiation. Alison has vast experience in Court of Protection work, both welfare and finances.”

  • Education

    Shazia Akhtar

    “An extremely good advocate – she throws everything at a case.”

  • Employment

    Mark Stephens

    Lightning-fast at getting up to speed on a case, and then just as rapid in identifying the key issues that are likely to determine the outcome. Because of his speed, Mark is also eminently affordable for the quality of work he produces; and because of his insight, his drafting is well-targeted and often irresistibly compelling.”,”A diligent, capable barrister who provides excellent practical advice, is very approachable and responsive, and strikes up good relations with clients.”,Forensic in his approach and gets to the heart of a case very quickly. Paul is excellent with clients – he is personable, clear and speaks with authority.”,”A highly skilled technical barrister and superb advocate. Assured and persuasive in front of judges and opposition alike, Lauren is skilled in driving home the client’s interests to great success.”,”A very measured advocate when cross-examining – it was clear that he had fully prepared and had an impressive understanding of the issues in dispute.”

  • Insolvency

    A great set, with a number of excellent barristers across numerous practice areas”, Hardwicke is well-regarded for international and offshore insolvency work arising out of the Channel Islands and Caribbean. Wendy Parker  is an insolvency and restructuring law specialist, focusing on directors’ duties and rights, derivative claims and shareholder disputes. In Autogas (Europe) Ltd v Saunders Graig and Ochockii, she successfully defended a claim that was brought against the liquidator that failed to obtain sufficient adverse costs insurance. At the junior end, the “technically very strong‘” Jonathan Titmuss stands out for having particularly active insolvency practice.

    Wendy Parker

    An exceptionally good advocate particularly when under pressure and provided with information at short notice.”,He is perceptive and able to give strong structured advice.”,Excellent technical ability and has practical knowledge in all insolvency areas.”,Wonderful and composed in the courtroom knowing when to use her tone and language to emphasise to the Judge the real issues and persuading the Judge which way he should go.”,He provides robust and pragmatic advice and considers the wider issues which may be relevant.”,”Straight to the point, practical, efficient and easy to work with.”

  • Insurance & Reinsurance

    Hardwicke has “a number of experienced barristers who really know their chosen fields and is really efficient and excellently led by chief executive Amanda Illing”. The set’s insurance disputes work is focused on construction, property damage and professional negligence. In recent work of note, Paul Reed QC acted for Generali in a substantial Commercial Court insurance claim, which arose out of damage to an aluminium smelting facility in the Netherlands. And, in recent years, Nigel Jones QC has been heavily involved in litigation resulting from the insolvency of leading insurers, such as Enterprise Insurance. At the junior end, David Pliener  is part of the legal team acting in a claim involving defective redevelopment works.

    Nigel Jones QC

    Great all-round knowledge of the law, with the ability to apply different areas of law to a set of facts.”,Widely regarded as the leading authority at the Bar on construction all risks insurance – his knowledge and experience in that area is unmatched. He is also a brilliant and persuasive advocate.”,A genuine specialist in insurance and construction insurance disputes, with deep knowledge and experience.”,”Extremely knowledgeable and able to analyse the issues from the viewpoint of all parties, which enables her to provide sound and solid advice.”,”Extremely intelligent and comes through for clients.”

  • Intellectual Property
  • Mediators

    Lesley Anderson QC

    “Lesley Anderson QCalso practises from Hardwicke. She regularly acts as a mediator in commercial disputes, and is particularly noted for partnership matters. Her recent mediations have included a co-venture dispute concerning a piece of development land, and a shareholder dispute involving a film distribution rights company.”,”Hardwicke’s John de Waal QC is a highly rated property silk, who qualified as a mediator in 2002. He has acted as lead mediator in over 100 cases, with most of his mediations involving property issues. He also handles wider commercial disputes.”,”A magnificent mediator, who is capable of cracking the hardest of disputes, and has many years of top-level property law experience behind her‘. A mediator since 2003, mediation work forms the vast majority of Benbow’s practice; she undertook approximately 40 mediations in 2019.”

  • Personal Injury

    Hardwicke has a “strong presence” and is “a go-to set for personal injury of all types”. Practitioners are noted for their “consistency, hard work and diligence”, as well as their ability to come up with “novel ideas to put the other side off guard”. Charles Bagot QC is instructed for the defendant in Hoff (a child) v Langley Design & Ors, a catastrophic brain injury claim valued at over £25m. Alongside dealing with a wide variety of injury work, including brain damage, fatalities, and Animals Act and Montreal Convention claims, the set also handles matters relating to fraud, where the key name to note is the “very approachable” Gemma Witherington. The “tenacious” Colm Nugent is earmarked as “a future silk”, while “passionate advocate” Jasmine Murphy is highlighted as being able to “discern a novel approach to most issues”.

    Charles Bagot QC

    An extremely strong, confident advocate, who is succinct and clear, and never knowingly fazed. Charles is able to consider issues from all angles and provide calm, clear advice.”,”Calm but also very tenacious which is a fantastic combination when fighting tough cases.”,”A quick thinker who can win tough cases. Good with younger members of the team of solicitors in helping bring them on.”,”She is a highly capable Junior with a solution for any issue, and novel ideas to put the other side off guard. Ability to plead in considerable detail whilst never losing a simple mastery of the key points.”,”A thorough and balanced barrister who maintains a calm presence and ensures all angles are thoroughly explored.”

  • Insurance Fraud

    Gemma Witherington

    A thorough and balanced barrister who maintains a calm presence and ensures all angles are thoroughly explored.”

  • Professional Negligence

    “Hardwicke is “an approachable set” with “experienced barristers who really know their chosen fields”. The set, which includes “many excellent juniors”, draws on its strength in property and construction to handle a range of construction-related professional negligence claims, with Paul Reed QC, David Pliener and Ebony Alleyne  acting for the leaseholders in a claim against various members of the project team in Green Oasis International Company Limited v Northacre Plc, which relates to defective redevelopment works, and Catherine Piercy  acting for a subcontractor in Premier Inn v KD Facades and others, a high-profile cladding claim. Members also have expertise in solicitors’, investment and financial services negligence, among other areas.

    Nigel Jones QC

    “His client care is second to none – he is exceptionally bright, hard working and really puts himself at the centre of the legal team in the best way possible. He is also commercial and exceptionally pragmatic. Academically he will answer the questions before most of the legal team have even thought to ask the question.”,”A very good silk. He is knowledgeable about insurer treatment of contractor claims.”,He provides excellent, sharp and issue-focused advice.”,He is excellent across the board – good with clients, on paper and on his feet.”,His greatest strength is his ability to see the bigger commercial picture and not get lost in the legal merits. This is what is important to clients. In real terms that means getting results early on in the litigation.”,An excellent junior. She is robust and incisive.”,He is a great team player and extremely client friendly.”,He is extremely intelligent, hardworking and commercially astute. He is a great team player and always comes through for us under pressure.”,He is excellent. His attention to detail sets him apart.”,She has a quick grasp of technical claims, a great client manner and is strong on her feet in court.”,”He is easy to work with and very approachable.”,”She is impressive. She is professionally inquisitive and is tenacious.”,”He is very bright, calm and collected.”,”He is very thorough, confident in argument and unfazed by much more senior opposition.”

  • Property Litigation & Agriculture

    Hardwicke is a “strong property set” with “fantastic client service” and a “wide range of excellent counsel”. Clients note its “good range of specialisms” encompass property-related insolvency and professional negligence, cladding and nuisance, trespass injunctions, land registration and ground rent disputes. In addition, individual members demonstrate experience in respect of pub and Airbnb-related litigation, Japanese knotweed disputes, and Schedule 3A of the Communications Act 2003. A notable example of the set’s recent work was Triplark v Reiner & Wismayer, a matter relating to alienation provisions in which Brie Stevens-Hoare QC  successfully convinced the Supreme Court to refuse permission to appeal following on from two previous rulings in the Court of Appeal and Upper Tribunal of the FFT. Further strengthening the set, Faisel Sadiq, a barrister primarily focused on commercial landlord and tenant disputes, recently joined from Ely Place Chambers.

    Brie Stevens-Hoare QC

    No one can beat her for a commercial hands-on approach which loses nothing in terms of intellectual rigour and crystal-clear advocacy. She controls the courtroom and her language, tone and powers of persuasion are second to none.”,”He is a very good team player with the solicitors and enjoys a very good rapport with clients. John is able to convey complex argument simply and eloquently, both in writing and in advocacy.”,”His knowledge about property law and landlord and tenant law is second to none. He is clearly a leader in his field. He has an eye for detail that is phenomenal and reassuring to have on your team. He will quickly see the point that everyone else missed and use it to his advantage.”,”Excellent to work with, prompt and concise paperwork and good advocacy. Experienced and cool under pressure. Knowledgeable regarding judicial attitudes and outcomes – inspires confidence and gains trust of tribunal/judge. He instils confidence in clients.”,”She has a sharp intellect and is able to grapple with complex issues in a swift and efficient manner.”,His depth of experience and expertise mean he is extremely useful to have as part of a legal team.”,”He uses his expertise as part as the judiciary to tell the client whether their arguments will find favour with the court.”,He is excellent; his involvement is instrumental.”,”He can be relied upon for commercial landlord and tenant disputes.”,He has an in depth legal knowledge and his expertise ensures the client’s objectives are achieved.”,”Her advice is always laced with a clear understanding of the lay client’s commercial drives and objectives.”,”He is an excellent, knowledgeable, and, importantly, pleasant to work with.”,”A go-to junior, there is no client or issue that she cannot deal with.”,”Persuasive and excellent at pulling the tribunal and opposition to her views.”,‘She is technically excellent, commercially astute and ruthless in court. ’,”She is bright and diligent, her charm inspires confidence in clients and courts alike.”

  • Social Housing

    Hardwicke has benefited from the consolidation in the social housing sector, which has seen a large number of housing associations merge to form ‘super’ housing associations. With the set having strong capabilities in real estate litigation and construction, its members are increasingly sought out to advise these entities on a broad cross-section of issues beyond those specific to the management of social housing tenancies. On the social housing management side, Morayo Fagborun Bennett acted for Peabody Trust in a possession claim, which had been defended on the basis that the occupier had paid an unprotected deposit to a fraudulent former employee of the housing association. Optivo, London & Quadrant and A2 Dominion also turn to the set for advice, while members also act for local authorities and tenants. Alison Meacher represented Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council at the Court of Appeal in a significant bedroom tax test case against the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

    Alison Meacher

    Very personable and approachable. She has the ability to absorb vast amounts of complex information in a very short period of time, and to quickly identify the main issues of a particular matter, the key strengths and weaknesses and how to mitigate those weaknesses. Willingness to accommodate client demands and to work within tight timescales is also a strength.”,She is an excellent barrister, with an in-depth knowledge of her subject – clients love the no-nonsense approach. She can win over judges with well-prepared arguments. A great advocate and always happy to think outside the box to look for solutions.”,An extremely hard worker absolutely loved by clients for her tenacity, common sense and ease to work with.”

  • Travel Law (Including Jurisdictional Issues)

    Charles Bagot QC

    He is highly regarded for cross-border injury cases.’

  • Private Client: Trusts & Probate

    Brie Stevens-Hoare QC

    calm and collected; fantastic on her feet; makes clients feel at ease straight away; and straight talking when it is needed.”,”considered and careful in her approach; she is calm with clients and makes well-reasoned arguments to tricky opponents.”,”He is excellent both in terms of capability and client relationships.”

  • Commercial (Regional South Eastern Circuit)


    Lauren Godfrey

    He takes control of a room, is formidable in cross-examination and punchy in his submissions.”

  • Court of Protection & Community Care (Regional South Eastern Circuit)

    Alison Meacher

    She has vast experience in Court of Protection work, both welfare and finances.”

  • Employment (Regional South Eastern Circuit)

    Lauren Godfrey

    He is robust and thorough in his advice, commercially focused and a fearless advocate and negotiator.”

  • Property & Construction (Regional South Eastern Circuit)

    John Clargo

    A calm and measured advocate with a great grasp of the facts.”,”She displays incredible attention to detail and thoroughness, and understands issues very quickly.”