Blackstone and Landmark top 2016 chambers rankings

Blackstone Chambers was the most active set measured by case days in English courts in 2016, according to The Lawyer Court Rankings 2016.

Barristers at the chambers notched up 408 case days across 193 cases in 2016. 39 Essex Chambers ranked second, having spent 396 days in court on 164 cases, while Brick Court Chambers was third with 310 days across 101 cases.

In Blackstone’s longest case, lasting 23 days, John Howell QC and Andrew Hunter QC were instructed by Freshfields to represent EnergySolutions in a contract dispute against the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

The Government Legal Department provided Blackstone with the most work in 2016. It instructed barristers at Blackstone Chambers for 43 cases totalling 79 case days.

Linklaters instructed barristers at Blackstone for seven cases spanning 15 case days while Eversheds instructed the chambers for five cases lasting seven days.

James Eadie QC worked on 22 cases spanning 52 case days last year, more than any other barrister at Blackstone. Michael Fordham QC and Kieron Beal QC worked on 13 cases each in 2016.

Landmark Chambers was the most active set measured by the number of cases. It worked on 195 cases totalling 295 case days in 2016. Blackstone was second (193 cases across 408 case days) and 39 Essex Chambers third (164 cases totalling 396 days).

A further five sets worked on more than 100 cases in 2016. They are Matrix Chambers (161 cases), 11 King’s Bench Walk (126 cases), No5 Chambers (112 cases), Doughty Street Chambers (108 cases) and Brick Court Chambers (101 cases).

In Landmark’s longest case, lasting 14 days, junior Eian Caws was instructed by David Cooper & Co to represent three claimants in a subsidence compensation case against The Coal Authority. Eian Caws worked alongside Dominique Rawley QC, of Atkin Chambers.

The Government Legal Department gave the set the most work in 2016. It instructed barristers at Landmark Chambers for 68 cases totalling 83 case days in 2016. Environmental and public law specialist Richard Buxton instructed the firm seven times in 2016 while Leigh Day and Duncan Lewis both instructed the firm five times.

Junior Gwion Lewis was the most active barrister in 2016. He worked on 14 cases totalling 18 days. David Blundell and Richard Moules both worked on 11 cases each.

In total 234 chambers were instructed to represent clients in the 14 courts covered in The Lawyer Litigation Tracker in 2016.

They were instructed 5,031 times in 2016 but the most active 30 sets accounted for 54 per cent (2,708 instructions) of these instructions. Some 49 sets were only instructed once.

Smaller sets come higher up rankings that relate to specific sectors, types of litigation or courts. For example One Essex Court most frequently represents banking and financial services companies, having spent 162 days in court in 2016 on behalf of these companies. Fountain Court was second (141 case days) followed by 3 Verulam Buildings (101 case days).

A completely different set of chambers top the charts when looking at specific types of litigation. For example One Crown Office Row (109 case days), Outer Temple (67 case days) and 39 Essex Chambers (53 case days) were most active in medical negligence and personal injury cases.