Tanfield Chambers – Chambers UK 2018

2nd November 2017

Tanfield Chambers have solidified their position amongst the top property sets once again, being recognised by Chambers UK 2018 as a leading set for real estate litigation, ranked in Band 3. The directory which ranks the top UK sets and barristers in their area of specialism has reported:

“Tanfield Chambers is an established leader in enfranchisement work and is highly respected for its wider real estate litigation practice. The set has related expertise in areas such as property damage, professional negligence and social housing, and is a real favourite of leading solicitors in the market. Its members are regularly instructed on behalf of high-profile landowners and developers, and are recognised for being “well organised, personable and willing to go the extra mile to please.”

They also highlighted the client service and senior practice managers, stating:

“The very flexible, very helpful clerks accommodate you if you need anything and are willing to listen on fees.”

This year saw a total of 24 barristers ranked across multiple practice areas. Amanda Gourlay, Jonathan Upton and Rebecca Cattermole were new entrants under Real Estate Litigation, bringing the total to 17 barristers ranked in this category. Sam Madge-Wyld also joined Kerry Bretherton QC and Rebecca Cattermole in the Social Housing category.

Full results can be found here.

Real Estate Litigation

Philip Rainey QC – Continues to be regarded as one of the Bar’s finest property silks, and has an excellent reputation for his enfranchisement work. His practice is also centred around expert determination, fraud claims and easements. He serves as head of Tanfield Chambers.

Strengths: “Bright, good all round and empathetic.” “A brilliant lawyer who is very commercial and extremely good on the technical side.”

Christopher Heather QC – Handles cases concerning easements, boundaries, industrial estates and restaurants, amongst others. He is especially noted for his professional negligence and enfranchisement work, and he frequently works with leading instructing solicitors.

Strengths: “Very intelligent and excellent in court.” “He is very knowledgeable and very user-friendly.”

Mark Loveday – Maintains a diverse commercial and residential property litigation practice. He has acted on multiple dilapidations cases, as well as contentious rent reviews and forfeitures. Recently, he has been instructed in several high-value residential leasehold enfranchisement and service charge matters.

Strengths: “Very solution-oriented, he deals with things quickly and is good on his feet.” “He gets to grips with the issues and gives clear advice enabling the client to make a decision and go forward.”

Michael Buckpitt – A prominent property junior, with a practice that focuses on landlord and tenant law. He is further noted for his dedication to leasehold enfranchisement and his close relationship with London Estates. Buckpitt represents developer clients in relation to commercial property matters.

Strengths: “Robust, straightforward and down-to-earth.” “A very experienced junior who inspires confidence.”

Nicholas Isaac – An authority on the full range of issues arising in disputes involving party walls. His real estate practice also incorporates easement and boundary matters. He has also authored an important legal textbook on the subject of party walls.

Strengths: “He’s making a name for himself as the go-to party wall person.”

Andrew Butler – A well-reputed real estate barrister, who focuses on commercial and professional negligence disputes. He is noted for his work in property damage, service charge and joint venture claims. He also receives instruction as an arbitrator.

Strengths: “He is good in conference and he inspires confidence in the client.”

Timothy Polli – Noted for his expertise spanning contract and commercial law, as well as his professional negligence work and his handling of development disputes. He also has a strong practice in matters relating to mortgage law and other securities over land.

Strengths: “He is really intelligent, great on his feet, easy to deal with and very popular with clients.” “He has an analytical brain, and is very commercial – and he finds solutions for clients.”

Daniel Dovar – Has a diverse commercial and residential property practice, specialising in contentious landlord and tenant matters. He is frequently sought out by clients for guidance on leasehold disputes, as well as conveyancing disputes and professional negligence matters. Dovar also has significant niche expertise in work relating to hotels and shopping centres.

Strengths: “He has a thorough knowledge of the law and is practical in his approach – he homes in on the issues immediately.”

James Fieldsend – Offers pragmatic advice to his clients regarding service charge disputes and leasehold enfranchisement. He also handles matters relating to boundaries and easements. Fieldsend is a published author, who is known for his work applying human rights conventions to property disputes.

Strengths: “The quality of his work is exceptionally high; he is fantastic on his feet, great on paper and brilliant with his clients.”

Nicola Muir – Focuses her practice on residential and commercial landlord and tenant disputes, and has significant experience in the Court of Appeal. She is known for her work on leasehold enfranchisement and service charge cases.

Strengths: “She offers clear, concise and commercially aware advice, and is fantastic to work with.”

Ellodie Gibbons – A widely respected property junior known for advising on commercial and residential landlord disputes. Her practice includes service and administration charge issues, right to manage cases and enfranchisement claims. She has co-authored a significant text on leasehold enfranchisement and regularly speaks at conferences on the topic.

Strengths: “She’s extremely good on her feet, persuasive and good at taking the court along with her.” “Ellodie is a gifted lawyer who takes a practical, common-sense approach.”

Marc Glover – Garners praise for his user-friendly approach. He regularly handles cases involving easements, boundary disputes and property development. Glover has recently handled cases in both the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

Strengths: “A real fighter, who is bright, prepares well and knows how to get the best out of judges.”

Rebecca Cattermole – An established social housing junior with a growing reputation for residential and commercial real estate work. She is highly experienced in matters involving service charge disputes and dilapidations, and is very strong on the interrelationship of human rights with landlord and tenant law.

Strengths: “Picks things up incredibly quickly and her technical analysis is amazing.” “She is excellent at dealing with matters thoroughly and efficiently.”

Carl Fain – A talented property barrister with expertise in business tenancy renewals, service charge disputes and dilapidation claims. His practice also takes in landlord and tenant matters, mortgage-related claims and property-related professional negligence cases.

Strengths: “Very bright, gets on well with clients and is a terrier in court.” “He’s extremely knowledgeable, doesn’t balk at any points and is ready with the answers.”

Jonathan Upton – Highly regarded for his service charge work and his expertise in mixed-use development matters. His clients include multinational corporations, high net worth individuals and developers.

Strengths: “Very switched-on and technically very bright.” “He’s very attuned to the client’s interests and goals.”

Amanda Gourlay – Particularly recognised for her expertise in the field of service charges, Amanda is regularly instructed by lessees on a public access basis. She also regularly handles the full range of landlord and tenant law matters, as well as those relating to trusts of land and co-ownership disputes.

Strengths: “She’s very user-friendly, very sound and very proactive.”

Michael Walsh – Acts for landlords, developers, local government bodies and large institutional lenders in a broad range of property-related cases. He regularly handles matters concerning development issues, agricultural land and commercial property, and often acts in urgent hearings concerning the repossession of land.

Strengths: “Clear-thinking, responsive, personable and efficient.” He offers practical advice and he is good on his feet.”

Social Housing

Kerry Bretherton QC – Has a long-standing reputation for public law and real estate litigation, and regularly acts on behalf of social housing tenants and homeless applicants. She has significant experience of appearing before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, and has established a growing policy practice, which sees her advising central government on housing laws.

Strengths: “Very dedicated and fierce in her pursuit of her goals.” “A good, hard-working and conscientious advocate who has a successful and broad practice. In terms of client service, she is second to none.”

Rebecca Cattermole – A landlord and tenant specialist with an enviable understanding of the property aspects of social housing law, as well as antisocial behaviour and housing management issues. She has handled cases right up to the Supreme Court.

Strengths: “A true expert in her field, who is always friendly and approachable. Both her preparation for trial and her written advices are extraordinarily thorough, and as an advocate she is fantastic.”

Sam Madge-Wyld – Regularly acts on behalf of both tenants and landlords, including a variety of local authorities, housing associations and applicants. He acts in a wide range of social housing disputes, and has particular experience of appearing in judicial reviews. Market commentators consider him to be “very technically able,” while his considerable knowledge of immigration law compliments his well thought-of practice.

Strengths: “Extremely confident and very impressive. He got hold of a complicated case at the last minute and got a good result.” “He is really reliable and gives consistently good service.”

Agriculture & Rural Affairs

Karen Jones – A well-known rights of way specialist with a rural focus to her practice. She regularly acts on town and village green applications for local authorities and landowners.

Strengths: “She is forensic and incisive in an under-stated way and what she doesn’t know about coastal rights of way and village greens isn’t worth knowing.”

Court of Protection

Kerry Bretherton QC – Acts for a broad range of clients, ranging from local authorities to families and deputies. She is also adept in related areas such as social housing.

Strengths: “She is extremely tenacious and very persuasive.”


Laura Robinson – A strong practitioner offering quality advice across discrimination, whistle-blowing and unfair dismissal cases. She has especial expertise in disability discrimination matters.

Strengths: “A very experienced advocate. Meticulous in her preparation, extremely dependable and very thorough. She knows the documents inside out and is prepared to make difficult calls when required.”

Information Technology

Iain Mitchell QC -Highly regarded for his expert handling of complex matters across the IT law spectrum. He has deep experience in such areas as outsourcing, commercial contracts and software licensing. His complementary expertise in employment and business law informs his high-quality work in the space.

Strengths: “He has vast knowledge and experience. He’s someone who can identify pathways that other advocates don’t see.”

Intellectual Property

Iain Mitchell QC – Seasoned advocate at the Scottish Bar with experience across the full spectrum of IP disputes, regularly handles multi-jurisdictional cases. He is noted for his complementary expertise in IT and technology law and is routinely called on to tackle complex copyright infringement, design rights and data protection issues.

Strengths: “He is the brainiest man I’ve ever met. It’s astonishing what he knows and how he can analyse a problem.”


Stephen Monkcom – Has a strong advisory licensing practice, with special emphasis on the gaming and gambling sectors. He has an enviable reputation in this area and is widely known for his academic prowess.

Strengths: “Enormously learned” and “one of the best opinion writers around.” “His knowledge is encyclopaedic.”

Matrimonial Finance

Kerstin Boyd – Matrimonial finance junior who handles all manner of proceedings following relationship dissolution, including those relating to TOLATA and Schedule 1 to the Children Act. She is committed to providing an affordable service to a wide range of clients with middle to high net worth.

Strengths: “Her attention to detail is absolutely outstanding, and she is quite incredible at absorbing financial information. Her cross-examination is just a joy to watch.”

Gerald Wilson – Focuses his practice on family and property law, and is a true expert on the financial aspects of relationship dissolution. His cases cover civil issues affecting cohabitees such as TOLATA and Inheritance Act claims, as well as Schedule 1 applications.

Strengths: “Very forthright and gets results. He’s very good on same-sex marriage cases.”

Public Procurement

Iain Mitchell QC – A well-established silk who is qualified to practise at both the English and Scottish Bar. He is best known for his expertise in the IP and IT arenas, and has recently advised extensively on a number of major public software procurements.

Strengths: “Very quick to grasp the complexities of a situation and reduce them to the key issues that need to be dealt with. He’s creative in terms of the solutions he comes up with.”



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