Tanfield Chambers – Chambers UK 2023

20th October 2022

Tanfield Chambers have confirmed their position amongst the top property sets, being recognised by Chambers UK as a leading set for real estate litigation, ranked in Band 2.

The directory which ranks the top UK sets and barristers in their area of specialism has reported:

Tanfield Chambers is highlighted for the expertise of its members in landlord and tenant disputes. Barristers at the set have a wealth of knowledge in such matters as lease disputes, restrictive covenants and development issues. The team is also known for its work in enfranchisement disputes. This last year members of the set appeared in FirstPort Property Services v Settlers Court, a right to manage dispute which appeared in the Supreme Court. One interviewee comments: “A very organised and approachable set of chambers and extremely friendly counsel.” Another adds: “They always have someone in the set who can assist, regardless of complexities.”

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

“Senior practice managers Billy Forecast and Richard Powell are exceptional with fees and solicitors; they are effective communicators.”

“The clerks are excellent – very reliable and prompt. They are also very adaptable.”

“The Tanfield Chambers clerks bend over backwards to help you; they will always find you the right person.”

Full results can be found here or on the individual barrister profiles.


Real Estate Litigation

Ranked Senior Barristers

Philip Rainey KC 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 on expert determination, fraud claims and easements. He serves as head of Tanfield Chambers. He is experienced in all manner of landlord and tenant matters and is an advocate for reform of the law in this area.


“He is so persuasive to listen to and so measured. When he talks it is so well constructed. “

“Philip has an encyclopedic knowledge of this area and is technically very able.”

“Philip Rainey is a star on the advocacy front, very effective and he can demolish anyone.”

“He is a fantastic advocate and a top-class mind.”

Kerry Bretherton KC is an accomplished silk with a wealth of expertise in real estate litigation. Her cases include complex rights of way and boundary matters, as well as option and forfeiture issues.

Christopher Heather KC handles cases concerning easements, boundaries and a wide range of other property disputes. He is especially noted for his enfranchisement work, and he frequently works with leading instructing solicitors. His clients include property companies and both commercial and residential landlords and tenants.

Timothy Polli KC is particularly noted for his strong practice in matters relating to mortgage law and other securities over land. He also advises on service charge disputes, rights to light and party wall issues, among other cases.


“Tim is an excellent communicator and able to defuse stressful situations with a calm approach while addressing client concerns and working to find a satisfactory solution.”

“His power is in the fact that he’s understated but extremely clever.”

Andrew Butler KC handles both mainstream property rights disputes and commercial real estate cases. He is particularly adept at tackling the company law issues which often arise in these matters. He regularly appears in all levels of court, including the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.


“Andrew has a very good smooth style and is a commercial practitioner. He is great with clients and awfully good on his feet.”

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


“Nicholas Isaac is good at cutting through the irrelevance for the client, and he is very accessible and well liked by clients.”

“He is methodical in his cross-examination.”


Ranked Junior Barristers

Mark Loveday is best known as an expert in high-value enfranchisement matters. He has also acted on multiple dilapidations cases, as well as contentious rent reviews, forfeitures and service charge disputes. He edits a textbook on the law surrounding service charges and regularly contributes to articles and journals.


“Mark has the commerciality to see the way through matters. He is able to look at the impact for the clients in the commercial arena.”

Michael Buckpitt is 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 representation of retailers in protest cases. He represents developer clients in relation to commercial property matters. He is also known for his work on non-contentious matters, with a focus on development sites.


“Michael is extremely pleasant to work with, very responsive, always gets to grip with cases, and comes up with new angles.”

“When working with Michael, you feel that teamwork is very important to him. He will work with you on the whole process and will take your contribution into consideration.”

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. He also has significant niche expertise in work relating to hotels and shopping centres.


“He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the space.”

“Daniel Dovar is a civil, responsive and thoughtful barrister.”

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


“His depth of knowledge is impressive, and he is able to think outside of the box and doesn’t lose sight of the bigger picture.”

“James is an absolute rock for clients – cool, calm and collected.”

“James Fieldsend has the ability to deal with issues in a straightforward way and will map out the next steps in a very commercial way.”

“A very good advocate.”

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.


“Nicola is always willing to help out and never fails to give strong, reliable advice.”

“Nicola Muir’s advocacy is measured and persuasive.”

“Nicola has a nice relaxed manner with clients and is also excellent at handling witnesses.”

Ellodie Gibbons is 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 is very strong in her approach and firm in court. An understated but formidable opponent.”

“Ellodie Gibbons is very approachable.”

Marc Glover regularly handles cases involving easements, boundary disputes and property development, including those with many millions of pounds at stake. Glover has handled cases in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. His clients range from high net worth individuals to oil companies.


“Marc is an all-round top advocate with a fierce intellect and is great on his feet. Highly skilled on both party wall and oversailing matters.”

Rebecca Cattermole is an established barrister with a strong reputation for residential, commercial and agricultural 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.

Carl Fain is 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. He has experience in significant possession disputes.


“Carl is very good in his technical approach and is able to apply his considerable intellect to client objectives.”

“He is very knowledgeable, and clients get a lot of confidence from his persuasive and effective manner.”

“Carl Fain stands out for his technical brilliance and speed of work.”

Jonathan Upton regularly handles matters concerning high-value properties and is an expert in such areas as tenants’ rights of first refusal, right to manage and enfranchisement. Commentators note that he really comes into his own in cases concerning service charges.


“Jonathan is realistic, which is a valuable skill in commercial settings.”

“He is just incredibly approachable and helpful. You can just pick up the phone and talk to him.”

“Jonathan is easy to work with and has a very good understanding of the law.”

Amanda Gourlay is particularly recognised for her expertise in the field of service charges. Gourlay 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.


“Amanda Gourlay is brilliant and a safe pair of hands.”

“She is very knowledgeable on service charges.”

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. He is a visiting lecturer in property law at King’s College London.


“Michael Walsh is super user-friendly, practical and commercial.”

Piers Harrison is a technical and creative junior who is known for his exceptional command of leasehold matters, and enfranchisement in particular.


“Piers is supremely able to think all around a problem and come up with a solution. He has all-round expertise and talent but is modest with it.”

“Piers Harrison is extremely bright and able to advise clients on highly complex matters without any issues.”

“Piers Harrison is very strong technically.”


Social Housing

Ranked Junior Barristers

Rebecca Cattermole of Tanfield Chambers is a landlord and tenant specialist with an enviable understanding of the property aspects of social housing law, as well as anti-social behaviour and housing management issues. She has handled cases right up to the Supreme Court, and is further noted for her expertise in leasehold disputes.


“Excellent at dealing with matters thoroughly and efficiently in an incredibly short period of time.”

Sam Madge-Wyld of Tanfield Chambers regularly represents 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 and real estate litigation. His considerable knowledge of immigration law complements his social housing work. Madge-Wyld also has notable experience of handling service charge disputes.


“Sam has an eye for interesting points because of his broad knowledge and experience.”


Agriculture & Rural Affairs

Ranked Junior Barristers

Rebecca Cattermole is an experienced real property junior with a growing agriculture and rural affairs practice. She is particularly well known for her work on landlord and tenant matters, as well as boundary disputes.


Matrimonial Finance

Ranked Junior Barristers

Kerstin Boyd is a matrimonial finance junior who handles all manner of proceedings following relationship dissolution, including those relating to TOLATA and complex assets. She is committed to providing an affordable service to a wide range of clients with middle to high net worth.


“Kerstin is incredibly helpful. She’s very prompt in responding to enquiries and goes above and beyond in her assistance.”

“Kerstin is well prepared and empathetic. She gets things done and cuts to the chase effectively. She manages expectations incredibly well and gives excellent advice to clients due to her years of experience.”


Information Technology – Scotland (Bar)

Ranked Senior Barristers

Iain Mitchell KC is highly regarded for his expert handling of complex matters across the IT law spectrum. He has deep experience in such areas as data protection, commercial contracts and software licensing. He is a member of the CCBE’s IT law committee.

Intellectual Property – Scotland (Bar)

Commercial Dispute Resolution – Scotland (Bar)

Iain Mitchell KC is a member of both the Scottish and English Bars. His varied commercial practice takes in contract disputes as well as wider issues including finance services regulation. He is particularly experienced in banking and commercial property matters. He is also an accredited mediator in both Scotland and Ireland.



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