Directories - Chambers UK Bar 2018 South Eastern

This is a summary of chambers' rankings in Chambers UK Bar 2018.



Band 1




The Set: Harcourt Chambers is home to an impressive group of family law barristers, based out of London and Oxford. It maintains a strong reputation for children matters and is regularly sought out for its expertise relating to child abductions and cases of physical and sexual abuse. The set is also recommended for its handling of complex financial matters. These encompass trusts, business assets and pension arrangements, and often have an international dimension. Other areas of strength include cohabitation matters and civil partnership disputes.

Client service: "The clerks are very friendly and helpful. They do their best to try and find suitable counsel and advise on who is best." "The clerks work very closely with the barristers. They are extremely well run and I feel I can rely on them." Simon Boutwood is the chambers director.

Frances Judd QC
Band 1


An expert in private and public children law, Frances Judd QC handles cases relating to a wide range of matters including surrogacy, parental responsibility, sudden infant death and sexual abuse. She is much admired for her knowledge of international and domestic relocation law, and is regularly instructed by guardians, parents and local authorities. 

Strengths: "She has a phenomenal reputation." "She is so calm and composed, and carries an authority with her in court."



John Vater QC
Band 1


Focusing on public children law matters, Vater is particularly adept at handing sensitive cases containing complex medical evidence. He is skilled at representing local authorities and parents in cases concerning relocation and surrogacy, while also taking on private international adoption work. 

Strengths: "Very bright, down to earth and reassuring for clients."



Nicholas Goodwin QC
Band 2


An extremely experienced silk who regularly handles public and private children law proceedings. He is highly regarded for his participation in cases concerning non-accidental injury and infant fatalities, while also advising adopters and local authorities in international adoption cases.

Strengths: "He would be my first choice of QC in every available circumstance. He has the most exceptional brain for remembering detail and conjuring up that information under pressure." "He is a smooth operator who is top-notch in his paperwork and advocacy, and very popular with clients."



Aidan Vine QC
Band 2


A distinguished advocate who is experienced in matrimonial finance and children cases, including many with an international character. He has appeared with regularity in the High Court and Court of Appeal, and also lectures and publishes on family law matters.

Strengths: "He is incredibly bright and his preparation is exemplary." "He is a real star in complex children cases involving jurisdictional disputes."



Fiona Hay
Band 1


Senior junior who is esteemed for her expertise in financial relief and particularly sought after for her knowledge of cases involving pensions. She has published a popular handbook on the subject.

"She is absolutely first-class." "Her calm manner is an asset to clients in fraught situations and hides a passion to get the best results for the clients." "She is an incredibly safe pair of hands, delightful with clients and very down to earth."



Louise Potter
Band 3


Noted for her ability to resolve high-value financial disputes, through both litigation and out-of-court negotiation. She also advises on public and private law matters concerning children.

Strengths: "Louise is very well prepared for hearings. Her cross-examination skills are very good." "She is brilliant with the clients, realistic in terms of their expectations and empathetic but fierce as a negotiator when the chips are down."



Jonathan Sampson 
Band 1


Maintains a vibrant public and private family law practice encompassing high net worth finance cases, involving significant trust and business assets, as well as cases relating to children and vulnerable adults. His work often has an international element.

Strengths: "He is a superb advocate. His cross-examination skills are second to none."


2 Harcourt Buildings
Dx 373 LDE
Tel 0844 561 7135
Fax (020) 7353 6968


Churchill House
3 St Aldate's Courtyard,
38 St Aldate's, Oxford
Dx 96453 Oxford 4
Tel 0844 561 7135
Fax (01865) 791 585


0844 561 7135


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