Chambers UK Bar 2020 South Eastern Family/Matrimonial


This is a summary of chambers' rankings in Chambers UK Bar 2019.





Band 1

A top set offering strong capabilities across the range of family and matrimonial matters operating out of both London and Oxford. Its barristers handle highly complex children cases that cover both public and private law, including those involving allegations of abuse. It also fields expertise in high-value matrimonial finance matters. "The set is full of talent, from top to bottom," comments an interviewee.


Client service: "The clerks are really helpful and really approachable, and they'll always try to help. They go out of their way to find someone for me." "Simon Boutwood is the head clerk, and he's brilliant and client-focused."


Nick 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's very approachable and very pragmatic." "He's meticulously well prepared but also understated and an absolute masterclass in cross-examination." "He's very calm and collected, and has an excellent ability to recall facts."


John Vater QC

Band 1


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

Strengths: "He's an exceptional silk with a real enthusiasm for the law and fearless representation of his client, whoever they are." "He's a fearless advocate in the finest and most ancient traditions of the practice, and has broad experience of all work involving children. He's dedicated to achieving justice even in the most difficult and complex public law cases."


Aidan Vine QC

Band 2

A distinguished advocate who is experienced in matrimonial finance and children cases, including many with international complexities. He has appeared with regularity in the High Court and Court of Appeal, and also lectures and publishes on family law matters. He often handles care proceedings, including those involving abuse and neglect.

Strengths: "He is the go-to person for public law issues, including Human Rights Act claims; he's calm, collected, meticulously prepared and renowned for the care he gives his clients."


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. In addition to appearing as an advocate, she sits as a Deputy High Court Judge and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Strengths: "I find her very measured and calm in her approach. What I like is that she doesn't unnecessarily rile up the other side - she's very clear and firm, but won't raise the temperature for no reason." "She's the kind of barrister that you know is always looking to find a solution that will be in your client's best interests, which is very refreshing."


Jane Campbell

Band 2

Widely respected for her expertise in financial remedy and Children Act proceedings, she has also been appointed to sit as a Deputy District Judge. She attracts a broad range of clients, including high net worth and high-profile individuals.

Strengths: "Her strength is her knowledge of the law and her ability to tailor it to the case in a way that the client understands and the judge appreciates." "She has an excellent manner with judges and provides an empathetic service to clients, as well as offering excellent written advocacy and a swift grasp of complex financial matters."


Louise Potter

Band 2

Noted for her ability to resolve high-value financial disputes, through both litigation and out-of-court negotiation. She offers particular experience in cases involving pensions and business assets. She also advises on public and private law matters concerning children.

Strengths: "She's very empathetic and has a fantastic bedside manner, while also being very thorough on both finance and children matters." "She's an experienced advocate and she's honed her craft." "She's an extremely personable and knowledgeable advocate with a warm client manner."


Jonathan Sampson

Band 1

Maintains a vibrant public and private family law practice that includes 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. He undertakes a significant volume of appellate advocacy and has appeared in the Court of Appeal on numerous occasions.

Strengths: "His brain has the great ability to turn over and digest information, and he's got a really good understanding of public law and related areas." "He's a superb advocate - his cross-examination skills are second to none."


Emily Rayner

Band 3

Notable matrimonial finance practice complemented by additional strength in cross-border child matters, including international abductions. Her caseload also extends to challenging public law work involving issues such as sexual abuse.

Strengths: "She does exemplary preparation but it's backed up with very clear and concise advocacy. She's laser-sharp and knows when to stop, which isn't something everybody else knows how to do." "She offers outstanding client care and the full grasp of legal principles."


2 Harcourt Buildings
Dx 373 LDE
Tel 0207 353 6961


Churchill House
3 St Aldate's Courtyard,
38 St Aldate's, Oxford
Dx 96453 Oxford 4
Tel 01865 791559


0207 353 6961


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