Chambers UK

Client Service at the Bar

Instructing solicitors flock to 7KBW because of its winning “combination of excellent barristers and a first-rate clerking team.” Senior clerk Bernie Hyatt is highlighted for his “very engaging” manner and facility for forging and maintaining strong relationships, which are underpinned by his organisational ability: “Bernie’s the man to make a plan,” says one solicitor.  Also charged with running the team, senior clerk Greg Leyden is, according to one source, “one of the primary reasons I go to the set: he’s very good at putting you with the right people.” The culture of service they oversee is “always extremely friendly and commercially-minded,” as witnessed by reports that “the clerks are very responsive, very accommodating and adept at arranging listings and counsels’ diaries.” Another source adds, “I have never seen more supportive clerks in my life – whether it be responding to questions, requests for numbers or just queries about availability, they really seem to care.” The combined impressions of the support offered by the team are perhaps best summarised by a client who said, “the clerks at 7KBW make such a difference: they provide a committed and excellent service and are a credit to the chambers.” The set is further blessed in having Practice Development and Marketing Director Brian Lee on board. Lee is a man of great experience who is noted for his great market contacts and in-depth knowledge of the commercial law scene both domestically and overseas.

Chambers UK 2017

 

Sources “rate 7KBW very highly for client service,” because “from the top to the bottom, the set is very customer-focused,” and “always a pleasure to deal with.” Much praise is directed at senior clerk Bernie Hyatt, who “does a great job of managing the chambers.” “He is very responsive,” and “runs a very tight but good ship in terms of support,” sources add. Sources are also impressed with the “brilliant” senior clerk Greg Leyden, as he “bends over backwards for clients” and “does a great job.” A major draw for clients is the “down to earth and less formal” approach adopted by the team, which means they “can just call them up and have a direct chat with them.” Instructing solicitors report that the clerks can always be trusted to “place you with the most appropriate barrister,” because “they really know their barristers, both their strengths and weaknesses, so their recommendations are always spot on.” One client encapsulates the general feeling amongst sources this year: “The set is top drawer really-responsive, helpful and always available.”

Chambers UK 2016

 

Insurance

THE SET  A set that is “insurance top to bottom,” 7KBW has a formidable offering of barristers who cover insurance disputes of all kinds and in virtually all sectors. Considered “the first port of call” for insurance, members are regularly instructed by parties from around the globe in matters of the utmost complexity and magnitude. Recent international cases have involved insurance losses arising from natural disasters in Asia and political upheaval in the Middle East. The set has also had significant involvement in major Bermuda Form arbitrations.

Client service: “We have a very close relationship with senior clerk Bernie Hyatt and the others. We trust them to know our preferences and we feel as though we can talk to them honestly about fees as well.” “The clerks are always highly responsive and helpful.”

Chambers UK 2017

 

THE SET  7 King’s Bench Walk’s status as the pre-eminent insurance set in the market is underlined by its involvement in almost all the major cases in the field. It boasts “amazing strength in depth” and has a team of barristers whose expertise covers the full range of insurance matters. Even peers concede that “no discussion of insurance is complete without them being mentioned.” Its members have recently handled significant cases arising from recent global political unrest, major shipping losses and natural disaster matters. The set receives instructions from insurers, brokers and policyholders across the globe.

Client service: “Led by senior clerks Bernie Hyatt and Greg Leyden, the clerks are always extremely helpful, very accommodating and understand exactly what clients are trying to achieve.”

Chambers UK 2016

 

THE SET  A go-to chambers for the largest and most complex insurance cases, which “operates at a much higher level than the majority of other sets in the market.” “There’s no better chambers when it comes to dealing with extremely high-value insurance coverage matters,” according to commentators. Members here handle every type of insurance dispute, and act for insurers, reinsurers, brokers and insured companies worldwide. Of late they have handled a number of disputes arising out of the financial downturn, and have continued to tackle cases following on from events such as natural disasters and political crises.

Client service: “The clerks, led by Bernie Hyatt, are highly approachable, very responsible and good at getting things in the diary.”

Chambers UK 2015

 

THE SET  Universally acclaimed as the market-leading insurance set, it has a large number of elite silks and juniors. The set provides counsel to some of the world’s leading insurers and reinsurers, and also acts for high-profile insureds. Its practitioners are highly expert in conducting cross-jurisdictional work, and brokers’ negligence, coverage advice, shipping and cross-border trade are all areas of strength for the set. In particular, it wins admiration from instructing solicitors for its broad range of quality QCs. One peer remarks: “They justify their place in a tier of their own. The set is highly specialist and, in my view, head for head there’s tremendous quality. It has very few weaknesses.”

Client service: “The clerking team, led by Bernie Hyatt, is excellent – the clerks completely understand their role in this service industry and provide invaluable support. They are to be applauded on their efforts in maintaining communication with instructing solicitors, and developing a real relationship with them.”

“They justify their place in a tier of their own. The set is highly specialist and, in my view, head for head there’s tremendous quality. It has very few weaknesses.”

“The clerking team, led by Bernie Hyatt, is excellent – the clerks completely understand their role in this service industry and provide invaluable support. They are to be applauded on their efforts in maintaining communication with instructing solicitors, and developing a real relationship with them.”
Chambers UK 2014

 
THE SET Interviewees acclaim the depth of talent and experience offered at this set. It contains many “extremely strong players,” who both advise and litigate a vast number of cases, many of which are huge in terms of their scope and value. Members at the set act for both insurers and the insured, providing counsel to domestic and international clients alike. Recently, individuals at the set acted in the Standard Life v Ace European Group, a case concerning a £100 million professional indemnity claim. 
Chambers UK 2013
 
THE SET 7 King’s Bench Walk is the set to beat for pure insurance work. Boasting “a line-up to defeat all line-ups,” it is praised for its enviable track record in the insurance sphere and for the depth of resources it can bring to complex insurance disputes. “Behind virtually every single door lies a highly knowledgeable insurance expert,” agree sources. The top-quality barristers on hand are also indebted to their team of clerks, who offer them “superb support” and impress solicitors because “they really know how to get you what you need.” Particular praise is reserved for senior clerk Bernie Hyatt, with commentators noting that “he always gives you an honest view as to his barristers’ availability.”   
Chambers UK 2012

 

Professional Negligence

THE SET A distinguished commercial set with a superb reputation in the insurance sector, 7 King’s Bench Walk also offers robust representation on professional negligence matters. In particular, its members are regularly instructed on behalf of financial professionals including accountants, independent advisers, banks and hedge fund managers. Recent case highlights include Cattles v PwC, a £1.6 billion claim for audit negligence, and Sebry v Companies House, concerning the duty of care owed by the registrar to those on the UK register of companies.

Client service: “The clerks are very helpful. They take as much off your hands as they can.” “We found the clerks easy to deal with, and we could always get hold of someone.” Bernie Hyatt and Greg Leyden are the joint senior clerks.

Chambers UK 2017

 

THE SET A strong commercial set with a significant presence in the London market. It routinely advises the four largest professional services networks and practitioners have an excellent understanding of auditing, tax and insolvency work. Recent work handled by members includes Orlen Lietuva v Aon Limited, a USD100 million claim alleging failure to advise properly on commercial insurance cover, and Sebry v Companies House, a case concerning mistakes in the defendant’s register of listed companies. One impressed source states: “All barristers there are fantastic – they have a very high calibre of people.”
 
Client service: “The clerks are always more than helpful and they always make themselves available. They are really proficient and know what they are doing.” The senior clerks are Bernie Hyatt and Greg Leyden.
Chambers UK 2016
 
THE SET  7 King’s Bench Walk handles a number of professional negligence-related disputes for claimants and defendants. Members are often seen in insurance brokers and coverage disputes, and high-profile financial negligence cases.
 
Client service: Bernie Hyatt and Greg Leyden lead a “very good” clerking team.
Chambers UK 2015
 
THE SET Insurance specialists who are noted for their professional indemnity advice in matters involving underwriters, brokers and other insurance professionals. The set’s busy workload in that area is complemented by its work advising on accountants’ and solicitors’ negligence claims. 
Chambers UK 2014
 
THE SET 7 King’s Bench Walk has an impressive breadth of practice and attracts a high-profile clientele. Its members are well known for their insurance work and so, perhaps unsurprisingly, have carved out a niche on the professional negligence front. Solicitors say of the barristers here that they are all “very responsive and understanding of the time pressures on instructing solicitors.”  
Chambers UK 2013
 
THE SET The “excellent” barristers at 7 King’s Bench Walk cover a wide range of professional negligence work, but are particularly recommended for their knowledge of the insurance sector. The members here are widely praised, with one satisfied solicitor stating: “They are the easiest barristers that we work with, since they genuinely become part of our team.” They are clerked by a team that is “always helpful, responsive and good with deadlines.” 
Chambers UK 2012

 

Commercial Dispute Resolution

THE SET A hugely regarded insurance set that year on year broadens the scope of its commercial litigation work. Members are involved in a wide variety of matters relating to civil fraud, professional negligence, banking and general contract disputes, and are described as being “sensible, experienced and sophisticated practitioners.” They produce a strong showing in the energy and shipping markets and increasingly attract work of great importance. Individuals here have been involved in the Excalibur case, Cattles v PwC, the Yukos litigation and the OW Bunkers bankruptcy matter. 

Client service: “An excellent set with a great clerking team led by Bernie Hyatt and Greg Leyden.” Brian Lee is the practice development and marketing director, and maintains very strong links with solicitors both domestically and internationally.

Chambers UK 2017

 

THE SET  While 7 King’s Bench Walk is well known as a leading set for insurance disputes, it also offers deep expertise in relation to a number of other fields. It regularly handles shipping, professional negligence and energy related cases, and has also appeared in high-profile matters addressing the mis-selling of financial products. Among the many highly significant cases of recent years in which the set’s members have played leading roles are Excalibur Ventures v Texas Keystone, a dispute in the Commercial Court over the rights to oilfields in Kurdistan, and E & Others v M, a case concerning a worldwide freezing order. Commentators warm to this set as it has “all the olde worlde charm of a traditional chambers” but also barristers who are “highly intelligent and very modern and commercial in their outlook.”

Client service:“The clerks are always more than helpful. They are really proficient and know what they’re doing.” Bernie Hyatt and Greg Leyden are the senior clerks.

Chambers UK 2016

 

THE SET 7KBW is traditionally known for its shipping and insurance work, but has established its reputation in the commercial market generally as a result of the high quality of its silks. Commodities, insurance and professional negligence cases remain the bedrock of its practice, and the set has also received recent instructions on energy, shareholder, fraud and financial products disputes.

Client service: “The clerking there is very good. The clerks take the time to get to know you and the way you work, and their recommendations have always been good. That really influences my purchasing decisions as a solicitor.” Bernie Hyatt and Greg Leyden serve as joint senior clerks.

Chambers UK 2015

 

THE SET 7KBW has long held sway as a leading insurance and shipping set, but also handles cases across the full spectrum of commercial litigation. Its members are regularly instructed on a wide range of complex commercial briefs, and draw particular acclaim for their experience in tackling cross-border disputes. The set’s ever-increasing profile at the Commercial Bar is testament to the focus it has placed on litigation and arbitration disputes arising from multiple sectors and industries. The respected silks and juniors are complemented by a “very professional and efficient” clerking team who “are excellent and know just what you want.”

Client service:

“Very well organised and the clerks, led by Bernie Hyatt, are very easy to work with.”

“very professional and efficient”

“are excellent and know just what you want.”

“Very well organised and the clerks, led by Bernie Hyatt, are very easy to work with.”

Chambers UK 2014

 
THE SET 7 King’s Bench Walk constitutes a strong market presence and has received a good deal of press attention of late due to its lead role in the Masri litigation. Members of the set were instructed by Masri in the Commercial Court, the Court of Appeal and in substantial contempt of court proceedings. That members should have involvement in this and other cases of such magnitude is a fitting illustration of the strides that the set as a whole has made in recent years. Once almost wholly associated with insurance work, chambers is now recognised as having full commercial litigation capability. Its barristers tackle commercial cases of many different kinds and are well supported by a clerking team, led by Bernie Hyatt and Greg Leyden, that is “experienced, highly responsive and understanding of the time pressures faced by instructing solicitors.” 
Chambers UK 2013
 
THE SET Boasting a number of “high-class commercial litigators,” 7 King’s Bench Walk maintains a formidable presence in the market. It is particularly sought out for big-ticket insurance and energy-related matters, as evidenced by its recent involvement in the Shell v Total case. The set’s barristers are assisted by a “stellar” clerking team, which is “accommodating in all respects and very client-focused.”  
Chambers UK 2012

 

International Arbitration: General Commercial & Insurance

THE SET  Historically known for its insurance expertise, 7KBW’s general international arbitration practice is equally highly regarded by peers and clients, who state: “7KBW is very much at the heart of commercial arbitration.” The set handles a wide array of court proceedings related to arbitration issues including applications under the Arbitration Act 1996 and disputes over the validity of arbitration agreements, as well as requests for the enforcement of arbitration awards.

Client service: “The clerking is excellent. I have never seen more supportive clerks in my life. Whether it be responding to questions, requests for numbers, or availability, they really seem to care about their people.” The senior clerks are Greg Leyden and Bernie Hyatt.

Chambers UK 2017

 

THE SET With substantial international arbitration expertise, 7 King’s Bench Walk remains a major player in this area. It offers a significant number of outstanding practitioners who appear across a broad range of practice areas and are highlighted for their particularly deep expertise in financial services, shipping and insurance. A popular choice for insurers facing arbitrations in the aftermath of significant, highly publicised events, including natural disasters and industrial pollution incidents.

Client service: “The service I get from the chambers is top class.” “The clerking team, led by Bernie Hyatt and Greg Leyden, really know their barristers’ strengths, so their recommendations are spot-on and they are very efficient.”

Chambers UK 2016


THE SET  The set’s barristers are recognised for their excellence in all manner of insurance arbitrations. Its counsel also receive instructions on a wide spectrum of commercial matters, including energy and pharmaceutical disputes. The set has “heavy hitting individuals” at both junior and silk level, including individuals who regularly act on matters in jurisdictions such as Hong Kong, London, Singapore and Malaysia.

Client service: “The clerking service is very good. The chief clerks, Bernie Hyatt and Greg Leyden, were very user-friendly and we had a sophisticated discussion about fees.”

Chambers UK 2015

 

THE SET  This impressive commercial set is home to a cadre of distinguished barristers who are highly respected for their deep-rooted shipping and insurance expertise. This experience lends itself naturally to commercial arbitrations, and sees the set’s members frequently instructed on ICC, LCIA and LMAA disputes. Solicitors looking to instruct leading arbitration silks and juniors have plenty of choice when looking at this excellent set, and are swift to highlight the “very professional and efficient” clerking that they receive from Bernie Hyatt and his team.

Client service:

“Their client service is top-notch.”

“very professional and efficient”

“Their client service is top-notch.” 
Chambers UK 2014

 
THE SET This “bright, practical and commercial” set shows significant strength across a range of commercial international arbitration matters, and is increasingly recognised as a key player on the stage. It is known as “one of the best as regards insurance and reinsurance” disputes, and has a notable reputation in the shipping arena. Its members are, however, adept at acting in disputes of a varied nature held under the auspices of a broad range of arbitral institutions. Interviewees were also able to confirm that “the clerks are very approachable and add real value.” 
Chambers UK 2013
 
THE SET Whilst this leading shipping and insurance set is perhaps best known for its experience in London Maritime Arbitration Association (LMAA) proceedings, its members also regularly act under the ICC, LCIA and UNCITRAL rules, as well as on ad-hoc proceedings. 
Chambers UK 2012

 

Shipping & Commodities

THE SET This exemplary set provides consummate service to clients in sophisticated dry shipping, commodities and insurance disputes. Its esteemed members are highly regarded for their deft handling of international trade, marine insurance and shipbuilding disputes. The chambers has enjoyed a particularly impressive year acting in high-profile matters, including the main ‘OW Bunker’ litigation and ‘Brillante Virtuoso’, concerning the constructive loss of a vessel after being boarded by pirates. Sources claim that “if you have a case you need to win with very high stakes, you can’t really go wrong with them.”

Client service: Solicitors say “the clerks are excellent, very stable, professional and very accommodating.” The team is led by senior clerks Bernie Hyatt and Greg Leyden.

Chambers UK 2017

 

THE SET This eminent commercial set has an exceptional reputation within the shipping and commodities, and insurance markets. Its highly esteemed members have extensive experience across the spectrum of dry and wet shipping matters, and are regularly involved in the major cases of the day. Notable matters include acting for the appellants in the ‘Alexandros T’ case in the Supreme Court. The set’s counsel are expert in relation to cases involving commercial fraud and contracts, international trade, offshore construction and marine insurance, to name but a few.

Client service: Senior clerks Bernie Hyatt and Greg Leyden lead the team. The clerks are “always extremely helpful and very accommodating, and seem to understand what we solicitors are trying to achieve.”

Chambers UK 2016

 

THE SET  This highly regarded commercial set is noted for its broad shipping expertise, supported by a market-leading insurance practice. It is consistently present in high-value international wet and dry disputes, ranging from shipbuilding to unsafe port claims. Sources note that “by and large, whoever you get there is right at the top.”

Client service: The clerking team led by Bernie Hyatt receives praise for its “very responsive and transparent” service.  

Chambers UK 2015

 

THE SET  7 King’s Bench Walk is a set that has shipping and insurance work in its blood. The practitioners here have acted in some of the most important cases stretching back many years. They advise on a broad array of wet and dry disputes, including shipbuilding disputes and collision work. Commentators say they are “deeply knowledgeable,” “very cerebral,” and well backed up by efficient clerks who are “unfailingly helpful.”

Client service:

“The set has top-class silks who are experienced and have produced good results in shipbuilding disputes, and its clerks are very friendly and helpful.”

“The work quality is almost always very high.”

“deeply knowledgeable,”

“very cerebral,”

“unfailingly helpful.”

“The set has top-class silks who are experienced and have produced good results in shipbuilding disputes, and its clerks are very friendly and helpful.”

“The work quality is almost always very high.”  
Chambers UK 2014

 
THE SET 7 King’s Bench Walk is a strong commercial set which houses some of the brightest stars at the Shipping and Insurance Bar. Its members have regular involvement with market-leading cases and cover the full raft of shipping matters including charter party disputes, and suits relating to bills of lading, financing, and the sale and purchase of vessels. Commentators are quick to praise the clerks here, noting that “they are incredibly helpful, and they really understand how we work, and how the market works.” 
Chambers UK 2013
 
THE SET 7 King’s Bench Walk is an exceptionally strong commercial set with more than one string to its bow. Best known for its pre-eminence in insurance and reinsurance work, it also boasts much relevant experience in both the shipping and commodities areas. Clients comment that its tenants are “all excellent at their respective levels” and further praise its “helpful and easy-to-work-with clerks.”  
Chambers UK 2012
 

Energy & Natural Resources

THE SET Practitioners at 7KBW handle a significant amount of work relating to both onshore and offshore oil and gas projects, and are also adept at tackling construction, contract and trading disputes that arise in the energy sector. Their recent work examples include a USD19 billion arbitration concerning gas licensing rights in Kurdistan, as well as the SBM MOPUstor case, a major Commercial Court claim regarding a decommissioned oil rig in the North Sea.

Client service: Bernie Hyatt and Greg Leyden lead a team of “thinking clerks” who “pick barristers carefully to suit the needs of your case.” “They are high end and don’t let you down.”

Chambers UK 2017

 

THE SET  A set very well known for its work in the insurance sector, but one that has successfully branched out to handle many differing elements of energy related work. It has extensive experience of working with large energy companies, and is known for its skilful handling of upstream and midstream oil and gas matters. Members also have expertise in disputes relating to onshore and offshore infrastructure. They have been involved in a number of important cases over the years including Buncefield and Amoco v Teesside Gas Transportation Ltd, a House of Lords decision concerning the CATS North Sea Pipeline.
 
Client service: “The clerks there, led by Bernie Hyatt and Greg Leyden are excellent to work with. They are very helpful and move quickly to get conference calls arranged.” In the past year they have been joined by the highly respected Brian Lee who brings with him strong connections with overseas markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore.
Chambers UK 2016
 
THE SET  Renowned for its insurance, shipping and commodities work, its barristers regularly bring their experience in these fields to bear in energy disputes. Counsel from the set advise on a wide variety of matters, including disputes relating to oil and gas trading, exploration and production, and oil shipment and carriage. Additionally, counsel advise on matters relating to the construction of energy infrastructure in the oil and gas and power sectors.
Client service: “The clerks, led by Bernie Hyatt and Greg Leyden, are very good, sensible and prepared to be reasonable on fees. The clients expect to see people being adaptable and they were very helpful in this regard.” “The clerking was actually very good. Their clerk e-mailed me about the terms of engagement; he was very on top of it and knew how my firm had instructed them before.”
Chambers UK 2015