Legal 500 2021 - Top Tier Rankings for 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square
We are delighted that 14 members of chambers have been included in Legal 500 2021 in 6 practice areas. Additionally, we have been ranked as Tier 1 for our Social Housing law team, Tier 2 in Local Government law and Tier 2 for our Mediation team.
Thank you to all our clients for your support during the year and particular thanks to everyone who gave feedback on our barristers.
Social Housing (Tier 1)
4-5 Gray's Inn Square's members are sought out in the most complex and impactful cases shaping the social housing sphere. Their expertise spans the entire ambit of housing law issues, including homelessness and allocation schemes, disrepair and dilapidations, housing benefit and welfare reform, and fraud. The set has been playing a key role in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, with members representing the bereaved, survivors and residents. On a related note, they also provide regulatory advice to other local authorities, particularly in relation to the use of cladding in residential buildings. One of the many highly regarded practitioners at the chambers is Christopher Baker, who is representing Agudas Israel Housing Association in R (Z) v Hackney LBC and Agudas Israel Housing Association; a case where it was alleged that the housing association was unlawfully discriminating in favour of Orthodox Jewish people. Also of note, Jonathan Manning acted for the respondent local authority at the Supreme Court in Samuels v Birmingham City Council.
Christopher Baker - ‘Very calm, thorough in preparation, very knowledgeable and approachable.’ Ranked: Tier 1
Jonathan Manning - ‘A very strong advocate, always effective and thinking of the next step in court proceedings.’ Ranked: Tier 1
Toby Vanhegan - ‘Strengths and qualities: excellent working knowledge of all aspects of housing law; very sharp mind; ability to determine and focus on the key issue(s) in a case. Ranked: Tier 1
Ian Peacock - ‘Very clear and thorough advice in which I have complete confidence, highly knowledgeable. Always willing to deal with very urgent matters and to provide urgent advice. Always thoroughly prepared for hearings, even at short notice.’ Ranked: Tier 2
Andrew Dymond - ‘Very approachable and easy to work with. He understands the local authority viewpoint.’ Ranked: Tier 2
Annette Cafferkey - ‘She is methodical and very thorough. She is very capable with bulkier instructions containing a large volume of information and is very practical in advice.’ Ranked: Tier 3
Stephanie Lovegrove - ‘Stephanie is my go-to barrister. She has the expertise, tactics, reliability, flexibility and a clear understanding of clients' needs. She is a pleasure to work with and a highly competent advocate. Very approachable.’ Ranked: Tier 3
Anneli Robins - ‘Extremely thorough and detailed, thinks outside the box, likes to consider new angles. Excellent on her feet and paperwork and excellent pleadings. Great with clients. An all around excellent barrister.’ Ranked: Tier 4
Local Government (Tier 2)
Joint head of a set that handles a range of matters concerning local government powers and governance, 4-5 Gray's Inn Square's Timothy Straker QC conducted an investigation for Devon County Council into a former council leader who was accused of sexual assaults taking place over a decade ago. Elsewhere, Jonathan Manning advised Birmingham City Council on obtaining a Local Government Act injunction against "boy racers", resisting an attempt to set it aside on the basis that a public space protection order should have been issued instead.
Timothy Straker QC - ‘ Strengths - knowledge, intellect, clear advice, personable.’ Ranked: Tier 2
Jonathan Manning - ‘Jonathan is able to put a client, explain complex matters which are easily understood and has excellent advocacy skills. A superb tactician who is liked and trusted by instructing solicitors and clients alike. Always helpful, and undoubtedly the leading expert in his field. A first-class legal mind.’ Ranked: Tier 2
Vivienne Sedgley - ‘Vivienne is a standout junior. I have been impressed by her confidence and capability.’ Ranked: Tier 2
Christopher Baker - ‘Very knowledgeable. A very personal, calm approach. Very clear written advice.’ Ranked: Tier 3
Mediators (Tier 2)
Colin Manning - Hall of Fame
Colin has been an accredited mediator since 1997, mediation clients also benefit from Manning's 49 years' experience as a commercial litigator. Manning conducts a broad range of commercial mediations, which are frequently complex and of high value; and he has conducted several hundred mediations including multi-party disputes. His practice also covers significant contractual, professional negligence, partnership, company law and shareholders disputes, along with construction, property, trusts and probate, and international trade matters. Ranked: Tier 1
Richard Price OBE QC Ranked: Tier 1
Stephen Barker Ranked: Tier 3
Patrick Taylor Ranked: Tier 5
Christopher Baker - ‘Chris has an excellent eye for detail and strong grasp of the key issues.’ Ranked: Tier 3
Timothy Straker QC - 'Very knowledgeable, a great intellect, offers clear advice, very personable.’ Ranked: Tier 3
Administrative and Public Law (including Elections) - Tier 4
4-5 Gray's Inn Square 'has true and unparalleled expertise in the very niche area' of election law, with a number of members active in key cases. Timothy Straker QC was involved in a number of matters concerning the election expense issues of various pro-Brexit groups co-operating prior to the referendum: in one, he successfully represented Darren Grimes in a judicial review of the Electoral Commission's decision to issue with him a £20,000 fine for election expenses matters concerning that referendum, and Vote Leave in a separate appeal brought by the Good Law Project concerning the categorisation of donations to other organisations as election expenses. Richard Price OBE QC and Vivienne Sedgley have both advised the Conservative Party on a number of matters.
Timothy Straker QC -‘He is the go-to silk for any electoral work. His knowledge and insight is second to none and he fights hard. Absolute star!’ Ranked: Tier 2
Richard Price QC - ‘Richard is one of, if not the, preeminent barrister in this field. What he doesn't know about elections and election law probably isn't worth knowing. Combined with this is his fantastic sense of humour and his willingness to help and advise whenever necessary. He is a pleasure to work with.’ Ranked: Tier 2
Vivienne Sedgley - ‘Excellent judgement, hard working, responsive, good client manner, persuasive advocate, bright, knowledgeable and a team player.’ Ranked: Tier 2
The Legal 500 UK 2021 is now available online. You can view the results for 4-5 Gray's Inn Square Chambers and its members here.
Once again we would like to take this opportunity to thank our clients for their continued and valued support.