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Bindmans LLP ranked as a Band 1 firm in Chambers UK

Date: 15 November 2012

The 2013 edition of Chambers UK has been published and once again Bindmans LLP has received excellent reviews. The firm has maintained its position as a leader in providing legal services and many of its lawyers are rated as leading individuals within the legal profession.

Chambers UK is an independent guide, and firms and individuals are ranked purely on merit.

The rankings are now available to view online.  You can view the full results here: http://www.chambersandpartners.com/UK/Firms/33-72570


Bindmans LLP has been recommended as a BAND 1 FIRM in six practice areas:

• Administrative & Public Law: Traditional Claimant
• Children: Public Law Matters
• Civil Liberties & Human Rights
• Crime
• Immigration: Personal
• Police Law: Mainly Claimant


Bindmans LLP has also been recommended in the following 12 practice areas:

• Children: Cross-Border Disputes
• Civil Liberties & Human Rights: Prison Law
• Clinical Negligence: Mainly Claimant
• Court of Protection
• Defamation/Reputation Management
• Employment: Employee
• Fraud: Criminal
• Healthcare: Mental Health: Patients
• Immigration: Educational Institutions
• Personal Injury: Mainly Claimant
• Professional Discipline
• Social Housing: Tenants

Five lawyers are listed in the elite “Band *” list and a further three lawyers are ranked in “Band 1”, the Chambers UK 2013 guide to outstanding lawyers nationwide:

Administrative & Public Law: Traditional Claimant
• Stephen Grosz (Band *)
• John Halford (Band *)

Children: Cross-Border Disputes
• Katherine Gieve (Band 1)

Children: Public Law Matters
• Katherine Gieve (Band *)

Civil Liberties & Human Rights
• Saimo Chahal (Band 1)
• Stephen Grosz (Band *)
• John Halford (Band *)

Civil Liberties & Human Rights: Prison Law
• Saimo Chahal (Band 1)

Employment: Employee
• Shah Qureshi (Band 1)

Healthcare: Mental Health: Patients
• Saimo Chahal (Band *)

Immigration: Personal
• Alison Stanley (Band *)
• Liz Barratt (Band 1)

Immigration: Educational Institutions (spotlight table)

Police Law: Mainly Claimant
• Chez Cotton (Band 1)


In total, 28 lawyers are recommended in Chambers UK 2013 editorial (listed below):

Administrative & Public Law: Traditional Claimant
• Saimo Chahal (Band 2)
• Stephen Grosz (Band *)
• John Halford (Band *)
• Anna Mazzola (Band U)
• Gwendolen Morgan (Band W)

Children: Cross-Border Disputes
• Katherine Gieve (Band 1)
• Liz Dronfield (Band SA)

Children: Public Law Matters
• Katherine Gieve (Band *)

Civil Liberties & Human Rights
• Anna Mazzola (Band 4)
• Chez Cotton (Band 3)
• Gwendolen Morgan (Band W)
• John Halford (Band *)
• Saadia Khan (Band W)
• Saimo Chahal (Band 1)
• Stephen Grosz (Band *)

Civil Liberties & Human Rights: Prison Law
• Saimo Chahal (Band 1)
• Chez Cotton (Band 3)

Clinical Negligence: Mainly Claimant
• Jon Crocker (Band 3)
• Siobhan Kelly ( Band 3)
• Lynn Knowles (Band 2)

Court of Protection
• Charlotte Haworth Hird (Band W)

Crime
• Kate Goold (Band SA)
• Rhona Friedman (Band 3)
• Jude Lanchin (Band W)
• Martin Rackstraw (Band 3)
• Michael Schwarz (Band 2)
• Kate Wheatley (Band 4)

Defamation/Reputation Management
• Tamsin Allen (Band 2)

Employment: Employee
• Shah Qureshi (Band 1)
• Shazia Khan (Band U)

Fraud: Criminal
• Martin Rackstraw (Band 4)

Healthcare: Mental Health: Patients
• Saimo Chahal (Band *)

Immigration: Personal
• Liz Barratt (Band 1)
• Emma Cohen (Band 3)
• Roberta Haslam (Band W)
• Alison Stanley (Band *)

Personal Injury: Mainly Claimant
• Siobhan Kelly (Band U)

Police Law: Mainly Claimant
• Salima Budhani (Band W)
• Chez Cotton (Band 1)
• John Halford (Band 3)
• Najma Rasul (Band W)
• Anna Mazzola (Band U)

Professional Discipline
• John Halford (Band 2)
• Paul Ridge (Band 5)

Social Housing: Tenants
• Paul Ridge (Band 2)


The full details are:

Administrative & Public Law: Traditional Claimant
UK-wide (Band 1)
Saimo Chahal (Band 2)
Stephen Grosz (Band *)
John Halford (Band *)
Anna Mazzola (Band U)
Gwendolen Morgan (Band W)

Bindmans handles an impressive range of public law challenges, including those relating to legal aid contracting, discrimination and cuts to community services. It notably acted for a group of law firms in a challenge to the LSC's procurement process for legally aided public law and mental health work. Market observers comment that the firm has "a deep team of people doing proper public law work – they are doing the core work of challenging State decision-making."

KEY INDIVIDUALS
John Halford is one of the acknowledged stars of claimant-based public law. He has recently handled cases pertaining to the rights and opportunities of people to practise professions in the face of evolving state regulation, and has acted in challenges to the policing of the Royal Wedding. Sources comment that he is "a brilliant public lawyer" who brings "really imaginative public law challenges."
Stephen Grosz heads the firm's public law team and has an outstanding reputation in the field. One source commented that "he's an expert in the field so has an instantaneous feel for the merits of a particular case," while another added that he is "steeped in public law."
Saimo Chahal led the team in the aforementioned challenge to the LSC, and often handles public law challenges pertaining to social welfare, healthcare and mental health. She was instrumental in the widely reported Nicklinson v MoJ, a challenge to the law on assisted dying. According to sources, she stands out for her "incredible dedication to her clients."
Anna Mazzola has joined Bindmans from Hickman & Rose, bringing experience of public law claims stemming from the criminal justice system. Market sources recognise her as someone who "has a lot of promise."
Highly rated associate Gwendolen Morgan handles public law relating to animal welfare, education and social care. Sources comment that she is "going to be a big name."


Children: Cross-Border Disputes
London (Band 2)
Katherine Gieve (Band 1)
Liz Dronfield (Band SA)

This is a "very efficient team of lawyers that sees the woods for the trees and always has the client's interests at its fore." It particularly impresses with its work in public and private children matters, although it also offers assistance across the full spectrum of family law. The firm maintains a very strong reputation for its work on the most complex matters, including a variety of cross-border cases, with one impressed interviewee describing the team as "the best children law practitioner in London." In addition, "even its more junior practitioners ably undertake exacting and difficult work to a very high standard," and "there is a precision about its work, but never at the expense of an imaginative approach and a sensitivity to the flaws, foibles and vulnerability of their clients."

KEY INDIVIDUALS
Katherine Gieve provides a "first-class service" and "fights her cases with an iron fist, albeit clad in a velvet glove." She "radiates confidence and immense knowledge and understanding of the law," and "is highly regarded by judges for her intelligent and insightful approach to all her cases." She offers assistance in all aspects of children law, including public law matters and cross-border disputes.
Associate Liz Dronfield is noted for her expertise in cross-border children disputes. She is "astute, incisive and extremely able. She has a good feel for clients, whether in public or private law. She reads clients well and is able to be challenging, constructive and supportive when the client needs it." In addition, sources note that "she puts her absolute all into it."


Children: Public Law Matters
London (Band 1)
Katherine Gieve (Band *)

This is a "very efficient team of lawyers that sees the woods for the trees and always has the client's interests at its fore." It particularly impresses with its work in public and private children matters, although it also offers assistance across the full spectrum of family law. The firm maintains a very strong reputation for its work on the most complex matters, including a variety of cross-border cases, with one impressed interviewee describing the team as "the best children law practitioner in London." In addition, "even its more junior practitioners ably undertake exacting and difficult work to a very high standard," and "there is a precision about its work, but never at the expense of an imaginative approach and a sensitivity to the flaws, foibles and vulnerability of their clients."

KEY INDIVIDUALS
Katherine Gieve provides a "first-class service" and "fights her cases with an iron fist, albeit clad in a velvet glove." She "radiates confidence and immense knowledge and understanding of the law," and "is highly regarded by judges for her intelligent and insightful approach to all her cases." She offers assistance in all aspects of children law, including public law matters and cross-border disputes.
Associate Liz Dronfield is noted for her expertise in cross-border children disputes. She is "astute, incisive and extremely able. She has a good feel for clients, whether in public or private law. She reads clients well and is able to be challenging, constructive and supportive when the client needs it." In addition, sources note that "she puts her absolute all into it."


Civil Liberties & Human Rights
UK-wide (Band 1)
• Anna Mazzola (Band 4)
• Chez Cotton (Band 3)
• Gwendolen Morgan (Band W)
• John Halford (Band *)
• Saadia Khan (Band W)
• Saimo Chahal (Band 1)
• Stephen Grosz (Band *)

Bindmans engages with human rights and civil liberties law on the broadest possible terms, and lawyers at the firm have recently been involved in widely covered cases including immigration, right to die, protest and discrimination issues. During a year of widespread protest, Bindmans has represented individuals detained and kettled by the police at St Pauls, during the tuition fees march and whilst occupying Fortnum & Mason. The firm was instrumental in uncovering collusion between the Met Police and the News of the World, and is described by counsel as "first class: they are trusted, reliable and they take excellent cases."

KEY INDIVIDUALS
Honorary QC Stephen Grosz "has an instantaneous feel for the merits of a proposed litigation situation and can immediately put it into the legal context that we need."
The "highly respected" John Halford is currently working closely with individuals who were forcefully detained whilst protesting at the G20 'Climate Camp'. He is praised for his feel for public law and is widely endorsed as a star individual. 
Saimo Chahal was involved with the important Rabone case, and was lawyer to Tony Nicklinson, who suffered from locked-in syndrome and was campaigning for the right to die. Chahal's work on this matter has been widely reported in the press and is extremely significant both socially and legally. 
Chez Cotton works extensively with protestors and individuals unlawfully arrested or detained by the police whilst taking part in demonstrations. She is "fantastic in actions against the police," and is described as "remarkable."
Anna Mazzola brings to private practice her experience at the GLS. She focuses on deaths in custody and police failure to investigate, and "brings a wide experience of public law generally."
Clients value Gwendolen Morgan's hard work and input and the results that she is able to secure. Her practice is broad, taking in asylum and trafficking, issues surrounding the right to privacy and discriminatory practices.
Saadia Khan was named junior lawyer of the year at the Law Society awards. Her work on access to justice issues is well noted by her peers.


Civil Liberties & Human Rights: Prison Law
London & UK-wide (Band 2)
Chez Cotton (Band 3)
Saimo Chahal (Band 1)

Bindmans engages with human rights and civil liberties law on the broadest possible terms, and lawyers at the firm have recently been involved in widely covered cases including immigration, right to die, protest and discrimination issues. During a year of widespread protest, Bindmans has represented individuals detained and kettled by the police at St Pauls, during the tuition fees march and whilst occupying Fortnum & Mason. The firm was instrumental in uncovering collusion between the Met Police and the News of the World, and is described by counsel as "first class: they are trusted, reliable and they take excellent cases."

KEY INDIVIDUALS
Honorary QC Stephen Grosz "has an instantaneous feel for the merits of a proposed litigation situation and can immediately put it into the legal context that we need."
The "highly respected" John Halford is currently working closely with individuals who were forcefully detained whilst protesting at the G20 'Climate Camp'. He is praised for his feel for public law and is widely endorsed as a star individual. 
Saimo Chahal was involved with the important Rabone case, and was lawyer to Tony Nicklinson, who suffered from locked-in syndrome and was campaigning for the right to die. Chahal's work on this matter has been widely reported in the press and is extremely significant both socially and legally. 
Chez Cotton works extensively with protestors and individuals unlawfully arrested or detained by the police whilst taking part in demonstrations. She is "fantastic in actions against the police," and is described as "remarkable."
Anna Mazzola brings to private practice her experience at the GLS. She focuses on deaths in custody and police failure to investigate, and "brings a wide experience of public law generally."
Clients value Gwendolen Morgan's hard work and input and the results that she is able to secure. Her practice is broad, taking in asylum and trafficking, issues surrounding the right to privacy and discriminatory practices.
Saadia Khan was named junior lawyer of the year at the Law Society awards. Her work on access to justice issues is well noted by her peers.

Clinical Negligence: Mainly Claimant
London (Band 2)
Jon Crocker (Band 3)
Siobhan Kelly (Band 3)
Lynn Knowles (Band 2)

This well-respected firm focuses exclusively on high-value cases. The firm is growing in size and strength, and often handles claims involving elements of public and human rights law, for which it is able to draw upon extensive expertise in other departments of the firm. Over the past year its work has covered cases involving cerebral palsy, amputation, adult and child brain injury, catastrophic spinal cord injury, and missed or delayed diagnosis of cancer. The firm is also known for possessing a strong commitment to legal aid work, and is a prominent campaigner against cuts in this area.

KEY INDIVIDUALS
Joint head of department Lynn Knowles has acted on cases involving cerebral palsy and catastrophic hypoxic brain injury. She enjoys professional recognition as a highly capable and personable individual, and is admired for being "realistic and sensible in her approach."
Renowned in the market for her exemplary client service, Siobhan Kelly is recognised as one of the most promising practitioners in the field. Her past cases include claims relating to surgical negligence and spinal injury, as well as matters including elements pertaining to immigration. Peers speak highly of her talent for "pushing cases through promptly."
Jon Crocker acts on complex claims featuring neurological injury. His cases sometimes touch on aspects of public law.


Court of Protection
UK-wide (Band 3)
Charlotte Haworth Hird (Band W)

Due to the firm's long-standing interest in human rights work, Bindmans is a natural choice for individuals and those acting for individuals in health and welfare matters. Court of Protection cases have touched on issues including deprivation of liberty, forced marriage and the capacity to consent to medical treatment. A lawyer comments that Bindmans is "a firm that is known on Court of Protection matters; the lawyers there are easy-going and nice people."

KEY INDIVIDUALS
The "incredibly thorough and conscientious" Charlotte Haworth Hird has a diverse public law background, although she has amassed considerable expertise in mental health cases. Deprivation of liberty cases are a specialism of hers.


Crime
London (Band 1)
Rhona Friedman (Band 3)
Kate Goold (Band SA)
Jude Lanchin (Band W)
Martin Rackstraw (Band 3)
Michael Schwarz (Band 2)
Kate Wheatley (Band 4)

Bindmans is widely held to have one of the best crime teams in London, and is praised for its excellent "old-style solicitoring." Its "brilliant, dedicated people" have acted for clients caught up in the phone hacking and parliamentary expenses scandals, as well as those involved in the 2011 summer riots. They also have expertise in murder and extradition cases. The team handles both private and publicly funded work, and is commended for its attention to clients' needs.

KEY INDIVIDUALS
Michael Schwarz is known for his skill in handling public protest cases. The last year has seen him defending protestors from the Fortnum & Mason occupation and the summer riots. Sources note that "he is very good at taking a careful, reasonable line in cases with a high public profile."
Martin Rackstraw is strongly recommended and praised for his good judgement. Examples of his recent work include an OFT prosecution of a money lending company and applying to the Criminal Cases Review Commission alleging a conviction for murder using voice ID evidence was unsafe.
Rhona Friedman handles a wealth of high-profile work, including recently mounting a successful defence in the Leo McKnight attempted murder case.  Interviewees describe her as "tenacious and dedicated, somebody who will go the extra mile for a client."
Kate Wheatley handles a range of work across the criminal and fraud spectrum. She has built a reputation for being "always available and fizzing with ideas, just unbelievably committed." Clients include a television reporter arrested at the 2012 Olympic village.
Kate Goold impresses with her client care skills, with sources noting that "she works every hour God sends." Her strengths lie in defending murders with a mental health element, including the recent R v Choudhury case.
Jude Lanchin is acknowledged for her careful handling of heavyweight criminal cases. Sources stress that "she really cares about her clients and pours her heart and soul" into helping them. Her caseload currently involves representing suspects in the 1985 murder of PC Keith Blakelock in the Tottenham riots.


Defamation/Reputation Management
UK-wide (Band 4)
Tamsin Allen (Band 2)

The defamation practice group at Bindmans continues to punch far above its weight; this is illustrated by the team's pivotal role in the News of the World phone hacking saga, one of the biggest stories of 2012. The team leader Tamsin Allen was the co-ordinator of the phone hacking claimants group, and took a leading role in the management of the litigation. The team has also been acting alongside Collyer Bristow for the core participant victims referred to in the Leveson Inquiry.

KEY INDIVIDUALS
Tamsin Allen is the head of the department. She has attracted considerable attention this year through her representation of a number of claimants, including Chris Bryant MP, Tessa Jowell MP and Lord Prescott, in the ongoing phone hacking civil claims against News Group Newspapers. Allen was at one stage appointed the co-ordinator of the claimants group, and received considerable plaudits from peers for her handling of a very difficult brief. Commentators describe Allen as "an excellent solicitor who has a good combination of intellectual acumen, tactical awareness and really good people skills."

Employment: Employee
London (Band 2)
Shah Qureshi (Band 1)
Shazia Khan (Band U)

This team is held in high esteem for its representation of individual clients in pioneering discrimination, whistle-blowing and unfair dismissal claims. It is also respected for its advice on equal pay and TUPE negotiations. Clients say the team is “quick to get to the core of the issue” and is “feared by the other side.” Notable clients include International Planned Parenthood Federation, Amnesty International and Women's Pioneer Housing.

KEY INDIVIDUALS
Shah Qureshi is “exactly the right lawyer to have on your side” and “made the other side’s lawyers seem pedestrian,” satisfied clients say. He recently successfully acted for a professional gardener, author and animal rights campaigner against Orchard Park Garden Centre and others claiming that his client's employment was terminated because of his opposition to hunting.
Shazia Khan frequently handles discrimination claims for individuals. Clients say she is “easy to relate to” and “calm, strong, clear and supportive.” 


Fraud: Criminal
UK-wide (Band 3)
Martin Rackstraw (Band 4)

The four-partner business crime and fraud team at this noted human rights-centric firm handles defence work in instances of overseas corruption, insider trading, political fraud and more conventional fraud work, and has extensive experience of advising clients being investigated by the SFO, FSA, HMRC or OFT. A significant proportion of the firm's workload has an international element, with recent highlights including acting for a director of bridge builders Mabey & Johnson in an SFO investigation into potential instances of bribery in relation to contracts with foreign governments.

KEY INDIVIDUALS
Sources praise Martin Rackstraw's attention to detail, ability to marshal large numbers of documents and tactical nous. He is currently advising a director of the Money Lending Company on an OFT investigation into alleged loan sharking.

Healthcare: Mental Health: Patients
Saimo Chahal (Band *)

Immigration: Personal
London (Band 1)
Liz Barratt (Band 1)
Emma Cohen (Band 3)
Roberta Haslam (Band W)
Alison Stanley (Band *)

Bindmans is a pre-eminent practice that regularly represents vulnerable migrants, often with legally challenging immigration statuses that require judicial review. The firm has strong connections with migrant charities and campaigning groups, and is frequently responsible for changes to the interpretation of human rights law. Widely recognised by their fellow practitioners, lawyers at Bindmans are praised by their clients for their deep knowledge, experience and compassion. The firm is also working to challenge UK Border Agency decisions on the removal of sponsor licences from educational institutions. Bindmans are "top performers in the world of immigration."

KEY INDIVIDUALS
Star individual Alison Stanley "stands out a mile," according to her peers, and her determination to take on and fight difficult cases is respected by her clients. She provides strategic and political direction to cases that many would struggle to handle. "She is excellent with clients and a very good lawyer. We always refer work straight to Alison."
Liz Barratt is strong on EU law, and is described as having "passion for the job and a real passion for human beings." She has recently been involved in a number of important cases on the obligations of the State in dealing with unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.
Roberta Haslam has worked closely with NGO Kanlungan, successfully securing discretionary leave to remain for migrant care workers who had been denied immigration status by significant UK Border Agency policy changes. According to interviewees, Haslam "works very fast" and works hard to ensure that the client understands the procedure.
Barristers say that when working with Emma Cohen, "it is a huge advantage that she is an experienced litigator and can get to grips with the facts very quickly." Cohen has a broad immigration skill set, and has recently been focusing on litigating Tier 4 sponsorship removal cases for educational institutions.

Immigration: Educational Institutions
Recommended in the spotlight table

Personal Injury: Mainly Claimant
London (Band 3)
Siobhan Kelly (Band 3)

Bindmans maintains a formidable reputation for mid to high-value personal injury claims. This compact team is strong in both clinical negligence and personal injury and regularly handles cases involving adult and child brain injury, severe burns and diseases such as mesothelioma. The members are "very good at going the extra mile for their clients" and "excellent at maximising damages," according to market sources.

KEY INDIVIDUALS
Siobhan Kelly is "really good with clients" and "great at pushing cases through promptly," according to peers. She regularly handles high-value catastrophic injury cases arising from RTAs, as well as workplace accident and industrial disease matters.


Police Law: Mainly Claimant
UK-wide (Band 1)
Salima Budhani (Band W)
Chez Cotton (Band 1)
John Halford (Band 3)
Anna Mazzola (Band U)
Najma Rasul (Band 3)

This compact team continues to impress sources with its "passion, knowledge and experience in human rights law," and has a reputation for "leaving no stone unturned to deliver justice." It represents claimants in a broad range of matters, including covert and pre-emptive policing, false imprisonment and malicious prosecutions. A recent highlight was the only judicial review brought on the police failures during the phone-hacking investigation, which found that the Metropolitan Police Service breached Article 8 obligations by not warning the victims of the phone-hacking.

KEY INDIVIDUALS
The "dedicated" and "very tenacious" Chez Cotton has been involved with a number of high-profile cases over the past year, including dealing with the aftermath of the police infiltrator Mark Kennedy, involving 88 claimants against five potential defendants including the CPS, the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire and the Serious and Organised Crime Agency. She is "incredibly dogged in her pursuit of justice for her clients," said one interviewee.
The "brilliant" Najma Rasul is "passionate about achieving justice, and not just settling a claim." As well as being involved with the civil actions that have arisen from the aftermath of the Mark Kennedy events, she has been involved with an important test case challenging the indefinite retention of police photographs.
John Halford is "inspirational and trustworthy," and is widely admired for his "genuine passion for human rights law." He has been strongly involved with various kettling cases since the police started using the tactic, bringing the first such case involving the tactic to the European Court of Human Rights.
Anna Mazzola recently joined the firm from Hickman & Rose and is widely admired for her litigation skills and her work on public law actions against the police and the CPS.
Salima Budhani is highly regarded for her "high sense of responsibility and her prudent, painstaking and prompt attention to her client at any time." She specialises in cases dealing with Article 8 rights, ill treatment of people in custody, or Article 10 and 11 issues concerning protesters' rights.


Professional Discipline
UK-wide (Band 3)
John Halford (Band 2)
Paul Ridge (Band 5)

Clients are very pleased with the the service this team offers, with one saying: "It's a really friendly firm. The team is clearly very competent and I would have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone. Its good reputation is certainly well deserved." Another client said: "I had a very positive experience. It's good to have someone taking it so seriously."

KEY INDIVIDUALS
John Halford is "steeped in public law and brings a creative insight to professional regulatory work. I would send work to him if couldn't do it," said one market source. He provides regulatory advice to the Association of Child Psychotherapists.
Paul Ridge is "outstandingly good," according to one client. Another praised his "great level of expertise, quality of output and thoroughness." He has developed a practice related to solicitors in regulatory disputes and has acted successfully on ecclesiastical matters.


Social Housing: Tenants
UK-wide (Band 2)
Paul Ridge (Band 2)

This respected firm is noted for its work in cases at the intersection of social housing and areas such as community care, mental health and occupation rights. Particular areas of expertise include Rent Act possession claims, community care and housing matters and disrepair cases. A recent highlight was defending a client against UBS in possession proceedings.

KEY INDIVIDUALS
Paul Ridge is "very approachable and comes up with good ideas." He is noted for his work in possession cases, having appeared in the Court of Appeal multiple times in the last year.

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