Keystone Law has achieved another year of great success in the Chambers and Partners Guide 2024, with lawyers being recognised across multiple practice areas as experts in their respective fields.
The directory identifies and ranks the most outstanding practitioners in over 180 jurisdictions throughout the world.
A full list of Keystone’s ranked and recognised practitioners in the current edition can be viewed below:
Samantha Leigh is well known for advising landlords, investors and charities on a range of agricultural matters.
Lisette Aguilar brings significant art industry experience to transactional and contentious art and cultural property matters. She advises regularly on high-value art disputes for traditional and upcoming auction houses and collectors, particularly on art fraud. A client said: “Lisette has a great view into the art market and has a great legal mind.” Another added: “Lisette provides us with valuable and well-rounded advice based on her many years of experience in the art world. We would recommend her without hesitation.”
Gregor Kleinknecht regularly handles complex art-related disputes. A client commented: “He is particularly good on restitution matters. Gregor is very active as one of the PAIAM organisers and a big figure in the art world.” Another added: “He is very involved and switched on to the art market.”
‘Senior Statesperson’ James Healy-Pratt has extensive experience acting on behalf of bereaved claimants following international and domestic aircraft accidents. A client said: “He’s a tremendous lawyer.”
Owen Hanna has particular strength handling claims stemming from aircraft accidents. He frequently acts for both passengers and their families. One source commented: “Owen always went the extra mile to make sure my case was handled professionally and with integrity. Superb.”
Banking & Finance: Islamic Finance
Fara Mohammad brings a wealth of experience when advising on Islamic finance transactions. She is particularly regarded for her expertise in Shari’a-compliant products.
Robert Meakin has a focus on assisting religious charities and faith-based organisations. In addition to governance and structural matters, he advises on contentious issues involving the Charity Commission. One client said: “Robert is understanding, compassionate, always responds straight away and is very knowledgeable in his field of charity law.” Another source said: “Robert is my go-to for any matters on charitable law; he is invaluable because he knows his area of expertise and knows who or where to go if a situation falls outside of his remit.”
Clinical Negligence: Mainly Defendant
Tracy Sell-Peters advises on a range of clinical negligence matters including neurological, spinal and ophthalmological claims. One source said: “Tracy is a true all-rounder – she’s responsive, commercially aware and delivers results.” A client added: “She’s straight to the point and able to be very factual. She gives me all the options I need.”
Louise Garcia routinely advises contractors, developers and engineering companies on both contentious and non-contentious aspects of construction projects. She can assist with projects of all sizes and has a particular strength in matters concerning transport and infrastructure.
Martin Howe regularly advises an array of clients, including local authorities, universities and contractors, on contractual and procurement aspects of commercial and residential developments. A source said: “Martin Howe ensures that the client’s interests are protected whilst recognising the commercial realities.”
Jon Close is a prominent construction lawyer who frequently handles both contentious and non-contentious matters for a range of clients, with a particular focus on those in the energy and utilities sectors. He is particularly adept at advising on contract review, professional appointments and disputes relating to termination and extension of time claims. His clients have said: “One of Jon Close’s major strengths is his commerciality. Having a construction lawyer who is very commercially aware and who is knowledgeable in the technical aspects of the industry really adds weight to the advice being provided.”
Julie Morrissy frequently advises on both contentious and non-contentious matters, including procurement exercises and challenges. She also assists with the negotiation of building contracts and acts for an array of clients, ranging from leading universities to major developers. She is described by one source as “thorough, pragmatic, and knows which bits to focus on and which bits not to be troubled by. She’s pretty unflappable.”
Corporate/M&A: Mid-Market and Private Equity
Edward Dawes offers his clients well-honed expertise in both commercial and corporate transactions. He is experienced in assisting with acquisitions, takeovers and flotations.
Court of Protection: Health and Welfare
Zena Bolwig is an experienced practitioner who specialises in Court of Protection cases and supporting clients who lack capacity. She has particular experience handling deprivation of liberty cases. She is described as being “really great and knowledgeable in Court of Protection proceedings.” Another source said: “Zena is amazing.”
Gerard Cukier is highlighted for his record of handling complex defamation and privacy issues, frequently on behalf of media industry companies and high-profile individuals. A client said: “He has a good contact list and good feel for litigation in this area. While another source commented: “Gerard has a lot of high-profile clients and handles them extremely well. He is a very experienced solicitor generally and in media particularly.”
Nicholas Jew has a litigation-focused employment practice and helps clients faced with tribunal and High Court claims. He is notable for his work on disputes involving executive-level employees including terminations, discrimination claims and injunction proceedings. One client said: “Nick is excellent on all levels and so dedicated. He is a very safe pair of hands and thinks about the bigger picture throughout.” Another source commented: “Nicholas Jew is a spectacular employment lawyer. He is so balanced, trustworthy and calm under pressure.”
Keely Rushmore is noted for her expertise in TUPE-related matters, which includes managing redundancy considerations and related issues. She has experience of claims alleging discrimination, unfair dismissal and harassment. One source commented: ”She was very knowledgeable and approachable. She was patient and kind, whilst remaining professional. She was readily available and supportive, and always responded quickly to every concern.” Another client added: ”She is able to support us with the most complex of cases and I have complete trust in her advice.”
Richard Fox maintains a practice representing both employers and individual senior employees in a broad range of employment issues. He advises clients on matters including claims of unfair dismissal, discrimination, harassment and whistle-blowing. One client said: “I have been extremely impressed with Richard’s thoroughness, care and attention.”
Nicholas Robertson has a practice that encompasses the broad spectrum of issues faced by major employers, including tribunal and High Court proceedings. He has notable expertise in handling whistleblowing, discrimination and harassment claims. A client commented: “Nicholas’s strong reputation is matched by his ability.” A source added: “He has a highly regarded reputation with a depth of practice.”
Rob Eldridge has a wide-ranging employment practice that sees him advising on disputes before the Employment Tribunal and High Court, as well as HR policy and advisory matters. One client said: “Rob is responsive, clear in his communication and commercial in his advice and application of the law. He exceeds in all areas of client service.” A source added: “I really cannot praise Rob highly enough. He is utterly superb and I would recommend him to anyone.” A client also said: “Rob is an excellent support on legal employment matters and is able to quickly establish the issue to get to clear options for resolution.”
Employment: Senior Executive
Alexandra Carn is acknowledged for her expertise in the financial services sector. Her experience in handling employment issues is broad and includes advising on everything from terminations to TUPE. A client commented: “Alexandra is always available and adaptable, as well as very commercial and understanding of commercial considerations.” A source said: “She is diligent, determined and committed. You want Alexandra on your side.” Another source added: “Alexandra has really excellent knowledge of the law. She is responsive and very commercial as well as being solution-focused and empathetic.”
Paul Daniels represents executives in complex employment disputes including whistleblowing, dismissals and discrimination. He has notable experience acting for senior figures in the sport and financial services sectors. A client said: “Paul is a brilliant claimant lawyer and a great choice.” Another source added: “He is a top practitioner.”
Alistair French offers notable expertise advising senior executives on complex exit agreements. He is well versed in employment matters in the financial services sector. A source said, “I find Alistair to be reliable, extremely focused and knowledgeable. I enjoy my interactions with Alistair and I find that he has a keen desire to support my interests.” A client also commented: “Alistair is a rock during difficult periods. He provides calm, thoughtful advice, steering me through the legal due process and providing reassurance throughout.”
Clive Howard offers a wealth of experience in the representation of senior-level employees in critical contentious employment matters. He is well versed in complex unfair dismissal, whistleblowing and discrimination claims. One source said: “Clive is a really experienced lawyer who balances giving realistic advice with fighting for his clients. He is good at pushing for the best settlement while also managing expectations.” A source added: “He has a good sense on how litigation is going to turn out and what are the strengths and weaknesses.” One client said: “His knowledge, expertise, sound judgement and commerciality render him a key trusted adviser.” While another source said: “Clive provides advice which is spot on in its legal analysis to manage legal risk but importantly is also very sound practically in the context of a commercial relationship, mitigating reputational risk.”
Emma Clark advises high-profile employees on a broad spectrum of work, from senior exit agreements to discrimination claims. One client commented: “I have total confidence in Emma’s advice and experience. She is hugely personable and shows great empathy for me as a client.” Another client added: “I appreciate her ability to see the big picture as well as to be able to home in on the details that matter.” A source also said: “Emma’s level of client engagement, service level and commercial awareness are all excellent. Her advice is always clear, well-structured and has regard to the personal aspects.”
Jane Wheeler routinely advises senior employees from a broad range of industries. She is skilled at restrictive covenants, tribunal claims and dismissals. One client said: “I receive excellent advice from Jane every time. I appreciate her pragmatism, expertise and kindness.” A source added: “Jane is excellent – she is very sensible and good value for clients.”
Julie Morris acts for clients on a wide variety of matters including cases of whistleblowing, discrimination and unfair dismissal. One source said: “She has a steely determination and excellent attention to detail.” A client added that “Julie offers a highly responsive and attentive service. She demonstrated highly commercial and strategic skills and expertise, alongside strong emotional intelligence.”
Sarah Thompson has considerable experience in financial remedies. She often navigates complex circumstances such as shared business assets and inherited assets. A source said, “Sarah is a fantastic matrimonial lawyer. She has vast experience; she is highly knowledgeable and she delivers.” A client added “Sarah was supportive and demonstrated a wealth of experience and professionalism.”
Family: Children’s Law
Claire O’Flinn has many years of experience as a family lawyer and is also a qualified mediator. She represents clients in highly complex Children Act proceedings, including cases that involve criminal allegations and coercive control.
A client says: “Claire is a super person to deal with – she is always on the ball and is absolutely excellent with clients, in whom she instils the greatest confidence. She is prepared to come out fighting where this is in the client’s interests.” A source added: “She is an extremely able and experienced solicitor whose judgement is extremely good and who always puts her clients at ease.”
Family: Matrimonial Finance
Richard Collins represents wealthy clients in a range of family law matters. As a French and German-speaking lawyer, he is particularly well regarded for his expertise in international matters. “He is a brilliant negotiator. He has extremely good judgement and he’s very practical,” said a client. A source added: “Collins is a very conscientious practitioner who fights hard for his clients.”
Richard Williams is noted for his ability to act on contentious gaming matters, as well as advising on operating licences. His client base includes start-ups, casinos and software developers. One client said: “Richard is someone you can always rely on and you know he’s always going to give you the right advice.” A source added: “Richard is generous with his time and a pleasure to work with.”
Health & Safety
Sarah Taylor is renowned for her expertise in advising clients in the retail sector. She is also particularly adept at handling food safety-related issues. She regularly handles issues following serious accidents, including HSE investigations and prosecutions. A client commented: “Sarah is a leading health and safety lawyer with exceptional knowledge of the law.” A source added: “She can manage a team extremely well on a case and stays calm and unflappable under pressure.”
Information Technology & Outsourcing
Vanessa Barnett is recommended for her work on behalf of high-growth, venture capital-backed technology businesses, helping them achieve scale, enable internet-led business models, negotiate licence arrangements and navigate the regulatory landscape. One source said: “Vanessa’s sensible and pragmatic approach ensures that we are making the right decision for our business. If I have an issue, Vanessa is the first person I call.” A client added: “Vanessa is simply one of the best lawyers I’ve ever worked with. She is exceptionally smart – for one, she was literally the only lawyer who understood our product and business model. She is also commercial, and does not get hung up on things that don’t matter when concluding negotiations with customers.”
Insurance: Contentious Claims & Reinsurance
James Crabtree primarily represents reinsurers in claims and coverage disputes, as well as advising more broadly on issues pertaining to reinsurance contracts. One client said: “James Crabtree is a pleasure to work with.” Another source commented: “He is diligent, knowledgeable and a specialist in insurance and reinsurance.” Adding: “James provides good service.”
Insurance: Mainly Policyholders
Jane Harte-Lovelace represents policyholder clients in disputes with insurers and brokers, as well as providing advice on policy review. She has particular strength advising on construction and property-related claims. One client commented “We rely enormously on Jane’s patience and skill. She is always contactable and immediately responsive. She provides a clear understanding of the situation.” Another source said: “Jane provides really superb service and combines it with commercial strength to advise us properly and to set expectations.”
Will Sander is held in high regard for his practice as both a solicitor and a chartered trade mark and design attorney. He is well versed in licensing and all kinds of IP disputes, including trade mark, designs and copyright infringement litigation. A source said: “Will Sander is a technically excellent trade marks adviser who is keen to understand our business. Will has successfully assisted us with trade mark oppositions and strategic trade mark applications. Will is prompt in his communications and always keen to better understand our needs and priorities.”
Jessica Bent advises well-known brands and emerging innovators on contentious and commercial copyright and trade mark matters from Keystone Law’s Bristol office. She has a significant client following in publishing. A source commented: “Jessica has a very thoughtful approach to contracts. She is very good at explaining concepts, contextualised in a more commercial manner. She is very pragmatic and understands what matters.” Another source said: “Jessica is very good, fast in responses and has a pragmatic approach to matters.” A client added: “She is a great sounding board and really understands the sector.”
Rebecca Halford-Harrison has a wide-ranging IP practice encompassing patent, trade mark and copyright disputes. She is particularly recommended for litigation concerning chemicals and electronics technologies. A client commented: “Rebecca Halford-Harrison is commercially minded, decisive and helpful.” A source added: “Rebecca is amazing. She has been very supportive towards us while giving us the best possible advice.”
Simon Chalkey is an expert in brand management and licensing and has a large and varied client following, particularly among fashion and consumer goods makers. Much of his work has international dimensions. One client said: “Simon Chalkley is a sensible and experienced practitioner.”
Investment Funds: Private Equity: Venture Capital
Winston Penhall is recognised for his advice to asset managers on venture capital fund structuring. One client said: “Winston is one of our most trustworthy and valuable legal consultants. We have been very happy with the services he has been offering to us, his extensive knowledge on contractual and regulatory matters, and his level of commercial awareness.” A source also added: “Winston is not only a pleasure to work with, but a very quick study and thoroughly seamless in working with clients.”
Andrew Wong is often found advising clients in the entertainment and hospitality sectors. He advises on licence applications and regulatory compliance. A source said: “Andrew is always on the ball, very responsive and always available,” and “Andrew has got excellent judgement and he approaches the cases with an entrepreneurial mindset that maximises commerciality on the application.”
Craig Bayliss is widely regarded as a leading practitioner advising on licence applications and variations. He regularly acts for hospitality and entertainment sector clients. A source commented: “Craig is very good on his preparation and is incredibly good with clients. He’s a very safe pair of hands.”
Gareth Hughes represents prominent clients across London including hotels, bars and clubs. He combines his impressive licensing expertise with a wealth of experience in planning law to advise on a broad range of complex licensing issues.
Marcus Lavell is a barrister specialised in licensing and regulation and represents leading bars and nightclubs in London and nationwide. He has extensive experience obtaining grants against stress area and cumulative impact zone policies. A source said: “Marcus keeps in contact with us and he goes above and beyond to get the best possible outcome. He is always available and responsive,” and “[he] is very organised and has a detailed understanding of how licensing works.”
Niall McCann practice involves acting for high-end clients in the hospitality and entertainment sectors. He frequently advises on licensing applications. A client said: “Niall provides excellent service and communication. He is an expert in his field.” Another source added: “Niall has been in the industry for many years and knows what makes a hospitality business tick. His legal advice inevitably addresses whatever the legal issue is, but it will be accompanied by a commercial assessment or commentary to put that advice into context.”
Sarah Taylor advises clients primarily in relation to contentious issues related to new licence applications as well as licence variations and suspensions. A client commented: “Sarah is extremely knowledgeable and strategically aware.”
Life Sciences: Transactional
Vicky Clark advises on research, licensing and collaboration agreements. Her clients include an array of emerging companies working at the forefront of innovation in the sector. “Vicky Clark is very experienced, responsive and detailed where necessary.” said a client.
Nick Weaser is called upon by artists, producers and managers alike to advise on all manner of issues including commercial contracts, recording and publishing agreements, and live performance.
Mental Health: Patients
Zena Bolwig is an experienced practitioner who specialises in Court of Protection cases and supporting clients who lack capacity. She has particular experience handling deprivation of liberty cases. A source commented: “She is amazing. She has always been passionate and committed and gets the job done. Zena is a brilliant lawyer.”
Offshore: Corporate Finance
Sally Cranshaw is well regarded for her work advising financial institutions, investment managers and corporate entities on real estate finance matters. One client commented: Sally is very responsive and provides a very high level of service.” Another added: “Sally provides a professional and timely service with guidance that allows us to complete transactions in timely manner.”
Geoff Kermeen sustains a broad practice encompassing both corporate and finance elements. His clients include financial institutions and private equity funds. A client commented: “Geoff offers very good technical advice, and we’re reassured in working with him because he’s across the subject matter.”
Offshore: Dispute Resolution
Gillian Christian is noted for her broad disputes practice where she acts on a variety of matters including professional negligence, insolvency and contentious trust issues. One source said: “The only Isle of Man lawyer I think of when there’s any complex issues I need assisting with. She’s a very, very impressive courtroom performer: she’s excellent with clients, extremely well prepared and technically brilliant.” Another added: “Gillian’s knowledge, attention to detail and genuine care for her clients make her a force of nature – I highly recommend her to everyone.”
Gillian Christian is noted for her employment disputes practice. A source commented: “Gillian is very open and transparent. She is very astute, approachable and it is clear she cares about her clients and providing an exemplary service.” Another added: “It’s clear that Gillian has her clients’ interests at heart.”
Rachel Berry has a growing reputation in the employment and pensions space. She is capable of advising clients on everything from day-to-day employment matters to employment disputes. A source said: “Rachel has good depth and breadth of knowledge and advises well from a pragmatic and commercial point of view, which is very valuable.”
Peter Garry has great depth of experience advising clients in the legal and financial services sectors on complex partnership negotiations and disputes. One source said: “Peter listens, quickly grasps the issues and provides very sound advice.”
Monica Ma has a broad pensions practice and often works with clients on deficit issues and benefit changes. One client said: “The trustees have the utmost respect and confidence in Monica’s abilities and professionalism.” Another added: “Monica delivers a first-class professional service.”
Tracy Sell-Peters acts for both regulators and professionals, with a particular emphasis on healthcare matters. “Tracy is a fantastic lawyer,” said a client. A source added: “She is a force of nature and is enormously hard-working with fantastic judgement. She’s built up an interesting expertise in the plastic surgery field.”
Professional Negligence: Mainly Claimant
Jonathan Watmough acts for clients in claims against a variety of professionals, including insurance brokers, solicitors and accountants. A client commented: “Jonathan is highly intelligent, experienced and focused. He has a thorough knowledge of his speciality and is able to apply that in his client’s best interest. He is always fully in command of the details of the pertinent issues.” One source said: “Jonathan Watmough is the best of all the solicitors I’ve come across.”
Real Estate Litigation
Andrew Tugwell is noted for his skills as a litigator and arbitrator. He acts for clients including real estate agencies, hotels and investors on a range of property disputes, particularly those concerning issues related to surveying or valuation. One source said: “Andrew leaves no stone unturned in trying to get the best results for a client; he is tireless in his endeavour to win a case and get the best settlement. He thinks outside the box and considers all angles.” A client added: “He is very thorough and knowledgeable.”
Restructuring/Insolvency: Personal Insolvency
Edward Judge advises on mandates across the personal insolvency space, often acting for trustees in bankruptcy proceedings. He is also well placed to advise on contentious matters, including those with offshore and cross-border aspects. A source commented: “He is always commercial and on point,” and “he really stays on top of his insolvency law. He’s absolutely an insolvency specialist.”
Fei Mao is highlighted for her expertise in litigation and arbitration. Her expertise includes advising on charter parties, bills of lading, international sales of goods, and shipbuilding contracts and disputes. One client commented: “Fei is a very quick and responsive lawyer.”
Anastasia Papadopoulou specialises in ship finance and often advises ship owners and financial institutions on debt finance restructurings and lease finance transactions. A client commented: “Anastasia is very good on loan structures,” and “she is a sensible lawyer.”
Sport: Horse Racing & Equestrian
Rachel Flynn’s wide-ranging equestrian law practice at Keystone Law sees her advise on contentious work, such as veterinary negligence and contractual disputes, as well as commercial and regulatory issues. Clients say, “Rachel provides consistently valuable and up-to-date support and advice that is relevant to the industry.” Adding “Her depth of knowledge in the field is outstanding.”
Keystone Law works with artists, dealers, collectors and institutions on contentious and non-contentious matters. The firm’s mandates range from the purchase and sale of art to ownership and restitution matters.
A source said: “Keystone has a very experienced and knowledgeable team. I feel very confident in their understanding of the complexities of the art industry.” A client added: “They are extremely experienced in both the art world and the museum world.”
Notable practitioners: Lisette Aguilar
Keystone Law houses an able team of lawyers advising on both contentious and non-contentious matters. The team assists contractors, developers and other clients with construction projects in a range of sectors including hospitality, education and energy. The department is well versed in handling contractual negotiations as well as representing clients in adjudications and other dispute resolution proceedings.
One source commented that the team are “very responsive to requests and provide clear timescales for dealing with matters.” Another source added: “Keystone Law offers good, solid and proactive advice.” A client said: “They are very commercially aware and seem to have experience in anything they are asked to be involved with.”
Notable practitioners: Louise Garcia, Martin Howe and Jon Close
Employment: Senior Executive
Keystone Law houses a number of market-leading experts in employment law with practitioners able to guide senior employees through the full range of matters that they face during their careers. The firm’s board-level clients regularly seek advice on contentious discrimination and whistle-blowing claims as well as senior exits. Keystone’s solicitors have notable expertise across the employment courts from the Employment Tribunal to the High Court.
One source commented: “The lawyers at Keystone offer exceptional commercial awareness coupled with employment law knowledge which allows us to reach successful conclusions.” Another said: “The solicitors at Keystone are able to quickly assess risks from the outset and advise on a practical course of action to mitigate exposure.” A client of the team added: “Not only are Keystone always available, but they always feel very relatable. Most importantly, I always know and understand what the options are very clearly.”
Notable practitioners: Clive Howard, Paul Daniels, Alistair French, Jane Wheeler, Alexandra Carn, Emma Clark, Julie Morris
Keystone Law advises domestic and international clients on a range of gaming issues, including those related to online gambling apps and NFTs. The team is also highly respected for its expertise in the field of licensing.
One source said: “Keystone has always been eager to investigate the smallest of details, demonstrating considerable intellectual curiosity and professional rigour.” While another source added: “They are always fast and accurate in their replies.”
Notable practitioner: Richard Williams
Keystone Law is well known for bringing partner-level expertise into its IP matters. The firm represents clients on complex disputes across IP rights and advises on commercial transactions with IP focus. A client of the team said: “Keystone Law has a great team and we always feel like they are acting in the best interest of our company.” A source added: “The lawyers I worked with at Keystone Law were very knowledgeable and helpful. The advice we got was very helpful and practical.”
Notable practitioners: Rebecca Halford-Harrison, Simon Chalkley
Keystone Law represents a range of clients from the hospitality, sport and entertainment industries in a range of licensing matters, including premises and operating licences in cumulative impact zones. The firm also advises on enforcement and compliance issues. A client said of the team: “Keystone always gives excellent advice. The team is organised and strategic.” One source said: “They are very proactive. There are lots of rules in licensing, and the team at Keystone is very pragmatic and will find the solution that best fits the operator.” A client added: “They are absolutely brilliant and know the area very well.” With another source adding: “The team is very responsive, with excellent communication, and very commercially minded.”
Notable practitioners: Andrew Wong, Craig Baylish, Gareth Hughes, Marcus Lavell, Niall McCann, Sarah Taylor
The firm’s financing capabilities are well known and Keystone’s lawyers regularly assist top UK banks and financial institutions with both borrower-side and lender-side representation.
One source said: “I have always found Keystone to be responsive and good value.” “Keystone’s service is good: prompt and efficient.” A client added: “An excellent team who all work well together and deliver on time.” “Keystone’s subject matter expertise is unrivalled in the local market, coupled with excellent global industry knowledge.” Another source commented: “Keystone Law cut through any complexity and provide clear and concise advice. I have always found a subject matter expert within the team. Their breadth of skills and experience is excellent.”
Notable practitioners: Sally Cranshaw, Geoff Kermeen
Keystone Law has wide-ranging expertise across its marine and shipping teams covering contentious and non-contentious mandates. The firm’s experience includes insurance disputes, collisions and salvage claims, product liability, ship finance, refinance and restructuring, debt finance, lease finance, equity finance, and joint venture and shareholder agreements.
One source commented that: “Keystone’s understanding of matters is very good and the firm provides solid, strong legal opinions.” A client added: “The team provide very swift responses.” Another source said: “Keystone provide very detailed reviews and amendments of contracts.”
Notable practitioner: Fei Mao, Anastasia Michele Papadopoulou