The new edition of Chambers and Partners' UK Bar is out. Civitas Law has 14 rankings for 8 of its members.
We are the only set to have juniors ranked for Public and Administrative Law on the Wales and Chester Circuit; and all of those ranked for Clinical Negligence on circuit are members of Civitas Law. We are delighted to be described as being at the "forefront of personal injury law in Wales".
Owain Rhys James is a new entrant for his work in Administrative and Public Law and Vicky Hillier has also been rated for her work in personal injury. Chambers is also delighted to note how well-regarded our clerks are. The editorial material which has been composed from independent research by the editors is set out below.
The directory itself can be found at http://www.chambersandpartners.com/guide/uk-bar/14 .
Civitas Law is at the forefront of personal injury law in Wales. It is instructed by national law firms, trade unions, private companies and insurers in the most complex and high-value of cases in the area. The set has an exceptional catastrophic injury practice, and its barristers represent both claimants and defendants. Industrial disease experience is also on offer here. Sources say: "It has good strength in depth from the senior practitioners down to the more junior members, so any value of work can be covered."
Client service: Andrea Mclean is the senior clerk, and is praised for her responsiveness and helpful manner. The clerks in her team "go out of their way to be accommodating." "Andrea is very approachable, amenable and very friendly. She always gets back to you straight away."
Nicholas David Jones (Band 1)
Has a well-developed practice in high-value, catastrophic brain and spinal injury cases, where he acts for both claimants and defendants. He is considered pre-eminent in this field in the region.
Strengths: "He is thoughtful in the advice he gives, very good with clients, approachable, hard-working and accessible." "He's very cerebral, and the go-to for difficult questions of liability." "He shows great attention to detail and his knowledge of brain injury is second to none."
Bryan Thomas (Band 1)
Has a strong personal injury practice focusing on traumatic brain injury cases. In addition he is adept at employment liability, covering cases concerning accidents at work as well as industrial disease claims.
Strengths: "He's thoughtful in his advice and pragmatic as well."
Victoria Hillier - Recognised practitioner
His chancery practice focuses on wills, trusts and probate issues and property or land disputes. He also handles public law matters.
Strengths: "He's a favourite choice. He is highly regarded."
Nicholas Jones (Band 1)
A junior with almost three decades of experience in cases of clinical negligence. He is routinely instructed in matters related to catastrophic injury such as brain and spinal injuries as well as limb amputations.
Strengths: "He's very knowledgeable about the law and thoughtful about the advice he gives. Very good with clients, approachable, hard-working and accessible." "He's very good at analysing the medical evidence and directing the medical experts to the crucial details."
Recent work: Acted on behalf of a claimant who suffered serious orthopaedic injuries following a motorcycle accident that greatly impacted his earning capacity.
Bryan Thomas (Band 1)
A highly respected junior with extensive experience in a broad range of high-value matters relating to clinical negligence. Representative work includes complex cerebral palsy, failure to diagnose cancer and brain injury matters.
Strengths: "He's excellent with clients, very approachable and always accessible." "He is very solid, very tenacious as a barrister and isn't afraid to put matters in front of a judge."
Administrative and Public Law
Extensive experience appearing in public inquiries on a wide range of regulatory issues including food safety, public transportation, licensing and state aid. He receives particular praise for his knowledge of Welsh planning law.
Victoria Hillier (Band 1)
Frequently entrusted with controversial administrative public law claims relating to the criminal justice system. Her expertise also covers housing law, human rights and equality law. She routinely appears on behalf of state agents in inquests.
Strengths: "She is excellent, very bright and user-friendly." "Very thorough preparation. She gets to know the papers very well. She is a very persuasive advocate. I enjoy watching her cross-examine because she does it so softly that witnesses don't realise that they are being grilled."
Recent work: Instructed by the Welsh government to secure a possession order and an injunction for the recovery of land where a group of travellers was encamped
Owain Rhys James (Up and Coming)
Appears in a wide array of administrative and public law cases on behalf of claimants and respondents. He has particular experience of claims involving immigration and asylum.
Strengths: "Has the ability to take a lot of documents and extract the most important issues." "He is unflappable, which is really nice because he can keep a calm head when everyone else is losing theirs. His drafting is nice and clear."
Recent work: Represented an individual claimant challenging the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions' refusal to pay the claimant's Disability Living Allowance amid allegations of fraud, which were contested at the hearing.
Commercial Dispute Resolution
· Anthony Vines of Civitas Law
Demonstrates notable aptitude in claims relating to the construction sector, including matters concerning defective products, working conditions and planning permission. He is also sought after for his further expertise in employment and public law.
Strengths: “He is very good intellectually in terms of analysing the case.”
· Chris Howells (Band 1)
A highly respected advocate for employers in appellate proceedings and noted for his abilities handling the defence of disability discrimination claims. He also has recent experience assisting with cases arising from bonus payment disputes and unfair dismissal allegations.
Strengths: "He is brilliant: well spoken, comes across well in court and knows the law very well." "He is a very, very good advocate that is very good at thinking on his feet."
Recent work: Instructed by Cardiff County Council to defend against claims of disability discrimination and unfair dismissal made by a former employee.
Mona Bayoumi (Band 3)
Highlighted for her experienced representation of government organisations and other employers, she offers skilled counsel in Employment Tribunal proceedings and is noted for her abilities handling cases involving multiple claimants. She is recognised for her handling of discrimination allegations, unfair dismissal claims and redundancy disputes.
Strengths: "She is friendly, efficient, knowledgeable and professional at all times."
Recent work: Defended the Department of Work & Pensions against allegations of unfair dismissal and disability discrimination.
Anthony Vines (Band 3)
Comes recommended for his effective representation for a range of parties, including unions, claimants and employers, in complex employment disputes. He is engaged for his counsel on regulatory compliance needs for employment terminations, and his recent experience includes handling cases arising from restrictive work covenants and racial discrimination allegations. "