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Civitas Law is once again the dominant Civil & Public law force on Circuit in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2013

Civitas Law has again been classified as the leading Civil & Public law set on circuit in the prestigious Chambers UK Bar Guide 2013. With a total of 18 rankings for the Wales Circuit across 13 individual specialists in chambers, with 3 'up and coming' barristers and 11 'Band 1' rankings, this has been the most successful Guide submission for Civitas Law to date. A separate list of 3 national spotlight table entries are also published for Personal Injury barristers Theo Huckle QC, Robert O'Leary and Michael Brace. Not only are the level and number of rankings for this niche set indicative of the level of expertise but the independent recommendations point to the high standard of service, approachability and determination of barristers to get the best outcome for clients.

A full breakdown of Civitas Law's complete rankings in the Chambers UK Bar Guide 2013 can be found here

Recommendations and rankings are also below for Chancery, Commercial Dispute Resolution, Employment, Local Government and Personal Injury (Circuit and national spotlight). It should be notd that despite housing national award-winning practitioners in the field of Administrative and Public law  - who are annually ranked as Band 1 counsel and popular with clients - this year's Guide chose not to include a list for Admin and Public Law. Civitas Law is working with the Guide's editors to ensure this doesn't happen in 2014 with regards to the Welsh Circuit. 


'The "experienced, academic, and bright" Graham Walters of Civitas Law is a widely respected chancery practitioner who focuses predominantly on real property disputes. In Brumwell v Powys, he appeared in a case concerning occupying and operating a caravan and camping site. Interviewees say he is "always very concise in his advice" and is good on the technical side of the law.'

'Bryan Thomas at the same set has a practice with a wide remit. In addition to personal injury and clinical negligence, he also focuses on professional negligence and construction disputes, as well as general chancery work. A source notes that he is "experienced, approachable, and a good advocate".'

'Nicklaus Thomas-Symonds, also of Civitas Law, is a rising star on the Wales and Chester circuit. He frequently advises on1975 Act claims, as well as on trust, probate, and personal insolvency matters. Interviewees say he is "excellent technically and very good with clients - he puts people at ease".'

 Members and rankings for Chancery:

Bryan Thomas (Band 2)
Graham Walters (Band 1)
Nicklaus Thomas-Symonds (Band U)

Commercial Dispute Resolution

JUNIORS 'Anthony Vines of Civitas Law has a stellar reputation for work in commercial disputes. Instructing solicitors praise him for being "thorough and responsive," and say he is "a very precise performer who can deal very well with situations as they arise".'

'Of the same set, Graham Walters comes with high commendation from market observers. Walters "is measured, sensible and highly thorough" in his approach.'

'Nicklaus Thomas-Symonds is also housed at Civitas Law. He is a "solid, cerebral commercial lawyer," described as "one to watch for the future".' 

Members and rankings for Commercial DR:
Anthony Vines (Band 1)
Graham Walters (Band 2)
Nicklaus Thomas-Symonds (Band U)


'Jonathan Walters of Civitas Law is recognised as the pre-eminent employment barrister in Wales. Boasting a stellar reputation for complex tribunal work and strategic counselling, he is a "sensible and pleasant" practitioner who excels at client care. His practice is predominantly geared towards the public sector, where his clients include government departments and police authorities. He does, however, also act for respondent clients in the private sector.'

'The "approachable" Chris Howells, also of Civitas Law, is highlighted for his "command of cases" and is valued by sources for being irect and telling you what you need to know." He recently represented the appellant in Cox v Northern Devon Heathcare NHS Trust, where he successfully argued against a nominal limit on the amount of remedy awarded.'

'Also at the same set, Anthony Vines is highly regarded for his tribunal and advisory work for union-represented claimants. He also provides mediation services for multiparty disputes.'

'Finally here, the up-and-coming Ryan Amesbury is noted for his growing employment practice particularly in unfair dismissal claims.'

Members and rankings for Employment:

Anthony Vines (Band 3)
Chris Howells (Band 2)
Jonathan Walters (Band 1)
Ryan Amesbury (Band U)

Local Government

'Local authority clients appreciate Graham Walters of Civitas Law for his "clear, thorough advice." He regularly represents Welsh authorities in public law proceedings in the higher courts.'

Members and rankings for Local Government:

Graham Walters (Band 1)

Personal Injury: Industrial Disease (All Circuits) SPOTLIGHT TABLE

Michael Brace (Spotlight table) 
Robert O'Leary (Spotlight table) 
Theodore Huckle QC (Spotlight table) 

Personal Injury (Band 1) (Wales and Chester)

THE SET 'Civitas Law has a deep bench of personal injury specialists, and is by some distance the leading set on the circuit for this type of work. It receives instructions from a broad range of clients, including NHS trusts, public utilities, devolved and central government and major insurance firms. Members have experience across the gamut of personal injury law.'

SILKS 'Theodore Huckle QC, a man of great standing on circuit, is not only the first person at Civitas to be made silk, but has also been appointed to the role of Counsel General for Wales. His PI work sees him focusing on representing claimants in industrial disease and catastrophic injury work. Recent major cases he has handled include Baker v Quantum Clothing Group, a Supreme Court matter concerning noise-induced hearing loss in the knitting industry.'

JUNIORS 'Andrew Arentsen is "a sensible, pragmatic, and highly efficient" barrister whose personal injury practice is predominantly focused on catastrophic brain and spinal injury cases. He recently appeared in Andrew Jones v Ribbons Ltd, a catastrophic injury claim concerning an individual rendered disfigured when he caught his arm in an unguarded machine.'

'Michael Brace splits his practice between defendants and claimants, and is noted for his expertise in employer's liability claims. He is praised for his "excellent communication skills" and his "forensic attention to detail." His recent cases include Beryl Bower (Administratrix of the Estate of Leslie George Bower) v Western Power Distribution, an asbestos exposure matter.'

'Nicholas Jones is on the Attorney General's 'A' List and has a broad practice encompassing health and safety and clinical negligence work as well as personal injury litigation. He is a "bright and hard-working" barrister who is praised by clients for "providing sound advice throughout proceedings." Catastrophic injury claims are his forte.'

'Robert O'Leary is highlighted for his expertise of major disease cases. He also appeared in the important case of Baker v Quantum Clothing Group, illustrating that he is more than capable of taking on the best on a national stage.'

'Bryan Thomas "is an excellent junior" who has "extensive and detailed knowledge" of personal injury law.'

'Joanne Williams has a broad personal injury practice which includes EL/PL and RTA cases.'

Members and rankings for PI:

Andrew Arentsen (Band 1)
Bryan Thomas (Band 1)
Joanne Williams (Band 2)
Michael Brace (Band 1)
Nicholas David Jones (Band 1)
Robert O'Leary (Band 1)
Theodore Huckle QC (Band 1)