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Junior counsel are often in high demand and finding counsel at short notice can be difficult and time-consuming. In addition, some firms need extra capacity from time to time in gathering evidence at the early stages of a dispute, dealing with a large discovery exercise, or to be involved in preparing witness statements.

Our junior barristers have busy practices with a high proportion of court appointments. However they recognise that this can impact on their availability to accept new instructions when they are fully booked for hearings.

Littleton want to provide a solution to this problem by offering solicitors a service that combines the benefit of their litigation experience with the availability solicitors need. Accordingly Littleton’s junior barristers (eight years’ call and below) have developed a new and unique scheme, designed to provide a dedicated and responsive service for commercial litigation work.

How the Scheme works

Each month one of our juniors will free themselves of court and tribunal appointments so that they have an increased capacity to take on commercial work at short notice. This is an innovative initiative which is particularly appropriate to much of the time-sensitive work that we undertake. Under the Scheme, solicitors can contact us in the firm knowledge that we will have availability of junior counsel at short notice.

The scheme has already been well received. Our juniors have, for example, assisted in drafting pleadings against urgent deadlines, represented clients in interim applications in the High Court, advised on injunctions and worked as juniors on cases in which senior members have already been instructed.

Our Juniors

At Littleton, we have an exceptionally strong team of juniors who have up to six years’ call. From the start of their tenancies we encourage our junior barristers to take complete responsibility for their own cases, often carrying a case through from start to finish as sole counsel. Consequently they gain a maturity and proficiency which compares favourably with their competitors in other leading Chambers. They are energetic, responsive and user friendly. They have also developed a wealth of experience of the tactical and practical aspects of litigation. This scheme derives from a plan devised by our junior members to meet market needs and therefore has their whole-hearted support.

The members of the initiative are:

Lydia Banerjee (2007): Lydia has experience in dealing with all manner of contractual disputes in the County Court and High Court. She has represented a leading mobile telecommunications company defending group litigation and has advised in relation to several banking disputes. Lydia has lectured on directors’ duties and has been instructed as junior counsel in a number of High Court disputes involving allegations of conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty. As a company director, Lydia’s approach to commercial disputes reflects a keen understanding of the demands of business combined with legal precision and acumen.

James Bickford Smith (2008): James has a busy commercial practice that includes work in Banking and Finance and Company Law. Before coming to the Bar he was a Lecturer at Oxford University and he had an exclusively commercial training. He now allies the trial experience gained through employment work to a commercial and practical approach. 2012 cases as sole counsel included acting for SJ Berwin in successful High Court enforcement proceedings concerning BVI and Iraqi companies, and defending a solicitors’ firm against fraud allegations.

Charlene Hawkins (2008): Charlene obtained a First Class Law degree from Oxford University and an LL.M from the University of Toronto, which included papers in Business Organisations and Intellectual Property. She has been involved in all stages of commercial disputes, including being led in a number of complex High Court matters. Instructing solicitors have commended Charlene’s work as being "of the highest standard” demonstrating "maturity and good judgement” and praised her "communication skills and ability to respond quickly and accurately”.

Nick Goodfellow (2009): Nick obtained ‘Out­standing’ on the Bar Vocational Course and has a First Class degree in Natural Sciences. Before coming to the Bar he worked as a management consultant. Nick has extensive experience of commercial litigation, and has completed a secondment in the commercial litigation department of a leading law firm. Nick acts in a wide variety of commercial disputes, with particular focus in the areas of banking and financial services, commercial fraud, and professional negligence.

Craig Rajgopaul (2010): Craig has been a lawyer since 2005, and was a Solicitor-Advocate at leading City Firms from 2007 – 2011, before joining the Bar in March 2011. He is an experienced advocate and adviser in a broad range of commercial disputes, at all stages from pre-action and interim stages to trials. He appears in both the High Court and the County Court, as well as in arbitrations, in cases ranging from shareholder and commercial fraud disputes, through professional negligence actions to breach of contract claims.

Ben Gray (2011): Benjamin practices in commercial, employment, regulatory and insolvency law.  With substantial experience of litigation at all stages, he has a busy Court and Tribunal practice, appearing regularly in multi-day hearings as sole counsel. He joined Chambers having successfully completed pupillage, during which he assisted in high profile cases such as QBE Management Services (UK) Ltd v Dymoke [2012] EWHC 80. Before joining Littleton, Benjamin obtained a First Class degree in War Studies from King’s College London, and a Major Scholarship from Inner Temple. He is regularly instructed as sole counsel, and as a junior in more complex matters.

Marc Delehanty (2011): Following a pupillage focused on commercial litigation, Marc has contributed his industry and creativity to legal teams as an instructed junior in a number of High Court commercial disputes, at both initial and trial stages. Marc prides himself on his efficient legal research skills, developed during his Cambridge LL.M (First Class). He also holds a Mathematics degree (First Class) and so is highly numerate and confident in tackling evidential issues of technical complexity, particularly those necessitating expert evidence.

Mark Humphreys (2012): Mark has extensive commercial experience having been a successful banker specialising in complex financing transactions, a statutory director of several companies and a chartered accountant with Deloitte. Between 2007 and 2010 Mark was a Managing Director at Gazprombank Financial Services (UK) Ltd, responsible for structured financing transactions and the company’s relationship with the FSA. He was also a member of the Board of Directors. Mark was awarded a Distinction in the law conversion course, Outstanding in the Bar course and a Major Scholarship with Middle Temple.

Sophia Berry (2012): Sophia worked as a Solicitor at Linklaters LLP before joining the Bar. She has gained significant advocacy experience in the County Court and Employment Tribunal since pupillage and has also been instructed as a junior in several High Court matters. She read Law as an undergraduate at Cambridge University and was awarded the King’s College London Dickson Poon School of Law Prize for the Best Student on the LLM programme and the PwC Litigation Prize for Best Dissertation by an LLM Student.


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