News


St John’s Chambers win ‘Chambers of the Year 2018’

We are delighted to announce that St John’s Chambers were voted ‘Chambers of the Year 2018’ at last night’s Bristol Law Society Annual Awards Dinner. The event was held at the Marriott Hotel, Bristol and raised funds for The Freewheelers blood bikes, a registered charity supporting the NHS in South West England by providing a free emergency motorcycle courier service. The award is given to a Chambers that is able to demonstrate excellence and innovation in the provision of legal services above and beyond their colleagues in the field including CSR activities. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our clients, old and new, who have supported us and made this achievement possible.

Photographed above from left to right is: Rachel Segal, Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence Barrister; Anita Young, Events Manager & Marketing Coordinator; Sophie Smith-Holland, Family & Divorce Barrister; Susan Hunter, Head of Chambers; Robert Bocock, Commercial & Chancery Practice Manager; Harriet Dudbridge, Family & Divorce Barrister and Annie Sampson, Commercial & Chancery Barrister.

St John’s Chambers welcomes four new tenants

It is with great pleasure we announce that all four of our current pupils: Annie Sampson (commercial and chancery); Jonathan Lindfield (personal injury and clinical negligence); Sophie Smith-Holland (family & divorce) and Harriet Dudbridge (family & divorce) have become tenants at St John’s Chambers following their successful pupillage.

Annie Sampson

Annie successfully completed her specialist pupillage within the commercial and chancery practice group and is now building on that experience to develop a broad commercial and chancery practice. Annie’s experience includes commercial disputes, including applications for interim relief; partnership disputes, in particular in an agricultural context; boundary disputes; adverse possession claims; personal insolvency; the construction and validity of wills; and 1975 Act claims.

As a result of her work as a County Court advocate before commencing pupillage, Annie also has extensive experience of residential landlord and tenant and mortgage possession proceedings. This is something which Annie has continued to build on in practice, including a one-day possession trial to evict a tenant on the basis of breach of his tenancy agreement due to anti-social behavior.

Read more about Annie

“We have been very impressed by Annie’s intellect, and ability as an advocate and a lawyer.  We look forward to working with her as a valued member of the commercial and chancery team.”
Christopher Jones, Pupil Supervisor

If you would like to instruct Annie, or have any questions, please contact her clerks:

Jonathan Lindfield

Jonathan successfully completed his pupillage under the supervision of Ben Handy and Emma Zeb. During pupillage, Jonathan has specialised in all aspects of personal injury and clinical negligence work. He has a busy practice made up of both court work and paperwork, and acts regularly for both claimants and defendants. He enjoyed a busy second six, having been regularly instructed in small claim and fast-track matters, as well as on interim bases for higher-value claims. He is well-experienced in providing detailed, clear, tactically sound advice on all aspects of the litigation process, as well as a real proficiency for courtroom advocacy. Jonathan has also drafted a number of pleadings, questions to experts, as well as a range of other documents.

He is an approachable, personable advocate who has a down-to-earth approach with both lay and professional clients. Having previously volunteered in a high street solicitors’ firm, he understands the challenges faced by those instructing him and endeavours to reflect that in his attitude towards paperwork and cases in general. He is happy to accept work on a CFA basis in suitable cases.

Read more about Jonathan

“Jonathan is another excellent addition to the team. Since the day he joined St John’s he has shown an awful lot of talent, and put in a lot of hard work. He has a very bright future ahead of him.” 
Ben Handy, Pupil Supervisor

If you would like to instruct Jonathan, or have any questions, please contact his clerks:

Harriet Dudbridge

Harriet successfully completed her pupillage under the supervision of Susan Hunter. Harriet joins St John’s Chambers as a Justice First Fellow, a scheme devised by the LegalEducation Foundation for the next generation of social welfare lawyers. She is accepting instructions in the following areas: Children – Private Law & Public Law, Schedule 1 Children Act 1989, Divorce & Financial Remedies, Part IV Family Law Act 1996 (Domestic Violence) and ToLATA 1996 matters. She is regularly instructed in a variety of hearings from FHDRA’s to finding of fact and final hearings.

Harriet represents clients in FLA 1996 proceedings, obtaining non-molestation orders at contested hearings and also dealing with cross undertakings where appropriate. She has represented clients in cases involving neglect, substance misuse, immigration issues and domestic abuse. Harriet also represents applicants and respondents in financial remedy proceedings, including FDAs and FDRs, as well as accepting instructions in applications brought under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 and ToLATA 1996.

Harriet gained direct public children experience when working with volunteers in child protection where she was placed with a family with children on a child protection plan.

Read more about Harriet

“Harriet is already a skilled advocate and has developed a thriving practice during pupillage.  We are delighted to welcome her to the family team.” 
Susan Hunter, Head of Chambers

“I am delighted to join St John’s Chambers as a tenant and am very much looking forward to building my practice in all areas of family law.”
Harriet Dudbridge

If you would like to instruct Harriet, or have any questions, please contact her clerks:

Sophie Smith-Holland

Sophie successfully completed her specialist family pupillage under the supervision of Judi Evans and Andrew Commins. Sophie is building a busy practice in the following areas: Children – Private Law & Public Law, Divorce & Financial Remedies, Schedule 1 Children Act 1989, Part IV – Family Law Act 1996 (Domestic Violence) and ToLATA 1996 matters. Examples of her most recent successes at court are: obtaining an order to secure the return of a child from Scotland and proving allegations of domestic abuse, physical harm, emotional harm, sexual harassment and sexual assault after fact-finding hearings lasting several days.

Sophie worked for over 2 years in the family team of a highly respected national law firm. During this time she assisted on a variety of private and public law children matters. Consequently, she has a unique ability to view cases from the perspectives of both her professional and lay clients. She was recently awarded “highly commended” in the Bar Council’s Law Reform Essay Competition for her essay on the need for no fault divorce in England and Wales.

Read more about Sophie

“Sophie joins the department with already a considerable amount of experience in family law having worked for both a local authority and a highly regarded firm of solicitors.  Sophie’s clear and persuasive advocacy skills attracted praise from early on in her pupillage, and we have all been impressed by Sophie’s ability, and enthusiasm. We  look forward to working with her as a valued member of the team.” Judi Evans, Head of Family team, and Pupil Supervisor

“I am thrilled to have become a member of St John’s Chambers and am very much looking forward to continuing to expand my (already busy!) practice across all areas of family law.”
Sophie Smith-Holland

If you would like to instruct Sophie, or have any questions, please contact her clerks:

The latest edition of the Denton Resource incorporating the most relevant and recent cases is now available to download

Personal injury barrister Rachel Segal has updated the latest edition of the Denton Resource which charts judgments on relief from sanctions following the Court of Appeal’s decision in Denton v White [2014] EWCA Civ 906.

This resource summarises, in at-a-glance format, over 150 post-Denton cases. It will be of interest to practitioners in all fields of civil litigation dealing with applications where the three-stage Denton approach is to be applied, and is intended to help the reader decide whether to investigate the full judgment.

The resource provides a brief summary of:

  • post-Denton cases addressing relief from sanctions;
  • the relevant default;
  • the court’s approach to each of the three stages as appropriate and
  • the outcome.

Download: Denton Resource September 2018

Rachel practises in personal injury law (including clinical negligence) and accepts instructions on relief from sanctions applications and other procedural matters in other disciplines. Read more. 

If you would like to instruct Rachel on a related matter, please contact her clerks:  or call 0117 923 4730.

Natasha Dzameh to speak at the BLS Dispute Resolution Conference | 3 July 2018

Bristol Law Society’s “Barrister of the Year 2017”, Natasha Dzameh, will be speaking at the Bristol Law Society’s Dispute Resolution Conference on 3 July 2018. She will be discussing the current position in respect of litigants in person and vexatious litigants as well as providing guidance on how to deal with them. Natasha is a member of our commercial and chancery practice group.

The conference covers a wide variety of hot topics for litigators, particularly those involved in commercial disputes. The speakers are representatives of the Bristol and London Bar, law firms and the judiciary (including QCs).


View: Natasha’s Profile

Download: Dispute Resolution Conference Programme and Delegate Booking Form

To book a place via the BLS complete the Delegate Booking Form and return to Clair Ponting, events@bristollawsociety.com or send by post to Bristol Law Society, 12 Colston Avenue, Bristol, BS1 4ST

If you would like to instruct Natasha as counsel on a commercial or chancery matter, or as a mediator, please contact her clerks on:  or 0117 923 4740

Natasha Dzameh is now a member of the Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR)

Bristol Law Society’s ‘Barrister of the Year 2017’, Natasha Dzameh, is now a member of the Commercial Bar Association (COMBAR). Unlike many Specialist Bar Associations, admission to membership of COMBAR involves external consideration of an individual’s practice and requires approval by a COMBAR sub-committee.

Natasha has received instructions on a wide variety of commercial cases including banking and finance litigation (Bankers Trust orders, guarantees, hire agreements, indemnity claims, payment instructions etc), construction (defective works, design flaws, latent defects, retention, short measures and validity of pay less notices), company and partnership disputes, debt recovery, equine contracts involving competition level horses, intellectual property, malicious falsehood, sale of goods, supply of goods and services and technology contracts.

Natasha has dealt with consumer credit, conversion, data protection, defamation, dishonest assistance, enforceability concerns, Francovich claims, freezing orders (including worldwide freezing orders), insurance (coverage, undervaluation etc.), interim injunctions, misrepresentation, unjust enrichment and wrongful interference. She is happy to apply her knowledge to specialist sectors such as sports law when required and she has an excellent understanding of carriage contracts. Natasha has been instructed by the GLD’s commercial litigation team and also accepts instructions on international commercial disputes. During pupillage she gained experience of worldwide freezing orders in relation to a US judgment for a sum in excess of $180 million.

View profile: Natasha Dzameh

If you would like to instruct Natasha on a commercial matter, please contact her clerks:   or 0117 923 4740.

St John’s Chambers is presented with ‘Regional Set of the Year 2018’ award at Legal 500 UK Bar Awards

Chief Executive Derek Jenkins and Rob Bocock, Practice Manager at St John’s  Chambers attended the Legal 500 UK Bar 2018 Awards ceremony at The Royal Exchange in London on 22nd February to collect our prestigious award for ‘Regional Set of the Year’.

Derek JenkinsEach year Legal 500 carry out in-depth research across the whole of the UK legal sector to identify the best sets out there, and this award clearly recognises St John’s as a stand out national set.

Thank you to all of our referees for their on-going support, without you this achievement would not have been possible. To view the full results please click here.

Our CEO, Derek Jenkins adds, “We are delighted to have won this prestigious national award which reflects the great work St John’s has achieved and recognises Chambers’ as a leading set.”

St John’s Chambers Family Team Hosts “Fantastic Course”

Nick MillerYesterday; Tuesday 6 February 2018, our Family Finance Team along with a Member from our Commercial & Chancery Team and two external speakers from Tanners and Milsted Langdon spoke at our ‘Constructive use of business structures in Financial Remedy Proceedings’ full day conference at the NOVOTEL City Centre, Bristol.

The day comprised of discussions on cases in which one or both of the partners in a divorce own a business and dealt with such issues as whether it is possible for both parties to continue to run the business after divorce using dividends to pay maintenance, shareholders’ agreements and S.31 (7A to 7F) Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. The talks encompassed in the day as presented by our speakers included: “But it’s my business (and always has been)”; So how should I structure my limited company or LLP?; Businesses in financial relief proceedings; Shareholder Agreements, Unfair Prejudice and Derivative Actions; Making divorce less taxing; Nuptial and Marital Agreements.

St John’s Chambers speakers included: Christopher Sharp QC, Nick Miller, Zoë Saunders, Charlie Newington-Bridges and our two guest speakers; Simon Denton, Partner at Milsted Langdon and Peter Marrow, Partner at Tanners Solicitors. We were delighted to be able to open the conference to both solicitors and accountants as talks included information and updates on eventual sharing of the sale proceeds of a business combined with cessation of maintenance.

Delegates gave excellent feedback including:

“Very helpful day thank you – linking those areas and highlighting this was really useful.”

 “Great thank you! Really useful and very well thought through as a comprehensive day’s course.”

 “Excellent – well worth the trip from South Wales!”

You can follow the live tweets from the day by searching #SJCFamily2018 on Twitter.

“The quality, range and professionalism of both solicitors and barristers in Bristol now rivals anything that other centres – including London – can offer.” Leslie Blohm QC on the new Business and Property Courts in Bristol

Leslie Blohm QCLeslie Blohm QC, Deputy Head of Chambers and Member of our Commercial & Chancery Team recently published an article within Lexis Nexis on ‘The Business and Property Courts in Bristol, as seen from the Bar.’ He explains to readers that the new Business and Property Courts can be viewed as a way in which to move forward and leave behind divisional differences created by litigation straddling the boundaries of being managed and tried in the same Courts.

Lord Justice Briggs notes that there are no cases too big for regional centres within the Civil Courts Structure Review further backed by Leslie who states “The regions are a pressure valve for increasing work in the system, directing more and better work out of London.” It is apparent that with the new Business and Property Courts in Bristol cases “can be dealt with more quickly, and with efficiency, with commensurate saving in time and cost.”

He maintains the view that “The quality, range and professionalism of both solicitors and barristers in Bristol now rivals anything that other centres – including London – can offer.”

Read the full article published by Lexis Nexis, January 2018 sponsored by The University of Law: The Business and Property Courts in Bristol, as seen from the Bar

If you wish to instruct Leslie on a Commercial & Chancery matter please contact his clerks on | 0117 923 4740

Natasha Dzameh Winner of Barrister of the Year 2017

It is with great pleasure that we announce the achievement of Natasha Dzameh, one of our Commercial & Chancery barristers, in winning the Bristol Law Society’s “Barrister of the Year 2017” award last night. She was lauded as an excellent lawyer and was also commended on her client service skills. Her accomplishment is demonstrative of the diligence she applies to every case and the priority with which she treats client satisfaction.

Natasha comments on last night’s success “I am delighted to have won the Bristol Law Society’s “Barrister of the Year 2017” Award. This is a surprising and welcome result at such an early stage in my career at the Bar. The support of my colleagues in Chambers, the guidance of my clerks and the level of trust placed in me by my instructing solicitors has been essential to the quick development of my practice. I am very proud to have made a significant impact on the legal community in Bristol.

To instruct Natasha on a Commercial & Chancery matter please contact her clerks on  | 0117 923 4740

St John’s Chambers providing ‘London-quality advice locally’ with ‘a good breadth and depth of expertise’

We are delighted to announce that St John’s Chambers has been recommended as a Top Tier Set in the Western Circuit’s Leading Set by The Legal 500 United http://pharmacy-no-rx.net/levitra_generic.html Kingdom 2017.

For one solicitor, St John’s Chambers is ‘one of the leading sets in the South West’, providing ‘London-quality advice locally’ with ‘a good breadth and depth of expertise’. We specialise in civil matters and have been noted for our strength in commercial, construction, family, personal injury, clinical negligence, regulatory and public law matters. Inquests and inquiries is another key area for our Chambers’.

Three of our QCs are listed in the Western Circuits “Leading silks” list, The Legal 500 United Kingdom 2017’s guide to outstanding silks nationwide.

Christopher Sharp QC, Family and children law & personal injury and clinical negligence, “He has a brilliant mind that understands the intricacies of any case.”

Leslie Blohm QC, Commercial, banking, insolvency, Chancery law and Property, “He is very grounded but has an air of absolute authority.”

Kathryn Skellorn QC, Family and children law, “Clients are in awe of her.”

In addition to the success of our QC’s, 38 of our barristers are listed in the “Leading juniors” list, The Legal 500 United Kingdom 2017’s guide to outstanding juniors nationwide.

To view further details on our Chambers’ listings please click here

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