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 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

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from everyone at St John’s Chambers

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Over the festive period, Chambers will be closed from 4.00pm on Friday, 23rd December and will re-open from 10.00am until 4.00pm on Thursday 29th December through to Friday 30th December.

We will open again for normal business hours on Tuesday, 3th January 2017.

For any emergency enquiries, please see our out of hours numbers.

St John’s Chambers welcomes commercial and chancery barrister Natasha Dzameh

Natasha DzamehSt John’s Chambers is pleased to welcome Natasha Dzameh as a new member of our commercial and chancery practice group following successful completion of her pupillage.

Before undertaking pupillage Natasha obtained a wealth of advocacy experience having represented clients at more than 600 hearings as a County Court Advocate in the fields of commercial, chancery and general civil law. She obtained an LLM (Distinction) in International Commercial Law and is now a specialist commercial and chancery barrister. Natasha has successfully appeared in trials and interim applications in a broad range of commercial and chancery matters. She regularly receives instructions requesting opinions and pleadings.

During pupillage Natasha received instructions relating to construction, commercial disputes, court of protection, insolvency, landlord and tenant (residential and mixed use), property and trespass matters. This consisted of representing clients at hearings, writing opinions and drafting pleadings. She marshalled http://www.buyambienguide.com with HHJ McCahill QC in the Chancery Division of Bristol District Registry and attended the Court of Appeal on the appeal from Davy v Pickering and others [2015] EWHC 380 (Ch). She also attended court and conferences with Leslie Blohm QC.

Natasha recently co-authored an article with John Dickinson in the September edition of the Trusts and Estates Law and Tax Journal analysing the case of Amiee Shannon Steed (a Child by her litigation friend, Marilyn Joy Winn) v Christopher John Steed (2016).

Download article: Wills: At Your Disposal?

Leslie Blohm QC, Head of Commercial and Chancery Practice Group said: “We have all been impressed by Natasha’s ability, enthusiasm and personality demonstrated during pupillage, and look forward to working with her as a valued member of the department.”

If you would like to discuss instructing Natasha, please contact her clerks on 0117 923 4740 or e-mail .

View profile: Natasha Dzameh

St John’s Chambers and Lucy Reed winners at Bristol Law Society Legal Awards

bls-annual-awards-email-stamps18We are delighted to announce that St John’s Chambers have been awarded ‘Chambers of the Year’ at the Bristol Law Society’s Annual Awards on Thursday, 13th October.  It was a very successful evening for St John’s with family barrister Lucy Reed also winning ‘Barrister of the Year’.

Attending from St John’s were Susan Hunter, Head of Chambers, Derek Jenkins, CEO, Elaine Jewell-Moore, Family Clerk, Paul Bennett, Commercial and Chancery Clerk , Alex Troup, Barrister, and their guests.

Having also won Chambers of the Year in 2015, these awards clearly identify Chambers continued commitment to the legal and wider community. Bristol Law Society’s annual awards recognise the important work in the Bristol legal community, celebrating their many successes and outstanding achievements.

Derek Jenkins, Chief Executive said: “Winning ‘Chambers of the Year’ award for two consecutive years demonstrates the excellent quality of legal services and range of expertise offered by St John’s Chambers. In the last 12 months Chambers has been involved in many landmark decisions, as well as leading initiatives designed to ensure that those who need justice are able to access it.” 

Lucy Reed said “I’m proud to be part of such a vibrant legal community here in Bristol, and I recognise that the support and contribution of colleagues both in and outside of chambers has been an important part of the background to my winning this award.”

Susan Hunter Head of Chambers said “We are very proud to have won this years Chambers of the Year Award and extremely pleased that Lucy’s outstanding contribution to her profession and the wider legal community has been recognised. Well done to everyone who was shortlisted, and the other winners – what a fabulous night!”

Bristol Law Society shortlist St John’s for ‘Chambers of the Year’ award

St John’s Chambers is delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for ‘Chambers of the Year’ at the Bristol Law Society’s Annual Awards 2016, being one of three sets to be nominated. This clearly identifies Chambers continued commitment to the legal profession and wider community having won this award in 2015. For men

St John’s Chambers identified by Legal 500 as an innovative set with high-quality barristers who have a collegiate approach

“St John’s Chambers is an innovative set with high-quality barristers who have a collegiate approach. The group only takes on civil matters, and, in addition to being hailed as a ‘very strong commercial set’, handles family law, personal injury and clinical negligence.” Legal 500 (2016)

To view our rankings please click here.

Top_tier_firmsWe are thrilled to announce that we have been recommended as a top-tier set, and listed in the eight main areas of law in the 2016 edition of The Legal 500. Three of our QCs are listed in the “Leading silks” list – a guide to outstanding silks nationwide. 12 of our barristers are recommended in the editorial, and 35 of our barristers are listed in the “Leading juniors” list – a guide to outstanding juniors nationwide.

Leading Silks

  • Leslie Blohm QC“His calmness and gravitas puts clients at ease.” Commercial, banking, insolvency and chancery law
  • Christopher Sharp QC“An advocate of precision and strength, who gets to the heart of case.” Family and children law
  • Kathryn Skellorn QC“A master of her brief; her preparation is unmatched and she has an almost intimidating grasp of the law.” Family and children law
  • Christopher Sharp QC“An advocate of precision and strength, who gets to the heart of case.” Personal injury and clinical negligence
  • Leslie Blohm QC“His calmness and gravitas puts clients at ease.” Property

What does Legal 500 say about St John’s Chambers…

  • Commercial, banking, insolvency and chancery law
    An impressive range of barristers and is one of the leading sets in the region. The group is primarily known for Chancery and commercial matters, and a number of members are active in banking and insolvency cases. To view rankings click here.
  • Construction, planning and environment
    Chambers has a wide-ranging construction and planning practice, which also extends to related professional negligence matters. To view rankings click here.
  • Employment
    Chambers’ employment practice is recommended for all forms of discrimination claims, where members represent employers and employees. To view rankings click here.
  • Family and children law
    Chambers has a strong family law team with many able barristers in financial and children cases. The group is well versed in the full range of matters and deals with complex and sensitive care cases as well as high-value financial remedy matters. Members have significant experience in the Court of Appeal. To view rankings click here.
  • Personal injury and clinical negligence
    With very strong counsel across all levels, St John’s handles both personal injury and clinical negligence cases. The set has seen a particular increase in industrial disease work of late, on both the claimant and defendant side. To view rankings click here
  • Property
    One of the leading sets in the West for property and Chancery work. To view rankings click here.
  • Public law
    Chambers public and administrative group has dealt with significant judicial reviews recently. To view rankings click here.
  • Regulatory, health and safety, and licensing
    Chambers regulatory team is home to experts in health and safety and licensing disputes. To view rankings click here.

“The administrative arm is excellent, always accessible and accommodating, and led by chief executive Derek Jenkins. Robert Bocock, Annette Bushell and Luke Hodgson are the practice managers.” Legal 500 (2016)

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our clients for their continued support and feedback provided to Legal 500.