Chambers and Partners - BAND 1 Rankings

November 07 2016

Chambers and Partners once again confirms 30 Park Place’s standing as a leading set. Listed in band 1 for Crime, Family and Personal Injury and with individual praise for Administrative & Public Law and Chancery, 30 Park Place continues to demonstrate its breadth of expertise across all disciplines . With over a third of its members ranked within the guide, that expertise runs deep.   But do not simply take our word for it, read about our ranked members in objective research undertaken by Chambers and Partners* with those who know us.  

Head of Chambers Ruth Henke QC was clearly delighted with the results congratulating members and staff alike . “It is a pleasure to lead a chambers where people count”.

*Chambers and Partners explains that the guides are ‘the culmination of thousands of in-depth interviews by the largest research team of its kind and are trusted globally to objectively rank the world’s best lawyers and law firms’


The set

A pre-eminent set on circuit that handles a full range of criminal work, prosecuting and defending both professional and lay clients in many high-profile cases including those relating to homicide, severe sexual offences and drug conspiracies. 30 Park Place houses an impressive group of expert barristers, and has particular strength among its juniors.

Client service: "I've been instructing them so I've known the clerks for years, and they often ring and consult and are very good." Phillip Griffiths is the senior clerk for the chambers and Tony Naylon heads up the criminal clerking team.


Michael Mather-Lees QC

Thirty Park Place (head of Criminal Team) & Farrar’s Building

Regularly handles murder and manslaughter cases on behalf of both the prosecution and defence as part of a busy general crime practice.

Recent work: Successfully defended a professional man charged with causing death by dangerous driving. The case involved complex scientific evidence and detailed cross-examination of expert witnesses.


Marian Lewis

A strong practitioner known to sources for her expert handling of sexual offence cases and for her particular sensitivity with young or vulnerable witnesses. She has significant experience in a range of serious criminal cases including homicide, fraud and drug conspiracies.

Strengths: "A very safe pair of hands, who is very, very cool and unflustered. She has good people skills and is a good advocate."

Caroline Rees

A very experienced prosecution and defence barrister, with particular experience of acting in cases involving sexual abuse. Many of her cases arise from historical accusations or deal with multiple complainants or the trafficking of people for sexual exploitation. She also acts in homicide and drug conspiracy cases.

Huw Evans

Known for his strength in case preparation on document-heavy cases and his expertise in cases concerning corruption and criminal fraud. He handles a mix of prosecution and defence tackling all manner of criminal cases as well as police disciplinary work.

Strengths: "Very thorough. He's from a military background so his case preparation is brilliant. He has good people skills and is a formidable advocate."

Sarah Waters

Acts for both prosecution and defence, handling a range of matters from motoring offences to serious sexual abuse and homicide cases.

Strengths: "Her contributions to cases are excellent and she is someone who has a very, very bright future ahead of her."

Recent work: Acted as sole counsel in R v Rabjohns, Battersby, Bridge and Hooper, representing the defendant in a six-week contested trial concerning three counts of conspiracy to murder. The case concerned a joint plan to ram a vehicle off the road.

Stephen Jeary

He has a strong defence-based practice, and is sought out to handle serious fraud, homicide, drugs and sexual cases.

Strengths: "A formidable advocate with a very good reputation."


The set

30 Park Place maintains its standing as a leading family law set, with its experienced individuals able to provide a broad range of expertise. The renowned childcare team is known for covering serious cases of abuse and neglect, while the matrimonial finance practitioners regularly handle complex, high net worth matters. Sources highlight the set's strength in depth, as well as the knowledge and understanding of both the barristers and the clerks, saying: "There are a lot of serious, reliable advocates there that I would trust on family matters, and they also have a very good support staff who are quick, helpful and loyal."

Client service: "The clerks, led by senior clerk Phillip Griffiths, are a credit to them. They are very honest, will always try to accommodate you and are very approachable."


Ruth Henke QC

A prolific silk who is highly respected for her expertise in care cases involving children and vulnerable adults. She frequently deals with sensitive Children Act matters, in both public and private law proceedings. Interviewees note her skilled handling of the most complex matters.

Strengths: "Ruth Henke is fantastic, there is no one else in Wales that I would choose over her. She is extremely thorough and has excellent preparation; you always feel like she is streets ahead." "A very safe pair of hands, well prepared and conscientious."

James Tillyard QC

Highly respected family practitioner with an exceptional reputation in financial matters. Regularly undertakes high-value work with complex asset issues, including international elements. Sources praise his problem-solving abilities during heavyweight cases.

Strengths: "He provides clear advice, good representation and reasonable solutions." "Very able in money and child law work. He is tenacious and a good fighter - you would want him in your corner."

Jane Crowley QC

Continues to be a leading individual for cases involving serious physical abuse to children, particularly those that require a strong grasp of complex medical evidence. Her private law practice also includes a particular interest in forced marriage and child relocation matters.

Strengths: "Well respected for Children Act matters."


Natalie Sandercock

Experienced junior who is particularly well known for taking on high net worth financial remedy cases. She also handles local authority care work, with notable expertise in cases involving the Court of Protection and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

Strengths: "She has extensive knowledge and a high-level understanding of business and complex pensions. Clients like that she hits the ground running." "A tenacious advocate."

Rhys Taylor

A well-respected barrister, known for his financial family practice with significant expertise in trusts of land and Inheritance Act cases. He is regularly instructed in disputes involving agricultural and farming elements.

Strengths: "The leading junior for money and TOLATA cases." "Very good on trusts of land cases, and very much has his finger on the pulse."

Mark Allen

Senior junior who is highly regarded for his expertise in both public care and private family work. Of late, his caseload has included serious physical and sexual abuse cases. Sources praise him for his manner with vulnerable clients including those with mental health problems.

Strengths: "He is very knowledgeable and able in cases involving complex legal and medical issues, and good in extremely sensitive cross-examinations."

Harriet Edmondson

Specialising in care work, she is recommended for her handling of sensitive cases involving vulnerable individuals. She is experienced in representing parents, guardians, children and local authorities during proceedings relating to non-accidental injury, death and sexual abuse.

Strengths: "She is extremely able and thorough. Good with clients, diligent in her preparation and skilled in her advocacy."

Catherine Louise Heyworth

Highlighted by sources for her depth of experience in complex injury cases, Catherine Heyworth undertakes a range of care work including serious physical and sexual abuse matters. She has notable expertise in cases involving complicated head injuries.

Strengths: "I have always been impressed with her ability to empathise with the clients and her knowledge of areas outside the legal remit, such as medical knowledge."

Kate Hughes

An experienced advocate with a strong childcare practice, who also takes on financial remedy matters. She frequently represents local authorities but also has experience acting for guardians, parents and prospective adopters in complex care cases.

Strengths: "I find her very professional, she always knows her case well and is an excellent advocate."

Catrin John

Highly regarded in the public law children field, she specialises in representing local authorities and guardians in heavyweight sexual and physical abuse matters. She has further notable experience in cases where parenting has been affected by mental illness.

Strengths: "She is very capable, experienced in complex cases, is good with the clients and takes a very sensible approach to what she does."

Colin Douglas

Handles public and private law cases involving children, with a particular emphasis on care matters. He has extensive experience of representing vulnerable clients in cases of serious physical, sexual and emotional abuse.

Strengths: "He is very good and does well on children matters."

Rebecca Harrington

Undertakes a full range of family finance work, including ancillary relief and enforcement cases, often involving owner-run companies and foreign assets. Also advises on complex immigration and asylum issues concerning children.

Strengths: "She is very competent, a great junior barrister."

Rhian Kirby

Strong junior with a varied care practice, representing local authorities, guardians and parents in non-accidental injury and abuse cases, among others. Interviewees note her excellent manner with vulnerable clients and her handling of complex issues.

Strengths: "She is extremely patient, has excellent preparation, is very approachable and experienced. More than a safe pair of hands."

Claire Williams

Respected junior frequently instructed by local authorities in a range of serious physical and sexual abuse cases. She also represents parents and guardians, and her extensive experience has been further cemented by undertaking cases in the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

Strengths: "She is extremely bright, an excellent advocate and has a good approach with clients."

Rhian Jones

Specialises in Children Act cases, particularly public law proceedings involving domestic abuse, sexual abuse and severe non-accidental injuries. Also handles private children work and has significant appellate experience.

Strengths: "Ridiculously well prepared, pragmatic in her approach and gives the clients confidence."

Personal Injury

The set

30 Park Place is a significant regional presence in personal injury. Acting on behalf of claimants and defendants, the set represents clients in both multi-track and fast-track cases. Members have a broad range of expertise, and are regularly instructed by law firms, insurers and trade unions.

Client service: Phillip Griffiths is the senior clerk at the set.


Lloyd Williams QC

Leading practitioner for catastrophic and fatal accident claims. He is applauded by the market for his high-value brain and spinal injury practice, representing claimants and defendants alike, and is noted for his quality client care.

Strengths: "Calm and methodical, he is a strategic thinker who is excellent with clients from all walks of life." "A go-to barrister on fatal accident cases."


Ben Davies

Has a claimant-focused practice and acts in high-value, often multimillion-pound claims, on behalf of traumatically injured claimants. He also represents fast-track claimants. He is noted for his excellent client care skills.

Strengths: "He's very careful and considered."

Robert Harrison

Maintains a well-developed employment liability practice that takes in industrial disease claims and fatal accident cases. He is also experienced in a wide range of non-employment claims, including cases involving minors.

Strengths: "Takes a very friendly and conscientious approach to dealing with claims. He has meticulous attention to detail and is tactically astute."  "He's bright and sensible, and his experience manifests itself in his understanding of a case." "Has a very good bedside manner with clients and is impressive in court."

Administrative and Public Law

Rhodri Williams QC

Acts for applicants and respondents in administrative and public law proceedings including judicial reviews. He has particular experience of handling challenges against cuts to public services. His additional areas of expertise include EU and public procurement law.

Strengths: "Always very well prepared and a thorough researcher."

Recent work: Successfully represented the defendant, Neath Port Talbot CBC, in a judicial review concerning its decision to close two primary schools.


Angharad Davies

Has a wide-ranging chancery practice and particular expertise in disputes over the construction and interpretation of wills.  She also handles Court of Protection, insolvency and land law cases.

Strengths: "She is dedicated, proactive and an expert in this field."