20 Essex Street is pleased to announce the appointment of Christopher Hancock QC and Duncan Matthews QC as Joint Heads of Chambers from 1 August 2014. They follow Iain Milligan QC who, alongside running a first-class commercial practice, has presided over 20 Essex Street’s expansion and development as head of chambers since 1999. Like Iain, both Chris and Duncan have substantial practices in commercial litigation and arbitration.
Chris is recognised as one of the best insurance lawyers at the bar and has most recently been lead counsel in “The Prestige”, a high-profile multi-jurisdictional dispute between a London insurer, Spain, and France arising from one of the largest oil spills in recent years. Chris is currently acting, among other matters, “The Nissos Amorgos” action against the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund and for Petrobras in the complex and long-running litigation surrounding the upgrade of an off-shore production platform for the oil industry.
Duncan is regularly involved in complex, heavy litigation both in England and abroad and has been identified by Chambers Global 2014 as a “supersilk” in the making. He has most recently been involved in high profile civil fraud and finance cases including for Mukhtar Ablyazov in the multi-billion dollar claim by JSC BTA Bank and, currently, for the administrators of Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander (the UK subsidiary of the collapsed Icelandic bank) in its claim against UBS.
Outgoing head of chambers Iain Milligan QC said: “Chris and Duncan make a formidable team and I am sure that they will do an excellent job. The role has expanded greatly since I took it on in 1999 due in no small part to chambers’ growing size and profile both in London and Singapore. The scope of chambers’ work has grown in recent years with the addition of an excellent insolvency team and increasing strength in banking and finance, energy, fraud and competition law alongside our well-established prominence in international arbitration, insurance, private and public international law, commodities and shipping. I wish Chris, Duncan and chambers as a whole every success in the future.”
The members of 20 Essex Street thank Iain for his hard and dedicated work for chambers and are delighted that he will remain a member of chambers.