The 2014 edition of the Legal 500 was published this week with Garden Court North continuing to be recommended as a Northern Circuit Leading Set. This year's rankings recommend chambers in each of our practice areas covered by the directory (crime, employment and public law), along with nine individual recommendations within these categories. There is also a superb recommendation for our senior clerk Sarah Wright and the clerks “the level of service provided by her team is ‘always first class".

GCN is recommended as an excellent set”...“provides London-quality expertise”, highlighting the  “number of very talented barristers to choose from”  [despite being smaller set than others on circuit]...and the fact that someone is normally available to have a quick chat about a potential new case”.

GCN is also well represented with individual recommendations for our barristers under each of the relevant categories of crime and regulatory and public law.  These individual recommendations include three new entrants: Nina Grahame (crime), David Campion (employment) and Alex Offer (public law).

Full details of the recommendations are below:

LEGAL 500 2014: The Bar

Set overview:

Garden Court North Chambers is well known for its ethos of protecting human rights and defending civil liberties. It is an  ‘excellent'  set which  ‘provides London-quality expertise' . Despite being a smaller set than others on the Northern Circuit,  ‘there are a number of very talented barristers to choose from'  and‘someone is normally available to have a quick chat about a potential new case' . Its commitment to publicly funded work continues unabated notwithstanding external pressures and the set represents people who have suffered from discrimination, inequality and often those with complex or multiple vulnerabilities. The majority of the civil work handled in chambers has a public law element and matters often involve claims against the police or public authorities. Sarah Wright is the senior clerk and the level of service provided by her team is  ‘always first class' .


Band 3 Northern Circuit Leading Sets


Garden Court North Chambers  has a strong criminal defence practice, and members regularly appear in the Crown Court in cases involving serious frauds, drugs and sexual offences. The set also has a solid reputation for its appellant work. Further to its ethos of protecting civil liberties, members have recently defended environmental demonstrators and anti-fracking protesters.

  Crime: Leading silks

  • Mark George QC - Garden Court North Chambers  ‘A highly experienced defence trial advocate with expertise in serious offence cases .’

  Crime: Leading juniors

  • Nina Grahame - Garden Court North Chambers  ‘An extremely able defence practitioner .’
  • Mary McKeone  Garden Court North Chambers  ‘Robust and always on top of her brief .’

Garden Court North Chambers  specialises in representing employees and workers. David Campion was victorious in a recent case involving the rights of clergy.

Employment: Leading juniors

David Campion - Garden Court North Chambers  ‘Very strong, particularly on discrimination issues .’


Garden Court North Chambers  focuses on civil liberties and human rights, and the public law team has considerable strength in depth. In 2013, Pete Weatherby QC represented the claimants in the high-profile case of  Vinter and Others v UK , where the European Court of Human Rights Grand Chamber considered the legality of whole-life sentences without review. 

Public law: Leading skills

  • Pete Weatherby QC - Garden Court North Chambers  ‘He is extremely hardworking and a good communicator .’

Public law: Leading juniors

  • Vijay Jagadesham - Garden Court North Chambers  ‘Takes great care with his preparation .’
  • Alex Offer - Garden Court North Chambers  ‘He is prepared to take on challenging and groundbreaking cases .’
  • Rory O’Ryan - Garden Court North Chambers  ‘A good analytical lawyer .’
  • Kerry Smith - Garden Court North Chambers  ‘She adopts a focused approach to cases .’


NB Only the London Bar has a separate category for Immigration.

Immigration (including business immigration) – Leading silks

  • Ian Macdonald QC - Garden Court Chambers  ‘The go-to person in extremely complicated cases.'