The Legal Cheek View
Legal geeks will note that Sir Rupert Jackson, famous for being the architect of major reforms of the civil justice system, is a member of 4 New Square — having returned as a door tenant following his retirement from the Court of Appeal. His presence underlines the calibre of the set, which has more than 30 heavyweight QCs on its books. Members’ expertise lies in a range of areas including commercial and Chancery, professional negligence, sport and human rights.
Recent case highlights include a long-awaited decision on proportionality in clinical negligence, a Court of Appeal win on limitation rules in tort and being instructed by Magic Circle firm Allen & Overy in a complex commercial fraud dispute about asset disclosure under worldwide freezing orders. It’s not all commercial either: other cases have involved challenging Turkey’s ban on accessing Wikipedia, defending the right of Hungarian journalists to report from parliament and acting for Amnesty International in a case about export licensing of arms for use in Yemen. Meanwhile, 4 New Square barristers specialising in sports law have defended rugby league players in anti-doping claims, prosecuted match-fixing charges against tennis player Federico Coria, and served on the Premier League’s judicial panel for disciplinary cases.
It’s great work if you can get it. One insider describes the work as “varied and intellectually stimulating”, while another adds: “I usually enjoy going to work, which about sums it up.” A competing summary runs: “great range, big value, challenging material”.
What The Junior Barristers Say
“There’s a real sense of community in chambers and it’s always nice when you bump into someone,” says junior barrister William Harman. His expertise stretches across commercial dispute resolution, professional liability, sports law and construction. When we speak, he’s working on a case involving Russian oligarchs. Other recent highlights include working for the defence on an anti-doping charge brought against a former Olympic athlete and a claim involving allegations of fraud against solicitors.
Members of 4 New Square have appeared in several international courts and arbitrations. Juniors get in on the action too. One junior worked for an arbitrator in India, while another recently returned from a secondment in the British Virgin Islands. Some of the work Harman takes on also has an international element. He was recently instructed on a case involving asset tracing across different jurisdictions.