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Seven City alumni named amongst Legal Week's Stars at the Bar 2013

The leading magazine profiled 10 of the most acclaimed young barristers
by Sophie

A report by Legal Week has named seven City alumni amongst the top ten young barristers in England and Wales. Graduates of The City Law School were included in the magazine's annual 'Stars at the Bar' list 2013.

nullLegal Week contacted more than 350 solicitors, barristers, QCs and senior clerks to ascertain their views on the rising stars of the profession. The top 10 were selected from more than 325 recommended junior barristers of 10 years' call and under from all circuits across England and Wales. Each barrister was profiled by journalist Ben Rigby for an article in the most recent edition.

Professor Carl Stychin, Dean of The City Law School, commented:

"It is tremendous to see our alumni achieving this level of recognition so early in their careers. Our rigorous professional programmes are well known for attracting some of the most able and hard-working students, so it is extremely gratifying to see them reaching their potential".

Simon Atrill of Fountain Court Chambers completed the Bar Vocational Course (BVC, now the Bar Professional Training Course) at The City Law School in 2005. He has since been instructed as junior counsel on some of the largest commercial cases in recent years. Solicitors praised his "excellent interpersonal skills, [handling] clients and solicitors well and delivering oral advice in a clear and measured way".

Siddharth Dhar also completed the BVC at City in 2005 having previously attained an LL.M from Harvard Law School. Now at Essex Court Chambers, he has been involved in a number of high-stakes disputes involving values of up to $80bn this year alone. One leader says he has "an amazing ability to get to the heart of a case and to provide truly incisive comments that lead to the winning of a case".

A third member of City's 2005 BVC cohort included in the top 10 was Charles Raffin of Hardwicke Chambers. His practice encompasses arbitration, commercial, insurance and maritime, as well as insolvency, professional negligence and construction work. One leader says: "He is very much in demand principally because he is astute with a first-class analytical mind."

Amy Sander, also of Essex Court Chambers, was called to the Bar in 2006 after completing the BVC at City. She has a broad commercial practice with a particular interest in Public International Law. One lawyer says: "Amy's written advocacy is first rate…her legal and research skills are excellent."

Luke Pearce, who completed the BVC in 2007, is described as 'totally unflappable'. A junior at 20 Essex Street with a broad practice covering all aspects of commercial law, Luke has also lectured in law at the University of Oxford. According to one silk, Pearce "combines outstanding intellect with an uncanny ability to identify the points that a court or tribunal will find attractive and those they will not".

Having studied at University College, Oxford and Princeton University, Can Yeginsu completed City's Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) in 2007. At the chambers of 4 New Square, he combines his increasingly global commercial practice with professional liability work and a commercial judicial review specialism, while also fostering a wider human rights practice. Clients say "he has an excellent mind with a real talent for picking out the key issues in any given case" .

The seventh and final alumnus of The City Law School to feature in the Stars at The Bar list is Michael Watkins, who completed the Post Graduate Diploma in Professional Legal Skills in 2009. Now at One Essex Court, his work spans international banking claims, commercial litigation and international energy price review arbitration. A magic circle partner says he is "truly clever, incisive, drafts very well and has a natural feel for crafting witness examinations and cross-examinations".

The full article, 'Stars at the Bar 2013: Masters in their field' written by Ben Rigby, can be accessed on the Legal Week website.

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