Two prominent costs juniors quit 39 Essex St for 4 New Square

London chambers 4 New Square has made a significant statement about its intention to lead the costs Bar after well-known juniors Benjamin Williams and Robert Marven joined the set from Thirty Nine Essex Street

They join a team of three QCs – including one of the costs world’s highest-regarded silks, Nick Bacon – and 11 other juniors, the best known of whom to costs specialists is probably Roger Mallalieu

All four are very prominent names in the costs world and have found themselves up against each other in many cases, with all four involved in the 2008 Tankard case in the Court of Appeal for example

Last year Mr Williams acted for the claimants in the costs part of the Trafigura case, with Mr Bacon for Trafigura, and also represented Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator at the heart of the phone-hacking scandal, over whether News Group Newspapers had to cover his legal costs

Mr Bacon told Litigation Futures that 4 New Square is now “undoubtedly the leading set” ahead of next year’s costs changes

“We have depth and breadth in a specialist team which leaves others behind

One leading practitioner e-mailed me to

say that this is a polarisation of the costs Bar which will lead to other sets being frozen out

Mr Williams has a commercial practice with a particular focus on insurance, including litigation arising from collapsed claims management schemes such as The Accident Group, as well as the long-running credit hire litigation

He also specialises in the law relating to solicitors, including costs and litigation funding, professional negligence, and regulatory and disciplinary work

He is an editor of Cordery on Legal Services (formerly Cordery on Solicitors), and is recommended as the leading junior on costs by both Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500, having appeared in nearly all of the major costs cases of the last decade

Acknowledged also as an expert on civil procedure and consumer law (including consumer credit), he is an editor of the White Book 2013

Mr Marven is a specialist in all aspects of costs law

His practice includes: costs issues arising from high-value litigation; challenges to conditional fee agreements; collective conditional fee agreements; success fees; legal expenses insurance and after-the-event insurance premiums; litigation funding; fixed costs; costs estimates; costs caps; and wasted and non-party costs orders

He has been involved in a range of high-profile cases in the Court of Appeal, the High Court, the Senior Courts Costs Office and the county courts

He undertakes both detailed assessments and appellate work

He provides commercial advice to insurers, solicitors and claims management companies



18 October 2018
Claire Stockford

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