Fountain Court Chambers
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|No. of offices||2: London and Singapore|
|Major practice areas||Commercial law|
|Key people||Stephen Moriarty QC
(Head of Chambers)
|Date founded||1970s (present location)|
Fountain Court Chambers is a leading set of commercial barristers in the Temple in central London. It has 68 tenants, of whom 29 are silks. With an annual turnover of £43 million, it is in the Magic Circle.
Notable former tenants include Lord Scarman OBE PC QC, Thomas Bingham KG PC QC FBA, Charles Falconer PC QC, Peter Goldsmith PC QC, Sir Mark Potter PC FKC, Sir Denis Henry PC (Ire) QC, Sir Nicholas Underhill PC QC, Sir Henry Brooke QC and Sir Francis Jacobs KCMG QC. The set became established as pre-eminent under the leadership of Sir Melford Stevenson PC in the 1950s. This status as part of the 'Magic Circle' was further cemented in the 1960s and 1970s by a number of members who were widely regarded as leading advocates of their generation. Current door tenants include Andrew Burrows QC, Professor of the Law of England and senior research fellow at All Souls College, Oxford.
It is possible to trace Chambers’ origins back to the early part of the twentieth century (when it is thought to have been based in Hare Court), but its period of sustained success dates from the efforts of a group of individuals working from Chambers in the aftermath of the Second World War. The chambers moved to its present location in Fountain Court in the Middle Temple (previously the home of the Bar Council) in the 1970s from Crown Office Row in the Inner Temple.
Members of Fountain Court Chambers have appeared in many landmark cases and high-profile commercial disputes, such as the well-known House of Lords’ case of Caparo v Dickman, in which all counsel on both sides were from Fountain Court. Several members of the Chambers were also prominent figures in acting for the Bank of England in the celebrated Three Rivers litigation, a case which led to several appeals to the House of Lords. Numerous members of Fountain Court Chambers were involved in the Lloyds litigation which dominated the work of the Commercial Court in the 1990s, and produced two significant appeals in the House of Lords. More recently, many members have been involved in Bank Charges litigation (a test case which ended up in the House of Lords), and, most recently, in the PPI litigation. Other recent substantial cases in which members of Fountain Court appeared include Springwell Navigation v JP Morgan Chase and Stone & Rolls Ltd v Moore Stephens (House of Lords). Additionally, several members of Chambers have appeared (for three different parties, including intervening professional bodies) before a seven-member panel of the Supreme Court in R (on the application of Prudential PLC) v HMRC and a nine-member panel of the Supreme Court in Bank Mellat v Her Majesty's Treasury (No. 2).
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