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Information Technology

Chambers & Partners 2017

A notable and growing presence at the IT Bar. The set is able to draw upon its market-leading reputation in the intellectual property space to inform its work in the internet trading, software patent and licences and telecommunications sectors. Members are equally active in resolving disputes through litigation and arbitration.

Client service: Ashley Carr is the head of the clerking team and has been at the set for over 20 years.


Michael Silverleaf QC 
Handles the most complex aspects of both information technology and intellectual property law, and is able to advise clients on the commercial and technical considerations of cases including software licensing disputes. He also acts as a mediator.
Strengths: “Very tenacious and very effective.”
Recent work: Represented Interflora in its dispute with Marks & Spencer over the use of Google Adwords.

Mark Vanhegan QC
Has a broad practice covering the technology aspects of patent, telecommunications and media law. He is also an experienced mediator and arbitrator, drawing on his strong technical knowledge to aid resolution.
Strengths: “He’s got a very judge-like way about him and comes across as very calm and thoughtful.”
Recent work: Continues to act for Samsung in the company’s patent disputes with Unwired Planet.


Brian Nicholson
A highly regarded junior who has particular strength in handling patent and trademark disputes. He is especially valued by technology clients as he has both commercial awareness and a comprehensive understanding of the technical aspects of his cases. His recent work in the telecommunications sector has been particularly notable.
Strengths: “Extremely bright and extremely sound on both the technology and the law.” “He’s very versatile and has very broad experience.”
Recent work: Acted for IPCom in its action against Nokia over infringement of a software patent

Legal 500 2016


For many, 11 South Square is ‘the leading intellectual property set’. ‘There is talent from top to bottom and no weak links’; ‘if your first-choice counsel is unavailable, it is rare that a suitable substitute cannot be found in chambers’. ‘The clerks provide by far and away the best service’; ‘they are honest, transparent and recognise the importance of putting the client’s needs first’. In particular, senior clerk Ashley Carr is ‘a commercial pragmatist, who always strives to provide a first-class service’. ‘Rarely does a problem come up that he can’t fix’, and ‘when the pressure is on and a request for help goes out, he is on it like a shot’. The clerking team also includes Michelle Carter, who is ‘superb and could not be more helpful’.

Within Information Technology, 11 South Square (Michael Silverleaf QC) is a second tier set.

11 South Square houses ‘excellent advocates across the board’. Coming at its IT and telecoms practice with an IP lens, the set regularly handles high-value cases such as the ongoing Unwired Planet vs Samsung and others litigation.

Michael Silverleaf QC‘Excellent at identifying the weaknesses in a case.’ 

Mark Vanhegan QC‘Excellent with clients.’

Brian Nicholson  - ‘A standout counsel.’



Chambers and Partners Bar Awards 

IP/IT Set of the Year
2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 & 2013

IP/IT Junior of the Year
Brian Nicholson
(awarded 2013)

IP/IT Silk of the Year
Piers Acland QC
(short listed 2015, awarded 2010)
Iain Purvis QC
(awarded 2014)
Henry Carr QC
(awarded 2013)

Legal 500 Awards

IP, IT & Media Set of the Year
(awarded 2013, short listed 2014 & 2015) 

IP, IT & Media Silk of the Year
Michael Silverleaf QC
(short listed 2013 & 2014)
Henry Carr QC
(short listed 2013)

IP Inclusive Charter