Magdalen Chambers results from the merger of Southernhay and Rougemont Chambers in 2013.
The merged set of chambers creates the largest set of chambers south west of Bristol with nearly 50 members offering expertise in a wide range of areas of civil and family work; together with a highly experienced clerking team.

Our Barristers

Rupert Chapman - Joint Head of Chambers

Rupert specialises in family law, focussing on financial remedy claims between divorcing couples and cohabitees, claims in relation [Read More] to financial provision for children, and in private children matters, particularly those involving allegations of significant harm and international issues.

Rupert has been recognised as a leading junior in the field of Family and Children Law by the Legal 500 since 2014 as well as UK Chambers & Partners, being described as;

Acknowledged for his handling of cases involving matrimonial finance disputes and private law children matters. Many of his cases straddle multiple jurisdictions around the world.
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Natasha Bellinger - Joint Head of Chambers

Natasha is an experienced civil practitioner who accepts instructions in commercial, contract, housing, environmental, and property matters. Natasha [Read More] has a particular interest and specialisation in matters relating to the field of environmental and regulatory law having spent a period with the Environment Agency on secondment as a senior lawyer. During this time Natasha not only enhanced her expertise in this area but was involved with general civil litigation, nuisance actions, human rights issues, negligence and contractual claims.

Natasha regularly advises businesses and individuals on contractual matters including business to business and consumer disputes, as well as insolvency and bankruptcy issues. Most recently, Natasha has appeared in the High Court on an insolvency dispute concerning an injunction to restrain the presentation of a winding up petition.
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Anne Bell OBE

Anne moved to the West Country from London in 2001. She continues to specialise in public and private [Read More] children law cases and financial remedy matters.

A significant proportion of her practice has involved representing clients with learning disabilities. Willing to travel, Anne maintains a London and South East practice as well as practising throughout the West Country.
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Christopher Naish

Christopher has a broad practice, acting for guardians, parents and local authorities on private and public children law [Read More] matters, as well as being able to handle complex financial remedy cases.

He has practised in Exeter since 1981 – first at Southernhay Chambers (where he was Head of Chambers from 2005) and now at Magdalen Chambers. He undertakes a full range of family work relating to children and money, and family-related civil work including trusts of land and professional negligence.

Christopher regularly represents local authorities, parents and other family members and guardians in public law cases including non-accidental injuries with contested medical evidence and a range of other care work with disputed expert evidence.
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Nick Berry

Nick Berry, called in 1988, is an experienced specialist in all aspects of Business, Commercial and Property law. [Read More] His clients have included large corporations, SMEs, and individuals through instruction by solicitors and via Direct Access. [Read Less]

Jeremy Haughty

Jeremy is an experienced practitioner with a busy general common law practice covering a broad range of disciplines [Read More] with specialisms in the following areas:

• Personal injury and clinical negligence
• General commercial litigation
• Contentious probate
• Commercial and Residential Property including landlord and Tenant

Jeremy accepts a broad range of other general civil litigation instructions, including General Chancery, Insolvency, Commercial work and Building disputes, and regularly accepts instructions in a wide range of disputes and non-contentious matters under the public access scheme, from members of the public and professionals.
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Helen Matuk

Helen covers all aspects of Family Law, including in relation to children and financial provision. She primarily practises [Read More] in the field of public law care proceedings, representing parents, children, local authorities and interveners. [Read Less]

Geoff Killen

Geoffrey has 25 years experience in personal injury law but is far more approachable than that would suggest. [Read More] Having caught the surfing bug while still in London, he gradually moved as far west as he could to be close to the waves.

Based in Truro, he prefers to stay west of Bristol for CFA fast track matters but is willing to go further afield for multi track matters. He is also happy to accept instructions on DPA and CFA bases.
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David Campbell

David returned to the Independent Bar having removed to Devon and worked as a legal adviser to the [Read More] Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police then as in-house Counsel for a leading firm of solicitors. He has developed a niche practice providing general legal advice to a number of SMEs’ that dovetails with a traditional practice.

Initially he practiced at the Criminal Bar and as such is able to distil salient points quickly and when necessary back up advice with his experience of advocacy at a high level.
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Angus Gloag

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Gavin Charles Collett

After service in HM Forces, Gavin began his legal career in a prestigious planning law set in London. [Read More] He moved to Devon in 1995 where has established himself as the pre-eminent specialist in matters of planning law and highways law. He also holds an honorary teaching fellowship from Exeter University since 2011.

The mainstay of his practice is planning, highways and rights of way. Gavin heads the Magdalen Administrative & Regulatory team and has become extremely sought after for his presentation skills and his detailed cross examination of professional witnesses in planning matters. He is described as approachable and understandable by his clients; and as, “A man that can get results.”
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James Rees

James appears regularly in all types of family cases, including acting on behalf of applicants and respondents in [Read More] public and private law cases. James is regularly instructed in cases involving removal from the jurisdiction. He also undertakes all aspects of matrimonial finance, including Tolata claims.

"Despite the extremely short time in which to review past files and history of the overly complicated saga, and following you into the Court room prepared for the worst, I watched a virtuoso performance unfold of effective representation which in addition to winning on all three key points resulted in the remarkable accomplishment of having my ex actually thanking you at the conclusion of the hearing, such was the whirlwind of your command of the Hearing. Brilliant job for which I am hugely grateful. This is the first time I many months I’ve felt a real burden lifted. My admiration for Chambers continues to increase in leaps and bounds. "
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Steven Ball

Steven has expertise and extensive experience in most areas of contract and property litigation representing corporate and individual [Read More] clients. He also brings considerable background knowledge to cases involving technical subject matter such as construction and electrical or mechanical engineering.

Before studying law, Steven spent approximately 9 years working in aspects of electrical/electronic systems design and sales, industrial contracting, property development and construction project management.

Steven is qualified to accept Instructions directly from members of the public and from other professionals.
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Daya Mann

Daya completed her pupillage in London, where she covered chancery and common law. She then became a member [Read More] in a common law chambers where she practised in complimentary areas of family law, immigration and crime.

Daya married in 1997 and moved to chambers in Plymouth, where she practised until she took a career break for a year in order to spend time with her two young sons. She joined Southernhay Chambers in 2006 and undertakes work in all areas of finance and TOLATA proceedings and regularly undertakes care work representing local authorities, parents and other family members. She also has a wide and varied private law practice.
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Paul Bitmead

Paul is regarded as a skilled advocate and negotiator. He has a background in both criminal and family [Read More] law. His commitment to social justice has motivated his decision to specialize in family law. His pragmatic and realistic approach combines forensic rigour with sound judgement. He is highly recommended for his skill in challenging and difficult cases, His management, and empathy with vulnerable lay clients and children is exemplary. His focused and succinct style in and out of court inspires confidence. [Read Less]

William Hillier

William is a family law barrister specialising in all matters concerning family finance including financial remedies on divorce, [Read More] cohabitation disputes (TOLATA), schedule one applications, inheritance act and associated property disputes.

In addition he is also frequently instructed in related matters under the Children Act 1989, and the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

William also accepts instructions on a public access basis.

He is a member of the FLBA and CoPPA
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Simon C. Lane

Simon’s practice is predominantly in the field of property law, with an emphasis on, traditional chancery matters especially [Read More] landlord and tenant, wills, probate, family provision (Inheritance Act claims) and TOLATA, public and private rights of way and boundary disputes/ adverse possession together with a significant amount of Social Housing work.

Simon’s Commercial work is principally in areas which complement his property practice and he is experienced in dealing with interim applications such as injunctions and freezing orders.
Simon has appeared in the Court of Appeal and is regularly instructed to appear in the County Court, High Court and before specialist tribunals such as the former HM Land Registry Adjudicator and Leasehold Valuation Tribunal - which now come under the umbrella of the newly established First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).

Simon has been a qualified mediator since 2006 (ADR Chambers (UK) Ltd) and is happy to accept instructions to act as mediator or Counsel on behalf of parties in mediations in all of the areas in which he practices.
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Sarah Evans

Sarah has been a family law specialist for over 20 years and has practised as a Barrister on [Read More] the Western Circuit since 2004. She specialises in cases involving what were formerly known as contact and residence issues, and removals from the jurisdiction. She represented the appellant fathers in Re W (Children) (2012) EWCA Civ 999 and Re H-B (Contact) (2015) EWCA Civ 389, the fathers in Re A & B (Contact) (No 4) 2015 EWHC 2839 (Fam) and the appellant grandmother in Re T (A Child) (2010) EWCA Civ 1527. She has built a strong practice representing parents and wider family members in complex and intractable disputes over children. Her practice also encompasses divorce and financial remedies.

Prior to being called to the Bar in 2004, Sarah practised as an attorney in New York for seven years, where she worked for one of the leading family law firms. She was the only British attorney at the New York Family Bar at the time, and her practice there included many high profile divorce and custody disputes. She appeared regularly in the New York State Supreme Court and the US District (Federal) Court and in several notable & reported cases. During 2012 she spent time in London as a member of 1 Garden Court, Temple before returning to the West Country and Magdalen (formerly Southernhay) Chambers.
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Andrew Worthley

Andrew Worthley has been a member of Magdalen Chambers since its inception in July 2013, having practised at [Read More] both founding sets Rougemont and Southernhay between 2004 and 2013. He has a broad common law practice area which is now principally focused on employment work.

Andrew is an experienced and friendly barrister whose advocacy has received judicial commendation from Ward LJ, who stated in the Court of Appeal, "I wish to pay my tribute to Mr Worthley not only for his erudition but for the careful, sensible and charming way in which he has argued this application." Ward LJ, (2009) EWCA Civ 860.

Andrew accepts public access work and work through the Bar Pro Bono unit. He is also a visiting senior lecturer at City University London and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Andrew is co-author of Advocacy (OUP, Oxford. 2018). He has previously been a Specialist Advisor to the House of Lords, external examiner at Queen’s University Belfast and a Professor in Residence at City University New York.
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Christian Gape

Christian’s principle interest is in the full range of cases concerning family finance, he advises and acts in [Read More] all areas of ancillary relief, including disputes over jurisdiction and cases involving pre and post nuptial agreements.

In claims brought under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989, the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996, including claims involving constructive trusts and proprietary estoppels and related enforcement proceedings

Christian regularly represents parties in proceedings involving the Child Support Agency, both in Tribunal proceedings and in enforcement proceedings in the Magistrates’ Courts, and charging order proceedings in the County Courts.
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David Lidbury

David has a wide and varied children practice and has a particular interest in cases involving domestic violence [Read More] and removal from the jurisdiction. David regularly represents Local Authorities, parents, guardians, competent children and parties represented by the official solicitor and welcomes publicly funded instructions. He provides training for local authorities on public law procedure and practice.

David undertakes work in all areas of financial relief, including Financial Remedies, Child Maintenance, Schedule 1 CA 1989 and proceedings under the Trust of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act (TOLATA).

David is accredited under the Public Access procedure and in suitable cases is happy to accept instructions direct from members of the public.

David sits as a member of the RFU Discipline Panel and the Devon RFU Discipline Panel.
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Dan Dyson

Dan has a broad commercial practice acting for individuals, owner managed enterprises and larger businesses in relation to [Read More] most types of dispute. He provides advocacy and advisory services appearing regularly in the County Court and High Court in applications, injunctions, trials and appeals. He focuses on providing clear and practical advice. [Read Less]

Tom Urwin

Tom is primarily a family practitioner and his practice encompasses all aspects of family law. He has appeared [Read More] at all levels of the Family Court and at the Court of Appeal. His practice includes care, financial remedies, private law children, applications for leave to remove from the jurisdiction and cases concerning the CSA.

In addition to his family practice, Tom regularly undertakes personal injury work for both Claimants and Defendants.

Tom joined Chambers in October 2015 having previously practised at Fenners Chambers in Cambridge.
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Charles Cooper

Charles has a specialist practice which draws on his Medical background and previous practice as a Solicitor, in [Read More] the fields of Tax & Trusts, Personal Injury, Clinical Negligence & Inquests.

Judicial compliments include "persuasively reasonable" and "forensic in his analysis", and clients praise him for his "efficiency, courtesy and helpfulness" and his "good bedside manner".

He is willing to accept instructions on the basis of CFAs and other funding arrangements.

Judicial shadowing: Coroner, 2009; District Judge, 2011.
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Jennifer Smith

Jennifer commenced a specialist family pupillage in October 2017 and has now accepted Chambers offer of tenancy

Jennifer achieved [Read More] a First Class in her LLB Law studies at Plymouth University and was awarded the prize for the ‘Most Enterprising Law Graduate the Year’ by Foot Anstey LLP. Jennifer was called to the Bar in 2016 having achieved an ‘Outstanding’ on the BPTC at the University of the West of England and the award for the highest overall mark in her cohort. She was also awarded an Exhibition Award and Duke of Edinburgh Entrance Award by Inner Temple and she qualified as an ADR Group Accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator in 2016.

Prior to pupillage, Jennifer practised as a Solicitor’s Agent on the Western Circuit and attended court for a wide variety of cases including insolvency, Consumer Credit Act disputes, landlord and tenant disputes, mortgage disputes, general applications under the CPR, case management and infant settlements.

Jennifer has been a keen horse rider from the age of 6 and particularly enjoys attending showjumping competitions and hacking across Dartmoor. She can also be found walking her family dog, at the driving range hitting some golf balls, reading a gripping crime thriller and going to the theatre.
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Charles Shwenn

Charles is a member of the civil team in Chambers and is developing a busy practice in all [Read More] of Chambers’ civil areas of work.

Charles joined Chambers as a pupil in 2017 and successfully completed his pupillage under the supervision of Gavin Collett in 2018.

Before joining, Charles worked as a Researcher in London for organisations including Google, Goldman Sachs and Munch Re. He has also worked with a number of charities in a legal capacity including: Citizens Advice, the Free Representation Unit, the Personal Support Unit at the Royal Courts of Justice and the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law.

Charles has contributed to seminars for the Judicial College concerning: developments in public law, modern challenges in treaty-based commercial arbitration and counter-terrorism legislation. He also edited a major legal textbook on international environmental law for its 7th edition.

Originally from Devon, Charles studied law at the University of Exeter at undergraduate and postgraduate levels before training in London and thereafter returning to the South West. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, running around the Devon countryside and surfing.
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Our Clerks

James Basden
Senior Clerk

James started clerking in London in 2000 working at chambers in the Temple and in Gray’s Inn becoming [Read More] 1st junior at 2 Temple Gardens. He moved to Devon in 2008 working in chambers in Plymouth before becoming the dedicated civil clerk at Southernhay Chambers in 2011 and our Senior Clerk in 2014. [Read Less]


Lisa Lyons
Marketing and Administration Clerk

Lisa began her clerking career at Castle Chambers in Exeter in the early 1990s. After a period working [Read More] at St John’s Chambers in Bristol, she moved to Rougemont Chambers in 2004 becoming joint senior clerk in 2009.

After the merger in 2013 Lisa became Marketing and Administration Clerk to chambers.
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Harry Turner
Senior Civil Clerk

Harry began clerking at Rougemont Chambers in 2006. Over the last 12 years he has grown in experience [Read More] to become an invaluable member of the clerking team whilst working up the ranks to become our Senior Civil Clerk. [Read Less]


Grainne McGovern
Senior Family Clerk

Since joining chambers in March 2015, Gráinne has grown in experience and knowledge.
She is a dedicated and enthusiastic [Read More] part of our team, and is now our Senior Family Clerk responsible for the smooth running of the Family Team. [Read Less]


Kadie Blackburn
Junior Civil Clerk

Kadie joined Southernhay Chambers in Oct 2012 and has since developed into an important member of the team. [Read More] In her role as Junior Civil Clerk, she assists the clerking team with the smooth running of the civil team. [Read Less]


Evie Duffy
Junior Family Clerk

Evie joined our team in 2020 as Junior Family Clerk and has since developed her clerking skills whilst [Read More] assisting Gráinne in the running of the family team, including fee negotiation and direct access clerking. She is a valued member of the clerking team with an enthusiasm for efficiency and detail. [Read Less]


Nick Headley
Junior Clerk

Nick joined the clerking team in June 2018 after finishing his A-Levels and relocating from Surrey to Devon [Read More] in 2017. In his role as a valued Junior Clerk he assists the clerking team with the smooth running of chambers. [Read Less]


Lindsey Nash
Senior Fees Clerk

Lindsey originally joined the clerking team at Southernhay Chambers in 2009. Since our merger in 2013 she has [Read More] headed up our fees team using her wealth of experience, particularly in Family Legal Aid matters and is the first port of call for billing queries. [Read Less]


Jan Wood
Fees Clerk & Receptionist

Jan, having moved from the Court Service to Clerk of Castle Chambers, under the headship of Christina Gorna [Read More] has a wealth of experience. Jan is our front of house receptionist and fees clerk. [Read Less]