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Bar news: Blackstone bolsters commercial litigation capability with hire of Brick Court’s Alan Maclean QC

Leading set Blackstone Chambers has taken further steps to bolster its commercial litigation and arbitration capability with the hire of heavyweight Brick Court Chambers commercial litigator Alan Maclean QC.

Having officially started yesterday (4 February), Maclean (pictured) is acknowledged by the Legal 500 as ‘a force to be reckoned with in the courtroom’ and a ‘streetwise trial advocate.’

With a practice that extends to multiple areas of commercial litigation and arbitration including banking, civil fraud, energy and natural resources, conflicts of laws, insurance and reinsurance, and public law, Maclean’s notable casework includes appearing as counsel to the Pollard Review into the BBC Newsnight/Jimmy Savile affair, and for the ‘Salford Defendants’ in large-scale Chancery Division proceedings brought by the late Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky concerning the estate of Georgian businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili.

Called to the Bar in 1993 and appointed to silk in 2009, Maclean’s high-profile work also involved acting for Tony Blair and Alastair Campbell in the Hutton Inquiry – a public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of British scientist Dr David Kelly, a former British Ministry of Defence employee, identified in the national newspapers as the man the government believed was the source behind allegations that a dossier on weapons of destruction in Iraq had been ‘sexed up.’

A member of the Attorney General’s panel for 10 years and promoted to the ‘A’ Panel in 2006, clients of Maclean also included No 10 Downing Street, HM Treasury, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of justice and more recently the Department for Education in relation to its flagship academies programme.

Blackstone Chambers joint heads Tony Peto QC and Monica Carss-Frisk QC, said: ‘We are delighted that one of the bar’s leading commercial silks is joining Blackstone Chambers. Alan’s undoubted expertise will further enhance our commercial and international arbitration groups and we are all looking forward very much to working with him closely in the future.’

Alan Maclean QC said: ‘I am very pleased to be joining such an excellent set of Chambers, which I believe offers me the best platform for the next stage of my career. Having been a pupil at Blackstone, I am excited at the prospect of returning and contributing to the next stage of its strategic development, particularly in my key areas of specialisation, namely commercial litigation and arbitration.’

The hire is indicative of strategic expansion for Blackstone, a first-tier set in administrative law, public law, civil liberties and human rights, that also houses heavyweight advocates Lord Pannick QC and Dinah Rose QC. In October, it confirmed the hire of Wilberforce QC Michael Bloch, a rated commercial and intellectual property specialist, just six months after the addition of Matrix tax barrister Sam Grodzinski QC in March 2013.

For a detailed insight into clerks at the Bar see Pulling the strings – the surprisingly successful re-invention of clerking