BMT and Magdalen Chambers: Collaborative Environmental & Safety Expertise

In response to the increasing need for stringent environmental legislative compliance in the defence industry, BMT Cadence is pleased to announce that we shall be working collaboratively with Magdalen Chambers. Based in Exeter, Magdalen Chambers are a legal chambers offering experienced barristers with a focus on the provision of environmental and safety expertise.

Together we can offer a comprehensive service to ensure that organisations can demonstrate and have assurance of their compliance to environmental legislative requirements throughout the project cycle. In combining both companies’ strengths we can offer the right balance of defence environmental management and thorough interpretation of legislative requirements.

Collectively we can provide:

  • Security Cleared barristers and environmental practitioners
  • Safety and Environmental compliance strategies
  • Arbitration and stakeholder management
  • The ability to compile and promote the evidence base for the demonstration of compliance.

Baz Flower, Marketing and Sales Director at BMT Cadence, commented:

“I am delighted that both organisations have engaged to support each other in providing unique service offerings to the defence market and beyond. Whilst we shall retain our distinct market capabilities we can now provide our clients with access to SC-cleared barristers as well as our experienced defence environmental practitioners, in order to satisfy their needs in mitigating delivery and operational risks. We are looking forward to collaboratively supporting existing and new clients.”

Michael Berkley, Joint Head of Chambers at Magdalen Chambers, commented:

‘On behalf of Magdalen Chambers, I am delighted that we have been asked to collaborate with BMT Cadence to provide bespoke legal assistance within the constant evolving environment of the Defence Industry. This is a very exciting prospect, which will result in providing the clients of BMT Cadence with a complete compliance package from inception to project finalisation.

For more information, please contact James Perry, Environmental Practitioner at BMT Cadence, via or James Basden, Senior Clerk at Magdalen Chambers, via

Rupert Chapman

New Procedure for Appeals in Family Proceedings

As of October 3rd 2016, appeals from orders made by Circuit Judges and Recorders in most private law family proceedings will be heard by a High Court Judge rather than by the Court of Appeal as had previously been the case.

The Access to Justice Act 1999 (Destination of Appeals) (Family Proceedings) (Amendment) Order 2016 applies only in relation to appeals where the notice of appeal was filed on or after October 3rd 2016, so any appeal from a Circuit Judge or Recorder which was filed before that date will continue to the Court of Appeal as before.

The new rules will not apply where;

  • The order is made in proceedings relating to Part 4 (care and supervision cases), Part 5 (protection of children) and paragraph 19 of Schedule 2 of the Children Act 1989 (arrangements to assist children to live abroad) or proceedings under the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (adoption and placement applications);
  • The appeal is from a decision relating to contempt of court in or in connection with cases of the above types (i.e. in public law cases only – committal in connection to private law or Family Law Act proceedings will be within the new procedure);
  • The appeal is a second appeal; or
  • The person who made the order was, when the order was made, sitting in a position other than as a Circuit Judge or Recorder (e.g. when sitting as a s.9 High Court Judge).

In such cases the appeal will be to the Court of Appeal, as before.

Appeals from decisions by District Judges and Deputy District Judges of the County Court or District Judges of the Magistrates’ Court are unaffected, as are the requirements for permission. Appeals from a District Judge will continue to be heard by a Circuit Judge.

The intention is to reduce the workload of the Court of Appeal, which is said to be under great strain as the number of appeals increase.

Magdalen Chambers ranked as a leading set by the Legal 500

Magdalen Chambers is delighted to announce that for the third year in a row we have been rated as a leading set on the Western Circuit by the prestigious Legal 500 directory. The authors praised chambers in particular for its “substantial property expertise”, considers its members to be “adept at handling insolvency and professional negligence matters” and drew attention to the family team’s “particular growth in the financial remedy and private law children space”.

As well as chambers as a whole being considered a leading set, 9 members of chambers were considered to be leading practitioners in their fields of expertise.

The editors praised chambers for its expertise in the following areas;

  • Commercial, banking, insolvency and Chancery law;
  • Construction, planning and the environment;
  • Family and Children law;
  • Personal Injury and clinical negligence; and
  • Property law.

The nine members of chambers individually recognised by the directory in tier 1 are;

  • Joint head of Chambers Michael Berkley, who was recognised in the areas of commercial, banking, insolvency and Chancery law and property law and is described as “A well-prepared, talented advocate” and as a “key name” in the property field with a “strong Chancery practice” who is “Experienced in cases involving easements, boundary disputes, and commercial landlord and tenant matters.”
  • Joint head of Chambers Christopher Naish, described by the authors as Excellent – his knowledge of family law is second to none.”
  • Rupert Chapman, recognised for his expertise in family and children law as Intelligent, methodical, unflappable and approachable.”
  • Gavin Collett who is “recommended for planning applications” having appeared in a “major case” involving the judicial review of Devon County Council’s decision to reverse traffic flow in Totnes.
  • William Hopkin, recognised for his expertise in commercial, banking, insolvency and Chancery law and described as having an ability to disarm the most aggressive opponents with his frank, considered and calm approach.”
  • Russell James who joined chambers from Devon Chambers in February 2016, “bringing a substantial housing law practice” and “specialises in housing and homelessness law”.
  • Carol Mashembo who joined chambers from St Johns Chambers in October 2016 and is recognised for her expertise in family and children law as someone who “strikes a good balance between empathy with the client and ruthless pragmatism.”
  • Jonathan O’Neill who “undertakes both claimant and defendant work in the personal injury and clinical negligence space.”
  • Tony Ward, who was recognised for his expertise in family law and said to be “great at cross-examination and has a very good manner with clients.”

Family Law Specialist Carol Mashembo joins Magdalen Chambers Family Practice Group


Magdalen Chambers is very pleased to welcome Carol Mashembo (called 1999) as a member of our Family Practice Group.

Carol has practiced for six years at St John’s Chambers in Bristol and before that spent 10 years in Plymouth. She has developed an established practice in all aspects of Family Work, but particularly Family Finance and Private Law Children.

Carol said “After many successful years in Bristol, I am really excited by this opportunity to join such a forward thinking and progressive Family team. Magdalen Chambers are a leading set in the West Country and it is great to be back working in Devon and Cornwall”.

Christopher Naish, Joint Head of Chambers said ‘We are delighted to welcome Carol to Magdalen Chambers. She will be a very valuable addition to our family finance and private law children teams’

To view Carol’s profile please click here.

For further details on instructing her, please contact either:

James Basden


Michelle Ratcliff –

Telephone – 01392 285 200