4 Pump Court adds financial services junior from Gough Square Chambers

Ruth Bala brings specialist financial regulation and retail banking expertise

Ruth Bala Photo courtesy of 4 Pump Court

London chambers 4 Pump Court has added financial services junior Ruth Bala as the set seeks to bolster its banking and finance practice ahead of Nick Vineall KC’s return from the Bar Council later this year.

Bala leaves Gough Square Chambers, a specialist financial services and consumer credit set, after 15 years. Her practice focuses on regulatory and advisory work, including in cases involving regulated lending, retail banking and financial services litigation and advisory work – all of which are areas in her new set.

Bala’s practice spans both corporates and senior managers. She was in high demand at her previous set, having made her name in the case of Kerrigan v Elevate Credit International, the leading payday lending test case litigation on the relationship between the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Handbook rules and its ‘unfair relationship’ provisions.

She advises corporates on financial regulatory compliance and is an expert on the FCA Handbook’s detailed rules governing regulated activities. Established sets like Blackstone Chambers and Fountain Court have long enjoyed a strong following in this area.

She is also a director of the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund, the professional indemnity insurer for the Bar; the set has an established professional negligence practice which has focused on property and construction-related negligence claims against professionals, but Bala’s arrival will potentially add new areas of interest for those lawyers.  

Bala sits on Lincoln’s Inn’s regulatory panel, which liaises with the Bar Standards Board, Legal Services Board and the Ministry of Justice.

The set’s joint heads of chambers, Sean Brannigan KC and Rachel Ansell KC, said: “Ruth is an accomplished senior junior who brings an exceptional banking, finance and regulatory practice. Undoubtedly, Ruth will be a valued addition to our ever-growing commercial team.”

Bala said she was delighted to join the team, adding: “My retail banking specialism will remain at the core of my financial services practice and benefit from the move to a heavyweight commercial set – 4 Pump Court feels like a natural home.”

Her new set saw Vineall, when co-head of chambers, appear in two leading financial services cases on personal pensions, including FCA v Avacade and as an intervener for the FCA in Adams v Options SIPP in the Court of Appeal.

Before becoming chair of the Bar, Vineall led a team in high-profile litigation regarding the collapsed Woodford funds on behalf of 300 retail investors, instructed by Harcus Parker. He is said to be keen to develop that practice further still, while Bala will support fellow juniors James Hatt and Daniel Khoo in this area.

Bala’s arrival will complement Vineall’s experience in silk with the potential to further broaden her commercial advocacy skills at a set increasingly keen to be recognised in this area. The set bolstered its ranks with the arrivals of offshore silks Simon Davenport KC and Alex Potts KC, who joined last month from 3 Hare Court and Conyers respectively.

Email your news and story ideas to: news@globallegalpost.com