Commercial and common law set 2 Temple Gardens today launched its alternative dispute resolution (ADR) service with the return to chambers of retiring Lord Justice of Appeal The Rt Hon Sir Murray Stuart-Smith QC.
Smith has been a Lord Justice of Appeal since 1998. During this time he has also been Commissioner for the Security Service (1989-2000) and Commissioner for the Intelligence Services (1994-2000).
He was first appointed as a High Court judge in 1981 after 29 years of practice in common and commercial law when he was based at 2 Temple Gardens.
"It has been obvious for some time that ADR is already displacing traditional litigation in some areas. The 1996 [Arbitration] Act appears to be encouraging this trend," says Stuart-Smith, who has been brought in to develop the ADR service.
The service will initially be offered by Stuart-Smith, plus five tenants who are fellows of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Other tenants will act in other forms of ADR such as adjudication and expert determination.
Dermod O'Brien QC, head of chambers, says: "Being a leading construction set, we have considerable demand for the services of senior members of chambers as arbitrators."
The news of Stuart-Smith's arrival will be a welcome boost to the set which has been rocked recently by the news that two leading silks are leaving, Patrick Phillips QC and Alexander Layton QC.
The chambers has also been undergoing a period of internal restructuring following the appointment of Elizabeth Rantzen as chambers director in 1999, which led to the departure of deputy senior clerk Tom Grove in January.