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Two members of 4-5 Gray's Inn Square's administration team have quit just days after the set confirmed it is to merge with Monckton Chambers.
In a widely-predicted move, the two sets announced a formal commitment to merge last Tuesday (The Lawyer website, 14 March). The move will create one of the largest sets in the country with 73 tenants, including 26 silks.
4-5 Gray's Inn clerking team leader Amanda Campbell and operations manager Miriam Dom have now both tendered their resignations.
Chambers director Tony Wells denies the departures are a precursor to further streamlining.
"At the bottom end of clerking we are probably a bit light, so there will not be any streamlining there," he says.
Campbell, formerly the personal assistant to Dame Barbara Mills QC, is following some of her tenants to Matrix Chambers.
The Lawyer understands that Dom quit after a conflict blew up over the placing of her name on a chambers Christmas card - whether it appeared above or below that of senior clerk Michael Kaplan.
Dom was accused of failing to resolve the issue with her boss, Wells, or the marketing committee. This resulted in disciplinary proceedings being initiated against her, and ultimately a four-hour appeal hearing before three silks after which Dom was issued with a final warning.
The cost of re-printing the Christmas cards would have been approximately £180.
The Lawyer understands that the merger between the two sets is settled on the basis of simple heads of agreement.
There now begins the lengthy task of working through the details of fusing the two sets. Perhaps the most crucial decision relates to the position of chambers director or chief executive.
Both Alexandrina Le Clezio, who holds the post at Monckton, and Wells are vying for the job.
Finding suitable premises also continues to be a problem, an issue which delayed the negotiations for several weeks. There is likely to be a considerable delay before the two chambers are able to move into single office accommodation.