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Manchester set continues to hire for regional growth; other chambers to follow
Manchester-based 40 King Street Chambers is targeting Leeds for further growth, according to chief executive Colin Wardale. The chancery and commercial chambers, headed by Andrew Gilbart QC, has already recruited two new barristers to its Leeds annexe at 5 Park Place, bringing the total number of members practising permanently out of the city to 10. Simon Young relocated from 4 Paper Buildings in London, where he specialised in personal injury, employment and professional negligence; and Mark Cooper, a specialist in business and finance law, joined from Chancery House Chambers in Leeds. "We set up an annexe in Leeds in 1999 and have had a significant amount of work from the Yorkshire area; but we feel there's still a lot more potential there," says Wardale. "If you did a straw poll among Leeds solicitors, I think you'd find that they send the vast majority of serious Bar work down to London. Until that issue is confronted and we can demonstrate our credentials to the Leeds solicitors in a more proactive way, it will always remain that way. "We're trying to break down those barriers, but we can't do that unless we've got people on the ground." He says he expects the set to grow further over the next 18 months and is actively looking for more people. Wardale also believes that 40 King Street is not the only chambers looking to develop its presence in Leeds. "It wouldn't surprise me if another set from Manchester and one from Birmingham moved in within the next year or so," he predicts. "It would give the Leeds Bar a big lift with the added competition, and would certainly stir things up a bit."