Chris Owen, 7 Bedford Row's highly respected senior clerk, is leaving the set and may quit the profession entirely.
Owen says: "Although I've had a very happy 12 years in these chambers, after 21 years as a senior clerk it's time to seek fresh challenges. I'm pleased to have chambers' support and that is why I've decided to give 12 months notice."
Head of chambers David Farrer QC, who has worked with Owen for the past 25 years, says: "I'm very sad he's going. But no one can carry on indefinitely and I suspect rather that senior clerking in a big set of chambers is not going to be a job people do into their sixties."
Owen's notice period will expire in November, but Farrer hopes to have recruited a replacement within the next two months.
"We are going to appoint a successor as a senior clerk. The externally recruited practice manager may work in some situations but we don't believe it is suitable for us," says Farrer.
Owen's own future remains unclear. He says: "Although I have already had some approaches to stay in the profession, I would rather take more time to consider the next step. One of the possibilities that I have been considering is a consultancy to the bar."