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Manchester-based 8 King Street Chambers has collapsed after failed merger talks with common law set 18 St John Street Chambers.
Former 8 King Street head of chambers David Eccles confirmed that the set had been dissolved following the breakdown of the merger talks.
“We had a good chambers but we felt that the set was too small,” explained Eccles, who has joined Deans Court Chambers. “When the talks fell apart we felt 8 couldn’t survive on its own, as by then five people had decided to leave chambers. When 8 folded there were 30 of us left.”
If the merger had gone ahead the set would have been one of the larger chambers in Manchester with around 85 members.
Eccles said: “The reality is that sets are becoming bigger ;and ;bigger ;in Manchester as there’s safety in numbers and it keeps expenses down. “The bigger the set the more bulk work and solicitors it will attract, which is what’s needed to survive.”
The 37 barristers who were still with 8 King Street at the beginning of the year are now spread across 10 chambers. 9 St John Street was the biggest recruiter with 11 new members, while 18 St John Street took four tenants after the negotiations broke down.