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The turmoil that has engulfed Cloisters for the past two years has not prevented it finishing fourth in The Lawyer's House of Lords league table. It is the highest placed set from outside the magic circle, finishing just behind Blackstone, Brick Court and Fountain Court. It seems that the result of much internal wrangling - Cloisters' demerger from its criminal practice to become a specialist civil set - has been vindicated. Only one of the departed criminal practitioners, Alan Newman QC who is now at 5 Raymond Buildings (The Lawyer, 26 June), has made an appearance in the House of Lords in the last year.
The set, which now has 34 tenants including six silks, was successful in five out of its 10 appearances. Cases in which barristers from Cloisters appeared include: Brian Langstaff QC in Carmichael & anor v National Power (lost); Robin Allen QC and Christopher Quinn in Burton v London Borough of Camden (lost); Brian Langstaff QC and Paul Spencer in Jolley v Sutton Council (won); and Robin Allen QC and Andrew Buchan in Waters v Commissioner of Police (won).
The well-documented and turbulent process of demerger has not been wholly successful, with a number of civil practitioners following their criminal colleagues to new chambers. These included the highly-rated senior junior Antony White, as well as Matthew Ryder and Karen Monaghan, who all left to join Cloisters' new rival Matrix. However, it is worth noting that Matrix, had it existed a year ago, would have made a total of only six appearances in the House of Lords, giving it an overall league position of 11.