Collyer-Bristow loses chief to barristers’ set

The chief executive of Collyer-Bristow is making a rare lateral move from being head of a law firm to head of a barristers’ chambers.

Jonathan Fox is leaving Collyer-Bristow after five years as chief executive of the Lincoln’s Inn firm. He takes up his new role at Birmingham set St Philips Chambers on 9 January.

Fox replaces Paul Wilson, who is moving to Olswang in January as chief operating officer of the firm’s Reading office.

The move will be a blow to 250-year-old Collyer-Bristow. It has modernised considerably under Fox and recently unveiled its extended and refurbished offices. Fox is also closely associated with several of the firm’s clients, including Philip Morris.

Fox’s new role will include advising St Philips’ 150 barristers on strategic and external-facing issues, including marketing and business development. He told The Lawyer he anticipated that the most significant issues the set was likely to face in the coming years included the Clementi reforms and Lord Carter’s review of legal aid.

Collyer-Bristow managing partner Roger Woolfe denied that losing Fox was a blow.

“We’ve benefited hugely from his advice over the years, but someone of his age moves on,” he said. “We’re reviewing how we’re going to replace him.”