Davidson goes to Cloisters

Andrew Burnyeat reports

FORMER shadow attorney-general, Arthur Davidson QC has joined "left-of-centre" chambers, Cloisters.

The chambers of David Turner Samuels QC has also recruited two young barristers, Christopher Quinn and Matthew Ryder, in a drive to boost its civil liberties' work.

Three months ago Davidson left his post as head of legal services at Mirror Group Newspapers, the company he joined from Associated Newspapers, where he also headed up the law department.

His departure was precipitated by an internal reorganisation in advance of the move by MGN to Canary Wharf.

"I have been looking for a chambers to join since then," says, Davidson, who won his Accrington seat in the Labour landslide election of 1966 and lost it in the Tory landslide of 1983. He will be concentrating on libel, defamation and other jury work at Cloisters.

"The chambers wants to build on its reputation as a campaigning, left-of-centre set. It has taken on some bright, young lawyers – not me! – to get going on civil rights," he says.

"But for me to come from The Mirror is a question of gamekeeper turned poacher!"

Quinn and former professional basketball player, Ryder, join as recently-qualified barristers. Ryder says: "I do a lot of work with Liberty and its civil actions against the police."

But he will also be working closely on employment contract matters. His time playing basketball with top UK team Hemel Hempstead Royals led him to work for the National Basketball League.

"I have drawn up contracts for players and clubs," he says. "But mainly I have been taken on to promote judicial reviews against the police and other civil liberties' actions."