In an unusual move at the bar, Ely Place Chambers has bought its building.
The chambers purchased the freehold of its London premises through a self-invested personal pension (SIPP) plan when Ronald Thwaites QC founded it in 2000, but it was unable at the time to fill the six floors with just six members.
Now, with revenue in excess of £4m and 25 members, it has taken back all but a small corner of the building from the commercial tenants which were renting the unused space.
An SIPP means that Ely Place’s pension fund is managed by an independent company and the rent paid by barristers goes into the fund. Interest accrued helped the set to pay off a set-up loan from Coutts, as well as boosting future pensions for tenants.