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The Bar has scooped one of its most high-profile recruits from the other side of the profession to date, with Brick Court Chambers securing the services of former Clifford Chance head of litigation Tony Willis.
Willis, who joins the top commercial set next month, is one of a growing number of senior solicitors to switch allegiance to the bar. For example, former Clyde & Co lawyer Adam Chichester-Clark has also this week found a tenancy, and will be joining new set 13 Old Square (see www.thelawyer.com/item/112189).
Willis has spent the last six years as an independent mediator working for US and UK law firms and alternative dispute resolution organisations. His enviable caseload includes sitting as a mediator in the ongoing case over split capital trusts – the largest action in the history of the Financial Services Authority.
Willis said: “It is a great opportunity to improve my practice as well as bring to the set my mediation experience. Brick Court’s business model is ideally suited to the way a mediator works. I get involved in a case on a short-term basis as an individual. It is quite different from the environment in which I previously worked running a litigation department in a City firm.”
Willis has professional and personal connections with other Brick Court members, particularly fellow mediators William Wood QC and Stephen Ruttle QC.
As joint managing partner, Willis helped to implement the merger of Coward Chance and Clifford Turner between 1987 and 1989. He was head of litigation at Clifford Chance between 1989 and 1996.