Multidisciplinary set Hardwicke Building is in merger talks with Benet Hytner QC's 22 Old Buildings
In recent months Hardwicke has endured tenants coming and going in droves. The set has lost a number of family tenants to various sets and has seen the departure of one of Hardwicke's largest fee-earners Romi Teger QC and six colleagues to launch new set Selborne Chambers. Financially, it is the loss of Teger and his fellow commercial property tenants, including the highly-rated Philip Kremen, that has hit Hardwicke the hardest. It is understood that together they accounted for more than 20 per cent of the chambers' income. While this has been largely offset with the arrival of 16 civil tenants from Goldsmith Building, a shortfall of at least £200,000 remains. The five family tenants to have left the set are senior-junior Debbie Taylor, who joined 29 Bedford Row, following Alexis Campbell. Richard Bates and Stephen Lyon have recently joined 4 Paper Buildings, and Judith Spooner has defected to 2 Gray's Inn Square. One source said that Hardwicke's current building, staff and expenses costs total more than £2m. Neither of the key members of Hardwicke's management committee, chief executive Ann Buxton and head of civil Nigel Jones QC, would comment on the merger. 22 Old Buildings also refused to comment on the talks.