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High-profile criminal silk Ronald Thwaites QC is stepping down as head of chambers at 10 King's Bench Walk after 10 years at the helm.
He is being replaced by former deputy Georges Khayat QC, who says: "He's a maverick and a high-flier and at first I didn't know what kind of head he would be. He's turned out to be very honourable and a terrific head."
10 King's Bench Walk has quadrupled in size over the last 10 years and now has 37 tenants including four silks.
However, the criminal bar is one of the most threatened sections of the bar. "The bar has been through turbulent, if not torrid times and they are not yet over," warns Thwaites, conceding that the bar will be forced to contract substantially in the next 10 years.
Khayat says it will be "with difficulty" that the set fights to survive but plans to boost the civil practice and grow to an optimum size of 45 tenants.