James Hunt QC, the head of chambers at London set 36 Bedford Row, is stepping down just two weeks after a planned merger with two Nottingham sets collapsed.
But Hunt insists there is no connection between the failed merger - which would have made his set the largest in the country - and his replacement as head of chambers. Michael Pert QC will take over in October. Hunt says: "It is not true that I have gone or there has been any acceleration of my stepping down because of the merger."
The merger collapsed because it failed to get the backing of three-quarters of the 60 barristers at 36 Bedford Row. A majority voted for the merger, but it needed 75 per cent to get the go-ahead under the chambers' constitution.
Meanwhile, Nottingham sets King Charles House and St Mary's Chambers are reviving merger talks without 36 Bedford Row.