Brick Court Chambers head Christopher Clarke QC will go to the bench upon completion of his role as counsel to the Saville Inquiry.
Jonathan Hirst QC and Jonathan Sumption QC re-place Clarke, who has led the magic circle set since 1999.
As the top earner on the Bloody Sunday Inquiry, Clarke amassed earnings of £3.7m by February 2004 for six years’ full-time work – much less than the former doyen of the commercial bar could have made from sticking to heavyweight City cases.
The elevation of Sumption means the triumvirate of top commercial silks in practice – with One Essex Court’s Lord Grabiner QC and Essex Court’s Gordon Pollock QC – all now sit as the titular heads of their respective sets.
During Clarke’s tenure, Brick Court has become the benchmark for the commercial bar. Last year annual turnover was £34.5m and the highest average revenue per barrister at £557,000. It also became the first set to form an international alliance, linking with Polish firm Wardynski & Partners in 2000.
Clarke will sit in the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court.