Mass defections from a Newcastle set of barristers are forcing the closure of Westgate Chambers to create the biggest set in the North Eastern circuit.
Twelve barristers are due to leave Westgate Chambers on 4 February to join Broad Chare Chambers. The latter will then have 46 barristers including three silks.
Broad Chare's head of chambers, Eric Elliott, says the recruitments have enabled him to set up specialised departments in criminal, family, civil and chancery law.
“It means we're not putting all our eggs into one basket and will be able to take on a huge variety of work,” he says. “It's the first time any chambers in the North East has had a full chancery department within a common law set.”
Now he is looking for bigger premises in the city to accommodate the “superset”.
Those leaving are Susan Boothroyd, Tony Davis, Tom Finch, Jodie James-Stadden, Stephanie Jarron, Brian Mark, Claire Middleton, Joseph O'Brien, Nicholas Peacock, Richard Selwyn-Sharpe, Andrew Walker and Sarah Mallett.
The remainder, including head of chambers Ian Dawson, are understood to be looking at other Newcastle sets.