New Square chief takes up place on the bench

New Square Chambers’ head Charles Purle QC has joined the bench, paving the way for barrister Rodney Stewart Smith to take over as head of the commercial set.

The new appointment reflects the huge increase in chancery cases in the regions and the demand for additional chancery expertise. In Birmingham alone the number of chancery High Court hearings has doubled since 2001.

Purle said: “The demand for additional chancery expertise is a testament to the popularity and effectiveness of the Chancery Division.”

Purle, who was called to the bar in 1970 and took silk in 1989, was promoted last week (21 June) as a specialist chancery circuit judge on the Midlands circuit.

His elevation to the bench also meant the position of chair of the Chancery Bar Association became vacant. Carolyn Walton of Maitland Chambers has stepped in to fill Purle’s shoes as acting chair.

New head Stewart Smith thanked Purle for his leadship and said: “I look forward to ensuring that New Square continues to be recognised as a set of chambers that offers an efficient, high-quality service.”