39 Essex St overhaul increases global push

39 Essex Street is planning to increase its international work by more than 200 per cent in the next three years with an international strategy inspired by the set’s new director of clerking.

The strategy push comes three months after Atkin Chambers senior clerk David Barnes moved to 39 Essex Street to become director of clerking. At Atkin, Barnes’ tactics saw the set’s international instructions peak at 45 per cent of total instructions from a base of virtually nothing.

Chief executive at 39 Essex Street Michael Meeson, who is spearheading the set’s international strategy, said Barnes’ international experience will help the output from the set’s global operation become a much larger proportion of its work. Currently international instructions stand at 12 per cent.

“In the next three years we’re looking to see our international base increase threefold, if not more, which is absolutely realistic,” said Meeson. “If our billing rate continues to increase at the levels they have in the past two years – that’s by 30 per cent – then we should race past the target we’ve set ourselves.”

Meeson added that an aggressive recruitment drive is coupled with the push to become a more renowned international set. The drive has already seen South African barrister Patrick Lane SC move from Atkin Chambers to 39 Essex Street.

The set also has barristers – three tenants and four door tenants – based permanently in South Africa, Hong Kong, Paris, Australia and Dubai.

The strategy overhaul will also see changes on a more domestic level, with recruitment happening across the board.