Plowden Buildings calls in the cavalry

Plowden Buildings has appointed a practice manager on the advice of its overstretched senior clerk Paul Hurst.

The common law set practices in London and on the North East circuit and, according to Hurst, it was becoming increasingly difficult to both promote and clerk the chambers.

"My being out in Newcastle two or three days a week doesn't help when I've got to be in London taking calls," said Hurst.

The set has appointed Anthony Long as practice manager to promote and market the set around London and on the circuit.

Long had previously been working as a practice manager for Bedfordshire solicitors Leeds Day and before that in the Legal Aid Board's franchise department.

Hurst joined the set in 1986 and has been senior clerk for the past five years. He said he did not believe the practice manager appointment threatened his traditional responsibilities.

Long's appointment coincides with the decision of Bruce McIntyre, who has headed the set since its establishment in 1980, to step down from the position.

The newly-appointed QC and joint head of chambers William Lowe, who is based in Newcastle, has become the sole head of chambers.

Hurst said the set, which has 20 tenants, was looking to expand, although finding tenants of the right calibre was proving increasingly difficult.

He did not believe the fact Lowe was based in the North East would affect Plowden's expansion plans.

"All our solicitors see us as Plowden Buildings – it doesn't matter where the governor is," said Hurst.