Lightman and Parker join Serle Court as chambers head quits

Commercial set Serle Court has snared Mr Justice Lightman and former Court of Appeal judge Sir Jonathan Parker to ramp up its alternative dispute resolution team.

The news comes as the set’s head of chambers Lord Neill is standing down to make a move over to 20 Essex Street, where his brother Sir Brian Neill is a tenant.

Alan Boyle QC has been elected as the new head of chambers and will take up the post on 1 February.

Parker and Lightman J will join other big-hitting former members of the judiciary Lord Brown-Wilkinson and Sir Roger Parker to act as arbitrators and mediators across the commercial and chancery industry.

Parker, who stepped down from the Court of the Appeal earlier this year, took silk in 1979 and became a high court judge in 1991, before becoming a Lord Justice of Appeal in 2000.

Lightman J who has been a high court judge since 1994 will be stepping down from the bench on 19 January.

Serle Court’s chief executive Nicola Sawford said: “The addition of two eminent former judges to our august panel of ADR specialists, and the appointment of a highly respected new head of chambers will enable us to further build on our reputation as among the most forward-looking and modern sets at the bar.”

Neill’s move to 20 Essex Street comes after the chambers ramped up its capabilities with London School of Economics law professor Michael Bridge joining as a door tenant and Josephine Davies taking on tenancy following her successful pupillage.

Neill said that after eight years as head of chambers at Serle Court he wanted to leave the field clear for his successor Boyle.

“Most fortunately I have been invited to join the flourishing set at 20 Essex Street, which will maintain my interests in commercial law and arbitration,” said Neill. “This will incidentally be the first time in my career that I will have the pleasure of being a member of the same set of chambers as my brother Brian.”

Commenting on Lord Neill’s move Iain Milligan QC said “We are delighted and proud to welcome such a distinguished member of the Bar into our chambers.”