Ahmed commits to Brum with St Philips

Former Birmingham City Council (BCC) legal chief Mirza Ahmed is to take up tenancy at Birmingham chambers St Philips.

Ahmed said it was a “strategic move” that demonstrated his commitment to the Birmingham legal market.

Ahmed’s position as ­corporate director of ­governance was cut by BCC last year as part of a wider spending review (The Lawyer, 21 October 2010). He left the local authority in July.

The decision to move to St Philips, he said, would “send a strong message in terms of my belief in the Birmingham legal market and the bar. I could have moved to London, but felt it was important to stay here.”

Birmingham has ­benefited from the opening of a regional administrative court, which hears public sector cases.

A number of local ­authorities have established barrister panels with a view to streamlining costs. In response chambers are ­looking at whether to ­establish corporate entities to allow a pricing structure alternative to the hourly rate.

Mirza said there would “no doubt” be discussions about a subsidiary for St Philips in the near future.

Earlier this month Doughty Street Chambers said it would launch a ­corporate subsidiary once the Bar Standards Board had approved a regulatory framework for them (The Lawyer, 17 October).