4 Pump Court wins top construction silk

Specialist construction set 4 Pump Court has taken on three barristers, including the seasoned silk Anthony Speaight QC.

`Speaight has made the move from personal injury set 12 King’s Bench Walk (12 KBW) because of a drop in construction work at the set, while 4 Pump Court’s construction, professional negligence and commercial practices matched his own work.`He said: “12 KBW has developed a very strong specialism in personal injury work. But there’s less construction work done than was the case some years ago. There is also less civil work done at the set.” He defined civil work as involving property-related work, including planning, public law and commercial work with civil strands to it.`He added: “My move is connected to the fact that the way I see the bar moving is in a more specialist direction. Although I feel emotional ties with 12 KBW, the way the rapidly changing legal services work is developing is in the direction of increased specialism.”`A senior barrister said that since the mid-1990s, “the balance of emphasis” at 12 KBW has “slowly and perceptibly” moved away from commercial, professional negligence and construction, largely because so many silks have moved to the bench.`Speaight is chair of the Modernising Civil Courts Working party, vice chair of the bar’s Information Technology Panel, and vice chair of the Bar Council’s Legal Services Committee.`He moved to the upstairs part of 12 KBW in 1987. Barry Chedlow QC who was head of the downstairs 12 KBW set at the time, was replaced by Ronald Walker QC a year later. The two sets merged in 1990.`Also joining 4 Pump Court are two commercial barristers from Littman Chambers. They are Alexander Hickey, who was recently appointed as a judicial assistant to the Court of Appeal, and Michael Taylor, who rejoined Littman 18 months ago after several years at Kemp & Co.