St Mary's loses criminal team to rival set

The 10-strong criminal practice group from St Mary's Chambers is leaving to join rival Nottingham set King Charles House after merger talks between the two sets were abandoned.

The two sets were in three-way merger talks with London chambers 36 Bedford Row, but talks collapsed when Bedford Row failed to secure the support of three-quarters of its tenants. Talks continued between the two Nottingham sets but a full-on merger has been rejected.

Instead, the criminal practice group, with the exception of senior junior Adrian Reynolds who joins No 1 High Pavement Chambers, will join King Charles House in September. They bring the number of tenants at the set to 41.

James Hunt QC, 36 Bedford Row's head of chambers, joins as associate tenant along with Heather Swindells QC, who left Hunt's set for St Philip's Chambers in Birmingham.

Senior clerk at St Mary's Chambers David Wilson says: “Our strength is on the family and civil side so we will be concentrating on that.”

He says that although the set has been reduced to 20 tenants it will be back to full strength in the near future.