Chambers' dilemna

At last someone has said it. Chambers need to grasp the nettle and look for a modern business structure and model if they are to fight off competition from the solicitors. The merger madness engulfing the bar shows that some sets are desperately seeking alternatives to traditional methods of practice. Specialist groups are essential, but many continue to view any form of team ethos with scepticism. Andrew Arden's opinion in this week's issue throws down the gauntlet to the sets: "Become a business or face extinction."

And it will not only be the chambers that will be watching the response. Those firms which have happily watched and taken advantage of a complacent bar may be looking to see if they rise to Arden's challenge too.