Eversheds advocacy head returns to bar as in-house unit is phased out

The former head of Eversheds’ in-house advocacy unit Tom Keith has quit the firm to return to the bar, taking up tenancy at Devereux Chambers.

Keith joined the firm from Fountain Court in 2006 to launch the in-house unit (25 September 2006), being made responsible for the firm’s advocacy strategy.

Eversheds subsequently restructured its disputes practice with global chief Ian Gray leading a wholesale review resulting in the firm changing course and putting in place a panel of barrister advisers (23 March 2009).

The firm still reverted to Keith, however, with the barrister advising Rolls Royce on a £100m insurance dispute with Royal & SunAlliance Insurance, Zurich and Aviva (see Top Cases 2012). That case went on to settle.

Since 2009 he has been with the firm on a consultancy basis, with the firm gradually phasing out its in-house advocacy unit since the launch of the bar panel.

Keith said he was looking forward to joining Devereux. “I’m pleased to be returning to the bar having had the unique and valuable experience of working as a barrister within a firm of solicitors,” he said in a statement.

Eversheds litigation head Gray commented: “We use the bar extensively and choose the best available senior or junior for each case, as well as doing our own advocacy with solicitors and in-house barristers where appropriate.

“We have a close relationship with Tom and will continue to work with him at Devereux Chambers.”