Birmingham set St Philips Chambers is broadening its reach with dual launches planned for London and Leeds.
The 159-barrister chambers will cement its alliance with Leeds-based Chancery House Chambers to become St Philips Leeds later this year. It is expecting to recruit further to add to its team of around a dozen barristers in the northern city.
St Philips will open its premises in the capital before the summer with a team of around 25 members, in a move led by head of chambers Kevin Hegarty QC.
He said: “I’m committed to ensuring that St Philips barristers are at the forefront of modern legal practice. Our client base already spans the UK and overseas and adding London and Leeds to our Birmingham HQ will further enhance the opportunities open to existing and new tenants to practise on a national and international scale. “
The chambers operates a corporate structure and new members sign up as shareholders in the business and the property. It means the set carries no debt and has a lot of capital with which to finance its growth strategy, said Hegarty.
He added: “Our business structure means that we have the financial muscle to match our ambition and drive forward with our expansion plans, despite the challenging economic times.
“Establishing a physical presence in London and Leeds will give clients increased accessibility, availability of new services, and St Philips’ competitive edge. This move cements our position as a truly national set.”
St Philips will not look to add huge numbers in London, but is in negotiations to add a couple of silks. The London chambers will focus on commercial, regulatory, employment and family work, but will not take on the kind of publicly funded work it does in Birmingham.
The set plans to increase its total membership to 180, with all barristers being able to work from all three chambers. Clerking operations will be directed from Birmingham, led by chief clerk Joe Wilson.
Gregory Pipe, Chancery House’s head of chambers in Leeds, said: “The alliance has been very well received, not just by clients in the region but throughout the country. We look forward to our merger with St Philips to add yet another dimension to the range of services we can offer clients.”
Last year chief executive Chris Owen resigned from the set (3 July 2012).