Consolidation of the regional bar is continuing with the announcement that two North East sets are to merge.
York Chambers, which currently has a presence in York and Newcastle, is combining forces with Newcastle’s Broad Chare Chambers on 1 December, creating the largest set of chambers in the North East.
The new set will be headed by John Elvidge QC and will be known as Dere Street Chambers, after the Roman road that stretched from York to Newcastle.
It will have almost 100 members, including six silks.
York Chambers was originally the regional annex to London set 2 Harcourt Buildings, becoming independent in 1990, while Broad Chare is one of the longest-established sets outside the capital.
Elvidge said the set would seek to act for clients both regionally and nationally, taking advantage of the lower overheads gained by being outside London.
Both sets have a full range of practice areas, including civil, family, employment and criminal law.
The news follows the recent completion of the three-way merger between Manchester’s St John’s Buildings, Liverpool’s India Buildings Chambers and Sheffield set Paradise Chambers (17 October 2011). The merger creates the single biggest set in England and Wales, with over 200 barristers and 60 support staff.