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Planning silk John Hobson QC and Stephen Whale are the latest barristers to quit 4-5 Gray’s Inn for Landmark Chambers.
Hobson is the fourth silk to leave the set for Landmark in recent weeks following Paul Brown QC and Philip Coppel QC (9 November 2012), and Tim Corner QC (7 November 2012 ).
Hobson was called in the bar in 1980 and took silk in 2000. He has a strong following having been instructed by the Mayor of London, the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and English Heritage.
Whale, meanwhile, is widely considered a leading planning barrister having been called to the bar in 1999.
Their exit from chambers come as other 4-5 Gray’s Inn barristers negotiate a deal with 39 Essex Street. Many at the bar expect the move will result in the closure of the set (9 November 2012).
It is understood that between 25 and 30 barristers have talked to 39 Essex Street about joining the set but bar sources believe a much reduced number will be offered membership and not all are expected to agree.
Peter Village QC of 4-5 Gray’s Inn is understood to be leading the talks alongside 39 Essex Street chief executive David Barnes.