Le Clezio and Wells fight for top job

The race to become the chambers director of the newly merged chambers of 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square and Monckton Chambers will be decided today (Monday) and revealed on The Lawyer’s website www.thelawyer.co.uk.

Presentations were made to the new chambers on Wednesday (29 March) by the two candidates Tony Wells and Alex Le Clezio, the present directors of 4-5 Gray’s Inn and Monckton respectively.

About 40 of the 73 tenants of the still unnamed merged set attended and questioned the candidates on issues such as their relations with the press and with the clerking teams.

The bar’s rumour mill still cannot make up its mind on who is favourite.

Wells is the more experienced in chambers management and has special expertise of financial matters but has faced criticism from some quarters. He is also reputedly one of the highest paid directors at the bar, understood to be commanding a salary between £120,000-£140,000.

Le Clezio is newer to the role having only joined chambers in September last year and comes from the weaker set.

However, she has strong credentials in senior management roles having previously been director of operations at Watson Farley & Williams and a senior strategy consultant at Linklaters during the run-up to the creation of Linklaters & Alliance.

On Friday interviews were conducted by the new management committee, which includes the recently elected joint heads of chambers Duncan Ouseley QC and John Swift QC.

Swift, the former rail regulator, is the head of Monckton while Ouseley recently replaced Michael Beloff QC as joint head – with Elizabeth Appleby QC who steps down – at 4-5 Gray’s Inn.