Monckton Chambers' director Alexandrina le Clezio is due to quit in June to join Ernst & Young (E&Y) International. Despite facing the setback of Monckton's failed merger with 4-5 Gray's Inn Square, le Clezio says that during her time at the set it has had record profits, with a 30 per cent increase in 2000 on the previous year, and this year has exceeded fee targets.
Of the failed merger, le Clezio says: "I was competing with the chief executive of 4-5 Gray's Inn, Tony Wells, for the merged set's chief executive position. I was very disappointed when the merger didn't go ahead. However, each side made its decision for the right reasons."
However, at the time, she said that a group within 4-5 Gray's Inn was "sceptical about the merger… [and were] the same people responsible for seven people moving to Matrix." (The Lawyer, 3 July 2000.)
At E&Y she will work as one of two directors in its law department, a network of practices comprising 1,800 lawyers in 50 countries. The lawyers have associations with E&Y, although le Clezio says that their closeness depends on their country's regulatory framework.
She will be responsible for strategy, business, quality processes and multidisciplinary integration. Her move marks a return to large firms. She joined Monckton in September 1999 from Watson Farley & Williams, where she was director of operations. Before that she was a senior strategy consultant for Linklaters. "I enjoyed my work at Monckton," she says. "The staff are very good and the barristers are interested in strategic planning."
Jeremy Lever QC, one of the silks at the chambers, says: "Alexandrina has done a great deal in her time, particularly on the administration and marketing sides."
During her 19 months at Monckton as overseer of marketing and administration, she contributed heavily to IT developments, including a rolling upgrade programme, creating an in-depth auditing capacity using IT facilities, and barristers' access to the chambers' computer system from wherever they were located. Also, all finance-related work is outsourced and budgeting has become "far more businesslike", says le Clezio.
Her role is likely to be split between two people: one covering marketing, the other management, IT, administration and finances. No names have yet been given.