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Gray’s Inn may lose one of its most famous tenants, Matrix Chambers, as increasing numbers of sets leave their Holborn heartland.
Matrix is deciding whether to move to larger premises outside the Inn to cope with its growing number of tenants.
However, it may remain at its current home at the junction of Gray’s Inn Road and Theobald’s Road but expand into more rooms on upper floors. This would require Gray’s Inn getting planning permission from Camden Council, it is understood.
Should Matrix quit the Inn, the set may decide to buy its next home. One scheme used by other sets, including Ron Thwaites QC’s Ely Place Chambers, where each member buys a share of the building, has not been ruled out.
Matrix chief executive Nicholas Martin told The Lawyer: “There are lots of different ways to structure a purchase scheme. We’re looking at them for when we find a new building.”
The set has 47 members, including Thomas Kibling, an employment and commercial barrister who has just joined Matrix from Cloisters.
Several sets have set up outside the Inns because of high rent levels, including most recently Outer Temple Chambers and Michael Mansfield QC’s 14 Tooks Court. However, any move out of the Inns by Matrix will be for extra space rather than the prohibitive cost of a Gray’s Inn tenancy, which at around £30 per sq ft is aligned with commercial rates.